Tutorials

rowan's no-sew felt quiet book

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Add a little bit of body text (1) I'm very picky about felt projects.  There are so many felt projects out there that look too crafty or not well thought out.  Not that I'm a felt snob but if I'm going to use felt for something I want the project to maintain high quality and craftsmanship.  This may be why this felt quiet book took so long to finish; I would start a page and a week later totally change it because it looked too cheesy.  (Do you creative people know where I'm coming from??)

I remember putting a lot of time and love into Annabelle and Ainsleigh's special personalized soft books when they were young.  They treasured them.  Rowan somehow missed out on getting one of those, still doesn't have a baby book filled out, nor has a first year photo album like his sister have.

It has been a really satisfying feeling putting the finishing touches on his felt quiet book, though, and having him on my lap this past Sunday playing with it for the first time.

I hope my felt page designs and tips give you the confidence to make your own no-sew felt quiet book.  Come and see...

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Why no-sew?

I wanted to put more emphasis into the details of each page of this felt book and not be constrained to the machine.  That is the advantage to working with felt: you can cut felt without needing to finish off edges.  I decided to do absolutely no sewing (except the binding) so the entire book would be consistent in terms of tension/stretch on each page of the book.  

Hot glue is the key for this whole project.

For the quiet book, all you need is different colors of felt (I used both craft + wool felt), sharp fabric scissors, metal snaps (for closure) , and hot glue gun + glue stick refills.

Page 2

 {The winter scene activity: 3 snowmen, rainy day gear, sneakers, small pieces for buttons + noses, hats, arms, and cold weather gear.  This activity page has the smallest pieces on it.}

 

Tip: To make your felt book project even easier, buy a precut package of craft felt sheets at any fabric or craft store.  These felt sheets (usually around 10" x 13" sheets) can be used as your book's pages--no need to cut felt pieces into pages.

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 {The summer scene activity: the beach scene!  All of the elements from our beach trips like seagulls, a crab, bucket with sand, shovel, sandcastles, puddle, little boy + his beach ball, and clouds.}

 

Tip: Glue down the basic backdrop of your felt play scenes onto your felt sheets.  This makes it easy for a child to build onto the scene with the moveable felt pieces and not have to remember what the scene is supposed to be.  In the beach scene, I hot glued the ocean, sand, sun, and birds.  Rowan simple adds to the scene with extra details in his play.

Page 3

{The create-a-face activity: there are multiple hair styles, eyes, glasses, noses, lips, a beard + mustache, crown, and bows.}

Tip: Play around with your felt pages in terms of vertical and horizontal layout.  I liked my face activity vertical so there was room enough for the beard, bow tie, and tall hair.

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{The favorite foods plate activity: fruits, vegetables, chicken leg, eggs + sausage, BACON, dark chocolate, gingerbread cookie, hot cocoa, ice water, and utensils.}

Tip: When making a narrow felt piece, hot glue a felt detail onto the piece to make it more sturdy and less flimsy, like my utensils.

Page 1

{The loadable dump truck activity:  add the truck's wheels and load the truck (which really is a pocket) with either rocks or shapes.}

Tip: Make your felt pages more realistic by adding depth.  You add depth by hot gluing another layer onto the base felt piece, like the outer piece with cut-out squares I added to the dump truck.

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{The birthday ice cream shop activity: load your bowl or cone with your favorite scoops of ice cream!  Don't forget the celebration balloons.}

Tip: Add glitter, ric rac, beads, and other decorations to create a 3D effect.  I added hot glue + glitter to some of the ice cream scoops to create the drizzled topping effect on the ice cream.

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 Where do I store all of the felt pieces?

After you've created each felt page and its pieces, cut out large felt pockets, one per activity page.  Hot glue the sides and bottom of each pocket onto the back of each activity page (excluding the last activity page--it won't need a pocket on its' back).

Fill each pocket with the coordinating pieces for the activity page that the pocket faces.  That means the first activity page's felt pieces will be stored in a pocket you secure to the inside of the book's cover.

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How do I bind + close the book?

You have two options for binding your book.  I chose the easiest which was using my sewing machine.  I know this is a no-sew book but if you can machine sew the binding it will be your quickest, easiest option.

Simple sew the pages together with a seam and then sandwich the pages into the cover and sew one more seam.

Handsewing option:

If you don't have a sewing machine, simply hand sew the binding to create a strong binding.  I do not recommend using hot glue for the binding.

Closure:

Add a few metal snaps to the cover flap for closing the book.  Follow the no-sew snap instructions which will require a hammer.  A few snaps will do the trick.

 

 

 

I hope you make a no-sew felt quiet book.  Make pages based on activities and themes that your child/grandchild loves.  Rowan's favorite pages are the dump truck and food pages, of course.

 

Which page was your favorite??

 

the sleepy time gal

preparing for the cold: cold weather cream

COLD WEATHER I'm very curious what temperature it is in your neck of the woods.  It is in the teens this early morning here in PA.  I'm trying to make a mental list of who still needs warm winter hats and gloves and how I'll make due before we head out in the cold this morning.

 

We have arrived at that time of year when my knuckles get so dry and cracked and my twins begin complaining about their dry legs at night that I know it's winter recipe time.

I shared this recipe last year but it is so incredible I had to share it again.

If you don't have all of the ingredients make it with what you have.  Yesterday we made this winter's batch of cream with a friend and I used a blend of citrus essential oils instead of straight lemon oil since I was out.

It feels like a dream going on your skin and immediately turns from a solid state of cold cream into a smooth spreadable lotion once the warmth of your hands warms the coconut oil. IMG_3895

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(The Purification blend can be found here.  It is an excellent all around blend.)

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My label maker designed this year's tin. Thanks Caroline!

 

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And now everyone is lathering up daily.  Read my original post about how awesome this cream works on eczema and chapped baby cheeks as well.  Powerful stuff.

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Keep warm and hydrated out there, friends.  This is only the beginning. :)

 

 the sleepy time gal

summer cleansing sugar scrub

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Our summer cleansing sugar scrub recipe came about for two of my nieces' August birthdays.   Caroline has become interested in making things with our essential oils--lately her obsession is air fresheners for her bedroom--and so I thought we'd try something refreshing and fun for her cousins.

There are a few ways to make sugar scrubs but they always include sugar (of course) for the exfoliating factor and an oil for hydration.  I like that this recipe also has shredded soap in it as well for the 2-in-1 functionality for girls cleaning up in the shower while having fun scrubbing the sweetly scented sugar on them as well.

I think you'll love this recipe...

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summer cleansing sugar scrub

This summer cleansing sugar scrub has a very robust floral scent from floral and citrus oils and the optional pink rose powder.  It is absolutely incredible on the skin and leaves your body feeling refreshed, exfoliated, and hydrated.  

 

 

1/2 cup sesame oil (or other carrier oil of choice)

1 cup shredded soap

2 cups white granulated sugar

Combination of summer oils: Ylang Ylang Essential Oil (10 drops), Geranium Essential Oil (5 drops), Citrus Fresh Essential Oil (5 drops), Lemon Essential Oil (5 drops)

1-2 TBSP Pink Rose Powder (optional)

1 drop of pink food coloring (optional)

 

Mix sesame oil and shredded soap in a heat safe bowl.  Microwave in bursts of 20 seconds at a time and stir.  Continue until soap is mostly melted.  Add sugar and essential oils.

Put bowl of mixed sugar scrub in the freezer for at least an hour for the oil to solidify a bit.   Return the bowl to the counter, fluff up the sugar scrub with a fork, and spoon it into mini jars or a large air-tight glass jar.

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This is a really great summer activity to do with your kids.  It is simple, fast, and your kids can enjoy the fruits of their labors with their own little jar in the tub.  And don't forget!  There is soap in this beautiful scrub!  Kids can scrub up, enjoy the aromatherapeutic experience while washing up!

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And did I mention a jar of this summer scrub is awesome to give as a gift?  Label it, wrap it up in a bit of parchment, and tie off with a ribbon.

I hope you try it out before the summer is over!

 

 

Do you like using sugar scrubs?  What are your favorite scents??

 

the sleepy time gal

 

winter and homemade eczema/cold weather cream

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Hello winter.  It feels like you're here to stay...

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{Happy girls, despite the freezing weather.}

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{My morning cocoa: 1 cup hot water, 2 tsp cocoa powder, 1 TBSP cream, 1-3 tsp coconut oil, and touch of zsweet or liquid stevia}

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Right when winter settles in, my sensitive twins complain about itchy, dry skin on their legs, hands, and face.  Although they are my only children that get winter eczema (my only preemies) my little Rowan always has the cutest--but driest--little cheeks throughout the winter.

This incredible cream is for you three loves of mine.  

I have the twins apply it (which they loves since they have their own jar) in the morning and at night.  When Ainsleigh's little dry patches look really dry we will reapply.  And when the jars of cream are out, Rowan now comes running for someone to rub it on his cheeks.  It is quite cute.

The results after one week?

I have noticed quite a difference in Ainsleigh's dry patches on her face in the past few days.  Her complexion is returning to being more even-toned.  Her patches are less noticeable.  Rowan's dry, chapped cheeks are almost completely gone, and Annabelle told me today that, "It works!"  She reports to not be as itchy and their red, irritated hands are almost back to normal!  I am super thrilled with the results as we continue to apply their "special cream" daily.

Other uses for this cold weather cream:

This eczema/cold weather cream would do wonders on any part of the skin, from moderate dry to extremely dry (only use externally and avoid around the eyes).  I've been testing it on dry parts of my skin and oh, the magic of coconut oil!  It is the most indulgent base for a cream.  It has been known for its moisturizing/healing properties for the skin for ages.

Below I note the details on why I chose each particular essential oil for the recipe.  The addition of essential oils help tremendously in the healing of the skin.

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homemade eczema/cold weather cream

 

Ingredients:

3/4 cup Coconut Oil

30 drops Lavender Essential oil  (Anti-septic and anti-fungal: helps with skin healing and reduces scarring. Anti-inflammatory: reduces redness and blotchiness for even complexion)

15 drops Melaleuca Essential Oil (also known as Tea Tree Oil, it helps with eczema, is highly absorbent into the skin--it gets to the root of the problem fast and effectively)

10 Purification Essential Oil Blend  (Includes Citronella, Lemongrass, Rosemary, Melaleuca, Lavandin, and Myrtle which soothe existing scratches and wounds)

15 drops Lemon Essential Oil (Aids in cleansing the body, clearing away acne, and ridding dead or dry skin cells)

 

Add all ingredients to a standing mixer with a whisk attachment.  Mix thoroughly for 5 minutes or until well incorporated.  Store in 1-2 small glass jars depending on your jars.  (I got our glass salve jars from here.)  This recipe makes a perfect amount of cream for two small jars: one to keep at home and one to take in a handbag or one for upstairs in a bedroom, one for downstairs.

(The Eczema/Cold Weather Cream will remain in a solid state unless it goes above 75 degrees, in which case, it becomes a liquid.)  

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Other cold weather recipes you might enjoy:

Tangerine Lip Balm

Spa Day and Floral Body Oil

Feel Better Shower Bars

Aromatherapy-Relaxation Bath Salts

the sleepy time gal

 

 

spa day and floral body oil

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Yesterday morning was a spontaneous spa day in our living.  Partially because ballet is done for one month and the big girls can actually have painted nails and because I was so excited to actually have all of the girls home in the morning and not at ballet.

I put each girl in charge of something:

  • Johanna--filling a silver tray with polishes, some of my lipsticks, my mineral eye shadows, and choosing some relaxing background music.
  • Annabelle--stacks of books for customers to read while being pampered.
  • Ainsleigh--preparing a fancy snack for the spa of pretzel crumbs from the bottom of the bag, dried blueberries, peanuts, and white chocolate chips.
  • Caroline--concocting some floral body oil in the kitchen, because well, it was spa day.

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Caroline really did make it all by herself.  We worked on the recipe together, smelling a handful of essential oils to find the right ones and me telling her how much of what.

Do you remember my pregnancy massage oil?  I loved it so much.  I was so sad when I ran out of it.  I missed using it after a shower, having super soft skin, and it lifting my spirits.  It truly hydrated my skin and was a special indulgence back then.

I've had a new body oil on my list of things to make since, well, Rowan was a tiny baby.  Between swimming in a chlorinated pool and simply drying off with a towel after a shower without anything to put on my skin, I've missed supple skin.  So here is our floral body oil.  I think you'll love it...

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floral body oil

1 cup jojoba oil (Got mine here)

15 drops ylang ylang essential oil

15 drops lavender essential oil

10 drops joy essential oil blend

Jojoba oil the most favored in the carrier oil family because of its advanced molecular stability. It is equally wonderful for the skin because it has absorption properties that are similar to our skin's own sebum.

Ylang Ylang essential oil has a sweet, soft, flowery fragrance that has made it a romantic favorite. Ylang ylang is extremely effective in calming and bringing about a sense of relaxation, and it may help with releasing feelings of anger, tension, and nervous irritability.

Lavender essential oil is an adaptogen, and therefore can assist the body when adapting to stress or imbalances. It is a great aid for relaxing and winding down before bedtime, yet has balancing properties that can also boost stamina and energy. Therapeutic-grade lavender is highly regarded for skin and beauty. It may be used to soothe and cleanse common cuts, bruises, and skin irritations.

Joy essential oil blend is a luxuriously exotic blend with uplifting overtones that creates magnetic energy and brings joy to the heart. When worn as cologne or perfume, Joy exudes an alluring and irresistible fragrance that inspires romance and togetherness. When diffused, it can be refreshing and uplifting.

(jojoba source and essential oil source)

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Mix the oils together.  Pour into glass container or plastic container with pourable top.  (I get my body oil containers here and just reuse them.)

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Best used after a bath/shower on damp skin.  Pour a small amount into palm and rub all over body.  You'll be amazed at how long your body will stay hydrated and soft.  The more you use it the more your body will truly transform.  Seriously ladies.

Jojoba oil can be pretty pricy so if you don't have it try another carrier oil like sweet almond oil, grapeseed oil, or avocado oil.

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(What do you think of this fabric?  Definitely another emotional fabric.  I bought it awhile back during Johanna's Native American obsession.

It makes me smile whenever I see the Indian feathers on it and think of our journey through all things Indian.  It is part of the Indian Summer collection.)

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 Speaking of Johanna, she painted every females' fingers and toes under this roof yesterday.  And gave me a foot massage.

 

This may have been the first official Shiffler Spa Day but it won't be the last.

 

the sleepy time gal

wee ones: homemade bias tape washcloths

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Good morning!

I have a little wee ones baby tutorial this morning for you that is a nice, simple, weekend sewing project.  These homemade bias tape washcloths are so nice for babies beginning to eat solid food, for bath time with baby, or as a baby shower gift.  Come see how they come together...

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homemade bias tape washcloths

you'll need:

  • natural or white terry cloth (found at any fabric store)
  • 1 inch double fold bias tape (or homemade bias tape)

 

for homemade bias tape:

  • 1/2 a yard of decorative cotton fabric
  • one inch bias tape maker (found at any fabric store)
  • iron

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Cut your terry cloth into 11 x 11 squares.  Set aside.

If you're making bias tape, lay your fabric out in front of you.  The whole idea of bias tape is to cut on the bias, meaning on a 45 degree angle.  For these washcloths, you are wanting to cut 2 inch strips on the bias.  With a long quilter's ruler,  place it on the fabric on the 45 degree diagonal and begin cutting 2 inch strips.

Once you have a handful of strips, piece them together.  (Here is a great bias tape tutorial that shows how to piece the strips together to create one long strip.  I forgot to take a picture of how to piece the strips!)  You will have one long piece of a fabric strip.

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Once you have your long strip, pull out your handy bias tape maker.  Simply insert one end of the fabric strip into the bias tape maker and pull it through.  As you gently pull the fabric through it will actually create two folds on both sides of the strip.  With one hand pulling on the little handle of the bias tape maker, your other hand will iron the fold you just created!  Magic!

Now all you have to do is turn what you just created--single fold bias tape--into double fold bias tape.  Simply fold the bias tape one more time (both folds you just created will now be inside a new fold you create with your iron).  It should look like this:

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Isn't it beautiful??  Now you can wind it around some cut cardboard and you're done!

Once you have your bias tape and cut terry cloth you're ready to assemble.

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There is no pinning necessary.  All you're doing is inserting each side of the terry cloth into the double fold bias tape as you sew all four sides.  When you come to the end, the last side, just cut the bias tape 3/4 inch longer than the end of the terry cloth and tuck it in before you finish off the end.  That is it!

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Each washcloth should take a minute or two to whip up.  So making a nice stack of four or five washcloths comes together very fast.  (The more time consuming work is making the bias tape.)

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Wouldn't these be pretty wrapped up for a new mama?  Or wrapping up some of your homemade bias tape as a gift??

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These washcloths are both simple and functional.  Both I like.

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And Rowan likes playing with his washcloths as much as he likes eating them. wee ones baby series:

wee ones: homemade rice cereal

wee ones: simple projects for baby

wee ones: cloth diapering for beginners

And now for the winner of the fabricworm giveaway!

The winner is Marcella who wrote:

This would be a very cool win-thanks!

Please leave your choice of 2 yards of fabric in the contact section above.  And congrats!!

the sleepy time gal

 

 

 

 

 

homemade rice cereal

wee ones: homemade rice cereal
wee ones: homemade rice cereal

I'm excited to bring back the series Wee Ones that was interrupted some months back.  Instead of finishing up the one week series I thought it would be much more exciting to keep it a regular series in this space.  So the Wee Ones series is back!

And sharing homemade rice cereal is the perfect place to pick up from where we left off.

Making your baby's first solid food yourself is so much more fulfilling, cheaper, healthier, and satisfying.  You'll be amazed at how easy it is to make your own rice (barley, oat, quinoa, and so forth) cereal.  No more buying the boxed stuff.

make your own rice cereal:

1 cup basmati rice

Add rice to your blender.  Blend it until it is finely ground like powder.  Store in an airtight container.

how to cook for baby:

Add 1/4 cup of ground grain to 1 cup of water.  Whisk or stir constantly for about 10 minutes over low heat.  You'll have a nice, creamy consistency.  Add your liquid of choice to make a thinner cereal as necessary for baby.

how to store cooked cereal:

I make Rowan's cereal every 3 days when I'm already over the stove cooking the rest of the family's breakfast.  The cereal cooked and refrigerated is good for up to 72 hours.  If your baby is eating your homemade cereal often you can store the cooked cereal in ice cube trays as well and make double or triple batches to save time.

wee ones: homemade rice cereal
wee ones: homemade rice cereal
wee ones: homemade rice cereal
wee ones: homemade rice cereal

I think he's getting the hang of it.

wee ones: homemade rice cereal
wee ones: homemade rice cereal
wee ones: homemade rice cereal
wee ones: homemade rice cereal

I've really enjoyed the process of making and heating up Rowan's homemade rice cereal.  The sky is the limit with trying other grains as well!  I think a variety of ground grains stored in glass jars would be a unique baby gift for a new mama with the cooking instructions included.

Some of my favorite "feeding" supplies for baby number 5:

You'd think after four kids I'd remember how messy new eaters can be.  I am in desperate need of some little wash clothes for wiping up I'm reminded every day.

Wee Ones series:

Wee Ones: Simple Projects for Baby

 

spring nests

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I'm privileged to be a part of the oldest and largest women's organization in the world--the Relief Society--with over 6 million women in 170 countries.  We serve others, the community, get involved in humanitarian aid, learn to garden, budget, become stronger spiritually, and so on and so forth.  It is an incredible organization within my church.

In my congregation, my responsibility is to help plan events for our local Relief Society.  In March, we celebrate the birthday of the organization with a special celebration which always includes good food.  

Our planning committee came up with a beautiful theme for our celebration (It is this Thursday evening!) of "Birds of a Feather Flock Together".  Every part of the evening is in keeping with the theme, including the very pretty favor: the spring nests.  

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The Relief Society committee was in my home this Saturday morning to finish our planning and put these nests together.  They were so absolutely adorable I couldn't help but share them with you today--with plenty of time for you to try them out for any of your Easter celebrations.

Enjoy!

spring nests

Makes 10-15 nests per batch , depending on size of nests

 

nests:

3 TBSP butter

1/2 cup natural peanut butter

4 cups mini marshmallows

6 cups chow mein noodles

 

filling in nest:

1/2- 1 cup melted chocolate chips

coconut

green food coloring

candy eggs (Mini Cadbury Eggs or Whopper's Speckled Eggs)

 

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Think of the nests just like making rice crispy treats, just with chow mein noodles.

Heat the butter in a stockpot over medium heat.  Add marshmallows and peanut butter and stir until melted.  Add chow mein noodles and stir until they are coated.

Take off heat.

Take a handful of chow mein mixture and form into a nest.  Form it on a counter top so it will have a flat bottom.  With you hands, work the side of the mixture to create a nice rim to your nest.

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To fill nests:

Turn your coconut into green glass.   Toss some coconut into a ziplock bag with a few drops of green food coloring, seal and toss.  Voila!  Green Grass.

Spoon a little melted chocolate inside each nest to just cover the bottom so the coconut will stick.  Now sprinkle the chocolate with green coconut.

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Place a few candy eggs in each nest.  

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Amber, my friend who shared the recipe, makes these with her children every Easter.  It is their special project they do together this time of year.

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We made several batches and they came together quite easily.  They would be fun for families and beyond: events to raise money, to give to neighbors, or for other spring-time events.

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And they bag up pretty, too.

 

I'm definitely feeling excited for a very special, meaningful week with my family this week leading up to Easter Sunday.  Yesterday being Palm Sunday, I thought it the perfect time to teach my girls the meaning of the Easter Egg, the most beautiful symbol of new life.  

What a wonderful week it is to teach our children. 

the sleepy time gal

 

homemade almond butter

almonds: make your own almond butter
almonds: make your own almond butter

Almond butter is fantastic.  Some years ago I was really introduced to it when Bobby made almond butter cookies for my birthday and I've been forever since trying to find that exact recipe.  Although I love peanut butter and we eat it like it's going out of style, almond butter is a different, exciting other nut butter.  And an awesome alternative to peanut-allergic kids/schools/events.

A few bonuses to almond butter vs. peanut butter:

  • Almond butter has 26% more Vitamin E, 3% more Iron, and 7% more Calcium than peanut butter.
  • It's higher in magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and antioxidants.
  • Almonds are considered alkaline while peanuts are categorized as acidic.  Alkaline foods speed up metabolism, increase energy, and prevent sickness.
  • They are a powerful nut and the only nut categorized as very alkaline.

(Data from here.)

almonds: make your own almond butter
almonds: make your own almond butter

So let's make some.   I'm hungry.

homemade almond butter

2 cups almonds

pinch of sea salt

blender with tamper

almonds: make your own almond butter
almonds: make your own almond butter

Work in batches.  Pour one cup of almonds into your blender.  Start the blender and slowly raise the speed to high.  Watch the almonds and use your tamper tool (or your blender's equivalent) to constantly push the almonds into the blade.

It takes about two minutes of constantly pushing the almond meal over the blade to mix all of the almonds enough to create the butter.  If your blender isn't super powerful it should take a bit longer.  Be patient and help your blender's motor by moving the almonds.

Add your pinch of salt.

You'll see the almond butter coming together first closest to the blade.  Once you see it coming together at the blade you're almost there!  Keep pushing the almond meal away from the sides of the canister and over the blade.  If your motor starts to sound like it is wearing out, turn the knob to a lower setting and let it blend a bit at that lower level and then turn it up again.

almonds: make your own almond butter
almonds: make your own almond butter

This is what one cup of almonds turns into.  With a spoon, scrape out the beautiful, warm almond butter.

almonds: make your own almond butter
almonds: make your own almond butter

Spoon into a clear glas jar to show off your brilliant homemade-ness to the world.  Repeat with the remaining cup of almonds and you will totally fill one pint jar.

almonds: make your own almond butter
almonds: make your own almond butter

You've made almond butter!

Wouldn't a cute pint jar of homemade almond butter (with a little fabric under the lid or ribbon) be the perfect gift for neighbors at Christmas or for a housewarming gift?

My kids were so excited they came over with fingers all ready for a dip into the jar.  And so they did and then waited patiently for one of our all time favorite lunches and anytime smoothies/shakes...

almonds: make your own almond butter
almonds: make your own almond butter

It's our Banana Coconut-ty Smoothie/Shake!

Stick around tomorrow for the recipe.  Definitely a keeper.  I've had it two days in a row.

If you've missed any of the almonds series, catch up here:

almonds: make your own almond meal

almonds: make your own almond milk

 

feel better shower bars

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We've had some sick twins so far this week.  Very sick, fevered, and congested.

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I've had my Eucalyptus oil diffusing for the congestion, Peppermint oil on their feet for fever, R.C. oil blend on their chest and... sent them into the steamy bathroom to take advantage of our feel better shower bars.  

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The feel better shower bars are a new thing for us.  I've tried them out in the shower to clear my breathing and congestion and used it for the kids congestion.  They work like Vicks Vapor Disks in that the steam from the shower releases the incredible vapor of whatever oils you choose to add to the bar.

Eucalyptus oil is known for its incredible ability to break up mucus and congestion--which is what is used in Vicks.  I love using R.C oil blend in them as well because it is a highly concentrated blend of cold fighting oils.  It works magically on me every time I'm sick and rub it on my chest.

 These feel better shower bars are a more natural and cheaper approach to colds and sickness for you and the kiddos.

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All of the recipes out there for these "vapor disks" call for simply three ingredients: baking soda, water, and essential oils. (I originally found a recipe for these at Frugal by Choice.) They are truly the easiest things to make!

feel better shower bars

1 cup baking soda

1/2 - 1/3 cup water

Eucalyptus essential oil, R.C. oil blend, or your choice of essential oil

 

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{Ironically the little Ainsleigh stirring happily above would turn out to be one of the sickies in the top photo, needing to use the very bars she helped make.}

Mix the baking soda and water together.  It will create an interesting wet paste.

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I like to add several drops of my essential oils into the paste.  That way, as the bar slowly breaks down in the shower there are more oils to be dispelled.

 (You will also and primarily be adding more essential oils to the outside of the bars later.)

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Spoon the paste into any mold.  I used an[amazon_link id="B004GJ5G6O" target="_blank" ] oval silicone baking mold[/amazon_link].   The recipe should make 12 bars, depending on what baking molds you're using.

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Now bake on 350 degrees for about 30-40 minutes.  If you don't bake them and just let them set, they will crumble in your hands when you unmold them.  Been there, done that.  Bake them for the prescribed time and then let them cool.

Once they are cool, then carefully pop them out.  They should be hardened just enough.

Now the most important part is adding the majority of the essential oils to the top of each bar.  I use about 5 drops of Eucalyptus and 3 drops of R.C blend on each bar.  It soaks in perfectly and are then ready for the shower!

NOTE:  I prefer adding the essential oils to each bar actually right before using it in the shower.  Then I know my bars will be the most potent.  I keep a stack of the prepared bars in my bathroom and simply shake on the drops of oils right before I bring them into the shower.  

Simply put the shower bar anywhere on the floor of your shower, preferably not directly under the water--it will disintegrate it faster.  You will be amazed at the power of these!  After showering with one the other day, I had stuffy Rowan and Annabelle come in to the steamy bathroom just to take advantage of the quick acting vapors.  Just this morning stuffy Bobby came asking what he needed to do to put one in his shower.

IMG_4564 Please let me know if you try making them.  I'd love to hear what you think, how you change the recipe, and so forth.  You could make these with a variety of oils.  But Eucalyptus is amazing.   IMG_4659

And while all of the breathing of steam and vapors was going on yesterday with the sick half of the family, the well ones were dressing poor Rowan in their baby doll clothing.   Never a dull moment around here.  :)

 

the sleepy time gal