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randomosity: May 2011

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Duct Tape Flower Pens


Aren't these the cutest pens ever? And of course, because I'm so sweet, I'm going to teach you how to make them!!

All you need is... you guessed it, duct tape and pens! Oh, and some scissors would be helpful. I have no clue why this picture will not rotate -- it's an issue Blogger is giving me at the moment.


You will need one piece of duct tape 2" shorter than your pen, and 2 pieces of duct tape 1" wide.


Take the 1" wide pieces and place one at each end. On the writing end, you'll wrap it around and around until it is secure. Get as close to the tip as you can. Cover the other end completely. Take the bigger piece and wrap it around the pen. 



Next, you are going to make the petals. For a small rose, you will use about 25 petals. I use about 50 and make a bigger one. Petals are just 2" pieces of duct tape, folded. Fold the right corner up towards the top of the piece, leaving a little bit of the sticky side exposed. Then take the corner you made, and fold it down to form almost a pyramid shape.



This isn't the best picture but I just wanted to show you there there is an opening towards the top on the side. That is how it is supposed to look, so don't freak out. :)


This next set of pictures will show you how to start wrapping the petals. 



Some important things to remember when wrapping the petals:
  • Keep them close together. Where one point ends, another needs to begin. You can start to spread them out more as the rose gets bigger, but if you spread them too far apart it looks sloppy.
  • Keep the petals even. If you raise the petals up each time you go around, the rose is going to look like a tunnel.
  • You can make the rose as big as you want, just make sure you stick the tape down firmly each time or it will fall apart.
                                      

Just keep wrapping, and wrapping, and ... wrapping... 


With all the different designs available in duct tape, the possibilities here are endless! 


I think I'm going to start giving these to my Mary Kay customers. Or using them when I set up a booth. They're so fun! :) If you don't have the time (or desire) to make these pens, you can check them out at Brylee's Boutique on Facebook. Hers are great!

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Saturday, May 28, 2011

Blog Bash 2011

I am participating in the Family Approve Blog Bash 2011!! It is June 22 - June 24th. I am looking for sponsors so if you are interested in getting your name out there and donating, just email me. randomosityblog AT gmail DOT com. Please put BLOG BASH in the subject. The value of my prize (total) needs to be at least $100. So I can take up to 3 sponsors that donate $25 a piece, and then I would throw in the last $25. If I don't get that many sponsors, that's fine too! I will create a prize worth $100 or more out of Mary Kay items, or maybe some left over Nellie Bug's items. :) Either way, I promise it will be GREAT! So looking forward to it!!

If you are participating in the Blog Bash, let me know so I can visit your page!!

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Droid. Part I

I finally broke down and got a new phone. I was really happy with my old one, but AT&T offered me a free Motorola Flip Out for FREE so I couldn't really say no, could I? The Flip Out is a square phone that, as the name suggests, has a screen that flips out. It kind of swivels out instead of sliding up. It's got the full keyboard, and it's also 100% touch screen.


Motorola MB511 Flipout Unlocked GSM Quad-Band Android, Motoblur, Camera, QWERTY Keyboard, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth - International Version with No Warranty (Silver)

Along with the phone comes the option of downloading apps. Lots of them are free, so of course I've been looking through them alllll day long. I have so many favorites already! One of the apps reminds me to drink water -- it makes a water noise when it's time to drink another glass. You tell it how many glasses you want to drink, and based on how many you have left it makes the noise periodically throughout the day. Super creative if you ask me!

Myfitnesspal.com has a Droid app, where you can track your calories and exercise every day. I love MFP so the app is even better.

You don't have to have unlimited data usage, or even a large data package, if you plan on using your phone at wi-fi spots a lot. I work at home, so most of my phone usage is here. I just plug into our wi-fi and it's not charging me for any data use.

There are several cooking and recipe apps. There's a Betty Crocker Cook Book app, lots of Chinese cooking recipe apps, and even apps that give you Indian recipes! Yum! I'm so excited to share some new recipes with ya'll, you have no idea. :)

What are your favorite apps? I will probably make this post a two-parter because I know I will find new apps I love! Oh, and if you have a sense of humor be sure to check out Fat Booth!

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Friday, May 27, 2011

Revisiting Goals

Some of you might remember the 100 Goals for 2010 list I made (and did not complete). I just wanted to revisit it and add some new goals to it. Some I will take off because they either no longer interest me or I know it's not realistic to get them done this year. If my color coding shows up right, the red are my CURRENT comments. The blue are ones I really want/need to get done.


1. organize all 3 craft totes (3/3) -- Completed June 2010. Got rid of one tote, downsized to two organized totes. -- I have way more than 3 totes now! hahaha. But they are all organized!
2. make Gracelynn's birthday scrapbook (by March 7th) -- Failed. Hopefully by the end of the year I will get this done. Yeah, this didn't happen. :/
3. domino alterations of some sort -- earrings? necklace? -- Haven't had time, not really interested in doing these anymore.... 
4. complete 100 swaps (104/100) -- Completed 100 swaps and then quit swap-bot to focus on other things
5. eye spy bags for the girls (3/3) -- I made Eye Spy Bottles - they LOVE them
6. collect 50 cancelled stamps -- Actually have about 100! Pics will be posted eventually. If anyone likes cancelled stamps let me know and I'll mail some to you! I still have the stamps somewhere. If I ever find them, I will post pictures. :)
7. knit a bag or purse -- A friend knitted one for me, so I got out of this one LOL
8. chalkboard globe -- Made chalkboard table instead, 2-22
9. work with clay -- polymer beads, maybe? -- Still very interested in doing this, just haven't had the time.. focusing on craft shows and the website This still interests me but I don't have the time or space.
10. make my own rubber stamp -- Can't wait to do this! Just trying to figure out what supplies I will need. Might do this with the girls over the summer. Got all the supplies.
11. finish our (mine and Rach's) scrapbook -- Eh, eventually I will do this!
12. frame some artwork - Rachel's paintings are hanging all over our house! :) 
13. make Sapphire's scrapbook (by August 30th) -- Didn't happen!
14. knit a pair of socks for Rach -- Not interesting in knitting anymore!
15. make spreadsheet for tutus - Completed 2-8-2010
16. add 20 items to etsy shop (Completed -- 30 as of 3-27-2010)
17. make a clock -- Would love to do this still.
18. add 10 tutu designs to website (6/10 as of 3-27-2010) - sold the business
19. organize computer table (Completed 1/24/10)
20. bleach art shirt -- Hmm. Not sure if this interests me anymore or not. Maybe Rach will try it.
21. turn a scrapbook into a journal (Completed 2-4-2010)
22. add more pictures of bows to website (Completed 2-10-2010)
23. make mohawk hats -- without the ear flaps, ick! (1.5/4 as of 2-10-2010) - Done!
24. frame some inchies - No longer doing inchies.
25. make a family recipe book, out of a scrapbook maybe? -- Need more time to do this. Would be awesome!
26. knit a lap blanket for my mom - see above
27. knit myself a headband - see above re: knitting
28. make mail bags and letters for the younger girls (Completed 2/3/10)
29. knit something for charity -- any ideas?? -- see above: knitting
30. curtains for bedroom -- make or buy -- buying some THIS week!
31. make skirt or dress for one of the girls - Got a sewing machine finally.
32. visit the zoo at least 5 times (0/5) - Ended up sinking into sewage last time LOL long story!
33. visit the science center at least 3 times (0/3) - Definitely did this, but it's boring now.
34. visit the arch at least once (0/1) - Done!
35. knit stockings for the girls for Christmas (0/3) - no knitting!
36. make a doll or bear for one of the girls - No time!
37. knit a ball - no knitting
38. make heating pad for me and Rach (0/2) - Mom made us each one. :)
39. make a book safe -- Rach cut herself with an exacto knife not too long ago so they have been banned from our house.
40. 52 reasons I love you decks, one for each (0/4) I need to do this.
41. drink at least 3 bottles of water each day (Working on that..) - I fail.
44. lose 40lbs (Down 5 lbs as of 3-29) -- Down 25! I have 55 more to go. Made a bigger goal.
46. make reusable grocery bag -- knit? out of a t-shirt? not sure yet - Just bought some instead.
47. library tote bag - Bought one
48. diaper cake - Have made a few for friends.
49. go back to college - Eventually...
50. make chalkboards -Made a chalkboard table instead, pics to follow
51. set up at flea market - Maybe in the future, if I find something new to make/sell.
52. make pop-up card Completed 2-3-2010
53. remote control holder - Lost interest... I guess I do that a lot!
54. write 25 articles for eHow -- Please check out my current articles!! (4/25 as of 2-27-2010) -- Ehow no longer accepts articles. :( But I still get a paycheck from them once a month.
55. clean hall closet - LOL This one is still not done.
56. weigh in weekly (3/49) - Epic fail! - Still fail.
57. make laundry soap - Made it!! Finally!
58. post ad to craigslist for tutus at least once a month (2/12) -- sold business
59. turn Christmas cards into Christmas tags for next year - Great idea, still have some cards. Might try.
60. teach Grace sign language ABCs (in progress..) - Still working on this. Jenelle has learned to sign a few songs so far.
61. trick or treat bags (0/3) - Didn't do these. Might this year.
62. teach Grace to read 25 sight words (0/25) - She can read a lot more than 25!
63. take more cemetery photos, possibly host cemetery swap?? - Took the pictures, didn't do any more swaps.
64. teach Sapphire to write her ABCs (2/26) - She can do all of these now.
65. make rapunzel scarf -- Lost interest.
66. teach Nell to use a dictionary - Completed!
67. teach Nell to use a thesaurus - Not yet.
68. make cassette tape wallet -- Anyone want to send me a cassette to use?! -- Lost interest.
69. make something religious/spiritual - maybe artwork? - Lost interest.
70. make ribbon organizer (or buy one?) - Made a few different types. Settled on gutters. Will post pics some time.
71. make wire ring - Still would love to do this.
72. make something with my button stash - Still want to do this!!
73. share reflexology info via a swap (Completed 1/24/10)
74. make a journal and swap it
75. host at least 5 swaps (2/5) - No more swaps.
76. complete an art project with Rachel - She taught me spray paint art.
77. paint an abstract.. something or other - Haven't had time.
78. make something "zombie"/dark/goth for Rach as a surprise - This would still be fun.
79. make 10 YouTube videos -- Please check out our videos!! (2/10) - Haven't had much time but my daughter has made some videos. Here and here.
80. paint my fingernails (yes this has to be a goal.. lol) - I've done this a few times now. :)
81. make a zentangle - Lost interest.
82. design a new business card (completed 1/20/10)
83. design new address labels - Completed 2-22-2010
84. scan old pictures and post to facebook (completed 1/19/10)
85. make yoga pants from an old t-shirt - Lost interest!
86. Read at least 12 books and post a review of each(3/12) - Haven't had time to read but now I have a Kobo so I will try to squeeze them in. :)
87. Make baby doll blankets for the younger two (completed 1/21/10)
88. make a pillow - Working on a monster pillow idea.
89. attempt to make soaps (Completed 1/23/10)
90. attempt to make a candle - These are fun. Made one just the other day. I should blog about it, huh? :)
91. make MIL's pup a dog toy -- Dog bit Sapphire, and is finding a new home. No toy made! - MIL did not find a new home for the dog and he STILL bites. Don't get me started.
92. make a no-sew fleece blanket - My mom made the girls some for Christmas. I watched. :)
93. learn how to knit an i-cord? I think that's what it's called? - See note about knitting.
94. make Rach a dishcloth (completed 1/21/10)
95. make Rach a piece of jewelry - Will do this when I find one she will wear.
96. Save $200 by using coupons ($54.62/$200) - I save at least $50 a week using coupons now!!
97. try to stop using shampoo -- Haven't used shampoo in 2 months! -- Did the no poo thing for a few months, and went back to shampoo. Wouldn't be against trying it again, just didn't want to for the time being.
98. Make a treasure map with the kids - This will be fun!
99. Pay ALL bills ON TIME -- Awesome so far! - Still doing well!
100. make paint chip books for the girls (Completed 1/24/10) - Made some more.

Now I really need to make a few goals for 2011. My main goal is to spend as much time as possible with my kids. I started working from home to ensure that. Another goal... to succeed with Mary Kay. I want to earn a career car within a year (so, by next April because that's when I signed up). I want to donate as much as possible, and save as much as possible with coupons. I just started offering couponing classes in my area. I really just want to focus on making my quality of life the best that I can. I want to enjoy every moment of it. I don't think that's too much to ask. :) What are your goals for 2011?

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Sunday, May 22, 2011

Boutique AKA Pillowcase Dresses

**UPDATED 5/24 WITH NEW LINK**

You know how a lot of the boutiques sell simple dresses for $30 or more? Well, here's your chance to make one for under $5. These are pillowcase dresses but can be made from fabric or bandanas as well.



Click here to view the ebook where I show you how to make them!

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Saturday, May 21, 2011

Wow.

My computer crashed and I lost EVERYTHING I have worked on in the past 2 months. I have an external hard drive that I always back things up on, but I've been too busy lately to do that. I've been tracking my Alexa ranking daily for 2 months now, and it's all gone. All of my images, documents... everything. :( Please back up your files now. Don't wait! I hope to have everything back to normal by the end of next week. I will still post some e-books and recipes in the mean time.

*sigh*

Friday, May 20, 2011

New Layout

Do you like it? I'm not sure that it fits me. It'll be temporary until I can find one that does. :)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Menu for the week of 5/16

I started a new job yesterday, so things are still hectic around here, but I'm hoping to get back on track soon. :) It's a little late, but here's our menu for the week.



Breakfasts this week consist of waffles (home made but frozen so they can just reheat), cereal (got it for $1.25 a box!), or yogurt.

Lunches will be sandwiches (hot and cold), cheese roll-ups (my guilty pleasure), and soups.

Dinners

spaghetti casserole w/fruit on the side

chicken pot pie

breakfast for dinner (eggs, bacon, biscuits & gravy)

taco salad

shrimp stir-fry (without shrimp for Saff, she hates shrimp)

What does your menu look like this week?

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Sunday, May 15, 2011

FREE Woven Headbands E-Book

Still on a semi-hiatus, which just means I'm not following my schedule right now. I've had a crazy few weeks and I'm not sure when things will slow down, so this is just what works for now. That's good new for you, though, because that means my filler posts will be e-books that I have already typed up.


Please ignore the email address in the e-books. It is no longer mine. If you need help, leave a comment here. Please do not email tutus@nelliebugs.com!

This popular e-book is one of the most detailed ones I've written. It has lots of pictures and very clear directions,  and even though it might seem tough to make these at first, it's not. :)

There is also some wholesale information at the end of the e-book so you can buy headbands and ribbon at low prices and make a profit if you decide to sell these items. Great for boutique owners!

Click here to view the e-book in Google Docs. Click here to view my other tutorials. Please leave a comment if you like the e-book, so I know to post more of them!

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Saturday, May 14, 2011

2 weeks!

2 weeks left til summer vacation for my kids. Well, that's a lie. They're going to summer school so technically I have until July 1st before they're home every day (woooooo hooooo!), but I am starting to put together some 'plans' for summer to keep them busy anyway.

 I bought a book on clearance one time - 1,444 Fun Things to Do with Kids. There are so many great ideas in this book, it's just amazing! I'll share a few with you, but if you click that link you can get the book for under $5.

Monster Dough

Combine 1 cup of salt with 1 and 1/4 cups water and 2 teaspoons of cooking oil. Knead the mixture until smooth and then divide it into several small bowls. Color with food coloring and mix well. Too sticky? Add flour. Too dry? Add a few drops of water.

Magic Mud

1 cup cornstarch in a bowl and 1 cup of water -- add water gradually until the mixture is like bread dough. Then roll the mixture into a ball. Watch the ball carefully and it will magically dissolve to liquid!

Candle Maker

Collect all the old candles you have. Let the kids choose the shapes for new candles (using dishes, cartons, and other forms that can withstand contact with hot wax). Affix to the bottom of the form a string that can be used as a wick, and then carefully supervise the melting of the candles. Fish out the old wicks. Melt in a crayon to change the color of the wax. Cool slightly, and then pour into molds. After the wax cools a little more, straighten the string wick or insert in the center a thin candle as a wick. When firm, remove from the mold and enjoy on the dining table or elsewhere.

Reading Journal

I'm going to have my girls keep a reading journal this summer so they can write about the books they'e read. Jenelle has her own blog so I might let her get away with typing it up, but we'll see. :) Just get a notebook together and give them a time chart, a suggested reading list, and 50 stickers to use when they read the books. Have them write down the title, author, and a short review about the book. Would they recommend it to a friend? Would they like to read it again?

Chalktown

In your driveway or on the sidewalk, help your kiddos sketch out a large transportation system using white chalk. This is educational as well as fun! Draw highways, small roads, airports, etc. Using green chalk, add in the trees, fields, and other greenery. Make rivers and lakes with blue chalk. Red chalk: houses, skyscrapers. Use your imagination! Use toy cars, boats, and people to play in your chalktown. This can lead to days of fun, until the rain washes it away!

What's in the yard?

From your garden or yard, gather blossoms from flowers and leaves from trees. place them between wax paper and then under heavy books. After about 2 weeks they will have dried. Make a plant identification book! Use a tiny dab of glue to affix them to the page, and label the page with the name of the flower or tree. Super fun and educational!

Sail Boats

Make some little boats out of folded paper or big leaves. Use a water puddle after a rain to see if the boats will sink or swim.

Shadow Plays

Hang a sheet in a doorway and place a floodlight about 8 feet behind it. Let kids play between the sheet and the light, acting out nursery rhymes and scenes from familiar books. See if you can guess who the actors are portraying.

1,444 Fun Things to Do With Kids really is a great book. I recommend buying it (or checking it out) if possible. It has given me lots of ideas for fun, inexpensive, and sometimes educational, projects!

What do you like to do with your kids during summer break?

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Friday, May 13, 2011

Wholesale

I don't usually post things like this but I'm placing a wholesale buy on Sunday May 15th (yes, the day after tomorrow) and will be offering MY wholesaler's prices to everyone. The album can be found HERE.

Some of the things you will see are $5 tutus, and other things listed below.







Visit the link above to see details. Payment is due Sunday. Thanks!

Pizza Cupcakes

This would've been posted yesterday, but Blogger hates me. I know I said I was going to start posting healthy recipes. Compared to my chocolate cocoa earthquake cake, these are healthy. :) I used turkey pepperonis and low-fat cheese. Win.

You need:

biscuits (1 for each 'cupcake', so we used 18 for 5 of us)
pepperonis
shredded cheese
pizza sauce

Preheat oven according to biscuit packaging. Flatten biscuits in your hands and place into a greased cupcake/muffin tin just like with the hamburger cupcakes.


Add a pepperoni to each.


Add some cheese, a spoonful of pizza sauce, and another pepperoni.


Add some more cheese and bake until golden brown.


Our biscuits said 8-10 minutes but they took 15.


Yum. Need I say more?


Serve with fruit for a "balanced" meal. :) These cupcakes are simple, inexpensive, and delicious!! Let me know what you think when you try them out.

*Featured here.*

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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Best Mac Ever



I've been on a cooking and baking kick lately, but Gracelynn is so picky she usually just wants macaroni and cheese. So instead of getting the boxed stuff, I've been trying new recipes. This one is from a book called Down Home With the Neelys. I changed it just a little bit because we were missing a few ingredients.

I forgot to take a picture of all of the ingredients... if I make it again I will edit this post. Sorry!

You will need:

6 tablespoons butter
1 pound spiral pasta
1 cup flour
4 cups whole milk, warmed
1 t dry mustard powder
1 t salt
1/2 t cayenne pepper
pinch of nutmeg
dash of hot sauce
dash of worcestershire sauce
4 c grated sharp cheddar cheese
1 1/4 c white cheddar

Topping:

1 1/2 c crushed potato chips (we used BBQ)
1/2 c grated parmesan cheese
bacon bits

Heat your oven to 375*F. Butter a 3 quart casserole dish.

Cook pasta until al dente.

Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat.


Add the flour and stir for 1 minute. Whisk in the warmed milk and bring to a simmer. Whisk constantly to thicken.

Stir in the dry mustard, salt, cayenne pepper, nutmeg, hot sauce, and worcestershire sauce into the thickened milk. Stir in 3 cups on sharp cheddar and all of the white cheddar, until cheeses melt.

Add the cooked pasta to the cheese sauce and stir.

Pour the mixture into the casserole dish.


Make the topping (combine all topping ingredients in a bowl).


Sprinkle the rest of the cheese on top of cheese/noodle mixture, and then add the chip/bacon topping. Bake for 20 minutes. The book says 35 but ours burnt!!


This mac was very rich. The flavor was very different from anything I've baked before. If you don't have the spices on hand, this recipe can get very expensive (I paid $3 each for nutmet, cayenne, and mustard powder!) - but it is a great dish to take to a pot luck. You will definitely impress everyone. Let me know if you try it, and what you think!

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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Okay, so...

Alrighty then.

*woosah*

This post has been a long time coming so I just need to get it over with. Since this is a crafty type blog, I've tried to avoid speaking about my opinions/views/etc as much as possible... HOWEVER... something needs to be said.

For those that didn't check out my "About Me" page, or for those who didn't see my first year of posts when I blogged about my family, I am a lesbian. I have a partner and her name is Rachel, and we have three little girls. I need to get this off my chest because of two reasons - one being if I'm going to have a personal blog I need to make sure my readers understand me personally. Two being, I've been denied guest posts on blogs twice now because of my sexual orientation.

I just received an email back from someone that owns a fairly popular blog. Her blog is mostly crafts, recipes, etc. She has paid sponsor spots, and I purchased one. She sent me interview questions, and since I was kind of clueless on what to put, I just sort of copied off past interviews she had. Almost all of the past guests mentioned their husbands and kids, so I did the same (though I replaced husband with partner).

This is an email (in part) that I got back.

I'm going to be very honest with you, I don't think I feel comfortable sharing your relationship status on my blog. Personally, it's your life and I'm not one to have an opinion about it, however because this is a cooking and crafting blog, a very, very large number of my subscribers are very religious stay-at-home-moms. I've made a specific point of not sharing any of my own beliefs or views on my blog because I don't want to alienate anyone, and I think that by sharing your relationship status, I might be doing just that.

That said, I will give you two options. 1) We can come up with a way to avoid direct mention of your partner and still run the blog post, or 2) You can choose to not be a sponsor and I will fully refund your money, and will leave up the button on the sidebar for the remainder of the month.

I'm not sure how I feel about all of this. It's upsetting to me. Hell, this post might be sabotaging my blog dreams, but I can't just keep NOT talking about it.

Now please let me be clear on one thing (oh no I sound like Obama..). The owner of the blog I quoted above is NOT the problem here. Not at all. She is not the reason for this post. I am NOT upset with her. She handled it in a decent way and actually I could tell she felt really bad because she wrote back again apologizing profusely. She also said she will have readers leave out the "husband" part in the future.. they will just be putting "wife" instead of specifying that they are heterosexual. I don't think it could've been handled any better. So please if you discover who this is about, do NOT think I'm upset with her. I'm not.

I don't expect my readers to all to be holding rainbow signs and showing up at Pride Fest, but I do expect them to love me for who I am! Not be ashamed of me because of who I love. Don't NOT have me guest post because of my orientation (such an odd word).

I have no clue if any of this is making sense, I'm just kind of upset right now and I know it's not like me to share personal feelings on my blog... plus I just applied for BlogHer so this probably screwed it up... but whatever.

I'm not going to hide in an online closet because it makes some people uncomfortable. I am gay. Get over it. Take it, or leave it. It is what it is.

I appreciate each and every one of my readers - so thank you if you made it this far. :)

Monday, May 9, 2011

Today's Shopping Trip

I went shopping on Monday for once (instead of waiting til the end of the week when all of the deals are sold out). It was not busy at all at the store. Monday might be my new permanent day to go shopping! Got some great deals. :) The Sunday paper coupons were not very good so I haven't clipped them yet. Used price matching and previously clipped coupons for these deals.


I was really disappointed in today's paper. I am, however, really happy that I spent less than $90 on groceries that will last us more than a week. And the Walgreen's deals were great! 


For those that haven't visited my blog before, I just want to let you know we don't have a RiteAid, CVS, etc around here so I shop at Wal-Mart and price match with ads from the paper. I don't stockpile because we live in an 800 sq ft apartment, and I don't buy things unless we will use them. The only thing I will eventually stock up on is health and beauty. No food. Until we get a house anyway!







Colgate total gum defense: 2/$6 at Walgreen's. $4 register rewards. $1 coupon off one, $.75 coupon off the other. $.25 total for 2, so $.12.5 cents a piece? lol I know you can sometimes get tooth paste for free but this is the expensive stuff so I "splurged".


Mitchum was only $1.99 with a Walgreen's coupon(we usually pay almost $4).


The razors were on sale at WG for $9.89. They gave register rewards of $5, plus I had a $4 coupon. Total: $.89!!






Mr. Clean normally almost $4, price matched down to $2. Coupon for $1.50 off 2. Total: $1.25 each. 
Febreze normally $3.36, price matched down to $2, coupon for $1. Total: $1. 
Schick Quattro razor normally $9, price matched down to $5, coupon for $2 off. Total: $3 (I know some people don't like to pay this much for razors but these are my favorite!)

These were priced $3.36-$4.26 at Wal-Mart. Price matched with K-Mart down to $2. Coupon for $1.50 off 3, so $1.50 each.
Bad picture, sorry! 1lb bag of Rold Gold tiny twists regular, and then mustard flavor. Regularly $3+, price matched with K-Mart to $1.99, coupon for $2 off 2. So $1 each!
How much did you save this week?

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Saturday, May 7, 2011

Blog Hopping

I haven't had much time to blog lately because of Sapphire's health issues. I don't have the time to make crafts, take pics and edit them, and then post. So until I can figure out how to do all of that while giving breathing treatments every few hours, running my Mary Kay business, and taking care of the other two rugrats, I will be posting a few of my favorite blogs or tutorials. One day I hope to start my own little Link Up but until then, this'll do. :)

These projects are on my "To Do" list:

Popsicle Stick Doll House

Powder Laundry Soap

Memory Maker

Cute Spring Flats


In case you're hungry:

The Perfect Roast

7 Minutes To Heaven

Chicken Tacos


Saturday blog hops:
Free Hot Samples Hoppin' Weekend

If you are addicted to giveaways, this is the place to be:


Free Hot Samples

And a few more crafty link-ups (I have not visited them all yet) to keep you busy.
Free for All at Young and Crafty | K.I.S.S. at The Tattered Tag | Sundae Scoop at I Heart Naptime | Sunday Showcase Party at Under the Table and Dreaming | Not Baaad Sundays at Lamb Around | CraftOManiac Monday at CraftOManiac | Just Something I Whipped Up at The Girl Creative | Making Monday Marvelous at C.R.A.F.T | Craftastic Monday at Sew Can Do | Made With Love Monday at Sew Chatty | Motivate Me Monday at Keeping It Simple | A Round Tuit at Crafting My Way to Success | Inspire Me Monday at Singing Three Little Birds | Amaze Me Monday at Dittle Dattle | DIY Project Parade at The DIY Showoff | Think Pink Sundays at Flamingo Toes | Market Yourself Monday at Sumo's Sweet Stuff | Manic Monday Link Party at Sew Happy Geek | Take a Look Tuesday at Sugar Bee Crafts | Handmade Tuesdays at Ladybug Blessings | Tuesday To-do Party at The Blackberry Vine | Tip Me Tuesday at Tip Junkie | Tuesday Party at Running with Glitter | Get Your Craft On at Today's Creative Blog | Show Me What Ya Got at Not JUST a Housewife | Show and Tell at Blue Cricket Designs | Your Whims Wednesday at My Girlish Whims | Will See It Wednesday at Fabric Bows and More | Share the Wealth Wednesday at Laugh, Love, and Craft | We Did It Wednesday at Sew Much Ado | Wicked Awesome Wednesday at Handy Man, Crafty Woman | A Marvelous Mess at Marvelously Messy | Sugar & Spice at Seven Thirty Three | Whatever Goes Wednesday at Someday Crafts | Hoo's Got Talent at Night Owl Crafting | Strut Your Stuff at Somewhat Simple | Creative Juice at Momnivore's Dilemma | Get Your Brag On at Gluesticks | Thrifty Thursday at Saved By Love Creations | Wednesday Link Party at Tea Rose Home | A Crafty Soiree at Katie's Nesting Spot | Transformation Thursday at The Shabby Chic Cottage | Commercial Break Thursday at Suzy's Artsy Craftsy Sitcom | Thrilling Thursday at Paisley Passions |


And I'm keeping an eye on this blog. Looks totally my style!!

Leave a link to your blog in the comments and if I like it I will feature you during my semi-hiatus!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

The "F" Word (Relax.. Read On!)

Frugal. Cheapskate. Tightwad.

Frugal living is not just for the poor, or for the cheap. It's for the smart! Vacation time is just around the corner, so I think we should talk about ways to have a frugal vacation while still making it an actual vacay for you!

Food.

It's expensive enough when you're at the grocery store, but when you're out of town it's even worse. And who wants to eat food out of the cooler for days straight? Can you say soggy cheese? To save money on food, go to the restaurants for lunch but not for dinner. Or better yet, have an early dinner! Most places serve lunch until at least 3 or 4. So if you arrive at 3:50, you still get the lunch price but after you eat your rolls or salad, you're eating at 4:30 (which is closer to dinner time) and still paying only lunch price. Score.

Stay at a hotel that serves breakfast for free. I think that's a given, but just in case you didn't think of it, that is one of the best ways to save money. Nowadays, it doesn't cost any extra to stay at a hotel that serves breakfast versus one that doesn't. Fill up on breakfast, grab a few bagels or yogurts for a snack for later (if you're having a late breakfast and early dinner, you can snack for lunch), and you're all set.

At buffets, kids usually eat free. If you have 3 children with you, and 2 adults, you're paying $10 each for the adults and the kids are free. If you really need to save money, skip the soda and get water (free). That means you paid $20 for 5 people to eat. Cheaper than the $1 menu at McDonald's, and so much better! You can also go at 3:00 (similar to above) and get the lunch price, but take your time so it is actually a lunch/dinner combo!

Share a plate. This can be romantic as well as frugal. :) If you end up at a restaurant that forbids splitting plates, one of you can order a soup (cheap!) or salad and share that as well.

Avoid.

You want to avoid souvenir shops all together if you are on a budget. Over-priced junk. Ick.

Don't rent a car if you're staying in a city. You can walk or catch a bus for a couple of bucks. Or better yet, see if they have a train to take you places. Fun and inexpensive. :)

Credit cards - I know this sounds crazy, but leave them at home! Bring one just in case of an emergency but do not use it just for the heck of it. When I'm on vacation, I carry a little bit of cash and leave the debit card at the hotel (hidden, of course). I don't want to spend more than I planned on spending, and I can't if I don't have the means to do so.

Avoid going over budget. Set a daily meal and entertainment spending limit and stick with it.

Airfare.

Obviously if you have more than one person going on vacation, driving may be cheaper, but if you must fly, plan ahead to get the best air fare deals. Now you could wait til the last minute and get great deals, maybe... but that's a maybe. So I wouldn't recommend it.

If you visit matrix.itasoftware.com/cvg/dispatch you will be directed to the same database that travel agents use, but for free. You cannot purchase tickets on this website but you can compare prices so you know what the best price will be.

Taking the late flight is usually best, and if you can fly over night and during the week, that's even better. Air fare prices change up to three times a day, so when you are looking for prices, like I said, plan ahead. Then you can compare prices for a few days and grab them when they're low.

AirFareWatchDog.com is a website that will email you sales and alerts for any airport or trip. Farecast.live.com and farecompare.com search records of fares to give price trends for your trip.

Being flexible will also save you a lot of money. Keep this in mind when planning time off work!

Other ways to save.

Pack light. If you choose a few outfits that you can mix and match, you are going to be packing less clothes for each family member (easily saving yourself at least one piece of luggage and an extra charge at the airport).

Take photos of your travel documents and send them to yourself via email. If you lose anything, you will have these available at the touch of a button. This could also save you a lot of time and money.

If you are on a romantic getaway and still trying to pinch pennies, grab a matinee and then hit up Happy Hour. See what time the local pubs or restaurants have Happy Hour. Then watch the movie (matinee prices are always cheaper), and stroll over to Happy Hour afterwards. Think dinner & a movie, but reversed.

What are some ways you save money while vacationing?

Or how are you saving money to go on a vacation?

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