Monday, November 22, 2010

Plan to Eat

Awhile ago I heard about a site called Plan to Eat. You upload your recipes to the site and then add the recipes to a calendar. You then make a shopping list and it automatically pulls the ingredients from your planned meals into your shopping list. You then have the option to review the ingredients and move the items you already have to another list.

I wasn't sure how useful this would be, but since they have a 30 day free trial, I thought it was worth a try. I uploaded some recipes, made a shopping list, and went shopping. It was great, especially since I'm using a lot of new recipes that I don't know by heart. It's also nice having my shopping list already made up- no combing through all the recipes to figure out what I need.

From a planning perspective, I find it very useful because it forces me to plan out what we'll eat, which means I'm less likely to fall back on spaghetti (gluten free, of course) at least once a week when I can't think of anything to make. While LMS wouldn't mind this, it would get real old real fast.

After the 30 day free trial, it's $4.95 a month or $39 a year (which gives you 4 months free). I can definitely save that much money just because I'm planning everything so much better- buying things I actually need and will use and avoiding a lot of impulse buys. Plus all the planning is good for my OCD  :)

If you want to check them out, go here to check out their site. Plan to eat, plan to save!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Super easy boot tray

I saw this idea here, and really liked it. Simple, easy, and cheap.

1 tray: $9 at wally world (now marked down to $7- of course)
3 bags river rocks: $1 each at the dollar store

Dump the rocks in the tray, place your boots on top, and you're done! I love how it looks!

I saw another blog where they used a plastic tray they found on sale at Target, then spray painted it black. I haven't seen any at Target and didn't have the time or energy to look other places. And I like the detail on the wood tray I used. I may paint it eventually, but I like it as-is for now.

Obviously this isn't a baby proof item (we discovered it was a magnet for my friend's 10 month old), but that's not a concern for us right now.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Easy little girl skirt and leggings

LMS insists on wearing skirts most days, so I recently made several more leggings to keep her legs warm now that it's getting colder. I check the women's sock section every time I'm at Target, and buy any knee socks that are cute. They usually run $2/ a pair, but I have gotten some on sale for less. I've been saving them in my to-do pile, and knocked them all out in an hour or so. I followed the same method I used here.

We also stopped by Goodwill awhile ago and found some inexpensive clothes to make more skirts for LMS. The first skirt I made started out life as a 3T jumper. It's a cute pink corduroy jumper, but way too short for LMS's long torso.

I cut the bodice off (as close to the arm holes as possible),

made a simple casing for elastic, then inserted the elastic. Done!
 Hmmm. Not sure about the whole outfit (especially the boots), but she picked it all out and was happy with it. I do like the argyle leggings with the skirt. And they were very inexpensive, which makes me happy :)

Thursday, November 4, 2010

My Goodwill Lamp

Awhile ago I found this lamp at Goodwill for $3.95. It was on the ugly side and it was missing its shade, but I liked the shape and thought it had potential. Our front room only has two weird sconces above the fireplace, and they don't provide nearly enough light. I thought this lamp could help solve the problem.

I didn't think there would be much wear and tear on the lamp, so I didn't bother sanding it. Mostly because the thought of sanding metal rubs me very wrong. ick.

I did spray it with primer though, and then sprayed it with Krylon oil-rubbed bronze and some spray poly sealer.

Doesn't it have a nice shape? It's much more evident with the darker paint than it was with the nasty gold finish.

I dressed up a plain lamp shade I found at wally world. I used part of a drop cloth that I already had to cover the shade and make the flowers. I started out with just a few flowers and it looked fine when the light was off, but when the light was on, the seams and such showed, so I added more flowers. I already had the brown ribbon that I used on the upper edge, but I'm not completely sure I like the look now. I think it looked better before. I'll probably end up re-doing it, but I've got lots of other projects to work on, so for now it'll stay as-is.

The wood printers drawer I found at a yard sale will eventually hold Mr S's rank advancements, awards, and service coins, but for now it sits in the corner.
The blue canning jar is one I've had for years, the other blue jar is from IKEA, and I found the glass insulator at a yard sale for a buck.
The square vase and rocks also came from IKEA and the star was from the dollar section at Target.
The home sign was on clearance for a couple bucks at Seagull Book.
Sad to say, but this is one of first real "decorating" attempts. However, I like how it looks, and it'll be easy to change up if I ever get bored with it.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Post Halloween Sales

Yesterday LMS and I stopped by Target to hit up the post-Halloween sales. We found a princess dress last year, so I thought we'd see what we could find this year. We picked up a purple fairy costume and a little red riding costume to add to her dress up collection.

We also found an orange pumpkin shirt for her and a black one for me to wear next year.

The best part? Each item was half off!

I love hitting the after-holiday sales and finding things 50-60% off.

Did you find any good deals?

Monday, November 1, 2010

Halloween Costumes

LMS's costumes do double-duty as dress-up outfits. I could buy them for her, but I prefer to sew them. Better construction, better fabric, longer lasting, more modest. (more pictures of her costume can be seen here and here)

Fabric's not cheap, but it was on sale (half off), so I managed to spend less than the $20 I would have spent on a store-bought costume. Last year, I didn't do nearly as well. Live and learn, though.
My costume cost $8- the cost of two blue twin size sheets from wally world. I had the peachy pink sheet in my stash, as well as the thread I needed. I used one blue sheet for the skirt, the other blue sheet for the jacket, and the peachy pink sheet for the bow and to line the jacket. Cheap and fairly easy.

Now I just have to figure out when I'm going to wear my costume again- I'm not much into daily dressing up like LMS :)

Do you re-use your Halloween costumes?