Thursday, September 26, 2013

Halloween Spookables

Okay so seriously, it’s embarrassing how long it’s been since my last post. It’s been over a year for pete’s sake! It’s really quite selfish of me. Just think of all those bargains I’ve been keeping to myself. muahahah!!

Actually that’s not true. I’m constantly sending text messages to my sister. They usually sound a lot like this

“Woo hoo! I just bought all of this for $5!!”

“Look what I just scored for FREEEEE!”

“They paid me to take this stuff out of the store! woot woot!”

In the last year I’ve shifted my focus from Goodwill shopping (not completely abandoning, I still heart you GW!) to couponing, Craig’s Listing, and Facebook Garage Sale-ing. I will share some of my goodies and tips from the last year soon…I promise!

So today I’m just going to share some of the SPOOOOKABLES that we’ve been putting up around the house.

I got the spiced elixir candle jar and jack-o-lantern in the glass dome at Marshall’s about a week ago. The “Happy Halloween” sign came from our local Meijer’s a couple years ago on clearance. The netting and all the black birds came from the Dollar Tree.

I transformed our family into a family of vampires by cutting little teeth out of the edge of a white sticker sheet. Creepy!

The wooden bat was also a purchase from Meijer’s clearance a couple of years ago. The moss is from the Dollar Tree. I got the glittery black pumpkin from Target’s dollar spot.

I love these mirrored jars! I also got these from Marshall’s this year.

I also picked up some spider webbing from the Dollar Tree…I tried not to get too carried away with it…

and here:

WARNING: Cats love this stuff…either that or my cat thought I overdid it and took it upon herself to take it down.

The feather wreath was also purchased at Meijer on clearance. The “F” was something I cut out of cardboard and wrapped with twine.

Some simple fall d├ęcor for the top of the TV armoire.

And last buy not least a little, an update to my homemade chalkboard.

Look familiar? Okay, you got me. I totally knocked this off of Pottery Barn.

Don’t look so surprised. It’s not like it’s the first time…or the last. Winking smile

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Pottery Barn Kids Word Plaque Knock Off


It’s no secret that I’m a sucker for all things Pottery Barn. Unfortunately I don’t have a Pottery Barn budget. So what’s a girl to do? Roll up your sleeves ladies, we’re gonna make some Pottery Barn goodies on the cheap!

I just fell in love with these word plaques from Pottery Barn Kids.


I knew they would be a perfect addition to my little girls new “big girl” room.

Here's what you’ll need to make them.
  • 5.5 inch tall board (I got a 1x6x4’ board from Lowes for about $3)
  • Primer
  • Acrylic paint
  • Paint Brushes
  • Paint markers
  • A printer
  • Pencil
1. First start by printing your lettering. In WordPad choose the Georgia font in a 320 font size.

2. After you’ve printed your words turn the paper over and trace the lettering on the opposite side. I found it easier to see what I was tracing when I put the paper on a piece of 8x10 glass from a picture frame and sat near a light. (Please excuse the blue paint blob. This paper did some double duty.)


3. Cut your boards at the following lengths: 7.5 inches (fly) 13 inches (laugh) 20 inches (dream) 24 inches (imagine)

4. Prime and paint your boards. You can use whatever color and patterns you like. I tried to copy as close to the original as I could because quite frankly, I have no imagination. Neal Caffery would be so proud.

5. After your paint has dried carefully line the lettering up on your board with the pencil outlines faced down. Tape paper down to keep it in place.

phone pics 1102

6. Retrace the lettering onto your board pressing firmly with a pencil. This will transfer your pencil outlines onto your plaque.

7. Once you have traced all the letters remove the paper and you should have something like this.

phone pics 1103

  8. Using a paint marker fill in the lettering. These pens made it so much easier than trying to use a brush. I did have to use a brush for the “laugh” plaque because I couldn’t find a paint pen in the right color. I ended up painting it the wrong color anyway (it was suppose to be green ga!).

phone pics 1104

I found these great little picture frame hangers by 3M that I’m going to try and use to hang them on the wall. It kind of looks like plastic velcro. Anyone else have any luck with these?
“Laugh” (was suppose to be green, oh well)


“Dream” This one took the longest with all those little flowers.


“Imagine” This one looks orangey in the photo but it’s actually more of a peach color.


Imagine, Dream, Laugh, and Fly. I have plenty of board left over to make at least two more. I may end up doing one with her name and the "wish" plaque as well.


One knock off down, one to go!

Up next? The Pottery Barn Kids Bird Dream Catcher.


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TDC Before and After

Big Girl Room Inspiration

My baby is now 2 years old so it’s time to start converting the nursery into a “big girl” room. I’ve been itching to change it since I finished it a little over 2 years ago. (You can see how that turned out here.)

I found my inspiration for Maddie’s room from none other than Pottery Barn Kids. These are pictures that started it all.

Gosh I love everything about this room, mainly the bedding. I’ve been drooling over the Hayley collection for over a year now. I just love the little birds and owls. I also love these quilts because there are so many colors and patterns to coordinate with.

These plaques are so cute! They are no longer sold at Pottery Barn but I’m pretty sure I could make them myself.

I love this fabric garland that Hana over at The Mom Tog Diaries created by using strips of fabric, ribbon, and lace.

This little birdie dream catcher was also something that was previously sold at Pottery Barn Kids. I may try to make one of these as well.

I found this robin’s nest printable on Google images. It’s identical to the one in the first picture of the bedroom.

I still have this chandelier I got on one of my Goodwill runs last year. This will replace the smaller one from Ikea that we currently have up in her room. The Ikea chandelier will go in her closet…because every little girl needs a chandelier in her closet right? ;) 
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Now that I have my inspiration all that’s left to do is choose a paint color to go above the chair rail. I keep going back and forth between a light blue and a light pink. I hate, let me repeat, HATE choosing paint colors. It gives me major anxiety. Hopefully I can make a decision soon so we can get this show on the road!

So here it is now…
Stay tuned for the “after”!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

7 Tips for Scoring at Goodwill


Like many other thrifties I love shopping at Goodwill. In addition to loving a good bargain I love the thrill of the hunt! Over the last couple of years I’ve learn a few tricks of the trade. Here are my top 7.

1.Go often
Goodwill restocks their merchandise daily. Like any thrift store it can often be hit and miss. Going once or twice a week will increase your chances of having a good hit.

*If the staff greets you by your first name, you are probably going often enough. If they can't start a daily team meeting because they think one of the employees is maaaybe going a little overboard.

2. Grab it while you can
It sounds simple but if you pick up an item you like but you’re not sure if you want it, stick it in your cart. There have been many times that I’ve put something back because I wasn’t sure and then when I went back to get it someone else had already snagged it. Keep it in your cart while you think about it, you can always put it back.

3. Ask a Manager
Feel free to ask to speak with a manager about something you are interested in. For instance, there was a kids table and chairs set for $14.99. I was only interested in the table so I asked the manager if I could just purchase part of the set. He agreed and gave it to me for $9.99. You can see what I ended up doing with it here.

4. Check out the "New” merchandise cart
Have you ever noticed the huge carts they roll out of the back of the store? They bring out their new merchandise on these carts for the employees to shelve. I always start my Goodwill hunt here. These are all items that haven’t been picked over and you can find some awesome steals here! I picked up a Pottery Barn Kids chandelier for just $14.99 on one of these babies! Score!!

5. Be aware of sales
Every week Goodwill has a color of the week sale. Items with that color tag or sticker are 50% off. In addition to the color of the week you can also get a senior citizen or student discount on certain days of the week. For our Goodwill it’s Wednesdays.

6. Follow your local Goodwill on Facebook and Twitter
By following Goodwill you will always be up to date on their latest sales and events. You can also print out special coupons for liking them on Facebook. My Goodwill has "Facebook Friday” and every Friday they roll out a new coupon for you to use on that day.

7. Goodwill Rewards!
Check to see if your Goodwill has a rewards program. Our Goodwill just rolled out a new GW Rewards program where you can get discounts on your everyday purchases, a special birthday gift, holiday rewards, and advance notices of sales and special promotions. Yes it’s another card on your keychain but so worth it! You can even track and itemize you donations online with this program!

So the next time you find yourself looking for a bargain at Goodwill keep these tips in mind. You’ll be a thrift store thrifty in no time!

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Friday, December 16, 2011

Budget Friendly Gift Jars

Gift jars
Hey guys! I know it’s been a while....okay it’s been a long while but I’m finally getting back into the swing of things! :)

With the holidays quickly approaching I’ve been very busy putting together some last minute Christmas gifts. I just finished making these simple Christmas gifts for my son’s teachers.

You will need:
  • A glass jar with a lid. (I found mine at Wal-Mart for $2.98. You could also try Goodwill, they usually have LOTS of glass items)
  • Chalkboard paint. (You can find a small bottle of it in the craft section for about $2)
  • A small brush or mini roller
  • Masking tape
  • A piece of chalk
  • Twisted jute twine
  • Gift tag
  1. Start with a clean jar. Mask off the area you want to paint with masking tape. Make sure you smooth out any bubbles to prevent the paint from bleeding through.
  2. Paint the area you taped off with chalkboard paint. It may take several coats. I used about 4 coats letting it dry between layers.
  3. After your paint has completely dried rip off the tape. I found that it works best if you just tear it off quickly like a band-aid.
  4. Prime the chalkboard area by rubbing chalk over the entire label and then gently wipe off.
  5. Fill jar with your favorite treat (I filled mine with homemade granola) and label your jar with chalk.
  6. Wrap twine around the top of the jar and add a gift tag. I made my own gift tags by using plain ol’ printer paper that I dyed with tea bags.
There you have it. Quick, simple, and best of all affordable! Happy Holidays!!

My Granola Recipe:
  • 10 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/2 lb. shredded coconut
  • 1 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup sesame seeds
  • 2 cups sliced almonds
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 1/6 cups brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable or canola oil
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 molasses
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Dried Cranberries (optional)
Preheat oven to 300 degrees.  In a large bowl combine oats, coconut, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds and nuts.  Blend well.  In a large saucepan, combine brown sugar, water, oil, honey, molasses, salt, cinnamon and vanilla.  Heat until sugar is dissolved, but do not boil.  Pour syrup over dry ingredients and stir until well-coated.  Spread into 5 13” x 9” baking pans, or cookie sheets with sides.  Bake 20 to 30 minutes, stirring every 10 or 15 minutes.  Bake 15 minutes longer for crunchier texture.  Cool.  Add dried fruit, if desired.  Put in airtight containers.  Store in a cool, dry place.  Use within 6 months.  Makes about 20 cups of Granola Mix.

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