Friday, October 7, 2011

Horrible Posting Schedule

I think I need to definitely work on my posting schedule. I was doing great the first couple months.

I have done a *lot* around the house. Other things need more organization. I have 3 piles of dirty clothes just lying there. 2 stacks of papers I need to go through. My television is sitting on a chair, and my floating shelf for my television electronics is lying unfinished.

Goals. I *will* finish the shelf within the next 2 weeks. Or at least decide on a final paint job I would like to do and get started on the detail.

I *will* start running in the mornings. Or evenings. Okay - at least every 24 hour period which I do not have an exam or paper due. Or the boys have music lessons. Or... well... Whatever. I *will* start running. Soon. "Ish".

Monday, July 25, 2011

No Electronics Allowed

Now that the weekend is over and everyone has recovered with lots of sleep, it's time to return to work. If anyone remembers, I had all last week off work. It was awesome!

Saturday morning, I woke the kids up super early. I took them to a friends house to see his horses. The boys absolutely loved it. We honestly didn't see the real horses, but we saw an 4 year old mule that looks like a horse, and a 3 month old mule. We also saw numerous donkeys, some as young as 3 weeks old. The oldest, an 8 year old donkey, was blind and pregnant. I feel bad for her.

After we got home, we had just enough time to clean up before we had to leave again for Michael's violin lesson. He really likes this instrument without any pushing on my part. I think he enjoys it more than piano, even though he is further ahead in piano.

With violin completed, now our Chicago vacation really gets started. A quick lunch, and then we hit the road. The boys had no idea where we were going. At first, they weren't too happy. I had banned all electronics for the weekend (which I weaken up a bit later), so that meant no DS on the road trip. I also would not play mainstream radio. I played a 5 disc Classical Piano Set, Suzuki CD, or kids Spanish Audio CD. I also provided about 15 books for Michael to choose from. His options were to read outloud to his brother or listen to music of "choice" and look at the scenary.

I was really happy with the way this worked out, because Michael actually paid attention to his surroundings and cars around us. That has never happened before. Normally, his nose is straight into the screen of the DS.

3 hours later, we arrived in Gurnee, IL. Checked in at the hotel, had Michael finish up his piano homework, and decided what we wanted to do. It was only 4 PM. After some hotel lobby brochure snooping, we decided to go towards Lake Michigan.

We got back to the hotel by 8. Luckily, our hotel shared it's parking lot with a couple economic restaurants. Ordered to go, and dined in our room. I allowed Michael and Andrew to watch television, since we'd spent the greatest majority of the day full of family time.

Sunday morning came fast. The Fair opens at 10, and I wanted to leave the hotel by 9. We did so great. I got the kids up, showered, and dressed. All of us downstairs, each of us eating a substantially large breakfast, energized and ready to go. Packed up the car, checked out, and hit the road. The fair is only 10 miles up the road, so we get there around 9:15. The gates are still locked. I start to wonder how they planned to get people parked, and start the outside gate show at 9:45 if they won't even let people park at 9:15. But...Little did I know, the hotel room clock was one hour fast. I kept looking at the minutes in the car, not the hour. It was only 8:15!

A whole hour to kill, without wanting to waste gas or extra money. Only one thing left to do.

Illinois Beach State Park. It had rained in Northern Chicago that morning, and it was still early. We were the only ones there. Nothing commercial around and it made the view beautiful. It was only 10 minutes from the Fair. We spent maybe 30 minutes on the sand, and then went back.

Michael and Andrew loved the Fair. Michael wants to go back with just him and I. Andrew wants to go back to see the Faeries. It was a lot of fun. I took 120+ pictures, so it's hard to pick which ones to post.

If anyone would like more pictures, especially pictures of the ladies gowns, I have tons of photos. I did Civil War Reenactments 10 years ago, so I have a couple 19th century gowns I made. I sometimes would love to dress up for a Fair. It's so expensive... I easily spent $100-150 at the Fair alone, just one day. The costs of making a costume, and driving to a Fair enough to actually use it... That's a whole other story.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Homemade Goo Be Gone

This morning I was cleaning some stainless steel appliances off, and I realized my kids had stuck stickers on the fridge. The adhesive wouldn't come off, and I was out of Goo Be Gone. Plus, that stuff is a little expensive for tethe amount you get.

I looked in my little homemaker book and found a recipe for making my own, which is the same one my grandmother used.

What you need:
4 Orange Rinds

Put the rinds in a gallon of water. Seal it up and let it sit for about a week or so. Strain it, and the water should now be Citrus Oil.

Take 3 parts oil, and 1 part gasoline and fill up a spray bottle. You can dilute if you wish, but my grandmother never did. Spray directly onto your "goo", wait a couple minutes, and wipe (or scrub) away.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Bristol Renaissance Fair

Crazy weekend ahead, so I may not get a lot done with my projects. Saturday, after Michael's violin lesson, we are heading up to Kenosha, WI for the Bristol Renaissance Faire. Hopefully the boys have as much fun as I hope they will. They have no idea and I think it will be a nice surprise family vacation (and also snatch them away from their electronically controlled lives).

I am temporarily cheating on my kitchen table project, because I absolutely need a kitchen table. A close friend of mine is PCS-ing (a military relocation) to California in September. He is giving me his kitchen table set, which I looove. This alone gives me more time to work on my other projects.

Progress Update:
Living room entertainment area shelf, which is a floating shelf, needs sanded down, painted, and attached to the wall.

Unfortunately, I haven't found anymore crates for my kitchen wall, so I may have to resort to purchasing. Purchasing it already made outweighs the cost of DIY, since Hobby Lobby and Michael's frequently holds discounts on their wooden crafts.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Crackled Shelf

Primed and painted a base red, and then an antique crackle over it. I went to Hobby Lobby and found pretty blue scrapbook paper, and then thick construction paper for support, lined them up and stapled it onto the center back.

Charolette, NC

I just saw an article from Charolette, NC stating how Burger King is starting to serve alcoholic beverages. Fox Charolette

How crazy is this world, when a restaurant that appeals to children attempts to increase their bottom line by serving alcohol? I personally think it should be illegal for restaurants that appeal to children to serve alcohol. Yes, that includes Chucky Cheese, also.

As a clarification, I do not consider sit down restaurants as fast food. Applebee's, Ruby Tuesday's, Red Lobster, Pizza Hut, and others that all have servers that sit you, wait on you, and take care of your bill for you, are not fast food.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


Yesterday I took an old "fake" wood book shelf that I got from wal-mart for $10 and painted it. Today I'm lining the back with some of those adhesive cabinent liners. I think it looks pretty good, so far.

I also made soap yesterday morning. I made 2 separate batches, and usually give one to a friend. She said I should post it on-line since it smells so good, AND (bonus) it's cheap!

What You Need:
-1/3 bar of soap
-1/2 cup Washing Soda (not baking soda. Yes, there is a difference)
-1/2 cup Borax
-Water, a lot of it
-Bucket (maybe 2 gallon from dollar store)

Grate the bar of soap down. Pour it into a saucepan with 6 cups of water. Cook until all the soap melts. Add your washing soda and borax. Stir until it's dissolved, then remove from heat. Take 4 cups of hot water and pour it into your bucket. Add your soap mixture and stir.

Add just under 1 1/2 gallons of room temperature water (approximately 22 cups of water if you want to count) and stir some more.

If you want to add a scent, now is a good time to do it. Add 1 ounce or less of whatever essential oil fragrance you like.

Let it sit for 24 hours, and it will have a thin gel consistency. Use 1 cup for your loads.

Laundry Soap = 64 loads
Batch Cost = .80 cents
P/ Load Average = .01 cents

Storage Options:
I keep mine in a bucket I got from Dollar General. It came with no lid, so I cover it in Plastic Wrap. I had a measuring cup set that was destroyed, and luckily all the was left was the 1 cup, so I sewed a strap and have that attached to the side of the bucket to do my measurements.