Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Blog List

You might see some changes on my Blog List...reason being? OOPSIE!! I was trying to add a couple blogs yesterday and instead, hit the wrong delete button in the process of taking a blog off :( So, I have some new blogs added, but am missing some of my faves...need to remember those since many held such great info on Walgreen's deals and Walmart deals...oh well, Im sure I will find them again :)

Monday, October 27, 2008

A Couple Christmas Ideas

Yesterday, I mentioned I would be teaching my older girls how to use the sewing machine. As I was running this through my head, and after I told them my idea, I got more ideas for gifts I could make. I have had these ideas before, but decided it was time to put them into action ;)

My kids all have certain shirts that became their faves and will not, under any circumstances, or threats by mom, pass them down to their siblings-lol! Laura loves monkies and horses, so any shirt with either of those creatures is not to even be considered as a pass along shirt to her little sister. Katy got a shirt from her grandma with dolphins on it when she was about 3. She never let me pass that shirt on...

Well, time for new life! I found instructions for different types of pillows to make with these shirts. Also, I could make quilts they would use to cover up with :) Though, I was considering that option for when they are older and move out-how cool would it be to have a quilt made from mom when you are off to college or a place of your own, and it holds such childhood memories ;)

I also found some adorable tote bag ideas! They could make some cute purses for the girls-or a neat library bag!

Here are some sites I found:

I also have another idea going through my head for Katy. Laura has had a nice recipe book for a long time. I actually use it to hold all my recipes-lol! Katy had a small one that we never expanded on. Since she has been doing Home Ec this year for school, I decided it was about time she had a nice recipe book of her own. I have pretty much all I need to get started except the binder, which I know I can get for a few bucks if I cannot find one around the house :) Make a pretty cover for it and add the recipes we use alot. She will love it, I know :)

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Goal Setting Saturday

Im thinking this should be goal setting Sunday instead-lol! Im giving myself another week on this one. Why, you ask? Well, the playroom is clean as far as toys go-they are pretty neatly put away....But, when I went to set up my sewing machine on my little table, the hole that was cut out for the original machine is too big for mine. So, Im waiting for Eric to cut me a piece of wood to just cover that-no big deal. And, Im thinking of an idea for my material-I found tons while digging through boxes of winter clothes in the garage! I have no idea why I put that material in those boxes, but, who care?! I found material-YAY FOR ME!!!! So, Im going to wash it this week, and figure out a nice solution to hold all these fabrics I have :) And, I already know what my goal for the next week is--teaching my girls to sew a bit. Laura was asking over and over yesteray if I could teach her to sew. Katy has been doing Home Ec this year and I knew around November we would start on some things she could make for we will start a couple simple projects next week and I will start on a couple ideas I have for stocking stuffers for Christmas ;)

So, next Saturday, expect-EXPECT-to see my finished playroom/sewing room. Cleaned and organized :) Give me an internet thump on the head if I miss it this time-lol!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Project Pics I did Yesterday

 We sort of skipped school yesterday. It was rainy and dreary and no one was wanting to do any school work. So, I set forth to getting my soup in the crockpot and my two loaves of bread going. Then, I went into the playroom and looked around. Katy's bed has been in there since we moved because the loft was just too hot in the summer. Im not really sure how well an a/c will work in there, so we will probably buy a portable a/c for her next year, but that will be after we just try some fans to try circulating the air...a suggestion from a friend I want to try :)

Anyway, I realized the evenings are pretty cool, so I asked Katy if she wanted to move up to her loft. You could tell she was having to restrain herself from jumping up and down as she said YES!

This is her area-see all the papers crumpled on the floor from her writing and drawing-lol!
She was using those boxes as sort of a night stand. Well, one of those boxes hold my sewing machine-lol!
I started looking at an old microwave cart we have in that room that was pretty good for holding toys. I wondered if cute boxes could slide in there. I found a beer box, cut off the top flaps and covered it with fabric...
Oh, and Katy had the idea for those little flowers in the front. I was able to find two boxes that worked quite well and Eric brought me more home last night. Of course, the cat on the top decided they were HIS boxes and I will have to wait until he is finished with them-or sneak them away while he is not watching :P
I will paint the cart next Spring-primer it, then paint it-so it will look nice and cute. The boxes hold her smaller clothes nicely and she uses the white dresser for her other clothes.
Right now, her mattress is on the floor-she likes it that way, but I hate it. Eric and I debate if a bed frame will fit up there, but after seeing her mattress up there, I know for certain it will now :) I won that debate-lol!  So, I will look around for a bed frame, or perhaps a captain's bed with drawers to give her more storage space (like for all those books and drawing stuff she owns ;)
So....part of the playroom is done! YAY! Hopefully a bit more today as Im still working on where I want my sewing machine :)

Monday, October 20, 2008

Goal Setting-Playroom Pics

Well, I asked Laura to take some pics of the foyer for me-and she did, but they were not of the whole foyer-just the one wall, so I will try again to post those later :)

Here is the Before pic of the playroom. Not too bad-just needs to be re-organized. Of course, I also asked Laura to take these pics for me and she only got one small corner-lol! I plan to also make a small area of this room my sewing area. I have a small sewing table that I got for free-YAY! I will put that up as soon as I can. Right now, Katy is in a corner of this room because her loft was so hot and her a/c didn't work when we brought it here. But, with nights being cooler, she will be able to move on up to that Deeelux Apartment in the Sky-i-i-iiii...ahem...sorry about that :)

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Goal Setting Saturday (Late Again!!)

I do have a VERY good excuse-lol! Our dryer broke last week, so I had been hanging out clothes. Well, I wasn't able to do it this week, so I got behind. Eric and I decided to just wash all the clothes at home and dry them at the laundromat. So, I washed all the clothes yesterday while doing my bi-weekly Sat shopping trips (did a load before we left out and two more after I got home). Then, when Eric got off work, we headed on up to the laundromat and dried. We also had to take a trip to Wallyworld-again-to return a remote that was not working when I tried to program it at home. So, my day was pretty well taken up.

I did, however, straighten and weed out the shoes in my foyer. There are still quite a few, especially since DH and I prefer to keep ours near the door. Katy does, as well. I've got some ideas running through my head...I really want something that hides the shoes pretty much. I will figure it out, Im sure. A picture will be posted later, once my camera's batteries are charged (which is why there is no before pic since my sweet kidlets kept taking them out of the charger to take pics, but never putting the batteries back in the charger to be recharged-did I say I needed new batteries? Yea, think I did, but it is one thing I keep forgetting when I go shopping-lol).

Next week will be the playroom. It needs to be reorganized and cleaned up-it's a mess considering the kids rarely play in there...I will post that Before pic later when I post the foyer picture :)

Monday, October 13, 2008

Whoops! Late Goal Setting

Gosh, we have been busy this weekend, so I missed setting my goal on Saturday, then Sunday :/ But, I also really did not know where I wanted to move onto next...then, waling into my front door, I figured it out-actually, I stumbled over shoes :P The hallway by my front door is a mess with shoes! We really have no organization there and I dream of the day I can afford what I want to organize my shoes :) I would love a nice bench seat where the seat has storage under it. That would hold our shoes :) But, I will have to figure out something until then and I can't keep ignoring the shoe issue just because I do not have my dream storage bench :) I will upload a pic later when there is a bit more light and my headache is gone-lol!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Goal Setting Saturday

Here are the areas that I had for my goal this week. I moved all the toys beside my desk (and behind the couches) so they are hidden. Of course, now I have a big empty wall-lol! But, I have a plan for what I want on for that wall, it will just take time :) The picture beside my son will go up on a high part of our wall once I get Eric to help with it-or a ladder, which ever comes first ;)


And, here is my entertainment center...Actually, just the are that was driving me nuts-the bottom! The kids throw stuff in there, or play with toys on those bottom shelves and they get quite messy.

Now the game consoles are neatly in the middle-also allowing me easy access to the power strip to unplug things easily ;) My books are on the shelf to the right and the kids' books are on the left :)

Im not sure why that little purple ghost keeps showing up on the entertainment center (there in front of the dvd player)...think he has a favorite program he wants to see?

Now, for my next goal...well, Im not really sure, yet. Im thinking my bedroom, but I might have to look around and see what it really driving me nuts! LOL! I will have a new goal by tomorrow. Or, I might just start working on some crocheting projects I have been wanting to do for Christmas...I will have to find my yarn ;)

Friday, October 10, 2008

Coupon Organization Tip

I often get coupons in the Sunday Paper. On Oprah the other day, The Coupon Mom ( suggested the real way to save with coupons is to buy a few Sunday papers-well, with the price of the paper in our area now going up 50 cents, that is alot unless I am able to get some really great coupon deals out of it. But, I usually cut out the coupons I need and forget about the rest. Then, weeks down the road (so to speak) I come across a blogger who shares some of the great deals she is getting at some store and she will use one of those coupons from a past Sunday paper. Well, I'm out because I do not have that coupon section anymore. Well, I came up with a solution to that. I am now taking my coupons that are leftover, you know, those ones not cut out and still dangling from the other pages in the coupon section, and folding them in half slightly, then, I place them into an accordion folder. These sections each get placed under the month they came in, because that is the best way to go back and find those coupons. For instance, this week's paper had a coupon for Green Giant Steamers-$1 off. Well, we have not tried these and I was not sure of the price and if I would ever buy them, so I didn't cut it out. One another blog, I found that Walmart sells these for $1.27. The final price with the coupon will make it 27 cents! Great deal for some frozen veggies. So, I went to my Sunday paper, took out the coupons, cut that one out and now the rest of my coupons are folded and inserted into the month of Oct in my accordion folder--for when I come across another great deal using a coupon I didn't cut out before :)

Can't wait to try those Steamers and only spend 27 cents on them! YAY! Now, I am wishing I would have bought a couple extra papers. That suggestion from Coupon Mom would have paid off this time around! Not only would the Steamers coupon made it worthwhile, but, of course, there were many other good coupons in there and in the long run, I would have made the money back, plus more, by using the coupons!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

An Experiment in the Works

I was watching Oprah yesterday and they were talking about America's Thriftiest Families. These people were sharing things they were doing to cuts costs, save money, and just how the economy is affecting their lives right now. One lady shared how she cut her electric bill from over $200 down to about $60! One thing she did was unplugging things when they were not in use. I had started that a couple months ago, and our next bill after I started this was down about $100. But, that month, we also had not used the a/c much due to nice cool weather and being able to just open windows and the front door to allow the cool air inside. So, I will compare it to this new bill that should be coming in a few days.

I also realized there are things plugged in that we do not use all the time-the kids' game consoles, the stereo, the dvd player, and even our surround sound. So, yesterday, I unplugged those items. I also realized our computer, printer and even the speakers for my computer could be unplugged when not in use. We'll see how much this effects our bill next month. Since my dryer is not working, Im sure that will affect our bill too...

Here is a link with lots of info you can read through and see if there are ways you can cut your costs to save money :)

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Itsy Bitsy Spider Went up the Water Spout!! EEEEKKKK!!!

I made this fella today. He is hanging on my front porch :) I got the idea from From Cindy's Porch: Our Halloween Spider He hangs over my pumpkin and cute lil gargoyles :)

Frugal Tip-Stretch That Chicken to the Limits!

Use every bit of a whole chicken that you can-if you roast it, after you are done picking it clean, place the bones in some water and simmer for a while. Not only will it make a nice broth, but will get those last bits of chicken off the bones that you might have missed. Strain the broth (don't worry if it gels up when it is cool, that is a sign of a nice broth from what I understand :) and put in a freezer bag, or pour into ice cube trays until frozen, then place in baggies :)

I did that last week-cooked a chicken in the crockpot with some water (just about half way up the side of the pot) until done. Stained the broth and placed it in the freezer for a meal this week (chicken chili). I then picked all the meat that I could off the bird (this was actually the next day after it had cooled in the fridge overnight). Then, I placed the bones in more water and simmeredd for a bit, making another nice broth, as well as getting that last lil bit of chicken off :) This was strained and put into a freezer bag for anotehr meal-probably a nice chicken tortilla soup next paycheck :)

I got about 2 good dinners from this bird-but, I had leftovers which made 3 lunches for the kids and two sandwiches one night for Eric after work. Then, with a good chunk of breast I saved and the broth I made chicken chili, which I still have leftovers for a couple lunches this week...So it stretched and more-lol!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Aren't these lil guys cute?

These lil gargoyles are watching over my pumpkin :) I got them from the Dollar Tree for, of course, $1 each :) The pumpkin was purchased from Aldi. I love the one covering his mouth like he is hiding a laugh-so cute :)

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Goal Setting Saturday!!

Here is my organized closet! There is still some stuff at the bottom, but those are some things that I plan to sell in a yard sell. The box contains Laura's winter clothes which we will be digging into soon! The top shelf looks disorgainized, but it really isn't. On the right are fabrics, some of which are just scraps mainly and cannot be folded easily. Once I get a sewing station of some sort set up, I will move those. On the left are things like bed ruffles and matress covers. I have a hard time reaching that shelf (yes, Im a bit short :) so I tried my best to lay them up there nicely.
During this closet organization, I was able to take sheets/blankets from a plastic storage container which had been taking up space in my bedroom closet. This freed up a bit of room in there-nice! It also allowed that storage box to hold some toys the kids keep in the living room. Below, the big blue box is the new toy box. And, this also shows my new project for the week! YAY!! I was trying to figure it out and I think this is it :)
And this-my entertainment center
My new goal will be organizing my entertainment center, and also, organizing those toys to a different location. Oh, and finding a new home for my vaccuum-lol!