Blog Feature Friday: Meridian Road

Hey all! Welcome to the first ever Blog Feature Friday. I'm excited to introduce you to Suzanne from Meridian Road, who was my first "blog friend." She is a former art major who loves to repurpose things she has now. You can head on over to her blog to learn more about who she is and what she loves. 

Suzanne is sharing one of her blog posts with us today about how she repurposed some Spice Jars for a knock-off Anthropologie look.

Spice jars

A few months ago, Anthropologie had these on clearance. 
Cute, huh? I thought so. I ordered some, but I came to the party a little late. All they had left was a 5, an 8 and a 9. But I thought "What the heck, that's three. I can decorate with three." Except that when they actually arrived, all I had was an 8 and a 9. Two? Really? What do you do with two? Plus, they weren't as white as I was expecting them to be. More like a cream color. And the numbers weren't black, but dark blue. I was bummed. I hate it when I don't get what I want. And an odd number of spice jars is a small thing to want, right? Then I remembered I had some of these.
Apparently, they're collectible. Whatever. I've had them for awhile, and I was tired of them. They may be ideal for storage at Home (not mine)  or on Safari (who has the time to go?) I'd rather just re-do them.  Enter.....

              (drum roll please)
                 The Cricut. 
My very versatile new toy. I found a font I liked and cut out some numbers using sticky shelf paper. Then, I removed the lids from my jars, and spray painted one side black. When the black paint was dry, I applied the shelf paper, being careful to center the numbers. Then I gave the whole thing a good coat of low gloss white spray paint. Once that was dry, I peeled off the shelf paper. There were some spots that hadn't stuck too well, so the white paint bled a little. I just used a sharpie to, well, sharpen the edges of the numbers. Here they are. 

             And you know what? 
I like them better than the Anthropologie jars I was covetingmildly interested in. 

   I think they're a pretty good fake. 

           Thanks for reading!

Don't forget to drop by Meridian Road and see what other projects she's been working on!
**Please let me know if you would like to be featured! 
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Banana Bread Recipe

I wish banana bread was a food group. Well, maybe bread in general. I love bread. All bread. We had so many bananas that were just begging to be made into bread that I couldn't resist. I wish I could share the wonderful smell of my house for you all, but I will share the recipe and you can make your own home smell this amazing!

Banana Bread
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup shortening
1/4 cup milk
1 egg
1 tsp. baking soda
2 cups flour
1 cup smashed bananas 

Mix all ingredients together and bake at 350* for about 1 hour until you can insert a knife in the center and it comes out clean.
(I quadrupled the recipe and got 4 regular-sized loaves of bread)

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Post-it Note Clipboard

I am involved in a group called Mothers or Preschoolers (or MOPs) at my church. We meet twice a month and get to relax, take a break from our kids, and talk to other moms about life. Once a month we do a craft together, and this year, I'm in charge of the crafts. 

Our theme for MOPs this year is "Plunge- love as if your life depended on it" which is taken from 1 Peter 4:8. I've tried to incorporate crafts this year into how we can love others. Every craft we are doing is going to be a gift to someone. The first craft we did is the Post-it Note Clipboard and it is a gift for our kids' teachers. 

I found this idea on Pinterest and LOVED it! 

Here is my little tutorial for you! It's super easy, but I took pictures of each step so you can see. 

Step 1: Gather your supplies. 
-cardboard coaster
-scrapbook paper
-post-it note pad
-binder clip
-embellishment (flower, button, ribbon, etc.)
-mod podge and brush
-sanding block

Step 2: Brush mod podge onto your coaster.

Step 3: Place your scrapbook paper on top of mod podged coaster.

Step 4: Cut off excess paper.

 Step 5: Use sanding block to rough up edges.

 Step 6: Mod podge flower onto clip. 

Step 7: Clip post-it pad onto coaster.

Visit my linky page to see where I'm linking up to!

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Ham and Cheese Crescent Rolls

I don't know about you all, but sometimes I forget about planning for dinner until about 4:00 and have to find things in my cupboards and fridge that will make something suitable for dinner. Last week I had such a night. I told you in my Photoshop Tutorial I would post the recipe for these. They turned out pretty darn good, if I do say so myself! 

Ham and Cheese Crescent Rolls
1 can of refrigerated crescent rolls
Deli ham
Shredded Cheese

Take apart the crescent rolls and lay them out flat.

Place ham on wider end of crescent rolls.

Sprinkle cheese on top of ham.

Roll up crescent rolls and bake as directed.

The end. Yum.

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Blog Feature Friday

I am going to start featuring blogs on Fridays, hopefully starting next week. If you would like to be featured, please let me know! I am featuring pretty much any type of blog and post. If you have a post you've already done that you would like me to feature, that's great! If you would like to write a new blog post for Feature Friday, that's great too! Please just let me know and I will get you on the schedule. Have a wonderful weekend! 
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How to Photoshop Food

I want to explain some very, VERY basic Photoshop skills today. (I am not an expert by any means!) I use 3 steps pretty much every time I photoshop a picture, especially with my food pictures. Here is a before and after of my Ham and Cheese Crescent Rolls (recipe will be posted soon!).
See how much crisper the colors are? The whites are whiter and the colors are more vibrant. It makes it look more professional, in my opinion.

There are only 6 steps to this tutorial. Like I said, VERY basic!

Step 1: Click on Image >Adjustments >Levels

 Step 2: Adjust the sliders on the bar until your image looks the way you want it. Don't forget to "check" preview, so you can see what you're doing.

Step 3: Click on Image >Adjustments >Brightness/Contrast

Step 4: Adjust the sliders to your liking.

Step 5: Click on Image >Adjustments >Color Balance

Step 6: Adjust the sliders. It defaults to adjust the midtone colors, but you can adjust the shadows and highlights as well.

And there you go, a brighter, more professional-looking picture!


Linking up to:

Fridays Unfolded
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Homemade Calzones

I have another recipe for you today. It's for homemade calzones and it's super easy and oh, so yummy!

Homemade Calzones
Loaf of frozen bread (I like Rhodes the best)
Whatever you want as a filling, like mozzarella cheese, pepperonis, sausage, etc.
Garlic salt/powder

Let the bread raise as per the instructions on a sprayed cookie sheet (I usually do quick method, which takes about 2 hours). When it is raised, punch it down a little bit and on one half of the dough, place your toppings. Fold the dough over so that the toppings are enclosed and pinch the edges together. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese on top and bake in the oven at 350* for 20 minutes.

Melt a couple tablespoons of butter and add some garlic salt and garlic powder to the butter. Use a pastry brush and brush on the butter mixture to the top of the calzone. Dig in!

(Sorry about the pictures, the lighting was awful!)

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Top 10 American House Styles (#3)

I have had so much fun writing about some of the most popular house styles in America (check out the first 6 here and here)! Today, I'm giving you the last 4 in the top 10. Spanish Eclectic, Tudor Revival, Colonial Revival, and Contemporary.

Spanish Eclectic
Spanish Eclectic style blends design elements from Spain and Italy. You can tell this type of house by its low-pitched red roof, stucco siding, and arches. 
Spanish Eclectic
Spanish Eclectic
Tudor Revival
Tudor style houses are reminiscent of the Tudor Period in England. They often have visible timber framing, parapets (a low, protective wall along the edge of a roof, bridge, or balcony), and gables. They most often also use brick as part of the exterior.  
Tudor Revival 
Tudor Revival
Colonial Revival
Colonial Revival homes have symmetrical brick or wood exteriors and gabled roofs. Most homes in this style use pillars or columns to frame the porch or entry. This style "was all about patriotism and a desire to retreat from earlier Victorian excesses and build something more authentically American." (MSN)
Colonial Revival
Colonial Revival

Contemporary homes are a sort of hybrid. They take design elements from an array of different periods and blend them together to make an ideal home. These homes also incorporate today's lifestyles into their floor plans. For example, many of them have a great room in which families can easily entertain and use in a multitude of ways.

I hope you've enjoyed defining the most popular American house styles! If you have any questions or comments, I would love to read them! 
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