Friday, June 29, 2012

Desert Rain Designs Giveaway and Etsy Shop Code!

Remember my AMAZING cousin, Melissa, who did a giveaway from her etsy shop last year? She is gracious enough to do another one here on NatSprat! And guess can win ANY item from her shop! (Trust me, it will be hard to choose!)

Here is Melissa with the details! Her jewelry is just as beautiful as she is! :)

My etsy shop Desert Rain Designs, featuring my hand crafted jewelry, is having its 4th anniversary on July 20th! I have decided to do a customer appreciation sale from now until then, as well as a giveaway!

Some recent changes:

  • In the past 7 weeks, I have tripled my inventory. I had taken a break for about a year, but decided to jump back into the game last month. Today, I have 90 items listed.
  • I now accept credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover) as well as PayPal.
  • From now until July 20th, enter the code 4YEARS at checkout and receive 25% off your entire purchase!
  • The giveaway is for one free item of your choice (any item!). 

 Click on the jewelry title for a direct link.

 And I now have 26 newborn/infant/toddler/little girl bracelets in my Children's Jewelry section!

 Thank you so much, Melissa! Isn't her stuff just gorgeous!?! And that's just a few of the items in her shop! Her prices are AMAZING! Plus, with a 25% off coupon code on top of that...just awesome. :)  So, head over and check her out! Don't forget to enter the giveaway! There are lots of ways to win this goodness!

1. Leave a comment telling us what your favorite item in her shop is and where we can contact you to let you know that you won!
2. Make Desert Rain Designs a favorite in your etsy shops for another entry. Leave another comment letting us know that you did so!
3. Follow NatSprat, and leave a comment that you do!
4. Post this giveaway on facebook, tweet it, or blog about it and leave a comment for each thing you did!

Entries for the giveaway will be taken until Sunday July 8th. Good luck!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

{Pin}Spired: Homemade Mozzarella


YESSSS! A pin from Pinterest that really worked this time! If you recall my last {Pin}spiration post, my attempt at the pins didn't work out so well. So, I was a little nervous to try to do this again. 

But then...I saw this pin on making homemade mozzarella.

(If you pin from my page, please link back to the original poster, she deserves the credit for this!)

Now THIS was totally worth an attempt, even if I did fail again. I use mozzarella like a zillion times a week, I swear. My brother served his mission in Italy and he says they make their mozzarella there fresh every single day! And I heard that "this was the best cheese EVERRRRR". It looked easy, I had all of the ingredients, and I went for it. The tutorial was great. And YES, wear clean rubber gloves...that stuff is HOT! Also, cheese salt is basically just salt without iodide. You can find it in the salt section at any grocery store, just make sure it is NON-IODIZED salt. Another tip, use a strainer to separate the curds from the whey. You can save a lot of your curds that whey. (Get it? That way??? Bahahaha!)

So...what did I do with my homemade mozzarella? I made these AMAZING sandwiches that my friend Gina introduced me to. They were so quick and easy to make, I didn't have to turn on my hot oven in this summer heat, and they taste sooooo good! So, seriously, if you are having one of those grilled cheese kind of a day but don't want to offend your husband by your laziness, make these. He'll be impressed and not even realize that it was a lazy grilled cheese day! Maybe he'll even be so ecstatic that he'll offer to do the dishes...which there aren't many of with this meal! DOUBLE SCORE!

Now, go give it a try!  And thanks for stopping by NatSprat!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

{Pin}Spired Wednesday: UTTER FAIL by NatSprat!

Are you ready for a real life fail by NatSprat? *gasp!* Read on!

To start off my {Pin}Spired Wednesday, I thought I'd start out with a lovely photo collection to help you essentially see how my {Pin}spiration really worked today. Hopefully you'll get some good laughs out of them...because this is exactly how I feel! Plus, it's after 2 a.m. and I am totally frazzled after trying these silly cleaning pins for 5 hours trying to just get ONE of them to work. Anyway...have a nice quick laugh.

So, what might be putting me in such a frenzy tonight? Er...this morning? It all started with this pin. just have to use a Bleach Pen on the grout, let it sit for 20 minutes and it will magically whiten it for you! DUDE. I can't wait to get my grout to not look so nasty!

Yup. Totally nailed it. And I even let mine sit for 2 hours. Barely made a difference. I'm guessing it's because the grout wasn't white to begin with, it was tan. Sigh. Well...let's try something else then!

 Ooh! I know! This will be a good one! This is SURE to work! The super awesome and easy to make magic cleaning solution! It'll totally get rid of any soap scum stains in a jiffy!

See? It totally worked for this chick! The proof is in the pictures! 

And after....

Sweet. Let's do it. So, I made the cleaner, sprayed it on the shower, (make sure your bathroom is well ventilated! PEE-EWW!), waited for the 2 hours and excitedly rinsed it off. SUH-WEET!!! It's so shiny and clean! I can't believe it....wait....hold on....the water is evaporating and there is still soap scum. CRAAAAAP. Okay. I'll make a new batch and let it sit for 4 hours. That'll totally work.

.....four hours later....

Excitedly rinse it off with water. SUH-WEET! It's so shiny and clean! I can't believe....UGH! CRAP!!! *throw the sponge into the shower and sit on the toilet with my head in my hands in despair*

No, I didn't even bother taking pictures. Oh wait...yes I did. But you can't tell the friggin "before" picture from the "after" picture! Hahah! (as she laughs that even a word??? I need to go to bed.)

I must be doing something wrong...but I don't know what. I make one last ditch effort to get a totally awesome {Pin}spired pin for you. Since I already smell like vinegar, I thought I'd try the one where you soak your clogged shower head in vinegar. Easy peasy, right?

Nope. Plus, when I put the bag of vinegar up on the showerhead it dumped out of the back of the bag, down my arms, into my shirt and all down my sides and between my boobs. AWESOME. I'm sure I still smell like vinegar. 

BUT. Do you know what DID work to unclog the little holes in my showerhead? 

And, now you know how to fix a clogged shower head. Without 5 hours of cleaning. Or vinegar in your boobs. And I did that all without a Pin. Oh I didn't. I did it with a pin, just not one from Pinterest. HAH!

 Yes, attractive, I know. Just be glad you can't smell me.

And now, that it's 3 in the morning, I am going to bed. Vinegar boobs and all.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

The Hello Dotty Mani

Yes, I know. I just posted one of these yesterday. But, you see, I chipped a nail and had to start all over again! :) This one was super fast and easy! All you need is 3 shades of nail polish, clear top coat and 2 toothpicks. Then, have at it. It's perfect for summer! The polishes I used were Sally Hansen Hard as Nails Xtreme Wear in Green with Envy, NYC New York Minute Quick Dry in Lexington Yellow, PURE ICE in Pure Ice Scream, and Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Anti-Chip Top Coat.

Linked to:

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

{Pin}spired Wednesday: Nail Art Tutorial

Happy Wednesday! I hope you're all having a great week so far!

Want to know a secret? I have a horrible habit of biting my nails. I've done it for as long as I can remember and it is a habit I have been trying to kick for a long time. So, I've decided to try keeping my nails painted and maybe I won't bite them if they look pretty. It's working so far! 

If you follow my Beauty Bin board on Pinterest, you may have noticed that I pin a lot of cute nail art ideas!

Like these:

So, for today's {Pin}spiration, I thought I'd do my own nail art tutorial for you! Here you go!

And....I'm sure I'll be making more of these. Turns out, it's actually a lot of fun! :)

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

My Square Foot Garden {Yee-haw!}

Howdy Ya'll! I've been busy getting my hands dirty!

What have we been doing? Turning our disaster of a backyard into a garden!

Here's a tip. When you are buying a house, DON'T go and look at houses in 3 feet of snow. You won't get a good picture of what your backyard really looks like. We loved the inside of the house and didn't bother to trudge outside in all that snow to look around the back. We just expected that under all that snow was a beautiful grassy lawn. When Spring came, we were shocked to find that our entire acre of a back yard didn't have any grass! It is basically a dry, weedy desert. We also didn't know that they had made a sort of junk yard in the back with all sorts of random junk for us to clean up, and an abandoned trailer house just behind our house. And such a lovely view. But, there's not much we can do about it now other than complain and whine and get no where, or plant our own grass and build a fence to block the ugly view. For the two years we have lived in this house, it has felt like a {absolutely depressing} unattainable dream. I have contemplated contacting HGTV for one of those fabulous yard makeovers...but I didn't think even they would want to tackle such a project.

Then, one day, my WONDERFUL Father-In-Law, Mark, came over and took a good look at our backyard. He picked up a hand full of dirt, let it fall out of his hand, smiled and said, "I think we can fix this."

A few days later, he came over with his tractors and got to work! It was SOOO much fun to watch!

He tilled up the ground and got rid of the weeds...

leveled it all out...

and the next step was to get rid of the rocks. I paid the kids one cent for each rock collected. Together, they gathered up over 600 rocks! (Voluntarily, I might add!)

Then we put down the 3 x 12 foot garden box. It's a LOT bigger than it looks in the picture! That's 36 square feet of garden space.

See those storage bins back there? FULL OF SHEEP POOP. Yes, one of the best garden fertilizers there is! Mark had a whole trailer full of it for their garden and shared some with me. :)

My soil is one part dirt from the yard, one part peat moss, and one part sheep poop. I mixed it all up in the box, gave it a good watering and then put my plants in.

I have sweet basil, rosemary, cilantro, dill, parsley, snap peas, green beans, carrots, broccoli, cherry tomatoes, regular tomatoes, green peppers, squash, zucchini, and cucumbers.

I also planted some raspberry and blueberry bushes, and made a 25 square foot strawberry patch!

Seriously, I am SOOOO over the moon that our disaster of a backyard is really turning into something beautiful and useful! 

(Thank you, Mark!) 

Thursday, June 7, 2012

HELP!!! Have You Seen Lyme Disease?

*UPDATE*  I took Whitney to the Doctor and it isn't Lyme Disease! Apparently there isn't Lyme Disease here in Colorado. Who knew? The bite has completely faded and not just looks like a mosquito bite. Maybe she had some sort of a crazy allergic reaction? I don't know, but I am SOOO relieved that it isn't Lyme Disease!

So, I'm kind of freaking out right now. Yesterday Whitney was complaining of a headache and being "soooo tired", I thought she was just being dramatic. Then, today, we noticed this on her arm. And it keeps getting bigger. So, I Googled "bug bite with red ring around it" and was horrified when I saw the results. A zillion things about Lyme Disease came up. And then it occurred to me that we had just been up to the mountains on Memorial Day weekend. She totally could have been bitten by a tick then. So, here is a picture of Whitney's bite...

And here are some of the Google images. 

They look pretty dang similar. (craaaaaap.) question is, have you or anyone you know had Lyme Disease? If so, what did they do about it? Was the rash like this? Or, if you've had a rash that looked like this, what was it from?

And of course, the Dr. offices are now closed, so I basically get to just worry myself to death all night until first thing in the morning when I can see if they have any openings at our local clinic. Oh, please, oh please don't let it be Lyme Disease....

Monday, June 4, 2012

{MORE} of NatSprat's Favorite Free Fonts

Like I've told you before....I am a certified font addict. Here are a few more of my favorites since my last favorite fonts post was such a big hit! All of the links are at the bottom. Enjoy! 

P.S. Are you stopping by from Pinterest? WELCOME TO NATSPRAT! Like what you see? Feel free to follow along with my blog, I love making new Blogland friends!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Favorite Things Friday

Holy it really already Friday!?! Where did this week go? It's been a nuthouse here. Whitney ended up in the ER on Sunday because she was having major asthma problems. Her O2 levels were down to 87% and her lips were turning purple. She ended up having to be on oxygen at home for a while, so that was fun having her hooked to an oxygen tank 24/7. The poor girl felt like she was a dog on a leash. Thankfully, that's all over with and things are back to normal. I'm hoping some day she grows out of it. Maybe I should start out my favorite things Friday with oxygen??? Hahah. are 5 of my favorite FUN things that I really do use in my every day normal life. It's always fun to learn what other people use, isn't it! :)

1. Shout Color Catcher Sheets

 These really are great. It's nice to not have to stress about that random favorite white shirt that somehow ended up in the load of brights. And I've found that I can stretch the box out by only adding a half of a sheet to each load. I am amazed at the color that it does soak up. Pretty dang cool if you ask me!

2. Smart Wool Socks

Oh my gosh....these are FABULOUS. We are going on a 3 day trek with the youth from church in Wyoming and these were recommended by my Dad, Mr. Master of the Outdoors. I've been breaking in my hiking boots and wearing these socks and I seriously am in love with them. I would wear them every day if I could. I thought they would be majorly itchy, but they're not! And my feet don't get sweaty in's the weirdest thing! My feet feel so soft when I take them off. Anyway....I love me some smart wool. Totally worth the $$$.

3. Stir Crazy Popcorn Maker

 My Aunt has one of these and she made popcorn for us last time we visited and it was SOOOO good! So, my mom got me one for Christmas and I use it pretty much every weekend. You put the butter in the top and it melts and drips onto the popcorn as it pops. Then, you tip it over when the popcorn is done popping, give it a good shake and sprinkle some sea salt on the's delish! 

4. Coconut Oil
I know there is a major coconut oil craze going on right now, and I am proud to say that I have jumped on the coconut craze train! I just made some homemade toothpaste and used coconut oil to make it into a paste. It works great! I use it as lip moisturizer, on my dry ends of my also works great as a million other things (52 listed HERE!) I don't know what brands are good...but the Dr. Bonner's is the brand I got. I really like it. I swear I could probably eat it by the spoonful.

5.Cutter Bite MD

Mosquitoes are out in full force here. And they are doing a great job of biting the heck out of my family. I saw this at Walmart and thought I'd give it a try because I had like ten bites just on one leg and I was going to go insane and rip my own leg off. I was SOOO happy to find that it actually works! So now I always have one in my purse. These sure would have come in handy in Houston when we were constantly getting fire ant bites. Sigh. (Hey, all my homies in the South...get one of these!!!)

And there you go! Do you use any of these things, too? Have you jumped on the coconut oil bandwagon? If so, what do you use it for???