Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Pin 58--Part II

Remember this?
No? Okay, go read Pin 58 here, and then come back.
I finally finished it. This simple dress turned out to be a big experimental project for me! I stitched and ripped out so many things on this dress I am surprised it is not mangled to rags.

So I wore it once with the thin red belt. The dress kept slipping around and up and down and I kept ending up with these ridiculously baggy armpits. I needed a more permanent waist. I tried a few different styles of elastic empire waists, but none of them fit just how I was looking for.

This is a huge piece of fabric, too wide  and too long for me. I had to bring it in a bit on each side because there was just too much to gather and still have it look right. I also lopped it off at the knee.

End the end, I went back to my old stand-by solution--shirring. I put the belt on where I wanted the waist to be, took a piece of chalk and drew all the way around and then shirred this line for seven rows.

When I was happy with the waist I decided to take an additional 4 inches off. I probably would have been fine with taking of 2.5 or 3, but too late now. I showed my husband the dress before I took the additional length off. His response, "Hmm. Well, its actually a little bit hot." Geez. Thanks. You have so much confidence in me. However, after I took the length off  his opinion improved greatly. Men.

So I know you are just dying to see how it turned out and I won't make you wait any longer:

Total cost: I started with $7 of fabric. I bet this is about 1/2 of that now.

Total time: If I was going for this from the start, I bet it would have been about an hour project.

Final verdict: I love this dress for summer. It is light weight and breezy and so, so comfortable. However, it is NOTHING at all like the original pin. I did learn a lot about what styles I can and can't wear though!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Pin 79

Original pin:
Pinned Image

Knotted headband tutorial, promised no sewing.

I was so, so disappointed when I found this tutorial was not for this exact headband. This picture is from an etsy shop that the blogger used for inspiration for her headbands. I really wanted a wide, stretchy headband. It looks so sweet and comfortable here. The blogger combined this picture with the tutorial I used way back at Pin 24.  Because that tutorial uses hot glue and a ribbon at the back I knew that this wide stretchy headband was not the same project. The blogger uses much thinner strips of knit.

I found two leftover t-shirt sleeves in my scrap bag and played with different cuts to see if I could replicate this with a no sew method. After about 45 minutes, I gave in. I like to sew and I didn't want to give up the wide headband. I grabbed two more leftover sleeves (the first ones were pretty mangled by this point) and cut them into two matching loops.. I cut off the seam making them into two rectangles and then knotted them in the same method originally used. I matched up the ends and stitched them shut. I used a pretty tight stitch and stitched two rows on each band because I knew these would be under a lot of tension.

The final product:
Happy with my wide band and a teased ponytail.

 You could vary the size of the knot by how tightly you pull it. I needed it to be pretty tight. The sleeves I used were from a small t-shirt left over from Super Hero Cape day so I needed all the length I could get!
With some big sunglasses and fancy coloring I felt very Hollywood.
Hair up in the back in a messy bun.
Total cost: $0

Total time: After I gave in to the sewing and started with fresh fabric, about 10 minutes.

Final verdict: I love my stretchy wide headband. I told my husband it was my dirty hair day headband because it will totally hide a greasy hair day! He didn't think that was funny. Hey, we all have hot mess mommy hair days. Throw this on with a big pair of sunglasses and roll around town in style.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Pin 78

I technically did not pin this anywhere. I am sure, sure, positively, absolutely sure I SAW this on Pinterest. I really, really THOUGHT I had pinned this somewhere, but I can not find the pin on any of my pinboards. It was such an awesome trick I just had to share it and I don't want to take credit for coming up with it all on my own so I am just going to consider it a pin without a source or a picture.

My flowers from pin Pin 71 were beautiful for at least 10 days! But the lemons were not so fresh anymore. The water was murky, the top was developing some funk. I had about seven different arrangements around the house that were all in need of a little refreshing. We were having some home improvements done last week, which really put a kink in my pin projects and is why I am a little behind on my weekly posts. I actually couldn't get to some of the arrangements due to furniture stacked absolutely EVERYWHERE!! Despite this neglect, these flowers survived.

Once the house started to come back together, I gathered all the arrangements, dumped the water and lemons, and gathered all the flowers. I rinsed all the stems to remove any funky residue. I wanted to condense them into one large arrangement. I had a few extra lemons so I pulled out a large vase and sliced my leftover lemons. The stems were not long enough to arrange in my large vase without sinking. That's when I remembered this un-pinned pin. I created a grid on the top of the vase with transparent tape.

Starting in the middle, I trimmed the old ends of the flowers and stuck them about 3-5 per grid opening. I just worked from the middle to the edges all the way around.

 This trick worked fabulously. My brain was in too much of a cluttered state to remember to take an after picture! But it was gorgeous. The grid held the flowers perfectly and kept them from sinking which made them so much easier to arrange.

As for the flowers, I am not sure if it was the lemons or the fact that I bought these flowers from a wholesale market, but they were gorgeous for at least 12 days! Even when I tossed them at least half of them were salvageable.

Total cost: $0

Total time: 2 minutes to make the grid

Final verdict: Awesome little trick. I will definitely use this again.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Pin 77

Original Pin:


Yumm. Creamy tomato pasta. My man wont eat certain foods he deems too "creamy" and since this had creamy in the title he was out. I made it for me and the boys instead. It was two very basic sauces, a tomato and an alfredo sauce stirred together. I was able to save some tomato sauce to the side for my husband and mixed the other two together. This recipe made a ton of sauce! It only calls for 1/2 lb of farfalle. I made a full pound (I have two REALLY good pasta eaters around here) and I had more than enough sauce. I stirred the two together while leaving out some tomato sauce and still had tons of creamy tomato sauce for the three of us. I even had left over tomato sauce!

I didn't have any whole milk on hand so I used 1/2 cup of 2 % and increased the half & half to 1/2 cup. It did not affect the taste or texture one bit.

As for each sauce on its own, the alfredo was awesome. Some styles I have made turn out gritty but this one was perfectly smooth. Very delicious. The tomato sauce alone, however, was a little bland. I know the recipe isn't for plain tomato sauce and blended with the cream sauce it was awesome. I am an admitted tomato sauce snob. It was through a long progression of events that I developed this snobbery for tomato sauce and it took me about two years to create my preferred version of tomato sauce. Tomato sauce is so easy to make that I very rarely buy it anymore. I digress. I didn't really eat the plain tomato sauce, just a little taste test and the opinion of my husband who is used to the sauce I generally make. That being said, he did eat multiple servings of it.

The complete package was heaven. I loved it. After his first bite, Lu said "What is this sauce?? It is sooooo delicious!" And even the non-pasta eater in the house took about four bites (pretty significant for him when it comes to pasta) and declared it "Yummy." Lu and I have been eating the leftovers for lunch this week and it is just as deliciously creamy as a leftover as it was when it was fresh. I was worried it might dry out with reheating but that has not been a problem at all.

Not the worlds greatest photo. I stuck it in a yellow bowl so the sauce kind of blends in, but you can see a little how the pasta is absolutely swimming in sauce (not that I'm complaining here!) The sauce was not yellow--more orange-y but I think the yellow bowl just makes it look yellow. Yours would probably be more red if you used more tomato sauce. I would advise you to mix in parts and taste as you go. If I had mixed the full volume of tomato sauce with the full volume of cream sauce I think the tomato may have overwhelmed the cream sauce and taken away some of the delicious thick creaminess.

Total cost: $5 for tomatoes and farfalle. All other items I had on hand. (Pretty good for the amount I made!)

Total time: 30 minutes. Quick and easy

Final verdict: The two sauces mixed together were perfect. I would hesitate to replace this basic tomato sauce with mine because I don't want to change the final product. I will make this again, it will just be for one of those nights it is just me and the boys. Or me and the girls.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Pin 76

Original pin:
Pinned Image

One last teacher gift for the year! Lu's teachers are retiring after a combined 67 years of teaching! Wow! I can imagine how many kids they must have reached in those years. Lu loved these ladies with all of his little sweet heart. He has been randomly tearing up for weeks at the thought of moving out of their class. When I went to pick him up on his last day he was puffy eyed with a wad of tissue in his hand. He refused to take a good-bye picture with them that day because we were going to their retirement reception today after church and he wanted to take it today.

On their "favorite things" list both of his teachers had listed chocolate chip cookies. I thought we could mix up a batch for them  and package them up for their thank-you/retirement gift. I had actually forgotten all about this pin. (How could I possibly be expected to remember all 910 pins I've got now??) Last night as these were baking I got on the computer to google up some cute saying for them. Every search I tried just kept bringing me to sites where I could buy chocolate chip cookies. So I turned to Pinterest, who has never failed me. I had pinned another site that had sayings for candy bars and I thought I might be able to find something there to inspire me. I went to my board "for you...or me" where I pin gift ideas and before I found my candy bar site I saw this old pin. It couldn't be more perfect! Thanks again, Pinterest. I love you forever!

The original pinner created stickers that stuck inside her jar and she even did a cute little display under the lid. This was a bit of an impromptu pin and I didn't have any sticker paper for the printer. I stamped it up on the envelope to the thank-you card and stuck it in the package. I had bought some oversized mugs at the dollar store to stack the cookies in and tied it all up in a clear plastic bag. I did use the original pinners suggestion and lined the mug with a coffee filter, which fit perfectly. I was able to easily fit six delicious cookies in each mug.

These pictures just make my mouth water. This is my FAVORITE chocolate chip cookie recipe!

The envelope stamped up and ready to go!

All packaged up and ready to go!
Total cost: $2 for the mugs. The ingredients were all on hand already since I buy so much in bulk.

Total time: 15 minutes to stamp up the cards

Final verdict: I was happy with the presentation of the gift and the saying. Sometimes those cutesy saying are really a stretch, but I liked this one. Perfect for a teacher. A perfect find on Pinterest that I had forgotten about.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Pin 75

Original pin:
Pinned Image
No source available.

Okay. Stop. Stop that laughing. . . NOW.

I actually did this every day for a week. I guess I didn't read the actual lists, because this was hard! I only had to cheat on one day. I think it was Tuesday. I could not do 20 full sit-ups. I did about 10 or so and then finished off with regular crunches.

The kids enjoyed this so much. I was surprised. While they didn't actually do all of the required exercises, they did participate. We turned on our music and pulled out the list and did all of these together. Each day took about 10 minutes to complete. It turned out to be the perfect distraction for the kids in that little time when dinner is just about complete and the kids are just about to lose it. Pulled this out and we killed the time with no complaining, tears, or fighting. I could easily peek on dinner between exercises. They always remembered that we needed to do "our exercises" and if I had forgotten, they would remind me.

This came in the midst of a diet crack-down and I actually lost nearly two pounds that week! I did feel firmer, and I was sore in places I forgot had muscles. It is a good circuit. I think I just may have to explore some more of these circuits out there. I was surprised at how easy it was to incorporate this ten minute workout into my day.

Total cost: $0

Total time: 1 hour 10 minutes, divided daily for 7 days

Final verdict: Honestly, I haven't done it for a few days due to some ridiculously hectic events around here. But I know I should. I would love to find some more to do and really work this into my life. It was hard but I know it was good for my body--and I really was surprised at how this became a quality time moment with my kiddos.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Pin 74

Original pin:
Pinned Imagehttp://www.onegoodthingbyjillee.com/2012/02/moms-english-muffin-bread.html

I've been dying to try this recipe but I needed an occasion to make four loaves. Last day of school! Yay! I needed three teacher gifts, so bread it is.

I nearly fell on the floor when I read the ingredient list. 11 cups of flour!!?!? Do I even OWN 11 cups of flour? The answer is yes. I did. If the original blogger hadn't published a photo of her dough in her mixer bowl I wouldn't have even tried to make it in my mixer bowl. I was a little wary, but it did all fit in the bowl. I didn't even spill any while I was trying to mix it up.

We've had flooring installers at our house every day this week and my house is a disaster. I was able to clean the kitchen this morning and whip this bread together easy. It is a very simple recipe and would be great for beginning cooks. When I first started cooking I was seriously TERRIFIED of using yeast. I was always afraid I was going to screw something up. I really like baking yeast breads now that I have conquered my fear, but this one would have been a great place to start.

It didn't take long to rise and baked in about 40 minutes. It was perfectly timed so that just as it was time to go pick the kiddos up from school the bread was cooled enough to handle, but warm enough to feel warm when I handed them out.

I just wrapped each loaf up in a sheet of parchment with their card and a cute ribbon. I put the name of the bread on the card and on the back stamped "Serve with butter and honey" as per recommendation by the original poster. I, personally, have tried mine with both honey and jam and found it delightful. It is a dense bread, a little salty (but I am super-sensitive to salt taste, so you may not notice). This afternoon as I was snacking on it I kept imagining it used for breakfast sandwiches. A little sausage patty, some cheese piled on top and toasted under the broiler--I see it in my future.

Total cost: $3 because I needed three more bread pans. Thank you dollar store!

Total time: 15 minutes hands on plus baking time

Final verdict: A great breakfast bread. It was soooo filling. Very easy, and pulled together quickly. Because it uses rapid rise yeast it didn't rise for long. I think it really was one of the easiest breads I have ever made. I didn't even get my fingers messy making this. I felt good about giving it as a gift too.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Pin 73

Original pin:
Pinned Imagehttp://www.sarahortega.com/2011/05/diy-bird-nest-necklace.html

I love these bird nest necklaces. I totally wanted one and I decided that for mothers day I would make one for my mother and myself! I thought I had all the supplies as I headed out to craft night with the girls but as I looked it over, I realized I needed some jump rings for the clasps. I dug through my coupons to find one for the craft store and decided to go to a different one than my usual because that is where my coupon was.

I am so happy I went to a different store because I found some great inspiration! The jewelry selection was better there and they had some fabulous charms on sale. I went in to get a $2.99 pack of jump rings and left after spending nearly $30 (on items for this & other projects)!!

I was inspired to add some sweet bird charms and some silver hearts to the bird nest necklaces and joined them all together with a larger split ring. Threaded them on the chain and added a clasp. The nests themselves were very easy. I love the imperfect-ness of them.  I am soooo happy with the way they turned out. I wanted some light blue, oval shaped beads for my nests since both my boys birthstones are blue, but I couldn't find exactly what I had in mind, so I just went with some different sized pearls.

Here are the final products:

Mom got three pearls for her three girls.

Mine has two for the two boys.
Total cost: I can't say--since it was a gift! But on etsy, you can find them from $20 to $350!

Total time: I made both of these in about 1 1/2 hours while talking, eating hummus, and drinking wine. Focused work time is probably less than one hour.

Final verdict: I am so happy with the way these turned out. My mama loves hers too! They were cute just as a nest, but I love, love the little extra charms too!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Sunshine Sugar Scrub

My last teacher appreciation post!

Way back at Pin 35 I made some Honey Vanilla Almond scrub. Using this basic idea, I whipped up some scrub for the teachers that went with our lemon-y luncheon theme. Here is my recipe (remember, I don't measure anything too precisely):

4 lbs sugar
12 oz honey
10 tbsp strongly brewed tea. (3 or 4 tea bags per cup of water)
4-5 tsp lemon extract (more or less to your aroma preference)

This filled 16 pint jars.

I looked around on the internet for some lemon scrubs. A lot of them contained lemon juice or real lemons. I worried that real lemon juice & lemons would burn the skin too much. I also didn't want the scrub to spoil with fresh fruit ingredients in it. That is why I went with the lemon extract. I felt this recipe was more shelf-stable and would last longer.

I couldn't decide on the best name for it. I've been calling it Sunshine Sugar Scrub, but I wanted to make it obvious to the teachers what the ingredients were so for teacher appreciation I called it Honey Lemon Scrub. Other titles in the running were Sun Tea Scrub and Sweet Lemon Scrub.

I had some leftovers that I packed into bigger jars that we gave to the luncheon helpers.

The teachers each received one of these little pint jars.
Total cost: Less than $10 for two full batches, plus the cost of jars for packing them in. (Another mom bought the jars, so I'm not sure the exact expense of this)

Total time: This is so fast and easy to make up. I made and jarred two batches in about 1/2 hour.

Final verdict: I love this scrub. I use mine on my hands, face, body. It leaves my skin so soft and I feel good that there are no chemicals in it. I haven't yet heard back from the teachers, but the ones I talked to liked the way it smelled. And it tastes good too! If you have ever gotten your facewash in your mouth, you will appreciated this!

Pin 72

Original Pin:
Pinned Image

You may have noticed these in Pin 71. As I mentioned in that post, I was having a little last minute scramble for jars for the teacher appreciation luncheon last week. I always save my jars when I am cooking to use as grease collectors so I had a few stashed under the sink. I tried soaking off the labels which worked for some, but two really had some awful glue on them. I tried hot water, the microwave, soaking, scrubbing, scraping. I didn't have any steel wool--this was an unexpected obstacle, but I did have some of those green heavy duty scrubbers. I called in Mr. Muscle and even he couldn't get this glue off. All we did was take it from a white gluey, sticky mess to a green mess as it shredded the scrubber.

ewww. gross.
I remembered pinning this and decided this was going to be the best solution to this problem. I didn't go back and look at the original pin at the time. I was just in "get-it-done" mode. I grabbed a ball of twine and my hot glue gun and went to work. When I went back later and read the original author's directions, we were pretty much the same. I used hot glue, but she used another type of glue. The nasty residue glue actually helped the twine stick right in place so I only used one dot of hot glue where I started. The ends I just tied in place.
The jar on the left I just tied the beginning end to the final end. The jar on the right, I did a few layers of figure eights and tied in the back.
These turned out super cute, were fast and easy to make, and fit in with our decor perfectly! The perfect fix to this sticky label problem.

In action
Total cost: $0, upcycled jars, leftover twine that originated from the dollar store

Total time: 5 minutes per jar

Final verdict: I loved this simple solution to hiding the ugly adhesive on the jars.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Pin 71

Original pin:
Pinned Image

Our theme for the teacher's appreciation luncheon was yellow, so I did not go with the red bandanna runner, just the lemon & daisies motif.

So many things right about this. I just don't know where to start.

First, I think it is sweetly simple and pretty.

Secondly, and I didn't know this before, but the lemons help the flowers stay fresher, longer. I was a little worried making these that the lemons would make the water too acidic for the flowers. I was arranging them the night before and I didn't want them to die overnight. A little google action later, I learned that the lemon was actually great for the flowers.

I just went with white daisies. I wanted to but them in bulk because I did not need the extra greenery that comes with arrangements. I tried to order them from a wholesale club in our area but there seemed to be some communication difficulties. Next, I called a local florist. He said he could do it, but that I could get a better deal if I went to Fort Worth Flower Market on 7th. Thanks for the advice! If you are in Hurst, support Cooper's Florist! Since they were so helpful and honest, I will be buying my next arrangement there! As for bulk, 7th street was definitely the way to go!

As I gathered my supplies to pull it all together, I realized I only had 6 mason jars instead of the 9 I thought I had. I had to scramble for some extra vases at the last minute but the eclectic grouping just pulled it all together perfectly.

The next morning, the flowers were fully opened and absolutely gorgeous. I added some color-coordinated ribbons and they were beautiful!
My eclectic grouping of jars, pitchers, and vases.

I threw some white Asters in the tall glass. A parent brought a dish in this picnic basket that worked perfectly with the theme so we pulled it into the decor!

The teachers loved them!

Total cost: $5 worth of lemons, $37 of flowers. Random assortment of already owned jars & vases made 11 arrangements

Total time: 1 1/2 hours of arranging

Final verdict: I love the way they turned out and we got lots of compliments. Super cute! And I feel smart knowing that adding a little lemon to the water will keep the flowers fresh. The flowers are nearly five days old now and still look gorgeous. Not one has wilted yet.

And just a few extra flower pictures. I just couldn't stop taking pictures of them. I don't think I have ever had this many gorgeous flowers in my house at one time!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Pin 70

I have so many pins I have been waiting to share with you!! I've been working on putting together a luncheon for Teacher Appreciation Week and I didn't want to spoil any of there surprises by posting them here. The lunch was yesterday so the next few posts will all be related to that.

Original pin:
Pinned Image

A quick tutorial on how to applique.

I found these cute beach bags at the dollar store!

A bargain. I thought they would be so cute with a little appliqued monogram. So I went to work.

Thankfully, the boys are in a small preschool so I only had to do 20 monograms. I made my stitches closer together than in the original tutorial just because I like the way the smaller stitch looks better. It was faster than I expected. The bags were slick on the inside so I did have a little problem with them sliding around which made some of the stitching less than perfect. Hopefully none of those ladies looks too closely at it!

Halfway through bag 19 my sewing machine clunked and stopped working. So out of character for me--I had actually started this project early. So early, in fact, that I had time to send my machine off for a week at the repair spa and got it back with days to spare. Plenty of time to finish the one and the half bags left.

One down, 19 to go.

Extreme close up of my narrow stitch

Extreme close up of some "less than perfect stitching thanks to the slippery lining.

Thankfully, by bag 5 or so, I had a little better handle on the slippery bag issue and most of them didn't experience too much slippery stitch issues. Without the extreme close up it wasn't obvious.

NOTE TO TEACHERS: Do not, I repeat, DO NOT run right now and examine your bag for defects. I will die of embarrassment.

20 bags later, I am a total pro at this now.
I stuffed them with goodies and delivered them yesterday.

Total cost: Less than $1.50 per bag. I used a quarter yard of fabric and four sheets of light fusible bonding.

Total time: 3 hours.

Final verdict: So far I've had rave reviews. The technique was simple and easy. I even had one teacher ask me to teach her to applique and another recruited me to sew some Girl Scout patches. (I totally support Girl Scouts even though I will probably never have one) A bargain of a gift. I even made one for my sister for her birthday.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Pin 69

Original pin:
Pinned Image

Fresh corn on the cob using the microwave to de-silk and de-husk.

This promised that a quick four minute trip through the microwave would have my corn sliding right out of the husk silk-free. Tonight I was making some delicious corn and butter bean fritters and had 7 ears of fresh corn from the farmer's market to cut off the cob. I don't mind the husking, it is just the silks that drive me to tears. Two ears in I remembered I had pinned this trick.

It worked like a charm. Four minutes was perfect--five was too long. I don't have much to say about it because it was so easy! Not one single silk was left. I was amazed!

Extreme close up! See!! No silks!

A plate of fresh butter bean and corn fritters. Yum!
Total cost: $2.79 for 7 ears of corn

Total time: 20 minutes (4 min per ear--I'm not THAT bad at math! Remember, I was two ears in before I started this trick.)

Final verdict: Very awesome trick. I will definitely be using this again. And again. And again.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Pin 68

Original pin:
Pinned Image
No source available.

Put two TBS of vanilla extract in an oven-safe cup/bowl, then place it in the oven at 300 degrees for one hour. Within twenty minutes the whole house smells like Heaven. It's actually a common realtor trick.--says the pinner.

I was needing some inspiration to get housework done and a good house smell usually gets me going.  Twenty minutes in, I did smell vanilla but the scent was limited to just the kitchen. At around 40 minutes I could smell it in the adjacent living room. But never did the smell penetrate the entire house. And the minute I turned the heat off, the scent disappeared too. I did not leave the oven heat on for the full hour. Somewhere around 35 minutes, the vanilla was fairly reduced and syrupy and--I'll admit it--I was chicken. I was really afraid it would start to burn and the smell of burned vanilla was just not something I wanted. I bet that smell WOULD penetrate the whole house!

Total cost: $0. I bought a big bulk vanilla extract at Costco a while back.

Total time: Prep time less than 1 min.

Final verdict: It was a nice smell for the time while the heat was on, but I wasn't overly impressed with it. It would be fine in a pinch to freshen the kitchen--maybe if a larger volume was used I could leave it on longer and the whole house would smell good too. For now, I'll just stick to my Scentsy warmer.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Pin 67

Original pin:
Pinned Image

Tonight is date night around here--which is a little misleading. Date night at this house means that after the kids go to bed, we turn off computers & smart phones and do something together. Often, this means a movie, but we are together and neither of us are working/doing school work/spending time on opposite sides of the house. Tonight I tried DVDONME and it worked! There are 5 more on this website to try and then she provides a link to more!

Thanks for the free movie! P.S. We are going to watch The Descendants.

Total cost: FREE!

Total time: One minute

Final verdict: Can't wait to try all the other codes!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Pin 66

Original pin:
Pinned Image
No source available.

So I originally pinned this as a joke. I pinned it to my "free smiles" board. But one day, when I was at my wit's end with the boys I decided I was going to spend an entire day whispering whenever I felt like yelling.

I guess my whisper isn't scary. I know my mom's was. I think all kids should have a little healthy fear of their parents, but I guess my kids aren't scared of the whisper. HOWEVER, it actually was a very effective strategy for multiple reasons:

1. Yelling escalates any situation. It releases adrenaline that ramps you up, makes you angrier, makes my face turn bright red. Whispering doesn't have this physical effect. So the situation doesn't escalate nearly as fast.

2. Each time I needed to whisper to them, I had to call them over to me which meant they were leaving whatever situation it was that was getting them in trouble. 9 times out of 10 they didn't go back to whatever it was they were doing.

3. A lot of my kiddos misbehavior is attention-getting at times when I am occupied, i.e., dinner making. Calling them to the kitchen for a brief minute gave them a little attention. They giggled at the whisper in their ear and I got to give them a little bite of whatever was cooking.

4. No one gives you dirty looks in public for whispering at your kids like they do for screaming at them. You can say anything you want in a whisper and no one will know. (And the tickly whisper makes my kids giggle so the general masses think I'm being sweet and silly with them. I know the truth.)

Total cost:$0

Total time:One waking day

Final verdict: Overall, it is not a strategy I could do 100% of the time, and it wouldn't be effective if I used it all the time either. But it definitely opened my eyes to the degree of escalation that was occurring once the yelling started. I am surely using it as one of my tools in the great toolbox of discipline.