My husband pulled this 8 drawer chrome cart out of our neighbors garbage. It was a little rusty, but otherwise would be perfect for all my craft supplies. I think it is a great find because similar carts sell for upwards of $70 on Amazon! What to do, what to do.....so I simply sanded, wiped it down, and spray painted it! Now it is not only is perfect for all my supplies, but it looks brand new too!
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I was cleaning the kitchen last Sunday and noticed how yucky the toaster looked on the counter. Of course I immediately decided to put a cover on it, I just didn't know what kind. After some searching Amazon for something that I liked, I decided to just use some of my leftover yarn and make my own. I tried to find a pattern online, but I didn't find anything simple enough and you know that if it's not simple then it's not for me! I know this picture doesn't do the cover justice, but believe me it is a major improvement over simply having a toaster sitting on the counter and it absolutely looks better than the toaster alone collecting dust in the corner.
This pattern depends upon the size of your toaster, but mine is a two slice Oster (see affiliate link at bottom of post). The cover is a little larger than necessary but this is because I plant on getting a bigger toaster with 2 slide wide mouth and longer slots to fit Rye bread some day. Nothing like planning ahead!
Directions for Center Piece
Directions for Sides - Make 2
Is it perfect? No...but it's exactly what I wanted :-)
Simple to make and looks much better in person!
I promise :-)
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Spring is here, summer is coming soon and that, for me at least, means fresh vegetables! I just can't wait and in anticipation I am sharing two of my favorite recipes that require some of my wonderful homegrown vegetables!
Click on the button below the recipes to download the pdf file. It prints out best on one sheet of 8 1/2 x 11 paper, preferable card stock. Then you can simply cut out each of the 4 x 6 inch recipe cards on the dotted lines! They always come two recipes per sheet in an effort to not waste paper!
Visit my Recipes Page to
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FYI: there are always two recipes because I do not want to waste paper!
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Super Simple Cherry Tomato Sauce:
There are so many ways to start creating a simpler life! From finances, to house cleaning, to simply how you perceive your surroundings, simplifying your life can be, well..., simple! Here are my five favorite ways to keep my life simpler every day! You might think some of them are sort of 'cheating' but I think they are genius because to me they just make sense. In fact, they make so much sense that you may already be doing some, if not all, of them already!
ONE: Car Keys - Nothing makes me crazier than misplacing the car keys. Whether I am home, at the store, or even at work, misplacing, or trying to locate the car keys is a annoying! Here's how I simplified this problem: a hook. What? Yup, a hook. Not just any hook, mind you. My hook is a brass round eye quick snap that is actually used for rope or chain and it can be found in just about any hardware department. I originally tried some hook clips that were specifically made for key rings, but they weren't heavy duty enough for the kind of life I lead. I just happened to spot this one in the hardware department several years ago, and well, the rest is history!
Heres why it works:
TWO: Crocs - Mine are faux, my husbands are real, but either works great! We each keep a pair of these right by the door on a multi-purpose tray (perfect for winter snow boots too!). This allows us to quickly slip them on to run the garbage out, put the chickens away, get the mail, pick vegetables, take the compost out, etc. No searching all over for shoes, and no wasted time having to tie them. It is so simple to slip them on and run right outside. I don't have to worry about stepping in mud or chicken poop with my good shoes because stepping in that stuff is exactly what these are for! When I come back in the door they immediately go right back on the tray, mud and all! Want to wash them? Simple, just hose them down. No stress, no worries. Notice the ones on the tray are lined for winter use? I have another pair in purple with no lining for the summer :-)
THREE: All Surfaces Clear - When the surfaces in your house are clear, your home looks, or appears, clean! When the house appears clean, you feel better and have no worries or stress about anyone suddenly visiting or stopping by. How is this accomplished? First, get rid of the knick-knacks that take up space (and collect dust) on tables, shelves, etc. Second, get rid of extra furniture and anything that takes up unnecessary floor space. The same goes for kitchen counters and the top of the refrigerator too! Less is more! The bottom line is that you should be able to easily wipe a rag across any surface in your home to dust, sweep, mop, and or vacuum any time you choose. You shouldn't have to clean, before you clean! This goes a long way towards making the house appear clean even if you haven't recently dusted or swept! Win-win:-)
FOUR: Make the Bed - I don't really mean make the bed, which if done correctly like in a motel room can take a long time to tuck in the sheets, blankets etc. I mean make the bed appear to be made, or made good enough. First, you need to have a nice headboard. It doesn't have to be expensive, and you can even make your own, but it is 'key' for this tip to work. Then get an oversized comforter or summer quilt and a few matching decorative pillows. Keep the comforter on the bed and use it. Yup, sleep with it every night and in the morning as soon as you get up for the day, straighten it out and throw the decorative pillows at the top by the headboard. It will look great and literally only take a few seconds to accomplish! So simple!
FIVE: Mail (not the 'e' kind) - The mail basically gets delivered every day but Sunday. Most of the time it is junk and bills. Not exactly a pleasant experience. How to simplify? Well, you could get a PO Box and only pick it up once a week, but this costs money. A better way is to just grab it, sort the junk and the bills, simply throw the junk right out and stick the rest in the 'bill basket.' Immediately. Don't let it sit around. Don't waste your time opening it. The 'bill basket' is simply a drawer in a wicker corner unit that I throw all the bills and other 'non-junk' mail into. Once a month when it's time to pay the bills, I go through it. That's when I file the papers that aren't bills but need to be saved (like EOB's) and sort through what bills do need to be paid. Yes, I only do bills once a month. I took the time to make all my bills due on or about the same day each month, and I sit down to pay them all about a week before they are due. It takes less than an hour of my time, on one day only, of each and every month! Thats about 12 hours a year to pay bills!
Did you like any of the tips above? Then stay tuned!
Our book "The ABC's of Creating A Simpler Life" is coming soon! It is chock full of tips from A to Z to help in creating your simpler life. There is something for everyone, no matter what stage of your life you are at or where you live.
After all, who doesn't want life to be simpler?
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Keep it simple my friends :-)
It's time to get the garden ready! I get so excited this time of year because I get to plant my favorite crop: string beans!
Years ago when we first started our garden we tried growing bush string beans. Unfortunately these felt like backbreaking work to bend over and pick them all. They also took up a tremendous amount of space in our small garden that we really wanted to put to better use. That led us to finally trying pole beans and that was the best decision we ever made.
Here's why pole string beans are my absolute favorite vegetable to grow:
We grow two, soon to be three, pole beans varieties for different reasons:
The third type of bean will be grown for the first time this year! We are so excited because it is supposed to be a perennial. Yes, that's right, a bean we should never have to plant again because it will come back on its own year after year! We can't wait to try it! Read all about the Perennial String Beans here! Now we just need to figure out where to plant them so that they never get disturbed!
Growing pole beans is so simple that the hardest part about growing them is the poles! Yup, sounds silly, but the poles can be a pain in the neck. The beans can pull them down they can rot, etc. After years of minimal success we finally decided to make something more permanent. After a lot of research (of course) about growing pole beans, we finally decided to try building a pole built from electrical conduit, rebar, and twine. Yes, it was a small investment but the poles are still as good as the first year we built them, even with being moved around!
Supplies For 10' long by 5' high Pole Structure:
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Who doesn't love a lovey blanket? They make great gifts for newborns and are sure to be their absolute favorite!
This little lovey was inspired by my niece who 'was' expecting - and just recently gave birth to - my first great nephew! After making an adorable crochet camo infant bear hat (free pattern here) for her I decided to make a matching bear lovey (I had so much leftover yarn!). And then since I had some different leftover yarn from another project I decided to make one out of that too!
Make the Head:
(I strongly suggest reading all the directions first and then watching the video tutorial if this is your first time making a ball shape).
Make the Nose:
Make the Ears:
Make the Arms:
Sew on Eyes:
Make the Blanket:
This is a basic granny square blanket. If my directions are confusing, check out this granny square video tutorial.
The final blanket is approximately 18" x 18".
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Hi there! I'm Kathie, the author behind Creating A Simpler Life. I'm excited to share our longterm projects (and planning) toward building our future retirement homestead in the Adirondack Mountains of New York. In the meantime I will be sharing all the other little things we do that are part of creating our simpler life!