Archive | September 2013

Saturday Project: Leaf Garland

5121577269_501824afa9_bFall is a favorite time of year in our house. Football, sweatshirts, blue jeans, cooler weather…we just really enjoy a lot of fall things. I love decorating for fall too. I have been looking for ways to add some fall decor to the house without breaking the bank. I found a great, budget-friendly craft to make a fall leaf garland at LoraJeansMagazine on Blogspot. All you need are fall leaves, string, and straws. I can’t wait to start gathering beautiful fall colors and making several of these for the fireplace and stairway.

Borax and Sugar to Kill Ants

thRecently I posted about using vinegar and chalk to deter ants, but what happens with more aggressive ants who don’t seem to take the hint? A good way to rid your house of ants is to use borax and sugar. In a bowl mix 1 part borax to 3 parts sugar and dissolve fully in water. Soak cotton balls with the solution. Place the borax and sugar soaked cotton ball in the lid of a two-liter or 20 oz. soda in the area where you have seen the ants. Allow the ants to come to the cotton ball and feed. Resist the urge to kill them there. You want the ants to take the solution back to their home. Over 1-2 days you should notice that the ants stop coming. If they re-appear, simply repeat putting the cotton ball out. After 1-2 treatments the ants should be gone.

Extra solution can be stored in a peanut butter jar or other recycled container. Mark it well so people know it is not for eating. Because you are using borax, be sure to store the solution and place the cotton balls away from where kids can get into them.

Keep Mice Away with Peppermint Oil

Christmas peppermint mouseSure, the Christmas mouse with a peppermint stick is cute, but did you know that in real life a mouse will not go near peppermint? Our new house is somewhat in the country and as a result, we had a mouse visitor in our three-season room. The kids named him (Jerry what else?)  and wanted to keep him as a pet (ick!) so we knew a trap that would kill him would be out of the question. So we began looking for alternatives that wouldn’t have a kid finding a dead mouse. A quick internet search said that peppermint oil would keep mice away. Honestly, I was skeptical. Sure, something really stinky would keep it away, but peppermint? It is a refreshing scent.

We decided to give it a try, mainly because there weren’t many other suggestions that wouldn’t kill the mouse and/or introduce chemicals to our house. So we placed a few drops of peppermint essential oil around the three-season room, paying careful attention to the areas  from where we suspected mice to be entering. We also placed several cotton balls soaked with the peppermint oil around the room. I am happy to report that we have had no mouse sightings and no dead mice.

You can get peppermint essential oil at any whole or natural foods or medicine shop or online from

DIY Bleach Gel

IMG_2672_copyI love portable stain treatments and removers because we are always on the go and we are messy. However, I very much dislike the cost and the added chemicals that we don’t need. Simple solutions that do the job well are my choice. So I was very happy to stumble and their instructions for making your own gel bleach pen. All you need is a cleaned-out school glue bottle (or something similar), corn starch, and bleach. Follow the easy instructions to make your own bleach gel!

Saturday Project: Pallet-Backed Bookshelf

DSC_0060I love using bookshelves for organization. For books, toys, china…you name it, I like to organize it on a bookshelf.  Our very first Saturday Project was adding fabric backing to a bookshelf! Imagine my delight when I found the tutorial from Lisa at Over the Big Moon for making a pallet-backed bookshelf. I can’t wait to do this to a black bookcase in the kids playroom!