Sunday, January 17, 2010

2009 Lessons Learned

2009 was a little bit of a tough year. By deciding not to go back to work, I cut our annual income almost by half. The adjustment to that has been tremendous.

With that change has come a few lessons I have learned. I would like to share some resources I have found and even some people who's story I have found very moving.

Lesson 1 - Saving Money
Not using coupons is throwing away money. It takes a little bit of time, but the savings can really add up. When you combine a coupon with a store sale, you can get stuff for pennies or free. I like to buy the sunday paper every week and then I use the sites below as well.

Load coupons onto your store rewards cards:

Print coupons:

Product sites that give coupons:

Lesson 2 - Staying Busy
I am not a fan of house work, so I like to find other things to do. I enjoy paper crafts and teaching myself to sew. has all kinds of craft ideas from kids to adults, from knitting to gift ideas HP creative site for picture crafts and more Canon creative park has all kids of paper crafts lots of ideas for kids a great place disney crafts and recipe ideas

Lesson 3 - TV for free
Not live TV, but a great place to catch up on some shows.

Lesson 4 - Pray for Others
We all have hard times, we all have our own difficulties, we all have our moments of doubt. I really believe that prayers are a powerful thing. I cannot tell you exactly how I came to find these blogs, but I did. These are a couple of the people I pray for that I have never met. Their stories have really touched me.

I hope 2010 has even more lessons to teach me.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Toy House

My little bunny is still in diapers. We buy the large pack of diapers and wipes since we will use them, and it saves some money. The empty boxes are extremely useful for packing up toys or other items to be put out in the garage until we have a garage sale or a donation drive comes by.

Today my 1 1/2 year old and I where playing tickle with a stuffed dog. We had an empty box of huggies wipes sitting on the floor and it dawned on me. "This would be a really cute dog house."

Of course, I did not take a single picture as I was making it. When I showed it to my husband he actually liked it. My son, 3 1/2 years old, really liked it. He wanted to put ALL his stuffed animals in it. This lead me to make a house out of the box of diapers. I did take some pictures of making this, but I got lazy and began using tape instead of rubber cement.

I will upload some pics tomorrow so that I can explain the process.


This is the small dog house made out of the wipes box. As you can see, I cut out some windows on the side. I used plain printer paper, so the details of the box bleed through. If you use a heavy stock, this would not be a problem.

empty box
printer paper or heavy stock
glue (rubber cement works great and dries fast) or tape
scissors or exacto knife

I did not want to be picture intensive, since the process is simple.
I cut off the small lid flaps first. Then I enlarged the opening on the side all the way to the bottom to make a door.

I folded the small lid flaps and attached them to the large flaps left to make the shape of the roof. As you can see, the top part of the sides are left open. From this point I just began adding paper onto the box. Rubber cement works great. I used tape on this box because I was being lazy.

You can leave the top portion of the sides open if you would like so that the kids can see in and play with the inside. (My son insisted I cover them.) There is also a space left on the roof that can be uncovered to allow you to see in.
To cover the front I simply folded the corners of a piece of paper under the sheet for the roof and tucked the rest back into the "house."

My son put about 9 stuffed animals and toys into the large box.


Sunday, January 3, 2010

Furniture Re-do

With the holidays, I had to clear off my dinning room table of my sewing stuff. Recently I purchased a desk on craigslist for $15. I have been been in the process of redoing the desk. I was almost finished sanding  when I realized that I need to sand the inside (where your legs go) of the desk as well.
I have only been able to work on it a couple of hours every few days. Having two little ones does not make this easy work. I would let my daughter play outside while I work, but the weather has gotten cold. I was hoping to have the desk finished by the new year...oh well, maybe I can finish before the end of January. The reality is that I want my garadge back. I hate having to park in the driveway.
I did find out a couple of interesting things about the desk since I got it. The brand was sold by Sears from 1940 to the early 1960s. The hardware of the desk is brass; solid and tarnished.

So here is a picture of my desk before: