Month: October 2016

Welcome to Frugal Friday! I’m going to start posting some money saving ideas once a week. Today I’m starting with a topic close to my heart – sneakers!

It might seem a little bit strange to other people, but for a long time I’ve had a preference for canvas sneakers. I have a ridiculously high arch and wear orthotics in my shoes most of the time to prevent foot pain, so having a shoe that can lace up to my ankle is beneficial.

Last time I bought shoes I wanted to diversify from my black-on-black colourway, and found navy and white shoes in my size on sale. The problem? White rubber shows a ridiculous amount of wear after being exposed to the elements on a daily basis. I did some googling and found that throwing the shoes straight into the machine wasn’t advised (how disappointing!) but that with some household ingredients and elbow grease, I’d be able to tidy my shoes up.

I got together a tablespoon each of baking soda, warm water and white vinegar and mixed together gently with an old tooth brush. I dabbed the bristles into the mixture and worked it into the shoe in a circular motion, canvas areas and then rubber toe cap and frogging. Because the rubber areas were quite stubbornly discoloured, I also added a small drop of dishwashing detergent to the bristles every so often.

Before:

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During:

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After (in the rain, where canvas shoes are not recommended!):

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Considering how discoloured they became over winter, I’m pretty happy with the result. It’ll save me buying new shoes for a while yet, so hopefully I can find a new pair on sale. It only took about 20 minutes, so I’m inclined to do this again more frequently with any future pairs as a regular form of upkeep.

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Sleepless in Suburbia

I don’t think anyone would try to make a case about sleep being unnecessary – I used to get by with four or six hours of interrupted sleep a night, but doing it whilr trying to keep a baby out of cupboards? Not my cup of tea.
Lately, I’ve felt like I’ve ben stretched a bit too thin, trying to get things done. I haven’t been doing a lot different to what I was previously – I’m just getting less sleep..and to someone who’s used to getting some dodgy sleep, less and poorer quality is a real issue.
The thing is, our little busy bee used to be a good sleeper, until I was sick in May. After that, she’d only sleep while she was touching me. That means that in order to get any rest I was bed sharing, which worked for us for a short period of time, but hasn’t been good in the long run. It’s just not comfortable for me to sleep like that with the back issues I’ve been trying to correct for the past few years, so I’d wake up constantly – waking her in the process!
I asked my maternal and child health nurse what we could do, and she booked us in for one of the CAFHS settling sessions at our local branch. It took a few weeks to get in and by the time we did I was at my wit’s end, but it was worth the wait.
Pete and I both went, and honestly, it was fantastic to have a nurse guide us through the process of getting Olivia down for day naps. We’ve been able to implement what we learnt during the session and we’ve both developed an appreciation for the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra’s Music to Dream By cd (really), since having it playing seems to help her settle down (who knew?! It was the only thing missing!).
I’m not sure if it’s a coincidence but in the last week Olivia’s also taken her first steps and is now walking up to a metre at a time, as though the extra rest is enabling her to string new skills together more effectively.
The better quality sleep is definitely helping me, but getting back into a schedule is taking some time. I’d be silly to expect to snap back to my former schedule too quickly, but we’re already waking earlier and getting more out of our day; I just wish the settling session had been offered when we first brought Olivia home, since we’re first time parents and admit we’re winging it.
Do you have any tips for settling a baby? I’d love any advice I can get, I’m happy to be an eternal student rather than close myself off to new ideas.

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