Quick tip: How to soften hardened brown sugar

If you don’t keep brown sugar locked in an air tight container (or if your brown sugar-loving husband leaves the canister open often enough after spooning some into his coffee), you’ll find your delicious sweetener gets thick and hardens up fast.     I came across a great way to re-soften the stuff — no need to buy a new bag when you come across a hard one in the cupboard that you didn’t use soon enough. You just need an airtight container, a slice … Continue reading

DIY: Quick & easy decorative table tray

This year we did something different for Christmas. We stuck to a reasonable budget (and managed to stay under it!) and a few of the gifts were even homemade. I had a lot of fun making them. Here’s one more. Note: Ours was sturdy enough that it could actually be used as a serving tray. Be sure to carefully test yours beforehand if this is what you plan to do with it, as not all frames are created equal.     Materials: A deep-set frame … Continue reading

DIY: Homemade tablet case

Tablet cases can be anywhere from $15 (on a good day) to $50 (on a normal day). I prefer to spend as little money as possible, plus I’m on this “making thoughtful gifts” kick, so I decided to fashion a tablet case for someone. Below are some shots of what resulted! Here is some material I was considering using but then I didn’t. I just used the purple placemat beneath it. Reason? It already had interfacing, and it had a nice pattern on one side … Continue reading

How to Refresh Your Stinky Towels Naturally

Despite being green for the most part, we always wash our towels in hot water because — let’s face it — towels washed in cold can smell just gross. The other day I noticed a towel after one use smelled like it had been dragged through an onion patch. This happens more than I care to admit (but I will anyway). A towel used on a clean person’s body should not smell bad. However, months on end of detergent buildup and mildew as well as … Continue reading

DIY sugar face & hand scrubs for dry winter skin!

You know those people who say they don’t want gifts but really you’re smart enough know everyone wants a gift? This is one for those people. These homemade scrubs are great for guys or girls — think: a gritty scrub to keep in the garage for a quick handwash under the hose. The facial scrub is made of all natural ingredients, and the hand scrub is the easiest thing in the world to make. Both are extremely effective, though for my skin type (which is … Continue reading

DIY rustic end table for less than $10!

After we brought the Christmas tree out a couple weeks ago, we needed to rearrange (and remove) some of the furniture. Wouldn’t have to, really, but Junior’s tendency to eat everything in sight means we still need to crate train him a while longer. We have two of these simple LACK tables from Ikea. When the tree came back, we had to put one of them away, and replace our loveseat with an armchair we put away when Junior’s crate came along. Needless to say, it … Continue reading

DIY: Upcycle regular jeans into skinny jeans!

Upcycle old jeans into skinny jeans

If you have access to a sewing machine, you can turn some spent old jeans into skinnies. I mean, it’ll probably turn out better if you have some sewing experience, but given that I did this as one of my second or third sewing experiments ever, I’m proof positive that it can be done. Background: I don’t mind jeans with a wider leg, but in the dead of winter, I love to wear my boots. Wider jeans + boots just don’t work together very well. … Continue reading

DIY: Quick, Simple & Affordable Deodorant From Your Kitchen!

For years, my poor armpits have suffered. All of my skin is sensitive, but my underarms — whose smell begs to be tamed — get itchy and spotty from even natural deodorants from the health food store. I have not found ‘clinical strength deodorant’ (just antiperspirant), but I’d probably still rash out and itch as badly from it as with everything else. After years of experimentation, I’ve found a formula that has worked amazingly for months to keep me stench-free without any negative side effects. … Continue reading

DIY: Christmas wreath in less than 10 minutes

Things are — very gradually — getting festive in the Comma House. Christmas, as you might have heard, is expensive. I’d rather do something myself than spend $60 on a decoration we’ll have up for a month or two, tops. Therefore, this weekend’s super quick and happy project was… Materials: 1 plain, cheap wreath with no adornments from Michaels  — $9.99 + 50% off = $4.99 for 11″ diameter All purpose burlap — we used a 12 foot length but you can use more/less Pine cones, … Continue reading

Christmas Pinterest DIY Inspiration

I’ve been pinning my little heart out lately. By the way, if you don’t follow me yet, my boards can be found here. Here are a couple of ideas I’ve got a hankering to try this Christmas season. I could see the above being a bit of a fail. Have you ever filled a balloon with water to have it come out exactly round? Maybe using some cheap dollar store bowls and cracking the coloured ice out to make half-globes to line the walkway with … Continue reading