Friday, December 24, 2010

Friday 5 - Gift Wrapping

If you are like me - you are realizing it might be time to wrap your Christmas gifts. We bought some paper this year - but I've been thinking, and trying to be more creative with how I wrap items. If I'm going to spend the money on a bag or wrapping, why shouldn't it be useful as well? Here are a few (ok, 5 - it is Friday after all!) ideas of items that either I, or I have seen used as successful gift wrap!

Reusable shopping bags - This is probably the most used "wrapping" I have ever received. Sturdy, nice sized, and available about anywhere for $1. Can't beat that!

Cloth Napkins (dishtowels, etc.) - A lot of colors and patterns available! Perfect for smaller gifts - may have to check out the after Christmas sales for some cool patterns!

Receiving Blankets - I've seen baby gifts tied up in these - very cute and useful. Maybe not so much for Christmas (except for babies) but very cute for Baby Shower's or new arrivals!

Plastic Totes - Great for kids toys, especially ones that will need something to contain them afterwards (Legos, Blocks, or Hot Wheels anyone?). There are a lot of colored totes available in a variety of sizes, or if you use a clear tote, a piece of scrap fabric as an inside liner can make it opaque.

Re-use a gift bag! - We have a stash of paper gift bags in our closet. Granted - most of them are from baby gifts, with a few birthday and Christmas bags mixed in there. There are a few in there that have gone away and come back again, nothing wrong with that!

I will admit - we do have some wrapping paper here, that will get used for gifts. But I'm hoping to do more planning ahead in the future, and present gifts in a re-usable, practical wrapping.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Diaper Rash Remedy follow up

It's been three weeks since the diaper rash remedy of burnt (or is it burned?) flour was posted. (Original post here.) I'm happy to report that the Chewy Tot is all healed over - a few scars - but they should fade in time. We had a regular well-child visit at the family doctor this week, and he had never heard of the flour trick - but that it appeared to do the trick, and was fine with it. (Of course, I still would have used it regardless, I mean, what can it hurt, and well, it WORKED!)
The biggest issue was coming up with a place to store the flour, so it was easy to use, and stayed clean. While shopping at Kmart the other day - Mr. Chewy came across this beauty:

It's a flip top shaker, with large enough holes for the flour - and you can use it one handed. There is a button to press to flip it open, and you can press it again to close it. For $2.99 it was an easy investment to make as well. My favorite part is there isn't the flour mess in the changing area - and because it's easier to target, you use less, so I haven't worried about using diaper liners! For those of you that do cloth diaper, I haven't had any problems yet with repelling or issues with my cloth. So an inexpensive, cloth diaper safe, effective treatment -- sounds pretty Chewy to me!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Mish Mash Monday

In the "obscure National 'Holiday'" realm, today is both National Games day and National Sangria day. Two totally different things that I really enjoy - and don't enjoy often enough. So have a glass and play a round or two of one of your favorite games to celebrate both.

This past week we battled croup with the Chewy Tot. When I recognized that barking seal sound, I went straight to This is my absolute favorite resource for questions about the tot's health, ideas for treatment, and at what point to call the family doctor. This is also where I found the best information and a simple, printable chart for introducing solid foods. Oh, and the tot is doing much better! (Although he was nice enough to share with Mom and Dad.)

For those of you that think Marching Band is the best part of the game, time to see the Marching Band become part of the game!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Friday 5 -- Regifting!

I've been thinking about Christmas and gifts quite a bit lately (naturally!). Every year I ponder the following question.... is it ok to re-gift?

The more I think about it - YES! it is ok to regift. Why?

It was a gift - As a rule, gifts come without strings. It is yours to do with as you wish. Let me clarify - the vast majority of the gifts I receive - I use - I don't re-gift a lot. Most of the items I have regifted are random items I have acquired through "grab bag" type exchanges -- not directly from family or friends.

Move it on! I don't mean in that "white elephant" gift sort of way - but you know you have them, those gifts you've received, you aren't sure what/when you will ever use it - but it's too nice to let languish on the shelf. Do you know someone who will appreciate it? Actually use it?

It's the right item for the occasion. You are not going to see a random gift that doesn't "fit" because it's in my closet. I might regift for a grab bag exchange, or if it is to a specific person, it is because it is a great fit. I'm pretty sure some of the baby items we received when the chewy tot was born were re-gifted - does it mean any less? Nope. They were unused items that maybe were for the wrong season for the gifters baby (or they got multiples of the same toy). The gifter gave me a useful item and I will use it, and pass on a heartfelt thanks.

Save resources. Isn't re-gifting the epitome of reduce, reuse and recycle? Instead of sitting in a landfill, it's sitting in your closet/basement/ there much difference?

It's frugal. Ok, I almost didn't use this one -- but I think with explanation, it's ok, it's not CHEAP, it's frugal. I don't think this is the mail reason to re-gift - however it's a nice by-product. I don't know about you, but I like to give gifts, especially meaningful gifts. If I can give more gifts and share with more people because I haven't spent as much money...I think that is a good thing. Again, I think this only qualifies if it a meaningful gift -- I'm not sure my brother would appreciate a large bottle of flowery bubble bath, but he might like a comedy dvd or movie tickets that I probably won't use.

Is re-gifting for everyone? Probably not. Do I announce which gifts have been re-gifted? Nope. I never re-gift home-made gifts, that is a totally different situation. I have just decided I will no longer feel guilty for occasionally re-gifting.

Honestly, the majority of the gifts we give are purchased or made for the occasion, re-gifting is just something that happens on occasion. If you've received a gift from me, was it re-gifted? Does it really matter?

Friday, December 10, 2010

Mish Mash Monday - crazy busy

I've been a bit busy the past week - and this week is looking pretty similar - so it may be pretty quiet in the post department - although here are a few things I've discovered over the past week I wanted to share.

I stumbled across the "Cheap Healthy Good" blog this week. Some great ideas and recipes for stretching the food budget. All presented with some humor.

Remember the CBS Eye on Parenting episode about 6 weeks ago that was supposed to compare cloth to disposable diapers? If you follow cloth on Facebook or blogs you definitely heard about this one sided report that in the brief mentions of cloth spoke about "pins and plastic pants" Well, the reported accepted a 30 day challenge using cloth on her son. Find out how it turned out here, and see the follow up segment she had to push her producers to do for the show!

As for the video...I suppose this could be a wordless one :) It's probably my favorite secular "Winter Song" and this arrangement is by far my favorite. Sit back and head back to the John Williams days of the Boston Pops.