Archive for July, 2009

Green and Frugal Friday

All this talk this week about being a “greener” mama has motivated me to start a new Friday series on how to be both green AND frugal!

If greenness was on a Crayola scale, I’d have to say that I’m more of a yellow green than a forest green!  I’m not a nazi eco-friendly nut.  I decided that I would make an eco-friendly change if it did not cause any undue distress in my family (giving up toilet paper would cause a lot of distress around here!) and if it didn’t cost us any more money because being frugal is still important to me too.  I’m not into offsetting my carbon emissions and I will not give up my hairdryer or straightener or stop shaving my legs for the sake of being green.  But there are lots of small changes that can be made that really are effortless and can have a big impact on our environment in the long run.

So each Friday I’ll tell you about a way that we trying to live a little more consciously of our environment.  I’m not making changes because I think global warming is about to wipe us all out or because I believe Al Gore and all his craziness.  I just want to be a better steward of God’s blessing.  I’m tired of the consumerism and wastefulness in America and if we can make small changes for the better than I want to do it!

First up this week . . .

Buy Used as Much as Possible

When I was little my mother would drag me and my brother to the local resale shop.  I hated it with a passion.  The only good part about that trip to me was the book room.  I have tons of books that have other kids’ names written in them as a result of visiting that book room!  Anyway, I never understood that my mom shopped there because, in her words, we were broke.  I always thought it was just to torture us!  As far as I knew, none of my friends shopped there and it was embarassing to me to tell someone that my clothes came from a thrift store!

As a result, when I grew up I avoided second hand stores at all cost.  That was until I was a senior on high school.  My best friend Jenn and I started visiting second hand stores looking for vintage clothes and old vinyl records.  I started to appreciate thrift stores and found lots of cool and cheap things there!  I have quite a collection of vinyl records now as a result (and lots of good memories to go along with some of them!).

Once I graduated, got married and started a “real” job I kind of forgot about thrifting.  I would occasionally stop by a thrift store but it really was an afterthought.  Then I had kids and realized how quickly they outgrow their clothes so I started making regular trips to the Goodwill.  I LOVED the Goodwill up in our old hometown.  We actually had 2 of them and both of them were amazing!

I couldn’t begin to tell you about all the good deals I have found by shopping at Goodwill and Salvation Army and other second hand stores!  A few of my favorites–my Birkenstock sandals for $15, Tommy Hilfiger jeans for Annagrace for $2, a beautiful handmade toile print dress with the monogram “M” on it for Madalyn for $14 (that was a splurge for me but it easily would have cost $50 in a store), a brand new JanSport bookbag for $6, a brand new swivel chair for my vanity area for $7, and last week a suitcase and carry on bag combo for Annagrace for $5.  I also found all of this:

Baby-clothes

for Layla and paid only $12 for all of it!  Most of the onesies are Carter’s brand.  I also got her some Gymboree brand baby boots for $4!  Sweet!

So how is shopping used a “green thing” to do? Well first of all, you are reusing those items that someone else no longer wants.  So instead of those things going to a landfill they are being reused by another person that needs them!  So you are saving things from a landfill.  You also are keeping new things from being produced.  Think about how much time, energy, and gas for transportation that you are saving by not buying a brand new product!

A few other tips for buying used is to try yard sales, Craigslist, and Ebay.  And if you haven’t signed up for it, go to Freecycle and sign up there now!  I LOVE Freecycle.  Freecycle is a community forum/group where you can post things that you have to give away.  You can get notifications through e-mail when someone posts a new item.  The only requirements are that no money changes hands.  We were able to give away several things before we moved by using Freecycle.  Someone even came and took all the broken pieces to our demolished swingset.  It was awesome.

So tell me . . . . do you shop second hand?  Why or why not?  Is there anything that you won’t buy second hand?  (For me it’s any type of underclothing!).

A Greener Mama Part 4: Bathing, Tooth Brushing and Butt Wiping!

This is part four in my series this week on becoming a ‘greener’ mama.   Today’s topic is a little lighter than yesterdays–bathing, teeth brushing and butt wiping!  Woot woot!

Bathing

So what’s the big deal with bathing?  Well…lots.

I’ll be the first to admit that I am not very “green” when it comes to this subject!  When I decided a year ago to start being more eco-conscious I decided that I would make a change if it:  a) wasn’t too painful for the family as a whole, and b) it didn’t cost us more money.  Most changes that I have made have actually saved us money (decreasing paper towels to next to none, decreasing cleaning supplies by using vinegar, baking soda and salt when possible, etc).  This is one topic where I have not been able to find a way to actually save money by going organic.

The big talk now in green circles is about parabens and their presence in a LOT of cosmetics and skin care products.  While scientists state that the amounts are miniscule and not a harm to humans parabens have been found in breast tumors and the common thought is that parabens in deodorant have leaked through women’s skin and into their breast tissue.

While I am not convinced that soap and deodorant cause cancer I am more aware of products now and what is in them.  If I find organic products at a good price I will purchase them.  I love Burt’s Bees products and while I would love to use them exclusively I just can’t afford to!  With both my kids I used Johnson and Johnson or whatever generic product was available or on sale at the time.  Even now we tend to use whatever I can find cheap or free with coupons.  I’d love to learn to make my own soaps and lotions and maybe I will pursue this in the future.

For now though, as anti-green as it may be, we’re sticking with cheap soap and shampoo for the whole family.

And as far as how we bath our kids–it’s always been just a standard old plastic bathtub for them.  But have you seen these Washpods?  I just don’t get it!

Teeth Brushing

So here is the thing about toothpaste.

First of all, it contains sodium lauryl sulfate.  This is an ingredient that makes it foam and is also found in shampoo and other skin care and body cleansers as well as car washing agents (because it dissolves grease) and bubble bath (because it makes the bubbles!).  Though it has not been proven to be a carcinogen it has been linked to skin hypersensitivity, breakouts and canker sores in the mouth.  (My former dentist advised me to use a non-foaming toothpaste due to my chronic canker sores and a commenter on my blog told me a year ago that it was probably the cause of my breakouts around my mouth.  I switched to Tom’s toothpaste and it helped both problems).

Toothpaste also contains fluoride.  Now I know what you are thinking.  Fluoride can’t be that bad because it’s in our water and the dentist recommends it.  My thoughts too until I did a little research.  I found out that fluoride not only was used in concentration camps to sterilize women but it is also a component of rat poison. Our bodies can not digest fluoride without a lot of extra work from our kidneys.  That is why the back of a tube of toothpaste will tell you that it is harmful if swallowed and that kids under the age of 6 should not use it because of the risk of them swallowing it.

This is an interesting article as well as this one.   Every single article I read mentioned bone weakening and arthritis as side effects of over exposure to fluoride.

So here is my confession of the day.  My daughters went to the dentist on Tuesday.  And I let them put fluoride varnish on their teeth.  I had second thoughts about it immediately that were only confirmed by Madalyn screaming and crying for the next hour about the crap on her teeth.  The hygienist told me that we should leave it on the rest of the day until the next morning.  After I left, I read the teaching sheets they had given me and one of them mentioned the dangers of letting children under 6 use toothpaste with fluoride in it.  Okay . . . so why did you just paint my child’s teeth with it and then tell me to keep it on them so she can swallow that junk all night long?  I brushed Madalyn’s teeth the first chance I got.  Next visit there I am refusing the fluoride.  They can call me a bad mom if they want to but something just doesn’t add up to me.  That and the fact that I’m not putting up with Madalyn screaming for an hour after her appointment again!

I try to use natural toothpaste when I can–I actually like Tom’s because it doesn’t foam up and tastes okay.  The kids use a kids toothpaste that does not contain fluoride and I am going to switch them to Tom’s soon too.  I’ll confess though that I get a lot of regular toothpaste free or next to free with coupons and a lot of times we use that for ourselves (but I never let the kids use it!).  You supposedly can also use Dr. Bronner’s castile soap for toothpaste but I have some that I clean with and I can’t imagine brushing my teeth with it.  Although it is very pepperminty!  Maybe I’ll try it in the morning and let you know how it goes!

Oh–and here is a little tidbit I learned from our awesome dentist.  I asked if heredity has anything to do with teeth and he said absolutely.  He said the number one indicator of if children will develop cavities or not is if mom has them!  I have always had a problem with cavities since I was very little.  I still have a problem with cavities and I’m sure I floss more than the average person.  My hubby on the other hand NEVER flosses and has never had a single cavity in his life.  Poor Annagrace had three this time!

Butt wiping

I love that photo.  Cute little baby butt!

Baby wipes in general are not too harmful to your babies nether regions.  There are some wipes however that have a warning on them about keeping them out of the reach of babies.  Seriously–they are for use on babies but you are suppose to keep babies away from them.  I found this out when my youngest daughter started preschool because the teachers were not allowed to accept wipes that had that warning on them!  Crazy.

If you want to read a whole review about what is safe and what is not you can find it here.

So with Annagrace we used all store bought wipes.  Whatever was cheap was what we used.  With Madalyn I started making my own baby wipes.  This was a heck of a lot cheaper and they always turned out softer than the store bought wipes.  It is really easy to make your own.  Even my hubby would make them and I think he secretly enjoyed it!  I would tell you the process but you can google it and find all kinds of recipes and advice including pictures of the process.  (My biggest tip is to use Bounty select-a-size all white papertowels.  They are the softest and seemed to hold up and work the best for us.)  I used a recipe that involved 2 tablespoons of baby oil, 2 tablespoons of baby shampoo and 2 tablespoons of baby lotion.  I have found a few other recipes that use olive oil, tea tree oil and other essential oils and I am going to try some of these different recipes this time around!

With our new little bundle of joy I am going to do a combination of things.  While we will continue to make homemade wipes to save money I plan to use reuseable wipes as well.  I figure if I’m washing dirty cloth diapers then what does it matter if I throw in some wipes as well?  I found some cheap receiving blankets at the thrift store and I am going to repurpose them into wipes and washcloths.  I will use them primarily when we are at home and when we are out and about I’ll bring some homemade wipes along.  I love the fact that I (or Aaron) won’t have to get phone calls at 4:45 pm saying, “we need baby wipes!”  I used to HATE getting those calls on my way home!  If it wasn’t wipes it was diapers so now we won’t have to worry about either one!  We’ll always have a supply and if we run out then they are only a wash cycle away.

Long post today…sorry!  If you have bared with me through all of this then tell me what you think!

Do you use organic products?  Do you let the dentist use fluoride on your kids’ teeth?  How about baby wipes–have you ever considered using reusable wipes?

A Greener Mama Part 3: Immunizations

This is part 3 in a week long series on becoming a more eco-friendly mama.  Today’s topic is immunizations.  Bare with me, this is a pretty deep topic and this could get lengthy!
vaccinations Pictures, Images and Photos

This has become a hot topic of debate in our country and everyone seems to have an opinion on it.

On one side you have the staunch advocates for immunizations that believe that every child should be immunized on the “correct” schedule as determined by the Center for Disease Control (CDC).  Some people that prescribe to this belief think that parents who chose not to immunize their kids (or chose to delay their immunizations) are stupid, uneducated and are engaging in “risky” or irresponsible behavior.

On the other side of the battle are those that are opposed to vaccinations.  Some chose to delay certain vaccines and others choose to avoid all of the vaccinations altogether.  There are some on this side of the argument that believe that immunizations are to blame for various childhood illnesses and diseases the most common one being autism.

Mothering magazine (there I go mentioning that magazine again–I really do love it though!) had an article about immunizations this month.  It was a great eye opening article.  There are many things I could talk about that were mentioned in the article but one of the most interesting parts to me was in regards to the Hepatitis B vaccine.

Hep B is a disease that affects the liver and eventually if untreated will cause liver failure and ultimately death.  How do you contract Hepatitis B?  It is transmitted through contact with infected blood or bodily fluid that contains blood.  So that would mean through sexual activity, dirty needles or through blood transfusions (although this is rare in this day and age).  Newborns can contract it if their mother is infected.

It is considered the “norm” that infants receive the Hep B vaccine prior to leaving the hospital after birth.  I have often wondered what the hurry was.  I didn’t receive this vaccine until I was 20 years old and was enrolled in nursing school.  What infant do you know who engages in elicit sexual activity (or well, any sexual activity elicit or not!) or who has a risk for being stuck with a dirty needle?  I don’t understand the rush.

There is so much that could be said about the pros and cons of vaccines.  Here are my thoughts on a few:

Chickenpox:  I had chickenpox as a child and it was torture!  I would be all for the vaccine even if the only reason was to prevent a chickenpox outbreak because it sucks.  But here’s the thing about chickenpox.  If you have chickenpox as a child, you can develop shingles as an adult.  If you have never had chickenpox, you will never have shingles.  So I think this vaccine is two-fold.  (Shingles is also a terrible painful illness that can cause long lasting nerve damage).

Polio:  Due to the widespread use of polio vaccinations, polio in America was eradicated in the 1950s.  However worldwide polio remains a problem.  Are children in America at risk for it?  Not really.  But if we don’t vaccinate against it then aren’t we moving backwards and putting ourselves at risk for another endemic in this country?

MMR:  This one’s a big one.  If any vaccine receives flack, it is this one.  This is the one that is most often attributed to causing autism.  I have been asking questions and researching this one because I’m just not sure of my thoughts on it.  One friend who is a teacher and the mother of an autistic child believes that kids are predisposed to autism and the mercury that was once used in vaccines “brings it out”.  Another friend also has done her own research and has decided that she is going to delay this vaccine with her child until she is sure that her motor, speech and psychosocial interaction is developing normally.  What is interesting to me is that Merck is the only drug company that produces the MMR.  They no longer can separate it so if you want your kid to get the “M” but not the “R” you’re out of luck.  What is so interesting to me about Merck is the gobs and gobs of money that they “donate” to the American Academy of Pediatrics each year.  Is it a coincidence that pediatricians are so adamant about promoting this vaccine?  Just something to thing about.

Gardasil:  This vaccine is relatively new to the market.  It is manufactured by Merck and it is promoted as a vaccine to prevent cervical cancer.  There are others similar to it but this is the main one you see commercials about on tv and in magazines.  Here’s the thing–the vaccine does not guard against all cervical cancers.  It only protects against 4 strands of HPV (human papillomavirus) which is a sexually transmitted disease that can lead to cervical cancer.   HPV is the most common STD in America and studies show that “most sexually active men and women will become infected at some point in their lives”.  Ok–so if it’s a vaccine against HPV and you can only get HPV by being sexually active then why are pediatricians promoting it for 9 year old girls?  NO, I’m not naive–I know that as disturbing as it is, there are girls at that age that are sexually active.  And no, I don’t think my parenting skills are perfect and I know that kids have a mind of their own.  But my husband and I believe in abstinence and we believe in teaching our daughters to make the right choices in their lives.  I am not going to give my 9 year old a vaccine and not explain to her what it is for.  And how do you tell a 9 year old that you don’t want them to be promiscuous but “just in case you decide to how about we vaccinate you against an STD”?  I might as well put them on birth control and give them a handful of condoms while I’m at it.

Generation Rescue (founded by actress Jenny McCarthy) has tons of information about vaccinations and what I found very interesting was the comparison between recommended vaccinations in 1983 as compared to 2008.  In 1983 children would receive about 11 vaccinations starting at 2 months old all the way up to 16 years old.  In today’s world, they are recommending about thirty-two (!) vaccinations starting at 1-2 DAYS old up to 6 years old!  And that is not counting the recommended yearly flu vaccine!  Thirty-two vaccinations in 6 years time compared to 11 in 16 years time back when I was a kid.

Now I know that medicine is constantly changing and improving and we have to move with the times.  I just think that we as parents need to question why our kids need certain vaccinations.  What are the risks if they do get them?  What are the (real) risks if they don’t?  If my infant is not at risk for contracting Hepatitis B do I really HAVE to vaccinate her at 2 days old?

So with my 2 oldest daughters I let the doctors vaccinate them whenever they said they needed it.  I quickly read through the papers and signed them and that was that.  With Layla I am going to ask more questions.  I am going to investigate the vaccines more thoroughly and I am going to make INFORMED decisions about her vaccinations.  I am thinking that we will likely delay the Hepatitis B and the MMR.  The others I am still researching.  Five pediatric vaccines still contain mercury including the Hep-B vaccine.  Mercury is the preservative component of vaccines that seem to get the biggest blame for autism.

So what about all you mamas out there?  Did you vaccinate on schedule?  Delay them?  Or not vaccinate at all?  How did you make your decision?

A Greener Mama Part 2: Feeding

This is part 2 in my week long series on being a greener mama!  Yesterday I blogged about diapering and today I’m blogging about feeding!

Breastfeeding was the one and only way to feed every baby born on this planet until 1876 when baby formula first appeared on the market.  (Interestingly enough, the man that invented baby formula was known as the father of the fertilizer industry.  How’s that for useless knowledge?!).  Similac (“similar to lactation”) hit the market in the 1920s and by the 1970s there was a huge shift away from breastfeeding.  In fact, 75% of children were formula fed by the early 70s.

I don’t know a single person my age (myself included) that was breastfed as a child.   My mother told me that doctors encouraged formula back then because they thought it was healthier and better for babies.  I wonder if the formula manufacturer’s had anything to do with that?!  I’m sure that was a lot of “encouragement” by way of monetary incentives for the doctors to recommend formula to moms.  Of course, drinking and smoking during pregnancy and immediately after were not unheard of then–I guess we’ve come a long way in the medical field in the last 30 years!

There are so many pros to breastfeeding.  I’m not one of those nazis that think that all mom’s HAVE to breastfeed.  But I do think that all mom’s should at least try.  Not only is it cheap and easy (once you and your baby get the hang of things) but your baby gets so many antibodies from you during those first few months that really do protect them from illness.  Both of my children were very healthy as infants and I know that breastfeeding had a lot to do with that.

I actually saw a “home remedy” mentioned on The Doctors a few days ago involving breast milk.  A mother mentioned it as a home remedy and the pediatrician whole heartedly agreed and said that his office routinely recommends it.  What was it?  Breast milk as a treatment for pink eye.  He stated that the antibodies in the milk will typically clear up any type of eye infection that an infact develops.  Madalyn had a crazy eye infection when she was born and I wonder if our pediatrician had recommended this if I would have done it or told him he was crazy?!

So here is what I did with my first two babies and our plans for the third:

Annagrace:  Breastfed exclusively for the first 2 months, occasionally supplemented with formula when I had to be away.  I rented a hospital grade pump for when I went back to work and I used it all of two times!  Pumping just was not for me.  I could never relax enough at work to have much success–and had a hard time finding the time while working 12 hours shifts as a nurse!  We stopped all together at about 3 months.  I was back at work, I didn’t like pumping and we just gradually let it go.  We switched to Walmart brand regular formula at that time.

Madalyn:  Breastfed exclusively for the first 2 months–even through a horrible bout of mastitis!  Starting supplementing with formula around 3 months.  I knew I didn’t want to pump when I went back to work (I was working in home health so the thought of sitting in the park with my shirt pulled down to my waist and my boobs hooked up to a machine just didn’t appeal to me).  So we went to formula and I nursed her at night until about 4 months.  Then we switched to soy formula–whatever brand I could get on sale is what we bought.  She spit up horribly bad (her clothes were always soaking wet!) and I often wished I had kept nursing because I don’t think she would have spit up as badly if I had.

Layla:  Want to try to breastfed for the first year.  I’m sure we will occasionally use formula but I really hope that I will be able to either pump during the day or come home for Layla’s feeding times once I go back to work.  It will really depend on which job I am working at at the time (one of my jobs is day shift, the other is night shift) but I am going to try very hard to keep it up until Layla is one and can switch to whole milk.  I’m not into the whole “extended” breastfeeding thing and I think one year will be long enough for me and Layla!

What did you mamas out there do?  Any regrets either way?  I regret that I didn’t breastfeed both my kids longer but working full time and being a mom is hard and it just wasn’t working!

Here are some good websites for breastfeeding support:

Breastfeeding.com

La Leche League

Mothering

**I just finished a very interesting article in this month’s Mothering magazine about breastfeeding in Mongolia.  It is not at all taboo there and pretty much all mothers breastfeed there.  The author lived in Mongolia for 3 years and stated that if a mother was engorged and her baby was going to be away for awhile it was not unusual for her to offer her milk to whoever happened to be in the home at the time.  Mothers may even present a bowl of breastmilk to their husbands or keep a bowl in the fridge for whoever may want it.  I am not kidding about that.  Really.  They don’t see breastmilk as being for babies only–and many adults will admit to liking the taste of it.  I don’t care if we never see that in our country but I would like for breastfeeding to be more accepted in public!

A Greener Mama Part 1: Diapering

How green of a mama are you?  Do you cloth diaper?  Breastfeed?  Use organic products?  Over the years I have become more “green” and more frugal.  I’ve come a long way since my first child was born 7 years ago and I’m excited to see the changes that will take place with the birth of our newest daughter, Layla, this October!

This week, I’m going to be blogging about being a greener mama.  Each day will feature a different aspect of taking care of babies!  Each day I will share what I did with each child and what I plan to do with Layla!  First up . . . diapering!

Here are some interesting facts about disposable diapers:

  • Over 28 Billion disposable diapers are brought to landfills every year…enough to stretch to the moon and back 20 times.
  • 7.5 Billion pounds of untreated body excrement, which may carry over 100 intestinal viruses, is brought to landfills via disposable diapers each year.
  • It takes between 200-500 years for disposable diapers to decompose.

Pretty gross stuff, right?

Not only are disposables terrible for our environment (think about it….can you imagine collecting your bowel movements and throwing them in a trash bag and sending it to the landfill….ugh) but do you know what is in disposable diapers that make them absorbent?  It’s a material called sodium polyacrylate.  It is toxic if swallowed and if you read data sheets on it you will be encouraged to avoid contact with the skin, eyes or mouth.  Has your child ever picked a diaper apart?  I know both of mine have and the thought of them being exposed to a harmful chemical is alarming to me.  Of course, 7 years ago I had NO IDEA!

A lot of proponets for disposables argue that it takes more water and electricity to use cloth diapers.  I think it’s a better trade off though just for the fact that you are not throwing human waste in a landfill–it is being properly disposed of in the toilet where it can be treated along with all other sewage.

Here is how things went with my first two kids and what I plan to do with our third child:

Annagrace:  We started out using name brand disposable diapers.  I didn’t know anyone that used cloth diapers and thought that it was too hard and was old fashioned!  We eventually started using cheaper diapers on her but I would typically buy Pampers without using a coupon and with no regards to sale prices.  If we needed, I went to Wal-Mart and got them.  (Yes, cringe–Wal-Mart!).

Madalyn:  Again, we favored Pampers.  For the first 18 months I would buy mostly Pampers with occasional generic or other name brands if the price was good.  Started couponing when she was in pull-ups and figured out how to get them free or almost free at CVS.  I never paid more than $6 a pack for them.  Still didn’t know anyone who cloth diapered and by the time I got interested in it Madalyn was pretty much potty trained.

Layla:  We are planning to cloth diaper from the beginning.  If all goes well, we will cloth diaper while at home but will use disposables (or gdiapers with flushable inserts) when we are out and about (and when other people are babysitting!).  I now know several people who cloth diaper–a few are friends in real life and several are online friends.  There are so many resources out there and cloth diapers have come a looooonnnnggg way over the years!  I am hoping we can save a lot of money on diapers this go around and I’m happy that we won’t be contributing dirty diapers to the local landfill!

How about you mamas out there?  What did you use/are you using?  Any thoughts on either one?  Most people think we are crazy for using cloth because it still isn’t the “mainstream” thing to do.  But at least I know I’m not the only one out there–and have several friends who have been giving me advice and have been an encouragement to me!

I’ll let you know by November how it’s going!

Here are a few resources for buying cloth diapers.  And you can always check out Mothering magazine’s website and forums and the ladies there are extrememly helpful with answering questions and offering advice!

Jillian’s Drawers (offers a 21 day $10 trial of about 7 different cloth diapers–I am definitely going to do this once Layla gets here!)

Kelly’s Closet

Wildflower Diapers

Etsy seems to be a good place too.  Etsy is a huge marketplace for crafty people to sell their handmade goods.  Lots of handmade diapers there at reasonable prices.  You can also buy both new and used diapers on Ebay.

Annagrace’s Room Makeover

Finally going to post some photos of some work I’ve done around the house! Aaron and I were up to 2 a.m. last night painting my 7 year old daughter’s room. She wanted lime green. I tried to talk her out of it and in the end I gave in! We found her bedding on sale at Kohl’s, got some green paint to match and away we went.  Most of the stuff we already had.

Of course these were taken after we were already in the process (notice all the junk on the bed!).

Before-1

Those burgundy things on the bed were the window covers before–I stripped the burgundy material off and found yellow stipes underneath.  So then I stripped that off and recovered them!

Before-2

Before-3

And now for some afters!  I actually LOVE how it turned out.  Annagrace loves it too so that’s what is most important!   We still need to paint behind the shelves–I think we’re going to use the leftover yellow paint from Layla’s room for that as we used every single drop of green paint that we had!

After-1

Found these pink polka dot sheers at the Salvation Army for $6!  Awww yeah…gotta love the Salvation Army thrift store!

After-2

These are tissue paper pom poms a la Martha Stewart!  Easy peasy and very cute!  The curtains were from her old room and I already had the curtain rod.  The bed was my grandmother’s bed and it was passed down to me several years ago.  The bedding we found at Kohl’s 50% off for the entire 7 piece set including the bedskirt, shams, sheets, pillowcases and comforter!

After-3

I covered the window thingies with curtains from Annagrace’s old room.  I bought those lanterns at Family Dollar a couple years ago–we had three but one got demolished in the move to NC.  The desk was found at the thrift store for about $14 and we painted it white.  Wire chair was also found at a thrift store several years ago (plan to cover the seat).  Shelf was given to me by my mom.  Found the tin vases on clearance at Target for about $2.  Hannah Montana beanbag found several months ago at Tuesday Morning for $20.

After-4

And here is my very happy daughter!  Let’s hope she keeps it clean since she loves it so much!

After-5

Total spent:
Paint and supplies:  $60
Bedding set:  $62
Tissue paper and wire:  $4
Curtains:  $6
Fabric storage cubes:  $20
Plastic containers for storage:  $4

GRAND TOTAL:  $156

No Impact Man

I am so excited to see this documentary! Don’t know what the chances are of it coming to Greenville but it will definitely be put in the Netflix que if I can’t catch it in a theater.

Could you go for one year with no tv? How about no meat? Or cosmetics? Could you go a year without using an elevator? Just a few changes that this family made over the course of a year. I love when the dad said that they got rid of their tv and became better parents because of it. Hmmmm . .. something to ponder. (Aaron and I have been toying with the idea of cancelling our cable).

Also check out Green as a Thistle.  The author has just written a book called Sleeping Naked is Green.  She also decided to green up her life and made one change a day for a year from selling her car to sleeping naked just to cut down on laundry!  I’m looking forward to reading this!

Next week I’m going to be posting a series on the blog about being a Greener (and Frugal) Mama.  I’ll be blogging about diapering, wiping, feeding and bathing babies!  I’ve come a long way but have a ways to go!  Join me on the journey!


July 2009
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