Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Why Homemade Is Better

So, maybe that's just my opinion, but I'm sticking to it! I've always been creative and crafty at heart, but recently I've been doing more and more homemade projects rather than running to the store to buy something. Yes, it takes up more time to do it yourself, but there are so many benefits to making hand-crafted products.

  1. When it comes to food, it's usually healthier homemade. That's not always the case, but if your goal is to be healthier, you control what goes into the recipe. I like to look up healthier versions of recipes or get ideas from Pinterest and make them myself. Another great resource that changed my ideas about food is Bethenny Frankel's book, The Skinny Girl Dish. She provides dozens of recipes that are the healthier version of many popular meals; even comfort foods! There is also a "variations" section after each recipe where you can substitute another ingredient for one that you might not already have in your pantry.
  2. Homemade items as gifts show how thoughtful you are and how much you care. It's easy to run to the store and buy something for someone, but that's not always meaningful. Putting thought, time, and effort into a gift for someone is a gift in itself. It's expressing what that person means to you. Also, you can personalize whatever you make because you know the person better than the people who make the products in stores. A collage of pictures documents experiences you had together, a hand-made card can express your feelings in your own words, and their favorite homemade treat is a gift that will never fail.
  3. Homemade items are unique and original. Have you ever walked down the hallway at school or walked down the street and seen someone wearing the exact same thing as you? Why buy something from a store when you're the only one who can truly express who you are? Now, I've never made my own clothes from scratch, but I have altered clothes I already own to make them different. Originality is interesting, replication is boring. Homemade projects are a way to express your unique qualities and creativity.
  4. Making something yourself is cheaper! I think that one's pretty obvious. It would be quite an adjustment to never buy anything from a store again, but it is possible. I still buy plenty of things, but I try to think of new ways that I can create them for myself whenever I can. I would even love to grow my own food someday. I love being outdoors and if you do too, gardening is another great way to use what you already have. I believe that people who use their own resources and are self-sufficient live happier and healthier lives.
  5. Crafty projects are fun! Maybe you're not usually a do-it-yourself type of person, but the challenge for most people is simply starting an idea that they have. Once you get going, the process flows effortlessly. If you have ideas but haven't started them yet, first, set aside some time specifically for that project. Then, try getting out any supplies you would need for the project, and your mind will tend to automatically go to work thinking of ways you can use them. Before you know it, an hour has passed and you have an item that you can be proud of because you made it with your own hands :)
Here are some recent projects that I've been working on:

Make your own breakfast sandwich-everything bagel, 1 whole egg and 1 egg white, chopped onion, olive oil, and sliced avacado
Homemade suagr scrub-brown sugar, white sugar, any kind of oil (I used canola), and vanilla extract. This body scrub exfoliates dry skin and leaves you smelling sweet. It's literally good enough to eat!
 dry ingredients
 added wet ingredients
Hand-crafted cards-I got this photo strip idea from Scrapbooks etc. I used construction paper, tissue paper, and cut out part of a gift bag for the hearts. Then, I used a strand of ribbon and buttons to hold the strip in place.
 This is not a picture of the finished product, but you can tear out a page from a notebook to create a space for a neat message or letter.
Make your own headbands! The top and bottom headbands are the elastic from the top of dance tights. The middle one is a strip of fabric from the sweat pants pictured below that I just sewed together. These are great for dance class or working out.
 Shorts made from sweat pants
 Altered t-shirts-both shirts have the sleeves cut off to create tank tops. The green one has a slit cut vertically in the back, then smaller horizontal strips on the sides. The side strips are tied together to show a little skin while holding the shirt together. Watch a video tutorial here.
Not pictured: homemade oatmeal and granola that can be used as cereal, a topping on yogurt, or a yummy snack. Email me if you want either of the recipes!

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