Posts

Showing posts from 2016
This post may contain affiliate links.

DIY Cat Scratcher or Bed

Neither of my cats are declawed.  While they will scratch sometimes, it hasn't been an issue on our furniture.  Chloe, my son's cat, does like to scratch more than Carly does.  Our homeschool room is in the basement, and Chloe likes to hang out down there with the kids during the day.  I made her this DIY cat scratcher so she has something to scratch on and sleep on while she's downstairs.  Even though it's not soft and padded, she doesn't seem to mind it. DIY Cat Scratcher We inherited a large--I'm talking 5 feet long and 3 feet high--roll of corrugated cardboard.  I used it for shipping when I sell on eBay or Etsy, but I don't think I will use it up in my lifetime.  I used that for this scratcher bed, and it worked perfectly!  You could also use strips of cardboard from shipping boxes. None of my cats are declawed, so they like to use cat scratchers to scratch their claws on.  I made this one big enough for them to lay on, and

Garlic Romano Penne with Stella Black Pepper Romano

We will be hosting more Christmas parties this year, and I don't want to serve turkey and ham at each one.  I came up with this Garlic Romano Penne recipe for easy entertaining.  You can serve it alone or add shrimp, chicken, or even sausage.  After you read the recipe, be sure to enter to win a trip to Napa Valley sponsored by Stella Cheese ! Garlic Romano Penne Recipe  This dish is very simple, but it's full of flavor.  I use Stella Black Pepper Romano because it has a salty, sharp flavor in the aged cheese and the peppercorns lend spice to the dish. I will usually make a cheese board for our holiday parties, and I use Stella cheeses.  I think with a simple recipe like this penne or with a cheese board, you need to use ingredients that have a lot of flavor on their own.  With just two or three flavors of Stella cheese, crackers, olives, and some grapes, you can have a flavorful cheese board that's quite easy to put together. Ingredients 1/2 cup olive o

Top 50 STEM Toys for Christmas 2016

Caleb, my 10-year-old, loves anything science or math.  He will spend hours with his Snap Circuits building their designs and creating his own.  He loves few things more than dumping his bin of LEGO bricks and having free play.  My daughter, on the other hand, has to be coaxed in to doing anything STEM related.  Once she starts playing though, she will have fun and start experimenting.  These toys look like so much fun, both my son and my daughter will love them.  If you need Christmas ideas, these 50 STEM toys will be a big hit. Magna-Tiles 12148 Clear Colors 48 pc DX set Toy Snap Circuits SC-300 Electronics Discovery Kit ClickBlock X-Bar Magnetic Building Toy School House Set, 28 Piece Thames & Kosmos Wind Power 2.0 ClickBlock X-Bar Magnetic Building Toy School House Set, 28 Piece Geode Explorer Science Kit - Crack Open 7 Amazing Rocks and Find Crystals! 4M Magnet Science Kit Math Dice Tournament Kit KNEX Education - Intro to Simple Machines: Levers and Pulley

Rustic Farmhouse Decor from Amazon

We've lived in our farm house for 4 years now.  The previous people didn't like the farm house look, so they painted more modern colors.  Needless to say, modern colors just don't look right in a farmhouse!  My living room, dining room, and hallway were terra cotta and yellow, which is totally not my style.  We've slowly been turning the old farmhouse back into a farmhouse.  When I saw slowly, I do mean slowly.  I can't wait to share photos, but it's not quite there yet.  Until then, enjoy some of these amazing rustic farmhouse finds. Rustic Farmhouse Decor from Amazon Links in this post may be affiliate links, which means that I earn a small commission from sales. Cotton Linen Square Decorative Throw Pillow Case Cushion Cover (Compass), 18"x 18" Decors Square Decorative Throw Pillow Case Cushion Cover Rustic Deer Buck Burlap Throw Pillows 18 X 18 Two Sides Printed BarnwoodUSA Rustic Reclaimed Wood Shelves Open Box Mini Mason

Why Doesn’t Anyone Talk About How Amazing Tweens Are Today?

It seems like when people talk about the younger generation, they only have negative things to say.  I'm an active volunteer with several youth organizations, and I can say that these kids are pretty awesome.  They have opportunities that my generation never had.  They literally have the entire world's knowledge in their pockets.  The kids that I work with are polite, well read, and a lot of fun to be around.  I may be a little biased, but I think my tween son is pretty awesome too.   Now he has a pretty awesome snack to keep him fueled all day, too. Caleb is 10 now. His struggles in life started five weeks in to my pregnancy when I was told that we'd lost him.  Thankfully, several doctors and their ultrasounds were wrong.  I went in to preterm labor that was stopped with bedrest and medication.  We almost lost him during birth, too.  I thought we were safe once he was born, but he was hospitalized with RSV at four weeks old and had an apnea in the hospital. I'

Send a Letter of Hope to Show You CARE

I am lucky because I grew up in a time where women could be anything they wanted to be.  I got a free education in a public school and went on to private college thanks to merit-based scholarships and some student loans.  When I had kids, they started in our local public school, but for many reasons, they now learn at home.  My kids have a safe environment in which to learn, and they don't have to worry about anything except learning. My daughter, Dakota, is 9 and in the fourth grade.  She loves to read, and she loves to learn.  She doesn't have any barriers to her education, and she has the full support of her parents.  Not all girls around the world are so lucky.  This is where CARE helps.   CARE is a global organization that fights poverty by empowering women and girls.  One way they empower women is by giving them more access to an education. Meet Mary.  Mary is 15-years-old and lives in Nairobi, Kenya.  Her parents aren't available, so Mary and her three sibling

How to Fix a Clogged Sink

This post is sponsored by Roto-Rooter.  As always, all enthusiasm is my own. I don't know about your, but clogged sinks happen more than they probably should here.  One time I caught the kids giving the bunny a bath in the sink...a bunny who had not been wiped clean of straw before entering the house.  Our house is an old farm house, so clogs are a little more common here than in newer homes for various reasons.  I've had to learn how to fix a clogged sink myself because we only have one bathroom and can't just use a different one until the hubby gets home.  Fixing a clog isn't too difficult.  Keep reading for some simple ways to unclog your sink without calling a plumber. How to Fix a Clogged Sink Plunger I usually try this method first because, with kids, there's usually debris causing the clog.  This method is also very easy and usually works. Before you use a plunger, be sure to use a wet cloth to block the overflow opening.  This helps di

Save Money on Home Decor with Groupon

This post is sponsored by Groupon.  As always, all enthusiasm is my own. We've lived in the farm house for four years now, so I've slowly been working on decorating.  My home decor taste is usually out of my budget, so I have to work slow and look for deals.  I have pretty much the entire house that I want to redecorate, including bedrooms, so I'm thankful for sites like Groupon that helps me save money. With Groupon, I can save on most anything for the home, including the bedroom, kitchen, bath, living areas, and even the back patio.  I can even save on a mattress when I redo my bedroom!  Shopping online for Groupon Goods can help save a significant amount of money.   The deals on Groupon can change frequently, so you'll want to check frequently to see what's available.  The amount of money that you can save varies by the product.  Some products have 20 percent savings, and other products are marked more than 50 percent off! It's easy to

Imagine a Life Without Leaks

Women will often freely share their pregnancy stories, but not many will talk about what happens after the baby is born.  Our bodies are permanently changed, and it's not always for the better.  Along with sagging body parts, stretch marks, and usually some extra weight, some women also experience light bladder leakage (LBL) after childbirth.  If you're experiencing it too, you are not alone. According to Poise, up to 50 percent of women who have given birth experience LBL before the age of 40.  Ladies, that means it's very likely that your friends are also experiencing it too.   LBL continues to be a taboo subject among women, but it shouldn't be.  It's just one of those things that most women have to go through as moms, and it's nothing to be ashamed of or embarrassed about. If you experience LBL, Poise pads are the best option because they absorb quickly and trap odor.  You might be tempted to use period pads so you don't have to buy ano

How to Take Care of Your Septic System

This post is sponsored by Roto-Rooter.  As always, all enthusiasm is my own. The first two homes that my husband and I lived in were in the city limits, so we were connected to the sewer system. We moved to a farm four years ago, and now we have a septic system.  My husband used to work for a waste water company, so he knew how to take care of it.  I grew up with a septic system, so it wasn't new to me either.  The only thing that I miss about being connected to a sewer system is my garbage disposal.  Those are a no no with a septic system, unfortunately. It's very important to take care of your septic system.  If you don't, you could get septic buildup, which are plugged lines.  If this happens, your septic system can leech in to your yard and even back in to your home!  Trust me, this is not something you ever want to deal with.  It's messy, and it's very costly to repair.  Learn how to take care of your septic system to preserve it and avoid spending $1000s i

How to Save Money On Almost Anything

This post is brought to you by Groupon.  As always, all enthusiasm is my own. I'm frugal.  I don't like paying full price for anything.  Before I buy something, I always look for a coupon to use in the store or online.  My husband always stares at me while I search on my iPhone for a coupon to use before we pay!  He teases me, but he definitely doesn't complain when the price drops dramatically after I use my coupons.  When I'm looking for coupons, I like to use sites like Groupon Coupons because they find all of the good deals, and I just have to search for them. I've used Groupon before to save on tickets and other events, and now I use their Coupons section too.  Some of their coupons are for in store use, and some are for online only.  Some stores will even let you combine coupons for even better deals.  Some stores will let me show the coupon on my phone without printing it, but be sure to ask your favorite stores for their policies. Most people think

Introduction to Roto-Rooter Home Products

This post in sponsored by Roto-Rooter, but all enthusiasm is my own.   I live in an old farmhouse, and I have kids.  You better believe we deal with some clogs.  One time I found straw, leaves, and grass in my bathtub after the kids washed off something inside instead of at the hose outside.   I also have insanely thick hair, and it constantly clogs the drain.  Compounding the problem, we have a septic system, so I have to use products that are safe for septic systems.  When Roto-Rooter asked me to be a brand ambassador for them this year, I knew it would be a great fit for my lifestyle and my home.  This is a product that we use, so it was natural to share it with my readers. You probably think of a plumbing service when you think of Roto-Rooter , but they have new home products.  Not every plumbing situation needs a plumber, and you can save a lot of money by trying to unclog your sinks or bathtubs by yourself.  If Roto-Rooter clog remover, doesn't remove the clog, Roto-Roo

Non Toxic Sticker Remover

When I'm crafting, I have to remove a lot of stickers, especially when I upcycle something.  I use a hair dryer if I can't get the item wet, but that can leave some residue.  I can't use commercial sticker removers because most of them use orange essential oil, which gives me a migraine.  I also prefer to use nontoxic cleaners in my home.  This also has two ingredients in it that I use all the time, so I always have the ingredients.  I started to make a craft for my son, but I had to take the label off of the bottle first.  I decided to share that with all of my wonderful readers, Before using this non toxic sticker remover, it's important to remove as much of the sticker as you can.  Ideally, you'll be able to remove all of it except the residue, but this will also cut through the actual sticker.   Use a spoon to get about a teaspoon of coconut oil and spread over the sticker residue.  You can also use vegetable oil or olive oil, but I think coconut o