A Natural Alternative To Goo Gone

by HEAB on April 11, 2016

That sticky stuff left on glass after removing a sticker or price tag?  The worst, right?


After cleaning up a jar the other day to use for flowers, I thought I’d share one of my favorite life hacks.  I think I read this tip on the Internet years ago – it’s no big secret, but whenever I mention it to people, they’ve often never heard of it before.  So, here you have it – the secret to removing the goo…


Eucalyptus oil.  That’s it.  First peel and scrub as much of the sticker off as you can.  Then saturate a cotton ball with eucalyptus oil (available at health food stores in the essential oils section),  and simply rub the sticky residue until it’s all gone.  Then rinse with soap and water.  I usually run the jar through the dishwasher to get rid of the strong eucalyptus smell, and I toss the used cotton ball into the bottom of the diaper pail to make opening that thing a little more pleasant.

We re-use all sorts of jars for storing homemade sauces, holding crayons & markers, and for giving flowers to friends (or myself).  Sunflowers in a salsa jar went to some friends who had us over for dinner last night,


and that applesauce jar pictured above now adorns our dining room table.


Happy De-Gooing!

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Homemade Gift Wrap With Kids

by HEAB on December 5, 2015

The kids are really into Christmas this year – FINALLY, and I could not be more excited!  They always enjoy Christmas, but this is the first year that they seem to truly understand the meaning of the holiday and all of our family traditions (although Hannah still likes to hide and hoard all the Advent Calendar inserts, but at least we’re down to only one child doing that).  It’s been so fun decorating the house and watching their excitement and anticipation grow as Christmas draws near.  Needless to say, our excitement is rubbing off on each other, and we’re all filled with the spirit of Christmas…


and gingerbread cookies.  We’re very full of gingerbread cookies!  Have you tried Minimalist Baker’s version?  If not, I highly recommend.  We made them twice last week.  I use real butter and Pamela’s Baking Mix, and they are delicious!



Does anyone else tear up whenever they read The Polar Express?  It’s my favorite Christmas story.


The aforementioned Advent Calendar.  We fill it with various holiday crafts/outings/activities, and I love having a daily reminder of why we celebrate Christmas paired with a fun experience…





We invited Summer’s classmates over for a snowflake party.  Gingerbread cookies and snowflake making with a room full of five year olds.  Memories were made..





Snowman pancakes for breakfast is one of our Advent activities, but we haven’t gotten to it yet.  However, Summer put in a special request this morning, and so we’ll just have to eat them twice this month (or twice weekly per Summer)…


I made orange pomander balls when I was in elementary school, and their smell = Christmas to me…Pomanders2015

Okay, and now onto that gift wrap.  The other day, I was wrapping a large-sized present with brown shipping paper (it’s easier to fold and tape than Kraft paper) and the paper quickly became a blank canvas screaming for a fun design.  After perusing Pinterest, I decided I needed a Christmas tree stamp. However, I didn’t want to buy a stamp that I’d probably only use once a year, and so I made one from a russet potato.  Just sliced her in half and did a little carving.  Then I brushed some black acrylic paint on and went to town stamping. Easy peasy…

This morning’s Advent activity was “make gift wrap”, and we used the potato trick again. But this time we used our miniature holiday cookie cutters instead of carving the design freehand.  I just sliced the potato lengthwise and then sliced it again.  The cookie cutters cut right through, and we ended up with several adorable mini holiday stamps.  We once again used acrylic paint, and it was a simple enough project for the kids to do.  Hannah needed help, but the others pressed the stamps down themselves using toothpicks…


After our stamps dried, I added stripes to the candy canes and eyes to the gingerbread men.


Loved this project and can’t wait to make some birthday and baby gift wrapping paper next.  The potato…it’s just so versatile.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel. Isaiah 7:14

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Dragons Love Tacos & Birthday Parties

November 22, 2015

Yesterday, we celebrated Summer turning five and Hannah turning two (can you even believe it?!?).  Dragons Love Tacos is a favorite book around here, and we’d thought it be a fun birthday party theme.  Because who doesn’t love dragons, or for that matter a taco salad bar??? Still my favorite guac… And everyone’s favorite cashew […]

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Site Maintenance

October 9, 2015

Hey all, I have someone trying to fix a few kinks in my blog, and some old posts accidentally went out via email yesterday.  Sorry about that, and no, we’re not expecting again. 🙂 Thanks for your patience. -Heather

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Vegan Creamy White Bean Chili

August 28, 2015

We’re gearing up for fall around here (my favorite!) and made our first chili of the season tonight.  There wasn’t time to cook my own beans or get the crock pot going this morning, and so I came up with the following recipe using canned beans and gluten free flour as a thickener.  After taste […]

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No More Stinky Breath Hummus

July 6, 2015

Our kids like hummus, and they also like to crawl in bed with us first thing in the morning.  I love the early cuddles, but I do not love smelling garlic breath at 5:30 AM.  No thank you.  So, we stopped buying hummus in bulk at Costco and started making our own garlic-free version.  That […]

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Pregnancy Changed Me For The Better

June 26, 2015

Pregnant with Summer in October 2010… Thank you Emily for the beautiful photo! And 34 weeks pregnant with Charlie and Katie in June 2012… And last but not least, awaiting Hannah’s arrival in October 2013… Another favorite from Emily Smallcomb Family Photography. I did something I haven’t done in a while.  I wrote a guest […]

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Let’s Get Messy

June 16, 2015

Food: Hummus with chips and carrots, my favorite guacamole, more chips (you can never have enough tortilla chips in my opinion), crackers with peanut butter and apple slices, cheese pizza and hot dogs from Costco (so cheap/so good), deviled eggs, chocolate chip and oatmeal cookies. Beep, beep, beep…big fans of Little Blue around here. as […]

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A Sleepy Project

June 7, 2015

Anthropologie catalogs sure at pretty, no?  Of course my eyes just about pop out of my head when I see the prices, but I love perusing the pages for inspiration and styling ideas.  One arrived in the mailbox this week, and while flipping through the pages, I decided I needed to do something with those […]

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Yoga and Chocolate

June 4, 2015

A few months ago, my best friend asked me which local yoga classes and studios I liked.  I mentioned one studio that I knew of close to her neighborhood and encouraged her to go, but I felt so disconnected from my yoga practice that I really didn’t have any advice beyond that.  It had been […]

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