Thursday, November 29, 2012

Dollar Store DIY Bookends

These are items from the dollar store: two acrylic picture frames and cut plastic animals.  She spray painted them with Krylon paint in rubbed bronze. Tutorial here.

DIY Plastic Bag Storage

It's a coffee can! Great idea. Paint can and cut a hole in the lid. I plan to use this for plastic grocery bags which we recycle as garbage bags. I think it will work if I tie each bags together, so that they come out the hole to detach without getting lost in the can. I could tie each one by a handle and roll together inside the can. I think this will make a more compact storage option than what we currently have which is a cardboard box with bags thrown in..

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Huge Collection of Children's Educational Videos

She has over 1000 children's videos listed on her Pinterest page here! There are read-alongs, music, and educational videos. I didn't see any math, mostly English and language arts. I only got past the second page though, so there may be some math videos there somewhere. I'll be adding some of these to my YouTube educational channel. What a great resource to supplement learning.

Honoring Multiple Intelligences

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Cooking a Turkey in a Tabletop Halogen Convection Oven

I cooked a 13 pound turkey in my Secura halogen convection oven(see Reducing Energy Useage in the Kitchen) for the first time last night. It came out moist and juicy. I think 13 pounds might be the limit for this oven. It just fit. The cook time was on the low side, 3 hours at 400 degrees, but still within the recommended range for an unstuffed turkey of this size. With this oven, you do have to flip it over at the halfway mark to make sure both sides get cooked evenly. I referred  to this YouTube video before I tried cooking the turkey. She has a different brand than I have, a Nuwave oven, but it is similar
to my Secura.

Clean up was very easy...just dump the cooled grease away in the garbage, and clean the glass bowl and wire shelf in the sink . The meat just slid off the bone, so I had the carcass cleaned off in no time. I froze the meat in separate baggies for future meals. I figure I'll keep doing this while the turkey prices are low.

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Vintage Three Little Bears Short Film

Free Interactive Game for Learning Temperature

We are learning temperature in first grade math today. Here's a very simple cute interactive online game to reinforce learning.


Circumventing Impulse Buying at the Dollar Store

I love the dollar stores, but I always seem to end up with more than I absolutely need, and my daughter comes with me every time, which means she wants things. It all becomes a struggle that I would altogether rather avoid.
So, I tried the Dollar Tree online and got 3.5% off my order by clicking through the shopping portal.

Shipping was free to the store, and I had to order in bulk. I ordered trash bags, feminine hygiene items, light Ranch salad dressing, drain cleaner, hand soap, and 6 ounce cans of chunk chicken(for salad). I need some more items, but I'll wait because it did add up pretty fast! I'll save on gas and impulse buying this way, and I'll send my husband to pick up the heavy boxes.

Sunday, November 04, 2012

DIY Straw Mattress

Click on source link above for directions.

We did this! It is actually very comfortable. I used a thick zippered futon cover purchased on ebay and stuffed it with clean straw. Over top, and underneath the bed sheet,  is a homemade bed topper(old quilts sewn together) for extra comfort. It's a heck of a money saver and the straw smells wonderful. I mixed a small amount of boric acid powder into the straw to sanitize and bug proof it.

I've had my straw bed since August. I think the straw should be changed out every so often. I'll probably wait to see how long it lasts before replacing it. I will definitely replace mine when new straw comes back to the garden centers.

The first few weeks the straw did shift around, but shaking and flipping it over every few days solved this problem. Now it stays in place and is great if you like a firmer mattress. It helps my back quite a bit. Ours is on a homemade platform bed which is long pine lumber over three attached large beams...very Modern Rustic/Oriental. The lumber is open spaced, rather than fitted tightly together, for air circulation. We got the supplies at a big box store, so the whole bed was very inexpensive!

Our platform bed looks a bit like this:

DIY Futon

Click on source link above for instructions.

About Me

My photo

I'm a homeschooling mom of two, a teen and a little. I hope this collection of mine helps you as much as it has helped us. I have an Etsy shop here: And a blog: