Archives For On a Personal Note…

Exciting news, my friends! I have a couple of new sponsors this month and they. are. so. cool. If you usually skip these posts I encourage you to take just a moment to see what’s below before clicking away–I promise you won’t be disappointed.

First up, my loyal sponsor and friend Brandi of A Brandi Sized Shop. Brandi is actually going to be taking a little break from sponsoring soon and I want to thank her publicly for being such a great sponsor all these months! She has some cool new items to showcase.

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Vintage Fashion Manor Penn-Prest Coral Queen Flat Sheet

I love the coral shade and lattice print of this flat sheet. I think it would be fun to add a pop of color to a bed or you could use the fabric to make pillows, curtains, or a shower curtain (my extra tall shower curtain is made from a flat sheet). At $16 it’s a steal for the yardage.

abs vintage zodiac medallions

Set of Four Zodiac Medallians – Cancer, Libra, Capricorn, Aries

How fun are these Zodiac medallions? I think one would look so pretty as a pendant necklace. Brandi says she’s willing to split them up if you contact her. I’m an Aries and that ram is tempting me, but I also think the scaled would be a fun gift for an attorney in your life.

abs vintage brass anchor

Vintage Brass Anchor Candle Holder

I love vintage brass. This candleholder is a fun nod to nautica and could double as a weapon. It won’t be coming to live in my house because I’m fairly certain my toddler would stab his eye out with it, but maybe it could come live in yours! Farewell, dear Brandi, and thanks for being such a lovely sponsor!


Onto my next sponsor, Sunday in Savannah Vintage! Owner Laurie is a friend of mine who wears vintage dresses to playdates like it’s no big deal. She has an awesome Etsy shop with over 100  vintage clothing items.

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sunday in savannah 50s khaki dress

50s Dress / vintage 1950s Khaki Swiss Dotted Rockabilly Dress / Full Skirt Western Flair / Medium

I love the detailing on this dress, especially the bodice and shoulders. Fuller skirts like this are really easy to wear around little kids, too–you can get down on the floor without showing anyone your hoohaa.

sunday in savannah 60s green dress

60s Dress / Spring Green Polka Dot Swiss Ruffled Sleeveless Cotton Dress / Extra Small XXS

Oh, how I wish this dress was not so small! Kelly green is one of my favorite colors and I just love the flattering cut, the swiss dots, and the ruffles. If you’re tiny this one’s for you.

sunday in savannah 50s cream and yellow dress

50s Dress / Vintage 1950s Party Dress / Kerrybrooke Cream and Yellow Gold Polka Dot Chiffon Full Skirt Prom Dress / Extra Small

Here’s another extra small, but it’s just so cute! Can you tell that I’m drawn to a certain silhouette? I love dresses with defined waists and full skirts. They’re just so flattering and easy to wear. The gold polka dots on this one are so festive!


And last but not least, my newest sponsor! Amelia and Meghan are the two proprietors of Little Eli, a shop featuring handcrafted jewelry, soaps, and concrete creations. Amelia is a reader who contacted me–turns out she lives in Baton Rouge and we have a couple of mutual friends. After checking out her awesome shop I’m pretty sure we need to be besties.

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little eli pearl bracelet

Champagne Pearl Bracelet with Gold Crystal Ball. Classic Bracelet. Bridesmaids Present. Bridal Jewelry. Champagne Pearls.

I mean, I don’t even have any words. This shit is adorable (sorry! language!).

little eli concrete planter

Medium Round Concrete Planter. Two Tone. Ombre. Desk accessory. Succulent Planter. Outdoor Planter, Urban Industrial. Cottage Style. Cement

How creative are these girls??? They have a bunch of concrete planters, dishes, candleholders, etc. You could use this one as a planter or for a large pillar candle. I love the two-tone look.

little eli orange mint soap

Orange Mint Soap. 5oz. Small Batch. Handmade. All Natural. Vegan Friendly. No Artificial Anything. Essential Oils. Small Soaps. Two Bars.

They also make soap! At only $5 for two bars this would be a great purchase to have a couple of small gifts on hand for hostesses or thank-yous or whatever. And I’m pretty sure it smells amazing.

Amelia and Meghan are offering a special discount for Living Well on the Cheap readers! Use the code “livingwellwithlileli” at checkout for 15% off for the rest of August!


And last but not least, my public service announcement for the month:


The Baton Rouge Crisis Intervention Center started as a single phone line serving the needs of the LSU community in 1970. Six LSU students, including the student body president, died by suicide during the 1969-1970 academic year and in response The PHONE, a confidential crisis counseling service, began that spring. It’s been active 24/7 since, manned mostly by volunteers and expanding to serve a ten-parish area. I went through the intense training program to become a volunteer counselor my sophomore year in college and soon joined the staff as a part-time employee. I worked there for four years and learned many skills that would serve me well both in my personal life and in my career as a social worker. I also met some seriously wonderful people, my BFF Cassie included. The heart and soul of BRCIC is still The PHONE and the volunteers that answer the lines, but the center has also expanded to provide information and referral (particularly following natural disasters), support for those who have lost loved ones to suicide, and education and training to the community. It’s a wonderful organization that is struggling just like any other during these tough economic times. If you’re interested in learning more you can visit their website, where you can also donate if you feel so inclined. And if you’re local and interested in volunteering you can call their business line at 225-924-1431. If you’re in crisis and need somebody to talk to you can call 225-924-3900 and there will be someone there to listen any time of day or night. Would you believe that I knew both of those numbers by heart four years after leaving that place? I can barely remember my husband’s phone number but some things just stick with you, I guess.

Thanks for reading, y’all, and I hope you have a wonderful weekend! Smooches!

happy weekend

Can I get a what what for the weekend? Things have been so busy for us the last few weeks and I’m really looking forward to a quiet weekend at home. I’m oddly excited about getting some housework done, studying for my LCSW, and enjoying some quality time with Nick and Jack. In approximately T-minus 9 hours Nick will be home from work and relaxation will commence! I hope you each have an absolutely wonderful weekend and thank you, as always, for taking the time to stop by my little corner of the blogosphere. You are the wind beneath my wings. Smooches!

image from here

As soon as Jack became mobile the items on the lower shelves of this bookshelf were so tempting to him. I didn’t mind him playing with the books, but some items posed more of a hazard. You can see in this older photo that it was not at all kid-friendly:

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I removed everything breakable or that could hurt him from the lower shelves until I could figure out a solution. I finally have it rearranged just how I want it and I have to say that I like it even better now than I did before!

stylish and babyproof

I got a large basket on sale at Hobby Lobby ($20) and filled it with toys to keep Jack busy while I’m working in the kitchen. I chose lightweight toys so the basket wouldn’t get too heavy and stuck some foam pads on the bottom to keep it from scratching the shelf or the floor. Jack knows there are toys in there and often crawls over and pulls it off the shelf. I also used museum putty to secure the silver pig and green glass bowl to the shelves. I have actually watched Jack yank on the pig, which is stuck to the book, which is stuck to the shelf. The cover of the book lifts up but the whole operation stays securely in place. It’s amazing! I wish I would have known about this stuff years ago. It would have saved me a lot of grief with some of the stuff my cats like to knock down.

babyproofed bookshelf

I’m still trying to work out the best way to secure the shelf to the wall. It seems pretty stable but I don’t want to risk it falling over on Jack if he tries to climb it or something. I’m thinking of using a couple of metal brackets (like these) in an inconspicuous area near the top. Thoughts? I think I’ll also go ahead and use museum putty to stick down any heavy objects on the higher shelves, just to be sure they don’t fall on him. It’s so hard balancing safety with my desire to have a home that’s both functional and aesthetically pleasing. Babyproofing is definitely a work in progress around here and I’m planning a post soon on what we’ve done to make our house more kid-friendly without it looking like a daycare.

Happy hump day, y’all. We’re halfway to the weekend! I know it sounds crazy for someone who doesn’t work full-time to look forward to Friday but I do. It’s so nice having Nick around and to slack off from our weekday routine. Thanks for reading!

Next week Jack is going to start attending a Mother’s Day Out program. I went back to work part time when he was three months old but he’s always been in in-home care. This is our first time that he’ll be with a group of other kids in a daycare-like setting and I actually think he’ll really enjoy it. I always notice that he’s less clingy and more willing to play independently when there are lots of other people around. I guess there’s just so much to see and do! So anyway, one thing that kind of caught me off guard about this MDO program is that there’s a specific set of things I need to provide (crib sheet, blanket, etc.) and everything has to be labeled. I could just write his name everywhere with a sharpie and call it a day, but do you know me it all? It needs to be cute. Plus the idea of permanently altering baby items with monograms or handwritten names has always struck me as wasteful–it’s kind of awkward to consign, resell, or pass down something with your kid’s name on it!  So I brainstormed a method for attaching a cute fabric label that can be removed with a seam ripper. All you need is some fabric and iron-on transfer paper.

First, I created an image with his name in a grid. To do this I made a table in Publisher, saved it as an image, then used paint to flip it so it would print in reverse. If I’m being honest, I forgot to print it in reverse the first time and wasted an entire sheet of transfer paper. It happens to the best of us.

iron on transfer sheet

Then I simply cut a rectangle of white muslin I already had (you could use any light colored fabric, even an old t-shirt) and followed the instructions that came with the transfer paper to iron the image onto the fabric.

transfer text onto fabric

Then all that was left to do was cut out a label and sew it onto Jack’s blanket. I didn’t stress about sewing a perfect rectangle, I just tried to make a reasonably neat box around his name and then I cut off all the excess fabric around the outside. I actually love the way it looks.

diy fabric label

So for the cost of some transfer paper (I already had it but you can get some for less than $10) and some spare time on my Sunday afternoon I now have more than 70 labels that I can attach to anything fabric throughout the rest of his childhood. They can be washed and worn and as Jack grows I can use a seam ripper to remove them with no significant damage to the item. If you don’t have a sewing machine these would be easy enough to hand stitch or you could use some fusible web to iron it on if you’re not worried about wanting to remove it someday. Or maybe even fabric glue! I think that stitching is the best option though.

custom fabric labels

I attached labels to his blanket, the crib sheet I bought just for MDO (I decided it was too stressful for me to have one of his two regular crib sheets clean and not on his bed every week), his little paci blanket thingie, and when the adorable little backpack I ordered him comes tomorrow I’ll put a label on that too. I also ordered some of these erasable food labels for his pacifiers and sippy cups–the pack of 70 is obviously way more than I need just for him but I figure I can use them in the kitchen, around the house, etc. Yay organization! I love having things neatly folded and labeled just so.

I hope y’all had a wonderful weekend. We attended a beautiful memorial service for my grandfather, enjoyed visiting with family, and finished season 1 of House of Cards. I can’t believe we have to wait until next year for season 2! Hopefully I can talk Nick into taking up Orange is the New Black with me. I love summer TV.