Thursday, May 7, 2015

Mini Upcycled Dollhouse

My daughter and I are fascinated with dollhouses. I wanted to make something really special for her but miniatures are expensive. Inspired by the miniature dollhouse furniture in a book I found at Goodwill, I kept my eyes out for little things that were affordable to go in a dollhouse.
Recipe for one upcycled, homemade with love dollhouse (or mouse house...we are actually working on a lil mouse to go in these rooms): find bits and pieces and put together any way you like. 

From Goodwill, I found a huge bag of wooden pieces for $2.99, the stacking block set for $3.99 (some were torn), tons of glues and a couple of glitters for $3.99, and the inspirational Play with Paper book for 99 cents.

 Other bits and pieces were the eggs (I didn't end up using) for 99 cents, the napkins for .49, and the metal pieces for $1.99.

For the top floor, I sewed the pillowcase and bedskirt from scraps, and stuck fabric on the walls. The light fixture is a button, and the wall art is a Monet art sticker. The handpainted tiny dollhouse was in the wooden pieces bag from Goodwill. What a treasure!

 The middle floor, the powder room has a silver basin (from the thrift bag) with a foil "mirror" on the gold glitter painted wall. The "wooden" floor is cut from a shopping bag and the curtain is sewn from scraps and hung on wire...and can be moved along the wire. The cabinet in back is a tiny gift box I found in a random bits and pieces bag at Goodwill a while back.

The bottom floor features flooring made from the paper napkins, as well as wall art from the napkins. The metal table sits on wire legs (and holds button plates), not to mention the mini Central Market shopping bag resting on the left. Isn't the table just so sweet?

I was given a Goodwill gift card for the items used in this post. I'm already scouting supplies for the next project...a cozy home library. What will you thrift today?

Monday, May 4, 2015

Shopping Local: Bambinos Giveaway!

Supporting locally owned and stellar businesses is something that I make a point to do. From indie bookstores to clothing stores, I make sure to patronize these businesses as much as I am able. If you feel that shopping local is important, then this is for you!

Waaaay back in 2002, I went to Bambinos children's boutique (when it was on Broadway) and purchased a charm bracelet...remember the kind with the slide on rhinestone charms? It might have been odd for a college student to shop at a children's store, and at the time I remember walking in and noticing now beautiful everything was.
Fast forward to today, and Bambinos is not only still around (21 years in business), they have a great new location and space.
The merchandise assortment was expertly curated, displayed meticulously (every item had been pressed or steamed before hung out for sale), and the customer service was great. Bambinos has a beautiful selection of christening and formal wear (they can even special order sizes and colors for you), and has beautiful layette from kissy kissy, Petunia Pickle Bottom, Zutano and more. I was especially excited about the baby moccasins and the Piggy Paint that are so hard to find locally. Their assortment changes daily, there will be new goods regularly (huge for me as a shopper!) and the lines they carry are wonderful quality. The christening section was a bigger size than most other stores have and the items were stunning. 
Gift wrap is FREE, they offer gift registry, room design and more. The customer service is so great that I can call them up, "One silver baby rattle please" pay, and then they will even bring it out to my car for me (sometimes taking 3 kids into a store to pick up one thing is a little daunting for me). Their new location in Lincoln Heights (in the HEB parking lot, hello, what could be more convenient?!) is super accessible, not only from the surrounding neighborhoods but from the highways as well.

Rabbit Moon
Saltwater sandals
Formal Wear Colletion (sizes and quality usually hard to find- but not here!)
Kantik bedding...block printed by hand, this high quality cotton bedding is perfect for a nursery or a teen's room. This line is designed by Karen, the owner!
Baby Moccasins
Hape Wooden Toys
Exceptional service

*I was not compensated for writing this post. I was given a $25 gift card to give to you! I was given the time of the owners to talk about their store and given their patience with my fussy 3 year old =)*

Bambinos has given me a $25 gift card to give away to one lucky reader!! See the rafflecopter widget below. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Join Conkerr Cancer San Antonio THIS Saturday

In case you missed it, I recently wrote a post about a wonderful organization I am now a part of. Read it here. I wanted to put a reminder to my readers out there that our monthly meeting is this Saturday, May 2. Even if you don't sew, you can help!
This weekend we will be measuring and cutting sewing necessary. Please consider joining us, and/or helping get the word out.

I will be taking my trusty fabric scissors, some awesome boy print fabrics, and myself. Join us for one hour, or two.

See you there!

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Thrifty Finds of the Week

On display are my finds from last week and this week (so far, because a week is never over on a Wednesday when it comes to thrifting. Just getting started.) I went to two thrift stores (Goodwill and Texas Thrift) and a local children's consignment sale. Oh and a garage sale, but I will post those finds separately next week.

 Fave of the week right here! A pencil sharpener. The sweet donor even attached the screws with tape onto the unit. I love this sharpener. (I am a bit office/school supply obsessed). I think this was $4.99.

 Castle blocks and a clock. Any wooden blocks are a hit in our house ($3.99). I'm probably going to regret buying 100 blocks later....

This clock is perfect for my son. It's sturdy and he can play with changing the time. $3.99

Left is a perfect summer top for my daughter $2, the right is a VERY HARD TO FIND at a reasonable price Janie and Jack dress that came with the matching sweater and bloomer for $10 from the consignment sale.

I thought this gallon bag filled with glue was a bit pricey at $3.99 but glue goes like water in our house and it would cost more at a regular store so I went for it. Plus there is a container of glitter in there. The Small Collectors Cabinet has a cross stitch pattern on the back, not really sure what this is really for but I might have a plan for it ;)

What have you found this week?

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Shocked at the Library, Y'all: Be a Friend

Did you know that a huge portion of the library's budget goes to buildings and staff salaries? I never actually realized this, but maintaining these wonderful, air conditioned oases of book paradise comes at a cost. We know that maintenance and paying personnel are crucial...if there are no buildings or staff, how could our library system work? It couldn't.
With that said, did you know that the Friends of the San Antonio Public Library groups have a HUGE impact on the programming, displays and more that you see in your library EVERY DAY? I didn't know this before I heard about a Friends board meeting from a librarian. The libraries and the Friends group are encouraging new memberships.

At one local branch Friends meeting, I found out that the Friends had paid for the following at this particular location:
automatic entry doors
landscaping and maintenance of their nice landscaping (seriously..go compare library landscapes...the libraries with active and involved Friends look a lot nicer)
E-readers for the branch
I could go on and on. I was shocked! I just assumed that the costs of all these items was just automatically provided by the city.

Fund Requests Included:
Supplies for baby time
Book stands
Fixtures for CD's to be housed in the library (the ones they have are not efficient and need to be upgraded badly)
Summer performances for children's programming! (I had NO idea the Friends helped with this)
There were other items too, but these give you an idea.

Keep in mind that everything has to be proposed and VOTED ON by the Friends! I WAS THE ONLY MOM OF SMALL CHILDREN THERE, VOTING. The Do you really want me and a HANDFUL of other people you don't know deciding where the Friend's budget goes? Really?
re was one other mom, who had older children, but was not a Friend (officially) and could not vote (don't worry she signed up after the meeting).
Well, you need to get involved! For only $15 per year, you can become a Friend of the library for a year and VOTE in these meetings. The time commitment is MINIMAL.  I will also say, the group of Friends is aging, and they will tell you this themselves. They have been in the Friends groups for  decades, and they would love to see the groups grow.
I would not be suggesting this if it was not important to the vitality and growth of the programming for our children.

How you can help:
Become a FRIEND.
Donate to the Friends.
Shop at the Book Cart (at some branches there is a cart where you can buy books) 
Sign up to volunteer at the library

And if you become a Friend, you can help and shop first at your branch's book sale! Wink Wink.

Resources for YOU!
Monthly Library Director's Reports. These are very interesting and you might find out about a branch, program or general library news. Also includes circulation numbers, which I personally find fascinating.

Fiscal Year 2015 Library Budget Proposal

Friends of the San Antonio Public Library (also check out the treasurers reports!)

SAPLINGS the Bi-monthly Friends newsletter, I actually really learned a lot about current events at the libraries.

If you enjoy the library and its programming, and are able, you would enjoy being part of the Friends group at your branch. It's up to US to change, support and help the library. We can show older and younger generations that late twenty and thirty-somethings care and can make a difference.

*In no way is this post meant to be negative* This is a great way for those who can to support our city, our librarians, and other members of our community and I wanted to share it with you. =)

Friday, April 3, 2015

April Goodwill Haul far. April is shaping up to be a great thrifting month, I think spring cleaning must be happening in a lot of homes because the Goodwill stores here in San Antonio are packed once again like they were in January. I was given a $25 gift card to Goodwill for the items used in this post.

Here is what I found:

Vintage baby shirt for $1.99, Brand new Peter Rabbit photo album, 99 cents

Crazy 8 Seersucker dress for $1.99, Baby jeans (seriously, what is cuter than jeans for babies?!), $1.99

Check out this awesome coffee grinder I got for $6.99! And it works!

Banana Republic sweater, big splurge here for $3.99. I absolutely love the print but would not have been brave enough to spend more than $10 on something so bold in a regular store.

My number one tip for getting the best deals at Goodwill? Shop the color of the week! Certain color tags are HALF OFF, the color changes each Sunday and you can get amazing deals. Not only do you get a great price, but if you are short on time, just look for that color tag and don't worry about any other colors.
Happy Thrifting. Now I'm off to Goodwill to buy some Easter baskets! Better late than never.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Thrifty San Antonio: Book Festival

I love a great deal. And books.
The upcoming San Antonio Book Festival on Saturday, April 11 is FREE!! The event will take place ALL day Saturday downtown by the Central Library.
There are so many awesome readings, discussions, kid's performances, amazing writers will be in town...ahh I can't wait. What better way to show my kids that literacy is alive, vibrant, and theirs to enjoy?
Here are my Book Festival Top 5 Must Do's!

1) Download the App. The app is also FREE and is a great way to plan your day. Warning: You might be overwhelmed with how many things you want to do at the festival.

2) Food! At 10 am, Kate Payne will demo recipes from her new cookbook. This will be in the Central Market Cooking Tent. (Excuse me while I get all crazy fangirl here. Kate has an awesome blog. AND I will be there with bells on for anything that Central Market is involved in. I worked at CM in college and LOVED it. Tidbit: I even guided a dog parade while working there through UIW. Fun times, but sooo off topic)

3) Magik Theater! At 11:10, there will be a performance by the theater in the Children's Reading tent. (The tent is located in the Library Plaza, outside on the library grounds). If you have not seen a Magik performance before, prepare to be impressed. The performers (in amazing costumes) are sure to captivate and entertain in the most energetic, wonderful way.


5) I can't wait to see Xavier Garza, a San Antonio author/illustrator who has a book that sounds awesome, The Great and Mighty Nikko.
"Nikko loves bedtime. That's because his bed turns into a magical wrestling ring for the masked luchadores that he loves. They bounce up and down like crazy. His mom, of course, doesn't believe Nikko. She accuses him of jumping on his bed. But that's just not true at all. She just can't see what Nikko sees..." 
I have a little person who loves comics and would really enjoy this story as well as the amazing illustrations. 
Can you tell I am a LITTLE excited about the festival. Its a whole day of BOOKS AND STORIES and its FREE. I'm off to go play with the app on my phone. See you at the festival!
p.s If you want to get even more super excited, go HERE and see the list of authors who will be attending this year. You're welcome.