Archive | September, 2012

Frugal Things I Did Last Week

12 Sep

Too sweet not to share this week. We had so much fun hanging out as a family last week Eli crashed before seven right in Brandon’s arms.

I finished sewing my niece Zuzu’s birthday present.  I’ll share next week after she receives it.   It took a long time to make but was a lot of fun.  I had a great time sewing something for a little girl for a change.

I cut off the buttons from 4 articles of clothing and saved them for future sewing projects.  Eli also did a nice toddler activity sorting the buttons.  Unfortunately I found one the next day in the restroom!  Needless to say I did not keep that one!  I think we will be postponing any toddler learning activities that use buttons for the next few months.  😉

I picked up 2.5 yards (2 different prints) of Christmas fabric at a yard sale for $2.50.  It’s usually really hard to find Christmas fabric dirt cheap so I was really excited.  😉  I will probably be using it to make an apron tablecloth, or napkins.  I also bought 2 shirts for my mom, and a really nice basket.  I love to use baskets for organizing my home.

I cut my husband and my son’s hair.  This saved us at least $30.

I received a nice Cat Chow and shampoo sample in the mail.  I also received a free book to review.

I finished sewing my first Christmas present.  Woohoo!  In our family we find the month of December absolutely crazy (as I”m sure most of you do).  I have found the key to enjoying December and the Christmas season is preparing early.  I’m not always perfect with this but every little preparation I do now will make a big difference in December.  🙂

I used blue fleece from my fabric stash to sew Elijah his first little hoodie using McCall 6237.  So adorable!

After baking a chicken in the crock pot for dinner I made chicken broth.  I used some of it in soup last week and froze the rest in 2 cup increments in freezer bags.  Here is how I cook my chicken and make broth in the crock pot.

I canned 7 quarts of green beans from our garden.

I made homemade tomato soup from tomatoes from our garden for lunch one day.  Delicious!  We still don’t have enough tomatoes to can but have ben enjoying a few each week.

We bought a new couch and negotiated 15% off the sale price!  🙂  Our old couch was at least 20 years old and WORN OUT.  I thought about purchasing a used couch but I know way too much about bed bugs to feel okay about that.  We did save up for months and purchased our couch using cash.  Now we just have to wait 5-9 weeks while they make it.

I purchased a new dress, beautiful green sweater, and a new skirt for $12 from a thrift store.  Super excited about all three!  I have really limped along the past year with my wardrobe and am in the process of building my wardrobe a little so this was perfect.

Date Night Shirt: Simplicity 2892 Review

8 Sep

It’s been years since I have sewn a shirt for myself.

Before Brandon & I headed off on our wonderful Overnight Get-a-Way I wanted to make a cute shirt.  Something light, summery, and perfect for a date night with the hubby.  I found a beautiful solid teal fabric with just a bit of stretch to it in my stash.  I had a couple of patterns to choose from but finally settled on Simplicity 2892 view E.  (My sweet friend Emily had sewn Simplicity 2892 this spring and I instantly fell in love with it when she showed me her shirt.  At once I knew I had to try my hand at it sometime soon.)  So that’s what I did.

Such a fun summer shirt.

This was the first time that I had ever worked with single fold bias tape.  Honestly I’m still not sure if I applied it correctly but it looks okay.  It is important to note that you want to make sure that your bias tape matches because it will be seen on the outside.  Just fyi.


I usually just tie the belt into a knot rather than a bow.

A few notes about the pattern.  I found it very helpful to use a ham when pressing this shirt.  For Step 9 make sure to mark which is the front and which is the back to avoid sewing the wrong part together like I did. 😉

My new date night go-to shirt.

Overall I love this shirt.  I have worn it at least once a week since I made it in August.  🙂  It was fairly easy to make and I plan on making another one next summer.  This is a great pattern since it contains 4 different shirts: 3 sleeveless and 1 with short sleeves.  I may try my hand at sewing View A this fall.

Frugal Things I Did Last Week

5 Sep

Eli after playing with his homemade chalk paint (mix equal parts cornstarch and water + food coloring). When it dries it looks just like chalk!

This past week I finally broke down and made homemade laundry soap after having the ingredients on hand for months!  I made the powdered version: 1 bar Felths-Napa soap (grated), 1 cup borax, and 1 cup washing soda.  I have washed about 4 loads of laundry and it seems to be working well.   Having always had very sensitive skin I am curious to see if I will be able to use this myself long-term.  So good so far! 🙂

I picked and broke lots of green beans this past week from both my garden and my aunt’s.  My mother was kind enough to can most of them for me.  I think we canned about 27 pint and a half jars?  (Pint & a half jars are hard to find but the perfect size for my family.  They are also so cute and work wonderful as iced tea glasses.)  😉    With the rain we just had I expect to can more later this week if my beans continue to produce as they have.

I continued to work on my niece’s birthday present using materials I had on hand.

I ordered a book through interlibrary loan from our library rather than purchase it.  Brandon and I are both looking forward to reading it.

Received a free Schick Intuition Razor in the mail.

The family and I went to the Cincinnati Natural History & Science Museum.  We paid $6 to park but admission to the museum was free in honor of Neil Armstrong this past week.  It was so much fun!  I think we would all agree that our favorite part was the indoor cave.

I accepted a dozen canning jars, a half camisole, and a fun new bathroom rug from my aunt.  We really needed a new bathroom rug for our guest bathroom and this is perfect!  I’m so glad I waited to buy one.

Thanks to pintrest I made Spinach Artichoke dip for the first time while the hubby and I watched a football game Saturday night.

We had a blast at the Cincinnati Natural History museum last week.

A Husband’s Labor of Love

3 Sep

My sweet thoughtful husband the artist.

A couple of weeks ago I was flipping through a Ballard Design catalog and saw a beautiful floral print.  At a price of $200 I knew that print was not going to make its way into our kitchen.  So I did what any other wife would do with a talented husband.  I asked him to paint something for me instead.

Hard at work. Notice the canning jars on the table? I was canning pickles while Brandon painted. Sweet memory.

I am so glad that I did!  Not only did it turn out beautiful but it was so fun to watch Brandon paint.  I loved watching him paint each stroke and the expressions on his face.

The painting is on display in our kitchen.  I could not be prouder of my hubby.  Every time I look at the painting it brings a smile to my face in a way that a $500 painting never could.  What a precious labor of love from my husband.  One I will always cherish!  🙂

The finished painting. The photo really doesn’t give it justice.