It’s that time again! School supplies, backpacks, lunch boxes, etc… This year I gave the girls a choice. They could buy either a backpack or lunchbox and I would make the other. They chose to buy backpacks so I researched exactly the type of bag I wanted to make. My goal was to make it with recycled materials. I decided to do a fused plastic bag “fabric” and embroider it with scrap fabric. Instead of showing you my own ways of doing it, Dana at MADE did a great synopsis of how she did her recycled grocery bags and referenced some other helpful sites. My only other addition is that to fuse them, I used butcher paper to sandwich the bags. It worked just great. Also, I didn’t want to go out and have to shop to get my plastic bags. That just seemed wasteful to me since I was trying to make something recycled. We already use recycled bags for any shopping so I didn’t have any around. I used freecycle to get bags and ended up with all I needed!
So to begin my tutorial, we’ll start with your already fused bags.
I let the girls choose whatever fabrics they wanted and shapes and embroidered them right on to the plastic. It’s extremely easy to sew on so don’t be afraid.
Next, I prepped my bag. You need a bottom, two sides and a front and back. ( you also need a flap over, but we’ll get to that later.) This isn’t rocket science. Sew them all together. I serged mine with colorful thread. If you don’t have a serger, use a thick zig zag stitch.
Next I made a strap out of fabric and attached it securely to the sides.
For the flap I cut out their names and did a stitch around the edges.
Then sew them on then attach it to the back piece of the bag so it folds over the front.
Add some velcro to the flap and the bag to keep it closed and you’re good to pack a lunch!
Here is the back of them.
And most importantly, don’t forget to include lots of love notes.
Tags: childrens, fused plastic bags, lunch box, recycled lunch bag, tutorial, upcycled
Posted in home, refashions | 9 Comments »
When I began a while ago trying to eliminate toxins from our home I always looked at the ingredients of my laundry detergent and knew that all that stuff in there couldn’t be good-Not just for the environment but for our family. I began buying the natural laundry detergent but it was costly. My sister in law showed me this recipe to make your own and I’ve been doing it ever since. Mine only has 5 ingredients and costs about $3 per jug of detergent!!!
(Recipe adapted from The Simple Dollar)
What you will need:
1 bar of soap ( For best results use a bar with pure and natural ingredients)
1 c. of washing soda (This is NOT baking soda. If you can’t find it, look online to order it. You’ll use it for tons of other things.)
1/2 c. borax (I also tried oxyclean and this works much better)
A couple dashes of your favorite Essential Oil
Container ( I use an old laundry detergent container. It’s just easier to me. You can use a large bucket and lid, as well.)
Next step, grate your soap. I love this part. It’s just so funny grating soap.
Boil it in about 4 cups of water until it all dissolves and is nice and soapy.
Once it is dissolved, turn the heat off. Then add your borax, washing soda and essential oils to this. Make sure it is all dissolved.
I carefully pour this into my container. Then I fill it up with water. If you are using a bucket, fill the bucket up with about 6 Liters of water. Mix it up well. Let it sit overnight before using it. I shake mine periodically to mix it up well. Sometimes it gets a little thick and I just shake it in my container. That’s one of the reasons why i really like having it in the laundry detergent jug.
Honestly, this is SO easy and SUCH a great money saver. And if you are questioning if it works as well as the other junk, trust me, it does. It is just as effective and the best part is it’s safe for the environment and YOU!
Tags: DIY, home, homemade, Laundry detergent, make your own, money saver
Posted in home, other | 23 Comments »
Moving on with our new home! I have to say, one of my favorite parts of the house are these stairs that my husband spent so much time on. I love the details and everything about them.
The girls bedroom is so sweet. The way we have it set up is all of our girls sleep in one room and we have another bedroom as a playroom.
It has really high ceilings with wonderful skylights.
Their bunk bed/trundle fits perfectly in there.
The girls bathroom has a double vanity with concrete countertops then theis beautifully tiled shower/tub.
The other bedroom is our playroom/my office.
I love the custom molding we did through out the house.
Our bedroom has a nice wide door and entryway. Our Bathroom is to the right.
We have a large, two person shower with a rain shower head and body sprays on the other side. We don’t have a tub, but we’re not tub people. I’d way rather have a big shower.
My favorite part are these seagrass limestone floors.
The cabinets are a custom glaze cabinet, just like the kitchen’s.
(still have not mounted lights or put in a backsplash )
We also did concrete countertops in the bathroom, just a slightly different color.
We have nice tall ceiling with skylights in our bedroom.
Our bedroom has a gorgeous deck and we look out to this beautiful view of nature.
Tags: meschi construction
Posted in home, other | 6 Comments »
Oh my cuteness. How I’ve held off on making these for so long is beyond me. I’ve heard about these forever but for some reason they kind of weirded me out. We try hard to be ‘green’ in many areas so I’ve been packing the kids snacks in glass tupperware. But man, their lunch boxes are heavy! I’ve missed the baggies. So here we go. Make some. So easy and . And more importantly, adorable.
Make a fabric pocket.
Make a same size pocket out of food sake nylon. I knwo you can use plain cotton or food safe vinyl. After researching it, I went with the 100%vinyl because it’s the most foodsafe.
Then you know this part. Put them right sides together, sew them, turn them right side out. Then I attached some velcro at the top. Shazaam. You’re done. They even make almonds look cuter.
I used different fabrics for the front and backs.
Tags: DIY snack bags, eco-friendly, foodsafe, green, nylon, snack bags
Posted in home, other | 12 Comments »
This has probably been one of my favorite discoveries. I love ricotta cheese and use it in many recipes. I had no idea how easy it as to make. Now we make it frequently! The way I show you how to make it is perfect for classic loose ricotta, like the kind you would use in a lasagna. But I let it drain longer to be served as an appetizer. It is such an impressive and delicious appetizer or side dish that takes no time at all. It’s also so much less expensive then store bought ricotta cheese.
The first thing you want to do is prepare your strainer. I put a strainer on top of a bowl with a couple layers of cheesecloth.
Next in a nonreactive pot, pour in 4 cups of milk, 3/4 cup buttermilk, 1 cup cream and 1 tablespoon of salt. Sometimes I haven’t’ had cream and I just use an additional cup of milk which works fine. The end result just doesn’t taste as creamy.
You’re going to boil the milk until it begins to form curds. It will get pretty hot and then you will see little curds forming. You can see it on the spoon here.
When it has been curdled for a couple minutes pour it into your cheesecloth where you will separate the curds from the whey (the liquid).
Now if you want to use it for lasgana or another recipe that calls for it you only need to strain it for a couple minutes. But what I do is let it drain for about 10 minutes. Then I wrap up the cheese cloth on top and let it stain for an additional couple of hours, until it could be cut without breaking apart. I leave it out to drain because I can’t stand cold cheese. It taste much better served at room temperature or slightly warm. If you make it ahead of time just take it out to get it to room temperature before you serve it.
Then when it’s firm, I unwrap it and put it on a plate. I pour nice olive oil over it with some sea salt and serve it as an appetizer with fresh homemade focaccia or bread. It taste mild and creamy. It’s definitely a household staple. I hope you try it!
Tags: DIY, homemade ricotta, ricotta cheese
Posted in home, other | 22 Comments »