Tres Leches Cake

Delicious for any occasion

Homemade Watercolors

For homeschoolers, or just fun at home

DIY Toothpaste

Great for good health, and a happy pocketbook

Vegetarian Meals for the Whole Family

Even picky kids will love these meat-less dishes

Sewing Projects and Tips

Even more tutorials to come soon

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Burt's Bees Intense Hydration...Day One

From time to time, you may see posts from me about BzzAgent kits. I LOVE being a BzzAgent. Not only are the freebies fantastic- but the opportunity to share so much about new products is amazing.

I just received my Bzzkit for the Burt's Bees Intense Hydration Campaign.
They asked us this time for a "before" photo to help document our skin journey. I feel like I should just warn camera took amazing macro photos, you can really see the flakiness. You can also, unfortunately, see my super huge, gross pores. Ugh.
So... here is my "before" photo. You may have to click it to see it full size to see the dryness. You can still see plenty of the redness and dryness. 
 Here's day one. I can't wait to see what the Burt's Bees Intense Hydration products do!

Friday, October 26, 2012

My Favorite Toothpaste Recipe

Natural toothpaste recipes that actually taste good are few and far between. Googleing will give you a few options, but this one remains my favorite.

I make a pretty decent-sized batch,
In a bowl, combine 1 part coconut oil with 1 part baking soda. My big batches are 3 Tablespoons of each.

That's basically it, if you don't care for flavorings. If you'd like to flavor your toothpaste, also add 1 packet of stevia sweetener. ONLY stevia and xylitol are safe for your toothpaste. You wouldn't want to add sugar and rot your teeth, and don't get me started on the artificial sweeteners... ;-) I got a box of stevia packs at Dollar General for only a buck!
For a classic pepperminty toothpaste, add some peppermint oil.
This batch, we made a yummo Raspberry it's a touch pink.
 Mix it all together until all lumps are gone.
Then just spoon into containers, or if you wish, a snack-sized ziptop bag. You can snip a tiny corner off the bag and squeeze out the toothpaste.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Delicious and Easy Pumpkin Muffins

Autumn is in there air, and pumpkin is in everything! Yummo! Here's a quick and easy recipe I whipped up one day when I just couldn't find one that fit my craving.

Preheat oven to 375.
Just toss this all in a bowl:
Mix thoroughly, but do not over beat. Best done by hand, and quick with just a silicon spatula.

Divide among a 12-well muffin pan that has been lightly greased or lined with paper liners.
Bake for 16-20 minutes.

(Edit: Ooooooo...look at all these pumpkin recipes too!)

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Cloud Dough

There's a new sensation in our house, and for the time being has replaced our much-loved homemade playdough. Cloud dough. It's mold-able, it's soft, it's interesting to feel, and it's easy to clean up! You've gotta love it when your manipulative toys are messy fun but don't linger.

We made what looks like is a "half-batch" judging by the posts on the internet- but it was just the right amount for one little four-year-old. It was crazy simple:
Mix in a large bowl or small tub-
  • Four cups of flour
  • and 1/2 cup of baby oil
We used (food grade) mineral oil because that's what we keep on hand, you need to be sure to only use baby oil or food grade mineral oil or your cloud dough will get rancid and stinky FAST. I have since bought a small bit of baby oil to make another heavenly-scented batch since EVERYONE in the house loves playing with it!

It may take a seemingly long time to work all the oil in, but you want all the flour thoroughly coated. A good 5-7 minutes of working the oil in with your hands should do the trick. We thought the finished dough felt like a fluffier "Moon Sand".

We keep ours in a lidded plastic"shoe box", and it's kept for several months. I'll be sure to smell before each playtime and toss if needed.

We also added some scent oil that smells vanilla-y, and The Princess loves to form little pies and cakes with it using my tiny tartlet molds.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Peanut Butter-less Pinecone Bird-feeders: Great For Kids With Allergies

Pinecone bird-feeders are always a big hit, for the kids having fun making them, and for the birds who get a tasty treat. We've been unable to make any for a few years though, because our youngest is allergic to peanuts. Then I read a genius idea somewhere on the internet- use shortening to stick the seeds! Now, the idea is super, but I felt that shortening wouldn't be a great choice for birdies, so I went with a choice birds love, and is better for them- lard!

Simply cover your pinecones with a bit of lard, filling in some space so you can cram a lot of seed on/in there. I tied my string (couldn't find my twine! =-( ) before we covered them to cut down on mess. Even the little one could do this step, so it was a craft for everyone.
Next, put your wild birdseed into a small tray so you have room to move your pinecone around and cover it thoroughly.Even with the tray, our table got a bit messy, but nothing that wasn't easy to clean. ;-)

I popped ours into the fridge to set up. And, just like the peanut butter versions, hang your feeders during cooler/cold weather to prevent the whole thing from melting off of the cone.

This should bring happy little birdies for us to watch this Autumn!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Lemon-Ginger Throat Soother

This weekend, I was SO glad to have a big jar of this on hand! Chuck-full of lemon and ginger, this honey concoction is great as tea, or an additive to teas in soothing Autumn and Winter throat ailments.

I made a big (family-sized) jar, so I needed 2 or 3 lemons, and about 3 inches of ginger. If you make a small bit, you'll need just one lemon, and just an inch of ginger.

Cut your lemons into fourths, then slice very thinly. Grate your ginger with a microplane grater.
Layer in your jar with honey.

Let sit in your fridge for at least four days.
To use, add a spoonful to a mug of hot water for a soothing tea, or add to hot tea to boost its soothing properties.