Monday, January 30, 2012

It's almost Valentine's Day

It's February and I just created this cute video clip for my Etsy store to celebrate Valentine's Day which is just around the corner. Hint, hint.
Seriously, I know some of my followers also have Etsy stores too. This was the first time I used Animoto to promote my shop. It didn't take me long to figure out how to use the tools and it was pretty easy to do. And you can't beat the fact that it's also free. I was even thinking about using for family photos too. It's also a fun way to send your loved one an electronic Valentine.
My Animoto Video

Easy bathroom upgrade

I found this beautiful glass decanter at Goodwill a few weeks ago and I decided it would make an elegant addition to my bathroom. I'm always on the lookout of finding pretty containers to hold my toiletries. This decanter is perfect for holding my mouthwash and it only cost me $1.99. Not bad for an upgrade.

If getting second hand containers make you cringe...I tried to put it in my dishwasher but the shape of the decanter made it difficult to get the corners clean.

I created a solution of Chlorox and water then filled it to the top. I let the solution sit in the decanter for a day before rinsing it out. I also made sure that the topper didn't have cork. It should be either glass or plastic because cork is porous which would be difficult to clean thoroughly.

Friday, January 27, 2012

New uses for ice cube tray

Everyone has some of these lying around the house not being used. There are lots of uses for these. It's great for watercoloring if you are a kid or an adult.
Another good idea is when you have to put furniture together or work on a project that requires lots of small screws, studs, tacks, etc. You can separate how much you need using an ice cube tray. It's easier to quickly grab it when you need it and you don't have two hands to fumble with the packaging. Arrrgh, that difficult to open plastic pouches are so difficult to open without scissors.
For moms, you can use them to separate little hair clippys or ties. They are shallow enough to be easily stored in a bathroom drawer. I like this idea because my daughter wears two pony tails and I don't have to dig to look for a matching set. It's all right there. So it's a time saver for me in the morning when she gets ready for school.

Etsy Seller Upcycles Vintage

Meet Jene...a creative driving force behind upcycling vintage clothing and accessories. She graduated with the Florida State University's Apparel Design Program. She hand picks vintage clothing and updates it with a little twist. She puts the fun back in fashion.

Her creative philosophy is "the best joy in life comes from spreading the gift of crafting."
You can check out more upcycled designs at her Etsy store.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Hairy Situations Solved

Did you know that human and animal hair is compostable?
So every time you pull the hair from your brushes, you can throw it in your
compost bin instead of the garbage.
I have a Bernese Mountain Dog who sheds like crazy. When I give her a thorough brushing, I put it in one of those netted bags you use to wash lingerie. Or you can use any bag that has holes in it. Be creative.
In the spring time, I hang the bag on one of the trees in the woods. The birds use the soft dog hair to line their nests for their babies. Bernese Mountain Dog fur is super soft so it's perfect. My husband used to do this when he brushed his Newfoundlands. He gave me the idea.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Another laundry tip

I got this tip from Oprah Magazine, believe it or not. Jeans can easily attract odor even if left on the floor for one day. One easy way to refresh them without having to throw them in the laundry would be to fold them up and place them in the freezer for an hour.

I would advise thawing them out before putting them on but that should make them smell better. But it does save on energy of having to wash them multiple times.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Size does matter

Last year, my goal was to only throw away one bag of garbage for the whole week. One way I was able to accomplish this was to make recycling very easy for me, a busy mom of two small children.

I used to go to Weight Watchers and I learned that if I eat my meals on a small plate, I could control my portion size and still feel full because visually, my portion "looked" bigger than it really was.

I applied the same principle to recycling. The bigger bin holds my recyclable materials and the smaller bin is the garbage. I also have bins in my bathrooms for garbage and recycling. Once a week, I empty them. The volume of what I recycled as opposed to what I throw away is enormous.

Make recycling easy for yourself. Keep your receptacles in places that makes sense for you to use them upstairs and downstairs.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Another use for outdated business cards

Recently, I changed my business name from Nature's Touch Crafts to Nature's Touch Boutique. I wanted to add what I sell on my new business card and change the website name. This meant I needed to reorder my business cards. I still had a small stack of my old business cards.
I could recycled them which would probably be the easiest thing to do. But I thought of another use for them. I had a business card holder that wasn't being used for anything. I don't know about you but I have a tough time keeping track of all the username and passwords that I have. And you know that experts recommend that you don't use the same username and password for all the websites you are subscribed to.
If your card is blank on the other side, you can write the website name, your username and password then store it in the business card holder. I keep them in alphabetical order by website name but you group them any way that is easiest for you as a reference. Keep it in your laptop bag or by your computer so they are always on hand.

Bonus: You are recycling and being organized too.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Achieving Zero Waste Part II

Don't forget to carefully label the bag and store in a cool, dry place until the fall. I keep mine in the basement.
Then, I took the dirt and added it to my compost bin.
Check with your recycling center to see if they will recycle the pot. Another use would be to save it for your spring seed planting. I plant a veggie garden every year and this sturdy pot would be perfect to reuse.
My mother-n-law has a perennial business and is always in need of sturdy pots like this for her seedlings. I keep them in the garage until there is enough of them to drop off. Her customers often return their pots after planting the perennials in their garden. Perhaps you have a local garden center who does the same thing. It might take a few phone calls but then you know for the future where to drop them off.
The packaging is a lime green plastic material that is very sturdy. I will clean it with soap and water. Let dry. It is the perfect color to wrap a small birthday gift or Easter gift. I will use the gold string to tie the gift.
Voila! No waste and better yet, I saved some $$ buy creatively reusing what I have.

Achieving Zero Waste

My beautiful tulip bulbs I bought from my local grocrey store died. A lot of people tend to buy plants like daffodils, tulips, and lilys in the spring especially for Easter.
This morning, I thought it would be a good idea to challenge myself to achieving zero waste with my purchase so that people can see the possibilities of reusing packaging.
So, I took a paper bag from a recent purchase my husband made at the hardware store. I carefully cut off the stems and flowers then put them in my compost bin. I used a blunt knife and loosened the bulbs. There was a dense root system in there.
I put the bulbs in the bag for storage to plant in the fall. Here is a link to storing bulbs and tubers if you haven't done this before. http://

Monday, January 9, 2012

It's a new year

I hope you have a wonderful holiday with your friends and family. Took a much needed break and now I am ready to get back into the swing of things.

Make this your year to be a greener person and/or family!!! I will be there to help you every step of the way. Check in regulary for lots of great ideas.