The best part about having a friend that you have known all your life, or is as close to you as a sister would be (if you had a sister), is that she can tell you anything – no holds barred. Such is the friendship I have with my bestie. Not only do we tell each other when one has something in her teeth, but we will pick it out for the other. We are not beyond being brutally honest if it’s in the best interest of the other’s well-being – be it appearance, health, or otherwise. So when my new sweater, after only a few wearings was covered in a pilled mess, she was the first (and only) person to let me know that I need to fix it, and fix it fast.

I’m not the kind of person who needs a gadget for every need, but my bestie has a tool for every need. She probably has the best kitchen gadgets for someone who spends so little time in the kitchen (I just love her mini scoops for candy dishes). When she was getting married, she registered for a waffle iron (how often does a non-cook/cereal addict actually use a waffle iron?).

It’s not that I don’t like the newest gadget, it’s that I don’t want to wait long enough to fix the problem to get the right tool, and I like the challenge of using what I have to fix an issue. If I don’t have screwdriver handy, I use a coin (did you know you can do that with screws that require a flat head screwdriver?) and if I don’t have the “pilled sweater removal tool” that she has, I accept the challenge to come up with something else to do the job.

Her “pilled sweater removal tool” looks like the electric razor my grandfather used to use, and I just didn’t have something like that around. So I pulled my Gillette Venus razor from Costco out of the shower and tried it out. Just before shaving my sweater, I considered for a moment that it could damage this cashmere beauty, but I put the thought out of my head and in my kamikaze way, I got to work as a pill remover.

I took the razor, along with a sticky lint roller to a flat surface and laid out the sweater. I shaved the sweater in one direction; from shoulder to waist in a downward stroke. I followed the direction of the weave of the sweater, so to continue that on the arms (everything was pilled!), I shaved from armpit to wrist. I wouldn’t suggest going against the weave for fear of catching a stitch and pulling the sweater fibers out of place.

As the pills came free, some stuck to the razor while the rest balled up on the sweater. The best way to collect them was to use the lint roller to pick them up. The roller itself won’t remove the pills, but it will removed the pills that have been shaved from the sweater and left behind by the razor. You could sit and pile up the pills, but I found it faster using sheet after sheet of my little lint roller to help the process along.

In the end though, it was worth the ten minutes; my sweater looks as good as new.

Once the sweater was completely de-pilled, I removed the blade from my razor and stored it away for the next de-pilling session. Consider it a razor blade upcycle!

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I am so grateful to have my bestie in my life – now I won’t be walking around for the rest of the winter in a new sweater that looks old. And how did I repay the favor? I promised her that I would pluck her chin hairs for her when we are old and in the nursing home together; it was the least that I could do!

Originally posted at Beth’s blog

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Spring is finally here, which means warmer weather! We’ve collected some of the coolest DIY activities for kids that we could find around the web! Check out these 25 crafty ideas that will keep your kids from playing the “I’m bored” card. They’ll have a blast, and maybe you’ll be able to catch up on your favorite show while they play.

Featured image via.

Once in a while, I get on a DIY kick. I don’t like buying something new if something old still works, but if it’s ugly, well… it becomes harder and harder to live with, especially if you are home All. The. Time.

Recently, it was Do-it-Yourself Time, Frantic Mama-style. 

Here are my 3 most recent projects.

1. The Hideous 1980’s Ceiling Fan Makeover

This is the Before Photo of our “rustic” porch fan:

 

Felicity Huffman's What the Flicka-Cheap DIY

I simply unscrewed the fan blades from the unit and cleaned them off.

 

Felicity Huffman's What The Flicka-Cheap DIY Stuff

Then I sprayed on a coat of of Rust-Oleum primer. An hour later, I sprayed two coats of Rust-Oleum Espresso Satin Finish (within an hour of each coat).

 

Felicity Huffman's What the Flicka-Spray Painted

I don’t like asking my husband to do extra chores around the house because he already devotes any free time he has to our family; I didn’t bother him with the electrical situation of unhooking the fan base (and heck no, I’m not doing it!). So for now, I’m leaving the base alone.

 

Felicity Huffman's What the Flicka-Ceiling Fan
It may not be perfect, but it’s less noticeable and way cheaper & easier than installing a brand-new fan!

2. Cover up the Nasty Old Armchair

I recently recovered the dirty old hand-me-down chair we have in our basement that I’m almost too embarrassed to show you (to my credit, I usually have it covered up with throw blankets, but I’m sharing it with you here in all it’s naked glory).

I ordered the Loose Fit Square Cushion Tailored Armchair Slipcover in Natural from UglySofa.com for under $30. The slipcover is by a store that rhymes with Tottery Parn, but Ugly Sofa sells them cheaply (I don’t ask questions).

The trick with slipcovers is to iron out all of the wrinkles first and then just keep stuffing the fabric in between the cushions until it is tight. I also secured the tight corners in the back and around the armrests with corkscrew upholstery pins.

 

Felicity Huffman's What the Flicka-Cheap and Easy DIY
Again, it’s not perfect, but it’s for a basement after all! I also swapped out the extra [drab] white pillow for something we already had that has some color in it.

3. Update Old Mismatched Picture Frames

Last but not least, in under an hour, I updated 3 mismatched picture frames using this can of Satin Nickel spray paint I bought at Lowe’s.

 

Felicity Huffman's What the Flicka-Spray Paint

First you need to take apart the frames, which can be tricky if they were professionally framed (because there are nails on the back). Use a screwdriver to pry the nails up (or remove them) so you can remove the backing, the glass, and the photo (you’ll put them back together the same way when the paint dries; I also used masking tape to re-secure the photos and mats).
I placed the frames on cardboard outside, and sprayed 2 coats of the Rust-oleum on them (no, I didn’t sand them first– I live on the edge!).
Then I used off-white spray paint for all three mats (I had to use a few coats, as the spray paint was cheaper. It was on Clearance at Target for under 2 bucks!).
Felicity Huffman's What the Flicka-DIY Cheap and Easy
Voila! My mismatched frames now look custom-made for a few bucks (with plenty of paint to spare) and will look nice grouped together on one wall.*
Felicity Huffman's What the Flicka-Frames
Note: These projects were only doable when my kids were out of the house with my husband on and off over a few weeks time period.
 
Everything takes A LOT longer with little ones trampling about!
This post was originally featured on Ali’s blog. Featured image via.

Summer break is here and the struggle to stay cool in this season’s heat has never been realer. But where’s the fun in lounging around an air-conditioned house when the weather outside isn’t so frightful?

That’s why we’ve put together a list of our favorite water-related outdoor games that’ll help your family beat the heat this summer. They’re simple, fun, and will get you and your kids into your backyard, front yard, or local park in no time – minimal setup, maximum mommy tanning time!

 1. Water Baseball

Felicity Huffman's What the Flicka - Summer Outdoor Games
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Little Leaguers or not, your kids will love this game! Put a wet n’ wild twist on America’s favorite pastime by throwing in some water balloon action. Whether you decide on batting practice, playing catch, or even sliding practice with a Slip N’ Slide, you and your kids will get a kick out of the unlimited options that this game offers when you just add a little bit of water.

Learn more about Water Baseball here.

READ MORE: 5 Fun Outdoor Activities For The Fourth Of July

 2. Cup Races

Felicity Huffman's What the Flicka - Summer Outdoor Games
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Mix some water guns with a little competition and you’ve got the ultimate outdoor summer game. Mimic the popular water race games at carnivals with just a few pieces of string, water guns, and paper cups. Invite your kids’ friends and watch them go head-to-head with each other in a fun, friendly game of cup racing!

Learn more about Cup Races here.

3. Flipper Fill-Up

Felicity Huffman's What the Flicka - Summer Outdoor Games
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Who doesn’t love a good relay game? Flipper fill-up is guaranteed fun for the whole family and perfect for those hot summer days. With the intensity and competitiveness of this game, don’t expect to stay dry for long. Any game that involves flippers is bound to get a little crazy.

Learn more Flipper Fill-Up here.

READ MORE: 20 Activities To Keep Your Kids Occupied This Summer

4. Drip, Drip, Drench

Felicity Huffman's What the Flicka - Summer Outdoor Games
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Turn a traditional game of Duck, Duck, Goose into a summertime favorite! All you need is a bucket full of water and a sponge, and your kids are ready to try out a few rounds of Drip, Drip, Drench. This game is a great way for the little ones to stay active and still be able beat the heat this summer. What more can you ask for?

Learn more about Drip, Drip, Drench here.

READ MORE: 25 DIY Summer Activities For Kids

5. Ready Steady Jump Rope

Felicity Huffman's What the Flicka - Summer Outdoor Games
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This simple spin on jumping rope will make things a lot more interesting. Each player gets a cup full of water and must try to retain as much liquid in their cup while jumping rope. Whoever has the most water in their cup by the end of the game wins. As easy as that sounds, there’s bound to be a little (or a lot) of splish-splash!

Learn more about Ready Steady Jump Rope here.

6. Water Balloon Towel Toss

Felicity Huffman's What the Flicka - Summer Outdoor Games
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Get a little teamwork going with this easy game of Towel Toss. Pair up with another group and see how long you can keep the water balloon intact while passing it back and forth between your team’s beach towels. Don’t be surprised if it eventually turns into a full-fledged water balloon fight. Can’t say we didn’t warn you!

Learn more about Water Balloon Towel Toss here.

7. Water Limbo

Felicity Huffman's What the Flicka - Summer Outdoor Games
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Grab a hose with a straight and steady stream, and play all your kids’ favorite tunes for a fun game of water limbo! Throw in an extra challenge by lowering the hose after each round of shimmying and see who comes out (fairly) dry in the end.

Learn more about Water Limbo here.

READ MORE: Summertime: 5 Ideas For Welcoming The Sublime Season 

8. Glow In The Dark Bowling

Felicity Huffman's What the Flicka - Summer Outdoor Games
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The fun doesn’t have to stop once the hot summer sun goes down! Grab a few empty water bottles, some colorful glowsticks, a sturdy ball, and you have yourself a fun DIY game of glow in the dark bowling to end your long summer day.

Learn more about Glow In The Dark Bowling here.

Don’t let a little heat keep you and your family from enjoying some fresh (albeit hardly breathable and plenty humid) air from enjoying what summer has to offer. Go out, make memories, and make waves!

If you’re not on Twitter, then you probably missed what happened last week when I picked up the hummingbird from preschool on Thursday. Her teacher told me that the summer program was ending that day and the fall session wouldn’t start until 2 weeks.

This was my reaction….

The hummingbird has been in preschool for a few days a week since February of 2012 and I’ve gotten so used to having some time to get things done around the house, run errands, etc. When I found that she would be home for 2 weeks, I was racking my brain trying to figure out how I was going to keep my 4 year-old busy the whole day.

So, I took to Pinterest.

Halle-fucking-lujah!

I actually found things to keep her occupied. Although, it may not last long and then the rest of the time I get to hear I’M BORED.

One of the things we did earlier this week was make ice cream. We went outside with the bag and shook it around and played catch. Sure, I did most of the work but the hummingbird loved it.

Here’s what you’ll need:

1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tsp. of vanilla
2 1/2 tps. granulated sugar
6 tablespoons coarse kosher salt
ice

Directions

In a quart size ziplock bag, add the above ingredients. Make sure most of the air is out and knead the bag, mixing everything together. Fill a gallon size ziplock bag halfway with ice and add the coarse kosher salt.

Close the bag and mix the ice and salt together by shaking the bag around. Open the bag back up and put the quart size bag in the middle of the ice. I doubled up on both bag sizes just to be safe.

Here’s where the fun comes in. Take the bag outside and shake it up, toss it around, play catch… whatever keeps the bag moving for about 5-10 minutes. It only took 5 mins for us.

Then, grab some spoons and scoop the ice cream out and enjoy.

After that, watch your kid run around in circles while laughing because of the sugar high.

This post was originally featured on Elle’s blog, This Is Mommyhood

“Tranquil” and “home” have never been in the same sentence together in my house. I think that’s why so many moms prefer to have a spa experience outside of their home. So they can:

A. Get out of the house alone.

That’s it.

What makes the spa experience wonderful are the extra touches I don’t have to do myself. So, why would I want to engage in at-home Spa-ing? Because I don’t have a babysitter. Here are some spa treatments I tried that left my husband hungry and me sticky:

The Scent of Relaxation
As a mom, my space is already scented, usually with an aroma not of my choosing. If I’m looking for a smell that takes me to a happier place, chances are I’m not going find it in between newborn spit up and my toddler’s afternoon poop. So, aromatherapy candles can help, if they are injected directly up my nose. Because the scent of a candle doesn’t offer much relaxation while I’m scrubbing dried spit up off carpet.

Face Food
You can make moisturizing face mask out of food you have laying around the house, like a tablespoon of honey mixed with an egg white. Rub it on your face and after ten minutes, rinse it off to reveal that your skin looks exactly the same as it did before. Remember to set the timer though. If you’re anything like me, you’ll get distracted by the cat puking up a pile of grass on your carpet, forget you have it on, and become human fly paper when you take your kids to the park.

Just Breathe. But, not like that
Spa experts say there’s a correct way to breathe and none of us is doing it right. I say if you’re alive then you’re doing a pretty good job of breathing correctly, but what do I know? In order to feel more peaceful and clearheaded, without the aid of alcohol, you should practice deep breathing. This is breathing in through your nose and out of your mouth, as opposed to breathing in through your eyes and out of your ears. Breathing out of my mouth isn’t natural. That’s only reserved for exercise so I can hold enough air in to keep my lungs from coming out.

Sole Sloughing
I buffed my feet with a pumice stone before soaking them in water because, like flaky people, flaky skin often doesn’t stick around for a commitment of any kind. Then, dunked my sole sisters for at least 20 minutes in a fruit mixture made up of papaya, hot milk, and whatever other fruit we had in the fridge. My feet still look and feel like a rough-skinned newt, and my husband has been looking for the papaya for the last two days. On a good note, I’ll be able to sand down our deck rails this spring with my feet.

Next time, I’ll leave the relaxation techniques to the experts. For now, I need to go to the grocery store because we’re all out of milk and fruit. I’ll try and remember to breathe out of my mouth while I’m there. That is if I can force apart the dried face mask of honey that’s keeping my mouth sealed shut.

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