Making Your Own Carpet Deodorizer – Quick Blog

Standard

For any pet owners out there who need a quick fix for carpet odors, or if you just want fresh/clean carpets, here is a great recipe for making your own Carpet Deodorizer.

3/4 Cup Baking Soda

3/4 Borax

25 drops of essential oil (i used Tea Tree Oil because that is what I have on hand)

Mix them in a bowl and scoop into an empty store-bought carpet powder container or a even a sugar/syrup or other glass/plastic container with a sprinkle option (you can find these at the $ store). Sprinkle on carpets, leave for 20 minutes and vacuum!

For more ideas: http://www.onegoodthingbyjillee.com/2012/07/make-your-own-deodorizing-carpet-powder.html

Personal 30 Day Weight Loss Challenge

Standard

Today is day 30 of my personal weight loss journey. I wasn’t planning to share a blog post on this until I reached half-way to my final goal, but I decided the relative humiliation of posting these photos is worth the inspiration that they may provide to others. This inspiration came from a friend of mine Anna B. who recently shared her weight-loss journey with her entire list of Facebook friends (complete with her starting weight). Thank you Anna for putting yourself ‘out-there’ and inspiring me to do the same. I hope that if there is anyone out there that needs inspiration they will find some here!

I started out 30 days ago, feeling like my ‘baby-weight’ had been hanging around for long enough. My baby was 5 months old and I was still wearing some of my maternity jeans (*blush*). I know I’m not the only one who struggles with losing weight gained during (and yes, even after) pregnancy. I am thankful to my friends who understand and provide support even while they tackle their own weight battles.

My weight-loss goals are not just about fitting into my skinny jeans. More importantly they are about my health. Unfortunately I am predisposed to developing Type II Diabetes (having endured Gestational Diabetes X3).  I have a healthy fear of Diabetes that can only be instilled by growing up with a sibling with T1D.

So, 30 days ago, in my own quest to lower my risk of T2D, and fit into those dusty jeans again, I took the first post-pregnancy steps toward weight-loss. 🙂 As a busy mom, I chose Nutrisystem as my partner in this challenge. You can see why I am happy with this choice in my photo below!

Image

If you have any questions or need support in your own weight-loss challenge, feel free to contact me!  Together We Are Stronger!

Aside

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The new Boeing 787 Dreamliner can carry about 250 passengers. This blog was viewed about 1,500 times in 2012. If it were a Dreamliner, it would take about 6 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

2012 Blog in review. 53 countries! My angel sis would be proud.

Pingu Cake & Marshmallow Fondant

Standard

My first child turns 7 today! Ahhh! My baby girl!! *sigh* She informed me that she wanted a Pingu cake a couple of weeks ago, so we looked around for ideas. First we made fondant to use for Pingu, the fish and the icebergs.

Here is the recipe:
4 cups mini marshmallows
4 cups powdered sugar
2T water

Directions:
Put marshmallows into a bowl and sprinkle water over top.
Melt and stir marshmallows in the microwave in 10 second intervals (until smooth and melted)
Use a greased spatula to gradually mix in the sugar.
Once you have a ‘dough’ transfer it to a greased surface and roll out with a greased rolling pin. (Tip: I found this easier after refrigerating) Use food coloring to create different colors (we had to mix all the colors for black and it took quite a bit). Once you have made your fondant figures you can refrigerate until you have your cake ready.

Quick cake: use a box cake and instead of water use milk (for a richer taste), add a cup of apple sauce for more moist cake.
photo(25)
“Dirty Ice” your cake

photo(26)
Add “water” (aka ice blue sprinkles)

photo(29)
Place rolled/cut fondant to look like icebergs

photo(28)
Add your fondant Pingu figure (we also made a fish and my daughter had the toothpick/floss idea for a fishing pole)!

It’s done. It was lots of fun to make the Pingu with my daughter (we made Pingu & the fondant a few days ago and I made/decorated the cake today while she is at school). I think she will love it!

Today’s funny:
“When the meal isn’t ready, they’re under mother’s feet.
When the food’s on the table, they’re down the street”

Wishing you a happy new year!

Crockpot Yams From Heaven

Standard

Crock Pot Apple-Spiced Yams
4-5 Yams – cubed (cut off tips and peel any unsightly spots otherwise don’t peel)
2 Apples – peeled, cored & diced
1 Cup Raisins
1.5 t Cinnamon
Filling:
1 Cup white sugar
¼ Cup corn starch
2 t cinnamon
¼ t salt
Dash of nutmeg
2 cups water
Place first 4 ingredients into 6 qt. slow cooker. Mix the dry filling ingredients in a small bowl. Heat water in sauce pan and whisk in the dry ingredients. Bring to a boil and hold boil for 2 minutes (while stirring). Remove from heat and pour into slow cooker. Stir gently, cover and cook on low for 6-7 hours or on high for 2-3 hours. Stir on the hour. This was delicious and as a side dish it serves 8-10 Enjoy!!

20121116-090429.jpg

Making A Three Tiered Cupcake Stand

Standard

My mom recently gave me a bunch of dishes since she got a new set. I couldn’t fit them all in my cupboards and I’ve been wanting to try making a cupcake stand… So, Thanks to Pinterest, I found a tutorial and got to work!

What I used:
3 white plates (in 3 sizes)
2 glass taper candle holders
Clear drying epoxy-type glue
Decorative crystal-style drawer pull

I started with the largest plate and glued on a candle stick in the center (small end down), then I glued on the next size plate and repeated until the 3rd plate was glued. Lastly, I added the crystal drawer pull to decorate the top.

20121028-205023.jpg

20121028-205207.jpg
And the final product (prettier in real life):

20121028-205321.jpg Each time that I glued on a ‘layer’, I let it set up with a book on top for 30 minutes. This creates more stability while making your cupcake stand. Most epoxy takes 24 hours to cure completely.
If you like it, this lovely cupcake stand is available for purchase at The Harvest Market on November 10th from 9-3!

Aside

I wanted to try soap making but with 3 small children in the house I was not about to turn my kitchen into a chemical lab complete with NaOH bubbling away in my sink. So, I decided to go with a much easier soap making method called ‘Melt & Pour’. To make Melt & Pour soap you buy a soap base (I went with an organic base from Bramble Berry), essential oils for fragrance (I used lavender and orange valencia), and you can add exfoliants (i used cranberry seeds), and herbs/botanicals (i used Spirulina). I also used oats (just regular oatmeal) and you can use other home kitchen items such as coffee grounds for exfoliants.

To start you will need:

Soap base

Essential Oils

Exfoliants and/or

Herbs/Botanicals

Soap Mold (to be extra eco-chic, you can use household items or even cleaned out food containers, I used a medium ‘tupperware’ container (about 5″x7″).

Small spray bottle with rubbing alcohol

Plastic wrap

Directions:

Melt 6 oz. of Melt & Pour soap base in the microwave for 45 seconds (about 1/5 of a 2 lb block).

In separate bowl pour 1.5 teaspoons Essential Oil.

Remove M&P from the microwave and stir until all chunks are dissolved.

Stir essential oil into M&P and mix well.

When M&P reaches about 130 degrees (just use a food thermometer) add your exfoliant and mix well.

Then immediately pour gently and evenly into your mold.

Spritz with rubbing alcohol.

Begin process again for your next layer! After 4-5 layers you will be done! Have fun coming up with your own ideas for layering and designs! Let your soap set up for 8-10 hours before removing from mold. Use a food scraper or large knife to cut into desired size bars (or if you used small soap molds just pop them out). Wrap in plastic wrap to preserve freshness.

* Tips: Spritzing with alcohol helps remove bubbles that form during mixing, and helps your layers adhere.

When pouring soap layers, hold the bowl of soap in one hand and a spoon in the other, pour onto the spoon and let the soap overflow from the spoon into the mold. This keeps the hot soap from breaking through the previous layer.

ENJOY!

Image

My soaps (above left: Lavender Oatmeal, above right: Orange Valencia) will be available for purchase (all cutely wrapped with help from my talented sister Sonja) at The Harvest Market on Saturday, November 10th from 9 am – 3 pm!

20121019-142319.jpg

Adventures in Soap Making

REALLY Easy Apple Sauce

Standard

I had some apples left over from the bag my sister in law brought the other week.  They needed to be used soon, so I thought I would try making Apple Sauce! I found a couple of recipes and here is my version:

Ingredients:

8-10 small/medium apples

3T brown sugar

1/2 t cinnamon

1/2 cup water

(secret ingredient: a few dashes of Mace (this is our favorite spice, if you haven’t tried it, it goes well with anything cinnamon)

Directions: Peel, core & dice apples. Place them inside small crockpot (or larger if you double recipe).

Sprinkle brown sugar and cinnamon over the apples, and then pour the water on top.

Turn crock to Low for 4-5 hours. Mix occasionally (about 1Xhour). You will know it is done when it is light brown and there are no large lumps (you can use a potato masher if you don’t like any lumps). Spoon into canning jars and refrigerate. You can also freeze in freezer bags if you make a large batch. Mine only made one large and one medium canning jars (small batch in small crock pot).

This is SO easy! It will make your house smell AMAZING!  Happy Autumn!

Image

Rice Pudding

Standard

I had some leftover jasmine rice from a couple days ago and in an effort to try to utilize food before it needs to be tossed in the trash, I decided to make into breakfast.  Here is a yummy way to use your leftover rice!

Rice Pudding

2 cups leftover cooked white rice (i used jasmine)
3 cups milk (any type, i used organic soy)
1/2 cup sugar
small pinch salt
1/2 cup raisins
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch nutmeg, optional

Combine cooked rice, milk, sugar and salt in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer and stir in the vanilla & raisins. Cook until just about all of the milk is absorbed (10-30 minutes so don’t go far from your kitchen). Stir in cinnamon and/or nutmeg. Serve warm or cold. Makes 4-6 servings.

*If you are on a time crunch you can honestly just put all the ingredients in at once. That is what I did and it turned out great! Also, I didn’t measure the rice because it was already in a saucepan in my fridge, I just eyeballed it and it looked like about the right amount. This is a pretty forgiving recipe. If there is too much milk it will just take a little longer to absorb into the rice.  Make this! It’s good.

Image

p.s. Baby Wyatt (7 weeks old!) and Momma are doing well.  It’s great to be back!

 

Another gDiaper Screen Print For A Good Cause

Standard

I recently did some inventory on my gDiaper stash and had a couple extras. I decided to put up a new Vanilla g for sale and donate the money from the sale to a fund to help send a family to a camp for families with children recently diagnosed with Juvenile Diabetes. Since I didn’t get a lot of interest in the plain diaper I decided to screen print it (with long lasting fabric paint). A few days later and it sold (and I am donating the $ to the camp fund)! Here are a couple pictures of my little creation:

20120504-162340.jpg

20120504-162401.jpg