Tag Archives: eco-friendly

Go Green for 2012

22 Jan

For Christmas gifts this year I made reversible shopping bags! Many cities in Los Angeles are passing laws that ban the plastic shopping bag, which I am okay with. I actually prefer to use my fabric bags because I get more rewards points at my local grocery store! More rewards = more savings for me!

I purchased the reversible tote pattern from Ali Foster Patterns on Etsy. You may remember this name before, I love her patterns and have made this bag, this bag and even this bag. Her patterns are simple and clear, very easy to follow.

The part I love most about this project, you can choose whatever patterns you heart desires!

New Life for Old Toys

28 Jul

We have a lot of tiny little toys. Since we got a puppy that chews on everything I have become acutely aware of this dangerous fact.

Ryan McElhinney’s pieces spoke right to me!  I found these amazing works of art via Curbly earlier this week.

I immediately sifted through all the tiny army guys, action figures, and happy meal toys that we have collected over the last 5 years and found that I had plenty to work with.  Once piece at a time, with hot glue I put my puzzle together.  Here it is all pieced together…

Initially I was unsure about what color I wanted to paint it.  But when I saw that I already had a can of glossy white paint left over from this project, my decision was easy.  In all this project cost me $0.00.  I had everything on hand and I bet you do too!

I think this project is great way to upcycle some old toys and avoid sending those little guys to a landfill somewhere.   I will admit that my son was a little sad when he realized that he wouldn’t be able to play with these particular toys anymore, but I did my best to pull only the ones that were damaged already.  There a lot of wounded veteran army guys in this lamp.  Save a wounded vet, make a lamp!

Play Time!

8 Jul

I have two beasts [ahem…I mean boys] at home.  To say that they can be rough on their toys would be an understatement.  I just hate purchasing plastic toys only to find that two days later they are completely destroyed.

I’ve found a few adorable toys that will not only inspire your child’s imagination, but just as importantly, they will withstand the wildest imaginations. 

City in a Bag 

$14 USD 

Oh the places they’ll go!  Muji carries these super cute little cities in a bag.  They are available for Paris, Tokyo and New York. 

Fresh Cut Fishing Set

$38 USD

Gone Fishin!  Anthro sells this set exclusively online.  And if fishing isn’t your bag, there is a similar set for all those future doctors out there. 

Keep on Trucking

$15-$25 USD

Vrrrrooooom!  These rough and tumble trucks can take a beating.  As a bonus, they are made of eco-friendly and replenishable rubberwood.  

Tego Magnetic Wood Building Blocks

$32 USD

I’ve had my eye on these blocks for a while now.  They are simply cool.  They come in different stains even!  These building blocks will add another dimension to your little one’s imagination with the addition of a magnetic element. 


 Summer time is play time!  Happy Weekend!!

Wedding Bells

3 Jun

A good friend of mine recently got engaged and as I was unwinding at the end of the day sipping my glass of champagne, I thought about her upcoming wedding…

Weddings make my mind go a million miles a minute. I LOVE thinking about weddings and planning them out in my head. The champagne cork gave me an idea….

I cut a little sliver out of the top and found an old place-card from another wedding we’d attended to use as an example. Not only is this eco-friendly, its adorable and couldn’t be simpler.  You could even use this for a nice dinner party.

It just so happens that my dear friend has been collecting corks for quite some time…was it meant to be?  What are you collecting?  You never know when you’ll find the perfect project!

Have a great weekend!

Let Me Eat the Cake

19 May

…all of it…

In fact I was prepared to wallow in it. Unhappy with the prospect of turning 30 this year, I specifically requested no parties or fanfare of any kind. Well, like many husbands, mine suffers from an acute hearing disorder.

My husband planned and executed a fabulous 30th birthday party in my honor and as it turns out I am so grateful he did.

Inspired by Marie Antionette’s willingness to indulge in the finest, the “Let Them Eat Cake” party was born.

My husband planned the menu, did all the cooking, downloaded a ton of period specific music, and did much of the heavy lifting around here to get our small-ish condo fit for our guests.  But I pitched in when it came to decor.  Let’s face it, he was not going to pick up puffy paint…

Since flowers were a must, I knew I was going to need several vases.  I used this technique to fancy up some recycled cans and jars (Thanks to Summer for dumpster diving to rescue some).

I made small party favors using a recycled material as well.  I purchased small favor boxes and decorated them with a glittery gold tape and a topper made of telephone book pages.

I brought out my husband’s Grandmother’s china for serving dishes to add to the fancy factor, and since chandeliers are a must, I installed 5 throughout the living room/dining room, bathroom, and patio.  Again, I recycled three cardboard boxes to create the chandeliers using this guide.

To really add emphasis to the theme of the night we actually devoted an entire room to all the cakes and other desserts (everything from the actual cake to macaroons and chocolate covered strawberries) and my favorite champagne and champagne punch.

Preparing your home for a party can be very stressful and as the old saying goes, “the devil is in the details.”  I have to say that I stressed over the details.  But with champagne in hand, surrounded by the people who mean the most to me, it was a magical night!

A Fist Full of Flowers

29 Mar

On the eve of April and its showers, I for one am looking forward to brightening up my home with fresh spring flowers.  I took this weekend to re-vamp some old vases a la Erica Domesek.

I think everyone has some of those vases that come with flowers.  You know, the cheap ones.  You feel bad just throwing them out and so you shove them in a dark corner of a cabinet in a far far away land of your kitchen with the intention to some day donate them to the Salvation Army or other like charity.  Well, this weekend I pulled mine out and gave them life!

A little puffy paint, which I had on hand and a purchased can of white spray paint and it was like magic!

Another One Bites the Dust

21 Mar

In my previous post,  I turned my spring cleaning into some re-fashion.  Well I found another shirt that had seen better days.  With some minor surgery, my blue and white striped tee is now another cute wrap around scarf.

I took this project straight out of P.S. I Made This.  This project is seriously simple and it only took me about 5 minutes total to complete.  I literally started cutting just before walking out the door.

I love giving my old clothes new life…

Wrap yourself in Spring

14 Mar

…with a wrap around scarf…or is it a necklace?

After my last post I got a lot feedback about how cute that necklace/scarf was.  So I thought I’d try my hand at it…

So at Caasi’s suggestion I sifted through my closet to find a tank or t-shirt that I was willing to part with.  I found a tank top that had a tiny little hole in it and the hoarder deep down inside me hadn’t parted ways with it yet.  I started at the bottom hem and began cutting it into about a one inch strip.  I just went around and around until I reached the arm holes and the neckline and could not continue.

Next, I tugged on the long strand so that the edges kind of curl into each other.  This works best with cotton and jersey fabrics. 

Once I had my material ready, I stood in front of a mirror and began wrapping until I had the desired effect.  In order to keep everything in place I very carefully ran it through my sewing machine in two places–the spot where my flowers would be places and where I would line it up with the back of my neck. 

This is where the flowers will be placed so the strands of fabric are a little more spread out.

These I gathered a little tighter since they will be at the back of my neck.

So on to the flowers…I decided on three, but really there are so many possibilities.  You don’t even have to use flowers.  Be creative!

The final step is applying the flowers.  This was probably the most time-consuming part.  I just hand sewed each one, one at a time.  Holding them in place while sewing with the other hand was a little challenging.  But I love the results. 

I wore this the very next day with a white v-neck t-shirt and it totally dressed it up in a cool dressed down kind of way. 

I have my eye on another old t-shirt…stripes!  Can’t wait!  This project is pretty darn easy and my favorite part is that it was totally free.  I had everything on hand.  So this year, while you’re doing your spring cleaning, look at your closet with an eye for repurposing some of your old favorites.  You might surprise yourself!

“Green” Dinner Party

23 Aug

Some months ago, following a rough week, Caasi and I threw a “green” dinner party for my mom and a few friends and family in an effort to cheer her up. It was a huge success!

Decorations: I purchased several yards of unbleached muslin and hand painted it with hot pink chandeliers and blades of vibrant green grass. We used recycled spaghetti sauce jars as vases for brightly colored gerber daisies from our local farmer’s market. In conjunction with our “green” theme we used bamboo flatware and rocks (found, not purchased) as markers for labeling all the food and drink.

Favors: I decorated plain canvas totes with painted images of leaves. (I actually saw my mom this weekend and was pleased to see that she was still getting good use out of the canvas bag!)

Menu: Caasi and I made parmesan, basil and lemon wafers as well as bruschetta for apetizers. For the main course we had Bollito Misto, corn on the cob sprinkled with parmesan cheese, lemon risotto in lemon cups, spinach salad in a parmesan fico cup. We also served a mixed drink, Blissini, sparkling water and wine. For dessert we had angel food cake with espresso marscapone cream. All recipes were courtesy of Giada.

Ella’s Kitchen

19 Aug

ok, I am being a mom now. I love, LOVE, love ella’s kitchen. it’s baby food but they also have snacks and these little pouches of smoothies. so easy to throw into your bag and take for the kids. they don’t really have to be babies to like ‘the red one’ or the ‘yellow one’ smoothie because i like them too!

so, the story goes like this: ella’s dad, paul , believed with a passion that his daughter and all children of her generation should have healthy, fun food. with that belief he created ella’s kitchen and has over eleven great tasting products! the company has also teamed up with TerraCycle to upcycle the used pouches.

lucas’ picks: the red one, the yellow one, the green one, and the sweet potato, pumpkin, blueberry one. we’re going to try the italian one next.

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