Thrifty Thursday: Be on the lookout!

I am a thrift store shopper. It is part addiction, part personality trait, part survival instinct. This has been especially true in prepping for the arrival of my bundle of squirmy joy due in a little over 4 months.  My Tightwadery truly knows no bounds.

This week I found some majorly awesome things.

I got a clear plastic storage tub, which I direly needed to make putting my possessions in storage to accommodate new baby easier.

Price: $1.00

I got several baby clothing items for $0.25 a piece.

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I’ve been keeping track of what I needed versus what I have with my handy dandy spreadsheet that I will talk more about later in a future post.

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I got three pairs of baby shoes for the little monster to stomp around in which are in excellent shape for $1.50 a piece. My advice when buying for baby or toddler. If you are going to get it used, be sure it is something they will use, and that it is in good enough condition to withstand a few months/years worth of wear and possibly be passed down from sibling to sibling.

Thus far I have been resisting buying Maternity pants. Mostly because they are almost all ugly, overpriced, and just ew. I found these just sort of by chance in my usual glance over of the maternity section of the thrift store (which is only about 2ft of rack space sadly). They are Motherhood, which means I could consign them later if I don’t wear them to pieces like I generally do with clothes.

They were a wopping $3.00

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Probably the things I am most excited about are the four Baby Einstein tapes I picked up. I realize tapes are outdated and so on and so forth, but I have a VHS player and I am not above using it. Especially since they were $1.00 a piece.

Altogether I spent $15.00.

After a little research I discovered that an equivalent pair of shoes to the pair I found for $1.50 from Stride Rite are at least $40.00

I feel good about my day of shopping.

The thrifty tip of the day:

Always have a running inventory of the things you are going to need or currently need in your head or in your purse so that you can reference it when out and about. This helps to pick up on the various deals that you might otherwise miss.

If you haven’t already, click on the picture below to enter the Winter 2015 giveaway!

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Star Wars tutorial round up!

I love Star Wars! And their is a lot of Star Wars excitement these days with the release of the seventh movie trailer. In honor of that I have gathered some of the most interesting Star Wars DIY’s that can be found on the interwebs.

DIY Star Wars Hair Clips or Shoe Toppers by Crafty Staci

1. These adorable clips have a great free tutorial. They can be attached to anything.

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2. I can’t have a list of awesome Star Wars projects without including this awesome terrarium idea from my own blog.

 Hand Cut LP Death Star Clock

3. I’ve been doing a ton of things with records this past year so I thought this was especially neat. There isn’t a tutorial but a link to an Etsy vendor. Support Small businesses!

Star Wars inspired Quiet Book (PATTERN)

4. With Baby Carl on the way soon I have been researching and looking into neat little things that I can make for him to pass on to his babies. Yeah, I am sentimental. However this Star Wars quiet book is by far the neatest thing ever. You can purchase the pattern here.

Good thing that a picture is worth a thousand words because for this shot . . . there are no words ;-)

5. I am not particularly talented with Origami, but this is pretty stinkin neat!

R2D2 -For Andrew - may never make this, but I have it if I ever want to!

6. I love to cross stitch and really this is self explanatory.

I made a Chewbacca softie using this image and faux fur to go along with a halloween costume. The faux fur made the small arms and legs I was working with a real challenge to turn out. But in the end he looked good, everyone recognized him because of his bandolier.

7. Chewy is my favorite character. This plush looks simple and neat.

8. And following the Chewy theme is this neat, but simple stocking.  There are no instructions but it would be fairly simple to reproduce.

 

Merry Sithmas! Homemade Star Wars lawn ornaments

9. This is officially the neatest lawn decor I have ever seen! Here is how it was made.

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10. While the Christmas season is swiftly coming to a close these Star Wars inspired snowflakes are a neat idea for any time of year.

2014 in review

I thought this was pretty neat. I want to keep all of this in mind as I delve into 2015 writing. Thanks for following along this year.

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 9,200 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 3 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

It is nearing the end

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My 25th year brought with it many changes, and surprises and shocks. The year 2014 was a hell of a ride. Robin Williams is gone from this world. The final Hobbit movie just came to theaters. Ebola was a real thing in America for about a minute. I still don’t know what ISIS stands for. My brother found a girlfriend. My sister quit her biggest bad habit. I got an apartment. I found out I actually can reproduce. I’m having a baby. I’m having a little boy named Carl Markus. I spent 3 1/2 months primarily visiting with a toilet throwing my guts up every day…by myself. I still get sick occasionally. For the first time in my life I discovered what it felt like to have a little alien inside me kicking my bladder. I haven’t yet lost my sense of humor. Just wait though, I haven’t gone through labor yet.

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While 2013 kind of sucked, 2014 was just the year of new discoveries. I ran a successful children’s Summer program from scratch to the end with very little idea of what I as doing. I got my first tattoo this year. Before this baby I was saving up for number two. Obviously that is being postponed. I’ve made a few new friends this year. I have completely alienated a few old friends. I’ve let a lot of animosity go that I was previously holding onto. It must be the pregnancy hormones, but I seem to be incapable of holding a grudge right now. This year I worked my butt off with Children’s Ministry, craft fairs and shows, side jobs, and trying to keep my head above water. I stopped writing for a few months, for several reasons. I’ve started writing again with a ton of new goals and hopes and dreams.

What I learned this year is that no matter what happens in this life we must keep moving. Keep dreaming. Keep building. Keep growing. And never let someone else’s standard of growth or movement or dreaming be our own. I can’t count  the number of times I got bogged down in the ideas of others or how many times I was told I wasn’t doing something the “right” way this year or how many times I was told I needed to make change A, B or C. I suppose some of that can be due to the fact that I underwent several life changes this year and everyone wants to offer advice. The rest can be attributed to the communal advice column we as a society like to pass on to anyone carrying around a fetus.

I really hope I can look back on 2014 and see all the positives and remember that I am the only one who has to answer for and live with my decisions. I hope you all had an awesome year.

Life changing moments

Ever have a life changing moment? Well I suppose we all have. My latest life changing moment was seeing a tiny little blip on and hearing a tiny little heart beat at the doctors office last month. I’ve sort of been walking around in a state of shock since then, but today I woke up from it just a little bit. This is the reason for my long writing absence. As reasons go I think it is a pretty good one. I’m early yet, just a little over 9 weeks so at this point anything could happen. I’ve learned that no one tells you the real truth about things like pregnancy before you get pregnant.

I wear a lot of hats. I work in children’s ministry, I work as a birthday clown on occasion or a balloon twister, I’m a crafter, I’m a friend, sometimes I’m a wife, I’m a sister, I’m a daughter, I’m a mentor, I’m a babysitter…but mom is not a title I ever thought to achieve. Needless to say I am still adjusting. Oddly enough I am not as worried about when this kid gets here as I am getting through the next seven months. So far I have stayed pretty sick and tired. To be honest being sick and tired all of the time gets a bit old after a while.

I’m not sure where I am going to go from here. Honestly I had a bit of a panic attack at the thought of losing all my feminist, independent, do it my own way street cred (I am laughing a little as I type that). Then I really thought about it and decided that was crap. I’m still going to have to be independent. This kid is relying on me and so far I’m doing this mostly on my own. That is not to say I do not have a support system, but I’m the only person primarily responsible for the life floating around in me right now and that’s ok. In fact that is not scary, but rather emboldening. Whether this little bit is a boy or a girl I want them to know they are special and unique and what is acceptable treatment of others and what is not so really I am just getting the opportunity to teach a new life how to be awesome. I love to teach and that thought alone lets me know it will be ok.

Where is our empathy?

It is a sad and strange state of affairs that in the year 2014 we are still “slut shaming” and victim blaming women who have been treated unfairly, physically harmed or even brutalized. What does it say about society as a whole when we actually have to defend women like Jennifer Lawrence who had something private, something intensely personal, stolen and posted on the internet for all to see. I think I have read every sort of negative comment there is. I’ve seen everything from “If she didn’t want the pictures to become public she shouldn’t have taken them” to ” Its just pictures, what the big deal?”. There have also been many who have stepped up to defend these women, not just JLaw, who now have something very private out there for all to see. All I can think is that the people doing all of this victim blaming don’t understand the real situation.

These women took these pictures, in the privacy of their own spaces, with no intention of circulating them on the internet, or to groups of people they had never met. They took them with the INNOCENT intention of sharing them with a partner or maybe they were just feeling good about themselves that day. Someone, or a group of someones then went through a lot of trouble to break into their phones and steal those pictures and distribute them to the world. This is the exact same scenario as someone breaking into their homes and taking pictures of them against their will. This could happen to anyone. You do not have to be a celebrity for this sort of thing to happen to you.

The most disturbing thing to me about this whole scenario is that it can and will happen again. This sort of situation makes us feel as if nothing is private anymore. If you put something on the internet, or on your phone, or pretty much digitize it in any way it is vulnerable to hacking. We need to change our attitude toward victims of this sort of abuse because while this whole scenario has been shocking and sad and I feel so bad for these women, it will happen again. If we can change our perspective, let in some empathy rather than judgement, then maybe the next time it does happen these women will feel like they have a safe place to turn to rather than ridicule and opinions around every corner.

Be Anything

Birthday Clown

Microbiology lab assistant

Babysitter

Tutor

Day camp counselor

Earth Science lab set up

Nursery worker

Teacher

Office manager

Seamstress

Play director

Children’s Minister

I have been all of those things. Sometimes several of them at once. More often than not in today’s economy young people such as myself have diversified themselves into several different jobs just to make ends meet. This is so amazing to me! We, none of us, have to choose just one path. We can and should feel free to diversify.

I know a physicist who has a BS and a Master’s in physics but what makes her stand out is not the fact that she is a woman in what is still primarily a man’s world, but that she put all of her skills on her resume, not just those necessary for the job she was applying for. She is a smart and talented physicist who also happens to work weekends as a balloon twister and birthday clown. She did not want to be just one thing and so she embraced her other talents and instead of making her less appealing to a hiring board it made her unique. I realize that not everyone’s gifts are quite so polar opposite of one another, but we should embrace them anyway.

The generations of adults before us had a completely different outlook on careers. My father was a mason. He was just one thing. He did that his whole life and then he retired.His father before him was a carpenter and it was a part of his identity. Our parents and grandparents were teachers, doctors, lawyers, nurses, secretaries, and a whole myriad of other things, but they trained for that position and then stayed in it their whole lives. Career stability was totally different. People were able to make ends meet and even flourish that way and I’m afraid that is less and less of the case today.

There are so many people looking for the same types of jobs these days. They all went to college. They all have a degree and student loans to go with it. They all are fairly skilled in their field so why aren’t they getting the job? I think that it basically boils down to their aren’t enough jobs a lot of times in fields other than Science and Mathematics and so the hiring pool is huge. How do you make yourself stand out? Gain new skills! And put them on your resume.

We are living in a unique time in which we have the opportunity and the means to be and do anything we want. The only limits upon us are the ones we place there. Is there some skill you have always wanted to learn? Go! Learn it! You never know when it will come in handy. Don’t pass up a job opportunity because it isn’t what you originally saw yourself doing. We rarely know what we want to do until we are already doing it? The amazing thing about being young and living in this generation is that if we take a job that is totally not right for us chances are we can find another one. Don’t look at new opportunities as a waste of time but rather a learning adventure! Are you doing what you love right now? If you aren’t then find a way to make it happen!

Have you had a job that you didn’t expect to like turn out to be just what you needed?

Rival: A Review

I read a lot. I read fiction and non fiction, romance and history and religion and suspense and science. I read all the time. I suspect that will only get worse in the coming months. One of the best books I have read lately is Rival by Penelope Douglas. This was her third book and I while I really enjoyed the first one and had a lot of fun reading the second one, it was Rival that really impressed me.

Rival is the third book in the Falling Away series. Bully and Until You, the first two books, tell Jared and Tate’s story. These are also the books that we are introduced to Madoc and Fallon, as well as Jared and KC. Madoc is basically an Abercrombie model with attitude. Fallon is such a cool, nerdy, skateboarder. Their story is beautiful, and heartbreaking, and perfect.

We meet Madoc and Fallon two years after they first got together. They have been living entirely separate live with absolutely no contact. Fallon just up and disappeared one day. To make things more complicated they are step siblings to parents who don’t seem interested in being married or their children.  Madoc is having one last hoorah of a Summer before heading off to Notre Dame and all of the sudden, out of the blue, in pops Fallon, in his house and Madoc is being ordered not to go home. Madoc and Fallon didn’t part ways on the best of terms.

Within the first hundred pages there are scenes that will have you hooked on Penelope Douglas if you weren’t already. She is such an amazing author and she has truly outdone herself with this book. Madoc and Fallon have grown up from where they were at 16 and while they have issues to get through they do it with such beauty and grace as is rarely seen in people much older than themselves. Rival is beautiful. Go check it out for your self. You can purchase it here. Also Penelope Douglas is doing a blog tour for Rival this week. You can follow her here.

Happy Reading!

 

Scrap Stash Musings: Scrappy Frame Craft Display

Hello all!

I am trying to get back into the swing of Scrap Stash Musings posts because they are some of my favorites! Today’s scrappy post is a redesigning of a plain picture frame into something awesome!

To make this you will need a plane wooden frame (sorry no before pics)

A basket o scraps

some hot glue

some rick rack and ribbon

push pins

What I did when making mine was cut or tear the fabric into strips. The strips do not have to be all the same size, but it helps if they are longer. You could use all one type of fabric or just extra scraps like I did. Once I had a pretty good pile of strips I started at a corner, attached the strip with glue in the back and started wrapping it around the frame. Then you just repeat until you are finished with the whole frame. You can then add the rows of rick rack and ribbon. I did this with push pins and hot glue but there isn’t one right way.

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My frame is a display for selling my wares at craft shows. I am not entirely done with it as I would like to have it stand on its own,but from now I really like it.  I may also add a fabric backing. You could use this frame for displaying pictures, or hanging notes or whatever you like now that it has been prettified. Let your imagination run wild.

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Here is a shot of how it looks with my whole display.

 

30 Day Blog Challenge!

Good morning! I’ve decided to do the 30 day blog challenge. I’ve had a hard time staying focused and I really want to write more so I thought this would be a good way to accomplish some of that. I am going to do it a little differently though. Instead of writing about one of these things every day I am going to use these prompts in order on the days that I have not picked a different topic or I will incorporate them into what I wanted to blog about on any given day. I think it shall be fun. Some of the prompts are silly, all are fun though. I think when I am finished I shall make my own 30 day challenge!

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  1. A photo of yourself and a description of how your day was.
  2. A photo of something you ate today.
  3. Your favorite store.
  4. Your favorite photograph of your best friend.
  5. A photo of yourself two years ago.
  6. A photo of an animal you’d love to keep as a pet.
  7. Your dream wedding.
  8. A song and photo to match your mood.
  9. A photo of the item you last purchased.
  10. A photo of your favorite place to eat.
  11. What’s in your makeup bag?
  12. A photograph of the town you live in.
  13. Your favorite musician and why?
  14. A TV show you’re currently addicted to.
  15. Something you don’t leave your house without.
  16. A photo of you and your family.
  17. Your celebrity crush.
  18. Something you crave a lot.
  19. Another picture of yourself.
  20. The meaning behind your blog name.
  21. A photo of something that makes you happy.
  22. Bullet your whole day.
  23. 20 facts about you.
  24. What’s in your purse?
  25. Something that you miss.
  26. Think back to how you were five years ago. How have you changed since then?
  27. Put your iPod on shuffle and list the first 10 songs.
  28. Your favorite movie.
  29. Something you could never get tired of doing.
  30. A photograph of yourself today + three good things that have happened in the past 30 days.