Sunday, August 10, 2014

Homemade Almond Milk

I know this isn't a craft. It's a little different from what I've been doing here on my blog but as you've probably notice, I haven't been doing much on here! My life with my 4 little (forces a  sweet, twitching, crooked smile) angels has been filled with such (again with that forced smile) wonderful adventures of school, summer activities, birthday's, parties, sickness, camps, learning experiences, crafts, cleaning and let's not forget a full time husband.....just kidding (that darn smile again), no really my full time job as a home health nurse.  :-)

So, back on track, the almond milk. We as a family, have been trying to eat and live healthier. It hasn't been easy. We have been attending classes, reading books, blogs, watching documentaries and having interesting conversations with friends.  We are taking baby steps and learning a little at a time but slowly we will get this healthy living thing down. And no, it's not easy with 4 very, very, very picky eaters. The kids are still a step behind us with the healthy eating but that's ok. My husband and I are learning and changing our ways and we lead by example right? The kids will eventually listen to us and see us doing it so they will follow, right? Ya, right! In our dreams but hey baby steps. They try everything and like 1 out of every 20 things. That's progress in my books. :-)

I got this Almond milk recipe from our local Wellness Kitchen. It is a wonderful non profit that makes all organic, gluten free foods for those in need of recovery from a sickness or just wanting to change the way they eat. They offer education classes, cooking classes, a peaceful place to relax, read, learn and eat. They are a wonderful and giving blessing for many people.

After the recipe I will write about the nutritional facts about almonds. Also, some yummy variations you can do with this recipe to make all kinds of treats :-) So, please make sure you read on.

Almond Milk
~ This recipe makes about 4 cups, 1 quart mason jar. 

Items needed:
~ Mason jar - 12 pack from Walmart $6
(I store only in glass jars to prevent toxin leaks from plastic containers)
Nut Milk Bag. They are about $8-$9 on Amazon
~ Blender
~Small bowl
~ Measuring cup

1 cup of almonds, soaked overnight (will become about 1-1/2 cups after soak)
4 cups water
1 medium date, pit out (optional, adds slight sweetness)

1. Strain and rinse almonds until water runs clear. 
2. In blender, I used Vitamix, add almonds, water and date. 
3. Blend on high until it reaches milk consistency. Vitamix was about 10 secs. 
4. Using a medium bowl, place your nut milk bag in the bowl, open your nut milk bag and pour some of your almond milk into the bag. Twist the bag starting from the top moving down to strain the milk from the bag. Continue until the bag seems kind of dry or only a couple of drips are coming out. 
5. Pour the milk into the mason jar. 
6. Pour the almond meal out into the bowl. 

That's it! Super easy! 
You can freeze the almond meal and use for other projects (which I have not come up with yet). 
It is suggested not to freeze the almond milk. I have read that it causes the milk properties to change and then it tastes different. 

Warm and mix with chocolate for killer hot coco
Warm and add a little cinnamon
Add 1/2 tsp vanilla extract (alcohol free) before blending for a sweeter taste. 
Add to coffee and tea
Use in shakes with your favorite organic fruit 
So many ways you can use it!

** The almond milk is good for 4 days in the fridge.**
** Shake well before each use**
So, drink up! Enjoy it! 

Food Wisdom:
Almonds contain more calcium than any other nut and have the highest dietary fiber than any nut or seed with a whopping 3 grams of fiber per ounce. They are rich in vitamin E, iron, and B vitamins. 

Soaking nuts, seeds grains and legumes germinates or "ends it's dormancy" and the food begins new life. Nutrients become readily available to assimilate, barriers get broken down and the food becomes easier to digest. 

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Family Communication Board

Family Communication Board

* I apologize now for any wrong spelling, bad sentence structure or any other things that just don't make sense. I have a horrible sinus infection and my head is pretty much a congested, painful, spinning mess. : )*

I keep seeing all these wonderful ideas for organizing the family but it seemed like too many organizing "boards". Kids chore board, dinner board, family schedule etc. So, I came up with a board that has the three things I considered most important for my family. 
A Calendar with all events
Extra Chores with visual incentives
Meal planning for a week

Total Cost:
I had everything on hand so it was free.
If buying everything it would come out to about: $20, with the board being the most expensive. 

Supplies Needed:
Paper Clips 
Push pins
Laminating Sheets
Magnet Buttons
Dry Erase Marker
I bought the board from Office Max. It's also a magnet board. Board Dudes Magnetic Cubicle Monthly Calendar Dry Erase Board (Google Affiliate Ad)

How To:
Really it's up to you in how you want to organize this. I used the calendar as an area for the kids to see what was going in the week. My son gets to pick his swimming days so this way he can see what 3 days he choose and when they are. They like to see the days they don't have school too! They know that Saturday is chore day but sometimes they tend to forget. So, this will show them when it's chore day and what the chores are on that Saturday. On every Saturday I will write what their "normal" chores are. These are chores they are expected to do to help around the house, they don't get paid for these. 

* To see picture better, click on it*

~Then, I made an Extra Chore Chart with money incentives. Now they can visually see the money. They tend to be money hungry and seeing it gets them excited. With these, I just came up with 12 different chores that they can do that would be worth $1. I have 12 so that I can rotate the chores and not have the same windows get washed every week. I put out new chores every Saturday.  On the back of each chore I wrote exactly what that chore entails. That way they know exactly what you want done in order to get the $1. To hang these, I used the magnet buttons and the paper clips stick right on the magnet! I also laminated the cards to keep them neat.

* To see picture better, click on it*
~ Finally, the Meal Planner. I wanted this to be easy and simple. All I did was laminate some scrapbook paper. You can design your cards to read whatever you want. I wanted all three meals of the day so they kids wouldn't be "surprised" as to what was for any meal of the day. 
To help plan dinners, I wrote down 21 meals that I know my family likes, that are easy to cook, and that are cheap. Then I let each kid pick a meal off that list and what day they want it.  I then pick 3 more meals and leave 1 day for leftovers. Finally, I make my shopping list from that and write, with dry erase markers Expo Click Retractable Low Odor Fine Tip Dry Erase Markers, 6 (Google Affiliate Ad)  in the meals for the week! Now the kids look forward to their day they picked dinner! 

Extra Tips:
~ I glued a magnet to the dry erase marker to keep it handy on the board. I also glued a pom pom to the lid for an easy eraser!
~ For my meal planning, I have a 3 ring binder that I keep all my recipes in. The front is sectioned off to keep my list of 21 dinners I can choose from and any recipes from the dinners on that list. During season change, like winter, I come up with a new list of 21 winter dinners and pull those recipes to be in front for easy access. 

So, that's my Family Communication board! I hope it helps you to plan your own board. They are many different ideas you can do. Customize it to fit your family! I would love to hear your ideas!!

Thank you!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Magnet Cups for the Fridge

 Magnet Cups for the Fridge
Plastic Cup- $.50 - .95 Walmart
Magnets- $3 for 52 Walmart
Super Glue- $1 Target (I used Scotch, found it in the dollar section)
UNDER $1 to make!!
I have 4 kids. 3 which are independent enough to get their own water out of the built in fridge spout. However, not responsible enough to use only 1 cup a day! I wash at least 6 cups a day! Most of which probably just had water but I'm not trusting it. So, picking my battles, I decided to make it easier on them.
Just super glue 2 magnets to the back of the cup.
Press for at least 40 seconds.
Let sit for 30 minutes.
Put on fridge!
Now they just grab their cup, fill it with water, drink it all (that is key), and put it back.
Hand wash every couple days!

Please ask any questions you have!
Let me know what you think!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Creative Easy Kids Painting!

Creative Easy Painting for Kids

I have seen variations of this kind of project all over the internet. So, I decided to try it for myself. The kids loved it and it was super easy!

Break Down:
Total cost about: depends on what you have lying around
Total Time: Depends on each kid!

2 piece canvas 11 x 14 in- Michaels $7 on sale
Crayola Washable Finger Paints- Walmart about $7
Frog Painters Tape- OSH $5
I happen to have all these on hand at the time so the prices might be a little off.

How to:

Cut the Frog tape to width you want each letter. Then stick onto canvas in the design or letters you want.

Then let your child go to town with the paint!

Let it dry completly. It was 100 outside on this day, so I put it outside for about 15 mintues. Don't forget about it!!

Carefully peel off the tape and like magic, a beautiful painting!!

Here is my lovely daughter showing off her master piece!!

You could even add glitter, sparkles or whatever you have lying around!

Have fun!!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Chore Jar

The Chore Jar
My kids have the hardest time cleaning up their room. They are 7,5 and 3. Every Saturday is chore day. They know they have to clean their room. I was getting really tired of telling them over and over until I was frustrated and yelling. Then we end up wasting most of our day until I'm in there cleaning because I just want to get on with my day.
So, with a little help from Pinterest, the Popsicle sticks, I came up with a way that gets them moving!
Items needed:
~ A jar or container of any kind- Free
~ Sand or magic sand (what I used) or tiny rocks (something small enough to allow the sticks to slide in. The "jewel" rocks are too big)- Walmart about $4
~ Popsicle sticks- Walmart $2
~ Markers- Walmart $2
~ Stickers and stuff to decorate the jar with
So this could be anywhere from Free to about $8 for everything.
The Idea:
Basically, I labeled the Popsicle sticks with things that are most likely on their floor like, Cars, Books, Clothes etc. I also labeled a couple with the shelves that are in their room like, bookcase, toy shelf ect. I then had the oldest (you can alternate) randomly pick a stick from the jar. He then has to go and clean up all of that item. The catch?? The other kids are sitting on the couch playing a game or watching a movie while he cleans! Heaven forbid he let them just sit and hang out! He goes in and cleans as fast as he can because then it's the next kids turn to pick a stick and go in and clean! I throw the bookshelf's into the mix so that they don't just throw things on to the bookshelf's but put them away properly. They know that they might pick a bookshelf stick and have to clean the whole thing! Of course, towards the end there are random things on the floor that aren't labeled on the sticks so I label a couple of sticks with "5 items", "10 items". That means to pick up any 5 or 10 items. Those sticks I put back into the jar after they have been drawn so they can use those again.
* I used a jar that was tall enough for the sticks to fit all the way in and have a  lid for easy and clean storage. *
Of course there are ways you can customize this idea to fit your family. I'm sure there are MANY different ways to do this. Let me know if this worked for you! Let me know how you customized it!
Happy Cleaning!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Morning Routine Cards for Kids

Routine Chart for Kids

With the 4th baby on the way and the other 3 all going to school this fall, I needed to come up with a way to keep everyone organized and out the door on time in the morning! I started looking for just plan routine cards to help the kids visually see what they have to do but then I came across some more ideas! I happen to have everything at home already so I didn't need to buy anything. There are so many things you can do to add to and customize this chart for your family!! * Sorry for the poor picutres. Blogger isn't uploading very well right now. Click on the picture to see it bigger and clearer.

I will be using this chart as a reward chart as well. The first row of cards is their morning routine. The second row is their after school routine. The third row is their chore for the day. When they finish a row that they are suppose to be on without me asking them too, then they earn a 10 minute card. They can use this on video games, TV time, extra play time, etc...

Break Down
Total Cost: me, nothing. I had it all on hand.
Total Time: 2 hours with 3 kids interuppting! Mostly cutting time.

Hanging Chart Holder
Scrapbook Paper
Printer with paper and ink
Glue Stick
*Laminating Sheets*

How To:

Sorry the picture is awful! Blogger is having a hard time right now! Click on the picture to see it bigger and clearer.
Print out the routine cards here Routine Cards. They are from someone else so don't be surprised when you don't see my name. If you would like to do the 10 minute reward cards, print them out here 10 minute reward cards  ** The printouts are hosted on It might say you need to pay a membership fee. I didn't. Look for the "download for free" button. Then all you have to do is upload a document of any sort ( I uploaded an old recipie) and then it will let you print all you want for free!

Next glue them on to any color scrapbook paper, cardstock you wish. I used my kids favorite colors.

Now cut them out.
* I will be using a laminator to keep them durable but it's not here right now and I wanted to get this project done now. So, I suggest to make things easier with less cutting, once you glue the cards on the scrapbook paper, put it through the laminator then cut them out. I will now have to cut them a third time once I get my laminator back! Cutting was the most time consumming part of this project!*

Once he does it all without me asking, he gets a 10 minute reward card. I have them put their cards in a pile on the top row as they finish them.

Again, I'm sorry fo rthe poor photos! I'm really frustrated with Blogger right now. There is some kind of bug and it's making it difficult to post right now! Click on the pictures to see them bigger and clearer.

I hope you find this chart useful!! There are so many things you can do with it! You can have a night time routine card set. You can include more chores, rewards, etc!

If you don't have a hanging chart:
You can use a magnet strip. You can buy them at Staples. Then you just stick small magnets on the back and hang them on the magnet strip! Or hang them on a magnetic white board!

You can put velcro on the them and hang them on a velcro strip!

You can punch a hole in the top and hang them on little cup hooks!

So many different ideas!

Please post your thoughts and ideas! Someone might love them!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Modern Day Journal to My Kids

        When I was pregnant with my first baby, I had all the time in the world to do creative things! I did scrap booking, I kept up on the baby book by putting in the day every tooth popped through, I printed all his baby pictures and kept them in a photo album and I had a journal that I wrote in, starting in pregnancy that I am eventually going to give him. You know all that fun memory stuff. Well, the second baby came and I planned on doing all that great stuff. I bought the journal, wrote in it (a little), I have a cute scrap book (that I never opened) and his baby book, well it's got the important stuff in it! The third baby...... well, as you can guess, it's all there on her shelf but I never opened any of it!!  I am now pregnant with number 4! I kick myself every time I think of all the memories I'm not writing down in their journals or baby books! I'm not to worried about the pictures I haven't printed because really, I can send them to shutterfly and they will put them in a book for me. But the journals, I really wish I had written down a lot of those funny moments or funny things that they said. These kids are hilarious!! Of course we say, "I'll always remember that one! It was too funny!" Then of course, I can't remember a single one! 
          So, my new idea (I'm sure someone else thought of this already. I'm not that creative or smart) is a modern day journal. In this day and age, a lot of us rely on technology for so much. We have smart phones, tablets, laptops, etc, all at our finger tips. It dawned on me that I can answer 10 emails, post my status on facebook, RSVP to evites, take my turn on Drawsome, schedule play dates on the calendar that will sync to all of my family's calendars, find a new project to do on Pinterest, and post my junk on Craigslist all at the drop of a hat on my phone! Yet I can't write an entry into my kids journal :-(. So, I decided to journal through email! I created an email account for each of my kids and now I can write to them whenever I want! If they say something funny, I can take 60 seconds on my phone and email it to their email! I can write to them when I'm waiting in the Dr's office, at work on lunch, when I'm a passenger in the car, when the kids are in the bath and I'm sitting on the toilet making sure they don't drown each other......anytime! Then when they are old enough, I can give them their email address and password and they can read all the wonderful things they said, did or that I wanted to tell them. I can also attached pictures to go with that entry. When I write about the day my son was curious about eyeliner and mascara going all over his face, I can take a picture with my phone and send it as an attachment with that entry! There is no way I could ever be together enough to find the camera at that perfect moment, take a picture, upload it to the computer, print it, cut it out, find the journal, and paste it in! 
          I'm very excited about this idea! I really hope you like it just as much and find it helpful for you and your children. I also gave my husband their emails so that he too can write to them! Oh!! Maybe even the grandparents! I just thought about that!! There are really a lot of things you can do with this! Let me know your ideas!!

Late edit:      
I have had wonderful responses to this post!! I'm so happy that everyone is liking this idea! There have been some questions on how to set up multiple email accounts. So I will try to give a step by step as best I can. All the email services are so different. 

          I use gmail for all my person email addresses. I really like them and have never had any problems. Go to It should look like this:

Click on the red button "create an account" in the top right corner.
Now it should look like this:

1. For the first and last name I used the kids name.
2. The username is what you want their email address to be.
3. Then create a password
4. For their birthday use your year. Most likely you kids are to young and gmail won't allow them to have an email. If you did use their year and it denies you, close you browser, clear you cookies and then try again.
5. Mobile phone is so they can send you your password if forgotten.
6. For the current email address I used my email. It's so you can get their username or password if you forget.
7. Next page:

8. Here you can add a photo and personalize it. Then press next step.
9. From here it will take you step by step to your email! 

As far as signing up with other email providers, I'm not sure. If you really have a problem, please let me know. Leave a comment or email me at anytime and I will figure it out and help you! : )
Have fun!!!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Baby Photo Toy

I actually saw this on Martha Stewart the other day and thought it was so easy and cute! My cousin just had a baby girl last month so I thought I would try this out on her. I used black and white photos because the baby at this point can only see in black and white. Also, I've read that they are drawn to black and white more then color at this early age.
*Make sure you read the whole post and the notes at the end before you buy everything. I write my good and bad learning experiences at the end and it could change the way you do things.*

Break Down
Total Cost: About $7
Total Time: 20 minutes

Baby rings $3 Target
Shower curtain rings $1 Target
Self stick laminating sheets $3 for 5 Target
Hole puncher had
Pictures you want to use
White paper

How To:

Cut your pictures out just smaller then the size of the laminating sheets that you are using. You really can use any size. Larger ones, 4x6, might be easier for the baby to hold. I used "wallet size" which I think was about 2 x 3. Make sure you cut the pictures out smaller then the laminating sheets. You want enough room around the picture for the laminate to stick and seal (see picture below. I feel I should of cut the picture smaller. I would've liked a better seal). Also make sure there is enough room that if baby sucks and chews on it, which they will, it will stay sealed and not get the picture wet.
* I used the self stick laminating sheets. I have a laminator but I thought this would be easier and quicker to use. You can get these in a number of sizes, I saw them at Target. If you use your own laminator, you might have to do these steps a little different. I'm not that experienced in using the laminator.*

Cut out a white, or any color you want, paper to the same size as your picture. This will be the backing you can write names or whatever you want on.

Next, punch a hole in the laminates. I find it easier to poke a hole now and then again once the picture is in it, if needed. Going through all of it once it's puts together is tough and can tear the picture. 

Now using the directions on the laminating sheets, put the picture and the white paper, if used, together. It was pretty easy. Basically, open the sheets, center the picture, peel off the instructions, and seal. Just make sure you take a marker or something to smooth over the sheets to really get a good seal. 
If your picture now covers up the punched hole, use the hole puncher and punch through the picture. 

Now, put the shower curtain ring through the pictures and snap shut. This is why I used the shower curtain rings, they snap shut so you can't loose the pictures. Of course they open pretty easy, with adult muscle, if and when you want to change out the pictures. 
Finally, attach the baby rings and make it as long you want! 

Last thoughts:
*This project was pretty quick and easy! I can't wait to make more! Really you can make anything for your baby to look at. Flash cards, pictures, letters, etc.... These can be attached to almost anything! High chair, stroller, car seat, crib, other toys, and if sealed well, the bath! 
* Martha Stewart used trading card protectors rather then laminating sheets, but I couldn't find those and the babies can chew on these. The trading card protectors are just a sleeve that has an opening where the baby could get the picture wet. 
* The shower curtain rings I used where pretty thick. The hole punch size allowed for the pictures to go on the "snap" part of the ring but then the pictures didn't move much. So, I used the hole puncher to make the holes bigger. I don't know if they have a bigger hole puncher but with my lack of experience, I don't have one. Once I made the hole bigger, the pictures now slide over the shower curtain ring and the baby can see the pictures better. 
* Sorry the pictures are kind of blah. I haven't been feeling great and apparently it affects my creativity! : )

I hope this is something you would like to do! Let me know how your project goes! I would love to hear from you!!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Letter Of My Absence
    For those of you who follow this blog, I'm sorry that I have been absent and haven't posted in so long. So much has been going on in my life that this had fallen to the side. I have thought much about it and want to make sure that I get back to it and keep posting!! It might not be as often as before but I promise it will happen. If anyone has any ideas or projects for me, please let me know!! I love a good ideas!! Thanks for reading!!

PS. It might get a little baby crazy in here, I'm pregnant with number 4!!! 

Sunday, March 4, 2012

The No Sew, Fold Over Blanket!

I first saw this blanket at work, one of my patients in recovery had one. Poor little girl, I about attacked her (half asleep from anesthsia still) to examine and ask a million questions about it! I was so intrigued! My kids each have a "tie blanket", they call it their cozy. They love cuddling in them! When I saw this one, I wanted to make it for them right away! I thought it was really pretty and different. So off to Walmart to let the kids pick out their material. Now I thought it was going to be an easy and quick project but was I ever wrong! It takes time, patience and lots of wine! : )

Break Down:
Total Price: About $12
Total Time: 2 hours

~Fleece Material - I used three yards total but you use as much or little as you want. Just remember, you need double the size you want. You can use 2 different prints or solids too!- WalMart $4/yard
~A piece of card stock
~ Glass or two of wine!


~ Lay out your material, one on top of the other. Cut around the edges to make sure they are even. Not perfect, just close.
~ Some tutorials on the tie blankets showed pinning the blankets together, all the way around. But I don't have the time or patiance! The material sticks together really well. I didn't have any problems.


~ Depending on how long you want your strips, you need to cut a square out of your card stock using the same number. Example: My strips were about 2" long (1.5" wide) so I cut a 2" X 2" square out of card stock. ** Looking at tutorials that made the tie blankets, they cut 4" long strips so they cut out 4"X4" square. It's up to you. If you want, start with a small square, cut and thread  a strip to see if you like the length (read the rest to know what the heck I'm talking about!!). You can always goes bigger if you want.
~ Cut out all 4 corners.


~ Cut your strips all around your blanket.


 ~ Now to cut the small holes. I might of done it the hard way but it worked. I folded up the material, both pieces together, long ways (see picture above). It was so I could make the holes parallel to the edge of the blanket.


~ Now cut a very small hole about 1/2" below your strip. See above. The further away the hole is to the bottom of the strip, the bigger the edge will be (see 2 pictures below).
~ The smaller the hole the better but it does make it harder to thread the strips through. You will learn as you go.


 ~ Now take the strip and fold up and down through the hole. It can be hard when your holes are small so I used a chopstick to help push the material through.


~This is what the edges look like when your done. They will get better looking with practice!!

Final Thoughts

This blanket definitely took practice. My daughter won't notice the crooked edges, mismatched strips or really messed up corners (before I learned the square trick). I made the strips so many different lengths and widths before I found what I liked. But it was fun to learn! I will do better on my boys blankets!
I have never seen this done before so I don't know what it's called. Therefore I will call it the "No Sew, Fold over Blanket"!  

Please leave comments or ideas. I know this is out there somewhere. I did not make it up (I'm not that brilliant)!


Monday, February 20, 2012

Baked Zucchini

Pinterest is also full of so many yummy recipes! I, like most everyone out there, try to find healthy food that will taste good and that our kids will eat! I found these baked zucchini
"fries" that the kids actually ate! Of course I had to dip them in red sauce but marinara isn't to unhealthy.

Very easy
Not very expensive. Varies by store.
Prep Time: 10 min Cooking Time: 20 min
WW points: 1.3 per serving (recipe makes 3 servings)


3 medium zucchini
1 large egg white
1/3 cup seasoned bread crumbs
2 tbsp grated Pecorino Romano cheese (I used Italian Mix)
cooking spray
1/4 tsp garlic powder
fresh pepper
dipping sauce of choice

1. Preheat oven to 425°.
2. In a small bowl, beat egg whites and season with salt and pepper.
3. In a ziplock bag, place breadcrumbs, garlic powder and cheese and shake well.
4. Spray cookie sheet with cooking spray and set aside.
5. Cut zucchini into small strips. Make them about the same time so they cook even.
6. Dip zucchini sticks into eggs then into bread crumb and cheese mixture, a few at a time and shake to coat.

7. Place the breaded zucchini in a single layer and spray more cooking spray on top.

8. Bake at 425° for about 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve with 1/2 cup marinara sauce for dipping (.5 pt)

I really enjoyed these! My husband liked them too! You can also add any spices that you'd like!


Here is the website I got the recipe from: