Recycled Blue Jeans Project: Cat Toy

Toy Mouse Tutorial

The best part about this project is it uses all scrap materials or recycled blue jeans. Personally, I like using recycled jeans because the cats can’t tear them up nearly as fast as other weaker fabrics. We have a few in perfect condition floating around the house, and some with just normal kitty ware-and-tear. Out of all the cat toys we’ve made over the years, I’m pretty sure only one or two became subject to total destruction.

This summer, my daughter and I are planning to create a Kindle book together. I figured this would be a fabulous “bonding” activity for us to do, plus help her earn some money while she’s away at camp. One of the projects to be included is the blue jean cat toys we have made for our cats in the past.

Please note that I really dislike sewing machines, so this tutorial involves all hand sewing. If you prefer to use a machine, I’m sure it is possible. However, with the tiny stitches and pieces involved, I do recommend it be hand stitched, at least in some places.

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Indoor Toddler Activities

Indoor Toddler ActivitiesWith the weather being a bit damp, I figured today was a good day for a few indoor toddler activity ideas. This list I’ve been keeping around since my own kids (now 10 and 13) were little. Honestly I don’t think much has changed as far as simple indoor toddler activities go, since it is very simple to keep a toddler entertained with a limited (or non-existent) budget.

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Teaching Your Kids to Save Money

Saving MoneyMoney can be tempting to spend for everyone. Kids especially want to immediately spend it on toys, candy, or other cool items that are a “must have”. This is why it is so important that we teach kids to save money. If we as parents effectively teach them the importance of saving money and buying only necessities, then we hopefully will raise responsible, self-funding adults.

Here are a few ideas you can use to help teach your kids the importance of money. Some ideas involve crafty ideas that fully involve the kids in counting, saving, and goal setting.

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Teacher Gift Basket Ideas

I admit I’m guilty of TOTALLY missing Teacher Appreciation Week. Yet in my defense, I home school one kid, and this year it fell week of my son’s birthday. Add that in with Mother’s Day planning and promotions, and well, I completely missed it.

That’s alright, I’ve never been one to follow the calendar when it comes to appreciating those who deserve it. When I was a kid, my mom and I would always make a bouquet of Iris flowers to give to my teachers near the end of the year. We couldn’t give the gift any sooner, because the Iris wasn’t blooming until late May or early June.

In addition to the flowers, we often gave my teachers little gifts, as is the spirit of Teacher Appreciation Week. If you missed it too, then this page filled with ideas for teacher gift baskets may be just the thing to make up for it.

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Planning and Planting a Vegetable Garden

1307758_10344768The first year I lived in a “real house” I was excited to get a garden started. I just couldn’t wait until spring when I could plant all kinds of vegetables, and reap the benefits all summer long. I dreamed of home cooked meals and snacking on raw veggies, canning for the winter and having the most beautiful garden on the block.

While this seems like a good idea and a nice dream, it really wasn’t. Being a new gardener  I let my excitement get the best of me. Luckily, my family made sure I still had a very nice garden that year, and helped me learn how to make a vegetable garden the right way.

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Salsa Garden Ideas

Salsa Garden IdeasIf you love homemade salsa as much as I do, setting up a salsa garden might just be perfect for you this year. A salsa garden is very easy to get started by using plants for a purchased from garden supply stores.

A salsa garden requires little maintenance, aside from pulling weeds and occasional watering during dry spells. Try to keep your plants to a minimum and your garden area only big enough for the plants. It will save you lots of hassle and time if you plan carefully, based on the amount of time you have to dedicate to the garden on a daily or weekly basis.

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Homemade Graduation Gift Basket Ideas

Homemade Graduation Gift Basket Ideas

A fun way to say “Congrats!” to a new graduate can be with a gift basket. No mater if your graduate is just finishing high school, college, or something else, here are a few Graduation gift basket ideas:

– Congratulations Mug or Class Mug
– Snack food (crackers, cookies, candy, etc)
Books on Graduation
– Memory Books/Scrapbooks
– Picture frames & books
– Congrats or Graduation Doll/Stuffed Animal
– Food Mixes (brownies, cookies, soups, etc)
– Gift Certificates from their favorite stores (example: Amazon, Target, GAP, etc.)

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Oven Pot Roast Ideas

Pot Roast


I absolutely love the smell of a pot roast in the oven. It give your home that comfortable, warm, and inviting smell. Not to mention with an easy pot roast recipe you can make a meal for your family and have left overs for a week in just a few simple steps. Personally, I prefer to use the oven when cooking pot roasts, but you can use a crockpot for any of the ideas you see below. I won’t hold it against you if you decide to use a crockpot!

There’s probably hundreds of different ways to cook a pot roast in the oven. Just like pasta, it’s one of the most versatile foods outs there. While the directions of my oven pot roasts are always the same, the ingredients sometimes change. Below you’ll find two different ingredients I use for cooking a pot roast in the oven. Again, you could use a crockpot, but my instructions are for the oven, so do be sure you plan accordingly if you do not use the oven. There are a few additional recipes on this page that DO use a crockpot, if that is what you prefer.

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Free Printable Recipe Cards

The term “free” probably sings to you the same way it does me. You can’t go wrong with free!

These free printable recipe cards were made a few years ago, but are still just as popular now as they were then. Each of these cards are 3×5. Simply click on the image of the card you like the best, or simply right click and choose “save as” to save the image. Print from your own computer on any kind of paper you’d like, although I would recommend printing the recipe cards on card stock. You may also want to use a lamination of some sort to protect the cards.

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Dinner Ideas for Hamburger Meat

Dinner Ideas with Hamburger Meat

Hamburger meat, in any form, is one of the most popular and inexpensive meats out there. There are literally millions of hamburger recipe ideas on the web, many that don’t even require a specific kind of hamburger meat. Although, when it comes time to make dinner, we’re often left scrambling for a recipe idea.

The following hamburger recipe ideas are simple, many containing only a few ingredients. I have purposely left these recipe ideas as basic, so that you may use the list to come up with a specific dinner idea with hamburger meat based on the ideas given. Continue reading