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Showing posts from May, 2011

Homemade Hair Color

Want to give your hair a little kick without paying for costly salon treatments or store-bought hair products?  There are several options for the at-home hair dyer, using common herbs, fruits, or even vinegar. 

Following are some recipes that I have tried in the past.  In general, they are much more gentle and subtle than anything you would buy at the store, so most of them will require more than one application.  This is a good thing in my opinion, as it creates more natural looking color.

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Homemade Highlights

1-2 Lemons, juiced

For all over lightening, dampen all of your hair with the lemon juice; or for highlights, only dampen selected strands.  A small paint brush works well to apply lemon juice to selected strands for highlighting, whereas a small spray bottle will work well for all over lightening.  Allow your hair to be exposed to the sun for 30 minutes.  Rinse hair and condition well.  The highlights will show best if this is done daily for 3-5 days.

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Homemade Highlights …

How Do Chickens Take a Bath?

First they fill the tub with some hot, steamy water and add their favorite bubble bath.  Then they put on some relaxing music, light some candles...






Okay, not really.  Chickens actually love taking dirt baths. 

If you are raising chickens, they will appreciate a spot to bathe.  Any bare spot on the ground will do.  The chickens will dig into the dirt, loosening it up, and make a shallow hole.  They will flop around in this hole, flinging dirt up into their feathers, and rubbing themselves into the ground. 

When my husband and I first saw this behavior, we thought something was wrong with them.  Are they having a seizure or something?!  No, they are just taking a summer's afternoon bath.

I caught some footage of our girls bathing a couple nights ago:


As you can see, the chickens really enjoy their baths.  In my opinion, it is important that they have some loose dirt to bathe in, not only because they clearly love it, but it also keep fleas and other bugs off of them.  If you don&…

Turn a Tree Branch into a Window Treatment

You can make a cute, cheap window treatment out of a tree branch.  It's not as weird as it sounds.  See for yourself!  It's actually pretty cute!



All you need is a large tree branch, some brackets, a long piece of fabric to drape around the branch, and if you'd like, some dried flowers and ribbon to decorate it.

To figure out how long of a branch you'll need, just measure the width of your window/s.  I found my branch at our city's municipal garage, where they take yard waste.  Alternatively, if you live in a wooded area, you will probably have an abundance of fallen branches that you can choose from. 

I cut the branch to the width of my windows, and broke off all the small twigs.  Then, I installed the brackets.  You can use drapery brackets if you'd like, but I actually used shelf brackets because I already had some.  I centered the branch on the shelf brackets, and since they're flat, I secured the branch with some wire so it wouldn't fall off.  I&#…

Homemade Herb Bag Gifts (Printable included)

Growing herbs, and then putting them to use, is one of my favorite activities.  A large portion of our garden space is dedicated to herbs, which we later use for cooking, medicines, and beauty and hygiene products.  Since we grow so much, I will normally have an excess.  Rather than let the extra herbs I grow go to waste, I like to give them to people as gifts.

I have created a paper gift bag that I use to put my dried herbs in.  I designed it in Microsoft Word, and each bag prints on plain letter size paper, in landscape orientation.  The bags are labeled with the herb inside, along with some information about the herbs, including its uses and some recipes.


To make the bags:

Print off the bag, and then fold it in thirds.  The front will be the side with the herb information.
Then fold back the flap on the bottom, and glue it in place. Allow the glue to dry.  Then, fill the bag with the herbs, fold back the top flap, and glue it shut.
This is a very quick, and simple gift.  I like to inc…

Homemade Drain Cleaner

To avoid clogging and bad odors, sink and tub drains should be periodically cleaned.

A once a month cleaning with a non-toxic, homemade cleaner prevents needing a stronger, usually sodium hydroxide (lye) based, cleaner to remove clogs.  Sodium hydroxide is extremely caustic, and will damage the lungs if inhaled, burn skin and eyes, and can be fatal if swallowed.  In addition, the heat generated by using sodium hydroxide can soften PVC pipes, and damage old, corroded pipes.  It also changes the pH of water and can cause fish kills.

A much nicer alternative to this harsh chemical is the simple combination of baking soda and vinegar, followed with boiling water.  When baking soda and vinegar are combined, they foam and expand, cleaning the sides of your pipes and dissolving fatty acids.  The boiling water then washes it all away.  This method is a great way to use up the box of baking soda in your frig that is not longer doing a good job of deodorizing.

Ingredients:

1 Cup baking soda
2 C…

5 Homemade Wild Bird Food Treats to Make

Watching birds has been a hobby of mine for the past several years.  It brightens up dreary winter days to see my feathered friends fluttering outside my window, and brings joy and wonder in the warmer months to see parent birds bring their fledglings to our feeders.

There are many options when it comes to commercially made bird food for anyone interested in feeding birds.  I have found it to be less expensive and more satisfying, however to either buy birdseed locally or make and grow my own treats.  Following are some recipes and ideas that I have enjoyed using to attract wild birds to my yard.



Hummingbird Nectar

Making hummingbird nectar is very easy to do:

1 Cup Sugar
4 Cups Water (Preferrably filtered or rain water)

Mix together the sugar and water in a saucepan.  Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar.  Allow to boil for 1 minute, then remove the mixture from heat and allow to fully cool.  Pour the mixture into your feeders and hang.  Change the mixture every three days,…