Crib Upcycle, Part 2: Clothes Drying Rack

Earlier, I told you about how I had planned a 3 part project using all of the parts of my daughter’s long since outgrown crib (you can read about that here). I’m ready to share with you part two of this use it all adventure – my new clothes drying rack!

Done Open

This part of the project involved using one of the long panels of the crib that held the little bug inside with vertical slats.

Crib Slats

It also involves the use of power tools – namely, a circular saw and a drill. I’m pretty proud of myself, I’m not going to lie. If you’re ever nervous about using power tools, spend a day volunteering with Habitat for Humanity on a site build, and you’ll quickly learn more than you ever thought you’d learn. Continue reading

Crib Upcycle, Part 1: Memo Board/Photo Hanger

Anyone else out there a parent? A few of you? I swear, there’s never been a time in my life where I’ve spent more money on things I’ve used so little. The baby swing, the cloth diapers, the adorable clothes, the bottles… I guess I could have had more than one baby to make these items have a little more life, but that seems like a lot of investment just to get more use out of a bottle!đŸ˜‰ I’m a one and done mom. More power to you if you have a large brood, but my family feels whole as three.

One of the biggest investments my husband and I made was the crib. Paired with the matching dresser/changing table (which is now a “buffet” that is storing towels & washcloths in my hallway), the total came up to right around $300 – and that’s cheap compared to the fancy furniture some parents buy! What can I say? I’m frugal.

Thankfully, most of our baby items found new homes after they grew out of usefulness for our family. We loaned out the crib once my daughter was in a big girl bed to a friend that had need for two cribs at a time, but I’ve found that there is little need out there for used baby cribs. It seems that among families that don’t mind buying new, the crib is something that is rarely bought used. There are those that buy everything used, which is a great way to be – but when it came down to it, I felt a little bit attached to the thing once it found it’s way back to me. Sure, there were other things I kept, too – some baby blankets, some of the cutest little teeny tiny baby outfits, a couple special toys… But those are easily packed away into my special things chest.

The decision was made – keep the crib, but upcycle it into items that are more purposeful. The internet is FULL of furniture upcycle ideas, and cribs are definitely up there in terms of reusability. I’ve divided the parts of my crib into three projects of varying difficulty. I’m using the whole buffalo, as it were. (Is using that phrase cultural appropriation? Or offensive? I hope not. It isn’t meant that way..). No parts left behind (except maybe hardware, and a couple little bits and pieces that I cut off here and there)!

Crib Part 1 CoverThe first project is by far the easiest and takes about 5 minutes and a small investment of hardware. I was actually inspired (who am I kidding, I totally stole the idea) by a friend of mine who did something similar (not even similar – absolutely the same thing) in her living room.

By taking the metal grid that holds the mattress and hanging it on the wall, you now have a lovely, large picture or memo hanging grid.

Grid Close Up

I use clothespins to hold the items on. Clothespins are also great to customize with some acrylic paint, markers, glitter, spray paint, washi tape… Another fun thing about this is that it’s magnetic – so you can use magnets where they will fit.

Hooks

To attach it to the wall, I used my husband some large sized screw in hooks and just hung the grid right from them. That’s it – easy peasy.

Photo Hanging Grid

I did say this was the easiest of the projects. One piece of the crib used, a pile more to go! What do you think? Is this too “out-there” of an idea for you, or are you going to kick your toddler out of their crib early so you can get a head start? Let me know what you think!

Green (smoothie) With Envy

Finished Green Smoothie

Breakfast, man. Love it or hate it, you have to eat it. Or maybe, you don’t. Some studies are now saying that breakfast actually is NOT the most important meal of the day. Others say that you have to eat it to get your metabolism right. I know that if I don’t have breakfast on a weekday, I’m going to be one hangry B by the time 10:00 rolls around.

So the trick is, how do I eat a breakfast that is healthy, yummy, and something I can eat either on the way to work or on a quick break at my desk at work? Because I guarantee you that if I have to wake up earlier than the 5:30 that I should be waking up now to get a breakfast in before I leave the house, you’re going to see one hangry lady…

In my research for some healthy breakfast options, I’ve been reading a lot about green smoothies, made green by the addition of leafy greens like kale, spinach, or collard greens. The greens add healthy vitamins without adding any taste (so to keep the taste out, avoid things like Arugula!). Adding some fruits will bring some of that yummy sweet smoothie flavor, and using a healthy liquid base will really bring this full circle to be a filling, fiber-ful, easily digestible morning meal that will keep you full and increase your intake of fruits & veggies with little effort!

Preschooler Approved
This smoothie is preschooler approved! And that’s saying something.

The smoothies differ from juicing in that all of that fiberful veggie & fruit pulp is kept in the beverage. However – if you are on a specific diet plan, you will want to see the plan’s fine print regarding blending up your fruits & veggies. Weight Watchers Smart Points, for example, add up for fruits & veggies if they are made into a drink rather than ate whole. And while there are skeptics out there that doubt the benefits of these as a staple, well, it’s still better than grabbing a donut on your way into the office!

The first time I made these, I will admit I was a little nervous to try it. My Target cheapo blender does a great job, but the appearance of a green beverage with darker flecks of green floating in it didn’t have me clamoring for a straw. However, the reception was positive! My four year old daughter said, “Mmm – this is the most delicious smoothie ever. Thank you for making it for me, mommy!” And coming from a bed-headed grumpy 4 year old who doesn’t like most of what we put in front of her, I consider that a 5 star review!

Smoothie Ingredients

Here’s the recipe that will make your pals green with envy:

Green Smoothie!

  • 1.5 cups unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 large handful leafy greens, such as kale
  • 1 – 2 cups fresh fruit, such as bananas, strawberries, kiwi, apples, berries, melon…
  • 1 tbsp flax seed
  • 1 tsp Stevia powder sweetener, or sweetener of choice to taste

Blend together, and then serve either over ice or blended with ice.

That’s it! Super easy, super nutritious, and super yummy!

Finished Breakfast

Veggie & Fruit Print Table Runner

Table Runner - Cover

You may recall a while back I posted about an Ikea haul (here)– it included this table runner:

Table Runner
$5.99 Marit Table Runner – SCORE!

I was excited this weekend to finally put some work to it. I had planned on doing some sort of print on this using a handcut woodblock, but I was waiting for the perfect idea & inspiration to strike. Inspiration struck, but it wasn’t in the form of a woodblock and was instead an old school project that came to mind. I’m so glad it was, because I was able to involve the whole family and teach my daughter a fun trick.

Did you ever try this out as a kid? I remember carving stamps out of potatoes, but never using the natural shape of the vegetable to act as a stamp. It was a lot of fun. First up – you will need veggies:

Veggies

Not pictured was the celery. I forgot. Continue reading