Thursday, April 30, 2009 1 comments

Big, beautiful flowers

If you like big, beautiful paper flowers as much as I do, you might enjoy this tutorial.

I haven't tried it yet, but it looks so easy. I know I cringe when I see the price of those large flowers in Michaels, but this is great for price. :) Now I need to remember to pick up old music books at thrift stores because I just love how her flower turned out!
Wednesday, April 29, 2009 0 comments

More great shopping deals: Ollies and Tuesday Morning

My friend and I went out shopping yesterday, and we found some awesome deals!

At Ollies, I got all of this:

  • 3 packs Pull-Ups (44 in each) - $5.99 each
  • DAP repositionable adhesive for my cards - $0.99
  • 75 sheets glossy 4x6" photo paper to use on cards - $1.99
  • a calendar for a friend who likes to sketch children - $0.50
  • book/CD combination to use with cards - $3.99
  • AND I accidentally included in this picture an adorable baby stamp set from Tuesday Morning - $3.99

Obviously nobody at Ollies was thinking when they priced the Pull-Ups. The packages of Long's brand (a drugstore brand) training pants were the same price, even though there were only 24 in each pack. I was pleased, though, since this is cheaper than I pay for Wal-Mart's brand of diapers.

Now for the awesome deals at Tuesday Morning! As soon as we walked in the door, I saw they had a Chadwicks buyout. I know they are nice clothes, but usually I would have walked right by. However, I noticed they had a few blazers, which I do wear. So I stopped and checked them out. Here again, they had no idea what they had when these things were priced! (And no, I didn't end up with any dressy blazers.)

This coral-colored cotton jacket just screamed my sister-in-law's name when I saw it, so she's getting a Mother's Day gift from us this year. At $9.99, it was a steal ... enough so that I got one for myself, too. I just love this color, and it looks great on, too! Original retail: $39.99. Clearance price: $9.99. I didn't even have to pay shipping!!

Look at this: a light blue suede leather coat in my size (a very hard-to-find 4 Petite). It was the last one there, and I couldn't believe the price: $9.99! I've borrowed my husband's suede leather jacket for years, so I couldn't pass up the opportunity to own a feminine one that fits me perfectly.

I might not have believed it was real leather if it weren't for the hang tag:

And I just found it on the Chadwicks site. Original retail: $79.99. Clearance price: $29.99. Yep, that was a steal! :)

Thrift store shopping!

We had another good day at one thrift store yesterday (Monday). We got everything in the three pictures below for $9.40. (This is one of those stores that you don't get a receipt and nothing is priced, so I'm not sure what she charged us for any of it, but that's a great price!)

  • PS2 Starter Kit (originally from Circuit City) - The original receipt in the box indicated that it was originally $50.
  • 4 beautiful tall tins (from shortbread cookies)
  • Fairy Tale 12-cassette collection (My kids love these, and I'm already sick of "Goldilocks and the Three Bears"!)
  • miscellaneous trinket toys my kids "couldn't leave without" :) (Those Pooh & friends figurines are from Dollar Tree at $1 each, so I guess it was a decent buy.)

a href="">

  • lots of homeschool books and readers (mostly grades 1 and 2, which I'll need soonest) - $0.20 each
  • Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace - $0.20

... and lastly, two beautiful yellow framed prints for our second downstairs bathroom, which is decorated in blue and yellow. These made such a difference in the bathroom, and I think she only charged us $1 for the two of them together.

So it was a good day!
Monday, April 27, 2009 0 comments

Free resource for "shrink plastic"

Do you remember playing with Shrinky Dinks when you were little? I was always fascinated by them. Now that I'm older and into crafting, I've seen a few things I thought were cute, but I didn't want to pay the outrageous prices they want for those few sheets of shrink plastic. Not only that, but I know my kids would love to make a project with these!

So I was ecstatic to find out there's a FREE source for this - #6 recyclable plastic. See this post for the details. Apparently pulling the two strawberry boxes out of my garbage can last week was a really good idea! :)

I'm thinking you could do all kinds of things with these - cut them out as shapes with templates or a die cutting machine, use stamps (StazOn ink would probably work best coupled with permanent markers like BIC Mark-Its or Sharpies), you name it! They would probably make some neat little keychains to give to the grandparents, if you used a shape that was big enough. Or they could be really cute card "charms", just not made out of metal.

If you try it out and make anything, please share! I'm not sure when I'll get around to it, but it might make a neat craft for my son's homeschooling this week. We'll see!
Saturday, April 25, 2009 0 comments

My son's phonetic spelling :)

My kids have been a little moody the last few days since they haven't been getting enough rest. We had a ladies' meeting tonight and my kids were supposed to stay and play with another little girl who was coming with her mother. They begged and cried to go with their daddy instead (go figure!), so my son went into his room and made up these signs for their doors just so she'd know that their rooms were "off limits" if she came:

This was the first one that he made for his door.

And the second one he made for his sister's door. They were supposed to read, "Closed."

I cracked up when I saw his spelling. I hope she doesn't mind my saying so, but my sister spelled like this for the longest time, too. It was a real flashback! :) (She has since pretty much mastered spelling, by the way.)

I thought it was hilarious that he actually thought it through this much but didn't take into account the fact that this little girl doesn't know how to read yet anyway.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009 0 comments

Altered spiral notebooks

I made notebooks for the evangelist's daughters last week, and I thought I'd share them with you. I was thrilled with how they turned out!

First of all, I have to tell you that I cut up a book of Ann Geddes' photography. Lest you think I'm out of my mind, I got it for $0.05 at Salvation Army for this exact purpose. As I understand copyright law as it applies to photography, I couldn't sell these notebooks, but I can certainly give them as gifts. So let's take a look:
I used a fold-out page for both of them, so I actually only used one page. This is a large book!

Here's the other one.

And here they are side by side so you see how the picture originally fit together. I had to trim them some, so I chose to trim the blue checked part and then use those scraps to die cut their names with my Sizzix Nouveau font. There was even enough left over to create a small notepad cover if I want to!

These look like those designer notebooks that you pay over a dollar a piece for, but reality is that they only cost me $0.05 each. Now that's a bargain! :)

You can find more of these notebooks that I've done here, here, and my tutorial here.
Tuesday, April 21, 2009 1 comments

Altered composition book: tea theme

I'm late getting a gift out to my Ministerial Secret Sister (a fellow pastor's wife). She likes tea, so I'm going with that theme for my gift. I'm sending a pack of chamomile tea, the notecards I designed for her eons ago and this altered composition book that would make a lovely devotional journal:
I used wallpaper border that I picked up at the thrift store for $0.25/roll. I have three rolls and have never done anything with it, even though it's completely gorgeous and my style. So I decided this was the perfect opportunity. I had to cut off the ledge the teapot was resting on because it didn't match the rest of my project's colors, but I did cut the label ("Mint Green Tea") from the box it was resting on.

I don't know the name of the border punch I used on the spine. It belongs to my friend and I used it to make some double-sided 12" borders a few months ago, never thinking to note the name of the punch.

You can see more altered composition books I've made here, here and here.
Monday, April 20, 2009 2 comments

A great deal at Tuesday Morning store!

Last week we had revival, so all of my posts were pre-scheduled. (Did you notice?) I was so busy making meals and such that I only got on the computer once, and I didn't even get online that time.

So, I didn't get to tell you about this wonderful deal I got at Tuesday Morning (a national chain of closeout stores). I got this Fiskars portable 12" rotary trimmer with an additional scoring blade, perforating blade, and 2-pack of straight refills. The original retail on all of it would be $60. Would you believe they had it all together and marked at $7.99?!

I already have a straight trimmer that I love - my Making Memories trimmer. It was worth every penny because the blade is self-sharpening, so I never have to buy another blade for it. A big bonus is that it was a gift from my husband! :) I'm able to score with it, too, but it's not one of those "line it up and score it in five seconds" kind of trimmers. And I don't always get straight scoring lines, which I'm sure is more my fault than anything.

Why did I say that? Well, when I saw this trimmer in the store, I thought, "Wow, $7.99?! I wonder if this is one that I could get a scoring blade for?" So I flipped it over to look at the description on the back and found my answer without reading any descriptions. It had all of the blades I mentioned above taped to the outside of the packaging! They were not originally packaged with the trimmer in the store. In fact, I basically paid for one blade and got the trimmer and other blades for FREE.

I'm willing to pay $7.99 to get even scoring lines that are fast and easy. I'm even happier when I can get a perforating blade, too! I'm hoping to figure out how to make some bookmark cards (the kind with a detachable bookmark). I might try out a few tear-out style coupon books for gifts, too!

They had several of the other larger trimmers like this - the kind that isn't portable. They were $19.99. I got the last one of this style at my store, so I don't know how many of them were shipped to any stores. Good luck if you go looking!!
Friday, April 17, 2009 2 comments

Free digital images (aka digital stamps)

Digital "stamps" are becoming quite the trend in the stamping world, so I thought I'd share a link to some fabulous freebies. All of the images I'm sharing below can be found here. They are simply coloring book pages resized to a smaller image that will fit onto a card.

These are Sarah Kay images: Here are some Curious George:

Some Calilou (which I know nothing about - I just thought they were cute little boys):

And a few miscellaneous images (I recognize Franklin, but I can't remember who the other ones are):

I searched through the site I linked above and looked for kid-friendly, non-busy images that would translate well into a birthday card. Then I printed them onto 3x5" cards and colored them with my BIC Mark-It markers.
If you notice that a few images have stray pen marks, I plan to cut those off. I was just testing my colors! :)

Thursday, April 16, 2009 1 comments

The last of the scrapbook pages

Here are the last of the scrapbook pages I finished during our vacation in November. I'm sharing just in time because we'll be taking another weeks' vacation next month, and I'm thinking about taking more scrapbook pages along to get caught up. :)

So here are the pages, this time from my son's album ...

I love these pictures of my son and my husband! The sentiment from Creative Memories was perfect for this page.

Every now and then I get in the mood to do a "color block style" page, and I always like the result. I'm loving the clear alphabet stamps since I don't have to keep buying alphabet stickers!

I'm not sure what I think about the design of this page, but at least it's done.

I liked this page. See those red circles on the pictures? They tell about the gift in the picture, since my background paper was a bit too busy to journal on (but I loved it enough to use it).

And lastly, a double page spread from our first Cousin Camp. I like how this one turned out, especially with the decorative paper (which came from Dollar Tree, believe it or not).

Wednesday, April 15, 2009 0 comments

More cards from magazines

I made some more cards with images I cut from magazines. I still have plenty of images left, so I'll post more as I get them made.

First of all, here's a set of notecards with the theme of silver and birds:
These images all came from the same magazine page, so I got the idea to make them into a set.

Supplies: decorative corners (Vintage Cuttlebug die); embossing folder (Cuttlebug Textiles); fleur de lis border punch (EK Success); paper (American Crafts).

This next one uses my new Sizzix picket fence die:

Supplies: paper (The Paper Company); embossing folder (Cuttlebug D'vine Swirls); picket fence die (Sizzix Sizzlet); ribbon (Michaels $1 bin).

Supplies: paper (The Paper Company); embossing folder (Cuttlebug Textiles); fleur de lis border punch (EK Success); decorative corner punch (EK Success); Cuttlebug die (Ornamental); pearl brad (K & Co).

I know those pearl brads look a little odd, but I had to cover up a number. I tried to balance them.
Supplies: paper (The Paper Company); embossing folder (Cuttlebug Textiles); fleur de lis border punch (EK Success); brads (Making Memories); ribbon (Michaels $1 bin); pearl brads (K & Co).

Supplies: paper (The Paper Company); embossing folder (Cuttlebug Textiles); fleur de lis border punch (EK Success); brads (Dollar Tree). NOTE: I colored these brads with my BIC Mark-It markers.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009 0 comments

Hot Cross Buns as Easter gifts

I know this is a little late for you to use this year, but I wanted to share this little project and couldn't do it before Easter since I finished it at the last minute.

At our church, each of the Sunday school teachers gets their own class a little something for Easter. Since I teach the teen class, I didn't want to give anything too juvenile. I was making Hot Cross Buns anyway, so I got the idea to give one to each of my students. The only problem was presentation ... until I remembered seeing this free cupcake box pattern. It was perfect!

Since I didn't have any paper muffin liners, I used small doilies I had bought at the dollar store. They worked perfectly! (I should note that I made a slightly wider circle in the insert to fit these buns.)

I got these $1 stamps at AC Moore a few weeks ago, and I wanted to use them on something this Easter. This was the perfect project, since it highlights the cross on the buns. Everyone loved the project and couldn't believe I had made it - box and all.

Here is one kind of box ...

And here is a different one. (The only difference: the stamp and the paper.)

Here are my boxes all lined up and ready to go. I thought they made for some pretty gift boxes!

Now for the recipe. These are yummy!!

Hot Cross Buns
4 to 5 cups flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 pkg active dry yeast
1-1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup milk
1/4 cup margarine
2 eggs
3/4 cup raisins
1 egg yolk
2 Tbsp cold water

1-1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
4 tsp cold water

In a large mixing bowl, combine 2 cups flour, sugar, yeast, cinnamon and salt. In a saucepan, heat milk and butter to 120-130 degrees. Add to dry ingredients; beat, just until moistened. Add eggs; beat until smooth. Stir in raisins and enough remaining flour to form a soft dough. Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a bowl coated with nonstick cooking spray, turning once to coat top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 30 minutes.

Punch dough down; turn onto a lightly flour surface. Divide into 16 pieces; shape each into a ball. Place in two 9" round baking pans coated with nonstick cooking spray. Using a sharp knife or kitchen scissors, cut a cross on top of each roll. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 30 minutes.

Beat egg yolk and water; brush over buns. Bake at 375 degrees for 18-22 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool. Combine icing ingredients; drizzle over top of rolls.

Yield: 16 rolls

To make it easier, I dump everything but the egg yolk and cold water (and icing ingredients) into my bread machine on the "Dough" cycle and let it do the work. Also, if you want to make these more decorative, you can take the time to pipe the icing on top in the shape of a cross. I did that on the ones I gave away, but usually I just coat the tops of the buns with the icing. They're yummy either way!
Monday, April 13, 2009 0 comments

Easter at our house

I haven't had a chance to edit these pictures yet, but I thought I'd share them with you anyway. Here is my family in our Easter "finery" yesterday. :)

My little princess who is growing up faster than I can keep track!

My little preacher boy who is doing the same!

And the whole family. I think this was the first "easy" family picture I've taken of us. It isn't perfect because I used the self-timer and had to run to get in the picture, but I like it. It's us.

Lastly, we had a special visitor yesterday:

A new baby duckling from one of our parishioners. This duckling spent the evening service in our house to keep warm, and the kids loved him!

The kids loved their Easter baskets and were blown away by the Sizzix Sidekicks and Cuttlekids dies. (In case I didn't mention it before, we got the machines on clearance for $8.50 each. They are regularly $50.) They call them their "Cuttlebugs" since that's what I have and it does much the same thing. Good thing I gave them a bunch of paper cut to fit the dies because they had fun cranking them through. I was surprised at how quickly they learned how to build the sandwich and how good they're getting at centering everything on the die.

Now I need to run! We have revival this week and had a last-minute change of plans. Our scheduled evangelist couldn't come because of health issues. Since they eat all of their meals in their motorhome, I had done no special grocery shopping for revival week. We're keeping the replacement evangelist at our house, so I'm currently finishing my menu so I can run out to the store today. Good thing I have a day to get ready! :)
Friday, April 10, 2009 2 comments

Fun thrift store finds

We had to go out looking for a microwave today, so we stopped in at Goodwill for the first time in a few months. I was thrilled to find they had just received a new shipment of Target's $1 Spot merchandise, which they mark down to $0.25 each. Needless to say, I got some Cousin Camp prizes!
Here's what I got:

  • 2 sets of play dress-up gloves (one pink, one white) - $0.25 each
  • 1 set of Strawberry Shortcake magnets (15 magnets in all) - $0.25
  • set of 3 fingerpaints - $0.25
  • fun dough for my daughter, who absolutely insisted - $0.25
  • Matchbox-sized trailer for my son (ditto) - $0.25
  • Cars markers (set of 4, one of which is a mystery stamper) - $0.25
  • 2 packs glitter glue (each a set of 4) - $0.25 each
  • paperweight (which will be transformed with a personalized image) - $0.25
  • acrylic stamp block - $0.25
  • blue stamp pad - $0.25
  • Peter Rabbit mini gel pens (set of 4) - $0.25
  • two 5x7" Christmas scrapbooks - $0.25 each
  • Captivating by John & Stasi Eldredge - $2.50 (I doubt I'll agree with everything in it, but I was intrigued by Wild at Heart and thought this one might be a thought-provoking read, if nothing else.)
  • 2 brand-new Simplicity patterns (boys' and men's matching pajamas, girls' and ladies' matching aprons) - $0.50 each
  • set of ten 12x12" top-loading scrapbook pages - $1.00

This was fun, and I was pleased with the good deals.

By the way, we're seriously thinking about going without a microwave. Ours still runs, but the outside door panel fell off, so we can't open it very easily. (We are at least the second owner of it, and it took a real beating with the previous owners.) We didn't find any microwaves that looked like they would last in the price range we wanted. So we decided to come home and really think about what we use that microwave for anyway. I'll keep you posted! :)

Thursday, April 9, 2009 2 comments

Cards from magazines

Thank you, Martha Stewart! I got a free year's subscription to Martha Stewart Living (I can't remember how, but it was an online freebie for something), and I was very pleased to find these gorgeous images in one of my first issues.

I got this idea to use magazine pictures on cards from another blogger whose ideas I just love. Check out her post about it here. I'm more into frills than country, so mine look a little different than hers. :)

Supplies: paper (American Crafts); ribbon (Michaels $1 bin); embossing folder (Cuttlebug Textiles); fleur de lis edge punch (EK Success); brads (Dollar Tree). NOTE: I gave the brads two coats of that pearly nail polish I got for just this purpose (I don't paint my nails). They don't look exactly like pearls, but they are beautiful! CARD SIZE: 6x6"

Supplies: paper (American Crafts); ribbon (Michaels $1 bin); embossing folder (Cuttlebug Textiles); fleur de lis edge punch (EK Success); brads (Dollar Tree). CARD SIZE: 6x6"

Supplies: paper (American Crafts); ribbon (Michaels $1 bin); embossing folder (Cuttlebug Textiles); fleur de lis edge punch (EK Success); brads (Dollar Tree). CARD SIZE: 6x6"

Supplies: paper (Dollar Tree); ribbon (Michaels $1 bin); embossing folder (Cuttlebug Swiss Dots); fleur de lis edge punch (EK Success); brads (Dollar Tree). NOTE: I custom-colored the brads with my BIC Mark-It markers. CARD SIZE: 6x6"

Supplies: paper (DMD Industries); ribbon (Michaels $1 bin); embossing folder (Cuttlebug Textiles); fleur de lis edge punch (EK Success). CARD SIZE: 4.25x5.5"
I cut out lots more pictures, so maybe I'll get to post a few more soon. This is addicting!


Candy recipes

I was asked to share my recipes for the candy I made, so here goes ...

Peanut Butter Eggs

1 1/2 cups peanut butter
1 stick margarine, softened
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 lb 10x sugar (2 3/8 cups)
1/2 pkg chocolate chips
1/8 cake paraffin wax

1. Blend together the first four ingredients. Shape and refrigerate until firm.

2. In a double boiler, melt the chocolate chips with shavings of the paraffin wax.

3. Dip eggs into chocolate mixture. Place on waxed paper and refrigerate.

Yield: 4 large eggs or 28 (give or take) small eggs
NOTE: I made small eggs with this, and I used my medium-sized Pampered Chef scoop to get just the right amount of peanut butter filling. Then it was just a matter of making it an egg shape.

Coconut Eggs (adapted from a coconut cookie bar recipe)

5 ozs sweetened condensed milk
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups 10x sugar
14 ozs shredded or flaked coconut
dipping chocolate (from above recipe)

1. Blend the condensed milk and vanilla.

2. Add the powdered sugar to the above mixture a little bit at a time, stirring until smooth.

3. Stir in the coconut. The mixture should be firm.

4. Shape into eggs (used my P.C. scoop again) and chill in the refrigerator until firm.

5. Dip eggs into chocolate mixture. Place on waxed paper and refrigerate.

Yield: 28 (give or take) small eggs

Enjoy! :)
Tuesday, April 7, 2009 1 comments

Frugal Easter preparation

I had planned to take pictures of my homemade peanut butter eggs and coconut eggs, but I forgot to take the pictures before I put the kids to bed. Suffice it to say that making your own Easter candy is much more inexpensive than buying the candy from the store.

In order to make around 28 of each kind of egg (peanut butter and coconut in smaller sizes), all I had to purchase was a bag of coconut ($1.40). I already had the rest of the ingredients on hand, so it was a lot cheaper than buying just 6 of each kind of premade egg.

I also decided that a family of four, with two of them under the age of six, does not need a whole ham to themselves! I like the boneless Cure 81 hams, but I certainly don't like the price of them. And since I haven't been on hand to find good grocery deals on hams over the last few weeks, I decided to go with a cheaper presliced ham and add my own glaze. For less than $3, I got plenty of ham for us. I was happy!

Some other traditions we plan to enjoy this year: an Easter egg hunt (using last year's plastic eggs filled with loose change and various on-hand candies), homemade hot cross buns, pickled eggs, coloring eggs (using a kit I got for $0.10 last year), and hidden baskets.

As for the baskets, there won't be much candy in them. I suspect most parents feel like I do - my kids get enough sugar! :) So I got them each a chocolate cross, they'll each get a few homemade peanut butter and coconut eggs, and the rest will be non-food items. That includes a Sizzix Sidekick (reg. $50 on clearance for $8), 2 sets of Cuttlekids dies (also on clearance for less than 50%), papers I've cut to the exact size needed for the Sidekick machine (from my own paper scrap pile), and a few embossed Winnie the Pooh images (from my own Cuttlebug). If I know my kids, they'll be deliriously happy. And I'll be happy when I'm not dealing with two young kids on a sugar high. :)

What are you doing for Easter?
Saturday, April 4, 2009 0 comments

Shopping: scrapbook supplies and Children's Place Outlet

This is going to be my catch-up post on my great finds over the last little bit. I didn't have a way to upload pictures while I was gone, so here goes ...

Today we were in another town on business and I asked my husband to stop in at Michaels so I could let the kids pick out a few of the "Funny Farm" rubber stamps from their $1 section. I had purchased a few for myself and later realized that my kids would love some of them, too. (Please ignore the fact that I have no rubber stamps in this picture - my kids were already stamping with them!) So we found the stamps, but look what else we found:
I missed these CuttleKid dies when they went on clearance at my Michaels. Since my kids are probably going to get their SideKick machines for Easter, I wanted to put a die or two into the basket for them to play with. Well, this was even more than I hoped for!
  • Fairy Alphabet (reg. $14.99) - $6.99
  • Happy Numbers (reg. $14.99) - $6.99
  • Girly Girl (reg. $9.99) - $4.99
  • Pirate (reg. $9.99) - $4.99
  • Flowers (reg. $9.99) - $4.99
  • Ian the Pig (reg. $4.99?) - $1.99
  • Milton the Frog (reg. $4.99?) - $1.99
  • Shellie the Turtle (reg. $4.99?) - $1.99

If you notice the ribbon in the picture, did you see that they are mega rolls? They have 20 yards each. I found them in the $1 bin! Four are wire-edged sheers (pull out the wire for regular ribbon) and the fifth is a sage green grosgrain polka-dot.
But wait: it gets better! I had a 20%-off coupon from the latest (?) issue of Scrapbooks, Etc. I didn't realize it was going to take 20% off sale and clearance prices, too!! I was thrilled, as you can imagine. :)

Now let me show you my paper deals from the last two weeks:

Big Lots
  • DCWV Pocket Full of Posies 8x8" stack (48 sheets) - $3 (retail $10)
  • DCWV Metallic 8x8" stack (48 sheets) - $3 (retail $10)
  • earth-tone 8.5x11" cardstock (30 sheets) - $2 (retail ??)
  • Making Memories Travel Collection 12x12" paper pack (48 sheets) - $2 (retail ??)
Salvation Army
  • gold 12x12" (50 sheets) - $1.99
  • brown 8.5x11" (50 sheets) - $0.99
Foo Fa La paper sampler pad (48 sheets) - $3 (retail ??)

Then we got to stop in at The Children's Place outlet today, and I found these:

next year's Christmas jammies - $1.99 (reg. around $12) for the blanket sleeper and $3.99 (reg. $16.50) for the pajamas
  • a sparkly belt for my daughter - $0.49 (reg. $7.50)

  • Here's a close-up of that belt:

    I also needed a light jacket for my daughter for spring-time, so I was thrilled to find this cute fleece hoodie that will do the job quite well ($1.99, reg. $12.50):

    So now you know what I've been buying the last few weeks. But that doesn't include the groceries! I shopped the bent and dent grocery stores while I was visiting my parents, and I got an awesome haul for a great price. Too bad everything was put away before I thought of taking a picture! :)

    I'm back!

    Well, I ended up with the same sickness as my daughter. Surprise, surprise. At least it only lasted a day. I still managed to get a lot done at my parents' house, and I'm quite pleased with our progress. We spent the last day or so mostly visiting, so that was nice, too.

    So now I'm back and trying to get back into my normal schedule here. This was my first day back home, and I feel a bit disorganized. Hopefully that's only temporary! :)

    At any rate, I should be able to resume my regular posting now. It's late and I need sleep, so I'm calling it a night!