Thursday, April 7, 2011

YAY for the Coupon book!

I finally did it!  I organized my coupons in a binder with baseball card page protectors, and I LOVE LOVE LOVE it!  My Sunday evening shopping night ritual was a huge success with my organized coupons!  I would love to say that I saved $102 and only spent $5 (I'm not that good)!  Let's be realistic!  I have 5 kids and MANY MANY things to do besides clipping bazillion coupons and reading EVERY single store ad or internet information out there to find out where the deals are!  Not to mention the gas and time it would take from my day to drive grouchy toddlers to every place that has the great deals, but I did save $15 in coupons this past Sunday evening.........yay for me!  I am thrilled with that savings!!!!!  Every little bit helps, and I strive to be a wife/mom who helps this family be financially on track and live within our budget (we are big Dave Ramsey fans, I could post on this later)! 

Thank you to my dear friends, Carla and Angie, who motivated me to finally do this, although I have been seeing this idea all over computer coupon just seemed out of my reach, until Trey wanted to look at the baseball pictures in the front of Kmart one day, and the lightbulb went off in Mommy's head ~ "get those pages for your coupon book!!!!!!"  THANK YOU, ANGIE ~ see her very informative post here

I didn't follow Angie's organization to a tee ~ I simply organized my sections the way that I tend to walk through the local grocery store (which is typically, Giant).  Luckily, I just happened to have adhesive divider labels that I bought for something else a few years ago and never used.  I was able to simply stick them onto the edge of the baseball card pages without needing the bulk of dividers.  The scrapbooker in me needed some color, so I used scrapbook paper scraps as my labels.  I figure that if I have to drudgingly (is that a
word?) go through coupons before I shop, then I want to see color that makes me happy! :-)  To be honest, I'm just happy that they are organized!!!!!!  As Angie's post suggests, the "same" coupons are in the same pocket, and if expiration dates differ, the earlier date is in the front to be used first. 

It has been a breeze to be shopping, see something on sale that I may not have had on my shopping list, flip to that coupon page and say, "YES!  I have a great coupon for that!"  If I prepare my list and coupons before I go (typically my Sunday afternoon chore), those coupons that are definitely being used are slid into the front pocket of the binder cover, so they are ready to give to the cashier.  The other day I realized that while looking for a coupon, it was so easy to spot the ones that are expired, so I pulled them out and pitched them!  That was my biggest pet peeve using the little coupon organizers out coupons would pile up, get so mashed up together, that most of them were expired by the time I found it!  Now, I'm not one to buy something just b/c I have a coupon for it, but if it is something that my family definitely likes/uses, and that item is already on sale, AND I HAVE A COUPON ~ it's usually a buy for me (especially with the gas points that Giant and other stores offer now!)

Here's to hoping that my coupon organization is solved now, and I improve in saving money for our family!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Painting Rooms and Painting Paper

Fun times!!!!!!!  While Daddy paints the new rooms, Mommy keeps the little ones OUT OF THE REAL PAINT (we've had some disasters in the past) and occupied with some paint of their own!

I believe this was a new experience for my 2 year old daughter, and she LOVED IT greatly!!!  Oh, I miss those sweet little hands as they grow up so quickly!  Just look at thie dimples on the favorite part of little ones' hands! :-)

Here is the newly painted addition!  I still don't know what we're calling this room! :-)  It adjoins our new garage and will have some mudroom-type organization going on along with a big eat-in kitchen farmhouse-like table!  As you can see the hoop on the door, the kiddos are greatly disappointed that I plan on putting a big table in here.  Really, did they think we were spending thousands of dollars on an indoor basketball court?  Anyway, I just LOVE LOVE LOVE the color I chose in this room.  It adjoins my yellow kitchen with black/white accents.  I'm excited with this grey color called "pewter" from Home Depot's Behr line.  I feel that it is neutral enough to add splashes of whatever colors I want to throughout the holidays/seasons.  I picture white built-ins around the windows and a large window seat underneath.  All of this must take time b/c the wallet can't afford it NOW as some of this world chooses to live.  We are truly attempting to be patient and do what we can with what we can afford.  Once more money is saved, then something new can be added!  Oh, and do you love the floor??????  Doing a little research/homework is always a good thing!  We found these 7 inch pine planks on Craig's List for DIRT CHEAP!!  Yes, my hubby had to install it himself with some help from his buddies, but the money saved is sooooooo worth it, and the pride of accomplishment is worth it all too!  (Especially when your kiddos are involved and learning some great life lessons of hard work).

My son and husband are going to be ticked if they knew they were in this photo, but I'm having problems finding the other pictures that were taken of the painting of the new master bedroom!  Here is a glimpse of the color "Spa" from Home Depot's Behr paint also.  As the paint was going up, I was shreeking with excitement!  I LOVED IT!!!!!!  While I was keeping the little ones content with fingerpaint and then the bathtub, I was sneaking little looks into the room as hubby was painting in the evening.  Let's just say that when I looked into the room in the bright daylight the next morning, I was FREAKING that I didn't like it so much!  It was much brighter that I expected........I think I need a paint support group!  If we could be paid for how many times we have re-painted a room b/c I didn't like the color, we would be able to complete this whole addition in a snap! :-)  After a few weeks have passed now, I must admit that the color has grown on me again, and I love it!  Imagining all the white wood trim still to be put on, window treatments, artwork, furniture, etc. I know the color will be fine.  IF I could paint it again (DON'T SAY THOSE WORDS AROUND MY HUSBAND), I DEFINITELY know that I want something in the light aqua family, but I would probably go 1-2 shades lighter that what we I chose.

So 2 rooms are now painted, new wood floor still needs to be purchased and laid in the master bedroom, and  A LOT more work still to be done!  However, one task at a time, and we are thankful for all that we are completing!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

My New Spring Wreath

Years ago, I had a wreath for every season, until they were (GASP!) sold at my yard sale!  They were looking a little "ratty" after being incorrectly stored in my yucky basement for years, and having a few birdnests built inside along with birds stealing the wreath contents for their nests elsewhere. :-)  Now that I have a storm door, the birds can't touch the wreath, so this is the year for crafting up some new wreaths!
LOVING the color yellow and spring forsythias, I knew I wanted my wreath to look like this!  Even though spring is not looking/feeling like spring around here yet, this wreath on my door makes me smile and THINK SPRING!  Taking a trip Michaels at just the time when the forsythia flower sprigs were on sale, my wallet purchased a cheap-o grapevine wreath, forsythia flower sprigs and some cute yellow berry sprigs too that were all on sale!  BUMMER when I got all the way home and realized that I was missing the white berry sprigs that I also purchased, but must have left in the cart! BUMMER ~ the gas money was certainly not worth driving back to Michaels (20 miles away) for $2 berry sprigs.  So the scissors, the glue-gun and my trusty fingers went to work on creating the wreath with the fun color of yellow.  Absolutely no rhyme or reason was used at all in putting this sweet thing together.  Once it was complete, (and hanging on my door for a while now), I decided I needed to have a little hunt in my ribbon stash!  Just last week, I added this simple white bow onto the wreath to give it that complete look I was looking for! 
NOW, I am thinking SPRING whenever I look at my front door ~ the window is placed ever so greatly on my door, that I can even see the forsythia blossoms blooming from the inside! Ahhhh....I love spring!

P.S. Is anyone else appalled at the prices of pre-made wreaths in most stores?????  I really enjoyed having my oldest son with me when I purchased these wreath contents, and he, of course, was right there giving his opinion on the gluing of the flowers......he approved, and I'm thankful that he is witnessing CREATIVITY and SAVING MONEY! 
(Not that he'll ever be a decorator :-), but I just love life lessons!)

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

My Goodwill Finds

I love purging!!!!  Oh, it does my heart good to get rid of STUFF!  This week has been the week to clean out all closets and dressers ~ put away items for the younger kids to grow into, give away items to friends, and take several items to Goodwill (without my kids' knowledge ~ they were in school, and Kacy will never know that her doggy bed is missing, right?)!  Having 2 happy children at the time, I decided to venture into the Goodwill store (which doesn't happen too often), and, although I didn't find soccer cleats for my 7 year old daughter, I did find these lovely items!

 Item #1: FORTY-SEVEN CENTS!!!! 
Sure, I'll take that! I can tell by the markings that it's already been spraypainted ~ guess that means, I don't have to do the work! Sounds good to me, and I kind of like the paint peeling off anyway giving it that aged look!  So, there's only 1 of them, but that's okay!  For 47 cents, I can definitely find a home for this sweet, sweet candlestick!

Item #2: UGH! on the purple flowers, but GORGEOUS! on the shape of this pitcher!!!! 
I recently saw a blogger (and I WILL find her again) that painted over a ceramic pitcher, so that is my plan!!!!  As soon as I saw this gorgeous find, I snatched her up for the whopping price below.  Add some coats of spraypaint and some work from my own two hands, my hope is to have a gorgeous Pottery Barn-looking white pitcher to sit on my dining room table with tulips standing tall inside (or white daisies, my absolute fave flower)!

So what do you think?  Pottery Barn great-white pitcher below ($39.00) or Goodwill pitcher ($2.97) ~ let's see if I can pull this off b/c that pitcher below is just a BEAUTY!!!!!!  We won't be drinking any lemonade from my pitcher, but I hope to create a beauty like the one below!
Great White Pitcher

Friday, March 25, 2011

Welcome to our "Friday FUN" tradition!

A few weeks ago, I decided to designate all Fridays as "Friday Fun" in our household (inspired by my kiddos' school teachers who have Fun Fridays also)!  So far, each Friday has been a surprise to the kids, and it is something they look forward to all week long!  I am so glad that we started this tradition!!!!!  It is a highlight of our week and provides some awesome family bonding time!  Even Dad gets into it with giving ideas and calling from work, asking "What's the Friday fun this week?"  Hopefully, our creative minds will keep coming up with Friday fun ideas to last a very long time ~ maybe even into the grandchildren years (although my mind can't fathom thinking that far in advance)! 

Tonight's Friday Fun theme: "Take Me Out to the Ballgame!" in honor of Cade's first scrimmage tonight (which ended up being cancelled due to cold weather). YAY!  Yay for the cancel ~ not yay for the cold!  Where is spring?????

Anyway, on the menu for our supper before the scrimmage was most things you'd find at a baseball game ~ hot dogs, cracker jacks, peanuts (I was a little bummed when Dad brought the wrong kind of peanuts home from work... baseball game peanuts are still in the shell!  But it all turned out fine b/c the kids still LOVED it, and I didn't have a huge mess to clean up after the shells!)  I added some baked beans to the meal along with french fries soaked sprinkled in vinegar and salt.  I guess if you really plan it out, you could add cotton candy, soft pretzels, who knows what else ~ but, I have to draw the line somewhere on the unhealthy food! :-)
It was a very fun baseball night at our dinner table this evening...even the singing of the baseball theme song!  Come to think of it, I should have made them all sing the National Anthem too!  You certainly could use baseball party products, decorate with penants, have everyone wear a baseball hat, etc., but my motto is "keeping it simple," right?  It's the only way for me!

Some of the past Friday Fun ideas that we did (but did not take photos):
  • Chinese night ~ everyone had to eat with chopsticks (except the baby, of course)
  • Nachos and Margaritas night (fake margaritas ~ just used store-bought limeade...the kids LOVED it)
  • Surprise CHRIS TOMLIN CONCERT for the older boys and a sleepover @ friends for the younger ones ~ AMAZING NIGHT ~ definitely in the memory banks for the older boys!!!  It was their first concert ever, and they LOVED IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • Chuck E. Cheese on Trey's birthday which just so happened to fall on a Friday.  Although I was dreading it, it turned out to be a very fun night for the family...we went early enough to avoid the Friday night mob scene of kids, and as the kiddos all played together, Daddy and I actually sat at the table and had an adult conversation!  This was a very fun surprise for everyone also!   
  • Donuts in the morning when they woke up (some of our Friday Fun tradition may occur in the just never know)! :-)
  • Friends sleeping over and playing charades
NEXT WEEK is APRIL FOOL'S DAY ~ the planning is starting now!  I can't wait for next week's Friday Fun!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Sharing my simple Spring-y Loves!

Last weekend before the family birthday gatherings, it was my desire to "put winter away" and "welcome spring" (at least on the inside of my home!)  Realizing I didn't have too many spring items, I waited until payday and took the budgeted house envelope of cash down to Michaels with my coupons, of course.  I also rummaged through the candle drawer, moved things from other areas of the house and got out some Uppercase Living seasonal expressions that I recently purchased during a great promotion. The Spring decorating is complete, and I am very pleased with the simple spring decorations that now fill my home and bring some spring indoors while we wait for it outdoors!
Loving St. Patrick's Day, I have this punched metal tile sitting in my kitchen garden window.  I've already had lots of compliments on it, and although it's not super crafty, it is simple to put together and can be purchased here!  I get so excited just thinking about serving everything green for St. Patrick's Day next week and having a fun meal with my kiddos and husband.  There's a little Irish in my family line, so I like to take full advantage of the holiday! :-)
This cute "home" saying and bird are sitting in my dining room on our hutch.  I love the little birdy that I got on sale @ Michaels (where many of my spring decorations were purchased using their 50% coupon and I was there at the right time with most spring decorations already on sale)!

Sitting on my dining room table is this awesome black basket that I purchased at our school auction last fall.  I LOVE THIS PURCHASE as it has served so many purposes through all the seasons of the year!  From autumn leaves to colored ornament balls to sparkly red berries and now to painted wooden Easter eggs (also purchased just last week on sale at Michaels).  I LOVE THIS BASKET...
...and, I LOVE this boy (who insisted that I take his picture with the eggs)!  "Mommy, I like eggs!  Take my picture, please!"  You got it, babe!  This is the best picture I've taken all day! :-)

Moving into the living room, I love being a simple girl!  I continue to use the same black iron candle holder through all the seasons too!  From leaves woven through it in the fall, to red berry garland at Christmas to silver berries in the winter and now spring beaded garland (purchased guessed it, Michaels again ~ gotta LOVE a 50% off sale right when I need the decorations)!  The stinkin' cute baby chick and bunny were gifts from my grandmother one year for Easter ~ I LOVE THEM, but don't tell anyone!  They are technically salt and pepper shakers which completely crack my oldest kids up that I'm using them in the living room, but who would know?

Selling Uppercase Living as an Independent Demonstrator for a few years now, I have been lucky to receive some seasonal expressions to use in my displays.  The picture frame was in my daughter's room with a scrapbook page in it, but I have just decided that I wanted a little pink in my living room for the spring, so the scrapbook page has entered the actual scrapbook, and Mommy got the frame for the living room/entry table!

These sweet ducklings were also a gift from my grandmother just last year.  They actually were a decoration in her home for many years, but with the 5 ducklings, she insisted that I now have it to signify my 5 little loves!  I am so thankful to have this sweet piece of heritage from my grandmother.  It will always have special meaning to me!
Lastly, the top of the wooden antique desk that sits in my living room was a little bare and needed some spring color.  The beautiful berry wreath was a birthday present from a close friend just a few years ago.  The black basket is another extrememly versatile decor piece that I just love!   I can move it all over the house and fill it with whatever fits the season or my mood!  Thanks to Pottery Barn Outlet and a great sale a few years ago, this basket came home with me, and it's been put to good use and way worth the little money I spent.

So now, I'm set with spring decorations for this year and more to come!  Thank you to Michaels, Uppercase Living, and my own stash!  Oh, can't forget to thank my oldest son, Cade, who seems to have a knack for decorating...he likes to give his opinion on how things look being the organized, perfectionist like his mommy!  He gave several opinions on what to buy and where to use it!  I love him! 

Catching Up...

HELLO!!!!!!!  I am sitting here in complete silence SOAKING IT IN, and wanting to catch up on my life here in blogland.  My littlest love is napping, 2 of my loves are at different neighbors' homes, while the other 3 of my loves are out practicing some baseball before baseball tryouts this afternoon.  Ahhhhhh ~ silence!  I decided to add some momentos to my blog before tackling the clean dishes sitting on the counter waiting to be put away and the potato soup that is on the menu for the evening, 

The last few weeks have been a whirlwind with cleaning up after the yucky drywall dust in the downstairs addition, painting ceilings and walls, and finally laying some beautiful 7 inch pine boards as flooring (picture to come later).  In the midst of all the above projects, our basement flooded on a super rainy day (grrrr!) which meant tearing up basement carpet and chucking a few soaked toys, then stacking all other toys in a different room while we cleaned that mess and dried the entire room.  SO ~ no playroom in the basement for my kiddos the last few weeks......just a big mess, but aren't they creative?!  Somehow, the little ones meander downstairs, climb over the piles and retrieve some toy that they haven't seen in a while and (LUCKY ME), it finds its way upstairs to add to more mess! :-)  Oh well ~ you'll have this with little ones and learn that perfection will never be, but there will be lots of FUN!

Added to the house projects and house mishaps, 2 special birthdays were celebrated this month and one sad event after another within local families that just seemed to rock my world and bring a renewed perspective into my life.    This earth is not our home, and our precious loves are simply on loan to us from God ~ are we preparing them for eternity and loving them with everything that we have?  I am so blessed, thankful, and lucky to have the loves that I have in my life today!  CHERISHING EVERY MOMENT is my goal!
P.S. Isn't Yoda the cutest pancake ever?  I purchased these Star Wars pancake molds from Williams-Sonoma knowing they would make the little guy SUPER DUPER happy on his birthday morning and come in handy in future days with older Star Wars lovers in this house (including Daddy)!  The birthday morning was a hit with some of the little guys' friends for a birthday breakfast party.