Sunday, January 17, 2016

DIY Eco-friendly Duster Refills for Only 50 Cents Each!

The last year or so, I've been in a serious funk.  I stopped doing a lot of the stuff I loved, had record amounts of insomnia, and totally backslid on all of my cooking and cleaning efforts, let alone cooking healthy and cleaning green.

Didn't nobody have time for that!

But I'm on a new medication, and it's a new year, and I can feel the fog lifting again.  What I'm realizing?  I am fat and my house is a MESS.  Time to get back to business.  First order of business - dusting.

I have come to realize that if I don't dust, no one will.  It's so freaking gross, you guys.  Let's not forget to add in that I live in the desert, so things are naturally pretty dusty as it is.  You add in only the most basic of housecleaning for almost a year and well... it's nasty.  I'm just keeping it real here.

I personally have a teensy Swiffer Duster addiction.  The problem is, when your house is really dusty, you go through them pretty fast.  They are not cheap, and they definitely are not good for the environment.  I needed to come up with an alternative, and fast!  I know that a lot of people swear by feather dusters, but I've tried several different kinds and just don't care for them.  I prefer knowing I'm tossing out the dust when I'm done cleaning.  Sure I could use a cleaning rag, but then I have to actually touch the dirt (ick, gag) more than I'd like.


I picked up some microfiber cleaning towels in the automotive section of my local Dollar Tree.  They are a pretty good size, and you get two to a package. They came in neon green and blue.  I opted for the more obnoxious color, seeing as that's how I roll.

You're also going to need the handle from your Swiffer Duster.

Take one of the towels and cut it into quarters, keeping the finished seams on the bottom.

Cut the finished seams from the sides, but leave the one at the bottom. That will make it easier to put the finished duster on the handle. Stack all of the pieces together.

Lay the handle in the middle of the stacked and with a fine tipped marker (I used a green Sharpie to coordinate with my cloths) make a dotted line around the handle.  Pin the layers together.

Starting at the top of the "u" shape, stitch straight down the center line.  Be sure to backstitch at the beginning and end to secure.  Then, sew the "u" shape, also being sure to backstitch at the beginning and end.

Pull out your pins and even up the sides.  I trimmed about an inch off the end and rounded the corners too.

Make cuts along the sides, about 3/4" apart and stopping 1/2" from your stitching.

Slide the handle into the layers and give it a good shake to separate the layers.  I'm going to warn you though - this step is MESSY.  You will have little balls of whatever color you chose fluff all over the place!

But think of how much money you're going to save on refills, and how many little fluffy bits of paper and fibers you're going to keep out of the landfill, and give yourself a pat on the back.

These took about five minutes each, from start to finish, and I made six, for a grand total of $3.00 and some thread. Not too shabby!

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Monday, January 26, 2015

Give Thanks

I want to get back in the habit of keeping a gratitude journal.  I find that it really does help with my attitude toward things.  I mean, it's not like I have a bad attitude toward things.  I just think it's a good exercise for being more mindful in general.

In the past I've kept a separate gratitude journal, but I thought it might simplify things to just keep it going in my planner.  I made up these little stickers to help me in this endeavor:

I just printed them out on sticker paper/full sheet labels and I'll be sticking one on each day in my planner so that I can jot down at least one thing each day for which I am thankful.  You can download your own pdf of this file by visiting my Facebook page.  As always, these are for personal use only.  Please do not reproduce them for sale.  Also please do not pin to Pinterest from anywhere except this blog post.

Thanks and enjoy!

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Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Hey Planner Junkies!

Okay, here is a list of the things I *should* be doing:

1.  Cleaning my house for the arrival of visitors this weekend.
2.  Figuring out how to decorate my mantel.
3.  Figuring out how to decorate the currently bare hutch in our entryway.
4.  Working on my Project Life.

Here is a list of what I am doing instead:

1.  Listening to the 90's R&B Radio station on Pandora.  SO.  FREAKING.  AWESOME.
2.  Making stickers for my planner.

To be fair, I did make it a goal to do a better job keeping up with my planner this year. I found a set of sticky notes on Pinterest that contained the "dire" and "important" wording, and then I came up with the rest.  Now, if my Google skills are correct, these should fit the little squares in the Erin Condren planners too.  Each sticker should end up an inch and a half wide and just under two inches tall.  This means you could easily use them in a traditional Filofax-type planner, or one from Target like I have.

I thought they were fun, and I thought I would share.  Of course, like all my printables, the deal is the same.  Visit (and hopefully Like if you have not already!) my Facebook page for instructions on how to download these for yourself.  Please keep them for your own personal use and don't sell or modify them.

Now, I printed mine on sticker paper that I bought at an Office Supply store and cut apart, but since they're only 1 1/2" wide they would also easily fit into a small sticker maker machine like the Xyron 150.  Heck, you could print them out and just smear a glue stick on the back as you need them.  That part is entirely up to you.


Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Just Some Stuff

One of these years I'm going to make it through the WHOLE year of doing Project Life.  I didn't even attempt it for 2014, despite faithfully making a place holder image each week on Instagram and pinning ideas all year. I decided to try it again though for 2015.  I have to start scrapbooking again!

I was going through the journaling cards I've made and collected that I have saved on my laptop, and I realized that I really love those fill-in-the-blank, form type cards.  For example:

And then I made this one, just to be funny:

Some are my own design, others I took something I saw somewhere and recreated with my own twist, others may be lifted from Pinterest, but I'm not completely sure.  

Let's see how far I make it this year.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Fall is BACK!

Second day of FALL, Y'ALL!  Only...

Yeah.  Insert frowny face here.  The high for today is supposed to be 102.  How lame is that?  Still, I can pretend!  Let me share my favorite things right now with you, in no particular order.

This child's bed head.  Her hair is super curly and super fine, and she is a crazy flip-flopper in her sleep.  It makes for some pretty epic bed head.  Thankfully I've figured out how to tame it!

This boy. Total mom brag moment here - He started Kindergarten this year and not only is he the only kid in his class who can read, he's reading at a second grade level.

Also, I want to add my haircut.  I finally feel like I found a good haircut and style for me.  Now let's see if I can properly maintain it.

My sorority.  Yup, eleven years after the fact I've decided to get back into it.  After all, it isn't supposed to be for just four years, it's supposed to be for a lifetime, right?  I need to get out of the house more and be more involved with other adults.  I was thinking to myself, sure, I can go out and look for something, but I already have this thing with people I already know built into my life.  Why not get back into that?  I've attended two alumni events in the last month and we're going to start planning for our grand convention next month.  I've paid my alumni dues, busted out my lavaliere and badge, and even bought a cute violet pin to wear for more casual events.

I may or may not have also started to teach the baby recruitment spirit songs. It's super cute!

Speaking of getting her ready for college, I'm also getting a huge kick out of teaching her slightly inappropriate things such as how to play flippy cup.  I'm easily amused.

Making The Team.  Dang I love me some Kitty Carter, but I wouldn't want to have her judging me.  The woman is awesome yet scary as hell.

Fall scents!!!  I so look forward to this time of year because it has the best scented candles of all!  I waited until Bath and Body Works put these on sale 2 for $22 and then printed off a $10 off $30 coupon to make these a great deal. Also, that lotion?  I wish I had gotten a bigger bottle.  YUM.

My pretty new fall wreath.  I saw one just like this on Pinterest years ago and finally decided to bite the bullet and make myself one.  The last one I made before Bubba was born, if I recall correctly, so it was time.

Glow in the dark nail polish.  It's so flipping cool!!! I found this at Target in the Hallowe'en section. This is my favorite brand of polish anyway (yes, even over OPI and Essie) and the fact that it's only two bucks a bottle doesn't hurt either.  I polished my nails and Kelly's nails with this and then when I went to bed I couldn't stop admiring my glowy nails under the blankets.  Again, I'm easily amused!

Card making.  Finding out that one of my neighbors is into stamping and paper crafting too has really gotten me back into this hobby.  We split orders to save on shipping, text each other pictures of completed projects, squeal over YouTube videos from our favorite stampers, and sigh over cool new product because we want to buy it all and know we shouldn't.  We've reorganized our stamps and dies and borrow items back and forth.  In fact, those are her stamps in this photo because she had a baby on Monday so I knew she wasn't going to be making anything any time soon!

So I guess I should add my stamp buddy (my husband calls her my pusher, haha) to this list!

Pumpkin spice chai lattes.  I can't drink coffee.  It's too harsh on my stomach and when I do manage to drink it the taste is usually too bitter because I'm not used to it.  The closest I get is the occasional Frappucino.  Chai lattes, however, are a different story entirely.  Add the pumpkin spice flavoring to it and it just tastes like Fall.

And yeah, I totally was watching Scooby Doo. Alone at night, without my kids.  Don't judge.

Hallowe'en decorations!!!  I look forward to Hallowe'en every year, not only because it's seriously fun, but also because it usually marks the end of the hot weather here in the Phoenix area.  That's right folks - summer here lasts until almost November.  How bad does that suck?

Until that cooler weather comes, I can distract myself with glorious Hallowe'en. I love going out shopping to look for new decorations to add to my collection. I love to look at pictures of how others have decorated online.  I love planning costumes for my kids. Honestly, Hallowe'en is second only to Christmas on my list of favorite holidays.

The blow mold ghost is a new acquisition this year.  I didn't even know they still made blow molds! I will admit that I would love to have a bunch of vintage ones in my collection, but they don't really show up in the thrifts or antique stores around here very often.  It's too bad, because I just love the retro look of them.

The spider is new too.  That big metal circle thing has to be about four - four and a half feet across, to give you some idea of how huge the spider is.  I debated between getting the one big spider or covering it with a bunch of smaller ones, but I'm glad I went in this direction.  It's really freaking creepy!

This guy.

And his weird little bendy self.

I love having him in our family since Leila passed this summer.  He's the perfect cat for our family, even though I could probably do without him getting on the fridge or the tops of the cabinets. He snuggles with me in bed, plays tag with the kids, tolerates them when he's not playing, and in general is just a good cat.  Let's not forget to mention that he's an absolutely gorgeous flame-point Siamese! A lot of these cats have really badly crossed eyes, or strange dark spots on their noses, but he has neither.  He's just handsome.

This isn't to say that I don't miss having a dog.  I think about getting a dog every day.  I miss having a dog, but I know that now isn't the right time for our family.  That doesn't make the void any less noticeable for me though. I love the cat but I know I really need a dog.

That's a little peek into where I am now.

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