Friday, May 6, 2016

How to Dry Flowers Using Cat Litter #yougottabekittenme #ad

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #yougottabekittenme #CollectiveBias
We sure do love our cats---even if they do cause lots of cat-astrophes around our house! It's always been important to me to teach my children to be gentle with animals. Thanks to Sam's Club, our family was able to donate $100 to the Bella Vista Animal Shelter through this campaign so animals in our area can receive care while they're waiting for homes.

Don't let these two innocents fool you. They may look lean and lazy---but get them indoors and they're terrors! Even though I love cats, I've not had much luck with having them live solely indoors. Three times since I married Jamie 18 years ago, he's attempted to gift me with an indoor kitty; and all three times, the cat has eventually ended up being a mostly outside cat. Maybe I'm feline intolerant or maybe I just get blessed with hyperactive cats but I have very little patience for the curtain-climbing, furniture-clawing, and book-gnawing that goes on with some inside cats. I do much better when I can share a sunny spot with them on the porch---away from my cat-attractive collection of antique books.

When they are inside, it's always been important to use a deodorizing cat litter. I want my cats to be seen and not smelled and even though they often make me want to say #yougottabekittenme , I really do love them and want to give them the best. Fresh Step Total Control with the Power of Febreze stops the growth of odor-causing bacteria and features a lemongrass citrus scent to help my cat area smell fresh and clean. The 42 pound container is only available at Sam's Club---a big perk as, now that's it's sold in a bag, it's easier to carry and reseal.

A good quality cat litter is important in keeping the litter box area of your home smelling fresh, but did you know cat litter can be useful in lots of other ways that really have nothing to do with your cat? Here are just a few ways you can use cat litter outside the litter box:
  • Place an old book in a container of cat litter and store it for a few days to remove musty smells.
  • Mix cat litter with potting soil for more even water distribution around your plants.
  • Sprinkle litter in the bottom of trash cans to deodorize them.
  • Use litter instead of rice, beans, or sand when filling crafts or bean bags.
  • Deodorize your refrigerator with a bowl of litter on a shelf.
Did you know you can also use it to dry flowers? I love to use dried flowers and other plants in crafts and drying them with cat litter is simple and can be done quickly. Here's how I make a dried flower bookmark using an easy drying technique:
Begin with a flower or plant that can be flattened. Pansies and daisies are great choices, as well as clovers. 

Next, find an airtight container large enough to fit the flowers and add at least an inch of cat litter. Lay the flowers in the container and cover them with a light layer of cat litter. Close the lid and keep the container in a dark closet for 3-5 days. For thick flowers like roses, it may take a few days longer. 

Once the flower is dried, begin creating the bookmark. I like to start with a pretty piece of scrapbooking paper and stamp or glue on words or quotes that inspire me. I buy secondhand copies of my favorite books so I can cut out bits of the book pages to add. {I acknowledge this completely enrages some people.} 

Then I apply a thin layer of glue from a glue stick in the area I plan to add the flower. I press it down carefully, starting with the center of the flower and then gently pressing the petals and stem.
When the glue dries, I cover the bookmark with clear packing tape. Sometimes I lay the bookmark between two sheets of clear contact paper, press down, and cut around the edges. 

Then I use a hole punch to add a hole for a pretty ribbon. Use a match to melt the ends of the ribbon so it won't fray. This is a pretty way to preserve a flower from a special day and makes a great gift, as well.

My cats may not have direct access to my books very often, but that doesn't mean they can't still enjoy great literature. My little readers love to entertain their feline (and canine!) friends with their favorite stories---outside.

Look for Fresh Step Total Control with the Power of Febreze in the Sam's Club May Instant Savings Book.  An offer for $3.50 off is already loaded on your membership card and is available to use through June 6, 2016.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

A Big Kid in Training and DG Digital Coupons #PottyTrainingTips #DGCoupons #PullUpsPersonality #ad

I can't believe our youngest is in Pull-Ups® already! I'm at sort of a difficult place in my mothering as there hasn't been a new baby for three years and Brenna is breaking out of all the baby and toddler stages as fast as she can. I'm proud of my little big kid in training---but it's a bittersweet time, too!
Brenna turned three in December and, like all my other girls, she's been slower than her brothers to completely potty train. That's fine with me though---I've found that it's much less stressful on both of us if I just encourage her and wait it out. She loves wearing Pull-Ups® Training Pants because they help her feel independent and aid her in learning how to do this next big girl thing on her own.

Now that the weather is nice, our family has been hanging out more at the parks and hiking trails in our town.  It's nice that I'm not dealing with baby diapers when we want to get ready for a trip quickly. Brenna can pack the diaper bag on her own and this makes her feel like she's done a big kid chore just like her older siblings.

I found Pull-Ups at Dollar General last week and saved $2.00 with a digital coupon. Have you tried Dollar General's digital coupons? It was my first time and it was super easy! For a limited time, you can save $2.00 also on Pull-Ups® Training Pants.

To sign up for DG Digital Coupons:
1. Sign up here---> or Text JOIN to 34898.
2. Create an account and load the coupons you want.
3. Shop Dollar General to redeem the coupons at checkout. Check out their store locator to find your nearest location.

After you've signed up for all the coupons you want to use, you're ready to shop. At check out, just enter the phone number you signed up with and your digital coupons will automatically be deducted from your total. No printing required!

Pull-Ups® help Brenna feel comfortable and confident as she grows through this newest stage. Because they look and feel more like real underwear, she can pull them on and off herself so she's gained some independence. Here she is with Daddy at her first real baseball game. With our big family, we can play a "real" game all on our own.

Of course she hit a home run and everyone cheered as she ran around the bases!

After our baseball game, we had a picnic and took a hike around Tanyard Creek park. Brenna was still going strong with no accidents---yay!

This little sweetie is full of personality and fun. Do you have a potty-training child? Check out this fun quiz to see what their potty training personality is. You can also visit the Pull-Ups® site for some potty training games to play with your little big kid!

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

The Homemaking Party: Summer Spoolie Swap 2016

Welcome to The Homemaking Party! It's been forever since I've been crafty, but this week I think I'm ready to jump back into creativity! My teens have a homeschool formal this weekend and Lynzie wants a dress just like the one from the new Cinderella movie. So...I designed and drafted it and am about half way done sewing it. Whew! I'm up to my tiara in organza, satin, and tulle!

A reader friend reminded me a couple days ago that we're overdue for another spoolie swap! So, I've put together a summer-themed one. It will be our first summer swap as all the others have been done in the spring. I hope you'll join in and invite your friends to, as well.

So what is a spoolie? Basically, it's a prettily decorated wooden spool that can be used as a base for any kind of little scene---big or small! Click on over to a previous year's reveal post for more ideas.

It's super easy to join the Spring Spoolie Swap. Just follow these steps:

*Send your name, mailing address, and blog address to (You don't have to have a blog to participate.)

*Please place the swap button on your blog somewhere so your friends can join in too!

*Partners will be assigned on May 27th. Please send your gift package by June 15th.

*Reveal party (blog posts) will be held July 5th. (Participation is optional.)

*Spools must be wooden. Don't have a spool? Shop Etsy for some inexpensive ones!

*I know some of you are new to bloggy swaps so please feel free to ask me any questions!

{*swap is open to US mailing addresses only*}

Classical Homemaking
Linking with: these great blogs
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