update :: my etsy shop and other news

Sorry for the lapse in posts.  I have been busy with my Etsy shop, Creations for Sam.  I repurpose bullet casings into jewelry and also sell cut down casings as supply for other jewelers.  Feel free to click HERE and take a look.  I am in the process of building up more stock and introducing several new items so be sure to check back often.

Also, I have been nominated for the Liebster award by the wonderful Tiffanie from Life with the Little Man.  There are a few requirements I have to do as a nominee, that post will be tomorrow.  I'm very excited about this!  Until then, be sure to check out Tiffanie's great blog - she also happens to be one of my sponsors this month!
Look, my followers are growing!  Hope you had a great Thursday!  xoxo


frugal tip :: make-up brush recycle

I mentioned in my organizing post (here) that I sometimes can't find what I need.  Well, I have a little Pinterest project I am working on and I was in need of a small paint brush.  I know I have some, but I must confess my organizational skills are still being honed.  So I got creative and even green!

For sanitary purposes I believe you are supposed to change out your make-up brushes every so often.  I'm sure if you properly clean really nice, expensive brushes they are ok to use for a while, but lets face it mine are just little cheapie brushes.  I have several that have been haning around since college, which was a while ago - so they are probably bacteria laiden.  Rather than toss them, I just washed them and converted them to paint brushes for my vairous projects.

Don't forget to check back later in the week to see what I was painting with that repurposed make-up brush.

I linked up with Super Sunday Sync, so if you stop by be sure to follow and leave a comment so I can return the favor!

Hope you are enjoying your Sunday!  xoxo


getting organized :: space savers

One of my biggest issues is organization.  I need big time help in that area.  Organization is one of my main goals on this journey.  I have got to be more organized.  I need to see what we have and what we need.  There have been times when I really needed something that I knew we had, but I couldn't find it.  So what would I do?  I would go buy more.  Big money waster and also a time waster (all that time I would spend looking for the lost items).

Our home is a 1400 sq foot brick rancher built in the late 70's, we have no space.  I am constantly trying to find ways to create storage.  When I saw this on Pinterest, I thought it was genius.  Someone, much more clever than I, put one of those hideous hanging shoe racks in a closet and used it for storage.  I have seen these hundreds of times in the stores and all I ever saw was a shoe rack, which is why I LOVE Pinterest.

I got my hanging shoe racks at Wal-Mart for $5.87 each.  If you are lucky you may be able to snag one at a yard sale or your local Goodwill for less.  I hadn't seen any at our Goodwill and I felt like they were reasonably priced at Wal-Mart.

P.S. - If you noticed I have multiple of one item (I am a former extreme couponer, still have a big stock pile and I would like to get back into it soon)

Happy organizing!


friday fun :: the county fair

Our county fair was in town this week.  We took 'lil man out for all the sights and smells.  He had a blast.  Just sharing some photos from our trip!

We had a great time!  Hope you've done some fun fall things too!


frugal tip :: cleaning

Stop buying Jet-Dry!  All you need is distilled white vinegar.  Just put it in your dishwasher in the area where your rinse aid would normally go.  I have been using this for a few months now and I must tell you, it works! I find that my dishes no longer have water spots and I just feel like they are extra squeaky clean.

Another plus to this is...its green!  No crazy chemicals or anything, so I feel much better when I run anything of 'lil man's through the dishwasher.  It only releases a small amount at a time so I haven't noticed any lingering vinegar smell in anything I have washed.

I find that it really ads up when you no longer buy all those expensive cleaning products.  Good ole vinegar can clean pretty much anything equally, if not better than commercial products.

Hope you are having a good day!  xoxo


frugal find :: dry erase decals

I was at our local Big Lots store and I completely stumbled across these amazing dry erase decal stickers.  They are completely perfect and a set of 4 was only $3!!  I must admit it was a bit of an impulse buy, however I am really trying to organize my life.  This was a good splurge.

I decided to put them on my refrigerator in place of all those papers and clips I had.  Now I can just write down our grocery lists, meal plans, doctors appointments, anything really.  They erase like a dream too (no streaking or need to use a wet rag).  They claim to be easily removable and safe for painted surfaces.  These are not the vinyl decals, but more like stickers so I'm not sure about the painted surfaces.   They did easily remove from one spot to the next when I was trying out various places on the fridge.

I am new to blogging and I am very much the novice photographer, so I didn't realize how difficult it was to take pictures of a  refrigerator without a lot of glare.  Here is one more shot of the last decal.  They really do brighten up the kitchen.

I tried to find these on the Big Lots website, but I wasn't able to.  Maybe if you have a local Big Lots you can find them.  They were in the section with the spray paint.  I was just so excited to get these since most dry erase decals I have seen are $10 and up.

Let me know if you find any!


number crunch :: family budget

First, you may be wondering why I started this blog, work overtime, and pinch every penny
Meet Lil Man
Now after that dose of cuteness it may be hard, but on to business....

I suck at math.  It's true.  Just ask my advanced math teacher from high school.  I also had no clue how much money my little family had, nor did I realize how much money we owed on anything.  In those days being a stay at home mom was just a little pipe dream.  Nowadays, I'm serious about this.  Time to crunch numbers.

First you need to see what you bring in vs. what you spend each month.  That's where my handy dandy spreadsheet comes in.  Just download my spreadsheet HERE.  Once you download the spreadsheet, you will need to take the file out of protected mode (a little message should pop up near the top and prompt you to do so when you open it in Excel).

Once out of protected mode you can begin to fill in your numbers.  You can change the items as well.  Lets say your child is no longer in diapers so that is not an expense for you, but you do have homeowners association fees.  Just replace "diapers" with "HOA fees".  I also left a few places there for other expenses.  Do NOT change anything in the area where you get your totals or your disposable income, this will take away the formulas and the spreadsheet won't work.  If you mess up too badly just delete and download the spreadsheet again.

Once you have everything filled out look, at your disposable income.  If there is a negative beside that number, you need to seriously evaluate your spending as you are spending more than your are taking in.  If there is not a negative number then you are doing ok.

Now the fun part.  Play around with the numbers.  See how much extra money you would have if you got rid of cable.  Want to be a stay at home mom?  Put your income at zero and see just how far your partner's salary would get you.  This really puts things in perspective.

Monthly Budget Spreadsheet

Now go grab your calculator.

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