Food Waste Friday 11/30


After years of wasting what could have fed a small Ethiopian village, we are attempting to reduce our food waste. I will post a photo each week of our food waste and I will link up with Food Waste Friday over at The Frugal Girl.

This week we managed to only throw away 4 hotdogs, if you can even call these food.  Clearly this was one of Tony’s purchases.  If I ever buy hotdogs, they are all beef.  Sad that he didn’t eat them, but at the same time… ewww.20121130-151541.jpg

On a positive note, I did manage to use up some leftover rice by making fried rice for Ava and I one night.  Fried rice is my favorite way to use up leftover rice.  It’s also a really good way to use up any leftover veggies too.

I also saved half of an onion by using it up in a batch of my potato corn chowder.  Yum!

How did you do this week?


Ava’s 1st Birthday

Wednesday was Ava’s 1st birthday.  I can’t believe it has been a year.  I made her cupcakes, which were supposed to match her Very Hungry Caterpillar dress that my mom order her from an Etsy shop.  The dress didn’t make it here in time.  It finally made it here on Saturday.  It will still make for some super cute pictures.  We decided not to do anything crazy for her birthday, because really, her first birthday is more for us.  We made it through the first year… none of us are dead!  Woo Hoo.

I’m probably the worst mom ever.  I scheduled her 12 month doctor appointment on her birthday.  Yes, that means shots, at 9am.  I know, what was I thinking?  She’s a trooper and only cried for a few minutes and then she was back to her happy self.

I made jumbo cupcakes, which didn’t turn out exactly as planned, but they still taste great.


We didn’t have a big party.  It was just Ava, Tony, and myself.  Oh yeah, and we Skyped my mom.   We sang her happy birthday and she blew the candle out on her own, which was super cute.


All day we passed the cupcakes on the counter in the kitchen and she actually said “cu-cake”.  This girl loves her cupcakes!  She decided that her cupcake wasn’t enough, she needed to try Mommy’s cupcake too.



She shared her cupcake with Daddy too!


Happy Birthday to our baby girl!


If I Only Had A Place To Put It

I suckered Tony into going to The Salvation Army thrift store this week.  The key to that was making him think the trip was for him.  He does need more work pants, so I told him we should look there.  I just like to see what kind of treasures I can find.

The first treasure I found, but I didn’t get a picture of, is one of those Fisher Price stacking ring baby toys.  Ava doesn’t have one and for 50 cents, she had to have it.  Happy Birthday Ava!  The next thing I found was this awesome rocking horse.  I was all about buying it, as was Ava, until I realized one of its rockers was broken.  So now it was a project… and it didn’t have a price.  So I found someone who worked there and found out it was $7.50.  After thinking about it, I decided that my threshold was $5.00, and they weren’t moving.  Boo.


After perusing the store, I also found a wallet for 50 cents.  The wallet is for a project for Ava.  I also found a really cute winter hat for Ava for $1.  Tony was trying to coax me out of the store when I saw this:


That is a 1934 Wurlitzer studio piano.  Now, I’m no Elton John, but I have high hopes for Ava.  I can’t lie, I can only play one song on the piano… and it’s from a beginner piano book.  Fail.  Tony on the other hand can play.  He carries all the musical talent in the family.  So hopefully Ava will pick up piano, drums, saxophone, or some other random assortment of instruments that Daddy plays.

I was in love.  It did need some restorations, but it was in good condition and had tons of character.  It could be all ours for the price of $200.  Don’t worry, we didn’t come home with a piano.  We don’t have room for it right now, but as soon as we buy a house, the piano hunt begins again.  So we parted ways, leaving The Salvation Army spending only $2.00, all on Ava (big shock).

Have you found any good finds lately?

Food Waste Friday


After years of wasting what could have fed a small Ethiopian village, we are attempting to reduce our food waste.  I will post a photo each week of our food waste and I will link up with Food Waste Friday over at The Frugal Girl.

This is our first week of actually tracking our food waste.  It wasn’t a bad week, but this could have been avoided.  We lost a bundle of fresh organic cilantro.  It doesn’t look half bad in the picture, but trust me, it was starting to get slimy.  No bueno.20121121-195853.jpg

I don’t know why I let it get to this point, cilantro can be saved in the freezer.  I originally bought the cilantro for fish tacos, which were a-m-a-z-i-n-g!  I salvaged the last little bit I could and topped a baked potato with it.

How did your food waste go this week?

DIY Toy Wallet

Ava’s new favorite thing to do is empty everything out of my wallet.  Since moving to Alaska, I have stopped carrying a purse, I just put my wallet in her diaper bag.  This puts my wallet right at her fingertips most of the time.  It’s not good when we are out somewhere and I look down, only to find the contents of my wallet littered across the floor.  That’s the fastest way to a stolen debit card.

You noticed here that I picked up a wallet at The Salvation Army thrift store for 50 cents.  Why can’t Ava have her own wallet, with her own stuff to lose?

The wallet I found is made from soft brown leather and has places for cards, a driver’s license, coins, and a checkbook.  I brought it home and cleaned it up a bit.  Tony and I then cleaned out our wallets.  I had some old insurance cards and random business cards.  Tony had a room key from a hotel and two Canadian $2 bills that his grandfather gave him when he was a kid.  He donated these to Ava’s wallet.  (Please note that Ava has never put paper money in her mouth.  I’m not sure why, but she doesn’t.  Watch your child to see if they put money in their mouth, or use fake money.)  I wanted her to have some coins for the zippered coin purse compartment, but putting actual coins in it would be a choking hazard.  We’re not trying to entice trips to the emergency room.  I found two plastic coins that go with Ava’s toy piggy bank.  They fit perfectly.

The last compartment that was empty was the space for her driver’s license.  I thought for a minute and then remembered that I had a few extra copies of her passport photo that the guy at the post office gave me.  I dug them out and cut one the exact size of my driver’s license.  Perfect fit!  Don’t you just love her passport photo?

She’s all set to go.  The only thing missing is a check book.  I’m still thinking about that one.  She loves playing with her new wallet.  She can pull everything out of it without Mommy worrying about things getting lost.

Do you have any ideas for the checkbook?

The Alaska Zoo

A zoo?  In Alaska???  Yes, there is a zoo in Alaska.  The Alaska Zoo is located right here in Anchorage.  We wanted to do something fun as a family to celebrate Ava’s 1st Birthday.  I heard from some of the girls at La Leche League that the zoo has story time on Monday and Wednesday.  What a perfect idea!  Ava loves animals.

We picked the perfect day to go to the zoo.  It had snowed all night, so the entire city had a nice white blanket.  The zoo opens at 10:00am and story time starts at 10:30.  We got there right at 10:00.

We walked for a few minutes before story time began.  We found Honest Abe guarding the thermometer.  Yes, you read that correctly.  It was 20 degrees.  A perfect day for the zoo!


Story time was great.  There were 5 other children there and we all gathered in the greenhouse.  The zoo keeper read 3 books.  Each week they choose a different animal at the zoo to read about.  This week we read about river otters.  After she read us the books, she walked us down where the river otters live and told us a little bit about them.  Of course I chatted with one of the other mothers there and learned all sorts of stuff.  Did you know you can go skiing with an infant?  How awesome!

Ava has been all about her daddy since we arrived in Alaska.  She has lots of Ava and Daddy time.  We also made the mistake of bringing her stroller and not her sled.  The sled would have been so much more fun.


Tony found a new best friend.  This Lynx was pacing in front of the gate.  Tony said that he is Moose’s brother (Moose, our cat).  Not likely.


Ava loved watching the black bears.


But our absolute most favorite animal at the zoo was this baby Dall Sheep.  He came right up to us and wouldn’t leave us alone!  So cute and fluffy!  He let Ava pet him.  We were ready to stuff him in the stroller and take him home.


We had a great time at the zoo.  I have a feeling we will be buying annual passes.

Have you taken any fun family trips lately?


Knowing When To Bite The Bullet

I did it, I bit the bullet. I finally okayed Tony to order a new computer screen. We bought our computer back in February and not too long after, our wonderful cat, Moose, knocked it off the sofa. A cracked screen on a new computer is like a needle in my heart. A few weeks later, it was kicked off the sofa AGAIN, this time by Tony. Our poor computer.

Me not wanting to spend the money, I decided for the family that we would just live with the cracked screen. Until last week, I hardly noticed the cracks. I’m not really sure what caused it to get worse, but the cracks now have a blue/purple blob glow coming from them. Not good, I’m sure. It was to the point that I couldn’t even read what was on the screen if it was behind blob.20121112-223956.jpg

So there I was, not able to read the screen. I gave Tony the go ahead to find a new screen. He found one on eBay for $58.00 with free shipping. Not too bad.

It finally came in and he was able to install it in 10 minutes.  It’s a little weird seeing the entire screen without having to scroll to read.  The simple things in life.

Have you ever put something off that you shouldn’t have?


DIY High Chair Splat Mat

I found a project even easier than the diaper pail liner.  Ava’s new favorite thing to do it toss her food over the edge of her high chair when she is finished/bored/mad or really anytime she feels like it.  If you could only see the mess on the carpet.

I knew I had to make something make cleanup a little bit easier.  Off to the fabric store we went.  I knew that oilcloth would be a good option because:

  1. It would be easy to wipe clean
  2. The edges don’t fray, so this could be a “no-sew” project!

I went to Joann and found the oilcloth.  The Joann closest to the house is very small, so their selection is limited.  There is a larger, “full-size” Joann here in Anchorage, but it’s all the way across town.  Another day.  It turned out that my choices were: brown owl print, old granny floral, or this cute circle pattern on a brown background.  It was $17.99/yard… ouch!  I knew I didn’t need a whole yard, and I had a coupon.  My oilcloth is 54″ wide (on the big rolls next to the home decor fabrics) and I had her cut me 2/3 of a yard.  This was the perfect amount and would actually leave me a little extra that I would trim from the edge.  2/3 of a yard @ $17.99 = $12.00 – 50% coupon = $6.00.  That’s much more my style.


At home, I placed the fabric on the floor where her high chair normally sits to get a feel for the size.  Just as I thought, it was too long. Easily fixed!


I took my scissors (my new “fabric only” scissors) and made a little notch in the oilcloth where I wanted to make the cut.  I then pulled the fabric into a more workable area of the room.


 I turned the fabric upside down to make the cut.  I didn’t have a straight edge, so I folded over the clean edge from the manufacturer that I was going to be cutting off and used it as a guide.


Once cut, I then placed it back under the table where its new home would be.  Perfect fit!


That’s it, you’re finished! It took me about 10 minutes to complete the project and it only cost $6.00 for the fabric.  It’s probably more like $5.00 if you discount the scrap.


I actually have a decent size scrap left over.  I will definitely be saving this for another project.


Don’t you love no-sew projects! Enjoy!