Saturday, July 30, 2011

Shop With Me Saturday

My trips to Walgreens did not pan out the way I had planned but I can't complain.  I got all this for under $10

I ended up doing 3 transactions which I didn't plan and I really don't like to do unless I have to.  I always seem to have someone impatient behind me who starts sighing or rolling their eyes when I start on another transaction or I end up forgetting/misplacing coupons.  Regardless my first transaction was as follows

Huggies wipes $2.49
  used $1 Walgreens coupon from the July coupon book
  and I used a $0.50 Hggies wipes manufacture coupon
Irish Spring Deodorant 2/$6
   buy 2 receive $4 register rewards
   use 2 $1 manufacture coupons
3 Muskateer Candy Bars-bought 2 @ $0.49 each
   used $0.50 off 2 3 muskateer candy bars
total a little over $6 after taxes and received $4 register rewards
I had planned on using register rewards from a previous purchase but didn't realize I had a coupon for every item I bought.  That is one thing to remember if you are shopping at Walgreens, their register rewards act as a manufacture coupon so you have to have more items than you have coupons, otherwise your rewards won't scan.  This confused me when I first started couponing because Rite Aid and CVS rewards are used like cash.

Transaction #2
2-12 roll packages Cottonelle toilet paper $5.00each
  buy 2 receive $3.50 register rewards
total a little over $10 after taxes.  I used $4 register rewards from Transaction #1 and a $2 register reward from a previous purchase and only ended up spending pennies over $2 out of pocket and received 3.50 register rewards

Transaction #3
3 bags Brach's candy $1.89 each
   used 2-$0.50 manufacture coupon
Index card case $0.39
Penway mini notebook $0.49
total after taxes a little over $6.00.  I used $3.50 register rewards from transaction #2 and $2 register rewards from a previous purchase and ended up spending $0.69 out of pocket.

 Rite Aid $2.00 out of pocket
Herbal Essence styler and shampoo 2/$5
  used $3 off any Herbal Essence styler when you buy any Herbal Essence product.
  and used $1 off any Herbal Essence shampoo/conditioner
Clean and Clear Face Wash 6.49
  use $2 in ad store coupon
  and used $2 manufacture printable coupon
Composition Notebooks $0.66 each
 buy 3 receive $1+up rewards
milky way candy bar (not pictured) $0.99
total 6.09.  used $4 +up rewards from a previous purchase and paid $2.09 out of pocket.  Received $1+up rewards.
total after taxes 6.09

Friday, July 29, 2011

Jean Doll- Bit of Whimsy

I love Bit of Whimsy patterns.  They are so super cute and for those of you who don't already know, if you sign up for their e-newsletter you get notified of any new patterns and sales.  Most of the time when new patterns are released they have them on sale for $6 instead of the usual $9 and they are so worth the money. Bonus, right now if you go to their website they are having a Christmas in July sale and all patterns are 30% off.   Even beginner sewers can follow the instructions, and no Bit of Whimsy is not sponsoring this post, I just really love their creations.  I made my first doll ever using her Beth doll pattern which I posted about here.  There is something about a homemade doll that I just love and I think every little girl should have one.

Here is my Jean doll I was up until 2 am finishing.

I am so thrilled with her and I think she is adorable.  I did vary a little from the pattern as I normally do.  This pattern called for buttons on the front of the dress which would have been really cute however I made this doll for a 1 year old so buttons were a no no.  If anyone else out there has ever used a Bit of Whimsy pattern you know it always says to do the face embroidery in the last few steps.  I find this to be more difficult so I do the embroidery before I sew the front and back body pieces together,  of course that's just my own personal preference.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Finished Felt Book

I finally finished Joanna's felt book.  When I started this little project I thought it would only take me a couple afternoons to finish it, two weeks later I made the last stitch.  I wanted a simple felt book with bright colors and simple pictures, so here's what I came up with. 

Here is the front cover with a J for her name.

Sorry for the poor quality of the pictures, I couldn't seem to get the lighting right and of course it didn't help that little man was constantly grabbing at the book while I was trying to photograph it, haha.

Now for the how to.  First I picked four different colors of 8x11 felt.  I chose black, purple, red and blue.
I placed two colors back to back and sewed all the way around.  A little tip from me, sew all your shapes and pictures on before you sew your pages back to back, just makes life a little easier.

Now you should have 2 pages of 2 different colors each.  Lay both pages on top of each other, find the center and fold it in half left to right.  Sew down the left side to make the binding.  The felt is really thick so be careful not to break a needle on your machine doing this step.
This is what it should look like:

Cut out different shapes for your pages.  I chose flowers, fish, balloons, clouds, an apple and hearts (I didn't have the clouds or hearts cut out when I took this picture).

If you didn't take my advice and sew the shapes on before sewing your book together, now is when you can applique them on each of the pages.  Now your finished and you have a simple, inexpensive, toy for your little one.  I'm making one for Grant next. 
I let him play with this one throughout the many steps it took to have it completed.  It works especially well to distract your little one during diaper changes.  Since every time I lay little man down to change his diaper he decides he should roll over or try to crawl away, this kept him in place long enough for me to finish.  So I guess I should get busy and started on the next one.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Felt Book

I'm working on a felt book for a 1 year old and of course with the mess in my house I haven't finished it yet but I wanted to show what I have done so far.

There's Grant's little hand, looks like I will be making him one next.

Its not finished yet but it's getting there.  Grant has become my little toy tester.  Anything I make I give to him to see if he likes playing with it and he loves this little book.  I didn't want anything complicated just simple bright pictures and numbers.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Moving Again

Things have been crazy here as we are preparing to move once again.  I wish I could say we were finally buying a place of our own but unfortunately the time isn't right for that as of yet so we are eagerly trying to find rentals.  Who knew it would be so frustrating to find a place.  I keep telling myself and my husband there is a house out there just waiting for us to call about and it will be perfect.  I fully believe everything happens for a reason and there is a reason we shouldn't be here anymore.

With all the madness, I have had little time to craft in between regular daily duties, Grant, packing, and looking at rental houses, and I desperately need to craft something.  In the midst of stress, crafting calms me, so not having time to do anything creative only stresses me more.  I'm hoping to get the felt book and Jean doll finished for my cousin-in-laws little girl sometime this week but I'm making no promises. 

Posting will be light the next couple weeks while we try to get things in order, so I apologize ahead of time. 

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Wedding flowers

My aunt was kind enough to lend her creativity for the flowers.  She worked in the floral department in a local grocery store for 2 years and is extremely talented.  I was a very simple bride and didn't want anything elaborate.  I wanted simple bouquets of red roses for me and my bridesmaids without any greenery or anything else.  I did make the small bouquet for my flower girl last minute when the basket I had planned on making turned out an ugly mess.  All I did for hers was take 4 or 5 inexpensive roses from walmart and wrap the stems together with some floral tape purchased at the dollar tree.

Mine and the flower girl's flowers.

All of the flowers (other than the flower girl's) were purchased at Hobby Lobby at 50% off.  The ones for my bouquet were a bit more expensive and you had to purchase them individually.  The bridesmaid flowers were purchased in a bush but still beautiful.  My aunt likes a lot of frills like lace and babies breath, and was not at all satisfied with the simplicity I wanted, haha. 

With the bridesmaid flowers my aunt took about 6 roses and wrapped the stems with green floral ribbon.  She them sprayed them with some glitter spray to make the sparkle.

If you don't have anyone helping you, keep it simple.  The more simple you make them the easier it will be on you.  I had thought of doing these myself until my aunt offered as our wedding gift so keep everything as simple as possible and you won't have an issue making them yourself.

Wedding Invitations

I did my invitations on my computer with Microsoft Publisher.  I love, love, love this program and have contemplated buying it many times for my new computer because I miss it that much.  You can do anything with this program from making postcards, cards, banners, signs, etc.  I found a picture on the website and decided to try my hand at making a similar one.  This is what I ended up with:

For whatever reason I could not find a completely finished invite in my stash of wedding stuff so the one above just needed the black cardstock glued down, and yes that is Grant's hand on the left ready to grab my invite and run.

The invite had 3 layers, the first was the top that you see above with one of our monograms and a quote I found online.  The second layer was the actual invitation and the third had the response card attatched. 

Here is our response card, it is in postcard form.  The opposite side had my address and a stamp.
Unfortunately I can't tell you my exact measurements because for me it was trial and error.  I used white cardstock. You can buy a large package right next to regular computer printer paper at walmart for about $5.  I downloaded the font from (it's super easy to download fonts so give it a try) and created my our monogram in Publisher using one of these fonts.  When I had each of the pages printed I cut them with a scrapbook paper cutter so the edges would be even and straight and stapled them together at the top.  Next I cut a strip of black cardstock (you can also get this at walmart in the same section as the white) and used E-6000 glue to attach it to the top and then glued a small red bow on top of that.  The bows were made from $0.97 ribbon from walmart.

I printed the response cards in Publisher as well using the same font and making it into a postcard so there would be no need for envelopes (one less thing to purchase).  I attached them to the back layer of the invite with clear photo corners.  The only thing I would suggest is not to even bother with response cards.  I probably only got a handful back and spent quite a bit on stamps and it seemed pointless in the end when no one really used them.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Wedding Week

Did anyone see the Royal Wedding? 

I know what you are thinking, that was months ago, don't worry I am fully aware of that and had intended to post all of this way back when but life happens so you are getting it now.

I was one of those people up at 5 am watching, but in my defense my son woke me up, wouldn't go back to sleep and there is nothing else on at 5am.  I won't lie though,  I really wanted to see what her dress looked like, after all the hype it wasn't what I expected at first.  I was thinking in terms of what is popular here in the states and thought she would be wearing something similar.  Then I learned in the church where they had the ceremony you are not allowed to wear strapless and there are other stipulations, regardless she was beautiful.  Can you imagine getting married and becoming a princess? Isn't that what we all dreamed of when we were little watching Cinderella?

 I love weddings, royal or not.  I love seeing what other people do to create their perfect day.  My husband and I got married a year and a half ago and I planned for an entire year before.  Everything about our wedding was picked, made, and created by us (ok, my husband didn't make a darn thing but I did ask his opinion on everything) and my family.  When it was all said and done, our wedding cost us $2,000 and that includes dress, venue, food, cake, rehearsal dinner, accessories, photographer etc.  These days I think that's pretty good considering most spend upwards of $30,000.  I had no desire to be paying for our wedding after we were married and neither of my parents had that kind of money or could afford that kind of debt. 

I was very fortunate to have a very talented family that helped me in most aspects of the wedding, and I found a few really great diy websites that really helped me.  It probably would have been more fitting to have wedding posts months ago, leading up to the Royal wedding, but things happened and I'm just getting around to it.  I started thinking about our wedding while watching and thought maybe there was someone out there who is planning their wedding or helping someone else plan one and could use a few ideas.  I know when I was planning I was scouring the internet for pictures, ideas, and how-to's.  So, I'm going to do a few posts on different aspects of our Homemade wedding.
Here is the start with some pictures of our wedding.

Here is our card table.  My colors were red and black.  Mainly because I wanted my bridesmaids to pick their own dresses without my being there and everyone can find black.  They each picked a different dress that flattered them and each of them have reworn their dresses to other events (I got a big thank you from each of them) and they didn't spend over $70.  The baskets on the table I bought for $1.50/ea at A.C. Moore and spray painted black.  One held the programs, the other held cry packs.  This table also served as our guest book table. 

We were married in front of the fireplace.  To decorate it I bought a vine of red roses from hobby lobby at 50% off, 2 vases of fresh roses on either side and the photo frames ($2 each at walmart) contained pictures of important people in our lives that had passed away.

You can't see them too well in this photo but I did all my centerpieces.  Borrowed the table cloths and mirrors the centerpieces sat on from a friend.  They consisted of a glass bowl from walmart, partly filled with water, glass stones in bottom, and a rose peeking out of the water.  Rose petals (purchased from the dollar tree around Valentines day) were scattered around the table.

Here is the buffet table (minus the food).  Once again the flower pots were made by me.  I bought regular terra cotta pots and painted them black.  I bought the cheapest fake red roses I could find at walmart for I think $1 a bush and stuck them in foam inside the pot.  More red and white flower petals from the dollar tree scattered around the table.

As I said, I was very fortunate to have talented family members help us.  My cousin worked in a grocery store bakery for 4 years and offered to make our cake.  She did an amazing job.  I provided the cake topper and she did the rest.  Her mother (who also did our flowers) made the small flower arrangements that decorated the cake.

This was her first attempt at fondant and there were some imperfections but luckily I was not a bridezilla and by the time the day rolled around with everything else that had happened (including 2 groomsmen backing out last minute, flower girl with the flu, my mom having surgery for breast cancer just days before, and my husband and I left to decorate the entire hall by ourselves), I had no energy left to be concerned with the little things.

Stay tuned for more wedding goodness tomorrow!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Unexpected Guests

I had grand plans this weekend of finishing the Jean doll for Joanna and getting to play with my new Cricut Expression, yes you read right, my husband bought me a Cricut Expression as an eary birthday present.  I have been eyeing them for a really long time but figured I wouldn't get one for a while because of circumstances and the price.  Needless to say my husband has been working 70 hour weeks and decided to surprise me, isn't he a sweety.

Anyway, my cousin called me thursday night to tell us they were coming down and asked if they could stay with us.  I was so excited because it is so rare that anyone comes down here (usually we are going up to Ohio), and even more rare that she is the one coming.  So instead of spending my weekend crafting and playing, I spent it visiting with her and her family.  We had a great time and I hated to see them leave.  In a perfect world she would live right down the street.  Why can't the world be perfect?  I guess that's a  question for another day.

I have big plans for crafting today so cross your fingers for me that Grant will be a good little boy and take his naps like he's suppose to.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Jean Skirt Repurpose

My mom happened to buy a pair of girl 12 month jeans at a yard sale and since I've been in the mood to repurpose anything instead of throwing it out or getting rid of it, I thought this was a perfect opportunity.

My neice is only 3 months old so I new she wouldn't fit into these for a long time, however my cousin-in-law's daughter was a perfect fit, and go figure they said she was in need of skirts or dresses.  I didn't take pictures of the process because of course I didn't think about it at the time and was sewing at about midnight in between Grant waking up.

  I took the pair of jeans and cut a straight line across right above the middle.  Next I used a measuring tape and measured all the way around and cut a piece of fabric 22 inches long and 4 inches wide, this is for the ruffle.  If you want a bigger ruffle you can always make yours 6 inches wide.  Now fold your fabric in half to make it 2 inches wide and iron it down.  Use the widest stitch on your machine, it's called a basting stitch, and sew your fabric together, all 22 inches of it. 

Time to gather and create your ruffle.  Just take one end of your thread and pull until it begins to gather and continue until you have gathered all of it, making one long ruffle.  Now pin your ruffle right sides together along the bottom of the skirt cutting off any excess at the end. 

This is what you should end up with.

I didn't use a stretchy fabric so I had to iron my ruffle down once I was finished sewing, otherwise it sticks straight out.  Either way I think it's kind of cute and I can't wait to see it on her!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Yummy Banana Bread

I've tried a few different banana bread recipes but this one is by far my favorite.  It has a streusal topping that is so yummy I could scrape it off the top and eat it by itself.  I got the recipe out of the Better Homes and Garden red plaid cookbook.  I have an older copy and my mom's is newer and both the banana bread recipes were different, weird, considering they are the same book just newer versions.  Anyway here is the recipe:

2c flour
1 1/2 t baking pwdr
1/2 t soda
1/4 t cinnamen
1/8 t nutmeg
2 beaten eggs
1 1/2 c mashed bananas (about 5)
1c sugar
1/2c oil
1/4c chopped walnuts

grease the bottom and sides of a loaf pan.  Combine flour, baking pwdr, soda, cinnamen, nutmeg, and 1/4 t salt.  Make a well in center.

In a medium bowl mix eggs, bananas, sugar, and oil.  Add egg mix to flour mix and stir til moist, batter will be lumpy.

Fold in nuts

Top with streusal:  combine 1/4c brown sugar, 3T flour, cut in 2 T butter and stir in 1/3c walnuts.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Mr. Energy

That is my son, Mr Energy.  Since he was 2 weeks old he has not slept like a normal baby (well, I guess what I would consider normal).  At 2 weeks old my days consisted of him screaming trying to stay awake and me rocking, bouncing, patting, or doing anything else I could think of to try to get him to pass out.  After literally over an hour of rocking, bouncing, or patting, he would fall asleep for all of 15 min only to repeat the cycle all over again.  People would tell me he should be sleeping the majority of the day, and when they would come over they always commented on how alert and wide eyed he was. 

For me there has never been such a thing as a power nap.  If I layed down for a nap I alotted at least 3 hours (needless to say I have not gotten a nap in 8 months), but Grant on the other hand can fall asleep for 10 minutes, wake himself up, and be wide awake for another 2 hours, and that's after he fought falling asleep in the first place for an hour and a half.

He has no real schedule because it all depends on how long he wants to fight.  I have never known a baby to fling, yes I said fling, himself all over the place to keep himself awake.  He also shakes himself awake when he is about to fall asleep.  If you are holding him while he is fighting, he will waller you to death, that in itself wears me out.

He still doesn't sleep through the night all the time.  If he wakes up in the middle of the night, or any other time for that matter, he thinks he should be up and out of bed.  The other night he didn't fall asleep until around ten, was up at 4am, didn't fall back asleep until almost 6am and then was up again at 7:15.  You would think not sleeping very well during the night would make for great naps during the day, wrong.  That same day he slept for 30 minutes in the morning and almost an hour in the afternoon, and no he didn't go to bed early that night.

Grant is definately one of a kind, and I wouldn't trade him for anything, but man it sure would be nice to get a little extra sleep sometimes.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Baby Fever

I think I'm coming down with it, yep, baby fever.  Why is it that when your friends get pregnant suddenly you start wanting another baby.  Mind you I still have a baby so if I were someone else talking to me I'd say I were crazy for even thinking such things.  No I have no intentions of getting pregnant any time soon.  I'd like for certain things to be in order and certain financial situations to be stabilized a little, but that doesn't take away from the fact that the fever comes and goes usually depending on what mood Grant is in.  There are the days where he is screaming, not napping, and up multiple times a night and I think there is no way I want another one right now.  Then I have a day where he is in a great mood, smiling, laughing and taking naps, sleeping through the night and I think, yea I could have another baby.  I guess I will have to live vicariously through friends who are expecting in order to keep the fever down.  Baby gifts are in full swing at my house.  It seems like pregnancy comes in waves, one minute no one is having a baby and the next everyone is.

So here is what I'm thinking for my cousin who I'm having a baby shower for in September:
1. Changing pad
2. wipes case
3. binky clips
4. car seat covers

She isn't finding out the sex of her babies until mid August and since that would only give me 1 month (clearly not enough time) to finish all these projects I decided to try and find a gender neutral fabric so I could start early.  Originally my list was much much longer until I realized it was already July and I still had all of the baby shower decorations, prizes, and food to buy/make.  That's when I realized it was time to pick only a few things to make for her gift so I would have time to get everything else done and I could keep the freaking out to a minimum.

I'm also planning on making a changing pad and wipes case for a friend of ours who is due in August.  They have a 14 month old little boy and are not finding out the sex of their new baby so once again I get the task of picking fabric that could be for boy or girl.

Here is the fabric I bought at my favorite store, Hobby Lobby.

Can I just take a minute to say I think I could spend every dime I have in Hobby Lobby, every time I go in I have a huge list of things I want, and oh how I do love their fabric.

Anyway, on to other things. lol.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Baby Emergency Vehicle Kits

Every time I leave the house I end up lugging this big diaper bag full of anything and everything I could possibly need.  I always end up packing way more than I need and usually only use a couple things out of it.  Well this really started annoying me since Grant is about 25lbs now, I don't need anything extra to carry.  So I had a thought, why not put all the stuff I usually don't use but may need in a plastic container and keep one in each vehicle so I have it if I happen to need it but don't have to carry all of it in and out of the house.  Then I remembered I had seen this on Jon & Kate Plus 8 years ago (before the drama, the million dollar house, and the breakup, when the show was still about those cute little ones).

So here are my emergency kits ready to be put in the car. 

What's inside my kits you ask?

Everyone's emergency kit would be different depending on your child and their needs but in mine I have the following: 1 diaper, 1 spoon, 1 plastic bag (for messy clothes or dirty diapers), 1 outfit, 1 bottle of water, 1 small bottle, 1 small bottle of juice, 1 container of baby food, and a baggie with multiple paper towels (I figured wipes might dry out in the 100 degree weather here so in a pinch you can use paper towels and water).

I'm so excited to have this done since it has been on my mind for months now.  No more packing around a huge diaper bag full of the "what if's?", and if you happen to travel in someone elses car just grab your kit and throw it in the back seat.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Shop With Me Saturday

My new goal when shopping at CVS and Walgreen's is to keep my combined total from both stores under $10, this week was a success.
I went to Walgreen's the other day and bought all this for a total of $2.  Here's how:

Scott paper towels $5
   used a $2.50 off Scott Naturals coupon.
Bottled Water on sale for $1.99 each
m&m candy 2/$5
    used store coupon for $1from the July coupon book and 2- $1 off M&M pretzel (9.9oz) manufacturer     coupons
Oral B Indicator toothbrush 2/$2
    used $2 off 2 Oral B Indicators coupon
Cleaning Gloves $0.59
Used $11 in Register Rewards from previous purchases.

Total after taxes and before coupons -$20.32
Total after coupons-$1.82

Isn't it great being able to walk out of a store with a cart full of stuff and only pay a couple dollars for it.  It's great!

My CVS shopping trip ended up costing me less than $2 out of pocket

Lipton Tea- 5.99 buy one get $2 extra bucks
Always Infinity-3.99 buy one get $2 extra bucks
   use coupon $1 off 1 Always infinity
   pay $2.99 receive $2 extra bucks
Oral B Advantage Toothbrush- $3 buy one receive $1 extra bucks
   use coupon $2 off 1 Oral B Advantage toothbrush
   pay $1 receive $1 extra bucks (like getting it for free)
Dawn dishwashing soap- $0.99
   use $0.25 off 1 Dawn dishwashing soap
   pay $0.74

Total- 10.72 (before tax) I used my extra bucks from previous purchases and my total ended up being around $1.85, and I received $5.50 in extra bucks to use on future purchases (I have no clue why I received the $0.50 extra bucks print out, but I think it's some kind of promotion I wasn't aware of).

Friday, July 8, 2011

Dr Suess Baby Shower Ideas

My cousin, Julia, is pregnant with twins and I'm so excited to throw her a baby shower.  Before she found out there were 2 little ones on the way, I had a whole plan for a rubber duck themed shower because I knew I could start planning ahead and then add accents of blue or pink when she found out if she was having a boy or girl.  However, now that there are twins, I had to change the theme to a Dr. Suess Thing 1 and Thing 2 because after all how often do you get to plan a twins baby shower. Not to mention I had been wanting to use this theme for ages but never got the chance.

I've scoured the internet for ideas and I figured this was perfect timing because the colors I want to use are red, white, and aqua blue.  Since the 4th of July is here I know I should be able to find some red clearence items and by the end of summer aqua items should be clearenced down too.  The only thing I have purchased so far are red napkins I found on clearance for $0.75 each and bonus! I found some green ones for my son's first birthday party too.  Don't you love it when that happens.

Here are some of the pictures I have found and saved to my computer to get the idea juices flowing.

I like coming up with centerpieces that contain items I can use over again, and using food is always a good thing, so I was super excited when I saw these centerpieces filled with twizzlers and chocolate covered pretzels.

I've seen loads of different diaper cakes with various things decorating them.  I really like these two because they are simple.  That's what I keep reminding myself is to keep it simple.  Otherwise I will end up spending a fortune and too much of my time.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Wedding Gift

Along with being pregnant with twins my cousin recently got married so of course a wedding gift was in order.  They both have lived on their own so buying something was going to be difficult and since it was a quick sort of thing I didn't have alot of time to plan.  Jul loves her coffee in the mornings and since I have a love of coffee mugs I decided to do a Mr. and Mrs. mug for each of them.

I used my Cricut to cut the vinyl and bought the mugs at the Dollar Tree.

I also made these coasters, of course in my rush to get them done I didn't let them dry long enough and ended up ruining them but here they are pre-ruin.

I used my cricut to cut out the letter and numbers then modpodged them on.  I cut felt and glued it on the back so the coasters don't scratch the table.  Before ruining them I was really proud of them.   I wanted something simple with their wedding date.  I bought the tiles at Lowe's for under $.40, which makes this the perfect inexpensive wedding or Christmas gift.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Pregnancy Journal

My cousin found out she is pregnant with twins about a month ago.  I wanted to do something as a little gift and I tried to think of something I would liked to have had when I was pregnant with Grant.  So I made her a pregnancy journal.

Here is the front.  I bought a composition notebook, and used my cricut to cut out the words and tag.  The small flowers are embellishments I already had in my craft stash.

Here is the inside cover with two places for ultrasound pictures or pregnancy pictures. I used spray adhesive and modpodge to adhere the cardstock to the front, back, and inside covers and used an xacto knife to trim the edges. 

After having Grant a journal is the one thing I wish I would have kept to write down anything I was feeling during my pregnancy.  I know in 20 years I won't remember alot of the small details like when exactly I first felt him kick, or all the different names we thought of before deciding on Grant.  Just little things I think would be neat to read from my mom if she had kept a journal.  I plan on stocking up on composition notebooks during the school sales this summer when they are at their cheapest so I will be ready for the next pregnant friend or my next pregnancy.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Mom Moment: Getting Ready for Daycare

What's going on at my house you ask.  At this moment I am sitting in my living room listening to little Grant cry in his bed.  It kills me not to go pick him up but I know he is exhausted because he was sound asleep in my arms before I layed him in his bed.  This is an every day battle at my house.  Usually by Friday I have made progress and my husband is home and ruins all my hard work, he loves to spoil Grant. 

I will be starting work the beginning of August as an elementary school nurse.  The only way I was able to take the job is the on site daycare, which happens to be about 50 feet from my office.  While I'm not exactly excited about going back to work since that means I have 2 full time jobs, a nurse and a mom/wife, and I was really hoping I could be a full time stay at home mom until our kids were in school, but things happen and bills need to be paid and caught up so back to work I go!  I'm fully aware there are working mom's all over the country but how do they do it all?  I already have a hard time getting all the laundry, dishes, cleaning, and Grant stuff done by the end of the day and now I will have to get it all finished after 4pm.  I'm already starting to sweat just thinking about it.

Anyway my going back to work and Grant going into a daycare setting is the reason why I am sitting here listening to him cry.  Before he could stand, I could lay him in his bed and he would cry for a whole 5 minutes then fall asleep.  Since he has learned to stand he now stands up in his bed and screams as loud as he can in the hopes someone will get him out.  Up until last week I was getting him out after about 5 minutes, now I realize for the sake of his new daycare teacher, he really needs to start putting himself to sleep.  I've tried explaining that to my husband, the fact that Grant will not be the only child she is taking care of and she doesn't have and hour and a half to sit with him while he wallers her til he falls alseep, but he still doesn't want to let him cry himself to sleep.

So cross your fingers for me and say a little prayer that he will fall asleep soon before I can no longer resist the mommy urge to scoop him up and hold him while he sleeps.

1st 4th of July

I hope everyone had a great 4th of July.  When watching the weather I thought for sure my plans of a picnic and fireworks was doomed.  1st the weather man said 96 degrees which wouldn't have been good for Grant, then it started pouring rain and I figured maybe I should just give it up all together.  In the end the rain stopped and it cooled off to about 70 which was perfect.  I made ham,cheese, lettuce and tomato wraps, pasta salad, mini cheesecakes, watermelon, and cucumbers. It was delicious.  Grant barely watched the fireworks and I guess I should have figured that but either way I'm glad we made his first 4th special. My picnic blanket got lots of use and I'm so happy I made it.  I think the thing I love most about it is it has squares from my jeans, Derrick's, my sister, my mom, and her husband.  It's a perfect keepsake.

Here's how I made it:
I took multiple pairs of jeans and cut 6x6 squares out of them.  I pinned the squares in rows of 11 and ended up with 11 rows.  Make sure to iron your seems so the quilt will lay nice and flat.  I used a flat sheet (since we never use them on our bed) for the backing and used my sewing machine to stitch around the edges.  and ta-da! Your done! 

Monday, July 4, 2011

4th of July Outfit

Here is Grant's 4th of July outfit, and the best part is it took me less than an hour to finish.  I can't wait to put it on him and go have our picnic and watch the fireworks. 

If you want to make some cute little shorts like these, I used the 15 minute jammy tutorial over at Handmade Mommy and just used shorts instead of pants.  I've used this tutorial at least half a dozen times and still get excited with how easy, quick, and cute the pants/shorts turn out.  The onesie is just appliqued.  I used a drinking glass to make a circle around the image I wanted on the front of the onesie, cut it out, and used Heat N Bond to adhere it.  Then stitched around it with my sewing machine.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

jeans repurposed into picnic blanket

 I would love to take complete credit for this idea but I actually saw it a long time ago on another blog and logged the idea in the "future crafts section" of my brain.  As I was unpacking clothes that no longer fit myself and my husband I thought I needed to find something to make with them.  I immediately thought of a picnic quilt.  We live near a lake and there is a walking trail that goes around part of it.  I have always wanted to have a picnic there especially since Grant is getting bigger. 

I dug through my stash of jeans and decided there was no real need to keep the size 9 jeans my post pregnant body will never fit in again, and then asked Derrick to dig through his.  I cut them all up and took my scraps as well as my sewing machine to Ohio with me.  I told my mom what my plan was and she gave me a pair of her jeans and 2 pairs of her husbands.

This is what I ended up with, I love the brown squares thrown in from a pair of Derrick's work pants.  I cut out 6x6 squares and randomly sewed them together in rows of 11.  My mom gave me a shower curtain I had intended to use as the backing but it ended up being too small.  So now I'm considering using a flat sheet (because I never actually use them on my bed, they just take up space in my linen closet).  I'm still deciding on whether or not to make it bigger, but I absolutely love it and can't wait to use it.  I'll post the finished product hopefully before Monday. 

Friday, July 1, 2011

All My Loot

Well as you may know I have a small addiction to couponing, but I have to say if you're gonna be addicted to something is being addicted to couponing really that bad.  It's like being addicted to saving which I think we all of need to be a little with the way the economy is.
Here is my mini bathroom stockpile, and the amazing part is I aquired all of this in about a month without spending much at all.  I think all of it except the 2 dove deodorants (which I bought for $0.20 each, SCORE!) came from CVS and Walgreens.

Here is what I bought a couple weeks ago.  I had planned on posting it the weekend I bought it but ended up leaving for Ohio at 5am that Saturday morning. 
All this cost a little over $4.  I know it doesn't look like much but when it retails for over $25, that seriously excites me!

Every time I go to Ohio I end up grocery shopping and stocking up on different things.  There are quite a few grocery stores where my parents live which is great because they all compete with one another and have really great deals I don't normally find when I'm at home, and bonus! 3 of those stores double coupons up to 99 cents.  The only store I have that doubles coupons is Kroger which is 30 minutes away.

So here are my cabinets after my almost month long trip to Ohio (the pasta, and poptarts were already there).

This is my favorite cabinet to open because we never have snack stuff, never.  Occasionally I buy chips for Derrick's lunch but snack stuff is usually really expensive and I can't every justify buying it over meat, fruits, and veggies, aka the good stuff.  The most expensive thing in here were the Doritos at $1.77, everything else was $1 or less.

The lazy susan, which was practically empty pre-ohio.

Have I ever mentioned how much I love my deep freezer.  How oh how did I live without it before.

I honestly don't think I have had this much food in my house EVER, haha.  Now I rarely buy things without a coupon except for the basics like meat, fresh fruits and veggies.  Although I did luck out and buy 3 pineapples that were on sale for $1 each and used a coupon for $1.25 off 2, but that hardly ever happens.

My grocery budget for a normal week is about $40.  Most people  I tell that to get all big eyed and say "how do you live on that", but when times are tough you really don't have a choice.  I used to think there was no way I could create any kind of stockpile on $40 a week but it's totally possible.  I did go a little over my budget when I found ground chuck for $1.97/lb which I never ever find at home so I bought 8lbs.  Other wise I stayed within budget with all my purchases which made me feel so good.  Now I should be able to shop for meat and fresh food without having to purchase a bunch of random items that seem to normally break the budget.

My piece of advice to anyone reading this, START COUPONING!  Even if it's just for personal hygiene and toiletries at first.  It's the $4 shampoo, $3 bodywash, and $10 razors that seem to break the budget most of the time.  Especially when your budget is super tight.  When you have $40 and you need shampoo, toilet paper, and a razor all in the same week it can easily take up 1/2 your money.  By using coupons and shopping the sales you can eliminate that problem all together and who doesn't like that?


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