DIY

DIY Farmhouse Table

So late last summer Home Depot so generously sent me a $100 Project Gift Card after seeing my Drab to Fab Headboard Makeover Post & my DIY Starburst Mirror post.  They told me to use it on future projects, and since we were right smack dab in the middle of packing our house up to move, it was perfect timing to look towards future projects.

Obviously since moving we have done many projects, including a full kitchen remodel, but we wanted to save the project gift card for something special.  So, my husband and I saved it to be used on the DIY Farmhouse Table that he built for our dining room!

We have never had a large, family size dining room table.  When we first got married we lived in a tiny campus house, so we bought a small round table that sat four, but in our first house we only kept out two chairs because we didn't have room for all four.  Anyways, in our new house we put the leaf in the table, so it was a tad bit bigger, but still not a real dining room table.

I was thrilled when we had the idea to build this table.  We found the idea on Restoration Hardware, when we found a table that we liked, but it was WAY outside of our price range. So obviously we weren't going to buy that table....instead we decided to build our own. My husband found the plans, and we got to work! Here is the outcome in comparison to the one at Restoration Hardware.

restoration hardware

The best part about this table is that the wood used on the top came from the wall that we tore out in our kitchen.  The walls of our house are all shiplap.  The house was built in 1929, so this wood is old.  I love that our table has this unique quality, and is essentially 80 years old.

We don't have chairs for the table yet.  My husband has built this bench, but still has to finish it.

We have talked about putting benches on both sides and then buying nice, fancy upholstered chairs for the heads of the table.  BUT...I got the idea recently to do only one bench, the upholstered chairs, and then look for some CHEAP chairs from a garage sale to put on the opposite side of the bench.  So, we will be heading out this Saturday to look at garage sales for chairs!

What do you think about our table?!!?

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We love the way our table turned out and seeing it in our new dining room! Thank you so much Home Depot for the Project Gift Card that made this possible! little signautres

Painted Antlers

So....a few months ago, I started noticing this trend on Pinterest of painted antlers! They looked so great, and antlers in my family are easy to come by!

I grew up a country girl, and I come from a family of hunters, so to find antlers laying around the house or shop isn't a rare site.  So over Christmas when I was visiting my dad I grabbed a handful of deer antlers from his house and brought them home to have fun with.

I pulled out some tape, and paint, and started getting creative!

It was really fun, and I am excited about the way they turned out.  I even have a pair of antlers set up in my baby boy's room as decoration!

And notice his adorable fedora that I picked up at Target yesterday!! I love it!

Here's all the antlers I made:

This is one of the antlers in Zander's room!

This is one of the antlers in Zander's room!

A few of the antlers I'm not using in my nursery I have up FOR SALE in my Etsy Shop!

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Processed with VSCOcam with g3 preset

Processed with VSCOcam with g3 preset

Find on Etsy

Processed with VSCOcam with g3 preset

Find on Etsy

These were super fun to make! If you like the designs you see, check them out at my Naturally Nifty Etsy Shop, or message me about getting custom colors/designs!

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DIY Whale Clock!

So this weekend I obviously had to play with my new Silhouette!!

I am still just so excited and constantly pinning new project ideas to work on! I can't wait for the long MLK weekend to have more time to work on baby crafts!

Anyways, this weekend I decided to partner with my husband to make something I pinned on my Baby Boy Suell Pinterest Board, it's a Whale Clock from Land of Nod.

whale-modern-wall-clock

Anyways, I pinned this, and decided after my husband got a scroll saw for Christmas that we would try to make it! I am loving whales, and although I wouldn't say I am doing a whale theme in the baby nursery, I will have a few cute whale pieces.

So here's what we did:

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First, I took some scrap wood, (it's actually wood from our old kitchen cabinets that we took out), and I free handed the whale while looking at the picture.

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Then my husband used his scroll saw to cut it out.  It was his first project with his new toy, so that was fun! It isn't as smooth on the edges as the Land of Nod one, but that is great with me! I love the roughed edges!!

Then I took sand paper and sanded all around, including the edges.

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Then I bought the clock shape from the Silhouette Store, and took the circles off of it to just use the numbers.  I then cut them out with vinyl and my cameo.  I also used a clock kit, (which was the only thing we paid for) from Hobby Lobby, it cost under $5.

I also decided to stain the edges with a dark wood stain, just to add some character.

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So here's what you get from start to finish!

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See, DIY is definitely cheaper! Plus it was upcycled wood, which is always great!

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The Silhouette is MINE!!

So this is real life! I can't believe I am finally holding one of these in my arms, at my house!!

silhouette cameoIf you are wondering what it is, well it's a crafter's dream come true! The SILHOUETTE CAMEO is an electronic cutting tool! You can do so much with it!

I had the privilege over the past few months to use my friends and I did some amazing stuff with it for my gender reveal party! So much fun!

Then once I found out I was getting one of my own for Christmas, I started a Pinterest Board just for Silhouette projects that I want to do! Mainly having to do with cute baby stuff! I bought a bundle, so I got gift cards to their online store, a cover for the machine, two blades (one for fabric, one for paper), and fabric adhesive! I have done so much with vinyl already that I wanted to try out some fabric projects! I have cute onesies in mind :-)

Here are some things I did with my friends machine so you can get a better idea of project possibilities!

I cut the vinyl nativity scene out with the machine, and painted wood to put it on! So easy & cute!

I cute vinyl out to say Baby Boy, (there is also a girl one).  I then put it on the frame glass and put glitter paper behind it.

I made tons here: The banner, I cut the banner & letters out. I made all the frames with cute vinyl and scrapbook paper. & the gold dots on the table. I was going to string those together but it didn't work out!

So you get the idea, this machine is AMAZING!! I can't wait to play with some baby clothes ideas!!! & don't worry I will definitely be sharing them here, and on Instagram of course :-)

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DIY Starburst Mirror

DIY Starburst Mirror
DIY Starburst Mirror

Last week I showed you my DIY Canopy Bed with the Starburst Mirror as an accent on it! I loved the way it turned out! I got my inspiration from this post on Pinterest!

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If you saw my Bedroom Makeover Inspiration post then you have seen this room before! This is the main PINspiration for my entire room redo! I love this look! And since I loved the Starburst Decor so much, I decided to have fun and make my own DIY Starburst Mirror!

I had the mirror at home already, and I wasn't really using it for anything great.  All we bought was a package of wooden slat door stoppers from Home Depot, then my husband cut some paint stick size sticks of wood, all from scrap wood he had in the garage.  So we probably spent a total of $8 on this project, including the gold spray paint.

(I almost used paint sticks for the longer parts, but they were just too week, and my husband figured he could do something better....so I let him!)

First I laid all of the wood pieces out and painted them gold!

Then after they were painted I played around to see what type of design I wanted to make.  I finally decided to do it like this.

DIY Starburst Mirror

To start I glued all of my pieces to an old cd.  Then I saw how clumsy it was so my husband took the cd and cut a rough piece of scrap wood into that size of a circle and I used that for the back support.

DIY Starburst Mirror

DIY Starburst Mirror

Once I had all of my pieces in place I glued the mirror on top of the Starburst.  You definitely want to use a strong wood glue for this! I used hot glue at first and it fell off onto my bed.  Let's just say you don't want a lose mirror hung above your bed. It can definitely hurt someone!

DIY Starburst Mirror

 So there you have it! An easy & cheap DIY Starburst Mirror! Plus you could paint it any color you want!

Check out other posts of our bedroom makeover

DIY Canopy Bed

Drab to FAB Headboard Makeover

Bedroom Inspiration

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Linking up to:

RomanceOnADime.com

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DIY Canopy Bed

Finally!! Here for another bedroom update!

If you didn't know, we started a bedroom makeover after receiving new bedding for Christmas! I am finally getting my yellow & gray bedroom! And let me just tell you I am loving the way it is turning out!

It may be a slow process, since we both work full time and do projects between work & pay checks, but I love every thing we have done so far! If you want to see previous posts about what inspired our room, or our headboard makeover check out the links at the bottom of the post!

Today though I am going to show you all the canopy that we added to our bed, plus a few small accessories that we made!

From our beginning room inspiration we knew that we wanted to create our own DIY Canopy Bed.  I have always loved canopy beads, and although we don't have a normal 4-post canopy, we created our own style of a DIY Canopy Bead.

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We did this by using curtain rods.  You see there are two curtain rods on the ceiling, then the curtains are draped just right to create a semi-canopy.

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canopy bed

I loved the way it turned out with our new DIY tufted headboard! Then, I also made some pillows with various yellow/gray materials I found.  We are slowly adding more yellow accessories to the room.

DIY Pillows

The last accessory we handmade was a starburst mirror! I had researched several different ways to create this cute look, doing it myself of course, and finally found something I liked, then added my own little spin.  This Starburst Mirror literally cost me $0 because we used scrap wood, and a mirror that we already had at our home.  I will be posting a HOW TO make your own Starburst Mirror soon!

DIY Starburst

DIY Starburst

So here it is so far! Our bedroom! (the lighting is a little weird in this one).  I can't wait to get in our new house though, with a light gray wall behind this!!

COMING SOON: DIY bedside tables (hint, those are YELLOW!!)

Check out other posts of our bedroom makeover

Drab to FAB Headboard Makeover

Bedroom Inspiration

We were FEATURED ON:

RomanceOnADime.com

Pallet Swing

So in the second half of 2011....

my husband and I had two big life changes happen. 
We moved into a new home....
AND
We got introduced to the world of Pinterest! 
Or shall I say I got introduced and soon enough began passing ideas off to my husband!
Well with our new house, we had a small back patio/porch that was empty...so after seeing a wonderful little modern swing on Pinterest, and learning how cheap it could be, I talked him into making it. 
I say I can take some credit since I found the idea, 
but really my husband did absolutely all the work...
even tweeking it some to make the project more fun! 
We decided to make a flat pallet swing for our back porch.  
It was really so cheap, here are all the supplies that we needed: 
1 Pallet
1 Large piece of rope (bought the length we needed from Lowes)
2 Eye Hooks (also from Lowes)
Some stain of your choice, and of course hammer and nails
My husband put it together in one day! It turned out awesome, and since our back porch isn't too big, it's nice because it doesn't take up much room, it just sits in the corner.  
The only thing not that great about it, is that it is really just a one person swing, so if you are wanting something for you and your spouse to sit on, you should go a different route.  But if you are looking for a simple, cute, and comfy swing to read on or enjoy the weather on, this is great! 

And to make it personal and fun, my husband decided to make the parts of the swing that hang on the outside of the ropes little flower boxes.  This was his own idea and it turned out really great. At first I wasn't sure about it, but I really love it! (sorry I don't have a photo with the pretty flowers in it for you)

Anyways, let me know if you have tried this, or if you end up trying it! 
Also, don't forget to head over to our Naturally-Nifty Linky Party and link up your great stuff! The party will be open until Friday at midnight. 

Naturally-Nifty Linky Party #4!

The sisters here at Natural-Nesters are so excited to get to feature some of our wonderful reader's Niftiest things this week! We even have a Reader's Choice Feature this week which makes us very excited! We want yall to have fun at our party, so check out the features, link up your great stuff, and then check out some other links....then come back here and like your favorite ones.(You can even like your own!)
We hope you have fun at our party, and we can't wait to see what everyone links up !
These easy and cute felt flowers can make some wonderful and cute wreaths, or can be used for any other project you want.  Go over and check our the blog Mrs Priss and let her teach you how to make them.  I made my own in just like 3 minutes.  It is definitely an easy flower to make, and different than most I have seen! I love it! Thanks for teaching me! 
Marilyn from 4 You With Love shares a wonderful family table game with us...something that will make dinner fun for everyone! She even shares a great memory from her own family when they played this game! Part of it allows adults to act as children, and the children to act as adults! It is fun for everyone, go check out all the details and try it with your own family tonight at dinner. 
Lynn over at Scrapity Anne gives us a recipe for an amazing eye makeup remover.  As I woman, I know how hard it is to get that stuff off, and the clothes and stuff you can buy to help add up $$$ so I am excited to try this out and save some money in the process! Head over to her blog to get this great recipe! 

The room makeover at PB&J Stories is one of my favorites this week! Not only because of my love for yellow and gray and me being envious of wanting my room decorated in those colors, but because of all of the great stuff she did here! I love the different patterns together, the way she is able to use space for an office area, and just the entire transformation of the room is huge! Plus have you noticed the hidden organization she has here? Her cute trunk bench at the end of her bed doubles as a filing cabinet, and she uses one of the drawers in her dresser to put her printer! It is great! Head on over and check it out! 
And this week we finally have a feature blog that was chosen by YOU! We give our readers the opportunity to like the links they have visited, and the one with the most likes will be the Reader's Choice Feature! 
This week, that award goes to Bumblebee & Sophie who was also featured here last week for her wonderful sewing skills! Stop by and check out the wonderful Valentines gifts she made! There are multiple different ones, all so unique and fun and so well sewn. Here she has made a cute lunch bag, and another one of my favorites are the mittens she made! Be sure to stop by and check her out! 

Now...for the Naturally-Nifty Linky Party #4! Remember link up all your favorite things! We want to see it all.  
The only things we ask is that you become a follower of Natural-Nesters & that you put our button on you blog so that you can link back to us! (You can find our button on the left side bar)
If you'd like you can also stop by our facebook page and LIKE us there too! 

You can post as many links as you want. And next week we will feature some of our favorite projects/ideas! 
Plus we will have a bloggers choice feature! So take time to visit some other blogs and LIKE your favorites and the blog with the top Likes will be featured next week as well! 

Thanks for linking up with us!
We can't wait to see your nifty ideas and accomplishments! 

Naturally-Nifty Linky Party #3 & Features

Thank you to everyone that joined in this weeks linky party. We had a lot of fun looking through all of the amazing creations. We really enjoy having these parties because we are meeting new blogger friends and getting new ideas. 
Eventually we really would like to have a Reader's Choice Feature, but we haven't had enough likes on the links, so be sure when you visit links in the party to come back and like your favorites! 
All I have to say about this project from Full Circle Creations is that she is not only creative and crafty, but a great visionary! I feel like for this project you really had to see ahead to the final outcome, I just don't know if I could've ever thought of anything so unique and great! You have to go see the raw materials of this clock and you will realize what I am talking about! I love the outcome and would love to put a clock like this on my mantel! Great job! 
Darby over at Life with the Hawleys made some awesome homemade dog treats! This is so handy and I'm sure the dogs think they are yummy! The great thing is, is that she has been able to try out several different dog bone recipes! I for sure want to get my hands on one of those dog bone trays so I can start treating my pups to this sweet stuff! 
Condo Blues created these cute labels for her homemade cleaners. I love it. I love the fact that she makes her own cleaners, as do I, and has cutesy labels. My bottles are merely labeled with a permanent marker! :) They do not look near this cute. My goal is to get this finished by the end of March for my own cleaners. I love how the font an style she uses seems so fancy. This definitely takes away from the boredom of cleaners! :) I can't lie though, I am very interested in this Vodka Fabric Refresher and the Stain Remover. 
How cute is this sewing machine cover from Bumblebee & Sophie? I love her work. Skip on over there and see the things that she makes. I especially love her personalized tag that is on all of her products. I wanted to make a sewing machine cover as well- but I was going to use just one fabric. I love her stuff because she uses different fabrics so it is not boring! 
Now...for the Naturally-Nifty Linky Party #3! Remember link up all your favorite things! We want to see it all.  
The only things we ask is that you become a follower of Natural-Nesters & that you put our button on you blog so that you can link back to us! (You can find our button on the left side bar)
If you'd like you can also stop by our facebook page and LIKE us there too! 

You can post as many links as you want. And next week we will feature some of our favorite projects/ideas! 
Plus we will have a bloggers choice feature! So take time to visit some other blogs and LIKE your favorites and the blog with the top Likes will be featured next week as well! 

Thanks for linking up with us!
We can't wait to see your nifty ideas and accomplishments! 


Naturally-Nifty Linky Party #2 & Features!

We are so proud of our first linky party ever! And so thankful for all of you that participated! We cannot believe that we had 64 link ups on our first party!
Now...we are so excited to get to feature a few of those great ideas that you all had! Be sure to copy the Featured on Naturally-Nifty Party Button and put it on your page (can be found on our left side bar).
So here's some of our favorites! 
This awesome piece was transformed from a family entertainment center to a wonderful play kitchen.  The Things I Do For Moo did a wonderful job on this project, and I know that Moo absolutely loved playing with it! My favorite part is all of the detail....the tiles on the backsplash, and the little menu chalkboard! So creative! I am seriously on the search for an entertainment center to create a kitchen for my daycare.

My Life's a Treasure create a Family Binder. I really like this because it seems it could be a huge help in staying organized in your family. Both of us enjoy doing things for our home and family and I think that this binder is a great way to help us stay on top of it. One of us is a little more organized than the other, so maybe that other sister should really think about using it. We will let you just guess which sister you think is the most organized. :) Great job on this. 

I absolutely love the chair reupholstery job done over at Cotton Pickin Cute. I love this one so much because I just finished my first furniture job in January.  Although it wasn't reupholstery, I sewed new cushions and I know how good it feels to look at the work you did in your home and be full of pride for how it turned out.  Great job, the whole set is beautiful! 
I love the crocheted camera strap by Seven Alive. She did a great job, and I am very interested in making my own.  I also LOVE the colors yellow and gray, which I have mentioned, so this is right up my alley. It really makes your camera personal and fun! 
And since it is Valentines Day we wanted to feature these wonderful Conversation Heart Cheese Cakes made by Hungry Happenings.  These are so festive and so fun, I would love to serve some of these wonderful hearts to my family for Valentines Day! 
Thanks so much to everyone for linking up! 

Now...for the Naturally-Nifty Linky Party #2! Remember link up all your favorite things! We want to see it all.  
The only things we ask is that you become a follower of Natural-Nesters & that you put our button on you blog so that you can link back to us! (You can find our button on the left side bar)

You can post as many links as you want. And next week we will feature some of our favorite projects/ideas! 
Plus we will have a bloggers choice feature! So take time to visit some other blogs and LIKE your favorites and the blog with the top Likes will be featured next week as well! 

Thanks for linking up with us!
We can't wait to see your nifty ideas and accomplishments! 

Yummy--Zucchini Bread Recipe

So I started the contest blog out with a Wheat Bread Recipe , and I am going to end it with another bread recipe! 
Here is a great Zucchini Bread Recipe! I have made it twice so far and it turns out perfect and so yummy! 

Zucchini Bread
3 eggs
1 C vegetable oil
1 ½ C sugar
3 medium zucchini – grated and well drained  (2 C)  (I put the grated zucchini in a strainer, press down with my hands to get out liquid and then put a plate on top to drain out as much liquid as possible.  I’ll leave it for about 10 minutes to let it drain.) 
2 t vanilla
2 C sifted flour (all purpose)
¼ t baking powder
2 t baking soda
3 t ground cinnamon
1 t salt
¼ t nutmeg
1 C raisins (optional)
1 C chopped walnuts
Beat eggs lightly in large bowl.  Stir in oil, sugar, zucchini and vanilla.
Sift flour, baking powder, and baking soda. Cinnamon, nutmeg and salt onto wax paper.  Stir into egg mixture until well blended.  Stir in raisins and nuts.  Spoon batter into two well greased 8 x 5 x 3 inch loaf pans.  Put 3 C batter in each pan.
Bake in a moderate oven (375 degrees) for 1 hour or until center springs back when lightly pressed with fingertip.  Cool in pans on a wire rack 10 minutes.  Remove from pans and cool completely. 
(350 degrees works best for my oven and I still cook it for 1 hour – see which works best for you.)

Thankful for my friend Dani Kizer who shared this wonderful recipe with me! 
In my bread I didn't use raisins, only walnuts, and it was fantastic.  Also, I only used 2 zucchinis instead of 3 and that turned out wonderful! 

Anyways, I would love to hear if any of you try this! Or if you have a different recipe, let  me know what you do different in a comment below so I can try your style! 

I hope you all enjoy this recipe, and can add it to your list of recipes to try! 

REMEMBER....today is your last chance to win the
Lequip Professional Stick Blender with all of the attachments.
This tool is so amazing. I have used it to mince veggies such as onions, cilantro, and even tomotoes. We really enjoy using it to help make our fresh salsa. I have also used it when making baby food. The uses for this tool are unlimited. 
The website describes this tool as:
“An ideal blender for daily use. Slim ergonomic design with soft-touch easy-grip handle. Stainless steel body. Removable, interchangeable blades for mincing, beating, chopping, aerating, and whisking. It also includes a multi- chopper/grinder attachment.”

If you want to enter click on GIVEAWAY and it will take you to the place to enter! Each person has 6 chances to ENTER, and the giveaway ends tonight at 10pm (Central). We will be announcing the winner this weekend, so keep an eye out to see if you are the lucky winner of this awesome kitchen tool! 

Curtain Makeover....Finally

I have been dying to put this post up for you all to see! 
This past weekend I planned to spend most of my day Saturday making new curtains for my house, and it did take me practically the entire day! From about 11:30am-5:00pm (with a little lunch break).
I am so happy with them though. 
You see when we moved into our new house in August, the previous owners left all the curtain rods and curtains for every room.  Which is actually an amazing budget saver...because purchasing rods and curtains for four bedrooms, a living room, and dining room would cost A LOT OF MONEY! So we were actually pretty thankful for them, except they didn't all totally match our stuff.  The boys rooms don't really matter, and the dining room is okay, but my bedroom ones don't match our stuff at all (another project later I hope), and as for the living room, they match our stuff, but weren't exactly what I wanted...so that's where I started! Since the summer I have loved the horizantal striped curtains I have seen on Pinterest and Blogland! And I knew I just had to have those in my house somewhere.  So recently I found the most brilliant way to do this project, using freezer paper...so I decided I was finally going to do it! 
So check out what I did: 
Supplies: 
-Curtains
-Latex Paint
-Paint Trey
-Textile Medium (to soften the paint on the fabric)
-Roller Brush
-Drop Cloth
-Roll of Freezer Paper
-Scissors
-Measuring Tape
-Iron
First thing I did was spend time laying out and ironing my curtain to make it straighter, this will make the lines more accurate and straight. 
 The next thing I did was get all of the freezer paper ready.  You measure it out over the width of your curtain and cut strips...how many you need will be different for different sizes of curtains.  Then you take the freezer paper, fold it in half, and cut the half mark all the way down.  This makes the stripes a nice width.  Do your best to cut as straight as possible. 
Then you iron on the freezer paper...YES FREEZER PAPER WILL STICK TO YOUR CURTAIN when it is ironed on! I loved this and would love to learn other crafts you can do using freezer paper! 
You measure 9 inches between each freezer paper (because that is how wide the freezer paper is, so you are making all the stripes the same size)
Then pour your paint into the paint trey. I then added a good amount of the textile medium, (which I purchased at Hobby Lobby). This will make the Latex paint softer once it dries on the fabric. 

Then you just take the roller brush and paint down the sides that are not covered by freezer paper. 
Once you have painted a whole curtain, you want to take the freezer paper off before the paint dries. 

See how clean and crisp it turns out. 

My final two curtains once they were in the drying stage. 
I would recommend using a lighter fabric, I used a thick 100% polyester and the only thing I have a problem with is how they lay on the window, they are very stiff all together.  If I did it over I would honestly just use white sheets as curtains. 

BEFORE: 

Here's the before--the curtains that were in the house when we moved in and have been in our living room the past 4 months. 
And here was the outcome of my 5+ hours of work! 
AFTER: 

 I just love them! 

Anyways, I hope you enjoy my hard work as much as I do! Check out my right-lower bar for all the parties I am linking up to! 
Also don't forget that our GIVEAWAY closes this Friday night at 10pm! You still have a chance to get your name in the drawing for the awesome kitchen mixer/blender/chopper from Nutrition Lifestyles! 

Swiffer Sweeper

I have been loving this long weekend we have had! I have literally done some sort of craft every day! It has been so fun and I cannot wait to show you all of them. 
One of the first things I have done is going to be very helpful around my home.  This past year I purchased my first Swiffer Sweeper...it isn't a fancy one, but just a plain ol' Swiffer Sweeper, and I love it! So the way I clean my floors is I use a regular broom, then my wet rags attached to my Swiffer Sweeper.  I love the idea of the dry towels that Swiffer sells, but I don't want to spend the money on both the wet and dry ones.  I have noticed though that after sweeping my floors there is always residue around that could easily be gotten up with a dry cloth.  So, I decided to make my own. 
Here's what I used: 
-Old Towel
-Scissors
-Tape Measure
-Sewing Machine
-Your Swiffer Sweeper (for measuring)
Sounds simple huh! 
Well it was! You can definitely make one of these in just a few simple steps, it only took about 15minutes once I figured out all of the measurements. 
This little guy wanted to join me! Isn't he so cute! 
Here are the three pieces I cut: 
Long piece: 5 1/2 inches x 11 inches
Small pieces: 5 1/2 inches x 3 inches

Sew the two small pieces to the ends of the long piece, leaving the openings facing each other, and you got it.  You have to make sure not to add width to your small pieces or it will not slide on. 

Doesn't it look great! And even if it doesn't, it was made from an old towel and will be cleaning your floors! ha so it doesn't have to be beautiful or perfect! 

I will be using mine very soon.

I went ahead and made two so that I could have another while one was being washed! 
So definitely try this, it will help out when cleaning your floors, and save you money. 
I believe you could even use this as a broom itself if you commonly clean your floors.  
Let me know if you try it out! 
Also, don't forget to stop by and Enter in the GIVEAWAY I am doing with Natural-Nurturer.  
The GIVEAWAY ends this Friday at 10pm (Central)

Guest Post & GIVEAWAY

Bread + 6 kids??

WHO DOES THAT!?

I have been wanting to make some more homemade bread for a few weeks.. but life and all these munchkins have just held me back. I have wondered... how am I going to make all of this bread with 6+ kids at my house? I am suppose to be teaching them new things everyday, not making bread for my own pleasure! By the time the kids leave and we have had dinner... and Noah has gone to bed.. well quite frankly, I don't want to mess my kitchen up again! 

Today it hit me!! I'll turn our baking bread experience into a lesson that we all do together! Dare I say.. it was fun? We had such a blast! The kids listened to me and actively participated as we went through each step. We felt each texture and I told them everything we were doing.. They had so much fun. 

We began by grinding our whole wheat in our wheat grinder, courtesy of Nutrition Lifestyles. The kids LOVED this. The loud noise, plus being outside, being able to put the wheat in the grinder themselves, watching it grind, and seeing the end product was TOO MUCH fun! After we did that, I moved my Bosch, also courtesy of Nutrition Lifestyles, to the kids table and we used it to mix and knead our bread. Then we used oil and made our loaves.. then baked them!! YUMMY! If you want my recipe, just ask.. it is also courtesy of Nutrition Lifestyles. It is a great website with great kitchen tools. A lot of my kitchen is from there.... and yes, it is my mother and father in laws business! Check them out. 

In the end we had 6 beautiful loaves of bread + four small loaves that the kids got to do for themselves! It was so fun. Oh and SOO yummy! Of course AFTER we make these six loaves of bread- I REMEMBER!! I still have some frozen waiting for me! :) At least we had fun. 

Next time you feel too busy to do that project that you want to do... remember you can engage your child(ren) with you... because they can HELP! You will three birds at once..keeping the kids busy, TEACHING the kids, and getting your project completed! 


Hooray for Fresh Bread & Happy Children! 


Here is the wonderful recipe for all of you to have and try on your own! Be sure to let your kids help too, they will love it! 
100% Whole Wheat Bread
In a mixing bowl, combine and mix on a low speed until well blended: 
6 Cups Hot Tap Water
2/3 Cup Oil
2/3 Cup Honey
2 Tablespoons Kitchen Specialities Vital Wheat Gluten (optional)
2 Tablespoons SAF Instant Yeast
2 Tablespoons Kitchen Specialities Dough Enhancer
4-6 Cups freshly milled whole wheat flour
Switch the speed of your mixer down to a lower number: 
Add slowly 6-10 cups whole wheat flour while kneading
Add 2 Tablespoons of Salt
Sprinkle in the last of the flour--1/4 cup at a time (you know that enough flour has been added when the dough pulls away from the side cleanly, no longer sticking while it kneads)


Knead: On the lowest speed for another 5 minutes
Shape: Into loaf pans and let rise until the dough doubles in size
Bake:at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes or until golden brown
Yields: 6 loaves

I hope you all enjoy this recipe as much as we have.  If you have any questions or if you try this recipe stop by over at Natural-Nurturer and let me know what you think! 


NOW....for the GIVEAWAY we have been telling yall about! 
I am so excited to share with you this awesome kitchen tool that you can win FOR FREE! Plus you have multiple chances to enter! It is a great tool to have in your kitchen. I use mine regularly. Also, I am so excited that Nutrition Lifestyles has partnered with us to offer this amazing giveaway to you.

Our first ever giveaway is a Lequip Professional Stick Blender with all of the attachments.
This tool is so amazing. I have used it to mince veggies such as onions, cilantro, and even tomotoes. We really enjoy using it to help make our fresh salsa. I have also used it when making baby food. The uses for this tool are unlimited. 
The website describes this tool as:
“An ideal blender for daily use. Slim ergonomic design with soft-touch easy-grip handle. Stainless steel body. Removable, interchangeable blades for mincing, beating, chopping, aerating, and whisking. It also includes a multi- chopper/grinder attachment.”
Please go to the website and read all about this awesome little tool! I think every kitchen needs one. YOU could be the lucky winner and get it for FREE!

You have so many ways to enter! (leave a separate comment for each entry that you make, so you could have up to 6 entries/6 different comments)

1) LIKE Natural-Nurturer on Facebook(and let her know that I sent you)
5) Share this contest with your friends on Facebook or twitter
6) Go over to the Nutrition Lifestyles website and look at their products then come back over here and let us know what your favorite item is! 


Make sure that you comment on the blog that you have liked both facebook pages, subscribed to both blogs, shared the giveaway on facebook or twitter, and went to nutritionlifestyles.com and commented what you would buy and why!

Giveaway ends Friday, Jan. 20th at 10pm, CENTRAL TIME..

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Save $$: Homemade Household Cleaner

So I don't know how it is at your house....but in my kitchen, the counters and table-tops only get cleaned off when I do it.  And to me, my whole kitchen can be clean, and if the counter-tops are dirty I feel like it is so nasty.  So I am constantly cleaning my counter-tops off.  When I first got married, for several years I used Lysol to clean my cabinets.  If you don't know, a normal can of Lysol spray costs about $4 each. And when you use it every day, maybe multiple times a day to clean up after your family, it goes quickly.  
You see at my house, it is myself and four boys.  My husband is pretty good at cleaning up after himself, but wiping the counters off after cooking something is still not in his clean-up routine.  As for our three host-sons, (read about them HERE), they have gotten better at cleaning up after themselves, but it is still a constant reminder for them to put their dishes up and not just leave them in the sink.  It is even harder to get them to wipe off the stove after cooking noodles or something.  
So after continually using Lysol to keep my kitchen clean, my sister from Natural-Nurturer informed me of how much money I was wasting.  She then introduced me to this amazing all-purpose household cleaner.  I now use this recipe to clean all throughout my kitchen! It is so handy, I still use Lysol sometimes when we have had raw chicken on the counter or something, but my homemade household cleaner mixture works amazing for everyday use.  
 


The great thing about this cleaner is that the total costs of all the supplies (and I bought bigger bottles) is that it is only $6.50.  I would guess that you could make up to at least 5 bottles of this cleaner, if not more from all of the supplies.  Here is what you need. 

So quit wasting your money on all the expensive household cleaners and start making your own with this simple recipe! 

Another Helpful Hint: Add a little vinegar to your washing machine when washing towels to help take the mildewy smell out of them! 
Hope this is helpful for you all, and let me know if you make the recipe and how it works for you and your cleaning needs! 
Keep an eye out for more of these helpful cleaning recipes, and also don't forget to go to my facebook page, Natural-Nester and like it.  Also join my blog! Natural-Nurturer and I will be doing an awesome GIVEAWAY soon!!

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Inspired by Yellow & Gray

In case you didn't know...I love the colors Yellow & Gray together! They make me so happy! I think they are so classy and just work well! 
After moving into our new home in August I really wanted to redo my room in yellow and gray.  Right now it has a blue and brown pattern.  Then I realized it was too early in our marriage to redo our room....since we had only recently been married, all of our bedding and decorations were pretty much new.  So I had to put aside my desire to have a yellow and gray themed room for a while.  
Instead, I chose to put those colors into another project! At our new house we had a Pergola in the corner of our backyard and we saw so much potential for it! Starting with patio furniture.  My husband and I decided we wanted to build our own furniture. Meaning, he builds the couch and chair, and I sew pillows and cushions.  
I got a sewing machine and learned how to use it back in April or May of 2011, and through the summer I sewed some pretty generic long skirts to take on our trip to Africa. So I had a little practice doing it, and I knew pillows weren't too hard....plus I'm a very ambitious person, so I had full confidence that I could do this project and it turn out great! The problem is, sometimes I think it will be great but it actually turns out pretty mediocre, so in the back of my mind I was a little afraid of that. 
Anyways, I took the first step and went to Hancock's Fabric to scope out what I wanted.  After about three trips I finally made a buy.  I was going to buy outdoor material, but found some on clearance (which saved a ton of money) and decided to coat it with scotch guard after I was finished.  I ended up saving over $100 on all of the materials because of the deals that I got.  Later I went back and got the pre-made cushion foam for all 4 cushions and 4 pillows.  I also got a deal on those during a holiday sale, saving even more money.  You can read more about my first endeavors on this blog, Crafting is Consuming My Life & I Love It!  
As I said before I am very ambitious, so realizing these pillows would probably get dirty, I understood that it would be smart to make the cases removable so that they could be washed....so I decided to put zippers on them.  So using You Tube videos, I learned to sew zippers and they turned out fabulously! If you want to know more about the videos I watched just ask me in the comments below! 
All was well with the pillows, then came the cushions and I realized what a challenge they would be since they were actually box like, meaning I had to sew the sides on them.  NOT quite as easy as the pillows, I went back to You Tube and watched a lot of videos with tips helping me.  Finally I dove in and they turned out pretty great! It definitely wasn't a project that I looked at and felt mediocre joy! When I see my furniture sitting outside in my backyard, I am filled with joy and pride at the job that my husband and I did! I cannot believe we were able to do that! 

Now I pretty much feel like I can do anything!! Can't wait for more projects in 2012! 
Shoutout to my husband! He did a wonderful job making the couch and chair.  He made that from raw wood, no furniture kit used at all! He did a wonderful job and finished his part of the project an entire month before I finished mine. Thanks babe, I am so proud of us! 
Check Out my inspired Yellow & Gray pinboard here! 
Follow Me on Pinterest
I'm linked up at Frugalicious Friday! Go there to check out some other great projects from other bloggers! 


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Weekend Bloggy Reading