Thursday, May 30, 2013

Product Review: Baby Blothes

A must have...

Just a simple must have.  We had our son in December.  Prior to him coming we wanted to make sure that he would be warm when we were carting him around.  So his grandma bought him on of these bear suits.  It is so handy that we bought a larger one after he grew out of his new born one.  It is the easiest thing.  We just through him in it and go!  It is the easiest dang thing ever.  We don't have to layer his clothes, just put him in the suit and go!
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Monday, May 27, 2013

Quick Tip

I knew those days of partying would come in handy...

This is a quickie but a goodie.  When I would be out having a good time with my friends say at a BBQ we learned how to make a warm beer cold in 3 minutes.  Just set it in the ice and spin it.  It doesn't agitate the beer like it does when you shake it and it gets it cold.  By spinning the beer you are moving the liquid from the center of the can to the wall of the can where it can come in contact with the cold outside air.  This gets the can cold quickly.

Now what does this little tale have to do with parenting?  I use the same principles to get my bottles warm fast.  I heat the water in a bowl and put the bottle in the bowl and spin. 
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This is great if you have to re-heat a bottle or were caught off guard by your waking baby.  Good luck and good spinning!!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Product Review: Good Cheap Makeup

Cheap but good???

In expensive and cheap don't always go hand in hand with quality.  I know I have reviewed some of the cheap make-up brands and products before.  Here are a couple other cheap products that work well for me and my skin type and might work for you.

I will say there is usually a large difference between cheap make up brands and expensive ones as a whole.  If you don't want to think about whether a product is good or not, just go for the more reliable and more expensive brands.  That is why they are more expensive, they are reliable.  The cheaper brands can be hit or miss.  If you are into a little experimentation, try out some products and you might find a good deal.

These three products are that for me:

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NYC Smooth Skin Bronzing Face Powder 720A Sunny.  I have light to medium skin and this works great.  I have hit the bottom of the tin I use it so much.  It is subtle but it does warm up my skin without looking orange.  I don't think it would work on a very fair person though.  Blends nicely and lasts all day.  NYC is an inexpensive brand and prices will vary but it is under a fiver.
E.L.F. is definitely a hit or miss brand.  Some of their stuff is just terrible, I mean terrible.  But their high definition powder is great.  It helps my foundation stay on and doesn't make me look cakey.  I have plenty of wrinkles and oily skin so that is a recipe for bad make-up.  This is very light and works like a charm.
Finally, have I said I have oily skin :)  I really like to wear make-up but since I have oil skin and larger pores I have to remove my make-up or I will break out.  I don't use the higher priced make up removing wipes.  They are pricey and aren't particularly special.  So to keep the cost down I use baby wipes.  It works great to get make-up off before I wash my face and are cheap.  I buy the Costco ones (and share with my baby) and get a good value that way.
Hope these tips work for others!!!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Saving!!! And getting a workout?

Sometimes you just want to kill two birds with one stone....but do we have too...

Another simple money saving tip.  If you don't have a large yard, pick up an old fashion lawn mower.  Push mowers are cheap and don't need any gas!!! 

This is the kicker.  Gas here in Oregon is $3.69/gallon WHAT!!!  Rather than just complain about the costs of gas let's start looking for practical options and man powered mowers are a great option.  Now if you have a large lawn...I can understand how this might not be the best option.  However homes are being built on smaller and smaller lots.  Why not catch a workout while also cutting grass??

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Moving 2.0!!!! Money saving tips

Don't you dare buy boxes.

I can't believe the number of people who buy boxes.  WHAT!!! 

Boxes are not at all hard to come buy and it is a waste of money to purchase them.  Places to get boxes you ask?  Easy, many business are dying to get ride of their boxes.  Recycling costs money as is paid by volume.  If you minimize the volume, well done business owner!  So...simple places to grab boxes: outside liquor stores, grocery stores, Costco, and on Craiglist.  Craigslist can be a great place but might not be as valuable in other areas in the US.  I live in the extremely Eco-Centric Pacific Northwest and upcycling boxes might be more common up here.

Secondly, as you start to pack your things and make plans for your new place start making a list of thing you will need to purchase.  Since you are hopefully taking my advice and packing early, this will give you time to pick up the additional items you will need and buy them at a good price.  For example, we have recently broken quite a few of our drinking glasses.  I have those on my list.  I like to purchase those kinds of items at the Dollar Store.  They are of course cheap and last a long time.  However, when I get into my new place, I don't know the area so well.  I don't know where all the stores that I like to frequent are and I might find that I buy new glasses at a higher rate somewhere I wouldn't have intended to buy them.  Make sense?  In addition, this will prevent you from over purchasing on impulse items when you get into your new spot.  If you are like me you get excited about decorating and settling in as soon as possible.  If you have to purchase new curtain rods, you might find temptation to buy more and more things while making a quick run to Target.  So, as I stress always, make a pre-plan. 

Another quick and easy-ish way to get ride of old junk is to take it to a recycle center.  If you are moving a garage, I am sorry, it can completely suck.  Garages are a place that get filled with junk.  Go through you things and if you don't know what it is :) don't use it, or can't think of the realistic scenario when you would use it, recycle or give it away.  The great thing about taking old junk to the recycle center they will either recycle it and/or you might get a little cash for it.

Old metals of various kinds lead to quick cash.  Consider what is more realistic: need $40 or finding some way to use broken down plumbing parts????

Tuesday, May 14, 2013


We are moving!!!

Been in Oregon for two years and it is time we bought a house.  We have a couple rentals up in Washington and we are missing home ownership.  Now that we have a closing date it is time to get our stuff together!!

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So we are five weeks out from moving.  I have moved every two years since 2001 and have learned a few things.

First, start early.  It can suck to live in a house that isn't decorated or not have all of your stuff accessible but it really pays off when you get closer to the move date.  Nothing sucks more than leaving it all till the end and having to scramble to get out of your house.  Then comes the mad dash to clean everything. 

If you start packing in advance, a little bit everyday and the week before knock out the rest; you can spend the right amount of time cleaning out your old space and preparing yourself to move everything into your new spot.

Also, always remember that once moved in and unpacked you are going to have a lot of waste to deal with.  Boxes, packing peanuts or packing paper are always abundant after a move.  To limit the amount of waste that you are creating take that into account when backing.  For example, use extra sheets and towels as packing stuffing.

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This limits waste while at the same time condensing the number of boxes you will need (no need for an additional box to pack your linens in).

Saturday, May 11, 2013

DIY Table Rehab

Side table for $10...WWHHHAATTT!!!

I don’t know if my husband and I have ever purchased furniture new.  Well actually we have, two pieces were purchased new: bed and couch.  Everything else is garage sell, thrift store, or free.  This is one such project.

We purchased a house on a short sell and it was full of old stuff.  One of the left over goods was a side table.

Simply sand off the top layer of stain or poly urethane.  This specific piece of furniture is not solid.  It is a plywood of some sort.  That being said, I was not able to sand it down as far as I might have liked.  I started with 80 grit to get that layer of polyurethane off and then when up from there.
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Then simply add the stain.  Make sure to go the direction of the grain, let stain sit, and then wipe off.

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If you have some residual polyurethane you will see immediately where the stain isn’t taking.  Since this isn’t a show piece and just a simple side table I wont re-sand it.  However that would be the next step if we wanted a more consistent stain.  Re-sand and then re-stain.
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Project is done!  It is a easy one, little bit of elbow grease but can make a huge difference!  For me, this total investment was $10!!  Not too shabby! 

ps don't mind the dirt in all the pictures.  My husband was doing some potting and didn't clean up :)

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Afternoon Adventure

Just a fun note about a fun day!!

It is always fun to indulge your whims every now and again.  It can help keep things young and fresh. 

This past weekend my husband and I took a little adventure up the mountain.  Now we weren't able to actually get out and enjoy the outdoors like we wanted too (freezing on top of Mount Hood in May) but we still had and adventure.

The drive out was a fun time for us to chat and re-connect.  With the hustle and bustle of our weekly lives, it is incredibly hard to make time for each other and really connect.  So this is why taking time to do things fun will enliven your spirit.

All work and no play makes Sarah a dull dull girl!!

Make time to have fun everyone!!