Gazelle Rewards: Earn More For Your Old Phone!

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**This post contains affiliate links and I may be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links. 

Ok, so maybe not a phone that’s as old as the one above… but…

Gazelle has recently launched the Gazelle Rewards program so that customers can get even more money for trade-in devices! I’m pretty excited about it because I need a new phone like whoah. My phone is 3 years old, and it’s starting to not hold a charge for long along with a few other things. But, I’ve kept it in an Otter Box, so it’s in really excellent shape.

How it works:
Step 1. Sign up for Gazelle Rewards by creating an account and opting into the loyalty program. If you have an existing Gazelle account, log in and opt into the loyalty program through the Rewards Dashboard.
Step 2. Sell your devices to rake in points.
Step 3. Redeem your points to add $5, $10, $20, $50 or $100 to your next trade-in payout from Gazelle!

Right now Gazelle has a couple awesome promotions: 10% Bonus on iPhones $150+ at Gazelle (10/22-10/28) But if you aren’t in the market for a phone, There is a pretty sweet deal on MacBooks: $10 Off Sitewide, Up To $100 Off Some MacBooks at Gazelle (10/23-10/29)

I’ve sold two of our old phones to Gazelle. I like that our old technology isn’t relegated to a junk drawer or ending up in a landfill.

Tie Dying: Family Fun!

57044378_10156933867666061_7331522905282445312_o.jpgI love to tie dye! It’s a great way to give clothes that may have been stained a new life. Since I get most of our clothes from clothing swaps, I often find really cute light colored kids clothes with minor stains.

Well, and when you’ve got kids, a lot of stuff ends up with stains, and not just their clothes, I have several shirts that I had to tie dye to cover little people stains from dirty hands and faces rubbing on my during hugs.

There are a lot of tie dye kits available at your local craft store, but what they don’t tell you is that the dye in those kits doesn’t last.  We used this kit last year and the remaining shirts we have have faded to very light pastels. So, if you want to do some awesome, vibrant tie dyes, I recommend using Procion Dyes like the ones Dharma Trading sells.

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Time to start mixing up dye!
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Safety First! Cover all tables and work areas. Don’t forget to wear gloves.

I also have cultivated an Amazon Store with all the stuff you will need, including a kit that contains Procion Dyes- All you need is a bag of Urea and the kit is ready to dye! Procion dyes are best for Cotton, ramie, hemp, rayon- Natural plant based fibers (not linen- that stuff is a bear to dye).  If you have blends with synthetic fibers (like polyester, acrylic, lycra), the color will not be as vibrant. Anything less than 50% natural fiber will end up being pastel.

Since Tie Dying can be a little intimidating, let’s break it down. In addition to your dyes and chemicals…

You will need:

  • A big open space (We use my parents backyard)
  • 2-3 6 foot tables covered in protective plastic (tarps or trash bags work well)
  • 1-2 Large Buckets (5 gallon buckets from Home Depot are great)
  • Access to warm water
  • Measuring cups and measuring spoons (I recommend plastic ones)
  • Plastic bags or plastic wrap (to cover up /wrap up garments after they have been dyed)

Here is my pinterest board with tons of great folding techniques and patterns. You are ready to fold and tie once you’ve selected your garments and laundered them without fabric softener. I love incorporating marbles, canning jar lids, clamps  to make tie dying more interesting.

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Folded, tied, and zip tied!

Once everything is folded/tied and secured (either with rubber bands, zip ties, or cotton string), it’s time to mix the washing soda and hot water. 1 cup of washing soda per gallon of water.  Mix together in the buckets, and soak the tied garments for 15 minutes-1 hour. The washing soda raises the pH of the garments allowing the dye to be more readily absorbed.

Washing Soda is NOT BAKING SODA.  Washing soda is caustic and will hurt you if you submerge your hands in it. Wear gloves when you handle it. Wring out the garments after soaking so they are damp, not dripping.  You can keep using the same water for your entire session.

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Our soaking bucket- it’s actually a plastic tote.

While your garments are soaking, mix up your dye.  The most dye will come directions, but remember to mix your water with Urea. 1/4C of urea to 1 quart warm water. Urea helps the dye dissolve and remain mixed. It also helps the colors stay vibrant.

TIME TO DYE! Once your soaked garments are wrung out, it’s time to apply the dye. If you aren’t sure which colors will look good together, Get a color wheel. It will help you with color placement too. When you tie dye, colors will run together, so using complementary colors will help your garments look better when they are finished.

Remember to apply dye all sides, and if your garment is bunched up a lot, you may need to squirt dye between the folds to make sure the dye penetrates all of the layers.

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Bags and bags of baby onsies!

After the garment is dyed, place it in a plastic bag, or wrap it up in plastic wrap. You want to lay the item flat.  Let the garments sit for 24 hours (or over night), rinse the garments one at a time under cool water until most of the water coming from our garment is clear or a very pale. Then remove the binding (rubber bands, zip ties, string).

Wash completed garments with Synthrapol. It’s laundry soap that binds the color molecules to the fabric and sheds the dye that is not bonded. Once you wash the finished garments with Synthrapol, the clothing won’t shed dye or rub off on you, you can use your regular detergent from then on out. I also throw a couple Color Catchers in the wash too for good measure.

Once your garments are dry, the are ready to wear! I use the word “garments”, but you can also dye fabric, bed sheets, even pillow cases.

 

Here is some of the most recent stuff I dyed:

 


Tie dye shirts make great gifts! You can also tie dye socks- That’s what Bitty Bird is getting in her Advent Calendar this year!

I have utilized Amazon links within this post, prices can change at any time, and I may receive a commission when you click the links to Amazon and purchase items linked. Commissions help cover the costs associated with blogging.

Dunkin Donuts Keurig Kcup coffee giveaway From Cross Country Cafe!

I love Cross Country Cafe. They have lots of great deals on Kcups, teas, coffees, and more!

And right now, you can enter to win Dunkin Donuts Keurig Kcups!
Monthly Keurig K-cup coffee giveaway- each and every month we will be giving away full size boxes of Keurig K-cup coffee to one lucky winner!

Dunkin Donuts Keurig® K-Cup® coffee giveaway!

Contest ends May 31, 2017 at 12:59 pm EDT at which time one random winner will be chose and announced within 48 hours.
So GO ENTER NOW!  And if you are worried about Kcups in landfills, here is a great Pinterest board with tons of great crafts!

New Year’s Resolution #10: Reduce, Reuse, recycle

So this is the last one! I’ve been meaning to post this for a week or so, but I hurt my wrist (I fell while hiking!), so I’ve been off the computer a lot.

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#10 is a big one for our family! Reduce, re-use, recycle!

Reduce:

  • Buy less stuff. That one is pretty simple.
  • Use what you have on hand.  There are some pretty awesome websites like Recipe Key and Recipe Matcher that help you find recipes based on what you have in your pantry.
  • Reduce your waste out put.  I’m not asking you to hold it when you gotta go, but put your eggshells and coffee grounds in your house plants and tomato plants.  Try composting.  You’ll be  reducing your carbon foot print and you’ll make your plants happier!

Re-use:

  • Re-purpose items!  This includes eating your leftovers.
  • Here, here, and here are some great Pinterest boards that have re-using ideas.
  • I love this one: Making re-usable shopping bags out of old t-shirts (they make a great gift too).
  • Mend your clothes- including fallen hems, loose buttons and minor tears.  Sewing kits are inexpensive.  If you don’t know how to sew or even thread a needle, check out YouTube for some tutorials. And hey, you’ll learn a new skills!

Recycle:

  • In some areas, recycling is done by weight (like the majority of the recycling centers we have here).  You bring all of your aluminum cans crushed up or your glass bottles in big garbage bags and they are weighed, and you receive a per lb. price.
  • In other areas (like where my in-laws live back east and very few locations here in So Cal) there are machines that you deposit bottles and cans into one at a time and a per piece bottle deposit is returned to you. Re-Planet is one of those companies.
  • Some areas mandate recycling- Where we live there are special cans: Black for trash, green for yard waste, and blue for recycling.  The items that cannot be returned for a bottle deposit like milk cartons, soup cans, cereal boxes can be placed into the blue bin.
  • Recycling doesn’t only mean bottles and cans , it can also be to give an item a new life and a new home.  Donate clothes and other household items to charity or use freecycle and help your neighbors. I especially like the Buy Nothing Movement.
  • You can also sell items on Craigslist, have a garage sale or sell your items via a consignment shop.  They will go to a new home, you will have kept the stuff from a landfill, and you’ll have a little cash!
  • Did you know that in some states you can recycle your unwanted house paint? Check out PaintCare here for more details!

How do you incorporate the three R’s into your daily life?

5 Easy Steps to Going Green!

5 Easy Steps to Going Green!

A few weeks ago I went to the Moms Meet Wow Summit and learned a lot of ways that any family can start their journey to going green. And it is a journey. It’s not something that you wake up one morning and think, “Today we go green!”. Or at least it shouldn’t be. Think about how much stuff you’d throw away: Cleaning supplies, food, household goods. That woud make a lot of trash all at once, and that’s definitely not the direction you’d want to go in.

Here are 5 steps to start your going green journey (all of these we’ve implemented at our house):

Reduce: In order to reduce our carbon footprint, we re-use as much as we can.  For me the first step was to reduce the number of cleaners we had in the house, since a lot of them aren’t too environmentally friendly.

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Re-using packages helps the environment!

I made up some of the Dr. Bronner’s All Purpose cleaner (¼ c. soap in a quart of water in a spray bottle. Add ¼ tsp. tea tree essential oil if desired.) using a sample of the Baby Unscented Pure-Castile Liquid Soap, and I put it into a bottle that used to hold another cleaner. I washed the bottle thoroughly before mixing up the new cleaner. It REALLY gets the kitchen clean and because it’s an all purpose cleaner, I use it in the bathroom too! I really like that Dr. Bronner’s products are biodegradable, organic and are safe enough that you can brush your teeth with (but, yes, it does taste like soap!!).

 

 

 

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Sturdy Thirty-One bag and the Banana Box!

Re-Use: I re-use as much as I can around the house. We’ve got re-usable lunch bags for Little Man (and that classy banana box too- keeps the bananas from getting beat up in transit), and one for the car (it’s replaced our car snack box). I cut up old beat up bath towels and use them to clean up around the house. I re-use containers as well. I cleaned out an empty formula canister and put Nesquik powder in it instead. I even re-used the formula scoop (since it’s smaller than the usual portion size, we use less each time!).

Recycle: We have a recycling bin with a lid on the patio and we put our recycling in it. Once it’s full we take it to our local Re-Planet Recycling center. We earn a little money and help the planet- nothing better! It’s a great teaching tool for Lil’ Man!

Walk: We are fortunate to live within walking distance of a grocery store (which is closing soon, but will re-open as a Smart and Final soon), as well as a park, and a few other places that we like to go. When it’s possible (aka not 100 degrees), I put Birdy in the Stroller, and we walk as a family to pick up whatever we need or to go have an adventure. There is a second bonus: When we are shopping, I am limited to what we can carry in the undercarriage/storage area of the stroller. It really helps me stick to my shopping list! Not only are we getting exercise, but we’re leaving our car at home and that cuts down on the pollutants that are in car exhaust.

Replace non-green stuff with a green counterpart as we can: When we finish up with a non-green product, I replace it with a green version. Like the cleaner above, once I used up the last of the Windex, I replaced it with the Bronner’s recipe for cleaner. We ran out of paper towels a few weeks back, and in it’s place, I’ve been using  lint free cloths instead. I just wash them with the other towels when I do the laundry each week. I picked up AmazonBasics Microfiber Cleaning Cloth – 24 Pack for only $14.99. A few towels added to a load of laundry doesn’t cost anything extra either.