Monday, December 27, 2010

Taking a Break

I will be taking a break for the next couple of weeks to relax and get caught up on neglected household chores, due to the Christmas holiday and to prepare for an upcoming babyshower that I will be hosting. I hope everyone has a safe and HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

Stay tuned for new and fun ideas!


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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Giveaway

My friend Sarah at Lovin Simplicity is having a giveaway.
She is giving away these beautiful apothecary jars. Go to her blog to enter.

Good Luck!


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Monday, December 20, 2010

Christmas Sign

Over the weekend I made a very easy Christmas sign using a very familiar scripture verse.




Material

- 8x10 wood plaque (found at any craft store, actually had this laying aroung)
- vinyl lettering (ordered from Lil Luna)
- finishing spray
- paint
- brush

Instructions

1. Paint your piece of wood. I did 2 coats. Let it dry.
2. next apply your vinyl carefully.
3. Then spray it with the finishing spray. I used a matte finish but I think that a semi-gloss would look just as good.

Happy Crafting
P.S. I've linked this tutorial at Craft-O-Maniac and Giggles, Glitz & Glam


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Thursday, December 16, 2010

Traditions!

I thought that I would share a tradition that I started after my husband and I got married. Each year, with the exception of last year, I have bought a Christmas book to put under the tree. I don't put presents under the tree, only because I haven't finished wrapping them until the day before Christmas Eve, LOL, but I wanted to have a nice display of Christmas stories that tell about the reasons why we celebrate the holiday other than the presents. This year I've started reading the stories to my son just before bed and it's been fun. This year's book is:

This is such a great story that I had actaully forgotten about until I was at the book store looking for this year's book.

What is your Holiday Tradition?



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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Tip of the Week: Etsy

This week's tip is about Etsy and how to get started and become a successful online store. My friend Kirsti at Kirstikoo posted some great pointers that I thought were very helpful and I wanted to make sure that every had a chance to read what she posted. Please feel free to visit her blog Kirstikoo to read her tips.

Other tips can be found at the Etsy website.


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Monday, December 13, 2010

Joy Apothecary Jars

I'm always amazed at what others come up with. I love blog sufering the craft blogs b/c I always find something cute and easy that I can do later. For example I found this: Joy Apothecary Jars.




How easy are those to make!? Go to Uncommon for the full tutorial.

Happy Crafting!



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Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Recipe of the Week: Peanut Better Buckeyes

I think that I may have found the perfect treat to make my husband!



Peanut Butter Buckeyes!

Don't those look yummy!? My husband's favorite combo, peanut butter and chocolate! For the recipe on how to make this fabulous treat go to The Athur Clan. I think that I will be making these this weekend!

Enjoy!



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Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Tip of the Week: Tree Decorating

I know that most of you have had your Christmas trees decorated for a few days even a few weeks, there are still a few of you that haven't yet. I thought that I would post a few fun and helpful tips to make your tree look fabulous this year.




- Try different colors other than the traditional red and green.
- Use ribbons that coordinate with the ornaments
- When using larger ornaments, place them deeper into the tree so that the color radiates from the center.
- If you are going the artificial tree route try a different color try like red or white




* I got these tips from watching HGTV one of my favorite channels to watch.*


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Monday, December 6, 2010

Link Party

I linked up today at Craft O Maniac.





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Noel Blocks Tutorial

I've been meaning to get this tutorial up since last week but my week was crazy busy! But here it is, my first Christmas tutorial for the year! Drum roll please . . . .


NOEL Blocks

Materials

- 4 4x4x4 blocks
- modge podge
- Christmas color paints
- Christmas scapbook paper
- 20 gauge wire
- sponge brush
- wire cutter, needle nose plier and hammer
- spray paint (optional)
- drill
- hot glue
- vinyl lettering NOEL (4 of each letter)


Instructions

First you will need to start out with 4 blocks cut into cubes. (I went to Homedepot and had them cut a 4x8 piece of wood for me.) Make sure to sand the edges for a smooth finish.

Next we paint! I painted so that there would be a small square in the middle to hold the block. (Smart, I know.) You will need to do at least 2 coats.


Now, while the paint is drying on the blocks you will need to cut out small squares of scrapbook paper. Cut them into 2 3/4 in x 2 1/2 in squares.



After the paint has fully dried you are ready to glue on the squares. Apply a thin coat of modge podge to the paper and the wood. Carefully place your paper on the wood and smooth out any air bubbles. Let it set.



While the modge podge is drying you will need to cut and coil your wire. Cut 16 pieces in varying lengths. First you need to wrap the wire around a small dowel, then wrap it around a larger dowel. (pictured I used the end of a sponge brush and one of my hand whisks)




Now create a spiral using the needle nose pliers to help grap the middle. (sorry no picture of that actual step but you get the idea from above) Next you will want to lay it on a mat and hammer it flat. Do that 15 more times. :)


You should have something like this once you have you finished coiling the wire.



Next drill a hole on the top of your blocks. This is where you will be putting the wire. You don't want to go too deep. (I had my father-in-law help me with the drilling)



After you've drilled the hole you will modge podge on top of the scrapbook paper and all over your block. (this will give it a little sheen after it dries)


Now the vinyl! You will need 4 letters each of the word NOEL. (I ordered my vinyl from Lil' Luna.)




Carefully apply the vinyl lettering to your blocks, on all sides.



After you have added the vinyl you will need to spray it with a matte gloss finishing spray to make sure that the letters adhere to the paper.


This part is optional, but while I was praying the blocks I spray painted the wire. After the paint on the wire has dried you will glue them into the holes of the blocks. (sorry no picture)





And this is your final product. A cute way to display all of those Christmas cards that you will be getting in the mail!

HAPPY CRAFTING!!



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Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Recipe of the Week: Posole

For Thanksgiving we went to my aunt's house on my mom's side of the family and they are Mexican. So instead of all of the traditional Thanksgiving 'meal' we had a combination of mexican food w/ a little turkey, pototoes and stuffing. One of the dishes that was prepared was a soup called Posole. For those of you that don't know what it is, it is a broth soup with homony and pork and it is very tasty. Unfortunately I so stuffed from everything else that I didn't have any, but I wanted to share with you this yummy soup that you can make at home to enjoy this winter.


Ingredients

Pork shoulder or roast -- 1 1/2 to 2 pounds
Canned or fresh hominy, rinsed -- 2 to 3 cups
Garlic -- 3 to 5 cloves
Salt -- 2 teaspoons
Water or stock -- 6 cups

Garnish

Cabbage or iceberg lettuce, shredded
Onion, finely diced
Radishes, thinly sliced
Limes, cut into wedges
Avocado, diced
Oregano, dried
Chile piquín, ground

Instructions

1. Add the pork, hominy, garlic, salt and stock or water to a large pot. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, and then reduce heat to low and simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until the meat is very tender.

2. Remove the pot from heat. Take the pork from pot and set aside to cool. When cool enough to handle, remove the meat from its bones and shred it with your hands.

3. Add the meat back to the pot and simmer for another 10 to 15 minutes. Adjust seasoning and serve with little bowls of your choice of garnishes so each dinner can garnish his or her own serving.

* If you want to add some color to the soup follow this method: Pozole Rojo - This variation is popular in Michoacán and Jalisco States. It is the same as the above recipe, but dried chiles are added. Remove the stems and seeds from 3 to 5 ancho or guajillo chiles. Mix them with a little of the hot liquid from the stewpot and soak for 20 to 30 minutes until soft. Puree in a blender and strain through a sieve into the stew for the last 30 to 45 minutes of cooking. **

Happy cooking and ENJOY!



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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Recipe of the Week: Chunky Cheesy Potato Soup

This week I decided to make a cheesy potato soup in my crock pot. Now that weather is getting cooler there is nothing like a nice hot chunky soup to warm you up. I'm going to share with you my easy receipe that I used.



Ingredients

- several red potatoes unpeeled
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 2 tbsp butter
- 2 chicken bouillon cubes
- 6 cups of water
- 1/4 lb of velveeta cheese
- 1-2 cups of chopped cooked ham
- 2 cups of milk
- 1/2 cup flour mixed w/ water

Instructions

Put potatoes, onions, butter, bouillon cubes, cheese, ham and water into crock pot all day (8-10 hours) on low.

Half hour before serving add milk and flour to thicken.

Enjoy!!


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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Tip of the Week: Gift Wrapping

It's that time of year again! Time to start wrapping all of those presents that you have bought and start putting them under the tree, or goodies that you have made. I have found some fun and helpful tips to make gift wrapping less stressful and to look presentable to display under the tree or to give your friends and neighbors.

Cellophane Bags - Clear or printed cellophane bags (like the ones florists use for corsages) can be a lifesaver for small non-fragile gifts, candies, or baked goods. Simply insert the item into the bag (wrapped in tissue if desired) and seal the top with ribbon, raffia, cording, or a twist tie. These bags come in several sizes. Look for them in bulk at a paper warehouse outlet.

Colored Tissue Paper - Tissue can make any gift seem more festive. Collect several colors to use when lining gift boxes, to cushion delicate items, inside cello bags, or even to use as gift paper.

Making Gift Tags - Craft and stationery stores have blank tags in a variety of shapes. You can also make your own tags in any size or shape using colored paper or cardstock. Scalloped edge scissors will also help create beautiful looking tags.

Recycled Greeting Cards - Cut off the fronts of beautiful holiday cards and attach them to your gifts using double face tape. The picture on the card will dress up your gift and add a bit of color and style. Use a simple cording as ribbon. (I never would have thought of this.)

Happy Wrapping.


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Monday, November 22, 2010

Tutorial: Baby Sock Advent Calendar

The Martha Stewart website has a pluthera of crafts and ideas! I found this super cute advent calendar.

Isn't that just the cutest thing ever!? To make this adorable advent calendar go here for instructions on how to make it.


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Friday, November 19, 2010

Fun Friday: Giveaway Winner - Sneak Peak

And the winner of the Holiday Countdown giveaway is Lisa Gier! Congrats Lisa I will be contacting you shortly.

I've been working on a new holiday project the last few days and it's almost done! Here is a sneak peak as to what it could be.



Any guesses? Stay tuned for a tutorial on this holiday project!


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Thursday, November 18, 2010

Guest Blogger - Kristikoo

I so excited to have another guest blogger! Today's guest blogger is Kirsti from Kirstikoo. I've know Kirsti since high school and love her products and creativity. I will turn the time over to her now!

Many Thanks to Danesa for featuring me on her blog today!
I love these fabric pumpkins, they are so easy to make and you probably have all the supplies at home since they are made from toilet paper!!

Come visit me over at Kirstikoo for the full tutorial- I promise it's the easiest project EVER!
and come see more great Fall and Thanksgiving tutorials and ideas from other bloggers in my Thanksgiving Link-Up!
Thanks again for having me Danesa-- Hope you all have a safe and happy Thanksgiving!

Thanks Kirsti for sharing!



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Monday, November 15, 2010

Tutorial: Autumn Rosette Wreath

I saw this really cute wreath this morning and had to share it with you.

Pretty, huh!? I would totally make it but I already have an autumn wreath hanging on my front door. But if you don't have one check out Cheap Cheap Chickadee on how to make it.

Happy Crafting!



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Thursday, November 11, 2010

Guest Blogger - Lovin Simplicity

I'm so excited to have a guest blogger today! My friend Sarah from Lovin Simplicity wanted to share a fun fall tutorial with your today.
Here is she!
This pumpkin was so easy to make and it turned out beautifully. I actually made two of them! I have the tutorial on my blog Lovin Simplicity.






I got all of my supplies at Hobby Lobby but I'm sure you can find the same supplies at any craft store.

Thanks!

Sarah
Check out her blog daily for more fun crafting ideas!! Thank Sarah for sharing.


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Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Giveaway - Holiday Countdown

It's time for another giveaway! I'm so excited to this one. I've been waiting for the last couple of months to do it!

Remember this picture from a few posts back?



Well it is part of my Holiday Giveaway!



A Holiday Countdown or Advent Calendar, whatever you want to call it!!

What was your favorite advent calendar growing up?

Go to my Giveaway Rules on how you can win this fun prize!

You have until Nov 18th to enter. On Friday morning the 19th the winner will be announced.



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Monday, November 8, 2010

Tutorial: How to Make a Thanksgiving Turkey Decoration

I love reading through Totally Tutorials just to see what's new and what someone has come up. Today I saw this.


This was created by Therapeutic Crafting. Go here to see how to make it.


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Thursday, November 4, 2010

Kids Craft - Tiny Toms

Time to bring out the turkeys. I was looking for a fun Thanksgiving craft to do with the neighborhood kids and found this cute little turkey activity.

Super cute! It looks very easy and fun. Go here to see how to make it, there is even a little video that will walk you through it.
Happy Crafting!!


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Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Recipe of the Week: Pear Pie

I'm so excited to share with you this week's recipe, it comes from Arizona Vanilla! The brains behind this yummy recipe is my stepmom, who always seems to making up something new.


Pear Pie

1 store-bough pie shell (for time saving)
1 can pears
Raspberries, blueberries, and mint leaves for garnish

Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for cooking the pie dough. Remove from oven and let it cool.

Pastry Cream
2 cups milk or half-half
1/8 tsp Madagascar vanilla extract
½ tsp Pear extract
¼ cup sweetener (sugar, honey, agave syrup)
A pinch of nutmeg
1 egg + 2 egg yolks
3 tbs corn starch
3 tbs cold butter cut in small pieces
Ice water

In a small pot, bring to a boil the milk, extracts, sweetener, and nutmeg.

In a small container, mix eggs with cornstarch. When the milk mixture is starting to boil, and reduce heat. Slowly pour about ½ cup to egg mixture whisking fast to incorporate air. This is called tempering. Pour the egg mixture into the pot with the milk whisking fast and cook on medium-high heat until thick. Do not overcook.

Put the pot on ice water and add the butter little by little until all incorporated.

Slice the pears; pour the pastry cream in the pie shell and arrange the pear one close to another. Garnish the center with raspberries, blueberries, and mint leaves.

Refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving.

* for more yummy recipes visit her blog at Vanilla Rocks *



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Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Tip of the Week: Bringing Fall into Your Home

I know that I've mentioned this before but Fall is one of my favorite seasons. So in order to get into the spirit of fall I wanted to share with you some fall decorating tips that I have found.

Swap out Fabric: It's time to get cozy on the couch. Bring out your favorite throws, especially those in luxurious chenille or velvet! And don't forget to add a cozy blanket to your guest rooms as well.

Welcome Wagon: The first thing your buyer sees is your front door. So, make this space inviting. Use mats, wreaths, or a simple hanging cornucopia as a seasonal display.


Scents: Fall is a great time for warm, rich scents, such as apple-cinnamon, French Vanilla, and anything related to cookies or baked goods! Just keep them away from your dining table, so that their scent doesn't overpower the tantalizing aroma of your home-cooked meal!

* tips were found at Realty Times *


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Monday, November 1, 2010

Tutorial: Fall Leaf Garland

Sorry for the week long hiatus. I had a busy week and working overtime at my day job that I just didn't have time to update. But I'm back and with a really pretty Fall Garland tutorial. In my search to find a unique garland for fall to display on my banister I found this at UCreate.



Pretty right!? I think so. Go to UCreate for the tutorial. I found a new weekend project.

Happy crafting!



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Thursday, October 21, 2010

Event: Boutique in the Barn

For my Arizona followers this Saturday, 23rd, there will be an event, Boutique in the Barn, where local crafters will be selling their goods!!

Come and support your local craters and their talents!

When: Saturday 23rd
Where: 103010 S 71st St, Tempe, AZ
From: 8am - 5pm
Also look for a couple of friends of mine who will be there.
Cloud9 Designs - Sarah Harding
Lil' Luna - Kristyn Merkley


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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Recipe of the Week: Broccoli Wild Rice Casserole

This is a favorite with my husband's family around Thanksgiving and it is a very easy dish to make. I made it for my work holiday potluck last year and it was a big hit. I was frequently asked for the recipe. Now that I have access to ALL of my recipes I wanted to share it with you. I promise you won't be dissapointed!


Ingredients:

1 stick of butter
2 pkgs 10 oz frozen broccoli
1 med oniion chopped
1 1/4 cup wild rice - soak overnight, then boil
1-2 cans cream of mushroom soup
1/2 c slivered almonds
8 oz jar of cheese whiz


Directions:

- in medium sauce pan saute onions in butter then add broccoli and soup
- add rice, cheese and almonds mix and then pour into cassrole dish and bake at 350 degrees for 1/2 hour (or you can keep it warm in a crock pot).

I told you it would be easy. Happy cooking!


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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Tip of the Week: Hair Care

I know that this isn't a crafty tip or for the home but I thought that I would be fun to do one just for us. So I found some useful tips for hair care.


If you have Long hair:

  • avoid sleeping with tightly braided hair or hair in a high ponytail. The stress can cause breakage or hair loss (hmm looks like I won't be doing that anymore)
If you have Curly Hair:

  • Use conditioner every time after you shampoo to re-moisturizer your hair
Winter Care:

  • Use a conditioner daily

  • Once you have your hair moist, lock in the moisture by running your hair through cold water, this will also give your hair an extra shine

Hope these help you to look your best. :)


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Monday, October 18, 2010

Tutorial: Kitchen Aid Makeover

This it totally cool! I was just looking at my recent posts on Facebook and saw that there was a post to update your Kitchen Aid. Score!!

Seriously cute! I would never had thought to do this and apparenly neither did the person who posted did. Go to You Craft Me Up for the tutorial.
Happy painting!!




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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Recipe of the Week: Maple-Walnut Popcorn Balls

One of my favorite things to do on my lunch break at work is read the blog on Etsy. While reading some of the updates I came acrossed an Eatsy article that I had to share with you.

Maple-Walnut Popcorn Balls, YUM!!! (Click here for the recipe)

I'm definitely going to be making this soon!



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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Tip of the Week: Halloween Decorating

With Halloween just around the corner I thought that it would be fun post a few tips about decorating for this fun holiday.



- Add some spider web to your Halloween decorations and haunt, you can find it at most stores selling Halloween products. Just attach to something and pull it out all over! There's a new product called "Cob Webs in a Can" that lets you add light layers of spider web effects to your Halloween decorations and props.

- Scarecrows have also become a source for wonderfully scary Halloween decorations! Make a couple for your front porch, yard haunt or to sit inside your home for decoration.

- Use mini ears of Indian corn, mini pumpkins and gourds to embellish your Halloween party table. They make excellent arrangements for an autumn table as well.

* more Halloween decorating ideas can be found at Halloween Tips *


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Monday, October 11, 2010

Tutorial: Fall and Halloween Decor

I found several cute and fun tutorials on how to make Fall and Halloween decor that I had to share!


Trick o Treat Bags by Crafty Staci







Brown Paper Bag Banner by Smile Monsters




No Sew Sweater Sleeve Pumpkin by The Country Chic Cottage



Soup Can Pumpkins by The Cupcake Cuppy

I like that some of these are made from recycelable items. Enjoy making these to make your home more festive!



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Tuesday, October 5, 2010

My Apologies

I justed want to apologies to you all for not posting antyhing the last few days. We just moved and my house is in disarray. The internet has just been hooked up so I hope to be posting some new ideas by next week. Please bear with me as I slowly transition into a new space.

Thank you.


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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Recipe of the Week: Chocolate Pudding

After dinner on Sunday, my husband looks in the fridge and says, "I want dessert, what can we make?"

So I asked, "what would you like?"

He closed the fridge and said, "chocolate pudding."

Being the good wife that I am, I hopped online in search for a really good chocolate pudding recipe and found one by Tyler Florence. It was really easy and took about 15 mins to make, not to mention it turned out smooth and declicious. At first I wasn't sure how it would turn out b/c I had never made pudding from scratch, I've always done it from the box, but my husband approved. YEA! So I wanted to share the recipe with you.



Chocolate Pudding

Ingredients

2 cups milk
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup cocoa powder
4 tsp cornstarch
3 large egg yolks
2 tsp pure vanilla extract (to find really good pure vanilla extract go here)
1/4 tsp fine salt
3/4 cup whipped cream

Directions


  • Put 1 1/2 cups of the milk, sugar, and cocoa in a nonreactive saucepan. Bring to a simmer, over med-high heat. Remove from heat.
  • Meanwhile, whisk the remaining 1/2 cup of milk, cornstarch, salt, egg yolks and vanilla in a bowl. Gradually whisk the hot milk into the egg mixture. Return to the saucepan and cook over med-high heat whisking constantly, until the pudding comes to a full boil. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer, and continue whisking until thick, about 2 or 3 mins more.
  • Pour pudding into small cups. Cover w/ plastic wrap and refridgerate for at least 4 hour or ideally overnight until set.
*recipe found at Food Network *


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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Tip of the Week: Kitchen Cleaning

I know that the kitchen is the hub of the house and with all the activity that goes on it can get pretty dirty. I found some cleaning tips to help keep the kitchen sanitized.


    • Dishwasher Soap Film: Run a cup of white vinegar through the entire dishwashing cycle in an empty dishwasher to remove all soap film.
    • Refridgerator Odors: A little vanilla poured on a piece of cotton and placed in the refrigerator will eliminate odors.
    • Countertops: Use a mild dishwashing liquid for plastic lamination and rinse well afterwards to prevent residue from getting on food.
    • Glassware: For extra-shiny, streakless glasses, add a little vinegar or borax to the final rinse water.

    * for more cleaning tips you can go to All About Home *



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    Monday, September 27, 2010

    Tutorial: Checker Board

    If you are looking for a fun gift to make someone, or to add your game collection you need check out this fun Checker Board!

    Cute right!? Well you can go to Totally Tutorials on how to make it. It doesn't look really hard to do. I think that I will be making this to add to our game collection.



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    Thursday, September 23, 2010

    Halloween Kids Crafts

    Today I thought I would post a few fun Halloween Kids Crafts. Check out what I've found!




    Bat O'Lanterns - this is super cute!


    Paper Bag Gargoyles - this looks like fun!





    Spirit Jugs - A great way to recycle those milk and juice jugs!


    * You can find more Halloween Crafts at Family Fun *


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