Thursday, September 25, 2014

Just Add Water

My Norwex party is closing soon.  If you wanted to place an order, now is the time.  As soon as you place it it'll ship, no waiting till the party closes.

What I recommend:
 
1. Enviro Cloth
2. Window Cloth
3. Dust Mitt


The 'red' (pink really) are the Enviro and Window Clothes.  The Dust Mitt you can figure out.  ;)

I can clean my whole house with those 3.  No cleaners, just add water.

If you can't afford all 3, get the Enviro Cloth.  Once you've used it for awhile, you'll want more.  Trust me, I've used microfiber before, love it, but I still had to deal with water spots which meant pulling out a window cleaner with alcohol to get rid of them.

It's not an issue with the Norwex microfiber cloths.  I just wet them, wipe and let air dry.  No spots.  The kitchen table, counters, sink, stainless steel appliances (all of mine sadly) and no streaks.

Paired with the Window Cloth I can wipe down windows that the kids like to smush their faces on and the bathroom mirror they torture me with by spitting toothpaste on every.chance.they.get.   <sigh>

The paste is pretty amazing too, especially for how little you use. 

Check out their website and let me know if you have any questions.  I've been using the products for about 6-months now and LOVE them.  No more chemical cleaners for me!  Link good till 9/30/2014

Monday, September 15, 2014

Motivational Weight Loss Jar

I saw something similar to this on Pinterest and decided to see what I had laying around the house.  I'm a craft nut, have been since I was a kid, so I've lots of "stuff".  
Well organized of course.  ;)



Calculate the amount of weight you'd like to lose, add that to the Must Go jar and as you drop a pound, move the stone over to the Gone jar.  Super simple and a fun visual. 


I’d recommend using colored glass, rocks, marbles or buttons so you can see them better. I used what I had.


Saturday, September 13, 2014

Easy Banana Almond Butter Ice Cream

I mean stupid easy!

Cut ripe bananas into small pieces.
Put the bananas in a freezer safe container and freeze for a few hours.
Once frozen toss them in a blender or food processor slowly.  Add a tablespoon of almond butter for each banana you used.  You can eat it right then like a soft serve, or put back in the freezer for a few more hours.

I've a friend who added a bit of almond milk and cinnamon.  
No doubt a touch of cocoa powder would be good too. 

Friday, September 12, 2014

Tiki Bar Tutorial

Pallet Tiki Bar Picture Tutorial





First thing you should know, pallets are cheap or free because of this.  (Someone had major frustration issues that day.) 

We started with 2 similar pallets, both in height and width.  (Yes, they come in a variety of both.)


On the first one we left the front boards alone.  Removed just the center boards on back.  And kept the end ones intact. 

The second pallet, we removed all the boards expect the 4 end ones.

We then stood the two pallets up and began attaching them to one another.

Because pallets are made of cheap and usually defective wood, they didn't line up perfect so we had to clamp before screwing them together.  We then added scrap 2X4s that we cut to size as additional support. 

We used 2 of the pallet boards, that we had removed earlier, as shelves.  Rather, to fill in where the two pallets have the forklift joints.  (I've no clue if that's what those are called, but it's what I'm calling them.) 

You can use an additional board on top.  A few years back though, I tore out a faux fireplace in our living room.  I salvaged the slate tiles and finally found a use for them. 


With a bit of gorilla glue and a few hours of dry time, the top was done.

I had a few towel bars from my recent bathroom remodel that I didn't' have the heart to trash, so I reused them on this piece. The grass skirts are from the twin's birthday party.  They help hide the shelves. 

To keep the bar from shifting I used velcro.   

Now we have a place to hang towels, keep flip flops, store sunscreen and goggles, and more importantly, hold our drinks.  ;)  Total cost $0! 



Thursday, September 11, 2014

Whole 30ish Menu


Yes you read that right, I'm still eating whole30ish.  ;)
What does the 'ish' mean?
Well I still don't eat grain, or beans, I try to avoid extra sugar and dairy, but I have brought back my half and half for my morning coffee.  The world looks a little better when I have my coffee. 
And yes, I tried every form of coconut and almond milk and a dozen recipes for homemade faux creams.  No... just no.  I have my limits.  ;)


I still eat bacon and eggs for breakfast, but this day I added purple potatoes from our garden.
Some morning, eggs with chorizo (look for no added sugar or nitrites just like the bacon).
Lunch is usually a salad, but with LOTS of stuff. 

Fruit and nuts with meat from the night before.

Chicken is a favorite for lunch.  Cold or hot.

Strawberries and green olives made a lot of people question our taste-buds, but we actually enjoy the salty sweet combo.

One of my favorite snacks is bananas dipped in almond butter. 

...and fruit salad.  But earlier in the day.  The natural sugars will sit if you eat late at night.  Trust me, we did that for a week and didn't lose a pound.  ARGH!
This was an interesting dinner.  The husband made homemade salsa, and an egg/avocado omelet with a side of cauliflower 'stuffing'.  Doesn't look all that pretty, but was delicious. 

Beef stir fry, instead of soy sauce and traditional rice, we used balsamic vinegar and cauliflower. 

Chicken stir fry...

If you've not made spaghetti squash, do it!  Just cut open, clean out the seeds, drizzle olive oil, salt and pepper, bake at 350 for about an hour, then scrape the insides out with a fork and you'll have what looks like noodles.  It has a bit of crunch, the kids love it!

Many of our meals are simple, the same stuff we ate before the whole30.  Meat, and two veggies.  This time it was okra and asparagus.  (Sad, sad asparagus.)  ;)

We've had a lot of people ask about the cauliflower rice.  I'll do a separate blog on that since there are numerous ways to spice it up and change the taste. 

* We're on week 17 now and I've lost 35lbs, the husband 30lbs.  We splurge, we don't exercise (hoping to change that) and we don't worry too much.  I will go a month and not lose a pound, then one week 5.  So I just keep moving forward because I have more energy, my clothes keep getting looser and my joints feel 100% better. 

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Repairing and DIYing


August is when we spend a lot of time entertaining.  Which is pretty silly considering it's the hottest part of summer here in west Texas.  But the end of a season means squeezing in as much as we can before the start of another.  So with friends and family coming over I decided to make a quick repair to an old card table and add some shade to our back patio.


Project Card Table:

This 20-year old card table has seen a lot of parties, crafts and garage sales.  Because of it, the vinyl cover has some pretty serious worn spots on it, notable along the edges.  I normally toss a tablecloth over it, but with our unnaturally strong winds we always have to tie or weigh the cloth down.  I’d had my fill of that and decided it was time to recover it. 




 ... project continued on Joy Comes in the Morning.





Project Patio Shade:

My next project I needed some extra shade for our back patio and more privacy as the live borders started to die back.  I've seen some beautiful outdoor curtains but couldn't afford them.  When I stumbled across some inexpensive material, I had an idea.  



... also continued on Joy Comes in the Morning.  

* Correction:  
I posted I bought 9'X12' canvas (I found that size for $19 at Walmart.)  What I bought were 6'X9' for $8 at Big Lots. 

Friday, August 29, 2014

Organizing Ideas for a New School Year


This is the year that all my kids are in school.  <insert Snoopy dance>
Week one has been more successful than I had anticipated.  Yes the two kindergarteners have already had a warning sent home, but I've not forgotten that these are my kids.  I was in trouble most of elementary until I learned to control myself.  I was a fast worker and an avid socializer.  Seems my little ones are more like me than I initially thought.  ;)
So with a week under our belts I thought I'd give our fun windows a makeover.  Nothing major, just a few clothespins and a $1 piece of contact paper. 


The windows on the outside are for the Kindergarteners.  Each window has 5 clothespins with the days of the week written on them.  Each day they pull out their work from their folders and hang them.  This is their opportunity to show off what they drew and what they learned.  In the middle I have a little dry erase sheet to put encouraging words.  The pockets house flashcards, dry erase markers and an erasure.  The oldest... she still owns the fridge doors.  ;)

 
When we sit down to dinner the twins can point to their window and talk about what they learned that day. 

I hot glued clothes pins on each window with the days of the week written on them. 

$1 for a sheet of contact paper that works as a dry erase surface.  You can write directly on the glass, but it's very hard to see.


My next project was super simple and can be done with stuff you probably already have around the house.  I had this small basket, it was big enough to fit two Kindles and an iPod.  With a box of cute clips (6 for $1) I ran the chords through them so they wouldn't tangle.  On the side I hung an old jean pocket I cut out of jeans I no longer wore and used it to store earbuds.  
Now the kids have one place to charge all their electronics and store them at night.  After school they know exactly where to find them and no one is fighting over the others charger.  
(Yes... it happened often.)  ;)

 

I let the kids pick their clip colors... y'all know that's super important. 
As you can see from my board above, I <3 old jean pockets.  :)