Friday, February 25, 2011

Pink Room Projects....Take 1,000!!!!!

Yes...another project in the "Pink Room!"  When I FINALLY finish this room my darling daughter will want to change it.  I just know it!  Oh well!  We rearranged her furniture after the holidays and it left me with this blank wall in the corner...

I don't like blank walls but what to do?  What to do?  I decided to take a cue from Centsational Girl and try an edited version of this.  The girl creates a lot of art and decorating her room with it would really be a "win-win" for us both. is the FRUGAL part....I already had all the items to create the idea I had in my head....

1.  frames
2.  white spray paint
3.  clips
4.  IKEA shelves
5.  art!

I had my WONDERFUL hubby hang 2 IKEA picture ledges I got from my sister....about 2 years ago!  (I knew they would come in handy some day!)  

No, he's not scowling...he has a something in his mouth.  "Bad idea, honey!"  Anyway...he was quite THRILLED with another "honey do" job...really!  I don't think I give him enough (HA!).  So, I had all the frames...just add a bit of white paint and some Tim Holtz bronze mini clips and "Tah Dah!"

I have yet to hang art in the 3 empty frames because I have yet to get my handy man back in there to put the necessary hardware in to hold them up....(shhhh!  They are currently just hanging there via some Sticky Tack!   Not the frames...the clips.  The frames are mounted on the wall with Command Velcro picture hangers...LOVE them!)  I got the idea to hang empty frames and put clips in them from Family Fun magazine.  I think it was in an issue last year.  The idea behind it is so that children can hang their own art and switch it out by themselves.  GENIUS!  I thought so and this idea has been tucked in a corner of my little brain for I can free that corner up for something important!  The empty frames were from my local thrift store, the other 2 frames were hand-me-downs from my Mother (thanks Mom!) and they originally came from Pottery Barn (score!)  I love that my sweet little pink thing can create something new and display it immediately...not when Mommy gets around to it!  (whew!)  

Now...would you like to hear about our next little project in this pink room?   Well...this one kind of came about because SOMEONE...I won't name any names...decided to hang from her curtains and PULLED THE HARDWARE AND MOLLIES RIGHT OUT OF THE WALL!!!! (ugh!)  Look!

Here is where the CUTE Pottery Barn tie backs USED TO BE!!!!

But wait!  I start thinking..."Look at how clean it looks. more yaya around the window...hmmm....maybe that little turkey did me a decorating favor???"
After a mini conference with hubby the executive decision was made to spackle...paint...and leave it bare!  The trim is beautiful...and the magazine rack that I hung a year AFTER the curtains is now not so crowded.  I think maybe a cute handmade pennant banner would be fun hanging at the top of this window???  Maybe with some of the old curtain fabric along with fabric from the  NEW upholstered headboard we are making this summer...OH THE PROJECTS KEEP COMING!!!!  YIPEE!  (Insert groan from husband here!) lol!  Oh well!  Bring on the spackle!

I'm having a 31 Party tonight...ever heard of it?   If not...go here and check it out!  My amazing cousin Sara would be happy to help you out!  She's driving here as we speak from Champaign, IL just to do a party for me!!!  xoxo to Sara!  So...enjoy your weekend!  I know I will!

p.s.  Look what we did with the knobs off the PB tie cute!!!

I am linking up here:

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

I Am Not A Killer! (Proof Below!)

Here is the "plant in question" right before his transplant.

OK...the title is dramatic but you have NO IDEA how excited I am right now!  I am kicking myself for not taking the ever popular "Before" pics because I NEVER NEVER NEVER in a million years thought I'd ever be posting about how I SAVED a plant. Yes, me...the black angel of plant death!  I SAVED not one but...TWO...YES TWO...COUNT THEM...1....2...PLANTS!  Here is how the story played out.  

A few months ago I was in hubby's basement office (if you've read previous blog posts you know...not my favorite space so I must REALLY love him...or need something).  I noticed that the ivy plant I bought him at IKEA was for lack of a better term...dying.  I decided since I'd spent good money on this plant...and I did go to college for goodness sake...I should be able to keep one tiny house plant alive.  Right?  Well, I tried anyway.  I brought it upstairs to the kitchen.  A much much MUCH sunnier place, trimmed off the brown leaves and gave it a big drink of water.  Then I set it on my kitchen island and waited.  Before I knew it the little guy came back to life.  And...a few months later he's GROWING!!  Yipee for me but not really blog worthy material...until yesterday! 

 I do really feel bad sometimes that my sweet, tolerant husband is stuck in the basement all day and I actually had 3 plants in his office.   I purchased  1 cactus (a U of A reminder for him...can't really kill those), one ivy that was now on my kitchen island and a mini philodendron.  Those are the wonderful plants for people like me.  Beautiful, green and can't be killed even if you douse them in gasoline and start them on fire...ok...maybe then but let's just say those babies have a will to live like no other house plant on the planet!  Anyway, 2 days ago I took one look at his mini philodendron and decided I had to be the paramedic.  It was PATHETIC to say the LEAST!  Here is where the kicking of myself comes in because if I were on my A-Game I would have snapped a "Before" shot.  I guess I have an extremely low self image when it comes to all things green because I NEVER thought I'd actually save the thing...BUT I DID!!!!  YES I DID!  IT LIVED! I gave it some water and put it under my pretty glass bell thing (no idea what the real name is...but they are CUTE!)  

I had the glass dome thing in the basement.  It is usually the cover for the guy I affectionately refer to as "Sparkly Santa"...but I may have to make other plans for the guy in the red suit because look at this...

(insert "ooohhhs and aaaahhhhs" here!)
Here are the two beauties I saved from sure basement death!  Aren't they GREAT?!  I actually replanted the philodendron once I was sure he was going to live.  He now resides happily in a Crate & Barrel chili bowl (I registered for like 50 when I got married 17 years ago..why??)  filled with a bit of tiny pebbles on the this...

I didn't even need to add any more dirt.  I cleaned up the glass dome is what it looked like before a tubby...all humid and wet...

(note the brown paper bag in the background...I am making a trio salad for dinner...found it here...and I need them to ripen ASAP!)

Anyway, to some of you this may be no more than the ramblings of a crazy lady.  To those of you who know me well I hope your mouths are gaping open over the wonder of it all!  I think there will be more live green things around here soon...just to ward off any more snow and remind me that spring time and outdoor planting is really just around the corner!  (And yes, Mom, since you are enjoying sunny Marco Island...they may even come from you house...HA!)

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Basement Dwelling...Not My Thing!

I am not a basement dweller.  Don't get me wrong, I was happy when my husband wanted to "finish" our basement.  We actually started the project RIGHT when we moved in and I am glad we did it.  Our basement is "functional".  Chris' office is down there.  I don't mean a "home office" I mean his OFFICE.  No one needs to visit their real estate appraiser.  He does all the visiting so he chose to save money and put it in the basement.  It allowed him to be home often and he really did see our kids grow up.  I have many friends who wonder how I can possibly stand to have him home all the time but actually, I love it! He has his space, I have mine.  We meet in the middle (the kitchen) at lunch time or sometimes we get crazy and have a middle of the week lunch date.  I love my husband.  I REALLY love spending time with him.  I guess we are practicing for retirement and we are doing really well!  

OK...back to the basement.  Our basement is nice.  It has an office, a bar area with a refrigerator and a large television.  I have tons of closet space for the kids toys.  I had the nice carpenters who finished our basement put a door on the space under the stairs and that became the Christmas closet.  I have a small storage area and we have a half bath.  Sounds nice...right?  Well, the truth is, I hate basements.  Even with SUPER SIZED window wells it's still dark down there.  It doesn't help that I had the bead board and all the trim work stained kinda dark.  Ok...I know that was a bit of a 70's idea but hear me out.  Our last house had a finished basement and we trimmed out everything in white and it got dinged and nicked by the kids and looked beat up.  So I thought I'd give the basement a fighting chance and start dark.  I am lucky to have a place for all the kids "stuff" and a space for them to play their wii games and not be right in my beautiful family room but I still am not a basement fan.  That being QUITE clear now...let me explain how I handed off the basement choices to my husband and didn't have much to do with them.  I didn't care.  I still really don't but now I am a bit aggregated with my lack of basement decor participation.  Now I am back pedalling and trying to spruce it up a bit.  Here is a small...small...small...attempt to make my basement not seem so...(what's the word?)...generic.  Here is our bathroom (generic) vanity BEFORE...

Look at those LOVELY brass (plastic) knobs.  Yuck!  So...while wandering around Hobby Lobby last week I stumbled down the knob aisle.  WOW is all I can say!  THE CHOICES!!  I think I spent 20 minutes ooohing and ahhhhing over all the options!  Since I am a polka dot fan (hence the blog title) I settled on these babies...take a look...don't they make quite a different??? Don't you think?!

Here is one up close and personal...

Hello cutie!  $9 well spent.  Does it improve the WHOLE basement.  Let's not get crazy...they're just knobs...but it's a START!  And I think I can live with these babies for awhile.  Now...if I could just do something about the sink!  I think that will have to wait a bit!  Right now I have 3 screaming children down my basement and I don't think even those cute knobs will distract me from the MESS I am sure they are making!  Enjoy President's Day tomorrow!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

On Being "Artsy"

I love all things artsy.  As a child I knew I wasn't "artsy" but I loved coloring, crafting and even scrapbooking (yes, I made scrapbooks before I knew what they really were!)  I sometimes wish I could spend all my free time doing "artsy" things.  I would take one whole day to make headbands...the next day I may spend the day with photos of my family and try to create scrapbook-worthy pages.  I love the different adhesives, ribbon, patterned paper, gems and ink.  I love browsing through scrapbook and craft magazines.  (add a cup of hot coffee and I'm in HEAVEN!)  I think my daughter may be an "artsy" girl too.  She loves to make things....she had BIG ideas...she sees treasure where others see trash.  I think my desire to be artsy may have transferred to her in the womb...because she IS!  She makes up some crazy outfits or crafts but I can see her mind working and I can ALMOST see in her eyes that some day she will do some AMAZING artsy things! is my version of "artsy"

And right now, at age 8, here is hers...

Make your own paper doll outfits...HOW COOL!  I would have LOVED this book as a kid!  I think I will pretend...just for today...that I am 8 again...gotta go find my bestie so we can be "artsy" together!
Have an "artsy" weekend!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Proud Momma...take One!

Do you see the cute boy in the center...the one with the microphone?  Well, he's my boy and I love him. Last night we went to a School Board Meeting to hear his speech and see him get his award for Student of the Month. 

 I can't help but getting sappy when I think about all the times we went to "Traveling Twos" class or Kindermusik and he wouldn't sit still or he had a FIT about having to give up an instrument....I was so worried.  I thought it was a peek into his school years.   I was sure he had ADD or ADHD and would need medication some day to be able to sit still.  I was REALLY sure I would get phone calls about how Ben couldn't follow directions or stop talking. 

 I WAS WRONG.  I wish I could go back in time and tell my younger self to "STOP WORRYING!!!"  I wish I could explain to her that he was just being little and he would get big and responsible.  He would get his black belt in TaeKwonDo and then work toward his second degree.  He would join the Speech Team, make the News Team, be inducted into the Junior Beta Club (that's an honors service society) and be in the spring play.  I wish I could tell my younger self to just enjoy this time.  Kiss and cuddle and forgive easily and let him be a little guy who can't sit still.  I love my big, responsible, thoughtful, smart, wonderful boy. 

 I try to appreciate, celebrate and spend time with him whenever I can.  Now I know that this time with him is fleeting.  He will grow faster each day.  Probably, by tomorrow, he will be taller than me.  He will be in high school in a bit over 2 years and then I will blink and he will be heading off to college.  Sniff.  I try desperately not to wish time live in the moment and remember as much as possible.  Because...all too soon I am going to long for my junior high boy who makes me laugh, shows me funny YouTube videos and still wants me to tuck him in every night!  

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

What Have You Been Up To?

I don't like the days when I am so busy I don't have time to sit, or think or reflect...I just DO!  Today has been one of those days.  I don't know if I need to start making a schedule and planning out my days but I know I don't waste time and find that on the days I am not teaching, I am crazy busy...but doing WHAT?'s a picture of today...
6:10am:  Turn off alarm.  Wake boy and get him to take a shower so his teachers don't call him the "smelly kid".
6:25: Head to the laundry room.  Let Miss Honey out...filled her food and water bowls.  Threw in laundry load 1 of 6 for the day.

6:30am:  Start working on breakfasts (ie. cereal for boy and oatmeal for girl.) Set out vitamins and juice.  Move on to lunches.  Sandwich for the boy, soup for the girl.  

Lunches and water bottles are ready to go!  (We have decided to give up using plastic water bottles this year.  We stocked up on aluminum water bottles and so far so good.  Ok...I say that and today Ben was instructed to bring home the 3 bottles that he had in his locker.  We're TRYING!)
7:10:  My very sweet neighbor picks the boy up in our driveway (since it's been so cold outside) and waits with them at the bus stop.  One kid to go.
7:10-8am:  I help Sis get dressed, her backpack loaded, hair done and if there is time...we read.  I love being home to get her ready for her day.  If I am substituting then I am out the door by 7:45 and her Dad takes her to the bus stop.
8:15-9am: Took a 3 mile walk with Chris and Lucy...had to take advantage of the Midwestern meltdown that is happening right now.  Seriously, it's getting warmer, snow is melting and it's staying light outside longer in the evenings....shhhhh...don't tell anyone but I think the groundhog was right!
9-10am:  Shower, dress, laundry.
10am-11am:  Worked on my writing piece.  Editing...editing...editing! (Thanks for your help Mom!)  In between times I was folding and switching loads.
11am-1pm: Headed out to the mall...hunting for new pants, shirt and tie for the boy who is being honored as Student of the Month tonight at the School Board Meeting.  SO PROUD!  (Not loving the fact that we are not very close to any good shopping to make this task easier!)  After several different trips to 3 or 4 stores I found the tie...2 shirts...and pants for the boy.  
1-2pm: Ran to the Junior College to visit eldest sister and see if her secretary (aka: Computer Whiz) could help me with a technical computer problem I was having.  Ran through the car wash on my way home.  Love that winter is melting but really frustrated at how grimy and dirty it makes cars and garage floors and house floors!  Ugh!
2-3pm:  Vacuumed house to keep up with all the grime and salt that is making it's way into my home.  
3:30pm: Got the girl off the bus and helped with homework and snack.
4:00pm: Sent kids outside to run around while I sat here and blogged.  Whew!  And the evening is still young!  We will be heading to our local Subway for dinner tonight and then it's off to the School Board Meeting to honor my boy.  Always a TREAT!  

Anyway, the point of all this rambling was to show that my days "off" are filled...packed...jammed with so many "to do" items I forget to take a bit of time for myself.  Feed the soul.  Feed the mind.  Whatever.  It's the kind of day that pops into my head when people ask me when I am going back to work full time and don't I get bored at home.  BORED??  REALLY??  That would be a NICE CHANGE!
Wishing you a "BORING" day!   :)

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy hearts is how we celebrated...

Here is what the kiddos saw when they got up this before school!  (Dad was in Florida so no Valentine breakfast for him.)

This was Emily's place.  (pssst...I made those place mats...what do you think?)

This was Ben's place setting...they both got Barnes & Noble gift cards and some love candy!

Here is Emily's Valentine box and cards to pass out to her classmates.  We made the box a PURSE (how cool is that?)  And the cards are a download I found on Etsy...they're Valentine Fortune Tellers...a 2nd grade favorite.

This is us at her Valentine's class party.  I planned all the games and the menu.  Hazard of being a parent at the school where you used to teach (kidding!)  See her cool 14 shirt?  Made it! Yep, I did.  I got the idea and ran with it.  It looked so cute on her too.  The kids had a great time and were SO SO SO well behaved!  The party was first thing in the morning because they had an early release day so by 10:30 we were all partied out! (Oh, can't you see my fancy necklace?  It was my gift from baby girl this morning...along with a handmade card...LOVE IT!)

While everyone was gone I set the Valentine's table for dinner.  Complete with a menu!  Now I need to go cook for the family.  I hope you had someone to love today.  Happy Valentine's Day to you!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

A Valentine Craft

  I love the idea of original home decor.   Seriously, I am over wanting what everyone else has.  I've even dropped my love of Coach purses...ok...I still love them but I'd rather have a cute boutique find that no one else has!

That being said I feel the same way about my house.  I don't want to decorate with items every neighbor has in her house...I want to be ORIGINAL.  So I was in the garage last week and stumbled across this picture frame that I ALMOST gave to Goodwill...(why???)

Then I got the good idea to paint it...but the stand wouldn't separate from the frame...hmmmm?  I decided it's tooooo cute to give away, I think the old saying "absence makes the heart grow fonder" is true in this case!  I love that cute little frame...but what to do with it?  I decided instead of putting just another photo in there I would turn it into a cute holiday decoration.  I don't have too many Valentine decorations so I came up with this little number...and I am sharing my steps.   It was simple and except for drying time it came together very quickly.

I picked out some cute paper, traced the glass and cut.  Easy.  Yes, Mom, even you could do this!

Next, I found a chipboard heart in my scrapbook stash and painted it cream.  I used Making Memories paint.  I think the color was called "manila".  I gave it 2 coats and 20 minutes to dry.  I could have cut a heart out of vinyl too but I wanted it to have a 3-D look to it...FUN!

Then I chose to use my ever trusty "sticky tack."  It was one of my best teacher supplies and I still keep it around the house (need it when I want to hang a good paper or piece of art on the fridge, magnets don't work on stainless steel!)  By the way, I personally love the original blue sticky tack the best, it holds better.  I could have used foam dots or large glue dots but I didn't want to keep it this way forever and I didn't want to spend time cleaning the "stick" off the glass!  (learned my lesson one Halloween with those cute Martha Stewart decorations I just HAD to stick to my sliding glass doors...ugh!)

And there you have it...the finished project.  I looks great in this little nook in my kitchen.  I love that it's original and it was a FREE project!  Gotta love those!  Next week I'll share Emily's Valentine box and Valentines...oooooh!  I am so EXCITED about these!!!  xoxoxo

                      Happy Valentine's Day!

I am linking up to Frugal Friday at

Also linked up at

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

A "Budget" Dinner

Since I shared my couponing secrets with you I thought I'd give you a peek at one of our budget dinners.  I made it this week and figured out that this delicious, balanced dinner cost about $2 per family member.  That really is amazing to me!  I'll break it down for you....

* Pork Tenderloin- 2 come in a pack.  I usually break them up and put each in a freezer bag.  I purchased a Tyson port tenderloin at Walmart for $9.  I only cooked 1 so that's $4.  I marinated the pork tenderloin in a sesame ginger marinade that I got FREE from Dominicks.  See the next bullet point for an explanation of how.

*I made a bag of whole grain rice that I got for FREE from Dominicks.  I got a coupon flyer in my mailbox a few weeks ago and there were several coupons for FREE items and others were $1.  It was a very uninteresting flyer and one that could have easily been thrown away but because I took the time to read it first I scored some GREAT deals...and HELLO....FREE STUFF!  LOVE IT!

*Last but not least I chose a few veggies I had in my veggie drawer to stir fry.  I used about half a red pepper, 1 small bunch of broccoli, half of a yellow onion and a handful of baby carrots.  It was about $4 in vegetables and that is a high estimate.

It was a delish dinner and my kids even ate it.  I had enough left over for lunch the next day too!

Just a little note about the flyer I got in the mail.  One of the coupons on it was $10 off your purchase of $50 or more.   I told you yesterday I got one online.  That makes 2 of the same coupons I got to used 2 weeks in a row.  Sweeeeeeet!  In this same flyer there was $4 off frozen chicken breasts, a free 24 ounce jar of salsa, a free large bottle of salad dressing and plenty more!  I know there had to have been several Dominicks customers who got this same flyer, figured it was just an ad and threw it away.  Big mistake!

I will stop blogging about my coupon craziness now.  (OK...maybe I will mention it a few more times if I stumble across a GREAT deal)

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Food 4 Less...REALLY!

I have a confession to make.  Shhhh....don't tell!  Coupons make me happy.  This probably seems a bit off for me.  Especially since I didn't grow up using them.  Here is my "Mother Disclaimer"'s not because my Mom was a spender.  We ate VERY well growing up, my Mom had a garden every summer and she was an incredible cook.  She bought only what we used and junk food was a rare treat.  My Mom was very careful with our money but she was not a coupon user.  And, quite honestly, even if she had used coupons, I was a typical teenager and wouldn't have paid any attention anyway.

I don't remember what triggered this coupon insanity with me but it started like a year ago.  I heard about this woman, Jill Cataldo.  You can see her website here.  I got online, ordered her DVD and was COMPLETELY impressed!  I tried to follow all her suggestions but I still struggle with getting multiple papers every Sunday.  When my parents were in town they would save their ads for me.  Now I've tweaked her program to work for me.  I don't really buy too much in bulk, but I stock up on things we use or consume often.  Also, I don't buy things just because they're on sale.  If we don't normally eat or use it, we don't need it.

 My hubby is so IMPRESSED with my new couponing ways.  Seriously, he can't wait to see my receipts when I get home from the store! here is my Dominick's receipt from last week.  I took some time the night before I planned to go shopping to look online and download the Just For U coupons on my Dominick's card.  Yep, it's THAT simple!  If you have a Dominick's card just go to their website and follow the instructions to register your card.  Then click on "Just For U" and you can put the coupons directly on your card.  No actual "clipping" and it only takes a little bit of time.  You can even print out a list of the items you clicked on to take to the store with you.  Sometimes there are "special" coupons...for example last week there was a $10 off your purchase of $50 or more.  That is FREE money!  After I downloaded all my items I switched over to Jill's website and clicked on her "Coupon Look Up" section.  You can find that here.  There you can enter any grocery item, name brand or by item and it will show you if there was a coupon in an ad, which ad, and the date...EASY!!!  I think I clipped like 4 additional coupons and I was ready for the store.  Here is a picture of my receipt.  Please remember...I am NOT  a professional.  I know so many people who can do so much BETTER than I did but this trip was my BEST yet!

                                      LOOK AT THAT!  I saved 40%! I saved almost $100!!
Like I said, so many people can do even better than I did but I figure it's more than I used to do and my cart was filled with fresh fruit, veggies, chicken, and other healthy food items for my family.  I think I had a smile on my face ALL DAY!

 I try to use her tips in other areas too.  Like I started clipping the Target coupons for a free $10 gift card with a new prescription.  HELLO!  There is now at least ONE good thing about my kids being sick!  I use Subway coupons, dry cleaner coupons, online coupons, shoe coupons, kids clothing coupons.  I buy things when they are on sale.  I stock up on really good sales like when Old Navy had their $10 kids' jean sale in December.  $30 got Ben 3 brand new pairs of jeans!  I also take the kids' better clothes to a great consignment shop so I get something back for all those big bucks I spend.  Even our vet has a half off shots day in April.  I could go on and on.  There are so many deals out there if you just take the time too do a little research.

I've been married for 17 years this coming July and I get frustrated thinking about what we could have done if I'd started this when we got married.  I know that even when the economy picks up and things are better for our country, I will keep clipping my coupons because it really feels good to SAVE MONEY!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Valentine's Day is ALMOST here!!

Valentine's Day is  a holiday that is a "feast for the eyes"...and the tummy in my house!  I love seeing all the hearts, the pink, the red.  I ADORE making Valentine boxes with my kids. I take this part of parenting quite seriously!  I will have to dig up some old photos of Ben's third and fourth grade Valentine's boxes.  He brought them up yesterday and was telling me what good memories he has of us coming up with some creative plan so he didn't just have a plain old Valentine's box.  I don't want to tell you what they are because that would ruin the surprise...I promise to find the photos and SHOW you soon!

We are getting ready to make Emily's Valentine box.   She came up with the idea (although I am SURE I gave her that suggestion last year but last year's box had to be a cake?)  and I've been collecting items on clearance the past few weeks getting ready for the big craft day.   I also found some super cute and original Valentine cards on etsy...I'll be downloading and printing those out soon too!  (Oh the projects...I CAN'T WAIT!)

I feel like all I've done this post is tempt you with things I have no intention of sharing right now so let me show you something we did about a week ago...that was YUMMY and actually turned out as cute as the picture in the magazine...

                                                                 Whoopie Pies!

I've been wanting to try making these forever.  I'd never heard of them until a few years ago.  I found a great recipe for pumpkin Whoopie Pies for the fall but never found the time to make them...hmmmm...wonder why???  Anyway, the above whoopie pies were featured in this month's issue of Family Fun magazine.  Family Fun is one of my favorites and my daughter even loves checking out the recipes and crafts each month.  This time the combination of chocolate and pink frosting got the best of me and I just HAD to try them! will find the recipe here, and they are so easy to make!  I did use my Pampered Chef medium scoop for the cookie part.  The frosting was easy to make, easy to spread and delish!  mmmmmmmm!  So...think about making some for a special Valentine.  I know as a (substitute) teacher they'd make the PERFECT teacher's Valentine!!

I can't wait to show you my latest couponing OLYMPIC SUCCESS...seriously...this was one of my best shopping trips...come back tomorrow!

Friday, February 4, 2011

If You Don't Like It...Paint It!

It's been awhile...I know. But I think I'm back for good. I mean...with all the time I spend browsing DIY blogs and Mommy blogs I really want to get back to the writing! I have been busy this January. I'm trying my hand at sewing place mats. I found a pretty simple step by step plan on one of my favorite new blogs here and I've decided that if I can't find place mats I like, I need to get busy on my new sewing machine... Right?

In regards to my Mom's neighbor is AMAZING! Seriously, the woman has the most original eye for decor...and she can make any space look magazine ready on a shoestring of a budget. Years ago when we moved into our old house she came over to give me some decorating ideas. She saw a pile of items and asked what I was doing with them. It was old baskets, plates, etc. I told her I was sick of those items and was sending them off to Goodwill. She gave me some EXCELLENT advice, "If you don't like it, paint it." Those were some profound words and she was a woman WAY ahead of her time! This story is important because I have been trying to "lighten up" my family room. I love the decor but it's a bit dark. We don't have a make over in the budget, so I thought adding a few lighter touches would brighten up the space. I started with accessories. I got this cute wooden magazine holder (ok...I know, it was not originally a magazine holder...but that's what it is now :) at the Kane County Flea Market years ago.

It's traveled all over my house. It has been filled with greenery and ornaments, candles and everything else imaginable. I love it!'s brown. I love brown, but I have quite a bit of it in my house. Something has to go. Enter...INSPIRATION...spray paint! I love the distressed look and with my snazzy Cricut Expressions I can cut vinyl....

spray paint+vinyl= CUTE!

I's very trendy to put numbers on things these days and I love that...but there is NOTHING better than a monogram! (Right?!) is the new and improved "magazine holder."

What do you think? I LOVE IT! I am feeling inspired! What can I lighten up next?? I will let you know!

I am linking up to:     The Shabby Nest Frugal Friday