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Dried Fruit – Oven-Syle

I saw this pin and decided it merited a try: fruit that was better than twizzlers – sweet! It comes from The World Gourmet. As I read through the page and it said to add salt and pepper, which I opted not to do because that would seem to take the “twizzler” taste out of things.

Since I was already doing strawberries, I thought I would experiment with bananas and raspberries too.

Step 1: Cut up some fruit (quarter or halve the strawberries) and put onto a baking sheet.

Step 2: Bake at 210 degrees for 3 hours. The bananas seemed done at this point, but not the raspberries or strawberries.

Step 3: Flip fruit over and keep baking for another hour or two. I just made this step up. The fruit was still not done (minus the bananas), so I kept baking. Here is what it looked like after 5 total hours and some sampled fruit along the way:

End result: I should have taken the bananas off at 3 hours because they were burned…..one of my boys tried the bananas out at the 3 hour mark and was not too fond of them, so they just may have been a flop. The raspberries were not done at 3 hours, but tasted a little burned at 5 hours. The strawberries were AWESOME. I would just stick with those next time. They didn’t taste quite as good or sweet as twizzlers, and I probably prefer them fresh, but they ended up tasty enough. Not nearly as pretty as the picture on The World Gourmet, but that is probably because I am not a Gourmet. :)

Overall Rating: *** (out of 5)

Difficulty: Easy.

Would I Try it Again? Possibly, but like I said before, I preferred the fresh ones and those take less time to be done.

Foil Ball

Cheapest. Dryer. Sheet. Ever. (with foil!)

I ran out of dryer sheets today and didn’t want to go to the store, so I found this way to make a cheap dryer sheet out of fabric softener and a rag from Heather @ Fake-It Frugal (I’ll review that idea after I have tried it out). The fabric softener was taking a bit to dry, so I decided to try the trick that she mentioned at the bottom of her post, but hadn’t tried out yet. Take aluminum foil, ball it up, and chuck it in your dryer.

I was doing a load of kid laundry, so I figured if it was horrible and staticky that they wouldn’t notice too much (especially the boys), so I tried it. I took about a foot long of aluminum foil, crumpled it up and stuck it in the dryer with my damp clothes. After the clothes were dry I pulled them out and they felt….normal! I even did a test with picking up a fleece PJ top that had a lightweight hand towel on top of it – the hand towel didn’t stick! It came right off. Hooray!! And no worrying about possible staining or adding extra chemicals to the clothes either.

Thank you Heather! :)

trip 2

Medicine Box: A Trip Tip

For those of you who are traveling, don’t forget to take your medicine cabinet with you. And I mean all of it. According to Murphy’s Law, your child (or yourself) will get an ear infection, a fever, or have some kind of crazy itch and you will have to go buy a whole bottle of whatever you only need a little bit of and still have a whole bottle of whatever it is that you need left at home. That’s how Murphy rolls.

We have our kid variety of Advil, Tylenol, assorted allergy meds, Wally’s Ear Oil & our otoscope, a thermometer, Bandaids, Cotton Swabs, stomach ache meds, etc. Just go through your stuff and pull out one of everything. We stick ours in a little Rubbermaid box and it slides nicely under the bench in the van.

There ya go.  Easy, and you will likely stay healthy if you pack this along. :)

For other trip tips, click here.

tree pic

Easy Paint Chip Art

A several months ago, I found a picture on Pinterest where someone had taken paint sample chips and cut them in circles, painted some straight reed-looking lines on a canvas, put the circles over the top of the “reeds” and – VOILA! – art.

We had decided to paint our living room and kitchen and I had acquired a TON of paint samples in the process. Some people are “color choosing” gifted – I am not one of them. I also had a fairly large canvas that I had found at goodwill several years ago that needed some love. I called my friend Becky, who is a VERY talented scrapper, to see if she had some circle-shaped punches I could borrow. She sent a few over and it all began.

I painted the background of the canvas a light color, and decided that instead of several straight “reeds” I wanted to have more of a curved branch look and painted that on as well.

Then I took some time to organize my colors and arrange them onto the canvas before gluing any of them on. In order to keep it from feeling like too much of a color explosion, I decided that I wanted the top & left to be concentrated with lighter colors, and have the bottom and right be concentrated with darker colors, but still to have some colors (pops of pink, etc.) scattered throughout.

Once I had the colors where I wanted them, my mom (who was in town and helping me with a bunch of projects) and I used glue stick to glue them all down. Then Mom painted on several layers of Mod Podge to keep it all sealed together.

There you have it! An easy, personalized art piece.

Enjoy! :)

GV 9

Glowing Volcano!

This is a twist on the classic “vinegar and baking soda” volcano – it GLOWS. Super cool.

Here is what you need:

  • Highlighter (yellow is best)
  • Water
  • Vinegar
  • Baking Soda
  • Black Light
  • Glass Containers

That is IT. I found this idea from Play at Home Mom and thought the kiddos would love it. And me too. :)

Step 1: Clip the back off of the highlighter. Supposedly you can put pressure with scissors to get it to “pop” off, but I ended up finally using an exacto knife after I almost broke my scissors.

Step 2: Get the color out of the highlighter. Just take the “ink” part of the highlighter and put it into water. If you had a hard time opening the highlighter and didn’t want to cut into it, you can just hang the highlighter so the tip is facing downward into the water.

I actually squeezed some of the highlighter ink out when the tube was soaked in water, and then let the rest of the color get out into the water by letting it soak. I was a little excited to hurry it along…..

Step 3: After the tube is basically white from the ink coming out, find a dark room and hook up your black light.

Cool!

Step 4: Make your “volcano” liquid by pouring some of your highlighter water into a container with some vinegar. Stick your volcano liquid container into another container to catch the “lava” as it flows out. You don’t want messes!

As you can see, the color diluted down quite a bit when I added the vinegar. Keep watching though – it turned out just fine.

Step 5: Dump some baking soda into your “volcano liquid” and enjoy the show!

We had some more vinegar and baking soda on hand to alternate so we could keep the fun going.

There you go! Super easy cleanup and a very fun experiment.

I saved the rest of the highlighter water that we didn’t use in another container so we could try it again another time.

Enjoy! :)

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