Free printables for Thankgiving

I am hosting the whole family at our house for Thanksgiving this year…11 adults and 6 kiddos. It’s gonna be big! I’m starting to think about the meal and how I’ll decorate the table. I’ve been coming across some gorgeous free printables online and I had to share some of my favorites. You’ll find everything from place cards, to banners, to dessert tags, to gift cards…the list goes on.

Are you hosting this year?

Catch My Party

Skip to my Lou

Dimple Prints

Hostess with the Mostess

Silverbox Creative Studio

Landee See, Landee Do

A life changing organizing tip

Well, that might a big dramatic. But, my sister did promise it would change my life. So here we go…

This happens all day long, right? I am constantly digging through the pantry and grabbing snacks for the kids, and trying to keep my diaper bag stocked. And then along came…the snack bin.

I did not come up with this idea. I was raiding my sister’s pantry during a visit and admiring her organization (she is amazing, you can find her at Morganize with Me), and I saw the snack bin. She explained how it worked, and I knew I must do the same thing immediately. She got the idea over at I Heart Organizing.

The idea is to package up portioned snacks ahead of time in small containers and make them accessible to your kids so they can help themself. Then the individual snacks go in a bin in the pantry where they can reach them.

In our house, my son needs to ask permission to get a snack from the snack bin, because I don’t want him helping himself all day and filling up too much before meals. I have found it really helpful for those times when I am busy and can’t grab a snack, and my son loves to be able to pick his own out.

I copied my sis and got the same containers, they are the Ball Plastic Freezer Jars. I have tried pre-portioning snacks in ziploc bags before but they end up getting smushed in my bag and my son can have a hard time opening the bags. I love these containers because they keep the snacks fresh, they don’t get crushed and they wash well.

I also love these because they help me when I’m doing the mad dash out the door in the morning. I always grab a couple of snacks for my bag so I am prepared for the day.

Some snack ideas for your snack bin:

  • Crackers
  • Cereal
  • Animal crackers
  • Veggies Straws
  • Raisins
  • Pretzels
  • Popcorn
  • Pirate’s Booty
  • Nuts
  • Chex Mix
  • Granola
  • Trail mix

My sister also keeps a snack bin in the bottom drawer of her fridge for items like string cheese, yogurt, applesauce, etc. I love this idea but I’m not ready to give my kids access to the refrigerator yet. 🙂

How do you organize snacks? Would these work for you?

How to get the mercury glass look

Mercury glass decor items are popping up everywhere. It adds a nice grown up sparkle without looking stuffy. And when you can get away with adding sparkle in your home without demasculizing your husband, by all means – do it.

My inspiration:

Photo Credit: Vases, Lamp, Hurricane

I picked up the Krylon Looking Glass spray paint at Craft Warehouse, gasped at the price and put it back. Then I remembered I had my 50% coupon so I went for it. Finding glass pieces wasn’t hard, I LOVE collecting different glass items and who doesn’t love the good ole mason jar. So while baby was sleeping and my four-year old was treated to some Angry Birds time on the computer, I set out to get this project done.

I started by spraying the items with 3-4 very light coats of the paint, giving five minutes of dry time or so in between each coat. Tip: spray on very, very light coats, and spray the inside of your item. When the paint dries, the mirror side will be on the outside – and the inside will be matte.

And then things got interesting. When I went back out to check on them, our sprinkler system was going full-bore in the backyard and they were dripping wet. Why the sprinklers were on at two in the afternoon I do not know…what is it with men and constantly working on their perfect lawns? It’s like they are an extension of their…well you know.

Anyway, I brought them inside and tried to dry them off but the paint started coming off in patches. Lovely. So I tried painting again even though there were still some areas of paint on them that I couldn’t get off.

After the second attempt at painting them, I put together a 50/50 mixture of vinegar and water in a spray bottle and gave them a thorough spray.

After sitting for a few minutes I started to gently wipe off the vinegar mixture, leaving behind the scratched and bubbled imperfections.

What do you think?

All natural cleaning scrub recipe

This is one of the easiest cleaning recipes but one of my favorites. If you’ve made my homemade laundry soap, you should have Borax and baking soda around. The recipe is simple: 2 parts Borax to 1 part baking soda. (If you don’t have the items already, Borax can be found in the laundry aisle at most grocery stores.)

First, take a large nail and a hammer, and punch holes in the top of your mason jar. This will be your container for your scrub.

Then mix your Borax and baking soda together and a bada bing!

Use in showers, tubs, sinks and tile for a simple, non-toxic and non-abrasive cleaner. You can also sprinkle in your garbage disposal and drain, let stand for 15 minutes and rinse to clean and deodorize.

My favorite free fonts

There are a plethora of free fonts you can easily download to your computer to be used for personal use. I have found so many gorgeous fonts, these are some of my favorites. Look for an upcoming post where I use one of these fonts to make some artwork!

Visit the link find the free download:

Miserably Lose
Doris Day
1942 Report
Jailbird Jenna
Susie’s Hand
Baby Boston
Skinny Jeans
Hula Skirt Girl
Guess What.
EcuyerDAX
Pork Chop
Roskrift Clean
Pottery Barn
Impact Label Reversed
Drgnldy
Cupcake
Modern No. 20
Matilde
Petunia Bounce

Confused about how to download? Don’t sweat it. Learn how!

How to paint a chevron wall

Chevron! (Say it like Oprah. Chev-roooooooonnn!)

I saw a lovely grey and white chevron wall over on pinterest and had to have my own. You see, my husband had just finished building a fabulous murphy bed in our bonus room (more on that later), but I kept thinking it needed something more. Too sterile. Guest beds need to feel cozy, super soft sheets and be adorned with some kind of headboard. But, I knew with a four month old and a four year old running around, I needed to do something quick and easy, with big visual impact.

The walls in this room are already painted a lovely shade of grey and I had leftover cream paint that matched the trim and cabinets, so I did this on the cheap. Before I started painting, I took measurements and made a little drawing of my design to double check everything. I first measured the length and width of the wall, and formed my pattern working from the middle out. I picked the middle point and made a square grid; then I made the chevron pattern using the points of the squares. I wanted a big, dramatic pattern (and I didn’t want to have to tape too much), but you could do it whatever scale you want.

Once I was happy with my pattern, I started measuring out my grid and used small pins to mark the points of the squares. Then the final and most laborious step before getting out the paint roller was to tape the chevron pattern.

Save some time and buy the Frog tape. It seals wonderfully and you will get a nice clean line.

Then paint a couple of coats, remove your tape and a bada bing – serious chevron fabulousness!

Footstool makeover

Think twice when you see something that looks like junk at a garage sale or Goodwill.

This sad little footstool was at a friend’s garage sale last weekend and I snatched it up to give it a makeover for my friend who is a photographer. I thought it would make the perfect little prop for her photos of little ones.

To give it a fresh look, I removed the fabric top part where it was attached with four screws. Then I gave the wood a quick sand and gave it two coats of black paint with a can of spray paint. I had some leftover fabric (I’m obsessed with chevron, this is Premier Prints) so I eye-balled it and cut out enough to leave a couple of inches of overlap around the edges. I wrapped the fabric around starting on one side, tucking the raw edge under then used a staple gun to hold it in place. I worked my way around being sure to hold it really tight to keep the fabric smooth and the print lined up across the edge.

Turned out pretty darn cute. What do you think? (I am loving my models :))

Bathroom organization

Why do the tweezers always go missing? I am convinced that there is a black hole somewhere in our house containing a bunch of socks, tweezers, pens and all the other stuff that constantly gets lost.

This is a smart and simple way to manage the little things in your bathroom drawer. I use one of those paper clip holders from an office supply store to keep bobby pins, tweezers, manicure scissors, etc. – anything small and metal. The magnet at the top keeps them from spilling out and keeps pointy tweezer ends from poking you!

DIY Laundry Soap Recipe

Making your own laundry soap is SO incredibly easy. I was sold at the first use. AND, it’s way cheaper than the store brand variety.

I have tried a few recipes and this one is my favorite. Funny story about the Fels Naptha. When my sisters and I were little, my mom would threaten to wash our mouth out with the yellow bar of soap if we used bad language. I only remember this happening once to me, and I think it was more of a two second bite than an actual washing…but still.

DIY Laundry Soap Recipe
1 cup Borax
1 cup Arm & Hammer Washing Soda
1/2 cup baking soda
1/2 cup Oxiclean
1 bar Fels Naptha laundry soap bar

(Both the Washing Soda and the Fels Naptha soap can be found in the laundry aisle of most supermarkets.)

1. Combine the Borax, washing soda, baking soda and oxiclean in a big bowl and mix together

2. Grate the bar of soap using a cheese grater. It actually looks quite like cheddar cheese.

3. I use my blender to mix the soap with the other ingredients and break down the soap into smaller pieces. Put about half of the white mixture into your blender and half of the shredded soap so you don’t overload your blender. If you run it too long, I have found that the motor will heat up and some of the soap will melt and get stuck in the blade. So put it on the pulse setting and give it a few short pulses. You can also use a food processor if you prefer. Do the same to the second batch.

That’s it, you’re already done! See, not so hard after all. And doesn’t your kitchen smell heavenly now??

Use a funnel to put the soap into your container of choice. I use a large mason jar and put a cute label on it. Head on over to Limeshot Design for the free and adorable mason jar labels I used.

And the savings! This recipe will make approximately four cups of detergent. You only need to use 1-2 Tablespoons a load. So that gives you 32 regular loads or 16 large or heavily soiled loads. At just under $3 a jar for all the supplies, that makes for more money for things funner than laundry soap. (Yes, I know funner isn’t a word but it makes me laugh.)

One more thing – this formula is perfectly safe for HE machines because it is low sudsing.

Homemade granite cleaner

Granite looks so great when it’s clean. But it hardly ever is around our house. I refuse to go through a bottle a week of the special, expensive granite cleaner. So, I did some research and came up with a recipe that I make at home and it turns out it works better than the store-bought stuff. Easy peasy.

Homemade Granite Cleaner
1/4 cup of rubbing alcohol or cheap vodka
5-10 drops of Dawn or other dish soap
Water
10 drops essential oil or tea tree oil (optional)

Put the rubbing alcohol or vodka into a 16oz squirt bottle. (I don’t know why you would waste vodka on cleaning but apparently some people do.) Add the dish soap, essential oil and fill up the rest of the bottle with water. Give it a few shakes and you’re good to go. I always add essential oil or tea tree oil because it takes over the alcohol smell. And lavender essential oil and tea tree oil just happen to be naturally antibacterial so that’s a nice bonus. I just got a new essential oil called “Blues Buster” that is a combo of tangerine, grapefruit and geranium. Heavenly!

*I know a lot of people use vinegar for all-purpose cleaners but be sure to avoid using vinegar on any natural stone as the acidity could cause damage.