Indoor Activity Fail…(and one that didn’t)

In the midst of trying out indoor activities for the month, there was one that majorly failed.  I think I could do it again and it would work…but I doubt I will.

I thought it would be fun to try this winter sun catcher craft.  I found an old cake pan and we filled it with water.

Then we found some natural things on hand to throw in…frozen berries, lemon and orange slices and pine needles.

We placed two pieces of yarn to hang out from the top…I think this is where we went wrong.  (The yarn wasn’t strong enough and we needed more pieces.)  But this is what I looked like after it was frozen.  It popped out very easily.

I went outside and hung it from a tree outside our window.  I didn’t have time to snap a picture of it until the next morning…and this is what I found was left of our sun catcher…

Some sad orange and lemon slices on the ground.  Apparently the string broke and it was a little too warm out!

But, we did attempt an indoor activity (if you can even call it that) that succeeded…

I stuck some green onion roots in water to see if they would grow (I’ve seen this idea pinned a bunch of times)

And look how much they grew in about 2 weeks! (They started off about 2 inches of the white parts)

Indoor Activities Day 26: Peanut Butter & Jelly Cookies

I know I’ve been absent this week…life has been busy and the blog isn’t #1 on my priority list.  But, I do have an indoor activity to share! This is a simple one…make cookies! Maybe some healthy cookies to make it even better.

I saw this yummy recipe on Deliciously Organic for peanut butter and jelly cookies. What a fun idea.  I decided to modify the recipe based on ingredients I had on hand. This is such a fun one to do with kids!

Peanut Butter and Jelly Cookies
1 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup coconut oil (probably any oil would work here)
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup sucanat (or brown sugar)
1 Tbs vanilla
Jelly, preserves, jam or whatever you have on hand!

Mix peanut butter and oil with a mixer, add in sugar and vanilla.  Slowly add in flour and salt until incorporated.  It will be a bit crumbly.  Form dough into small balls…

Get your little helper to make some thumbprints on each ball…

Fill each thumbprint with some jelly or jam

Bake at 300 for 20 minutes and let cool…then eat!

They won’t last long.

Guest Post: Repurposed Hat from a Sweatshirt

I have a fun guest post for you all today! I love repurposing projects, as you might know from my month of repurposing back in November. My cousin, Kayla has a fun blog where she writes about homeschooling her 3 kids and coming up with creative projects.  Kayla is the closest thing I have to a sister (I only have brothers and she’s my only girl cousin!) and I’ve always looked up to her.  She is great at coming up with creative sewing projects and how amazing is it that she homeschools 3 kids! I hope you all enjoy this creative project where she turns an old sweatshirt into a hat! Genius! Take it away, Kayla!

Here is an old sweatshirt I rescued from the trash:

   Lay it out flat.

Measure 5in from the bottom and cut across.

 Measure down the 1/2 of the measure meant of your head plus 1 in.  I cut mine 7in which would make it 14 total.

 I turn the wrong side out.  So the wrong side is now my right side.  Then I stitched the ends.  You should now have a ring shape sweatshirt end.

 Then I cut a circle. Kind of a circle at it’s largest it’s 7×6.5.  I used my protractor (I love cool tools) and then I trimmed a bit of the side.  The longest measurement is for the front to back distance.

 So you should have a ring and a circle.

 Sew the circle into the ring.

 The I made a little rim or brim template what ever you call it.  And cut 2.

 Then I found some really stiff interfacing. cut 1.  You could use cardboard.

 I pressed the interfacing in between the two rim pieces.

then I sewed around the edges.

 Next I attached the rim the opposite end I attached the top to. and sewed it in.

 Next I marked about 3 in in the center back of the hat.

 I made a small cut at one end to feed some elastic into.

 I stitched one end down and then pulled the elastic tight.

 Then I stitched the other end and closed the hole.  I then pinched the front of the hat just above the rim in the center and stitched it down.  That is optional.

 You could be done here.  But since this is for me pre-teen I gave it to her and a bleach pen and said have fun.

This is her new hat and her own artwork.

So cute! Thanks so much for sharing your tutorial, Kayla. Be sure to stop by her blog to check out more!

Indoor Activities Day 20: Cloud Dough

When I saw this post on cloud dough,  I was very intrigued and had to try it.  I had never heard of it before, but it seemed easy and cheap…so we went for it.  And they loved it (and so did I)!

First you will need to find something to put it in. I found an old box and dumped in 8 cups of all purpose flour.

Then, measure out 1 cup of baby oil.  I picked some up at the $ store since this isn’t something we keep in the house.

Pour in the oil…

At this point, you will probably be confused as I was. How is this supposed to turn into dough?

Just dig in there with  your hands and mush it all together.  The flour will quickly absorb the oil.  Get rid of any big clumps.

Now it will still look like flour

But if you squeeze it…

It sticks together!

I stood there playing with the dough all by myself for a good five minutes before I realized what I was doing.  It’s pretty addicting.  My advice is to put it in the kitchen or an easily mopped area.  Also, next time I’ll lay down a sheet under the box. That way, I can just gather the sheet and shake it out outside rather than sweeping and mopping tiny flour pieces!

Have fun!

Indoor Activities Day 17: Ice Cream In A Bag

When I was looking for indoor activities for this month, I came across this idea for making homemade ice cream in a ziplock baggie.  I’ve heard of this concept before, but never tried it! Have you?  We decided to give it a try and made a few modifications along the way!

You will need:
1 sandwich baggie
1 gallon size baggie
2 cups of ice
1/2 cup salt
1 cup half and half
2 Tbs sugar
1 Tbs vanilla
2 Tbs chocolate syrup (optional)

First, you combine the half and half, sugar, vanilla in the smaller bag.  Lula said she wanted chocolate ice cream, so we added in a few tablespoons of chocolate syrup.  You could probably add in any other flavors at this point.

Fill the larger bag with the ice and salt.  Put the small bag inside the large ice bag and shake it up for about 5 minutes.

We learned quickly to put on mittens!

After 5 minutes or so, your baggie will feel a little more solid.   This is what the vanilla looks like:

And the chocolate:

The texture is definitely not going to be the same as your regular store bought ice cream. Ours was still kind of mushy, so we stuck it in the freezer for about an hour.  We waited until after lunch to enjoy our icy treat! The texture was a little more solid after being in the freezer.

Both the chocolate…

And vanilla were very tasty!

Don’t be afraid to just dig in there

And eat your homemade treat!

Chapstick Cozy Key Chains

Make a cute chapstick cozy to keep on your key chain! Perfect for a teacher gift or stocking stuffer

I don’t know about you, but in the winter months my lips get super
chapped and I can never keep track of my chapstick! I’m always digging
through my purse for it.  Quite a few years ago, I had found a little
chapstick cozy key chain at the drugstore and although it wasn’t cute, I
always knew where my chapstick was! I haven’t been able to find them at
the store recently, so I decided to come up with a cuter version of my
own.  I’ve been using it for a few weeks now and it’s made life just a little easier.

Make a cute chapstick cozy to keep on your key chain! Perfect for a teacher gift or stocking stuffer

It’s super simple to make! Here’s what you will need:

1 piece of felt – 2″ x  3″
1 piece of fabric – 2 3/4″ x 4″
1 piece of fabric for loop – 1 1/2 ” x 3″
button and/or felt for embellishment (optional)

Cut your felt and fabric. I like to use my rotary cutter and ruler to make things easier

Fold the long ends of your rectangle piece of fabric under about 1/4 inch and iron.

Next, fold the short ends under twice and iron.  Lay your piece of felt on top to make sure the fabric square is about the same size or a bit bigger than the felt and adjust as necessary.

Fold your strip of fabric edges under about 1/8 inch and iron.

Then, fold in half and iron . Top stitch along both long sides, close to the edge.

Now, fold your long strip in half to form a loop.  Sandwich it in between the felt and ironed fabric rectangle and pin.

Sew along all sides, close the edge.


Next, cut a small piece of velcro and sew on opposite sides of your finished rectangle. Put on one the fabric side

And one on the felt side on the opposite edge.  Notice that you can see the stitched square on the right side of the fabric.  If this bothers you, like it did me…you can add a little embellishment to cover it up!

Find a button, cut a felt square or flower….

And stitch it on right on top of that stitched square.  Since there is velcro on the other side, it will be a bit tricky to get the needle through, but it can be done!

The possibilities are endless!  You can make a bunch for gifts and they can all be totally different.  I came up with a few different variations.

You can sew a bunch of lines through the layers to make more of a quilted look.

Make a cute chapstick cozy to keep on your key chain! Perfect for a teacher gift or stocking stuffer

I tried making a long and skinny horizontal piece of velcro instead of a rectangle

Make a cute chapstick cozy to keep on your key chain! Perfect for a teacher gift or stocking stuffer

You can add a felt flower or just a button.

Make a cute chapstick cozy to keep on your key chain! Perfect for a teacher gift or stocking stuffer

The nice thing about the velcro is that your cozy can be adjusted! It can fit a fat chapstick, like my Blistex Deep Renewal that I love, or just your conventional size

A little bit more of the velcro shows with your fatter chapstick, but it still works!

Make a cute chapstick cozy to keep on your key chain! Perfect for a teacher gift or stocking stuffer

Stick the loop on your key chain and you are ready to go!

Make a cute chapstick cozy to keep on your key chain! Perfect for a teacher gift or stocking stuffer

I hope you have as much fun as I did coming up with different fabric and button combinations!

Make a cute chapstick cozy to keep on your key chain! Perfect for a teacher gift or stocking stuffer


Real Food Update: Green Smoothies

Ever since last month’s real food challenge, I’ve been motivated and inspired to keep with it. It’s so much easier than I was expecting (probably because I’d been doing many of the things already, I just wasn’t “all in”). I thought it would be fun to do an occasional real food post because I ‘m always trying new recipes and tweaking things!

My girls love spinach. They eat it all the time. What? Your kids don’t? That’s weird. Ok, I was being sarcastic. My girls don’t love spinach…but they DO love green smoothies. Which means that they are eating tons of spinach and LOVING it…they just don’t know it.

I’ve been making these green smoothies every day for the past few weeks and they are so yummy, easy and healthy. I especially love them for breakfast.  My girls will drink an entire cup in about 10 seconds and then ask for more.

I don’t really have a precise recipe, I just throw things in.  Lately I’ve been putting in about 1 cup of frozen mangoes, 1 cup of pineapple ($0.99 at Aldi right now and pineapple is one of the “clean” 15, so no need to buy organic!), 2 tablespoons of orange juice concentrate, 1/2 cup of milk and a huge handful of spinach.  I add water and a few ice cubes to get it to the consistency that we like.  I prefer my smoothies to be pretty thick and slushy, but if you like yours thinner…just add more liquid.  You can also make it with berries, which is delicious…it just won’t be green!

Blend it all up…

And enjoy!

And you honestly can’t taste the spinach.  I promise! (at least I can’t!)

ReSEWlutions guest post

Jessica from Me Sew Crazy asked me to participate in a fun series called New Years ReSEWlutions

Lots of fabulous bloggers have been participating for the past few weeks with some awesome projects.  I was flattered to be a part of the fun and I came up with a simple tutorial great for winter!

Head on over to Me Sew Crazy to check out the full tutorial!

Indoor Activities Day 13: Monochromatic Painting

*I will update soon on the winners of the The Money Saving Mom’s Budget
giveaway! I’m trying to work out a few technical kinks first, so stay tuned!*

I found this adorable painting project on Pinterest and thought it would be fun to try my own spin on it with Lula.  It evolved into a monochromatic painting project perfect for developing fine motor painting skills for my 3.5 year old.

We were reading Blueberries for Sal for preschool and talking about different shades of blue. I decided to try making a grid on the computer and printing it on cardstock. You could do this with pencil and then erase later if you really wanted it. But, I was pretty sure Lula wouldn’t be able to stay inside all of the squares anyway, plus I didn’t want to spend the time drawing all the squares.

Next, I mixed up some acrylic paint and water in different shades of blue.  We had light blue, teal, royal blue, gray blue..etc…

Then, I let Lula try to paint inside the squares with the different shades.

This little project really helped her learn how to properly hold the paintbrush and load it with paint.  I hadn’t really worked on these skills with her before.  She really enjoyed it!

She just kept painting and rinsing and painting all the little squares…

It’s definitely not as perfect as the example I found on Pinterest, but I think it’s pretty cool

We actually did half one day and then finished it the next day.  Once she started to get bored with it, I knew the painting was complete!

I hope art projects are never forced activities and I try not to push these things. Here is the final little painting!

I think I might have to frame this one!

(please not that this post contains affiliate links)

Indoor Activities Day 11: Handmade Recycled Cards & Envelopes

*This is a re-post of a project I did last year with my MOPS group, but it would be super fun to do with kids as well! You can use scrapbook paper, old books, maps, construction paper or even your child’s paintings.*

I’m in charge of the creative activities at my church’s MOPS group this year.  We had a session  on “going green” and so I came up with an eco-friendly project.  I collected some vintage maps and books and had everyone make cards and envelopes.  We used some simple stamps as well. I think they turned out pretty cute!
 To make the envelopes, I just took apart an envelope and photocopied it. The ladies could cut it out and use it as a template to trace around on the maps or book pages.  Then, all they needed to do was fold and use a little glue!
Does anyone else reuse vintage books for any crafty projects?