Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Kitchen Windows get framed!

Wow! I guess the fact that I said I can't do projects that cost money got me motivated to finish the framing in the kitchen since I already had the wood. 

I'm not going to give you a detailed tutorial on doing this, since everyone's windows will be different. 

But, what I will tell you is that I made the ledge first, then made the top and then the sides.  I did it like this to make sure the measurements were accurate.  All three windows were not exactly the same (of course). 

I also have to work around the rounded edges of the window.  That's why you'll see so much gapping.  This doesn't matter since it will be covered by the molding (when I am able to purchase some).

The framing is actually not nailed in yet, I still need to pick up some shims to level the ledges and square it all up.  I highly suggest not skipping this part, it will affect the square of your molding.

Obviously there is more to the project, but let me tell you, I feel such a sense of accomplishment since this project has been on my mind for about a year now (ok, maybe for 5 years, but I never thought I could do it until about a year ago)  Now, I at least know that it will get completed...eventually (:

CHEAP Marshmallow's for Marshmallow snowman

Remember this project? Go HERE for directions

Here in Arizona, we have Fry's grocery stores.  Right now, during their Mega sale, they have Kraft Marshmallows for $1 and there is a $0.20/2 Kraft Jet Puffed Marshmallows in 6/26/2011 Smart Source Insert (exp 8/14/2011) .  So grab 2 bags for $1 or if you have more coupons, stock up so you can make these cute snowmen for gifts this Holiday season for cheap.  I'm sure we'll see the hot chocolate cheap in the fall.

(thanks, thecentsableshoppin for the correct insert)

Financial Peace

(This the exact system we are using.  Cost: $169.99 sale)

Let me start by saying that our family is a one income family where my husband is the bread winner. We do ok and even have savings and only car and house debt.  However, we always felt like we should be saving more and should have more "in case of an emergency" money.

My husbands company has decided to pay for their employees to go through Dave Ramsey's financial peace University program.  They feel that having their employees debt free and secure with their finances that they will become more productive because they wouldn't be thinking or stressing about home finances. They would also more than likely stay in their jobs and turn over would decrease...pretty innovative, don't you think?

As a family, we have been using an envelope method of sorts.  My husband and I got an allowance that I would separate into "groceries", "gas", "kids", and "Janelle" envelopes.  Once the cash was gone for the week, it was gone.  So, the program isn't far off from what we are doing already, but I have already learned so much and we are only on lesson 3. 

One thing that I "learned" or realized was that we weren't putting money away each month for those things that we KNOW are going to happen.  Like, Christmas, doctor's visits & medications, household repairs, etc.  We would always just pull money from other areas and suffer for a little while.  I think about the future when I can sit back and relax when the washer breaks because I have been putting away $30 a month to replace it when it breaks down in 2 years.

This program is so interesting to me and my husband that all other projects are being put on hold while we complete it.  In actuality, my spending money is being put on hold until we get a grasp on our budget.  But, I do have lots of wood & paint on hand so you might see a project here and there that cost nothing for me.  I have already started the kitchen window framing project, so that might get partially completed (:

So, that's what I've been up to for a couple weeks now (besides doing mom stuff with my kids).  I highly suggest this program to anyone and everyone, even if you feel pretty stable in your financial life.  You will be surprised what you'll learn.

(The comments about this program are completely mine and I have not received any compensation for the review of this program)

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

4th of July Decor

How to keep your kids from eating too many Snacks

My kids always eat constantly through a school break and I decided that I was going to try something new.  I put containers in the fridge with their names on them and had each child pick out 4 snacks in the morning.  These were the only snacks they could have throughout the day.  They didn't need to ask permission to eat any of them, but once they were gone, they were gone!

It took only one time for my son to learn his lesson.  He decided to eat all of his snacks in the morning and was hungry in the afternoon (right before dinner). I didn't cave in and he never did it again.  It was a lesson and although I really was tempted to give in, I knew that i would regret it.  It's ok to say NO...They aren't going to STARVE...even if they say they are going to (:

Hope this helps you to save some food, money and a little sanity!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Preparing for Father's Day Crafting Playdate

I am hosting a playdate where we will be making these "Treat of the Month" father's day containers, as well as the cookies to put in them.

I am all prepared for everyone to show up:

Canister was found at Micheal's for $2 after coupon

Precut papers to line the cylinder and to decorate

Precut "Dad" and "Daddy" letters from my Cricut

white squares for the kids to do custom artwork

 Frames for the custom artwork
(I had this scrapbook kit that was sports related that I got for 75% off at Target's Dollar Spot.  This was the perfect time to use it)

Tags for special comments to Dad

Borders for decorating

Hang tag for the kids to sign

You don't have to purchase a container! If you have a coffee canister or an oatmeal container, you can easily decorate it as well!

Recipe to be Made:


1/2 C. Butter                          1/2 tsp Vanilla
1 C. Sugar                              1-1/2 C. Flour
1/4 tsp. Baking Soda              2 Tbsp. Sugar
1/4 tsp. Cream of Tarter         1 tsp. Cinnamon
1 Egg

1. In a Medium mixing bowl beat the butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds.  Add the 1C. of sugar, baking soda, and cream of tartar.  Beat until combined, scraping the sides of the bowl.  Beat in the egg and vanilla.  Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer.  Stir in remaining flour.  Cover dough and chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

2. In a small mixing bowl combine the 2 Tbsp sugar and cinnamon. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Roll balls in the sugar-cinnamon mixture to coat.  Plae 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet

3.  Bake the cookies in a 375 degree oven for 10-11 minutes until the edges are golden brown.  Cool.
Makes 36 cookies

UPDATE: Here are the pictures of the completed cookie tin, and card:


Chalkboard & Basic Barstool redo

I found this 70's (ish) chalkboard at a yardsale for $2.  It was an orangy wood color and it was missing the actual chalkboard insert.  I spraypainted it black.

I picked up some black chalkboard paint

And painted a thin MDF board that I cut to the dimensions of the frame

After 3 coats and 24 hour drying time, I rubbed chalk over the entire board.

Here it is in it's final resting place.

Notice the stool? Well that was actually a $4 Goodwill find and it was originally a  pretty beat up barstool that I cut the legs to the height that I wanted, sanded the heck out of it and painted it this pretty blue color.

It had loads of black and white paint all over it that I sanded down. 
 I made sure not to totally take it off so that when I did my distressing, the black would show through.

Here is my entryway now.  It still has a long way to go, but I'm getting there.

Back From Vacation!

Sorry, I went away without letting you know, but I am a bit skiddish of stating into cyberspace that I am not home.  I feel like I am shouting..."Hey Burgalars come and steal my stuff"!  So anyway, we just got back from New York...Buffalo to be exact.  My husbands family lives there and we were visiting them as well as seeing the area.

We went to Niagra Falls:

Notice the dreary sky ):

I highly suggest doing the Maid of the Mist while there, it was super soaking, my kids loved it!

Then to The Marina's Naval Park:

We went inside and toured all of the mechanics of this World War II battle ship.
We also went inside a submarine.

We had to hit the Buffalo Science Museum as well:

These three pictures were taken by my daughter in the Leonardo Da Vinci exhibit, she's becoming quite the photographer.

They had these great interactive areas where the kids could build and learn.  We all had a great time making different structures.

This was a cute grasshopper made out of CARDBOARD! I took pictures of it from all angles...maybe one day I will copy it for my kids school library (:

Besides visiting family, that was our visit.  Hope you felt like you visited too!