December 20, 2012

Initial Name Sign

Don't you just love inexpensive crafts?  I sure do!

I decided to whip this up as an extra little gift for my sister {and her hubby}.

{The "finished" sign actually has their full last name on it - just above the EST. 2008.}

In a previous post I mentioned that I picked up some {mdf} pictures/wall hangings at the dollar store for a quarter each.  {I picked up a handful of them...they were too cheap not to.}

I painted over the entire piece with black craft paint that dried with a matte finish.

Next, {just from Microsoft Word} I printed out the lettering that I wanted on my sign.

I positioned the paper on my board where I wanted my lettering to be and traced the lines on my paper pressing hard enough so that it left an "imprint".

I then went in with a white colored pencil and colored in my letters.  {The white pencil makes it look like it's chalk.}

15 minutes later...done!

 It's no "Pottery Barn" decor, but it's just a little something extra.


December 18, 2012

F-U-N Addressing Cards {Mail}

Being on top of my game this year {getting to my Christmas cards with more than one day left until Christmas}, I decided I was going to make addressing my Christmas cards a little more "F-U-N".

Why not bring the "beauty" of the card to the envelope too?  I figured there's so much envelope...why not use it?

I gathered my, envelopes, and my trusted Sharpies.

I just l-o-v-e Sharpies...don't you?

I sat down in front of the television after the kids went to bed and got to "work" on addressing...

It's all free hand.  Nothing too fancy or professional, but it adds a little "flair" to the envelope.

Now I just need to get myself one of those "cutesy" return address stamps!

Thank you for stopping by.  I hope you are having a peaceful and joy filled Holiday season!


December 17, 2012

Easiest Muffins EVER! {Pumpkin Spice Muffins}

It's no secret that when it comes to cooking or baking I like to keep things as simple as possible.

My dear friend shared this muffin recipe with me the other day, and it is so simple and such a hit with my family that I have already made it twice in 3 days! {Plus, it has pumpkin...which is good for you.}

I'm sure it's posted a bazillion and one times on the internet, but I'm going to share it for the bazillion and second time...{because it's completely new to me and maybe just maybe someone out there is like me...they might not be the type to search for recipes, but if they "happen" upon one they may be interested}

Pumpkin Spice Muffin Recipe...

1 box - Spice Cake mix
1 can - Pumpkin

{preheat oven to 350}
{spray muffin pan with non-stick cooking spray}

To Make:
Empty contents of dry Spice Cake mix into a bowl {large enough for mixing}
**DO NOT prepare cake mix {meaning don't add eggs, oil, water, etc}

 Add the can of pumpkin

Stir the two ingredients thoroughly

**at first in stirring, you may be tempted to add a bit of water or something...DON'T! Just give it a minute of stirring and it will mix beautifully

Spoon mixture into muffin pan

Bake for 20 minutes...and done!

OPTIONAL: sprinkle with chocolate chips before baking
{Don't use milk chocolate chips like I accidentally did though - they don't bake well}

How easy is that!?  Bonus...hardly any clean up!

Happy baking!


December 16, 2012

Purses. Bags. Totes.

I don't know what got into me the other week, but I went on a bit of a bag making "spree".
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While going through my fabric "stash" one day, I came across a few pieces that I thought would make good bags, as well as a piece I had bought specifically to make myself a purse/bag {but had yet to do}.  So I started whipping up bags {mainly variations of a simple tote}.
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They're so easy and fun to make.

They're also really easy to "change up", and make a little more interesting than just a basic tote bag.
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My problem now is I have all these extra bags around.
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Maybe they'd make a good gift or giveaway?


December 14, 2012

Kid Crafting. Felt Christmas Ornaments & Gift Toppers

Previously I mentioned that the kids and I have been Christmas "crafting" and decoration making nearly daily.  Their new favorite craft is sewing felt ornaments.
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They have diligently been busy creating felt ornaments and gift toppers for everyone.  It's quite cute and sweet of them.

{ keeps them "busy".  Which we mommies need sometimes, right?}

They're so simple to do...they've done so many that they can completely do them on their own now.

We bust out the felt.
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Grab the embroidery thread.

Cut out a couple felt circles {we are now "graduating" to hearts}.

Cut out our "embellishment"...usually initials, hearts, or stars.
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And away they go...sewing to their heart's content.

We stuff them with a little "stuffing".

Stitch it closed, add a little hanging loop...and voila!
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The result...simple, inexpensive projects that make great gifts or gift toppers.
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December 12, 2012

Christmas {Holiday} Cards & AWESOME coupon deal!

I'm so happy to say that I am ahead of the game this year on my Christmas cards!

They are done and out...and it feels soooo good.  I'm now sitting back and enjoying reading and seeing the cards that come to us each day in the mail.

Usually I'm the person with great intentions to get my cards done {designed}, ordered, and printed right after Thanksgiving.  Reality however is that I'm typically the one standing in line at Walgreens Photo {or the like} the week of Christmas to print up some Christmas cards in hope to get them post marked before the 25th.

This year though I stuck to my intentions and followed through!  I'm so happy with how they turned out too!

Thanks to cyber Monday I got an awesome deal on my cards...which was the "icing on the cake".
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This is how my cards came packaged to me {inside the box}...could it be any cuter!?

I just happened to come across on the Monday following Thanksgiving, and they just happened to be having an awesome sale on their photo was fate!  I have to admit that I was a little nervous about how they would turn out because of how great the sale price was.  But, when they were delivered {quickly might I add} I was so pleasantly surprised.  The quality was fantastic!

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I just received an email this morning with a coupon code for an awesome deal on their cards TODAY ONLY!!!  29 cent cards!!!  Did I mention how awesome the quality is?  I know my photos don't do them justice.  If you still need cards you should check them out.  Their site is  and the coupon code is on the front page of the site {CCP2229}.

*I was not paid or asked to write a review for really do think their products are awesome and look forward to using them again!


We need more Jingle Bell! {aka decorations}

I am so happy to say that I am truly enjoying the Holidays this year!

Christmas has always been my favorite holiday of the year, but once I got married, and started having kids, it lost its luster a bit for me.

Don't get me wrong...I still loved Christmas, and enjoyed experiencing it with my family and kids, but it seemed to come with some "stresses" which took away from the overall enjoyment.

This year is so's fun, relaxed, and stress free.  One of the things that I am enjoying is "decorating" and "crafting" with the kids.  It seems as though we are doing a Christmas craft, or making a decoration every other day.

Here's a flavor of some of the happenings around here...
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Some of them work, some of them don't...{some are complete failures}, but the time doing them is {usually} so enjoyable.


December 11, 2012

Quarter Craft {Wall Art}

I live in Minnesota, and well...
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I love a good deal, don't you?

Ever since we took our financial class this fall and put ourselves on a "budget", good deals have become that much more of a thrill.

We don't have an abundant stock of Christmas decorations {I purged many of them when we moved - I had grown tired of the decorations we had}.  Since I've been in a word art phase, I was thinking I could make some signs with "cutesy" sayings.

While shopping at the dollar store for craft items for the kids, these wooden {mdf} pieces caught my eye...
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Not because of their design, but for their "bones".  I picked a couple of them up because $1 each was a good deal.  When I got to the register to pay for them they were only 25 cents each!!!  A deal at the dollar store!?!?  Score!

With this one I did no prep work at all.  I painted a couple coats of black craft paint on it.  When the paint dried it had a very matte {almost chalkboard} finish.
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At first I thought that I might actually try to chalk my design on it...but couldn't find any chalk around the house.  So then I thought white paint, but in looking for the right brush, I stumbled across a white colored pencil and decided to give it a try...and it worked perfectly!

The end result...a cute little "wall art" piece for only a quarter!!!
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The price was so inexpensive, and it took so little effort that I won't feel bad or question myself if I want to repaint or redo it.


December 10, 2012

I'm ALIVE!!!

Simply said....I'm alive!  I've been gone from the "blogging world" for quite some time.  Not only have I not been posting, but I really haven't been following any blogs in my absence either.

According to the "rules of blogging", I guess I would be considered a "failure" be it.

I would love nothing more than to share about incredible adventures and awesome things that I have doing and have been through while not blogging...but that's not the case.  Thankfully, a tragic story or awful event is NOT what kept me from here either.

Things have just been awesome!  I have been enjoying life, and enjoying doing "things".

If you have followed my past posts, what I'm going to say may catch you by surprise {you might even think I was abducted by aliens or something...}.

One of the things that I have been doing is cooking...from scratch!

Yes, I have been cooking {from scratch}, and sometimes I have been enjoying it. {eeks! I still hate the clean up!}

Perhaps I will share some of the recipes with you in weeks to come...?

Living in Minnesota {with cooler weather lately} one of my favorite things to make is soup.

If you're still following me...Thank YOU!

I hope you are having a blessed Holiday season!


October 11, 2012

Sewing Kids Clothes {Sewing Catastrophes}

I've been sewing...

But, maybe I shouldn't be...

In between the dozens of things that I have been doing, handling, and have committed to...I have managed to squeeze in a little bit of sewing into the wee hours of the evening.

When one "squeezes" sewing projects into an evening after an exhausting day, things are bound to go wrong...

Making a skirt for one of my daughters...I totally mis-measured the bottom band for the skirt and it ended up four inches short!

Making a pair of pants for another daughter...I sewed the ruffle and hemmed them to the wrong side!  Wouldn't you know I sewed that seam to perfection, finished my edges, and had them looking beautiful...

So I spent an evening picking...and picking...and picking stitches.

Alas, the pants are done and hopefully my little model will be up for a little photo shoot tomorrow!


October 8, 2012

Money Saving Moments {Saving Money at Target}

Oh... Target!  How I love thee...

Have you seen this before...?

That is was so me!  Target has always had a way of getting the best of me and my debit card.  It was nearly impossible for me to leave without spending $75.  I always saw something for the kids, the house, or whatever that I just had to have.

One of the things that has been keeping me {momentarily} tied up {and away from blogging} is a class that my hubby and I are taking together.  It's a financial/budgeting course...that is awesome {I wish we had done it five years ago}!!!

If you're interested in one way that we have started saving money, read on...

One of the biggest takeaways that we have had from the course is to start using cash for things like groceries, gas, and Target type trips...rather than use our debit card.  I cannot express how incredibly life {money} changing this small step has been.

So, my "Money Saving Tip" to pass on when going to Target {or Walmart}...

  1. Make a list {be specific of what you need}
  2. ONLY take enough cash to pay for what is on your list {don't forget tax}

This change in our shopping has saved us sooo much money!

The first couple of times that I did this I left my wallet at home.  I brought only my driver's license and an envelope of cash so that I wouldn't have a backup {debit card} option to buy anything else that I didn't need.

How do you pocket your dollars?  Thanks for stopping by!