Thursday, September 30, 2010
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Monday, September 27, 2010
Friday, September 24, 2010
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Monday, September 20, 2010
Sunday, September 19, 2010
Saturday, September 18, 2010
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
I thought I'd share some tips with you today!
1. Use art you have!
I'm lucky in that Mr. Free is an artist and has many artist friends willing to share their work for free. Even without a resident artist, pull out your husbands old high school paintings, or your mom's summer community college pottery. It adds dimension to the room, history and of course, good conversation!
When needing to frame art or photos, first check through your home for miscellanous frames you forgot you had. I have like 2 dozen in our basement. If you still don't have the right kind of frame, check thrift stores! You can pop out the existing art in them, and then use the frame!
Frames don't need to look perfect upon purchase. If it has good shape and stability to it, but is an ugly color, spray paint it! For Mr. Free's Senior Show this is how he framed 80% of his art work. And it saved us hundreds!!!
Cost: Free- Less than $20 (on average)
3. Second-hand furniture
This loveseat was given to us by Mr. Free's parents when we got married. It's not perfectly our taste, but a great neutral piece to use. So feel free to take furniture from family our check thrift stores and craigslist. You can even slipcover to personalize it. And it'll save you big $$$ vs. buying brand new!
Cost: Free-$200ish (depending on quality)
The loveseat came with pillows that did not match our style. I simply bought some fabric I did like (houndstooth!) and made my own pillow cover for them. Voila! Cost like $4!
Cost: Under $10 (depending on fabric)
5. Painting trim and doors
For about $20 in paint, you can make your home lighter and airier with white doors and trim. Our 50 year old home had grimy wood trim and doors. With a can of paint and a weekend you can completely transform the feel of your home.
Cost: Less than $20
We got this rug that I LOVE from Overstock. This site is a great resource for home furnishings and usually offer a great deal on items. Check the internet for home decor before plunking down $$$ at a Big Box Store.
7. Use exisiting flooring
If you are lucky enough to have hardwoods (even if buried underneath carpet) use them! Ours are NOT in great shape. They have some splothes, worn spots, etc. But to me, it adds to the charm. It shows people lived here for 50 years. And I like that.
If you have carpet and it may not be the shade you'd choose...make it work! Design the whole room around that color to make it flow and look like it's a part of the room!
8. Adopt a cute kitty.
Isn't Otis adorable? For a nominal adoption fee you can have your very own cute kitty to wander around your home and be in just the right spot for a photo op. : )
Cost: Adoption Fee (usually less than $50)
There you have it... I hope these ideas may spark some thoughts about your own home!
What are your money saving decorating tips?
I'll be back with more frugal decorating tips using another corner of our home!
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Monday, September 13, 2010
Sunday, September 12, 2010
Thursday, September 9, 2010
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
I am not a chef.
I have some recipes I like, Mr. Free likes, and I use often.
I don't really measure anything.
If you can handle that there are no exact measurements, proceed reading.
Slow Cooker Apple Pear Butter
A bit of water
Some ground cloves
Capful of vanilla
3/4 c. brown sugar
Core and chop up apples and pears
Dump into slow cooker
Add a splash of water to slow cooker to start them cookin'
Pour a capful of vanilla and a sprinkle of cinnamon
Cook on High for 4 hours
Mash apples/pears with a potato masher
Add in 3/4 c. brown sugar
Add in splash more vanilla, sprinkle some ground cloves and generously sprinkle more cinnamon.
Cover and cook for 1 more hour on low.
Yields 3 jars.
*** You can of course, use all apples instead of the apple/pear combo. Our all pears even. Go wild. ***
2 apples, cored and halved
1 box refrigerated pie crust (ready to roll out, 2 crusts)
Butter, 1/2 stick at room temperature
Preheat oven to 400*
Mix the butter in a bowl with some cinnamon and brown sugar
Cut the 2 pie crusts in half
Scoop butter/sugar mixture into apple half where core was
Lay apple on the half pie crust
Fold pie crust over apple half til completely covered
Use moist fingers to seal seams
Lay 4 dumplings on cookie sheet
Sprinkle tops with cinnamon and white sugar
Bake 20-30 minutes at 400 until golden brown.
Serve with some homemade vanilla ice cream sprinkled with cinnamon.
Apple Dumplings II
Taken from The Pioneer Woman
Serves 8.....or fewer with plenty of yummy leftovers
2 apples, cored and sliced (each apple 8 slices)
1 cans of crescent dough
2 sticks butter
1 Teaspoon Vanilla
1 1/2 c. Sugar
12 oz. Mountain Dew
Preheat oven to 350
Butter a 9 by 13 casserole dish
Roll an apple into a crescent roll, place in buttered dish
On stove top melt 2 sticks of butter
Add sugar and barely stir
Pour mixture over apples
Pour Mountain Dew around edges of casserole dish
Sprinkle with cinnamon and bake for 40 minutes
Serve with homemade vanilla ice cream and spoon some sauce from pan over dumplings.
Ready for the oven.
This is my most favorite time of the year!
Please let me know if you try any of these recipes and pass along any great apple/fall recipes you have too!!!