Sunday, January 31, 2010

This week's shopping list & organzing ideas

I came across this while I was looking through my blog roll and I've already started a list of things we can get rid of.  It's hard to do with 2 littles running/crawling around and since our house is SO small and every floor creaks...well, you get the idea. 

So this week I'm in search for:

Something to put on top of the microwave to hold our paper clips, lip balm, rubber bands and the such. Now that I think about it, I'd like something like this for the van too....hmmmmmmmmm
I'm also looking for 2 bedrails for my parent's house for their spare bed.  My mom likes to watch A once a week and she naps over there.  She's currently in the play pen but it's getting too small for her.
I'll also be on the lookout for hoodies for baby J.  His 2 American Apparel ones are getting a bit small, even though I love them to pieces.  And no, this isn't my son, it's a stock picture from AA's website :)

For me, I'm looking for workout videos.  I'm pretty sure I'm going to move my sewing area (a very small corner of our bedroom) downstairs and use that area to workout in during nap time.

So that's all.  Have a great week everyone :D

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Garden dilemma

So, I've never successfully grown a garden.  I've tried and than given up and now my hubby seems to think I'm a little crazy for thinking of growing a huge garden this year.  BUT, this year is different.  I've learned a lot of where our foods comes from and the awful things mainstream farmers do to our food.  It's bad people, REAL bad.  Anyways, we live on an urban 1/2 acre so I've got plenty of room for a large garden.  Here is what I'm going to grow this year:

Bush beans
Lettuce mix
Sugar snaps
Hot peppers
Sweet peppers
Spinach *I'm still not sure
Butternut squash
Tomatoes (I think I'll be buying these as plants)

I'm still looking for organic eating corn

All are coming from organic seeds I'm going to buy from Uprising Seeds

So, what's my dilemma?  Well, I'll need to purchase some items to grow a garden, like plastic containers for seedlings, poles, fencing (to keep the dogs out), tomato cage thingys, etc etc.  I will be looking on CL for all of it, but I'm unsure of how lucky I'll be.  Regardless, I think these items can be allowed since I'll be growing much of our own food.  Okay, maybe not, but I'm going to allow it :)

Tonight or tomorrow I'll dive more into our mainstream food system

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Today's finds

Today I ran to Thrifty Living w/ 3 non-stick skillets I don't use anymore because I've switched to cast iron.  They gave me a discount on my purchase so today's total was $3.46!

I got a Style & Co cotton skirt that is really beautiful, for me.  I'll be dying it another color because I know that I'll stain it the first day I wear it $.99

I got Miss A a retro twin sheet for $1.99 and I got the garden thingy (yes, I should know the technical name, but I don't) for $.99

Sunday, January 24, 2010

This week's shopping list

We aren't in dire need of any of these things, but if I find a deal, I'll snatch it up

King size fitted sheet (our spare's elastic is toast)
Twin size fitted sheet (the one my mom gave us for A's new bed doesn't fit right)
An 8x10 photo frame for part of my hubby's V-day present
A present or 2 for my mother-in-law's upcoming birthday
A pair of running pants for myself (my other pair got trashed this week when we re-did our living room floor, whoops)
And of course toys for J that are NOT made in China (for his upcoming birthday)

Friday, January 22, 2010

A Challenge

I've decided to challenge myself even more for my son's upcoming 1st birthday.  I'm going to scour my local thrift stores in the coming weeks for toys that are NOT made in China.  This will prove to be tough, I know, but I'm excited.  I'm confident that I can find a handful of items before his birthday.

A little back story...

We purged our home of 90% of the made in China toys one night this week.  With the lead, cadmium and who knows what else that is tainting toys these days, I've had enough.  Our son is the type of baby to put anything and everything in his mouth.  So, out the with old and in with the new :)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Today's finds

Today I got some much needed things for my ever growing toddler.  5 Carter's leggins $.89/each.  These will work for both now and then in spring/summer as capris.  I also got her a nice pair of thick mittens...if we get any snow :( $.89

I got myself a Gap wool scarf $.89 and a reversible cranberry/asphalt fleece zip up (perfect for running) $.2.45

I got all these deals at my local Salvation Army

I also visited a newer thrift store today *Shele's Bargain Barn* in Greenacres.  I went in and it smelled of smoke and she was selling expired car seats.  Both are against the law and I've reported her to the appropriate gov't offices. 

Monday, January 18, 2010

Gift giving

This is a sticky part for many people who hear about The Compact.  I'm already starting to think about this year's birthdays and holidays (I'm a big planner at heart).  First will be my wonderful mother-in-law, then my son's 1st bday, then my hubby's bday and the list goes on.

These are the options I've come up with so far:
Used items: DVDs, clothing, tools, CDs, books and much more
Experiential gifts: Museum membership, movie tickets, lift tickets to a mountain
Donations: made to a group/cause/etc in the gift receivers name

*Please feel free to add to any of these in your comments*

So, I'm sitting here contemplating my son's birthday.  To be honest, I don't want any new toys, and to be REALLY honest, I don't want anymore plastic toys.  It's become more and more obvious that China is trying to kill us (well at least the corporations).  Whether it be through toothpaste, lead poisoning, or the newest cadmium levels in children's toys and jewelry.  I don't want all that junk in our house.  My daughter just had her 2nd birthday around Thanksgiving and we got LOTS of toys.  Now, don't get me wrong, I'm very thankful and feel very loved.  I've gotta think about how I want to word his invitation...

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


I've found while researching The Compact that some people see this as deprivation. While I can understand their ankle-deep thoughts, I urge them to look deeper. To ask themselves "Did I really need to buy that brand new pair jeans?"  We won't go without this year, trust me.  That's not what The Compact is about.

It's just about being aware of your purchases. Maybe saying to yourself "This week, I need to buy a birthday present for T, a new tablecloth, and a baby shower gift." Well, once you get into the mindset of going to thrift stores, it will be easy to save money, cut down on packaging, waste and find clothes that fit because they've already been washed. Yes, that's my current favorite. See, I have a long torso and well, I'm no high school varsity soccer girl anymore, if you know what I mean. So, a super bonus about buying clothes 2nd hand, shirts in particular, is that I can tell if they're long enough by just holding them up to me. When I buy a shirt new, it likely will shrink and then it will look hideous on me :/

While searching around the interwebs and my favorite blogs, I've come across these books. They are all on my library waiting list so I can't attest for how good they are, but they come recommended. I will update as I finish them :)

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle
Living Simply with Children
Simplicity Parenting

Today's finds

Well, Baby J needed a crib bumber that wasn't pink ;) So, I went to my 2nd fave thrift store, Thrifty Living, this afternoon and scored a white one for $1.99. Plus, I got Miss A a cream turtleneck for .99 and a set of silver measuring spoons for .99

On top of that, the owner, gave me 2 10% off coupons to use before the end of the month. I don't know if I'll need anything before then, but if I do, I can save some dough.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

The weekend

Well every household/person can have a list of exclusions (meaning things they can buy new).

Mine are:
Hygiene items
Safety items (Car seats, child safety items)
Vehicle maintenance items (however we do shop at the junk yard for certain items)

This weekend we did a lot of rearranging. Recently my awesome handyman husband added on a bedroom to our tiny little house. Our youngest has been stuck in a very small living space as his bedroom since birth. This past weekend we finally moved him in. He got his sissy's crib and mattress, and we moved his changing table/dresser and rocker in there. It's a LOVELY room with 2 nice big windows, a great paint color and nice soft used carpet (we got free on Craigslist).

Most of the items were bought new to build the room from scratch. Honestly, I'm pretty crunchy, but until now I was unaware of how much I was wrapped up in consumerism.

Since we moved the crib out of A's room, she needed a bed. My mom kept my beautiful twin solid wood frame for us to use for our kids. That day had come, but we had to buy a new mattress. We went to Mattress Land and were honestly looking to spend no more than $120 out the door. We got talking to the salesman who was very nice and he showed us their brand ($149) and the clearance one ($99). We felt the clearance one and it was just springs covered in a plasticky-type fabric. No padding, nothing. The hubbs and I looked at each other and I said "I wouldn't want to sleep on this." So, we got the more expensive one. It will last longer, the hubbs or I can lay on it with her w/o feeling like we're breaking it, etc etc. It's an all-around wonderful mattress that will last her several years. My mom also saved my twin sheets, so that's what A is sleeping on.

This week's new purchases:
A twin mattress for our daughter's "Big girl bed" $149
A waterproof mattress cover $39
A bedrail for her bed $27
2 curtain rods for baby boy's new room $6
Total: $221 *cringe*

This week's used purchases:
3 long sleeve shirts for baby boy $4
4 pairs of socks $1
2 shirts for moi $3
Total: $8 *yay*

We still need to purchase some shelving for baby boy's room, and I've been searching CL for it, but I'm coming up short. I'll keep looking tho.

I'm feeling guilty for buying so many new things already...

Friday, January 8, 2010

Articles on The Compact

Sunset Magazine

SF Gate



Star Tribune


Why am I blogging about this?
Well, let's see. I enjoy documenting my life. It seems that after we put the kids to bed at night I want to feel like an adult. The Compact is something I feel strongly about, something I want to be apart of, something I want to share with others.

What is The Compact?
From Wikipedia

'The Compact is a social and environment movement where members promise not to buy anything new for a year. It was started in San Francisco. [1] The movement began as a challenge among 10 friends in 2006. [2]

Goals of The Compact:

  1. to go beyond recycling in trying to counteract the negative global environmental and socio-economic impacts of U.S. consumer culture, to resist global corporatism, and to support local businesses, farms, etc;
  2. to reduce clutter and waste in our homes (as in trash Compact-er);
  3. to simplify our lives (as in Calm-pact)

Members of The Compact are only allowed to buy underwear, food, and health and safety items such as brake fluid and toilet paper. During their one year vow the Compact members must shop only at second hand stores. They can also barter or simply share with each other for goods they want. One's trash is another's treasure. Compacters use or freegle where they post what they want and what they are giving away so that they can avoid buying new and still get the goods they want. is another source of used goods.

Members of the Compact frown upon material consumerism. However, they are allowed to use services such as movies, theaters, museums, massages, haircuts, and music downloads. There is a difference between wanting and needing and Compact Members know the difference. There are currently thousands of members and about 100 new members join every day. In San Francisco local Compacters also enjoy the Really Really Free Market (RRFM). RRFM gathers in Dolores Park park to give away material goods they no longer want and what they want or to share skills and talents. Compacters prefer to shop at local food markets rather than supermarkets because they wish to support the local community.

Who am I and why do I care about The Compact?
I'm a wife and mama. We try to live a frugal lifestyle and I want to teach my children how to be frugal. Frugality may have a negative connotation to some, but it really doesn't need to. To us, it just means that we need to be aware of what we're buying and always try to get the best deal.

What will I share in this blog?
Well, first and foremost I will be sharing my thrift store finds. I live just a few minutes from the best thrift store ever. It's a Salvation Army Bargain Center. I love this place and well, so does my mom. We go about once a week and score some good deals. My kids are the biggest part of why I shop 2nd hand. They're always growing and when one them hits a growing spurt, than I need to stock up. This week alone I've found 3 items from Hanna Andersson. These are EXPENSIVE pieces and they all look like new and the total for all 3 was $4.67! I also donate all our clothing and household items. I also feel really good about donating and buying from "The Army" as my mom and I call it now because they are a Christian organization and that is something very dear to my heart.

Secondly, I'll be sharing my struggles, my triumphs, and probably how I explained to others my participation. Some people just don't understand why I would do this...