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I like the feel of a sweatshirt.  At the appropriate time of year, it is warm and cozy.  But it has a couple of drawbacks.  First a standard sweatshirt has to be pulled over the head which – besides messing up your hair – causes some serious static issues.  Second, when you pull it off, you are never really sure if your shirt is coming off with it!  So I’ve been trying to find some DIY jackets from sweatshirts on Pinterest.

This one comes from Studs & Pearls.  I like it because it totally reshapes the sweatshirt but with very little effort!  While I like the closure, it doesn’t get rid of the pulling it over your head problem.  Instead, I think a frog closure would work well, or even a simple loop & button!
studsandpearlsSee Kate Sew has a project she refers to as Sweatshirt Liposuction!  The basis is an overly large zip up hoodie which, with a medium amount of work, she transforms to a super cute flap over jacket.  The big buttons and white button holes really make it look sharp!
sweatshirtliposuction

Ok, not sure who this originally started with, because I ended up on a no longer working Polish web site page.  But there are a few pins of it out there.  I think it is just removing the collar, cuffs, and bottom, slit up the middle then sew around the raw edges to keep from rolling.  Easy peasy, lemon squeezy!
simplecardigan

Brassy Apple has this open down the back easy sweatshirt refashion.  Personally, I would do the same thing but have it open in the front!  Who wants to hide all the cuteness in the back?
brassyapple

I especially like projects that have big impact with little work.  These ideas from Pinterest did the trick!

 

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9/9 Pinterest Pin(s) of the Week: School Lunches

by Pennie on September 9, 2014

My grandson is 2 1/2 weeks into kindergarten and for some unknown reason, his lunch eating habits have skewed dramatically.  My little man is a creature of habit and lunch isn’t lunch without a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, until now.  Now a PB&J is the last thing he wants.  He still downs his blueberries and graham crackers but the sandwich is right out.  He is also a little iffy on his milk.

Maybe it’s because his sandwich is in a storage bag and his milk is in a thermos.  But trying to send the sandwich and milk in another way has had zero effect.

It’s time to check Pinterest for lunch ideas!

First, I came across 2 similar ideas.  The first is from Scrapbooking Housewife.  School Lunch Ideas for Ella (a 9 yr old) is a chart to easily pull together a lunch by grabbing an item from each category.  This is a genius idea, especially for those mornings when the time table is not coming together – less thinking more doing!
School Lunch Ideas for Ella copyWhile He Was Napping has a similar but different enough chart to bring it to your attention.  How to Pack a School Lunch, suggests you pick at least 3 items from the 5 categories and reminds you that high protein items make kids feel fuller. How To Pack A School Lunch

4 Growing Boys blog suggests using Ziploc divided storage containers and prepping for the week all at once.  She also gives some School Lunch Ideas to fill them!
Lunches 1

The Super Mommy Club has a month’s worth (20) of Healthy School Lunch Ideas for Kids, which includes recipes!
OneMonthofSchoolLunchIdeasPin

Operation Awesome School Lunch Ideas for Kids comes to us from Lisa at Crazy Adventures in Parenting.  These are ideas for a little older kids-more advanced in taste and manual dexterity!

taco-kit-school-lunch

Simple as That blog in her Simple and Healthy School Lunch Ideas post also recommends the divided containers and gives several recipes to include for lunch.  I really like the sound of the Pizza Buns!

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From $5 Dinners is 31 Days of School Lunchbox Ideas.  Waffles with Syrup is a great idea and my grandson might really enjoy that!

31-Days-of-School-Lunchbox-Ideas-Day-12-5DollarDinners.com_

20 Non-Sandwich School Lunch Box Ideas comes to us from the Keeley McGuire blog – these ideas are chock-full of allergy friendly and gluten free recipes. I really like the way she uses cupcake wrappers to hold and separate items even in the divided container!

easy non-sandwich school lunch box ideas for kids gluten free nut free allergy friendly

This is just a handful of the ton of School Lunch ideas I found on Pinterest!

 

 

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8/27 Pinterest Pin(s) of the Week: Study Tips

by Pennie on August 26, 2014

Now is the time to get your kids into some good study habits.  I attended college as an adult, at least 20 years after high school.  One of the things I realized was that my study habits and note taking skills weren’t sufficient for my new life as a student.  Luckily I attended a college that had a whole department to help you learn to learn better!

If you haven’t been in school for a while it might be time to learn some new study skills yourself to help your kids with their studying.  Pinterest has plenty of ideas.

From ICS in the UK are some general tips on your study environment and how to use your time: 10 Study Tips to Be More Productive in 2014:
study_tips_infographic_branded_492x891Great! Schools has a nice article on how to take great notes.
17305NoteTakingHelp.com is a whole site devoted to helping you take better notes.  Here is a page on Finding the Key Points in a Lecture:
notebookIXL has a nice overview of the skills (Math & Language Arts) that are learned from pre-school through 8th grade, so you can get a step ahead of your child and be prepared for his/her questions:
MathSkillsSimply In Control has this nice info-graphic and an accompanying article on Note-Taking Tips and Strategies:

noteSome Ways to Annotate Text comes to us from Study Hack.  Along with some good advice: When facing a difficult text, the easiest way to understand it is by breaking it down into smaller chunks and annotating it.

somewaystoannotatetextAlso from Study-Hack is this “Ways to Study” Flowchart.

waystostudyLastly, from Greatist is an article describing 22 Science-Backed Study Tips to Ace a Test:

23-Science-Backed-Study-Tips

Hopefully these tips will help develop good study habits no matter what your age.  If you don’t find what you need here, check Pinterest because there is lots more!

 

 

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My grandson is starting Kindergarten soon.  He was in preschool last year and I regret not having a first day pic of him.  Since I’d like to do this every year, I’d like a clever idea on taking the picture so it has some meaning to him in the future.  Surely Pinterest pinners must have some great ideas!

Bombshell Bling has a simple picture idea and even provides Back to School Printables for you!  And what a little cutie!  (And don’t you love that color of blue on the door?)
FREE-Back-to-School-Printables-651x1024Life with Fingerprints has a simple idea – use a chalk board to give the grade and year.
20120808-DSC_2262-EditFrom Suburban Mom is an idea about a 1st day & last day pic in the same outfit – gives you an idea of how much they’ve grown in a school year!  Not sure this would be doable every year, depending on how much your child grows!
First-Last-Day-Pre-KHere are 2 clever ideas from Paging Fun Mums.  Both are pics from above with the child on the sidewalk/patio/driveway with some information written in chalk!photo-31-copy-31I especially like the info on what I want to be when I grow up!

photo-31-copy-2From Lauren Lasher – Adventures of Bradysitting – on Flickr are these cute pair of pics! I love the spontaneity of this pic!

3576e8cb5b07b19c72da86e93aab628eAnd I understand the sentiment of this pic.

1169142492f7549822688366100cc88dBetween U and Me has two really great ideas – First because they contain information that would be fun to know in the future and second because they are cleverly presented!

SAM_4378

Kindergarten-MagazineThis unclaimed photo is one to which many parents can relate.  Wish I could acknowledge that clever mom!730e1cebdbc011d9012ed84ead1f737cPinterest definitely came through for me today.  I can hardly wait for my grandson’s first day of kindergarten!

 

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While I’m all about things being easy, I’ve been more and more concerned about extra stuff that is in pre-packaged foods.  So I thought I’d start with some baby steps in making some changes.  Since it’s summer and there are a plethora of vegetables available for salads, I figured salad dressings would be an easy place to start.

Right off the bat on Pinterest I found several charts that show different dressings that start with some of the same basic ingredients or have a common method for putting ingredients together.

I especially like this one from Shape Magazine because I have read the magazine since its inception and made hundreds of recipes from it so I have confidence in their suggestions/recipes.  I also like that each dressing is made up of ingredients from four areas: base (oils, yogurts, etc.), acids (vinegars, lemon juice, etc.), allium (onions, garlic, etc.) and flavorings (spices, herbs, etc.).  Having this basic model really encourages you to experiment on your own!
shapeIf you don’t know it, SparkPeople is an absolutely free weight-loss support website that is really great (in my opinion) – I use it myself!  It also has a salad dressing chart that is a mix of ingredients.  Since I’m trying to stay away from non-real food ingredients I’d skip the one that uses the ranch dressing packet.
sparkpeopleFrom Delicious-Knowledge is a salad dressing chart that is similar to the one from Shape but has all the ingredients of a category grouped together.  This really leads you to experiment because you take one from each category and mix together.  You could end up with some really interesting dressings!
delicious-knowledgeThis salad dressing chart from Women’s Health has a homemade Ranch dressing, Poppy Seed dressing and Caesar dressing!
womenshealthThis chart from Sincerely, Jenna Marie shows you not only a basic ranch dressing but also a couple of variations.  It also stresses the use of anchovies to get a true Caesar dressing taste
sincerelyjennamarieCottage at the Crossroads has this yummy sounding recipe for Fresh Cucumber Salad Dressing!
cucumber-salad-dressing-023This Creamy Avocado Salad Dressing comes to us from Family Life in Las Vegas!  Avocados are turning up in so many recipes these days (as a fat substitute), I know this dressing with be yummy and creamy!Creamy-Avocado-Salad-Dressing-682x1024I’m going to finish up with this Creamy Garlic Dressing from Audrey’s Apron.  My default dressing is a creamy garlic or caesar.  This version sounds heavenly to me!creamygarlicsaladdressingPinterest gave me some great ideas today.  I hope you enjoyed them as well!

 

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Depending on where you are located in the country, right about now you could be starting to be overrun with zucchini.  It’s the one vegetable I can always be assured of getting from friends who have gardens.  Pinterest has plenty of ideas on what to do with those vegetables!

This first recipe from Budget Bytes is perfect in my book.  Good, good for you, easy and so festive looking.  This Summer Vegetable Tian takes a little time for slicing vegetables and then about 45 minutes to cook but I’m sure it is totally worth it! Veg-Tian-angle-1Food52 has a slightly different twist on a the same dish – Roasted Summer Squash.  This one really focuses on zucchini and summer squash.  (Both this recipe and the one above use the term yellow squash but I’ve never heard them called anything other than summer squash!) Roasted_Squash_and_Zucchini-BakersRoyaleI love the light-weight look of these Summer Vegetable Rolls with Rice Noodles from Williams-Sonoma. The soaked rice-paper wrappers make this very summery instead of a deep fried version.  Serve with chili sauce and peanut sauce – sounds fabulous! summervegetablerollsThe Stacked Summer Vegetable Salad from Better Homes and Garden looks like a cooked dish but isn’t! The vegetables are sliced thinly then layered into a square dish with a little lemon juice and oil for dressing over each of the 3 repeated layers.  The hard part is waiting for it to chill (1 to 12 hours) so it will cling together in a stack when you cut it!  Looks yummy! stackedsummervegetablesaladFrom EatingWell is a Summer Tomato, Onion & Cucumber Salad.  With 3 basic ingredients, some herbs and oil and vinegar you can concoct the perfect summer salad. summertomatoonioncucumbersaladHere is a Summer Vegetable Galette with Pesto from The Kitchn.  Don’t you want one right now?  I love the rustic look of the crust and it could be used to contain just about any vegetable you want! 2014-06-09-Vegetable-Galettes-2Here’s something a little different from Delish, a Summer Vegetable Crepe!  With a mix of cheeses along with fresh green beans, corn and zucchini and a chive and sour cream sauce this sounds yummy! summer-vegetable-crepes-xlFine Cooking has a wonderful recipe for Grilled Vegetable Salad with Feta (in my opinion almost all salads should have some feta thrown in!).   With fennel and fresh basil this mixture is bound to turn on your taste buds!
grilled-vegetable-salad-with-fetaI don’t want you to get the impression that I’m a total anarchist by not including a pasta salad.  This recipe from With Style and Grace uses a substitute for pasta.  Summer Vegetable and Quinoa Salad uses a variety of colors in bell peppers and cherry tomatoes which really appeals to me.  I would exclude the olives because I am not an olive kind of gal, but other than that, it sounds perfect for a summer dinner!

quinoaandvegetablesaladIt’s nice to see all the different things you can do with practically the same basic ingredients.  What did we do before Pinterest?

 

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I’m a busty kind of gal.  I mention that because for forever and a day, I have gotten food stains on my shirts.  I don’t think I know any busty gal who doesn’t have the same problem.  When eating, a piece of food invariably falls down and while it would normally land on a napkin on a lap, for some of us it goes splat in the middle of my shirt.  I haven’t found a stain reliever that consistently works so I thought I would check out some DIY ones I found on Pinterest:

Ok this one isn’t actually DIY, it’s using an existing item in a way it wouldn’t normally be used .  From Coupon Closet is a new spin on a Fels-Naptha bar (admittedly a laundry bar) by using it as a stain remover.  The pictures look pretty convincing and for just a dollar it’s worth a try!

couponclosetCupcakes and Crinoline presents this recipe for a stain remover (which I have seen around before) while giving you a great way to store and recreate it.  Having the recipe on the bottle with fill lines is a great idea!  And it appears to work pretty well.

Laundry-Stain-Remover-Ingredient-BottleOne Good Thing by Jillee created a homemade version of Shout that is supposed to work better than the original.  I have used some of these ingredients in a combination for a general purpose cleaner.  The smell is pretty strong, but this recipe combines the ingredients in different proportions so maybe that negates the odor!  I think I’d make a small batch just to see how it smells and then wash something to see if the aroma lingers!

OneGoodThingByJillieDIYShoutPin Tried It has a Laundry Stain Remover version that uses just Dawn and Hydrogen Peroxide – not having the overwhelming smell of ammonia as in the one above.  It was deemed a success by the website – so worth a try!DIY-Laundry-Stain-RemoverHere is a Homemade Natural Fabric Stain Remover from My Merry Messy Life.  Definitely has different set of ingredients than most of the DIY stain removers on Pinterest so the smell should be much better.  There is a caution that “natural solutions DO work, but they take more patience and time to do the same job a harsher cleaner does”.

fabric-stain-removerOk, this isn’t for clothing, but Jillee at One Good Thing says it’s a miracle worker for carpet.  With 2 dogs and 2 cats and lots of carpet, I’m going to be down on the floor trying this out as soon as I finish this post.

CarpetCleanerAnother one from One Good Thing.  This is an ink stain remover that has quite surprising results!  But as Jillee points out, both of these products have alcohol in them which I’ve long heard to be a good ink remover.

InkStainRemoverOne last one from Northern Belle Diaries on how to remove set in Oil or Grease Stains.  It starts out with a pretty radical step – spraying the stain with WD-40!  And by the end the stain is gone, even though the process is scary!

How-to-remove-set-in-oil-stains-Northern-Belle-Diaries-cleaning-stains-oilstain-diy-home-laundry-71So what I found today on Pinterest is that most DIY stain removers are a variation on a theme, but there are a few outliers out there that are worth checking out!

 

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7/22 Pinterest Pin(s) of the Week: Pools

by Pennie on July 22, 2014

It has been very hot here lately and I find myself dreaming of having a pool.  I found some great designs on Pinterest:

First off from Buzzfeed is a Beach Entry Pool.  “Lucky kids can sink their toes into the sand before taking a dip.”  I’ve been intrigued for quite some time with pools that have the walk in feature instead of having to descend stairs.  Having sand is just a bonus!

buzzfeedFrom EnjoyTrip.in here are some beautiful stacked infinity pools.  They are so gorgeous, but I’d be too scared to go in them for fear of falling out!

enjoytrip.in

House Design HQ reminds me that a small inground swimming pool can look so inviting at night!

Bright-Ideas-For-Design-With-Small-Inground-Swimming-Pool-04Gardens Click combines the elements with this backyard pool and fireplace!Beautiful backyard pool and fireplace

This Perfect Fit Pool from Coastal Living is great for a small yard.  Basically you can open us the doors to the family room and jump right into the pool!

pools-3-l

Best Travel Photos shows us this Backyard Pool in San Diego, CA.  I’m pretty sure this would be every kid’s dream.  It has waterfalls, a water slide, a rope swing and a hidden cave.  Maybe I’m just a big kid, because this looks like the makings of a great summer!

sandiego

OK, this pool is just insane.  Found on Homes.Yahoo.com this pool, built by Aqua Pool & Patio, was built into a Limestone Quarry!
pool-plus-houseI love the little sprays shooting into this curvy pool found on Flickr.  Of course this a pretty big pool, I’d be happy with just half of it!

luxury-custom-poolTo be quite truthful I’d be happy with this little pool, even without the waterfall.  From Stepinit Designs, I’d be so grateful on these hot days just to have a little space to float around in!

White Fence Smart Backyard Decorating Ideas With Awesome Pool Designs
For now I’ll just do my swimming in the cool, calming waters of Pinterest inspiration!

 

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7/15 Pinterest Pin(s) of the Week: 5 Ingredients or Less

July 15, 2014

We have a friend staying with us who is plying us with desserts far too often. They have been delicious and unusual and fairly simple.  I thought I should come up with some to make to pay him back.  Here’s what I found on Pinterest: Pina Colada Fruit Bars from eighteen25.  Who doesn’t love a popsicle? […]

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7/8 Pinterest Pin(s) of the Week: Ice Cream

July 8, 2014

Just because it’s that time of year and also because I love it so, let’s talk about homemade ice cream!  This is the first thing I spotted on Pinterest: Crunchy Nutella Ice Cream from Dash and Bella.  Sounds yummy, looks amazing.  I looked around the recipe to see what made it crunchy (thought I’d see […]

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7/1 Pinterest Pin(s) of the Week: Charleston, SC

July 1, 2014

You know how when you grow up somewhere you don’t really appreciate all the good things about it?  Not until you’re older or you’ve moved away.  So I thought I’d take you on a Pinterest stroll through Charleston, SC – my hometown! When contemplating Charleston, most people will immediately think of Rainbow Row.  This image […]

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6/17 Pinterest Pin(s) of the Week: Paint Swatch Crafts

June 17, 2014

I’ve seen some pretty interesting things made from paint swatches on Pinterest.  Thought I would showcase some here! Hammer Like a Girl noticed the same trend that I saw regarding paint swatches.  The only difference is that she actually did something with the information.  She created this Polka Dot DIY Wall Art From Paint Swatches. […]

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6/10 Pinterest Pin(s) of the Week: DIY Clutch Bags

June 10, 2014

For the summer you either need a super big bag to carry everything you could possibly need or a small bag that doesn’t weigh you down!  Pinterest has lots of bags in both categories, but I thought I’d focus on clutches. LBG Studio has a purchasable pattern for this cute Convertible Clutch.  Use it either […]

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6/3 Pinterest Pin(s) of the Week: Father’s Day Gifts from Kids

June 3, 2014

With Father’s Day less than a week away, seems like some kids craft gifts are in order.  Off to Pinterest! From Sassy Dealz here is a Handprint Pirate card that can be used as a Father’s Day gift. Here is a “Things I Love About You” Father’s Day Folding Craft Stick Card from Danielles Place.  Cute! […]

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5/27 Pinterest Pin(s) of the Week: Great Beaches

May 27, 2014

I have some very specific ideas about what makes a perfect beach.  First the water has to be clear blue/green so that when you are chest deep in water you can look down and see your fabulous pedicure.  The water is warm with some mild movement.  There are some interesting looking fish to see and […]

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5/20 Pinterest Pin(s) of the Week: Eclectic Mix

May 21, 2014

I haven’t had a chance to spend time on Pinterest lately, so when looking for a topic for today I decided to use whatever caught my fancy that popped up after logging in. And here’s what caught my eye.  I have to say I’m not usually a wrap kind of sandals gal, because they mostly […]

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5/7 Pinterest Pin(s) of the Week: Spring Cleaning

May 7, 2014

I’ve seen a lot of cleaning related tidbits on Pinterest.  Whether or not the tips work is not always clear, but I thought I’d show you a few that I’ve seen recently. First from One Good Thing by Jillee is a way to make your own dryer balls.  She got the instructions directly from The […]

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4/29 Pinterest Pin(s) of the Week: City Hall Weddings

April 29, 2014

It’s the time of year when wedding planning is in high gear.  There is lots of information on Pinterest on traditional weddings, but I also found a lot of references to City Hall Weddings that piqued my interest.  Maybe it will interest you as well. From A Practical Wedding is this guide on How to […]

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4/16 Pinterest Pin(s) of the Week: Easter!

April 16, 2014

Easter is this weekend so naturally Pinterest is alive with ideas.  Here are some that caught my eye! From Mom Always Finds Out are the cutest little Bunny Shaped Rolls! From Easy Fun DIY are these Paper Plate Bunnies.  No instructions, but i think you could figure it out! I love this idea from Modern […]

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4/1 Pinterest Pin(s) of the Week: FLOWERS!

April 1, 2014

It’s been a little sunny and a little warm for a few days in a row so I’m sure spring is finally on its way.  By now crocus have come and gone, as have iris (depending on where you are) and forsythia should be forecasting spring in New England.  While here in the South East, […]

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