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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Photo Board Tutorial

As we tried to settle into our new house, I noticed that I had many walls that needed to be filled.  I always like to display pictures.  Not every picture can go in a frame though.  That is why I like to make photo boards that match my decor.

Prior to our move, my husband's Uncle gave us a large black entertainment center to go in our family room.  Since our family room and kitchen share space, I had to be selective with my decor items.  I had a photo board that was in cobalt blue to match my kitchen and dining room.  This doesn't match black, so I had to find a pretty fabric that would be a nice fit for our family room.  I went to my go to store, Hobby Lobby, and found the perfect print.  I also picked up some burgundy/red ribbon for holding the pictures.

Enough talking about the photo board, let me show you how to make one for yourself.  Don't be scared by this project.  It is very easy to make and you get to use a power tool (sort of).

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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Our Big Move & Getting Settled In

It has been 20 days since we made our  major 9-hour move from Atlanta, Georgia to Dayton, Ohio.  It was interesting following three 26-foot trucks (you read that right, we have way too much junk) and me in the minivan with the 3 kids.  I was amazed at how well the kids did.  They didn't fuss at all.  Thank you Lord for the invention of in car DVD players.  It did help that they kids were exhausted from all the packing from the previous day.  They spent a long time looking like this:

We were very blessed that when we arrived our Senior Minister and his family (our good friends) arrived with dinner and drinks.  That was especially nice for the kids so they could get out of the car and run around.

We spent the night on air mattresses and waited for some moving help until the next day.  I am sure the neighbors were wondering how large of a family was moving in with the 3 Penske trucks parked in front of our new rental house.

The next day started earlier with some cleaning and the arrival of some professional moving help.  They were able to unload all our furniture and put all our boxes in the garage.  That left us with one truck to unload by ourselves.   We had that unloaded when the mass reinforcements showed up.  Two small groups from our church (about 15 people) showed up with dinner and willingness to move boxes to where they belonged.  This was a huge help that would have taken us weeks to tackle.  By the end of our second night in our house we had all the boxes where they were supposed to go and our beds setup to sleep in that night.  Not until the next morning did I realize some of the boxes were even unpacked for us and put away.  What a huge blessing!

My mom stayed with us the first week to help tackle the madness.  She took on the windows that were beyond dirty in addition to anything else that was asked of her.  She is one hard worker!  I don't know what I would have done without all her help.  My dad returned over the weekend and made a huge discovery that we were unaware of.  Four houses down there is a back entrance to a wonderful park with a lake, walking path, playground and skate park.  He took the kids down there to get out of our hair and they are love with our new park!  Those two little specks are my kids standing in front of the lake.  It is a huge park, if you can't tell!

I have realized in the last month that I have a future working at IKEA.  I would never have a paycheck because I would spend it there, but man can I take apart and put furniture together.  In the last 18 days, I have put together 2 side tables, 1 large entertainment center, a futon, 2 bedside tables, a bunkbed, a daybed, and 2 chairs and a side table for my husband's office.  If you can't tell, I'm the builder in my family.  I'm very visual and can figure things out like that very easily.  My husband is willing to buy furniture that needs to be put together, but refuses to bring himself to the snapping point of putting it together.  I don't mind building, it makes the hubs appreciate me even more.  I recently saw this cartoon and I knew it was meant for me.

We are slowly getting settled.  I had hoped to be better settled by now, but with three young kids and my husband working long hours at his new job, there just isn't enough time. Thank you so much for your patience with me as my family has made this huge transition.  I appreciate you sticking with me.  I have many emails and comments to return and I promise to get to them asap!

 I haven't gotten back to full fledge crafting yet, but I have quite a long list of things to make for this house.  I can't wait to share them with as I make this house our home.

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Sunday, June 3, 2012

Homemade Dishwasher Detergent

Since I was successful with making my own laundry detergent, I decided to try making dishwasher detergent. I almost always buy the little packets of Cascade. I admit, I am not a couponer. It takes an enormous amount of time and quite frankly, most of what I buy doesn't have coupons. I've also found that when I use coupons I buy things I wouldn't normally and most of that isn't healthy or necessary so it certainly doesn't save me money.  The Cascade I buy isn't cheap. So, I searched through many recipes and this is what I came up with.

1 cup of Borax

1 cup of Washing Soda

1/2 cup Kosher salt

1/2 cup Lemi-Shine (I found this at Wal Mart in the dishwasher soap section)

Mix the ingredients together, put them in a container, with the lid off for 24 hours. Leaving the lid off supposedly helps keep the detergent from clumping. Mine clumps a little but nothing you can't handle.  Store in the container with the lid closed.

Use a heaping tablespoon of detergent with each load.

Fill your rinsing agent section with white vinegar for a cheap alternative to Jet Dry.

We've been using this as our dishwasher detergent for over a month. It's worked very well and it's great to know I'm saving money, (I figure this method costs about 25% of what I was spending on Jet Dri and Cascade)!
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