Monday, February 25, 2013

Palet Ottoman tutorial

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A couple of months ago I snatched onto a great rectagle palet from work. I was beautiful! The wood looked great but more importantly the top was almost solid. I knew right away it would be the perfect project. I had decided it would become an ottoman.
Now my problem was finding the right fabric and getting the foam. Thankfully both were on sale this last weekend at JoAnn's. So my Presidents day was spent buidling my new ottoman. It turned out fantastic. I really like it but my boys love it- all 5 of them! ;-)
There are several tutorials on Pinterest. Here is what I did.

Step 1: I used spray insulatin foam around the edges. I didn't want to feel the wood pressing through the edges of the foam. The insulation foam said it would take 8 hrs to set but it was good to go after just a couple of hours. I was really glad. I didn't know how long my boys would resist the temptation to play on it again. It was too cold to put outside.
Step 2: After the insulating foam came the batting. I just used some remnant batting to put over the top and around the edges. Then I placed the camping foam on top of that. One side note: I bought a foam pad by the yard at Joann's but it is much cheaper to use a mattress foam pad. Yeah, a DUH! moment.
Step 3: turn the palet upside down on your fabric.
Step 4: Stretch the fabric tight and staple it to the bottom.
Work all the way around. For each side I started in the middle and worked my way out.
Step 5: I used some left over canvas to finish off the bottom. I love the clean underside.
See, so much better than the rough edges of wood and fabric.
Step 6: Add the plates for the feet. Home depot to the rescue.
Step 7: Screw on your feet. I haven't done anything to finish mine yet. I couldn't decide how to finish them or whether to just leave them natural....
Step 8: sit back and enjoy your new furniture! My boys love this new addition.
I think decided to paint the feet red. What do you think?
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Thursday, February 21, 2013

Cub Scouts Neckerchief Slides- Dutch Oven

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Another Pinterest inspiration.
Each pack meeting I give the boys a neckerchief slide to introduce the next months theme. Kind of a little reminder and incentive to come each month. Last month we had the Pinewood Derby. It is THE scouting event for cubs. We had a blast. Check back later for what we did!
I love finding great idea that are simple and quick. My scouts loved these slides. Blue and Gold Banquet is the birthday celebration of scouting. It is generally held in February. We are doing a Western theme this year so what better to do than a dutch oven?!
Gather your supplies:
bottle caps (paint them black if you need)
small black beads
thin gauge wire
wire cutters
white school glue
hot glue gun

Step 1: glue the small pony bead on the bottom. These are the feet of the oven.

 Step 2: Cut the wire to an appropriate length and glue in the lid. This is the handle. I don't remember what gauge I used but it was a little too small, but in an effort to be RESOURCEFUL ;-) I used what I had.
 Step 3: mix your lentils with white school glue. A small paper cup and a tongue depressor works great here. I used red beans, black beans, white beans, and rice. It was all dried stuff but absorbed some of the moisture. They still dried well.
 Step 4: fill the caps with small amounts of "soup" mix.
 Step 5: After they have dried completely glue your attachment to the back. You can use thin slices of PVC pipe, milk jug handles or small hair bands. I had milk jug pieces but they were a bit too wide so I used hair bands.
 Step 6: Display them on a handy thread organizer. You can get this do-dad at Walmart or JoAnn's. I love how the boys ooh, and ahh as they walk in and see what the next slide is gonna be. It is just fun to see them light up.
Let me know if you have any great neckerchief ideas! I would love to see them.
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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Pinewood Derby Time

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For those of you lucky moms who have never experienced cub scouts, the Pinewood Derby is perhaps THE scouting event of the year. Dads and boys get to work together to build the most creative, fastest car they can. Then we meet at the track. 

After being in cubs several years, first as a bear leader, now as cubmaster I am still overwhelmed at how crazy this night can be. But oh, the FUN!!

We have had a tank, race cars of all sorts but this year Keegan wanted an alligator car. He worked all weekend with his dad. Cutting sanding, painting, trimming, painting, sanding, adding wheels and graphite and just the right amount of weights in the right spot to make his car zoom!
This was the finished product.
Not too bad huh! Keegan did the paint job himself. I thought it turned out great. I love the eye!
When the boys come their car can only be 5 oz. They have to weigh in and then the car is off limits. We had a pit crew to help with last minute adjustments or adding of graphite or weight as needed. (Sorry, I thought I got a picture of them at work but guess not).
Once the car was weighed in they were placed on a plate with the boys name and a number.
The number just helped to set up the racing brackets. We were nearly ready to start. I found checkered napkins and spread them out in the center of the table. Years ago I made checkered flags, we made sure to put them to use again this year.
The derby is increadibly competetive. We like healthy competition but also want to acknowledge all the boys for their participation. Each boy recieved a certificate and ribbon.

The winners recieved the perfect oil to treat their engines. ;-)
I was quickly running out of time looking for last minute additions and the perfect trophies. Walking through the automotive section I spied these oils. They were a bit more than I had planned on spending but they were perfect! Besides the cold weather was messing with my paint job sitting at home. 
I simply sprayed a matchbox car gold, silver, and bronze and glued them to the appropriate oil bottle. 
I love how it turned out. The dads thought it was ingenious.
Then it was race time. We had a great track that had an electronic sensor at the finish line so we knew just who had placed.
The boys had such a great time. Everyone got to race numerous times, after all that's what the night was for- racing!
In the end we narrowed it down to 3 winners. I am proud to say Keegan came in 4th. 1st place belonged to a young man whose had several older brothers. Needless to say, they had experience on their side. 2nd place went to a Bear cub whose dad is great, and very competitive. They wanted to be sure to place. 3rd place ironically went to a young man whose car was significantly lacking. He showed up with a painted block. My sweet hubby was manning the pit crew and spent the bulk of his time placing wheels, weights and lubricating the wheels with graphite. I told him he did a good job since that car beat out his own son's. lol
It was a fun night for all. And I think everyone went away happy.
Now on to the Blue and Gold celebration. These are the neckerchief slides I made. Check back tomorrow for the how to on these cuties!

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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Ahh a new faucet

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I have a wishlist of great things to do in my home. Most of them fall into the "want" category more than the "need" so in our endevor to be frugal and debt free they generally remain low on my shopping list...VERY LOW.
That is why I have come to love getting gift cards.
For Christmas we were given several gift cards to Home Depot. I asked my sweet hubby what he thought we should use them for. Something practical like adding to the supplies to finish the basement? Tools? Organizing supplies? Gardening gear? What?
Can you imagine my thrill when he said to get the new faucet we have been eyeing for a while!!! We have wanted it but could never justify the cost when our current (boring) faucet worked just fine. Now...well now I am wearing a smile whenever I walk into my kitchen. Who knew a faucet could make me so happy. But it is SOO pretty!!
 See, basic builders grade (ultra boring) faucet....
 Sweetest man who knows just how to make his wife happy!
Ahhh, new stylish, functional, lovely faucet.
Truth be told, sweet hubby comments all the time how much he likes the new faucet.
Thanks family and friends for the gift cards for a "want" item making us very happy!
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Monday, February 11, 2013

Homemade refried beans

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I had heard about making refried beans in your crockpot but I had never tried it. Sometimes you just have to say, hmm I am gonna do this and then DO IT RIGHT THEN!

Take 1 small crockpot
1 bag of beans (yep, just the bag of dried beans)
(I tried pinto and black, both were great)
Throw in some garlic salt and sliced onion
Add some chicken boullion or a can of chicken broth
Top it off with water (you may have to add more as the beans soak it up)
Let cook for about 4-5 hrs on high. Just until the beans are easily mashed.

Drain off the juices but save it. Pour the beans in your mixer and mash away. Add juice to get the right consistency.
Such a simple and cheap recipe. Made better by being a long term food storage item. No more need to resort to cheap PB&J when you haven't made it to the store!
My boys loved it! It was a perfect after school snack. Just spread on a tortilla and sprinkle with cheese.
It stayed good for a week in my mason jar.

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Thursday, February 7, 2013

Bath Fizzies....

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With cold and flu season upon us I thought it would be perfect to try making my own fizzies. We used to use these all the time, from the store though. I haven't seen them for a while but making my own is so much cheaper and E.A.S.Y!!! 
Here is the original post.

And the how to...
pour about 2 cups baking soda in a bowl. Add enough water to make a paste. Add a little at a time to make it feel like putty.
Add your essential oils. I have the Breath from doTerra. It is great for sinus issues.
Eucalyptus, Lavendar, and Rosemary are some other suggestions to use. Add 40-45 drops total.
Mix well. Pour into cupcake wrappers and let dry overnight.
Pop 'em out and store in a Mason jar or some other container. I left mine in the wrappers to help the not break up in the container. 
Then just pop one in the shower and let the oils steam away your stuffy help to relax you!
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Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Marble Earrings

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This idea came from a combination of pinterest posts. One about shattered marbles the other of marles made into earrings....why not combine the two?
 I'm sure someone has already figured this out but I still love it!
 I plan to add these to our PTA Santa shop. What little boy wouldn 't think it totally awesome for mom to wear marbles as earrings?!
They all turned out cool but the blue were just my favorite. They are so pretty!
So here's the how to.
Marbles (got mine from the $1 store)
Gem glue or superglue
earring hooks
Bead caps and small rods

Heat the marbles at 450 degrees for 20-30 minutes. (I did 20 but some of them didn't shatter as much as would have liked. I will do 30 next time).
Remove from the oven and immediately immerse in ice water. Let sit until cool. You will hear them cracking. I did have one split in half but that's it. They are tempered glass so the crack but not really 'shatter'.
Thread the rod through the bead cap and glue onto the marble. Let dry completely. Make a loop on the end of the rod then just add your earring hook.....
They work out to be less than $0.30 each!
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