Frugal Accomplishments // Buy Nothing New

>> Thursday, March 15, 2018

At the start of the new year, I did set a quiet goal for myself to buy as few new things as possible. I say "Buy Nothing New" . . . and I know full well I'll end up buying new things. For example, despite attempts to find a second-hand ninja uniform for Ada's new gymnastics class, I ended up having to buy new. Stuff like that happens, and I think it's easy to get dragged down.

So, my approach is to just shop less and to frequent thrift shops or online establishments that allow me to live my best second-hand life. I've mentioned before that the bulk of my wardrobe is made of used clothing. Specifically, I'm fond of old FLAX that dates back even to the 1990s. I can't wait to pull those pieces out again in the spring. We just got another 8 inches of snow, so it'll still be a little while.

Regardless, here is a list of things I've purchased/received second-hand recently:

  • Woven baby wrap (long story, I had sold my Didymos)
  • Size 8 LL Bean winter coat for Ada 
  • Size 10 Lands End winter coat for Ada
  • Several pairs of Stride Rite shoes for Eloise
  • Two gently used stainless steel fry-pans from my in-laws
  • A well loved, but still great wok from my in-laws
  • Toy vacuum cleaner for Eloise

This list isn't exhaustive. I simply can't remember where I left off sharing in my thrifting adventures. In general, I try my best to only buy used clothing for myself and the girls. Stephen doesn't seem to have as much luck finding sizes that work for him. He's a 29/32 pant, for example, and that is hard to come by at the thrift store. But I've found over the years I can get about 90 percent of our clothes used. I don't do underclothing, like underwear, bras, socks, etc. That's all new.

When it comes to anything baby/toddler gear or toys, I do try my best to either just say NO to needing more stuff. But if there is something I need or would make life easier, I head to Once Upon a Child, Thrifty Shopper, or Poshmark. I do browse around a babywearing buy/sell/trade group on Facebook, but I'm astounded at the prices. I'm not into the expensive stuff, though they sure are pretty!

For me, I suppose this goal is also more about not shopping as much. And when I feel the need to shop, trying to find something sturdy and inexpensive via thrift. And if that doesn't work, I try to live without whatever it is a bit longer. And if all else fails, I end up buying new.

What's your shopping philosophy? Do you want more updates like these? I'm thinking that sometime it might be fun for me to do a video of visiting the second-hand store with me. Or a photo post. Something to take you along for the ride! Let me know if that sounds interesting to you.


Smart and Thrifty Tips for Buying Second-Hand Clothing
Why I Buy Mostly Second-Hand Clothing
Spring Weeding
Introvert’s Guide to Holding a Yard Sale
Let’s Talk LuLaRoe: The Good, Bad, and Ugly
How to Take the Stink Out of Your Workout Gear
All style-related posts

(Image credit)


Life Update

>> Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Wow. Hello. I did not intend to take such a long break. But, well, life! I don't feel like going into intimate details, but I'll just say that I've had some health issues in the past couple weeks. They sound relatively mild, but I have been surprised how much they've impacted me.

(OK. Totally random photo I found the other day. Love it.)

Basically, I started out getting a bad impaction of wax in my ear. I got it flushed by the doctor. But that led to a middle ear infection. I have quite a history of ear infections, so this sort of always happens. And then that led to an outer ear infection -- the worst I've ever had. And even after antibiotics and ear drops, I'm still not entirely better. It's been a lot of pain, difficulty sleeping, and -- if I'm being honest -- madness. Not being able to hear out of an ear for over a week (going on two weeks) . . . and the feeling of fullness and pressure and PAIN. It's just something I'm ready to leave behind. But as I was getting better . . . I feel like I'm back-sliding a bit. I may need to go back to the doctor yet again.

Anyway. I'm sitting here watching snowflakes fall outside my living room window.

Ada and Stephen have a 2-hour delay from school this morning.

And I'm beyond ready for winter to be over.

We had a few days of warmth last month when I thought "this is it -- we're headed toward spring!" My mood changed. I was able to walk outside and feel the sun on my cheeks. If you live in a cold and cloudy climate, you know that this feeling is everything. Then -- poof. We have descended into the depths yet again with no respite in sight.

There's nothing new there, though. It happens every year. I swear "spring" never truly arrives until May. Heck, I think I remember seeing snowflakes a week before my college graduation. My bother just moved to North Carolina, and I think he's probably the smartest person in our family. While I do like where we live, it's a huge struggle half the year to feel human. It starts all hygge and cozy with the promise of crackling fires and hot cocoa. But then the days just drag until we inevitably get SUMMER. There's really no in-between. Thank goodness for the time change, however. The daylight does help.

The last big change is that track season started. It's a big adjustment for our family. But I feel more prepared than I have in past years. We're in a better groove. I have ideas of how we'll spend those long Saturdays. Something I always struggle with during coaching seasons is spending too much money. So, I'm hoping to keep myself accountable by sharing some ways I'm being frugal. I've been attempting to buy nothing new this year. I don't think I could buy NOTHING. It's very difficult with kids to buy absolutely nothing. But I'm excited to share my progress.

Oh! We have three Aldi stores in my area. The one farthest away has been renovated for quite some time, but I never find myself up in that direction. But they just renovated my usual spot. And it's glorious! I was thinking about trying to snap some photos to give you guys a tour. Any interest in that? I love it! I think they are carrying more products now, too. I wasn't feeling well the last time I went there, so I wasn't paying close attention . . . but some people have said that when the Aldi gets a facelift, the prices go up. Any thoughts there?

Today I just wanted to say HELLO. I should be back at semi-regular blogging. I may try to do those mini blogs again to share brief snippets of what's going on in my life these days. Actually quite a bit to share about. I just hope I can continue to heal and build back my energy.

Happy Tuesday!


DIY Mermaid Sensory Board

>> Friday, February 23, 2018

We have a children's space totally dedicated to sensory play where I live. It has all sorts of cool things to touch and see. One of my favorites has always been these little frames filled with that mermaid flip sequin fabric. I don't think that's what it's called, but you get me. They are around six inches to a foot in size and are anchored to the walls for kids to play with.

Naturally, I wanted to bring this idea home.

In a BIG way . . .

I actually bought the fabric for this project before Christmas and just never got around to finishing it. Not that it takes long at all. And I kind of winged the execution, so this "tutorial" is more of a "see what I did, try it and maybe improve upon my method" kind of thing. In its current iteration, it works great. But I'm sure it could be refined.

First, you need your sequin fabric. I bought mine on Amazon, though I'm sure you may be able to find this stuff at your local craft shop. I chose the classic mermaid blue/green and black. It comes in an impressive array of shades, though, so you could get this to match any decor. You know, because this will be living in your living room, most likely.

So, a yard is 36" x 47". Massive.

All I did with the fabric is stretch + mount it inside a cheap plastic poster frame I had bought at Target eons ago. So, for me this project only cost the amount of the fabric. You can get a similar frame for around $10-$15. Alternatively, you could also put the fabric on the wall and then frame around it with wood trim, if you are extra handy.

There really was no trick to stretching it. I just placed the clear plastic frame insert (that would go over the poster) in the center of my fabric. I pulled the fabric taught around it and folded the extra pieces flat. I then put it in the frame and put the backing of the frame over top of the folded pieces. Then I pressed down all those tabs on the back of the frame to keep everything in place.

Note: Keeping the folded pieces there wasn't just laziness -- it helps hold everything tight. You could also cut the fabric to size and glue it to the clear insert. I'm sure there are many ways that would work.

And then we got to playing:

Again, this isn't a very technical tutorial. Ada and Eloise love this thing equally. And it's big enough that they can both play with it at the same time. I think we'll end up putting it in the play room, attached to the wall. But it's also nice to place on a table or the floor.

Oh! If you don't feel like going to all this trouble or spending much money, you can also get those sequin fabric pillows to toss about. They're super fun, too. And most cost around $7. Boom!

Let me know if you try this project! I was incredibly surprised how easily it came together.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

About This Blog Registered & Protected

© 2009-2014 by the (never home)makers
All content on this blog is copyrighted.

Want to publish our pics, tips, or tricks?
Contact us! []

We value transparency. Links on this page may contain affiliates. In addition, please see our disclosure policy regarding sponsored posts.

  © Blogger template Simple n' Sweet by 2009

Back to TOP  

Blogging tips