Tag Archive | DIY

Make Your Own Dog Food

While there are plenty of good dog foods you can buy, it can get expensive. If you have a pup with any special dietary needs, the costs can escalate quickly.

This is Picaso, our oldest doggo who has kidney issues and cancer.

We tried dog foods from our vet, but even with the discount we get because our oldest daughter works there as a vet assistant, it was still expensive. After doing a lot of research and talking with her about options, we decided to make dog food at home. It was really easy and a lot cheaper. We used the slow cooker, as that meant nothing needed watched or stirred. NOTE: This recipe is for a dog that needs lower protein due to kidney issues. If your vet recommends higher protein or your pup has food sensitivity issues, you will need to adjust the recipe. Before you change foods or start a new regimen, talk with your veterinarian.

Here’s what we did:

In your slow cooker, combine the following:

• 3 cans of chicken breast, including the water, or 4-6 boneless skinless chicken breasts with the fat trimmed (We used the cans because it was just easier)

• 2-3 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into rough chunks

• 4-6 large carrots, peeled and cut into chunks

• 1 can of beets, including the liquid

• 1 6-10oz. bag of spinach

• 4 tbsp flaxseed or flaxseed powder

• Cover all ingredients with water, but be sure there is room for the water level to rise. As the food cooks in the slow cooker, it will give off liquid.

• Cook on high for 4 hours.

•After 4 hours, use a potato masher to mash the food. It doesn’t have to be a purée but should have bite-sized chunks.

•Add 3 cups of brown rice. Close the lid and let the rice cook until tender. We used brown minute rice, but you can use rice that doesn’t quick cook. Just be sure you give it at least 60 minutes to soften.

•Mix cooked rice in thoroughly. Divide into ½ cup portions in zipper bags or reusable containers.

We keep 2 days thawed in the fridge and freeze the rest in portioned zipper bags. If your doggo need extra water (like ours) you can add 1-3 tbs of water to each portion when you serve it to your dog. Serve a ½ cup portion to your dog twice a day.

Saturday Project: Spring Forward

thDon’t forget that this weekend is the time to “Spring Forward” for most of us in the USA. Set your clocks ahead one hour before you go to bed tonight! This is also a great time of year to do some tasks that don’t get done regularly.

Check batteries in all smoke detectors. If you do not have a battery charge tester, replace all the batteries. Also, do a fire and tornado drill with the family. Be sure that everyone knows where to meet, and multiple ways out of the house from every room, especially the kids bedrooms.

Take this time to clean your bathroom vent fans and air returns. The covers often build up dust and grease, which can restrict their performance.

Check all your furnace filters and replace if needed. Make a note in your calendar to do this every month.

Finally, clean out your dryer lint. Even if you are emptying your lint trap every load, there is still lint clogging up your dryer. You can find instructional videos on YouTube for opening your dryer and really cleaning all the lint out. Just google your make and model and how to videos. Also, clean or change the vent hose than runs from your dryer to the wall. Get as much lint as possible out of the piping from the wall to the outside air release. You can do that from both the wall side and from outside your house. You can extend your vacuum hose by securely taping a wrapping paper tube (or several) to the end of the hose. Just make sure you use heavy-duty duct tape so that you don’t lose the hose extension in your wall.

The good news for many of us buried under snow or dealing with colder than normal temperatures is that this clock change means that Spring cannot be too far behind! Enjoy your extra morning vitamin D and sunshine!

 

Saturday Project: Valentine’s Wreath

50916cba6e5f98d47df125b9f2ffd005I am just starting to get into wreaths for the changing seasons. I made one general wreath that we keep up all the time and one Christmas wreath. For February I thought I’d try my hand at a Valentine’s wreath. The people at Craftionary.com have put together a super list of Valentine’s themed wreath projects for all styles.

Find your favorite Valentine’s Wreath project here!

Homemade Non-Slip Hangers

DSCN4326My wonderful husband went to a national store on his own and scored me 4 new shirts for $8 each. They are super stylish, nautically striped with a boat neck. I love them and him for getting them for me for no reason at all (not a birthday or anniversary or anything!). But when I started hanging them up, nothing would stay on the hangers. These didn’t come with the clever little hanging straps that somehow always manage to be showing when I wear a top with them. After fidgeting with the shirts and hangers for several minutes I remembered something I saw somewhere about using hot glue to add texture to the hangers to hold wide necked shirts. I really wish I could remember where I saw it to give the truly clever person props, but alas I have no idea. Even if it was on Pinterest, the odds are it wouldn’t take me to the original link anyway, so thank you mystery person.

Here is what you do. Get your cheap plastic hangers out and heat up that glue gun. Starting about the middle of the side of the hanger (mine had handy open hook areas) paint a curvy line with your glue gun. Add a slightly thicker dot of glue at the end. Let them cool. Viola! Non-slip hangers for all those fashionable wide-necked shirts and slippery fabrics.

TIP  – If you did this on plastic hangers, should you get rid of the shirts, you can easily peel the glue off the hanger and return it to its original state.

Saturday Project: Smittens

SmittensSweater+Mittens=Smittens

While I have learned that cold is a very relative term, depending on where you live, the fact is that in January, most of us are experiencing a regional version of cold. Time to curl up with a hot cocoa and a good book. But for the days when I must go out, I want my hands to be warm. I will often wear a sweater or fleece, scarf, and a pair of gloves that I got at Old Navy 10 years ago but love because they are soft, thin and warm.

Recently I have been wanting something cozier. I got a lovely infinity scarf for Christmas, so now it is time for new hand protection. Enter Smittens. Thanks Pinterest. I simply must make these! Grab an old sweater or thrift store find and follow these easy instructions to make your own cozy, warm smittens.

TIP: These plus a pocket scarf make a great set or gift!

Saturday Project: Sweater Bag

5048144070_24f4abf785We have many sweaters around that we either don’t need (we live in a warmer climate) or that have seen better days (frayed arms & elbows). While anything in decent condition gets donated, what about the sweaters that still have an intact body but the arms have seen better days? This project will use those (or any sweater you buy at the thrift shop).

A Lemon Squeezy Home featured a guest blog post from Create & Delegate with instructions to make a great tote bag from a sweater. I can’t wait to make a few of these. Bonus Tip: Use Oilcloth or another waterproof fabric as the liner to create a great swim/beach bag or picnic/car drink bag.

 

 

Yes, I Make Them

Recently I have been asked by several people if I actually try the projects I feature on this site. The answer is simple – YES! Some of the projects I followed the featured directions. Some of the projects I tried it another way that didn’t work well, so I found better directions to share with you.

Here are some recent examples of my handiwork:

Large Country Star    Ornament Wreath                         Ornament Garlands

DSCN4086 DSCN4090 DSCN4099 DSCN4095

 

Country Star III (Large Christmas Star)

DSC_0012So by now you know I love Christmas stars. Of course I am too cheap to buy something new. So I have made stars out of cereal boxes (see Country Star) and paint sticks  (Country Star II). This time I was looking for something larger to hang outside or in our large window over the door and stairs. Enter the yardstick star! A Little Bit Funky as put together an easy tutorial to make this large country star out of yardsticks!

Christmas Ornament Wreath

HOW TO MAKE A CHRISTMAS ORNAMENT WREATH.jpgI love using plain monochrome ornaments and decorations at Christmas. To do with the ornament garland for the fireplace and stairs, here is an ornament door wreath tutorial for making a front door hanging out of ornaments.

Tip: To save money and weight you can trim down a pool noodle and duct tape the ends together to make a wreath form.

Tip: Spray paint your wreath form to match your color scheme. Then you will have to worry less about areas that show through.

Ornament Garland Tutorial

f25aea7da0b8f2aa5871a530786ccf08I am getting excited about decorating for Thanksgiving and Christmas and loving all the easy ideas out there. Here is one of my new favorites – Ribbon Ornament Garland! This simple garland can work for a variety of holidays. Use gold, brown, and orange ornaments for Thanksgiving. Use red, white, & blue for all the patriotic holidays. Use your favorite Christmas colors for the winter.

This garland can be adjusted to be any length you need and works well over fireplaces, on stair or balcony railings, and even on blank walls to add some holiday cheer!

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