DIY Date Night Jar

My husband is one of the hardest people to buy a gift for.  Mainly because he has a lot of things and the things he wants are just not in the budget to buy or I can’t buy it for him (like the custom golf club he wants).  So to say I was stressed out this holiday season trying to figure out what to get for him, was an understatement.  Until I was browsing Pinterest and I found a great DYI gift idea!

date night jarMy husband works in another state during the week, which takes a huge toll on our relationship.  When you only get two days to spend together a week, it really stinks.  And since we have kids, I always feel guilty getting a babysitter so he and I can go out.  I feel like they need to spend just as much time with their dad, as well.  But like I said, it’s taking it’s toll.  So when I saw the idea to make a Date Night Jar, I knew I had to make one of those for him for Christmas.  And boy did I have fun!  I even bought him a puzzle for Christmas to go along with the jar!

So what do you need to make this?

  • Package of wide popsicle sticks 
  • A jar
  • Label for the jar or some way to decorate it
  • Sharpies

The first thing I did, while watching Beverly Hills, 90210 (I just love that show…and I’m hoping Santa brings me the series on DVD!) was take a red sharpie and color the tip of several popsicle sticks.  The red tipped sticks indicate that a little more planning would need to go into that particular date…basically, we would need to get a babysitter.  The plain popsicle sticks are things we can do at home once the kids are in bed.  Here are a few of the  different types of dates I have in the jar:

The Red Tipped Sticks:

  • Dinner at Mongolian BBQ
  • Go for a drive (we used to do this before kids…just drive and drive…but gas was also cheaper then)
  • Dinner at P.F. Changs and a movie
  • Night at a hotel

The Plain Sticks:

  • Pick a t.v. series on Netflix and have a marathon
  • Do a puzzle together
  • Play Trivial Pursuit
  • Plan a family vacation
  • Finish a project in the house

You can put anything you want on these popsicle sticks.  I geared mine towards things my husband and I like to do or places we like to go to.  And yes…I also put some naughty ones on there too!  But my point is, you can make this gift any way you want!  I also thought about making a summer vacation jar for me and the kids.  The possibilities are truly endless!

If you were to make a jar for your spouse, what would you put on your popsicle sticks?


DIY Food Storage Ideas

I often dream about my “Really Real House”…the house where I have everything I want.  The one thing my “Really Real House” has to have is a walk-in pantry.  I’m not a food hoarder, but I do use coupons and stock up on the items that we use  most.  So food storage is a must. Now that I am making most things from scratch (check out my awesome bread recipe), keeping things like flour, sugar, etc on hand is important!

Since I can’t have my “Really Real House” right now, I do have one thing I really like in my house and that is my basement pantry shelving.  It is the ultimate food storage solution for people that don’t have a walk-in-pantry! I could explain it, but it’s probably best to show you a picture of what I’m talking about.

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food storage

DIY Food Storage

Food storage shelving like this is very easy to make.  Simply measure your space, decide how much space you would like between each shelf and hang using an L bracket thingy (yes…that is the technical term!).  If my husband wasn’t snoring next to me, I’d ask him the exact term.  But for now, we’ll go with L bracket thingy!

food storage

Yes I realize I am very anal and all of my cans are facing outward, but I like to be able to look at my pantry shelving and read the label as soon as I open the door!  As you can see…I am not a weird food hoarder!  And yes, the Sodastream Soda Maker food storage is very awesome and is something we use A LOT of in our house!

SodaStream Fountain Jet Sparkling Water Maker Starter Kit, Black and SilverSodaStream Fountain Jet Sparkling Water Maker Starter Kit, Black and Silver

Now that school is starting (THANK GOODNESS!) I am going to head on over to Home Depot and pick up a super bright color (like pink) and paint that basement stairwell a brighter color!  But Shhhh!  Don’t tell my husband!

DIY Bathroom Remodeling

We moved into our house 8 years ago.  8 years ago my husband was taken a shower in the kids bathroom (we had grand plans of remodeling the master bath) when all of a sudden the soap dish fell off the wall to reveal a rotted mess on the other side.  So needless to say, our master bathroom got put on hold.  Finally, 8 years later…the kids bathroom is completed!  With all the traveling my husband did with his previous job, it made finishing the bathroom difficult.  Now that the kids bathroom is finished, we can finally focus on our bathroom and begin planning it out.  Of course I went to Pinterest to get my inspiration!  Check out what I found:

How awesome would it be to take a shower each morning with everything around you changing colors?!?

Awesome idea courtesy of Suite Revival

Those are spice racks from IKEA used to hold hair products and other bathroom essentials!  Genius!

Find this on Pinterest!

This is my favorite thing I found and probably the most doable!  Currently our laundry room is in the basement ( which I hate) so one of the things I want to do in our bathroom is make a laundry area.  Our bathroom is rather large and a lot of the space is waste so what better way to take up the space (and keep me out of the basement) than to move the laundry room into the bathroom?!?  And how cool would it be to have access to the closet like that???

Find this on Pinterest

So while the heat sensitive tiles would be totally awesome, at $33 a tile (yep you read that right) there is no way we could use those in our bathroom.  However, the shower above is absolutely gorgeous and I love the bathmat look created with stone tiles!

Have you remodeled a  bathroom lately?  What kinds of things did you put in the bathroom that weren’t there before or what kinds of things would make your bathroom a dream bathroom?

Valentine’s Day DIY Gift Ideas

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner and nothing says I love you more than a handmade gift.  Below are some great DIY gifts that won’t break the bank:

DIY Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas

Strawberry Peppermint Foot Scrubdiy gift ideas

  • 2 pureed strawberries
  • 1 TBS of olive oil
  • 1 TBS of vegetable oil
  • 2 TBS granulated white sugar
  • 4 drops of peppermint essential oil
Mix all of the ingredients and put them in a jar.  You can keep them the jar in the fridge for up to a week.

Exfoliating Lip Gloss

diy gift ideas

  • 2 TBS Crisco Solid Vegetable Shortening
  • 1 TBS Strawberry or Cherry powdered drink mix
  • 1 lip balm container or clean contact case

Heat the Crisco in the microwave for 30 seconds or until it is a liquid.  While it is still hot, mix in the powdered drink mix and pour into the lip balm container.  Let it cool for 10 minutes.

Luxurious Muscle Soak

diy gift ideas

  • 1 cup Epsom Salts
  • 1/4 cup Sea Salts
  • 5 drops pink food coloring
  • 10 drops of your favorite aromatic essence 

Mix the salts and add the food coloring.  Using a fork, mix lightly so it is evenly colored.  Add in the aromatic essence and store in a pretty jar!

Like these DIY gift ideas?  Check out this video for more ideas.

Which one are you going to try first?!?  I’m making the lip balm!

For more tips and recipes like these, check out the book Bonding over Beauty in bookstores near you!

DIY Christmas Presents: Homemade Crayons

Since Dan has been out of work he’s gotten a lot of projects around our house done.  Mainly the kids bathroom that has been under construction for 7 years.  Yes you read that correctly…7 years.  In fact, my daughter (who’s 5 years old) just found out last year what was on the other side of the door in the hallway upstairs.  I can still remember the look on her face when she realized we had a tub in that room!  So while Dan has been working on that bathroom, Bella has been spending quite a bit of time at my parents house.  While there, she’s been working on special projects for everyone for Christmas.  We didn’t want her to feel left out on Christmas morning, so while she was at the ballet with my mom yesterday, we took Zachary to get some supplies to make Bella a homemade Christmas present.

Zachary decided to make Bella her very own crayons.  He knows how much she likes to color and in his mind, the idea of being allowed to break the crayons, made this the best present ever!  To make your own crayons, here are the things you need:

  • Crayons
  • Silicone molds
  • Super fine glitter

The first thing we did was head to IKEA.  They have all kinds of silicone ice cube trays that we thought would work great as crayon molds.  Zachary picked out hearts, ninja stars, fish, and flowers.  Next we headed to Walmart.  I had crayons at home, but I wanted to get a few extra boxes just in case we needed more.  Once we got home, we started to peel the paper off.  We quickly found that if we took a knife and ran it down the crayon, the paper came off much easier than trying just peel it.  Also, did you know, and this could be total coincidence, but every orange crayon we took the paper off of had extra glue on it, gluing the paper to the crayon.  No other color had that. Weird.

Next came the fun part…breaking the crayons into pieces.  Zachary LOVED this part.  We filled each tray with the broken pieces.  I wanted to make them multi-colored, but Zachary was insisted that we match the colors.  So oranges and reds went together; yellows and greens; purples and blues; etc.  After breaking the pieces, we fit them into the silicone ice cube trays.  If there were any open spaces, I tried to fill them in as best as I could with small pieces of the crayons that I cut with a knife.  We then sprinkled a little bit of glitter into each tray before putting them into the oven.
Make sure to put the silicone ice cube tray on a cookie sheet and place it into a preheated oven set at 300 for about 20 minutes.  You are going to want to rotate the crayons 90 degrees every 5-7 minutes to insure that the crayons completely melt.  Once the time is up, carefully remove from the oven and place the silicone ice cube tray into the refrigerator for about 10 to 15 minutes so they can harden.  When you are finished, carefully pop out of the molds and you are left with super awesome crayons like these:

Aren’t they cute?!?  My favorite are the flowers and the ninja stars (as my son calls them).  I also like the glitter crayons better than the ones we did not add glitter too.  Bella is going to be beside herself!  If you do this, I recommend not doing the fish.  While they are super cute, they were very difficult to get out of the mold.  If you look closely, you’ll see quite a few fish without tails!

Have you made your own crayons before?  If so, what molds did you use?