Activity: Make a Mr. Shape Scarecrow with Education.com

Nothing says “Fall” like a spectacularly spooky scarecrow! And if you pay attention, you can see them everywhere this time of year. You can point them out to your child at the grocery store or in neighbor’s yards. This Halloween, you and your child make one of your own using some old clothes and a little creativity. Your child will practice his shape recognition along the way and he’ll get to see his scarecrow come to life. Not to mention he’ll be doing some serious recycling while he’s at it!

What You Need:

  • Paper plate
  • Markers
  • Popsicle stick
  • Glue
  • Yellow yarn or construction paper for hair
  • Fabric scraps or construction paper
  • Tape
  • Old long-sleeved shirt, pair of pants, and gloves
  • Straw hat
  • Lots of plastic bags for stuffing
  • Pen
  • Scissors
  • Tissue paper or newspaper (optional)
  • Safety pins

 

What You Do:

  • Help your child stuff the clothes with the plastic bags. The most effective way to do this is to scrunch the plastic bags into balls and then stuff them into the clothes. Do this until you have filled out the clothes completely so that they’ve got some body to them.
  • Add gloves to the ends of the sleeves. You can stuff the gloves with tissue paper if you like, or just leave them empty. You can attach them to the ends of the sleeves with safety pins.
  • While you’re making your scarecrow, talk to your child about the different shapes he sees within the scarecrow. Does he see any triangles? Are there any circles? Or squares?
  • Using markers, have your child draw a face on the paper plate. He can make it as scary or as friendly as he likes! Glue or tape a popsicle stick to the bottom of the back of the plate to hold the “head” up.
  • Help your child cut different sized strips of yellow construction paper for hair or use yellow yarn. Glue onto the plate.
  • Place the popsicle stick head into the neck of the shirt. You might need to reinforce it with some more scrunched-up plastic bags. Add a straw hat on top. You can stuff the hat with some newspaper as well if you like.
  • Ask your child to name some shapes. Help him draw them on paper or fabric. Have your child cut them out. These will be the patches for the scarecrow’s clothing.
  • Tape the patches all over your scarecrow’s clothes.
  • Sit your scarecrow outside in a visible place for all to enjoy! This makes for a great Halloween decoration to ward off those crows and any other unwanted guests!

*This guest post is courtesy of Education.com and this activity is exclusive to Crunchy on the Weekend!

Renovation on the Cheap #4- The Finale

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After a long few months (and a few ‘hiccups’ along the way), we are FINALLY done with our Renovation on the Cheap! Our house is now under contract and we are so excited to be continuing on this adventure! Now that the lower level is finished, our house feels completely different- in a good way!

The best part?

Our renovation stayed “on the cheap” and we came out at almost $7,500 even! Yep! Under $10k for an entire lower level finish. Granted, the larger the space, the more expensive it could get. Our lower level is about 500 sqft (smaller than our upper level) since it’s a tri-level, but, it feels so much bigger now!

I’ll admit, I had a really hard time visualizing the end result and I was so afraid that it wouldn’t turn out like we planned. Instead, it turned out better than I expected and it looks beautiful! 

Throughout the renovation, we definitely found some products and brands that we ended up loving! 

After the construction phase, the house was SO dusty and dirty, despite our best efforts to keep it cleaned. Keeping the air clean was one of my biggest concerns with our little one.

We went through furnace filters like crazy! The best one we tried was from an awesome service called FilterSnap*. This was perfect for us, because honestly, we are terrible about remembering to replace our furnace filters on time! FilterSnap is great for busy lives because they SEND you your replacement furnace filters! You can choose which size(s) you need, the quality you want (Basic, Standard, Ultimate), how often you receive replacements (every 1, 2, 3, 6, or 12 months), and then you just enter your shipping and payment information. Seriously the easiest thing ever and you don’t have to remember to change your filters because you’ll get them physically delivered to your door. This is also great for the winter months when most people are inside 95% of the time- you don’t want stale, allergen filled air blowing throughout your house AND who wants to venture out into the cold, snowy weather to get a furnace filter!?

We noticed a huge difference in the air quality coming through our vents! I think we will definitely utilize FilterSnap once we get into a new house. 

filters
L to R: Basic Filter, Standard Filter, Ultimate Filter

Along with the dusty and dirty air, we had just straight up DUST everywhere. Our counters were constantly filthy and so were the floors. We were going through paper towels like nobody’s business and it was getting expensive! We started using these awesome bamboo reusable paper towels from NatureZway*. The paper towels are super strong and don’t rip like regular paper towels. Also, they can be rinsed out and reused up to 100 times (more or less depending on what you’re using them for). We are able to use these towels on everything from kitchen counters, appliances, bathroom surfaces, floors, dirty toddler faces after dinner (obviously using a clean one!), and tons of other things! Before we could go through a roll of regular paper towels so fast, but, with the reusable ones from NatureZway, we use probably 75% less paper towels! They’re amazing! 

NatureZway also has some great, super absorbent floor wipes! You can use them on your existing sweepers like Swiffer! The wipes can be used dry or wet depending on your preference/situation and they’ll pick up all of those crumbs and dust bunnies! The products are sold online at Target and ReUseIt and in several retail stores.

naturezway

So, after all of this craziness, we are very ready to move into the next chapter of this adventure!

Check out all the photos below of the renovation from start to finished product! We tried to capture every single step along the way. We loved sharing it with you all!

 

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*The products mentioned were given to me free of charge in exchange for an honest and truthful review and personal opinion of the product. All opinions are my own and have not been influenced in any way. Reviewed products have been marked with an asterisk within the post.*

DIY Natural, Disinfecting Cleaning Solutions

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Image courtesy of The Sans Serif
Image courtesy of The Sans Serif

 

As a semi-crunchy mama, some of my favorite things to find are “recipes” for more natural cleaning supplies. Plus, with our current renovation, we’re trying to save money when we can. Making your own cleaning products has two HUGE perks! One, you know exactly what ingredients are in your cleaning products. Two, they’re cheaper and you can make big batches!

This week, we’re sharing some awesome “recipes” for natural DIY cleaning products that disinfect- SUPER important when you have kiddos around who love to make big messes with things they shouldn’t be touching ;)

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Try them out and let me know what you think! Thanks to our wonderful guest blogger for giving us these awesome “recipes”!


DIY Natural, Disinfecting Cleaning Solutions

It sometimes seems impossible to maintain every room of your home and always keep it clean without store-bought cleaning supplies. A lot of people think this way, but, the truth is that there are many other options. The cleaning supplies you purchase regularly from the store may work, but, they also leave unpleasant residue and contain various dangerous chemicals that could endanger your health and the health of your family. Switching to natural cleaning supplies is a good alternative. This way you will save yourself money and time because you will prepare the special products yourself, using cheap ingredients that are very easy to find.

There are many reasons why you shouldn’t rely on toxic store-bought cleaning supplies and test the effectiveness of the natural homemade cleaners. After the first cleaning you will immediately notice a big difference. The eco-friendly products will not only eliminate the microbes and the grime faster, but, they will also leave a nice smell that will freshen up the air in the premises of your home. The disinfection of all surfaces and fabrics will be easier than ever, when you don’t have to worry about the effect of the chemicals or how much product you use. We are happy to help by presenting several recipes for effective natural cleaning solutions.

cleaning
Citrus All-Purpose Cleaner
This is a simple but very effective recipe that will allow you to keep every area of your home always thoroughly disinfected.
You will need:
(1) Clean jar with a lid
(1) Orange
(1) Bottle of white vinegar
Remove the peels of the citrus fruit and put them in the jar. Then fill almost the entire jar with white vinegar. Leave the jar in a dark place for about 10 days and then use the liquid to disinfect the counters in the kitchen, the bathroom tiles, bathroom counters, and anything else you like.

Baking Soda Cleaner
The baking soda will miraculously remove all unpleasant stains and grime from your bathroom and kitchen.
You can mix a little water with baking soda in a bottle or in some other container and apply the solution on the tiles in the bathroom, on the tub, on the sink, and other similar areas. Rinse with clean water and a clean rag. Before you know it, you will have a sparkling clean home. If you want to make the product smell better, you can add several drops of your favorite essential oil, too.

Disinfecting with Essential Oils
Essential Oils can be very effective when it comes to disinfection. You can count on them for the removing of pimples and other skin problems, as well as for the elimination of dangerous microbes and stubborn grime. Each essential oil has its own special qualities.

For greasy stains, for instance, you can prepare a solution of 12 drops of lemon oil and water.

You can combine several essential oils too and use the product for the effective disinfection of the toilet. Just mix together 5 drops of lavender, lemon and peppermint.

The results will surprise you for sure.

Thanks to those special natural cleaning solutions, you and your family will be always protected. As you can see, they are not only easy to prepare, but, also require simple ingredients that you will be able to find without any problems. That is enough reason to give up the expensive detergents and various other cleaning supplies and start making your own products. This is a great way not only to save some money, but, also guarantee your safety and the safety of the other members of your family. There is no need to hesitate any more, so start making your own cleaning products right now.

The article is kindly contributed by N17 CarpetCleaning


What are YOUR favorite essential oils and homemade cleaning products?
Tell us here or on our Facebook page!

“Renovation on the Cheap” Series- Post #3

We have been BUSY BEES, everyone. Some days, it seems we are TOO busy. Ha, typical right? I don’t think we ever have enough time in the day to do everything we want and need to do!

oh-you-want-to-remodel-the-house-great-i-have-it-all-designed-on-pinterest-already-8f038

My husband ran into some car trouble and was without his car for a little over a week and a half. He was taking my car to work so I was home and getting stir crazy with our little one! Tonight, he FINALLY got the problem fixed and we are back to having two running cars- WOO HOO!

The car was definitely interfering with our renovation progress. However, we are truckin’ along on the downstairs and making some great progress! This week, my dad and husband picked up the drywall and insulation and unloaded it. My dad finished up some wiring, plumbing work, and insulation on Saturday while my husband battled his car all morning and afternoon. Today, my husband took a break and the drywall hanging started this morning! The guys made some great progress while my mama played maid and cleaned up drywall dust after them :) If you don’t have a shop vac for your home reno projects, GET ONE. Rent one. Borrow one. Buy one. You won’t regret it.

We’ll be working on the drywall the rest of the week and we’re hoping to be done with that step by this weekend. Then comes taping, plastering, texturing, and painting! Ahhh…painting, the funnest thing of all…*enter sarcasm*. :)

We’ve also got a lot of painting to do in the rest of the house (touch-ups, painting another layer in the bathroom upstairs, etc.). We’re enlisting the expert painting skills of my Gram during that phase! Thanks, Gram!

If you want to check out the photos so far, see the slideshow below! I’ve been trying REALLY hard to keep up with the photo taking, but, some days our insanely busy toddler distracts me from my photo taking duties.

Keep checking back for more updates and photos! We’re so excited that you’re following our journey!

 

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DIY Bathroom Cleaning Wipes

We all like clean bathrooms, right!? As a parent with a toddler and a husband who is a mechanic, I feel like my bathroom is CONSTANTLY dirty, but, I don’t have the time to deep clean every other day to fight the grime and dirt!

If you want an incredibly easy way to keep your bathroom clean on a daily basis without forking over a ton of money on pricey, chemical- laden cleaning wipes, this is it. Minimal ingredients, minimal time, and easy? I’ll take it! Plus, they’re so easy, you really can’t mess them up. No Pinterest fails here :)

Try them out and let us know what you think! Thanks to our wonderful guest blogger from House Cleaners London, for giving us this awesome recipe!


DIY Reusable Bathroom Cleaning Wipes
Edna J. Thomson

Buying cleaning wipes all the time will cost you a fortune. You possibly think that purchasing one pack every other day is nothing, but, once you calculate how much you spend for this product every month, you will be surprised for sure! There is another problem with the cleaning wipes offered in the stores, and, that’s the dangerous ingredients they contain. It’s enough to look at the label to see just how harmful they actually are. There is no need to endanger your health and the health of the other members of your family any more. Instead, we can offer you a safer and cheaper alternative.

DIY reusable cleaning wipes are easy to make and also more effective than the regular ones. There is no need to spend a lot of money every month for packs of dangerous cleaning wipes when you can simply prepare your own special product for general house cleaning. You will need a couple of simple and cheap ingredients, as well as a little free time. We can promise you, however, that once you try this amazing homemade product, you will permanently stop using store-bought wipes.

Below you will find a useful recipe for bathroom cleaning wipes that will make the disinfection of this part of your home much easier.

Courtesy of Wikimedia
Courtesy of Wikimedia

Ingredients
The first thing you have to do is to gather all ingredients you will need for the preparation of your homemade bathroom cleaning wipes. You can make a list in advance, so that you don’t have to go to the shop again.

What you’ll need is:

White vinegar

Essential oil of your choosing

Water

Large container or big jar with lid

Pieces of cloth (the best part is that you can use some of your old t-shirts, sheets or other things to make the cloths- just make sure that all pieces have the same size)

Preparing the special blend
The next step is to mix together the ingredients, so that you can make a special cleaning solution. You can mix 1/2 cup of white vinegar with several drops of essential oil and water in some kind of vessel. If you are using a jar, you will have to arrange the pieces of cloth in the jar first and then add the special blend until the jar is almost full.

Placing the wipes in the clean container
In case you have a container instead of jar, you will have to soak each piece of cloth in the solution and then place it in the empty container until it becomes full. You can arrange your new bathroom cleaning wipes any way you like. You also have to make sure that the lid of the container closes well.

Cleaning and Maintenance
You can use your homemade wipes for the disinfection of pretty much everything. Whenever you want to remove old stains from toothpaste, shampoo or something else from the mirror or another part of your bathroom, you will have a reliable and effective cleaning product. When you finish with the cleaning, all you have to do is wash the pieces cloth and you can use them again.

Maintaining and cleaning your home, and more precisely your bathroom, can be a challenge sometimes. With the right cleaning supplies, however, this task will be easier than ever. The DIY bathroom cleaning wipes will remove any grime, especially different kinds of stains. If you want to make sure that this part of your property is also free from mold, you can add a couple drops of tea tree oil to the special blend for the wipes. Then, you can clean the area around the toilet, as well as all corners in your bathroom.

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