habitatathome, howto, crafts, diy, kids

Kids Crafty Christmas Tree

kids cardboard christmas tree

We did it!  
We built our very own cardboard Christmas tree!  It was totally fun, totally messy, and totally worth it!!  Taking the kids outside to play was not happening today.  It's gotten way too cold for my liking.  So, I got my creative thinking cap on, and thought, let's build a Christmas tree!!  I knew it could go completely wrong, but I wanted to try anyway; and I'm glad we did!  We love it.  
It looks like a risky idea for those with littler ones, I know.   But the moments when they're just walking around the tree a million times with yarn; or sticking a million bobbles or stickers on, one-by-one, it's really pretty manageable; as those steps take so long.  Clearly, there is no exact science to this, but I'll show you how we went about doing it.   It's more simple than you might think.  

Intensely Moisturizing, Honey Butter Bath Melts

These DIY honey butter bath melts are luxurious, intensely hydrating, and easy to make.  I recommend them highly for those who suffer from very dry skin, and for those who have seasonally dry skin.  They are made from 4 beneficial ingredients.  The shea butter is a very powerful moisturizer, known to have exceptional wound healing properties for the skin.  It is known to help with skin allergies, insect bites, eczema, sunburns and even frostbite!  Cocoa butter not only provides a deep hydration, but also contains antioxidants.  It is recommended for the prevention of stretch marks, and as a treatment for chapped, burned or itchy skin.   Honey also has antioxidants and is known to be a great healer.  It is believed to protect the skin from the elements and give the skin elasticity, helping to prevent premature wrinkling.   The soy wax is added, primarily to hold the melts in shape.  It is also rich in vitamin E, and can help with skin conditions like psoriasis, eczema, cracked skin, heels and cuticles.  

DIY 'Peppermint Pattie' Lip Balm


After a little experimenting, I'm proud to say that this cool and refreshing lip balm turned out perfectly!   Creating DIY oils and balms is like baking.  The amounts of each ingredient, and how you blend them, really matters.  I tried a few different combinations, and came up with the ideal DIY 'Peppermint Pattie' lip balm for winter.  It really smells like a York Peppermint Pattie!      

The good, the bad, and the ugly of beard oils, creams and waxes.

 DIY beard oil

It's 'Movember'!   A wonderful new effort to promote men's health.  The idea, is that men take on the challenge to grow a fabulous moustache during the month of November, to spark conversation and awareness for men's health.  "Knowledge is power. Prevention is everything. Early detection is key". Check out the official Movember site for, great grooming tips, the history of the 'stash, and more about the many great men's health programs and initiatives.    

Some men are taking the opportunity to go for the full beard.  My very own husband decided to take the bearded plunge as well!  He's gotten a good head start.  So, I've started experimenting with finding the best DIY solution to keep the beard soft, tame; and the skin beneath, healthy and happy.

Autumnal Centerpiece with Homemade Soy Candles

 soy candles in gourds

I've got to say, I'm pretty super-duper pleased, with my first try at DIY candle making! After researching the many different types of candles one could make, and all the different difficulties one could encounter with each; I chose the soy candle as an easy starting point.  Once that was decided, I then brainstormed on a unique soy candle containers.  Since we're currently in the autumn season, gourds are plentiful in the stores.  I thought, wouldn't it be great to use a natural container like that, for a candle!  

Sauerkraut and Havarti Grilled Cheese Sandwich

http://www.habitatathome.net/2014/09/sauerkraut-and-havarti-grilled-cheese.html 

The sauerkraut in this grilled cheese sandwich gives it a nice, tangy kick.  Havarti cheese and pumpernickel bread really hold up to the sauerkraut, making this sandwich no wallflower.  It will leave you happy and satisfied, wondering why you ever tolerated such bland grilled cheeses before.  It is one for the recipe books!  So simple, yet, so very, very tasty.

Sauerkraut Stuffed Mushrooms

 Stuffed mushrooms 
This is week, I am taking on a 3-day sauerkraut challenge.  I am making 3 vegetarian dishes using this wonderful fermented condiment, usually associated with meats.  This is day two, and is surely my favorite so far!  Though, both were so scrumptious, it's hard to say. The first, was the 'Sauerkraut and Thyme Potato Gratin', which was the perfect gratin in both taste and texture.  The sauerkraut really gave the gratin a great kick of flavor and made it feel lighter than most.  These stuffed mushrooms are even easier to make, and just heavenly.   

Sauerkraut and Thyme Potato Gratin

 sauerkraut adn thyme potato gratin

Finding a way to utilize sauerkraut in vegetarian cooking is a challenge.  Still, I set myself to the task, and came up with 3 recipes which are absolutely fantastic.  

We all know, sauerkraut normally pairs so well with things like pastrami and German sausages.  Did you also know, that it is extremely good for you?  It is rich in vitamin C, B and K, calcium and magnesium.  Being a fermented food, it also works to optimize your immune system and remove bodily toxins.  So, even if it's covered in cheese, at least we can feel good about that! 

Upon much brainstorming, and a few tests in the kitchen, I now present you with my first of 3 amazing, vegetarian, sauerkraut recipes.