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Posts Tagged ‘women’


Projects and Recipes

I have wanted a laundry room counter with storage and enough space to fold clothing with this many kids.  The hubby and I hit a place in Grand Rapids named, “Restore”. It is a store attached to Habitat for Humanity and they resell items removed or not used in building new homes.  They make a bit of money to be able to build new homes for people and they also have some awesome deals on things. I found a bunch of old kitchen cabinets and told Macgyver I had to have them.  Next I told him he needed to grab a piece of plywood for my counter top and he didn’t understand why I didn’t just let him get me a normal counter top.  Normal? Me? sometimes I just don’t know who this man is.  I had the image in my mind of what I wanted and refused to tell him other than how the build should go.  I wanted something functional but also a keepsake for me.  Everyone is working on wood with stains and making beautiful pieces of artwork.  They blend stain colors to create flowers and such.  However, that sort of art is way out of my reach. So, I got to thinking how much I love my kids and the age ranges they are right this moment are priceless. I wanted a way to preserve them, something useful, doesn’t need dusting and could live on long after I am gone in the house.  Here is what I came up with…

Here is what I started with.

Here is what I started with.

I recruited help from the 5 year  old, Minnie Mouse.

I recruited help from the 5 year old, Minnie Mouse.

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She insisted we use her left over bedroom paint a seafoam color, it is pretty though.

She insisted we use her left over bedroom paint a sea-foam color, it is pretty though.

All 3 cabinets together, painted and a plywood top srewed down. I gathered all the girls.

All 3 cabinets together, painted and a plywood top screwed down. I gathered all the girls.

Pulled out an old dogfoord bag and smeared paint on it. By this time they were looking at me very strange.

Pulled out an old dogfood bag and smeared paint on it. By this time they were looking at me very strange.

Have them one by one, step in the paint, lift them to the counter and walk down it.

Have them one by one, step in the paint, lift them to the counter and walk down it.

Once everyone but the manchild walked the counter top, I had him dip his hands and put his thumbs together, spread out his fingers like a butterfly would look and he stamped one set of his hands in the corner. It does look like a butterfly but you can see his hands nicely.

Once everyone but the manchild walked the counter top, I had him dip his hands and put his thumbs together, spread out his fingers like a butterfly would look and he stamped one set of his hands in the corner. It does look like a butterfly but you can see his hands nicely.

Next I took a darker stain and brushed over the whole thing. Let it set for about 20 minutes and wiped it down with a cloth. The prints look old antiqute-ish.

Next I took a darker stain and brushed over the whole thing. Let it set for about 20 minutes and wiped it down with a cloth. The prints look old antique-ish

After drying I put 2 coats of polyurethane over it.

After drying I put 2 coats of polyurethane over it.

Then I called it a day.  My new, recycled laundry counter with storage and keepsake footprint top.  Love it!!!

Then I called it a day. My new, recycled laundry counter with storage and keepsake footprint top. Love it!!!

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Everyday dose of Reality

There are times that you have to dare to be different or in my case wake my family up when they raid the fridge.  I went to bake something the other day and my eggs were all gone, so I took matters into my own hands.  Funny how a Sharpie marker can change a person’s life and egg count.

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Projects & Recipes

There is an easy way to make a dish scrubber and you can use an old shower puff or some tulle.  I used an old shower puff that was coming un-puffed.  Here is what I did.

Take your old shower puff.

Take your old shower puff.

Find the cord at the center and cut it free.

Find the cord at the center and cut it free.

Stretch out all the tulle.

Stretch out all the tulle.

Take one end and cut a slit in the middle. This will allow you to rip the fabric into two pieces legnthwise. Stop about 3 inches from the other end.

Take one end and cut a slit in the middle. This will allow you to rip the fabric into two pieces lengthwise. Stop about 3 inches from the other end.

Now that you have doubled the overall legnth of your fabric, crochet the entire thing into a chain. I used a size 10 hook and was not going to fight with the fabric to crochet a circle.

Now that you have doubled the overall length of your fabric, crochet the entire thing into a chain. I used a size 10 hook and was not going to fight with the fabric to crochet a circle.

Once you have a long chain, start to coil it into a circle and use some yarn and needle to stitch each coil in place.

Once you have a long chain, start to coil it into a circle and use some yarn and needle to stitch each coil in place.

Here is your new dish scrubber that is great on teflon pans, without the fear of wrecking them.

Here is your new dish scrubber that is great on teflon pans, without the fear of wrecking them.

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Projects & Recipes

If you already make your own laundry soap this is much easier and takes far less room to store. Bonus, it works far better as well.  By chance you are new to making laundry soap, just be happy you get to skip the step of a longer wait and collecting laundry jugs.  I have seen a recipe close to what I use all over the place but I kept close to my base liquid laundry recipe.  There are a few differences to make the laundry butter.

What you will need:

1 bar of Fels Naptha soap

1/4 bar of Dove soap

1C. borax

1C. Washing soda

4C. water

3-1qt mason jars

*optional 1T. preferred essential oil or 1/3C. scented softener laundry crystals (Purex makes a wonderful lavender)

Doing the deed:

In a small bowl dump borax, essential oil or laundry crystals & washing soda, then set off to the side.  Take your bars of soap and chop them up and then toss them in a food processor or you can keep the bars and grate by hand.  Get yourself a large sauce pan and pour in 4 cups of hot water and your soap.  Dissolve over a medium heat, stirring  until all soap bits are totally gone.  Remove from heat and dump in your borax, washing soda and scent mixture into the sauce pan. Stir until all powder is dissolved.  If you are using the laundry crystals, they may not dissolve completely and that is fine trust me, you just don’t want chunks of soap.  Next take 2 of your jars and fill equally, the 3rd you will use later.  The 2 jars should be a bit over half full, top it off with some water up to the curve of the shoulders.  This will give you some head room in the near future.  Twist the caps on tight and invert.  Leave them set upside down for 4 or 5 hours.  Once the time has passed, flip the jars and give them a tap on the bottoms, I gently tap the bottoms on my counter. You will have noticed that the contents of the jar has separated, perfectly normal and what you are looking for.  Pop the caps, careful not to spill and pour out into your mixer or mixing bowl. You will need a spoon to break up and pull out the stiffer layer.  Start mixing on a low speed and move up gradually until it is totally whipped, similar to a whipped butter.  Spoon back into your jars, this is where the 3rd jar will come in. You should have almost 3 full jars of laundry butter.  Next time you wash clothes, ditch all the laundry soap and just add 1 tablespoon of your laundry butter and be amazed.  You should be able to get 190 to 192 loads of laundry out of your 3 jars.  Happy Washing!

If you have this going on, you are on the right track.

If you have this going on, you are on the right track.

It should be the consitancy of whipped butter when you are done & ready to store it.

It should be the consistency of whipped butter when you are done & ready to store it.

I would have had 3 full jars, but my son helped and I now have soap soaked hands.

I would have had 3 full jars, but my son helped and I now have soap soaked hands.

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Projects & Recipes

We have all learned over the years that a hot cup of Chamomile tea relieves stress and relaxes us. Let’s take that a step further.  A warm bath with Chamomile will do the very same thing as a cup of tea, but with a small twist for you skin.  Here is how I make my Chamomile & Oat bath soak.

What you will need:

3T. loose chamomile

1/2C. instant oatmeal

Doing the deed:

In a jar drop in your chamomile & oats. Shake and you’re done! I used a 100% chamomile tea since there is no other way to get chamomile around me. Run a warm bath and use 1/4 cup of your chamomile & oat mix.  Slip in and relax.

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Projects & Recipes

Here is a really simple red grape facial you can make at home.  It leaves your face clean, fresh, soft & helps reduce those fine lines.

What you need:

4-6 Red grapes

1T. Olive oil

3T. wheat flour

Doing the deed:

If your grapes have seeds remove them.  Pure your grapes & oil together and then mix in the flour.  Apply to face and leave on for 15-20 minutes.  Rinse off and pat face dry then enjoy your new glow.

Today was a girls day at our house and Isabelle declared it Pj day as well. Time for some facials.

Today was a girls day at our house and Isabelle declared it Pj day as well. Time for some facials.

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Everyday dose of Reality

I opened an in-house candy store yesterday.  Trying to teach little kids to save or how to spend their money wisely is extremely hard with older kids.  The other day at the grocery store I notice how the kids flocked to the candy machines at the front of the store, before we even shopped.  An idea came to mind!  I bought a bunch of different kinds of candy in bags for the house.  Once I got home I pulled out this cabinet thing I had in one of the rooms.  I filled it with different candies and put it in my office along with my change tin I keep.

I rotate candy or add new stuff, you know to make it exciting for them.

I rotate candy or add new stuff, you know to make it exciting for them.

I was tired of giving them an allowance for their chores and the money just being wasted or flat-out gone.  So the idea is that now they can buy a gumball for a penny or a sucker for a nickel at home.  The money collected from the candy store goes into the tin and is reused for their next allowance … or into their bank accounts split evenly among the kids.  I am hoping that by doing this, when we go to the store they are dulled to items there.  I have noticed over the past few days of running the store, they think more about what they want to buy.  Next trip to the grocery store I will let them pick out the types of candy to put in our home store.  Maybe that will also help, we will see.  So far it has changed them and how they look at money.  You just never know when I might put 2 chocolate bars in the store and they will have to save fifty cents up for one.  At least they are being a bit more strategic and there had been more sharing happening.  This is a good thing 🙂

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Everyday dose of Reality

Somewhere there is a rainbow and I now have one in my house.

Bet you were thinking of the type with a pot of gold at the end.  How nice would that be :)

Bet you were thinking of the type with a pot of gold at the end. How nice would that be 🙂

Not as colorful as the ones in the sky, much more useful to me.  The other day I gave my tribe of shampoo machines and vacuums a rest.  For roughly 13 years Macgyver has been on me about getting a Rainbow and I finally gave in.  These suckers are pricey, which was also the main reason I have resisted for so long.  I don’t have a grand lying around to spend on a vacuum.  “AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH, but it’s not just a vacuum.  It has EVERYTHING you could ever need” he has continuously said.  I dug through Ebay for a while last week and tried really hard to find one for sale that had “everything” and wouldn’t cost us our first-born plus a goat, a gold-plated truck and a grand to boot.  This one in the picture above is what I came up with and it has “everything” as you can see.  Yep, it has more accessories than 2 Barbie’s with a full wardrobe plus her Malibu Mansion.  Might I add she is the only doll with her own mansion, how uppity is that?

The Rainbow came in the mail and Macygver was like a kid on Christmas morning.  As he pulled each piece out he was explaining to me what it was for and what I could do with them.  He explained that it is not just a vacuum(again, it has everything don’t you know).  No filters to replace because it dumps all the dirt and yuck into a water filled basin under the motor and releases no dust or junk in the air.  Once again I didn’t realize he was that concerned about the air quality in our home and would have thought if he was soooooooooooo concerned, he might spend some time to come up with some new fangled thing to stop the smelly toxic air that seeps from the HIS children’s behinds from time to time.

So it has a couple of miles of hose, enough power cord to circle the globe twice and a water line for shampooing that I figure I could reach Texas if I wanted to.  Once he unpacked the entire thing, he was off and running from room to room.  Sucking, blowing, shampooing and whistling a tune.  Here is what I have learned about owning a Rainbow vacuum for a week now: I have only been able to use it 1 time because he always has it.  I should pay better attention to what type of cooking pots & pans he has mentioned over the years to me.  If I can narrow the brand down, I may never have to cook again.  So in short it may not be the rainbow in the sky, BUTTTTTTTTTTTT there was a pot of gold at the end of the vacuum in the form of Macgyver doing all the vacuuming in the house now.  It’s a win win, right 🙂

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Projects & Recipes

A while ago I bought some clear lace printed thin vinyl for my refrigerator.  This is generally kept in the fabric department in stores.  I only really needed about a half of a yard because the rolls are so long, but I went with a full yard to do other projects.  Take out your fridge shelves and lay the sheet on top and trace the glass top with an ink pen.  Cut it to size for each shelf and then wipe the shelf with a damp cloth.  The dampness will help the new sheet to stick to the glass a bit.  From now on you don’t have to take the shelves out to clean them, just wipe down and you’re done.  Plus it looks nice.  Try to make sure you get clear or clear with a light print so the light can shine through to all the shelves.

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Everyday dose of Reality

This year for the Father and Daughter Ball, Isabelle and Amethyst are going with their dad. Last year it was Isabelle and Sierra, Nina has to wait until next year and she will finally be of age.  Here is what I have noticed over the last few years while getting the girls ready …Dad is going to have a very hard time with boys showing up for his daughters.  Granted, Isabelle is eleven and a half, in kid world that “half” is extremely important.  I think the man can see truck loads of boys showing up.  We know that is not how it happens, but I guess as a dad you do picture a truck load or bus filled with boys unloading in your front yard.  Once Isabelle was all curled, and dressed she asked what he thought.

He had this squinched eye, furrowed brow and growled, “Too pretty.  HONNNNNNNNNNNNNEY!  Tell me there are no boys there.”

I laughed, ” No honey, there are no boys there. Now remember to get the pictures taken, pick up the flowers for the girls and you have dinner reservations at 5:30.”

“Dinner reservations?  I am taking her out in public like this, in daylight?  You know there are probably going to be boys out at this hour. Tell me why again I can’t take my gun”?

I told the girls to have fun, and gave Macgyver a kiss and to behave.  I can just imagine the ball is filled with pretty girls bouncing around with their friends and at the table sit their dad’s.  Watching their lives pass before their eyes, covered in sweat,spending the evening staving off a heart attack, knowing, dating is just around the corner.

Macgyver and the deranged fairy, Amethyst.

Macgyver and the deranged fairy, Amethyst.

Isabelle, getting the look from dad.

Isabelle, getting the look from dad.

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The girls ready to go dance the night away.  While dad has  mini heartattacks at a table somewhere at the ball.

The girls ready to go dance the night away. While dad has mini heart attacks at a table somewhere at the ball.

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