Category Archives: DIY

My favorite DIY beauty product EVER!

If you know me, you know that my “beauty routine” is super minimalist and I really use only a handful of products. Today I’m going to show you how to make one of my very favorites, and it will take you like five minutes! This is the PERFECT product for holiday gift-giving and is one of the best multi-use items in my stash!

Please note this post contains affiliate links. Today I’m introducing you to Plant Therapy, my favorite Essential Oils Company with great quality standards, careful safety guidelines, unbeatable prices and free, fast shipping each and every time!

Click here for Plant Therapy Essential Oils! 

This sugar scrub is smooth and smells AHHHMAZING. I’ve made this recipe for years but recently discovered a couple tips that make this product even better. You can use any essential oils that you want, but I’ve used Peppermint Oil in the past because of it’s fantastic, invigorating scent. Click here to buy Peppermint Oil, Lavender & Lemon Oil from Plant Therapy. Today I’m using Immune Aid to give my family a little extra immune support during this particular season! Click here to buy this fantastic organic blend for only $9.95 with free shipping!

DIY Essential Oils Sugar Scrub

1 Cup Sugar

1-2 Cups Coconut Oil*

5-10 drops of your favorite Essential Oils

Equipment: Hand or stand mixer, Stainless Steel bowl and spoon, Silicone Squeeze Bottles. (These bottles are what have taken this DIY recipe from a nice handmade product to my very favorite travel-friendly, shower-friendly, convenient product that I can carry anywhere. You can squeeze the sugar scrub right out easily and it works just perfectly. Great for shower, purse, etc. Right now they are only $10 for a 3 pack….awesome deal!)

Step One: Pour your Coconut Oil into a bowl and beat with your mixer for about 5 minutes until it’s smooth and fluffy. (This is what keeps your finished product from separating and gives you the lovely, store-bought beauty product feel!)

Step Two: Next stir in your sugar until combined.

Step Three: Finally, add your essential oils and blend on low until combined (about 15 seconds should do the trick).

Step Four: You’re done! Add your sugar scrub to a shallow, wide glass jar like this or the silicone travel tubes.
Hint, it’s not super easy to add the scrub to the tubes. One sort of easy way is to use a ziplock bag to squeeze it in (cutting off the corner like an icing bag). Just take your time and you will LOVE how easy it is to squeeze the scrub out once you’re done!*

Note: This recipe filled up all three tubes and left at least 3 oz left over

This sugar scrub is awesome for hands, feet and face! I love to keep some by the kitchen sink, in the shower and of course for travel. It’s also the first thing I grab after chopping onions or garlic and I even like to use it on my legs before shaving to prevent ingrown hairs and get a smooth shave. My hubby actually loves this product too! Enjoy!

*IMPORTANT NOTE: Although I have made this recipes tons of times, I have only used the silicone tubes twice. The first time, it worked perfectly but I have just realized that I’m having trouble squeezing out the scrub this time. My suggestion is to increase the amount of coconut oil to get a thinner consistency, particularly at a colder time of year. A squirt of fractionated coconut oil or even olive oil might help make your scrub more squeezable also!

The Ultimate Guide to Rock-Painting

Welcome to the world of rock painting! My family is new to this hobby but we are happy to share what we’ve learned so far and hope you will comment with any ideas or products you’ve had success with!

First of all, if you haven’t heard much about rock painting or wonder what exactly we are talking about, check out this week’s article from Martha Stewart!

If you’ve followed my blog at all, you know I am pursuing minimalism with a passion, and consequently I’m pretty choosy about starting new hobbies or collections. Rock painting fits PERFECTLY into the minimalism lifestyle. The best part of this hobby is that the art is shared instead of hoarded, and each rock is created to be a blessing to the community. I love that!

So let’s get to the specifics of rock painting, are you ready? Here is what you will need:

Rocks: “River Rocks” are usually what you want, because the surface will be nice and smooth to apply paint or markers. The Dollar Tree sells small bags of smooth black rocks that work well and are an easy way to start out. I’m looking for a good local source currently. These rocks on Amazon look like a good price for the weight. 

Paint: Most acrylic paint should work fine for painting rocks. We used whatever we have on hand for solid colors including craft paint, spray paint and leftover paint samples from the hardware store. My daughters can free-hand well with fine paintbrushes; but for someone like me, (who is artistically challenged) I needed something more user friendly. Which is why we ordered markers…

Markers: These markers by Uni-Posca are AMAZING for rocks! The color is so vibrant, the tip perfect for fine details and it’s pretty quick drying as well. The colors even layer well, with just a brief drying in between. This makes it easy to draw and write on even the smallest rocks.

Rock ID tag: If you are part of our Facebook page, you will want to tag your rock so that it can be shared and re-shared. Click here to download the labels for free! (For smaller rocks these will need to be trimmed to size).

Sealing Spray: The most important step is to waterproof your rocks before you leave them out in the weather. There are lots of clear spray products that will work for this, such as Mod Podge Spray or Krylon Clear Coat Spray. A few light coats should do the trick. You will be ready to hide just as soon as these have dried!

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience. 

 

Step 1: Eliminate Excess

If you missed the introduction to the Simplify Your Life Challenge, please check it out here. To make a long story short, I am simplifying to help manage my stress and household, so that I can focus on what really matters to me. I have a lot going on and I need the absolute best way to help my family succeed at life!

Simplicity to me means not just successfully surviving but thriving!

You can join the challenge by subscribing to my blog to keep up with each step. At the end of each step we will have a challenge and I would love it if you would join me and post your own progress! (Bonus points for any pictures you can take of your simplification status!) Now on to Step 1 and it probably won’t surprise you:

Step 1: Eliminate excess

 In 2012 I did a challenge with some friends to get rid of 2012 items that year. It was such an eye opener as I realized just how much excess our 1400 square foot home had. That was when I really began to acknowledge my issues with shopping and how the “stuff” was stifling us. What I learned that year really helped me to have confidence in getting rid of stuff this time around.

In a similar way this summer I have been going through every single room and purging, purging, purging. Ruthlessly selling, trashing, re-homing. I’m taking a hard look at items, making sure they are serving enough of a purpose to earn their keep. If not, out they go. For example,  in my living room, I had 10 throw pillows. TEN! On only two sofas .The truth was, every day was frustrating because they ended up on the floor. There wasn’t room for PEOPLE on the sofa! How many do we need? Not ten!

WilliamMorrisquote

The key here is purpose. I have lots of items that are useful (as in they can be used with success) but if they’ve been collecting dust on a shelf or packed away in a closet they do not have a purpose. Think of all the “gadgets” in your kitchen. Which ones are you actually putting to good use? Sometimes this means getting rid of perfectly good, useful items when you realize that the space and clarity they leave behind is more valuable than the footprint they occupy and the chaos they  collectively contribute.

I feel obligated to mention the wildly popular book by Marie Kondo: The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up. I have read it, and I do recommend it for gaining perspective on clutter and minimalism. At the same time, I feel that her method introduces the risk of an extreme and almost compulsive distaste for possessions. I’m also somewhat uncomfortable with the animism that she endorses.

While helpful, her tag phrase: “Does it spark joy?” has encouraged many hilarious memes of housewives discarding their credit card bills and sweeping their homes of all vegetables or dirty laundry. After all, can everything really spark joy?

Well, what if everything around you truly did spark joy or contribute to a joyful existence? How would that change your life?

(Here is a post on whether or not Konmari really makes sense for families. I found the comments really helpful also)

If you haven’t read it already, I highly recommend the book Simplicity Parenting. I read it when I first started my parenting journey and I still think about it years later. It so beautifully explains how less is more in the eyes of children and how we can raise them with the gift of simplicity.

eliminatingexcess

This has by far been my most ruthless and therefore productive purging round, and I have to tell you that I am really happy with the results. If you are overwhelmed with where to start, I suggest  either A) attacking room by room or B) attacking category by category.

Uncertain?
If you want to get rid of items but are worried about needing them later, packing them into storage or the attic might be a good idea. Oftentimes it will be clear when you retrieve them a few months later whether or not they bring value to your home.

Donate
My advice is to find a charity or cause that you really care about and if possible, donate your items to that cause. It’s easier for me to let go of items knowing they are going where they are truly needed. An alternative is to host a yard sale and donate the proceeds to your charity of choice. Sometimes a “higher purpose” is all you need to encourage yourself to purge.

Persevere
Remind yourself that this first step, though overwhelming, will allow every subsequent step to go more smoothly. This could be an EPIC Weekend project or an ongoing, daily effort but either way keep your eye on the prize. Enlist help, get the kids involved, and don’t give up!

Resources:

Simplicity Parenting by Kim John Payne and Lisa M. Ross

The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo

10 Tips for De-cluttering by Peter Walsh (quick read with great tips for beginners!)

How to Declutter your Entire Home Going Room by Room by Elizabeth Larkin (awesome resource with clickable guides to help focus on results!)

Eliminate Excess Challenge:

Choose one room and commit to really eliminating all the excess from it. Look around and imagine how this room would look if it was void of any items that don’t spark joy or add value. Grab some boxes and bags and get to work!

Be sure to check out the other posts in this series:

Simplify Your Life Challenge

 

Free Bullet Journal Hack!

My Bullet Journal is one of my favorite things and I love that I won’t be worrying about ordering an expensive planner for this school year. If you struggle with organization, don’t feel like most planners fit your lifestyle, or simply want to have more control over the options, Bullet Journaling could be your perfect planner-match! Keep reading for a super easy and free bullet journal hack that I’m excited to implement for this season!notebook flat lay

I have been thinking more about optimizing my bullet journal as I’m gearing up for Homeschooling the Prescott Kiddos for Fall 2016. (“Gearing up” in this case means looking for spare change in the couch cushions to buy curriculum that we probably don’t need anyway). If you are new to Bullet Journaling, check out my post for BargainBabe to get started. It’s an incredibly flexible and forgiving scheduling and list system. All you need is a notebook and a pen!

The one thing I was wishing for was a calendar option for the bullet journal, so I found a free printable and started adding it to my BuJo. That was just what I needed to take it to the next level! I just cut it out and pasted it in. Even though a “pretty” bullet journal hasn’t been on my radar, I did take some leftover washi tape and decorate the edges for a little extra glitz. That’s pretty much all you can expect from me in the artistic arena. bulletjournalcalendarhack

Have you used Bullet Journaling? Share your tips in the comments!

Budget Tween Room Makeover: Part 3

Twin Tweens

I’m sharing my budget “tween” shared twin room makeover because tweens are a tricky demographic. They want to be grown up, but they don’t bring in their own income! They want all their toys, but they also want their room to look sophisticated. Don’t forget to check out Budget Tween Room Makeover In Progress (Part 1) & Budget Tween Room Makeover Part 2 if you missed them!

purplegoldcollage

Things are shaping up nicely over here. Although we totally had a DIY-fail this week involving a vintage lamp and spray paint, we found some adorable accessories that we are excited to add to the room. As we planned, we sold our Ikea Kura (we will miss it, such a fun versatile piece; but our other Kura is still serving us well in my son’s room) and took a family trip to Ikea for a more grown-up alternative, finally settling on this:

New Bunk Bed, Ikea Mydal

 

I was considering a metal bunk bed (we love the clean lines of this one by Walker Edison), but my husband felt like a wood version would be more sturdy. He was able to put the Mydal together in about two hours with tons of family interruptions. I’m happy to report I didn’t hear any angry outbursts or loud crashes so I think the experience was relatively painless for him. If you ask him, assembling furniture could be his least favorite task in the world. Hopefully the girls realize what a labor of love this was for him to work so much on their room during his “vacation” week.kuramydal

He also installed two picture ledges/shelves for the girls from Ikea. These appear to be the perfect solution for a few bedtime essentials (clock, book, water bottle) without the clutter of a bedside table (or the challenge of height for the top bed). We also bought a couple of these for under-bed storage, which we promptly filled with out of season clothing. (Nine year old identical twin girls sharing a closet is no joke, folks).

Our next quest was for new bedding that would match the new dorm room vibe. I started googling “bunk bed bedding” and here is the resulting shopping rabbit hole I ended up heading down. I will update soon with the bedding that we ended up choosing, but the girls are thrilled with the results.

Pinterest Fail: Spray Painting a Floor Lamp

Next I had this “brilliant” idea to re-paint my old lamp from college that for some reason was still stashed in the attic. We used Krylon Shimmer Metallic Black Spray Paint and I love the color. It’s nothing close to glittery, just black with a little extra “something”. It was a little tricky covering the base because it’s so narrow and I did end up with some paint drips, but keep in mind that I am also fairly careless with craft projects (just being honest, ya’ll). I plan to cover it with a clear protective spray to keep the finish nice.  Sadly, my brilliant plan started to deteriorate when I realized spray painting the translucent shade wasn’t quite possible.  The resulting splotchy light was pretty gloomy and depressing. On to Plan B…

The blogger who never gives up

 

As most folks know, I tend to cling to a project idea until it is pretty much pried from my lifeless, paint-stained hands, so I refused to give up on the lamp (which is really illogical since I know for a fact I paid only $8 for it at Walmart in the year 2000).  I tried purchasing a new shade at Lowe’s only to realize I was the semi-confused owner of two half-circle wall sconces.  (Thank you Lowe’s for easy returns).

Finally, I went to Michael’s absolutely determined to solve the lamp problem. I came home with some gorgeous gold washi tape and proceeded to tape and tape and tape. Washi tape lampshades are all over pinterest so I was confident this idea would be a success. (Misplaced confidence is also part of my DIY-er profile).

Sticky to the Bitter End

This was my first experience with Washi Tape and it turns out that it’s not as tape-y as duct tape. Soon I realized that the stick alone was not going to hold this project together. So I whipped out my Mod Podge (this $8 sixteen-year-old lamp was racking up a tab of upwards of $50 but good thing I made nearly $1.40 yesterday on Amazon Affiliates. Blogging my way to the top, ya’ll)

So I started haphazardly slapping sticky Mod Podge all over the lamp and tucking the ends over the edge (forgetting that not everyone is short like me and the inside would be visible to the naked eye). A couple coats later and ta-da! My eighteen  hour, four shopping trips later, simple DIY project was complete! And the results are:

washi tape lamp shade

Ok? Not bad? Better than dumping the lamp in a landfill? Semi-functional? Good enough for now?

Alphabet Train Line at Michael’s 70% off

Our fun find of the week was these two large letters with the ampersand for my “S” girls.  The total for all three was about $7 thanks to major markdowns! We plan to hang them on the wall once we figure out the perfect spot. There are tons of different letters in all colors and sizes for 70% right now at Michael’s from the Alphabet Train line, so check it out in your local store!
sands

I would love to thank Brooklyn & Bailey (teen youtube stars & identical twin girls) for their fun and cute videos about their shared room. I could tell my girls were really impressed to see cool older girls who enjoy sharing a room and can make it look so awesome at the same time. I really appreciate their positive sibling dynamic and great example!

Budget Tween Room Makeover: Part 2

Twin Tweens

I’m sharing my budget “tween” shared twin room makeover because tweens are a tricky demographic. They want to be grown up, but they don’t bring in their own income! They want all their toys, but they also want their room to look sophisticated. Check out my first post to see what we started with. 

Here’s our purple progress so far!

tween.makeover.diy.purple.room

I have to get started by apologizing. I realized today that yesterday’s post was a little misleading because I really didn’t post any budget tips! I promise I wasn’t trying to create click-bait…I was just trying to break up the post into reasonable pieces and the room is, like I said, a work in progress. But I promise I do have some budget tips, and I’m going to jump right into them today. My first tip is probably not going to surprise anyone!

Thrift Whenever Possible

I don’t want to sound like a broken record (it literally *just* occurred to me that readers are going to start wondering what that phrase means! whoa. That along with blogging about having tweens is definitely making me feel old….) but thrifting is such a great way of filling in the gaps with awesome unique decor with way less investment! When you walk through a thrift store lookout for items that are perfect for:

Chalkboard Spray Paint

I like this one, Rust-oleum Chalkboard Spray Paint. $3.95 as an add-on item is an awesome price for this also! We have used this paint for shelves, coasters, and redoing old art into chalkboards. It’s got great coverage and is really easy to use!

Metallic Spray Paint

I plan to order this one, Rust-oleum Bright Coat Metallic Finish. I can’t wait to try this on some knick-knacks we already have around the house.

A Totally Different Use

Think about what items you *need* for your home and try to imagine how bargain items could serve the purpose.

Here is an example of a outdated 90’s style kitchen basket that we spray painted with Krylon CoverMaxx in Gumdrop. We applied about three coats (probably due to my extremely haphazard spraypainting style) but the basket turned out perfect for our purposes. I mean, tacky stuff in bright colors is just what nine year olds are drawn to, so really why would you pay a lot of money for something you can easily make yourself? (Of course, in retrospect, I really wish I had done this in gold because I think it would have turned out awesome but we already had the purple so it is what it is.)

 

spraypaintmakeovertweendecor

 

Check out my Pinterest board for all kinds of thrifted DIY ideas with tweens in mind. I will be back with more tips soon!

Don’t miss my other posts in this series!

Budget Tween Room Makeover Part 1
Budget Tween Room Makeover Part 3
  Bunk Bed Bedding Reveal

 

Budget Tween Room Makeover: In Progress

Twin Tweens

I’m sharing my budget “tween” shared twin room makeover because tweens are a tricky demographic. They want to be grown up, but they don’t bring in their own income! They want all their toys, but they also want their room to look sophisticated.

Always on a Budget

In case I haven’t made it clear, EVERYTHING we do is on a budget. As a one income family (let’s face it, I’m not exactly raking in the dough as a blogger) money is always tight and our poor old house is ALWAYS in need of something. Just when you think you have a little extra cash to work with, the van needs repairs….but let’s not get bogged down with reality.

Colors for Twins

A decade ago we found out we were having twins. At that moment, the doctor could not tell us the genders of the babies. We weren’t sure if we would find out in time, so we had to go ahead and paint the room for them. I chose a “guacamole green” thinking it would work for boys, girls, or one of each.  Once we found out they were both girls, we put up sweet little animal wall decals, butterfly growth charts and a sign that read: “Thank Heaven for Little Girls”.

decor

My sweet girls have shared the same room with the same cutesy baby decor up ever since and they were really hoping for a change. Actually, they were hoping not to have to share a room but again….reality. So with much discussion and debate, they chose a color. With a funny twist, it is very similar to the color I chose for my first “tweenage” room two decades ago. Appropriately, their new color is called”Sassy Lilac” from Valspar.

Sassy Lilac

Working on “Staycation”

My husband painted this week (on his vacation from work….what a loving Daddy!) and it is just as purple as they dreamed! When I asked them what they hoped for from a new room one of the big wishes was: more space. It’s an understandable request, they are homeschooled identical twin girls sharing a very small space and they spend a lot of time together.

American Girl has taken over our home

So we tried to clear out the area as much as possible, eliminating clutter and editing down the American Girl world that had become much larger than life. Seriously, this was their 18″ doll dollhouse before:

dollhouse

The KidKraft 18″ Elegant Doll Manor is on Amazon if you want to take a look. They really do love it.

Notice how what used to be two bookcases became an addition to the 18″ doll home? I’m telling you, those dolls have much more space than our family. Also, here you can see the “guacamole” paint and understand perhaps why they wanted to go for something a little brighter.

A more Grown-up Design

Next we wanted to find a cool piece of art to tie the room together. Exploring Homegoods, we found this black, white & gold print with “Do everything with love” on it.  The girls and I decided then and there that the accent colors for the room would be white, black and gold against the backdrop of purple walls. (And it was only $18 on clearance).

allthingswithlove

We are pretty happy with the direction the room is going in. I will post more updates as we go.

Check out more posts in this series!

The perfect summer necklace: click it or DIY-it!

I know you have seen tassel necklaces all over pinterest just like I have. There is something about a long tassel necklace that is so flattering and can go with almost anything. I feel like they  simultaneously make me look taller and more sophisticated at the same time (maybe that’s just in my head though). I think these are the perfect summer accessory, so I wanted to share some affiliate links from Amazon. Of course, the one I always drool over is the Kendra Scott Rayne Necklace. But I really love some of these budget-friendly alternatives as well:

This is a really easy DIY project that includes two of my favorites: crafting and thrifting come together to make a gorgeous on-trend tassel necklace! My girls loved making these last summer.

5 Minute Fall Necklace

tassel necklace

Friday Favorites: Health & Comfort Edition

This week has decidedly not gone how I’d hoped. I was nauseous all day Monday until Monday night, when things went downhill, but I’ll spare you the details. Thankfully, no one else seems to have been infected, and thankfully I am finally feeling nearly normal today. On top of the vomiting, (whoops, I said no details), I was feeling truly horrible because I couldn’t stomach coffee (or anything much) until this morning. If you know me at all, you know that a lack of coffee is not compatible with my lifestyle.

But no one wants to hear about that, so I thought I would quickly share some of the things that help me feel better when I am under the weather. In the interest of full disclosure, please realize that I have become an Amazon partner, so I will receive a small (really, minuscule) compensation for any items purchased through my links. As ya’ll know I have been shamelessly raving about my favorite things for years, I just thought I would finally try to get a little cash flow from my role as consumer enabler. 

be kool

One day I was having a horrible migraine and couldn’t keep any meds down. My husband ran out and brought home these and they have been a life-saver. They aren’t recommended for kids, but there is a children’s version (which I have not purchased). I admit I have cut the adult size ones in half for feverish kids and they have helped but that’s obviously not medical advice from me. You would never receive medical advice from me. Never.

I am also a huge fan of a good heating pad, and I really love this one. Is it weird if I admit I use it like everyday? I don’t truly have chronic pain thankfully, but as a busy mom I feel like I am always in some kind of pain and this thing gets hot, fast. I actually ruined our bed because I used a heating pad too frequently when I was pregnant, but that’s a story for another day. For the kids, we like rice filled heating pads that you can make yourself and heat up in the microwave. Little Blue Boo has a great easy tutorial and if you haven’t checked out her blog-world, it’s amazing! If you want to make these heating pads therapeutic with Essential Oils please check with my friend Jessica, she can definitely help you! They also love this stuffed bear that we were gifted and it has held up great for three years of use. Thanks, Diane! These  Anti-Stress eye pillows are also fantastic and I keep one by my bed (if only the microwave was there I’d be all set).

I have never used Goody’s powder until this year, but I will always keep a stock of it now. Especially for those with a caffeine addiction, this is amazingly effective and quick. I thought it was weird to take powdered pain reliever, but results are results. We really have a lot more health related recommendations, but my morning blog time is coming to a close and it’s time to face our homeschool day. Thank you Lord for coffee and beautiful Fridays in the springtime! 3 John 1:2 “Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well.

Have a great weekend!

The Homeschool on-the-go Bag

In the interest of full disclosure, please realize that I have become an Amazon partner, so I will receive a small (really, minuscule) compensation for any items purchased through the following affiliate links. As ya’ll know I have been shamelessly raving about my favorite things for years, so I just thought I would finally try to get a little cash flow from my role as consumer enabler. Thanks for taking a look at my recommendations!

Once again, I ask, how did folks homeschool before the advent of Pinterest??

When I feel particularly overwhelmed with the clutter, I tend to browse the internet for the magical cure. Sometimes I get distracted by how to catch mosquitoes in a two liter bottle, how to decorate a mug with a sharpie, or the best way to dress for your body type. Other times, I find something truly helpful that I implement right away like this idea for a homeschool mom bag*…I love it and it has really helped me keep life organized!

This method works great for me because we have a fairly small home with limited dedicated school space, I want to be able to homeschool “on the road”, and I’m not the world’s most organized mom to begin with. All you need to make this work is a Thirty One Organizing Utility Tote**, (look at all the pretty color options!), an open top file box, file folders, and your basic craft/office supplies (the things you want to keep close at hand for school).

No instructions are needed, you simply fit the file box into the bag, add the file folders, and fill the outside pockets with supplies. Here is what I keep in my bag:

  • folders labeled with each child’s name, the previous school year’s records, this school year’s records, each subject, and forms.
  • My Homeschool Planner
  • pens, pencils, sharpies
  • glue stick, craft glue, tape, small stapler, glue dots
  • post-it notes, small notebook, reward stickers
  • hole-punch, scissors, rubber bands, paper clips
  • hand sanitizer, some random string or yarn, and a small screwdriver just in case (I’m pretty sure I could moonlight as a secret agent with the contents of this bag).

When we are at home, this bag lives on top of a rolling cart in our kitchen. If we are traveling, I can remove the file box portion and fill the heart of the bag with workbooks, notebooks, readers and whatever else we may need. It makes it so easy to homeschool on the go! I’m still not great with organizing, but with this bag, I can totally fake it! I’d love to hear any of your ideas!

VID03518

*I originally found this idea at IHeart Organizing!

**Please note, I am NOT affiliated with Thirty One Bags in any way, and in fact had never owned any of them until I found this idea. As it happens, I purchased my tote on ebay, but if you’d like to find a consultant in your area, look here.

Magic Oatmeal Cake

I probably won’t be sharing a ton of recipes here, because cooking is really not my forte (I’m not sure what my forte is, but I’m sure I will one day discover it). This recipe however, is one that I’ve made many dozens of times and tweaked enough that it barely resembles the original I came across years ago. It also has a wonderful flexibility in quantity and ingredient that has made it a go-to breakfast at our house for years. You just can’t fail with this “Magic Oatmeal Cake”.  It’s easy, versatile and healthy. It’s great to reheat on cold mornings, or sometimes I will make it the day before and have my husband throw it in the oven before he goes to work so it is ready when the kids get up.

Magic Oatmeal Cake

Combine:
4-5 cups of oatmeal
 1-2 cups of yogurt
2 cups warm water

Let this sit on the counter for a few hours or until you get around to baking it. Sometimes it sits on my counter all day long.

Preheat oven to 350*

Combine in a separate bowl:
1 cup sweetener: sugar, honey, molasses, turbinado, or whatever you want
3/4 cup oil (applesauce may be substituted)

4 eggs
1 Tbls cinnamon
1 Tbls baking powder
2 Tsp. vanilla

Add the above to oatmeal/yogurt mixture, then add:
1-2 cups of milk to desired texture: more milk makes it custardy, less makes it cake-like.
 1-2 cups fruit of choice (fresh, dried, frozen)

Dump it in a 9″ x 13″ greased pan, bake for 1 hour. Let cool, then keep in fridge, you can reheat or eat cold.

Ideas for add-ins: frozen blueberries, cranberries, raspberries, strawberries, bananas, applesauce, chopped apples, pears, peaches, raisins, golden raisins, canned pineapple, walnuts, almonds, wheat germ, bran, flax seed. Dessert version: cherries and mini chocolate chips.

Enjoy!