DIY: Trash and Recycling Center

trashrecyclingcenter

The trash bin with a butcher block we've built by hacking a kitchen cart with wire baskets 6 years ago started to fall apart. I really liked the fact that trash can was hidden and we additional space to use as either a cutting board when cooking or just counter top space. In the meantime, our needs have changed. City of Chicago brought back the … [Read more...]

DIY: Dry erase whiteboard wall

DIY Dry erase white board

I've been planning to turn one of the large walls in our basement into a dry erase whiteboard for a long time. I even purchased a set of dry erase paint, black chalkboard paint and magnetic primer but as always things got in the way. When I started to get ready and finally paint the wall, I read that dry erase paints had an expiration date and … [Read more...]

10 uses of headlamp indoors

Uses of headlamp

What do you use when you need extra, focused lighting: Flashlight? Lantern light? Smartphone light? Before smartphones, all we knew were flashlights. They are handy but hey always occupy one hand, leaving you only one hand to work with. I always knew people used headlamps outdoors in the dark but until a friend of ours got one for my son for his … [Read more...]

10 must-have products for parents on the go

10 must have products for parents(1)

I feel like I'm always chasing someone or someone is chasing me. And this is with only 2 kids. Sometimes, I feel like my mind is left behind while I'm running around like a chicken with its head cut off. Somehow, most of the time, I manage to pull off looking as if I have my act together with the help of few life-saving products. For me, … [Read more...]

How to turn flat sheets into fitted sheets

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Fitted bed sheets are one of my favorite modern inventions. It annoys me to my core when flat sheets slip, get crumpled at the corner of the bed and I find myself on the bare mattress in the morning. When I buy a single bed sheet I always opt for fitted ones. However, I also buy duvet covers as a set and most of the bed sheets included in the sets … [Read more...]

Upcycle: Sweatpants to leggings

Sweatpants upcycle

My daughter has been wearing only leggings for quite a long time. She doesn't wear jeans, any type of fabric pants or sweatpants. She prefers tight and soft fabrics. That's fine during fall and spring but leggings are not cold-weather clothes. Definitely not for Chicago cold. Even though I consider myself a laid-back mama when it comes to kids' … [Read more...]

DIY: Hairdressers cape with window

Hairdressers cape with window

I cut everyone's hair in our household. I have a small kit including Conair 21-piece haircut kit and a hairdressers cape. I'm fairly quick but kids love to read books when I'm cutting their hair. Then hair clippings fall on to the book. It's annoying and hard to get rid of all the hair from the pages. I decided to put a clear vinyl window on the … [Read more...]

DIY: Laptop Stand for Fitness Equipment

DIY Fitness Equipment laptop stand

I had purchased this Gazelle Edge Elliptical Trainer a while ago to keep me moving indoors during winter. I like it better compared to regular treadmills. It's easy on the knees. I sometimes listened to music or podcasts while I use it but I wanted to read a book or work on my laptop while I ran on Gazelle. It has an odd shape so you cannot … [Read more...]

DIY: Bedside organizer caddy with printable pattern

Bedside organizer caddy

We still have bunk beds in our children's room. They don't have bedside tables to put their things on. They like to read and write. My daughter needs a place to put her eyeglasses away and likes to mark her calendar. My son needs a place to put his bedtime medicine. I have been planning to make this bedside organizer caddy for a long time. In this … [Read more...]

DIY: Reupholstering the old office chair

reupholsteringofficechair2

We have an old office chair that is pretty sturdy but very uncomfortable. The seat cover has worn off and the cushion was flattened. I was having pain in my tailbone after sitting on this chair for a short while. Instead of throwing it out and buying a brand new one, I decided to reupholster the old office chair. This is what it looked like … [Read more...]

How to prevent knee holes in pants

preventkneeholes

My son's pants never survive more than a month. It doesn't matter whether he is wearing jeans, sweat pants or cargo pants, knees get ripped within few weeks. Considering my son's growth rate, reinforced knee jeans are not that economical. Patching knees isn't easy either. I decided to do something to stop pants' knees from getting ripped. I got … [Read more...]

DIY: Chicken Waterer from Beverage Cooler

ChickenWatererCooler

In order to avoid any illnesses that other birds might bring over by using our chicken's waterer, I decided to make a waterer with nipples. I didn't use the water pipe to attach nipples because, first we only have 2 hens and the effort would not be worth it. Second, we don’t have a clean water source near our coop. I decided to use a beverage … [Read more...]

How to grow potatoes in a reusable bag

PlantGrowPotatoesinaBag

This year, I wanted to try out growing potatoes in my garden. I had a reusable potato growing bag that I got for a buck last year. I would have purchased more, if I had known how many seeds I could fit in a bag. I found seed potatoes at a grocery store. Planting them was fairly easy. 1. Open up the bag and roll down the sides until you have … [Read more...]

Adventures of runaway chickens

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The last two chicks we've adopted turned out to have very different personalities than the ones we had before. We had a White Leghorn Rooster (Fluffy), an Orpington (Yellow) hen and an Austrolorp (Chick Vader) hen before. From what I've read, these are heavier, more domestic, humand-friendly breeds. We usually let them roam in the backyard instead … [Read more...]

DIY Garage Ball Storage Rack

GarageBallStorageRack

This project is one from the summer. The number of various balls in our house have been increasing over the summer. The football ball, basketball ball, soccer ball. The smaller ones for my daughter, the bigger ones for my son. We needed to organize all the balls and get them out of the way. You can find similar ball storage racks and organizers all … [Read more...]

Little Purple Riding Hood

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Red is so overrated. This purple velvet fabric was to be a regular cape but my customer changed her mind to a "Little Red Riding Hood" style hooded cape afterwards. I used Fleece Fun's Red Riding Hood Pattern for child. You can print her children's red riding hood pattern at home and and easily put it together with her instructions. Once I cut the … [Read more...]

DIY: Batman cape costume for children

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When I was buying fabric for my daughter's Butterfly Wing Cape, I got two pieces of velvet fabrics for capes. My son asked for black fabric for his cape. Initially, I was going for a plain cape. Then I decided do sew him a Batman Cape costume for pretend play. I googled for resources and found Vanilla Joy's "The Nearly No-Sew Batman Cape" … [Read more...]

Backyard Chickens 2014

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We've had drastic changes with our backyard chickens since I wrote my last post about winterizing chicken coop. We've had a really harsh winter with two weeks of sub zero temperatures. Yellow and Chick Vader handled the cold temperatures during the day pretty fairly. We took them in when especially windchill was at its worst and at nights just in … [Read more...]