Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Wenzel/Barlow/Self/Monk Christmas Video

Money is tight.  Especially during the holidays.  We all know that.  Luckily, we only buy for the (5) kids in my family.  This year, I wanted to put together a short little video for an inexpensive, yet meaningful Christmas present for the family.  Trent has mad skills when it comes to editing...I think it's that "artsy" part of the brain.  Anywho, he kindly agreed to the idea (thankfully because I don't know how to work iMovie).  I started getting some shots during Thanksgiving and then we just figured out what else/who else we needed.  We all watched it together and cried, because pictures and video put to music = automatic waterworks.  

My favorite parts are:  seeing my parents with 5 healthy grandkids, Griffin pronouncing Santa as "Panta," asking the kids what they are thankful for, Elliot singing Silent Night, Blake on his "bike" coming around the corner, Caleb playing basketball (he's getting so big), Noah being Noah and saying he's thankful for God...and a toy.

Music for the video:  NEEDTOBREATHEWhite Fences and The Weepies, All That I Want...

Merry Christmas to you and your family!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Wine Cork Wreath

If you're like us, you save your wine corks.  We started saving like THREE YEARS ago, because I had plans to make a trivet or a cork board.  There are TONS of ideas on Pinterest, too.  I saw this wreath on the Today show and I heard angels sing.  (Not really, but I decided I wanted to make it).  If you don't partake of the wine, you can buy corks at craft stores or find some on ebay.  I love this idea because it can be for ALL seasons, just change the ribbon...that's my plan anyway.  Oh, and it was super cheap! Especially since I had the corks already.

You will need:
hot glue -- $2.49
foam or straw wreath (this one is 12") -- $6.99
ribbon (Christmas clearance) -- $1.49

Begin by gluing corks on the inside of the wreath like so.  I will tell you that I didn't count the total corkage I used, but I know it was over 150.  Also, make sure you have a protective surface beneath the wreath (towel, newspaper, whatever) so you don't get hot glue on your carpet or table.

Continue the gluing process all the way around the foam:

For the final ring, I chose to glue the corks like this.  You can absolutely keep with the same pattern as the rest.  I liked the look of this and it took a few less corks.  I put the different colored ones on the bottom, although they would look cool on top as well.  I decided to not put any corks on the back, so that it would hang flat against the door.

For the final step, randomly glue corks on the top of the wreath.  This will cover the foam that is visible through the layers of cork.  This step can go on and on.  Get it how you like it and call it a day.

I just love it.  And so does Trent.  Nothing says "Welcome" like a wreath make with wine corks, right?

Merry Christmas!  

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Homemade Dishwasher Detergent


Thanks to my friends Gaylene and Pinterest, I have started making my own dishwasher detergent.  It is super cheap and all natural and I thought I'd share with you.

You will need:
1 c. Borax
1 c. Arm and Hammer Washing Soda (not baking soda) 
1/2 c. Kosher Salt
4 packets of lemonade (generic or name brand)

Mix ingredients together in a mixing bowl...

Put the mixture in a container and THAT'S IT! I used a pickle jar and painted the lid.  However, I recently acquired some FABULOUS mason jars and will be transferring the detergent.  It's pretty enough to keep out.

I use about 1 tablespoon per load.  You can also use white vinegar as a rinse agent as well.  There are several recipes that are all very similar.  Depending on your dishwasher (ours is super cheap-o), you might try different kinds.

Have fun, good luck, and CHEERS to being frugal.