Organize It

Well over a year ago, I was reading a post by Grace on Camp Patton, (which is sadly no longer in the blog world) and while giving a bathroom tour she mentioned how her husband mocked her for buying her spiffy necklace organizer because he could have made it for cheap.

He was right!  When I saw it, I knew I could replicate it in 30 minutes.  BUT I didn’t get around to going through with the idea until I sat on my bed one day, untangling my necklaces for the 100th time. 

Enough being enough, I sent Scout and Rori into the woods to find me the perfect stick.  Oncea stick was approved, Bubba cut the ends off, tied the leather string to the ends–per my instructions–and then twisted the hooks into place.  Badda bing, badda boom!  Now I am the proud owner of a spiffy necklace organizer.

 

 

DIY Seed Starter

Last year I posted my toilet paper diy seed starter and although it works, I have found that the paper method works much better.  I either use paper bags like I did here or like the one I’m showing you today.  I don’t suggest using this particular method if you’re starting forty different seeds inside because it can be time consuming, but if you are planting just a few flowers or herbs, then this method will work great.   

And just to show you that it does work, I included a picture above that shows my little bean has sprouted. 🙂

What you need:

leftover newspaper

twine

scissors

small glass jar (about two inches in diameter)

Instructions:

Take your newspaper and begin folding sections.  The width should be about 2-3 inches wide.

Once you’re finished with folding, wrap your paper around the end of the glass and secure with the twine.  Pull the paper off the glass and begin folding the paper inward to form the bottom that will hold the dirt.  **Tip:  I cut the paper to make it easier to fold it inward. 

Viola!  Just add some dirt, water, seeds and your done!

   

Waxed Leaves

wax leaves 2-1wax leaves 3-1was leaves 7-1wax leaves 5-1

wax leaves 6-1

Nathan and I got a little crafty last night.  We dipped the leaves we had collected from the yard and the park into candle wax.  The effects are gorgeous.  At least in my humbled opinion.  I plan to use the leaves in various ways around the house, and maybe even use one as a future love letter to a stranger.  (I’ll keep you posted on that last one)  I thought about using them in a photo frame, or perhaps making a garland out of them, or maybe adorn them inside of a glass vase, along with some of the pine cones and acorns we have collected as well.  What do you think?  Any ideas?

 

If you’re interested in doing this with your rascals, then I’ll tell you how I did this really fast.  I bought a block of candle wax at Michael’s craft supply store.  Had the hubs cut a 1/4 chunk off, then I grated it on a cheese grater.  I preheated the oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit.  Nathan emptied the shavings into a disposable, aluminum 8×8 pan.  Place it into the oven until it is completely melted.  Once it is melted, you simply dip each leaf into wax, coating each side, and then place onto wax paper to dry.  //Tip:  The wax cools quickly, so I placed the pan on top of one my stove top burners, turned to low, in order to keep the wax melted.  If it starts to dry, when you dip the leaves, the wax won’t be translucent.//

Does It Really Work? Living On Less Series

I’ve been making my own laundry detergent for two+ years now, and I’ve tried five different recipes, before landing on the one I’ve used for the last year.   

DSC_0324_edited-1

Because I get asked frequently, Does it really work, I figured I would answer it here.  YES!  It really works, it smells fabulous (You’ll see why in the ingredients), and it only takes 10 minutes to put together.  I don’t suggest washing your delicates; I feel you should stick with Woolite or the drycleaners for those, but for your everyday clothes…this is just as good as the store bought stuff, without the price. DSC_0317_edited-1

  A little bit of my experiences…

At first, I tried using the liquid kind, since I had always bought liquid detergent at the store.  However, the mess of it all, along with the goop it created once it hardened…I knew I had to try something else.  Then I tried another liquid recipe, but it was still a hassle to make and keep multiple jugs handy, etc.   

DSC_0327_edited-1Thus, began my hunt for the perfect dry laundry detergent.  Although all the recipes I found for it cleaned my clothes well, it always lacked that good smell.  Know what I mean?  Sure I added lavender extract, among others, but it wasn’t the same.  I also wanted a little extra cleaning boost…so, after many recipes and many trial and errors, I think I have finally perfected our laundry detergent, enough so, that I haven’t changed it since I created it one year ago.
DSC_0313_edited-1 laundry gallery_edited-1

Liz’s DIY Laundry Detergent
Makes roughly 8-10 cups
Here it is:
2 ivory soap bars (unscented, original)
2 cups of Borax
2 cups of Super Washing Soda
1 cup of regular baking soda
1 cup of Oxi Clean
1/2 – 1 cup of Downy Unstoppable Beads (optional) You can also use 3+ tablespoons of lavender extract.

Method:

Grate the Ivory soap using a cheese grater.   Then mix all the ingredients together and store in an air tight container.  I use a glass jar that I purchased from Walmart for $5.  And because it is humid here in the southeast, I made a rice sachet to place inside the jar to keep the detergent from clumping. 
Put about 1 Tablespoon per/load or adjust to size/dirtiness of load.  I usually sprinkle in 2 tablespoons though.
DSC_0339_edited-1To make the rice sachet, use some fabric, sock, or cheesecloth, and fill it with a little rice, then tie the loose ends together.

Annnnd, because I just can’t help it, here a few lovable outtakes…

DSC_0332DSC_0333DSC_0334DSC_0336

Gardening | DIY Seed Starter

It’s that time of year again.  I’ve been hustling and bustling in preparation for my vegetable and flower garden.  Gardening, at one point in my life, I mocked.  Maybe it is a maturity thing, but I’ve found the concept of hand to mouth, lending me a sense of self-gratification that stems from growing your own food.  
When it comes to planting, I am about as impatient as a two year old.  I always want to plant earlier than is recommended, usually resulting in withering leaves, and a disappointed Liz.   But I’m trying to suffocate my eagerness this year, especially being in a new state and being unfamiliar with its climate.  In Texas, I began my garden in February.  This year, my vegetable seeds still await in their packages.
Today, however, I was able to plant my lavender indoors.  Usually, I purchase the little Jiffy seed starter kits, but this year I am trying something different. 
I’ve been saving toilet paper rolls for a couple of months so I could make my own seed starter containers. I hope they work!  
Here is how I make them.

Directions 
 1) Take your toilet paper rolls and cut them half
2) Lay them out on some sort of tray or baking sheet
3) Fill each container with seed starting mix.  I used Miracle Grow Seed Starting Mix.
4) Pour water in each container to moisten the dirt
5) Plant your seeds according to the package directions
6) Water again
7) Set outside/sunny spot inside & let nature do its work!