Wednesday, April 25, 2012

"I Love You" Dry Erase Board

On the same day that I found the cool red aluminum frame I used for D's dry erase project, I found another frame I had in mind for a project for our water closet.

Because of the transitional style of our home, frames with lots of curves and texture don't really fit in, so I was really happy to find this one from Target, with the flat frame. It's just like the other ones we bought from there for much more than a dollar.
Wide-Mat Frame - Black (11x14")
The inspiration for this project came from Pinterest, of course.
Leave line blank, frame, write with dry-erase so can change anytime. Cute to have in master bedroom/bathroom
Source: Somewhere on this blog
As a side note, this was a popular pin before Pinterest exploded and pinners were more vigilant about including permalinks. I'm pretty sure that Eighteen25 is the source blog for this idea, but it's so popular that I found pages and pages of similar projects when I checked the image on Google image. Eighteen25's home page has an ad with a similar project, so searching their blog isn't helpful either, because every page shows up in the search results. So, I'm calling it quits after twenty minutes, and asking forgiveness for not citing the original source. Maybe the fine gals at Eighteen25 will leave a note and correct me.

As I said, it's been a popular pin for quite a while. I joined Pinterest in June of 2011, and it was one of my first pins. In my pre-TBI life, I did a fair amount of writing and speaking about marriage (and divorce), so this idea of affirming each other appealed to me.

First I took out the 2008 graduation matting and paper. 

I used the matting to determine what size I needed. It was a little bigger than my 12"x12" scrapbook paper, so I found another purple page to use as a header.

I have yet to find my straight edge (or ruler, for that matter) so the matting was a workable substitute.

After taping the two pieces of paper together, I checked the fit.  Perfect.

I turned the paper around and re-assembled the frame. At this point, I wasn't sure if I wanted to put the permanent words on the inside or outside.

After deciding to put the words inside the frame, I took the paper back out and added the words, "I Love You...Let me count the ways." The header strip made it very easy to put the letters on straight.

And voila!

I was feeling especially grateful for the way Niels helps me live with the limitations of my brain injury.

To make it easy for both of  us to update the board, I used some velcro to attach a dry erase marker to the top of the frame.

I cut a small piece of velcro and glued it to the top of the frame.

It was a little trickier to glue the other part of the velcro to the dry erase marker. The rubber cement didn't work well, but super glue did.

No runaway markers for this board!

The frame will eventually go up in our water closet on an Ikea Ribba shelf, like this one:
As an aside, next time we go to Ikea, I'm getting about 15 of those shelves. They can be used for so many things, including super cool face-out book shelves for D's book nook).

I didn't want to hang the frame because it'll be easier to make changes if we can set it on a photo shelf. So far now, we're using a different kind of shelf!

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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Thrift Store Dry Erase Art

The other day I finally broke down and accepted that I needed some new a bigger size. There's a thrift shop by our old apartment that I like, so when I was having a good brain and vision day, I loaded up D and the "car TV" (or GPS, as the non-three-year-olds call it) and got on our way.

I didn't find any clothes for me, but I did find a few frames I knew I could put to good use. Like this red aluminum frame, which ended up being a great addition to D's bathroom. 

This is the frame as I found it at the thrift store. Best of all, we happened to come in when frames were 50% off. Nice find for $1.50! (I love the photo that was in the frame and almost put it up as is).

I used my homemade all purpose cleaner to clean the glass (and wipe away the price).

Next, I used PowerPoint to create the page I wanted to frame. The transportation ABCs are free printables from Nap-Time Creations. (This design is also available as a fabric, and is exactly what I want for the curtain in D's reading nook...if only I knew how to sew).

I played around with both a blue border and a blue border. Blue won, but here's the red.

The frame itself was a bit tricky to undo. Fortunately, I'm married to someone who grew up working in his dad's photography shop. He knew just what to do.

We had to adjust the page slightly.

Then the tools came out to put the frame back together.

And voila! A personalized dry erase board for my boy.

We've started working on memorizing Bible verses at Sunday School, so I decided to use the frame for the monthly verse. Since it will be hung in the bathroom, he will see it several times a day.

I couldn't have matched the yellow any better if I tried to do so.

Took me a few days, but I finally got it hung up.

Twice as nice.

It didn't take D long to notice something new in the bathroom.

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Homemade Non-Dairy Ice Cream Without an Ice Cream Maker

Our son has been dairy free for a little over a month now. Since his allergy was diagnosed, we've learned a lot about dairy substitutes, and since I make most meals from scratch at home, the transition has been much easier than it could be for our little former Dairy King. Before we learned that he was allergic to dairy, his favorite foods were cheese, milk, yogurt and ice cream. Cow's milk was easy to replace with almond milk. We found almond and coconut yogurt at Earth Fare. We've cut way down on cheese, but use Daiya shreds for pizza and a few other of this favorite meals. We did buy a 1/2 pint of non-dairy ice cream, but yowsa, is it pricey. Since ice cream is a "sometimes" food and not an every day food for D, I starting looking for an ice cream recipe we could make at home. The trick was to find a recipe that didn't require an ice cream maker because the Kitchen Aid fairy hasn't delivered the ice cream maker attachment quite yet.

Thanks to Pinterest, I found several versions of this very easy, very simple "ice-cream-in-a-bag" recipe

You'll need:
  • 1 cup almond milk (or coconut milk)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract (or almond extract)
  • 2 T. sugar
  • 1/2 cup rock salt (the kind you'd use to de-ice your sidewalk. The recipe called for ice cream salt, but we couldn't find any in the three stores we checked. Kosher salt might also work, but my research suggested rock salt due to the larger granules).
  • enough ice to fill a gallon size Ziploc bag half full.
  • 1 gallon size Ziploc bag
  • 1 quart size Ziploc bag.
  • chopped strawberries for strawberry ice cream
  • carob chips, peppermint extract and crushed mint for mint chocolate (carob) chip ice cream

Step 1: Put the rock salt in the gallon size bag. So easy, a pre-schooler can do it. 

Step 2: Add ice until the bag is more than 1/2 full.

Step 3: Add the milk to the smaller bag. This is a little trickier, especially if you forget to grab a funnel.

Step 4: Add the vanilla. (As a side note: I made my own vanilla almost a month ago and it's almost ready. Can't wait to try this again with my vanilla.

Step 5: Add the sugar.

Step 6: Put the small bag inside the large bag. Make sure that both are sealed tightly!

Step 7: Here's the fun part...and how you can justify eating the ice cream. Shake the bags vigorously until the liquid turns solid. It took us about eight minutes. This is a great game for a three-year-old. If you don't have help, you may want to wear mittens or wrap the bag in a dish towel.

Step 8: Remove the ice cream from the large bag.

Step 9: Add your toppings to make your own flavor. Or enjoy the vanilla. It's pretty good on it's own, too.
D wanted fresh strawberry.
Niels and I enjoyed our Breyer's Mint Chocolate Chip knock off.
 Step 10: Enjoy!

The nice thing about this recipe was the built-in portion control. I think D would have eaten all three of our shares if we had let him. It melts quickly, so enjoy right away.

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