Free Boo Printables: You’ve Been Boo’ed!

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 Free Boo Printables

My friend Cheryl put together the most fun free printable for you all todayIf you have kids, I’m betting you already “boo” in your neighborhood, but if not, this is a great year to start.

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Visit your local Target or Dollar Tree dollar bins and grab a few fun items to share with your neighbors, then “boo” them by sneaking a treat at their front door. This is one of our children’s favorite Halloween activities (they love picking which neighbor gets the surprise!)  Go HERE to download your free “Boo” printable today, and share with your friends too. Happy Haunting!

 

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I’d love for you to join me over on Pinterest (I love that place!)  If you have a blog and have done a little fluffing in your home, I’d love to see it, so leave your link in the comments section. Also, if there’s a craft you’ve seen on a website that you’re hoping to make, feel free to share that link as well (I’m always looking for new ideas!)

 

See previous Friday Fluff Up projects and ideas . . . and Happy Fluffing!

 

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College Care Packages {From The Dollar Bins}

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Here’s just the simplest little fluffing, because I can’t seem to manage painting a piano or wallpapering a bathroom every week like I’d like! ;)

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We have four nieces and nephews in college, in the military, and in their first apartment, and I try to send out a little care package twice a year. It’s so easy to let these get pretty pricey, but thanks to some coupon savings and a few Target and Michael’s Dollar Bin finds, I can usually score a deal or two!

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I went to Michael’s yesterday (who have my favorite dollar/bargain bins ever, which a PPP reader also told me worked with the current 25% off coupon), and grabbed everything above for less than $3. (WOW!)

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I’d also purchased the items above at the Target Dollar Bins a few weeks ago (except for the M&Ms)IMG_9816

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My total spent on each package was less than $5 (I even included some free shaving creme from Kroger’s sale a few weeks ago and a 25¢ Cadbury Egg from Walgreenssacrifice I tell you),
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And now just have to pop them in the mail.

Sending college kids free samples also is a great way to surprise them with a treat – it’s amazing how those little free samples really add up, and just by adding a few items from your stockpile you can easily send a fun and frugal care package!

Have you come up with fun ways to surprise someone special recently? I’d love to hear about it! You can also check out how I made a few teacher gifts using items from the Dollar Tree ~ love it!
I’d love for you to join me over on Pinterest (I love that place!)  If you have a blog and have done a little fluffing in your home, I’d love to see it, so leave your link in the comments section. Also, if there’s a craft you’ve seen on a website that you’re hoping to make, feel free to share that link as well (I’m always looking for new ideas!)

 

See previous Friday Fluff Up projects and ideas . . . and Happy Fluffing!

 

 

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Five Ways To Feed Your Family For Less (Even Without Coupons)

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I made a quick run to Kroger yesterday to pick up our groceries for the week, and was again reminded of just how important it is to really shop strategically whether I have a bunch of coupons or not. I literally only used two coupons on this trip, but my family’s grocery bill for our entire week of meals and snacks was just $66 – here’s what I bought:

Bought 2 Kroger Cereal Bars $1.67

Bought 1 Kroger Grahams $2

Bought 1 Kroger Whip Topping $2.19

Bought 4 Kroger Betty Crocker Cake Mixes $.94, used $1/4 Betty Crocker Cake Kroger ecoupon

Bought 2 Turkey Hill Ice Creams $2.50 (regularly over $5!), used $1/1 Turkey Hill Ice Cream (could also use $1/2 Turkey Hill Ice Cream)

Bought 1 Kroger Pudding Cups $.89

Bought 1 Kroger Fruit Bowl $1.99

Bought 1 Kroger Cheese $3.79

Bought 1 Kroger Private Selection Cheese $1.99 after Buy 4 Private Selections Save $1

Bought 7 Kroger Private Selection Yogurts $.39 after Buy 4 Private Selections Save $1

Bought 1 Kroger Hot Dog Buns $1

Bought 1 Kroger Softsoap $1, used $.35/1 coupon from the 9/14 Smart Source insert

Bought 1 Kroger Turkey Breast $3

Bought 4 loaves and buns Kroger Whole Wheat Private Selection Bread $.99 after after Buy 4 Private Selections Save $1

Bought White Rain Hair Spray $1.29

Bought 2 lbs Bananas $.55/lb $1.11

Bought Bag Potatoes $2

Bought 2 Kroger Tomatoes $1.09

Bought 2 Ball Park Franks $2.99

Bought Cannelini Beans $1

Bought Kroger Condensed Soup $1

Bought Kroger Sour Cream $1.69

Bought Kroger Beans $.69

Bought 3 gallons skim milk $2.77

Bought Carrots $1.49

Bought 2 pounds grapes $1.69/lb.

  • Paid $66.63 after coupons for 1 weeks worth of groceries

 

 

So, if you’re a big couponer you’re probably not all that impressed with my deals (although that Turkey Hill Ice Cream savings was pretty exciting!) But, if you’re a regular mom who just needs to learn more about how to easily save on your groceries each week, here are five ways to easily save.

 

(I’m all about easy – aren’t you?) ;)

 

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1. Watch the price per ounce.

I needed a few cans of tomatoes for this Pasta Fagioli recipe, but didn’t have any coupons with me. The “sale” price on the Del Monte were $1 per can, while the every day price of the Kroger brand was $.69! My family will never know that I dumped Kroger brand tomatoes instead of Del Monte into Mrs. Potts, but I saved 30% off the “sale price” on the National brand without clipping a coupon.

 

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2. Look for in-store sales.

Through tonight Kroger is having a huge Private Selection sale where you can try out their “fanc-i-fied” store brands for a sale price, AND $1 extra off when you purchase four participating items. I love a fancy roll when making hamburgers or grilled chicken sandwiches at home, and to get them for $.99 (the same as the inexpensive low-end store brand) was an incredible deal so I stocked up.

 

They also had their whole wheat loaves on sale for $.99 after special savings, so I’ve stocked my freezer. This was a huge savings, and didn’t require clipping a single coupon!

 

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3. Stock up on produce seasonally along with a sale.

My kids love fresh fruit, so I almost always purchase a bag of apples, some bananas, and at least one other fruit to last us through the week. This week grapes were on sale for $1.69/lb. which is a little more than I like to pay, but I know they’ll eat through them, and it’s a healthier alternative to other snack foods!

And, just by looking around I noticed that while the Granny Smith Apples were $3.99/3 lb bag, Paula Red Apples were on sale for just $2.49. My kids thankfully like them all, so I bought the Red Apples and saved $1.50, without a coupon in sight.

 

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4. Use a coupon when you can. ;)

If you have just five minutes before shopping, scroll through the deals for your favorite store here on PPP and see if there’s a deal or two worth grabbing. I literally spent 3 minutes looking through the Kroger updates, knew that I could get a good price on Turkey Hill Ice Cream and Soft Soap, and saved an extra $5 for about three minutes of effort. I’m thinking that’s almost $100 as an hourly rate, and is totally worth it for me!

5. Menu plan, menu plan, menu plan (and make a thorough list before you shop.)

Odds are every time you set foot in the grocery store for “just one item” you find an extra three (or four or five) items to purchase. By having a menu plan and grocery list in place and really considering what your family needs for the entire week, you’ll save a bundle on those little “extra” trips to the store.

 

Be sure to look over your family’s weekly schedule before you  head out.  If you have snack duty for your child’s school, a special get together or anything else that will require extra food, add those items to the list and limit your grocery stops as much as possible. AND, before you head out always shop your own kitchen first - I realized I already had all the meat, chicken, and pasta that I would need this week at home, so I saved by using what I’d stocked up on earlier, when those items were at stock up prices!

 

 

Your turn now! Do you have any tips on how to really reduce your out of pocket expenses even when you aren’t using a ton of coupons? Coupon savings are the most fun for sure, but I’ll take spending just $66 on a week’s worth of meals whenever I can.

 

 

New to budgeting and don’t know where to begin? Here are a few posts to you get started:

 

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How To Paint A Piano

 

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How To Paint A Piano

I don’t think I’ve ever (E.V.E.R.) been so excited to see what $100 can do, and am tickled to share this week’s Friday Fluff Up project with you!  

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Back when we were first married, my mom gave my husband and me a piano, and we were so excited to have one in our home. (I grew up playing the violin and piano, and couldn’t imagine not having something to plunk on!)

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And the piano was just perfect, even though it never looked exactly the way I’d hoped.  When we added built in bookshelves in our office in our last home the piano headed to our guest bedroom, and it was fine because I just never looked at it. (But, I always knew I wanted something different ~ I just wasn’t sure how to get there!)
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When we moved into our new home in Ohio I fell in love with the floor plan, but we were stuck (again) with no home for this little piano. In a perfect world it would march on down to the basement, however our stairwell isn’t very wide, and I’m not quite sure it could make the trip down the steps all in one piece. (I have considered taking it apart to get it down there though? Still a possibility.)
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We did have this very unused dining room though, and I kept thinking that just maybe it would work there. (Remember how I furnished our dining room for $150? Yup, everything just moved right with us when we headed North, despite a little wear and tear that’s finally been fixed on the table. Yikes!)

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After looking (and looking and looking and looking) through painted piano pins on Pinterest, I finally gathered up my courage to paint that little piano and oh. my. word. I am so glad I did.

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Literally, last Thursday night I decided to tackle it at 5:30 PM (when I should have been cooking dinner), and painting was done with two coats by 7:30 PM. I added some wax this week in about 30 minutes, and my project is done!

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I love it.

 

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 After seeing this “chalk paint” (not chalkboard paint like you might think) at the cutest shop ever in Westerville Ohio (Edwin Loy Home), I decided to try out their Annie Sloan Chalk Paint.IMG_9729

As y’all know, while I’ll pinch pennies on just about everything I don’t believe in penny pinching on paint (I promise, it’s worth it!), and I’m just so pleased with the results. I bought a quart of their paint, a small can of wax to finish it with, a paint brush, and some cheese cloth to rub in the wax in with, and for less than $100 this little piano has a new happy  home.

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Success!

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So, have I lost my mind? (Maybe?) I’m still debating if the piano’s going to stay there, but as I sit at my makeshift desk typing here each day I love looking across the hall at my fun fluffed up dining room. I’d love to hear your thoughts and if you have any other suggestions on where else this fun little piece can go!

 

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I’d love for you to join me over on Pinterest (I love that place!)  If you have a blog and have done a little fluffing in your home, I’d love to see it, so leave your link in the comments section. Also, if there’s a craft you’ve seen on a website that you’re hoping to make, feel free to share that link as well (I’m always looking for new ideas!)

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See previous Friday Fluff Up projects and ideas . . . and Happy Fluffing!

 

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What’s On Your Top Ten Grocery List?

 

Earlier this week when I talked about the “secret” being in the sale, a few folks emailed an commented that they’re just not sure whether or not something really is a good price. To make life easier, you can easily download my stock up price list, but that varies some by area (and the prices are my stock up prices, after coupons which makes a huge difference!)

 

I started thinking though, that anyone can determine to learn their best prices by just putting a little time into research each week before shopping. Instead of trying to figure out a HUGE stock up price list, for the next few weeks make a list of ten things that you regularly buy – just the basics – and watch them each week in the sales ads for one month. Then you’ll at least really know on those ten staples, and next month can pick another 10 items to work with.

 

Do it for a few months, and my bet is that by Christmas you’ll have a pretty good idea of most of the best prices on items your family regularly buys!  For me, I like to know my stock up prices on a few things my family uses every day ~ here’s my top ten:

  • Milk $2.79/gallon (I’ve seen it lower at Costco)
  • Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast $1.79-$1.99/lb.
  • Ground Beef $2.49/lb.
  • Bananas $.49/lb.
  • Some kind of fruit for the week ~ Apples ($.99/lb.), Strawberries ($.99/pint), Grapes ($.99-$1.49/lb.)
  • Cereal $1-$1.50 per box (after coupons)
  • String Cheese $.20-$.25 per piece
  • Shredded Cheese $1.99/8 oz (less if there are coupon deals)
  • Peanut Butter (we eat a lot of this one here!) $1.49/16 oz
  • Paper Towels $.50 – $.75 per roll

 

Don’t forget you can also search ALL the weekly sales for stores we cover here on PPP over HERE, so if there’s something you need now you can easily find where it’s on sale. 

 

What’s your top ten list of items your family uses, and how do your prices compare? I’d love for you to leave a comment to share!

 

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New to budgeting and don’t know where to begin? Here are a few posts to you get started:

 

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No Sew Pennant Banner (Just $7)

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No Sew Pennant Banner

I loved this project so much that I made one for my in-laws a few weeks ago, and had to come home and make one for our home too! It was so. easy. to do, and I used a few tricks the second time around that I didn’t see online, so I thought I’d share a quick tutorial with you.

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I have no sewing skills, so I wanted a quick and easy way to make mine without a whole lot of extra steps. This was so simple, and in less than an hour it was completed!

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Here’s what you’ll need: 

  • Burlap (I bought 1 yard – cost was $4)
  • Sharpie Marker
  • Jute string (I had this at home, you can find it at your local craft store)
  • Stencil kit (I found mine at Hobby Lobby for $2.99)
  • iron
  • glue gun & glue sticks
  • cardboard box

 

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And here’s how you’ll make it . . .

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  1. Create a template out of a cardboard box. (This is the hardest part ~ promise.) ;)  Using a ruler, create a triangle the size that you’d like your burlap pieces. (Mine measured 6″ long by 5″ wide.)
  2. Trace your template onto the burlap with your sharpie marker – but instead of just tracing the triangle, once you’ve done one long side flip the triangle over to actually create diamonds. (See the picture in step 2 above.) This will actually create the pennant shape to hang over your ribbon.IMG_9566
  3. Once you’ve cut enough letters for whatever word you’re using, use your stencil and Sharpie marker to trace each letter onto the bottom section of each diamond shape on the burlap. Then, just use the Sharpie to fill in your letter. IMG_9573
  4. After your letters are finished, fold the burlap in half with your letter on the outside, and use an iron to iron it down into place.IMG_9572
  5. Lay your word out in order over the jute (leave extra jute at either end so you have plenty of room to hang it with.) Leave about 1 1/2″ – 2″ inch of space between each letter.IMG_9574
  6. Once your letters are in place, use your glue gun to place a thin stream of glue between the burlap and jute to hold it in place. (I didn’t get a great picture of this – above is when I flipped it over to make it reversible, but basically you’re just going to open up the triangles and put a thin strip of glue between the jute and the burlap to make your banner stay in place.)
  7. Once the glue is dry, you may want to press it out with the iron again just to make sure the pennant stays in place. You can also flip it over and stencil another word on the opposite side to make it reversible!

 

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Looking for more frugal fall decorating ideas? Click the images below to see a few of my favorites:

 

Frugal Thanksgiving Centerpiece

Be sure to stop back next Friday when I’ll reveal my big piano painting project ~ I’m so excited about this one and can’t wait to share!

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I’d love for you to join me over on Pinterest (I love that place!)  If you have a blog and have done a little fluffing in your home, I’d love to see it, so leave your link in the comments section. Also, if there’s a craft you’ve seen on a website that you’re hoping to make, feel free to share that link as well (I’m always looking for new ideas!)

 

See previous Friday Fluff Up projects and ideas . . . and Happy Fluffing!

 

 

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The Smartest Financial Decision We {Accidentally} Made

Goodness, I have been so hesitant to share this but feel like there might be someone out there who needs to read it. Please know that I grew up in a single-parent home and I COMPLETELY know that for many of you this is not an option (I don’t know how you single mommas do it all!), but I felt like it was something worth sharing. And I know that we ALL come from different financial places, but this is something that’s changed our finances and might help you out too!

 

My husband and I had a long drive back this weekend with three sleeping kiddos in the car after visiting Cedar Point for a conference, and started talking about our finances (and really, how we got from HERE to HERE.)

 

A long time ago (way back in 1996 to be exact), we decided as a young married couple that we wanted me to be able to stay at home with our kids. So, when we bought our very first little-fixer-upper house (even though I was working), we based every financial decision we made on my husband’s income alone. (I never made much more than minimum wage, so it wasn’t all that difficult a decision in some ways!)

 

In fact, when I sat down to interview for a better paying position in my first job, the interviewers asked, “Where do you see yourself in five years?”

 

Naively stupidly (at age twenty-one), I replied, “Um, I really just want to be a mom.” ;)

 

Yup, moving up the ladder to success with that position clearly wasn’t going to happen.
That very clueless comment was the truth though, and shaped the way we looked at every financial decision we were faced with. It made us purchase homes that we could afford on just one income (even while we both worked outside the home), and forced us to stay frugal when our children were small as we were determined to stick it out.

 

That’s when we learned to just live a frugal life. And how to clip coupons. And how to watch our grocery prices. And it’s when we decided that we wouldn’t live in debt other than our home.

 

Fast forward 18 (really?) years.

 

All those things I learned in those early days apparently paid off, and I’m lucky enough to write about them for a few several hundred thousand readers each month. (Can I just tell y’all that’s crazy?????) And while this blog does now earn an income (learn more about how to make money blogging HERE and HERE), we’ve chosen not to spend any of the money we make from it.

 

(We have spent a little of the income on a few specific splurges, but the bulk of it goes towards saving for our kid’s college and for giving.)

 

I wish I could give you just a taste of what it feels like to have that financial freedom after years of working towards it. It’s still so weird to know that if something unexpected comes up our finances are in decent shape (which was an incredible blessing during our recent move!), and  I wish I could just let you feel for a moment the peace that comes with that.

 

Do you know what’s the coolest thing about our decision? That one choice has given me so much freedom as a business owner. (I really don’t think of myself as a business owner, more a crazy-momma-who’s-too-excited-not-to-share-a-deal-with-you all day long? Ahem.) Our choices early on gave me the opportunity to learn this crazy blogging thing; it gave me wisdom in an area that some folks don’t really understand; and it gave me the ability not to worry about making an income while I was learning the ropes of blogging and running a business.

 

We didn’t make the decision to live on one income purposefully because we wanted an extra savings account or extra cash flow or anything. We simply decided that it’s what we wanted for our own family (and don’t feel like it’s bad at all for moms to work – it was just what we hoped for when we looked at our future!) However, in a crazy turn of life, it’s turned out to be the best financial decision we could ever make.

 

I have no idea where your family’s finances are at. I do know that we are incredibly blessed to be in this position after many years of hard work, and I know that it simply won’t work for some folks.

 

But, maybe you’re a young couple just looking at your future and trying to determine where you really want to go. Maybe you’re a mom thinking about re-entering the workforce now that your children are a wee bit older. Or maybe you’re a family that does have two incomes, and have never considered trying to live on one and allowing the second to go towards savings.

 

I encourage you to maybe consider what life would look like with just one income (if that’s even a possibility – I know it absolutely won’t work for everyone!)  Even if you have two incomes (which is fantastic if both of you love your jobs – I’m not at all against mommas working here!), consider what would happen if you continued those jobs and chose to live on just one income to allow the excess to bulk up your savings account?

 

I firmly believe that the only way we did it in those early lean years was by clipping coupons and shopping the sales ads.  Even today our grocery budget rarely exceeds $300 a month, and I talk to so  many folks who are spending two to three times that on groceries alone (almost enough to be a second income alone!)  Please understand that I know this won’t work for everyone, but as we’ve watched the peace that’s come from years of penny pinching, I guess I don’t want to miss this opportunity to tell you something that we (truly accidentally) learned along the way.

 

Your turn now? I’ll be honest, I’ve been a little afraid to share this post as I hate the thought of offending anyone, but I’m so thankful (truly, overwhelmingly thankful) for the peace that we’re finally feeling after so many years of penny pinching.  I just wanted to mention it as a possibility to consider, and would love to hear your thoughts too.

 

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How To Create A Command Center {For Free}

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As school’s back in session for the fall, I’ve been debating over what to do about creating a “command center” in our new home. I love this one (and this one and this one and this one), but the thought of using an entire wall was daunting.

 

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Because I hate clutter to be out where people can see it as well, I also wasn’t loving the idea of putting holes in the walls that I might not always want.  So last Sunday I started thinking about this little “butler pantry” area that sits right as you come in from our garage. It dawned on me that with a little work I could make what I already have useable, and not mess up a single wall! I can’t believe it didn’t dawn on me to get this project tackled sooner, and I’m so much happier with the results.

 

Success!

 

Here’s what we started with. (Don’t judge.)

 

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(I’d just cleared out the top of the cabinet to put the lightbulbs somewhere else, but then realized after de-cluttering I actually had room for them!)

 

And here’s the (free-other-than-my-time) after . . .

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My absolute favorite spot is that little area in the middle right hand corner which is for any paperwork that my husband wants to hang onto or bills he needs to keep up with. Paper clutter makes me nuts (and he’s a self-described-paper-hoarder), so this way he can keep any paperwork he wants to hang onto without fear of me throwing it away. (And I don’t have to look at it on my kitchen counters.) ;)

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Here’s what I used:

  • mason jars
  • a cookie sheet
  • burlap frame that I’d been looking for a place for
  • ribbon

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I considered ordering magnetic sheet adhesive paper or even chalkboard contact paper (like I’ve done before) because I would love for the inside of my cupboard doors to be more useful, however I wasn’t sure enough of about the reviews on these and I’m not really ready to make any major changes to our cabinets just yet. It dawned on me that I could just use an old cookie sheet that we already had in the back to hang things on, which worked perfectly!

 

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What I realized (and always seem to be reminded of), is that a lot of times I think I need lots of money to make something in our home better, when often just a little time and attention will do the trick. (Don’t believe me? See this and this.)  I’m not saying that this will be my favorite ever command center or that we’ll live with it forever (although we might!), but it is better. 

 

By just going through my house and finding a few things that I already had on hand to get things organized, I made this little area so much more useful to our family, and didn’t spend a penny. If you’ve got an area in your home that could use some tidying just to make it more useful, this weekend might just be the perfect time to get started!

 

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Here are a few more bits of our home you can also check out:

 
I’d love for you to join me over on Pinterest (I love that place!)  If you have a blog and have done a little fluffing in your home, I’d love to see it, so leave your link in the comments section. Also, if there’s a craft you’ve seen on a website that you’re hoping to make, feel free to share that link as well (I’m always looking for new ideas!)  See previous Friday Fluff Up projects and ideas . . . and Happy Fluffing!

 

 

 

 

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Fall Football Fluffing

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My friend Staci sent over pictures of what she’d done to fluff up her home for football season (any Auburn fans will feel right at home in her house), and I couldn’t wait to share them with you! Here’s what she used . . .

  • Orange Rug- HomeGoods $12.99
  • Blue Rug – TJMaxx $9.99
  • Orange placemats – Home Goods $9.99 for package of 4
  • Coasters – Michaels’s previous purchase but 19.99 and then used a 50% coupon
  • Pillow – pillow cover from Cents of Style (a few weeks ago on sale) ~ instead of buying a pillow form I bought stuffing and stuffed 4 pillows into with one bag
  • Ribbon- $5.99 at Design World and used a 50% off coupon – was able to use on wreath and am going to weave it through my Southern Living plate
  • Platter – previous gift
  • Southern Living plate with slots so that you weave any ribbon through it to change it up, and will have my daughter Kaitlynn use dry-erase markers to draw a Toomer’s tree with toilet paper in it!
  • Made a burlap wreath, and purchased the monogram for it at Doodles in Madison, Alabama (love that store!)

 

 

See how to make the burlap wreath over HERE, and let us know if you’ve done any fun fluffing up for football season! 

 
Thanks so much Staci for sharing – this made my day!  I’d love for you to join me over on Pinterest (I love that place!)  If you have a blog and have done a little fluffing in your home, I’d love to see it, so leave your link in the comments section. Also, if there’s a craft you’ve seen on a website that you’re hoping to make, feel free to share that link as well (I’m always looking for new ideas!)

 

See previous Fluff Up projects and ideas . . . and Happy Fluffing!

 

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Fun Friday Fluff Up: Updating My In-Law’s Hearth


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Oh my.

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I have been itching all week to share this Friday Fluff Up with you, because it’s just a little happy that (I think) brightened someone’s day! Last weekend we visited Western Kentucky (anyone know where Calvert City is?) to visit my in-law’s.
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As most of you know, my father-in-law became ill with West Nile Encephalitis five years ago (part of the reason that I’m here typing each day on PPP) and since then my mother-in-law Jennie hasn’t had a whole lot of time for fluffing up her home. She’s a wonderful decorator (and does a wonderful job choosing flowers and arranging them), but needless to say updating her home has been far back on her to-do list.

 

So, when we got there Saturday I told her I was in desperate need of a trip to their local Hancock Fabric in Paducah (they have a huge selection of fabric because of the annual Quilting Convention there), and when we didn’t find anything there I thought we might just need a trip to Hobby Lobby. (For my house, of course?)

 

We slowly muddled through the store, and I mentioned maybe we should look for a few items to fluff up her front door. 

 

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(It was time I think?)

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Jennie found some beautiful greenery that suited her home perfectly, and we easily tackled that updated basket. (I love what she did – so pretty and it’s just perfect for her!)

 

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Along the way somehow we decided that just maybe we should update her mantle (yes, those were their Christmas items from last year), and since fall’s right around the corner it was the perfect time to get started.

 (Before) 
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So, we went through a jillion floral stems, tried really hard to settle on something to use as a focal point, and I kept mentioning that I wanted to make a burlap banner for our home. (She informed me that she hated burlap and anything rustic – I told her that was fine, I’d be taking it home with me.) ;)

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We picked up the blue tray for the center of the mantle (her sofas – that have held up amazing well for twenty years – are that shade of blue), as well as a few fall picks and stems, and headed home.

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Once we were there we did a little hunting in their barn and attic, and I knew we were set.

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(This was Don’s grandfather’s lantern that he used in their barn in Illinois as a kid. Perfect, don’t you think?)don
So we fluffed,

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and fluffed . . .

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and fluffed a bit more . . .
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and then it was just done.

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Goodness, I am so far from a decorator that I have no clue as to whether or not this is really “right” as far as interior design goes (I might just love to see that brick painted white though?), but I do think it’s better.  Don actually decided they needed to keep the Harvest banner (I’ll be making one for our house this weekend . . .), and I think they were pretty pleased with the end result.

 

(Y’all, I had to laugh at Jennie when she told me in Hobby Lobby she really didn’t like “rustic” stuff – her entire mantle is just as rustic as they come, but it’s perfect for them and delightful for fall!) ;)

 

I don’t know what’s going on in your life now, but if you have something that’s just so overwhelming that you haven’t taken time to “fluff” things up, it might be worth spending a few hours this weekend seeing what you can do. 

 

It just makes life feel a little better ~ a little more manageable ~ and a lot more fun. ;)


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(I’ll share more directions on how to make the banner next week, but basically I followed these instructions somewhat loosely and used a sharpie marker with a letter stencil to make it. Let me know if you have any other tips!) 
I’d love for you to join me over on Pinterest (I love that place!)  If you have a blog and have done a little fluffing in your home, I’d love to see it, so leave your link in the comments section. Also, if there’s a craft you’ve seen on a website that you’re hoping to make, feel free to share that link as well (I’m always looking for new ideas!)

 

See previous Friday Fluff Up projects and ideas . . . and Happy Fluffing!

 

 

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