Repairing A Rusty Wagon: A Little Red Renovation

While on a garage sale gift shopping spree, I ran across this rusty red wagon for just five dollars.  Honestly, I hadn’t even thought about getting a wagon for my son’s birthday and it did look rather damaged, but its previous owner coached me through the steps for fixing it up and ended up convincing me to buy.  I’m so glad he did!

The total time it took to fix the wagon was about three hours (including shopping time) and didn’t require much effort.  We followed  a few simple steps and found ourselves quite happy with the results.

Sand down the rust. Using steel wool, we scrubbed down the inside of the wagon with soapy water until it was as clean and smooth as we could get it.  We should have paid more attention to the corners and seams between the bottom and sides, but overall we did well.

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Garage Sale Gift Shopping

Last week you read about our adventures in green birthday party planning–but that’s only half the story. Our quest for quality gifts started long before the birthday festivities when I declared that we could buy all Roscoe’s birthday presents used.

My husband was a bit skeptical, especially because we had a very specific birthday list for our son.  It was short, but we knew he’d enjoy his presents and they wouldn’t crowd our small house:

  • A tricycle
  • A collapsible play tent
  • A wooden city bus (He’s obsessed with public transport)
  • A book

After weeks of searching online for a used trike, my husband started pricing new tricycles at around $50-$100 each.  My tightwad soul couldn’t bear spending that much on one gift.  So with a purse full of small bills, I hit the garage sale circuit to see if we could find everything we needed. 

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Green Birthday Parties for Kids

This year I found myself apathetic about throwing a traditional party for my two year old.  While I could have selected coordinating décor and unique party favors, I was determined to keep it simple.  Am I an unfit mother?  I hope not.  The truth is that throwing a big birthday shindig often ends up being expensive, exhausting and very disposable.  

Luckily I knew my son would be thrilled to run through a park with his friends and receive a few presents. We added blueberry muffins to the mix and he was in utter bliss. 

Plus, I had to wonder, would I be doing all that extra stuff for him and his friends, or for the other adults? Before I got wrapped up in other people’s potential judgments of his very simple celebration, I realized that the people in Roscoe’s life are unpretentious, kind and very connected to him.  They forgave me for my un-Martha Stewart festivities. 

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Saving Money and Emissions with a “Staycation”

Ever return from holiday travel only to find yourself more exhausted than when you left? When we felt stressed out just contemplating a vacation with a two-year-old, we knew we needed other options.  Suddenly, my husband blurted out, “Let’s have a staycation!”  Immediately our heart rates leveled out and we began breathing more deeply.  

You might assume that my husband and I have a tiny comfort zone—or a case of agoraphobia.  Actually, we’ve lived and traveled in several countries, but at this point in our lives we have no desire to leave town.  Our son sleeps horribly even on short trips, hates being immobile in the car seat, and often seems out of sorts while we’re away.  It ends up being rather grueling for all of us—so we were excited about the option of staying home for a week and purposely relaxing.

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