Faux Flower Arranging Tips & Tricks

I’ve been lucky enough this summer to have fresh flowers from the garden readily available, but with fall around the corner I’m starting to think about faux florals.

I recently received some flowers from silkplantsdirect.com that I have been loving! They are very real looking with really pretty thin petals. They have tons of movement to them with LOTS of pretty layers making them appear even more realistic. The color on these is gorgeous as well!

Some tips for working with faux florals:

1. Purchase decent flowers!

A good thing to look for is thin petals. Real flowers have thin petals. Thin petals give faux flowers movement and make them appear more realistic.

2. Use an opaque vase.

Using a clear glass vase that shows the faux flower’s stems is a dead give away in my opinion. Especially when you add in the jelly water. What is that even called!? It always starts out looking good but over time it starts looking weird especially if dust hits it. I like to stick with opaque vases so I don’t even have to worry about it!

4. Show as little stem as possible.

Speaking of stems, I like to cut the stems down to where the flower is just popping out of the vase and little to no stem is showing.

5. Keep it full!

Fill out your vase as much as possible. I used all peonies in this example or you can also use a mix of different flowers for a full look. Adding in greenery is a great way to get a full look without spending to much.

Faux flowers might seem more costly in the beginning but if you buy good flowers and take good care of them they will last you!

Silk Flowers were provided by CSI Soundcore. All opinions are my own.

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Tips and tricks for arranging faux flowers to look real!

4 budget fabric sources

I feel like I’m constantly buying fabric for different projects. Between reupholstering dining chairs, making DIY artwork and multiple other projects it seems I’m always needing fabric for something. Buying fabric traditionally can sometimes add up so I wanted to share some sources for inexpensive fabric.

1. Savers/Goodwill

If you have a Savers near you this is my number one recommendation for finding inexpensive fabric. If you go into the back of your store, depending on how your store is set up, you will find an entire section full of tablecloths, curtains, sheets etc.

All of these different types of textiles can be used as fabric for your project. They even have a section for loose fabric which is usually labeled as the “material” section.

The chair below was reupholstered with fabric from savers. I believe this particular fabric that I used was in the material section but there was also a lot of good options in this color, the day I went, in the sheets section.

Goodwill also has a lot of different sheets, curtains etc. My local Goodwill keeps them in a big bin which can sometimes be hard to sort through (especially if you bring a two year old with you who thinks said bin is a ball pit to jump in) but it’s still a great option especially if you don’t have a savers close by!

2. Flea markets & garage sales

I always look for fabric when I’m at flea markets and garage sales. The fabric in the frame below was some I found at a flea market for less than a buck! You can also look for sheets, curtains etc. there like at savers and goodwill.

3. Craigslist

Recently when I was browsing Craigslist I came across an upholstery business that was getting rid of all of their fabric free! You can just search fabric, curtains, etc and see what you find!

4. Homegoods / tjmaxx

Homegoods doesn’t sell fabric (at least mine doesn’t) but they do sell designer sheets, tablecloths, curtains etc. that you can use at a fraction of the cost of buying fabric! I’ve used shower curtains from Homegoods to extend window drapes and sheets to reupholster chairs! Everything is awesome quality too! I’ve listed some examples below!

Love this blue and white striped shower curtain for 19.99!

Pretty blush sheets here

Love the pineapple print on these

I hope you all are able to find beautiful fabric at awesome prices! Happy hunting!

This post contains affiliate links.

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Find cheap fabric and save money on your next diy at these 4 places

Find cheap fabric and save money on your next diy at these 4 places

diy anthropologie inspired artwork

I absolutely love browsing Anthropologie’s art section online when I’m needing inspiration. Every single piece is absolutely incredibly beautiful! They’re also very expensive which is why I thought I’d try to do some diy Anthropologie inspired artwork.

The piece of artwork I chose to recreate is this ha-ha-ha-ha piece that is $278 and sold out!

I already had a thin gold frame pretty much identical to the anthropologie one so it worked out perfectly!

I started by taking the piece of thick paper that was behind the art work in my frame out and painting it a bright white with just basic white paint. Any kind of acrylic craft paint will work for this. If your frame doesn’t have an extra piece of thick cardstock type paper you can buy some poster board paper at a craft store and paint the matte side with a thin coat of white paint. I definitely suggest painting it because it gives you some freedom to where if you make a mistake, you can paint right over it. However, you really don’t want to do a thick coat of paint because it could curl. Just a thin coat will do!

After your done painting your white background its time to start writing your words! You could go with any phrase that makes sense being repeated or just go with the ha-ha-ha phrase like the Anthropology piece. I chose to go with “i love you so so so much” because its something I say all the time.

Once you choose your phrase you can start to write. Just start writing and dont worry about having perfectly neat typography. You can also practice on a seperate piece of paper which I did do. If you look at the Anthropology piece the writing is not perfect and a little bit of imperfection gives it character!

I chose to write in cursive because I like the way it looks but you can choose whatever – print, cursive, all caps, all lower case, whatever! Using all caps and print will give you the closest look to the Anthropology artwork.

I used an inexpensive small fine tip paint brush for my writing.

If you make a mistake while writing just use some of your white paint you used for the background to paint over the mistake, let dry, and try again. But again, don’t worry to much about perfection. The fun and appeal of this artwork is in the somewhat messy handwriting! I chose to leave a lot of white space because I liked the look of it but if you want yours to look most like the Anthropology piece you will want to leave less space in between your lines of words.

The key to getting the look of the Anthropology piece is the blush pink paint for the writing and the thin gold frame. You can find blush pink paint at any craft store.

Cameo blush is a great color by folkart that can be found at most craft stores or online at hobby lobby here.

As far as the frame goes, this one was thrifted, but you should be able to find something similar fairly easily! Some good affordable options are this one and this one.

here’s how mine came out :

I think this would be so perfect in a nursery or really anywhere!

It was so easy to do and I love the way it turned out!

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Super easy DIY Anthropologie inspired artwork! Perfect for a nursery, bedroom, living room or wherever! This is an incredibly easy, inexpensive and quick DIY that adds a lot of impact and style. #diyartwork #anthropologyinspired #diyhomedecor

Super easy DIY Anthropologie inspired artwork! Perfect for a nursery, bedroom, living room or wherever! This is an incredibly easy, inexpensive and quick DIY that adds a lot of impact and style. #diyartwork #anthropologyinspired #diyhomedecor

How to Update Old Frames

Thrifted frames are one of my absolute favorite ways to save on home decor. Frames are very easy to find at thrift stores, flea markets, garage sales or in my example for this post, free on the side of the road!

Updating an old frame is an incredibly easy and fun diy! Throw in some diy artwork and you have some new wall art on a budget! It's a great way to save money on gallery walls and bigger art pieces as well! #diydecor #diyframe

When I’m looking for frames while thrifting I try to find frames with mats because I love the way a mat looks and also find them to generally be of better quality.

Updating them is very simple. Just sand and paint the frame (or don’t sand if using chalk paint or the surface isn’t glossy) and also paint the mat. Painting the mat is key!

Generally speaking you will also most likely want to change the artwork too, unless of course you found something you like!

This is such a simple, easy and cost effective diy. Frames and mats can really add up, especially when doing bigger pieces or gallery walls. Older wooden frames tend to be better quality than a lot of the frames out there today too!

In the example below I just used an old shirt I didn’t wear anymore (also done in this blog post) as the artwork but you can get creative and use whatever you’d like. Soon I will be writing a post about easy diy art so be on the lookout for that!

What are some of your favorite thrifted items ? Tell me in the comments below!

Before:

And After :

Updating an old frame is an incredibly easy and fun diy! Throw in some diy artwork and you have some new wall art on a budget! It's a great way to save money on gallery walls and bigger art pieces as well! #diydecor #diyframe

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Updating an old frame is an incredibly easy and fun diy! Throw in some diy artwork and you have some new wall art on a budget! It's a great way to save money on gallery walls and bigger art pieces as well! #diydecor #diyframe

Updating an old frame is an incredibly easy and fun diy! Throw in some diy artwork and you have some new wall art on a budget! It's a great way to save money on gallery walls and bigger art pieces as well! #diydecor #diyframe

Nightstand Styling Formula That Works Everytime!

Nightstand styling tips and tricks to help you style your bedroom for a layered and polished look. #homestyling #nightstandstyling

As much as I absolutely love the bigger parts of creating a room, like furniture shopping and placement or window drapes my absolute favorite part of decorating is styling the little details! Good styling is really very easy and makes SUCH a difference in a space. It doesn’t have to be expensive either. Check out my top 10 small home decor items to find while thrifting here! You’ll see a lot of these items in this post too.

At the end of this post I’ll go over a nightstand styling formula that generally works every time!

But first here are some easy, basic styling tips to get you started :

The Rule of Three

The rule of three basically just means that things grouped in an odd number are more visually appealing. I pretty much use this rule 90 percent of the time when styling my own space. I especially love furniture placements that are symmetrical and this rule helps break up all the symmetry too.

Keep Collections Together

If you have a certain collection of things it’s generally best to keep them together in a space instead of in all different places in a room.

Layers and Variations

Layers are key to a well styled space and when it comes to your side tables and night stands you really want to add varying heights for visual interest.

Play With Shapes and Textures

Another way to add visual interest is to play with shapes and textures. Adding a soft throw and a wicker basket can often times go along way in a space. I love to play with shapes too. For example if I have a round lamp I like to layer it with a stack of books which are obviously rectangular shaped. Or even just a round vase on a stack of books is an easy simple thing to add to your side table for instant style. You can keep this in mind for furniture as well. If you have a lot of squares in your room for example wainscoting and a sofa with clean straight lines you could break all the squares and rectangles up with a round coffee table.

OK so we went over some basic tips and tricks but I also want to leave you with a styling formula for your nightstand!

LAMP OR LARGER VASE + FRAMED ART + STACK OF BOOKS OR TRAY

Nightstand styling tips and tricks to help you style your bedroom for a layered and polished look. #homestyling #nightstandstyling

Start with a lamp or medium/ large vase then add in some framed art either hung up or just lean it up against the wall like I did here. Next add in a tray or stack of books. A tray or stack of books add layers and give off a polished styled vibe. Trays are great for keeping clutter at bay as well. Add whatever you find beautiful in the tray or whatever you like to keep handy. Here I just put some jewelry storage, some crystals and a vase for fresh flowers. You could put a candle and some matches in a jar, store your makeup brushes in a cute vase or whatever you like!

Nightstand styling tips and tricks to help you style your bedroom for a layered and polished look. #homestyling #nightstandstyling

Fresh flowers or greenery make a huge difference in a space and are great to add in when having guests or when you just want something extra special for yourself! This time of year you can literally just go outside, clip some greenery and bring it in! These are just geraniums from my flower bed. I’ve never used geraniums as a cut flower but it was all I had on hand and I really liked the way they look in a vase!

Nightstand styling tips and tricks to help you style your bedroom for a layered and polished look. #homestyling #nightstandstyling

Styling your home does NOT have to be expensive either. The books pictured here are my sons old board books painted and the tray is a Melissa and Doug tray (the ones the toys come in) that I also painted.

Nightstand styling tips and tricks to help you style your bedroom for a layered and polished look. #homestyling #nightstandstyling

I hope these tips and tricks help you style your home! What are some things you like to display in your home? tell me in the comments below!

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Nightstand styling tips and tricks to help you style your bedroom for a layered and polished look. #homestyling #nightstandstyling

Repurposing Old Clothes Into Artwork

If you guys are anything like me you have bins full of old clothes waiting to be brought to good will. Or if your even more like me you’ve had bags of clothes in the trunk of your car for the past month that you keep forgetting to drop off to goodwill.

Before I had my son I absolutely LOVED clothes shopping and have collected alot of pieces with pretty prints that I have trouble letting go of because I truly love them. I happily give away clothes all the time there’s just those few pieces I can never seem to part with.

The fact of the matter however is that these clothes just don’t fit my post baby body and probably won’t again (which I’m not mad about.) Because I do love the prints and textures on them I decided to frame some of my favorites and wanted to share a little tutorial with you here. I plan on doing this again later on a larger scale with my wedding dress.

I love this idea because it adds beautiful pattern and texture and can be mixed up in so many different ways to fit so many different styles. I’ll get into some more ideas later on in this post!

I chose this shirt because I love the color and the texture. It also had a pretty large hole in it so I wouldn’t be able to donate it regardless.

I grabbed a frame I already had that had a thick white mat. I definitely think a mat pulls this look together and make it look a little more “done.”

Next I just positioned the mat in a couple different places on the shirt to see where I wanted it in the frame.

Then I just cut a wide area around the area that would be showing in the frame. I cut the area wide so that I gave myself room for error and to make it easier to adjust when I put it in the frame.

Next I just popped everything in the frame and adjusted it until it looked like it was in the right position. This part took a little trial and error but it wasn’t bad at all.

Secure your frame and your done!

oldclothespin

This could be worked into so many different decor styles. It would be really cool to group a bunch of these with coordinating patterns and colors on a gallery wall. Or use old band tees grouped with some prints. Or do a large scale piece of art with a dress or larger article of clothing.

Do you guys have any clothes you can’t wear but can’t seem to part with? Let me know in the comments below!

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Repurposing clothes into easy diy artwork is a great way to add easy, diy fun and feminine decor to your space. Try this diy this summer to save some money on artwork and reduce waste by upcycling! #diydecor #repurpose #upcycle #artwork

Ultimate Fathers Day Steak Dinner Menu

FATHERS DAY STEAK DINNER MENU HE WILL LOVE! #FATHERSDAY #STEAKDINNER

Are you still looking for ideas for your dad or hubby for father’s day? I never know what to get my husband! He’s the type of guy who doesn’t need much to make him happy.

One thing most all dad’s love : a good meal.

This is the ultimate father’s day menu in my opinion. It’s a mix of my own recipes and some of my favorites from around the web that I’ve been using for years and know are excellent!

Disclaimer : this menu is very rich and definitely not diet friendly. You can scale back by only picking a few of the sides or go all in cause hey it’s a special occasion!

So what’s on the menu?

A perfectly cooked steak with compound butter on top

Baked Mac n cheese

Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Herbed Cream Corn

Parmesan Crusted Zuchini and Squash

And for dessert : PEANUT BUTTER PIE!

So let’s start with the steak. You want a good cut and can either grill or pan sear. I personally prefer pan seared in butter. This is a great recipe here. Grilling is great option if your having a good amount of people because a lot of times you can outsource that job to someone else while you get everything else ready. Plus dad’s love grilled food!

For special occasions I always make a roll of “cowboy butter” aka compound butter to put on top of steak (or chicken or potatoes or eat it straight whatever you choose 😂). It gives the meal a special touch and is SO good. I put some aside for myself to eat on toast the next day.

This is the recipe I have been using for years. I’ve had other people ask for this recipe and now they use it regularly too because everyone loves it! It’s essentially a compound butter with yummy lemon parsley and red pepper. So so so good.

Next up : baked Mac n cheese. Who doesn’t love baked Mac n cheese? Find my recipe here. Make it ahead and keep it in the fridge before baking so it’s one less thing to worry about when your getting everything else ready.

Roasted Garlic Mashed potatoes are another great way to take a regular already yummy dish and kick it up a notch (or 10.) This is another recipe I’ve been making for years and love. It’s also another pioneer woman recipe so I guess I have a certain taste when it comes to recipes! This one is just oh so delicious and creamy and flavorful and all the things! Perfect for a special occasion. If you want to simplify things you could also make baked potatoes and serve the compound butter with it as well.

My herbed cream corn is a great side for this menu because it’s quick to make and doesn’t require alot of ingredients or prep. And it is delicious! To make it extra special and yummy cut the corn straight off the cob.

Parmesan Crusted zucchini and Squash because I felt like I should probably throw a veggie in there and these are so good! Just chop your zucchini and squash into thin rounds toss with olive oil, throw on a cookie sheet, sprinkle on panko bread crumbs and grated parm and bake at 425 until golden brown (about 20 mins)

ok dessert time. GUYS if you make only one thing from this menu let it be this peanut butter pie. I have been making it for years and it is such a hit every time! I also feel like peanut butter is a very dad like food lol! Find the recipe here.

What do you guys have planned for father’s day? What are you getting your special guys? Tell me in the comments below!

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FATHERS DAY STEAK DINNER MENU HE WILL LOVE! #FATHERSDAY #STEAKDINNER

Dinosaur Second Birthday

Over the winter my son had his second birthday. I wasn’t blogging then but I wanted to share this easy diy dinosaur birthday party for anyone looking for ideas! The theme was obviously dinosaurs and it was a great time! This is a great theme for any dinosaur loving kiddos and theres a ton of ideas on pinterest! this is what we did :

For the dessert table backdrop I used painters tape on a foam poster board to make the criss cross pattern. Once the tape was down I used different shades of blue and green acrylic paint and painted the separate sections. Once the paint was dry I just removed the tape and was done. The tape did kind of peel some of the poster but I just touched those spots up with paint.

Next I used plastic dinosaur toys and painted them with the same acrylic paint I used for the poster board. Once they were dry I made them little hats out of scrapbook paper and hot glued a pom pom on top. I love the way these came out! I actually ended up selling all of this stuff after his party to someones else for her sons party. My son loved the dinosaurs and her son did too! I strung the silver foil letters to say roar and just taped it to the back.

You can use any colors for this theme obviously. A pink and gold scheme would be so adorable for a girls party or any pink lovers out there! My son just so happened to like blue and green and I already had a lot of blue and green paint.

I got the cake at our local grocery store (Market Basket) and just asked them for a plain round white cake. I used the the toy dinosaur and a blue 2 for the cake toppers to dress it up a little. It was so simple.

I got the tassle streamers at target and dollar store. I definitely suggest checking out your local dolllar tree if you are looking for these.. They were alot less expensive then the target ones and had a good amount of color options.

My son LOVED tea at the time so we made some “tea-rex.”

We had these cardboard dinosaurs from target already and gave them a fresh coat of paint for the party. My son helped paint them and now they are decor in his bedroom. I thought it would be really fun as an activity for the kids to paint some too but they were a little pricey for the amount of kids we had coming.

The activities were fairly easy to put together. We did a dino dig and a hat decorating station.

We tried to make enough kinetic sand to fill this turtle for a dino dig. Big mistake. I’m pretty sure our new neighbors thought we were cooking a large batch of meth at 11 pm the night before. It was such a mess. I would suggest just using regular sand especially this time of year where it’s nice enough to be outside. We just hid the dinos and some dino skeletons in the sand and left out some bags with paint brushes for the kids to clean off their discoveries and keep in the bag. This doubled as favors. The kids really loved it.

I put some dino tattoos out too.

We also set up a station to decorate hats like paleontologists wear. The kids got so into it and it was a lot of fun. Even the adults made hats. Every age enjoyed it and my son still wears his hat. I got the hats here and just used random stickers we already had plus some from walmart and set out some paint and glitter glue too.

20180127_092449297848864.jpg

My son definitely enjoyed his party and I loved planning it! I can’t wait til next year!

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dinosaur birthday party ideas, decorations, cake, games and activities. DIY dinosaur birthday party #diy #dinoparty

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diy porch makeover on a BUDGET!

I’m finally starting to feel good about our outdoor spaces at our new house. I just finished my diy porch makeover on a literal shoe string budget.

I forgot to get a before picture of the whole porch but did get one of the chairs.

Before :

And after :

Diy porch makeover using spray paint to redo plastic Adirondack chairs. Diy porch decor on a budget. Perfect summer diy project. #porchdecor #outdoordiy #diydecor

Diy porch makeover using spray paint to redo plastic Adirondack chairs. Diy porch decor on a budget. Perfect summer diy project. #porchdecor #outdoordiy #diydecor

I would say our budget for this was about 30 dollars. 20 on spray paint and about 10 on flowers.

I bought 3 different types of spray paint to try out for this project:

Rustoleum painters touch x2 cover flat white

Rustoleum Chalked in linen white

And Krylon paint and primer in white

HANDS DOWN BEST ONE was rustoleum x2 cover in flat. The chalk paint wasn’t bad but the coverage of the x2 flat white was the best and still had a super matte finish.

I wanted a matte finish because I thought it would lessen the plastic look of these. So far they are washing off fine with the hose but I am still going to put a matte protective coat on them soon. Just need to touch up a few places first and spray the bottoms.

To paint these I literally just gave them a good hose down and hit some dirtier spots with a sponge then got to spraying. The rustoleum x2 paint stuck really good to the plastic. I just went back and forth with slow steady strokes and let dry for probably about a half hr or so between coats. I probably ended up with about 3 or 4 coats. I did the same thing to my son’s set too. His is just your basic little tikes set I feel like everyone has!

Before :

And after :

Diy porch makeover using spray paint to redo plastic Adirondack chairs. Diy porch decor on a budget. Perfect summer diy project. #porchdecor #outdoordiy #diydecor

Diy porch makeover using spray paint to redo plastic Adirondack chairs. Diy porch decor on a budget. Perfect summer diy project. #porchdecor #outdoordiy #diydecor

Diy porch makeover using spray paint to redo plastic Adirondack chairs. Diy porch decor on a budget. Perfect summer diy project. #porchdecor #outdoordiy #diydecor

I had this little terra cotta pot that I had primed to paint for an activity I was making for my son a while back but never finished and I just threw a small little hosta I had in it. There was a huge patch of hostas growing in an overgrown area of our yard which I used for a ton of landscaping projects.

The previous owner had left the chairs here so they were free. I find these plastic type of adirondack chairs are very accessible on a budget and you can find them at garage sales a lot. If your wanting to get this kind of look without the diy I’ll list some nice budget friendly ones here, here and here.

All of the planters are things I shopped my home for which you can read more about here.

Diy porch makeover using spray paint to redo plastic Adirondack chairs. Diy porch decor on a budget. Perfect summer diy project. #porchdecor #outdoordiy #diydecor

Diy porch makeover using spray paint to redo plastic Adirondack chairs. Diy porch decor on a budget. Perfect summer diy project. #porchdecor #outdoordiy #diydecor

Diy porch makeover using spray paint to redo plastic Adirondack chairs. Diy porch decor on a budget. Perfect summer diy project. #porchdecor #outdoordiy #diydecor

I also gave our porch a good quick clean using this product called bon ami. It took off a lot of stains and made a big difference with not a lot of effort. It’s a light abrasive almost like an exfoliater for your skin but for cleaning instead. I use it allover our house and love it. Plus it’s all natural. You can see how dirty our porch was in this pic a little. Eventually I will power wash it or paint but this was great for now.

The grey table I already had inside. A lot of times you hear about bringing the outdoors in when designing a space but I think bringing the indoors out can do alot for a space too! Just make sure you give it a good protective coat if it’s going to be exposed to the elements. I also only paid about 5 dollars for the table. Our porch is covered so I wasn’t to concerned about it.

Diy porch makeover using spray paint to redo plastic Adirondack chairs. Diy porch decor on a budget. Perfect summer diy project. #porchdecor #outdoordiy #diydecor

Diy porch makeover using spray paint to redo plastic Adirondack chairs. Diy porch decor on a budget. Perfect summer diy project. #porchdecor #outdoordiy #diydecor

Diy porch makeover using spray paint to redo plastic Adirondack chairs. Diy porch decor on a budget. Perfect summer diy project. #porchdecor #outdoordiy #diydecor

I feel so relieved now that this project is “done.” There’s alot that still needs to be done in this area but we are going to wait on it for now and I feel like with this mini makeover we can still enjoy the space!

Diy porch makeover using spray paint to redo plastic Adirondack chairs. Diy porch decor on a budget. Perfect summer diy project. #porchdecor #outdoordiy #diydecor

Diy porch makeover using spray paint to redo plastic Adirondack chairs. Diy porch decor on a budget. Perfect summer diy project. #porchdecor #outdoordiy #diydecor

Diy porch makeover using spray paint to redo plastic Adirondack chairs. Diy porch decor on a budget. Perfect summer diy project. #porchdecor #outdoordiy #diydecor

Diy porch makeover using spray paint to redo plastic Adirondack chairs. Diy porch decor on a budget. Perfect summer diy project. #porchdecor #outdoordiy #diydecor

What kind of outdoor projects are you working on? Tell me in the comments below

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Spray painting your plastic outdoor chairs is a great way to update your porch or patio this summer. It's an easy outdoor DIY that anyone can do! #outdoorliving #farmhouseporch

Spray painting your plastic outdoor chairs is a great way to update your porch or patio this summer. It's an easy outdoor DIY that anyone can do! #outdoorliving #farmhouseporch

Diy porch makeover using spray paint to redo plastic Adirondack chairs. Diy porch decor on a budget. Perfect summer diy project. #porchdecor #outdoordiy #diydecor

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Tried and True Baked Mac n Cheese Two Ways

Baked mac and cheese is such a staple comfort food! Nothing like a big bowl of mac n cheese on a rainy lazy day. It’s also a crowd pleaser and easy to make a big batch which makes it one of my favorite recipes when entertaining! I know there is countless baked Mac n cheese recipes around the web but I still wanted to share mine because it is something I feel I have perfected over the years.

I like to make this two different ways. The first being just using a sharp cheddar for an amazingly delicious simple mac n cheese. The richness of sharp cheddar cheese combined with the creamy goodness of the sauce makes my mouth water! In fact we had this for dinner tonight and I think I’ll warm myself up another bowl as soon as I can get the two year old to sleep. If he ever goes to sleep that is. I’ll probably have a few cupcakes and recees too if I’m being honest.

The next way I love to make this Mac n cheese is by adding goat cheese. I love love love goat cheese for its tanginess and creaminess. It’s the perfect cheese for baked mac n cheese because it’s flavor can hold it’s own in the sauce and it also adds another layer of creaminess. Is creaminess a real word? I say yes!

I love both of these recipes equally. I usually make the simple sharp cheddar version for weeknight dinners and use the goat cheese version when cooking for others. They are both staples in our house.

I honestly feel like there’s no bad cheese for Mac n cheese. I remember reading once that Mac n cheese was made by farmers wives back in the day to cook whatever left over cheese they needed to use up. I’m not sure how true that is but I do sometimes use whatever cheeses I have in the fridge. Especially if I only have a small amount of a cheese left that won’t be enough for anything else. I’ll just throw it in with the other cheese I’m using. I tend to have smoked gouda left over a lot randomly and it is EXCELLENT in Mac n cheese. Throw in some bacon and you’ve got yourself a nice little rich creamy and smoky dinner. But this is baked mac n cheese TWO ways so I’ll get back to the point!

The only cheese I can think of that I wouldnt. recommend for Mac n cheese is mozzarella or feta. Extra sharp cheddar and goat cheese are just what I think are best.

I first started using this Fannie farmers baked mac n cheese recipe years and years ago and my go to recipe now is just an evolution of that one. My main changes are using half and half instead of milk and cream and adding more cheese/different cheeses.

We like to eat these mac n cheeses two ways. We like it baked with panko on top, which is usually what I do if making it for parties or entertaining. The other way is to not bake it and just eat it off the stovetop. Both are great. We usually just eat it straight from the stovetop at home because my family likes it that way and I like not having the extra step of adding bread crumbs and baking it.

Ok enough talk let’s get to the recipe!

Ingredients

1 box elbow, cavatapi or casserole elbow macaroni

4 tbsps butter

4 tbsps white flour

1 pint (2 cups) half and half

1/8 cup whole milk

12 ounces (usually a block and half) of sharp cheddar. I like to get extra sharp cheddar

OR

8 ounces sharp cheddar and 4 oz goat cheese (try to get the log of goat cheese and not the crumbled goat cheese because it’s smoother and usually comes in 4 oz logs)

Panko (if baking)

1. Boil your pasta with salted water. I always use kosher salt or real salt because I love the taste but obviously any salt is fine.

2. While your pasta is cooking melt your butter on medium heat.

3. When your butter is melted add flour and whisk until it gets to a golden brown color.

4. Pour in your half and half, whisk together and bring to a boil for about a minute continually whisking.

5. Lower to simmer and whisk often for 5 minutes.

6. Throw in milk and continue whisking often for another 5 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste at this point as well.

7. Slowly add in cheese and whisk together until smooth with heat on low.

8. Put cheese sauce and macaroni together and add panko on top if baking.

9. Bake at 425 for about a half hr or til golden brown on top.

If not baking then just serve immediately. Alot of times I’ll serve it straight from the stovetop one night and bake the leftovers with panko the next day (if there is any)

Tip : use block cheese for best flavor. You can break it into chunks then grate it up in a food processor for quicker grating. It’ll look something like this :

Or obviously if you have a grater attachment it would just be grated.

What’s your favorite comfort foods? Let me know in the comments below! And let me know if you try this recipe too!

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tried and true oh so good baked mac n cheese two ways. The baked mac and cheese I have been perfecting for years. Perfect baked mac n cheese recipe for entertaining or lazy days in when you just need a big bowl of comfort food #recipes #bakedmacncheese #comfortfood