Dollar Tree Easter Craft

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Note from Laurie: My friend Cheryl made this Easter craft all using items from the Dollar Tree, and I just love it as a way to fluff up for Spring!  Thank you so much Cheryl for sharing ~ it’s perfect!

 

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I saw an idea over here to use Dollar Tree items for Easter decor, and knew I had to try and make it on my own!

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Here’s what I used:

  • wreath mold
  • plastic eggs
  • spray paint
  • floral bunches
  • ribbon (any will do, I had plenty laying around)
  • moss
  • hot glue gun

 

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First I spray painted the eggs. It was a rainy day so I used a shipping box we had laying around so the spray paint didn’t get everywhere. These needed a few coats.

 

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I put the moss on the wreath mold, then glued on the mini eggs to create the wreath and glued in green moss in between the eggs.

 

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I love the way they turned out!

 

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Next, I worked on the topiaries.  Since I couldn’t find a topiary mold, I thought these vases would work out just fine.

 

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I glued on the moss and then started adding the eggs with just a little green moss in between to really pull it together.

 

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Then I snipped up the floral bunches to place around the topiaries, and for a few dollars they make great Easter centerpieces.

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So fun! 🙂

 

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Have you found any spring crafts to make this Spring? I’d love to hear what you’re making! Leave a comment to share. 

 

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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Looking for more penny pinched projects? Here you go . . .

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Simple Spray Paint Project

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You guys. 

 

Save your cans.

 

Your soup cans. And your bean cans. And your veggie cans. 

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Save them all.

 

Because.

 

Then.

 

You can do this. 🙂 

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I saw this super cute idea to spray paint tin cans over HERE, (hers our gorgeous) and while I didn’t quite follow the idea it got me thinking.

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Once the tulips have worn out, I’ll replace them with either grass seeds or herbs to use as centerpieces for Easter.

 

Gen. ius.

 

I know you’re impressed. 🙂

 

Here’s what I used:

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All I did was spray paint the cans after we’d emptied them this week when making soup (I accidentally deleted the pictures of my cans without labels – but just pull the labels off and let give them a good soak in water before painting.) 

 

Then found a small piece of ribbon that had been attached to a gift, hot glued the ends around the middle, added a few tulips and done.

 

Perfect!

 

While I was at it I remembered this fun little craft we’d made when I did MOPS with my kids years ago. 

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Use green onions cut the same length all around a can (we used a glass jar when I made them, but the can is even cheaper!)

 

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Stuff them in in rows with a rubber band around them,

 

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Cover the rubber band with some rope . . .

 

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And fill with flowers too.

 

Done!

 

 

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Now, while we’re in the kitchen I wanted to go ahead and show you that we finally updated our light fixture and I am so in love with our breakfast space finally (seriously, in love.)

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Remember this was it when we moved in? (Gosh, see the dirt backyard out there? So glad it’s gone!)

 

And here it is now . . .
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The fixture is from Lowe’s and is fits the room so much better than our last one, although I’ve got to see if my husband  hung onto the chain because it’s a little too high.

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We’ve got family coming in for Easter (I’m so excited!), and have been working to really save the last few months to finish up a few projects in our home before they get here. 

 

I’d so rather save on my groceries and small decorations (no reason to ever pay for vases now!), so we can save for the “bigger” ticket items we’re really dreaming of. And remember, we’ve been at this penny pinching for almost twenty years ~ our years of living frugally have been so worth it!

 

Have you found any spring crafts to make this Spring? I’d love to hear what you’re making! Leave a comment to share. 

 

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!)

 

Looking for more penny pinched projects? Here you go . . .

 

 

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Painted Pinecones

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Note from Laurie: My friend Cheryl made this amazing craft with her daughter, and I’m so-so-so in love with it! I also love that this is a great craft to do with your kids (and now I can’t wait to try it with my girls.) Thank you so much Cheryl for sharing ~ it’s perfect!

 

I fell in love with this idea when I saw it HERE and knew we had to try it!  

 

I showed my 9 year old daughter and she couldn’t wait to get started.  We had the best time finding pinecones … and choosing colors … and painting … and talking.  I just love the way they turned out and how they bring a little spring to our cold February days.

 

Bonus? Easter centerpiece is done. 🙂

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First I found the perfect bowl in Hobby Lobby’s 80% off section.

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Then gathered up the rest of my supplies.

Supplies:

  • Pinecones
  • Paints (we used acrylics but any paint will do)
  • Paintbrush

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I used bunched up paper towels in the bottom of the bowl to help the pinecones sit up right.

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And we added our extra pine cones in a clear glass bowl.

 

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Done!

 

Have you found any spring crafts to make this Spring? I’d love to hear what you’re making! Leave a comment to share. 

 

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!)

Looking for more penny pinched projects? Here you go . . .

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{Healthy} Valentine Robots

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Super fun (easy!) Valentine treat! I loved this idea when I saw it over HERE and tweaked it with what we had on hand.

 

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Grab these supplies: 

  • fruit cups (applesauce are best but I ran out when I took the picture)
  • ribbon
  • raisins
  • juice boxes
  • valentine stickers
  • hot glue gone

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And make these . . .  (my 8 year old did the faces herself ~ I thought she did a great job!) 🙂

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Done! 🙂 
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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!)

Looking for more penny pinched projects? Here you go . . .

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Dollar Tree Valentine Project

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Looking for an easy Valentine’s craft to tackle with your kids? We loved this one!

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We don’t have tons (ummm . . . any?) decorations for holidays really besides Christmas, so this was an inexpensive quick centerpiece that took less than an hour and brightened things up at our house in the middle of winter.

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I’d seen several cute ideas over on Pinterest for mason jar Valentine treats, and knew this would be an easy one to tackle ~ love that!

Here’s what we used: 

  • mason jars ($1 at Dollar Tree)
  • spray paint (I had blue and white spray paint at home, picked up the pink at Michael’s with a 40% off coupon)
  • heart stickers (found those at Michael’s as well, could also make them using a Silhouette or Cricut cutter if you have one, and I noticed heart stickers at the Dollar Tree as well!)
  • ribbon

 

 

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Have your kids make “valentine” designs on the front. (Honestly? I wanted just plain hearts on all but they wanted hearts everywhere. I didn’t have the heart ~ ahem 🙂  ~ to tell them they wouldn’t look quite as pretty, but for a dollar it was worth letting them choose!)

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After sticking on the hearts just spray the mason jars . . .

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Then peel the hearts off once the spray paint is dry.

 

We used styrofoam stickers which were a little difficult to remove ~ if you can find vellum stickers it should go a little more smoothly.

 

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Like I said, the ones they did weren’t perfectly Pinterested, but they had fun for $1!

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And, if you’re smart like me you know you can just turn them around and add some flowers ($3.99, courtesy of Aldi. . . ) 🙂

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I also found this cute little tag from my crafting stash to add on to our lamp jar from last week  . . . 

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All done! 

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Looking for more penny pinched projects? Here you go . . .

 

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Foyer Lighting Updates (And 3 Options When You Think You’ve Messed It Up.)

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You know how sometimes you do something in your home and love it, and know-right-then-and-there-it’s-perfect, and other times you just don’t?

 

Yup, I’m there right now.

 

After almost finishing our foyer last week, I was itching to have it done. 

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I had some free credit at Amazon courtesy of Ibotta (y’all, I love Ibotta), so when I came across these star pendant lights I decided they would fix up those lighting fixtures perfectly.

 

So I ordered.

 

Over the last twenty years we’ve slowly updated four homes (this house really was beautiful when we moved in, just kind of plain and builder grade.)

 

And in all those years of home updates, only once (maybe twice), have I splurged and gotten exactly what I wanted. 

 

I’m not so sure today was that day.

 

love what my husband did on the walls in the foyer by adding trim work.

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I am in love with my $3 updated blue front door.

 

And I even love the small blue table I found at Home Goods.

 

But.

 

I’m a little on the fence about these lights.

 

I found the ones I wanted over here and decided these at Amazon would work even though the color and weight of the fixture wasn’t quite right. (Although in all honesty I expect them to be more chrome/pewter color which would match the other fixtures in our home better from the pic ~ however I should have seen “rubbed bronze” and know that wasn’t chrome. I’m really no decorator though and hardly ever take time to read fine print ~ oops.)

 

After looking at light fixtures I know they cost a ton (seriously, a LOT), and I easily could have spent several hundred dollars per fixture, which just isn’t in our budget right now. 

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So now I’m left with three options:

  1. Get rid of them (eek.)
  2. Love them for now.
  3. Love them for now and get courageous one day to spray paint them chrome to more fit the rest of our home.

Getting rid of them is not going to happen. (My husband might get rid of me. ahem.)

 

So I’m going with option 2 for now, and may opt for option 3 later.

 

(My super smart decorator friend also recommended adding a little more black throughout the space. I’m going to start looking!)

 

My sweet friend Mara reminded me though this morning of Young House Love’s amazing foyer update, and made me feel like the black (rubbed bronze?) may not be all bad? (But, why-oh-why though did our builder place three light fixtures in such a small area ~ goodness that’s half the problem because three of any fixture is a bundle! Similar ones cost $455 A PIECE. YIKES.)

 

And y’all.

 

For real.

 

I didn’t get exactly the lights I’ve always dreamed of.

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But I have a crazy beautiful space to call home each day, a husband who loves me, and three pretty fun kids most of the time.

 

I am crazy-amazingly-blessed-overwhelmingly-so-much-that-it-really-does-hurt-some-days.

 

These lights are just fine, and so much better than what we started out with ~ don’t you think?

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Now, if you’re doing a major re-modeling and have money to spend, I really encourage you to have a little more patience than I showed today and wait for what you really want.

 

But sometimes (I think?), settling for something that’s second best really can be okay, and it might just grow on you.

 

And if not, there’s always a can of spray paint, right? 🙂 

 

***However. Do NOT be like me and always in so much of a hurry that you pick the only think you can find. I searched and searched Amazon for “star pendant lights” and found very few, which is why I ended up with these. Had I done a little more research I would have learned the correct name for these is “Moravian pendant lights” and I would have had dozens of other options which were a little more pricey, but I could have held out for. (Who knew?) Patience and taking time to really research things has never been my strong suit (clearly), but maybe I can at least encourage you!***

 

 

If you’d like to see more pictures of our home as we’ve been updating it, here you go . . .

 

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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What $3 & A Little Courage Can Do

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See updated pics after new light fixtures over HERE.


I’m so excited about a tiny fluffin’ I did this week in about 30 minutes (that only cost $3!) 

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(with new light fixtures – I’m still on the fence about these!)

As I shared a few weeks ago my husband’s been adding oodles of trimwork in our foyer (it’s not quite finished yet ~ more painting to do while we’re still doing it ourselves to save $2000.)

This week though I finally got up my courage though to paint our front door after seeing a few ideas on Pinterest that I just loved.

 

The foyer has kind of been an area that I’ve just been so unhappy with since moving (even after the trim work, which I know is so weird?) But just $3 of paint (I used a sample from Menard’s that they mixed up for me), and 30 minutes of work had it done.

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Success! 

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I really wanted to share all the updates after we had the new light fixtures and painting completed, but I’m just so excited and couldn’t wait. (Check out the light fixtures I got over HERE ~ I’m a little nervous about them but going for this look . . . we’ll see.)

 

I COULD NOT BELIEVE that 7 ounces of paint would make that much difference, but good gravy, it did. 

 

 

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I also just moved things around in our home a bit. Although I’ve loved the picture of the horses that hung in our foyer, for some reason it never felt just right. I swapped it out with the teal-medallion-thingy from our breakfast nook, and I’m so much happier (and really like the horse picture in the breakfast room so much more too!)

 

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(See more pictures of our breakfast room HERE – it’s amazing what such a small change can make! Still dreaming of a new light fixture one day but for now this one works.) 

If your home needs a little fluffing, you don’t need to spend a bundle. Look at inexpensive ways to make an update (paint helps so much), shop your own home, and just give your home a good look-around with a fresh set of eyes.

 

And, HAVE COURAGE. 

 

I almost talked myself out of this one, until it dawned on me that it was only paint. If it turned out horribly I could easily re-paint it white ~ so I really only had $3 and 30 more minutes to lose!

 

So worth it. 

 

If you have a project that you’ve been fearful of, maybe decide to tackle it this weekend. 🙂 You might just be glad you did! 

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Okay ~ here’s a bit of how the progress has gone in the foyer . . .  ffu9

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hanging trim at ceiling and chair rail

 

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that boy is going to make a great husband one day 🙂 
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 trim work starting up the stairs
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trim panels added inside and painted
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you can see there are still a few spots where we’re going to need to touch up paint, and everything white still needs one more coat, but we’re closer!



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If you’d like to see more pictures of our home as we’ve been updating it, here you go . . .

 

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 Best Calendar Ever (And My Crazy Ridiculous Desk.)

 

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It’s time to switch out those calendars again!  I *just* got my new 2017 Seize the Year Calendar put up in its frame (~ so excited! ~)  Plus if you use this link you’ll get 10% OFF these amazing calendars!

Y’all may think I’m a dork, but I am so stinkin’ excited about this little addition to my office! I am the world’s worst calendar keeper (really, SO. BAD.), but so far I’m thinking this thing’s actually going to work.

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A few weeks ago I saw Jon Acuff mention his amazing calendar, and thought I should at least check it out. Because it was pricey ($24~ yikes?) and so big, I really hesitated.

 

But goodness, I might just be hooked. 

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The only problem was that it was so big, and not especially pretty, so I struggled with how to make it fit my cute office. (Folks, I’ve waited a long time for this pretty office, so putting up something ugly just wasn’t going to work!)

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But then it dawned on me that Hobby Lobby might have a poster size frame that wasn’t so ugly, and having glass on it would make it easily dry-erase-able. Here’s one that’s very similar to mine!

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I love that. 

 

The giant poster frame wasn’t quite big enough, but I was able to shave off a tiny bit on the side and it works just fine.

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What I’m loving so far is that I can easily scribble on notes that I don’t need all year and have everything in one place, and I can see the whole year at once. 

 

It’s lovely. 🙂

 

If you’re looking for a fantastic calendar to keep everything in one spot for the year, I’d highly recommend this one! 

NOTE: NeuYear’s site is selling out of these calendars like crazy so here’s the slightly-more-expensive link to get them on Amazon as well!

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And now, on to my ridiculous (seriously, ridiculous) last purchase from 2015. 

 

I’ve heard for awhile crazy reviews on these amazing standing desks, which I was so curious about since I sit at the computer way too much of the day. My posture is awful (I work hard to sit up straight, but it’s so easy to slouch!) so I finally decided to try this crazy Varidesk out. 

 

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Guys, this baby’s a monster. 

 

I’m really not sure if I’m going to keep it or not, but I’ve only had it two days so am giving myself a week to really make a good decision.

 

It is SO NICE to work on (really, super hefty, handles my big computer, pops up and down easily, and really is just amazing.) But I hate that it kinda messes up my cute little space. 🙂

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So, the verdict’s still out on this one.

 

If I was at a regular desk and didn’t have this amazing view I’m pretty sure it would be my favorite purchase ever, but the jury’s still out. (And it’s so heavy that it would be really hard to move, so just moving it when not in use really won’t work!)

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I know I should be completely practical and do what’s best for my back and neck, but y’all, I just like a pretty room. And covering up that window just makes me a wee bit sad! 🙂 

 

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(office space before the desk. See? perfection.)

Anyone have any thoughts or suggestions? I’d sure love to hear what you think (I’m debating asking my husband to build me something similar out of pretty wood. Not sure he’ll likely go for it, but worth a shot!) 🙂

 

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(this was that some office space when we moved in 18 months ago. wow.)

Curious how we designed this office space? Go HERE to check out the before and after pics (I really do just love this space and feel so thankful each day for it!) Leave a comment to share any ideas on the desk (or other calendar tips ~ I’d love to hear!)

 

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 Get Rid Of Stinky Mildew Smells: Just 2 Ingredients

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My husband asked for bath towels for Christmas. 

 

What man in his right mind ever asks for bath towels as a Christmas gift? 

 

Ummmmm . . . the one who has a house full of stinky-slightly-mildew-smelling towels. 

 

Bleck.

 

Because I’m a recovering leave-it-in-the-washer-way-too-long-before-swapping-to-the-dryer-user, a few of our towels (ahem, all of our towels?) had gotten taken over by a slightly stinky mildew smell. Add in a new HE washer (which I love, but doesn’t use as much water so those things get stinky faster), and it was just bad.

 

But, many of our towels were in decent shape, and the thought of just throwing them out nearly killed me, so I did some research and found this way to get rid of stinky mildew smells, and it worked. 

 

Here’s what I did:

  • Added towels to washing machine along with 1 cup of vinegar in my detergent dispenser. (I actually used 1 1/2 cups because my washer’s huge ~ if you have a large capacity machine I’d recommend using 1 1/2 cups as well.)
  • Did NOT use any laundry detergent, just washed on hot for one cycle.
  • Then added 1/2 cup baking soda to the load and washed again on hot cycle.
  • Dried as usual
  • Voila!

 

Even the stinky dish towels we have (which are the worst) came out smelling fresh and clean ~ I was shocked. 

 

I’ve heard before that certain dish soaps tend to make dish towels smell stinkier faster (I’ve even read that my favorite Dawn could be the culprit?) and am trying to find a better alternative, but in the mean time this helps.

 

I’d love to hear your tips on getting rid of stinky mildew smells if you’ve struggled with this one too ~ I definitely think moving things over from the washer quickly to the dryer helps, but I’m up for any extra suggestions too (so my poor husband can get better gifts for Christmas!) 🙂 

 

Looking for more penny pinched cleaning ideas? Here are my favorites:

 

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3 Dollar Tree {non-Pinterested} Gifts to Give

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If you’re like me you may have teachers or school bus drivers or UPS workers (~ahem~) who you’d love to give a small thank you to at Christmas but don’t want to bust your budget. And while we typically give gift cards to my children’s teachers, my kids love having a gift  to actually hand them, so of course I always head to the Dollar Tree.

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FYI, the Dollar Tree doesn’t pay me to write these posts, but they should. 🙂 I just really do love them!

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If you’re looking for an inexpensive way though to “fluff up” a gift card or just a simple way to say thank you, here are three easy, not-at-all-pinterested gifts you can give that look a little bit nicer than a Dollar Tree gift. Here we go  . . .

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Dollar Tree Mug with ribbon, hot chocolate, candy and ornament ~ total cost $3

  • Mug – $1
  • Andes Mints – $1
  • Ornaments 2/$1
  • Swiss Miss Hot chocolate packs 6 packs/$1 (probably could get these a little cheaper at your local grocery store with a sale)

IMG_3880Or, Dollar Tree Mug with ribbon, hot chocolate, peppermints and ornament ~ total cost $3

  • Mug – $1
  • Peppermint sticks – $1
  • Ornaments 2/$1
  • Swiss Miss Hot chocolate packs 6 packs/$1 (probably could get these a little cheaper at your local grocery store with a sale)

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Super cute Christmas tins – $1, fill with homemade treats

 

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Reindeer Candy Containers – $1, fill with red & green M&Ms and attach a gift card if you’d like

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Looking for more Christmas fun at the Dollar Tree? 

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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!

 

Interact with 353K+ Penny Pinchers on Facebook and Twitter or Subscribe to Passionate Penny Pincher by email to keep up with all the penny pinchin’ deals!

 

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Friday Fluff Up: Christmas Decorating at the Dollar Tree

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Quickest Friday Fluff Up ever. 

 

Ready?

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I bought these . . .

  • Dollar Tree glass candle holders & candles
  • Dollar Tree ornaments
  • Dollar Tree peppermints and candy cane sticks
  • Ribbon from Michael’s (look for their adhesive trim for $1 in their $1.50 bins)
  • Lots of glue sticks

 

And did this . . .

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More Dollar Tree ideas coming next week! 🙂 

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Looking for more Christmas fun at the Dollar Tree? 

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

 

Interact with 353K+ Penny Pinchers on Facebook and Twitter or Subscribe to Passionate Penny Pincher by email to keep up with all the penny pinchin’ deals!
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$7 No Sew Burlap Table Runner

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Remember how we bought this gigantic table not too long ago for our breakfast roomWell the sucker is big, and finding a table runner long enough to cover it without spending a fortune just wasn’t happening.

 

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So when I saw this DIY Easy No Sew Burlap Table Runner post over at On Sutton Place I knew I had to try it out.

 

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I grabbed the burlap at Michael’s using a 40% off coupon (making my cost $7), read through her instructions, and headed outside to work.

 

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(I mean really, when it looks like this outside, why would you ever work inside?) 🙂 

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15 minutes later (and a good shaking to get rid of all the burlap shedding) it was done ~ success!

 

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Have you made any fun burlap projects lately? I’d love to hear what you’ve made – leave a comment to share! Here are a few more projects you may want to try . . .

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$7 Reversible No Sew Penant Banner

 

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How to Make Burlap Garland (on a Penny Pinched Budget) 

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$15 Burlap Wreath 

$5 Burlap Monogram

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$5 Monogrammed Burlap Table Runner 

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

 

Interact with 312,000+ Penny Pinchers on Facebook and Twitter or Subscribe to Passionate Penny Pincher by email to keep up with all the penny pinchin’ deals!

 

 

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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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Our Backyard Makeover Part One (& 5 Reasons Why You Should Do It Yourself)

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I have been waiting and waiting and waiting to share some backyard updates with you all, and we’re finally getting close to the finished results! 

Last summer when we moved from Alabama to Ohio, we were so unprepared for the state of our yard. In Alabama folks live outside just about year round, and we’d spent ten years fluffing up our backyard until it was one of our favorite spots.

(Our Alabama backyard – see more pictures HERE. We loved that yard!)

So when we moved to a new home in Ohio we were shocked at the lack of landscaping (goodness, we had no grass!) for our first summer. For a jillion reasons we were unable to get sod or any kind of green stuff in our yard all summer long. We moved to Ohio in May, and here’s a peek of what our yard still looked like in August.

Crazy.

(In Alabama this would have been unheard of ~ to say it was a long summer for our 3 kids with nowhere to play outside is an understatement!)

But we learned a few things (isn’t there always something to learn?) Many nights we’d head outside, walk around our rocky yard (it was so rocky that you could hardly walk without wearing hiking boots) 🙂 and imagine what we wanted for our yard.

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(this is that same yard in the above picture one year later after grass and we added stone – amazing what a year will do!)

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We slowly started picking up all the rocks that were in the yard (because we knew the landscapers who were handling the sod wouldn’t take care to remove smaller rocks), and ended up with a huge pile of stone that we could work with. Not knowing what to do with all that stone, we decided to slowly create a bed around one of our first flower beds. We didn’t spend a penny (other than our labor), and while it doesn’t look at all like many of the beautiful stone borders I’ve seen, it does look much better than nothing at all (and it was free! I love free . . . ) 

 

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Here’s the view from our breakfast room the day our sod was finally delivered – such a glorious day (no joke!) 😉 

 

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Since last summer we’ve gotten grass (WOOHOO!) and all of our flowers have started to fill in. While we’ve paid folks to have some of the work done we’ve done a bunch of it ourselves, and I’ll be sharing what we’ve finished over the next few weeks.


So what’s the value in doing it yourself? Here’s what we’ve learned (after nineteen years of oodles of DIY’ing . . . )
  1. We care about our own home more than anyone else. While we choose sometimes to pay people for certain projects in our home, no one cares about our home like we do, which means we can give ourselves the very best finished product!
  2. It’s often hard to find good help, and if you’re impatient (like me) waiting for them to get something done can make you crazy. While there are projects that we’d love to pay people for, the fact that I can decide to paint a room, head to my home supply store, purchase what I need, and come home and paint it myself all in a few hours is much more appealing than waiting for a contractor to do the work for me. So, while it may take me some time to do, I’m more than happy to work on it because I’m in control of each project’s time frame!
  3. It’s great exercise. Working in our yard has always been one of my husband’s favorite things to do, because he loves getting the exercise and just being outside. If he paid someone else to do it he wouldn’t enjoy those benefits (and isn’t someone who naturally loves to exercise), so this is an added (free!) bonus.
  4. Doing it yourself gives you a fantastic sense of accomplishment. It’s fun to have a project completely in your home, but it’s so much more fun when you can say you learned how to do something new all by yourself. I’m lucky enough to be married to someone who’s willing to learn how to do just about anything (and frugal enough not to pay people all that often), but we started out just like everyone else and have learned so much along the way.
  5. You will add a ton of value to your home when you do things yourself. The first two homes we purchased were huge fixer uppers, however we spent very little to update them because we did just about all the work ourselves. Doing things ourselves in those early years helped us put basically free equity in our homes, and has increased the value of our home each time we’ve moved.

 

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Here are the basic projects we’ve been working on in our yard (I’ll show the steps over the next few weeks):

  1. Getting grass (this was included in the purchase of our home but didn’t actually happen until almost four months after we moved in. Crazy!)
  2. Stamped concrete patio (we paid someone to do this because it was too big a project for my husband and I to do. I’ll update with pictures next soon.)
  3. Build a small deck off the breakfast room so that we could keep our grill at the top of the steps so we could easily grill outside in the winter time.
  4. Create a flower bed using stone around the patio.
  5. Build a stone fireplace (this is a huge project to tackle, but my husband’s doing an incredible job and we’re saving almost $10,000 by doing it ourselves!)

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Stop back next week to see more updates (above is just a peek), and follow me on Instagram if you’d like to sneak peeks as the work progresses. Such fun!

 

 
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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Guest Bedroom Update Part #3: The Finished Room

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See part one and part two.

 

I am so stinkin’ excited to finally share some updates of our guest bedroom with you! Remember a few weeks ago when I shared how I used homemade chalk paint to repaint a $48 Goodwill headboard? Well I also used it to update the furniture in the bedroom, and painted the room as well.

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The guest bedroom is a small room in our basement with just one small window (which actually leads out to a window well so there isn’t much light in that room.) I’ve never painted anything grey in my life (and really have never been a big fan of grey?), but after seeing it more and more often in rooms as I’ve scrolled through Pinterest, I decided this was my chance.  Here’s a peek at the before and after . . .

Before

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Here’s how I did it on a (mostly) penny pinched budget . . .

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1. Re-used lamps from our dining room by re-painting them white. (Perfect as I recently replaced them with Goodwill lamps that were spray painted as well.)

Cost = $16 for 2 new shades at the Ballard Design Outlet in Cincinnati 

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2. Added curtain panels to window and tied them back using hidden clothespins.

Cost = $14.99 for curtains and $19.99 for rod set at TJMaxx

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 3. Added a chair and mirror from other rooms in our house that were no longer being used. The chair had been painted black and the mirror was off white, so I just repainted them to match.

Cost = $0 (I already had the paint on hand)

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 4. Added a simple wooden set of hooks for hanging clothes.

Cost = $0 (I picked these up years ago from my the basement of my in-law’s home because they were no longer in use – love that!)

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5. Re-painted these super cute nightstands in grey.

Cost = $10

These nightstands are my favorite garage sale deal ever. About nine years ago my neighbors were selling them – both he and she had made them in shop class in high school but they didn’t match (I think one was oak and one was maple.) I paid $10 for them and have repainted them three times depending on the room they’re in!

 

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6. Updated these old wall hangings with a little fresh paint.

Cost = $0

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 7. Repainted a Goodwill headboard with chalk paint.

Cost = $48 for the headboard, $.50 for the chalk paint by using a mismatched sample in the bargain bin

8. Repainted the bedroom

Cost = $38 for paint

I used the higher grade paint at Home Depot because it goes on easily with one coat – so worth it for me to save time and extra paint!

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9. Bought new bedding at TJMaxx.

Cost = $129

This was by far the biggest expense in the room. I just didn’t see any thing else that I loved, and I love the way fresh white bedding looks in a guest bedroom. Since everything else was pretty penny pinched, this was a worthwhile splurge!

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The total cost of the update came in at $217.98, and I do wish I’d looked a little harder for less expensive bedding (but I really do love how this looks in that space!  The only thing I didn’t consider before updating the room was the color of the carpet (eek!)

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Honestly, until I saw it in these pictures I never even noticed it was so beige (it looks pretty neutral normally, and I just didn’t pay attention to it at all!) It does show up a bit more in the pictures, but I’m still pretty pleased with the results.

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I really do love the grey though, and it was a great way to try out a new color in a safe spot that could be different than the rest of the house.

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So there you have it! Do you have any other suggestions on how to update a room on a budget? I’d love to hear your ideas – leave a comment to share! (And feel free to share your updated pictures on the PPP Facebook page – I’d love to see what you’re up to!)

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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Guest Bedroom Update Part 2: Spray Painted Wall Art

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See part one HERE.

This week has been crazy.

 

Crazy, folks.

 

I had big plans of sharing all the pictures of our updated guest bedroom, but with a quick night of family in town, three kids going different directions (or almost worst, just staying home some days . . . ), I didn’t get time to take pictures to really give you a peek of the finished results. 

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(Our basement bedroom is DARK, so to get decent pictures I have to be there right when the light comes through the window, which is only for an hour or two each day!)

 

So, here’s a peek of one more finished project I tackled in there. We had these wood hanging art pieces (if that’s what you call them?) in our old foyer, and even though they didn’t match our in our new home, I hated to just get rid of them.

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Here they are hanging in the hallway when the kids made a yarn obstacle course a few years ago – can’t believe I don’t have any other pics of our old foyer!

 

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I sprayed on a little spray paint, and witha few coats they work perfectly in our guest bedroom!

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Next week I’ll share the whole room (surely things will settle down around here . . . ) but in the meantime don’t miss how I updated this $48 Goodwill sleigh bed. I just love this little space!

 

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Love decorating but don’t want to spend too much? Don’t miss my favorite 7 Stores to Shop when Decorating on a Budget. 

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Looking for penny pinched projects? Here are a few of my favorites . . .

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 Make Homemade Chalk Paint + Our $48 Goodwill Sleigh Bed

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See the finished guest bedroom pictures over HERE.

Have I told you lately I love me some thrifting? 

 

Good gracious, I do.

 

A few weeks ago I went to Goodwill with my daughter and was so proud that I managed to make it out the door without a single thing.

 

Until.

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I glanced out of the corner of my eye and saw a sleigh bed headboard and footboard for $48.

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Forty. Eight. Dollars.

 

***Did you hear me?***

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(Guest bedroom before – yikes! I bought that comforter in a pinch before we sold our last house because I just needed something, but have absolutely hated it from the minute I bought it. Bleck!)

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Needless to say I made a beeline for a tape measure to see if it would fit the queen bed that we have in our guest bedroom. And sure enough, it did.

 

WOOHOOO!

 

It’s only a few years old (I found a sticker with a 2009 date on it underneath), but was pretty seriously beat up. While I would love to have kept it stained, there were a few parts in it in horrible shape and it would have taken a lot of work to refinish, so I decided to try making my own chalk paint.

 

Now, I’ve shared before how I’ve purchased Annie Sloan Chalk Paint for projects (check out this one too), however that stuff is not cheap (about $34 per quart + the wax you’ll need to have), so my daughter and I made a trip to Home Depot to see what we could find.

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As luck would have it, my oh-so-wise-she’s-her-momma’s-favorite-this-week- girl found a mismatched paint sample for 50¢ that was exactly the color I was hoping to use. So for a whopping 50¢, I had everything I needed to tackle the job.

 

Success!

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Here’s what we used:

  • 1/3 cup plaster of Paris (found in the paint department – we had some in our paint supplies but it costs around $5)
  • 1/3 cup cool water
  • 1 cup latex paint
  • paste wax (you can also find this in the paint department – I had some left over from my last chalk paint project so I just used that)
  • stir sticks
  • measuring cups (don’t use them again for food – we measured everything out in paper cups to not ruin our measuring cups!)
  • plastic bucket for mixing

 

How to Make Chalk Paint (find more detailed instructions here)

  • Mix together 1/3 cup cool water and 1/3 cup plaster of Paris in small bucket
  • Add in 1 cup latex paint and stir completely.
  • After paint has dried on your project, rub paste wax into wood to finish the project

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I spent all weekend painting last week, and have a whole new room to show for it now. I’ll share the complete room with you next week (every single thing in it is thrifted except the bedding), so be sure to stop back by!

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See the entire room updates over HERE!

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Looking for more projects like this one? Here are a few of my favorites . . . 

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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Dollar Tree Spelling Practice Board (Perfect For Summer Traveling)

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Traveling this summer? This is an easy project you can make for the road (or even just for home) for just $3 at the Dollar Tree.
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Here’s what I used:

  • Cookie Sheet – 2/$1 at the Dollar Tree
  • Leftover scrapbook paper
  • Modge podge (I love that stuff!)
  • Magnetic clips – $1 at the Dollar Tree
  • Alphabet letters – $1 at the Dollar Tree

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All I did was modge podge the scrapbook paper onto the cookie sheet (you could easily leave yours plain if you wanted to.) 

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Then I added the clips and checked out the 3rd grade spelling word list for my daughter to work on this summer, and she can practice next year’s words ahead of time!

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Easy peasy. Love that. Hope you’re enjoying summer as much as I am!

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Looking for ways to save while you travel? Here you go!
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 Ultimate Roundup Of Summer Bucket List Ideas

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Goodness, I’m so stinkin’ excited that summer is here! This morning for the very first time in fifteen years, on the first day school was out all three of my children slept until 7:30.

 

Pretty sure this means I’ve officially arrived. 🙂

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We made a homemade waffle bar, and they’re already off getting things together for a trip this weekend. For you moms of little tiny kids, I promise you kind of get control back one day . . . it just may take a few years! 🙂

 

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Last night when we were talking about summer, my girls helped me put together our Summer Bucket List (see the one my son helped me come up with a few years ago over here.) We can’t wait to start enjoying some traveling, hanging out at home, and exploring Ohio a bit this year!

 

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Here are a few of the ideas they came up with . . . 

  • Re do bedroom (meaning move furniture around)
  • Do an act of kindness
  • Play Scrabble
  • Catch fireflies
  • Make cakepops
  • Facepaint
  • Get nails done
  • Make a stage
  • Make giant bubbles
  • Play Twister
  • Volunteer
  • Make smores
  • Try to get a world record
  • Have a picnic

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We found so many great (penny pinched!) ideas while scrolling around Pinterest, I thought it would be fun to do a big roundup of Summer Bucket List ideas so you can get started too! Here you go . . .

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Ummmm . . . practicing our spelling might just be on our bucket list too, but I love that they did their list all by themselves!

 

Summer Bucket List Ideas

 

Toddler Summer Bucket List Ideas

1. The Tailored Mama Summer Bucket List for Toddlers

2. More Fun Mom Toddlers Bucket List of Day Trips

3. A Mouse In My Kitchen Toddler’s Summer Bucket List & Free Printable

Preschooler Summer Bucket List Ideas

4. Mary Martha Mama Summer Bucket List Preschool Edition

5. Camp PBS Summer Bucket List 

6. Crafts On Sea Summer Bucket List for Preschoolers

Elementary Aged Summer Bucket List Ideas

7. Creative Family Fun 100 Ideas for Your Summer Bucket List

8. The Pinning Mama 50 Ideas & Activities for Kids & Families

9. Digital Mom Blog 50 Summer Ideas for Kids

Teenage Summer Bucket List Ideas

10. Evan Nickel Summer Bucket List for Teens

11. Sugar Beans Teen Summer Bucket List

12. Parenting Teens 101 Fun Things for Teens to Do This  Summer

Family Bucket List Ideas

13. Keeper of the Home Backyard Bucket List

14. No Time For Flashcards Summer Reading Bucket List (love these ideas!)

15. Summer Bucket List Bingo

16. 101 Almost Free Things To Do With Kids This Summer

 

Have you made your summer bucket list yet for the summer? I’d love to hear what fun ideas are on your list this year ~ leave a comment 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 more previous Friday Fluff Up projects and ideas . . . and Happy Fluffing!

 

 

 

 

 

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How To Keep Your Flower Beds Weed Free

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Mulching any flower beds this weekend? Here’s an easy trick to help keep out weeds, that won’t likely cost you a penny.

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Before mulching, weed your flowerbed by hand. Then lay down leftover newspaper (that you’ve gotten from all your coupon clipping) over any areas where you don’t want weeds to creep in.

Thanks to all of you who had great suggestions with alternatives to chemicals to get rid of weeds.  Try out this way to kill off weeds using vinegar – I’ve tried it before and it hasn’t worked for me, but I’m all for trying again. I’ll see if I can find any other homemade weed killer recipes, and update you all on how they go!

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Cover the newspaper with mulch.

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(Because this was a new bed for us we didn’t have any existing bushes to plant around, but if you do have bushes already there just adjust the newspaper around your plants.) 

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It will naturally keep weeds out, and is biodegradable too. It also helps to amend your soil if your soil conditions aren’t great as well, which is an added (free!) bonus.

 

We’ve used weed barrier fabric before and it works incredibly well (and doesn’t have to be replaced for years), but newspaper will do basically the same thing – you’ll just need to add more newspaper to your bed each time you mulch to keep the weeds at bay.

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With a little newspaper you’ll have free weed protection for your flower beds, and hopefully skip weeding during the summer months. If you have any other tips on how to keep beds weed free at your house, I’d love to hear your suggestions!
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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Baby Shower on a Budget

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Here’s a peek at how we’ve been fluffing up for a baby shower on a budget at our house! Since my kiddos are getting older you can bet I’ve enjoyed every bit of this, so I couldn’t wait to share it with you.

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Here’s what I’ve spent . . . 

  • $7.74 on tissue paper for pom poms

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  • $5 on glass jars from the Dollar Tree
  • $12 on flowers
  • $6 on extra serving pieces from Hobby Lobby (they’re disposable – I think they’re so cute and perfect for chips, pretzels and cookies!)
  • $8 on pennant banner (on sale last week at Hobby Lobby)
  • $6 on onesies (thanks to Kohl’s)

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  • $2 on extra cutting options for my Silhouette Cameo (this is the first time I’ve used it ~ I’m in love and am so thankful to all of you who recommended it!)
  • $3 on craft paper

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  • I already had the fishing wire, jute twine, and dental floss of course (thanks to my couponing!) 🙂
  • Also used plain brown wrapping paper for the table and added a burlap table runner (had that already as well)
  • Total = $49.74

And here are a few quick tips that might help if you’re looking for ways to save when hosting a party . . . 

  • Use colors that match what you already have (if the shower had been for a baby girl, I would have pulled out the peachy/pink in our curtains)
  • When picking serving dishes (I usually ask for them as gifts), choose things that are pretty timeless and match anything – our plain white dishes work well with just about every occasion, and make decorating for things so much easier!
  • Look for glassware at the Dollar Tree and splurge on fresh flowers ~ that alone makes our home feel so much brighter!
  • Keep it simple. 🙂 You don’t have to do a ton, just select a few special areas to fluff and skip the rest.

And here’s what I’m planning to serve (I could use an extra appetizer idea if you have one!)  

Smoked Barbecue (my hubby is making that ~ the shower is for a person in his office so the guys are coming and he’s in charge!)

Do you have any other suggestions on recipes or decorating ideas? I’d love to hear them!  It’s been so fun getting ready, but I’d love to hear your ideas too. Leave a comment to share!

 

 

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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5 Minute Baby Shower Decor

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Next weekend we’re hosting a baby shower for one of my husband’s fellow employees and his wife, so I get to fluff up for a baby shower at our house. (Fun!) 

 

(See how we did the entire baby shower for under $50 over HERE ~ so much fun!)

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I made a quick trip to Hobby Lobby to see what I could find (I love that store . . . ), and when I found this wooden pennant (pre-made, thank you) in the colors I was planning to use for just $8, I knew I couldn’t pass it up.

 

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(Anyone else just love Hobby Lobby’s sale when you hit it on the right 50% off week? Yay!)

 

Over on Pinterest (check out my baby shower board HERE), I’d seen so many cute easy ideas, so I swung by Kohl’s (20% off coupon in hand of course), and picked up a few onesies.

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In less than five minutes I clipped those onesies on the pre-made banner, and that project is done – yay!

 

I bought size 6-month onesies (because we all know babies only wear those tee-tiny-newborn-ones for about 3 minutes . . .) but I do think the look would be a little cuter with smaller ones. (The penny pincher in me just couldn’t do it, but now I’m tempted to head back to the store!)

 

See the rest of the baby shower ideas HERE ~ I’d love to hear your ideas for a cute baby shower too!

 

(By the way, those jars are from the Dollar Tree ~ not sure what I’m going to do with them but I’m thinking if all else fails I’ll take the lids off and put a few white puffy mum flowers in them. Other thoughts, anyone?)
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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Spring Cleaning Week #4: Our Free Closet Makeover + Why I’m Keeping A Worn Out Mirror

 

 

I am so stinkin’ excited to have this project done!

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Cleaning out our closet has been on my to do list since we moved in (almost an entire year ago), but was so low on the list that there was no way it was going to get my attention.

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This month though, after finishing up my kids closets, I knew it was time to take control.

 

 

Clearly. 

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The most exciting update? I bought a ton of new fancy hangers (at Walmart – you know, f.a.n.c.y.) They have little places for straps on your tank tops to hold, so I’m thrilled to have clothes that will stay on the hanger!

(It’s the little things, right?) 🙂

 

Let’s take a tour . . .

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Here’s most of what is heading to Goodwill, the trash, or to sell at a consignment shop. Honestly, most of it’s in such bad shape that it will end up at Goodwill to works towards a tax deduction!)

 

I ended up using the money that I made cleaning out Jackson, Caroline & Reagan’s closets ($85 – woohoo!) to purchase the small drawers and new hanging racks at Walmart. So I paid nothing to update our little closet, and it looks oh-so-much better!

 

 

 

And here’s why I’m not buying a new fancy mirror. 🙂

 

When I was looking for things to organize our closet with I noticed several great mirrors at very reasonable prices. It was all I could do not to grab one (I think I could have found one for less $30-$40), but I kept thinking that this is in my closet.

 

That no one ever sees but me. 

 

Yes, I’d love some kind of ridiculous closet like these, I’d love fancy shelving, and I’d love a trendy mirror.

 

But.

 

There are a lot of things on our to do list in our home over the next few months, and, no one will ever see what’s in my closet. 

 

Sacrificing what I want (that is such a minor want ~ goodness!) for what I really want just wasn’t worth it for me.  

 

The mirror I has legs but the parts have been misplaced somewhere along our last four moves, so James is going to hang it up on the wall for me.

 

I might paint it. Or even stain it. Who knows.

 

But really, this one just doesn’t matter, so I’m letting it go ~ no matter how amazing those beautiful closets can be on Pinterest. 😉

 

 

I’m oh-so-satisfied with just better and one day if we have oodles of money to throw away on a fancy closet that’ll be just fine, but today’s not the day for me. 🙂

 

So there you have it! If you have a closet that’s just begging for some TLC, I highly recommend taking some time to work on it. I literally tucked my kids in bed one night this week, turned on a new episode of Parenthood (I love my Amazon Prime free shows!), and stayed up late just to get it done. It feels wonderful, and I love knowing what’s actually in my closet to wear each day too! If you really want some closet motivation check this out (wow.), and get to work tidying things up today.

 

 

 

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Friday Fluff Up: (Easiest) Spring Update Thanks To Michael’s Coupon

 

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You guys know I was more than a little excited about the fun deals I scored yesterday at Michael’s. 

 

Seriously. So much fun!

 

While I was there, I peeked around since I’d been dreaming of the right centerpiece to put on our new kitchen table I did a quick search on Houzz (I love Pinterest, but goodness there are just some beautiful home ideas on Houzz!), and found a few simple arrangements that I figured I could easily copy.

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So I bought these.

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And did this.

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And it cost a whopping $12, thanks to my coupon.

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Success!

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Now if I can just hunt down a deal on the right light fixture (something not so silver-ey?) we’ll be good to go. (I’m kind of in love with this one right now . . .)

 

If you’re looking for an easy way to bring some Spring into your home, this is for you. I’d love to hear what other ideas you have too!
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: Our (Almost) Completed Breakfast Room

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I’ve been itching to update you all as we’ve been working on some projects in our home, but know that things aren’t quite perfect in this room yet so I’ve been hesitant to share! But, I’m thinking waiting for really-quite-perfect might just never come, so I’m sharing a peek at our almost-perfect room today.

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Remember the breakfast nook I showed you after we moved in to our new home last Spring?

 

Well, we updated it with just a rug and a painted lamp last summer, and it definitely  helped.
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But that poor table ~ the one that I’ve always just adored ~ has been in pitiful shape for years. I bought it for a steal at a Lane clearance sale about nine years ago (it was sold “as is”, meaning the gate leg on it never really worked. . . ), so we’ve spent countless meals at the dinner table hoping the table wouldn’t fall down on us while we ate.

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My husband had finally had enough (he’s pretty handy, but there was nothing really to do for it ~ it was in just rough shape to start with!), so we decided after Christmas to purchase a new table for the room. The table headed down to the basement (it’s perfect for our kids to use down there for projects), and we found this table I’m just in love with.

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The room is fairly big (15’x12′, which seems huge to me?), and after shopping several furniture stores my mom mentioned to me the Paula Deen line that she loved. No stores up here in Ohio sell Paula Deen furniture (too far North of the Mason Dixon line I s’pose . . . ) so I spent hours watching YouTube videos and searching pictures of this new set that I really thought I would love.

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(all set up on Easter Sunday) 

We finally decided to order it ~ we’ve purchased before online using Furnitureland South, and actually ended up working with another company who beat their price. Folks, if you’re looking for quality furniture, I definitely recommend shopping around online – I saved almost $1000 by taking a few minutes to contact competing stores (after checking them out through the Better Business Bureau), and see who was willing to offer me the best deal!

before before extra trim & curtains

My (amazing) husband also added extra trim work around the ceiling (goodness, pretty molding makes such a difference – I’m guessing we have about $100 in trim work throughout the room), and we hung curtains that I found at World Market. 

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after trim & curtains

This isn’t really all that penny-pinched a project (although we did save a few pennies here and there . . . I think?) but this is one of the reasons that I’m willing to save on my groceries. If I can choose to spend money on paying full price for groceries, or having extra money to fluff up a room in our home, I’ll pick a pretty room any day! 🙂

 

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I’d still love to find a new lighting fixture, but figure I can wait on that a while until I find hopefully a penny pinched option that I really  just love. (I’m hoping to find a deal at the Ballard Designs Outlet like I found on these? We’ll see . . . )
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We’re also not quite sure about how to handle curtains for the sliding door on the right side of the room (I didn’t get a good picture to show, but my husband is almost open to considering something like this on a smaller scale. It looks like a bit of a huge project, but a girl can dream, right?) 🙂

 

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So, there you have it! I would love to hear your suggestions on things if you have them (I could sure use some ideas on an inexpensive way to update that light fixture, so let me know what you think!)

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If you’d like to see more pictures of our home as we’ve been updating it, here you go . . .

 

(And, in case you’d like to see some of my favorites from our Sweet Home in Alabama, here you go . . . )

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Big Spring Closet Cleanout Week #2 + How I Made $70 In 2 Hours From My Home

 

 

 

Need some motivation to clean our your child’s closet?

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This is for you.

 

Remember last week how I cleaned out my daughter Reagan’s closet? Well I took everything to our local Once Upon a Child, and for just 2 hours of work I made $70 selling her used clothing. 

 

WOOHOOOO!!! 🙂

 

(Needless to say, I was pretty excited.)

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So, last night I asked my 12 year old to start cleaning out her closet.

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It was in pretty bad shape, but she worked on it for a solid hour (cleaned out her drawers too), and sure enough now we have several boxes to sell, donate, or pass down to Reagan.

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(I was tickled that she folded her clothes relatively neatly ~ after doing most of the work myself in Reagan’s room, it was so nice to see Caroline handle so much of the work herself!

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I’m hoping to have Jackson work on his closet this weekend so that I can take a large load again next week to re-sell (most of their clothes will go to Plato’s Closet, a consignment store for teenage/adult clothing), and was so pleased with how simple it was to sell items. 

 

The best part about working on their closets? It makes managing laundry so much easier because there’s room for the actual clothes they wear, and I save so much simply by knowing what they really have. (It’s so easy with a crowded closet to forget a long lost sweater, but a good de-cluttering lets you know what’s really there!)

 

If you have a few minutes ahem, an hour or two to tackle your child’s closet this week, I soooo recommend it ~ you’ll feel amazing to have that project marked off your list, and might just earn a few dollars too! And if you have other tips on how to earn money re-selling your child’s clothing I’d love to hear those suggestions too.

 

 

 

 

 

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Fruit of the Spirit Jar

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A few years ago, I shared my friend Melody’s idea for a “Fruit of the Spirit” jar that we used over the summer to help teach our children a small lesson in the fruits of the Sprit each day.  At that time all three of my kids (then ages 11, 8 & 4) worked on learning Galatians 5:22:

 

 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.”

Even though my kids have grown quite a bit since then, we still (of course!) have moments where we struggle with discipline.  I happened to remember the Fruit Of The Spirit jar again (somewhere it had been stuffed back in a cabinet. . .) so I’m pulling it out again to encourage a little positive behavior in our home.

 

It (obviously!) is pretty simple to make.  I used a mason jar (an empty spaghetti jar would work too), some clearance Easter jelly beans (I really liked the idea of using Runts since they’re shaped in fruit shapes – you can pick those up at the Dollar Tree!) and labeled the jar with the verse.


 

I try to keep my ears alert for moments when they model the fruit of the spirit.  If Jackson does something sweet for one of his sisters, I’ll ask which fruit he’s displaying and he picks a candy from the jar. (Folks, even at just-turned-15-yesterday, candy is highly motivating.) 🙂 If Caroline manages to show patience when she really just wants to hurry, she’ll choose a treat.  And, when Reagan manages to make it down the stairs for school without any griping or complaining, she might get a treat too.   I also ask them to share again what the fruits of the spirit are before they get their treat.

 

I am simply amazed at how much more effective positive motivators work in our home, compared to all my efforts at hollering, griping, and whining-to-the-point-of-exhaustion to encourage my children.  Yesterday my daughter was so pleased with herself when she earned a fruit of the Spirit for helping make my bed without being asked. . . because that one definitely exemplified some goodness on her part, and made me much kinder to boot!

 

If you’ve been looking for a way to positively encourage your kids as well as teach them the values of the Fruits of the Spirit, take a peek at how we set up our Fruit of the Spirit Jar to work in our home.  I’d love to hear what other tips you have on teaching biblical principals as well as encouraging good behavior in your kiddos, as summer is just a few weeks away and I have a feeling I’m going to have to be on top of this one again this year!

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