inexpensive curtain rod solution


I love curtains and but I hate buying curtain rods! I feel like my choices are so limited, they are always more expensive that I want them to be. (I am totally cheap when it comes to home decor – I’m always thinking, ‘I could probably come up with a way to do it for less’) This brilliant idea was actually my mom’s suggestion – I’m all about giving credit where credit is due! Thanks mom! I already had the curtains and I really wanted to keep this area light, airy and a little whimsical.

Heres how you can get the look.

You’ll need
:: curtains – easiest if they have loops or very large grommets
:: fairly straight branches – one per window plus about 5 or 6 extra inches for hanging
:: gardening lopers (google says that’s what they’re called – you know, the giant cutters?)
:: sand paper
:: saw
:: screwdriver and screws you'll needStart by selecting your branches (you want them to be as straight as possible and to run the length of your window with a little extra on each side) and trim all the tiny twigs so you can slide the curtain on later. Lightly sand the trimmed branch – I liked the look of all the green moss but because these are in our kitchen I didn’t want mossy bits to be falling all over the place. Next, cut a small two small pieces off a branch you’re not using and screw into wall as a mounting mechanism. Loop curtains onto your branch before you hang them.

trim and hangFinally, screw branch into the pieces you just mounted. Step back and enjoy your practically free and very creative new curtains!favorite placeThis is currently my favorite place in the house! So bright and pretty. Every time I look at it I smile. It’s where I usually read and blog and where the little one and I eat breakfast.blueberries and riceDoesn’t her breakfast look delicious this morning? I sacrificed the last of our frozen blueberry stash form the summer for the babe. I thought her diet needed a little color. Lucky little one.first blueberries


homemade rice cereal

I decided while I was pregnant that I wanted to make all of Everly’s baby food. I knew I would probably stay home so I would definitely have the time and over the years it has become more and more important to me to eat foods as close to their original, unprocessed form. So I wanted to use that same line of thinking for my baby’s food. AND, I’m kind of a cheapskate sometimes.

I prepared quite a bit of fruits and veggies for the babe but I also thought it would be a good idea to make my own rice cereal. Rice cereal really isn’t that expensive but I wanted to use brown rice instead of white which was a little harder to come by and a little more expensive. Ultimately, I wanted to always have food around the house rather than getting to that dreaded day when I open up the cupboard and realize we are out of food for the baby. Making it at home ensures that there are no 6 am emergency trips to the grocery store for baby breakfast. We always have rice.

It is actually really easy, all you do is throw some rice in a food processor and run it until it becomes a fine flour. I used my mom’s vita-mix which makes light work of the grinding process. Here’s what it looks like when you’re done. brown rice flourUnlike boxed rice cereal, homemade rice cereal does need to be cooked before feeding to baby. To make it a more user-friendly food I make a large batch and freeze it. All you need is a ziplock bag and some ice cube trays. This is how I do it.

STEP ONE: Cook up a batch of rice using the rice flour you made in the food processor. I cook it on the stove top in a large pot. Start with some hot water, whisk in the flour, then I add more hot water until it reaches the consistency thats right for your little one.

STEP TWO: Let rice cool and pour into a ziplock bag. I usually put the bag inside some sort of container to keep it from spilling.fill bagSTEP THREE: seal bag and snip off one corner (better to start small if you snip too much things can get out of control)snip endSTEP FOUR: fill ice cube trays with rice cerealfill traysSTEP FIVE: tap trays on counter to eliminate air bubbles and freezeshakeSTEP SIX: once frozen pop cubes out of trays and store in labeled bag in freezerbrown rice frozenI take a few cubes out of the freezer and place them in a bowl in the fridge a meal in advance. If you aren’t planning a head they are easy to microwave from frozen. Rice can be stored for up to six months in the freezer.

*As a first food homemade rice cereal can be a little harder for a new eater to process. I started out with store-bought rice cereal and slowly switched over to the homemade version just to give her digestive tract a fighting chance. It seemed to be a pretty smooth transition.