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Wednesday, March 1, 2017

DIY Rose Gold Slime


This is a very easy homemade slime recipe!
Note: We happened to have these ingredients on hand, leftover from other projects. I don't know that I would have ordered them just to make this slime, as amazing as it is! Also, Borax isn't super healthy. Sorry about that. There are lots of Borax-free recipes out there though. 


Ingredients:

1 5oz. bottle Elmer's Clear School Glue
1 tsp. Borax powder
1 C. very warm water
Pale Pink Mica Powder (here)
Gold Glitter, optional (here)

Instructions: 
1. Add 1 tsp. Borax powder to 1 C. very warm water. Stir to dissolve. Set aside and cool to room temperature-ish.

2. Into a medium bowl empty entire bottle of glue. Fill glue bottle with room temp water, give a little shake and pour that into your bowl of glue. Stir until well combined. 

3. Now you're going to slowly add Borax, 1 tsp. at a time, to your bowl of glue. *Don't go too fast here, getting all crazy with the Borax or you'll be back at Step 1.* After each addition give a few good, slow, swirly stirs. The mixture will start to get a bit gelatinous. Once it's jelly enough, pick it up and start kneading. Don't worry, it will come together and stop sticking to your hands! If you need to, add a tad more Borax to the bottom of your bowl and swirl it around a second, then knead again. If you've done it correct it will be nice and stretchy. If you've added too much Borax it will just break when you try and pull it. 

4. Time to add color! Place your slime on a surface you don't care a lick about. Sprinkle 1/2 tsp. mica powder into the middle. Fold all the sides of the slime blob over the mica and start kneading. Add more to your liking. Also add the glitter now, if you're using. 

Enjoy your stretchy, crackly, sparkly Rose Gold Slime!

video

Monday, November 30, 2015

Homemade Bath Bombs

Let's jump right into this fun (and pretty easy) diy bath bomb project that makes a great gift, or just keep them all as a treat for yourself! Okay, so by "pretty easy" I mean they can be a little fickle. Sometimes they crack, sometimes they expand if you add too much water, so just be patient. You'll figure it out. Promise!


Ingredients:

Note: You will gather your own combo of oils. 

Yields 8 bath bombs

2 C. Baking Soda
1 C. Epsom Salts (ground fine)
1 C. Citric Acid
1 C. Corn Starch
5 tsp. Fractionated Coconut Oil (or any other carrier oil-Almond, Jojoba, Vitamin E would work)
Water 
Essential oils-some combination that equals about 50 drops. A simple Pinterest search will give you many recipes. 

For this recipe, my daughter used:
12 drops Clary Sage (not shown in photo)
12 drops Lavender 
18 drops Sweet Orange
8 drops Grapefruit

Tools:

8 plastic ball ornaments that come apart. They come like this at Michael's, which was slightly confusing because I was looking for a round ball. 


1 big mixing bowl
1 coffee grinder
1 spray bottle filled with water
1 C. measuring cup
Whisk
Fork
1 tsp. measuring spoon 
1 small bowl (not pictured)

Do:

1. Grind the 1 cup of Epsom Salts until fine and pour into your large bowl. Add the rest of the dry ingredients-baking soda, citric acid, corn starch. Whisk to mix well. 

2. In the small bowl combine your 50ish drops of essential oils and the 5 tsp. of carrier oil. With your clean whisk, blend well. 

3. Gently pour oils into dry ingredients and whisk. Mix for a little while so everything's distributed evenly. It will still be totally dry looking. 

4. This is the hardest step, because you have to have patience, Young Grasshopper. The goal here is to gradually make the dry mixture damp (not wet). You are sneaking up on the dry with your water, trying not to set that fizzy chemical reaction in motion. We want all that to happen in the tub. If you get it too wet and it starts to feel sticky or starts expanding then you have to scrap the whole mission. It happens.

Now, grab your spray bottle of water and set it to mist, not stream. Give three sprays and then whisk well. Three more sprays and whisk again. Keep doing that. Every couple rounds grab a handful and squeeze until it does this but is still basically dry-ish.

5. Grab two ornament halves and over-fill each half. Press them together and wipe away the excess. (Make the mounds even bigger than you see in the photo below.)

For this particular batch I was feeling like a pro and decided to put some Calendula petals in the bottom of the dome before filling. My kids thought this was a lame idea, but I assured them that a mom would dig it. 

6. Set them on a baking sheet to rest and after a couple hours you should be able to gently remove the ball and set it back on the sheet to dry, ideally, for a full 24 hours. We've used them as soon as 8 though. Store in an airtight container. And there you have it! 

Enjoy your baths!




Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Pecan-Honey Raw Energy Balls

I recently dug my heels in, shook my fists and declared I was not buying anymore granola bars for the kids. 
It's the snack I feel guilty about packing. Damn it. 
Sometimes they're a little reluctant to try new things.
They're onto my sneaking-good-things-in kind of ways.

So here I am, trying out a bunch of recipes in hopes of finding maybe three or four that I can stockpile and have on hand. 
This one is slightly adapted from "Raw Energy" by Stephanie Tourles.

INGREDIENTS (mostly from Trader Joe's):
2 C. roasted pecan pieces
1 C. dried cranberries (yes, I got the kind with sugar, but you can buy the other)
1/4 C. honey
1/2 C. shredded coconut
2 T. bee pollen (this is usually with the refrigerated probiotics and flax seed oil at health food stores)

You might be tempted to skip the bee pollen. Don't, it's really good. 

DIRECTIONS:
Turn on your oven to its lowest setting. Mine was 170. Even lower would be ideal. Process the pecans and cranberries until well incorporated.  Add coconut, bee pollen, and honey. Process until the mixture is sticky, a little oily, and can easily form a ball in your hand. You can either form them into balls and leave them, or flatten them into little cookies. Place on a cookie sheet (I also used a Silpat). Bake in the oven for 2-3 hours, or longer. They will feel soft when warm but get harder as they sit and cool. After they're cool, store in an airtight container in the fridge. 

Or, you can be like me and just wolf down the ENTIRE batch in one day.
Yep.


Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The File Crate System



The right organization system can change your life.

Can.I.get.an.amen?

I was pretty positive this system would work for me as soon as I read about it, but I decided to really test it out for a full year before sharing.

So here we are, and I hope it might inspire you!

First off, credit. It all goes to Dawn over at By Sun and Candlelight. I don't know her but this post inspired me late one night as I sat in front of my fireplace and got lost in a blog rabbit hole.  She has many posts about this system and has answered lots of questions about it, too.

So what is it?

It's a system that uses 52 rotating files--one for each week of the year. You pull out and use the current week's file, then when the week is over you put it at the back of your crate.

Here's mine, sitting right next to my desk. I love the handles which allow me to haul it all around the house, or wherever I plan on working.


What's in each folder?

Anything I need to take care of for the current week.
If something doesn't get done, it just gets moved to the next week's folder (or to whatever week I plan on dealing with it).

Here's an example for this week:

A sticky note with info about which cookbook I want to use to plan meals this week. A thank-you card that I need to fill out and send. An invitation to a birthday party; I stuck it in this week's folder as soon as I RSVP'd my daughter. It reminds me that we need to buy/make the gift this week. 


It's also so handy for holidays and birthdays. Immediately after Thanksgiving I sat down and tweaked next year's menu while it was all still fresh in my head. I HATE this chore, but when I had it all worked out for next year, I stuck it in the folder for the first week of November (that's when I start to think about Thanksgiving dinner) and there it will be all ready for me when I get to this November. 

When I come across a recipe for a birthday I cut it out or write on a sticky note where I can find it on my Pinterest boards and then I put it in the proper week.

BOOM! Out of my head. 

Would you like to make one?

SUPPLIES:

Staples:

  •   1 box each of folders-hanging AND regular (I like these plain craft paper kind)
  •   1 Pack of Martha Stewart Labels (Avery #72458)

Target, or wherever:

  •   Some sort of crate or box that can hold hanging files. Mine is from Target's "greenroom" line (pictured two photos up)



STEP 1 
(I promise this is easy. I'm just thorough)

Our 52 weekly file folders have to sit in our hanging folders. If you want to just get to it, pull out about six hanging folders and meet us at Step 2.

For the rest of us: Take a moment and think about how you move through the seasons in your home. I chose to label my hanging folders with my personal breakdown of the seasons. In my mind and life they pretty much follow nature:

 LATE WINTER = Jan thru Late-March
SPRING = Late-March thru Mid-June
SUMMER = Mid-June (kids get out of school) thru Late-August
FALL = Early September (school begins) thru Late-November 
EARLY WINTER = December
*One extra unlabeled folder just for help in holding files


Label them and set them aside (or leave them all blank).


STEP 2

Select 52 file folders

Choose them in a way that makes the top tabs work for you. Since there's only three tab positions to choose from mine is roughly by season (see photo below).

STEP 3

 Now, consider how your week works, and by that I mean when does it begin and end. This will dictate the dates you print on your file folder stickers.  
 My weeks run Monday through Sunday. For some people, Friday afternoon is when they begin to consider the next week because they spend the weekend shopping and prepping for it. For others, maybe Sunday evening is when they look at the next week's activities.


STEP 4

Grab a calendar and your pack of labels

Click here to go to Avery's site for the template. In the upper left part of the screen enter "72458"


Choose your font (always so exciting!)

I used Pea Lisel. You can get it for FREE from the generous Kevin & Amanda 
click here 

Consider how to divide your colors. Again, I chose mine by season:

Late Winter months BLUE
Spring months GREEN
Summer months YELLOW
Fall months ORANGE
Early Winter month RED

Tip: I know you've all done this before, but just type one row and then print. Adjust and reprint over it until you get it just right so you don't waste stickers. It didn't take much fiddling.

 
STEP 6

Apply to folder!

 STEP 7

Place your hanging folders into your box/crate one season at a time.
Divide up your file folders and put them in your hanging folders.

Voila!!

One more tip that I learned from Dawn. As you schlep your folder around with you all week you can keep papers from falling out by using a frog clip like this:
It works really well!
 

Now take a break and go outside for God's sake. The view from the end of my street is beautiful and I hope yours is too!










Monday, October 28, 2013

Your New Go-To Baby Shower Gift

I find that life is so much easier when you've discovered a great go-to gift giving idea. 
I recently saw this one at a shower and decided I would be giving this from now on.

Gift registries be damned!
We know what she really needs, right?

It's simple:
A cozy robe
Slippers
Wrap them in a receiving/swaddle blanket

Mom is pampered 
Our job here is done

Monday, August 26, 2013

Knit Along With Me, Fall Is About To Be...

I've just returned from a week long visit to San Francisco. Sigh. I love everything about that town. Just about every trip for me means the start of a new knitting project. This time, a simple cap, because I'm getting antsy for fall's arrival. Want to join me?

Here's the Hurricane hat. I love the swirl.
Photo credit: lovehestia.wordpress.com

Click here for pattern

My yarn:
Malabrigo Worsted #247 "Whales Road"

Links to YouTube Tutorials I found helpful:


 
And, as always, I'll have this guy to keep me company (and make me jump every time he barks at randomness). 

Happy Knitting!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Simple Woman's Daybook for August


I've decided to take part in The Simple Woman's Daybook! It's a simple journaling/sharing project that happens once a month. For a year or so I've enjoyed reading the posts of other women and catching a glimpse into their lives. More connection via virtual voyeurism--I'm down! If you'd like to join there's a link at the bottom of this post. 




FOR TODAY

Outside my window...
We're visiting my mom in the East Bay. She lives in a condo. I'm up about three stories, sitting at her dining room table. The light is really great here near a sliding door. Outside, at eye level, is the top of a tree that has beautiful white blossoms on it right now. There's also one of those fake owls out there that are meant to scare away birds.  

I am thinking...
One of my oldest friends is in the middle of a 29-hour journey to Rwanda. I'm thinking about her constantly, hoping she is safe and admiring her courage. 

I am thankful...I'm not on an airplane for 29 hours. Been there done that:)

In the kitchen...
Breakfast has been cleaned up by my husband. It was also made by him. The dishwasher is humming along. 

I am wearing...
My favs: Black linen pants, a black tank top, and a brown sweater my grandma would have loved.

I am creating...
I'm guiding my mom through knitting her first hat. She lacks confidence so I can't wait for her to find out just how easy it is. 

I am going...
Today we are going to the Exploratorium in SF

I am wondering...
I'm wondering if the kids will notice if we go to a couple thrift stores while in the city. 

I am reading...
"Beautiful Ruins" by Jess Walter
"Help Thanks Wow" by Anne Lamott
 Everything written about adrenal fatigue

I am hoping...
A while back I read an article that discussed certain skills you should have completely mastered by age thirty. The one that's stuck with me is knowing how to end a toxic friendship gracefully. I hope I can teach my kids how to do this. 

I am looking forward to...
I'm anxious to get back in my workout groove once the kids start school.

I am learning...
I'm learning how to live completely within my means.

Around the house...
I've got to figure out a new place for the hamster cage to live. The office/craft room is NOT it.

I am pondering...
How will this school year go?

A favorite quote for today...
"The smallest gesture is better than the grandest intention."

One of my favorite things...
Sleep! I'm finally able to do it deeply again. 

A few plans for the rest of the week:
1. Best pizza in the whole wide world--Gay Nineties in Pleasanton, CA
2. Learn more new card games with my daughter.
3. Cross the Golden Gate Bridge

A peek into my day...

Last time we'll be on the old Bay Bridge before it closes. 



To take part in the Daybook community, click here.