If your bookshelves look anything like ours, they’re full of old books that no one’s even taken down from the shelf in years. Books hold sentiments we can’t let go. And let’s face it, e-readers have taken over. Maybe you’re like us and not willing to get rid of some of those books because of sentimental value or because you can’t find a place willing to reuse them and you’d rather not toss them in the dumpster. We’ve got the perfect solution! Recycled book crafts. What’s that, you ask? It’s a super fun, easy way to personalize your space and give new life to those unopened books. As winter settles in, these recycled book crafts are the perfect project! So take some books down from the shelf, dust them off, and get ready for some serious creativity! [Read more…]
Food is easily accessible in most areas of the country. As a result, we toss a lot of it rather than saving it for future use. This isn’t just wasteful, it’s painful for our wallets, too. According to Save the Food, nearly 50% of the fruits and veggies purchased in North America, Australia, and New Zealand are thrown away. Knowing how to store your food will help you eat more of what you buy, saving you money and minimizing waste. Here are some of our best tips to master your food storage.
Many vegetables can be stored in the refrigerator for up to one week. Some things, like celery, last even longer. To make celery last extra long, try wrapping it in tinfoil! Another fun thing to do with celery is take the base and place it in water. In a short amount of time, you’ll have new celery stalks growing!
If you’re not going to finish your vegetables within a week, most can be frozen if prepared properly. My husband always puts potatoes in the refrigerator, but I’ve learned this isn’t the right thing to do. They should instead be stored somewhere dark and cool for optimal storage. I’ve also heard rumors before about green spots on potatoes and they were right – DON’T eat the green part! It’s a sign of toxins. Yikes! Get the specifics on all your favorite veggies here. Or, if you’re a home gardener and you want to enjoy the benefits of your labors well into winter, check out our post on preserving garden vegetables.
Dairy products get tossed a lot because we’ve been told that once it’s past the expiration date it can no longer be used. The truth is that many dairy products, including milk, can be frozen and thawed later for use. In addition, sour milk can be used to make cottage cheese, cream filling and also be used as ingredients in a variety of recipes as long as it doesn’t smell bad. Milk will have a smell before it has any possibility of making you sick. So I guess my husband sniffing the milk before use isn’t as crazy as I thought it was!
Storing Fruits and Berries
Many people hesitate to buy fruit or wind up throwing a lot of it away because they think it doesn’t last very long. In fact, when stored properly, some fruits can last up to eight weeks! Other fruits don’t last as long in the refrigerator, but they can be frozen and stored for quite a long time. The same applies to seasonal berries, which is great because you can enjoy those yummy flavors any time without paying a premium for out of season produce. An easy way to freeze fresh strawberries is to remove the hulls and place them on cookie sheets in the freezer. Once frozen, the berries can be placed in a plastic freezer bag or container. Easy! One thing I never realized was that bananas should be stored on the counter AWAY from other fruits. They will last longer and so will your other fruit! Also, you can refrigerate bananas once they are ripe to make them last longer. I like to put them, peels and all, in the freezer. They’ll turn a dark color, but be easy to use in recipes such as banana bread. Frozen bananas are excellent in a smoothie as well!
What are some things you seem to toss out all the time? Our readers might have a solution for you! Your budget and the planet will be happy you found a way to master your food storage!
We love to get outside in the nice weather. Spending time in the woods or near water makes me feel so connected to nature. Every nature walk or beach trip I can’t help but pick up bits of nature that I find interesting. Rocks, shells, moss, acorns, etc. They all wind up in my pockets and then in my house. I can’t bear to part with them, but they also look silly sitting in piles everywhere. I finally got the bright idea to use them to make craft projects! [Read more…]
It’s that time of year again when kids are getting ready to go back to school but that doesn’t mean you have to stop all the fun! There are tons of DIY back to school crafts you can do together!
And as you start to help your kids get ready to go back to school and buy all the supplies they’ll need for the upcoming year, you’re probably also coping with their feelings about the upcoming school year. There’s likely nerves, excitement, maybe even some fear. Regardless of their age or emotions, back to school crafts can help your child take an active role in getting ready for the upcoming school year. Here are some of our favorites.
These adorable pencil toppers are great for almost any age. With the big google eyes and felt bodies, they can scare aware any first day fears, yet they’re silly enough to make everyone smile. Besides the google eyes, all you need is some hot glue and scraps of felt in any colors your kid wants. Depending on their age they can do this alone or with a little help from you.
Spice Up Notebooks and Binders
Every kid wants to express himself or herself. Spicing up notebooks and binders with scrapbooking materials, fabric or pipe cleaners can be a great way to encourage self-expression. Even the little ones can do this with some help from you. Chances are, your kid will feel more confident walking into school on the first day carrying binders or notebooks that give them a sense of self.
Bottle Cap Magnets
Older students will have lockers to store their belongings during the school day. While it may seem simply utilitarian, your kids see this as another place to express themselves. Bottle cap magnets are the perfect mix of useful and creative. Grab all those bottle caps that seem to find their way behind couches and in between cushions (or simply save them the next time you pop the top on a soda or adult beverage). Use your glue gun to attach magnets to the back and paint the front any way you like. Your crafty kids will love this chance to show off their personality in a school approved way.
Heading back to school doesn’t have to be stressful. Help make it fun for your kids with DIY back to school crafts they can do on their own or with a little help from you. What other DIY back to school craft ideas have you done? Let us know in the comments!
Summer is officially here. It’s time to get outside with friends and family. Whether it’s watching your kids play on the swing set or enjoying some adult conversation around the BBQ or fire pit, your backyard will be even more inviting with these neat summer DIY crafts. [Read more…]
Summer means school’s out and many people are focused on finding activities and projects for their kids. That doesn’t mean adults should be left out of the fun! Summer should be fun for everyone, so we found the best summer crafts for adults to help you have fun all summer long. And you’ll fancy up your space at the same time. [Read more…]
Now that summer is here, you want to capture the beauty of summer flowers both inside and outside. So Sisters Know Best came up with 5 ways to display flowers that you are going to love! They add color to your home and create a great background and conversation piece for BBQs and backyard events. These crafty and creative flower displays will certainly capture attention. Consignment shops are a great place to find old bottles, metal and glass containers or even clay pots. These beautiful containers can be “upcycled” to hold flowers in a variety of creative and ingenious ways.
A new take on a classic idea. Find four or five matching or coordinating glass bottles. Fill them with sand, small stones or other decorative media. Attach the bottles to a piece of wood or fence rail with metal brackets. Add water and a single flower in each one. Or, you can make this last longer by using silk flowers instead.
Tall bottles with a bouquet of fresh flowers from your garden also work great as a centerpiece on your picnic table or dining room table. If you find clear ones, you can paint the inside with transparent, water-proof paint for an added effect when the sun shines through.
Hollow logs are common in New England. They make great habitats for insects and small lizards and snakes that call the forests home. If you can find one and get it home, it also makes a great planter! Fill it up with potting soil, add flowers and step back as others admire the effect.
Clay pots are so much fun! Consignment shops often have rustic looking ones at incredibly affordable prices. Find some in neutral or coordinating colors for your home. Just add water and wildflowers or forgo the water and use silk flowers for a look that will last all year.
Broken clay pots work great too! Use the broken area as the new “top.” Lay the clay pot on its side, bury it in some sand or decorative stone. Add potting soil to the opening created when the pot broke and flowers. What was once likely to end up in the trash bin is now a gorgeous planter.
Repurposing containers to display flowers is a great way to get crafty and capture the essence of summer. Try it and let us know what other ideas you have to display flowers.
Itchy, flaky dry skin. It makes me crazy! Eczema is a frustrating skin condition… and it’s tough to find good natural eczema treatments… I’m not a fan of chemical-based treatments. In general, eczema is a lack of oils and fats in your skin which causes it to become inflamed. The space between the skin cells becomes larger, which can allow bacteria and other irritants to enter more easily. Most soaps make this worse because they strip away the oils and lipids your skin normally produces. I normally use aloe vera to treat eczema that is out of control but the following are great ways to manage and try to avoid outbreaks.
Coconut, Jojoba and Shea Butter for Natural Eczema Treatments
This remedy is easy to make and store. Each of the ingredients on their own have been shown to help skin retain moisture. Combined, it makes a wonderful, powerful cream.
Here’s what you’ll need:
-2 tablespoons Shea butter
-2 tablespoons beeswax
-6 tablespoons of coconut oil
-4 tablespoons of jojoba oil
-Lavender essential oil (optional)
-Airtight tins or glass jars
Using a double boiler, melt the beeswax and jojoba until liquefied. Then coconut oil and stir until it is fully incorporated. Finally, lower the heat and add the Shea butter, stirring as it melts. Shea butter gets added last and at lower heat because a little more heat sensitive. It can also get grainy further along its shelf life. Pour the mixture into airtight glass jars and add a drop or two of lavender essential oil, if desired. Allow it to cool and cover for storage.
Apply liberally to affected areas as needed.
Oils don’t work for every eczema sufferer. Vegetable glycerin can be a great alternative in those cases. Food-grade vegetable glycerin is 99.7% pure. The remaining 0.3% is water. As you can imagine, this makes it ideal for restoring moisture to your skin and filling the gaps between skin cells. Start with a 1:1 ratio of water to vegetable glycerin. Blend them in a spray bottle and spritz on your skin as needed. Once you see how your skin reacts, you can play around with the ratios to find the right mix for your skin.
What other natural eczema treatments have helped you tame the itchy, inflamed skin? We’d love to pass them on to our readers!
I’ve been seeing a lot of information lately about the health benefits of Chaga mushrooms. From everything that I’ve seen, it’s a true superfood with the ability to cure everything from the common cold to cancer. It was worth a shot. Upon learning this mushroom can be made into a tea and easily consumed that way, I figured this would be easy. At first, I was wrong. Many of the online suppliers I found offered only chunks or bags of ground chaga. [Read more…]
Have you seen it yet? Rock Art – easy, cheap, creative, fun, addictive! It’s all these things! Oh, and requires readily available supplies.
We first saw Rock Art on Pinterest. It was cute. It made us smile. We pinned a few pictures. We said we’d do it. Well, we finally did; and we think you should as well! (Stay tuned for the Big Magic – it’s near the end of this post.) [Read more…]