s October 2014 - The Kim Six Fix
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Designing From the Ground Up (Win A $1000 Kalaty Rug!)

This post brought to you by Kalaty Rug. The content and opinions expressed below are that of http://thekimsixfix.com
I’ve been on a little bit of a home design dry spell lately.  I’ve been so focused on the holidays,  kids' activities, and all my volunteer duties, that all the room makeovers I had planned have been put on the back burner.  It isn't that I don't want to be painting and building and installing new spaces, it is that I just haven't had the time.   So I admit I was pretty excited when Kalaty rugs asked me to design three "dream rooms" around three of their beautiful hand-tied rugs.

There is something super fun about designing a room from scratch with an unlimited budget and with a great inspiration point; a beautiful hand made area rug.   Our house has hardwood floors throughout and so rugs are an ESSENTIAL part of any good room design.   Rugs add warmth and beauty to a room, and because they cover such a large area, they can have a huge impact on the look or feel of the space.

From the Southwest collection, this Kalaty.com caught my eye.  It would be beautiful paired with dark furniture and silver accent pieces.
MV 706

How to Distress Glass Bottles

How to Distress Glass Bottles.. Make them look old and dirty, or tone it down and just make them look vintage. A great tutorial.
Last week on my Halloween house tour I featured a set of glass olive oil jars that I made into old and creepy potion bottles with the help of a little distressing and some vintage-inspired labels.

I have had quite a few people ask me how I did it and so I thought I’d share the step by step tutorial.

Depending on where you stop in the process you can go from “vintage” to “old” to “disgustingly old and dirty.”  It all depends on the look you are going for.

Here are what the jars looked like when I started.  Pretty much straight out of the recycling bin.
Glass bottles for distressing
 However, if you have no jars on hand you can actually order apothecary jars directly from amazon that would be perfect:

25 Burlap Banners: Inspiration for all Seasons

I have a love affair with burlap.  I use it for projects all the time.  MY one favorite thing to do with it is make garlands, usually intended for my fireplace.  The robustness of the burlap makes it a great material to use (as opposed to something like cotton fabric which is too flimsy.)  So for Flahsback Friday I thought I would round up all of my burlap banners along with some other inspirational styles. You will see with this round of up burlap banners, that the simple stenciled pennant style banner is only the tip of the iceberg.

For convenience I have broken down the 25 banners into different holidays and seasons.

Spinach, Parmesan and Sausage Cornbread Muffins

When I was a kid my mom would always make something she called “Sausage and Cornbread Pie” which was nothing more than cornbread with sausage mixed in, spread in a pie plate and baked.  We would eat it for breakfast (I loved mine with either honey or maple syrup) and even now, the flavor combination of sweet cornbread and salty-spicy breakfast sausage reminds me of my mom.

Recently I was asked to come up with a recipe on behalf of Hillshire brands and the Mom It Forward Blogger Network and of course my mind went straight to that Sausage-Cornbread Pie.  I did want to update it a little, and with the addition of spinach and parmesan it becomes a great brunch option. The perfect balance of starch, vegetable and protein.  A complete little meal in one bite.  I even stuck them in the kids’ lunches to eat cold, since the protein rich sausage and cheese keeps them full. 
Cornbread spinach sausage cheese
Spinach, Parmesan and Sausage Cornbread Muffins

K-Cup Recycled Garland (Ghosts By Day, Pumpkins By Night)

Recycled Kcup halloween lights
I recently received the new Keurig 2.0 machine and I have been so excited with it**.  My biggest gripe with the old Keurig system was that for heavy coffee drinkers (like me) the 1 cup at a time brewing just wasn’t enough.  This new machine not only brews individual cups, but it also brews full carafes which is perfect for when I want to make a large pot of coffee and then chill it to drink iced over the course of the day.
Keurig2 0
Of course, the Keurig 2.0 is still great for brewing individual cups of coffee and I do use it for hot coffee throughout the day.  But that leaves me with another gripe about the Keurig.  The amount of WASTE the K-cups generate.  Compared to a standard drip brewer with grounds and a single filter, the little K-cups create a ton of non-recylcleble trash.. and this hasn’t gone unnoticed by environmental activists.

I love my Keurig coffee, and I love my K-cups.. but I don’t love the guilt.  So I have been saving and washing my used polystyrene K-cups with hopes of creating a project out of them, and this fall I finally collected up enough to make a great little garland for Halloween.
Halloween pumpkin lights
The whole thing cost me a total of $1. Yes. I bought the string of lights at the dollar store, and the K-cups were free (obviously.) I used my silhouette to create the faces but you could easily just draw them on in sharpie, like I did on the milk carton Jack O’Lanterns.
Kcup recycling craftFirst I need to give you a quick lesson on how to clean out the K-cups.

Halloween House Tour

 Halloween House tour where she decorates with things that can be easily changed to use after Halloween is over 
I’ve never teamed up with any other bloggers to do a holiday house tour, so I’m probably a tad too excited about this!

Today I’m taking you though my house and showing you how I decked it out for Halloween this year.  At the end of the post are the other awesome ladies who on this house tour with me.. be sure to visit them as well, we all have very different styles and you are sure to find something you love! 

I am not actually a super hard-core Halloween decorator, but I like to use fall vignettes with a Halloween spin that can easily be converted to Thanksgiving vignettes come November.

Let’s start with my favorite place to decorate.. My family room mantel:
Halloween mantel

Dollar Store Placemat Pumpkin (Cut File Included!)

Dollar store placemat pumpkin

It is Silhouette Challenge Time!  The theme this month was “Fall” and since I’m in Halloween mode I decided on a Jack-o-lantern.

When I saw these round orange woven placemats at the Dollar store, I knew I could add some vinyl and make a cute wall hanging.  And that is exactly what I did.   The trick was choosing the face. Originally I was going to just find a Jack o’ lantern face and trace it, but then I decided I would try my hand at designing my own so I could share that file with you! 

That is right!  This month I am going out on a limb and attempting to share my first ever cut files!  I have never offered a free download before and I really want to start doing it more often.. so this is a trial run to see how well it works out.  If you have a cutting machine (Silhouette or Cricut) the file for the pumpkin’s face is available at the bottom of this post.  Not only that but you also will be signing up to receive additonal Silhouette inspiration, DIY, decorating and more!

So how did I design the cut file?  And how did i get the vinyl to stick to that highly textured surface?  Never fear! I’m going to walk you through it!

How to Keep Lettuce Fresh after Washing

How to keep lettuce fresh
I know I don’t usually post on Sundays, but when Fresh & Easy asked me to share my favorite cooking hack to be included on their “Hacks of Life" Pinterest board I thought you wouldn’t mind a quick ‘bonus’ post from me this week.

As you can guess, as a mom of three kids and a pretty much full time blogger and slave to social media, I am a busy lady.  So when I buy produce I like to get everything prepped in advance, so when the time comes all I have to do is pull something out of the fridge and serve it.  

An example of that is with lettuce.  I like to wash my lettuce ahead of time and then just pour it out into a salad when I need it.   I sometimes buy the ready-made salad mix that is supposed to be washed, but I really do prefer to wash it myself.  (Plus it is much more economical to buy a head of lettuce and put it into my own bags.)

So once I have prepped and washed my lettuce, how to make it last as long as the bagged stuff? 

Easy! The trick is to keep moisture away.  (Yes, that is counterintuitive, but it is true.)
Storing lettuce in plastic bag
Moisture on the outside of produce is what makes it start to break down and get slimy.  If you can keep the moisture away from the surface, you produce will last much longer. So here is my process for prepping lettuce in order to keep it fresh:

Flashback Friday: Halloween Past

25 Easy and Inexpensive DIY Projects for Halloween

It has been a crazy week around here.  Hubs had to work late every night this week and I haven’t had a lot of time to work on the plethora of projects that are piling up on me.  Mainly I have been trying to get the house “Halloween Ready” but the kids are rearranging the decorations as fast as I can get them up.


Anyhow..  For today's Flashback Friday I thought I would round up my favorite Halloween Projects from the past:
How about a little costume inspiration?
And of course, I must include all the Halloween/Fall Mantels:

I'm really looking forward to sharing the rest of this year's projects! If I could only get them done!

Turn Your Landscaping into Minions!

Ornamental grass minionsSometimes it is funny how fate works.  As of 8 PM last night I didn’t have a post scheduled.  I have been really busy getting my Halloween Home Tour ready and I felt bad about it but I was going to skip posting today.

But then a friend of mine posted the most awesome Halloween landscaping project on her Facebook page and I just had to share it!

You typically don’t see landscaping or outdoor projects from me because I don’t have a yard, so that makes this post even more awesome.  It is something I never even would be able to pull off, even if it had been my idea (which it totally wasn’t!).

Lara lives in the mid-Atlantic region of the country and tall ornamental grasses are really typical in landscaping (I know we have a bunch of it around our North Carolina house):
Tall decorative grass
In the fall you cut it back and it regrows in the spring.  It is really hearty stuff.   But before cutting it down, you can create hilarious halloween landscaping by turning a bunch of it into a Despicable Me2 Evil Minion:
How did they do it?

How To Hang Plates Without Exposed Hardware

How to hang plates without exposed hardwareToday I thought I would share a quick tutorial on how I hang plates on the wall, without the hanging hardware being exposed.  The most common way of hanging plates is with these commercial plate hangers.   They clamp onto you plate and then you attach them to the wall.

I personally HATE THEM.   They tend to slide around the edges of your plate, if you buy the cheap ones, they don’t come with rubber bumpers and they scratch the rim of the plates.  I can't stand that they SHOW when they are hanging on the wall.  UGH.Plate hanger
Plus they run about $4-8 each!  If you are doing a ‘gallery wall’ of plates, that can really add up.  I gave up on them long ago..

For Halloween this year, I wanted to make a version of a set of plates I saw at Hobby Lobby:
Hobby lobby halloween plates
The plates were $12 each! yikes. $50 for 4?!  I’ll pass.  Instead I bought 4 solid black plates at the dollar store and used my Silhouette to cut out some Halloween motifs out of non-permanant vinyl.

Here is my version:
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