Friday, July 7, 2017

Summer Boredom Buster: Lemonade Stand

Schools out and you may be thinking of ways to fill the kids extra free time. A lemonade stand is a great way to keep them busy while teaching them valuable life lessons and maybe even earn a little money while they're at it. Plus, who doesn't love cold lemonade on a hot day, especially if cute kids are selling it? Let the kids do the work with your guidance of course. Listed below are a few tips to throw a successful lemonade stand this summer.

1. Location, Location, Location

Your front yard is an easy option but if you live in a cul-de-sac or at the back of your neighborhood consider setting it up in a place that gets more traffic. Maybe move it to the front of the cul-de-sac or  neighborhood entrance. If your neighborhood has a central playground that would be a great place too! Everyone needs a cold drink after a hard day of play! Make sure to check with your HOA (if you have) one for specific guidelines in your area.

lemon buttercream frosting

2. Marketing

To attract more people to your lemonade stand place signs at the entrances and common areas of the neighborhood! Let your kids create these and have fun with it! The more creative the better! Maybe they are raising money for summer camp or a missions trip--so make sure to include that on your sign. People like to know they are donating for a worthy cause. Do you have a specific charity you are passionate about? Get the kids involved and use your lemonade stand profits to donate to the charity of their choice.

3. Curb Appeal

The lemonade stand pictured was built by my father-in-law but don't fret if you don't have an "official" lemonade stand. A folding table covered with a table cloth can still look cute with some decorations. Help attract customers by adding a banner, pretty signage, or flowers to your lemonade stand. Cute napkins, cups, and paper straws add a nice touch also. The signage from this lemonade stand was free and you can find it HERE. Just download and print them at home on card stock and cut them out. You could also send them to an office supply store to have them printed. I sent mine to Staples and it was only $2.00 for the banner and 8 x 10 sign.

4. Options

Increase your income by giving customers more options. Add a flavored lemonade in addition to the original. We made a strawberry lemonade, and it was delicious! (Recipe coming to the blog soon or you can find it on my instagram.) Throw some cut up fresh strawberries in it along with lemon slices for added detail. I like to offer baked goods to go along with the lemonade as well. Homemade cupcakes, muffins, cookies, or other yummy treats are always a big hit. Popscicles would be perfect for summer also and could be stored in an cooler so they don't melt!

5. The Price is Right

Price your drinks to sell and you can charge a little more for the extras. This isn't Starbucks so other than your grandma no one is going to give your kid five bucks for a cup of lemonade. But if you add some enticing extras like adorable cupcakes piled sky high with  homemade frosting, you might be able to charge a little more. I usually stick with .50 cents per cup of lemonade and charge a few dollars for the enticing treats. You may not get that much for a box mix brownie but a cute homemade treat with an adorable garnish might make the cut. Throw some gumballs or lollipops in a jar for a quarter and you've got your impulse buys covered.

lemon cupcakes

lemonade stand

strawberry lemonade

6. Repeat business

A happy customer is a returning customer. You've got three months of summer, so you may have time to do several lemonade stands throughout the season. Keep your customers coming back for more with delicious recipes and friendly sales people. Home made lemonade is delicious so if you have the time make it yourself! I will be posting my favorite lemonade recipe soon and it's so easy to customize it to make other flavors. Keep extra lemonade in the fridge and bring it out in shifts to help keep it cold.

kids lemonade stand

lemonade stand printables

What things do you do to keep the kids busy in the summer? Comment below with your ideas! I'd love to hear them!

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Craigslist Desk Makover

chalkpainted desk makover
I've been meaning to share this little desk makeover for a while but am just now getting around to it!

We switched the girls bedrooms around several months ago so my oldest could have her own room.
As much as I wanted to keep the baby in her crib (not really a baby anymore at two and a half) she was ready for a big girl bed and my oldest was ready for her own space. So I took on the task of converting the nursery into a cozy room for a 9 year old and moving my not so little baby in with her sister.

One of the things Claire requested for her new room was a desk. She typically does her homework at the kitchen table but with two other noisy kids running around I know she will enjoy having a quiet space to work when she needs it.

I typically start my search for furniture on Craigslist. Especially if it's for the kids. I can usually find a good quality piece of furniture that I can customize to fit our specific style and it's so much cheaper than purchasing a brand new piece. I found this desk for only $15 and knew that with a little elbow grease it would be the perfect addition.  It's solid wood with dovetailed joints and the perfect size for her little room.

desk makover

kids desk

chalk painted desk

I'm definitely not an expert at painting furniture but I've done it a few times and found a process that works for me so I thought I'd share it with you!

Step One: Clean it.

The first thing I always do before bringing used furniture into the house is give it a good cleaning. It had a few stickers stuck to the top which I got off pretty easily with Goo Gone. I scrubbed the whole thing down inside and out with soap and water and hand dried it with an old towel. I left it in the garage for a few days before I got around to sanding it and gave it a chance to dry out a little more.

Step Two: Sand it.

 I sanded all the exposed areas of wood down with medium sandpaper (150 grit) and then switched to fine sandpaper (200+ grit) until the entire piece was uniform. You really just need to get the shiny finish off so the paint will stick easier. Since this piece was pretty old it wasn't hard to sand off what was left.  I wiped down the whole surface with a tack cloth to remove the dust from sanding.

Step Three: Fix it.

One of the corners of the drawers was broken so my father-in-law added a thin piece of wood to the back and then filled it in with wood filler. Once it was dry I smoothed it down with sandpaper so it would match the rest of the corners and now that it's painted you can't even tell it was missing.

Step Four: Paint it.

Once everything had been sanded and the dust wiped away I gave the desk three coats of white chalk paint. I used a small roller for the flat areas and a small angled brush for the legs and areas that had more detail. I let each coat dry for about an hour, sanded it down lightly with fine sandpaper and wiped away the dust before giving it another coat.

Step Five: Seal it.

To protect the paint I finished it with Minwax Polycrylic protective finish in satin and applied it with a foam brush. Once it dried I sanded it down lightly with fine grit sandpaper, wiped it with the tack cloth again and gave it a second coat. This gave it a low luster finish that so far has held up very well. If you prefer a matte finish for your chalk painted projects I recommend using Rust-Oleum's Chalked protective topcoat in matte clear. You can purchase it in a spray can form and also in a regular can at your local Home Depot. I have used the spray before and it makes this part of the project so quick and easy!

Step Six: Accessorize it.

I lined the insides of the drawers with wrapping paper that I found online at Rifle Paper Co. I cut each piece to size and taped them to the bottom of the drawers with double sided tape. We found the adorable dipped brass feather knobs at Target.  Above the desk I made a magnetic board for her to display her pictures, art, papers, etc. I'm still on the hunt for a desk chair that just needs a little TLC to be the perfect fit for this space.

paper lined drawers

DIY magnetic board

fabric covered magnetic board

feather drawer pulls

desk accessories

chalk paint desk makeover

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies

Hello all. I hope everyone had a fantastic long weekend! My husband was very sweet and held down the fort at home so I could go out of town for a girls weekend trip. We went whitewater rafting which was so fun! We laughed so hard we cried. Then we pretty much spent the rest of the trip eating our way through all the amazing restaurants and coffee shops in my sister's adorable town. 

Needless to say I went to the gym first thing this morning to try and contain the damage I did over the past few days. I'm also trying to avoid eating sugary desserts like these amazingly delicious chocolate chip cookies I made a few weeks ago. It's a good thing they are all gone or I would probably be scarfing down a few right now. I've tried lots of different cookie recipes trying to find one that is thick and chewy and this is it. Check out the recipe below!

chocolate chip cookie recipe

The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies
 Recipe from :

  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Grease cookie sheets or line with parchment paper.  
  2. Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, cream together the melted butter, brown sugar and white sugar until well blended. Beat in the vanilla, egg, and egg yolk until light and creamy. Mix in the sifted ingredients until just blended. Stir in the chocolate chips by hand using a wooden spoon. Drop cookie dough 1/4 cup at a time onto the prepared cookie sheets. Cookies should be about 3 inches apart.
  4. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the edges are lightly toasted. Cool on baking sheets for a few minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.

You can view the printable recipe HERE.

chocolate chip cookies


Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Bacon and Cheddar Quiche

Today I'm sharing with you the most delicious quiche recipe! It's so easy to throw together and can be served hot or cold which makes it the perfect make-ahead dish for your next party. I made it for this ladies brunch a few months ago. I've tried several quiche recipes in the past and this one is by far my favorite.

I put crispy bacon and shredded cheddar cheese in this one but you could really customize it and add any combination of toppings you want. I decided to use phyllo dough as the crust on this one but I've done pie crust also and they are both delicious!

Bacon and Cheddar Quiche

  • 6 eggs
  • 8 oz cottage cheese
  • 6 oz sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • 5-6 slices cooked bacon, chopped
  • 6-8 sheets phyllo dough, thawed according to package directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Brush a sheet of phyllo pastry with butter and fit into the bottom of a greased 9" pie dish or springform pan like this one,with the ends hanging over the side. Repeat with the remaining sheets placing them on top. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl beat together the eggs and cottage cheese.
  4. Stir in the bacon and cheddar cheese.
  5. Pour the egg mixture into the prepared pan and cover with foil.
  6. Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes.
  7. Remove the foil and bake at 300 degrees for 30 more minutes or until the egg is set. 
  8. This is delicious served warm out of the oven or reheated the next day. 
** You can substitute the bacon and cheddar for any combination of veggies, ham and cheese or even cooked apples would be delicious.

Click HERE for a printable version of this recipe.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Let's do brunch

Hey there! It's been a while hasn't it? After having my third little girl life got crazy and I just didn't have the time to blog as much as I would have liked. So needless to say I'm a little behind but I do have some fun things to share with you!

I now find myself with two in school and only one left at home during the day. Life is still crazy but I'm hoping to squeeze in a few projects and blog posts along the way.

Since the kids are back in school, it's the perfect time to take in a little "me time" between housework, working, volunteering or whatever it is that you find yourself doing these days. Why not get a few friends together and host a ladies brunch?

Brunch is one of my favorite meals to host! First of all it sounds so much fancier than breakfast or lunch and it's later in the morning which gives you more time to sleep in. Most importantly, you can serve dessert after eating breakfast and it's totally acceptable! I hosted this brunch a few months ago and it was so fun!

 I love setting a pretty table but for busy weeknight dinners we survive on paper plates and dishwasher safe silverware. Since this is a special occasion, it's a great time to pull out the good silver and cloth napkins. I tucked a menu into each napkin and wrapped them with jute twine.

 You can find these free menu templates from and fill in your own menu items. I found the faux lavender at World Market and tucked one into each napkin.

Mini flower pots wrapped in burlap and tied with twine make adorable place card holders and double as favors for each guest. You can find the place card templates from

Lemon curd tarts make an easy and delicious dessert. (Recipe coming soon!)

Don't be afraid to purchase items from your local bakery to add to the menu. I enjoy baking but by purchasing a few items and choosing a few to make at home it relieves a little bit of stress and allows more time to enjoy friends and family.

Garden flowers placed in a mason jar make a pretty centerpiece without taking away from the place settings. You could also have a giveaway by placing numbers at random under dessert plates and the guest with the winning number gets to take the centerpiece home.

Fresh fruit is always a good idea for a ladies brunch. You could also serve it with yogurt or melted chocolate for dipping.

Quiche is another great recipe I love to serve at brunches. Once you make the base recipe you can really add whatever other ingredients you want to it. This one has bacon and cheddar but any combination of veggies would be delicious as well as ham or even sauteed apples. Yum! I'll post the recipe for this sometime this week. It's so good!


I have a tendency to shy away from entertaining because it's hard to keep the house clean with three kids. My husband is totally the opposite and will invite last minute guests at the drop of a hat. He's not concerned with what the house looks like and probably doesn't even notice. He does do a lot of the cooking so he shares the work load too. I've learned to compromise a little and not get so stressed out over a clean house. Laundry gets piled up, dishes in the sink, food spills on the floor (parent tip: outdoor rugs will save your life). In short we don't have it all together over here. I enjoy setting a pretty table now an then but I've learned to be OK with paper plates and laundry piles. 

Saturday, March 5, 2016

How to make an Upholstered Ottoman

Furniture is a necessity for every home. It's what makes a room comfortable and inviting and lets you express your style and personality through the style of furnishings you choose. But good quality furniture can be expensive.

Between my five year old using the furniture as her personal gymnastics equipment and my two year old expressing her artistic abilities (sharpie style) on the sofa my furniture gets a beating. So I hate spending a fortune on things that may or may not make it through the day. When my previous ottoman bit the dust I decided to get creative and build my own replacement. I built an ottoman like this one as a demonstration at the 2016 Ledger-Enquirer Home and Garden Show. It was pretty easy with the help of Home Depot.  Keep reading for the tutorial on how to make your own!

The first thing you'll want to do is decide on the measurements for your ottoman. Mine was going at the end of a chair so the finished product measures about 22" long by 17" wide by 16" tall.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Cranberry and Pecan Brie En Croute

Looking for the perfect appetizer to make for your next party? Look no further! This recipe is delicious and always gets rave reviews! And the best part is it's quick and easy to make. I made this for my sister's baby shower a few weeks ago. It's a little more fancy than your average cheese ball and looks great on a pretty platter!

Cranberry and Pecan Brie En Croute

  • 1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
  • 1 (8 ounce) wheel of Brie cheese
  • 1/3 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Soak dried cranberries in a small bowl of water for one minute so that they are not hard.
  3. Lay thawed puff pastry sheet on a cookie sheet.
  4. In a small saucepan, melt butter. Stir in pecans and cinnamon and toast for about 3 minutes. 
  5. Place Brie in the middle of the puff pastry.
  6. Place pecan mixture on top of Brie.
  7. Place brown sugar on top of pecan mixture. The heat of the pecan mixture will help melt the brown sugar.
  8. Drain cranberries. Place them on top of brown sugar. 
  9. Bring the edges of the puff pastry up and press them together making sure to seal the dough. If you have excess dough you can cut a leaf or decoration to add to the top of the Brie.
  10. Using a pastry brush, brush the entire pastry with the beaten egg.
  11. Bake for 15-20 minutes in the oven or until the pastry is a golden brown. 
  12. Serve with crackers or just by the slice.
Note: For this shower I used a 14 oz brie wheel instead of an 8 oz. So I doubled the recipe and used two pastry sheets to cover it. I just placed the second puff pastry on top of the Brie and turned up the edges of the one on the bottom and sealed them together. 


Recipe from The Girl Who Ate Everything