DIY Bike Art and Why Your Crock Pot Should Be the Last Thing You Pack

First let me preface this ENTIRE post by letting you in on the next big thing coming up in Mr. G's and my life – we're MOVING. That's right – a whole 4 miles east to Downtown CLE, where we will get fat on Map Room Pizza and Noodlecat happy hours, and be very, very merry. I hate moving. And as such, Mr. Grumpy gets to deal with a Miss Grumptastic all week. 

Also, Mr. Grumpy has a very hard time staying focused on packing. For example, I asked Mr. Grumpy to pack up his desk, and while he worked on that for three hours (and at the end, nothing in his desk had been packed), I had packed six boxes and completely cleared off our bookcases. So, wish us godspeed as the weekend continues to creep up, because it's going to be a bumpy, 4-mile ride. 

DS and Suzie Q came this weekend to assist with some packing (and it was Suzie Q's bday!). DS got really excited when Mr. Grumpy and I gave him a car-load of items to sell at his garage sale. So excited, in fact, that we broke this mirror:

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So, I took it upon myself to make a DIY project out of it. Mr. Grumpy was NOT enthused when I started painting on our carpet (on top of a cardboard box, people! I'm not a crazy person. Gosh). We have been searching everywhere for some bike art for our new apartment in the Big City, and have been finding nothing even within the budget we wanted to spend (uhh, would you take $25 for that $300 painting?). So, over the weekend, Suzie Q and I went to Papertrails in Rocky River, and got some amazing bike wrapping paper to use for art. So, I think it was a sign (minus the fact that now we're going to have seven years bad luck because we broke a mirror) that we make this bike art. AND I say, if we're going to have super bad luck, we might as well have hellacute walls while our life falls to pieces. 

I digress… So, if you want to make your own bike wall art here is what you need:

  • Sample size of Behr matte paint (we bought Antique White). You can really use any brand you like… We just used Behr.
  • A paint brush (the foam one didn't really work that great, so we used the one with "hair" – I don't really know how else to explain that so I'll move on)
  • A cardboard box
  • Pretty paper 
  • An old, broken mirror

First, remove the backing from your mirror. If yours is like ours was, it was stapled. So I pryed the backing using a screw driver, keeping the staples in tact. Next, place the frame onto a piece of cardboard. Then, paint the frame – I wanted it to look slightly old and worn, so we only did one coat. Let that dry.
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Next, cut out the piece of cardboard you painted on, using the paint stains as a guide. This will act as your mat. Then, cut out your paper to match the size of the mat. Tape it onto the cardboard, and flip it over onto your dry frame. Hammer the staples on the backing back onto the frame, and VOILA! You have bike art that cost you $2.95 instead of $300. 

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Mr. Grumpy was not super enthused about it because the bikes have baskets that have flowers in them. Apparently he wanted something more rugged and manly. But, c'mon Mr. Grumpy. You live with a girl. What did you expect? Save your rugged manly art for your Man Room (aka, the Man Bathroom, that I do not enter under any circumstances). Yes, Mr. Grumpy and I have separate bathrooms. Don't judge me – there are just some things that need never be shared in a relationship. Like bathrooms… and bike shorts

Now, in between all my mad crafting, we managed to pack MOST of the apartment. Mostly due to Suzie Q's undying energy. That woman sure is a speedy bullet when it comes to packing. But, let me give you some advice about packing. Never, never pack your crock pot until the very last moment. In fact, I'd argue that's one of those things you should throw in your car with you. Why? Well, let's be honest. The week before a big move, do you think you're going to feel like cooking dinner? Um, hell no. You're not. And instead of ordering pizza every night of the week (tempting, right?) and gaining 10 pounds before moving, use that crock pot. Use it, friends. You will not regret it. 

That's why I'm sharing with you my new favorite crock pot recipe, in honor of the kick-off of our last week at our apartment from you-know-where… 

Crock Pot White Chicken Chili with a KICK! 

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Recipe adapted MAJORLY from Land 'O Lakes: http://www.landolakes.com/recipe/3740/white-chicken-chili

Mr. Grumpy was SERIOUSLY grumpy about this dinner because I made him go to the grocery store to buy the ingredients. The grocery is a very scary place for Mr. G, especially with the way I write our grocery list. He gets extremely frustrated when I put down "onion" and don't specify what color. Or when I write down "block of white cheese" when there are 100 flavors of white cheese to choose from. So, three hours, 20 texts and 5 calls later, Mr. G came home with all my groceries and grumped onto the couch where he pouted… It was not our best moment. I promised to do a better job at indicating what KINDS of food I need or to never, ever send him to the grocery story alone, ever again (I'm going for the latter). 

What You'll Need:

  • 1 8 oz. package of 1/3 less fat cream cheese
  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, diced into 1" pieces
  • 1 block of white cheddar cheese, cut into small 1" blocks
  • 1/2 block of pepper jack cheese, cut into small 1" blocks
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes (I used the Fire Roasted Garlic flavor – yum); drain these very slightly
  • 3/4 cup chicken stock
  • 1 can of Mexi Corn, drained
  • 1 red pepper, cut into chunky pieces
  • 1 sweet onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped really finely
  • 2 cans Great Northen Beans (don't drain, or do so slightly. You want a bit of juice in there)
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 package of Ranch dressing mix
  • 2 tbsp cumin
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Cilantro, for sprinkling on top when it's cooked. "Decorative Cilantro" if you will… 

Combine everything in your crock pot. Cook on high for 3.5 hours (or on low for 6-7 hours), stirring occasionally. And… serve. Seriously. It's that easy, people. Phew. Now, on to packing our linen closet! 

 

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