Made In America Challenge Update

Happy Friday to you everyone!  I just wanted to give you an update to my Made In America Challenge that I posted a month back.  I told you I would give you a run down on what I discovered while attempting to source “Made in America” products while on every shopping adventure!

Overall thought for the challenge:  HARD, HARD, HARD!    Why do we make it so hard to locate and buy things from our own country???

Pricing thoughts for the challenge:  When I did find products  in the grocery store that were made in America the cost difference between them and their international counterparts were minimal.  Extremely minimal.  Like a couple of cents to about $0.50 cents difference.  I know every penny saved can add up through out the year however I also value the idea of buying local.  Wether that means locally from the farmers market or locally like in our OWN COUNTRY!  So I will do it.

Questions I asked about Buying American:  While browsing the noodle aisle at Wal-Mart I actually stumbled across a manager who happened to be walking through and he did the cordial “Are you finding everything OK, Mam?” line to me all the while not even really slowing his stride, fully expecting me to say “I am, thanks!”  When I took that opportunity to ask “Actually I am looking for only American Made products? Can you help me?”

HA!  Asking “Can you help me?” is like the most ridiculous question in a Wal-Mart.  Even though their vests say they can help, most workers can’t or won’t or dont’ even want to.    You can imagine the look on his face being similar to that of a member of the Jersey Shore show when asked if they practice safe sex.  Yeah, that look!

He didn’t even really know what to say to me so I broke his deer in headlights while stuttering “umm…ummm..um” spell by saying that I would prefer to buy American Made products but that I am finding very hard to do so.  I then asked why they can’t show us consumers which of their products are in fact made in America.  He blabbered on about he just gets what “THE BUYERS” send him and that they aren’t allowed to emphasize that because I guess other non american made products get jealous?  Whatever, he was not helpful at all.

Many things were hard even to find where they were made and others were made somewhere else but packaged in USA, like below.

Then some were very clear where they were made!

Ideas for buying American Made:

  1. Etsy.  Etsy is a great source for handmade goods.  You can also search your city or search for products only made in USA.  All the components might not be made in America but I’m starting with baby steps here!
  2. Farmers Markets.  You know those delicious goodies are local.   For me, they were cheaper than the grocery stores anyway and quality was SO MUCH BETTER!
  3. Make it yourself!  Wether it be upcycling things for new uses or a new piece of furniture…make it yourself!  My girl Ana White has a plan for about any piece of furniture you can think of.  Right now, her and her family are building her mother and mother in love a house.  Yep, all themselves, up in Alaska!
  4. If you are looking to hire help, hire local companies
  5. If you are looking to purchase something online, do a quick google search to see if anyone local sells the same item or similar.
  6. Here are some great websites also. Made in USA.org, American Made Products Directory  Made in America Resource Guide, Made in America Stuff.com  The web was far more helpful than the Wal-Mart manager!

So moral of my challenge.  It was a challenge, but I will continue to give good effort to continuing on.  I am thinking of it as recycling…at first it took a bit for the idea to catch on and become a natural habit and look at it now, everyone does it!

Have a fabulous weekend everyone and thanks again for reading my ramblings!  I appreciate it!

Don’t forget to enter the Mixed Bag Designs Giveaway going on {HERE}

 And That’s What Che Said…

Ghost Lights

I am so excited to share this little project with you all!  My string of “Ghost Lights”.  I heart them!

Items Needed:

  • Cheesecloth
  • 20 ct. light set (white cord preferred)
  • Black Felt or cloth (or Black Vinyl for Silhouette/Cricut if you have one)
  • ModgePodge or 50/50 mixture of glue/water
  • scissors
  • tacky glue
  • popsicle molds or small dixie cups

I started out by unfolding my cheesecloth.  It came in a big folded ribbon.  I ended up using 2 layers of it in roughly a 7″ x 7″ square.

Next I draped the cheesecloth over my popsicle mold and then used my glue mixture (50% Elmer’s glue mixed with 50% water) and a paintbrush and painted the top half of the cheesecloth over the mold.  {I tried using spray adhesive, however it didn’t quite stiffen the cheese cloth enough.  The spray adhesive only stiffened my arm hair!    The glue mixture worked great!)

While the glue was drying I cut faces and mouths out of black felt.

Once the ghosts were dry, I carefully pulled the cheesecloth off the molds and using tacky glue, glued on the felt pieces for the face.

Insert a light through the top of the cheesecloth.  Some of mine just poked right through and others I had to help by cutting a small slit in the top.   (I purchased my string of lights at Hobby Lobby in the craft section where they have those glass block craft ideas.  My string had the lights really close to one another so I opted to insert a ghost every other light.  I believe if you use actual Christmas lights (white cord of course) they will be farther apart and you can do a ghost on every light.)

The pictures don’t even do them justice when they are hung and lit!

I couldn’t resist making one of these little guys with a mustache!  Mustaches are so popular right now and I wanted one of my little ghosts to be cool and popular! 😉

I also really like this angry guy!  The options for faces are endless!

Hang and enjoy!    Check back because I have many more fun Halloween ideas to share!!!

Note: These are recommended for indoor use only!

Another Note:  Have you entered my Giveaway yet?  You should hop on over (HERE) and do that now!

And That’s What Che Said…

Todays Creative Blog

Halloween Soaps

Remember when I made this cute little gift for Michael’s teacher?  Well I am back at it again, only this time I made some cute hand soaps for our house!  This is so easy and fun and is a functioning decoration!

Items Needed

  • Hand Soaps (Orange, Purple, White or Clear)
  • Scrapbooking stickers or Vinyl for Silhouette/Cricut

First I found these soaps at Wal-Mart.  Each were only $0.88 or $0.94 each!  I removed the labels from the front and back of the soaps.   If any of the sticky goo is left behind, just soak a paper towel in vinegar and let it rest on the goo for about 10 minutes and then scrape it off.

Next, I found some Halloween Scrapbooking stickers at Hobby Lobby.  If you have a Silhouette or Cricut you can use those to make your designs instead of the stickers.  If you use stickers, just be sure you get the ones that have clear backgrounds.

Then I simply placed the stickers!  You can add a bow around the neck of the pump also but it would just get untied or destroyed with my boys,  so I chose to leave it off!  I used a black cat and star for the purple soap.  I couldn’t find any pumpkin face stickers so I used this cute haunted house sticker for the orange soap.

This one might be my favorite.

  I even added a little spider to the pump top!

If you have a Silhouette/Cricut you could make the orange one a pumpkin and cut out a vinyl face, the white one a ghost face and you could also get a green hand soap (like cucumber melon) and make that into Frankenstein!  There are so many cute options and depending on your tools and what stickers/soaps are available to you, you can totally customize this project to what works for you!

Simple, cute and functional!

Don’t forget to enter to win one of (4) $50 Gift Cards to Mixed Bag Designs!  Click (HERE) to enter!!

And That’s What Che Said…

Todays Creative Blog

Halloween Subway Art Printable

Update 2:  I added the 16 x 20 size per sweet Meghan’s request!  Enjoy! 

Update:  I corrected the spelling in “Witches” on the printable.  Please re-download if you did so before 9:00 am!  I was working on this too late at night apparently!  Thanks!!

I am getting ready to start decorating my house for Halloween!  It is one of my favorite holidays and I figure since we are halfway through September already, why not start bringing out the fall decorations?!

I needed something to fill a frame and so I just made a Halloween themed subway tile art print that I can pop into a frame!  I thought I’d share with you all!  I have two sizes below 8 x 10 and 5 x 7.  If for some reason you would need larger, let me know and I can add that one also!  Just click on the image size below and you can download for free!

Halloween Subway Tile Free Printable

If you enjoy this free download, consider subscribing to my blog or following me on facebook.  You never know when I might have something else you will like!

Happy Downloading!

Click below on size to download

8 x 10 Size      5 x 7 Size       16 x 20 Size

Don’t forget to enter the giveaway for (4)  Gift Cards to Mixed Bag Designs (HERE) !!

And That’s What Che Said…

Todays Creative Blog

{GIVEAWAY} Mixed Bag Designs

***This {Giveaway} is now CLOSED*** 

I am back to announce the four winners of a $50 Gift Credit to Mixed Bag Designs!  Even if you did not win, you can still use the code “che” and get FREE SHIPPING until September 26th! Now onto the winners…..

Congratulations Linda Syverson, Lisa Giljum, Dawn and Megan C

I am so very excited to be hosting an awesome giveaway sponsored by Mixed Bag Designs!  If you have not heard of them yet, well sit back and let me introduce you to them and their fabulous bags!

Mixed Bag Desings offers a wide selection of reusable eco-friendly bags!  They are made of woven polypropylene and 10-40% of that polypropylene is made from recycled materials.  Heck, the bags themselves are recycleable!  Not only are they eco-friendly, they are fashion friendly!  How awesome are all these print selections!

Partial Print Selection

Partial Print Selection

I was lucky enough to get to test some of these awesome bags and they are amazing!  They are nothing like the reusable bags you can buy in the check out lane.  Most of Mixed Bag Deisgns’ bags can hold up to 50 lbs!  Holy cow my 4 year old doesn’t even weigh 50 lbs!

I use this insulated bag to bring my frozen foods back home from Wal-mart.  It takes me a good 25 minutes to get home and in this heat we have had lately, Michael’s popscicles come home as kool-aid!  It’s large, durable and has an awesome velcro top to keep cold things cold and hot things hot!

I also adore this awesome hold everything bag!  Currently it is holding every beach towel we own as I try to make the transition from summer to winter things in our closets.  I am envisioning it as a great bag to pack toys in when we travel back and forth to my parent’s house!

I am hands down absolutely in LOVE with this medium zippered tote!  It is a perfect gym bag.  Wipes clean, doesn’t retain the stink of my tennis shoes and is CUTER THAN ANY OTHER BAG AT THE GYM!  You know, because that’s what’s important 😉

They have everything from lunch totes (super cute) to reusable snack bags to garmet bags and department store totes!  You see their entire selection at their website or on their online brochure!

Not only are their products awesome, they are awesome!  They offer fundraising also!  Make your next fundraiser GREEN!  I would love to buy these great bags over wrapping paper or magazine subscriptions!  Their fundraising programs offer 50% profit and free shipping!  How awesome is that?

Prize Details:

FOUR $50 Gift Cards
Yep, that’s right I get to give FOUR of you each a $50 Gift Card to get your own aweosme bags!

How to Enter:

Leave a comment below telling me what you already do to be “Green”!  Simple enough, right?
Do you ride your bike to work?  Recycle?  Moderate your energy usage? Use EE lightbulb?

GOOD LUCK!

Giveaway Details:

No purchase necessary.
Giveaway entries will begin when this post publishes and will be taken until Sunday September 18, 2011 at 11:59 CST.
{4} Winners will be chosen via Random.org and announced as an update to this post on Monday September 19th.
Winners will have 48 hours to respond via email before I choose a replacement winner
Giveaway is limited to US and Canada residents 18 years old and above only

Bonus {Free Shipping}!!

Don’t want to wait for the giveaway to get some awesome bags?  You can shop online and use the code “che” for FREE SHIPPING!!!  This free shipping code is only valid for shipping to the US or Canada and is valid until September 26, 2011. 

If you want to stay up to date on what’s going on over here at That’s What {Che} Said…you can subscribe to my blog through a reader using that cute little RSS beaker in my sidebar, subscribe via email (below the beakers) and/or follow me on facebook and twitter!  I’d appreciate it but certainly not required! 

Disclosure: This giveaway is sponsored by Mixed Bag Designs, no monetary compensation was given and I did receive a sample of bags for hosting.  All opinions are 100% my own.  That’s What Che Said is not responsible for prizes that are not honored, distributed
in a timely manner, lost, stolen, or damaged during transit.

And That’s What Che Said…