Hand-Me-Downs Rock!

Sitting by the Mirror

Last Fall we began to remake our daughters room from a baby room to a toddler room.  I actually posted the before pictures back in November with the promise of the after pictures.  We turned her convertible crib into an art desk and painted the surface with chalkboard paint.  We turned the futon sofa into her big girl bed.  She loved the remake but I never did take a good picture of the room because it was so cluttered and I was never completely happy with the changes. One our our family friends moved this weekend and her 8 yr old daughter was getting a new bedroom set.  I was excited when my friend offered the old set to us.  It's a gorgeous (and nice quality) bedroom set with a twin bed, dresser/mirror combo, toy chest, and an armoire.  So this past week we decided it was time to let the crib/toddler bed/art desk and dresser (that was my sons 9 yrs ago) go to a new family.  Everything worked out perfectly.  A friend at church had a friend who is expecting a baby in a few months ... [ Read More ]

Eco-Crafting Tutorial: How to Make a Wreath Using a Queen Sz. Sheet

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Eco-Crafting Tutorial: How to Make a Wreath Using a Queen Size Sheet Supplies: One wire wreath form (or any wreath form), one queen size sheet, one pair of scissors Time: 1-2 hrs for a large wreath You can reuse or upcycle with any fabric. I found the perfect color sheet at the local thrift store to match the color of my little girls room for only $3.00. There weren't any stains on it but even if there were some minor staining you could still use it for this project. Solids or prints, both would work fine. If I had found a chocolate brown and ivory sheet that day I would probably have used all 3 and alternated the colors in the wreath. You can also use fabric scraps from old t-shirts or any fabric remnants that you have. Just be sure you have a LOT of scraps. I used the entire queen size sheet for a large wreath form. Total cost: Less than $5.00 Directions: -Cut the fabric into equal sized strips. Our strips were approximately 1-1.5" wide and 6-9" long. Be sure to cut ... [ Read More ]

Trash to Treasure Halloween Wreath – Inspired by Pinterest

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A few weeks ago I shared with you a pin-spiration project that was found while searching Pinterest for hours on end.  A few days later the boy and I made a trip to our local craft store to pick up the wire form needed to complete the project.  I ended up with 2 large wire wreath forms and 2 small forms.  We experimented with the small form first, here is our progress: Trash to Treasure Halloween Wreath Tutorial (with pictures): First start with a pile of fabric and/or t-shirt scraps and select the color scheme for your wreath.  Since this is a Halloween theme we went with oranges, purples, blacks, greens, yellow, and a few old Halloween scraps. The tools we used for the project were very simple - a wire wreath form, a pair of scissors, and fabric.  We didn't use anything else for our project and it was very kid friendly. Cut your fabric into strips about 1" in width.  The length of the strips depends on the size of your form.  Using a small form our strips were ... [ Read More ]

Trash to Treasure Thursday with Generation T

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Giveaway alert! Two lucky readers will win one of the Generation T books by Megan Nicolay - details at the end of this post.  ECO-ngratulations Alanna & Shirtee. As you know I've been better and better at actually completing eco-crafty projects each week for you. This week is the jackpot of all Trash to Treasure Thursdays with a collection of projects and a giveaway! I've been infatuated with finding ways to reuse or upcycle old t-shirts - I scour the blogosphere, YouTube, Etsy, and other crafty websites looking for innovative ways to use t-shirts. In one of my searches I came across Generation T and Megan Nicolay. Who is Megan Nicolay? Much like myself Megan has had the crafty bug since she was a child - always looking for the next great project. We also share a common statement - "I could so do that!" My friends and family are always telling me - "You could do that!" when they see anything. Megan began her website www.Generation-T.com back in 2005 and by 2006 she published ... [ Read More ]

Breastfeeding – My Journey Continues with EnJoye

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It is now 382 days (and counting) into our 2nd journey with breastfeeding and things are still going strong.  I'm still excited to have this bond with Lil' B today.  My journey the 2nd time around has been different than with my oldest.  Primarily because 98% of the time I work at home.  For the first 8-9 months I was blessed to be able to have Lil' B home with me at all times.  After I returned to work at 3mo Lil' B had an amazing nanny part-time.  Whenever she was hungry the nanny would bring her to me and she would eat.  As the months went on I actually decided to start pumping because I had to travel.  I am an experienced pumper....with my oldest I had to pump everyday since I worked out of the home.  I had a Medela hand-me-down (actually it was only used 1-2 times before I got it) from a friend.  That was one of the items that I kept to use again.  Unfortunately after just a few short months it started to have some issues.  I was frustrated beyond belief...I rarely used the ... [ Read More ]

Eco-Advent Calendars

Tis' the season for our children to WANT, WANT, WANT!  I struggle each year around this time to remind my 6 year old that it's not all about presents and Santa.  He had a homework project this week to talk about the holiday that we celebrate (Christmas) and why it's important to him.  His teacher is including Winter Holidays in her lesson plan and each child gets to contribute with the holiday that they celebrate.  While working on his project I realized that he still doesn't 'get it' with the reason we celebrate Christmas.  Christmas of course is the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ in the Christian religion.  One way that people help celebrate the holiday is with Advent Calendars.  You can find them in most retail stores filled with candy hiding behind little cardboard doors.  The last two years I've made our Advent Calendar.  Last year I had a different part of the Christmas Story from the bible to read each day...leading up to the birth of Jesus on Christmas Day.  I ... [ Read More ]

Great American Teach In

Today I spent an hour at my son's school with about 40 first graders talking about trash!  The Great American Teach In is a time for parents and community members to come into the schools and show the kids what we do for a living.  I love talking to the kids but I was a bit intimidated when I drove up...there was a garbage truck, a helicopter, and a police car in the parking lot!  And here I come with my reusable shopping bag full of goodies.  I was afraid they wouldn't be interested but they loved it. I decided that this year I would talk about the 3R's - Reduce, Reuse, Recycle!  The media tends to push recycling but they don't mention the other 2 R's.  I started by asking kids if they knew where their trash goes to...that big hole in the ground we call a landfill...and told them that hundreds of years from now their trash will still be there!  Then I talked about the Mobius Strip (the recycling symbol) and what it means.  Did you know that it was created in 1970 by a 23 year old ... [ Read More ]

Gro Baby System Review & Giveaway

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Giveaway Alert!  The Natural Baby Co is giving away one Gro Baby Bio Soaker Intro Package to a lucky reader.  To enter see details at the end of this post.    ECO-ngratulatins Holly S! One of the newest hybrid cloth diapering systems out there is the Gro Baby System.  Check out there cute new animated short video HERE!  The original Gro Baby shell consists of a water proof shell and an organic cotton soaker pad that snaps into the shell.  The idea is that you purchase several soaker pads and reuse the shell.  Unlike most pocket diapers the Gro Baby has a unique quick drying layer between the soaker and the shell (it's sewn into the shell and looks like a large weave mesh).  The soakers attach to the shell with two snaps; one at the front and one at the back.  The original soakers are very thick organic cotton and are very absorbent.  They also come with a booster for nights and naps.  The other unique feature to the Gro Baby Shell is the closure.  It's a very fine hook closure ... [ Read More ]

Blogiversary Giveaway #4 – Pimp Your Car Seat!

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Giveaway Alert!  Wow, this has been a busy day here!  Yes, it's my 2nd Blogiversary Celebration and I have lots of fun prizes for you!  How would you like a revamped car seat for your tot?  One lucky winner will receive a posh toddler car seat cover compliments of Baby Bella Maya.  Giveaway closed! Car seats...we all have them for our kids!  After all it's the law.  Some of us are even lucky enough to have one in each car so we don't have to keep installing them in our spouses car.  Well I still have my old car seats from when Big B was smaller.  Actually he was in this car seat until last year when he graduated to his booster seat!  We knew we were having another kid by then so we saved the convertible toddler car seat to use for Lil' B.  Well she's finally big enough to use it (yeah!!) but it's sooooo old and grungy!  It's never been in a wreck and it's still in great condition...but it's old!  I would have loved to take them all to Goodwill but I know I should just reuse them.  ... [ Read More ]

E-Cloth + Water = Clean Kitchen

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Giveaway Alert!  One lucky winner will receive their own E-cloth Kitchen Pack (Valued at $17.98).  Entry form below.  ECO-ngratulations Cinella! You Win! Check your email! It's rather ironic that I hate to clean and I'm doing a whole week of cleaning reviews!  Why do I hate to clean?  Mostly because I can't stand the smell of all of those nasty cleaning chemicals.  However my husband will tell you it's just because I'm always on the computer and too busy to clean!  A few months ago I got an email from a company called E-cloth asking me to try their product.  I have to tell you that I was a bit skeptical of this company that claims to be able to clean with their cloths and water, no chemicals at all!  Huh?  No bottles of soap?  No scouring pads?  Just cloth?  I was a bit intimidated with their selection of cloths too.  They offer cloth specifically for cleaning kitchens, bathrooms, electronics, furniture and more.  Why would I need all of these different packs to clean my house?  ... [ Read More ]