Monday, June 28, 2010

Homemade Air Freshener


Living with pets and little boys (and some not-so-little boys aka husbands!), we know a thing or two about those phantom funky smells that seem to creep up now and again around the house. And while commercial air fresheners and odor neutralizers are great, you know we can't resist trying to make our own! This is a recipe we found at Tipnut.com - with only a couple ingredients, it is a fast, effective, and economical way to keep your home smelling fresh! This lightly-scented air freshener is great for not only your wallet, but also your family since there are no weird chemicals in it!

What You Need:
  • 2 cups hot water
  • 1/8 cup baking soda (as we've mentioned before, baking soda is great for removing odors)
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice (bottled - even expired! - works fine too)
Dissolve your baking soda completely in the hot water. Then add your lemon juice. Be careful with this step, as adding the lemon juice can make it erupt like a grade school science project (yeah...it happened to us when we made it). Put your mixture into a spray bottle and get spraying!

**As this has no preservatives in it, try to use it up within a week or so**
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Thursday, June 24, 2010

Parsley Facial Toner

Who knew at this stage in our lives we would still be
battling acne. For us, a lot of the products designed for teenagers are too harsh. We were so excited when we found this recipe in this months issue of Women's World magazine.

Parsley is a natural antiseptic so it is great at fighting acne. The toner will quickly purify and clense your skin. We found this recipe to be very gentle and effective.





All you need is parsley, boiling water and a clean reusable bottle.
Chop an 1/2 cup of parsley.
Pour 1 cup of boiling water over the parsley. Let cool and then strain. Pour into your reusable bottle. The toner has a lovely fresh smell. Pour a little on a cotton ball and sweep over your freshly washed face.
The toner will last a month if kept in the fridge.
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Monday, June 21, 2010

Fourth of July Wreath

With the Fourth of July fast approaching, we've been looking for fun (and inexpensive) ways to decorate! After a trip to the dollar store we were struck by inspiration to make a festive wreath...and now we want to share our idea with you!

What you need (these supplies can all be purchased at the Dollar Tree):
  • Wreath
  • 4 nine foot Patriotic tinsel garlands
This cute wreath can be completed in a matter of minutes in one easy step! Simply alternate wrapping the tinsel garland around the wreath until fully covered...

... and Voila!
You have a fabulous wreath for only $5!
It 's cute, simple to make, and best of all won't break the bank to make! Happy Fourth!


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Thursday, June 17, 2010

Felted Soap


There is no doubt that felting is a rather magical process. Turning loose fibers into a solid mass with a little pressure and friction? Amazing! We've tried needle felting before with great success, but haven't had much luck with wet felting. So we decided to give it one last try when we discovered felted soap! We're sure you all know about this already, but we thought it looked really neat. It's a like a washcloth and bar of soap in one! It worked great for us, so we thought we'd share with you how we did it (if you are confused by any of the steps, let us know or check out this link - they have a great picture tutorial!):

What You Need:
  • wool roving
  • a bar of soap
  • bowl of hot water
  • *optional*: felting board or wash board...or bubble wrap! (not included in the pic - sorry!)
First, wrap wool roving around your bar of soap in one direction (the long way)...

...and then the other (the short way) until the bar of soap is completely covered.
If you'd like, add some roving of another color to add some decoration.
Once your soap is covered, start dribbling a little of the hot water onto it slowly. Do not dunk the soap in water or the wool will come off! Continue dribbling and patting until the wool is wet all the way through.
Then you can begin to start squeezing the bar while dribbling water on it once in a while. The wool will start to form around your bar. At this point you can start working/rubbing the soap in your hands. It will start getting foamy and slippery!
Continue to rub the bar of soap, wetting your hands every so often. This part can take a little while, so have patience. When the wool starts to feel tighter on the soap, you can start rubbing your soap on your felting board or wash board. Not ones to buy extra equipment, we used some bubble wrap we had lying around and it worked great! Just rub your bar back and forth and in circles on the mat , being sure to do this on all sides of your soap (if you don't have a felting mat or bubble wrap, just continue to rub and squeeze the soap with your hands)
If you feel like your wool is felted, dip it in your water. If it looks fluffy, keep rubbing. Otherwise run your soap under cold water to tighten the wool (don't worry about the soap suds that are forming). Pat it dry with a towel, then let it air dry.
Ta-da! you now have felted soap! We think would make a fun and unique gift! Or maybe you should just keep it for yourself....
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Monday, June 14, 2010

Father's Day Photo Frames


How sweet are these origami photo frames! We found these on Redtedart's Blog. We thought they would be perfect for father's day. You could stick them inside cards or tie them on packages. They are easy to make, so the kiddos can make lots of them for dad, grandpa and all the uncles! The frames even stand up on their own!


All you need is a square piece of paper.
We used origami paper, but any kind of pretty paper would work! Fold the opposite corners of the paper together and press. Then open the paper and fold the other corners together.
Open the paper and it should look like this. The lines will be your fold guides.
Fold the corners to the center.
Repeat with all four corners.
Flip the square over, and fold the corners to the center again.
Do the same with all four corners.
Flip your square over. You should have four square flaps.
Fold each flap up to the corner.
Your frame should now look like this.
You can tuck the triangle flaps inside...
...or fold them backwards to make a band of white around your picture.
Cut your picture a little smaller than the frame and carefully slide it in.
Here is how they stand up!
Dad will love it!
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Thursday, June 10, 2010

Monster Spray!!

Got monsters lurking under your bed? Never fear, we have
created our own monster spray guaranteed to rid your home of monsters!

5 year old Jonah has been very worried about monsters under his bed. We have tried reasoning and logic to explain that there are no such thing as monsters. (Even if there were, there is no room under his bed) We tried pointing out that no monster would want to eat a skinny, bony little 5 year old when there is a big juicy 7 year old in the top bunk. Nothing has worked. Until we read the book Fudge-a-Mania by Judy Blume. In the book, a little girl's grandmother makes her monster spray. "Just one spray keeps monsters away!" Jonah knew this would work for him.

We thought about what kind of things monsters would hate. The boys decided that monsters wouldn't like anything that smelled good. We realized we already had the perfect recipe for monster spray - our homemade linen spray. It smells great and you can whip up a batch very quickly. Be prepared to make several batches. They love spraying it everywhere!

First we poured 2 tablespoons of vodka into our empty spray bottle. Then we filled it almost to the top with distilled water. We thought the monsters would hate being sprayed with water that came from a bottle with a cute baby on it!






Next we added 20 drops of our favorite essential oil. The more flowery the better! Monsters hate flowers!










The boys even made labels for their bottles.








How cute is Jack's monster spray!







Monsters Beware!!!
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Monday, June 7, 2010

Summer Activities!


Around here, Summer Vacation has begun for our kids. This year Rebecca and Maggie have decided not to send their boys to summer camp, which means we have to rely on creativity to make it a fun summer for kids and moms alike! We've been looking through some of our old posts to refresh our memories and give us some ideas to keep everyone busy and happy this summer (for those times when even the wading pool and goofy goggles aren't entertaining them). And we thought we'd share some of those ideas with you!

The best part about summer vacation is getting the kids outside. Why not make some Homemade Bubble Solution? And if it's really hot out, why not let the kids throw some Sponge Balls at each other? They are a less messy and fun alternative to water balloons! Or if the kids are feeling creative, you can always mix up a batch of Sidewalk Chalk Paint!
Having a rainy summer day? Why not try some of our favorite indoor kids crafts! Our very first post was on making Homemade Playdough (or if you're feeling beachy, try some Sand Playdough)! Sooo easy and will certainly keep the kids busy for a while! Some other fun, indoor activities are to make your own stickers or Puffy Paint - or you can always make some Marbled Paper. But if your kids are anything like ours get ready for a big fun mess!
We hope that these projects gave you some ideas and will help keep you all busy, entertained, and maybe even a little bit messy this summer! Enjoy!
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Thursday, June 3, 2010

"Lush" Garden

Once in a while, a Mama needs to kick back and relax...and maybe have a glass of something more grown-up than Kool-Aid. But who knew that alcohol could help your garden grow?

Have an empty wine bottle in your recycling bin? Why not fill it with water and stick it upside down in one of your potted plants? The water will be absorbed into the soil as the soil dries out. This is a simple and green way to make a "Plant Nanny"!
But what about using alcohol to actually help your garden grow? eHow.com provides the following list for putting that beer to good use in your yard (note: we are simply passing their list onto you - we have not tested them ourselves.):

  • Feed your evergreens in early May. Mix ½ can of beer, 2 oz. fish emulsion and 2 gallons of water. Apply to each evergreen. Follow with lawn food around the base about a month later.
  • Give your tree a drink at the weep line for preventative maintenance in early June. Use 1 can of beer and 2 cups liquid soap (Use non-scented dish washing liquid soap but not dish detergent. Try environmentally friendly soap.) in a 15- to 20-gallon hose sprayer. Spray the area of ground under the longest branch of your trees. Saturate this area in your garden with about 5 gallons of the mixture.
  • Place a small amount of beer in a jar and bury the neck of the jar to drown slugs. Make sure to empty and replace the liquid after a rain since it will be diluted.
  • Feed your lawn with a homemade fertilizer. Mix 1 can of beer, 1 cup of ammonia, 1 cup of liquid soap and 1 cup of your favorite liquid lawn fertilizer in a large bucket. Once that is combined well, stir in 1 cup of either corn syrup or molasses. Pour into a hose end sprayer. Thoroughly spray the yard, and then apply every 3 weeks during the normal growth season.
Who knew beer and wine (bottles) were so useful?
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