Vanilla Extract~Natural Mosquito Repellent

Who isn’t scared of getting West Nile Virus?

We have been spending a lot of time outdoors lately because of my girls playing soccer. At least three nights out of our week we are on the soccer fields, and right during the buzzing hour!

I absolutely hate spraying ‘Deet Bug Spray’ on my kids!  We are always closing our eyes, doing the one-two-three don’t breathe drill, or coughing and choking from this stuff.

Another soccer mom came up and told me that an elderly lady told her to use Vanilla Extract!!

After researching this a bit, it seems that many other people also believe this to be true.  The one thing I have found though is it has to be Pure Vanilla Extract, the other stuff has sugar added which obviously would not repel any bug!  There are two ways to use it.  You can add it directly to the pressure points, like wrists and neck, or you can dilute it with water (50/50 mixture) and spray it on.

We will be trying this out at soccer practice tonight and I will let you know how it goes!

Oops forgot to add, the only down side I have seen to this method is that it only last for 30-45 min!  So you will have to re-apply!

Do you have anything natural that you have found to work?

Love,  K

My New Mailbox

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So this is a picture of how ugly my mailbox looked when we bought our house!

I went and looked at replacing it, but didnt like anything I saw at the hardware stores.  This thing was an eye sore to me, and I just couldnt take it anymore.

I decided maybe all it needed was a fresh coat of spray paint.  So I ran to the store and bought a can of Rustoleum Metal Spray Paint in red.  First I took off the ugly hanging pieces (which have no purpose) then washed and dried the mailbox off really good.  I applied 3 coats of paint and let it dry all day.

I like this mailbox because it is a little different than the generic ones I have seen.  The emblem in the middle does set it apart!

Much Better!  Curb appeal just went up in my book!

What do you think??

Love, K

Landscape Mulch Project

I saw this idea on Pinterest and decided to try it, especially since Lowes was having such a good special on mulch!

Our front yard is lacking a bit and needs a little refreshing, of course there is still lots left to do but here is what we did today.

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Here is a before shot!

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And another, my beds were just full of dirt, ants and weeds, YUCK!

A pin on Pinterest said that if you put some newspaper under your mulch its bio degradeable and keeps the weeds gone, actually is supposed to kill them after 18 months completely! ( I will keep you updated on that part, lol)

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So we picked up some free Greensheets (the greensheet brings you buyers!) and laid them all down.

Then we just poured the mulch over on top and evened it out!  Such a simple project, but makes a huge differnce to my curb appeal!

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What do you think?
The whole project took me about 15-20 min!!

Love, K

Texas Rangers Dress from a Tshirt

My husband and I are HUGE Texas Rangers Fans! I saw this idea on Pinterest and there a few people making these and selling them on the internet. I have been wanting to purchase one to wear at a game, but then decided maybe I could make one myself.

I searched the internet for a couple different tutorials, and all were a little different. So I just kind of hodge podged them together.

I went to Wal-Mart and purchased a shirt, and a couple of things like thread and elastic. Then I went to Hobby Lobby for the trim for the bottom of the dress.

I bought an XLarge Mens Shirt.  Actually to be completely honest, I bought two one for me and one for my husband, but the first round of trying to do this I messed up and had to steal my hubby’s shirt to start over!  I cut off the sleeves and the collar.  The first one I tried I ended up cutting the name off on the back, and I wanted the name to show, so that’s why I started over.

After the first messed up shirt, my frustration level was at an all time high, and I almost gave up, so that’s why there are no more pictures from this point!

I just sewed down the sides of the dress and kept trying it on and sewing more until it fit properly.  Then on the top I folded the seam over a 1/2 inch and sewed all the way around but leaving a small opening to pull the elastic through.  Then I sewed the elastic together and sewed the whole back up.

Next I sewed the hemline and attached the ruffle on the bottom.

Here is the finished product!  It’s not perfect by any means, and was still a little tight and short for my liking!

And here is what the back looked like:

What do you think??

Tip Junkie handmade projects

DIY Bow Holder

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I was so inspired by this Bow Holder I saw on Pinterest, by U-Createcrafts.com.  This was the first bow holder I have seen of this kind.

My girls have just recently started wanting to wear bows, and I went a little crazy purchasing them a good amount to start out with, but I just kept them in a plastic ziploc storage bag, which wasn’t very functional.

So when I saw that post I just knew I had to make one for the girls bows!

I had a basic 16×20 picture frame sitting in my cupboard for a really long time, knowing I would eventually figure out something to do with it!

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I don’t like to use these for pictures like this anymore, so I took out all the pieces in the back and also removed the glass. So all thats left is just the basic frame.

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I left it the gold color, cause it matches my decor the way it is.  Next I cut pieces of ribbon to the size of the frame.  I hot glued each piece into place.  I was going to use my staple gun for extra support, but after i put in 1 staple I realized that it was going to far through the frame.  I decided to just leave it the way it was with the hot glue.

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Pretty simple, and didn’t take me very long! Which is even better!  Having three kids makes it a little tough sometimes to sit down and do a project, none the less actually finish one!

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Tada! Nicely organized bows!

Recycled Crayons!

I have got to the point with my girls, that I dont even want to buy them crayons anymore!

My girls are real little artists and they love to color and draw, but everytime they get out the crayons they end up all over the house, they get stepped on, broken and lost.  So we have tons of little pieces of crayons EVERYWHERE.

One day while my girls were gone to their dads for the weekend, I got together all the crayons I could find.  I saw this project idea on Pinterest.

It was actaully very easy, the worst part was sitting down and trying to peel off all the paper!

Took off all the pieces of paper, and broke the crayons into smaller pieces

The only part I would change if I do this again, is to find cuter shaped muffin tins, or cookie pans.  All I had were the regular boring circle shaped, but thats ok it still worked!

I sprayed the tins with Pam, so that they would come out easier after they dried.  Set the oven to 325F, keep an eye on them because you dont want the wax to start burning.  I left them in the oven for about 10-15 min.

This is how they looked when I took them out the oven.  After they cooled down a little bit, I put the whole pan in the freezer (sounds crazy but makes them come out much easier)

I left them in the freezer for about 10 min.  Then when I pulled them out, I just flipped the pan and they fell right out

And there you go, brand new crayons!  My girls love them, because they are multicolored!

Trash Can Project

I was so tired of looking at the eye sore of a trash can I had sitting in my kitchen.  It was just a cheap boring black trash can.  Exhibit A: Before

It seems there is a fix for everything now, so I decided to look up different kinds of spray paint, and found a special plastic spray paint at Lowes.    I went with red and brown since those are the colors in my home.

Here is the brown finally finished. (Excuse my messy backyard) It was really windy that day and super cold! BRRRHHHH

This took me a couple days to actually do, and boy did I miss my trash can in the process lol.  I realized that spray painting things is not as easy as you think.  The weather conditions have to be perfect or you get paint everywhere! I had first decided to spary the entire can brown, and maybe do some red embelishments all over it.  But after much trial and error and continuos re-touching and do overs, I simplified my idea!

I wanted to bring in just a little bit of the red in my decor.  I had a stencil from Hobby Lobby that I used to help paint the red design and finally, FINISHED!

What do you think??  Im happy with it!

Feel free to leave a comment or ask a question!

Thanks!

Tip Junkie handmade projects

DIY Christmas Ornaments

Although Christmas is already passed, I wanted to share the DIY ornament project my girls and I did!

They were loving this!

It was a lot of work, but also a lot of fun for us to do together.  Some of them came out so cute that we decided to give them to family members as gifts this year!

Here is what you will need for the Kitchen to get started:

  • ½ cup of salt
  • 1 cup of flour
  • ½ cup of water
  • A rolling-pin
  • Cookie cutters
  • A toothpick
  • A cookie sheet

Start out by first mixing the salt and flour together.  Next add the water to the flour and salt mixture. You have to put your hands in it, and really knead the ingredients together.  If you feel like you might need more water, add it very slowly in small amounts.  Its much easier to add more water than it is to take it out!

Once you get a pie crust like consistency you can then place the ball of dough on a floured counter.  Make sure to also flour your rolling-pin, so the dough doesn’t stick.  Roll out the dough to about 1/2 inch thick and use the desired cookie cutters to start cutting out your ornaments.  Once you have cut all the desired shapes out, get a toothpick and prick a whole all the way through where you will later string your ornament.  It’s very difficult to do this once the dough has hardened.

Place the ornaments on a cookie sheet and bake at 350 F for approx 20-25 min.  If your dough is still not hard enough, you may also allow them to dry overnight.  You don’t want your ornaments to get brown, or your paint wont look right.

Ready to bake!

Now its time to decorate!

We used regular acrylic paint to decorate the ornaments.  Once the paint was finally dry, I sprayed them with a few coats of Mod Podge acrylic sealer.  Then we put some string on the end and they were done!

Here are a few finished ones that we made for our tree, since I forgot to take pictures of the ones we gave as gifts!

These are the ones I did, not perfect but still cute!

 
 

The ones the girls made!

 

Simple Dining Room Table Deco

My husband and I finally bought our first piece of NEW furniture together!  Most of our furniture thus far has been hand me down or stuff we have had for a while.  I was so excited I finally got the dark wood pub style table I have always wanted!!  Heres a pic!

What do you think?!

Now I had to come up with something to decorate it with.  I searched and searched for ideas and things that would be pretty to go on top.  Of course once again, Pinterest definatley came in handy.  I saw lots of ideas for hurricanes and how to fill them, so I kind of put a couple things together that I had seen and made it my own.

First, was something to put under the hurricanes so they dont ruin the top of the table.  My mom always used to buy decorative throws as her table top covers, so I used her idea.

Next I went to good ole’ Wal-Mart and bought three hurricanes.  I like to use different shapes, sizes and heights.  Next I had to find some candles that would fit.  My color scheme in my home is reds and browns, and I had decided to use coffee beans as a filler, so automatically I went for red candles.

I think it came together pretty good, and smells pretty great too!

Simple and Easy, my two favorite things, lol!

Hope you enjoyed this post!