Wednesday, October 19, 2011

DIY Decor: Dollar-Store Deco Pumpkins

Supplies used!

It's been a while since I've posted any of my fun Fall Decor projects, so here we go!!

I've seen so many cute & creative projects all over Blogland, but these Deco pumpkins at Crafted Niche's blog really caught my eye. I had to make these adorable pumpkins!!

You can hop over to her blog for a step by step tutorial, but here's my quickie version!!

Supplies: Mod Podge, Primer (or white spray paint), a sponge brush, Book pages, Dollar Store pumpkins, moss, tree branches, paint, glue gun and fabric scraps.

1) Cut off the stem from the pumpkin. See pic!!

2) Time to Prime-just cover the pumpkin(s) with a coat of primer and allow to dry.

3) While the primer dried, I began tearing my dictionary pages. I used "P" pages for Pumpkin!!

4) Once the pumpkin was dry, I began applying Mod Podge directly on the pumpkin, then sticking the torn pages on top of the Mod Podge, then sealing it with another coat of Mod Podge on top of the page.

5) Repeat until the pumpkin is completely covered and allow to dry for a few hours.

6) Place the stem onto the pumpkin and glue in place. (See picture)

7) I applied glue around the stem and just stuck some of the floral moss onto it.

8) You can stop here or jazz your pumpkin up with leftover fabric scraps. I free-handed a couple of leaves because I felt like my poor pumpkin needed a splash of color.

I'm loving my easy-peasy Deco Pumpkins! Thanks again to Crafted Niche for such an awesome idea (and thorough tutorial)!!

There's nothing better than decorating on the cheap and the total cost of this project was just $3 since I had most of the materials on-hand!!
Finished product-I love it!!!

Instead of Mod Podging both pumpkins-I sprayed this one with Rustoleum's brown and glued fabric onto it!

 I think it's so much fun to get creative by making your own holiday decor using the colors, fabrics and embellishments that you want to use! I love that I was able to use the same fabric that I've used on other Fall decor so it all ties together nicely!

I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Thanks for popping by!!

I'm linking up to.....

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  ThriftyThurs Thrifty Thursday Week 45

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Thrifty Finds: Goodwill=Great Halloween Costumes

He wasn't too excited about his costume!!'

My little guys last Halloween!
Last year my little guy celebrated his first Halloween! I lucked out by finding the most adorable costume at Goodwill for just $1!! He looked so, so cute and I couldn't have been happier with the price!!

Although Goodwill seems to have increased the prices of their Halloween costumes this year, I managed to score an adorable one for just a couple of bucks! Yippee!!


Monday, October 17, 2011

Tazo Zen tea & Pumpkin-Cranberry Pecan Bread Recipe

There was a time when I was truly addicted to Starbuck's. I'd go there once, twice and sometimes three times a day. Chai tea lattes, Grande Zen tea, Pumpkin name it!! That habit got a bit pricey so I've changed my ways.

I now purchase the same tea that they sell at Starbucks (Tazo Zen) at either Target or Walmart. It's a delicious green tea with lemongrass & spearmint-oh so tasty with honey & cream. I now pay around $3 for a box of 20 tea bags vs. paying $2-$3 for a single cup!

And I now make my own breads--which saves me big time!! I recently found the most delish  Pumpkin Cranberry-Pecan Bread recipe at MyBlessedLife. This will definitely be my go-to recipe this Fall!! Click here for a link to the recipe!! Hers is a blog worth checking out-it's amazing and inspirational!!

Pumpkin-Cranberry Pecan Bread
  • 2 1/3 cup flour {I use spelt}
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar {I reduced this from 2 cups}
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 can (15 oz) solid pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup applesauce {I used cinnamon applesauce}
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/4 cup craisins
*I followed this recipe but added 1/2 cup of brown sugar too!!

Combine flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg in a bowl. In another bowl, combine pumpkin, oil, applesauce, eggs and water. Mix well. Stir wet ingredients into the bowl of dry ingredients, just until combined. Fold in pecans and craisins.
Spoon into two loaf pans. Bake at 350 degrees for about an hour or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

31 Days of Thrifty Finds: Goodwill Furniture Shopping Tips

I purchased my matching desk and chair during two separate GW shopping trips!
Bought this sporty shelf for my sons room for $6.99!
When I first started Goodwilling, it was mostly for furniture. I was fresh out of college and was on a tight, tight budget. Secondhand furniture definitely fit the bill!

When shopping for furniture at Goodwill and other resale shops, here are a few tips that might help you out.

1) If you even remotely like something-grab the tag and grab it quickly. Sometimes the worst thing you can do is overthink a purchas
e. You've gotta act quickly or someone else will beat you to the punch!!!

2) Have an open mind. You might go into a store looking for one thing yet something else might catch your eye. While it's always good to have a Goodwill Wish list, it's also great to be open. You never know what you might stumble upon.

My GW coffee table-7 years old & still going strong!

3) Don't be intimidated. Scoring great deals often comes at a price. There are rare times when you stumble upon a beauty, but often times you'll have to bring out the beauty in the pieces you find. A few years back-I found what resembled a coffee table at one of our local GW stores. It looked a hot mess-the previous owners must've had kids so they'd glued gray rubber hosing around the entire table. I wasn't intimidated!

I scored this awesome table for $20 and scrubbed like you wouldn't believe. The good news-once it was cleaned up, it was a beautiful table. I'm almost positive that it was originally purchased from PierOne and likely retailed for upwards of $100.

It's been with me through three moves and is still one of my most cherished pieces.

I'd love to hear your secondhand furniture shopping tips!!

Thanks for popping by!!!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

31 Days of Thrifty Finds: Dollar Store Shopping tips

I'm a big fan of Dollar Stores! The biggest reason is due the convenience of knowing that absolutely everything in the store is just $1 (no guessing or dealing with searching for prices).

Fave things to buy at Dollar Stores:
-Storage Items (baskets, bins and drawer organizers to name a few!)
-Party Supplies (cups, plates, plasticware, tablecloths, balloon weights-you name it)
-Gifts (not actual gifts-but I do buy the majority of my gift bags, wrapping paper & tape here)
-Cleaning Supplies (they actually have amazing products-dish soap, window, toliet & bath cleaner..etc)
-Tolietries (especially when heading on vacation-toothbrushes, travel size items, body wash, etc)
-Misc food items-dollar stores are starting to sell more and more food items-ours even has a freezer section. (flour, baking mixes, syrup, olive oil, raisins, cereal & even candy)

There are lots and lots of ways to be thrifty! Shopping at Dollar Stores is certainly one of them.

Hope you enjoyed this post! Thanks for popping by!!


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

31 Days of Thrifty Finds-Day 11: Kids Clothes Shopping Tips

My kids are often complimented on how adorable their clothes are. People are always shocked when I tell them that the majority of their clothes come from Good old Goodwill!!! In fact-one of my fave things to look for at thrift stores is kids clothing because their sizes aren't as particular as mine are.

My boys rock Goodwill gear!
My tips for shopping for kids clothes at Goodwill:

1) Find out when your local Goodwill stores have special discount days. For the most part, the only time I hit our stores is on Super Saturday-the first Saturday of every month-because everything is 50% off their already low prices!!

2) Grab any and everything you see. I often load my cart up with anything that has potential, then I go through everything a couple of times to pare down before heading to the cash register.

3) I always buy everything that I like, then head home to wash the entire load of clothes before trying them on my kiddos. Most Goodwills don't use paper tags (they use plastic tags) for this very reason-in fact, they encourage you to take clothes home to wash & try on!! You can return anything that doesn't fit within 7 days.

4) Don't be afraid to go up a size or two. It's highly likely that the majority of the clothes you'll find will be used, so they've been washed a time or two! Some people throw jeans and etc in the dryer-which can cause a bit of shrinkage, so it's always good to be open to not only buying clothing in their size-but also a size or two up. Another perk of Goodwill shopping is that you don't have to be as careful with washing their clothes as you would if you'd paid an arm and a leg for them.

5) It's great to shop for clothes when the seasons change because people are often pulling out clothes that have been stored away and getting rid of whatever doesn't fit. I'm looking forward to hitting Goodwill soon in hopes that I'll find some cute jackets for my boys!

Kolt's Gap jeans-$2 & Polo shirt $1

Gap Distressed lil loose jeans-Reg $34.99 Sale $29.99

Goodwill Price (Reg.$3.99-just $2 on Super Saturdays!) VS. Gap Price ($29.99)

So basically, I scored both the jeans and a nearly new Polo shirt for far less than the price of the jeans alone at Gap!
                                              GOODWILL LOOK #2-for my 6-year old...
Old Navy bootcut jeans-$2 (reg $3.99) & Gap long sleeve 2-in-1 shirt $1 (reg $1.99)

Just wanted to show you how CUTE this shirt is! Love the back!

Old Navy camo fleece-$1 (Reg $1.99)
Gap Boys 2-in-1 polo-$19.95
Old Navy Boy's Fleece Pullover-$14.94
Gap Boys Original fit jeans-$24.95

Total Cost of this Gap & Old Navy Boy's Look-Approx $65
Goodwill version
(Jeans-$2, shirt-$2 & fleece pullover $1)=$5

So there you have it! Since I've started shopping for kid's clothes at Goodwill, I just can't bring myself to shop regular retail. Even when Old Navy deeply discounts their jeans to just $10 a pair-I know I can do better!

Hope you enjoyed these shopping tips!! I'd love to hear about your Goodwill buys!!

Thanks for popping by!

Monday, October 10, 2011

31 Days of Thrifty Finds-Day 10: Don't Be Afraid To Ask

I think that one of the best ways to score the best deals is to simply open your mouth and ask. What does it hurt to ask for a discount or markdown every now and then. You'd be surprised how often you'll hear "Yes"!!!

I'm sharing a few stories to prove that not being afraid to ask can help you get some thrifty finds!!!

The FSBO Playset!
We built our house a couple of years ago and had to basically start with a clean slate in terms of our backyard. Our Landscaping post is pretty interesting if you've never checked it out-be prepared for lots and lots of pictures.

Being that we were on a tight budget we did a lot of Craigslisting, thrifting and plain old DIY projects. One of the things we knew we wanted was a cedar playset for the backyard. The ones we looked at were upwards of $500-$600-which was way more than we were prepared to pay.

I'm a Realtor and while driving around I noticed a home that was FSBO (For Sale By Owner).  What I really noticed about the home was the cute yet simple cedar playset in the backyard. So-I called the number, spoke with the owner and asked if he'd be interested in selling the playset. His response: "I was actually going to tear it down, so if you want it, it's yours."

Here it is-replanted in our yard! Yippee!!
My hubby and I met him over at the house the next day to take a closer look at the playset and work out hauling details. The guy told me that he'd changed his mind because he didn't feel comfortable just giving it to us.

He pulled out a contract and told me he'd sell it to us for $1~! Seriously!! A dollar!! We paid to have some guys haul it to our house-but our kids have more than gotten our money out of their playset!

Over the weekend, my husband and I went tree shopping to replace a couple of the Spruces in our yard that didn't quite survive the Indiana drought! Trees aren't cheap. And paying for delivery and installation is even pricier. We've called around for quotes and we've been very patient.

One of our local nurseries-Frazee Gardens had their annual Fall tree sale, so we were able to score $250 trees for just $99/each. I called to ask about installation-the lady explained that they charge $150 per tree, but it includes a 1-year guarantee.

I hung up and thought about it. That's a lot of money. So, I called back, asked to speak with the Landscaping Manager. I told him about our bad experience with the previous trees ($1,000 down the drain) and kindly asked what the best price he could do would be. Without hesitating he offered to install for $100 per tree (a $50 discount per tree). "We'll take it!!"

The moral of this post is that sometimes you've just got to ask. Don't be afraid of sounding cheap. The worst thing you could hear is "NO"!!

I'd love to hear about any thrifty finds you've scored by not being afraid to ask for what you wanted!

Thanks for popping by-more thrifty tips coming soon!


Sunday, October 9, 2011

31 Days of Thrifty Finds-Day 9- Week Two Thrifty Shopping tips


So, I'm  Inspired Room's 31 days blogging challenge!! You'll definitely want to stay tuned for week two because I'll be sharing lots of great thrifty shopping tips including secrets for scoring the best deals from some of your favorite stores and websites.

Hope you've had a great weekend!!Photobucket

Saturday, October 8, 2011

31 Days of Thrifty Finds-Day 8: Pottery Barn Blues

Pottery Barn Manhattan Club Chair/Ottoman Set-$1600-$2000

Most of us absolutely love, I mean LOVE all things Pottery Barn. Their cozy touches and perfectly manicured spaces are just to die for!

Unfortunately, most of us don't have those super deep Pottery Barn pockets, so what are we to do but to use them solely for inspiration purposes.
I love this luxe, leather PB Manhattan Club chair!!

We wanted a beautiful & comfortable chair like this for our Master Bedroom-a perfect lounging spot for my hubby to kick back with a good book or movie!! I lucked out by finding this one (below) at one of our local Goodwill stores. The chair & ottoman pair was just $30!!! And it's practically brand new-there wasn't a single crumb or scratch or worn area on this beauty!!

Although I wasn't crazy about the more peanut-buttery color, the chair is ridiculously comfy and best of all-my hubby absolutely LOVES it!!!
Recently purchased this Leather Chair-Ottoman Set from Goodwill for $40! It's practically brand new! Super score!!

Here's a chair in our sunroom that we've had for years and years! I think it's actually older than our 6-year old and it still looks fantastic! This Bassett beauty was around $150 and I think I bought it from TJ Maxx HomeGoods. This one definitely reminds me of the luxe Pottery Barn Manhattan Club Chair!
Our Bassett leather chair! No ottoman-but I love the rich chocolate color!! Plus, it's so comfy!

So there you have it! As fun as it is to fantasize about a house filled with gorgeous Pottery Barn pieces, you can certainly score similar beautiful, luxe furniture on a penny-pinching budget too!!

Week 2 will be all about sharing tips and advice for scoring thrifty finds!! So definitely stay tuned!!

I'd love to hear about your Thrifty Furniture Finds!! Thanks for popping by!!

Friday, October 7, 2011

31 Days of Thrifty Finds-Day 7: World Market Jumbo Stacking Mugs

Of all of the things in our home, we probably get the most compliments on our Jumbo Stacking mug set that we purchased at World Market years and years ago! It's such a chic addition to any kitchen area. The beautiful, colorful mugs make my morning tea taste that much better!!

This has to be one of my absolute FAVORITE things-and you can't beat the price either. Just $12.99 for the awesome set of 6 Jumbo mugs or a set of 5 espresso cup & saucers.

Multicolor Stacking Mugs or Espresso Cups Sets of 6 | World Market
World Market Stacking Jumbo Mugs

With the holidays just around the corner-these are a great gift idea!!

I'd love to hear your thoughts-aren't these the cutest?? Thanks for popping by!!!.