Ditching Store Yogurt Drinks

These are the last yogurt drinks to be washed and recycled in our home. We go through about 4 per day adding up to approximately 130 per month! That is a lot of single use plastic!

Not only does the bottle/package go for recycling, but the wrapper and caps are waste. 130 bottles, 130 caps, 130 wrappers and 21 plastic packaging pieces (comes in a 6 pack).

I asked a few groups of people for help on choosing recipes and how to make smoothies. I thought smoothies would be a great alternative, though I never made them before. I was worried too that the kids would not like them. My sister in law came to the rescue too! Offering lots of suggestions and recipes. Someone else also mentioned to just add some milk to yogurt to make a yogurt drink. Very simple!

So I got my blender and food together and started to try making some smoothies.

1/2 cup yogurt and 1 cup milk.
Fruit such as bananas, strawberries, peanut butter. It was just a no go taste wise. I felt I was wasting a lot of food. Pretty sure my mixtures were not balanced right; too much milk. We found the peanut butter was not pleasing either.

So that day I had to stop and re think what I was doing. Plus buy more product! My next grocery trip I did not buy any yogurt drinks! Skipped them completely!! I was determined to make this work.

The next morning I was all over it! Tried to keep everything simple. I decided to just start with yogurt drinks. Alaina wanted to call them smoothies still, so that is what we are doing! They love the sound of “smoothies”.

1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup yogurt
1/2 frozen banana
Alaina liked this one.

1/3 cup milk
1/2 cup yogurt
1 cup blueberries
Alaina liked this one.

1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup yogurt
1 Tbsp Nutella
1/2 frozen banana
Thomas liked this one.

1/3 cup milk
1/2 cup yogurt
1 cup strawberries (also with 1/2 banana)
Alaina liked this one.

1/3 cup milk
1/2 cup yogurt
1 cup raspberries
Alaina liked this one.

1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup yogurt
Daniel and Jack liked this one.

These recipes of mine are basically single servings.

Julia is not a fan of these drinks. I am not sure why. She really is not a fussy eater! She has taken a dislike to white milk lately. I am hoping she will come around. She does like yogurt. We buy the vanilla kind and sometimes the raspberry kind. Source, Yoplait.

Lately, Alaina like the raspberry yogurt with milk blended. She says it tastes like strawbrry ice cream.

I froze some berries and bananas, as the cold makes the drinks better for consuming. Otherwise it seems they are kind of warm. If there is no frozen fruit added, I simply just drop in an ice cube to cool it right down.

I freeze the bananas just as they are in the peel. Just let it sit on the counter for about 5 minutes and the peel comes right off.

I would like to add more to these drinks soon. Like Chai seeds for example. Also I so wish I had a frozen stash of berries! Next year we will be doing lots of berry picking and freezing. I will be needing a bigger freezer and  containers to freeze the produce in. Not using bags. I got lots of time to figure that one out.

I am so happy with the turn out! Next, homemade yogurt! I am more worried about this one! I myself am not a fan of yogurt, but Source Yoplait is the only one I found I liked. I hope the kids are not as fussy as I am about it!

Advent Calander, 2018

Every year to start the Advent season, we always bought the chocolate advent calender. Everybody got one. This year, with our family that would have been 7! We don’t buy the cheap ones. The chocolate is not very good. So we opted for the more pricy ones. $10.00-$12.00 each. That adds up! And the waste!! Wrapping on each calender and the trays holding the chocolate.

This year is different! Me and Alaina got together and came up with some ideas to make our own. I thought at first I would make a calender for everybody, but it does take a lot of space to Store 7 calanders. So one big one it is.

To start, a large piece of cardboard. I need it big enough to house the envelopes which will contain the treats.

Here, Alaina is spreading our homemade glue on the board and I will stick some colourful sheets of construction paper to it, also covered with glue.

Ta-da!! Now to let it dry overnight. The board did end up curling on the bottom, so I would recommend setting something heavy on the corners to keep it flat. I stored mine in the laundry room, on top of a picture frame and balanced on a shower curtain rod. Haha!! Up out of reach of little hands!!

Daniel wanted to come and help me and Alaina! No problem!! We folded some scrapbook card stock in half, 8″ x 8″ sheets.

I cut off about 3 inches and was left with a folded 4″ x 5″ card.

On one half I cut about an inch so it will fold down to seal the card as shown.

Next, homemade glue was painted on the edges. I really wanted to see it together. It would allow for more pocket space as the glue needed more space taken to a cheat properly. But I was not able to borrow a sewing machine. My fault, as I left it to the last minute.

After they were glued, one by one I stuck them in a big book for pressure to help them dry and seal. I stacked something heavy on top of the book as well to add the extra pressure.

They sat overnight, and about 6 of them did not seal all the way. I just re-applied some glue and let them dry a little longer.

Together me and Alaina hooked the cards to the board with metal fasteners. My go to was to use a glue gun and clothes pins, but I had no glue. So instead, went with this more friendly option. It worked so well!!

Alaina decorated the board with some felt stickers I had on hand for scrapbooking. Better to use them than let them go to waste.

When the card is taken off the board, underneath is a verse from the Bible (kind of like using a Jesse Tree). We read the verse when we have the treat. Each card has 7 treats.

This is the link to the Bible verses I am using behind each envelope.

Me and Chris decided (mostly Chris) that we would add treats to the cards a little at a time so they don’t get stale.

Since there are 5 columns and 5 kids, they get to open one to share every 5 days.

We went with 25 days on our advent calendar, as Jack’s Birthday is on Christmas!!!! Also, 25 cards worked out so well on the board.

Plans for next year include festive cloth and making sacks to hold the treats. Just did not have the time or material this time round. Also, I probably should have chosen a white background. Would probably look nicer! But oh well! Lots of colour!!