Monday, July 28, 2014

A Little Fair for You...

The last 9 days have seemed like a blur.

We've literally spent every day, all day long, at the fair.

It was the Elkhart County 4-H Fair...the 2nd largest in the US.  Oh yeah, it's big!

We spent the week watching animal shows, cleaning out our pig pens, showing our pigs (3 different times,) washing the pigs, hanging out with friends, eating ALOT, and feeding the pigs. 

This year, we made it easier, and the kids only had one pig each.  They both had Durocs and named them Bullwinkle and BoJangles.  (Don't ask me to explain the naming process...each year they are quite original.)

The pigs were like big sappy dogs, and they LOVED jelly beans.  Get out the beans, and they are like putty in your hands.

The kids showed well, but the judge wasn't diggin' on our pigs this year.  Bummer, but still a good experience.

Brent's goal at this year's each the ice cream flavor of the day every day.  He made it each day except the last.

It was a good year, and the weather was pretty decent, but we're all exhausted.

It takes a year to recover from the 9 fair days, but it IS a a high school reunion, but BETTER!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Helpful How-Tos

This post would've been completed yesterday, but our computer speed was slow due to the fact that I was updating a GPS system for our, get this...AMISH NEIGHBOR BOY.

Yep, you heard correctly.  Amish.  Brian.  He's a good guy, totally don't know why he needs a GPS system, although he told me he uses it in his buggy.  Poor horse, didn't know he could go THAT far that he needs electronic help. 

Anyway, after 12 hours of updating maps and his system, it's finally done, and I have my computer speed back.


I thought since I adore Pinterest, and I get many helpful ideas from there, that I would share a few with you that actually work.

I've tried some that have the Listerine solution to get rid of dry, cracked heels on your feet.  Don't waste your time.  It didn't even phase my heels, (or maybe mine are just really bad!)  Yikes.

Pretty much all the ideas I'm supplying you with today, are ones that will save you money.

#1 Eye Makeup Remover

For example, if you are a woman and have a daughter or two, or more...I'm sure you use some kind of eye makeup remover solution.  Grace and I were going through a ton, and it wasn't cheap.  This version, is VERY inexpensive, and uses so little, it will last you a long time.

The link to make this is here.
If you don't have a special bottle to put it in, I just used the same one that had my store bought solution in, and refilled it.  If you use makeup pads to remove your eye makeup, I took that container, bought flat cotton pads instead of cotton balls, stacked them up in the original container, and poured the solution over them.  Works great.  THIS solution has saved me a ton of money.

#2  Jewelry Cleaner

 I used to use jewelry cleaner alot, but I haven't for awhile, but in a pinch, I've used this solution, and it works fantastic. 

Don't use costume jewelry though, it won't work.  This is for real gold or white gold.

#3 Corn Capture Pan

 I had no idea what else to call this.  I use this when we are picking corn and getting it ready to freeze.  I saw this on Pinterest last year, and immediately thought, WHY didn't I think of that?

It works great to catch all that corn, then you can just scoop it out and put it into bags like I do to freeze, or cans, if you are canning it.

#4 Recipe Holder

To be honest, I haven't used this myself yet, but it is a really good idea.  I have a binder for my recipes, so it would only work for me if I had a smaller book, or if I took a page out of my binder. Either way, it gets it up off the counter, and is close to eye level, both good things.

#5 Homemade Detergent

I KNOW I've touted the benefits of this solution before, and it's the only recipe I use more Tide liquid for $11.99/bottle.  This doesn't last me as long as the lady who made the link here says it does her,  but it lasts a lot longer that the liquid I was buying at the store.  NOT that Tide doesn't work well, it does, but this just lasts longer.  It's worth a try once if you're unsure.  It costs about $20-25 to make, but lasts for several months.  In the course of several months, I would probably buy liquid detergent 6 times, so $71 compared to $25 at the most, isn't bad at all.  I store it in large glass jars with a seal under the lid, works great.

#6  Boot Organizer

Another link I didn't really have a name for...I would've called it boot stander upper.  The link is here.
Since I don't have a pool myself, it felt weird buying pool noodles at the store, but I got some for my boots as well as Graces.  It's a fantastic idea, cause floppy boots in the closet are a pain.  This keeps them standing upright and helps them keep their shape.  Don't buy expensive noodles, go for the $.99 version.

#7  Parmesan Lid Reuse
Most of us use Parmesan, and most of us have mason jars we store things in, am I right?  This solution makes perfect sense.  I've used this on my mason jars (works on all size mason jars with regular lids, NOT wide lids)  It stores my mint tea concentrate when I make a ton and keep it in the fridge.  It would work good for extra cereal for your kids when you just have a little left in the box and want to keep it fresher, or for anything you want to "sprinkle out". 

All these ideas, of course, are things I use.  They may not be for everyone, but they worked for me.  I do wish Pinterest would have a tool or something that rated DIY ideas, so you could see if they actually worked for regular people BEFORE you go out and buy the products to try it.  These ideas DO work, I've tried them myself over and over. 

Pass on other ideas to me if you would, I'm up for trying anything.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

We interrupt this normally scheduled broadcast...

Yes, it's Tuesday, but there will be no shout out #11 for Etsy shops today.  I'll bring it back next Tuesday.

Today, we're too busy rolling around in cuteness.

You see, last night we went to pick someone up.

Meet Jake.

He's our newest addition, and over and over Grace and I look at each other and say, "Oh my gosh, he's so cute!"

So today when I wasn't weeding the flower beds, mowing, or fixing meals, I was hanging out with Jake.

But he mostly did this...

He slept a lot today, but we had bad storms last night, and he was up alot and  he's away from his mommy too, AND he's only 5 weeks old.

He is the most adorable pup I've ever seen.

I know it's very soon since we lost Rudy to be getting another dog, but with the kids and myself off until school starts, we thought this was the best time to get a puppy acquainted with us before we go back to work, and practices everyday.

He is super cuddly, and has even convinced Brent to get in touch with his inner softie.

There was a lot of napping, with short burst of playfulness.

He reminds us SO MUCH of Rudy, but black instead of yellow. 

We are told he is a lab, and they are not sure what else.  We got him from a young amish couple who were so sweet.  As soon as we got out of the van, Jake ran right over to us.  He was the only one of the 5 puppies who did, so that made him ours from the beginning.

We hope he's as good of  a dog as Rudy was.

So far, so good.