DIY Homemade No-Cook Play Dough

DIY Play Dough feature

DIY Play Dough via @poorandpretty

Apparently, today is National Play-Doh Day. Really, who makes up these holidays? Oh, right, companies do – so they can squeeze more money out of us jamokes! Not this year, my fellow frugalistas! I’m going to teach you how to make your very own play dough.

DIY Play Dough trio via @poorandpretty

I haven’t made this since I was in elementary school. I have fond memories of mixing this up in the kitchen with my Nana, and playing with food coloring to make different shades. Even though she told me not to eat it, I would always sample a little bit. It was disgusting. Please don’t eat it. It’s not at all like licking the brownie batter bowl.

DIY Play Dough ingredients via @poorandpretty

This is a very simple recipe that requires no cooking, so you can easily make it with kiddos!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup flour
  • ½ cup water
  • less than ½ cup salt (⅓ cup is too little. I use a ½ cup measuring cup and don’t fill it all the way)
  • food coloring

DIY Play Dough kneaded via @poorandpretty

1. Mix the flour and salt together, then add the water and blend until you reach a doughy consistency. If it’s too sticky, add more flour. Too crumbly? Add more water.

DIY Play Dough rolled via @poorandpretty

2. Split the dough into three equal-sized balls and decide which colors you’d like each to be.

DIY Play Dough food coloring via @poorandpretty

3. Add food coloring to your first dough ball and knead, knead, knead.

DIY Play Dough lime green via @poorandpretty

4. Keep kneading! Getting the color to blend in well is the hardest part. When you’re happy with your color, wash your hands to remove the food coloring, and repeat step 3 for your other two dough balls.

DIY Play Dough marble blue via @poorandpretty

I made lime green, pink, and this cool marble-blue color. I could have kept kneading it, but I really like the marbled look!

DIY Play Dough in storage via @poorandpretty

That’s really it! You can fancy it up with a little veggie oil to make it a bit more glossy and moist. Or try it with Jell-O to make it scented (there’s a good recipe for that here). Store them in airtight containers and they’ll keep for a few days, possibly even weeks. As a kid, mine never lasted more than a day because I would build something with it and leave it out to dry. :)

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Wedding Fever

JorDan Wedding - Stan and I

JorDan Wedding - Stan and I

These last few months have been a little crazy for Stan and I because we were in back-to-back weddings! I’ve shared a few peeks leading up to Jordan’s wedding (my bridesmaid dress, the wedding shower) which took place on August 31st and Stan was a groomsman in his friend Paul’s wedding on September 7th. Here are some snapshots from the two events:

JorDan Wedding - Beata Brittany and I

Left to right: Fellow bridesmaids Beata, Brittany, and I.

JorDan Wedding - The dress

Jordan’s beautiful dress!!

JorDan Wedding - ceremony

Jordan & Dan ♥

Isn’t the venue beautiful? It was held at Wood Acre Farms in Terryville, CT.

JorDan Wedding - horse drawn carriage

They took a horse-drawn carriage ride after the ceremony, awww.

JorDan Wedding - Jordan Beata and I

Jordan, Beata, and I.

JorDan Wedding - Jordan + bridesmaids

Jordan and her bridesmaids! Left to right: Sister and maid-of-honor Kelsey, Brittany, Jordan, Beata, me, Sadie.

Regi + Paul Wedding - crab!

We spent last weekend in New Hampshire for Paul and Regina’s wedding. On our way to lunch after the rehearsal, we were almost eaten by a giant blue crab!! (Oh and, that’s another eShakti dress. I love it!)

Regi + Paul Wedding - Stan and Regi dance

At the reception on Sunday, Anton (one of Stan’s fellow groomsmen) teamed up with the bride (Regi) to troll Stan. They asked the DJ to play a Nickelback song (he hates Nickelback), and Regi asked him to dance with her. You can’t say no to the bride!

Regi + Paul Wedding - dancing

Nick (another groomsman) and I got on the floor along with the groom and his mother-in-law to ease Stan’s pain. He was a good sport about it though. ♥

Regi + Paul Wedding - Newlyweds + Stan and I

Left to right: Stan, Paul, Regi, and I. She looks just like a princess!

Regi + Paul Wedding - Stan and I

Both events were lots of fun, but we’re a little wedding’d out. We do clean up nice though, eh? ;)

 

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The Garden Tour

Our Garden

This past weekend was Jordan’s bachelorette party, and as much as I would love to give you tips on throwing one, it’s not exactly appropriate for all ages. So instead, I’m going to give you a tour of my and Stan’s very first garden!

hanging garden cucumbers

We have had a ton of cucumbers. So many, they’re dripping over the sides of the wall Stan built!

picked garden tomatoes

I picked six just yesterday. We have two varieties: Tendergreen Cucumbers (the larger, skinny ones) and Organic Burpee Pickling Cucumbers (the short fat ones).

garden tomatoes taking over

The tomatoes have almost completely taken over the garden. For a while, Stan was trimming the tops daily, then he finally gave up after they busted through the netting and broke the plastic tubing. CRAZY.

garden tomatoes growing over the wall

They, too, are growing over the sides of the wall. We’re also growing two varieties of tomatoes: Abe Lincoln Heirloom and Burpee Baby tomatoes.

garden tomatoes

Thankfully, I love tomatoes. I’ll eat them like apples. Or as sauce. Or in salads. Or on sandwiches. I hope they ripen soon!

garden wall

At the very end, we’re growing cantaloupes and two types of watermelon: Charleston Grey and Sugar Baby.

garden wall closeup

Isn’t the wall beautiful? Stan spent a lot of time on it (I won’t take any of the credit). No sign of any cantaloupes yet, but we do have a few watermelons growing:

our first watermelon

This is the biggest watermelon we have yet. I think it’s a Sugar Baby. After taking this photo, I backed up and narrowly avoided this dude jumping on my face:

what is this bug

Stick bug, maybe? Imagine that thing jumping on my head. I would have screamed like a crazy person!

That’s it for the garden tour! We’ve only been able to eat the cucumbers so far, but it’s a surreal experience eating something we’ve grown from a seed. I can’t wait for tomatoes!

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Wayback Wednesday: Saved by the Bell

Saved by the Bell cast

I’m not even a little embarrassed to admit how (re)obsessed I am with Saved by the Bell. It’s so fantastically 90s! I’ve been watching it almost every morning on Netflix before I go to work, and okay, sometimes I have marathon nights when Stan isn’t around.

zack morris saved by the bell

I had a major crush on Zack Morris (Mark-Paul Gosselaar, who’s still pretty hot today). I remember my friends and I actually kissing the TV once or twice when he came on. We were such dorks!

Apparently, Lifetime is going to be making a behind-the-scenes movie about the show to air later this year, but it will probably be awful because a) it’s Lifetime and b) based on Dustin Diamond’s (Screech) scathing memoir about his fellow cast members. I’m just going to continue nerding out and wishing I had Lisa Turtle’s closet.

Lead image via New York Post.

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Road Trip Update 6: Tennessee, Virginia, and Home

Road Trip Day 12 - Tennessee state sign

Last week at this time, I was heading to Memphis, listening to the latest music Suzi provided for me (Johnny Cash and Elvis made top of the list, of course).

Road Trip Day 12 - Beale Street Memphis Tennessee

By 6pm, I was humming Marc Cohn’s “Walking in Memphis” and strolling down Beale Street.

Road Trip Day 12 - Elvis Presley note Beale Street Memphis Tennessee

… I didn’t have blue suede shoes though, so I wore my gray Minnetonka Kilty Suede Moccasins instead.

Road Trip Day 12 - King's Palace Cafe live music Beale Street Memphis Tennessee

After doing a little bit of shopping, I was drawn to the live music playing outside of King’s Palace Cafe.

Road Trip Day 12 - King's Palace Cafe dinner Beale Street Memphis Tennessee

So I enjoyed their BBQ Platter — ribs, pulled pork, and “Voodoo potatoes” — while I watched the live performance. By the time I worked my way through all that delicious food, it was getting dark and Beale Street was a little seedy for a solo roadtripper like me, so I headed back to my hotel and watched The Birdcage on TV before falling asleep.

Road Trip Day 13 - Graceland Elvis house Memphis Tennessee

In the morning, I swung by Graceland to pay my respects to Elvis Presley. I got there too early to do a tour, but I couldn’t have done one anyway as it takes 2.5-3 hours. So, I walked around the grounds for a bit, then got back in the car and drove toward Nashville.

Road Trip Day 13 - Loveless Cafe Nashville Tennessee

In Nashville, I got gas and ate at the Loveless Cafe. Well, okay, there was a 2 hour wait, so I got my grits, biscuits, and ham egg and cheese to go and ate in my car (even the seats outside were all taken!) I am not normally a grits fan, but damn. Those grits were good.

Road Trip Day 13 - Hotel Roanoke Virginia

I hit pockets of rain on my way to Virginia, but got to the Hotel Roanoke around 7pm.

Road Trip Day 13 - Hotel Roanoke lobby

It was built in 1882 so it has gorgeous old-world charm. Look at this lobby!

Road Trip Day 13 - Hotel Roanoke secret sitting room

There was even a secret sitting room off my room. I may have enjoyed my room service in here… ;)

Road Trip Day 14 - Connecticut state sign

Friday, I woke up super early, threw on my best red, white, and blue and booked it back to Connecticut. At 4:30pm, Stan was giving me the best hug ever.

Road Trip Day 14 - Independence Day Jell-O Cake

We ended the night watching fireworks under an umbrella at my Dad’s house and enjoying Suzi’s 4th of Jell-O cake! (See what I did there? ;)

Though I would have loved to share my trip with Stan or a few family members or friends, it was really liberating and empowering to do it on my own. It’s still incredible to me that I drove across the country and back on my own. I experienced pure natural beauty (Rocky Mountains, Arches National Park, Grand Canyon) and geeked out over Thelma & LouiseBuffy and Breaking Bad filming locations. I had amazing food and some not-so-great food, too. I listened to some great music and audiobooks (The Fault in Our Stars and okay, some Harry Potters) and an overrated one (sorry, Kerouac). I visited friends and family and it was amazing!!!

See all of my road trip updates here:

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