Italian Sausage Potato & Balsamic Vegetable Casserole

One dish dinners are all the rage, for obvious reasons. This sheet pan Italian Sausage Potato & Balsamic Vegetable Casserole is a simple meal that’s bursting with flavor. Everything gets cooked in a single casserole dish, meaning every roasted veggie is infused filled with flavor.

Italian Sausage Potato & Balsamic Vegetable Casserole also shown with carrots in a black roasting pan

Read more

DIY Pinwheel Headbands

While watching my friend’s daughters one day, I decided we needed something crafty. It was my attempt to keep them from going stir crazy, in between our daily 30 minute reading time and a trip to the pool, while we waited for the littlest son to wake up from his afternoon nap. I had recently seen this idea, and knew I had most of the supplies on hand, and that it would take up just the amount of time I needed to fill. The actual headbands I found at the craft store in the jewelry making section. These simple headbands were an immediate hit with the girls. Even my boys wanted to get involved in making them and were surprised, and even impressed, at how something so simple could be turned into something so ‘professional’ looking. Next time you’re feeling ‘crafty’, create your own easy and trendy pinwheel headband. They’re so simple, you can even make a spare to share, or several, quickly.

DIY Pinwheel Headbands

4 Sons 'R' Us: DIY Pinwheel Headbands

  • 2 different colors of felt, preferably coordinating and 1 sheet of each
  • 3 buttons
  • headband
  • scissors
  • ruler
  • hot glue gun

Directions

  1. Cut out 2.5 x 2.5-inch squares of felt, 2 squares for each pinwheel.
  2. Starting at each corner, cut a slit toward the center of the square, measuring approximately 1.5-inches long. This should leave at least a half inch of the center of the square uncut.
  3. Now there are 4 “triangles” within each square.
  4. Place two of the coordinating squares together, one a top the other. Secure with a dot of glue in between each.
  5. Begin by folding over one corner of a triangle toward the center of the square. Place a small dot of hot glue in the center of the square to hold down the edge of the triangle. Continue around, gluing down every-other triangle corner to form a pinwheel shape. Continue for the second layer.

  6. Next, glue a button over the center of the pinwheel where all the triangle corners come together. Finally, put a little dab of glue on the headband and place the pinwheels!

Son # 2 ‘pouting’ that he didn’t get a headband too! I couldn’t help but laugh, I love my little comedians.

4 Sons 'R' Us

The 5 Minute, No Sew, Bottom Bunk-Bed Fort

I often hear the saying ‘Boys And Their Toys’, but after having four of my own, I feel like it should really be ‘Boys And Their Forts’.

It seems boys, or at least all four of mine, are biologically programmed to build forts.

Almost like clock work, their first fort seemed to signify their ‘christening’ into Toddler-dom. After that, the building never stopped.

Without fail, anytime I step foot into one of their bedrooms I find sheets strung up, taped up, tacked up. Up! B

ins have been used as room dividers, with blankets for doors, and pillows inside serving as child-sized divans for lounging and comfort.

While I love the little kingdoms they create for themselves in their world of blankets and imagination, sometimes we just don’t have time for all the construction, and eventual clean-up, that that kind of creativity requires.

When that happens, I go from being the beautiful ‘Mom Princess’, as the littlest son has dubbed me, to the mean old ogre storming the gates.

I hate ruining harmless fun. Then I really feel like a giant grouchy, green ogre.

Stumbling upon Laura’s idea for an easy, DIY Bunk Bed Fort was a Godsend.

It’s fast, easy, and there’s not a single thing to cut or sew! You can literally throw it up in 5 minutes.

There’s not even a mess to clean up afterwards, and it’s always ready and waiting to play.

Perfect for any ‘Mom Princess’ or ‘Queen of the Castle’, whether you’re raising young lords or little ladies, who wants to keep letting the good times roll, even when you’re running out of time.

The 5 Minute, No Sew, Bottom Bunk-Bed Fort

4 Sons 'R' Us: The 5 Minute No Sew Bottom Bunk Bed Fort- a striped curtain drawn on a tension rod across a wooden twin bunk bed

  • flat sheet, twin sized
  • 12-14 curtain rings with clips
  • tension rod

Directions

  1. Slide your curtain rings onto the tension rod.
  2. Mount the tension rod to the bunk bed.
  3. Fold your twin-sized, flat sheet in half, lengthwise.
  4. Attach the clips on the fold, spacing them as evenly as possible so the whole sheet is evenly held up.
  5. You’re ready for playtime!

Look how it works.  The curtain can be all tucked away when not in use, but just slide it closed for your very own Bottom Bunk-Bed Fort. The sheet easily un-clips for washing, and the tension rod is equally easy to remove whenever desired.

4 Sons 'R' Us: Bottom Bunk Bed Fort- a striped curtain drawn on a tension rod across a wooden twin bunk bed

Delicious Dill Dip Recipe

Dips are my favorite appetizer because they’re so convenient to whip up even at the last minute, and appropriate for just about any occasion. This creamy dill dip recipe is a refreshing sour cream based dip flavored with herbs & simple seasonings. Paired with simple dipping options it makes an outstanding option for parties & get-togethers, or even a simple snack.

dill dip in a purple glass serving dish with a teal checkered cloth napkin and crisp chips in the background

Read more

Lemon Rosemary Bath Salts

In the rush of everyday life with a large family, and four children, there isn’t always time for a lot of relaxation. Usually just stolen moments.

Even my showers have had to become ‘efficient’.

However, on the weekends when the kids are in bed, I love to enjoy a nice, long soak in the tub.

One of my creature comforts, despite budget constraints, has always been expensive bath products.

I frequently use scented ones to create my own little atmosphere of peace and tranquility.

It’s this wonderful little private bubble, where for a chunk of time, I don’t have any obligations or demands to meet. Something about the scented steam, just does it for me in the ‘reclaim a piece of my sanity’ department after a chaotic week.

While I used to frequent kitschy stores and purchase the latest fragrant combinations to induce my ‘me time’. I’ve gradually shifted to making more and more of my own bath products.

As I’ve found to be true with the majority of things, I like the results from this homemade version better than other’s I’ve purchased over the years toting the same ingredients.

These bath salts are a breeze to mix up, and are heavenly to use.

Just a few simple, common ingredients, and you can easily, and cheaply, produce your own affordable, quality bath salts.

Make your reservations today for a little ‘spa’ treatment in the comfort of your own home with a batch of these easy lemon rosemary bath salts.

Lemon Rosemary Bath Salts

lemon rosemary bath salts in a wide mouth glass mason jar with a dark background and the title displayed at the bottom

Print Recipe
No ratings yet

Lemon Rosemary Bath Salts

Ingredients

  • 2 cups epsom salts
  • 1/2 cup baking soda
  • 2-3 tbsp fresh rosemary; finely chopped
  • 6-8 drops lemon essential oil
  • 2-3 tbsp lemon zest optional

Instructions

  • In a bowl, combine epsom salts and baking soda.
  • Add in half of the essential oil drops, mix, then add in the remaining drops.
  • Mix in the chopped rosemary and lemon zest if you decide to use it until fully combined.
  • Store in an airtight container.
  • To use, add as much, or as little, as you'd like to hot bath water and stir around until dissolved.

D.I.Y. Candy Bouquet

Last month we went to watch my middle sister graduate from college.

This was one of her ‘gifts’, also doubling as the centerpiece for the food table at her graduation party.

My sister happens to have a soft spot for anything sweet and sugary so this was a perfect treat for her.

The candy bouquet had originally been my mom’s idea, but the finished product was my youngest sister’s labor of love.

All of the graduate’s favorite treats were featured.

Recently, I’ve seen these in all the stores as a ‘sweet’ and trendy gift to give, but the mark-up on them is insane.

With just a few items, several of which you probably already have in your home, you can make a beautiful candy bouquet ‘arrangement’ for a special someone with something to celebrate.

I absolutely love this fun, new twist on the more traditional floral arrangement. Customizable, fun, and most importantly, edible!

What more could you ask for from a ‘bouquet’?!

Help celebrate someone ‘sweet’ in your life, and commemorate a special day, with a personalized candy bouquet.Candy Bouquet with sparkly ribbons around the base and a variety of candy bars on wooden skewers in a glass vase filled with m&m's

Print Recipe
No ratings yet

DIY Candy Bouquet

Ingredients

  • assorted full-size candy bars 6 were used here
  • wooden skewers
  • strong tape
  • economy-sized bag of m&ms
  • clean empty clear vase
  • ribbon optional

Instructions

  • Tape a wooden skewer to the back of each candy bar. Make sure enough tapes is used so that it's securely attached.
  • Add m&m's to the bottom of a clean vase.
  • Stick skewers into the m&m's, adding more if necessary to hold the skewers in place.
  • If using, tie decorative ribbon around the outside of the vase and tie a bow for the finishing touch.

Copy-Cat ‘Frosty Paws’ Frozen Dog Treats

On a hot summer day, there’s nothing better than a nice cold and frosty treat to help keep cool.

Think of a glass of ice-cold lemonade, or a frosty popsicle fresh from the freezer.

While we all have our own favorites and readily use them as part of our summer arsenal to stop the heat’s oppressive assault, pets are often left out of this kind of treat. ‘Frosty Paws’ offer an ‘ice cream’ type treat for your K-9 friend that’s perfectly safe for their consumption.

However, even though our Bentley is very near and dear to my heart, I couldn’t bring myself to continue to pay the high costs just for a bag of frozen dog treats, especially when I read the ingredient list and realized how simple it would be to make my own. It was simple, easy peasy.

Now Bentley is happy, healthy, and not nearly as hot after a romp outside.

These frosty paws frozen dog treats are really versatile as well, and easily adaptable.

While the recipe I’ve given you today is how I make them most often. I have made these with finely ground chicken & chicken broth, and I’ve also included pulverized egg shells as a calcium supplement with great success.

Copy-Cat ‘Frosty Paws’ Frozen Dog Treats

4 Sons 'R' Us: copy cat frosty paws dog treats shown in a white ice cube tray

Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Copy-Cat Frosty Paws Frozen Dog Treats

Ingredients

  • 32 oz yogurt I've used plain, strawberry, and vanilla before
  • 1 mashed ripe banana or 1 baby food jar of fruit
  • 2 tbsp peanut butter
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • ice cube tray

Instructions

  • Mix all ingredients in a mixer or a blender until evenly combined.
  • Spoon the batter into the ice cube trays.
  • Freeze.
  • Pop out and store in a zip locking bag in your freezer.
  • Give your fur-baby a treat!