Saturday, April 30, 2011

Easter clearance

I've got a lot of little projects going on and hope to post some updates soon, but I wanted to hop on and post about a few things I've found in the Easter clearance aisles over the past couple of days. I love to find things that are not just for Easter, but can be used at other times of the year as well.(cell phone pics to follow. I'm feeling a bit lazy)

Sprinkles! Target and Walmart (possibly others but these two stores for sure) have the cutest sprinkle kits on sale for 75% off sure to make any cookies, cakes, and ice cream cones extra special. There are glittery sugar sprinkles and pastel candy sprinkles in fun shapes like dots, dashes (?) and flowers. I got 2 variety packs (5 different sprinkles in each pack) originally $2.50 each. At 75% off, that's 10 different fun sprinkles for a little over a dollar!

Target also had a Fancy Nancy Easter book in their 75% off aisle. Cutecumber is a HUGE Fancy Nancy fan and this made her day. It has little windows and doors that open, making it interactive and fun.

I also snagged her a cute little bunny apron there too. Cutecumber likes to mimic me as we clean house. She also wears her apron when making her famous double-decker plastic sandwich, complete with a side of plastic pickles on the cutest little plastic pink plate. ;) It has a velcro neck-piece which makes it easy for her to put on take off herself.

If you keep birthday parties in mind, now is a great time to score pastel colored party decor, perfect for little girls. Pink table cloths, yellow plates, purple plastic-ware, pastel party bags and cute napkins with little spring flowers that would go great for a tea party theme.

You can also find flower candy molds that work for lots of other occasions besides Easter, like weddings or Mother's day.

At Walmart they had funny little alien/monsters ($.75 now) that were supposed to be Easter basket fillers, so I grabbed a few and stuck them on the Scientist's shelves. Colorful, fun, and cheap! They also had a 4 pack of mini magic 8 balls ( $.50 now) and other basket fillers that make great party favors or stocking-stuffers and have absolutely nothing to do with Easter. I'm pretty impressed with the quality of the 8balls too. They are heavy and the message piece actually works, not like the ones in some kids meals that float helplessly in an unreadable position.

Also, while perusing Target I found the PERFECT little side table marked down to $22 from $89! HELLO! It looks great with my new living room chair. Oh, did I not mention that? Yeah, I've got lots of new things to show you! My lamp is done, and I went to an antique store and bought some really cute stuff! I'm hoping to do project filled post on Sunday or Monday, but until then, hit the Easter clearance aisles!

**And check out my new blog button which I put in myself using THIS tutorial. Feel free to grab it over on the right. :)

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Tips on organization

With many people diving into their Spring Cleaning, I thought I'd share a few tips on how I stay organized.

Everyone knows the 3 basket rules, but just a reminder cause it really does work:

Go to a cluttered area with 3 baskets/buckets/bags. Don't start with an entire room, just start small, like the top of the refrigerator or the bathroom cabinet. Start tossing things in the baskets until the area is totally cleared.
Basket 1- Trash
Basket 2- Donate
Basket 3- Keep

This method is really affective and the best part is that it can be done in 10 minute increments if that is all you have. It's really very easy.

I think the part that comes next is where most people get hang ups or stuck. Here is what I do:

Lets start with the top of my dresser. I use the 3 basket method and put everything in it's correct basket. Trash, Donate, Keep.

Don't skip the decor items! You are probably used to them being there and tend to overlook them, but sometimes we end up with too many, or have things that that we just don't need and no longer make us happy to look at. Hold each one in your hand and ask yourself "Do I need it? Do I like it? Do I really want something else here instead?" and then put it in the correct basket.

How is that trash basket looking? If you have quite a bit of trash items collecting in one area, you should consider putting a small wastebasket in the area.

Now take a look at your donate basket. Where are these things coming from and is there any way to stop it? Sometimes donate items just can't be helped, like outgrown clothing or baby toys that your toddler has lost interest in, but sometimes it's a sign that we need to address. If I were to look in my donate basket after clearing the top of my dresser, I'd find a lot of costume jewelry that I found on sale, wore once or twice, and then decide that it looked cheap. I need to address that, and make a mental note that I need to watch myself in that area. Just because it's on sale, doesn't make it a good deal. lol Do you have multiples of something in your donate basket? A bunch of unread magazines? Save yourself some cash and cancel those subscriptions!

Now for the more difficult basket. The KEEP items. Take a good look. What is collecting there and try and put the clutter into groups or categories of similar items. For me, my dresser top has a few make up items, deodorant, jewelry, and loose change (just to name a few!).

Next figure out a home for all of these things that makes sense. Like my make-up, deodorant, and perfumes belong in the bathroom (I've given them a home there) and it would be great if I kept them there, but the truth is, I don't! What I really need to do is clear a small drawer of my dresser for these items. Then they are put away, but still in the area I use them.

I think a big key is being practical. Don't store something in a place where you are not likely to put it back, just because it's the norm. Do what works best for YOU and your family.

An example of this is when I made a diaper changing drawer, rather than the traditional diaper changing area. You can see that post HERE.

Be "real" about your clutter/mess. Sure, having a laundry hamper next to the washer is a great idea, but if your laundry never gets there and is always on the bathroom floor or beside your bed, put a hamper there.

Do you always have toys at the kitchen table? Add a toy bin in the corner. Don't worry, you can have the kids dump it in the toy box when it gets full and trust me, it's a lot easier getting them to dump one box than it is getting them to pick up 5 toys everyday.

It's all about finding a home for your KEEP items that not only keeps them out of sight, but keeps them in a place where you can easily use them and easily put them away.

Vitamins cluttering the kitchen counter? Put a basket on top of the refrigerator.

Nail polish cluttering an end table cause you like to watch TV and do your nails? Consider an end table with a storage compartment and put your nail supplies in there. (in a locking box if you have kids!)

Another tip is to think of the items you pick up on a daily basis. Repeats! These are the items that are the bane of your existence. The things that eat away at your SOUL!

Are you picking up and re-stacking children's books Put them up in a place where your children can not reach them (like a closet shelf) and leave out one or two. When they get bored, switch them out. Save your sanity!

Are legos aways on the floor? Put them up and make it a toy they need to ask you to play with, which only come down with a promise to pick them up when finished.

Do you constantly trip over everyone's shoes in the middle of the floor, and then frantically try and find them all in the morning before school? It's time to put a box by the door for shoes!

For me, I was forever losing my keys and picking up the contents of my purse (mainly gum wrappers) because Cutecumber was getting into it everyday. Finally I wised up and put a hook up high on the inside of my closet door. Problem solved. One less mess to clean a day.

So, my advice is:
3 basket cleaning
assess your TRASH and DONATE baskets and figure out a way to reduce what is in them.
Find a practical and realistic home for your KEEP items.
Customize your house to your family's needs!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Easter Baskets for the kids

I really want to include a hand-made item for each kid this year and when I came across this cute idea @ Gluesticks I knew I wanted to make one for Cutecumber's basket.

Aren't they cute? Here is my take on the color game:

I need to get a better pic when the natural light is better, showing off their cute little headbands and hair. So sweet! I want to name each one myself. lol I might have to persuade Cutecumber a bit. I mean look at that Orange one. Is she not a Sophie?!
I got the wooden pegs and pots @ Hobby Lobby. I still need to spray them with a clear coat to protect the paint tomorrow and I think it will really make them look finished and bring out the colors. It was so seriously E-A-S -Y!

I bet you know someone that needs a set of these don't ya? Get crackin!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

MY Easter Basket

What would I want in MY Easter Basket? (besides loads of candy)....

This pretty ceramic egg crate from Anthropologie. If I got one, I'd only get farm fresh eggs and never get them in those horrific earth-enemy styrofoam crates (earth enemy=opposite of earth friendly) ever again.

*note there were no promises made in the above statement

A small framed print of Eggs of Two Dozen Birds to put in the corner desk area of my bedroom. They had this print at Target for a short time. Pretty PLEASE (with sugar on top) can it show up in the Target section @ my Salvation Army? If not, I might make my own using free vintage egg printables from the Graphics Fairy .

A set of these spring-inspired magnets from Gwydion's Garden on Etsy, also for my desk area. They make my current magnets (pastel high-gloss squares) look cheap and dorm-ish. I absolutely love that nest one, therefore making it the first to end up in the toilet or crammed into playdough if I did get this set.

I'd love one of these glass bird bud vases from Pier 1 to set on my kitchen window sill and display the dandelions and purple nightshade the kids bring in during the summer. Cutecumber has been known to bring me a few of the neighbors pansies as well, which I throw back in their it helps. :S

And I could put it all in a beautiful picnic basket which I would use a lot over summer vacation and possibly on our big vacation trip to the Grand Canyon (if I get my way) in June.

It's nice to dream, but realistically, for Easter I'll get to hang out in the kitchen making a colorful egg salad that nobody really wants to eat, a few presentable pictures of the kids,out of 30 or so forced poses, followed by a free ham dinner at my IL's (where things start looking up) and I'll lay down in bed that night, thankful that I have a chance to be with this crazy bunch in the after life thanks to Jesus Christ. <3

What would you put in YOUR Easter basket?

Sunday, April 10, 2011

What a bummer- Thrifting

Yesterday's thrifting adventure was a let down. I started off on a bad foot because the neighbors were out of town and their dog barked nonstop all night so I ended up with little sleep and a late start. I hit my first garage sale in a high income neighborhood. I've found that nicer neighborhoods have higher quality stuff and you can bargain down if you buy in multiples. Like 5 pair of gap jeans in great condition all marked $5 each, but if you buy them all, you can usually get that cut dramatically, and bring home all 5 for around $10-$15. Unfortunately that was not the case at this particular garage sale. I found a skirt with a stain that I thought I might bleach and dye for Ms. Thang. It was flowy and long with a lacy bottom in light blue that had a faded red koolaid-type stain about the size of an Oreo on the "butt cheek". Nothing was marked (which I hate) and I was thinking like $1, but she said $5. When I mentioned the stain, her response was "It's from Express, so $5 is a bargain." I put it back, pretended to look a minute more and then left. lol

The second garage sale just didn't have much left, but I did get some mini road cones for the scientist (4 for $.25) that I didn't take a picture of cause..well..they are plastic road cones. lol He's been living on his bike and I figured he could make a fun obstacle course with them.

I went to a few more and cruised by a ton, but most garage sales just had clothing left (this was at 9:30) and I wasn't finding ANYTHING, so I decided to give up on garage sales for the day and started my way over to Helping Hands since they open at 10:00. On the way I saw a fairly large sale in the old K-mart parking lot. I picked up these two items for $1 (50 each)

3 different ladies there asked me where I got the flowers and if I was going to buy them. That always makes me feel like I have good taste lol. I'm thinking of using them in THIS toy box caddy and painting/distressing it, for a spring centerpiece..maybe. It might be what I end up giving to my MIL as a hostess gift for Easter which was on my list of things to keep an eye out for, that I posted yesterday.
I really need to hop on some of these projects I have piling up in my overcrowded craft closet.

I ended up at Helping Hands right @ 10:00. I didn't have much luck there either, but I did get two things for $2 making them $1 each.

A new willow tree figurine (the center one pictured ) and I had been looking for one to represent Cutecumber since I had two that represent Ms. Thang and The Scientist. I think, although it's a bit older than her, it suits her pretty well.

The second thing I got was this lamp, which was also an item on my list yesterday.

After a spray paint job and a shade I have in the closet, I think it's going to look like it cost more than a dollar and hopefully something like this:

Next I went to the Habitat for Humanity store and found a dresser perfect for my living room:

I wanted it to take place of this:

But it was $95 and they were not budging. If it were in GREAT condition, I'd have bought it, but it has some deep scratches on top and a small crack along one side from being moved a lot. I'd want to replace the drawer pulls too, so factor in that cost...but MAN I am so tempted to go back and get it. The drawers were in perfect working condition and it's the perfect size. I might be there bright and early Tuesday (closed Monday) to get it. If I sold the little white table I have there now for $15-$20 then that would make it more like $80-$75. hmm...What do you guys think of it?

After talking to them about the price and them not wanting to budge cause it just came in, I was about to walk out the door when I noticed this little terracotta bunny on a shelf. $5 and he already had the perfect patina. Yard decor was also on my list!

In this photo, you really can't tell but it's fairly large, larger than a real bunny, more like the size
of a jack rabbit. He will look so cute nested in my flowerbed (once I have actual flowers) alongside my bird feeder.

With a couple more hours until lunch and PLENTY of room in my van cause I wasn't having any luck, I hit up Trade-a-rama.

Not even one thing and I hadn't been there in awhile. :(

Then I was off to the Salvation Army. This was my last stop since Honey was at home with cutecumber alone (cutecumber ONLY) since Ms. Thang was at her dad's and the Scientist was at a sleepover and he had already called me several times, pretending to miss me and get clues as to when I would be home. MEN!

I still didn't have much luck, but I did get these metallic 3d flower art pieces (girls room decor, another item on my list) for $9.99 originally $19.99 in the Target clearance section at the Salvation Army.

I wish I could show you a better photo, but I can't find them online. So until I have them up, this is as good as it gets. Btw, there was only one missing of the 21 piece set. :)

They also had two little round end tables perfect for a bedside table in the girls room, and although every other table was marked (fairprices and clearly) these two were not. I got someone to price them for me and one was apparently an antique and they wanted $99, the other for $45. Way too high for the tiny little table that had a hole in the top (for an old lamp?) and was in dire need of a new finish. Bah.

I didn't even spend $20 on this thrifting trip and I had my heart set on some big ticket items. Drat! Sometimes even the Thrifting Queen has her off days lol. Also, I left the house with a completely dead phone and didn't realize it until I was at Helping Hands when I tried to get some pictures. I charged it a bit in the van before I went to the HH Restore, but it was still too low for video. Maybe next time!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Thrift shopping and garage sales tomorrow

We'll see how much I can actually come home with from this list. I'm going to keep adding as I think of them so I can print this out and take it with me. I'm also hoping to take a few pictures with my phone on the trip and possible video. We'll see!

Looking for-

Picture frames and art/decor for the girls blank wall- I want to do a collage wall

A chair for Ms. Thang's reading corner- It needs to be on the small side, comfy, and sturdy.

ladder or stepping stool for the trampoline (good luck right?)- If I can't find one this weekend, I'm buying one.

bedside table for Cutecumber

Easter basket items- dvds, books, etc...

Easter hostess gift for my MIL who will host our Easter Dinner. A vase cause I'm thinking I might attempt an edible bouquet, or maybe a pretty platter or bowl with something yummy in it.

iphone 3g cases (to mix and match with mine)- I'm hoping to find some in the Target section of the Salvation Army.

New small desk for the scientists room. -Sturdy is the key here

Small table to convert into a lego table.

2 new end tables and possible coffee table for the playroom/den. -small

Fancy Nancy books and a few on my own list ( like the next two in the Hunger Games series and a few of the classics)

large iron work or something similar for the side of my house(behind the bench) and other decor for the flower bed.

Pictures for small wall on Honey's side of the bed

an iron (mine is straight out of the 70s, Honey took it with him when he moved into his own place right out of hs!)

large round, pedestal style dining room table (enough room to get 5 chairs around it) - this shape would work so much better in my dining area and allow room for a small hutch. I want the pedestal style so none of us are sitting right at a table leg. AND I want it for $100 or less. (always on the look out for this) I missed this one on Craigslist by an hour! Darn!

Lamp base for the living room similar to THIS or something ornate that I can do THIS turquoise treatment on.

A low laundry basket on wheels that comes just under the doors of my W/D which I found at antique shops but they are always display only! I want this because my doors open the wrong way (into each other in the center) so I have to toss all the clothes to the dryer over the doors. boo. If I found THIS I'd die!

I also want a longer (with drawers) entry table or buffet type thing to go HERE cause mine is too small for the space.

to be continued...

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Quick Birthday Post

I've already spammed most of you on FB so here is a quick review (out of order too) on the Scientist's 7th birthday party. The theme was Legos:

This is the birthday boy with his 7 candles (That's me lighting them, and Ms. Thang in the corner). Somehow I only put 6 and he had to tell me he needed one more. I guess subconsciously I want him to stay little forever. Well, lets get real, it's not so subconscious, I would tell you out loud too lol

For the table runner, I used a green table cloth (not unfolded all the way) and then Ms. Thang and I used green craft paint and a couple of candles (emergency stick candles) and stamped on dots to give it a lego look. I also printed out some lego heads and wrapped the plastic ware for a special touch.

This banner hung above the chalk board and it turned out so cute. Each dot was hand cut and put on with a double stick square from the Dollar Tree. I got the back of card stock in varying colors from Family Dollar and have tons left over. If you look closely I used a hole punch and glued little dots all over the #7 piece. THAT TOOK FOREVER!

This is one of all of us on our way out the door for his birthday dinner on his actual birthday. I just love this picture. Cutecumber is into those boots right now (3 sizes too big lol)

He got a strange array of gifts including a tackle box filled with batteries, a giant road cone/barrel that ended up in my moms yard one day and she brought over. This box he is opening actually contained a new bike seat and decorated tube caps for his bike. Nothing wrong with his, but he LOVES to work on that bike lol

I love this picture because of my Grandpa (Dad's dad) in the background filming (like always, even since I was a newborn!) and it's a close up of the bike lock the Scientist wore as a necklace that day. lol

This is my nephew entertaining some of my guests ( L to R- My grandma (moms mom) my brother, and my step dad). What a little helper! He has grown SO much!

Cute picture of my other Grandma (dad's mom)

I didn't get pictures of this being used, but it was a hit! Ms. Thang made a pin-the-party hat-on-the-Lego game. The kids loved it!

This is a SUPER cute picture of Cutecumber in front of all the gift bags. 3 of those are for my own kids LOL Each one had a lego tag with their name and inside, scented bubbles, a lego coloring book that I printed out, 3 jumbo crayons, silly string, and a giant balloon on a rubber band.

Oddly, my mom, and both my grandmothers brought bubbles for the kids as well, but my mom brought those new Crayola colored bubbles.....

Take a close look at Cutecumbers leg LOL. The commercial swears they wash out, but my mom was freaking out

Those are not blue tights! lol Every bit of it washed out in the laundry/tub and she was a smurf no more.

Silly string is always a big hit. Look which way the nozzle is pointed while Ms. Thang tries to get her Grandpa.

My brother and nephew, silly string victims.

My handsome birthday boy!

The balloons are just shoved into a vase filled with Legos and a tag that came from the Lego shirt he is wearing for his birthday. My cake looks less like a lego and more like a deformed smiley face, but the birthday boy loved it and that's all that matters!

Cutecumber LOVES bubbles

Here is that giant road cone I mentioned earlier. Mom was afraid she was going to get pulled over the whole way over here lol

A cute one of my nephew, wanting more silly string.

I wish I would have gotten a few shots of the food cause all my trays looked so pretty. Oh, I did individual cups of ice cream this time and I loved it! I'll do that from now on. Everyone really had a fun time!

And just to make me cry...

Happy Birthday my precious son!

Versatile Blogger Award

I've been awarded the Versatile Blogger award by Katie @ Sack of Potatoes.

Wow! Thank you very much, K! How very sweet of you!

Here are the guidelines for this award, although I'm going to change them up a bit.

1. Thank and link to the person who awarded you.
2. Share 7 random facts about yourself.
3. Pass the award on to 5 new-found blogging buddies.
4. Contact those buddies, and congratulate them!

Without further ado, here are 7 random facts about myself:

1. My ringtone is I'm Not Your Toy by La Roux and every time Honey calls me, I feel like picking it up an saying "Yes you are!"

2. I have over 10 tattoos, one that I did on myself (a tiny little star on my ankle)

3. If I could have any car in the world, I'd get a yellow Minicooper (w/the white racing stripes over the top) and creamy leather seats.

4. I paid my very first bill online today rather than through snail mail. I've always been scared one of the utility companies would withdraw all my money on an accident.

5. When I was 16 or 17 I wrote a letter to YM magazine because a Sketchers ad had a girl spread eagle with her underwear showing (skirt on) and felt it was inappropriate for a magazine geared toward young girls.

6. I've never had a professional manicure.

7. I've only rode in a taxi once and unfortunately it wasn't the Cash Cab and the guy was a complete creep-o.

I'm paying it forward and awarding the following 5 people the Versatile Blogger award:
1. Crystal @ The Peraltas
2. Jenn @ Jenn's RAQ
3. Deana @ Life at the Jensens
4. Aiyana @ Another Blonde :D
5. Crystal @ Not Cheap but Frugal
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...