Our Sweet Home In Alabama

(We’ve had so many people ask about our hammock ~ my husband just installed two large 6″x6″ posts deeply into the ground, and added a hammock that we found in Key West two years ago – that hammock has held up so well and was the best souvenir we’ve ever purchased!)

In lieu of this week’s Friday Fluff Up, I thought I’d share a little virtual tour of our backyard (mostly so that I’ll have a way to remember it myself after we move!) When we moved to Alabama 9 years ago there wasn’t a single tree out back (our neighborhood is in an old cotton field), so we’ve slowly added some landscaping, and I’m just amazed at what a little Miracle Gro, water, and 9 years of growth can do. Here’s a peek . . .

We updated the deck a few years ago and my husband added a simple swing set for the kids . . .

 but eventually added the pull up bar for my two gymnasts (they’re out there all the time!)

We put in a small pre-made pond and then my husband added stone around it (I love this spot!)


My husband added this hammock between the trees out back two summers ago – I didn’t think it would ever feel all that secluded, but it’s pretty peaceful back there now!

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My husband was determined that we needed a deck (not a covered porch like I would have picked), but was sweet enough to add an arbor over part of it to help with the summer heat. At the time I didn’t think the trees would ever grow to shade the deck, but they’re just about there.

I’ve loved the crepe myrtles here in Alabama, and we’ve added a few roses beneath too. I’m not all that great at keeping roses happy, but this Old Fashioned Rose keeps making it each year.

And of course, there’s the front porch which I’m pretty sure will always be my favorite (our porch is majorly downsized in our new home ~ I’m so going to miss this spot!)

 

Here’s my husband’s crazy watering dripper system – when he adds one in our new house I promise to share lots of details on how to do set it up. It only cost about $100 initially to put together, and is just the most wonderful way to water all your baskets without too much work!

Here’s our Sweet Home Alabama. ;) (~sniff~) After two major fixer-uppers during the early years of our marriage (which helped us financially so much to get to this place), we fell in love the minute we laid eyes on that front porch. My hope is that the next family who gets this home loves it every bit as much as we have, and makes just the best memories here 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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Penny Pinched Easter Baskets

I had two great emails this week asking how I frugally fill Easter baskets, as well as what to add to a teenager’s Easter basket, so I thought I’d share a peek at what our baskets look like this year! Several years ago I bought the buckets at Hobby Lobby for a few dollars and added a monogram to them ~ definitely re-using the basket from year to year will help you pinch those pennies. 

Normally we include candy and a few items from the dollar bins at Target or the Dollar Tree, but this year since I’d scored such great deals on board games last week at Target, my kids will get those too. I was pretty excited when I saw Target had their $1 Spot items on sale 6/$5, and was tickled because they had quite a few fun items for my girls!

 

I went to CVS and Target yesterday for the Easter candy deals (I loved being able to use the $10 off $50 grocery coupon at Target towards the candy I had to purchase!), and that’s about it. Nothing fancy or all that exciting, but my kids always are pretty excited to wake up bright and early to a morning full of chocolate and a few fun treats!

Because I didn’t get a game for my 14-year-old, I’m going to add in a $5 iTunes card (he’ll be thrilled with that!)

 

What other items do you add to your child’s Easter basket? Leave a comment to share- I’m always up for new ideas!

Haven’t started shopping for Easter candy yet? See the best Easter Candy Deals 2014 over HERE before heading to the store, and be sure to print these coupons to easily pinch a penny or two.
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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Penny Pinched Dining Room Makeover

Oh my, I’m so excited to share this week’s Friday Fluff up with you! My friend Staci recently re-did her dining room and it’s just beautiful. She kept the original furniture she had, but re-upholstered her chair cushions, changed the rug and added (beautiful!) new curtains. The results are just perfect!

Here’s a peek . . . 

(I can’t believe I didn’t get a better picture standing further back, but this is an idea!)

Here’s where her money was spent . . .

$48 for fabric to recover her chairs

$250 for rug from Joss & Main (if you’ve looked at the cost of high end rugs lately, you know this was a fantastic price!)

$125 curtains from Joss & Main 

My absolute favorite trick that Staci shared was how she hung her curtains. She had purchased the new (super cute!) navy curtains from  Joss & Main, but they allowed a lot of light to pass through (getting curtains heavy enough to block light can get so expensive.) So, she left up her old silk curtains underneath, and it adds so much weight to the newer curtains – so smart!

Here’s the breakdown of her expenses:

  • Fabric $49
  • Joss & Main Rug $250
  • Joss & Main Curtains $125
  • Candles $9.99 from Ikea
  • Total $523 – not bad at all for a complete updated dining room!

I absolutely love what she was able to do, and the best part is that she didn’t have to update any of her furniture (which is where most of your money can easily go!)  Thanks so much Staci for sharing with us – it looks beautiful. ;)

 

Curious how I fluffed up our dining room for under $150? Check this out.

This post is linked up to Thrifty Thursday and Follow Our Thrift – thanks for the opportunity to link up! 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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Friday Fluff Up: $10 Dollar Tree Spring Wreath

I saw these berry bushes for $1 at the Dollar Tree and just couldn’t resist them. A sprig of berries can easily cost $4-$6 even on a half price sale at the big craft stores, so they sat there just begging me to buy a few!

 

I grabbed ten, headed home, and wondered what on earth to do with those berries.

 

Then I saw one of those super cute (expensive) berry Spring wreaths, and knew I had my work cut out for me.

I took an old grapevine wreath (pardon the blurry picture)

 

Stuffed those berries all over it (I didn’t even take them off the sticks – just pushed those suckers right down into the grapevine wreath)

 

And fluffed up our black entry hallway. Done!

 

Looking for more frugal & fun Spring decorating ideas? 

This post is linked up to Living Well Spending Less Thrifty Thursday and Follow Our Thrift- thanks for the opportunity to link up!  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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Clever Use For Plastic Container

 

See how Lydia from Five for Five Meals made this super practical First Aid kit for her kiddos for just pennies, and came up with a great way to re-use her Crystal Light Containers. (So smart!)

 

 

Have you come up with any other great ways to re-use plastic containers? Leave a comment to share, and check out Lydia’s post to see how what she included!

 

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$5 Goodwill Lamp Up-Do

You will never believe what my friend Julie from Less Than Perfect Life of Bliss turned this $5 Goodwill lamp into. Take a peek over on her blog – I think she just inspired me to do some thrift store shopping!

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Dollar Tree Decorating: Easter Fun

After not doing anything crafty the last few weeks (months?), I noticed this idea for an Easter centerpiece that a friend shared on Facebook yesterday and thought to myself, “I can surely do that!”

 

So, after a quick run to the Dollar Tree for some Peeps and a few malt balls, five minutes of work and a little fluffing, my project was done. (Love it when that happens!) I used this Anchor Hocking Jar that I ordered at Christmas, then snuck a can of soup from my pantry in as well as a some Easter eggs to take up a little extra space, then added the more malt balls and peeps. Success!

If you’re looking for more ways to easily create penny-pinched Easter centerpieces, check this out ~ and you may want to also see how I etched glass this Christmas (I’m telling you what, I love those jars!)

Are you working on any fun craft projects this weekend? I’d love to hear about them – and if you have other suggestions for frugal Easter decor leave a comment to share!   I’d also 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.

 

 

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

This post is linked to Thrifty Thursday at Living Well Spending Less and Follow Our Thrift at I Am That Lady.  Thanks for the opportunity to link  up!

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The Friday Fluff Up: Organize Your Cleaning Supplies (& What Cleaners Do You Use?)

I’ve been cleaning, and cleaning, and c.l.e.a.n.i.n.g. our home while it’s been on the market, and finally took some time yesterday to really organize my cleaning supplies. (I know folks, why on earth didn’t I think of that yet?)

 

 

I’ve always kept most of my cleaning supplies under the kitchen and bathroom cabinets, but it never fails that I walk into a room, see something else that needs tidying, and then waste so much time running to grab the right supplies.  So why not put it all together?  (Sometimes I’m shocked that I’ve been at this homemaker job for almost fourteen years and still don’t have these things figured out.) ;)

 

Here are the items that I felt like needed to be included:

  • lots of rags (in fact, I just cut up another worn out towel yesterday because my stash was getting low)
  • vinegar (and sometimes Dawn dish soap – see why HERE)
  • baking soda
  • Lysol Wipes
  • Mr. Clean Magic Erasers
  • Old English (this is something I just started using thanks to our home stagers recommendations on our kitchen cabinets – it’s amazing but be sure to wipe it all off!)
  • Swiffer Dusterslots of them ;) (these are such a splurge, but I love them and they make cleaning go so much quicker!)
  • Windex (I prefer this homemade window cleaner, but in a hurry the Windex is just more convenient)
  • Scrubbing Bubbles Bathroom Cleaner
  • Lysol Disinfectant
  • Toilet Bowl Cleaner (any brand)
  • Bona wood floor cleaner
  • Pledge – I don’t use it very often but it’s there just in case (I think I got several bottles for free at KMart three years ago and just have never used them up) ;)
  • Vacuum (this is the one I use)
  • laundry basket – to pick up items that are out of place while I clean (because otherwise I tend to get distracted . . . anyone else?)
  • plastic grocery sacks to throw away any extra clutter/trash as I go

I didn’t mix up any of my favorite Homemade Soap Scum Remover because while it works really well it leaves a pretty strong vinegar smell – and right now my showers are fairly clean.  But, if you haven’t tried it before and have soap scum to get rid of, it’s worth checking out!

What’s on your list of absolute must-have cleaning supplies, and do you have a great way to organize them? Leave a comment to share your tips, I’m always looking for new ideas!

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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Friday Fluff Up: Have You Staged Your Home Before?

We’re just starting the process of getting our home ready to put on the market. Ugh. (I’m really having a hard time with this whole moving thing ~ if you all could say a prayer for me to toughen up a bit that would be just wonderful!)

 

love our home, and while I’m a little excited about the new adventure ahead of us, I can’t imagine I’ll ever have another place that feels like home as much our house does right now. (Of course, I thought that about my last house too, so I know it’ll be just fine. Just hard in the midst of it!)

 

Anyways, after meeting with our realtor (who we found thanks to the Dave Ramsey’s ELP program), he mentioned that they normally have someone “stage” homes prior to selling, and while I hope it won’t need a ton of changes, I knew our playroom was somewhere that could use some attention.

I tried to get pictures this morning to show what it looked like before, and while the room isn’t awful, they didn’t look like all the cute ones I’ve dreamed about over HERE. (Wouldn’t it be nice if you could just snap your fingers and have a Pinterest-ed house?) After spending about $50 and 30 minutes of time, I think we’re on the right track though now. Here’s a peek . . .

 

(these first pics are from my phone because my regular camera lens just wouldn’t shoot a picture that wide, but you’ll get the idea!)

Can you see those pillows? I sewed them myself quite a few years ago but did a terrible job ~ it was time for them to go!  And the bookshelves were just filled up with clutter.

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I’m sure the home stager will have more suggestions for me, but here’s what I did to get started:

  • Purchased new pillows and a blanket at TJ Maxx ~ they were all on clearance except for the Smile pillow that was $17.99, but I fell in love!
  • Packed up extra books so the shelves weren’t so cluttered
  • “Shopped” my kids bedrooms for things to add to the shelves – it helped de-clutter their rooms and gave me free items to work with!

 

 

Have you “staged” your home to sell before to sell, or just done a few things to de-clutter so that you can enjoy them? I’d love to hear your tips/suggestions/ideas as we’re getting ready ~ I love hearing from you!

This post is linked to Living Well Spending Less Thrifty Thursday.  Thanks for the opportunity to link up! 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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How $44 Updated Our Boy & Girl Bathroom {& A Cool Bathroom Painting Tip}

 

I’ve been putting off updating my kids bathroom now for a mere eight years (I know ~ crazy!) because I just didn’t know what to do with it. Because my three kids (two girls and a boy) share the bathroom, deciding on a “theme” has been difficult, so I just let it go (yucky builder paint and all) for entirely too long.

 

Finally though I decided to just use the paint that I already had on hand (it’s the paint that’s in the main areas of our home), and see what we could do with it. I took my kids to TJMaxx (note that I did not go to Target where they would inevitably fight over princess, camo colors, or zebra prints), and let them pick out the shower curtain.

 

My son actually picked out the grey shower curtain (I was shocked!) and I started remembering all the grey and yellow decor I’ve seen pop up on Pinterest. We then found a cute canvas print, spent a whopping $44, and headed home to paint.  Here’s the breakdown of what we purchased:

  • Shower Curtain $14.99
  • “Life is Good” print $12.99
  • 2 white towels with grey trim $3.99 each (I probably need to pick up a few more of those)
  • Shower curtain rings $3.99
  • New trash can $3.99
  • Total = $43.95

 

Here’s the tour (it’s kinda small in there, so it was hard to get any good pictures!) 

Before

After

soooo much better, and even my son loves it!

 

Here’s a tip that a friend gave me last week for painting the bathrooms. 

 

In a perfect world, one would remove the toilet tank from the toilet prior to painting, however my husband wasn’t home when I started painting and I’m not the kind of girl who likes to wait around when the mood for painting comes around.  (When you get the urge to paint, you gotta go fast or it’ll be gone before you know it!)  ;)   Soooo, cover your tank with plastic wrap while you paint, get as much as you can behind it, and when the paint’s dry just remove the wrap. Smart!

 

An even smarter momma would remove the lid of the tank to give herself a little more room, ummm, but that didn’t happen here . . . 

 

 


Have you flufffed up any rooms in your home recently on a budget?  I’d love to hear what you’re up to! You can also join me on Pinterest (I love that place. . . ) 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! 

 This post is linked up to Thrifty Thursday at Living Well Spending Less and Follow our Thrift at Coupon Closet. Thanks for the opportunity to link up!

 

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