Look What Mommy Made

A creative, home-made, hand-made blog

How to Make a Paracord Dog Collar (Double King Cobra Knot)

How to Make a Paracord Dog Collar

In my house, my husband, 13 year old son, 9 month old son, and I practice survival skills. For fun. Yes. We do this. No, we are not “preppers”. We don’t have an underground bunker or a pool turned into a pond. We DO have a stocked fridge, and pantry staples, but I couldn’t tell you that it’s anything like 6 months worth.

What I mean when I say that we practice survival for fun is that we practice camping in tents, by the lake. We make fires, and eat wild plants (although out of all of us, I’m the only one that could tell you about plants that are edible. And its only because I am very interested in gardening). My husband takes my 13 year old hunting on occasion and I have been as well. So when I say that we practice survival, I mean that we know the basics of how to survive outdoors for at least a few days, if we ever had to. You just never know.

So, onto why we are making paracord dog collars. Paracord is great for “cordage”. It can be used to get down steep hills, or up them. It can help you carry items on your back. It can become a hammock to keep you off the ground. It can help you make a shelter. So, having as much as you can is a good idea. If our dogs got stuck with us (say, after a tornado that oklahoma is famous for), we would be able to use the cordage for a variety of things, if we needed to.

Now, that you know why, here is how we (read: I) did it.

What You’ll Need:

  • Measurement of your dog’s neck. (I did this by wrapping a string around the neck as tightly as it should be, and putting that length of string next to a tape measure to find the amount of inches.)
  • 550 pound strength paracord (we get ours from our local army surplus store), read on for amount needed
  • Plastic or Metal buckle appropriate in size to your dog

We have two 50-lb pit bulls, so we wanted the collars to be decently wide. We chose the Double Cobra, or King Cobra, or Double King Cobra knot (it has a few names) for this, since it comes out wide, and also allows for quite a bit of paracord (about 40 feet, total, per collar). When I measured the dogs’ necks, I came up with 20 inches for both dogs. So this let me know I needed about 40 feet of paracord; 20 feet of each color.

To begin, you’ll need to take the ends of your two colors and burn them with a lighter, to stick them together. Just hold the lighter to the ends of both colors and then stick them together while they are still hot. They will stick together, and once they are cool, make a good bond. Once you have accomplished this, you will take the loop and put it through the end of the buckle. String the OTHER ends (the ones that have not been burned together) through the loop you just made with the burned ends. [Sorry I didn’t take a picture of this!]

Now, take those ends and loop them through the other end of the buckle. (Note: there are many ways to do this, but I prefer to keep my buckle clipped together and make my knots)

At this point, I put the “collar” around my dog’s neck and tightened it where I wanted it, then held it tight on the end where the cords are loose. The first knot is difficult, but this is how I do it! YouTube has LOTS of videos. (Maybe I should have made one? hehe) Below is a slideshow of what I did.

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There you have it! It can be confusing.. and don’t get discouraged. I restarted the black and red collar 3 times!! And I had almost finished it ALL THREE TIMES! That one took me about 2 weeks to finish because I had to just stop for a few days. ๐Ÿ™‚

If you have any paracord projects you’ve made, PLEASE share them with me! I would love to pin them, and/or try them, too! ๐Ÿ™‚
Have Fun!

-Roxanne, LWMM

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5 Childhood Dishes You Should Never Forget

I was looking through my cabinets the other day, realizing I had nothing really to make for lunch. Admittedly, I had bread and sandwich

Beanie Weenies

Beanie Weenies. Image from mommyskitchen.net

makings. I had Ramen noodles. I had peanut butter. Jelly. But nothing sounded good. None of it was appetizing. I was going through the fridge and found some hot dogs that had been opened, sitting in a Tupperware. Then it hit me, “Beanie Weenies!”
As I was eating, I thought this would make a great blog post. I started thinking of a conversation I had with some friends not long ago about the various crazy things you put together as a kid just to eat. Especially when you’re poor. :/
Mac and Cheese, Hot Dogs, Corn Dogs, Fish Sticks. These are all things you ate as a kid. Now here are some things you most likely ate as well, and should never forget about, just in case you wind up in the kitchen trying to figure out something to eat, like me.

5 Childhood Dishes

  1. “Beanie Weenies” – Good ol’ pork and beans, brown sugar, and hot dogs, cut up. YUMMY. Just a little sweet and filling! And CHEAP.
  2. Bologna and Cheese Roll-ups – I don’t know about you, but I ate these all the time. Sliced cheese and slices of bologna rolled up together and eaten. Another Cheap thing to eat, especially on the go! And to make it grown up, trade the bologna for turkey or ham!
  3. Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese! – Pretty straight forward! Sometimes, I eat my soup with what my husband calls a “hot sandwich”. I use miracle whip, cheese, and those .50 cent packages of honey ham, turkey, or chicken. Then cook it like a grilled cheese! YUM! This is my favorite meal.
  4. Ramen Noodles! – Oh, this never goes away (especially when you’re broke.. or too lazy to make something better!). We keep the house stocked with Ramen noodles because they really are so versatile. I use the spicy chicken and creamy chicken flavors together (splitting them with someone most of the time!), add 1-2TBSP peanut butter, 1TBSP soy sauce, 1TBSP minced garlic, a little lime juice (like 1tsp) and voila! You have a makeshift pad thai! (stir together sauce ingredients beforehand to make it easy. The PB likes to stick to noodles.)
  5. Malt-O-Meal – Okay, I’m not sure who else eats this, but I still do. I grew up with chocolate malt-o-meal for breakfast. We added a little milk and sugar and it was super yummy, especially when it was cold. I still eat this on occasion, and still love it. ๐Ÿ™‚

There you have it. I love just thinking about these dishes because they bring back memories. I hope you guys enjoy some of your own and share them with me! ๐Ÿ˜€ I’ve got kids now and would love the ideas! ๐Ÿ˜‰

-Roxanne, LWMM

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How to Make Chalk Paints

How To Make Chalk Paint

How To Make Chalk Paint – Easy to do!

Well, everyone, sorry I’ve been gone for a little bit! I had a weekend in Arizona with some friends (a tweetup, actually), and I’ve been working extra hard on trying to some work. Unfortunately, my non-existent budget is back in action! That could be a good thing, I guess. Lol. ๐Ÿ™‚

Anyway, I have been trying to come up with things for the kids for Christmas. Now, when I say kids, I mean my 3 year old niece, and a 3 year old little girl named Elizabeth. My 9 month old son, Luther, is a little young for hand made items like these, and I’ll write about what I’m doing for my 13 year old, later. ๐Ÿ™‚

Now, I love pinterest, and someone I follow is an addict. Haha. She always has such cool things to pin and I found this idea while looking through her boards. I changed it a little because I didn’t have any leftover bits of chalk, like that person did, and I wanted real colors, not mixed ones. Since summer came to a close in the retail stores, I managed to pick up a set of 20 pieces of chalk for .50ยข. Sweet deal!

What You’ll Need:

  • Water
  • Containers (I used baby food jars)
  • Chalk
  • Ziplock baggie
  • Something to crush the chalk with (I used the bottom of a measuring cup, and then later, the baby food jars)

Place two pieces of chalk in the baggie and smash it with whatever tool you decided to use. When crushing my chalk, I found out why it was so cheap; it had gotten wet at some point. This made it easy for me to mash up. When all of your chalk is pretty much powder, pour it into your container. I had four of each color and two little girls, so I used two pieces of each color in each jar to end up with ten.

After you have poured your crushed chalk into the container, add just enough water to give it that “paint” consistency. I filled my baby food jars about 3/4 full, and that seemed to work out pretty good. Shake up the contents. ๐Ÿ™‚ That’s it!

Now, you will also need a paint brush to actually use the “paints”, but you can pick those up at a local hobby store. Also, DO NOT USE FOAM BRUSHES! They tear up on the sidewalk and concrete, so there really is no point in wasting your money on them. A thin, 1 inch paintbrush used for trim and molding it just about perfect!

The paints won’t show up great while they are still wet, but after they dry, they look great! Just be sure to shake up your containers before using them, to make sure everything is good and mixed!

Have fun!

-Roxanne, LWMM

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“Easiest Corndogs Ever”

Easiest Corndogs - not my image!So, a lazy day I was searching on Pinterest and happened across a pin that I thought would be A-w-e-s-o-m-e. It was a pin for the “easiest corndogs ever”. Essentially, jiffy cornbread in a muffin tin with hot dogs cut into bite sizes, shoved in the middle, and baked.

When I looked at the source site for this pin, I was sad to see it was only an image, with no real recipe or blog attached to it. So I figured I would try it. It couldn’t be that hard. So I got to it:

My two boxes of jiffy, corresponding quantity of eggs, milk, hot dogs, and muffin paper cups.

I filled the tin with paper cups, preheated my oven at 400 and added my jiffy ingredients to a bowl. I whisked it up and filled my paper cups (12 muffin tin cups,about 3/4 full).

I cut three hot dogs into thirds, to fit in the middle of each muffin, then just pushed them into the middle of the raw mix.

I baked them for about 15 minutes (they were just starting to brown a little bit on the edges.)

Now, to my delight, they turned out looking pretty perfect. Not exactly like my pin, but close enough. I was super excited to try them. My husband, whom hates “Yankee cornbread” (the yellow, sweet kind.. Which to my knowledge is considered “southern”, and “Yankees” were the northern statespeople.. But I love my dear husband, so I try not to think about it too much. ๐Ÿ˜‰ ), tried them first. He said there was too much “muffin”.

When I ate one, unfortunately, I agreed. I love jiffy, but for this particular experience, I was expecting something a little different. My husband suggested slicing the hot dogs up next time, although he was skeptical about eating them again (he’s oh-so-picky about food).

Once you actually get to the meat, the combination is really close to a corndog, and exactly what I had expected to taste, but there’s just SO much muffin!

I aim to try these again, and take hubby’s suggestion. They definitely need more hot dog. ๐Ÿ™‚

If you try these, let me know! Or if you have any suggestions, I’m always looking for kid/teen friendly, car-friendly or crock pot-able, easy meals for our trips to Oklahoma City twice a month or so!

-Roxanne, LWMM

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How to Get Old Candle Wax Out Of Jars

So we’ve all had this problem. You burn a candle until the wick is gone, and are then left with a pretty jar with a half inch of wax in the bottom. You cant relight it anymore, and the jar is pretty much useless now, unless you get the wax out. ๐Ÿ™‚

Back when I was more of a candle fanatic, I ran into this all the time. If you’re anything like I was, you probably just set another candle inside the jar, on top of the old wax. I did it for years, until my dad told me I could get the wax out. I was all ears.

Im going to share a few ways to do this, and you can use any way! They all work!

Way Number 1: How to Remove Candle Wax From a Jar

  1. Set your oven to 200 degrees.
  2. While the oven heats up, line a shallow dish with aluminum foil, making sure to cover the bottom and sides. (you can also use a glass dish sprayed with non-stick cooking spray).
  3. Turn your jars or other oven proof candle container upside down, on the foil, or glass dish.
  4. Place the dish with the jars in the oven for 10-15 minutes, or just long enough that all the wax melts, and covers the bottom of the dish.
  5. Remove the dish CAREFULLY (so you dont spill wax everywhere!) and allow everything to cool for an hour or so.
  6. Remove jars from hardened wax, and break up your wax for other projects!

I’ve found that getting wax out of my jars this way leaves a filmy residue on the inside of the jars, so wiping the inside with a paper towel might be necessary.

Way Number 2: Getting Candle Wax Out of Jars

  1. Bring a small pot of water to boil (or use a kettle, which makes pouring easier).
  2. Lay out a paper towel or old newspaper, and put your jars on top.
  3. After the water is boiling, fill each container with the hot water (leaving space on top. Don’t fill all the way up!)
  4. Wait overnight (or a few hours) and when you come back, the cooled wax will have floated to the top of your jars, easily removable!
  5. Pour out the water and voila! All done!

Way Number 3: How To Remove Old Candle Wax From Jars

  1. Remove any wicks or metal disks (that used to hold the wick)
  2. Place your jar in the microwave for 1 minute (maybe less or more, depending on your microwave). [WARNING! DO NOT MICROWAVE METAL CONTAINERS!]
  3. When the wax has melted, use an oven mitt to remove the jar and pour the wax into your desired container.

So there you have it; Three ways you can remove old wax from your candle jars to reuse the wax.. Or the jars.. Or both! Of course, being me, you know I’ll be doing both, so stay tuned for when I show you what I did with the old wax!

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3 Tips to Make Your Home Feel.. Extravagant

Use Body spray to refresh your fabrics, beds, curtains and more!

..Well, maybe not extravagant, but these tips will make your home feel more fancy, maybe.

If you’re like me and my family, you probably keep your house mostly cleaned up, but like most people that I know, including us, there’s always messy stuff somewhere. Clutter from the mail, or laundry in baskets, clean or not. Children’s toys strewn all over. I’m sure you can relate, at least a little.

Anyway, while taking stock of my home one day, I realized I hated the way it looked. I’m not super organized, but I do like things to look that way! ๐Ÿ˜‰ So I was on Pinterest, and saw a great pin that has helped me (when I keep up!) in a big way, to keeping up with my house, without spending an entire weekend cleaning, after a week’s worth of mess. It has daily and nightly chores to do, plus one or two specific chores a day. I recommend it to anyone, and alter it to fit your lifestyle, of course.

1) Here is the Pin for keeping your house clean day-by-day.

So that was the first tip. The second tip is really easy. You’ll need cheap (or not, your choice) body spray. Body spray is SUPER easy to find and cheap. You can pick up a multi-pack of spray at the dollar store for a few bucks, most of the time! Anyway, I frequently get body spray for christmas and most of the time, I really don’t need it, or I get too much! ..Or one I don’t particularly enjoy wearing. So instead of re-gift it (Seinfield, anyone?), I spray it like febreeze! HA! My teenaged son isn’t always around, so when I change his sheets, I spray some body spray on the bed, while making it. It makes the room and the sheets smell great. I spray it on the mattress, then on top of the fitted sheet, on the pillows before I put them into the cases, and again on top of the flat sheet, before I top it with a bedspread. I love doing this for guest areas, too. You can use it on couches and chairs, carpets, curtains, whatever.

2) Use Body Spray to make a bed, carpet, curtains, or upholstered furniture smell lovely.

My third suggestion, is sort of tied into number two. I like my towels to smell nice, too. ๐Ÿ™‚ So that when I step out of a nice hot shower (when I get one!), I get to wrap myself in a towel filled with wonderful scents. Like lavendar. Or jasmine. Now, you’re interested, right? It’s really easy. You can do this with your whole closet, or just one or two “special towels” specifically for those stress relieving baths and showers. Get some essential oil like Lavendar, Jasmine, Eucalyptus, Lemon-Grass.. or something that makes you feel ..comfy! Now get some cotton balls and drop a few drops of your oil onto it. If you have just a few towels, then place the cotton balls and the towels into a plastic bag and seal it. When you are ready to use them, you can take them out and use them. You’ll be wrapped in heaven. ๐Ÿ™‚ When you’re done, put them back into the bags after a wash. If you want to do this to all of your towels, drop the oil onto a few cotton balls and place them into an open plastic bag (to keep them from touching any surfaces and staining) and hang the bag inside your linen closet. Everytime you open that door, you’ll be greeted with your scent and your towels will smell wonderful, too (not as strongly as if you seal a towel in a bag with the cotton ball).

3) Use essential oils to make your towels smell like heaven and / or use them to de-stress.

I hope you enjoy these three tips. I do! Do you have any other tips like these you like to use?

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Recipes Using Nutella

Okay, I won’t lie. I only just recently discovered the magical taste of the hazelnut spread known as “Nutella”. Shock! Gasp! Disbelief! I know. How dare I wait so long! Well, now I have ideas to share, friends! Recipes using Nutella! Oh, I’m sure there are plenty out there, but these were a few my husband (another recent convert, via me) came up with as we sat and enjoyed the spread as a dessert. ๐Ÿ™‚ Enjoy!

5 easy recipes that use Nutella

  1. No Cooking Required Nutella S’mores! – Want S’mores without the fire (or microwave)? Spread Nutella on one graham cracker square, and marshmallow cream on another. Squish together and Voila!
  2. Nutella Icing – just use Nutella on your cupcakes for a decadently rich treat ๐Ÿ™‚
  3. Nutella Crepes – dish up some crepe pancakes and spoon a bit of Nutella down the middle. Roll them up, and serve!
  4. Okay, this one doesn’t use Nutella, but.. Homemade Nutella! – Check out this Pin on Pinterest for homemade Nutella!
  5. 4 Ingredient Nutella Brownies – These only use 4 ingredients!

(Did you know there was a World Nutella Day?)

And there you have it! 5 recipes that use Nutella! If you have any more ideas, or have tried any of these, let me know about it in the comments!

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3 Uses for Instant Coffee (Besides Coffee)

So maybe you got this box of instant coffee “singles” for work, or you bought some instant coffee for camping, but you never used all of it, and now you’re stuck with it. What do you do? I mean, coffee is coffee, right? What do you do with it, if not drink it?

Uses for instant coffee

What Else Can You Do With Instant Coffee?

Well, friends, here’s a list (albeit short) of new uses for that instant coffee, so it doesn’t just sit in your pantry or file drawer at work anymore:

1.) Make “Antique Paper” – Add some coffee to water in a pan, crinkle some printer paper, and lay it in the water for a few minutes, then gently pull it out and let it dry. Bam! It looks antique. Useful for crafts!
2.) Pour it on Ice Cream! – Sprinkle some onto your ice cream for a new kind of topping! It’s pretty yummy.
3.) Bake with it – I used it in this recipe for Layered Mocha Cheesecake for my husband’s birthday, and it turned out GREAT!

Do you have anymore ideas or ways you use instant coffee? Share with me in the comments!

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Homemade Chocolate Syrup!

So, by now, if you’ve been following my blog, you’ve heard about my non-existent budget. Well, like most people, my husband and I like to have chocolate ever-so-often. In fact, it led me on my search for cheap and easy chocolate recipes, like the Recipes in a Mug and my absolute favorite quick and easy, one-pan chocolate brownie recipe, ever.

Well, I just happened to find this recipe while searching on a coupon website. It’s great for chocolate milk and all the other lovely things that you can make with Chocolate Syrup!

So here it is,

How to Make Chocolate Syrup!

What You’ll Need:

  • 1/2 cup Cocoa Powder
  • 1 cup Water
  • 2 cups Sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon Vanilla

Mix cocoa and water in a decent sized saucepan (to be safe, use a large one!).ย  Heat it up and stir it to dissolve the cocoa. ย Add the sugar, stirring to dissolve it, too. ย Boil this mixture for 3 minutes over medium heat, but be careful not to let it get too hot and boil over (which it will do very easily if you aren’t careful!)ย  Turn off the heat and add the salt and vanilla. Let it cool completely (which can take a few hours, honestly) and then pour it into a glass jar, or use a funnel to pour it into a recycled plastic container to pour from. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Voila! You have just made chocolate syrup!

It will thicken in the fridge some, and it’s runny when its still warm, so don’t worry about any of that too much! ๐Ÿ™‚

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We’ve used it over ice cream, in milk, and over brownies! It has been great and its cheap and easy to make!

ENJOY!

-Roxanne, LWMM

To give credit where its due: recipe was found here.
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How to Make Your Own Flavored Water

How to Make Flavored Water

Make your own Flavored Water!

Yes, you read that title correctly! Make your own flavored water! If you’re like me, you know you need to drink water, but you really just want something with flavor. You know that all that sugar in your tea and juice is bad, but water really just isn’t what you want.

Let’s change that! I have seen a lot of “infusers” lately, and it made me curious. What do you do with those? I’ve had a lemon in my water and it doesn’t taste all that yummy. Well, why not choose another fruit? Or an herb? Or both? Oh, yes. You can do this. You can even add a little sugar, if you can’t stand the way it tastes and a teaspoon or two isn’t going to blow your whole day, especially if you’re just starting this new lifestyle of getting healthier. (Eventually, you’ll get used to having less sugar, and then you may leave it out all together.)

What You’ll Need:
Water
Fruit
Herbs like Basil, Lavendar, Mint (optional)

Fill a pitcher with spring water, if you want, or just regular tap water. I used tap water. I had a lemon and some basil leftover from another recipe, so I used the rest for this one. ๐Ÿ˜‰ (It turned out VERY yummy. Even my 13 year old son thought so!)

You can place your fruit in a cheese cloth and tie it so you can easily remove it later, or just throw in the fruit (which is what I did) and strain it out with a spoon after its done “steeping”.

I refrigerated this overnight and then removed the herbs and fruit. Pour over ice and voila! Flavored water!

Some other recipes to try:

Make Flavored Water

Its really easy to make flavored water!

Lemon and Mint
Lemon and Lavendar
Blackberries
Oranges
Strawberries
Lemongrass
Ginger
Cucumbers
Watermelon
Grapefruit
Pomegranate and Blueberries
Cranberries and Orange Slices
Lemon and Ginger
Pineapple slices and coconut water
Strawberries and Vanilla extract
Apple Slices
Mango and Kiwi
Blueberries
Lime and Mint leaf

There are so many combinations! Try what you think you’d like and let me know how it turned out!

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