Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Etsy has been updated!

Last month I took down my Etsy shop because I had someone inform me that my mini whales were falling apart. Tragic! So I updated my shop with all the bib and burp cloth sets I made. I'm currently signed up for two craft fairs and a possible 3rd. EEP!

So here's a link to my shop:
Flipping Adorable

Isn't this robot fabric positively adorable?! I want clothing made from it if I could find it again! They have a fleece version and I'm pretty sure I'll be making pajama pants from it!

If you haven't noticed, I've linked up my cookie cutter shelf to a bunch of blogs. I'm extremely proud of it and sad that I haven't done anything spectacular lately. I've been cleaning the kitchen cabinets and bleaching the counters and sink. Yeah, I'm living on the edge!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Ugly shelf turned cookie making organizer.

Remember this shelf mentioned in my weekend review?

This is its new purpose!

I was originally going to make a ribbon holder, but then a bag of cookie cutters fell on my head when I opened a cabinet. Annoying, right? I had two gallon bags filled with cookie cutters and more in the "baking gear" drawer. This season I plan on sending food packs for Christmas instead of actual presents because we're poor saving for a house. I decided to come up with a way to hold all my cookie making gear and Boom! My great idea was born. The best part was this entire project cost me about 40 cents. Yes, I said 40 cents! Now, it was actually 5 bucks for the picture frame hangers but they're each 20 cents and I know for sure I'll be using them for other projects I have in mind.

I actually got to use power tools for this project! I was so excited to finally bust out my jigsaw. I needed a sander, a drill with a drill bit that was the size of my dowel pieces, my jigsaw, eye protection and mouth cover.

I used my dumpster dived shelf, a long dowel I had laying around, paint from a failed project and some spare scrapbook paper. The only thing I bought was the picture frame hangers. I first pried off the decorative edging on the bottom. Then, I decided to drill out my holes for my dowels on top. I wrapped the drill bit with some masking tape so I wouldn't drill through the top of the shelf.

After that I sanded down the shelf. Not a lot actually because the paint I used had primer/paint combo. After I sanded and wiped down, I measured out my dowel pieces then used my jigsaw to cut them. You could also buy dowels in the wood crafts section that are all uniform. I just used the piece of sandpaper from the sander to sand off the rough edges.

After that, I used the handle of a paintbrush to dip into the wood glue, then into the hole. I then dipped the dowel in the wood glue, then put into the holes.

Finally, I wiped down the excess glue and let it dry for a bit. I then painted with Valspar primer/paint combo in Ultra White eggshell finish. It's good, but you need very thin coats and allow to dry between coats. I couldn't get the bottom shelf to become fully white, so I added scrapbook paper. I don't know how I cut it out to fit so well, but I totally did and mod-podged it on. Go me!

So in the end, all of this:

Went to this:

I got the little green organizers months ago at Dollar Tree. They were a 3pk for a dollar. They're perfect for the mini cookie cutters and all the sprinkles and colored sugar I had. If I ever get more cookie cutters, I'm going to string a ribbon under the bottom to thread them on. I have the idea in my head, but I think I'm good on cookie cutters. Unless I find ROBOT COOKIE CUTTERS!

I linked up to:

Blue Cricket Design Show and Tell

Beneath My Heart "Best DIY Projects of September" linky party

Tatortots and Jello Weekend Wrap Up

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Did you know I love these cups?

If you don't have these:

You're most likely wasting money. Back when I actually had a job, I had the task of making lunches for both Todd and I. Being that I prefer to sleep in until the last possible moment, lunch-making was a real pain in my butt. I had to make it more streamline, so I started buying a crapload of single serve items. Single serve yogurt, single serve fruit cups, single serve peanut butter... you get the idea. While picking up more lunch stuff, I came across these little Gladware cups at Target, on sale. I bought a few packs of them thinking they'd be handy to have around the house.

They saved. my. life.

They also saved my bank account! Sugar free fruit cups were about 3 dollars for 4 cups. That's 75 cents a serving. With the investment of these cups, I could buy a big jar of fruit for 2 dollars and portion it out to 5 cups coming to 40 cents a cup! Oh, and yogurt? Buy a 32oz. tub of yogurt (8 1/2c. servings in one tub) for 2 bucks and it becomes 25 cents a serving! You can even jazz them up by adding some canned or frozen fruit to the cup before adding the yogurt. Yum!

Some more pros to these: Portion control. Each holds a 1/2 cup. They're dishwasher safe and cheap enough so if Todd leaves them in the car for a month (it's happened) I won't cry if I throw away without opening.

You can take this:

And turn them into this:

Use a little piece of masking tape to label the top. If you're counting calories, you can add the count as well:

Pop them in the fridge! I use Dollar Tree plastic storage containers in my fridge. We keep the sandwich fixings and junk food in the produce drawers and the fresh veggies, fruits and snacks on the shelf. Makes healthy snacking a lot easier when you can see it!

What else can these little cups be used for? Here's a list!
- Dips such as hummus, salsa, ranch
- Homemade baby food (you can freeze them in the container as well!)
- Jello and pudding. One box can make up to 4 servings
- Peanut butter for dipping
- Applesauce
- Cooked rice
- Veggies such as peas, chopped carrots, corn
- Nuts and seeds
- Dry cereal for toddler snacking
- Trail mix
- Fresh/canned/frozen fruit and berries
- Soften up some ice cream and portion out into cups. Put lid on and freeze. Makes wonderful portion control ice cream. (have you seen that the Ben and Jerry ones are sometimes over a dollar each?! Ridiculous)

And some non-food related news: You can find these in the baby section at Dollar Tree.

I don't like to use those for food... mostly because I can't get the lids off easily! Use these cups for:
- Craft organization
- Brush rinsing water cups for painting projects
- Kid friendly paint cups (cut a hole in the top big enough for a paintbrush. Fill with washable poster paint and put the lid back on. Give to kiddo to go to town! Do the same for the brush rinsing cup as well)
- Poke some holes in the bottom and use for seedlings. Put the cup lid underneath to catch a bit of the water
- If the lid is good and tight, poke numerous small holes in the top (could use a sharp thick needle or a nail). Use as a glitter shaker.
- Use as a jewelry holder for traveling. Put small post earrings or necklaces so they don't get lost in your bag.
- Office organization.

See? The possibilities are endless for such an inexpensive item.

I'm linking up to Infarrantly Creative's Great Ideas linky party.

Monday, September 12, 2011

How many projects do YOU have?

This, m'dears, is my craft room. Notice the air mattress in the lower left corner from when my sister stayed with us nearly two weeks ago. There's a pile of blankets needing wash next to it. See the pile of onesies on the craft table in need of applique. Oh, that pile o' crap next to the cutting table? Just some stuff that needs to be mailed out sitting on top of an IKEA cabinet that we can't hang in our bathroom. All that glorious fabric should be something by now... but it's not.

Oh, under the cutting table? That little table my dad made me in... gosh, 2004? I was going to paint it with Hindu gods or a mandala of sorts. Still plain. Those bags of fabric were meant to go to an animal rescue a YEAR ago.

My smoked lucite chairs Todd bought me. They're supposed to be for the computer desk... one is cleaned and covered. The other is still in need of work.

That ottoman I covered months ago is ugly and needs to be fixed. I used wire mesh for the seat but I want to use wood instead... still haven't taken care of it. That brown storage cube ottoman has been in need of a rip apart since I bought it nearly two years ago!

Ninja is a project all in himself, but that's not what I'm talking about. That dog bed (aka, the old top of the ottoman) needs to be covered. The futon needs a slipcover, but now I'm hoping to find a real couch instead. Don't tell Todd! :)

Let's not forget the kitchen table. Oh, see those candlesticks?! They're crazy! They're like twisted slinkies. Todd said they called to him at Thrift Town. I think Todd should live in a chrome and black house. :)

So as you can see, I have a lot of projects to do around the house. How is it that a person with a very part-time job and nothing else to do can amass such a large amount of projects. It's simple: procrastination. A lot of times it's because I simply don't know what to do. I don't know how I want to paint the kitchen table so I haven't. I don't know what fabric I want for the dog bed. What should I do on the onesies? See, these are problems I face.

Other times, however, it's just pure procrastination. I put it in the back of my mind and don't think about it anymore. Well no more of that! My goal is to tackle one project a week.

It's going to be hard. I need someone to keep my on track! I just think it's high time I start finishing things around here. One day I shall no longer be called "Nessa the Procrastinator". I'll be called "Nessa the Girl Who Finishes Her Projects In A Timely Manner".... or something a bit more catchy.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

A little about Soldiers' Angels and my care packages!

If you couldn't tell by my previous post, I have three adopted soldiers. I adopted them through Soldiers' Angels. Soldiers' Angels is a non-profit organization that matches people to deployed soldiers who need support while away from their homes and family. You're obligated for a year to write a weekly letter and send a monthly package. You can ask any person who has served overseas and they will tell you that getting a care package from home was well needed!

Sign up was easy. You're asked to make a small donation (at least a dollar) to become verified. Once you are a verified angel, you can adopt up to 3 soldiers. Now, you get an address and you can write to your soldier about anything. Tell them about yourself, your hobbies, funny stories. At some point in the letter, give them words of encouragement. You may or may not hear back from your soldiers. I signed up in July and have just recently heard back from two of my three soldiers. Don't let this discourage you! Remember these men and women are busy and often away from the base for days at a time.

We all live hectic busy lives, so it may be hard to make a commitment to a weekly letter. Consider going in with a group of co-workers or your entire office to adopt one or two soldiers. Put a box out for people to drop off items and letters to be sent. Designate one or two people to do the shipping and collecting. Because Soldiers' Angels is a non-profit, your company may be able to write it off as a charitable donation (please see tax laws as I'm not exactly sure if this is true!). 

If the commitment is too much, you can get involved in other ways! You can always make a one time purchase of a care package to be sent a soldier on the waiting list. Organize a supply drive or send a one time care package. You can also join the letter writing team or one of the many groups that work with this progam.

Now that I've told you about the program, you can click the link on the right side of my blog for more information! I just want to show you everything that can fit in a large flat rate box. Also, when you ship to a military address, it's two dollars off the large flat rate price.

So here's what my first soldier, who sent back his survey, is getting. That weird wrapped up thing in the upper right hand corner is laundry detergent that I wrapped with tape and plastic bags so it wouldn't leak on anything. A flying disc, a wood plane glider and an inflatable monkey (just some fun little toys). A package of drink mixes. 3 suckers. Box of envelopes. A notebook. Toothbrush. Deodorant (I bought twin packs and broke them up keeping the extra for Todd). A cooling bandanna. The two books (he likes Star Wars and Sci-Fi) were free as Todd doesn't want to read the series. My soldier asked for boxer shorts and some undershirts.

All packed in! The other packages will have the same stuff except the books, detergent, boxers and undershirts. Because I don't know what they need and I don't want to sent too much (space is limited in their barracks usually), I'll probably send some edibles or a magazine or two.

I hope someone reading this may decide on adopting a soldier or getting involved.

Oh this day, ten years ago.

I think it's easy to remember where we were when it happened. I was a junior in high school on my way to school. The radio cut into a song to say that a plane had hit the first tower of the World Trade Center. My first period class was U.S. History where our teacher brought out the tv and we watched the entire period. We watched as the second tower fell.

On this day I encourage you to do something for Patriot's Day. There are men and women in sweltering heat, far away from home and fighting for our freedom. I don't agree with the war but I will ALWAYS support the troops!

Please visit soldiersangels.org to learn more. You can click on the link to the right!
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