Wednesday, April 23, 2014

DIY Bird Bath~ Under $20

Ever Since I got a bird feeder, I have been wanting to buy a bird bath.
We have been working really hard on the deck and landscaping since the weather has gotten nicer. I thought a bird bath would be a great piece of art to the outdoor decor along with serving a purpose to our neighborhood birds. I have shopped around for bird baths and they are NOT cheap!! I decided to search the internet for DIY bird bath ideas! I was so surprised to see that it is actually very easy to make your own AND considerably less expensive!
There were so many ideas!!!! Some people used flower pots to make theirs. 
Click on the photo to be taken to the post!
Some people used old lamp stands for the base of their bird bath and my favorite was someone who just used birch sticks for their base! 
Really you can use just about anything! 
 I wanted to have kind of a "Mad Hatter" look to my Bird Bath. I feel like I lucked out on my trip to the Thrift Store! I got all of these miscellaneous items for around 10 dollars!!! The large pitcher and Asian tea pot are my favorite! 
 The trick to this whole project is simply Gorilla Glue! 
I have never used it before this project so I was pretty skeptical that it would actually hold all of these pieces together. 
First thing I did before glueing anything was fill the large pitcher with rocks to give my bird bath a heavy base. Then I glued my first 3 pieces together. 
I lightly wiped the area I was going to glue with a wet paper towel and then added my glue. It literally only takes about an hour for a strong bond to form! 
The only thing I will watch next time is that the glue foams and expands. You can see the white foam between the mug and red vase. I would be more careful how much glue I use and in wiping it up as it forms because when you spray paint over top of it it really shows up!
 I looked through my leftover spray paint cans and found this lavender color. 
 I also wanted to add a cute accent to the top plate which I was leaving white. I found this little trinket at the thrift store. I let my little son Garren hold it, and the next thing I knew the birds were broken off of it! LOL 
 It was a blessing in disguise because I ended up spray painting the birds and gluing them to the side of the plate.
 I am thrilled with the finished product! I think next time I might make it just a little bit shorter but I think it is a great usable sculpture to add to our landscape. For now it is resting on our deck until my husband lays landscaping bricks around the side of the house!

 This picture shows where I hung my little bird feeder. I can't wait to get the bird bath in the landscaping below. It is so fun to watch the birds at all hours from my kitchen window! It makes washing dishes at little more tolerable! =)

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Paleo Blueberry Waffles~ Grain free & Dairy Free

 OK, let me tell you, I don't exclusively eat a Paleo diet but with recipes like these I don't think it would be hard to! We eat a ton of waffles in our home and these waffles are my families new FAVORITE! I have said this before, my husband actually doesn't like waffles but THESE he will gobble up!!! I am telling you they are THAT good!!!

Since this is my blog, I will give you my 2 cents on the whole issue of diet. I think that you need a verity of healthy whole foods in your diet! This is why I would probably never go completely Paleo. If you do research on where your grains are coming from, to make sure they aren't genetically modified, etc. I think it is good to have some whole grains! I am all for using quinoa, buckwheat, oats and many others. The only thing that should totally keep you away from some of these healthy whole grains/seeds would be food allergies! If you are having issues with food, I recommend going on the Paleo diet for at least a month or two to detox your system and then slowly introduce a few whole grains back in to see how it effects you! With that being said, I LOVE Paleo recipes because they are a great option for clean cooking and they give healthy alternatives to using refined sugar and flour.

Since I don't eat exclusively Paleo, I will tell you how I came across this recipe. My sister and niece  came to visit us for a week and my sister is on this diet so I began to research some recipes so she would be comfortable staying in my home. My sister sent me a cookbook by Danielle Walker from Against All Grain. Let me tell you, EVERY RECIPE I have tried in her book is delicious, VERY worth having! 
This is Danielle's waffle recipe from her first cookbook! I originally made a batch of these waffles just to freeze so my sister would have an easy to fix breakfast. Then my family "tried" them (more like devoured) and they immediately became the new favorite. My kids now complain when they have to eat the other waffles I made before which were already in the freezer. 

  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 3 tablespoons honey or maple syrup
  • 3 tablespoons melted coconut oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup raw cashews or macadamia nuts
  • 3 tablespoons coconut flour
  • 3/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • about 1/2 cup of blueberries (fresh or frozen)
All you have to do is simply blend all ingredients, except blueberries, together in GOOD blender or food processor until completely smooth. 
Spoon batter into waffle iron then sprinkle blueberries over the batter.
Cook according to your waffle maker.

*Tip: if you have a mini waffle maker then I would blend the blueberries into the batter also because the berries will be to big and the waffles don't hold together as well.

I usually end up doubling this recipe because I have a large Belgian waffle maker. This recipe would only make about 3 to 4 large Belgian waffles. Anyways, it's always good to have leftovers to freeze for a quick and healthy breakfast!

This is also a great take along breakfast idea to share with others! I go to a moms group at my church and they are all striving to eat healthy. I decided to surprise them and bring these to our morning meeting! I made a double batch the night before, put them on a cookie sheet, covered them, and threw them in the freezer. In the morning I pulled them out of the freezer and when I got to the church, I threw them in a 350 degrees oven for about 10 minutes and they came out of the oven PERFECT!!!
Most of the moms in my group we asking for the recipe and couldn't believe they were grain free! =)

This is a picture of a double batch on a cookie sheet, minus a few… because my family had to try some!! =) The waffles are about an inch thick.

Toddler APPROVED and with a HUGE smile!!!
A lot of my friends were also asking about a grain and dairy free bread recipe. I haven't tried this yet but I can tell by the ingredients that it is pretty close to the waffle recipe.  This bread looks AMAZING, it is also one of Danielle's recipes!!! It's the next thing I'm going to bake with Kiki during Garr's nap time! I can't wait to try it! Click on the picture below to get the recipe!
I can't thank Danielle Walker enough for her great recipes!

Here is one of my older posts on how I add veggies to my waffles! It's only a matter of time until I change the above recipe to add a little more nutrition to it! =)
Click on the picture below to see the post!

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