Archive for July, 2016

Upcycling – How to Reuse and Repurpose Items Originally Purchased for Kids and Babies

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Family

My goodness! Can we just ALL agree that, for being so small, babies and kids account for a huge part of the family budget? Yes, I think we can! Throughout the course of history one way to overcome this challenge was by gifting or cheaply selling items that one family no longer needs but could be of great use to another family. In 2016, though, the idea of upcycling is hugely popular because it allows you to continue getting value from purchases you already made. Try a few of these neat ideas for getting the most out of the money you spend on your tiny loved ones.

 

  • Swimming arm “floaties”:  Who would have thought there’d ever be any other purpose for these? They’re such a specific thing. But, once your kiddos can swim, use them to transport glass bottled beverages without breaking. Slip the floaty over a bottle of wine, inflate, and rest assured it won’t shatter when your grumpy teenager slings the bag into the car a little too vigorously!
  • Baby food jars:  The number of these a baby goes through is mind boggling! Sure you could recycle, but instead try storage for mass quantities of items that require a good organizational system. Clean the jars thoroughly and remove as much of the label as possible. To rid of the scent of food, soak in warm soapy water over night. Soak again in water/alcohol mixture is food scent persists. Rinse and air dry. Paint all of the lids the same color so they appear to be coordinated set. Label the tops, fill with spices, and place on a lower roll-out cabinet shelf for quick-glance selection from above while cooking. Or place in a deep drawer for the same effect. (It’s fun to paint the lids with chalkboard paint and label with chalk!)
  • Transform a baby crib into a glass-top table:  This turns out really great! So unique, with an airy quality because of the slats. Especially pretty in a sun room! You’ll need some home improvement skills, or a helper. Start by removing one side of the crib railing, flip it on its side (flat) and screw into frame midway up. It is now a shelf! Make a small investment in a sheet of heavy rectangular glass and place it on top of the crib. Voila, a table! (You of course have the option to paint the crib first if you want to customize the color too.)

How to Grow Pineapple from a Pineapple Top

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Tips and Advice

Growing a pineapple plant is easy to do just by using the top of a pineapple that you cut off. This is a great way to grow your own food without having to purchase seedlings from the store. Find out how to plant pineapple from the top of another pineapple!

Cut off the leafy top about a half an inch below the leaves. Remove the lowest leaves. You want to be able to see the little root buds, that look like little dark dots. You may need to trim the base with a knife or scissors until you can see the buds.

Dry out the top in a sunny place for several days. By drying the top out thoroughly the plant will not begin to rot. It may take up to a week to fully dry the top out. Place the top in a place with good air ventilation.

Next you are going to plant the top into a small pot. Use a potting soil and mix in a little bit of sand. This helps add proper drainage for the young plant. Plant the top in the soil up to the base of the leaves. Water the soil and place in a spot that gets a good amount of indirect light.

Normally it takes the roots about 6-8 weeks to mature. Check and make sure the roots have grown before giving the plant direct sunlight. You can plant the pineapple outside in a partially shaded location. This should be done in the late spring or early summer. The plant will need to be moved inside once the weather becomes cold. Frost will kill the plant so you may want to keep it in a planter. Select a planter that can provide ample room for the plant to grow but allow you to bring it indoors when the chance of frost occurs.

It will probably take one whole year for the plant to begin to bear fruit. Be patient and tend to the plant year round. You will be glad you did once summer rolls around again and you can eat fresh, home grown pineapple!

Foods to Eat During the Late Summer

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Tips and Advice

Late summer is the perfect time to take advantage of certain fruits and vegetables that will soon be out of season. Find out which foods are ripe and ready to be eaten!

Plums are ripe right now and make the perfect sweet snack for late summer. This fruit pairs nicely with brie cheese. They are best eaten soon after being picked. Once they have been purchased at the grocery, they need to be eaten in the next few days.

Watermelon is at the peak of their ripeness during late summer. This is a summer favorite that we all will soon be missing. Take advantage of them now. Eat watermelon plain by itself, or add to a crisp summer salad topped with a balsamic drizzle and goat cheese crumbles!

Bell peppers can make some deliciously flavorful meals. These veggies taste bet when grilled or sautéed. Yellow and orange peppers are quite sweet and are perfect for making mango salsa to accompany fish tacos!

Basil is the fresh herb of summer. It can freshen up any recipe. Use this herb on handmade pizzas, in salsa and bruschetta. The tomato is always tastier when paired with basil and a little salt. Basil is even good either chopped or simply placed on a sandwich.

Summer is not over until you have had fresh peach cobbler. Peaches are perfectly ripe right now, but not for long. Skin them, slice them and warm them up; then add cold vanilla ice cream for a quick summer treat.

Yellow summer squash will soon be long gone this season. This veggie is perfect for grilling, baking or sautéing. For a quick and easy side, sauté in a pan with a little butter, lemon juice, salt and pepper for a delicious side dish that goes well with any summer dinner.

Don’t forget to eat your corn on the cob before it’s too late. This summer favorite is the perfect side when grilling hamburgers and hot dogs. You can grill it too. Simply peel back the husk, add butter, salt and pepper. Then place the husk back around the corn. Wrap the entire cobb with aluminum foil and grill for 30 minutes!

Repurpose a Shed Part 2: Just for You

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Tile and Natural Stone

In our last post we gave you a few ideas of ways to repurpose a shed into fun creative spaces for your kids. This week, let’s focus on you! Here are a couple great ways to carve out some space for only your interests.

 

Potting Shed

If you love gardening and don’t already have a place to store pots, tools, extra potting soil and everything else that goes along with your gardening interests, make yourself a potting shed! Add windows for natural lighting to provide a nurturing environment for baby plants. Even better if they provide a view out to the garden. Consider adding a cold frame on the outside of the shed to grow seedlings during the off-season. Add a potting table at standing height and large enough to have room for easy access to hand tools so you can work comfortably. Create space on a wall to hang larger tools so you can easily grab and go to work. Spend some time reading gardening blogs for more ideas on creating the perfect potting shed that will surely make your gardening pursuits more complete!

 

She Shed

This one might be our favorite idea. Everyone’s heard of “Man-Caves”, but now a new trend has emerged in a similar vein for women, called “She Sheds”. It’s about time, right? Maybe it was the tiny house movement that inspired women to begin creating their very own tiny home away from home. This space could be as simple or as involved as you like, perhaps you want it simple and serene for meditation or even a small yoga studio. 

Or maybe you want your space comfortable and homey, complete with snug furniture, house plants, books, coffee, all the comforts you enjoy. Chose wood-look tile for the floor to create an instant rustic space or an intricate mosaic for a one-of-a-kind get-away.

Don’t skimp on the outside either. Create a cute front porch, landscaping and a tile path back to the house. Again, a quick search on Pinterest will provide you with tons of inspiration!

 

Enjoy taking some time to dream about creating a new interesting space to nurture your interests and creativity. Let us know in the comments if you decide to repurpose a shed and feel free to ask us if you have any questions!

Repurpose a Shed Part 1: For the Kids

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Tile and Natural Stone

Imagine a scenario where you have freed up storage space because you just did a big reorganization and parted ways with stuff you no longer need. How fun would it be to have an entire shed cleared and free to repurpose into something more fun than storage? We spent some time imagining a few ways and wanted to share with you. In Part 1, we offer you three ideas specific to children. Part 2 will talk about creating spaces just for you.


Playhouse

What child wouldn’t want their own miniature house behind the house? The ways to convert a shed into a playhouse are seemingly endless. Just a quick search on Pinterest will make you want to get started right away!

 

Arts & Crafts Studio

If you and your family love arts and crafts but dislike a constant mess in your home, a crafting shed would be a great fit and a joy to create.


Photography Studio

Create a place for your budding miniature photographer to take their creativity to the next level and make a child’s photography studio! Go shopping together and pick out different backdrops at the fabric store. Pick wall papers and mount them on boards as another option for backdrops. You can teach them about lighting by buying some used-professional lighting and even get creative and make your own lighting diffusers and reflectors. They can photograph their friends and family, take still-life shots of their toys and their collections from nature. Provide labeled bins for their props and help them get set up with a way to order prints of their favorite shots.

 

Other things to consider for all options: Remember to include climate control so you and your children can comfortably play in all temperatures. Add windows for natural lighting. Add a tile floor for comfort that is also easy to clean and maintain.  Install window boxes for flowers — a great way to keep the outside of the shed looking as good as your home.

Stay tuned for Part 2 for some ways to convert this space into something just for you.

 

We’d love to hear from you in the comments if you’ve ever repurposed a shed, or plan on doing this someday!

Exciting Book Shelves

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Design and Decorating

Book shelves do not have to be boring by any means. They are great for decorating and providing storage. Spice them up by hanging decorative book case boxes!

Installing boxes to be used as book shelves is a great way to customize your home. The shelves can be placed where ever you need. They can be arranged to take up an entire wall, or spread sporadically throughout. This is a good idea for large walls or a room with little space for an actual book case.

When using this type of application make sure to keep in mind that the book shelf boxes should contrast with the wall color. This kind of shelving adds a special architectural detail that should be noticed. Do not make the mistake of hanging these boxes that have a finish that blends in with the wall color.

Also remember that you don’t have to limit yourself to placing only books in your shelves. Use the added space to display accessories like photos, small plants and little pops of color. Unexpected item like this add interest to your space, taking the eye by surprise by showing the unconventional. The eye is drawn to this design because of it’s unexpectedness and pleasing look.

This type of design is not just for contemporary spaces. This look can be recreated for any style home. Simply keep in mind what kind of interior style you are working with and select the style of box that complements your interior design. Although these are a relatively new look, more of these hanging boxes are being made to the public.  

Let us know how you have incorporated this design into your home.  Feel free to leave pictures below!

Non-Toxic Kitchen Cleaner

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Environmental

Using less chemicals in the home is healthier for you and your family. Find out how to make an excellent cleaning agent that cost a fraction of the price of a store bought, chemical cleaning solution.

What You Will Need:

¼ Cup Baking Soda

Approximately 2 Tbsp. Peroxide

Directions:

Add ¼ cup of baking soda to a bowl. Add enough peroxide to make a paste. Use a fork to mix the two ingredients.

What to Clean With the Paste:

Pots and Pans

Stove

Oven

Refrigerator

Bath tub

Shower

Sink

Either apply paste to items by hand or add the paste to a clean sponge, for tougher stains. For particularly dirty baking pans, apply the paste to a balled up piece of aluminum foil and scrub. This method works better than using plain steel wool.

Do not save the mixture. Make the solution as needed to clean items. The paste works the best after it has just been mixed.

Do not use this paste on granite or natural stone countertops or on stainless steel appliances.