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.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Those Dirty Gremlins

They're doing it again. The gremlins have crept into my house & made it messy again. I wish there was some sort of gremlin repellent that would make them stay away, but so far, I haven't found a solution.

The frustrating part is that I clean, I DO. For those that think that being a stay at home mom should give me all kinds of time to clean, I say "phooey". That's right. I'm pulling out the strong language on this one. Every time I try to pick anything up, PSB is right behind me either pulling it right back out, or getting out something else in its place.

I consider cleaning the house MY job, since I am home all day, so I rarely ask The Hubs for help, but I won't lie. I would fall even more madly in love with him if I came home from the grocery store one night and there were no toys on the floor, the dishes were done, etc., but let's face it. He'd probably love it if the house were in that condition when he came home from work. :-) We've already discussed that when I go back to work full time, I want to have someone come in and clean the house. I think after working 40+ hours, I deserve a little help. And, I totally relate to those that don't have help. In my previous marriage, I worked full-time and always took care of the house, and while there were no kids in the house, it was still a handful. So, please don't hate me for wanting to hire someone to help me. I'm pretty sure that's why they're there.

The one thing that I have found that helps is to watch some good ole episodes of "Hoarders", because nothing makes you clean your house faster than the fear that it will start looking like one of the ones on the show. So, I think I'll get off of the computer & start cleaning because I just can't let the gremlins win.

When I Grow Up I Want To Be Like Suzanne Sugarbaker

I recently discovered a YouTube channel that has the first four seasons of Designing Women available for viewing. I'm pretty sure that I have died, and gone to heaven. I am so sad that no one has that show in syndication anymore.

I know that a lot of fans of the show liked Julia the best, but I was always a Suzanne fan; probably the reason that I dislike the seasons that are "post-Suzanne". I always felt like she got a bum rap, and that too much emphasis was put on her increasing weight throughout the show.

So, here is what I have learned from Suzanne Sugarbaker:

It's never wrong to go through the drive-thru at Dairy Queen with a pig in your front seat.

It's perfectly acceptable to drive around with all of the mirrors in your car turned toward you.

Say how you feel, no matter what anyone else might think.

and last, but certainly not least:

Life is waaaay better with a tiara.

And just in case you need a little inspiration, here are a few of my very favorite Suzanne quotes for you:

"I'm saying I want you to take your big knockers and hit the road."

"Oh, I don't know, Mary Jo, it's just Charlene. She's in here raving about "Tiny Bubbles" and calling herself Dick."

"There! You see? That shows how good you'd be at sales because that wouldn't work at all. You people act like it's just so easy for me to hustle up business for this place, like I've just got to stand on the corner and go "Hey! Drapes and coffee tables!" and people just come running. Well you're wrong. I have to flirt, I have to deal, I have to lie, and sometimes I even have to threaten. THAT is called SALES. It's not pretty. I am, but it's not."

"Mr. Fladbeau! This is Suzanne Sugarbaker! Reggie Mac is taking his break now, thank you!!"

Wednesday, June 1, 2011


I don't know if anyone will actually read this or not.  I became inspired to write this after reading the hilarious blog Rants From Mommyland.  I had been having one of those crazy days where the kids wouldn't nap, and when I went in to check on them there was baby powder all over the surface of everything, an entire container of  baby wipes emptied onto the floor, and clothes pulled out of the drawers.  I finally got them in bed in the evening, and was absolutely exhausted.

So, I did what most tired moms do.  I poured a glass of wine, sat down on the couch & logged onto Facebook. I'm not sure which friend it was now, but someone put a link to the RFM site, and I spent the next hour laughing until I cried.  The hubs got home from work, and looked at me like I'd lost my mind.  I tried to read him a few lines, but I don't think it was quite as funny to him.  I decided then & there that I should just start my own blog, and have the freedom to write what I wanted to write about motherhood, life, love, etc.

Well, here's the scoop:  I am a 30-something mom of two toddlers.  My son (I'll call him The Calm One) is almost 3 and is one of the sweetest, boys ever created.  He definitely has his moments, but he's usually pretty well-behaved.  My daughter (I'll call her Princess Sassy Britches) is 18 months old, and is a diva in training.  She has loved to dress up since she was less than a year old, and has to always have some type of purse, bracelet, hat, etc.  She has no fear of anything, and that scares the crap out of me.  I stay home with them, and it's been quite a trip so far.  The hubs is a cross between a computer nerd and a rockstar.  This is a second marriage for both of us, and despite what statistics may say, we're pretty happy with our little life.

And then there's me... I've started couponing to save money, but I'm not as good as those people on TV.  You know, THOSE people.  I have a stockpile.  It consists of 2 bottles of BBQ sauce, and 6 boxes of spaghetti.  I'm getting better; over the last two weeks I've saved $47 using coupons (mainly on above-mentioned BBQ sauce & spaghetti), and I figure that's a week's worth of gas, so I'm doing something right.  I just finished my Masters degree in Education, and we all know what that means... I'm jobless.  But, that's fine.  I'll stay home with my kids until I find a job, which in this economy will probably be after they graduate from high school anyway.

So, that's my way of welcoming you to my little corner of the world.  I hope you'll stick around and let me know what your corner is like, too.