Wednesday, March 28, 2012

10 Easy DIY Projects

1. Plate Art

Here's How:
Glue contrasting colors and sizes of plates together with epoxy or all-purpose glue (clamp them with a belt or bungee cord while the glue dries) and hang with plate hooks in columns on the wall.

2. Find the Bright Side

Here's How:
Don't let the inside of a wood-stained bookcase or hutch keep beautiful display pieces in the dark. Show off the contents and lighten the decorative mood of the entire room by painting the shelves' interior backing a lively color. Add even more personality by wallpapering the inside with a fun pattern. Or paint foam board and cut to fit perfectly inside. Take your pick!

3. Easy Artwork

Here's How:
Gather a handful of floating frames to hang on a wall in an abstract arrangement. Fill the frames with beautiful letterpress cards, your grandmother's handkerchiefs, or anything that strikes your fancy and complements your decor.

4. Decorative Memo Station

Here's How;
Turn a plain bulletin board into a decorative accessory that's functional, too. Display a bulletin board in a stylish frame. Then add a decorative wall decal on the cork to dress up the memo board.

5. Unexpected Bookcase

Here's How:
Turn a non functioning fireplace into a practical and pretty storage space by outfitting it with shelves. Measure the opening and build a plywood insert to fit snugly inside. Cut shelves to fit across. Then paint the pieces and wallpaper the back of the insert. Screw the shelves in place and set the insert in the firebox.

6. Furniture Facelift

Here's How:
Turn a tired piece of furniture into a new treasure. Search flea markets, craigslist and garage sales for old furniture with good bones. This charming desk was originally a vanity table. After the mirror was removed and repurposed as a cork board, the table was sanded, primed, and painted. Pretty papers decoupaged onto the drawer fronts and new knobs add decorative character.

7. Creative Dining Display

Here's How:
In the dining room, try this creative alternative for a standard hutch or china cabinet. Hang a pair of bookcases horizontally on the wall, then slide a third on the floor below. Display favorite dinnerware and keep serving pieces handy in the cubbies. Install the middle bookcase at counter height so it serves double-duty as a buffet station or bar.

7. Pretty Wall Panels

Here's How:
Finding artwork to make an impact on a large, empty wall can cost a fortune. Instead, make your own for a custom look and fit. Choose sheer curtain panels to coordinate with your room's decor. Paint large stripes on the wall slightly wider than the panels. Mount short curtain rods at the ceiling to hang the curtain panels in front of the stripes.

8. Jewelery Holder
Here's How:
Dress up your side of the bedroom and keep all your jewelery organized. Find different size frames, place scrapbook cardstock/paper inside frames, remove glass, add some small knobs or decorative hooks. Hang up your frames and jewelery and walla...adorable decorative jewelery hangings! 

9. Clever Bath Cabinet

Here's How:
Add storage and display space on a blank bathroom wall by converting an old dresser drawer into a decorative medicine cabinet. Cut a plywood shelf to fit inside and nail it in place. Paint the cabinet to match your room, and decorate the back with wallpaper or scrapbook paper, if desired (glue the paper in place before you secure the shelf). Screw eye hooks into the bottom and thread a painted dowel rod through for a towel bar.

10. Changing Table into Mobile Storage
Here's How:
Change up your baby changing table by removing cushions, painting (i would paint fun color) and adding whatever you could need. Pictured is a beverage cart. They installed wine glass hooks on bottom shelf, hanging utility or shower rack on out side, pop can holder to store cans, and a raised shelf for plates. I would  customize it more to an outdoor bbq cart. Add hooks along otter edge to hang grilling utensils, add a napkin holder, cups and utensil holder etc. Use bottom shelf to add in a decorative bowl to add ice and condiments for burgers. But make it whatever you choose. Be creative!

Photo's and some content thanks to Better Homes and Gardens

Be Creative~
Bree and J

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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Not Your Grandma's 3-Bean Salad

This recipe is quick and easy!  All these items I had on hand but feel free to modify to your taste.

1 can of green beans
1 can of red kidney beans
1 can of chick peas
1 small onion
1/4 cup of balsalmic vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon celery seeds
1/2 dry mustard
1 clove garlic, minced

Dump it all in a container with a tight fitting lid.

Shake it up and enjoy!!!
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April Fools...PRANKS...for kids

I am a true kid at heart and April Fool's Day has always been fun for me! This will be the first year that my oldest son will be able to really understand whats going on....I am SO excited to trick and fool him...and his dad! LOL!
Some very simple things you can do with no prework and (here's my frugal side) it won't cost you a thing is:
~Switch up your place setting. Kids eat on adult dinner ware and parents eat with the kids.
~Flip plates over and serve dinner on the underside of the plate.
~While they are asleep, dig out some Christmas decorations and decorate the house.
~Have them dress for school mis-matched or inside out...2 different shoes.
~While they are asleep take all the toys away...leaving empty bins.
Be creative and most of all HAVE FUN!
Here are some other fun ideas as well!
I looked forever to find these easy to do, easily understandable, a fun tricks you can pull on your kids!
"FAKIN' and Eggs"
Ingredients :
  • 3 tablespoons white chocolate chips
  • 12 yellow M&MS
  • 1 square caramel
  • 1 Tootsie Roll Midgee

For the eggs:

Melt the white chocolate chips according to the package directions. Transfer the melted chocolate to a ziplock bag and snip off a corner. Squeeze nickel-size portions of the chocolate onto a sheet of waxed paper, then gently press a yellow M&M, letter side down, into the center of each. Let
the candies cool. Makes 12 eggs.

For the fakin':
Remove the wrapping from a square caramel and a Tootsie Roll Midgee. Microwave the candies for 4 seconds to make them soft. Use your thumb and forefinger to slightly flatten each candy piece, then press them together.
Halve the candy, then stack and press the pieces into alternating layers. Slice a 1/4-inch-wide piece from the stack. Pinch and stretch the piece lengthwise into a flat bacon strip, then cut it in half.
Add ripples to each half by gently bending the edges. Makes 3 strips (6 pieces) (Prank found on Family Fun)


Leave this "accident" on the carpet or couch  April Fools' Day and listen to everyone exclaim, "Not me!" for a bit before letting them in on the secret: dried paint and glue make a believable mess. This project needs to be made several days in advance, but the payoff is well worth it.

Mix 2 tablespoons of tacky glue with about 1 tablespoon of brown acrylic paint (remember that the shade will darken as the glue dries). Drizzle some of the mixture down the inside of a disposable cup, then lay the cup and a plastic spoon on a cookie sheet covered with plastic wrap. Pour the rest of the mixture near the cup's edge and onto the spoon, adding a few mini marshmallows (snipped in half for a partially melted look) if you like. Allow the mess to dry for about 3 days, then remove it from the plastic wrap and let it air-dry completely on a protected surface. (Prank Found on Family Fun)


Following the package directions, mix up a box of lemon-flavored gelatin (we added a drop of red food coloring to darken it)(you can also do yellow or green). Pour the mixture into clear glasses and insert a drinking straw into each. Place the glasses in the refrigerator to set. When they're ready, serve the jiggling juice to the next parched target (or two!) looking for a cool drink. (Prank found on Family Fun)


Freak out your kids or spouse by adding Crayola Color Dotz Bath Tub Tints inside the faucet! Unscrew the cap on the faucet, and set a couple of the tablets inside. When the water is turned on, get ready for a burst of color! And it’s easy with no clean up.  (Water prank found on Martha Stewart)

Happy Pranking!
Bree and J
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Monday, March 26, 2012

Money Saving Tip: Watch TV w/o the the heavy price tag??

The Office, Modern Family, Desperate Housewives, Bones, House, Vampire Diaries, Jersey Shore (yes..I watch this's my guilty pleasure), The Bachelor(ette)(pad), Biggest Loser, Grey's Anatomy and MORE!

When my husband (Brock) and I first bought our house we were living on 2 incomes. He in construction and myself in the dental field. I was 5 months pregnant when we moved in. A few months later I was put on bed rest with no disability to collect on. We went from 2 incomes to 1 in a day. The need to significantly cut back on our expenses was a major stress in our add to that we were having our first baby as well! This should be a happy time!

We eventually made it work and are firm believers in everything happens for a reason. It always works out no matter how hard at times it is to believe in that.

My husband, Brock, Myself
and our children
Bradley 4,  Braeden 2 &
Brooklyn (pictured at 4 mo) now 8 mo

Now we have 3 children, ever since our first I was basically able to stay home and raise our children , still on 1 income and we just took a more than $4.00/hour pay cut! All by choice.
Watching our budget and being frugal IS MY JOB among MANY others of a mommy. :)
One way I have found to cut costs from our budget and still have alittle luxury is by having no cable/dish service....essentially we have no tv in a way.

We have lived this way for just over 5 years. It was meant to be that the house we bought while pregnant with Bradley (our first) was brand new and there were no cable lines yet run to the home. I went on bed rest, we cut cost and never got it hooked up...we have lived without it ever since (we did have one 6 month time period of having tv, but eventually decided against it)

We have continuously had Internet and in turn have been able to still watch our favorite shows.

Most people have tv and Internet anyways. I challenge you to cut back as well.

Here is how you do it:

We pay for Internet only with comcast $39.99, this is also one of their cheapest ON GOING rate. No tricking you into terms or "introductory rates" that skyrocket when your "special promotion" time is up. (to save the MOST I took an "introductory rate" of $29.99 after the time period was up I talked to the loyalty dept, pretended I was going to cancel...the new rate was going to be over double...and they lowered it down to what is now)

Then we pay $7.99 for a Hulu Plus subscription. You can get Hulu FREE but some shows are limited and with Hulu Plus you can watch some past seasons of shows, stream tv on mobile devices in HD and more.
I watch some of my shows on my phone or Nook!

For more info on HULU or HULU plus feel free to visit their website or view HULU Plus' FREE guided tour and try it out for A WEEK FREE

Thats a TOTAL OF $47.98

You may need to remind your self to switch your show days on your calendar. Some shows (most) air the following day. Normally I wake up with my husband at 4:30 and after I send him off to work I grab my coffee and sit down with a few hours of PEACE AND QUIET and watch my shows. Thats about 8 hours later. I have never had a problem with the show not being available.

DVR or TiVo:
You can "save" your favorite shows to your Hulu "Queue"and when they air Hulu saves them for you. Then you can watch them any time or day you please!
Some of our other favorite shows like Survivor, Swamp People, Pawn Stars, etc sometimes aren't available yet on HULU, but you can still watch themthe day after on their network sites from your computer.

Also with the newer technology and HULU Plus you can set it up to stream RIGHT TO YOUR TV!


TV ONLY-special $29.99 goes to 49.99 after limited time over
TV & Internet-special $79.99 goes to $99.99 after limited time over

TV only MINIMUM package $29.99 introductory rate with contract
TV/INTERNET (starting rate) $69.98 VS. INTERNET/HULU = SAVINGS OF $22.00
(based off the Internet service I pay)

TV only MINIMUM package $24.99 introductory rate with contract
TV/INTERNET (starting rate) $64.98 VS. INTERNET/HULU = SAVINGS OF $17.00
(based off the Internet service I pay)

Hulu: FREE
Hulu Plus: try a week for free. $7.99 after that, NO contract

Hulu Plus Preview, A guided tour
Watch on any mobile device and game systems

"Hulu brings together a large selection of videos from over 350 content companies, including FOX, NBCUniversal, ABC, The CW, Univision, Criterion, A&E Networks, Lionsgate, Endemol, MGM, MTV Networks, Comedy Central, National Geographic, Digital Rights Group, Paramount, Sony Pictures, Warner Bros., TED and more. Users can choose from current primetime TV hits such as The Simpsons, Modern Family, Glee, The Office, Jersey Shore, The Daily Show and The Colbert Report; classics like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, The A-Team and Alfred Hitchcock Presents; full episodes and clips from Saturday Night Live; and Hulu original video productions like A Day in the Life and The Morning After. Hulu also offers a wide array of acclaimed movies and documentaries, including hundreds of titles from Miramax and the renowned Criterion Collection. " (, Hulu-About)


Q: "What do I do with my kids when I need to put them in front of the TV for a show to get alittle extra quiet time??"
A: We still HAVE a tv and ALOT of movies. When I need some peace or Bradley does his quiet time he can still watch a movie. :)

Boys were stunned to see
"Buddy the Elfs" reaction to
discovering the "fake Santa"
Keep Saving and think frugal~
Bree & J
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