Archive for the ‘DIY’ Category

One morning while walking back from brunch, we noticed how chilly it had become over the previous week. I then thought that I should put out extra feed for the birds to enjoy; I did after all have to winterize the porch. And then the idea of a vegan alternative to suet came to mind.

While understanding that most birds in the ‘hood are indeed omnivores, I’d prefer not to purchase any products made of animals and bring them into our living environment. I quickly turned to the Internet for a recipe and took to the kitchen early yesterday morning. It was the chilliest day yet!

Veggie “Suet” Blocks Makes four blocks

  • 2 cups of veggie shortening
  • just over a cup of bird seed
  • about half a cup of peanut butter (it’s all I had in the cupboard)

photo 2-5

photo 1-5

Melt the veggie shortening over a low heat to prevent it from burning. Once completely melted, turn off the heat and stir in the peanut butter. Then stir in the seeds. Pour into a mold (I used an aluminum pan) and cool until solid- I put the pan out on the back porch and it only took about thirty minutes to harden. Cut and put into feeder; I had a leftover suet cage from last winter. Hang and watch the birds gobble it up!

Oh, and you can keep the leftovers in the freezer until the next time you need to refill.

This was a softer recipe and next time I think I’ll try adding a little chickpea flour to firm it up more- but it did hold it’s shape well. I love having birds around and jump out of bed in the morning when I hear them in the (glass) feeder. I’ve only seen one blue jay this year and he was gorgeous! Don’t get me wrong, the little chickadees are darling but I’d love to have mister blue come to visit again this winter. Here’s to lending a helping hand and enjoying every bit of nature, even while living in the city.


Read Full Post »

If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen the following photograph pop up last week.


This was the magic suitcase that I made for the beau’s niece for her 2nd birthday!

What may you ask is a magic suitcase? It’s a suitcase filled with dress-up clothes, of course! Any day of the week she can dive in and pretend to be whoever she’d like to be.

Wanna make your own magic suitcase for someone special in your life? Here’s what you’ll need:

  • a vintage suitcase with a hard, paintable surface (I used one of my dad’s old suitcases)
  • chalk
  • chalkboard paint
  • acrylic paint
  • paint brushes
  • acrylic spray


Step One: Clean the suitcase surface that you’ll be painting. If the inside smells a little musty, add in a candle or scent satchel for the time being.

Step Two: I knew I wanted to use chalkboard paint as my background color, so that his niece could change the cover up as her day changes. I taped off a section and applied one coat and let it dry completely overnight before removing the tape.


Step Three: Using chalk, sketch out what you’d like to paint on. I painted everything by hand- if you aren’t as confident, you could always use a stencil or mod-podge some print outs.

Step Four: Once everything is painted on, apply one good coat of acrylic spray. This will help set the design and prevent it from chipping off.

Step Five: Fill the suitcase with dress-up clothes! I found a really cute pair of fairy wings, a tiara and a pack of stick-on mustaches at the dollar store. The rest of the items I found at a great consignment shop in Ballston Spa; Pixi’s Closet. Throw in some items from your personal closet or jewelry box that you no longer wear (make sure they aren’t choking hazards depending on the child you are giving it to) and hit up your local Salvation Army.

This is a super fun gift to work on and give! Best part of all, we can all give her different items to fill the suitcase with at upcoming holidays and occasions. When I was with the kiddos, I use to love the afternoons that we’d all dress up and dance around the house or put on a show. I can’t wait to see her imagination race and in a couple of years, see her interact with her new baby brother.

(Inspiration came from this original post)

Read Full Post »