DIY dry erase board

I wanted to post this last month… BUT~ some were gifts for Christmas, and I didn’t want to ruin anyone’s surprise. Can you blame me?

This is awesome and this is why:

You can use any frame I used a scrapbook frame, but you can snag some cool vintage frames at a thrift store for a more shabby-chic look.

You can use any printed or plain paper behind~ you  can even make a “seasonal” dry-erase board with assorted scrapbook print paper.

It takes less than 10 minutes to make.


Hint: If you have a dollar store where you live, you can get the markers there. 😉



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trinket boxes

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I end up with empty toilet paper rolls.

Does that ever happen to you?

I saw this nifty idea on Pinterest and had to do it.

That’s tissue paper. Yeah, I should have used another color.

It’s not rocket science.

Wrap, tape, fill and fold.


Spend more money on the gift instead of the “box”. 🙂


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dress project part one

I’m short. When people ask me “How tall are you?” I smile and say, “I’m not!”Needless to say, a lot of my clothing is too long. It needs trimming and hemming. The problem?  I don’t own a sewing machine and I am too lazy to stitch by hand….but, I found a nice loophole for that issue. Don’t get me wrong… I want a sewing machine. I just always “forget” to buy one.

SEW, (haha) I trimmed off a strip. And, that strip just happens to make an awesome hair tie/scarfy-thing)

To hide that unsightly cut edge of the dress… I used….

See that fancy trim? Pur-dee, huh?

You got it. I will post a part 2… once the “ok-to-wash fabric glue” dries.


I know, I have been a total slacker on this site. Well, folks it’s CRAFT SEASON! I mean that I will be making a lot of gifts this year since I’m broke  really really on a budget. 😉

And… I will share them with y’all.Along with what’s in the fridge, of course.

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cookie jar mix

Cookie jar mix!

Get a head start on hostess and holiday gifts!

To make these:

Using a funnel, add ingredients in the order listed into a clean quart sized glass jar. Pack in firmly. Cover with a tight fitting lid.

1 2/3 cups all purpose flour

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup white sugar

1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

1/2 cup packed brown sugar.

Attach an instruction card using a ribbon and a hole punch on some heavy weight paper  or an index card.


In a separate bowl, combine :

1/2 cup softened butter

1/4 cup shortening

1 whole egg

1 egg yolk

1 teaspoon vanilla

Empty the jar contents to butter-egg mixture.

Drop by tablespoons onto parchment lined baking sheet, and bake in a preheated oven ( 350) for 8-10 minutes.

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sillhouette how to

This is a classic meaningful little gift idea. And… so easy. Hooray to easy. Cheap, too… hooray for cheap!

I did about 28 of these last week for my daughter’s class. The most challenging part was getting 4 year olds to “freeze” for 25-35 seconds. That’s  forever, when you’re four.
To make these, you’ll need:

black construction paper (large size, sold at craft stores-maybe the big super centers as well)


white heavyweight paper (same as above)

A kid, or whatever person you want to save on paper. Heck, you could even try your cat or dog…


glue product (stick is best)

clamp light or lamp without shade.


Tape black paper on a wall, and position a chair next to the wall. Place “subject” (kid) on the chair. Tell them to stay still and “freeze”.  😉

Place the light source approx  1 1/2 feet from subject,  you may have to adjust distance to capture the subject’s shadow on to the paper.

Trace the shadow using the white chalk.

Cut out and glue onto white sheet of paper. (You could also used colored paper, if desired…)


Don’t worry about it looking really bad when you first trace it, it looks MUCH better once you cut it out.

I was worried some of the kids (including my own) were going to look like shadow blobs, but.. they all came out looking like humans… yay!

I used regular scissors to cut the main shape, and a smaller pair to get more details, such as eyelashes and hair strands.

Glasses are hard, you’ll need to use manicure scissors to get the outline just right.

Don’t worry about tracing the shadow “perfect” ,  as you cut it out, you can round out any jagged lines you may have gotten.

The stiller the subject, the easier it is.

Use a minimal amount of liquid glue, so it doesn’t wrinkle the paper. (Glue stick works best)

Have fun and enjoy!

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homemade vanilla extract

I am a vanilla girl. Not to say I don’t adore chocolate…I just have a certain fondness for vanilla. I think it’s in how it is portrayed as such a “plain” flavor, yet it’s compounds produce a complexity all it’s own.

For instance,  vanilla beans as we know them in their pods come from a type of orchid that must be pollinated by hand.

If humans ceased to exist would vanilla also?

I doubt it- I am sure there is some area where nature does it.. but most of the vanilla beans we get as consumers were a-hem artificially pollinated. (ie; by hand)

Vanilla works really well in spicy dishes, believe it or not. And, even in wine.

Same way chocolate loves chile and cinnamon.

Trust me.

I finally got around to making my own vanilla extract, my friend Kira inspired me. Next is butter. She totally made me want to do that, too.

Vanilla is amazing. And it makes a great perfume. Remember back in the 1990’s when vanilla was hot? That was also around the same time everyone was “into” angels. Just after the “grunge” period….I think vanilla and angels were the ultimate counteraction of some marketers out there.

Everything was vanilla.

And people wore angels and decorated their homes with them…

mmm, vanilla angel cakes.

There was never a chocolate perfume rage….

at least not yet…

chocolate would have worked well with grunge, I think.

But I think that was when coffee got trendy.

Food trends.

I’m still waiting on sun tea to make a comeback.

As I said, I love vanilla and have a collection of it. Now I’m going to finally make it.

the actual vanilla beans look like tiny specs of dirt… can you see them?

while I made this, I also added to my vanilla sugar jar…. that was something I made back when angels and vanilla were hot…

you can see a recipe using that here (mmm, vanilla sugar tea cakes )that’s a EARLY post.

Homemade Vanilla Extract


Recipe: Homemade Vanilla Extract

Summary: how to make your own vanilla


  • 3 vanilla bean pods
  • 1 cup vodka


  1. Slice each vanilla bean lenghthwise down the center and place in an 8oz sterile glass jar with a tight fitting lid. (brown glass preferred) Top with vodka. Allow to age in a dark place for 8 weeks, shaking every few days. Top with more vodka as needed.

Cooking time (duration): 5

Microformatting by hRecipe.


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free houseplants

I’m sure you guys have done this before…if not, do it. It’s fun and everyone’s doing it. 😉

Take common houseplant-the Philodendron, you know the one…the one that is at every dentist,bank, doctor’s office waiting room, office desk…the one that is hearty. You’ll know it when you see it.

So, take a little snippet from the end of it, stick it in a pretty vase/jar/wine bottle/beer bottle…and fill it with water.

In a little bit, you will see a tiny root appear like this:

see it? how exciting. A free plant.

I’ve been on a houseplant kick lately…I have others than Philodendrons, and I should give y’all a botanical tour one day…

But when I have a hankering to have a new plant, and I don’t happen to have any loot to play with…this is what I do.

You can get free plants from a lot of species, violets, succulents, woody stemmed items…(rosemary is awesome to do)

Free stuff is fun.

This is the one I started the other day, I so love that container…it was a Goodwill find. Yep- I am a total Goodwill shopper. There are some treasures there. It’s like a garage sale store with no haggling. That’s just fine because I am terrible at haggling.  Flea market sellers love me, because I’m always saying; “How much is this? Okay, I’ll take it.” Instead of “How much is this? I’ll give you a dollar.” Anyway, Goodwills rock. Go visit one. No, they’re not paying me to say that. I just think y’all should go out and explore…there is so much mass produced stuff at retailers-it’s nice to find that unique item nobody else has….for instance:

check ouy the copper kettle- ($3.09 ) and the blue vase (.79 )Heck…can’t beat that.

And this charming little cut glass number:

Another treasure for $1.49. Ooo, and check out that little root system. That’s a free plant there.

Like I said, free things are fun.

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getting crafty

Oh no… another day without food?! Yes, it’s not that I haven’t cooked, it’s just I have already done the posts before. So, I decided to show you other parts of my day, outside of the kitchen. Sort of…

Dollar store crafts!!!!


I happen to have a rockin’ dollar store just up the street from me. I spent 4 bucks and got a ton of magnets.

Sure, I could have gone a bit further to the beach to find the shells and sea glass… but it’s tourist season right now- the tourists get to the beach at dawn. They get all the good stuff that washes up overnight. Oh well…glad I have my dollar store.

Do I need to explain how to make them?

Maybe a picture?

There. Just glue and stick. I knew you guys would figure it out.

So, as you know I have a little one with me during the day, while the bigger little one is at school. We have our at-home pre-school, our library days, our gardening days, our chore days, our baking days and our craft days.

It’s been really humid and sticky lately; so I haven’t baked much…and my hubby grilled steaks last night. Not much food going on around these parts.

Building, yes- 🙂 I designed some turtle and tortoise huts… does anyone out there have turtles? Maybe that will make a fun post.

For now, these little magnets make great everyday gifts..what’s an everyday gift?

You know when you’re at the store and see fresh flowers and want to buy them for your mom or sister or someone? But you don’t have the money or they live too far away? These are the perfect thing to send/give.  🙂

Everyday gifts are a nice surprise.

Anyway, those of you that come here to get some ideas for food- here’s what’s on my list:

turkey croquettes

cake for my finale in class on Tuesday

cookie dough balls

homemade pickles

tex-max pasta

CREPES!  I am taking a course on crepes next week. Super excited about that.

how to sprout

some more videos

vanilla extract

apple infused vodka

…and, I have a birthday coming up. Which makes me want to make a list of 36 things to do this year. I need to get on that.

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don’t eat these cookies

Mmm, cookies.

These cookies need a warning label.


Seriously.Not that it’s a crappy recipe. They are “air freshener” cookies. It’s cinnamon and applesauce. Roll em out an let em harden, paint em up and you have adorable ornaments or rear-view mirror air fresheners. Crafty.

I made mine with 1/2 c of cinnamon, (hint: dollar store had 6oz for…well, duh-a dollar!)

add enough applesauce to make a dough. (3tbs or so)

roll it out- sprinkle with more cinnamon if it happens to stick.

allow to dry for 24 hours. I put mine in the sun on a nice crisp day and it only took 6 hrs.

paint with acrylic paints…

allow the paint to dry and hang up on your tree, your rear view mirror, your neck… wherever you want to smell cinnamon.  😉 That’s everywhere to me… mmmmm.


Cinnamon decorating cookies

1/2 c cinnamon

3-4 tbs applesauce

mix to for a dough, roll out and cut with assorted cutters, if dough sticks- sprinkle with more cinnamon.

Allow to dry for 24 hrs.

Decorate with paints, attach ribbon to hang and enjoy the smell of cinnamon.


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