Posts Tagged ‘thrift store’

Silent Saturday: A Proper Tea Party

Saturday, June 15th, 2013

You may remember this post about my boys and their Neti Pot Tea Party? Well we recently went to England where we learned how to host a proper tea party.

Upon returning to the US, we went to our favorite thrift store in search of a tea set. A half hour and $15 later we left the store with 2 tea sets, 10 cloth napkins, 3 shirts, a little bag of random toy guys, and a tech deck skateboard ramp (it was .99cents!). Have I mentioned how much I LOVE thrift stores? 🙂

Abraham (4) was most excited about our tea party and insisted on setting the table himself:


We also hit up Trader Joe’s for some goodies to accompany our tea party. Here’s the spread:

Our friends arrived shortly after and the tea party was a success!

I am happy to report I foresee many more tea parties in our future, sans Neti Pot of course. 😉



Friday Family Spotlight: Meet Melissa’s Family

Friday, November 9th, 2012

I am excited for you all to meet this awesome cloth diapering, baby wearing mama and her lovely family. Interestingly enough her and I shop at the same store…the thrift store! 🙂 Read on to learn more about Melissa and her family.

Who are the members of your family?

Daddy, who is a Staff Sergeant in the Army National Guard and in his civilian job he works for Parks and Trails. Mommy, who is currently staying at home with the kiddos but was a Police Officer for five years before they decided to have her stay at home. Our oldest daughter will be 9 in December and is in third grade. She’s about to compete county wide for an academic excellence award for her school. Our middle son turned two in July, and is a little monster! He is high speed, non-ntop, and is quite literally a noise with dirt on it, haha! Our youngest is five and a half months, and was quite a surprise! Mommy’s IUD ended up in her appendix, and when Daddy came home from Iraq littlest appeared 9 months later! She talks non stop (or babbles), and is the sweetest, happiest little girl ever! She completes the family though!

How did you meet your significant other?

Through my little brother. He had just joined the National Guard and introduced me to this very attractive Sergeant of his. Needless to say we hit it off, and were married shortly there after. He is my soul mate, and I couldn’t get through this hectic life of ours without his unending support and love. He is such an amazing husband and daddy! He’s been on three tours overseas for a total of 4 years overseas! I am so very, very proud of him, we all are! He even received the Bronze Star his last tour.

What is your favorite baby carrier and why?

My ergo! I love it! I have had it for over two years now. It’s gone on several Disney trips with us and always for at least 12 hours. I never had a sore back during those longs days of walking the parks and I believe it was because of the Ergo! My two year old still gets back carried in it, but it’s mainly used by the littlest as a front and back carry.

Describe your cloth diaper stash:

Oh geeze, haha…well, I have roughly 90 diapers…give or take a couple. 😉 Granted I do have two in diapers though!! Most of my diapers are WAHMs (made by work at home moms) and I LOVE that! I love being able to support mom’s who want to stay at home with their kiddos! Right now I have Pirate Booty Fluff, Bunzuke, Tweedlebee & Tweedlebum, Holden’s Landing, and Sassybumz. The “name brands” I have include Tots Bots, Blueberry, Bumgenius, Sunbaby’s, FuzziBunz, Charlie Banana, and my newest ventures have been into the sustainablebabyish world of wool and fitteds!

What’s your number one secret for stretching a dollar?

Thrift shops! I love them, my mom and I try to go at least once a week with the kids. We call it our “therapy” haha. We buy goodies, but never spend more than a couple dollars on things. She found a brand new Charlie Banana (diaper) for $1.50 one time! Needless to say my hubby encourages our “shopping sprees”, lol.

Share one special family tradition you have?

On Christmas Eve we all go to my parent’s house. We cook up some hot cocoa and cookies. All the kids gather around in a big circle and my mom reads them The Polar Express. At the end all the kids get to ring the silver bell. I think I look forward to it more then the kids haha! Then we all look up Santa’s location on the Nordic Santa locator online.

What is one of your favorite quotes?

Carpe Diem, Seize the Day. I had a close friend of mine on the force who died and I had this tattoo’d on my wrist after his death. I look at it daily to remind me never to take things for granted and to live life to the fullest.

Thanks Melissa for sharing your awesome family with us!!

Would you like to have your family featured in a Friday Family Spotlight AND win a FREE $10 gift certificate to Mom’s Milk Boutique for your participation? If so email with the subject line “Friday Family Spotlight Inquiry” and share something interesting about your family in your email message.



Homemade Lego Table

Monday, March 5th, 2012

For Christmas we made the kids a sensory table which quickly became one of their most favorite activities. We have played with beans, rice, water, sand, seashells, rocks, and packing peanuts in it. It has been a car wash and an ice cream shop. We have used magnetic fishing poles to catch magnetic fish. We have washed and painted seashells collected from the beach. There are so many more ideas that we have yet to explore! We store and use our sensory table outdoors which works beautifully because it can get rather messy!

In addition to a sensory table I wanted an outdoor art table that could be used in conjunction with the sensory table as well as for separate messy art projects. I found THE perfect child-sized wood table at the thrift store for only $7.00! It was in great shape and super sturdy although was coated in paint, glue and glitter from the previous owners. No biggie! I just washed it down and painted it dark brown to match our sensory table. I love seeing them sit side by side.

The final project I had in mind was to make was a Lego table. Legos are hands down my kids’ top choice activity these days. They spend a great deal of time building Lego creations and playing with their Lego guys. Sometimes I think we could do away with all the other toys in our house except for our Legos and the kids would be perfectly content. Therefore I have been thinking a lot about how to build a Lego table for them. In fact most of my “pins” on Pinterest are ideas for a Lego table. My criteria were twofold; 1) a table that didn’t take up too much space and 2) was flexible in its design allowing for a variety of Lego play. Here’s what I came up with…

I purchased a bin to store the Legos in that is the same size as the bin in the sensory table. It is actually a really good size and depth for storing our Lego collection. We alternate between the Lego bin in the sensory table and the other bin (holding whatever sensory material we happen to be using at the time). When the Lego bin is not in the sensory table, it fits perfectly on the bottom  shelf of our coffee table. This way the kids can easily play with their Legos indoors or outdoors.

Next step was to provide a Lego base for the kids to build on. I purchased a set of 3 Lego Plates and glued them to a piece of wood I found at the “as-is” section of Ikea for $3.00. It was already finished and happen to be the perfect color so I didn’t need to do anything to it. Double score!! This Lego base fits right onto the art table that sits next to the sensory table. This allows us to have a Lego building station or a sensory/art station. I seriously love how it turned out! And it was super easy and inexpensive. In fact the most expensive part was purchasing the Lego plates. Although they were well worth the money because they add a whole new dimension to their Lego creations.

I have pinned so many Lego tables on Pinterest…I wonder if someone will now pin mine? Yep, this is the kind of stuff that excites me now…Lego tables! Can you tell I am the mom of 3 boys?!? 😉


PS. They now make Legos that are marketed towards girls called Lego Friends. Do any of you have these for your girls? If so what do you think of them?

How to Make a Sensory Table for $35

Monday, December 19th, 2011

I have been wanting a sensory table for my kids for a while now, however the hefty price tag has kept me from purchasing one. They average about $250+ depending on the style. Additionally it’s rare to find free shipping on this kind of item so add another $30ish dollars to cover the drop ship costs and I was looking at spending over $300 total including taxes and shipping. I would often visit various websites that sell sensory tables and a few times even placed one in my cart. Although I just couldn’t bring myself to hit enter and actually purchase one. On multiple occasions my hubby had said he could easily make one for a fraction of the cost. I finally decided to take him up on this offer and have him make one for a Christmas present for the kids.

Once we decided to make our own I was on a mission to find a table from a thrift store that we could convert into a sensory table. It had to be the right design/size, not too heavy, and at the right price. After a few weeks of searching I found this table and this bin at a thrift store. They were both the perfect size and shape and price! I spent $12 and walked out of there one happy customer! Next stop? Home Depot!

This was a coffee table which sits too low to function as a sensory table. So we first needed to figure out the best way to raise it up. After discussing a few options we decided to purchase two large dowel rods that could be cut to size and replace the existing legs. This seemed the best option because it would require the least amount of labor, be cost effective, be aesthetically pleasing, and result in a durable table, yet light enough that I could easily move it as needed.  At home depot we spend a total of $23. The dowel rods were $7 each (x2 = $14), the clearance can of paint was $6, and the hardware (bolts) totaled $3. Now we were ready for the easy part…making the table! It was a simple enough project to complete in a weekend. It involved basic skills/knowledge of power tools, woodworking, and measurement.

Making the table consisted of 5 basic steps:
1. Cutting off existing legs
2. Cutting dowel rods down to appropriate size
3. Cutting a hole in the table top for the bin to rest
4. Bolting in new legs
5. Painting table

Hubby cutting off existing legs with a jigsaw

Bolting in new legs

Finished table ready for sensory exploration!

Voila! A sensory table for $35 made with recycled materials from a thrift store! And I figure with the money saved from making one rather than purchasing one I can get some fun accessories to use with the sensory table! I am really excited for all the fun, messy, sensory play ahead of us!!

What simple DYI projects have you made for your children? Any special homemade Christmas gifts you would like to share ideas for? I would enjoy hearing from you!


PS. Tomorrow’s Tasty Tuesday is a recipe for one of my favorite vegan soups!

7 Ways to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

Tuesday, October 11th, 2011

If you are breastfeeding and cloth diapering you have already made two great ‘green’ choices for your family! And are reaping the economic benefits of those choices at the same time! Are you interested in more green living ideas that could equate to saving money as well as the earth’s resources? Here are 7 simple ways to further reduce your carbon footprint:

Buy items used
Garage sales, craigslist, and thrift stores make buying used items a very accessible option. It may take a little extra time to search for desired items but it’s well worth the effort. Plus you might find some hidden treasures along the way. For example a recent favorite thrift store purchase of mine was a $3 couch. Yep, for the price of a cup of coffee, I bought a couch!

This couch cost me $3!

Buy in bulk
Bulk purchases tend to use far less packaging material and cost less per ounce. For example imagine the difference both in cost and packaging between buying canned beans versus a 10lb bag of dried beans. Spices are another item to consider buying in bulk. You can easily refill your existing spice jars with loose spices rather than replacing the entire bottle each time. If a bulk option exists when making a purchase, do the math and examine the packaging to determine if it’s the better buy. Check into local food co-ops for bulk purchasing.

Use a re-useable water bottle
Invest in a good, easy to clean re-usable water bottle and a water filter to replace purchasing disposable water bottles. You will definitely save money and decrease waste. Even if you are recycling the disposable water bottles, there are a significant amount of resources used in the production and shipping of disposable water bottles.

Buy locally grown produce
Buying locally grown produce may entail joining a CSA or shopping at a Farmer’s Market. It might be an adjustment at first because you will be limited to seasonal produce however the benefit of that is in-season produce taste much better and costs less!

Grow a Garden
It doesn’t get any more local than your own backyard! If the thought of gardening intimidates you, start out small. An herb garden is a good beginner’s garden. Once you’ve experienced cooking with fresh herbs from your own backyard, you just might get the urge to expand your garden to include a variety of vegetables. There’s nothing I love more than creating meals with vegetables harvested right out of my garden!

Some goodies from my garden


Use natural cleaners
Two inexpensive ingredients that you probably already have in your home can replace all those costly and toxic cleaners; they are baking soda and vinegar. These two ingredients can tackle almost any cleaning job as effectively as ready-made store bought cleaners. Another bonus is using far less packaging. You can re-use the same spray bottle over and over again filling with equal parts water and vinegar to make a cleaning solution.

Forgo nightly baths
Commonly night time routines include a bath, however a daily bath equates to a significant amount of water usage. Children don’t need to bathe daily and it’s probably better for their skin if they don’t. Typically a wipe-down with a warm wash cloth is an effective means of cleaning a young child’s skin. If you are used to bathing daily, perhaps you could replace the bath portion of your nightly routine with an infant massage. This would be a nice calming and connecting activity to do with your child before bed that uses far less resources than taking a bath (and it will reduce your water bill).

What do you do that is green? Would love to hear your eco-friendly ideas!!

Come back tomorrow for 7 more ideas on green-living.