I feel really silly that I just discovered craftsy.com last week… really really silly. It’s this virtual classroom full of craft/food/creative lessons for anyone who wants to enroll, taught my real experts and available online at the tips of your fingers. AND… once you buy the class, the video tutorials are there forever for your reference. I’ve taken a few virtual classes before where everything disappears a few short weeks after instruction ends, and always feel a little like it was a waste of money on my part. Or, I can’t find the time to attend a class in person since they all seem to be for scheduled for people who don’t work from 8-5pm… because those are the actual crafty people (or the instructors just don’t want to teach evening classes, I guess?). Anyway… this is all a pretty neat little discovery and I’m happy I stumbled upon it.
And today is “free class day” at Craftsy courtesy of DonorsChoose. They’re looking to give away 10,000 free classes in exchange for a $5000 donation to fund arts education in public schools across the US. So you can take any one of the classes below for free if you sign up today! I think I’m going for the A-line skirt tutorial so you can stop hearing me complain about how horrible it is for me to find good skirts that fit… and I can do something about it! Or the croissant class… but that might be a special kind of torture?
Just sign-up by the end of today, pick your free class, and done! They also have a bunch of free classes scattered throughout the topics (like a modern buttercream class!)
So who discovered this long before me and has a class to recommend (or to “not recommend to” if that’s the case?
This year, Miss L has taken over the task of gardening outside. For her birthday, she received a nice planter box with al the dirt and fertilizer (oh yes friends, we went with heavy duty manure this year) needed to grow her favorite summer fruit: tomatoes! That girl might be able to survive on tomatoes alone if we let her… but we ration her appropriately in order to stop her from turning a deep reddish color.
We had to wait very patiently for the official tomato planting day, which around here is mid-Spring in late April/early May. It’s so darn hard to practice patience when you’re passing tomato plants left and right on sale everywhere on the weekend, but we managed. In the meantime, we planted some seedlings to transport and watched those grow inside: zucchini, pumpkins (for outside of the planter), and watermelon.
And when it was time to plant… here’s what went in:
6 tomato plants. 2 zucchini plants. 1 lone watermelon vine. I can hear Miss L salivating and anticipating her summer harvest already!
I also decided to install two gutter gardens above her planter box to give her a few more things to watch. We made seed tape for arugula and another favorite food, kale, and left it to its devices.
So much green in one little corner of the garden. And it’s all Miss L’s real estate! I can’t wait to share the harvest with you!
For the past month, in every social media forum I belong to, I’ve seen the following thread, “What are you getting your Mom for Mother’s Day?” An important question certainly, and one that you don’t always want to just lump into the “generic gift” category either. Sure moms need lotions and robes and candles, but sometimes you want to jump out and give a little something more.
I’ve been pretty excited about all of these awesome subscription boxes, because they combine two of my favorite things in life: getting mail and random new goodness. So, you’ve got beauty boxes, activity boxes for kids, and now, there are GOODIE boxes!
No seriously! It’s like someone was paying attention to those “tasty goodness” posts of mine and decided to just box it up as a gift.
As a subscriber to the Goodies Co. Taster’s Box, you receive a monthly box of 5-8 snacks for only $7/month (includes shipping). I just spent $10 at the market yesterday buying 2 random bags of rice chips that they and some random new sauces I saw, so this is such a bargain for treat hunters like Mr. M and I!
Customers are asked to review products they’ve received, and can accumulate points to redeem for a free Taster’s Box and other rewards. Since trying new snacks can be risky and time-consuming, the Goodies Co. Taster’s Box gives everyone a chance to discover their tastes!
In our household, whenever we have visitors for a few hours or a whole weekend, we end up buying some random new snack to try as a “welcome!” present. Now we can extend that hospitality to our friends no matter where they live, and keep the gift going for many months on end!
It goes without saying that both Mom L and Mother M will be enjoying these goodies in the upcoming weeks as part of their Mother’s Day treats, but I hope that the idea will help you out with your gift giving needs in the future as well!
Thanks to Goodies Co. for sponsoring today’s discussion!
It’s getting to be that magical time of the year where the warmth of the sun is enjoyed long after the sun sets, and the cool Delta breeze makes its way into the valleys. I might complain about the 100+ degree heat waves, but when you’re enjoying 80 degree nights at 9pm, it’s just awesome.
I’ve been wanting to add some color to the backyard landscape, and looked into the idea of some solar lanterns to hang on the fence and in a couple of trees. But when I saw the prices at upwards of $15 each, I quickly stopped looking. It only took a random glance at these cheap $1 solar lights from Dollar Tree (when I was buying bubbles) for my brain to think of a way to hack my own solar lanterns. An online order to the bay-area based Paper Lantern Store later… we were in business! And my hacked version = $3.50/lantern!
Here are the easy steps to making your own solar lanterns:
nylon hanging lanterns (source: http://www.paperlanternstore.com/)
solar lights (source: Dollar Tree)
Disconnect the light from the base.
Wrap your wire around the light, just below the battery casing.
Tuck the wire in and pinch it. Then wrap the wire over the TOP of the battery casing and to the opposite side of the light. Cut and attach it to the wire circle.
You’ll end up with this little hanging basket for your solar lamp casing.
Slip the light into your hanger.
Begin to assemble your nylon lantern. Stand up the metal frame in the middle of the lantern, and hang your light up. Pop up the lantern around your frame and secure it.
Your light will be hanging below. For extra security, use the needlenose pliers to bend the metal hanging into a hook.
Hang your lantern outside… you can use the hook at the top directly, or tie another wire to make an eye loop for hanging.
Then… wait for the dark…
… and enjoy the glow!
On Friday afternoon, I stopped by Dollar Tree to pick up some refills for bubble supplies, as the forecast said to expect “calm winds” this weekend. The past week was one heck of a trying time for allergies and dust and pollen, and our favorite bubble maker was unable to go outside and do her magic. I set out the supplies out in the backyard on Saturday afternoon, and without saying a word to her, she discovered the presents all on her own and started her wizardry.
This is the look of pure bubble making seriousness.
$3 for two giant bottles of bubbles and 1 bubble wand. So worth it!
(p.s. I bought the little plastic drink jug at Target for $3 as a bubble jar refill station)