Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Beauty Budget Steal of the Week

Goodwill End Table
So J has this corner in her room that looked just a little too naked. I had been looking for something to put there and I happened to stumble upon this little table at Goodwill.  It needed a little TLC but that could be taken care of with some spray paint and for $4, I couldn't beat it.
Table: Goodwill $3.99
I spray painted the legs and base in black with a satin finish. I contemplated mod-podging the table top with a zebra print fabric but in the end settled on just some white spray paint. 

Mirror: Ikea $3.99 (clearance)
Vase: Goodwill $2.99

So there you have it! Some nice room decor for $11.00

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Home Decor: Living Room Series

So we have finally finished our living room! I'm not even sure what you would call the theme but it all came together very nicely. Sorry for the bad lighting. I took it at night so I couldn't use the natural sunlight.
I guess the theme of the room is a wine color red, black, white and a tuscan yellow with a hint of green accent. I know, it sounds ridiculous.
So here's two pictures of the mantle. One during the day and the other at night with lamp lighting. The 4 pictures above the mantle are actually canvas covered in fabric. Between canvas and fabric, the pictures only cost $18.
The vases in the middle of the mantle are something I already had from the last house and they were exactly the color I needed which worked out perfect for me.
The pieces on either side of the mantle aren't what I would call a deal. But I liked them so much and they matched so well that I shelled out the $50 bucks for the two of them. 

Mantle decor Total: $68.


So these are coasters I made with the fabric I had left over from the canvas's over the mantle. I already had the tiles from previous coasters I made so this project was essentially free.
When not in use, they serve as a "mat" for this centerpiece on our coffee table. This centerpiece is also something that made the move from the other house. But the bowl I got from Ikea for $1.99 and then I just spray painted it. The rose petals and black cup, I already had and the candle was $1. So all in all, it was really cheap to begin with.

I may have already posted these little "potion bottles," as I call them; but they make a fabulous addition to our entertainment center. 
Potion Bottles: Michaels .20 cents/each
Orchids: Ikea $1.99 each
White Tray: Ikea $4.99

Total: $11.56
This is the decor on our other coffee table. The twine balls were a previous "steal of the week" from Ikea. The lamp came as part of a set we bought awhile ago and the two grape themed pieces on the right were from our last house.
Last but certainly not least is the curtains. JC Penney was having a clearance sale on curtains and we sure did take advantage. The pictures were part of the theme from our kitchen in the last house, which was a wine theme. We just carried it over to this house because we really did like it.
Valences: JC Penney $12/each
Curtain Rod: JC Penney $35
Pictures: Already had
 We decorated this whole room for under $300 and that includes the curtains. Some people spend $300 alone on the curtains.
So there you have the living room series! I've got some great Steals of the Week I still need to post. So keep an eye out!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Budgeting More Than Just Money

Money Time Saving Moves

Budgeting time can be just as important as budgeting money. I feel like I'm always pressed for time so I have a few time saving moves I employ when my schedule is full.

So I am a big fan of the messy bun. I must admit, I wear my hair in a messy bun way more than I should, but it's a great time saving style without looking like you just crawled out of bed (ok sometimes it does look like you crawled out of bed.)

I've discovered that everyone has a slightly different way they do a messy bun. My strategy is just grab it in a pony, shove a bunch of hair into the hand grasping the pony, wrap the hair tie around and then just pull it out a little bit. It looks different almost every time which I like.
The 2 minutes while you brush your teeth is a great time to get some excercise in. Now you can't do much, but you can do strengthening exercises for your tush, and legs.
  1. Static lunges. Do 12 reps on one leg, switch and do 12 on the other. Do this as many times as you can in 2 minutes.
  2. Squats
  3. Squat side kicks. Squat, as you're coming out of squat, kick one leg out to the side. Alternate legs each time.
  4. Squat back kick. Remain in semi squat position and alternate kicking each leg out behind you.
  5. Calf Raises.
  6. Stairs. If you're house has stairs, you can walk up and down for the duration your brush your teeth.
Cooking/preparing more than one meal at a time is a great way to save time. This helps save time later in the week when you're rushing around to appointments and kid's activities. Sunday evening is a good time to make a the next day or 2 worth of dinner. Meals that are good for this:
  1. Pot pies. You can assemble the pie crust and filling in a pan and then freeze it to use for dinner couple nights later.
  2. Crock pot soups. Unless you are feeding a lot of people, crock pot soups will usually last you a couple days worth of dinner. Just simply pull the crock pot out of the fridge and re-heat
  3. Stir fry.  You can cut your veggies and other ingredients up in bulk, use some for your current meal and put the remaining in containers and store in the fridge for later use.
  4. Chicken.  Cook several breasts of chicken at one time. Use some for your current meal and refrigerate the remaining for dinners throughout the week ie: stir fry, chicken tacos, chicken salad.

Friday, March 22, 2013

I'm back.... again.

Alright, so I'm back from another hiatus. This last month has been very very busy for us so, naturally the blog took a back seat. We took a last minute cruise to the Caribbean about a month ago and it has been non stop since we got back. But It was fantastic and worth it! And to boot, we celebrated J's birthday while we were there!
If you ever have the flexibility, a last minute cruise is definitely the way to go. Some cruises will drop to almost half the normal cost within the last week of departure. The Hubbs and I are limited on flexibility especially with both of us working and having two small children. But we were blessed that this worked out almost amazingly perfect for us. We pulled it together in 4 days. We booked on a Tuesday and left on a Friday. We have now checked off "spontaneous vacation" from our bucket list.
Probably the best part of this whole thing was that we were meeting 18 other friends and family there..... and nobody knew (except for my cousin and my aunt.)  My parents were beyong shocked and surprised when we showed up un-announced.
Our stops included Tortola, St. Maarten, Guadaloupe, St. Kitts and Barbados.
The Brilliance of the Seas docked in Tortola

The Baths at Virgin Gorda in Tortola

Ash on the beach in Tortola

My toes in Tortola. Proof I was there! I highly, highly recommend this beach if you ever travel to Tortola

St. Maarten. Home of the best coconut smoothie..... EVER. (seriously!)

St. Kitts

St. Kitts.

Our whole group on the catamaran in Barbados. We swam with sea turtles and snorkeled and it was amazing! If you ever go to Barabados, look up the cool runnings excursion. Well worth it and the crew was great!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Beauty Budget Steal of the Week

Decorative Twine Balls
I was really excited when I found this bag in the Ikea clearance section. Normally, a bag of twine balls about half this size would cost around $9.99.
Twine balls: Ikea $1.99 (clearance)
They match our living room really well and now make for a wonderful decoration.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Bedroom Series Part 1: Pretty in Pastel

We're getting more settled into the house and more rooms are coming together! The first one that is finally completely finished is Ash's room. Most of the decor in her old room was stuff that coordinated with her crib set. We decided to do a whole new decor for her in this house. My sweet Hubbs let me take the reigns on it and boy did I have fun!
I have to say this room was a thorn in my side at first because I could not decide on ANYTHING... from a comforter to paint colors to a theme. But then a friend from church told me she was re-decorating her daughter's bedroom and asked if I wanted some of the things she was getting rid of. This solved my dilemma! I ended up taking some things that became the foundation for the theme of Ash's room and went from there.
Shortly after I found this inspiration photo on Pinterest. I LOVED this room and decided soft colors was the way to go.
The comforter I did finally decide on was the fairly close in color to the one above and the busy patter meant I could do a lot of other simple decorations around the room.
Comforter: JCP $99.99
Wall Scroll: Joann's Fabric $14.99 + 20% off coupon = $12.00

 This is what Ash's room looks like when you first walk in. These curtains are actually the curtains from my old room at my parents house. I'm glad I could breathe new life into them. I know this picture seems a little fuzzy but I had to use an instagram finish because the intial picture was too dark.
Curtains: FREE ( c/o my rents)

Phrases: FREE (c/o my church friend)
This rug was also a foundation piece for this room. I picked it up at Target long before the house was even close to being done. The pastel colors were perfect for the theme I was going for.

Rug: Target $7.98 (Originally $24.99)
The letter below was actually my inspiration for the letters I did for Ash. I used scotch tape for the vertical stripes to ensure a straight and bleed-free finish. I intentionally made my stripes different widths because I found I actually liked that look better. I free handed the polka dots on the letters I did. But if you wanted them nice and perfect, you could always use dot stickers or whole punch some colored paper and mode podge/ glue them on.

Inspiration photo:
Letters: Michaels: $2.99/ each + 20% off coupon = $2.40/ each
Acrylic Paint: $1.99/ each

Total: $18.98

I found some great pastel colored pots at Ikea that matched the room and the comforter perfectly.

Flowers: Already had
Ceramic Pot: Ikea $1.99 / each

Toal: $5.97

 I love this bookshelf. My dad made it about 5 years ago for J. But it doesn't really match her decor anymore so it has been passed down to Ash. The phrase "LOVE" was actually a little DIY kit. It came with the plain cardboard letters and then you could decorate it how you pleased with the stickers and decals it came with.

Lamp, flowers and basket: Already had
"Love" letters: Wal-Mart $4.00
Vases: Ikea $1.99
Green Petals: Michaels .60 cents (clearance)
Blue Shadow Box: Goodwill: $1.99

So these next few pictures are just kind of a comprehensive look at how the room came out when all said and done. Surprisingly, I didn't buy a whole heck of a lot for it. A lot of it I either already had, or was given which made me happy because it made decorating that much more inexpensive.
The only other thing I'm thinking about doing is spray painting that black frame another color, maybe a soft yellow. The black doesn't really mesh with the rest of the room. lol.



Thursday, February 7, 2013

Color Me Organized

Button Up


My sweet little grandma gave me tons of buttons a year ago or so. She'd had a lot of these buttons for years and some of them even belonged to her mother.  I've had a hard time finding vintage-like buttons so I was happy to take these off her hands.
I had just been keeping these buttons in baggies but then I stumbled upon something I had pinned on pinterest awhile back. It's using an old spice rack to organize your buttons...... GENIUS! I've had this spice rack since we first moved into our last house and I hadn't used it in years. So needless to say the spices probably weren't very spice-y anymore.
I wanted to sort them by color and decided this would make for a great "busy" project for my girls. They were actually eager to do it; which I was grateful for because I did not want to sort all those buttons myself. 
After all the buttons were sorted, J got the added bonus of painting the tops of the lids to coordinate with what color button was in the bottle. It was win-win. My girls got a fun project and I got organization out of this whole deal.

This idea could be used for any small craft item really, such as stickers, small flowers, jewels, hair clips, etc.
if you're a big into jewelry, you could spray paint and spruce up the spice holder a little more and use it as a way to organize rings, earrings and necklaces by color.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Beauty Budget Steal of the Week

These little white vases below are one of the items I scored at the Michaels Clearance bonanza. (sorry for the poor lighting.)  They came in a pack of 4 for the low low price of .39 cents, which equaled out to a little less than 10 cents a bottle. So of course I bought 4 packs and am now in the process of figuring out what to do with 12 of these adorable little bottles.
These bottles are quite petite so I wanted a simple but semi elegant way to display them. I found the orchids at Ikea and they were a perfect size for the bottles. While I liked the clean look of the all white (above), it didn't match our living room. So I spray painted the bottles in colors that matched better and then placed them on a simple white dish.
Orchids: Ikea $1.99/each
White Tray: Ikea $4.99
Bottles: Michaels 10 cents/each
Spray Paint: already had.

Total: Around $11.30

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Beauty Budget Steal of the Week

Clearance Extravaganza

All the stuff you see here in this picture, I got for $6.25.... Total! Michaels is having a great clearance sale. The original price of these things would've added up to more than $35. But with 90% off the foamies, rose petals, vases and and cake decorating accessories and 70% off the jewelry, it came out to be quite a steal.
The cake accessories were the best deal of all. Originally $14.99 and got them for $1.99  :)

Monday, January 28, 2013

Home Decor: Bathroom Series Part 3

Master Bathroom
This is a picture of our master bathroom just after it was finished. I love the dark, mocha cabinets and soon set out looking for decorations to match.
The two pictures, above the towel rack are from the last house. The towels were an inexpensive additon to help complete the look.
Brown Bath Towels: Wal-mart $1.99
Beige Hand Towels: Wal-mart $.99
Ribbon: Wal-mart $1

Total: $7.00

Picture and Frame: Ikea $6.00
Basket: Joann's $4.00 (clearance)
Oraganizational Unit: Wal-Mart $49.99

Ok, So the organizational unit was not a great deal. But I shelled out the money since there really wasn't an aesthetically pleasing place to put a medicine cabinet. And this provided a little bit more storage with a decorative feel.
So I changed up this unit a bit to give it a little more of a "spa" feel. I love spa-ish decorations for bathrooms.
I added a couple of white wash cloths and a wrapped bar of soap to the bottom shelf and two rolled white towels to the top rack.
I also added these nice little vases to fill some space on the counter top.
Vases: Michaels .30 cents each
Flowers: Michaels $1.99 for all 4.

Total: $3.19
I'm thinking about getting a nice tray to put them on. But they look kind of nice the way they are now.
So this wraps up the bathroom series. I'm almost finished decorating the bedrooms so keep an eye out.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

DIY Mod Podge Picture frames

So J just wrapped up her third season of cheerleading this past fall. I decided it would be a good end of season gift to make each of the girl's picture frames with a team picture in it. Their colors are green, black and white (they were using pink in this picture for breast cancer awareness.)
The only thing I had to buy for this was the wood frames and zebra print tissue. The girl's usual cheer bows have zebra print in them so I wanted to incorporate that. I already had the green tissue paper left over from a giant multi-colored pack I bought a couple years ago.  
Wood Frames:  Michaels $1
Zebra print tissue: Michales $1.99
Mod Podge, tissue paper and glitter: Already had

Total: $10 for 8 pictures.
The beauty of Mod Podge is that there is no rhyme or reason. You just slap the paper on any way you please and slather on the mod podge. I sprinkled on the glitter while it was still wet, but once it is dry you'll want to put another coat on to keep the glitter from falling off.
Once they were completely dry, I puff painted each girls name along with the year in white (which I neglected to take a picture of.) But they turned out pretty cute.
You could do an idea like this for any team of any sport as an end of season gift or even a fundraiser.
Happy Mod-Podging

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Home Decor: Bathroom Series Part 2: Pink Passion

So I recently finished decorating J and A's bathroom. And what little girl doesn't want a bathroom full of pink??!! The thing I love the most about this bathroom is that I didn't buy a single decoration (Ok, I bought two wash cloths....and a can of spray paint... and a bath set but that was it!) I tried to use things I already had and spruced them up a little.
I had so much fun decorating this tiered tower. The Hubb's grandma actually gave us the tower so that saved us quite a few Washington's.
The bath set is actually what set the motion for this pretty-in-pink bathroom.

Bath set: Wal-mart (shower curtain, bath mat, and sink mat) $9.99
Frame: Ikea $1.99. (Already had)
Print: Ikea $3.00 (Already had)

The items in the next two pictures were my absolute favorite to do. Not only because they're pink and fun but because I actually got creative with what I already had.
Two years ago, my sweet little grandma (who is a crafter just like me) gave me a bag full of buttons and beads. I sorted the buttons but had no idea how I would use the beads.... until now. And miraculously, even among the moving mess, I came across them. They worked perfect in the vases. The only thing I had to purchase in this picture was the hot pink wash cloths. 
Pink Wash Cloths: Target $2.99/each
The vases and white wash cloths I already had but I purchased them all at Ikea for less than $7 total
Ribbon: Michaels (already had)

Every girl/woman has bottles of lotion and perfume that they only half used, or in this case.... didn't use at all . Instead of throwing them out, I up-cycled them into pretty decor. Using Grandma's beads, I simply "dressed up" the lotion and perfume and then layed a few pieces of potpurri around it.
I got the flowers and decorative crystals months ago because they were on clearance. And they look lovely in this vase that I already had.
Vase, Ribbon, Lotion, Perfume, Beads and Potpurri: already had = FREE!!
Decorative crystals: Michaels $3.99
Flowers: Michaels $2.99

These little glass cups were clear when they lived at my last house. Spray paint fixed that!
Glasses: Already had but I got them from Ikea.
Spray Paint: Michaels $2.10

So these last two tiers aren't too fascinating. I'm thinking of getting a nice little, decorative basket for the TP. What do you think?
White Bath Towels, White dish, Candle and potpurri: Already had but they are from Ikea for around $11

Moral of the story people: Look around... your old junk may become your newest decor.
Happy Decorating!