Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Homemade and Handcrafted Party No. 40

Every Wednesday 6 a.m. - Sunday 11:30 p.m.
Welcome to the Homemade and Handcrafted party!

Feel free to link up your posts (new or old ones). We love seeing what you've been up to! Share your crafts, recipes, DIY, and inspirations! We love to visit other parties and enter giveaways; so you can link those up too!

Let's check out the top favorites from last week! 

Slow Cooker Pear Butter Recipe 

Coasters with Style

DIY Autumn Wreath

The Drunken Table and  A Fall Vignette

Honey Tart with Macadamia Nuts

Thank you for sharing with us! 

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Party Button  to be shared ONLY if desired.
"Pinning" is encouraged! 

Thank you so much for taking the time to share your creations and ideas!

Friday, September 23, 2016

Tangy Grilled Mango Cheeks

Grilled mango is delicious! It's one of my favorite sweet and sour flavors. This is a super easy and fast preparation recipe that you can make the night before for brunch or lunch while making another dinner.

Cut off the mango cheeks.

Cube the mango without going through the skin.

Sprinkle on a little lime juice.

Pour on a little mango dressing.

Sprinkle on some smoked paprika.

Grill on the skin side for 1 minute. Then flip to the meat side and grill for 1-2 minutes. Serve with greens and mango salsa.

That's it! Enjoy them hot off the grill or chill for the next day.

The next day taste is amazing. I eat it cold, but it can be reheated lightly. 

  • Mangoes, halved into two cheeks each (number depends on servings needed; 1/2 mango per serving)
  • Lime juice
  • Mango dressing
  • Smoked paprika
  • Mango salsa 


  1. Start and prepare grill on high so it is very hot.
  2. Cut off mango cheeks at about 1/2" from the center to avoid pit.
  3. Cut slices into the mango to create cubes without cutting through the skin.
  4. Sprinkle on lime juice to allow to go into the cubes.
  5. Drizzle on mango dressing (the oil will keep the mango from sticking while creating flavor from the seasonings of the dressing)
  6. Sprinkle smoked paprika. Allow to set while checking the grill.
  7. Bring high fire to medium. 
  8. Add the mangoes, skin side down and grill for one minute; flip over and grill meat side for one to two minutes with lid down. 
  9. Remove from heat and serve with mango salsa.

Any leftovers taste better the next day when the grilling flavor has settled into the mango meat.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Homemade and Handcrafted No. 39

Every Wednesday 6 a.m. - Sunday 11:30 p.m.

I'm finally back to welcome you to the Homemade and Handcrafted party! (I'm a little early this week.)

The past four weeks have been challenging while juggling family and blogging, but we are back on track. 

Feel free to link up your posts (new or old ones). We love seeing what you've been up to! Share your crafts, recipes, DIY, and inspirations! We love to visit other parties and enter giveaways; so you can link those up too!
Picking up where we left off, let's check out the top favorites from the last party! 

Virgin Banana Daiquiris

Quick Side Table Makeover

Buffet Entertainment Center

Early Fall Centerpiece

Alphabet Blocks

Thank you for sharing your amazing talent and ideas! 

Featured Badge

Party Button  to be shared ONLY if desired.
"Pinning" is encouraged! 

Thank you so much for taking the time to share your creations and ideas!

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

DIY Utility Meter Cover

Having a deck or patio extends outdoor spaces into pleasant living areas... unless there is an ugly beast attached to it. And that is what lives at one area of our decking. This huge gas meter is just a big, old, ugly... eyesore. 

As we are re-siding the house from a pale yellow to a new "greige" (gray with brown tint) something had to be done to update or hide the utility meter. 

I had exterior paint mixed to match our new siding and painted the nemesis. (Today's technology is amazing. I took a small piece of the siding to the paint department and had them match it.) It's perfect.

But the gas meter is still quite bothering. The hunk of metal and pipes can't be disguised with paint alone. Why was this ever put here? What were they thinking? It made my stomach hurt looking at it because I know I can't move it. My eyes twitched from seeing it, yet I pretended it wasn't there most times. But it was. 

This monstrosity is haunting. 

The siding, as you can see, is incomplete. We are doing other sections before using leftovers for this bottom portion.

So I considered building a "box" around it by framing it and attaching the new siding to it. Along with that idea, it became more complicated, such as hinges and doors, like a cabinet. The more I thought about it, the heavier the build became. It was not my intention to take two people to move it when needed to do so.

That's when I decided to go "light" with something that can just be pulled away. Like these plastic or vinyl shutters. They were trash, on the side of the road, that I originally intended to paint and use on my garden shed. Being weather resistant, this idea should be a perfect solution.

The shutters alone would be too flimsy so it needed to start with a frame. Two iron fish tank stands, welded together was the perfect width and height for the framework. Strong enough to withstand snowfalls and heavy enough to not get blown way with high winds.

And they were cheap. One was free and the other a $5 yard sale find. 

For the top of the unit, I chose to use ceramic floor tiles attached to cement board. It too, will stand up to weather conditions. 

They were leftovers from another project. 

Then, all I had to do, was measure the height, cut the shutters, and attach them together to box in the deck monster. Testing the look after cutting the shutters, it was looking good so far.

I drilled holes through the sides of the shutters to attach them together with nuts and bolts.

Then tried the box unit around the fish tank stands to make sure it fit. 
It did. 

Finally, cleaning and painting! 

I also painted the floor tile for the top of the unit. 

And the ugly meter is finally hidden.

In fact, the new "cover" doubles as a side table!

The "shutter cover" or "meter disguise" can just be pulled away and the tile top can be lifted off anytime with ease. 

It can rain and snow all Mother Nature wants. The materials can take a beating.

The deck monster is tamed. My stomach feels better. My eyes stopped twitching.

A one day project, with almost no cost, has brought new joy. 

After other outdoor projects are finished, we can go back and build a permanent cover for this using the actual siding, but I didn't have the patience to wait. I'm a woman. That double "X" chromosome and hormones forces impatient decisions upon females. 

This suffices. It's a much more pleasant looking space now.

Do have any utility meters that you have disguised? What did you do? I'd love to see or hear about the different ideas!

Blogging Over 50 and DIY Obstacles

While joining my "Over 50" blogging friends to share posts of all topics within our age group, we have one common ground... we are "older". Today, we are posting for a blog hop to embrace our "mature years" in some form or fashion.

I find blogging to be the new world of domestication. Remembering that homemakers relied heavily on television and bought up magazines to spruce up homes back in the good "ol" days, we've come a long way baby! Sharing our own talents freely on the internet is the most inspiring homemaking trend these days. Google any type of  "how to" and you'll most likely find it on a blog. That search can be anything from making perfect lemon meringue to roofing a whole house.

Source: Good Housekeeping

This blog hop shall be interesting.

Being a DIY blogger, this particular hop gave me a topic obstacle.
And; I slightly panicked.

What do I write about? That I collect junk to redo or repurpose? Everyone already knows that.

Do I say that I use a 2x4 board as a balance beam and have 3 seconds of private world games glory before I fall off and hurt my ankle?

Or how about, I'm 55 and refuse to exercise in a room full of zumba enthusiasts? I'd have to work really hard just to get in shape before joining a public exercise group like that! Don't get me wrong, I realize that exercising is important and don't take the time for it when I should; more now than ever. Despite that app I added to my phone that alerts me to do so many steps per day, I just don't do it.

Now that Pinterest app... is something else! At least I pinned a few exercise moves to try someday.

I also realize that my upper arms continue to wave for 10 minutes after I have waved hello or goodbye. I can't understand why moving 50 bricks in a wheelbarrow and mixing 80 pounds of concrete at a time hasn't cured that problem. Maybe because I don't do it everyday. But sanding and scraping furniture on a regular basis should count. Wouldn't you think so?

It's not like I haven't tried.
At home.
In private.

I bought an exercise ball intended to balance weight and exercise body movements while tightening the inner core. Seemed like fun until I rolled on it across the floor and hit my head on the dresser. So it ended up as a pool ball, you know, under the cover for winterizing.

It's just another good repurposing idea.

Besides; I'm menopausal. I'm already overheated with hot flashes. Exercising could set my hair on fire.

Until I become more proactive, I suppose longer and more frequent walks with the dog will be the extent of my regular exercise routine... that's if the dog doesn't run off with me chasing him down.

That was an experience last month. It's morning. He got loose. I went after him. In a short tank dress. With boobs flying to the sides of my ribs and with my bare feet stretching my legs the farthest ever, I chased the dog through all of the neighbors' back lots. Then, I tripped through some tree roots and my feet went over my back and head. (An upside down back flip, as I call it.) I landed hard. Gained control only to trip again. (My head must have refused to get knocked out while my body was in shock.) After getting the dog and walking gracefully home, I realized my underwear did match my tank dress. Thank God I had underwear on. The neighbors probably never saw gymnastics like that before. The unannounced performance was just as surprising to me too.

Oh well,

...working on a lot of physical DIY projects does have some advantages with my aging body. Crouching over a table with a palm sander for hours could be considered a workout because it hurts so bad when I'm finished.

No pain, no gain... who started that rumor?

As for my eyes. I've finally progressed to poor eyesight. With the help of glasses, my bifocals do a fine job of double duty as safety glasses while working in the shop. For really close up work, a magnifying glass helps. I use both, my bifocals and a magnifying glass to thread needles. The tricky one is on the sewing machine. I've attempted to thread it off the machine and carefully replace the needle. The time it takes isn't any longer than trying it on the machine to begin with.

What's worse than that, is trying to put on eye makeup.

I haven't figured out how to do that with my glasses on.

Without them, I apply shadow, liner and mascara, then put the glasses on and scare myself. Washing it off leaves remnants of the makeup and very red skin around the eyes. Then I look like I have a head cold.

I even attempted false eyelashes, thinking it's a no fail solution to messy mascara. But, I glued my right eye shut because I couldn't see where I was applying the adhesive. I guess it's not for me. A friend suggested getting eyelash extensions at a salon. After seeing the cost for a temporary situation, I steered away. If I could spend that much money on my eyes, it would be to get my eyesight back! Laser eye surgery is a big wish list item that may never happen. So sporting bifocals in the shop will continue to be so savvy.

It's probably a good thing that I'm a basic fashion plate with my beauty fails. T-shirts, jeans, plaid shirts, cargo pants (best for working in) and cowboy boots are what complete my wardrobe. And some of those could be mixed together at the same time. Obviously, I'm not a model primadona. I could never be a fashion or beauty blogger. It's a real life disaster for me and I'd set the worst examples ever. I'm surprised I haven't seen myself in those "Whale-mart People" photos.

You would think I could DIY beautify my body but I seriously can't keep a pretty color of nail polish on for one day. My before and after photos of my hands are from clean and pretty to slivers, ripped finger nails, and skin abrasions.

I had to laugh out loud and spit my coffee when asked for a photo of me with one of my projects for a feature. Are you kidding!?!?! When 99% of the time I look like this:

I'm not photogenic material. 
I'll stay behind the camera.

Although I have so much more DIY lined up for the blog it will eventually run out. As will my body. After numerous carpentry accidents, I'm learning to slow down. So, I'm currently contemplating rebranding to more of a "complete home" blog... where I can add recipes (it's a safe zone), home decor, design, and other lifestyle elements of the home.

Perhaps I'll have nice fingernails for a couple of days in a row. Maybe even talk about "private summer" remedies. (You know, those hot flashes in January) And, the fact there is no "i" in "uterus". It's been a shared territory with ambitious sperm and growing infants a few times. It's basically expired and possibly removing it can alleviate some problems so I can feel 20 again. After all, 50 is the new middle age and I do have a "tween-ager" to keep me busy.

The blog will go on, despite my behind the scene "maturity" dilemmas. Hopefully, I'll have a new photo that is more professional, or ask someone with good photo editing skills to fix one for me... maybe they are talented enough to paint on some fake eyelashes.

For now, I'm really excited to read what the other amazing middle aged women of our group  have written. We're a supportive bunch. And we're not "old"; we're "seasoned". It does take years of experience to achieve perfection. We may even be reinvented souls.

Feel free to browse the links and get acquainted with all of us! And, we'll be using #fiftyandfab on our social media if you would like to follow along!