I’m Tracy Ariza, the hands and heart behind the Oh, The Things We’ll Make! blog (and its Spanish counterpart, Cosas Caseras).
Ever since I was a kid, I loved making things myself. Not only did I have a decent collection of craft books and cookbooks, but I was constantly experimenting with finding ways to make things myself.
While I grew up and studied in Michigan, USA, I have now lived in a sunny spot along the Spanish Riviera for about 20 years.
(If you’re curious how a dentist from the US ended up blogging in Spain, you can read my story here.)
What do I like to make?
I have always loved trying to make just about anything. So, don’t be surprised to find everything from kids’ crafts to homemade soaps and cosmetics here. I also strive to live sustainably, so I love upcycling things you’d otherwise throw away.
But it isn’t just about making things. I love to eat! Who doesn’t? Right?
So, you’ll also find a wide variety of recipes on the blog.
What types of recipes will you find here?
At our home, we try to live a healthy lifestyle focused on fresh foods. (We mostly avoid processed foods and excess sugar, when possible.) That doesn’t mean you won’t find some not-so-healthy desserts occasionally on the blog, but those aren’t my focus.
Through experimentation, I have found that wheat and dairy aggravate my eczema too, so I have shared a lot of “Paleo” recipes over the years. (With exception of a few recipes, most of the blog is gluten-free and/or dairy-free.)
I have always loved to travel and experience foods from a wide variety of cultures. That love is reflected in recipes like homemade papadums or even boba for bubble tea.
With my Spanish ancestry, and with me now living in Spain, you probably won’t be surprised to find a few Spanish recipes too. A couple of my favorites are how to make aioli or Spanish tortilla.
I’m constantly trying to find healthier versions of recipes that my son will like. I also like to include him in the preparation when possible. My little guy has become an expert at making croutons, and loves playing with our homemade color-changing food coloring.
The fun recipes caught the eye of the Academy of Culinary Nutrition, and they added me to their list of Top 25 Kid-Friendly Blogs.
DIY Pantry Basics
Perhaps my favorite foods to make, though, are what I consider “pantry basics,” the types of things that people would normally buy.
I show you how to make everything from apple cider vinegar and tomato paste to homemade yogurt (without a yogurt maker), and even soy sauce!
Why Make it Yourself?
- Maybe you’re trying to reduce your toxic load by making your own natural products?
- Maybe you want to save money while being able to use quality ingredients (of YOUR choice)?
- Maybe you just like to make things yourself to impress your friends or because you love the challenge?
- Maybe you’re looking to make personalized, handmade gifts for somebody you love, and you want to make something that they will actually want and use?
Whatever your reasons for wanting to MIY, I totally understand!
I personally love to make things myself to stay in control of the ingredients.
Why read my blog?
I’m here to help you take control by teaching you to make things yourself, but I know that it isn’t always practical or convenient for everybody to make everything.
So, I’ll try to show you why you would want to make each recipe yourself, and if it’s worth the challenge!
- Will you save money?
- Will you save time?
- Are you giving yourself a more natural alternative to more toxic products in the stores?
I spend hours researching and trying things out before putting them on the blog! I’m stubborn with my experimentation and am continually updating posts as I find new and better ways to do things. (I also listen to your comments and suggestions and use those to help update posts as needed.)
It’s important to me to make safe products that will work. That’s why I’ve taken several professional cosmetic formulation courses!
I have also been making soap for years!
Having problems along the way?
Just shoot me a comment under my post. I’m always happy to try to help you troubleshoot and fix any problems you are having!
Browse the blog
Find your projects.
Using the menu at the top of the page or the search box in the sidebar, you can search for the DIY projects that you want to make for yourself. They’re divided into Make it Yourself projects or recipes.
Join our closed DIY Facebook group!
Ask questions with no pressure.
Join other like-minded DIY-ers and show off your projects or ask questions. It’s a closed group to help protect your privacy. I’m always around to help you through things too!
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Don’t miss any new ideas!
When you first subscribe, you’ll learn more about me and some of my favorite projects. Later, I’ll share my latest projects and why I think you should try to make them too!
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