My 30 Minute Laundry Room Makeover

Ok. . raise of hands. How many people have awful, boring cabinets somewhere in your home? Mine were in my laundry room and came with the house when we bought it. Since we moved in I have said that I needed to do something with them, but just couldn’t see buying new cabinets when these ones were not broken and worked just fine. They were just ugly.

So over this weekend, while we were Snowed In, I decided that there was no better time than now to make a change. I just never imaged what a HUGE difference it would make in my laundry room by just adding a little bit of paint but wowza. . take a look!


What I did was really quite simple and took me no more than 30 minutes to complete. I did not remove the cabinets from the wall, sand them or prime them. What I did was use BEHR Primer and Paint in black and just lightly painted it on with a brush. I painted the outsides of all of the cabinets and the insides of the doors. You could also paint each of the shelves inside, ect, but that just wasn’t very important to me. Besides, I like things that are vintage looking so I left some of the natural wood color peeking through on the outside around the corners and edges. This way the inside still matched and coordinated with the newly painted cabinets.

This is an up close picture of the cabinets. Notice that they are not solid black. If you happen to over paint (which happens) you can simply take a hand sander to edges to distress them a little bit more.

30 minutes was all this took me. Now my laundry room looks so much better and matches with the handmade letters I hung on the wall a few months ago and this chair that my friend Sara made for me. Ahhh. . coordination. . makes me happy 🙂

So what do you think of my little project? Do you have any little projects you are excited to get done around your home? I’d love to hear about them!

<3 Dick and Jane
Today I am sharing this project with my friends over at TBCCrafters. 

I am a Bad Sister. . .

I am a member of the Collective Bias®  Social Fabric® Community. This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper amplification for Collective Bias and its advertiser.

My sister was a New Years baby and while you would think that having a birthday on New Years day would be wonderful because of all the parties, my sister hates it. She feels overlooked every year. So this year my family and I decided on big plans to throw her a very special birthday party. Our plans consisted of having all the sisters and their children spend the night at our mothers house on News Years Eve. We were going to stay up all night eating appetizers, drinking fun drinks and celebrating her birthday and New Years eve together. Finally, the plan was to wake up early and have a big birthday breakfast complete with cake for her actual birthday on New Years day. However, our big plans fell through. I ended up having two sick kids on New Years Eve and spent all of New Years day with my son at the hospital ER. While I know that things were simply out of my control, I still feel horrible for allowing her birthday to pass me by once again without making it special for her. So the kids and I have cooked up a very special little something to surprise her. Shh.  . don’t tell.

AD: Hallmark Birthday #hallmark #cbias

We headed out to Walmart with plans to purchase several Happy Birthday cards to “try” and make up for missing her big day. Luckily for us, when we got to Walmart we found that they carry a large selection of $0.47 and $0.97 value birthday cards. Perfect! Now we can pick out a whole bunch of cards as we had planned for our surprise and not break the bank. The kids were excited. They had a blast going through each card (which took FOREVER) and picking out their favorite card to send to their aunt. My son of course picked a robot. 🙂 I mean of course, if he liked it than she must like it too!

#Ad : Hallmark #valuecards #shop #cbias

So now we are ready. We have all of our cards. Our plan is to bombard her this week with birthday cards. What do you think, should I mail them all at once or one at a time? What do you think would be most fun for her? I love planning fun surprises!

#Ad : Hallmark #valuecards #shop #cbias

While we were planning this little surprise for my sister I was also given a little surprise! I was surprised at how many value cards Hallmark has available! I found so many that I loved and at the value price I decided to stock up! I especially loved this cute little cupcake card, however it said “To My Granddaughter”. . . yeah. . I am not quite there yet but I really liked that cupcake picture so I bought it anyways. Don’t worry though. I have a plan!

#Ad : Hallmark #valuecards #shop #cbias

Before I get to my Valentines Day plan I wanted to share the Hallmark Rewards Program with you. I didn’t know that it existed, but I am so glad I know now! You can now earn a reward for purchasing Hallmark cards at Walmart. For every five cards you purchase you will earn a reward! That’s like getting a birthday present in return for giving birthday presents to others! Whoo hoo!

For more info on the Hallmark Rewards Program or to sign up visit connectionsfromhallmark.com

So on to my Valentines treat inspired by the cupcake Hallmark card. I decided to create this today. Afterall, I wanted to “test” out my plans before Valentines Day arrived so I would be ready.

#ad Chocolate Peppermint Cupcake in a Jar #ValueCards #cbias #shop

The first thing I did was bake a big batch of chocolate cupcakes. I made them from scratch, but you can also simply use a boxed cake mix. Once the cupcakes were cooked and cooled I layered the ingredients within a mason jar. First frosting, then cupcake, then peppermint baking chips and so on all the way to the top.

#ad Chocolate Peppermint Cupcake in a Jar #ValueCards #cbias #shop

I decided to use the Hallmark value card that I bought and create a hang tag for my gift.

I cut around the cupcake image to remove it from the card. Next I loved the wording inside that I decided to cut it out to use as well. Simply cut a hole at the top of each card and voila! You’ve got a handmade hang tag that is super cute and says everything you are feeling. Now all you need are the recipes!

#ad Chocolate Peppermint Cupcake in a Jar #ValueCards #cbias #shop

Chocolate Peppermint Cupcakes in a Jar

Ingredients: 

CAKE:
Boxed Cake Mix

FROSTING:
Butter
Milk
Vanilla Extract
Powdered Sugar
(click here for my favorite frosting recipe)

TOPPING:
Peppermint Baking Chips

#ad Chocolate Peppermint Cupcake in a Jar #ValueCards #cbias #shop

Since it is not quite Valentines Day yet the kids and I decided to devour this sweet treat ourselves today, but I have put the cards and jar aside to use again for special gifts when Valentines Day does arrive. It’s great to be prepared! Thanks to our little trip to Walmart and their Hallmark value cards I am not only prepared for Valentines Day but any other birthday’s or holidays coming up for the next year! <–Feeling good. No more missed birthdays on my watch!

Make sure you check out connectionsfromhallmark.com to sign up for Hallmark Rewards, and to see great content from other bloggers. Join in the #valuecards conversation on Twitter!  

Love you Meg. Happy Birthday. 
<3 Dick and Jane

Snowed In.

I had something else planned to post this morning, but it is just going to have to wait because I wanted to share with you some photos of what my weekend consisted of. I am just in awe of how much snow we got. I stuck this yard stick into my front yard this morning and it read 17 inches. . but here’s the crazy thing. . it’s still coming down. 
Many people have been commenting around Facebook that they remember seeing large amounts of snow like this when they were kids. I don’t really remember. .  but I do remember when we took our trip to Mackinaw being told by a fort worker that winters used to be much worse years ago. Either way, I can’t ever remember a snow this intense in my memory (but I don’t really have the best memory to begin with).  Good thing there’s the internet! I found that the largest blizzard to date in Michigan was in 1996 when 30″ fell in one day. That’s crazy! 
So here are a few photos of the fun we had this weekend. 

The above photo was taken in the beginning of the storm. We had about 5-6 inches at this point. The weather wasn’t too cold yet, so we decided to go out and play in it before it got too deep.  
Our old pup acted like he was a baby again. Running, jumping and burying his face in the snow. He really liked being outside, as long as we were out there playing with him. 
I saw a post online that said you could put your face into the snow and make a 3D image of your likelihood. ha! I really wanted to try it, but I thought maybe it was a cruel joke just to get gullible people to stick their faces in the snow. So I tested it with my hand first. . it was cold. Much to my husbands disappointment I never did stick my face in the snow. 
When morning came today we were about snowed in. This is my husband stepping out onto our sidewalk, which he had just plowed clear before we went to bed.  So overnight we got enough additional snow that went to his knees! 
No problem though. . we’ve got a puzzle to work on and enough hot cocoa to get us through the storm! If there is one good thing about snow storms is that it forces us to stop and enjoy time together at home. No work, no school and no errands to run. . just good ol fashioned time together. 
Puzzles happen to be one of our families favorite relax time activities. What do you and your family do to relax and share time together at home?
<3 Dick and Jane

Chicken Quesadilla Pita – The Grown Up Version of a Kid Friendly Meal

Anybody else from Michigan or one of the states getting this torrential downpour of snow? In just a few days we have been hammered by around 6-8″ of new snow, PLUS they are calling for about 6-12 more inches by Monday. Now, don’t get me wrong. . I love the snow. It is quite beautiful, but driving in this snow? Not particularly my favorite thing. So for lack of having to actually go out in these sub temperatures and having to drive through the snow I haven’t actually gone grocery shopping since like before Christmas.  Whoops!

So last night when I got the question “What’s for dinner?” I decided it was time to get crafty. You know how that goes right? What can mom throw together that will actually be edible and not make me look like I am totally unprepared and a bad mother. I had some chicken left over from my earlier trip to Sam’s Club so at least I had something to work with. My first thought was quesadillas because they are easy and the kids will eat them, but I really don’t like quesadillas. They are a bit boring to me. But I made them anyways to please the children and restore my “good mom” perception.

After scrounging through the cupboards and pulling out anything that I could use to make these right I came across the pitas that I had left over from my chicken gyro post. That got me to thinking. . what if I created a grown up pita version of a quesadilla using the leftover pitas? The rest is history.

So, I am sorry if you are getting tired of all the food posts this week. . but really. . I am stuck in a house due to the snow so eating is just about all I am doing right now. 🙂  So here is what we had for dinner last night. It really was good, so I thought I would share it with you just in case you are in the same predicament.

Chicken Quesadilla Pitas

Ingredients: 

2 Chicken breasts
1 tsp. Paprika
1 tsp. Cumin
1/4 tsp. Red Pepper Flakes
1/2 tsp. Garlic Salt
Cheese – shredded or cubed
Pitas
Fresh Salsa (I buy it from Sams club and it is fabulous!)
Lettuce
Sour Cream

Directions: 
Start by cooking your chicken on the stove top with a little bit of oil over medium high heat. Cook until the chicken is slightly browned and cooked through. I usually chop my chicken up into little pieces while it is cooking. It is easier to separate when it is cooked. 
While the chicken is cooking, add your seasonings and stir. If the chicken is dry you may want to add 1/4 cup of water and let it simmer down with the chicken. I usually just let the seasonings simmer in with the chicken while it cooks. 
When the chicken is done, remove it from heat and set aside. Place one pita in a skillet over med heat to warm and toast. Place your cheese on the pita and allow the cheese to melt. Once the cheese has melted, remove the pita from the heat and top with cooked chicken, fresh salsa, sour cream and lettuce. 
Fold the pita over to create a taco shape and serve warm. 

These turned out to be quite delectable. Maybe I should skip grocery shopping and get creative more often.

So, who is ready for some more snow? Have you ever come up with a fun recipe when you were out of food or have a go to recipe for last minute meals? Share with us.

<3 Dick and Jane

#ad How to Raise a Happy Child (and be happy too) – Book Review & Giveaway

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.
Hi friends! I figured that with all of the resolutions to be happy in 2014 and my recent post on happiness that this giveaway would be the perfect fit today. I recently picked up this book to read because my three year old has been giving me a run for my money lately. He is at that stage in his life when he is constantly testing me. He throws temper tantrums, hits his sister and tells me no when I ask him to eat his dinner. Yes, I know that this is normal kid actions. . . but mommy is loosing her mind. I know that kids will get away with what you let them get away with, but knowing exactly how to react to a situation is hard. Mom is not always right. Parenting doesn’t come with a handbook, but I am hoping that this will help guide me into a more stress free parenting environment. So how can I raise happy kids without loosing my sanity in the process? That is what this book, How to Raise a Happy Child (and be happy too), is all about. 

The book is written by two women. One who has been named “the kid whisperer” and the other who is the co-founder of the Everyday Genius Institute. Through this book they offer strategies to get the results you want with your children without having to say “no” constantly and without bribing them or loosing your mind in the process. 
I know that a lot of parenting is just simple intuition, but sometimes seeing what has worked for others can help. Then, after seeing the solution we can take that information and make it our own. 
I am still in the process of reading through this book and I will be sure to post a follow up of what I’ve learned and how it is working for me when I am done. However, I also picked up a second copy of this book for one of you! I would be super interested to hear your input and thoughts on this book as well when you are finished reading. 
Do you want to read with me? Enter your name below and one of you will get a hardback copy of this book for Free! 
<3 Dick and Jane

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. This post also contains affiliate links.

The Art of Being Happy

I am just going to say it. The last few weeks of my life have sucked. That is truly hard for me to say and to admit because I for one have always believed in thinking positive. I believe that life is what you make it. However, it just seems as though everything I am and everything I stand for has been attacked over the last couple of weeks. Maybe that’s what I get for trying. ..The thing that I find amazing, though, is how evil the negativity virus is. Once it got into my soul, everything in my life was affected. Suddenly not only the situations I was facing sucked but my whole life sucked. . my marriage sucked, I felt my blog sucked and I thought everything about me sucked. I was left feeling angry and useless and I almost gave up. All because I let life get to me.

So what. Yes, my Christmas was a shamble and New Years fell through the drain. Absolutely nothing went as planned. But those are just inconveniences. What I faced this week is NOTHING compared to what others around the world are going through. However even as small as the situations may be, life for some reason likes to pile things up on us all at once. I get that. That is what causes things to get difficult. When one block falls, they all fall. And after spending my entire week at home with sick kids and all of today with my son in ER (don’t worry, he’s fine) and feeling the affects of yet another kidney stone just after our catastrophic only insurance (which we just met our deductible) rolled over I finally gave up. FINE, I WONT BE HAPPY ANYMORE! <- That’s what I yelled to the universe, as if it really cared that it had won.

I am just a human. Sometimes I fail. Sometimes I feel like just giving up. And sometimes I do.


But this is what I am going to do about it because after some quiet time at 1 am and a lot of thinking I decided that I am not a quitter. Even if I wanted to be a quitter, I couldn’t be. I have two young kids who need me to be brave and carry on. They need me to set the example. So for this next year I am just going to try and remember that life will never be perfect. Things don’t always go as planned. This false expectation to get everything right in life is misleading. All we can do is our best.

So, while today I may look at myself and say “Your stupid for trying”, tomorrow morning I am going to pick myself up, dust myself off and smile. Because being happy is a choice. A choice that you must make every. single. day. You have got to work hard at it because contrary to what you might believe, happiness does not come naturally to anyone. Those people who you look at in jealousy for their “perfect lives” are not perfect. They fail, just like you and me. They face trials, just like you and me but what’s different is that they make it a point to move on and smile. You can do the same.

So I am going to say it one last time, not only as a reminder for you, but for me.
Life is what you make it. Just smile and do your best.
Goodnight everyone.

<3  Mary