DIY Shelves Ikea Style

 

IMG_5452

I’m super excited about the new shelves in my home! There were some minor hiccups along the way, (isn’t that how it usually is with DIY… you experiment, try new things?) even with the “ack” moments, I’m really happy with the way it all turned out. This is how it went down…or up?…

IMG_9126

I tried to make my own stain using the steel wool method. Notice the word tried? I want to give this DIY stain another go. I believe my mistake was letting this mixture sit too long. Thus the strong rust color rather than the weathered gray I was going for.

IMG_9130 (1)

1. Fine steel wool in a glass jar  2. Pour white vinegar to cover steel wool (about 2 cups)  3. Let sit for a few days  4. Stain is made (again, I think I let mine sit too long)

IMG_4160

These brackets are from Ikea. I bought them about 10 years ago. They were light pine, lovely as is, but I wanted a weathered look. The second bracket from the left was after one coat and the third bracket was after a second coat. Neither color was anywhere near the weathered gray I was going for.

IMG_4157

I found the stain didn’t go on evenly even though I applied it evenly. Perhaps it was because I didn’t use a wood conditioner.

IMG_4156

I had hoped with a third coat the color would even out somewhat (and hoping the color would gray out as they dried…), but that was not the case. As I mentioned above, the color came out a “rust” color instead of the weathered gray I was hoping to achieve. At this point I was not in a full-blown panic, but more like “ack”! I’d been waiting for the right time and place to use these and now I’ve ruined them! What do I do now?

So… I got out my trusty DeWALT palm sander and went at the brackets. I didn’t sand them down to bare wood as I still wanted the weathered look and decided a whitewashed technique could be just what these brackets needed. You can see the whitewashed technique here.

IMG_1935 (1)

I wanted to mention how I hang stuff on my walls. TAPE. I use tape to “see” what the finished look will look like. You will see in future posts that the artwork is hung different from what is taped here (hence the beauty of using tape. See it before the nails go in.) I also changed the color of the walls in this room. The clock stayed in the same spot and so did the shelves. 🙂 I moved the cat house you see in the corner of the picture to the hall upstairs. I’ve noticed the cats scratch at it way more up there and it seems to be a great spot for them to go to when they need some quiet time. (see the cat post here) The lamp was moved to another room. You can see the lamp shade project here. Following At Koko’s Place you will see that things rarely stay in the same place for long!

IMG_3420

The boards I used for the shelves used to be one of two huge bookcases. My awesome husband took them apart for me and the boards sat in the garage where they awaited what their new life would be. Picture them stained the darkest brown color you see here. I sanded them, leaving both the natural wood color and some of the brown stain, knowing I would whitewash the boards using the technique I did on the dresser turned desk here.

IMG_3421

In making the bookcases, I countersunk screws… In making shelves, I didn’t want them to show. I then cut four boards down to 40 1/2 inches long using my DeWALT jig saw and then sanded the edges. 

IMG_3422

Patch away I did. There was a lot of patching to do! After patching, I sanded it all flat.

IMG_2853

Dark gray walls now! The rack of plants I move around to follow the sun. And spoiled pets…the reason we bought sofas. 😉

IMG_4557

Taped the walls again after the new color went on. Frog tape was used this time instead of Scotch Blue. The headlamp was because I decided to hang the shelves around midnight and I didn’t have adequate lighting in the room at the time. What? I know I’m not the only one that does projects at odd hours 😉

IMG_4560

I used the level as I taped the lines. It made the job easier for me. I didn’t have studs where I needed them to be, so I used wall anchors. Best invention. See them in this project here.

IMG_4561

Four down, four to go!

IMG_4562

Even though I pre-leveled, I still would check the level as I went along. I also made sure the brackets were in a straight line.

IMG_4563

All done! Now to add the boards.

IMG_5131

*Insert happy squeal here!

IMG_4989

Plants bought from Trader Joe’s, Home Depot, and Costco. Owl from TJMaxx. Buddha, can’t remember, I’ve had him for a long time.

I lived with the blue, then the green tapes for a bit. Over the course of a few weeks, I moved the tapes from three shelves to four and played with the spacing. I tried to picture what I would have on the shelves and how tall I envisioned the plants to grow. Since I love greenery, I knew I wanted more space to put them so that was why I added the fourth shelf. And I am happy I did!

Thank you so much for reading. As always, I appreciate YOU! Have a beautiful day!

❀Be well and just love! Peace, Koko❀

 

Dyson Pure Hot+Cool Link Review

Dyson heats, cools, air purifies your space! All three in one! How cool is that?!

img_4255

Look what Santa brought me! Dreams do come true. Santa knew! I don’t know how, I never said it out loud, nor did I write it in a letter to the big guy. Though I have a feeling a special elf was involved!

I am super stoked to be talking about my new toy! I’ve walked by these units on display at stores for a couple of years. I must admit they had me at the “cool” setting during one very hot summer. The delightful coolness had me sighing and the near silent machine had me in awe! Then as winter would come they’d turn on the Dyson units that “heat”. The yummy warmth literally had me dreaming of one for myself. Something I didn’t know was Dyson made a unit that did both hot and cool and to make it even better they made it with an air purifier too! What!? Yes you heard me right.

img_4257

Seven is helping me unbox. What a good kitty!

Since I took this out of the box, I’ve been using it daily. I know it’s too soon to review the longevity of it, but I will do a re-review on that later on during the year.

If you get a chance, take a look at the video about it HERE. Or watch below 🙂

img_4279

I like its compact size and how quiet it is while on. I love the magnet feature on the remote. When done using it, you can set it on the top of the unit and it stays! No more losing the remote!

img_4259

The first thing my daughter said was it reminds her of “R2D2”. Of course we had to give ours a name!

This is really easy to use. The controls are simple even for someone who isn’t techie savvy like me! I love that this is basically a 3 in 1; heat, cools, and air purifies. I love that this will replace three units in my home; space heater, fan, and air purifier and I’m looking forward to not having to carry the many units I do have up in the attic with each season when not needed.

The only con I can tell this far is the filter is not washable or reusable. But…from reading the manual, the filter should last a year if using this unit for 12 hours a day! That really is pretty awesome. I’m sure the filter will depend on individual homes: dust, dander, outdoor pollen, etc.

I didn’t go in to minute details on this, mainly because it really is simple to use. Plug in and go (well after I read the directions).

  • cools
  • heats
  • thermostat (this is fantastic, literally you can program this at even increments of one. my space heater starts at 65, 70, 75, 80. So far I’ve enjoyed the temp at 71!)
  • air purifies (the air quality is so nice. no burning smell you get with space heaters.)
  • airflow control (allows you to control how hard the air pushes out)
  • auto mode (this mode adjusts the airflow to the air quality in the room! smart!)
  • oscillates
  • two modes focused (air blows out directly) and diffused (air blows in a wider direction)
  • sleep timer (i love this feature)
  • night mode (the display on the machine is dimmed and it runs more quiet! how cool is that?!)
  • remote control (easy to use and the magnetic feature to secure it to the top of the unit is smart stuff!)
  • link this up to your phone! (what? yes, that’s what I said. I haven’t done this feature yet, but totally looking forward to it)

All in all I’m excited about this unit. Stay tuned for another re-review on this in about 6 months time.

img_4264

Did I mention I had a few pets? Haha. They are enjoying the heating feature! Can you guess how many are dogs and how many are cats in this picture?

Please stay tuned to why I have green tape on my wall and what I do with it and all the other things I’ve been doing while it seemed like i’ve been MIA! 🙂

Thank you so much for all your likes, comments, and follows. They really do make my day, each and every one!

Be well and just love! Peace, Koko 🙂

Yoga Ball Chair For Health

IMG_0573

My second ball. A new ball about every 10-ish years. Not bad.

Switching out a “chair” for a yoga ball! What?! Yep, that’s exactly what I did. I use a yoga ball daily for not only exercise but to “sit” on!

I’m always looking for ways to be kinder to my body and I’m always looking for ways to exercise while not “exercising” if that makes sense. What I mean is I try to get in exercise wherever I can. For instance while brushing my teeth I do leg lifts or wall squats.

Since I do a lot of computer work I wondered if I could work out my abs, legs, and back by sitting on a yoga ball. One thing I noticed right off the bat is my back feeling really good. No more achy feeling. My body didn’t feel tired and I felt more alert.

I experimented by moving my legs forward and back and wiggle side to side; both moves engaged my abs. I was onto something! Both fun and beneficial! I like that! Also, it gave me a great excuse to get rid of my highly uncomfortable chair! (In my forever quest for less stuff, that was another plus.)

I also noticed things like my back “self-adjusting”. And let me tell you… feels amazing!

So this is what I do: Sit on the yoga ball. My feet are flat for support. My legs are about shoulder width apart (I adjust feet positions for a change-up). There’s no rhyme or reason to any of my movements. The key for me is to not be still. I might tap my toes up and down or lift the heels of my feet up and down. I will wiggle side to side, rotate my hips around, move my legs forward and back.

If you give this a try, you can experiment with moves. I find it fun and anything to keep the blood moving is good in my book.

What sitting on a yoga ball does for me:

  • Reminds me to sit tall.
  • Reminds me to pull my tummy in. (Very important.) Always working the core!
  • Helps to adjust/align my spine. I’m always striving for ways to keep my back/spine healthy.
  • Relieves my back pain. I don’t have that nagging pain in my lower back when I’m done sitting anymore. I get up… and back feels great!
  • My abs feel stronger.
  • My low back feels stronger.
  • I’ve always had good posture, but the ball makes sure I do!
  • Keeping my body in motion is important to me, and this does just that!
  • I prefer sitting on a yoga ball now to a standard “office” chair. Or really any chair for that matter. I guess you can say it’s more comfortable.
  • No tailbone pain. I cracked mine a few years back. Owie. Long story…
  • My hips feel stronger. I don’t get that painful “pop” in them as often as I did. And really as I type this now, I can’t remember the last time that happened.
  • If you know me, you know I like doing things that have more than one benefit. If I must sit (computer work) then I want to exercise!
  • Not using a standard chair, I can stretch my arms behind me periodically.
  • My neck and shoulders are more relaxed and I feel the tension is much, much better.
  • Even though I am moving on a yoga ball, I still stand by my “standing up” every 15-20 minutes thing I do. I will do jumping jacks, squats, or even sit-ups and push-ups using the yoga ball. Check out Dr. Mercola’s post here on sitting too long.
  • I am more awake/alert. And that’s important especially if I’m doing research on a topic I find boring.
  • And most of all, it makes me happy!
IMG_7318

See how-to on lamp and desk.

Happy is good! We all have challenges, constant obstacles that get us down, but it’s up to us to get up, challenge those challenges and push those obstacles out-of-the-way. Sometimes as I work, a sad thought will creep into my mind and I know I can’t do a thing about that sad thought…I start bouncing on the yoga ball, almost as if I’m on a trampoline, and well, the sad is still there, but deeper in the back of my mind. In the midst of bouncing, the endorphins go up and I can actually find my smile again.

So if challenges and obstacles are pushing at you…push back!

Hugs to all my Awesomenesses!

Peace, Koko ❤

Review Cuisinart Coffee Maker

IMG_9451

This is the same machine, 2 years later. Still looks and preforms like new!

Remember when I reviewed this Cuisinart’s Cuisinart Coffee Plus 12-cup Programmable Coffeemaker plus Hot Water System coffee pot? Here I am re-reviewing it.

It’s still awesome! 2 years and going strong! Insert cheers here***

This is the one appliance that is used daily in my household. The first thing I do when I step into the kitchen is turn on the hot water feature. (Pets are cared for first thing. I use it to warm their food.)

I can say that this machine is quite the workhorse as daily pots of coffee are made and many, many cups of tea. The hot water feature is used not only for teas and cocoa, I use it to make oatmeal and as i’ve said, heat my pets food.

Everything I’ve done 2 years ago with this machine, I still do. I wipe the machine down with a damp cloth (inside and out) regularly. I used white vinegar to clean the inside of the machine about one-two times a month and the filters get changed about every three-four months. I feel I can stretch the filter changes as I use already filtered water. I don’t have “off/funny” tastes with this unit. I’ve had people ask if the tea tastes like coffee. I can honestly say, I don’t have an issue with that. My tea tastes like tea! 🙂

This machine is so useful when friends are over. They go to the hanging cups and help themselves. We can sit at the breakfast bar and chat and sip and make more beverages to our hearts content!

Cuisinart still sells this unit. Don’t hesitate to buy it. It was a smart purchase, I mean…(I thank Santa Claus for leaving this amazing machine under the tree those years ago!)

Hope you enjoyed the review and it was helpful to you. Whatever you do in your day, make time to have a cup of something. Whether you are a coffee, tea, cocoa drinker, taking a moment for yourself or with someone you care about and enjoy a cup is a wonderful way to start your day. I take mine out onto the deck (weather permitting) and even if it’s for five minutes, I take time to breathe in the clean air and sip my drink…starts my day happy.

Take five minutes for YOU. Breathe, sip your drink, and let the happiness fill you!

Be well Friends. Peace, Koko

DIY Simple Wall Fix In Seconds

Remember the desk I repurposed? (see it here) The wall I’m referring to is the wall I see when I am creating at my desk. I had troubles doing anything with ugly holes staring back at me the whole time! I’m talking at least 20 unsightly holes! I took a shelving system down because something I am building will be in it’s place: Hopefully sooner than later, (waiting for my order to come in). Back to the ugly holes in the wall…I needed a quick fix.

My solution…

IMG_7318

See how to “DIY” lampshade here. Great place to set my computer glasses!

Yes, a door! Voila! The ugly sight was fixed in seconds. (I will do a proper job with spackle later…) Since this is what I see…I wanted to pretty-it-up, by adding the antlers and it was simple enough to do…

IMG_7276 (1)

The string was something I had on hand. It was too thin so I braided three strands for a thicker “rope”.

IMG_7278

Seeing a wall full of this was not very inspirational.

IMG_7274

I screwed in two of theses hooks. (See tip below for easy pilot hole start.)

IMG_7271

Tip: You need a nail and a hammer…But keep in mind you want the nail you use to be thinner than the screw, otherwise the screw will not have something to bite into.

IMG_7272

Tap the nail in (Not too far. Just a few taps will do.) See the hole near the right side of the nail?

IMG_7274

Tapping in a pilot hole helps to guide the screw in. Just screw in the screw!

If you have an unsightly wall, you can fix it fast, by using an old door, new door, shoji screen, even a lovely quilt. This quick fix allows me to breathe easier seeing something pretty until I can get to repairing it.

Here’s to making the life around you beautiful. Peace, Koko

Mouse over the pics below to see the caption…Something I didn’t know! Found out accidentally! Teehee!

 

DIY – Make Your Own Bed Frame

lakdfj;aldskjf

If you can’t find a bed frame that you like…build it!

I’ve never found a bed frame I was happy with. It started with making bed frames for my kids at all stages of them growing up. I wanted them to have as much play space as possible because every kid needs space to make epic Lego scenes or twirl around to their heart’s content, am I right?! So their beds were built up high so they could play underneath (ie; camping reading nook etc.) and as they got older, desks were built-to-suit to fit nicely under.

I wanted a frame high enough to keep the dogs off of the bed. So this is my build…

3/4″ Plywood: 2 sheets, depending on what size frame you are building.

4×4’s Legs: However long you need, buy accordingly.

2×4’s Sides, top and bottom of frame: However long you need depending on building for twin or queen or king. Also 2×4’s for the underside of the frame for support. (see photos below).

6″ Carriage bolts, 2 per leg = 8

Hex nuts for the carriage bolts = 8, one per bolt.

Washers = 8, one per bolt.

“L” brackets for support on the underside of the frame.

Felt for each feet to prevent scratching of your wood floors as well as a buffer between the 4×4’s and the 2×4’s (see picture below).

Paint or stain

Tools:

Chop saw

Skill saw

Hammer

Wrench – Proper size to use on hex bolts.

Drill with proper size drill bit to drill holes. Also, drill for screwing screws into 2×4’s.

Screws or nails

Clamps – trigger clamps

Measuring tape

I want to start off by introducing this...

I want to start off by introducing this tip…This is felt. I buy it by the sheet and cut it to suit. I use them under most furniture to help me move them around the room without needing any help whatsoever! How cool is that!?

See the felt? I doubled the felt because this build is heavy! I was all out of dark brown felt, though the white isn't really noticeable. I could take a marker and color the edges...again, not a big deal. ;)

See the felt? I doubled the felt because this build is heavy! I was all out of dark brown felt, though the white isn’t really noticeable. I could take a marker and color the edges…again, not a big deal. 😉

The basic build is to first figure out the height you want the frame to be. Don’t forget to account for the measurement of the plywood on top. In this build I used 3/4″ plywood.

I used 4×4 for the legs. I wanted the chunky look, plus it’s very sturdy. I measured for the height and cut the 4×4 using a chop saw.

Measuring out for a queen size I measured and cut 2×4’s for the frame to go around the entire bed. You can screw or nail the 2×4 together creating a “box”.

alkdjflakjdflakjf

To attach the legs onto the 2×4 “frame” you can use trigger clamps to hold the 4×4 into the corner so you can pre-drill for the carriage bolts. I pre-drilled one hole per side corner off setting them so one is closer to the top on one side and one is closer to the bottom. I drilled through the 2×4 into the 4×4 all the way through!

lkajdflaskdjf

After the holes are pre-drilled I inserted the carriage bolt. This is where the hammer is needed to pound the bolt through. Once the bolt is through I used a washer and then a hex nut to secure the 4×4 in place. Before I go on I want to mention: Before the legs are set into the corner, I cut felt to put in the corner before I placed the 4×4 leg. The felt is to prevent the wood rubbing against each other.

What do you think of the floors? It took me a day and a half to lay the wood and one day to stain and seal. A walk through post about the floors coming: please stay tuned!

ladkjf

After the legs are bolted in place, I cut the plywood to fit using a skill saw. Drill the plywood into the 2×4 sides.

laksdjflaskdjfals;kf

Here you can see the felt in places where the 4×4 would touch the 2×4 sides. And you can see how I’ve off set the bolts.

lakdsfjasdklfjjaslkj

Here you can see I’ve run 2×4’s across the underside of the frame. This is for support. I also used “L” brackets for more support.

At this point you can leave the wood natural, paint it, or stain. I chose to stain it. I had left over stain from doing the floors. I just rubbed the stain in and let dry. I then did one coat of water based poly on it.

IMG_1674

lkajdflakjdf;lakdsjf

Kitty approves!  I need to do this technique on the lamps so they look like they match! Woohoo, another project. 😀

Tips:

If you have trouble finding 4×4’s you can use 2×4’s for the legs using 2-2×4’s in an “L” fashion.

When building a high frame such as a bunk bed style on top and say a desk area under, use 2×4 supports on three sides.  And for the ladder you can add more 2×4’s for the rungs.

Buy untreated wood only. You don’t want pressure treated! Some stores don’t carry untreated in the stores, but may be able to order it. ASK!

If you can’t find the right bed frame…build it!

If you want to see what I’m up to, follow me on instagram or twitter. I put up different things that don’t always make it onto the blog.

Share your smiles and your good wishes around. You never know who might need it! Now go out and be awesome!  Best, Koko ❀

Review Cuisinart’s: Coffee Plus 12-cup Programmable Coffeemaker plus Hot Water System

picstitch (21)

We just got the Cuisinart’s “Coffee Plus 12-Cup Programmable Coffeemaker Plus Hot Water System”.  In one word; LOVE. We are big coffee drinkers, and what’s more is we are big tea drinkers too, and the occasional hot chocolate gets in there somewhere.

Coffee makers come with all kinds of bells and whistles. In your most basic maker, there is an on and off switch and the hot plate; which is what the coffee pot sits on. For most people this is good enough. But for those of you that need a built-in programmer so your coffee is ready whenever you want it to be, this has that, and more!  The features are really simple to use.

It has a temperature setting for low, medium, and high allowing you to really customize your cup-of-joe! We keep ours on medium temp and that is plenty hot enough. Now when we are going outside with a cup we will turn the setting on high to give our hot coffee a chance at staying hotter longer while we are out working in the cold.

This maker does have what Cuisinart calls “brew pause” and that means if you need that caffeine fix NOW, then you can simply pull the pot out and pour before it’s finished brewing the entire pot. A brilliant feature for when that visitor or relative comes for a visit; you know who I’m talking about, the one person that won’t utter a single word until coffee has crossed his or her palate.

It has a water filter; a simple charcoal pack that is easily installed. I use filtered water anyway, but knowing this has a filter built-in, makes it doubly nice. I’m all for filtering out as many impurities as possible.

I like that it comes with a gold tone filter basket. Not all coffee makers come with one. I made the switch many, many years ago, well before some coffee makers started including them (again, not all coffee makers include the gold tone filter basket). I’ve had to buy them in the past.  If you have to ever replace it, it costs around 10 dollars, but keep in mind, my last one lasted 2 years!  I never really liked dealing with the paper filters. Less to toss in the trash the better. But if you go this route, look for the paper cups that aren’t bleached.

Now I’m really excited to tell you about the hot water feature. I seriously never thought how this one luxury would change my life! Okay, maybe I went too far, but really, this feature is so awesome. I’ve said it before, we are big tea drinkers. The tea kettle was the most used “pot” in the house. We boil a lot of water. Constantly filling the pot setting it to boil, waiting for it to boil, then forgetting it, to then be subject to the eardrum piercing “teapot scream”. This would happen no less than a dozen times a day. The stress of not wanting to leave the kettle because you wanted to avoid the “scream” was apparent :( .  Pouring water from the kettle was another stress as water would spill out and down the spout and puddle on the counter no matter how careful you were.   We have gone through many tea kettles and all have this leaky-when-you-pour issue. If that wasn’t bad enough, we always had to be mindful of a kitty burning his paws on the hot stove.  I know, they shouldn’t be on the counter in the first place, but it happens. (And YES counters are wiped down several times a day! Not so much from the occasional kitty not minding manners, but I have black granite counter tops. Need I say more? :P )

Not only is the hot water feature awesome for making tea and hot cocoa, it is very useful for our pets foods. If you are into the dry soup mixes this hot water feature is perfect for that too. It’s also great for making oatmeal too (just ask about my amazing oatmeal recipe).

It has its own water reservoir; holding 54 ounces. The heating element works so fast that I feel it’s almost a no wait ready hot water maker! The hot water feature even tells you when you need to add more water via red light indicator. Again, the water heats up so fast that I have never had to “wait” for it to get hot before I can use it. By the time I’ve measured out my tea leaves the water is ready. If that isn’t a fast enough time measure, I’ve taken a tea bag out of the canister, put it in my cup and poured. In my book, that’s fast. And the best, best thing…no more loud kettle scream! My ears thank me daily. There is a light to tell you when the water is ready if you really need to know; It will go from a flashing light to a solid.

A convenient drip tray catches an unwanted drip or two and it’s removable allowing taller mugs to be used.  Great for those tall travel cups! There is a safety feature that allows you to lock the hot water dispenser lever. We don’t have use for that as we are an adult household, still, may come in handy if you have a very curious cat or counter-high-dog (Great Dane!)

It has a blue back-lit LCD making the digital clock easy to read. The blue light is so pretty!  Another plus. What!?…Pretty makes me smile.

If all of that wasn’t good enough….wait for it…, it’s BPA free! I love that!

Is this machine perfect? Do I have anything negative to say? If I had to pick one thing, it would be the “beeping” sound it makes to let you know when the coffee is finished brewing (and turning off).  It’s… very audible.  Not obnoxiously loud (not sure if it would “wake a baby” kind of loud), but definitely perceptible. I suppose that is a good thing if you are in another room, upstairs, sitting on the back porch waiting for “said” coffee to brew, you get the picture. All in all, it’s certainly not “too” loud to make me take this back. In fact there are a few appliances I do own that I’d give back….NOT my Coffee Plus 12-Cup Programmable plus Hot Water System! NEVER!

Would I recommend this to a friend? Absolutely! In fact I would give it to someone I love! ❤ This would make a wonderful gift for a college student. Coffee and hot water on tap!

Thank you for reading. Be well. Peace, Koko 🙂

 

Cha-cha Chai…a delicious hot beverage you can make at home!

picstitch (16)

I am a Chai fanatic!  I’ve tasted it made many ways.  It was a delight to try this recipe from  http://figandquince.com/2014/02/03/cacao-herbshoppe-brooklyn-cardamom-yummy-drink/ (Chai; brought to you by, Fig & Quince!)  

As she mentioned in her recipe…all ingredients; adjust to your taste!

As for the ingredients, I made mine with 2 cups grass-fed raw unpasteurized milk

8 whole cardamoms

10 cloves

1 tablespoon organic cacao powder

1/2 teaspoon organic ground ginger

1/4 cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon good vanilla (homemade by me in Bourbon)

1 teaspoon raw unpasteurized honey.

Slowly simmer the whole cardamoms and cloves in milk. When milk is hot, add all other ingredients.  Gently stir.  Pour into large mug and enjoy!  (I didn’t strain out the cardamoms and cloves, but for those of you who want to…please do! 😉 )

picstitch (19)

This was a wonderful treat and sipping it by the fire was extra nice.  Thank you Azita!

If you try this drink, please drop me a comment.  If you have a chai recipe you’d like to share…I’d love to hear from you!

Here’s to you finding your “treat” today! Cheers! Koko ✿

Please like, follow and share…your support means the world to me!

Shine On Award!

20140127-233801

Getting to know us:

Thank you Luca of http://cookingwithluca.wordpress.com/  for nominating me.  I’ve been nominated for several of these and have never really known how they work, where they started, who started them.  Also I’ve seen how many don’t want to receive them, so I’ve never gone farther than to say thank you for the nomination.  I don’t want to upset anyone for giving them something they clearly don’t want.  But this was sent with sincerity and so I felt compelled to go forward with it.  So if I send you a nomination and you don’t want it…please just ignore.  I just wanted you to know I’ve thought enough of you to nominate you 😉

Get to know us:

For this award I am supposed to share 7 things about myself…

  1. The time of year I love best is autumn.
  2. I seem to have a connection with animals.
  3. I care too much.
  4. I have an insatiable thirst for knowledge.
  5. Sitting idle is not something you’ll find me doing.
  6. Being outdoors makes me happy.
  7. I am never bored.

Should you accept; the instructions are as follows:
– Put the logo on the front of the post Award
– Return the name of the blog that you named at the beginning of the post
– State 7 things about ourselves
– Nominate 15 bloggers for this award and put the link of their blog
– these bloggers to notify the nomination

And here are the nominees.  (Keep in mind I am trying to remember who hates receiving these and will try not to ….well you get it.)

http://smashingglitter.com/

http://llewsoba.wordpress.com/

http://myfavouritepastime.com/

http://juliecrombe.com/

http://afrenchgarden.wordpress.com/

http://kittnoir.wordpress.com/

http://sentimaparliamodi.wordpress.com/

http://promenadeplantings.com/

http://rubyangel711.wordpress.com/

http://oxygenyourstyle.wordpress.com/

http://beautystalkers.wordpress.com/

http://chefdoru.com/

http://dorastable.com/

http://esengasvoice.wordpress.com/

http://pacificcoastbeauty.wordpress.com/

Let’s Have Cheesecake!

picstitch (5)

A simple cheesecake that will impress the most finicky of dessert connoisseurs!  This really easy dessert was quickly named one of the most delicious creations I’ve made to date.  (Does this mean my peeps are easy to please?)  Here goes:

This makes about seven ramekins.  My ramekins are 8oz cups.

Ingredients:

3–8oz bricks of cream cheese

3/4 cup of brown sugar

3 eggs

2 teaspoons of really good vanilla

You will also need a package of peanut butter cups.  Cut them up to desired sizes.

What to do:

I used my kitchen aid mixer…Beating the cream cheese until all bricks are softly blended.  Add brown sugar.  Mix well.  Add eggs one at a time mixing well in between.  Add your really good vanilla 😉

As for the bottom of your cheesecake…you can use crushed graham crackers (basic recipe is crushing a cup worth of graham crackers and mixing that with 3 tablespoons of melted butter).  You also can omit the bottom crust all together.

Put 2 tablespoons of the graham cracker mix at the bottom of a ramekin.  Fill cup with about a 1/4 cup of cheesecake mixture.  Add cut up peanut butter cups.  Fill cup with another 1/4 scoop of cheesecake mixture. If you have left over mixture, simply add a spoonful to each cup!

I like to put a pan of water at the bottom of the oven.  I believe the extra moist air keeps the cheesecake from cracking.  If you omit this step…whats a few cracks anyway? You will be covering it with whipped cream.  No one will know!

Bake at 325 degrees for about 25 minutes.  Let it cool.  Top with freshly whipped cream!

picstitch (6)

Tips: Try crushing Oreo cookies or Nilla wafers or even Nutter Butter cookies for the bottom of cheesecake.  (Most any cookie will do!)

For the center try: Snickers, Heath Bar, Butterfingers, or feeling fruity?  Try a tablespoon or two of really good jam, chopped up mango, or peaches.

This truly was easy to make.  If you are needing a quick dessert idea that you can make ahead of time and surely will impress your friends/family; I hope you give this a try.  I’d love to hear what kind of combination/creation you came up with. Enjoy! Hugs, Koko❁

Please like, follow and share…your support means the world to me!