Friday, July 31, 2009

Honey Face Mask


Sometimes you just need to unwind and take a few minutes to pamper yourself. And when you don't have time to head to the spa, head to your pantry instead! Try this honey mask from suite101.com for a quick pick-me-up and smooth skin!

What You'll Need:
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 cup honey, warmed in the microwave
  • 1/4 cup sugar (optional, if you'd like to add some exfoliation)
Combine all the ingredients together, then gently rub honey mask onto dry, cleansed skin. Next you can either rinse it off with warm water, or (if you have the time) you may place a damp, hot towel on your face for a few minutes before rinsing to create a honey facial.
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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Homemade Mamas We Love!

We thought we'd take a moment to spotlight a couple mamas out there who, while keeping up with active kids, manage to express their creativity and do some really cool stuff. We love hearing what creative, crafty things other mamas are up to and wanted to share their talents with you!

Katie K., wife and mother of two, has recently launched The After Photo, her Esty shop specializing in photo editing and design. For a great price she is able to retouch your almost-perfect photos into works of art, great gifts, cards, & invitations! She can even create banners and images for your own Etsy shop (as we are technologically handicapped, we are really impressed with this!). So check out her shop and see what magic she can work for you!


Another mama we know that is creating a little magic of her own is Liz J. Not only is she a marvel when it comes to making quilts, but she is also the stay-at-home mom of toddler TWINS! We have no idea how she does it, but in her free time (free time?) she makes beautiful quilts, specializing in doll and baby quilts. She sells them at her Etsy shop (Teeny Tiny Quilts), and even has time to blog about her creative endevours. Again, we have no idea how she does it.....

These are just a couple of the talented, crafty mamas out there. As busy moms ourselves, we are always impressed to see other moms successfully juggling home, family, work, and their own creativity! So if you or someone you know is a crafty mama, let us know about them so we can give them a shout-out!
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Monday, July 27, 2009

Too Easy To Believe Throw Pillows

Maggie had been wanting a throw pillow for her bed for awhile, but most of the ones she had seen had a lot of pattern on them and wouldn't go with her bedspread. Then we came across this great idea from Thrifty Decor Chick! A quick, easy throw pillow made from a placemat!

First, find a placemat that matches your decor, making sure its a double-sided one (the one we used was on sale for $1.99 from World Market - can't beat that price!). Using a seam ripper, take out a small amount of the stitching between the two layers. Then stuff the placemat and sew the hole shut!

Could this project be any easier? We think not! And the results are great!
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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Summer Activities Challenge Update

As we mentioned in an earlier post, our family is attempting the Summer Activities Challenge given by Education.com. We have completed a few projects, and thought we'd share some of them with you. Some of the ones we've done are:

Rice Pictures
Fabric Collages
Blow Painting


We hope some of these inspire you! We'll keep you posted on our progress!
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Monday, July 20, 2009

Drink Umbrellas

We have seen this idea on several sites and thought it was so cute! So here is our version of the homemade drink umbrella:

First, find some cute paper (or plain paper that you or your little one can decorate). Then cut a circle out of your paper the size that you would like your umbrella to be. These can be made any size, so get creative! Then cut out a small "pie slice" shape out of your circle (we found we liked a smaller pie shape, but it's a matter of taste). Then wrap your circle around to make a cone shape, over-lapping the "pie" cut edges. At this point, feel free to decorate it and make it your own creation. You now have your umbrella top!

Take a wooden skewer and snip the end to make your umbrella your desired height. Then put a little hot glue inside the point of the cone and attach the skewer. Let the glue harden, pop it in your drink, and let the party begin!
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Saturday, July 18, 2009

Jello Watermelon

We first saw this project here, and thought it was so cute that we ended up making it for the 4th of July! The kids loved it...and so did the grown-ups!

What You Need:
Rind of 1/2 of a large watermelon
4 large boxes red jell-o (6 oz., we used cherry)
5 cups water
1/4 c. mini chocolate chips (we eyeballed it, and I think we used less)

**DO NOT FOLLOW DIRECTIONS ON THE JELL-O BOXES - YOUR "WATERMELON" WILL COME OUT TOO SOFT!!**

Scoop out fruit with a melon making sure to get all the way down to the green rind. You may have to shave a little off the bottom of the outside of the rind to make it stand up straight - just be sure not to cut all the way through! Boil the water, add the Jell-O and stir well. Then pour the mixture into your rind. Place your "watermelon" in the refrigerator. When mixture is firm but not completely set, push mini-chocolate chips into the Jell-O using a chopstick or skewer. Let set completely in the fridge.

When ready to serve, slice with a sharp knife and enjoy!

*We also thought that for a grown-up treat, you could add some vodka to the water mixture! Yum!

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Thursday, July 16, 2009

Natural Disinfecting Bathroom Cleaner

While visiting The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum in Chicago, we found several new green cleaning recipes in their "Extreme Green House" exhibit. Here is a bathroom cleaner that disinfects, cleans and is completely safe for kids and pets. We have used vinegar to clean with in the past, and found the smell too strong. Using the lemon juice seems to help cut the vinegar smell and it dissipated very quickly. We used it in the bathroom and the kitchen and it worked great. We were amazed how well it removed stains from an old white sink (spray and let sit 10-15 min.)

The recipe:

  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice (reconstituted or strained fresh juice)
  • 1 cup of warm water

Mix ingredients and pour in a spray bottle. Shake before using.

For more green cleaning recipes check out naturemuseum.org under education.

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Monday, July 13, 2009

Tees to Totes!

While rooting through her clothes, Maggie found a couple of old tee-shirts that (after having two kids) didn't fit anymore. Not ready to part with them, we decided to give them a new life as tote bags!

First, turn your tee shirt inside out. Then fold the neck over and pin it. Next, cut the excess material off of the sleeves, fold, and pin. Then fold the bottom over itself and pin into place.

Finally, sew along your pinned edges using a zig-zag setting on your sewing machine (although you could sew the seams by hand if you prefer). Then turn your new bag inside out and enjoy!
We think these would make great bags to throw snacks in and take to the park, although one of Maggie son's has claimed them for holding his "treasures"...
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Thursday, July 9, 2009

No Sew Bed Canopy



We came up with this easy bed canopy for Maggie's son who wanted an underwater bedroom. We had been planning on sewing the canopy, but as we were working on it we discovered an easier, faster way with no sewing!





What you need:
  • 9 yards of fabric (we used a sheer fabric)
  • embroidery hoop - we used an 18 inch, but any size would work
  • rubber band
  • ribbon (about 12-18 inches it will be used to hang the canopy)
  • paint or ribbon if you want to cover your hoop (it will show)


We cut 3 yards of fabric off the 9 yards. Next we folded the remaining 6 yards of fabric in half and tied the ribbon to the middle. Using the rubber band we attached the 3 yards of fabric to the middle of the 6 yards.




We now had three sections of fabric 3 yards long each.










Next we put the fabric over the hoop with the top centered in the hoop. Make sure the fabric is evenly spread around the circle. close the top hoop tight.

Now it is ready to hang or embellish. We added beads and a fish
for our underwater room. The kids love sleeping and playing in the canopy.










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Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Summer Activities Challenge!

Education.com is a great resource for finding fun, educational activities for children of all ages. And through August 31st they are offering a Summer Activities Challenge! If you register here and complete 20 activities, you and your family will be in the running for various prizes including a Dell Latitude 2100 Netbook. Who couldn't use a free laptop?

Our family is registered to participate and have a few projects in mind. If you are planning on doing this we would love to hear what projects you have completed and how they worked out for you! And if any of our readers win, we want to hear about that too!

Good luck and have fun!
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