T'was The Food Addict's Christmas

A little ditty I wrote for those of you who like food, especially Christmas baking, as much as I do.

T’was the night before Christmas,

when all through the house,

not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.

With a yawn and sore feet in the kitchen I stand,

hanging up my apron and wiping my hands.

Tarts, cookies, and fruit bread,

baked and decorated for the guests to be fed.

Nestled for safe keeping and placed in plastic wrap,

I can finally sit by the fire for a long winter’s nap.

Baileys and coffee with whipped cream I enjoy,

while Christmas music echoed Good Tidings of Joy.

When from the basement there arose such a clatter,

I sprang from my chair to see what was the matter.

Light from the freezer illuminated from the open door

like bright yellow rays from the sun once more.

In perfect harmony, they all sing,

"come here, come here you tired old thing”.

I peek inside and to my shock I see

cookies, cakes, and tarts peering at me.

Whistling and taunting they put me under their spell

wafts of cherries, peppermint, and sugar I smell.

“Come eat us, come eat us” in unison they say,

I shake my head and shout, “no bloody way”.

I run back to my comfy chair by the fire

"come back come back", they sing like a choir.

Closing my eyes with my hands over my ears

letting them win is my biggest fear.

“Where are you, where are you” they continue to bug

I ran to my nightstand and found my ear plugs.

“Now Shortbread! Now Cookies, and Tourtiere!

On Gingerbread! On cherry Loaf! On Tarts!”, I dare.

“To the bottom of the freezer” I beg and I bawl,

“Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!

And then in a twinkling, I saw from the mirror,

crumbs, cherries, and chocolate all smeared.

As I drew my head back to take a closer look,

I shout, “Dammit, their bait I took off the hook!

“They won, they won those sons of guns,

another year those dam cookies won!

“No baking” I proclaim “is happening next year”,

and from the freezer I heard, “that’s what you said last year”.

~ Marie Blackburn

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From Our House To Yours...

May the spirit of the season be with you and yours!

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Teenage pad to calm guest room

Painting over those loud blue walls and the funky green on the dressers completely changed the energy of this room.  The green chair stays until I can find a more suitable replacement.

For a couple of amateurs the upholstered headboard didn't turn too bad!
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Shower Stall Gut

 An unexpected shower stall gut earlier this year...
You can imagine our horror when we discovered mold on the outside walls of our basement bathroom. We were even more horrified when we noticed water trickling to the drain in the adjacent laundry room.  I was not pleased considering it was renovated in 2005.

We replaced the rotting 2x4's in the shower and releveled the floor so it slanted better towards the drain. We then applied waterproofing membrane and backer board. Sealed nice and tight now!
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From Dated 1970's Basement Rec Room To Home Theatre

We lived in this house for over a decade with an ugly dated 1970's Basement Rumpus Room (remember those) with flower power carpet and mismatched wood paneled walls. It was hideous and embarrassing and used mainly by the kids.

Now that the kids are in their teens, it was time to give them a room they would not be embarrassed to bring their friends over for movie night. Instead of building another Rec Room/Family Room, we decided to pull out all the stops and build a Basement Home Theater complete with built-in surround sound and a movie style popcorn makeover..

This is what the room looked like before... 

A dated basement rumpus room

I can't believe I hosted Christmas dinners down here. See that lovely carpet and don't get me started on that beautiful mismatched wood paneling!

1970's Basement Rumpus Room

In the picture above, on the right hand side, you can see an IKEA shelving unit we were using for the television and audio visual equipment. Unfortunately I couldn't find a better picture.

Here it is again after our IKEA Hack. We added sides and doors to the unit on the left that used to be open shelving Both were painted white and pewter feet added to the bottom. All the audio/visual equipment is housed in the unit on the left and with glass doors, the equipment can be turned on and off with the remote controls.

The unit on the right stores the kids movies, DVD's, CD's, video games and gaming equipment.

DIY Basement Home Theater

Here is the other side of the room. The leather home theater style seating I got for a steal of a deal at a local furniture wholesaler. IKEA frames with movie posters are a great for inexpensive art work on the walls.

DIY Home Theater Room

We made a snack station by recessing a cupboard, microwave, and bar fridge into the wall, adjacent to our storage room. Everything you need for movie night is at your finger tips.

DIY Home Theater with snack station

The paint was barely dry on the walls before our daughter hosted a movie night with her friends. Now the kids are fighting over this room! Once in awhile Mom and Dad get a chance to enjoy a movie when the kids are out of the house.

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Basement Laundry Room Makeover On A $500.00 Budget

After living in our home for over a decade, our almost twenty year old appliances needed to be replaced. The thought of putting a shiny new red washer and dryer and upright freezer into the dark dungeon we called a laundry room didn't sit well with me.

Unfortunately, after paying for the appliances, there wasn't much room left in the budget for a room makeover. Determination is my middle name and so Mr. Frugalista and I put our heads together to come up with a way we could update the space on a very tight budget.

We managed to completely transform the basement laundry room on a budget of $500.00.

Laundry Room Makeover on a tight budget

This is what the room looked like before...

Basement Laundry Room Before Makeover

It was cold, damp, and a room you didn't want to spend much time in.

Basement Laundry Room Makeover On A $500.00 Budget


  • The carcasses were built with off cut pieces of melamine purchased at Home Depot.
  • The cabinet doors were purchased at the Habitat ReStore for $5.00 each.

Laundry Sink 

The biggest splurge was the deep stainless steel sink at a cost of  $70.00.


The subway tile is called Twill White Field cost just under $1.50 each.

Counter Top

We built the counter top ourselves with a sheet of plywood leftover from another project and a sheet of stock laminate from Home Depot. It cost us less than $50.00 to back.


The ceramic floor tiles were leftover from our back landing makeover. 

Ceiling Tiles

The suspended ceiling tiles were being discontinued and so we got them for a fraction of the original cost.

Light Fixture

The light fixture was a clearance item for $30.00.

Another splurge was the cost of the vinyl letters. It was a fund raiser for my daughter's cheer team so it went to a good cause. Besides, like the sign suggests, somebody has to support my Starbucks addiction!

This is the nicest laundry room I've ever. No more is the dreaded laundry day in the bowels of the basement dungeon. Our clothes hampers have never been so empty!


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