Posts Tagged ‘DIY’

Healthy Homemade Sodas

Image: Romulo Yanes

Mayor Bloomberg recently announced that he plans on banning super-sized sugary beverages from New York City’s restaurants and food vendors. While it’s not without controversy, we can appreciate measures intended to create a healthier city. Indeed, Bloomberg’s ban on smoking in public places and trans fats from restaurants has set the bar high for many other major cities. The good news is that banning soda doesn’t necessarily mean limiting yourself to H2O for life, although there’s nothing wrong with that. For special treats, there are plenty of homemade sodas that can be made while skipping the sugar and the chemicals. And they’re simple and fun to make, even for kids. Here’s a few recipes to try at home from Cherry-Vanilla to classic Ginger.

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Homemade Mother’s Day Gifts

This Sunday is Mother’s Day, the time of the year to honor the woman who gave us the most. Bamboo Wall Art makes a great Mother’s Day present. Just choose your favorite photo of you and mom and upload. Customize with a variety of sweet designs. In addition to bamboo’s wide-ranging green qualities, Paper Culture plants a tree with each order, so it’s a win win. Click here for details. But perhaps you want to go even more DIY and make something from scratch for mom. Here are some easy ideas that will be sure to put a smile on her face.

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The Ever Evolving Crib

We at Paper Culture are all about raising our children green from Day 1. Whether by choosing eco diapers or finding innovative cribs that grow with our children, we love finding products that make it easy. But what about once your child finally outgrows that crib? Our friends over at Lil Sugar have put together a collection of repurposed cribs from creative mothers and scavengers.

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Surrur, the sound a sewing machine makes, if you are in Finland.

I am this close to signing up for a sewing class. Although, I did take sewing in 7th grade, where I made a strange-looking stuffed-animal from a kit. Saying my sewing machine skills are basic, may be too generous. But I will admit that I am pretty darn good at darning and replacing buttons using the “old school” needle and thread.

Surrur” is the sound that a sewing machine makes, if you are in Finland. It is ok if you can’t pronounce it, as 40% of Fins including their President, Tarja Kaarina Halonen, can’t trill their “Rs.” It is also the title of the amazing new “make your own Marimekko” book that I had to have from Crate and Barrel. [read more]

Swing Into Summer

334/365  Tire Swing Bench Monday!

334/365 Tire Swing Bench Monday!

Summer’s here! Which means airport runs for some families. Instead of packing for a stressful flight elsewhere, why not save money, enjoy a staycation and let your kids “fly” at home?!

I’ve spun myself silly for hours on end with this favorite childhood past time — the tire swing. And the best part aside from it being pretty easy to set up, is it really brings the neighborhood kids together. All you need is a strong and willing tree, a tire (save one from the junk yard), nylon rope or metal chain, and simple hardware. [read more]

S/he’s Crafty!

When I was a teenager growing up in the late 80s and early 90s, a lot of DIY and craft trends hit my community by storm. Both girls and boys were tie dying clothes, weaving friendship bracelets and carefully constructing beaded safety pins for sneakers. We even made our own buttons to decorate the strap of our favorite Le Sport Sac.

Observing my young cousins today, they’re all really good at being on trend, but none of them seem to actually make anything to share with their peers anymore. Their time is spent virtually hanging out with their buddies and ordering things versus actually hanging out in real time together, making things. Since summer’s about more  friends and family togetherness, I thought you might enjoy doing the following activities with your young roommates:

The Purl Bee: Molly’s Sketchbook: Friendship Bracelets – I spent hours after school weaving friendship bracelets for anyone who wanted to trade them with me. They were bright and colorful and pretty easy to make. They lasted a long time and were easy to replace. Best of all, the bracelets were very affordable jewelry and I always had something to match my favorite JAMS shorts and Rugby shirt! [read more]

So Sweet: Lemonade Stands!

School’s out! It’s the time of year for smores, campfires, and swimming (and a much needed break for parents everywhere). According to NPR, studies show that students lose months of reading and math skills over summer vacation. Apart from enrolling your kids in summer school or camp, how will you keep your kids engaged this summer?

I’m a big fan of lemonade stands as they teach children the basic rules of commerce (making and saving money) and entrepreneurship and are a fun and easy way to practice math. My 11 year old cousin, Ari pays for his summer purchases by operating his lemonade stand every couple of weeks and enjoys the outdoor activity tremendously.

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