Tag Archives: green

4 ways to use up the rice left in your pantry when you go grain-free

I’ve recently discovered how much better I feel when I don’t eat grain.  But what to do with all that rice that was left in the pantry?   Glad you asked!  Here are the four uses I’ve found so far…

1.  For the 6mo+ crowd…  Shakers.  Dye rice different colors and put it in clean, dry water/juice/pop bottles.   You might want to superglue the lids on.

 

2.  For the 2+ crowd… I Spy tube.  Dye rice different colors and put it in clean, dry water/juice/pop bottle with beads and other small trinkets.  Again, you might want to superglue the lid on.  If you’re really ambitious, you can lay out all the trinkets and take a picture of them first so your bambina will have a reference card to check off all the bits as she finds them.

 

3.  For the preschooler+ crowd…  Sensory tub.  Dump it in a tub with other fun items such as small cups or measuring spoons.

 

4.  For the kindergarten+ crowd… Practice with letter formation or spelling practice.  Pour some rice out onto a sheet pan and let the bambina use a finger to practice making letters. (Though, I’ve heard this works better with salt or flour – of which you might also have some leftovers in your pantry if you’re going grain-free.)

 

(Since I used up all my rice in the shakers and I Spy tube, I had to smurf some images from other blogs.  Please give them some love for me!)

 

And now, how to dye rice (the easy way)…

Pour some rice into a big bowl.  Squirt some liquid food coloring on it.  Stir it around with a spatula until it’s all coated.  Pour the rice into a flat layer on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper.  Stick it in the oven at 200 degrees Fahrenheit for about an hour.  Let it cool.  Done!

I can’t vouch for the colorfastness of this rice if you’re going to be using it for hands-on activities with older bambini, but it works just fine if you’re locking it up in a plastic bottle.

 

Mobile spirals

New Ways to Spend My Time

The sewing machine has been in the repair shop for two weeks now, and I must admit, I’m going through serious withdrawals.  Especially since Bambina has started taking some really great naps.  So, I’ve had to find some new ways to spend my time.  Here are a few ways I’ve been spending my time lately…

Embroidered Bambina’s monogram onto her baby quilt.

Embroidered a sleeping dragon onto a Onesie for a friend’s new baby (it’s the year of the dragon!).

Made a simple baby doll for that dragon baby.

Made some magnets for the grandmas for Mother’s Day.  (And a couple for myself.)

And a whole lotta this…

Yep, lots of time doing this.

Did I mention I’ve been working on this?

Ok, I admit, what you see in the pictures is actually 18 months worth of knitting.  I’ve actually only put on about 10 stripes in the last two weeks.  This little knit blanket has been sitting in my project basket untouched for probably 8 months.  Every so often I’d pull it out and add a few more rows, but then once the Bambina came along, I kind of got distracted.  Now that she’s got a decent bedtime and I have a few minutes to just sit in the evening, this little puppy might actually get finished and given away!  (When a friend asked me who I was making it for, I said it would be for the next baby who was born after it was finished.  Since that conversation, not only has she had a baby, and I’ve had a baby, but I know of five other babies who have been born to close friends and family.  Blanket still not finished.  I’m just waiting for the right baby, I guess.)

Curtain Holdback Post

I can hardly believe that the bambina will be 5 months old tomorrow!  Until now, she’s been spending pretty much all of her sleepy time in Mamma and Papa’s room (except when Grandma’s here – in that case, she sleeps on Grandma).  We’ve all come to the conclusion that it’s pretty much time for her to move to her own room, but before that can happen, we need to get it ready!  Living in a quasi-tight apartment, we decided not to set up the nursery until we needed it.  After all, it’s taking over the room that previously served as office/guest room/craft space/in-apartment storage unit.  And neither Mamma nor Papa really wants to give up that room.

Anywho, besides the obvious furniture arrangements that need to be made, she will also need some heavy light-blocking curtains. That girl needs it dark to sleep!  But when we’re in there playing or reading stories, I want to use natural light.  Hence, we need a cute way to hold back those curtains.

Now, I love the fancy holdbacks that you can buy from Pottery Barn…

or Restoration Hardware…

But I can’t afford $35 for the thing.

Especially when I have a drawer full of these…

Do you need to install a super-cute, ultra-cheap holdback for a curtain in your home?  Gather your supplies.  You’ll need one spool (I found an old cute wooden one in my drawer), a long wood screw, and your handy dandy electric drill (or a screwdriver and loads of elbow grease).

Hopefully there’s a nice stud near the window.

No, not that kind.  (But I wish!  True Blood can’t come back soon enough.)  Screw the spool into the wall, ideally into the stud.  If you don’t like the look of your spool, you could always paint it or Mod Podge something on it first.  I kind of like it plain, though – it’s kind of got that whole over-played shabby chic look going on.  (And also, the spool I found is from my husband’s late grandmother’s stash which I shamelessly raided lovingly commandeered a few years ago.  So I don’t think I could bring myself to do anything permanent to it.  When I found it in my drawer, it still had the price tag on it – 15¢!)

Ok, anyway.  Hang your curtain and wrap the tieback around your spool.

I used an eggplant-colored ribbon to hold back the chartreuse curtain.

You’re right, I’m definitely not a curtain stylist.

And no, that curtain doesn’t block the light at all.  I’ll have to track down some blackout fabric to line it before bambina can move in.  And hem it up some.  Don’t need her pulling it down on herself!

Repurpose! T-shirt into Tulip hat

Tulip season is coming up!  If you’re a Pacific Northwesterner, head on up to the Skagit Tulip Festival in April.  But before you go, whip together this cute little hat for bambina to wear on the trip!

The body of the hat is a skull cap.  (Here’s a great tutorial for that.  I made my hat a little taller than what it says because using the size described in the tutorial leaves bambina’s ears uncovered.)  The tulip is made of a purple circle folded in half, then accordion folded in thirds, stitched over two green leaf shapes.