hey! i'm miken and this is my blog to show what i've been doing lately as far as creating, homemaking, etc. this blog may be feast or famine with regards to posting so follow to make sure you don't miss anything!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

foil dinners

Foil Dinners

Our Rating: ★★★★★
Ingredients: (Makes 2 dinners)
1 lb. thawed hamburger
2 large russet potatoes
Vegetables of your choice (I use 1/2 onion and 1 red pepper)
Salt and Pepper
Spices of your choice (I use Mrs. Dash and Garlic Salt)
Optional: Can of cream of mushroom soup or velveeta cheese sauce

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

Put salt, pepper, and spices on your hamburger and knead it into the hamburger. Flatten and spread out your hamburger over the foil. Peel and cut up your potatoes and vegetables and put over hamburger. Put more spices on top of everything.

Optional ingredient: If you want to add cream of mushroom soup you will add a half can to each foil dinner. If you want to leave the soup out and make cheese sauce to put over afterwards or just leave it plain you can do that too.

Fold up your dinners making sure that nothing is going to bubble out. Coat with a Couple sheets of foil if needed. Put on a cookie sheet and bake for 1 hour.

Optional ingredient: For the cheese sauce just cut up cubes of velveeta (about 1/4 of a package) and put about 1/4 cup of milk and microwave. Stir and microwave until liquid.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

diy easy black-out curtains

Do you wake up feeling like you need a nap? This is the story of my life! Have you considered that while you sleep you might need complete darkness to get the deep sleep you need? I never considered this in the past. After the first night of putting my curtains up I felt completely rejuvenated! I literally can feel the difference in the amount of energy I have from day to day. This might sound like a sales pitch but I'm dead serious! I get a deeper sleep having complete darkness. I had NO idea and was not expecting that this result would come from curtains but I definitely want to tell everyone about it!

Curtains are expensive. It might be just me but the only ones I can find that I like even slightly are a fortune! Maybe I am cheap but I am not willing to spend $30+ per panel for curtains. Make your own curtains... in minutes!
Here's Mine:

My blinds are closed yet there is still ALL this light!

Curtains closed... it's night time in the middle of the day!

What I Used:

"Blackout" Fabric (Can be found at any fabric store - I got mine at Hobby Lobby)
Measuring Tape
2 Twin Sized Bed Sheets (Found mine at Target)
Iron & Ironing Board
Curtain rod & Clips (Found mine at Target)

I measured my windows first and held up a twin sized sheet horizontally and it fit from top to bottom with extra on the sides so i went and bought a couple sheets of my choice (2 windows to cover for me) and some "blackout" fabric. Blackout fabric is the most important ingredient in this recipe!! I brought them home, ironed my sheets and folded the extra fabric on the sides over and made a seam with the iron. I cut the blackout fabric to match up to my sheet. I clipped the sheet and the blackout fabric behind onto my curtain rings and installed the curtain rod. Seriously with shopping and everything this project took 2 hours. If you would like to have 2 panels for your window (1 on each side) you can always cut your sheet in half and sew a seam too. I chose the easier route. I would definitely recommend getting a good sturdy curtain rod. The one I got is pretty crappy cause i went for the cheapest. Spending a couple extra bucks on the hardware will make a big difference.

Goodnight! ♥

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

make-it-your-own pasta

this can be a whole meal in one or just a side. probably one of my favorites just because it's so dang easy. when i don't have a meal plan or my pantry is looking empty i can usually count on at least having the ingredients for this. my husband loves the pasta served with baked parmesan chicken.

1-2 large chicken breasts (optional)
2 cups fresh or frozen vegetables (i used fresh broccoli, carrots, red peppers, and red onion)
3-4 cups pasta (i usually use penne or bowtie)
dressing of your choice to taste (i usually use a mixture of kraft tuscan house italian dressing and greek vinaigrette - shown at bottom)

how you make it:
1. thaw the chicken if it isn't already thawed
2. cook the pasta
3. meanwhile cook the chicken on the stove in a large pan (if you're adding chicken to the pasta)
4. for the last 2-3 minutes add the vegetables into the boiling water with the pasta
5. drain the pasta/vegetable mix
6. once the chicken is cooked through add the pasta and vegetable mix with a tablespoon of olive oil to the pan. (if not adding chicken to the pasta then heat the olive oil first then add the pasta)
6. sear the pasta
7. add in the dressing of your choice and serve warm

this is extremely tasty and the left-overs are just as great the next day served hot or cold! you can add whatever mixture of vegetables you want and seasonings to spice things up.

if you try it let me know what you think! let me know what variation you used too. :)

Thursday, April 8, 2010

dry clean your wedding dress

Some of you, like me, might want to keep your dress so that maybe someday one of your children or grandchildren in a future generation might want to wear it. Call me sentimental! After wearing it only on a couple occasions it tends to get dirty - on the bottom from dragging on the ground, cake getting on it, etc.

I searched and searched for a good price to get my dress dry cleaned.

Bottom line: IT IS EXPENSIVE!

I just want to let you know the great deal I got! Most places charge around $130 just for the cleaning with additional cost depending on how intricate and detailed your dress is (lace, beads, etc.) from there you can choose to get it in a protective box that keeps it safe from oxidation (yellowing) which costs around another $35.

I called several places and by far the best deal was at Country Cleaners! I paid $75 total for my dress (covered in lace and beads) to be cleaned and put in a special wedding dress box!! Country Cleaners only charges $40 if you want to get the dress cleaned only with no box. Some specific Country Cleaners stores won't do wedding dresses so just call ahead to make sure they will. I took mine to the one in Bountiful and it turned out absolutely GREAT!

(Note: I got married last August and just barely had this done - so don't worry about it being too long since you got married!)

Save money & save your wedding dress! ♥

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


Do you ever just decide that you HATE something you have, or over time you just get tired of it? I think it happens to most of us. Before you just throw it out, think of making some adjustments to revamp it!

I have never really liked the color RED. So, it comes as no surprise that I started to need a change on my picture garland.
After (NO RED!)
*Ahh... much better.*

Sometimes it can be as easy as adding pillows - making a bed look that much comfier!!

Even if you're the only one who will notice; fix it to make yourself happy!
Little changes can make a big difference ♥
...now, time for bed. :)

shoutout: la quatrième gourmande

My friend Meagan has a cooking/etc. blog that I ♥. She is such a great cook and shares her secrets with wannabes like me! Plus I just won her giveaway WOO HOO! :)

Check out/follow her food blog here to get tips and tricks from the master herself:

Someday I'll be a cookin' fool :)

Monday, April 5, 2010

hanging fabric flower garland

Inspiration: Aerie.
I don't have an actual picture of what I saw, but my final project is essentially the same. I loved the idea and I loved making it!
Making of:
1. Cut fabric into equal sized squares. (I used felt and regular fabric)

2. Cut those squares into circles. (does not need to be perfect)
3. With each circle, fold so there is a point at the bottom and sew through the points & connect each point together til you get a little flower ball.
4. Voila!
5. Attach them to string of your choice and hang!
Here's mine:
finished project

happy easter

Yes, my decorations for the holidays are getting weaker and weaker, I know. I'm going to have to say St. Patrick's Day was the worst (notice no posts about St. Patty's)... oh well! Here are a few little Easter bunnies my mom has given me over the years :)

Last but not least... the Easter basket!
I always look forward to the Easter holiday not only because of what it represents, but it's also the time of year for LDS General Conference and of course Cadbury Mini Eggs!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

no changes allowed

There are a few things I don't necessarily love about my apartment:
  1. Not being able to paint
  2. Cabinets/doors are cruddy wood
  3. No real pantry
  4. Red paint splashed on random places (my sink, my kitchen floor, the dishwasher, my patio)
  5. Light fixtures
  6. Not being able to change any of these things that bother me!
I want to turn THIS... (yikes!)
Into THIS!
Someday, far away... when I have a house I will be able to make this awesome yarn light! You can find the DIY instructions at ApartmentTherapy.com. For now, I will just look at the picture and want it and not have it. Such is life!

:( Woes of not being able to change your apartment!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

shoutout: fabric couture

My cousin Liz is amazing. Other than being:

✓ Beautiful
✓ Smart
✓ Talented
✓ Kindest Person I Know

She is SUPER creative! Liz just opened an Etsy shop called Fabric Couture and I'm pretty sure I MUST buy every headband she has on there.

Check out her gorgeous handmade headbands here:


Friday, March 19, 2010

death of a house

Diamond in the rough? Or point of no return?

I pass this building almost every day cause it's on the same street as my work just about a block away. It's on the East side of downtown Salt Lake. My question to the owners:

How could you let such a magnificent house turn to shambles?!

(at least they have dish satellite right? ugh!)

All I know is that if I had this house... I would be in heaven. I would LOVE to fix this house up and call it mine. Just look at all the awesome windows and architecture! Obviously it would take more than a few (thousand) dollars at this point and judging from the disarray of the outside of the mansion it's probably even WORSE on the inside. I don't think I'll ever let myself get over it.

Here is my office a block away. Granted this picture was taken in the summer so the outdoors looks pretty nice, the building is basically in pristine condition and I found a brochure for it... worth about 1.5 mill. I wonder how much the other one is worth... i shudder to think.

It kills me to see such awesome amazing places/items in the hands of people who trash them. Let someone who will take care of and appreciate the beautiful house have it and you go move into a dirty little shack where you belong... that is what I want to say to the owners of the house. I can be dramatic.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

diy tree branch jewelry holder

Inspiration: ApartmentTherapy.com

Making Of:
I used a power drill to put a big enough hole for the branch to sit in. I'm pretty tough. I know.

Random dead tree branch I snatched from a tree at my work. The sturdier/thicker the branch the more jewelry you can hold on it.
I painted this with leftover paint I had from painting my chair from this project. Spray paint might have been a lot easier but I'm a big fan of using what I already have!
And here's mine:
My cute little easter bunny wind-up toy...
Going through my drawer stuffed with jewelry I found tons of jewelry I haven't worn or even thought of in ages. Obviously it was necessary to put most of it on... Jewelry from the past really brings back the memories!! Now I just need to find an excuse to wear my ninja turtles watches (yes, plural) again... hmm.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

is anybody out there?

I'm getting the urge to close down shop. Not that I'm selling anything, I just really wonder who actually looks at this if anyone. Is it necessary to separate this from my regular blog? I don't know. So many questions I have floating around in this head. I guess I'm just not the type to try to advertise this blog etc. I have more of the 'let's see if people care on their own' sort of attitude which is probably half of the problem. So yeah... that's just me being a little flighty. Is that a word?

I get comments from generally the same people mostly. If anyone else reads either of my blogs I really would like to know - I swear I'm friendly! I'm usually looking for a new blog to read too. Let's be friends :) Just some thoughts... k I'm done.

Friday, March 5, 2010

desk: before and after

Remember this scenario? Pitiful! And yes, it's been like this since we moved in. Well NO LONGER! For Valentine's day Eddy got me a table and chair from Ikea to be my desk. I was excited to finally have somewhere to sit instead of sitting on my bed with the laptop and having it cause me neck and back pain! So here is the transformation.

Before:The Transformation:
The Wooden Chair

Painting process.
(Pretty much just made my sister Kerstin do it all...)

Kelly helped too

I hate waiting for paint to dry. Hurry UP!

Tired Pup.
My new desk!
Slapping a coat of paint on wood sometimes makes all the difference. I love it. Thanks Eddy!