Pinecone Fire Starters

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DIY pinecone fire starter header

DIY Wax Pinecone Fire Starters

It’s not too late to make some super easy stocking stuffers. Or really, they work for any time of the year. If you have a wood burning fireplace, they’re great for winter. If you have an outdoor fire pit, you can use them in the summer and fall to get the bonfire going. Either way, let’s say you need an easy and inexpensive gift idea for someone who likes to have a fire. This DIY is for you.

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Downsize and Declutter

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2106 new year's resolution goal get organized

 

One of Joe’s New Year’s resolutions is to get organized, and I was pleased to hear that! I can definitely help with that one. (His other resolution is get his six pack back – I can probably help with that one too.) Sorry Joe, for outting your two resolutions. Consider it public accountability. You can thank me later. 🙂

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Upcycled and Repurposed Gift Guide

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how to recycle old clothes into new life

 

Hope you enjoyed Thanksgiving! We had a lot of fun doing our annual Turkey Trot, even though it was a little wet and wild outside. We got two rounds of turkey, visiting family all around the metro. And we still have a Friendsgiving to look forward to. Bring on the leftovers!

If you got a little burnt out on Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping, it’s ok. I actually swore off Black Friday shopping a few years ago. It was after heading out in very icy conditions… I think I was looking for a crock pot or something petty. Long story short, I ended up rear-ending someone because my brakes couldn’t handle a fresh ice patch, and that was a very short-lived little shopping trip. I decided all the madness of consumerism and downright danger were just not worth saving a few bucks. I took a step back and thought about how silly the whole thing is. Thanksgiving is about friends, family and togetherness. Where’s the gratitude in a $19.99 crockpot and fender bender? So that was the end of my Black Fridays. I went cold turkey. (Thanks for noticing the pun.)

Gift Giving Alternatives

But I’m all for Small Business Saturday, the day after Black Friday. I fully support the notion of using our cash to support local shops rather than big box stores. We vote with our dollars, you know? I’m guilty of deal hunting at chain stores, but I really want to try to support more small businesses. It just feels good. While I’m trying to cut back on holiday shopping in general, I think at least being mindful of where I’m using my money is a step in the right direction. That said, I’m hoping to do a lot more Christmas crafts this year! And please, before you throw something away consider first donating it, recycling it or upcycling it. Organize a clothing swap, have a DIY-off with friends, make mittens, sew a quilt, make shop rags or give it to someone in need instead.

Our friends at Cotopaxi have some ideas for recycling and repurposing as well, and have a promo code for you at the bottom of this post if you’d like to check out their website.

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Handmade Backpacks

What we really love about Cotopaxi is that all the backpacks are handmade by someone who otherwise may not have a job. The person gets to personally design the bag with colors and fabrics that inspire them. No two bags are alike. And all the fabric is repurposed, fabric that would otherwise have ended up in a landfill. It’s a win-win. I’m impressed with their commitment to impact sourcing – the people who make these bags earn a decent wage to actually improve their quality of life.

If you have a certain someone on your shopping list who’d like a unique, socially responsible, durable and useful gift, we’d highly recommend checking them out! There’s a promo code just below. Watch this video for their inspiring story:

 

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Cotopaxi did not sponsor this post. We just think they have a great business model and mission worth sharing and we hope you will too!

 

What’s your favorite way to repurpose fabric or clothing?

United States of Bean Bags

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DIY how to make bean bag toss cornhole yard game

Bags or Cornhole?

That will be the great debate of our generation. Does it depend on where you were raised? Whether you grew up around more corn or more beans? Is it a midwest farmer thing? I’m not quite sure…

But it has crept into the cities and city slickers pay big bucks for these lawn game sets. Luckily it’s not hard to make your own set! You just need a couple 2×4’s, some paint, screws and plywood. Joe, my brother and I made a set for my parents’ birthdays. Since they always want to play, but never had the game.

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Friday Fun

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So Handy

Yep, we’ve done most all of these fixes. Clean the gutters is on my to-do list this weekend. Along with pretty-up my car and do some lawn care. Ahhh this weekend is a projects weekend at last. We’ve been crashing company picnics, family parties and obstacle courses this past week. Here are some fun highlights:

Curio

My Grandma Sally gifted me this beautiful corner curio! I’m so happy to take it to a good home (Joe’s!) I’ve put a couple things in it so far, but still need to acquire some worldly treasures to display inside. I know these pictures are sub-par, but hopefully my new phone will help with future photo quality.

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Holiday Gifts: Coasters

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winter survival kit

The kit

If you’re a Secret Santa who got a little behind this year (like me) have no fear. Sometimes it’s better to do a post-Christmas gift exchange, when the deals are hot and the stress is lifted. That’s what I do with my girlfriends anyway. “Happy New Year! Here’s your present.”

I call these Granny gifts, because they’re a combination of fun little things and handmade crafts. And usually some silly or weird inside jokes. It’s always one of my favorite projects.

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