Spring Cleaning Checklist

Spring Cleaning Checklist

Ready to dive into your spring cleaning, but not sure where to start? Print a copy of my spring cleaning checklist, and use it as your guide. It breaks down all the essential cleaning tasks room by room.

Stick it on your fridge, and check off tasks as you complete them. Before you know it, you’ll have your whole house back on track.

And if getting organized and/or clearing out clutter is a part of your spring cleaning plans, these other printables that should help with that:

If you’re using Google’s Chrome browser, our printables may not print properly. Click here for printing help.

How to Build a Carpenter Bee Trap

Build a Carpenter Bee Trap

I’ve done a lot to attract bees to my garden – planting flowers that they like, building them houses, etc. But carpenter bees? I’m not a fan. They do too much damage to our house, tree house and swing set each year for me to be on good terms with them. I’ve read article after article that says they only go after non-treated, rotting wood, but that hasn’t been my experience at all.

Carpenter Bee Damage

See those holes? They were made by carpenter bees. That’s pressure treated lumber, and they started boring holes in it as soon as we finished building our tree house. They continue to bore new holes in it every spring.

When we built a new roof overhang over the basement a couple years ago, they bored holes through the new cedar supports, before we had a chance to finish them, and they continued to bore holes through them even after we stained them. They’re destructive creatures, I tell you.

So, this year, it’s on. Since we’re not fans of chemical solutions, my husband and I decided to build some carpenter bee traps. We’ve been seeing them in catalogs lately, so we did some research, and came up with our own design. Here’s how it’s made: [Read more…]

How to Remove Grease Pencil

Thrift Store Shoes

We found some killer deals at thrift stores while we were on vacation last week, like all of these shoes that you see above. But a large number of our finds came from a store that uses grease pencil (aka China marker) to mark their prices. I hate that! Worse still, they write the prices on the sides of most of their shoes, which means the brand new pair of Keen sneakers that I found had a big $12.99 written on the side. Argh!

Still, $12.99 for a pair of Keens is just too good to pass up (they retail for around $90), so I bought them, and several other things, and decided it was high time we devised a way to remove grease pencil. [Read more…]

Homemade Hair Conditioner Recipe

Homemade Hair Conditioner Recipe

When my hair conditioner ran out before I found another clearance deal, I decided to see if I could make my own. After a few rounds of experimenting, I ended up with a conditioner that I like better than any commercial conditioner that I’ve ever tried. It takes me less than five minutes to make; costs very little to put together; and leaves even my oldest daughter’s crazy-long locks easy to brush. I also love that I know exactly what’s in it (not much) and that I can use essential oils to customize it to my hair’s needs.

Want to try my recipe for yourself? Here’s my latest formula (recently tweaked for longer shelf life):

[Read more…]

Repair a Chipped or Cracked Windshield

A year and a half ago, we bought a little Jeep Liberty. It has over 200k miles on it and a peeling clear coat, but it’s perfect for us. It’s nimble; has a good towing capacity; and does just as well on road as off. What isn’t perfect, however, is the angle of the windshield. In the short time that we’ve owned our Jeep, we’ve chipped or cracked the windshield three times.

We had to replace the windshield last fall, after a black walnut hit it and left us with a big running crack. Then, last week while we were headed to our cabin, a rock flew up and chipped that new windshield. Argh! I crossed my fingers that it wouldn’t run before we got home, so we could just repair it, and luck was on our side this time.

Instead of hiring a glass repair company to fill the chip, we decided to save some money and do it ourselves. This was new territory for us, but at $10 for a DIY repair kit, vs. $99.95 for someone else to fix it, we were up for the challenge.

Rain-X Windshield Repair Kit

My husband picked up a Rain-X Windshield Repair Kit, which had everything needed to do the job.

Windshield Repair Supplies

In fact, it came with enough resin and curing strips for several repairs. Apparently it was made with Jeep Liberties in mind.

Chipped Windshield

And here’s the chip that we were up against. It was just a small, dime-size chip located in the top of the windshield on the driver’s side. That box in the corner of the photo is a close up of the damage.

My husband read through the instructions that came with the kit, and followed them to tee. If you’re thinking about tackling this project yourself, here’s what’s involved. [Read more…]