Category Archives: DIY Projects

How to make Mega Cookies (Great Gift Idea!)

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Who wants a homemade chocolate chip cookie? How about a MEGA homemade chocolate chip cookie?

I recently finished tutoring for the school year and wanted to give my students a little end-of-the-year gift. The students had different backgrounds, ages, and interests so it was a bit of a challenge to think of something they would all like.

Sometimes it’s hard to find just the right gift to say thank-you, or to let someone that you’re thinking of them. However, I’ve met very few people who don’t like homemade chocolate chip cookies. My students were no exception, and your friends probably aren’t either.

Mega cookies are the answer!

If you have some frozen cookie dough from following the instructions found in another gift idea post, you can skip a few steps. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Otherwise, just make your favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe (or you could make my spectatular Pumpkin Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cranberry Walnut cookie recipe), then put 3 scoops together on a parchment paper-covered cookie sheet. I can fit 2 of these cookies per cookie sheet.

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Wet your hands with cold water and smooth them. Since they are so big, the middles will be undercooked if they are not leveled.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes. Check on them starting at about the 8 minute mark, as ovens vary.

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Don’t they look yummy and ready for a big glass of cold milk?

The parchment paper helps them to remain in one piece as you remove them to cool on a wire rack.

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Let them cool for a bit, then wrap in plastic wrap and tie a bow. Such a yummy and thoughtful gesture!

Do you like this idea? Pin it so you can remember it later when you need an idea for a special thank-you gift or thoughtful gesture.

Do you have friends that may like this idea? Feel free to share the link on Facebook!

 

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Quick, Easy, Thoughtful, and Homemade Gift Idea

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I saw this pin a while back and have not forgotten it- it is such a great idea! Basically, you freeze cookie dough either for you to use later, or to give as a gift.

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I like to use the classic recipe on the back of the chocolate chip bag (or it can be found on Nestle’s site). You could also use another recipe, like my Pumpkin Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cranberry Walnut Cookie recipe.

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Scoop the cookie dough on a cookie sheet. I like to put the dough on parchment paper for easy removal and clean-up.

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frozen cookie dough gift

Label a freezer bag with the contents, date, and baking instructions. If you have a small family, this is a great way to avoid the temptation to eat a whole batch of cookies in two days. I like being able to have fresh cookies at a moment’s notice.

Homemade cookie dough would also make a nice housewarming gift. This would also be a thoughtful gift for a new mom; with this gift they can have fresh-baked cookies without the hassle of mixing and clean-up.

If you are one of those super-crafty people, you could put them in creative packaging as seen here and here and here. Don’t you just love Pinterest?

Now if I can only keep myself from eating all the frozen cookie dough in my freezer!

Would you like to receive a gift like this?

Another yummy gift to give is homemade jam. I plan to get some fresh local strawberries soon and to can some strawberry jam or strawberry-lemon marmalade. When I do, I’ll be sure to post pictures!

 

Pallet Potting Bench

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Puppies and potted plants don’t mix well. I remember looking out of a window and seeing my new puppy dragging one of my potted plants around the yard, shaking it vigorously, as if to kill it. Dogs also like to chew on plastic pots; I guess they like the crunchy sound. If you have small children, you may have experience with finally getting some flowers to sprout and then turning to see you little helper enthusiastically digging in that pot. These are great reasons to get a potting bench, but I also like being able to have my pots, seeds, cuttings and plants at a comfortable level.

diy pallet potting bench

diy pallet potting bench

The pallets to make this potting bench were free. My husband just looked at some pictures of what one looked like, then put it together for me. For those of you who need plans, you could check out the plan on Wood Working for Mere Mortalsย  ( I love that name!) or if you are feeling adventurous and/or crafty, you could check out some of the plans on Ana White’s site.

My potting bench is great for keeping supplies organized. I use the bottom shelf for storing extra pots, my watering can, and plants that need a little extra care or shade. When I am trying to root cuttings(like rosemary orย  tomato), I like to tuck them on the bottom shelf. They get shade there, and it is easy to bring them to the top once they are established.

There is a little slot formed by the top pallet that I like to slide flats of newly planted seeds into just until they get started.

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I have a ceramic garden boot that I use to store my tools- if you look closely you can see the handle of the big knife that I used in my post on dividing oregano.

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pallet potting bench

The top shelf is for plants and seedlings that are ready for sunlight.ย  I love how my little seedlings can get sunlight on the top shelf and I can watch their progress at a glance.

You can often get pallets for free. This is an inexpensive project that will make starting seeds and propagating plants so much easier. Having a potting bench will help to save you money. Of course, you save even more money if you follow my tips on how to get seeds for free! ๐Ÿ™‚ I have started so many seeds and cuttings there. No need to spend lots of money on a potting bench when you can make one! What do you think? Does this look like something that you would use in your garden?

 

DIY Decorated Grapevine Wreath

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A pretty wreath adds instant personality and curb appeal. Grapevine wreaths are pretty inexpensive, and you don’t need a lot of silk flowers to decorate them. These basic instructions can be modified to fit any season or special holiday.
Here’s all you need: a grapevine wreath, silk flowers, wire cutters or strong scissors, and a wreath hanger. You may also need floral wire if you have many floppy stems. I didn’t need any for this one, but sometimes it is helpful.

This DIY wreath really is easy to put together. Just use the wire cutters to trim the stems, then poke them into the wreath where you want them. Grapevine wreaths are wrapped so tightly that you rarely need any additional help attaching flowers.

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I really like pink and yellow together, so I used those as my main colors with white as an accent and some extra greenery to fill the wreath. I had some larger pink lilies for a focal point, and some tall spiky flowers to run up the sides.

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Poke some of the spiky flowers into the wreath form so that they run up the sides of the wreath.

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After running flowers up the sides, add the larger flowers as the focal point. I love these colors together!

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Keep adding the fillers and greenery until it looks full and balanced. Don’t be afraid to be a little rough- just stab the stems in there until they are secure. If you don’t like how something looks, just yank it out and rearrange until you like it.

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DIY Easy Decorated Grapevine Wreath

Hang it up and enjoy! So bright and cheerful, don’t you think? Decorating a grapevine wreath really is easy and wreaths make great gifts. There are so many ways to personalize them too-ย  you can add birdhouses, initials, ribbon bows, or figurines. What do you think? Does this look like something you would attempt? Try it- I think you will have fun!

Want to save this idea for later? Pin it to Pinterest!

On a gardening note, did you get some seeds or slow-release fertilizer into the ground before all this rain in North Florida? It’s a great way to save money on water if you can plant seeds just before God waters the ground.

I planted some more okra and cantaloupe. I love okra and wanted more, and I have had difficulty with my cantaloupe sprouts. I mulched too heavily around them and smothered them with the weeds. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

I also direct-seeded some eggplant. My transplants from earlier are doing well, but I want to see if I can grow them by direct-seeding. Any of you had success with that? I’d love to hear your thoughts!