Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Reusable Swifter Duster Cover


I love my Swifter Duster!  It is what I use 98% of the time for all my dusting needs.

But I don't love the constant expense of having to buy the replacement dusters.  It really adds up.

So I came up with a solution!  Reusable, Washable Swifter Covers!!


Confession time.  I don't really sew so I wasn't thrilled about pulling out my sewing machine.  However, these ended up being really easy once I figured it all out.

So I am going to give you the simple how-to so that you don't make the same mistakes I did :)

You Will Need:

  • Fleece, anti-pill preferred
    • Most fleece comes 60" wide.  Each duster will be 4.5"w x 7"t and have four layers.  So with a strip of fleece 60" wide and 5" across you can make 2 dusters!
  • Thread
  • Fabric scissors
  • Sewing machine



How to:

First you will want to cut your fleece 4.5"w x 7"t.  You will need four pieces this size per duster.


Take what will be your top layer and cut about 3/4" off of the bottom of this layer only.


Take your top two layers (including the shorter layer you just cut) and sew a squared "U" shape in the middle.  This "U" shape should be about 1 3/4" wide and 4 3/4" long from the bottom of the short layer.  These  become the top two layers of your duster.

Layer two more fleece pieces underneath these top two layers and sew a line down the center of the fleece from the bottom of the short layer until the top of the "U".

If you like, you can round the corners of the duster at this point.


Next you will need to take a sharp pair of fabric scissors and cut your fringes.

Trim your top two layers close to the "U" being careful not to cut your stitch.


Trim the bottom two layers close to the straight line being careful not to cut any stitching.


That's it!!  Pretty simple!

But they real test was in the usage of it.  I admit I was a little skeptical.  I know, I know.  I made these but still wasn't sure how well they would work.  So here is my 100% honest opinion.

They work better then the disposable Swifter Dusters.  BETTER!  Seriously!!

There was dust that didn't come off my baseboards the last time I dusted them with my disposable dusters and when I swiped my Reusable Swifter Duster over my baseboards, it cleaned the dust right off!  I was pretty impressed.

I am actually sad that I have half a Costco-sized box of disposable dusters I still need to use because I think these fleece Reusable Dusters are even better!

When one gets pretty used, I can just toss it in the wash!

I made 4 dusters for less then $2!!!  And since they are reusable so I am saving a ton of money!  (And this is a better alternative for the environment as well.)

These would also make a great house-warming gift.

How great is that!?



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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

It's not easy being green...unless you're a Cupcake Cone


I can't believe that St. Patrick's day is only a couple weeks away.  So...I decided to embrace a little green, and create some Green Cupcake Cones to celebrate!


Yum yum yum!

I used my Kupcake Konz Pans (check out my post here and here) and making these were a breeze.



I just used white cake mix and green food coloring.

So simple.  So easy.  So delicious.

Yup, even he agrees :) (Yes, that is a Santa hat on my son's head...I have no words of explanation.)


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Monday, February 27, 2012

"Charmed" St Patrick's Day Shirt


If you want to check out the "how-to" on this super cute St. Patrick's Day shirt that I made for  my daughter, head on over to Expressions Vinyl blog to read more.

I used their Flocked Iron-on Vinyl and love love LOVE it!!



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Thursday, February 23, 2012

Simply Link {Party}


This morning while you guys are having fun linking up, I am at Fox59 attempting not to make a fool out of myself!  Haha!  Wish me luck.  (If you want to know what I am talking about go here and check out my Big Huge Awesome Announcement!)

So because I am a little preoccupied this week, go ahead and link up your latest creation!  No real rules, but I will ask you to visit a few other links!  Pretty please :)



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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

How to Brighten a Room Without Remodeling

I always love to have wonderful designers guest post here at Simply Designing, it is such a huge honor!  Today I warmly welcome Bahram Nasehi from Dulles Glass and Mirror.

I think we all have one room in your home that is dark.  Due to lack of natural or artificial light, sometimes we just have rooms that feel like caves.  Bahram Nasehi is here today to share a few Tips and Tricks on how to Brighten a Room without Remodeling by using Mirrors!

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Tips and Tricks with Mirrors and Glass That Brighten a Room Without Remodeling


One of the first things taught to beginning interior design students is the need to add "sparkle and shine" to a room for balance and interest. For a lot of us, that usually means hanging a mirror on a wall someplace or dusting off the kids' soccer trophies every once in a while. But there are actually quite a few ways to inject brightness, life and yes, "sparkle" into your rooms by using mirrors and glass in ways you might not have thought of before. Here are seven simple ideas that don't require a lot of time or money and work great with any design theme.
  1. Get a set of mirrored coasters. Not only do they reflect light, they add a touch of glamour to whatever is sitting on them. Put a group of bevel-edge mirrored coasters in the center of your dining table and place a small votive or tea light candle on each. Glass candleholders will give you the best glimmer for your money. If you're not into real candles, inexpensive battery-powered ones work just as well. This is mood lighting, not anything to read by. You can also put small glass vases each containing a single flower on the coasters. Don't limit them to centerpieces – the combination of mirrors, glass and candlelight is magical and looks great on coffee and end tables. And of course, you can always use them for what they were originally intended – to protect surfaces from drip rings. 
  2. Repurpose an old tray. Old trays made from a variety of materials such as wood, metal, plastic or rattan are easy to find at thrift stores and garage sales. Sand off the rough spots and play up the contrast of worn finishes by updating the bottom of the tray. Put old postcards or ticket stubs on the bottom and cover with glass for a shadowbox look or mirror the bottom, either from an old mirror or gluing on mirrored tiles. Either way, you'll have a useful piece that reflects light and makes whatever it's holding look more interesting.
  3. Use Mismatched glass objects. Gather up a collection of clear glass objects – vases, boxes, perfume bottles, the odd candlestick or wine glass, even a short Mason jar– and put them all together on a mirrored tray. The tray unifies the objects and makes the collection look as one, instead of the dusty back shelf of a thrift store.
  4. Mirror, mirror on the box. Also easy to find are mirrored boxes of all sizes. Or you can glue mosaic-size mirror tiles to boxes and containers you already have. This is another double win because not only do you get the sparkle, you can hide stuff that isn't so attractive, like the TV remote. That old standby, the votive candle, adds wow in front of a mirror box, too.
  5. Go knob sleuthing. At one time, interior doors had beautiful glass doorknobs. It might take a bit to find them, but it's well worth the effort. Vintage glass knobs come in a myriad of colors and shapes – imagine your old bureau or kitchen cabinets with shimmering blue (or green or amber) knobs. Fasten three or four to a board for a shabby chic peg rack – they'll gladly hold your coats, hats and other objects. Or just appreciate them for the art they are and use them in table groupings.
  6. Create a Collage. This can really liven up a drab room. You can use new mirrors, old ones, framed, or frameless, just be sure to have something that unifies them all in some way, for example – all frameless, or have the frames all painted one color. Go a step further than just hanging them with nails– use colorful ribbon or sturdy chain looped over a hook or a vintage glass doorknob.
  7. Use Glass Pebbles. Visit the florist or craft store and pick up several bags of glass pebbles or stones. Fill a clear glass vase with alternating layers of different color stones, use them to anchor a large pillar candle on a tray or scatter light blue ones across your tablecloth to create the look of water droplets. And don't forget to add them in the bottom of the vase for those special occasions that call for fresh-cut flowers.
Try adding a little shine to your rooms today – you'll be amazed at how such simple objects can really amplify the light and add brightness to the space.

About the Author
Bahram Nasehi is a Vice President and partner at Dulles Glass and Mirror. He is instrumental in the developement and manufacturing of commercial glass products including wall and gym mirrors, and residential products such as custom cut glass shelves, shower doors and table tops.

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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Sillhouette: Import, Trace and Cut

I love love LOVE my Silhouette Cameo!!


But one of my favorite features of the Silhouette that I have been using recently is the Trace and Cut feature.

Did you know that you can import an image into the Silhouette software, trace it and then cut the shape out?  Amazing huh?
Come check out my guest post at Expressions Vinyl's Blog to get the full Tutorial on how to use the Trace and Cut Feature in the Sillhouette Software here.  

Image and video hosting by TinyPic
PS - If you're looking for the best deal on a Silhouette Cameo or Vinyl, check out Expressions Vinyl for the best prices I've seen!

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Monday, February 20, 2012

Big. Huge. Stinkin' Announcement!!


I have been anxiously waiting to be able to tell you guys what I have up my sleeve!  I have been waiting since before Christmas!

I have kept this a secret from most of my friends and even most of my family!  It has been soooo hard to not say a word to you guys!  I can't tell you how many times I have started and then deleted this blog post.  But I wanted to wait until everything was in place before I shared the big news.

So after waiting patiently, I finally get to announce that something amazing is coming to fruition!!

Many of you know I go on Fox59's morning show here in Indianapolis fairly often.  I absolutely LOVE doing this!  It has been so much fun and I have met some amazing people!  Last time, I even went on-air about 5 minutes after Martha was on (from NY!)  Ack! Talk about pressure...to follow Martha Stewart!  Wow.

Anyway, Fox59 approached me about doing something else, in addition to being a regular on their morning show.

They have asked me to produce weekly webisodes for their website!!

Yes.  I said WEEKLY.  WEBISODES.  For FOX59!!

Holy.  Cow.

I am amazed.  I am in awe.  I am full of gratitude to the amazing segment producer at Fox59 that so graciously took a gamble on me and invited me to go on their morning show for the first time just over a year ago!  She is amazing and wonderful, and now, in addition to working with her, I get to work with another great person to produce WEEKLY WEBISODES!

I am a bit nervous.  But I am mostly in awe that anyone would ever ask me to do this.  Never in a million years would I have ever dreamed I would be doing this!

So this Friday I go in to do my first taping.  I am excited, gittery, scared, in awe and mostly...mostly just grateful for those involved in making this whole thing possible.

Beginning in March, you will be able to catch my Weekly Webisodes over at Fox59!

You can see me, on video, trying not to make a complete fool out of myself every week!  How fun will that be!? :)

I will try to link up my videos on my blog too for all to see.

And, I have one BIG HUGE FAVOR to ask you...

If there is a tutorial, craft, treat or other item that you would like to see me make on these videos, please do not hesitate to let me know!  I would love to hear what you want to see me do!  Please comment or email me at simplydesigning@gmail.com anytime!

And a BIG HUGE THANK YOU to all my wonderful followers!  You wonderful, faithful, diligent, amazing followers!  Thank you for your support!  I could not do it without you!

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Thursday, February 16, 2012

Simply Link {Party}



I am so glad you stopped by to link up at my Weekly Link Party!  I can't wait to see what you created!

Please link up your latest creations.  You can link up pretty much anything as long as you "created" it (Food, craft, home decor item, a beautiful garden, a photograph, etc.  I am really flexible!)  Please keep it family friendly.  Please no links to shops or giveaways.  I reserve the right to delete any links that aren't appropriate. By linking up you are giving me permission to feature or show off your project (I will link back to you of course.)

Also, I would love it if you linked back to my site and mentioned on your blog, facebook or twitter about my link party!  Help me spread the word please!

And please visit 2-3 other links and leave them a nice, meaningful comment!  Thanks!




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Thin Mint Cookie Balls


Thin Mint Cookie Balls!

There really isn't much more to say!  Except that I made these a year ago.  Forgot to take photos before I ate them all, and then never got around to making them again until this week.

But boy are they yummy!


Very similar to the Oreo Balls that everyone loves!  And similar again to my Nutter Butter Cookie Balls I posted about last year.  

But made with yummy, delicious, amazing Thin Mint Girl Scout Cookies.  Or, Keebler Grasshopper cookies if it isn't Girl Scout cookie time :)


Thin Mint Cookie Balls
Yield:  approx 22 cookie balls


Ingredients:
  • 1 box Thin Mint Cookies (or Keebler Grasshopper cookies)
  • 4 oz Cream Cheese, room temperature
  • 1 package Milk Chocolate Chips (semi or dark would work as well if that is your preference)



Directions:

  1. Use a food processor to finely chop/crush your cookies.
  2. Use a stand mixer to mix your cream cheese and cookie crumbs.  If you don't want to get your stand mixer dirty however, or don't have one, you can also combine these ingredients with your hands.  This will create a thick, rich dough.
  3. Roll into balls using approximately 1 Tbs of dough per ball.  Let cool in fridge for approx. 15 minutes.
  4. Melt chocolate in a microwave safe dish on 50% power for 30 seconds at a time, mixing in between.  See here for more chocolate melting tips and tricks.
  5. Dip balls in melted chocolate, tapping off excess.  Place on wax paper or foil.  
  6. If you like, you can take your fork or knife to drizzle additional chocolate on the top on the balls.  
  7. Leave your cookie balls on wax paper or foil until chocolate is set.  You can place these in the fridge if you are impatient and want the chocolate to set quicker :)
I have tried both dark chocolate and milk chocolate coating and prefer the milk chocolate, but you really can use whatever you prefer!

These really are very rich cookie balls so you might need a glass of milk to go with these.  But they are oh-so-yummy!  

I loved them, my kids loved them, my husband loved them!  They are really delicious! 




Happy baking!

PS - for those of you who have noticed I have been doing a lot of baking ideas, don't worry...I have a whole stash of craft projects coming up too!  I have been creating more then I have time to post right now!!

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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Superhero Party {FREE} Printables


A friend asked me for a little help the other day, she was throwing a Superhero themed event.  So I whipped up a few old-school-inspired Superhero Printables and so I decided to share them with you too!

For free of course!




Fun huh?

Download links to the Free Printables here:

Please note that I have given away these free printables for Personal Use Only.  They can not be resold, printed for resale, used for commercial products / applications, used for profit in anyway, or distributed by any means except by linking to my blog post as given above.  Thank you.  

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Monday, February 13, 2012

Peppermint Pie Pops


Yum.  Peppermint Pie Pops!


There are probably some things I shouldn't admit.  This is one of them.

I still have Andes Peppermint Crunch Baking Chips in my pantry.  Yes.  They are only available during the holidays.  I am kind of a hoarder when it comes to baking goodies!  It's a problem I know...


Anyway, I thought they would make some yummy Pie Pops using my babycakes Pie Pop Maker.

If you want to know more about making Pie Pops with babycakes Pie Pop Maker, check out my post here!

After I made the pie pops and they cooled, I melted a few extra peppermint chips and dipped the tops of the pie pops in them!  Yummy!


Happy baking!

I was inspired from the use of peppermint chips here.  

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Chocolate Covered Marshmallow Hearts


My kids both love marshmallows.  So when I saw heart shaped marshmallows at the store the other day, I knew my kids would go crazy for them!

They will eat the marshmallows plain, but I wanted to make them a bit more delicious so I dipped them in chocolate!


Yum.  Yum.  Super Yum.


See my tips and tricks for melting chocolate here.

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Sunday, February 12, 2012

Chocolate Cherry Bark


Chocolate Bark is one of the most simple treats to make and it is oh-so-yummy!

Last Valentine's Day I made Red Hot Bark and last month I made Oreo Bark.  So when I saw a recipe here for Chocolate Cherry Bark I knew it would be amazing!!

And I was right!  It is amazing!

If you love the combination of chocolate and cherries (Cherry Garcia ice cream for example :) You will definitely love this combo!


Chocolate Cherry Bark

Ingredients:

  • 1 bag dark chocolate chips
  • 1 bag Wilton chocolate candy melts, pink
  • 1/4 tsp Wilton's Artificial Cherry Candy Flavoring (this is oil based, don't use extract or your chocolate will seize)
  • Sprinkles, optional
Directions:
  • Melt dark chocolate in the microwave.  See here for how to melt chocolate.  
  • Spread evenly on a large baking sheet covered with waxed paper or foil.
  • Place in fridge until set.
  • Melt pink chocolate candy melts in the microwave.  
  • Stir the cherry flavoring into the pink melts.
  • Spread melted pink chocolate over hardened dark chocolate.
  • Top with sprinkles if desired.
  • Return to fridge until set.
  • Break apart and enjoy!


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Valentine's Day Subway Art


If you haven't had a chance to check out my post over at the Expressions Vinyl Blog, head on over to check out how to make this super cute Valentine's Day Subway Art!



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Friday, February 10, 2012

Simply Link {Party}



Thanks for stopping by for this week's Link Party!  I can't wait to see what you've created!



Please link up your latest creations.  You can link up pretty much anything as long as you "created" it (Food, craft, home decor item, a beautiful garden, a photograph, etc.  I am really flexible!)  Please keep it family friendly.  Please no links to shops or giveaways.  I reserve the right to delete any links that aren't appropriate. By linking up you are giving me permission to feature or show off your project (I will link back to you of course.)

Also, I would love it if you linked back to my site and mentioned on your blog, facebook or twitter about my link party!  Help me spread the word please!

And please visit 2-3 other links and leave them a nice, meaningful comment!  Thanks!




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Wednesday, February 8, 2012

"Marshmallows" from One Ingredient


I love marshmallows.  I really do.

I also love cool whip.

It is a sick sick problem.  But I could literally eat cool whip by the spoonful.

I know.  It's weird.  And sooooooo delicious!

So when I found out that you could use frozen cool whip and make your own fun shaped "marshmallows", I was thrilled!


So simple and really yummy!  (at least for those of us who like cool whip :)

Simply spread a layer of cool whip on a foil lined cookie sheet and freeze.  Then use your cute cookie cutters and add to a yummy cup of hot cocoa!



Enjoy!

This idea was inspired by a photo found on pintrest.  I could not however, locate the source :(  If you are the source, email me and I would love to give you credit!

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Monday, February 6, 2012

Valentine's Day Cards {FREE PRINTABLES}


The last two days have been crazy busy on my blog so I wanted to just do a quick recap for anyone who missed it!  I have offered up a ton of FREE PRINTABLES that I don't want anyone to miss!

I also want to welcome anyone who may be stopping by after seeing me on Indy's Fox59 Tuesday morning!  Welcome!  I am so happy you stopped by!

I would love for you to follow my blog via Google Friend's Connect (GFC) on my right side bar, Facebook, Twitter, Email, or Pintrest!

I am offering up FREE printables for ALL of the Valentine's Day Cards that I have designed this year!  Click on the link below to be taken to the full blog post about the card.  At the bottom of that blog post will be a link to download the free printable!

Enjoy!









Happy Valentine's Day!

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You're O'Fish'Ally Cool {FREE printable}


If you are opting for a healthier option for Valentine's Day this year, give goldfish instead of candy!

You're O'Fish'Ally Cool!



I used goldfish crackers, cello bags, and my FREE printable here.


Free printables/downloads are for personal use only.  
Commercial use, or use for any kind of profit is strictly prohibited unless 
prior written approval has been granted by Simply Designing.  
Please feel free to link to this blog post to share or mention my free printable, 
but please do not distribute the file in any other way. 


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You Rock Valentine {FREE printable}



I really do love any Valentine that involves a treat.  And.  A play on words :)  

This Valentine would be suitable for boy, girl, or even an older child.  

You Rock Valentine!



I used Pop Rocks (I found these at Party City), double sided tape, my FREE printable HERE.  

Free printables/downloads are for personal use only.  
Commercial use, or use for any kind of profit is strictly prohibited unless 
prior written approval has been granted by Simply Designing.  
Please feel free to link to this blog post to share or mention my free printable, 
but please do not distribute the file in any other way. 


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I DIG You! {FREE printable}


I DIG You is a fun Valentine that requires little work to put together!

Again, I think this could be suitable for boys or girls.  Depending on your child of course.



I used a shovel ($ section of Target or check out the Dollar Store), candy of your choice, FREE printable I designed HERE.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Free printables/downloads are for personal use only.  
Commercial use, or use for any kind of profit is strictly prohibited unless 
prior written approval has been granted by Simply Designing.  
Please feel free to link to this blog post to share or mention my free printable, 
but please do not distribute the file in any other way. 


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Have a Super Valentine's Day {FREE printable}


I did not create this valentine but I loved it so much, I knew I just HAD to include it in my Valentine creations this year!

This would be another great boy Valentine, but I'm not gonna lie, my daughter loves these too!



I used Tootsie Roll Pops, double sided tape and the FREE printable from HERE.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Original post about these found here.


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Sunday, February 5, 2012

Have a Ball Valentine {FREE printable}


Another great Valentine for a boy!

Have a Ball!


I used a bouncy ball from Party City (25 cents each), a cello bag and my FREE printable bag topper HERE.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Free printables/downloads are for personal use only.  
Commercial use, or use for any kind of profit is strictly prohibited unless 
prior written approval has been granted by Simply Designing.  
Please feel free to link to this blog post to share or mention my free printable, 
but please do not distribute the file in any other way. 

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