Thursday, January 30, 2014

When Life Gives You Too Many Lemons...Freeze Them...Practically

Well, my house has been hit with the flu.  Yay.  I suppose it was inevitable but I really had thought there for a while we were going to be one of the lucky ones.

In doing what we can to keep ourselves going and feeling as good as one can when they are dying, I have a little tip that has really come in handy for us.

But first, let's rewind a few weeks...

There's a lemon tree at my hubby's work.  It is currently producing some of the largest lemons I've ever seen.  And he keeps bringing them home.

Freezing Lemon Juice Practically

I have a couple of dinner recipes that call for lemon juice, but mainly sweets recipes.  And the last thing my husband and I need in our house is tons of lemon sweets {which he's not a big fan of anyhoo}.  

So I had a bowlful of big, beautiful lemons that I didn't know what to do with, and that I didn't want to waste.  Wasting free is almost worse than wasting money, know what I mean?

My first thought was to freeze them, which was instilled in my by my mom.  She froze everything.  But unlike other fruits and veggies, the only thing you mainly use from a lemon is the juice.  

Ok, so, freeze the juice.  Duh.

Freezing Lemon Juice Practically

But then what do I do with frozen juice from several lemons?  I mean, we're looking at at least a cup of juice.  That's a chunk of frozen liquid.  And most recipes only call for a couple of tablespoons of juice.  Definitely not a cup.  Unless you're baking in bulk.  Which I probably won't be.

So freezing by the tablespoon made MUCH more sense.  But how?

Light bulb:  Ice cube trays!!

Monday, January 13, 2014

My Top 13 of 13

I know traditionally this is done at the end of the year, or the very beginning of the new year, but I've debated about doing a post like this for a while.  In the end, I swayed myself to do it.  I love a good reminiscing.  (:

So, here's what ya'll were loving in 2013 from {be made designs}:

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Happy 2014 & a Sweet Little Desk Makeover

Happy New Year!!

I hope you guys had a great holiday!  Mine was actually pretty swell, save for a small case of the flu infiltrating a portion of my family, but all in all, I had a really nice holiday.  And I gotta say, not being overwhelmed by Christmas projects was such a relief.  That feeling has inspired me for 2014 and how I want to "run my life."  I have no resolution for this year.  While my past resolution {to try new things} has served me well, I feel like it has become enough of a habit, or second nature to me, that I can let it go as a standing resolution.

And I didn't want to give myself anymore pressure with a new resolution, continuing that relaxed feeling I had during Christmas and New Years.  I am going to keep that feeling by not creating a goal list for myself and my business for this year.  Not that I don't have goals or things I'd like to accomplish this year.  Because I do.  More than I'd like to admit to, ha ha!  But if they get done, they get done.  If they don't, they don't.  I'm just going to go with the flow and see how it goes, and while that goes against EVERYTHING in my personality, I'm excited to try to break away from that planning restriction.  Although, I am still going to make my lists so I can cross off what I do {such a feeling of satisfaction there!} and because it seems to be the best way I can organize my mind.

Know what I mean?! / via
Ok, enough of that!  I've got a couple of fun things to share with you to start off this new, carefree year!

If you follow me on Instagram {which, if you don't, you should.  It's the best way to get to know me and my quirkiness}, you probably saw a few fun things from this last month:

{1}  My hubby informed me he had NEVER seen "White Christmas!"  At the time I thought he had to be from another planet or something because that was a holiday staple in my house -- and everyone elses, too, right?! -- but I quickly learned there are countless others who have never seen it!  Crazy!  I'm thinking a social intervention is called for.  Community-wide "White Christmas" festivals.  Or something.  Who's with me?!

{2}  I watched both my nephews (18 mos & 4 yrs) Christmas Eve Eve, and upon arrival at my house, Matthew (the 4 yr old) asked me if we were going to make cookies for Santa like last year.  Uh, yeah, sure.  We took a quick trip to the grocery store to get sugar cookie supplies, which were next to none the day before Christmas Eve.  Lucky for me, Pillsbury heard my pleas for help and provided me with instructions on how to make cookies from a cake mix right on the box.  Santa cookies saved!  They are pretty yummy, btw.

{3}  I have seen the entries and winners for Design Within Reach's cork chair competition for years and have always wanted to try my hand at creating a mini chair just using the cork, wire and foil from the New Year's champagne bottle.  After years of saying "I wanna," I did.  I'm not going to submit them but it was fun trying to imagine what I could do with those small parts and what I could create with them.  And that cork is harder to carve than you'd think!  

I also got back to designing our Christmas cards after a hiatus last year.  It took me a little bit to find inspiration but eventually it found me, via the hubby.  He found this cute little graphic of Santa and his reindeer that had been heavily pixilated on purpose -- like the classic video games.  I've also been drawn to the winter sweater pattern {you know, the snowflakes & deer one} that seem to be everywhere now, so I thought to combine the two.  I was quite pleased with how they turned out.

There was a project I completed just before Thanksgiving but with the Christmas posts and my blog on hold until the new year, I haven't shared it yet {unless, of course, you saw on Instagram}.

I love color.  Like, all colors.  I hate being asked what my favorite color is because I don't know!  But as much as I love color, I have always stayed away from it in my interior designs, especially my own home.  You can see this in all my makeover posts.  Mostly whites and browns with hints of color here and there, but nothing bold.  Nothing that really says, "Look at me!"

I did have a brush with boldness when I redid this little metal student desk.  That green was just perfect.

And this little desk inspired me to step out of my comfort zone and do something bold again.

But this new redo may be my favorite makeover to date.  Well, maybe second, but just barely.  That metal student desk still holds my heart.

A tiny bit of history before the before and afters.

I had this chair forever.  We had bought it several years ago at a garage sale with the intention of making it over.  But some major life events pushed that project to the back-40 burner and we just used it as a chair here and there.

Great little back detail!
I really wish I could have gotten a true before pic of the chair so you could get the whole effect.  The seat was upholstered in this creamy satin stuff that would have been all that in the early 90's, but obviously over the years it got dingy.  Plus, the seat base was made of particle board and time had taken its toll, and it had begun to disintegrate, until one day I sat on it....and fell through.  Ugh.  Yeah, that's a boost of confidence, lemme tell ya.

So we replaced it -- der! -- with plywood so it's super sturdy now.

Then one day the hubby came home with a desk in the back of his truck from our landlord, saying he was just going to throw it out but wanted to see if I wanted it first.  Heck yeah!

I wasn't sure what I was going to do with it -- makeover-wise -- but I knew I would be painting it because it did have a bit of water damage at the bottom.  Plus, I knew we wouldn't be keeping it because we just had no use for another desk, so maybe that's another reason I was ok with doing something different.  I wouldn't have to live with it, ha ha!

But since I was going to try and sell it, I knew it needed a chair, and that's when I remembered that poor lonely garage sale chair.

From there, I found my fabric I wanted to redo the chair in -- something fun -- then picked a color from the flowers to paint the desk.

Initially, I was going to go with the lighter blue for the desk.

However, when we got to the paint swatches, the blues just weren't doing it for me.

But the pinks were!

So I picked the perfectly Pantone "Raspberry Wine" pink, shaking in my boots the whole time.  Was I nuts to paint a desk this bold of a color?  This bright of a pink?

Hubby said no, and I trust his judgement when I doubt mine, so I went with it.

And I love it!!

He does too, believe it or not.  In fact, he said if it didn't sell, it looked good where I had it for photographs and we would just keep it there.  Wow!  I was shocked!  But that made me feel good when this Army-green-&-neutral-lovin' dude was diggin' my bright, bold pink desk!

Ok, ok, without further ado.....





I thought it would make a perfect desk and vanity, so I styled it as such for the sale photos.

Kitty photo bomb!  She couldn't resist trying out the new chair.

Isn't she lovely?!  I just loved how it turned out, and so did everyone else.  After I nervously posted her for sale, I had all kinds of interest, and she sold rather quickly.  Now I am earnestly looking for my next redo to sell and spread the beauty!  Exciting!

Wow, that was a lot for my first post of 2014, but I'm thinking its a great way to start!  I'm hoping to share some other new stuff -- including an Etsy shop announcement that's been way too long in the making -- but I'm in no rush.  I know non-regular posts are a turn-off to readers, but, selfishly, I'm looking forward to the go-with-the-flow plan and only bringing you guys posts I feel are valuable and not time wasters.  Because that annoys the heck out me!

So here's to a low-stress, carefree 2014!!  Hooah!!


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