It's unusual…

..what started out as an IVF journey and ended up being about life

DIY Mint Candy Bowls December 18, 2012

Filed under: Do It Yourself!! — gertyrae @ 9:03 am
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Before anything – I’ve got to thank Tutto Bella Blog for this idea…just loved it and wanted to try and take it to another level.

This is a great inexpensive way to make something cute and personal for a small gift. I made them to give to Colin’s teachers with the gifts in them.

Anyway, here goes:

Mint Candy Bowls

You need: Starlight type mints, parchment paper, cookie sheets, a bowl and an oven

I got my mints at Dollar Tree and since I couldn’t find red and green mints anywhere, I opted for red mints and cinnamon candy for contrast.

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Now preheat the oven to 350 degrees

Place the parchment paper onto the cookie sheet

Arrange the mints and candies in a circular pattern of your choice on the center of the paper. Make sure to leave a little bit of room between the mints.

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Carefully place in the oven making sure the mints don’t slide too much and bake for  8 to 10 minutes. This is the the first tricky part, you have to watch them closely after 5 minutes. You don’t want them to melt too little or too much.

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Take them out of the oven to cool.

While the candies are melting, take a small bowl (I used a kids cereal bowl) and turn it upside down and cover it with parchment paper. I turned the paper under the top of the bowl to hold it down.

Super tricky part now – when the candies are cool enough to maneuver without them turning into a molten mass and not so hard that they will break (I waited about 3-4 minutes), flip the parchment with the candy onto the upside down bowl, form it loosely over the bowl and let cool.

I let them cool another 3-4 minutes.

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Peel the parchment off the bottom and inside of bowl and

Walla!! You have a candy candy dish!

 

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I also made a couple of trays and another bowl – there was one bowl that didn’t make it. I didn’t let it cool enough before peeling the paper and it turned into a flat mess. To make the edges of the trays smooth, I used a pizza wheel to cut them about a minute or so after they came out of the oven. The trays are super fragile so be careful when using them. I find the bowls seem to be a bit less fragile but I have no idea why. Some more pics of the bowls and trays.

This was the epic fail:Image

 

Love TrayImage

The finished products – for a total cost of $6.00

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Do It Yourself – Experiment One May 6, 2012

Filed under: Do It Yourself!! — gertyrae @ 9:47 pm
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Making Laundry Detergent

Okay, so I figured I had to give this a shot. Not only should it save boatloads of money if it works out, but I now have some kind of idea what is going into my laundry detergent.

I had seen a few posts here and there about making it yourself and this “recipe” seemed to be the most popular. It was not nearly as difficult to make as I expected. Like I had read, the worst part was grating the soap. I’ve been using it for a few days now and it seems to work great. Now, if it lasts as long as it should the savings will be significant.

Here’s the recipe for those that may want to give it a shot:

  • 1 Box of Borax  $5
  • 1 Box of Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda $3.50
  • 1 Container of OxyClean $6.00
  • 2 Bars of Zote Soap $3.00
  • 1 4 pound Box of Arm & Hammer Baking Soda $4.00
  • 1 Bottle of Purex Crystals Fabric Softener $5.00
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The ingredients as we used them

Total Cost:$26.50 — and this is supposed to last approximately a year.

To make it, you need a large bucket. I mixed it in portions to make life a little easier. Plus, I had Colin helping so it gave him something to do by mixing the powders together and I would add the Zote soap as I grated it. I think it took us an hour total. Once it’s all mixed, you use 1-2 tablespoons per load of laundry. I followed another bloggers suggestion of putting the detergent into the empty Purex bottle and then using the cap to measure out detergent per load. The middle line on the cap is 2 tablespoons so there is no thinking involved 🙂

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this is the soap all grated up

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Colin mixing up the detergent

After it was all mixed, I put the detergent into some extra large storage bags I had. I ended up with 2 large bags of detergent and the Purex bottle full. I figure that even if I only get six months out of it, I’m still saving around $50 since I was using Method detergent at $12/bottle on sale and I went through a bottle a month…

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This is what I ended up with when I was done.

By the way, this works in HE machines also.

Now I have to find a “recipe” for dishwashing liquid!

I just wanted to come back to say – I made this detergent in May and just had to make a new batch a few weeks ago. Started using it the beginning of December. So, $28 for 6 months of detergent works out just fine for me! And it really works great, my clothes smell good and they come out clean every time.