Friday, April 11, 2014

Easy tasty Weight Watchers friendly Fruit Smoothie

Sorry I've been a little MIA recently- work has been CRAZY, and I was on vacation with my mom to a Stampin' Up! getaway (I'll share the projects from that later). In the meantime, I'll show you a recipe of a smoothie I've been loving lately.
I've been trying to get back on the wagon of Weight Watchers to try and loose the holiday weight and get back down to my goal weight. The hardest thing I've always found with Weight Watchers is getting enough fruit in my diet. The other night I was craving a smoothie, so I decided to try to concoct a very fruity smoothie that was Weight Watchers friendly- the lower the points the better.


I  made this smoothie filled with lots of fruit, as to get just the right amount of fruit needed per day. This smoothie is roughly 1 1/2 weight watchers points plus a smoothie (one blender makes 2 smoothies), so if you are really in a smoothie kick, it's only 3 weight watchers points plus for 2!
This past week I think I've had a smoothie everyday after this, as I just can't get enough and it gets me my necessary fruit for the day. ;)
Enjoy this super easy and tasty fruit smoothie!

Mo's Fruity Fun Smoothie


Ingredients:
  • 1 1/2 cups of ice
  • 2 bananas
  • 4-6 oz (or 1 snack container) of Light Fit strawberry yogurt
  • 1-1 1/2 cups of frozen mangoes
  • 1/4 can (or 2.4 fl oz) Goya mango juice
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp orange extract
Directions:
Put all ingredients in a blender, blend for ice to be chopped well into smoothie. Pour into glass and tada!


1 blender full makes 2 smoothies at roughly 3 Weight Watchers Points Plus (depending on the yogurt and goya juice you use). It is super easy and tasty!
So I hope you all have a great day! I'm praying for more warm weather, so I can enjoy my smoothies outside. ;)
-M

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

A colorful deck seating area makeover: Bring on the Spring!

This past weekend, not only did we have the grand reveal of our Barshed (which was mostly my husband's brainchild), but I also unveiled my bright updated deck seating area.
To be honest, I think this is my absolute favorite home project I have done to date. Everyone I know who I showed the photos to (shared it with some friends on facebook first) raved about how bright and cheerful it was. So, without further ado, here is my:
 Updated Seating Area and Deck Space

Colorful DIY outdoor deck seating benches makeover with tire table

Super bright right?
Colorful DIY outdoor deck seating benches makeover with tire table

I was determined to make this space as bright and cheerful as humanly possible, since out backyard isn't the most glorious spot. I just can't wait till the spring and summertime is in full swing, so I can hang out here a lot more.

Colorful DIY outdoor deck seating benches makeover with tire table
The only thing I still haven't done is put up the sunshade we have planned over the benches corner- but I'm waiting for the winter to be officially over before we go through the effort of putting that up.
Anyways, here is a basic breakdown of the deck project:

The Benches:
Colorful DIY outdoor deck seating benches makeover with tire table

So, this is what the benches started out looking like:
original wood deck benches

Last spring we recovered the seats that came with the benches and made them look super cute like this: 
deck benches

Sadly however, with limited storage space at the time, the seats didn't last outside well. With one claw mark from a neighborhood cat walking across the seats, they were officially destroyed.  ;( I recovered them AGAIN with whatever tablecloths I could find, to look like this:
deck benches
I know, not nearly as pretty...
Then with some bad weather that summer/fall, the cushions started to get mold inside and the tops started to peal. This past winter, I had to throw away the seats, as at that point there was no saving them.
So I thought to myself "How can we still have these benches used, but without the seats?" We decided to pick up some plywood sheets, cut them to size and attached them overtop of the benches. I then spray painted them the brightest color I could find- Seaside teal blue. For the 3 benches, I used 3 1/2 cans of spray paint. 

Colorful DIY outdoor deck seating benches makeover

I also was on the hunt for cushions. After much research, I was dismayed by how freak'n expensive bench cushions are! One evening earlier this month I wandering around Wal-mart for some hope of finding something to make the cushions out of and I came across an end bin filled with these adorable body pillows. 

rainbow body pillows

*lightbulb moment* I just will use these as back cushions and it will bring in the bright colors! At first I snapped up 3 pillows (I thought "we have 3 benches, that should be enough right?) at $8.88 a piece.
After getting home and testing them out on the benches (in the dark, mind you) I noticed I really needed 1 more pillow. 
Colorful DIY outdoor deck seating benches makeover with tire table
Oh no! I need more pillows!
But being it was late and I was tired, I hoped for the best that I'd find another pillow the next day. Luckily, they had 1 left when I returned *phew!*

Colorful DIY outdoor deck seating benches makeover with tire table

I then was on the hunt for the throw pillows- I refused to pay more than $5 a piece, which even Wal-mart didn't have that cheap in bright colors. I already had the large teal pillow (far left), but I knew I wanted a few more. After a trip to my trusty Salvation Army, I found exactly what I needed- more bright throw pillows- ranging from $2-4 each. 

Colorful DIY outdoor deck seating benches makeover pillows
Savation Army finds!
Colorful DIY outdoor deck seating benches makeover with tire table
I just love all the color!
Colorful DIY outdoor deck seating benches makeover pillows

Colorful DIY outdoor deck seating benches makeover pillows

Colorful DIY outdoor deck seating benches makeover pillows
Us enjoying the pillows on the benches. ;)
 Woo! Our Salvation Army is always a godsend went it comes to things like that. lol

Tire Coffee Table:
Colorful DIY outdoor deck seating benches makeover with tire table

Earlier this year my car needed 2 tires replaced. Knowing that they charge you to dispose of them, I asked our mechanic to just stick them in my car, as "I'm going to use them as planters." I was determined to save money and use these tires for SOMETHING. After seeing numerous ways to use tires as furniture or planters on Pinterest, I got the idea to make it into a coffee table for the deck. We had this round piece of glass leftover from an old coffee table the hubs picked up (which I thought was hideous, but refused to get rid of the glass portion as "we can at least use that.") We first used the glass in our 80s party decor (putting it over our round dining room table with Christmas lights under it) however it was slightly too small to keep on our dining room table all the time. 
painting tire table
spray painting the tires (they rested on the spare bench we had- that was in the worst shape of the bunch).
So after spray-painting the tires with my favorite Key Lime green/yellow color spray paint (which I painted our kitchen breakfast nook chairs with), I stuck the glass on top of the tire stack and tada- instant table! Eventually I might put something inside the tires- Lights, sparkle, flowers or something. But for now, it works.

Colorful DIY outdoor deck seating benches makeover with tire table
I finished off the table with some Dollar store bright finds.

 Rest of the Deck:
deck spring table setting

mini table deck seating
Colorful DIY outdoor deck seating benches makeover with tire table

The rest of the deck includes our classic patio furniture with umbrella. I set the table with some cheerful place settings, to enjoy some soup and bread eventually. 
spring deck table setting
Colorful deck place setting

And for the little nook left on the deck, I setup 2 of my soda fountain chairs on either side of a spare tv table I have (I'm debating over painting it a bright color as well eventually). 
deck seating
Colorful DIY outdoor deck seating benches makeover with tire table

Overall, I just love how the bench corner turned out. Each day that I can't hang out here, I get antsy (since its been quite cold everday since I set it up on Saturday). Even though I have to bring all the pillows indoors during inclimant weather, I still think it will be much more lasting as a fun outdoor space, than previous attempts. lol

Colorful DIY outdoor deck seating benches makeover with tire table
View from the steps going up to the deck
beautiful blue sky
Did I mention how lovely a day it was on Saturday?

Here is some of the pricing for the project. All the candles, flowers, etc. I got from the Dollar Store (except the green lantern- which I got on sale for $5 from Target last end of summertime):


Even at night, the space is fun- I set up mason jars with LED tea lights all around the deck, besides the actual candles. I just can't wait to hangout here more!
Colorful DIY outdoor deck seating benches makeover with tire table at night
Colorful DIY outdoor deck seating benches makeover with tire table at night
Lighting the way...
It wasn't that difficult of a project, and if you have the right materials, I bet ya'll could do it too!
Colorful DIY outdoor deck seating benches makeover with tire table

Colorful DIY outdoor deck seating benches makeover with tire table

Colorful DIY outdoor deck seating benches makeover with tire table

Colorful DIY outdoor deck seating benches makeover with tire table

Have a great day everyone and with tomorrow being the first day of Spring I have my *fingers crossed* the weather gets warmer!
-M


Monday, March 17, 2014

The Barshed: Converting a shed into a bar

Happy St. Patrick's Day everyone! 
Due to today being the big drinking day, I thought I'd share our newest project we've completed: 

The Barshed
 

So my husband got this crazy idea one day after I shared an interesting article to him about this person who was trying to sell their house that had a full bar in their backyard shed. Since we like to entertain and have parties, this idea immediately started churning around in our heads. Only problem- when we started thinking about doing this, it was in the midst of a snowstorm with over a foot of snow outside. So we sat indoors that weekend with snow all around our home, planning out everything we had to do and get before we could actually make it out to the shed to make it into our dream bar. This was our original plan (a friend has a mini pool table that he said if we wanted we could have it- we still haven't figured out if we do in fact want it in the long run. lol):
the barshed: shed into bar- original plan

Our budget was small- I mean REALLY small, and we were determined to basically use what furniture we already had. Currently the one side of the seating is chairs (that will eventually go out to be used for seating around the firepit) but eventually we will move our red futon out there for a swanky seating area. As of right now, the futon has served us well as an addition sleeping area for when friends stay over, in addition to our spare bedroom's bed.
In the end, all we had to purchase for the Barshed was wood, spray paint, a really long outdoor extension cord, chalkboard paint, a box of stick-on tiles and screws. We had everything else. Eventually we will build an actual ladder for the lofted area because our step ladder is one rung too short, but that will have to wait till we can afford to do so.
the barshed: shed into bar- me
Hubs took this horrid pic of me, while looking down from the loft as we were finishing things up in the shed.
 Once the weather cleared and we got the first hint of warmth, we took EVERYTHING out of the shed- boy was THAT an undertaking.We separated everything into piles- going up to the attic (which was labeled if it hadn't been labeled already), trash, back in the shed or mini shed, or sell.

the barshed: shed into bar- removing everything from the shed
Our lawn looked like a yard sale (or an episode of Horders)
We then took a big trip to Home Depot and bought supplies. We put down a new wood floor in our mini shed (not shown)- which houses our bikes, lawn mower, our mini ghetto blow up pool and a few other odds and ends that needed easy access for lawn work. Eventually we will paint it, but for now, it will stay being its ugly rusty self.
We brought the piles of stuff that needed to go up in the attic and try to sell into the house and took trash items to our trash pile (luckily it was trash day the following day). I then spent the entire evening putting down the stick on tiles on the floor while rocking out to some Pandora radio (since hubs had a theater show he had to be in that night). Lucky for us, the previous owners had left us a whole box of the brown tiles (which they had put down about 30 tiles already in the corner for some reason). Sadly however, it was not enough to tile the entire shed with that type of tile, so we purchased the cheapest stick on tile they had that looked "wood like" because the kind that they left us we couldn't find anywhere. I call the lighter tile the "dance floor" portion of the shed. lol. Not the prettiest transition, but it will have to do, as we are cheapscapes.
the barshed: shed into bar- floor started
This was all that the previous owners had put down of the tiles.
the barshed: shed into bar- new tiles down
After I put down the very last tile! I was so proud that I did this all by myself!
 We then worked on the actual bar itself. The front of the bar was an old table that was broken, so we took the legs off and attached it to the shed. We cut some wood for the bar top (and some stabilization legs), and painted it with a glossy coat of my favorite dark brownish red color. Once dry, we attached the bar top to the top.
the barshed: shed into bar- we built a bar

We then moved in 2 metal racks (one was already in the shed, the other was previously in my craft room) and our old tv table (which is more storage behind the bar) and a spare side table that we no longer had room for in our living room (we have the matching table and coffee table still in our living room).

the barshed: shed into bar- moving in the furniture

the barshed: shed into bar- moving in the furniture
We put in chairs and some tv trays (which I covered with table cloths leftover from our wedding- I knew they'd come in handy!). We also painted 2 of our ice cream chairs silver and recovered with leftover fabric I had for additional seating. (the other 2 ice cream chairs were already white with white seats, so they are being used for our deck update- which I'll be sharing later).

the barshed: shed into bar- ice cream chairs
the various seats of the chairs when given to me...
the barshed: shed into bar- ice cream chairs silver paint
two of the chairs got turned silver for the barshed
the barshed: shed into bar- ice cream chairs recovered in red
and new seats!
the barshed: shed into bar- ice cream chair makeover
All shiny and new looking...
the barshed: shed into bar- ice cream chair makeover
The one seating area all done.
Once all the furniture was in place, we brought out the booze, the glasses, and a boat load of cushions/pillows/blankets to fill the lofted area.
the barshed: shed into bar- bar with stools and light

the barshed: shed into bar- moving in the furniture
moving in the furniture
the barshed: shed into bar- the bar
the bar
the barshed: shed into bar- booze
the booze

We also attached 2 pieces of wood that we painted with chalkboard paint to the two doors to give us fun drawing time.

the barshed: shed into bar- chalkboard on door

the barshed: shed into bar- chalkboard on door

We installed an overhead light and a lamp for extra lighting in the shed during evening hours, and ran an indoor/outdoor extension cord to our outdoor plug (wthe power to the shed can also be completely turned off from our kitchen, luckily). We don't plan on keeping things running year around out there, so that worked out well (the previous owners had done that too- they had drilled a hole in the floor and had an old extension cord already there- which we replaced with our new one).
the barshed: shed into bar- adding light
testing out the lights (before I even put the floor in, now that I think about it).
Lastly, we lit the way with some dollar store yard lights and LED tea lights in mason jars. Hubs also added a hook and bungie cord, to keep the door shut from the inside.

the barshed: shed into bar- end result
This photo was super dark- sorry for the grainy photo- only way to show the lights and the actual shed was to try and brighten it , though looks like snow because this photo stinks so much. lol
It isn't the absolute prettiest thing, but when your budget is very minimal- you have to pick and choose what is necessary. Eventually we will work on making it more snazzy, but for now it fits our needs.
the barshed: shed into bar with loft- sign
We actually polled our friends as to what we should name it, and Barshed stood out as the favorite. lol




The finished Barshed
the barshed: shed into bar with loft- end result
the barshed: shed into bar with loft- end result chairs
the barshed: shed into bar with loft- end result
the barshed: shed into bar with loft- end result
the barshed: shed into bar with loft- end result
the barshed: shed into bar with loft- end result chairs

Our friends came over Saturday to celebrate the grand opening of "The Barshed" and to celebrate St. Patrick's Day early, and we had a blast! As the night progressed, we turned on our little space heater to keep warm, but once more people came, it was nice and toasty! I'm looking forward to opening the doors wide during the summer, when we can enjoy our deck, yard games, and mini pool, as well as the Barshed.

the barshed: shed into bar with loft- end result

Have a great St. Patrick's Day and get your drink on! For those non-drinkers, enjoy a good hearty Irish meal (like we plan to).
-M