***Originally posted February 12, 2014***
It’s a last-minute post, but I *just* figured out how to package this up. You’ve probably seen “Flubber recipes” all over Pinterest. The basic idea is to mix Elmer’s glue, warm water, and food coloring in one bowl, and water and Borax in another bowl. When you combine the two, you get Flubber! We made some over the summer, and the kiddo LOVED it. We had it in a tupperware container, and it lasted for months.
As you’ve seen before, I’m a fan of simple gifts that aren’t necessarily food when giving gifts to classmates. I’m just wary of dietary issues, and creating the expectation that all celebrations have to involve sugary treats! (What a party pooper!) But really, I want to give things that kiddo can help make, and that are an alternative to the inevitable influx of candy. (Trust me, I LOVE the candy…) So I thought giving out homemade flubber would be a great gift for 2-3 (or 4 or 5 or 6) year-olds.
Who doesn’t love playing with goop?
Last night was a dear friend’s 30th birthday party. The theme was “Saying Goodbye to Her Roaring 20’s,” which meant figuring out a little themey dress-up! I did some hunting around Pinterest for inspiration, and realized quickly that if I wanted to do finger waves, I was going to need a lot of time and practice. And long clips, which I don’t have. So I decided to just use hot rollers and whip together a headband. Easy-peasy!
I did a search on Pinterest for “20s headband,” and these popped up:
Sparkles, feathers, and leaves are the main ingredients!
I love the look of ornate frames, but I VERY STRONGLY DISLIKE the typical aged-bronzey goldish finish. Case in point:
A bronze mirror, begging for a makeover.
However, it’s a super easy fix. Hint: it rhymes with “Schpray Schraint.”
I’ve been meaning to post these a while back, but I figure since Mother’s Day is coming up (hint…hint), I figured this would be a timely post!
I figured out an easy way for your young’n to help make a legible greeting card for any occasion, and it’s quick! You don’t need any artistic skill whatsoever, just a little patience to let the paint dry. The pictures are from a farewell gift for one of my daughter’s teachers. She was wonderful, and was leaving daycare to pursue her advanced degree.
Even very young children can make a legible card!
I’ve posted about our crazy garden before. The previous homeowners were very conscientious organic gardeners and had worked their way up to a self-sustaining edible and flowering garden. It was amazing when we first saw the house, then it quickly became a tangled, invasive jungle. I mean, kale growing 6′ tall. Bushels of flowering broccoli (aka, beyond edible). And then the morning glory, wisteria, alstrumeria, Chilean jasmine, midnight berries, and others that were just TAKING OVER. (Doesn’t it sound like I know something about plants? I don’t. I just fake it.)
I thought I could handle it myself. So I pulled, chopped, yanked for about 12 hours straight. And managed to tweak my neck to immobility for a week. Fail. Oh, and all that overgrowth came back in a few weeks! Plus some!
Thankfully the City allows free yard waste disposal.
I’ve mentioned before that we moved into a 107 year old house last summer, right? Well, the family who lived there before did a renovation in the late 1990’s…and that’s where the house has stayed since. I’m hesitant to embark on any major updates since we’re planning to do some renovations and upgrades soon and I don’t want to make anything that will end up being ripped out in a couple of months, but there are a few things on the list that can become a project. Mostly because they irritate the hell out of me, but partly because they might end up being part of the new design. The biggest constraint is to keep the budget small…as in, miniscule. So this week’s project was a small one, but kind of fun because I got to whip out my paints and experiment….
Upgrade the Shade
Our kitchen is pretty dark and has one small window facing North. The roller shade on it fits well and does the job to give us privacy from the next door neighbors but it was NASTY. Decades of dirty dish water spray and kitchen gunk discolored it. Plus, it was a country-cottage style that I’m not terribly fond of. So, I decided to touch it up.
Years of grime and exposure yellowed the bottom half. There’s no explanation for the design, though.
We bought our house last summer because it has some really lovely features. The hickory floors were clearly laid by hand with love. The cabinets are solid wood. The baseboards are gorgeous. And the family that rebuilt this home clearly loved it. I mean, they loved it A LOT. Like, a lot.
Our bathroom is a good example. 2 adults and 3 boys shared this room, and the vanity clearly received the tactile admiration of the whole family over and over and over again.
The badness is inspiring even worse puns.
I found this well-loved desk in Goodwill months ago. I grabbed it for $15, knowing it just needed a little TLC. It’s smaller than a regular desk, perfect for an elementary school-aged student (or a hall table until then…). I loved the shape and the little details (brass keyhole, pull-out writing surface), and wanted to retain some of the original character. So I decided instead of refinishing it like I did with the bench project, I decided to just restore it.
She was a little rough when I got her.
She had some great features, like a locking drawer and pull-out writing surface, but the wood was stained and dry and DIRTY.
For about 11 bucks and 2 hours, you can freshen up a room.
One of my favorite inexpensive makeovers to do for a room is to paint the switchplates. You know, the ugly, yellowing plastic covers for your plugs and light switches? I got this idea because when I touched up our basement, I found that we had like a THOUSAND different switchplates: aluminum, yellowing plastic, grayish plastic, whitish plastic. All of them were beat up and, well, hideous. Replacing all of them would have been pricey and unjustifiable to my husband, who, bless his heart, couldn’t care less about a little detail like that. I like the look of the oil-rubbed bronze, plus we have several light fixtures around the house in that finish. When I looked at buying new ones, the 2-plug covers and light switches were about $3 each, and the specialty multiple plug/light switch combos were $8 or more. Yeah, dumb to pay that much.
Now that the holidays are over and we’re deep into January gloom, I can reflect on our first Advent-ure with an advent calendar. (See how I did that?) I wish I could tell you that I had a deep understanding of the advent tradition. In my family, it was just a countdown to Christmas. Some years my great aunt would send us a calendar with a little chocolate behind each day, and most years, we’d move a small teddy bear around an advent quilt. Since I didn’t want to get the kiddo all sugared up every night before bedtime, and I don’t have the skills to make an advent quilt, I decided to go with what I know: Post-Its and doodles.
All you need is some poster board, Post-It notes, and markers (maybe stickers too, if you’re feeling crafty)