Just because it's not Earth Day doesn't mean we can't talk about re-ducing, re-using and re-cycling a bit more...
So, you might already be doing this or maybe you could just use some ideas. So, this post is just a friendly reminder about how useful some items can be when re-purposed around our own homes. Then, when you no longer need an item or it gets too worn out, (if applicable) recycle the old item and you can just make/use a newer one. Something to think about as you do some spring cleaning...out with the old & in with the new (or renewed in this case)!
Need a place to store plastic grocery bags? Well, my friend did. She had re-puposed this large plastic (cheese ball) container into a terrarium first, but when she was through with that...she realized it would hold plenty of grocery sacks that they could use for bathroom garbage-can liners and for pet clean-up. Her hand/arm fits into the mouth easily to put in or take out sacks. Any bags that don't fit, she takes to the recycling receptacle at the grocery store. Simple!
Have pets? These kitty litter containers have been washed and re-used. Why didn't I think about cutting the lid off a container to use as a large funnel? Or even using a simple plastic bottle to make a small funnel!?!
Using the same size containers - one for a funnel and & one for pet food storage makes re-filling easy. Just hold the "mouths" together while pouring the bagged food into the funnel & watch it slide easily into the storage container. Thanks Karen, for sharing with me & letting me take a few pictures, too! :)
Not only can they be made into funnels, but you can cut the top of the container off a little differently to make a handy scoop.
Think about all the ways you could re-use different containers just for storing things like...
bulk bird seed
rock-salt/water softener pellets
Milk jugs, laundry detergent & bleach containers can be re-purposed, too. For a quick list of ideas, click the button below.
Just because it's not a jug or regular shaped container doesn't mean it's not useful...
Egg-cartons are great for making fire-starters (paper egg-cartons only), growing plant starts (any type egg-carton), and organizing small items especially in drawers (any type of egg-carton). (i.e. push pins, paperclips, safety pins, small elastics, tiny batteries, little binder clips, barrettes, bobby pins, earrings, other jewelry, etc.)
A repeat from last year, but simplified:
Last year, I made bath salts for all the 5th grade students (in my daughter's class) to give to their moms for Mother's Day. They made cards, and tags for their gift, and also wrote a poem & made a bookmark with it (which I laminated for them). I gave the class a demonstration and dyed some white paper lunch sacks with shaving cream & ink to use as a gift bag. Due to time restraints they didn't have enough time to dye their own gift bags. Instead, I ended up rushing through a pile and they still had to wait for them to dry before packaging their gifts & cards in them.
Friday's plan...crossing fingers
So, this year I took the things they loved and simplified. I hope this works out well. This time it is my daughter's 6th grade class...they are a year older and hopefully can finish everything during our allotted art/craft time slot.
The gift part: pics & instructions...
Okay, on to the bath salts now. I ordered some "Ultra Epsom Salts" online from Saltworks. They even have some fabulous recipes posted on their website. I use dōTERRA's essential oils to create whichever scent I am in the mood for. To help with achiness or sore muscles, I will be using some Eucalyptus Essential Oil (Eucalyptus radiata) and Lavender Essential Oil (Lavandula angustifolia). Both companies make quality products which make me happy to use them! The Saltwork's bath salt directions are posted at the bottom of this post. Enjoy! I know I sure will.
Making a few more gifts...
First, I combined both some of the Ultra Epsom Salts and Sonoma Sea Salts I purchased from Saltworks. Then again, I added dōTERRA's Eucalyptus Essential Oil (Eucalyptus radiata) and Lavender Essential Oil (Lavandula angustifolia) to the salt mixture. After thoroughly stirring the mixture, I packaged it in slightly larger bags affixed with some stamped toppers...I feel like they turned out really cute. For larger gifts, I usually put the scented bath salts in glass jars or plastic containers, but this was worked out for my purposes this time.
Basic Recipes I found at the Saltworks website:
Simple Scented Bath Salt Recipe
I know I posted our teacher/staff appreciation week plans a few days back, but the last two little gifts are now all finished up, so I thought I'd share some more pics.
Wednesday - Day 3 of thanks:
Today, my friend & I left our children's school staff little bags of fortune cookies. Here's a pic of what we did. Just a sweet & simple thank you.
For Thursday's thanks:
Living outside Seattle it seems more people love coffee than not. So why not give the staff a little pick-me-up!?! Mmm...Starbucks coffee. Below are pictures of our little gift of gratitude. Re-useable Starbucks cups with a VIA packet stashed inside and a little message to "espresso" our thanks. Plus, a bonus they are getting some bags of Starbucks ground coffee for their staff lounge, too.
No pictures for this day. We have ordered some spring rolls from a Thai Restaurant that our school's staff loves. We usually do a big luncheon for them at the end of the week, but without the funds for it this year... Instead the staff told us not to worry about anything this week, that they would plan a pot-luck for Friday. However, we still wanted to get them one of their favorite things from there, so we are. Plus, we have asked for volunteers to bring in some desserts for that day. So, now we have a few people now helping with that and it should work out great!
Not much to say other than I got a little cleaning done, picked out a new sliding (back) door, shopped for some plants and flowers, and then potted some of them. My husband worked quite a bit. After all the weeding got done, he proceeded to clean out some of our rain gutters, power-wash our driveway and got a good start on a stretch of our sidewalk out front. Of course, there is more to do...it never ends. However, the majority of bushes & plants have been trimmed back already and the lawn edged, de-thatched, and fertilized. Those a
Some of my plants lived, came back, while others didn't make it or were just seasonal. So, I bought these beautiful blue babies to fill in my larger pots. My Asian Lilies are popping up on the left in the picture below. I can't wait to see the blooms!
Yep, I had to pick up some hanging baskets of lovely flowers while we were shopping. These replaced the ones we hung last spring. Feels wonderful hanging up a few pretty flower baskets.
I potted a few strawberry plants. Guess we'll see if they live or not... I'm not as good with plants as I would like to be.
A few flowers that I potted. In the photo below, the plant hanging in the rear was one I actually potted 2 years ago (I believe). It survived and seems to be doing great. Yay, I haven't killed all my plants. ;)
More flowers! I walked by some plants when we were shopping & thought, "I recognize that scent!" It took me a minute and then I knew it was jasmine. Mmm...sweet. So I had to get one even though they looked a bit dried out. We'll see what happens...hopefully I don't over-water it. The jasmine (if you don't know what it looks like...I didn't) is in the middle red pot. Some mint is in the terra cotta pot furthest right.
Last, but not least, are a few hostas and a fern. The hosta in the larger red pot below has grown a lot from when I planted it a year ago. Unfortunately, the fern I had planted with it withered away, so I got a replacement. We'll see if I do a little better with it this year.
That's most of it for now. We also have a few pots with tomato plants, a red bell pepper plant, cilantro, and citronella growing. This is a learning experience for me...it seems like I learn a little something new about plants or gardening each spring. Wish me luck! I hope you have a wonderful spring & can enjoy whatever gardening you do!
It's been a busy week for me. One of the reasons is because another gal & I are trying to prepare a few little gifts for our children's school staff. Unfortunately, our school's PTO is rather small & we didn't have anyone to "chair" this annual event. So, there were no plans & arrangements that had been made in advance. However, I know we are lucky because when something needs to get done, we pull together & get to it.
Not only is our PTO rather small, but we don't have a lot of money coming in from fundraisers, so our budget isn't very big for this. We did some brainstorming and came up with a few ideas. Since we don't have much money to spend on this, we wanted to stretch our funds the best we could and still have some cute little things to show our appreciation. The popcorn thank yous are easy & inexpensive. We bought the popcorn at Costco. Plus, it was on "sale," which helped even more. Bonus - I already had printer labels, so I just printed out little labels so we could post a little message on each individual package.
My friend (and fellow PTO member) has picked up this project & taken it to her house to finish. So, I don't have an all-done pic to post with the fortune cookies put in the labeled bags, but I am sure you get the idea. We picked up the bags at our local JoAnn's store. The bulk fortune cookies were bought at Cash & Carry, however we found some individually prepackaged (foil wrapped-30 per box) fortune cookies at a nearby Hong Kong Market.
Thanks to Pinterest...it's easy to find ideas and inspiration for everything. So, we had seen the water bottle/powder-drink holder on Pinterest and the link for it. I had seen things done with tea, too, but I like my own pun better than the ones for "TEA-riffic" teachers since we do it for all our school's staff (not only teachers). Costco warehouses & Target stores always seem to carry inexpensive water bottles. We purchased the Crystal Light TEA from Target. ALL the craft supplies that were used, I already had - so no need to spend any more money on this project. Yep, I love having lots of craft tools & supplies! They really do come in handy.
This gift isn't finished...we still need the re-useable Starbucks' cups. Our local Starbucks put in an order (for us) for more of their $1 cups so we wouldn't deplete their stock. For the little message, I printed out small green circles with text (using a round Avery label template) on white cardstock. Then, I used a Coluzzle nested circle template & cutting supplies to cut each one out individually. None of my circle punches were quite large enough for the job. The cut-out circles will sit nested on the top center of the lids (like in my pic) & the VIA packets will hide inside the cups.
My name is Candie. Many labels describe me including wife, mom, friend, and independent consultant. However, alone, none of them capture all that I am or love and there are too many to list. Some of my likes include cooking, crafting, and creating. Reading, camping, and spending time with my family also bring me joy. I love my life...