Friday, April 29, 2011

Wish Me Sewing Luck!

I have a couple projects left for Lucky's room.  One of them involves this fabric:

and this machine:

I recently set the machine up in our guest room on a desk we moved in from the basement family room.  The sewing machine and the desk are both from my parents.  When I was young (like 6 or 7), I was so amazed by my mom's sewing machine that I asked if she'd give it to me when she died.  Seriously, who does that?  I'm embarassed, and my mom won't let me forget about it:).  Anyway, she gave me her sewing machine recently, and I have yet to use it.  I'm scared to use it, actually.  I don't have much patience with putzy work.  I save my patience for my kids.  Sewing is putzy and requires patience, especially when you're a beginner, like me.

I once made a dress and a purse on a sewing machine, so I've been successful in the past.  It's just that my past success was about 20 years ago and immediately following a Home Ec class in junior high.  Hopefully, after this project, I won't wait another 20 years before sewing anything else:).

Last weekend, my mother-in-law helped me string it/set up the machine (I don't know sewing verbage).  It works.  We tested it.  Now, the pressure is on.  It's time to get sewing!

Here is my plea:

Sewing Gods, please let my sewing project go smoothly.  I want to have the option to sew things.  Like curtains for Charm's room and pillow covers for everywhere.  And Real God, if you have a spare second, could you lend me a hand and some patience?

Very Sincerely,

Wish me luck and have a great weekend!

Target Daily Online Deal

Target posts a new 'Daily Deal' every day, and today's deal is pretty awesome if you're a bra wearer.  Select bras are buy one get one free, so you can get 2 bras for $10, but if you buy 8, you'll get 20% off your order.  Your order will go from $80 (before buy one get one discount applies) - $16 (20% off discount) -$40 (buy one get one sale) = $24 for 8 bras.  Free shipping also applies automatically. 

And if you have a Target Red Card, you'll get another 5% off the presale price = $4 more off, bringing the total down to $20 for 8 bras.  And if you live in Minnesota, there is no sales tax on clothing.  And if you go through Ebates, you'll save another 3%.  Wowsers!  I had another $7 off a $70 purchase coupon that applied as well, so my total was $13 for 8 bras shipped to my door.  I'd post my order summary, but I don't need everyone knowing my bra size:).

They will sell out fast, most likely!

Update: My order came on Friday 5/6/ week after ordering! 

Who? Who? Who Spent $20 Last Night and Saved Nearly $50?

Me!  These guys came home with me and cost me just under $20 buckaroos:
I bought three items.  The first is still in a box and has to be put together.  It's a rolling printer cart with a small top drawer and a file drawer.  It was part of the big Target furniture clearance that started yesterday, and was 75% off = $14.98. 

I've decided I'm going to try a new couponing system that involves file folders and only clipping the coupons that I plan on using.  I'm hoping this will take less time and be more efficient for me.  I stumbled upon Rachael's blog Total $avings and she describes this system really well here.  While, I have a perfectly functioning desk with file drawers and even a lateral file, the ability to be mobile with my coupon station is really appealing to me.  It can live in our office, but come out and play with the kiddos in the play room or our family room as well, depending on the day.  We'll see how it goes.  For $15, I'm willing to give it a go.  I can always fall back to my current technique, which involves 4 plastic pocket files and works well for me, but is time consuming.  I do want to try to streamline the process,  however.  Time = Money.  (Tyme = Money.  Do they still have Tyme Machines anywhere?  I think it's a Wisconsin thing, because they don't have them here.)  Here's hoping it works!

I also picked up a couple cheap accessories for Lucky's room.  I found a hook with the letter 'L' on it.  I love typography, so Lucky will have lots of 'L decor' in her room.  I especially love this hook.  It's perfectly imperfect, and was $1.99 at TJ Maxx. 

Finally, I found this owl at Pier 1 Imports.  It was 50% off = $2.88, and was actually part of their Easter Clearance sale.  Lucky and I have a thing for owls, so it had to come home with me:). 

Cost Summary
Rolling File Cart: $14.98
L Hook: $1.99
Owl: $2.88
Grand Total = $19.85

Savings Summary
Rolling Cart (75% off): $45 savings
L Hook: $1 savings from 'compare at' price
Owl (50% off): $2.88 savings
Total Saved = $48.88

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Toy Storage Galore!

I posted yesterday about Lucky's new room addition, and I showed a picture of the exterior.  Here is what was going on inside when we bought it:

I wasn't loving the wood surface inside, so I used these supplies:

Modge Podge, foam brush, Exacto knife, and 2 rolls of wrapping paper from Target

And now look inside:

Lucky has lots of toy storage!

Project Breakdown:
I had everything on hand, except for the wrapping paper, which cost about $7 for 2 rolls.  I didn't use very much of it, so I'll be able to wrap presents with it down the road as well. 

My tips for you if you are interested in trying this project out would be to use a fabric measuring tape to measure your drawer space, and then draw it out on the paper with a yard stick for ease in making straight cuts.  I am not a straight cutter, even with an Exacto knife, and crooked cuts were very frustrating.  The yardstick method worked well for me.  Also, if you want a really smooth, clean look, invest in some high quality paper to cover the areas.  I just used the thin, regular kind and it definitely bubbled up on me.  I'm calling it character and rolling with it.  It's a $50 toy cupboard in a 3 year old's room.  She's not that picky:).

Weekly Errands

Rainbow Grocery Highlights:
  • 5 Boxes of Post Cereal: $2/box sale price, plus if you bought 5, you got a coupon for $5 off your next purchase (I usually split my order in half to maximize coupon doubling efforts, so I was able to use the $5 immediately on my second chance to lose or forget about the coupon) = $5 for 5 boxes
  • 4 Bottles of Fuze Water: $1/bottle sale price - $1 off 2 bottle coupon that doubled x 2 coupons = 4 FREE bottles
  • ACT Mouth Rinse: $3.19 sale price - $1 off coupon that doubled x 2 coupons = 2 ACT bottles for $2.38
  • Old Orchard Naturals Juice: $2 sale price - $1 off per bottle coupon that doubled x 2 = 2 FREE juice bottles
  • Huge Bag of Roundy's Shredded Cheese: $0.98 sale price (Customer Appreciation Store Special)
  • 2 Bags of Kraft Shredded Cheese: $2/bag sale price - $0.50 off coupon that doubled x 2 coupons = $2 for 2 bags of cheese
My total for everything pictured: $10.36

Overall, I spent $66.73 this week and saved $58.88.  I didn't reach my goal of 50% savings this week, but I came close.  I also blame these:
Lucky is obsessed with them.  They are Roundy's brand frozen Cheese Tortellini.  Out of the blue yesterday afternoon, Lucky said, "Mommy, I'm thinking we should have tortellini's for dinner." While it was nice of her to help me meal plan for the evening, we had just eaten a bag the night before.  She would eat them every single night for dinner if we prepared them for her.  They cost $3.79 per bag, and they rarely go on sale.  We make them about once per week, sometimes twice.  And that's why I'm about $8 shy of my goal.  Two bags of Tortellini's :).

Moving on to Walgreens
I wasn't super excited about the Walgreens ad this week, but I still popped into the store for about 5 minutes and did 2 nearly identical transactions to score these items:

 Transaction #1
Transaction #2

Both pictures are essentially the same deal.  The ice pops were on sale for $0.59 per box, the candy bars (filler items) were on sale for $0.39 each and the Stayfree was on sale for $2.99.  I had a $1 off coupon x 2 for the Stayfree, and I used one $3 Register Reward from last week for each transaction (I still have $14 in Register Rewards remaining from last week).  (Here is the Stayfree coupon if you're interested.)

I paid $0.39 out of pocket for each transaction.  My total was $0.78 for all items in both pictures, AND I received $6 back in Register Rewards for purchasing the Stayfree (in separate transactions).  Yahoo!

Next Up, Target.
Hello, Easter Clearance!  I love holiday clearance sales.  I never buy when it's 50% off.  I wait until it's at least 75% off, and I try to check back a couple days later to see if anything makes it to 90% off.  Here is what I found at Target for 75% off:

I found all of the goodies on the floor in the Easter Clearance section.  Even the Betty Crocker Sugar Cookie bags which have no Easter references on them whatsoever.  Weird.  They rang up at $0.43 each which is awesome because Lucky LOVES to bake.  We'll go through all 5 of the bags I purchased in 6 weeks, I bet.  The frosting rang up at $0.42 each x 4.  Now that I'm looking at my pictures, I didn't take enough close ups, but you get the idea.  Everything was cheap!!   

The Starburst Jelly beans were $1.24 (candy was 50% off, normally $2.49).  Bunny Potato Head was $2.49 and the Wheel Pal 2-pacs were $1.24 each.  The Play-Doh packs were $0.99 each.  I also picked up some plastic Easter eggs for $0.49, paper Easter grass for $0.37 each x 5, Egg Dye Kits for $0.62 and $0.99 each, an Easter bake pan for $2.24, cookie sprinkles for $1.49 each x 2, Kraft Marshmallow Bag for $0.29, Tollhouse sprinkles for $0.64, and an Easter Book for $1.99.  I was also able to score some coordinating Easter baskets for next year.  I love the idea of having coordinating baskets.  They were $3 each for the small ones and $3.50 for the big one.  Also, new baskets means I can sell these random ones in our garage sale:

3 baskets into the house, 5 baskets out!

In total, I spent $36.61 on Easter Goodies, and about $10 of that total is for food items that we'll enjoy in the next couple months and beyond (sprinkles last forever!!).  I figure I'm pretty well set for Easter next year for about $25 and that includes brand spanking new baskets that we'll hopefully enjoy for years to come!  (I will have to toss in a few food treats for the kiddos next year, but I'll buy them fresh:)).  I've already put the new baskets and Easter toys, etc in our Easter Rubbermaid in the basement.  We're good to go!  (I saved about $107 on my Easter purchases!)

Pictured on the couch in the images above are three pieces of clothing that I also picked up at Target.  I bought a long tank dress for $6.24 (75% off) and a fun short sleeve sweater top for $6.98 (75% off also).  Finally, I stumbled upon the blue and white striped shirt for Lucky.  Here is a close up:
I wish I knew how to make my blog background look like this.  Because I'm computer illiterate, Bill added my picture and a new widget that lets you click on 'related' posts at the bottom of each post.  Widget is a funny word.  Anyway, next on my 'blog to do list' is to make my background this sunshine shirt. 

I remember my parents singing this song when I was little, especially my dad.  Bill and I sing it to our kids all the time too.  I think Lucky could recite the lyrics by the time she was 2 or maybe 2 1/2.  I always call her my Sunshine Girl.  This shirt was only 30% off ($6.98) and the smallest kid size available was medium (Lucky is an XS), but it jumped in my cart anyway.

Local Thrift Store
I made a stop this week to a local thrift store which was having a '50% off the entire store' sale.  Here is what I found:
 GAP jean jacket, barely worn.  For Charm, eventually.  Full price $4.99.  I paid $2.49.
Adorable Butterfly Jean Jacket for the Lucky Girl.  Full price $6.99.  I paid $3.49. 

Cute long sleeve Charm Shirt ($3.99 full price, I paid $1.98) and a pair of jeans for Lucky ($3.49 full price, I paid $1.75)
Total for 4 garments: $9.71

I'm very picky about thrift store clothing, and I never buy anything that doesn't look practically new.  It's easy to do with kids clothing because they outgrow clothing before they have the chance to wear it sometimes!  I usually do well buying clothing for my kids at Target on clearance, but these prices are even better than Target 75% off clearance.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Latest Addition to Lucky's Room

It's a big ol' buffet that we scored on Craigslist for $50.  It's going to be great for toy and book storage.  It actually was already painted the pinkish-red color that is pictured, so we knew it was a winner for her room.  No paint.  No paint supplies.  No time spent on painting.  Yes!  We already furniture strapped it to the wall for security and Lucky is adding quickly filling it with books and stuffed animals.  I'll post more on this tomorrow.  It's been a busy day around here!

Look at My New Lampshade Stash

In addition to picking up our new griddle this weekend, I also came across several drum lampshades that I am super excited about.  They were on clearance 75% off, so all 6 (they are double stacked in the picture) were less than $30 total ($4.98 each).  I'm seeing thrift store lamps and spray paint in my near future.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

My Funny Life

In the past two days:
  • I laughed while eating a jelly bean and got the bean stuck in my sinus cavity.  It dissolved away after some mild burning and irritation.
  • I ventured out to Menards and Hancock Fabric with a big wad of mushed up banana in my hair courtesy of Charmbo.  I discovered it when I got home. 
  • I struggled to get the cap off a brand new can of spray paint.  When I finally snapped the cover off, the actuator actually snapped in half.  Perfect color.  Perfect project.  Saved for another day.  When I told Lucky what happened she said, "It's okay Mommy.  No big deal."
  • Charm discovered bras and snaps my strap every time I'm holding him.
  • It has become a routine every morning for Lucky to, in her own words, 'decorate' her bed.  She pulls the new coverlet up and plops a throw pillow on it.  It's messy and perfect at the same time.
  • Charm discovered 2 piece pajamas after I put a pair of Lucky's pajamas on him without thinking.  He loves them and isn't going back to sleeper onesies.  My baby is growing up!
Motherhood is so humbling and so rewarding.  Even the bad days are good.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Spring has Sprung!

And with the coming of spring, here is our growing list of outdoor projects in no particular order:

1. Uncovering our Garage Floor. 
It's really bad in there.  And we want to hold a garage sale in three weeks.  We are going to be very, very busy to say the least.

2a.  Tightening the bolts on our playset. 
Last August, we put together this playset.  And by we, I mean my husband and father-in-law.  They put it together over the course of several days that ended up being the hottest days of the summer.  Most of the pictures I took during the process turned out foggy from the humidity that attacked the camera when it was brought outside.  After a long, cold winter, we want to make sure it's all safe and secure before sending the kiddos up to play.
Update: A spring Easter day helped us to take care of this 'to do'!

2b.  I also would like to add some more fun things in the club house portion of the playset.  Since the Easter Bunny brought the kids a 'steering wheel', we took advantage of the nice weather to install it.



3. Tackling the dead plants in our landscaping and adding mulch to the beds that need it.
Bye Dead Plant.

4. Adding Gutters.
Our house is 4 years old and doesn't have gutters.  We need to install some.  It's going to be expensive.

5. Staining the Deck.
It's grey and sad looking.  Thankfully, it's one of the smaller decks I've seen, so the job shouldn't be too terrible:).

6. Planting a Vegetable Garden.
Can you picture it?  We are all so excited to do some vegetable farming this year.

7. Mudjacking the concrete in front of our porch steps.
See the blue-green foam between the driveway and the stair?  That shouldn't be visible.  Our driveway has settled over time.  It needs to be mudjacked.  Another expensive 'to do' that we'll be hiring out.

8. Purchasing some patio furniture (probably a used set or end of the season clearance set because the bulk of our outdoor budget this year will be used towards gutters and mudjacking).

9.  Window washing.  We'll be able to appreciate our hard work in the yard even more if we can see out our windows!:)

That's it...just a few hours worth of work, right?:)  Thankfully, we've got the whole summer to tackle some of these projects, and they all involve being outdoors which is very important for those of us who have been cooped up all winter long.  Yeah for Spring!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter Excitement!

We had so much fun this Easter!  Check it out!

The Morning Easter Basket Hunt:

Easter Mass Gear Before:
Target Clearance--suit was $6.24 last summer and dress was $7.48 a month ago

And After:
 There is no caption I could write that is funnier than their faces.

 It actually wasn't hat weather here, but she's still in the habit of throwing a hat on her head before leaving the house.  Please stay Spring.  Please.

After Church Time:

 Don't you love the Toy Story Woody socks that he insisted on wearing with his shirt and tie?

 Risky Business, Starring Charm! 

Bill and I tried to coordinate outfits with the kiddos too.
Lucky is the photographer on this one.  Don't ask how many pictures
she took before we got one that wasn't blurred to the max:).  She was such a trooper!

Egg Decorating Fun:

She has so many expressions...I don't know what to call this one.

Outside Play Time:
 I love the jacket that Charm is wearing.  I Target-stalked it for awhile and jumped on it when it hit $6.24.  I may have bought a couple different sizes, so he may be wearing the same jacket for the next few years:).

Looking at Lucky's face makes me laugh again.  She was making me smile all day long with her goofy grins!

And finally, look what the Easter Bunny brought for Bill and me:
Extreme Griddle Excitement!!!  Yuppers, I found one on Saturday for the Target clearance price of $12.48...I'm sure it will drop to $6.24 (75% off price), but it was worth it to us to have an elaborate 'breakfast for dinner' on a new griddle on Easter Sunday.

The griddle worked great, and Lucky enjoyed her enormous-by-request pancake which was much easier to flip on the griddle than it would have been in a pan.

Hope you all had a wonderful Easter weekend too!