Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Assignment #9: Work on Your Project (aka DIY Penny Tray)

Assignment #9 was to work on my selected project -- my DIY penny tray for the living room. My first task was to order the supplies needed to complete the project. It took a few days for everything to get here, but now we're ready to get started.

I forgot to take a picture of all of the supplies together.  The supplies for this project included: 209 pennies, one tray, one sponge brush, wood stain, epoxy, and clear coat spray. I must say that the bank teller gave me a funny look when I asked for four rolls of pennies. Thankfully, she didn't ask what I needed them for. Meanwhile, hubby commented on the fact that this project was supposed to reduce the number of pennies in the house. I had forgotten that we donated all of our pennies to one of his work charity fundraisers. That's what I get for trying to do the right thing. 

Next, I stained the tray. It only took one coat of stain to achieve the color I was looking for. We have some leftover stain from the door finishing project in a color that I'm fond of so this didn't add to cost. After waiting eight hours, I sealed the entire tray with a clear coat spray.

Pre-epoxy tray
When I started arranging my pennies I found that all of the pennies from the rolls were brand new. Since it took more than $2 to cover the bottom (209 pennies to be exact), I had to carefully mix in the darker, used pennies.  Then, I mixed the epoxy and carefully poured it into the tray. Be extra careful with this stuff. It was extremely sticky. The epoxy took 24 hours to cure.

Finished penny tray
Total Cost: $27.62

The cost breakdown is as follows:
  • Pennies: $2.09
  • Epoxy: $13.93
  • Foam brush: $0.21
  • Tray: $3.42
  • Clear coat spray: $7.97
I really like how this tray turned out. It fits in nicely with our living room style and adds a much needed flat surface for holding drinks and snacks. I have four trays left and I need to think about what I want to do with them. Strangely enough, Apartment Therapy just ran an article about how to control clutter with trays. It's almost like they are watching me.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Stuffed Bell Peppers

Hubby has been telling me for a while that he really loves stuffed bell peppers and that he wanted me to make them. The stars finally aligned and I did so last night. They turned out super yummy and now hubby wants them on the regular rotation.

Our local farmer's market had green peppers on sale, so today seemed like the best day to give it a shot. Since I hadn't made stuffed bell peppers before, I did look at a few recipes first to get a feel for what normally goes into them. Then I went through our refrigerator and pantry to see what I could whip up.

Time: 1 hour
Serves: 2 adults

  • 2 green bell peppers
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced.
  • 2 tsp dry garlic
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 2 cups cooked white rice
  • 1 tomato, rough chopped
  • 1/4 cup cheese

  1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cook rice according to instructions.
  3. Meanwhile, cut the tops off the green bell peppers and clean out the insides. Reserve the tops.
  4. Parboil the green peppers for 5 minutes.
  5. Heat the olive oil at medium high in a large skillet. Dice the green pepper tops. Add the diced green peppers, onion, garlic, salt, and pepper to the skillet. Cook until onions are translucent (~5 minutes).
  6. Add ground turkey to the skillet and good until the turkey is browned.
  7. Add tomato and cook for another 2 minutes.
  8. Add cooked rice and mix well.
  9. Stuff mixture into bell peppers and top with cheese.
  10. Bake in a pan with a tiny bit of water on the bottom for 25 - 30 minutes or until cheese is melted and everything is cooked through.
While I cooked the rice at the same time as the turkey mixture, you could precook the rice. We actually keep cooked rice in the freezer for quick fried rice. We had some rice and turkey mix left over that we plan to eat with biscuits during the week. 


Saturday, January 17, 2015

Assignment #8: The Clean Sweep

Cleaning the kitchen took several days longer than I had planned on and now I'm behind. I sort of knew that this would happen at some point. Thankfully, the next assignment is something that can be done in just a few minutes -- the clean sweep. Basically, today's task is to surface clean the house in the time it takes a song to play.

Clean Sweep Station
The clean sweep is already a part of of my weekly cleaning routine. I've mentioned my adorable fur-kids and their inability to keep litter in its designated area. Every time I do the litter boxes, I also swiffer the whole house. I even have a cleaning station dedicated to this task to make things a bit more streamlined.

I also have a tendency to clean whenever I'm waiting for the teapot to sing its magical song. I've found that I can have the dishes done and counters wiped in the time it takes for water to boil. In the time it takes the tea or coffee to brew, I can have the living room and dining room picked up. Part of the reason that hubby and I like owning less is due to the ease of clean-up. You don't need to clean things that you don't own.

By doing a little bit of cleaning each day, our home is never more than a few minutes away from being ready for company. People don't drop by often, but I don't want my mess to keep me from welcoming them in or enjoying my home.

Best wishes!