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Hanging Wall Art/Hidden TV Cabinet

In our sun room we have a flat screen TV on the wall that just isn’t attractive.  Cords are hanging everywhere, there’s nowhere to put the remote control, plus the black TV isn’t working with the serene green, lavender, and beige theme.

So, one day I had an idea.  I pulled out a stored away picture frame that was about 8 inches larger than the TV.  I told the hubby and his dad my idea and asked them to make a rectangle box about 1/2″ smaller than the picture frame and 8″ deep.  They used 3/4″ birch plywood we had lying around and pocket screwed the four sides together.  While they were building, my mother-in-law and I filled the picture frame with a scarf I received as a gift but never wore.  It’s cream and lavender and works with the color scheme in the room.

Some day I’ll find a fabric that works a little better in the room.  But, the scarf was free so I can’t complain!

After painting all the wood white, a notch was created for the cords.

One to the outlet and one to the antenna (we don’t have cable).

In order to attach the box to the wall, they created a 2″ x 2″ cleat.  That was secured to wall with two molly bolts.  Then, the box was secured to the cleat from the top with three screws.

The picture frame was attached to the box with a piano hinge.  You can see the hinge at the top of the picture.

To keep the picture frame up while watching TV, a hook was screwed into a beam.  You’ll see some velcro on the frame.  It’s on the box as well.  It keeps the frame from flapping around when closed.

We made the box large enough to place small items under the TV.  Now, everything sits nice and tidy inside the box.  Much better!

And the TV is hidden away when not in use.  Makes me happy!

It took about three hours to make it from start to finish.  The best part is that it was FREE because everything we used we had on hand!  Look around your house to find things you’re not using and re-imagine them into something you’ll love!

Have a wonderful weekend!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Chicken-less Stir Fry

It’s another vegetarian/vegan meal coming your way.  However, this can easily be made into a meat lovers meal by adding in the real thing!

This is a really flexible, 20-minute meal and one I usually throw together when I’m trying to use up what’s left in the fridge.  You know those days!

Ingredients:

1/4-1/2 package of orzo or chow mein noodles (or you can substitute brown or white rice)
1 cup each of your five favorite veggies chopped (This time I used carrots, broccoli, summer squash, red & orange peppers – all but the broccoli are from the garden)
1 package of chicken-less strips (I go back and forth between Trader Joe’s & Gardein)
1/4 – 1/2 bottle of peanut sauce (I use an organic peanut satay made by Full Circle)
1 tablespoon olive oil

 In the ingredients, I mentioned 1/4 to 1/2 package of noodles because it depends on how much you want to ‘fill’ your meal with pasta.  I tend to want more veggies than carbs so I lean toward 1/4 package.  Cook your noodles or rice.  While that’s cooking chop all your veggies.  On medium-high, heat olive oil in pan or wok.  Toss in the veggies that need to cook the longest.  I toss in the carrots first, let them cook about 2 minutes and then the broccoli. Cook another 2 minutes.  I like my veggies al dente so if you don’t adjust your cooking times accordingly.

I go back and forth between TJ’s and Gardein chicken.  If you haven’t tried a Gardein product, you must!!  I have friends that aren’t vegetarian and buy the orange chicken made by Gardein.  It’s that good!  Anyway, for this recipe I use one package of TJ’s Chicken-less Strips.

 It’s already cooked, so I toss in just to heat it.  Also, pour in about 1/8 – 1/4 cup of sauce – just enough to coat everything.  Cook about 1 minute.

Random picture up next (really just so you can see the peanut sauce).

Next, I toss in the summer squash – cook about 2 minutes.  Then, the red and orange peppers go in.  Add a little more sauce; 1 -2 tablespoons.  Cook another 2 minutes.

Last, you’ll add the noodles to the pan and the remaining sauce; 1/8 – 1/4 cup depending on how ‘wet’ you like your stir fry.  Cook another minute.

and serve…

This meals serves four healthy sized portions.  On a side note, I reserve a little chicken and veggies to cook separately for our son as he thinks the peanut sauce is spicy.

Hope you enjoy!

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