Monday, December 29, 2014

Homemade Power Granola


(Copyright @midwesternlife.com)

Warning: You won't want to stop eating this! 

There, I said it. Don't say I didn't warn you! 

This granola is packed full of healthy, energizing foods. There's healthy fats, protein, B vitamins and fiber! Just grab a handful before your workout or in the afternoon when you feel a slump coming on. And the best part? It's SO easy to make! 

Things you'll need:

A large bowl
An 8x8 or 9x9 baking dish

Ingredients:

3/4 cup of sunflower seeds
1 1/2 cups of oats
1/4 cup of ground flaxseed 
1/2 cup of dried cranberries
1/2 cup of slivered almonds
3 tbsp of natural peanut butter
1/2 tsp of sea salt
1/2 cup of honey
1/2 tsp of vanilla

(optional ingredients: shredded coconut, walnut pieces, almond butter (in place of peanut butter).


How to make your own power granola:

Mix all the measured ingredients in a bowl. Mix gently enough to not crush your ingredients, but enough to completely mix the honey and pb.


Once it's mixed pour it in to the baking dish and press it down to pack it in (use wax paper if it is sticking to your hands).

Next, bake it for 40 min at 300 degrees. 

When the granola is done baking, LET IT COOL BEFORE YOU BRAKE IT UP IN TO PIECES.

And last...ENJOY! 

Everyone is our family loved this granola. My kids even asked for it in their school lunches! What a healthy snack to have on hand! 

Monday, June 30, 2014

Be a YES Mom

If you are a parent you've probably heard this phrase a time or two, "Be a YES Mom" or some derivative of this phrase. But, what exactly does it mean? 


Several years ago I took my kids to the Zoo. I had just two kids at the time; a baby and a toddler. It's a day that has been stuck in my head for quite some time now. While walking through the Zoo looking and gawking at the animals I seemed to be in a hurry. Why? I have no idea, but isn't that what moms do? Rush? We rush in the morning, we rush for nap time, dinner time and bed time. It becomes so natural that we always feel rushed. I'm guilty of it, we all are. 

So, while we were at the Zoo my toddler climbed out of my double stroller and decided to walk while I continued pushing the baby. I was telling her to, "Hurry up," "Keep up," and "You're going to have to get back in the stroller!" At that exact moment I looked over at another mom who was patiently waiting for her daughter to catch up to her. Her daughter was in lala land and this mom didn't seem to mind, even though her friends and their kids continued walking and she was left behind. 

I still, many years later, remember that mom's words to her little girl, "What are doing? Trying to crush every leaf on the ground? Okay." Still while she stood patiently waiting for the girl to literally step on each and every leaf on the ground. 

It made me step back and look at myself. Why was I telling my toddler to hurry up? Why was I trying to rush through the Zoo? Didn't I bring them there to enjoy and learn? 

I keep that day and those thoughts and feelings in my head almost daily and it reminds me to be a "yes" mom. But, what is a "yes" mom?

Does it mean saying, "yes" to sweets before dinner or unlimited screen time? 

Does it mean spoiling our kids and buying them everything they want; letting them do whatever they want? 

Or does it mean saying, "yes" to childhood? 

Saying, "Yes," you can stop and smell those flowers even though I'm lugging a 20 pound baby and my arm is about to fall off. 

Yes, we can take a moment to try and catch that frog, then many more minutes looking and examining it. Maybe we'll even try to take it home. Or go to the library and check out a book about frogs. Why? Because this child's natural curiosity has drawn her to want to learn about frogs. 

Isn't that what children are doing all day, every day, learning? Whatever it is that they stop to explore; a bird, a lizard, a flower or mushroom is what they are naturally wanting to learn about. It's how humans learn, we explore and discover.

Being a yes mom is not about spoiling our kids, it's simply about saying yes to childhood. "Yes, please walk on the curb, even though it slows us down. It's improving your balance and really, what am I in a hurry for anyway?"


Moms, let's say, "Yes!" Yes to:

Staying up past dark to catch fireflies

Picking a bouquet of wildflowers during an evening walk

Playing in the sprinkler, who cares about the mud?

 Walking with the family and getting an ice cream cone after dinner

Going down the slide just one more time (again and again)

Picking dandelions and blowing them to make wishes

Staying up late to snuggle on the couch and watch a movie together

Making mud pies

There's so many excuses we, as moms, can come up with. It's too late, they'll be tired tomorrow. I'm in a hurry to get back home and (fill in the blank). That's going to make a big mess! 

But what are we rushing? Our children's childhood? 

Its time we all take a deep breath, step back and look at what's really important. Is it getting dinner on the table by 5 o'clock and the kids in the bath by 7 o'clock? 

We must stop rushing and fretting the little stuff and start letting our children be children. Because the truth is, the laundry and dishes will always be there, but our kids just keep growing up.

Let them explore, discover and learn. They're creating memories and we'll have time to clean it up...later. 





Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Sweet Potato and Kale Hash - Meatless Monday, Vegetarian Dish, Vegan Meal

New here? Be sure to sign up for email updates, you wouldn't want to miss a post! 

Summer is in full swing here at our little homestead, which means I don't spend too much time in the kitchen. Not like I do in the winter, that is. In summer we usually eat quick meals so we can go out and swim in the evening. A cool dip in the lake is a perfect end to a sweltering hot and humid day here in the Midwest! 

I actually discovered this hash recipe over the winter and it quickly became a favorite in our house. But, one of my favorite things about it is how easily I can change up the ingredients to use what we have. 


I'll first tell you the "real" recipe, then how we've modified it. The recipe serves 4 adults, but with our kids being young it serves all 5 of us. Once everything is diced and ready, cook time is roughly 15 min.

What you'll need: 

1 large or 2 small sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
1/2 sweet onion, diced
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
3 cloves minced garlic
3 tablespoon olive oil, divided
1 1/2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cumin 
2 cups chopped kale
1/4 cup water
salt and pepper

What to do:

1. Place the diced sweet potatoes in a glass bowl with a tablespoon of water in the microwave for 2-3 minutes. You don't want them to cook, but just get a head start. 

2. In a small bowl mix 2 tablespoons of olive oil, the chili powder, 1 tsp salt, and cumin.

3. Once the sweet potatoes are out of the microwave, add to the glass bowl the onion, bell pepper and garlic.

4. Pour the olive oil and spice mixture over the sweet potato mixture and coat the veggies.

5. Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a skillet on med-high and add the veggie mix to the skillet. 

6. Stir occasionally until the sweet potatoes are fork tender (If you choose not to use the microwave for the sweet potatoes this step can take quite a while, trust me). The sweet potatoes will also get a nice crisp to them from the spice mixture. 

7. Once the sweet potatoes are tender, add the 2 cups of kale and 1/4 water and cover the skillet with a lid. The kale will quickly steam to a nice wilted texture. 

Once the kale is wilted the dish is ready to eat. It is best served immediately. You may choose to season with additional salt and pepper.

Ok, so that is the original recipe (originally found here) and it's amazing. But, what I love most is how adaptable it is. 

You can eat it as a side dish to a multiple course meal.

You can add more veggies. We've added broccoli (seen in the photo), subtracted bell pepper when we are out of bell peppers, added edamame for protein (great meatless Monday dish), added diced carrots, added mushrooms, etc. Basically, you can add any veggies you have that need to be cooked! :) 

You can serve this as breakfast (or dinner) with a sunny side up egg on top. 

You can do anything you want with it! And that's the best part, other than the amazing flavor! 

I hope you all enjoy this dish as much as my family. I'm sure we'll be eating it a lot this summer with all the kale and veggies in the garden. I bet it would be great with fresh squash! 

As always, I love to hear feedback. Did you try it? Did you like it? 

And what are some of your go-to quick summer meals? I'm always in need of more ideas! 


Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Training For a Race? Get Motivated and Heal Those Sore Muscles!

Training for a race is hard work, whether you're training for your first 5k or you're 3rd marathon, it's hard. The first thing to overcome is motivation and energy. Then, once you gain those you end up with sore, tired muscles. Ugh! But at least you get your "runner's high" and sense of accomplishment! 

Now, if only it were easier, right? Easier to get motivated, easier to feel energized and then easier to relieve those tired sore muscles. 



My running history is definitely not for the history books. I've run countless 5k races and one 5 mile race. Right now I am signed up for my first 10k and currently training for it with plans to do a half marathon next year. But, I can tell you all of this has been a HUGE accomplishment for me. I didn't start running until I was in college and even then I only ran 1-2 miles, which was really far for me! I was the kid at school who couldn't run a mile without walking while my classmate were running 7 min miles. Let's just say, I'm not a natural born runner and running is NOT easy for me, but somehow I enjoy it. 

Maybe it's the stress relief running gives, maybe it's the time to myself, or maybe it's simply the sense of accomplishment, but whatever the reason is, I enjoy running and will continue to run. 

Even though I enjoy running, it can be really hard to get motivated and energized. I'm a mother of 3 young children. Every morning I wake up to all 3 of them bursting with energy, only to find myself sluggish and tired. I stand in the kitchen making all of my hungry bees breakfast, while they buzz around me, before I can even make coffee. 

Young Living Essential Oils has helped to change that for me. Now, the first thing I do is put Peppermint and Lemon essential oils in my home diffuser and breathe their essence. They help awaken the mind and body. Peppermint gives energy and focus, while Lemon is revitalizing and uplifting. What better way to start my day?





Young Living also has a blend put together just for motivation, it's called Motivation, surprise! 
It helps surmount fear and procrastination while stimulating feelings of action and accomplishment. It enhances the ability to move forward in a positive direction. You can diffuse motivation, or apply it topically to your ears, chest, big toe, or neck. 

Ever wonder how aromatherapy works? Here's a little info: 



Ok, so we've taken care of gaining motivation and energy. Now what about after the run? After the big hills you ran during training, or the after running farther than you've ever run? Now you have sore muscles, achy knees and hips, now what? 

You guessed it, more Young Living Essential Oils. Deep Relief Roll on is a blend of oils that comes so conveniently packaged in a bottle with a roller ball, so you can carry in your purse (or in my case, diaper bag) and roll it on anywhere. Another oil that has been WONDERFUL for my achy legs and hips is Panaway. It's also a blend of oils to help relieve pain and soreness while promoting healing. I simply dilute a few drops with a few drops of Jojoba oil and rub on my sore muscles. Within minutes I feel better! 


Young Living also has a line of massage oils, one of which is PERFECT for relieving those achy muscles. The Ortho Sport Massage Oil is designed with a mixture of essential oils that warm and ease tired, stressed and sore muscles. Doesn't that sound amazing? 

After using Young Living Essential Oils to gain motivation and energy, then relieve my tired muscles, I am able to run more often, farther and harder! 

Who wants more motivation? Who needs more energy? Who wants to train harder and run farther? 

Who's ready to try Young Living Essential Oils? You'll never regret it! 

Not ready to dive in all the way? Its simple to get started, get to know the oils and see how they work with a starter kit

Out of the above mentioned oils, Peppermint, Lemon and Panaway are all included in a starter kit, so you'll get a good sense of how they can work for you and your training. 

To get started using Young Living Essential Oils go here. Sign up as a wholesale member (everything is 24% cheaper than retail) and order your premium starter kit

Got questions? Leave them in the comments below or email me personally.


Wednesday, April 9, 2014

100% Whole Wheat Bread From Scratch


If you are anything like me, you have probably made plenty of homemade bread only to be disappointed. It's hard. It's dense. It's crumbly. And it can never be used as sandwich bread! 

Don't get me wrong. I've always loved homemade bread, but it's never been good for anything other than dipping in olive oil. That is until now.

This 100% Whole Wheat bread recipe is amazing! It's the closest I've ever gotten to story bought sandwich bread without having to use all the icky stuff like dough conditioners. 

And the best part...It doesn't take all day (or multiple days). There's not endless kneading to be done so at the end of the day, your hands won't be aching. 

So, here's what you will need:

  • 1 to 1 1/8 cups lukewarm water*
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup honey, molasses, or maple syrup
  • 3 3/4 cups  Premium 100% Whole Wheat Flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast, or 1 packet active dry yeast dissolved in 2 tablespoons of the water in the recipe
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • *Use the greater amount in winter or in a dry climate; the lesser amount in summer or a humid climate.

 And here's what you do:

1) In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients and stir until the dough starts to leave the sides of the bowl. For easiest, most effective kneading, let the dough rest for 20 to 30 minutes in the bowl; this gives the flour a chance to absorb some of the liquid, and the bran to soften. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased surface, oil your hands, and knead it for 6 to 8 minutes, or until it begins to become smooth and supple. Note: This dough should be soft, yet still firm enough to knead. Adjust its consistency with additional water or flour, if necessary.
2) Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl or large measuring cup, cover it, and allow the dough to rise till puffy though not necessarily doubled in bulk, about 1 to 2 hours, depending on the warmth of your kitchen.
3) Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled work surface, and shape it into an 8" log. Place the log in a lightly greased 8 1/2" x 4 1/2" loaf pan, cover the pan loosely with lightly greased plastic wrap, and allow the bread to rise for about 1 to 2 hours, or till the center has crowned about 1" above the rim of the pan. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 350°F.
4) Bake the bread for 35 to 40 minutes, tenting it lightly with aluminum foil after 20 minutes to prevent over-browning. The finished loaf will register 190°F on an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center.
5) Remove the bread from the oven, and turn it out of the pan onto a rack to cool. Cool completely before slicing. Store the bread in a plastic bag at room temperature.



Doesn't it look delicious? Oh, there's nothing better than fresh out of the oven, warm, homemade bread! 

Tip: Slice thin with a serrated bread knife to use for sandwiches. 

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Homemade Liquid Hand Soap With Coconut Oil



FOR A SIMPLE, EASY HAND SOAP RECIPE MY FAMILY CURRENTLY USES YOU CAN GO HERE: http://www.ourmidwesternlife.com/2016/05/chemical-free-foaming-handsoap.html

THIS RECIPE IS A BIT OLD, BUT MY FAMILY USED IT FOR A LONG TIME WITHOUT ANY ISSUES OTHER THAN IT IS A BIT TIME CONSUMING. OUR NEW RECIPE IS FAST, EASY AND WORKS REALLY WELL! I ENCOURAGE YOU TO TRY WHICHEVER RECIPE APPEALS TO YOU MOST, OR TRY BOTH AND SEE WHICH ONE YOU PREFER! 
 
So, we've all hear about all the icky, bad for us ingredients in our cleaning and household products, right? 

If you haven't, you've got some researching to do! 

Over the past seven years I have come to making my own cleaning products, laundry detergent, dishwasher detergent and now, finally, hand soap.

It's just one of the ways I keep toxins out of my house and out of my family's bodies. 

What's terrible about store bought hand soap? Well, if you are buying antibacterial (which consumer markets try to make you believe you need) there is Triclosan in it. Triclosan is a pesticide! It's used as an antibacterial and anti fungal agent and when you use it to wash your hands it seeps through your skin and into your blood stream. Most Americans tested have Triclosan in their blood! 
(There are many other harmful ingredients as well, but for hand soap, Triclosan is the worst in my eyes).

Several years ago, while I was pregnant with my second baby, I discovered the harm in antibacterial soap. And I stopped using it right then and there. 

Many of you may be asking, "Can you buy soap without Triclosan?" The answer is yes. That is what I have done for about six years now. And let me tell you, it's not cheap! 

I always spent more money to get safer soap for my family. But, our family has grown. And we must be some hand washing fools because we go through a LOT of soap! 

When I think about it we are always outside. We are digging in a garden, making mud pies, playing in sand and handling chickens. Even when we are inside we are painting, gluing, and sculpting. My little family makes some dirty hands!

And that is why I needed to find a cheaper way to have safe, more natural liquid hand soap for my family. Did I mention how cheap it is to make our own soap?! 

Here is what you will need:

A bar of soap (you can choose any kind, but all natural and unscented is best)

A cheese grater

A pot for water and soap

Coconut Oil

Essential oils (optional)

Containers to for the finished soap (I started saving our soap pump bottles a while back and I stored the left over soap in a mason jar for refills)

How to make your soap:

First, grate the entire bar of soap with your cheese grater and put it in a pot.

Pour 8-10 cups of water over the grated soap. I started with 8 cups and ended up adding an additional cup of water later. 

Add 2 tablespoons of coconut oil

Heat the soap, coconut oil and water on medium heat until all the soap and coconut oil have dissolved. Did you ever notice on liquid soap ingredients lists the number one ingredient is water? That means all the money we are spending on liquid soap is mostly for water! 

Once everything is dissolved, remove the pot from the heat and let it cool. 

If you want to add essential oils for fragrance you can do so now. I added 20 drops of Young Living Lemon and Orange Essential Oils. (20 drops of each). Young Living's Thieves Oil would be great too, especially during the winter season! 

Now you let it sit and cool. I stirred about once an hour to keep my essential oils blended in. 

After about 5 hours of cooling and setting my soap was pretty thick, so I stirred it with a whisk and added another cup of water (remember I started with just 8). And it was the perfect consistency. 

I then used a funnel to pour the soap into the pump bottles I had saved and stored what was left in a mason jar for refills. 

This recipe gave me about 4 1/2 bottles, which are 12 oz each.

My entire  family is happy with this soap! The coconut oil adds a little extra moisturizer, which we've  needed this winter! And the lemon and orange essential oils give it a fresh scent. 

One big question I see coming... "Do we get sick often because we don't use antibacterial soap?" 
The answer is NO. We are actually rarely sick! We are one of the healthiest families I know when it comes to getting sick. I could go on and on about this subject, but I will just say this... There are good bacteria too and they help fight bad bacteria. Don't kill the good bacteria! 

Have you made your own liquid soap before? 

What scents do you or will you use? I think I will try a new scent each time! 

And of course, I always like to hear how your soap turns out! Please comment below! 

To get your own Young Living Oils just go here.

When you click on the link, select wholesale or retail at the top of the page and set up your account. Retail members will pay 24% more than wholesale, so please take a moment to read about how to become a wholesale member. It's so easy! 

One of the things I love most about Young Living is EVERYONE can be a wholesale member! All you do is purchase the premium starter kit and you will be a wholesale member for life! There's NO FEES, NO MONTHLY MINIMUMS AND NO OBLIGATION TO SELL! 

If you are interested in getting started with essential oils I highly recommend the starter kit. It gives you 11 of the most used oils (The Everyday Oils Kit) AND a home diffuser! It is literally the BEST way to get to know the oils and see how much you'll love them. 

If you have questions I would love to help you! Just email me.
















Friday, March 21, 2014

Feeding a Family of Five With $100 a Week - Week 1



Well, we made it through our first month of only spending $100 a week to feed our family! And I will say, I was VERY shocked at the results! I never felt like I needed to go to the store for anything! I actually felt like we had more food in our pantry than normal. I'm not sure how that is possible, but it's true. 

If you are looking to cut back on spending, groceries is the place to start. If you haven't read Part 1 about why we are doing this you can read it HERE.

Some of my starter tips? 

*Make a list and stick to it. I know we've all been told this before and it sounds harder than it actually is. All you do is scan your house; the pantry, fridge, bathrooms (for toiletries) and make a list of the things you need. Then when you are at the store and are tempted to buy something impulsively, it's so much easier to say, "NO" because it's not on the list.

*Make an assessment of what you need and decide if you REALLY need it or if it would just be nice to have. Yes, when you are out of toothpaste, you really do need to buy toothpaste, but when you fridge is running low on juice boxes, do you really need them? Will your kids die without them? Can they drink juice from a cup or plain water and live? 

*Choose one thing per category. For me lunch was the category I had to trim down. Do we really need lunch meat, tuna, PB & J and chicken breast all at once? Do I really need multiple options every day at lunchtime? Does my toddler really need pretzels and crackers and Goldfish at once? Do we need 8 types of produce at one time? 

* And last, take a calculator with you to the store and add up what you are putting in your cart. This was important for me. As I've mentioned before, we live rurally. Grocery shopping is not convenient. I am VERY tempted to stock up on EVERYTHING. But, while trying to stick to my $100 a week I started to think, "How many loaves of bread do we need for ONE week?" "Do I really need to buy 6 loaves? Or can we get by on 3 loaves?" Because the truth is...I will be right back in the same grocery store one week later! 

So, my first week was a huge success! We had everything we needed for packing school lunches, eating healthy, wholesome dinners and breakfasts. Even my toddler (my bottomless pit) survived! 

Here's a picture of what I was able to purchase with $100...


Showing the world what is in my kitchen feels a little revealing. LOL! I feel I have to explain what I bought. But, I know I don't have to. You will notice there's no meat. As I mentioned in my intro we keep our freezer full of venison and farm raised chicken.

Some of the dinners we had include:
Spaghetti with venison meatballs
Veggie quiche (not all meals need to include meat)
Venison steaks with roasted veggies

Breakfasts usually consist of:
Eggs and toast
PB on toast
My oldest always just wants cereal :(
And Oatmeal made with brown sugar, cinnamon and some of our canned apples.

Lunches at home and for school:
PB & J (it's my kid's favorite!)
Fresh fruit
Carrot sticks (one of the only raw veggies my kids will eat)
String cheese or yogurt

These are just some examples. I can honestly say, no one in this house has gone hungry yet. And we are now on our 2nd month of only spending $100 a week! 

What are your money saving tips? How do you cut back on spending at the grocery store? 
Feel free to ask any questions you might have! 





Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Rainbow Rice - Sensory Bin



What you will need:
Uncooked white rice (I used 1 cup for each color).
Food coloring (1/2 tsp per cup of rice)
Rubbing alcohol (1 tsp per cup of rice)
Plastic baggies
and a place to dry the rice (I laid wax paper on cookie sheets)

The task was very simple. I put 1 cup of rice in a Ziploc bag, poured in the food coloring and alcohol, sealed the bag, mixed it up and then poured it on the wax paper to dry.





The rice dries pretty quick, which is good if you have kids as impatient as mine. So, the next morning (remember I was dying this rice at 11pm) I poured it all into a plastic container. It wasn't all that easy to keep the colors separated like the photo on Pinterest shows, but I soon found out that there was no point in keeping the colors separate.



When my kids saw the rice you would have sworn it was Christmas morning. They couldn't stop asking questions about it and begging to play with it! So, with the early morning frost I waddled, with my pregnant belly, out to the sandbox and dug out some toys. I of course had to wash them.



And finally they got to play! I have to admit, I was surprised at how much Kennedy (4) loved it. I thought she may be too old to really enjoy it and thought that Brooke (3) would love it. But they both LOVE playing in it!



And remember how I said there was no point in keeping the colors separate? This is the rice after playtime...


All in all, I rate this as a fun, easy and quick project. And the with kids loving it as much as they do, it was well worth it! There is only one "bad" thing about the rainbow rice, which was not mentioned in the original description...



The dye DID wash off with soap and water!

(A little side note: This is an old post, I decided to re-post. It is SO fun to see our old house and how little my kids were!) 


Spring Garden Craft



I don't know about you, but we have had a REALLY LONG WINTER! We are all ready for Spring here in Missouri! But, it's 46 degrees, cloudy and windy :( So, I thought we could bring a little Springtime indoors. 


First, I gathered some supplies: cupcake holders, pompoms, jewels, pipe cleaners, and glue. Later I added some foam hearts and card stock to the mix for flowers. And when the flowers are finished you will need an empty egg carton and play dough. 

Please note: I used green pipe cleaners for the flower stems, but you can also use green straws or popsicle sticks. The pipe cleaners were just barely strong enough to support the flowers, so I recommend using the straws or sticks.


So, the glueing began. We used the cupcake holders first. They were a little tough because the glue saturated them so much that the objects didn't want to stick to them. 


But, the girls sure loved doing this project! They loved it so much we ended with a HUGE garden! (Good thing I buy my eggs at Costco!)


Since the cupcake holders were not working so well, I started cutting shapes out of card stock. This was much easier to glue things to. 


And so the glueing continued...


I finally convinced the girls that we needed to stop making flowers and let them dry so we could "plant them in our garden" 


So, to "plant" them I used an empty egg carton and play dough. I stuck balls of play dough into each egg hole and pushed it down firmly. Then we were able to stick the flowers in. This is why something stronger than pipe cleaners would have been nice, some of them were too top heavy. 

Overall, this was a fun project. The girls absolutely loved it! And we now have a beautiful garden in the middle of March, when it's freezing outside!  

Homemade Bird Feeders - Snow Day Craft - Teacher Gifts



We first gathered the materials. You will need...
Bird seed (1 cup made 6 small bird feeders)
1 envelope of Gelatine
1/4 cup of water
Cookie cutters and/or molds ( I used some plastic sand molds)
Wax paper
and string/ribbon/wire.




We prepared by laying out the wax paper. Each child got a wax paper surface to work on. Then I tied the knots (with loops) in the string so they were ready when we needed them.

(This is an older, updated post. My kids look so little!)


The girls waited anxiously while I did the next step, which is heating the water and Gelatine. I put the 1/4 cup of water with one envelope of Gelatine in a small pot on the stove. I heated to a simmer, stirring constantly, until the Gelatine was dissolved. This only took a couple of minutes.

Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the bird seed. (The original recipe called for 3/4 cup of bird seed and said to add more if there was extra Gelatine. Well, I had to add more seed about 4 times, so I am saying I probably used about 1 cup)



I carried the pot to the table and started spooning the seeds into the first mold. Surprisingly, the seeds were not hot and the kids were able to press them firmly into the molds and cookie cutters.

So, we filled the molds about 1/2 way and then laid the knotted loops on the seeds. (This was not as easy as it sounds. The strings WILL stick to your fingers. The gelatine mixture is REALLY sticky!) The girls had to hold the strings in place while I spooned more seeds on top. We used the wax paper to press firmly on the seeds in order to pack them down.


Kennedy and Brooke were not so happy about the stickiness. It made it really hard to work with the seeds and so I ended up doing most of the work.


We made our feeders in the morning and let them dry until about dinner time (Probably 6 hours) and they were not so easy to remove from the cookie cutters. I would let them dry overnight.


The bell bird feeder made it...


The star did not.

Then simply hang them in your trees. These make great teacher gifts also! We did a second batch and used apple shaped cookie cutters to give to the kids' teachers for Valentine's Day.