Monday, September 23, 2013


Way back in May I planted five little loofah gourd seeds, They were planted along side my watermelons,cucumbers, and cantaloupe. Out of all five seeds only two plants grew not too bad because they have provided me with lots of loofahs. This year I grew all of these plants on 8ft trellis made with cattle guards and t-posts. I had the guy at the store cut the 16ft panels in half for me. After months of growing and everything else harvested and vines cleared off the only thing remaining were my loofahs. Here is a tutorial on harvesting loofahs wait until loofahs have turned brown and dry, they will easily break off the vines if not use some scissors. This photo was taken a few days ago and you can see that they are still yellow a little bit of patience and they will turn brown.

Here is a close up, you can see they go from green to yellow.
and finally turn brown, then they sound like maracas with the seeds inside. Collect your dried up loofahs and head inside.
Break open the bottom edge which is usually wider and shake out the seeds for next year.
Fill a pot with water and soak for a little bit.

Peel off skins, this part can have an ick factor if you dislike slimy things because it will feel slimy, don't say I didnt warn you

Cut off ends with scissors to give them a more uniform look, I cut off both ends and save the little scraps which will eventually be used in soaps.

Cut thru the center now

Let your homegrown loofahs dry out so you can remove the rest of the pesky seeds. Then Take one in the shower wet a little until it gets soft add some soap and exfoliate you body. always let these dry out or they can get mildew. I always rinse off extra soap and stand on the cut end to dry where it will wait for the next shower. Just in case you are wondering yes I do make our own soaps recipes and instructions coming soon.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

I LOVE craigslist!

A while back I had been looking for some bunk beds for my two youngest little ones and by back then was last year in Sept. Yes it has been a year since this makeover but I still have to share it with you. Back to the bed I found a gentleman who was selling a bunk bed for $40 when I went to check it out I saw this and fell in love with them. OK OK they were not too bad for $40 here is the kicker they had no railing, still not bad. While I made my decision the guy says "well since I don't have the rail for it you can pick anything else in the garage that you like" I looked at him like he was crazy and prompt fully said OK. I didn't see anything else that had caught my eye then I saw it a HUGE decorative mirror. she came home with me too but I will leave you in suspense about that one for now here is the redo of these beds.
 Brought them home gave them a good wash and a light sanding and got to priming them here they are primed. I was going to do them a bright color and then decided that I liked them in white. so I used a gloss spray paint and finished them up.

The Beautiful AFTER! and don't worry my son has a guard rail on there but its one of the toddler ones and it did not look very nice for the photo, I will also have another post with the whole room finished soon.


Wednesday, September 18, 2013


I tried my hand at canning today, lets hope I did it right and I don't wind up getting us very sick.

My tomato plants are still giving me lots and lots of tomatoes and when I say plants I really mean bushes because I never did get around to pruning them and they grew out of control! one is a little over six feet tall, and the other one gave up on trying to grow in the cage and fell to the ground where it has been giving me lots and lots of cherry tomatoes. and I had a voluntary roma tomato plant that grew on its own behind the shed it is also sprawled on the floor happily giving me romas.

I also made Ketchup earlier this one is not canned, but was made with tomatoes from the backyard and it came out very very delish!

aaaaaaaaannnnnnd on another completly diffrent note I have yet to finish my living room floor. but I have moved in a coffee table and the couch. hopefully I get motivated to finish the rest of the poly coats on it.

Monday, September 16, 2013


We have lived in this home for 5 years and it has only been one and a half year since our backyard has been landscaped. I managed to do this with a little bit of help from friends and family, while my husband was deployed last year. 
close up of our grass a photo sent to daddy while he was deployed

A few years ago I had made some pavers  with a similar mold that my neighbor had let me borrow but I got tiered of where they were placed and decided to rip them up and pile them up, knowing I would eventually do something else. please don't laugh at my backyard it was dirt for a long time. When I tried to grow grass all I got were weeds and not the nice kind of weeds we got nasty sticker/prickly seed weeds.

 The man had been wanting artificial grass but man oh man was that stuff expensive! until finally we looked on eBay and whadda ya know they have it!  sent off for some samples and finally ordered enough so that the kids could safely play on the play house 15x15 ft. we had it delivered to a friends workshop since shipping to a business was free, grand total of the grass was $450. they also threw in another roll of cheaper looking grass in 10 x 15 size but that was horrible it was white! Who in their right minds would want WHITE artificial grass! oh well I would find a use for this.
Ordered 6 tons of pea gravel for $200 delivered and 2 tons of crusher fine for underneath the grass.
metal edging to contain the crusher fine and grass for $80 large stakes to stake down grass and weed barrier for $40 then proceeded to get to work 
lay down weed barrier and stake down. 

measured out where I wanted the grass to be at and painstakingly with the help of my  17 year old little brother staked down the metal edging ( this is definitely a two person job) some how it still wound up crooked. Filled in with crusher fine and moving two tons of crusher fine is not an easy task. Wheelbarrow after wheelbarrow finally was done raked all in place and hand tamped it while slowly wetting it. Once this was done I began arranging my pavers into the areas that I wanted them, spacing them out about two inches apart and placed pea gravel in between.

For the grass I rolled it out onto its designated area stretched and used stakes every 10 inches here is a time lapse video for you and sorry for my naked kiddos running around. the only way I could have installed the grass was by tipping over the play house because I was NOT going to dismantle it. I had four of my neighbors come over to help me with this. I also found a use for the White piece of grass that came with mine I placed it underneath the actual green one and it provided move cushion, you can see it as I move the grass over it. 


Thanks for stopping by and see you soon!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Cob oven

Here is project a cob oven 
(links to actual better instructions will be at the end of this post,this is just the way I built it and has worked for me)

It all began with the city ripping up sidewalk by my kids school to add new streets. I kept on driving by and seeing these giant piles of cement piled up and thought 
"oh man someone could do something with all this broken up concrete!" went back home and looked online and to my surprise. People are working with this stuff as I speak, its called urbanite  Man oh man the things people make with this. Well long story short one of the things people have made with this is a base for a cob oven. Cob is basically mud mixed with sand to create a building material similar to adobe. Around here our dirt is the perfect consistency to create adobe, Yay me!
so in a corner of our yard I decided WE MUST have a cob oven!!!
Off I went asking the men what they were going to do with the broken up concrete. several weird looks and the chunks of concrete were mine. Now picture this, there I am loading up giant pieces of concrete into the back of my minivan, yeah not fun and my back or my minivan thought this was fun! 
It took three loads and when I returned for the second load I got smart and brought my sledge hammer. 
and here it is in all its glory the first of three loads of "urbanite"
Back at home while unloading this I get a remark by my hubby "what is this junk!" LOL 
I just looked at him and smiled "This junk is going to be beautiful you just watch"
little did he know that it would soon be stacked and made into something beautiful. Sometimes I don't know why he even doubts me.

Step one choose a level area away from your yard start arranging urbanite into a circular form mine is about 3 ft wide keep stacking urbanite until you have reached desired height, mine is about hip height and I am pretty short! once completed fill the center of it with dirt, gravel or urbanite. I chose urbanite because i'm cheap and I already had lots of it.
My daughter after seeing this she says " Mom are you making a wishing well?" Nope sorry sweetie but it will be something more awesome!

Step two which you should have done in advance is find suitable dirt for this project that contains clay, luckily for me I live in New Mexico and there is lots of clay dirt here. I have landscaped my backyard but the side of my house still has areas of dirt. loaded dirt into wheelbarrow one buckets worth and then onto an old sheet on the ground added some hay and water and dove in. Mix is done when it has the consistency of play dough  Just in case you are wondering those are my feet they are perfect for mixing the mud

Step three place this mixture onto the base forming a circle and filling it in of about 3 inches 
Step four make a two inch lip around the base you have made and fill in with sand this will be floor of your cob oven some people make it higher and add glass bottles but since I cant follow directions for the life of me I make adjustments and so i filled it with sand wait for this to dry over night.

step five place fire bricks or in my case saltillo tile, If I could have found the brick I would have used those but this was the best next thing. If you can find the fire proof bricks get them. because after weeks and weeks of using the oven the tiles have cracked due to the high heat, there is no problem with them at all they are still a great cooking surface, as long as you dont mind seeing the broken tiles.

step six begin building dome of sand this will be the inside of your oven. On this I actually followed the instructions and built it according. the height needed to be 16 inches high so up went my half egg dome shape

step seven cover with wet newspaper and mix some more clay dirt and sand (no hay)
cover up egg dome with about 3-4 inches of this mixture I decided to leave an opening so that I would not have to cut it out later on, leave to dry for about a week. but knowing me I waited about two days and began digging out all the sand from the inside. and slowly began building small fires to dry the inside of it out.

there are several other steps to finish this oven but I have left it as is, these pictures are from my first pizzas and of course they looked horrible but tasted yummy. But I promise to break out my big girl camera for some better shots. I have since gotten better at cooking in my oven and have perfected my pizza dough, recipe coming soon

How to build cob oven this is one of the blogs I used as a tutorial for my cob oven

Friday, September 13, 2013

Paper floor

Hello and welcome back! in the previous post I left you with my wonderful day spent ripping up carpet. Here is the post of the before
 Today I will show you the progress of my new paper floors they still need a few more layers of polyurethane but so far I love them so much. They are so inexpensive and we have spent  $170 and I have completed the living room and small hallway. Up next will be the bathroom and oldest DD's room.

It has been a hard week. We moved out all the furniture into the garage so that I could work on this project. I have also been working in sections and only work at night because it would be a nightmare to work this hard and have my kiddos step on every area of the floor. For the first few days I would glue the paper strips down go to bed around 3am  that way I wouldn't be a zombie the day after and this would be enough to let the floor dry by the morning. 
After a few days of gluing I began staining and man oh man I thought I was gonna die! that stuff smells horrible and by that stuff I mean I used this. I was only able to do about half of the floor before I needed to stop and then resumed in the next few days. until finally I had the whole living room and hallway done.  I waited a few days for the stain to dry completely and then applied 4 coats of poly. I still need a few more coats but It has been raining here for three days straight. Now I leave you with the finished result and a short video of the gluing process yep I AM I LOVE with my new paper floors!
Here are the items I used for the floor. I used my quilting ruler to cut the paper into the same width cuts I more or less tried to cut a straight line but as you can see from the floor I cant even cut straight lines with a ruler. the stain I applied by hand with a rag dragging it down the length of the planks to give it a wood look. after that dried I applied the floor finish with a roller, there are five coats for my living room and hallway. I will still be applying more coats just to be on the safe side and because my kids are very destructive

I would also like to thank Pat from she was my inspiration for this floor. 

Goodbye filthy carpet

Bwaaaha ha ha ha ha, ok ok not my best evil laugh but hey I tried
So last week I spent all Friday ripping up our filthy carpet. and I have spent the last week pondering what im going to do with the bare concrete. here are some ideas we had 
1. acid stain and seal
2. paint it yep just paint
3. tile
4. vinyl planks
OK so lets be real we are on a tight budget, and I like to be thrifty OK  OK I will admit it i'm am cheap!  I've been thrifting before Macklemore made it cool.
then it hit me like a ton of bricks, I had seen someone use brown paper and sealer. Onto the research!
Aha I was right!! whoo hoo 
talked to the hubby he wasnt too convinced but oh well like always I LOVED it and I am going to do this! 
went out and bought items needed for this project 

slowly working on this as I go, but for now i leave you with the before and please don't look to closely at our mess ok here is the before wall to wall carpet

 And here is what I found when i began ripping up the carpet LOADS OF DIRT!
yes I apologize for the horrible during photo. but hey I did just spend half a day with a 3 year old ripping up carpet after all the mess was swept up and furniture back in place. we actually lived with the bare concrete for a few weeks as I was busy with work and was still doing my research on the flooring