Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Tutorial Tuesday: Meal Plan For A Month

It is almost February so I need to get my meal plan going. We did really well not going out to eat in January. I think we did about 3 times, including Mark's birthday. That is HUGE for us. Last month when I did my meal plan my computer was broken so I wrote it out on an envelope I got in the mail. This month I am SO much more sophisticated!!

Start out by setting up a calendar. I went to Microsoft Word and searched calendar. It sent me to the Microsoft website to download one, free. I actually ended up picking out a Birthday Calendar, but it will work well for us.

Once you have your calendar ready decide what meals you are going to use. My favorite thing to do is go to my recipes on Pinterest. I look at all of the things I have listed and plug them into the calendar. Don't think you need 30 meals, we do left overs at least one day a week..I try to do it twice though. Once you have it all plugged in it will look like this:

What I love most about this calendar is you can make your meal plan into links to all of the recipes. Last month I would have something on the calendar but go to find it and it some how disappeared. I swear things disappear on Pinterest some days! For this calendar all you have to do is hit CTRL while you click on the name of the meal and it will open it for you.

This calendar sets up every month of the year so if you want to be SUPER adventurous you could do more then one month. You could also plug in dinner dates you might know you have for the future so you can plan to skip dinner that night.

Once you have it all plugged in start going through your cupboards and look for what you need for the recipes. Write down everything you are going to need to purchase for each meal.

The next part is a big one! Find a local coupon blogger. I follow Bargains To Bounty, she lists all of the sales each week at the local stores. I am able to look at her list, and my list of ingredients, and see where I can find them cheapest! Each week I look for items at the stores and hang on to them until it is time to make that meal.

Unfortunately there will be times when you have to purchase something at full price, or change the meals around so you only eat something that is on sale.

I hope this helps all of you meal plan better and cheaper! As always feel free to ask questions or leave comments on how you Meal Plan.

Monday, January 30, 2012


So I have realized I have been pretty MIA this past week. We have been pretty busy, but at the same time haven't done much.

We have been doing pretty well with keeping on our meal plan. Dinner was AMAHZING last night here is the recipe for the Pork Chops I made. So quick easy and inexpensive. Eliza even ate them which is my test. Today is Mark's birthday and he requested we get Panera soup for dinner. I can't say I refused! I am having something made for his birthday and unfortunately it won't be here for another week or so. Luckily he doesn't mind, I think he actually forgot about his birthday!

Last night I put on my butt kickin' boots(OK my sneakers) and went to the Gymboree Box Sale. If any of you aren't familiar, this is where they take out all the clearance that has been packed away in boxes in the back and you dig through it for great prices. It can be worse then Black Friday! I trucked about 30 miles east to the closest store, in a snow storm(up hills both ways right?) only to find it was a total bust. They barely had ANYTHING. I was so bummed. We are taking a trip down to Myrtle Beach this summer to meet up with my best friends family and I wanted some clothes for Eliza. I was able to get some super cute shoes and lots of hair bows but other then that, total downer.

An update on gorgeous Nella Hampton. Kelle just posted on Facebook, as I typed this-

"The generosity of one person's $10,000 donation just allowed us to reach our goal of 2 for 2. Humbled, inspired, grateful. Thank you, everyone, who made this possible. Holdin' up my coffee cup and toasting to kindness, opportunity...the future. Cheers"

Instant chills! How amazing is that?? Thank you for everyone who donated and the ones who wish they 

I have been gathering up some craft supplies for my upcoming tutorials. I can't wait to show you the ones I have planned for St. Pattys Day and Easter! I found this amazing gal who makes some pretty cool things!

Now to my favorite part...my little monkey. Here are a few things she has been up to...
Playing with the puppies at the mall.

Stealing Chocolate.

Learning to eat a banana.

Learning to feed herself..

And playing the Kazoo...

So besides normal life keeping me busy my wreaths have really taken off. I have a total of 9 that have to be sent out or delivered this week. Yea!

Since you all stick with me, with the good the bad and sometimes crazy I wanted to offer you a little something. If you want to order a wreath, any holiday/season or custom order, I am giving you 12% off (for 2012, and yes it was totally 11% at first because I forgot it is no longer 2011). All you have to do is type in coupon code BLOG2012 at check out! Any custom orders I am up for-Sports Teams, Baby Showers, Bridal Showers, Birthday Parties, you name it I can make it! Just go to my store to order! Here are a few new styles:
Easter or Spring

4th of July and Memorial day

St Pattys Day

Thanks for everything you have done for me and all the great responses!!

Friday, January 27, 2012

House For Sale!

Well, it is for sale in my head! Gosh I am so ready to move. Can I just take our house with us and find a big piece of property and plop it down??

Eliza has been sleeping really really well lately but the other night she woke up at 1am hysterical. I went to comfort her and it took a bit but I got her back down. I was exhausted and did the zombie walk back to bed. She doesn't wake up until about 9 so I was going to take advantage and sleep in. That was until the neighbor boy decided to start playing basketball at 8am.

These people are so incredibly rude. When they installed their basketball hoop(for their child who plays every sport but is terrible so he quits each one) they installed it right under our bedroom window. So when Michael Jordan he misses the ball goes in our yard and my garden. When they play football in the back yard they have our yard be the end zone. This means if Zander wants to go out we have to walk out with him so that they don't get in his face. My dog isn't the nicest, I am aware, he stays on a leash at all times, but I shouldn't have to worry about kids playing in my yard when he is outside. Their kids also enjoy climbing OUR tree. We have a big Willow in our backyard, and the neighborhood decides it is their jungle gym. We have talked to so many parents and kids about staying out of it but they just don't listen. If it wasn't such work I would just cut it down.

So with that said...my house is for sale, still only in my head though. BUT if any of you would like to buy it...It is a great neighborhood with great neighbors, and REALLY quiet : )

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Tutorial Tuesday-LOVE!

Thanks for stopping by this week. I have a very easy, cheap, and cute tutorial.

It is nothing original, I have seen a lot of different variations, but I just love it!

Isn't it super cute?


Paper Mache Letters-lots of different sizes at Joanns
Scrapbook Paper
Paint-I used regular paint, spray paint would have been better if it wasn't 10* outside
Hot Glue
Spray Adhesive

Start out by painting the edges of your letters. Make sure you paint a little bit on the front around the edges in case your paper doesn't fit perfect...am I the only one who can't cut straight?

Let them dry, I actually did two coats. While drying, go work on another project!

OK they are dry...next step. Lay your scrapbook paper face down, you don't want the pencil on the good side. Also lay your letter face down as well, don't want the shape to turn out backwards. You can now trace the shape. Try to line it up with an edge, less to cut, and it leaves more room in case you need to do it twice...again am I the only one who can't cut straight?

Once your letter is cut out spray your letter AND paper letter and lay them together. I decided not to use Mod Podge as it gets very wet and the paper tends to wrinkle. I am sorry but I don't have a picture of this step. I was too scared to have evidence of using spray glue on my kitchen table!

The glue dries fairly quickly but to ensure it is dry and not going to move on you, go work on another project!

Everything all dry? Great! Time to assemble the letters. You can do it however you want, just remember you need the bottom letters to be flat and even on the bottom so it can stand up. There aren't too many variations but here are the two I was debating between:

Obviously I picked the lower one! Once you have it how you want it glue it all together. I started by gluing the E to the V then the L to the V then the O to the E and gluing the O to the L by "caulking" it. Once it was dry I flipped it on its belly and glued the back all together, anywhere two letters touched I glued the seam together. If I had popsicle sticks I would have glued those on for support as well...but its cold out so we don't eat popsicles right now.

And here it is, in Eliza's bedroom. This is the space we put her holiday decorations. Santa came down and LOVE went up!!

Sunday, January 22, 2012


So I just found out that Google Friend Connect will be going away in March. I tried to read up, but no surprise, I am confused. What will happen to all of the blogs I follow through GFC? What will happen to the people who follow me?

If anyone has some insight, or know of a site that has information normal people can understand PLEASE let me know!

We have had a pretty quiet weekend so no pictures of sicky girl. Here is a new wreath I made today while she was napping.

I know it is a bit early for 4th of July decorations but if you are looking for summer decor check it out here

Valentine's Day Wreath

There are only a few weeks left until Valentine's Day! Make sure you get your wreath for your front door!

Wreaths can be purchased here!! I have other holidays available and do custom orders for birthdays, bridal/baby showers, newborn hospital gifts, college colors, NFL color, and so much more!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Sew Sew Sweet Saturday-Valentine's Day Shirt

Welcome back! We are digging out of a deep freeze and snow today. It didn't come down as bad as they said it would, but it is SO cold. Gosh I don't like the cold!! Yesterday Liezy was not feeling well. She has 3 molars coming in and is just miserable. Her nose is running like crazy and then stuffing up at night so she can't breath. She had a lazy day at home with Mark, he works from home on Fridays, while I did errands. I grabbed some things to make some crafts and I decided to make Eliza a shirt for Valentine's Day. I have been searching for an outfit for her for Valentine's Day but I keep coming up empty. It is so cold here I don't tend to put her in many dresses in the winter, so if I don't want a dress all I find are "my first Valentine's day" shirts or onesies. I am not a fan of onesies so I gave up and made her shirt. As you know I love to make shirts for her. Check it out!

My sick little monster

T-Shirt-I go to WalMart and buy Garanimals, they are $3 for long sleeve and since she will only wear it a few times I don't worry about quality
Fabric-I had lots left over from an upcoming craft
Dazzley Heart-Lots at Joanns, they just iron on
Heat n Bond

Start out by washing all your fabric, you don't want anything to shrink.

Now iron your fabrics and your shirt.

Iron your heat and bond onto your shirt. Make sure you follow the directions on how to apply this

Cut out the letters L V and E. You will use the heart as the O. You can free hand this, stencil, or use a cutting machine like I do.

Once you have your letters finished lay them out so you can decide your spacing.

If you are happy with it REMOVE the heart and iron on the letters. The letters take longer then the heart and need direct heat to stay on. To iron on the heart you need to put a cloth over it so the plastic doesn't melt onto the iron.

Now Iron on your heart, again with a cloth over it so you don't get plastic on your iron and ruin it.

Let it cool and then allow your child to wear it!
Sorry, this is the best I could get with a Sicky Girl

Thursday, January 19, 2012

A Birthday Wish From Nella Hampton

Do you remember growing up what you asked for on your birthday? Usually it was the awesome new toy, some cool shoes, or maybe the latest in technology. Well, one little 2 year old is going big, and for an amazing cause. Nella would like $200,000 for her birthday, and I just donated to try and get her to her goal.

If you are unfamiliar with Nella, and her family the Hamptons, please check out Kelle's blog. Nella was born almost two years ago with something a little extra special, an extra chromosome.

"Two years ago, we headed to the hospital like any other anxious couple, excited to meet our new daughter. Hours later, Nella arrived, surprising us with an extra chromosome. We were shocked and saddened by the challenges we knew she’d face. Many of our concerns grew out of a common hope we share with any parent—that our child will be accepted and seen for her abilities and character rather than what makes her different.

We learned so much our first year. Most importantly, we learned, as Ghandi said, “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” We join thousands of others in proactively seeking ways we can increase knowledge and awareness about the amazing abilities of individuals with Down syndrome. We have chosen to continue to support the National Down Syndrome Society in their goal of raising awareness and creating opportunities for individuals with Down syndrome and their families to live their best life possible.

The National Down Syndrome Society has been dedicated to making a marked difference for people with Down syndrome since 1979. The mission of NDSS is to be the national advocate for the value, acceptance and inclusion of people with Down syndrome. NDSS envisions a world in which all people with Down syndrome have the opportunity to enhance their quality of life, realize their life aspirations, and become valued members of welcoming communities.

Last year, for Nella’s first birthday, we launched Nella’s ONEder Fund with hopes we might be able to raise $15,000. In a matter of three weeks, we raised over $100,000. We will never forget those weeks—how we cried watching our online fundraising page change within minutes and recognizing just how much people care. We were inspired by others’ generosity—most of which came from people we’ve never met, and our family is eternally grateful for how people are willing to join the cause on behalf of Nella and the more than 400,000 other individuals with Down syndrome living in the United States.

We’re not done yet. We’ve been blessed with another fulfilling year, a year in which we’ve continually been thankful for our daughter’s health and milestones. She’s a funny, inquisitive, smart little girl on the brink of two, and we want to celebrate once again by raising money to show the world our kids deserve everything any kid deserves—opportunity, a bright future.

Our goal this year is to raise the roof on our current funds—2 for 2. We hope to raise $200,000 by the time Nella turns two—that is $75,000 more to add to the already generous support from over 5,500 people since October 2010 (our first fundraiser for NDSS). That doesn’t give us a whole lot of time, but we’ve been inspired and astounded by the kindness of others before. We know it can happen again. Please join us in supporting the NDSS, and make a donation to Nella’s 2for2 Fund and, by doing so, help enrich the lives of others. $5, $10—it adds up. We’ve got proof, thanks to you."

I know times are difficult economically for a lot of families, budgets are stricter, wallets thinner, and luxuries are few and far between, but what would you pay for your child to be given what she deserves-opportunity and a bright future?

Think of what $25 is to you-a manicure, a dinner out, a movie on the weekend-but what could it be for these amazing kids?

Please dig deep in your pocket, purse, couch and heart and help Nella receive $200,000 for her birthday!

God Bless

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Tutorial Tuesday-Love Notes Mailbox

Hey everyone! Thanks for checking in for another Tutorial Tuesday! This week I am going to show you how to make a super cute, inexpensive, mailbox for valentines and love notes.

With Valentines Day coming up I knew I wanted to make something special for Eliza. I figured we would start decorating right after daddy's birthday each year (1-30). So starting on February 1st this mailbox will be one of the decorations out. It is a fully functioning mailbox, with a flag and slit in the front, for love notes! Each evening before bed daddy and/or I will write her a little love note for her to find in the morning. Whether it is telling her how much we love her, or praising her for a job well done. I understand she won't get it at this age, but when she is older I know she will love it!

So here we go!


Mailbox of some sort-I found mine in the Valentine section at Target for $5.
Ribbons-I bought 4 different spools
Hot Glue

To start, either buy or make a mailbox. Like I said, I found mine at Target, it even came with most of the decorations.

Since it was only $5 it wasn't the most sturdy so I went and hot glued all of the seams on the inside to reinforce it.

Next time to decorate! These were my supplies

Obviously you can decorate it however you want but this is what I did. I wrapped the ribbon all around the mailbox, gluing it as I went. I made sure to line up each different strand and glue it together.

Like I said, the mailbox came with its own embellishments so I used those as well.

The best part of it all is the Elephant it came with. I LOVE ELEPHANTS, so it was perfect to be on Eliza's mailbox.

Once you are all done gluing everything on, let it dry and Tada!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Just When I Lost Hope...

My crafting itch is back!

I don't know if it was because I was doing so much for the Christmas season AND Eliza's birthday, but I have had no interest in being creative lately. I have had no ideas for things to make, or been inspired by what I see. I have actually not even been reading the craft blogs I follow.

BUT last night I was searching Pinterest for a recipe I had pinned and I was TOTALLY inspired by all of the things I saw. I can not wait to get my newspaper tomorrow with my Joanns coupons and get started.

Some even better news...Mark is currently fixing my computer!!! He has apparently made it where I cant download anything, ok I got a virus SO SORRY, but at least I will be able to load pictures, do tutorials, and actually link up on my posts.

Thank you everyone for sticking through my multiple hiccups, I will be back in full force in no time!

Sew Sew Sweet Saturday-Snowball Kit!

Here in Michigan we should have had a lot more snow by now but as I type this it is 41 degrees. I really have started to dispise winter as I have become an adult and I am required to go out in it even if I don't want to. This year was different, I wanted snow for Eliza, I wanted a white Christmas. Well that wasn't the case so I decided to do what I could to bring the snow to us.

In comes the indoor snowball fight kit! I know Eliza doesn't really understand why I am throwing balls at her but one day she will enjoy it!


Fluffy White Fabric
Stuffing, you could use beans but Eliza is too little for that
Sewing Supplies

Start out by making a template for your fabric. I didn't really know how to sew a ball so I googled and kind of winged it.

Sew 6 of your fabric pieces together to make them into a ball. Remember to leave a space open to stuff it. This fabric I worked with was VERY difficult. The little fuzzies would get caught in the machine and jam it. I do not recommend using it.

Turn your fabric right side out and stuff it. I used stuffing in case Eliza got it open on me. I also didn't want it to hurt when throwing them at each other.

Continue to sew as many snowballs as you would like. I made a few different sizes so Eliza could grip them as well as us.

Next work on your bucket. I have seen them everywhere, Targets $1 bin, I got mine at Joanns during Christmas clearance.

Choose how you want to decorate it. Target had some cute stickers on clearance so I snagged those, then I decided to use my Cricut for some vinyl.

You can decorate it however you want, or let the kids go for it on their own.

Toss your snowballs in and you have your own indoor snowball kit!! No need to get bundled up or cold, just have fun in your own home.