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Saturday, January 28, 2012

The Kitchen Reveal!!!!!

     We finally did it! We are done with this stinking kitchen!!! Yeah!!!! We have been working on this kitchen since September and are so happy to have it complete!

Let me remind you of where we were:

And now, the fabulous after:

Here's a link for the bar stool facelift.

Here's where I showed you how I transformed the picket fence screen.

          Be prepared for some picture overload!

       I showed you how to make these flowers here.

       Opening up this cupboard made a big difference in making the space feel larger. I was surprised that such a little thing could have such a big impact. I put contact paper in the back of the cabinet to create more interest. Adding the wicker basked adds texture which warms things up with all that white.

 I love having my teapots on display!

Inside the pantry door is a great spot for our menu list. {I have a little guy that needs to plan ahead and just knowing whats happening for dinner makes him less anxious about his day!}

This is a helpful addition in my baking cabinet. I use this all the time!

Check out the chalkboard tutorials here.

When we took off the cheap paneling underneath the counter top we found a ton of unused space. My hubby built this into the space and is perfect for phone books {who uses those nowadays anyways!}, cookbooks and my bill box.

The magazine holder is a perfect solution for all of those small cookbooks and pages you tore out of a magazine!

This is our 'hidden' spot for school spelling lists, pizza delivery magnets and other fridge junk. The basket holds pens, scissors, and the morning hair stuff for the kids before school.

I love using glass bottles for my dish soap. Am I too much of a perfectionist that I will only buy soap that matches my kitchen? {don't answer that}

Later I added these cute chevron curtains that were a simple sew project.

This is our message center: computer, phone and charging cords. 

This is an update of that same message center. The calendar was just what this space needed!
The bulletin board is a Ballard Designs knock off and was super simple.

       One day we hope to afford a new stove, but for now, the mismatch works. I love the way the stainless steel looks against the white cabinets and knowing repairs are easy with a company like makes me even happier!

        I will follow up with some more information and some of the details later. For now, I hope you enjoyed my kitchen. I know I will be!!!!

Sharing this project here:

Not Just a Housewife: Best DIY Project of 2012

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Valentines Wreath out of Pajama Pants

     I've been stuck! I have seen so many amazing valentines projects and was so overwhelmed with the creativity of other bloggers that I didn't know what to do or where to start on creating a valentines project of my own.

     Imagine my surprise when inspiration struck as I was folding laundry! I had some old pj pants that were falling apart and knew they needed to be pitched! I was headed towards the trash can when I noticed all of the little hearts on them.....hmmmm, suspiciously valentines-ish. I'm a big fan of wreaths so I decided to see how I could use these pants to create a wreath.

     First I used the fabric as a backdrop and covered a foam wreath form with it. It's attached using stick pins.

     Hobby Lobby has plenty of pre-made felt hearts that were used to decorate the wreath with. The red hearts were glued to twine for a little banner, and finally scrabble letters spell out the message of the season.

     It's crazy how and when inspiration can strike! So keep your eyes open even during the mundaneness of chores!

I'm linking up here:

Sunday, January 22, 2012

We're almost there! {a kitchen project update}

       Aaah! It's actually coming together!  I may just have a done kitchen yet!  We still have the top coat of paint to go and a few last projects to complete, but my friends sanity has made its return! We have been working on this project since September and with a little motivation from fellow bloggers we are trying to complete this baby by the end of the month. Seriously, that's just one week away!

the space between

 Today I want to just show you a peek of where we are and a project I included but let me remind you of where we were:

And here's the peek for today:

     I LOVE how changing the color of the cabinets immediately makes the whole space feel bigger, fresher and cleaner! Ok, clean for now, I'm sure that I will have to do a lot more washing of the cabinets then I ever used too, but my dears, Oh so worth it!!!!

     My struggle with the high ceilings is how to decorate above the cabinets. I have this picket fence you see in the pic above but it is very cottage-y and country. I wanted to freshen it up a bit and make it a little more modern.

     Its actually a fireplace screen although we never used it as that {I put it here for the sake of a pic - you get the idea!}. Chevron is all the rage right now so I'm jumping on board! Here's what I did:

1)     First, I measured the height of what I wanted my chevron to be and used a pencil to draw the two horizontal lines.

2)     The width was determined by two slats of the pickets. I'm not sure if that makes sense but its what worked for me! Then I added the paint!

And that my friends is all the peek you will get.......for now!

So, if I don't return your calls, seem a little harried, or my children come begging to you for food, show mercy and know that it will all be done in a week! Yippee!

I'm linking up here:

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Couponing 101 {Why I coupon and how I do it}

     A year and a half ago I couldn't have been bothered with a coupon. In fact that's what I saw them as, a bother, a waste of precious time I thought I didn't have. All of that slowly changed week by week as I heard the stories a co-worker of mine told of the super cheap and free items she scored each week. She talked about how her family was eating better than they'd ever had and of the small stock pile she was accumulating. I was intrigued and started to try some of what she shared. Over time this has come to revolutionize how and when food comes into our house and in the process has saved thousands of dollars.

     When I saw the savings that could be achieved with little effort, I came under conviction about my role as the homemaker of this house and the importance of being a good steward of the money that God has blessed us with through our jobs. This has given me joy in this "chore".

     The system I now use has taken some tweaking and over time I've become much more efficient at it. {Now it takes me about 30 minutes of prep time per week to prepare for my shopping trip~trust me saving 50% off my bill is well worth this little bit of time to prepare} Here's what I do and how you can get started:

1). Buy or subscribe to the Sunday paper. Every week (except for holiday weekends) the Sunday paper has anywhere from 1-6 coupon inserts. The basic inserts are Redplum, Smartsource, Procter & Gamble, General Mills, and sometimes store coupon inserts from Target or Wal-mart. Often Smartsource will include two different types of inserts in one paper.

2). Find a local blogger who posts each week of the sales at your local grocery store and matches them up with coupons. In west Michigan I use Saving Addiction or Sarah's Deals . {A great national blog is Hip 2 Save} These amazing bloggers will list what is on sale this week, where you can find it and what coupons you need. Choose your favorite store in their store menus and go through their list of weekly deals and add to your list the items that your family will eat even if you don't need that item this week. These bloggers will also provide a link to any coupons that you can get online. Any online coupons can be printed twice with the coupon printer that you can download for free at any of the sites that offer these coupons. {The only exception that I know of is the Meijer mealbox coupons, you can print as many as you want} If you're on facebook, like them on their pages and you will get updates daily about great deals to be had. The best way to maximize your savings is to only buy things when they are on sale and only if you have a good coupon. Check out the Meijer M-perks program on their webpage too, if you're a Meijer shopper~these are e-coupons that you "clip" on your computer then in the check out line you put your mobile phone number into the key pad and it will automatically deduct your coupons from your total.

3). Start small. It's easy to see all of the free or ridiculously cheap items and want to go after them all by hitting all the stores. I started out this way and remember one day in particular hauling two of my kids around to five different stores only to discover that most of them were out of the hot deals. On my way home that day I knew I had to refocus my efforts since this was clearly not a good use of my time. Now I shop for my grocery and non food items at Meijer and will shop Aldi for anything that I need that I can't get for a good deal at Meijer. Every once in a while I will do a trip to Target especially when I can get their clothing for a great price. On Target's website they have coupons you can print. My favorite's are like $4.00 off a woman's sweater or $5.00 off a pair of jeans, then you look for the sweater or jeans in the clearance section. I've gotten some great tops for $2-3.00 each! (Remember you can print two of every coupon!) If there is something specific you need and you wonder if there is a coupon out there somewhere for it check out the coupon database at Happy Homemaker Cindy.

4)   Build a stock pile. Now I'm not talking stock pile like the world is about to end, I'm talking about 3-6 months worth of food that your family will eat before it goes bad. Almost everything will go on sale every 3 months. So you buy enough of that item to last until it goes on sale again. If that item is on sale and you have a coupon and the store or manufacturer is offering an incentive (like buy 5 items get $5.00 off) buy as much as your budget allows or what you can use before it goes bad. Last year there was an amazing deal on olive oil. I use olive oil all the time and it usually cost $5.00 or more. On this sale I was able to get it for .78 cents with the coupons I had and bought enough of it that I still have 3 bottles in my stock. Once your stock pile gets built up your goal would be to only buy the hot sale items each week and fresh items that rarely go on sale or you can't stockpile like Milk, bread, fruit, veggies and meat. It takes about 3 months to get your stock pile going and begin to see your savings add up. In the beginning you are using any savings you get from coupons to buy more items to fill you stock pile.  Buying a small freezer is a good investment and will allow you to buy meat, bread or other frozen items and stock those as well.

5)   Combine a manufacturer's coupon with a store coupon to maximize your savings. The triple threat is to combine the above two with a store/manufacturer promotion like buy 2 get 1 free or buy 5 get $5.00 off. Also pay attention to the Catalina's you can get. (A Catalina is the coupon strip that often prints out with your receipt). Many times with specific promotions they will offer you a Catalina for money off your next order. I keep a clear plastic envelope in my purse and anytime I get one of these it goes right in my pink envelope for my next trip to the store.

     I know this sounds like a lot of work and it may be daunting but start out slow. Stay organized by using a coupon envelope, binder, or file box. {My file box is what is recommended by the girls at Saving Addiction} You can take your box/binder/whatever to the store or take out the coupons you are going to use each week and add them to your clear purse envelope. Both of the above blogs have great tutorials on all of the lingo and can explain things in more detail.

     I hope that this is helpful and will spur you on to greater savings. I'm telling you, this saving money thing is a bit addicting! Since I started couponing and have seen what can be had for little money it makes me almost sick to pay full price for anything! Don't let this get the better of you though. Only buy what you will use or what you will donate to a good cause. Just because you can get 57 Snuggies for $2.00 each doesn't mean you should!

I'm linking up here:
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