Organizing Leftovers {with free printable}

wasted leftovers

Over the weekend, I read an article in the Chicago Tribune that mentioned Americans toss roughly 25% of their fridge contents each week. The article also mentioned that the average American family with two school-aged children spends $235/week on food.

That’s a lot of wasted cash.

Given how much we cook here at the estate, I’m guilty as charged.  Leftovers are often ugly and neglected, banished to the back of the fridge to grow mold and weep.

wasted leftovers

Like all organized-obsessed people, I knew there had to be a better way.   If “out of sight, out of mind” applies to leftovers, then a simple and reusable list of what to use first makes sense, right?

how to use all your leftovers-001

To make your list reusable, simply cover it with clear contact paper and insert the glass behind the printable.  Or, you could write with chalk markers directly on the glass.  Either way works.

organizing leftovers, meal planning ideas-004

I chose to cover my faux chalkboard list with contact paper, because young boys and glass frames do not mix.  This frame is a part of my kitchen gallery wall {unveiling coming soon!}, and it’s brushed up by small kids every three minutes.

Here’s a plain version of the printable for your personal use {not commercial use}.  Simply right click and save, or drag to your desktop to resize in what ever photo editing software you use.

leftovers board  printable-002

Thanks to my friend Lucy at Craftberry Bush for a great tutorial on making faux chalkboards.


This post is a part of a new series:

{which will force me to stop daydreaming these ideas and actually DO them]


house realistic a series of diy organizing and home projects


Stay tuned for more,


For more caustic wit and brilliance, please follow me via the time sucks of social media.
I want to see your pretty faces here.
I really do.


Need more organizing ideas or want to minimize clutter? Stop by these posts…

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Pearl Wreath Tutorial

winter wreath ideas, wedding wreath ideas, pearl wreath

In the early days of this blog, a little table top tree I made back in the winter of 2010 went “viral” on some new fangled site called Pinterest. That made this newbie blogger happy back then.  Since that time, my lovely 3 year old child mistook said tree for a “birthday hat”, and the tree is no longer with us.

That was a long time-out for the Monkey.

I still wanted those pretty pearls I spent a small fortune on as a part of my winter decorations, so the deceased table top tree reincarnated into another project.  Far above the reach of  Monkey’s curious hands.

winter wreath ideas, wedding wreath ideas, pearl wreath

Say hello, to my DSLR.  I’m in love.

*wreath form


*massive amounts of hot glue


& the secret weapon: Christmas pearl picks {buy in bulk at Michael’s…I use them a lot}

{I used roughly 20 picks to cover this wreath}



{I used the silver, white, and beaded  pearls, not pictured as these were the recycled pearls from my dead tree}

1.) Wrap and hot glue ribbon around wreath form.

2.) Cut pearls off the wire branches of the pick.  A tedious process, yes. Be careful with the wires.

3.) Flood ribbon with hot glue in small sections, and place pearls in circles, alternating the textures.

4.) Remove hot glue hairs.  Which are annoying.

5.) Behold!  Be the envy of your block.


Happy Holidays,


For more caustic wit and brilliance, please follow me via the time sucks of social media.
I want to see your pretty faces here.
I really do.




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Book Page Chrysanthemum Wreath

book page wreath tutorial DIY


Two books were harmed in the making of this project. Books destroyed either by time or children.  Note to self: replace Gravity’s Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon and Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison. I have thousands of books, and love the romance of the written word.  On paper.

I still mourn the loss of our only neighborhood bookstore.  Now, I have to drive to hipster neighborhoods in my great city or the burbs’ if I want to smell new books.

This project is simple enough, and yes, it has been done before. My version of the book page wreath comes with a twist: mirrors.  I searched the interwebs, and didn’t see a single book page wreath like this.

Could this be an original idea? Perhaps…

I wanted this wreath to honor marigolds, my favorite mum: the warrior in the garden.

Mums are the last flowers standing in garden beds this time of year, holding on until the first real frost.  So, she’s symbolic to me as well, a reminder of a great man who my family lost this month five years ago.  As all great crafts or works of art  should be, a bit symbolic.

She’s a bit vain, don’t you think?


Perfect for my downsized holiday decor. This year I’m shooting for more natural materials mixed with some glitter.

What’s Christmas without glam and glitter?


Book Page Wreath Tutorial



  • book pages* {I used roughly 500 pages}
  • tape
  • ribbon to line wreath form
  • wreath form
  • random cardboard circle {I used an Amazon shipping box}
  • mirrors in assorted sizes
  • hot glue.  lots of hot glue.
* Choose pages that have an aged sepia tone to them to get the vintage effect.


  1.  Spend an epic amount of time ripping pages from your books.
  2. Then, start the tedious process of rolling said pages into cones.
  3. Tape cones together.
  4. Place all cones in some sort of basket to contain the madness.  Trust me on this one.
  5. Wrap wreath form in ribbon of your choice.
  6. Measure the center of your wreath form.
  7. Cut cardboard support that slightly overlaps the wreath form’s center.
  8. Hot glue it to the outside of the wreath form
  9. Begin the process of hot gluing the 100s of cones.  Now, I see why people typically buy these.  This isn’t for the crafting meek.
  10. Layer each level with tons of hot glue on the backs and side.  {I glued them each together for support}.
  11. Add mirrors.

*Tip: Draw circles on the cardboard to keep your cones level with each other.   Also, match the point of the cones with its neighbor.

*Tip #2:  I found that all my cones didn’t perfectly match.  So I often cut the lengths as needed to reduce the bulk


Stay tuned for more epic holiday crafting,


For more caustic wit and brilliance, please follow me via the time sucks of social media.
I want to see your pretty faces here.
I really do.


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31 Days of Halloween: Projects, Crafts, Ideas, Stories, and Recipes

31 days of Halloween crafts, recipes, activities, ideas, stories, and projects at momnivore's

Yup.  This month will be all about Halloween.  31 days of Halloween projects, crafts, ideas, stories, and recipes galore.

This October, I will celebrate my favorite month of the year for Nester’s 31 days project.

I’m tackling Halloween, because last year, I epically failed on that front.

Now, I’m accountable.

This post will serve as a stockpile of every entry for this Halloween project.  In keeping all of things  “good blogger”, I will use a photogallery.  For all you Halloween lovers out there, there will also be a month log linky party to go along with my 31 days topic.

{if you are reading thru a rss feed, please click thru to see the gallery}





See you tomorrow for my first project {hint: Pottery Barn-watch out!} and link-up…



Don’t forget…tomorrow as well!

{Click button to be taken to the party}

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Upcycled St. Patrick’s Day Shamrock Craft

Back by popular demand…

This blog has resurrected the art teacher in me.  I look forward to each holiday like I did when I was teaching.  Plus, having decorations for Saint Patrick’s Day marks the end of one very long Chicago winter.  Here’s an easy and cheap Saint Patrick’s Day craft.  Even get the kids involved.

All holiday decor at the estate must have bling.  Or glitter.  Saint Patrick’s is no exception.

So, I rummage through the basement and found some old cds.   Headed over to Michael with my 50% off coupon and bought a bag-o-gems.  Then went to town.

Y o u ‘ l l   n e e d
-three banged up cds or dvds
-green cardstockpaper
-packing tape
-three popsicle sticks
-mod podge
-bling in the form of sequins, pearls, rhinestones and such in the Saint Patty’s color scheme

D i r e c t i o n s
1.) First, trace circle using the cds on your cardstock.  Cut and glue them to the cds.

2.) Then, cover the space in between the cds with some paper.
3.) Draw, cut, and glue a stem.
4.)  Reinforce the back of the shamrock with the popsicle sticks to hold the cds together. Use packing tape.

5.)  Now, the fun part.  Arrange your bling and glue down.  I found my elmer’s glue stick collection worked fine.  But for the pearls, I flooded the spaces in between the gems with Modpodge.

6.) Now this shamrock’s all dressed up and has no where to go.  I think I will suspend her from my front door and retire the recession wreath.

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Valentine’s Day Craft: Love Letters & Beaded Heart Tutorial

{reposted from last year}

Believe it or not, this entire project cost me less than a gallon of $3.60 gas here in Chicago.
Less than $2.

-gift boxes {yup I ask for them whenever I go shopping}-Free
-magenta colored Christmas picks {70% off at Michaels}-29 cents on sale
-damask fabric that I scored for $1.20/yard at Joann’s Black Friday sale- {used a half a yard}
-scissors, packing tape, and hot glue {had on hand, of course}

1.) First, choose a template of a font for your letters, blow it up on your computer. Print it out  Trace and cut. Or if you have one of those fancy Cricuts or Sils, use those.  I hope one day I will be the proud owner of a studio again and one of those digital cutters  {Or do what I did, freehand}

2.) Then, cut your letters out trying to use the side of the box to make it 3D. {This will be less work for you later}

3.) If you have missing sides, cut the side of the gift boxes and use them as strips.  This is nice because they are all even, and the measuring is done for you.

4.) Use packing tape to adhere the letter to the sides.

5.) For the heart, I simply hot glued the picks I cut down to the front of the letter. Then I cut a strip of fabric the length of the heart and glued it around.

For the letters, I hot glued the fabric, mitering the corners and hot gluing it to the back.

Perfect, because my Valentine’s Day decor budget was $10.

Stay tuned for more projects on the cheap.

If you have valentine’s projects of your own, please share them at my 2012 party!

momnivore's dilemma

Sharing @ Tatertots and Jello

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Magnetic Make-up Board Tutorial


It’s time to take my vanity more seriously.  As a SAHM/blogger/tutor, I can get away with yoga pants and crusty tees all week.  In truth:

1.) Most of my make-up is older than my children.  I know, I know, I will probably get a fungal infection and die {or if the ingredients in these products won’t kill me first!}.
2.)  I usually toss said products in a large wicker basket and can’t find them in a timely fashion.
3.) Washing my face and brushing my teeth is the pinnacle of my beauty regime these days.

Now that I have a magnetic make-up board, it may inspire me to banish the dark circles from underneath my eyes and toss on a lil lip gloss.

Extreme close up…

-hot glue gun
-decorative paper
-your makeup collection
-a busted up magnetic board that you saved from an old classroom
-magnets {reused from old classroom}
-little chalkboards

1.) Cover the unsightly board with pretty paper.  {This paper was actually holiday wrapping paper courtesy of Tar-jay}
2.) Burn yourself as you glue magnets to the back of your make-up collection
3.) Write categories on little chalkboards so your pretty new board can be ultra-organized
4.) Be happy that your make-up is no longer tossed haphazardly in a basket.

Did I put makeup on this morning?  Nope.  But I thought about it.

Hope this inspires you to put your face on,


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Holiday Card Display Idea and Tutorial

Have your holiday cards started piling in your mailbox?  Here’s a quick holiday card display tutorial that will take you all of fifteen minutes and cost less than $5!

I’ve seen a lot of clothespin displays, but not ones dipped in glitter with ornaments hot glued. My extensive research from google images proved my hypothesis…

I save each year’s photo cards as I can’t toss pictures of other people’s kids in the trash! Plus, I bind them together with ribbon, so I can watch all the kids in my life grow…

I know my boys will like to see these old school cards when they are a bit older…

I am proud of my craftiness.  I dubbed myself the Clark Grizwold of the craft world, because I can’t stop making, thinking, and planning my decor and handmade gifts. 

-clothepins ala dollar store
-fancy ribbon scored at Michael’s on Black Friday for dirt cheap
-white acrylic paint
-clear glitter
-small ornaments from Tar-Jay after Christmas last year {90%} off.

1) Paint all clothespins.  While still wet dip in glitter.  
2.) Once dried, hot glue the ornaments onto the clothespins.
3.) Then hot glue the top portion of the back of the clothespin to the ribbon.  {These were top heavy}

My initial plan was to use fishing line, but these guys kept flipping over, so the hot glue to the ribbon is necessary…

If you are a blogger and have holiday ideas of your own…stop by at my epic linky party and share the wealth…


Do you hoard all your Christmas photo cards like me?

If you have any card display ideas…share them in the comment below!

Linking up @
Tatertots and Jello

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Thanksgiving Wreath Tutorial for less than $5

How craft stores charge $40-50 dollars for these wreaths is beyond me.  It’s so cheap to DIY, and takes all of $5, a glue gun, and 5 minutes.  So here’s a simple Thanksgiving wreath tutorial to jazz up your front door.

Rather than skipping over Thanksgiving and moving onto Christmas gifts, cookies, and crafts, oh my, I will relish a little in all that is November.  After my epic Halloween interior decorating, I’m keeping my turkey day decor  a wee bit more low key.

-a wreath form*
-gold ribbon {on sale for $3 for 12 yards}
-various clearance harvest picks**
-hot glue gun
-five minutes
-Sid the Science Kid to occupy your children 
*I reuse this over and over…
** on sale for 70% off.   Spent $2!

1.) Wrap wreath form with ribbon.  Secure with sewing pins.
2.) Cut apart harvest picks and arrange on the lower corner of wreath.
3.) Hot glue.
4.) Stand on your wet and cold porch in bare feet to photograph for the crafty blogosphere to see.
Once I clear off this hot mess of a counter, I have three more Thanksgiving projects coming your way:
-A simple vignette
-Our Thanksgiving ABC wall
-Our grateful tree.
I have enough leftover material to make one for my mother-in-law.  
So really, two wreaths on the cheap.
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Knock it Off: $80 Z Gallerie Pillow DIYed for Under $5.

I fell in love hard core while perusing the Z’s website.  By winter, I am hoping to makeover my front room in black, white and grey with turquoise/yellow accents.  This pillow is my inspiration piece.  And inspiration is all it could ever be with a price that rivals a trip to Whole Foods.

With tax, two of these babies would have run me what my cell phone bill is each month {$160!} and then some.

Click here to view larger image

$160 for two pillows. Ouch. That’s two weeks of therapy for the Moose.

At this stage of life, I cannot justify spending that kind of green on flippin’ pillows that will inevitably have toddler boogers on them.

I have yard of leftover white denim from my wedding years ago and the newfound ability to freezer paper stencil.  And tons of acrylic paint and fabric medium. I freehanded this because back in the day, I taught art in Chicago.

Here’s the freezer paper stencil:

You’ll need:

-heavy white denim fabric {a yard will do}
-stuff to fill the pillow {I used my sock graveyard}
-black acylic paint
-sponge brush or fancy stenciling brush
-cardboard to back your fabric so paint doesn’t bleed.
-sewing machine
-fabric medium {I use the Golden brand}

1.) First size your pillow. Cut fabric. Iron.
2.) Make drawing on freezer paper. Iron on.
2.5) Mix a 1:1 ratio of paint to fabric medium.  {I usually use a tablespoon of each to start}
3.) Back your fabric with cardboard.  Dab paint on in the negative space.
4.) Allow to dry.  Repeat paint.
5.) Remove freezer paper.  Allow paint to totally dry.
6.) Heat set per the instructions on your fabric medium.
7.) Sew 3.5 side of the pillow.  Stuff.  Finish sewing.
8.) Admire your craftiness and cheapass ways.


Now I will take that $160 I would have spent and buy the Moose some more supplements.

Freezer paper stenciling rocks. It’s my new addiction.  Even the King gave me a backhanded compliment: “That looks so professional, unlike so much of what you do.”  What an awesome husband.

If you have freezer paper stencilied something…leave the link in the comments below, I’d love to see it!

             The Inspiration Pillow                                            The Momnivore Version

Click here to view larger image
I wanted mine more rectangular because my other two accent pillow that I made from Dwell Studio for Target napkins {on clearance of course!} are perfectly square.   See that tutorial here:

One must always take coordinating their pups with home decor.

Linking up to:
Under the Table and Dreaming Sunday Showcase
Blue Cricket Design
Tatertots and Jello
Southern Lovely

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