How to Make Wool Dryer Balls

How to Make Dryer Balls

Dryer balls are a great replacement for dryer sheets and fabric softener. They soften clothes, speed up drying time, remove wrinkles and reduce static all without the use of chemicals. Just toss them in the dryer with your wet clothes, and they’ll work their magic.

I used this set for the last decade:

Dryer Max Dryer Balls

And they work great, but I’ve never really liked the fact that they were made out of PVC. When wool dryer balls hit the market a few years ago, I was thrilled to have a plastic-free option, but at almost $40 a set, I just couldn’t bring myself to order them.

So, I did what I normally do in situations like this … I figured out how to make my own. Here are the instructions. [Read more…]

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…]