2013 Resolutions? New life Habits?

Happy 2013 everyone!!
Each New Years Day I feel a sense of excitement, like I have been given a clean slate to a whole chapter in life. This New Year that I can start how I like, navigate how I want and look back upon with a sense on of contentment.
I am not a big resolution maker and completer , however in 2010 I made a resolution to run a race very month for the year and I ran my first marathon, I have not given up on that resolution and still attempt to run at least one race a month and have run a total of 4 full marathons since. So was it really a resolution or a new life habit?
In 2011 I made the resolution to buy thrifted clothes for our kids, I buy so many clothes from consignment shops, donation hubs, and other places to sell on eBay that I thought this would be a snap, and found that for the most part I was successful but that certain sizes, and styles that my kids like were harder to find and that often buying new items at certain sales was cheaper than some of the thrift stores that I strayed from this resolution. I still embrace thrifting just found that exclusively shopping in this matter was not a best fit for our family.
I did not resolve anything specific in 2012, I just wanted to embrace more social activities for Jon and I and for the kids, it seems like an obvious addition to life that should not take much effort, but I am constantly surprised at how quickly a day in our life go by and how quickly those days become weeks, and we have just been going through the routine. We actually added more play dates, and sleepovers for the kids, not much but I feel like we made a great improvement from the last year and that this will also carry over into forth coming years, so another resolution turned life habit.
This year, this 2013, with its clean white page turned new, I really hope to accomplish more domestic tasks.
• I really want to tear out the carpet in our upstairs living room and replace it with hardwood to match the rest of the floors on that level. It was very inexpensive carpet to begin with and with 6 people and one 150 pound dog pounding on it every day it is in sad shape.
• I want to become electronically organized; I have 2 main emails and 2 that I have set up that I use very rarely. Some teachers contact me through my work email some through personal. Many emails I get are junk and I just need to take the time to unsubscribe. I think to this I also want to add a fresh new set of passwords, just for security.
• I need to organize so many things to help our life run more smoothly, I think all of us can feel this at some level. I am thinking paperwork, charging cords, etc.
• I have had 3 computers crash entirely on my in the last 4 years, we have 3 external hard drives 2 of which contain thousands of family photographs, I really want to organize and archive these in a better manner.
• I want to leave a few blank spaces for additions to this list.
Ultimately I want to end 2013 feeling more in control of the “clutters” in our life and more prepared for each day. Again this seems more of a new life habit.
Any of you have plans for new life habits or resolutions??

2012 November 062 copy_edited-1

Appliqued Turkey Shirt Tutorial

Happy to update from yesterday’s post that the Turkey shirt has made it through BOTH the washed and the dryer!!

Here is what I now have for Santanna:

 

I am very happy with the way it turned out, I really like the raw edges on all of the appliqué, it gives it a bit of a feathery feel…if you make a shirt like this you can use a product called fray check on the edges and it should prevent this from happening, it may make the edges a little more stiff though so keep that in mind.

Please keep in mind that I am in no way experienced in the art OR science of sewing, especially with a machine, that being said here is how I made this shirt:

1. Grab a shirt, this black one was for sale in my ebay store, it was a new with tags Target cast off that set me allllll the way back 49 cents….so really if you are a novice like me, just take a shirt that you already have or thrift one, just in case…..

2. Gather fabric, I recommend getting material that is not very stretchy, it will make this much easier when sewing onto the T shirt that is stretchy itself, I am pretty sure the fabric I used was quilting fabrics that someone had donated. If you have old sheets, tablecloths etc, these would be great

3. Grab templates for a circle, and feathers, our local bread store gave the kids these “feathers” to color and return for a free cookie, and the circle is a trace around any round object that you have at home. I know some of my directions might not seem super concrete but I think that any artsy/craft project should be more of how you like it with guidelines than solid have- to’s..

4. Cut out all your templates, I free handed the eyes, the fabric I used dictated the eyes, you might want circles or layers, play around with what you have until you like them the I had a few different styles before I decided I has them right. For the beak I cut a triangle and for the snood (the bacon looking thing, yes I had to Google that) I cut a free hand bacon shape. I cut different size circles for the body which was dictated by the size of the shirt. So you have a circle (body), arrow shapes (feathers), triangle, (beak), and a bacon shape (snood).

5. Now lay out your feathers on your shirt, move them until you like how they lay, I did some at different lengths to give it a natural abstractness, then lay your circle over them and carefully pink the feathers to the circle but NOT to the shirt. Sew around the circle to set feathers in place, do not forget to backstitch. Continue these steps, continuing with the beak, eyes and snood (are you comfortable with this word yet?…not sure I am :))

 

6. Now you should essentially have a turkey patch or an appliqué, lay it out on your shirt, and pin it into place, after I did this I found there were some feathers that needed a little trimming here and there. Now here comes the trickiest part, sew around and up and down your circle and feathers to completely secure your turkey into place. Here is what I learned: the first shirt I made I actually just went whole hog and stitched the turkey parts onto the shirt like above, but I found it got very bulky and was hard to keep all the feathers straight. I did complete my first shirt by sewing right onto it so if you feel like this will work for you please do not let me discourage you. I just think it works better especially for the eyes and smaller parts to already have them sewn on prior to sewing on the shirt, otherwise it gets to be quite thick, and this starts in the T word….tension, I am not there yet. I appliquéd my turkey one feather at a time, and then laid my shirt back out to make sure all the parts were where I wanted them. I did end with some puckering some pieces moved a bit, but I really like the originality of the way it looks.

 

 

7. Decide if you want legs, or any other special details, a little fabric bow would be cute if you want a girly turkey. Snip any loose threads, turn the shirt inside out and wash in cold in and dry as you would any cotton T shirt. ENJOY your Turkey shirt!!!

The kids are really having fun with this, I just finished Solomon’s shirt tonight and he decided his needed legs, Raiven has decided that she would like hers appliquéd on with dark aqua thread. What better way for us to all hang out and be creative, then THEY get to wear it!!

You can see it is not perfect, but I can tell you that I have less than $6.00 invested in each shirt, if even that. I will post a picture of all of us at the Turkey trot.

Thanks for looking!

Gobble gobble:)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thrifty Thursday

 I have to say I took a bit of a break from my Goodwill, I shopped it a few weeks in a row on Thursday since all kids toys and clothing and 1/2 price, but it seemed to me that I was sifting through quite a bit of the same ole items. I went back today and found that a few weeks break really gave the store a chance at redemption.  I got quite a bit of great items.  I am also really loving the Target items that are new without the retail tags attached, these are great for my eBay store.

I am really struggling with finding a pair of rain boots in Raiven’s size that are used, there are none, not even really beat up ones, which I would probably pass, but I mean none. 

Here are some of my great finds from today and the amazingly reasonable prices I paid:

This 3 piece set is perfect for R and it was $2.50!!!  I am sure it was never worn and a rashguard set for this price is unheard of.

Got this for T can you see a polka dot theme for the girls this summer…$1.50!!

I also scored a bunch of summer clothes for the little man, I just need to persuade him to try them on:

Running Shoes….Mizuno’s Run Narrow?!

True I am a bit behind on some of my posts, the wee one had to have surgery so while she was healing I have not had much time for blogging.

In the midst of training for my marathons and other races this year, it has come time to replace the old pair of trusty duds for a new pair. I have worn many a shoe through my running days. For quite some time I was very happy with my Nike shoes with the Nike+ iPod setup. After I purchased my Garmin watch I realized that I could buy any running shoe on the market, I was no longer tied done with the sensor for my Nikes. (I could have bought a shoe pouch but was too cheap).

So I branched out and bought a pair of Saucony’s, a running partner wore them and had previously worn Nike’s she thought that Saucony shoes were much better.

I have had some luck with these shoes, but lost a few toenails, and am thinking they might be just a bit to narrow. Especially after pounding pavement in the July heat and my feet swelling.

When I wore Nike shoes I was buying them in a wide, and just was at the local sports store yesterday looking for my old friend size 9 Wide and they were MIA.

I had gone for a quick purchase at Old Navy for their Give and Get 30% sale and realized I could get shoes from the Pipelimes site so I ordered these bad girls:

Mizuno Wave Rider 7

These came in a wide, and after Free Shipping and my reward codes I scored them for $20!! I am hoping these will eliminate any toenail damage, they seem to have good reviews and I will have plenty of training miles on them before the first big day!!

It seems that I have a history of trial and error with running shoes, this can be expensive and frustrating.

One thing that helps is to know a little about your feet.

What is your arch type? High? Low? Neutral?

Are you running long distance? You may need a 1/2 size bigger than normal especially if running in the heat.

Do you have wide/narrow feet? If you have wider feet to begin with a wide shoe may help if running long distance?

Do you over/under pronate?

Answer to the above questions can lead you in the direction of a best fit shoe for your feet.

What shoes have you had the best luck with? How did you decide on this shoe?

Toddler Thursday at Goodwill

I walked into my local Goodwill, which I have not been to in quite awhile, I have been frequenting Savers mostly, and the friendly cashier says to me, “Today it Toddler Thursday all kids clothes and toys and 1/2 price.”!!!  I got a little giddy, so I asked what sizes were included thinking that toddler would hopefully go up to 5T which would cover Santanna and Avalon’s sizes, she said all kids clothes up to size 16!! 

This seems like a really great deal, the price points seem to be mostly $4.99, $3.99, $2.49, so these at 50% are a really great deal when you find things like Gap jeans and Gymboree shorts.  I came away with something for most of the kids, now the trick will be to try them on and see if they fit, what does not work I will just list in my ebay store.

One of the great benefits in my  commitment or resolution to buying all pre owned clothing is that they are already pre washed so shrinkage is not an issue, any colors that might have bled or faded heavily are not an issue.  As I said before however, Solomon’s size is a bit tricky I may have to look more to eBay for his wardrobe.

Here are some of my great finds:

For Raiven she picked out the top and the capris I found total cost for outfit $5.49!!!

For Avalon the sandals are new from Target!! The top is from Old Navy and the dot skirt is a Target store band, the skirt reminds me of Mini Boden and was only $1.49!!!

I also got the button down shirt on the left for this skirt if I want to make it a bit more dressy. Total for both tops, skirt and sandals, 7.44!!

This is a major find! It is a boutique baby outfit that is a 2T retail was $68.00 I got it for $7.99...it is too big for A but I am hoping for her birthday it may fit?!?

I may have just found a new Thursday morning habit!

Gearing the Kids Up For Spring

I am gearing up for spring, it is a must, it is like getting closer to the light in the tunnel of dark winter gloomies.  I see swimsuits in the weekend ads, and it reminds me that warm weather is coming and our closets need to be prepared.  Keeping with my New Years Resolution, I think there is no time like the present to start gathering what the kids will need for spring, since knowing that is may be a bit of a challenge, I have noticed that boys clothes are harder to find, especially in Solomon’s size.  I know how hard boys can be on clothes so this is not that surprising. Below is the start to the list of what I think they will need:

Outerwear:

Raincoat

Rain boots

Mid weight jacket for chilly days

Tops:

2 or 3 hoodies

4-5 Long sleeve tops

6 -8 short sleeve tops…keeping in mind that spring is muddy and messy and we will be fully enjoying it!!

Bottoms:

3-4 Pants maybe a few more for Solomon since he does not wear dress/skirts;)

4-5 pair of shorts or capris for the girls

2-3 Skirts

3-4 Dresses

Footwear:

Rain boots…also listed above

Good pair of running shoes…these will be bought new

Good pair of Sandals…every year I buy each kid a pair of Keen H2 Newport Sandals they are hands down THE BEST!!!

Accessories/Misc:

Umbrella

Sunhat

Sunglasses

What did I miss?

Unintentional Rule Breaker?

I lieu of my resolution to upcycle/recycle clothing and ditch the consumption of new clothes from  retail stores, my shopping and treasure hunting need in full swing, I headed to Savers with my brother before he left for California and found some great items.  On the rack of treasures I found this dress:

I thought” how cute will this be for Miss A?”…check the tag and there it is, the Savers tag and the retail tag.  Oh the irony!  (But check out the sweet price!)

Well I snatched it up and than wondered, am I breaking my own rules?  Sure it was donated and technically I am reconsuming this dress , but it IS new.  So I let A try it on……done, it’s a keeper.  First addendum to the rules, no first hand new clothing;)

Reclothed Resolution..

It has been awhile since I added to my blog. We had a full and happy couple of holiday weeks. I wanted to quickly get in a short post about my resolution this year.
My plan is to buy no new clothes for our family of 6!!! We will be buying and recomsuming clothing from second-hand stores, consignment stores, Ebay, and donation stores like Goodwill, Savers, and the Salvation Army
Disclaimer: this excludes underwear, socks (for obvious reasons, although I have seen them at SAvers….I just can’t!!), and possibly shoes especially for the kids.  I think little feet need to have the full support of new shoes while growing and developing walking, running and balance skills, not shoes that already have a wear path from someone else.  Also I am sure some of you shudder at the thought of used shoes, which lets my mind wander into thoughts of what my have been in a previous shoe.  Typically we also take the kids to a local shoe store that sizes them and checks the fit of the shoe on their feet, the way kids grow and as active as they, it gives us   parents peace of mind.  

This resolution is really exciting for me, I grew up going to auctions and basically treasure hunting with m y dad, I love finding what I consider a “treasure”!  My mom grew up in Santa Barbara and was/is a huge fan of second-hand stores and customizing clothing to make clothes, and accessories  personal.

For years I have sold our kids gently worn and sometimes worn to play condition clothes on Ebay for a small or surprisingly large return on investment, this has been a very fun and often lucrative hobby.  I have seen some of the wonderful items that other sellers have, and am sure I can find clothing for our kids here also.  However, my primary outlets will be the donations stores and local stores. 

What I hope to teach the kids, my husband and I gain from this is  that we can help the Earth by recomsuming great clothes that have been used and tossed aside, save money in the process and even great creative by making a pair of jeans with holes in the knees some great patched jeans. Or find an old wool sweater and make mitten or anew soccer bag.  Additionally, stores such as Saver, Goodwill and Salvation Armay all give to help others, for example, our local savers support the epilepsty foundation.

I originally thought that I would do a 365 of  our finds, but I think I might just do one post a week on how we are succeeding, struggling, and overcoming our reclothed resolution.  I will also include the total cost, and at some point perhaps continue the cycle and sell them on ebay when we are done with them if I deem them sellable, kids can really wear clothin out!

Happy 2011!!!