homemade ginger: January 2012

Februrary Challenge : 29 Days of Frugal Living

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Introducing my challenge for February as part of my 30 days project.

29 Days of Frugal Living. This should be a fun one!  I have gathered lots of tips over the years on saving money.  I love to save money by figuring out how to do or make things myself. It really is a satisfying feeling! I thought it would be a fun challenge to try to come up with a bunch of new ways to save money this month and blog about it of course!

The rules...well...RULE. There really is just one.

1. Post 5 days a week with a different money saving tip or project each day. (I admit, I was horrible at posting daily in January...February will be better!)

And that's it!  I am hoping to organize all of my 30 days project posts and archive them in a more organized way. I will be sure to update you all when that is complete!

Indoor Activity Fail...(and one that didn't)

Friday, January 27, 2012

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

Thursday, January 26, 2012

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

Saturday, January 21, 2012

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 7x6.5.  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

Friday, January 20, 2012

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

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

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!


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