Sunday, December 14, 2014

Candy Cane Peppermint Foot Scrub

It's that time again!! The HOLIDAYS!! I try to make as many gifts as possible each year, not just to be cost-effective, but because there is something way more awesome about the thought and love put into hand made goodness. Last year Logan and I made THESE Mocha Mix jars with ornaments he painted, this year he made the bauble ornaments (post below) and I whipped up this delicious foot scrub.

I got the "frappyccino" bottles at Michael's- reg price $9.99 for 6 but used a 50% off coupon. WORD!
This fills 3 bottles and leaves some for you to keep and use yourself, I had the little jars in the top photo on hand so filled those for little last-minute gifties- or double it and fill all 6 bottles.

4 cups sugar
1/2 cup coconut oil
4-6 drops peppermint oil
a few drops red food coloring (or if you think you have this then get all the way to that step and realize you DON'T, like sugar sprinkles work just fine too! lol!)

Mix the first three ingredients in a large bowl with a hand mixer, add the oil a bit at a time until fluffy and not too oily. Then divide in half and make one half red, leave the other white.
Use a piece of 8 x 10 paper like a cone/funnel- I did 2 spoonfuls white, then red, then white -alternating till each bottle was full.

I still have to print the labels and wrap em up, so I will update the post with a finished product pic later this week XO

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Kid Craft- Holiday Ornaments

I am becoming more of a craft-a-holic, now that we are more settled into our house and I have the space to hoard ribbon, googly-eyes and glitter by the case. This is an AWESOME activity with your kiddo. We do it every year, started when Logan was 15mo (his second Christmas).
(note bits of "snow" that have migrated into his hair)

Here is what you will need, plus ANYTHING else you can think of to make it your own!!

I got everything at Michael's - every year they have a killer sale the Saturday after Thanksgiving and then again right after Christmas and I stock up on this stuff.

Clear, PLASTIC ornaments...I've made the mistake of doing this with glass before, ROOKIE, don't do it.

Filling for the ornaments.
We use pom-poms, confetti, "snow" (which is like shredded white kitchen trash bag from what I can tell), even glitter if you're feeling super brave.

Ribbon for the "hook" to the ornament.
(pants? who needs pants? I'm painting my hand here!)

Optional- paint to put a hand print on the outside after they are filled.

That's it.

You take the tops off and hand em over- they have a BALL filling them however they want. We got a HUGE sack of the multi colored different size pom poms- and started the activity with those and a muffin tin- we sorted em by color, then dumped it out and sorted them by size. Great for motor skills, colors, sizes, sorting, counting, all that jazz. Awesomeness.

Every year we make one (this year 3) for our own tree, one for each grandparent house and one for his school teachers. We started adding the teachers to the ornament list last year- he was SO PROUD to give them something he made himself.

Have fun!!! Visit Our HOME Page on Facebook for more fun craft ideas (in Photo Albums)

Addictive Orzo Salad

I discovered this at Wholefoods in the ready-made service section and I'm completely addicted to it. BUT a "large" container (which I can eat in a day easily) is like $15 or something insane like that....I think the small container is like $8. yikes. So I started making it at home and it's just as good the WF version uses spinach, which I use sometimes too, but we grow kale, so it's free here, which means I use that more often. This is epic for a party, because it makes a ton.

1 pkg of orzo pasta prepared according to directions, cooled
1 container feta cheese
about 1 cup pitted kalamata olives, chopped (in 1/2 or 1/4 depends on how much patience you have)
1/4 red onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper chopped
1 yellow bell pepper chopped
1-2 handfuls chopped spinach or kale
zest of 1 lemon
juice of 1 lemon
Olive oil, several generous drizzles
salt to taste

Toss it all in a bowl, refrigerate at least an hour, overnight is best.
Enjoy cold and by the barrel full.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Homemade Elderberry Syrup

Welp, you know full well it's "sick season" again. As mentioned in THIS POST I am a big fan of elderberry syrup, but can be EXPENSIVE!!!!
So I ordered some elderberries HERE, and everything else I almost always have on hand, so this has become my go-to way to keep it in our fridge at all times and be ready for a spoonful of immune system boosting power whenever we need it.

Here's what you will need
2/3 cup dried black elderberries
3 1/2 cups water
a 2-3 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1 tsp cinnamon, ground
1/2 tsp cloves, ground
1 cup raw, local honey (local helps it work as an allergy remedy- so hit up your farmers market!)

Put everything EXCEPT THE HONEY in a medium sauce pot- bring to a boil, cover, reduce to a simmer for about an hour, or a little longer- you want the liquid to reduce by half.
Remove from heat, let cool a bit-then pour through a strainer into a glass bowl.
Let the liquid stand and cool till it is a little warmer than room temp and add honey.
That's it!
I use a mason jar to store it.
For my son (he's 3) we give 1/2 a tsp 1x a day a few days on a few days off for general immunity. When he's sick or we sense somethin' creepin we do 2-3x a day.
Same for us but with 1tsp.