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DIY carpet cleaner with everyday household ingredients

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[Sprinkle, spray, sweep. Yes, I say sweep instead of vacuum and a shopping cart is really a “buggy”. I’m from Ohio, people. :p ]

My poor dog threw up on my carpet in the middle of the night. The poor thing has probably done this only a handful of times but when she has, she usually makes it down to the back door and up chucks (eww, gross) on the mat. If it is a lot to clean, I just toss the mat and buy a new one. Unfortunately, this time it is on the carpeted landing, between the downstairs and upstairs. When you are at the bottom of the steps, the smell hits you all at once. I don’t have a carpet cleaner vaccuum and my usual, Dawn and hot water mix is not doing the trick.

I decided to seek out further intervention through Pinterest. Isn’t that what everyone does nowadays? Lol
I found a blog that states mixing water, baking soda and vinegar in a spray bottle will get out carpet stains. I followed the directions but it didn’t seem to do much. Then I remember pinning a post about cleaning stoves by rubbing baking soda on the inside and then mixing in a little bit of water. You’d be surprised out how the baking soda sucks in the dirt, turning its natural white color to a dirty brown. (I do this process with my kitchen sink as well.) Since this procedure works like a charm, I figured, why not apply it to the carpet.

1. Sprinkle the baking soda over the stain.

2. Use the spray bottle to spray the mixture I mentioned above, over the stain.

3. Let it set for awhile. You’ll notice the baking soda changing color as it absorbs the dirt.

4. After it sets for awhile, sweep up the baking soda and repeat the steps as necessary.

I repeated the process about 3 times. The stain in gone but the smell is still lingering when I put my nose down to the carpet. :/ I will have to do a little more trial and error.

I used these sites for inspiration:

DIY Home Sweet Home

Ms. Danie

DIY Using Joint Compound– Fixing Wall & Creating Designs

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Fun stuff going on over here. HAHA! I started fixing some cracks on the walls in the spare bedroom that I am changing into my son’s bedroom. If you have never worked with joint compound before it can be a process. But the more you work with it, the better you will get. (I can’t actually say that I am getting better but only that I am becoming more tolerable towards joint compound.)

You will need a bucket of “mud” or joint compound, different size putty knifes, a trowel, a hand sander, and a little bit of water. You can buy joint compound in different size containers. I bought a small bucket at Walmart before that would be perfect for beginners tackling small areas. This particular mud changed colors as it dried on the walls so you knew when you could start sanding. Neat but not necessary. There are also lots of other tools you can get to fix areas on walls. This is just a basic guide to what I use. I am not an expert by any means. ūüôā

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Supplies for using joint compound

If you are spackling a large area, I recommend getting a 4.5 gallon bucket. You can pick this up for around $13 at your local hardware store.

Take your putty knife and scoop the joint compound into your trowel. Add the smallest amount of water and mix it. You want to create a consistency that is not too watered down but not to stiff either. Spread the compound on the problem areas with the putty knife. Smaller putty knifes can be used for small areas and bigger ones for larger areas. This is the part in the process that you will just have to play around with and find a technique that works for you. You need to apply the compound and then scrape off the excess but be careful that you don’t remove too much.

Once you get the compound on the walls and looking pretty smooth, you’ll need to wait for it to dry. Once the compound is dry, you will use a hand sander to smooth out the compound. Run your hand along the areas. If you feel rough spots or raised areas, you will need to keep sanding. If this is left untreated it will be noticeable when you paint. You may have to repeat the first two step several times before getting to a point where you are satisfied with the results.

Once you have applied the compound and sanded, you have to prime the areas before painting. BUT if you buy paint with primer already in it then you can skip the priming. I highly recommend buying the paint with the primer. ūüėČ

If you are mudding a new wall or large area and you don’t want the headache of smoothing the compound out, you can go for a textured look.¬†Smoothing out walls can get tedious and unless you are bringing some sort of expertise to the table, it can get pretty overwhelming fairly quickly.

There are a lot of different techniques to creating designs with joint compound. Here is one technique that I have used.

Apply the joint compound with a putty knife. You don’t have to be very neat about this. Just make sure the compound is completely spread out over the desired area. Wait about 7 to 10 minutes for the mud to start drying then take a textured paint roller and go over the mud. It will create a texture on the wall. You can stop there or then take your putty knife and run it along the areas in a straight line, from top to bottom. This will remove some of the excess and create a pretty neat look.

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Here is an example of my half bathroom walls. I completed this look by using a textured roller and then removing some of the excess with a putty knife like I mentioned above. I am pretty pleased with the results. 

You Tube is a great source for seeing visuals of people setting these techniques into motion. That is where I got the idea to add texture to my walls so I highly recommend watching some videos.


DIY Sand or Water Table

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This is a tutorial on a DIY sand or water table. It is so¬†incredibly¬†easy you will kicking yourself that you didn’t make it sooner for your little ones. Trust me I am not a¬†carpenter. ūüôā Once you have all your materials gathered, it should only take you a few hours from start to finish if your staining it as well.

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MATERIALS:

1. Mixing tub for sand. The one pictured is size large for $12.98 at Home Depot. There is also a smaller version for $5.98. Both would work fine depending on your¬†preference. Here is a link to the large tub so you can look at it in more detail. It holds 20.9 gallons of liquid. It is 36″ x 24″ x 8″ and it is made by Plasgad.

2. (4) 2×4 for legs. We measured them at 17 inches each. I referenced a water table my son already has that was made by Step 2. You can make the height whatever you desire.

3. (4) 2×6 for the¬†perimeter. ¬†To fit around the large mixing tub properly, these were measured (2) at 33 inches and (2) at 24 inches. You don’t have to use 2×6 pieces of wood but for the large mixing tub we thought it would be more sturdy than using 2×4 pieces.

4. A circular or table saw to cut the wood. If you don’t have access to one you can have your local hardware store cut the pieces.

5. 24 x 36 piece of plywood for a lid. This will come in handy when the table is not being played with.

6. Drill, screws, pencil, tape measure, sand paper, stain and paint brush.

NOTE: I pictured (2) 2×4 for braces but did not end up using them. The large tub sits down too low for braces to set under it properly. If you make a table with the smaller tub, I don’t think you will run into this problem. But that being said I don’t think the braces would be necessary¬†anyways. The¬†perimeter is very sturdy.

STEP 1: 

Measure and align the (4) 2×6 pieces of wood around the tub to make a¬†perimeter. It helps to have the tub turned upside down when working on this step. Cut to correct length, (2) 24 inch pieces and (2) 33 inch pieces.

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STEP: 2

Uses screws and drill to screw 4 sides together making a rectangle that the tub will sit on.

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(Not to confuse you, the square piece of wood on the ground is an old coffee table we bought at IKEA in the AS-IS section for $25 a long time ago. We no longer need it so my hubby is going to make a GO board out of it. For now we used it to create a level surface for this project.)

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STEP: 3 

Cut (4) 2×4 at 17 inches long for table legs. Use screws and drill to attach 2×4 pieces of wood to create legs. Then sand down any rough edges on the wood.

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 STEP: 4 

Cut plywood to create lid for table.

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STEP: 5

Stain table to protect it from the outside elements

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STEP: 6

Add sand and toys. Now you are ready for some fun in the sun!

UPDATE:

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After about 4 months of use and weather the table is still going strong. My husband did reinforce the sides with some screws and washers because the weight of the sand in the tub was making it bind a bit. If you are able to somehow put braces underneath the table, that would be ideal.

The idea for this table was inspired by one I found on Pinterest. Check it out here.

Treating sunburn the Frugal way

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On Saturday March 30, 2013 at around 11:00 am, I set out for a beach adventure with an old friend visiting from out of town. As I packed my beach bag, I grabbed my towel, two bottles of water, extra clothes (because I’m ALWAYS COLD) and a snack. As I set out on this adventure, I stepped outside my door the sky was hazy, the clouds filled the sky and it didn’t seem like it was going to be the best day for getting a suntan, it seemed like it may rain. BOY WAS I WRONG!!!

Growing up, my siblings and I have always been the kind of kids to play outside, riding bikes, climbing trees, trekking through the woods, swimming, and one awesome week at Camp Fitch on Lake Erie (the best days of my life). I’ve always been the kind of person that would burn the first tan of the summer then I was home free the rest of the summer months and NEVER had to wear much sun block either. Living in Florida the sun rays are much stronger no matter if the clouds fill the sky and block the sun, the sun rays are much stronger on a cloudy day then a day the that’s clear and cloud free. I was at the beach from 11am to 4pm and I got the WORSE SUNBURN EVER!

I didn’t realize how bad my sunburn was until I actually got home and was in the house for a short 10-15 minutes (I guess that’s what happens when you fall asleep while laying on the beach and when you don’t slap on the ole’ sunblock). Let’s just say I couldn’t sit down, bend over, or sleep on my back! As you can see from the pictures below my sunburn was fairly severe, and I believe I had a touch of sun poisoning on the front bottom half of my legs!

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Everyone knows that the best way to treat sunburn is by rubbing aloe on it, but in my case I have an allergy to aloe so instead I set out on a week long journey (well, Monday- Friday) trying a different remedy everyday so here is what I did:

Day 1: I used Walgreen’s brand oatmeal bath soak, I personally found that the oatmeal soak didn’t mix well with my sunburned skin and it caused me to itch worse then before I took the bath. I washed up with dove unscented soap and on my face I used Noxzema, it stung like crazy at first but made my sunburned face feel soothed.

Day 2: I soaked in baking soda. Believe it or not the baking soda soothed the itching and burning. On my face I used Noxzema again, not only did I use it during my bath but I put it on my face like a mask and slept that way.

Day 3 and Day 4: I took Noxzema and rubbed it on my face and legs, repeating as it dried and soaked into my skin.

Day 5: I used Noxzema on my face and washed up with dove unscented bar soap for sensitive skin.

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The pictures above are of myself trying out my home remedy’s, I actually had a lot of fun trying new things. I learned that no matter what, you should always take the proper precautions to protect yourself from overexposure to the sun. Every part of my body that was sunburned has peeled, now I look like a spotted leopard.

**All of the opinion’s expressed is this post are based solely on my own personal opinion**

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Freebie Friday: Week ending January 25th, 2013

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You may be asking yourself, “Okay, so how do I start getting freebies sent to me??” Here are some great blogs that give their readers alerts when giveaways are going to happen and when they have actually started. You can visit their blogs or even ‘like’ their pages on Facebook so the alerts will show up in your news feed. ¬†Also, you can sign up for their text alerts to get up-to-the-minute information sent directly to your cell phone. (We only recommend signing up for text alerts if you have an unlimited text messaging plan.)

Hip 2 Save is a great resource for weekly store coupon match ups and alerts on freebie giveaways.

Money Saving Mom is a great source for inspirational reading material as well as alerts on freebie giveaways.

Freebie Shark is a great source for freebie giveaways.

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Freebie Friday will be a weekly installment where we bring you pictures of a weeks worth of freebies that have been delivered to our doorsteps. Have we mentioned that we love freebies???! ¬†When we get them in the mail it helps us to forget about all the other ‘unmentionables’ that come with them :/ You can get a wide variety of freebies sent to you, including full size products and coupons. Companies want you to try their products, especially when they are launching a new line. They consider it a great way for consumers to become brand loyal so don’t be ashamed to receive and use them. If a item depicted in Freebie Friday is still available, a link will be provided for the giveaway. This doesn’t happen often though, because freebies are claimed pretty quickly. So act fast when you see a giveaway going on. Now onto the good stuff….

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**Food Should Taste Good sweet potato tortilla chips, Loreal Total Repair 5 shampoo, conditioner, and damage-erasing balm, Pillsbury baguette chips, Beech Nut coupons and feeding guide, Rolling Stone magazine, and Maybelline Dream Fresh BB cream with Target coupon

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Wide angle lens for iPhone, and electronic cigarettes 

** I have since tried the Food Should taste good chips. They are so good, taste like Sun Chips but healthier for you. They are gluten free, all natural, certified vegan, and much more. Look for them in your¬†natural¬†snack food section. And no I’m not getting paid to endorse this product, lol