We Tried It

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    Rice is a favorite material for sensory play at our house. Not only is it easy to set up and clean up, but a batch of colored rice also lasts for years. The bright colors are so inviting, and making your own colored rice in any colors you choose is such an easy process that even a toddler can help.

    Here's how to easily color rice for a beautiful rice sensory bin

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    Of all the things you can make from scratch, a gift bow seems like a giant waste of time, doesn't it? I mean, who really has the energy to top every present with a homemade bow? Answer: me. A mom of three who also works full-time. And you can do it too. In fact, it is one of the easiest, most original, handiest things you can do when you're a busy mom.

    Why?

    You're never without a bow! Last Saturday my husband and I found ourselves two hours away from a birthday party with no wrapping paper or ribbon on hand. So what did we do? We decorated some butcher paper with markers, folded a card from printer paper, and made our own bow. It looked SO much better than the store-bought kind and only took about five minutes to complete. Here is how we did it:

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    You've heard composting will save the world -- or will save us all from our garbage and feed our gardens, anyway. But isn't it smelly? Doesn't it attract pests? Isn't it just a complicated hassle for hippies? Well, maybe I'm kind of a hippie, but I've been composting for over a decade. And if a flake like me can do it right, anyone can. It's actually easier than you think.

    Here are 7 tips for turning your kitchen scraps into a rich, nutrient-dense fertilizer your garden will love.

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    Have you ever been stranded without meds when your period hit? Or tried to go without pain killers because you thought you could handle the menstrual cramps on your own? I ask like these are terrible misfortunes or masochistic stunts -- and that's because I have a history of crazy insane painful cramps. So when I hear "natural remedies for menstrual pain," I usually roll my eyes and say, "Yes, and also tell me about flying monkeys." I mean, is holding a hot pad over my abdomen really going to do anything?

    But hey, you never know. That's why, skeptic though I am, I'm willing to try some of these "natural" menstrual cramp pain relief alternatives to my favorite (legal) drugs.

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    There is almost nothing in the world more frustrating than stepping out of a perfect shower only to find that your bathroom mirror is completely fogged. Okay, so that might be a SLIGHT exaggeration. Mirror fogging is hardly a matter of national importance. But the fact is it really is one of life's little annoyances and one of those things you often wish you could find an easy way to combat.

    The answer, my friends, is so much simpler than any of us could have imagined. It turns out, something you already have in your bathroom can stop the foggy mirror blues once and for all. It's as basic as a bar of soap and a towel. I've tried it. It works!

    Defogging your bathroom mirror is an easy six-step process. Wait 'til you see how it's done ...

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    Summer is in full blast and we're in for a world of pain. No seriously, when I think of July and August, my feet hurt preemptively just picturing the blisters my sandals will give me. I can feel the prickly heat breaking out on my arms. I know what my mascara will look like as it slowly creeps down my face (why not just apply it directly to my jaw and save myself the trouble?). And I can feel the beach sand itching you-know-where. Help!

    We need some remedies! Here are 9 of our least favorite summer beauty fails and how you can prevent and treat them.

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    At our house we do a lot of process art. Not only is it fun and different every time, but process art tends to be pretty quick to set up -- bonus. Process art is the term used to describe art that is created with no specific end result. Rather than making a craft that should look a certain way, a child makes whatever comes to mind. It's big hit with toddlers.

    Here's how to get started.

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    I have a confession; the only thing I have ever made in my waffle iron is, well, waffles. But after this fun little experiment, I realized that my trusty kitchen appliance, which had been relegated to creating just your basic waffles, is capable of other breakfast staples. Yes, you can also make fantastic-looking hash browns in your waffle iron too!

    The best part is that you can make waffle iron hash browns in just three simple steps ...

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    I've been looking to Pinterest for ideas for another great Fourth of July dessert to bring to this year's potluck.

    My red, white, and blue trifle was a hit last year and I want to bring something just as fun this time around! Luckily, there is no shortage of dessert ideas on Pinterest, and I was able to find a couple of really great recipes making American flags out of plain, old graham crackers.

    More From The Stir: 11 Red, White & Blue Desserts for a Very Patriotic July 4

    Since I couldn't narrow it down between two possible recipes, I decided to try them both and share which I thought was the winner of the two. See for yourself!

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    I am a competitive person by nature. Give me a race, a contest, a sweepstakes, or a sporting match and I am the first in line, muscles flexed, my timer on. I like to win. I have no shame about that. When I first started running, I always got a small thrill from the fact that I was (mostly) faster than my friends. And while I am never going to win the Boston Marathon, I did take some pride in being fast for an amateur.

    So it was with great excitement that I opened the Fitbit Activity and Sleep Bracelet after requesting one from the company. This little red bracelet was going to be my constant companion and finally prove once and for all whether or not I was a couch potato (like I felt) or an "active person" (the box I often checked on exercise surveys).

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