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Thursday, September 3, 2015

DIY: Homemade Chalkboards

Great thing to DIY for your homeschool. Let the kids help.

After spending several hours scrolling through Pinterest DIY pins, I decided that I wanted to make my own chalkboards! What a cute, simple task that allows me to personalize my own home and test my creativity at the same time! I wanted 2 chalkboards: one would be used in the entryway of my house, the other would be used to display what is for dinner in the kitchen! In this tutorial, we will make the chalkboards from framed pictures without having to take apart the frame and the glass and then reassembling it.

Here is what you will need:

- Framed glass picture (I found mine at Goodwill for about $3 a piece)
- Painters tape
- Latex gloves
- Sanding block
- Primer
- Pint of desired paint color (for frame)
- Chalkboard paint
- (2)1" paintbrushes
- Small roller brush
- Paint tray
- Newspaper, tarp or cardboard (for easy clean-up)
- Chalk
Optional (If you wish to hang the chalkboard):
- Nails
- Hammer


Start by taking all of your supplies outside or to some open area. Lay down the protective material you selected for easy clean-up (I used a broken-down cardboard box).

Getting Started:

We will start by painting the frame first, then finish with the chalkboard paint. Begin by taping the glass that is immediately surrounding the frame. Next, sand the frame with the sanding block. Be sure to sand until the frame has a rough texture so that the new coat of paint will stay on. Next, prime the frame with the primer and a paintbrush (depending on the original color, you may need 2 coats). By using a paintbrush, you can ensure that you are getting inside any grooves of the frame. Priming keeps the original color of the frame from showing up underneath the new paint color. Let any coats of primer dry completely.


We are going to paint right on top of the glass and on top of any picture that might be hiding underneath. Ensuring that the glass is still taped from the priming steps, we will begin painting the picture frame. Since we are using such a small amount of paint, it is not necessary to pour the paint into a tray. Dip your 1" paintbrush into the pint of paint and dab away any excess paint on the rim of the container. Paint the frame using long strokes, and be sure that your paint is being applied in just one direction (do not go side to side when you paint the frame with upward and downward strokes). By using a paintbrush, you can be sure that any nooks and crannies are seeing an equal amount of paint as every other spot on the frame. You will probably need at least two coats (let the coats dry completely before continuing).

Applying chalkboard paint to the glass:

Once the frame has completely dried, remove the tape from the glass. Next, you will need to tape the edges of the frame nearest to the glass to ensure that you do not get chalkboard paint all over your newly-painted frame. Next, you will need your chalkboard paint. You can buy chalkboard paint in a spray can or in a paint tub (I do not have excellent spray-painting skills, so I bought a quart of chalkboard paint). Pour your chalkboard paint into a paint tray and get your paint roller. Begin by rolling the chalkboard paint on the glass in long strokes (be sure that the paint goes on in just one direction). Let the first coat dry completely before adding the second. I like a very dark chalkboard so I painted a total of three coats onto my glass, just make sure that the coats are even. Once the chalkboard paint is dry, remove the tape from the picture frame.

There you have it! This homemade chalkboard cannot be any easier to make! Begin enjoying your new chalkboard by writing a creative welcome message, or displaying the dinner menu, or any fun message that you desire. If you wish to hang the chalkboard, hammer a couple of nails in the wall, hang the picture hooks on the nails and "Viola!!!" All done!

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Middle Ground Prepping: A Sensible Approach 

Middle Ground Prepping: A Sensible Approach Was a free book for kindle at time of this posting. Learn how middle ground prepping can get you prepared without taking over your life.

Somewhere in between the fanatical preppers highlighted on the hit reality show “Doomsday Preppers” and the millions of Americans who have done nothing to assemble emergency supplies lies “middle ground prepping.” Middle ground prepping is a concept that provides a measured and reasonable approach to preparing for impending emergencies or disasters in order to protect yourself and your family.
The first 3 chapters of the book delve into the history of prepping in the United States and the modern psychology of prepping. You will learn why we need to prepare for emergencies and how to prepare for future disasters using the more reasonable concept of middle ground prepping.

Chapter 1 – Why We Prepare
Chapter 2 – The Government Can’t Do It All
Chapter 3 – Disaster Awareness

Chapter 4 – Don’t Focus on One Disaster will expand your horizons and thoughts about disaster preparedness to include not only natural disasters but local hazards you probably have not considered during your emergency planning. Some of the more realistic hazards considered include: civil unrest, chemical attacks, earthquakes, electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attacks, floods, hazardous material incidents, heat waves, house fires, hurricanes, infectious diseases, nuclear explosions, power outages, terrorism, thunderstorms, tornadoes, tsunamis, water supply disruption, wildfires, and winter storms.

Top 5 reasons why your disaster preparedness is not as good as you may think.

Chapter 5 – Required Supplies begins with a presentation of the top 5 reasons you are not as prepared as you think. This chapter shows you how to start assembling the critical supplies you may need to survive the worse natural disaster scenario in your neighborhood, city, county or state. You’ll learn that you don’t need to go to extremes, just do some prudent planning so you and your family can be self-sufficient for at least three days should the worse ever happen to you.

Discover an approach that will provide you with emergency preparedness independence.

Chapter 6 – Middle Ground Prepping provides five well-defined steps that will allow you to develop a comprehensive emergency plan in a reasonable amount of time. By simply following the Planning, Acquiring, Responding, Training, and Evaluating steps you will experience considerable peace of mind and knowledge that your family is prepared to survive any disaster that may come your way. You can be a sensible prepper on your schedule without becoming obsessed with over-the-top preparedness notions and low probability theoretical disasters.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Food Storage Recipes - Beef Stew

I had gotten a couple of cans of this Hunt's, Dinner Starters, Seasoned Tomato Sauce For Beef Stew from the Dollar store a while ago and decided to make it tonight.

You just add some cheap steaks that are cut up into bit size pieces, some vegetables ( like potaotoes, carrots, celery, etc ) and this Hunt's, Dinner Starters, Seasoned Tomato Sauce For Beef Stew, and 1 cup of water. Add it all to your crock pot and let it cook all day.

It is smelling great already. I am going to serve it with some homemade biscuits.

Homemade Solar Hot Water Heater Plans - A Simple Way to Build a DIY Solar Powered Hot Water Heater

The need for hot water is an essential part of a human being's daily activity, with importance running in different ranges such as that from bathing to cooking to first aid and medicine. Electricity and consumption of resources are readily consumed to fulfill this necessity, in the United States of America alone, each household consumes an average of 1000 to 2000 gallons of oil every year just to heat up water and with an almost depleted source of fossil fuels in the earth's crust using hot water in ones home may sooner or later be considered a thing of the past. However with the development, innovation, and simple homemade diy solar hot water heater plans, life in terms of water heating can never be the same again.

Solar hot water heaters capture the sun's unlimited light energy and convert them to heat energy which is responsible for warming up the water source. Home made solar hot water heaters are usually built with aluminum window designed panes lined up with glass windows which act as solar panels or the catchers of the sun's radiant power. Within this glass made container are pipes and tubes which contain copper wires. The copper wires are used to turn the heat it receives to heat-up the stored water in the tank. The lacking step to finish off making a do it yourself home made solar water heater are connections between the device and the storage tank where one keeps the water which needs to be heated up.

The heating panel assembly is usually located below the tank; this is, so that natural movement of water is used to move around the water, need for pump to drive water is thus not needed lessening installation, manufacturing and processing costs.

The heated water initially found near the heated port goes up in the tank and pushes the cold water down replacing it in the system, giving this time a chance for this water to be heated up. This cycle continues until most of the water system has gained thermal equilibrium.

Buying a solar hot water heater is already available in local market stores however building instead of purchasing a personal solar hot water heater is not only good for one's electric monthly consumption (by making the cost of heating water halved or totally eliminated), the environment (it is ecologically friendly giving off lesser pollution directly or indirectly) but also personal satisfaction in knowing that it was through one's own toil, sweat and hard work that such household apparatus was made. Initial cost is also much cheaper when making one as compared to buying, especially if one uses old, recyclable or about to be thrown away materials found hidden behind the shelves of the attic or the garage door.

Want full help in making anything solar? Be eco-friendly and save on electricity.

Go now to to know more on using renewable energy sources at your home.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Food Storage Recipe ~ Chicken Fajitas

Got out the old crock pot !

Chicken Fajitas


Boneless chicken strips - I was lucky enough the other day to get about 5 pounds on meat markdown and for this I used about 1 pound. Just enough for sons.

About half a bag of 3 pepper stir fry mix - get in frozen section of Savalot

1 package of fajita seasoning mix.

1/4 cup of water.

Pour everything in the crock pot and turn on. I put mine on high for about 30 minutes to get it started and then turned it to low. It is slow cook all afternoon and be done just in time for supper. Serving with tortillas, spanish rice, and refried beans.

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