Tuesday, November 24, 2015

DIY Gift Wrap Caddy

We make a lot of our own rustic-modern-industrial furniture, and everything has wheels on it for easy cleaning.

This is a great idea for organizing, storing, and accessing all your wrapping accessories. See here for tutorial.

Tip: save money on wheels by using the ones off an inexpensive moving caddy.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Upcycled Message Board

I keep forgetting that I can do this with trays that I find at thrift stores. Not enough time and so many ideas! This is just an old tray with chalk paint applied to the flat surface.

Credit for picture.

DIY chalkboard paint tutorial here.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

DIY Candy Wreath

DIY candy wreath with clearance candy.Very clever!

See here.

I saw one of these for sale on Etsy. Excellent way to make a little holiday cash.

Friday, November 06, 2015

Decent Savings Site: Hip2Save

Just got two great online deals via Hip2Save on kitty litter and a plugin charger. I downloaded their app onto my Kindle, so very helpful for not missing savings at Target and Amazon, among others.

Highly recommended.

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Cool Weather, Smores, and a Homemade Fire Pit

It finally cooled off and stopped raining, so we were able to build a fire in our homemade fire pit and make smores.

It's not as aesthetically pleasing as it was ten years ago, but it functions beautifully.
It's a pit lined and stacked with broken concrete from my neighbor's driveway demolition. I have a thrifted oven rack that I lay across for cooking outside, also a big outdoor thrifted roaster pan with lid.

We burn off found and salvaged fallen tree limbs, twigs, leaves, and paper recycling before we buy any new wood.

I burned off a lot of ivy on the bed behind it, so it's looking dismal. I'm thinking of adding some native berry bushes there instead.

Happy autumn to my northern hemisphere friends.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Hay for Natural Garden Fertilizer in the Fall

It's almost that time of year again. Time to cover your garden beds for the winter with hay, and you'll be ready to combat spring weed emergence, and the hay breaks down naturally for fertilizer.

Simply turn it into the soil in the spring, or make spaces between it for mature plants.

Save some money and check out Craigslist or other local used sales listings for hay. We usually get ours for half price or free from community organizations after they are done with bales used for hay rides in October.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Bookshelves Overflowing!

Putting more books in my Etsy store. We have to weed out some books and make room for new ones, especially since I'm heading to a book sale on Saturday.

I've got a few academic books to list: spelling, English, and history. I should get those up to tomorrow.

It's so hard to part with them, but we need to work on some new skills. We've been using apps and ebooks quite a bit for school, but nothing beats a real book!

We've always had an interest in different cultures, so those items will be listed as well. As souvenirs from the states and other countries are used for studies, I'll be passing them on in my shop.

These knick-knacks, tourist books and pamphlets are so useful for creating interest and extended learning, and helpful for memory when covering history and social studies.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

How to Fix Loose Book Pages

I'm learning how to repair books with acid free glue and book tape. Great way to extend the life of our children's books and/or repair ones I pick up secondhand.


Children's Books at Etsy

Working hard at getting books listed in my Etsy Shop. Please stop by and have a look. I still have a bookcase full of educational books to list!

See sidebar for shop.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Anne of Green Gables Free Audiobook With Cast of Narrators

Surprised to find a quality audiobook with a cast at Librovox(free and public domain audiobooks)! Very well narrated, and all character voices are well matched except Diana Barry who is narrated by a person with the voice of a grandmother, haha. This is only a minor issue as Marilla Cuthbert  and Anne are fabulous.

See here for download and playback audio.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Free Kids/Children's Storybooks Online

Cute stories at this site. I just read through The Brave Little Pirate...funny. Stories for young children, older children, and young adults. See here.

The SAG Foundation has created some free read-along/read-aloud versions of popular children's books here.

Vintage illustrated children's books in color here from The Rosetta Project.

Aligned with Common Core standards, free contemporary online books here.

U.S. Library of Congress free books.

Young Explorer National Geographic free books.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Value Tales Children's Book Series

I stumbled upon these 1980's value tale books a few months ago when my young daughter wanted a book on Helen Keller. This series which covers over 40 values, as told through the lives of historical figures, was published in the 80's. The target audience looks to be early elementary as either a read aloud or independently by good readers.

They are fairly long with over 50 pages and large illustrations that take up much of the page, perfect for a young child with limited attention, or one who is still developing the confidence to read. The short paragraphs on each page aren't as overwhelming when broken down on single pages with large illustrations.

The biographies are detailed and the value repeated often, but in a mild effective way and not condescendingly so. Positive and uplifting for young children and highly recommended for an introduction to historical figues and positive values.

We've read The Value of Honesty(Confucius) and The Value of Determination(Helen Keller). The other books in the series are listed on the last page of every book. My daughter just asked for another, The Value of Kindness(Elizabeth Fry). I think we'll end up with them all.

I found mine on Amazon for a penny plus $3.99 shipping. Good deal. Ebay may have them even more cheaply in a lot.

Complete list of tales.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Vintage Children's Party Invitation Instructions


First of all, for the invitations. Choose your prettiest note paper, and don’t forget to write very plainly the date of the party. If you are just going to have a little afternoon tea, you can simply write,
Dear Daisy,—
Will you come to my house to tea on Friday afternoon, June sixth, at three o’ clock? I hope you can.
19 Elm Street.
June first.
Or if you are going to have a larger party, you can write:
Miss Dorothy Manners requests the pleasure of your presence at her home on Friday afternoon, June sixth, from four until eight o’clock.
19 Elm Street.
June first.
Be sure to send your invitations in time for your friends to write replies. Mother will need to know just how large a birthday cake to bake, and how much ice cream to freeze.

All free to use and in public domain. From: Project Gutenberg's When Mother Lets Us Give a Party, by Elsie Duncan Yale, 1909.

If you have a party and don’t bother mother,
I'm sure she'll allow you to soon have another

Vintage DIY Children's Instructions for An Indoor Garden Party


For the indoor garden party, you will need a large sheet for a screen, and plenty of pictures cut from magazines and catalogues. These pictures must be of houses, barns, stables, trees, animals, anything that will have place in an outdoor scene. You will also need a paper of pins, some large sheets of white paper, and, if you like, a couple of little gifts for prizes, such as a box of crayons or a box of paints.
After your friends have come, arrange the sheet in place, and pin in the center a large picture of a house which has been cut out. Now let your guests help themselves to the pictures which you have cut out, each taking one. For example, one child may have a barn, another a rose bush, another a dog kennel. Blindfold each in turn, and let him pin the picture on the sheet. When all have finished you will have a queer-looking landscape, for a dog kennel may be on the roof and a rose bush growing from a lawn mower!
After this game, get out your sheets of paper, scissors, and pictures which you have ready. Let each one try making a garden with his eyes open! Paste a house in the center of the paper, and arrange trees, bushes, fountain, etc., about it as[20]tastefully as possible. Then after mother has decided which is the best, you can give the prize which you have bought.
You can serve your refreshments from a little table just as you would at a garden party.

About Me

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I'm a homeschooling mom of two, a teen and a little. I hope this collection of mine helps you as much as it has helped us. I have an Etsy shop here:http://www.etsy.com/people/Alexandra66 And a blog: http://happyheartsathome.blogspot.com/