Monday, December 20, 2010

Back at it and with a great crafting deal

Ok I am somewhat in a routine with 2 kids now, but its hard when the new little one doesn't like to be put down, and knowing now how quickly the time goes by I am happy to hold him. Plus my daughter is still adjusting to sharing the spotlight and attention, but I do have the house decorated for Christmas, presents all bought, house mostly cleaned, laundry caught up regularly and dinner ready most days. I even did find time to make a few of the Christmas presents.

So in following a few of my favorite blogs I stumbled upon this great website and pattern deal- FREE, yes that's right. Check it out! before its gone!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Wandering Wednesday Blog Hop!

Join us Wandering to new Blogs to check out!

What does Frugality Mean?

I follow several blogs about saving money, crafting, coupons, and get people pick on me, in a light-hearted way, about being cheap- my husband included. We used to spend our money without thinking about it. Without budgeting, without couponing, just buy whatever we wanted whenever we wanted. Well we see where that has gotten our whole country and economy right now. We are grateful that we changed our way of thinking before the recession hit really bad. We did Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University, and before that started following his principles from the book Total Money Makeover. I totally recommend at least purchasing this book if you don't feel you have the money to do FPU as the back of the book has the forms and budgeting information and it goes through the basics. This was a lifesaver for us, and turned our lives around from drowning to having a savings account and being happier with less income. Sometimes we can't believe how simple it all was.

We are also grateful that by following these principles early on in our family- our child, soon to be children, will not ever know any different. We love Christmas, but don't feel the need to go overboard. We recognize they get so much from the family and throughout the year that they don't need much at Christmas. So we explain that Santa brings 1 gift, and we give 3 gifts- to represent the gifts the Magi brought Christ. We try instead to focus on the traditions, the crafts, the baking, the stories, the family togetherness. She has been just as happy and doesn't know anything is missing- because nothing is missing. It is all perspective.

Anyway- to get to the post below......The blog I read was a great read on what Frugality is all about. I hope it gains others a new perspective on frugality. We have been able to do more- on vacations, at home, eating, enjoying family time, by watching where we were throwing our money, and by planning how our money would be spent at the beginning of the month. I haven't lost anything, I have gained so much more.

Family Friendly Frugality: Frugality?: "Frugality What is Frugality? Frugality by the simplest definition implies that you are smart about your money. You aren't wasteful and ..."

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Will be down for a bit........

I will be delivering my son at the end of this week, so will be out of commission for a little while. As you can tell, my updates have slowed since November as we have been making last minute preps for the new baby. I will post as soon as I can. Thank you for your patience and continued support.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Deal Alert: Lego

Free Shipping on $99 or more
Valid Now through December 14th

In addition to making the shopping experience as easy as possible, we will be offering Free Shipping on all orders of $99 or more now until December 14th, the final day of standard shipping.  No code required charges will be deducted at checkout for qualifying offers. TOP THEMES
LEGO Exclusives – LEGO Star Wars – LEGO Universe – LEGO City – LEGO Games
Winter Village Bakery (10216) EXCLUSIVE – Tower Bridge (10214) EXCLUSIVE – Death Star (10188) EXCLUSIVE- Imperial Shuttle (10213) EXCLUSIVE – Medieval Market Village (10193) EXCLUSIVE
LEGO Santa with Sleigh (40010) EXCLUSIVE – LEGO Snowman (40008) EXCLUSIVE – LEGO Holiday Set (40009) EXCLUSIVE – Magnet Set Chewbacca (852554) EXCLUSIVE – Magnet Set Anakin (853037) EXCLUSIVE
Ground – 12/14/2010
Express – 12/23/2010

Friday, October 29, 2010

Breepy Blog Crawl!!!

Join us in a Creepy Blog Crawl!

To Participate:

-Creep to each of your host's haunted blogs & follow them.

-Leave a creepy comment & we will follow you back.

-Crawl to as many blogs as you like, follow & comment

-Follow back anyone that follows you!

-Run if you see dark shadows lurking about

Every Friday is Mega Swagbucks Day! Visit today to do your searches and you could win 5, 10, 20, 50, 100 or 500! Swagbucks is similar to Google.  But instead, you get points (aka Swagbucks) for searches and you can exchange the points for gift cards, prizes, and more! If you haven't signed up for Swagbucks go here so you can search and win today!

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You can earn Swag Bucks by:
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Swag Codes -Swagbucks releases codes for more Swag Bucks.  
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Register HERE for Swagbucks!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Deal Alert: The Children's Place!
They have such cute clothes for Boys and Girls. I especially love their Christmas and Holiday Line. Be sure to check them out and use the codes below to SAVE SAVE SAVE!

25% off purchase of $50 or more with code TREATValid 10/28 - 10/30

25% off The Children's Place Holiday Favorites
The new Dressy Collection at The Children's Place includes shirts, sweaters, skirts, jumpers & dresses, vests, shoes, matching accessories
Valid: Now - 11/01

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Kohls Deal Alert!

 There are several Deals going on at Kohls right now, be sure to check them out!

I get a lot of shopping done at Kohls and they always have some sort of sale going on. Here are a few to be sure to check out, They are ONE DAY SALES!

40-55% Off Entire Stock Apt. 9 & axcess Apparel

Click here to see the deals on these great mens clothing.

40-55% Off Entire Stock Apt. 9 & axcess Apparel

Check here for 50% off Selected First Moments Apparel for Baby!
50% Off Selected First Moments Apparel for Baby

Monday, October 25, 2010

FREE: Debt-Free Holiday Handbook!

Learn how to:

  • Identify Your Holiday Budget
  • Give Yourself A Holiday Bonus (Free Up 10%-15% Of Your Income)
  • Identify Gift Ideas
  • Create A Shopping List
  • Stay Within Your Holiday Budget
This Free 18 page booklet can help you to stay debt free for the holidays.
Simply fill out the form below (limit one booklet per address).
Only available by mail.

Go here to get your free manual.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Deal Alert: It's Gymbucks Time!

I got an email yesterday reminding me that Gymboree is currently rewarding Gymbucks for your purchases to be redeemed later. I have found myself loving many of the products at Gymboree, especially the boys line.

They are also currently offering an additional Reward of 25% off even sale items until Oct 31st.

This is a great rewards program! Be sure to check it out!

Deal Alert: Great Free Sewing Patterns

Stumbled upon some free sewing patterns on a site I love for fabric. I just had to share with you as these are some pretty cute patterns. I hope some of you can make good use of them as well. I am looking forward to using the "Bubbie" Apron for a couple Christmas gifts. There is also a cute dress on there also.

So check out free sewing patterns here at

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

"Win 10 Pairs of Baby Socks @InspiringU2Save.

Check out this giveaway on Inspiring you 2 save's blog to win 10 pairs of Baby socks. Lots of chances to win. She also makes fabulous blog designs, in fact, she designed mine. 

Friday, October 15, 2010

 Check out this great deal at Kmart

  • Inventory Blowout on TVs! Save EXTRA $100 off Clearance TVs with code 100OFFTV at cart 10/10-10/31

Check out Kmart and Sear's New Club:

Christmas Club Card
The Christmas Club card is a reloadable gift card that gives Kmart and Sears customers a way to plan ahead and save for holiday purchases. When activated between now and October 31, the Christmas Club card users will earn a 3% Reward- up to a maximum of $100.  The card can be used across all Kmart/Sears platforms.  The reward will be added to customers' Christmas Club card by November 24, 2010. To activate cards or add additional value at any time, customers can visit any Kmart or Sears store location, or online at or

And yes I do plan to make use of the Layaway this year! 

Lovin' Me Some SWAG!

Swagbucks is an awesome way to search the internet like google, but earns points or SWAGBUCKS to redeem for lots of different things. I have been doing it just about 2 months now and have $20 worth of GC at which I think is the best deal. Click the link below to sign up for it now. You will be surprised how easy it is to do for what you already use google for, no extra effort is needed, it will just "pop up" your winnings every so often. There is no spam that goes to your email!

Search & Win

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

New Music- had to share

Oh my, I came across this song from a blog I follow. Have your tissues ready if you have a wonderful, loving man whose life is not what he planned it be, but who loves it anyway. I am so grateful for my wonderful husband and the family we have built!

"Family Man" from Trevor Little on Vimeo.

Great site for free Ebooks from Amazon

My Friend Mandy Taylor just shared this site with me. If you don't have a Kindle, like me, you can still downloads books for kindle and read on your computer, iphone, android and several other sites. So don't be afraid to look at ebooks of any type, you can read them on most smart phones and computers now so you don't have to have multiple electronics to travel with.

Thanks Mandy for sharing this site. I love to read, and in my uncluttering process, this will make it simpler to keep up with reading and cleaning off what I no longer need!

Mandy Taylor: If you like free ebooks from Amazon, check this site daily (there are always several freebies posted). I have over 500+ of these freebies on my Kindle!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Meet Me Monday!!

I am participating in a Blog Hop! Won't you join me. Let's find out about some other Great blogs out in blogger land.

Huge Thanks and new Blog Look

A HUGE Thank you to Jessica over at Inspiring you to Save for her awesome work on the new look of my blog. It is everything I asked her to do. Its warm, friendly, inviting, and I Hope you like it. Swing over to Jessica's page for some great ideas. I couldn't be happier with her pricing, her options, her response, and how quickly she did it!!!

Let me know what you think of the new look of my blog. I hope you like it as much as I do!!! Send your friends to follow me. Great deals and Ideas coming down the line!!

The Best Time to Buy Everything

I came across this post recently. This was exactly what I was looking for because hubby and I spent a lot of time deciding what to get me for my birthday this year. We were going to get an iphone, but I am not eligible for upgrade until Feb, and I just can not justify paying $200 more right now when I know I can get it for $99 in Feb even though hubby was more than willing to do that. So then we search for desktop computers because ours died several months ago. I would truly LOVE to have an All in One desktop to save desktop clutter and space but at $500 minimum we just didn't feel we could justify that at the moment either. In looking at the desktops at Best Buy, we looked at the 3D TVs and since the Samsung Rep was in store, we learned a lot about the different options available on them. It was very cool to see the demo of these TVs and I was glad to know that you didn't HAVE to watch it in 3D All the time, it will play regular TV as well, and the glasses are more high-tech than the flat colored lens paper glasses. We were sticker shocked at the pricing at $1500 to $2000, but when you factor in that they are now Wifi- internet TVs, along with the 3D, come in plasma, LCD or LED and are 36in Plus in size, it didn't seem so bad. AND then we thought back to our first big purchase when we got married, when we bought our rear projection TV for $1500 8 years ago, and boy how technology has changed lol.

Well we ended up getting a blu-ray player. We don't have anything in our bedroom to watch movies on, no DVD, VHS etc just our cable on the TV. Again I don't see the need to go out purchasing all new blu-ray disks to replace my DVD collection, so was glad to know it will play DVDs as well as blu-rays, also has built in WIFI and can stream our facebook and more importantly our NETFLIX, I decided it was a good purchase, and at only $150 at walmart, was well within our budget. Hubby bought me Robin Hood Prince of Thieves one of my favorite old classic movies since I didn't even have it on DVD and we had a nice birthday weekend, including a splurge meal at the Olive Garden with the wonderful never ending pasta bowl, and dolcini desserts- I highly recommend the Amaretto Tiramisu and the Lemoncello desserts. YUMMY!

Anyway- the blog post below that I came across was in regards to figuring out when would be a good time to purchase a new computer or other items. So I hope it is helpful to you as well.

The Best Time to Buy Everything

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Website Alert: You Can Make This

I can't believe I haven't shared this website with you before. It is one of my go-to sites along with etsy for patterns, tutorials, and simple ideas. You can find scrapbooking ideas and downloadable images, crochet, knit, sewing patterns, applique downloads, and lots of other various simple craft projects. There is also a section of FREE STUFF! There are new ideas for each holiday, and the patterns are cheap, and are instantly available to download. You can find some really good bargains here. I Hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Still getting used to this blog stuff LOL

There are so many fun things to do and fun ways to find new blogs and projects to try. I participated in my first Blog hop on Wed. and had trouble adding the linky button thing. So Here it is! Such a cute site with fun ideas and Great other blogs I Have found to follow as well.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Inspiring You To Save!!: $105 Blog Design Package Only $10 (92% Off) - 1 We...

A Great deal on awesome blog design package!! Check out her page.

Inspiring You To Save!!: $105 Blog Design Package Only $10 (92% Off) - 1 We...: "Package Includes: Custom HeaderCustom BackgroundCustom Button w/ CodeCustom Post DividerCustom Signature Matching Text ColorText Navigation..."

Family Friendly Frugality: Money Saving Alert: $4 AMC Movie Tickets & Daily K...

Great deal for Movies!! Date night with hubby, taking kids to something cheap!!

Family Friendly Frugality: Money Saving Alert: $4 AMC Movie Tickets & Daily K...: "Sign up with KGB to snag these really awesome deals. Just pick the city nearest you. Available in ALL Major Cities- $4 AMC Movie The..."

Family Friendly Frugality: Money Saving Alert: Save on Fabric and Yarn

Gotta check out these great fabric and yarn deals!!

Family Friendly Frugality: Money Saving Alert: Save on Fabric and Yarn: " is having a few good sales today: Westminster cotton prints- $3-$6 a yard for some really pretty patterns! I'd love this on..."

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Tot Tuesday: Learning to Sew...Where To Start?

Tot Tuesday: Learning to Sew...Where To Start?

I recently stumbled across this blog by following this blog:

I have enjoyed the articles I have found in both sites from couponing, to great deals, to being frugal, to crafting and kids.

If you are new to sewing or thinking about sewing, be sure to read the Learning to Sew article. It mentions several sites that I like and ways I have used to learn or update myself on certain techniques- such as youtube. I hope you get as much out of these sites as I do.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Reusable Sandwich/Snack Bags

I made the little baggie posted below in Less than 5 Minutes from beginning to end. That is cutting out the material and everything. When we were in Richmond for my sisters baby shower I had seen a few of these for sale in some of the boutiques around. I love the idea of using cute fabric options and even personalizing them. I have seen them with velcro or these fold-over sandwich baggie types. I will say this one was super easy.

There is debate as to whether you should just use plain ole fabric versus something lined with oil-cloth or PUL or some other food safe option. I chose just the basic fabric since I can just wash it. some of the ingredients in PUL or modern oil cloth still has so much chemical to it that I don't feel comfortable using it with my food, otherwise, whats the point of going more natural with these?

So I followed the super simple, and entertaining tutorial found at this site:

Anyone seriously, anyone, can do this! My daughter could not wait to use it this morning when I showed it to her, thus it already having a sandwich in it.

Hope you try this out and get to making your own reusable baggies. I know this will save our budget significantly by not buying ziploc bags. And I just used scraps of fabric I had left over.

The finished project

Jessica ballard

With a sandwich inside

Jessica ballard

Another view

Jessica ballard

Pictures of my latest project

Jessica ballard

Monday, September 27, 2010

Diaper Cake

My mom and I made this cute, simple Diaper cake for my sister's baby shower. It turned out so cute and made a great centerpiece for the shower. It is easily personalized with theme colors and can be added to for special gift ideas.

Easy Flower hairclip

You can go to just about any craft store now and find these cute flowers that can be layered for many different ideas. We use them to make hair clips, but you could use them in scrap booking, to clip to shoes, or for gift wrap, and even more ideas I am sure.All you have to do is use a brad to push through them to secure the layered petals together, and hot clue to a hair clip. We do line our hair clips with thin ribbon- I just think it looks nicer, and doesn't tend to slip out of my daughters hair as easily.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Magnet Board

Love how easy, cheap, and wonderful this project does. So this is basically a fabric covered piece of metal placed in a used picture frame. How simple! Now the trick can be finding the metal- you can use the flat pipe metal at lowes, which is easier to cut with basic kitchen shears, and I hear works well. I happen to have a hubby that works with metal and saves scraps or cuts pieces for me to fit. So mine is made from actual sheet metal- for FREE. I got the frame from a local thrift shop for $1, and already had the fabric. This was fabric I was debating using in Baby Boy's nursery but couldn't figure out what or how I wanted to use it. So this was perfect. And I Love the rustic feel of the frame. Its kinda banged up and looks used and well loved. So the only work that really had to be done to it, was measure the opening of the frame where the metal will sit, give those measurements to my hubby, or if you are cutting the flat pipe metal, cut those dimensions with your kitchen shears. I then laid my fabric down, wrong side up, and placed the metal on top of it. I made sure there was plenty of fabric to overlap on the edges and cut the fabric to fit. I then just had to use spray craft adhesive on the metal, and place the fabric on the adhesive to attach it, while making sure it is pretty tight to look nice on the other side. Place the fabric covered piece of metal in the frame, attach the back, and you are DONE!

 I already hung mine in the nursery above the changing table so we can put notes or little things to remember on it.

I made another one this same day. I had a black frame, but instead of using fabric to cover the metal, I used chalkboard paint. Again- very easy. Paint the metal fairly thick to cover the metal up, let dry- and place in the frame. I have a magnetic chalkboard that we hung at our main family entrance to the house near where we place keys, etc. My daughter already likes to place her pictures and drawings on it and change it out. I need to take a picture of it too. 

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Recent Sewing Projects

 Here are a few recent sewing projects that I have completed. This first one is from scrap fabric at walmart. This is the fabric that is gathered at the top so all you have to do is sew one seam at the back and you have a tube dress. My daughter was getting ready for a cowboy themed Bible School at my parents church so I pulled this out and created the tube dress quickly, and then b/c I think it is not very age appropriate for my 3 year old to wear strapless, I added some cute lace for straps. It turned out really cute and she loved it. Nice quick and easy project especially for a beginner. I did have to hem the bottom.

I enjoy tube tops in the summer, they are quick, great for the beach and comfy when made from knit fabrics. and always a plus when it helps rid me of my strap marks lol. I had trouble finding any color/patterns that I liked or ones that went down long enough to cover my belly. So I decided to make my own. I had to measure my bust and hips to make sure it would be big enough to fit, and would actually prefer it to be a bit more flowy vs fitted. But all it took was cutting it, sewing down the one seam. I decided to make it reversible by doing another at the same time and sewing the tops together. Then I created a casing between the 2 different fabrics to thread my elastic through- which was also cut to fit comfortably just above my bust. There was no need to hem the bottom since it was knit and it doesn't unravel, but you could. I didn't. IT was a quick project, under an hour, and I have worn it several times throughout the summer.

I Love sewing for little girls. I have a friend that had a baby girl. Her husband plays the guitar and is just wonderful to listen to when we are all sitting outside by a campfire. So little girl got an awesome name after her Daddy's guitar- Gibson. Such a perfect fit for them. I was so inspired when I found some cute girly guitar prints that I just had to make this for her. This project started with a basic onesie that I cut just above the leg openings. I measured fabric against an infant gown to make it long enough once sewn to the bottom of the trimmed onesie. I folded the bottom edge up enough to hem and create a casing to run ribbon through- though you could also use elastic. It turned out extremely cute!

A Cool Way to Decorate and Scan a New Baby | Family Style

WOW, I am loving this decorative idea I stumbled across. May have to think of an easy way to do it myself. But how cute! I think Baby Boy needs this in his room!

A Cool Way to Decorate and Scan a New Baby | Family Style

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

What Month is the Best Month to Buy Items?

A great post to help plan and when to expect certain sales. I have also seen one somewhere of the months that other things like TVs, linens, furniture, etc are on sale.

What Month is the Best Month to Buy Items?

The Table I built with my own hands.....

Yes I built this table, following the plans I found on Ana White's website for the Modern Farmhouse table. This picture shows when I had just finished building it, but before sanding. And well we still haven't stained it or painted it. So, we will be updating with another picture once that is done. Check out her site for ideas of your own, they really are simple to follow. Don't be scared. I just dove right into it. I made a few mistakes but they were fixable, and even my FIL who is a carpenter/finish man, was impressed with what I did. Oh and I did this while Pregnant! I have a few other things on my list to make from her plans- the crate carts, the craft table.......I can see so many options.

Vintage Crate Carts

I Love the ideas Ana comes up with on her site and the easy to follow instructions on how to create it. I have already built her farmhouse table. We just have to paint or stain it now. It currently sits in our kitchen with a table cloth over it. I am so proud of it. I built it all by myself.
Will post a pic of it soon. Well anyway, Ana just posted directions for these great crate carts. I can see using these upstairs in our house to organize all the toys and stuff easily to clean up for company and hideaway in either the side rooms or in the dormers for birthday parties and the like. Great ideas on this wonderful site. Be sure to check it out. IF I can learn to build something following her directions, anyone can!

Vintage Crate Carts

Monday, September 13, 2010

Next Craft project........
                                                      I found this wonderful wholesale fabric place that has big sales twice a year where I can get fabric by the pound. Hubby is a hunter, and I know all about scentlock fabric. I scored a Great deal on several Large pieces of scentlock camo fabric for super cheap. 2.50/lb really and if you have felt this fabric you know how light it is. I was able to create something for the hubby for the first time. I have fixed and salvaged things before for him, but I made him these camo pants- he can use them to hunt- by layering them, or for PJ pants. They fit, they are comfortable, and they look great! He was very happy and surprised, and I was tickled that I was able to make him something that he can use and enjoy.

Craft updates!

Easter Bucket view 1

View 2

I couldn't find an Easter Bucket that I Loved this year. So I went to Lowes and got a cheap pail near the paint section. I have recently "borrowed" my moms Cricut- though she will not be getting it back anytime soon, especially since I have had it since early March LOL. I had such fun cutting the vinyl out to make this personal. We have a small farm, so afterwards this had a perfect use for helping my daughter feed the animals with her dad. It didn't last very long sitting outside in the rain though. It rusted straight up, but is still functional for feeding.......just doesn't look near as pretty.

Quick update on my Girl

My 2 year Old at the Beach- 2009

My 3 year old having a Princess Picnic for her birthday!

I can't believe I have an child so big. S had grown up so fast. She is in her 2nd year of Dance, her 1st year of Preschool and Awanas, and will soon be starting Upward Cheerleading. AND,

Yes, we will be adding a Baby Brother in November!


Well We are making some changes around here. I need an outlet, and with a Baby #2, a boy, arriving in November I have been super crafty, un-cluttering, and re-doing just about the whole house. Thank God hubby has not lost his temper or sanity over that yet. My wonderful sister is also having her first baby- a girl just 3 weeks ahead of me. So I have lots of ideas running through my head.

In spite of the life changes which have spurred my creative juices flowing, I wanted to share some ideas and some of my results and gather other ideas as well. So this is now my creative outlet.......looking forward to sharing with you all.....


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