Archive for July, 2010

July 30, 2010

{un}UnPerfect Date Night

Since The Hubs and I are Monkey-less this week, we took tonight to have a little date night.  It’s {un}UnPerfect because it was, well…perfect!  Aside from minor expected imperfections here and there {less-than-perfect service, for example}, we had a fabulous time together!  Love this guy!

{No more Monkeys...}

July 29, 2010

The Best Laid Plans…

…would actually require plans to begin with.  At least one would think.

{A porch no more}

The Hubs and I are Monkey-free this week and decided to re-do our front porch.  It’s a project I’ve been wanting to take on for a few years now.  So…The Hubs had a couple friends come over to help demo the existing porch.  Of course nothing goes exactly as planned, right?  The demolition went fine, but then came time to jackhammer the cement steps.  Apparently cement never stops curing and these steps have been here for a L-O-N-G time, so they’re super hard.  The jackhammer was struggling to touch the doggone things.  My poor neighbors and, more importantly {ha!}, I had to listen to this darn jackhammer until almost 10:30pm!  I could hardly hear my TV shows {pout}.  Now the porch and steps are completely gone {a day behind schedule}.

{Oh the jackhammer}

This morning Margaret, our mail carrier, came to deliver a few packages and remarked, “Getting a new porch, huh?  What are you going to do?”  Hmm…good question Margaret.  She chuckled at my response, but the sad part is that The Hubs and I are still {and I mean this quite literally–he just interrupted my typing to show me another plan drawing} trying to make the final decisions!  Hopefully we’ll get it all figured out and mostly completed by Friday when the Monkeys come back home.  I’ll let you know!

July 27, 2010

FABuccino!

So…I have a serious coffee addiction.  I’ve been known to scrounge and present nickels as payment.  Starbucks, Biggby, McDonald’s or even Speedway–it just doesn’t matter as long as it’s got caffeine and tastes halfway decent.  Recently I was perusing Martha Stewart’s website and she had the most glorious idea that helps my coffee addiction {in the summer} AND my budget!  What’s the main problem with making your own iced coffee?  The ice always dilutes the coffee way too much.  Enter genius {and DUH} idea: coffee ice cubes!  Why in the world had I not thought of that?

{Iced Coffee}

Every morning/afternoon when you have cold coffee left over in your coffee pot, pour it into ice cube trays to make your coffee cubes.  And then maybe start another pot dedicated specifically to chill so your iced coffee stays even colder.  Once your cubes are frozen, combine them with chilled coffee, milk and/or creamer, optional sweetener, optional syrup, mix, sit back and refresh your way to a fatter wallet!

Today I thought I’d take my iced coffee a step further and try it blended.  Can I just say…YUM!

{Coffee cubes}

Fill you glass with coffee cubes, then halfway full of chilled coffee.

{Chilled coffee}

Fill the rest of the way with milk, creamer and the rest of your optional {and highly recommended} goodies.

{Milk--fat free for me, please}

{Mmmm...Oh how I love caramel!}

Dump it all into the blender {I love using my Magic Bullet} and Frappe away into a creamy dreamy budget friendly treat.

{Talk about magic...}

Not only do I love a DIY caffeine fix, but I love saving $4+ on my addiction–I mean, habit 😉

{More GOODIES on top!}

July 26, 2010

Stinky Pits Solved: Au Natural

I found this “recipe” for homemade deodorant here the other day and thought, why not? Here’s how:

{Ingredients}

  • 1/4 C. Corn Starch
  • 1/4 C. Baking Soda
  • 6 Tbsp. Coconut Oil
  • Empty deodorant container

{Mix it up}

Mix all three ingredients up with a fork until it forms a semi-solid mixture.  Since I made this in the summer and I don’t always keep the AC on, my coconut oil melted making my mixture look like this:

{creamy dreamy}

Very creamy and pretty, but not what I need…so into the fridge it went for about 10 minutes.

{That's better}

There we go!   I also added a couple drops of lavender oil for a light scent.

{SMASH}

Now it’s the perfect consistency to smash into an empty deodorant container.  Smash away!

{Ta-Da!}

The end product!

I tried it for a few days in our humid 80+ degree weather and I’ve decided a few things about it:

  • It worked!  It honestly kept the stink away!
  • Unfortunately my {unperfect!} skin might just be a bit too sensitive for this recipe, but I think I’ll give it another try.  Stay tuned…
  • It’s a great idea to keep the deodorant in the fridge during the summer since coconut oil “melts” and turns to liquid at 76 degrees F.
  • Deodorant is FUN to make!
July 24, 2010

Hello Kitty Bikini?

{Do-It-Herself-Bikini}

Monkey A is notorious in our household for running 10+ degrees hotter than the rest of us.  With the AC blasting, she decided she was still too hot, so she stripped down.  At least she got the stickers positioned correctly, eh?

July 24, 2010

The Fish Ain’t Bitin’

{Where are the fish?}

Using a dismantled bow, Monkey M can’t understand why there are no fish biting in the rainwater collected in an overturned trash can off our back deck.  Not to worry, his active little-boy imagination conjured up plenty of {big!} fish on the end of his line!

July 21, 2010

Gettin’ {un}Dirty on the Cheap

About a year ago I stumbled across a blog posting about homemade laundry detergent.  Being that I a) am crafty and love making stuff, b) have sensitive skin, so the more natural the ingredients, the better and c) am cheap, I thought I’d give it a shot.  It was easy, fun…and it works!  I’ve been using nothing but this homemade laundry detergent for the last year and I don’t see any reason to start buying commercial detergent again any time soon.

Ingredients

{detergent ingredients}

INGREDIENTS:

1/2 cup Borax
1/2 cup Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda
1/3 bar Fels-Naptha soap
Optional – several drops essential oil for scent (I use lavender)

I found all three of the soaps in the laundry aisle of Meijer.  I’ve seen Borax and the Super Washing Soda in a lot of other grocery stores, but the Fels-Naptha can be a little trickier to find.

{divided fels-naptha}

Step 1 Cut Fels-Naptha.  I “draw” lines on the bar with a knife so I have a guideline for the thirds.

{grated fels-naptha}

Step 2 Grate 1/3 of the Fels-Naptha bar into a stock pot.  I used my Pampered Chef cheese grater, but any old grater will do.

{add water}

Step 3 Add 6 cups of water and heat until Fels-Naptha dissolves

{fels-naptha + borax + super washing soda}

Step 4 Add 1/2 cup borax and 1/2 cup super washing soda.  Heat on med-high heat for about 15 minutes.  The original recipe says that it should reach a honey-like consistency, but I have yet to accomplish that…and so far it’s worked ok 🙂

Oh…and don’t be like me and decide that 4:00 in the afternoon is a good time to finally finish getting ready and FORGET that soap is cooking on your stove at a high heat!  Oops!  Luckily I caught it just before it cascaded into a super soapy mess all over my squeaky clean {ha ha…right} stove.

{to scent or not to scent...that is the question}

Now is also a good time to add a few drops of essential oils if you’d like.  It’s certainly not necessary–this stuff smells pretty darn good all on its own!

Step 5 Now you get to add 5 1/2 quarts of water {Not so good at conversions?  That’s 22 cups} and stir until it’s mixed well.  I have a large enough stock pot that it all fits, but you may need to use a bucket.

{fill 'er up}

Step 6 Using a funnel, pour the mixture into an old detergent bottle.  This recipe makes 1 1/2 gallons so you’ll likely need more than one bottle.  I’m impulsive and don’t like to wait around once I’ve got an idea. I didn’t have big enough empty bottles so, in addition to my two smaller Tide bottles, I had to improvise and use an old {very well washed out} windshield washer fluid bottle – ha!

{yep, an old windshield washer fluid bottle--whatever works!}

For a regular sized load of laundry, use about 1/2 cup.  I typically do LARGE loads {because I’m a procrastinator and let the laundry pile up until we don’t have any clean underwear left} and I use 2 caps full {Tide bottle caps}.

I’ve been making this detergent for a year now and I–just yesterday–made my 4th batch.  I’m still on my first box of super washing soda {about 1/2way through @ $3/box) and Borax {about 1/3 of the way through @ $5-6/box}.  I just started another bar of Fels-Naptha, but at $1.39 each, it sure doesn’t break the bank 😉

Stay tuned…today I made my own deodorant.  If it works and The Hubs doesn’t force me back to my old “regular” stick, I’ll post the pics and recipe.  Gotta love ways to work on that {un}perfect budget!

July 20, 2010

Gooey Goodness

smores

{The perfect s'more?}

Have you seen those gigantic “campfire” marshmallows that are out now?  We {mostly The Hubs 😉 } thought it would be fun to try them out.  The kids were so pumped to make s’mores tonight after dinner that they wolfed down their mustard peach marinated pork {definitely not something they’d normally scarf} and fruit salad.  The jury’s still out on whether or not these humongous marshies make the perfect s’more.  They’re tough to roast evenly because their weight causes them to spin on the stick and, as you can see in this magnificently messy pic of Monkey M, they’re super gooey and messy!  But the best part…is that they’re super gooey and messy 🙂

July 19, 2010

Girly Man

image

{A man, a chainsaw and a paper skirt}

I got The Hubs a chainsaw for Father’s Day.  He’s like a giddy little boy with his toy!  Today it was too hot to wear jeans and he didn’t want his legs to get pelted with tiny pieces of wood so he found this {un}perfect alternative.  I can’t stop giggling!  So {un}manly!

July 16, 2010

{un}Perfectly Adorable

{Messy Monkey M}

Some friends came over last night to watch the Monkeys while the Hubs and I went out to dinner with my brother and sister-in-law.  The wife is a perfectly {no “un” about it!} fantastic photographer and — lucky us!! — she brought her camera and captured some moments with the kiddos.  It’s not too often that Monkey M’s face is squeaky clean, so this messy shot is just so him!  {un}Clean in all his ice creamy glory!

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