Thrifting For Baby – Maternity and Beyond!

Well, Happy Sunday everyone!!! 🙂 I hope your weekend has been as lovely and relaxing as mine has been (It is only 1:00 here in Minnesota, which means the threat of Monday isn’t too looming yet!). We have had beautiful (BEAUTIFUL) Fall weather lately! It has been sunny and in the upper 70’s all weekend. The leaves are changing and it is absolutely breathtaking. Fall in Minnesota is officially my favorite!
Anyway, enough about that and on to the topic of the day – Now that I am expecting my second baby, I thought I would share some tips on how to save your hard earned pennies when shopping for maternity clothes and stocking up for baby. Excited??? Here we go!

1. Maternity clothes shopping: I love Ebay for finding inexpensive maternity clothes! I can’t stant the thought of spending a ton of money on clothes that I can only wear for a short period of time. And because women wear them for such a short period of time, you can usually find maternity clothes on Ebay in like-new condition for a fraction of the cost. Here is what I got recently:

Citizens of Humanity Jeans – $25.00 + FREE Shipping!

Maternity top – $10.00 + $2.99 shipping

Liz Lange Dress – $8.50 + $5.45 shipping

Great deals, right??? Another great place to look for inexpensive maternity clothes is Goodwill. I normally do not have much luck finding clothes at Goodwill, and sometimes it depends on the Goodwill you go to, but I have found 3 pairs of maternity pants for work for under $6.00 apiece! That is an unbeatable deal!!! I do not recommend Craigslist for maternity clothes. People are usually trying to sell their maternity clothes in bundles and I have yet to find a bundle where I would wear all the clothes in it (Let’s face it, some maternity clothes are just flat-out ugly!). Not to mention, you have to go pick up the maternity clothes, which can be kind of a hassle to coordinate times. Not worth it in my opinion. Lastly, I highly recommend Target clearance section for great maternity essentials like t-shirts and jeans.

2. Nursery furniture and decor: Unlike maternity clothes, Craigslist is my hands-down favorite place to find nursery decor and furniture. You can find a great crib for 25% the cost of buying it new (be sure to ask about chew marks on the railing…) and if you are lucky, you might even be able to snag a great changing table or dresser in the FREE section! Can’t beat that deal! Right now, I am on the hunt for a cute twin sized bed for when my LO switches to a big girl bed and the new baby takes over her crib. My most recent find is Pottery Barn bedding for both my current LO and new baby!!! O.M.G. So. Excited.

Pottery Barn Penelope Crib Set + Matching Rug and Canvas Paintings – $65.00

The other bedding is twin sizes Pottery Barn comforter and matching Pillow sham (I can’t find a picture of it online) for only $15.00! Such a steal of a deal and so stinkin’ cute! Craigslist is a good place to find a rocker/glider too. We got our Baby’s R Us plush rocker on Craigslist for $100, normally over $300 retail. The only other place I find good prices on nursery gear is garage sales. These can be especially good for common things like diaper pails and changing pads. Sometimes you will get lucky and find a great crib for a great price at a garage sale – but it usually takes some hunting.

3. Baby clothes: My favorite place to get baby clothes is the local Just Between Friends sale. They hold a sale every season and it is a great one-stop shop to stock up on good quality, inexpensive baby clothes. I have been going on the last day of the sale (Saturday) for half price day. Better deals and less to sift through. Garage sales can be great for very inexpensive baby clothes. These can be hit or miss, but when you find a good one, it feels like you’ve won the lottery (Side note: Keep your eyes open for inexpensive baby bottles too – you can sometimes find these for pennies on the dollar compared to retail)!!! Once Upon a Child is great if you are looking for something specific and you need it by a certain time. They are a little more pricey than the previous options but they have convenience on their side! I of course always check the Target clearance rack for baby clothes also 🙂 I can’t resist!
I hope you found this helpful 🙂 Until next time…

Love, Macy

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Halloween Birthday Party Decoration Ideas

Planning a birthday party in the fall can be a lot of fun! Especially if you’ve decided on a Halloween birthday party theme! So if you’re looking for a few clever ideas for Halloween party decorations, look no further! Here are some fun and unique ideas you can use!

Halloween Party Decorations

What is a birthday party without decorations? You can find all kinds of awesome decorations this time of year when all the stores stores are ramped up for Halloween and you can get pretty much anything you want from flying bats, to string pumpkin lights, to scary life-sized ghosts!

Now that you know you have options, you’re going to have to decide if you want your Halloween birthday party to be a ‘fun’ party or a ‘scary’ party. Who is coming to your party? If it’s for kids, then you don’t want to be too creepy!

For Kids: Go with pumpkins. Get them in all shapes and sizes and place them all over your party area. Don’t carve them just yet! That comes later when you need an activity for all the kids 🙂

Other than pumpkins, you can use plastic spiders and fake spiderwebs around the room. Kids will love this! And if you really want to add a creepy-but-in-good-fun factor to your party, consider renting a smoke machine and put on some eery music when the guests arrive. It’ll be fun but it won’t scare them into nightmares for the next week!

For Adults: Go crazy. We all love the clever aspects of a Halloween party. A mock-haunted-house room. Fun, creepy music, and of course lots of treats displayed out on a table (adults are big on food!)

To make an adults Halloween party ghoulish, use dim lighting to set the scene. From there, you can create live ghosts present in your room. This takes a little creativity but follow along with me and you’ll get it!

What You’ll Need:

  • A mini oscillating fan (optional)
  • Thin colored tissue paper
  • Cardboard
  • Scissors or Xacto Knife
  • Flashlight

1. First, you’ll need to Google silhouettes of ghosts and find one that you can easily cut out of cardboard. Then scale it down to the size that will fit on the cardboard a few times and be sure to leave some extra cardboard on the side of each ghost.

2. Next, cut the ghosts out of the cardboard. What you have left will be what you use to place near the end of the flashlight to shine through.

3. Place a thin piece of colored tissue paper over the front the flashlight to give your ghost some color, use a rubberband to secure. Sometimes if the tissue paper is too thick though, it won’t let the light shine through.

4. If you have a mini oscillating fan, use tape to secure the flashlight on top projecting upwards. This will make the ghost look like it’s moving back and forth. And it’s cheap!

5. Lastly, prop up your cardboard with cut out ghosts in front of the flashlight so that your ghosts are projected on the wall at a size you are happy with. Moving the cardboard closer names for small ghosts, and farther makes for bigger ghosts. Watch as different ghosts get illuminated as the night moves on. Spooky!

Enjoy the season!!

Hearts,
Ruby

DIY Window Curtain Project

Well, since we put a deck on our house, we’ve had a little bit of an awkward situation. We’ve got a small window that overlooks the deck, and that window just happens to be in our bathroom… Needless to say, it needed a curtain, and badly.

I kept my eyes peeled for some sales to get a curtain rod and curtain for cheap, but no luck. I looked at Goodwill, and other thrift stores but I just couldn’t find what I was looking for. Finally, Macy found me a small tension rod at Goodwill for $2.99 and it was perfect!

With me being cut off and all (that’s a whole other story… oofta) I had to work with what I had for fabric. It just so happened that I had fabric that had a pretty pattern on it and would look good with the other colors in the bathroom so I went with it!

First I’ll show you a summary of my steps, and then you can find the directions below!

Step 1

First I measured how far up I would need the top of the curtain to be. It was 25″, that’s what my final curtain had to be. So I measured my curtain at 28″ to allow for the bottom seam and the top big seam where the rod would go in.

The fabric was cut, and seams pinned and I was set to go!

Step 2

After doing the two side seams, I finished off with the bottom seam. If you’re doing a curtain with a design on it (or pattern), be sure that your top and bottom seams are level so your pattern is straight when it’s hanging.

Step 3

Figure out the width of your tension rod that will need to fit through your big top seam. From there, pin where your seam will be and go to town!

After all your seams are sewn, snip off all the excess material, but leave a little past the stitch so that it doesn’t unravel or you don’t accidentally snip a stitch.

Step 4

Take your rod and fit it to your window. You should be able to put it in and see about where the screw would be for it to fit correctly. Take out the tension rod and make the rod a little wider than what you had it set as. The spring inside will allow a little give when you insert it with the curtain, and it’ll be snug then.

Step 5

Take your tension rod and string on your curtain. Then insert your tension rod into the window – make sure it’s level and that the top of the curtain is almost resting on the ledge but not quite or it looks kind of sloppy!

And Voila! You’re done! You’ve got yourself a beautiful, handmade curtain.

You should be so proud 🙂

Hearts,
Ruby

See Our Other Craft Projects:

Best Healthy Food Alternatives

Over the past year and a half, I’ve learned that it’s the little things in your recipes that will make the difference in healthy vs. hearty. I’ve made subtle changes in my ingredients that my husband hasn’t even noticed. I have even made foods for my dad who is the ultimate food critic and he didn’t notice anything either (thank goodness!) So I thought today I would share with you some healthy food alternatives for the heart food ingredients you are used to.

1.       Substitute Coconut Oil For Butter

You may have heard of this little trick but maybe you haven’t used it. Well it’s time to start! It is so much healthier (more omega-3 fatty acids) and if you buy the natural/organic stuff, it’s even better for you. Some people cringe when they see the organic coconut oil in the store (at my local grocery store it runs about $6.50 for a glass jar of coconut oil) but it lasts. You don’t need to use much, and it will last much longer than the butter or margarine that you would usually use.

Foods that I usually substitute coconut oil in for butter include cooked rice, baked chicken, frying eggs (on the pan), cooked veggies, stir-fry, really anything that requires butter in the bottom of your pan, you can use coconut oil.

2.       Use Stevia Instead of Sugar

I found this out earlier this spring when my personal trainer told me to eat grapefruits for breakfast with a pack of Stevia instead of sugar. But you can also do this in your coffee, your homemade drinks (iced tea, juice, etc.) or even just to sweeten a dish with a pinch of sugar.

3.       Substitute Apple Sauce For Vegetable Oil

When you are baking from a box (oh come on, we have all done it, don’t give me that look) it sometimes calls for a cup of vegetable oil. Fattening!! Instead, use a cup of apple sauce. It will provide the same results (a little bit different flavor, but probably only because you know what you did there) and is WAY healthier for you.

4.       Use Real Meat Instead of Processed

Yes, we are all usually in a hurry and want to cook meals as fast as possible. But that doesn’t give us any excuse when it comes to grocery shopping. And it may take a little longer to cook foods that aren’t already pre-cooked, but the taste and healthiness is worth it. So next time, instead of purchasing the already-made sausage patties from the store, try going to the meat market and buy your own sausage. Make your own patties. Processed meats (and foods in general) are terrible for you, and your gut.

5.       Make Quinoa Instead of White Rice

White rice is a carb that we’re all familiar with. It’s not completely unhealthy, but it could be better. Swap rice with quinoa instead and be prepared to notice a difference. If you’re not familiar with quinoa, it’s a lot like cous cous, in that it’s small little balls, and you cook it much like cous cous or rice as well. But quinoa instead is packed with protein and healthy omega-3’s. It’s an awesome alternative for adding a carb to your meals. Quinoa by itself is a little bland, we usually mix in a little coconut oil and some spices like oregano or basil. It takes a little getting used to but it’s a great trade-off.

Hopefully these healthy food substitutions will help you and your family get healthy this fall. Make small changes to every meal and it’s even possible to ‘sneak’ healthy into their daily meals. Now that’s something we can all wish for, right? 🙂

Hearts,
Ruby

How to Come up with a Great Backyard Party

Isn’t fun to have a backyard party? Most of your friends will be there. It can also be a stress reliever. We need to be with people who are close to our hearts. Working every time and seeing your co–workers 5 times a week can be a bit nerve-racking. You need a break too. And having a small party can help a lot!

In this post, I’m going to give you some of the tips on how you can come up with a great backyard party.

Plan a simple menu. If you are having a small party, you don’t have to hire a professional catering service for your food. I’m sure that you can manage that without their help. Since you are going to have a backyard party, grilled foods would be the best. You can prepare corn, burger patties, hot dogs, partnered with steamy rice or mashed potatoes. Of course, ice cold beverages are a must. Prepare some alcoholic drinks. But don’t buy too many beers. You wouldn’t want your friends to throw up in your backyard, would you?

Ask your closest friends to help you. As I said, you don’t need professional help. But that doesn’t mean that you don’t need ANY help. You still have to think of the theme, concept, your invites and all the knick knacks for your backyard party. I recommend that you ask your friends to help you prepare. It will be so much fun and there will be a lot of great ideas. The preparation for your party can also be a bonding time for your friends.

Create a fun program. Nothing beats a party with an awesome program. Create song and dance numbers and prepare games. A guitar can go a long way as well. Who knows if you have visitors coming who are great at playing the guitar? There can be an instant jamming session in your backyard. Rest assured, all your guests will have a memorable night.

And to make it more fun, have some prizes for your visitors. You can bake goodies as a prize. You can also get cheap coupons for zoos from this website, http://www.zoocouponsonline.com/. I know that they (and their kids) will appreciate it.

Learn how to keep the party alive. Since you are the night’s host, you need to prepare yourself. Believe me, it’s not easy to keep the party alive. You will have to set a ‘lively’ example. Make sure that everyone is alive by visiting each table and by having small conversations with your guests.

Following the tips above is not hard. If you can do it, I know for sure that you will be able to throw an extraordinary backyard party for your friends.

Author Bio:

Kim Bookman loves to throw parties for her family and friends. She has the most practical tips which we can use. Learn from her experiences and throw your own party.

Help Minnesota Break a World Record on 9/15

Do you want to be part of history? Well you can this weekend. On Saturday, September 15th, 2012 you can help Minnesota get in the records book when you join the attempt to break Guinness World Records’ record for the largest mobile phone gaming party.

Who knew!?

Here’s how you can help break this mobile phone gaming record. Show up to the Guidant John Rose MN OVAL at:

2661 Civic Center Drive
Roseville, MN 55113

Check in starts at 9:00am and the official count starts at noon.

The previous record is set at 316 participants in Birmingham, UK on April 13, 2011.

Here’s the official page for more information.There are contests and other fun activities going on as well, be sure to check it out!

This event is put on by the Roseville Visitors Association and Guidant John Rose Minnesota Oval.

Crystal Light Drink Mixes Review

Nope, this isn’t a sponsored post as much as I wish it was because I abso-freaking-lutely love these things. I’ve been trying to drink more water lately to help flush out my system (lose weight, right? yay) so water and lots of water!

Also, I got tired of drinking coffee, and the coffee I didn’t get tired of drinking was about 400 calories per drink. Naturally. But I needed the caffeine because I am NOT a morning person – or afternoon person 😉 So my first thing I tried was the Crystal Light Energy drink mix (wild strawberry) and I was totally delighted. It tasted like a yummy juice mix, but it actually did give me energy! I was surprised, I didn’t actually think it would give me energy. I stocked up on these now, as they are 5 calories and they give me my water intake along with some energy! Go team!

The next thing I tried was the Crystal Light mojito mix. I had read someone’s tweet that said they were drinking one and it was just as good as the real thing! So I just had to try it for myself and it was delicious!

I also bought the Crystal Light margarita mix but haven’t had a chance to try it yet, but if it’s anything like the mojito mix, it’ll be amazing.

Honey drinks the Raspberry Peach mix with fiber and loves it… I tells ya, they’re doing something right!

Well those are my recommendations, I hope it helps you out with your next drink selection 🙂

Hearts,
Ruby