Friday, October 31, 2014

Easy, inexpensive, and eco-friendly DIY Halloween box costumes:

The little ghouls and goblins are gearing up for their favorite time of year, Halloween! This holiday definitely isn’t just for the kiddos, so we’ve come up with a few Halloween costume ideas to involve you parents as well. These costumes are a fun and creative way to get your entire family involved this year.

Family of s’mores

Are you looking for a cohesive Halloween costume theme for the entire family? This s’mores-themed get-up allows everyone to be involved and is very simple to make. All you need is:
  • Smores2 large boxes
  • 1 dish pack box
  • Elastic or string
  • Brown paint
  • White paint
  • 2 white pillows
Begin with taking your two large boxes and cut four square pieces about 2.5’x2.5’ in size. These will become the parent’s graham cracker portion of the costume. Since I was using our TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® boxes, I just flipped over the box so the tan side was up. Next, I took the brown paint and began painting the dashes and indents to transform the cardboard into the giant graham crackers. Then cut two holes about a foot to foot-and-a-half apart for the straps. I used elastic for the straps but you could also use string or Velcro.
Next, take the dish pack and cut two rectangular panels to create the Hershey’s bar. Make sure the rectangle isn’t too big so your child can easily walk and trick-or-treat. Then, spray paint both panels brown. Once one panel is dry, take the white paint and write HERSHEY’S across it. Next, just like with the graham crackers, cut holes or tape straps to the cardboard panels.
For the marshmallow, all you need are two white pillows and string to make transform your child into a plump marshmallow.

Milk & cookies

milk & cookiesContinuing with the food theme, I love this idea of having a parent dressed as the milk and all the kids dressed up as cookies. The awesome thing with this costume is it’s perfect no matter how many kids you have. The items needed are:
  • 1 medium box
  • 1 small box
  • White paint
  • Black paint
  • Brown paint
  • Elastic or string
Creating the milk carton is super-simple. All you have to do is cut off the box flaps of our medium box. Even though our TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® boxes are already white, I wanted to cover up the writing so I quickly spray painted it white. Once dry add a few black cow spots and the words MILK. Unlike the picture here, I decided to go without the hat portion. the The last step is to add straps. Same with the s’mores costumes; I used elastic since it’s more comfortable and adjustable.
For the cookie, take the small box and cut out two circle pieces. I flipped them over so the brown side was facing up and added chocolate chips using the brown paint. You can just draw circles but I wanted to have fun and draw the chip shape. Just add the straps and your little tike is ready to become a scrumptious treat.


LegoIf you’re not thrilled about dressing up this year, we have one just for the kiddos as well. For the Lego costume you will need:
  • 1 small box
  • 6 small plastic cups
  • Tape
  • Spray paint
  • Elastic or string
For the Lego costume I chose to cut off all the box flaps, but you could also tape up the box and cut out a head and arm holes instead. Then I used tape to affix the six cups to one side of the box and spray painted it red. Lastly, I added the straps last. And it’s as simple as that!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Popularity Growing for DIY Moving and Keeping Costs Low:

With many U.S. homeowners embracing a DIY attitude, it’s no surprise that there’s been a surge in DIY moving as well.
A major reason for the trend toward DIY is that while hiring a full-service mover may be easier on your back, self moves cost about half the price of a van-line move.
In addition, people who handle their own moves have confidence in knowing their belongings will arrive as expected.
If you decide to make your own move, consider these two options: self move or a hybrid move.

Self Moves

When you choose to do it yourself, the burden rests entirely on your shoulders.
Unlike full-service moves that handle your relocation from start to finish, you have complete control how your belongings are handled, packed and moved into your new space.
For example, you’re responsible for securing your own packing materials and moving vehicle.
While this option is the least expensive, you’ll probably need to recruit friends or family members to help do the heavy lifting.

Hybrid Moves

A growing number of companies are offering a moving option to blend the conveniences of the full-service mover with the pricing of truck rental.
Once you make a reservation, a trailer is dropped off at your home. You generally have a few days to pack, load and secure your belongings in the trailer. When you’ve finished packing, professional drivers pick up and drive your belongings to your new home. You then have another few days to unload your possessions.
As with full-service moves, hybrid moves offer the perk of having someone else do the driving. The cost is similar to truck rental, because you pay only for the space you use. Because you pack your belongings in the trailer, you have direct control over your expenses.
You may be able to get a better price during the “off-peak season” from September through April when demand for moving services is lower—and movers can be more flexible in their pickup and delivery dates.
However, most people move during the peak spring and summer months when weather is warm—and they have time off from work and school.

DIY Moving Basics

As always, you need to stick to the fundamentals of a smooth move—plan ahead and enlist the help of others when you need it.
Your choice to do it yourself will boil down to dollars and whether you’re willing to drive your belongings to your new home. You might find hiring someone else to drive your goods is a burden on your budget. Or you might be leery of driving a big truck, especially if you’re moving long-distance.
Whichever option you choose, make a mental note of how happy you were with the moving process as you settle into your new home. The average person moves 11 times in a lifetime, so if you weren’t satisfied by your first choice, there will likely be plenty of future opportunities for you to change your strategy for your next move.