9 Quotes on Homemaking: Encouragement for Homemakers

Quotes about homemaking and encouragement for homemakers. It's not about being the perfect housewife! It's about simple homemaking skills. || Quotes on homemaking | mother quotes | 1950s homemaking | family life and homemaking | how to be a homemaker | vintage homemaking | old fashioned homemaker | inspirational mom | housewife quotes | being a housewife | retro housewife aesthetic | mom fun | mom encouragement | mom sayings | message to mom #homemaking #housewife #homemaker #quotes #momquotes

As a modern housewife, we can often get lost in the drudgery of cooking and cleaning so much. Nothing ever seems to really get done, because one mess inevitably follows another.

That’s why it’s important to offer encouragement for homemakers as often as possible. I often turn to homemaking blogs and inspirational mom blogs when I’m feeling down, but quotes about homemaking can be a great source of encouragement too!

I put these quotes on homemaking with 1950s homemaking images. Don’t you love those old fashioned homemaker photos of beautiful women dressed up like they’re going to a party, but they’re just cleaning away? It’s totally unrealistic but I adore that retro housewife aesthetic! They really made vintage homemaking look not only easy, but glamorous. In their world, balancing family life and homemaking wasn’t hard, it was easy!

Being a housewife isn’t easy, that much is for sure. But it’s not about being the perfect housewife! It’s about learning and practicing those simple homemaking skills. You don’t learn how to be a homemaker in one day, you learn your whole life.

So please enjoy these housewife quotes. I hope they inspire you to work a little bit harder with an even bigger smile!

9 Quotes on Homemaking: Encouragement for Homemakers

Learn How To Use Embroidery Punch Pens: Make Cute Rug-Like Crafts As Gifts

Punch pen embroidery tips | punch pen patterns | punch needle patterns | tambour embroidery | folk embroidery | punchneedle embroidery | basic embroidery stitches | pocket embroidery | bunka embroidery | embroidery inspiration | embroidery projects | embroidery tshirts | embroidery pattern | embroidery borders | embroidery space | embroidery modern | embroidery canvas| embroidery stabilizer | embroidery mandala | freehand embroidery | subversive #embroidery #crafts #diy #embroiderypattern #etsy

Embroidery is a fun and fulfilling craft, great for quiet times of reflection or to keep your hands busy while watching TV. Holding those tiny needles, though, can be a pain.

My hands have been painful since I was a teen, so sometimes I just can’t do traditional embroidery. To keep busy even when my hands hurt, I like to do punch pen embroidery!

Punch pen embroidery creates a different kind of look (the finished product looks a bit like a plush rug or carpet), but that makes them even more unique and interesting. This is a very old craft, too, and it’s seeing a revival in recent years.

About embroidery punch pens

So what is punch pen embroidery? It’s a form of embroidery that involves punching thread, yarn or ribbon through a fabric and creating a loop pattern. That looping pattern makes the pattern look like a plush rug that you’d just like to snuggle up on.

There are some claims about where punch pen embroidery originates from: Some thing ancient Egyptians started it with hollow bird bones, while others think it originated in Russia, Germany or England.

This craft can be used to create and decorate wall art, ornaments, pillows, and other decor and crafts. It’s often referred to as “painting with thread”.

Embroidery Punch Needle Supplies

What do you need to get started with punch needle embroidery? Only a few affordable supplies!

  • An embroidery hoop. Make sure you get one that has a tightening mechanism on it. You want your fabric to stay put while you’re doing punch embroidery.
  • A punch pen. I sell one on my Etsy shop, but these can be found on Amazon and in stores like Michael’s.
  • Thread. I like to use embroidery floss, but I use regular sewing thread sometimes too!
  • A pattern. You can make your own pattern and draw it directly onto the fabric, or you can buy and print a pattern. You can trace the pattern onto fabric with a light box or a sunny window.
  • Fabric. You’re supposed to use weaver’s cloth, but all you really need is a fabric with a tight and slightly stretchy weave. You’ll have to experiment to see if the loop will stay put in whatever fabric you use.
  • Small scissors to cut the thread.

How to use embroidery punch pens

Before I get into the written instructions, here are 2 videos that will help you a lot!

Pick a design

You can really go wild here. While it’s best to start with a small design for your first few attempts, you can get pretty elaborate.

You can either purchase and print a design, or make your own drawn directly onto the fabric. Either way, you’ll want to get your fabric ready. Cut the fabric so that there’s 4 inches of border around the pattern. This is the fabric that the hoop will hold onto.

Then you can use a fabric pen to draw your pattern into the center of the fabric.

Choose your embroidery hoop

A hoop that has a locking mechanism is a must. You want that fabric in there super tight.

Center the fabric over the inner embroidery hoop (that’s the smaller one). You want the locking mechanism facing up.

Then you press the larger hoop over the top. Make sure the pattern is on very tight. You want it to feel and sound like a drum.

Thread your punch needle

Most punch needles come with a handy dandy threader with a huge eye. You can put your thread through that to easily thread the pen’s needle. There will be a tiny loop at the bottom of the threader, which is what holds the thread without it slipping.

A punch needle has a hollow shaft where the thread is, and a depth gauge.

Slide the thread through the eye of the needle and down into the hollow shaft. Pushing it through the other side, you have completed threading your needle!

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Start punching

Holding the needle as if it were a pen or pencil, you want the bevel side of the needle facing the direction you are punching.

It’s easiest if the thread rests over your finger, but make sure it can move freely or you’ll just unravel your art as you work.

You also want to work on the side that will be the back of your art.

Finish punching your pattern

Punch directly through the fabric, then pull the needle towards you. As you pull it out, the needle should always be touching the fabric.

Each time you push through, you want to push to the same depth so each loop is the same size. Move the needle over a few stitches to make the next punch.

The needle separates the threads in your fabric, and when you pull it back that hole closes to keep the loop firmly in the fabric. The thread isn’t locked, though, so be kind of delicate with it.

It’s easiest to complete the outline if your pattern before filling in the rest. Then you can finish by stitching the background elements, if you have any.

Finish your craft

Complete your craft by pulling the needle out of the fabric, leabing 1/2 inch of thread. Remove the embroidery hoop, and voila! You have a beautiful punch pen embroidery that will make a great gift.

Questions about punch needle embroidery

Do you need a specific kind of fabric for needle punching?

Nope! While it is recommended to use weaver’s cloth for beginners, if you’re willing to experiment you can use any fabric. Just make sure you’re using a hoop and have the correct tension.

What thread do I use for punch needle embroidery?

Embroidery floss is a great way to start, since there are so many different colors and you can choose how many threads you want to use.

How many strands of thread you use depends on your design. Starting with three is a good way to experiment with the thickness you prefer. Some people use all 6 strands.

What should I do if my loops keep unraveling?

You might be pulling your needle too far out of the fabric! Remember, your thread isn’t being locked into place like it is with traditional embroidery.

Can I machine wash my needle punch project?

Probably not. Again, nothing is locking your thread into place, so your project is going to be delicate. Hand washing is best if you must wash it.

If you need to machine wash, definitely use a delicate cycle.

Punch pen embroidery tips | punch pen patterns | punch needle patterns | tambour embroidery | folk embroidery | punchneedle embroidery | basic embroidery stitches | pocket embroidery | bunka embroidery | embroidery inspiration | embroidery projects | embroidery tshirts | embroidery pattern | embroidery borders | embroidery space | embroidery modern | embroidery canvas| embroidery stabilizer | embroidery mandala | freehand embroidery | subversive #embroidery #crafts #diy #embroiderypattern #etsy

Which is the good side?

Some people like the back of their projects more, so this is really up for your interpretation. Traditionally, though, the back side is the side without loops.

Do I knot the thread? If not, how do I keep it from unraveling?

You don’t have to use knots. Technically, the stitches should be close enough to prevent your art from unraveling too easily.

Why should I take up needle punch embroidery?

Lots of reasons!

  • It’s cheap
  • It doesn’t take up a lot of space
  • The learning curve is small
  • The finished pieces are unique and interesting gifts
  • It’s easy to do punch pen embroidery while spending time with family or watching TV
  • It’s a unique craft that you don’t see very often

What have you made with your embroidery punch pen?

Using a punch pen is a lot of fun and can make so many cute crafts. Everyone that receives one will be blown away by the unique rug-like look and they’ll be interested in how you did it!

So if you want an affordable craft, this is the perfect one to pick up.

I hope I answered some of your questions about punch pen embroidery and encouraged you to pick it up! If you do want to start with this craft project, I sell an embroidery punch pen on Etsy.

I also sell other sewing and embroidery supplies on Etsy.

Lastly, if you want more craft how-tos and updates, subscribe to my blog’s RSS feed via Feedly or another feed reader!

Punch pen embroidery tips | punch pen patterns | punch needle patterns | tambour embroidery | folk embroidery | punchneedle embroidery | basic embroidery stitches | pocket embroidery | bunka embroidery | embroidery inspiration | embroidery projects | embroidery tshirts | embroidery pattern | embroidery borders | embroidery space | embroidery modern | embroidery canvas| embroidery stabilizer | embroidery mandala | freehand embroidery | subversive #embroidery #crafts #diy #embroiderypattern #etsy
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Link Roundup: Serengeti Wild Dogs, Disrupting The Wedding Industry, Poor Air Quality In The UK & More

A woman blogging on a gray laptop near a window on a wooden table, A large bag is next to her.

Happy Sunday! I hope you can get outside, even if it’s freezing, just to get some fresh air. My son is with Grandma and I got to bed early last night, so I’m feeling pretty good for someone who got up at 6am with a back ache.

This week was pretty busy as far as work and this blog goes. I uploaded some new craft supplies to Etsy, listed a new Spring-themed ring for sale on this website, and I learned that mind mapping really is the best way to outline blog posts.

With my free time before my son woke up, I looked through my Feedly feeds and found some posts and articles that you all might like to read. So, let’s see what’s going on in the world:

Why did Serengeti’s wild dogs disappear? Study challenges controversial hypothesis

A big tree and blue skies on the African serengeti
African wild dogs disappeared from the Serengeti. Why?

In 1991, the African wild dogs that lived in Serengeti National Park disappeared. The original hypothesis of what happened is that the researchers caused this by handling the wild dogs, fitting them with radio collars and taking blood samples. It was thought that all this handling compromised their immune systems, leaving them susceptible to rabies.

A new study challenges that hypothesis, though. Wild dogs to the east of the park that were exposed to the same stresses didn’t face the same fate.

The study’s authors think that it’s more likely that competition with the growing numbers of lions and hyenas caused the disappearance of the African wild dogs.

Why is the wedding industry so hard to disrupt?

bride and groom in a beautiful field.
Wedding startups fail more often than not. Why?

There have been surprisingly few wedding startups since the dawn of the internet, and even fewer successful ones. Zola and The Knot are two success stories, but what makes the wedding industry so impervious to outsiders?

The wedding industry is known for being rigid, but it has changed to fit in with our online world. Pinterest, for instance, has said that 40 million people use its service to plan a wedding every year.

The whims of Google and SEO have tanked some startups, and the successful ones like The Knot are probably selling your emails to advertisers to stay afloat.

In my mind, there’s just so many parts to a wedding and people prefer them to be integral and working together. Startups that focus on just one aspect of a wedding probably won’t make much money, but going broad will require more money, a larger team, and a better strategy. It’s just a hard industry to break into.

Poor air quality found at over 2,000 sites across the UK

Smoke stacks billowing from an industrial building.
Air quality is only getting worse. How do we fix that?

Pollution is getting worse the world over. There are some efforts to clean up around the UK, but there are still 2,000 areas in the UK with alarming numbers in air quality. It’s a health issue, especially since nitrogen dioxide is one of the main culprits. Nitrogen Dioxide irritates the lungs and creates breathing issues.

How to Choose the Right Social Media Platform for Your Business

A cell phone sitting on top of a gray laptop on a wooden table
Which social media site is best for your business?

My social media plan right now focuses almost entirely on Pinterest. That’s not to say everyone should do the same, though. This infographic will help you choose the right social media website for your needs.

How Financial Gurus Make Money

A dollar bill on a white to gray background
Are all financial gurus just scammers?

“Show me $1 and I’ll show you 10 “money gurus” who claim they can turn it into $2.”

Financial gurus are ruining the internet, and they might be ruining your wallet, too. Sure, there are some good ones out there, but most are experts in only one thing: making money off of you.

This article is a lesson to not trust every expert that walks your way, even if they really are experts. Experts don’t always have good morals.

How to Outsmart the Most Common Money Scams

A man holding out a jar of colorful money
Scammers are everywhere. How do you keep your money safe?

Speaking of bad morals, you need to learn how to avoid these scams. Anyone can fall prey to a money scam, so it pays to be prepared.

Ship Baby Supplies to Your Vacation Destination

A toddler walking on the beach in only a diaper with blue skies behind him
How do you stock up on baby supplies for your vacation?

Going on vacay with a baby is hard. It’s more like moving than a week away.

A better idea might be use Amazon Prime or some other shipping service to send what you need to your destination. Less to pack, less to worry about!

Stop Recycling Plastic Bottles Without Caps On

A pile of recycling condensed and squished into a brick
Recycling has a lot of rules to get it right

There are a lot of rules about what plastic you can and can’t recycle. Here’s a new rule: recycle your bottles with the cap on.

“So what’s the right way to recycle a plastic water bottle? First, remove the cap and crunch the bottle up from the base until most of the air is removed. Screw the cap back on, then toss the bottle in the recycling bin!”

People with chronic pain are coping with the help of Pinterest, new study reveals

A man hunched over in pain in grayscale or black and white
Medicine isn’t the only way to deal with chronic pain

Self care and pain management tips on Pinterest are actually helping people with chronic pain! It’s a sad fact that medical intervention often falls short with chronic pain, so spreading different techniques of dealing with it through Pinterest is a great thing to do.

Should Google Treat Fossil Fuel Companies Like It Treats Tobacco & Firearm Companies?

An image from NASA of the earth from space with lights flashing
Should fossil fuel companies be treated like an enemy of the people?

Fossil fuel companies are marketing power houses with a ton of money to throw behind propaganda and advertising. Should Google and social media companies hold them accountable for spreading false information that could lead to climate change denial or otherwise further the harm to the environment? Should fossil fuel companies be blacklisted from buying advertising like firearm companies are?

The BEST Slime Supplies To Have On Hand

A photo of pastel colored sugar cubes made from resin on a burlap cloth with cherry print. The sugar cubes are very cute and colored pastel pink, pastel blue, pastel green, and yellow.
Watermelon fimo charms, kiwi fimo charms, lemon fimo charms, fruit fimo charms for slime on a burlap cloth
Cute fimo fruit slices that look great when added to slime – click to buy on Etsy

Even the best recipe requires the right ingredients! If you want to make slime, no matter what recipe you use, you need to have supplies ready.

You wouldn’t make a chicken pot pie without chicken or pie crusts, would you? No way! So don’t think you can get away with making slime without glue, borax, or other necessary ingredients.

You’ll want to keep your pantry stocked with the supplies I’ve listed below. That way, you’ll be ready for a rainy day when your kids are bored and you want to get them into an educational activity!

Of course, I suggest wearing a smock or apron while making slime, because it can get messy. And to save your floors, line your experiment area with newspaper or plastic.

But wait… What are the benefits of making slime?!

Is it not enough that it’s super fun and satisfying? Alright, alright. Here are the awesome benefits of making slime with your kids:

Tiny ducks, whales and rabbits made from resin. Blue ducks, yellow ducks, white ducks, pink ducks, blue whales, white whales, and white rabbits. They are in cups on a pink floor. Kawaii animals for slime.
These tiny duck charms are perfect for slime!
  • Making and playing with slime is a sensory play activity. That means that you’re engaging and learning about all 5 of your senses. You can smell any scents that you add. You see the pretty colors. You hear the gross farting noise that slime makes when you squish it. You touch the slime and feel its texture, whether it’s creamy like cloud slime or bumpy like crunchy slime. And if you make edible slime, you can taste it, too!
  • Making slime helps to build creativity and allows you to learn through exploration. When you add glitter, dye, and charms, you’re essentially making a unique work of art. And everything you add changes how the slime feels or how it acts when you touch it.
  • Playing with slime encourages the development of fine motor skills and coordination, and making slime does that while you’re mixing and adding ingredients, too!
  • Slime is messy play with easy clean up. Getting messy is great for children, and it really helps them to unleash their creativity.
  • Slime introduces kids to the fun side of science and chemistry. That’s right: all those things you add together to make slime creates a chemical reaction that makes slime so fun to play with!
  • Making slime together is a great way to bond with your kids. You can both laugh and play with the satisfying toy, and mix interesting new themed slimes together.
  • Squishing slime relieves stress! Kids these days are more stressed than ever, and psychologists have even found slime to be helpful for kids dealing with anxiety or depression. Slime just might be a great addition to a time-out corner to help a kid in meltdown mode to center themselves again.
  • Squishing and playing with slime might help picky eaters! Some picky eaters have a hard time processing different textures. Exposure therapy can help, and slime has a funny texture that might gross out your kids at first. But as they warm up to playing with slime, you might find they open up to eating different foods again.
  • Slime helps to teach descriptive language. You can help your kids describe what they see, hear, feel, and smell as they play with their slime. Is it cold? Is the slime shiny? Is it bumpy slime?

So what supplies do you need to make slime?

At its essence, slime only requires a few supplies.

The simplest slime recipe looks like this:

  • 1/2 cup of school glue
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup of liquid starch
  • 1/2 cup of water

That’s it!

But the simplest slime isn’t always the most fun. If you want to be able to make awesome slime with different themes, here are the slime supplies you need to stock up on:

A slime recipe

The best slime recipes are the ones that have cool themes! Here are some great slime recipe ideas:

Glue

Any school glue will do, and you can get glue in huge gallon jugs online! You can usually save a lot of money (and plastic waste!) when you buy in bulk like that, plus you’ll always know you have some ready for making slime.

Slime activators

Slime activators are a substance that chemically reacts with the glue to turn it into slime!

Here are the different kinds of slime activators:

A photo of pastel colored sugar cubes made from resin on a burlap cloth with cherry print. The sugar cubes are very cute and colored pastel pink, pastel blue, pastel green, and yellow.
Add these pastel sugar cubes to your slime!
  • Borax. Borax is banned in some countries, but if you have it you can add it to water and mix in a little at a time to create your slime.
  • Liquid laundry detergent. Slowly add it in.
  • Contact lens solution and baking soda. These are both easy to find ingredients to use as an activator!

Slime add ins

This is the fun part! What you mix in with your slime will give it personality! Here are some super fun ideas:

One of my favorite add ins to mix into slime is chocolate slime charms. I sell a few different versions, but chocolate slime charms are very popular with customers and are perfectly cute and sweet!

Slime storage

If you want to keep your slime for longer than just one play session, you’ll want airtight containers. You can use tupperware or ziplock bags, but you will want more decorative slime containers if you plan on selling or gifting your slime. I offer round or heart shaped slime containers on Etsy.

Mixing Supplies

Spoons and bowls will be helpful when you’re mixing your slime!

Water

Available from your tap, water is part of most slime recipes, so be ready to grab some when needed.

Do you have the necessary slime supplies in stock?

With just a few simple supplies, you can turn a boring afternoon indoors into a slime party! Remember, making slime has a ton of benefits from educational to sensory to emotional, so don’t be afraid to dive right in. Start making slime now to reap the benefits!

If you’re out of supplies, I carry slime supplies on my Etsy shop. I also wrote a blog post about must have craft supplies.

Don’t forget to share this blog post with your friends so they can start making slime, too!

In the comments: What kind of slime will you make first? Share a recipe or photo of your slime below!

A cute green monster smiling while wearing a graduation cap with text that reads, "How do kids benefit from making slime"
How do kids benefit from making slime? It helps them learn cool science concepts!

Tools Every Crafter Needs: Stock Up Just In Case!

When I started crafting, I often found myself stuck at night without something necessary to move on. A good pair of scissors. Tape. Pompoms. Glue. Oh, the number of times I’ve been without glue!

Now, I try to keep track of what I use on a regular basis and keep it stocked up. Sometimes I still have to wait until I can go out and buy what I need, but it happens much less often now!

What do you need to avoid stalling when you’re making something awesome? Here’s my suggestions for crafter staples that you need to keep in your house at all times.

Scissors

Nearly every craft I can think of requires cutting. Sewing, quilting, embroidery, scrapbooking, bullet journaling… the list goes on.

So save yourself the trouble and keep various kinds of scissors. Small scissors for embroidery, large scissors or paper or sewing, and maybe even safety scissors for kids.

Remember not to use fabric scissors on paper! Fabric scissors are a prized possession and must be kept in tip-top shape.

To keep your scissors sharp, follow these tips:

  • Avoid moisture.
  • Cut only the material those scissors are intended for. Kitchen scissors for food, paper scissors for paper, and fabric scissors for fabric.
  • Have a spare pair.
  • Invest in a good pair of scissors, even if they’re more expensive. They’ll last longer and save you money in the end.
  • Avoid cutting onto pins.
  • Don’t drop them!
  • Keep your scissors in a case.
  • Sharpen your scissors regularly, or have it done by a professional.
  • Wipe your scissors clean after use.

Tape

Tape is useful for keeping things together, but it can be decorative too! Here are some varieties of tape you may want to stock up on:

Glue

Using the right kind of glue can be the difference between a strong hold and a sticky mess. Choose the right glue for your project:

  • Super glue.
  • Mod podge.
  • Hot glue gun glue.
  • E6000.
  • Craft glue.
  • Fabric glue.

When you’re not sure what you need, you can always check the handy website This To That, which tells you how to “glue things to other things”.

Sewing supplies

They’re not just useful for sewing! It’s worthwhile to keep these supplies around even if you don’t do any sewing or embroidery.

What should you have?

Felt

I love felt and keep it around to make toys for my toddler. There are other crafty uses for this fabric, though! Here are some unexpected uses for felt:

  • Make felt boards.
  • Kids crafts.
  • Add padded to vases, plaques, picture frames and more.
  • Use felt to erase chalkboard when an eraser isn’t available.
  • Put on chair feet for silent movement and to protect your floor from scratches.
  • DIY Christmas tree skirts.
  • DIY cat toys.
  • Dampen sound and vibration.

Paper

Paper is useful for sketching, drawing, making plans and to do lists, and for a whole host of crafts. What can you do with different kinds of paper?

  • Origami
  • DIY party favors and decorations
  • Make framable art
  • Paint on it
  • Make DIY journals
  • Paper lanterns
  • DIY gift tags
  • Paper wreaths
  • DIY holiday cards
  • Tissue paper flowers
  • Origami cootie catchers

So what kind of paper should you stock up on?

Glitter

Sure, it gets everywhere and it’s impossible to clean up. But some crafts just need glitter! Ignoring the mysterious industrial uses for glitter (is glitter in our food? Is it in our soap and shampoo? Can glitter be found in our money?), there are the crafty uses for glitter:

  • Add glitter to candles
  • Add glitter to your DIY holiday cards
  • Make cute kids crafts
  • Add glitter to your DIY manicure
  • Mix glitter into slime
  • Decorate your mason jars
  • Make sparkly easter eggs
  • Make DIY baby shower or birthday party decorations

Ribbon and twine

Ribbon and twine is useful for holding things together for multiple occasions. Ribbon looks great when used in a wreath, as well. And jute burlap ribbon is very popular for cottage chic weddings!

Pens, pencils and markers

I’m a pen collector, but then I think most people are. I don’t mean that I seek out and find fine selections of pens that I curate and care for. I mean that I collect random pens bought, found, and gifted in case I need it later.

And we always need a pen later.

You should keep these writing tools around for your crafts:

Velcro

Velcro is so useful for so many different reasons. I wrote a blog post about velcro here.

Paint

Keeping paintbrushes and acrylic paint around will allow you to personalize and customize things at a moment’s notice. It’s good for kids crafts, too.

Here’s what I like to keep on hand:

  • Cups I don’t mind using for washing brushes
  • Paintbrushes
  • Acrylic paint – I like to have at least the primary colors to work with plus black and white

Pliers

Pliers are useful for a million different things. Especially if you make jewelry, you need some to close those findings!

Rulers

Every now and then, you need precise measurements, especially if you are sewing. I recommend having at least a sturdy stainless steel ruler and a measuring tape.

Supplies for your specific craft

You have things you need that I don’t. If you make jewelry, you need findings, chains, beads, etc. If you sculpt, you need clay. It’s best if you make a list of everything you use regularly and keep them on hand!

So, what do you keep around for your crafts? And what do you find you don’t need as much?

Instagram Is Rolling Out A Pinterest Copycat: A New Collections Feature

Pinterest does a lot of things right that other social media does wrong. Among those things is being able to collect images that other users post and use them to market your own work.

Instagram is trying to crib Pinterest’s style with a new public collections feature. There’s no news on when this feature will be available to the public, but there is some information about what it will be like, and how useful it may be for those of us that run businesses.

One interesting feature is that you’ll be able to add contributors to your collections to help fill them out. Though we should also hope there will be a way to report abusive collections. These can be powerful tools for both good and bad actors online.

This new feature was found by Jane Manchun Wong in some hidden code inside of public collections. Perhaps most interesting about this is that they seem to have started working on this new public collections feature the same day that Pinterest filed an IPO. Instagram has already “defeated” Snapchat. So is Pinterest the next target on their radar?

There currently isn’t any mention of following collections so that they’ll show up on your timeline, but it’s surely just a matter of time.

So, why is Instagram doing this now? They’ve made it clear that shopping is a core part of its strategy to make money. Public collections with multiple contributors can help with this, allowing brands to launch virtual stores and collaborative stores.

Instagram has a much larger user base (1 billion active monthly users as compared to 250 million). The closer they get to all of Pinterest’s best features, the more likely they are to overtake Pinterest as the place to go to find products to buy.

The biggest issue, though, is that Pinterest still beats them as a search engine. I’m not sure Instagram is even interested in doing that, but I’m sure Pinterest execs are eyeing this change to collections and wondering what their next move should be.

Do you already use collections? How do you see yourself using this new feature when it rolls out?

Guests are on the way! Quick, what should you clean?

In an ideal world, we would all keep our houses clean 24/7. In an ideal world, we would all have a live-in maid, too. This isn’t an ideal world, folks!

Sometimes, we get a phone call and learn that a friend is 15 minutes away and heading to your house, and let’s be honest: we all panic. The house is a mess! Surely if your friend sees how you really live, they’ll call child protective services and then call the loony bin to come pick you up!

It’s time to prioritize and clean only the things that your guests will notice. Here’s your plan of attack:

The Toilet

Get this one done ASAP! No one wants to see crusty hair behind the toilet seat and smell what your husband left behind when he missed the bowl at 4am.

Put on your gloves, grab some wipes or paper towels, and clean your toilet from cleanest to grossest. The tank gets cleaned first, then the flush handle. Follow up with the toilet seat cover, and then the rest can basically go in any order.

Finish up with some bleach or vinegar in the bowl and a swish with the toilet brush. Ah, that’s better! Take a sigh of relief.

The Kitchen Sink

Get the dishes done! No one wants to wash their hands over the food you ate for breakfast and lunch.

Once the dishes are done, clean out the drain trap and then clean the sink itself. The sink can harbor more bacteria than your toilet, so you need to disinfect this baby. Including the faucet!

The Trash Can

This is the one that gets me every time. I always forget to take out the trash before my guests arrive, and it always seems to be overflowing no matter how much I try to be zero waste!

So take out the trash. It’ll get rid of some of the stink that your nose has gotten used to, and will make a huge difference in how your house looks.

General Smells

Now is the time to remove anything that stinks and maybe light up a candle or start some essential oils on a warmer. Don’t assume that just because you don’t smell anything, no one else does. Nose blindness is a thing, and the smells you live in are invisible to you!

Declutter

Last but not least, use the last few minutes before your guests arrive to declutter what you can. Just hide it for now, you can really clean it up after your guests leave.

I like to have a big wicker basket to hold clutter until I’m ready to put it where it belongs. It’s easier to deal with things in a portable basket than to run back and forth between rooms.

Tips

  • Do you still have a few seconds before your guests arrive? Change your hand towels in the kitchen and bathroom. You don’t want to accidentally get your guests sick by neglecting this!
  • Put away the shoes. At our house, shoes accumulate by the front door no matter what kind of solution I use to hide them, so do a sweep to make sure all shoes are put away and hopefully not stinking up the place as your guests arrive.
  • Prioritize what you clean. What that means will be different for everyone. I would be really embarrassed if my guests saw my kitchen with dishes overflowing and the island covered with random crap, so that’s the first thing I tackle.
  • Close doors to rooms that won’t be used. Your guests don’t need to see your bedroom or office, so shut those doors and worry about cleaning those rooms another day!

We live in a world where we are too busy and too tired to clean the whole house every day. That’s why it’s important to prioritize what you’ll be cleaning and how much it will get cleaned before guests arrive!

What do you clean when guests are on their way?

Stop wasting food with these must-have tools

Save money by wasting less food

Tools to stop food waste

If you’re anything like me, you’re kind of obsessed with food waste. Around one third of the food produced in the world gets lost of wasted. That’s a huge deal, and no doubt it has a big environmental impact. It also has an impact on our wallets.

I hate wasting food, and I try my best to use everything I can. There are a few tools that I have that make that easier, and I thought I would share them!

Some of these tools are more expensive, but they’re a good investment. This is one of those “spend money to save money” situations. But don’t let perfect be the enemy of the good! Start small, because even small steps help.

A big freezer

This is my biggest tip, and definitely the most expensive. If I was relying only on my fridge’s freezer, I’d be wasting a lot of money and a lot of food.

With this big freezer, I’m able to buy up Thanksgiving turkeys when they’re on deep discount and save them for when I want to make them. I can buy huge hunks of beef when that’s on sale, too.

My biggest tip for the freezer, though? Process your food before you feed it.

For beef, that means making burger patties, cooking it for pasta sauce or tacos, or stuffing it into muffin tins for mini meat loaf muffins.

For poultry, that means cutting up that whole chicken and portioning it out for meals. Make sure you save the carcass for broth, too!

Good food containers

I’m a huge fan of my glass containers from Ikea. It lasts forever and can go into the oven or the microwave to cook whatever is inside with minimal prep!

Plastic tupperware is fine, too, and definitely lighter and therefore more portable.

With good, airtight storage, your food will last longer in the fridge and freezer!

Recipes

If you want to use up those leftovers or scraps from a meal, you need a good recipe. Those crusts from bread that your kid had you cut off would be GREAT to use for french toast sticks. And those potato skins make for yummy oven fries.

Plastic freezer bags

I use these to store scraps that I’m going to use for broth, like celery leaves, potato skins, carrot shavings, and onion skin. I also use these for bones that we get throughout the week. When we eat chicken thighs, I have my family throw their bones in a bag in the freezer instead of the trash.

Extra ice cube trays

This goes along with my tip to process your food as soon as you buy it.

It must be something in my house, but I just can’t keep citrus from rotting within a few days. So instead of waiting for that to happen, I juice every lemon I bring into my home immediately, and freeze the juice and pulp. Once frozen, I throw them into… you guessed it! Another freezer bag!

The added bonus is that those ice cubes require no extra work to make a refreshing drink with electrolytes after a hard workout. Just pop an ice cube in!

Food dehydrator

I don’t have one of these yet, but I wish I did! You can make so many things with a food dehydrator, from dried apple slices to fruit leather, and don’t forget beef jerky!

Those dried foods will last considerably longer, so you’re less likely to have it go to waste before you can eat it.

Canning supplies

A few Ball jars, a canning bath, and some water are all you need to save the fresh produce you get at the peak of its freshness. Once canned, those foods will last for ages and will taste delicious almost forever!

And even if you don’t want to can, these jars can be used and reused almost forever to store dry goods and truly keep insects out of them. 

Clips

Useful for closing up any kind of bag, clips are a necessity for every kitchen. I use standard binder clips because they close more tightly than chip clips, but use whatever works for you. You can get quite a few binder clips for a dollar at the Dollar Tree.

I use these clips to keep my flour tightly closed to keep bugs out, to close frozen fruit and veggie bags so they don’t get freezer burned, and yes, for chips.

Frozen meat loaf muffins (frugal meals)

My family of 3 adults and 1 toddler is currently working on getting rid of all of our debt. My husband and I live with my father to help consolidate bills and save us all money.

Because of our goal to be debt free, we keep to a budget for our groceries. Everyone’s budget is going to vary base on their own income and where they live, but for us we aim to stay around $70 a week.

That’s $70 for 7 lunches and 7 dinners, plus snacks and breakfast for my son.

To help do this, we use the chest freezer I bought when I was pregnant a lot. We buy our meat in bulk when it’s on sale, and package it up for different meals before freezing it.

Trust me, you don’t want to take one of those huge 5 pounds of beef rolls and just throw it in the freezer like that. It’ll take forever to thaw and then you’ll have to use all 5 pounds super quick!

One of the ways that we do this is by making frozen mini meat loaf muffins. We freeze them raw so they’re ready to bake, but you can freeze them after being cooked and cooled too!

I want to be clear that any recipe will work with this. Seriously. If you have grandma’s recipe written down, it’ll work. Just shove that recipe into a muffin tin and freeze away. You’ll have to check on them to take them out once they’re 160*f, but once you make these muffins once you’ll be able to write down how long you need to cook them for and it’s super simple after that.

Here’s my recipe:

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 small onion, chopped to your preferred size
  • 1.5 lb ground beef
  • 1 large egg, beaten lightly
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup dried plain bread crumbs
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Your preferred sauce for meat loaf

INSTRUCTIONS

  • If you’re baking these before freezing them, preheat the oven to 350*f. Otherwise, line your tins with plastic wrap. This will make it easier to get the frozen raw meatloaf out of the muffin tin.
  • Melt the butter and add the chopped onions. Cook them until they’re soft. Remove from heat and allow to cool so they don’t cook the beef.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the beef, egg, milk, onions, and bread crumbs with salt and pepper. Mix well.
  • If you’re baking the muffins now, brush your muffin tin with vegetable oil or olive oil.
  • Divide the meat loaf mix into the muffin tin holes. Lightly pat them into each of the tins.

IF YOU’RE BAKING NOW:

  • Get your preferred meat loaf sauce ready.
  • Make your meat loaf muffins for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and add your meat loaf sauce. Bake for 10 to 15 more minutes or until a meat thermometer reads 160*.
  • Let stand for a few minutes, then serve and enjoy! Or let them cool, wrap them up, throw them into a freezer bag, and warm them up later in the microwave.

IF YOU’RE FREEZING RAW:

  • Cover the tins with plastic wrap. Freeze until the meat is set and won’t deform. Pop the meat loaf muffins out, wrap them up, and throw them into a freezer bag.
  • When you’re ready to cook them, bake at 350* for 20 to 25 minutes, until a meat thermometer reads 160*.

Toddler Meal Plan (Week of February 17, 2019)

I’m a bad mom.

I try my best most days. I play with my son, I take him outside even on really cold and snowy days. I dance with him. I read to him. I feed him.

But do I feed him well?

To be honest with you, no. I don’t.

I just don’t even know where to start when it comes to feeding him. He hates so many of the things I love, and will only eat so many foods.

But I decided that I’m not going to let his pickiness, and my pickiness, get in the way of him eating healthy and delicious food anymore. I’m going to break out the toaster oven, the food processor, the blender! And I’m going to cook good, wholesome food for my son.

So how am I going to start doing that? By meal planning! This is my plan for this week:

Monday

Breakfast

Oatmeal and yogurt

I’ll be eating a bagel or some eggs and drinking coffee.

Lunch

Toast with peanut butter

I’ll be eating the same thing, or maybe another bagel if I’m craving one.

Dinner

Alfredo noodles and mixed veggies

We will be eating alfredo noodles with vegetables as well.

Snacks

Bananas or frozen berries

Tuesday

Breakfast

Bagels and cream cheese

I’ll have a bagel or eggs.

Lunch

Taco meat and broccoli

I’ll be having a beef quesadilla with that taco meat and some broccoli too.

Dinner

Chicken breasts with ranch and macaroni and cheese

We will be eating the same as our son (without the ranch!)

Snacks

Bananas or yogurt

Wednesday

Breakfast

Cereal

I’ll have a bagel, eggs, or cereal.

Lunch

Toast with peanut butter

I’ll be having some beef stew that I have in the freezer.

Dinner

We go out with one of the grandmas for dinner on Wednesdays, so I’m off the hook!

Snacks

Bananas or frozen berries

Thursday

Breakfast

Oatmeal

I’ll be having a bagel or eggs again!

Lunch

Spaghetti and ground beef

I’ll probably have some spaghetti, too. Spaghetti is my son’s favorite meal so you can expect to see this a lot in my meal plans!

Dinner

Taco meat and rice

Burritos for the whole family!

Snacks

Granola bar or yogurt

Friday

Breakfast

Pancakes and eggs

I’ll be having some pancakes too. Yum!

Lunch

Bagel and cream cheese

I’ll have a bagel too.

Dinner

Spaghetti and ground beef

We’ll all have spaghetti and ground beef.

Snacks

Bananas or frozen berries

The weekend

My son spends the weekend with his grandparents, so I’m off the hook for those meals.

So what will you be feeding your kids this week? And do you struggle with figuring out meals for them?


If you haven’t yet, check out the spring collection of jewelry that I’m working on! There are some beautiful and feminine designs, from sakura blossoms to butterflies.