Posts Tagged: DIY presents

Mother’s Day Mini Magazine

Looking for a gift for mom for Mother’s Day?

Or dad for Father’s Day? Or anyone special for any special day? We’ve got the perfect thing: Make your own mini-magazine – it’s such a sweet gift!


• Front page
• Back page
• Scissors
• Piece of yarn or string about 6-8 inches long
• Hole puncher
• Markers/Crayons/Pens/Pencils/Etc
• Kid(s) – you know, for filling out these cute little things

Print the mini magazine templates – first the front, then load the page back in your printer so it will print the back side as well.

Cut on the dotted line to separate the pages.

Fold one page with the heart on the outside (this is the cover) and fold the other page with the “you and me’ frame on the outside.

Place the You and me page into the other page (so the “You make me laugh when you..” page is facing the You and me frame).

Open both pages up and punch two holes in the “spine” (which is just the fold).

Thread the yarn or string through the pages like so. And tie on the outside.

Now it’s time for your kiddos to get creative!

If you’re making this for mom, of course, it’s generally best for a different grown-up or helper to work on this with the kid (you know, so it’s a surprise)!

Fill out each page and have your kids color pictures within. Encourage them to get as creative as they want!

Gift your sweet Mini Magazine to your special person – they will love it!

Happy Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, birthday, you day – You are the best!

Aryn (and Roxie too)

Homemade Hot Cocoa


Just DIY: Hot Cocoa (hot chocolate, whatever you wanna call it!)

This section was originally going to be called “Things That Aren’t Actually That Hard to Make Yourself.” But it didn’t quite have the same nice ring as DIY. So often, we find ourselves looking at some of the products we use or eat or drink and think – I don’t know how to pronounce that ingredient! There has to be something better!

So we ran some science experiments on homemade hot cocoa, play dough, and bubble bath. Our lab (kitchen) smelled real nice (although Roxie says the play dough doesn’t, so maybe next time we’ll add some essential oils)!

We took lots of pictures and have tons of details – spoiler alert: the play dough turned out perfectly, the hot cocoa (featured here) is quite good, but the bubble bath is a work-in-progress…(coming soon)!


Hot cocoa is always something that sounds lovely to me, but once I pour a cup of it and take a little drink, the sugar goes straight to my head and makes me feel pretty much the opposite of lovely. So I set out to make a cup that made me feel cozy, not crazy.

I really wanted a hot cocoa that you could just make with added hot water…I didn’t want to mess with a pan of milk on the stove, because, you know – toddlers: Impatient and unpredictable!

So check this recipe out and let me know what you think! I’ll keep working on it too, and will update as it evolves. But this one here is pretty darn good, if I do say so myself (and apparently I do…). Enjoy!


Homemade Hot Cocoa (print recipe here)

1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup powdered milk
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, roughly chopped (I used chocolate chips, but nicer chocolate would surely make nicer hot cocoa)
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt


Combine all ingredients in a food processer and blend! It’s noisy, but I promise the chocolate chips or chunks will eventually break down into little tiny, delightful balls of chocolate. (Note: it’s also kind of dusty! Let it settle a bit before opening after blending.) The mixture will keep up to two months in an airtight container.


To use: heat water to boiling in a kettle. Put two tablespoons of mixture in 8-10 ounce cup, and add hot water. Stir thoroughly, and add marshmallows if you wish! Enjoy!

(Note: I bet this would, of course, be AMAZING cooked on the stove with milk, so if you want to give it a try and don’t have an impatient toddler waiting for a cup, do it!)


(Print recipe here)

Recipe inspired by this hot chocolate mix at Smitten Kitchen.