My Kids, Reading, Cereal, and a Little Free Library

Wait, what? Am I in the right place? Where's the DIY I'm used to? Calm down bro. It's the same old me but with a slightly different post today. Don't freak out. I'm not sailing off in a new direction forever. Just for today.  Before I get to the deliciousness above, let me fill you in with a bit of back story.

I started this DIY blog 3 years ago. My intensions were only to have a place to keep record of all the things I made, and maybe show the 3 people that read my blog how to make those things too. Since then, it's evolved and grown a bit. I still LOVE making over furniture, taking trash and turning it into treasure, and shopping thrift stores until my legs give out. (Just finished a new table this week... can't wait to show you!) Don't get me wrong. But, because of my blog's growth, I've gotten some opportunities I never knew were even possibilities; some to do with DIY, some not. The best one being last year when I got to makeover a space at a local children's foster home. (Read about that here). No really. Because I revamp furniture, take some pictures, and write about it, I was given a bunch of money to use to make 18 foster kids' lives better. If that's not validation for keeping this little blog alive, I don't know what is.

So since then, I made a conscience decision to take on as many charitable opportunities as I can. Partnering up with Post Alpha-Bits and the Little Free Library was the next such opportunity. Still with me? 

Post Alpha-bits cereal is working with Little Free Library to spread messages of literacy, learning, and educational snacktivities across America and they've asked me to install a Little Free Library in my community. The libraries are small free-standing structures similar to large birdhouses. Anyone can take a book or leave a book. So simple, so great. Since my children are budding readers and we visit our own local library often, I was completely on board to share the love of reading with whoever I could. So cool right?

So to get you in the mood for reading, I cooked up a delicious snack which not only tastes great, it can also be used as a literacy learning tool with your kids too. We made Alpha-Bits cereal bars. The kids not only measured out the ingredients themselves, they also spelled words with the Alpha-Bits while snacking away.

Honestly, before this campaign I never bought Alpha-Bits. I always assumed they were too sugary (I know, I'm making a dessert here... but in general, we're a non-sugary cereal family). But I was pleasantly surprised to find they have 6 grams of sugar per serving (very comparable to the cereals I was currently buying), 20 grams of whole grains, and no artificial flavors. I just bought two new boxes this week. :)

Alpha-Bits Cereal Bars

4 cups Alpha-Bits
4 cups mini marshmallows
2 tbs butter
1/4 cup M&Ms
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (optional)

  1. In microwave, heat butter and marshmallows in a large bowl in 20 second increments until they begin to melt. Stir frequently. Continue microwaving in small increments and stirring until smooth.
  2. Add Alpha-Bits and fold to coat completely.
  3. Press Alpha-Bits mixture into a 9" x 12" greased pan (I used a greased piece of wax paper to press with).
  4. Sprinkle top with M&Ms (we used dark chocolate for the added antioxidant benefit) and press into place.
  5. Refrigerate for about an hour or until firmly set.
  6. Turn out onto a board and cut into bars.
  7. (Optional) Thread a skewer into bars and dip in melted dark chocolate for an added special treat.

Can I just tell you how great they turned out? YUM! The kids have asked daily when we can make a new batch.
So follow me in the coming weeks to see our library, and where and how we install it. I'm so excited to be able to deliver another gift to my community thanks to this little corner of blog land. Head over to LittleFreeLibrary.org if you want to find out more about the program.
I was not compensated to participate in the Post Alpha-Bits/Little Free Library project. I did receive Post Alpha-Bits cereal to complete my recipe and a Little Free Library structure to install in my community.


20 DIY Dress Tutorials for Spring

Believe it or not, the weather will heat up and the days of boots and leggings with everything will fade in lieu of something lighter. If you're feeling adventurous, why not try sewing a dress this spring? It's easier than you think (and cheap!) to make something functional you'll love. 

Now, let's be clear. I'm not talking the kind of "dress" where you take your husband's shirt, tie a few quick knots around the girls, and hope nothing flops out as you hoist children in and out of the shopping cart. No. No. I'm talking an actual dress for women who maybe have birthed a few kids, who's parts might appreciate a supportive undergarment or two (hand raised enthusiastically), and who definitely will do moves similar to yoga to get said children through a public restroom unscathed. You need something cute, quick, and functional... I get it!  So prepare to shave those pasty legs and paint those neglected toes... spring is coming.

Here are 20 DIY dress tutorials perfect warmer weather that will keep your bits covered while being comfortable and maybe even look cute too. 


St. Patrick's Day Printables

Happy March.  Just a quick post to let you know I made a few free St. Patrick's Day printables.  Hang them up while you drink some green beer and eat... Lucky Charms? Hey, whatever floats your boat. Click on the images below to download the printable 8" x 10" PDFs.