Friday, August 28, 2009

approaching one...

our little guy is almost one.


with this milestone, comes...the birthday party.

in the spirit of trying to keep things simple, this is a tough one. i want to celebrate this important milestone, but i want to be true to our values. i don't want to go overboard, i don't want a lot of unnecessary gifts, and i just don't want to create a situation full of waste.

but it's his birthday. his FIRST birthday.

what i DO want to create is a gathering of the important people in our lives. people we love, people who love leo. to celebrate this little boy's arrival that happened a year ago...into our lives. the arrival that has brought the most profound love...a love we could have never imagined.

isn't that something worth celebrating?

we've decided on a picnic. everyone's bringing their own food and blankets, and maybe some outdoor activities. we've put an open invitation out to everyone. we've invited a local kids musician, David Tobocman (who does wonderful, free sing-a-longs almost weekly, that we love!) to play some kids music for a little while. we've asked for people not to bring gifts, but to bring donations for the LA Mission. and that's it.

well, and some cupcakes.

now that the decisions have been made, i am REALLY looking forward to it. i just love the idea of spending the day at the park, with our friends and family, and most importantly, with our little boy.

who, did i mention? turning one.

Friday, August 21, 2009

thrifty thursday: ridin' on the bus...

for the past...say, three years?...brian's taken the bus to work. he rides his bike the four or five blocks from home to the bus stop, and then enjoys about a half hour bus ride that drops him off right in front of his building. he also uses his bike to ride to the gym during his lunch break.

not only does him taking the bus save us in gas money (and overall car use) but his company actually pays him to take the bus. he's enrolled in a rideshare program, offered by his company, that covers his bus fare plus fifty cents per ride. and, every month, he gets coupons for the food court at the mall across the street or for the convenience store in the building...all just for taking the bus to work.

aside from all the money it saves (and earns) us...he just loves taking the bus. rather than dealing with LA traffic, he sits back, reads a magazine, checks his email, listens to spanish lessons on his ipod, or just looks out the window. it's a guaranteed 30 minutes of his own time.

the best part of it for me? well, every day, around 6:35, leo and i walk out to the alley behind our building and wait. eventually, we get a glimpse of brian turning the corner on his bike...and i point him out to leo. leo practically shakes with excitement, until brian finally rides right up to leo and the two of them are gleaming.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

another step...

i'm realizing that my crafting is now done in steps. very. slow. steps.

but at least it's better than no steps at all.

today, i continued working on the knee pad pants. i've got a bunch of knee pads ready to go...

and here's a custom order a friend of mine asked for...

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

five years ago...

we got married.

we celebrated by going out to dinner this weekend. and i'm still in awe of the wonderful night we had. my boys & me. some italian food, and then some ice cream. it just doesn't get any better than that.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

thrifty thursday: swagbucks

i thought it was some kind of scam at first. but the more i looked into it, i realized that swagbucks is the real deal.

all you have to do is use swagbucks as your search engine, and you accumulate points ("swagbucks"). once you get enough points, you get prizes. for example, for 35 swagbucks, you get a $5 amazon card. (if you do decide to enroll, please use my helps me earn more!)

i joined almost two weeks ago, and i'm up to 29 swagbucks now. at this rate, i'll get around $100 in amazon credit...just for searching the internet. there's almost no reason NOT to do it.

work at home wednesday

brian works at home on wednesdays. and it's great.

not only does it get him and leo some time gets me time to get some things done. and i've realized i need to look at it as time that i have, work at home.

today, i was able to pick up an order from american apparel. and get started on a couple of orders that i've gotten. i also made a dent in getting some knee pad pants made for etsy.

not too shabby.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

thrifty thursday: we're ditching the diaper service...

we're doing our best to cut down lately. now that we're a one-income family, it's no longer an's a necessity. so, every thursday, i'll be writing about something we've done to cut costs. i'm hoping that this will not only give others some ideas and/or motivation, but that it will also make me think of at least one thing a week to help our family be thrifty!

so, this week...we're discontinuing the diaper service (that's $75 a month!)

i was a little worried at first (mostly because we live in an apartment and have shared laundry), but now i'm really excited! it almost feels liberating. we've been using the service prefolds in gdiaper covers up until now. i found cloth inserts for the gdiaper covers at cottonwood baby (gdiapers makes gcloth now, too...the ones we got are almost exactly the same, but a couple dollars cheaper). there's another insert by patooshie pants, but i didn't find them until after the fact. seems like there's a lot of good reviews about patooshie pants, though (and they're cheaper), but i'm happy with what we've got. we started just by getting six of them, and we tested them out. we actually tried using the smaller size, since they were about $7 cheaper, and they worked, but i don't think they would continue to work as leo gets bigger, so for the rest of the order (i bought 30) i got medium/large. as far as absorbency goes, they're great. and they're SO much slimmer than the prefolds! (even though, i have come to love leo's big bottom :) )

i'm now in the process of doing the multiple pre-washes to make them absorbent, so this week will officially be the last week of the diaper service. we're still using disposables at night, i'm hoping cloth at night will be our next step.