DIY Upcycled Terrarium

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Recycling is what happens when you put things in the recycle bin at home or work. These items (paper, aluminum cans, plastic bottles, etc.) are broken down and recycled into other similar-type products. Upcycling though, is taking something you might put in the recycle bin and turning it into something different—that generally is of greater value than the original object. These DIY upcycled terrariums definitely add value!

DIY Upcycle Terrarium:

Supplies needed:

  • Empty, upcycled glass jars
  • Gloves (optional)
  • Potting soil
  • Funnel
  • Long brush
  • Scoop
  • Dish soap
  • Vinegar
  • Cleaning sponge

Instructions:

  1. Begin by removing labels from empty glass jars: Soak them in warm water with equal parts of dish soap and vinegar.
  2. Carefully peel off the label and scrub the outside of the jar removing any label residue.
  3. Once the glass jar is dry, fill it a quarter of the way with potting soil. (Using a funnel will help when scooping the potting soil into the jar.)
  4. Once potting soil has been added, use the long brush to clean the inside edges of the glass, removing soil from the sides of the bottle. This will help ensure that the plant remains clean when added to the jar.
  5. After adding the potting soil, hold glass jar at a 45-degree angle so that soil falls to one corner of the jar, leaving the opposite side open
  6. Carefully add your fern or plant to the jar. Using chopsticks, maneuver the plant so that its roots rest on the bottom of the jar—in the space on the opposite side of the soil.
  7. Once plant is placed, carefully fill the gap at the bottom with the soil so that the roots of the plant are covered and the plant sits up once you bring the bottle to a fully upright position again.
  8. Again, using the long brush, brush the sides of the glass bottle cleaning the dirt from the edges.
  9. Finally, decorate the jar with twine and a tag then place terrarium in an area with sufficient sunlight but avoid direct sun.
  10.  Add a small amount of water when soil is try but be sure not to over water the plant.

 

DIY Citrus Bird Feeder

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Whether you’re making fresh squeezed orange juice for brunch or snacking on flavorful citrus, save those peels to create colorful and easy bird seed feeders! Upcycling citrus peels is friendly to the environment and adds a fun pop of color to your yard—plus, it’s fun to bird watch straight from your backyard. Here’s what you’ll need to get started:

Citrus Bird Seed Feeder:

  • Citrus, like a large navel orange, halved with flesh scooped out
  • String, like twine
  • Toothpicks
  • DIY bird seed (see step 6 for recipe)

Instructions:

  1. Cut two pieces of string, each about 12-inches long.
  2. Tie a knot at the end of each piece of
  3. Using a toothpick, weave one piece of string through the citrus (from the inside out) until you reach the knot, trimming any excess string.
  4. Take the loose end of the string you just threaded through the citrus and, directly across from the first hole, weave string through from the outside, knotting it on the inside.
  5. Repeat steps with second string.
  6. In a small bowl, mix together dried fruit, nuts and seeds.
  7. Hang citrus in a tree and fill with bird seed.

Video Description: Simple Shortcuts–DIY Citrus Bird Feeder

Build a Better Easter Basket

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Easter basket with apples, plastic eggs and crackers Easter is just around the corner which means big brunches followed by candy-filled Easter baskets. While there’s nothing wrong with enjoying a few sweet treats, why not fill it with healthier alternatives such as fruits and dark chocolate? Keep reading to learn how to build a better basket for your little ones.

Cracker Carrotsbunny crackers filled into baggies

What better way to fill a basket than with one of the Easter bunny’s favorites—carrots? This snack won’t cause a sugar crash and you’ll feel great knowing these goodies are made with whole wheat and real cheese. Grab some cone-shaped plastic bags and fill with Annie’s Cheddar Bunnies. Tie with a bright green ribbon and you’ve got a treat that every bunny will love. paper bag bunnies

Bunny Apple Bags

These adorable bunnies make a healthy addition to an Easter basket or a great centerpiece for brunch. To make the bunnies you’ll need paper bags, colorful washi tape, cotton balls and ribbon. Start by cutting the edges of a paper bag so each side is open. Cut a few inches off the top of the bag, then create bunny ears, stopping about a third of the way down the bag. Place the apple inside the bag and tie the top together with ribbon. Use the washi tape to create a small triangle for the nose and tape a cotton ball on the other side for the tail. Watch as guests and kids go crazy for these charming little bunnies.

Shop BulkEaster eggs filled with bulk items

It’s easy to scoop up small amounts of sweets when shopping in the Bulk Department. Use smaller plastic eggs to pre-portion the sugary treats such as gummies or chocolate. Trail mix, dried fruit, yogurt covered pretzels or dark chocolate-covered nuts make a healthy treat that the kiddos will love hunting for. Add little extras such as nut butter packs, small fruits or chocolate milk that make a healthy surprise. Baskets don’t need to be filled with just sweet treats and snacks, either. Bubble bath, lip balm, sidewalk chalk or jump rope are fun additions that will leave your little one hopping with joy!  

DIY Natural Cleaners

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Need spring cleaning inspiration?

Many products we use to clean our homes have harsh chemicals that can be harmful to our children and pets. Revamp your cleaning routine with these natural DIY cleaning products from our friends at Fresh Mommy Blog, Recipes to Nourish and Root + Revel! These homemade natural cleaners are created with ingredients from Sprouts that are natural and chemical-free. And the best part is, you may already have some of the items in your home.

Chemical-free Stainless-steel Cleaner by Fresh Mommy Blog

This DIY glass and stainless steel cleaner is streak-free with the addition of a simple surprise ingredient. It’s natural, chemical-free and easy to make with items you probably already have around the house!

Ingredients:DIY Natural Cleaners: Stainless-steel cleaner with at-home ingredients

  • Glass bottle in a 16 oz. size at least (stainless steel is also safe.)
  • Spray top
  • 1 cup of Distilled water
  • ½ cup Alcohol
  • ½ cup Sprouts White Vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. Corn starch
  • 6 drops Pure orange essential oil (optional)
  • 6 drops Pure lemon essential oil (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Using a funnel, add ½ cup of vinegar to the glass bottle.
  2. Add ½ cup rubbing alcohol. (Optional: remove from recipe or replace with vodka.)
  3. Pour 1 tablespoon cornstarch in through the funnel.
  4. Top with 1 cup distilled water. This will also help to get the rest of the cornstarch out of the funnel.
  5. Optional: add 10–12 drops of essential oil for extra disinfecting power and scent.
  6. Assemble spray top on the bottle and shake well before each use.

Non-toxic Toilet Bowl Cleaner by Root + Revel

Looking for a safe and non-toxic way to clean your bathroom? This DIY Toilet Cleaner recipe is a natural and effective way to clean and deodorize your toilet. To make fizzy homemade toilet bombs, pods or tablets, all you need is five natural ingredients for a deep cleaning you won’t believe (no scrubbing required)!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Sprouts Baking Soda
  • 1/4 cup Citric acid
  • 1 Tbsp. Dr. Bronner’s Sal Suds
  • 1 tsp. Hydrogen peroxide
  • 25 drops Essential oils (I recommend peppermint)

diy toilet cleanerInstructions:

  1. In a large glass bowl, whisk baking soda and citric acid together until blended.
  2. Very slowly, add Sal Suds, hydrogen peroxide and essential oils, mixing slowly as you go to ensure you don’t activate the dry ingredients. The mixture should be dry enough that you can mold it into balls, but wet enough that it doesn’t fall apart.
  3. Fill a silicone mold with cleaning mixture, or you can form small balls (about the size of golf balls) with your hands and place on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper to avoid sticking.
  4. Allow the toilet bombs to air dry about 6–8 hours or overnight.
  5. Transfer to a glass jar and store in the bathroom.
Notes: I place these in the bowl of my toilet every 5–10 flushes to keep the toilet bowl clean and smelling great!  

Refrigerator Cleaner with At-home Ingredients by Recipes to Nourish

It’s so easy to make your own DIY refrigerator cleaner with three common ingredients. This lemon-herb vinegar mixture is money-saving, chemical-free and very effective for cleaning.

Ingredients:Natural fridge cleaner

To Make the Lemon-Herb Vinegar
  • 4 cups Sprouts Organic Distilled White Vinegar
  • 5 Lemon peels – yellow rind and white pith only, not the inside flesh
  • 1 lg. sprig Fresh rosemary or thyme
  • 1 quart or ½ gallon Mason jar with lid
To Make the Refrigerator Cleaner
  • 1 cup Lemon-herb vinegar
  • 1 cup Water, very hot
  • 1 Dish sponge or cloth rag
  • 1 Spray bottle – preferably glass OR large glass bowl

Instructions:

To Make the Lemon-Herb Vinegar
  1. Add the lemon peels and rosemary or thyme to a ½ gallon (8-cup) Mason jar.
  2. Pour 4 cups of vinegar over the lemon peels and herbs, making sure they are covered and submerged.
  3. Cover with a lid and let sit on the counter, out of direct sunlight, for 1 week or up to 2 weeks.
  4. Strain the lemon-herb vinegar through a fine-mesh strainer into a quart (4-cup) Mason jar.
To Clean the Refrigerator
  1. Add the lemon-herb vinegar and hot water to a spray bottle or a large glass bowl.
  2. If using a spray bottle, spray the mixture onto all refrigerator surfaces like the walls, drawers and shelves and use a dish sponge or cloth rag to wipe down and clean the surfaces.
  3. If using a glass bowl, soak and ring out a dish sponge or cloth rag in the lemon-herb vinegar water solution and wipe down and clean all of the refrigerator surfaces.
  4. Repeat steps as needed until the inside of the refrigerator is clean.
Notes:
  • Advance preparation is required.
  • Yield: 1-quart lemon-herb vinegar
  • Storage: Can be stored in a covered glass container for up to a year.
  • Uses: Save leftover mixture for weekly refrigerator spot-treatment maintenance or for monthly deep-cleaning. Alternatively, you can add the remaining lemon-herb vinegar to a spray bottle with filtered water using a 1:1 ratio and use as an all-purpose natural cleaner for cleaning most surfaces. [Note: Vinegar is known to kill up to 80 percent of bacteria, mold and most germs.]
  • Tip: If you have some stubborn spills in your refrigerator you can sprinkle a little baking soda over the stubborn spill and do a light spray of the cleaning mixture, then put a little elbow grease into it. Baking soda is one of the best natural cleaners when you need something a bit more abrasive.

How to Clean Your Makeup Brush without Harsh Chemicals by Root + Revel

Say goodbye to toxic chemicals and expensive store-bought products. For this DIY Makeup Brush Cleaner, you only need three ingredients to create an easy and effective homemade solution.

women's hand cleaning makeup brushesIngredients:

  • 1 oz. Sprouts Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/2 oz. Lavender castile soap
  • 6 drops Organic tea tree oil

Instructions:

  1. In a large glass bowl, combine all 3 ingredients and stir to combine.
  2. Swirl your makeup brushes in the cleaning solution until thoroughly coated.
  3. In a second glass or bowl filled with clean water, swirl the coated brush until rinsed through. (You can go back and forth between the cleaning solution and the water as many times as you need to until the brush is completely clean and all color is gone. Sometimes it helps to rinse under the faucet, as well.)
  4. When you’re done, simply pat the brush on a clean microfiber cloth and lay flat to dry. (I like to let my brushes dry overnight, but it usually takes about 6–8 hours to dry naturally.)

Cupid’s Arrow Pancake Kabobs

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What better way to celebrate Valentine’s Day than with adorable pancake kabobs! Whether you’re celebrating with a morning treat or having breakfast for dinner, these kabobs by Birch Benders are easy to make and are a fun way to get the kiddos involved:

Video Description: Facebook Live with the founders of Birch Benders, Matt and Lizzi!

 

Pancake kabob arrowsCupid’s Arrow Pancake Kabobs:

Ingredients:

  • 1 bag Birch Benders, original flavor; prepare according to package
  • Fresh blueberries
  • Fresh strawberries, tops cut off
  • Fresh clementines, peeled and separated
  • Wooden skewers

Instructions:

  1. Heat a griddle or skillet to medium-high heat. The pan is hot enough when flecks of water sizzle off quickly after contact. Lightly grease the pan.
  2. Combine Birch Benders Pancakes Mix following the recipe on the back of the bag and pour mixtures into a squeeze bottle.
  3. Use the squeeze bottle to draw heart shapes onto the hot griddle. Cook until bubbles have formed and popped then cook on the other side for an additional minute.
  4. Remove the pancakes from the pan and build skewers by placing two clementine slices, one strawberry, followed by four to six blueberries, and heart shaped pancake.

DIY Chocolate Covered Strawberry Sugar Scrub

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Homemade sugar scrubs are not only a great way to soften and nourish your skin, but they make great gifts too. Inspired by the classic treat, this DIY Chocolate Covered Strawberry Sugar Scrub will make your Valentine’s Day a little sweeter—whether you’re sharing with a friend or keeping some for yourself!

Video Description: Simple Shortcuts–DIY Chocolate Covered Strawberry Sugar Scrub

 

DIY Chocolate Covered Strawberry Sugar ScrubChocolate Covered Strawberry Sugar Scrub:

Ingredients:

  • For the Strawberry Layer:
    • 1 cup Turbinado sugar
    • 1 bag Sprouts Freeze Dried Strawberries
    • 1/2 cup Coconut oil, slightly melted
    • 1 Tbsp. Vanilla extract
  • For the Chocolate Layer:
    • 1 cup Turbinado sugar
    • 1/4 cup Cocoa powder
    • 1/4 cup Coconut oil, slightly melted
    • 1 Tbsp. Vanilla extract

Instructions:

  1. For the strawberry layer, pour freeze dried strawberries into a food processor and mix until a powder has formed.
  2. Add the strawberry powder, sugar, coconut oil and vanilla extract into a medium bowl and mix until well combined. Set aside.
  3. For the chocolate later, add ingredients into a medium bowl and stir until well combined.
  4. In a glass jar, layer the strawberry mixture and chocolate mixture and seal with a lid.

Valentine’s Day Crafts for the Kiddos

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Spoons covered in chocolate

Chocolate Dipped Spoons

Ingredients:

3 Tbsp. coconut oil, 1 1/4 cups chocolate chips, Sprouts’ Eco-Friendly Plastic Spoons and treats from the Sprouts Bulk Department (peanuts, slivered almonds, dried cranberries, gummy bears).

Directions:

Melt chocolate chips and coconut oil together over low heat. Once chips have melted, remove chocolate from heat. Dip spoons into warm chocolate, place on a serving platter and sprinkle with treats from Sprouts’ Bulk Department.

Naturally Scented Play Dough

Ingredients:

1 cup flour, 1 cup water, 1/2 cup sugar, 1 Tbsp. cooking oil, 3 tsp. cream of tartar, red food coloring and essential oils of choice.

Directions:

Mix dry ingredients in a large pot. Add water, oil and food coloring and stir over medium heat until mixture has a play-dough consistency. Remove dough from pot and place on wax paper to cool. Once cooled add desired essential oil scent and knead until incorporated. Divide play dough into even portions and seal in 4 ounce Mason jars.

Valentine’s Produce Stamps

Supplies:

Celery, potato, small heart cookie cutter, knife, cardstock and red paint.

Directions for Rose Stamp:

To begin, simply cut celery close to the bottom of the stock. Save end of celery stock and put aside remaining celery for snacking. Coat end of celery with red paint and press firmly onto cardstock for a natural, rose-shaped stamp.

Directions for Heart Stamp:

Begin by cutting potato in half. Insert a heart-shaped cookie cutter into the cut/flat end of the potato. With a knife cut into and around potato using the cookie cutter as your guide. Coat stamp with red paint and press firmly onto cardstock.  

Olive Oil Bar

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Small bites and appetizer boards are one of my favorite things to host with. Put a glass of wine in someone’s hand and some finger food in front of them and it’s game over. Sprouts’ new line of olive oil provides the perfect twist on a small bite occasion; each one has its own unique flavor and a perfect pairing.

Olive Oil Pairings:

Sprouts Olive Oil Bar
  • Tunisia (Intense & Fruity): Bread Dipping with sweet balsamic reduction
  • Italian (Full Bodied & Balanced): Mixed with ricotta and basil for spreading
  • Arbequina (Fruity & Creamy): Incorporated into Tapenade (recipe below)
  • Cornicabra (Full Bodied & Spicy): Drizzled on heirloom tomato slices

Tapenade Ingreidents:

  • 1/5 cup Kalamata & green olives
  • 1 tsp. Parsley
  • 1/2 Lemon, juiced
  • 1 tsp. Lemon zest
  • 2 Anchovies
  • 1 tsp. Capers
  • 4 Tbsp. Sprouts Arbequina Olive Oil
  • 1 clove Garlic
  • 1/4 tsp. Crushed red pepper
  • 1 pinch Salt and pepper

Tapenade Instructions:

  1. Place ingredients in a food processor and pulse until mixture has achieved a fine texture. Do not pulse the mixture into a pulp.
  2. Top with fresh parsley and serve!

Tips for Creating Your Board

Contrast

This by far is rule number one. You want to have a wide variety of flavors, colors and textures on your board. If there is something crunchy on your plate (nuts, crackers, veggies) fill out the rest of the board with some soft items (cheese, jams, hummus). If you have a salty or briny item (olives, salami, Parmesan) have milder options as well (brie, carrots, grapes). If your board consists of mostly yellow or orange (crackers, carrots, cheddar) add a pop of green (bell peppers, cucumbers, or a light arugula salad).

Be Generous

People are always tentative to take the first slice of pie, and the last. With this in mind, make your board look approachable and make sure there is plenty of everything. Slice hard cheeses, meats and breads so they are easy to grab and put crackers and other items in multiple spots people aren’t reaching over each other to get a little bit everything.

Flavors

Incorporate a wide array of flavors. Sweet, salty, briny, spicy, are all great places to start. In this spread, chocolate covered cashews provide a bit of sweet and crackers and whole olives give a much-needed crunch. The salami is encrusted with spicy pepper, and the heat pairs wonderfully with a mild and buttery fontina cheese. A lightly seasoned cracker and soft rosemary bread go with any accouterments and the tapenade spread provided a kick of brine. My ricotta mixture incorporated a light and clean flavor and was perfect for topping on the heirloom tomatoes, which also provided a wonderful pop of color.

Meet Rachel Nichols

Food Stylist and Blogger

Rachel is a graphic designer and photographer residing in Denver, Colorado. She runs The Fond Life, a food blog and online shop for the at-home cook who loves food and making their kitchen bright. On the weekends (and many weekdays) you will find her on mountain tops, climbing on rocks, playing grass volleyball, camping and snowboarding. She is a firm believer in adventuring in all seasons, in the kitchen or out of it.    

Homemade Salad Dressings

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  We’ve made whipping up fresh salad dressings at home a cinch! Simply toss ingredients into a blender until well combined and drizzle over your favorite veggie blend. Here’s your DIY guide to homemade salad dressings:

Orange Ginger Dressing

  • 2 Tbsp. Soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. Olive oil
  • 1/2 Roma tomato
  • 1/2 Rice vinegar
  • 1 Orange, juiced
  • 1 Tbsp. Honey
  • 1 Tbsp. Ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 1 Garlic clove

Blueberry Cilantro Dressing

  • 2 Tbsp. Olive oil
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. White wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup Blueberries
  • 1/2 tsp. Honey
  • 1/8 cup Fresh cilantro

Sweet Basil

  • 3/4 cup Olive oil
  • 2 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup Rice wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. Honey
  • 2 cups Basil
  • 1 Garlic clove

Lemon Honey Dressing

  • 1/2 cup Sunflower oil
  • 1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 2 Lemons, juiced and zested
  • 1 Tbsp. Honey
  • 1/2 Onion, minced
  • 1 Garlic clove

Strawberry Basil Dressing

  • 2 Tbsp. Olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. Balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup Strawberries, macerated
  • 1 tsp. Honey
  • 1/8 cup Basil
 

Turkey Veggie Cups

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Plastic cup with turkey painted on it. Prepping Thanksgiving dinner can be tough—especially when little ones are involved. Creating an entire Thanksgiving spread and getting your kiddos to eat this balanced meal is a feat to feel thankful for when achieved. Luckily, we’ve got a kid-approved snack that’s easy to make and fun to eat! Kids will love that these adorable turkey cups are just for them and you’ll love knowing this snack is packed full of good-for-you ingredients.

What you’ll need:

How to make ‘em:

  1. Cut out the turkeys and use double-sided tape to attach them to the cups.
  2. Slice your veggies into long, thin strips.
  3. Fill your cups with the desired amount of hummus and add sliced veggies.
  4. Enjoy!