Sunday, January 5, 2014

Snow Cream - Ice Cream

We got 11" of snow in the last 24 hours, so we decided to make Ice Cream out of snow. I found the recipe at:

First, I set a large Tupperware bowl outside in the snow. I let it fill up in just a few hours.
Right before I brought in the bowl, I mixed 2 cups of milk, 1 cup of sugar (I would use 3/4 cup next time), 1 Tablespoon of vanilla.
 I slowly poured the milk mixture into the bowl with the snow. I stirred the snow mixture, until I had the consistency of ice cream. If you notice in the picture below, there is still unflavored snow in the bowl.
I kept stirring and adding the milk mixture until it was finished below.
 Here is another picture of the consistency.
It was really yummy and super easy to make.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

DIY Bed Canopy with Rhinestones

My oldest Princess has been asking for a bed canopy for the past two years, so I thought that I would surprise her with one. I mean really surprise her. I put it up while she was sleeping. When she woke up she said "I thought that I was dreaming."

First, I found some great tutorials from Craftaholics Anonymous, Wild Whitney's, and lilybug designs.
They all used quilt hoops and tulle, but I really like that lilybug used a feather boa to cover the quilt hoop.
I went to the fabric store to buy the following supplies. I spent $60 for 2 canopies, because I figured once the little princess saw the canopy over her sister's bed, she would want one too. I could have bought ones for $30-45 each, but I wanted to add sequins or rhinestones to theirs.
Materials needed for 2 canopies:
2 quilters hoops
2 feather boas
adhesive jewels/rhinestones (because you can never have enough sparkles as a princess.)

You can also buy tulle with metallic details, but it would have at least doubled the cost of the canopies.

First, you need to estimate the amount of tulle that you. I measured the distance from where the hoop would hang from the ceiling to the floor, going over the headboard and foot board of the bed.

My Mother-in-law was visiting and she helped me assemble both of the canopies in about 2.5 hours. Next, I cut the tulle in half to have one section for each side of the hoop. Then I folded the tulle over the inside hoop and hand stitched the tulle to form a pocket around the hoop.

I then added the outside hoop and hot glued the feather boa to it. This helped cover the bracket of the hoop too. Don't glue over the bracket until you are done with the ribbon to hang the canopy. (see next step)
Then, we hot glued ribbon between the hoops and tied them in the middle. Your knot will not be in the center of the hoop. The bracket will cause your hoop to be heavier on one end and you will need to make adjustments to the ribbon.
After you have attached and tied the ribbon, tighten the hoop and hot glue the remaining end of the feather boa around the bracket.
At this point we hung them up over the princesses' beds by inserting a plant hook into the ceiling. The next day we we started adhering the 750+ sequins to each of the canopies. I purchased the sequins with adhesive from Jo Ann's scrap booking area.
We used both clear and
pink rhinestones. 

It is hard to see the rhinestones in the picture when the canopies are hanging over their beds, but here is a better look at the amount of rhinestones that we added.

Another look at the princess bed canopies.

Household Tips and Tricks

I have so many little tips and tricks, that I thought that I would do a post of them all and continually add to them.

1.  Easy Band-Aid Removal

Removing a Band-Aid can create almost as many tears as the injury itself.  Now, we apply a layer of Vaseline over the Band-Aid before L goes to bed at night and it is easy to remove the next morning.  Sometimes, it even falls off during the night.

2. Piano Practicing
Here are some ideas to encourage your child to practice the piano.  Check out this link.

3. Favorite use for vinegar

My favorite use for vinegar is to pour one cup in the washer during the wash cycle, when I am washing towels.  It takes the musty smell out of the towels.  It also removes the soap residue, if you are sensitive to detergents.
I found this website:  I might have to look at it later for more vinegar uses.

4. Cut open tube of body wash, to get the remaining body wash out.
Click here to read full blog posting and more photos.

5. Lovies, blankets and stuffed animals
I learned a long time ago to buy 2 of a child's favorite stuffed animal or blanket.  Or cut a blanket into two and hem the edges.  But just recently, our youngest lost her "purple baa baa", aka "purple bunny", so I had to search for not one, but two more to replace it.  If one gets dirty, you can replace it with the back up and wash the dirty one.

6. Sock Drawer
I organize my Husband's sock drawer by putting the navy blue socks on the left, khaki socks in the middle and black socks on the right.  In the morning, he just grabs a pair of socks from the area of the drawer that he needs.  He does not need to turn on a bright light to see if he is grabbing a blue or a black pair of socks.
7. Freeze prechopped onions
A lot of recipes call for 1/2 of a chopped onion.  What do you do with the other half?  I chop it up and place it in a freezer ziplock baggie.  I put it in the freezer until I need to use it.

8. iPhone Protector for beach or poolWhen ever we go to the pool or beach, I worry about sand and water droplets getting on/in my phone. So I place it in a snack size ziplock baggie. I can still use my phone through the plastic with my wet sandy hands. I can't submerge my phone, but it keeps it a lot cleaner.

9. Pizza cutter - can cut more than pizza
Pizza cutters are great, but they can be used for more than cutting pizza. You can cut pancakes, french toast, sandwiches, stuffed crescents and quesadillas.

I needed a central location for my calendar in the kitchen, so I hung it on the cabinet door. I looped a string through the hole on the calendar and hung it over the cabinet door. (see 2nd and 3rd photo). On the inside of the cabinet, I attached a 3M hook to hook the sting on it. If I don't want my calendar showing, I can easily take it down, when company comes over.
I have granite counter tops and it is recommended to use soapy water clean them. I was getting tired of making sinks of soapy water to wipe down the counters, so my husband suggested that I fill a spray bottle with soapy water. It is really easy and convenient to clean them now.

12. Furniture scratch repair
Rub shoe polish on the scratch and let it sit for 5 minutes. Rub the excess shoe polish off.Before: 


I don't use a canner to seal my jars. This is how my Great Aunt taught me to seal jars. This only works for cooked jam and jelly recipes.
First, as I am making my Jam, I heat up a pan of water. Enough water to cover the jars laying down. When the jam is almost done cooking, I carefully add the clean jars to the boiling water.
After, I remove the jam from the direct heat, I place a towel in my left hand and use tongs to remove a jar from the boiling water. Be very careful, the jar is very hot!!! Carefully, ladle the jam into the jar. Fill the jar up to a 1/2" from the top and carefully wipe off the excess jam that dripped over the edge. I use a towel or clean dishcloth. Place lid on top of jar. Screw rim on jar tightly. Place jar on dish towel and cover jars with another dish towel. In the next few hours, you will start to hear the lids popping/sealing shut. If they don't seal, (which I have never have had happen) toss the old lid, and start the process over again. Click here for more pictures.

I love to organize by using lists. But my lists and recipes were overwhelming my kitchen counter, so I bought a magnetic dry erase board and mounted it on the inside of my kitchen cabinet. It cleaned up my counter top and it keeps me more organized. On the board, I write out my meal planning, to do list and shopping list. I use magnetic clips to post my grocery list and the recipes that I am making that week.
I used 3M Picture Hanging strips to hang the board on the inside of my cabinet door. These strips are like a heavy duty velcro.

Bleach and traditional cleaners were not able to get the dirt out of the grout. I am actually embarrassed to show you the before and after picture, because the grout was so dirty. This all natural grout cleaner really works, but it doesn't have harsh fumes like Oxi-clean. These ingredients can even be found in your pantry.
7 cups of water
1/2 cup of baking soda
6 drops of lemon essential oil
1/4 cup of vinegar

I mixed the ingredients in a bucket and used a rag to apply it to the grout line. I let it sit for 30 seconds and used a bristle scrub brush to remove the dirt. Go to: to learn more about Young Living essential oils.

I was tired of paying $10 and up for containers and nets to hold the bath toys. I decided to make one. First, I bought a $1 plastic basket at Dollar Tree. Next, Using a permanent marker, I marked dots on the bottom of the basket 1 1/2" apart. Then I drilled holes in the bottom of the basket, using a 3/8" drill bit. This is what the bottom of the basket looks like after the holes were drilled. Next, I placed plastic bumpers on the bottom of the basket. You can pick these up in the picture hanging section of the hardware store. This will help the water drain away from the basket. And fill it with your favorite bath toys. It works 10 times better than the bath toy net that we were using and it costs a lot less. Click here to see more how to photos.

17. Make dried out markers new again.
This is something every mom needs to know. A Crayola Factory Experience employee told us this tip when we visited the Crayola Factory store in Easton, Pennsylvania. You don't need to throw out crayola markers that have dried out. Fill the marker lid with water and place the lid back on the marker. Let the marker set overnight and it should work like new in the morning. See the before and after picture below.

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