Saturday, January 16, 2010

Cooking From Scratch

photo courtesy of: Dalboz17

In an effort to avoid High Fructose Corn Syrup in our house, one of my goals this year is to cook from scratch more often. The most eaten things around here are snacks and bread....we go through these almost as soon as they enter the house! So there is also a financial incentive to make these things in bulk ourselves. So far we have made granola bars, granola, pizza, honey oat bread and light wheat bread. Everything has turned out wonderful so far! Our dinners are almost always from scratch, and I love for the reviews and selection of recipes. I'd love to hear what you're making from scratch!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Recycling Your Christmas Tree

Now that we've begun 2010, most of us have taken down our Christmas trees, and you may be wondering what to do with it. Traditionally, recycling programs have turned the trees into mulch, but there are many other programs and uses for your used tree.

Photo Credit: Michael Woodruff via

This year, we've decided to turn our tree into a bird habitat/feeder. We have it outside, still in the base, anchored with some rocks inside. Tomorrow the kids and I will spend some quality time making pinecone feeders and stringing popcorn. Not only will this provide some winter shelter for the birds, but it will also give us a chance to do some bird watching. This will definately be part of our homeschool science lessons. Along this same vein, you could also take the branches and spread them out around your property as shelter for wildlife. Check with your local Department of Natural Resources to find out if they have a program for trees in place. Many municipalities use the trees in soil and erosion prevention programs, and also in lakes and rivers as fish sanctuaries.
Besides wildlife habitat and mulching, recycled Christmas trees also provide: energy, heat, and even vaccine ingredients. Keep it out of the landfill, and check out what programs are available to you by visiting