tooth fairy box

I so hate to admit it, but the time has finally come for my baby to begin losing her first tooth. She has a pretty wiggling one and has been super concerned about having a tooth box like her brother.
Realizing that I’m not going to make it to the special toy store that has the special tooth boxes, I decided to just make her one. While on a Michael’s run this past week, I gathered up the supplies to make a little box just for her.

Untitled

Here’s the rundown on cost:
3 sheets of scrap book paper (on sale at Michael’s for 99 cents each…yes even the glitter stuff)
bling on a roll (4.99 @ Michael’s minus a 40% off coupon)
little cardboard box (99 cents at Michael’s)
tracing of a tooth
martha stewart mod podge stuff (no idea…had it for a while)

 

I cut out the paper to fit and used the martha glue (which is ok, but’s not the “real” thing for sure) to stick it on.

tooth fairy box

After the glue was a little dry, I painted some glue to seal it all around the outside. While I waited for it to dry completely, I worked on a little satin pillow for the inside.

tooth fairy box

This was some scrap fabric I had laying around and I just cut a circle wider than the outside of the box, stitched it, stuffed it and then added a little stitch in the middle to make that special spot for her tooth to lay.

tooth fairy box

On the top, I cut out an outline of a tooth (which apparently looks more like a bunny according to the oh so wise 5 year old chick) and glued that down. I did not add any glue to the top to seal it because I thought it might mess up the glitter.

tooth fairy box

So there you have it! One little tooth box ready and waiting for a visit from the tooth fairy. All less than $5 to make!

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a foodie post

If there seems to be anything that strikes stress into the heart of a mom lately, it’s the idea of menu planning and grocery shopping. I spend way more time than I would like to think going over recipes, organizing recipes, making a menu, making a grocery list and let’s not forget actually going shopping and cooking!

That said, I feel like I’ve sort of begun to turn a corner with my level of foodie stress, only to have a whole host of changes coming my way this summer.  It’s an easy trap of perfectionism (or the thought of it) and comparing my kitchen to another’s to fall into and I would love to be a community where we encourage everyone to eat better without stressing over it.

Our family of four grocery budget hovers around $400. I don’t stick to it as closely as I should, but give or take $25-30, this is where we sit. Once upon a time I was shopping at least 4-5 different stores in a month and have gladly cut that down to just about two: Walmart (I know, gag, but it is the cheapest) and our local food co-op.

Some of the biggest changes I’ve made lately is with dairy. My kitchen overall is probably about 50% organic from produce to dry goods. I try to buy as little processed food as I can sanely manage and we do bake a lot in our house, but dairy was one of my last hangups. It’s just so freakin’ expensive.

I started out with yogurt. We eat a ton of yogurt in our house and I was probably spending $50 per grocery trip on those little yogurt tubs and little containers for my husband’s lunch. No more. I’ve started buying only the 32oz containers of vanilla and we are slowly experimenting with adding other flavors, fruits and granola to it. We have recently discovered Brown Cow yogurt and are completely smitten. It’s awesome.

I’m still working out the milk issue. We’ve put the kids back on whole milk, generally because they aren’t drinking as much as they used to. We ration milk pretty good around here. The hubs and I are on 1% when I can find it. I’ve been buying different brands over the course of the last month and I will say that I have seen a huge improvement in my ability to handle dairy, namely milk.  Organic cheese and butter for baking are my last two dairy items to convert. We shall see.

  One of the biggest changes that is happening this summer is where I buy my food. This is where the budget is going to hit the fan, as I’m really not sure how to budget for it. Azure Standard is heading my way in a month and I’m super excited. I’ve read nothing but raving reviews about this family owned company and their prices are pretty hard to beat, even with Earthfare and a local food co-op to choose from around here. This is where I just don’t know how to budget. I’m hoping to start buying pretty much all the stuff I was buying from the bulk bins from them, along with some of their frozen meat (their ground turkey supplier and their whole chicken supplier has nothing but awesome reviews online).

We are also getting a Trader Joes (insert gigantic scream of joy) and a Cosco this summer (not to mention a Publix). Talk about too many shopping choices. It’s going to be interesting to see how it all plays out by August.

But biggest change in our lives is going to be our no food dye or food coloring challenge. I’ve been talking it up with the kids for the past few weeks and we’ve been talking about the things we would have to cut out. Why are we doing this? I truly think that my daughter for sure has a sensitivity to it. We aren’t a heavy food dye family to begin with, but she does get her fair share of it at school in the form of Popsicles and other junk (insert gigantic groan). Before I made a radical change in her food diet at school, I wanted to try it out at home during a time with I could control it pretty much 100 percent.

The Kitchen Stewardship blog has a great series on avoiding food dyes called “my food is not a number”. Check it out.

I’m already starting to stockpile a list in my head of the things we have to stop buying and today was totally bummed when I saw that Edy’s 100% fruit pops have yellow and red food dye in them. Urg! More incentive to use all those Pins from Pinterest and make my own fruit pops!

What are you doing in your kitchen to reduce your menu planning/budgeting stress?

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Martha of the Month {February}

marthamonthbutton

This month’s project (thank goodness for Leap Year!) is from Martha’s Encyclopedia of Sewing and Fabric. It is a Girl’s Shirt dress from an upcycled men’s dress shirt.

Martha of the Month: Feb '12

The first thing I had to do was find a shirt. After moving less than 2 years ago and various runs to Goodwill, the husband had  zero dumpy shirts I could use. I probably could have raided my dad’s closet, but opted to hit Habitat. After digging a little I found this purple-ish shirt that met the chick’s approval.

Martha of the Month Feb'12

The next thing I had to do was print, cut out and tape the pattern. Whew. This one was a doozy. I think it was more daunting to cut out the pattern than put it all together.

Martha of the Month Feb '12

This is a pretty simple project and leaves gobs of options for you. I decided to make my own bias trim, versus hitting up my stash (which was low) or heading to the store (it’s kind of stormy-gloomy here) so I scrounged around in my scrap bins and found this flowery trim. The directions were very easy to follow and probably my only complaint was that the directions for making the little tie on the neck were pretty vague. At least enough for me to say “the heck with it” and left that part off.

Martha of the Month Feb '12

I think it turned out pretty well, but I’m thinking it looks (and feels) more like a great summer nightgown than a dress.

Either way, it was a simple and fun 2 hour project.

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holidays are comin’

We are getting ready to do some celebrating around here (it’s the big five birthday week…more on that later this week) and now that I’m finally caught up on most of my orders I can start sewing my long list of stuff for the kids and family!

First off was finishing up the chick’s Christmas dress. This is the same peasant dress pattern that I’ve been sewing a lot lately. It’s super easy and makes such a cute dress! I’ve not a clue who the fabric is by, but I love it and I hand appliqued the little owl on there the same as this dress.

2011 christmas dress

We are also having fun at school this week with holiday parties. I saw this idea on Pinterest a while back and I knew it would be a hit in the Rooster’s crazy second grade class. The original idea is to use tic-tacs, but tic-tacs are not cheap at all and when you have to buy 20 of them we decided to look around for other options. We thought about doing green mint gum and calling them “grinch sticks” instead. After wandering the aisles of Target with a calculator, the Rooster spied these and I think they were a great find!

I printed out the little .jpg image onto full sheet label paper, cut them out and voila! A funny little treat for their holiday treat bags! Below is the .jpg image that I used and here is the link to the original blog post.

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31 days: a give-away winner & brown sugar

Day 27: a winner and some brown sugar

Congratulations to my friend Lee S. for being the winner via random.org of my little give-away!

give thanks embroidery

Let’s get in touch to figure out how to get this little goodie to your house asap!

 

Today’s creative moment comes in the form of sugar…brown sugar that is.
Did you know you can make your own brown sugar?
In the words of my mother “why do you make things so difficult? 🙂
To be honest, it was simple and was an easy fix that saved me a trip to the grocery while I was up to my neck in chocolate yesterday.

All you need is 1 cup of sugar per 1 tablespoon of molasses and a good fork. I actually mixed mine up with a mixer for the first little bit, but in the end found it was quicker and easier to just use a fork. If you do this and get little balls that look like an oil spill happened, keep mixing. That’s why the fork worked out better for breaking up all the clumping balls of sugar.

This stuff worked out great and tasted awesome! It’s not something I’ll be doing all the time, but sure is nice to know about in a pinch.

Missed a post in my 31 days of creating series? Click here for a complete list.

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