My 3 yr old daughter took this pic of me

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Putty Goop Slime

This is super fun stuff to play with and really easy to make! I promise your kids are gonna love it and it's going to keep them busy for awhile! There are three ways to make it: with or without the cornstarch, and the with the third method, you add water to the glue before mixing.  If you use the cornstarch you'll have putty and if you don't use it, you'll have goop - a little softer and more workable, and if you add water to the glue before mixing you'll have slime. Thus the title - putty goop slime.

So here's what you need:

  • 1/4 cup of warm water
  • 1/2 tsp of Borax 
Dissolve the borax in the water in a bowl and put aside.

Then in another bowl:

  • 1/4 cup of cornstarch *(if you are making goop)
  • 1/4 cup school glue
  • 1/4 cup water *(if you are making slime)
  • food coloring

For Putty:

Mix the cornstarch, glue, and food coloring together, then add to the borax water mixture and stir it up. Remove the lump from the water and discard the leftover water. The mixture will be quite firm and pliable. Press it against different things and see what patterns you get!

  Borax and water...

Glue and cornstarch mixture...

 Glue mixture in borax/water mixture...

Putty - the color is swirled because I added it after. You should add the coloring to the glue mixture before mixing with the borax and water.

For Goop:

Mix the glue and food coloring together and then add to the borax water mixture. Stir. Remove the lump from the water and discard the leftover water. This mixture will be a little wetter than the putty and more pliable and soft.

The glue poured into the borax water. I added the food coloring to the borax water, but I should have added it to the glue first...


For Slime: (this one is messy)

Mix the glue, water, and food coloring and then add to the borax water. You will have to work the mixture for a 2-3 minutes with your hands while it is still in the water. Then when you feel like it is solid enough to remove from the water, take it out and discard the excess water. This stuff is amazing and SLIMY!

Glue, water, food coloring mixture...

 Glue, water, food coloring mixture all stirred up...

 After adding the glue/water mixture to the borax/water mixture....

Slime :) After working it for a few minutes in the water.

All three can be stored in ziplock bags indefinitely. If they start to get a little too dry, just add some water to your bag and it'll be like new again. This makes the PERFECT gift/stocking stuffer for that boy on your list!

I would not recommend this for children under 3 as it should not be eaten.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

No Shampoo - 8 weeks & 3 days

I have not used shampoo for 8 weeks and 3 days. So far I like it! I've had a few bad hair days, but nothing crazy and nothing that couldn't be fixed with a little dry shampoo or a hat :) I have ended up having a small amount of buildup - almost like dandruff or something - so I am working that out and going to try a few things. But my hair is fine. Totally fine. It's weird.

I don't like that shampoo is full of chemicals. I don't like that it dries out your hair and kicks your scalp into overdrive, producing too much oil. I don't like HAVING to wash my hair every 3 days. I like the freedom of once a week hair. It makes me happy.

I am trying the hemp oil today for the first time and I will let you know what I think. Yeah, yeah, I know. You want pics. Proof. Evidence. Fine then. Just a sec, I will make my son take some right now.......brb......

Not too shabby :) I tried the hemp oil and it's great :) I had wet hair and then rubbed a little on my hands and then put my hands through my ends and it made my hair quite smooth and soft. I think I will be using it more often, just on my ends. 

Thursday, December 1, 2011

My Office - Part 1

My "office" is a mess. Always. All the other rooms in my house on my main floor are pretty organized and clean - for the most part - and that is thanks to my good friend, Office. Here's a picture of him......

 Going in...


 What IS all this stuff??? Craft supplies, tools, junk that needs to be organized......

 Storage for tools and sewing.....LOL
 What was I thinking?

 Oh yeah, and the washer and dryer that aren't hooked up.

 The floor......I think??

Pretty ain't he? He's really accommodating and goes out of his way to help me out. All the time. He hangs on to all kinds of stuff for me while I get other, more important things done. There's a LOT going on in there. It is the craft/storage/ironing/sewing/tool/filing room as well as housing a future stackable & space saving laundry area. I know, a little too much for an approximately 10'x10' room. Poor guy :(

Let me introduce you to my other friend, Desk. You saw him already, but in case you missed it......

This is where I am supposed to get all my crafting done. Obviously that isn't happening, so I have to haul out all my stuff to the dining room table and we eat 3 meals a day here, so that can't be for very long. Problem.

 I should insert here that I TOTALLY reorganize this room about once a month. It ends up looking great for about 2 days and then it's back to this again. I need to find a REAL solution. Fast.

My intention is to fix this problem TODAY. I don't know what I am going to do exactly, but telling you about it is the first step. Telling you means I have to do something about it - I think. K. Going to do that now. Be back later with after pics........any after pics would be awesome in comparison to this!

Middle Child?

If you know me, it is common knowledge that I have been potty training my middle child for the past TWO YEARS. Enough said.

I have tried everything. Nothing has worked. How many times have we heard that from parents?

I really have, though. And I have been at a loss for awhile now. I have been very frustrated.

My husband came home yesterday and said something to me that I think (and am hoping and praying) will make all the difference in the world.

He said, "The oldest gets all the responsibility and privileges, the youngest gets all the attention, and the middle child is just stuck in the middle."

Ok those weren't his EXACT words, but they are my interpretation/paraphrase of them. My plan now has been to really spend time with her. I've given her attention in the past in hopes of it helping in the potty training area, but this is different. I think I need to change the way I am with her for the long haul. Reading a book to a kid one day and not the next 5 doesn't change anything. But really investing in who they are and getting down on their level on a moment by moment basis and including them in everything I do is what I am getting at here.

This is Day 1. I will let you know how it's going :) I'm optimistic!

Friday, November 4, 2011

No shampoo & decluttering pics

So I promised you guys some pics of my hair since I have stopped using shampoo and I've been soooooo busy that I haven't had time to blog much. I've been decluttering my house like CRAZY and I have those pics here for you today, too! (Not pics of the house yet, but of what's come out of it)

I haven't washed my hair with shampoo for 3 weeks and 6 days now! (I'm using water and sometimes baking soda and apple cider vinegar) So far so good. I've had some questions, so I'll try to answer those and if you have any more questions, please feel free to comment below and I'll get back to you!

Q: Why not use shampoo?
A: Because shampoo dries out your scalp and hair, stripping it of it's natural oils. Your scalp then goes into overdrive to produce MORE oil and you end up going back and forth between oily and dry. Not healthy.

Q: Why use baking soda and how much?
A: Baking soda removes the buildup from your hair. I use about 2-3 tsp mixed into a cup of warm water.   Pour it on my wet hair and massage my scalp, then rinse.

Q: Vinegar? Can I use regular vinegar or does it have to be apple cider vinegar? Will I smell like vinegar when I get out of the shower?
A: Vinegar acts as kind of a freshener/conditioner for your hair. You don't have to use apple cider vinegar, but it doesn't smell quite as strong as regular vinegar. You will not smell the vinegar when you get out of the shower. I use about 2 tsp mixed with 1 cup of warm water and pour it over my wet hair and then rinse. I use it after the baking soda treatment.

I also use a dry shampoo that I bought in the states called "batiste dry shampoo". It's like a talcum powder aerosol can and you just shake, spray it on your roots, work it in, and that's it. I use it maybe once a week.

Q: Was there a hat only stage?
A: I think there would have been if I didn't curl my hair or use dry shampoo. Both of those things really helped. You can make your own dry shampoo by grinding oats into a powder (add cocoa powder to it if you have dark hair) and then work it into your roots and shake out/brush out vigorously over the tub. Sounds weird, but works. It took about 2 and a half - 3 weeks for my hair to feel great.

Q: Is your head itchy?
A: The first week it was, but not at all since then.

Ok, so here's all the pics I promised! First hair pics and then all the junk I've gotten rid of this week! (except for the 6 garbage bags of stuff I got rid of at the beginning of the week)

I took these pics 10 minutes ago, so they are RECENT lol 3 weeks + 6 days with no shampoo!

 the back of my suburban loaded (there's a dresser under there!)

 midsection of my vehicle :)

 There's the dresser and some chairs

front seat, too :)

I can't wait to take the next load away! It really feels great!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

New and Improved Homemade Laundry Soap Recipe!

Hey, guys :) So awhile back I posted a recipe for homemade laundry soap that I've been making and using for the past 2 years (and have loved) and you can find that here......however, I have found a new recipe that is a little easier, costs about the same, and I think I like a little more! The recipe was found here at Green Willow Pond's blog and I'm going to share it with you today.


1. It's a powder instead of a liquid, so you don't need the 5 gallon bucket and it takes up a lot less room in your laundry room.

2. It's better on stains!

3. It takes 5 minutes to make instead of 10-15 minutes.

4. It's still cheap cheap cheap!

K, so here it is:

1 cup Washing Soda
1 cup Borax
1/2 cup Oxiclean (I only used one scoop = 1/4 cup)
1 bar of Ivory soap (I am pretty sure you can use whatever kind of soap you like)

Very finely grate the bar of soap and mix with the other ingredients. Store it in a mason jar with a measuring spoon attached. Use 1 heaping Tablespoon per load and 2 or 3 if the load is really dirty (work clothes, cloth diapers, etc) Use either hot or warm water when you start the wash, add the soap, then add your clothes. You can then switch it to cold water or whatever you prefer. The warm water just helps dissolve the soap at the beginning. I bought my Oxiclean at Walmart and it cost about 5 bucks and should last a few months for sure. Hope you like it as much as I do!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Too Much To Do and Too Little Time

This is a topic that always comes up when women are talking.
"Oh I've been sooo busy lately!"
"There just isn't enough time in the day!"
"I don't know how to get it all done!"
"I can't keep up."

It's a common theme in all of our lives, no matter what our circumstances are. It doesn't matter if you have one kid or 7, work outside the home or stay home or work from home, married or not.......the tasks seem endless and the days too short. I find that I pendulum between "super-mom" and "losing-it-mom" most of the time. How do I find balance? I know I can't be super mom and I don't ever want to be losing-it-mom, but how do I do that?

One thing I have discovered is that the more kids you have, the worse it gets! There are more mouths to feed, more messes to clean, more stuff in the house to manage, more fighting going on, more training needed, more love to give, more safety concerns, more, more, more! I think it is possible to "wing it" (as is my personality and my preference) if you've got a couple kids - maybe - but past that and it's either going to be complete chaos or things are gonna run smoothly (aka discipline and a plan).

For years we've had the same old problems in our home -

I can't seem to keep up with the laundry (now it is worse than ever!)

There's too much clutter and we can't find what we need when we need it.

The dishes are endless and the kitchen is always a mess! (Matthew doesn't dare try to cook in there most of the time)

My office is a dumping ground and too small of a room with too much going on in it.

On top of all that, I am trying to get a workshop for my new business set up in my basement and because power tools and foster children don't mix, that means we have to have a whole room made for it - build a wall with a lockable door and move all my storage........


I am in the midst of GETTING RID OF AS MUCH STUFF AS POSSIBLE. Most of it is donated or thrown out and a few things have been sold, but there is much more to sell/get rid of. I think one issue is that, sure, I get rid of lots, but I get given lots, too! I'm gonna have to stop giving other people's junk a loving home.....that's all there is to it.


This is so much easier said than done and it's gonna be difficult if you still have too much stuff (which most of us are guilty of). The way I am doing this is I am making a list of all the things in my entire house that need storage. Example: Bedding, clothing, dishes, out of season platters/baking pans etc, sewing, keepsakes, toiletries, toys, files, artwork, tools, craft supplies, out of season clothing/coats/hats/mitts etc. , baby accessories (highchair, cradle, exersaucer, swing, etc). Then I decide where it should be stored, how much room it needs, if it needs to be purged further, and what it should be stored in.

What you store something in makes a HUGE difference. For example, all my kids clothes that don't fit are stored in rubbermaids labeled according to size, so every time I do laundry, the small pile of "no-longer-fits" is easy to put away in storage. But it's NOT easy to put away (even though it's so nicely categorized) cuz the rubbermaids are in a dark room in the basement - they are stacked on each other - and I have to unstack them, find the right one, and then take the lid off to put the stuff in = HASSLE. So what happens instead is I throw all the clothing in a grocery bag, run it down the stairs....and pitch it in a corner or on top of something to deal with on a rainy day. So I need to get some bins that have slide out drawers, like those craft carts, I think. Or dog food bins, or something like that, to store our out of seasons in.


That's enough for today, I think. I guess this is now a "getting back on your feet" series and this is part 1. It's all about time management, stuff management, and discipline......not fun, but necessary and VERY rewarding :) This is gonna be fun! See you soon...........

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


"I didn't intend to leave my phone on my bumper"

"I didn't intend to lose my temper and yell at my kids"

"I didn't intend to forget to pay that bill on time"

We don't intend to. That's the problem. WE NEED TO INTEND TO.  

This morning I do not feel like being a good mother. I am tired. I am a little grumpy. I have a cold. I feel lazy. BUT I have kids and they are gonna go all haywire on me if I don't set some GOOD INTENTIONS!

So for today, I needed to start off my day INTENDING TO BE A GOOD MOTHER.

Thank you, Sharpie, for my custom mug this morning! 

I also have these reminders on my stove for me to read every time I am in the kitchen - which is often:

I am the thermostat that sets the emotional climate for the entire home. I am positive, excited, and encouraged.

I am not called to be perfect, I am called to be at peace. 

My children are a BLESSING in my life and I am raising them to be a BLESSING to this world.
(you can find these at!)

I choose my thoughts carefully. I don't let my mind think what it wants. Instead, when I feel like crap, I think things like......

"I would like to read with my children this morning!" 

"I am going to spend one-on-one time with each of my kids today and this is what I am going to do with each of them......" 

"I can't wait to see how fabulous my kitchen is going to look when I have finished washing all these dishes! Maybe I'll make something yummy for dessert......"

Instead of thinking things like.......

"Ugh. I have SO much housework to do. What is the point anyway? It's always such a mess. I can't keep up. And the kids are acting like brats! I wish they would just be quiet and clean up after themselves for once......"

So far so good :) I have a feeling that today is gonna be one of those FABULOUS days! ;)

Philippians 4:8
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Yucky Dresser to Rustic Entry Table

I bought this dresser about 10 years ago for $5. 

I call it the "gack" dresser because I painted a gack from a Dr. Seuss book on the side when Logan was a baby. 

The dresser is well made, but the drawers always stuck, so I hated using it. The only reason I've kept it for so long is because of the gack I had painted on it. So for the last year and a half it has sat outside my back door, slowly weathering away. 

I decided a couple weeks ago, to tear it apart and make something out of it AND save my gack painting. I ended up replacing all the pieces except for the top and the front (where the drawers used to slide in) which I made into the back of my new entry table. It was a learning experience but I love the end result! Here are some pics of the transition:

A piece of old horse tack 

view from the back

Now the question is: Do I sell this beauty? Or do I keep her? Hmmm.......thoughts?

Monday, September 19, 2011

My Fabulous Secret....EXPOSED! ;)

I am in love.....with wood.  I am sooo passionate about woodworking and I've made 2 little things so far and working on a 3rd bigger project that I won't tell you about yet. I will show you the things I've finished, though :) cuz I'm nice like that ;)

So the first is a gift for Marla (shhhh! don't tell her, cuz I haven't given it to her yet!) I saw this cute saying online and just HAD to make it my own! Marla has 3 boys and I wanted it to be a personalized gift, so I altered it a bit......You'll see what I'm talking about in just a minute. So I grabbed the side piece from an old drawer and the piece that the drawer would slide on......

and I turned it into this........

I hope she likes it :) Her kids names are River, Roman, and Jack, and thus came the "new" dictionary definition of Boy.

Second thing I made is the COOLEST. THING. EVER.  I am truly in love with this project and I will let you in on a little secret at the end of this post! They are ancestor blocks. Know how we have these old pics of ancestors and we don't really know who they are or when they lived or how we're related to them? And we never really look at the pics and who wants to put up a framed pic on our limited walls of people we don't actually know? Well, I made this ancestor block, which sits on a shelf in my living room and I am making tons more! It is a pic of my (I think) great great grandfather, Edgar Saunders. He is my grandmother's (on my dad's side) grandfather. I say I think because she had an uncle with that name, so he could be my great great uncle, but I am going with grandfather for now, until I find out otherwise. Here's the block, front and back.....

I am planning on adding the year of birth/death under the name. Anybody related to me out there that happens to be reading this and happens to know that particular info - please let me know! lol thanks!

So wanna know my secret? 2 of my sisters and I are opening our own online store! It is in the works right now, so I will keep you posted. We will be handcrafting things out of natural materials as much as possible. I will be making things with wood, refinishing vintage furnishings etc (Marla will be working with me on this) and Gerda will be making jewellry and other accessories, all of which you can order for yourself! Yay! The online store will be coming very soon and is called .........(drum roll please!).....Wood Island Wonders! Wood Island is where our ancestors on my father's side were born and raised. It's a tiny Island in the Bay of  Fundy, New Brunswick, about a mile long and half a mile wide. No road, just a path, and no electricity or running water etc.  I will let you know when it's up and running! Yay! We are starting a new Blog called Wood Island Wonders and will be putting up pics on there and you can order what you like. If you like something you see and want me to custom make something for you, let me know and I'll see what I can do. Still working out pricing and shipping costs and the like. Have a fabulous week!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

My Woodworking Dream

When I was a kid, I was amazed by my mother's many talents. She was a teacher, had taken dancing, fencing (the fighting kind, not the building kind), had made a cool bookcase and a baby cradle BY HERSELF, and was a wealth of knowledge. She always had an answer for everything - unless it was something we wanted to do, in which case she would most often say, "Ask your father." And she had lots of kids. 8 to be exact. (I know cuz I was there)

It must be noted here that I am a little bit like my mother.

I remember ALWAYS wanting to be a mom when I grew up. (But I wanted more like 97 children, not 8) I wanted to be a nurse. Or a doctor. Or a carpenter. Or an artist or a missionary. AND I wanted to run an orphanage. I had decided all this by about the time I was 5 years old. What I didn't know is that I could (and would) be ALL those things.

I am a Mother to 2 beautiful, biological children.

I have been Mother to 4 beautiful foster children.

My children and my friends and neighbors are my mission field.

I've given medications, cleaned and bandaged woulds, cleaned up bodily fluids, pulled out splinters, tended to fevers and colds and rashes.

I am a teacher. (I know that one wasn't on my list, but I'm enjoying it!)

I am an artist and thrive with creativity.

But what about carpentry? I have dreamed and dreamed of adding this to my repertoire, but to date it hasn't happened.......until this week!

I discovered (thanks to my dear husband) a GOLD MINE in my own backyard! In the form old shed. Actually 2 old sheds. He hauled them down with his truck (cuz he's cool like that...wink)  and I have spent the last few days dismantling and de-nailing all the boards and shingles that I want to use for my projects. There's some pretty cool stuff out there! More weathered, distressed wood than I could use in a lifetime! I am ecstatic. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And of course we discovered all this on our first day of school, so bookwork went out the window on Day 1 and we had the kids out there learning about wood :)  in the great outdoors. The weather has been perfect and it's been a perfect family activity to start off our school year.

Coolest First Day of School Ever.

They were eager to help!

Jasna wanted to help with everything :)

Working with my kids is so fun!

Logan worked really hard!

Jasna surprised me with her nail-pulling capability! She just grabbed a hammer and jumped right in! (has to be the yellow one, though)

Daisy liked being with us while we worked :) And we liked being with her :) She rewarded us with lots of smiles!