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Sock Snowmen

snowmen

Need a quick craft for the kiddos over Thanksgiving break, in preparation for Christmas or Winter Decor??  Give these Sock Snowmen a try!  My kids enjoyed making them, and then playing with them like they would their stuffed animals 🙂

MATERIALS NEEDED: 

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Socks

Rice

Ribbon

Buttons and/or other embellishments

Hot glue gun

DIRECTIONS:

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Cut the top part of the sock.

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Add about 1-2 cups of rice to the foot portion of your sock.

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Tie off with a piece of ribbon or a rubber band.  Fold over excess into a “hat” on the top of your snowmen.

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Add your buttons, eyes, etc.  I still need to add noses to mine, just haven’t found the right thing 🙂

 

Sealing Grout

sealgrout

Have you ever sealed grout before??  Did you know you are supposed to re-seal any grout you do have, especially your floors, every 6 months to a year?!?  I have done it one other time, but on a small area of back splash in a bathroom.  Recently I needed to seal about 1200 square feet of floor tile.  So of course I hopped on over to Home Depot, and talked to one of the employees there, and he got me set up.  It was a fairly simple task, but should have been more time consuming.  Basically you just pour the sealer in a large bucket, and using a soft sponge or cloth, wipe it on the grout.  Unfortunately he failed to tell me to do a small space at a time, and to NOT let the sealant dry…wish I would have known that lil tid bit of information, as now I have 1200 square feet of tile that I need to use a stripper, to remove the excess grout sealer that dried on my tile floors 🙁

Other than that, for about $20 bucks and some sore knees, you can save some serious dough doing it your self, rather than hiring it out!

Sealing Granite

granite

Do you have granite counter tops in your home??  We just moved into a new house that has granite counter tops in the kitchen.  The builder didn’t seal them when they were installed, so before we got fully moved in, we needed to do it so as not to have any staining happening.  It was super easy!!  Hop on over to your local home improvement store and purchase a granite sealer.  The one I used was only about $8, and one small bottle did my whole counter top.  It was super easy too.  Each product may be a bit different, so follow the directions on the bottle, but with the one I got, you simply spray it over the surface, wait 3-5 minutes, and spray again in any places that it is being soaked up.  Then let it sit for 30 minutes and wipe it all down with a soft cloth.  Super easy!!  I then spray them weekly with a granite cleaner and polisher.  Easy!

 

DIY Ruler Growth Chart

growthchart

These growth chart rulers are all the rage and all over the place.  I have seen them for pretty pricey too!  With a board from Home Depot or Lowes, and a bit of paint or stain, and a basic black Sharpie, you can make one of your own on the cheap!!  I went with a little bit nicer and wider plank board, which was $8, but you could use a simple fence panel that costs less than $2!  If you already have some leftover paint on hand, it can be a very inexpensive project.  I made mine for less than $10….I have seen these in stores for over $40!

MATERIALS NEEDED:

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6 ft. board

paint or stain

black permanent marker or vinyl

measuring tape

DIRECTIONS:

Paint or stain your board.  When dry, decide where you want to start your markings.  This will depend on how high you want to mount it to the wall.  We make tall kids, so I wanted mine to go up to 6’9″.  Since I got a 6 foot board, I started my one foot mark, at 3″ on the board.

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Measure it out, marking every inch…you can go down to 1/8th of an inch if you want too…do what you think is best for your board.  I marked mine first in pencil, then went over it again with my marker when I had it how I wanted.

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You can print and trace, or stencil your letters, I just eyeballed it and did mine freehand…with a pencil first of course 🙂

And then there you have it, your very own Ruler Growth Chart!  Just remember when you mount it on the wall, to make sure you measure up high enough to make it accurate based on how you marked off your board.

Cleaning your Dishwasher

dishwasher

One of the quickest and easiest ways to clean and sanitize your dishwasher…vinegar!!  Whenever you move in or out of a place, or even as an occasionally deep cleaning, this trick works wonders!  Sprinkle some baking soda on the bottom, and then place a cup of vinegar in the top rack.  Run on a normal cycle, and let it do its magic!!

DIY Baking Powder

bakingpowder

Who would have thought?!!  Making your own Baking Powder is so easy!!  If you are ever out, but have these other ingredients on hand, you can easily make your own!!

For 1 tsp baking powder mix:
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp corn starch

For 1 TBS baking powder mix:
1 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
3/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp corn starch

Mosquito Bite Itch Relief

biterelief

The mosquitoes are still SO bad here!!  Yes, even still, in October!!  It just hasn’t cooled off enough quite yet to kill the little buggers off!  I am so over them, as they LOVE to attack my feet, especially around my ankles.  I must have about 7 right now, on ONE ankle…so aggravating, as not only am I itchy all day, but they keep me from sleeping well at night, as I am constantly waking to scratch them.  And it’s not just me, the kids aren’t sleeping well either.  Yes, there are many creams and anti-itch things you can buy, but I always go for what I have on hand first.  A great itch reliever is a simple ice cube.  The cold ice numbs the area, and relieves the itch for a bit.  Another great remedy is Witch Hazel.  Just dab some on a tissue or cotton ball, and rub on the affected area.  For longer term, night time relief, I have come up with my own combo of the two.  I soak small wash cloths in witch hazel and a bit of water.  Wring them out, then place in the freezer.  Then I just lay one on the affected area, and bask in the refreshing sensation, and being relieved of having to scratch the heck out of myself to find relief!!  Works well with the kids too, as they usually go right back to sleep.  🙂

DIY Rust Stain Removal

ruststain

Do you wash your knives in the dishwasher, which apparently you aren’t supposed to do?? I do. And my steak knives are evidence of this.

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There are some nasty little rust stains on them from letting the dry in the dishwasher.  I was looking at Buzzfeed, and came across an amazingly simple and inexpensive way to remove them, with little effort on your part.

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All you need is some lemon juice! Easy, I always have lemon juice on hand. Simply soak your knives for a few minutes in the lemon juice, then wipe with a sponge or cloth.

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Watch those rust stains wipe away!!

We hope you’re enjoying all our “cleaning diys“! Stay tuned for great reads as we dip into the spring season! We’ll talk about organizing, cleaning checklists, cleaning hacks(even the worse stain of them all!) We’d like to know more about what you’d like us to feature so place your comments below.

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DIY Make-up Remover

makeupremover

I never think to buy make up remover.  I usually just wash my face, and then wipe off any excess make up, especially mascara, off with a tissue.  Normally this results in waking up with black around my eyes…it doesn’t really work.  When I happened upon this simple recipe for making your own, I thought it was worth a try.  I had the ingredients I needed…pretty sure everyone does…so I gave it a shot!  All you need is 2 parts Olive oil and 1 part water.  I just used Tablespoons, so as not too waste too much oil if it didn’t work, as well as you only need a little bit for it to work.  It’s AMAZING!!  Wipe your eyes with a small dab of this, then wash your face.  So simple…why have I not done this sooner!!  No need to waste money on expensive make up removers…EVER!!

 

Marshmallow Popcorn

marshpop

I am a huge fan of popcorn, but even more so of caramel corn!!  Love it.  I am also a huge fan of Rice Krispy treats!  One of my favorite snacks…I mean treats!  When I came across this recipe for Marshmallow popcorn, I knew it had to be good.  A good combo of ooey gooey marshmallow goodness, mixed with the crunchy, salty popcorn.  I made this for our movie night one night a few weeks back, and it was a HUGE hit!  We all couldn’t get enough!  This is a must to make again….

INGREDIENTS:

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3 bags microwave popcorn, or about 12 cups air popped corn (pop and take out extra kernels)
2 sticks of butter
16 oz bag of marshmallows
1 cup brown sugar

DIRECTIONS:

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Microwave butter, marshmallows, and brown sugar for 2 1/2 min.

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Take out and stir. Microwave again for 1 min.

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Repeat until it becomes thin enough to easily pour. Pour over popcorn and mix.

Yarn Art

yarnart

I wanted to make a fun monogrammed sign for my daughter’s room, and had seen lots of cute yarn art projects floating around Pinterest.  I went with the colors of her room, and made this simple sign.  This was a pretty easy project, and I would definitely do it again, but maybe with a larger board, and with a silhouette of something to.  I like how it turned out though, and I think it will look very cute in her room.

MATERIALS NEEDED:

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Board

small nails

hammer

twine or yarn

silhouette of design you are going to use

DIRECTIONS:

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Paint your board if desired.  Print off your stencil and attach to the board with a few nails.

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Every 1/2 inch or so, hammer in another nail.  Once you have all your nails placed, give them a few extra taps to make sure they are secure.  Pull off the paper stencil.

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Tie your twine to one of the nails, and start wrapping around all the nails until you get the look you want.  Tie off the end of your twine and trim the excess.

Easy DIY Spinach and Artichoke Dip

spinachdip

I love getting the samples at Costco…especially when they have yummy things that I never make!  It’s always fun to have a little bite 🙂  One of my favorites is the Spinach Artichoke Jalapeno dip…YUM!!  I would never make it and be able to eat it all before it went bad.  The other day though I was asked to bring an appetizer to a Baby shower, and I thought of that dip.  Didn’t have time to run to Costco, but happened to have the things on hand for this super tasty crock pot spinach and artichoke dip.  I like to keep frozen spinach on hand for soups, meatloaf, etc, as well as marinated artichoke hearts for pastas or salads.  I just so happened to have some cream cheese as well, so this was perfect, and SO simple!!  You just add everything to the pot, and let it go, stirring frequently of course!  So good…I had multiple people ask how I made it and what was in it, and the best part was that it wasn’t loaded with mayonnaise!  Just lots of ooey gooey cheese!

INGREDIENTS:

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9 oz frozen spinach
1 can artichoke hearts
8 oz cream cheese
3/4 cup mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup milk
Pinch of salt/pepper

DIRECTIONS:

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Combine all ingredients in the crock pot.

I chopped up the artichoke hearts a bit, as well as cubed the cream cheese so it would melt more evenly.  I cooked it on low for 2 hours, rather than high like it says in the original recipe, and it worked great, just be sure to spray your pot beforehand, as well as stir occasionally, like every 30 minutes or so.