Saturday, July 30, 2011

Things That Happened To Me This Month.

Listen, it's not that July wasn't good... but it could have been better.  To celebrate the passing of my very odd month, I've written about what happened to me in July:

My 2-year old son put stickers all over my face while I was taking a nap.  Delightful.

A watermelon exploded in my kitchen.  Seeds flew at lightning speed, almost causing me to lose an eye.  As one sailed by my head, I think it whispered something derogatory.  That watermelon was an assassin, truly.

I've been working on projects for Halloween and Thanksgiving (I have a billion, I had to start early) and most of them required glitter.  I have been sparkling for weeks.

My 6-year old told me that when he draws pictures of me, he makes sure to make me thin to make me feel better.  From the mouths of babes.

My 2-year old started saying "what in the world is that?" every four seconds.  It is still pretty adorable.

I have acquired eleventy thousand hot glue burns due to another Halloween project.  At least that one didn't require glitter.

It was so hot here that Satan called and asked for his weather back.

Kids become extremely grumpy when it's hot out.

Simple glass votives are no longer easy to find, but small juice glasses from Goodwill will do in a pinch.

I hope your July was better than mine... and we're one month closer to autumn!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Binders Are The Key To My Heart.

If you could see inside my heart, you would see rows and rows of filing cabinets with binders lined up neatly on top.  Truly... my heart skips a beat just thinking of it.  But regular binders aren't enough anymore... no, my binder fix needs to be heightened a bit to feel the full effect.  Thank goodness for Target.

Target (I sometimes call it Tar-jay and tell people it's a French import store) has cute binders.  Adorable binders.  Good quality, adorable, cute binders.  And I'm cleaning 'em out.

You've seen the recipe binder.  I have an upcoming post about my home binder.  And today, I shall tell you about my idea binder.

"An idea binder?" you ask yourself.  "Whatever is that for?"  It's for my ideas.  I get lots of them.  When my entire kitchen table became littered with magazine articles, post-it notes, letters, doodles, and various other pieces of paper that have some hare-brained scheme awesome project sketched out on them, I knew I had to do something.  Enter the Target binder.

Look at it.  If it were a person, I would ask it out on a date.  I am in love with it.  I bought some index dividers while I was there to separate the crazy genius ideas that come spilling forth from my brain.  I bought some notebook paper to fill it as well.

I picked some topics for my binder and printed them out in pretty font.  My handwriting isn't good enough for this binder.

I only bought one package of dividers so I only have five sections.  If I had my way, I'd have eleventy billion sections and the binder would be 800 inches wide... but I need to show some restraint for cripes sake.

I used contact paper to put them on.  Is there anything contact paper can't do?  Right now, it's washing my dishes.  OK, it may be my husband doing that... but the contact paper is supervising.
I needed a cutie tag for the binder too, so I found a light bulb in Microsoft's clip art and printed it out.  I used my trusty scrapbook scissors to give it a fun edge and contact papered that too.  I punched a hole and put a ribbon through it to attach it.
Look at how happy the light bulb is.  Love it.

Then, I started in on my magazine pile.  I'm on Pinterest (who isn't, it's amazing) but I still need a place for the ideas that come to me in paper form and not online... I went through a few to start with...
This doesn't even scratch the surface.  Gracious.

I tore out the pages I liked, making sure to circle the exact thing I'm interested in, and put them in the binder in their appropriate location.  Everything must have a home.  And here is the binder's home, next to his brethren:
Like pretty maids, all in a row.  Look how sad the black binder on the left is... He's so embarrassed, he's trying to escape the shot.  Poor guy.

I know there are fellow binder lovers out there... SHOW YOURSELVES! :)

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Thursday, July 28, 2011

Goodwill Goodies, Part Two.

Let's continue our trip through Goodwill, shall we?

These candle holders are still pretty popular... and this one was around $1.  In perfect condition.  Or you could pay Pottery Barn $25 for theirs... whichever. :)

Glassy goodness.  The long story of why this made me happy is that I needed something called a 'grande votive' candle holder.  A regular votive holder, but a bit bigger... and it was IMPOSSIBLE to find. Truly.  I found something similar online, but the minimum purchase was something like 75... I have no need for 75 glass votive holders.  One trip to Goodwill and I found juice glasses that were THE EXACT SIZE AND SHAPE as the holder I needed.  Will anyone notice they are juice glasses? I doubt it.  And they were $0.50 each and there was no 75 count minimum. Score.
Planning a wedding on a budget?  These glasses looked brand new and weren't engraved... some etching cream and ribbon and you have bride and groom drinking glasses.  For $1 each.
Still planning that wedding?  Here you are.  I didn't see the price, but I'm sure it would look great on you.
There are so many people who love these Ball jars... this one was $0.75.  And they had a million of them.

Do you see my toes in the mirror? It was eleven thousand degrees outside and I was wearing jeans, but flip-flops. My genius is rarely understood. Anyhoo, this would be beautiful with a fresh coat of paint.  I don't remember the price but it was under $10. Score again.
You can't really see from the photo, but this frame was deep... almost like a shadow box, truly.  It was lovely.

I need a filing cabinet this size.  If my husband had been with me to haul it, I would have grabbed it at only $10.  A fresh coat of paint and some fabric would have made this an awesome item.
I liked this lamp base.  Don't judge me.
I thought this lampbase was really interesting, but what was more interesting was the shade... it goes on the lamp upside-down.  Crazy.
They should change Goodwill's name to 'Lamp-a-palooza' or 'Lamp-stravaganza'.  They gots lamps, yo.  This one is so simple and just a few dollars.  You could paint it a blue or pink for a kid's room and it would be adorable.

That was just one morning at Goodwill.  I know for a fact that other Goodwills have way cooler stuff than mine, too... please go to Goodwill and then post about what you find.  'Cause I'm betting you'll find some pretty awesome stuff.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Goodwill Goodies, Part One.

I took another trip to Goodwill this weekend... and found awesomeness.  In many forms.  Because I found so much awesomeness, I'm making this a two-part series.  Can you call it a 'series' if there's only two parts?  Probably not.  But I'm gonna.

Look at these candlesticks.  I would paint them white and save them for Christmas... and at a  bargain price.

I had to make a trip to the dollar store that morning to get some candlesticks for an upcoming project... for $1, they are such a steal.  Until I found THE EXACT SAME CANDLESTICKS at Goodwill for under $1.  Joy.
Oh, and dirt-cheap BRAND-NEW candles to go in them.  It was meant to be.
I have less than $3 in my basket.  My heart skips a beat.
This is one of those ginormous measuring grid boards that seamstresses and other talented people use.  This one is cardboard and folds up.  At $1.50, it's a deal.  I don't need it, but I wanted it anyway.  Maybe next time.
Do you see that sad little look on the duck's face?  It needs a home.  Go give it a home.
This one was hard to leave on the shelf.  It's a window box sort of thing but clearly for indoor use.  I could have done so many things with this... but alas, my mission was candlesticks.  Goodbye, sweet wooden box.  A flight of angels calls thee to thy new crafty home.
I was just saying to myself, 'self, why don't I have a book of personalized Christmas cards from 1972?'  Goodwill has everything.
Look at these shelves... a little TLC and a coat of paint and these would go great anywhere.  I can't believe what some people give away!
I'm on the fence with this one... I think I could totally turn this into something festive and brand-new looking... but just couldn't bear to make the purchase.  It wasn't meant to be.

I will post part two of Goodwill Goodies tomorrow! Your Goodwill is probably open right now... get going!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

If You Haven't Made One Of These Yet, Do It Now.

Those of you who have children can agree with the old adage that 'they grow up too fast'. This is insanely true. It also means that we are getting older way too fast, but I digress.

As parents in this technologically-obese era, we have the opportunity to document every.single.second of our children's lives. Pictures, videos, scrapbooks, mementos, and memories in general can all be stored neatly into your computer's hard drive, until you develop them into a hard copy of sorts, and sock it away to be put in a scrapbook someday. I'm with you.

Try this instead:

Take a picture of your dear child from the side. A profile picture, I believe the photog-savvy call it. I am not photog-savvy.
Look at that double-chin. He takes after his mommy.  Also, it's extremely difficult to take a picture of a two-year old.  Holy cripes.  This picture does not need to be a good-quality picture.  See how bright it is? It just doesn't matter, as long as the outline of their sweet little face is clear.

Print the picture out on regular printer paper.  Do not waste any expensive photo paper on this, it's just going to be cut up.  You'll need some cardstock to go forward from here... black and white is fine, but any two opposing colors would work too.  Go ahead and get the paper, I'll wait for you.

Got the paper? Great.  Grab your crafting or exacto knives and let's get to work!

Take the picture you printed out and paper clip it to the black cardstock.  Make sure the paper is secured well, but not glued to the cardstock.  Take your exacto knife and cut around the face of the picture, making sure to cut through the paper to the cardstock.  Once your profile is cut out, examine the cardstock.  If you used enough pressure, the profile will pop right out... if not, re-trace the lines or get brave and use your scissors to cut out the profile.  Once you are happy with it, tape it onto the white cardstock and tear up at the profile silhouette of your rapidly-growing child.

Can you see the little tuft of hair sticking up in that top one?  I might have forgotten all about how that little patch of hair would never lie down, but now I won't.  This project takes such little time and money that you can redo these every year, or until your children will no longer sit for the photo.  I imagine right around age 16 my children will have had enough.

These are all over the bloggy world... but I'm betting you haven't done one yet.  Your kids won't sit down for it in a few years, do it now! You'll love it, I promise!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Get Out Those Scissors and Prepare For Carpal Tunnel.

It's Monday morning! What does that mean for you (besides a 'case of the Mondays' and mourning the loss of your weekend)?  I would like a favor from you today... I feel we're close enough now that I can ask for a favor.  You know we're besties.

Go find your Sunday newspaper inserts.  If you don't get the paper, call your friend, mother, father, grandparents, sister, neighbor you once saw bend over in his bathrobe but you never said anything about it and ask for their Sunday newspaper.  Grab the coupons. Clip them.  Easy enough, yes?

You know you need to start using coupons... you don't want to waste those coupons in the paper... and you have 20 minutes to give your hand a cramp from the scissors.  Oh, and you're dying to do this thrifty girl a favor.

Just clip them and stuff them in an envelope.  You can even use your fancy-shmancy Cricut or Silhouette to make a label for it.  That's all you have to do.  I firmly believe that one step will get you started on the road to saving money.  The next step?  We'll cover that soon.

Know what else you can do on a Monday? Join a blog hop! Hop over to Inspiring You 2 Save and join in!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Readers, Meet the Muffaletta.

There is a sandwich that closely compares to paradise. As in, if paradise had a taste, it would be this sandwich. If you make this sandwich for your family, you will be a hero. They may even build a statue in your honor.

It's called a Muffaletta.

Here's what you'll need to be nominated for sainthood:
Kaiser Rolls
Provolone Cheese
Ham... this is 'ham off the bone' from the deli at Walmart. It's delightful.
More provolone. You heard me.
A traditional Muffaletta has an olive relish.  Grab a jar of olives with pimentos and throw them in a mini-chopper or food processor with a little olive oil and a clove or two of garlic. Mix it all up.  I find olives vile and will not touch it.  Including the picture in this post is almost too close for me to be to olives.  But the hubs likes 'em.

Put your sandwich on a sheet of foil and wrap it up nice and pretty.  Place them on a cookie sheet, like so:
The ones with the olive relish are the furthest ones from my camera.  Still too close.

Bake your sandwiches at 375 degrees for about 15 minutes, just long enough for the provolone to get all melty and gooey.  I'm drooling.

Here it is.  The picture of this should be eaten, that's how awesome these Muffalettas are. Truly.

A word of advice: Don't try to eat too many of these at one time.  I really believed I could eat two at one sitting... but it makes a big sandwich.  My pride almost made me keep eating, but my head kept the second sandwich wrapped up and put it in the fridge.  I heated it up for lunch the next day and it was still delicious.  Enjoy!

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