Sunday, February 26, 2012

Rock Soup and Mud Pies

I hope you all aren't getting tired of me mentioning Pinterest.

Well, a while ago I pinned an outdoor kitchen that I thought would be fun for finley.  How great would it be to have a special little area where you could make as many mud pies as you wanted?  I also pinned this little play area that I thought would be perfect too.

You see Finley had been digging all over the yard making holes everywhere and I was tired of looking at the mess.  Plus, we have a slight grass problem mainly being it won't grow.  So the random holes weren't really helping.  I decided to take the idea of the play area but instead of using wood as a border I bought some cinder blocks and painted them the same colors as I used for the pavers I put her sandbox on.  The plus of using the cinder blocks is we can plant stuff in the little holes. 

Like I said above I also pinned a play kitchen.  I wanted to make her a simple kitchen with shelves to store her stuff and also have a bowl that she could fill with water. 

If you know me I am kinda cheap.  I'm also a slight trash digger.  Not that I dig through trash cans to find stuff but if I see something in the alley or at the curb I am not shy about loading it in my car and dragging it home.  It drives Matt crazy but I have found some pretty cool stuff. 

The people down the alley from us are moving.  They have been piling stuff outside for weeks.  They finally put a little beat up dresser out that I couldn't stop thinking about.  I first saw it as I was leaving for a walk and I thought about it the whole hour.  I mean I knew I wanted to drag it home but if I didn't have a use for it Matt would kill me.  That's when it came to me.  Finley's outdoor kitchen!

 It was a little wobbly so I reinforced the back and drawers with some nails.  I also sanded it a bit and painted it with some leftover paint that we had.  Since I wanted to put a "sink" in it I took apart the top drawer and reattached the front with nails.  I then used the left over pieces from the top drawer and made a back splash of sorts.  I put in some hooks so she could hang her various tools.

I didn't really have a bowl that I could use for the sink so I set off to find something suitable.  After searching Target and Dollar Tree I found a stainless steel bowl at Marshalls for only $3.99.  So for under $5 I made Finley an awesome outdoor kitchen with a ton of storage.

Here is how her area is shaping up.  We still need to plant some stuff in the cinder blocks but that's easy and cheap.  She loves having her very own special area in the yard and I love not having holes and mud puddles everywhere.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Thrity Finds

I think I may have found the best label maker ever!

Remember those Dymo label makers that you put the little tape in and twirled the little letter/number wheel to spell out what you wanted?  Well I still have one of those little plastic ones.  It's not as fancy as some of those new battery operated ones but I love the look of the labels it makes.  I often use it for art and cards.  I do have a few of the new fangled label makers too, but I use those primarily for labeling boxes and stuff.

Well I was at the thrift store the other day and I found this beauty for only $5.99.

A DELUXE DYMO!!!  Who knew they even made these?  This thing is fancy.  Not only does it come in a fancy plastic box it comes with extra font wheels that you can change out.  It's made of metal too.  This thing is seriously heavy duty.  Not only is it the most awesome thing ever, it also came with a roll of avocado green tape.  Yes, a roll of my most favorite color ever. 

Now you may think that my label making collection is complete.  Not so much.  As I was searching around for info in this one I found out there is also one that embosses metal.  If you have one of these can you please mail it to me.  I think then my label maker collection would be complete.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Love is in the Air

Whoops.  I know I'm a day late with this but who doesn't like love?

For some reason I decided this year that we were going to do some serious Valentines crafting and cooking. 

Of course I used pinterest to come up with the idea for Finley's valentines.
Since this was her first year in "school" she had no idea what the concept of Valentines day was which was fun.  We decided to do something that didn't include candy just in case there were issues with allergies and such.  The original idea came from here but we did it a little different.  I got a big tub of animals from amazon which worked out perfect.  Finley helped by cutting out the little hearts, picking which animals to put in the bags, and writing her name on the back.  She actually got tired of writing her name after the 6th one so I had to finish for her.

After we finished the Valentines I decided that Finley needed a special bag to carry all of them to school in.  Completely unnecessary but I just couldn't help myself.  I knew what I wanted the bag to look like so I just came up with the pattern and sewed it together.  To my surprise it came out really cute. 

Here is Finley all ready to go to school with her valentines.

I couldn't stop at one bag so I had to make one for Finley's best friend Jude too.  Yes I know it's a purse and he's a boy.  He does have a little sister who I am sure can use the purse if he is willing to give it up.

I saw this idea in Family Fun magazine and knew it would be perfect to make to put in Jude's bag.  Finley and I had fun picking out which color nose, tails, and eyes each one was going to have.  They suggested using craft glue but I used hot glue since it is a little quicker.

I also wanted to make sugar cookies so we could decorate them with fun frosting and sprinkles.  This is where the Valentine crafting went a bit wrong.  I made the royal icing a little too thin so it ended up dripping off the edges of the cookies.  They don't look pretty but they taste good and Matt and Finley had a ton of fun decorating them.

The one on the right piled high with sprinkles was Finley's favorite.

Lastly, Matt helped me make some Valentine treats for his kids at school.  They aren't supposed to do candy so I found this idea on pinterest.  It does have candy but it also has popcorn.  That's healthy right?  Her ingredient and yield amount were pretty vague so I just kind of winged it with 2 bags of m&m's, 3 bags of candy melts, and 3 big pots of popcorn.  It actually ended up being the perfect amount to fill up 27 little bags. 

Matt said the kids were excited just to see it was popcorn.  They were super surprised when they figured out it was coated with candy.  We also ate a fair amount of it while we were making it.  It was super good.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Thrifty Finds

This past summer my mom saw an ad in the newspaper for a "huge" fabric sale at a local shop.  When we showed up the "huge" sale was a small tent in the parking lot with about 20 rolls of hideous upholstery fabric. 

I wasn't really surprised that I didn't find any fabric I liked since I'm usually pretty picky.  The only saving grace was this box of coats and clark thread.  Only $.25 a spool.  Count me in.

As I was picking out the colors I wanted one of the employees came up and told me I could have the whole box for $25.  I hesitated for a bit because I was thinking, "what am I going to do with a big box of thread."  Well my wonderful mother convinced me I that it would be ridiculous to pass up such a great deal.  Plus, she kicked in $10.

You didn't think I paid $.25 for each spool did you?  Considering there are 494 spools that would have cost me $123.50.  Way too much for the cheapie in me.  In the end each spool ended up costing about $.05 each.

Now I finally have enough thread to try out the serger my mom let me borrow.