Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Worked for Me! Protecting backsplash with another backsplash

Being addicted to Pinterest, I find so many tips & tricks to make life easier. Everytime I put a good tip to use I thank those that have come up with it and shared. So I thought I would share some of those tips & tricks that worked for our family, around the house and in our daily lives so others can benefit from them too. It could be something that I came up with or something I was inspired from or an idea from friends/family/Internet that I tried and benefited from. I will post them in a weekly series 'Worked for Me!'.  I will try as much as I can to maintain the weekly schedule.

Today's tip - Put a backsplash over your backsplash!

We were fortunate to have a house with pretty kitchen complete with backsplash, though not my style. It was an upgrade from builders when previous owners bought it, they chose light colored stone. I matched well with cabinets and flooring and looked nice.

But we knew we can't keep it that nice. We cook quite a bit so we knew there will be a lot of splatters that will stain the grout and make a greasy mess. So my husband came up with a brilliant idea of putting a stainless steel sheet over it right behind the cooktop. Easy to clean, reflects light and looks modern. I was sold. He had a piece cut to size and mounted with Command strips. It has been 5 years and it is still holding up strong. Above all, it's a breeze to keep it clean. 

It doesn't show as well in the pictures. It is really hard to take pictures of this space because of bright daylight all day long. Can't complain though. I love lot of light in the house.

You could keep it for day to day and take it off when you are having company/parties. We chose to keep it on because it looks good.

I am guessing a peel & stick stainless steel film like this one will work as well. Make sure it is wipeable and heat resistant.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Valentine's Day School Gifts & Free Printable

I literally finished these gifts at 10.51 PM last night. I am a planner to certain extent, still I am always rushing things at the last minute. I need to work on it. But these came out really good, thanks to the folks that give free printables of their work.

Weeks ago I browsed Pinterest for non candy school gift ideas and landed here.

After reading through I started to make my own printable on Picmonkey. I followed the pattern from the inspiration but changed up font and added hearts instead of bubbles.

The original printable is lovely as is, but if you need a variation and not in mood to create your own, here is my printable for free download.

Now for the twist, having this printable ready weeks ahead, I thought I had it all under control and didn't finish the project until last night. When I got my bubble tubes from Micheal's on my way back home yesterday (by the way, another perk of procrastination, I couldn't get the colorful tubes as planned, all I could find were white ones in wedding isle) and set to print at 9 PM last night, I was out of white card stock. I only had 4 pieces of card stock and I need to print 30 of these for everyone in the kiddo's class. Since I made the printable at 4X6 size, no way I could use it to make enough. Back to pinterest again, this time to one of the ideas I already pinned. Kaley's Valentines Bubbles were so adorable, simple yet sophisticated.

My 4 pieces of white card stock were just barely enough to make 30 gifts when I used Kaley's printable. Again, thanks to the folks that give free printables of their work. Big help to people like me. That's the very reason I share mine.

Here are the finished ones. I used washi tape to save me a step of punching holes for twine.

See those white lines on the colorful border? That's my printer. Need to change it big time. Now I am glad I didn't use my original printable, because there would have been lines all over it. This size, I could live with it.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Thursday, February 5, 2015


It was just a quick update to my hallway gallery. I talked about adding some vinyl text to this wall in this post. This is how it looked.

I found some wooden signs on one of my trips to Micheals and 'Smile' caught my eye. The size was perfect and the script was pretty. It was raw wood, so I painted it bright pink and attached to the wall with sticky foam dots. It truly completes the little gallery.

It looks so pretty I really smile everytime I see it. Later I realized the pink matches with the paintings in the frame next to it. Talk about Happy coincidence!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Valentines Day Craft - Wooden Dice of hearts

Since its already February, here is a little craft I made in the theme of hearts.

I bought a pack of wooden craft cubes from Michaels and painted white with craft paint. Then I drew hearts using a red fine tip sharpie. You could play with colors and make it look totally different.

It can be used for board games but they are so cost effective, you could use them for school gifts or party favors. 

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Six Dollar Christmas Tree Decoration

Its almost Christmas! Wish you all a very merry Christmas.

I don't blog consistently but one thing I surely post about every year is the Christmas Tree. I love the holiday season. Its happiness and joy everywhere during this season. So I try to bring that mood into our house by putting up the decorations. Our decorations were minimal this year though. Lights outside, Wreath on the door, Tree and Stockings on the mantel.

As far as the tree decoration goes, I have collected many ornaments for past few years, some basic and some special to us. We put them all every year and add a couple more each year. Even though they look so beautiful on the tree, packing them after the season is a pain. I wanted to save us that pain this year (for a  reason) so looked at other low-cost-high-impact options for Christmas tree decoration.
Though my daughter put up some basic ornaments when we put the tree up few weeks ago, I left the remaining ones unpacked. Since we use an old artificial tree that doesn't look as full without lot of ornaments, I decided to go with Christmas mesh. I bought 2 rolls (one in red and one in Red & white) from Micheals. They were already 60% off so I got them for $6. Wrapped them around the tree and gathered at about a foot or 2 and bent a branch around it to tie. Alternative to tie a wire or pipe cleaners. I rearranged the ornaments to cover some of those ties. Added bows made of ribbons, some poinsettia ornaments we had and the tree looks full & beautiful. I had two tree skirts that matched my decor theme so I put them in layers underneath the tree.

Even though its nice to have the ornaments that have sentiment on the tree every year, a little variation also helps bring the same cheer. I wanted to share this for folks that are having a Christmas tree for the first time and want to decorate it without spending a whole lot of $$$.

Have a happy holiday season!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Kids Morning & Evening Routine - Free Printable

Christmas is in 2 days and I am posting about kids daily routine, and I didn't show pictures of our tree yet! Yeah I am waaaaay off blog world schedule, but that's our life now.

Anyway, since my kid is going to be 4 in few months, I have been trying to get her to do some things on her own. With us working full time, mornings are very busy around here, so to make them a little more comfortable I prepared a tiny list of her morning routine with pictures. Printed it and stuck it on the wall next to the hallway bath. It got her excited. She liked to finish each task and telling me that she is done. I realized checking off items from a list motivates humans of any size. So I created one for evenings. To be honest, the evenings didn't get as easy as the mornings, but it does help save some valuable time that used get lost somewhere in the middle of 'Bath time now come on... 7th time' & 'Dinner is ready, let's eat' & 'Finish your food fast, you have been sitting there for 40 minutes' and so on. We now have some quality time at the end of the day for some cuddling and rolling off the night slowly.

For families that have similar routines, I am providing our printables. Go ahead, print them and try it out. Even if you gain 10 minutes in a day, it is worth. Don't you agree?

Monday, November 10, 2014

Kids Meal 9

School Lunch & Snack: Strawberries cut into flowers (technique here, 3rd flower from the video. I also cut them in hearts like this), Steamed Rice & lentil Cakes (Dhokla) cut into bunnies & flowers (Used cumin and mustard seed to decorate. Recipe here), Homemade Mango PannaCotta made with Greek yogurt instead of heavy cream, String Cheese, Boiled Egg (cut a heart on the white and used a piece of beetroot to color).

Monday, November 3, 2014

Kids Meal 8

School Lunch & Snack: Whole Wheat Tortilla/ Indian Chapathi & Chocolate-nut butter rollups (technique here, you can cut them into pinwheels. I make homemade Choc-nut butter with Almond butter, cocoa powder and powdered sugar. This way I can control the sugar and eliminate unhealthy fats), Sliced apple, boiled egg, chick peas (didn't eat them), baby food pouch (these are sweet and tasty and mostly healthy. If your kid likes them, its better than a sugary treat)

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Glow in the Dark gifts - Treat for Halloween

It's almost Halloween! I barely got the school gifts ready for Trick or Treat tomorrow.But I am really happy about how they turned out, and there is no candy involved.

Glow in the dark bracelets! They are everywhere, cheap, can be very useful for safety on Halloween night when the little ones are trick or treating on the streets AND its not candy. I hate the amount of candy kids get on this day and lets not even talk about those eyeballs and stuff. So this was a nice variation.

I used these adorable printable tags for this gift. After printing and cutting them by hand (35 of them! Seriously, I should have just bought a circle punch), I started assembling.

Here is what I used:

CardStock - Michaels
Glow in the Dark 12 pack bracelets - Michaels
2 different Washi tapes in black (dots & chevron) - Michaels
Free printable - LadybugTeacherFiles
clear tape to stick the tag to glow sticks

Be Safe & Have Fun Trick or Treating with your little ones. Happy Halloween!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Kids Meal 7

School Lunch & Snack: Savory Pancake poppers (I make these with a batter made of indian lentils and rice and add in finely chopped veggies. Here is a sample recipe and the batter made for this could be used to make savory crepe, also known as Dosa. This or this pan should work for these), Pita Chips, Almond cookies and Rice Krispies cut in hear shape using cookie cutter, Pear slices.

Here is how I used to pack my child's lunch last year when she just started preschool. It was a reusable gift bag I found at Walmart.

She is older now so I pack a little extra lunch and more snacks. So this bag didn't work anymore. I switched to a lunch bag and a snack bag now and pack 2 thermos water bottles. I also include a milk box or juice in smaller thermos for lunch.

I will post pictures of her current lunch & snack bags soon.