Archive | July, 2016

Latest Trash Finds: Kid Stuff

29 Jul

624292_turtle-sandbox-33rd-anniversary_xalt1

I’ve been scoring some incredible goodies by the side of the road this week. My latest haul was perfectly timed; I passed a house while the garage was still being cleaned out. I scored a Radio Flyer Scooter, a turtle sandbox, and a pop-up play tent and tunnel. Then, as if it could get any better, after meeting the homeowner and briefly chatting about our kids, she offered an extra roomy pack and play (sized for twins) that she’d not yet even placed on the curb. She even kindly offered to hold what I couldn’t fit into the car so I could make a second trip.

I felt a little greedy loading my car up, particularly when a pregnant woman pulled up on the curb after me, but when I asked if there was anything she’d had her eye on since she’s expecting, she laughed and explained that she already has three kids at home so she’s packed to the brim with all the essentials. She did grab what I’d thought was a ball drop toy that turned out to be a wind up t-ball thing that pitches balls to you — kind of cool once she showed me how it works. You just never know what you’re going to find. So exciting.

After a quick wipe down and disinfecting scrub, everything looks good as new and Emilia is none the wiser. And I saved about $230 total.

Here’s a quick breakdown:

Little Tikes Turtle Sandbox, retails for $59

Radio Flyer My First Scooter, retails $35

Pop-up tent and tunnel (similar here), retails $35

Graco Extra Large Pack N Play (similar here), retails $100

I know it’s not for everyone, but the recycler/re-user in me is thrilled each time I’m able to find something that I need secondhand instead of buying new. Our culture encourage consumption of the “newest” and “greatest” and tries to make us feel like we’re less if we don’t succumb to the urging to BUY. It’s something I’ve become more cognizant of since becoming a parent and think we all need to pay more attention to.

Our values should define where our hard-earned dollars go, not marketers.

Anyways, our yard is quickly starting to look like a kid’s “Fun Zone” between all this stuff, the Cozy Coupe from my mom and the log cabin play house (another roadside find just before we moved) so I’m working towards the best way to deal with that. I’ll keep you posted.

Find of the Week

28 Jul

teak“teak” design, a bestseller (love!)

It’s been oppressively hot the past few weeks and joy of joys, we’ve encountered our first major-ish home ownership trial — our kitchen faucet stopped working. The rest of the house doesn’t seem to have been affected thank God, but we’re going on 3+ days now without a working kitchen sink faucet. Maybe that’s why drinking water has been on my mind lately.

super nova“Super Nova” — squeeee

Either way, as a loyal Brita water pitcher user (we’re on our third over in the new place) and longtime water toter in my trusty old Camelback bottle (I think I’m on #965,457th), it’s safe to say that I like to stay hydrated. And from an environmental and financial standpoint, I hate to buy bottled water if I can avoid it, so you’ll nearly always see me with a Camelback or a Nalgene bottle if I’m out and about.

swell2
“birch wood” — a personal favorite

Admittedly, until recently I rarely paid attention to water temperature, but it has been especially hot in New England so I’ve been reaching for the ice cube tray daily. Likewise, I’d never felt any particular vanity as far as the look of my water bottle. But that was before.

Everyone, run out and buy a S’well bottle. It’s worth every penny. And they’re pretty.

The double walled design keeps beverages from water to coffee to tea, icy cold OR hot for entire days at a time. And the 25 oz size will hold an ENTIRE bottle of wine. [Aside: I can’t name a single friend of mine who wouldn’t need at least one for that purpose alone.]

But the beauty of the double walled design has a second benefit — no condensation. While a little bottle sweat is only a small annoyance, the loveliness of not having to worry about were I set or toss this thing down is great considering I can tote anything from an iced latte to a steaming mug of hot chocolate in it and not have to worry about ruining my clothes, my handbag, my pricey stroller, or my car’s cupholder. #Obsessed!

swell bottle 1gorgeous, no? #want

This is my new go-to gift for every single person I know for so many reasons: It’s a superior product just luxurious and pretty enough to justify a little splurge for something that’s usually an everyday, toss-about item and I know each recipient will get a TON of use out of it. And maybe a gift of two for moi.

Trash Finds: Garden Stuff

27 Jul

clematis
“Ooooo! Trash!!” is commonly heard when traveling in the car with me. Brian teases me constantly about my trash-picking habits, but I’ve scored some incredible goodies over the years. #SorryI’mNotSorry (That’s a little Beyonce for you.)

According to him, I get incredibly excited at the mere prospect of trash no matter how disheartening an initial drive-by may be. It’s the potential that excites me.

Now to be clear, I am not talking about dumpster diving. I don’t open any trash can lids or anything. But if someone just cleaned out his attic or garage, the stuff is often in passable condition — just unwanted. Thus, it ends up curbside. For me! 

I’d been looking to buy some wood trellis for the chimney and garage as well as something to support the rose bush we inherited on the side of our house but have been dragging my feet because everything I like it so expensive. So I was thrilled to find a perfectly good, metal one just sitting next to someones garbage bin this morning on my way home from getting coffee.

Then, on my way home after a few hours of work at a local coffee shop, I detoured down a street I don’t usual travel on and scored 10 large tomato cages — something else I’ve had on my “To Buy” list for a while now —all in perfectly good condition.

I practically skipped back to my car after loading them into my trunk. Even Brian was impressed by the condition of them, which is a win. I’ve been known to drag home much worse. Usually furniture.

Asked about his thoughts on my trash picking habits, Brian admitted, “I was never open to it, but you opened my eyes. I still can’t believe someone just tossed those tomato cages in perfect condition!”

To be fair, not all of my finds end up working out. I have to check my project ambition regularly to be sure I’m not underestimating how salvageable a piece is or how much effort it will take to transform something to meet its full potential (think: chairs with sad upholstery or warped furniture requiring a lot of sanding and stain).

There’s also the recycler in me who absolutely hates to create any sort of waste. My mantra is that there is always a use for something or else: donate it. That’s kind of what trash picking is — unintended donation, right?

Either way, after a quick hose down, my new trellis is in place along a fence in the yard supporting some morning glories and the tomato cages have been delicately placed over my tomato plants with the rest stored for next year.

Yay trash! Yay free stuff! Yay for saving money!