15.1.18

How to Make an Easy Reclaimed Wood Stain Finish from 3 Simple Ingredients

by Robin



The finish we did on our $30 DIY floating vanity AMAZES me.  I can't believe how beautifully it turned out - especially given the ridiculously simple materials that went into creating it.  There was not a drop of purchased stain here!  We made the finish from common, everyday things around the house. 


To my eyes, this is the perfect reclaimed wood finish.  It's got enough grey and enough brown to appear authentic.  I think I would have had to buy a dozen pots of stains to get it just right.


My goal was to reproduce the deep brown finish on the authentic boards of the second from the bottom.

In the end, we chose to keep our counter smooth - without scrapes and gouges - this is a bathroom counter after all.  Easy to clean wins.


Instead of clearing out the stain shelf at the hardware store, I grabbed a couple of ingredients from the kitchen.  I'll bet you have them in yours, too.  I did some countertop chemistry - and Voila - a most lovely rich brown with just enough grey.  


I estimate the oxidizing stain cost about $0.75 to make.  Seriously.  And we already had the oil topcoat from our kitchen makeover - though it's pretty inexpensive to purchase a fresh jug.


So, enough preamble!  Here's how to DIY your own reclaimed looking wood stain from simple, low cost, household ingredients...


30.12.17

Our Top Posts 2017: Family Fun, Food and DIY - on a Budget!




How would you rate 2017?  


Ours was memorable for our personal lows - and later highs. We won't ever forget the stress of moving Robin's mom to a home or the grief of losing Ed's dad.  Those two experiences wiped us out emotionally.  But on the other side of both of those trials have been new beginnings with light and hope and we are thankful.


Things on this here little blog have never been better!  At the start of 2017 Robin set the intention of working more consistently here.  As a result, our blog has grown and we've shared some really great ideas.  We've met some really great people too.


It's been such a good year - we're making some even bigger changes - more details soon!  (We're going to chat about it with our email subscribers first - so watch your inbox.)


Our favourite blog moment of the last year was when our 13-year-old daughter Charlotte joined us as our Baking Contributor She's shared three great recipes so far and she has more to come.  It's so much fun to share our Frugal Family Times experience with her.  (When our son is a teen we will see if he's interested in participating too - we think 13 is a great age for him to make a choice about whether he'd like to share online with us.)



Thank-you so much for joining us here!

 We know your time is valuable and we're thankful you choose to spend some of it here with us.  We hope our posts give you ideas to spend your money and time the best way possible - and entertain you at the same time.  
Without your visits and comments, we would have given this up a long time ago - so thanks for your encouragement! 

11.12.17

Cranberry Apple Cobbler in the Slow Cooker (Christmas Morning Recipes Blog Hop!)

by Robin



Hang on - a Registered Dietitian is planning cobbler and ice cream for breakfast!?!  You betcha!  It's Christmas! The one day a year having the most decadent breakfast is absolutely required.  My kids will find this AMAZING.  (Hey - it's not totally out of character for me.  I'm the RD who shared a recipe for soup with chips in it!)


I'm thankful to Jo-Anna from A Pretty Life for inviting me to participate in my very first Blog Hop!  This one is so much fun.  When you get to the bottom of this post you'll find links to all the bloggers sharing their great ideas for special Christmas Morning Breakfasts.  I can't wait for you to see what my fellow Canadian bloggers are sharing.  They're such a talented group!





I've made this Cranberry Apple Cobbler for many many years.  It's become one of my signature dishes to take to potlucks during the holidays.  I always bring copies of the recipe along - people always ask how to make this themselves.  It's that good.


This cobbler doubles nicely for big gatherings.  BUT! Don't double the topping - the dumplings will not cook properly!  (I learned the hard way - so you don't have to.)  Just double the fruit mixture.


Part of the joy of this recipe is the smell.  It smells exactly like Christmas.  This will be my first time making this Cranberry Apple Slow Cooker Cobbler for breakfast - and I can't wait to wake up Christmas morning to the aroma.