Sunday, May 2, 2010

Don't ever lose your tweezers again

Here's a great tip I have incorporated in my bathroom: If you don't ever want to lose your tweezers in the bathroom junk drawer, take a magnet and stick it inside the medicine cabinet. You can stick the tweezers on the magnet. I've done the same with fingernail clippers.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Cost saving for the laundry

Awhile back I posted a recipe for laundry detergent. Here is a great article on saving money with your laundry. The article has a similar recipe for detergent using bar soap instead of fels naptha. Even if you don't make your own detergent this article points out you probably don't need to add as much detergent to your wash for it to be effective.

P.S. I've looked for washing soda at several stores with no luck. An internet search pulled up the washing soda selling for a little over $3.00 on the Ace Hardware website. Amazon had the same product for $9.00.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Throw away scrubbie

The big mesh plastic bags of oranges, lemons, limes, grapefruit and onions are great to save for later. They make great little scrubby dishcloths when you have a really messy pot or messy job to do. Just cut a large square from the bag and use it to scrub pots filled with day old mac and cheese or oatmeal. I used some the other day to clean the underside of the rubber garbage disposal thing (if you haven't cleaned that before, it is very gross and slimey) When you are done just throw it away. Then your regular sponge doesn't get so yucky.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Hooded Towels Part 2

Here are some cute hooded towels I made for a baby gift. I found these cute prints at Kohl's. I bought two bath towels and one coordinating hand towel to make the two hooded towels.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Travel Tip

Here's a great tip which I have adopted. When traveling take along a pop up hamper. They fold flat and don't take up room in the suitcase, but will help keep the hotel room tidy and all the dirty clothes in one place.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Snip and snap containers

I bought this little set of magnetic containers on clearance several months ago for my sewing and office dittys. I thought it was kind of handy for small items like safety pins and buttons. You could do something similar with those handy little plastic baby food containers and some magnets on a metal board. It might not be as cute but it would be great in the garage for screws, nails, bolts, washers, etc. We have a metal tool bench so I wouldn't even need the metal board to hang them up.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

School artwork displayed

My sister made this board for hanging up artwork or school work. She painted a MDF board black, applied the vinyl letters and used screws to attach the big clips. This way you don't have to have a million magnets on your refrigerator with artwork all over. You can also rotate the projects and as new ones come in the old ones can be thrown away or saved in a box.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Easy Hooded Towel Instructions

Those hooded baby towels are very cute but almost worthless because they are so thin and not absorbent. I've made hooded towels for my kids and they work great. They are also great baby shower gifts. It is also a project you can do with beach towels for the summer pool outings. This project really only takes 10 minutes or less.

You will need:

1 bath towel

1 hand towel

Cut the hand towel to a length of 11 inches. One hand towel is usually long enough that you can use the other end on another bath towel.

Fold the hand towel right sides together. Trim the corner to make it rounded off. Pin and sew the raw edges with a straight stitch. Zigzag the edges to prevent fraying (or if you have a serger just use that instead).

Find the middle of the bath towel and mark it with a pin. Find the middle of the hood and pin the middle of the hood to the middle of the bath towel, matching up the finished edges. Pin the rest of the hood onto the bath towel. Straight stitch the hood onto the towel. Voila! Finished.

Monday, March 8, 2010


Another fun use for the sandwich maker is to cook eggs with it. The kids love the portable triangle eggs and call them eggies. One egg with a spash of milk usually makes two triangles. They take about 4-5 minutes to cook and are a very easy clean up.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Homemade Laundry Soap

While visiting a sister in Washington, she showed me her huge 5 gallon bucket of homemade laundry soap. She got the recipe from our grandma. She has been using it for several months and says it works just great at probably about 1 cent per load!!! I am going to make some as soon as I can find washing soda and then share it with 4 friends so we each have one gallon worth (2 gallons when diluted properly or 128 loads each)

4 cups hot tap water
1 Fels-Naptha soap bar
1 c washing soda
1/2 c Borax

Directions:Grate bar of soap and add to saucepan with water. Stir continually over medium-low heat until soap dissolves and is melted.Fill a five-gallon bucket half full of hot tap water. Add melted soap, washing soda and Borax. Stir well until all powder is dissolved. Fill bucket to top with more hot water. Sir, cover, and let sit overnight to thicken.Stir and fill a used, clean laundry soap dispenser (or a gallon milk carton) half full with soap and then fill the rest of the way with water. Shake before each use. (It will gel)

Optional: add 10-15 drops of essential oil per each 2 gallons.

For a front load machine add 1/4 cup per load

Yield: Approximately 640 loads

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Olympics + Creativity = Good Times

Photos: Team USA French Bread made by my mom.

A delicious rice krispie mountain made by one of my sisters:
My niece and I made this light display for the Opening Ceremonies Party with inexpensive hula hoops and rope lights (after Christmas special 75% off!!!) and lots of small zip cords.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Boring Blah Winter? Time to Make Jam

Okay, this week isn't too blah as far as winter goes. I have Lost to look forward to on Tuesday nights and the Olympics start really soon! Yeah! But here's a tip. It seems like summer is so busy with activities it is hard to make time for canning or making jam. This year a neighbor gave us lots of apricots that were really ripe. I didn't have time to make jam, so I washed and pitted them and threw them in the blender. Then I measured about about 5 cups of puree and froze in individual freezer bags. Now when I have some time, I can just pull them out and make jam. Usually a jam recipe calls for about 5 to 5 1/2 cups of fruit (although you need less if you make apricot/pineapple jam like I did). In 2008 I froze lots of strawberry and raspberry purees. My mom was kind enough to make raspberry/strawberry jam when she visited in November 2008 after my daughter was born. That is my favorite jam ever!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Swap Meet

The other night at our church the ladies had a little swap meet. We all brought stuff we didn't use or need and then people could take home what they wanted. The rest went to the local donation center. I went through my craft things and found lots of useful things I wouldn't be using again or things I bought that just didn't work out (like 3 yds of nice fabric I bought for curtains but wasn't what I wanted when I got it home, 2 skeens of yarn that were barely used for a craft project, ).

I thought that was a fun idea in lieu of garage sales or just donating.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Wrapping Paper Cardboard Tubes and Boots

I should have posted this one right after Christmas. The fat long cardboard tubes from Christmas wrapping paper are great to save if you have tall leather boots. I have a pair of black boots and brown boots I love to wear in the winter with skirts and dresses. When I am not wearing them I put one cardboard tube in each boot, cut to size. Then the boots stay standing upright in the closet and the leather doesn't get creases in it. You can use other things like rolled up newspaper as another option if you don't have the cardboard.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Off of hiatus status

Well I am going to try to post again. Life seems to get so busy with toddlers from early morning until bedtime. I am trying to think of some good ideas and will try to be more diligent with posting. Thanks.