Me going green … and dragging my family with me, kicking and screaming!

Baby steps toward self sufficience and greenocity

From nearly trash to treasure! June 30, 2009

Filed under: frugal living,green living,recycling — razberiswrl @ 5:14 pm
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Soooo … I’ve always had a space issue in the kitchen.  It’s very poorly designed, and in order to have a full size table in there, I have to sacrifice a door.  There are 2 doors in my kitchen, one leads to the back yard, and the other leads to the garage.  If my chest freezer weren’t in the garage, sacrificing that door would be no big deal … but it is, and I get something out of that freezer nearly every day.

Anywho, we had a big ass table in there, and had to scoot it back and forth whenever we needed to use a door.  So, I’ve been on the lookout for a smaller table for quite some time.  Friday was my lucky day.  I ran across a listing on for a round tile top table with a leaf in nice condition for $15.  Yep.  FIFTEEN BUCKS.  CHEAP!  I jumped on it.

Here it is all disassembled (didn’t have the foresight to take a BEFORE before pic, LOL):

As is, it was livable.  There was no need to do anything really other than wipe it down and get on with life, but I wanted something a little bit different.  Something with jazz hands.  Or spirit fingers.  They are pretty much interchangeable … as long as one or the other is there, my life is good.  So, I went to Lowes and bought some stuff.

So … I taped off the tile and sanded like a mofo:

Then I painted!  And laquered, and let it dry …

Then I put it in my kitchen.  Perfecto!

Now I just need to figure out what to put in those pretty jars …

Oh, and yeah, I know, my chairs look like crap.  I know.  I know.  There’s a certain kitty cat that uses them for scratching posts.  I can’t imagine I will ever change him, so he can destroy those babies (they aren’t mine anyway, the chairs OR the cat, HA!), and I’ll continue to bide my time until I find a set of matching chairs that I can paint  … or not …


Feature a Friend day … May 25, 2009

Filed under: cleaning,cooking,frugal living,green living,recycling — razberiswrl @ 11:00 am
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While, I know that of the 10 visits I get per day, 9 of them probably already visit this blog daily … but anyway, I’m digging it today.   Her Deal of the Day is rockin’, and check out her post Look what I did! for a tutorial on DIY fancy soaps.  You don’t even have to BUY anything to make these nice scrubbing bubbles out of miscellaneous hotel bars lying around!  Talk about turning trash into treasure …  Love it!

Baby Spit is the New Black


… but not THAT green … (no boys allowed) May 5, 2009

Filed under: frugal living,green living,laundry,recycling — razberiswrl @ 10:37 am

I’m going there. Menstruation … HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!

Look, I’m all for cloth diapering, washable pads, and menstrual cups, but … this stuff???

Crocheted tampons!!

Rolled up baby socks!!



Whoa, compost? February 17, 2009

Filed under: gardening,green living,recycling — razberiswrl @ 10:58 pm

So, I posted the pics of my DIY bin the other day, right?  Well, as I was snipping asparagus and peeling cucumber this afternoon, I thought to myself  “Self?  It’s not too terribly cold today.  I should go check out that garbage and maybe add these scraps to it.  Yeah.  I think I’ll do that.”

And I did.

To refresh your memory, here’s what it looked like when I first started:

Here’s what I found (and keep in mind that I broke my damn camera screen while snow tubing the other day, so my pics are crappy caz I can’t see them till I download them.  UGH!):

It’s REALLY dark, and really wet/muddy looking, and a little bit stinky.  The wet part may come from water getting trapped in the can.  I realized recently that I probably should have put a couple drainage holes in the bottom … I’ll make A take care of that this weekend maybe.   The stinky part kind of smells like coffee, and I DID start the bin with between 5 and 10 lbs of coffee grounds that Starbucks gave me for free (psst:  Just go into any Starbucks and ask if they have used grounds, they will give them to you for your garden or whatever.  Pretty frikkin sweet, eh?), so, I guess that’s it.  And the fact that it’s pretty wet … probably pretty yucky.  Oh, and the egg shells don’t look to have broken down at all, they are the couple of really light brown spots on the right side of the bin.

So, I added some more lawn debris and the veggie scraps from my lunch, kicked it over for a little spin, and will keep adding to it until spring time.  We’ll see what happens!  I’m not sure I actually want to touch this stuff in the end though … ick.  Am I supposed to mix some dirt in too??


Form and function: Magazine holders made from cereal boxes February 15, 2009

Filed under: frugal living,green living,recycling — razberiswrl @ 3:10 pm
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I have a bit of a habit … it’s called Bon Appetit magazine.  I have every issue from the last 3 years (which is when I first subscribed).  Storage was becoming a problem though, and I consulted my friend, the organization WIZARD, to help me find a solution (you can find her under my blog roll: Modern-Simplicity).  She linked me to an article on or somewhere like that to make magazine holders out of cereal boxes and construction paper or gift wrap.  I took it a step further and used scrap booking paper.


empty cereal boxes


good glue that will bond paper to cardboard (I have some Aileen’s spray glue)

scrap booking paper, standard weight, not the thick stuff  (2 sheets per box, I used 12×12 size, I don’t think 8×10 would be big enough)

newspapers to protect your workspace (the spray glue goes EVERYWHERE)

So, just cut the top of the cereal box off to resemble commercial holders (sides slanted toward the front), then glue the  paper to the box, lining the edge of the paper up with the bottom edge of the box  (I do the front first, then the back that way the overlapped edge of the paper doesn’t catch when sliding the holder back into place), trim to leave about 1 inch at the top.  Cut notches in the overhanging paper at the corners so that paper can be folded over to make a smooth seam at the top of the box.  And that’s it!  Hmm.  I should take pictures of the steps the next time I make one … these instructions sound really confusing even though it’s totally not.  They seriously take under 5 minutes each from start to finish.

Finished product:

Beauty is clearly in the eye of the beholder, and you can see that I’m no perfectionist (but I DO want to redo that ONE, lol), so be as precise or as ‘eh, it’s good enough’ as you want.  Either way, your magazines will look so much nicer on your shelf, and easier to organize to boot!  AND, these are so easy to make that it’s no problem to whip another one up when you need it.  If you find yourself enamored with a particular paper design, it may be a good idea stock up in case the pattern is discontinued by the time you want to make your next holder.

The real beauty in this DIY project is that the savings are TREMENDOUS!  I don’t know if you’ve ever priced these things, but they run from about $5 and up at retail establishments.  The cost of this project is quite minimal.  If you do not already have the glue, that’s the greatest cost.  However, once you have it, it will last for many holders and can be used for lots of other projects too.  A little tip for buying the glue is to get the Michael’s, AC Moore or Joanne’s ad from the Sunday paper.  Typically there is a 40% off one regular priced item, and at least at Michael’s, the glue is rarely on sale, so a 4.99 item (about what the glue costs) becomes 2.99.  SCORE!  Also, scrapbooking paper frequently goes on sale at the same stores for 4 for $1.  So, the bottom line is that if you have the glue, this project can cost as little as 50 cents!  Even if you don’t have the glue already, the total project price is far cheaper than retail.  It’s a win-win really.


I promised pics of my homemade composter nearly a year ago … February 9, 2009

Filed under: frugal living,gardening,green living,recycling — razberiswrl @ 12:13 pm
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I’m SO embarrassed.  Here you go:


outdoor trashcan w/lid (under 10 bucks)

small bungee cords, 3 or 4 (2 or 3 bucks)

drill with that attachment thingy that boors holes (about 1 inch)

food scraps, leaves, etc

Just drill some holes in the trashcan sides and make sure 3 or 4 holes line up on the can and lid so you can thread the bungee cords through to keep the lid on nice and tight.  To use, just throw kitchen and yard scraps in, make sure the lid is on good and tight, then just kick that bad bear over and roll it around on the ground!  How easy is that??  You don’t have to touch a thing!!!

Just kick it over and roll baby roll!

Not too much comes out of the holes … just a few coffee grinds:

All full of pretty garbage!

I wonder what it all looks like now …  I haven’t tended it since late summer.  It’s too cold now to look though.   Stay tuned.


In the interest of “re-use” in the garden April 29, 2008

I’ve gotta sucker A‘s aunt’s husband into letting us borrow his tiller in a couple of weeks to start my garden plot, but in the meantime I wanted to go ahead and start my seeds inside.  An interweb acquaintance mentioned using plastic disposable cups to start hers, and I thought that was a great idea.  Then I thought “Wait? Why would I go an buy something JUST to throw it away in a few weeks?” THEN I read that another interweb acquaintance has a home day care or something, and she used the cups from the little juice thingies they drink (think back to elementary school, plastic tub thing with a foil lid …).  EUREKA!!!  So I asked M if she would be willing to snatch all her preschool friends’ juice cups when they were done with them for a day or two.  She was definitely in.  I asked her teacher if M would be able to do that, and she kind of balked until I said “I don’t care if they’re sticky, they can just throw them in this bag and I’ll wash them when we get home.”  That was good enough for her, and she even offered yogurt cups too!

I was a little shocked when I was handed a bag full of cups that afternoon (well, this was yesterday).  The bag was half full of a lovely, fragrant juice/yogurt mixture.  MMMMM!!!  I didn’t expect the possibility of kids throwing their barely eaten yogurt in the bag!  Eh.  No big.  They rinsed off easy enough, and I have plenty of cups to use to start my seeds now.  I didn’t even buy anything!