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family | The Green Beagle

December 2013 Save Your Green!


Organic Acne Sensitive Skin Regimen

 

The holidays are here and as per usual I am late with your amazing deals and discounts. I have been so super busy and I am beyond sorry for neglecting my wonderful greenies!! I will do my best to bring you some of the best deals I can find to help you save as much as you can this holiday season! Happy Holidays Greenies!!! I hope everyone has everything they have ever wanted already but if you don’t let me help a little!!

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Receive FREE SHIPPING on orders over $50 with code HOLIDAY2013! Coupon only valid for UPS Ground Shipping. Coupon does not include furniture, over-sized items and orders shipping outside of the contiguous 48 United States.

15% Off Personalized Holiday Cards

Daily green deals

25% Off Select Holiday, Jewelry, and Home Decor!

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Receive FREE Shipping with any $25 Vapamore purchase at GreenCupboards!

Take an Additional 15% Off Everything in Gift For Her Section

One Love Organics donates 1% of their annual net revenues!

20% Off Flannel (PJ’s, Robes, Sheets) At Coyuchi.com & Get Free Shipping On Orders Of $300 Or More! Good Through 12/15! Click Here!

How To Build A Fairy House….Yes Please!

How To Build A Fairy House

How To Build A Fairy House

 

 

 

I wanted to find the funnest (for me) summer activity ever and I am almost positive I have done it. I am not sure if you can get a greener, more nature-esque activity that is any cooler in my book. I found this outstanding idea from a website called How To Build Fairy Houses. This activity can really be done any way you like. How fun would this be for a party or a school project? I think this idea can be used for many an educational reason but also for family time.  The materials are all from nature and as long as you are respectful of the surrounding plants and animals as well as the materials you collect/use you really can’t go wrong. Different areas will offer different options as will different seasons which make this project kind of really fun. Here is a list of materials that can be used:

Sticks
Rocks
Grass
Moss
Feathers
Seaweed
Seashells
Nuts
Pinecones
Acorns

Location:

Fairy Houses can be designed anyway you want. You can let your imagination go wild or use a design you have already seen. Find a quiet place away from roads or busy pathways. The base of a tree or the side of a rock are great places to build. Try to keep the house close to the ground to help keep the house stable and so a floor doesn’t have to be built. Sometimes you may find a special place in the low branches of a tree or bush if you are lucky.
Look for building areas in woods, beaches, meadows, and especially your own backyard! Use only natural materials to build the house. Try not to use anything artificial as it ruins the look and spirit of the fairy house idea. The idea of a fairy house is to look so natural that it is almost hidden. You never know what may choose to live in there! You could be helping a poor displaced animal or fairy who will forever be grateful.

Rules:

Be respectful of ALL living things in the surrounding building areas. Destroying nature to create your fairy house is not what a fairy would want and definitely not something nature would appreciate. Try not to disturb plants that are still living, such as ferns, mosses and flowers. Fairies are careful not to harm anything that is growing.

Have you ever built a fairy house?  If so let me know! I would love to see what you made and hear about how it happened.  If you haven’t here are some other books I found that also show you how to build fairy houses:

Fairy House Handbook

Fairy Gardening: Creating Your Own Magical Miniature Garden

Make Your Own Blarney Stone

DIY Blarney Stone

DIY Blarney Stone

 

 

For those of you that have never heard of the Blarney Stone or the legend here is what Wikipedia says about it: The Blarney Stone (Irish: Cloch na Blarnan) is a block of bluestone built into the battlements of Blarney Castle, Blarney, about 8 kilometres (5 mi) from Cork, Ireland. According to legend, kissing the stone endows the kisser with the gift of the gab (great eloquence or skill at flattery). The stone was set into a tower of the castle in 1446. The castle is a popular tourist site in Ireland, attracting visitors from all over the world to kiss the stone and tour the castle and its gardens.
The word blarney has come to mean “clever, flattering, or coaxing talk”. John O’Connor Power’s definition is succinct: ‘Blarney is something more than mere flattery. It is flattery sweetened by humour and flavoured by wit. Those who mix with Irish folk have many examples of it in their everyday experience.’

I like this idea and think it is quite cute for little kids to do and possibly fun for them to learn. This is a super cute idea for littler kids to do as well as perfect for parties and school projects. All you need is whatever you have lying around the house to decorate the stone with ie. paint, glitter, buttons, feathers and anything else you think would be fun to use. Choose a stone from your yard or somewhere else that you can find them and go decorating crazy.
Once you have finished decorating you can put them around your yard and make a game of finding them or just use them for decoration. The perk to this project is you can leave the stone in your yard!

Being Thankful 2012

Ethical Thanksgiving

Ethical Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is almost here and I am beyond excited. This is a great time for the family to get together and spend time. I feel like we get so consumed with cooking and entertaining that we forget to just be thankful. I know you have all of these options to buy less, cook less, use less, recycle more, reuse and reduce but what about remembering what this pretend holiday was invented for. In all of the confusion and orders we forget to be thankful for all of the good we have. We forget that we are lucky enough to have a holiday devoted to being thankful where that option is valid for us.
I know I can sit here and tell you all of the wonderful ways you can be green and save our environment but what I think we all forget is the spirit of tomorrow and what we can all do to be thankful.
Be glad you have people to spend the holiday with. Be happy you have food to enjoy and most of all enjoy the memories that Thanksgiving will create. Those are things that stay with you and what make holidays worth having. Even if your family annoys you, stresses you, makes you cry they are yours and you can make the best of it. Be thankful this year for everything you do have and for anything you want to have or be.

Crayon Drip Pumpkin

Crayon Dripped Pumpkin

Crayon Drip Pumpkin

 

I love making my own decorations especially if I can reuse them year after year and for more than one occasion. You may have real or fake pumpkins left over from Halloween so why not put them to good use. If you have crayons that have about had it and are looking for something to do with them this is the perfect project for you and your family. This is a great project for schools or parties as well.  Here are two examples on how to have fun with designs!

Crayon Drip Pumpkin

Crayon Drip Pumpkin

 

Supplies:

Crayons (if you have fun crayons like glitter or glow in the dark, multi color crayons)
Hair Dryer (or lighter with parents supervision)
Fast Grab Tacky Glue
Pumpkin orange or white (real or fake)
Towel, Sheet or bag to cover the area where you will be working
Decorations (anything you want to use to put your personal touch to the craft)

Directions:

1. Make sure to remove all labels from the crayons as they will not be helpful as the crayons are being melted.
2. Make sure the pumpkin is clean and isn’t spoiling. You don’t want to spend time decorating it for it to go bad after your hard work.
3. Cover the area you are working on with a cloth to make sure you don’t drip on anything important.
4. Break crayons in half, you won’t need a whole crayon for 1 pumpkin.
5. Glue the crayons to the top of the pumpkin, they may not stay still otherwise, if you want to do a drip effect you can hold the crayon and heat it to drip in a pattern of your choice as well.
6. Once you are ready to melt go crazy! Make any design you want drip separately or together.  Have fun with it.

I always say get creative so if you have fun things you want to add to this craft go for it! Use glitter, buttons, broken pins, ribbons or anything you have been looking for an excuse to make use of. Add whatever you want to the pumpkin while the drippings are still wet. Glitter or even sequins would be fun. You could go get leaves, twigs and acorns. Make it your own!

Images from here and here.

Halloween Candy Tacos

Sugar Cookie Candy Tacos

 

This is a great party idea year round but since after Halloween you know you can get stuck with a bunch of candy you can totally make the best of it and have some fun. You can use these as a party snack for everyone to participate in or to have made and ready before guests arrive. You have plenty of options to switch up in this recipe for anyone who may have allergies or specific preferences.

Ingredients:

1 roll sugar cookie dough (you can use any dough you prefer ie chocolate chip or oatmeal raisin)
20 mini candy bars
candy pieces (anything that can’t be cut up)
1 container whipped white frosting
food coloring

Directions:

1. Cut the cookie dough into thick slices.
2. Press the dough into 2 1/2 inch circles on a floured surface or Silpat.
3. At 350 degrees, bake for 11 minutes or until golden brown.
4. Use a rolling pin or something round like a the cardboard part of a papertowel roll and immediately drape the cookies over the circular form and let it cool for a few minutes. The cookie will hold its shape once it has cooled.
5. While the cookies are cooling chop up the candy you are using to fill the tacos
6. Add food coloring to white frosting. You can use green to look like lettuce, red to be salsa, yellow or orange for cheese, keep some white for sour cream. Be creative.
7. Put a small amout of frosting on th inside of the shell to hold the candy onto your taco.
8. Sprinkle your candy onto the tacos but save the small unchopped candies for the top.
9. Add any other dallops of frosting you want on top of your candy bars.
10. Sprinkle the candy pieces on top of the previous layer of frosting to top off your taco.

**Instead of using cookies you can also make cinnamon & sugar tortillas but keep in mind you want your tortillas to be round so you can use small sized tortillas or cut yours into round shapes.

Homemade Non-Toxic Glitter

Homemade Non-Toxic Glitter

Homemade Non-Toxic Glitter

Glitter is clearly one of my most favorite things on the planet. Thanks to Planet Pals (where I found the recipe)  you can now make your own homemade non-toxic glitter! I am over the moon type excited to try this out! This is the best thing to ever happen since glitter was actually invented I think! If you have tried this let me know how it worked out for you, I’d love to hear about/see the results. You can also use this glitter for food because is it only food coloring and salt or sugar! You can get tons of uses out of it.

Supplies:

Baking Pan
Tin Foil
1/4 cup of salt (or granulated sugar)
1/2 teaspoon of LIQUID food coloring

Directions:

1.Preheat an oven to 350 degrees oven for 10 mins
2. You can use 1/2 cup coarse salt (non iodized) or 1/2 cup granulated sugar and add 2 -10 drops food coloring, adjust for desired color. You can mix colors also to get fun new colors!
3. Spread the mixture out in an even layer on a foil-lined baking sheet.
4. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes.
5. Allow your homemade glitter to cool before using it.

NOTE:
Paste food coloring can result in smoking. You may also store it in an air tight container for several months. This stays drier and stores wonderfully as is but even better if you spread colored salt/sugar in a thin layer to air dry for about an hour or microwave in 30 second intervals, stir and repeat for about 1-2 minutes or until moisture is evaporated. You can also add a few grains of rice to absorb any moisture.

Build a Portable Golf Course

Build a Portable Golf Course

Build a Portable Golf Course

 

 

 

Since it is still summer and the weather is sunny and warm an outdoor craft is a great idea to keep the family entertained!  I found this spiffy little idea on one of my fave sites FamilyFun.go.com.  I think the portable golf course is the cutest idea ever! If you like it enough you can bring the course with you to parties to share with friends and family. You might even inspire them to make a course of their own.
If you are a teacher this could be an excellent project for your students. The children can make and decorate their own courses and get really creative with other things they have around the house.

Supplies:

3-liter plastic soda bottles
Colored tape
Markers
Cardboard
Cardboard tubes
Duct tape
Glue
Paint
Any decorations you want to add to make them more yours ie glitter, ribbons anything lying around the house that could be used as a decoration.

Directions:
1. Trim the bottom off a 3-liter plastic soda bottle, then cut out an arched hole (approximately 3-1/4 inches wide and 4 inches tall) in the base.
2. Use colored tape, paint, markers and anything you want to decorate and number the bottles.
3. Fold a 3- by 11-1/2-inch piece of cardboard around the bottom of a long, sturdy cardboard tube (like a wrapping paper tube or poster/document tube). Wrap duct tape around the two pieces to secure them together, then wrap the rest of the tube.

Since Dads Are Often Cheesy

Since Dads Are Often Cheesy

Since Dads Are Often Cheesy

 

Fathers Day is around the corner and you know how they love handmade gifts from their loved ones. Handmade gifts and ties right? They always want ties. Here is a creative and yummo way to show Dad that you love him.

Ingredients:
Organic rectangle shaped crackers
Organic sliced cheeses (you can use any kind even possibly spreadable but that might get messy)
Organic red or green bell pepper
Organic pepperoni (you can use vegetarian pepperoni as well)
Organic sliced cold cuts (you can use vegetarian cold cuts as well)
Organic scallions
Organic yellow mustard
Organic olives (green or yellow)

 

Directions:

1. For each shirt, top a cracker with a rectangle of cheese or cold cut.
2. Next, cut shirt details, such as a collar, pocket, tie, or button seam, out of olives, cheese, peppers, cold cuts or pepperoni.
3. Use thinly sliced scallions or dots of yellow mustard for buttons.
4. Get creative with it. You can make other things as well that remind you of dad. Cut out a wallet or a mug maybe a television.

Dad will get a kick out of your creativeness. It will be yummy too. You can try other foods such as hot dogs, pretzels, bread, ketchup, anything really. You can make a bunch of Dad shaped things.