Thursday, October 27, 2011

Homemade Crayons

Yesterday the daycare kiddos and I decided to make homemade crayons!  These are a lot of fun and the possibilities are endless if you have different shaped baking tins.  All we had were muffin tins so that is what we used.

Crayola crayons work the best, but I usually throw a few restaurant/cheap crayons in there as well.  This is a great way to use up broken crayons and those little bits at the bottom of your crayon box.  You will need to peel the paper off all of the crayons.  I take an exacto/utility knife and slice down the sides of the crayons.  This makes the crayons much easier to peel.  Break the crayons into small pieces and place in lined muffin tins.  Fill half to 3/4 of the way full.  Have fun with your patterns!!!

Bake at 250 for about 10 minutes, until all of the crayons have melted.  Take the crayons out of the oven and let them cool.

These are great for little ones who are just learning how to color.  They are large and easy for them to grasp.  Happy crayon-making!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Rainbow Birthday Party

My daughter Talya just turned 1 so we decided to celebrate with a rainbow birthday party!  This was so much fun to plan!  Here are some of the things we included in the party.


This was so easy!  We used a steam cleaner vacuum box for this and it was perfect.  I laid a bowl on top and traced around to make the circles.  I taped down some large white paper and glued construction paper circles on top.  This was a FREE project to make!  What could be better than that?  Here is where I got the idea Bean Bag Toss.

Below are the steps I used to make the bean bags to go with the cornhole set.  Use any fabric you have lying around, as long as it does not have metallic thread.  I used my husband's old sleepy pants, fleece, corduroy, and cotton.

Cut squares of fabric using pinking shears (to create the zig zag effect).  My pinking shears were $12.49 at JoAnn Fabrics before my 40% off coupon.

Sew around the entire square of fabric leaving a 1.5" inch opening.

Using a funnel, slide the funnel in the opening you left and put the corn in.  I purchased 25 lbs of corn from my local feed mill, which was enough to make 46 bean bags and still have some left over.  You can also use rice, but that is much more expensive if you need to use a large amount.  DO NOT OVERFILL!!!  If you do it will be really hard to sew close.  Use way less than you think you need.

Sew around the ENTIRE bean bag one more time, to ensure that it is double stitched.  These need to be especially secure if little ones will be playing with them.

So much fun!


To round out the rainbow theme we made rainbow cake for the adults and cupcake cones for the kiddos!  A lot of fun to make!  

Mix one standard cake mix with 1 12oz can of Sprite/Sierra Mist (or 1.5 cups).  Look how fizzy it is!

Divide the batter between bowls and add gel food color (not liquid) as the colors will not be as bright.

Spoon into the pan in a random pattern.  When it bakes it keeps the marbley rainbow effect- so cool!  I don't have a picture of the finished cake- sorry!

For the cupcake cones, stand cake cones in a muffin pan and fill the cones about 2/3 full.  Bake at 350 degrees for 19-24 minutes.  Frost, add sprinkles, and a cherry!

Rainbow Jello was a little labor intensive, but totally worth it and delicious!  I used a giant punch bowl so you could really see all of the layers.  This was for a party, and I'm glad I did a trial run a few weeks back because I discovered I needed to double all of my layers so they would show up better.  Here are the steps to create this awesome dessert:

However many colors of Jello you would like (the above photo had 13 boxes)
Cool Whip

Boil one cup of water and add to one box of jello in a bowl.  Take 2/3 cup of that color and pour it into your mold.  Let it gel, about 30-40 min.  Make sure it is completely set or the next layer won't work.  While it is setting, add enough Cool Whip (a few tbsp) to the remaining liquid Jello until it equals 2/3 cup.  Pour this over the first layer you made.  Wait for it to completely set before starting the process over with a new color!

We also served rainbow Goldfish crackers and included them in the goody bags as well.  You can never have enough rainbow!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Frugal Can Taste Delicious

Just because you are being frugal does NOT mean you have to sacrifice taste or flavor. I stumbled upon the website Frugal Families awhile back and I have referred to it many times.  

Today I decided to make their Basic Frugal White Bread.  The recipe can be found here.  This recipe is either idiot-proof or I have just gotten lucky the two times I have made it.  I always get nervous using yeast, but this bread has turned out great every time!  PLUS, your house will smell WONDERFUL!!!

Here is what the bread looked like after the first rise.  Is it supposed to look smooth?  Mine wasn't.

This is what the finished product looks like:

My 2 year old loves to help me, so I let her knead and play with her own dough.  This is how her bread turned out:

She eats like a bird and she ate most of this in one sitting!

I have also made several other recipes from Frugal Families.  My family eats tacos all of the time- at one point we had Taco Tuesday going.  We were going through taco seasoning packets very quickly so I decided to make Frugal Families' Taco Seasoning Mix.  I stored it in an old plastic spice jar and wrote 'taco powder' on the side.  This lasted us for a long time!!!

Another recipe from Frugal Families that we really enjoy is their Spaghetti Herb and Spice Mix.  This is a really inexpensive way to make yummy spaghetti sauce.  Just mix up their seasonings (store in an old spice jar or tupperware) and add to tomato paste, butter, and water.  I cut the water down to 1 cup instead of 1.5 cups to make it thicker.  I sometimes add green pepper and onion as well.  The sauce is thick and chunky, and reminds me of Prego.  Best news is, you can make it for about $0.39!

One more recipe I have tried- Herb And Garlic Blend.  Easy to whip up and tastes great on salads.  This reminds me, I need to make more!!!

Cold nights are fast approaching.  I know I hate getting into a freezing cold bed after taking my shower at night.  Microwave Cozies help make the winter months a little warmer.  All you need to do is sew fabric in a small bag, fill it with corn (see their webpage for the right kind) and microwave!  I reused my hubby's old sleepy pants.  You can see the stripe on the side and the mysterious orange stain on them!  After microwaving (the site recommends 1-3 minutes) I toss a few under the covers, shower as usual, and then hop in a nice warm bed!  You don't need to worry about falling asleep with them like you do with electric blankets. They stay warm for about an hour.  Be creative with the fabrics you use!  These make great holiday gifts!

Here is one of my many microwave cozies:

What are some of your tips for being frugal?

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Stuffing Meatballs

We have a busy night and I had the opportunity to make dinner ahead of time.  Tonight's menu?  Stuffing Meatballs, Salad, and Rolls.

I find a lot of my recipes from Taste Of Home.  This one was no exception.  The great thing is, this recipe only has 4 ingredients!  You can find the link to it here: Stuffing Meatballs.

Here is my little helper, crushing up the stuffing.  If your dry stuffing mix is in cubes, place it in a ziploc baggic and crush it with a rolling pin.

The meatballs only have 2 ingredients.  The brown up quickly in a pan.

While the meatballs were browning, I whipped up some salads.  If you are making them ahead of time just cover with saran wrap and put in your fridge.

Here is the finished product.  All I have to do now is heat up the rolls.  I recommend Rhodes Garlic Butter Rolls.  Where I shop I can get them for $1.00 with a coupon.  These are so yummy!!!

If you have any quick and easy recipes, please share the recipe or link!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


I have been wanting to start a blog for months.  I am constantly doing craft projects, cooking, baking, doing something fun with my kids.  Every time I do one of these, I think "If I had a blog I would share this".  Well, I started my blog last week, and have had the most boring week ever!  So sorry, that I have not posted more.

I would like to share about my couponing experience at the grocery store tonight.  If you are new to couponing and would like a little help, just let me know!  I am not quite as savvy as the people you might see on TV, but I've got a pretty good start and it helps our family quite a bit.

Here is how I did tonight:
1 FREE travel packet of Tide detergent
2 FREE tubes of Colgate toothpaste
3 FREE jars of Vlasic pickles (my daughters eat these by the handful)
2 cans of Pure Silk shaving cream for $0.14 each
1 box Nature Valley Granola Thins for $0.50

Did you use coupons this week?  Share your best finds!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Homemade Drumsticks

My first post!!!  Thanks for reading this.  Feel free to leave any comments or suggestions as I am new to blogging.  If you could share the link with your friends or on your page that would be great!

A few weeks ago I was viewing a blog I check out often- Homemade By Jill.  She had a link over to Skip To My Lou for homemade rhythm instruments!  I made the drumsticks only.  If you decide to make these for your little ones a few tips- don't use Crayola washable paint.  It will get soaked up on the wood and will not show up.  I bought 6 packs of paint in different color schemes at JoAnn Fabrics for $1 each set.  I only needed two coats of paint.  Here is another tip, check out the dowels at the hardware store.  I had to go back because when they were cut the pieces were unbelievably uneven and crooked.  Make sure they are pretty close to even.  Another shortcut I did was purchasing spray on polyeurethane.  I did not feel like messing with a can and a brush.  I found this at my local hardware store.

Good luck making these drumsticks.  Your children will love them!

So how did I do on my first post???