Tag Archives: DIY

Pre 4th of July Swag

Gift giving is my favorite and it’s even best when it’s a total surprise. We are going out of town for the 4th which we are super stoked about because we’ve never gone away. But we are also a little sad because we will miss the boulevard festivities and our favorite girls next door.

To ease the pain (on our end…gifting always makes me feel better) I went ahead and put together a cute little pail of 4th of July swag.


I got that cute paint pail from….Home Depot. I know. I’ve spent more than $2 on the exact same type of pail at craft stores but now I know. At the bottom of that buck is your usual 4th of July stuff: red, white and blue necklaces, tattoos, headbands, glasses, glow sticks, etc. A WHOOOOOOLLLLEEEE lot of crap that Tara doesn’t want. Not even sorry a bit.

But peeking out are some treats.



Store bought rice krispy treats dipped in candy melts.june-158

Candy popcorn: 3 T of melted butter, add 3 cups mini mallows and melt completely. Pour over popcorn and add sprinkles.


Packing is my specialty.



Easy and cute and just what a pair of 2 year olds and their 5 year old sister need, right?



DIY Fabric Banner


You can all now call me Dr. Prasil.

Or Professor Prasil.

Or Professor.

Or just Ruthie, I don’t care, but I prefer Dr. Prasil.

What I’m saying is that I’m teaching a blogging class at our local college all about blogging and one thing we did was a DIY post. Enjoy!


Here’s what you need:

Photo Apr 14, 6 27 54 PM


Cut the fabric into 1″ strips.Photo Apr 14, 6 34 18 PM


Oh, hello, lovely class.Photo Apr 14, 6 34 54 PM

Fold the strips in half…like so.Photo Apr 14, 6 39 10 PM


At the end of the strip with the fold, fold it down again only about 1″ down.Photo Apr 14, 6 39 24 PM


Cut a slit about 1/2″ long on that fold (so that when you unfold it, it’s an inch long, Einstein)Photo Apr 14, 6 39 36 PM

There’s your slit.Photo Apr 14, 6 39 47 PMPhoto Apr 14, 6 39 59 PM

Lay it on top of the jute cord like this:Photo Apr 14, 6 46 26 PM


Pull the ‘free ends’ around the back side of the jute cord and through the slit.Photo Apr 14, 6 46 43 PM


Tighten that baby up.Photo Apr 14, 6 47 00 PM


Now, go create a petition and present it to your dean of nursing, proposing a change in carpet pattern.


You’re done!

Read Across America

Have I mentioned before how nervous I was to send my kids to a *gasp* public school?

Oh, does that sound super stupid? Yeah, because it is. But when I’m being stupid and ridiculous I’m okay admitting it.

I’m only admitting this part because honesty is probably one of my best traits and it’s dumb to have a blog and then only tell about the best things you say or do. So here’s my confession: I was afraid that the kids wouldn’t experience any of the fun ‘extras’ they did at CHMS. The polar express day was my favorite part of the year at CHMS. The staff went above and beyond in making it a fun day, doing things out of the ordinary and creating an experience. I have friends who teach at public schools and I know how much they love their jobs and how much effort is put into it — I must have thought I only knew the very best teachers. Don’t worry, I’m covering my face right now in shame. To be precise, I look like that monkey emoji. This one:


I learned the very first week at Asotin that the teachers there absolutely love their jobs. They love the kids and they absolutely go above and beyond to give them experiences. The communication between staff and parents is incredible and the support staff has done more than I would have ever expected they would do to make our transition smooth and enjoyable. I’ve been living in this ridiculous bubble and while it’s completely dumb, in my defense, I’ve never had any experience with public elementary school. Like…at all. I went to All Saints and my kids went to Children’s House. This is our first time. So I’m hoping I’m a bit forgiven because of it.

This week was “Read Across America” week where Dr. Seuss is celebrated in a variety of ways. They made it somewhat of a spirit week with each day being something fun: hat day, crazy sock day, pajama day, etc. Parents have been invited to come eat donuts and read with their kids, there was a book swap, and tomorrow they’re serving cake for lunch and parents are invited to that as well. The teachers have put in so much effort to this week and so have other staff members. What better way to thank them than with cake pops?


Obviously decorated like a Dr. Seuss character or something similar.

How thankful am I for Asotin Elementary and their staff? Cake-Pop making thankful. And that’s a lot.

How does one make the most delicious dessert on a stick? For really good instructions, head over to Bakerella. She’s the master. She teaches you how to make really adorable characters and shapes and she just rocks. Below is my very easy and not-as-cute way:

Bake a box cake as directed. Let it cool for an hour.

Crumble it up and mix (with your hands) with 3/4 a can of frosting.

Refrigerate the mixture for 1/2 hour or so then roll into balls (whatever size you want). Freeze for an hour.

Melt “candy melts” (you can find them at JoAnns or Walmart) in 30 second increments in a microwave safe mug.

Dip the end of a candy stick into the melted candy melts and stick it in the semi-frozen balls 3/4 of the way in and dip it completely into the mug of melted candy melts.

Tap it against the rim of the mug a few times to let the excess drip off and then stick in an empty mug until it hardens. (Before it hardens, of course, you can put sprinkles on it).

My brain hurt reading those horribly written directions, but it’s really very simple.



DIY terrarium *plus a little giveaway*



When you have no snow, don’t live in a winter wonderland and Christmas has come and gone, the winter season is a drag. It’s about this time that I decide to spring into action.

Spring. Into. Action.


See what I did there?

This week I’m giving myself a boost by creating a cute and really easy terrarium. Succulents and air plants are almost impossible to kill. This is perfect for me because I do not have a green thumb but I really dislike fake houseplants. Ready? Here ya go:

What you’ll need:


You will also need maybe a cup plus a tad for the initial planting of your succulents.

  1. Plant those suckers.
  2. Add sand up to the ‘chin’ of the plant. (ya know, that part that the neck meets the head? this is not a real-life plant term)


3. Add a layer of river rock with a smidge of moss somewhere.


4. Ta-da. Done. Water a couple time a week (or less) with just a BIT of water, you don’t want to drown the poor plants. In a month or so, I’ll add a flowering cactus to add more color. No doubt I’ll also find Lego mini figures in there, maybe  few Barbie shoes for extra pizzazz.


Now for a giveaway!


Click HERE to get to my Facebook page.

DIY: Bird Feeders


The sun is teasing us lately. Not only is it shining on our February days, it’s warming them, too. It was 64* the other day. That’s so close to 70 which is so close to 80 which is close to 90 which means it’s basically summer.

When it’s this unseasonably warm, I have to do everything in my power to keep the young ones from putting on their swimming suits and running straight for the hose. This time, I put on my crafty pants and took a craft straight from Pinterest. This is a recipe that is ALL over and comes from many different sites…like here, here and here for example, among many others. Birdseed is incredibly cheap, especially if you buy it at Winco. The rest of the stuff you most likely have on hand (although gelatin is one of those things you have only if you’ve made something in the last year or so with it because it comes in a package of 4 envelopes).

(before we start, let’s talk about this spelling of “gelatine”….Now, I wrote it like that on the paper because that’s what it says on the package. But…I’m pretty sure it’s gelatin…am I right?? have I gone mad??)


You definitely don’t need a cookie cutter for this craft. You can totally free-hand a design or just do a ball or use something else like a jar lid or something. But I live in a house full of unicorn-animal-heart-loving girls so we just had to do it this way.

Dissolve the gelatin into simmering water. Let cool for a couple minutes then dump in the birdseed. So, I’ll be honest here and totally eyeballed the entire recipe. I think I used a little more water and a lot more birdseed. Basically, you want to make sure it’s not soupy at all. Not even stew-y.

Mix in the birdseed.


Dump it out on wax paper (more on this at the end of the post) to let cool so little hands can handle it easily.


We rubbed our hands with olive oil so the stuff didn’t stick too much to our hands and fingers. Fill up 1/2 – 3/4 of the cookie cutter and pack it down really tightly.


Fold the string in half and with the open ends, place them in a spot where the weight will be evenly distributed (so it doesn’t lean too far forward or backwards…we should have placed it in the unicorn’s head).


FIll it the rest of the way up with seed until it’s completely full and all you have sticking out is the loop of the string.

Let it dry COMPLETELY. If you do it in the morning, don’t even think about touching it until after dinner. If you do it in the afternoon, wait until the next morning. Waiting is hard.

But look what you get when you do:6 7 8

And if you decide that plain paper will work just fine, you will get this:9

The gelatin is pretty much glue. It’ll make your paper stick right to the floor. If this does happen to you, get SUPER hot water on a washcloth and wipe up as much of the paper as possible. Then, for what’s left, dab a couple drops of YLEO lemon oil on a washrag and scrub it out.



How To: take a quick getaway with lots of little ones

Dan and I get cabin fever quite often. We like to be busy and on-the-go. Sometimes that means running errands all day, sometimes that means getting out of town. While it can sometimes be less stressful to just let the kids run crazy (and usually half naked) around the house and pulling out toys from every cupboard and drawer while you snuggle down and watch tv on the weekends, it can be equally less stressful to not deal with that house mess and instead leave your clean house behind for a weekend away.

We are insanely lucky to have access to a couple cabins that are a short drive from us — 3 hours, tops. In the winter we go to play in the snow, snowboard, ice skate and play with our winter friends and in the summer we go to swim in the lake, go to farmer’s markets, pick huckleberries and play with our summer friends.

Make no mistake…it’s not easy to pack for 6 kids, 2 of whom are still in diapers. In addition to clothes and jammies for each day, there are always the ‘extras’ that come with seasonal activities. Snow boots, jackets, gloves….swimsuits, lifejackets, sand toys. All things that take up every available square inch of space in the suburban. But that’s okay, because it’s worth it.

I get asked all the time: “How do you do it?” I think having more than 3 or 4 kids is a mysterious thing to lots of people. They can’t imagine doing it, so it’s hard to imagine how others do it. There’s no secret, though, and odds are very good that most people would manage just fine with 6 kids, just like we do. We have just learned some tricks to make life easier, especially on vacation.

1. Rules don’t really apply on vacation.

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At the cabin(s), the kids snack all day long. They snack on things like chips and cheetos and juice. Sometimes, that’s what they eat for lunch. They watch movies all day and play on our phones. Because a vacation is a vacation and sometimes that means rules don’t apply.

What does this mean for mom and dad? It means less whiney kids. It means peace and quiet and a vacation that we can enjoy, too. Battles are meant to be fought on the weekdays. Let’s keep weekends peaceful, shall we?

2. Hang out with pals.

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During our ‘normal’ days and weeks, we don’t get together with friends often. We don’t get families together and hang out. We have lots of family time with Dan, me and the kids alone. Like…lots. So when we get out of town for the weekend, we like to spend time with our friends. We are really lucky that we have friends at each of our weekend getaway locales. Down in the snow, our group of friends is so much fun and treat us just like family. The kids LOVE them and we have so much fun with them and their adorable kids, too. And, again, it makes mom and dad happy to have other adults to hang out with. Happy parents = happy children. That’s a mathematical fact.

3. Let things go.


Things can get awfully overwhelming at times if you let them. So…don’t let them. If you don’t get to the ski hill on time, who cares? If your kids would rather hang out in the car and watch dvds than play in the snow at the bottom of the bunny hill, even though it took you 40 minutes to get them all in their snow gear and 20 minutes to put on each pair of gloves that the little ones kept taking off…then just let them. Give them their cheetos and juice boxes, put in Sophia the First, whip out your US Weekly and People magazines and read them in front of the propane-fueled heater, snap selfies with your phone, and let things go. Our car is usually a disaster when we are out of town: wrappers everywhere, remnants of take-out lunch, books and toys and ALWAYS random shoes. Let it go. Let it be messy for a few days.

4. Snap LOTS of pictures on your phone. Sometimes, the memories of fun getaways and looking back on pictures will remind you how important it is to make the time for it. It always makes me excited to go back and anxious to do more things and take more adventures.

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(our friend’s 2 year old daughter, Alice…honestly, how adorable is that?!)

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On the practical side: 

pack the day before you leave

pack extra clothes for babies and toddlers and more diapers than you think you might need

pack a backpack full of toys and crayons and coloring books and don’t give it to the kids until you are at your destination

stop at the store on the way into town and get fruit snacks and cereal and juice and crackers and whatever else your kids like to snack on and that might seem like a treat

and, for the love of god, don’t run out of Eggo waffles and oreos

happy vacationing!

DIY Valentine’s Day Collar

Not everyone has a pink shirt with hearts on it.  Socks with cupid shooting an arrow?  Not in our drawers.  Sometimes, the best way to dress for a holiday is by accessorizing.  And it’s even better if you can do it yourself for hardly any money and spend very little time on it.



These are the colors I went with:collar-2 That really light one is a light pink.

I spent maybe 10 minutes cutting out lots of little hearts in various sizes (although none bigger than a 1/2 dollar).


Then I put a Mumford and Sons record on my tiny little turntable.  Because jams make everything more fun.


Take a piece of regular paper and cut out a pattern for your collar.  This took me a couple tries to get it just how I wanted it.  The basic shape is similar to a really fat and tall Nike swoosh if that helps at all.  Once you get it just right, cut it on a fold so you’re left with this:


I chose grey as my base color. It doesn’t matter at all.

Get your glue gun hot.  I mean…obviously.

Start with the top of the collar and layer little hearts of the same size up each side. Before putting the last heart on, glue the end of a 12″ piece of ribbon to the collar.  Like so:collar-10 collar-11

Glue a heart right on top to cover up the ugly end.collar-12

Now take the rest of your hearts.  The ones of various sizes.  Start gluing them to your collar randomly, just to cover up the collar itself.  Layer it different ways so that edges of the hearts peek out.  It’s cute.collar-14

Ta-Da!  You’re done!


Just kidding.  You’re not done.

Now take smaller hearts.  Maybe 2 different sizes?  Gather them all up.  We’re going to use these to glue on top of our base layer of hearts.

Glue them to pieces of the collar that look boring and blah.

Perfect!  If you want to stop here, you totally can.  It’s cute as-is. See?collar-20

But my girls like a little bling.  I recruited Alice to help me with the sparkles since she is pretty much an expert.

I just found glitter I already had and some random glue.collar-21 Alice helped me trace around the collar with the glue and we sprinkled it with gold glitter.

(Uhhh…if you want it to look really good, do this yourself.)collar-22

Make a little bow out of the ribbon, glue it to the center of your collar and tie it around your adorable subject.collar-24

Honestly….freaking adorable.

Make a collar and post it to the Fairy Wings and Dinosaurs Facebook page!

And if you think this DIY is fun and cute and easy, pin it!

Happy Thursday!