Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Wednesday Wellness - Low Carb Cheeseburger Soup


    1 lb ground turkey 2 tsp onion powder 1 tsp basil 3 cups chicken broth 1 cup each of frozen brocolli, fozen cauliflower 1/2 cup frozen carrots 1 1/2 cups fat free half and half 8 oz shredded cheddar cheese


This makes about 8 large soup bowls

Brown ground turkey and drain off any fat. Return to a large pot/dutch oven and add onion powder. Brown a little longer to flavor the meat. Add chicken broth, basil and frozen veggies. Bring to boil and simmer covered about 20 minutes until the veggies are tender.

Add in half and half and then the shredded cheese. Take off heat and stir until cheese is melted. DO NOT return to heat or cheese will separate and not look creamy and pretty.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Leaf Artwork with Polymer Clay

  • Leaf samples
  • Polymer clay (we used Sculpey)
  • Waxed paper
  • Bowl, lid, or glass with a wide base
  • Toothpick
  • Tweezers

  1. Collect leaf samples from the trees and large bushes in your yard or on a walk. Use a guide to identify each one.
  2. At home, form clay into balls. Sandwich one between two sheets of waxed paper, then use the bottom of the bowl to press the clay into a disk. Peel back the top sheet, place a leaf on the disk, replace the paper, and flatten the clay with the bowl to a 1/4-inch thickness. Flip the clay over.
  3. Use a toothpick to carve the tree's name into the clay. Flip the clay over again and remove the leaf with tweezers.
  4. Bake the tokens leaf-impression side up according to the package instructions.

    Fun Tree Facts
    There are more than 865 species of trees in the United States.

    New York City has 5.2 million trees. Every year, they remove 2,202 tons of pollution in the form of ozone, sulphur dioxide, and other gases.

    Oak trees don't start producing acorns until they are about 25 years old

Monday, June 27, 2011

Homemade Lava Lamp

  • Clear plastic bottle, cleaned and label removed (our is a 500-milliliter bottle)
  • Vegetable oil
  • Water
  • Food coloring
  • Pie pan
  • Effervescent antacid tablets such as Alka-Seltzer

  1. Fill the bottle just over halfway with the oil, then add water, to an inch from the top. Add 10 drops of food coloring.
  2. Place the bottle on the pie pan to catch potential spills. Cut or break an antacid tablet in quarters and drop one quarter into the bottle. When the bubbling slows, add another quarter-tablet to get it started again. (Adding too many tablets at once will cloud the oil with bubbles.)
  3. To store the lamp, let the bottle sit until all the bubbles have completely dispersed. This prevents the buildup of gas in the bottle. Cap it and put it in a safe place to prevent spills.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Thrifty Thursday - CD Flower Wall Decoration

Materials Needed:

  • 6 Unwanted CDs
  • Markers, Sequins, artificial flowers (optional)
  • Green pipe cleaners (optional)
  • Craft Glue
First, make sure that the CDs you are using are unwanted. Take the first CD and decorate it as the middle of the flower. If the CD is brightly colored, decorate the side of the CD with the printing. You can use sequins, markers, or anything else you like to decorate the center CD.

Take the other 5 CDs and decorate them to be the flower petals. You should decorate the non-printed side of the CD; however, if you are using markers to color ion the CD, use the printed side as the marker may dry better.

Now, glue the 5 petal CDS under the center CD. (You might want to do this before you glue any dimensional embellishments to the petal CDs). Let the glue dry.

If you like, you can glue a pipe cleaner to the back of the flower. You can also use pipe cleaners to make leaves for your flower.

When your flower is completely dry, use a tack to stick your CD flower to your wall. Now you have a beautiful flower!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Wednesday Wellness - Microwave Potato Chips


    1 Medium Russet Potato Salt Any favorite seasoning


Wash potato thoroughly
Peel if desired
Cut the potato into paper thin slices (using a mandolin may help)
arrange potato slices onto a glass dish or parchment paper
Sprinkle with salt or your favorite seasoning
Microwave on high for 2-3 minutes or until you see the potatoes start brown
Open microwave and turn over potato slices
Cook on high for an additional 2-3 minutes or until the potatoes are golden brown

Makes 2 servings.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Mail A Message In A Bottle

  • Plastic bottle
  • Shells, flowers or other found treasures
  • Address label

  1. Stuff rolled notes and letters into an empty plastic bottle, along with shells, flowers, or other tiny treasures.
  2. Seal the bottle tightly and stick on an address label, then take it to the local post office to ensure that it gets the proper postage.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Father's Day Craft - Dad's Caddy

  • Coffee can (or any large can with lid)
  • Magazines and/or Catalogs
  • Markers or alphabet stickers
  • Decoupage medium or diluted glue
  • Scissors
First of all, make sure any can you use is clean and dry. Page through magazines and catalogs and cut or tear out pictures of tools or anything else your dad will like. You can also use fancy, printed paper or photo copies of graphics you print off of your computer. Glue the pictures you chose all over the can. Cover the entire can. Use a marker or stickers to write a special message on your caddy, such as 'Daddy's Caddy'.
Once you have the can looking exactly how you want it, you can seal the design to protect it. To do this, simply use these decoupage techniques using either decoupage medium or diluted glue. Let the decoupage dry completely and then your can is done!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Father's Day Crown Craft

You can download the template from here. Print and color!  Perfect for Dads, Step-Dads, and Grandpas!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Thrifty Thursday - Chia Potato

Materials Needed:

  • Large Potato
  • Grass seed
  • Potting soil
  • Sticks
  • Misc supplies
Take a large potato and dig out the center of it with a spoon. Add grass seed and soil. Use the sticks to make legs if desired. Decorate with misc supplies, and you can create a face on it. Water and watch it grow.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Wednesday Wellness - Yogurt Jello

    1 package sugar-free Jello 1 cup boiling water 1 cup lowfat Yogurt, plain


Mix the sugar-free Jello envelope with the 1 cup boiling water until dissolved.

Stir the jello/water mixture into the 1 cup yogurt until well mixed, being sure to do this very slowly so as not to curdle the yogurt.

Divide into 4 half-cup servings (the little Gladware containers are great for this!) and refrigerate until set, between 2 and 3 hours.

At less than 50 calories a serving, this is a refreshing and satisfying snack or dessert that I should liken to a parfait. One could make 2 1-cup servings for a very satisfying snack under 100 calories. I like using raspberry or blackberry flavored jello, myself, but let your imagination run wild trying different flavors!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Beaded Summer Sunglasses Strap Craft

  • 2 plastic eyeglass holders (available at drugstores)
  • 3 yards of plastic lanyard
  • Plastic beads (1/4-inch diameter)
  1. Beaded Sunglasses Strap Thread one of the eyeglass holders onto the lanyard, placing it in the center of the strip. Fold the lanyard in half and then tie a knot, forming a small loop.
  2. Thread a plastic bead onto one strand of the lanyard. Send the other strand through the bead in the opposite direction. Pull on both strands to tighten. Continue adding beads using the same method until the strap is as long as you would like.
  3. To finish the piece, thread the other eyeglass holder onto one of the lanyards. Tie the two lanyard lengths together with a knot placed close to the last bead, leaving a small loop. Trim the ends and hide the knot by pushing it inside the bead.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Thrifty Thursday - Flower Pen

Materials Needed:

  • Pen
  • Silk or Plastic Flower with Stem
  • Green Floral Tape
  • Scissors
Hold the flower next to the pen and clip the flower stem so it is about 2-inches up from the tip of the pen. The flower should sit on the end of the pen. Remove and leaves. While holding the flower stem tightly against the pen, wrap the entire length of the pen with floral tape. This will secure the pen and flower together. With the floral tape you do not need tape or glue!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Wednesday Wellness - No Candy Trail Mix


    1/2 cup chopped macadamia nuts Small bag 1 bag Sunmaid vanilla yogurt cranberries (170 grams) 2 bags Sunmaid Fruit bits (198 gr.) 1 box (10 indiv) Betty Crocker Fruit Snacks 6 3/4 cups Golden Graham Cereal


Open all packages, dump in a bowl and mix up gently. Then put 1/4 cup each in those snack size baggies. This is what takes the time. Refrigerate. to keep them fresh. Great for kids, lunch boxes, walks, snacks.

I did figure on 1/4 cup servings, two servings won't hurt that much.

Number of Servings: 53

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Waterproof Beach Bag Craft

  • 13-gallon garbage bag
  • Scissors
  • Colored duct tape (we used red and white)
  • Marker or pen
  • Yardstick or measuring tape
  • 4 (2-foot) pieces of white cotton cording
  1. Waterproof Beach Bag - Step 1 Turn the garbage bag into a large sheet by cutting along one side seam and the bottom seam. Tape the sheet flat to your workspace and draw a 16- by 30-inch rectangle on it. Cover the rectangle with slightly overlapping strips of red and white tape.
  2. Waterproof Beach Bag - Step 2 Cut out the tape rectangle and flip it tape-side down.
  3. Waterproof Beach Bag - Step 3 Lay 2 pieces of cording across the rectangle about an inch from one of the shorter ends. Fold that end over the cording and tape it down to make a casing. Repeat this at the opposite end with the other pieces of cording.
  4. Waterproof Beach Bag - Step 4 Fold the rectangle in half and tape the sides together to form the bag.
  5. Waterproof Beach Bag - Step 5 To make the drawstring, pair up one cord from each casing and knot them together at both ends. Repeat with the remaining 2 cords, then pull one knot at each side to cinch the bag.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Button Flower Arrangement

Step 1 - Bloomin' ButtonsMaterials
  • 26-gauge green florists' wire
  • Colorful buttons  

    1. For each flower, thread an 8-inch length of florists' wire up through a stack of colorful buttons, then back down, as shown.

    1. Twist the wire just below the stack to secure it, then insert the flower in your plant's soil.

    Saturday, June 4, 2011

    Make A Balloon Barometer

    • Scissors
    • 12-inch balloon
    • Widemouthed jar (such as a large mayonnaise jar)
    • Wide rubber band
    • Clear tape
    • Needle or straight pin
    • Plastic straw
    • Tacky glue
    • Cardboard or poster board
    • Pencil or pen

    1. Cut the neck off the balloon and discard it. Stretch the balloon over the mouth of the jar and secure it with the rubber band.
    2. Tape the needle or pin, point facing out, to the end of the straw. Use a generous pool of glue to attach the other end of the straw to the center of the balloon.
    3. Prop the cardboard against a wall with a fairly constant temperature and set the jar just in front of it, but not touching. Label "high" and "low" as shown. Mark the spot at which the needle now points. Check the barometer every few hours and mark the changes on the board.
    4. Why it works: As weather patterns shift, the air pressure around the jar changes, while the pressure inside it remains the same. As the pressure outside increases, the balloon is pushed down, forcing the needle up. As the pressure outside falls, the balloon swells, sending the needle down.

    Thursday, June 2, 2011

    Thrifty Thursday - Bagel Bird Feeder

    Materials Needed:

    • String
    • 1/2 of a Stale Bagel
    • 1 Teaspoon Peanut Butter
    • 1 Teaspoon Shortening
    • Bird Seed
    • Scissors
    Cut a piece of string about 24" long. You can adjust this length depending on where you want to hang it. Put one end of the string through the hole in the bagel and tie both ends together to make a large loop to hang up your bird feeder with.

    Mix together the peanut butter and the shortening. Spread this mixture onto the flat side of the bagel. Pour the bird seed onto a plate. Press the peanut butter/shortening side of the bagel into the bird seed.
    Hang this bagel bird feeder in a tree or anywhere outside and watch the birds make it disappear!

    Wednesday, June 1, 2011

    Wednesday Wellness - Lowfat Chocolate Brownies


      14 oz. Fat Free Sweetened condensed milk 1/3 c. cocoa (baking, unsweetened) 3/4 c. Semi Sweet chocolate chips 4 egg whites 1/4 c. flour 1 tsp. baking powder 1 tsp. vanilla extract


    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray Pam/cooking spray to coat a 13x9 dish. In a glass bowl, mix cocoa, milk, and chips. Cook in microwave until chips melt, about 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in remaining ingredients. Turn into prepared pan and bake for 20 minutes, or until set. COOL.
    Cut into 18 bars.