Ikea Hack: Paper Lantern

Quick change to a paper lantern light bought at Ikea made a nice addition to my Nephews Baseball themed room.




So, it wouldn’t fit in the house…

Before we built our 980 sq. ft. house, I had a facination with those darn telephone booths thats only purpose these days is to be a fort for ridiculous nonsensical graffiti. I’ve always liked them though and one day, browsing through Craigslist, there it was. $100 for a telephone booth in someones suburban driveway. I picked it up and proudly brought it home straight into storage.
We had been planning our house but no matter how we tried to maybe build it into the wall or in a closet- it wasn’t working. It had to be in the house though- “no” wasn’t an option. If we couldn’t have the whole thing, than we would have our favorite part- the light up top piece. We ended up dismantling it, saving pieces for another project, and installing it as an entry way light. We fixed the fluorescent bulb, drilled holes through the metal roof, mounted eyebolts and hung with cable to our ceiling.
We could have changed the fluorescent bulb to a warmer light but there’s a sort of eerie nostalgia about keeping with the original, you know?







Vinyl Banner Repurposed


Rated: Slightly difficult, worth the time
Materials needed: A highchair, an unused banner destined for the garbage can, needle and thread and/or sewing machine, and about two hours of time to kill

    20120727-200530.jpg<br /
    My high chair was a yardsale find and I really liked the cushion
    but it was all cracked with age 20120727-200617.jpg

    I took the pads off…20120727-200629.jpg

    And this is the banner I inherited. Ask around local small businesses if you’re in need of a banner

    I tore off the old vinyl and used the boards as a template for cutting my new vinyl. Traced and cut out20120727-200709.jpg

    Don’t forget the edge strip.20120727-200728.jpg


    When sewing the vinyl edges together, take time to make sure that you are sewing the backside together. I messed up and had to take my thread out and redo it. The idea is that by sewing it inside out, that when you flip it right side out that the lines are super clean with no visible thread. I recommend reinforcing the thread by making a couple passes through the sewing machine, especially in the corners.20120727-200831.jpg

    So this is what the put together pieces would look like. There is ONE piece not sewed shut, if you sew it shut, you won’t be able to get your cushion in!! 😀 Luckily this did not happen to me but it was definitely a possibility.20120727-200848.jpg

    Now man handle it so that the pretty side is seen.20120727-200907.jpg

    Time to put the cushion back in and hand stitch it shut. I chose to have my hand stitch facing the back of the high chair so you wouldn’t really see it.20120727-200935.jpg

    Hard parts over! Time to put it back where it belongs.20120727-200953.jpg

    And there you have it, totally unique highchair that I got for $5 and actually saved me spending $18 at the fabric store.

The Fountain of Youth in Pumpkin Land





I very much enjoy pumpkins in the fall. Finding just the right pumpkin, setting up a spot with a dull steak knife, scooping out the guts with your bare hands, while stringy goop and seeds are all over the place… Hmmm… It was definitely funner as a kid. These days I’m really just wanting something pleasant to look at! Que the everlasting pumpkin. Whoever invented the fake pumpkin is a genius. It’s really too cool- a carve able foam pumpkin that you can use again and again. I carved one for my in-laws coffee shop a couple years back and have finally done one for us at our house. Super fun and challenging and will last for seasons to come!

Psalm 104:19
He made the moon to mark the seasons, and the sun knows when to go down.


Using the Kitchenaid ice cream maker, I made 2% milk ice cream and even though my girls liked it, I’d say it really was no good. It was mediocre and when put in the freezer it was like a glacier. I figure it must have some other function if not used for the creamy ice … Continue reading

I heart yard sales.

At one point in my life, the pre-teen years, I seriously hated yard sales. My mom would try and get me excited about someone else’s used items, clothing in particular, to save a buck. Those years found me in an identity crisis. My parents couldn’t afford buying a whole bunch of new clothing for me and and I didn’t have money so I just coasted along on one pair of store bought flare jeans till my insanity was cured. I don’t know what in my brain switched from hating yard sales to loving yard sales (thank you Lord that my preferred pants cut is no longer flared, phew) but I love Yard Sales. In High School I would find the most amazing 70s shirts, jackets, beanies and dresses. And now that I’m all grown up, married with 3 girls of my own, I’ve purchased everything from heaters and fans to utensils and beds. I find joy through getting cool stuff CHEAP and have saved some serious green by shopping yard sales first. People seem to think raising kids is soooo expensive. I see some truth to that if you pay retail for material items for them but geez, when you find clothes and toys for ten cents on the dollar at yard sales – that huge expense can be moved towards fun things like travel and swim lessons. Today I payed a whopping $2.25 for

6 shirts
5 pairs of jeans
1 pair of shorts
3 tights
2 pjs
for my girls.

That almost takes care of my 6 year olds clothing needs for the up-coming school year. At another yard sale I got her a lunch bag and water bottle for school for $1.00 total.


No need to head to target. Try yard sales first.
If you are new to yard sales and not a seasoned veteran like my Mom and Aunt, my bit of advice is don’t be afraid to walk away from a “deal”. It may be cheaper than retail but a good yard sale is one that people don’t say: “Well, I paid $– for it new”. Who cares what they paid new! Too bad for them 🙂 A good yard sale is when people want it gone. The cool thing about yard sales is that there are some every single weekend- it’s not a limited time clearance. So, walk if it’s not cheap enough.
One more bit of advice- you only will really save money if you actually use the items you buy. That bread machine for $10- awesome deal if you actually bake bread with it. Otherwise, you end up storing it till you have a yard sale and then end up donating it to a thrift store because it didn’t sell. Be selective, not a junk hoarder.
Happy yard sale-ing! Carie


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