Sunday, December 15, 2013

Holiday Decor

I am realizing with Christmas quickly approaching that this year my list of  "Crafty-To-Do's" was a little on the ambitious, unrealistic side of things.  I probably accomplished about a fourth of the fun projects I was hoping to get around to.  At least there is always next year, right?  I am happy with the couple of things I did manage to accomplish though. 

  Project #1 was sweater garland for the tree.  I noticed while at Hobby Lobby a while back they had an adorable little Christmas tree wrapped in sweater garland.  After glancing at the price per yard and a quick add up of the math I thought, I could do that myself!  It didn't take long to find an extra large red sweater at a thrift store and with the help of a scissors, I had more sweater garland than my tree could hold.  Grand total: $3.

Project #2 were stocking holders for the kids.  After looking at a few other DIY blogs I based mine on this blog and went with it.  Each holder came in at just under $3.00 including the command strip we used to secure it in place.  I hot glued the sparkly letters on them for this year, but may switch them out with a picture frame or something else in the future.  The kid's are beginning to recognize the letters in their names so the holders have been a hit.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!! 

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Artwork Dispaly Boards

It turns out when you have a child in preschool (or 3) you end up with a lot of "artwork."  From the countless fingerpainting masterpieces smeared with all the same color to the stack of coloring sheets with a single crayon line on each to the fruit loop neckalce that is nothing but a sticky, half eaten mess. 

While I greatly appreciate and enjoy the fact that my children are free to learn and grow through creativity, it turns out I was not much of a fan of the growing mountain of artwork that was beginning to take over my counter tops.  It didn't take long before I had to face the dilemma that most parent has to face at some point... what do I throw and what do I keep?  I got over the guilt of throwing 99% of it away rather quickly but still the question remained.  What exactly do I do with it??... hang it on the fridge?... begin stuffing it in envelopes and mailing it out to grandparents?...... tuck it away in a file cabinet so I can hand it over to my child once they become adults and finally have their own house to store it in?   The answer- get on the internet and figure out what other parents do with it! 

After only a few minutes on pinterest I had about 101 different ways to display your kid's artwork.  I ended up going with an option that was super low cost and very effective.  Now all of our kids can proudly display their artwork without the clutter.  The kids are happy.  Mom's happy.  Our budget is happy.  It's a win win. 

I found some old scraps of wood we had in the garage, gave them a fresh paint of white paint, hot glued a few clothespins on it and there you have it. 

For some added color and detail I modge podged scrapbook paper on the clothespins.  I also may add some words on the board via stickers or stencils eventually.

I even made a board for myself to keep my coupons, menus, and random papers organized.

Wall Art Display boards adapted from It's Overflowing and clothespins from Simply Kierste.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

All Dressed Up

This past weekend I had the first time experience of dressing a family of 5 for our first formal event, a family wedding!  Life has honestly been so crazy for us during this time of transition, being frugal has taken a hit here and there for the sake of ease.   As things begin to settle for us, and we fall into a routine and a sense of this new normal, my frugal itch is starting to make it's way back into my life again.  Getting us all ready for a wedding became my first real project in a while.  How could I do this without dropping a good chunk of change at a local department store?... and so it began.  Here are a few ideas to consider.

1.  Garage Sales- Especially great for kid's dress clothes.  If you know about the event soon enough be on the look out early in the garage sale season when they tend to be the best!

2.  Thrift Stores- You never know what you will find!  Stop often and know what you are looking for.  Eventually you will hit it right. 

3.  Consignment Shops- Great option for special events since the clothes tend to be in a little better shape and they seem to have an abundance of dress clothes.  I went to Once Upon a Child here in town and was super impressed with the selection and prices. 

4.  Borrow-  Lots of people have dress clothes they only wear once or twice.  Ask around.  Warning- going this route with little kids scares kids tend to ruin clothes. 

5.  Clearance Shop/Off season shop-  Keeping an eye out for things that are marked down because they are off-season often works really well if you don't mind storing things away for a few months.  I came across the girl's sparkly silver dress shoes going into spring for $4 a piece, and found my dress on a Maurices clearance rack for $2.95! 

After a combination of all of the above to dress us all head to toe, we spent a grand total of $50 which included 3 toddler dress shoes, 2 toddler dresses, 3 headbands, a toddler dress shirt/suit coat/tie, a dress for myself, a dress shirt for my husband, a pair of earrings, and a purse.  The only things I paid full price for were the headbands which I told myself we can use again and again (that is, unless they loose them which my youngest did)...

I did find out that you do not take nearly as many pictures as you would like to when you are busy making sure your three kids do not ruin a wedding, but here are a few I manged to snap.  In other exciting news, our adoption finalized last week so I am finally able to share these beautiful little faces with you!

Our 50 cent rehearsal dress garage sale find.

Flower Girl Attire all borrowed and added to by the bride!  Way to be frugal!

Consignment shop outfits.

LOVE the shoes and tie we found at a consignment shop.  (unfortunately the tie found it's way into the toilet and is no longer with us.)

My $2.95 dress.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Easy Peasy Applesauce

For those of you only following this blog you have probably began to assume that I must have inherited a bunch of money and decided to throw this whole frugal deal out the window.  Not exactly.  To keep it short and sweet for the past 5 months I have been busy trying to figure out how to become a parent to 3 toddlers.  We are adopting and in that process I literally became a mini van Mom by Friday.  Life is a trip.  Check out our adoption blog here for the complete story. 

Although life's expenses go up a little with 3 kiddos in tow, I still like to think I am finding ways to be frugal.  My most recent favorite things are garage sales (who knew they got like 1,000 times greater once you have kids to buy for?)  and in one word: Aldi.  I have grown to love and appreciate that store more than I ever thought I would or could.  With that in mind it brings me to today's blog highlight:  applesauce. 

My kid's love applesauce.  I love the idea of organic applesauce. However, I hate the idea of paying for the stuff.  More than the idea of organic it really bugs me that it is almost impossible to find applesauce that isn't loaded full of other stuff including high fructose corn syrup.  Hey, I have an idea- let's take something that is seemingly good for our bodies (apples) and put a bunch of highly processed sugar in it and then market it as a healthy snack.  OK, off back off the soapbox and onto the fugal find- Easy Peasy Applesauce

After coming across this recipe on Pinterest and being intrigued by the fact it contained only natural sugars, I thought I would give it a whirl.  It was simple, delicious, and is becoming a family favorite around here.  Aldi has begun to carry a line of Organic products and produce and this week had Apples on sale.  I stocked up and ended up with 112 ounces of applesauce for only $7.38.  Our freezer is full, my kids are thrilled, and I am happy knowing we didn't break the bank for applesauce- real food style.  Check out 100 Day of Real Food for the recipe. 
Apples washed and ready to go.  Let the applesauce making adventures begin.

This handy kitchen gadget will save you so much time and energy! Another time saving gadget is an immersion blender so you can blend the applesauce right in the pan.  (Garage sales are great for kitchen gadgets.  I scored this sweet apple cutter at a garage sale this season for 50 cents.)

Apples simmering on the stove- added bonus- what your house will smell like in the process!

Finished project.  I like to freeze mine since I have the space.