Painting Pumpkins (Easiest Fluff Up Ever.)

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Super duper simple fun weekend project.

 

Perfect if you’re kinda lazy like me. And even more perfect if your home doesn’t match orang-eeey pumpkin colors like mine.

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Pick your pumpkin.

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Pick some paint.

(We used crafting paint I’d picked up at  Michael’s for $1 a few weeks ago.) 

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Let your kids have at it. :)

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Done. 

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I’d love to hear what you’re crafting this week! :)

 

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By the way, did you know painting a pumpkin teals lets kids with allergies know that your home will have a candy free treat for them? I had no idea until someone shared that with me over on Instagram – we’ll have to hunt down a few treats to hang onto at our house!

Here are a few more of my favorite frugal (easy) fall decorating projects (click the images to see the posts . . . ) 

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Frugal Thanksgiving Centerpiece


 Decorate for cheap with help from The Dollar Tree! I made this seasonal centerpiece for only $6. Frugal decorating can be done!

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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$13 Goodwill Transformation: Tin Buckets

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I know I say this every week, but this is my favorite Friday Fluff Up Project.

 

For real. 

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(Okay, I really do like my $2.50 Goodwill chair too. But you get the idea.) :)

 

I was struggling with something clever to do this week, so swung by Goodwill yesterday for a little inspiration. My husband and I had a date night (woohoo!) earlier in the week and visited our local parade of homes, and while the homes were beautiful, we realized so much of it was just in the decorating.

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As we talked about it, even my penny-pinching husband agreed that we’ve always put money into our actual home ~ things like landscaping, painting, trim work, etc., because we know that’s how to sell your home for the highest price. And while that’s been a really smart way to earn equity towards newer homes, we don’t have a lot of fancy “stuff.”

 

A few of the homes wa walked through had beautiful outdoor spaces, but they were no nicer than the one my smart husband just put in. However, even he could see that there was just a difference in the “staging” – where we have a few old pieces of furniture on our patio, they had some serious money invested in furniture and decor.


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So, when I walked into Goodwill and saw a few plain old tins, I wondered if I could make them into something oh-so-slightly designer-ish on a penny-pinched budget. 

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I already had grey spray paint at home from my last project, and noticed some cute wooden signs at Michael’s that were pre-made when I swung by yesterday.

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So I snatched up those tin buckets ($13 for all three after my 10% off coupon for dropping off a donation), and headed home. My plan initially was to actually stencil some cute wording on to the bucket, but after 3 failed attempts (meaning 3 extra coats of spray paint), I decided just the wooden sign attached would do.

 

The big bucket is for our “s’more fixin’s.” I also need them to go hunt down some sticks to put in the taller tin for roasting (although honestly we’ve been using metal hangers around here!), and we’re good to go.

 

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Success! (By the way, the wreath is from Goodwill too ~ it was still in the box from Crate & Barrel and was priced at $20 ~ I paid $15 because I had a coupon for $5 off that day.) 

 

If you have a Goodwill or favorite thrift store nearby, it’s worth stepping in to see what’s in store. I absolutely love that place, and it’s amazing what you can find if you’re willing to hunt just a wee bit! I’d love to hear if you’ve found anything fun while thrifting too ~ leave a comment to share.

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Love shopping Goodwill? Here are a few more posts you might enjoy:

 

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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How To Decorate for Fall {at the Dollar Tree}

 


y’all, I have a serious thing for etched glass.

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and pretty words.

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So when I can make etched glass words with a few bargains from the Dollar Tree (and make them reversible???)

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You know I’m a happy girl. 😉

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I knew somehow I could use these Dollar Tree glass containers for something, and absolutely loved how this little project turned out. :) 

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Here’s what I used:

  • Etching Cream (one bottle will last you forever, but I think plain white crafting would probably work too!)
  • 10 glasses from the Dollar Tree
  • popping corn (on sale at Kroger this week)
  • votive candles (also from the Dollar Tree)
  • Silhouette Cameo Cutter and adhesive vinyl (if you don’t have a cutter just find stickers at your local craft store – you can do the same thing if you’re able to find a font you like!)
  • sponge brush

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And here’s what I did: 

  • Cut out vellum using Silhouette cutter (I really do love that thing – my favorite typeface right now is American Typewriter)
  • Put vellum onto glass jars (I did “boo” on one side and “give thanks” on the other so that I could use them throughout thanksgiving)

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  • Used sponge brush to paint over the glass with etching cream
  • Removed vellum
  • Added popcorn and candles. Done!

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That’s it ~ fun! Once my Silhouette was up and running it probably took less than an hour to complete, and I’m so pleased with the results. Love it!

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Looking for more ways to decorate for fall on a penny pinched budget? Here you go:

DIY Butcher Block Sign

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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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How To Decorate For Fall {On A $3 Budget}

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A few months ago I attended the Haven Conference (so inspiring!) and started following a few amazing home bloggers on Instagram

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And over the last few weeks as I’ve watched them add some incredible pictures of their homes all fluffed up for fall, I’ve felt more than a twinge of jealousy because I just didn’t think I could do what they’re doing. Especially on a penny pinched budget.

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But in all honesty, spending a bundle to fluff up my home (which is really only seen by my little family!) for just a month or two always seems a little silly to me ~ no matter how much I love beautiful spaces. I know that in a heartbeat I could easily shell out $100 (or more!) to make my home look oh-so-perfect, but I just can’t justify the expense all that often on something that feels oh-so-frivolous.

 

So I decided instead to get a little creative.

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I picked up a pumpkin at Walmart for $2.58, then took a walk through our backyard.

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I noticed this.

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And these.

 

And hunted down an old bowl and mason jar I already at home.

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I gathered up a bunch of stems and made this . . . 
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Not too shabby, right? 😉

Folks, I know good and well no designer or decorator is ever going to rant and rave about the gorgeousness of my little penny pinched project.

 

And there’s probably some floral design rule that says you shouldn’t use hydrangeas and pumpkins all in one bunch.

 

Or maybe that pulling grasses indoors are a no-no.

 

And there are a ga-jillion-million-amazing-oh-my-gracious-you’ve-got-to-see-them-pinterested homes that mine won’t measure up against.

 

But.

 

This little bunch of hydrangeas mixed with a pumpkin and some weird funky grass are just perfect for me.



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I spent a whopping $3.

 

It fits my budget, it fits my home, and it makes me happy. :)

So often we (ahem ~ I!!!) see things on Pinterest or Instagram or wherever, and think our homes (or cars, or clothes, or whatever?) need to look just like that too. But we’re all in different places financially, and what we choose to value today may not be what someone else values too.

 

If you don’t have extra moo-lah to spend on a bunch of fluffing this fall, take a walk through your garden to see what you can come up with for free. (You may be inspired by what you see there!)

You may just be surprised with what you find ~ and if you don’t have a yard to walk through, see if you can find a friend who’ll let you steal a few clippings from theirs. So much fun to create a penny pinched home ~ especially when fluffing for free!

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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 Friday Fluff Up: Gallery Wall Re-Using Old Frames

Today’s project: a gallery wall.

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It was a nightmare.

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Total cost: $8 for two cans of spray paint.

LOTS of work figuring out how to hang all those pictures and then fighting with my hammer and a box of nails. :)  The spray painting of a few old picture frames was the easy part. I love the finished results, but I’m not sure I’ll sign up to tackle this one again (it was much more of a challenge than I expected!)

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Before . . .

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After.

 

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Done!

 

 

Honestly?

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I love nice clean spaces like this one a wee bit more than having so many things going on on my walls. (I love the look of cozy rooms in magazines, but when it comes to my own home I can’t handle too much clutter!)

But.

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My heart is on this wall.

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And I love having a place for it.

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The pictures so don’t do a good job of showing how well this turned out (taking pictures in a dark basement is next to impossible for this oh-so-amateur photographer), so you’ll have to take my word for it. 😉
     
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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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My Favorite Thing To Find On Sale At Hobby Lobby

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Okie dokie ~ you folks know I love shopping Hobby Lobby. :)

 

And, while there are lots of things I love to buy there, these might just be my favorite.


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Especially when they’re on sale 50% off which doesn’t happen that often (but happens to happening through tomorrow.)

For between $6 and $12 per pillow (when they’re on sale, or with the weekly 40% off Hobby Lobby coupon), you can completely change the way your couch looks. All you do is look for their pillow covers in the fabric section, pick out your favorites, bring it home and pop it on.

How easy is that?



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Same pillow ~ new cover . . .

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before (honestly, I don’t normally keep those pillows on this couch but wanted you to see them all in one place – they’re not bad just a little loud for the room!)

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after



The middle one is actually heading down to the basement where we have a sofa that matches those colors, but I wanted to let you see what a difference a pillow cover can make before it heads down. :) I didn’t really dislike the pillow covers I had, but there were a few pillows I’ve had forever that don’t match our new house, so this is a great penny pinched way to spruce things up.

 

The pillow inserts also occasionally go on sale if you don’t have any pillows, so watch for those savings too! If you’re hoping to inexpensively freshen up the look of your home, hurry to Hobby Lobby before this sale ends tomorrow (or grab them one at a time with the Hobby Lobby 40% off coupon!) 

 

 

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Looking for more posts like this? Here you 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!)

 

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

 

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My New Office Space + Why Patience (& Choosing What You Really Value) Is So Important

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Be prepared for a long-crazy-drawn-out-chatty-post ~ I’ve got so much to say on this one and want to save it all for myself to look back on one day! :)

 

Back in late 2013 when we found out we were moving to Ohio, I was pretty shocked. After working on PPP day in and day out for 4 years at that time, we had just built the office of my dreams, and I was so in love with my little space.

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For a jillion reasons I had some serious emotions tied to our home ~ it was where we brought our youngest child home from the hospital, where all my kids headed off from on their first day of kindergarten, and where we fell in love with a community who so supported us during some very difficult days when my father-in-law was so sick.

 

And beyond that, it was where I started this little penny pinching business, and kind of found myself as a small business owner.

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my makeshift desk at one point during the move – working from the top of a Rubbermaid cooler is not the way to go! :) 

So when we found out we’d be heading to Ohio, I was almost grief stricken (which I totally didn’t expect to be.) 

 

It was so hard. 

 

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Honestly? Watching our kids struggle through the move has been the toughest thing our marriage has faced.

 

So last summer, when we made the move I cried so. many. days. (which is so-not-normal for me), but the best gift my husband gave me was to encourage me to really dream big. 

 

When he found our home here (during the 6 months I stayed in Alabama with our kids to finish out the school year), I was determined to come up with a way to get my office done while they were finishing the new construction on our home. But James kept reminding me that it would be better to wait and live in the space before making any major decisions.

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I wasn’t happy (at all.)

 

But I’m so glad now he encouraged me to just wait. 

So last summer we spent $49 on an Ikea desk, and worked there for the last year which was just tough some days. The space was tiny, the room was kind of a dark pit that just depressed me, and I spent any free time I had perusing Pinterest for design ideas. (You can follow my Pinterest office design board over HERE.)

We had a few cabinet makers come out and talk about building cabinets on one wall, but the room was just dark and dreary, and I knew cabinets wouldn’t really fix the problem.

 

So I scrolled (and scrolled and scrolled) whenever I could on Pinterest, and as my husband and I were driving one day it occurred to me that what I really needed was a window.

 

I looked at my husband and said “could we just put a window in that wall?”  He thought for a second, realized we only had siding on that side of the house, and we knew we’d figured out how to make this room into just the perfect space for me. 

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So we started taping out design ideas on the walls, and James drew up a basic plan of what we wanted. We then contacted a few local design firms as well as My Handy Mate from Columbus, and after talking to Jassen at My Handy Mate we knew he’d work with our space.

 

In May we finally really had the plan in place, and the window went in (although it ended up in the wrong spot initially – but Jassen was amazing and replaced it for us correctly without any questions asked – I appreciated his willingness to make things right so much!) His team began work on our project (despite an incredibly devastating loss of one of his employees during the build ~ my heart just broke for his family.) But they totally gave me the office I’d only dreamed about.

 

When we bought our house we planned a budget for this room and our outdoor space because we knew we’d want them done fairly quickly after moving. And honestly? I almost feel guilty working in such a beautiful space. I know there are so many folks who work day in and day out and I feel overwhelmed and humbled to have this just-so-perfect space.

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But for six years I’ve typed on PPP every single day (I do mostly take Sundays off, but still work about an hour or two on Sundays just to manage emails and Facebook.) The only real days I’ve taken fully off are Thanksgiving and Christmas each year, and when we travel on vacation my laptop always come along with us.

 

And, because we’ve always chosen to live on one income, the money from PPP doesn’t get spent except to donate and save for our kids’ college funds. We have used some of the income for a few specific projects (like this one!), but any income earned goes into a separate account that we try not to touch.

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That means that even though we both (at least for right now!) have fairly successful careers, we still clip coupons, still shop with a menu plan, still try to budget less than $85 a week for groceries for our family of 5, and still rarely eat out at more expensive restaurants. Our kids still wear some Goodwill and Schoola clothes, I still shop Goodwill as often as I can for bits and pieces of furniture, and my lovely Honda has almost 200,000 miles on it. (I LOVE THAT AND AM KINDA PROUD OF MY BEAT UP MINIVAN!) :)

 

I guess I’m sharing all this to let you know that this hasn’t come without a price. We’ve chosen that the things we love for our family are vacations, pretty spaces in our home, and giving to other folks as we’re able. We’ve decided that we don’t love expensive groceries, high end clothes or purses, and fancy cars. And for us, with a lot of work (seriously y’all – a lot) it’s been a crazy fun blessing to watch.

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Okay, enough of my rambling ~ ready to take a peek? Here we go 😉

 

Here were the before pictures . . . 

This is what it looked like last May when we moved in ~ there is a window to the right that you can’t see but that was it.

We cleaned it out and put in my Ikea desk,

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And this was where we taped out the window on the wall . . .

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I can’t believe I don’t have better before pictures – but you can see where James basically taped the vision for the room out around the initial window space in this picture. We did that last December, and basically had a room with a bunch of tape on the wall for about six months (we moved around the tape to devise our plan several time during those months!)

 

And then.

 

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This happened. 😉 

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Here’s Orville from My Handy Mate, who is the nicest guy and did amazing, awesome work every single day. He went way above and beyond (seriously, the guy worked his 12 hour days many days!) to give me the space I dreamed of.

 

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I chose butcher block for the countertop because in our last office I’d spent a ton on granite, and it was always so cold that I could never even use it to type from. In the winter here I knew I’d freeze with granite, so this butcher block was a great (and more affordable) alternative.

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I used a leftover piece from the desktop to make this wooden sign (I saved $65 by making it myself), and am so pleased with the results (just hoping I can convince my hubby to hang it up on the wall for me ~ it weighs a ton so it’s still on our to-do list.)

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I found the chaise at Home Goods for $399 (which was so exciting ~ I’d seen them for $900 elsewhere so I was thrilled at that price!) The small table and lamp are from Home Goods as well, and I think cost around $200.

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And this folks? It’s my new view. :) It’s making the thought of winter just around the corner and snowy days where I’m snuggled inside looking out just a little more exciting around here. :)

 

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If you’re in a place where your finances are overwhelming, or you’re just sad about a difficult situation, I so encourage you to truly dream. big.

(Read more HERE on how to make life more liveable during a difficult season ~ these tips truly saved me last summer!)

 

 

Back when we were first married and really pinching pennies I would never in a million years have dreamed I’d get to work every day from home in a space like this, but almost twenty years of penny pinching and lots of work choosing to wisely use our finances have so changed our family’s financial future. Be encouraged that you are learning something, today, in whatever situation you’re in which will help you reach your next financial goal, and it is so worth it. 

 

Promise.

 

Okie dokie, way more than enough of me chatting :) I’d love to your thoughts ~ leave a comment to share!

 

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And by the way, I can’t say enough good things about Jassen and his crew from My Handy Mate ~ you can see more of his work HERE and HERE, and if you’re in the Columbus area and looking for a job big or small I definitely recommend giving him a call. 
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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DIY Butcher Block Sign (Saved $65!)

DIY Butcher Block Sign

Update: see the rest of my new office where the sign is over HERE – I’m so loving this space!

I saw this sign a few weeks ago at Alter’d State (I love that store and am so glad they opened one in Columbus!) It was priced though at $75 (yikes), and I knew there had to be a way to make it for less.

 

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Well, this week when my office finally was completed (watch for pictures next week!) some of the butcher block from countertop was leftover and I knew I could make it myself. I’d wanted the sign for my office, so this was the perfect way to make good use of what we already had.

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I’ve always loved Proverbs 31, and debated between this and the phrase “Amazing Grace, How Sweet the Sound.” (I’m all about grace around here!) But since I struggle so much some days with behaving like a girl who’s clothed in strength and dignity (anyone else?), I chose this one as a daily reminder to myself.

 

I used my Silhouette Cutting machine and some left over paint, and finished it in about an hour.

 

Note to self – what looks easy NEVER is easy . . . I couldn’t believe it took that long!

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I found Silhouette Stencil Material at Michaels this morning (they had it for $9.99 – it’s a little cheaper on Amazon), but honestly I wasn’t all that impressed. It was very hard to pull away from the backing (literally, that took me 45 minutes!), and while maybe I could re-use the stencil again to make a similar pattern somewhere else it just wasn’t all that easy.

(I’ve used vinyl before on projects and it’s worked so well – I’ll use that again next time!)

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But, once that was done it was easy to paint in the stencil, and I couldn’t believe how well it turned out! I spent $9.99 for the stencil material compared to $75 at the store, and I couldn’t be more pleased. Love it!

 

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(I’m still debating furniture in my office and picked up this table and lamp today at Home Goods – that’s why the tags are still there but I’ll share the complete room next week! )

 

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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How We Saved $10,000 By Doing It Ourselvses

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You guys.

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I’m not gonna lie, saving $10,000 by doing most of this project ourselves was not. easy.

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And I’m also not going to tell you we did it all for $100.

 

Not even close. At all. Crazy.

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But, I am going to tell you that if you’re willing to put in some serious work and researching you can save a bundle by doing home projects yourself.

To make my life easier (uploading these pics separately was nuts!), here’s a video of how the actual fireplace took shape.

A few notes on the video:

  • We saved $500 by pouring the concrete foundation for the fireplace alone – it was a lot of work but took about 2 hours so we figured James and I made a $125 hour rate and a little exercise too.
  • The stone for the hearth was HEAVY. It was a miracle James & Jackson were able to move it into place!
  • The size of the original fireplace was fairly narrow, so James bought $20 in concrete block to beef it up a bit.

 

Last Spring when we moved to Ohio we knew we wanted a pretty patio to enjoy. We love being outside, and have a beautiful yard but missed the outdoor space we’d had in Alabama.

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When we moved, we budgeted immediately some moo-lah for this (backyard living spaces aren’t cheap!) and got a few estimates.

 

Because our kids are getting older (I have a sophomore. in. high. school. CRAZY.) we knew that we wanted the space pretty quickly so that we could enjoy it while our kids were still at home. We’ve always been pretty patient and usually wait several years before tackling major home projects, but since we’d budgeted for this from the day we purchased the home, we knew it was something we wanted to tackle pretty quickly.

 

One of the biggest things I struggled with when we moved is that after 18 years of marriage we’d pinch our pennies to re-do three homes to varying degrees, and I just hated to start again after feeling like our home was almost done. We really planned to stay in our Alabama home forever so the move was tough! When we looked for homes here we made sure we had money set aside for the backyard and office updates which has helped so much. I’m so glad we did because it’s made these updates much more manageable!

So, we got an estimate for the backyard last summer, including the patio, deck, landscaping and a fireplace (knowing that we would likely do some of it ourselves.)

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However, when the estimates all came in between $22,000 and $24,000 (YIKES), we knew we’d be doing quite a bit of it ourselves! Like I shared last week, we did hire someone to put in the stamped concrete patio, but tackled everything else on our own.

 

Here’s the before (remember?)

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And here’s the after . . .

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This is the view from our back porch before . . .
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And here it is today . . .

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Like I said, we still spent a bundle, but saved a ton. There were a few things that we paid more for than we probably had to, but for us they were worth it for the convenience. So, just to be honest with you all, here’s what we spent (which is still so much, but added value to our home and we already enjoy it so much!)

  • Semco Outdoor for Stone Fireplace Kit, Stone Hearth from Lang Stone, Cedar Mantel from Columbus Millwork, and fireplace stone and mortar from Reitter Stucco $6401 (looking back we probably could have done this for less by building the fireplace out of concrete block, but the kit made it much easier to build, which was worth it since it was the first time we’d tackled a project like this)
  • Patio Landscaping – $1954 (included stacked stone around the fireplace, 5 trees, plants, topsoil, mulch ~ I can’t believe this cost that much, but it went up fast!)
  • Poured concrete patio $2800 
  • Stacked stone column $165
  • Total = $11320
  • Savings from $23,000 estimate = $11680

 

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My amazing-fantastic-he-must-really-love-me-a-bunch husband has never tackled a project this large, but did just an incredible job. By working on smaller projects when we first were married he learned the ropes, and got his confidence up for this monster. I couldn’t be more pleased with it!

 

While this was a lot of work, getting what we dreamed of was completely worth it (, and we were able to decide exactly how things would end up. We still have little tweaking to do, but I’m so proud of his work (along with his awesome sidekicks – our kids Jackson and Caroline were an amazing help, and we just paid them in half price Sonic milkshakes this summer!) :)

Have you tackled any major DIY projects in your home? I’d love to hear what you’re up to!

Looking for more landscaping posts? Here are a few: 

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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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Our Backyard Makeover Part 2: Deck, Patio, and Flower Bed

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http://passionatepennypincher.com/2015/05/how-to-keep-your-flower-beds-weed-free/

 

After tackling the flower bed on the side yard, our next big goal was to get a small deck added to the back of the house and add a stamped concrete patio. As I shared last time, we did most of the work ourselves, but did hire a company to lay the stamped concrete, as that was too big a project for us to take on ourselves.

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We chose stamped concrete instead of pavers because of the long term maintenance (we didn’t want to eventually have to weed between pavers), and my husband had heard that pavers sometimes shift. Stamped concrete can be considerably less expensive than pavers, so we decided that was the best option for us. (I do absolutely love the look of pavers, but am pretty pleased with the way the patio turned out!)

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After the patio was laid, it kind of looked to me like it hovered too high above the ground and I just wasn’t sold that we’d done the right thing. My (wise!) husband assured me it was going to turn out perfectly (I so didn’t trust him!), but after adding in stone and landscaping, he was absolutely right.

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It took about two days (and a jillion trips back and forth to pick up new stone) for the kids, James and I to complete the flower bed around the patio. Once it was finished, we added landscaping (the difference landscaping made was huge!) and since James and I are both pretty addicted to landscape nurseries, we had the best time picking out the right plants. (See how we’re keeping those flower beds mostly weed free over HERE.)

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Neither of us have any real background in landscaping (other than what we’ve done as we’ve moved from  house to house to update the yard), so this was probably the biggest job we tackled. Honestly, once the bed was done planting it was easy and is one of those things that you can do yourself and feel so rewarded when you’re finished.

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I’m in love with the funky Japanese Maple we found for the center of the back, and we’ve always loved Stella D’oro Daylilies so we picked a bunch of those as well. We both thought the the lavender in bloom was so pretty (see it above), and I’m so pleased that now that the lavender’s no longer bloom those Stellas are taking over. So fun to play with pretty plantings!

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The big project (um, huge) has been that fireplace and it’s almost there. I’m so hoping we’ll have it ready next week to show you (you can keep up with updates over HERE on instagram), and while I totally think it’s worth doing things yourself, this one has been a monster project for us.
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So, there you have it! Can’t wait to show you the final reveal next week . . . so exciting! :)

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Looking for more landscaping posts? Here are a few: 

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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