Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween 2010-Cadie as Ballerina

Before we went to our Halloween festivities yesterday, Cadie showed off her ballerina moves for me.

Note how her left foot has just started to go...

I made the tutu and hair flower; the ballet slippers were from the Target Dollar Spot awhile back - found and purchased by Dassa.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Where I get the DEALS!

In lieu of this week's Deals of the Week post (which would have been kind of boring -chicken breasts for $1.88 a pound, goldfish grahams for only $.75, bagel bites for $1 - yeah, that's the highlights), I thought I would post the websites that I use to help with the deals, since some of you were asking about that. There's two ways I get good deals, besides shopping clearance racks. The first is signing up for freebies online and the second is reading coupon matchups for individual stores (where someone has compiled a list of things on sale at the store and then tells you which coupon to use to get the item very cheap or free). It seems like there are a ton of websites that do this; these are the ones I use: - this is a good site for signing up for samples and other freebies (last week, I posted about two items I got free because of coupons I signed up for online - this is how). Also features weekly breakdowns of the best deals at many stores - I usually look at the ones for Wal-mart and CVS. (Used to look at Target, but sadly, I don't get to go there weekly anymore.) Click on store deals at the top of the site to see the list of all stores covered, and then to view the deals for that store. She also has features/articles about other money-related topics, like freezer cooking or becoming debt free. - also a great site for signing up for samples and other freebies - she usually posts them faster than moneysavingmom. Also has the store deal breakdowns - click on stores at the top.

I use google reader to keep track of the blogs I read, and both of these are in my feed. I try to check them a couple of times a day, because freebie and sample deals run out quick! Obviously, companies have limited supplies of things they will give out for free, and lots of people want them.

Since we moved here, I've also wanted to look for deals at Ingles, the best local grocery store. For deal match-ups there, since it's a regional chain not featured on those sites, I started using . I don't read this one regularly, I just check it when I need to get the deal match-ups for Ingles.

This takes some time, but it's free and, for me, it's fun.

Halloween decorating

These were projects I finished last week. Somehow this week zoomed by in a blur - I'm not sure why. Anyway, we are blessed with a big front porch that I haven't done much with - YET. I have some great ideas for turning it into a really nice spot for our family and friends. Right now, it's jazzed up a bit for Halloween.My parents brought us this old rocker and the table is from ikea. We used to have it in our family room, but there's not a place for it inside our house here. I sprayed it with a clearcoat sealant before we moved it outside.
The chair needs to be painted or something too, but I haven't figured that out yet.
I made a cover for an old pillow form we had. Matt's mom brought me several yards of this orange home dec weight fabric, and Halloween is the perfect use for it. A plain orange cover was not enough, so I did some quick zigzags across, then sewed on a fabric yo-yo in dark grey corduroy, topped with a fabric flower made of scraps from that orange fabric.
I had a dollar store wreath form too - I have no idea how some of this stuff has ended up in my craft supplies! Anyway, I sewed a black line through the middle of a strip of the orange fabric and wrapped it around. Topped off with more fabric yo-yos and some buttons!

This morning we take Cadie trick-or-treating, and possibly on a hayride! Pictures to come!

Edited to add: I linked these projects up to the weekend wrap-up party at Tatertots and Jello.
Join  us Saturdays at for the weekend  wrap    up           party!

Sunday, October 24, 2010


I look up to the mountains; does my strength come from mountains?
No, my strength comes from God,
who made heaven, and earth, and mountains.
Psalm 121:1-2 (The Message)

P.S. I snapped this picture quickly in our backyard the other day.

P.P.S. Kelley - this is partly for you. We hope y'all will visit sometime.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Deals of the Week

Everything was free! Clockwise from top left:
Cottonelle wipes - free with coupon that came in the mail this week after I signed up for it online.
Cold-Eeze - free sample that came in the mail after I signed up for it online.
Gain dish detergent - free after $1 coupon from newspaper insert.
Advil - free with coupon that came in the mail this week after I signed up for it online.
Nescafe instant coffee packets - free sample that came in the mail after I signed up for it online.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Yesterday's craft project: felt cookies

Felt crafting continues around here as I made Cadie three little pretend cookies while she was playing yesterday. I've learned if I'm making something for her, she's content to have me sit by and not actually play with her, just so long as I'm there and we can talk. I just rummaged through my scrap felt and sewed up some circles - one is embellished with french knots, and one has a smaller circle of pink frosting. I stuffed them with some fiberfill I also found in my craft supplies - I think it must have been from a pair of her baby shoes? Anyway, they were a hit. She shared them with her farm duck.

Oh, and we had to have cookies because on Wednesday, this arrived! And I put it together myself! I used some of Cadie's birthday money to order this wooden play kitchen and she loves it! Whenever I ask her what she wants to do for these last couple of days, she says "Play in my play kitchen."

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Felt flower hair clip

Matt laughed at me the other night when I sadly told him I just didn't seem to have as much time to get things done as I thought I would, what with being a stay-at-home mom and all...I think the problem is I have too much I want to do and we just need to take things one day at a time.

Anyway, I have actually completed some projects this week, the first (and easiest, and quickest) of which is this hair clip for Cadence. We seem to have lost the black hair bow I made for her around last Christmas, and she needed something cute and not-pastel to go with her Halloween outfits. (Yes, she has Halloween outfits - not something I would have bought myself, but we got some adorable hand-me-downs.)

It was super easy. I was sort of inspired by the instructions here at Skip to My Lou, except I simplified them. I found a scrap of glittery black felt in my craft supplies and fudged two flowers from a template I had. I just had to make sure the larger flower was bigger than the barrette clip. I didn't want too much glitter so I flipped the smaller flower over to just plain black.

To fit the flower to the clip, you just fold the larger flower in half and make two small slits just long enough for the clip to slide through.
Then I sewed the button (vintage, found in the stash from my Nana's sewing desk) to the smaller flower and sewed the smaller flower to the larger. Done!

Cadence has recently become opposed to having her picture taken, so the best action shots I could get were these, taken while she was strapped in her booster seat at lunch.

Edited to add: I linked up this project over at Tatertots and Jello's Weekend Wrapup Party.
Join  us Saturdays at for the weekend wrap    up           party!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Deals of the Week

When Matt became unemployed in February, I started "couponing" fairly seriously. Well, it was bigger than just coupons, I sort of changed the way I thought about groceries and household items. (Like today at Ingles, I thought about buying canned pumpkin, but I didn't have a coupon and it wasn't on sale, so I could wait until it is. In the past, I would have just bought the pumpkin.) There were lots of our expenses we couldn't control (mortgage, insurance, etc.) but I could regulate how much we were spending on food and toiletries.

I found some websites that help me with the deals (for free), and it really doesn't take much time. I still don't buy a Sunday paper for coupons; my mom gives me hers sometimes and there's plenty of coupons you can get online. My coupon file does pretty much go with me whenever there's a chance that we are going into a store. I guess it might be silly that I'm putting forth some effort just to get things a little cheaper - or sometimes free - but I hope that it's a way for me to be a good steward of our money, and that's it's enabling us to be freer with our money in other areas, like travel or being hospitable or just plain giving it away to causes we believe in.

All that said, I'd like to start a recurring "feature" here - Deal of the Week. Except this week, it's Deals, because I got two good ones. This is the kind of thing that I would read on someone else's blog, so hopefully it will be interesting.

First deal: 2 bottles of dish detergent FREE at CVS. I got a coupon booklet in the mail from whoever the manufacturer of Dawn is, and saved 2 $1 off any bottle of Dawn with Olay Hand Renewal. It was on sale for $.97 at CVS, so they were both FREE.

Second deal: all these bananas for only $1.49 at Ingles. I noticed that bananas here in GA are about $.20 more a pound than they were in NC. Not these bananas - I weighed them on the grocery store scale and it was almost 10 pounds. So about $.15 a pound is really good. Now, they are pretty ripe. That's okay, one already went into me and Cadie's smoothie at lunch and I plan to make a lot of banana bread and banana muffins - both of which will freeze pretty well.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Squeezing in...

For the last couple weeks, our house has looked like this:
I thought I had things in good shape and then we got the last of our stuff from the house in NC...and I feel like I'm starting all over again.

We've come to the conclusion that we're going to have to get rid of some things. Which is fine. I already have a box and 2 bags of giveaway stuff ready to go. There's no reason for a house with 1 bathroom to have 4 toilet bowl brushes - which was true until I realized that yesterday and threw one out and put one in the giveaway pile. Now I have to decide between the 2 that are left. But I digress.

The other conclusion we've come to is that we need to buy some things, which seems crazy when we are downsizing. But the lack of storage (there are only 5 closets in the house, and two of those are quite small) means we need to start collecting shelving, wardrobes, bookcases, etc. The point is that while this house is plenty of space for us, some of our things just don't fit.

I am sad because right now some of the things that appear to not be making the cut to stay here are things I really like. My beloved vintage crazy orange chair that we got for free for our first apartment (it went it the Velveeta colored dining room - very cheery) when Miss Fanny died. The odd corner desk with the one leg that always falls off because my Grandpa made it.

Maybe we can make it work. There's hardly anything on the huge front porch - but neither of them would work out there...

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Yesterday: a list

We got so much done yesterday, without even really trying. I used to read "mommy blogs" and marvel at how these women could consistently post about the great recipes they made, the decorating projects they just completed, the cute art project they did with their child, their deep thoughts, etc. I used to think I must not be using my time wisely. I forgot two things - first, it's the internet, and I'm sure they are not sharing some not-great things about their lives, and second, they didn't work outside the home full-time! Of course you get more done at home when that's your job! That's how yesterday was. Cadie and I stayed home all day and, in no particular order, here are some of the things we did:

1. Read about 10 books.
2. Did 2 loads of laundry.
3. Played outside.
4. Got the mail.
5. Made banana pecan bread (of which I ate two pieces yesterday afternoon. Ahem.)
6. Got all the containers out of the stack and spin and stacked them into one big tower.
7. Made the bed.
8. Watched two episodes of Dora the Explorer (streamed through Netflix).
9. Talked to the man who came to fix the gauge on the gas tank.
10. Talked to the man who came to install our wireless internet.
11. Made Hamburger Helper Cheeseburger Macaroni for dinner. (This was not a particularly heathly meal, but it was totally free! I got the box of Hamburger Helper as a sample in the mail, the ground beef was a housewarming gift from the school, and the milk was purchased with CVS extra care bucks I earned while spending money given to me by my previous employer.)
12. Did a puzzle, played with the farm set, had a tea party, and took care of the baby dolls.
13. Listened to a cd.
14. Took a 2 hour nap (Cadie).
15. Watched an episode of Pushing Daisies (streamed thru the wii to our tv - we love Netflix!) with Matt before bed.
16. Lots of other things I don't remember.

Pretty good, eh?