Friday, March 23, 2012

My Friday Five - Week 19

One of my goals for 2012 was to eat better.  And I've doing doing ok so far (not perfect - I still enjoy some M&M's and Lays Kettle Chip - Salt and Vinegar - once in a while.  But I'm trying...).  Anyway, for some reason, I still keep pinning delicious looking desserts.  I haven't made any of them, but I still like to look.  Don't you?

(By the way, I'm on my way to Syracuse, NY for some hockey so I'm going to make this short and sweet...pun intended.)


1.  Milky Way Racing Cars by How's That

2.  Chocolate Dipped Rice Crispy Treats by Twig and Thistle

3.  Skinny Oreos and Cream Milkshake by My Fitness Pal

4.  Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Brownies by Recipe Girl

5.  Glazed Donuts by Leanne Bakes

Are you inspired yet?

Thursday, March 22, 2012

My Favorite Money Saving Websites

I talk a lot about being thrifty.  I love to find great deals on everything from groceries to furniture to clothing.  And over the years, I have developed a list of sites that I check to help me with my shopping lists.  These sites save me hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars a year.  I have no affiliation with any of them but I wanted to share them with you.

This site does require registration.  It's completely free and they do not seem to send out any emails (I've never received anything from them in the many years I've been a member).  My favorite part of this site is the Forum.  

Every grocery, drug, superstore, and health food store is listed.  Just click the store name and you will get up-to-date information on the latest deals.  And I've found that most of the grocery stores have ad/coupon match-ups.  This makes it a breeze to find the best prices.

There is no registration required for this site.  She shares ad/coupon match-ups as well as up to the minute freebies.  I 'like' her page on FB as well - just so I don't miss anything.  Sometimes, getting a freebie is very time sensitive.  I find it very helpful to have her posts show up on my wall so I don't have to check her site multiple times a day.

This site has the most complete list of deals at Target.  It is updated very often with deals in every department. She also shares unadvertised specials and mark-downs.  And she even has giveaways!  I also 'like' her page on FB.

This site shares the best deals at Walgreens - which is my favorite drug store.  Each week, there are many free items (I have been able to score hundreds of dollars worth of products through Walgreens - toothpaste, toothbrushes, dental floss, mouthwash, shampoo, conditioner, dove soap, hairbands, South Beach Diet meal bars, razors, deodorant, body wash, feminine hygiene products, lip gloss, nail polish, and much more).  Many times, I am able to make money by buying a product!  What's also great about this site, is that she is able to get the ads weeks in advance so you can plan your shopping trips.  Oh and if you don't shop at Walgreens, don't worry - she has the same sites for Rite Aid and CVS!

A little background - This woman set out to feed herself and three daughters for $800 a year.  And she documented every penny on her site.  It has since evolved a bit (and she no longer keeps such a tight budget), but I love seeing how she does it.  It's very inspiring.  Although, she shops a lot at stores that we don't have in our area,  I have learned a lot from her site - and she keeps me motivated to save.

Those are the sites that help me save a boatload of money through out the year.  I hope this helps you find new ways to save - don't we all like keeping a little money in our pocket?  Do you have any favorite sites for money saving tips?  Anyone else use websites to help them save money?  I'd love to know how you find deals.  Leave a comment!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Let's Talk Gardening

As most of you know, I want to start a vegetable garden this year.  Which I have never attempted before.  And I'm a little nervous about it.  Why?  Because I don't exactly have a green thumb.  I can kill anything.  But I want to try this anyway.  And if I'm successful, I can save a lot of money.  I have been doing some research on Pinterest lately and I think I have a few ideas.  I plan on growing tomatoes, cucumbers and maybe strawberries.  I don't want to be too ambitious my first time out.

Being a complete novice, I wasn't even sure when to plant the seeds.  :-)  Then, I found this website -

You simply type in your zip code and they tell you when to start your plants!  That sounds easy.  I'm going to start my tomatoes indoors the week of April 9th.  

For all of the ins and outs on growing them, I found this site - 

It seems easy to follow - with lots of pictures.  Yay!

So, I think I have enough to get started.  I'm still trying to decide where I'm going to grow my veggies.  I'm leaning towards a container garden.  I found some tips on that here - 

It makes the most sense for my yard - and it's a good way to test my green thumbness (that's a word...).  

And if your wondering weather or not I've ever actually grown anything - well, yes I have.  I plant flowers every year - 

And I've planted many bushes - 

But, I've had my share of failures - 

Yeah, the deer got to that one.  

So, my fingers are crossed.  I really hope this works.  It would be awesome to go to the backyard and grab a tomato for my salad.  

I would love to hear tips from you guys!  Has anyone out there had a successful garden?  Do you have any tips or suggestions?  Please share them!  I need all the help I can get!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Getting Ready For Spring

It's Spring!  Woohoo!  And the weather here is gorgeous.  We enjoyed a very mild winter with very little snow.  And now record-breaking temperatures for the last few weeks.  I don't remember ditching my winter coat so early in the season.  It's awesome.  As a result of all of this sunshine, I've been outside a lot.  No, not working on the yard (although, I should have been...).  Just going for short runs (trying not to hurt my back) and long walks.  I just can't get enough of this weather.  Which has put me behind on the house a little.  And, I'm alright with that.  It'll all get done.

Anyway, when the weather is this nice, I can't help but want to pull out all of my patio furniture and start prettying up the backyard.  Every year, we work on the yard a little.  It has taken years to get it to where it is now.  And, we have some plans for this year as well (remove a few old, dead bushes, plant a few new ones, and buy a new garage door).  And I always like to add some small stuff too.  Like this planter -

I picked it up at Salvation Army a while ago for $.75.  I love the shape and knew I could change the color very easily.  The problem I had was choosing the color.  I wasn't sure where I was going to use the vase so I didn't know what color to paint it.  I finally decided to go with white.  I mean, how could I go wrong with white?

Well, I was wrong.  I didn't like it at all in white.  But, I still didn't know what to do with it.  Until I took a trip to Target and saw these - 

Beautiful copper planters.  I was in love.  But not with the price - they wanted $34.99 for a 12" planter!  I stopped at Lowe's and bought some Rust-Oleum Aged Copper spray paint.  

It did take a number of thin coats.  Here it is after three - 

And here it is after six even coats - 

So much better than the white!  Or green for that matter!  I can't wait to fill it with a beautiful green boxwood - it's just a little bit early.  It's going to look great on the patio - now I want to dig out all of my patio furniture!

Monday, March 19, 2012

My Orb Chandelier - Featured on Knockoff Decor!

I was pretty excited last week when I shared my Orb Chandelier.  I love this little project.  It was so easy and inexpensive.  And I was so sick of looking at that old brass fixture.  The back hall now has a much more updated look (which took a while - even though I removed the wallpaper and painted everything years ago).  The hall is just about finished now.  Yay!

Well, it seems that I wasn't the only one who loved this makeover.  It's being featured over at Knock Off Decor today!  Beckie likes to showcase great DIY knock offs - it's one of my favorite sites.  Head over and check it out!  Thanks Beckie!

But Beckie isn't the only one who is featuring this chandelier redo.  Mandy from Sugar Bee Crafts, Jessica from Mad in Crafts, Maryann from Domestically Speaking, and Courtney from A Diamond in the Stuff also featured this project.  Thanks ladies!  I always appreciate the shout outs! Fabric Art project has been featured too!

Holly from 504 Main, and Jenny from Days of Chalk and Chocolate selected this fun and easy project.  Thanks!!

On a side note - the weather has been unbelievable here lately.  It's been great to wear flip flops and sunglasses.  And it's highly unusual at this time of year for us.  So, I took it all in over the weekend (in between the kids' events) and didn't do any work on the house...But I have a fun little project to share tomorrow - I hope you stop by!

Friday, March 16, 2012

My Friday Five - Week 18

Time for some fun. I've mentioned a few times that I'd love to buy (and fix up) an old farmhouse.  And while it's just a dream, I still like to plan out my vision on Pinterest.  You know, just in case we win the lottery or something.  So, here's a collection of architectural elements that I'd like to see in my future (dream) farmhouse.  Well, it's a partial list. There are many more ideas that I have pinned. Oh, and I've had a little trouble sourcing all of the pictures, but I did try my best.


1.  Great outdoor space.  Doesn't this space look relaxing?  I could definitely enjoy a cup of coffee out here.

2.  Light and bright kitchen.  I love this kitchen - it's such a beautiful space. It's not too big but the windows and tall ceiling make it feel spacious.  Perfect.


3.  Beautiful dutch door entry.  This is just so inviting.  And I'm in love with the color combination too.  


4.  Inspiring passageway.  What's not to love about this space?  It's gorgeous.

5.  Herringbone floors.  When I pinned this picture, I knew that I had to have these floors.  The pattern is beautiful.  

Are you inspired yet?

Thursday, March 15, 2012

I've Been Tagged!

I mentioned yesterday that I had been tagged.  Gleeful from The Captivating Life sent me a list of eleven questions to answer. I'll do my best.

Here are the rules -

1.  You must post the rules
2.  Answer the 11 questions that the tagger posted for you and then create 11 questions to ask the people you've tagged.
3.  Tag 11 people and link them in your post.
4.  Post their button in your post.
5.  Let them know you've tagged them.

1. What made you want to start blogging?
I love seeing home remodels.  A lot.  I used to watch HGTV, read decorating magazines, and visit home shows. But more and more, I've turned to reading blogs for my inspiration.  There are some really creative and talented people out there.  And since I was working on this house (and happened to have a few before pictures), I decided to jump in.  It's been so fun creating this little slice of the web.

2. What or who inspires you the most?
My mom.  Unfortunately, I lost her twelve years ago.  She was a very strong women who raised three kids by herself.  She was my best friend and she is dearly missed.

3. What is your favorite childhood memory?
Making the high school cheerleading team.  It was a very significant moment for me.  Does that seem strange?  Let me explain.  I moved a lot when I was young (due to my parents divorce) and attended four schools before I even arrived at high school.  And the high school I did attend was not the HS that all of my friends (or two older brothers) attended.  So, my freshman year, I kept to myself and had a lot of trouble meeting people and making friends.  I chose to try out for cheerleading at the end of my freshman year in hopes of changing that.  I had taken years of dancing lessons and thought I had a good chance of making the cut.  I did.  And I met some of the greatest girls as a result. HS was a lot more fun after that!

4. What is the best meal you've ever had?
We have really great restaurants here in Buffalo.  And lots of them.  Ted's for hot dogs, Charlie the Butcher for beef on weck, Chef's for Italian, and Picasso's for pizza - just to name a few.  But my all time favorite place to eat is Hutch's.  And my favorite meal there is filet mignon with garlic mashed potatoes.  It is delicious.  Usually accompanied by a glass (or two) of white zinfandel.  Yum.

5. What is something new that you have learned in the last month?
I've been learning how to garden.  I really want to grow a tomatoes, cucumbers and lettuce this year.  I've never tried to grow much before so I'm doing some research.  Fingers crossed.

6. What is the best gift you've ever received?
Barry Manilow concert tickets.  Craig surprised me with them at Christmas.  I was shocked.  I haven't seen Manilow live since I was a little girl (yes I've loved him forever).  Unfortunately, the concert had to be postponed until this summer, but I can't wait to go.  I'll tell you all about it when I get back!

7. What is the best part of your day?
This is kind of a toss up.  I'm a morning person and I love getting up, pouring a cup of coffee, and starting up my computer.  But I think my favorite time of the day is evening.  When all of the kids activities are done, and we are all home, in comfy pants.  

8. What is one thing that you wish you could do someday but haven't tried yet?
Remodel a charming little farmhouse out in the country.  I dream about doing that someday.  I even pin ideas to my Pinterest boards so I have a plan.  And I would love to try to fix it up on a really tight budget - using salvaged materials only.  Just so it doesn't lose it's charm.

9. If you could have dinner with any famous person, dead or alive, who would it be and why?

10. What is your favorite song?

11. What do you like to do in your spare time?
I love to just hang out with my family.  

Here are the bloggers who I'm tagging (they are really fabulous - you should check them out!) - 

Along For the Ride
A Diamond in the Stuff
504 Main

Funky Junk Interiors

And here are my 11 questions-

1.  Why did you start blogging?
2.  What is your decorating style?
3.  What is your favorite food?
4.  Where would you like to travel?
5.  What is your favorite movie or book?
6.  What makes you smile?
7.  Who inspires you?
8.  What goal are you working towards right now?
9.  What is your favorite project?
10.  What's your favorite tool to use?
11.  What is your dream job?

I'm looking forward to reading your answers!  

And thanks again Gleeful for tagging me - this was a lot of fun!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


{I'm warning you now - this post is VERY random...}

Happy Wednesday!  Hey - did you notice anything??  I changed up my blog a little.  I made a new header (I know - I still haven't written a tutorial for that yet...I'll get to it soon. I promise), added some burlap to my background, removed the 'shadow box' from my pictures, and made all of my social media buttons.  I have to admit, it's fun changing things up.  I also made a new blog button (it's similar to the old button but much lighter).

Last night, I rewrote my "About Me" page.  It was long overdue.  I think it's a little more fun now.  And if you are new here, you can check out a picture of my house on the day we moved in!  We've done a lot of work on the exterior since then and I am looking forward to sharing some new pictures (I just want to wait until the trees are in full bloom!).

What else is going on?  Well, today is the big Pinterest party at Young House Love and Bower Power

I'll be sharing my Orb Chandelier over there - and checking out all of the great projects!  This will be a great source for inspiration.  I highly recommend heading over to their blogs to see what's going on!

I just realized that I'm closing in on 400 followers!  Which is unbelievable to me!  I have really enjoyed blogging and it's fun to know that people actually stop in to see what I'm up to.  

I really need to thank you so much for your support last week - I received many comments and emails.  I will continue to share "A Day in the Life" posts - you seemed to appreciate how 'real' they are.  My house is not a museum (there are dirty dishes in the sink as I type), we have a family of six living here!  But I wouldn't change a thing.

Yesterday, I wore flip-flops.  Which is very exciting.  This has been the mildest winter of my life (and I'm ok with that).  It looks like Spring is here in Buffalo!  I even bought new nail polish for my toes.  Hello sunshine!

I've been tagged.  Yeah, that's right.  Gleeful from The Captivating Life tagged me.  So, tomorrow I'll be answering her eleven questions.  I've been thinking about them for a few days now, and I still don't have answers to all of them.  But I'll get it done.  Then I'll tag eleven bloggers with questions of my own.  This will be fun!

I think that's everything.  Let's tie up this post with a little Manilow.  You're welcome.