Pull up a chair, get a cup of tea, and enjoy reading the recipes and tidbits of my journey through Life.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Some Un-Asked for Parenting Advice

This afternoon my daughter and I were drinking our after-school hot chocolate and watching Labyrinth.  Sarah was rocking Toby and my daughter asked where their parents were.  I told her they had gone on a date and she asked what that was.  My answer: When two people love each other they enjoy going places together, just the two of them.

This got me to thinking about the way we, as parents, explain things to our children.  Most of us probably grew up thinking of those "two people" as a man and woman, but that is not always the case.  They could be a man and woman, but just as likely is a man and man or woman and woman. 

We are responsible for how our children learn to see and think of things.  Eventually they will learn to think on their own and form their own opinions, but as they are starting out we are their caretakers.  This is how Hate is taught.  Hate is learned, it does not exist in a vacuum.  It does not take much additional effort to take a moment to think before we talk to our children.  Even if it did, they are more than worth the effort. 

We are raising the next generation of leaders.  How do we want that world to be?  Gandhi said "You must be the change you wish to see in the world."  Raising our children to be accepting and open-minded is a wonderful place to begin that change. 

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Literary Resurrection

"If you learn to love reading, you will never be alone." -- Ronald Reagan's Mother

I first heard the quote above while standing in an elevator while holding my current reading selection at the time, Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak.  It was told to me by Michael Deaver, President Reagan's former chief strategist and close friend, who was a Vice Chairman at the company I worked for.  Mike was always interested in seeing what book I was reading because in those days (before my daughter was born) I was a voracious reader.  I went through at least three books a week, thanks to an hour commute in the morning and then another in the evening.  Mike imparted a great deal of wisdom to me over the almost six years I worked at Edelman. 

The last time I saw him was on a return visit to the office for everyone to see my daughter and how much she had grown.  He had lost quite a bit of weight and I remember remarking to my husband about it.    A few months later I was flipping through the channels and saw a CNN Breaking News that Mike had passed away from pancreatic cancer.  Shock was an understatement. 

To make an already long enough story short, Mike left a strong impression on me about reading and making time for it... and about life in general.  I have been very remiss in keeping up with my book reading.  I read a great deal online, but there is just something about reading a book (or even an e-book) that cannot compare with online. 

This brings me to my new Halfway-Through-The-Year Resolution!  I am determined, by hook or by crook, to finish one book a month.  That might sound kind of wimpy, but I cannot remember the last book I was able to read from cover to cover.  I have started many, but something gets in the way and by the time I get back to it I would have to start all over again because it had been so long. 

Tomorrow is the first day of August and I will start reading The Plant Spirit Familiar by Christopher Pennczak.  This was recommended by my friend, David.  I also plan to give reviews of the books when I finish them.  Some will be reviewed on my pagan blog, The Enchanted Grotto, and the rest will be reviewed here. 

So, if you do not want to miss a review, subscribe to both blogs and you are all set! 

Sunday, July 21, 2013

A Women's Helper Tea

"They" always say that tea is healthy or "they" say herbs can cure you.  Well, today I am going to be "one of them", so be prepared!

I have always been interested in herbalism and practice it as much as I can.  I have also always had problems with menstruation.  I was put on birth control at the age of 14 to regulate myself.  Not the healthiest choice, but neither is the chance of ovarian cancer by the time I was 28.  I know now that there are herbs I could have used, but that was not mainstream in the 90's. (Oky, now I feel old!)

Well, when we decided to have our darling daughter, Shaadi, I had to go off the birth control.  What in Goddess's name was I going to do?  I seriously feared the pain and all that bleeding (10 days on average).  I did some research and found out that Red Raspberry Leaf is pretty much fabTABulous for all our womanly parts and Traditional Medicinals makes it in handy-dandy tea bags!  I went out that night and bought a box at Whole Foods and tried it!  Now, I cannot stand normal black tea without sugar, so I was surprised I could drink this no problem.  But should you need it a little sweet, remember ONLY use honey, not any type of sugar, because sugar changes the chemical composition of the tea-- meaning it stops working.

Now, it takes about a month of daily drinking the tea before you will be right-as-rain in the menstrual part.  I also swear it helped us conceive Shaadi because we got pregnant within 15 days!  And I never had a moments morning sickness.  Not saying that will happen to you, but I know it helped with morning sickness.

Once you know you like the taste, you can buy Red Raspberry Leaf in bulk from Mountain Rose Herbs and some heat sealable tea bags, or use an infuser teapot and it will be mucho cheaper.

Let me know how your own experiment with this tea goes, fabTABulous I hope!

Monday, July 1, 2013


I learned about Glamping not too long ago from a friend of mine, David Salisbury, which is "Glamourous Camping".  Since then I have been intriqued with the idea, which is odd for me since the thought of camping has never appealed to me.  But Glamping?  This is I can do, and the pre-planning will be a blast as well.  I love to craft and decorate anything, so glamping equipment will be my next big adventure.

The first item of glamping gear I bought was something I stumbled upon just boredly surfing some of my favorite online stores.  They are a set of four enameled tin cups.  As you can see in the photo below, the design is simple and elegant.  You can find these delightful cups at Victorian Trading Company's website, but you need to hurry because they are on clearance for $9.99. These cups have sparked my color scheme for our Glamp, black and white with touches of silver accents.  

Years ago I embroidered 36 quilt blocks to make what I thought would eventually be a quilt for our bed.  As inevitably happens with me, I changed my mind after having finished emboidering the blocks.  Now, instead of having one queen quilt made, I have enough for a full size quilt and a twin size quilt.  These will be used when we go glamping.  The picture below shows the quilt design, but in red while mine is done in black.

I have also started a Pinterest Board on Glamping if you would like to follow it.  I can be found easily on Pinterest, or you can find me here.

Anyone have experience with Glamping?  Any tips or tidbits you would like to share?

Saturday, June 29, 2013

The Enchanted Grotto: A Place for all Things Pagan

My dear readers, you may have noticed I have been getting more opinionated about Pagan issues and have posted a few times on here about it.  I have been having second thoughts about whether those posts really belong on the Homemaker Homestead.  They generally have nothing to do with cooking, self-sufficiency, or upcycling, so I have created another home for those posts, The Enchanted Grotto.

Please join me over there for lively discussions on any and every topic pertaining to Paganism and being a Pagan in the modern world.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Homemade Spaghetti Sauce

Earlier this week Foodlion was running a sale on tomatoes-on-the-vine, $0.89 per pound.  My immediate thought was "Spaghetti Sauce"!  My recipe calls for 20 pounds of tomatoes, which turned out to be $17.80.  That might sound like a lot, but for $20 I was able to make 10 jars of homemade spaghetti sauce that I know all the ingredients of; that is $2 a jar.  You cannot get really good pasta sauce for that price in the store.

My recipe was inspired by The Family Homestead's recipe, but I tweaked it to make it to my tastes.  The one ingredient that might be hard to find is the Pomegranate Vinegar.  I find it at my local Persian grocery, but I think Whole Foods has it and I know that Amazon does (brand does not matter).

Double, Double,
Toil and Trouble,
Fire Burn,
And Sauce to Bubble.

Spaghetti Sauce
20 pounds of tomatoes, cored
2 large (3 medium) red onions, chopped
4 medium green bell peppers, chopped
8 cloves garlic, minced OR 3 tablespoons
5 tablespoons salt
1 teaspoon fresh black pepper
6 tablespoons oregano
4 tablespoons basil
3 tablespoons rosemary
3 tablespoons thyme
3 tablespoons parsley flakes
1 tablespoon mint
1 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup pomegranate vinegar
1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
3 12-ounce cans tomato paste

Wash and chop tomatoes in a food processor.  Put in a 14-quart stockpot.  Add the remaining ingredients, except for the tomato paste.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and, simmer for 2 hours.  Add tomato paste and mix well.  Bring back to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for another hour.

Put hot sauce into hot, sterilized jars.  Process in a water bath canner for 20 minutes.  Remove the jars from the canner and place out of drafts on a towel.  Cover with another towel to keep warm.  Listen for each jar seal to "pop", letting you know the seal has formed.  In ideal conditions these sealed jars will now keep for years, but it tastes so good it probably will not last you that long!

If you happen to make my sauce, or any of my recipes, let me know how they turn out for you!  I love hearing about your experiences!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

A Little Background

Yesterday's post about my coming out as a Pagan was really the first post about ME as a person.  I usually post about events that occur in my life and leave it at that.  It just never dawned on me that people might want to know about the person behind the screen.  So, I will either entertain you or bore you with a little background on me.

I was born in the Bible Belt of Kentucky, but raised for most of my childhood on the Gulf Coast of Mississippi.  When Biloxi was devastated by Katrina, my heart bled for the place I consider my true hometown.  I am lucky I grew up there and not in Kentucky because I was exposed to any different cultures and people. 

My mom still likes to tell the story of when our neighbor's children came and asked if I wanted to play.  They were African-Americans and I had never seen them before and was a little hesitant to play. My early years spent in the country did not expose me to much diversity.  We ended up being great friends though and played together a lot.  But this just shows how backward I was.

From then on I grew up seeing all these different cultures getting along and it all just seemed normal to me.  I learned that differences didn't matter, we are all still people at the baseline.  Later in my childhood I got to meet some of my mother's friends who were gay and lesbians.  It was not until later that I learned they were because they were normal people.  I have never understood how who someone loves effects someone else...unless they are in love with that person as well, and then that is just a whole nother ball of wax.   But this made it easier for me to accept myself as bisexual at the age of 15, because I grew up knowing some wonderful LGBT people.

Also being away from the Bible Belt with its obligatory church attendance made it easier for me to form my own opinions.  The first five years of my life I was taken to church by my paternal grandparents whenever we stayed the weekend with them.  It was not the horrible experience that some have had, but it was not enjoyable either, especially for a young child on a Sunday morning.  I grew up not really thinking about religion or spirituality and it honestly never entered my head to think about it. 

When we moved back to KY in my 8th grade year, I was in for culture shock!  First, I felt claustrophobic because one whole side of the city was no longer the Gulf of Mexico.  Then all the "what church are you going to?" questions started.  Kinda scary.  Thankfully most people knew my brother (long story) so I wasn't a total outsider.  Anyway, I got to thinking about what I believed and even went to church a few times before realizing that wasn't what I believed.  I drifted for a while and just left things go in the religion department.  I was growing acedemically and personally, making friends, enjoying life as a new teenager. 

My currently spiritual path started in a WaldenBooks at the age of 15.  It was the summer before my junior year of high school and I felt great.  My friends and I were hanging out at the mall (what else do you do in a small town on a weekend?) and being the booklovers we were, we headed for WaldenBooks.  I found one or two  D&D novels I wanted and then stumbled upon a section titled Metaphysical.  Intriqued, I searched through the titles and read the back of a few.  I already knew about horoscopes and such, but Magick was new to me.  I bought True Magick by Amber K, which I still have to this day, and the rest as they say is history.

I have not looked back once and regret nothing I have done or learned.  To regret means I do not appreciate who I am today, and I absolutely love who I am.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Pagan Coming Out Day -- May 2nd

I came out of the broom closet when I was a junior in high school. Even though I lived in the Bible Belt of Kentucky it never occurred to me NOT to come out, and I never really thought of it as "coming out".  To me it was just being who I was.  This is not tooting my own horn as being brave or anything; if anything it is showing just how naive I was.  I could have endured horrible consequences like loss of friends, tauntings, bullying, etc.  I was lucky that I had a good core group of friends, many of whom were Christian, and most people just blew it off as some weird quirk of mine. 

I guess you would have to understand who I was in high school to understand this last part.  I knew the names of each person in our graduating class, all 275 of us.  I was in AP classes and had all academics the first 3 years of high school, leaving my senior year filled with art electives.  I got along with almost everyone. My boyfriend and I were also kinda infamous for PDA's as well...we even made it into the school paper in the form of a editorial cartoon because of it.  I was not a typical student, let's just say.

Two of my boyfriend's friends were following the Druid path, Josh and Michael.  I have lost touch with Josh, but am still in contact with Michael and I respect him a great deal.  We all had some great debates about spirituality.  But other than these few I was alone on my path.  I do not know if there were more Pagans in my high school that were afraid to come out, or if we really were the only ones.  I would have liked to have an SPA (student pagan association) but that was not to be.  Maybe had I been more mature I could have started one, but that just wasn't me back then.

Tomorrow, May 2nd, is Pagan Coming Out Day.  If you are in the broom closet or out, or just a Pagan supporter, please keep those coming out in your minds as they take this large step.  The color for Pagan Pride is deep purple, so if you have clothing, jewelry, or even a ribbon, please wear it in honor of our brothers and sisters.  Let them know it is perfectly fine to be themselves...

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Prepping for Summer Vacation

School ends June 14th and introduces something we have never had to deal with...a daughter who is used to structured activity, and lots of it!  Horror of horrors!  Well, I have been surfing Pinterest like the frazzled mama I am and stumbled upon one solution...The Jar of Fun! 

It was created by a homeschooling mama for her three little girls.  I will let you read the story on their blog at : The Daily Digi.  In essence you put 100 different activities in a jar and draw one a day for 100 days, the used activities go into the We Did It jar.

I counted the days and there cannot be more than 80 days between the last day in June and the first day in August (no clue when the start date is yet).  I spent a whole afternoon and evening searching Pinterest for different activities that are easy and do not take too many supplies.  I plan to have a large bin of the supplies needed for all the activities ready by June 14th so we can do any of the activities.

Below is the list in the order I came across them.  Some of them I will hyperlink for you, and they will open in another window so you don't have to keep using your back button.

1. Go for a walk
2. Do each other's makeup
3. Paint rocks
4. Read a book
5. Plant some seeds
6. Write a letter and mail it
7. Take silly photos and email them to Daddy
8. Do a photo scavenger hunt
9. Make breakfast for dinner
10. Bake cookies for someone and deliver them
11. Try a new recipe together
12. Make a time capsule (include predictions for the future)
13.  Cut sponges into shapes and make sponge paintings
14. Make play dough (I will post this recipe below, it is the one my mommy used)
15. Make sock puppets
16. Make paper beads
17. Make bath paints
18. Write a story together and illustrate it
19. Build an indoor blanket fort
20. Play Hot/Cold
21. Play red-light/green-light
22. Make popcorn and watch a movie
23. Make mud pies
24. Have a water gun fight
25. Make homemade bubbles and bubble wands
26. Make tambourines using disosable plates and beans, then staple closed.  Decorate
27. Create a Family Chore Chart
28. Have a tea party
29. Make a collage with a theme
30. Go outside with a pair of binoculars
31. Create party hats and wear at dinner
32. Make placemats for dinner
33. Make masks from paper plates
34. Make a bunch of birthday cards so you have them when you need them
35. Make your own memory game
36. Make a windchime
37. Sidewalk chalk
38. Make garden stepping stones
39. Make a nature journal
40. Make paper fans
41. Paint a sheet with watered down acryllic paint in a spray bottle
42. Make smoothie popsicles
43. Make rain sticks
44. Make a dream catcher
45. Make a tin can windsock
46. Make treasure stones
47. Spray dye a shirt (like #41)
48. Make fruit leather
49. Make a crown
50. Make an Herbarium
51. Make scented stones
52. Go on a Listening Walk
53. Make a kaleidoscope (have a kit for this but you can Google homemade ones)
54. Make a birdfeeder
55. Make a birdbath
56. Frozen Grape Skewers
57. Make clothespin dragonflies
58. Make a memory box
59. Make crystal geode eggs
60. Create pirate swords
61. Make gummy treats
62. Paint with watercolors
63. Activity/Exercise Cube
64. Go outside with a magnifying glass
65. Pool Noodle Bath
66. Decorate a Fairy House (wooden birdhouse from Michaels)
67. Mason jar glitter globes
68. Send a Hug
69. Make a cape
70. Stained glass painting
71. Nature Filled Suncatchers
72. Cement Garden Stones
73. Make a spin drum
74. Make an Anemometer
75. Make paper airplanes
76. Make a yo-yo
77. Make Fairy Wings (use sheer fabric and permament markers)
78. Make Chihuly "glass"
79. Aluminum Foil Art
80. Make a Magic 8-ball

Phew!  That was a lot of work!  :-)

Now for the Salt Clay recipe:
1/2 cup salt
1 cup flour

Combine flour and salt, then sift into another bowl.  Add enough water to make a workable dough.  Add food coloring to make different colors.  Shapes will dry out in a day depending on their thickness.

I also plan to have her doing a daily journal, and a weekly art journal. Plus all the usual summer time fun: swimming, running wild, etc.

As always, comments are very welcome.  Have an activity to add to my list?

Going Inward

This post was inspired by an article on The Wild Hunt asking for people to post/blog/tweet their personal spiritual belief in an effort to help in a 101 course-type experience.  When I was just starting out on the Pagan path I assumed that I had to be pigeon-holed into a preconceived spirituality.  As time went on, with reading and experience, I learned to create my own spirituality, one that I am completely at home with.

I believe Universe is energy with masculine and feminine polarity; and everything contains both just to a more or lesser degree.  All deities are characteristic manifestations of this energy.  Almost as if they were separate personalities of the energy.  It is possible for a one manifestation to be stronger than another due to a person's energy feeding them (worshiping them).  A deity can also claim a person for their own and act as a patron to that person.  I have had this happen with two Goddesses -- Athena and Brigid -- but no Gods as yet.

Unless I am making offerings to my patrons, I think of the deities in general terms of Mother and Father.  This makes things earsier in terms of praying and devotion, as well as teaching my daughter.  I have trouble thinking of the Goddess and God in terms of Maiden/Mother/Crone and Youth/Father/Sage through the Wheel of the Year, so I have a loose belief in some of the Sabbats.  I will TRY to list them below:

Samhain: A time to honor our ancestors, last harvest
Yule: rebirth of the sun, longest night
Imbolc: celebration of Brigid
Ostara: celebration of Spring and Persian New Year (Hubby is pure Persian.  Ain't I a lucky girl????)
Beltane: celebration of love, not just romantic love either, and the way the divine becomes one in each of us.
Litha: celebration of the fae, longest day
Lughnasadh: First Harvest
Mabon: Second Harvest

Not your typical Wiccan Wheel of the Year, but not much about me is typical. 

My "afterlife" beliefs are more Karmic in bent.  I believe we are reincarnated into each life with a lesson to learn.  If we do not learn that lesson to the Universe's satisfaction we will be born again to learn it.  If we have racked up any Karmic points (either for good or ill) they will be worked off in that next life.  If we have learned our lesson, then we are reincarnated to learn a new lesson, but will still work off our Karmic points.  Each time we learn our lesson, our energy reaches a higher frequency and eventually when we have learned all our lessons our frequency will match that of the Universe/Deity Energy and we will merge with it.

So, that is me belief in a "nutshell" after almost 18 years of searching and learning.  I believe I am still at the 101 stage because I am always learning there is so much more to learn.  To me there is no such thing as a Master, or if there is we are all one because we each are all Masters of ourselves and bring different experiences to the table.  Alright, I am just rambling now.  Comments are more than welcome, I love a good discussion!!!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Beltane Blessings!

The Firefly House Maypole 2013

I am just bursting at the seams with pride and love for my daughter and my Firefly Family.  Today was our open Beltane ritual and potluck, and it also happened to be my daughter's first ritual ever.  David, one of our High Priests, asked if I minded if my daughter helped cast the circle.  I was overjoyed!  Of course I didn't mind!  She would follow Kali around the circle sprinkling flower petals.

When the time came she did a wonderful job and smiled the whole time.  Then all through the calling of the corners, she closed her eyes and opened her arms to the corners, she even said "Hail and welcome" once or twice.  She really liked the chant David had us sing and the Conga line was a big hit as well.  She was still wanting to sing the chant at bedtime. 

The Maypole was hilarious at first because of her height, but her Daddy joined in and helped out so we didn't have to duck down THAT far.  She also loved We All Come From The Goddess as well and hand me sing it again before bed.  She really enjoyed Head, Shoulders, Knees, & Toes as our grounding.  I think that surprised her that "grown-ups" know that one!  :-)

She crashed half-way home while coloring; the crayon was still poised in her hand.  She was so tuckered out from all that energy raised and used.  I could not have asked for a better first ritual for my daughter.  It was fabTABulous!

I have saved some of the flowers she carried around the circle to press and then I plan to make a scrapbook page for today.  I might scrapbook all of her rituals, I have not decided yet.  She asked if they were going to go in the "sticky book", her term for a scrapbook.  She was excited when I told her yes, so that is a good sign.  Now to look forward to our Litha ritual in June!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Homemade Cleaners

I feel like a domestic goddess after the last few days.  I have made a whole regiment of cleaners for the house and they have all worked fabTABulously!  I had been meaning to do this for YEARS, but just kept putting it off.  Thanks to Pinterest I got a reminder to do it this week. 

One of the main ingredient in these recipes is Citrus Vinegar
  • Vinegar
  • Citrus peels
  • Gallon container with a plastic lid (vinegar will corrode a metal lid)
Stuff as many citrus peels into the container as you can.  (Bonus: you get a Vitamin C boost.)  Cover with vinegar and close.  Sit in a sunny place for 2 weeks to a month.  Strain off peels (place in garbage disposal to freshen drain) and bottle vinegar.

Soft Scrubby Cleaner
  • 2/3 cup baking soda
  • 1/4 cup liquid castile soap (I use Dr. Bronner's brand)
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 tablespoon Citrus Vinegar
  • 20 drops Tea Tree Essential Oil
Add soap and water together in a bowl, and then pour in vinegar.  The fat in the soap will solidify, continue to stir until the fat has dissolved again.  Add baking soda a little at a time until well blended.  Add essential oil and bottle.  (It is a slightly thick mixture, so use a funnel and spoon to push the mixture into the bottle.

Natural Degreaser
  • 2 cups Citrus Vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons liquid castile soap
Mix everything in a spray bottle.  The fat in the soap will solidify; occasionally shake the bottle until the fat has dissolved again.  Use on tough grease or dried on food.

Window Cleaner
  • 1 part white vinegar
  • 1 part water
  • 1 to 2 drops liquid castile soap
Mix everything in a spray bottle. The fat in the soap will solidify; occasionally shake the bottle until the fat has dissolved again. 

All-Purpose Cleaner
  • 1 cup citrus vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons liquid castile soap
  • 6 drops Tea Tree Essential Oil
  • Warm Water
Add vinegar, soap, and essential oil to spray bottle.  Fill the rest of the bottle with water and shake.  (This is a rough measurement, but should be about 2 cups water.)    The fat in the soap will solidify; occasionally shake the bottle until the fat has dissolved again.

Disinfectant Spray
  • 1 part vinegar
  • 1 part water
  • 10 drops Tea Tree Essential Oil
Mix everything in a spray bottle.  Use to disinfect the matteress after colds/flu/sickness, or any where you would need to disinfect.

Furniture Polish
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/4 cup Citruc Vinegar
Mix everything in a spray bottle.  Shake to mix well.  Use as you normally would on wood furniture.

That is what I made so far this week.  I have a list of other products to make and will let you know how they turn out.

***Go to the Dollar Tree for the Spray bottles.  $1 each for 32 ounce bottles!!!***

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Children's Cough Syrup Worth Buying

This is the time of year when the "hackin-n-barkin" are in full swing, and given our Bipolar weather there is really no wonder.  Well, daughter-dear has developed a cough again and the doctor's stance is no cough syrup with DM in it.  Not much to ask for is it?  Wrong!  All the damned cough syrups have the DM cough supressant.  Ugh!  Well, the Hubby found one that did not and bought it, praying the whole time that our little darling would take it.  Here is a picture of it (made is really big so you can read it easier):

Total shocker...she loves it!  There is absolutely no color to it, it resembles slightly thick water, and really has no flavor as well.  It soothes her cough so she isn't coughing as much or hard, but at the same time it breaks it up.  Or melts the ice in her chest as our daughter likes to say. Bonus points: it is homepathic!  Score at Giant Food!
She has been taking it for five days and her cough is all but gone, and it was a pretty bad cough when it started last Friday.  (We did not find this product until Sunday night.) Tonight will probably be her last dose, just wanted to make sure she slept through the night. 
So, if your little one has the "hackin-n-barkin" going on, grab some of this.  It is fabTABulous!  In case you cannot find it at your local grocery or drug store, Amazon has it and the rest of Hyland's line of homepathic products.
***I was not paid or compensated for this review...but would welcome it should Hyland's feel the desire to do so : -)  ***

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

"From Drab to Fab" File Cabinet

Slowly but surely I am working on creating a Home Office, but I refuse to have it look drab.  I found inspiration on Pinterest (shocker, I know).  Someone had taken book pages and decoupaged them onto a trashcan.  Since I am a self-proclaimed bibliophile, I LOVED it!  So I took a page out of their book (corny, yes) and went wild.

This is the poor drab creature getting a make-over...

To get him prepared for the decoupaging, I removed the handles and applied a coat of primer to the drawer fronts.

While this dried, I grabbed a hardback book from my bookshelf that I didn't like, but never got rid of.  (Names have been withheld to protect the poor innocent book.)  I tore the pages out and then tore them in half from the middle, making two fat rectangles. Then I tore the blank edges off, leaving just the text.

Once the primer was dry, I poured ModPodge into a disposable bowl and applied a thick coat over the whole surface of the drawer front.   I placed a half page on the drawer front at a random angle, making sure there was over-hang to the sides of the drawer.  Another layer of ModPodge went over the top of the page, including the over-hang, gluing it to the sides to secure it and make a clean, neat edge.  Repeat this step all the way around and overlap the pages, making sure to vary the direction of the text.  Some of my pages are even upside down.  This is what you will end up with when it is completely covered.

Next move on to the second drawer front and cover it as well.  Once you have both completely covered, apply another thick coat of ModPodge to make sure it is sealed.  When that coat is dry, use an X-acto knife, or scissors, to trim any excessive over-hang and then re-attach the handles.  And here is the final product:

I only used about 50 full pages for the file cabinet, so a thin book would have worked.  Since I have some many pages left over I am now decoupaging my printer stand (a.k.a an old microwave cart).

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Welcome 2013

First off, HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!  Oky, now that is out of my system, on to bigger and better things.

I have been thinking a lot lately about how...well, unsatisfied I am with myself and life in general.  I feel like I am in a rut, and a not-so-productive rut at that.  Since it is the New Year, I thought some changes were in order. 

   1. Health
  • Only go out to eat at a restaurant for special occasions
  • Get an entree salad when we do go out, unless it is for a specific type food, like pizza
  • No more sodas...period
  • Try HARD to have a salad at every dinner at home
   2.  Housework
  • Change my cleaning schedule to one room a day
  • Have a structured daily routine broken down into Morning, Afternoon, Evening, and Before Bed
   3.  Home Office
  • Set up my home office in the basement
  • Menu Planning on Monday
  • Garden Planning on Tuesday
  • Clean my home office on Wednesday
  • File papers on Thursday
  • Plan/check schedule for weekend on Friday
  4. Finances
  • Cut our grocery budget to $50 a week
  • Any left over from grocery budget go into fund of some kind (haven't decided yet)
  • Only go out to restaurants for special occasions

I think I can adhere to these without too much problem.  I will probably struggle along the way, but in the end there will be a better me.  Gods above, please say it is so!