Friday, February 12, 2016

How to Get Mineral Stains Out of Your Clothes

Holy Cannolli sometimes I feel like the Universe is against me. Okay, maybe not really, but it's been one of those weeks. I had a few MAJOR project fails, and a few technical difficulties with the memory card with ALL of my pictures on it. So, needless to say, it's been a little bit of a frustrating week. 

Part of my frustration is laundry. When we bought our house, my husband did not want to put in a water softener, because he hates the way soft water tastes and feels. He was very passionate about his desire to skip that feature, so we did. After I started doing laundry in our new house mysterious stains kept popping up on ALL of our light-colored clothes. All the light-pink clothes that I bought for my girls would get weird brown stains, that they did NOT put on their clothes! 


I tried everything to get those stupid mystery stains out and NOTHING was working. Not even bleach! What the HECK! I had no idea what was going on until someone in our area mentioned that we have VERY hard water where we live. I started doing some research online and discovered that it was probably the minerals in our water that were staining our clothes. 


I'm currently demanding that we get a water softener when our budget allows, but until then I had to find a solution to our problem, because I can't handle the stains! 

Here's an example of the stupid stains that would appear. Dark colored, random streaks. Mostly shows up on white and light pink clothes. 

And now my child just called to tell me he forgot to take his Valentines to school, so pause everything!

Okay, I'm back...that was quick! Phew! I'm telling you, the universe is against me today. 

Okay, so now to the stain removal. 

I found the Calgon Water Softener in laundry aisle and it promised to soften the water and brighten and whiten my clothes. I didn't believe it at first, a lot of other products have lied to me. But I brought it home anyway, because I'd try anything at that point. 

At first I was just using it on my whites. You add a cap full to your detergent dispenser and you're good to go. I didn't notice a huge difference at first. 

Then one day, after ANOTHER BRAND NEW SHIRT got stained, I was desperate to find a solution. I tried every combo I could find on the internet, to no avail. Finally, I pulled out the Calgon and Oxi Clean and let my clothes soak in the sink for a few hours. The water actually started turning brown and disgusting. It was so satisfying. 

I still didn't believe it was doing anything, but I washed the clothes normally one more time in the washing machine after and was thinking this dress was just destined to be a 'play' dress from now on.

Fast forward a couple of days, when I finally got around to folding the laundry, and this dress looked new! It was a TON brighter. I was so happy! The stain was gone! 


So here's what I did.

  • 1 cap full of Calgon Water Softener
  • 1 scoop of Oxi Clean
  • 1 sink full of hot water
  1. Mix cleaners in hot water
  2. Add clothes
  3. Let them soak for an hour
  4. Throw them in the wash to rinse them out, using Calgon and Oxi Clean again. 
I bet you'd like after photos right? Well, so would I. Those are stuck on my memory card for some reason. I would tell you though, that I'm not being paid to say any of these things, so that should help you trust me.

I went to take another picture of the shirt this morning, and wouldn't you know, it was hanging in her closet with a new ketchup stain down the front! Just my luck! 

You're going to have to trust me on this one! 

Do you have any magical stain remover tricks? I'd like to know them! Please tell me in the comments!


Thursday, February 11, 2016

DIY Home Theater Room

When we were planning our home, we knew we wanted one of the rooms in the basement to be our theater room. We planned for the room to be under our bedroom, so we could watch movies after the kids went to bed without the sound waking them up. We also didn't put any windows in the room, so it would be dark, which is also the reason these pictures are dark. 

For the last year and a half we've been watching movies in the room with old couches and a simple white block of paint on the wall to serve as our screen. It's been super fun, and plenty good enough for me, but not good enough for my hubby! We were lucky because we actually got 16 movie theater seats from the local theater for FREE! We noticed that they were putting new seats in, and since my hubby knows the manager, he texted him and asked him what they were going to do with the old seats. My hubby's friend told him they were going in the trash, so he could have them for free if he came and got them. The next morning hubster went to the theater and picked up the front row of seats, since they don't get used as much as the other seats in the theater. They sat in our basement for a very short time, before my hubby couldn't stand it anymore. Here's the room before we got started.  

It was empty except for a few pipes. We measured the area we wanted the platform to cover, and sketched out the framing of the box. The area was 16' x 11', it needed to be big enough to hold all of our free chairs, and some other recliners we bought second-hand.  We decided to build two boxes. One base box, and one to go on top of that.

Your project needs might differ based on the size of your project, but this will give you an idea of where to start.

  • 4- 2" x 10" x 16' boards 
  • 9- 2" x 10" x 12' boards
  • 9- 2" x 10" x 8'   boards
  • 6- 4' x 8' sheets
  • 2 1/2 inch finish nails
  • carpet (ours was old carpet that our brother and sister-in-law gave us when they got wood floors)
  • theater seats (FREE)

 First, we had to build around the pipes in the basement. We framed the bottom box, by placing the supporting boards 2 feet apart, with supporting beams in the middle that we could use to hammer the sheets onto.

 After the bottom was framed, we built the top box directly on top of the bottom. The sheets were simply nailed right into the beams below.

So we skipped a few pictures because I had to go upstairs to take care of the baby, and the hubby was too excited to finish, and he worked fast! Imagine a few more sheets nailed to the top. Then he pulled the old carpet over the top of the boxes, and stapled it down, he even folded the corners, what a pro!

Then he installed the seats, They were just bolted right through the carpet and into the plywood sheets.

Overall, it was a pretty easy project. The screen is still just a white-painted square on the cement, and the projector is in a little box that my hubby built into the rafters. Like I said, we're not professional, and this is just meant to get your creative juices flowing, so you can create an oasis in your unfinished basement too!

This project is just a temporary solution and one day we'll have enough money to actually put in dry wall and cabinets, but it's still really fun, and I think it just goes to show that you can do things little by little. You don't have to have a TON of money to transform your home into the retreat you want it to be. I love that everything is old, so when my kids spill their drinks I don't have to worry about it. It's perfectly imperfect, and we have already had a few parties down there, we just bring our blankets and space heater, since it's pretty cold! :)

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Chocolate Mint Sugar Cookies

I have always been a sucker for ANYTHING mint, and these mint cookies are no exception. I was on a hunt for a delicious recipe for a party I was throwing for my cousin's new Lu La Roe business. We had a soda bar and yummy sugar cookies planned, and I just wanted something a little different. These cookies are fun because they are thick and delicious and I love the chocolate drizzle on the top. 

I got the recipe from Le Creme De La Crumb . Every once in a while I like to share other people's recipe, especially if I think it's awesome. I would highly recommend keeping them refrigerated until you serve them. They are not super moist cookies, but the frosting makes up for that, and did I mention I love that swirly chocolate drizzle on the top? 

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Energy Healing Giveaway

If you're a frequent reader you may know that I'm a big supporter of cognitive therapy. I've had major anxiety issues in the past (read about it here!) but have used a lot of cognitive therapy techniques to keep it in check. 

Mally and her husband Taylor

Recently Mally Griffin offered to do Energy Work for me so that I could understand what it is and share it with our readers. When Mally told me about it, just the word "energy" sounded like crazy woo woo to me so I was a little hesitant. As she did it for me though, and explained more about it, I dropped my guard and saw that it wasn't as crazy as it seems!

Mally uses the Carolyn Cooper SimplyHealed Method of Energy Healing. It is a non-invasive technique that helps clients to release past traumas and release the everyday emotional, spiritual and physical "gunk" that tends to build up. Basically she reviews issues you have verbalized while muscle testing (kinesiology). Muscle testing you allows her to identify where the strengths and weaknesses in your energy flow are.The identified negative blocks are released, and new positive affirmations are "plugged in" to your energy system. When the process is complete, she verifies that the blocks have been cleared and the new information has been accepted by re-testing those areas that were formerly weak.

A lot of what Mally did and talked about with me, especially the affirmations that she did at the end, fit right along with what I'd learned through cognitive therapy. Overall I'd say it felt nice to have someone explore and listen to my issues, and give advice on what could help me overcome them. The best part is that Energy Healing can be done via skype from anywhere in the world, so if you're looking for a non-invasive therapy session that you can do from home in your pajamas, this is definitely what you're looking for!

If you're interested in checking it out enter her giveaway by clicking on the links and liking both our Facebook pages!

 Rafflecopter giveaway 

(The giveaway ends February 17, 2016)



LDS Baptism Cake Ideas

Every special occasion needs a special cake, right? I made this cake for a friend of mine this weekend. Her son was being baptized into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Click here if you want to know more about what we believe.

I love making specialty cakes like this one. They're small and it's fun to get creative. 
If you're new here, you might want to check out my tips for baking cakes here. Or my fondant recipe here. Once you figure out how to make your own fondant, the sky is the limit! Fondant is just like playing with play dough. In fact, I've used a play dough mold for fondant before, and it worked like a charm! 

I made this Book of Mormon by starting with rice krispies. I covered a sheet of rice krispies with a thin layer of frosting, and then topped it with fondant. I printed off an Angel Moroni on cardstock, cut it out with scissors and then placed it on top of my yellow fondant. Then I used a razor blade to carefully trace and cut out the design. Fondant sticks together with a small amount of water and a paint brush. 

We used the same technique for the Choose the Right symbol. Just print off any design you want, cut it out and trace it with a razor blade. I have a Cake Cricut, but sometimes it's just easier to do it by hand. 

I got one of my sons ties out of the closet and just looked at it for reference while I was making this tie out of fondant. Super easy. I simply piped Quentin's name on the side of the cake with buttercream frosting.

The border was cut out with one of my fondant tools. It's like a rolling pin with removable parts. I love it for borders on cakes. I used to try to do it by hand with a ruler and I always messed it up. Sometimes it pays to just buy the tools.


Monday, February 8, 2016

Lou Lou Girls Fabulous Party #97

Happy Monday! Thank you to everyone that shared their amazing projects last week! I’m always so impressed by the incredible masterpieces that are shared at our party! WE SERIOUSLY LOVE YOU!  We couldn’t have such a fabulous party without you. Please spread the word and if you have your own party, please let us know and we would love to party with you twice a week! Now on to this week’s Party!

  • Link up your furniture makeovers, DIY projects, home decor, crafts, recipes, thrifty finds and archive loves. We want to see whatever is inspiring you, but please make sure it’s your own creation, and not adult content.
  • We would love to have you follow along with us!
  • We will be back every Tuesday with our favorites and a brand new party!

  • We will PIN and TWEET each and every post who join the party!

Amber's Favorite: Home made interest

Jessica's Favorite: The Scrap Shoppe

Kimberly's Favorite: Muchmore Creative

Cassie's Favorite: My Creative Days

Strawberry Chocolate Chip Cookie

 Everybody needs a little pink in their lives this week! This is a super easy treat for you to make to show LOVE!

1 box strawberry cake mix
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 eggs
1/3 cup melted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking pan with parchment paper, and set aside.
  • In a bowl, combine together the cake mix and baking powder. Add the eggs, oil and vanilla. Mix together the love.
  • Gently add the chocolate chips.
  • Form rounded balls and place them onto the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 9 to 10 minutes. Let cool!