Fall Is The Air….

I love the smells, taste and the colors of fall! The tasty hot chocolate, pumpkin lattes, roasted Marshmallows and lets not forget “Smores”!  And, oh, the decorating, playing in the leaves and…football! What a fun season!

Fall is also the season of Halloween and Thanksgiving which means the relatives are coming for a feast and all the gobbling are coming for sweet treats.

This year I wanted to make new fall outside door decor for my house. I am a little on the whispy side of decorating but also I like the symmetrical side of it. Either way, I decided to make new wreaths for my front doors.

I started with 2 grapevine wreaths, some flowers that I purchased at Michael’s for 40% off, ribbon that my daughter gave me and some raffia. I always have hot glue, scissors, wire cutters and wire in my tool box too.

Below are the supplies I used:

 

When you start this project you can lay the flowers around on the wreath before you attach them and get ideas on what would look nice. I used my wire cutters and cut the flowers off the stems so I could arrange them better. Then I make piles of each stem for each wreath.IMG_5065

Now I am ready to start assembling my wreaths. I have two front doors so I had to mirror my creation. I just started layering my flowers using wire and hot glue where needed. After a few minutes I was done!

Remember, I said I am whispy…

 

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I LOVE these!! But this is my taste. You have to buy flowers that you like and that are your taste.

I also made a time lapse video of me making these wreaths. It is hilarious what your face does when working! Check it out:

 

 

In Home Cleaning Hacks

The kids are back in school and its a great time to start preparing for fall cleaning. Did you ever think cleaning could be fun? Well in home cleaning hacks are a good way to feel creative and save some money!  I was surprised to find out  there are lots of things laying around  your home that can be handy cleaning tools and have multiple uses…

1.)Many people are concerned with harmful chemicals and cleaning agents these days (and rightly so). This first hack is a great way to clean without the harmful ingredients, and also if you just happen to run out of cleaner you can use something you probably have in your pantry.It’s as easy as 1, 2 3…..

So go find your Baking Soda and Vinegar and let’s clean a toilet!!  Yes I’m serious, it’s that easy.

  •      Sprinkle 1 cup of baking soda into the toilet bowl then pour in one cup of vinegar.IMG_4457
  •      Shut the lid and let the ingredients work for 30 minutes.
  •      Lift the lid and scrub your way to a natural clean

 

Doesn’t that make you feel cleaner than using one of those squeezable bowl cleaners?

 

2.) Another great natural cleaning method is to use lemons in your dish disposal.

Cut upIMG_4451 some lemons, and send them down. They help clean and freshen the disposal. Sending Ice through the disposal also helps it to run smoothly and sharpens the blades to increase efficiency. While you have lemons out you can also cut a piece and scrub the sink out for a natural fresh smelling clean.

We all want a “Lemony Fresh Kitchen”

 

3.) Most of us  have olive oil in our homes. Did you know that it can be used to buff surfaces as well as cook?  Olive oil will feed and nourish wood surfaces. It will bring out a natural shine and not damage the wood. Using a soft cloth you can polish things until they shine. Another hint for Olive oil is to use it on skin irritations, it has a wonderful healing element.IMG_4455

4.) Spill something yucky on your carpet? Vodka may be the answer! Vodka kills bacteria and can be used as a natural stain remover. Allow the vodka to work 10-15 minutes and then blot up with paper towels. Follow up with wet rag to blot the excess liquid. There are many methods using vodka to clean stains. The alcohol works to break down stains and Vodka doesn’t leave a strong odor.

5.) Dryer sheets are a great item to add in routine cleaning around the home. Most people will already have these great little cleaning helpers so why not use them for more than laundry? These amazing little sheets can be used to clean baseboards, remove water spots on mirrors, fixtures and showers. Talk about a multi- tasker!!IMG_4453

 

 

6.) If you use dish sponges to wash your dishes you know they eventually get yucky. You can remove bacteria by placing the sponge in the microwave for 30 seconds.  Put a splash of lemon essential oil on them before you heat and your sponge and microwave will smell great!IMG_4452.jpg

7.) And speaking of microwaves… you can break out the good ole vinegar again to clean that. Microwave a bowl for 5-7 minutes. Safely remove the bowl and you can easily wipe off any built up gunk with a paper towel.

Hope these quick hacks are helpful!

We love hearing how you use things around your home to help you clean…

Key Lime Sugar Cookies

IMG_4333When I saw this recipe, I had to give it a try!! It sounded intrigued, and kind of cookie I wouldn’t have thought to make. This recipe for Key Lime Sugar cookies did not disappoint. It is a tasty, easy to make cookie that would be great for any gathering or event.

What You Will Need:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperatureimg_4320-e1567003311524.jpg
  • 1 1/2 cups of sugar
  • 1 egg at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon lime extract (I couldn’t find lime and just used citrus)
  • zest of 3 Key Limes (key limes are much smaller than the limes you usually see at the store)
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 teaspoons water
  • 2 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 Tablespoon Key Lime juiceIMG_4322
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar for the topping
  • you will also need a mixer and a grater to make your zest

 

 

 

 

Making The Cookies:

1. In a bowl, add your butter. Beat the butter on medium high until it become light and creamy. Next add your sugar to the butter and beat until it becomes light and fluffy. NowIMG_4326 you can add your egg to the mix. Beat this till it is well incorporated.

2. Next make your lime zest using a grater to gently grate the peels of your limes.IMG_4324

3. Now add the lime extract, lime zest. salt and water to your bowl and mix till well combined.

4. Now on low speed, slowly mix in the flour, baking powder and cornstarch. Mix until all the ingredients are well combined. Add the lime juice to the dough and mix until all img_4327.jpgingredients are thoroughly incorporated.

5. Next you will dump your dough out on to a piece of plastic wrap. Wrap the dough up and place it in the freezer for 30 minutes.IMG_4330

6. Once the dough has chilled, you can preheat your oven to 350, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

7. Place your granulated sugar for your topping in a bowl. For small dough balls and roll each one in the sugar and then place on the prepared sheet, a few inches apart.IMG_4331(1)

8. Bake the cookies for 10-12. Be very careful to no over bake. They are delicious when soft and chewy.

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That is all there is to it. These cookies are delicious and will not disappoint. Enjoy!!

 

 

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Homemade Paper Weight

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Today I am going to share a fun resin project with you. I will be showing you how to make a paperweight. With resin you can do so many things. For your paper weight you can chose objects from summer adventures you would like to preserve, like shells, etc. You can use pieces of colored pencils, crayons, bugs, butterflies, paper, so many options. I am going to use shells from my family vacation.

What You Will Need:

  • A mold for your paper weightIMG_4122.JPG
  • mold release spray
  • a small box of resin (it will contain a resin and a hardener)
  • the items you want to preserve in your paperweight
  • Wet/ dry sandpaper
  • 2 clear plastic cups for mixing
  • gloves if you likeIMG_4124 - Copy
  • wooden Popsicle sticks

 

 

 

 

Making Your Paperweight:

1.To begin you need to get out your plastic cups and set up in an area you can easily clean if you make a spill. For your mold you can buy a molds in the shape you want or make them. There are mold puttys you can shape into anything you like. Its important to get a mold release spray. You can use things around the house like Vaseline, or cooking spray, but they can leave marks in the resin and even give it a cloudy finish.

2. Once you have prepped your mold you can mix your resin. Follow the instructions IMG_4127 - Copyexactly! If you do not mix it the way it says and use a 1 to 1 ratio it can turn out wrong, sticky, not fully hardened etc. You will want to make an amount of resin comparable to the size of your mold. Mix equal parts of the resin and hardener into one of the plastic cups. Stir it constantly for a few minutes scrap the sides and mixing as you go. Once you are done mixing it needs to be poured into the next cup and mix again for another minute. Now it is ready to pour.

3. Place your shells, or whatever items in the mold. Pour a little resin in. If you are using img_4125-copy.jpgitems that are light weight or might float its a good idea to do a few pieces, pour, add more items, pour again. Fill the mold to the top and set it aside to cure. It needs to be left somewhere where it wont get bumped and not to hot or cold. It can take 24-72 hours to fully cure. You will see bubble rising to the top of the mold. Many of these formulas are designed to help the bubbles release. You can gently pop some with a toothpick as well.

IMG_41284. Once it has cured you can pop the weight out of the mold. If you have any rough edges you can sand them down with wet/dry sandpaper. This sandpaper allows you to use water on an item and sand at the same time. One you have it all polished up, you can display it on your desk or on a IMG_4129 - Copyshelf. They would also make fun teacher gifts. Time to get creative!IMG_4136.JPGIMG_4182

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Easy Back To School Breakfast

Summer is here along with the heat but before you know it, back to school is going to be here. Lately, we have been trying to figure out ways to prepare food ahead of time so we eat the right food rather than the processed type. We recently watched THAT SUGAR FILM and was totally surprised at the amount of sugar in all our foods that we feed to ourselves and our children.

Have you looked at the sugar amounts in food lately? From ketchup to crackers to drinks, the sugar is in there. Who knew that there was sugar in pretzels? Not a lot but that fact is it is in everything!

Teaspoon to grams conversion table:
0.1 tsp = 0.5 gram 2.1 tsp = 10.5 grams 7 tsp = 35 grams
0.2 tsp = 1 gram 2.2 tsp = 11 grams 8 tsp = 40 grams
0.3 tsp = 1.5 gram 2.3 tsp = 11.5 grams 9 tsp = 45 grams
0.4 tsp = 2 grams 2.4 tsp = 12 grams 10 tsp = 50 grams
0.5 tsp = 2.5 grams 2.5 tsp = 12.5 grams 11 tsp = 55 grams

My sister-in-law told me to never buy “light” or reduced fat food items. When you try to “eat well” and go with the “light” food items the sugar is even higher. Check your labels. I was very surprised at how much sugar we eat in a day.

Enough with the rant….on to the EASY breakfast recipe.

Ingredients:

12 eggs

spinach

1 pack of bacon

Salt and pepper to taste (the bacon provides plenty of salt)

 

Directions:

Use a muffin pan and line it with bacon:

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I like a little spinach in my bacon egg cups so I add it to the cup and push it down so the egg will not over flow:

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Then just drop a egg on each cup. I made some with spinach and some without.

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I sprinkled a little pepper on top and baked for 22-25 minutes at 350*. You could add cheese to the top if you’d like but I didn’t this time.

Now I have breakfast ready for the week. It may have taken 15 minutes at the most to assemble.

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I will just pop them in a hot oven to reheat or the microwave. This is way better than boxed processed food for you! Enjoy!

Edible Science Experiments

Are you tired of your kids complaining about nothing to do this summer, or need something to do on a rainy day other than TV? Today I’m going to show you three different edible science experiments. They are fun for the kids, it helps them learn some science basics and they get candy!

Kool Aid Rock Candy:

What you will need:

  • Kool aid packs in different colors
  • wooden sticksIMG_3804.JPG
  • sugar
  • water
  • canning jars (or just use clear drinking glasses)

 

1. To begin you will get your sticks ready. First you will dip all the sticks in water, and then in sugar. Place them on parchment and give them a chance to completely dry.IMG_3805IMG_3806

2. Next you are going to make a sugar water that is saturated with sugar (PSA- this is not a healthy snack). To do this you need 1 part water to 3 parts sugar. In a saucepan over medium heat combine one cup sugar and one cup water till dissolved. Once that has dissolved, add 2 more cups sugar and cook until that is dissolved, stirring as you go.

3. Next prepare your jars or glasses. Empty a Kool Aid pack into each jar or glass. (I used a half a pack in a jar) Depending how many sticks you want to make you may need to IMG_3807make more sugar mixture.

4. Set your jars up and place a fully dried sugar stick in each one. You can use a close pin to hold them off the bottom a little if you like. Then just let your kids watch as crystals begin to grow. You can also do a clear jar to have as an example they can see easier. ItIMG_3809.JPG takes about a week to get a nice piece of rock candy.

5. This experiment shows kids that when you make a super saturated sugar solution like this where no more sugar can be dissolved, it cannot all stay as a liquid. As the water evaporates from the solution, the sugar begins to come out. The molecules collect on the beginning crystals you made on your sticks. So you are making a big tasty collection of molecules!

 

 

 

Dancing Gummy Worms:

What you will need:

  • A bag of gummy wormsIMG_3833
  • Baking soda
  • Vinegar
  • Knife and cutting board
  • 2 clear glasses

1. To begin this experiment you may want to cut the worms into smaller pieces, but you IMG_3835can do whole worms as well.

2. Next measure out 3 tablespoons of baking soda and stir into a clear glass filled with 1 cup warm water.

3. Next take a hand full of worms and mix them into the baking soda and water mix.IMG_3838.JPG

4. After they are mixed in you will have to wait 15 minutes for the worms to soak in the baking soda mixture.

5. Fill a second clear glass with vinegarIMG_3840.JPG

6. Carefully get out a worm and place it in the vinegar. They will begin to bubble and eventually wiggle their way to the top. Just do a few worms at a time for this to work.IMG_3844

7. This shows kid’s a basic acid and base reaction.. When the acid in the vinegar mixes with the bicarbonate in the baking soda, carbon dioxide gas bubbles form. As the gas bubbles rise to the surface they eventually pull the worms with them.

 

 

Edible DNA Model:

What you need:

  • Bag of TwizzlersIMG_3869(1).JPG
  • toothpicks
  • colored mini marshmallows

 

1. This project is super simple. Its helps kids learn the structure and make up of DNA in a 3D form. And when they are done it’s edible. This would also be a great activity for a teacher to use when studying the human body.

2. To make the model lay two Twizzlers side by side with space in between.

3. Next you will use your toothpicks and marshmallows to make the inside DNA IMG_3863.JPGsequence. Using four toothpicks create a sequence using three marshmallow colors. Then place the toothpicks into the middle of the Twizzlers and poke through so they all hold in place.IMG_3862

4. Now you will cross one Twizzler over the other; make four more toothpicks, this time when you place them flip the sequence around, then join them together.IMG_3865

5. Its that simple, they can study the parts of the model, then have a little treat.IMG_3868

 

 

 

Homemade Flower Press

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Today I’m going to share with you a fun idea I saw for a homemade flower press. With my gardening and homemade pieces I have been making I thought it would be a fun way to preserve things. It would also be a great thing for kids to use to preserve flowers or things from the garden they have collected or even things from a nature walk.

What You Will Need:

  • 2 pieces of wood equal in size IMG_3641.JPG
  • 4 bolts
  • 4 washers
  • 4 wing nuts
  • cardboard or thin piece of wood( I used mat board in one)
  • water color paper
  • if you can’t find already cut wood pieces you will need a saw (i used craft pieces already in the sizes I needed, but I wish my wood had been thicker, about an inch thick would have been better)
  • you will also need a drill, sandpaper and possibly scissors

 

Instructions:

  1. To begin this project if your wood isn’t already the correct size, you will need to cut it down. I was originally going to make my wood press about an 8×10, but I found some ready made craft wood and made two smaller presses instead.
  2. Stacking you wood piece together you will drill through where your holes need to be for the bolts.IMG_3649
  3. Once you are finished with drilling the holes, you can sand everything down so it’s smooth.
  4. Next you can measure and cut your cardboard to match your boards. You will need a piece for each side. Once they are cut to size you can cut the corners off so they fit just inside the bolts.IMG_3646
  5. Once you have your cardboard cut you can use it as a guide for your watercolor paper. Once again you will need a piece for each side.IMG_3652
  6. Once everything is cut you are ready to assemble.
  7. Stack one piece of wood, a piece of cardboard, watercolor paper, another piece of IMG_3657.JPGwater color paper, cardboard, and the last piece of wood. Insert the bolts into all the holes. Add the nuts and tighten the wing nuts.
  8. When you are ready to press just loosen the wing nuts, raise one side and place your flowers or leaves in between the water color paper, and tighten back down.
  9. To get the best result you need to leave the items in 30 days. But the press can be put to the side and out of the way while you wait.
  10. It’s that simple. Now you can preserve special items, or prepare flowers and herbs for crafts. Hope you have fun with yours!IMG_3659.JPGIMG_3658.JPG

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