Reupholstered Office Chair

Kneeling Chair Before

When we had our yard sale last weekend, my neighbor gave us two office chairs to sell, including this kneeling chair. My youngest daughter fell in love with it, so when it didn’t sell after the first day, she asked if we could keep it. I agreed, and immediately started imagining what it would look like reupholstered. [Read more…]

Summer Camp Savings Update

A few weeks ago, I told you about the summer camp for gifted kids that my oldest daughter, Emily got into, and the astronomical $3,500 price tag that came with it. Youch! Since it’s a fantastic opportunity, but way more than we can afford, we decided to do the Huffstetler Hustle to see if we could come up with the money.

Our first step was to set up a GoFundMe campaign, and to date that’s raised $520. It’s been awesome to see so many people support her goal, including several of you guys. We really appreciate it, and can’t thank you enough.

Since her tuition has to be paid in full by May 1 (just over three weeks from now, we decided to step up our game with a benefit yard sale. And let me just say, this is going to be a sale for the record books.

When I told my mother-in-law about the yard sale, she got busy decluttering, and sent us home with a car load of stuff. Then, she showed up a few days later with seven trash bags full of clothes. Then, I got a phone call that she had some more stuff for us, and I spent a day and a half helping her clean out her basement and garage, which resulted in another eight car loads of stuff. We’re talking seats down, packed to the ceiling loads, complete with a full car top carrier. Absolute tonnage. Then, I got another phone call from her last night asking if we were still accepting stuff, which led to her dropping off another car load this afternoon.

And since we also sent out an e-mail on our neighborhood listserv, we’ve received donations from a couple of our neighbors, too. Not to mention all the stuff that I already had sitting in the basement awaiting our next sale.

Emily and I have been pricing stuff for days, and we still have lots to go.

Tent Full of Furniture

We have a tent set up in the backyard that’s stacked high with furniture …

Yard Sale Stuff on Front Porch

A giant pile of stuff on the front porch that’s priced and ready to go …

Yard Sale Stuff in the Dining Room

And every inch of our living room, dining room and kitchen is currently covered with stuff that we still need to process. Yeah …

Yard Sale Stuff in the Living Room

I’ve been meaning to do a virtual home tour for you guys for a while now, but it’s safe to say I won’t be doing it this week.

But you know what? Despite all the work and the overwhelming tonnage, this has been a great experience. I’m glad Emily is having to work hard for her goal. Cause money? It just isn’t easy to come by, and kids need to see that.

And I have to say, I consider us pretty lucky to have such great people in our lives. People who were willing to donate money towards her trip. Family and neighbors who’ve donated stuff for her yard sale. Friends who’ve loaned us folding tables for the sale or volunteered to help us set up or work a shift. Just so many people rooting for Emily and her big dream.

So, if the weather will just play nice next week (we’re going to need a solid four or five days of dry weather to sell all this stuff), I think we should make a good dent in the cost of her camp. I’ll keep you posted.

Another Update:

We had our yard sale last weekend, and it was by far the biggest yard sale we’ve ever had. We had so much stuff to sell, we filled up our front yard and our neighbor’s backyard.

Benefit Yard Sale

It was a lot of work, and totally exhausting, but we raised another $1,128.05 for Emily’s summer camp fund. That’s the most that we’ve ever made from a yard sale.

That leaves us with $2,101.95 to raise, and only two and a half weeks to do it in, but we’re still pushing hard, and I’m hoping we’ll be able to make it happen. Stay tuned for more updates.

Printable Freezer Meal Labels

Printable Freezer Meal Labels

Freezer meals are a lifesaver on busy nights, and they’re great to give to new moms and families that are going through a tough time, but if you don’t label things well, you won’t remember what you have or how to heat it up.

Free Freezer Meal Labels

That’s where these labels come in. Just fill one out when you make something for the freezer, slap it on the outside of the container, and you’ll have all the important details at your fingertips when you decide to pull it back out of the freezer. And since these labels are pretty, your freezer meals will look more giftable than ever before.

If you’re using Google’s Chrome browser, our printables may not print properly. Click here for printing help.

Cheap Organic Pest Control for Fruit Trees

Homemade Moth Trap

We planted a small orchard in our backyard several years ago (tour my garden here), and it’s finally starting to spring into action. Last year our apricot bushes fruited for the first time, and our apple trees produced their second harvest. This year, it looks like our cherry bushes are going to get in on the action, too They’re flowering now.

It’s pretty exciting to see all of our hard work coming together, but with each stage comes new obstacles. The first year our apricot bushes flowered, there weren’t any bees out to pollinate them, so we built mason bee houses to attract early pollinators to our yard. That worked like a charm, and we had lots of apricots last year. I’m sure the pests that ate them really appreciated our efforts.

Just like the codling moths appreciated our first crop of apples and the birds appreciated our first two crops of grapes. It’s enough to make you want to give up, but we’ve stuck with it, and we’ve found ways to address every one of our pests. Now we bag our grapes to keep the birds off, and we stick codling moth traps out as soon as we spot the first leaves on our apple trees.

This year I’m hoping to build on that success by finding a pest control solution for our apricot bushes and a cheaper pest control solution for our apple trees. Here’s the scoop on what I’m trying. [Read more…]