DIY Photo Booth for Kids

DIY Photo Booth for Kids


As the days get colder, your children are much less likely to want to play outside.  So what do you do on these frigid inside days to ward off cabin fever?

One of the first wintry days this year, I constructed a photo booth in the daycare room.  The kids loved it!  They would have spent hours letting me take pictures of them with various props.  Below are instructions on how to keep your own rambunctious little ones entertained.

DIY Photo Booth


  • Plastic tablecloth (or other large piece of material, such as a bed sheet)
  • Masking tape
  • Props (these could be purchased or made.  I simply printed pictures from online, colored them, and had them laminated.  I taped them to popsicle sticks, and–voila!–instant props)
  • Camera



  • Hang tablecloth on flat wall using masking tape
  • Allow kids to choose props and have fun
  • Take pictures!



DIY Lanyard

DIY Lanyard


This school year, I have taken on the supervisor position at the daycare.  Instead of a clipboard, I now carry an armload of communication devices as I check in on the daycare teachers.  I have a walkie-talkie, the daycare cellphone, and my own cellphone in addition to all of my keys and work ID.  It was becoming quite difficult to run from one classroom to the next without dropping a piece of equipment.

My plan was to buy a cheap lanyard and carry everything around my neck.  However, the store only had 3 lanyards in stock, I didn’t like any of the colors, and they all cost more than I was willing to pay.  With a few quick snips and stitches, I made a lanyard that can hold my keys, walkie-talkie, and one of the cell phones (and I finished the whole thing while watching a science lecture for school).

(P.S. – Sorry for the lack of step-by-step pictures.  This was made during my camera-less weekend at home)

DIY Lanyard:


  • 1 piece of material cut 8 x 36 inches
  • Keychain ring
  • scissors
  • thread
  • sewing machine


  • Fold the piece of material in half length-wise (like a hotdog bun 🙂 ) with the printed side facing in.  Sew a straight stitch down the long side.  Turn material right-side-out.  Fold the ends over and sew a small seam.
  • Fold the material in half length-wise again.  Either way you fold it, the pattern will be facing out, but you may want your seams to be on the inside.
  • Repeat step two.
  • Thread keychain ring onto the long strap you have made.  Overlap the two ends of the strap and sew together.  This will form a loop.
  • Pull the keychain ring down towards the end of the loop which you just stitched.  Stitch again slightly above the ring.
  • If desired, decorate your lanyard with buttons, pins, and bows.
  • I put a carabineer on the keychain ring so that I can easily unhook my keys when I don’t need the lanyard.  Also, I use a Vera Bradley Zip ID Case to hold corral my phone, keys, and work ID.  To make your own ID Case, try this tutorial from Thimbleanna.
Aldi Food Haul

Aldi Food Haul


During a stressful week of classes, work, and volleyball, my college pantry took a serious beating.  I was hitting the bottom of the raisin container, rationing my last few peanuts, and completely out of peanut butter.  It was time for an Aldi run.

Man shall not live by bread alone; he also needs peanut butter.
Man shall not live by bread alone; he also needs peanut butter.

As you know, I live a cheap frugal life.  That is why I adore Aldi!  Below I have listed some healthy, yummy Aldi products that are great to keep in your dorm room.

  • Natural Peanut Butter   ($1.49 per 16 oz. container)
  • Cottage Cheese ($2.29 per 24 oz. container)
  • Yogurt ($.39 per 6 oz. container)
  • Multigrain Bread ($1.69 per 20 oz. loaf)
  • Roasted Turkey ($2.99 for 14 oz.)
  • Black Beans ($.59 per 15.5 oz. can)
  • Pineapple Lunch Snacks ($1.49 for four 4 oz. cups)


Aldi also has a great selection of fresh produce.  I don’t keep much produce in my room, but when I am home, my family buys peppers, bananas, sweet potatoes, blueberries, strawberries, carrots, celery, mushrooms, and various other pieces of produce at Aldi.

Because I bummed a ride off my brother, I also received some much-needed venting time on this Aldi run.  Food, fellowship, and frugality.  What a great ending to a long week.

“A friend loves you all the time, and a brother helps in time of trouble.”  –Proverbs 17:17


Top Ten Tuesday: Thrifty

Top Ten Tuesday: Thrifty


On my way to college of Friday, I stopped at a thrift store.  What better way to relieve the back-to-school blues than shopping?  Some people don’t understand my love of thrift stores; they view second-hand shops as dirty, cheap, and difficult.  However, there is no where I would rather shop than a decent thrift store.  Here are ten reasons that Goodwill is my go-to.

Top Ten Reasons to Buy Second-Hand Clothing

  1. You will save a TON of money—why pay more?
  2. It is good for the environment
  3. You can get clothes that no one else will have–no more matching the girl across the room!
  4. You can buy more clothes because you are paying less per item
  5. You can alter the clothes without the fear of ruining an expensive piece (yay! refashioning!)
  6. It is fun to dig through bins, rifle through racks, and peruse shelves.  I love the hunt!
  7. You will get a good laugh at some of the ridiculous items you find.
  8. Thrift shops are a great place to people-watch.
  9. College students often consign their clothes—you are paying for someone’s education!
  10. Most of my favorite pieces are second-hand.  (Like the awesome J. Crew rain boots that I bought Friday for $5)
One Shirt, Two Projects

One Shirt, Two Projects


Remember when I posted this free refash from a cut sample shirt?  Well, that wasn’t the only damaged piece I found for free that day.  I also snagged a beige, polka-dot, button-down top.  Even without the rip, this shirt did not have much going for it.  First of all, it was 100% genuine polyester (yuck!).  Add the fact that it was two sizes too big and had a weird panel-thing, and I almost decided to forgo the freebie…but I am too frugal to leave behind cute polka-dots.  And it’s a good thing I acquired this shirt–it became two awesome pieces!

For the first piece, I started by cutting off the sleeves and the offensive panel.  All I wanted to do was make this into a sleeveless top.  Simple as pie!


Good riddance!
Good riddance!

Then, I pinned the armholes to be sewn, ran it through the sewing machine, and–oh, wait–it’s still two sizes too big…forgot about that 🙂 .  I simply took in a few inches on each side and I was good to go.  It paired nicely with a black, beige, and yellow polka-dot skirt that was also free (I love hand-me downs) and a pair of free sandals ( I love Christmas presents!).  The only item in today’s outfit that I actually purchased is the belt–a $1 Goodwill find.


The second project almost did not happen.  I was about to throw away the sleeve remnants when I thought to myself, “There’s got to be a use for these.”  Then it occurred to me…

My Bible is falling apart.  The entire map section is on an excursion, and Genesis 1-3 is planning a revolt.  In short, I needed something that could keep my Bible unified.  I had been looking at Bible cases online, but I had not found one that met my criteria: unique, colorful, cheap.  As I searched through scrap fabric to compliment the discarded sleeves, this project came to mind.


DIY Bible Cover:


  • Stretchy book cover
  • Sleeve cuffs (or ribbon and velcro/buttons)
  • Sewing machine
  • Needle, thread, pins, scissors, etc.


  •  If you are using a sleeve, rip the seam to remove the  cuff from the sleeve.  Re-seam the cuff into a single strip.
Sew like so
Sew like so
  • Cut the cuff in half and sew a seam on the two new edges.
  • Pull the book cover onto your Bible.
  • Leaving the cuff buttoned, pin it to book cover on both the back and the front (Be careful to not pin through your Bible!)


  • Unbutton the cuff, and remove the book cover.
  • Carefully (so as to not sew through both layers of the book cover), sew the cuff along its seams to attach it to the book cover.  Repeat of back side.
  • Replace the book cover on your Bible.
Ready to be used!
Ready to be used!


And there you have it! I know that those directions are kind of confusing, so feel free to ask any questions!

Apple Donuts with Cinnamon Glaze + DIY Donut Pan

Apple Donuts with Cinnamon Glaze + DIY Donut Pan



My college is less than a mile from the site of the original Krispy Kreme bakery.  In fact, I pass by the location when I run.  While the original building is gone, there is a plaque commemorating this momentous location in food history.

There are a lot of recipes out there for healthy donuts; the problem is that most of them require ingredients that I do not keep on hand.  Even though I didn’t have the proper ingredients for this recipe from AthleticAvacado, I was able to improvise and make delicious breakfast donuts.


Apple Donuts with Cinnamon Glaze

Donut Ingredients:

  • 1/2 c oatmeal, ground into flour
  • 1/3 cup applesauce
  • 2 tbs. milk
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 tsp. honey

Glaze Ingredients:

  • 1/6 cup applesauce
  • 1/3 cup yogurt
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  •  **While some would say that glaze is optional, I highly recommend it for this recipe.  If you opt to omit the glaze, add extra honey and cinnamon to your donut batter.


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Grind oatmeal in a food processor until it is the consistency of flour (about 20 uninterrupted seconds)
  • Add 1/3 cup applesauce, milk, vanilla, and honey.  Process until well-mixed (about 10 seconds).
  • Transfer to donut pan (if you don’t have one, see below).
  • Bake for 15 minutes.
  • While the donuts are baking, combine 1/6 cup applesauce, yogurt, and cinnamon in a microwave safe bowl.
  • Microwave on high for 20 seconds.
  • Pour glaze over warm donuts and eat!


DIY Donut Pan

(For those of us who are cheap frugal)


  • Tin foil
  • Muffin tin


  • Cut tin foil into 5-inch squares.
  • Roll each square into an individual ball.
  • Place each ball into a muffin tin.
  • **Be sure to hold down the tin foil while you are pouring in the batter
Thrifty Thursday

Thrifty Thursday


I didn’t have to be at work until after 9 o’clock this morning, so I decided to take advantage of the extra time with an early morning run to Goodwill.  Personally, weekday mornings are the best time to hit thrift shops.  This is when you find fresh items, and you do not have to fight the crowds.

Today was a high-scoring day (I probably could have blown my whole paycheck, but I have decent self-control).  The racks were full of awesome shoes, and there were a plethora in my size.  Don’t worry; I reined myself in.  I only bought 2 pairs–lightly used running shoes (my old New Balances are pretty beat) and a pair of Charlotte Russe peep toe pumps.  The grand total? $8!!

The real steal of the day was left on the rack, however.  Right there, amidst the 1990s chunky sneakers and beat up flip-flops, was a pair of Coach sneakers.  I almost fainted.  They fit! They matched the outfit I wore today!  They were only $7!  I was in heaven…until I further inspected them.  They were pretty beat-up.  The soles were raw, and the stitching was frayed.  I put them back, reluctantly.  I don’t know which is the greater crime:  the fact that Coach shoes were only $7 or the fact that I didn’t buy them.