20+ Ways To Use Your Pool Noodle

The amazingly fun Pool Noodle has made its 2014 appearance!


I have located over 20 fun & unique uses for those noodles that I can’t wait to try and you won’t want to miss!! Please, tell me what you think. Do you have a fun idea that you would like everyone to see? If so, please share it with me and I will be happy to add it in!

Happy Noodling! 


DIY Easy Pillows



Have sewing machine, will use it! Yeap, that’s me folks. But where or when will I ever find the time? Between working a 40+ hour week in the office, household & wifey duties, running around with a young adult preparing for college, and 3 younger children keeping me hopping – how exactly does one find the time to be crafty?

If you have a secret, please let me know; but, in the interim I have located some pretty nifty “Easy Sew/No Sew Pillows” that I am itching to try out. I think these will all make adorable accent pillows for the dorm room we will be decorating in just a few months. 















Yes… We DID Make Our Own Laundry Detergent

I have been reading more and more about people making their own laundry detergent, cleaning products, etc. After looking over many different articles, blogs and posts I decided it was something I wanted to try myself.

Lets face it: we ALL want to save money! That was my main reason for trying it. With six people in our house, there are always clothes waiting to be washed. One of my favorite things about my house is the 14′ x 14′ laundry room. Its nearly as big as my bedroom (or is it bigger? hmmm). Anyway…. its a huge laundry room, one of the most used spaces in our home and I love it. I have a table to fold clothes on, shelves to put the folded clothes on, and a hanging bar to hung clothes up immediately.

We also have an upright freezer in there and one whole wall is lined in shelves that we use as our overflow pantry. Above the washer and dryer are more shelves used for “utility” type things and extras like oil lamps, foot baths, Igloo water cooler, etc. Needless to say, our laundry room is a well used room.

But back to the laundry detergent: I decided to try it out. So, one of my (many) projects over this past weekend was to make laundry detergent. Now mind you, my darling husband thinks I am crazy, and my ex-husband thinks I have totally gone off my rocker. But oh well…. when I have saved my little family some cold hard $$ that when I get to laugh at all of THEM!

The total start up cost of this “project” was about $20. I purchased the following things:

1 Box of Borax
1 Box of Arm & Hammer Washing Soda
2 Bars of Octagon Soap
1 Bottle Essential Oils
1 5 Gal bucket with lid

Now, I didn’t use NEARLY all of that for my first batch, but I couldn’t see explaining to Walmart that I only wanted 1 cup of Borax & 1 cup of Washing Soda, so I went ahead and bought the whole box they sold it in! 🙂

Recipe:
1 cup Borax
1 cup Washing Soda
1 bar Octagon Soap
15-30 drops Essential Oil

I have seen many recipes using Fels-Naptha soap, but I couldn’t find it anywhere. I saw the “spot” for it in two stores, but they were out so I went with the Octagon soap instead. From what I have seen, any all-purpose bar soap will work: Fels-Naptha, Octagon, Zote, Ivory.

Step 1: Grate 1 whole bar of Octagon Soap

It kind of looks like cheese huh?

Step 2: Mix the grated soap in a pot with 4-5 cups hot water  on medium heat until the soap melts down completely. DO NOT let it get to a boil. Stir in continuously.

Just keep stirring the pot!

Step 3: Once the soap is dissolved, pour it into a 5 gal bucket. Then add: 1 cup Borax & 1 cup Washing Soda. Mix until mostly dissolved.

Add Soap mixture, Borax & Washing Soda to bucket

Step 4: Fill bucket 1/2 full with HOT water. Add 10-15 drops of essential oil for every 2 gals of water. (I used about 25 drops total even though I used more than 4 gals of water.) Mix until well blended.

Yes, I brought the bucket onto the porch and used a drill with a mixer attachment on it!

Step 5: Fill the bucket the rest of the way up with hot water and mix well.

Step 6: Cover and let set over night. Once it has set, it may appear clumped up or like gel or may be watery. (Mine was a mixture of gel and watery.) NO BIG DEAL! Just stir it up and then put into containers (I am using emptied liquid Tide containers).

USE: 1/2 cup per load of laundry

Now I am sure you want to know the COST of this right? Here is my breakdown:
(1 – 5-gal bucket not included in price below)

1 Bottle Essential Oil – $3.60 (Reg Price $5.99 but I got it on sale)
1 Box Borax – $3.38  – 76 oz = .04 cents/ oz
1 Box Washing Soda – $3.24 – 55 oz = .06 cents/ oz
1 Bar Octagon Soap – $0.97

Recipe:
8 oz Borax – $0.32
8 oz Washing Soda – $0.48
1 Bar Octagon Soap – $0.97
Essential Oil (approx 1/5 of bottle) – $0.75
Water – FREE

Total Cost of 5 gals (approx 150 loads)
$2.52 or $0.02 a load
Tide: $19.98 for 170 “loads” = $0.12 a load
When doing JUST 2 loads of laundry a day I am saving:
$0.20 a day
$1.40 a week
$6.00 a month
$72.00 a year
And that is if I only wash 2 loads a day…. I WISH!!!
MAN I LOVE SAVING $$$
Not just that we will save $ but that we are being more self-sustaining!

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I "CAN" Knit (Kinda)

I have long wanted to learn to knit. I can do a few basic things with crocheting (nothing to brag about, mind you), but the whole two needle thing with knitting has defeated me repeatedly. Of course, I am not the most patient person in the world so I am not a good learner of this beautiful craft.

Now….

It is MY understanding that needlework is supposed to be relaxing. Well I am here to tell you that me & two knitting needles was far from relaxing! Until I found the Knitting Board! While aimlessly wondering around our local Hobby Lobby I stumbled upon it. Hmmmm, could this be my way to knit?

Knitting boards are the neatest little contraption that really do make a novice like myself appear to be a pro. My first purchase was a 10″small gauge board. It wasn’t too small, but wasn’t so big that it was scary.

www.knittingboard.com

With my new board and yarn in hand, I made my purchase and headed home excited to try it out. It came with a video tutorial as well as written instructions. I popped the DVD into the player and sat back on the sofa eager to learn. Can we say EASY? Seriously folks…. this is one of the simplest things I have ever done in my life!

This is what it looks like when you are wrapping the yarn on the board
All you are basically doing is wrapping the yarn around the pegs twice, back and forth, then you take the yarn from underneath and loop it over. Again, the video and written instructions are very easy to follow.
This is showing a section of the unfinished project where I changed colors
I have no idea why, but I cant get this photo to post in landscape. Anyway, this is the finished scarf I made.
(I apologize for the horrible picture. It was taken with a cell phone & laying on lime green sheets in my daugther’s room)

My first attempt at knitting was a success! In less than 24 hours I had knitted a lovely hunter green and white (my daugther’s high school colors) scarf that was SIX FEET LONG! Yes you heard me…. less than 24 hours and 6 feet long! Whoot Whoot!
Really want to know how easy it is to use a knitting board?……. Our family now owns 1- 10″ board, 1- 38″ board (for sweaters & afghans), and 2- 6″ Tadpole boards. My 16 yr old daughter & 10 year old son are both working on knitting projects of their own!
I have also purchased round knitting hoops, but I haven’t tried those yet. I will let you know how I do with those once I finish the scarf I am currently working on.
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Have a Blessed Day!