Wednesday, May 1, 2013

My little boy is turning 1

I don't know what has happened to the last year!  It feels like just last week I was waiting for my little bun in the oven to join us in this great big world!  And now in a couple of weeks he's turning 1!

I was told prior to his arrival that he would change my world 100 fold.  Yes, yes, yes he has!  I've always been the independent type and I'm known to be quite stubborn.  Well, my little guy has inherited both.  And I've struggled a lot this past year in finding my happy medium.  No longer was I able to just run an errand and be back in 5 min.  I'd have to schedule my errands when my husband was home so that I could leave Noah home with daddy and I could make it a 5 min errand.  Winter was long.  He was too little to play outside in the snow so we spent long, cold, winter days/nights in the house.  I'm sure he didn't mind since he didn't know much else.

I worked August-early January, but January till now I've not been working.  And now that spring/summer finally blossomed I'm no longer depressed.  The only thing that I think was depressing me was being inside day after day.  I didn't want to get up in the morning.  I could sleep all day long.  But as soon as the weather changed I've been getting up with Noah.  Getting out in the yard, getting it ready for spring, planning landscaping projects.

I think what I'm finally grasping is its ok not to be the breadwinner, to be the Susie Homemaker, trophy wife as my husband once called me and the constant support for my little guy...

Friday, April 5, 2013


Yes, I am rearranging our living room again that is.  When you have a little one who is learning to walk and pull himself up while holding on to the furniture it makes you access which pieces of furniture really are safe for children.  Like we have this gorgeous hand carved wood table that could be used as an end table or a table between two living room chairs, well, Noah is so strong that when he holds on it it to help him up he pulls it over even with heavy objects on top.

So we acquire other furniture to meet our needs and switch it out.  Usually I sell the other but I've been falling in love with these pieces but again I can't keep everything because we have such a small house!

I also had to come to the conclusion this morning that our furniture isn't the only thing that needs rearranging.  Since having our little one almost a year ago we have had some financial challenges at various times within the last 11 months and not having a paying job since January, I need to rearrange our budget, our spending, and how I can contribute to my family in the form of earning some form of income to help pay the expenses.  

We have switched to as many reusable products as possible that I made to cut down on toilet paper, baby wipes, paper towels, napkins, dryer sheets, laundry detergent, cleaning products, period pads, using the clothes line poles to dry all laundry in the summer months.  But its not enough.  My husband's paycheck this morning had over time hours on it and left us with only $100 for the next two weeks and I only paid 3 routine bills.  Three bills I don't usually pay all at once but with paychecks falling on certain days it was inevitable.

Do I give up being at home with my son all day to re-enter the workforce only hoping to find a job that works around my husband and my mother's schedule or do I creatively find a job I can do from home that is legitimate?   I vote for the second option however I know this won't be easy because I've been trying to find a work from home job since 2008 with no success, only lots of scams.  I don't want to throw parties and sell stuff nor do I want to sell something I don't believe in.

I have the house to myself tonight as my son and my husband are at my parents for dinner and playing games.  I have to share.  Which is good because I can hopefully finish un-upholstering a chair I got in February and re-upholster as I found some awesome medium weight curtains at Goodwill yesterday that I'm going to use to re-upholster.  I need to clean up the house and be serious about how it is I'm going to rearrange our lives to get out from under so much yuck.  When I figure this out I'll be sure to share!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Baby proofing and preparing for Spring

There is a lot going on in my house right now.  My little boy is very mobile, crawling on hands and knees, climbing up furniture and putting fingers every where they shouldn't be.  He's exploring yes I know and he's in the cause and effect stage so he sees what happens if he pulls on a table to see if it will topple over or not and what will happen.

Thinking end of the week project will be to finally make radiator covers for our livingroom.  Granted spring is on its way but its something I've wanted to do before we had our little one.  And while we are at it we mine as well make one for the bathroom, the bonus room, and our room.

Then there is the notion that spring has arrived and our snow is melting that we need to finish cutting trees down in our backyard before they begin to bud.  We had a ton of "weed" trees that sprung up on one side of our property that we are removing due to them getting tangled in with the power lines and the garbage truck driver complaining he can't see where he is going.  (Trust me it wasn't that drastic!) So we are cutting them down to place planter boxes along the property line to put in vertical gardens.  Veggies on our side and flowers on the other.

Hoping that growing our own food will help cut grocery costs during the summer and winter.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Babyville Snap Pliers

Have you ever tried putting snaps on a apron or other material object?  I don't know about you but I tried the metal snaps with the proper pliers and that sucked!  When I was in a pinch the last time I tried using metal snaps and couldn't get to lining up those stupid teeth, I ended up sewing snaps on and then putting a decorative button on top!  So much work.

Last year sometime I had watched a video on YouTube on how to use the pliers for the plastic snaps they make for using on cloth diapers and all sorts of other fun things.  They are priced $19.99 for the plier and each set of 60 snaps for $7.99. I broke down and bought one yesterday only because I had a couple of 50% off coupons.  So I got my plier for $9.99 and my snaps for $3.99 sweet deal.  And it works wonders!  I'm so glad I made this purchase yesterday!

I'm in the midst of making myself a set of reusable tree cloths.  What are these you may be thinking?  They are reusable paper towels essentially.  Made from terry cloth and a decorative fabric.  I made mine out of new terry cloth, however I think I will keep my eye open for 2nd hand towels or clearance towels and part of an old bed sheet.  I just used my sewing machine to act like a serger around the edges and now I'm adding snaps to attach them together.  Then onto a standard paper towel roll.  

I absolutely hate using one use items only.  Last year I made family cloth.  Reusable toilet paper, we wash and dry on hot about every 2 weeks or when we are running low.  So I'm not sure the last time I purchased toilet paper, we do buy it so our guests can still use what they're used to.  My next goal is to make hankies and cloth napkins.

Here are my finished tree towels!

If I were to sell these, I'd not do the snaps, and I would have them dispense differently.  I was following a pattern, the snaps would make this a very expensive project!  But I loved putting the snaps in!

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Thinking and sewing green

This time of every year I start getting in the mood for Earth Day!  Our area has a annual Earth Fest celebration with local grown foods made into yummy dishes, vendors doing "green" or "earth friendly" things, crafters selling their recycled goods.  I've participated for the last 3 years and was going to again this year but I decided I've never been able to actually walk around and enjoy it for myself so that's what I plan on doing this year!

Though now I'm thinking I should have any ways.  But I do plan on selling my recycled creations at Farmer's Markets this summer.

Being green also helps save the green.  I'm really trying to assess where all of the money earned is spent so we can save money to pay down our debt.

We have successfully achieved Dave Ramsey's 1st goal of saving $1,000 in an emergency fund.  We are currently trying to pay down the debt using his debt snowball to achieve goal #2.  So in making reusable items from recycled sources we are saving money to apply to our debt.

In January we started using cloth diapers on our son Noah.  That has already saved us about $72 in diapers.  I made reusable cloth flannel wipes to use in conjunction with the cloth diapers so we no longer have to buy wipes either.  Tonight I was recycling some of our towels, old receiving blankets, and some fleece I had to make new inserts for his cloth diapers as microfiber inserts stink very quickly.

Though I just purchased a babyville plastic snap plier today at Joann's Fabric's at a very great price to make my own mama pads (menstrual pads), I haven't used plastic in at least 2 years which saves money but also doesn't leech bad chemicals into your blood stream.  I'm also in the process of making reusable tree towels, reusable cloth napkins, and reusable hankies vs kleenex.  All year long I sneeze at least 4-5x daily as well as daily blow my nose.  So we go through quite a bid of kleenex and its expensive!

I've found that vs buying fabric at outrageous prices at the fabric store even if you have sweet coupons that I like purusing Goodwill and other 2nd hand stores for flat bed sheets.  They come in tons of awesome patterns and entirely cheap!  Usually $2.99 and you can do so much with them.  I've also come to find out that I'd much rather prefer to do clothing shopping at 2nd hand stores.  Its hard for Noah in smaller cities such as where we live as there doesn't seem to be much in anything his size.  Though the facebook groups I belong to have quite a few great deals when you need something.

I'm reading a book called, "America's Cheapest Family," and its written by a husband and wife, Steve & Annette Economides on how to get out of debt and pay cash.  A lot I already new but a lot I needed to be reminded upon as well.  Like if you make a monthly calendar for breakfast, lunch, supper, and snacks, go grocery shopping once a month, stick to your list only, you save a lot of money.  Not only in gas going to the grocery store but when you have a menu and you know what you're going to make you know how much to buy and you have it on hand so when you're hungry you don't have to waste electricity with the fridge door open wondering what in the world you are eating tonight.  Also helps you to eat the proper proportions if you're trying to lose some weight!

Tomorrow is my sewing day as my mother is going to watch my son for the majority of the day as she misses his company.  So I'll post pictures as soon as I'm through!

Thursday, February 21, 2013


Its official I'm 98% done with the hall tree!  Basically took me one month to do from my last post!  We ran into a few snags along the way.  But the last 2% I'm not entirely sure as to whether or not I'm even going to do or not.  I have the wood if I want to do it, just not sure.  Gonna have to sketch it out and ponder over it.  I did a lot of pondering as to what I should and shouldn't do.  So for your viewing here it is:
My 2% is whether or not I want to cover the bottom half of the radiator with wood, just not sure yet.  I still need to paint the ceiling grid as you can see it is still brown.  I did however finally put lace inserts in the livingroom windows!  I found an old lace table cloth at our local good will that I cut into forths, hemmed, and hung.  I like the texture it adds to the space.

I picked up a old mail sorter at a rummage sale in Wisconsin this month for $2.50 this is what it looked like before:
This is what it looks like now as it hangs next to our front door:
I bought some wood cutouts at our local home improvement store that I put on and then spray painted.  The color ties in perfectly with the colors in our diningroom bench cushions.

So needless to say I may not have posted very often but I have been keeping busy.  I acquired another chair that needs to be reupholstered but its not a rocker, its quite comfy, its missing a chunk from the padding on the arm rest, the only reason I haven't started this project yet is because I need to find fabric to recover it in.  I also have to reconfigure a frame I bought at a thrift store to put our family photo in.
Oh and I did a really cute set up in our bathroom too, I'll have to remember to take a picture tomorrow!
Well, I have my plate full for tomorrow.  Good Night.


Thursday, February 7, 2013

A few snags

Well, I've run into a few snags with the hall tree project.  We cut what I thought was needed from the bottom of each door to fit behind the radiator.  However, I'm continually reminded that old homes aren't square, level, or even.  So now I'm thinking we have to cut even more off of the doors and then anchor them to the wall before I can continue to work on it.

Hoping to get a better start on the project tomorrow.

Project Day

Sorry I haven't posted in a while.  Life has been a little crazy!  Though my husband's work week is over so I'm hoping on getting a lot done today, being it his first day off!  My main project today will be working on making the hall tree for our livingroom.  I finally got all the hardware off of the old doors that I no longer wanted, but when I tried what I initially thought I was going to do, the doors were too tall.  So I need the hubby's help to trim about a foot off of each door.  I'm building the hall tree to go around our radiator and will double as a radiator cover.
If you look in the corner of this picture where the recliner is sitting.  That is where the hall tree will be, just behind it.  You can see one of the doors sitting there.

I'm so excited to start this project!  I'm hoping on putting a shelf on the top and then some smaller ones on one door or some baskets and the other door will have hooks.  Then there will be a bench.

This project also makes me think of what to do about "uncluttering" the bathroom.  We don't have a lot of space or storage in our bathroom and currently we use a tall small shelf to hold everything, buts really just a huge eye sore.  I've been looking pinterest as of late for ideas.  There are a lot of great ideas but we have a window and a partially slanted ceiling our bathroom so of course there is no easy fix.
I'll try to post pictures later today on how far we have gotten on the hall tree!