DIY Easter Egg Crayons

I’m always on the lookout for a great alternative to the plastic eggs I once put in my children’s Easter Baskets.  This year I decided to make some Easter egg crayons.

 Easter Eggs

Here’s what you will need to make your own:

  • broken crayons  (at least two cups worth of each color)
  • aluminum foil
  • baking sheet
  • cleaned, empty aluminum cans (one for each color egg)
  • Jello egg mold
  • popsicle sticks (one for each color)

Easter Egg 2

The How To:

1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

2. Bend each can so one end comes to a slight point.

Easter Egg 3

3. Fill the cleaned aluminum cans with the broken crayons in one color.

Easter Egg 4

4. Put aluminum foil over the baking sheet.

5. Put the filled cans on the baking sheet and heat them in the oven for an hour or until the crayons are completely melted.

Easter Egg 6

6. Stir the melted wax with a popsicle stick and gently pour the wax into the egg mold. Make sure you pour over aluminum foil or wax paper because it will get messy.

Easter Egg 5

7. Let the eggs sit overnight to completely cool.

8. In the morning, pop the eggs out of the mold and color!

Easter Eggs 1

 

DIY Vintage Tray Magnet Boards

Magnet Boards Desk 2

I have a major organization issue in my home.  I get gifts and freebies from people, the items come in, I have no place for them and they never leave. Meanwhile, I boxes and bags of things that I have to sort through, many of which have sentimental value.  So many of these things I ultimately give away to thrift stores, through Freecycle, or regifting.  But I keep some. 

Magnet Trays All

 

My mother gave me a few beautiful jewelry dishes and vintage trays that she’s had forever. I couldn’t bear to give them up but I also had no flat surfaces to display them on.  When a family of 5 lives in a 970 square foot home there isn’t a lot of room to spare.  We put a lot of things on the walls or utilize the floor to ceiling book shelves that have made life much more organized.

Magnet Tray PatternJust look at this pattern! How could I give it away?

3 out of 4 of the trays were magnetic. That gave me an idea! I decided to organize my desk (with minimal space) by adding 3 super-cute magnetic surfaces to the doors.  All it took was Command Picture-Hanging Strips to hang up my new magnet boards.

Magnet Board Backs

Magnet Boards 3

My magnetic stapler, to do list (with fab chicken magnet), and stamps have a new home!

Now I want to add magnet boards to a couple of new places that could use some paper organization.  Good thing my local Blue Ridge Hospice Thrift Store is full of them!

Magnet Boards on Desk

Head over here for the DIY to give your magnet boards extra style with home made bottle cap magnets!

This post contains affiliate links. When you click on an affiliate link and purchase a product then I get a commission on that sale.  Thank you so much for supporting The Creative Recycler!

 

3 Ways to Get Cash from an Unwanted Gift Card

This Christmas my husband and I were blessed with several gift cards from his employer as a Christmas gift: $100 in gift cards to restaurants and $250 to Marriot.  We have 3 kids and have a hard time getting away overnight so we knew we might never use the Marriot gift card.  But we were unsure what to do with it.

Were you blessed with a gift card this Christmas?  Did it burn a hole in your pocket or is it still there… sitting… waiting?  Is it for a store you love or somewhere you would never shop? Am I asking a lot of questions?

If you have an unwanted or ambiguous gift card, here are 3 ways to get cash from it and get what you really want.

Cash for Gift Cards

1. Donate: Do you have a local charity that could use a gift card? Consider donating you gift card to your favorite charity. As a bonus, your gift may be tax deductible.

2. Coinstar: Sell your gift card to the Coinstar Exchange Kiosk.  Watch this video and learn how to cash in your gift card for instant cash.

3. Ebay: Put your gift card up for sale to the highest bidder.  To attract bidders set the starting bid at $1 and set the reserve price that the absolute minimum you would take.  Make sure you also include free shipping as an added incentive.  This is how we ultimately sold our $250 Marriott gift card.  The winning bid was $247. When we subtracted our shipping and listing fees we netted $225.

Have you ever tried to sell a gift card? What was your experience?

 

A Day in the Life: January 18, 2015

For the past 4 years my friend Rebekah at SimplyRebekah.com hosts my favorite link up all year: A Day in the Life.  The premise is simple, take a photo an hour every day.  By the end of the day you have a photo album that is a snapshot of your life on that particular day in the year.  You don’t have to have a blog or a fancy camera to make A Day in the Life album.  I used my smartphone camera.  Easy!  If you decide to take them and share them online use the hashtag #1photoeveryhour.

a day in the life 6

I took these photos on Sunday, January 18th this year (the day before my birthday). 

8:07 am – I woke up to my children fighting and my husband bringing the dog in from her morning walk.  I love Sundays because I get just a bit more sleep than any other day of the week.

DITL 1

10:31 am – You read that right! My wonderful husband let me go back to sleep for another hour and a half! Woot! The writing on the mirror is our way of communicating with each other on days my husband works.  If I have a reminder I write it in dry erase marker on the mirror because he’s out of the house by 4:30 am on work days. 

DITL 2

 

11:54 am – Hubs and I are sitting down debating lunch options.  Tuna salad it is!

DITL 3

1:38 pm – I’m hanging out with Mysterious at his social skills video game meet up.  You can’t beat friends and video games!

DITL 4

2:44 pm – Writing a blog post (go figure) while Mysterious finishes up an epic Super Smash Bros. (affiliate link) battle with his social skills group.

DITL 5

3:35 pm – Picking up our foster dog, Sophie, from her adoption event.  She had a potential forever family that didn’t pan out.  We took that as a sign… so we adopted her!  Are we crazy?  Maybe.  But we all love her and she’s so smart.  We couldn’t imagine giving her up!

DITL 6

4:51 pm – My wonderful little Finale decided it was time to paint with his own poop… again.  Yes, I said again.  It’s an ongoing issue.  But he’s fresh now after his bath!

DITL 7

5:23 pm – Checking the chickens’ water before the sun goes down. 

DITL 8

 

6:24 pm – Having dinner.  Pot roast in the crock pot.  Yum!

DITL 9

8:04 pm – This was corn bread.  It was so, so good.  Sorry you missed it!

DITL 10

9:29 pm – The dog is asleep on my feet.  Isn’t she precious?

DITL 11

10:12 pm – There’s always time for a little Saturday Night Live!

DITL 12

11:32 pm – Putting the finishing touches on My Favorite Gluten-Free Breakfast post

DITL 13

 

12:34 am – I took Sophie out for her final potty break of the night.  And it’s time for bed!

DITL 14

Thank you for taking a glimpse into my life!  If you want to see more behind the scenes make sure you follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!

This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase these products I make a commission. Thank you for supporting my family and The Creative Recycler!

The Best Gluten-Free Pancakes Ever

When my son was diagnosed with his wheat allergy the first two things he asked were, “Can I still have doughnuts and pancakes?”

I still haven’t come up with a great doughnut recipe but I have perfected my gluten-free pancake recipe!

best gluten-free pancakes ever

When I say I have perfected my recipe, I mean I knocked it out of the park! I’ve been tweaking my regular wheat pancake recipe for months! Finally, on my 7th change to the recipe, I got it. My husband couldn’t tell the difference.

Pancake love

These gluten-free pancakes taste so good it’s ridiculous! My secret weapon is The French Laundry’s Cup4Cup Gluten-Free Flour. It is the best gluten-free flour I’ve found, thus far.

 

Here’s what you need to do to make these mouth watering, better than IHOP pancakes.  I can’t wait for you to try them and tell me what you think.

 

The Best Gluten-Free Pancakes Ever
Serves 4
An amazing gluten-free pancake recipe so good, it's better than IHOP.
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
30 min
367 calories
61 g
70 g
10 g
10 g
5 g
194 g
716 g
31 g
0 g
4 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
194g
Servings
4
Amount Per Serving
Calories 367
Calories from Fat 84
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 10g
15%
Saturated Fat 5g
27%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 3g
Cholesterol 70mg
23%
Sodium 716mg
30%
Total Carbohydrates 61g
20%
Dietary Fiber 1g
4%
Sugars 31g
Protein 10g
Vitamin A
7%
Vitamin C
2%
Calcium
21%
Iron
5%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 1 1/4 cups Cup4Cup Gluten-Free Flour (see link in blog post)
  2. 1/2 cup sugar
  3. 1/2 tsp salt
  4. 1 tsp baking soda
  5. 1 tsp baking powder
  6. 1 egg
  7. 1 cup buttermilk
  8. 3/4 cup milk
  9. 2 tbsp melted butter
  10. Spray Oil
Instructions
  1. 1. Add flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar to a mixing bowl.
  2. 2. In a separate container add combine milk, buttermilk, melted butter, and egg.
  3. 3. While mixing, slowly add wet ingredients to dry ingredients until batter is well mixed.
  4. 4. Heat a griddle or pan over medium heat.
  5. 5. Spray pan or griddle with oil.
  6. 6. Pour about 1/8 cup of pancake batter onto the pan or griddle.
  7. 7. When pancake bubbles begin to pop and stay open, flip pancakes.
  8. 8. Let the pancake cook another 30-60 seconds on opposite side.
  9. 9. Serve hot and enjoy with your favorite toppings.
beta
calories
367
fat
10g
protein
10g
carbs
61g
more
The Creative Recycler http://www.thecreativerecycler.com/
 This post contains affiliate links. When you purchase products from links on this page, I get a commission. Thank you for supporting my family and The Creative Recycler!

 

 

My Favorite Fast, Simple, Gluten-Free Breakfast

I hate eating breakfast.  There’s too much going on in the mornings to even think about breakfast for myself. Getting Adventure and Mysterious off to school on time is like herding cats.  When they finally get to school I feed my little Finale.  By then I’m so used to going that I start doing dishes and start a load of laundry, I blink, it’s 10:30, the breakfast window has closed, and I don’t feel so good. Can you relate?

simple gf breakfast

I found out if I squeeze a quick, nourishing breakfast in at the same time I feed my Finale I feel a lot better. But it has to be something gluten-free (I feel drained after I eat anything with wheat), quick, and easy.  My go-to simple breakfast starts with yogurt.  I am madly in love with lime Greek yogurt right now.  It doesn’t matter what brand.

Yogurt

Then I add a fruit.  Just about anything works.  Strawberries are my favorite with lime yogurt but you can add peaches, pineapple, apples, kiwi, banana, or any kind of berry.  The possibilities are limitless!

yogurt strawberries

For the end I add a cereal. Toasted rice cereal is my favorite but I’ve been known to add other things, too: Chex, flax seeds, sunflower seeds (minus the shells), or toasted oatmeal.

Yogurt Strawberries Cereal

Of course I wash it down with coffee, because I’m just a little obsessed with coffee. : )

What would you put in the bowl?

 

 

 

Having Autism is Not a Sign of Stupidity

This post was originally published on March 7, 2011. My son, now in Middle School, is experiencing some of these issues again so I thought it would help him (and myself) to edit and republish it as a reminder of why we are special.

My son and I fall on the Asperger’s end of the Autism spectrum.  I feel like there are a ton of benefits to having Asperger’s.  Unfortunately, my son is discovering the down sides of Asperger’s right now, most notably, exclusion.  It’s hard to be a kid, trying to make your way in the world and figure out who you are.  But it’s even harder if you’re one of the kids at school that everyone picks on.  I know why he gets picked on; he is constantly emitting a stream on conversation with or without active participants (whatever he thinks seems to come out of his mouth); he notices things others don’t and usually it’s a big deal to him (singling him out from the crowd); he is ALWAYS talking about Mario and Luigi like they’re real people; and he has a hard time when people touch his person or things.  But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt.

Today, it came up again.  We were working on his entry form to the science fair.  He started obsessing about it.  He said there was someone in his class who said they were smarter than him and he wasn’t smart enough to enter this science fair.  I reminded him that last year he got one of the top 3 prizes.  He said it wouldn’t happen again this year.  I said just because someone in your class says something doesn’t mean it’s true.  That started the melt down into “everyone hates me” and “I hate my life” downward spiral.

I got him calmed down and I said, “let me tell you about when I was your age.”  I asked him, “How many friends do you have?”  He said “10.”  I said,”when I was your age, I only had 2 friends.  But as I got older more people began to appreciate me for my personality and not my interesting ways of doing things.  How many friends do you think I have now?”  He didn’t know.  I said, “a whole lot more than 10!”

Autism spectrum destination

I explained that people think differently with Autism.  They don’t go through the motions like “normal” people do.  We, on the Autism Spectrum take a different mental path to our destination. Sometimes we reach the same destination but sometimes we reach a more exciting destination full of color and insight.  I told him the next time someone says you’re stupid you remember that, even though people don’t understand you now doesn’t mean they won’t later, and that being Autistic is a sign of intelligence, not stupidity.

After our conversation, The Mysterious helped craft his entry form for the science fair.  That’s my boy!

autistic intelligence

 

 

Feeling Optimistic for 2015

I’m a superstitious person.  It drives my husband crazy.  But I feel like there’s a pattern to life and superstitions help me connect with that pattern. 

One of my long held beliefs is what you’re doing on New Year’s Eve is a forecast for the rest of your year.  For the past few years, we have had some difficult New Year’s Eves.  But last night was wonderful.  I spent the evening with or communicating with dear friends.  My husband and I got to go out as a couple, while my mother watched our children.  It was a low stress, happy evening. 

If my optimistic forecast for the new year includes a mother willing to hang out with my children overnight, less stress, time with friends, and time out with my husband, I’m all for it! {Knock on Wood!} Follow along and find out how it works out for me!

 4 PEOPLE IN AN HOUR

Do you have any New Year’s superstitions?

 

I Gave My Son Regifted Presents for Christmas

Finale is going to be 17 months-old in time for Christmas.  Lately, he’s shown an affinity for cars or anything with wheels, which he calls “beep-beeps”.  Every chance he gets he is knocking at Mysterious’ door chanting “beep-beep, beep-beep” because he’s begging for one of the hundreds of Matchbox cars housed in Mysterious’ room.  Being the oh-so-awesome mom that I am, all I’ve been able to think up to give him for Christmas is more cars.  Ugh.  I knew I needed something more creative and insightful than little cars.

I Gave

Every year a week or so before Christmas my children are asked to go through their rooms and get rid of any unwanted items.  They have a giveaway and a throw away/recycle bag.  This week Mysterious went above and beyond by getting rid of all of his Pixar Cars toys and all of his Thomas the Tank Engine toys. But it made me sad to think of that he wouldn’t play with those anymore.  He’s a big 11 year-old guy, after all, and not a little kid anymore.

As y’all know,  I’m cheap thrifty.  I love a hot deal and I don’t mind buying used or accepting hand-me-downs.  Since Mysterious wanted to sell his Thomas, I decided to make him an offer.  He agreed to $30 for the entire bin of Thomas the Tank Engine track and cars. 

100_2730

 

The result of this purchase: Happy Mysterious because he has more spending money and he still gets to set up track with his baby brother, happy Finale because he’ll be the proud new owner of a lot of Thomas toys, and happy mom because I’ve found a thrifty way to re-gift and reuse some wonderful toys without breaking the bank.

I hope your Christmas is green and bright!

love DB