I was 26 years old. My daughters were 9 months old and 3 1/2 years old and I was 3 months into a divorce thrust upon me by their father.
I felt like I was in a tornado of emotion and depression. I went from a married mother of two, to a single mother of two after being told to leave my home by my husband because I caught him cheating.
I felt like my life was held together with string the strength of wet noodles. I was sure of nothing and had trust in no one.
The only thing I was sure of was my daughters and my love for them. I decided to get a tattoo of their initials with a heart. I said, "Men may come and go, people may come and go, but my girls are my blood and we'll always be."
I'm known for forever redoing Christmas stockings. I always say I want a set of matching stockings. I've had them before...and they last a few years. Then I switch them up...again and again. It's a habit now.
I wasn't going to do any stockings this year at all. I did semi new ones last year..re-purposed ones, I guess you could call them. But then I found myself at the Dollar Tree....go figure....and I saw the cutest stockings.
Cutest by dollar store standards. They are gunny sack material with a red glitter stencil. I was taken aback because this didn't seem like dollar store quality...or look. They aren't glitzy or over done. They're not tacky or really cheap looking.
Gunny sack fabric on the front and felt backing. All I had to do was monogram them.
The first thing that comes to mind to a lot of people is, "Go get some glitter glue!!!" Trust me. I have to fight that voice. Come on....who doesn't love GLITTER GLUE?!? I have to tell myself that I'm a grown up now and do some adulting in this DIY project. (ʘ‿ʘ)
I got five stockings. That's FIVE BUCKS, y'all. And I walked out. I didn't even go to the glitter glue aisle. I adulted my way out of the store.
I came home and held on to them for a few days. I wanted to mull over if I was going to do monograms or stencils or entire names or glue on felt. But the more I looked at the stockings, the more I wanted to go SIMPLE. Again...fighting the glitter glue voice. Must....Not....Get....Tacky.....
I decided on a monogram. While we have three 'J' names in our family, I always hang the stockings in order of age. They know who's is who's.
The next decision was font. I like to customize things when I can and I always try to find a way to do it all myself. Easiest way was my printer and computer. I played with fonts and sizes until I found what I thought looked good and printed out the letters. Then, with an exacto blade, I cut them out (saving any inside pieces needed for the stencil).
After that, I just lay the paper down on top of the stocking and paint. I used a sponge brush for the ease of 'doppling' the paint and gold paint I had. With the three 'J' stockings, I was able to use one printing of the letter. As long as you don't use globs of paint, plain paper stencils will work great!
All in all, it took about half an hour from beginning to finish, including printing and cutting out. That's not bad at all for a project that cost me $5.oo and came out looking great...in my opinion.
And even though they came out cute as buttons....I had to fight that voice again. "You have a TON of glitter in your desk! Go get it!! SPRINKLE IT ON!!!" I fought the urge.
I know I'll end up at Michael's buying some sort of trim or something for the toe. I can't just leave them like this. I know I should, but I think I get possessed by Liberace and am compelled to add glitz. HALP.
I ended up adding one more element, miniature garland at the seam under the monogram. Simple, but it finished them off perfectly. I really like them hung altogether on the mantle.
We've been in our 'new' town for about 4 years now. We've never had one trick or treater. It's our neighborhood, firstly not a lot of children live here and secondly it's literally a one street neighborhood. One street that's a 'U' shape. It's not like kids are going to go down the busy main road to come here. Also, there's a LOT of Trunk or Treats done in this town. Next year, I think that's what I want to do. I miss passing out candy.
So, as per my usual....I cooked a Halloween supper and made a dessert. I didn't decorate at all this year. My body is just working against me at every turn and I've just not been in the holiday mood this year. Two things that worry me a lot because it's just not like me. It's just been a crappy year too.
I usually have a cookie decorating night with our awesome neighbors, that didn't work out this year either. So, I just did the bare minimum.
I made a gross zombie meatloaf head and a cute flower pot dessert.
The meatloaf was delish...how can you go wrong with bbq bacon?
Onion eyes and teeth, wrapped in bacon and
brushed with bbq sauce. Mmmm....
Then I made something I've made more than once for my kids when they were little. It's crumbled cake up to about a third way of the cup, then topped with pudding and that's topped with chocolate cookie 'dirt' from cookies going through the food processor. I stick in a straw then slide a flower in the straw. Usually it's done in a flower pot, but I did everything last minute today so cups it was.
My daughter worked most of the day, but she wore her kitty ears and did a cat face. Then came home and in her true artistic and creative way, painted her face for the evening.
And I didn't dress up, but I worked on my photo editing skills and made myself a walker.
And we watched The Walking Dead and The Visit. Now it's November 1st and Christmas should be getting started....but I doubt I'll do anything for that either. I just don't seem to have it in me anymore.
My next dive into the DIY realm was laundry soap. I researched many recipes. Dry and liquid recipes are abundant online. I decided to bypass the dry detergent because I loathe it. Period. I don't like dry powdered soap left behind on clothes and I hate washing...then re-washing dark clothes because of residue.
And the recipe is fine in cold water or hot and for older and front loading washers.
The recipe I found couldn't be easier at New Nostalgia ....basically if you can boil water, you can make this detergent. The ONLY thing I changed is the amount of cold water just to make a little more concentrated detergent...we have pets and stains and smells.....I want power. LOL
I haven't done the math on how much per load this is...but I'd have to guess it is pennies. And comparing the LOW cost of this soap to the store bought detergent with chemicals and rashy scents they use...no comparison.
Ingredients are :
3 tbsp Washing Soda
3 tbsp Castile Soap
3 tbsp Borax
4 cups boiling water
10 cups of cold water
Essential Oil for scent (completely optional)
PS - I'm working on dishwasher detergeant too.....as soon as I have it mastered, I'll be posting that as well!
I can't believe I'm writing a blog about this. I mean, I've forever had bottles and/or jars with label smudge left on after soaking and scraping. Anyone who's tried to reuse bottles and jars has certainly run into this problem. Right?
I've looked online and found remedies like soaking in rubbing alcohol or using fingernail polish remover or cooking oil to remove the sticky residue leftover from trying to remove labels. BUT, I've also come across article after blog entry talking about....of all things....peanut butter.
Really? How in the world does peanut butter remove the schmootz of stickiness from a label?!? I know it gets gum out of hair....because I had to do it on myself...college trip to New Orleans....don't ask...and I have children. So I suppose the science that helps remove gum from hair works for residue from jars.....and it works on glass and plastic jars...fyi.
Here's the video of a still sick-with-the-flu me performing the miracle of residue removal....I was just so tickled it worked last night that I had to throw a video together today!