A Bright Idea: Recycle A Pasta Box & Transform Into This Magical Light Box

diy recycled pasta box-light box craft-twinkle lights

We are Italian, so we eat a lot of pasta. It’s our love language. We still dream of all the delicious pasta we ate everyday in Italy. We love to cook pasta for our families, too. Whether it’s with red sauce, or a creamy pesto sauce, and topped with meat or vegetables, we love to cook it…and devour it. Most of us are gluten free, and initially (years ago), pasta just wasn’t the same. Now, there are so many wonderful gluten free options at the store, we cannot even tell the difference. It’s so yummy. Barilla is hands-down our favorite. It tastes delicious, and it’s easy to cook. Plus, we can buy spaghetti noodles, lasagna no-boil noodles, penne and more! This post is not sponsored by Barilla (we genuinely love their products), although we would love to make some recipes sponsored by them. Hint, hint!

Recently, our Barilla gluten free penne box not only inspired a meal, but also a craft. We recycled the box, and transformed it into a DIY light box for Valentine’s Day. Now, that’s a bright idea worth sharing! The kids helped paint the boxes, and we cut the hearts, so it was a family effort. This DIY project costs very little money, it can be shipped to a loved one, aka grandparents, easily because it’s very lightweight, and when lit, it’s magical. It’s hard not to feel the love when those lights comes on inside the box. If you have little ones that want to continue crafting after they decorate the box, save some noodles, and paint them too. Send a pretty DIY necklace along with the box.

Let’s get started…

diy recycled pasta box-light box craft-twinkle lights


  • Barilla pasta box
  • Acrylic paint (optional: glitter and stickers)
  • Paintbrush
  • cellophane paper
  • Xacto knife
  • double-sided tape
  • twinkle lights (remote-operated, color or white lights work)
  • Paint pen, Elmer’s, fine tip


Step 1: Find a heart printable on the internet. Print it. Tape it on top of the box, and begin to cut with the Xacto knife.

Step 2: Paint the box. Two coats is best, depending on the saturation and paint color you choose.

Step 3: Once paint is dry, cut small boxes of cellophane sheets to match the size of each heart. Place the small square over the heart, to make sure it fits. Add a small square of double sided tape to each corner of the box. Now, carefully use your fingers to place the cellophane box inside the pasta box behind the heart you sized it for. Press down on each corner so it stays in place. Repeat until all the hearts have a colorful cellophane sheet behind them.

diy recycled pasta box-light box craft-twinkle lights

Step 4: Place twinkle lights inside. Move them around as you need. As far as twinkle lights go, the colorful ones were the brightest, and we liked them the best. But, white lights are pretty, too. These are so small, the battery pack can be glued inside the box, but not sure they will be the brightest due to 20 fairy lights on each string. If you use a small pasta box, these would work great, and you get more of them, so more bang for your buck.

diy recycled pasta box-light box craft-twinkle lights

Step 5: With the paint pen, add a cute phrase like, “You light up my life.” on the bottom clear cellophane strip already on the pasta box. If you want to make it extra special, you can add a photo behind one of the hearts, too.

diy recycled pasta box-light box craft-twinkle lights


diy recycled pasta box-light box craft-twinkle lights

diy recycled pasta box-light box craft-twinkle lights

diy recycled pasta box-light box craft-twinkle lights

Happy Valentine’s Day!


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Gluten Free Chocolate Trifle Dessert


Most days, we feel like we spend all day in the kitchen.

Wake up. Cook breakfast. Pack lunches. Clean up. Snack time. Lunch time. Clean up. Another Snack time. Cook dinner. Clean up.

Seriously, the amount of dishes we wash at times seems endless. We love to cook and bake for our families, but sometimes a lady just needs a break.

A break doesn’t have to mean a sacrifice in a really yummy, chocolate dessert. We made a gluten-free chocolate trifle and it was g-double-o-d, good. Our DIY football pennants added a touch of cute to the taste of chocolate-y yum! These would make for a delicious dessert at your next football tailgate or party! Plus everyone loves dessert in a jar.


Gluten-Free, No Bake Chocolate Trifle


  • Udi’s Dark Chocolate Brownie Bites broken into pieces {if you want to bake a little, you can make a whole pan with the Namaste mix}
  • Whipping Cream, homemade or the store-bought kind will work
  • Chocolate pudding, KozyShack

All you have to do is layer in this order, brownie, pudding, whipped cream and repeat. No baking necessary. Then, the best part…devour. Even the non-gf people will ask for more!




Recipe: Gluten Free Peach and Blueberry Crisp


Jenna has been eating gluten-free for many years; Jodi and I have joined our sister in the fight against gluten on our bodies in recent years/months. So, sometimes we think our palette is somewhat jaded. Are we so accustomed to eating GF that we think a pizza that resembles the taste of cardboard is actually good? Many gluten-free items are good now, and there are so many options, but at times it’s hard to get some of our favorites to taste like the real thing.

This past weekend was not only a success because we were all together {which is our most favorite times}, but also because we shared laughter and tears over a delicious, homemade gluten-free Peach and Blueberry Crisp. Whatever you want to call it – Peach and Blueberry Crisp or a Peach and Blueberry Crumble – it was a good one.

It’s sad to see summer near an end – so celebrate what’s left of it – and what’s left of summer’s ripe peaches.


Gluten Free Peach and Blueberry Crisp
recipe adapted from Ina Garten

For the fruit:

  • 6 ripe peaches
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup gluten free all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup fresh blueberries

For the crumble:

  • 3/4 cup gluten free oats, ground
  • 1/4 cup gluten free all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup pecans, broken into small pieces


  • Immerse the peaches in a medium saucepan with boiling water for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
  • Remove them and immediately set in cold water.
  • Peel the peaches, slice them into small wedges, and place them in a large bowl.
  • Add the lemon juice, sugar and flour. Toss well.
  • Mix in the blueberries.
  • Spoon the mixture into a pie dish.
  • For the topping, combine the flour, granulated sugar, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, and the butter in a large bowl. With clean hands, gently break the butter apart and mix with the dry ingredients. Continue to blend the ingredients together with your fingertips to form pea-size crumbles.
  • Sprinkle the crumble topping over the fruit in the pie dish.
  • Top with pecans.
  • Place the pie dish on a baking sheet and bake for 40-45 minutes, or until the top is brown and the crisp is bubbling.
  • Serve warm with vanilla ice cream….or plain! So yummy.


Gluten Free Pancakes {recipe}

gluten-free-pancakes-july-4th-firework-breakfast-blueberry-strawberryThis 4th of July firework pancake breakfast will be enjoyed by those who are GF, and those who are not. We have found some gluten free store-bought pancake mixes to be decent. Some are better than others. This homemade, gluten free pancake recipe is easy to make, and our favorite thus far on our gluten-free venture.


Gluten Free Pancakes


  • 2% milk {almond milk can be substituted}
  • 1/4 cup butter {4 tablespoons}
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup gluten free quick cooking oats, ground {we use a Magic Bullet to grind it}
  • 1/2 cup Pamela’s gluten free flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground flax seeds


  1. In a medium bowl, add the dry ingredients, including flour, ground up oats, baking powder, salt, sugar and flax seeds.
  2. In a separate medium bowl, add two eggs and whisk.
  3. Melt the butter in a pan on the stove with the milk until butter melts.
  4. Stir the milk and butter into the eggs and whisk.
  5. Slowly whisk the wet ingredients into the bowl with dry ingredients.
  6. If the mixture is too thick, add more milk to make it a consistency you like.
  7. Pour and flip.
  8. To make the pancakes festive for July 4th, use a star cookie cutter to create star pancakes that can resemble fireworks.
  9. Spread butter on top, decorate your plate with blueberries and strawberries to make the stars look like fireworks, sprinkle powdered sugar on top and then pour maple syrup over the pancakes.


St. Patrick’s Day in a Box

mini cheesecakes-baileys irish cream-gluten free-whipping cream-rainbow

One of our favorites from Alt was Gilit Cooper, lead boss babe at Shoes Off Please and owner of The Bannerie. She recently hosted a Wayfair Homemakers Housewarming Party. Among the many fabulous ideas, our GF mini cheesecakes with Bailey’s Irish Cream made the roundup. Get your lucky on and see all the colorful ideas. If a cookie topped with a rainbow of fruit meets your fancy, you’ll love this.

In other St. Patrick’s Day news, we made a St. Patrick’s Day in a Box. I know, it’s semi-lame with no Guinness, Jameson or car bombs, but our husbands will take care of all that for us. We will enjoy our evening wearing tall rainbow socks, sipping on Bailey’s Irish Cream with a green and white striped straw, of course, and a DIY Slainte {an Irish Gaelic word often said during a toast, which translates as ‘good health’} in the background.


For the banner, all you need is felt, Elmer’s Craft Glue or Beacon Felt Glue, a clover to trace, pom poms, a wood dowel rod and yarn. Cut, glue and hang.

st patricks day-sign-green-polka for-clover-diy-felt-banner-rainbow-socks-baileys irish cream

{images via j. sorelle}