Monday, February 6, 2012

"Love In the Same Direction" Free Valentine's Day Printable

Saw this quote on Pinterest and I knew I just had to make something Valentine's Day related. So of course, what do I love to make? That's right - printables!

So for all of my lovely readers, a free Valentine's Day printable that I hope warms your heart as much as it did mine! Here's the download link.

Thanks for stoppin' by!

Shared here, here, here, herehere, hereherehere, here, hereherehereherehere, herehere, herehereherehere, herehere, and here.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Walgreens Prescription Savings Club - What I Wish I'd Known LAST WEEK!

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Walgreens. All opinions are 100% mine.


Admittedly, I have not had much time for crafting or creating lately. :( These past two weeks have been very frustrating for me. Between myself and my son I have been to the doctor three times, had three different diagnoses, and 4 different prescriptions. Yea, I'm pretty exhausted. First, I wasn't feeling well at all. I've been having panic attacks, episodes of palpitating heart, and to top it all off I have been extremely tired and sluggish for no apparent reason. My doctor explained that it was probably just severe anxiety and she tried explaining to me that some stressors can just set people over the edge! Well, I couldn't help thinking to myself, "That's not me! I'm happy!".


 Anyhow she administered three different blood tests and sent me on my way. Well, the next day I received a call from a phone nurse telling me I needed to start medication IMMEDIATELY because one of the blood tests reveled I now have hypothyroidism. Apparently, it's kind of rare in the general population, but not un-common for women who have just given birth. (Apparently my body was not tuned into that until a year and a half later!) Basically my thyroid isn't producing enough hormones to sustain my day-to-day bodily functions, my hormone levels were approximately 200 times lower than they were supposed to be. Well, I guess at least it's good news that I think I've found out what's been going on with me.


On top of taking all of that in - my son had an ear infection and later had to be prescribed breathing treatments for some severe chest congestion he started having. Yea, I'm pretty EXHAUSTED.


On top of all this chaos, I then had to make four {yes - FOUR!!!} separate trips to Walgreens to fill my prescriptions! Luckily they have a drive-thru, so thankful for that! 


But with me being out of work currently and my boyfriend having his own small business (meaning no health insurance coverage) I wish I had known about this:


Walgreens is now offering a special discount on annual membership for its Prescription Savings Club:

For $35 a year, a family membership covers everyone in your immediate family, including a spouse, dependents 22 and younger and pets. If you join, you'll even get discounted  prices on your prescriptions. $20 for individuals. Isn't that great?!

Other benefits include:
-Savings on more than 8,000 brand-name and all generic medications
-Discounts on flu shots, pet prescriptions, nebulizers and diabetic supplies
-Bonuses when you purchase Walgreens brand products and photofinishing services

You can find more information about the program here at  Walgreens Prescription Savings Club website or you can stay updated by liking them on Walgreens on Facebook and following them by mean of Walgreens on Twitter.

Anyways, hopefully both of us will go through speedy recoveries and I am definitely going to enroll in this prescription club to help with all of our scrip costs! I'm posting this because I know how important saving money (especially on healthcare) is to ANYONE else in a situation similar to ours. May you all have good health and wealth in this new year!

Visit Sponsor's Site

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

How to Fix Broken Picture Frame Stands

Grrrr! I hate it when things break! That's why when my 16 month old broke two of the picture frames in his room I was so upset. I love looking at pictures of his cute little chubby-cheeked baby face. Reminds me of when he was first born and SO sweet. Well those days are over - he's now moved on to tearing anything up that he can (a) see, (b) smell, (c) touch, (d) hear, and (e) I hope he's not tasting stuff that's not food. {Yep, that means just about EVERYTHING!!}

Anyhow, the frames wouldn't stand up anymore. I REALLY didn't want to have to get in the car, shell out money I didn't have for new frames, print out new pictures, cut the pictures to size, center them up in the frame,  and dispose of the old frames. So much work! So instead I decided to try and find a simpler solution to my broken beauties.

So I pulled out my trusty E-6000 glue {I think this stuff really deserves some sort of award} and decided somehow, some way, I was going to fix these things. I tried Google-ing for solutions to the broken backs of picture frames, but to no avail. :(

I figured trying SOMETHING that wasn't going to work was better than not trying anything at all, so I turned the backs of the frames over and found out what the real problem was. Part of the stand that holds the frame up had partially been torn from the back of the frame. So I used my E-6000 to mend the seam where It had been ripped apart.

Then I turned the frame back over on it's back for the glue to "adhere" and dry overnight. I did this same process with both frames. To my surprise, when I attempted to stand the frames up the next morning, they were totally fixed - like new! YAYYYYY! So There you have it to anyone out there who might have had the same problem I was facing. 

Quick, easy, and (relatively) cheap way to fix broken picture frame stands. You can thank me later. ;) Just thought I'd share, hope this comes in handy for someone!

Shared here, here, and here.

Monday, January 30, 2012

"Oh, Mr. Postman!" - Valentine's Day Mailbox Tutorial

As a kid, I used to love waking up on almost any holiday morning! When my brother and I woke up on holiday mornings, there were usually some sort of cute holiday-themed goodies waiting for us that my parents had set out the night before! Well I want to be one of those types of moms, too. ;) Even though my son probably won't remember this Valentine's Day, I want to start a tradition of making every holiday special for him - so this week I started making a Valentine's Day mailbox for my son to receive all his special Valentine's Day goodies. I'll take you step-by-step through how I made one. Here's what my finished product looks like:

I was became inspired when my son and I were walking through our local Michael's craft store and I saw this cute little red mailbox. He kept reaching out to play with it, so in the cart it went! At only three dollars I figured we couldn't go wrong, even if he just wanted to play with it by opening and closing it (yes, he's at that MECHANICAL stage). I found some rhinestone decals for a dollar each, I bought one for each side of the mailbox. Then I shelled out another whole dollar (whoa, big spender I know!) to get some scrapbook paper and we were on our way home to create our new one-of-a-kind Valentine's Day mailbox.

I started this project with the mailbox, an extra glass candlestick holder I had laying around {probably from one of my various Goodwill sprees}, 2 rhinestone decals, one piece of scrapbook paper, some E-6000 glue, and my trusty Modge Podge.

After I had gathered all of my materials, the first thing I did was spray paint the glass candlestick holder black. While the paint was drying, I stuck my rhinestone decals onto each side of my mailbox.

Once the spray paint was dry, I glued my mailbox down to the candlestick with my E-6000 glue. Now if you haven't tried this stuff - it's addicting! You can glue almost any type of material to any type of surface you'd like. It works on paper, wood, metal, glass, you name it! Then I waited overnight for the glue to dry, although I believe the packaging says you only need to wait 10 minutes.

When browsing the web last week, I noticed Silhouette's free shape of the week. It was going to be a perfect embellishment for my project, so I re-sized the shapes using Silhouette studio to my liking and cut them out using my new Silhouette Cameo.

Once I had my shapes cut out, I Modge Podged (can that be a verb?) them together and waited for them to dry. Then I simply glued them on to my mailbox, and voila! Beautiful, new Valentin'es Day mailbox for my son!

He wants to let everyone know now that he has a mailbox, that he's officially accepting (and hopes Mr. Postman will bring him) Valentines! ;) What kind of Valentine's Day goodies did you create this week? What do you think I should make to go inside of the mailbox for him to open of Valentine's Day morning?

Project was shared here, here, here, herehere, herehere, herehere, herehere, here, hereherehere, here, hereherehereherehere, here, here here, here, herehereherehereherehere, herehere, herehere, herehere, here, herehereherehere, and here.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

"Catch of a Lifetime" Free Valentine's Day Printable

Valentine's Day is quickly approaching! I thought I'd release a free printable in honor of the holiday so that everyone could get in that loving spirit just a little early this year.

We all know the expression, "There are plenty of fish in the sea," right? Well, once you've found that one person you're madly, deeply, passionately in love with and who makes you happy it seems like all the other fish in that sea become obsolete! So here's my new printable for Valentine's Day 2012 to represent that only one special person can truly be the "Catch of a Lifetime." Here's the download link. Enjoy!

Printable shared here, here, here, hereherehereherehere, hereherehere, here, here, herehere, here, hereherehere, and here.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Basic Image Import and Text Design in Silhouette Studio

So yesterday I had an overwhelming response to my post Ballard Designs Dog Food Container Knockoff - All for Around $5! Thank you all so much for leaving your wonderful feedback - I love getting comments! So anyhow, some of you were asking how I actually made the design for my dog food tin, so here's a tutorial on how to design and import basic images and text in Silhouette Studio. I'm going to show you exactly how I made  the "Dog Food" design from yesterday's post.

First I started by opening up my Silhouette Studio program and opening the image I wanted to use. I started with a puppy paw image which I had made and saved on my computer. You can open an image by going up to FILE and the OPEN and selecting your image from your hard-drive. Then I had my puppy paw image ready to edit.

I used the green arrow at the top of the selected image to rotate my paw to where I'd like it adjusted. I used the corner of the square around the selected image to size the entire image down to where I liked it.

Then I clicked the OPEN THE TRACE WINDOW button in the top right hand corner of my menu and selected a trace area around my pappy paw. After I had my selection made by clicking the SELECT TRACE AREA button, I selected the TRACE AND DETACH feature. By selecting the TRACE AND DETACH feature I eliminated the square border like the picture at the top around the entire puppy paw and allowed each individual section of the puppy paw to be selected at once.

Once I had all the separate parts of my paw detached, I clicked on each section of the paw and filled it with black color by clicking on the OPEN THE FILL COLOR WINDOW button on the top of my menu.

Whew! Okay that was the hard part. Then I simply Clicked on the TEXT button at the left menu of my screen and placed my cursor on the page. I typed "DOG" in all caps.

Then I deselected my "DOG" type and placed another cursor on the page and wrote "food."

Then I selected the "DOG" type, selected Georgia font, and adjusted the font to the size and placement I wanted next to the puppy paw. Then I did the same with the "food" text only I used Freebooter Script. I also used the same fill technique as I had with the puppy paw to make both of the fonts black. (You don't actually have to make the font a color, but since I was using black vinyl it was easier for me to see what the finished product would look like on the screen.)

I was now ready to send my image to the Silhouette (i.e. actually cut the image), so I clicked on the SEND TO SILHOUETTE button at the top of my menu, loaded my vinyl on my cutting mat, skipped printing (because I was cutting on vinyl), skipped the registration mark detection (because I was cutting a blank sheet of vinyl), chose the vinyl settings, and cut my page!

That's how I made my basic design in Silhouette Studio! :)

If you're wondering where I got my vinyl, I got it from here.

They really do have the most reasonable prices, and I love the fact that I don't have to buy it in super huge rolls so I won't be wasting any precious material!

Disclaimer: I did not actually READ the instructional manual. SHHH! Secret. Anywhow, you could possibly learn a lot more and the correct way to do things there. LOL

Tutorial shared here, here, here, herehere, hereherehere, herehere, here, and here.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Ballard Designs Dog Food Container Knockoff - All for Around $5!

Today I am so excited to bring everyone a new tutorial that is not only super functional, but I think it looks pretty snazzy as well - a dog food canister! I am so thrilled with the way it came out! Here's the finished product:

You see, I'm a little bit OCD in the house cleanliness department and this mess of a dog food set-up has been bothering me for the longest time! How many of you have this problem? My 16 month old is constantly getting into the bag to "feed the doggie" and lets just say, it's NOT working anymore!

Yikes! Just when I was beginning to think that I would have to let the whole issue go {dogs will be dogs, they're messy, yadda yadda yadda}, I found this picture on Pinterest!

Genius! The whole apparatus even has a lid (at least it'll stall the baby for a few minutes). But me, being the frugal momma that I am, just could not justify spending the $54 dollars they wanted for this beauty. So I guess I'll have to make one myself and put my new Silhouette Cameo I got as a Christmas present to good use. ;)

All you will need for this project is an old popcorn tin, some spray paint, and some vinyl. 

I started with the old popcorn tin (which my mom acquired for free through a lady at her work - score!) and popped the top off. The tin was already the color I wanted, so I only had to spray paint the lid. If you have some sort of funky design, though, you may want to spray the entire tin.  I used this Rust-oleum Metallic Spray paint.

Then I designed a cute little "Dog Food" design on my Silhouette Studio software and cut it out on some black vinyl using my Silhouette Cameo. I set the blade at 2 and used a speed setting of 8 and a thickness setting of 9.

After my design was cut, I carefully peeled back the excess vinyl off of the paper backing, like so.

It then looked like this:

Once I had all the excess vinyl off, I cut a piece of transfer tape to the same size as my vinyl dsegn and backing paper that was left. I then peeled the backing paper off of the transfer tape and laid it sticky side down onto the top of my cut vinyl and vinyl backing paper.

I like to use the transfer tape because I feel the it helps me place my design onto my tin more accurately and so that it's not totally crooked! See how there are some wrinkles on the transfer tape? If you get some at this point don't worry too much, I'll show you how to smooth it out in the next step.

Then I slowly and carefully started at the corner of the transfer paper and peeled the backing away from the design which is now stuck onto the transfer tape. Then I tried to get my design as straight and smooth onto my tin as possible.

Now I used this cool vinyl scraper/smoother tool and smooth out all of the vinyl on my tin. I scraped over the entire design multiple times. This should get most of the wrinkles out, if you have any.

Then simply peel away the transfer tape and reveal your vinyl on your tin! Then add the lid, ta-da! New, beautiful dog food canister!

So for a simple breakdown of cost: the popcorn tin was free, the spray paint was approximately $3, and $1/each for the vinyl sheet and the transfer tape sheet! $5 ain't bad for this beauty!

If you'd like a detailed tutorial on how to import and edit images and text in Silhouette Studio you can find one here! :)

If you are wondering where I got my vinyl, I purchased from here:

They really do have the most reasonable prices and I love that I don't have to buy it in huge rolls, so I won't be wasting any precious material!

Project was shared here, here, herehere, herehere, here, hereherehere, hereherehere, herehereherehere, herehereherehereherehere, here, and here.

Monday, January 9, 2012

4 Free, Simple New Years Resolutions That Everyone Needs to Stick To - Time to Get Motivated!

Today I'm feeling extremely motivated, therefore I've been thinking about ways to improve my life and all around well-being. Just like my need use use to-do lists, if I just break down my large goals into smaller, more manageable tasks I know I can accomplish anything!!!

So, as the New Year has just passed, as many of you are doing (and heeding my own advice) I'm going to physically write down my goals and planned accomplishments for this year (because i really do get more done this way):

(1) Get off the computer and get something done! I know you've been there, too! By simply reading the news, browsing Facebook, or pouring over my Pinterest boards I find myself engrossed in the wonders and accomplishments of other people. The problem is I often forget about what, I, myself am doing! I feel like I've lost sooo much time over the last few years by just sitting and not DOING. One of my most important goals for this year is to get out and DO, not just WATCH from the sidelines. Nothing in life is accomplished by just sitting idle. 

(2) Keep a regular schedule. It is not good for me, my family, or my son for me to make spur of the moment decisions like, "Oooo! I love this lamp, let me go out to Target right now to buy it!" or "I think I'll stay up just an hour longer..." I need to keep my tasks, health, and budget in order this year. The best way to do that for me is going to be to set a schedule and stick to it! (Yes, that includes gym visits, Miranda. -Oops!)

(3) Number one and number two now brings me to number three: GET OFF YOUR BUTT AND GO TO THE GYM! When I was going to the gym regularly, I felt I had more energy, my body didn't ache as much, and I really did notice results. Then there were those few days in there where I actually had appointments I had to go to where my regularly scheduled gym time would usually be and then the whole routine went out the window. No more excuses for me. Like Nike, I'm going to JUST DO IT! I will see results if I stick to it!

(4)Spend less money. My boyfriend says it over, and over, and over, and over, and over again (Jeez, you'd think I'd get it by now!), "Spending less money is like making more money." {light bulb going off!} Well, since he has always spent less AND made more money than me, maybe there's some truth to that. I mean if I make a million dollars a year, but I spend a million dollars a year I'm still going to be broke! I'm deciding once and for all that I'm going to put a stop to my impulse buying and start SAVING more. Budgeting will be key for me this year!

By writing my goals down I now have PROOF that I made these resolutions and I no longer have any excuses not to follow them, and I challenge you to do the same. These resolutions are going to make my life better and I'm all about that! What are some of your New Year's resolutions? How are you going to be improving your life in 2012? These are all serious, but exciting questions we all need to be asking ourselves. May 2012 be a stellar year for all of us by simply sticking to our standards!

Shared this post here, here, here, here, and here.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Why You Can't Ever Get to EVERYTHING In Your Day

Do you ever feel like that? I do! All. The. Time. Today I was running around, trying to get my son dressed to meet up with my mom for a lunch date, attempting to pack a gym bag, make and clean bottles, get the car running in this wintery cold, and get dressed (myself) ALL at the same time! Ah! Crazy. {and the worst part was I didn't even make it to the gym :( }

Anyhow, in the car on the way to lunch I thought to myself: What can I do that would really help me get more done in my day? I pondered everything from a strictly followed, rigid schedule to possibly even getting a babysitter so that I could get more things done around the house. I mean, a babysitter? Really? Stay at home moms are supposed to have all the free time in the world, right? Or so I once thought..

Then during my son's nap I started browsing my Pinterest boards (yea, really following a strict schedule now - oops) and I came upon something so simple, that we've all been taught since we were just wee tiny ones. Duh! Write down a to-do list! I always think up all the tasks I have to do during the day, but I never end up writing them down. Well I think all that is about to change, because I found these:

Isn't this one of the most adorable to-do lists you've ever seen? I really was one excited mom nerd.

I LOVE this one because it even has a reminder to exercise and drink the daily recommended amount of water. Genius! I never drink enough water. Maybe now I can remember I still need to visit the gym ;).  

This dry-erase board is so adorable!

And if you want to take it to extremes, you could even go with this board which includes to-do lists, day planner, calendar, and even a family message center!

These lists/board have everything you could possibly think of to remember to incorporate into your day, week, month, or even your year! They have thought of everything busy moms like me need to get done like laundry, dishes, working out, kids' activities, e-mails and calls, and even drinking the right amount of water! Props to everyone who made these lists. Now if I could just choose ONE to start using, there are so many great ones it's going to be hard! You can find the sources to all of these lists by simply clicking on the picture, or find even more cute to-do lists and organization idea on this Pinterest board.

Happy To-Doing everyone. :)

Monday, January 2, 2012

The Christmas Goodies I Received!

So I know, I know, Christmas was last week..and today is the start of the new year - Yippee! I have a feeling this year will be very crafty {and wonderful} because I just happened to get some of the greatest Christmas presents ever!!!

First of all, I got this awesome new sewing machine! It's a Brother CS6000i computerized sewing machine and it is the bomb! It has an automatic needle threader, 8 button hole functions, 60 stitches (including decorative ones), and it is really, really easy to understand for a beginner like myself.

(Mmm. K. Side Note: Why did they just put a picture of some random lady on the side of the box? Yea, I don't know either.)

Why is it so great? Well for dummies like me who have never sewn before (except for those two weeks in Home Ec. in sixth grade), it makes sewing so easy. Not kidding! I have only had this machine for a week now and I've already made two pillow covers, several pacifier clips, and an entire large tote bag with pockets. I mean, me, SEWING? Wow, who would've thunk. This machine makes me think I could really start sewing some great stuff! ;) Here are some pics of the projects I've made thus far:

two gray pillow covers

pacifier clips (some for my son, some for baby gifts)

and this awesome tote bag (you can find the tutorial here)

I can honestly say I think I'm doing prettttty well for my first week sewing. :)

Then, I got the granddaddy of all Christmas gifts. Yes, ladies and gentleman, I got a Silhouette Cameo!

This machine is unbelievable. It cuts, draws, and perforates pretty much everything I could ever think of (except cutting felt...oh well). If you haven't had a chance to see one of these machines in action, though, you should really look up some videos on YouTube. Seeing what this little guy is capable of really is believing! 

Just a note to beginners with the Cameo: The first few times you use your cutting mat it will be VERY sticky, sticky enough that it may even rip your media after you try and pull it off the cutting mat. I would start with a heavier media like chipboard or fabric and move to the more delicate surfaces like paper until after the cutting mat is a little less sticky. It will get less sticky after the first 5 or so cuts. I had to learn this lesson the hard way!

I ended up having to figure out a way to easily remove stuck on paper from my Cameo from my first use (because my paper was too delicate for the EXTREMELY sticky, new mat). I have, however, found a shortcut to get the unwanted scraps off! Like these:

Can you see those icky little stuck on bits? I simply used a baby wipe, after I had to scrape up almost the entire surface of the mat with my FINGERNAIL {yea that was fun}, and the scraps came right off within 2 seconds! See?

I am so impressed with the amount of projects and possibilities Cameo can produce. Here's my first one. I created a onesie for my son, "Mr. Charming." 

(I know the elephant is random, but cutting on the Cameo can become addicting and I only had one onesie on hand! The more the merrier, right? LOL)

This project was suddenly became extremely easy after I acquired the Cameo. Before I would have had to cut all this stuff by hand. Yikes! I simply used some Heat N' Bond to bond the decorative fabrics that were cut from the Silhouette to my onesie, and ta-da! New, beautiful onesie!

These two Christmas gifts were by far my favorite this year! However, there's still more to come. I got gift cards, too! I was pretty lucky this Christmas, and I can't wait to use these machine can drum up in the future. More projects to come, you can be sure!

My onesie project was shared here, here, here, here, here, herehere, here, hereherehere, hereherehere, here, and here.
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