Monthly Archives: February 2014

Italian Bean Soup

Several years ago in a bookstore that has since closed I picked up a book entitled 365 Quick, Easy & Inexpensive Dinner Menus by Penny Stone. Besides claiming to meet all the criteria for my busy life and trying to keep my family fed on a budget, it was on the clearance rack for a whopping $5. How could I resist?! This is one of the recipes from that book that has become part of my repertoire. It is very easy to make either in a hurry or ahead of time. And it makes plenty for my family. If you try it, I would love to hear what you think.

Italian Bean Soup


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DIY Toothbrush & Toilet Tissue Holders

First off, I’m hardly a germophobe. I have three very active boys. Germs are a part of life, but some things just really gross me out. Toothbrush holders are a big one. The idea of everyone’s toothbrushes in a cup together with gunk in the bottom and the heads all touching…ugh…it makes me squirm. Never mind the fact that it’s impossible to find toothbrush holders when you have what the industry apparently considers too many people in your family (or at least too many sharing the same bathroom). Guess the third kid just doesn’t get to put his toothbrush anywhere! So I, of course, made my own. They are all made from disposable products I had around the house which is great because I didn’t spend any money on them, and when they inevitably get icky, replacing them is a piece of cake. And no one is going to see them, so function is the main thing anyway. Here you go:

DIY Toothbrush Holder

I wrapped a tin can with gaffer’s/cloth tape and painter’s tape. You could also use any color of duct tape you prefer. Just be sure to wrap the top of the can well enough to cover sharp edges.

DIY Toothbrush Holder

I wrapped a tin can with scrap fabric and taped it in place. Hot glue would work well, too. Again,  just be sure to wrap the top of the can well enough to cover sharp edges.

DIY Toothbrush Holder for 3   DIY Toothbrush Holder for 1

These cups are simple 12 oz. disposable cups. I buy them in a pack of 300 at Sam’s, so we always have plenty, which will make it easy to replace them. However, the cups are quite flimsy, so the toothbrushes would make them fall over. I had picked up a 10-piece organizer set for around $10 at Lowe’s for organizing vanity drawers. The bottom part is one of the pieces from that set. The first one is wide enough to hold three cups. The second one can hold one cup. I will use one wide one and two single ones. You can decorate the cups or the trays however you like. I think it would be a fun activity for little ones.

While I have your attention, check out my toilet tissue holder.

DIY Toilet tissue holder

A friend’s mom was clearing out her garage a couple of years ago, and I found this wire basket. I have used it occasionally for decorating. To turn it into a toilet tissue holder, I used needle-nosed pliers to bend open the hook that attaches the handle to the bottom. I slipped the tissue up and over the handle, and left the hook open enough to re-attach it to the basket without needing the pliers when the tissue roll needs to be replaced.

Good luck making your own holders! I would love to see your finished products.

Easy Peanut Butter & Chocolate Eclair Dessert

I have been saving this recipe in a binder since I found it in the spring 2008 issue of Kraft’s “Food & Family” magazine. Finally made it this week. It was easy to make and the family enjoyed it. You can find the recipe on Kraft’s web site, but I have also posted it below. Mine looks pretty good, don’t ya think?!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Eclair


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A Despicable Valentine’s Day


When you don’t find what your 7 year old wants in the store, you make it yourself. He designed the one on the left. I like the one on the right. We printed them on cardstock, cut them out and used a hole punch for the sucker. He was hoping I would pre-print the names, but no such luck! His handwriting needs all the practice it can get!

image                  image


Here is the box we made for the cards he receives. We used a shoe box, card stock, electrical tape, styrofoam cup, and glue. We cut out a hole for the mouth for cards to go in.


Chicken Tortilla Soup

Chicken Tortilla Soup

This recipe was sent to me by a coworker some time ago. It’s a quick, easy, one-pot dish that’s easy to make ahead. Perfect for when we don’t get home from soccer practice until 6:30 (& it’s 40° out). It also makes plenty to feed my crew and is always a favorite.


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14 Days of Valentines

This started out as silly little fun thing to do for my husband. It has turned out that the kids are enjoying it, too. They are even asking what he got before he gets anything in the morning!

Days 1 & 2

Days 3-5

Days 8-11

14 days of valentines:  days 12-13




My husband LOVES fishing! A lot. This awesome pass allows him to park at his fishing sites for the year. Not only does it show I support him in this hobby (passion), but the best part was that he didn’t have to trouble himself to pick it up for him. This was, for him, a very thoughtful gift.

14 Days of Valentines


You could also do something like this for an anniversary or birthday! Let me know what you come up with!



Mario Party

Oreos= Spare Tires Banana Peels Cheez Balls=Fire Balls Mug Drinks= Barrel Cannons

Oreos= Spare Tires
Banana Peels
Cheez Balls=Fire Balls
Hug Drinks= Barrel Cannons



imageStar Cake Toadstool cupcakes


Check out some of my previous crafts/DIY on Everything in the “My Easter Decorations” and “Stuff I Actually Did” boards are my own creations.