Easy Bulletin Board

30 09 2012

School started again for Prince D.  This is a very exciting thing for me.  I love all three of my boys but when all three are home I’m ready to be locked in a padded room.

The thing I don’t like about school starting is the exuberant amounts of paperwork coming in.  Its not too bad right now, but its only been two weeks now.  I’ve already had to come up with something to tack all of the school papers I need to keep on so I made a bulletin board in 5 minutes.

Its not the pretties of fellows, but for $0 and 5 minutes of my time, it certainly suits my budget and needs!

You will need:
2 pieces of cardboard, or a large on folded in half
a stapler
an old pillow case

Step 1.
Cut the cardboard down to fit into the pillow case and have straight edges.

Step 2.
Put the cardboard inside the pillow cases. Fold the loose edges over the the pillow case is snug on the cardboard, and staple the loose edges on the backside.

Step 4.
Hang the bulletin board on your wall. You can do this in much lovlier ways, but this is good for us for now.





Plum Perserves

23 09 2012

First of all, please excuse any typos or formatting difference. Our good friend returned home from Afghanistan recently and has taken over my work room. I’m happy to help a friend but not to lose my space. Anyways, because of the lack of privacy I have taken to using my iPad for Internet related work.

I’m kicking myself right now because dad and I made plum preserves from our harvest and I didn’t photograph the process to share! I did grab a few photos of the finished product so I hope that’s good enough…..

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Isn’t that a lovely picture? I am aware that it resembles jars of hearts. My favorite part of this process was actually the cooking, which filled my house with the smell of candied fruit. It’s smells like that which make me wish for the ability to upload smells to my blog.

Last year we jarred tomatoes, so I had some jars leftt over. The plums were gathered from our garden, and we never have a shortage of sugar around here so this project was completely free to me. However, the jars can cost $15-30, plums prices vary by season, and sugar is relatively cheap.

So here’s what you will need:
2.5 lbs plums, small purple ones are best
4 cups sugar
1 cup water
2 large pots, one must be large enough to completely submerge jar under water
1 skillet

How to make plum preserves:
First, fill the skillet and one large pot with water. Submerge the jars in the large pot, and the lids and seals in the skillet. When the water reaches a full boil set a timer for 15 minutes. Remove everything from the water and set aside. Turn the water off.

Next you need to place the plums, sugar, and water inside the second large pot. Slowly bring the mixture to a boil, stirring continuously to prevent scorching. After the mixture reaches a full boil, continue cooking and stirring until it begins to thicken; about 15 minutes. Remove the pot from heat and ladle mixture into jars leaving 1/4 headspace at the top. Wipe down tops of jars to encourage a proper seal.

Finally, place the lids and seals onto the jars and tighten. Add the jars back to the water and turn the heat to high. Bring the plum mixture to a full boil and let cook for another 15 minutes. Remove the jars from water and allow them to fully cool.

While they are cooling you should hear a popping noise. This is the lids fully sealing. Check the jars and check to see I’d the center of the lid has been “sucked” down into the jar. If any of them haven’t, place into the fridge and use immediately.





Composting

1 09 2012

Hello there! We are starting a new project in the House of DLC.

Composting!

We love gardening a lot. It’s always nice to enjoy the fruits of our labor, but lets face it, our harvest isn’t exactly bountiful. I wouldn’t say it’s too bad considering we are beginners, but it definitely isn’t producing enough to jar and freeze enough to last through out our entirely too long and drabby winter. Which is our main goal. Self sufficiency.

We decided to compost as an alternative to pumping our gardens full of poisonous fertilizers.  They didn’t seem to help much anyway.

As with all new projects that have a bit of science to them I started out with research. I was amazed at how particular composting is. My belief was that you just throw all table scraps into a pile outside, keep it moist, and watch it rot away into “dirt-y goodness”.

WRONG!!

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Old Window = Wall Art

23 08 2012

A few days ago I showed you a sneak peek of projects to come. I finished one of them and I’m so excited to share it with you. I found and old window and there were a few things I would have liked to done with it. I thought about making it into a to-do for my boys but decided that it wouldn’t feature the window as much. I also thought of making it into a family portrait frame but let that idea go quickly for a few reasons. Finally I settled on making it into a piece of wall art to hang above my headboard when I finish making-over my room.

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Succulent Terrarium

14 08 2012

Succulent terrariums have been all over pinterest lately.  When they started showing up I got really excited because I have become mildly obsessed with succulents lately; I already had one arrangement in a pot, an aloe vera plant, and the ones featured in this post.  I’ve been wanting to make one for quite some time now and finally got the chance to do it today.  Its not the most spectacular DIY terrarium out there, but I’m pretty happy with it… especially since is cost me absolutely nothing.  Everything used was found around my house!

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Lavender Tea ♥

12 08 2012

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I trimmed my lavender bush today and was having the hardest time deciding what to do with the seed pods. I was debating between a lavender bath to heal my headache or sewing a quick satchel when it dawned on me…. tea. I am going to make my lavender into a tea.

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A {Cheap} Laundry Makeover

6 08 2012

Since most of the hard labor is done throughout the house, and we have finally fallen into a pretty regular routine, I felt it was time to start adding the finishing touches to my home. I started with my laundry area in the work room because I spend the majority of my time there and felt it needed a facelift first.

Before
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As you can see from the pictures, the laundry room was cluttered, disorganized, and an “eye sore” as my dad puts it.  In my defense, the kids and I had just gotten back from a mini vacay, and this was our laundry form it.  Don’t judge, okay?!
 
I spent a total of $3 on the blue baskets at from the Dollar Tree.   Everything else was stuff I had lying around the house. 

After
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First things first, I started the laundry!  After that I set to organizing the cabinets.  I painted those ugly containers I found in the garage with some left over paint.  Then I printed some labels for them.  One has scrap fabrics and the other holds light bulbs.  Next I printed labels for my mini laundry baskets.  They have laundry supplies, mismatched socks, and lint from the catcher.  On the top shelf I just put the extra things that are too big for a basket.  Extra detergents, ironing supplies, extra bleach, fabric softener, vinegar… the usual laundry supplies.    

After that I decided that I need some sort of laundry station.  Since I don’t have any tables laying around I decided to just use the ironing board.  Its not like I ever use it for its intended purpose anyway.  I pushed the swivel chair over there just so I can be really lazy and easily watch the boob tube whilst folding. 

A few more things will be changed eventually. For example, after I run out of laundry detergent (which will take less than a month), I will be making my own! So all of those ugly bottles will be gone. All you will see is a basket that holds the things needed for the detergent, jars with my detergents, some vinegar, and bleach. 
So that’s my improved laundry area.  Its much more functional now, and less of an eyesore.  Although it would be nice if I could somehow conceal that water heater.