Wednesday, July 6, 2011

My Own PB Knock-off

The online blog community is filled with replicas of designer items; from clothing to home decor. Being a cheap frugal mom of two, I try my best to find ways to make my own versions of expensive items, and brag about them on Facebook... you know, normal, social behavior.

So, it started with this.

I saw it on the cover of a Pottery Barn catalog that I picked up in the store, and knew that I could make it for waaaaay less than they were charging (although I couldn't find it in the catalog, or online).

I apologize for the lack of step by step pictures, but the steps were pretty easy, so I'm sure you'll understand it from the list.

Unfinished wood frame (12x12 opening) $4.99 (50% off of $9.99)
Acrylic paint (Americana - white wash) $.99
Scrapbook paper $.30
Curly letter $1.50 (50% off $2.99)

I painted the frame (white) and the letter (dark brown - I already had this at home). Once they were dry, I trimmed the scrapbook paper to fit in the frame (the opening was a bit smaller than 12x12), and used spray adhesive to add my "P" to the middle.

Super easy & much cheaper than anything that I've ever found at Pottery Barn!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Little Moments of Insanity

So, yesterday I took my kids to Target and CVS to get a few things. This will be easy, I thought. I'll buy them a snack, and that will keep them busy for the whole trip. Ummm, no.

We went to Target first, and they were absolutely fine there. We even had to kill 20 minutes while I had a prescription filled, but they were good, and we even managed to get out of the toy department without any major meltdowns or tantrums.

Fast forward to ten minutes later when we got to CVS. First, let me say that apparently CVS believes that the only people that shop at their store only have one child. We tried, and both of my kids, despite their small sizes, cannot comfortably ride in the little car attached to the front of the shopping cart. So what do they do? They get out, of course.

I tried to quickly pick out the makeup that I needed, and the whole time PSB is putting other makeup in the cart saying "Here you go, Mama" after each one. I could feel my blood pressure start to rise at this point, but kept cool, and told them that we needed to go over to the allergy medicine section. {I would like to take this time to apologize to CVS for the mess that the beauty section was in when we left. I was sticking foundation in random, empty spaces because my daughter was running down the aisles. }

Detour on the way to the allergy medicine section {Thank you, CVS for your ever-so-well-placed display of bouncy balls in the middle of the aisle. Especially the fact that they are on the level of toddlers.

Of course, they were out of the allergy meds that I had coupons for, so we headed to the checkout, and good Lord in Heaven, this is where my children looked at each other and suddenly decided that it would be fun to see how crazy they could drive me. They pulled candy from the shelves, loading up the counter, and the (much-too-small) car attached to the front of the cart, and all of this is happening while the poor cashier is trying to explain how much I saved. At this point, I don't even care. Just let me swipe my card, and get these (suddenly possessed) children out to the car.

Maybe I expected too much out of them, maybe it was the pain pill that I took for my back, maybe it was the excitement of earning more ExtraCare Bucks... all I know is if I had it to do over again, I don't think that I would.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Mmm, mmm, good!

Who likes dieting? Go ahead, raise your hands...yeah, that's what I thought. I hate it. I don't like the fact that I can't eat three chocolate zingers everyday like I did in high school, or that I've gained 15 lbs. back since my last diet.

Here's the backstory... in high school I weighed 98 lbs. soaking wet. I tried to gain weight (don't hate.. skinny people have body image issues, too), but couldn't. Fast forward ten years to the birth of my first child. I gained forty lbs. during my pregnancy, but lost all but five lbs. before I got pregnant again. After my second pregnancy (during which I also gained forty lbs.), I had a more difficult time losing the baby weight, and resorted to the HCG diet to lose the remaining fifteen.

It worked amazingly well. I lost all fifteen lbs., it reset my metabolism, and I could once again eat whatever I wanted to, for about 10 months. Then, the lbs. started slowly creeping back on. Now it's time to do something about it, and I'll be honest: I don't want to do it. I like eating junk food. I like cakes, pies, donuts, pastries... {pause, while I wipe the drool off of my chin}.

But, a friend recently posted some recipes on Facebook that were created by this amazing woman named Gina. I started looking at them, and discovered that they weren't difficult to make, didn't have a ton of ingredients that I don't have, and don't want to spend the money on, and most importantly, they were HEALTHY.

If you are looking for healthy recipes, you should definitely check out Ginas Skinny Recipes. I have yet to find a bad recipe on that site. Here are a few of my personal faves:

Turkey Chili Taco Soup - soooo good. The crunch of the bell peppers and corn, combined with the flavor of the beans and taco seasoning is amazing.

Crock Pot Santa Fe Chicken - I just made this for the first time the other night & it was a big hit with everyone - even the kiddos!

Pina Colada Cupcakes - one word. YUM. Amazingly good. I gave them to my kids without the frosting on them, and they loved them. I could eat the frosting with a spoon. Not that I did... umm...yeah.

There are still several on the site that I want to try, and hopefully the combination of these recipes, and a little Wii Zumba will help these last 15 lbs. go away.

Monday, June 13, 2011

The Coupon Craze

It's no secret that couponing has taken the world by storm lately. With TLC's show "Extreme Couponing", and a seemingly unlimited supply of blogs that talk about how to save money with coupons, I, personally, am a bit overwhelmed with the whole process.

Here's what I don't get: I understand "stockpiling" to a degree, but if you already have ten years worth of toilet paper, why do you keep buying more? I only buy small things two at a time (like ibuprofen) because I simply don't have room for a huge stockpile of random stuff.

Also, for those that go to multiple stores to get their free (or almost free) items, do they factor in the time/gas that it takes to go from store to store? Honestly, the only time that I can imagine doing this is in the evenings after The Hubs gets home, because my toddlers would not handle multiple trips to stores well during the day.

One place that I am mastering the couponing game is at Target. I love their allowed "stacking" of manufacturer's & store coupons. In fact, I went today & paid $19 & saved $23, plus I received a $5 gift card from a store promotion. All in all, I've saved $90 this month using coupons, and it's all useful stuff (bandaids, ibuprofen, ice cream, etc.), as opposed to some things that I have seen on TV.

I go back & forth about the time it takes to study the ads, clip the coupons, etc., but hopefully the good will outweigh the bad. I also realize that I'm about two good shopping trips away from becoming obsessed with this thing, buying shelves for my garage, and stocking cans of soup under my kids' beds. Well... maybe not quite that bad, but I can see how it can become really addictive. I'll keep ya posted on my progress. Until then, happy clipping!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Vacation Tidbits

I hope that you forgive the fact that I have been MIA over the last few days, but we took a much needed vacation, and I "unplugged" for most of it. But, I'm back and ready to fill you in on the highlights (and lows) of our trip.

1. Next time I will gladly cut the trip a couple of days short, just to stay at a hotel that has a two room suite. My kids didn't quite understand the meaning of "bedtime" when we were all in the same room, and The Hubs and I didn't get to watch TV past 10pm, since the kids wouldn't go to sleep with it on. Sigh.

2. I will try to remember every time The Calm One said "That's amazing!", and "Remember when we _____ ?" about something that we did an hour before. I will try to remember the look on Princess Sassy Britches' face when she bottle fed a pygmy goat. I will try to remember how excited the kids were at every new place that we went, and that each place was worth every penny.

3. Perhaps we shouldn't be so reliant on GPS, as "Lola" decided to take us on the scenic route during several parts of our trip.

4. Next time I will try to run interference between the annoying worker at the gate of the sea lion show and The Hubs. I was pretty sure that The Hubs might knock the guy flat on his back if he made one more comment about how he "hoped that little guy didn't get all hyper because you're giving him M&Ms" or saying that PSB was a "runner" because she didn't want to stay in a one foot radius of me. (FTR, there wasn't anyone else around, and I had no problem letting her run out some energy since we were going to be sitting through a 30 minute animal show). Consider yourself lucky, my friend. You were closer to losing a few teeth than you know.

5. I will try to choose a hotel that has a better selection than McDonald's in its surrounding area. If I have to look at one more McD's drive thru sign, I just might puke.

6. I will be on the lookout for teenage drivers that don't pay attention and rear end us in the mall parking lot. Thank goodness for police officers that are perceptive enough to see that something has happened and pull over to check it out.

We were definitely all ready to be home by the end of the week, and I'm hoping that we can get back into some semblance of a normal schedule soon!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Obsessed much?

I have an obsession that I've been living with for about seven months. I don't remember how I stumbled onto it, but I have fallen head over heels in love with Pinterest. If you haven't taken a look at this site, do it now. It is ah.mazing.

Anything that I come across online that I love immediately goes onto one of my Pinterest boards. You can also link up & follow other people, & repin their interests as well.

So, check it out, and since it's an "invite only" site, let me know if you need one. I'll be happy to oblige.

Happy Pinning!

Friday, June 3, 2011

SHE'S Not a Boy!!

As I stated in my first post, PSB is 18 months old, and the cutest little girl you've ever seen. The problem: people constantly tell me what a cute pair of boys I have. Um... I understand that the fact that she has a bow on her head and is dressed all in pink may lead you to believe that she is, indeed, a boy, but you are wrong.

Today I committed the ultimate oops of motherhood. I dressed my daughter in a yellow tank top. Granted, she had on polka dot shorts, pink socks, and girly shoes, but three people still managed to call her a boy. One of them was at the doctor's office today, where SHE is a patient, and HER file was right in front of them. Sigh.

I thought about getting her ears pierced, but I know that she is way too fidgety to not mess with them, and I really don't want to inflict any unnecessary pain on her. There's only so much "girling up" that I can do on this child! You people are going to have to start being more perceptive.

ALSO, they're NOT twins. But, that's a post for a different day.