HAMMS Event: Saturday April 20th

If you don’t have any plans for tomorrow (Saturday, April 20th) then you should check out the Hamms event going on at the old Hamms brewery shipping docks in St. Paul. The event goes from 10am to 7pm and is open to men, women, and DOGS! (The pup will totes be coming with hubby and I!)hamms event minnesota

What is it? The Hamms event is a “Minnesota Market with a twist”. You’ll find products for guys, gals and pooches alike. Plus, while you shop the 25,000 sq ft space, you’ll get to sip some wine and beer, enjoy some grub and check out some food trucks. Sounds awesome, right??

The founders of the Hamms event have pledged to give up to $5,000 to one of the vendors there to help them take their business to the next level. Your ticket sale will help make up the funds for this, so come on and get your tickets here! It’s $10/person and kids under five years old are free.

I know some of you are going to skim this post to see what’s up, so I’ll highlight the important details for you. Ready?

  1. Who: Local Minnesota Vendors
  2. What: 25,000 sq feet of shopping local products for men, women, and dogs plus wine, beer, and food
  3. When: Saturday, April 20, 2013 (10:00am-7:00pm)
  4. Where: Old Hamms Brewery Shipping Docks – 713 East Minnehaha Avenue, Saint Paul, Minnesota 55106 (top floor)
  5. Why: To feature some great products, and give up to $5,000 to one lucky vendor to help their business

I’ll be there, and I know lots of others who will be as well. As for the vendors, you will definitely want to check them out. Here’s a list of some of the awesome Minnesota brands and products you’ll find tomorrow:

  • Cocobear
  • Fidelis Co.
  • Urban Junket
  • Moss Envy
  • Mammaste (how cute is that??)
  • Epitome
  • Unrefined
  • Scrappy Products
  • Bodylish
  • Kedrin
  • Irely Intimates
  • Worker B
  • Nelli Designs
  • Jeanne Beatrice
  • And LOTS more…

Oh, and one last thing. You should check out the sponsors who helped make it happen.

That’s all for now. Hope to see you there!

Hearts,
Sarah

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DIY Puppy Crate Pad for Travel Dog Kennels

Hook, line and sinker; my puppy has me wrapped around her um, paw? So, I took on a new project this week and I’m pretty happy with how it turned out! My goal was to make a little crate pad for her travel kennel so that she could sit on something comfy, but at the same time, I didn’t want it to be big and bulky (like a blanket) because then she would chew on it.

So here’s what I ended up coming up with:

DIY dog crate pad

Not bad huh?! So basically I ended up finding the puppy paw fleece material at Walmart in the fabric section. I bought one yard of it and used about half. From there, I turned it inside out and overlapped the material by about 3-4″ so that it would hold the pad insert tight and not show through.

I then sewed a straight seem straight down both sides. Turned the material inside-out and voila! There was my cover! I made it this way so that if it gets wet or dirty, we can take it off the pad and wash it. Knowing the pup, we’ll be doing that a lot.

The pad itself is 2″ thick and I found that at Jo-Ann Fabrics. The regular price for that was around $14.50 but with my coupon, it was about $8.00 instead. So with the material I used, and the pad as well, this project cost me just under $12! I’ve seen these online and they are much more than that. AND they’re not made with love either ๐Ÿ˜‰

She has used it a few times already and she really likes it! She hasn’t attempted to chew it (that is a big step for us!) and she looks very comfortable in there too! Win-win!

Hearts,
Sarah (Ruby)

PS – Another alternative to this (and I thought of this afterwards, of course) would be to buy a fleece pillow case and place that over the 2″ pad. It’d be an easy way to no-sew a DIY dog crate pad. But then you wouldn’t have the neat paw prints fabric, so there! ๐Ÿ™‚

My DIY Puppy Toy

homemade puppy toyOhhh, the pup. She’s what I call teething. I don’t know if that’s a real technical term or not, but I’m rolling with it. Anyways, she’s successfully ruined all her toys that we got her. They just don’t make those things strong enough! A couple days after chewing and she’d break a hole and start pulling out stuffing (eek!) So after buying a few toys that fell apart, I was not impressed. I decided to take matters into my own hands and make her one myself. The photo you see here is her enjoying her new homemade puppy toy. It lasted all day today and no holes yet (knock on wood) so here’s hoping!

My hubby said, ‘Wow honey! That’s way good. You should blog about it!’ lol – so here I am. Blogging about it. I’m not really sure what you guys would even want to know about this one, but you know, it’s a chew toy… I found the material in the remnants bin at Walmart for $0.50 – score! I just tried to find the thickest, most durable material and that was it right there! I had enough to layer the material twice on each side so that if she broke a hole through one piece of material, she’d still have another to go through.

homemade puppy toyI stitched the material from the outside (about a million times over) because she likes to chew the edges. I didn’t leave enough there for her to chew anything off, but enough for her to enjoy the material. Inside is just regular pillow stuffing. I’m watching her close when she has it, so that if she does manage to outsmart my crafty toy, I can swoop in and grab anything she shouldn’t eat.

It’s rugged, ragged, and apparently chewable! I will take that as a great success. Plus, I don’t think she’s real picky ๐Ÿ˜‰

Hearts,
Sarah (Ruby)

Homemade Laundry Detergent Recipe

I’ve had a lot of questions about my homemade laundry detergent. How it works, how to make it, how much it costs, all that good stuff! So I thought I would share my recipe with you guys so that you can make it at home too!

First off, I won’t call it my own, because I found the original recipe on http://beingcreativetokeepmysanity.blogspot.com. She has wonderful instructions and it seemed like a good idea to try it out and see if it worked! Well our first batch lasted us over a year and cost us a mere $20! Let’s just say that my husband was thrilled. Thrilled enough that he wanted to make another batch when the first was gone. So we still use it and still loving it!

Here’s a glimpse of the goods:

homemade laundry detergent recipe
And now, the much awaited details on how to make it at home.

Homemade Laundry Detergent Recipe

What you will need:

  • 1 large box of Borax (78 oz or 4 lbs)
  • 1 large box of Arm & Hammer Baking Soda (78 oz or 4 lbs)
  • 1 large box of Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda (55 oz)
  • 3 bars of Fels Naptha (found in laundry aisle) or really any laundry bar soap
  • 2 containers of Oxy Clean (or 3.5 lbs) you can also substitute the store brand for this
  • Optional: laundry crystals (found in laundry soap aisle) for a stronger scent

I personally do not use laundry crystals in our soap, but she mentions it in her original recipe that you can use it if you’d like more of a scent to your soap. I would also think that you could add in essential oils like lavender or rose for a really nice smell. What we do is use a scented dryer bar that lasts us forever, and it leaves the clothes with a nice fresh, and subtle scent as well. Plus, you can usually find coupons for the dryer bars and that always helps ๐Ÿ˜‰

Directions for making the soap:

1. The whole process of making the soap is really pretty easy. You’re going to want to grab a big garbage bag (the thicker the better) and dump in all your ingredients except for the bars of Fels Naptha, or whichever laundry bar soap you chose.

2. Mix ingredients together. I use a wooden spoon for this, it seems to work well and it doesn’t tend to puncture the garbage bag as easy as a stick or something might.

3. Next, you have a choice. You can grate the soap with a cheese grater (or food processor) until it’s into fine little pieces. OR – you can go the no-grate route and save yourself some time (and knicks on your knuckles – trust me on this one…)

If you choose the no-grate route for your laundry detergent, here’s what you will do…

Place one of the bars of soap on a plate and place in the microwave and set the timer for 3 minutes. Keep an eye on your soap, because every microwave is different. When it expands into a large fluff, you can remove the plate (careful, it will be hot!) And place it on a large piece of wax paper. Repeat with the other bars of soap.

It will take about 20 minutes for the soap balls to be cool enough to peel apart. When you feel like they’re cool, use your hands to break it up over the rest of your laundry detergent mixture. I got this microwave method from BlueCricketDesign.net

4. Mix it all together and you are set to go! Use 1 tbsp for a small load, 2 tbsp for a large load. I kept the scoop from the Oxy Clean and use that for our detergent ๐Ÿ™‚ It works perfect! The scoop in there is 2 tbsp.

Let me know if you make this, and let me know what you think!

Hearts,
Sarah (Ruby)

DIY Big Brother Gift

I know a family that will be having a little one soon. The big brother is a little nervous and I think he feels that he’s going to be left behind. So as much as I wanted to do something special for the new little one, I also wanted to make sure the big brother knew that he was cared for as well.

I didn’t have too big of a budget to use for a gift, so I hit up the Dollar Tree, of course. Which, you should note, now takes manufacturers coupons! I definitely used these for other items outside of my big brother gift, but that’s just a little side note ๐Ÿ˜‰

At the store, I had to think of things this new big brother would really find fun and would enjoy. But not only that, I wanted to find things that would keep him occupied so that Mama could rest peacefully. This ruled out any noisy toys, or items that he might need help or close supervision with. Quite the task, right? Though it wasn’t as hard as it sounds, you just have to look closely and think like a child!!

Here’s what I came up with for his big brother gift:

I’ll explain it here in case you’re not sure what something is… In the gift he will find:

  • A Disney Junior coloring book filled with easy and hard pages to color
  • Crayons (no markers, you’re welcome mama) I got some jumbo color crayons in 10 different colors. That should be enough of a variety.
  • Spiderman hand sanitizer to put on his backpack
  • Spiderman hand soap to keep in the bathroom to encourage clean hands and no germs (new baby = no germs please!)

Of course I wanted to give him some other fun activities which included:

  • Gooey-gak stuff that any little boy would love
  • The ‘Klik Klak’ game should keep him occupied as he turns and twists it.

Little boys have such an imagination, I’m sure he will find more things to do with all these things as well.

And last but not least, I had to help him celebrate the reason why he’s receiving this little gift, which is the birth of his new little sibling. So I made him a big brother t-shirt that he can wear proudly! I had the iron-ons and I found a plain t-shirt at the dollar store. For his whole gift (which I then just put in a boyish blue tote), I spent about $7! It’s just a little price to pay and I think he will definitely get good use out of it.

What would you put in a big sibling gift? Did I miss anything important?

Hearts,
Ruby

Halloween Costumes on a Budget – Goodwill Finds for Less

Halloween is quickly approaching – and I am so excited for this fun holiday!!! I love Fall and getting dressed up to parade around the streets at night just sounds like a great time! There is only one problem… Halloween costumes can be SO expensive, especially now that I have a little one. Not to mention, these budget-busting costumes are only worn for a several hours and then stored away until you get the chance to make it to Goodwill to donate them.

*Light in head goes on* Goodwill would be the perfect place to outfit my family for Halloween!!!! Um, brilliant! Since Halloween is only a couple weeks away, there was no time to spare – Off the Goodwill we went!!! Here are some tips to get the most Bang for your Buck…

1. Plan ahead of time: Do some research and find some ideas of what you and your family would like to be for Halloween. I did a quick Google search of DIY costumes. First for my little one, then for me (which I happen to be prego right now, so this needed a specific search), a girl teenager costume, and then for hubby. There are so many great ideas online!

2. Make a list: Be sure to make a list of several options for each person and everything you will need for your costume. This way, if you are unable to find a certain thing, you can quickly switch to a different costume idea (or have a plan B for costume parts!)

3. Let the hunt begin: I don’t know about you, but I love the thrill of the hunt! I love to hunt down everything I am looking for and get it for a great price. Goodwill is absolutely perfect for this!!! Lucky for us, we was able to find EVERYTHING we needed for our top costume choices for the entire family of four!

4. Assemble your costumes: Not sure if you all know this about me but I am so.not.crafty! This little fact contributed to my costume choices and I was able to choose costumes with minimal assembly required.

Some of you may be able to get a little more creative and have a great time with this step ๐Ÿ™‚ In that case, oh boy, the options you will have here!

This year’s Halloween costumes are…

LO #1 – Thing 1

Materials:

– Red long sleeve t-shirt ($1.50 on Toddler Thursday)

– Red sweatpants ($1.50 on Toddler Thursday)

– Blue hairspray ($2.99…will use this for baby-bump/my Thing 2 costume)

– Cut-out from white t-shirt ($1.00…will use this same shirt for the other 2 costumes also!)

– Black Sharpie Marker ($0.00 – had this at home)

– Face paint ($3.99 – shared with hubby and me)

Me Pregnant with LO #2 – Thing 2

Materials:

– Red long sleeve t-shirt ($2.99 – extra-large to fit my belly!)

– Black yoga pants ($5.99)

– Blue hairspray ($2.99 – shared with LO#1)

– Cut-out from white t-shirt ($1.00 – shared with LO#1 and hubby)

– Black Sharpie Marker ($0.00 – had this at home)

– Face paint ($3.99 – shared with LO#1 and hubby)

Teenage Girl – Pink Power Ranger

– Pink long sleeve shirt ($6.99 – bonus points for Juicy Couture, can wear again!)

– Pink skirt ($4.99)

– White gloves ($2.99)

– Gold belt ($4.99)

– Pink boot covers ($3.99)

20121101-073832.jpg

Hubby – The Cat in the Hat

– Black zip-up ($5.99)

– Black cotton pants ($3.99)

– Cat in the Hat packaged costume ($6.99 – this is the only packaged costume we got so we could use the hat and the big red bow. Lucky for us it was from last year’s stock and a great price!)

– Cut-out from white t-shirt ($1.00 – shared with LO#1 and me)

– Face paint ($3.99 – shared with LO#1 and me)

All our extras to make the costumes complete!

;

The grand total for all 4 costumes (Including a 6 bags of Halloween candy and a spooky hanging ghost that we couldn’t resist): $79.35!!!! That’s a steal! We managed to spend less than $80 on all these essentials for costumes, and the plus side is that we can use the different pieces again after Halloween on an everyday basis, unlike the packaged items you’ll buy in store.

I hope you all enjoyed our costume choices! We can’t wait to show you the gang when we are all put together and ready for action!

Now, find the nearest Goodwill and get your budget-friendly Halloween costumes!

Haaaappy Halloween!!!

Love,
Macy & Ruby

Disclosure: All opinions here are our own. We were not paid for this post. We were however given an $80 gift card to Goodwill to shop for thrifty Halloween costumes.

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 ๐Ÿ™‚

Hearts,
Ruby

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