Triple Clicks

Monday, December 28, 2015

DIY Essential Oils Storage - Guest Post

I have used essential oils for several years now. I have gotten oils from different companies, and I've had times where I use them more than other times. I also use tinctures (some homemade, some purchased), homeopathics, herbs in capsule form, and random other natural cures (like raw honey for example). I have a strong passion to avoid pharmaceuticals, and my family hasn't needed a doctor, other than for stitches [eeeeek] for over 5 years now!
I recently signed up with Young Living Essential oils, and fell in love with the quality of their oils over what I had previously been using! I could tell a HUGE difference, in the smell and in how well they worked. But as I looked for how to store my oils, I was having a lot of trouble, as everything is SO expensive. So, what's a mama to do? Pinterest - of course. What else? Only I wasn't coming up with much that didn't require power tools, and as much fun as those are,  I wasn't in the mood to go ask hubby or my dad for their "toys". I just wanted something I could do, in my home, without their ... errrr.... "Help" (??) yeah. Their help. ... ok, well, anyway, I wanted something that I could do on my own.

So I kept searching. Pinterest now adds pins that it thinks you may like - so of course there were some "off topic" - which is EXACTLY where I found my inspiration! (Have I mentioned how much I love Pinterest?!) So a post for "lipstick storage" popped up - and while the title had me skimming past, the photo caught my eye so I clicked the link. It showed how to use cardstock to make dividers in a drawer for lipstick. I thought, ok, I'm totally adapting this and using it for my oils!
Next, I scavenged the house - I'm good at THIS,  partly because I can't seem to figure out how to throw crap away ... ... I'm not a hoarder, but I hoard some things some times. .. Anyway.... I found a shoebox, and then I cut off the sides of a box that was bound for the trash bin, I got out my rotary cutting mat and my craft knife and set to work, having no real clue as to what I was doing.

I started my daughter with the craft paints and the shoebox - she's my artist.

And I started in on the cutting the dividers. My son decided to help.... "help" (?) yeah. Help.

It really was quite simple. And I impressed myself.  Just measure your oil bottles - for me I didn't measure the largest I have (I buy lemon oil in 4 oz bottles and lavender in 2 oz bottles, and I have some repurposed 2 oz bottles that I've used for my homemade blends, with carrier oils - pre mixed, to just grab and use! Wonderful for my "use on the chest for congestion" blend) ... Back to the point - after measuring, you can mark how large you want each section to be. I made mine 1 1/2 inches, but if you only use 15ml or 5 ml bottles you may want yours to be smaller.
Then measure how tall your bottles are and decide if you want half of them in the divider, or the whole thing, and if you're measuring for multiple bottle sizes, you may want to use your smallest bottle for this size. This will be how wide to cut your dividers. Then the slots will be 1/2 way up each piece.

After I fit them all together to make sure they worked, I painted. Things are so much cuter with a bit of craft paint, don't you think? Well. I do.
(I found 1 of the side pieces under everything as I cleaned up -- I might go back and paint it to match. I think my creativity may be done for awhile though lol)

  (please ignore the background *cringe*)

 (again with the background *eeeeek*)

Didn't Sierha do an excellent job painting?! I knew she would!!

(ugh .... won't even ask again that you ignore that background :-) )

Now I need to order some labels, so I can find my oils... because now I can't see the side of the bottles. A few different companies have these for sale - I even saw some on Amazon.

So, for now at least, I have all of my oils in one spot. I do keep getting more oils, though, so I'm sure I'll need another one sooner rather than later.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Saving Money on Christmas

So many people have money issues around this time of year and we are no exception. So here's a few tips on saving money over Christmas. 

-Save up during the year.  This seems like a no brainer, right? I know it's easier said than done when you are living paycheck to paycheck, but if you can even save $5 a paycheck through the year, that will give you a good head start on money for presents or extras during the holidays.  Many banks have a 'Christmas account' for this very reason.   Some people will buy the presents throughout the year and stash them somewhere. Either way you choose, it will make it so the entire amount isn't hitting you all at one time. 

-Take advantage of the sales.  While I have to admit, the sales seem to be getting worse each year,  you can still get some usefulness out of them.  We had our toy list and went shopping on Black Friday and Cyber Monday for the presents.   

-Consider Alternatives.  Instead of buying something brand new from Toys R Us or another store, check Ebay.  Keep an eye on Amazon sales-they had some great ones leading up to Black Friday this year.  Instead of buying the name brand, look for a different brand that is just as good. While I know this won't work with all the things (Transformers are huge in our house right now-got a good thing to buy an off brand, been there, done that), there are some things it will work with.  Instead of an iPod, consider Sony brand.  I have a Sony mp3 player and LOVE it-especially for 1/3 of the cost.  For computers or other electronics, consider looking for the equivalent in an up and coming brand (I bought a Toshiba computer YEARS ago before many people used them at a fraction of the cost they are now).   If somebody on your list loves crafts, wait for the sales at your favorite craft store, I'm told Hobby Lobby had some great sales store wide and JoAnn's always has SOMETHING on sale.  Also consider homemade gifts, depending on the gifts and what you have on hand, this might not always be cheaper-but it can definitely be more personalized! 

-Don't forget about the dollar stores!  While we didn't get the main gifts from the dollar stores, we are utilizing them for the stocking stuffers.  

-Don't underestimate the power of memories.  We didn't have a lot of presents when I was young. Christmas especially was never something my parents went all out on like my friend's families.. but I cherish the memories we made instead of the things we got.  Making cookies with mom, driving around looking at lights, singing Christmas carols, decorating the tree.... It's the little things they will remember, not the stuff. 

And most importantly (for your checkbook anyway)

-MAKE A BUDGET.  Decide on a number, whether it's an overall or per kid, decide how much you can afford to spend and choose the presents within that price. The past years we've done $20-$25 per kid, then a little more for us... For the most part, we are both in on finding the presents for each other. We are both practical people and want something we can use so it works for us.  Our stocking stuffers are the only surprise this year lol.   Next year we have decided we will make an overall budget (and save up during the year) and stay within that number.  The older kid toys do cost a little more, and babies or toddlers are just as satisfied with what nobody else is playing with after they get their new toys as they are with the box and wrapping paper.  

I hope these tips help somebody.  Have a Merry Christmas!


Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Christmas Stockings

Woohoo! Got two stockings done!  I started last January or February with Eva's, then went on to Andrew's. I'm now working on crosstitching the front part of Grace's.  We bought the fabric, which is just a Christmas red cotton for the backings when we bought the pattern book and Aida cloth. I did forget to buy red thread, but I have maroon, so figured it would work just fine. 

So here's how I did the stocking part of the stocking. 

Two down! Five to Go! 

 This is the outline to tell me what to cross stitch where.  I added 1/4 inch to it for seam allowance, which I didn't end up needing, so when I get Grace's down, I'll not do that. 

This is the finished crossstitched design.  I added a 1/4 inch seam allowance before I cut, with Grace's I'll add a half inch. 

I put my fabric and my aida cloth right sides together pinned and sewed all but the top edge.

 Then I took my zig zag scissors and trimmed the extra red fabric so there wasn't as much in the seams when I turned it right side out. 

 The back half of the stocking, I did a rolled hem to stop the fraying since my sewing machine doesn't do a zig zag stitch. 

 Then again I pinned the right sides together and sewed around the edge.  I added some lacy ribbon for the hook part for when I hang them. 

 I was using the edge of my foot on my machine to make sure the seam was even all the way around.

And here we are.  I did the hook backwards on Andrew's, but it should work just fine. 

Now all we need is command hooks to hang them on the wall. :) 


Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Baby Sewing List

Since I'm about half way done with this pregnancy, I'd say it's about time I start on my sewing list.  

So here goes my list of what needs done at least, along with a few links I've saved on Pinterest for patterns. 

-Make the baby quilt.  I do have some material picked out for this, but I'm still on the the hunt through my scraps for more.  This is going to be my first real quilt I've made, so things could get a little interesting. 

-Make prefold diapers.  I have an awesome friend that sews (much more experience than I am, so she is helping me) she already made a bunch of diapers for me from this pattern..  This pattern will use up a lot of the old clothes we have sitting around that nobody wears anymore.  I already have the covers, but my diapers fell apart with Grace and the prefolds or flats fit a little newborn butt a lot easier than the All In Ones I currently use.  I'm shooting for 4 dozen, that will make sure I have around two days worth. 

-Make nursing pads.  For this, I'll either enlist the help of my friend, or take the stuff to my mom's.  Guess we'll see how the winter goes.. A zig zag stitch on a machine is a must, and as much as I love my old one, it just doesn't do the job.  I've got a pattern pinned, but I know I already have on printed out from Hillbilly Housewife blog that I love.  I made two dozen when I was pregnant with Grace, but they seem to have gone the way of socks in the dryer-nobody knows!!! So here's the basics... You want three layers of flannel, one layer of fleece.  Take a cereal bowl, lay the top side down and trace around it.. then make a pie shaped cut out of it (this will contour it and also give you scraps for stuffing homemade stuffed animals or a pillow).  You want to put all four pieces together and zig zag the 'pie' ends together first, make sure you get them all.  Then zig zag around the edge and you're good to go.  This may not seem like much, but I had to really leak to soak through.  I'm gonna make another two dozen of these, because I leak, and I can never have enough nursing pads. :) 

-Make Nursing Bras. Yes, you read that right. But no, I won't show you how lol.  I have attempted this, many times in fact and they never come out... So I'm sending this project to my friend.  Because she looked at the instructions and said 'oh that's easy'. LOL  So I'm buying regular, comfy bras, sending her my stretched out and broken nursing bras for the hardware and letting her deal with it lol!! Here's the pattern, though. 

-Make Nursing Tanks.  Call me crazy, but I'm going to try it anyway. lol  I have a ton of tank tops sitting in a box.. I much prefer to be covered and not have to worry about showing skin-really the only time I do layers constantly is when I'm nursing.  I have on boughten nursing tank and I LOVE it... So here's hoping.  It's really the same method as the nursing bra-except I'll have to buy a package of those fasteners. 

-Make Post Partum Pads.. Now, I do have some disposables that I will probably use the first few days, but I don't see them making it past there.  I LOVE my light days, and once I figured out what I was doing, they were easy peasy.  I already have a pattern cut out, just need to dig through the scraps and find the correct material (cotton, flannel and maybe a layer of fleece). Here's the pattern I'll be going off of as far as layers. 

A few things for fun, if I have  time and material. 

-Make cloth wipes.  I already use towels, but something is just cute about having 'fancy' wipes lol.  Yeah, I'm weird.  Here's a pattern. 

-Make some baby toys. Now this one, I have a little more time as baby won't need toys right away.. But I've been seeing this pattern for awhile and keep wanting to do it. 

That's everything on my Pinterest board, so that must be my whole list, right? LOL  I have to finish Christmas stockings before I try that though.  

Are you sewing anything right now? Let me know in the comments.