The hummingbird has been in preschool for a few days a week 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.

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

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.

“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.

Photo via

We love our DIY around here at What The Flicka, but more often than not, it ends up in a complete pintrocity or us yelling “ain’t nobody got time for that.” So when given the opportunity to test out a fresh on the scene DIY skincare products by Handcrafted Honey Bee, we jumped so high we needed extra support for the twins if ya know what I mean.

Handcrafted Honey Bee, a mom and pop e-comm shop based in sunny CA, “was founded with the goal of helping you to create healthy, handcrafted skin care products with ease in the comfort of your own home.” With easy to do DIY kits ranging from lip balm to deodorant, these would make the perfect stocking stuffers, birthday presents, or a special treat for a special someone.

How it works:

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Here is what our lucky testers thought:

Julia Arnold
Sometimes even taking a bath sounds exhausting. However, duty calls, and when I received the Handcrafted Honey Bee “GET SALTY WITH YOUR SWEETNESS” bath salt kit in the mail, I went to work. Picture your high school chemistry class, only switch out the sulfuric acid for lovely, all-natural, spa-quality fragrances, oils, salts, and botanicals, and you’ll get the idea. Follow the enclosed instructions on mixing the salts and add-ins; then divide the mixture into the 6 pretty pouches. My favorite part was giving the satchels to well deserving mommy friends, but I made sure to keep one for myself (for work, of course). Heavenly! I have sensitive skin and experienced ZERO itchiness. Was it worth the mixing, the measuring, and the pouring? Yes! I plan to order more for Christmas presents.

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Rachel Schinderman
I had just come from the dermatologist where I joked about making me look 25 again. I half expected him to guffaw and say, “Don’t be ridiculous!” But instead he quite seriously started talking about lasers and age spot reduction treatment. I sighed and took his pamphlets and took my 40plus year old skin home. I admit I am not the best with my skin care. Often I can fall asleep on the couch after a long day with the kids and then slip into bed with just enough energy to brush my teeth, usually not washing my face. So my face could use a little tender care. So I broke open Handcrafted Honey Bee’s Do it Yourself Spa Clay Mask Kit. It comes with a variety of clays all clearly marked in little bags and little jars to make beautifying concoctions. I liked the idea of taking the time to build and mix something, to then place on my skin and make me feel like I was worth taking the time. There were instructions for a weekly mask, spot treatment and a monthly detox mask. I may need that one daily. The directions were easy to follow, but I did wish the jars were marked for each mask. It took me a minute to make sure I had the right one for each mix and I wished the jars had markings on the sides of them. When I was instructed to fill about 1/4 of the way I was unsure if I had done it right just by eyeing it. And then later when I mixed it into a paste with water, I put too much water in and it was a little soupy. I also had to eye the water amount. But that didn’t matter, even the soupy mask dried and left my skin feeling tight and smooth. I couldn’t stop touching my skin. The labels and the bags had the feeling of being prepared by a long time girlfriend, a girlfriend who clearly knows that those aren’t age spots, they are adorable freckles and one who tells you don’t need expensive treatments from a dermatologist, as long as you actually get up from the couch and take care of your skin.

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Ashlen Kidspert
I recently tried out Handcrafted Honey Bee’s Nightly Facial Kit. These kits are cool because they’re DIY: they send you all of the ingredients and you mix them yourself. There’s no more wondering what the heck is in your facial cleanser. I loved it! I haven’t tried facial cleansers in a while because I have sensitive skin, but all of the ingredients in this Facial are completely natural! My face hasn’t felt this clean and refreshed in a long time. I love Handcrafted Honey Bee’s product so much that I’ve ordered the Lava Lip Balm kit for my kids for Christmas.

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Gwen Morrison
I brought Handcrafted Honey Bee’s Lava Lamp Lip Gloss Kit with me so that the girls could make lip gloss for their friends, but I have to admit, I really enjoyed doing it with them. Watching their faces light up when they tipped the lip gloss tube over and the lava slowly cascaded to the bottom was pure joy. And the look of accomplishment on their faces was priceless. With this kit, you can make up to eight lip glosses so each of the girls were able to make four. They were fascinated with the science of it – meticulously measuring out the castor oil and glycerin, and then adding the mica for color.

See the rest of Gwen’s review here.

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As I work to replace all of the conventional, store-bought hygiene products in my home with natural ones, I have given up some products that I once used because I can’t find a suitable replacement.  Mouthwash was one of those products.  I hadn’t considered making a homemade mouthwash before now, but I had checked out a popular brand of natural mouthwash only to find that it contained sorbitol and xylitol, both of which make me feel sick when ingested in even the smallest amounts.  So, I gave up mouthwash altogether, and I’ve missed it.

I make my own toothpaste.  I make my own tooth whitener.  But, until now, I’ve been at a loss for a good homemade mouthwash recipe.

READ MORE: DIY Powdered Dishwasher Detergent

About a week ago, as I brushed my teeth with my homemade toothpaste (recipe soon, I promise!) it dawned on me that I could use the same essential oils in a mouthwash recipe that I used in my toothpaste and probably get an even better clean than a conventional mouthwash gives!

And I was right!

By combining water, thieves essential oil blend and peppermint essential oil, I have created a simple, but powerful homemade mouthwash that will both clean your mouth and knock out a headache!  (No joke!  I recently used it one evening while suffering from a headache that had been building all day and within 15 minutes, my headache was gone.)

Why thieves oil and peppermint oil?  Well, thieves oil is an excellent microbial oil and supports strong immunity.  The oils in the thieves oil blend have been found effective against MRSA, in fact. (source)  As for peppermint oil, I love the flavor.  Thieves oil has a wonderful cinnamon flavor, but I find it to be a little bitter.  The peppermint oil balances it nicely and gives my homemade mouthwash the taste that I expect mouthwash to have.

READ MORE: DIY Antiseptic Ointment

Ingredients 

8 ounces of filtered water
10 drops of therapeutic-grade* thieves essential oil blend (buy therapeutic-grade essential oils here)
10 drops therapeutic-grade peppermint oil(buy therapeutic-grade essential oils here)

Directions

In a glass container (only glass, no plastic!), mix the water, thieves oil and peppermint oil.

Pour about a half-ounce into a small glass cup or shot glass, put in your mouth and swish for as long as is comfortable. Do NOT swallow the mouthwash.

If you find that the mouthwash is too strong, add more water. If you’d really like to go for the burn, add five more drops of each oil to the mixture. (And if the mixture makes your lips feel too hot or numb, put a little olive oil or coconut oil on your lips and around your mouth first. I usually coat with lanolin, which is part of my bedtime routine anyway.)

Notes

You must use therapeutic-grade oils, preferably from Young Living. I cannot promise that any oils except the ones I use in this recipe are safe to ingest.

This post was originally featured on Allison’s blog, Our Small Hours.

My family and I recently moved to Maine and I’ve been wanting to adopt a more earth-friendly lifestyle with our new start here. So, I’m starting this new segment here at What The Flicka called Green It Yourself: Elle’s Earth Friendly GIY Tips & Tricks. I’ll have natural tips and tricks that you can use for around the house, for the kids, natural skin care, home remedies, etc. This papaya face mask is the first installment—I hope you enjoy!

This is a great mask for all skin types. It you have sensitive skin like me, I would only leave it on for half the time suggested. This mask exfoliates and stimulates circulation in your face. Papaya has natural alpha hydroxy acids, yogurt has lactic acid (which helps remove dead skin cells), and honey helps to retain moisture.

Ingredients
¼ cup ripe papaya
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon plain Greek yogurt

Directions
Put all ingredients into a food processor or blender and mix until smooth. Put in a small bowl and apply to face with a make-up brush or your fingertips (which I find easier). Leave on face for 10 minutes the wash off thoroughly. Wipe skin with toner and moisturize.