Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Living and Dining Room makeover for under $200!

I thought I'd share what I've been up to since there have been no YouTube videos lately. I'm getting to them! I promise. The biggest thing I have been focusing on is getting the new house up to date and in order. We finished the living room today.

There's no furniture or "stuff" in it yet, but it's finished!

Both the living and dining room were done for under $200. We took advantage of Home Depot's paint rebate and received a $10 rebate per gallon of paint. We ended up with $80 back after buying all the paint needed for the house.

The old brass and glass light fixtures were removed from both rooms and replaced with oil rubbed bronze and a more modern frosted glass. They were all found at Home Depot on sale for $15 - $20 each. the fixtures don't match completely, but they match enough to work. The dining room got a new table in it that we found off of a local buy/sell group for $100 (complete with chairs!). The Disney place mats were a gift to me. A few pieces of wall art were bought at Goodwill and Hobby Lobby on sale. All together, it cost around $15.

And that's how you re-do a living room and dining room for under $200. Of course, once the furniture and stuff comes in, I'll tell you the final price. 

Living room "before"

"After". Bonus dog being angry at the bedroom.

"After" with ladder and old couch! 

The dining room "Before"

The dining room "After"

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Such good news to share

A few years ago, a small independent gaming company contacted me to work with them on a mobile game. It was called simply "G". I finished my voice over work with them and watched the game release. It was a success on the mobile market when mobile games weren't a big deal yet.

Since then, I have worked with and watched Soma Games turn into an awesome company. Today, I found out that G Prime is going to be available on the Xbox.

I am so proud of this company and so happy I was a small part of what they've done. They have worked very hard for many years with a solid vision. This is just the beginning for Soma Games, I think. I don't see this being the pinnacle of their success by a long shot. Especially not with the Redwall game in the works.

I just really wanted to extend my congratulations to them and share with all of you the joy.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Six things you can grow at home and add to your hand made soap

Making your own soap at home means that you have control over the ingredients and chemicals in your soap. It can also be a money saver and sometimes, a side business. No matter why you decide to make your own soap, you may find yourself addicted to the art of soap making.

Eventually, you'll want to add more natural ingredients in your soap that might help with scent, certain skin conditions or add some color to the soap. Here are six things you can grow at home that can easily go into home made soap.

Dried rose petals decorating the tops of your soap will add a light scent and an extra aesthetic to your soap. Using your own home grown roses, you can make rose water and add it to the lye in place of (or in addition to) the water in your recipe. Rose water can help calm irritated skin, help moisturize skin and add a light scent to the soap.

Lavender has long been known to help promote relaxation, a good sleep and help promote a feeling of calm in aromatherapy. Lavender is also said to help calm sensitive skin and be suitable for people with sensitive skin. Drying your home grown lavender and adding it to your soap with oatmeal would make a great soap for eczema and sensitive skin.

Dried basil in soap can add a touch of color and scent to the soap. I recommend using your basil in masculine scented soap or kitchen soaps.

Like basil, rosemary has a strong herbal scent. Even the dried herb will hold it's aroma well in soap. Dried rosemary can also add mild exfoliation to a soap. It's great to use with a kitchen or gardeners soap to help scrub away the dirt.

Aloe plants are hearty and easy to keep alive. The "juice" from an aloe plant has been known to soothe burns and irritated skin. Extracting some gel from your aloe plant and adding it in addition to water with your soap will add moisturizing and soothing properties to your soap.

Calendula (AKA Marigold, Pot Marigold) 
It's said that marigold leaves soothe irritation and help with skin conditions like eczema. Marigold leaves in soap add a touch of yellow color and some mild exfoliation to your soaps. You will want to dry your marigold before you put it in your soap and make sure the petals have all been cleaned of any leftover stems or seedlings.

Image credit: Pink Parchment Soaps on Etsy

Monday, June 15, 2015

DIY Laundry Detergent and Dish Detergent

Making your own laundry and dishwasher detergent isn't that hard or that expensive. It's also not going to ruin your laundry or your dishes. The truth is that making your own laundry and dish washing detergent will save you money in the long run, but the initial investment is a little more than buying a box or bottle at the store.

On the upside, you will eliminate a lot of unnecessary chemicals, fragrances and dyes. You will also have a lot of laundry and dish detergent to last you up to a year.

Like that label? Me too. Check out this site for free printable labels.

Here's the supplies you'll need for both projects. 

1 - 5 gallon bucket with a lid (1 each)
1 measuring cup to scoop. (Grab it at the dollar store)
An old grater or food processor.

Laundry Detergent:
1 bar of shaved/grated Fels-Naptha bar soap 
1 cup of Borax
1 cup of Washing Soda (NOT baking soda) 

1. Grate the bar soap in an old food processor or with a grater.
2. Add the soap, borax and washing soda to the bucket.
3. Stir well with an old spoon.
4. If you'd like, add 2-3 drops of essential oil and stir well with a whisk.
5. Use 2 tablespoons of detergent per load.

Dish Detergent:
1 cup of Borax
1 cup of Washing Soda 
1/2 cup of Citric Acid
1/2 cup of Salt 

1. Stir all ingredients well in the bucket.
2. Use 1 tablespoon (or a little smaller) per load in your dishwasher.
3. You can also use this without the dishwasher to hand wash dishes. Just be careful of non stick coatings! It won't react well with those.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Enter here to win Grumpy Goats Farm's Organic Goats Milk Soap!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Give away is opened to residents of the domestic United States and Canada. Void in Quebec, Puerto Rico, Alaska and Hawaii. I was not paid or compensated by Grumpy Goats Farm for this give away or the contents of the video. 

Friday, May 22, 2015

Share Our Strength Bake Sale

I've joined in with "Share Our Strength" to raise money that will help end hunger in the United States. But, I need your help.

Here's the problem, most of us are online types. We're not going to go out and have a bake sale. I'm not. I want you to help in another way.

We can go without one batch of cookies and cakes. Many others can't. Leave me a comment or an email with your favorite baking recipe. See all of the ingredients you listed? Donate the cost of those ingredients. Skip the baking this weekend and help raise money to end hunger instead.

You can donate here
Or, you can join my team here! 

Saturday, May 16, 2015

How to plant herbs and vegetables at home

You can plant and harvest fresh herbs and produce no matter where you live. I'll show you how I plant a simple container garden on my deck. This garden does bring me fresh produce and fresh herbs through the planting season. You can plant your own garden whether you live in a town house, apartment or a small home.

Bonus? I'll show you how I dry my herbs. Even though I suck at cutting them.

Want the supplies? Here's where you get 'em!