Friday, February 27, 2009

Sneak Peak

The kitchen redo had reached a major milestone...the cabinets are done! They just aren't dry! I was told the blue is VERY slow drying so I can't close them for at least 4 days! WHAT?! Oh yes...4 days. So far the kids have left them alone. Keep your fingers crossed!

Here is a sneak peak of the cabinet paint. What do you think of the blue? What about the knobs that don't match?! I wanted the island to have a look all its own!

More to come...

Monday, February 23, 2009

Not Very Royal

Happy Fat Tuesday! Yesterday I had the genius idea to create my first King Cake in preparation for Fat Tuesday. I was inspired to do so by Cindy at Skip to my Lou to make my own...from scratch! CRAZY! FUN!

Don't know what a King Cake is? King Cakes actually began as a tradition around the Feast of Epiphany, or Twelfth Night, celebrating the arrival of the 3 Kings to Jesus and offering of gifts. The traditional Mardi Gras King Cake is more a sweet bread than cake. It has a small plastic baby hidden inside and is decorated with the traditional colors of Mardi Gras, gold, green and purple. The person that finds the baby in the cake is suppose to have good luck and is responsible for providing the next cake. Enough of this history lesson given by a nurse in Missouri!

Off I went to complete my happy task! It looked like a bomb went off in my a good way. I felt like I was my grandma, measuring and grating, stirring and kneading dough. I was so proud of myself and left my dough to rise while I picked the kids up from school. Then I got home and started making a turkey dinner. Yes, turkey and homemade dressing while making a cake from scratch. {I really should talk to someone about my issue of over committing myself!}Before long, the dough was allowed to rise TOOO long and I had this crazy amount of dough to work with. But I worked on and completed the cake. It was not the prettiest but it worked! I could hardly twist the crazy thing even after I tried to make the pieces thinner. Oh well...not trying to win a beauty contest here! If you want to see a good looking cake, check out the link to Cindy above!

Here it is completed! I couldn't find purple sugar so I made my own. Does it look grey to you too?

Despite all of this silliness, it was pretty good. And no one found the baby last night...I'm sure one of the kids will find it tonight!

Start Your Spring Cleaning

My house was empty for 18 months before we moved in and I don't think the previous owners would win a housekeeper of the year award. It was a mess! The ceramic tile floors were by far the dirtiest and hardest to clean areas in the house. So bad in fact, that I thought the grout was beige until I saw the true color in the closet...cream grout! How terrible with 3 small kids! But...there is not one crack or chip in any of the floors so I will live with what I have.

Back to the cleaning. I have used every cleaning agent and hard bristle brush I could find to try to clean the floors. I have spent hours on my hands and knees scrubbing! Still, after living here for 9 months, I didn't think the floors were really clean. I even considered having a professional steam clean done to rid my floors of the grime.

Then, last week, I had the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser out the clean marks off the walls and white cabinets in the master bath. I started using it on the ceramic tile and viola...CLEAN! It was so scrubbing involved! I was on the phone with my freind, Jenni, when I made this great discovery...she thinks I'm crazy and I don't know if her ears will ever recover. Why didn't I think of this sooner?! I use my eraser on EVERYTHING! It's great on wall, cabinets, appliances and counters.
I don't have any "before" pictures because I didn't know that I was going to make a great discovery! Here is the bathroom floor...CLEAN! Can you tell I'm excited?

Doesn't it look great?

The next day I saw a commercial for Magic Erasers and the first image was a woman cleaning the floors with it! Maybe I should pay more attention to marketing and quit changing the channel anytime there is a commercial.
Now I have to restore the grout to it's orginal color...

Friday, February 20, 2009

Like Weeds~

I want spring for several reasons...warm weather to play outside, longer days, beautiful flowers and clothes that will fit my kids again! I had to laugh this morning when I took a look at the kids in their pj's.

Little O is home sick today and spending all of her time in her pj's. Wow! She has gotten tall!

The little wild man keeps pulling on his shirt too! He has his arms up in this photo to show you just how bad things are. Poor baby!

If spring takes much longer to get here...our pants will be shorts!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Fully Exposed

All the fabulous furniture painters out there will probably think I'm crazy. I am paying {wince} to have my kitchen cabinets painted. It just seemed like too big of a project for my FIRST furniture painting. I know...what a wimp!

On Valentine's Day, Hubby and his friend installed crown molding, trim and bead board to the cabinets. Last week, Melissa at The Inspired Room talked about architectural details. She did an awesome kitchen renovation! If you own a cookie cutter house that lacks personality, you really can set your home apart with a little bit of trim and decorative moldings. It truly is a great way to add pizazz on a budget. All the wood we bought was less than $150 and it makes a big statement.

Look at those ugly knobs! Susie Harris wrote a great post about knobs last week...I feel inspired! Who knew there was so much to do with knobs. I'm going knob shopping soon!

The hubby even cleans up after himself. I HEART him!

Then the great cabinet painter came and took away my doors and drawer fronts. It looks so naked!

You have to love the handy masking tape drawer pulls! So functional! Thanks to my mother-in-law for straightening up my tupperware makes this exposure a little less embarrassing!

Did I mention I have playgroup today? Oh well! They are all mommies that understand messes!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

We Win!

Since I am in the middle of the kitchen redo, the rest of the house is on hold. There are NO window treatments in the entire house and very little on the walls. It is really quite sad. I feel really bad for the kids. It would be great to get their rooms done but I can only do (and spend) so much. {Sigh}

Last week I entered L's room in a contest with wallcandy arts to will free stuff. L's room is decorated with the DottiLicious wall art. She LOVES it and so do I! The stickers are reusable and TRULY leave no marks on the wall when you remove them. You can apply them to walls or furniture...almost anything.

And...{drum roll please} WE WON! Actually, we KILLED the competition! Did L have the most creative room? NO! Did she have the fanciest room? NO! She doesn't even have drapes! But I am resourceful and emailed most of my friends about it with the link and posted the link on mine and hubby's Facebook page. We won by 100+ votes!! Thanks to all that voted! Yeah! FREE STUFF!!!

Today I found out that I can choose any wallcandy that I want (I wasn't even sure what the prize was). I chose the Flutterflies to use in O's room! I had been stalking these on Amazon and ebay but didn't want to pay the $50! She is sooooo excited and so is her sister. L feels like she did something special to help O. I plan to have the flutterflies trail off from the large butterfly I made O for her birthday!

Courtesy of wallcandy

Like they say, "It's not what you know but who you know!" I'm glad I know lots of great people!!


I received a comment from Allison at WallCandy and she is offering a discount to all readers of my blog! You can received 20% off your purchase by using the code blogsupport20. Thanks to Allison and go buy yourself some wallcandy!

Monday, February 16, 2009

He Really Gets Me!

With the kitchen redo going on, the small half-bath off the kitchen got pulled into the mix. The wallpaper was removed and the hubby painted it on a snow day from work. The new pretty paint only highlighted the ugly brass with etched glass light fixture. EEWW!! Off to Lowe's we went and bought this pretty little oiled bronze light. {Wow! The walls don't even look green in this photo!} I love it and it matches the dining room's all coming together now!

Then to my surprise, I came home from work one morning and found this lovely surprise!

It's an oiled bronze faucet!! YIPPEE!! The hubby really knows how to keep his woman happy! He said he knew I wouldn't be happy with mismatched fixtures.
It's great when he knows you so don't even have to ask!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Random Valentine

I earlier wrote about my lack of Valentine decor. Here is a quick look at the things I now have...

The beautiful ribbon wreath...actually hung on the front door. Please ignore the holes in the door. The previous owners had a door knocker that they took on their way out...I can't find one to fit the holes!!

I also made a small heart shaped ribbon wreath for the back door. There was suppose to be 2 of them but procrastination got the better of me! And of course, the $1 window clings. How chic!

In my post about buttons, I hinted about a Valentine project with all the pink buttons left over. Here it is... I'm not sure it even looks like a heart anymore! I covered a styrofoam heart with ribbons then hot glued buttons. I like the other heart more with just the ribbons. Maybe I should stick to copying ideas of others instead of making up my own!! {Notice the cookbook stand has remained unchanged! Still thinking about it.}

I made the banner in its original size from Skip to My Lou and put it on each kid's bedroom door. They loved it!

Then the girls did some decorating of their own. They made these at Daisies and shared one with a friend. This one was made for O by her friend Sophia.

I have bragged in the past about controlling refrigerator clutter by using clipboards. Apparently the girls had other ideas. Many of these little treasures were made in preschool. However, some were made by me. I've come a long way from sad foam hearts decorated with markers and weird things glued on!!

There was a plan for one more project using my CD of Vintage Valentines...again...procrastination. So here is the picture from William Sonoma and a link to the Shabby Nest because she did not procrastinate!

Finally {I'm exhausted}, these are the gifts for my girls. I purchased them from the buzybunny etsy shop. They are so cute in fact that I gave them to the girls last night so they could wear them to school today! And they are a bargain at $7 each! They are handmade by the lovely Julia who actually lives close to me! Funny what you can discover on etsy!

For the wild man...a car. Boring to me but he will love the store bought, mass produced gift.
For the hubby...don't know yet! We are not really exchanging due to the kitchen redo but he always buys me something just to make me look bad!
So much for "a quick look" at my Valentine decor! I need a nap!

Find Inspiration~Protect Your Wallet

I recently stumble across a great site for furniture and home decor. Horchow. Before you visit, I must warn you...the prices are outrageous (by my low, budget-minded standards). Therefore, you should proceed with caution and use this for inspiration purposes only.

I actually found it on my hotmail homepage when they were displaying mirrored furniture. I think that look it so chic for an entryway or bedside tables. I would love to own one in my foyer but fear the fingerprints produces by 6 small hands and 2 big ones!

Horchow also has a great line of whimsical kids furniture.

Susie posted about the use of knobs today. I think she would love these! You should visit her post...who knew so much could be done with knobs??!!

They also have "It Lists" that they put out so you know that latest and the greatest! It is put together by their design team...they should know!

No budgets were harmed in the writing of this post!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Thrill of Victory and the Agony of Defeat

This will be short and sad! The "free" piano will cost $1500+ to get it to make beautiful music. The pins are slipping and the strings are rusty. Now what? I love the look of it and think it is a great piece of furniture...but do I keep it for that?~! The hubby will not be happy if it has to be moved....again.

I feel very sad on a rainy day!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

A Girl's Gotta Dream

So yesterday I wrote about how cheap I have become...well, a girl's still gotta dream. AND shoes are what I dream about! Not just any shoes...Manolos! AHHHH! It all started with Carrie Bradshaw on Sex and the City. I adore that character and her shoe collection! I think part of the reasons I am obsesses with shoes is...nurses wear ugly shoes. Flight nurses wear ugly boots! Ugly steel toed boots!

Before the wild man was born, I wore heels almost everyday. Since then, I have reverted back to the "mommy uniform" of sweats and tennis sad! I actually have a descent shoe collection of my own...30+ pairs. It use to be much larger but I gave a bunch away before we moved. My favorite shoes that I own are red patent leather peep toes with navy blue ribbons. They are also the most I have ever spent on shoes...$100. (Not exactly true...I spent $200 on my work boots) They are well worth it and so pretty! A good pair of shoes feels different on your feet. You can only understand it by trying it for yourself. And the great thing about shoes...they still fit when you have on your "winter weight" as I do now!

These are my 2 favorite pairs of Manolo Blahniks that I will never own...

Carrie's wedding shoes from the movie. These beauties retailed for $945. Ouch! That's a lot of coupons to clip!

Carrie's "lost"shoes from a baby shower! Currently listed for $999 on ebay.
A girl's gotta dream. {Sigh}

Monday, February 9, 2009

A New Way to Shop

Have you heard we are in a recession? I am fortunate enough to still be working (nursing is recession proof) and hubby is super lucky to still be working because construction is not recession proof! But things are more expensive and I am paying private school tuition for 2! So I am trying to become more frugal.

My biggest inspiration and source of help has been Kim at STLMommy. She is a stay at home mom that has learned some great tricks for getting the best deals and shares it DAILY with the rest of us. Kim teaches you how to use coupons to their maximum value and provides links to free stuff. I receive free items almost daily in the mail now! Yeah! She also has great the concert tickets I won!

Kim also provides list of the great deals at grocery stores (St. Louis only) and Walgreens AND matches coupons to their sale items! She provides a tutorial on how to shop at Walgreens. It is honestly not that easy until you understand all the different sources of coupons Walgreens has. The savings are unbelievable!!
Did I mention her service is FREE! I encourage you to take a peek and see all that she does to help moms like us! is how I shop. I only buy items on sale unless they are necessities...milk, fruit, veges or that I item I need to complete a recipe. I stock up using as many coupons as I have...often 3 or more of a single items thanks to internet printable coupons! I plan menus around sales and items I have "in stock".

Here is a look at what my coupon organizers look like...

I really do need 2! I clip EVERY coupon, regardless if it is a product I currently use. OK...I don't clip the bladder protection ones. The trick is that some of these items could be free and I will try anything that is free!

A look in my pantry...7 unopened boxes of cereal. There are also 5 opened boxes stored on the other side. I paid less than $1.50 for each!

Pasta and potatoes...9 boxes of instant potatoes to be exact! I only paid $0.25 for most of those! Did I ever mention I hate real mashed potatoes but love instant! CRAZY!

This is inside my bath closest and yes...that is 9 unopened deodorants! Last week I bought most for less than $1. I think that's enough of them for a while!

This is the upstairs hall closet. It stores all the cleaning, bath supplies and nonfood items. Still room on the top shelf!

Here is everything from hand soap to dish soap to medications and the list goes on............

Yesterday I went to Walgreens and spent $46.52...I saved $52.48! That doesn't include the $7 in register rewards and the $4 EasySaver rebate...increasing the amount saved th $63.48! That DOES includes $17.00 for diapers. {OUCH} There is never a good sale on diapers. I guess my cheap self needs to potty train the little wild man!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

No Store Bought Valentines!

Every year (well, just the 2 years my kids have been in school) we go to Target to browse the Valentine isle for the typical, mass produced Valentine cards. Now that I am a "crafty mom" (L's words, NOT mine), I knew that I could do something better.

I just told you about the great banner I made from Skip To My Lou. should see her Valentine card ideas! This is what O will be taking to school...

A flower for each of her friends. Just print out the templates on card stock and cut! O signed her name to each leaf and helped assemble. So cute!

Of course, we had to do something different for L. I have been following The Graphics Fairy for some time now and really love her daily post of clip art. I showed L some of them and she loved them too. Off to ebay I went and found a CD of vintage Valentines. Over 1000 vintage Valentines! We picked out her favorite ones and printed them of card stock.

The CD is great with cards from different eras and different shapes. There were lots of little kids, birds and cherubs for the choosing. However, we steered aways from the cherubs due to their lack of clothing...not appropriate for a kindergartner to give to her friends! I know I will find many uses for it!

She signed her name and drew a picture on the back of each one! We'll also be taping on a sucker for each kid as a treat.

Try not to get "suckered" into the generic, try to create (or copy) something of your own!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

No Greater Love

There is lots of talk in blogland about Valentine's Day. I thought I would share with you one of the great loves of my Dyson Vacuum! Crazy? No! Not when you have moved into a house that has NEW, very light beige carpet that shows E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G! I can't justify ripping it out...yet. So I have to do my best to keep it clean. For that fight, the Dyson is my weapon of choice. Armed with powerful suction and handy attachments, I conquer the bits of dirt and grime left by those that I love! {That speech should have been accompanied by some Star Wars-like music or something! So dramatic!}

This is the one I own and, yes, it's pink! I bought on some breast cancer special at Target and I love that it's pink! It makes vacuuming more glamorous. Not really...but I do love to vacuum! I wish I could do it everyday. Nice vacuum lines make my heart go pitter-patter! I might need to see a doctor for that!