The first thing I need to say is that I am in no way getting paid by Ikea to write this post. I wish I was! The second thing I need to say is that I am tired of everything being called a “hack.” And yet, as I did my first Ikea
hack upgrade I felt very proud to be joining the ranks of people who have come up with a cheap and creative way to solve a problem.
Our problem was our need for a very small and very affordable yet functional nightstand. I looked for months and nothing met all three needs. Eventually we ended up taking a walk around Ikea and I refused to leave until we found something we could work with.
The answer, my friends, was the Valje wall cabinet in turquoise:
At 13.75 inches all the way around, this puppy would be out of the way, functional and at $25 a pop I was ecstatic about the price. It also jives with the Hektar wall lamp I had picked out. At $16 each my bedside situation was ready for the most affordable upgrade imaginable.
As I searched the internet for examples of floating nightstands to learn about placement, Something I hadn’t anticipated occurred. Turns out I don’t like floating night stands. Apparently I just like me some legs on a piece of furniture. Cue massive search for cheap legs. Enter realization that one must also purchase brackets to install legs. At $5 a leg and $2 a bracket, this was quickly turning into a pricey project :(.
As I stared at the leg section in Lowe’s, I decided to try something potentially stupid. I purchased two round dowels for less than $2 each and headed home.
This past weekend we embarked on operation Ikea
hack Upgrade. Our Valjes were assembled without their backs so that we could easily access the outlets on either side of our beds. Josh cut the dowels into 8 inch pieces. We attempted to sand said pieces and only got into a mild argument about how hopeless this project was. We drilled pilot holes in each one and then I spray painted them metallic gold.
We drilled pilot holes two inches from the corners of our Valjes, screwed the legs into the table with the screws heading down through the bottom piece of the Valje et voilà! We got legs!
They aren’t super sturdy but that’s ok because these nightstands aren’t going to hold a lot of weight. They are going to sit, look pretty and they certainly won’t get in the way! I may get baskets or something to put into the open squares if things get messy but for now I love the way my books look lined up!
Hack Upgrade: Kentucky Bourbon Peach Smash AKA YOU JUST GOT JAMMED!
To me, the essence of the hack is that you take something that was meant for one thing, and you adjust it to meet your own needs on the cheap. The matching cocktail for this project was not an obvious one, but the perfect thing jumped out at me when I reluctantly googled cocktail hacks. The rolling of the eyes stopped as soon as I started reading about jam in cocktails.
I recently made peach jam (I added basil from my garden) with some peaches that were about to go bad. I can’t get enough of it on toast so the thought of putting it in alcohol had me quivering with antici…..pation.
I’ve seen varied opinions on how to do this, but it seems like the standard is:
- 2 oz of spirit
- 1 oz fresh citris
- 1/2 – 1 tablespoon of jam
Jam drinks must be strained and it seems like best practice to shake them. Bourbon and peach jam seem like the perfect transitional fall drink with one foot in late summer and one embracing cooler weather.
For a Kentucky Bourbon Peach Smash from the lovely kitchen shake and strain over a large cube of ice:
- 1 1/2 oz bourbon
- 1/2 oz lemon juice
- 1 tbl. peach preserves
- one peach wedge for garnish
- top with soda water if desired
It was scrumptious. As you can see I couldn’t wait to taste it before taking a photo of it. I used an ounce of lemon juice and two ounces of bourbon but suggest using half an ounce of lemon because I wouldn’t have minding the acidity toned down just a tad. As always, adjust for your own taste and enjoy!!