s October 2015 - The Kim Six Fix
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Pumpkin Monkey Bread Recipe

Hey y'all!  Mandee from The Kitchen Wife here! And I don't know what the weather is like in your neck of the woods, but around here Fall is in full bloom.  The wind is blowing, the air is crisp, and the trees are stunning. With autumn among us, that can only mean one thing...Pumpkin season has arrived!  Now I know you've been bombarded with coffee drinks, donuts, and muffins galore, but I promise you that my Pumpkin Monkey Bread takes the heap! 

Finished monkey bread, in a yellow baking dish, with the title above.

The best part is they are pretty much effortless to make!  I can't wait to share this recipe with you so...

Let's get started!

Help a Reader Out: Fireplace Problem

Today’s post was SO MUCH FUN for me.  Lisa emailed me with some photos of her stone fireplace that she wanted a little advice on and it sent me down a rabbit hole of fireplace inspiration. Eventually I was just bursting with the possibilities. Of course, once I realized just how totally gorgeous we could make her fireplace look, the whole thing snowballed into how I would redesign the entire space if the sky was the limit. (Go big or go home.. right?)   

So I decided instead of just emailing her back, I’d spend a day or two writing up a HeRO post with all my ideas and give you guys the chance to make any suggestions as well.. 
(I think it is time to get a new graphic since that one is awful and still has my old branding on it!) 
 From Lisa:  "We just bought our home and have an eyesore of a fireplace.  We have a rectangle lower living area where we spend much of our time.  In my opinion the fireplace is misplaced.  It is not a focal point but off to the side.  I recently painted the paneling walls hoping it would look better but it doesn't.  I do want to add a mantel made out of a reclaimed beam but have no desire to find one until I can decide what to do with the fireplace.  Thought of painting it or recovering it.  Any suggestions would be GREATLY appreciated?  This is a working fireplace and we intend to use it this winter.”  

My Cat is An Angel (at least for Halloween)

Cat in angel costume
I have to start this post by saying.. I LOVE my cat.  Seriously, she is my first baby. She is a shelter cat, which is something I feel so strongly about.  It was fate that we found her.. and the idea of what may have happened to her if we hadn’t taken her home back on that cool October day 9 years ago makes me weepy.

She sleeps in my bed every night, and she is actually sitting along side of me while I compose this post.  She comes when I call her name and even knows how to play fetch with rubber bands (I can shoot them across the room and she brings them back to me!) I’m convinced she thinks she is a dog.  She once walked with me (about a mile) to the coffee shop, waited outside for me to come out and then walked back home.  (I now keep her locked in when I go out so she doesn’t do that!)

Get Out and Play: Easy DIY PVC Soccer Goal

While the rest of the country celebrates the start of fall and the onset of the cooler weather, here in California it is still warm and summer like.  It is actually some of the best weather of the year for getting outside and playing. So today, I partnered with the California Milk Advisory Board and the Fuel up to play 60 campaign, I’m bringing you this super short, easy and inexpensive tutorial to build your own soccer goal, which gives kids a reason to head outside and play!Easy DIY Soccer Goal
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Charlie Brown and The Peanuts Gang Cupcake Wrapper Printables

Peanuts Gang Cupcake Wrappers FREE PRINTABLES (and Silhouette Print and Cut File!)  This was a really fun project to work on because I remember Charlie Brown and the Peanuts gang so well from my childhood, and now I am getting to relive all those fun moments with my own kids.

Every year around this time, all the seasonal Peanuts films come on TV and all those Peanuts characters, like Charlie Brown, Lucky, Sally, Linus, Peppermint Patty and the whole gang are truly timeless.  So I decided to honor them, by creating cupcakes in their likenesses!

What Can You Make Out Of One Board? Amazing Things!

A few weeks back a bunch of DIY bloggers challenged our readers to see what they could come up with out of a single 8 foot 1x8 board.  At stake?  $1000 in Ryobi tools. 

Well, we asked.. and you guys delivered.  In case you missed the entries (which were all submitted on social media) today I'm sharing everyone's projects.  I am so impressed with the huge variety of builds that were created and I am awe stuck by all the talent and skill you guys have!  

I want to send out a big thank you to Ryobi for sponsoring this challenge and to the following blogs for participating:
Jen Woodhouse (aka "The Mastermind")

I know I speak on behalf of all the bloggers who participated in promoting this challenge when I say "You guys are amazing!"  Thank you so much for participating!

Entries are in random order.  Finalists (nominated by one or more of the bloggers hosting the giveaway) are indicated.  Final winner was decided by random draw from the nominated finalists:

Customizable Chalkboard Banner from Wood Slices

Personalized Chalkboard Wood Slice Banner.  A great way to have a natural and organic element but flexible since you can change the writing on the slices to fit any season (christmas, easter, halloween, thanksgiving)
It is no secret that I have a deep long-standing love affair with wood slices.  I have a plethora of projects (like pumpkins and reindeer) where I’ve used wood slices and the fact I am seeing them more and more these days makes my heart happy.

So today, I once again present you with a wood slice project: A reusable chalkboard garland made of wood slices:
Wood slice banner on fireplace

Organize Your Pantry with DIY Slide-Out Cabinet Shelves

DIY slide out cabinet shelves
If you are a regular reader you probably know by now that I am a Cans Get You Cooking Canbassador, which means I always have a TON of canned foods in my pantry.  Since I’m also a busy mom of three, having a large pantry stash of ready-to-use healthy staples makes my life easier.  But one thing that it does mean is that my pantry cabinet is always a mess!  Cans everywhere!  (A good problem to have, since if I was stocking up on their fresh counterparts, I would be throwing most of them away every week!)

I have shared with you how I organized my upper cabinets, using in expensive photo storage boxes.. And that system works great..in my upper cabinets which are very shallow and at eye level.
On the other hand, where I was running into trouble was my pantry in my base cabinets, specifically the bottom shelf where I keep all the tall and oversized cans.
Pantry full of cans
I literally have to crawl on the floor to see all the way to the back of the 24 inch deep cabinet.  Plus pulling something out from the way back is a nightmare.  It just isn’t a good system. Cant see anything in cabinet

How to Stencil & Distress A Wooden Sign (And My Halloween Mantel)

How to distress and stencil wooden signs
I finally got my halloween mantel up today.  Originally I couldn’t figure out what I wanted to use as the main focal point.. I knew I wanted it to be be orange and black, but I didn’t have anything of a large enough scale to be the big “wow” factor.   So I knew it was time to create a large wooden sign.

You can see it here in the final halloween mantelscape: Orange and black halloween mantel 2015
I wanted it to look old and distressed, and so I used the wood glue crackle effect I’ve used in other projects:

Hinged Top Table with Built in Step Stool

Flip Top Table with a built in Step Stool.  A great multi-functional starter project that is easy to build.
It has been a while, and I am so happy to be back working on some fun builds in the garage! For my anniversary my husband got me a new router and so I wanted a really low pressure project where I could learn how to use it, but was also something functional.

I originally saw plans for a small work bench where the shelves doubled as steps in Family Handyman magazine, but it was really small and narrow.  I redesigned the plans to make them wider since if I am going to have a table in the garage it needs to have a decent amount of space.  It also makes it wide enough that you can flip up the top and use it to sit down on (since I often work directly on the garage floor, I like having somewhere to sit)

The other modification I made was to make the steps themselves wider so i could use them as storage or display space when I wasn’t using the bench.  You can see how I am currently using it on my front patio with fall plants.  Front porch for fall
It is actually a really flexible piece of furniture.  The original plans called for it to be unfinished, but I had some stain samples and I always have leftover paint lying around, so I finished it out. (Although that probably wasn’t necessary since it will live in my garage!)
Stepstool bench fall flower display

Feathered Chalkboard Pumpkin Topiary

Chalkboard Painted Dollar Store Pumpkins and an Orange Feather Boa combine to make this fabulous halloween themed topiary
It wouldn't be halloween if I didn't create at least a few dollar store pumpkin makeovers, and this year is no exception.   Once I again I swung down to the dollar store, picked up some styrofoam pumpkins and masked the day-glo orange color with a fun redesign.

Since my pumpkin topiary a few years ago became a huge hit on Pinterest, I decided to do a new and more funky version this year.  Black and Orange and FEATHERED!!

Cafe de Miel: Coffee with Milk and Honey

Cafe de Miel: Coffee with Milk and Honey.  A spanish and french coffee house speciality, with the perfect blance of rich creamy sweetness

If you have followed my blog (or found me anywhere on social media) you know I am a hard core coffee drinker. And whenever I travel I love to try all the different versions of local coffee drinks.

Every country has their speciality, or at least an interesting flavor variation.  From strong dark Italian espressos to the light creamy German Milchkaffee or French Cafe Au Lait there are so many wonderful ways to drink coffee.. and today’s recipe is no exception.

Skull and Bones Wreath from Dollar Store Salad Tongs

Skeleton Salad Tongs Wreath
This is one of the quickest craft projects I’ve taken on in a while, but I ADORE how it came out.  When I was originally scheming up a way to use these funny Skeleton Arm salad tongs I found at the dollar store, I didnt’ think it would come out as cute as it did. Skeleton arm salad tongs

Southwestern Style Chicken Pot Pie

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I am a huge fan of pot pies.  They are just such comfort food and I love the homey feel you get when you eat one.. The flaky crust and creamy filling.  It just makes me feel warm and fuzzy!  
Easy Bisquick topped Tex-Mex chicken pot pie with the mexican flavors of black beans, peppers and corn. Easy to make.
What I don’t like about pot pies, is the amount of effort it takes to make them from scratch.  Two crust traditional pot pies are a lot of work.  So on behalf of Foster Farms I thought I’d share this easy recipe for a single version with a crust made with baking mix. 
 And to switch it up a little, I decided to add some southwest style veggies with corn, beans, peppers and onions for a different than typical flavor. 
Easy Bisquick topped Tex-Mex chicken pot pie with the mexican flavors of black beans, peppers and corn. Easy to make.

Southwest Style Chicken Pot Pie

Day of the Dead Dollar Store Skull

Dollar store skull to day of the dead sugar skull
In the United States, All Hallows Eve (or Halloween) is what we call the holiday that falls on October 31 and is historically associated with the celebration of All Saints and all Souls days. In Mexico this celebration is called the “Dia de los Muertos” or Day of the Dead and in some parts of Latin America is actually called “Dia de los natitas” or Day of the Skulls.

Pumpkins (or Jack O’ Lanterns) are probably the most notable symbol of the US holiday, while in Mexico Dia de Muertos is tightly associated with brightly decorated skulls and orange marigold flowers. I decided to create my own version of a Day of the Dead skull on behalf of Plaid crafts, Apple Barrel Paints, and Stiffy fabric stiffener** as a fun Halloween alternative.
Hand Painted Day of the Dead Skull
This project is actually super easy and fun, since you get to express yourself completely and it takes nothing more than a little paint (I used Apple Barrel Multi-Surface), some fabric and fabric stiffener (I used Stiffy).  You could also use plastic or silk flowers, but it is pretty cool to make my own!

It started with this $1 plastic skull I found at the dollar store.
Dollar store plastic skull

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