Thursday, October 30, 2014

DIY Minnie Mouse ears: A last-minute Halloween costume

      When a halloween costume is not in the budget, I DIY! :-) This is one of the cheapest DIY's I've ever done. The total cost for a pair of Minnie Mouse ears? ONE DOLLAR!!! 
      I knew my sweetie's Minnie Mouse costume had to be free or low-cost. I had a little skirt with polka dots already and I found a red shirt at a local thrift store. It was 50% off, so it ended up being about 75 cents for the shirt. :-) But no Minnie Mouse costume is complete without the iconic ears and bow! I knew I could make one for muuuch cheaper than what I could buy one for, and since Halloween is....a day away, this had to be done myself.  I was inspired by this tutorial!
     Thankfully, I got sooo lucky at Dollar Tree and found a headband that had a big red bow on it already! It was the perfect base to build my Minnie Mouse ears off of.  Here's the step-by-step.

     1. Carefully remove the bow from the headband. 

     2. Use a cup (or anything round) to draw a couple circles onto some cardboard and cut them out. Cut them slightly smaller than the marked line. The cardboard is necessary so that the ears will stand up on their own and not be flimsy.

     3. Next, use that same cup to measure circles on the black felt for the outside of the ears. I made the front and back of the ear into one piece and just kind of eye-balled a length of felt in between that would allow for the headband to be glued in there too. 

     4. Whip out that hot glue gun and get to it! I used a dot of glue to secure the cardboard to the felt, then a line of glue to secure the headband to the inside of the ears. Lastly, glue all around the edge of the cardboard and press the top part of the felt ear to that.

     5. Now, reattach the bow to the middle of the headband. 

     It looked great when I was done gluing everything on, and you could tell it was Minnie Mouse, but it was really missing those polkadots. I experimented with using craft paint to make some dots, but I hated how messy it looked. So, the only solution? Use trash. YES! I had used my hole punch on some white paper ages ago, and I knew the "punches" would be the perfect size! And they would all be uniform! Yay! 
     For the polka-dots, I used a touch of Aleene's tacky glue on each one, and eye-balled the placement of the outer 3 dots. Then I filled in the rest of the bow until I was happy with how it looked! These ears aren't perfect, but they are going to be perfect to top off baby girl's costume!! For something that will be worn one night, $1 is a great price for a costume accessory!
    Drop me a comment down below, I'd love to hear about homemade costumes and accessories that you've made!  Hope you have a safe and Happy Halloween!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Secret Ingredient: Peach Cobbler

     Is there anything more summery than a bowl of warm peach cobbler topped with vanilla ice cream? The warm crispy edges are my FAVORITE! Peach cobbler has always been one of my most-loved desserts, and it's one of the easiest desserts to make! My Mom always had a little something special she would add to peach desserts, so really, the credit for this Secret Ingredient recipe belongs to her. *blows kiss to mommy*

     First things first, for an extra delicious cobbler, use FRESH peaches! You can always use frozen peaches that have been thawed, or canned peaches. But there really is nothing better than a fresh peach! I leave the skin on my peaches because I don't mind eating it, and I think it gives such a nice pop of color in the cobbler. If you prefer no skins, feel free to peel them before adding them to your cobbler.
     Now for the secret ingredient. Almond Extract. !!! I add some to the batter and also drizzle it over the peach slices. It is amazing the added layer of flavor that the almond extract gives! You will love it. I promise! :-)

Secret Ingredient: Peach Cobbler
1/2 c. butter
1 c. sugar
1 1/2 c. flour
1/8 tsp. salt
1 Tbs. baking powder
1 1/2 c. milk
1/2 tsp. almond extract, divided
3 c. sliced, fresh, peaches (about 3 peaches)

     Heat oven to 375 degrees. Place butter in a 9x13 pan and put it in the oven. Let butter melt completely and brown slightly. While the butter is melting, mix sugar, flour, salt, and baking powder in a bowl. Add the milk and 1/4 tsp. almond extract and stir until the batter is smooth. Set aside. Slice peaches, peel if desired, and drizzle remaining almond extract over the slices. Once the butter is melted, pull the pan out of the oven. Pour batter over the melted butter. Do NOT stir! Place peach slices on top of the batter. Bake for 40 minutes or until the batter is slightly browned. Serve warm with ice cream. :-)

     Hope you enjoy making this easy and satisfying peach cobbler! Don't forget to add the secret ingredient! Would love for you to comment and let me know how you liked it. :-)

Monday, June 30, 2014

All Natural Silverware Cleaning Method

     A dear friend recently gave me a set of silverware. YAY! It was very tarnished and definitely needed some work. I wasn't about to spend hours polishing silverware that would only be used a few times, so I decided to research a bit to find a better, easier way to clean my sad silverware.

     I have already done a similar post on how to clean your jewelry with items from your kitchen, and I wanted to clean the silverware with something other than harsh chemicals, so I used *almost* the same method, with a few adjustments.
     All you need is a sturdy pan, (preferably made of glass), aluminum foil, baking soda, and a big pot of boiling water.

1. Line the pan with aluminum foil. This method of cleaning WILL NOT WORK without the foil!

2. Lay out your silverware in a single layer, then sprinkle with baking soda.

3. Pour boiling water over the silverware, making sure that it is all submerged. 

4. Watch your sad silverware turn into happy, gleaming silverware in seconds. 
5. Use tongs to carefully remove the silverware from the pan. It will be hot!
6. Buff with a soft cloth and enjoy your beautiful silverware!

       Isn't that ridiculously easy? I loved that I didn't have to go out and buy some expensive polish that was full of harsh chemicals! If some of your pieces end up with a little bit of a white film, just rinse with warm water and dry with a soft cloth again. I had a few pieces do that, but I think it was just excess baking soda that had dried on there. 
      I would love to see some before and after pictures of pieces that you've cleaned using this method! Feel free to follow me on here, or also on Pinterest! Happy Cleaning! :-)

Friday, April 4, 2014

Trusting during the hard times

     Trust. Not a strong point for me. I want a plan. I want to know what the plan is way in advance. I don't want unknowns. I want to be in control. 
     God has been stretching me lately! He knows that I need to work on trusting Him. Oh it hurts sometimes! This verse has been an encouragement to me in times of not knowing what the future holds. 

          Joshua 1:9
     Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.

     "WHEREVER you go", HE will be with me! MY God. The comfort in those words! I don't need to be anxious about the unknowns because God knows already! If I could just give up control to God my stress level sure would diminish! God knows our troubles, He is a safe place to run to, He is our refuge!

Psalms 62:8
Trust in Him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before Him: God is a refuge for us. Selah.

Thanks for letting me express my feelings and struggles here. :-) What are your favorite encouraging verses? I'd love for ya'll to share them with me! :-)

Friday, February 14, 2014

Are you ready to go No 'Poo?

     I really want to share the journey I've embarked on trying to cut some chemicals from my life. For a long time I've been frustrated with shampoo and how my hair felt after using it. I knew that shampoo AND conditioner had tons of chemicals in them but what's a girl to do? Have gross greasy hair because I didn't like chemicals? After reading TONS of articles and how-tos on taking a different route to hair and skin care, I decided to take the plunge.....
     The way I got started happened by accident. We traveled to my Mom's house for Christmas and baby and I were able to stay a week longer while the Music Man went back to work. Sweet of him to let us spend more time with my Mom huh? Anyways, since I wasn't planning on staying for 2 weeks I ran out of my shampoo and conditioner. And then I decided that now was as good of a time as any to start using something different for my hair.  
                                  *In walks the magical ingredient: Baking Soda!* 
     Yes, plain old baking soda. I've already been using it as a face wash for awhile so I had some with me. So I put a couple tablespoons of baking soda in my hand and made a very thick paste with a little water from the shower. Then I start applying it to just my roots. Massage into your roots for a minute or two until you start to feel the baking soda start to dissolve. Then rinse your hair well.  Now here's the part that most people have a problem with. The apple cider vinegar conditioning rinse.
     I personally use a 1 to 1 ratio of ACV and water. After washing my hair with Baking Soda, I spritz the ACV on all of my hair and let it set for a few minutes. I just finish the rest of my shower, making sure not to let the water rinse out the ACV too soon. After a few minutes, thoroughly rinse out your hair. Some people complain of a smell from the ACV. But I PROMISE there is absolutely NO SMELL if you rinse your hair!!! The only thing you will notice immediately after using the ACV conditioning rinse is your hair feeling clean and oh-so-soft!!! I couldn't believe how wonderful my hair felt after just one time trying the "No 'Poo" method!!! 
     After going "No 'Poo" for 2 months, I have noticed an increase in my hair growth, fewer flyaways, and my hair is softer! Right now, I use the Baking Soda to wash my hair every other day. And just wash with water and spritz with the ACV on the non-wash days. Let me assure you, my hair is not gross OR greasy like I had feared it could be. The Music Man even commented how soft my hair was! So, going "No 'Poo" is Husband approved! Yay!  So....Are you ready to get rid of the 'Poo??? :-)

     I'd love to hear of other all-natural beauty routines that I could add to my list of things to try!!!