How to Alter an Altoids Tin with Mod Podge

 

Mod Podge an Altoids Tin

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OK, so I don’t eat Altoids, but a lot of people do. Like my mom. She eats quite a lot of those powerful little mints, which means she has quite a lot of those handy little tins around.

What to do, what to do?

Mod podge them, of course! Makeover those tins, so they can hold any number of adorable little items for you. I know I have some plans for them. Here’s how you can mod podge your own:

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Collect your materials. You will need some mod podge, an Altoids tin, a brush, some pretty paper, and (not pictured) a sharp little knife.

How to Mod Podge an Altoids Tin

Brush a thin layer of mod podge on the front of your tin and press firmly down on the back of your pretty paper. Carefully use your knife to cut around the tin. Mod podge over the paper.

Mod Podge an Altoids Tin!

Do the same for the bottom of the tin. Let it thoroughly dry. You may need to clean up the edges a bit, but that will be easy.

Mod Podge Altoids Tin

Then find something cute to put in your tin, like this Travel Size Paris by Made by Joel.

And that’s all there is to it! A super adorable, very easy and fun craft that you can have made in minutes.

Avoid Processed Foods

Avoid Processed Foods

This one should be a no-brainer when it comes to cooking more and eating better. After all, what better way is there to ensure you’re in the kitchen more often than avoiding buying processed foods.

But that doesn’t mean it’s easy. This is for a number of reasons:

  • We Live in a Fast-Paced World – I don’t know about you, but my life is jam-packed. I have a family, a home, a faith, and work, all of which take time. Sometimes it’s hard to figure out how to get dinner cooked if Olive is having a melt-down. I’m sure you’ve been there, too.
  • We Live in a Consumer World – For decades now, people have been bombarded with advertising on a level never before seen. We are constantly barraged with ads for prepared and processed foods. And you know what? They make that food look delicious in those commercials. It’s difficult not to be swayed by catchy jingles and pretty pictures.
  • We Live in a I-Want-It-Now World – What I mean is that we live in a world where all sorts of foods are always available. This wasn’t always the case. You ate fruits and vegetables seasonally, and you might not be able to get out and purchase the prepared foods you were looking for. Our culture has made it so that we are less connected to our food, and it’s hard to know what we can and should have right now versus what’s available.

How can we fight against this? Avoid processed foods by identifying what’s the biggest obstacle in your life. Is it a lack of time and a busy schedule that has you scrambling for that boxed meal at dinnertime? Try using your slow cooker more, buying into a meal plan service, and stocking your freezer with meals you made. Or maybe your kids or husband or even you are overly attracted to the packaged foods at the store. Don’t bring them, or be sure to stick to the outer aisles, where there is less processed food.

It can be done. But I won’t judge you if occasionally you fall off the bandwagon and get something processed. I do it occasionally myself. Sometimes that’s just how life is. Tomorrow, though, you can start again.

Why do you think it’s so easy to just buy processed foods?

31 Days button copy

This post is a part of my series, 31 Days to Cooking More & Eating Better. For a full list of topics, see this page.

Fresh Fruit image courtesy of stockimages/FreeDigitalPhotos.net. Donut image courtesy of Grant Cochrane/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

My February Goals

February Goals

(Did you know I play the piano? Just a random fact for you!)

Ack! Just when I thought I had things down, my internet went on the fritz last week. It completely knocked me out of my routine. I had so much to catch up on, and then try to figure out how to get back to my 2014 goals.

Well, I’m doing okay on those. Posting wasn’t quite as consistent as I would like since I fell behind, but I plan on doing better with that. Hopefully I can figure out a schedule where I am writing ahead of the game. Much ahead of the game. As in, definitely not the day I want to have my post ready for you to read.

I also want to invite you to follow me on Facebook. Be sure and click that you want notifications. I’m enjoying the fun conversations and discussions we’re getting into on the page, and I’d love for you to join in. Plus, I share great deals on books and other goodies that I find, as well as some inspiration, humor, and interesting articles from around the web. February should be an epic month for Facebook. At least in my world. I hope.

So those are my goals for you in February. Can I do better than January? Let’s hope so.

What are your goals in the coming month?

Elegant and Simple Centerpiece

Simple and Elegant Centerpiece

I don’t know about you, but the one aspect of planning a party I always forget are the decorations. Food, check. Drinks, check. Shower, check.

Decorations? Nope.

Not that that’s the end of the world. After all, the most important part of any get-together is the company. Sparkling conversation covers over a multitude of hosting sins. Still, I like to have a little something just to make it all come together.

Simple Centerpiece with Rice

This idea is quick, easy, and inexpensive. It’s also very elegant and quite the conversation piece.

Use a tray that you already have on hand, in my case, a beautiful copper lovely that I found at a yard sale. Locate three votives, and black rice. You could also use split peas or lentils for a pretty touch, depending on the color of your tray.

Place the votives in the tray and fill the surrounding area with black rice. Light the candles, and you’re set.

Easy Centerpiece with Rice

Five minutes, tops. And how elegant.

At a recent dinner at my house, everyone commented on the effect of the glowing candles.

Simple Centerpiece with Rice

Cook With Your Kids

Cook with Your Kids (2)

One challenge that many face is eating better is that their kids are kinda picky. There are a number of books and articles out there on how to fix that. Look them up; they just might help.

Here, today, though, I’ve got just one tip for you that will almost always work:

cook with your kids

It’s easy and fun, and it gives your children a sense of ownership in the food that they create. Who wouldn’t want to enjoy the sweet success of a meal well done and dig in? Of course, it’s important to decide on tasks that are age-appropriate. Here are some ideas for you:

Infants

Babies are most definitely not going to be in on chopping stuff or stirring a hot pot on the stove. But early on, get them familiar with safe cooking tools like measuring cups or rubber spatulas. Let them bang on the pots and pans. When they’re old enough, create a space for them to play with dry pasta, beans, and rice, so they enjoy the feel of them on their hands. Be aware of choking hazards, so supervise carefully, but let them have fun.

Small Children

Give small children easy tasks to perform. Maybe you pre-measure flour and sugar for cookies, but let them dump the ingredients into the mixing bowl. Have fun looking at cookbooks and cooking magazines together and picking out recipes to try.

Older Children

Allow older kids to really get in there. Help them learn how to measure ingredients accurately, such as with using liquid measuring cups. Give them one day a week in which they’ve chosen what’s for dinner. You may even be able, depending on their age and ability, to let them stir food on the stove.

Teens

Once your children are teenagers, they should most definitely be helping out a lot in the kitchen. They need to have a day a week in which they cook dinner. Teach them to meal plan, write grocery lists, and even budget. You will be teaching them valuable life skills as they learn to enjoy food more.

31 Days button copy

This post is a part of my series, 31 Days to Cooking More & Eating Better. For a full list of topics, see this page.

Image courtesy of Gualberto107/freedigitalphotos.net