The Artistic Gardener: DIY Garden Stepping Stones

There are few things in life I love more than my (our) garden. You know, my kids, husband, a good face lotion, anything pumpkin. Our garden is a magical place – a magical place with bugs I have yet to identify, ant bits, flies, itchy grass and manure – but nonetheless a magical place. I…

Preserving First Day of School Memories

This week was the first week of Kindergarten for my lil man and his third year in Montessori so he’s an old pro by now. WOW how time flies! I can barely remember how he got to 5 years of age. I wanted to preserve the memory in time (and every year after) with photography and a…

Vintage Photo Charm Bracelet

I’ve always been great at creating things with my hands – it’s finding the time I find challenging. This year for Mother’s Day I wanted to make my mom something handmade instead of the usual flowers or Harry and David I always send. She is always getting me the best gifts so I wanted to…

DIY Garden Markers for Children

I volunteer my time creating and upkeeping an organic community garden at my son’s school. The garden is a nice size and big enough to feed nine families. The community garden is an ongoing effort to observe the growth process, promote healthy eating habits and encourage future farmers. Fellow Beach Park School parent, Beverly, and I…

Useful Ways To Use Rock Coral

The beaches are littered with rock coral on the beaches of Akumal. Coral is stuck in the concrete of lengthy driveways leading up to massive manors and children collect the porous rock like trophies. Rock coral is the skeleton of the once living organism. My home is decorated with pieces that my family and I…

Upcycle Coca Cola Bottles as Planters

Recycling and upcycling is huge in Mexico making my time here a frugal experience. Even trendy 5th Avenita incorporates upcycling in its restaurant and boutique decor.  One of my favorite hings to  partake in down in the steaming, hot Yucatan is an ice cold bottle of Coca Cola (paired with a bag of pork rinds).…

Upcycled Plant Pots

Mexico is famous for using every day items for a purpose. The country is constantly coming up with creative ways to upcycle. After a visit the local plant nursery  to purchase succulents for a new project, I found the containers they were in to adorably rustic and simple. They look delightful on my balcony and…

Coconut Oil Dots

I swear by coconut oil. Whether I’m cooking with it or lathering on my body the benefits are  definitely there. About a month ago I started oil pulling. I know, I know. It’s trending in a major way. I only started because I HATE the dentist (by hate I mean I’m scared) and my tooth was bothering me because…

DIY Healthy Makeup Remover Wipes

I’ve seen a lot of DIY makeup remover wipes, but none that use unbleached paper towels (or a mason jar). White paper towels are bleached using chemicals and that’s something I really don’t want to put on my face (or anywhere else!). Here is a cheaper, healthier option to the makeup remover cloths. It’s something…

Quick & Easy Peach Frozen Yogurt

It’s HOT in Florida which means frozen anything can be eaten year-round. My peach craving finally won  so to cure my desire for the fuzzy fruit and help me cool off at the same time, I decided to make Peach Frozen Yogurt. Some might say I’m a yogurt fanatic but it really satisfies my tart-tooth. I…

Dry Erase Prize Wheel

Ah, the beloved prize wheel. It’s been entertaining people for decades. Winning something somehow never gets old. I recently had the opportunity to create a prize wheel for a job fair. The great thing about this wheel is its ability to change themes thanks to its dry erase surface. It can be used professionally or…

DIY Crayon Valentines

The holiday that most people have a love/hate relationship with is upon us once again. That’s right, Valentine’s Day. It’s a day of cheap gifts (or not so cheap gifts) for our loved ones and a hangover from the night before as we worked laboriously to produce valentines for our children’s class. A heart-shaped box…

DIY Valentine Monster Box

When it comes to Valentine’s Day some need a whole shoebox to hold the heap of love notes they are going to get. Especially, when classmates are involved. Instead of the same ‘ol shoebox cut in the top I decided to get creative and get monster with it. He’s super low maintenance and lives off…

Upcycle Chobani Yogurt Cups as Snack Bowls

My three-year-old son LOVES Chobani Greek Yogurt. Eating one a day makes for a lot of yogurt cups that go straight into the recycling bin. The containers that these delicious yogurts come in are perfect little snack cups for little ones.  After finishing the creamy goodness, you can reuse the container as a snack cup.…

Healthy and Easy: Laundry Detergent for the Frugal

Cheap, easy and healthy. Three things I can get behind. That’s exactly what making your own laundry detergent is. Run-of-the-mill laundry detergent is loaded with chemicals like sulfates, fragrances and phenols. Many brands contain petroleum distillates, which are linked to cancer and lung disease. Be that Susie homemaker you know is in you, and whip…

DIY Buzz Lightyear Costume

Buzz Lightyear made the cut for this years Halloween costume.  And who doesn’t love the handsome, naïve space ranger? I went off the cuff and used my kiddos Buzz Lightyear toy as a model. I created the costume using mainly cardboard and foam. Most of the materials can be found at Micheals except the backer…

Upcycle: Race Cars Made From Cardboard

What little boy doesn’t love race cars? Here is an upcycled version of a roadster that your child will love to help create so he can start his own Indy 500. Racer’s start your engines… Materials: Toilet paper or paper towel rolls Exacto knife Paint (I used acrylic) Paint brushes Glue Brads Circular Punch (Not…

Pretzels: Baking the Alphabet

What better way to learn how to spell your name than in pretzels? I think all toddlers and Germans will agree. It is edible playdough. A dream come true for little people. The warm, soft breaded delights are believed to be the world’s oldest snack. Originating from Southern France near 610 A.D., Monks created pretzels…

Watercolor Alphabet Stencil Art

Time to get artsy fartsy. I have persistently pilfered through thrift store bins and hoarded years worth of recycled crafts for a rainy day.  In Arizona, we don’t get too many rainy days so stuff piled up. If you are reading this, chances are you too enjoy creating with your hands and have a pile…

Blameless Balls of Meat

Let’s be honest, Italian food isn’t exactly the healthiest of foods. Mama Mia! It tends to be loaded with carbs that put a damper on squeezing into that slinky dress or tight-as-hell jeans. Omitting breadcrumbs means fewer carbs if you are into that sort of thang. Fresh herbs bump up the flavor on this healthier version…

How Vegetable Gardening Benefits Children

My three-year-old son has been gardening since he could walk. I can recall living in the historical district of downtown Phoenix in a 1926 tudor house with blue trim that allowed for oodles of gardening room. My son loved to hand the germinated plants over to me as I stuffed it in the soft, black…

Upcycle With A DIY Whiteboard

Personalizing your own dry erase board is childsplay when you think about driving down to Walmart or Office Max to pick out an imported cookie-cutter whiteboard wrapped in a heap of misused plastic. Choosing to whiteboard scrap wood means upcycling (environmentally friendly) and also scores you mega points for creativity. I chose a fragmented piece…

Pizza Sauce Express

Tailored to your liking, nothing beats homemade pizza. Making pizza is something the entire family can participate in, reaping the benefits as triangle pieces are passed around the table and satisfyingly devoured. Most people think pizza is time-consuming to create, which is simply not the case. Here is a speedy pizza recipe so you can…

Father’s Day Handprint Tree Inspiration

It’s Father’s Day again. Here is some DIY inspiration for the phenomenal man (or men) in your life. So bust out the colored pencils and paint to create a masterpiece he can admire all year long. Material used: pencil, colored pencils, paint, sketching paper, letter stickers and a frame and little hands. Happy Fathers Day!

DIY Garden Pesto

It’s  garden time again and I always get a little hasty when waiting for the veggies in my garden to mature. Herbs grow the quickest so the first dish of the season was pesto. Super easy. Super Delicious. Here’s my recipe: Thyme-Oregano-Basil equaling to a bunch Olive Oil Small Lemon Garlic Sea Salt Pepper Fresh…

DIY Duct Tape Racetrack Reverie

My three-year-old does not have a shortage of Hot Wheel cars. Or an imagination. Of course,  he has space-taking tracks made of plastic that cramp his room that he seems to have lost interest in. I wanted to create a racetrack with no bulk that could go anywhere including travel. Hotel rooms become WAY more exciting with a racetrack your…

DIY Organic Summer Coconut Scrub

Here is a DIY a la’ natural body scrub that you can literally eat, just in time for Mother’s Day. Handmade gifts not only demonstrate thoughtfulness, they demonstrate the motivation you have to make things with your hands despite the daily grind. Yes, buying a gift is more convenient but being able to create something with your…

DIY Flower Trinket Container Made from an Egg Carton

I eat eggs. I eat lots of eggs. Therefore I am left with a large quantity of egg cartons. Besides, recycling is boring so instead of throwing the cartons away I get crafty with its uses. Here is a DIY guide to making a recycled trinket organizer with a delicate feel that is also useful. What you will need:…

Gobble A Green Thanksgiving for 2014

[edit November 24, 2014] Before I begin an article on Thanksgiving let me clear up any confusion about what you may have been told about the gut-filling holiday that began in 1621. Poor documentation of the first holiday allows for people to speculate its meaning and traditions. I prefer to accept a more modern explanation…