DIY: Cleaning Stove Drip Pans

This past weekend I had an extreme cleaning session. One of the areas in our house that needed a little extra attention was our prehistoric stove and the drip pans. After removing the burners and inspecting the pans, two things occurred to me.

1.)     I’m not sure that the pans had ever been cleaned beyond the assembly line it came from.

2.)    Our stove has seen its fair share of messy cooks.

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Ewwww!

I was so happy to find this easy tip from The V Spot for cleaning drip pans.

To clean your drip pans, remove them from stove top. Place the pans in ziplock bags. Add a splash of ammonia. Seal and let sit for 24 hours.

THAT IS IT! I was an eager beaver and took out my pans a little sooner than recommended, but I still found great results. I will say that there still is residue on the pans, but they are LEAPS and BOUNDS cleaner. Plus they look so shiny! You actually can tell they are silver….

Check out the before and after:

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Now my stove is looking soooo much better. Check that off the Spring Cleaning checklist! I hope this works for you!

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Ready to Run

As I have mentioned a few times, my boyfriend Danny and I are participating in the upcoming Disney race, the Tower of Terror 10-Miler. How upcoming, you may ask?  I’ll be there in 10 DAYS!

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We have been training for this race since April and just completed our last long run yesterday. The weekend before last, we ran nine miles at the gym. It took me about 77 minutes (8:35 pace) while Danny finished a few minutes before me. During this run, the sickest blister formed on my left big toe while my right pinky toenail cut into my other toe. It was a painful run BUT we were both so proud to have completed it.

When we went to the gym yesterday, we both fully intended to run 9 miles, as we did the week before. On Saturday, I had my gym ritual of back to back gym classes of Body Pump followed by Zumba. During Zumba, while Shakira was blaring over the speaker, our instructor had us do a straight minute of side high kicks. As a former Pom Pon girl extraordinaire, I took this opportunity to show that this 26 year old still can kick as high as those highschoolers. Turns out, I can kick that high, but my muscles require a little warning. My inner thigh muscles went into instant shock and my left muscle became strained. Ouch!

So yesterday, about half way through my run, my body reminded me of those kicks from the previous day. I turned to Danny on the treadmill next to me, mouthed that I felt like I was dying while I slid my finger over my throat. We both finished running 65 minutes (our treadmills have a 60 minute limit with a 5 minute “cool down” that we bump back up to a running pace) and decided that we were done for the day. All training schedules say that you should avoid long runs every weekend and instead do every other weekend, so we were okay with cutting our run a mile and a half short. When I got home, I kicked off my awesome kick to find ANOTHER blister. This bad boy was bigger than the week before and could not be ignored.

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This weekend, I also made our logos that we will wear for our Incredibles costumes. I found the image online that I used as my template and made it the size that I wanted. By using fabric and craft fuse, I created the logos that will be tacked on to our running shirts. I’m very happy with the way they turned out.  In the picture below, you can see some of the chalk that I used to trace the pattern with. It will be cleaned up, I promise!

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Happy Birthday Little Sister!

Yesterday was my little sister Anastasia’s 22nd birthday. Now, I use the term “little” loosely. It has been years since I was tall enough to look down on her. The height gene seemed to be away on a lunch break around the time I was born, yet conveniently seemed to be back for Anastasia. Around the time she was in middle school, she started to sprout up towards me as I nervously attempted to keep my distance so no one could have us stand back to back. Although I’ve learned to accept the fact that she will always be taller than me, I will always think of her as the wide-eyed, eye-patch wearing, evil little sister who stole all my attention  adorable little sister I grew up with.

 

As a direct result of me being five states away, many of our birthday celebrations are hold over Skype. Birthday presents require me to be thinking ahead and must be in Michigan before their big day. When I was in Michigan for vacation a few weeks ago, I had to complete part of her birthday present. I was inspired by Pinterest with a few Gameday dresses I came across. Anastasia recently had surgery on her ACL and had a hard time comfortably wearing jeans, so I figured now would be the perfect time for a stylish Michigan State dress for her to wear to tailgates.

For my dress, I took a MSU tank top (which was surprisingly hard to find!) and paired it with some fun fabric. With the much needed help of my craftastic mom, I was able to create an easy skirt for the dress portion. It would have been A LOT easier with my own sewing machine, but we were attempting to use my grandma’s crazy, old machine. I was pretty happy with the result and might be making one for myself. After all, I can wear my summer dresses year round! Point talley: Florida-1, Michigan-2382736

Anastasia, I hope you had a great birthday! Welcome to the age of no more milestone birthdays til 30, it sucks!

I’ve Got 99 Problems but That Smell Ain’t One

Yesterday, I briefly touched on my new apartment and some of the hurtles we are facing. Last night, as I was trying to paint, make cookies, do dishes, and unpack all at once, I had a minor breakdown. It seemed like every time I was fixing one problem, another would come up. There is just so much to do in a new place and I have an extremely hard time living in chaos.

On Saturday night while unpacking, I discovered the most disgusting musty smell I have ever encountered.  My gag reflex kicked in and I was soon removed from cupboard cleaning duty (the same thing thankfully happened to me the first time I tried to clean a toilet and kept me from ever trying again!). I sprinkled baking soda in the cupboard and called it a night. The next day, I had Danny scrub the cupboard with soapy water. Once the smell had faded, I came through with bleach to get rid of whatever may have called the smell. And I didn’t stop there! Yesterday, I also added a dish with white vinegar and a opened box of baking soda. This morning when I checked, the smell had disappeared! I finally will be able to make use of that cupboard.

Almost from the second we set our boxes down, the sugar ants started to come out from the cracks and crevices. We had one Raid trap that we laid out, but that did not seem to stop the armies from assembling. After a few minutes on Pinterest, I found this recipe for an ant killer from Passionate Homemaking.  It is a mix that the ants are supposed to carry back to their colonies and kill the colony. With one quick trip to Publix, I was armed and ready to go. I also read that ants hate to cross chalk so I had blast boxing in ants on my counter.  

I whipped up the concoction below and I left it out overnight. This morning, I was very surprised to see how many ants were flocking towards the mix for what (hopefully) would be their last supper. I was tempted to crush them all with a rolling pin but resisted with the hope that my sweet revenge would come soon enough. I’m planning on making another batch tonight and placing multiple containers around the house to speed up the process. I’m really hoping this will squish my ant problem.

Eat up, suckers.

The good/bad thing about painting is that you are given an intimate very of every wall and windowsill. Yesterday I found a huge gaping hole that needs to me patched up and more evidence of termites. Our landlord in currently on vacation but you bet your bottom dollar I already have an email drafted to her with what we need fixed. In the meantime, we will just continue to move forward!

More issues to tackle, huge rotting hole, termites, and a spraying sink. Thank goodness we don’t own this place!

 

Ant Killer from Passionate Homemaking

1 tsp. borax (available in the laundry section)

2 cups hot water

6 Tbsp sugar

folded paper towel

small shallow cup (like a creme burlee dish)

Disolve borax in hot water. Stir in sugar. Dip the folded paper towel, using tongs, in the solution till completely saturated with solution. Cram the paper towel in the dish. Place in location where you have seen the ants. This solution will be eaten by the ants and taken back to the nest to share with the other ants and thus eradicate the entire nest. Keep away from children by placing on a countertop or cupboard, if possible.

Tried it Tuesday! Mini Matryoshkas

Does anyone else strive to find the perfect gift? I know I do, my mother passed this habit on to me. She usually stays away from giving gift cards or money and instead looks for a meaningful/thoughtful gift. I always look forward to her gifts and they seem to be the most memorable. Since I have experienced the effects of this first hand, I now dedicate as much time as I need to find the “perfect” gift. I already been racking my brain for Christmas ideas…. I might have a problem.

My best friend Becca has a birthday coming up. Since she is one amazing friend and I wanted to find something that was on her coolness level. Becca absolutely loves Matryoshka dolls, or (to save you a Google trip) Nestling dolls. Who could blame her, they are absolutely adorable!  As an added bonus, they are very trendy right now, coming in everything from measuring cups and spoons, serving platters, stationary, you name it. Unfortunately, Becca loves these dolls so much that she already has all those items.

Last month, I was be-bopping around Target when I stumbled upon a Matryoshka Doll Kitchen Timer. I lived with Becca before, so I was able to mentally check her kitchen inventory to see if she already had this. Finally! Something she didn’t have! In to the cart it went. Then came the hard part… I needed to think of something else to send to Becca along with the timer.

In addition to giving thoughtful gifts, I also love hand-making part of the gift, thank goodness for Pinterest! A few months back, I pinned these adorable Matryoshka dolls from Sew to Speak. I pinned them specifically to make for Becca, I just didn’t know when I would have the chance or occasion to make them.  Well my friends, is there any better time than a birthday?!

I followed the tutorial and template for the dolls and was able to make five over the course of the weekend. I found that for me, it was easier to do each step for every doll before moving on to the next. As a result, I now have five adorable squishy dolls that I am happy to give to my friend.  

If you do try to make these, I have a few tips that might make this a little easier for you:

  • When using an adhesive to attach the face and body, I would NOT recommend Liquid Stitch. You will need to stitch through the adhesive after it dries and this brand makes the fabric very hard.  
  • Do not use regular fabric shears for the detail work. They will not give you the precision needed.
  • Stick the petals under the flowers more than you think you should. Once the dolls are stuffed, their stomachs will curve and pull the flower away from the petal slightly.

Contact me with any questions!

Projects and Pinkies

I always have such high hopes for the weekend. The moment I walk out the door at 5:00 p.m. on Friday afternoon, I am picturing how I will be spending the next 56 hours. The possibilities seem endless! Then, within a blink of an eye it is Monday morning and I am dragging my tired butt out of bed. This morning at the first buzz of the alarm, I literally asked Danny if it was Monday as it didn’t seem possible that the weekend was gone.

This past weekend I had planned to complete four different Pinterest projects I had been eyeing for weeks now. They all seemed so simple, it was more of a matter of gathering the supplies and sitting down to complete them. After a quick stop to JoAnn’s Friday night, my weekend was off to a wonderful start. Friday night was date night so I knew that I wouldn’t be able to start my projects until Saturday.

Saturday morning came and took me to the gym. When I came home, Danny mentioned laying out at the pool, which is something that I enjoy but he is never able to do as his skin could be considered transparent. I had to take him up on this offer! After the pool, by the time I was showered and ready to go, it was about 3:00 in the afternoon. I still needed to head to Home Depot for some ball chain for this project, so I hustled out the door.

I imagined my trip to Home Depot taking 5 minutes at the most, which never is the case. After wandering around the aisles for about 15 minutes, I finally caved in to ask an associate if they sold ball chain. To my surprise, they did not, but he recommended Michael’s. As I shop at Michael’s on a very frequent basis, I knew they would not have what I was looking for, but had to stop there for something else on my list anyhow.

So here I am at Michael’s, not finding what I need, but am finding about 23948790345 other projects I want to start. SHOW SOME SELF CONTROL GIRL! I forced myself to put down everything except the adhesive I came in there for and hurried home. It was then time for me to make dinner and clean up my mess I made (even before starting a project!) and knew that a project was needed to be cut from my list. Buh-bye ball-chain necklace! See you once I have the supplies.

Finally, around 8:00 p.m. I was able to start my first project, these adorable hairbows. I decided to make them in Michigan State colors as they will come in handy for football season. I was using Liquid Thread to hold the center ribbon, so as they were drying, I began my next “simple” project.

The tutorial for these flip-flops looked so simple! I had an extra pair of Old Navy flip-flops that I had received for free, things were falling into place! Everything except when I first tried to knot the fabric, the fabric was fraying so bad. Instead of the “Those shoes are so cute!” looks, I would have received looks of horror and “Why is she wearing those?!”. I hulled out my trusty sewing machine and decided to turn the strips of fabric into tubes. Once I finally had my fabric tubes completed, the only thing left was to tie a few knots and glue those babies up and I would be good to go!

Only… that didn’t happen. As I was finishing up my second flip-flop, I snipped the tip of my left pinky with my fabric shears. It wasn’t a huge cut or a deep cut, but it did make a whole lot of blood. I rushed over to the kitchen and was able to stop it from bleeding. After it was all clean and covered with a Miss Piggy band-aide, I started to feel queasy. All of the sudden I was shaking uncontrollably, sweating profusely, and seeing a whole bunch of black spots. My knight in shining amour, Danny, was able to keep me calm and focused on anything other than how I was feeling. I was able to keep my consciousness and did eventually feel better, but I knew my crafting was done for the night.

Sunday I was able to do the finishing touches on the two projects I started and started my third, and all the sudden it was time for bed! Between cleaning, groceries, and laundry, there isn’t time for much else. What’s a girl to do? Completing two out of four crafts will have to do. After all, there is always next weekend!

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Playing Catch Up

First off, my apologies to my blog for ignoring it for close to a week. I do feel like a negligent mother to a newborn and I hope to not let this happen again.  This past weekend was one for the record books; I traveled back to Michigan for my best friend Cat’s wedding. Both the wedding and bride were gorgeous! As I was tearing up at the rehearsal the night before the wedding, it was very clear that I was not be able to make it through the wedding without crying. The moment Cat put on her wedding dress, I cried. She was so beautiful, so bridal! It all became real at that moment. I was able to compose myself until just before I was walking down the aisle when I was able to witness the first moment that Cat and her Dad saw each other. I was done for.  It made me feel better that my friend Becca, who is able to keep her emotions in a lock box, was also tearing up.

When I was finally able to turn off the waterworks, I had a blast. I was very lucky to have my boyfriend join me for this wedding, along with each and every one of my Delta Gamma friends who are scattered across the country.  It was so fun to see all my friends and cut a rug on the dance floor. All in all, it was the best wedding I have been to and cannot wait for more of my friends to get married.

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Who wouldn’t cry at this?!!?

As part of my official “Bridesmaid” title, I was in charge of making the gift bow and ribbon bouquet. With all my traveling back and forth from Michigan, the only chance I had to make this bouquet was Friday… mostly in the car… right before the rehearsal. YIKES! Talk about cutting it close. Now, I have seen these in action before, and had a general idea as to how I would make it, but could not find an actual “how-to”. Once I began putting it together, I was very happy with how it turned out (and how quick it actually was to make!). In the case you are struggling with making a ribbon bouquet as well, I will share my findings here!

When I first thought about how I would make this, my strategy involved a hot glue gun and an intrinsic design.  This all changed when my mom informed me these bouquets originally were used not only at the rehearsal, but also to give ribbons to the newlyweds to use for future presents. Scrap that idea.

Here is what I used for the ribbon bouquet:

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Millions of ribbons from Bridal shower gifts

4 feet of tulle

1 Paper plate

1 Toilet paper tube

2 Pearl head pins

  1. Set aside two or three long, thick ribbons to wrap the handle with.
  2. Cut plate down the middle, stopping at the center. Cut a circle out about two inches in diameter.Image
  3. Overlap plate edges to form a slight cone shape, staple. This will form the base of the plate. The “cone” tip will point down.Image
  4. Pull one edge of the tulle through the hole on the inside on the plate. While holding that end, loop the other end of the tulle from the outside of the plate back up through hole. Repeat the looping around the plate until you have about five inches hanging when holding the tulle at the bottom of the plate (I was able to create four loops and spread out the tulle to provide the coverage I was looking for). Keep holding the ends! Image
  5. Taking one ribbon, tie a bow in the middle with the two ends hanging. Pull the ends through the hole. If you have a long ribbon, tie ribbons in concession as seen below. Leave about eight inches of ribbon to form a handle.Image
  6. Repeat with all ribbons, still holding the ends at the base of the plate.
  7. If you have curling ribbon clusters, pull the ribbon through the base while allowing the curls to spill over the base.
  8. If you have bows, tape a safety pin on the back of the bow. Pin the bow onto a ribbon.
  9. To form the handle, pull all ribbon ends through the toilet paper tube, pushing the tube as close to the base of the plate as possible. You should have some ends dangling down the tube.
  10. Wrap the ends of ribbons around the toilet paper tube.
  11. Taking one of the long ribbons you set aside, as tightly as possible circle the tube with the ribbon. Keep the ribbon flat. Repeat with other ribbons if desired.
  12. To finish the bouquet, take the end of the ribbon and fold under about two inches. Pin the top and bottom of the ribbon as seen below.Image
  13. Give to the happy bride to be!

ImageCongratulations again to Cat and Karl!