Pantry Makeover with DIY Shelves

When we bought our house I thought it was move in ready – and it was for the most part. We loved the paint colors in the living room, dining room and master bedroom, the tile and carpet were in good shape, the bathrooms and kitchen had been updated. But oh the popcorn ceilings, they had to go. And then, we decided to do all these other little projects, like the pantry.
I was getting ready to clean the pantry shelves so I could move our stuff in. The wire shelves were sticky and discolored and just yuck. It was at that point that we decided to just get rid of them and replace them with wood shelves instead. I didn’t even bother to finish cleaning them since we were going to get rid of them anyways.
Pantry Makeover - Before with Wire Shelves | www.sprightliest.com

Pantry Before with Wire Shelves

Pantry Makeover - Before | www.sprightliest.com

Pantry Before with wire shelves

 

Our new wood shelves were based off the size of the previous wire shelves and we spaced them the same distance apart (13 inches).
We wanted nice and sturdy shelves so we used the knock test and then double checked that with a drill to find the studs in the wall. Knock on the wall in different points and see if you can tell where it sounds hollow or solid. The part that sounds solid is most likely a stud. We then drilled into where we thought the stud was and you can tell it is harder to screw in where the studs are than when just screwing into the drywall.
**I also came across this video that had a helpful hint – studs are typically spaced 16 inches apart and there is usually a stud on either side of an outlet.**
I wrote down the measurements of where the studs were located before patching up the holes we made with the drill. I also patched up all the holes that were left from the previous shelves. Then I cleaned the walls and added a fresh coat of paint.
Off to The Depot we go to pick out our wood. We knew we wanted something that wouldn’t need sanding so we chose a 4×8 sheet of Birch Veneer Plywood. We brought our measurements with us and had the store cut out our shelves. We even had some leftover wood that we will use for something else.
For the ledgers we used a piece of select pine. The ledger is what supports the shelves. We used a piece along the back of the shelf and a piece on each side so the 3 sides that are along the wall are supported.
To cover the rough edge on the front of the shelf, we bought a piece of decorative molding. We attached it to the front of the shelves using liquid nails and then nailing it in with small nails. We did this part before I stained the shelves.
Pantry  Makeover - Attaching molding to shelf | www.sprightliest.com

Attaching the molding to the shelves

I used 2 coats of Minwax Polyshades Stain and Polyurethane in Espresso for the diy shelves and ledgers. Using a natural bristle brush I applied the stain and then after a few minutes I wiped it with a cloth. The first coat wasn’t that dark but once I applied the second coat it got much darker and was the color I wanted so I stopped at two coats.
First Coat of Espresso Stain | www.sprightliest.com

First Coat of Stain

Staining Wood Shelves | www.sprightliest.com

Second Coat of Stain

My hubby had the fabulous job of installing the shelves. He first screwed the ledgers into the wall using 2 inch screws and then he screwed the shelves to the ledgers using 1.5 inch screws.
Pantry Makeover - Installing Shelf Ledgers | www.sprightliest.com

Installing the Ledgers

Pantry Makeover - Installing Shelves | www.sprightliest.com

Installing the Shelves

I later went back over the screws with wood filler and stain so they wouldn’t stick out so much. If you can countersink the screws it will have a much cleaner finish than screws that are flush with the surface.
**A tip on touching up with stain. Stain is not like paint where you can blend it in. It’s all or nothing with stain so you will be able to see the edges and/or brush marks where you touched up. To help avoid this I used a cotton swab to apply stain on just the top of where the screw or putty was. This worked out well for me and was much less noticeable than when I first tried to use a small paint brush. I had to do 2 coats for it to match the shelves.**
Our diy shelves look so much nicer than the previous wire shelves and I don’t have to worry about things falling through or falling over.
Pantry Makeover- After with Wood Shelves | sprightliest.com

Our New Pantry with Wood Shelves

Pantry Makeover - Shelf Molding | www.sprightliest.com

Close up of the decorative molding

Pantry Makeover - Stained Wood Shelves | www.sprightliest.com

Close up of the stain

Pantry Makeover- After with Wood Shelves | www.sprightliest.com

Pantry Makeover Completed

 
Pantry Makeover Before and After | www.sprightliest.com
Next on our list is finishing the ceilings in the other 2 bedrooms and then we are moving on to our master closet! I can’t wait for that project!
What do you think of our new pantry?

Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle

***The sale has been extended until 12pm PST (3pm EST) today. The Ultimate Bundles site was down for a few hours yesterday due to the amount of traffic it received.  What better way than to take advantage of the present and get in on this great deal before it’s gone!***
We all want to make better health and lifestyle decisions for ourselves and those we love. We want to lose some weight, have more energy, use greener products, create nutritious meals for our families, get fit, and feel confident that we’re doing all we can to prevent serious diseases. But it’s so easy to feel overwhelmed and intimidated by the masses of healthy living advice out there – to the point where we’re frozen into complete inaction instead! That’s where The Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle comes in. The Ultimate Bundles team has done all the hard work for you – finding the top experts across a number of healthy living fields and combining their products into one essential collection.
What do I think is so great about this Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle?
Well, not only are you getting a great library of resources, but you are also getting over $200 dollars worth in bonus offers. Many of these bonus offers are physical products, so even if you aren’t that into eBooks or eCourses this is such a great value!
First, I want to spotlight a couple of the eBooks and eCourses that I’m particularly excited about and then I also want to highlight my favorite part of the entire bundle – the awesome bonus offers!

Nourishing Cookies for a Healthy HolidayNourishing Cookies for a Healthy Holiday eBook

The holidays are just around the corner, and I’m always looking for healthier recipes for sweet treats. The Nourishing Cookies for a Healthy Holiday eBook by Diana Bauman, features recipes made with all natural sweeteners like honey and maple syrup.
Recipes include:
  • Chocolate Crinkle Cookies
  • Mexican Orange Cookies
  • Spanish Polvorones (Almond Cookies)
  • No Bake Coconut Snowballs
  • Double Chocolate Chip Cookies
  • Chewy Molasses Cookies
  • Buttered Cutout Cookies
  • Cherry, Almond, and Dark Chocolate Biscotti
  • Almond, Orange, Shortbread Cookies
  • Soft “Sugar” Cookies with Honeyed Buttercream Frosting
Plus 2 Bonus Recipes!
  • Turrón de Navidad
  • Buñuelos de Viento

Simply-Salads-by-SeasonSimply Salads by Season eBook

I enjoy eating salads quite often but I am always disappointed when it comes to store bought salad dressings. Most of the dressings are made with unhealthy oils and are filled with chemicals and preservatives, or they are expensive and don’t taste very good. I like that this Simply Salads by Season eBook from Kristen Michaelis, features 28 recipes for simple and easy dressings and condiments AND 99 pages of salad recipes. Salad just got a lot more interesting!

Let's Do ThisLet’s Do This! eCourse

I’ve been wanting to start planning and preparing meals ahead of time to save money and have healthy meals at the ready for those days when I don’t feel like cooking. This Let’s Do This! eCourse came at the perfect time.
Some questions answered by Let’s Do This! eCourse:
  • I can’t even keep up – how am I supposed to get ahead?
  • I don’t have freezer space for freezer cooking, how I can I make this work?
  • Will this actually help me save money on food?
  • Will this really save me time and energy?
  • How can this work for me if I’m not an organized person?
  • My family is picky. Will this frozen food taste good?
  • I want to get ahead, but I don’t even know where to start…
The eCourse includes 5 detailed lessons that are filled with tips and information, links and worksheets:
  1. Getting Ahead for the Day
  2. Getting Ahead for the Week
  3. Getting Ahead With Snacks
  4. Getting Ahead During Spare Moments for Busy Moments
  5. Using Your Make-Ahead Meals and Snacks

Many more eBooks and eCourses are available through this Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle with topics on Essential Oils, Gardening, Green Cleaning, Healthy Children, Meal Budgeting & Planning, Natural Beauty & Skincare, Real Food Recipes and Special diet recipes including grain-free, gluten free and paleo – See the full list of what’s included here.

Now, let’s not forget my favorite part – the bonus offers included in this bundle!
MadeOn Variety Pack The bonuses include free goodies aplenty: a bottle of Healthy Mouth Blend from OraWellness, a baltic amber bracelet from Sweetbottoms Boutique, and a starter culture from Cultures For Health. You’ll also get gift sets from Made On Skin Care Products and Homegrown Collective. There are virtual goodies, too – a 4-month membership to StayAtHomeYoga.com and a 3-month premium membership to meal planning service Tradishen. And as if all that weren’t enough, there are also $15 gift certificates for TheJoyfulGiraffe.com, Strawesome.com and Trilight Health. There is a nominal shipping charge for many of the bonuses, based on each company’s standard shipping rates, and is usually $3-5.

The Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle Sale ends on September 15th so don’t miss out on this great collection of resources that will help you make lifestyle changes to become a better, healthier, you!

Disclosure: I have included affiliate links in this post. Read the fine print about this bundle and read the answers to frequently asked questions about the bundle.

Tuscan White Bean Soup with Spinach

Tuscan White Bean Soup with Spinach | Sprightliest.com

You know Fall is near when pumpkin flavored everything takes over Pinterest.
Growing up I never really cared for pumpkin much. Of course, the only pumpkin thing I remember trying was a piece of Pumpkin Pie and it was okay, but not my favorite. I’d much rather have chocolate. As I’ve gotten older my taste buds have changed and I enjoy pumpkin more. Or maybe it’s just the spices that go with pumpkin that I like?!
It just so happens to be that time of year when Starbuck’s rolls out their tasty Fall inspired Lattes too, but after reading this article about the Starbuck’s Pumpkin Spice Latte, it shot down my cravings real quick. I decided to try making my own pumpkin spice coffee. We have a Keurig coffee maker and use the refillable coffee pod so I first attempted to add the spices along with the coffee grounds but it clogged the filter and the water couldn’t get through. Next, I just added pumpkin pie spices to my coffee. It tasted good but it’s a little weird to have the spices floating around as they never really dissolve. Next time I’m going to try to infuse the spices in the creamer and hope it yields better results…
After all my pumpkin spice coffee escapades , I was really hungry and it was time to make dinner. I guess I was in the Fall spirit (even though it’s still hot as heck outside!) and decided to make a Tuscan White Bean Vegetable Soup.

Tuscan White Bean Soup with Vegetables | Sprightliest.com

Lots of veggies, white beans and Italian style spices went into the pot for a nice big bowl of goodness. And since this white bean soup is low in calories, I offset that by adding a healthy amount of mozzarella cheese and a piece of bread on the side ;-).

Tuscan White Bean Vegetable Soup with Spinach | Sprightliest.com

Maybe I will try Pumpkin soup next time I make soup…and hopefully I will have a Pumpkin Spice Coffee Recipe to share with y’all soon!
Tuscan White Bean Soup
Serves 4
A hearty white bean soup made with Great Northern Beans, carrots, onion, celery and spinach.
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Ingredients
  1. 2 Carrots, peeled and chopped
  2. 1/2 Large Onion, chopped
  3. 1 Stalk of Celery, chopped
  4. 1 Can Diced Tomatoes
  5. 3 Cloves Garlic, minced
  6. 1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  7. 32 Ounces Chicken Broth
  8. 2 Cups Great Northern Beans, cooked (drain and rinse if using canned beans)
  9. 2 Cups Fresh Spinach Leaves
  10. 1/2 Tablespoon Dried Oregano
  11. 1/4 Teaspoon Dried Rosemary
  12. 1/8 Teaspoon Dried Thyme
  13. 1/4 Teaspoon Salt, and more to taste
  14. 1/4 Teaspoon Black Pepper
Instructions
  1. In a large pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat.
  2. Add in the carrots, onion and celery and saute until softened.
  3. Next add the minced garlic and cook, while stirring, for 30 seconds.
  4. Place the spinach in the pot and cook, stirring frequently, until wilted.
  5. Pour in the canned tomatoes and chicken broth and add in the beans and spices. Stir to combine.
  6. Simmer for 20 minutes.
  7. Bon Appetit!
Sprightliest http://kaicreatives.com/

Turkey Burgers

Grilled cajun spiced turkey burgers stuffed with avocado and topped with mozzarella cheese. | Sprightliest.comWith our new grill setup in the backyard, there’s been a lot of grilling going on around here. It’s nice to keep the heat outside and since things cook up quick on the grill we have more time to work on our home improvement projects.
Currently, we are putting the finishing touches on our new pantry. We replaced the old wire shelves with stained wood shelves. I can’t wait to give the big pantry reveal but before I can do that I have to touch up a few spots. I want to cover the screws with wood putty and stain them to match the shelves and there’s a few scuff marks on the wall from the drill that I need to cover up. Then, we will be moving on to one of our next projects -the master bedroom closet. I have big plans for that (like a sparkle concrete floor!). I’m looking forward to that project and also to having a place to hang my clothes again!
All this home improvement work sure makes a girl hungry :). And if you saw my last post for Avocado Egg Salad, I told you about how much I am in love with avocados right now. So naturally, I came up with another avocado recipe. I made these turkey burgers the other day and was happy with how well they came out. Perfectly flavored with a little cajun spice and topped with melty mozzarella cheese! Adding the avocado into the turkey burgers is a good way to add flavor and healthy fat so they come out nice and juicy.Grilled cajun spiced turkey burgers stuffed with avocado and topped with mozzarella cheese. | Sprightliest.com
Turkey Burgers
Yields 6
Grilled Cajun spiced turkey burgers stuffed with avocado and topped with mozzarella cheese.
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Ingredients
  1. 1/2 Haas Avocado (you could use any kind of avocado - but Haas are my favorite)
  2. 1.25 lb Ground Turkey Breast
  3. 1 Teaspoon Cajun Seasoning + More For Sprinkling on Top
  4. 1 Teaspoon Dijon Mustard
  5. 1/4 Teaspoon Paprika
  6. 1/4 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
  7. 1/8 Teaspoon Onion Powder
  8. 1 Scallion, Minced
  9. Salt and Pepper to Taste
  10. 6 Slices of Mozzarella Cheese
Instructions
  1. Heat up the grill to high heat.
  2. Smush together the avocado, ground turkey breast, scallion and seasonings.
  3. Mix well to incorporate everything evenly.
  4. Form into 6 patties.
  5. Place turkey burgers on a plate or foil lined tray for easy cleanup.
  6. Sprinkle a little more cajun seasoning on top.
  7. Grill for about 5 minutes on each side.
  8. Add the cheese once you have flipped the burgers and they are close to being done.
  9. Once the cheese has melted and the burgers are cooked through, remove from the grill and allow to rest for 5-10 minutes.
  10. Serve the turkey burgers on top of your favorite bun or skip the bread and eat with a fresh lettuce and tomato salad.
Sprightliest http://kaicreatives.com/

Finley Friday – It’s a Tough Life

It’s Friday – Finley Friday ’round here!
We finally moved the couches in from the garage after we finished painting the ceilings in the living room. Let me just say that a recliner couch weighs a ton and I don’t have a lot of upper body strength – but somehow – the hubby and I managed to get it through 2 doorways and into the living room. I think Finley was happy to have one of his favorite nap spots back, don’t you think?

Finley the Pomeranian - Finley Friday - It's a Tough Life

Avocado Egg Salad

Avocado Egg Salad Sandwich | Sprightliest.com

I don’t know what triggered my new found love of Avocados but I began buying them every week at the grocery store a few months ago and have since used them in all kinds of ways.
Avocados make a great (and healthier) alternative to butter or mayo and taste just as good, if not better. I enjoy avocados for breakfast, using them in sauces or dressings, as a topping for salad, even in desserts.
I came up with this easy avocado egg salad creation by substituting creamy avocado in place of the mayo and I don’t miss the mayo one bit!

Avocado Egg Salad Sandwich - Skip the mayo and use creamy avocado instead!  | sprightliest.com

So simple, with just a few ingredients and yet so tasty!

Avocado Egg Salad Sandwich - Skip the mayo and use creamy avocado instead! | Sprightliest.com

Avocado Egg Salad
Serves 1
Egg Salad Sandwich using creamy avocado instead of mayo!
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Ingredients
  1. 1 Teaspoon Dijon mustard
  2. 1/2 Hass Avocado
  3. 1 Hard Boiled Egg, peeled
  4. Pinch of Garlic powder
  5. Pinch of Onion powder
  6. Pinch of Paprika
  7. Salt and Pepper taste
  8. 2 Slices of Tomato
  9. Spinach Leaves
  10. 2 Slices of Bread
Instructions
  1. In a bowl add avocado, boiled egg, dijon mustard and spices.
  2. Use a fork to mash everything together until creamy. Mix well to incorporate spices evenly.
  3. Spread onto toasted bread.
  4. Top with spinach leaves and tomato slices.
  5. Sprinkle with a little more salt and pepper and as my husband often says, "Mangia!"
Sprightliest http://kaicreatives.com/