Living with the In-laws and a Birthday Party

Yes… I have been on yet another hiatus. This time it wasn’t all my fault. 🙂

Long story short, we had a sewage flood in the home that we were renting that caused massive contamination of the third floor of the home. Considering the conditions and the fact that we have a toddler, the hubby and I decided it was best if we just call it quits at that location. We are in the process of building a new home, but it is not quite ready yet. So, in the mean-time, we are living with the in-laws, in the bonus room, above their garage……… down by the river. No, seriously, the Flint River. 🙂 (Hey, gotta make light of the situation any chance I get!) All jokes aside, we are very thankful that we have this option.

Our nephew, Clayton, loves Star Wars and just turned 6. So guess what?! He had a Star Wars Party! And I got to help out! Here are a few pictures from the celebration.

New life to your old digs…

I am a news and current events addict…  I love watching my Good Morning America. And now, we have the pleasure of seeing some of the cast twice a day, on               Good Afternoon America! I LOVE IT!

On Thursday, GAA debuted their new segment “Trash to Treasures.” And, of course, this is right up my alley!

They decided to open with a refashion topic – You know….how to revive those old clothes in the back of your closet, think outside the box when rummaging through the clothes rack at the thrift stores and ideas for those one hundred gazillion t-shirts your hubby brings home from work that was given to him by Joe-Schmoe Salesman that really doesn’t fit anyone in the house…

They invited The Refashionista herself, Jillian Owens, to help with this segment and show off her amazing refashions. If you have not heard of her, check her out here.

She showed two pieces … but one really caught my eye. If I wore dresses…If I wore strapless dresses,… I would SO WEAR THIS.

Source: GAA

Pair it some cute wedges for a night out or some good ole cowgirl boots to your favorite SEC game and/or tailgate party this fall!

 See how she did it here.

What have you refashioned lately?

Want some more ideas on adding a new breathe to some old threads…

 Visit my pinterest board for inspiration!

Tuesday Tutorial: Removing Labels and Mason Jar projects

I have been known to hoard keep my share of glass jars and bottles. You know… just in case. And, actually, they have come in handy for several things such as bulk food storage, gift containers, and taking up space in my crafting area.

I remember drinking out of a small mason jar with a handle as a child when we visited with my grandparents. I think that was “my” glass. I also get a little giddy when I visit my Mom’s and see a mason jar in the cabinet.

Mason Jars, and other glass jars, seem to be all the rage in decorating these days—Country Chic? Of course, I am a big fan. You can visit almost any crafting or decorating blog and find some kind of something about mason jars. Heck, head on over to Pinterest. I know you can ‘pin’ some ideas there.

When decorating with and up-cycling mason jars, you will usually need to remove those pesky labels, which is not always the easiest of tasks. I have a simple way of doing just that. So easy and saves your fingernails from peeling away at the tacky glue and paper!

You will need:

-Your Jar/Bottle of choice

-A large plastic bowl

-Dish detergent

-A pretty stout hard back book

-Hot water

-A rough dish scrubber

  1. Gather your choice of jars/bottles that you want to remove labels from. I love the mason jars that this brand of spaghetti sauce comes in. They have the measurements and the word ‘mason’ on them!
  2. Put a medium amount of dish detergent into the bowl. Add hot water. (Tip: You will only want enough water so that you can also submerge the jar. So…I recommend fill it with the jar of choice in the bowl.)
  3. Now, with the jar standing in the water, place the heavy book on top. This will keep it from bobbing about while the magic is occurring. Let it sit this way for 15-20 minutes.
  4. Remove the jar from the water and pull off your label. You should be able to remove it in one piece with no issues. However, you may still have the adhesive residue on your jar as I did on these.
  5. Take your dish scrubber and run it across the adhesive area. This shouldn’t take too much elbow grease. Once the adhesive is removed, simply run your jar under some water to remove any residue. Tah-Dah!

Here are some cute ideas for your hoarded collected jars and bottles:

Little Miss Momma’s Painted Jar Centerpieces

 Not Just a House Wife’s Mason Jar Wall Planters

 

MSN Living featured Country Living’s Mason Jar Soap Dispenser

 

Little Bit Funky’s Mason Jar No-Spill Drink Jars

Tutorial Tuesday: Re-usable, Homemade Dryer Sheets

Even though they are pennies per sheet, I hate throwing away dryer sheets. It’s like….well, throwing away pennies!

I rarely go to the laundry detergent aisle at the supermarket anymore, after making my Homemade Laundry Detergent; therefore, I don’t really think about whether or not we need dryer sheets. Therefore, I get in to the predicaments from time to time of being out of dryer sheets. What a bummer…

So, I decided to fix that issue and make some longer lasting, better, and somewhat eco-friendly homemade dryer sheets (more so than the purchased dryer sheets, at least, that I’m tossing after every load). I’m glad I did! They were so easy to make, took less than 15 minutes, cost me ZERO BUCKS (thanks to my lovely sister-in-law, Kelly, I had everything on hand) and they smell absolutely fabulous!

So, I digress… on to the tutorial!!!

Re-Usable Homemade Dryer Sheets

 What I used:

  • An old t-shirt (I used 100% cotton so that it wouldn’t fray when cut) **donated to the craft pile by Kelly**
  • Scissors
  • A medium-sized plastic container (I re-purposed a baby wipe container that I had stashed away)
  • Liquid Softener **donated by Kelly when she moved away**
  • Hot water

How I did it:

  1. Cut the t-shirt into rectangles that will fit into your selected container. (Would you have guessed that I made mine the size of……Baby Wipes??!!)
  2. Place the rectangles into your container.
  3. Mix up a solution of 4 parts liquid softener and 10 parts water. Pour the solution over your rectangles.  Close the lid on the container and shake. (Warning: if using a wipe container, you may want to do this step in another container as the solution will leak out the top.)
  4. Allow 48 hours for your new ‘sheets’ to soak up the solution
  5. When you are ready to dry a load of laundry, simply remove a sheet, ring it out slightly and throw in with your other wet clothes, just like you would with a store bought dryer sheet.
  6. Used sheets can be put back into the container to be re-used!
  7. Re-use and enjoy.
  8. Use again, and enjoy.
  9. Okay…I think you get the point!

Pinterest Pin(s) of the Day: 05.01.12

While talking to my friend, Jennifer, about making the homemade laundry detergent, we got on the subject of all DIY cleaners and tricks. I had told her about several that I currently utilize. Of course, being the pin-a-holic that she is, she asked me if this information was on my Pinterest or on my Blog…and unfortunately, they were not…….

Until Now. 🙂

I now have a board that is compiled of DIY Cleaning Recipes, Tips and Tricks. Most of these I have tried and the others, I have every intention on trying at some point.

Well, enough of my chit-chat, go check ’em out!

My DIY Cleaners and Tips Board 

Know any “Nifty and Thrifty” Cleaning recipes, tips or tricks?

Do you pin?

Check out all the marvelous things that I find on Pinterest by following me.

Hippity Hoppity Easter’s On Its Way!

I would like to take a moment and thank Olympic Paint and Lowe’s for sponsoring this morning’s craft. 🙂 Oh, and my good friend Pinterest for the idea.

Presenting…..

My Paint Chip Easter Garland!

Maybe I will add more decor before Easter Sunday…

Visit HERE for the tutorial!

Check out my other Easter themed pins on my “Bunny Time” board!

And, for some Easter themed poems, head on over to Aristotle.net.

DIY Laundry Detergent

I do not know of ANYONE who likes to pay more than they have to for something that they do not like doing….

I do not like doing laundry. I do not like spending lots of money on detergent. But, we need it. And, as the family grows, we need more and more of it.

I have done research on and off again on different DIY “recipes” for detergent. For store bought, I use a liquid detergent that runs about $65.00 a year. I was seeing different “recipes” for both liquid and powder forms. I didn’t think that storing a mass amount of liquid detergent would be something that I would want to do. However, I was unsure of using a powder. I had some questions…Would it dissolve in cold water? Would it really clean? Well, I finally decided upon one or a variation there-of. This recipe costs approximately $25.00 and is said to last about 9 months, with 4 regular loads a week (we will have to see about the latter). So far, I am very pleased with it and decided that I would pass it along!

Now, let’s get down to the ‘nitty griddy’…

How to make your own Laundry Detergent

You will need:

                        

– (3 lb 7 oz) Box of Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda- Found in the detergent aisle

– 1 (4 lb 12 oz) Box of Borax- Found in the detergent aisle

-1 (4 lb) Box of Arm & Hammer Baking Soda- Found in the detergent aisle (or you can use 2 of the 2 lb boxes)

– 1 to 2 (55 oz) Bottle of Purex Crystals Fabric Softener- Found in the detergent aisle (This is 100% optional, but definately adds to the scent and softness. I orignally made my batch with one bottle, but did go back and add an additional bottle.)

-2 Bars of Fels Naptha Soap – Found in the detergent aisle (You can also use 2 bars of Zote Soap, as well.)

OPTIONAL, not pictured

-1 (3 lb) Container of OxyClean- Found in the detergent aisle. (I did not add this to my batch, but I feel that it would be a great additive.)

Step 1:

Using a hand grater, grate the 2 bars of laundry soap in a bowl. This is the most time consuming part of the “recipe.” (Others have used a food processor for this step. Honestly, I just didn’t want to take any chances in breaking mine and the hand grater wasn’t all that bad. But, if you have one and feel frisky, have at it!)

(Please ignore the huge shadow, known as my hand, in this terrible pic)

Almost….

 Finished grating!

Step 2:

Now, you will need to mix all of your ingredients together in your storage bin. I did this by a layering process. I put in part of one ingredient, then part of another, and so on and so forth, repeating until all of each ingredient is in the bin. Now take a large kitchen spoon to mix the ingredients.  You can also do this occasionally as you pour the ingredients in to help with the mixing.

Once mixed together, it should look similar to this:

(The coloring of your detergent may be different depending on products used)

To use:

You will only need 1-2 tablespoons per load… (And yes, it does dissolve in cold water).

I poured some of the detergent into my softener container to use on a daily basis, allowing me to store away my bigger bin until refill time. Plus, this small container is perfect for measuring the amount needed for washes. If you opted for the Purex Container, it has three lines in the cap. The middle line is approximately 2 tablespoons! Yes, that my Friend, equals Perfection in my book. Easy-peasy…

Hope you enjoy your money-saving laundry detergent! I know I am!

And, by the way, wherever you store your bin, it will smell just as lovely!