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Growing Lettuce

19 Aug

If you spend any significant amount of time on Facebook or Pinterest, I’m sure you’ve seen those links that will show you how to regrow vegetables from scraps, sunlight, and water. These all look very appealing, and I like the idea of reusing things, eliminating waste, reducing my carbon footprint, blah blah blah.

So I tried it with the end of Romaine lettuce in one inch of water, left in sunlight, as per my Pinterest instructions.

And after two days, it grew new lettuce! Like magic! I was so excited and started having visions of myself as some kind of earthy urban gardener, eating salads with greens that I grown myself. It would be glorious.

And then, two days later, it looked like this.

Hmmm… that’s not what Pinterest said would happen! I was supposed to be feasting on my bounty! Maybe it had stalled out. So I let it sit for another two days.

At this point I was pretty much over the whole thing and I threw it out. Romaine lettuce is only $0.99 at Sprouts, and I don’t wanna brag, but I can afford to buy some brand new every week.

So that was my experiment in Pinterest gardening. It… kind of worked?

Fun Mom’s Pot Roast

20 May

Are you ready for the best pot roast you’ve ever had? Well here it is. Get ready for Fun Mom’s Pot Roast.

I have no idea who Fun Mom is. There was a shopping message board that my mom and I used to hang out on about ten years ago, and this recipe got passed around there over the years. Every so often someone would pipe up and ask for Fun Mom’s pot roast recipe, and then we would all wonder who Fun Mom was, but no one knew. So here it is.

1 pot roast
1/2 cup water
1 packet Ranch dressing mix
1 packet Italian dressing mix
1 packet brown gravy mix

Put everything in the crock pot, just layer it all in, don’t mix anything. You can add vegetables if you want, but I prefer to cook my vegetables separately because I think they get too mushy in the crock pot.

Cook it on high for 3-4 hours, or on low for 6-8 hours. Whichever works better for your schedule.

And that’s it. Because pot roast isn’t hard.

Of course you can serve it straight from the crock pot, but I take it out and shred it in a Pyrex so I can portion it out with different sides during the week.

Seriously, this pot roast is so good. The seasonings make a kind of crust on top of the meat, and the flavors are so. good. I admit to this one not being as good as when my mom makes it, but everything tastes better when my mom’s cooking.

Turn a Trunk into a Storage Ottoman

11 May

I have this great trunk that I’ve used as a coffee table for a bunch of years, but the hard edge hurts my leg when I put my feet up. I wanted something cushioned, but I didn’t want to lose the height or storage, so I turned my trunk into a storage ottoman!

This was so simple that I’m kicking myself for not doing it years ago. Here’s what you’ll need:

Fabric – I used this gray faux bois, no matter what pattern you settle on you’ll want to use duck or an indoor outdoor fabric
King Size Pillow

Cut a strip of fabric that’s a little wider than your trunk, and a little longer than you would need to loop it around the lid. Because that’s what you’re doing, you’re just looping it around the lid so you can still use it as a trunk.

Then create a sleeve for your pillow. Do this by cutting another piece of fabric that’s longer and wider than your trunk lid. Use E6000 to attach the long sides, then slide in your pillow.

Now the looping part! Wrap your fabric pillow contraption around the trunk lid, and use safety pins to secure it. Cut slits for the trunk hinges and add safety pins under the hinges to keep the fabric in place. Like this:

And that’s it! See, I told you it was easy. In theory, you could use a sewing machine for this, but I was too lazy to drag mine out. Here’s what the side looks like. If I hadn’t cut the slits for the hinges, the material would bunch away from the back edge when the lid was closed.

And here’s Teddy, who kept crawling all over me while I was taking these pictures.

So there you have it – a trunk turned storage ottoman! Easy peasy. Bonus: you can see my shadow in most of these pictures because I didn’t get around to doing this until Sunday night, so the lighting was weird and dark.

Here’s a view of the new ottoman where it lives, right next to my treadmill desk. Evidently I’m really into gray faux bois right now. And The Big Bang Theory.

Weekly Round Up – 5/9/15

9 May

Hey-o! I hope you all had a great week! It’s been cold here in LA, and I am so not okay with that. Here’s some cool stuff I found this week.


If you’re looking for a mom movie with a twist, check out Preggoland. When a 35 year old woman realizes that all of her friends are growing up and having babies, she decides to fake her own pregnancy. You can check out the trailer below, and find Preggoland on iTunes.

One Good Life

I’m giving away a copy of the new book, One Good Life! You should enter immediately because the giveaway ends on Tuesday. Plus, your chances are really good. And it’s a terrific book. So go do that.

Draper James

Y’all have got to check out Draper James. It’s a new brand from Reese Witherspoon featuring clothes, accessories, and home decor with a Southern inspired grace and style. And it’s all so wonderful. I’m currently obsessed with the “Totes Y’all” tote bag pictured above.

Treadmill Desk

I know, I know, I usually don’t share any of my own links, let alone two in one round up. But I’m really proud of this desk and I’m still basking in my own cleverness. So check it out, and I promise to stop bugging you about it.

Happy Mother’s Day!

I saved the best for last, so I could wish my mama a very happy Mother’s Day. I don’t get to be with my mama this year (I’m usually not with her on Mother’s Day) but she’s the very best mama in the whole wide world and I love her so much.

DIY Treadmill Desk

4 May

I’ve been wanting a treadmill desk for a while now, but have you seen the price on those suckers? I wasn’t ready to shell out $2,000. So I made my own!

I had a few requirements for this project:

1) It had to be cheap. Duh.
2) It had to easily disassemble and fold up to be stored/stashed out of sight when I entertain.
3) It couldn’t be a major eyesore.
4) It had to leave the original treadmill intact.

And this one met all of those requirements for under $150! If you want to make your own, here’s what you’ll need:

Treadmill – $109.95
Card Table – $25.89
1.5 Yards of Fabric – $7.33
PVC Piping – $5.50
Total Cost – $148.67 (plus tax)

Assembly is pretty straightforward.

1) Put together the treadmill
2) Cut down your PVC
3) Add PVC “legs” to your card table
4) Place it over the handlebars

And that’s it!

The fabric is purely decorative, and it serves to cover the leg joints that aren’t so pretty. See?

The PVC that I used is gray. Who knew PVC came in gray? Turns out it’s for electrical nonsense, but I used it so it would match my decor. Is it the perfect color? Well, I wish it was a little lighter. Is the color compromise worth avoiding the hassle of priming and spray painting white PVC? A million times yes. If you want a different color, you could definitely go with the white piping and spray paint it.

I cut the piping down myself because I went to Lowe’s at 11am on a Saturday, when the entire rest of the planet was there as well. Since it was so crowded and the sales people were rushing around like crazy I felt bad asking them to cut it for me. But even if you have it cut down at the store, it’s worth having a hacksaw at home to make any trims. I initially cut each pipe to 48″ but once I added them to the table it ended up being too tall, so I trimmed them down to 43″. There’s still plenty of clearance on the handlebars and it’s the perfect height for me! That’s another bonus to making your own desk – you can build it to the perfect height just for you!

You may have noticed some bright orange at the back of the treadmill. I can explain. You see, this treadmill had an incline that was a bit too much for me. I mean, the idea of a treadmill desk is to be walking while working, and I kept tripping. So I added two furniture movers to each of the back legs to raise the platform and lessen the incline. They’re not really pretty, but they’re behind me when I’m walking so I don’t really care. (Oh hey, would have been nice if I cleaned off the dog hair before photographing this. Let’s chalk this up to “blogging my truth” or some such nonsense, mkay?)

And so there it is – a treadmill desk that disassembles in a snap, keeps the treadmill intact, matches the living room, and came in at under $150! Not too shabby for one Saturday worth of work. Even Teddy approves, and you know how critical he can be.

One note, while this is easily a one woman job, it would have been helpful to have another pair of (human) hands around when I was trying to place the table over the treadmill. The legs kept slipping off and it took a few tries to get everything on right.

Have you built a treadmill desk? Do you want to? Hit me with any questions you have – I’m happy to help!