This was one of the easiest DIY projects I’ve ever done that I feel ridiculous for not doing it sooner. I bought a small tin of chalkboard paint years ago with the intention of making myself a kitchen menu. I’ve always liked writing down a list of all the meals planned for the week (mainly so I don’t forget about them and waste food) I also like lists – they help me think. Now that I have a toddler it’s even more important to meal plan. So for years I’ve been thinking about the perfect ‘something’ to make into a menuboard. I thought about new frames, thought about hunting down secondhand frames, thought about finding some scrap wood and painting that up – which just meant this little project has sat off to the side for too long. So the other day on an absolute whim I went down the road to the local Op Shop, saw the perfect frame (The Op Shop Gods were looking out for me that day!) and bought it for a grand total of $5. The frame had an ugly 80’s ‘painting’ in it (by painting I mean a print of a painting but then clear lacquer is messily brushed over the image to give the appearance of a real painting). I lightly sanded it, cleaned it, put masking tape around the frame edges and then gave it two coats of the blackboard paint. It honestly took about 15 minutes (not including the dry time). I think it’s turned out so well! What do you think?
I love how I’ve ‘met’ likeminded people through blogging. There are some amazing people out there who inspire me to do better. It’s from this network that I was asked to join the ‘Free our kids‘ revolution. The gist: don’t spend a cent on your kid all year to free yourself from the misguided dependancy on unnecessary spending when it comes to kids. Is it possible? Well I have my doubts, but giving myself the challenge is really the only way to stop and think before I spend, and imagine if I did it? That I had a happy healthy kid and I haven’t had to spend a cent to achieve it? CHALLENGE ACCEPTED I say!
So you may ask how the heck I’m going to get through this, well I’m already half way there. Here’s a few examples:
- My baby, Everett, is 9 months old. I put him on his toy mat with his toys and you know what he’d rather play with? The dog, bowls and spoons, a cupboard, or right as we speak he’s playing with my apron.
- I often buy secondhand toys from the Op Shop or Gumtree.
- We recently joined The Playgroup Association of WA which means for two hours a week Everett has access to a bunch of toys and play equipment which is shared amongst other groups of kids, whilst socialising with other children his age (and not to mention socialising for me!)
- We plan on joining the local toy library soon which means for a yearly membership, you can borrow toys for a few weeks before exchanging them for other toys.
- I recently asked my friends on Facebook whether anyone had size 0 baby boy clothes that they were getting rid of (for a price, or for free) and I already got offered boxes of clothes for nothing.
- We visit the local libraries (we have four in close distance) for Rhyme Time, which is an initiative run by the State Library of WA where a librarian will sing nursery rhymes to children from 0 – 2 years old.
Some of these things do still involve a cost, so I’ll have to justify each item. I think, for example, Playgroup is well worth the cost for socialisation and access to shared toys. This evolved from Mothers Group but as the children get older, Mothers Group becomes too difficult to host and therefore Playgroup is the next best thing.
Look out for future posts on some of my experiences with Free our Kids. I’m going to document every cent I spend (or don’t spend) over the next year!
So fellow Mummies, do you think you could join this challenge?