Friday, August 17, 2012

Easy Homemade Lemonade

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 6 lemons
  • 4 cups cold water
In a small saucepan, combine 3/4 cup water and sugar and heat over medium-high heat, until the sugar is dissolved into a simple syrup.
While that's cooking, juice your lemons.
TIP: Roll your lemons on the counter, pressing down with the heel of your hand, to make them easier to juice.
In a pitcher, combine the simple syrup, lemon juice and cold water. Refrigerate until chilled, about 30 minutes.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

How To Make Green Slime For CHEAP With Ingredients You Already Have!

 looking for afternoon activities for the kids that are school-related, fun, and inexpensive!  Green Slime 
It can be just a ball of slime to squish, you can roll it out and use cookie cutters to make shapes, or you can let it drop from your fingers to create a whole wall of slime (like in the top picture above).
Here’s how to make it (and you might even have all of these ingredients already!):
Green Slime
Author: Rachel @
  • 1 Tbsp. Borax
  • 1 Yellow Highlighter
  • 2 Tbsp. White or Clear Glue
  • Scissors
  • Pair of Pliers
  • Popscicle Sticks or Stirring Sticks
  • Tap Water
  • Several throw-away plastic containers or cups
  1. Get the highlighter and the pair of pliers and use the pliers to take off the bottom of the highlighter so that you can get to the felt that holds the highlighter ink.
  2. Take that felt out and cut it down the middle length-wise to open up that layer of plastic that surrounds the felt.
  3. Open up the felt so that the fibers are showing, hold that felt piece over one of the disposable cups, and then pour water over the felt piece until the felt piece has no more (or very little) of the yellow dye left.
  4. You’ll now have a yellow solution.
  5. Into another disposable cup, measure out 4 Tbsp. of the yellow water and add 1 Tbsp. of Borax.
  6. Mix the yellow water and Borax well.
  7. In another disposable cup mix 2 Tbsp. of Tap Water and 2 Tbsp. of Glue.
  8. Pour the glue/water mixture into the yellow water/borax mixture and stir a couple of times.
  9. Pull out the clump of stuff that forms (there will still be a good amount of liquid left) and start to play with it!
  10. The more you play with it, the more it will start to look how it’s supposed to look.
  11. Once it can bounce, then it’s ready!
  12. You can store the slime in the refrigerator so that it will last longer.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Stop Toxic Spending: How to DIY Natural Makeup on the Cheap

I read an article just the other day advising women to switch to toxin-free nail polish. Now, I know polish isn’t crafted from organic rainbow clouds and purified Amazon rainwater. But really, I never gave much thought to the little vat of chemicals that I lacquer my nails with each week.
It made me think about the other scary concoctions in makeup and beauty products. Experts say the skin absorbs about 60 percent of any substance applied. So I started looking around for a few rainbow clouds to rub on my dark eye circles. What I found? Organic makeup = pricey.There had to be inexpensive, organic alternatives.
After some soul searching and an Internet search, I ended up with an awesome adjustable contouring powder, a sun-kissed bronzer that leaves you smelling like cinnamon, and some translucent face powder that works just as well as Bare Minerals. All three recipes cost less than a quarter each and  don’t eat your face off. Bonus!

Contouring Powder

Things you’ll need (change the amounts based on your skin tone)
  • 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon (adds glow)
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg (sun kissed)
  • ½ teaspoon cocoa powder (adds darkness)
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch or powdered sugar (lightens it)
  • 5 drops (or so) of rubbing alcohol (to make it stick together)
  • Empty compact
  • Mix the ingredients together into a small bowl making sure to break it up into a fine powder. Place the ingredients into an empty compact and smooth it with fingers or the back of a spoon. Let sit overnight. It will be firm and ready to use in the morning.


Things you’ll need (change the amounts based on your skin tone)
  • 2 Tablespoons cinnamon powder
  • 3 ½ Tablespoons cornstarch
  • 5 drops (or so) rubbing alcohol
  • 1 empty compact
Blend the ingredients together in a bowl or blender to make a fine powder, place in the compact and smooth out with  fingers or a spoon. Let the bronzer firm up overnight. It will be ready to use in the morning.

Translucent Face Powder

Things you’ll need
  • ½ teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon baby powder or talc (you can leave this out if you want)
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg (optional)
A word about talc from the American Cancer Society: “Talcum powder is made from talc, a mineral made up mainly of the elements magnesium, silicon, and oxygen. As a powder, it absorbs moisture well and helps cut down on friction, making it useful for keeping skin dry and helping to prevent rashes. It is widely used in cosmetic products such as baby powder and adult body and facial powders, as well as in a number of other consumer products. All home-use talcum products in the United States have been asbestos-free since the 1970s.”
Combine all of the ingredients together and place them into a clean powder container (jar with a lid) and apply with a brush.
Makeup is often dirt cheap, and sometimes free, with coupons and sales. But for those worried about chemicals, there’s a way to have nice cosmetics without sacrificing savings.
 This has been a guest post by August from Granite Falls, NC
Find out more about the KCL Contributor Network!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Easy Slow Cooker Ribs

  • 4-lbs. baby back ribs
  • 2 tablespoons McCormick Grill Mates Sweet & Smoky Rub
  • 1 1/2 bottles of Kraft Thick 'n Spicy Brown Sugar Barbecue Sauce
  1. Rub the ribs down with about two tablespoons of rub and place them meaty side facing the walls in your slow cooker.
  2. Cover with about 1 1/2 bottles of barbecue sauce and cook over low heat for about 6-8 hours. I'd recommend checking them at six hours and going from there.
  3. When the ribs are done in the slow cooker, place them meaty side up on a cookie sheet lined with a cooling rack that has been sprayed with cooking spray.
  4. Skim any grease off the remaining barbecue sauce and then strain the sauce into a sauce pan. Reduce over medium heat until the sauce thickens back up.
  5. Baste the ribs with the reduced barbecue sauce and place under the broiler for about five minutes and then enjoy!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Free Stuff at the Iowa State Fair

While I was feeding my 7month old son, I over heard some one say
Wow we got a lot of free stuff! (girlfriend or wife)
um how much did you pay to get in? (boyfriend/husband)
Oh well yeah but we got a ton of free stuff!

I couldn't help but to chuckle in fact one of the coolest thing about going to the fair is getting all the free stuff, I never need pens, pads of paper, pencils, or even those cheap plastic cups you get ( love them for freezing water in) So if you are headed to the Iowa State Fair this week here are my must stop places:

First on my list is Ford, you have to register ( provide email and adress) they give you a wrist band and then you get to play 3 games each which are filled with real prizes, I got a nice Ford tumbler with lid and straw, along with a reusable bag!

Then Crysler Dodge, and Jeep: you can register and then grab something out of their bag, lots of little prizes but some include a small flashlight, and a reusable bag (see a trend?) Yep, every body is finally on the reusable bag band wagon!

Chevy gives away a draw string back back for registering

John Deer sponsors a little hands on the farm, your kiddo's can play on a farm, They supply a free John Deer hat, although when we went through we didn't get one... So I don't know what happened, C really had fun so that is all that really matters.

John Deer at their vendor station (out side of the Varied Industry bld. gives out hat antlers (super cute on small kiddos)

Mid American Energy, gives you a reusable bag for stopping into their building powered by a wind turbine.

At the Agriculture Bld. are some samples on Iowa Brand food, including Johnsonville, Pork Producers, and the Egg council. Also you can see the butter cow, and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. (a must visit) While you are there you can get a double dip Ice Cream Cone made from Iowa's dairy farmers.

Anderson and Eric, you can sample all their new dairy products, and then give them your feed back. ( I loved the Chocolate Cherry milk)

And the mother load of all things free is taking a trip into the Varied Industry Bld. you can sample made in Iowa food_Yummy! Get tons of tattos, pencils/pens, plastic cups, PBS is there so you can visit Clifford the Big Red Dog, Stop at the Iowa Shop and get a free Tiger Hawk logo tattoo and free poster(this is possible for other colleges, however I didn't stop at the other places- too many people.)

Places worth mentioning and going:

The Butterfly Garden, you have to pay $3 per person/child however you can pick the butterflies up and hold them in your hand, and you can buy your very own Caterpiller to turn into a butterfly for $5 for two, includes the container and the food! ( ours are already in it's Crysalis) I thought this was totally worth it for a little girly that loves butterflies!

Don't forget to see the big Chocolate Moose in the Elwell Family Food Center- while there look for some coupons from food vendors, I didn't get lucky but others I talked to were!

We love the State Fair, of course we got in free on Thursday, (had a coupon from the Des Moines Register) We were all tiered out at  the end of the day! What is your favorite thing about the Iowa State Fair?

Friday, August 10, 2012

DIY: Roll Around Some Colorful Fun with Marble Painting!

Kids home for the summer means a major hunt for boredom-buster activities! At the same time, kids need to use their creative sides while they’re on break from school. Kids can do both, using two icons of childhood: marbles and paint. Marble painting is easy, fun, and budget-friendly.
You Need:
  • marbles
  • washable paint
  • paper
  • baking pan with sides
Place a piece of thicker paper in a baking pan. Cut to fit, if necessary. Pick up some cheap pans from the dollar store. Washable paint won’t stain any baking dish.
Place a few small dabs of paint in the pan. Put a marble (or two) in the pan. Roll and shake the pan so the marbles roll around and make designs through the paint.
Change up the design by alternating the number of colors and marbles. Remove the paper once it is dry and display.
See! How fun (and easy) is that?

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

sensory table

do you need a toy that keeps your child busy all year round, always changing and always something new to discover? I thought you would say yes, then you  my friend might want to get a sensory table, or as some others might say a water and sand table. So if you want to know how to make one go Here, CC's Grandpa made this in like an hour, he's really Awesome at stuff like this and the materials costed less than $15, each with lots of lumber leftover to yes make yet another one, I haven't decided if we really need three of these suckers at our house so the lumber is waiting to be cut into something else fun...

So back to the Sensory table, we had one of these amazing things at the Day Care I worked at. I feel in love with all the fun things you can do! As always I have some ideas pined on Pinterest, but here are my notes as to what we want to do:

Obleck was what we did first, it's just corn starch and Water, we had hours of fun with this slime, and it stores for awhile before it gets yukky... just add water untill it's slimy and thick enough to grab but slimy enough that it will slip through your hands... This is a super fun and messy time!

Add fun toys like animals, figures, or shapes, letters for learning and discovery to :
Water Beads, Rice, Sands, Shaving cream, water, beans, corn feed.

CC loves to play house, give her baby a bath, cook something, play baker and decorate cup cakes pizza, cakes or what ever she cooks up,

If you like to garden get some coffee beans or regular beans, fill the tub up give kiddo some safe garden tools and a pot with some silk plants and let their creativity go crazy!

Some other messy ideas I want to try are spaghetti painting ( cooked pasta noodles with paint on them, you mix it up and play with the noodles. Bubble wrap painting getting some bubble wrap taped to the bottom of the tub and put some finger paint and mix it around, when they are done mixing one or two colors of paint lay a piece of paper on the bubble wrap and you will have a print of their work of art!

Need a seasonal sensory/learning activity what about can pumpkin that they can "finger paint"  or add some pine cones and cinnamon in the tub keep the lid on for a couple of days and the pine cones will smell like cinnamon. or what about fake snow in a jar ( sorta like water beads) or real snow from out side, or old flower petals from a floral shop (most times they throw way older flowers they cant sell, perfect for a sensory table)

Again countless ideas for not much money, I spend $8 on 25lb of rice that we will have endless hours of creative fun by hiding things in the rice, coins, pom poms, figures, magnets, and so on.

So happy playing that is what childhood should be all about! and find more info on my Preschool Pinterest board

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Summer DIY: Make a Solar Oven Using a Pizza Box

If you’re looking for an educational and eco-friendly DIY project to do with your kids this summer, check out this Pizza Box Solar Oven project (it really works!):

Pizza Box Solar Oven

  • Large cardboard pizza box (most local pizzerias will give you one for free)
  • Ruler
  • Marker
  • Aluminum foil
  • X-ACTO knife or similar cutting tool that can cut through cardboard
  • Electrical tape
  • Black construction paper
  • Non-toxic glue (i.e. Elmer’s  Washable School Glue)
  • Thin stick about 10” tall (disposable, wooden chopsticks or a paint stir stick could work well)
  • Clear plastic laminate/cling film (i.e. Saran Classic Wrap)
  1. Using the diagram above for reference, draw a square on the top center of a cardboard pizza box leaving a 1.5 inch border on all sides. Use an X-CATO knife to cut the three sides of the square.
  2. Leave the fourth side near the spine of the box intact (indicated by a solid red line above). After you’ve cut the three sides of the square, gently fold back the “flap”  and form a crease.
  3. Cut a piece of aluminum foil big enough to line the bottom of the cardboard “flap.” Line the bottom side of the flap. Make sure to smooth out all the wrinkles and then use non-toxic glue to affix the foil.
  4. On the inside of your pizza box, line the bottom with a piece of aluminum foil. Then cover this piece of aluminum foil with black construction paper (reference Diagram No. 2).
  5. Prop the “flap” open using a stick or wooden chopsticks.
  6. Cut a piece of clear cling/plastic wrap that’s bigger than the window in the pizza box made by the “flap.” Tape the plastic to the underside of the pizza box using electrical tape. Make sure that you have created a good seal with the plastic to prevent heat from escaping.
  7. To cook using your pizza box solar oven, place your food in a small foil tray on top of the black construction paper. Place the solar oven outside in a spot where it gets direct sunlight. Try these recipes:

Pizza Box Solar Oven Recipes

Solar S’mores
  • Graham crackers
  • Marshmallows
  • Chocolate
  • Break the graham cracker in half and put it in small foil tray or on a small piece of aluminum foil.
  • Put a small piece of chocolate and 1 large marshmallow (or 3-4 small marshmallows) on the graham cracker. Put the other half of the graham cracker on top.
  • Put your tray or piece of aluminum foil containing your s’mores in your solar oven. Place your solar oven in direct sunlight outside.
  • Check your s’mores every 10 minutes. If the sun shifts, you will need to move your solar oven to a sunnier spot.
  • When the chocolate melts, your s’mores are ready.
  • Use an oven mitt to carefully removes your s’mores from the solar oven. Let your s’mores cool before eating. Enjoy!
Solar Mini-Pizzas
  • English muffins
  • Marinara/pizza sauce
  • Shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Pizza toppings (optional)
  • Put half an English muffin in a small foil tray or on a small piece of aluminum foil.
  • Top the muffin half with pizza sauce and shredded mozzarella cheese and additional toppings.
  • Check your pizzas every 10 minutes. If the sun shifts, you will need to move your solar oven.
  • When the cheese melts, your mini-pizzas are ready. This could take anywhere from 10 minutes to 2 hours depending on how sunny it is outside.
  • Use an oven mitt to carefully removes your mini-pizzas from the solar oven. Let your mini-pizzas cool before eating. Enjoy!

We All Scream for Quick DIY Ice Cream

Looking for an inexpensive alternative to store-bought ice cream? This is a simple recipe making the rounds on Pinterest that tastes great and entertains the kiddos. You do not need an ice cream maker, and the ingredients are probably already in your kitchen. This recipe makes the perfect single portion, so make a setup for each of the kids.
Here are some great deals on sandwich bags and other ingredients to get you started:

You Need:

  • 2 Tbs. sugar
  • ½ tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup milk (whole or 2% works best, no soy milk)
  • ice
  • 5 Tbs. rock salt or kosher salt
  • 1 quart-size plastic zip top bag
  • 1 gallon-size plastic zip top bag
  • favorite ice cream toppings


  • Pour the sugar, vanilla extract and milk into the quart-size plastic bag. Close securely and set aside.
  • Fill the gallon-size plastic bag half full with ice. Add the salt to the ice. This is necessary to get the ingredients cold enough to make ice cream.
  • Place the sealed, smaller bag inside the gallon bag. Close the gallon bag securely. You may want to double bag the gallon bag, especially if your kids get a little rowdy during the mixing process.
  • Give the bag to your kid and tell her to start shaking the bag. This works great for groups too, because they can pair off and take turns shaking the bag. Shake the bag continuously and vigorously for approximately five minutes.
  • Open the gallon bag and look at the small bag. It should be the consistency of soft-serve ice cream. If it is still too soft, reseal the gallon bag and keep shaking.
  • Once it reaches the desired consistency, take the ice cream bag out of the large bag. Open it and stir in your favorite ice cream toppings. We like sprinkles, M&M’s, chocolate chips or chopped fresh fruit.
  • Get a spoon and eat it right out of the bag!

DIY: Make Your Own Colored Nail Polish

As Krazy Coupon Ladies, we tend to get makeup and nail polish at really cheap prices. But, on occasion, our stockpiles get low enough that we have two choices: pay retail or get crafty. I prefer to get crafty. I’ve figured out how to stretch my dollar, save some time, and recycle all my leftovers and make fun custom colors.

You Need

  • Eye shadow
  • Clear nail polish
  • Paper to make a funnel
  • Toothpick


After you’ve picked your favorite (unneeded) color eye shadow, grind it up into a fine powder using a fork or other tool. Use the paper funnel to pour it into a partially-used bottle of clear nail polish. The more eye shadow you use, the more opaque the color. Using the toothpick, stir the polish and eye shadow together. (If you get it too thick, use a small amount of finger nail polish remover to thin it out.) Paint your nails and shock everyone with your chic, crafty abilities.
  This has been a guest post by August from Granite Falls, NC
Find out more about the KCL Contributor Network!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Rainbow Cake in a Jar

Here’s one worth heating up the oven for. Make Rainbow Cake in a Jar with Mom Advice.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Torte

I will admit, I do love to bake, I had to try this recipe out and I loved it, and so did the rest of my family, this might be a new favorite desert I make- and it was a good recipe to make with a preschooler, lots of ways to let her "help"  

This recipe is from none other than the Pampered Chef (they always have the best recipes for families.)

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Torte

Nonstick cooking spray with flour
1  pkg (18-21 oz) traditional or chewy brownie mix
3  eggs
1/2  cup plus 1 tbsp vegetable oil, divided
1/4  cup water
1/4  cup creamy peanut butter
6  pkg (1.5 oz each) peanut butter cup candies
1  bag (10 oz) peanut butter morsels (1 2/3 cups)
2  cups mini marshmallows
1.Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray Torte Pans with nonstick cooking spray with flour. Place 8-in. circles of Parchment Paper over centers of pans; set aside. InStainless (4-qt.) Mixing Bowl, combine brownie mix, eggs, 1/2 cup of the oil, water and peanut butter; mix well. Divide batter between pans, spreading to edges. Bake 10-12 minutes or until centers feel firm to the touch. 
2.Meanwhile, using Utility Knife, dice peanut butter cups; set aside. In Classic Batter Bowl, combine peanut butter morsels and remaining 1 tbsp oil; microwave on HIGH 1-2 minutes or until melted and smooth, stirring after each 30-second interval. Spoon 1/4 cup of the peanut butter mixture into resealable plastic bag; set aside. Fold marshmallows into remaining peanut butter mixture. 
3.Remove pans from oven to Stackable Cooling Rack; let brownies stand in pans 4 minutes. To assemble torte, invert one brownie well-side up onto Simple Additions® Large Round Platter. Using Classic Scraper, spread marshmallow filling into brownie well. Invert remaining brownie well-side up onto cooling rack; slide onto bottom layer. Evenly distribute diced peanut butter cups into brownie well. Trim corner of filled bag with Utility Knife to allow peanut butter mixture to flow through; drizzle over torte. Serve immediately. 
Yield: 16 servings

Nutrients per serving: Calories 470, Total Fat 24 g, Saturated Fat 10 g, Cholesterol 40 mg, Carbohydrate 53 g, Protein 10 g, Sodium 250 mg, Fiber 2 g

Cook’s Tips: To easily cut torte, dip Utility Knife into hot water between cuts and wipe dry with a damp paper towel.

It's best to use a nonstick cooking spray containing flour (for baking) when baking these brownies. 
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