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3/31/14

Faith: A Word & A Photo




 
Faith is not always easy to have an abundance of, but, oh!  How wonderful it is when we can grasp on to it.
 
 
 Goodbye March, Hello April!
 
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3/27/14

DIY Dollar Store Hurricane Candle Holder Hack

I love crafting and I love making crafts that are cheap.  I especially love to make crafts that look similar to their very expensive look-a-likes.   I saw a hurricane candle holder very similar to this one on a big name website that was quite expensive.  


 
This one only cost me $4 to make.  I found everything I needed to make it from a dollar store.  I even found the bag of stones at the same dollar store.  All four items were a $1 each.  I already had the hot glue gun and glue on hand.


It was so easy to make, there's no explanation needed.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
I like to replace the stones to create different looks.  You could use coffee beans, sand, gumballs, artificial leaves, marbles, or sea glass.  The possibilities are endless.  Just be careful to not light the candle with some of these items.  For decoration only!

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3/24/14

DIY Natural Room Freshener

With spring on the way, I always start thinking about my flower, vegetable and herb gardens.  I usually have an abundance of herbs, so I try to use my herbs in everything - even in freshening up my house.  One of my favorite herbs to use is rosemary.  I love the smell of rosemary!  What are some of your favorite herbs?

Here's a delightful little potpourri concoction that will freshen up your home, and best of all, it's all natural!
 
You'll need:
  • A pan
  • Water
  • Lemon slices
  • Rosemary sprigs
  • Vanilla extract
 
Place all ingredients in a pan and simmer on low, being mindful to not let all the water evaporate.  Add more water when the water level gets low.  I can usually fill it up several times with water and still smell the lemon and rosemary before having to throw it into the compost bin.
 
 
 
 
 
Wishing you a wonderful week!

 
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3/20/14

DIY Melted Bead Sun-Catchers


We first made these melted bead sun-catchers a few years ago courtesy of an idea we found on Pinterest
They have hung proudly around our house and in our windows for years, and I never tire of seeing them hanging around.  They add a pop of color and whimsy to otherwise plain windows.  We've even given them as gifts to friends and relatives who have them displayed in their windows. 

Here's what you'll need: 
  • Old muffin tins or pie pans (they should not be used for food after this project)
  • A tub of pony beads 
  • A drill with a small drill bit for drilling a hole in the sun catcher for hanging
  • Fishing line
 
 
 
Here's what you'll do:
  •  Separate the pony beads into bowls according to color (it makes them easier to work with)
  • Arrange the beads in the muffin tin or pie pan in the pattern you'd like your sun catcher to be.
  • Bake at 400 degrees for 25-30 minutes (Make sure you raise a few windows and if you can, go outside - the smell is bad and I'm sure it is not good for your lungs, but the smell goes away fast with the windows open)
  • Allow to cool.  You will probably hear a popping noise from the pans.  This is the sun catcher cooling off.
  • After cooling, they should pop right out of the pan easily.



 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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3/17/14

DIY Pencil Holder

Here's a cute and frugal way to tidy up the pencils, pens, scissors or even paint brushes on your desk or work space area.

Here's what you'll need:
  •  Cans (used fruit or vegetable cans)
  • Spray paint 
  • Washi tape
  • Scrapbook paper
  • Ribbons    
  • Jute
  • Hot glue or whatever adhesive you prefer
The list of materials you could use for this project is endless.  Just have fun and use your imagination!

Here's what you'll do:
  • Wash can(s) thoroughly, remove label.  If the label doesn't come off too easily and you are in a hurry like me and don't want to wait hours to soak the label off with water - WD40 will bring the sticky glue off. 
  • Allow cans to dry well.
  • In our case, this can was painted with left over spray paint, allowed to air dry, then a second coat of paint was applied.  Make sure to spray a few inches inside the can.
  • Measure the circumference of the can, cut the length of Washi tape needed.  Apply tape around can.
It is that easy!  You could wrap jute around the can for a natural look, you could use scrapbook paper, ribbons or other embellishments.  This would make a great craft to let your kids make!  Enjoy


  Sharing at:
From The Farm Blog Hop

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3/13/14

A Slow Day

Do you ever hop straight out of bed in the morning with a plan and the very best intentions of tackling that list of things that you just knew you were going to finish today, only to find out that things just aren't going as you had planned?

In all of the beauty and mess of life, do you feel like you just need a slow day every now and then?  A little peace and comfort?  I do.  I'm having one of those days today.  You are too?  Oh!  Well, go grab yourself a cup of tea or coffee.  Let's sit down and have a nice cup of comfort together.  I'll wait right here for you while you grab your drink.


Let's grab an afghan or lap blanket, cuddle right up with it and savor a few quiet moments together. I'll grab my little colorful thrift store throw and you grab yours.


Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the Lord.
Psalm31:24


Isn't it encouraging to know that when we are weary in both body and in spirit that we have someone who already knows all about it and is waiting with his arms wide open to pick us up, wrap us in his love, comfort our heavy heart and mind and give us peace like we can find no where else?  I'm so glad that I know Jesus.

I'm feeling better already friend, I hope that you are too.
 
 
 
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3/10/14

Natural Living: Oil Pulling 101

I've been taking baby steps into the world of natural healing and living for a while now.  I've found many natural remedies that works so well, that they've made a believer out of me, therefore instead of shrugging off any kind of holistic living like I used to do, I'm embracing it more and more. 

We've all heard of the many benefits of coconut oil, but have you heard of oil pulling using coconut oil?  
This is an old Indian remedy that has been used for thousands of years and is becoming more popular and widely accepted as a way of cleansing your mouth from the unfriendly bacteria that lives and thrives inside.  Streptococcus Mutans is considered "normal" flora inside your mouth, but is the main culprit behind plaque buildup, gingivitis and cavities.  

Many studies have been done on oil pulling and the results show that there are benefits of using this method of oil pulling.  
I personally have been oil pulling because of one thing I have heard that it may help - sinuses.  When I read about how that it can help clear sinuses and get rid of mucous, I was intrigued.  I have year-round sinusitis, allergies, and ear infections since I was a small child.  Anything that I read that has helped others with this problem, I am willing to try it because it's no fun to not be able to breathe and feel stuffed up and have sinus aches and pressure all the time.

How To Pull Oil

1.  Put 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of oil in your mouth.  
2.  Swish the oil around your mouth (like mouthwash) for 10-20 minutes. Push and pull it through your teeth.
3.  Do not gargle, you do not want to put the oil into your throat, as it is now full of bacteria.
4. Spit the oil out, (in the garbage or toilet; coconut oil can clog drains over time), rinse your mouth with water a couple times, then brush your teeth.
5. Be sure to spit it out and not swallow the oil - it's teaming with nasty bacteria.

Note: It's best to do this first thing in the morning before eating or drinking.
Coconut oil is solid at room temperature, so when putting into your mouth, it may take a few seconds for it to melt.  You could do it while you are showering, checking your email, looking at Instagram, or reading.  

My first experience went fairly well.  I'm not going to kid you, I was equally grossed-out by the thought of putting it into my mouth, and the feel of it in my mouth at first.  I automatically talked myself into a 'gag-reflex' before I even had my first spoonful melted.  Trust me, it is not that bad!  Be persistent, don't give up if you can only do it for a few minutes the first few times - you will adjust to it and you will notice the benefits soon!
When I started out, I pulled the oil for only 5 minutes.  That was the longest I could pull it, not because of the grossness (I'm tougher than that!) but because my nose was so stuffed up and I could not breathe.  But guess what?  I don't know how, but, shortly after I spit it out - my right nostril started opening, then my left!  I still felt congested, but I could feel a little air flow for the first time in days without having to use over-the-counter medication for congestion.  Besides any other benefits oil pulling might have, my sinus problems were the  reason I tried it to begin with, and I could see some positive results that soon.  
I was surprised at the effectiveness of oil pulling in such a short time.  My mouth felt cleaner, my teeth felt cleaner and even my dry, cracked lips benefited from the oil pulling.  I won't be quitting this routine anytime soon.  I have a feeling that I'll see even more benefits over a period of time.  Like any natural remedy that I try and can see results, I like to share it with everyone I know.  I hope you'll give it a try.
 
 
Sharing at:
From The Farm
 
 
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*Disclaimer: This testimonial is my own personal experience using the Oil Pulling method.  
 I am not a doctor, please consult a healthcare professional before following any advice or suggestions in which you may read on this website.  
 

3/6/14

Snow Cream

Are you getting snow where you live right now?  We sure are!  This has been one very long winter in our area.  I'm very much looking forward to spring, but since we are having so much snowfall this year, why not take advantage of it and make snow cream!

I usually make snow cream at least once every winter for my family, but with our snowy winter, there's been plenty of chances to make this sweet ice-cream like treat.  When I eat snow cream, it brings back memories of my childhood winters and eating my grandmother's homemade snow cream.  Have you ever tried homemade snow cream?  If you haven't, you are missing out!  Give it a try!

* * *
Here's what you'll need:
•8 cups of fresh, clean snow
•1- 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
•tsp vanilla extract
 
Here's what you'll do:
In a large bowl, mix condensed milk and vanilla extract and snow until it's smooth and creamy like ice cream.
So easy!  Enjoy!
 
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3/3/14

DIY Dishwasher Tablets

I love trying new money saving recipes and ideas in and around my home, so when I found a pin on Pinterest
for a do-it-yourself dishwasher tablet, I had to give it a try!


* * *

Here's what you'll need:

1 cup Borax
1 cup Super Washing Soda
1/4 cup Epsom salt
2/3 cup lemon juice
6 drops lemon essential oil (optional)
ice cube trays or some other type of container to use as a mold

Here's what you'll do:

Carefully mix Borax and Super Washing Soda together slowly to avoid breathing a cloud of powder.  Add Epsom salt (I used plain table salt, but the original recipe calls for Epsom salt) add lemon juice, working it quickly into the powders to keep it from fizzing too much.

Keep in mind, this mixture needs to feel like wet sand.

At this time, you may add lemon essential oil if you desire.  I added it to my tablets and I'm glad I did - it smells great and it will aid in freshening my dishwasher!  After you incorporate all the lemon juice and oil into the powders and have the 'wet sand' consistency, add your mixture to ice cube trays, or in my case, I used a silicone heart mold.

Allow these to air dry for a couple days before taking them out of the mold.  Store them in an airtight container after they dry solid.



My hearts are small, so I use 2 per load in my dishwasher.  If they don't fit into your detergent holder, no worries!  Just place them in your silverware basket inside the dishwasher.



Print this DIY Dishwasher Tablet Recipe Here.

If you'd like to know more about the essential oils I love to use, click here to read about all about them!
 
  Sharing with Proverbs 31 Thursday

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