15 Fun and Creative DIY Outdoor Decor Crafts

15 Fun and Creative DIY Outdoor Decor Crafts

We’ve been having some gorgeous spring weather here and are spending more time outside than we have in awhile so we’re working on sprucing up our patio and outdoor living areas like with these inexpensive solar “light bulbs” (seriously a buck each at Family Dollar!) and now we’re excited to make some of these outdoor crafts like the solar fairy houses shown above. Check out the great list of DIY outdoor decor craft ideas and let us know which is your favorite!

[Read more…]

15 Fun & Creative Wine Cork Recycling Projects

15 Fun & Creative Wine Cork Recycling Projects

I have this really cool hanging copper fruit basket in the kitchen that I throw my used wine corks in – it’s always a game, one point for making it in the bottom basket, two for making the middle basket and three if you make it in the top basket. Well after collecting them for awhile I’ve been wanting to get crafty with them so I found a bunch of neat ideas for things you can make with wine corks! Check out the list and let me know which you’d like to try:

[Read more…]

DIY Facial Cleansing Wipes with Geranium, Lavender and Frankincense

DIY Facial Cleansing Wipes with Geranium, Lavender and Frankincense

Way back in the day when I was in high school I read that for every day you don’t remove your makeup before bed you are aging your face TWO days! That statement has stuck with me ever since and I’m pretty religious about cleaning my face at the end of every day. I’ve used everything from foaming cleansers to astringents and I’ve found that the best method for me is to use a gentle cleansing wipe because plain water isn’t enough to remove all the makeup and impurities but plain soap or astringent cleansers are too harsh for daily use. But more importantly, facial cleansing wipes are convenient and disposable so all I have to do is grab one, wipe my face, then toss the wipe in the trash – easy breezy and I have no excuses for not taking care of my skin.

[Read more…]

7 Ways to Save Money on Wedding Flowers

7 Ways to Save Money on Wedding Flowers

One of the most talked about aspects of a wedding is the flowers, and every bride growing up has no doubt dreamed of the perfect bouquet. If you are a bride on a budget but still want some beautiful blooms, there are plenty of ways to save a buck without resorting to picking your neighbors prize winning roses. Take a look below at 7 ways to save money on wedding flowers so you can get the look you want for less.

[Read more…]

Make Your Own Chocolate Hearts for Valentine’s Day

Make Your Own Chocolate Hearts for Valentine's Day

Valentine’s Day is coming up shortly and I absolutely love to make gifts for my friends and loved ones for the holiday. These Chocolate Valentine Hearts are perfect because they’re so easy to make, they’re delicious and the presentation is wonderful. I’m planning to place them in decorative cupcake wrappers inside treat boxes as gifts for co-workers this year.

[Read more…]

Make Your Own Color Burning Pine Cones for the Fireplace

Color Burning Pine Cones for the Fireplace

When I was a kid we had these pine cones that would change the color of the flames in the fireplace when you added one to the fire. I always thought it was the coolest thing to see the flames turn blue or green. Well you can get these color burning pine cones at Amazon for around $30 or you can make  your own at home for a lot less!

These festive pine cones can add a rainbow of colors to  your fire for a romantic evening or to entertain guests or the kids, they are wonderful for the holidays and they make great gifts! When making your own you can choose the color – yellow, green, blue-green, white or red – or you can mix it up and use some of each color in your flames or gift baskets.

The kids and I went for a walk and collected our own pine cones so we cleaned them up a bit then I baked them at 200 degrees for about an hour to open them up and take care of any bugs that might be on them.  Line cookie sheets with aluminum foil before baking and allow the pine cones to  cool completely before the next steps. Of course if you bought your pine cones from the craft store you can skip baking them.

Make Your Own Color Burning Pine Cones for the Fireplace
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • One cup of one of the following depending on the color flame you prefer:
  • Yellow – Table Salt
  • Yellow-Green – Borax
  • White – Epsom Salts
  • Green – Boric Acid
  • Red – Strontium Chloride (found with aquarium supplies in pet stores)
Instructions
  1. Pour ½ gallon of hot water into a bucket.
  2. Add 1 cup of the flame colorant of your choice and stir until dissolved.
  3. Add prepared pine cones to the mix. Be sure to add only as many as can be completely covered by the solution. Soak for 8 hours or overnight.
  4. Remove the pine cones and arrange on newspapers until they dry completely. Typically takes 3 to 4 days.
  5. Now your pine cones are ready to burn! Simply add them (one at a time) to your fireplace and watch the colors appear.

While these color burning pine cones are easy to make and fun to use, there are a few precautions you should take:

  • Burn only one color at a time.
  • Make as many different colors as you’d like, but don’t mix the colors when making your batches.
  • Don’t burn your color changing pine cones in BBQ grills or when cooking food.
  • Keep flame colorants out of reach of children and pets.

Make Your Own Root Beer Sugar Scrub

Root Beer Sugar Scrub

There is nothing better than the feel of your skin after using a good body scrub and this Root Beer Sugar Scrub smells delicious and is so fun and easy to make! This completely edible sugar scrub recipe would make a great gift or stocking stuffer for kids of all ages. Reminiscent of childhood days even the oldest member of your family can appreciate this easy DIY gift, while the edible nature makes it safe for even the youngest. This natural body scrub can have unscented soap added for a terrific MAN friendly hand scrub if you need a thoughtful gift for any men in your life. Leave your skin soft and smooth with this great sugar scrub recipe while carrying the scent of a favorite beverage.

Root Beer Sugar Scrub

Root Beer Sugar Scrub
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • ¼ cup coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons Root Beer Concentrate
Instructions
  1. Add oil and concentrate to the sugar in your choice of container.
  2. Mix until all sugar is well coated.
  3. Store in a sealed jar.
  4. Enjoy.

 

Creating the Perfect Outdoor Kitchen

Upgrade and Save on Your Water Bill!

Mom Central Disclosure

Delta Corrente Toilet

I’ve been in the middle of a bunch of DIY projects as I’m getting my old house ready to put on the market and now I’m looking into upgrading the toilet in the hall bathroom. Delta’s line of Corrente toilets are sleek, virtually clog free and help eliminate leak points with their SmartFit connector and secure mounting components.

It’s probably weird to be excited about a new toilet, but I’m thrilled that the new Delta Corrente toilet comes with an EZ Out removal kit to make removing the old toilet simple and reduces the risk that I’ll do any damage to the bathroom in the process. Not to mention that these WaterSense labeled toilets can save up to $90 a year on your water bill since they use less water per flush.

Check out the Delta Corrente toilet at HomeDepot.com or at DeltaFaucet.com so you can get started on this easy weekend DIY project!

Updating the House with #GELighting

We live out in the middle of the woods so my husband installed a video security system when we first moved here and ever since then we’ve had this big ugly hole in the front porch ceiling and no light out there at all.  The way our house is situated toward the driveway nobody ever uses our front door so it really hasn’t been a big deal until lately.  Our 80 pound lab mix “puppy” (she’s only 9 months old!) doesn’t like to go out at night in the dark so we realized it was beyond time to get that particular project finished.

The original fixture was removed so hubby could use the wires for the camera and it got broken in the process.  Since we needed a new one I had planned to swing by a hardware store and get one after doing some shopping for light bulbs and other essentials at Walmart.  I was really pleasantly surprised to find out that Walmart had a decent selection of very affordable light fixtures to choose from and I went ahead and bought this simple yet elegant fixture for about $12.

While at Walmart I wanted to pick up some light bulbs for the new porch fixture and for the master bathroom ceiling fan.  Wow, the selection of light bulbs is incredible!  I knew that I wanted energy saving compact fluorescent bulbs, but beyond that I wasn’t sure so I spent some time comparing.  The fixture doesn’t take a standard size bulb so I made sure to bring one with me for comparison.  I chose GE Energy Smart 100w replacement Instant On Mini Spirals with an 11 year life for the front porch and GE Energy Smart 60w replacement Instant On Mini Spirals with a 9 year life for the ceiling fan.

The lighting in my bathroom was previously pretty dim and the light was cold and blue, not really the best for the green walls or for putting on my makeup in the morning.  The new GE Energy Smart mini spirals really brighten up the room with a warm white light but the most exciting thing is the instant on feature!  I had previously put CFLs in that fixture but they took forever to warm up – if you turned on the lights on your way in to use the facilities they would often warm up to full brightness about the same time that you’re ready to leave the room.  I’m so excited about GE Lighting‘s instant on CFLs that I’m planning on putting them in every room in the house!

Another thing I’m excited about is the cost savings achieved from replacing incandescent bulbs with the more energy efficient CFLs.  The CFL bulbs do cost more up front, but they last for years longer and use much less energy.  The estimated energy savings as listed on the package is $41 for each bulb used in the bathroom, and $97 for each bulb used on the front porch.  Use this handy free online calculator to determine your estimated savings from going more energy efficient.

You can learn more about energy efficient CFL and LED light bulbs in the video above and about GE by following them on Twitter and on Facebook.

Disclosure – I am a member of the Collective Bias™ Social Fabric® Community. This content has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias™ and GE Lighting.  All thoughts and opinions are completely my own. #CBias #SocialFabric