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Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Peel and Stick Bricks with Paintable Wallpaper Remodel

I bought a fixer-upper home and have been slowly remolding it one project at a time on a limited budget.  I got my house at a great deal but in exchange it has been a lot of elbow work to get it to where it is today.  In fact, I lived in my tent inside my house for the first week until I could get it cleaned enough to be comfortable.  

One of the most hated rooms in my house is the bathroom!  It was very outdated with even an old fashioned wood toilet.  The walls were another issue with two different types of texture.  First thing I did was replace the toilet.  The walls took me a while to figure out what I wanted to do on a budget.  I covered the walls with wallpaper just until I could come up with a plan.  

I love the bead board look but not the price.  Luckily, I found a cheaper paintable wallpaper on Amazon for $24.  Ignore the bubbles in the wallpaper 😕 because I found out that I'm not very good at hanging it BUT I have plans to cover the flaws with pictures.  I also love the brick look but again, not the cost.  I found peel and stick 3D foam bricks on Amazon.  I would have loved if they were colored like real bricks but as this is a bathroom, the white works for me.

They were really simple to put up.  I took the extra step to cut out bricks on the end of the sheets so there was no breaks in the bricks.  You just peel the sheet off the back, like a sticker, and apply to the wall.  After it was up, I took caulk to the lines to hide where they connected. 


As for the wallpaper, I used the same trick of applying caulk to hide the connecting sheets.  Unfortunately, I didn't look close enough to the caulk and applied a nonpaintable brand (insert head smack).  I tried several ways to try and fix this problem but the only thing that worked for me was adding paintable caulk overtop the nonpaintable.  It took a while to cover every spot but it worked!


I liked the look so much that I bought extra white bricks to add on a wall in another room to cover a flaw in the drywall.  I might paint the walls again because I wanted the color of the shower curtain but I also suck at picking out colors so I never get what I really want.  

This really was a pretty simple project that was cheap and easy instead of doing a full remodel.  I plan to do a remodel in the future but for now, this look works!


Tuesday, July 13, 2021

One Month Meal Plan for a Better HEALTHIER YOU!


Left picture taken around 2013 and Right picture taken around 2015. 

As you can see from the above picture, I have been on this weight loss journey before and was able to come out ahead a handful of years ago.  But then life happened; kidney stones, broken tailbone, death in the family, broke up with my boyfriend, work, kiddo and that small little pandemic that shut down the World!  Things started getting back to somewhat a normal life last month and I realized as I was trying to fit back into my work clothes that I had somehow reversed all the work I had done and am now back to the first picture without even realizing!  Darn those stretchy pants!  So now my journey starts over to work my way back to picture number 2!  

I started posting my weekly meal plan picture on Facebook and a few friends have reached out to ask for more information, since the meal planning is the hardest part.  I decided to use this post to help anyone that wants to start their own weight loss journey but is a little overwhelmed.  I admit that I am NO weight loss expert, just someone who has been in your shoes and knows how hard it is.  Fad diets DO NOT work long term.  Who in their right mind wants to give up carbs for the rest of your life anyway?!?!?

My basic plan normally sticks to the 21 Day Fix meals but I don't overly obsess about the containers.  However, I do like that this plan allows for all food groups, just in the right portion amounts.  No need to go buy the program.  The idea is for a basic 1200 calorie a day diet, you should eat the following amounts:  4 (3/4 cup) Protein, 3 (1 cup) Veggies, 2 (1 cup) Fruit, 2 (1/2 cup) Carbs, 1 (1/3 cup) Healthy Fats, 2 (tablespoons) Seeds/Dressings and 2 (teaspoons) Oils/Nut Butters.  I try to stick to this idea but not always so no need to point that out later on!

Below is my meal plans for the month (Monday - Friday).  I normally just wing it on the weekends.  I have linked the basic recipes to some of the dishes if you want to know how to make it.  I try and follow the recipes BUT sometimes I make a few changes depending on my needs or taste.  


Breakfast:  Egg Cups x2, Spicy Hummus, Pineapple and Iced Protein Coffee

Lunch:  Tuna Salad

Dinner:  Turkey Burger (no bun) with Lettuce and Cajun Fries

Snack:  Banana pudding, Bananas and sunflower seeds

For the first week, I was trying to make stuff that I already had in the panty (hence the banana pudding).  To make my Iced Protein Coffee, I fill a 32oz cup with ice and pour in 6oz of strong black caramel vanilla coffee and then add in 1/3 of the chocolate protein shake.  One protein shake should last you three days or more.  It gives you that Starbucks coffee without the calories!

The Egg Cups, I changed the recipe and used egg whites that you can find in the egg section of your store.  Less calories and easy to just pour over the top of your veggies/meats.  I HIGHLY recommend you purchase rubber baking cups for this recipe.  I've tried oil, paper cups and wax paper but the eggs stuck to everything.  I finally wised up and tried the rubber baking cups and the eggs came out without any mess.  For my egg cups, I add precooked bacon, peppers, onions, spinach and jalapeno with a little pepper and garlic salt.  Once my cups are filled, I pour the egg whites almost to the top.  Mine takes about 20 minutes to bake.

For the Tuna Salad, there is a local restaurant close to me that makes the BEST pasta salad so I checked their website and copied down all the ingredients.  Then I went to work on making a healthier version with homemade dressing and added tuna for the protein. 

Turkey burger is frozen (I had a coupon) and turned my normal fries into Cajun for a little kick.  My lettuce came from the little garden I planted this year.      


Breakfast:  Egg Cups x2, Oranges x2  and Iced Coffee

Lunch:  Stuffed Pepper Soup

Dinner:  Pepper Steak

Snack:  Banana and sunflower seeds

Stuffed Pepper Soup is one of my favorites.  It is so easy to make and a healthy fast meal to prepare.  I had some extra peppers from the prior week and steak in my freezer so dinner was rather easy.


Breakfast:  French Toast Cups, Hard Boiled Egg, Bacon, Maple Syrup and Iced Coffee

Lunch:  Chicken Burrito Bowl (no rice)

Dinner:  Salmon and Asparagus

Snack:  Banana, cherries, peppers, watermelon and sunflower seeds

I took a trip out to Aldi's and I had a little more food to work with on this week.  I found that 1/2 a slice of wheat bread fills one baking cup for the French Toast.  I didn't want fruit in my cups so I left that part off the recipe and ate fruit on the side.  I like precooked bacon because it's easy to toss it in the microwave for 20 secs while you are shelling the hardboiled egg.  I add a little extra bacon to my meals just so I can make a few for my dog so the portion size might look a little more then what you should have.

Chicken burrito bowl is pretty easy to make.  Cook your chicken with onion and add corn/black beans.  Remember to always rinse off your corn and black beans before eating because this helps reduce the sodium content in these items.  I skipped the rice because I had bread for breakfast but it wouldn't hurt to add rice or cauliflower rice if you like.  Remember to keep it at a 1/2 cup!

Aldi's had this amazing looking blacken salmon so I bought it with a frozen bag of asparagus.  Frying fish is where the amazing Air Fryer comes into play.  It's so easy to put your fish in there while you are prepping everything else for your meals. 


Breakfast:  Boiled Egg, Bacon, Peppers and Iced Protein Coffee

Lunch:  Big Mac Salad

Snacks:  Banana and Sunflower Seeds

I found that I really like boiled eggs in the morning with bacon so I kept at it for this week.  I did switch up the bacon and bought precooked THICK bacon and I love it so much more!  

I'm also a huge fan of the wonderful Big Mac so when I found a healthy recipe for a salad, I had to try it.  I have to say that it really does taste like a Big Mac.  It is so good and filling!  You have to give it a try.  For the sauce, I left off the monk fruit (what is that?) and the salt.  It wasn't missed.  

As for the chicken enchiladas, I did not follow the step in the recipe where it says to blend the topping together to make it smooth.  I kind of wished I had, but lesson learned.  To make the chicken, I put 3 chicken breasts in the crockpot for 3 hours on high with chicken stock and Cajun seasonings.  You might have figured out that I'm a huge fan of Cajun flavors!    

I've decided to get away from plastic storage containers so I did my research and bought glass containers (one compartment and two compartment).  They are a perfect size to fit in lunchboxes and keeping your portions sizes correct!  You will also want to invest in some rubber baking cups because trying to make egg cups in your normal pans will leave you with a scrubbing mess trying to get them clean afterward!

Drinking lots of water is also something I need to work on.  I like drinking something with a taste.  Right now my go to is ice tea (no sugar).  It took me a few months to start drinking tea without sugar and now I love it.  If you want to cut back, the easiest way I found was to buy sugar packets.  Start with one packet and then slowly move to 1/2 packet and then no sugar at all.  I have this handy little tea pot that I keep at work.  I put my tea bag in hot water for 5 minutes and then pour over a 32oz cup filled with ice.  Fresh iced tea in minutes. 

The first two weeks, I worked on food prepping and eating healthier.  The last two weeks, I have added in full body exercise.  After the first month, I can already see a huge change in my mood along with my clothes fitting better.  It's the little things that make you want to continue on!  I hope this helps you on your journey to a better HEALTHIER you! 😊 

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Eagle Scout Court of Honor Party Ideas


The day has finally came!  After over 10 long years, my kiddo has been awarded his Eagle Scout Award.  I'm not going to lie, there was times I didn't think he would finish but with a little push, he was able to finishing the last few things he needed.  I'm very proud of him!  Enough of the mommy bragging and onto his party.  

I didn't get a lot of pictures because the day went by so fast but I was able to catch the ones below so I could pass on the ideas to other scout parents.


I started planning his party after he finished his Eagle Scout Project (which was building a Chimney Swift Tower for the local bird club).  It was right before 4th of July holiday so I was able to pick up a lot of Flag decorations for his theme.  There really isn't a lot of Eagle Scout decorations to be found and they ones that are out there is rather pricy.  

As this was an outdoor party, I got creative with the table holders so the wind wouldn't blow the table clothes away.  The tables was covered in red, white and blue table clothes.  I made a picture from every year of his scouting journey in PowerPoint, adding the patch, troop number, rank and year he received that rank.  The cups came from the Dollar Tree, along with the tiny clothespins.  I bought the wood dowels from Walmart and used hot glue to attach everything together.  Inside the cups, I used rocks to make it heavy.  And as this was the time of COVID, I also had tons of Bath and Body hand sanitizers everywhere.  The cost was around $1 each.   

I made these centerpieces for around $4.  I used the mason jars I had on hand and used hot glue to attach the burlap ribbon under the red/white/blue ribbon.  Both can be found at Walmart.  I printed out a copy of the Eagle Scout Patch and glued it to the front.  For the inside, I filled with rocks, red/white/blue flowers with an American Flag, which all can be found at the Dollar Tree during 4th of July holiday.

I also thought since this was a Boy Scout Event, it would be nice to give everyone something nature related as a thank you for coming.  I found these wildflower seed leaf paper on Esty.  I made the brown thank you cards using card stock and attached the leaf with a glue dot.  I found the small bags at the Dollar Tree which fit perfectly.  On the backside, I added a small sheet with instructions on how to plant which came from the seller.   

One of my favorite treats to make for parties is the Smore's on a stick.  These are so easy to make and always popular at my parties.  The kids just love them and the adults like to take them home to eat later.  Follow the below simple instructions on how to make them if you want to add them to your party.  I also printed off Eagle Patches and used glue dots to add to the outside bags to give it a personal touch. 

To make Smore's on a Stick:  I use sucker sticks and push through large marshmallow squares.  Melt chocolate blocks using a double boiler and dip the sticks in the chocolate, placing on gram cracker to dry.  Once dried, place in candy bags.  All ingredients can be found at Walmart. It's that simple!

The 4th of July M&M's also was a huge hit.  Every single bag was eaten!  I bought the M&M's from Oriental Trading which was cheaper then buying directly from M&M.  I used 1/2 cup snack bags, adding 1/4 cup M&M's, and then folding the bag in half, attaching it to the back with tape.  I printed the picture out and used glue dots to attached.   

My idea for the guestbook was finding something that I could put inside his Eagle Scout Binder later.  I bought the drop frame from Walmart in their wedding section.  It had a saying on the glass but it was easy to scrap off.  I cut foam board to create the tree, using Elmer's glue to add tree details before painting.  I bought the Eagle medal at our local Scout Store and cut a small opening in the tree for it to fit.  The leaves and animals came from Amazon.  The sign was a small chalkboard that came from the Dollar Tree. 

After the party, I attached the leaves to card stock with glue dots and then slip in a plastic three ring cover which will fit right inside his Eagle Scout Binder so he can save everything in one spot. 


Food was a little tricky as COVID was still hanging around.  I wanted to make stuff so our guests wouldn't have to use the same spoons while they get food.  My solution was to make everything all ready portioned to grab and go!  We also had pizza as it was easy to grab (not pictured).

The cupcakes came from Walmart.  You can request the Eagle with Flag edible background which fit in with our theme.  The woodland tree stumps came from Oriental Trading.  They are hard cardboard but really nice looking.  I plan to use them in future parties.  As this was an outdoor party, I covered each cupcake with plastic cups to help keep our wonderful insect population away from the goodies. 

What is a Boy Scout Event without a Smore's station?!  The wind was blowing pretty hard so the "fire" wouldn't light every well.  Luckily, I had some backup candles.  Always be prepared!

I bought these cool tin containers with lids from Amazon and they were perfect to hold individual salads and fruit cups.  I also put the salad dressing in little cups as well which you can find at Walmart.  To keep everything cool, I put ice in the bottom foil pan and then added the food pan on top.  The ice kept the metal chilled throughout the party.  


What is an Eagle Scout Ceremony without a recognition letter display.  To make sure the letters did not get damaged, I slipped them inside zip lock bags.  The Dollar Tree had larger gallon bags which came in handy for the larger sized letters.  I then cut card stock to make the boarders.  I found stickers from the Dollar Tree which I wrote who the letter was from and if they were a Scout in the past.

I spent 2 hours setting up for the party and I still didn't have enough time to get all the decorations out.  It didn't matter as the party turned out to be successful, even with COVID!  I have added the links to some of the items I bought to help you find them.  Keep in mind, that over time, these items will go away and the links will be broken.  I hope some of my ideas can help you in your party planning in the future. 

Happy crafting!   

Monday, March 15, 2021

Building a Corner Pantry


When I bought my fixer upper house, I had grand ideas and I'm slowly marking them off one by one to make my house a comfy place to live.  My latest project was to build a corner pantry.  My kitchen did not have any extra storage so I installed a shelving unit (left picture) and have been using that for 10+ years.  I finally jumped with all the time I've had stuck at home during COVID and built a corner pantry for around $350. 

I wish I could give you a blue print of this project but we (my brother and I) had to tweak it as we went.  The basic idea was 16 inches for the out side walls and the door is 23ish inches.  For the shelves, I used a 12 inch wide board.  The shelves ended up being four feet for the long section and three feet for the shorter wall. 

Items Purchased (the items with (?) is the items I already had on hand:

9    2-4-8 Studs ($34)

2    Drywall ($?)

1    Drywall Screws ($?)

6    1-12-6 Whitewood Board ($89)  Shelves

6    1-3-8 Whitewood Board ($28) Shelf brackets

1    Screws ($?)

1    Door Jamb ($20)

2    Wood Shims ($3)

1    Door ($20) - found at a resale store!  It is very heavy.

1    Hinges ($9)

1    Door Knob ($10)

1    Trim ($6)

1    Trim Nails ($?)

1    Caulk ($4)

1    Gallon Paint ($27)

Meet my fur baby Scout!  He has to be in the middle of whatever I'm doing.  This is the space I was working with.  When I first moved into my house, this area had the refrigerator and a longer counter.  I cut the counter off and moved it to the other side of the kitchen, along with the refrigerator and shelves.

(BTW - make sure you hire someone that knows how to attached shelves to the walls.  The guy I hired, did not attach them correctly and one came crashing down.  I lost all my coffee mugs. 😥)

Next my brother built one side.  I only wanted it as big as the shelves, which was perfect.  I believe this was 16 inches, as the shelves was 12 inches.

For the other side, we had to make sure the door would fit so we went by that as to how big to make it.  He had to cut angles on this side to make it line up with the door but we still kept it at 16 inches.

The top part took a little skill and I was glad my brother did this part as I'm not that great at angles. 

While he was playing around with the angles, I went ahead and marked where I wanted the shelves to be with tape so I could get an idea of how many shelves I would need and what it would look like.  I wanted a few at different heights to allow for larger food items and a can dispenser to fit. 

A close up of the angles for the door (the worst part of the job).  As you can see, it took some math skills to get the right angles for the door to hang correctly.   

Time for the door frame!  I was getting excited when I saw this going up.  I bought a kit from Lowe's which came with everything you needed to frame a door.

Door is up and the walls are being put in.  We made a small mistake with this, as the drywall didn't match up flush with the other wall.  It's something I will need to fix later on.

Both walls are up and I am so in love with this corner pantry!  It is perfect for this small space. I also wanted that small area left on the right so that I could put my water cooler in it.  I'm planning to build a few shelves above it beside the cabinets to give a little more storage for all my kitchen gadgets. 

I finished it up with the trim kit from Lowe's.  

Instead of installing a wired light, I bought a plug in light with wireless switch.  This worked perfectly as I had a plug already inside the pantry.  I hung it from the ceiling with a hook that has a lock on it so it wouldn't fall down if it.  I then attached the line against the side of the door frame and back of the shelf with wire hooks so you can't see it.

I hope this gives you an idea of how to build your own corner pantry!  I don't know how I ever lived without one.  It holds so much food, cleaning supplies and the dog food container.