Monday, July 30, 2012

Back to School Clothes Shopping

My local Salvation Army has clothing 50% off on Wednesdays. Last week we spent a whopping $16 and came away with all this and two glass vases too. Not bad. As good as some garage sales but with far more selection.

My 8 year old keeps forgetting the name of the store. She referred to it as "Old Navy" twice today. Cracks me up! I'm sure someday she'll know the difference and probably even care greatly, but for now her innocence is greatly appreciated.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Recycle Sign Take 2 - and a giveaway

My previous attempt at a recycling sign ended up being recycled within minutes of completion, but my kids get their determination from somewhere so I tried again. So far the vinyl signs pass the baby quality control test. I'm sure it helped that I clipped her fingernails yesterday! But seriously I don't think she has the fine motor skills to pull this one off. Hope I'm right. :)

In case YOU need a vinyl recycle sign, I'm giving away a set of two dark green vinyl recycle signs (identical to the ones shown here) to one lucky person. To enter the giveaway leave a comment telling me how you motivate yourself or your kids to do chores during the summer and I'll pick one lucky winner next week. Last day to enter is July 31st.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Banister attachment for Baby Safety Gate

We recently had to upgrade our baby gate to fit the new house.  There are a lot more of them out there than there were a few years ago.  Unfortunately, the one that worked best for our odd set-up didn't come with a banister adapter.  I could barely afford the gate, let alone another $20 for a banister kit!

So we made our own - using only materials we already had on hand.
View from downstairs, with gate open

First, I found a sturdy, attractive board that was tall enough to reach from floor to the top of the banister rail. It was also wide enough to cover the distance between two posts.

Close-up, lower banister side
Close-up, upper board side
Next, I marked to board at the bottom and top inside of each post.  Then I put the board down and drilled a hole at each of these markings, just big enough for the black heavy duty zip-ties that I happened have left over from a previous project.

To keep from damaging the banister, I cut out scraps of black fleece material for each place the board or the zip-ties would contact the banister.  Holding these in place, I put a zip-tie through the hole, around the banister post and back through itself, cutting off the extra once everything was tight.  Now I had a good solid surface to attach the gate to.
Finished adapter board
You may notice in the pictures that I actually attached the gate to a couple of small wooden blocks attached to the adapter board - this was to provide enough clearance for the gate to swing flat against the banister when not in use.  Depending on the model gate you use, you probably won't need to do this!
Finished gate, open

Finished gate, closed

If you don't have heavy-duty zip ties on hand - bolts from the adapter board to another small board placed on the other side of the banister would fill the same function.  Even rope might work, provided it was sturdy enough, and you trust your knot-tying skills:)

Chick Fil-A Appreciation Day

Chick Fil-A Appreciation Day

Lots of my friends attended the recent Cow Appreciation Day at Chick Fil-A (dress like a cow and get free food). In my opinion the August 1st Support Chick Fil-A Day is an even better reason to "Eat Mor Chikin." I'm not extremely interested in politics, but I am interested in supporting those who defend marriage as defined by God (a man and a woman).

Here's one version of the whole thing:

I've always thought it is awesome that Chick Fil-A is closed on Sunday. Yay Chick Fil-A for having Christian values and living by them.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Picture Proof - I did something today

 A few days ago I acquired/bought an additional garbage can to use for recycling. Well, the babysitter assumed it was a trash can and used it as such. I dumped the trash into the trash and thought the problem was solved. A few hours later the baby was picking through the recycling (while I'm fixing dinner) and came across a piece of gum. She had her fingers stuck together and was trying to get it off (very clean baby :). It was kind of funny and I was grateful it wasn't in her hair or on her clothes or in the carpet.

So today I made a recycling sign out of cardstock. Glad I took a picture because Miss Baby decided to clean up the can for me by taking those recycle signs off. At least she recycled the sign after she took it off and shredded it. I guess I should teach her that shredding isn't necessary unless personal information is involved. :)

Someday I'll stop posting upside down pictures. Just turn your screen (unless you're using a desktop like I am right now).

I think I'll try vinyl next time so Miss Baby can have a rematch with the recycling can.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Spreadable Butter

We have the typical butter/margarine debate at home.  I prefer margarine because I already have a weight problem but don't have issues with high blood pressure/cholesterol.  My husband prefers the taste of butter, is skinny enough to need the extra fat, and already has high triglycerides (making trans fats something to be avoided).

Since he's the only one eating actual butter, it doesn't make since to keep a stick on the counter to keep it soft - we just don't go through very much very fast.  He loves spreadable butter - but the cost if WAY more than margarine, and about double that of stick butter.

So, I found suggestions for making the spreadable butter myself.  I softened 1 cup of butter, then put it in the mixer with 1/2 cup canola oil.  After whipping it for a few minutes, I put the mixture in an old store-bought container, and my husband couldn't tell the difference.  (What didn't fit in the container, I put in the freezer for later.)  First trial a success!

This time around, I used 1 cup butter, 1/2 cup canola oil, and 1/2 cup water.  Hubby says that he can tell that something's a little different, but the finished product was "acceptable."  We'll see which one he requests when I run out of this batch in a few months!

Tortilla Chips

My family loves tortilla chips, but I always feel bad serving something with that much fat and sodium.  So, I've started making our own.  I use mission corn tortillas (the extra thin variety), and cut them into sixths with a pizza cutter.  The kids help me spread them out on a greased cookie sheet.  Then I spray the tops with grease and bake them at 400 for about 9 minutes.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Lunch Veggie Creations

Plenty of creativity at our house today. And thanks Target for the super special on the pull apart Twizzlers and the fun summer tablecloth.
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