DIY Easter Peeps Soap

Filed under: DIY — Savvy Housekeeper at 7:33 am on Saturday, April 12, 2014

Check it out: Peeps Soap! Just in time for Easter. Click on the link to learn how to make it.

Which Chickens Lay The Most Eggs?

Filed under: DIY — Savvy Housekeeper at 7:30 am on Monday, April 7, 2014

When it comes to owning chickens, the difference between success and failure is to choose a breed that produces a lot of eggs. Chickens were bred for different reasons: some for meat, some for eggs, some for the color or size of their eggs, some for their ability to endure heat or cold, and some just for their pretty looks. The Silver Sebright may be a lovely bird, but at only 25-100 eggs a year, I’d pass.

Chicken Waterer has a list of breeds according to the number of eggs they lay. For example:

Champion Egg Layers (250-300 Eggs Per Year)

    Australorp
    Dominique
    Leghorn
    Rhode Island Red
    Star (also called Sex-links)


Excellent Egg Layers (200-250 Eggs Per Year)

    Ameracauna
    Araucana
    Minorca
    Plymouth Rock
    Sussex
    Welsummer

It also lists Good Layers (150-200 Eggs) and Poor Layers (25-100 Eggs), which you can read here.

At this point, I have two Rhode Island Reds and two Black Stars. I’m hoping to be rolling in eggs in the future…

How To Patch A Hole In Your Wall

Filed under: DIY — Savvy Housekeeper at 7:52 am on Friday, March 7, 2014

My husband had to cut a hole in our wall when he was hanging the flat screen TV to pull some wires through. Last night, we patched the hole.

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As far as I know, there are two ways to patch a hole in your drywall: cut another piece of drywall out and put it in the hole, or use a wall repair patch–a wire grid that sticks over the hole. In this case, we used a wall repair patch. Here’s how we did it:

You will need:

    One wall repair patch
    Putty knife
    Joint compound

Directions:

1. Match the size of the patch to your hole, making sure the patch is bigger. Peel off the back of the patch, which is sticking on the back, and put it over the hole.

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2. Open your joint compound and stir it with the putty knife.

3. Load the putty knife and begin applying the joint compound to the hole.

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You want to keep doing this until you can no longer see the metal grid of the patch and the putty is smooth and flush with the wall.

4. If your wall is textured, you’ll need to texture a bit so that the patch will match the rest of the wall. Turn the putty knife perpendicular to the patch and lightly skip it across to create the texture.

5. Let the joint compound dry. When it’s dry, there should be no lumps, and no sign of the grid underneath. It should blend perfectly into the wall.

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(The Savvy Housekeeper’s camera did not like taking a picture of a white wall.)

Problems:

If there are cracks: You’ve put too much joint compound on. Gently sand it down and reapply as needed.

If there are air bubbles: You didn’t stir the joint compound enough.

If you can see the metal grid of the patch: You didn’t apply enough joint compound.

6. Voila! You have a nice pretty wall again. Now all you have to do is paint the patch to match your wall color.

DIY Faceted Candles

Filed under: DIY — Savvy Housekeeper at 7:24 am on Tuesday, March 4, 2014

DIY Faceted Candles!

This tutorial shows you how to make your own candles in geometric shapes. They look fantastic.

You print out paper molds, paint them with wax, and fill with a wick and wax, like so:

I’m skeptical about this tutorial because it looks hard to pull off without making a huge frustrating mess. But the candles look so cool, it’s worth a try.

Great gift potential here.

Valentine’s Day 2014 Round-Up

Filed under: DIY — Savvy Housekeeper at 7:46 am on Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine’s Day! Here’s a round-up of Valentine’s Day posts, just because:

Valentine's Day 2014 Round-Up Chocolate Dipped Strawberry Cocktail

Chocolate Dipped Strawberry Cocktail

Valentine's Day 2014 Round-Up  DIY Valentine’s Day Cards

3 DIY Valentine’s Day Cards

Valentine's Day 2014 Round-Up  DIY Valentine’s Day Cards

5 More DIY Valentine’s Day Cards

Valentine's Day 2014 Round-Up Heart-Shaped Sugar Cubes

Heart-Shaped Sugar Cubes For Valentine’s Day

Valentine's Day 2014 Round-Up How To Make A Heart Shaped Cake

How To Make A Heart Shaped Cake

Valentine's Day 2014 Round-Up Make A Beer Scavenger Hunt For Valentine’s Day

Make A Beer Scavenger Hunt For Valentine’s Day

Valentine's Day 2014 Round-Up Pot de Crème au Chocolat

Pot de Crème au Chocolat

Valentine's Day 2014 Round-Up 10 Heart Shaped Foods

10 Heart Shaped Foods For Valentine’s Day

Valentine's Day 2014 Round-Up Heartbeet Cocktail

The Heartbeet Cocktail

Valentine's Day 2014 Round-Up Which Chocolate Dessert

Which Chocolate Dessert For Valentine’s Day?

For the record, I went with Triple Chocolate Mousse Cake.

Knit This Free Anthropologie-like Fox Stole

Filed under: DIY — Savvy Housekeeper at 8:59 am on Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Here’s a free pattern to knit your own fox stole, much like the ones they sell at Anthropologie.

The Anthroplogie fox stole cost a whopping $238 (!) so you’re saving money making your own. I think I even like the DIY version better than the original.

Heart-Shaped Sugar Cubes For Valentine’s Day

Filed under: DIY — Savvy Housekeeper at 8:40 am on Monday, February 10, 2014

I can’t believe how easy it is to make your own sugar cubes.

All you do is wet the sugar, pack it into some kind of mold, and let it sit for a few hours to harden. The resulting sugar cube can last for months in the cupboard with gentle treatment, and are an adorable way to spruce up an afternoon tea.

I made heart-shaped sugar cubes for Valentine’s Day using this recipe from Serious Eats. Each sugar cube is one teaspoon of sugar.

To make the shape, I borrowed silicon candy molds from a friend. I see these molds and funny-shaped ice cube trays all the time in thrift stores, but you can also order them online for cheap or borrow them, like I did.

The molds didn’t just come in hearts, so I made oval, square, and circle sugar cubes, too.

Since I use sugar cubes in my tea, I originally got the idea to make them when I ran out. Why buy another box when I can make my own? And it saves money, too. Making your own sugar cubes costs about half what it does to buy them in the store. Here’s how to do it:

Heart-Shaped Sugar Cubes For Valentine’s Day

Ingredients:

    1/2 cup sugar
    1 teaspoon water

Equipment:

    Heart-shaped molds
    Bowl or container
    Measuring spoons
    Spoon to stir sugar


Directions:

Pour the sugar in a bowl and add the water. Mix until the sugar is crumbly, like biscuit dough.

Pack the sugar into the molds and wait until dry, about 8 hours. Carefully remove from the mold and voila! Sugar cubes!

5 More DIY Valentine’s Day Cards

Filed under: DIY — Savvy Housekeeper at 7:10 am on Friday, February 7, 2014

My post on 3 DIY Valentine’s Day Cards is pretty popular, and I’m not surprised. A Valentine card means more when you make it yourself. So here are 5 More DIY Valentine’s Day Cards to consider:

Superhero Valentine. Print out the cape and goggles and attach them to a lollipop. The cape says, “Have a SUPER Valentine’s Day!”

Cut Out Red Heart Valentine. Print out the template and pull out the scissors to make this cut-out Valentine.

Owl Always Love You Valentine. Learn how to make these felt owls and attach them to a homemade card.

Valentine’s Day Cootie Catcher. Print out the template and fold into a cootie catcher.

Stick ‘Em Up Valentine. When you pull the paper gun out of the holster, there’s a stick of gum attached. Cute.
Valentine!

Homegrown VS Store Bought Egg

Filed under: DIY — Savvy Housekeeper at 9:30 am on Thursday, February 6, 2014

Thinking of getting chickens this spring? Here’s the main reason to do it: homegrown eggs taste amazing.

Here’s a visual representation of the difference.

On the left, an egg my chicken Rosie laid. On the right, an egg from the grocery store.

HOMEGROWN STORE BOUGHT
* Yolks orange * Yolks yellow
* Whites fluffy * Whites watery
* Cooks fast * Cooks slow
* Tastes 1000% better * Tastes fine

More Posts On Owning Chickens:

Does Having Chickens Save Money?
A Year Of Owning Chickens
Pease Of Mind At Breakfast
From Playhouse To Chicken Coop

Make A Beer Scavenger Hunt For Valentine’s Day

Filed under: DIY — Savvy Housekeeper at 9:03 am on Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Last year for Valentine’s Day, we’d just had Savvy Jr. and we knew we wouldn’t be going out for a fancy meal. I decided that Mr. Savvy’s gift would be a beer scavenger hunt. I bought some beer at the local craft brew store and hid them around the house with clues that led one to the other. Then I gave him the first clue and started him off.

This is a fun, creative gift if your husband or boyfriend loves beer, and is especially useful if he is hard to buy presents for, as many men are. When I told the beer shop owner what I was doing, he said “I wish my wife would do that for me.”

Some pictures:

As you can see, this beer was in the medicine cabinet. The clue said, “Do I look fat in this?” and led to the bedroom.

A beer wearing a diaper? In the baby’s crib? That’s just wrong.

Beers don’t belong in the shower.

A beer in a coat pocket. Classic.

How To Make A Beer Scavenger Hunt For Valentine’s Day

1. Buy The Beers. Pick a combination of beers you know he’d like, as well as some that he might want to try but hasn’t bought for himself. Pick something special for the end–I bought an expensive bourbon-barrel-aged beer to finish off the hunt.

2. Pick The Hiding Places. As you can tell from the above pictures, I put beers in the baby’s bed, the shower, the oven, and my husband’s coat, among other places. Be creative with this.

3. Write The Clues. Once you have the hiding places, write out clues that will lead him from one beer to the next. For example, the clue for the beer that was in the oven was “Even I can’t cool this place down.” Get it? Ovens are hot and beers are cold. Mr. Savvy knew where to go right away.

4. Hide The Beers. Tape the clues to the beers and hide them around the house.

5. Pick Something Special For The End. I put the fancy beer in the bar and attached a paper heart to it, as follows:

You can get as fancy or silly as you want with this. Happy Valentine’s Day!

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