Easy Seed Trays

I am very frugal. Okay frugal is the wrong word, I am just downright cheap. I have to be, but that doesn’t mean I have to use second best of everything. This spring while getting ready to get my garden started, every time my mom called she told me that I “need to go buy some seed trays!” Problem is, they are expensive out here!

Trays I never buy.

After some careful consideration I made of list of what the trays needed to do.

  • Retain Moisture
  • Warm(greenhouse like)
  • Keep animals our(In my house the cats like to climb in the trays…)

As I was walking down the cooking aisle, I saw some pans with clear lids. My brain said “Ah ha!” and into my cart they went. I purchased 3 trays for $1.79

When I got home, I pulled out some pepper seeds that I had been waiting to start and got them planted in the trays. The trays were a little wobbly when picked up while full so they probably wouldn’t work super well if you wanted to plant a long tray of seeds but the little ones were fine as soon as I put them on the shelf. The plastic lids snap on and *bang* instant seed tray.

I watered the seeds well when I first planted them and then didn’t touch them again for several days. I was curious to see how well they would grow in these trays.

Very quickly I began to see many little green seedlings popping out. They are growing great now and almost ready to go into the garden.

Don’t feel obligated to buy the majorly expensive stuff! Use your imagination and you can find all sorts of inexpensive shortcuts!

 

Cloth Diapers…one of my favorite things

In honor of last week being “Real Diaper Week”, I decided to dedicate this post about one of my favorite baby items…cloth diapers! There is a lot of speculation & misinformation regarding cloth diapers and I would like to clear some of that up.

I knew before I even got married that I wanted to use cloth diapers on my kids someday. I managed to talk Ryan into them as well so I knew that when the time came, my babies butts would be cloth covered!

When I was pregnant with Maverick, I got a LOT of flack from people about how “Oh you won’t last using them”, “You’ll change your mind”, “It’ll be to much work”. I will admit that it was more than slightly discouraging to hear so many people put down a choice that I had made because I believed it would be better for my child. The three big reasons we chose to go with cloth – #1. MUCH healthier for my child, #2. Less Expensive! We spent approximately $300 on cloth diapers that we will hopefully be able to use for multiple kids, versus $1500-$3000 per child for diapers(depending on which brand you purchase), and finally #3, cloth diapers are better for the environment because they don’t end up in a landfill.

When Maverick was born, he was only 6lbs 11oz. Most of the diapers we had purchased were One Size diapers, that even at their smallest setting were quite large on him. We had been given a case of newborn diapers by a wonderful woman at my church and so we used those until Mav was big enough to fit into the cloth diapers. I’ll tell ya, while it was a necessity, that month we used disposables was the biggest headache! We were fighting constant diaper rash & more trash than we knew what to do with! I was so thankful when he was big enough to get into cloth. As soon as we switched him into the cloth diapers his diaper rash was gone and he’s never had it again!

I think as a whole, there is a lot of misunderstanding when it comes to cloth diapers. Older folks think of cloth diapers as folded pieces of fabric held together with pins. While you can still buy those types(they still exist because they are the cheapest of all the diapers), MOST people who cloth diaper use the more modern diapers. Most of the diapers now days use velcro or snaps for closure. While there are multiple types of diapers, I am only going to talk about the ones that I personally use, One Size Pocket Diapers & One Size All-in-Ones.

The pocket diapers are my personal favorite. There are many different brands you can buy each with their own special features. I personally use Kawaii Baby, Fuzzibuns & BumGenius. Shaped just like a disposable diaper, these are super easy to use. The cloth inserts go inside a pocket made of a soft fabric on one side(the side that is against baby’s skin) and a waterproof fabric on the other side(the outside). They have various snap settings that allow these diapers to fit children from approximately 8lbs-35lbs.

Pocket Diaper & Insert

We have very few of the All-in-One diapers. They are great for when you send your kid to day care or grandma’s for awhile. These are EXACTLY like disposables. There is no pinning, no stuffing, no folding. You just pull them out of the laundry basket & stick ’em on.

A lot of people are grossed out of the idea of putting diapers in the washing machine. The thing you have to remember is that the technique you use to wash cloth diapers assures that there isn’t going to be any residue left. The widely accepted washing method is a full wash cycle on cold with no detergent, a full wash cycle on hot with detergent, and finally one more rinse in cold. If you are formula feeding or your child is eating solids, you do need to knock any solids into the toilet before washing, however if you are exclusively breast feeding, you can just toss diapers directly into the washer. The diapers cannot go into the dryer however(inserts can though) because it will ruin the waterproof fabric. A clothes line outside or rack inside is the way to go. The added benefit to line-drying clothes is that the sun bleaches any stains out. I’ve hung inserts outside thinking there was NO WAY were those stains going to come out but sure enough they did!

If you have ever considered cloth diapers, but weren’t sure where to start, please feel free to ask any questions you may have! There is rapidly¬† growing community of cloth diapering mommas that are always happy to help someone get started.

On a side note, at the conclusion of Real Diaper Week was The Great Cloth Diaper Change. Parents got together at 300 locations in 13 different countries to try and break the world record for the largest number of cloth diapers changed at one time. We are still waiting to hear back on the official number, but I’m pretty sure we beat the record!

Oh I love Pinterest…

With Ryan being gone, I have tried to find different things to mail to him so he knows that I miss him & am still thinking of him. I found this idea on pinterest and my first though was “We HAVE to make this!” In case you aren’t familiar with Dr. Seuss, the quote comes from Horton Hears a Who

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It actually turned out easier than I expected. The hardest part was trying to keep Maverick’s hand out of his mouth while I was trying to wash it off. I happened to have some silver paint in my craft bin that worked perfectly. I let it dry & then added the accents with a fine point sharpie(which consequently broke while I was using it and ended up all over my hands) and a purple pen.

These are my kind of crafts…quick, easy & adorable!

Garlic Hummus

Hummus is probably one of the easiest things to make on the planet which is probably why it suprises me that people pay sooooo much money to buy it at the grocery store! I grew up eating a lot of hummus during my high school years after my mom got onto a middle eastern food kick. We tired a lot of things from lamb stew to wrapped grape leaves, some of which were amazing…some that I will never eat again. It’s a shame that my husband doesn’t like Hummus to much, otherwise I’d probably make it a lot more often!I hope you at least give it a shot once in your life. It only takes about 5 minutes to make…what have you got to lose? The only thing I will say about this recipe is you cannot substitute for the Tahini. For those of you who don’t know what Tahini is, it is a runny paste made from sesame seeds. It looks like thin peanut butter and has a mild nutty flavor. I had a very hard time finding Tahini in Kansas and I actually had to have my mom mail me some from New York. Some recipes say you can use peanut butter in place of the tahini, but it really doesn’t work…trust me, I’ve tried! You will end up with a funny tasting, odd textured goo.

Garlic Hummus

  • 1 (16oz) can Chick Peas
  • 1/4 cup liquid from the canned chick peas
  • 3-5 tbs lemon juice(depending on personal preference, I personally use only 3)
  • 1 1/2 tbs tahini
  • 2 crushed garlic cloves(or 2 tsp chopped garlic)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbs olive oil

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To start off, drain the liquid from the can of chickpeas. You want to save 1/4 cup of it because you are going to add it back into the hummus later.

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Next combine all ingredients except the olive oil & chickpea liquid in the blender.

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Blend on low for a few minutes until things start to look pretty well blended

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Add the liquid from the chickpeas. Blend an additional minute or so until the mixture is creamy.

Pour into a bowl. Make a small indentation and add the olive oil.

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Mix well, serve with crackers or warm pita. Enjoy!

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Rum Butter Cookies

I felt like baking something today after the dreary, cold, wet day we’ve had here. I found a recipe that sounded good, but I didn’t have half the ingredients it called for!(Don’t you hate when that happens?) I decided to take that recipe & adapt it to what I did have. These are a cakey type cookie. I actually only baked about 6 of them…otherwise I’d eat them all! The rest of the dough I froze for Ryan to bake while he’s down there.

Rum Butter Cookies

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tsp rum extract
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Start off by creaming the butter & brown sugar in a bowl until well mixed.

Next stir in your egg.

Once your egg is fully mixed in, add in the milk & rum extract.

Slowly mix in the flour until a batter has been formed.

Stir in your baking soda & salt.

Bake for 10-12 minutes at 375* or until firm to the touch.

I decided to go ahead and mix up a simple glaze(powdered sugar & enough milk to make it a thin glaze) but you can absolutely eat these just as they are.

Dinosaur Planters

My husband occasionally complains that I have to many house plants. This is probably true seeing as though I have run out of places to put them! I am always on the search for more unique planters & pots. When I saw these dino planters on a website I knew that I had to try making them! I had a tough time finding hollow plastic dinosaurs for sale in my small town but our Walmart finally got a shipment of them in. I got two of them for $1 each. I knew I didn’t have any plants small enough at the time to fit into the dinosaurs so I also bought a small $4 pot of ivy. Once I got home, the fun began!

Use a sharp knife to cut out the back of the dino. I didn’t have the best luck cutting them very even but that’s okay, they are still cute.

If you are a perfectionist, you can take a piece of sandpaper and smooth the cut edges.

The plastic was a lighter tanish white color so in an effort to make it blend in more, I colored the edges with a black sharpie.

Use the knife to cut a drainage hole in the belly of the dino.

Stuff the legs & tail with potting soil.

Carefully insert your plant into the back and tightly pack soil around.

Place in proper sunlight for your plant & water as recommended. The first time you water it, the water will probably run over the sides of the dino so just make sure you water on a counter or other surface that won’t be ruined by the water.

Now I want to go back to the store and buy the elephants, zebras, polar bear, & lion to make planters out of them too!!!