Tuesday, September 8, 2009

I started my own business!!!

I finally did it! I started my own business a couple of months ago! The name of my business??? Why, The Thrifty Trendsetter, of course! :) If you have a chance, please come take a look! I would love to have you as a customer, and, if you don't see anything that you like, I welcome custom orders! Below are a few examples of my products!

Flights of Fancy MAG Board!

Board Bling!

"A trunk full of smiles" picture frame!

Thank you so much for looking! If you would leave a comment on my shop's website, I would really appreciate it! Also...grab my button!!! Just go to Life with the Lees, and on the sidebar is the code that you need to add my cute little button to your site! Plus, you might just enjoy the Life with the Lees blog! It's all about me and my family! Enjoy!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Taking a Break...

Hi Everyone! I just wanted to let you all know that I haven't disappeared! I have decided to take a break from this blog for a little while and focus more on my family. Family is so important, and means so much to me, so I just want to dedicate some of my time to them. I have started a blog all about our little family, if any of you are interested. It is called Life with the Lee's. I hope you enjoy getting to know me and my family a little better.

Don't worry...I will be back to posting on this site soon...just need some time to focus on my family.

Monday, May 4, 2009

I should win the "Worst Wife Ever" award.

So tomorrow is my hubby's birthday, and I requested off of work today a long time ago so that we could spend some time together to celebrate. I was going to make him a cake and decorate our house, and take our son to get Daddy's present. Well, none of this is happening. :(

I have had a cough for weeks now, and last night, I was running a 104.3 fever and started getting achy all over! So, today, the day that we were supposed to do all of this great stuff together, has been spent with me being absolutely miserable and ill, and my wonderful hubby is out mowing the grass.

We are supposed to go bowling tonight with all the fam, but even that is not going as planned! My mom hurt her foot (it may be broken, but she is too stubborn to go to the doctor and get it checked out!), so she can't bowl, my mother-in-law has a horrible cold, and may not come at all, and I feel like I've been run over by a train! I can tell that the hubby is disappointed, and I feel so bad about it!

The thing that upsets me the most about this whole situation is that I ALWAYS make him a cake, and this year I was going to make one of his favorites-chocolate cheesecake. Well, it takes quite a bit of effort to make this, and with me in my current condition, what did I do? I went to the store and bought a chocolate cheesecake! Better yet-I paid $13.00 for a tiny chocolate cheesecake that doesn't even look that great! Just go ahead and slap me with the worst wife ever award, because if anyone deserves it, it is definitely me!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

I'm going through something...

Hello all of my blogging friends. I know that it has been a while since I've posted, and for that, I apologize. I feel like I am going through a slump in my life right now, and maybe it will help me to just get it out there and talk about it.

Usually, blogging is my outlet. It gives me a sense of accomplishment and is a type of stress relief in my life. This past couple of weeks, I have had an ongoing illness that I just can't seem to shake, and it has me really down. I am a person who struggles with anxiety and depression, and I take medication to deal with this. Even though I am taking this medication faithfully, and have been for a year and a half, the past couple of weeks, I just feel like something has changed. I feel like I am gradually falling back into that hole of depression, and I desperately do not want this to happen. I am constantly tired and feel as if I don't want to do anything but lay around at home. I've got to shake this...I have a two year old and a husband to take care of. Please, say a little prayer for me. I don't want to fall back into the darkness of depression. My family deserves so much more of me than I am giving them right now.

I am going to try to start blogging more again. It really does seem to help. Thank you for listening my wonderful friends!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Just Started a New Blog!

I love, love, love this blog, but sometimes, I would really like to talk about things other than being thrifty and saving money. I mean, don't get me wrong, I love the topic, but I do sometimes want to tell you all other things too!!! So, I decided that along side this blog, I would start another one for things not money-related!

I thought long and hard about what I was going to call this new adventure of mine. I thought about titles that were related to family, titles related to decorating, and titles relating to other things that I love. There's just one problem with all of these though. I feel like whatever title you choose, is what your blog should discuss. I didn't want to limit myself. I wanted to be free to branch out and talk about whatever came to my mind!

All my life, my family has called me their little Drama Queen. Not always a title I have loved, but I have finally decided to accept it! I am what I am! Sooo.....if you have a few minutes, head over to my newest adventure and check out: Random Rantings of a Drama Queen!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

One of My Favorite New Sites!

I stumbled upon this site about a week ago, and as much as I wanted to be selfish and keep all of their ideas to myself, I decided to share it with YOU!!! Don't you feel special?! You will after you visit this site!

So...without further to do...my fav new site is (drumroll please).....This Young House!!! This is seriously one of the best sites that I have come across. This young couple have bought an old house, and have totally renovated it! It is GORGEOUS!!! I am so jealous! And, the crazy thing is-they are my age-27-and they know how to do all of this, and have made this site their full time jobs! Totally wish I could do that!

This young couple gives advice about how to redo your home, whether it is redecorating, or doing actual remodels. You can actually hire them to help you redecorate your house (for a fee, of course)-they call this their "mood boards". While this might be what some people would choose to do, I am just going to drool over the pictures of their home, and maybe try to recreate some of them for myself! If there is something that I cannot recreate, they actually have a shop on their site where you can purchase some of their items, at a really reasonable cost!

Probably my favorite area of their site is the "How-To" area. There are TONS of different topics to choose from, and they give you great tips on how to accomplish projects! I could spend hours...well, who am I kidding...I HAVE spend hours, pouring over this "How-To" section!

Whatever you do, definitely check out their "House Tour" section! You will be amazed at what this talented young couple has done! I am so totally impressed, and I know that you will be too! Leave me some comment love and let me know what you think! :)

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Something different this Saturday

So I know that I have been using Saturday's post for my "Supermarket Saturdays" feature, but we honestly don't need to go to the store this weekend! We have enough odds and ends to get us through for the week, which I'm so excited about because we are saving ourselves close to $100.00 this week! :)

I have decided to talk about the Saturday Spotlight on the wonderful SITS site! Now I don't gain anything personally for talking about this site, but I spent about 45 minutes this morning pouring over it, and decided that I just have to share it with you! (For those of you who are not a part of SITS (The Secret is in the Sauce), I would highly recommend that you join-it is a wonderful support group for us bloggers, and we are all supported by comments left from fellow SITSta's!) Anyway, every Saturday, they do a Saturday Spotlight. I always like who they choose, but today's spotlight is extra special, and so I just had to talk about them!

The Saturday Spotlight feature is Dali Decals! The second that I clicked over to their page, I fell in love! This site has the most gorgeous wall decals! These have become quite popular over the past few years, but I have honestly never found any that I am just crazy about...until now!!! Dali Decals has one of the largest selections of wall decals that I have ever come across, and their prices are definitely the best that I have found! The prices that I saw while browsing through their decals ranged from as little as $5.00 to $200.00. (The $200.00 was for a large tree that would probably take up most of your wall!) They offer everything from huge tree decals to monograms to headboards and children's decals! These do NOT look cheap! They would definitely dress up any room, and you will be the talk of the town!

One of the best things about Dali Decals is that they offer all of their decals in a HUGE selection of colors! Most places offer decals in your typical black, white, and maybe brown or gold; but Dali Decals offers everything from lime green (and we all know that I LOVE green!), to cardinal red, to purple, and any other color of the rainbow!!!

For those of you not familiar with wall decals, one of the best things about them is that they easily stick to your wall, and you can take them down whenever you feel like it! You don't have to repaint or anything like that! Dali Decals sends you easy instructions for applying and removing your decal with any purchase.

Please, if you have a moment, go check out this wonderful site! I fell in love with it the moment that I saw it, and I would be willing to bet that if you like decorating and a good deal as much as I do, you will fall in love with Dali Designs too!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Supermarket Saturdays

It's that time again! Supermarket Saturday! This week's menu is going to be a little different because Tuesday is my birthday, so my parents will be taking us out to dinner, so I don't have to plan a meal for that night, and also don't have to include it in our eating out budget.

Once again, we managed to stick to our $100.00/week food budget this last week! The total amount of money left over was $1.27. Man, we really cut it close, but we made it! :) So....without further ado....here is next weeks menu!



Cinnamon Rolls, Yogurt, Banana


Going to do something different: a full out breakfast for lunch! Breakfast Burritos, Hash Browns, Bacon, Fruit


Sunday Family Tradition-Mazzio's Pizza



Oatmeal, Yogurt


Leftover pizza from Mazzio's


Easy Chicken Tetrazinni, Brown Sugar Carrots, Green Beans



Bagel w/Strawberry Cream Cheese


My mom is taking me out for a special birthday lunch! (Not coming out of our budget!!)


Birthday dinner out! (Once again, not out of our budget!!! The fam is paying!)



Oatmeal, Fruit


Bagel sandwich, Pretzels, Fruit


Leftover Chicken Tetrazinni



Oatmeal, Yogurt


Healthy Choice Frozen Dinner


Ranch Cheddar Chicken, Peas, Rolls, Mashed Potatoes



Bagel w/Strawberry Cream Cheese


Soup, Prezels, Fruit


Nachos Supreme



Biscuits, Yogurt, Fruit


Chicken Salad Sandwiches


Having a big birthday party-we will be eating out, but this will be included in our budget

I'll let you know the final cost of groceries once I go to the store! Happy Saturday everyone!

**Total bill: $64.11!!! $35.89 left for the rest of the week!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Had to show you...

what I made! I think it is so cute! It was so easy to make, and was very inexpensive! So...thrifty and trendy! Ha!

If you are interested in this picture frame that I made, please visit my Etsy shop: www.thriftytrendsetter.etsy.com!

(I know...this is a totally shameless plug, but I've got to market somehow! )

Monday, April 13, 2009

Saving Money on Energy Costs

We are all looking for ways to save money. I have been doing some research on saving money when it comes to energy expenses. Here are ten inexpensive things you can do to help save energy and money:

Compact fluorescent light bulbs

Price: $2.00 to $3.00
Description: The CFL, as it is called, is longer-lasting and more efficient than the incandescent bulb. All fluorescent bulbs contain small amounts of mercury, though, so just make sure that you dispose of them correctly.
Savings: Around $10 per year per bulb.

Window insulator kit

Price: About $20
Description: An hour or so with a window insulator kit - which requires the use of a portable hair dryer - is an easy and cost-effective way to keep out drafts.
Savings: Windows and doors account for about 11 percent of heat loss in a home, so insulating windows could pay you back in a matter of a few months.

Smart strip

Price: $41.95 for the 10-outlet
Description: This device allows you to turn off the "power sucker" devices - like VCRs and DVD players that cost you around $4 a year, even when idle - when you turn off another device, like a TV. At the same time, it lets you keep power going to things that need to stay on, so your DVR will still be able to record your favorite programs overnight.
Savings: Use it to control six or seven devices and it can pay for itself in energy savings within a year.

Draft stopper

Price: $10 to $20
Description: Especially in older buildings, drafts coming in under the doors can account for 20 percent of a home's heat loss. You can find lots of door draft stoppers in home improvement stores or online, but if you're a crafty sort, you can also take the leg of an old pair of jeans, sew up the ends and fill it with buckwheat or sand, or even clean kitty litter.
Savings: Varies from house to house.

Low-flow shower heads

Price: around $12
Description: Not only do low-flow shower heads save water, they also help save on energy because you'll use less hot water. Federal regulations require that new shower heads cut the water flow to 2.5 gallons per minute, but this low-flow shower head can bring your water flow as low as 1.2 to 1.4 gallons per minute, which for most households means that it will cut down, not only on water used, but on the energy used to heat that water.
Savings: Recover the cost of the shower head within a few months.

Insulation blanket

Price: $20 to $30
Description: Wrapping your water heater in an insulation blanket will reduce the amount of heat lost through the tank's walls by about 25 to 45 percent.
Savings: They'll pay for themselves in reduced heating bills in a matter of months.

Child-safe plugs

Price: $3.29 for a package of 12 caps.
Description: Electrical wall outlets are another small, often overlooked culprit for drafts. Plug them up with plastic child safe plugs and keep out small fingers and drafts at the same time.
Savings: Overall heating cost savings varies.

Lamp socket auto-off light control

Price: $11.99
Description: If lights are consistently left on in places like the bathroom, the garage or the closet, this little gadget inserted in the socket automatically switches off the light after 15 minutes, and it works with both incandescent bulbs and CFLs.
Savings: Say a 100-watt light is left on each night for 10 hours, the auto-off control would pay for itself in a few months.

Slow cooker

Price: $149.99 for the KitchenAid 7-quart KSC700. (This is the top-of-the-line slow cooker!)
Description: If you can't afford a new Energy Star stove, think about investing in a slow cooker, especially if you like to make casseroles or large batches of food like beef stew or cassoulet. Good slow cookers can range from the $19.99 to $279.95. Mine was $39.99, and I love it! I use it at least once a week!
Savings: Varies, but the typical slow cooker will have used less than a kilowatt of power after seven hours of cooking.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Heart of a Servant Sundays

Happy Easter everyone! I hope you all are having a wonderful day with your families. We have had such a good day. We went to church this morning, and then my parents and my grandmothers came over for lunch and for egg hunting with our two-year old son. He loved it! He is now a huge fan of the Easter bunny! :)

I hope that you all were able to fulfill your "Heart of a Servant Sunday" goal for last week. I just know that if you will do small, kind things for other people, that you will feel so blessed.

What are you going to do this week to help someone? I am going to take some of my son's clothes that he has outgrown up to my office. My workplace is collecting donations for those who lost everything in the firestorms that we had this past week. So many people lost everything except the clothes that they were wearing. If you can't think of something to do for someone this week, maybe you could pray for these people. They are going through such a difficult time, and they definitely need our prayers. Prayer is such a powerful tool that God has given us! Thank you Lord for giving us this outlet!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Supermarket Saturdays

Well...it's that time again! Time to go to the grocery store! And...I am pleased to announce that we made it through the week and did not go over our $100.00 food budget! In fact, we have $4.00 left over. It's not much, but it's something! So here is my menu plan for this next week.


Cinnamon Rolls (or as my 2-year old son calls them "Dirty Biscuits"!)

Carrots and Potatoes
Green Beans

Eat out (Sunday night tradition with our family-Mazzio's pizza-about $10.00 w/coupon)



Leftover roast and veggies




Bagel Sandwich

Leftover burritos



Healthy Choice Frozen Lunch

Hashbrown Casserole



Bagel Sandwich

Leftover hashbrown casserole



Healthy Choice Frozen Lunch

Eat Out


Cinnamon Rolls

Bagel Sandwich

Baked Beans

Like always, if you would like any recipes, let me know, and I will post them! Also, as soon as I get back from the store today, I will let you know my total cost! Remember the goal....$100.00 or less total spent on food each week (includes groceries and eating out)!

**Okay...just got home from the store. Had to fight the droves of people shopping for Easter! My total was $76.09. So....that leaves $23.91 left for th rest of the week. Going to be difficult, but I think we can do it! :)

Friday, April 10, 2009

Oklahoma Firestorms

For those of you unaware of the devastating situation occurring in Oklahoma right now, I would like to fill you in so that you can keep these people in your thoughts and prayers. The following excerpt is from a news brief on http://www.koco.com/.

"The fires began Thursday afternoon along the Interstate 35 corridor in the central part of the state and continued to burn past nightfall, fueled by ferocious winds and an abundance of dry, early spring grass and brush.
"We have in excess of 100 homes that have been destroyed statewide," Emergency Management Director Albert Ashwood said Friday morning. "Originally we thought 100 were destroyed in the Midwest City and Choctaw areas, but that appears to be more like 100 structures. That's a good thing."
Water-dropping helicopters couldn't assist the ground effort because of winds that gusted to more than 60 mph in some areas on Thursday. With wind speeds slowing down, the Oklahoma National Guard will be able to help out Friday, Ashwood said.
Information on Friday morning indicates that nearly three dozen people have been injured."
This has been such a horrible tragedy for so many people throughout our state. There are many people who have lost everything. Thankfully, our house was no where near these fires, but several people that I work with had to evacuate their homes last night. Luckily, they didn't lose their homes, but many did. For those of you in Oklahoma, there are many ways to help out these people who have been devastated by the wildfires. Many locations throughout the Metro have set up donation sites where you can drop off items that will be needed. If you turn on the radio, they are announcing ways to help out at almost every commercial break. For those of you not in Oklahoma, one of the best ways that you can help is to pray for these people. If you feel like you would like to do more, you can go to any of the Oklahoma News websites, and there are links on ways that you can help. The Oklahoma News websites are: http://www.koco.com/, http://www.kfor.com/, and http://www.newsok.com/.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


I just wanted to take a moment to tell you all about Swagbucks! I found out about this site through some fellow bloggers who have used it and loved it! Swagbucks is a search engine like Google or Yahoo, but instead of them making money off of you, they give you the rewards! There are different ways to receive Swagbucks, but the easiest that I have found is just by using them to search for what you are looking for. Randomly, a page will pop up saying that you have won a certain number of Swagbucks. I have only used this for about two weeks, and I have already earned 19 Swagbucks!

There is a Swagbucks store that you can go to and make purchases with the Swagbucks that you have earned. Products range anywhere from music to DVD's to Wii's! The more that you use the search engine, the more you will earn. I was really skeptical about this site, but I have talked to several people who have actually turned in their Swagbucks and received their prizes, and they have been completely happy with their experience!

The way I see it, if I can earn prizes for doing what I do anyway on the computer everyday, I think it is worth a try! You can try this out by just clicking on the blue "Search and Win" button at the top right-hand side of my blog. Try it out, and let me know what you think! :)

Monday, April 6, 2009

Pics of the Homestead!

Over the past few months, we have been hard at work re-doing our kitchen and adding some finishing touches around our home that we purchased almost a year ago. I wish that I had a picture that I could show you of our kitchen before we re-did it, but unfortunately, I do not. Try to picture in your mind honey-colored wood and the ugliest cream and red plaid wallpaper covering the wall. That was our kitchen! I am a complete green freak, so I wanted a great green color in the kitchen. I have always wanted white woodwork also-I think it is so clean looking and makes a space look larger. I really wish that I could show you this in person, because the pictures just don't do it justice!
Our finished kitchen! I love it!

One of our cabinets-it didn't have a door on it, so we just painted the back wall the same green as the rest of the kitchen. I love the bowls on the top shelf!
The vent hood was an ugly copper color-we painted it black to update it. The items hanging behind the range are from IKEA-one of my fav stores!

One of my favorite cabinets! It contains our glasses. We couldn't afford to put glass in the openings of the cabinets, so they are just open-it gives the same effect though. I don't know if you can tell, but I love the knobs we found! They perfectly match the green paint! We found them at Hobby Lobby on a half price sale!
One of my favorite areas in our house! I LOVE the pitcher and creamer and sugar set! It was a gift from the sister-in-law! Thank you! The green tray, I found at Hob Lob for $3.00! And...I made the recipe box!
love this! I hate the way a bottle of dish soap looks sitting out on the counter, and it's just not practical to have to dig through the cabinet everytime you need it. So, I found this great soap dispenser for the bathroom at Target for $9.99. It works perfectly for dish soap, and is a pretty finishing touch!
We had a really big empty wall in the kitchen that we just didn't know what to do with. We couldn't really afford to purchase a really large picture to fill up the space; plus, we hadn't found one that we were thrilled with. I was at Kohl's the other day and found these great shadowboxes! They came in a set of three for $20.00. The best thing of all-they were buy one, get one free! I went to Hob Lob with my mother, and found these great knick-knacks, and she was nice enough to offer to pay for them-so, I saved myself about $25.00! Thanks, Mom!
This sign was perfect for our house! And, for $4.99 at Hob Lob, I couldn't pass it up!

This is a shelf in our living room. The total cost of everything on here was probably around $15.00! Oh...and the green "&"-it is from Pottery Barn and it was clearanced to $3.82! What a bargain!

And finally....our coffee table! I made the boxes, and the white vase, I got at a store closing sale for $1.50. I also got the little bouquet of green flowers at that same sale for $2.00-they were so cute, I couldn't pass them up! The other items on the table were gifts!
Well, I hope you all have enjoyed this little tour of my home. As you can see, I love green, black, and white! The good thing about the way that we have decorated is that if I get tired of green, which I know that I will eventually will, it will be easy to change out the green for another color! Oh....and I forgot to mention....our kitchen re-model cost about $100.00!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Heart of a Servant Sundays

Happy Sunday! I hope that everyone is having a great day! For my family, Sunday's are the day that we go to church to worship God and fellowship with others. It is one of my favorite days of the week! I was thinking that I could use my Sunday posts to maybe help spread my faith, and help others in their spiritual walk. So...here it is...my Sunday posts are now going to be a part of a feature called "Heart of a Servant Sundays." Even if you are not a follower of Christ, I still believe that you can benefit from reading this post and participating!

Heart of a Servant Sundays are going to be about ways that we can have the heart of a servant and help others. So many times, people think that the only way they can help others is monetarily, but I am here to tell you that that is not true. There are so many different ways to serve others. Sometimes, someone just needs some encouraging words, a hug, a warm meal, someone to watch their child for a couple of hours. The possibilities are endless.

I am here to tell you about a couple who helped me out during a time of need about six years ago. I was going through a very difficult time in my life, and was struggling to make ends meet. There were times when I would honestly go about four days without eating anything but bread because it was all I could afford. I remained faithful to Him though, and continued praying and going to church.

Church became my favorite time of the week because this is where my support system was. A husband and wife that I had become very close to took me out to lunch one day after church. They told me that they were going to take me to the grocery store after lunch and buy me groceries for the week. I was taken aback! I told them that this was not necessary, but they insisted, and said that they had been blessed financially, and that they wanted to help me. So, after lunch, they took me to the grocery store and asked me what type of food I liked. They had me help them pick out some food that I would like, and then they added a ton more to the cart. I couldn't believe it! They ended up buying me about $200.00 worth of groceries, and it fed me for about a month as I was able to freeze a lot of it. I will never forget these wonderful people and what they did for me. They were there for me in my biggest time of need. They truly had a servant heart.

Now I know that this was an example of how someone helped me in a financial way, but really, there are so many other ways to be a servant. I have been thinking about what I can do this week to be a servant to somebody else. I have decided that this week, I am going to send a card to one of my friends who is going through a time of illness right now. She has been sick for weeks, and is really feeling down. Even though she is sick, she has still made sure to ask how I am doing and ask about some health issues I have been having. She doesn't even complain about her own illness! She is so selfless, and a wonderful Christian example. I think that I will let her know that I appreciate her and let her know that I am thinking about her and praying for her. I know that this isn't much, but sometimes a note can go a long way.

Please, leave me a comment and let me know what you are going to do this week to show your servant heart. Or, if you're not sure, let me know what you think of this feature. I love to hear from you.

The Servant Song

Make me a servant,
Lord make me like You;
For You are a Servant,
Make me one too.

Lord, make me a servant,
Do what You must do,
To make me a servant;
Lord, make me like You.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Supermarket Saturdays

Hello everyone! I'm sorry it's been a week since my last post, but it was a crazy week! I hope to do better this week! I have decided that on Saturday's, I am now going to do a feature called, "Supermarket Saturdays." Since Saturday seems to be the day that I go to the grocery store, I thought, "Why not share my menu for the week with my readers?". My goal is to provide food that is homemade, inexpensive, and somewhat healthy for my family. Our money is extremely tight right now since my husband got laid off, so my goal is not to spend more than $100.00 per week on food-this includes eating out. Once I go to the store, I will post how much I ended up spending, and hopefully, I will be within budget! So....without further to do....here is my menu for the next week!

Sunday, April 5

Breakfast-Biscuits and Fruit

Lunch-Spaghetti, Green Beans, and Rolls

Dinner-We will be attending a church activity, so we will have to eat dinner out.

Monday, April 6

Breakfast-Oatmeal with Fruit

Lunch-Macaroni and Cheese, Peas, and Fruit (one of my son's favorites)

Dinner-Hamburger-Broccoli Manicotti (using the leftover spaghetti sauce from Sunday's lunch), Cooked Brown-Sugar Carrots, Fruit

Tuesday, April 7

Breakfast-Oatmeal or Bagel, Yogurt

Lunch-Leftovers from Monday's dinner

Dinner-Fajitas, Corn, Salad

Wednesday, April 8

Breakfast-Oatmeal or Bagel, Yogurt

Lunch-Leftover mac and cheese from Monday's lunch, Lunch meat slices, Fruit

Dinner-Biscuit Pizza's, Salad

Thursday, April 9

Breakfast-Oatmeal or Bagel, Yogurt

Lunch-Bagel Sandwich, Raw Veggies, Fruit

Dinner-Pork Chops, Salad, Fruit, Rolls

Friday, April 10

Breakfast-Oatmeal or Bagel, Yogurt

Lunch-Leftover Biscuit Pizza's

Dinner-Pork Fried Rice (made from Thursday's leftover pork chops), Raw Veggies, Salad

Saturday, April 11

Breakfast-Cinnamon Rolls

Lunch-Leftovers from Friday night's dinner

Dinner-Eat Out

This hopefully will be a fairly inexpensive trip to the grocery store, as I have planned meals around what I have in my pantry and freezer, and also around our grocery store's sale this week. We have hamburger meat, fajitas (meat and veggies), and pork chops in our freezer already. We also have macaroni and cheese, canned green beans, carrots, and corn in our pantry. Wish me luck at the store....we really want to have some leftover money on Saturday so that we are able to eat out!

Also, if you would like any of these recipes, let me know, and I will be happy to post them!

***Note: I just got back from the grocery store and my total was $71.84. I totally stuck to my list with the exception of two one pound packages of hamburger meat that were reduced to half price, and one $0.95 roll of aluminum foil that I forgot to put on my list in the first place. This only leaves us with $28.16 extra for the week-it's going to be tough, but hopefully, we can do it!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

I fell in love....

....with cleaning and organizing my house!

I'm hosting a party at my home this coming Thursday night, and so today has been dedicated to cleaning my house. Of course I will have to keep it clean throughout the week, but I wanted to get the big chores done and over with. I started looking around my house, and I began to get really depressed. It seems like no matter how hard I try, I just can't keep everything clean and decluttered! And trust me, I know how to clean. I grew up in a home that looked like a museum all the time--even my friends called it "the museum!" I don't know how my mom did it!

Well, I decided to look to the Internet for some ideas on how to keep my house clean, decluttered, and organized. I checked out several websites that gave some useful information, but they all wanted to sell me something. Being the thrifty girl that I am, I am definitely NOT going to pay for someone to tell me how to clean. I then stumbled upon a website called Organized Home. The second that I started to read this, my heart started to flutter, my knees went weak, and I knew I was in love!

Organized Home give you tons of information for cleaning and organizing your house, and you don't have to pay for it! Some of the topics that you can choose from are Clean House, Cutting Clutter, Get Organized, In The Kitchen, Family Ties, and Printables! Each topic has many different stories that you can choose from. There is even a fourteen week plan to organizing and cleaning your entire house--I'm not talking about regular cleaning--I'm talking thorough, crazy cleaning! You will love it!

I think that my favorite area of this website is the Printables area. It has so many different pages that you can print for FREE!!! You definitely need to check this out, because there are way to many printables for me tell you about. A few of them are: Daily To-Do List, Monthly Menu Planner, Pantry Inventory, Freezer Inventory, Craft Inventory, etc. Call me naive, but I never even thought about doing an inventory on my freezer or pantry!

I went through and organized all of my stacks and piles of craft items! I thought I would never get done. But I did, and it looks so much better! I still definitely have a long way to go to get my entire home decluttered and organized, but it sure looks a lot better, and I am ready for my party!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

My Obsession: APRONS!!!

Okay...I honestly don't know what it is about aprons, but I absolutely love them! I love full aprons and half aprons, vintage aprons and brand new aprons, and bright colored and muted colored aprons! If it is an apron, I've gotta have it! There are aprons that are made to where they have a great flirty shape when you put them on-I love these....they are probably my favorite!

I have come up with a list of possible reasons that I love these little gems so much! Here it is!

*They make me feel girly.
*For some reason, when I put one on, I feel like a better wife and mother.
*The patterns are so pretty that they dress up what you are wearing.
*You don't get your clothes dirty.
*I feel like I get more done when wearing one-it's an inspiration!
*People always say, "Oh...I love that apron!" If I just have on normal clothes, they usually don't say anything at all. (I know that this is completely vain of me, but sometimes a girl needs a compliment!)
*I feel like June Cleaver...which as hard as I may try, I will definitely never be.
*They make me proud of the job that I am doing.
*Just because I do.

Well, you all probably think that I am a total and complete freak now, but I don't care! I would scream it from the rooftops! I LOVE APRONS!!!! I know that there have got to be some of you out there that share my love....please leave me a little support with a comment! I would like to know that I'm not the only one out there!

I think that this obsession started when my Mother-in-Law gave me an apron as a gift right after my husband and I had gotten married. It is a pretty turquoise half-apron that has two pockets on the front, ties in the back, and has beautiful multi-colored embroidered flowers on it. When I opened it, I thought to myself, "What an odd gift...is she trying to tell me to be more domestic or something?" Well, the apron laid in a drawer for a couple of years, and I never thought once about it. Then one day, I came across it, and I decided to put it on when I made dinner that night. That is the night that the magic happened! I was totally swept off of my feet and the apron obsession began.

Now as you know, I am all about saving money. I have to make a confession though. I have spent quite a bit of money on aprons. I am a very crafty person, but just haven't really known how to sew, and I haven't had a sewing machine.....until now! My Mother-in-Law got a brand new, top-of-the-line sewing/embroidery machine, and decided she didn't need her old one (which I might add is a older model, top-of-the-line Bernina). So, she knew that I was really into making things, and decided to pass it down to me! Yea! Thank you MIL! My mother is totally jealous, because as she says, "It is totally the Cadillac of sewing machines!"

Well, I have found a blog that I just absolutely love! It is called "This and That." It is run by Angie out of Alberta, Canada, and she has tons of great tutorials on her site! And guess what?! Today's tutorial is "How to Make a Hostess Apron!" Thank you so much Angie! I now know how to make an apron, and maybe, I can stop spending so much money on them! She also has tons of other tutorials on her blog that I am so glad that I have found. You should definitely check her out! Her blog is: http://angieasplund.blogspot.com/. I am sure that you will love her as much as I do. I am now a devoted follower of hers too!

I also have to give some love to one of my new favorite Etsians! The picture of the beautiful girl holding the shovel in the apron, is from momomadeit! I love her aprons! She is so talented! I hope to one day have the type of talent that she does. I am so jealous....talented and beautiful.... Anyway, her site is http://momomadeit.etsy.com/.

As much as I love talking about aprons, I had better run! If I talk to much about this, I am going to be tempted to go shopping for more! Hmmm....maybe I'll go shopping for some great fabric that I can use to make my own.....

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Make Extra Money

Well...not good news around our household. My husband got laid off yesterday. :( This was totally unexpected! So now, we are really going to be attempting to find more ways to save/make money. I have come up with a list of several ways to make extra money. These are not guaranteed to make you tons of money, but every little bit helps, right?

1. Have a Garage Sale - Sure, people are buying less these days, but more and more people are looking for great deals. As people's incomes are decreasing, they are turning to discount stores, consignment shops, and garage sales to find items they need at lower prices. Having a garage sale is a great way to sell all those items that you never use anymore, and have no space for.

2. Sell Items on eBay - If you don't have enough items to justify a garage sale, eBay is a great place to sell items that you no longer use. A lot of people also make money doing something known as eBay arbitrage where they scour for deals on popular products, buy them, and turn around and sell those products on eBay for a profit. For example, Office Deport may offer an unbelievable deal on a popular brand of laptop computer and limit it to only 5 per store. A person gets up early and purchases the computer and then turns around and sells it on eBay. You can find these types of opportunities on Slickdeals and FatWallet. I also knew one lady who went to garage sales and thrift stores looking for brand name clothes to re-sell on eBay for a decent profit. I know that I have done this, and have made a big profit on an item that I spent very little on.

3. Put clothes on consignment - During recessions people tend to shop more at consignment stores to save money on clothing. If you have a closet filled with clothes you haven't worn in over one or two years you might gather them up and take them down to the nearest consignment store. Some stores offer you more if you take a credit for their store. If you shop there regularly, this might be something that you should take advantage of.

4. Babysit - Babysitting is a great way to make a little extra money. You can post fliers at your local church, or throughout your neighborhood. There are also some websites out there where you can list home services. Also, many times places like grocery stores and colleges will let you post fliers on a bulletin board with approval.

5. Rent out a Room - If you have an extra room in your home consider renting it out to make a little extra cash. With foreclosures on the rise, more and more people will be looking for places to rent. I would recommend that you do some research of who you are letting into your home. You can never be too cautious these days, and you don't want a criminal living in your home.

6. Bake/Craft Sales - Do you make an amazing pound cake, or beautiful stationary? You might consider selling your bake goods at a local farmers market. For craft items you could sell them at local arts & crafts fairs, on eBay, or sites like etsy.com.

7. Medical research - More than a few people have made some extra money by participating in clinical trials and medical research. Some medical research is pretty harmless such as answering questions in an MRI machine. Heres an account from GetRichSlowly. You can also sell your plasma at local plasma donation sites. They actually pay really well, and you get a check as soon as you're done donating.

8. Marketing Focus Groups - You might look-up local marketing research firms in your area and call them to see if you can be placed on their calling list for upcoming focus groups. The way it works is when they have an upcoming focus group they will call people on their list to find people who qualify based on certain characteristics such as age, sex, products used in the past year, etc.

9. A part-time Job - Consider taking on a part-time job. Some common part-time jobs include catering staff, ushers at sports events, and other types of temp and seasonal work. If you are looking for a part-time job in retail, I would recommend trying to work at a place that you shop at regularly. This way you can get an employee discount on the items that you regularly purchase.

10. Start a Blog or Niche Site - Do you have a hobby or subject you are passionately interested in. You might consider starting a blog or niche website. A word of caution, everyone thinks they are going to make a ton of money doing this and it is very rarely the case. It takes a lot of hard work, dedication, and time before a site starts to cover the full cost of your time. But if you are passionate about a subject, and are already spending time on it, why not earn a little extra money running a blog about it and connecting with others who share the same passion.

11. Offer Your Services on Craigslist - Craigslist has several categories where you can offer up your services. Common ones include domestic service, man with a van, catering and other types of service related work.

12. Bank Promos - Be on the lookout for bank promo offers as they can be a great way to earn a couple hundred bucks per year. Just last week I was offered $50 to open a checking account with First Fidelity Bank. Many times, you can find these on SlickDeals and FatWallet. You could also setup a Google Alert for "Bank Promo" or other related keywords.

I hope that this list has given you some ideas on ways to make some extra money. If you have any other ideas, please leave a comment! We all appreciate suggestions during these rough economic times!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Ode to IKEA

Okay...I have to say it...I heart IKEA!!!! It is quite possibly my favorite place in the whole world. You can go spend an entire day at the store (it should be called a city because it is so huge), and never see the same thing twice! It is a decorators dream come true. Not only are the items beautiful, but they also are amazingly inexpensive! So....I have decided to do some browsing, and show you some of my favorite things from this shopping mecca. (By the way-we furnished almost our entire home with IKEA products, and we spent right around $1000.00! This would have cost tens of thousands of dollars at other high-end retailers.)

Beautiful "Beata" Decorative Pillow-$14.99-At least half the price that you would pay at most stores!

"Hemnes" Queen size Bed-Also comes in white-$299.00-Whatmore can I say? The price is amazing!

"Solig" Beach Bag-$1.49 -I could carry a bunch of stuff in these!

"Luns" Writing/Magnetic Board-$14.99-Okay people...this is a seriously good deal. You would pay about $60.00 for this at Pottery Barn!

For those of you who love "shabby chic"-"Ektorp" chair-$349.00-also available in other fabrics

"Lack" Coffee Table-$49.99-Seriously...a great item for the price! I own this and love it. And, it is so inexpensive, that if it gets messed up, we can afford to buy a new one!
Isn't this beautiful? It is "Mixtur" priced at $8.99 or all four pieces! It is actually for food and can be used in the oven, but I can think of a ton of other things that i could use this for!

I love this "Borrby" Lantern priced at $6.99. It would be beautiful to use inside or out! Put a candle inside of it, or fill it up with some pretty greenery.

This pretty "Hasthov" blanket will be a nice accent in any room. $12.99

I think that this "Granas" table and chairs would be the perfect touch in a dining area. You can't beat the price-$249.99 for the table and four chairs!

I think that this "Barnslig Rund" rug is just adorable for a child's room or playroom. And, the price is adorable too at $12.99!

Well, I hope that you have enjoyed looking at some of my favorite IKEA finds! Leave me a comment, and let me know what your favorite item at IKEA is! I would love to hear from you!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Great Weekend Project!

With Spring finally here, it is time to start spending more time outdoors. Playing in the sandbox was one of my favorite things to do when I was a child. For those of you with children, this is a very simple and inexpensive project that your children will really enjoy!


1. Pick out a spot of the right size and shape for your desired sandbox.

Things to Consider:
Drainage after a rain storm, shade for the kids who may play for hours out there, line of sight for the adults watching over the kids, proper type of sand (see tips below)

2. Get black plastic garden tarp.

3. Get 2X4's or 2X6's that will fit the size of area you need. Consider wood that has been treated and is non toxic or synthetic decking 'wood.'

4. Dig a 3-inch-deep hole in the squared area with a shovel.

5. Take your boards and put three nails or screws in from top to bottom.

6. Lay the boards (which now should be in the shape of a square) and take the black plastic garden tarp and lay it on one side of the square to the other and do this until the square is covered completely. Staple the plastic to the boards.

7. Flip the square over and set it in inside the hole.

8. Fill with sand.


Consider a seating rail around the inside or outside of the sandbox where the kids can sit or place toys.

Bigger is better for the kids. A little sandbox doesn't allow for friends.

Don't use plastic. You'll end up with a muddy swimming pool after it rains. Use landscape fabric so the water can drain naturally.

If there are lots of cats, rabbits, other 'friendly' creatures in your area, consider enclosing the sandbox in screening or chicken wire so the kids aren't playing in animal droppings.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Ways to Save Money on Utilities

When it comes to household bills, utilities can be some of your highest bills. I have put together a list of tips to help cut the cost of those bills. I know that you probably can't do all of them, but even just doing a couple of them will save you some serious money in the long run.

Minimize electricity use during peak hours (weekdays during work hours). Do laundry, use hot water, etc. in the evenings.

Cook enough for several meals at once.

Turn off the tap when brushing your teeth.

Turn off shower when shampooing and soaping.

Work or read in the same room with family members or roommates to consolidate light usage.

Take advantage of natural daylight to get your work done. Sleep when it’s dark, get up as soon as it is light (before sunrise).

Hold off on personal phone calls that can wait until evenings and weekends when rates are lower or free.

Wash things on the lawn to water the grass at the same time.

Water the lawn or garden in the early morning or after sundown. Skip watering on windy days.

Use curtains to keep your house cool in summer and warm in winter.

Keep thermostat lower in the winter and wear extra layers.

Don’t separate colors in your laundry; instead, hand wash items that bleed. This way, you can reduce the number of loads. Saves water, electricity and soap.

Keep thermostat as high as can be tolerated in summer without harming your pets, antiques and musical instruments.

Drink lots of cold water to keep cool and reduce need for air conditioning.

Turn off air conditioning in late afternoon, open doors and windows and turn on fans. Spring is a great time to enjoy the fresh air!

Using ceiling fans in summer and winter (reverse directions to push warm air down).

For laundry, set a shorter dryer time. It’s better to have to do a touch up instead of using unnecessary gas or electricity. You’d be surprised how little time some clothing need to dry. If taken out still warm, damp things can still air dry quite quickly.

Cancel cable, purchase a few DVDs a month (which cost less than cable and leave you with an asset) and watch current shows online.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Gardening on a Budget

We planted our first real garden yesterday! I am so excited! It was super easy, and really fairly inexpensive. After much research, we chose to plant a raised bed garden. We found some instructions online at http://www.eartheasy.com/, and headed off to Home Depot. Our total cost for building the garden was $110.00. This included the cost of the lumber, the wood screws, the weed block liner, and 30 bags of organic humus and topsoil. The total time that it took to build this garden was about an hour! Here is a picture of what our new garden looks like!

We planted red onions, white onions, and strawberries. I have ordered some seeds on Ebay to complete our garden. We are going to plant green peppers, lettuce, tomatoes, and cucumbers as well. I have to say...I LOVE EBAY!!!! When you go to the store and buy a package of seeds, they range anywhere from 0.77 to 4.99 per package! That can really add up! Well...I got on Ebay, and we have a total of about 20,000 seeds (yes...20,000...that's not a typo!) being shipped to us, and we paid a total of 14.97! Not all of these are for the garden...we purchased a bunch of seeds for flowers too. This is the most inexpensive way to landscape your yard! And, if the plants don't live, you haven't spent hundreds of dollars on them!

I will keep you updated on our little garden. I am so excited for this summer, because we love to eat fresh vegetables, so this is going to save us a ton of money! Plus, it's a great family activity, and it will be really good for our two year old to be able to help out!