Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Tip Tuesday

Hello friends! Welcome to Tip Tuesday where we share a tip or trick that we love. Some weeks it might be a kitchen tip, other weeks a home decor tip or an organizing tip.....anything we've found that's made our lives easier. How fun is that?

This weeks tip is a Pinterest fave! Seriously, I think Pinterest makes me better! Hear me out on this one. Yes, sometimes it can be overwhelming to see perfectly decorated homes with what looks like an unlimited budget, someone else's perfectly dressed and behaved children playing quietly with the homemade toy mom just "whipped up" this morning, the lavish breakfast spread to celebrate Groundhog day (doesn't everyone celebrate Groundhog day?). It can be a bit discouraging and sometimes feels like a reminder of all the things we're NOT doing. However, I have found a lot of things on Pinterest that have made my life easier. I try more new recipes. I've found beautiful, free printables for my home. I've read quotes that were just what I needed to hear. I've started more meaningful traditions and found out what works and what doesn't work from other families similar to mine. The trick is to take away what benefits you and not worry about the rest.

Today's tip is one of those where-have-you-been-all-my-life tricks. One of those I-could-kiss-you-on-the-mouth kind of tips. Life changing. I used to dread shredding chicken (and pork) and my arms feel like jello even thinking about it. But not anymore! Introducing........

Many of you may have already seen this on Pinterest but if you haven't seen it or haven't tried it yet, I am here to tell you that you need this in your life. IT WORKS! In seconds flat.

If you have a Kitchen Aid with a paddle attachment, you're in business! Cook your chicken as you normally would for the recipe you are preparing. While the chicken is still hot (this is important), place it in your Kitchen Aid with the paddle attachment.

Start your mixer on low, slowly increasing your speed to medium. I could try to drag this post out by giving you some other invaluable tidbit about this process, but really......that's it. Beat for approximately 30 seconds on medium speed.

Voila! The only real tricks are to shred while the meat is still hot (notice the steam in the above photo) and to watch your speed or else you will have shredded chicken in your hair. Don't ask me how I know. It may or may not go everywhere if you turn your mixer speed too high.

And there you have it. Perfectly shredded chicken in 30 seconds using your Kitchen Aid!

As I said before, I have also used this for shredded pork for homemade Cafe Rio Pork Barbacoa. It works just as effortlessly.

So thank you world of Pinterest for making my life so much easier!

Do you love Pinterest or does it make you feel inferior?

What have you found on Pinterest or elsewhere that makes your life easier? We'd love to hear from you in the comments!

Friday, April 25, 2014

Entertainment Center Makeover - Paper Backed Shelves

Faux Wood Backed Entertainment Center

I have had a major urge to lighten up my home and bring a little bit of Spring inside. My entertainment center is a dark espresso color with deep cabinets and I felt like much of my decor got lost on it. I really wanted to give the shelves some depth and make my decor pop. Cue the singing angels when the heavens parted and I came across this lovely faux wood paper at Hobby Lobby. This was just what I was looking for to transform  the back panel of my dark and drab entertainment center! I love how it brightens up the room and that when I decide I'm ready for a change, I can just take it right back down again! Do I have your attention? Read on to learn all the details of this easy afternoon DIY project!

Let's start with a little before picture, shall we?

Not hideous or anything but dark and B.O.R.I.N.G. (Excuse the glare. SO hard to take a picture without it.)

And here my friends is the after.......

Okay, in full disclosure I must admit there may be a few new pieces of decor on the shelves in the after photo. Just a few. The decor has always been a hodge podge of thrift store finds and make-do kind of items, so I hit my local thrift store and added a few pieces to finish it off a bit while still staying in budget. It's still not perfect. I need to find just the right pot for my little plant on the right. But it's okay because I saved so much on the makeover! ;)

This is a very easy project and you may be able to skip the tutorial and move right on to the pretty pictures and still get the idea. However, if you're one who likes a detailed tutorial, read on to learn how to make this magic happen. Let's get started.....

The first step is to look for paper you would like to use in your project. As I mentioned before, I chose a fantastic faux wood paper carried at Hobby Lobby. It is thick & sturdy, has a nice matte sheen that will not cause a glare, and comes in a 4ft x 12ft roll. It was so nice and large I only used one roll for the entire project. Go me!

Sidenote: If you want to look around for other types of papers I have some suggestions for you.
Tip #1 Look for traditional wrapping paper. I have seen fantastic geometric patterned wrapping paper in the Dollar Spot at Target that would look lovely on a cabinet, but sadly there were none at the time I got the urge to do this little project. I also love to buy my gift wrap at Home Goods for $2.99 a roll. They usually carry bright fun patterns that follow current trends. Just keep in mind this paper may be thinner, shinier and may differ in width and have less paper per roll lengthwise than the large roll at Hobby Lobby. Tip #2: You could look at places like Dollar Tree for shelf liner. I have found some really cute patterned shelf liner at Dollar Tree but it was never quite right for the colors or style in my room, but you may find something you love! They even had a faux wood liner recently when I went in but it was more of an oak or pine look and not the weathered wood I was looking for. If you're not as picky as I am or oak matches your home, you may find a roll that's just right for you for only a dollar! AND with it's own sticky back! Score!

However, if you decide to go the same route as I did, get the Hobby Lobby app on your phone or print up a 40% off coupon off their website and buy one of these babies. At $5.39 after coupon, you will not be sad you did. This my friends, is what you want to look for.......

You will find this lovely paper in the hobby section of Hobby Lobby across from large rolls of photography backgrounds (and interestingly enough, the faux wood photography background was $4 more for almost the same thing.....go figure).

Now lets take a look at our other supplies:

Once you have your paper, you will need:

  1. Poster Board or cardboard - I will be honest because we're besties and tell you that 90% of what I used was free cardboard that had been given to me and was just sitting out in our garage. I was a tad short, so I bought one Tri-Fold display board from the dollar store (seen in the lovely photo above).
  2. Measuring tape - to measure your cabinets and the distance between your shelves. You will also use this later to mark your paper (if you do not have an edge ruler mentioned below).
  3. Exacto Knife - Once you have measured your shelves and marked off your cardboard, you will need your exacto knife to cut your cardboard pieces to fit.
  4. Scissors -  Once your paper has been measured and marked off, you will need to cut your paper with your scissors. Be sure to allow a slight overhang for wrapping around the pieces of cardboard.
  5. Scotch Tape - Another honest disclosure here. I think it would be wise and easiest to use double stick tape for this project but alas our roll had disappeared when it hit go time and well....frankly I'm just too impatient to go to the store and wanted to get started. Regular scotch tape worked fine.
  6. Glue Stick - In all honestly, this was grasping at straws and would not be needed if I had the double stick tape (I'll explain later).
  7. Edge Ruler (optional) - Although this didn't make it into the photo above, I used an edge ruler to measure and mark my cardboard (see photo below).

Step by step instructions:

1.) Measure the height and width of each shelf back. Most of my shelves were removable, so I removed all the ones that I could to give myself the least amount of cuts. Mark off each measurement on your cardboard and cut. I moved my edge ruler every few inches and made another mark, then connected the marks with my straight edge.

2. Test your cut piece in the space to make sure it fits correctly. Results are best when the cardboard is a tight fit. I trimmed a piece that was a little too big and now it is slightly too small. The slight gap is visible if you look close and it grates on my OCD. Tip: I did however learn the hard way to not just stick that baby in there when testing size without a way to get it out. See exhibit A:

Do you see a gap where one could fit their finger (or even fingernail) to remove said cardboard? No. me neither. Great fit = mangling your piece of cardboard to get it out. I may or may not know that from experience. SO, I designed this very complex cardboard removal system:

Yeah, when my crazy life from being a famous blogger dies down, I may just have to patent this thing. In the meantime, feel free to use at your leisure. Your're welcome. 

3.) Mark your height and width on your paper and add an additional 2 inches or more extra on each side to wrap the paper around the cardboard. I drew arrows to show which direction faced up to save time when fitting into place (see photo below).

4.) Tightly wrap your paper around your cut piece of cardboard. This is where double stick tape would've been lovely. Since I was too impatient to make a trip to the store, I used my glue stick. I applied a small amount every 6 inches or so then pulled the paper tightly and smoothed it out with my ghetto tool (also not pictured in photo above).....

Yeah, that's a very well loved paint guard. You're welcome again. It really did work to smooth the paper out and over the glued areas to keep the paper tight. Again, with double stick tape placed every few inches this step likely wouldn't have been necessary. See how we like to teach you not only what to do, but what not to do? Besties do that for one another.

This is a finished section. Easy Peasy! Now rinse and repeat!

5.) Place all your covered cardboard pieces in place and stand back and admire your work!

6.) Now for the fun part......Accessorize!!! 

Now let's inundate you with photos, shall we? Enjoy.

Not bad for under $10 right?

So what do you think? What are you doing to brighten up your home and bring a little Spring inside? We'd love to hear from you in the comments and be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for updates, tips and sneak peaks.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Meet Us

We are Colleen & Brianna; a mother/daughter duo who love DIY, decor and all things lovely. We love a good thrift store find, re-purposing old belongings into new treasures, a fabulously modern remodel, and everything in between! Stay with us and look around while we show you that good design doesn't have to be expensive.

Meet My Mom
To you, she looks something like this.

But to me she looks a little more like this:
Hubba hubba, right?!

Writing a paragraph about my mom that appropriately captured how awesome she is turned out to be a lot more difficult than I thought it would be. Not because I couldn't easily convince you of her greatness, but because it was almost impossible to narrow it down to just one paragraph. Probably because the biggest thing that is wonderful about my mother is the littlest things...All the little efforts she puts into making every day seem not so everyday. From the family cheer we never missed a night of chanting, to the birthday present scavenger hunts, and the meticulously coordinated themed dinners, she left no opportunity to celebrate uncelebrated!  My siblings and I knew no store bought valentines, no Costco sheet cakes. She pours her heart and soul into every detail of every thing she does, and applies that same dedication to her church calling, her magazine-quality home, and now, to this blog. 

If you asked my mother what her greatest accomplishment has been, she would probably say raising her six children, made possible, of course, by another of her greatest accomplishments; landing an incredible man (and a major hunk) like my father. She is a very involved and dedicated parent, a loving wife, an adoring grandmother, and an amazing friend...slash therapist. Though she was California-born, and is Boise Idaho dwellin', she is a lifelong Dallas Cowboys fanatic, who even had a game dedicated to her on her birthday as a child. She spent many years actively involved with Stampin' Up, even being ranked in the top ten demonstrators in the nation! Known far and wide for her utterly perfect handwriting (seriously ask anyone!), my mother is often told it should be made into a computer font. If they ever come out with a font called "Colleen", it is going to be the most downloaded one on the internet. Less well known of her talents is her almost frighteningly dead-on impersonation of the Wicked Witch of the West. Graced with it at only the most rare and humorous of occasions, we are always shocked and amused at just how misplaced it sounds coming from my dear sweet mother. Whether it was silly impressions, family "leaf races" in the Boise river, or dangerously competitive late-night SNORT marathons (a favorite card game in my family), my mother showed us all a childhood full of unconditional love, uncontrollable laughter, and unforgettable memories.

Still in love after all these years (I told you he was handsome!)

My mother has been my main source of aesthetic inspiration my entire life. From raising me in a perfectly put together home, to teaching me how to put on mascara for the first time, she has equipped me with so many tools that I still use today. My mom taught me everything I know about all things lovely-although she clearly hasn't taught me everything SHE knows yet. I am continually baffled by the beautiful things she comes up with, and the beauty she emanates in every aspect of her life. 

This is my beautiful daughter Brianna

But to me, she will always be my little Nani

Typically dressed from head to toe in outfits that were often an assault to the eyes, Brianna found ways to express her creativity at a very young age. Her now perfectly coiffed hair was then often matted, tangled, and speckled with grass, but as it is with most creative geniuses, she didn't care one bit. She was too busy creating masterpieces out of macaroni and glue. She always loved to paint, to draw, and to adorn anything that wasn't moving (and some things that tried), and she was naturally good at all of it.

Brianna first showed sparks of design genius when she adorned her beloved bike with dangling pine-cones, bells, streamers, soda pop cans and Beanie Babies. Beads lined the spokes of her tires so you could hear her coming from a block away. The memory still brings a smile to my face. Brianna has always had a look and style all her own and was never afraid to be herself. This talent is evident in her home where she mixes current trends with eclectic elements, thrift store junk turned to gems and fearlessly creates a space that screams Brianna (the stylish, cool, on-trend Brianna of now, thankfully....though there may still be a pine-cone or two). We believe your home should be a reflection of you; pine-cones and all!

By day Brianna is a talented beautician with mad nail art skills (think hand-drawn zebra print nails that look manufactured they’re so perfect), but by night, she can typically be found sprucing up her 70 year old fixer-upper rental and snuggling with the love of her life, my grand-dog Macy (yes, grand-dog is a word, cuz I made it one). While Brianna is obviously physically beautiful, I’m here to tell you that her beauty runs much deeper. She is kind, compassionate, loves to give thoughtful gifts to others, and has a soft spot for elderly people (she spends 2 work days a week doing hair in a nursing home and loves her blue haired buddies). Aside from all that sappy stuff, she has a wicked sense of humor, is a pun war aficionado, and a true Harry Potter nerd. 

Baby's third Christmas
From her impeccable style of dress, to her innate ability to spot a thrift store treasure, she puts style in all she does. Brianna brings a younger, edgier vibe to our blog and her unique perspective on how to decorate and fix up a rental without investing much money will bring a much needed view point to the DIY blogging world. With her on board expect to see an occasional fashion, beauty or hair post pop up now and then just to keep you on your toes and looking fine! Ow! Ow!

Our Perspectives:

I’m Colleen, and I’m the boss Mom of this operation. Being a mom and creating a beautiful home for my family to gather in are two of the most important things in the world to me. Our homes are a reflection of who we are and since I am not perfect, let me assure you, neither is my home. However, a home doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful! In addition, let me assure you that bringing style to your home doesn't have to break the bank! As a stay at home mom with 6 children, expensive design and having nice things was not going to happen on our budget. If I was going to have that beautiful, welcoming home I dreamed of, I was going to have to make it happen on a tight budget. And so I did. I learned to shop my own home (continue reading our blog and we’ll teach you just how to do this), shop garage sales, discover the art of shopping thrift stores (I assure you, there are tricks and we will teach you) or when all else failed, I made it myself (or sweet talked my stud of a husband into doing it for me). It can be done and my home is proof! I’m humbly appreciative every time a new friend or visitor walks into our home and says, “Wow! Your home looks like it could be in a magazine!” I assure you, every single room has been done on the cheap. As in dirt cheap. 

My design aesthetic is a bit different than Bri’s and it’s that contrast between our ages and styles that brings so much to the table here at Like Mother Like Daughter. While there are many basic principles and techniques that I have passed down and many others that we have discovered together, the one thing I hope to have really passed on to Brianna is the courage to be herself and to make her home her very own. She has done just that and boy, is it beautiful! I can’t wait for you to see!

My home is a mix of traditional and modern with a little cottage chic thrown in. I love the contrast of beautiful, sleek elements combined with rustic, natural or weathered pieces. My style is constantly evolving, but always relies on the same basic design elements and frugal habits that I have honed over 25 years. So stick around so we can share what has been passed down.......from Mother, to Daughter and now to you!

You know the expression "use what your momma gave you?" Well, that's how the idea for our blog came to be. I'm Brianna, the "daughter" half of Like Mother Like Daughter, and while what my mother gave me, I might not be able to "shake" (trust me, you wouldn't want me to try), she gave me something much more valuable; a keen eye for style, a love for creating a beautiful home, and the knowledge and tools necessary to do so on a budget. I grew up in a home where every room had its own distinctive and cohesive decor. So as I started growing up and preparing to leave the nest, it seemed out of the question that my home be any other way. In preparation, I began drooling with my mother over her home decor magazines, taking interior design courses through high school, and mentally planning down to the smallest detail my own future  home. This is where my mother's thrifty tips have saved me over the years on my own.  Being a self-employed twenty four (and a half!) year old renter, I have to find a way to have my "Pottery Barn" home on a lives-in-a-barn budget.

When you rent a home, compromise is the name of the game. You have to work within the boundaries of the lease, meaning you can't always make the changes you would make if the space were your own, which unfortunately sometimes means embracing that outdated wall paper, or the bright pink ceiling (seriously...who paints a kitchen ceiling pink? It was pepto abysmal!). You have to share your space with roommates, which can also mean incorporating that horrible plaid couch that never did quite find its way out to the curb. Being on my third rental, I have pretty much mastered compromise. In my upcoming posts, I will be teaching you tricks I've picked up along the way to making these little compromises work for you, and how to work with the space you have (or in my case, don't have!). I will also be teaching you ways to make improvements to your home that aren't permanent, and can easily be moved or put back to normal when it comes time to move out.

I have always thought of my home as a kind of optimistic self portrait; each room its own reflection of me, scattered with clues to figuring out just who I am as a person (leaving out most of the bad stuff, of course). My home is very personal to me, afterall, it is where I go to just be myself. It is where I relax, where my friends gather, and where my sweet, four legged best friend waits all day for me to get home to smother me in affection. There is so much love that abides here, so many positive memories that have been made within these walls. It only makes sense to put that same love back into my wonderful home. With each project I complete it feels so much more "invested in," and becomes a bigger part of me as I put more of myself into it.  Never having a surplus of money at any given time, I have learned to pick things up here and there. Therefore, my home is an ever-evolving project, changing with each little purchase I make, each project I complete, and growing with me as a person. Since I have learned to score most of my finds at thrift stores, craigslist, and on clearance racks, having a home that feels like home seems much more manageable one throw pillow or re-purposed treasure at a time. Being the thrift store addict that I am, I have learned to look at things as what they could be, as opposed to what they are, and will be sharing with you tips on how to do the same.

So stick around so we can pass along our passion for a beautiful home; from mother, to daughter, to you.