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I am a stay at home mom who finds little snippets of time to craft and create.

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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

T-shirt + bleach = cute - Day 21

I had this favorite t-shirt and I was a little vigorous one day cleanign my counters with Clorox clean-up and it got on the shirt. I couldn't just throw it out, so I experimented with bleach and a squirt gun. I cut my initial out of wall vinyl to resist the bleach, but that was a major fail. It turned out really cute though!

I put half water in the gun so that it was a sporadic effect. The farther you are away, the more splashes and splotches and less blob. I let it air dry outside where I sprayed it and then dried it in the dryer. Then I washed it by itself and dried it again.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Fabric snack bags - Day 20

I have used fabric snack bags fro church for a really long time because they don't make any noise when you open them. I decided to use them in all areas of my life now too. They are super simple and are super cute. I make them girly because I carry them around in MY purse (I have two boys).

Monday, August 29, 2011

Quiet jar - Day 19

I found this cute idea for time out. This mom didn't want to promote time out, so what she did instead is when they do something wrong they have to hold a glitter jar. The jar is shaken and they child can get up and continue after all the glitter has settled. She wants the child to meditate during this time. I am using it as a timer. Ben loves it. He even asked to go into time out today.

I used an old peanut butter jar so it wouldn't break. The glitter can't be a heavy glitter and the only one I had like that was white. So I put one drop of blue food coloring in the water so you can see the glitter better. I also hot glued the top so it wouldn't leak.l It is awesome!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Homemade Oxy clean - Day 18

I love oxy clean but it is so darn expensive! I found a recipe for a homemade recipe and it is so simple! I have used it and love it. You are supposed to let it set for 20 min before washing. I store it in an old pickle jar. I spray painted the lid silver and slapped on a cute label. Make sure you shake it up before pouring it in the wash!

Update*** I use 2 Tablespoons in each load

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Birthday E-vites - Day 17

I am combining the boys birthdays this year because they are five days apart and they won't remember. It is more economical and I am gong to apply my green change with their party. Starting with their Invitations. I am sending E-vites to those family and friends who do not live in Branson. For those who do, I recycled poppers from a recent family event. A post about that will be later.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Washing schedule - Day 16

I wanted to talk about washing and drying clothes today. I already make and use my own laundry detergent- which I LOVE! I have a schedule that I use where everyday of the week I do a different load of laundry. Here it is:

Monday- Whites
Tuesday- Boys clothes
Wednesday- Sheets and towels
Thursday- Brittany
Friday- Daniel

I do it this way so I don't have to be overwhelmed by a mountain of laundry on one or two days. I thought that I wouldn't have enough clothes to fill it up, because I re-wear pants and shirts if they don't get dirty. Most days I have plenty because the boys get messy, or I spill on myself or the kids spill on me, or the dogs leave a mess where I use towels, etc. If there is a small load, I go around the house to the different hampers to see if they have extra. If there isn't enough to have a load, I wait another week. So some weeks I am only doing two loads a week! That is really awesome! What do you guys do to conserve washing clothes?

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Fabric napkins - Day 15

My minor in college was sewing. One of the classes I took was home decor. For a project I made napkins. I made a lot of them. I used four colors and three patterns in each color. I made the patterns a wide variety and the edges finished differently so that if I ever had to add to my stash that I didn't have to worry about them matching. It is more of an eclectic look. I use them every day and the kids love them too. It is also nice for parties.

Along with this, I don't use any paper towels. I have white hand towels for my every day kitchen use and bathroom cleaning. I have two towels, one blue ONLY used for window and mirror washing, and Yellow for dusting wood surfaces. They are those fancy ones you find in the cleaning isle that are heavier duty. This eliminates the use of paper towels. I want to make some fabric "paper" towels in the future.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Rain water for garden - Day 14

I water my garden every morning and our yard is the greenest on the block. I have always wanted to collect my rainwater but the fancy barrels are pricey. Until I can get one, I have improvised by using a plastic storage container. I had to use a small one to fit under my gutter until I can get what I want. I want one with a spout on the bottom so you can hook up a hose and water anything you want. It has rained a few days this past week and I was able to use the collected rainwater twice. I submerge my watering can to collect the water and put it on my plants. The water looks gross, but I think it is just the tub or going through the gutter. The plants sure love it and so do I!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Thermostat Accessory - Day 13

I saw this really cool idea to take a small frame and spray paint it to fit your decor and place it around your thermostat to make it cute! I was looking through a thrift store recently and found the perfect frame! I brought it home and painted it silver to match a lamp I had sprayed. I LOVE it! It doesn't look like much in the picture, but it totally adds to the thermostat. Here is a photo of the inspiration. They used a porcelain picture frame.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Plant an herb garden - Day 12

I am planting an inside herb garden since the weather is gong to turn soon. I got this from my mother. She said she found it it Home Depot. It comes with everything you would need to start your own herb garden. Thee is nothing better than using your own fresh herbs to cook with. Ben loves it too!

I thought I could also include some photos for your enjoyment of the boys!Hiding from thunder under the tent

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Vinegar the disinfectant - Day 11

"Straight vinegar is an excellent disinfectant. I often use it to wipe down my counter tops after cooking and also on door knobs and faucets after an illness has swept through the house. Boost the disinfecting power by adding a 5 or 6 drops of tea tree oil to a 16- ounce spray bottle full of white vinegar. Use as you would any disinfecting spray. If you are worried about the house smelling like vinegar, let me assure you that it does not linger like other chemicals".

I started using it on my big skillet. It was hard to wash it and not get the plug wet. This is a perfect solution. I also use it on my counters so when I lay food on it, it doesn't get any nasty chemical residue. This last trip to the grocery store I did not buy any cleaning chemicals and I saved $100 by just switching to vinegar and making my own laundry detergent. That is awesome because my budget it $200, so I just doubled my food budget or added to a different category!

Happy cleaning everyone and go buy vinegar in bulk!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Horse painting - Day 10

I recently posted about this as well, but everyone who sees it in person loves it, so I thought I would share it again. I took an old pallet and pulled all the boards off. I realigned them into a square and nailed them together with two cross beams. Kind of like what a wood table looks like. Then I borrowed a macine that projects what ever you put under it on a wall. So I found a picture of a horse that I like and printed it off. I then projected it on the pallet "canvas" and traced around the shape. I wanted to leave the horse the color of the wood, so I painted white all around the horse. It is a really cool affect. When Ben saw it in the morning he said, "Mommy painted this for me!" It hangs above his bed and he loves it! It was relatively easy to make and totally free.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Pallet and spoon curtain rod - Day 9

I have already posted about my dining room curtain rods, but since I missed a day due to being out of town unexpectedly I need to makeup for lost time!

I used old pallet wood and vintage spoons. I drilled holes in the spoons and nailed them to the pallets. Those were then screwed into the wall. Then I bent the spoon handles so they curved up. The curtains have tabs and I just hang them on the spoons! I love them and they fit in my shabby chic kitchen!

Composting - Day 8

I have started to compost for my little garden it is so easy! I use a little plastic tote that I have drilled holes into the top lid. I painted little creatures on the top and the words "Feed me".

The benefits to composting are great:

  • Cheaper than chemical fertilizer
  • Gradually releases nutrients
  • Reduces disposal fees
  • Diverts waste from the landfill
  • Less stressful on roots
  • Loosens soil
  • Allows roots to spread out widely, preventing erosion
  • Retains water like mulch
  • Accelerates nutrient cycling
  • Reduces oil dependence
  • Sustainable improvement to the soil
  • Reduced run-off and water pollution
  • Reduced irrigation bill
  • It is fun for the kids to put things in the bin

  • The magic about composting is the ratio.

    "Scientists (yes, there are compost scientists) have determined that the fastest way to produce fertile, sweet-smelling compost is to maintain a C:N ratio somewhere around 25 to 30 parts carbon to 1 part nitrogen, or 25-30:1. If the C:N ratio is too high (excess carbon), decomposition slows down. If the C:N ratio is too low (excess nitrogen) you will end up with a stinky pile."

    Here is a chart to help you.

    Estimated Carbon-to-Nitrogen Ratios
    Browns = High Carbon C:N
    Ashes, wood 25:1
    Cardboard, shredded 350:1
    Corn stalks 75:1
    Fruit waste 35:1
    Leaves 60:1
    Newspaper, shredded 175:1
    Peanut shells 35:1
    Pine needles 80:1
    Sawdust 325:1
    Straw 75:1
    Wood chips 400:1
    Greens = High Nitrogen C:N
    Alfalfa 12:1
    Clover 23:1
    Coffee grounds 20:1
    Food waste 20:1
    Garden waste 30:1
    Grass clippings 20:1
    Hay 25:1
    Manures 15:1
    Seaweed 19:1
    Vegetable scraps 25:1
    Weeds 30:1

    Here is a link with the perfect recipe for a compost bin

    So what I use in my bin is all "Goopy garbage" (meaning food from the house that you would feed to a pig), and I get a weekly newspaper add that I cut up and put in. During the fall I put leaves in, and in the summer I use grass clippings. Because of the holes in the top, when it rains it gets moisture. You are also supposed to mix the contents weekly and my bin is small enough that I just lift it a give it a good shake, rattle and roll.

    Good luck and have fun making dirt!

    Wednesday, August 17, 2011

    Reusable gorcery bags - Day 7

    I love grocery shopping day. When I get home I usually have a TON of plastic bags and I save some of them for odd jobs, but I usually have half left over that I just throw away.

    I decided to try out using re-usable bags. I have purchased a few over the years and received a few for free. I felt so responsible using them today. I stored all of the bags in one and put that under the cart so the boys can't destroy them. They worked fabulous! I have a few heavy duty ones from T.J.Maxx that they put all the really heavy stuff in. I didn't need to make 10 trips to the car to unload either. They try and stuff them as full as they can. I hate it when you get one bag with just crackers in it. I think it is a huge waste. Put it on top of a heavy item that didn't fill the bag. I mean really, it is not that hard! {Trust me I was a bagger for years}

    Oh and don't forget the perks of having personalized bags that can be oh so cute! I have one zebra print, one Paris, and one toy story. You can make your own too.

    So I thought I would leave you with some inspirational facts about plastic bags.
    • Plastic bags and other plastic garbage thrown into the ocean kill as many as 1,000,000 sea creatures every year.
    • Recycling plastic saves twice as much energy as burning it in an incinerator.

    Tuesday, August 16, 2011

    Baby food jars - Day 6

    Since I have a little I have tons of baby food jars. They are stinkin cute. I love anything tiny and jars are no exception. I have found many uses for recycling these jars in my house.

    First up is the plastic rectangle shaped ones. I use them to organize medications in a drawer. It is so much easier than keeping huge boxes that don't fit in a drawer. I hate when the drawer gets stuck due to too much stuff.

    Second is storing homemade play dough. I think it is adorable to store a rainbow of dough all lined up in cute jars. Ben loves it too! I have also used them as a gift for St. Patrick's day play dough to Ben's friends. {It is my favorite Holiday}
    Lastly is storing my collection of buttons. I sort them by color and then I store them in a shoe box upside down, so I can see the colors quickly. There are a bazillion cute ideas to use these jars for and I compiled a few cute ideas for you.
    Go Here
    Seriously, go check it out and be amazed.

    Monday, August 15, 2011

    Recycled Birthday cards - Day 5

    (I can't get it to post other than sideways)

    I have a certain love of watercolors. I took a class in college and found it inspiring. I wanted to introduce Ben to real water color because it is a good for children and beginners. we made a few Birthday cards. I have this book in which I keep to use just for crafting. I like the printing on the paper. It recycles! So I brought some paper out and taught Ben how to use them. The tecnique in watercolor is to paint the paper with just water where you want a specific color. Then you barely touch the water with color and it runs wild. It is a really cool effect. Ben was a little too rough and used the paint brush like usually does- with force, but it still worked. We also added kosher salt to the paint and it makes a fun texture in the paint. We did a few different colors and let it dry over night. The next day I used my cricut machine to cut out a butterfly and a guitar. I sewed these shapes onto plain white paper. TaDa! They were beautiful! I loved them and will use this a lot from now on. I love the color on an aged paper!

    Saturday, August 13, 2011

    From teeth to wrist- Day 4

    I found this cool idea to take a toothbrush and make it into a bracelet for your little. I found a cheep brush from the dollar store we had just sitting in a cupboard. Reusing someones old used toothbrush didn't sound appealing, but I guess you could always sanitize it really well if you wanted to. First I used pliers to pull out all the bristles. It was really easy Then I boiled water on the stove. I dropped the toothbrush into the water and let it boil for a good three minutes. I used two pairs of metal prongs and in the water I curved the brush into a circle. When I got the shape I wanted I pulled it out and stuck it into cold water to solidify the plastic. I did take it out to try and get the best shape, but found that when I did it in the water it cooperated easier. That is it! Ben LOVES his bracelet and it was free. He loved "helping" me make it too!

    Friday, August 12, 2011

    Deodorizer - Day 3

    I love vinegar. There are so many wonderful uses and toady I am telling you about my favorite: Deodorizer. I use a commercial grade spray bottle and there are marks on the side for measuring. I fill 1/3 with distilled white vinegar and the rest with water.

    • Urine- Every once in a while Ben pees his bed during nap time and spraying this on the spot clears up the smell.
    • Dogs- my dogs are stinky and I am used to the smell, but others are not so I try and spray my furniture with it. Don't know if it helps with the house smell of dogs, but at least it takes it out of the couch.
    • Washer- Sometimes my washer gives off a foul smell and transfers it to the clothes. I just throw some in and the smell goes away. (side note: it can also be used as a fabric softener)
    • It also gets rid of that nasty smell from garbage cans
    There are many other uses that I will share so stay tuned!

    Thursday, August 11, 2011

    Apps - Day 2

    Today I downloaded phone apps that are green friendly. One, called Find Green, searches for local businesses that are green conscious. There isn't anything in Branson, so I will use this more when I go on vacation. It also tell you where farms and farmers markets are. The second one, Go Green, is purely tips to be more green. I am adding the tips to my list! Green power one is the best! It helps you save power by shutting off your wireless when you are not using it. An example is when your phone is locked and not in use it turns it off. Also when you are actually in a phone conversation it can turn it off. Some others I saw, but didn't download dealt with gas mileage, geographically marking where you clean the earth, green news, there are even green games. There is an app for everyone. Here is an article that talks about the top 5 green apps for an android. Here is one for the IPhone.

    Wednesday, August 10, 2011

    Going Green - Day 1

    I have been feeling lately that something was missing. I can't put my finger on it. We have had a hard summer and it has taken it's toll emotionally. I thought I should take a different approach and find positive in this situation. I watched this movie a while ago that was called "Julie and Julia". I fell in love with the idea of doing Something and documenting it on a blog. I tucked it away in the back corners of my mind for a rainy day. Well, it is raining like crazy outside and I have decided what to use it on.

    I am going green

    Little by little I will switch the way I live and things I eat to be more environmentally friendly and healthy for my body and mind. I am really going to try to do this every day so check back and leave support comments. I really need them!

    I have already posted about switching laundry detergent to making it myself, so this will be my first post. I really like my new laundry soap. I keep it in an old dispenser after I finished it off. All I do is give it a good shake before I pour it out. I use extra FelsNaptha as a spot treatment. You just rub it on the spot and it works miracles. I don't know how environmentally friendly the ingredients are, but I will use them for now until I can find something different. Baby steps! If you want the post where I talked about how to make the detergent click HERE