My Favorite Things for Under $30

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Here are some of my absolute favorite finds for under $30 bucks...

I love this Garnier lotion, and actually most all Garnier lotions...I am a lotion snob LOL.  I hate when my skin feels greasy or oily and this lotion makes my skin feel so soft and sinks in quickly, without making it greasy.

I have a fabulous vacuum that I love, that is well over $30, but I still use my swiffer all the time and I love the ones with the Febreze scent.  They are the best at picking up little crumbs or dog food or the dreaded broken glass on the floor - the glass sticks to these like magnets.

I {LOVE} this mascara by L'Oreal!  For some reason every now and then I get the bright idea to try a different mascara and I hate it!  I always return to my one and only love...

Port of Subs - My absolute favorite sandwich shop!  I am so sad that we don't have one where we live now, but growing up this was my favorite meal.  My parents would ask what I wanted for my birthday dinner and my answer would always be, "PORT OF SUBS!"

I love the lighted branches right now!  I just bought some at Craft Warehouse for $9 and I can't wait to use them.  There are also larger ones for $20 something and they have so many different styles and colors.

For more great finds for under $30 check out The Nester's favorite things link party.

Themed or Haphazard Christmas Decorating

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

First of all, hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving!  I'm sorry I haven't posted in a while (yet once again) because I was a little under the weather...

My Thanksgiving went a little something like this...Perfect time with the in-laws, wonderful food, laughs and rest...Oregon Ducks Football game...running back down from the top of the stands (after I just walked up) knowing that yes - I definitely had the stomach flu...walking out of the stadium the wrong way with 2 year old daughter in tow...walking...walking...walking....she is now arms are burning in pain....walking...walking...45 minutes, an hour, who knows how long after, I made it to the correct back to the RV to find more sick family members...sleep all the way home on the 2 1/2 hour drive...Sunday woke up and got to DECORATING!!!

All in all, I can't complain!  I had a great time and my decorating is almost complete, which brings me to today's post...

Are you a themed decorator or a Haphazard decorator like I am? 

I have to admit while roaming blogland and Pinterest I start to feel the green eyed monster taking hold...



 But I realized while pulling out all my Christmas decor that my house would probably never look like any of the above because that would mean that I would have to put away so many of my favorite items and personal gifts.  Over the years I have collected random Christmas decor that I absolutely love and although my style has changed over the years, I can't seem to part with any of it.  My house is an eclectic display of Holiday decor and I like it that way.  I imagine some day this may change, but for now I will rejoice in the Christmas season with my mishmashed decor :-))

The best part about Christmas decorating is that no house looks the same.  It is so wonderful to walk into friends and families homes and look at all the lovely and unique Christmas inspirations. 

I will share pictures soon, once the gray, rainy clouds go away so I can get a decent picture - wait I live in Oregon!  I might have to share pictures next summer ha ha!

How about you?  Are you a themed decorator or Haphazard decorator?

The Heart of Christmas

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

I can't believe tomorrow is Thanksgiving!  I hope you all have a great time and eat way too much!

With the Holidays around the corner I have really been pondering something...

In our house we always give gifts to celebrate the gift we have been given in Christ Jesus, but with your kids it is hard to draw the line between gift giving and spoiling.

With our oldest turning 4 this past summer there seems to be one change that has taken place and it is not a good one!  She is like the typical American child who feels that she deserves to get everything she wants when she wants it.  Obviously this is completely normal behavior, but as a mom it is my job to raise her in a way so that she grows up to be a generous, loving and appreciative girl. 

Charlee - Christmas 2009
  With the Holidays approaching my husband and I have really been trying to think of ways that we can go out of our way to help others in need and show our children what Christmas is truly about. 

Here are some wonderful Christmas ideas that I wanted to share with all of you.

Hallelujah Toffee - This is seriously the best Toffee I have ever tasted, and I am not only saying that because my cousin and my sweet Aunt make it ;-)

The amazing part is this year they are donating 100% - YES YOU HEARD ME CORRECTLY {100%} of their proceeds to One Life Africa

This is a fabulous way to enjoy or give the gift of toffee, while knowing that ALL your proceeds go to help these children in need.

Operation Christmas Child - This is a ministry run through Samaritan's Purse that is so simple in nature, yet has a big impact on a child's life.  It is a simple shoe box filled with anything from hygiene items and school supplies to toys.  Many of these children have never received a Christmas present, let alone a new toothbrush or pencil.  The most important part of this gift is that it allows the love of Christ to spread to all different nations.

  There are drop off locations in many different states and you can even build a box online.  The thing that is so wonderful about this ministry is that you can really involve your children by allowing them to help you pick out items and pack the box.

Restore Innocence - You may have read my earlier post about my hutch makeover in which all proceeds will be going to Restore Innocence...they are a fabulous non profit that one of my childhood friends founded to help victims of sex trafficking.  Not only could you choose to support the ministry financially, but they have some adorable products for sale...

I own the bag and the hat and I LOVE them!  They are so cute in person.  The ring is brand new and I must have it ;-)  I can splurge on myself give someone a beautiful gift and know that I am helping a great cause.

I would love to hear any ideas that you all have to spread the love on Christmas :-))

Liebster Blog Award

Monday, November 21, 2011

Last week Liza from Happy Lizard Hill gave me the Liebster award!  I am so grateful that she chose me to  be one of the 5 recipients out of all of blogs out in blogland! 

Here is a little info about the Liebster Award...

"If you are curious what Liebster mean, well it is a Greek word that means “favorite” in English."

"The Criteria: The Liebster Blog Award is meant to showcase bloggers who have fewer than 200 followers. This is all done in the spirit of pay-it-forward.
The Rules: You must mention and link to the person who awarded you with Liebster, and mention 5 other blogs with fewer than 200 followers who you think worthy of the Liebster!"
"‘Liebster’ means ‘favorite’ or ‘dearest’ in German. This award, which originated in Germany, recognizes up and coming bloggers! In accepting this award, I agree to:
  • Thank the person that gave me the award and link back to their blog
  • Copy and paste the award to my blog
  • Reveal the 5 blogs I have chosen to award and let them know by commenting on their blog
  • Pay it forward by awarding it to bloggers they would like to honor"
Here are the five I chose to receive this award, please stop by and check out their great blogs...

Pinterest Christmas Style

Sunday, November 20, 2011

I am so excited for Thanksgiving next week!  We get to spend the long weekend with the in-laws hanging out with no responsibilities...and of course we are throwing a little tailgating in the mix :-) 

However, the thing I am most excited about is going to pick out our Christmas tree!  I can't wait! I am so thrilled for Christmas and can't wait to get back and start my decorating!

To put me in the mood even more I have started my Pinterest search for great Christmas inspiration.  Here are a few of my favorites...

I adore this Charlie Brown Christmas tree...
So cute for an advent calendar...

 Everything about this is just beautiful, especially love the branches around the table...


And just because this is the cutest thing I have ever seen...

 To see more of my Holiday favorites and any of my other pins follow me here.

Bottle Aprons

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

I am so sorry that I have been MIA the last few days.  We have had the lovely stomach flu going around our house, so I have been a little preoccupied :-(  I won't gross you out with the details on my cleaning and hair washing duties to get the smell off of my children, ha ha - so on to my post...

Apron creations for all your naked soap and lotion bottles...

Last year around this time was my very first experience with blogs.  I somehow stumbled across Lemon Tree Creations and sat back admiring her skills, wishing I had that type of creativity and craftiness.  Well, low and behold she did an adorable project that even I could do!  She made these adorable little aprons that I just had to try.  They turned out fairly well for my first crafty project.

Sadly, over the year I am somehow down to only one little apron and all my other bottles are nekkid :-(  I thought this would be a prefect time to create some new ones so I could share this project with you all, in case you never saw it in the past.

Yes my neighbors probably thought I was crazy doing a photo shoot with soap in aprons in my front yard ;-)

The best part is that you can use any fabric and ribbon you want to coordinate them with your decor or for the current Holiday season! 

I will also be linking up to these fabulous parties... ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;; ;; ; ; ; ;;;;;;

Dandelion Wall Art Over at The Turquoise Piano

Thursday, November 10, 2011

I am so thrilled to be the guest poster over at The Turquoise Piano today!  Kelli has been such a sweet supporter of my blog and I am so grateful to be posting at her fabulous blog today.  If you have never visited her blog, you must!  She has some great projects, and of course her turquoise piano is gorgeous!

Now on to my post...

Today I showed a project that was way out of my comfort zone!  Here is a sneak peak...

I hope you will stop over and read the rest of my post today :-)) ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;; ; ; ; ; ; ;;;; ;;;

Habitat Heroes Link Party!

Monday, November 7, 2011

If you saw my guest post over at Happy Hour Projects today, then you saw this hutch that I finally finished :-))

I am so excited to share that this will be the first piece I will be selling and I will be donating all proceeds to Restore Innocence.  One of my childhood friends, Michelle, started this non-profit to help restore children that have been victims of child trafficking and sex trafficking. 

Julia at 551 East Furniture Designs has come up with a great concept of the Habitat Heroes.  I have decided that there was no better opportunity to help these young girls in need. 

This will be my featured post at Mom's Fun Money this week!
I will also be linking up to these fabulous parties... ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;; ; ; ; ; ; ;;;;;;;

Grey Hutch Up Cycle

Today I am sharing my Hutch Up Cycle over at Happy Hour Projects! I am so flattered that Adrianne has selected me to be her guest blogger today.  Here is a little preview of what I am sharing.

My lifeless hutch before her makeover...

And a little sneak peak of how she turned out...

I hope you will stop on over and read my guest post to see the rest :-))

Rope Curtain Rod

Sunday, November 6, 2011

I finally did it and I am so excited!  I saw this rope curtain rod from Vintage Revivals and I have been dying to do this in our living room.  Our living room just didn't look complete with our bare windows and I have been trying to come up with a creative idea for a curtain rod for this room.

I recently did tree branch curtain rods in our master bedroom, but I was looking for something different here, and this was just the thing :-))

Now, we have a finished room!  It was so easy and so much cheaper than buying an expensive curtain rod!  The rope we purchased at Lowes for .58 cents a foot, the boat cleat was from the marine shop for $10 bucks and then we purchased 5 of the long eye bolts for a little over $1 each. 

The curtains were the most expensive part...Target for $29 for a pair. 

I am so grateful to all the amazing bloggers out there willing to share their fabulous ideas!!!

This post is featured at Moms Fun Money this week and I will also be linking up to these parties... ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;; ; ; ; ; ; ;

31 Days Towards Financial Freedom ~ Day 31 *BE WEIRD*

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Today is our last day of the series!  Thank you so much to those of you who have joined along.  I am so grateful to have gained some new followers during this series.  I hope that even if you don't agree with every post, that you still walked away with something of use :-)

I hope through this series that you have seen how to truly get ahead and take control of your finances, instead of letting your finances control you.  In order to do this you need to act differently than the way society teaches you.

As Dave Ramsey would say...

I could not agree more!  We fell into the trap that so many other's do.  Now that we see the light and the peace that can be gained through living a financially free life, I hope we never loose sight of that again.  This is a long and painful process, but the end result will be well worth it!  Don't loose faith and surround yourself with supporters and someday soon you will be yelling, "I"M DEBT FREE!!!" 

If you have any specific questions or what to know more on any of the topics, please feel free to email me any time.  If this truly sounds like a path you would like to take, I would recommend reading Dave's, "Total Money Makeover" and get on board 100%.


If you would like to read any of the other posts in this series, you can find them here...

Day 4 ~Shaving Down the Grocery Bill

Day 5 ~ Think Outside the Box

Day 6 ~ Baby Steps

Day 7 ~ Get Together

Day 8 ~ The Reluctant Spouse

Day 9 ~ Reward Yourself

Day 10 ~ No Credit Cards Allowed! 

Day 11 ~ Emergency Fund 

Day 12 ~ Bye Bye Debt

Day 13 ~ Earning Extra Income

Day 14 ~ Infrequent Payments

Day 15 ~ Avoid Impulse Shopping

Day 16 ~ Consignment Stores

Day 17 ~ Making Cuts

Day 18 ~ Be Careful Who Your Friends Are

Day 19 ~ To Tithe or not to Tithe

Day 20 ~ Making the Hard Decisions

Day 21 ~ Co-signing

Day 22 ~ Borrowing from Family or Friends

Day 23 ~ Start Young

Day 24 ~ Emergency Fund #2

Day 25 ~ Student Loan Debt

Day 26 ~ Buying a House

Day 27 ~ Oops I did it Again

Day 28 ~ Favorite Money Saving Websites

Day 29 ~ The Dreaded FICO Score

Day 30 ~ Do You Really Need all that Stuff?!

Day 31 ~ Be Weird (this post)

31 Days Towards Financial Freedom ~ Day 30 *DO YOU REALLY NEED ALL THAT STUFF?!*

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Living Well on a Low Budget

How one guy gets by while earning peanuts

Oct 28, 2011 | WRITTEN BY Chris Russell
When we hear the figure $11,000 being thrown around, we usually think of buying a car or maybe getting a big bonus check.
For 42-year-old Glenn Morrissette, it's his yearly budget. Yearly, we said.
Morrissette isn't a beach bum or someone who lives in his parents' basement. He is a professional musician who currently lives in New Jersey and drives an RV. He has a reasonable wardrobe, eats well, and even has health insurance. He is able to pull this off because he lives simply.
"I had a garage full of stuff I never used, my closets were full, and I started to see that it was costing me money to have an apartment big enough to hold all the stuff I never use," he said of his time living in a Los Angeles apartment.
His first thought was to scale back, but the more he looked at the situation, the more he realized he "didn't need too much to be happy." The practicality of owning an RV, which he could buy free and clear with no payments, was too good an opportunity to pass up.
Now he wears jeans and T-shirts. The food budget is $250 a month, which he spends on meats, fruits and vegetables. He enjoys writing music (calling it both a profession and a hobby) and thus doesn't need a lot of entertainment money. Even with all that, he's an "avid investor." Again, with $11,000 a year to work with.
We don't need nearly as much in life as we think we do. Too many times, we classify needs as wants, and wants usually come with a cost. Many of us can cut a few wants out of our lives and replace them with something less expensive. That means more money to put toward your debt snowball or emergency fund.
With some discipline, Morrissette is doing it. Can you?

Don't worry, I'm not going to tell you that you should live on $11,000 a year, but this story definitely makes me think on how little I can live on and what I truly need.

I think we all tend to get caught up on today's culture of more, more, more...and when is enough enough?  This doesn't mean that if you own a boat or have nice clothes that you are a self-indulgent, frivolous spender.  It is just a question to ask yourself, especially when you are still on baby step #1 or #2. 

If you are serious about getting on the road to financial freedom and living with no debt, then the wise thing is to take a look at your budget and really analyze whether your spending in a certain category is a need or a want. 

I am a firm believer that there are certain wants that are necessary in keeping your sanity and that it is a completely personal decision.  Some may be able to live like Glenn with no issues, where others would end up in the nut house:-) 

I just hope this series is making you think a little more about where your money is going and if it is the best decision for you at this time.

31 Days Towards Financial Freedom ~ Day 29 *THE DREADED FICO SCORE*

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

I know, I know, it is November 1st and I am still doing my 31 Days series that was supposed to be done on the 31st of October :-(  Well, I promised 31 days and that is what you are going to get!

Today may be a strange lesson for some if you worship the almighty FICO score.  So many of us today believe that a high credit score means that you are financially fit.  That is not necessarily the case.  If you have a high FICO score it is because you have played well with the sleazy credit card companies. 

My goal for reaching Financial Freedom is to NEVER use credit cards again so I am not worried about my credit score.  My goal is to have a FICO score of zero some day.  The only loan we ever plan to take out again is a home loan, which you can do with a score of zero. 

Here is Dave's response to the to a caller regarding her credit score...

QUESTION: Hannah in Los Angeles wants to know if they should close their credit card accounts. Her husband is hesitant to do it because he’s afraid it will hurt their credit rating. Dave says it will, but if they’re going to stay out of debt, it doesn’t matter.

ANSWER: It will lower your FICO score. But I got confused here. I thought this guy was enthused about doing a Total Money Makeover and was not worried about being in debt. If you’re not going to go into debt, why do you need a FICO score?
He has a disconnect here. What happened is he kind of reverted back to his old self, which was a FICO worshipper, and I’m not a FICO worshipper. I don’t want you to set out on purpose to destroy your credit. That would be silly. But if you do something in the name of getting out of debt and staying out of debt that is financially healthy and that dings your credit a little bit, big deal. My credit score is zero and has been for many years. How do I survive? Financial health. I have money. How do I have money? I quit giving it to the bank to keep my FICO score up.
If you quit borrowing money, your credit score is going to go down. Your credit score is 100% based on you borrowing money and paying it back with interest on time. It’s not based on you doing smart things financially. It’s based on you loving debt. When you quit playing kissy-face with the bank, your credit score’s going to go down anyway. If you close all your accounts and quit borrowing money right now, in 18 months, your credit score will be zero. How distressing is that? It’s not distressing unless you’re going to go borrow money using your credit score.
I would close the accounts. The problem is you can’t half-ride this horse. You have to decide which way you’re going. You either have to worship at the altar of the great FICO or decide that you’re not going to borrow money and the FICO score is going to go away.

So you can choose to play the game with the banks and credit card companies, or you can choose to rule your finances and opportunities.  Which road will you take?