Archive for the ‘saving money’ Category

  • Rock Star Jeans

    Date: 2012.01.02 | Category: crafts, parenting, saving money | Response: 1

    While wasting time online several months ago, I stumbled upon this idea for adding a guitar patch to holey jeans.  I thought it was pure genius, and perfect for my 3 year old who is obsessed with all things music.  I pinned the page on Pinterest and then when I came across two pair of jeans with holes in the knees in his laundry I knew it was time.  I am not artistic AT ALL and I am so pleased with how these came out!  I used her guitar and amp as inspiration for the first pair, then I decided to go crazy and come up with my own pattern to make drums on the second pair.  I searched google images for drum sketches, but really ended up coming up with my own design on paper which I then used to freehand the actual patches.

    JT opened up the box with these on Christmas morning and he was so thrilled!  Of course I couldn’t get him to stand still for a picture for anything- he was literally jumping around with them.  I did get a picture of him wearing the drum pants the next day.  Please note the glow drum sticks in his hands and the fake smile!

    Here are some close ups of the patches-

    Sadly, the ironed on edges have already started to come up after only 1 wash, so I’m going to have to stitch all of the edges down to keep them on tight.  I was hoping to avoid that since I can’t fit those little legs over the arm of my sewing machine and will have to do it by hand.  Ah, the price we pay to keep our kids happy.  And looking like a rock star.

  • Nativity Ornaments

    Date: 2011.12.27 | Category: Christmas, crafts, friends, saving money | Response: 0

    I love making handmade ornaments every year for family and friends (and for my tree too!)  It’s a tradition that I started years ago thanks to my friend Heidi- I think that means I’ve done it 13 years in a row now! (Hi Heidi!)

    This year, thanks to Pinterest I had some great ideas rolling around in my brain.  Of course, when I tried to make my first idea it totally flopped.  So back to Pinterest I went where I found this cute ornament and this cute ornament.  I decided to meld the two ideas into my own creation.  I’m allowed creative license, right?  I loved how they came together, and I loved that I only had to buy the wooden balls for the heads, I had the felt and yarn on hand.  Since I made 24 this year I needed them to be inexpensive and fun to put together.  These were perfect.  (It doesn’t hurt that since I’ve been pregnant 3 of the past 5 Christmases I seem to have babies on the brain either!)

    Aren’t they so sweet?  It made me happy to make an ornament this year that honored Jesus on His birthday.

    Happy birthday, Jesus!

  • Teacher Gifts!

    Date: 2011.12.19 | Category: Christmas, saving money | Response: 0

    I saw this idea on Pinterest several months ago and I knew it was what I was going to do for teacher gifts this year.

    3111ef3f-7759-4bc0-8cf0-e5a1139ed7c7.jpg

    Don’t those look delightful?  Since I always make fudge I thought these would be perfect.  I found a cute set of cookie cutters 75% off at Hob Lob and decided to make two flavors, Peppermint Fudge and Orange Almond Fudge for each teacher.

    Here’s how mine turned out.

    Peppermint

    Orange Almond

    I learned a few lessons in the process that I’ll keep in mind for next year.  I think I slightly overfilled the cookie cutters- next time I’ll leave a little more space on top.  I was also worried that the fudge would dry out in the fridge overnight, so I used press n seal on top, but then I ended up with some smudges and texture from the press n seal on the “pretty” side.  Oops. Next time I think I’ll put the foil in a tupperware or something for while it sets up in the fridge.  I decided to leave the snowman and star plain while I decorated the tree and the snowflake with some crushed candy cane.  Had the texture been smooth and pretty it would have been even better!  In the picture above I have the star and snowman flipped over so you are seeing the bottom- sadly it’s the prettier side with the marks from the press n seal on the other side.  Oh well- it’s still yummy!

    I wrapped each cookie cutter in a baggie  and paired it with a coordinating pot holder.  Oh, and here’s a simple trick for little bags of treats- grab a fold top sandwich bag and use scissors to cut up the seam where the fold is.  Then place your treat inside and tie off the top with some curling ribbon.  It’s much less expensive than buying bags designed for gifting!

    Hopefully Ms. Sherri and Ms. Connie will enjoy their treats!

  • Book Review and Giveaway- the Money $aving Mom’s Budget

    Date: 2011.12.18 | Category: book review, giveaway!, saving money | Response: 68

    THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED!

    One of my favorite blogs is MoneySavingMom.com.  Crystal offers tons of money saving tips, from shopping deals, to ways to earn extra income, to ways to budget and spend less.  I have saved so much money by using her site this past year!  Needless to say, when I heard she was coming out with a book I was excited.  And when I found out I could get a copy of her book for free by writing a review for it on my blog I was even more excited!

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    The Money $aving Mom’s Budget is full of practical advice and helpful hints to help anyone start saving money.  Her plan is simple and easy to understand.  She provides detailed instructions on how to implement a budget, how to save money when shopping, how to simplify your life and how to switch to a cash only lifestyle.  She makes it easy to start small and adds new steps only when you’re ready to move on to the next level- which means you won’t burn out after only a few months from being so overwhelmed.  She also provides worksheets and appendices to get you started.

    I found that this book is a nice complement to her blog.  It takes a step back and starts with the basics to help you maximize the information she provides daily on MoneySavingMom.com.  I highly recommend it for anyone who is ready to take control of their finances.

    And guess what?  I have one copy of her book to give away to one of you!  Winning is easy.  Just comment on this post and let me know that you’d like to win.  This giveaway will be open until noon on December 23.

    Happy reading!

    Legal disclaimerese- I was given this book to review by Crystal Paine at no cost to me.  The opinions expressed in this review are strictly my own!

  • What have I been up to this month?

    Date: 2011.09.26 | Category: crafts, home improvement, homemaking, saving money | Response: 1

    I know I haven’t been blogging much lately, but it’s hard to sum up what I’ve been doing instead.  Hmmm… lets see.  Raising a 3 year old and an 18 month old.  Growing a human being (we just found out that it’s a boy!).  Napping as often as possible.  Hitting the fall consignment sales and garage sales for bargains.  Making more denim purses (apparently I’m taking orders and selling them now!).  Making more jewelry.  Swapping out Kate’s 12 month wardrobe for her 18 month wardrobe (yes, she’s 19 months!) and finally hauling all of her 6 and 9 month stuff down to the basement.  Swapping out my regular wardrobe for my maternity wardrobe.  Hanging out with my parents for 2 weeks.  Dealing with the stomach bug that worked it’s way through each member of our family.  Dealing with the cough/cold that’s still working it’s way through each member of our family.  Celebrating my birthday with week long festivities (lunch and pedicures with my sis in law, date night, Rockies/Giants game, family birthday party, party with girl friends).  Setting up the new sewing machine I got for my birthday (hooray!).  Watching the first 3 seasons of Bones on Netflix (I love this show, but sometimes there are serious plot flaws.  Really?  Addy?  Not to mention it’s pretty gross).  Grabbing a free dresser from the side of the road.  Grabbing another free dresser from a family at church.  Painting both dressers white.  Buying 2 bookshelves for $2 each at a garage sale and settling them in the basement closet for more storage.  Surfing the blogs and pinterest for inspiration.  Experimenting with styling my cute new hair cut.

    I don’t have pictures of everything that’s been going on, but here’s what I’ve got…

    JT made a “bee costume” and ran around the house buzzing for days!

    Silly Kate is reading a book upside down and through her legs!

    Pink and red necklace, earrings and bracelet.

    Blue and black set, I think it’s my favorite one that I’ve made!

    Turquoise (teal? aqua?)  The strands are separate so I can wear one or all three!

    First purse I’ve tried with anything other than jeans- I like how it turned out!

    So I made a second one that way!

    I also added these little bows that I made to coordinate.

    This bag is made out of toddler jeans- so cute and a great gift for his mom!

    Fabric for 3 more bags.

    Still looks good a week later!

    Go Giants!

    New sewing machine- it has so many great stitches!  I can’t wait to experiment!

    18 weeks

    It’s a boy!

    This dresser will go in Kate’s new room when we get the guest room cleared out.  We have crystal knobs that match her desk for it.

    This dresser will go in the nursery.  I picked it up from the side of the road on garbage day.  It had at least 4 (some had more) holes in each drawer for different knob configurations over the years- and no two drawers had the same configuration!  I had to fill a lot of holes.

    Cute blue and white hardware we picked up at Hobby Lobby (or potty dobby as JT called it!)- the knobs will go on the tall dresser that’s already in the nursery (since I’m stealing the crystal ones for Kate) and the pulls will go on the new dresser.  I got the knobs on clearance- hooray!

    More storage in the basement for $4!  This closet now houses all of my wrapping supplies, birthday and Christmas gifts (I love to buy early), our 2nd crib, and some craft supplies.  We’re still in the process of clearing out the yellow room so Kate can move in.  These empty shelves won’t stay empty for long!

    The storage in the garage that I never showed you.  It’s so nice to have all of this vertical storage and get everything off the garage floor!  There are a few empty shelves behind the counter top (that STILL hasn’t been installed in the kid’s bathroom) for our Christmas decor- rather than hauling it up from the basement now only to move it back into the house after Thanksgiving we’re just waiting until we are ready to pull it out.  Behind the drape we have some of our tools and chemicals (up high and locked!) that we don’t want curious hands to get into.

    So that’s been my life lately.  I’ve missed you!  Thanks for checking in with me now and again.

  • Packing Tip

    Date: 2011.06.07 | Category: homemaking, saving money | Response: 0

    When I’m getting ready to go on a trip there is one thing I always do that saves me time and money. The morning before we leave I pull out my toiletries bag and set it on the counter. I keep some travel sized items and a few duplicates of my regular products in there all the time, so it’s already half full. Then as I am getting ready I place all of the products I use in the bag- makeup, toothbrush, hair stuff, etc. Throughout the day I might toss in something I think of and my jewelry or whatever. At bedtime I might add a few more items. Then the morning of the trip I get ready out of my bag. This is a double check for me to help ensure that I didn’t forget anything important.
    With this system I rarely forget something critical enough that I have to buy it on the other end and I know I’ll have all of my favorites with me.
    Just a little tip from me to you… I hope it helps on your next trip!

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    *edited to add*- I never check my toiletries bag- I always carry it on the plane with me. I keep jewelry and make up and other hard to replace or expensive items with me. I don’t mind buying new shampoo if my bag is lost, but I would be bummed to lose my favorite earrings!

  • Quick Fix

    Date: 2011.06.05 | Category: crafts, saving money | Response: 0

    I wore a cute little flower pin on my shirt today.

    As I was lugging my daughter around church this morning she pulled on said pin and ripped a hole in my t-shirt.  Grrrrr.

    What to do, what to do?  I didn’t want to always have to wear a pin- I don’t have that many and it would limit my color choices.  I thunk for a few moments and then… “Aha!”  All I needed to do was sew on a permanent flower.

    As soon as the kids were down for their naps I dug up an old white t-shirt that had already been cut up for another project.  I cut out four squiggly petal shapes.

    I layered the petals and stitched them on with clear beads and ….

    voila!

    The hole is hidden, the shirt was saved and now I have a cute little flower that’s still in white so I can continue to wear the shirt with anything!  Hooray!

  • Late night crafting

    Date: 2011.03.14 | Category: crafts, saving money | Response: 1

    Last night at about 10pm I got an idea.  A brilliant idea!  I had to execute it right away.

    Do you remember the felt rosette wreaths I made back at Valentines day?  I wanted to make a “corsage” for my coat. Just a few weeks ago I had a beautiful snowflake pin.  Then it had a run in with the diaper bag and didn’t survive.  Bummer.  Plus Spring is in the air and I thought a flower would be a nice addition to my lapel.

    And I knew I could whip out a hair clip for Kate.  Or two.  Cause that girl doesn’t have enough accessories.

    (How to distract a girl so you can take photos of her hairbow?  Bribe her with her brother’s sippy cup!)

    I thought she might need two new hair flowers.  A tiny little white one AND a sizable pink one!  Because really, why not?

    I think I had all three items made in less than half an hour.  And that included a flashlight foray into Kate’s room to grab a hairclip I could glue one onto and a rummage through my hair items for a second hair clip.  Oh, and did I mention the whole project was free?  I had all of the materials on hand.  Just about the only thing I like better than a bargain is free.  Woo hoo!

    I waited until this morning to take her pictures though.  I know better than to wake a sleeping baby just so I can photograph the new clips I just made for her.  Though I was tempted!

    Happy crafting!

    melody

  • Spreading the Love

    Date: 2011.02.14 | Category: crafts, giveaway!, marriage, parenting, saving money | Response: 0

    Happy Valentine’s Day!

    I am so excited to announce the winner of my first giveaway!  Susan, you’re a winner!  I’ll be emailing you today with the information on how to redeem your $20 voucher from Dayspring.  Don’t forget that they have many of their items on sale right now and you can use code LOVE25 for an extra 25% off of your order.

    I admit- I got a little geeky into Valentine’s Day this year.  Maybe it’s because I have a preschooler.  Or it could be because I extra appreciate my husband as I have a dear friend who was recently widowed.  Or possibly because I hadn’t done any crafting in a while and I just couldn’t hold back any longer.  In any case, I really enjoyed celebrating the love with my family and friends this year.  Here are a few of the (very) simple ideas I put into practice-

    I bought a package of Dr Seuss Valentines at the dollar store and handed them out at church

    I made three of those felt rosette heart wreaths– one for our house and two to give away

    I gave an entire case (60!) of Lindt Lindor White Chocolate Truffles to my Valentine (scored a great deal on Amazon!)

    I made heart shaped peanut butter chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast yesterday

    I cut JT’s pb&j with a heart shaped cookie cutter and stuck a sheet of conversation heart stickers in his lunch box

    I made JT and Chris’ lunches last night (this is usually my hubby’s job)

    Last night after the kids went to bed my hubby and I enjoyed a candlelit steak dinner and played some card games

    I made an effort to ask Chris big questions as we lay (laid?) in bed last night  (you know- what are you thinking about your career, what is your favorite thing about JT, about Kate, about me, where would you like our next vacation to be… those questions)

    I dressed the kids and myself in festive (red or pink- with hearts too!) attire

    I texted my husband throughout the day with conversation heart sayings

    We gave each of the kids small (think dollar store items) gifts

    I gave lots of extra hugs, kisses and cuddles throughout the day- the kids got in on the love too!

    I made red heart shaped jello jigglers to go with dinner

    I invited my sister in law and nephews over for dinner tonight since my brother is out of town

    As you can see, most of these ideas were free or almost free- just a little effort was all it took to spread the love.  How did you celebrate Valentine’s Day?

    melody

  • A sweet night’s sleep

    Date: 2010.10.11 | Category: faith, saving money | Response: 0

    Today I was surfing the blogosphere when I came across this post   http://audreycaroline.blogspot.com/2010/10/sweet-sleep.html which stirred my heart.  Angie Smith writes a beautiful blog and often shares opportunities to serve others.  As I’ve mentioned before, God has been deepening my desire to serve orphans and the less fortunate.  Particularly in Africa!   Sweet Sleep (www.sweetsleep.org) has been working with ARC- the American Refugee Committee to provide a bed, mosquito net and bible to children who are returning from their refugee camps to the villages of their ancestry.

    I encourage you to reed Angie’s post about this life changing ministry and then prayerfully consider donating.  Chris and I have intentionally cut our Christmas spending WAY back the past few years to allow us to give more generously to those in need at Christmas time.  This may just be the ministry that receives our gift this year!

    James 1:27
    Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

    melody

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