Friday, 24 February 2012

Handmade Gel Air Fresheners

Handmade Gel Air fresheners

I love my house smelling fresh and love scented candles but have found leaving them burn most of the day has spiked my cats interest and has burned a few wiskers or two.  So when I stumbled onto this alternative I was excited!!! These gel air fresheners are the perfect solution…..and cheap too!

This little project is simple and quick. It took me a whole 5 minutes. First gather your supplies:

- 4 glass jar containers that can hold at least 1 cup of fluid
- 4 Packets of Knox unflavoured Gelatine
- 2 cups boiling water
- 1 cup vodka or 1 Tbsp of salt
- 2 Tbsp of Fragrance oil of your choice 
- food colouring 

I found these, perfect for the job, at a dollar store ($1.25 a jar. SCORE!)

oh another handy tip,  To take stickers off with ease….simply use your hair dryer on high heat for a min or so and VOILA! they come off like magic!

Now plug in your electric kettle and get some water going

While waiting for your water to boil Place a few drops of food colouring in the bottom of each jar.  1 or 2 is all you need.
 Add 1/2 Tbsp or 30 drops of essential oil give or take. The more you put in the stronger the smell. I used Orange oil simply because I LOVE anything citrus.

If you're using vodka, add it to the food colouring mixture now, if using salt wait for further instruction.

Why add salt or vodka?  Apparently it helps the gel from holding fully. Odd but true!

your water should be boiling by now so pour 2 cups of boiling water into a glass bowl and whisk in the gelatine until fully dissolved. If you're using salt……here is the time to add it as well.  

Once your mixture is fully combined pour into your containers and mix in with a disposable plastic spoon.

Let these set overnight and in the morning you have wonderful little air fresheners.
Each jar should last about a month.

Happy Pinning!

Monday, 20 February 2012

Creative Consequences and Rewards

I was recently inspired by a article and it's creative consequences found here.  With 4 kids of my own ranging in ages from 7 - 12 the typical time out or grounding just wasn't having the same effect as I wanted it to anymore.  And grounding them for simply calling their sister a retard seemed a little overboard. So I needed something to fill the gaps.  Most of the time they simply need to diffuse themselves from the situation and focus their angry energy upon something else....not SOMEONE else.  So this article got the creative juices flowing.  Introducing our newest additions to the family......

 The Naughty Jar contains chores, acts of kindness and reminders for them.  When they do something unkind, hurtful, disrespectful, ext.. they must pick a task from the jar and they MUST complete it.  If they make a big fuss and refuse they get 2 tasks. If it carries on further they simply get grounded.  They are not all chores or what one might call an actual punishment, some are silly, some are just down right annoying, but it's a way to get them out of the situation and busy with something else.  So far it's working.

Below is a list of the many consequences of the Naughty jar...

Wipe down chairs and table legs
No friends inside
Clean kids bathroom
Go have a bath / shower
write and Sing your mom a song about what u did wrong
Clean Mom and Dad's shower
Give your siblings a hug and tell them why u love them
match socks :)
Write an apology letter
mom picks
empty the dishwasherPlay with sibling (NICELY) for 30 mins
Clean up backyard
Tidy Book Shelf
wash the durango
do 2 easy puzzles or 1 hard one
Clean out the durango
Mercy (look up in dictionary) - read Deuteronomy 4:31 
Clean your room
Forgive (dictionary) - read Matthew 6: 14-15
Watch Barney videos for 10 mins
Anger - Ephesians 4: 31-32  / Psalm 103: 8-10 / Provebs 16: 32
clean microwave
Obedience (dictionary) - John 15: 10-12 / Colossians 3: 20
Read for 15 mins
Compassion (dictionary) - 1 Peter 3: 8 / Hebrews 13: 3
clean the front door 
got to bed 30 mins early
Clean basement
Be the server at dinner today (must set table and all condiments and such)
No video games today
draw and colour a picture of you doing something kind for a sibling
brush both cats

There definitely has been less fighting around here. Within a week my 9 year old son made an acute observation that if we are being "punished" for our bad actions shouldn't we be "rewarded" for the good we do.  I can't fully argue with that theory. However I don't want them to get the idea that they will we rewarded for every good deed they do. Or that they should only do kind things if they expect something in return.   So I agreed and set up a "Nice" jar.  I, as I am sure most parents, want my children to grow up being thoughtful, kind, helpful and generous. Although sometimes they need a little incentive to get their minds thinking that way. The nice jar is a great reminder.  I explained that these are random act that will be rewarded. Not ones in an attempt to gain a reward.  When they go out of their way to to do something kind, helpful, generous or thoughtful and expect nothing in return they may have the opportunity to be rewarded.  And you won't ALWAYS get one.  They can't come and tell me they've done something kind to get rewarded they must do it because they want to help someone out, make someones life a wee bit easier or brighten someones day.  If I notice the kind gesture or act of goodwill or helpful nature I will choose to validate by praise and on occasion they get to pick from the Nice jar.

Here is the list of "Rewards" I came up with 

get extra dessert on dessert night

Stay up 15 mins past bed time

pick from treat bag (treat bag is pilled with chocolate bars)

bake with Mom - u choose

free back massage
Mom must play a game with you of your choice
have a hot chocolate date with Mom or Dad
snuggle time while we watch any show u choose
pick supper one night
Pick dessert for dessert night
free pass - Mom cleans your room
Make Jello
stay up 30 mins past bedtime
Mom picks
1 extra snack in lunch
Free pass on Litter duty
camp out in the basement / outside
have a picnic
Take a cat to bed with you
Water balloons 
everyone plays Charades (15 mins)
30 mins extra electronics time
free pass on making your bed

The kids really do make bigger attempts to be helpful and thoughtful now.   It's a very welcomed change.  I'm not gonna lie, whether u feel it's bribery or not, it's brought a new sense of compassion to my home.  It may be somewhat false in the beginning but they more they're thinking about doing things for others, the more it becomes second nature.
Happy Pinning!!!

Cheap, Easy Fabric Softener

I found this pin promising fabulous laundry results with little effort and cost.  How cheap you ask?  How Easy?   Well it is quite the commitment to take on this project.  It Took me a whole 5 mins! My math to figure out costs took longer than the making of the actual fabric softener.  We're talking about mixing 4 ingredients at a total cost of $2.62 for 44 loads.  Yep, that works out to only $0.06 / load.   CRAZY right!  How could I not try this out.  So here it is....

Homemade Fabric Softener:
- 6 cups of hot water
- 2 cups of conditioner (white / non dyed preferred)
- 3 cups of vinegar
10-15 drops of essential oils of your choice (optional if your conditioner has a strong enough scent)

 mix conditioner and hot water in large bowl till conditioner is dissolved completely - Add vinegar. 
 It will break apart and look very clumpy, I had to break out my wisk. Add you scent

 pour and store in container of choice. (I just went with a empty clean milk jug)
Now you can use your fabric softener 3 different ways. 
1 - give it a swirl and simply pour 1/4 cup for a reg load (or 1/2 cup for an extra large load) in your dispenser as u typically would
2 - you can put it in a spray bottle and spritz it on a washcloth and throw it in the dryer with your load
3 - you can soak a washcloth in the softened, take it out and let it dry.  Then use it the same as u would a dryer sheet

It leaves your clothes soft, smelling fresh, and static free.  I'm never going back

In the dryer months if you feel you still have static issues, throw in a wadded up ball of Tin foil into your dryer.   It helps dissipate the charge given off by the dryer. 
Happy Pinning!!

River Rock Hot Plate

I found this beautifully genius idea for DIY hot plates.  It was honestly just a backdrop to an Etsy Teapot for sale but I thought...HA! I can do that.  Obviously it came with no instructions but hard could it be.

This is the original..
 Pretty right, and simple enough for even me to tackle.  So I made a trip to the local dollar store and grabbed me some grey felt (3 sheets / $1)  and some relatively flat river rocks ($1/ bag) score!

I gathered all my supplies.  Scissors, glue gun, rocks, felt and Old scratched up CD's to put between the felt to keep it stiff and not floppy.  I have my moments of brilliance! :)

So I go ahead and hot glue the CD to a piece of felt, and cut around it leaving about a half inch extra felt all the way around to seal the two sides together. 

Then using the cover CD and a guide I cut another piece of felt to glue to the top side of the CD

Next you simply pick out the flattest rocks from and begin glueing from the centre outward.

Keep going till you have the whole round covered

Looks great, felt smooth and flat and I was proud of my small accomplishment.  I'm not gonna lie I was excited to give it a try at supper that night and we did!  It was pretty.....I'll give it that but functional ....not so much.  It felt flat and level but I'm not sure it was level enough.  It was slippery, the glass bottom pyrex kept slipping off, the baking stone however sat better.  Being the borderline genius that I am, I however failed to realize that if Hot glue is warmed to melt and stick things can also be warmed to unstick.  lol  A few rocks did fall off.  I'm thinking I may try a different glue for the rocks.  Or just stick to the boring wooden hot plates I already have.  
Happy Pinning! 

Cleaning 101

OK I'm not gonna lie, other peoples tidy and organized houses, closets, bathrooms and especially kitchens get me pretty excited.  I'm not exactly the most tidy of people but I would love to be..... it just wreaks of effort.  As the mother of 4 kids, who don't know what it means to pick up anything, there tends to be a lot of "stuff" and never enough room to put it.   So I found a means of attack that actually seemed doable.   The original found here, broke it down with daily tasks that weren't overwhelming and then a 14 week rotation where as u tackle a whole room from top to bottom. We're talking total overhaul. Daunting I know, but when u have a whole week to get it done and only ONE room it is realistically achievable, even for me.  I LOVE lists.... mostly because I can't remember anything....but I do LOVE lists....doing everything on the list, not so much. lol  So I took my lists a little further and broke down each room so I wouldn't forget anything.  I printed it all off and threw it into protective sleeves in a binder to take with me from room to room.  Here is my overall breakdown of my weekly schedule as well as my 14 week rotation.

Cleaning Schedule

MONDAY :  Grocery shopping - Change Sheets (launder sheets and towels)

TUESDAY: Kitchen - Tidy ,wipe down fridge / wash floors (kitchen & living room), wash windows

WEDNESDAY: Tidy Living room - dust and Vacuum (including stairs) - wipe down front door and railing

THURSDAY: Laundry - basement (tidy / vacuum)

FRIDAY: Bathrooms - all 3

SATURDAY or SUNDAY Master bedroom tidy - kids clean their rooms

14 week rotation

1 - master bedroom and closet

2- Master bath

3 - Kids bathroom

4 - Hallway / Stairway

5 - Living room

6 - Kitchen

7 - Pantry

8 - 1/2 bath

9 - back entry 

10 - Cupboards

11 - fridge

12 - basement

13 - backyard

14 - steam clean chairs

Week 1 - Master Bedroom and closet

- dust all surfaces
- windows / sills
- Blinds
- wash walls
- light fixtures
- baseboards
- vacuum
- clean door
- Organize closet and asses donations

WEEK 2 - Master Bath

- launder bath mats
- clean shower head
- scrub grout
- baseboards
- windows / sills
- light fixtures
- organize cupboards
- wash walls
- clean door

WEEK 3 - Kids bathroom

- launder bath mats
- clean shower head
- scrub grout
- baseboards
- windows / sills
- light fixtures
- organize cupboards
- wash walls
- clean door
WEEK 4 - Hallway / stairs

- vacuum
- wash walls
- wipe down banister and rails
- tidy bookshelf and bins
- clean front door
- clean out and organize front closet 

WEEK 5 - Living room

- vacuum
- windows / sills
- dust (light fixtures)
- vacuum couch / chair
- launder rug
- tidy / organize / toss
- wash walls
- wipe down leather couches

WEEK 6 - Kitchen

-  wipe down counters
- clean oven / stove top
- back splash
-  microwave
- fronts of cupboards
- wash walls
- bleach sinks
- disinfect trash can
- clean sliding door

WEEK 7 - Pantry

- clean out / wipe down / organize
- wipe down outside of cabinets

WEEK 8 - 1/2 bath

- scrub grout
- baseboards
- light fixtures
- organize cupboards
- wash walls
- clean door

WEEK 9  - Back entry
- organize shelves
- wash walls
- launder rug
- tidy shoes / jackets
- wash door
- blinds

WEEK 10 - Cupboards

- clean out junk
- wipe down shelves / drawers
- reorganize

WEEK 11  -Fridge

- clean out expired food
- wipe out entirely
- clean outside

WEEK 12 - basement

- tidy
- vacuum
- wash walls
- dust electronics
- dust light fixtures
- wipe down leather couches

WEEK 13 - backyard

- rake / mow
- clean up toys
- tidy back entrance
- clean flowerbeds
- trim plants
- clean outside windows

WEEK 14 - Dining Room

- wipe down chairs and table legs 
- dining room chairs / bench
- tighten screws
- steam clean chairs
- windows / sils
- wipe down baseboards
- wash walls
- clean blinds

I know it looks like a lot, but don't let it get you.  It really has simplified my life and made cleaning manageable.  I no longer fear the unexpected drop ins of friends and family cause I know as long as I stay on top of my dailies, the place doesn't look too bad.
Happy Pinning!!


The start of it all....

Hi I'm Rachel and I'm a Pinterest addict.  yes, it's true.... Just a few short months ago I was introduced to the obsession known to many as  Pinterest
 If you haven't yet been exposed to this world I'll warn you now, it truly is an addiction. A flurry of amazing information and tools that leave u drooling and in awe....but a complete addiction.  I fell hook, line and sinker.  They sucked me in with DIY crafts and scrumptious recipes, the delusional glow of a clean and organized house that I could potentially have and kept me glued with a never ending supply of new "save money" tips and tricks for the DIYer.  So now here I am, completely new to this, blogging my journey of the trials, errors and yes...Triumphs of my Pinterest Affair