Food Tote for the Car

Miss me?

This month has been crazy busy and I haven’t done much in the way of crafting, cooking, processing or relaxing.  I plan to start all that at the end of next week.  I’d do it sooner but the state of my house has slipped past “cluttered” and into “crappy”.  I plan on cleaning out all of my “just in case” stuff, reorganizing and deep cleaning.  I’d call it spring cleaning but we’re way past that.

I do have a super tip for all those great road trips you are planning on taking this summer!  As I’m typing this I am vaguely remembering sharing this tip with you already. . . Perhaps last summer. . . or maybe I intended on doing so and didn’t???  If this is a recycled tip, my apologies.

When we go on a road trip, we start driving in the morning.  When we stop for gas, everyone gets out and uses the bathroom.  We hit a drive-thru for lunch and get back on the road right away.  We use these:

At the dollar store, they cost a buck (imagine that!).  They hold a drink upright, keep food in one place and catch spills and messes.  Each kid has two.  They use the other for their electronic stuff.  (DS games are TINY!!)  The food tote can be rinsed out in the hotel’s sink every night so the stickiness can start anew each day.  They’re sturdy, don’t fall over and can be moved to the floor fairly easily without things spilling out.  We love them and can’t imagine a road trip without.

Stay safe this summer!  I will check in sometime next week!

Homemade Shower Soothers

Remember Shower Soothers?  They were made by SudaCare and were these little hockey puck things you tossed on the floor of your shower when you had a cough or cold.  The hot water would hit them and turn your shower into a humidifier box with eucalyptus oils and menthol steam cleaning out your sinuses.  I haven’t seen them around for a long time and this allergy season is a doozie so I checked online.  Sure enough, you can make them!

Here are mine, all ready to go!  This is my third attempt.  There’s quite a bit of info online as to the best ways to make these but the third time was the charm.  I ended up combining a few blogs’ directions together to get my results but I got the best info from the most awesome and funny blog. . . Frugal by Choice, Cheap by Necessity.   Here’s the process that finally worked for me:

You need:

Baking Soda (two pounds)
1 cup water
Eucalyptus Essential Oils

If your grocery store has a “natural” section you will probably be able to find your eucalyptus oil there.

Mix your baking soda with your water.  It will be thick and chunky.

Press together with a handful and either put onto parchment paper or press into a silicone mold.  I used some muffin liners.

Put into a 350-degree oven.  Bake for 20 minutes and then turn the oven off.  Leave in the oven until the oven cools and pull out.  Remove from molds and put on a cooling rack.

Drop ten to fifteen drops of Eucalyptus oils onto the top of each cake.  Flip over and drop ten more drops on the bottom.  Place in a jar for use.

To use, put one cake on the floor of your shower and turn on.  The heat and water from the shower will start to slowly melt the cake and the eucalyptus steam will help clear your sinuses.  It’ll start to disintegrate in the water slowly but by the end of your shower, it will probably be gone.  Being baking soda, it’s safe for your pipes.  The more eucalyptus oil you use on the cakes, the stronger the steam will be.

If I do it again:

I am on the lookout for a cheap toaster oven at a garage sale that I can use for this project (and a few others).  I would like to mix the oils into the baking soda/water mix and then bake the entire thing but I don’t want the oven to smell like eucalyptus.  It’s such a strong smell, I feel like it would transfer to my baked goods the next few times I used it.

Snowman Soup

We were looking for a quick, fun and cheap gift idea for my youngest to take into her religious ed class this week.  We decided on Snowman Soup packets.

They turned out great and, better yet, it was something she could do on her own.  I helped by printing out some bag toppers and packaging the marshmallows but the rest was up to her.

The ingredients for Snowman Soup:

You need some bags (I decided on the 4×12 bags by Wilton), some Hershey Kisses, mini marshmallows, hot cocoa packets and mini candy canes.  We first cut about four inches off the tops of all the bags with my paper cutter.  Then we used my food saver to package the marshmallows.  We put a seam at the bottom, tossed in ten, and sealed the top.  Perfect!
She packaged up the ingredients and stapled a bag topper on to them.  I designed it on Word and used their clip art for a quick way to make it look good.  I wrote the poem for the front and added directions to the back.

They turned out cute and she had lots of fun making them.  They’re not super fancy but she can’t wait to hand them out.

Here’s my bag topper.  Click on it and print it out on a piece of 8 1/2 x 11 cardstock.  (If it doesn’t print out right, try copying it and pasting it into your word document.)  Cut them out on the light gray lines. . . just don’t cut the fold line in the middle of the two.  You get four per sheet.  Feel free to use it for your own purposes but, if you don’t mind, please link it back to me if you repost it.