Monday, January 17, 2011

Going Green is Saving Green!!

Since I had Bug, I really started searching for ways that we could save money. I've always been thrifty, using coupons, shopping clearance and sales, etc... But now we needed to save some serious cash. A few months after Bug arrived, I discovered cloth diapers. They were no longer the prefolds and pins and rubber pants image that I had stuck in my head. They were easy to use (no pins or plastic pants!!) and they were going to save us tons of money! In doing research, I also found that I could make them myself. I was doubly tempted. Saving money, and having a good excuse to slave away at the sewing machine and try something new, it was a no brainer!

Now, I'm not going to get up on a soapbox and tell you to save the Earth. I'm just going to tell you that I can make a reuseable cloth diaper for just about $5. The average box of bulk diapers bought at a wholesale store cost $30-$40, and got used up in about month. For the same price, I made eight diapers that will last us YEARS! It just makes sense.

The added bonus, is that cloth diapered bums are ADORABLE!

Hopefully this summer my little Bug will be a big girl with no more need for diapers, and these puppies will be cleaned thoroughly and put away for future use ;)

I have also discovered a few other things that have saved us money.

I made my own baby food, saves about 50% or more off the cost of buying jarred food.

I've ditched the ziplocs and started using reuseable snack bags/sandwich wraps.

I use "unpaper towels". (I made my own very easily, but you can buy them here )

I use a vinegar/water solution to clean most surfaces. No more harmful chemicals, same disinfecting power, and it's cheap! I've also made reuseable swiffer wet pad and duster pads.

Of course, now my dear husband complains that he misses throwing things away :) At least we're not throwing away our money!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Fall Wardrobe

So I started off the fall with a post about how I was going to be making a bunch of fall clothes for Bug, I shared her green ruffle shirt, which is one of my favorites, but I did make a few more things for her during the fall and winter.

Circle skirt out of a fun knit

Pillowcase Dress with her matching headband

Awww :)

T-shirt dress from an XL girls shirt. It's Mickey and says "I love presents".
It's a-dor-a-ble on her!

Another Mickey and Minnie t-shirt dress.
This time Minnie is throwing a snowball,
and it splatted on Mickey's face :D

Not necessarily part of her wardrobe, but Bug is very busy rocking her new chef hat, apron, and oven mitt these days :)

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Snow Day

We had a snow day on Wednesday!

We played in the first real snow we were able to get this year.

We threw snowballs,

and briefly decided that gloves are for fools :)

We walked like giants,

and fell like giants.

We ate some refreshing snow,

and made snow angels together!

We ended our day with a tasty bowl of snow cream, we had a blast in the snow!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Bug's Repurposed Play Kitchen

Bug's Christmas present this year was a repurposed play kitchen as seen on Sutton Grace . I was so excited to embark on my first adventure in revamping furniture and working with wood and paint rather than fabric and paper :)

I searched craiglist high and low and found this entertainment center, I was really excited because it had a DVD storage area on the side that is a perfect pantry to store all her food.
In this picture it had already been dismantled and sanded.

We brought it in, reinforced the corners on the bottom and top with L brackets, covered the holes in with wood putty, and I took down the top shelf, put in the divider to separate the bottom shelf, and nailed on the backing. I also made a plan and drew out lines to cut the wood for the other pieces, my goal was to use as much of the existing unit as I could to avoid buying more wood.

Hubby helped with the saws, since he is rather possessive of them, and didn't want to take me to the emergency room because I cut off all my fingers... We built the sink area, did the cut out in the middle panel, sanded everything that needed it, and cut some more shelves for the side pantry.

I primed the whole thing.

And painted the countertops and lower compartments white, and the inside walls and pantry/shelves yellow.

Hubby painted the green, and we both installed the doors for the compartments and the pantry as well as the hardware and the mirror above the sink. I put up some curtains, and created a little collage for the window.

The burners are 2 layers of craft foam glued together, so we can flip them to hot and cold. I am hoping to find some real oven knobs cheap to add on eventually.

Dishwasher on the left with a dish drying rack, oven on the right with a cooling tray.

Pantry full of oodles of felt food.

Now for the numbers, the entertainment center was $10 on craigslist, the sink was free (my father-in-law had a couple of these bar sinks lying around his barn), we spent $30 at Home Depot on plywood for the back, L brackets, hinges, handles, cabinet clasps, and nails, the paint and primer was all left over from painting our house, the tension rods were $8 altogether, and the curtains were made using remnants of fabric from making curtains for my kitchen, the dish drying rack was $8 and we already had the cooling tray. The frame is an oops frame from Joanns that I got for $12, and I had to get a piece of foamcore for the backing at $1.99. The scrapbook paper I used for the collage was already in my stash. So altogether that is $70.

I had a lot of fun doing this project and Bug LOVES to cook in her new kitchen!