Tuesday, June 26, 2012

A Pretty Fridge is a Happy Fridge.

Yesterday I decided to organize our refrigerator in an attempt to make it slightly more aesthetically pleasing. We have certain documents that we keep on our fridge at all times,(cleaning schedule, infant CPR instructions, infant feeding guide) So that these documents remain fully visible and don't need extra magnets I used spray adhesive to back these documents with scrapbook paper. I'm really happy with how these turned out, the colors of the scrapbook paper are accent colors in our kitchen and the paper gives these documents a little more stability. I popped a peel and stick magnet on the back and voila! 
One of the most annoying things that take up a million magnets on our fridge is our bills! We hang our bills on the fridge until they are paid and they take up a lot of space and a lot of magnets. 
My Solution: The Bill Bar!
The only supplies you need are.....
Paint Stir Stick
Scrapbook Paper
Mini Clothespins 
Hot Glue/ Glue Gun

Step 1:
Trace and cutout scrapbook paper.

Step 2:
Glue paper to the stir stick.

Step 4:
Paint your clothespins coordinating colors

Step 4:
Glue your clothes pins to the stir stick

Step 5:
Glue your magnets to the back of the stir stick

TA-DAH! A Bill Bar!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Chalk-It-Up to Practicality.

We love chalkboard stuff around here. In-fact we have a whole chalkboard wall (more on that later).
It's not just a typical chalkboard that tickles my fancy but rather the use of chalkboards as labels. 
I love them so much, I even used them at my wedding!
So why do I love chalkboard labeling so much(and why should you)?
A. It's practical.
The great thing about chalkboard labeling is that you can change your mind about anything you labeled or how you labeled it. You can change the color, the font/writing, you can even decide you want something totally different in that container all together.
B. It's cute.
Let's be honest it's just way more aesthetically pleasing than a piece of tape with pen scrawled across it.
You can pretty much paint a chalkboard square on any container and create a nice area to label your container, however if your surface is shiny and plastic it most-likely will not stick and even if it does stick to your surface you must tape off the area to get a nice even area to write on.
I found myself in this predicament today when I went to label the cat and dog's food containers. I came across a great solution... Chalkboard stickers!
All you need is the sticker labels in any shape or size you desire.
Chalkboard paint (or you can make your own, recipe at the bottom)
Step One.
Paint labels and let dry.
Step Two.
Peel off and stick on.
Step Three.
Enjoy your labels!

Homemade chalkboard paint.
I've made this paint two different ways and both work equally as well.
Method One.
Black (or what ever color you desire) acrylic paint
Plaster wall patch, dry mix. This should be a powder, if it's a paste you've got the wrong stuff.
Mix your desired amount of paint with about a third as much of the wall patch mix. If you want a paint with a little more grit you can add more of the dry mix.
Method Two.
Is exactly the same as the first method but you use baking soda instead of the dry mix. You can really customize this recipe as much as you want, it's very hard to add too much baking soda or dry mix to the paint.

Saturday, June 2, 2012


I guess I just had other things on my mind all that other times I was unloading the dishwasher because I know that cloudy look to our glasses and the almost tarnished looking silverware hadn't JUST appeared there. So I immediately began to try and discover the cause.....
I thought I was doing most things right, I pre-washed, I even talked to my sweet hubby about pre-washing the dishes, because he is very nice and likes to load and unload the dishwasher for me a lot :)
We were using the cascade complete gel with bleach, which I though was the good stuff....or maybe I'm just a sucker for advertising. Anyway, we were paying like we were using the good stuff and it was making our dishes look NASTY.
I emailed our land-lady to ask her if this was an issue when they lived in the house or if maybe the washer needed to be serviced, she said it had always been that way but if I used a finishing agent it would probably reduce some of the cloudiness. Well, people Jetdry isn't cheap and it comes in a small bottle and I really didn't want to pay a whole lot for a tiny chance that it would PROBABLY make my dishes look cleaner so I turned to the internet and read all about what people were saying about DIY dish detergent.
I make my own laundry detergent and use it in a HE front-loading washer and it works great so I really wasn't scared about putting homemade remedies in my dishwasher. 
I came across a recipe for homemade dish detergent here and it was....ALRIGHT. It cut down the cloudiness but not a whole lot so I read some more, tweaked my approach and achieved perfection.
              •  1 cup Borax
              •  1 cup Washing Soda
              •  1/2 cup Kosher Salt
              •  1/2 cup Citric Acid 

All these ingredients are super easy to find anywhere, so that was fabulous. I was a little worried about the citric acid but that was really easy too, they will have it at any Walmart or grocery store in the canning supplies.
So you will want to put all those ingredients in a bowl and whisk them together....
When you whisk all the ingredients together you get this nice little powdery mixture, DON"T ASSUME YOU'RE DONE!!
My first attempt at this stuff I just put the mixture in a container and when I woke up the next morning and did my dishes, this is what I found...
It pretty much looked like huge clumps of feta cheese, but it does not crumble so easily. some of the rocks it made were HUGE and would just be unusable because it seemed that the different ingredients had found itself and only adhered to particles like it.
Turns out citric acid will make the mixture separate and clump, NO GOOD. However you can always breakout your trusty food processor to help break down all those little clumps into a nice powder once again, so I did. 
and added the broken down, older batch too it in a mixing bowl. I read that if you make a batch, leave it out on your counter in a bowl for a day or two after you make it, whisking it periodically it will maintain a powdery form and then you can store it in a container without it clumping.
I left the mixture out for three days before containing it. The morning of day two the mixture seemed kind of sticky, like the powder was slightly wet (BUT IT WASN'T). I just whisked it back into a powder and let it sit for another day and a half and it was good to go, NO MORE STICKING.
For my first try with homemade dish detergent I was doing the 1/2 cup vinegar mixed with three drops dish soap and just pouring it in the bottom of the washer with the 1TBS of detergent, like I said before this wasn't giving me the results I wanted. Thanks to research I now pour vinegar into the rinse agent dispenser and make sure it stays full. I still pour 1 TBS of the detergent in the bottom of the washer and then the washer releases the vinegar when it's doing it's thang.
The little spoon is the old recipe, it's not TERRIBLE, but it's nothing compared to the nice shiny spoons I now have (Big spoon).