Filed In: Decorate

tip off…

saltlemonlove my copper pots. I just adore the look of them in my kitchen and I feel like quite the professional when I use them. Copper pots are great to have because they have great heat conductivity. The downside is that they are pretty expensive and tarnish easily. However, I have figured out that all you need to keep your pots shining like new is lemon (or lime, however I found lemon worked best) and salt. Cut the lemon in half, dip the cut side in salt and rub on the pot in a circular motion. You should see instant results! Maybe they should try this trick on the statue of liberty….

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tip off…

imageYou might want to file this one under “no duh”, but since I didn’t think of it sooner I’m hoping maybe there is somebody out there who will benefit from this tip. I’ve posted before that I use mason jars for everything, including  salt and pepper (I made the switch after realizing most salt and pepper shakers are highly inefficient for cooking). I cook often and use salt and pepper pretty much everyday. However, I never thought of poking holes in the top until my boyfriend suggested it. GENIUS! Now, instead of constantly opening and closing the tops and getting salt under my fingernails, I have a set of giant salt and pepper shakers that are efficient and pretty darn cute. I used an awl (I’ve got a fashion design degree and the tools to boot!), but I imagine you can get pretty creative to punch the holes (a.k.a. scissors – no need to get fancy). So yes, I probably could have figured this out before, but I didn’t. Deal with it and enjoy!

jars on jars…

grainjarsI will digress from my homemade popsicles for today to share with you one of my favorite spring cleaning projects. When I moved into my new apartment a year ago I knew I wanted to fill my kitchen with everything I may need to cook, spice, sautee, bake, etc.  However, I have limited space in my kitchen and pantry and fitting all the bags and boxes of spices and flours was a problem. Then I visited Rainbow Grocery and I loved how everything was in serve-yourself bins and it was your job to fill up a mason jar of whatever you needed. That gave me the idea to use mason jars in my own kitchen. They come in tons of different shapes and sizes of mason jars, so you can buy them according to your own needs. To label everything, I just used Sharpies which you can wipe off with a damp towel if you decide to use the jar for something else. Not only have they given me way more space, but I have reused the jars a million ways!

jars copyjarsinpantry

happy hour.

ImageOne of my favorite areas in my small apartment is my make-shift bar. When I moved I had an extra bar table with a few stools. After I didn’t need it anymore, I was trying to come up with other ways I could use it. In one attempt to recycle the table, I painted a checker board pattern on the top (wishful thinking that I would host a game night at my house). When that idea didn’t pan out, I decided to make a bar! I bought a piece of glass to fit on the cross bars the table already had to add extra shelf space. Slowly I have been collecting little tid-bits (1960’s shot glasses from a flea market are my favorite addition) to the space and I love how it is turning out. If you wanted to start a bar, my advice is to invest your favorite classic beverages: Gin, Whiskey, and Vodka. Also, equip yourself with basic tools. Most places sell bar sets which you can find at various prices like here or here. Lastly, have your favorite mixers on hand! I have tonic water and ginger beer because my two favorite drinks are Moscow Mules and Gin Tonics! (I also have bloody mary mix for the impromptu brunches I have never had)

ImageDon’t forget to decorate the space around your bar! I have hung a resin deer head and a sword I actually made myself (perhaps that story will be a future post). I love the vibe these items bring to my bar area – like a old man’s study.

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rock stops.

ImageWhile on a hike the other day, I was inspired by the colorful rocks along the trail. I decided to collect a few and figure out a way to display them. Turning them into wine bottle cork stoppers was not only easy, but it added a earthy feel to my growing bar. Use these to add a rustic element to your own place or gift them to your friends and family!

you will need: 

step1

rocks or any small collectibles.

tapered cork stoppers. (I had trouble finding them in a crafts store, so I ordered some similar to these)

super glue.

rubber bands. (smaller are better)

directions:

step2step3

If you are using rocks, clean any dirt off them. I used an old toothbrush and soap for this. On your object, find where the widest part of the cork fits the best and flattest. Add super glue to the widest part of the cork and apply to the designated area on your object. Carefully and securely, wrap a rubber band from the bottom of the cork around the object. Let dry for at least an hour to ensure it is secure.

Enjoy!