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  • I saw this costume idea on the Kraft Macaroni and Cheese Facebook Page and I just had to share.  I wonder how much it would cost to enlarge the label like that.

     

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  • I am usually a live and let live sort of person when it comes to bugs.  I’ll admit all bets were off a few weeks ago when I was stung on the foot by a wasp that was hiding in my shoe.  But usually you’ll find me catching a cricket or spider that has found its way into the house and I put them outside.  I don’t know if it is because I’ve heard how beneficial they are to have around or because I’ve just watched too many cartoons with talking bugs.  Most likely the reason is that I don’t like having to clean up the mess they make when you squish them.  With this said, I still don’t like them in my house but this time of year its pretty inevitable that they will start moving into your house with the cold weather.   You can imagine how happy I was when a couple of daddy long legs hatched a billion little babies in my downstairs bathroom.  Luckily it is also the season that you can find Hedgeballs.  Hedgeballs are in the citrus family but you don’t want to eat them.  For some reason spiders and bugs don’t like to be near them.  I got a really good chance to test them out with all those daddy long legs this year.  I put a Hedgeball in that bathroom and the next day there were only 2 spiders left.  I’ve been told that they work even after they dry up to the size of a walnut.  I did learn that if you are going to put them on carpet like under a bed, you want to put them on something to protect the carpet.  I used the lid to a sour cream container.  If you decide you want to give them a try, I found mine for $1 each at Haggars in Black Hawk.

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  • OK I’ll admit it.  I am a crayon snob.  I do not like using crayons that are dull or broken.  I’ve heard of people melting them down and making new crayons out of them.  I decided to give it a try.  Here is how it went.

    Things you need:

    • Silicone candy molds or muffin tins
    • Cookie sheet (if using silicone mold)
    • cooking spray (if using muffin tin)
    • cutting board and knife
    • crayon chunks with wrappers removed

    This is the mold I used.  It is a silicone candy mold that says it can be heated up to over 400 degrees.  I got it at Hobby Lobby over a year ago.  I’ve seen that Avon has had some really cute ones too.  I put the mold on a cookie sheet since its so floppy.  I liked the idea of using these better than the muffin tins because they seem much easier to get out and of course because cute shapes are always more fun.

    I preheated the oven to 150 degrees but I ended up turning the heat up to 250 towards the end but the ones in the middle didn’t get as melted so maybe 200 would have been better.

    I started b y breaking the crayons by hand and putting big chunks in the mold but I found it much easier to fit them in the molds when I chopped them a little

    I let the kids pick 2 colors per butterfly.

    Next it was time to go in the oven.  I started with 10 minutes but ended up having to raise the temperature and heat for a total of 20 minutes.

    I told the kids to keep an eye on the crayons and watch for smoke (in case we didn’t get all the paper off)  They took their job very seriously.

    This is what they looked like when I took them out of the oven.  The green and orange one was a little full but the part that ran peeled off easily.  It just took longer to cool.  The ones in the center didn’t melt as much and ended up crumbling apart.  At this point I could have taken a toothpick and swirled them but chose not to.

    I waited until they were pretty solid to pop them out.  Some took longer than others.  They still need to cool a little more before the kids can use them.  I didn’t think about getting a picture of them in use.  Maybe  I’ll add that later.

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  • Here is a recipe I came across to make Homemade Carpet Shampoo/Cleaner for Carpet cleaning machines.  Should be safe to use in any machine.
    1 1/2 quarts of hot (NOT boiling) water
    1/4 cup of 3% Hydrogen Peroxide (it’s the regular hydrogen peroxide that you can get at any store)
    1 1/2 Tablespoons of White Vinegar
    1 1/2 Tablespoons of Dish Soap
    About 1/8 of a teaspoon of your favorite essential oil(s) – either just one or a combination.
    Mix all of the ingredients together (be sure to add the dish soap to the water and not the water to the dish soap) and pour into your carpet cleaning machine… then clean like the directions tell you to.
    Thank You Surviving the Stores
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  • I have been using homemade laundry soap for the last few months and I’m ready to weigh in on my opinion.  I think it cleans just as good as the soap I was using before.  I use a dry recipe becaue its easier to make.  The only problem I’ve had is that since I didn’t melt the bar soap shavings like you do with the liquid recipe, I’d often have soap shavings left stuck to my clothes when using cold water.  I learned to remedy this by putting a little hot water in the machine and adding the soap right away then letting it sit for a little bit before running the cold water in.  I’ve also thought about blending the shavings finer by running in the blender.  These are both low suds recipes that are inexpensive to make. 

    The recipe I use is:

    1 bar soap grated (I use Ivory, some recommend Fels Naptha,  I’ve heard you can use any soap but I’m a little leary of anything with color in it)

    2 cups Washing soda (not baking soda- you can find it at the Ace Hardware on West Main Rapid City)

    2 cups Borax (can be found in the laundry aisle at just about any store)

    *optional- you can add some powdered oxy clean if you want

    I just mix all the ingredients together in an ice cream bucket and use about 2 TBs per load. Mix before each use.  I just made a double batch and I plan to keep track of how many loads that does this time.  I’ll let you know.  I got 10 bars of Ivory for $3, the Borax I got for $5 (but I think I could find it cheaper) and can get about 5 batches from a box,  the Washing Soda was about $3 and I can get 3 batches from it.

    For the liquid version:

    1 bar of soap grated 

    1 cup Borax
    1 cup washing soda

    Fill a 1 gallon jug with water and pour water and grated bar of soap in a pot.  Heat until the soap dissolves.

    Add the washing soda and Borax and bring to a boil.  It will coagulate.

    Remove from heat and add 1 gallon of cold water.

    Use a funnel to pour into containers (can use old soap bottles or gallon milk jugs)

    Use about a 1/2 cup per load.  Shake before each use because it is a watery gel that separates a little.

    Thank You Why Not Sew

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  • Some people compost because it is good for their garden or flowers.  Others to reduce their garbage output.  Some want to but don’t know how.  Others have never though about it.  We have a compost pile in the corner of our garden but I’ve been wanting to do something different that would help it break down faster.  I found instructions for making your own compost bin out of a garbage can with lid, a drill, and some bungee cords.

    1. Drill holes in the sides and lid (the more air getting in the better)

    2. Fill with compostable materials

    3. Store in the sun

    4. Have your kids roll it around the yard every few days.

    For instructions with pictures Go Here

    Thank You to The Happy Housewife

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  • The most thifty thing you can do is to reuse packing materials from packages you’ve recieved.  Storing these things however is not always possible for everyone.  Some have limited storage space.  That is why I thought I’d pass on this tip I heard today.  The post office actually recommends popped popcorn in place of packing peanuts.  I’m thinking you’d want to use air popped popcorn to avoid oil all over your box.  Popcorn is pretty cheap especially if you buy generic and it goes a long way.  And when it is done being packing material, the recipient can string it for their Christmas tree or feed it to the birds. 

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  • Another reason empty spray bottles are useful to keep around.

    Homemade Glass Cleaner is simple and quick to make, and is so thrifty!!

    What You’ll Need:

    • 1 cup Water
    • 1/4 cup White Vinegar
    • 2 to 3 drops Dawn Dish Soap
    • Empty Spray Bottle

    Combine water, white vinegar, and dawn dish soap in an empty spray bottle, and… that’s it!  You’ve just made Homemade Glass Cleaner!

    Thank you to Frugal Girls for the recipe

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  • I’m a little late posting this as Halloween is fast approaching, but my fellow procrastinators out there might find this article useful.  Here is the link to 75 ADORABLE homemade toddler Halloween costumes, submitted by moms.

    75 Cute Homemade Toddler Halloween Costume Ideas

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  • Homemade Fabric Softener Recipe:

    • 6 cups HOT water
    • 3 cups white vinegar
    • 2 cups Suave Refreshing Waterfall Conditioner {or other favorite scent}

    Mix conditioner & hot water well, until conditioner is dissolved completely.

    Add the vinegar, and mix well.

    Store in a large container {empty fabric softener container, empty large vinegar bottle, etc}

    Pour into a downy ball, or the fabric softener spot in your laundry machine, then wash!

    I found this on the Frugal Girls website.  They have a lot of great information!

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