Summer Fun with the Kids!

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Summer break is here! So in honor of summer, today I am going to give you some fun ideas and boredom busters for the kiddos. My first suggestion is to make a family boredom jar. These are good for kids that think they have nothing to do, or for a rainy day. You can write things like create an obstacle course, build a fort, play a game, have a scavenger hunt, paint a self portrait, etc. Customize it for things that will work well for your kids and their ages and help them think outside the box. I am also going to show you a couple quick projects for summer fun!

For the first project I am going to show you how to make sponge balls, for fun outdoor water fun.

You will simply need some different color plain dish sponges and some string. You will cut each rectangular sponge longways into four long strips. Place the pieces from two sponges on top of each other and tie securely in the middle. Then you can move your pieces to form your little urchin like ball. Make a bunch, give the kids a bucket of water each and let the water fight begin.IMG_2606

 

For project number 2 we will be making bouncy balls. Its an easy project and great for  the kids to get involved with. They can help customize and make their own, then if they are like my kids will bounce them till you go crazy.

What You Will Need:

  • 1 tbs Borax
  • 1/2 cup of warm waterIMG_2661
  • 2 tbs of Elmers glue
  • 1 tbs of cornstarch
  • Food coloring of your choice

 

To Make:

  1. First you will make your borax and water mixture.
  2. In a separate container mix the glue, cornstarch and food coloring.IMG_2663.JPG
  3. Next pour the glue mixture into the water/ borax cup.
  4. The glue mixture will begin to harden after 10 minutes. Use a fork or spoon to take IMG_2664it out of the water. If its still sticky you can squish it in your hands and dip back into the water.
  5. Next roll the mixture in your hands to make a ball. The more you work with it the firmer the ball will become.IMG_2665(1).JPGIMG_2666.JPG
  6. Now let the kids bounce away.IMG_2668IMG_2669

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another great project to do with kids that has become a big trend is rock painting. Many communities have rock hiding and sharing groups in their cities. Here in Greensboro we have Piedmont Triad Rocks. You can join the Facebook page and be apart of the fun. All you need are some rocks and paint and let the kids be creative(its a good idea to seal them with something or use patio paint). Let the kids have fun placing rocks around the community for others to find or make some for your yard. IMG_2703

 

Mosaic Garden Balls

IMG_2485.JPGToday I am going to show you a fun little way to decorate in your garden. Instead of a traditional mosaic stepping stone, I’m going to show you how to make a decorative mosaic garden ball. This is a great project for kids or grand kids to get involved in.

What you will need:

  • Large Styrofoam balls
  • E-6000 glueIMG_2431
  • River rocks, glass pebbles, or tiles (whatever you would like to decorate with)
  • Black or gray grout ( you can buy small containers you just mix water with or ones that are completely premixed)
  • Sponge
  • Items to prop your balls on to dry such as a large plastic lid

 

Instructions:

1. To begin this project gather your rocks and glass stones, and the Styrofoam balls.IMG_2437

3. Continue placing stones till the ball is covered the way you like. I did two very different spacing to show you the difference. A child might have them more spread out than you would choose. IMG_2439IMG_2444

4. Once you are done gluing leave them out to dry over night. A good 24 hours would be best before grouting. IMG_2460

5. Next prepare your grout if needed and begin fill in the gaps of the Styrofoam ball. Honestly the easiest way to do this is get messy and spread it with your hands. Thicker grout works great for this project. Cover all the blank areas and gently wipe of the stone areas.IMG_2461IMG_2476IMG_2479

6. Cleaning up the grout can be messy and takes some patience. Get the stones as clear as you can with a wet sponge. Its helpful to let it dry a little and come back and do more wiping and cleaning. I did a of work with a wet sponge and dry paper towels. Just don’t wait to long to clean off the stones and areas you want to show.

7. Once the you have cleaned the balls as best you can, leave them to dry overnight. Once they have dried at least 24 hours your project is ready to go outside and decorate in your garden or flowers beds anywhere you like. The grout will keep the decorative balls safe from water. Hope you have fun making this garden decoration. Get out there and get creative!

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Gardening 101

Gardening is something that I truly enjoy so much. I love to watch things grow that my hands have cared for. It’s a challenge to see if I can do it. This year I wanted to try growing my garden plants from seeds. So, I bought my organic seeds, soil and containers and started planting. My seeds are from Heirloom, the soil and containers I bought at Lowe’s.

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I didn’t do research on this at all. One of my friends teenagers told me they just plow the ground and throw the seed in the ground so I thought I would go at it as a newbie with no info.. But I am 57 so I have heard a few things about planting. My dad loved to plant too. He used to actually plant a plastic milk jug that he had put holes in beside every plant. He would fill the jug and it would slowly release water to the root of the plant. He was a bit ahead of his time. Now I see that on Pinterest.

After planting my seeds in February and I watered very lightly every other day. If you water too fast the pressure of the water will push the seeds out of the dirt and too often the seeds can mildew. I kept my plants inside on my counter. I have under counter lights so I used them as a “makeshift greenhouse” area. I placed the plants on a basket to get them closer to the light.

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When the plants started to touch the top of my “greenhouse” I put them in bigger pots. Using the same bag of soil and individual containers. I still kept them inside and near the lights.

It was still too cold to put them in the ground or even outside. I was even a little worried that the sun may burn them because they were so little. I started giving them natural sun light by setting them on my inside tables when the sun was shining through the window.

When it warmed up outside to about 65*-70* degrees, I put them on my screened porch. After the temps stayed up to 50* over night I left them on my porch at night.

In the past I have heard people say that you don’t plant plants in the ground until after Easter so I waited until April 27 to plant the baby plants outside.

After babying these plants and growing them from seeds I was hoping the deer would not eat them. I do live in the county and the deer have eaten my plants before.

Trying to figure out how to keep the deer away I remembered that one of my neighbors told me about an organic fertilizer that deer hate…perfect! I went right away  and bought it at Southern States. I sprinkle it around my plants that I grew from seeds, my hosta that deer love to eat (they think it’s a deer salad bar) and my blueberry bushes.

To date I haven’t any harvested veggies but here are the plants at this point:

Squash

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Cucumber and peppers

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Tomatoes

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I do seem to pull more weeds in the area without bark than in the barked areas. I actually do a little weed pulling everyday so it doesn’t become overwhelming. My garden area is about 12×20 in one area and 3×12 in another area.

Herbs are another favorite so I planted herbs, Jalapeno peppers and one plant that I am not sure what it is because the watering process removed the writing on my container.

If I can grow a small garden from seeds so can you! You do have to baby the plants in the beginning but now we just have a sprinkler with a timer that waters them every morning.

I hope this blog has encouraged you to grow things. It’s really a cool process to watch.

The next few pictures are my planters but I bought the plants at the farmers market.

Dried Herb Pressed Candles

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Today I will be showing you a fun little candle project. I was excited to do this project because I was able to use herbs right from my garden. These candles are great as a teacher gift, a birthday present, house warming gift, or just something special for around your home.

To begin select your herbs a week or so ahead because you will need to dry them in advance. For this project I used fresh lavender and rosemary. Cut Continue reading

Employee Appreciation

Here at Zimmerman Carpet & Rug Cleaners we have a wonderful team of people that help make us who we are. We really appreciate all their hard work and we wanted to show them some appreciation. We feel that companies should show gratitude to good employees and we have great ones! I am sharing this hoping it will help others by giving ideas to for their companies and employees.

After meeting our goal for a quarter we decided to take our team to the beach to show how much we appreciated them working so hard to make ZCC a success. We really wanted them to relax, refresh and reset. The wheels in my brain started turning with ideas and fun things to do.

We decided to go to Emerald Isle, NC. This is a beach that is not crowded and it really is restful there. We used Spinnakers Reach Reality and rented a house for 3 nights. Since its not full summer we could rent for a few days and the rates were better.

Welcome to Almost Paradise!

I wanted to have everything they would need in their bathrooms when they came. Pretty much anything they would need the whole time. I bought lots of toiletries and put them in a bucket for their bathrooms and made it pretty.

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Then I made up a “Spa” box for couples and the singles. I looked all over town for cool and different things that were all natural to put in these boxes. I didn’t realize it would be hard to find boxes to put the items in but TJ Maxx had great ones!

 

 

I think they turned out well and our employees loved them!

I also took the time to write a personal note for everyone and for every gift.

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This did take some time and thinking to get through. It helped me reflect on how blessed we are to have the people we have working for us. It reminded me of their goodness and all that they have added to our company so this was a great exercise for me!

This was another little touch I made to make the experience a five star. A friend of mine has a cricut machine and helped me do the signs for their doors.

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Each night I left a gift by their door with a personalize card and the gift.

I made homemade breakfast and dinner everyday. I had pre-made chicken salad and egg salad for lunches with their favorite bread and chips. We had yummy appetizers and cookies, puppy chow and rice crispy treats for dessert.

We hung out at the pool and on the beach passing the football or throwing the frisbee. We took the paddle board hoping we could use it in the ocean but the paddle board beat up on Brian a little.  The water was a bit rough.

Jacob and Jordan had a nightly dance party by the pool where everyone was invited to be a part. They were doing dances I had never heard of before but looked fun and they did a great job at them. These guys know how to have good clean fun!

And then there was the ping-pong championships….No winner has been announced but we all know who won.

And yes, these boys are twinning!

 

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If you have a company, please show your employees how much you appreciate them.  It also shows you how blessed you are to have them. With the unemployment rate as low as it is you need to keep the good ones! You will have good ones from appreciating them! We love our employees and appreciate them and their commitment!

Raspberry Lemon Bars

IMG_1882If you are looking for a great spring/summer treat, or something to take to a gathering, this is it! I saw this recipe and I just had to give it a try. Hope you will love them as much as I did.

What you will need:

Crust:

  • 1 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbsIMG_1867.JPG
  • 6 tablespoons salted butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • zest of one lemon

Filling:

  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 14oz can fat free sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 6 ounces fresh raspberries

 

Directions:

  1. Begin by preheating your oven to 350 degrees. Prepare an 8×8 baking dish with cooking spray and set it aside.
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, sugar and lemon zest. (One sleeve of graham crackers is about the perfect amount and you can even crush them in the sleeve. IMG_1868.JPGI used a potato masher to help break down the pieces even further.) Stir this mixture until the crumbs are mixed well and moist.IMG_1871.JPGIMG_1872
  3. Next you will press the crumbs into you prepared dish. Pres the mixture into the bottom and a little way up the sides maybe about an inch.
  4. Bake the crust for 10 minutes. When it’s done remove it from the oven and let it cool.
  5. When your crust is completely cool, combine your egg yolks and condensed milk until well mixed. Stir in the lemon juice and lemon zest, stirring the mixture till it thickens. Next gently fold in your raspberries, being gentle so they don’t break.
  6. Pour your mixture over your prepared crust and bake for 15 minutes or until set. IMG_1875.JPG
  7. Cool to room temperature and then chill at least an hour. IMG_1877.JPGCut into bars and you are ready to serve this tasty treat. Keep the bars refrigerated. And there you have it a simple refreshing desert perfect for warmer weather. Enjoy!!

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Removing Spots From The Carpet

We all have that time when our neighbor accidentally spills their wine on your carpet or the dog has a mishap. Your first thought is, oh my gosh, how am I going to get that up?

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Let us help you with that:

  1. Do it now. The longer you wait, the harder it will be to remove. Blot up all liquid.
  2. Use the right equipment. Use a wet/dry vacuum or a small carpet spotting machine to extract the liquid portion of the accident before rinsing or adding a spot remover. If you don’t have a wet vacuum standing on thick towels is great for quick absorption.
  3. Use only water and then, only if needed, the proper cleaning agent after the water has been extracted. It is best to only use water. Spotters can set the stain and even a professional can’t remove the spot. Be careful what you use.
  4. Rinse any cleaner you may have used with water (preferably distilled) and extract the water with your wet vac or towel/paper towel.

CAUTION! Some area rugs have a very unstable dye and can be easily ruined. Always pre-test any solution on the rug before attempting spot removal.

Distilled Water is your best spot remover. Remember to only blot up the spots. Do not rub the carpet because this will cause fiber damange.

We have a FREE spotter that you can pick up at our shop that does not set the stain.

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You can also check out our website for more spot removal tips and tricks at: http://www.zimmermancarpetcleaners.com

If you have a spot that you can’t remove with just water, it is best to call a professional certified company.