Inspiration Lately

The things that have inspired me lately are all things that have to do with using what I have and living simply.
You can click on any of the pictures to take you to the original links.
This Christmas, I have vowed to not buy any wrapping paper and use brown paper bags and decorate them with whatever I have lying around.

These are etched wine bottles. I want to make some votive holders and olive oil bottles and etch the wine bottles to say olive oil.

I love re-doing old things to make them new and who couldn't use a cardigan.
I just like these. For Christmas I would like letter stamps so I can create more fun things.


Laundry Detergent - Homemade

Here is another great way to save money. Make your own laundry detergent. It is simple and it saves tons of money. 

Here is what you need:
2 cups finely grated soap
1 cup borax
1 cup washing soda
Cheese grater
Container to store

Step 1: Grate soap. 1 bar is about 1 cup.

Step 2: Combine all ingredients into a large container and mix thoroughly. You can shake, stir, or whatever method works best for you.

Step 3: Store in container for use later. This recipe fit in 2 old pasta jars.

Use 1 Tablespoon per load

And it is that easy!

Cost Breakdown:
1 box of Baking Soda (6 cups) = $3.99
1 box of Borax (9 cups) = $4.99
1 bar of soap = $0.50

1 Batch = 1 cup Borax + 1 cup Soda + 2 bars of soap
1 Batch = $0.55 + $0.67 + $1.00 = $2.22
You can get about 60 loads per batch which brings the grand total per load to $0.04!

I've been using this for a couple months now and have not noticed any difference in the cleanness of my clothes. Also, it only takes a few minutes to make. 

Enjoy saving money!


What is ghosting? Well, please watch this video and it will give you some insight about the art of ghosting. And believe me, it is an art form.

Now that you know what ghosting is, here are some pictures from a retreat I went on with the teens. The pictures are not great because they were ghosting in a dark hall and I wanted to be subtle and not use a flash.
Becka is in the gray and is ghosting the women in the black

Double Ghost

Becka ghosting man in black. She ghosted him for quite some time.

I was pretending to take pictures of the swing dancers, but if you look past them, Travis is tailing a man with a beard.

And there goes Becka. Poor guy had no idea.

Travis stayed in it while Becka bailed.
Ghosting is quite the competitive thing. If we were awarding points, Becka would be the winner. Her dedication and ghost-like qualities put her a step ahead of the rest : )

Birthday Banners

Fall is birthday season in our family, and I thought what better way to spruce up a birthday party than with a fun banner. 

Here is some of my inspiration
(you can click on the pictures to see where I found them)
Pinned ImagePinned ImagePinned Image

I found all of these on Pinterest and the one on the right sells for $98! They are a bit time consuming to make, but the great news is you can use lots of extra pieces you have and you don't necessarily need to go buy new fabric.

Here is what I used:
1.  Piece of cardstock (to use as a pattern)
2. Fabric (Enough for 13 triangles)
3. Scissors
4. Sharpie or other utensil for marking
5. Ruler
6. Sewing machine

Step 1: Make a pattern. If you measure a rectangle and then mark the halfway point on one end of the rectangle, you can mark from the top corner to the middle of the bottom. You can make triangles as big or small as you'd like

Step 2: Trace your pattern onto your fabric and cut out your triangles. I traced and cut four pieces at a time
Step 3: Cut out the letters. I free handed it, but if you want a specific font, you can print off letters and trace them.
Step 4: Once all my letters and triangles were cut out, I arranged them how I wanted them and pinned the letters to the triangles.

Here is Patrick. My pin cushion.
Step 5: Sew the letters on. I sewed around all of the outer edges and did not sew the middle parts. Like the little triangle in the middle of the A.
Step 6: Next you will need a really long piece of fabric or ribbon that you will attach all of the triangles to. I used fabric because I had a giant white bed sheet I need to use up, but ribbon would probably be easiest. I cut a 1" wide piece of fabric and about 6' long. I folded it in half, ironed the seem and sewed the two edges together. Once the edges are sewed together you will need to flip it inside out. The easiest way I've found to do this is to attach a safety pin to one end and feed the safety pin through the fabric until you get to the other side.
Step 7: Pin each triangle to the long band and sew them on. I overlapped them slightly.
There you have it.  A birthday banner :) Ours is hanging between our living room and dining room and it makes me smile every time I see it. It's someone's birthday some where.

Reusable Bags made with Oilcloth

Kenny and I are always looking for ways to save money, and one thing we came up with was plastic bags. Kenny takes a cold lunch everyday and always has a plastic bag for a sandwich and another for a snack. So I  got to thinking, what if we had reusable bags? This would save money and the environment. I had this thought a while back, but have not been to the fabric store to get any fabric that would be suitable. And then the awesomeness happened. I was in Meijer browsing the clearance section when I spotted what I had been waiting for. And the great thing is, I didn't know I was waiting for them. They were washable place mats that were on super clearance for $0.30 each. I grabbed the only 2 they had and started plotting my reusable bags in my head.

**Rarely do I find anything good in the clearance section. Most things are in the clearance section for a  reason, but every once in a while, lightning strikes :)

To make the bags, I used the place mats, scissors, highlighter, Velcro, and a sewing machine.
First, I measured and marked the place mat to create a long rectangle.
Once cut out, I folded and sewed the edges.
I left a flap at the top so that I could fold it over when being used.
Next, I pinned the velcro where I wanted and tested it to make sure it worked.
Once the velcro was sewed on, it looked like this.
And what better to put in the bag than a peanut butter and nutella sandwich. They are amazing!

I lucked out and found these on clearance, but you can just buy oilcloth from most fabric stores.