Thursday, 26 November 2015

Today I DIY-ed A Re-usable Advent Calendar

Today I decided that if I was going to DIY an Advent Calendar this year, it had better be today. Next week is the beginning of December, after all. So, here are my many step-by-step's to my repurposed, re-usable Advent Calendar that I dreamed up and finished today.

I was inspired by various Pinterest calendars that I've seen, but also by my friend Sharlene's Calendar that I blogged about here.  

First, I went down to my laundry/ storage room. Otherwise known as the Repurposing Room. I found a mirror that the past owners had left here. They had it left above their sink. At first, I thought- "why would someone want to look at themselves while they did the dishes??" But now I wonder if this was a genius idea- doing your makeup while making the kiddos breakfast perhaps?? I may need to think more on this... ;)

Anyhoo, this mirror is no more.

I removed the mirror and the board behind it. So then I was left with an empty frame.

I tied some raffia to the frame. I decided to do 4 rows. Then I attached some glittery washi tape to some regular, run-of-the-mill wooden clothespins.

I realized quickly that the bags that I had purchased from Dollarama were going to be too big to fit 24 of them on this frame. So I decided to snip the tops off of the bags.

I then wrapped 3 small goodies in Kleenex (so the kiddos couldn't peek inside) and placed them in each bag. I used stickers, markers, some supplies to make ornaments, and a few sugary treats, too.


And here is the finished product: 

Oh, I should mention that I decided to staple-gun the raffia to the back of the frame so that it stayed in place.

Here it is up on the wall:

Then tonight I decided it needed an 'Advent' sign. You know- in case it wasn't clear what it was. Haha.

Alongside my kijiji-bought  "curtain lights" and star-ornaments.

Absolutely LOVING how this repurposed, reusable Advent Calendar turned out. Now I cannot wait until December first to start celebrating with my kids! (yes, I do realize that advent does start before December first- but there was NO way of fitting any more bags on that frame!!) ;)

You can check out other repurposed Christmas decor ideas from my past posts here, here, and here.

Peace and blessings, friends.

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Why I See Red When I Hear About Starbucks

First of all- I am SO over the Starbucks Coffee Cup Scandal.

I need to ask, what is WRONG with us as human beings that we can get SO upset over a Coffee Company's choice of holiday cup.

Why do we as Christians feel persecuted when others don't celebrate the same holiday that WE do? Why can't we simply celebrate with those we love in a quiet, humble, loving way- instead of angrily trying to shove our Blessed Holiday down everyone else's throats? 

I suppose that is a post for another day.

THIS post is about why I see red when I see a Starbucks cup- of ANY colour.

Instead of getting angry that the cup doesn't celebrate our holiday enough- why aren't we FURIOUS that Starbucks and other coffee companies like them are making billions off the blood and sweat of poverty-stricken coffee farmers? 

Where is our outrage that coffee prices dropped to a 19 month low in August 2015 (according to the International Coffee Organization), yet the price of your daily caffeine-fix continues to rise?

Who do you think is pocketing that extra cash? 

Who do you think SHOULD be making a decent wage? The CEO sitting at his comfy desk, or the coffee bean farmer working the land to support his family and to send his children to school?

In case any of you are under the illusion that Starbucks serves fairtrade coffee- Starbucks reports that 90% of it's coffee is sourced from their Coffee And Farmer Equity Program (C.A.F.E.) and that only THREE percent is from third party certifiers like Fairtrade International.

THREE percent.


Remember when I mentioned that coffee prices are at a crisis-level-low? This affects the farmers. This affects them being able to put food on the table. Clothes on their family's backs. Roofs over their heads. When coffee prices go down- so do their already-low wages.

Although C.A.F.E. is a decent system- it is NOT Fairtrade. Fairtrade pays farmers the same value (currently $1.40/ lb- more if is certified organic) which does not rise and fall, no matter what the global markets are doing. Which according to Fairtrade International have dipped to lows of .45/lb in the last 15 years.

So I get upset. I get angry that Starbucks charges $4.00 for a latte and pays pennies to the farmers working the fields to keep them in business.

Why doesn't everyone get angry over this?

 Instead of the colour of the cup. 

And that is why- no matter WHAT colour the Starbucks cup is at that moment-

I will ALWAYS see red.

I posted on the importance of Fairtrade back in May, 2013- Can You Really Make A Difference With Your Morning Coffee? Please check it out.


Thursday, 5 November 2015

Thrift Some Dollar Store Crafts

I saw this post on Pinterest today- "14 Pretty And Practical Dollar Store Crafts" and just had to check it out.

I love saving money on home decor ideas. 

But I REALLY LOVE when I can envision making those same items with some beautiful, thrifted gems.

Here are a couple of my favourite ideas from that post:

This post had a great idea to use inexpensive Dollar Store frames and paint them white.


She then added some metal bookplates to personalize the fames.

I just love how you can print out labels to remind you when and where the photo was taken. And when you switch out the photo? Switch out the label.

I can absolutely envision thrifted frames used in the same way. And you would get a more interesting, non-uniform look with different sizes and shapes.


In this post, the writer took a few craft boxes (used to store photos or small items), painted them, stenciled words on them, stacked them and used a lamp making kit to create a beautiful one-of-a-kind lamp.

My thought is that without making the boxes into a lamp- you could find some cute, thrifted boxes that were a little less match-y ...and do the same thing. Paint, stack, stencil some meaningful words on them.

Great second-hand decor idea and extra storage, too!   

And lastly,

This blogger found some candle holders on  line for $40. She thought- "I can do that with Dollar Store items", and did so for $5.

All she did was wrap jute around the base of the candle holder.

Again, you can EASILY find vases, mason jars, candle holders in ANY thrift shop. You can wrap jute, rope, ribbon, lace, burlap....the list is ENDLESS! You can also find candles. So- you could get her $40 for $5 or even cheaper if you look second-hand.

Thanks for reading friends. 

I hope I've given you some ideas to DIY not only cheap crafts, but to recycle and to repurpose items that have already been loved.