Monday, May 21, 2012

Patriotic Pendant Banner

I've been dying to do a Pendant Banner (or I've seen them called Bunting, as well, although that makes me think more of DESSERT than decoration) for a while.

I had some extra fabric leftover from Hunter's No-Sew Tie Applique Shirt and Avery's shirt so I figured I'd add to my patriotic decorations that have been slowly creeping through the house.

I found a pendant template online but I'm sorry to say I can't find the darn link again. So you can just google it, which is what I originally did! I cut out my template and then got to work.

Don't look TOO closely though...I SERIOUSLY need to paint my nails! Stat!



Now just an FYI, this is a very rough, NOT-fancy banner. ;-) It has frayed edges and I kinda like the roughness and how it looks with the red, white and blue colors. Once I learn how to sew, however, that feeling might change. Heh heh.

I ironed all the cut triangles and then plugged in my trusty glue gun.


Insert whiny 2 1/2  (almost 3, holy crap!) year old boy who wanted to be cuddled HERE:


I took my pretty, NOT fancy, triangles...


....and then glued them onto the sparkly red jute, all while managing to burn my fingertips a couple of times.

Ouch!


And a couple of minutes later? DONE-zo!!!




I love it!

And so do the kids. Hunter told me, "Mama, boo-tiful banner!"

Go make your own "boo-tiful" banner. You won't be sorry!



Saturday, May 19, 2012

Yarn-Covered Letter Cuteness

I've been uncovering stuff as I clean/organize the house, and it's been like Christmas around here!

Yesterday I pulled out a bag of yarn from my brief scarf-knitting days. I could not seem to progress past the scarf stage--and even that wasn't fun for me, just frustrating--so I finally said to heck with it!

But now I have some fuzzy yarn to figure out what to do with!

Well, back to yesterday while I was staring at this yarn, and I suddenly remembered an idea I saw on a blog, or maybe on Pinterest. 

A yarn-wrapped letter!

Of course I can't remember where exactly I first saw it so I hopped on Pinterest quick for a link to show you guys and look at how many different pins I found!

Most of the yarn I had was all fuzzy and kind of textured so I already knew it would be more "puffy" than most of the letters I saw on Pinterest.

Anyway, I started with a cardboard letter "C" I had from Joann's (shopping with two littles under three is interesting...i almost ALWAYS end up with something extra in the cart!). C is the first letter of our last name.

I forgot to take a picture before hand so this picture is from Joann's site just so you can get an idea. 


Next step, and really the only step...start wrapping your yarn! 



Now I'm sure some people glue their yarn on, but becuz I wasn't sure how I'd like this particular yarn on my letter I wanted to be able to take it off if I hated it (which I did NOT hate it)!

So I just wrapped it tight and tucked the loose end underneath the wrapped pieces.


All done!

I threw it up on a shelf in the kitchen for now until I decide where it's going to live!



Super easy and super cute!




NOTE: I'm extending my Korker Hair Bow give-a-way till the end of the weekend! Enter to win it for FREE!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Extreme Couponing...I am NOT!

But looking to save some money? YES, I am!!

With being temporarily unemployed, I've been looking at different ways this month to pay a little bit less.  Man, it's like a full-time job!

Those Extreme Couponers are HARDCORE.

While I would love to spend only $20 on a $400 shopping trip, right now I'm not able to devote a ton of time to couponing like some of these people do!

But I've been checking out sites and blogs and trying to figure out where I can save a little bit here and there.

My first foray into couponing was at Target today. While I have quite a few coupons printed out, there was only a couple fo things I actually needed to get there: diapers for both kids, shower gel for Daryl, hand soap for the kitchen and toothpaste for me and Big D.  Unfortunately, I didn't have any manufacturer's coupons but I just brought in my Target coupons with me.

My first deal was the diapers. 

I bought two boxes of diapers: Size 5 (70/box) and Size 6 (60/box). The diapers were $13.99 each box.  If you bought TWO boxes of the Target Up and Up brand diapers, you would receive a $5.00 Target gift card at the register, good for your next purchase.  Plus I had a Target coupon for $1.00 off (of COURSE, I got home and went online and Target now has a $2.00 off coupon. Damn it!).  So it was 13.99 x 2 = $27.98.  Minus -$1.00 = $26.98.  Then the $5.00 gift card which technically is money back, so you can say you reduced the diapers to: $21.98 total. That's $10.99 per box! I'm tempted to go back and do this all over again, this time using the $2.00 off coupon, bringing it to $9.99 per box!  As nice as that is, you can make it even cheaper obviously by buying a smaller sized package of diapers. I am tempted to go back and get some more.

Edit: I did it. I went back and bought another two boxes. We go through diapers like water in this house so it was totally worth it to me to make another trip and utilize that $2.00 off coupon AND $5.00 gift card back!


My other deals this week are the three toiletry items we needed: Daryl's Axe Shower Gel, our toothpaste and some Up and Up Target brand hand soap.  I had coupons for all three. Here is the breakdown:



1.  Axe Shower Gel regular price: $.3.49. I had a coupon for $2.00 off dropping it down to $1.49 a bottle. This is a great price for Axe!

2.  UP and UP Hand soap regular price is $0.99 bottle. I had a coupon for $.50 off. So that dropped my bottle of hand soap down to $0.49! Woo hoo! I'm DEFINITELY getting another bottle of it. We go through hand soap like crazy between our bathroom and kitchen. (When I went back the next day to get more diapers, I got more Axe shower gel and hand soap, as well. I had the coupons and we will use them right up!)

3.  Aqua Fresh Extreme Clean toothpaste on sale for 2/$6.00. I only wanted one tube at $3.00. I had a coupon for $1.50 off dropping the cost of the toothpaste down to $1.50. Not the best price always but it made me happy. I wish the kids weren't getting so antsy becuz they had a different Aqua Fresh on sale for 2/$4.00 and I was wondering if the coupon could be applied to that (even though it said "Extreme Clean" on the coupon).

Grand Total Before coupons and savings for all 3 products:  $7.48

Grand Total AFTER coupons and savings for all 3 products:  $3.48!

AWESOME, considering I can normally spend that much on just the Axe!  It's just about a 50% savings. Good, but I'd like to do better!
Now, last but certainly not least, is the clothes! I had NO INTENTION of buying any clothes becuz money is tight. That being said, I saw quite a few Clearance Racks and of course my curiosity was piqued! Since these babies of mine have ruined my body, heh heh, I pretty much have NO clothes that fit. I have two pairs of jeans that I wear over and over. And for the summer time I have 1 pair of shorts that fits, and maybe 1 (possibly 2?) fitting pairs of capris. Not much in the way of shirts either.

So, just for ha-ha's I stopped to look at the clearance, also knowing I had a couple of Target's clothing coupons in my pile as well.

Here is what I picked up:


These tank tops were $2.40 each.


There were 3 different colors on the rack so I scooped them up. Those are cheap tanks! Do you think it's strange I bought 3 of the same shirts in different colors? When I like something (like tank tops and flip flops, my obsession!) I tend to stock up in multiple colors.

I picked up aother tank, slightly different style w/a pocket, for $4.98.

They DID have one in a different color but I wanted to make sure I liked the fit of it before i bought 2 in that style.  I did like it so when I went back to get more diapers, I got the blue tank as well.

For five tank tops I spent: $17.16. Not too bad.



Anyway, I've got my coupon binder all set up now and my Internet-printed off coupons in it already. I'm waiting impatiently for Sunday's insert so I can start clipping some more. I don't have any intentions of becoming an Extreme Couponer, but I sure do plan on saving some money and getting some cheap (or in some cases, free!) products! Wish me luck.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Organization, weekend and a give-a-way, oh my!

Ok first of all....ENTER MY GIVE-A-WAY, people!!! So far, Keri, you are in the lead to win...since you are the ONLY ONE whose entered!

You can win a Korker Hair Bow for FREE. Seriously, people, you don't have to do anything but drop me a comment. Easy-peasy.

Go read the give-a-way rules HERE.



Now that we've gotten that out of the way...what a weekend! It was busy and fun and unfortunately I didn't get any crafting done.  I had a wedding to go to for one of favorite girls Stacey.  She was a beautiful bride, as expected! And I got to glam up a little bit (just a little bit though...do you know how hard it is to dress up when you have like NO dressy clothes? Or clothes that actually FIT? Ugh.)

Also, we had lots of outdoor playtime this weekend...

including yesterday, on my most favorite Mother's Day so far.  There's something to be said for not having any set plans. We just winged it and I loved my day!!


I seriously can't imagine my life WITHOUT these crazy little stinkers. Love them so much!

I did work on some organizing in the kitchen! But I need some help figuring things out from all you super-organized, crafty people out there. So here's what we started with, and PLEASE, don't judge me. Heh heh. It's bad. I'm talking B-A-D, guys. I didn't realize just how crazy these cabinets had gotten (or well, ok, maybe I DID) until I took these pics before organizing.

So here are the BEFORES! 

Before of the tupperware cabinet. In my defense, this cabinet is TINY and has no shelf or anything. My nemesis:


Sooooo...I did some quick thinking and decided this was NOT the right cabinet for the job. After some rearranging, the tupperware/rubbermaid/containers went to live in the old pan cabinet. 

AFTER:
More of an improvement, yes? Not perfect, but at least now I don't have an avalanche of plastic containers raining out on me.

Next I tackled the pan storage. THIS cabinet originally held just pans (not baking supplies).
BEFORE:
 I can't tell you how many times I stacked and RE-stacked those damn pans. That bottom drawer actually slides out...and I seriously think that's why it always ends up a mess. Stuff just got tossed in after getting washed.  The top drawer is kinda skinny and set back so we couldn't put much up there...it would get top heavy and collapse.

And since I ended up combining the pans with all the baking/oven cooking storage, I will show you THAT cabinet as well. (and note, these are double-side by side cabinets.)

Seriously, prepare yourself people.  *SHUDDER*

BEFORE-right side:

 BEFORE-left side:

What the heck happened? Again, in my defense, crappiest cabinets EVER. NO shelves for one thing. And that cabinet on the left has that big (see it? silver?) pipe thing going to the range above these cabinets. Smack DAB in the center of the cabinet.

So I combined all the cooking/baking into these two cabinets AND also purged a few items that we almost NEVER used (random tiny pan lid? It went to the kids toy kitchen!).

AFTER-right side:
 AFTER-left side:

And I just realized I forgot to post the AFTER pic of the original tupperware cabinet. THAT tiny cabinet is now kind of my catch-all for random things: cutting boards, giant bottle of vinegar, alcohol bottles, small food processor, and my blender (which used to be on the counter top but I am also trying to reduce counter top clutter!).

AFTER (original tupperware cabinet turned catch-all cabinet):


So, definitely not perfect but it will do for now. Now here's where you come in! Can you guys give me advice on how to better organize and KEEP It organized in these darn cabinets? It's so hard for one thing without shelves in any of them, becuz it's wasted space. Also, the LACK of cabinets is a bummer.  I suppose I could ask Big D to whip up some wood shelves and put them in for me. However, I could be waiting a while, cuz he's been super busy lately. Not sure what I could do so looking for ideas, please!

And last but not least (you didn't really think I was done did you?), is our only ONE two upper cabinets (that's right I said TWO...whoever designed this kitchen was a dumb ass). 

Here is the sloppy-needs-serious-help BEFORE:


I went through this one and got rid of some mugs  and put the fancy ones away (see how many there are? We honestly use like the same 4 over and over) that we don't use. And also I threw away a couple of sippy cups that were crapping out.  This cabinet is such a cluster-&^%$ of stuff cuz we really don't HAVE cabinet space.

AFTER



So now tell me: What organizational tips work best for your kitchen?

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Enter my Give-A-Way for a Korker Hair Bow!

So, I'm thinking it's time for me to do a give-a-way!

And since my crafty blog is a new blog, hopefully I have enough of you out there reading to actually ENTER my little contest. Heh heh.

Being temporarily unemployed (ugh!) AND with the weather being icky, I've been whipping up quite a few new hair bows this week. 

My  little Avery has been happily strutting her stuff around the house modeling each hair bow for Mommy.



So, now the details!

I'm going to give you a chance to win your choice of 1 of these 3 different  Korker Hair Bows. 

Without further adieu, here are your options!

Either the:

1.  Purple Polka Dots and Stripes (seen here in my Etsy shop)

OR

2.  this little beauty created over the weekend, Pretty in Purple:



OR

3.  one of my new favorites, Candy Apple Pink and Green:



If you'd like to have a chance to win a Korker Hair Bow (on an alligator clip), entering this give-a-way is super easy!

Here are the Rules:

1.  For one chance, leave me a comment on the blog stating which Korker Hair Bow you'd like to win and who will be the lucky girl wearing it. And don't forget to leave your email address so I have a way to contact you if you win.

2.  For TWO more chances, please FOLLOW ME on this blog (over on the right side bar)! I love new friends!

3.  For a bonus TWO MORE chances, FOLLOW ME on my family blog: Thoughts in My Tumultuous Brain.

4. And for a bonus, BONUS extra chance, mention me (and link back here) on your little piece of bloggy heaven. Thanks!

*MAKE SURE to let me know in your comment if you earned any other chances!

This contest will be open for a week, so you have up to next Wednesday, May 16th. I will announce the winner on Thursday, May 17th
And there you have it! So get to entering, people. There's a pretty new Korker Hair Bow with your name all over it!

*Quick note, this contest is only open to the US and Canada.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Being unemployed...even just temporarily...sucks!

I've been working on more hair bows lately to pass the time.

It relaxes me. I can shut off my brain for a little bit and just create.  This was my first time making a Stacked Boutique Bow, and it was a tad bigger than I wanted for my one year old's head. I think it will be a much better fit on a toddler sized head.  I'll post more about this in a later blog post though.

And YES, that is all dirty laundry piled up on the floor. I now will have PLENTY of time to tackle this pile. Ugh.

Today I wanna talk about something else.  On Wednesday, I got a temporary pink slip from my job  (my boss is having some major issues right now) so I will be out of work anywhere from one week to one MONTH.  I have a feeling it's going to be more like a month.

*SIGH*

I know we won't starve and it's "only" a month. But still, when you rely on two paychecks and that's how you live, to suddenly drop down to one paycheck? It creates a sinking feeling in my gut!

So that means no random trips to Michael's or Joann's for crafting goodies this month.  No spur-of-the-moment thrifting runs to Goodwill (NOT that those sales run me much! I always walk out of there with two bags full from anywhere between $12-20.)  And no unexpected treats for the kids...I like to get them stuff from the Target dollar bin once in a while or an occasional toy on sale, or bouncy ball. I know they don't NEED it, but I like to do it. So, this month, that is all on hold! THAT makes me sad!  Money WILL be tight and I will be looking to cut some costs where I can. I might even break out the 'ol cloth diapers again but this time for Avery (they were Hunter's until he grew out of them, and for Avery I only used them around 4-5 months but got too overwhelmed with everything.  It was just ONE more thing in an already long-list of life stuff to complete!).

This month, I'll be focusing on a few things.  First and foremost, COUPONING! I don't usually do the coupon thing. I'm not organized enough and just don't know where to begin. But I just realized Target has coupons listed on their site (like, a LOT of them!) so I'm starting there and then I'll visit a couple of coupon sites I belong to. 

NEXT on the list?  Potty training! I was originally going to wait until he turned (almost) three years old (August 4th!) but since I have no idea when I'll get another consecutive week off now (my work was scheduled for shut-down the week of July 4th but I imagine that won't be happening now), I decided to tackle the dreaded...POTTY training. We are only a teeny bit ahead of my schedule...Hunter is now 32 months old and talking SO much, so I think communication will be much better to try now.

Of course, this kid is very strong-willed, so we'll see how this goes. Heh. I've gotta just pick up a few more pairs of undies for him, cuz the six pairs we have will NOT be enough. The last time I attempted this (before he was ready) I had six dirty pairs of undies after only TWO hours of PTing.

What else? There's going to be some MAJOR cleaning and organization going on up in herrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrre! Namely, the bedrooms. The kids' room has been a work in progress for over a year. Between piles of hand-me-down clothes I need to go through and either put away or pack up to give away, toys that both babes have outgrown, and a couple of boxes left over from when we moved IN (yes, a year and a half ago)....I've got my work cut out for me. But I'm determined to get it all organized, and cute-ified (we still need curtains but that will have to wait until I'm back to work).  I'm currently working on making a chalkboard for their room, and I've also spray painted a few more frames I already had to match the color scheme. 

Speaking of chalkboards, this is my new addiction! (I can tell you how I made it, in a different post.) I've made one for the kitchen, and working on one for the kids room and I still have another frame to do! Haven't decided yet where that second one will go.  Maybe in the little shelf-alcove by our backdoor where hubby keeps his stuff...I often times need to leave him notes so he doesn't forget stuff so I'm thinking I can make a long, skinny chalkboard frame to put between the door and the shelves.  Here is my kitchen chalkboard:






And last but certainly not least? Exercise! The weather is starting to warm up so I'd like to get the kids outside much more, which includes some walks around the lake.  AND maybe a couple of trips to the gym, after dropping the kids off at my mom's. She normally watches them while I work and already, I can tell Hunter misses his Nana.  He's woken up every morning since Thursday saying, "Nana's house today?"

Anyway, this is my attempt to turn a unexpected negative into a positive for all my family. Wish me luck!