Thursday, July 29, 2010

Last Chance to win a Flirty Apron!

Two giveaways ending tonight! Hurry and get your entries in for this Flirty Apron in Pink/Chocolate from CSN stores here!

And don't forget to reduce waste and shorten your grocery list with SKOY Cloth! Enter to win a set of these great versatile kitchen cloths here!

The Cheap and Choosy is linking up today with: Friday Blog Hop, Friendly Friday, New Friend Fridays, and Fun Follow Friday (Click here to join these great hops or go to my Linky Party Love to see their buttons and link along!)

Toiletry Tips Part Three: Adios Facial Scrub!

A couple of week ago I shared about no longer using shampoo, but washing my hair with baking soda and vinegar instead.

Well, we ran out of Aveeno face scrub around that time, and I've been debating about whether to replace it or not ever since. I was really questioning the necessity of special face cleaners. Then one day this week as I was washing my hair with baking soda, I remembered I thought about its abrasive quality. I already use it for scrubbing the sink, pots and pans, and even the bathtub.

I thought I'd try it on my face, not rubbing too hard or too long of course. The results were great! My skin felt so smooth and fresh. I looked it up to find it's a common practice. I did see a couple of people saying it burned if you have an open sore, but I think that would be true for just about anything!

I'm not sure it's best to use any kind of scrub on your face everyday, even though I do it, and I'm sure you should rub very gently, but I can find nothing, on line at least, that gives reason not to do it! This will save money and unnecessary packaging waste!

Scratch face scrub off my list! It's getting shorter by the week!

Find more frugal tips at Life as Mom's Frugal Friday!

Monday, July 26, 2010

BumGenius Snap Conversion Tutorial + KAMSnaps $25 Gift Card GIVEAWAY!***CLOSED***

Many Cloth diapering moms like myself have some well loved BumGenius 3.0 diapers on which the aplix is getting worn out. These durable diapers have plenty of wear left otherwise, so what to do?Thanks to KAMSnaps, I have found my answer to that question! Let me just show you what KAMSnaps can help you do! I'd never worked with snaps before in my life, but found out they're actually pretty easy if you have the right tools!

I received the below set of pliers from KAMSnaps with an awl for making the holes that the snaps go into and a screw driver for changing out the die. The metal piece to the right of the awl is an extra top die for larger snaps, and the 3 round black pieces on the far right are the bottom die for different size snaps.

One of the awesome things about KAMSnaps is that they carry snaps in all the BumGenius colors as well as G Diaper colors, and Fabrite PUL! As I mentioned, I'm converting my BumGenius 3.0 in Grasshopper, so KAMSnaps sent me the grasshopper colored snaps!
The snap pieces on the far left and right are caps. The second from the left is the stud (male), and the next to last is the socket (female).

I just love it that KAMSnaps are exclusive sellers of engraved Ooga Booga snaps! They have a bunch of other designs of engraved snaps as well! Here's a close up of the oh so popular Ooga Booga!
The size 20 snaps are the ones typically used for diapers. The HG pliers come with a different size bottom die in, so the first thing I had to do was change that out. It's easy to tell which bottom die you need by just placing one of the caps in the die. It should fit perfectly like this:

Following the instructions from KAMSnaps web site, I used the provided screw driver to remove one die and put in the size I needed. It was very simple!

I had never applied snaps before, but I found a link to this video at the bottom of KAMSnaps instructions for snap pliers that shows how to use these HG pliers. Since I'd never done it before, I practiced on an old cloth wipe. It worked well, so I'll show you what I learned as we continue with the conversion of the BumGenius. Here we go...

First you have to remove the aplix. For this you'll need a seam ripper (pictured below), or an exacto knife or something like that.

First I ripped some of the top seams to loosen it up.

Then I could peel back the aplix and see the seams really well to rip them. As a novice sewer, this is something I've had a lot of practice at! :) You have to really take your time and be careful. Never pull hard on the fabric or aplix. You want to leave as little evidence of the former seam as possible.

Once the front strip of aplix is off, it's time to remove the tabs.

I found it helpful to cut the top off to reveal the seam for easy ripping.

Again, rip some top seams first and then start ripping underneath.

Finally, the aplix is all off and we can focus on snaps.

On KAMSnaps blog, you can find a snap placement template compliments of Bella of Musings of an Organic Mama Squirrel. This saved me a lot of trouble as I did not have to make my own template. You don't have to use this one of course. You may want fewer snaps more spaced out.

First, cut out the template.

Then, use the awl to poke holes through the dots.

Decide where to place the snaps. I decided to have the middle of the top row of snaps about an inch from the top of the diaper.

Tape the template down, and use a writing utensil to mark the diaper through the holes in the template.

After removing the template, take the awl, and poke a hole through each dot. Be careful not to puncture the inner liner of the diaper.

Next take one of the un-engraved caps, since it will be on the inside of the diaper and not visible, and poke it up through the first hole.

Next, you will place a socket over the protruding part of the cap.

Take the pliers and make sure the cap is completely centered in the bottom (black) die and press down hard. It's really important that the snap be centered, which is a bit challenging as you'll be feeling through the liner for this part. In the following picture my hand is awkwardly placed for the sake of taking the picture.
To make sure it is sufficiently pressed afterward, you can take a stud and put it into the socket. It should make a snapping noise.

Rinse and repeat for each snap until you're finished!

Next, cut out, hole punch, and tape your template for the tabs. I chose to put 4 snaps to make it toddler proof later on.
Use the awl to punch the holes in the fabric.

This time you will use your engraved caps as this is the part that will show! Place the cap through, top to bottom, and this time place a stud over the protruding part of the cap.

Center the snap between the pliers and press.

Be mindful of how the engraved image will look on baby. I did not think about that and put them upside down. No big deal to me, but I know to look out for that next time!

Conversion complete:

This experience has opened up so many crafting possibilities for me! On KAMSnaps tutorial page, you can see lots of other ideas. I saw there a tutorial for adding snaps to prefold diapers and adapted it a little to make my prefolds easy to snap using the angel wing fold. It gave me even more ideas for a project I'm planning!

KAMSnaps is offering a $25 gift certificate to one lucky reader in the U.S. or Canada!

How to win it:

One mandatory entry:

Visit KAMSnaps and come back and leave me a comment telling me something you learned about their products.

Additional Entries: (Leave a separate comment for each entry. Include your email address if it is not clearly visible on your profile.)

1. Follow KAMSnaps Blog.

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4. Sign up for KAMSnaps mailing list (left column at

5. Follow The Cheap and Choosy via Google Friend Connect.

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8. Grab my button (3 entries) and leave a link to where I can find it in your comment.

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10. Tweet about this giveaway and leave the link to your tweet in your comment. You can use the re-tweet button on bottom left! (Up to two entries per day)

11. Enter another one of my giveaways. (One entry per giveaway entered)

12. Subscribe to The Cheap and Choosy via email. (Right hand sidebar)

13. Leave a relevant comment on any of my non-giveaway posts, and leave a comment here telling me with the title of the post. (One entry per post commented on.)

*14. Enter KAMSnaps Going to the Dogs Giveaway Marathon. You can earn an extra entry in this giveaway per giveaway entered in KAMSnaps Marathon for the duration of this giveaway! *UPDATED 7/29/2010

U.S. and Canada only. This giveaway is open until August 26 at 12:00 a .m. The winner will be chosen using a random number generator. I will email the winner, who will have 48 hours to respond. If winner does not respond within 48 hours, another winner will be chosen. I will post the winner when the selection has been made and confirmed by the recipient.

I received the product reviewed free of charge. I am not being compensated in any way for this review or giveaway. The opinions expressed are completely my own! You can see my full disclosure here.

This tutorial is partying with:

Lucky Linky Tuesday
All Things Related Trendy TreeHouse Creative Share Whatever Goes Wednesday Hoo's Got Talent? Strut Your Stuff Thursday Transformation Thursday Show off Your Stuff Thursday at Fireflies and Jellybeans

Simpsonized Crafts


Sunday, July 25, 2010

Lentil Sprouts and Menu Plan Monday

I'd learned from More With Less cookbook and Super Baby Food, that bean sprouts are good for you. Since we keep lentils around I decided to start with those. Most of the directions I've seen call for use of a mason jar, which I hope to try next. But since we didn't have cheese cloth, I did see some directions on a forum somewhere for how to grow them on a plate. I wish I could give credit where it's due, but I didn't save the link :(.

Here's my version of the instructions:

1. Put a few layers of wet paper towels on a plate. (Since we're phasing out of paper towels I try my flannel ones next time!)

2. Spread out the dry lentils on them.

3. Put another wet paper towel on top.

4. Sit near a window or well lit area, making sure they stay moist.

The sprouts were supposed to grow in a day or two but mine took about 5 days. I think it's because we don't have a lot of sun hitting any of our windows. I actually wet it really well and set it outside on the deck one day to hurry the process along. Here's what we had as of yesterday:

I wasn't sure if they were ready yesterday so I looked it up and found that once they're an inch long they're edible, so now they're in the fridge waiting to be integrated into Chop Suey and Chow Mein this week! I tasted them raw and they really are fresh and yummy tasting. This is so easy it will definitely become a part of our regular diet!

Now for this weeks plan. Last week was definitely an off week so we didn't stick to it very well. I didn't realize we were out of lentils and since the sprouts weren't ready until now, those recipes are being transferred to this week. So here's for trying again! I'm not going to continue writing the three meals a day because it's always the same: Granola, Overnight Crock Pot Steel Cut Oatmeal, or eggs and toast on easy homemade bread for breakfast, and lunch is always leftovers or peanut butter sandwiches. We have a good bit of leftovers so the sandwiches are really occasional. I'll be posting separately about my adventures in homemade baby food soon.

Monday: Chow Mein (More with Less, pg. 133) (Incorporating the sprouts!)
Tuesday: Chop Suey (More with Less, pg. 133) (Also incorporating the sprouts!)
Wednesday: El Burgos (More with Less, pg. 107
Thursday: Kusheri (Egyptian Rice and Lentils) (More With Less, pg. 108)
Friday: Lentil Barley Stew (More With Less, pg. 107)
Saturday: Homemade Pizza
Sunday: Homemade Spaghetti (to start out the week with yummy leftovers!)