Monday, April 30, 2012

Pinterest Tested: Sidewalk Chalk Paint

Welcome to Pinterest Tested! Ever wonder if that miracle cleaner is really miraculous? Or what about that homemade facial cleanser or delicious-looking recipe? This is the place to find out! Each Monday I am testing Pins that catch my eye to see if they really live up to the claims made on Pinterest. It's like the Mythbusters of Domesticity!

This week I am testing this PIN:

It's a recipe for sidewalk chalk paint! Just in time for warm weather and lots of time spent outside.

THE TEST: Will the kids have fun with this? How labor intensive is it to make? How does it look on the sidewalk? Is it easy to clean up?

These are the ingredients I used: 



I mixed the whole box of cornstarch with 2 cups water in a big bowl. Then I poured it into a muffin tin and added color to each separate cup. This is what it looked like:


THE RESULT: Easy to make, easy to clean, inexpensive, fun summer activity! Next time I'm adding more dye, though. It would have been better if the colors were brighter.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

46 Pun-Intended Thank You Gift Ideas

Wow! When I wrote this post, I had no idea that it would go viral. It has been awesome to share these cute ideas with so many new friends! If you like this post, check my sidebars so you can follow my blog by email, RSS feed or on Facebook. Thanks for stopping by!

With summer coming on, it's time for changes. And usually when there are changes, there are people to thank. So today I'm sharing an arsenal of gift ideas that all use puns or play-on-words. This list can be modified to give to teachers, co-workers, volunteers, neighbors, church workers, friends, or just about anyone. All you do is make up a little tag or note with the phrase written on it, then attach it to the gift item in parenthesis. This list has ideas for any price range. You can go fancy or simple. You can make elaborate packaging or a plain note. It's all up to you! Hope this gives you some good ideas!

1. We “SODA” like you. Thanks so much! (soda pop)

2. You are a “SOUPER” teacher. (can of soup)

3. You’re a “PEACH.” (peach jam, a fresh peach, or peach gummy rings)

4. To someone who always puts their best “FOOT” forward. (pair of socks, slippers, Fruit-By-The-Foot)

5. I could “BEAR”ly have made it without you. (Gummy bears or bear-shaped cookie cutter)

6. Thanks for adding “SPICE” to our lives. (jar of salsa or fancy spice blends)

7. Thank you for putting “COLOR” in my life. (box of crayons, watercolors or finger paints)

8. Here’s a bottle of LOTION for all the kindness you set in motion! (lotion)

9. Thank you! You’re one smart COOKIE. (plate or bag of cookies)

10. Not to be CORNY, but we really appreciate all that you do. (corn muffin mix, ears of corn, popcorn)

11. When it comes to teaching, you are “HOT STUFF.” (hot pad, Red Hot candies)

12. You’re a de”LIGHT” to work with. (candle, flashlight)

13. When help is needed, you’re always willing to “CHIP” in. (bag of chips)

14. Thanks to someone who really knows how to serve. (serving spoon)

15. I “DONUT” know what I would do without you! (box of doughnuts)

16. You’re worth a “MINT” (breath mints, Andes mints, mint brownies)

17. Thanks a “BUNCH” (bunch of bananas)

18. Thanks for adding PIZZAz to our meeting! (pizza sauce/toppings, box of pizza, gift card)

19. We think you’re “GRATE” (cheese grater)

20. Thank you for “CHEW”sing to come! (pack of gum)

21. We’re ROOTING for you. Good luck! (root beer)

22. It’s been a BALL working with you. Hope you have a BALL (popcorn balls)

23. Thanks for being there when KNEADED, for RISING to the occasion, for never LOAFING on the job, for helping others to HEEL. No matter how you SLICE IT, you do a great job! (loaf of bread)

24. Jelly is like love: you can’t spread it around without getting some on yourself. (jam or jelly)

25. You add SPARKLE and make life brighter wherever you go! (cleaners, sparkly lotion or lipgloss)

26. We’re NUTS about you! (bag of nuts)

27. You’ve been a LIFESAVER! (Lifesavers)

28. If friends were flowers, I’d pick you! (floral dish towel, fresh flowers, flower shaped candy)

29. Hope your day is SPRINKLED with laughter and love. (jar of sprinkles, cupcake with sprinkles)

30. Sending you HUGS and KISSES on your special day. (Hershey’s Hugs and Kisses)

31. Just POPPING by to say hello. (popcorn or soda pop)

32. We couldn’t re”STRAIN” ourselves from saying thank you. (strainer filled with treats)

33. No one MATCHES you! Thanks for all you do. (matches with or without candle)

34. Thank you to a “NOTEWORTHY” friend. (pencil and note pad)

35. You did a “BEARY” great job. To a “BEARY” great friend. (bear-shaped honey, gummy bears or   Teddy Grahams )

36. Da-“GUM” you are a great teacher. (pack of gum)

37. You are “PASTA”-tively wonderful! You did a “PASTA”-tively wonderful job. (pasta and sauce)

38. Snap! Crackle! Pop! We think you are really tops! (rice krispie treats)

39. Anyway you BREAK it, we think you’re the greatest (toffee or brittle)

40. You are the APPLE of my eye (apple anything---pie, lotion, muffins, candy)

41. You take the CAKE! (cupcakes or cake)

42. Whip up this MIX for a sweet tooth fix. (brownie, cake or muffin mix)

43. Here’s a little treat. Rise and bake, it can’t be beat. Warm, fresh rolls for you. Thanks for all you do! (Rhodes rolls or homemade frozen dough)

44. I really “CARROT” a lot about you! (baby carrots or carrot cake cupcake)

45. Here’s the SCOOP… you did a great job! (ice cream or ice cream scoop)

46. The kindness you show makes our friendship GROW and GROW! (potted plant)

Mother's Day Quote

I came across this quote a few months back, and the words really had an impact on me. I have watched this selflessness in my own mother and have felt the same desire to give everything I have to my own children. As Mother's Day approaches, I thought it only appropriate to share. There are several different versions... feel free to print/alter/share them however you wish.


Saturday, April 14, 2012

Make A Swimsuit Modest

Summer is just around the corner and if your family is like mine, that means you will be spending a lot of time at the pool. And that means swimsuits. Every woman's favorite thing to shop for, right?! Ha Ha.

Two years ago, my tankini top gave out, but I loved the black boy shorts that came with them so I searched for a new top to go with the original shorts. Then last summer those shorts gave out, so I had to find a new pair to match the top I had just bought. Ack! What a mess!

One thing I noticed while shopping is that it is nearly impossible to find a tankini top that is 1) long enough to cover my stomach and 2) has a high enough neckline to cover my chest. I figure I have quite enough skin exposed when wearing a swimsuit as it is without having such a plunging neckline.

So what's a girl to do? Here's my solution:

Here's how to add cleavage coverage to your swimsuit:

1. Buy a little bit of coordinating swimsuit fabric. Or cut up an old swimsuit if you have one that would work.

2. Make a hem along one edge of the fabric. This will be the top part of the triangle that you sew in, and it will show, so make it pretty.

3. Put on your swimsuit top. Pin the fabric so that it covers everything you want it to. Make sure that it lays flat and the hem across the top is straight.

4. Remove the swimsuit top and sew the fabric on using a stretch stitch. I sewed from the front side and followed the original stitching on the suit so that you can't even see where I sewed the fabric on. You can see from the pictures that my sewing machine did not like this fabric and the stitches are really messy on the back. I have worn this suit for two summers now and it is still holding together, so who cares?! Now you can swim with confidence!

Okay, who am I kidding... does any woman feel confident in a swimsuit?! Ha Ha.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Host Your Own Backyard Summer Olympics

Today I'm sharing an idea for something to do with the kids this summer. This week is our Spring Break, so I decided to hold our first annual Summer Olympics (even though summer is still on it's way around here, as evidenced by the still-brown grass in our yard).

I wanted to keep things simple so that I wasn't spending my whole day preparing each event. So I used things from around the house and came up with simple games. I also didn't want to have them compete against each other because it always leads to hurt feelings, so the games were not set up to be competitive.

Here are some of the events we had:
Tree Targets: I hung paper plates from a tree branch and the kids had to use tennis balls to hit all four plates before "winning."

Sidewalk Jump: I drew a series of circles on the sidewalk using sidewalk chalk and the kids had to jump from circle to circle without falling off.

Tricycle Relay: The kids had to weave in and out of obstacles and race back to the finish line. I drew sidewalk chalk lines to help them understand which way they needed to weave.

Three Legged Race: An oldie, but a goodie. This was one of their favorite events!

And of course, they both received gold medals for winning all the events. I used real medals I had tucked away in a dresser drawer from past races I've run. But you could easily make your own with cardstock and ribbon. I did the simplified version, but if you wanted to be ambitious, you could make an awards platform with the three steps of varied heights for the kids to stand on to receive their medals.

Some other event ideas:
- water balloon toss
-miniature golf
-"Plunkerton" (have you seen that episode of The Office? They tie paper boxes to their feet and have to race while balancing on them
-variations on a foot race: skip, hop, crab-walk, crawl, pair up and wheelbarrow race
-badminton, volleyball, or tennis using balloons or beach balls

I think it would be super fun to do this with the whole neighborhood. It would be so great if each mom on the block set up one event in her front yard and then all the kids traveled from house to house to compete.

Or hold the Olympics with all the cousins or grandkids at the next family reunion

And if you really got into the spirit of it, you could make THESE Olympic-themed cupcakes to serve afterwards.

Hope this gets you excited for a summer packed with fun activities!

Pinterest Tested: Arm Pit Stain Remover

Welcome to Pinterest Tested! Ever wonder if that miracle cleaner is really miraculous? Or what about that homemade facial cleanser or delicious-looking recipe? This is the place to find out! Each Monday I am testing Pins that catch my eye to see if they really live up to the claims made on Pinterest. It's like the Mythbusters of Domesticity!

Today I'm testing THIS PIN:
It's a problem we sweaty people have to deal with... those horrid yellow stains on all of our white undershirts. I have tried many different remedies and have yet to find one that works perfectly. And apparently I am not alone: this is a very popular Pin!

THE TEST: Will hydrogen peroxide and Dawn work as a stain remover for yellow underarm stains?

I gave it a whirl. And it worked... sort of. It definitely lightened the stains on most of the shirts, but it didn't completely get rid of them. Here's my picture:But what I think would work really well is if I used this every time I wash my white shirts to help prevent the stains from ever getting bad.
THE RESULT: It worked, but not miraculously. I think it could get rid of stains with repeated use.

After I washed these, I read that sprinkling a little baking powder on the stain helps with scrubbing power. I am definitely going to try this again. I think if I treat them with every wash, this solution will work.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Updating Tired Jeans

Hey everyone! I know it's been slim pickings at The Craft Patch lately, but it is spring! That glorious time of year when everyone comes out of hibernation, the trees start to blossom and my skin remembers what the sun's touch feels like. It is simply too scrumptious a time of year to be stuck inside.

However, the change in weather has got me itching to update my wardrobe. It's just not in ye ole budget to splurge on myself right now, so I've been trying to do a few little things to help me feel fresh and renewed and ready for summer.

My project to share today is how to update a pair of jeans. Here is the before and after picture:




All I did was stitch over the existing top-stitching using embroidery floss, but I think it modernizes these jeans and most importantly will make me happy to wear them again. I used the biggest, sturdiest needle I had and still had to use a piece of that rubber grippy stuff to help me pull it through some of the seams where the fabric is extra thick. It took three or four bundles of floss to do the whole thing and the total cost was only a dollar or two. An easy update for a new season!
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