IPSY Glam Bag Reveal - June 2013

June 2013 IPSY Glam Bag Reveal. I made this video a couple weeks ago and forgot to link it. :)


How to save BIG on a new carseat

Everyone knows that I am "thrifty" (AKA cheap) but one area where I will not compromise quality are car seats. I don't mind buying things secondhand, but when it comes to carseats I would rather be safe than sorry.

I recently found two car seats on a yard sale site for a VERY good price. They were nearly $300 each new and the seller was asking $40 each. I considered it but ended up deciding that it wasn't worth it. The seller told me that the seats had never been in an accident, but I didn't know the person and I had no way of knowing if that was true or not.  They didn't expire for several years, but it wasn't a risk that I was willing to take. I am not going to make this post about carseat safety, there are many other guides out there about carseat safety and I am not an expert. If you are parent, PLEASE educate yourself about carseat safety. I really didn't "know better" when Kainan was younger and I did a lot of dumb things like forward facing him too early and probably not properly installing his seat. If you don't know how to use your carseat correctly, just ask! Someone will be able to help you.

It is important to remember that a more expensive car seat does not mean a safer car seat. All car seats in the US pass the same safety tests. The higher cost of more expensive can be due to several things. Sometimes seats have more expensive materials, or convenient features. Other times a more expensive car seat will rear face or harness for a larger age/size range. If you have larger children like I do, they will probably outgrow a cheaper seat before they are physically ready to be in a booster seat or seat belt.

So what are some ways to save on car seats without compromising quality?

  • Skip the infant seat. Yes seriously! They can be an added expense that just isn't necessary if you buy a convertible seat. I'm not a fan of leaving a baby in an infant car seat all day anyway, it isn't good for their development. I am not buying an infant seat this time because my babies used them for such a short amount of time. If you are worried about how to carry your baby while out and about, buy a Moby or another safe carrier instead (hint: you can get cheap much cheaper used! Some things are totally safe to buy secondhand.)
  • Do surveys or sign up for swagbucks! You can cash our your rewards for Amazon gift cards. It shouldn't take very long to add up enough points to buy a car seat. If you start when you are pregnant, you can definitely get one before your baby is born.
  • This is the exact seat that I got!
  • Check out deal sites like No Better Deal, I just discovered this site and it is AWESOME. I bought a brand new Recaro ProRIDE Carseat for under $135!! Just as a comparison, this is the exact same seat on Amazon. I had already decided to buy this seat, and I am glad that I waited and found a deal, I saved almost $100! I also used the promo code "WELCOME" and saved an extra 10%. I also spotted a Graco MyRide 65 for $74. Mikaela has one of these and we paid over $130 for it. There are other "good" carseat brands like Britax at great prices. I also saw car seats from brands like Evenflo and Graco for under $40. They had infant seats and booster seats too. 
So there are plenty of ways to save money while making sure that your child is as safe as possible. If you have any money saving tips on car seats, I would love to hear about them! Leave a comment and let us know. 

**Note** I don't get any kind of kickback from any of the links on this page (except my referral link through SwagBucks.) I am just sharing these deals!


DIY Compost Bin

I haven't been blogging much lately, but I actually have a good reason! I am having a lot of pregnancy problems (again) and have been pretty limited on what I can do. I haven't been doing a lot of projects lately, but this one is pretty fun! Maybe I just say that because I'm not really the one who did it. We had some extra dirt and no where to put it, so my husband decided to build a compost bin. My husband works a lot but has taken up woodworking a little bit in his spare time (something that his dad does too.) I wasn't able to find very good plans for building a compost bin, so we guessed. I don't recommend trying to do math in your head at 8AM, we ended up forgetting something and having to go back to the lumber yard. 

The Materials: 
  • Chicken wire, 12 feet (3 feet high) and we had extra so 10 feet would be enough
  • 2x4 - 32 feet (10, 10 and 12 feet, I don't recommend getting 12 feet unless you have a very large vehicle, we had to tie ours down.)
  • 1x4 - 20 feet (10 and 10)
Total Cost: Around $40. This could be cheaper if you could find a discount lumber yard, or use scraps. He had just used most of his scraps to build a shelf for our laundry room, so we had to go out and buy new materials. $40 is still a good price. We bought a $50 plastic compost bin at Sam's Club a few years ago and it fell apart in a few months. This will last a lot longer. 

I should have taken more "in progress" shots, but I wasn't feeling well and he got a lot done in a short amount of time.
Almost finished.
 Close up
This is where we decided to put it. As you can probably see, our yard is on a VERY steep incline. This was the only place other than the backyard (which would be very inconvenient from the kitchen) to put it. 
It might look a little unstable but it actually isn't at all. 

It only took a couple of hours and it turned out pretty nice. Now I just have to remember to stop throwing the compostable things away. :) 


End of Year Teacher/Staff Gift Ideas

My son's last day of school was yesterday. He was so excited to be out, but wanted to do something nice for his teacher. I knew I had to find something reasonably inexpensive and easy to make. We decided on a decorated flower pot with a plant. Here is a loose tutorial on how we made it. I know this is probably too late for most parents, since schools are out or almost out everywhere already, but hopefully if you like the idea, you can use it next year. Just an FYI, I did not take these pictures with the intention of writing a tutorial, so I'm sorry that some steps are missing pictures.

Decorated Flower Pot

* Terra Cotta Pot
* Acrylic Paint (black, yellow, white, and 1-2 other colors)
* Sponge brushes
* Small paint brush
* Flexible measuring tape
* Pencil
* Plant or flower(s)
* Soil

How to Make it:
1) Paint the rim in yellow. This will probably need 2-4 coats depending on the shade of yellow you use. Allow 15-20 minutes to dry between coats.

2) Once the yellow is completely dry (at least 1 hour), start painting the lower portion of the pot black. The black will probably need 2-3 coats to completely cover the pot. Try and make the cleanest line possible along the rim where the yellow is. It will look nicer. 

3) While the sides are drying, you can flip the pot over and start painting the bottom. You don't have to do this, but I think it looks nicer this way. The bottom only needs 2 coats. 

4) Take your measuring tape (a sewing tape works great) and wrap it around the rim of the pot. Tape it in place in at least 3 spots, so it doesn't fall off during this step. (Sorry, no pictures for this step.)

5) Now you are going to mark every inch and half inch on the pot with the pencil. You don't have to write the numbers, just put the lines. Depending on what size pot you are using, you may have to fudge the last few lines if they don't line up right. (Sorry, no pictures for this step.)

6) Once your lines are on your pot, remove the tape. Now go over the lines with a small paint brush in black paint. I think you could also use a thick permanent marker if you wanted to. Once all of your lines are filled in black, you are going to write the numbers under the "inch" lines you marked. Start with 1 and continue all the way around the pot. It doesn't matter what number you end on. I think mine ended on 26.

7) Now you need to decide what you want to write on your pot. I suggest you use white paint for words, if you want it to look like chalk on a chalkboard. We wrote "Thanks for helping me GROW" on one side, then put my son's right hand print, then wrote "Luke, 2012-2013" on the other side, then put his left hand print.

Finished Product: 

She absolutely LOVED it when we gave it to her yesterday! She couldn't wait to take it home and show it to her husband. We also wrote her a little thank you note for being such a great teacher this year. 

Design by Free WordPress Themes | Bloggerized by Lasantha - Premium Blogger Themes | Hot Sonakshi Sinha, Car Price in India