Sunday, September 30, 2012

Hot Honey Lemon "Aid" - for sore throats and coughs!

This past week, the boys and I were hit with our first big cold of the season. It started for all of us with a really bad sore throat. I had remembered hearing that people used honey somehow for colds As much as I love homemade projects, I'm usually a little skeptical of home remedies. I was quite desperate though, so I started looking online to find some relief for my throat. Everywhere I looked I found people recommending honey and lemon in hot water. After and also The Mayo Clinic recommended using honey and lemon for both sore throats and coughs, I decided to give it a try. The honey coats your throat and suppresses coughs. The lemon helps break up mucus. The hot water relaxes the throat muscles. Check out both sites to read more about research that has been done on this home remedy. The boys and I were so pleased with how well this worked. It immediately made our throats feel better. It also taste delicious! It was warm and comforting!

I also wanted to add, that this home remedy is meant to sooth sore throats and coughs, but not cure the cause. If you think you have something more serious than a cold please go see your doctor!

This is safe for children over the age of 1. Never give honey to children under the age of one!

As you can guess, all you need is honey, lemon juice (fresh or bottled) and hot water.

Heat 1 cup of water like you would for making tea. Add 2 tablespoons of honey and one tablespoon of lemon.

Make sure it's not too hot! Stir and enjoy! It works best when you sip it slowly to keep your throat coated. You will probably have to repeat several times throughout the day, but it is so delicious, and works so well, you won't mind!

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Thursday, September 27, 2012

Recycling Bin Postcards

The kids had no school yesterday, and while we had plans for them for most of the day, they were begging for something to do practically at first light. I've had this idea from Infarrantly Creative in the back of my mind for a couple weeks now and thought this was the perfect time to bust it out! Raiding the recycling bin, we found some cardboard boxes and quickly gave them a new life as postcards! And you can too!

 What You Need:
  • Cardboard boxes, such as from cereal or crackers
  • Scissors or X-Acto
  • Ruler
  • Marker
  • Someone to send these awesome postcards to!
With your ruler, cut a 4" x 6" rectangle out of your cardboard box. Truthfully, I couldn't find a ruler. So instead I took one of those inserts that fall out of magazines and just used it as a template - perfect size!

Then you just flip it over and draw a line down the middle to separate the actual note from the address. Then draw horizontal lines on the right-hand side for the address.

And that's it! A quick and easy activity that will undoubtedly make someone smile when they open their mailbox.  Some of my favorites were...
Fortune cookie postcard!!
The back of the graham cracker box had a S'mores recipe! Who wouldn't want THAT in the mail?!?
These chewy bars are kind of a running joke in our family...

And my boys had a blast writing notes and pictures on the postcards. Any project that gets them interested in writing is aces in my book!

Our family and friends have some interesting mail headed their way!

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Sunday, September 23, 2012

(Almost) No Sew Braided T-Shirt

This is one of those projects that I stumbled upon, had to stop what I was doing and immediately make. I found it on her new leaf . I say ALMOST no sew because you will need to make a few hand stitches, but if you are really against sewing, you could just use a safety pin to close the braid. Best part, it only took a few minutes to make and looks fabulous!
* You may want to experiment on an old shirt (I used one of my husbands) before you make the one you really want to add a braid to. You can adjust the size and width of the braid as you will see further down. I put my braid on just the front of the shirt. You could also make it go all the way around, make a double braid if you had a really long shirt, or even put one around the bottom of your shirt (it will act almost like elastic when you put it around the bottom of the shirt).
You will need a knit shirt. You will want one that is a longer shirt. Making the braid will shorten the shirt by a couple of inches. You will also need scissors, matching thread, and a needle.

I hope this next part makes sense. Fold the collar over like this. Cut a 1/2 inch slit for the first cut by the shoulder. The first and last slit will stretch out so you want to make Them smaller. Cut 1-2 inch slits the rest of the way around the neck every 1/2 to 1 inches. It kind of reminded me of making those paper lanterns when I was little. You don't want to cut through the collar. The length and width of your slits will determine the size of your braid. The bigger the braid the more your shirt will shorten.

Your shirt should look something like this when you are done.

To braid, take the second slit and thread it under the first slit. You will now have a loop. Thread the next slit through the loop. Continue around the neck.

You should form a braid that looks like this.

Continue around the neck until you get to the opposite shoulder. This is where you will need your needle and thread. Sew the last loop down to the shoulder. I needed to add a few stitches to the first and last slits because they had stretched more than I wanted.

Voila! I love how the braid gathers and drapes the fabric the front! It's like I have a brand new shirt!

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Thursday, September 20, 2012

Makeup Removing Cloths

The "babies" in our families are growing up fast around here - too fast! The days of us needing a vast supply of our Homemade Baby Wipes are now behind us. We can now put a little more attention on ourselves ( you know, in between packing lunches, helping with homework, fixing meals, running errands, going to work, etc...). So I decided to tweak the baby wipes recipe to make Homemade Makeup Removing Cloths! These suckers get off even the most stubborn of beauty products - and with only two ingredients!  Thanks to One Good Thing By Jillee for this great idea!

 What You Need:
  • a round plastic container with a tight-fitting lid
  • thick, strong roll of white paper towels
  • Sharp, serrated knife to cut paper towel roll in half
  • 2 cups water that has been boiled and cooled to room temperature
  • 1-2 Tbs. coconut oil

The process for making these is identical to making the baby wipes. With your knife, cut your roll of paper towels in half.

In your container, mix your water and coconut oil. We left our water fairly warm for this part. Our oil has been kept in the fridge and the warm water helped to return it to it's liquid state.

Take the inner cardboard tube out of your roll. Now place your roll cut side down in your container and let it absorb the water. Don't worry if it looks like your roll is too tall - as it gets wet you can just push it down!

Once the water is absorbed, put on the lid, flip it over, and let your roll get fully saturated with the solution.

 You are now ready to remove your makeup with ease! The added bonus of the coconut oil is that it's moisturizing and anti-oxidant properties will make it perfect for the upcoming dry winter months! Your skin will thank you!
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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Tie Bangle!

After a rather fruitful trip to the thrift store with Rebecca and our aunt, I came home with some funky old ties. I had seen this project idea and thought it was so adorable! So I set out to make a Tie Bangle of my own...with a few modifications!

What You Need:
  • Old Tie 
  • Plastic Cup (or any round plastic container wide enough to fit your wrist)
  • Scissors
  • Hot Glue
  • Button
First, cut a strip out of your plastic cup. Make sure the strip is no wider than your tie (I used the thin end of my tie.

Feed your strip into the opening of your tie. When the strip is all the way down inside, cut your tie.

While you could sew your ends together, I was feeling particularly lazy and turned to my trusty old glue gun. I simply attached the finished end of the tie on top of the cut end. (I decided to make mine large enough to fit over my wrist, though you could certainly make one with a closure so it could be taken on and off that way)

You could end your bracelet there, but I thought it looked a little plain.

So I added a shiny button!

So simple but kinda funky and different! My cat Otto liked it so much he insisted on being in the picture!
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Sunday, September 9, 2012

Jack's Spray Paint!

This past weekend our boys spent the day with Nana. As usual, Nana went all out! She had bought them a new art set and let the boys go crazy - markers, watercolors, stamps, scissors, pens and pencils! All the boys had a blast, especially Jack! Long after the other boys had grown tired of the art and left, Jack kept painting. He started experimenting with the watercolors. Splatter painting was really fun, but not really a good indoor activity. He discovered he could get a pretty good splatter effect by tapping a painty brush. Jack then decided to try blowing on the paint brush. WOW! He made an awesome spray paint effect! We were all so impressed. His picture was sooo cool! (And not to messy!) We asked Jack to to share his new technique with you! You will need a set of children's watercolors, brushes, water and paper.

You will want to make sure that the paints are nice and wet. Dip your brush into the paint. You can experiment with different size brushes. "Bigger brushes make bigger messes!", say Jack.

Now pucker up and blow!

How cool is that! Spray painting with minimal mess!

Then Jack discovered that you could put objects down on the paper and spray them with paint. When he moved them - ta da!

It also worked really well with paper shapes too!

This technique is also fabulous for hands! Give it a try with your little ones!

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Thursday, September 6, 2012

Lunchbox Ice Packs

School started for our kids this past Tuesday, which means another year of packing lunches.  In the past we've included store-bought ice packs in their lunchboxes to help keep their lunches cool. But these were often lost or accidentally thrown away. But I saw this idea form My Kitchen Escapades for making lunchbox ice packs out of kitchen sponges and thought "GENIUS!"  So cheap and easy that if one gets lost it's no big deal!

What You Need:
  • Plain sponges
  • Zipper top sandwich bags
  • Water

Simply saturate your sponges in water...

...then place inside a sandwich bag. Then lay it flat in your freezer until frozen.

And now the world has seen my messy freezer!
Pop it in a lunchbox and your little ones are ready for a cool lunch!  The nifty thing about this is that when the sponge thaws the sponge will reabsorb the water! The sandwich bag will protect everything else from the moisture.  After school throw it back in the freezer and it will be ready for next time!

After a few uses, check and see if your sponge needs more water. If you are worried about it getting funky, you can always throw it in the dishwasher to sanitize it!

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