Thursday, May 31, 2012

Goodtime at the Goodwill

To say I've been busy & distracted lately would be a major understatement. I did however, manage to squeeze in a visit to Goodwill on my lunch break. Major mood lifter! I found a wide navy belt for myself. I noticed my belts are all skinnies and brown leather. So a little variety would be useful! This one set me back $1.50. I also bought a natural colored sweater for Cody. He recently requested some more clothes--YEESSS! Love having people to shop for. This one was in great condition, in his size and a color he would be comfortable wearing for $7.25.

I'm finding that the Goodwill is a great place to pick up belts. I think I have at least 4 all from the Goodwill and all under $2! What's your go-to Goodwill item?

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Backyard Dreams

Our house hunt has narrowed, and nothing's official but I can't help dreaming of ideas for our (almost) backyard. Two things in particular.

planter boxes--cody has a vegetable garden planned!

Well, this one is more Cody's plan. He's the one with the plant skills. But we both love the idea of raised planter beds, especially since our dog thinks he is a cow. He likes to graze, and we'd prefer he doesn't do so with our cilantro (or whatever else we plant).

backyard chickens--Hopefully!

And the chickens are definitely my  plan....or dream? Cody's not all that thrilled. But I've assured him he will be convinced with an omelet? He did have a slightly traumatizing job of tearing out a huge, rat-infested chicken coop. In the rain. So I can understand the aversion! I will just continue to gaze longingly at my cousin & friends chicken coops and lovely colored eggs...

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Springtime Ruffles

Digging out my summer clothes sure brightens the task of getting dressed in the morning! This top still had the tags on it...from last summer. Sad, sad, sad. I've got some catching up to do! I love ruffles and so naturally the layered ruffled bottom couldn't be more perfect for me. Although, my brother may not agree, "What are you wearing?!". 
Love ya, bro! ;) 

Top: Charlotte Russe ($6.99) // Capris: Gap (clothing swap) // Wedges: Target // Belt: Goodwill // Jewelry: Target & Lia Sophia

(pictures by Cody!)

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Clearance Couture: Goodwill Again

Picked up this lace tank from the Goodwill last fall for $3.99 and its been a fun addition to my wardrobe. I recently dug it out again when I was returning all my winter sweaters to storage to make room for all my spring/summer tops and dresses. The best part about that is my closet feels brand new again! I think May's $20 shopping allowance is going to be much easier--I might not even need it. Ha! Yeah right!!!

I paired it up with some old faithfuls, that hopefully you're not sick of seeing! My boots actually are starting to fall apart at the seams...the sole on my left boot is separating and the achilles heel portion of the right boot gives me a blister every time I wear them. I guess that's what happens after 4 years of wearing them almost nonstop! I will have to look into getting them repaired, I just don't think I could completely replace them. I mean, they were a birthday/wedding gift after all! 

Lace tank: Goodwill // Jeans: Target // Boots: BootBarn // Purse: Clothing Swap

(photo by Katy!)

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

DIY: Whipped Body Butter (Almond Joy in a Jar)

Hope you remembered to show your momma some major love and appreciation on Sunday!  This year I decided to show the love with some ultra rich body lotion.  I used this recipe for inspiration.  After calling around to find the unrefined shea butter (trickier than you might think) I settled on a combination of shea butter and coconut oil for my base. Both are hard as a rock at room temperature and surprisingly popular--had to go to 3 different stores! Whole Foods sells shea butter at $25/3 oz! Yowza! With a little google research I stumbled upon the Now Foods line and purchased their 7 oz containers of shea butter and coconut oil, 7oz for $9 and $7 respectively. For you locals, the coconut oil was sold at Whole Foods and the shea butter at BeeHive Nutrition. I also picked up Almond Oil from Whole Foods.

Now I didn't exactly measure these out to perfection...and it allllmost did me in. But I put these 3 rock-like butters in with the whole bottle of almond oil and microwaved it all down to a liquid. Then be sure to stir in your cornstarch (few tablespoons) til its all the way dissolved. I ended up with some chunks at the end, so don't overlook the importance of that step! Then you freeze it (I didn't let it cool long enough in my first round) and mix it in an ice bath.

Slowly but surely it will take on a whipped cream consistency. My fabulous husband saved the day on this one. I panicked when it wasn't thickening up and ran out to the store to buy sugar. While I was gone Cody stuck it back in the freezer and then started whipping it again. By the time I got home, it was beautiful, whipped body butter! So this project was legitimately from the two of us. Once you've got it whipped a generous sampling is in order, just to be sure you've done it correctly of course. If you're satisfied, jar it up (get cute jars at your local Goodwill) and you have a great gift for a loved one or yourself!

The combination of coconut and almond reminded me of almond joy candy bars--which I can't for the life of me understand why my mom enjoys.  But at least it helped me name the lotion: Almond Joy in a Jar! I highly, highly reccomend this recipe--really great lotion. And I'm a tad OCD with my lotion, so take my word for it!!!

Which leaves me with a question for you, if you were stranded on an island what's one thing (besides the obvious stuff like water & food) you would just have to have? It would be lotion for me!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Last Minute Mother's Day

So, what are you doing for Mother's Day? I've deviated a bit from my original plan...more to come on that next week! In case you're in a pinch, here are some quick ideas I'm sure any mother would love!

Fancy up her camera strap (tutorial here)
DIY Camera Strap

DIY Mousepad (tutorial here)

Custom tea, have fun with flavors! (Tutorial here)

These washer plates would be a fun accent hanging in your trees too! Maybe they'd help scare off birds from getting all the first fruits? (tutorial here)

All that really matters is that we show our mamma's some appreciation for the hard work they do! That could be anything from a hug to a new car! But seriously, the greatest gifts are the ones that are thoughtful. Does your family have a Mother's Day tradition? Breakfast in bed? House cleaning? A beach day?

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Clearance Couture & April Allowance Part 2

The remaining $10 of April shopping funds went to Forever 21 for this sheer, blush colored bow-tie blouse. And I totally lucked out to have it match a recent earrings purchase! I should also mention that those $5 Target jeans that are a part of almost every outfit...they're not the same jeans..well they are but, I bought 6 pairs for $5 when they were on clearance last fall!! Thanks, Katy for helping me capture another full outfit to share!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Appliqued Onesies

The first grandbaby for Cody's side of the family is on the way, our first niece! Well I guess technically she will be our second-cousin? No matter what our name is, we can't wait to meet her and watch her grow! Now I abosultey ADORE baby shopping, but I sorta got all sentimental with this one and wanted to make something for her. So off to Jo Ann's & Target I went. Picked up multi-packs of onesies and a handful of fat quarters and got to work doing some applique embellishing. I also found the cutest ruffled jeans that I couldn't pass up. I pre-washed everything to (hopefully) ensure the appliques don't get all scrunchy and off down the road when baby girl spits up all over them ;) 

By the way, I'm starting to really enjoy ironing--shocking--but with some good music or a chick flick/tv show on its totally therapeutic. 

I also purchased felt buttons at Jo Ann's, how baby friendly is that?? I layered a few for that button flower look. Stitched wide ribbon also works well for an appliqued band across the front for those of us who don't cut straight lines (myself included). Just make sure you don't buy wired ribbon!

I played around with a few sizes for the heart patches, I cut my own with the old fold over trick. Experiment with placement too, patches (I think) are cute on little kid patooties. For the lady bug & elephant patterns, I just googled 'animal (or ladybug/elephant) applique pattern' and there are tons to choose from. I bet you could also trace something out of a childrens book or coloring page if you happen to have those lying around. 

And if you're itching for more pics, here are some terrible shoot-quick-before-the-battery-dies shots to give you an idea of how many combos you can get with just 4 fat quarters. Well, one of the fat quarters was one of those fake quilt motifs, which really gave me more options! I tried to vary which fabric was used for each grouping: 0-3 month, 3-6 month & 6-9 month (each ended up with 3 onesies and 1 pair of jeans).

And then I packaged them into a girly storage basket, hopefully Mommy doesn't have to too many already!

And I actually have a lot of fabric left over too! I will have to think of something for that, anyone else having a baby girl soon? Oh and there are tons of manly options for little boys too--appliqued ties, robots, 3-eyed aliens....

So whether or not you're a mom--I'm curious, in your opinion what's the best baby shower gift? 

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Clearance Couture & April Allowance Part 1

So I went ahead and spent my April funds within like the first week and a half of the month. This $20 thing has become torture. It seems like everything in stores this year is waaaay cuter than previous years. Maybe it's just because I can't buy it?!! Sort of like when you want a certain new car and all the sudden everywhere you go, you see twenty of them? Happy to report that I stuck to it and stayed under $20 (two items & $19.99 spent) and even happier to report that I am 1/3 of the way through my harder-than-I-thought 2012 shopping challenge! 

Purchase #1:

I am nothing if not a lover of wraps. Seriously, I am the Sweater Queen. This $10 tri-colored brown wrap is thin & stretchy and has a pajama like comfort that you can get away with in public! I wore it with a bunch of other previous almost-stealing purchases. And a special thanks to Katy for taking my picture! Yes, Katy who bakes wonderful cookies & designs pretty logos can also work a fancy camera. Thanks to her help, I'm trying to deliver more full outfit photos with my clearance purchases. So much easier (and fun!) to do this with a friend rather than racing against the self-timer!

And speaking of fun--a little B & W drama.

Wrap from TJ Maxx//Flats from Urban Outfitters //$5 Target jeans//White Cami//Goodwill Belt//Turquoise Jewelry