Thursday, December 1, 2011

Easy Fun Piggy Bank

So I'm guilty of only having one piggy bank for all four of my kids. And then since it had a big hole at the bottom, it turned out to be a pretty useless. So to right all our child savings wrongs, I've decided to turn some juice containers into piggy banks. I have yet to do all four bottles since we still need to drink through 3 more bottles but here's the idea.

The hardest part was making a hole in the cap. I used an exacto knife, because I didn't think a knife would be strong enough. If you don't have one you can just use a knife or scissors to cut the bottle itself. So now its plain, but what my idea is, let the kids paint it with either craft paint (which I don't have, so we will use acryllic paints) this way its that much more special for them. Kids love looking at their own creations!
I can't wait to see the kids paint these!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Naturally Soft Lips

I bought coconut oil on my last shopping trip with absolutely no idea of what to do with it. All I knew was that everyone seems to love it and that it has many uses. It was $6 for a 16oz jar. And living in California, I'm sure you can get it cheaper in other states! So I decided to make a lp moisturizer out of it today, after id been dipping my fingers into the jar to use on my face, lips, hands and as massage oil. The stuff liquifies to the touch, but your body absorbs it faster. Something to do with the componants of it being similar to that of our skin... or at least moreso than other things. I reallly like to use it on my skin. But prior to this I wasn't using any kind moisturizer on my face... so that could be why I see a difference. (You know, something is better than nothing) ok, so here's what I used for the lip stuff...

Couple tsp Cocoa powder
Ten drops lemon balm
2 shakes of lavendar essence (about 4 drops)
About 3 TBS coconut oil
1-2 drops vanilla extract
I just mixed it in a bowl then scooped it into some emptied out old lip balm containers. Then I put it in the freezer.
The cocoa doesn't tint your lips, but your lips do have a natural healthy color it seems to bring out. (Probably from healthy moisturized lips)
Because it melts so easily, I wouldn't suggest putting it in you pocket. This stuff is good for putting moisture back into your lips... not giving you a lasting gloss. It seems to not last long but I've noticed that after two uses my lips were really healthy and not needing chapstick or anything else.
I used a little straight coconut oil in my palm for a back massage the other day, and loved the way it rubbed in. And as I mentioned earlier I use it on my face at night after I wash it, and my skin has been soo soft since I started doing that. (But like I said, how much of that is just because my skin was so dehydrated before??) Anyways, hope u can use this :)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Newspaper Clean Windows

I've heard of people using newspaper instead of paper towels before, but dismissed it because I don't get a newspaper, and I don't know, I thought the ink would smear on my windows. Well, after actually looking into it a little, I was suprised about how many people rave about it. So, although I didn't try it (because I still don't get a newspaper, and honestly I don't like cleaning my windows) I DID see a recipe to use with the newspaper, and it works farrrr better than my dollar store junk I buy.

2cups of water
1/4 cup of white wine vinegar
1/2 tsp liquid soap

Works best in a squirt bottle. Or the thing said you could even dip the edge of your newspaper into the solution and clean your windows that way. One thing I did not expect, when you use newspaper, the ink in it has anti glare properties to it. But I still have not tried it myself. But if I got a newspaper, I'd use that. It saves money (or maybe it at least makes up for the price of the newspaper) and from what everyone who has tried it says :it works better!

Friday, September 30, 2011

Vinegar, lots of vinegar.

Alright, so I've said how you can use vinegar with baking soda to wash just about anything. But. Vinegar itself is great for so many other things. When I cook bacon, which I hate doing. It gets grease on the floor,no matter how hard I try to keep it from splattering yet still get the crispyness I like.. it splatters, and before you know if my floors are covered in grease! I'm sure you know where I'm going with this. Mopping the floor with Mr. Clean doesn't get that grease off! Sooo I could A get a wash cloth and wash the floor by hand with dish soap or B I could endure the putrid smell of vinegar for a minute while I almost effortlessly mopthe floor with a vinegar and hot water mixture! Work great!

Now here's a little story to illustrate the need or vinegar in your house: when my son was about 3 years old we were going to a birthday party for his best friend. I was unloading my two year old and one year old as my mom helped get my oldest son, Elias, out. We opened the trunk of the car to get diaper bag and presents, after telling elias to back away from the trunk (he was sticking his head in to see something) well my mom didn't realize that elias was still peering into the trunk when sh went to close it. Sure enough the trunk hit him right on the top of his head scaring my mom silly, and blood gushing everywhere. Now, I may loose it and yell or panick about minor thing but when its big things... I'm instantly calm. I grabbed the nearest blanket or towel or shirt, I don't even know, and stuck it on his head as we briskly walked to the party. When we walked in, I honestly didn't know what to do since it cut to his skull. What do you use? What's safe? Come to find out use vinegar! Better than neosporin, and safer when you have big giant open wounds like that. It works as a natural antibacterial. Its what they use in other countries that don't have fancy medicine on hand! Elias was fine, aside from the initial shock and lots of crying, he does have a scar now (two years later) but his hair is so thick I. Can only tell because every so often I go looking for it.
And we used I think it was apple cidar but they said white vinegar is bettter (less sugar, I imagen) so there you have it... let me break it down for you

three things to do with vinegar

1.) Condition your hair, works especially nice on greasy hair
2.) Mop your floors, dilute with water. The smell will go away.
3.) Use in place of things like neosporin, on scrapes even on big open wounds.

Hope that helped... now off to mop my floors ;)

Monday, September 26, 2011

Lovely Lavender Essence

I bought some lavender essence oil for an all purpose cleaner that I sell, it was pretty expensive but I've found it to be pretty useful! I don't usually shower in the morning because if I do I wind up with a big blond fro! My hair gets pretty stripped with the cheap shampoos I use. (Thatts what I've been told anyways) but the other dayit was drizzly out and I had to shower that morning so my hair was especially poofy. I looked around for my sample of hair straightener that I havebut either I've used it all or I lost it, so I took two drops of the lavender essence oil rubbed it in my hands then worked it into my hair from the roots up. Not only did it take the frizz awayinstantly, it made it super soft and it smelled good! So I thought Id share. :)

Friday, September 23, 2011

before you toss the necklace!

What was once my favorite necklace, quickly became another piece of jewelry being tangled in with all my other necklaces, never to be worn again. I was missing one of the feather dangles. But even though I couldn't wear it, I couldn't bring myself to throw it away. Today while trying to find the right accessory for my outfit, I saw the beads on that necklace (the colors matched what I was wearing) and bingo, I had it! I took off the dangly feather things, and because the necklace could be sized, I wrapped it around my wrist a few times, and voila'! New bracelet. The feather dangles will become earrings once I get the stuff! Nice deal! Two accessories out of one, and if I loose an earring I a spare! :)

I've also seen and heard of using opera length necklaces as belly chains or belts. Pardon the picture... its from a cell, not the best example I have but it gives you an idea of what can be done with your opera length necklaces!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

4 Chop quick prep chicken noodle

Try saying that 10 times fast (or even once!) Well, today was a hot day but I ha ingredients for chicken noodle soup, and you can't beat how cheap it is! I hate chopping things. Seriously! I really don't have time to stand there and chop twenty different ingredients, so most of my meals that I cook have as little chopping as possible, and as much flavor as possible! Here is what I've come up with for simple chicken noodle!

3 sticks of celery
4 carrots
1 onion
4 frozen boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 32 oz box of chicken broth
3 cloves of garlic
(I love spices so its a bit lengthy)
2 TBS italian seasoning
1 tsp rosemary
2 bay leaves
2 TBS garlic salt
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 squirt (around the pot once) brown mustard
1tsp terragon
Dash of chili powder

*in large soup pot pour in the chicken broth,dump in your chicken breasts (whole And still frozen) add some water leave room to add veggis and remember you will put your noodles in there. Add all your spices.

*chop your first three things (carrots, celery and onion) add to chicken and broth.

*take out your whole chicken breasts and chop them up and put them back into the soup. (They should still be kinda raw)

*when the chicken has cooked through, add half a bag of egg noodles (I used 6 oz. Of dried noodles)

*serve once noodles are cooked. And u can salt and pepper to taste :)

Its a lot it looks like but for soup that's done from start to finish in under 50 minutes, that's pretty good!
Hope you can enjoy!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Coffee grounds and Baking Soda

Typically, at least of the moms I know, coffee is a moms best friend! Every morning there is a mad rush of mini vans, not heading to school, heading to starbucks first, then to school dropping off the kids. Sure starbucks isn't just popular among mothers, but the workaholics, the over worked, ... and pretty much everyone else ;) but all those coffee grounds... what is being done with it? Those old coffee grounds have a suprisingly wide veriaty of usefulness. (And so does baking soda, but I will get to that in a second) if you go to starbucks for your coffee, they have a program called coffee grounds for gardens (or something to that nature) but if you brew your energy at home here are a few uses for those.

1) Dry it out on a cookie sheet and it can be used in place of banking soda to deoderize your bathrooom/fridge/closet etc. So you know those baking soda boxes you buy to deoderize various things, well dried coffee grounds work the same and just as well.

2) Use it in your garden. Just as the starbucks program suggests, its great for your soil. I use it in my house plants, justset it right on top. (You can also mix it in if you want) this stuff is really high in vitamins and nutrients essential for healthy plants.

3) If you have some scratches on your wood furniture, use the old coffee grounds by putting it in a few tablespoons of hot water, then use a QTip, dip it into the coffee ground/water and rub in into the scratch then wipe off. If its not dark enough, do it again. (Apparently you can also use old strong brewed coffee to stain your wood instead of buying wood stain)

Now onto Baking Soda!
I've got to say, baking soda is a good friend of mine! I use it very frequently for just about everything. What A nice mineral that God put in the earth for us! Here are two things I use it for the most
Febreze: in a spray bottle put a table spoon of liquid fabric softener and a tablespoon of baking soda, add hot water, until full, shake it up... there you go. Spray on fabrics and couches. Not so much for the air or bathroom. But works great on anything cloth.

cleaner: a couple TBS of baking soda half a cup of vinagar, a tablespoon or few of water, shake (yes it will fizz, add the vinager slowly) and your cleaner will work great on almost anything!

Now you have it. Just another solution to saving some cash!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

10 Really Smart and Useful New Mom Items

I'm going to go for the obvious and basics. Because every new mom asks the question of "what do I need" so here you go.

1) crib: duh, but a bassinette isn't necessary. Just be sure you have the sheets and mattress protector too.
2) Diapers: lots and lots of diapers. For any one attending a babyshower, diapers are the most valuable present simply because you can't go without. You can live without anything else but diapers are a must!
3) Desitine/Butt Paste: that stuff is great and if used consistantly it will keep the rashes away. Vaseline works to prevent diaper rashes but if your baby already has one then the diaper rash cream works to heal it. And buy the good stuff, in this case its worth it!
4) Baby Swing once your baby starts cruzing off the blanket for "tummy time" a swing works perfectly so that you can do dishes/make dinner without your little one finding their way into the cupboards.
5) pacifires: even if you swear not to use one, if you have a colicky baby you will break down, I strongly suggest buying two or three different kinds because no matter what some babies are born with a prefrence. There's nothing you can do about it, believe me, I've tried!
6) Diaper Changing Mat: it doesn't have to be fancy, a simple mat with a waterproof backing works just fine. But you will need one because babies explode the second you take that diaper off! I suggest not getting the padding thing with sides. Its fun to look at but it creates more work.
7) Freezer Dinners: busy exhausted mom, hungry husband.... need I say more?!
8) Thin and Thick Receiving Blankets: depending on what time of year your baby will be born is what kind of blanket you will need, but almost all babies love to be swaddled. It creates a sense of security for their flailing arms and helps them sleep better. Learning to swaddle correctly will help you more than you realize!
9) Bottles: same with the pacifires you don't know what your baby will take to buy two or three so you know. Even if your planning to breastfeed for a year or so, you will still need it if you ever want to go on a date that first year!
10) Onsies/blanket sleepers: babies poop out of their diapers... I don't know how but in the first few weeks my babies all had at least two episodes f pooping OUT of their diaper and completely missing their diaper... their diaper looked like it was on right so I havee NO clue how this happened... lots of onsies and blanket sleepers came in handy!

There are the ever so basic
But if you have the money or know of a way to get one a breast pump (medela Electric) is something you will be eternally grateful for, especially in the first two or three weeks when your breasts are so full.

6 Totally Unnecessary Money Gobblers!

When you first discover that your about to be a mom (or dad) your mind gets kindaa overwhelmed with the amount of "stuff" you will need and you may not even know what that "stuff" is but you know you need it. As a mother of four I've discovered the difference between what's needed what's wanted and what's just plain silly! For any new mom I've compiled a list of the completely unnecessary items that baby and mom magazines love to tell you you "need". (Here's a hint, they are payed to say that!)


1) Diaper Genie!
Even if you got it second hand and the bags came with it, even if its the "new and improved!" One, when it comes time to change out the bag, the smell of sitting diapers (that have been in a warm bacteria breeding environment or several hours maybe even days is going to over power the smell of baby powder and anyother nice scent... your house will smell reallllly bad!
2) Baby Powder
Yes I DID just say that, and here's why: if your baby has a diaper rash the rash is more likely to spread, and the powder can actually suffocate your child when sprinkling it on. It doesn't work, its not worth your money.
3)Wipes Warmer
Just think how mad your little one will be when you are out one day without the warmer and he/she gets these cold wipes on their butt... seriously this is just pathetic.
4)Tearless Baby Wash
Its a nice thought, until you realize what its doing to your babys sensitive eyes. It numbs them! Its not that it isn't harmful, its that your baby can't feel the damage being done. Youu can use regular shampoo with caution or if your baby has sensitive skin soften the water with 2Tbs of baking soda and just use that water. Its safer,won't hurt their eyes and it will get them clean. However for newborns don't use the soda directly on their skin since its a natural exfoliant, make sure its just water that's softened with baking soda. Works great on my kids hair as shampoo as well!
5) baby safe nail clippers
The absolute best way to handle those sharp talons after they are about a month old, is to bite them off yourself. Its safer and you will be able to feel yourself if you might cut too close.
6)baby datergent
If you baby has sensitive skin, skip the fabric softener, that's what leaves the residue on the clothes. Not the detergent. This I know from experience. My kids all had sensitive skin,the fabric softener is the key.

I hope that helps out a bit!