Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Old World Charm with a Modern Flare: YoYo Bows Hair Clips, Bookmarks, Brooch

I've always liked yo-yo's....no, not the one's on the string that you can "walk the dog"...(that's my brother's bag). The ones you see at craft shows on vests, quilts or other beautifully handmade items. I took this southern tradition and gave it a modern flare making hair bows for my girls.

All you will need is some fabric scrapes of fun girly colors (about 5.5" x 5.5"), Clover Round Extra Large Yo-Yo Maker

Cut the fabric just slightly larger than the yo-yo maker.  You will probably want to read the directions that come with the yo-yo maker for the particulars but here it is in a nut shell...Next you will need to "load" the fabric into the yo-yo maker, making sure you put the front "right" side of the fabric towards the plate and push the disk into place, lining up the notches on the plate with the lines on the disk.  When you do this you will hear a little poping noise at each notch.  Trim the excess fabric about 1/2" from the the edge of the yo-yo maker.

Start with the disk facing you, hold the seam folded into the disk and insert the needle into the concave part of the disk.

Flip the yo-yo maker around to see the exit of the needle.  Move to the edge of the "U" (you don't want to sew over the plastic, your stitch should be inside the "U".  Pull the thread all the way through, until tight.

Continue with these stitches all the way around and your very last stich will go through the same whole your first stitch started.

Remove the disk from the plate by pushing through the whole in the center of the plate.  Gently lift and remove the fabric from around the disk.  Take your thread and pull it away from the yo-yo and the material will gather around the round yo-yo, giving it the unique yo-yo look.  Pull the thread tight and knot it so the yo-yo will keep it's shape.

To finish off the yo-yo sew a button or two layered buttons over the yo-yo hole.  Attach an alligator clip on the back with hot glue for a hair clip; attach a pin on the back for a brooch; or attach a ribbon on the back for a book mark.

Such simple wimsy! 
Have you made yo-yo's before?  How else do you use them to decorate?

, thread, needle, button(s) and hair clip ribbon and/or brooch clip.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Super Low Energy Rates and Earn CA$H!!

So it was time for me to renew my contract with Green Mountain Energy and they wanted 13.2 cents per KwH for renewable energy, a nearly 3 cent increase from our current plan, ouch! So needless to say I started looking for another carrier, again. I found Ambit Energy who offers several plans to meet everyone's needs (I personally prefer renewable energy and liked that they offer both renewable and traditional energy rates). We liked what they have to offer and actually became marketing consultants for the Ambit Energy. Our thought, everyone needs power so why not help to educate people about their power options. I mean, Clark and I were both educators so it comes naturally to us.

With Ambit they offer super cheap energy rates per KwH, depending upon your term. Let's face it energy prices are on the rise so locking in a longer term is to your advantage. I just signed up for the 1 year Certified Green plan at a better rate then Green Mountain could offer me for 6 months! To find out how much you can save just grab your bill and go to http://blair.goambit.com/ and in the top right corner click on CUSTOMER ENROLLMENT SITE then choose Quote My Savings. If you can't save money I don't want you to switch but if I can save you money then by all means I want you to know about it! :) The other thing about Ambit Energy is there are no hidden fees, like fuel surcharges like with TXU. Amazingly most people are still with Reliant Energy (the old HL&P) just because they are too afraid to change yet they are the highest priced energy around! I haven't had Reliant Energy since 2006, when I finally felt comfortable to switch and I've paid lower electricity bills ever since!!

If you just don't have the time to research it, let me help. You may be in a contract right now and I would love to show you our rates when it's time for you to renew. Also, if you are interested in becoming a Marketing Consultant, where you can earn residual income for life and reduce your electricity bill with referral credits, I can help answer questions about this too. It is very easy and like I said EVERYONE needs electricity so it is easy to help people start saving money. If you think you may be interested in being a marketing consultant, you can sign up and then you can turn your power on under your own account and immediately start earning money from your own energy consumption; how cool is that? That is what we just did! Getting a better rate than our current provider and earning money from our monthly energy useage is like a double bonus, Savings and Savings!

If you have any questions or think you may be interested in Ambit Energy please let me know, as I will be happy to answer any questions!!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Homemade Croutons

So I can't get enough of my Krustbuster!  I've made PB&J, chicken salad sandwiches, and breakfast sandwiches.  I can't keep enough bread in the house!  After making the breakfast sandwiches, which contained scrambled eggs, bacon and cheese, I kept the crusts to make homemade croutons!  So easy, so fun and so YUMMY!

What you need:
bread (I used the crusts from my sandwiches I made with Krustbuster)
seasoning (I used garlic powder, onion powder and an Italian seasoning blend)

Cut the bread so you have about 1 inch pieces. 

Melt about 2 tablespoons of butter. Mix in 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon onion powder, and 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning.  I'd add a pinch of salt too!

Bake at 250 degrees for about 20-30 minutes, stopping to stir about every 5-7 minutes.

Yummy!  There are only about half left at this point because I snacked on them all night!  Sometimes I'll choose croutons to snack on over chips.  I know I'm weird that way!  Enjoy!!

Wild about Wednesdays!

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Saturday, March 20, 2010

spring cleaning

i'm a little bit of a germ-aphob...ok so maybe not just a little bit. but having kids has made me a lot better, i promoise! {wink} i have never actually "cleaned" my kids bath toys because they are in the bath and must already be cleaned, right? NOT! so since it was a yucky, rainy day i figured today was the day.

you need:
bucket (preferribly 1 gallon)
bleach to water ratios:
1 tablespoon bleach to 1 quart water
1/4 cup bleach to 1 gallon water

in the bath tub, i started by taking the bucket that i received at the hospital when i had my daughter, but you can use any bucket that is approximately 1 gallon, and fill the bucket with warm water and add 1/4 cup bleach. place your toys in the bucket, soak for 1 minute. pour out the bucket of bleach water. refill bucket with plain water (to rinse); i did this step twice just to be sure it was all gone.

did i mention we are potty training? i also took this time to clean our potties. i threw everything in the tub; filled my bucket with bleach solution; dunked what would fit and poured the remainder of the solution on top of what was left.

the last thing i decided to clean is my oldest daughter's high chair. how gross do high chairs get? ummm, REALLY gross. i do love our's though...the Fisher-Price Rainforest Healthy Care High Chair has been great! she has now outgrown it now and i want to put it away until my youngest is ready in a couple of months but it was "dirty". i folded the legs, removed the seat cover and threw it in the tub too! using recycled t-shirt rags i cleaned the high chair with the bleach solution, eventually pouring the bucket on the chair. i then completely rinsed it using the same technique as above.

some things you may want to consider...wear white and remove all colored towels from the bathroom so you aren't tempted to dry your hands on one when you MAY still have bleach on your hands. when you are finished the whites of your finger nails will be really white, no need for a french manicure this time, thanks to the bleach solution.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

recycled t-shirt rags

ever wonder what to do with your husband's old, yellowed undershirts? well i use them as cleaning cloths! with 5 easy cuts you can make 4 good sized cleaning cloths.

first lay your shirt flat on a cutting mat.

using a rotary blade cutter cut just inside the seams for the sleeves to remove the sleeves.
do this to both sleeves.

next, cut a straight line across the shirt, just under where the sleeves where to make a rectangle. discard the sleeves and top of the shirt that you have removed.

lastely cut in half both vertically and horizontally. now you have 4 good cloths for cleaning, kids napkins, or whatever you might need extra towels for but don't want to use your good ones!

Monday, March 15, 2010

You must try the....Krustbuster!

Raise your hand if you have ever bought the Smuckers P, B and J sandwiches in the freezer section at your grocery store. [raise hand]. I totally love these sandwiches for my 2 year old the whole family!! Simply grab, thaw, and serve! They don't have crust and are neatly sealed all the way around so there isn't a chance of dripy jelly making its way to my daughter's shirt, if you know what I mean! Target occassionaly carries these with wheat bread, which is what I prefer. Soooooo my grandmother bought be neatest thing....the Krustbuster
. This $10 contraption is my new favorite toy {sad, i know}. I couldn't wait to go out and buy a new loaf of bread to try it!!! Here's my try... The only thing you need is peanut butter (creamy or chunky, your choice), jelly, FRESH bread (the moister the better seal) and the Krustbuster!!!

Spread your peanut butter on the inside of the two slices of bread about the size of the Krustbuster. You may ask why spread pb on both sides?? Well it keeps the jelly from soaking into the bread. {smile}

Next spread the jelly on one piece of bread but make sure it is well within the inside of the Krustbuster area--ensures a good seal.

Place the sandwhich on the Krustbuster, centering the PB&J area with the machine. Can I even call this a machine???

Press down until the krust starts to separate. Open the Krustbuster and Viola!

Now you have a perfect sandwhich, sealed and ready to be served or frozen for later.
Within minutes I made 4 sandwhiches! These are great, you control the ingrediants use Organic peanut butter, low sugar jelly or whatever you want.

I wrapped each sandwhich in wax paper and put them in a ziploc baggie, labeled it with the contents and date and I'm done.

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I am not affiliated nor did I receive anything from the Krustbuster but love their product dearly!