Tuesday, March 31, 2009
I finally had some time to put up a few of my mom's new items on Etsy. I have given a few of her tea wallets as gifts and they have gone over well. I especially love the pansy one she just made. I also really like the color of the new rose heather dryer balls she just finished. Stop by at CJ's Craft Corner and take a look!
Do any of you have Etsy shops? What do you sell? Drop me a comment with your shop name/link so I can take a look!
Monday, March 30, 2009
In addition to reading the book we made this handprint butterfly. This Eric Carle Toddler Theme has some other good ideas. I also printed out a part of a wonderful Very Hungry Caterpillar Tot Pack to share with my little one. (This site has some amazing resources and activities on a wide variety of themes and books.)
What are some of your favorite activities to accompany this book?
For more ideas, visit I Am Blissfully Domestic!
Friday, March 27, 2009
- I saw this recipe for peanut butter cookies at Make and Takes and couldn't believe the simple ingredient list. Only 3! I had to give them a try and they are really yummy! I mixed in some peanut butter chips as well.
- I found this article about quiet time tubs through Crystal's Mom of Littles blog. I love the idea for my daughter. She is 16 1/2 months old and I really think with the appropriate activities, she would enjoy having a rotating group of toys and activities each day. I found 6 qt. plastic shoe boxes at Target this evening for $1, so I bought 5 to make daily tubs. I have a list of ideas started and will have to update when I get mine completed. Do you have any great activity ideas for a young toddler?
- The idea of "unplugging" for 24 hours is great. Read more about it here at a Soft Place to Land. I didn't participate today, but have been mulling over the idea of turning off the computer a certain day each week. Do any of you do this?
- I just bought my daughter's (Gymboree) Easter dress on eBay for around $11.00. This article about buying and reselling children's clothing was intriguing to me. Anyone do this?
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
I didn't make it to CVS the past couple of weeks, and I only saw a few things in this week's ad, but we were out and about, so I stopped in to see what I could find. I do well at CVS with simple, single transactions. I always get myself into trouble when I try to do multiple/complicated transactions. Here's what I got this morning:
- 1 Schick Intuition Razor
- 2 boxes Post Trail Mix Crunch
- 1 tube of Crest Pro-Health Enamel Care Toothpaste
- 1 package of Reese's PB eggs (for when the hubby breaks his Lenten chocolate fast)
I burned some ECB, but still have $6.49 to spend/roll on a future purchase.
We also stopped into Walgreens and got a couple of the Pledge Pet Hair sweepers and a Schick Quattro Razor.
One final deal of note: Our Meijer store had some Beech-Nut Tummy Trays Toddler Meals on sale for $0.40 each. They are regular $2.65, I think. We don't typically buy these, but for the price they are excellent for lunches or quick dinners. Let me know if you see these at your store - I don't think they are in this week's ad.
For more deals, check out Super Savings Saturday!
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
My mom suggested I make an Easter version and the day after I started mine, Monica put up a tutorial for the Easter names of Jesus garland. (I had trouble finding a direct link, so use this link and scroll down to March 11.) My words are slightly different on the garland I made. (Monica does a great job of explaining the order for hers.)
This time, I made 5 - one for me, one for my mom, and a few to sell at church as a fundraiser. Ours is hanging in our living room and I love that it makes the focus of Easter so clear. My mom asked me to make hers hang vertically and it looks good that way, also.
Monday, March 23, 2009
I am so excited to be seeing some flowers! We have crocus blooming and tulips and daffodils are on their way! These pansies pictured above were recently purchased and planted in a basket to put on our front porch. For the past 5 years, a pair of house finches have built their nest in a hanging basket on our front porch. Last week, the birds started coming around again, so we needed to find a basket of something hardy to withstand very chilly night temps in our neck of the woods. Pansies fit the bill and I am so happy to have flowers in the house!
What are some of your favorite signs of spring?
Friday, March 20, 2009
Here are the books and activities we used for last week's theme:
Cat's Colors by Jane Cabrera
Dog's Colorful Day by Emma Dodd
My Many Colored Days by Dr. Seuss
A Rainbow All Around Me by Sandra Pinkney and Myles Pinkney
Good Luck Bear's Special Day by Sonia Sander
What Makes a Rainbow? by Betty Ann Schwartz
We focused on the Bible Story/Verse of Noah's Ark: "God would keep his promise." Hebrews 11:11. We read a version of Noah's Ark in one of her toddler Bibles and did some Noah's Ark songs and fingerplays.
Web sites and Activities:
Young Toddler Themes - Noah
Noah's Ark Mini-Book
Wave Bottle - We made ours green.
Five Little Ladybugs CD - Song "Rainbow of Colors"
Baby Einstein - Baby Noah - Animal Expedition
We didn't get even half of what I planned done. (I only included what we did manage to do.) I am looking forward to doing more "Tot School" in the future!
Recently we noticed that the milk is quite a bit cheaper at gas stations and convenience stores in the area. Depending on the kind of milk that is purchased, the milk is $0.70 to $1.20 cheaper. If you are buying 2 gallons per week, that is a savings of $70 to $100 a year!
Have you noticed milk prices varying greatly in your area? Where do you purchase milk?
For more frugal tips, check out Frugal Friday hosted by Life as Mom!
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
I am a very inexperienced sewer and have had many failed sewing attempts. This looked so easy...I was sure I could do it.
Well, it wasn't as easy as I thought (especially since my mom suggested some "extras" to make the dress a bit nicer), but it did turn out! This morning I finished it, but I did sew the straps on backwards - seam side out! (I have some spatial processing issues!)
Here is the finished product! It even fits her!
I enjoyed this experience enough that I would like to try another dress like this for my daughter, maybe for Easter, and/or a skirt for me. Where can I find this kind of pre-gathered fabric online? I have searched and searched to no avail. Leave me a comment if you can help!
For more ideas, visit I Am Blissfully Domestic!
Monday, March 16, 2009
On Saturday morning when we were at Meijer doing our grocery shopping, I spotted a pile of boxed clearance furniture on the other side of the cash registers. Imagine my surprise when I saw this armoire from Sauder sitting in the pile. The best part was that the armoire had been marked down to $136! Now, I know this is not a garage sale or thrift store price, but it was considerably less than we had been thinking about paying.
My husband did some measuring and checking to make sure everything would fit, and after we decided it would work, he went back on Sunday afternoon to purchase it. Less than $145 after tax! He is hoping to put it together this week, so I'll have to post a picture once it's up in the room.
This reminds me of when we got my Sauder craft cabinet at WalMart for $75. This piece has worked beautifully and held up well. We hope the TV armoire will work as well!
What are some of your favorite (unexpected) deals (big or small)?
Saturday, March 14, 2009
Meijer was a small trip this week for us. We are working on using some of the goodies from previous weeks. I love when we can make small trips and use what we already have in our stockpile. Total spent at Meijer was $33.91. Our savings was $55.09, a lot of which was from the two shirts I got for $2.00 each! Some of my favorite deals I got were the free Quaker rice cakes after coupons and the ZipLoc baggies I got for $0.25 per box. The baggies were especially sweet because each box contained a $1.00 coupon for Honey Nut Cheerios. I was able to use these coupons at CVS!
We made a second Meijer trip this morning and they did have the Gentle Care wipes for $5.99. I was pleased to spend $0.99 after coupons!
What were some of your favorite deals this week? Have you managed to snag cheap Huggies wipes and diapers with your coupons?
Visit Super Savings Saturday for more stories of shopping and saving!
Friday, March 13, 2009
A couple months ago, I saw this Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Anti-Chip Top Coat featured in Lucky magazine. I rarely paint my nails, but thought it would be good to try since on the rare occasions I do paint my nails, they always get ruined. I bought it with a WalMart gift card from Christmas a couple months ago and just got around to using it. This stuff is fabulous! You paint your nails, let them dry for 2 minutes, then apply the top coat. After 30 seconds, your nails are dry to the touch. I did my nails about an hour before bed and didn't have sheet marks on my nails when I woke up!
Finally, I keep hearing great things about Swagbucks, but I haven't been able to break myself of using Google. So, I have set my homepage for Swagbucks, and I am trying to use it exclusively for the rest of March. I'll see how many Swagbucks I have at the end of the month, and find out whether I have enough to redeem for any gift cards.
What has been your experience with Swagbucks?
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
I am most definitely not a person who goes out and buys complete outfits. I pick up shirts here and there for $3, pants for $5, and shoes for $6. Then I incorporate my new items into my current wardrobe.
Recently, I have been finding some great deals and after reading some spring fashion posts through Boo Mama and Blissfully Domestic, I was thinking I would put up some of my favorite new items. When Kelly mentioned the possibility of a "recession fashion" Mr. Linky, I decided that I would put this post together!
So here is a new outfit from some recent clearance finds!
Pink Cardigan $2 from Meijer (ours had a few racks of $2 and under clearance!)
Pants $5 from WalMart (navy, wide-legged, knit pants)
Butterfly Flats $4 from Old Navy
Earrings $5.99 from Avon
Total Cost: $16.99
Here's a close-up of the shoes and earrings. I can't wait to see some more inexpensive spring fashion inspiration!
For more frugal tips, head on over to Frugal Friday!
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Visit I Am Blissfully Domestic for more great tips, recipes, and ideas!
Monday, March 9, 2009
The Inspired Room
Just looking at the beautiful photographs here is inspiring!
Make and Takes
Fun crafts for kids and other family tips at this site.
So many lovely (and simple) ideas here! I picked up some fabric to try and make one of these sweet dresses.
A Soft Place to Land
Charming photographs, inspirational thoughts, and great decorating ideas can be found here!
What's on your bookshelf (real or virtual) this week?
Friday, March 6, 2009
We did our regular grocery shopping trip at Meijer this week and saved $38.97. This was roughly 33% savings.
I found a few goodies at WalMart this week, too. Two tops for $3 each and a pair of navy pants for $5. For the little one, I found a pair of pants for $1.24 at Target. I also got some navy butterfly ballet flats at Old Navy for $3.97.
What are your best deals from this week? Share them (and read more) at Super Savings Saturday!
I thought about eBay, but costume jewelry is plentiful there. I remembered we have a resale shop in our area called Plato's Closet. This shop specializes in reselling teen clothing and accessories. While I am definitely not in the "teen" demographic, I decided to call and see if they buy costume jewelry - and they did!
We took the jewelry to the store. The girls working there immediately started looking at our items and told us it would be about 10 minutes before they would know what they wanted to buy. While they did this, we looked around the store. Denim was plentiful as were items from Old Navy, Gap, and American Eagle. It was well-organized with items grouped together by color.
When the girls were finished, they gave us $11.49 for the pieces they selected. I was pleased at the experience and would be willing to try selling some clothes there at a later date as well.
If you have one of these stores in your area, and have name brand clothes in your closet,(although I did see some WalMart clothes there, too) you might want to give this store a try for making a bit of extra money.
What resale/consignment shops do you recommend?
For more frugal tips, check out Frugal Friday!
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
The box is a re-usable plastic shoebox! Yay! It was all wrapped up with a bow and a note. The note told what each item was for and how each related to the "clean" theme.
Here is a list of what she included:
- Magazine (Country Home, one of my favorites!)
- Polishing pads
- Smudge cleaner (Lots of little fingerprints around this house!)
- Tidy totes (These are the coolest mesh bags!)
- Lint pads
- Daisy bowl
- Simmering potpourri
- Lip Smackers
- Pancake molds
- Sunflower (I can't wait to grow this!)
- Matt Maher CD (I recognized at least one track and am looking forward to listening to this CD!)
I took one final picture:
I can't believe how the dishtowel, pancake molds, polishing pads, and daisy plate match my stand mixer in my very blue kitchen! God is in the details of everything! Thanks so much Amy for brightening my day!
Check out With All That I've Been Given for more clean swap sharing!
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
A Mile in My Flip-Flops by Melody Carlson
Perennials for Midwestern Gardens: Proven Plants for the Heartland by Anthony W. Kahtz
Country Living Storage Style by Lesley Porcelli
I also have requested Square Foot Gardening to get some ideas for a small vegetable garden this year! I've heard this book is great! Can you tell I'm ready for spring? I was also excited to get my first (free!) issue of Martha Stewart Living today.
What is on your bookshelf this week?
Monday, March 2, 2009
Photo by House of Sims'
February was a much quieter month in terms of shopping. Our end of the month saving totals were:
Sale Shopping/Coupon Savings Combined: $170.19
I think the totals are lower because I shopped less, and there were fewer fabulous sales like last month's Old Navy stock-up trip. I don't think I kept track very well, either!
As far as our 2009 financial goals, I don't feel like too much happened one way or the other. Here are the goals that we are working on this year:
1. Reduce gift spending by approximately 1/3, but not our gift giving.
We have Easter (some really great deals at Christian Book Distributors) taken care of for our daughter, plus a few other things put away for upcoming events. It is quiet for us in terms of family events and birthdays until May, June, and July so I need to be on the lookout for good things at even better prices! Our 5 year anniversary is in April, so I need to be thinking of something creative and fun to do for that!
2. Continue to prepay mortgage.
We continue to pay a set amount over and above our payment that allows an extra amount to go to principal each month.
3. Create a CD ladder for savings.
Just one CD, no ladder yet!
4. Continue to save for daughter's college fund and general savings account.
We put away the amount in February that we were able to in January for both our daughter's college fund and general savings account.
We had a few unexpected car repairs in Feb., plus we are waiting to hear on another one! I'll check back at the end of March with another update! How are you doing on your financial goals for this year?