A digital Christmas card option that is easy and will last a lifetime

By Ashley Devonish | Category: It Worked 4 Me, The Journey of Motherhood | Posted Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Last year I wrote a blog post on the topic of christmas cards that resonated with many of you.  I shared what I loved about the tradition of sharing cards as well as what I don’t love about it.  Then I shared that I decided to “send out a Christmas card, but it would be one that would be fun for me to make, fast for me to send and one our family could enjoy for years to come.”  I am continuing that tradition this year.  I started by making a digital card using Cocodot (which is now a free service).  You can see the digital card that I created here.  Then I linked that card to our family slideshow video (also shown below).

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Ashley Devonish

I have a passion for helping moms and encouraging them in their journey through motherhood. I invite you to journey along with me!

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Clean and Sparkly Green Window Cleaner

By kristinabjornbak | Category: Healthy Living, It Worked 4 Me, Moneywi$e, Recipes & Kitchen Tips | Posted Monday, November 21, 2011

Getting ready for company coming over this week for Thanksgiving?

I’ll admit that cleaning the windows, mirros, and glass doors of our house is something that frequently goes by the wayside.  When I do remember, I generally use a store bought window cleaner like most other people, but I find I need to wear gloves to use it.  The smell just stays on my hands.  But what else besides the scent is staying on my hands?  Whatever it is, I figure that it can’t be healthy.

Eventually, I ran out of my usual window cleaner and decided to look around for some of the green recipes that I knew were out there somewhere.  In my search, I came across Crunchy Betty, a site that I have never heard of before.  However, in the archives I found something wonderful: Battle of the Homemade Glass Cleaners!  Ms. Crunchy Betty was kind enough to test drive several glass cleaning recipes and report back the results of her tests and therefore the best glass cleaning recipe.  The winning recipe contained alcohol, water, vinegar, and cornstarch.  Yes, cornstarch!  She wasn’t wrong when she assumed that readers would find it an odd addition.  I certainly did.  But, with a whole morning and a lot of dirty glass before me, I decided to give her “Alvin Corn Homemade Glass Cleaner” a try.

When I first sprayed it and wiped it (best done with a lint free cloth), it seemed like it was going to leave a cloudy film.  Nope!  After wiping until almost dry, the glass cleared right up and wowee wow wow!  This recipe worked even better than the store bought stuff!  I quickly went through the house, cleaning mirrors, doors, and windows.  Everything was sparkly, even where the dog plants her nose prints and the dreaded mirrored closet doors in the kids’ room.

As a final note, I want to say that I was really worried that the cornstarch would scratch the glass.  I didn’t notice any scratches that I’m pretty sure weren’t already there, but if you are worried, test on a small area first before you go all out.  Also, I know some people don’t like using rubbing alcohol.  If that’s the case, check out Heather’s glass recipe instead.

Happy cleaning!

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Behavior Charts

By kristinabjornbak | Category: It Worked 4 Me | Posted Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Getting kids to do what you want them to do.

This is a challenge at some point for all parents.  If you ask 20 parents how to best address this and I bet you will get 20 different answers (goal charts, time outs, spankings, etc).  There are a lot of factors to consider including the child’s age, personality as well as if they are simply being forgetful, distractible or downright defiant. Mom 4 Life Kristina shares what is working for her below and we would love for you to leave a comment and let us know what works for you!

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Hair Accessory Holder Tutorial

By kristinabjornbak | Category: Home Crafts, It Worked 4 Me | Posted Monday, July 18, 2011

My hair ties, clips, and headbands are always getting lost.  I find them in drawers, under the bed, closet floor, behind furniture.  After several attempts to keep them organized, I decided to make a hair accessory holder.  You can, too!  It’s quick, easy, pretty, and a great way to use up scraps of fabric, ribbon, and ric rac.

Materials needed:

  • cardboard
  • ribbon or ric rac/rickrack
  • fabric scraps
  • glue gun and hot glue sticks
  • scrap batting (optional, but a nice touch)

Step one: Prep your cardboard.  You can really use whatever you have around the house as long as you trim it to the size you want.  I used an empty cereal box, but because I wanted it a little more stiff, I glued the two sides together using just plain white school glue.  Place your cardboard on top of the batting (if you are using any).  I used a very small amount of glue to just hold the cardboard in place.  Also, since the batting I was using is very thin and I want my holder to be kind of puffy, I doubled the batting over to use two layers.  Trim, but leave a decent amount extra.  This will eventually get folded to the back.

Step two: place your fabric face down on your work surface.  Place your cardboard+batting on top.  You should now have a sandwich of fabric (face down), then the batting, then the cardboard.  Trim the fabric, but like before, leave extra on each side.

Step three: Fold the extra batting and fabric to the back of the cardboard and hot glue into place.  Don’t try to do this with white glue.  Trust me, it doesn’t work.

Step fou: Arrange ribbons or ric rac on top to get a feel of where you want them.  Leave extra on each end.  Fold the ends to the back, hot glue the ends only into place.  Add an extra bit of ribbon at the top for hanging.

Ta-da!  Now, hopefully, your hair accessories won’t get quite so lost.

Not feeling crafty?  You might like the cute handcrafted felt hair clip holders by Giddy Giddy that Mom 4 Life carries.

Kristina is a stay-at-home mom of two boys.  She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in English and spends her down time sewing, baking, doing crafts with her children, and experimenting with recipes with her husband.

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Customizable Flip Flops

By kristinabjornbak | Category: Home Crafts, It Worked 4 Me | Posted Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Summer is here again and everywhere I look I see the (roughly) same pair of inexpensive plastic and rubber sandals.  You can find them at different stores, often for under $3 in a wide range of colors.  Who wouldn’t want to have some?

Well, me.  I don’t like them.  Not that I’m opposed to color or flip flops, but the plastic/rubber thong part (the part that goes between your toes and up over your feet) grabs at my skin and cuts me.  I have the scars to prove it.  Fabric uppers aren’t so bad, but are often much more expensive.  On a whim this year, I bought a pair of the cheap flip flops to the tune of $1.98, and got to work making them something cute and wearable.    You can, too!  Here’s how:

Materials:

  • Cheap thong flip flops
  • Knife or sturdy scissors
  • Grosgrain ribbon or strips of fabric
  • Hot glue

Step 1: Remove the thong upper.

Turn the flip flop over and find the bump/knot/nut that is securing the thong upper in place.  Use a craft knife or a pair of sturdy scissors to cut the thong free.  Remove thong part and discard.

Step 2: Make the toe loop.

Make a small loop with ribbon or fabric.  Make sure it’s long enough that about two inches stick up, plus enough to make a knot on the underside.  Thread the ends through the toe hole, but don’t tie yet.

Step 3: Thread the ribbon.

Estimate how long a piece of ribbon or fabric you will need.  Add a bit to that because you will be knotting the underside and you may have measured wrong.  You can cut off the excess later.  Tie a knot in one end of the ribbon.  Thread the other end through one of the side holes, going from the underside up, so that the knot is on the bottom.  Give your knot a test tug.  If it pulls through, the knot is too small.  Because of this, I added a small bit of extra scrap ribbon to the ends to give the knots more bulk without them being too big.

Thread the unknotted end through the toe loop and down through the other side hole.  Do a test fit on your foot to see how much of the ribbon you’ll need to pull through.

Step 4: Place your knots.

After you do a test fit, you’ll want to knot the ribbon/fabric on the underside of the shoe to hold it in place.  Do a final test fit to make sure it fits correctly.

Step 5: Add your glue.

On the underside, pull the knots slightly so the that the cavity under it is exposed.  Fill the cavity with hot glue and pull the knots back into place.  Trim off any excess fabric or ribbon on the underside.

Step 5: Secure the scrap

If you used an extra bit of scrap to beef up your knots, you’ll need to secure that those on the top.  Just a bit of hot glue between the main layer and the scrap will do it.

Slip on and enjoy!

As a final note, to give credit where credit is due, I did see the wonderful Key West Flip Flop tutorial over at The Mother Huddle.  Although what I made was completely different, I did learn the knot and hot glue trick from there, so a big thanks to her!

Kristina is a stay-at-home mom of two boys.  She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in English and spends her down time sewing, baking, doing crafts with her children, and experimenting with recipes with her husband.

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