Category Archives: DIY

Homemade Vanilla Cinnamon Coffee Scent for Your Home

OH. MY. COFFEE.

Just the word itself brings me pure and utter happiness. Add in the subtle scent of baked goods wafting through my house all day on top of that? Fuhgeddaboutit. I’m done for.

But to actually have coffee and baked goods sitting around my house all day? Also, fuhgeddaboutit.

So I found a compromise: a vanilla cinnamon coffee scent blend to make the house smell heavenly – without any ill effects to the butt and thigh region. An added bonus? You can fool your guests into thinking you’ve been slaving away with the hand mixer all day.

do not, however, take any responsibility for the foul attitudes that may ensue once it is discovered that there are actually no yummy treats to be eaten.

Ready to make your own? You will need:

1 ceramic mug

1 tbsp vanilla extract

2 tbsp water

1 tbsp cinnamon

1 tbsp ground coffee

and just in case you need a visual…

PhotoGrid_1383836060234

IMG_20131107_095540

Preheat your oven to 300 degrees. Mix the vanilla extract, water, cinnamon and coffee in the mug and place the mug-of-goodness on a cookie sheet. Pop the mug and cookie sheet in the oven. After approximately 10-15 minutes you should start to smell the most heavenly scent seeping from your kitchen. You can continue to heat the scent in the oven for up to 1.5 hours.

And if you are having any doubts, let’s just say a certain 3 year old of mine has come to me twice in the past 20 minutes to ask me “when the cookies will be done”.  If it can fool my little sweet-toothed girl, it will fool anybody!

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Refrigerator Organization Drawers for the Kids

This is NOT my fridge. But it could have been...

This is NOT my fridge. But it could have been…

With a family of 5, my refrigerator is the stuff of nightmares.

We have 5 sets of hands at any given point of the day rummaging through drawers and shelves. Most things get shoved to the back and die a moldy death. Other things get smashed. A few times we’ve even had things topple out and crash onto the floor.

After much trial and error, I realized the problem: All children (and some husbands) suffer from We-have-NOTHING-to-eat-itus.

Even when I’ve just spent $400 at the grocery store that very same morning. And where might this particular disease stem from? From not looking 6 inches past their own noses when they open the fridge door.

So I needed a plan of attack. One that didn’t require me having to run to the fridge every time one of my offspring proclaimed we were food-less so that I could prove them wrong.

My solution? This beauty:

sterilite drawers

This wonderful 3 drawer plastic lifesaver is… well… just that, a lifesaver.

I purchased my drawer unit by Sterilite from Walmart for just over $5 but these handy dandy things are available for purchase in most any similar type stores in your area. (Just make sure you measure, measure, measure before you purchase one of your own to make sure it fits!)

Wondering what I did with this to make it such a lifesaver? I became a momentary genius and stuck all of the kids go-to foods and snacks in each drawer. And then I labeled each drawer. And then holy light poured from my refrigerator.

Using sticky white labels usually made for file folders, I made a label for:

  • yogurt tubes and string cheese
  • applesauce and pudding cups
  • snack sized bags of carrot sticks, berries or any other snack-y type thing that I could bag myself

Feel free to make whatever labels suit your family’s snack preferences, or don’t label at all. You know their grubby little hands will go sifting through all the drawers every time anyway. Mine do. And sometimes my kids do too…

So now, when my kids are hungry for the 33rd time, they know that they can go to their drawers o’ plenty and pick from a vast array of nutritious snacks. It’s all there. In the drawers. The beautiful, wonderful, labeled, leave-mom-alone-I-can-do-it-by-myself drawers.

I’m currently contemplating putting in a second drawer unit for my husband… will post more on that later if he doesn’t divorce me because of it.

Kids Hand & Foot Print Art

Taking a print of your child’s hand or foot, whether it be at birth, in school or for an at-home craft, has always been a popular way of documenting how much they’ve grown. These prints are not only great for a rainy day afternoon project, you could also frame them to hang in your home as artwork or even give them away as gifts. What grandparent wouldn’t want a tiny set of painted hands from their nearest and dearest?

Of course, simple hand and foot prints will always be perfect just the way they are. But if you’re looking to spice them up a bit or even make them holiday related, check out these cute and easy examples that can be done in a cinch.

Footprint Robin

bird footprint

Hand Print Tree

handprint tree

Hand Print Owls

handprint owls

Penguin Footprint

penguin footprint

Hand Print Wreath

wreath hand print

Snowman Footprint

snowman footpritn

Christmas Tree Footprints

christmas tree feetprint

Christmas Light Finger Prints

(not exactly a foot or hand print, but too cute not to share!)

fingerprint lights

Turkey Hand & Foot Print

turkey foot and hand pritn

Tutu Hand Print

tutu handprint

Dinosaur Hand Print

(check out the link for the whole alphabet!)

dinosaur handprint

There are hundreds of ways that you can capture your little one’s hand and foot prints. Let these serve as inspiration to create your own versions as well!

Happy Printing!

No-Sew Tutu for Kid’s Super Easy Mermaid Costume

Halloween is literally around the corner. Unbelievable!

If you’re anything like me, you’ve been procrastinating with the kids costumes all month. And like all good procrastinators know, it usually hits you like a ton of bricks that you have less than 48 hours to come up with, or buy, something. I’ve been guilty of running around the night before and spending a small fortune on costumes and accessories. This year, with 3 kids who are requesting more and more technology-type gifts from Santa, I think I’ll be saving my money for Christmas.

Luckily, my girls are still young and very much into the princess stage which means I can get away with simpler style costumes. I’ve learned that as long as it’s puffy, shiny and has some sort of pink or purple color, it’s deemed “princess”.

This year both of my princesses have requested mermaid costumes after their idol, Ariel the Little Mermaid. As adorable an idea as that is, I just couldn’t picture them scooting from house to house in stretchy, leg-restricting fins. I can hear “CARRY ME” and “I CAN’T WALK ANYMORE” coming out of their sweet little mouths already.

So I went on the hunt and stumbled upon these beautiful, and more importantly no-sew, super easy tutus by Go Photography that could be used for all sorts of costume ideas. If you can do a simple knot, you can absolutely make these in no time flat. I will be whipping up some purple, white and green ones for my girls (with some sparkly ribbon thrown in for good measure) to be the “fins” of our mermaid costumes.

easy tutu

I also purchased some inexpensive training bras from Walmart and will be hot gluing shells from the Dollar Store to them for that “Under the Sea” affect. You could also add some small fabric flowers if you are feeling extra crafty!

Like this:

shell bra

Since it is usually chilly while trick-or-treating on Halloween night, throw a lighter colored long sleeved cotton shirt underneath and put a pair of thick tights or leggings on and Voila! You now have a bonafide (and still thankfully warm) mermaid!

This super easy tutu mermaid costume will not only turn heads, but you can revel in the fact that you can say with all honesty that you made it yourself! And if your kids are like mine, they will wear it for weeks afterward too!

Happy costuming!

Apple Fun for the Kids

Fall is here and the weather is finally turning chilly. My kids and I personally couldn’t be more excited!

I think in honor of the unofficial mascot of Fall, it’s time to focus on APPLES. A perfect time to get the whole family involved in some baking and projects. After all, when it’s chilly out, they’re usually in. And when you’re both inside all.day.long, distraction is the key to keeping everyone’s insanity semi-intact!

Here are 6 ways that you can keep the kids busy, have a little fun and sneak some nutritious apples in them – does it really matter if they’re covered in caramel and chocolate? Nahhh…

This Wormy Apple by Thrifty Scissors is super cute and can be made with several items you probably already have in the kitchen. I can’t promise that the kids won’t eat half the cereal while threading it though! Craft AND snack time.

apple bowl

Calling all seamstresses! Or rather, all little hands… Let’s make our very own apple to sewThe Jenny Evolution site has a great tutorial to get started on your very own. The kids will be perfecting their fine-motor skills without even realizing it – Bonus!

sew apple

All that crafting is sure to drum up plenty of ferocious appetites, so let’s get on to the snacking! Both adults and children alike will love these sweet slices and the best part is that the kids can do most of the assembling.

Caramel Apple Nachos by Butter with a Side of Bread – This needs no explanation, just look at it and drool.

caramel apple nachos

If you’re looking for something small but sweetly satisfying, these caramel apple bites by She Knows just might be the answer. Let the kids dip these cute little bites and then decorate accordingly, if they don’t end up in their mouths first! They could also be a perfect dessert for an adult gathering. Wait, could? What am I saying, anything smothered in liquid caramel is always perfect!

apple bites

What would a kid-friendly snack be without a little fun? These Apple Monster Mouths from Better Homes and Gardens are fun, slightly creepy and wonderfully entertaining to both create and then rip apart to eat. You can make this candy corn version or even use mini marshmallows instead for a “mouth” full of pearly whites! (For those with peanut allergies, you can substitute another nut butter or even use marshmallow creme for a more “foaming drool” smile.)

monster mouths candy corn

Finally, this chart should help you to pick the perfect variety for all of your apple snacking needs:

apple chartSour or sweet or somewhere in between, it doesn’t matter. Bring on the apples!

Redesigned By M

DIY-er who loves to redesign, repurpose, and reorganize just about everything.

Nicole Chamberlin

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