Tuesday, May 29, 2012

$1 Metal Picnic Table Clock

I was at a little estate sale and came across this old metal picnic table.  It was rusted, had chippy paint, the base was bent and awkward but I had to do something with this beautiful piece of metal.  As I lifted the table sideways and saw the rust lines underneath it..... I knew this had to be a clock.

I have 10' ceilings and this clock is about 4' wide as it is tall and fits perfectly in the kitchen area.

The table was only $1 and the clock ware was purchased at clockparts.com  for only $24.  It was really easy to assemble and I screwed two small pieces of wood at the top and at the bottom so the clock could sit against the wall without being lopsided.

 The clock hands are almost 18" long and the motor only runs on a AA battery

So the next time you come across that old, chipped, rusted metal table, maybe you can make your very own clock or better yet, find something even more creative to do with it!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Olive Garden Lemon Cream Cake Recipe

Have you ever gone somewhere to eat and wished you could make that at home?  I found a recipe for this lovely cake and believe me, its yummy!

Olive Garden Lemon Cream Cake
adapted from: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 2

1 Betty Crocker white cake mix
1 1/4 c. water
1/3 c. vegetable oil
3 egg whites

Note: These measurements are based on a Betty  Crocker cake mix.  If you chose to use a different brand, the ingredients and measurements might be different.

Lemon Cream Filling
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 c. powdered sugar
3 Tbl. lemon juice
1 c. heavy whipping cream

Vanilla Crumb Topping
1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 c. powdered sugar
1/4 c. cold butter
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Make white cake according to the directions on the box.  Divide batter between two 9'' cake pans.  Bake according to box directions.  Remove from oven and allow to cool in pans for 15 minutes.  Then, invert cakes to cooling rack and cool completely.

Make the lemon cream filling by mixing  cream cheese and powdered sugar in a medium bowl with an electric mixer until smooth.  Mix in lemon juice.  Whip the cream in a large bowl with an electric mixer on high speed until it forms stiff peaks.  Fold cream cheese mixture with whipped cream.  Stir gently by hand until blended.

Make crumb topping by combining flour and powdered sugar in a medium bowl.  Add butter and dribble in the vanilla extract.  Use your hands or a pastry cutter to mix cold butter into flour and sugar.  Break butter into smaller and smaller pieces as you incorporate it into the dry ingredients.  Be sure not to press the mixture together.  You want to end up with a very crumbly consistency with pieces no bigger than a pea.

When the cake is cool, spread all but 1/2 cup of the lemon cream mixture onto the bottom half of the cake, then carefully place the top half of the cake over the filling.  Spread remaining filling over the top and sides of the cake.  Sprinkle the crumb topping on top of the cake and press it onto the sides all the way around the cake.  Now chill the cake for at least three hours before you serve it.  When you are ready to dig in, slice cake into 12 slices.  Serve each slice topped with powdered sugar tapped through a strainer.  Serves: 12.  Keep refrigerated.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Inexpensive Cleaning Ideas from Common Household Products

Did you know that you can fix many problems with common household products you have stashed around your home?  I certainly didn't and through one of my favorite past times..... pinning on Pinterest, I came across a fabulous board on this particular subject.

Here are some of my favorites:

Coffee Filters

  1. They can be used to wipe down glass, computer screens, iPads and more because they are lint free.
  2. When moving dinnerware, place between each plate to keep from rattling or breakage.
  3. Use a coffee filter to pour oil into your car engine without messy spillage.
  4. In case you run out of dryer sheets and you’re in a pinch, just apply a few drops of fabric softener to a coffee filter, rub the sides together and stick it in the dryer.
  5. Put baking soda into a coffee filter and insert into shoes or a closet to absorb or prevent odors.
  6. Use them to wrap Christmas ornaments for storage.
  7. Use as a disposable "snack bowl" for popcorn, chips, etc.
  8. Cover bowls or dishes when cooking in the microwave. Coffee filters make excellent covers.

Hair Dryer

  1. Removing those horrible sticky price tags on the bottom of your glasses
  2. Set the dryer on cool and point it at dusty shelves or intricate knickknacks to blow the debris right off. (Start from the highest shelf to make gravity work for you.)
  3. Dewrinkle plastic shower curtains or table-cloths. Blow hot air onto fresh-out-of-the-bag material to "iron" out wrinkles—just keep the dryer 12 inches from the surface so it won't melt.
  4.  Perfect frosting or icing. To harden frosting on cakes or cookies, blow cool air directly on it. To brighten a dull finish, give the icing a hit of hot air.
  5. Erase crayon marks or wax spills. Kids gone wild? Blow-dry the stain on high until the wax melts, then wipe with a soapy sponge.

  1. Crayon messes on the wall.  Rub a damp cloth and some toothpaste on your marked-up wall and rinse with a clean wet cloth.
  2. Carpet cleaning and stain removal.  Scrub away with an abrasive brush and toothpaste, rinse, and you’ll scrub the stain right out. You may even realize how dirty the rest of your carpet is in the process.
  3. Clean those tennis or running shoes.  Similar to above, scrub away (especially on those scuffed up white rubber soles), wipe with a damp cloth, and watch your tootsies gleam.
  4. Jewelry cleaner.  I used this the other day to clean my seriously dull gold rings.  Use a damp rag and rub it all over the jewelry piece.  They are truly gleaming!
  5. Pesky bug bites?  Instead of scratching those bites until they swell up and become unbearable, dab a little toothpaste on it and forget about your itchy worries.

Baking Soda

  1. A box or small bowl of baking soda in the refrigerator, freezer, or any cupboard will keep away unpleasant odors. 
  2. To clean silver, use a paste of 3 parts baking soda to one part water. Rub the paste onto each item, then rinse with warm water and dry with a soft cloth.
  3. For burnt-on food in the bottom of pots, sprinkle with baking soda, then add hot water. Let soak overnight; the dried on food will come loose much more easily.
  4. Baking soda will keep away garbage odors; sprinkle the bottom of the pail, and then sprinkle again after you put a new bag in.
  5. Replace half of each measure of laundry detergent with baking soda to keep clothing fresh.
  6. Baking soda increases the effectiveness of chlorine bleach. Add 1 / 2 cup to your laundry, along with the usual amount of bleach.
  7. Lawn furniture can be easily cleaned with a rinse of 1/4 cup baking soda in 1 quart warm water.