transfer station treasures

Dump shopping is my favorite kind of shopping. To be factual, my town transfer station is my favorite shopping destination. A big part of the transfer station is the ‘freebie barn.’  It’s a trailer set aside to house free (but good) stuff that residents no longer want/need…Who doesn’t like a deal? And a free deal, is the best deal around, right? Added bonus, this stuff isn’t ending up in the landfill or worse…why don’t more towns and cities incorporate this into their budgets? It boggles my mind – if my little town can do it, surely others can too…it’s another form of freecycle – but centrally located versus driving all over – what’s not to love about that? Extra added bonus – the savings. Childrens books and toys add up (everything adds up doesn’t it?), money saved is money available for other things, or simply more time to do more things…money equals time, the less money you need, the more time you can have (sort of – everything has its trade-offs) to do what it is you want to do. We’ve chosen to live on a much tighter budget than most, though these past years spent raising my son are worth so much more than money could ever buy…and shopping is so much more fun this way.

Here’s a few recent finds…amazing huh? It’s nothing, yet so much, all at the same time…


I just love these little etched vintage glasses – a whole set of 12 – perfect for little man. Estimated savings, at least $20.

childrens booksMore books. We read a lot around here, so new books are always welcome – estimated savings, easily $40.

childrens illustrations

These are the first two illustrations of ‘Animal Stories’ seen above – they are beautiful in person and will look great framed. Free art – estimated savings, $40.

childs puzzle

Finn is getting into puzzles and he LOVES trains, so when I found this (new, still in box!) I had to pick it up. Estimated savings – $12.

kitchen tools

Finn is also really into cooking, so when I found a bunch of kitchen tools (some even kid sized!) I had to take them too! Here’s Finn enjoying his latest treasures. Bonus they were all metal or wood (spatula, spoons, pie server, tongs, ice cream scooper (vintage), whisk, honey spoon)! Even the little people joining him were found at the dump (of course!). Estimated savings – $25.

play barn yard

Yet another plastic toy saved from landfill – even the batteries still work as do the sounds and songs which are played when the doors open and close…little animals were free too. So much plastic in the world – it’s frightening…estimated savings – $35.

file sorter

File sorter. I can always use something like this, but I won’t buy this type because they are plastic, but I’ll use it and then recycle it when I’m done. And when I say recycle, I mean I’ll give them away to someone who wants them or return them to the ‘freebie barn.’ Estimated savings – $15.

sea shell book

And finally, this cool (vintage) book about shells. I love shells, I always have. I had to pick it up, the illustrations were too cool…estimated savings – $8.

Total estimated savings  – $195.

Savings to the planet, priceless.

Other ways to save money and resources -check out flea markets, freecycle, craigslist, consignment shops, stay out of the mall and big box stores, trade with friends, shop for big items during annual sales, check your local newspaper… you just never know what you may find.

Also, visit your local library. Books, music, newspapers, magazines, movies – are all available for you to use (and borrow) for free…ok, not ‘free’ the town has to pay for all those books, movies, newspapers, etc. and the library itself, but then, its’ citizens (including and most importantly, children) get to enjoy all those ‘free’ treasures…money and time well spent I’d say.


comforting an ill child

Not much to post today…Finn came down with the flu and few days ago, so life around here has s-l-o-w-e-d  down. Thankfully, not a strong strain of the flu, but one to make us stop for awhile…

Stories, sleeping (he, not I), sipping tea, sitting by the fire, more stories, playing in the tub (great for aches and pains), sometimes twice a day (again, he, not I), wiping tears, snuggling on the couch (near the fire), more stories and trying to convince him that those ‘little pellets’ (homeopathic) will help his ill-ease, are just a few things which have consumed my days and nights lately…Nighttime is usually when I work, though these past few nights have been sleepless with fever – so, not much to post today except;

Be thankful for your health and the health of your family and friends. It’s such an easy thing to take for granted, until it’s taken from you…even if only for a few days…

Be well.


play dough

Play dough. Remember it? I do. It’s so fun!  So many things can be created from it. I thought Finn (my 2 1/2 yr. old son) might really enjoy it, so I decided to make it – and I’m so glad I did! It engages him in such a wonderful way – the sound effects while pushing his cars ‘down the road’, the dialogue between ‘drivers’, simply the overall scenes being played out in his mind and then being expressed verbally are fabulous to listen to…especially while I’m working on my own projects…

I know, it can bought just about anywhere for next to nothing, but why buy when you can make? And it’s way more fun than driving to a store, parking, looking for it, paying for it, driving back home and then removing it from it’s packaging….and finally, discarding its packaging…

So instead, I made it. It’s so simple. Really.

Use a basic cooking pot – not your best, (it’s not going to get ruined or anything, it just doesn’t require anything special), any old pot will do. Add food coloring for a bit of ‘oomph’, if you so desire – or go ‘au natural’ and keep it plain. We tried both and each were equally enjoyable…I bought food coloring just for this project – it’s not something I ‘just have around’ (I’m not into adding chemicals to my food) …but I’d thought we’d give it whirl, since we’re not eating it…

This is a great project for kids to help out with or simply to surprise them with. Don’t have kids? Make and give to a friends child or make with a niece or nephew… it’s a great project for those rainy summer days…their imaginations can soar…

This recipe makes enough for 2-4 colors (if you so wish). Here I split the batter equally into two (red + green) separate bowls, added the coloring  (add as much or as little), mixing well and then cooking on stove top.

You could easily separate into 4 bowls and have 4 different colors as well – or keep natural and don’t separate at all…it’s entirely up to you.

Have fun.

You will need;

1 cup flour

1/2 cup salt

1 cup water

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

2 teaspoons cream of tarter

Mix all ingredients well to remove lumps.

Cook on stove, stirring constantly, until consistency changes. It should be too thick to stir and have a sheen.

Knead to cool – it may be handed to children while still a little warm. (I kneaded it on a plate so the dye didn’t color my cutting board).

Makes enough for 2-3 children or separate into 3-4 separate ‘mixes’ and add a different coloring to each…



Have fun!