Gift Idea: DIY No-Sew Fort Kit

No-Sew Fort Kit

I LOVE this idea!  With Christmas coming up (well, I guess it’s still a few months away), this No-Sew Fort Kit from Celebrate Every Day with Me is a fabulous gift idea!!

I’ve also added it to my list of 101 Inexpensive Gift Ideas for Christmas!

Five Ways to Recycle Christmas Cards

If you’re like us, you probably have a few Christmas cards you’re trying to figure out what to do with since Christmas is over.  These are just a few ways we’ve reused cards over the years.  I’d love to hear your ideas, too!

Five ways to recycle Christmas cards:

1)  Save the cards to create simple crafts next December.

Search for recycled Christmas card crafts, and you can find a plethora of ideas for using the fronts of old cards.  We made this Nativity ornament.  You could also make:

Also, Martha Stewart has a great photo gallery of ideas for recycling Christmas cards.

 

2)  Make a “Wall-of-Fame” with the photos you’ve received.

I have a special bulletin board in my office where I hang the pictures I’ve received.  It’s nothing fancy–I just cut-out the photos and tack them in place.  I enjoy seeing photos of family and friends and remembering them throughout the year.  When Christmas rolls around next year, I’ll take down the old photos and replace them with new ones.  You could also make a nicer display with a fabric-covered board, photo frame, etc.

 

3)  Send them to St. Jude’s Recycled Card Program.

St. Jude’s accepts used, all-occasion greeting cards and uses the front of them to make “new” cards.  Children and volunteers create these cards which are then sold to support St. Jude’s programs and services.  You can find out more details about the St. Jude’s Recycled Card Program here.

 

4) Create a “Stay-in-Touch” Basket

Place all the cards in a basket.  Each week, you can pick a card and do something special for the chosen family or person.  Send a handwritten note, make some cookie, call, or visit them.  The ideas are limitless!

 

5)  Create a Prayer Basket

Just like in the idea above, put all the cards in a basket.  Each week, pick a card and pray specifically for that family or person.

 

What do you do with your old Christmas cards?

Make Your Own: Almond Milk Recipe

After a crazy week with my sister visiting and working on her house (it’s definitely a fixer-upper) and my brother getting married this weekend, I woke up this morning and realized we had no almond milk in the house for my oldest daughter.

I remembered an article I had seen in KIWI magazine last month about a quick way to make your own non-dairy milk in a pinch, so we gave it a try.

Simple Almond Milk Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups very cold water
  • 1/3 cup almond butter
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

1)  In a blender, combine the ingredients.  Blend for a minute until the mixture is completely mixed.

You can either serve this immediately or store it in the refrigerator for up to two days.  I personally thought it was slightly bland, but I don’t drink almond milk very often.  You might try adding less water if you don’t mind a higher calorie content.

It tasted better to me once we refrigerated it.  I just stored it in the blender, so I can easily mix it back up again before we use it.

Find more “Make Your Own” projects here.

Save Your Soap: Two Frugal Tips

save your soap

One way I save money is by picking up inexpensive bottles of soap with a coupon and “extending” the life of them.  The main way I do this is by making foaming soap.

Frugal Soap Tip #1:  Make your own foaming soap.

However, a few weeks ago, our foaming soap dispenser broke, and I needed another idea because the girls were using a ton of soap from the pump (I think they used up half of it in two days, and I can normally make one bottle of soap last for at least a month — if not more when we make foaming soap)!

Frugal Soap Tip #2:  Use a rubber band to slow the flow of the soap!

When I was teaching, one thing I did was wrap a rubber band around the top of the soap dispenser –  kids can go through a bottle of soap in a hurry!  This makes less soap come out with each pump (but still plenty for washing hands, of course).  It doesn’t look pretty at all, but it worked great in a pinch.