Heating pad homemade out of rice and fabric or sock and other items

EASY NO-Sew and Sew Rice Microwave Heating Bags

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Rice Microwave BagsHave you ever wanted a heating pad, or an electric blanket or even a water bottle, but didn’t have one, or they were too expensive, or took up too much room? No problem! These microwave bags are perfect for those aches, pains and actually have so many uses.  Did you know they can also be put in the freezer to be used as a cold press also?!

These are so handy to have on hand, and give as gifts that I have some patterns and tutorials of how you can make them up quick.  The beautiful part is you don’t have to have to be much of a sewer; actually, I have a TWO NO-SEW microwave heating bags so everyone can make these!

You will love having this on hand for: headaches/migraines, on your jaw if you have tmj, menstrual cramps, to help ease the pains of arthritis, general body aches, bumps and bruises, even to warm up after being outside on a cold day.

From the freezer they are great for: sprains, bumps, bruises, and anytime a cold press is helpful.   So come along and let’s make up some very easy sew OR no-sew rice bags.

Also, if you have pets to warm up, or I even read that some mom’s use these against the tummy of a colicky baby for quick relief (check with your doctor on this one first please, and do not warm too much of course), these work wonders!


Rice Bag 2TIP*** When heating the rice bag, not matter what kind you make here, place in the microwave along WITH a cup of water (this will provide moist heat and prevent the rice from scorching in the microwave) and heat for approx. 1-3 minutes.  Shake to distribute the heat and make sure it is not too hot before giving to a child particularly.  

For cold packs, place in freezer for at least 45 minutes to allow time for the rice to chill thoroughly. 

If you make the rice bags too small, they will lose the heat fast or chill very quickly. 




EASY NO-Sew and Sew Rice Microwave Heating Bags

TO BEGIN

You have the option of putting different fragrances in your rice bag such as: 

You can fill your bags with other fillers besides rice such as:

  • Rice –  Jasmine (oh, the smell when heated is divine and it is the BEST filler of all when compared to everything from what I researched anyway.  Except you cannot launder it.  Toss it when it’s used up and make a new one.) Any type of rice will work.
  • Flax seed – not ground, but the whole seed
  • Feed corn
  • Wheat
  • Beans – I would stick with small for easier molding around your body

Fabrics to use:

No-Sew Sock Rice BagThis one is sssooo easy, it just can’t be quicker than this. Fabulous to wrap around your neck, an ankle, or anywhere you’d like.

NO-SEW SOCK RICE BAG

Supplies:

Any long sock you desire.  A tube sock without a heel works well.  This is a fabulous way to use up those stray long toe socks, dad’s tube sock, holiday or decorated socks – any will do.

Rice

Essential oil or scents if desired

Toilet paper roll, paper plate or funnel

Directions:

Using a toilet paper roll and a paper plate as a funnel, Or a funnel, fill the sock about 1/3 full of rice. 

Tie in a knot securely.  

To use:

When heating, place in the microwave with a cup of water and heat for 1-3 minutes.  Shake to distribute heat and see if it needs to warm a bit longer.  Since there are two, keep one  in the freezer.

Microwave Rice Bags 2

NO-Sew Rice BagI happened to get some of these on a fantastic sale and look what I made!  You can do the same with baby leg warmers you might have around your house, or that you find on clearance at the store too.  This is slick and takes about 5 minutes!

NO-SEW RICE BAG MADE FROM BABY LEG WARMERS

Supplies:

Baby Leg Warmers

Rice

Bakers Twine

Toilet paper roll or funnel

Directions:

Tie one end of the baby warmer tightly with bakers twine.  

Using a toilet paper roll Or a funnel, fill the sock about 1/2 full of rice. 

Tie the other end closed with a knot securely.  

To use:

When heating, place in the microwave with a cup of water and heat for 1-3 minutes.  Shake to distribute heat and see if it needs to warm a bit longer.  Since there are two, keep one  in the freezer. Rice Bag 8

Kids Hot & Cold Rice BagHaving these on hand for those bumps, and boo-boos will quickly dry tears and reduce swelling too.  Easy and quick to have on hand for those little emergencies.

KIDS HOT & COLD RICE BAG

 Supplies:

Flannel  14″ to cut 2 pieces 7″x 8″

Rice

Thread to match

Paper and tape to make a funnel

Seam ripper

Directions:

On following tutorial

To use:

When heating, place in the microwave with a cup of water and heat for 1-3 minutes.  Shake to distribute heat and see if it needs to warm a bit longer.  Optional – keep one  in the freezer. 

Kids Hot & Cold Rice Bag 1Kids Hot & Cold Rice Bag 2Instructions for the following Rice Bags  pictured below.  I have a couple of sizes to give you options so you can see what will work best for your needs. The long tube for your neck, the small for on the jaw or head and the larger on the back or shoulders would be perfect.

(Same directions as shown in tutorial of Kids Rice Bag)

Supplies:

  • For the Blue and White Diamond pattern I cut two pieces of flannel 9″ x 6″
  • For the Moon and Stars pattern I cut two pieces of flannel 6″ x 4 1/2″
  • For the White with fun color patterned long tube shape I cut two pieces of flannel 16″ x 3″

Rice

Thread to match

Paper and tape to make a funnel or funnel

Seam ripper

Directions:

Place fabric with right sides together and pin.  

Sew all the way around leaving a 4″ opening.

Trim the corners.

Turn right side out, pulling the sides out.  Using the seam ripper pull out the corners, carefully, not to rip or tear the fabric.

Fill with rice about 1/3 full.

Either slip stitch the opening, careful to make sure it is tight and close stitches so the rice doesn’t fall out.  OR sew on the outside using the sewing machine.

To use:

When heating, place in the microwave with a cup of water and heat for 1-3 minutes.  Shake to distribute heat and see if it needs to warm a bit longer.  Optional – keep one  in the freezer.Rice Hot & Cold BagsMicrowave Rice BagsRice BagCopyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2016

Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today.




Laundry How To's

BEST Laundry Tips for Appearance and Investment

BEST Laundry Tips for Appearance and Investment

BEST Laundry Tips for Appearance and Investment

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Laundry How Tos

Do you know how, when and why to wash your clothing for the best results to keep them looking their best and getting your hard earned money value out of them?

I have the BEST Laundry Tips for Appearance and Investment to help you know what temperature to wash your clothing in, what materials to put in the dryer and even how often to wash it!

And what do all those symbols mean on the tags anyway?  I have the answers to those mysteries.

It’s very helpful to have the How-To’s of WHEN, WHAT and HOW, and I address it all below.

 




BEST Laundry Tips for Appearance and Investment

 

Make a schedule of when to do your laundry

  1. Keep your dirty laundry in one place – such as a pre-determined laundry basket – not the entire floor, hint, hint.
  2. An idea is to have large safety pins to attach socks together just before putting them into the hamper and then when taking them out of the dryer, take off the safety pin, fold and voila! Paired and happy together.
  • If it is older children/teens/adults  are in the home, then each with their own basket and doing their own laundry works best.
  • If a family with young children, a couple of centrally located hampers or baskets for everyone to toss their laundry into, is easiest to see when laundry might need to be done before the scheduled time.
  • Gather any dirty laundry that didn’t happen to make it into the laundry basket, such as towels and such that are still on the floor in the bathroom, towels and dish cloths in the kitchen, etc.
  • Remember that wet washcloths and towels need to be hung over a rack, door handle, edge of hamper, whatever, to allow them to dry so they cannot mildew or mold.  Any wet item can also ruin other clothing if left wet and sitting on certain fabrics, hours, or extended amounts of time.

     3. Now that you have gathered all the dirty clothing together, including towels, dish clothes, and anything else needed, let’s sort them into piles.
FIRST  and VITAL!  Check ALL pockets for crayons, pens, lip gloss (oohh that’s a messy one), tissue (terrible to clean out), toys, rocks (very hard on the washer and dryer) anything that is not like the others and does not belong in the wash.

Separate into:

  • Whites
  • Dark colors
  • Light colors
  • Gentles/delicate

 

When you begin the actual washing process, you will have choices of water level, from extra small or small, to large or extra large; all depending on the type of washing machine you have.

The water level needs to be equal to the load of laundry you put in.

  • This is critical – to all kids and teens who think they are done quicker by stuffing 400 lbs of fabric into the washer and turning it on so they have ‘done their laundry faster’, understand that this is a misdemeanor in 38 states and 68 countries.  So Do NOT attempt this.  It is WRONG and you will be caught because your clothes will still be smelly. And it breaks the machine too.
  • Why you ask? I’ll tell you.  Because the clothes need plenty of room in the water to bathe and become clean.  Now if they only have 1/4 of a teaspoon of water for a pair of pants, or a shirt to call their very own; getting clean is NOT going to happen.  So only 1/2 or less of the washer can be clothing  – and that’s NOT packed in either!

 

TIP:  Just because your washer is a 20 lb capacity be careful; twenty pounds of rocks is much different than 20 pounds of feathers . Use common sense and don’t over load the washer.

Next – choose the regular or delicate cycle on the machine; and there maybe more choices also.  Regular is generally acceptable, except as noted below*

 

There are symbols on the tag for a reason

  1. Look inside the clothing and find the little do-hickey that either sticks out at the top of at the side seam, you need to read it, which may require some time to find the language of your choice. 
  2. Now, see if it recommends to wash in cold, warm or hot. 
  3. Also they now have little symbols that you have to decipher.  Quite complicated, but that’s modernization for you. We must find humor in every day life, right!?
  4. Here is a little video I found that explains the codes




Here’s a chart to help you out too, click HERE to print it out if you’d like
Fabric Care Symbols2
***Disclaimer – These codes and information are great helps, but also use common sense.  Don’t wash pink or red socks with white items.  But you do not need to wash everything separate as might be noted on the little tags.   Also if an item is to be dry cleaned, ask the cleaner or check on-line with the manufacturer to see if it is something that might be washed in cold water and laid flat to dry; saving you money. It also gets the clothing cleaner in some instances – again disclaimer I am giving my own opinion and am not responsible for any damage or issues with clothing that has been washed, dry cleaned, will be laundered or will not be cleaned now until it can walk around on its own because I suggested maybe it could possibly be washed in cold versus the dry cleaner.  Just sayin….

 

A bit of maintenance is important:

  • Undo any buttons on the shirt.  The agitation and extra weight from the water may cause the button holes to tear
  • Pre-treat collars  of men’s and boys shirts, particularly
  • Spot clean ANY place/thing/stuff/gunk and do NOT wait or hesitate, it will only get worse, that I can assure you, we are at war with dirt – no disclaimer
  • I found a pretty comprehensive stain removal chart, click HERE.  There are many types of spot removers also- liquid spray, bar, solid; just using one is the key here.

 

TIP:  One cup of white vinegar in every batch of laundry along with Borax lifts stains and odor 

 

Jeans 

In my ‘research’ (disclaimer of simply surfing the net and asking at the expensive jean store so this is not my personal counsel) here is the advice I found in caring for jeans

  •     A few sources did say not to wash jeans for like 6 months of use to ‘save them’ —- I say eeewww and not on my watch! They can be worn a few times IF they are not smelly and icky and you wipe them off where dirt and such show.
  •     Turn then inside out and wash up to 4 at a time in cold water; you want lots of water for those babies to swim in. And on the delicate cycle is a must
  •     Always wash with other jeans to prevent bleeding onto other colors and to help maintain the original color also
  •     Add 1 cup of white vinegar and 1/4 cup of regular salt to the water before adding in the jean to help set the dye and hold the color.  Another reason you need to have lots of water for those jeans to float around in.
  •    After washing, if your jeans have lost a bit of their fit, place them in the dryer for half a cycle on the LOWEST setting, still inside out.  Then take them out, hang them by the legs (not the waist band) from a pants hanger on a shower rod or somewhere high enough up.
  •    When taking jeans from the washer it is recommended not to place them in the dryer, but to leave them inside out, hang them by the legs (not the waist hand) from a pants hanger and allow them to dry.  This reduces wrinkles in the fabric (I wonder if this would work for me…hhhmmm).  If they are stiff when they are dry, simply toss them into the dryer, on low heat for 5 minutes to help the fabric fibers to relax.

 

Sweaters

  • If washable, wash in cold and lay flat on a clean dry bath towel to dry so it can maintain it’s proper shape

 

*Dedicates, Undergarments and Bras

  • Use stain remover as needed
  • Place hosiery/nylons/tights in the mesh bags with a zipper.  They are about $1 at the store and great to have a bunch on hand
  • Place each bra in a separate mesh zippered bag.  Fasten the hooks first to prevent twisting and snagging.
  • Place slips, camisoles and other dedicates in mesh zippered bags
  • The reason to place these type of items in the bags is to keep the hooks, etc, from tangling and tearing, causing any damage to items in the wash
  • Swim Suits can be laundered in the mesh bags or by hand – depending on the manufacturers little tag’s instructions

Hand Wash

  1. If something is ornate or extremely delicate than you really should hand wash.
  2. Fill your sink with warm or cool water, according to directions and pour in a tiny bit of laundry soap.  Squish with hand to distribute.
  3. Place the fabric into the water and allow the clothing to soak for for a few minutes.
  4. Gently squeeze the sudsy water through your hands and around the fabric for a few minutes.
  5. Now let out the water and run fresh water over the fabric gently moving the fabric from side to side until the suds are gone and it appears the item is completely rinsed.
  6. Place on a clean towel, laying it out as flat as possible. 
  7. Roll the towel up and squeeze gently.
  8. Unroll and use another towel if needed.  If it is fairly dry, lay out flat to dry on a clean towel





Baby Clothing

  • Use very gentle laundry detergent such as Dreft for the first 6 months or so as a baby’s skin is extremely sensitive

Bedding

  • Wash sheets in hot water once a week
  • Once every 6-12 months, or as needed/directed by manufacturer, take bed blankets to laundry mat and use the large industrial machines, or to the dry cleaners if they have regular washing machines and it will cost about the same as a self-serve.  It will save a lot of wear and tear on your machine.

TIP:

When loading sheets into the washer DO NOT wrap the sheets around the agitator . Fold them back and forth like an accordion and place them one by one, side by side in the washer.

SAFETY:  Use caution and care to keep detergents and especially the liquid laundry packets out of the reach of children.  Also, the washer and dryer doors shut so little ones cannot accidentally fall or climb in.

 Now, if I haven’t given you enough play-by-play or instructions of how to do laundry, click HERE
 

Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2015, 2016
Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today

kitchen towel

No-Sew and Easy Sew DIY Personalized Kitchen or Hand Towel

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Quick Personalized Hand or Kitchen Towels

Easy Personalized Hand or Kitchen Towels


These towels are perfect to make for yourself or others. You can make them if you sew OR if you do NOT!  Really, I promise, even if you don’t want to thread a needle, you can make these!    

These very easy and practical towels can be made from kitchen or hand towels.

To personalize them, use ribbon to match the receivers kitchen, wedding colors, school colors for the graduate, or in any color scheme you desire.

I have two methods for you, a no-sew and a simple sew!  The towel on the left is sewn, the towel on the right has fabric glue to attach the ribbon.




No-Sew and Easy Sew DIY Personalized Kitchen or Hand Towel

Supplies:

Hand or kitchen towel

1  1/2″ wide washable ribbon – make sure it is laundry safe

Matching thread and sewing machine

OR

Fabric Tac adhesive (this fabric glue is permanent and washer/dryer safe

4 clothespins

DSC_0807To match the thread to the ribbon, undo the thread from the slit at the top of the spool and lay it out on the ribbon. Stores are just fine with you doing this; just be sure to hook it back in the slit if you do not choose to purchase that particular thread color.Personalized TowelWhether you choose to sew or glue the ribbon down, use a lighter or matches to singe the edges of the ribbon to prevent raveling after  washes.

homemade towel




For the GLUE method:

Squeeze a line of the fabric glue across the end of the ribbon.

 Fold the ribbon over about 1/2″

Personalized Hand Towel

Personalized Hand Towel

 Squeeze a bit of the fabric glue onto the towel where the ribbon will attach on the edge of the towel.

Personalized Towels

Personalized Towels

Use 2 clothespins on each side of the ribbon to hold in place.

Personalized Hand Towels

Personalized Hand Towels

Squeeze the fabric glue on the edges of the ribbon and place on towel. Do this the length of the towel.

Personalized Hand Towels

Personalized Hand Towels

Attach clothespins at other end of towel.

Leave these in place until the glue is completely dried.

Personalized Hand Towel

Personalized Hand Towel

When completely dry, take off clothespins and there you have a personalized gift towel!



For the Sewing Method:

Fold the ribbon over about 1/2″

Personalized Towel

Personalized Towel

Pin the ribbon onto the towel.

Personalized Towel

Personalized Towel

 Stitch with a 1/2″ seam or right alongside the presser foot.

Personalized Hand Towel

Personalized Hand Towel

Be sure to stop stitching and take out pins as you sew. Do not sew over a pin for safety reasons.

Personalized Towel

Personalized Towel

 Trim the threads and there you have a personalized towel!

Personalized Towel

Personalized Towel

 An inexpensive, easy and thoughtful gift for the new bride, for the graduate, mother’s day – anyone would appreciate this gift.

Quick Personalized Hand or Kitchen Towels

Easy Personalized Hand or Kitchen Towels

Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2016

Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today.

Easy Way To Clean Your Walls!

Do You Know How To Clean Your Walls?

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Easy Way To Clean Your Walls!

Do You Know To Clean Your Walls? It’s a Lost Art!

Did your mom or dad ever teach you to clean your walls? I grew up washing the walls of our home every spring and fall.  My kids grew up doing the same.

Did you know you learn this, what is now becoming a lost art?  

WHY would you wash your walls?

Trick For Cleaning Your Walls

Do You Know How To Clean Your Walls?

Walls collect finger prints, grime, dust and dirt – even smoke, but they are often overlooked.  However, when the walls are clean, you will feel like your house was redone! Ok…maybe not quite, but you will be amazed at the clean smell, how bright it looks and the difference in the overall feel of the home.

It’s not difficult at all, and to make it even easier, I have the BEST TRICK E.V.E.R to make it simple and fast!

 

At the end of this post many amazing readers share their tips and I answer questions, so make sure to stay till the end:)

To begin, you will need these basic supplies: 

A floor mop with a detachable washable pad(s), and I really like using this one HERE

WHAT you are probably saying to yourself?  Has Carrie lost her mind? A MOP on your WALL?  

YEP!

Consider how easily you can sweep,  mop, wipe down your wall, using a great sweeper-mop type tool!

I found this one that I really like because:

  • it’s really sturdy
  • LOVE the side attachments and how it clamps down tightly and holds in the pads/cloths
  • it swivels to allow you to get into tight areas around your ceiling as I will show you
  • the pads that come with this are really high quality and washable!
  • the extension pole, or rod, makes it possible for a short person to reach any height, or for you to get to most vaulted ceilings with a reasonable sized ladder

 

Pine-Sol          makes your whole house smell amazing!

Ammonia        great for disinfecting and getting rid of odors as you clean

Bucket

Mr. Magic Eraser          I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE these!  I use them ALL the time.  I’d marry them….but you know, lol 

Cleaning Cloths   These are microfiber, thick and should last through lots of cleaning

 





Walls are a big part of deep, or general cleaning. 

  • It is best if you first move all of the furniture away from the walls in the room that you are cleaning to have full access from ceiling to floor.
  • Take down pictures and have the walls completely bare.
  • First dust the walls before you clean them with a water solution.  This avoids streaks and a ‘mud’ effect. 
Trick For Cleaning Your Walls

Do You Know How To Clean Your Walls?

TIP:

Another idea is to use a sweeper like this for the job.  Simply use your own cloth and push into the holes or slots already formed into the top of the sweeper.

You can use a Cleaning Cloth just as if it were a Sweeper or Swiffer replacement in the floor mop and put the edges, 

Trick For Cleaning Your Walls

to clean your walls.  I’ll explain mo how to do this to make your cleaning EASIER!Do You Know ow To Clean Your Walls?

And use as you would the other mop to clean your walls.  

Trick For Cleaning Your Walls

Do You Know How To Clean Your Walls?

To clean walls using a floor sweeper or mop , and a Cleaning Cloth that has been rinsed with the cleaner of your choice,

Such as Pine-Sol  (1/4 cup Pine-Sol to 1 gal of water or to your preference)

or

Ammonia.  (1 cup of Ammonia to 1 gallon of water or to your preference)

 

Now, we are going to clean EVERY BIT of the wall area easily and effectively, so you don’t waste your time!

Trick For Cleaning Your Walls

Do You Know How To Clean Your Walls?

Take off the Cleaning Cloth and rinse periodically as needed, making sure you have a clean cloth to work with as you clean you walls, this is really important.








To do this correctly:

Begin at the top edge of one wall and bring the mop/sweeper down towards you; either the full length of the wall, or half way, whatever is easier for you.

Trick For Cleaning Your Walls

Do You Know How To Clean Your Walls?

SUGGESTED:

1- Clean half way down until a portion of the wall is clean. 

2- Then do the bottom half.

3- Move to the next section and repeat.

Continue either process

 

All the way around the room, taking care not to miss any areas.

Trick For Cleaning Your Walls

Do You Know How To Clean Your Walls?

With the extension rod, or pole, you can reach and clean those high areas too.

Trick For Cleaning Your Walls

Do You Know How To Clean Your Walls?

While you are it, don’t forget the ceilings:)  If you have an extension pole or rod.  Use extreme caution if you are using a ladder of any type.

Trick For Cleaning Your Walls

Do You Know How To Clean Your Walls?

Next Step

After the walls are finished, working with a clean cloth, wash off the light switches and the electrical plugs with the

Ammonia or Pine-Sol solution that you have chosen to use.  

Trick For Cleaning Your Walls

Do You Know How To Clean Your Walls?

Clean well all the door jams, doors and any other stationary parts, as they catch lots of finger prints and dirt.

Trick For Cleaning Your Walls

Do You Know How To Clean Your Walls?

For black scuffs on your walls Mr. Magic Erasers  work really well – however it can take the gloss out of your glossy and semi gloss paint on your wall.

Meaning you can see every spot you have cleaned. You may want to avoid using these on walls that are not white. Test on an inconspicuous spot to see how a Mr. Magic Erasers will work on your paint before using on a main area as this is not the case on all paint.  You will love the feel and the smell of your home once you are finished the walls!

I have a WALL CLEANING CHEAT SHEET for you HERE

Do you know how to clean your baseboards? I’ll show you how HERE

You can find MORE tips and useful ideas like this in my Lost Art of Homemaking Series   or my Lost Art of Self Reliance 

My AWESOME readers have shared their tips with us and you will find them below – do NOT miss them:) 




 

 

Tips –

The product ratio is recommended by PineSol to use 1/4 cup of Pine Sol to 1 Gallon of water. Recommended by HowStuffWorks the recipe is: Mix 1⁄2 cup vinegar, 1 cup clear ammonia, 1⁄4 cup baking soda, and 1 gallon warm water. Caution: Wear rubber gloves, and work in a well-ventilated area when using this powerful solution. (http://home.howstuffworks.com/home-improvement/household-hints-tips/cleaning-organizing/how-to-clean-your-walls-and-ceilings.htm

————

*Be sure to begin at the bottom and work towards the top to avoid drips

————

Mary shares:  In our family we use a cleaning mixture of baking soda, ammonia and vinegar added to a gallon of the hottest water your hands can handle, although using rubber gloves is advised because ammonia can be harsh on sensitive skin. This mixture all but cleans by itself, so be careful where you set your rag down. It is advisable so rinse the walls after washing and you will notice they are even more clean if you do rinse. this is safe for painted surfaces, and some of us have tried it on other surfaces as well. Try it on patio furniture, tires, kids play equipment kitchen cupboards, the possibilities are endless although I would not use it on wall paper, wood furniture or laminate surfaces. The precise measurements can be found on arm & hammer baking soda and bo peep ammonia. Try it, you will be AMAZED!!! Oh, it leaves such a fresh, clean smell to your home, you will look forward to spring cleaning! 🙂

————

Angela Shares: I keep a bag of “CLEAN” mismatched or damaged socks, at all times and use these for both cleaning furniture and as a generic Swiffer® Sweeper® Floor Mop. I take a few of them and layer them over each other so I get a nice thick cleaning pad, which takes off more gunk off the walls without having to go over the same thing twice. I have a bag in the laundry room that I just toss socks with holes or are fading in their color or got too small.  FOR FURNITURE I take two socks and put them on my hand like I am making a sock puppet and then spray my furniture polish on to the socks instead of on the furniture because I feel it gives it a deeper and a buffed shine.

————

Sara asked me: Any tips for dealing with textured walls? I think the builder was going for “orange peel” but ended up with “rub your skin on this wall and bleed.” It tends to destroy paper products and tear towels after prolonged use. 🙁

My answer: Those heavy textured walls are really difficult I know we used to have them when our kids were young and getting crayon out of them was really a chore…the easiest solution would be an air compressor to blow out all the dirt and a power washer to clean the walls. But, since that would really be a mess, here’s some tips for you: Use the brush attachment on your vacuum and clean the walls getting in all the cracks and crevices really good to get the dust so you don’t have mud when you wash. Then get two buckets. One with clean water and one with warm water with a little bit of all-purpose cleaner or even mild dish soap. Now, put on an old cotton sock on your hand. This will clean without leaving bits and pieces on the wall like a sponge will. Now dip into the soapy bucket and begin at the BOTTOM of the wall and give it a good wash; working towards the top. If you want, or need, get in there with a soft bristled scrub brush, tooth brush or even finger nail brush if there are some tough areas. The reason you want to start at the bottom is because of the drips from this type of cleaning; this just makes life so much easier and the drips are easily caught. USING EVEN STOKES OF YOUR CLOTH, BEGIN AT THE BOTTOM AND GO TO THE TOP TO PREVENT STREAKS. Now, after the washing, comes the rinsing. Rinse out your sock really well and repeat the process, but with clean water, again with the bottom of the wall first, working towards the top. AGAIN, USING EVEN STOKES OF YOUR CLOTH, BEGIN AT THE BOTTOM AND GO TO THE TOP TO PREVENT STREAKS.

————

Linda asked:  I live in an old house with real wood paneling at least 50 years old. What is the best way to clean them? The ceilings are paneled as well. I want them to gleam!

I replied:   I haven’t had to work with wood paneling in quite a few years, since I was a young teenage actually, so I can’t say I’m an expert in any fashion. I searched a bit and I think I found you a really credible website with some terrific information that should help you in several ways in dealing with wood paneling. The link I found is: http://www.housecleaningcentral.com/en/cleaning-tips/living-area/clean-wood-paneling.html I hope this helps

————

Christine asked: How often would you suggest wall cleaning?

I replied:  A good guide is spring and fall. Weekly or at least twice a month, if you have kids, or a lot of people coming in and out, I like to use the magic erasers (make sure to test in a non-conspicuous area and follow manufacturers instructions), a pail of water with a bit of vinegar in it and wipe the high traffic areas and get all the finger prints, marks and goo off to keep it nice and clean appearing. Even if I can’t paint often, or have ‘NICE, Expensive’ things in my home, if it’s clean – or pretty clean, lol, (it’s good to be able to feel like you live in a home, you don’t want a museum atmosphere, that’s for sure) I find I’m more comfortable and so are those who come to visit. 


Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2015, 2017

Recognize A Blessing And Be A Blessing Today


Kids Crafts gifts for Mom

5 Kid Craft Mother’s Day Gifts

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Kids Crafts gifts for Mom

Kid Craft Gifts

Need a quick Mother’s Day gift for the kiddos to make for mom, grandma, aunt – any wonderful lady in their life!      Here are FIVE unique, useful and easy ideas.




 #1 – Personalized Hot Pad & Spatula
Supplies:
Hot Pads Sharpie Markers Spatulas with wooden handlesKids Craft 1
Directions:

Have the kids color or write, depending on ability, on the hot pad and handle of the spatulaKids Craft 2


#2 – Magnets
Supplies: I used Staples Inkjet Gloss White Magnet Sheets   Directions: Get your favorite selfies, family pictures or fun pics. Load onto your computer and print them out on the magnet sheet.Magnet Picture

Cut them out and presto – personalized magnets to hang on the fridge, in the office or anywhere metal Extra pieces trimmed off the photos can be drawn on, or a special message written,  for a personalized gift.
DIY Magnets 1
#3  – Foam Coozy
These would be terrific as a pencil holder, a flower pot (it has a small hole in the bottom which would allow water to drain) or filled with mom’s favorite candy.  Supplies: Foam coozy holders Foam stickers Items to fill coozy  
Directions:

Have kids decorate foam cozy as desired.Foam Coozy


#4 – Chip Clips
 Wanbi Tape Clothes Pins Mod Podge & foam brush, optional

Chip clip

Directions:
Have kids (help if young) center the wasabi tape on the paperclip and press down, tucking under on ends. Do this on both sides of the clothes pin. If desired, have child (or help if needed ) cover the wasabi tape covered clothes pin with mod podge which will help it last longer and keep it nice.  Also, the bit that is folded over the sides

For the gift attach to mom’s favorite chip or treatKids Craft 3

#5   Sugar Scrub
You may need to help the young kids with this awesome project  Click Here for instructions
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Copyright Carrie Groneman,  A Mother’s Shadow, 2014

Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today

A thank you gift for Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving EASY and Homemade Hostess Gifts

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A thank you gift for Thanksgiving

Thank you for dinner or Thanksgiving party

Are you look for some Thanksgiving EASY and Homemade Hostess Gifts to take during the holidays?

I believe that showing appreciation for someone who has taken the time to invite others over for a meal, pie, or simply to share company goes a long way; especially these days of such little face-to-face communication because of our amazing technology.

Expressing gratitude like these Thanksgiving EASY and Homemade Hostess Gifts can be inexpensive, quick, usable and very meaningful. 

Let me share with you some ideas and you can get your creative juices flowing from there:)

 

#1

This is SO quick, simply stop at your local candy store and Dollar Tree, or grocery store and pick up a plate and bowl (or just one) and fill it with seasonal candy.  Wrap it all up in the clear cellophane and tie it with a bow.

A thank you gift for Thanksgiving

Thank you for dinner or Thanksgiving party

#2

This is a terrific idea if you have been invited, but you cannot attend because of distance OR you want to send a Thanksgiving Thinking Of You to a family or college student.  Check out my post on sending THIS in the Mail

A thank you gift for Thanksgiving

Thank you for dinner or Thanksgiving party

#3

A nice candle with the Unique GRATEFUL Stenciled Towel HERE tucked in a nice gift bag or a basket would be a terrific gift. 

A thank you gift for Thanksgiving

Thank you for dinner or Thanksgiving party

#4

Or the Creative PUMPKIN Stenciled Towel HERE with a Pumpkin Scented or decorated candle in an orange gift sack, or in a pumpkin basket would be fabulous!

A thank you gift for Thanksgiving

Thank you for dinner or Thanksgiving party

 bag or basket would be really appreciated

#5

In a clear cellophane bag or a fall themed bag, fill with any one of my popcorn recipes.  I have a link HERE with SIX of my most popular Popcorn Recipes that I think you’ll want to make one, or all six of them to take as a hostess/host gift, or to family and friends to let them know how grateful you are they are in your life. 

A thank you gift for Thanksgiving

Thank you for dinner or Thanksgiving party

#6

Or you can simply fill the bags with purchased candy.  If you can find fall colored candy, such as these here:  Hershey’s Kisses, Sixlets and M&M’s that makes it even more fun. 

A thank you gift for Thanksgiving

Thank you for dinner or Thanksgiving party

 

#7

To finish the easy cellophane bags off with one of the BEST and favorite treats, these White Chocolate Covered Corn Pops are scrumptious.  Click HERE for the recipe

A thank you gift for Thanksgiving

Thank you for dinner or Thanksgiving party

#8

Simple is great!  A nice soap with a bow on it is usable and budget friendly.

A thank you gift for Thanksgiving

Thank you for dinner or Thanksgiving party

#9

Now if you want to thank YOUR guests for coming, or if you want to take a little gratitude treat to those who will be there, here is an idea. Something like these little triangle boxes hold about 1 full Tablespoon of Sixlet and M&M candies and 1 Hershey Kiss.  

These could also be NAME PLACE CARDS at the table, or put on a THANK YOU or THANKSGIVING sticker to personalize them. 

A thank you gift for Thanksgiving

hank you for dinner or Thanksgiving party

Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2018

Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today.




Fill a shoe box with items for a child somewhere in the world

Christmas Shoe Box Service

Can YOU give a child Christmas In A Shoe Box This Year?

Fill a shoe box with items for a child somewhere in the world

Can YOU give a child Christmas In A Shoe Box This Year?

I haven’t heard about this organization, until this year when my daughter-in-law Tawni said that she and her family were participating in building a Shoe Box, so a child somewhere in the world could have Christmas who wouldn’t otherwise.

If you have followed my site, you know I am all about bringing JOY to others, so this was definitely something I wanted to look into.

As I read their site, what a great work SAMARITANSPURSE.ORG does all over the world!

At this time of year, we seem to naturally want to reach out and help others. However as Christmas draws closer with all the parties and craziness that comes, service sometimes get’s put on the back-shelf, despite our best intentions.

That is what’s PERFECT about THIS Shoe Box service opportunity!

You can do it alone, with your family, some friends, maybe a church or youth group, or even your co-workers.

It’s not expensive and guess what?  There’s even a very affordable option to do this on-line in about 5 minutes! 

 

See my YouTube video with my family doing the Shoe Box Project HERE

 

This is what you do:

1- Get a cardboard shoe box, any box about that size will do, even a plastic one with a lid, or they even have some available through SamaritansPurse.org

2- Choose a boy or a girl from the list, which then gives you ideas and suggestions and go shopping so you can fill the box. For more info, click HERE

3- At this LINK you will also find how to pack your box and all the details you need 

 

Now, what do you do?

You simply take it to the closet drop-off location which you can find HERE  (again, you can do this all on-line if that’s easier)

 

Some tips to keep in mind while filling your Christmas Shoe Box:

  • you cannot send any liquids, candy or gum.
  • everything has to be new, but you can take anything out of its packaging to save room
  • let your family be involved in choosing the age and gender of the child so they feel more involved and want to help
  • there’s an option for paying a small amount to have your box tracked to see which country it arrives in, not the child who is receiving the box for privacy protection, but you can know which country your box was opened in:)

 

You can see our video about this HERE

Thanks for the GOOD you do!

Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2018

Recognize A Blessing And Be A Blessing Today

A quality flour sack towel with the words #Pumpkin Everything stenciled on it

DIY Stenciled Thanksgiving Kitchen Towels

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A quality flour sack towel with the words #Pumpkin Everything stenciled on it

Kitchen Towel stenciled with #Pumpkin Everything and Towel stenciled with GRATEFUL

Sometimes we forget to take a thank you or host/hostess gift when invited to Thanksgiving dinner or the events surrounding it.

But what to take?  It’s just good manners and polite.

I like to take something useful….and hopefully that they want is preferred.

These DIY Stenciled Thanksgiving Kitchen Towels are perfect for everyone!

They are very easy to make and gorgeous too.

We have joined up with our friends over at STENCIL REVOLUTION for another fabulous project and I LOVE how this came together!

The towels we used are nice quality flour sack towels (I’ll give you the links), the paint does not wash out or fade when washed (at least in our experience) and the  stencils from STENCIL REVOLUTION are the BEST!  They have different sizes you can choose from because they are awesome like that, and in these two patterns they  offer at least two smaller sizes than what we used.

So on the towel you could use the stencil in the corner, or one side, both sides, two corners, all corners, or like we did by taking up pretty much the entire towel.  

Let me show you how we made these and what more of what they look like.

When you see these, you are going to want to make them for everyone, not just the person making the turkey:)

 

Supplies:

GRATEFUL STENCIL HERE

PUMPKIN STENCIL HERE

 

High Quality Flour Sack Towels like these, preferably 28″x 28″ (these have a loop for hanging) meant for holding paint, embroidery, etc.

Plastic Paint Tray Palettes like THESE

Acrylic Paint like THIS

Round Sponge Brushes like THIS

Painters Tape – optional, like THIS

Non Stick Parchment Paper like THIS

Older Bath Towel to cover the area and give padding OR Disposable Table Covers, THIS is a pack of 4

Painters tape to hold down the stencil if desired

Instructions:

 

The GRATEFUL Towel

A quality flour sack towel with the words #Pumpkin Everything stenciled on it

Towel stenciled with GRATEFUL

Cover your table or work area with an old bath towel as we did, or disposable table covers

Cut a long length of parchment paper, plenty to go the length of the stencil and place on top of your towel or table cover where you are going to work. 

DIY Stenciled Thanksgiving Kitchen Towels

DIY Stenciled Thanksgiving Kitchen Towels

Place your towel on top of the parchment paper

DIY Stenciled Thanksgiving Kitchen Towels

DIY Stenciled Thanksgiving Kitchen Towels

My handsome Hubby Stan is the amazing creative painter – all around fabulous brain – and loves STENCIL REVOLUTION products!  He is showing us how how he creates the ombre effect on these towels.  I have a video with him demonstrating this technique at the end of this post HERE if you’d like more detailed information. 

 

Stan begins at the bottom of the stencil on this particular towel. 

DIY Stenciled Thanksgiving Kitchen Towels

DIY Stenciled Thanksgiving Kitchen Towels

Then layers colors, building upwards,

 

Towards the top, until all of the letters are covered. 

DIY Stenciled Thanksgiving Kitchen Towels

DIY Stenciled Thanksgiving Kitchen Towels

When finished, take off the stencil and there you have the fabulous GRATEFUL towel!

DIY Stenciled Thanksgiving Kitchen Towels

DIY Stenciled Thanksgiving Kitchen Towels

 

 

 

The #PUMPKIN EVERYTHING Towel

A quality flour sack towel with the words #Pumpkin Everything stenciled on it

Kitchen Towel stenciled with #Pumpkin Everything

Begin as with the other towel by placing down a towel or disposable table covers

Cut two long lengths of parchment paper, plenty to go the length of the stencil and place side by side on top of your towel or table cover where you are going to work. 

Place the kitchen towel on top and then the stencil you are going to use.

DIY Stenciled Thanksgiving Kitchen Towels

DIY Stenciled Thanksgiving Kitchen Towels

If you want to do it like Stan did, he filled in the letters and the outline of the pumpkin and leaves first. 

DIY Stenciled Thanksgiving Kitchen Towels

DIY Stenciled Thanksgiving Kitchen Towels

 

So it looked like this

DIY Stenciled Thanksgiving Kitchen Towels

DIY Stenciled Thanksgiving Kitchen Towels

 

He then filled in the leaves and stem.

DIY Stenciled Thanksgiving Kitchen Towels

DIY Stenciled Thanksgiving Kitchen Towels

Next he dobbed the pumpkin with the colors he wanted to work with and blended them.

DIY Stenciled Thanksgiving Kitchen Towels

DIY Stenciled Thanksgiving Kitchen Towels

Removed the stencil and there you have the AWESOME #PUMPKIN EVERYTHING TOWEL!

DIY Stenciled Thanksgiving Kitchen Towels

DIY Stenciled Thanksgiving Kitchen Towels

Cleaning the STENCIL REVOLUTION stencils is a breeze.  

Simply scrub lightly with a soft cloth under running water.

DIY Stenciled Thanksgiving Kitchen Towels

DIY Stenciled Thanksgiving Kitchen Towels

Rinse well and dry.

If all of the paint does not come off, or the stencil appears stained, it is OK.  Our have been used over and over and over again, and they work perfectly!

DIY Stenciled Thanksgiving Kitchen Towels

DIY Stenciled Thanksgiving Kitchen Towels

Please share what you did with the Thanksgiving themed stencils so we can enjoy and maybe do the same thing too:)

You can see my post on DIY Stenciled Pillowcases HERE

And my post on DIY Homemade Stenciled Windsocks, along with a YouTube Video on how to stencil HERE

Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2018
Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today.