Wednesday, November 28, 2012


Okay- I’m not making crayons from scratch.  But here’s the deal:  More often than not when my family goes out to eat, we are given three or four crayons to keep my kid quiet (it doesn’t work).  I am 97% sure if I didn’t take them, they’d go in the trash.  Since there are only but so many yellow, blue, red, and green crayons one boy needs in his craft box, I’m making them gift-worthy.

Pile of restaurant crayons

Last Valentine’s Day Spencer got a card from his buddy at school which included a molded crayon, and I’ve been stuck on the idea ever since!

You will need

An ice cube mold or mini muffin tin ($2)

Crayons (free)

The smaller you chop them the more swirly they'll look.

This is about 10 minutes in.  They took a long time, probably because they are mostly cheap crayons.
Giving the crayon men a little swirl.
Unwrap and chop crayons.  Place crayon bits in mold.  Bake at 170 degrees until crayons have full melted- for me this took a solid half hour. If you want, use a chop stick to gently swirl the colors together.  Cool completely and remove from molds.

And that’s it! I think they are pretty cool.
My men!  The muscly one lost a hand, but I can just put the pieces back in the mold in the oven.
Try It

$2 for as many crayons as you have the patience to unwrap.

Buy It

I saw a set at Target for $4.99.


If you have a kid in your life, Try It!  It's an easy project, and you could make them single color, or group colors together (red/pink, blue/green, etc).  

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Baby Food

Well believe it or not, this is the first time I’ve tried my hand at making baby food.  I know, I know, how is that possible!? I have legit-ish reasons… With kid #1, I bought Gerber Organics baby food for the most part, and saved all the containers intending on making my own and freezing it.  I still have all those mirco-tupperwares, but I never used them for that purpose, and Spencer would have no part in purees after 7 months.

With kid #2 I bought Earth’s Best organic baby food.  That’s right- I wanted those containers again!  These are tiny glass jars that happen to make wonderful spice containers.  I bring them to the store to buy cheap bulk spices.  I figured I could spend $1 a piece on real spice jars, or I could spend $.69 a piece on a baby food jar and feed my kid in the process.  Now I have 10 or so, so it’s time Try It.

First off, if you like my Facebook page than you know that I made Elizabeth some applesauce the other day.  She loves that stuff!  Just blend it very smoothly, you’re set.  Today I made some sweet potato for her.  Also a big hit!

You will need

1 organic sweet potato ($1.49 per lb, $1.49/16oz = $.09 x 12oz = $1.12)


Some small containers or an ice cube tray


Preheat the oven to 375. Poke a sweet potato all over and place it on the oven rack.  Bake for 45-60 minutes, or until very tender.  Allow to cool completely.  Peel the skin off the sweet potato, and cut into chunks.  Put the chunks in the food processor or blender until smooth, adding water until it reaches the desired consistency.  
A single potato was a little difficult in this processor, it wanted a larger batch.

Sleepy baby with a sweet potato beard.

If it'll be a while before you use it, stick the jars in the freezer (just don't fill them to the brim), or fill an ice cube tray and just take them out a cube at a time.

Try It

 $1.12 for 2 ½ jars of puree, or $.45/jar.

Buy It

$.69 for 2.5oz jar.


Try It.  This took very little effort, and even if the savings seem small, they really add up!  That’s a 35% savings per jar.

Two notes: 1- I am fully aware that babies don't NEED baby food, but my kids lap it up, so I use it in the beginning.  2- While I was writing this I remembered a post my friend Em wrote a while back, so I went back and re-read it. It's a helpful post, go check it out (and then go check out her sewing because it's amazing!).

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Shopping Bag

In case you don’t have enough shopping bags (I have a bazillion), I saw this pin on pinterest on how to make them out of T-shirts.  Genius!  This is a great way to use and display all those ill fitting but sentimentally important shirts cluttering your closet (I’m not the only one, right?)
The first ever sister trip in Dublin, OH!  Good times.

You will need

1 T-shirt (gifted- free)

 Thread (left over- free)

Scissors (found- free)
Elizabeth helped.
You don't even need to use a straight edge, just go for it.

Lay your shirt out nice and flat.  Cut off the arms.  Cut the neck lower than the original neckline.  The lower you cut, the larger the opening to the bag is.

Flip your shirt inside out, and sew along the bottom hem.  Flip right side out.  Fill with merchandise (or gifts).
I'm always showing off my not quite stellar sewing skills!

That took all of 5 minutes!
Try It


Buy It

My everyday set of shopping bags are a mix of free canvas bags and these tough guys from Reisenthel (a gift from my sister Margaret back in 2006), which sell for between $5 and $6.99 each.


A great idea, and it would make for some interesting gift wrapping, but I’m a little too attached to my Reisenthels.  I say Try It if you’re low on bags, looking to use your favorite/terrible shirts, or are trying to be a hipster.