Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Something exciting...

I'm opening an Etsy store!!!
It should be up and live within a few days!

It will contain some great things for baby and home!
Here's some items that will be in the shop

 nursing pillows

 burp cloths
 E-Reader sleeves
Tea towels

Placemats, dish cloths, throw pillows and more!
I love modern prints for both home and baby!

I hope you'll all support me in this venture and spread the word!

God has provided an opportunity for my family for me to teach part-time next year! I am so thrilled to have more time in the home and to be with my sweet little boy! In doing so, our budget is going to be TIGHT! In reading about the Proverbs 31 woman I was encouraged to find a "cottage industry". Something that can bless your home and you can make a little money from with the surplus. I have been sewing items for my home and baby boy and hope to make a little from my items to support my family!

I will be sure to update when the store is up and going!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

How-To Thursday: Newborn Memory Frame

This is by no means rocket science, but I love this little project and the smile it brings to my mama face and thought I'd share!

Since Mr. Levi is growing like crazy and I've long packed up his newborn clothes to send to his new cousin, I decided to make a memory shadow box to remember how little he once was!

First I ventured to the ol' Hobby Lobby and picked up a shadow box.
I had in mind a white one, but this weathered gray was MUCH cheaper. Figure I could always paint it too!
Also...these frames regularly go on sale!

I then took some fabric that had been used at one of my baby showers and covered the backing with it.

I think arranged all the goodies I planned to include:
The onesie he wore home from the hospital
His hat from the hospital
And his birth announcement

You can get creative here and include whatever you'd like!
Your hospital bracelets
Hospital birth certificate
Foot prints
 I then pinned all the goodies using clear tacks...in case I decided to rearrange or add in additional items.
It's done!
Up on the wall!
I can't believe how little he was!

What have you all done to preserve those sweet little memories?

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Home Management Binder: Weekly Planner

I hope you're building your home management binder with me!
Last week we tackled the binder itself and the monthly calendar.
I know mine is full up!
(If you'd like to download the binder cover and spine....click here!)
(If you'd like to download the May calendar....click here!)
This week we will be adding a weekly planner to our notebook!
This is probably my favorite part, since it breaks EVERYTHING down in one spot for the week!
It has a day by day breakdown of daily events, chores and meals.

I can't stress enough how handy this is!
Get your own printable copy.....here!

Next week we will add a menu planner...and as always will include a free printable!

Anyone building your home binder with me?

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Baby Talk Tuesday: Use Bumper as Crib Skirt

As we all know, it is recommended that the only thing in our baby's crib is a tight fitted sheet and our child.
Anything else poses a safety risk.
Why is it then that baby bedding is so darn cute?!
That cushy bumper and fluffy comforter?

You never get to use them!

I bought our bedding on uber clearance during our first pregnancy. Had I realized the only thing in the set I could safely use would be the sheet, I probably would have passed. But, I figured out a way to safely use the bumper.
As a crib skirt!

I had loved the stripes against the polka dots, but knew I couldn't use it as a bumper. Problem solved! I know get to view the two coordinating fabrics without any risk to my little man!

So if you have the adorable crib bumper stashed away somewhere unsure of what to do with it, try it as a skirt!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Meal Plan Monday

Here it is....

Monday-  Italian beef sandwiches (This is a new one...will see how it is!)
Tuesday- Roast Chicken in crockpot with roasted potatoes (never got to it last week! Too many leftovers!)
Wednesday- Chicken tacos (from leftover roast chicken)
Thursday- BBQ beef sandwiches (from leftover italian beef on Monday)
Friday- Leftovers
Saturday- Wedding

It really is helping to actually sit down and organize the weekly meals! 
Has anyone else been doing this too?

Friday, May 18, 2012

Frugal Friday: Don't pay full price!

Next school year, our family budget will be changing as I will be working part-time as opposed to full-time that I had previously been working. I am thrilled to be home more and have more time with my little man, but our budget will definitely have to be strict!
Each Friday I will share what's working for us to stick to our budget and hopefully can help yours!

This first Frugal Friday tip is pretty easy...don't pay full price!
Whether it's clothing, greeting cards or pasta noodles... it will at some point go on sale!
When it does, STOCK UP!!
Mr. Free built us some pantry storage in the basement.
We have a TEENY TINY kitchen, so in order to maximize the savings, we needed a place to put our sale purchases!
So, if at Target spaghetti noodles are on sale for $.74/box, when normally $1.25 and I REGULARLY use them, I will buy several boxes and store them downstairs.
I also do this with gifts, wrapping paper, cards, clothing, deodorant, shampoo etc.

As long as you are purchasing sale items that you would normally use, then it's a GREAT way to save money. So, whenever you run low on an item, you have a stash already at home! MUCH cheaper than running to the store because you are out of toothpaste and have to pay full price!

Again...just because something is on sale for a fabulous price doesn't mean you need it! ONLY purchase if you already normally use it! A basement full of clearance black beans that you'll never use is just money down the drain!

So if you can, organize an area in your home for your sale stash so you utilize it and save money!

Where to buy sale items?
My favorite is Target.
They regularly clearance nearly everything! From home decor to gift bags to laundry detergent.
You just have to watch!
Grocery stores will regularly have some great deals as well.
Just watch those circulars!
Also check recovery sales outlets.
You can often find great deals!

You may have to put in a lil work and shop around, but the savings are quite motivating!

What's your tip for never paying full price?

Thursday, May 17, 2012

How-To Thursday: Frayed Edge Burp Cloths

Now that Levi is sleeping better and taking naps better, I wanted a hobby!
So I dusted off my sewing machine and away I went!
I saw online the idea of frayed edge burp cloths and wanted to try it!
These are so soft and super absorbent!
Just what you want in a burp cloth!

Here's how I did it.
Sew easy! (ba doom ching!)

What you'll need:
Will make about 4 generously sized burp cloths
2 half yards of flannel (can be a yard of the same, or 2 half yards of complimentary flannels)
half yard of quilt batting
sewing machine with strong thread
washing machine and dryer

Cut out an 6" by 11" inch rectangle from one of your flannel pieces
(I used a burp cloth I already had as a template...feel free to do that too!)

Lay down your other piece of flannel, right side facing down, then lay your quilt batting on top, followed by your already cut piece of flannel, right side facing up.
Pin it all together about 3/4 inch from edge.

 Cut around the top flannel piece, cutting the quilt batting and remaining flannel piece the same size.
Now it's all pinned ready to go!
Sew around all 4 edges, next to pins leaving about 3/4inches on all sides.
Once sewn all around, divide the edges so you can see all three layers (flannel, quilt batting, flannel)
You will cut off the excess quilt batting on all four edges...NOT any of the flannel.

 Now you should have just the 2 pieces of flannel on all four sides. About every half inch, cut to make fringe.

Wash and dry the burp cloths a few times and they will get super soft and fray up nicely!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Home Management Binder

 This is a project I've been meaning to tackle a LONG time ago.
Now that Im a mama, I see it as even more important to have all our family info in one place.
This will help our home run much more smoothly.

Each Wednesday I will tackle a new section of the binder, along with free printables, so if you want to build yours along with me, you can!

Here's what you'll need:
3 ring binder
Dividers with tabs (I still need to get this!)
Computer and printer
3 hole punch
Pen or pencil

The items I plan to include are:
Monthly calendar
Weekly planner
Menu planner
Family budget
Home projects list
Medical information
Addresses and phone numbers
Gift planner

The first thing I wanted in my binder was a calendar.
This will contain EVERYTHING for our family. 
Responsibilities, birthdays, celebrations, etc.

To download the cover for your binder, click here.
To download the May calendar, click here.

Next week we will look at a weekly planner.

I hope you'll start this organizing journey with me!
Please let me know if you are building your binder too!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Baby Talk Tuesday: Mama's Day

I had SUCH a great and blessed Mother's Day.
I was thinking the night before how a year prior, I felt so broken. We had lost 3 babies and had just begun fertility testing. We were unsure if we'd ever be parents at all.
This mother's day, we have our precious baby boy and he was dedicated in our church.
Such a great moment I will treasure. My heart was so full.

It was such a blessing to have my boy dedicated at our church.
This is where Mr. Free and I met, and grew up.
This is where our best friends are.
This is where we were married.
This is where so many older women hugged me and prayed for me as we struggled to become parents.
This is where so many rejoiced the day Levi was born!
This is where so many of his great memories will happen and friends will be made.
This boy is so loved by this church and I pray that he loves this church in return!

The boys and my mom chipped in and got me a Nook Tablet for my first Mother's Day.
I was floored as it was NOT in the budget.
I absolutely LOVE it! It's amazing!!

I am so thankful God has allowed me to be this amazing boy's Mama. I am truly blessed.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Meal Plan Monday

In an effort to live a more simple and frugal life, I realized I need to get back to meal planning. It truly does save lots of time, headache and money! 
We have a WHOLE freezer full of organic, free-range meat to use up from our Meat CSA so we need to get a cookin'!

Here's what's on the menu
Monday- Ground beef soft tacos
Tuesday- Cheeseburgers on the grill
                Cole Slaw
Wednesday- Eating out w/ friends
Thursday- Crock pot roast Chicken and potatoes
Friday- Leftovers

Usually we have TONS of leftovers as it's just the two of us eating (Levi wishes!), and most meal recipes are for 4+, so Friday and Saturday and even Sunday is usually various leftovers from the week!

Here's our recipe for Crock pot Roast Chicken....it's super easy!!

You'll need:
4-5 lb. Chicken
Olive oil
Various spices: salt, pepper, paprika, sage, parsley, Old Bay (you can really use what you like!)

Rub the chicken with olive oil, then sprinkle selected spices all over chicken. Rub in the spices.
Place in crockpot set on LOW for 8 hours.
Cut up veggies you prefer (we will do potatoes) and arrange around the chicken.

8 hours later...dinner is ready!!
Super easy!
We use the leftover meat for various other dishes... chicken pot pie, chicken enchiladas chicken tacos, etc.

Happy Eating!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Make an E-Reader sleeve in 15 minutes!!

I'm still in the sewing mood, and Mr. Free and Levi, and my mom, surprised me yesterday with a Nook Tablet! 
It's awesome!
But I need some sort of protection for it while it's in my purse.
I checked out Target but they are like $30!
So...I made one!

It's SUPER easy!!

Here we go...
(excuse the smudges...)
 1. Find some cute fabric and cut it to be about a half inch wider on each side as your e-reader and an inch longer than the length of 2 of your e-readers end to end.
 2. On each end, fold over a half inch of fabric and pin in place
 3. Sew both ends, using pins as your guide.
4. While keeping the "inside" part facing you, fold it in half (the "outside" part, or pretty part, facing the inside!) and pin, so you have about a half inch on each side
5. Sew along the sides, using the pins as your guide
 6. Turn inside out!
 7. Slide in your e-reader and you're done!

Easy peasy!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Bit by the sewing bug

Since I'm at home right now, I've had a little extra time!
I decided to try my hand at sewing!
This afternoon I busted out a nursing pillow

 with a matching burp cloth
 Aren't these robots cute?!
 Also a tea towel and dish cloth!

This is so much fun!
Any ideas for more projects?
May try a taggy blanket next!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Nursery Reveal

I just realized I never did a full nursery reveal once it was all decorated! Whoops!
The nursery had to be gender neutral as we didn't know that Baby Free would be our beautiful baby boy!
This is a SMALL room so we really tried to just have the basics and maximize the space as much as possible!
 Crib- Park Lane crib from WalMart
Art- Custom
Changing station- Custom by Mr. Free
Mobile- Buy Buy Baby
Bedding- DwellStudio from Target
 Rug- Urban Outfitters
Curtains- Target
Lamp- Target
Night stand- painted family heirloom
 Glider- Re-done hand me down
Dino Pillow (for my baby boy!)- HomeGoods
 Levi's friends!
 Chalkboard- Mr. Free's grandparents frame and homemade chalk board insert
 Bookcase- Target
Baskets- Target
Quilt- gift

 Dresser- painted hand me down

There you have it!
We absolutely LOVE this nursery.
It is so fun and playful!
We hope Levi loves it too!