Orange, Chicken and Walnut Salad

Sweet and salty tastes make this protein packed salad satisfying and delicious

The Secret to Better Tasting Coffee

Make better tasting coffee - no sugary syrups required!

DIY Pretend Doctor Kit

Make a functional pretend doctor kit for your favorite little ones.

Farm Girl Apron Tutorial

Turn old jeans into a cute gardening apron with this tutorial.

Wine Cork Pendants

Turn used wine corks into cute charms.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

How to Make an Ombre Dyed Fabric Tote Bag

This post is brought to you by I Love to Create's Tie Dye your Summer program.


I love the ombre dip-dyed look but the idea of dip dying anything is kind of overwhelming. Plus most of the tutorials that involve dipping and waiting usually have weird lines that I don't love. And then there's all the time. And all the space. And all the mess. And all the CLEANING UP of the mess. 

Whew! I got exhausted just typing that! Which is why even though I've loved this trend for a couple years now I had yet to make a single ombre dyed anything. That all changed this week thanks to the Tulip One-Step Tie Dye Kit. Unlike summer camp tie-dye where you have to mix and measure and soak and bladie, bladie blah (so much work!) - you just add water and dye things! EASY. Low Mess. Full of win. Plus you can use it the make magical ombre things! And they turn out so pretty. Let me show you how!

Monday, May 25, 2015

Make Recyled Water Bottle Garden Art



While I almost exclusively use my refillable water bottle to drink from, I occasionally find myself with a leftover disposable one on my hands. If you have leftover water bottles, you and your kids can turn them into pretty yard art with a few simple supplies. As an added bonus, it will help your kids with their scissor skills as well (you know, in a productive way).


Supplies

Some of the links in my supply lists may be affiliate links. 


Directions

Find the directions online at CBC Parents: Water Bottle Wind Spirals.

Don't have time to read the instructions now? Save it for later by pinning it now!




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Saturday, May 23, 2015

My Top 12 Secrets to Growing Better Tomatoes



For the last three years, I've been focused on getting my tomato growing technique down to a semi-science. Of course, I've been growing tomatoes for much longer than that. It's just the last three years that I wanted to go from gardening simply for pleasure to gardening for purpose.

Each year, I've been able to grow more tomatoes and ward off common problems like blossom end rot. I grow a LOT of tomatoes - literally hundreds of pounds of tomatoes - because my goal has been to can enough diced tomatoes and tomato sauce to last my family for a full year. 

I've been asked a few times "What's your secret" - and to be honest. There isn't one secret- there are several things I'm doing that contribute to my success. Here are my 12 secrets to growing perfectly plump, bountiful, delicious tomatoes:


Secret 1: Good soil

You need to have good soil to grow good veggies. If the dirt that came in your garden isn't awesome, bolster it with organic compost. Not sure what kind to buy? Get a variety and mix it together. Don't just lay it on top - mix it in to a depth of at least 6 inches (although 12" is more ideal).

Thursday, May 21, 2015

{Recipe} Bacon & Guacamole Grilled Cheese Sandwich




There are times when I make up some crazy concoction in the kitchen and then when my husband and I sit down to eat, we look at each other and say "this needs to go on the blog." This, my friends, is one of those recipes. And you need to make it - because it will truly be the most delicious sandwich you have ever had in your entire life.


Ingredients


For each sandwich you need:
  • 2 slices of sourdough bread (the long kind)
  • 3 Tbsp softened butter*
  • 1 cup of shredded Mexican cheese blend*
  • 3-4 slices of bacon*
  • 3 Tbsp guacamole
*I recommend purchasing these ingredients as organic where available to avoid GMOs, pervasive pesticides and/or questionable farming practices.


Directions

  1. Cook your bacon. If I'm making a lot of bacon, I like to bake it in my oven at 450 degrees for about 15 minutes. If you're just making one sandwich, use the microwave - approximately one minute for each piece of bacon.
  2. Butter one side of each piece of sourdough bread - set aside.
  3. Start to warm your skillet over medium high heat.
  4. Once your skillet is hot, assemble the sandwich by putting one piece of bread, butter-side-down onto the skillet. Top with 1/2 cup shredded cheese, the bacon, and the rest of the cheese. Next, spread the guacamole on the non-buttered side of your final piece of bread and place it on the sandwich guac-side-down.
  5. Cook for approximately 3 minutes or until bottom is grilled to your liking. Carefully flip over and cook for about 3 minutes on the other side or until grilled to your liking
Be careful - these sandwiches are so good that your friends and family might start expecting you to cook dinner all the time!



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Monday, May 18, 2015

Thank You Gift Idea: Herbs in Rustic Can Planters



This is the last week of school for my oldest. To say thank you to his teachers and principal, we decided to give plants - because unlike mugs (ahem), you can never have too many plants! These same gifts are perfect to give as hostess gifts, volunteer appreciation or as a thank you to just about anyone! You can use just just about any herb or flower and personalize it with colors and more. 


Supplies

Some of the links in my supply lists may be affiliate links. 

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Drug Free Allergy Season Relief with a Holmes® Smart Air Purifier

This post brought to you by Holmes® Smart Air Purifier
The content and opinions expressed below are that of Creative Green Living.


As a child, I never had seasonal allergies - even to the Pacific Northwest allergy sufferer's nemesis: Scotch Broom. When I was 21, I moved to Boston and three years later when I came home, I realized I was suddenly allergic to quite a few of the things growing here.

My husband, on the other hand, has suffered from all sorts of allergies his whole life. From pets to dust to pollen, poor air quality definitely has an effect on him. During the winter, he wants the windows open to help get relief from what's bothering him inside and during the summer he wants them closed to keep out the pollen (during prime open window weather!). And often, he feels he has to take allergy medicine anyway.


Air quality affects quality of life

If you suffer from allergies like we do, you know that your air quality directly affects your quality of life. Nobody wants to feel sniffly and sneezy or have puffy, itchy or watery eyes ever - but especially not at home.

We've talked about getting an indoor air purifier for a few years but never bought one because we were overwhelmed by choices and honestly, down deep I think we were mostly scared that we'd spend the money to get a nice one and then find out it didn't make a difference.


Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Easy Last Minute Gift Idea: Child Drawing Tote Bag



Mother's Day only a few days away and you're not sure what to do? Here' s a really quick, easy idea that any kid big enough to hold a crayon can pull off!


Supplies

Some of the links in my supply lists may be affiliate links. 

Monday, May 4, 2015

How to Make a Personalized Glitter MagicBand



Back in March, I showed you how to make a Captain America MagicBand. The band was pictured with my purple glitter band so today I want to show you how I made that one! 

It was so fun having my own personalized MagicBand when we were at Disney World - nobody else had one like it.


Supplies

Some of the links in my supply lists may be affiliate links. 

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

10 Clever DIY Gift Ideas for Teachers {no mugs allowed!}



If you have any friends who are teachers you probably know: they have no shortage of mugs. With the popularity of reusable plastic straw cups, most of them have started growing quite a collection of those as well. So what's an appreciative family to do? Most of us agree that we want to give our teachers something they will both like and actually use. Here are 10 ideas for DIY teacher gifts that they are sure to love - no mugs allowed! 

Turn an Empty Can into a Giftable Planter
{from Creative Green Living}

After making the adorable planter from an old can, pop in a plant like an herb, succulent or pansy.
Extra credit: Attach a tag or note thanking him/her for helping you "grow"


Monday, April 20, 2015

In Celebration of "Imperfect" Fruits and Veggies & GIVEAWAY

This post is brought to you by Eden


One of my favorite things about home gardening is that I get to keep all the fruits and veggies. And by that I mean that I get to keep the "ugly" ones, too - the carrots that are twisted around each other, the tomatoes that developed noses, the conjoined twin cucumbers - the kinds of things you can't find in the store. I take a (perhaps odd) special delight in unusually shaped fruits and vegetables. They taste just as good AND they are fun!

Unfortunately most food marketers in America are not on Team Ugly Veggie. In fact, in the US, we throw away close to 40% of the food we grow! Forty freaking percent! And it isn't because the food is rotten or spoiled - many times, it's because the food is "imperfect" - it didn't meet our airbrushed, magazine quality photo standard of veggie beauty so it's tossed aside. We don't need GMOs to feed the world: we need to eat the perfectly healthy, nutritious food we are already growing and embrace the curved cucumber and three pronged carrot.

Friday, April 17, 2015

What to Wear to Disney World: Captain America DisneyBound Outfits for the Whole Family


My sister is one of the biggest Disney nerds that I know. I'd noticed a few years ago when we went to DisneyWorld that she had some Disney inspired outfits that she wore. These weren't costumes, but normal clothes - perhaps in a particular character's color scheme - like a green skirt and purple top to be Ariel inspired. At the time, I didn't know there was a name for wearing Disney character inspired street clothes but now I do: this phenomenon is called DisneyBounding

Once I learned this was a thing - a really, really cool thing, I told my four year old and HE agreed it was the coolest thing ever. Together we decided on three different DisneyBounding themes for our recent trip to Disney World and it was so much fun!