Saturday, March 31, 2012

Winter Shirt Switcharoo

bad photos taken from ipad

I don't know how many of you actually do this, but being the cheapy girl that I am, I do. 

For a few years now I have been cutting these kinds of sleeves off the kids shirts so they can wear them in the summer too. 

I have to admit sometimes I search for these types of shirts in the winter just so I can get double use out of them ;)

Every year we buy the kids these shirts that have the look of two shirts.  You know the ones with a long sleeve shirt under the short sleeve shirt. 

Anyhoo if you look under the sleeve of the shirt you will see a stitch that connects the material together.  This is great because once you remove the long sleeve right under the short sleeve; you can't even tell it was ever a long sleeve to begin with. 

Now the kids have summer shirts, and I get to save money.
I wonder, does anyone else do this?  What are some ways you reuse clothes?  I'm quit interested, maybe I can learn a thing or two :) 

Have a lovely weekend!!!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Pottery Barn Bedding

I LOVE that label :)

I wrote in another post about how much I love Things from Pottery Barn, in fact I'm sure I've wrote about it a few times.  Ha!!!

I have also mentioned how I can't afford their prices, and will never, ever pay full price for anything from PB. 

But I will pay $50 for a complete PB bedding set off eBay. :)

I'm not sure the name of the set because they don't sell it anymore, which could be the reason for the AWESOME price tag.

These days you cant even buy a nice queen size bed in a bag set for $50 at target. And most new PB bedding sets will run you over $300 or more.   

The set included the queen duvet cover, two shams, two euro shams, a long pillow cover, and the bed skirt. 

I have plans for this bedding, and I'm excited about them. :)
This may not be everyone's cup of tea, but I love the cozy cottage feeling  it gives me, I think it will look very nice with a  dark iron bed, red quilt, and white oxford sheets.  Maybe for a guest room someday :)

This bedding is not the only great PB deal I have found off eBay, I plan to share more another day.  But although I have found many wonderful PB items at a much cheaper price, I know I still need to work on my shopping habit.  
But I must say, its so hard when you are surrounded by great deals from the BEST store EVER!!!

So what is your favorite eBay purchase?  Do tell, I love hearing about good deals.   And I wonder, am I the only person obsessed with Pottery Barn??  Because I'm feeling a bit alone yo!!

Just Say NO WAY JOSE to Shopping


Oh my goodness, I am soooo proud of myself right now!!!  I was just on Amazon looking through my saved items, and I started to add a few Pottery Barn books to my cart.  When it hit me..
 *We are going to Disney World  in a few short months, and all my extra money is to go towards that, if I spend it, I will not be able to enjoy Disney World to the fullest.*

So I was able to walk away from  Amazon, and walk away from eBay.  I now have butterflies in my stomach and Im a bit shaky but I DID IT!!!

This may seem silly to some, but for a girl who seriously does have a real shopping problem, this is a BIG deal.  Just ask my Mr. Fireman he will agree..

Speaking of eBay, I will be back a little later to show you a purchase I made not too long ago that I think was an AWESOME deal.  I just wanted to let you know how excited I was to say NO WAY JOSE to unnecessary shopping.  :)

*I am no way on a shopping diet, just trying to learn some control*

Monday, March 26, 2012

Why I Started Blogging

I'm sure people who know me, and even those who do not know me are wondering "why is she blogging? What could she possibly have to say that is so important? And why should I care what she has to say?"

The answer is simple, first of all I have nothing of any real importance to say, and I have no real reason why you should read my posts.

I know, heck of a sales pitch huh.

But seriously, I have always wanted to start a blog, but I wanted to wait until we bought our house and I could blog all about renovating, DIY. etc.   I love writing, and I love reading other DIY blogs.  However, being the impatient human that I am, I could not wait any longer; I knew that it was going to be a loooong time before we are able to buy a house. 

I just have no patience, and sometimes I have a hard time seeing the bigger picture.  Sometimes things move too slowly for me and I get antsy.  So much so, that I end up sabotaging things, and end up suffering the consequences later. 

I didn't want this to be one of those times, so I started my blog early, hoping that it will be a good way to release some of the frustration, and hopeless anxious feelings that sometimes washes over me and takes a strong hold on my day. 

I know that God has some big plans in store for myself, and my family, I know it's just around the corner before I start seeing the results, I know he has already started in on us and it's just a matter of time, I know this so much so that I can feel it, every piece of my body and soul can feel it.

But, why is it so hard to submit, and wait for his perfect timing?

It's always His timing, not ours, we may think that we are in control, and that we say when, but really, only HE can say go.

So that is why I started blogging, not because I have a lot to say, or that my ideas are better than anyone else's (because there're not), but because I'm trying to be patient while waiting for Gods perfect timing.

So in the mean time I do hope that you will continue to follow me, because I want you there when our time comes.  And then maybe I will have even better things to blog about ;)


Saturday, March 24, 2012

Ruthies Thrifty Homemade Laundry Soap


Most people don't know this about me, but I grew up with two moms.  No I did not come from a polygamist family.  I had one mom and one dad, and then there was Ruthie my nanny/ mommy #2.

 She lived in our home and took care of us from the time my little sister was born, until we moved to Colorado.  This was about eight years.  I LOVE that Lady!!

Anyway, she wrote me today with a recipe that she uses to make her own laundry soap.  I have never done this,  but can't wait to try it out.   

Here is the recipe.   

*1/3 bar of soap of your choice,
1/2 cup of washing soda (Arm & Hammer) not baking soda,
1/2 cup borax

Grate soap into a sauce pan. add 6 cups of water and heat until soap melts. add the washing soda and borax ( can add a little more borax to make a thicker gel) stir until it dissolves. remove from heat, in a large bucket pour 4 cups hot water then add soap mixture and stir. now add 1 gal plus 6 cups of water and stir. let the soap mixture set for 24 hr. and it will gel. use 1/2 cup per load. you can use scents 1/2 to 1 oz. of essential oil or fragrance oils. this is a runny gel formula ( but you can thicken it with a little more borax.) this will equal 64 loads and save lots of money. double the recipe ( this will make a 5 gal. bucket).
heat 12 cups of water,1/ 2 to a full bar soap. 1 cup washing soda, and 1 cup of borax add to bucket along with 8 cups of hot water and two gallons water plus 12 cups. Saves you money, and only cost about 8 dollars to make a 5 gal bucket.  

That sounds pretty thrifty to me :)  But I wont be doing any laundry today; Im off to enjoy a wonderful free day at Six Flags with my family!!

Hopefully come Monday I will have my PB inspired wall mirrors done J

Friday, March 23, 2012

Pottery Barn Inspired Parat Mirror

Take a look at these lovelies....

                  PB FOUND PARAT MIRROR

I have had my eyes on these mirrors from PB since I first set eyes on them last year.  Unfortunately at $80 for three, they really aren't in my budget, and never will be.   

But I noticed all they are is just little wood bowls with mirrors, how hard can that really be to duplicate.
Not too hard I'm sure, so I went out and bought four vintage style wood bowls at a thrift store in Dallas about six months ago.  

I love the wood  look, too bad ;)
At first I thought how much I would love to take my bowls and make them look like the PB version, but since I want these for the Master Bedroom someday, and because the MB could use a lighter touch...
MB inspiration board found under my home inspirations page

I decided then that they should be white

These are the backs so they will not show at all, and yes, I did go over the weird tag that would not budge at all

After three coats of white paint they are still not done :(  Hopefully they will be done on Monday granted I find mirrors to fit.  

*Happy Friday, and I hope you have a very Blessed week*

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Spring cleaning challenge day #2. Memories in the Closet

Yep I know it's been a few days since SCC #1, but I must admit I have really not been feeling it, but finally today Ryan came home from work and I decided to jump in. 

It only took me two hours to finish up this much, which consisted of removing everything out of the closet, wiping the shelves down with my favorite cleaner, organizing everything then putting it all back in.

Whew.  This may not seem like a big task but let me tell ya, the closet goes back pretty deep and there was a TON of stuff in there.  I even found an old first aid kit that I bought for our trip two years ago, but lost and had to replace.

Anyone who organizes a closet or a room for the first time in a long time can tell you, that you always find the things you have been looking for, or you come across old memories.   I found plenty of old memories. Binkies, baby bibs, wedding stuff, and tons and tons of photos of the kids that I forgot we had.  You know, the ones that you took from all those disposable cameras. 

Anyway back to the subject, I know it may not look like I accomplished much but I will be finishing up very soon.  This is what it looks like as of now.

So hopefully in the next couple of days I will be finished.  I'm also working on a few other things right now, and planning our first trip to Disney World for the summer.  I'm so excited!!!

Anyone besides me take too long to clean a closet out because of old memories?  Or maybe you just have too much other stuff going on right now. Whatever it is I would LOVE to hear about it :) 

Here is a before and after.  You may need glasses, its a tiny picture.

Sorry for the bad lighting, its a hallway people, there is no good lighting in the hallway.

 Not too shabby. 

Have a lovely spring day!!

I’m joining iDreamofClean and 9 other bloggers in the Spring Cleaning Challenge for a chance to win some incredible prizes!  

My Miracle Cream


Coconut oil has been used for so many things.  People all over really seem to love this stuff.  It seems to be good for EVERYTHING!!! (Even though I would love to better understand how it helps a person loose weight) A couple of things I like to use it for is skin care, and hair care. 

Coconut oil is used as an ingredient in a lot of hair care products, and body products because of its moisturizing benefits.  It's used in many anti dandruff shampoos because it moisturizers the scalp and keeps the scalp from flaking, and itching. 

I like to buy my coconut oil from Walmart because it's 100% coconut oil, there aren't any added ingredients, and at only $10 a jar it's pretty thrifty, especially when you think of all the different ways to use it.  My Coconut oil will last for about a month or more depending on if Mr. Fireman uses it too :) 

To use as a scalp treatment just melt it over boiling water ( don't microwave) until its melted but not too hot, then massage into the scalp making your way down to the ends of your hair. Once you're through with this just wrap your hair in a towel and leave on for 30 min or longer.  Wash hair twice making sure all oil is out, condition, then dry hair as usual.  You will find that not only does your scalp feel good but your hair will feel silky soft.  

To use as a body moisturizer and face moisturizer just add a little to your hands and apply to face and body.  This is best done at night after a nice bath or shower because the oil is kinda heavy.  If you want, and for added benefits, you could add your favorite essential oil mixed into the coconut oil before applying to the body.                

*Don't forget to apply some to your hands and cuticles, remember your hands see age faster then your face does*

So this is what I use coconut oil for, but there are a ton more ideas on the Internet,

what are some ways you use coconut oil? 

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Picture Frame redo

You know those cheap frames you find in the middle isles at Wal-Mart?  The ones that are marked down to $3 or $5.  Well I bought four $3 boring wood picture frames that look like this.

I forgot to take the picture with the original mat...sorry, picture it a lighter off white color

Not that there is anything wrong with them, they just don't go with my style, just not me.

Because of this I made them look like this instead. 

Very Nautical I think

Ahh much better, what do you think??  I ABSOLUTLY LOVE them J

It was super easy, I made sure to buy the frames with the mat in them, and took some fabric that I already owned and wrapped it around the mat and glued it down.

Next I sanded the picture frame just a bit so the paint would stick to it better, then I just painted the frames all white.    Easy peasy, and a thrifty way to add style to your old frames.

 My inspiration came from Katie, she has tons of great ideas.

For just $12 I now have four nice new picture frames, now I just need to find some pictures to put in them, I'm thinking beach photos :)

Our Top Five Favorite Fun Activities

*Warning*   this is a super long post

As I mentioned in an earlier post, my husband and I had to learn different ways to have fun with our family while not depriving our children of the things that they were so use to doing. Here is a list of things our kids (and our selves) enjoy.

Six flags.
This is the most expensive up front family fun that we enjoy.  One ticket for one day admission is $56.99 for anyone over 48 inches tall.  And as you may already know (if you know my family) we go a lot during the year. They have so many fun things to enjoy, like freight fest, and holiday in the park.  So that price was killing us before.  For a few years now we have been buying the season passes.  They cost $59.00 each when you by four.
  Um. hello that's only a couple dollars more than one general admission plus you get free parking all year long.  And a coupon book full of free admission tickets for friends, and coupons on food and drinks. Also we buy two six flags cups that can be refilled all year for free with water, or .99 for everything else.  So while it does cost a lot up front, after just two times of going we have already paid for an entire year of fun.  Also Six Flags has recently started a layaway plan for people who want to pay a little at a time, but your still able to enjoy the park as long as your payments are up to date. 
Six Flags

The zoo.
We use to do this a lot more than we do now, but really how many times can you see the same animals over and over again.  For us twice a year. That's about all we need, and it cost $66 for all of us to get in. Still pricy but so long as we eat before we go, and Wait to eat afterwards it's not too bad for twice a year. And because we rarely do go its a treat for the kids when we do.

Chuck E Cheese.
Honestly I will be so happy when all the kids out grow this place.  Unfortunately my husband still loves going so I have a long wait ahead of me. But fortunately for us it's only $20 to enjoy a few hours of fun.  We no longer eat at Chuck E. Cheese; we eat first then spend $20 on 100 tokens.  This gives the three kids and Mr. Fireman about two hours of playtime.  But like the zoo we only do this when we have a little extra money, and want to give the kids a nice little treat.

Drive in movie theatre
This by far is one of my most fav things to do.  Do you know it cost a whopping $50 just for the tickets more if it's in 3D at any regular movie theater, and even more once we buy drinks and popcorn. (Because you have to have drinks and popcorn) The drive in movie here where we live only cost us about $15 for admission and probably a total of $40 when we buy food with the tickets.  A HUGE savings.  Also how fun is it to bring big comfy blankets, pillows, and pj's to the movies. Best summer activity EVER!!!
Picture found here

The park
This is always fun, and always free!  Just pack a basket full of food let the kids play, and take a nice stroll on the park trail, maybe let the little ones feed the ducks.  This family fun is something we always enjoy, especially when we're broke but want to get out of the house for the day :) 

So this is a small list of family fun activities that we enjoy, and have been able to do on a budget.  What are some activities you enjoy doing with your family that is on the cheaper side?

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Spring Cleaning Challenge day #1

Why yes this is my second post for the day.  I guess you could say I'm blog happy.  Or maybe I'm spring happy.  Yep that's it, I'm happy spring time is finally here.  The flowers are blooming, the birds sound happy, and people are getting into the mood.

Spring Cleaning mood that is :)

And as much as I love to clean  (insert sarcasm) I really do enjoy organizing more.  So I have decided to link up to Mandy over at Biblical Homemaking for the Spring Cleaning Challenge.

What will I be organizing you ask??  Well my little pretties feast your eyes on this.

This is our wonderful little hall way junk closet.  It's where we throw everything!!! My goal is to take everything out, organize it, and put it all back in.  It's a big challenge but I think I'm up for it, what do you think??  Do you have anything that needs to be organized?


Mason Jar Salad Shakers

One of the reasons my husband and I went through "hard times" was because we were never home.  We were always out and about, always taking our kids out to do fun things.  We would go to Chuck E Cheese, Six Flags etc.  But whenever we went out we would spend way too much money on food.  As I mentioned before food took over a large amount of our income.

Now I'm not saying that we don't do these fun things anymore I'm just saying we have learned to do them on the cheap.  One way to do fun family activities more cheap is to eat before you go out, or just pack a lunch and bring it with you.

And what better way to pack your meal than in a mason jar.  Like this.

OK so I will NEVER have a career in photography.  HA!!

Is that not the BEST idea EVER!! I would seriously love to hug the genius who thought this up.  It  reminds me of those old McDonald's salad shakers that they sold like 10 years ago. 

picture found here 

Also its healthy, and keeps up portion control, and not to forget how thrifty it is.  You really do save a TON of money bringing your own food.  And one last thing, since a mason jar is glass it keeps your food cooler longer.  

You don't even have to limit yourself to salad, you could do fruit, pasta, rice, left over casseroles, anything your little heart desires.  Just have fun with it.  

 Lovely little mason jar salad shakers :) 

Friday, March 16, 2012

How We Save Money

Photo found here

Since our self made "hard times " fell upon us, we have been trying to live a more frugal lifestyle to get back on track.  And while it has been tough at times to make certain sacrifices we have learned to actually over time enjoy our changes.  some of the changes that we have made include:

Getting rid of cable- this was a very hard one to do.  We are such movie buffs and we watched most if not all those wonderful channels.  Unfortunately we were paying $150 a month for cable, phone, and Internet at the time.  Once we got our new TV it came with all those extra HD channels for FREE!!!!   Also we got the cheapest membership to Netflix so that we could watch all those movies we love. All these changes made it  much easier to forget about our old cable box.  We are now going on four years without cable TV, and honestly even if we had the money I don't think we will ever go back, we have gotten so use to it.  And we only pay around $10 a month total for movie watching.

One vehicle- this was more of an accident and we did not intend on this happening, my husbands truck gave out on us leaving us with only my car, now we only have the one.  But we have lived this way for two years and have found it a lot cheaper for us.  For one we only have to pay repairs on one car, also the insurance cost us only $100 a month for full coverage, and the gas for one car is sooooo much better to pay for than the Gas on two cars.  This may be the hardest change for most people, but since I don't work at the moment, and since my husbands work schedule is so easy to work around, having one car just works well for us.

One cell phone for our home- this maybe another hard one for most  people but again since I'm home most of the day and Ryan only works every third day we just have the one phone.  Also ever since Apple has come up with face time, we can call and message anyone with an iPad, iPhone, or iPod.  When I had a cell phone we were paying $99 a month for service through Metro PCS, I still think once I start working then I will probably need my own phone, but till then I don't.

Eating out, not so much- I am so ashamed to admit this but we would eat out twice a day almost everyday .  Ryan and I never stayed home we were always out and about, this caused us to eat out A LOT.  And not just places like McDonald's but more like places like Red Lobster, and Chuck E Cheese.  These places would cost us around $70 or more each day.   One day, I decided to look at a bank statement for a month that we ate out like this just to get an idea of how much we were spending on eating out, and it was over $1,000 just on  food.  After that we stopped.  We still eat out just not nearly like that.  Now we eat out for a treat and we eat at home the rest of the time. 

Changing grocery stores-  We always shopped at Walmart, and we still do sometimes for certain things.  But most of our grocery's are bought at a store called Aldi's.  We save probably half of what we would from Walmart. 

Clipping coupons-  I'm still new to coupons but I have gotten a lot of great deals from using coupons.  Especially from stores like Walgreen's and CVS Pharmacy.  LOVE those stores.

Thrift stores-  I have always loved shopping at thrift stores and yard sells but now I love them even more. Last year for Heavenly's winter clothes I purchased five Abercrombie and Gap sweaters for $3 a piece.  All were in great shape.  And I was able to find her jeans for under five dollars.   I LOVE shopping at thrift stores. 

So there is our small but very effective list of things that we are doing to save on money around our house.  I would love to add to this list if anyone has any suggestions.  We're always looking for ways to save money.  And I can't wait until we buy a home and can do even more to save,  like plant a veggie garden :)   

All of these solutions are very obviously obvious I know, and I'm sure these are things people have said before,  but honestly we really have saved a ton of money, and while its been hard at times we have learned so much from this experience, and I know we will never go back to spending money the way we once did.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Mason Jar Craft #2

Today I decided to do something super simple but I think very useful.

  I decided to make little chalkboard name tags for the jars to distinguish whose cup is whose.   I got the idea from this inspiration photo. 
Find this photo here

Of course I did change mine up just a bit.  What do ya think??? 

I promise eventually I will learn to take better photos.

The kids LOVE them, and I pretty much do too J

I just used some chalkboard paper that cost $1.50 at Michaels, and reused an old ALDI brown paper bag.  I cut circles out of each and tied them on with some twine that I already had.

  It’s thriftier than always buying paper cups, and I think its way more fun too.  

Monday, March 12, 2012

Yummy Chocolate and Honey Face Mask

 What girl doesn’t LOVE chocolate? I am a chocoholic shopaholic.  And since eating too much chocolate has never been good for me I needed to think of a better way to keep the sweet stuff in my life. 

I came up with this yummy chocolate honey mask that I absolutely LOVE.  It’s my go to mask because I always have the ingredients on hand, and did I mention that I LOVE chocolateJ 

Also chocolate has a very high antioxidant content which helps prevent any further cell damage brought on by too much unprotected sun exposure and other harmful toxins.  Chocolate can also improve the skins appearance by increasing blood flow, increasing hydration, and decreasing skin roughness.  The honey is a natural preservative and skin firmer, Vitamin E is typically placed in skin care products to help keep the skin from the appearance of aging.

That all by its little self is enough for me to be THRILLED, not to mention how yummy it smells, and how silky my face feels afterwards.   

Now if you Google chocolate mask you will probably find other chocolate masks that may be a better fit for you, I defiantly suggest you experiment and figure out which ingredients you love best.  Here is my list of ingredients:

2 tablespoons of dark chocolate
7 pierced vitamin E capsules
1 tablespoon of powdered milk
1 tablespoon of honey
1 tablespoon of water

You could use cocoa powder if you want to instead of the dark chocolate, but the antioxidants are higher in the dark chocolate.  I just buy a large dark chocolate bar and keep it in the freezer until I need to use it.  Typically one bar will last a month and I only pay $2 a bar.  All other ingredients usually last about two months. Which makes this not only a very natural face mask, but a thrifty one too.

Put the chocolate in a microwave safe bowl and do 10 second intervals mixing the chocolate until the chocolate is nice thick and creamy. 
The consistency should be thick and creamy at this point

Next add the tablespoon of water to the powdered milk and mix well, then add the milk to the chocolate and mix that up real well.  It will be significantly thinner. 
Next pierce the vitamin E capsules if you have not already done so, and squeeze the oil into the chocolate mix.
Add the honey and mix well.

Add the mask to a clean dry face and leave on for 15-20 min. 
*The thinner you apply the mask the easier it will be to take off
Follow up with your favorite moisturizer.

Sit back, put your feet up, and enjoy the wonderful aroma of chocolate without all those extra calories.
p.s. Do not forget to add some to the back of your hands also, the hands show age quicker than the face does.

Mason Jar Craft #1

Being thrifty means finding the beauty in simple cheap things, and using them for whatever you can.  As I mentioned last week I LOVE mason jars and I happen to have a few lying around so I wanted to do some simple crafts that I found on Pinterest using mason jars.  The first craft I did came from this picture inspiration found here

I loved that bright yellow (yellow is my favorite color) and I loved how they used them as simple vases. These would look lovely in a kitchen window on a beautiful bright spring or summer day. 
One thing I decided to change up was the color, because even though yellow is my favorite color I also love a soft green, so I decided to get my paints out that I bought at Michaels  on clearance for $1.50 each, and then I got to work painting.

             I did them yesterday and let them dry over night. What do you think???????

Please excuse these bad photos, I'm no good at taking pictures.

 I LOVE them, they make me smile J

Now if only someone could teach me how to take better pictures. 

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Mason Jar Love

The love I have for mason jars is insane.  Apparently though, I am not the only person who loves these fun jars they are EVERYWHERE.  All over Pinterest, and all over different DIY blogs people are showing off their love for mason jars.  I have to say though, I have since forever really liked the look of mason jars, they bring me back to a sweet time, a time when everything was more simple.
  Not only are these wonderful creations SUPER cute they are EXTREMELY functional.  

I love all the different ways to use mason jars, and all the different crafts one can do using them. 
 Starting next week I will be doing one mason jar creation each day, for a total of five different mason jar crafts. Here are a few of my favorite DIY crafts using mason jars.  I found all of these photos on Pinterst.
Find this craft here
find these mason soap dispensers  here

Find these jars here

Find this mason jar chandelier at Etsy

Find this really neat mason jar craft here

Photo by Beth Helmstetter

Martha Stewart Crafts

This fun idea was found here

Image from The Decorated Cookie via  Design Crush

Find these here

These beauties are from Crafts by Amanda 

How fun are all of these great ideas, I can't WAITE to get started!!!