December 31, 2011

Repurposed Cabinet Panel Chalkboard

Happy New Year to everyone!

I thought I'd make my last post of 2011 one of my very first repurposed/recycled projects that got my creative wheels turning and inspired me to start this blog this summer-I can't believe it's been 6 months since I started! It has been an adventure!

There's this amazing non-profit store in my area called Scrap 4 Art, where you can fill up a large bag of donated scrap items for only $6. (If you are a teacher, everything is free! )

They had these forgotten about cabinet door panels waiting for some creative reuse and I bought a few, with the idea to paint them into chalkboards.

Here is one of my favorites that doubles as a chalkboard and message board--thumbtacks can be pushed into the cork section with a reminder note, list or photo.

Here's how I made this chalkboard: 
 -First I painted the middle section with chalkboard paint. 

-After that was dry, I used painter's tape and plastic to cover and protect the entire chalkboard section from the next step of spray painting.

-Then I spray painted the framed area. (I used a Rustoleum color called Paprika).

- After everything was dry, I hot glued the corks onto the side. To finish, I nailed a picture frame hook to the back. 

Well, I guess this sums up the first 6 months of ReMadeSimple--it has been a thrill to share with the world and get inspired and connect with other bloggers out there!

I sat down today and wrote out some creativity goals for myself and I am excited to share some new craft ideas and recipes, money saving tips and furniture and room revamps with you in 2012!

Have a safe and blessed New Year!

Linking up with these parties and this party.

December 29, 2011

DIY Numbered Monogram

I love monograms. And numbers. This is a combination of both
that I made to represent our last name + how many family members
their are. J to the fourth power = fun with math + art to start my
gallery wall in my dining room. And a new love affair with yellow.

Here's what I used in this project:

  • vintage linen napkin
  • matte Mod Podge
  • large wooden letter 
  • small wooden number
  • acrylic craft paint
  • fabric scissors
  • paint brush

I love to repurpose, so to go along with this theme, 
I used a pretty lemon yellow vintage linen napkin I found
 at a thrift store a few months ago.

I cut the cloth into little rectangles using fabric scissors.

I applied the matte Mod Podge onto the monogram with a 
brush, laid one piece of fabric down flat over it.

I then brushed more Mod Podge over the top of the fabric piece,
saturating it and smoothing it flat against the wood. 

I repeated steps 2-3, overlapping fabric pieces onto the top 
and sides of the wooden letter until it was covered completely.

To finish, I painted my number using Deco Art 
acrylic paint in a dark gray.
 After everything was dry, I nailed the my numbered monogram
to my gallery wall!

I love how it adds some fresh modern style to
my previously traditional wall. I plan on surrounding the wall
 with photos of my family, nature and some cheerful crayon and paint
works of art done by my boys. I can't wait to until it's done!

Stay tuned for a post in a few weeks showing the finished gallery wall...

Thanks for tuning in!

Linking up with these parties and this party.

Day After Holiday Turkey Soup

Got a lot of turkey left after a big Thanksgiving or Christmas feast? Here's an easy and delicious soup recipe that combines shredded turkey with broth, vegetables and a roux as a thickener. My family loved it! I served it with garlic bread and it filled and warmed us up on a cold winter's night.

Here's the recipe:


  • 6 cups chicken both
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped green onions
  • 1/2 cup uncooked wild rice
  • 8 slices bacon
  • 1/2 cup butter 
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 cups half-and-half cream
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked, shredded turkey meat
  • 1 16 oz. can Great Northern Beans
  • 1 c. fresh or frozen kale, torn into pieces
  • 2 cloves minced garlic


  1. In a large pot over medium heat, combine chicken broth, water, green onions, garlic and wild rice. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until rice is tender, 35 to 40 minutes. Add beans.
  2. Meanwhile, cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until crisp. Allow to cool and then crumble. Set aside.
  3. When rice is tender, melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir in flour, salt, and pepper all at once. Cook, stirring, until smooth and bubbly. Stir in half-and-half and cook until thickened, 2 minutes. Stir half-and-half mixture into rice mixture. Stir in bacon, turkey and sherry. Heat through and serve.
The DIY Show Off

December 26, 2011

Money-Saving Ideas for the New Year

Hoping everyone had a great Christmas season! I took a few days off of blogging to relax with friends and family and it was wonderful. 

I don't know about you, but there is something about the days after Christmas and into the New Year that makes me want to de-clutter and get more organized. 

I am a little rebellious about making "New Year's Resolutions" but I do have a few goals in mind this year: One is to be a better planner and post a weekly calendar on my fridge with different goals for myself each day.  The other is to start saving money by making some of my own homemade cleaners. 

Andrea, a "registered nurse turned frugally sustainable homemaker",  has a great resource out there with over 30 "safe, effective, and frugal alternatives" to commercial cleaners. 

I can tell that Andrea is very passionate about the subject because even though she has done lots of research and spent a lot of time compiling an e-book like this, she makes it affordable to just about everyone with it costing only $2.99

Here is what Andrea has to say about her book:

Simply Clean: DIY Solutions For A Naturally Clean Home

Tired of spending tons of money to clean your home? Are you sick of exposing your family to the dangerous, chemical-laden commercial products?

What if you could learn how to clean your home by using 5 simple, frugal, and natural products? What if by doing this you could save your family hundreds, maybe even thousands, of dollars a year?

Simply Clean is your answer!

In this book, we will walk through each room of the home and learn simple cleaning methods based on the folk recipes of days gone by!


I am excited to go out and get some supplies to start trying some of these recipes soon. I can imagine how nice my house will smell with the herbal infusions and how clean it will feel using these natural products. 

If you are interested in purchasing Frugally Sustainable's e-book, click here or on the sidebar to the right.

Thanks for reading! 


December 23, 2011

Pretty Paper Ornament

My good friend, Rebecca, who blogs at The Lord's Housekeeper-full of
crafts, recipes, and spiritual insight, made me
this simple paper ornament using pretty catalog paper. I know it
is only a few days before Christmas but I wanted to post one last little decoration
(this season goes too fast!)
I think these could go beyond the holidays and could be used for other
party decorations, too.
Here's a photo stream of her making
one for me:

So pretty! Merry Christmas.

Merry Christmas 2011!

our first real tree
my skinny tree with all of my handmade ornaments and garland

Puffed Pancakes: A Simple Christmas Breakfast Idea

We made this for breakfast today for our out-of-town
guests. A different twist on regular pancakes-
baked in the oven. They are so easy and good and
can be topped with fruit, powdered sugar, cinnamon or
fruit preserves. Try this simple recipe below:

    • 6 eggs
    • 1 cup all-purpose flour
    • 1 cup milk
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 2 tablespoons salted butter


    1. Preheat an oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
    2. Whisk the eggs, flour, milk, salt, vanilla extract, and cinnamon in a bowl; set aside.
    3. Put the butter in a 9x11-inch baking dish. Melt the butter in the preheated oven, making sure it doesn't burn, about 5 minutes. Pour the batter into the baking dish with the melted butter.
    4. Return to the oven and bake until the pancake is puffed and no longer moist in the center, 20 to 25 minutes.
    5. Top with desired toppings and serve immediately.

                   Linking up with these parties

December 21, 2011

Patchwork Distressed Side Table Revamp

I was thrilled when Cassidy of Remodelaholic, contacted me and asked for this project to be featured on her blog, a very cool site run by a husband and wife team who have remodeled 3 houses on a very tight budget-like $5,000 cheap! I don't know how they do it but they are a very talented team. Thanks to those of you coming over from their blog today-
I hope you take a look around and like what you see here and stay awhile!

So, about this fun experiment I got to try-my first time doing a patchwork technique:

This side table was sitting in a dark corner of my aunt and uncle's basement.
My cousin, who is moving into a downtown loft apartment has been looking for tables to
furnish his new place and he saw the potential for this piece. 
I was happy to take on the challenge of revamping it for him and his girlfriend. 

I have been fascinated by patchwork salvage furniture I've seen,  but not so hot about the prices (hundreds and hundreds of dollars when I can recreate the look myself??) I got to experiment first with this project and am really happy with the results. Curious? Read on to see what I did:

I used these materials by DecoArt as my accent colors and brushes for the project.
After priming the table, I brushed these acrylic colors in strips on all of the areas of the table
that had separate sections of wood, along with a muted yellow latex paint sampler ( believe it was Glidden eggshell paint in "Crisp Ginger Ale".

 I allowed to dry before I coated the table completely with a light 
latex gray eggshell. 

 I then allowed the top coat to dry for a full day before my final sanding, 
which I did using 100 grit sandpaper with an electric sander. 

Hideous looking at this point--but look below 
to see what sanding the final top layer revealed! 

The table now has a similar effect of those expensive salvage wood pieced together tables and chests. I love how all the colors subtly show through underneath. I finished the project with a protective coating of Deco Art Acrylic Sealer. It left the table feeling as smooth as satin.
 I hope Kevan and Anna like the end result as much as I do! 

I can't wait to try this technique on some pieces of my own furniture next. Stay tuned as I reveal more revamps...Thanks for reading! 

Linking up with these parties and this party.

December 19, 2011

Pumpkin Apple Gingerbread

I have been reading up on the health benefits of molasses lately and wanted to try it in a recipe and 'tis the season for baking warm, sweet treats in the house.This was my first time trying gingerbread and I searched through a few recipes to find a combination of ingredients that I liked.

I came up with an amazing healthier combination of pumpkin and apple pureed with lemon zest, with a light dusting of powdered sugar.
I tried cutting the amount of butter in half and it wasn't dry at all. I also used whole white wheat flour for a healthier kick.
My house smelled amazing and my family loved this version of gingerbread.
Want to try it? Follow the recipe below:

This recipe was modified from simply recipes

Pumpkin Apple Gingerbread REcipe


  • 1 1/2 cups (200 g) all purpose flour* (I used Whole White Wheat Flour)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup (240 ml) pumpkin purée**
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick, or 112 g) butter, melted (I only used 1/2 of a stick to reduce the fat)
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) molasses
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 3 Tbsp water
  • one peeled apple, finely chopped in a food processor or blender (I added this on)
  • 1/4 tsp. lemon zest (I added this on)
  • powdered sugar for dusting (I added this on)
  • 1/4 tsp. vanilla (I added this on)


1 Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Prepare a 9x5x3-inch loaf pan with non-stick spray or butter to keep the pumpkin gingerbread from sticking to the pan.
2 In a medium bowl, vigorously whisk together the flour, salt, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
3 In another bowl, use a wooden spoon to mix together the pumpkin purée, melted butter, sugar, molasses, fresh or candied ginger, eggs, and water, pureed apple, vanilla, lemon zest
4 Combine the wet and dry ingredients. Add the raisins if using. Stir only until incorporated.
5 Place the batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake for 50-60 minutes, until a bamboo skewer inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Then gently run a knife around the edge of the loaf and invert the loaf to remove it from the pan. Let it cool on a rack for 30 minutes or longer.
After bread is cooled, dust lightly with powdered sugar and garnish with lemon zest.
Yield: Makes one loaf.

Linking up with these parties.

December 15, 2011

These Are A Few of My Favorite Things...

Decorating our first real tree together as a family was a great memory for me! Here's a photo stream of that happening:

my unbreakable, handmade looking ornaments from Target-(Yes, I need everything unbreakable with two active boys in the house running around...)I do want to try and make some for next year, but these were only $1-3 each and so cute! 

little owl ornaments

my oldest son decorating the tree

my youngest son helping out too! 

cool handmade paper ornaments

mommy helping out- (daddy was snapping all the pics! )
Linking up with these parties.