Posts Tagged ‘free recipes’

DIY Fun!!!

A friend of mine has started a new blog and asked me for some recipes for crafts and projects for her kids and the blog. I ran across some really great recipes from my years of babysitting and taking care of my neices and godchildren & thought I would share them with all of you! You can also find them on Michelle’s blog, Mommy Magic. It’s awesome and she’s amazing and I highly recommend that you check it out!!!

Victorian Salt Clay (can be used to make beads/small objects)

2 c. salt
2/3 c. water + 1/2 c. cold water
1 c. cornstarch
Food coloring (optional)

1. Mix salt & 2/3 c. water in large saucepan.
2. Stirring constantly, heat over low heat 4 minutes. Do Not Boil (In my craft notes, I wrote this instruction like this: DO NOT BOIL!!! Lol).
3. Remove from heat and stir in cornstarch and cold water. *You can add the food coloring at this point for a large batch of the same color, or keep reading for my little tricks :)*
4. If the mixture is not a thick paste (think bread dough consistency), place back over low heat for approx. 1 minute. Again, Do Not Boil.
5. Remove from pan; place on working surface dusted with cornstarch. Knead as you would dough until pliable & smooth.

*Heather’s Tip* I like to take small portions of the dough and add a different color to each one. You can then knead them individually and mix them together when making your beads or objects for awesome patterns and textures.

This dough can take up to 3 days to completely dry at room temp. or you can do a Quick Dry: Heat oven to 350 degrees. Turn oven off & place model on pan in oven. Wait until oven has cooled. Remove and paint if desired.

Ice Cream in a Bag

1 Tbs. sugar
1/2 c. half and half or milk
1/4 tsp. vanilla
6 Tbs. rock salt
ice cubes
1 pt. & 1 gal. ziptop bags or 1 sm. and 1 lg. metal coffee can

1. Fill lg. bag or can 1/2 full with ice cubes. Add rock salt.
2. Place milk, sugar, & vanilla in sm. bag or can. Seal well (if using a can, put duct tape around the lid to prevent leaking).
3. Place sm. bag or can into large and seal securely (again using duct tape if necessary).
4. Shake about 5 minutes or play Kick the Can with the kiddos!!

*Heather’s Tip #1* Try replacing the milk with fruit juice and the vanilla with a fruit extract. I like using pineapple juice and coconut extract. Smells and tastes like summer, even in the throes of winter.

*Heather’s Tip #2* Invent your own flavors! This is an endlessly customizable recipe and I would encourage you to come up with your own flavors. Or you can try one of my inventions:

Mocha Chip Freeze: Add up to 1 tsp. instant coffee or espresso powder and 1/4 c. mini chocolate chips. This one is great if you replace the vanilla with peppermint extract!

Salted Caramel Freeze: Add up to 2 tsp. of caramel ice cream topping to the original mixture and shake an extra minute to incorporate. Transfer to your serving dishes (or just straight in the bag if you want it all for yourself!) and top each serving with a sprinkle of coarse sea salt. You’d never know this trendy dessert was made in a coffee can!

(Make sure your little ones are past the “I have to stick everything in my mouth” stage or surpervise them with this activity)

Mixture 1:
3/4 c. warm water
1 c. Elmer’s glue
Food coloring

Mixture 2:
2 tsp. Borax
1/2 c. warm water

Mix each mixture in separate bowls. Combine Mixture 1 into 2 & work about three minutes.
Instant Fun!

This has been safe for kids with sensitive skin in my experience, however, with Borax you may want to have some extra moisturizing lotion on hand for after clean-up.

@–v– DIY Solid Perfume –v–@

1 unscented tealight, broken into small pieces
8 Tbs. petroleum jelly
1 tsp. fragrance oil or about 3 drops of essential oil (perfume grade only- available at most co-ops and health food stores)

Heat petroleum jelly over low heat in double boiler. Stir in tea light until all has been incorporated and melted.
3. Remove from heat. Allow to sit 1-2 minutes then stir in fragrance.
4. Pour or spoon into small containers.

*Heather’s Tip #1* I always save my empty tealights after I have burned them. I wash them with warm soapy water and then reuse them for crafts like this one! Pour your mixture back into the clean tealight, let cool, cover in saran wrap and package in sheer colored fabric to give away as gifts!

*Heather’s Tip #2* Use a floral fragrance like lavendar, rose or lilac and wrap in pastel colored sheer fabric for Easter basket stuffers… or peppermint oil and green fabric for St. Patrick’s Day…

This is a great project to let the little ones exercise their creativity. Johnny wants to make licorice-scented tins? Sure, why not? Little Susie wants to make pineapple jelly bean? If you can find the scents, they can smell like anything! (If you can stand it, that is. Lol.)

~*~*~*~*Body Glitter *~*~*~*~

1/2 c. clear aloe vera gel
1 tsp. glycerin (the liquid kind, not the suppository kind. :P)
2 tsp. fine glitter
Metallic or shaped glitter (optional)

1. Mix gel and glycerin together.
2. Sprinkle in glitter(s) and blend.
3. Store in empty baby food containers or other small containers.

**Make sure the children have no allergies to any of the above ingredients, as with any product that will stay on their skin**


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So today, treat yourself to an at-home spa day before you (if you even do) opt to clean the house. Follow my tried and true recipe for a spa day & you will feel refreshed, relaxed and invigorated.

Start out by making yourself a healthful meal line up (like one you would get at a fancy shmancy spa). It would be preferable if you could do this a day in advance, or do all your cooking before you start your treatments. The goal will be to flow from one “treatment” to the next with minimal interruption.

Try this meal plan:

Strawberry Sunshine Smoothie– Blend 2/3c. frozen strawberries with ¼-1/2 c. vanilla soy or almond milk. Add one packet of no calorie sweetener if desired. About 45 cal. Per smoothie.

NBC’s Biggest Loser® Ginger and Lemongrass Sliders in Lettuce Cups (from SpaIndex.com)

1 – 20 oz package of Extra Lean Ground Turkey
1 clove garlic, minced fine
1 Tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and chopped fine
1 Teaspoon fresh lemongrass, grated super fine
1 Tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped rough
2 Tablespoons low sodium soy sauce, divided
6 drops toasted sesame oil, divided
Fresh cracked black pepper to taste.
½ Cup orange juice
1 cup red cabbage, cut into ribbons
1 large carrot, finely grated
8 whole leaves iceberg lettuce, washed
Whole cilantro leaves for garnish
Toasted sesame seeds for garnish


  1. Preheat a grill or grill pan on medium high heat.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the turkey, garlic, ginger, lemongrass, chopped cilantro, 1 Tablespoon soy sauce and 3 drops sesame oil. Mix well until fully incorporated and season with fresh cracked black pepper.
  3. Form the turkey mixture into tight balls of approximately 2 ½ ounces each – there should be 8 balls. Flatten them into patties about ½ inch thick.
  4. Brush the grill lightly with oil and place the turkey patties onto the grates. Grill for 3-4 minutes on each side or until a meat thermometer reads 165F in the center of the burgers.
  5. While the burgers are cooking, mix the cabbage and carrots in a separate, medium sized mixing bowl. Mix in the remaining soy sauce and sesame oil along with the orange juice. Mix well and season to taste with black pepper.
  6. Remove the burgers from the grill and let rest for 2-3 minutes. To serve, place a burger into each lettuce leaf or cup and mound a small amount of the cabbage and carrot salad on top. Garnish with cilantro and toasted sesame seeds. Serve immediately. 195 cal. Per serving (2 burgers)

Fruit Sushi

1 firm, ripe honeydew or cantaloupe melon
1 fresh pineapple, papaya, and starfruit, peeled and julienned (or fruit of your choice)

Peel, halve and seed melon. Using a potato (veggie) peeler, obtain thin, long and straight slices from the flesh. Lay melon strip down and place a few julienned pieces of fruit at one end. Roll strip and secure with a toothpick if necessary.

Your preparation period being done, now you are free to move on to the most relaxing part… the spa treatments

  1. Your spa day begins with your most overworked body part; relax your brain first. As you release all of your stresses and anxieties, your body will surely follow. Play some music (try my Snow Day Spa Playlist!!!), light scented candle in a relaxing scent (like lavender or chamomile), dim the lights, and meditate or try to achieve “no thought” or a blank mind.
  2. Now, onto the face. Our faces are the way we greet the world and, though we may not often realize it, people generally make assumptions about us based on this feature, whether we like it or not. So put a fresh face forward with this delectable mask:Chocolate Facial Mask
    This creamy mask is an excellent moisturizer, leaving your skin baby soft. Recommended for normal skin.
    1/3 cup cocoa powder
    3 tbsp. heavy cream
    2 tsp. cottage cheese
    ¼ cup honey
    3 tsp. oatmeal
    Mix all ingredients together (I use my Magic Bullet) and smooth onto face. Relax for ten 10 minutes, then wash off with warm water. Follow with a gentle toner and sweet smelling moisturizer.
  3. Next, move to your hands and feet. I like to do a soak, then a scrub, then slathering on a moisturizing cream or oil. Sweet Feet Spa Treatment


1 cup epsom salts

1 cup apple cider vinegar

4 drops peppermint essential oil

several marbles or smooth stones


  1. Boil a large pot of water. Using a large spoon, stir in the epsom Salt. Add the vinegar and essential oil and stir. Pour the mixture into a basin or a footbath that you’ve already filled with warm water. Add the marbles or smooth stones. Put your feet into the footbath and swish your feet through the water, allowing the marbles to massage your feet.
  2. Now that you’re in the thick of it, we’ll move to your crowning glory: your hair. Whether you have short hair or long, curly or straight, color processed or natural, everyone could use a little follicle pampering J For an ultra-moisturizing hair mask: Mash the flesh of one avocado with 1/2c. of honey and spread on dry hair. Leave on hair for 10 to 15 minutes and rinse with water. Follow with gentle shampoo.
  3. And… the piece de resistance… the body scrub & soak!! I prefer to soak in a dimly lit bathroom, with a  few candles and mood music playing; after about 20 minutes, I let the water out & apply the body scrub (made earlier). I follow all this up with a nice warm shower and then slick on a liberal amount of body butter. I like to make mine a mocha routine (just a little nod to my addiction to both coffee and chocolate!).


1 cup of unscented bubble bath
1/3 cup of unsweetened soy milk
3 oz. of grated or powdered dark chocolate

Heat the soy milk and add in the grated or powdered chocolate. Stir well until melted and blended, but do not boil. Allow to cool.  Mix well again just before adding to your bath.

 Morning Buzz Coffee Scrub (from Veria.com)


1/2 1 cup used coffee grounds from your coffee pot

2 tablespoons coarse salt

1-2 tablespoons of olive oil


Empty out your coffee filter into a bowl or container that will be safe in the shower. Add the salt. Drizzle in the olive oil and stir with your fingers to blend. Take it with you into the shower. Scrub gently, being careful to avoid the eye area.

 Now that you’re all lubed up and relaxed, you will be better able to face any challenges that await you during the week. Or maybe even… those dishes you didn’t do before the spa J

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