Upcycling Ideas

This is a picture of a few things leftover from our recent yard sale that I decided to keep in hopes of upcycling them into something awesome! These came from my mom’s storage bins!

Embroidery hoops are popular now with lots of possibilities for what to fill them with. I am going to remove the old fabric (the old geese scenery has got to go) and refashion them into something else. Here are some ideas that I like…chalkboard hoop, fabric hoops with felt embellishments, name embroidered onto fabric. I kinda like the idea of putting a big letter “E” on one, and “L” on the other, one for each of my girls.

As for the frames, I just love the unique shape of these old picture frames! I remember them hanging in our home when we were growing up.

Not sure exactly what I’ll do with these but I do think Mod Podge will be involved. I do love the idea of modpodging a photo onto the fronts of them something like this:

Since I have 2 frames, I could do one picture of each of my girls on them.

Betcha can’t wait to see what I come up with…neither can I! Ha! I will let you know if they turn out into something really neat. I sure hope so!

*All inspiration pictures are courtesy of Pinterest.*

Yard Sale Success

Yard sales can be a lot of work, but they can also be very rewarding. We just had our first one ever. It was a mega baby yard sale. We kept every single baby item we acquired over the past 8 years! We had kept everything because we never knew if we were done having babies. We finally decided this year that we are complete with 2 kids and that we are going to bust out of our home if we don’t start simplifying our belongings.

Our sale was a success because I have been thinking about it for a long time and because I had some great help! My friend Sarah has had successful sales in the past and gave me lots of great advice. Thank goodness for mother nature too, because we had been in a triple digit heat wave for days, then it lowered for the weekend, and now it’s back up again. I have no idea how we managed to pick the perfect weekend, but we did!

Here are my tips for a successful yard sale:

Planning! I am definitely a planner. I decided that since this was a mega sale, I wanted to keep things simple by keeping my prices simple. Most clothing/shoes one set price, books/ movies one set price, small toys one set price. For very nice name brand clothing and holiday dresses I set up a hanging rack and set one price for anything on those racks.

Know how much stuff you have to set out and make sure you have enough tables . If you don’t have tables you can use old doors or plywood and set them on empty bins, tables , or sawhorses. I only had 3 tables, so I also used 3 doors which gave me 6 tables total! And that was just for clothes!! It was funny how many people asked “how many kids do you have?” haha…only 2!

Group like items together and categorize them. It helps to lay out your clothes in order by size. I had an abundance of clothes, so I had a table for each size. And labeled the tables so people could find the size they were looking for quicker. Instead of tagging each piece, I set a price so they would all be the same. I did the same for shoes, and put them in a bin under the corresponding clothing sizes…infant shoes under the infant clothing table. Then the tables were in order of size. Aside from clothing, organize other categories as well. Baby safety items grouped together, electronic toys together, stuffed animals together, etc.

For items that I wanted to price differently than others on the same table, or for “odd” items, I used prelabeled stickers that I picked up at the dollar store. In these packs, there are also blank stickers to fill in your own price, and “make offer” stickers in case you’re up for a little negotiating.

Have plenty of cash and change available. You don’t want to have to turn someone away because you don’t have the right change for them. Most people bring $20s and spend less than that. I got 2 rolls of quarters that I didn’t even have to open, but it was nice knowing I had them just in case.

Have plenty of plastic sacks to bag up purchases. Our Walmart has a large recycling container for this at the entrance, so I grabbed a bunch before my sale, and took the extras back afterwards.

Since I often have my kids with me when I’m out yardsaling, I saw this fabulous idea at another house that turned out to be very popular! I set out a bin of “freebies” in front of where you “check out”. I gathered small toys from past goody bags, and happy meals and made a “free to take” sign for it. Kids loved it; some of them just sat there and played the whole time while their parents shopped. Even adults took something to bring home to their kids.

One important thing we learned:

We were fairly prepared for this sale, but in the future, we will prepare throughout the year. Meaning as we find items to include in our next sale, we will tag them, price them, and put them in a designated spot for yard sale items. That way, when we are ready for our next sale, or if a friend or neighbor is having a sale and asks if anyone has anything to add, we will just pull the items out and be ready in no time!

More helpful info:

Some of my friends have found some local facebook groups where you can post items that are for sale and organize pickup for those items. There are atleast 10 in my area, and probably more that I haven’t discovered yet! My favorites are Baby Swap and Sell, and Yard Sale Junkies. So search Facebook for any local pages like this if you are looking for a used item to purchase, or if you are looking to sell some things. I started posting things a couple weeks before my sale, and made $100 even before my yard sale! And now I am working on selling things that did not go at the sale.

I won’t talk about tips for what to do after the sale, because I’m still in the middle of all the craziness. 🙂 The tables are still in my garage waiting to go back into bins. But a trip to Goodwill is in my future this week! And here is a link to some helpful info on how to determine your donation amount after your trip to Goodwill: Donation Value Guide.

Vacation 2012

We just returned from our 4th family vacation to Branson, MO. Ok, it’s been a few days, but it has taken me awhile to narrow down the 100 pictures we took. We get a lot of funny looks from some people when we tell them that this is where we like to vacation. Many people associate it with the older crowd, which is only partly fair. Yes, there is lots to do for the older crowds, but there is just as much to do for the younger crowd too! It has changed a lot in the past decade. We found a fantastic resort called Stillwaters Resort which is family-friendly in every way.  It is only 1 mile down the road from Silver Dollar City. It has 3 great pools, with slides and a waterfall. And access to the lake. So your front door is poolside and your back door is lakefront!

This is our vacation spot:

We like to go over the Fourth of July because Silver Dollar City has Kidsfest during this time which is always great for the kids.

During our time at Silver Dollar City we had breakfast with the Backyardigans! Both girls have grown up with them so they both love them.

For the 6 hour drive, I did a little more planning than I have in the past. I found lots of free printables to keep the kids busy in the car (in between DVDs of course).

Here are the games we played:

Alphabet Game

I Spy With My Little Eye

Slug Bug

Scavenger Hunt

Car Games

The Scavenger Hunts were from Mom’s Minivan. I printed one for my 7 year old, and there is a simpler, preschool one for my 3 yr old.

The Slug Bug Game, I Spy Game, and Alphabet game were all from Prepared Not Scared.

I also surprised my kids with 2 disposable Kodak cameras; one for underwater and one for everything else.

We spent a lot of time on the lake with my cousins. They have a boat and graciously invited us out with them. My husband and oldest daughter even took turns driving the boat! It was fun getting a taste of “life on the lake.”

and THIS is why I’m glad I blog…these two holding hands was the cutest thing ever!

This year we finally did something we’ve been wanting to do for awhile now…we visited the Titanic Museum. Emma learned a lot  in school since this year was the 100th anniversary. It was really neat! We were not allowed to take cameras in, so these are our pictures from outside. When you enter, you get a boarding pass with a real passenger’s name on it with a description about them. At the end of the tour, you enter the memorial room and find out if you survived…we all survived! John’s person was a first officer. Mine was a second class passenger from Kentucky. Emma’s was a first Class passenger from Paris. And Laila’s was a third class passenger from London who was on her way to New York ( with her wedding dress that she made!) to get married! It was humbling to read the stories, see the artifacts, and experience everything from how cold the water was on that night, to how steep the ship tipped, to walking up the million dollar recreated grand staircase!

After the Titanic, we hit the Tanger outlets and the girls spent their vacation money at the Disney store. I also got Emma a bunch of back to school clothes at Justice. Everything was 40% off…my kind of store!

Just a few souvenirs:

Before heading home, we spent some time at our Aunt June’s in Rockaway Beach. Cousin Summer was there so the girls played.

Now it is back to home sweet home. Hope you are having a wonderful summer!

Family Reunion

My mother-in-law organized a family reunion which turned out to be a fantastic event. It was originally going to be held at her brother’s home in the country pond-side. But with the triple digit heatwave, it was moved to the nice a/c church fellowship hall. We had tons of delicious food, some fun games, and of course, lots of catching up going on since it was the first one in about 9 years. I had mentioned to her that we should have some minute-to-win-it type games and, BAM, she put me in charge of games! Fun! So I planned 3 games that were appropriate for all ages.

Minute-to-win-it game supplies

Game #1: Face the Cookie

Place a cookie on your forehead. Using your facial muscles, work the cookie down your face into your mouth without dropping it.

Game #2: Balance the Fruit Loop

Place a popsicle stick in your mouth. Balance as many fruit loops on the end of the stick as you can without dropping them. I think the record was 7.

Game #3: Suck it Up (yes, I named it, ha!)

Place a straw in your mouth. Place the other end of the straw on a bean. Suck in to move the beans around the paper plate to form a face. This is NOT easy!

Various pictures:

The FOOD

The Kids table with arts/crafts

Youngest relative

Group Picture Time!

(You can click on the pictures to see them better.)

We left for vacation the morning after this reunion and just got home late last night. So guess what I’ll be working on next!