Sturdy, homemade memory game for young kids

1. Collect 20 or so milk bottle caps in the same colour (red for me).
2. Buy two sheets of identical stickers (a gift in our case).
3. Stick pairs of stickers on the caps.
4. Cover stickers with Modge Podge or a homemade facsimile of 2 tsp white glue and 7-10 drops of water.

I stored the whole thing in an empty jam jar.

they're flower stickers in case you can't tell

they’re flower stickers in case you can’t tell

flip em over, flip em back

flip em over, flip em back

diy reuse milk jug lids to make a memory game for kids

diy reuse milk jug lids to make a memory game for kids

Laundry room upgrade in rented house

That means I can only paint the little things.
After

the laundry room is where bold colours need to reign!

the laundry room is where bold colours need to reign!

I did have to buy some things for this project, paint mostly.
Key Lime Green spray paint, 2 can $12
Pink paint, 1 pint $18
Paint sponge-brushes, 8 $7
3M hooks, 8 $9
TOTAL $46

Things I already owned

Two wicker baskets serving no useful purpose
Large round dollar store bucket to corral my laundry soaps
Ugly square basket that came with the previous house we owned
Peanut butter jar for my soap works dry bleach powder
Empty lid off a liquid laundry detergent bottle to store tbsp to scoop bleach powder when necessary
Yellow tbsp my son found in a park one day to scoop bleach powder when necessary
Empty coffee can for homemade laundry soap
Blue dollar store garbage can

The kids have wrecked all my paint brushes so I had to replenish the supply and decided to try sponge brushes this time. It doesn’t splatter and it’s very handy to paint containers that have lips around them. It gives a very even application that doesn’t drip.

This is an all day project because you have to put 4 coats of paint on everything; 2 on the inside, 2 on the outside. That’s why I like spray paint but they didn’t have any in pink so I had to buy paintbrush paint AT 3 TIMES THE PRICE.
Before

a bassinet tray from the top of a play pen for storage and a pile of soap stuff on the dryer

a bassinet tray from the top of a play pen for storage and a pile of soap stuff on the dryer

How’d I do it

soak the label off a pink, sidewalk chalk bucket (no need to paint)

soak the label off a pink, sidewalk chalk bucket (no need to paint)

the bottle I use for my homemade hair treatment

the bottle I use for my homemade hair treatment

baskets I had, I removed the handles from the brown one

baskets I had, I removed the handles from the brown one

I turned the baskets upside down on empty boxes to spray paint them outside

I turned the baskets upside down on empty boxes to spray paint them outside

laundry room sink BEFOREI used bleach 50:50 with water to de-stain the laundry sink.

under the sink are my soap making supplies.  Notice the now pink hair treatment bottle.

under the sink are my soap making supplies. Notice the now pink hair treatment bottle.

2 hooks behind the door for my hair towel, fly swatter, backup hand towel for basement bathroom and delicates wash bag

2 hooks behind the door for my hair towel, fly swatter, backup hand towel for basement bathroom and delicates wash bag

The laundry room door is always open so you’ll never see what’s stored behind the door.

Next up, must crochet a pink doily for the top of the dryer.

DIY birdfeeder from empty Lysol wipes container

Taking the advice of my favourite gardening blogger http://survivalfarm.wordpress.com/2013/10/26/in-winter-birds-flock-together/ and the fact that it’s Saturday and the kids are home from school, I decided that we would make a bird feeder and watering station.

reuse lysol wipes container birdfeeder

reuse lysol wipes container birdfeeder


This is the fence post where I decided to put the feeder. It’s far away enough from the house not to scare the birds and far away enough from the road where that stupid cat wanders.
where the birdfeeder will go

where the birdfeeder will go


Start with an empty and washed wipes container. Peel off the label. You’ll have to soak it in water for that.
materials.  the red thing is for the next blog

materials. the red thing is for the next blog


I cut a circle out of the bottom a bit smaller than the fence post diameter so the birdfeeder would pop snugly over the post and the seeds wouldn’t fall through any cracks. I used a hole punch to put a hole under each cut opening and hot glued a piece of a wooden skewer in the hole for the birds to perch on.
cut out circles marked in blue

cut out circles marked in blue


I cut a hole in the lid of the container so when I need to refill it I just pop the lid cover open and pour in the seeds.

Reusing to help in the garden

my watering can

my watering can

I position this jug under the drip in the bathtub to keep the water. I have a bucket by the door to collect the water to water the veggies at the end of the day or I just take the watering can to the flowers when it’s full. Oh the cardiovascular workouts.

labeling plants and plots

labeling plants and plots

This is a concentrated can of orange juice lid. I’ve got two labeled “bulbs” in other plots in the garden to I know that there’s something there.

to protect the brussel sprouts

to protect the brussel sprouts

We’re coming into the weather for the brussel sprouts, as it gets cooler they’ll get taller. They need to be protected from the wind but not the sun. I cut the bottom off an empty yogurt container, not even washing it since the milk product contains nutrients which are good for the soil.

an old knife to stake a peony?  pansy?

an old knife to stake a peony? pansy?

Hubby brought a cheap, thrift store, mismatched set of cutlery with him when he drove across the country to use until the moving truck arrived. I thought I’d given the set to our babysitter but I apparently missed one knife. I was going to throw it out but then this little flower, whatever it’s called, needed to be propped up.

Reuse around the garden (2)This is a shelter for ladybugs to hibernate and multiply during the winter. We aren’t in the woods or near any so getting sticks to tie in a bundle for the ladybugs is hard. But the day lilies are done and the lignin in the stalks is getting rather hard. I pulled up all the used stalks and tied those to whatever dowel or stake like thing I had to make my ladybug hotel.

How to save money on your water bill by reclaiming rinse water.

wide mouth and handle built in to reclaim slightly used water

wide mouth and handle built in to reclaim slightly used water

This may seem extreme but it’s a habit of mine now so it’s no extra effort at all, in fact, I feel wasteful if I don’t do it. Ever since I had to squat in corners to pee while visiting Cuba, I have been unable to take running water for granted. Admit it, we are so rich that we can fill a bathtub with water, be unsatisfied with the temperature, EMPTY IT and start over. What a waste! So I’m rescuing waste water to put on my plants. This is increasingly useful since it isn’t raining much this summer and is consistently above 30 Celsius.

I keep a plastic Folger’s coffee container beside the kitchen sink. It’s got a handle shape built in to it which makes it easier to carry, and a large opening so you can dump water into it easily. Whenever someone doesn’t drink all their water, rather than pour it down the sink, I just pour it a little to the right inside my Folger’s. When I rinse out someone’s milk glass, the rinse water goes in the Folger’s (milk is good fertilizer for plants anyway). Boiled some eggs for lunch, let water sit til cool, pour in Folger’s.

I keep a large bucket, obtained for free from a bakery; they really do buy their butter in bulk, right beside the back door. When the coffee container is full, I dump it in the bucket, then cart the bucket to the garden at night to water it.

If you have a double sink, put a plastic bucket in the second one for the rinse water for the dishes (if you still wash dishes by hand). Empty the rinse bucket into the outside bucket. If you only have one sink but the bucket on the counter to be your second sink. Even a large mixing bowl will work.

Have to fill a sink (or large container, that’s just easier) with hot water to quickly thaw the evening meat, scoop that water into the outside bucket.

Kids have a kiddie swimming pool? After the week of swimming is over, scoop water into garden. The kids can help with this one.

We currently have a dripping bathtub faucet so I put a large, empty cranberry juice container under it and dump this water in the outside bucket too. Or haul it out the front door for the flowers there.

As a bonus, this is extra motion, aka exercise!

Homemade Vanilla Coffee Creamer free recipe easy as 1-2-3

Save an empty milk carton or jug. Just rinse it out and keep it in the fridge until you make your coffee creamer. The store bought varieties have all kinds of unpronounceable ingredients so I like my natural version better.

make your own creamer with sugar, 10 % cream, milk and vanilla.

make your own creamer with sugar, 10 % cream, milk and vanilla.

Vanilla Coffee Creamer Recipe 1:2:3

Place funnel inside empty milk jug. Pour in:

1 cup white sugar
2 cups 10% cream
3 cups milk
3 capfuls vanilla extract
(I use the cap so I don’t dirty a measuring spoon, but if you need to know, it’s 3 tbsp)

The ratio of ingredients will always be 1 white sugar to 2 10% cream to 3 milk to vanilla in tbsp equivalents to the milk measurement.

Put cap on jug and shake. Label jug as “coffee creamer” so your visiting brother doesn’t pour himself a big glass of “milk” and then make funny faces. Although, that is kind of funny.

How to organize a kitchen countertop for free!

We’ve broadened our selection of morning coffees so there were bags and cans and a giant sugar container all over the place. Oh yeah, Hubby works 12 hour shifts so he needs Gatorade to stay hydrated. We couldn’t use the counter top for food preparation. That had to change.

how to organize kitchen countertop on a budget of $0

how to organize kitchen countertop on a budget of $0


One empty mason jar for my vanilla hazelnut coffee
One empty grocery store jam jar for Hubby’s arabica coffee
One empty blueberry juice glass jar for the Gatorade
One empty clear plastic jumbo mayonnaise jar for the regular coffee

some decorated with stickers my daughter coloured

all labeled, labels at the same level,

and beside the repurposed flower vase for the dishwasher detergent pods.

I have an official label maker but if you don’t, paper and clear tape works just as well.

PS-the mayo container is large enough to hold almost all the coffee from a giant coffee can

How to make toys for children with large, empty juice jugs

I’ve been at it again, making toys for the kids and as it turns out, inspiring them to improvise too. We finished drinking the 2L cranberry juice so I rinsed out the container and cut it in half with a paring knife. Then I cut two arch doors out of the front and back of each half and voilà! two tunnels for driving cars through.

reuse empty juice jug

reuse empty juice jug

Next was the 4L milk jug. Empty, rinse, cut off only the handle. This makes a slide-tube for wee rocks or beads we find in the park, or more popular, a “music” trumpet. I cut the handle off the giant Tropicana orange juice container to make a 2nd trumpet. This musical instrument gig inspired my daughter to grab her sleeping pillow and hold and strum it like a guitar while singing.

DIY Garden border and free watering can

I found a chipmunk in my outside garbage can yesterday.  It’s the same fellow that lives in my rain gutter and I believe, ate some of my spinach.  I harvested the remainder of the spinach before he could get it.  It isn’t raining much this summer so the spinach wasn’t doing spectacularly anyway.  Although compared to how I usually garden, which is to kill everything, the spinach is doing great!

In other gardening news, I finished putting in the log border around the garden that lines the walkway.

This border serves a number of purposes to make my life easier: one- it’s pretty, two- it keeps the lawn from growing into the garden, three- I sunk the log deep enough that I can run the lawn mower over it, thus eliminating the need to weed the edges by hand. 

I’ve been despairing my lack of an official watering can all year, using two big buckets to haul water up from the swamp by hand instead.  The trouble is that the large opening of the bucket creates a severe force of water hitting the plants and dislodging the dirt around them, hence the need for the softer opening of a watering can.  Since it isn’t raining much I decided to scoop the rinse water from the dishes into a container to water the vegetables.  Upon trying to find a suitable container I lighted upon an empty jug of liquid laundry detergent- now my new watering can!  The spout is small enough to pour without damaging the plants and I didn’t have to spend any extra money.