Category Archives: DIY

DIY Easy Bake Oven Recipes

IMAG4602*post contains affiliate links**

Big Sis got an Easy Bake Ultimate Oven a couple of years ago for her birthday. I ALWAYS wanted one of these suckers growing up. Now I get to live through my child! I have to admit, though, that I find the refill kits to be rather pricey and if I’m totally honest, gross.

I looked around and came up with a couple of simple, INEXPENSIVE, alternatives to the prepackaged refill kits.

First up:


Easy Cake Mix: You’ll need a boxed cake mix… any flavor and zip lock bags. Divide the cake mix into individual servings by placing 3TBS in each bag. This will make TONS of little servings. I just labeled the cake mix box “Easy Bake” and put all little baggies back in. To actually make the cakes, mix the 3TBS serving with about 1.5 TBS of milk or water. Then stick it in the Easy Bake oven for about 12 minutes!

Next Up:


Cookie Dough!!

In a bowl, combine:

1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine

¾ cup white sugar

¾ cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

Beat together thoroughly. Then add:

1 egg

And beat into dough. Add:

2 ½ cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

Mix until combined.

**If you want to add something like cocoa powder, raising, m n ms, etc… feel free!!**

On wax paper on a cookie sheet, scoop out cookie dough balls (about 2 TBS per scoop). Stick the cookie sheet in the freezer and let the cookie dough get nice and hard. When they are frozen, you can transfer the cookie dough balls into a freezer ziplock and pull out individual servings when needed.

To bake in the Easy Bake Oven, pull out the dough and let it thaw while the oven is warming up. Spray the little pan with PAM, etc. and then press the cookie dough into the pan. Place in the oven for about 12-14 minutes.

UntitledThis is after we made two of the cookies and split them up into four servings. The kids kept talking about how good they were!

Do you have an Easy Bake Oven at your house? What do your kids like to make?

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Filed under cooking with kids, DIY, kids, recipe

Getting a Clean Start in 2014


We’ve taken the last couple of weeks off from school… and been sick every. single. day. We’ve had stomach bugs, croup, colds, etc. It’s been miserable. BUT… nothing motivates me more to clean than being in a sick house. I wanted to clean and organize the house before we start back to school. The main part of the house that I want taken care of is our kitchen… it serves as the kitchen, school room, sewing/ craft room, office and laundry room. I really need this area to be clean and accessible. This week, I’ve been utilizing tips from Pinterest as I tackle the task of getting things in order.

First off, here are my top 5 tips for cleaning:

1. Purge without regret.. go through cabinets and drawers. Be real with yourself… if you haven’t used something in the last 6 months to a year… are you really going to use it? Toss it or pass it to someone who WILL use it. I applied this to the many, many workbooks and coloring books we have lurking in our supply closet.

2. Deep Clean… while you’re purging, take time to pull things out of cabinets and wipe down shelves and drawers. Give the kids some Clorox wipes and send them around to clean cabinet doors, bedroom doors, shelves, etc.

3. Plastic tubs. I have the Sterilite shoe box size tubs EVERYWHERE. I use them to organize our school stuff. I have them for paint, play dough, language arts manipulatives, math manipulatives, markers, crayons, glue, puzzles, flashcards. They are all clearly labeled and easy to access in the homeschool cabinet.

4. Rearrange. I always feel like my house is clean when I have rearranged a little. It makes you move things around and clean areas that don’t usually get a lot of attention. Change the seating in your living room. Rearrange some kitchen cabinets to make things more accessible. Reorganize your pantry and throw out dated things away.

5. Unsubscribe… go through all those daily emails that you get (and don’t read), scroll to the bottom and click unsubscribe. Now you don’t have tons of emails vying for your attention and you’re not tempted to spend money you don’t have!

And now… here are my top ten cleaning tips from Pinterest (many I’ve been doing this week):

1. Clean the oven without chemicals!

2. Cleaning Microfiber Furniture

3. Cleaning the Top Loading Washing Machine (this one is happening right now!)

4. Homemade, Natural Cleaners

5. Wool Dryer Balls (this isn’t cleaning… but it is money saving and something I’m using when doing laundry)

6. Recharge your Towels

7. Cleaning Hard Water Stains

8. Uses for Dryer Sheets (other than softening clothes)

9. Cleaning the Microwave without chemicals

10. Organize your Cleaning Supplies (I haven’t done this YET!)

What are your favorite/ go to cleaning tips?


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Filed under chores, cleaning, DIY, pinterest

Top 13 Posts from 2013

top 13

I’ve been happy with my little blog in 2013. I feel like I am more and more finding my identity in the blog o sphere. I’ve discovered how to make PDFs and Printable packs… which according to the top posts of the year are what people come to this blog for!

I’m taking some time to think about what direction I want this blog to take in 2014. I want to be a source of encouragement for the every day person. I want to be real and raw. I want to provide FREE resources for homeschoolers/ teachers. I’m hoping to write an ebook this year… I’d love suggestions on what to write about!

Without further ado, here are the top 13 posts (in no particular order)

1. Preschool Busy Bag Ideas with Free Printable:

Duplo Pattern Template

2. Preschool Busy Bag Swap:


3. Geoboard Activity Pack:


4. Make Your Own Lego Idea Book:

Meet the Builder

5. Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus Writing Prompt:

pigeon writing

6. 15 Books and Book Series:

Book List

7. Apple Orchard Printable Pack:

Apple Orchard Field Trip

8. Little House on the Prairie Party:


9. Bleached T Shirt Tutorial:


10. Lego Soap Project:


11. Our Homeschool Curriculum 2013-2014:

Homeschool Curr

12. Angry Birds Birthday Party on a Budget:


13. Letter to Moms of Preschoolers:

Moms of Preschooler

Don’t forget to check out these hot topics as well:

Lego Challenge

Meal Plan Monday

Now it’s your turn, what would you like to see from me in 2014?

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Filed under blogging, DIY, homeschool, year in review

Lego Soap Project with FREE Printable Gift Tags

*post contains affiliate links*

I’m trying to get my kids to think outside of themselves during this Christmas season. For me, as a child, Christmas was all about me and what I could get! I don’t want that for my kids.


I tried to think of something fun that they would all enjoy making and I came across Lego Soaps. I used THIS TUTORIAL from Just Crafty Enough. Because the tutorial is so well laid out, I’m not going to repeat it.


I picked up theBuilding Bricks and Minifigure Ice Cube Tray or Candy Mold –for Lego lovers
from Amazon and the clear glycerine soap base from Michael’s (I used a 40% off coupon). The whole process of making the soap was so quick and easy.  I let the kids pick a scent (either peppermint or lavender essential oil). It was perfect for my kids’ attention spans. The soap was firm and ready to pop out of the mold within half an hour! I did let it sit out and harden a little more before we put it into an airtight container.

The kids were seriously super excited about this project.

The only thing left is to stick the soaps into a plastic gift bag and stick a label on it!

Need a label, feel free to print these FREE ones! Click on the link BELOW the image for the printable version:

Lego TagsClick for the Printable Version ——->>Lego Tags

How are you teaching your kids about having a generous heart?

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Filed under christmas, crafts, DIY, lego, project

Christmas Craft Round Up

My kids LOVE crafts. They get so excited when we have projects to do! In an effort to be more purposeful in teaching them the art of giving, some of these crafts will be made with the intention of giving them as gifts to friends and family.

First Up: Ornaments (the kids each make an ornament every year to add to our collection)

Icicle Ornaments from the Happy Hooligans

memory making ornament from Mommy Savers

From the Suburban Mom

Snow Globe Ornaments… how cute! From Here Come the Girls

Next Up Crafty Fun Projects:

Light Up Christmas Tree Craft
from All Kids Network

from the Chaos and the Clutter


Felt Wall Nativity- I keep wanting to do this!!!
From My Crazy Blessed Life

Cute Thumbprint Lights Craft
From Meet the Dubiens


Lastly… Gifts to Make:

Pinecone Fire Starters
From Mrs. Adventure

Hot Chocolate Stirrers
from Adventures in Savings

Kitchen Towels
from Let Kid’s Create

What are your favorite Christmas crafts?

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Filed under christmas, crafts, DIY, kids

DIY Bugspray that Works

bug spray2

A friend posted the other day asking for a chemical free, homemade bugspray. She took the responses she got and put together a great bugspray that smells good, is chemical free and works wonders! Since she’s not one to be on the internet often, I thought I’d share her recipe here.

Seriously… I was sitting outside last night and felt like I was in a super bubble that the mosquitos could not enter. The ingredients are a little costly up front (the essential oils can get a little pricey… but they will last you for a LONG time!), but it’s well worth the investment. My kids love this stuff.

Here you go:

16 oz Witch Hazel ($1.19 at Target)

10-15 drops Peppermint Oil

10-15 drops Eucalyptus Oil

5-10 drops of Lavendar Oil

I think the oils cost me about $23 at our local health food store… maybe you can get them cheaper. I’m already looking up stuff on pinterest that I can do to justify the price. My next project is homemade wool dryer balls!


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Filed under bug spray, DIY, natural, pinterest

Bleached T Shirt Tutorial

I’ve seen this idea on Pinterest. I’m sure several versions are out there, but here is our’s!

We participate each year in a cupcake sale to raise money for a ministry that is near and dear to our hearts, Sixty Feet. Come back tomorrow for more on the cupcake sale. This is our third year participating and Big Brother had out grown his t shirt that he usually wears. I remembered the idea for a bleached t shirt and figured that would be simple and quick enough… seeing how we realized the day before the sale that he did not have a shirt.


Materials Needed:

Diluted Bleach

T Shirt (darker colors probably  work best)

spray bottle



I probably put 2 or 3 Tablespoons of bleach and the rest water


Now, I made the stencil by tracing Africa from an atlas onto plain printer paper. I imagine freezer paper might be a better option, but this served the purpose just fine!

I recommend setting up this project in the bathtub. I did a little test spray on an obscure part of the shirt… just to make sure it would work.


I pinned the stencil in place and let big brother spray away. I told him to make sure to get the edges of the stencil well. It only took about a minute to cover the shirt.


I jumped the gun a little. I was worried the bleach water would soak through the paper and ruin the idea. I unpinned it and tried to move the still wet paper. A few drops got left behind. All in all, I’d say the project turned out well though. After I removed the stencil, I took another spray bottle, filled with just water and sprayed down the shirt. I then rinsed it, in the bath tub and then took it to wash, by itself, in the washing machine.

The washing machine process was the longest part of the project. I feel like there are so many options that open up for this kind of project… so many t shirts, flags, blankets, pillow cases… just imagine.

Thanks for stopping by today!

Linking up with:

Hip Homeschool Hop Button

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Filed under crafts, DIY, hip homeschool hop, homeschool, sixty feet, tutorial

Pinata Party

We’ve come together with some other families in the area who are also doing My Father’s World to form a co op. It’s so fun and definitely one of the highlights of our school week. We meet once a week and try to do activities that maybe we wouldn’t get to at home… like fun art projects.

Last week and this, we’ve been talking about Mexico. Our big project last week was a pinata. We used paper mache and balloons. This week, we had a Mexican fiesta, ending with the smashing of the pinatas!

We started by making our paper mache. Equal parts flour and water with about 1/2 tablespoon per cup of flour. SO… we mixed 3 cups flour, 3 cups water and about 1 1/2 tablespoons of salt. Mix with a wooden spoon until the paste has a batter consistency. Dunk strips of newspaper (ours were about 1 1/2 inches by 7 inches), drag them on the side of the bowl to remove excess paste and place them in a criss cross pattern on the balloon. A little paste goes a long way. Leave the “belly button” of the balloon uncovered.

Continue the process until your balloon has THREE layers of pasted paper.

It took about 3 or 4 days for our pinata to dry. I had it resting on this measuring cup and would flip it once a day so the top and bottom had equal opportunity to dry. When it is dry, pop the balloon at the opening. We used that hole to put in the candy. I then mixed up a little bit of paste and covered the top of the pinata with a few more strips of paper. We let it dry over night and painted it the next day.

The kids couldn’t agree on how to decorate the pinata… so we divided it into three sections and they each got to design a section. I found some angry birds stickers to add some pizazz!

All that hard work and creativity led to this:

Pinata carnage! It was so worth it though. The kids had a great time smashing the pinatas and collecting their reward.

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Filed under art, co op, DIY, homeschool, mfw

Pinterest Made Me Do It- DIY Wall Decals

So… apparently I have been spending a lot of time on Pinterest lately…

Here’s the latest project. It’s been in my mind for a while and finally came together yesterday. I am not going to do a tutorial because you can find one here that’s very thorough. I am just going to show you how things worked out for me.
My kids are SUPER into pretend and dress up. My girls go through at least four or five outfits and personas (is that a real word) on any given day. The “make believe” corner of their room is overflowing. Big Brother gets in on the play most days, but you know… there’s just not a lot of stuff out there for boys to play dress up. I mean… we have a lot of hats, some gloves, a crown and a couple of super hero costumes that have been handed down, but that’s about it. I am working on putting together a Little House on the Prairie/ Farmer Boy outfit for him.

I made sure to test a small piece of fabric on an out of the way spot on the wall before I went forward with this project. I used the iron on adhesive, Heat n Bond for medium fabrics. You can find it at Wal- Mart or just about any craft store. Follow the directions on the package for attaching it to your fabric.

When I ironed the fabric to the wall (yes, you read that right)… I set the iron on a lower setting and barely touched it to the fabric. I only used the tip of the iron and let it sit on the fabric for maybe two seconds at a time… just enough to adhere it to the wall. I just followed the outline of the fabric with the tip of the iron.

I drew my letters, crown and sunglasses freehand, but if you want a more professional look… you can print out your words/ images and trace them (backwards) on to your heat n bonded fabric before you start cutting.

I added some pictures of the kids playing dress up. I printed them out with cute little frames using my scrapbooking software. You could actually print out pictures for real and frame them, but this was cheap, easy and quick. I really like the way this corner of the room turned out.

Fabric wall decals might be my new obsession. Big Brother wants me to do the words “build” and “create” in his room, along with some lego blocks. I’ve thought about doing a “live, love, laugh” in our master bedroom and surrounding it with family pictures. The possibilities are endless. AND… because this is such an inexpensive project, you can take the decals off and change things up as often as you like!!!



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Filed under decor, DIY, fabric, pinterest

Pinterest Made Me Do It- Sidewalk Paint

I’ve been meaning to do this for quite a while. Usually, I get an idea in my head and it doesn’t come to fruition until a few weeks after. Anyway… I was spending some time on Pinterest (shocking, right?)… and THIS PIN (or variations of it) has popped up quite a bit here and there. The chalk/ paint is actually incredibly easy to make.

All you need is



Food Coloring

Mix equal parts of cornstarch and water and drop in whatever coloring you want. I did 1/4 cup of corn starch and 1/4 cup of water.

I only added a few drops of food coloring to each cup and the colors turned out so bright.

FYI… the paint almost seemed like it wasn’t working at first, but as it dried… the colors brightened.

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Filed under chalk, children, crafts, DIY