Big Mike’s Tuna Salad and Joe Whiting’s Spread

November 12, 2015

Do you like tuna salad? I do, especially with crusty bread. Here’s my favorite recipe:
-14-16 oz Albacore Tuna in water (three 5ounce cans are OK)
-¼ cup Mayo (Helmann’s, of course)
-1 tbs whole grain Dijon Mustard
-¼ cup of chopped fine Red Onion, Celery and Carrot (each 1/4 cup)
-2 tbs Bread Crumbs
-1 Apple (Granny Smith or tart) cut into small julienne pieces
-1 tbs chopped fresh Mint
-1 tbs Olive Oil
-½ Lemon squeezed juice
-¼ cup Craisins
-¼ cup Walnuts (chopped)
-Salt & Pepper to taste

Here’s a great mayo substitute from my pal Joe Whiting:
-Plain Yogurt
-Grated Cheese
-Black Pepper

DIRECTIONS: Mash the tuna and add the mayo, mustard, onion, celery, carrots, bread crumbs and mix it all up. Add the other ingredients and slightly toss to mix. Joe’s Spread can be used instead of the mayo, or as a little spread on a wrap. I like it on crusty bread or stuffed in a tomato.

DIY: Tin Fruit Basket

August 26, 2015

We all get dozens of those tin cans around the holiday time, and once the cookies are gone WHAT do you do with them?

I wandered into the Goodwill in Cicero and found that most people donate them haha! So, I did some quick research and found out a craft that you could do with those old tin cans… make them into a fruit basket!


Here’s how I made it in literally less than 10 minutes…

You’ll need:

  • 2 tin cans
  • Spray paint color of choice
  • Optional acrylic paint & paint brushes
  • Craft glue (I used E6000)
  • A candle holder, or some sort of neat thing to put between the tins


1. Pick out your cans / candle holder

Ignore the gaudy pictures on the outside. When I walk through a place like Goodwill, I imagine everything with a coat of white paint. That way you look at the shapes rather the images.




















2. Spraypaint the tins

You’ll have to do a couple different spray/drying sessions to make sure you get all of it. You’ll want to make sure the bottom, sides and insides are all painted. The tops of the tins you wont need for this project.


















3. Design (optional)

I decided that this was going to be a pretty boring fruit basket if there wasn’t any kind of design, so I used painters tape to make some stripes on the tins with gold paint. Maybe you want to make swirls, dots or bows – what ever is your fancy, have some fun with it!


















4. Glue the candle holder

Use the E6000 glue or other craft glue to hold the candle holder to the tins. Let it dry for at least an hour














Here’s the final project!


DIY: Tea Cup Candle

August 24, 2015












There’s a new dog in town, and it’s called Goodwill – located right on Route 11 in Cicero by Caughdenoy Rd.

If you’ve never been to a Goodwill, I’d recommend checking it out because it is so pristine clean. I went in with an idea of making candles out of old dinnerware, so that’s right where I headed.












There were several rows of teacups, mugs, plates, bowls, vases and more. I had a specific item in mind – a tea cup. I ended up getting a teacup and a beautiful bowl (much like you’d see in a Pottery Barn or Pier 1).





















This is how I made candles in literally less than 10 minutes….

You’ll need:

  • Dinner ware or anything you think would be cool to make a candle out of (my tea cup and bowl from Goodwill were each $1.99)
  • Hot glue gun or something sticky for bottom of wick
  • Wick
  • Wax for the candle – I used this
  • Glass measuring cup
  • Microwave

1. Clean your tea cup/candle holder

2. Get the wick prepared

Ok so I admit, I didn’t even look up instructions on how to do this, I just went with my instinct. I hot glued the wick to the bottom of the tea cup and bowl… maybeeee not the “correct” way to do it – but it does the job and sounded a lot easier than tying the wick to a pencil and trying to hang it at the correct length. I did put a knife (or some long object) across the top so the wick didn’t end up back in the wax. It looks like after doing some research you can use a clothes pin and balance that across the tea cup. Coulda shoulda woulda.















3. Heat the wax

BEAUTIFUL thing about it being 2015… you can now microwave wax. No more of that get two pots and boil thing, now you can simply put wax in a microwaveable dish and heat away. So I found out through a little trial and error 1 minute heated up this wax perfectly. Fill up, heat and repeat until the container you’re making into a candle is full. Most DIY candle instructions you’ll read say to measure it out – it sounded like too much work, so I just kept filling my bowl til it was full.















4. Let them dry

It’s as simple as that, seriously. Now all you do is let them get firm and cool off, and they’re ready to burn!


What you should learn from my mistakes….

Put down newspaper underneath your craft area.

Use an appropriate bowl/measuring cup to heat the wax in the microwave

Why you ask? I ended up dropped a bowl of hot wax all over my kitchen counter/floor because I didn’t necessarily make the best bowl decision. Learn from me, that’s what I’m here for.


All in all, I’d call it a first time success. One more note, I did glue the tea cup to the plate with E-6000 glue from Michaels, that way it doesn’t slip and slide. Overall the project cost me about $10 to make 2 candles (don’t forget you craft store coupon) – and now I have the supplies to make more candles!


Here’s the end result…





















DIY: Rake Wine Rack

August 20, 2015

In what is one of the easiest things you’ll ever make, and people will think you spent hours making it… I present to you the Rake Wine Rack.

I picked up an old rake from the Heckled Hen (you can find these everywhere, in multitudes).



















Here’s how I made the Rake Wine Rack in less than 10 minutes…


You’ll need:

  • An old rake
  • Spraypaint
  • Wine glasses
  • 2 screws

1. Clean the rake

Just clean off old rust and any old dirt


2. Spray paint

You’ll have to do 2 spraypainting sessions to get both sides


3. Hang

Measure out and use two screws to hang the rake. You’ll want to put them so the rake can rest right on the screws


4. Insert the glasses

Of course, use some caution – make sure it is stable before putting on your glasses


And there you have it, the completed Rake Wine Rack!

**note, you’ll see pictures on Pinterest of the rake facing down… I tried this, it didn’t work, the glasses slipped right off. In order to do that you’d have to bend the spokes. So instead, I just flipped it the other way!


DIY: Chalkboard Drawer

August 19, 2015

In what comes as one of the easiest crafts to ever exist, it’s the chalkboard drawer!

I picked up this cool drawer from the Heckled Hen (they had an extensive selection to chose from) and decided I would make this piece!























Here’s how I made it in literally less than 10 minutes…

You’ll need:

  • An old drawer
  • Chalkboard paint
  • Chalk
  • Hardware for hanging a frame

1. Clean the drawer

I used some soap water to clean out the drawer that had some crumbs, so the paint would stick properly


2. Paint the bottom of the drawer

I was very generous with the amount of paint I put down, and I also had to do two coats. Chalkboard paint comes in several different forms, Lowes has it in a can – Michaels has it in different size bottles, there’s even a spray paint too. I used a small bottle that I got a Michaels, cost about $3.

















3. Add any embelishments

Next, after the paint was dried I added some beautiful gum paste flowers that I found at the Eastwood Garage Sales for $5. The drawer looked like it needed something to complete it, so that’s what I did. Other ideas to add, you could do old broaches, clip on earrings, keys, or buttons.


4. Install hardware

This drawer was a little heavy, so I installed heavy duty frame hardware for it on the back. Instead of using wire to hang it, I used some twine.


5. Draw something & hang it up

The most time I spent on this project was looking for something to draw with chalk. Pinterest is a great time waster. I also used an old piece of glassware to hold the chalk. You could use this as a shelf in the bathroom and put a container of q-tips, or you could use it in the kitchen and use it to hold utensils. The possibilities are endless!


Here’s the final project!