Sunday, February 17, 2013

Homemade Play-doh

Recently it's been pretty rainy and nasty outside so I've been looking for fun things for C to do indoors. I found a recipe for homemade play-doh so I thought I'd give it a shot.

The recipe was super simple and it turned out great!

All you need is:

cream of tar tar
coconut oil
essential oils (I wanted to make them smell nice...even though I think that may have prompted C to try eating it..)
food coloring

All you do then is put everything (minus the coloring and essential oil)  in a pot on the stove on low heat

all of the ingredients (minus the essential oils and coloring)

Mix all the ingredients together until they're not so lumpy

The ingredients starting to come together and not look so lumpy

When the mixture isn't lumpy anymore add the coloring and essential oils

after adding the essential oil and color (this batch was yellow and smells of grapefruit)

a bit more mixing

And then mix until the dough comes away from the sides of the pot and sticks together in the center (you'll need a sturdy spoon for this) then lay it on a non-stick surface to cool.

the play-doh after cooking. It comes away from the sides and sticks together. This is when it's ready to be laid out on a non-stick surface to cool.

C loves playing with it! I also made some that smells like lavender and is purple (she didn't want to eat that one as much) 

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Menu Planning Board

Every week I sit down and write a menu plan before I go to the store so I don't have to go more than necessary and to help us save money. But this takes me what seems like forever and I'm really starting to loath the task. So when I saw this awesome idea for a menu planning board I immediately wanted to make one for our kitchen.

The menu planning board consists of clothes pins that are each assigned to a day of the week, two boxes for holding meal cards that have already been used and meal cards that have not yet been used and of course the meal cards themselves.

I started off by making the meal cards because I knew it would take the most time.  I only have 30 meal cards made right now because I didn't have the time to make more but I'm keeping lists of other meals we like and I'll make more cards when I have enough saved to make the task worth the time.

The cards have the meal name on the front and an ingredients list on the back, which makes writing my weekly shopping list a breeze. The cards are color-coded - quick and easy meals, meals heavy in carbohydrates, grains and treat night (like Take Out).

I also included the name of the cookbook and the page the recipe is located on (if the meal requires a recipe) 

After I finished the cards and laminated them I covered the board with fabric using a hot glue gun and my upholstery stapler. For the boarder I used bias tape that I had left over from another project.

The last thing I did was make the boxes. I had been wanting to make fabric boxes for organization around the house so I thought it might be a good idea to start by making them for this project. I found this tutorial and went from there. I loved these shabby little boxes because they were quick to make and didn't take much fabric at all. They would be wonderful to make with scrap fabric.

Lastly, I attached everything to the board using hot glue, tacks and velcro. (I used anything I had on hand to make everything stick to the board) 

Things I would do differently next time: 

  • I would start by completely gluing the fabric to the board as well as using the upholstery staples. I found that the fabric sagged under the weight of the boxes. 
  • I wouldn't use a magnetic board because I couldn't get magnets to stick to the board through the fabric so having a magnetic board was useless anyway.
  • I would make the boxes stronger and not so tall. 
But other than those few things I'm very happy with the way this board turned out and am enjoying how easy mean planning and shopping for the week have become. 

Until next time... xx

Monday, February 4, 2013

Queensland Storm 2013

We had a crazy storm here last week where we lost power for four days and thousands of others were much more severely affected. There is a drainage ditch behind the property our house sits on and I was convinced that it was going to flood like so many other creeks and rivers were doing in Queensland so Brett and I packed bags, gathered important documents and raised all important things off the ground -only to find out later that this property didn't even flood in 2011 when the flooding was much much worse- anyway, it gave us piece of mind. The really scary part of the storm, though, was the wind. I've never seen wind like that and was terrified that one of the huge trees that borders the back yard was going to fall onto the house so we moved our mattress into the front room and we all slept there. C loved having the mattress on the ground to play on and we enjoyed it because it was like a sleepover!

We came through the storm just fine with just some broken trees in the back yard and lots of palm fronds on the ground. Not having power for four days though wasn't so great. We couldn't wash laundry or cook food indoors - we cooked everything on the bbq- needless to say we were thrilled to get power back late last week. 

How did some of you other come through the storm? Okay I hope. xoxo

Now for photos of C because I know that's why most of you are here ;) 

C got this for Christmas from her Grandma Debbie and just recently decided she knew how to get on and ride it. 

Trying out the forward facing camera on my new phone. She loves it.