DIY: Chalkboard Picture Frame


Step One:
Gather materials-
-Vintage picture frame
-Chalkboard paint
-Paint brushes
-Old newspaper
-2 cups of water 

Step One:
Place news papers down on your surface so you don't get paint everywhere.

Step Two:
Paint the inside of your frame with the CHALKBOARD paint. (if you can separate the back from the frame, you can do the next step in one step!) Let dry.

Step Three:
Once the chalkboard paint is dry, place a piece of newspaper over it. Paint the frame a fun color. Let dry.



Country Cozy

Snack Like a Southerner: Mac & Cheese with Collards



8 ounces whole-wheat elbow noodles (about 2 cups)
4 cups chopped collard greens
1 3/4 cups low-fat milk, divided
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
1 cup shredded extra-sharp Cheddar cheese
2 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese
2 teaspoons white-wine vinegar
1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs, preferably whole-wheat
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp paprika

Step One:
"Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add pasta and collards and cook according to the pasta package directions. Drain."

Step Two:
"Meanwhile, heat 1 1/2 cups milk in a large broiler-safe skillet over medium-high heat until just simmering. Whisk the remaining 1/4 cup milk, flour, salt and pepper in a small bowl until combined."

Step Three:
"Add the flour mixture to the simmering milk; reduce heat to medium-low and cook, whisking constantly, until thickened, 1 to 2 minutes."

Step Four:
"Remove from heat and whisk in Cheddar, cream cheese and vinegar until the cheese is melted. Stir the pasta and collards into the sauce.
Position rack in upper third of oven; preheat broiler to high."

Step Five:
"Combine breadcrumbs, oil and paprika in a small bowl. Sprinkle over the pasta. Broil until golden brown, 1 to 3 minutes."

Snack Like a Southerner: Barley Hoppin' John



1tbsp oliv oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 small red bell pepper, chopped 
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 14-ounce can vegetable broth
1 cup quick-cooking barley
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried
2 teaspoons lemon juice 
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 15-ounce cans black-eyed peas, rinsed

Step One:
"Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion, bell pepper and celery. Cook until the vegetables soften, 3 to 4 minutes."

Step Two:
"Add garlic and cook 1 minute. Add broth, barley, thyme, lemon juice, crushed red pepper and salt; bring to a boil."

Step Three:
"Reduce heat, cover and simmer until the barley is done, 15 to 20 minutes."

Step Four:
"Remove from the heat and stir in black-eyed peas. Cover and let stand for 5 minutes. Serve hot."

DIY: Tiki Torch Bottles


Step One:
Gather supplies-
-Tiki torch tips
-Liquor bottles
-Tiki torch liquid

Step Two:
"Wash the bottles with water."

Step Three:
"Fill the bottom of the bottle with water, just below the wick, don’t let the wick touch the water." 

Step Four:
"Then fill the bottle with tiki fluid."

Step Five:
"Drench the wick in tiki torch fluid and then place it back in the bottle."

Step Six:
Light it up and enjoy!

Snack Like a Southerner: Mississippi Mud Cake


-2 cups sugar
-1 1/2 cup butter
-1 1/3 cups flaked coconut
-4 eggs
-2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
-1 1/2 cups chopped pecans
-1 1/2 cups flour
-1tsp baking powder
-2tsp vanilla extract
-12oz marshmallow fluff
-3 3/4 cups confectioner's sugar
-2tbsp evaporated milk

Step One:
"Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease one 13x9 inch baking pan."

Step Two:
"Cream together 1/3 cup of the cocoa, white sugar, and 1 cup of the butter or margarine until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, and 1 teaspoon of the vanilla and beat well."

Step Three:
"Mix flour, baking powder, coconut, and chopped pecans together. Stir flour mixture into the egg mixture and stir until just combined. Pour batter into the prepared pan."

Step Four:
"Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 45 minutes."

Step Five:
"Smooth marshmallow cream over top of cake while still hot. Let cake cool completely then ice with chocolate icing."


Step One:
"Beat together the confectioner's sugar, the remaining 1/3 cup cocoa, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and 1/2 cup butter or margarine. Continue to beat and add enough evaporated milk to make icing spread on cake.


DIY: Triangle Necklace


Step One:
Gather materials-
-Polymer clay in 2 colors
-Chain or cord
-Jump rings
-Closure clasps

Step Two:
"First, condition your clay (roll between your hands until it's soft and pliable). Roll out the two colors a little bit. Place a piece of color A over B. Cut out the section that's underneath (otherwise it will be too thick). Pinch/kneed the seem together so you have one piece. Roll and smooth out to your preferred thickness and cut into a triangle. Use a toothpick to make 2 holes on each end."

Step Three:
"Once you're happy with the shape, place on a baking sheet and bake at 275 for about 20 minutes. While baking cut two pieces of chain to the length you like. When cool, fit the jump rings through the holes, attach the chain and crimp shut. Add jump rings to the end of the chain and finish with a closure clasp."


Snack Like a Southerner: Summer Succotash Salad



2 cups shelled fresh butter beans (1 1/2 pounds unshelled), frozen (thawed) butter beans or baby lima beans
4 tablespoons canola oil, divided
2 cups corn kernels, fresh (from about 4 large ears; see Tip) or frozen (thawed)
1 Vidalia or other sweet onion, finely chopped
1 small yellow squash, chopped
1 small zucchini, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 medium tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1/2 stalk celery, very finely chopped1/2 cup very thinly sliced fresh basil
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste

DIY: Wine Rack

Wine Rack DIY from The Merry Thought


Step One:
Gather your materials-
-1/2″ x 12″ x 24″ Birch Plywood
-Scroll Saw
-Three 5/8″ Dowels
-5/8″ Forstner Drill Bit
-Wood Glue
-Four 1″ x 20″ pieces of Leather
-Sewing Machine

Step Two:
"Draw line across the board at 11 5/8in from one end (this gives an extra 3/8in to the back side of the stand) Use the saw to cut along this line."

Step Three:
"On the top half, (the one with the extra 3/8in) measure 1.5in down from the top and make a mark at the center of the board and then a mark at 1in in from each side. Also mark 6 1/4in down from the top at the center and 1in in from each side. (These are for the dowels.)"

Step Four:
"Drill a hole most of the way through the board at each mark. Cut six 12in pieces of dowel."

Step Five:
"Screw the base piece of wood to the back of the stand. Glue dowels in place."


Step Six:
"Fold each piece of leather in half. Stitch across, giving enough room for dowel to fit through. About 1in." 

Step Seven:
"Now fold about an inch on each end and sew along the edge. 
Slide the leather on the dowels once they are completely dry and fill it up with your favorite wine!"

Snack Like a Southerner: Cajun Pecan-Crusted Catfish



1/2 cup nonfat buttermilk
1/4 teaspoon hot sauce, such as Tabasco, or 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
2 cups cornflakes
1/2 cup pecan pieces
1 pound catfish fillets, about 1 inch thick, cut into 4 portions

Step One:
Preheat oven to 375°F.

Step Two:
Blend buttermilk, hot sauce (or cayenne), oregano, chili powder and garlic salt in a shallow dish."

Step Three:
"Pulse cornflakes in a food processor until coarse crumbs form. Transfer to a large plate. Pulse pecans in the food processor until coarsely chopped; mix the pecans with the cornflake crumbs. (Alternatively, place cornflakes in a sealable bag and crush with a rolling pin; chop nuts with a knife.)"

Step Four:
"Dip each catfish fillet in the buttermilk mixture, then dredge in the cornflake mixture, coating both sides. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet."

Step Five:
Bake for 25 minutes.