A Crocheting, Knitting, Sewing, Scrapbooking, Crafty, Digi Scrap, Deals,Organizational, Recipe, Crazy Thoughts, Insight into my Chaos, Mommy Blog

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Two-fer Tuesday

Tuesday, Thursday it's all the same Right?? I swear that one of these days I'm going to get it together!! (At least I pray that I do)

For today's Two-fer Tuesday I thought I would share with you guys two awesome sites to check out! (They are not sponsors, just genuinely awesome sites that I love!)
Okay are you guys into deals? (Who isn't right?) I LOVE deals! To be more specific I love searching for and finding sweet's like a fun little game for me. I'm honestly addicted to deals and deal sites. I especially love those "lazy sites" where you create an account (for free) and the deals come straight to your inbox, what's better than that? I literally am subscribed to or check daily like 30 sites (Seriously I just made a list). I love it!

It's kind of funny, more often then not my "deal steals" are for things that I probably wouldn't have purchased otherwise, but every now and then I do find great" deal steals" for items that I am actually in the market for, and let me say that those purchases are always the most rewarding! Don't get me wrong getting a gorgeous designer purse for 90% of the price is awesome, but it's always more rewarding to save money on those items that I really needed! Although, it's always a little easier for me to justify a "fun" purchase if I can at least tell the hubby that it was a "good deal." He actually loves my deals, I know he does. Truthfully they have benefited him quite nicely a time or two and he's a much snappier dresser because of some of those sweet deals!

There are so many deal sites out there now, and so many awesome blogs whose sole purpose for existing is to find and pass on awesome deals to the masses...(that's US!). And Yay, because today I'm going to pass on to you two of my favorite deal sharing websites/blogs to you!

DISCLAIMER: Beware and proceed at your own risk...Deal Hunting can be very addicting and can actually become very expensive...
and I in know way am to blame if you become an addict like me, because I warned you with this Disclaimer.

First up is Groupon.

If you don't Groupon, you should! Groupon is a site, (if you haven't seen their hilarious commercials) that finds local deals at fantastic prices. You set up an account, pick the location closest to you and every morning there will be a new local deal for you to enjoy! I like Groupon because aside from the local deals, you have the ability to sign up for multiple city locations (I'm subscribed to Ogden, Salt Lake City, Dallas, and Fort Worth) and receive a separate email for each. You can also on your own, scour all the locations on their list and every now and then you'll find a deal that is national! Groupon is my go to site to find sweet pampering deals (massages, mani pedis...). Great deals on sweet yummies (bakeries, local restaurants), and to find coupons to fun family activities, which is a nice way to have a family day on a budget. Have you ever noticed on my Winner Winner What's for Dinner posts, that we go to a lot of local sporting events? That is courtesy of the Sweetest Groupon Deal that I've purchased so far, the "Salt Lake City Pass of All Passes." (This deal is not available on Groupon anymore, but if you scour the internet you can probably find it on another deal site). In a nutshell, we scored season passes to the local water park, on top of a handful of hockey, arena football, MLS soccer, and motor cross events all for $39 a person. Not bad! Definitley check out Groupon if you haven't already!

The second deal site that I want to mention is one of those blogs that does all the work for you, "Freebies 2 Deals."
Melea over at Freebies 2 Deals is amazing and quite simply my hero! She searches all the deal sites, coupon sites, and web deals and compiles them all into a nice little email packed of awesomeness and sends it out to you everyday! She'll tell you the best deals of the week for local and national grocery stores, what coupons to use and how, the best web deals for the day, and where to go to score some sweet freebies! She's based in Utah, but most if not all of her deals are national deals, which is awesome! I love waking up in the morning and checking out what Melea has in store for me!

Well, there you go two great deal sites to check out! Seriously, check them out today, they are truly AWESOME, and I promise you will find some sweet "Deal Steals" of your very own!

Remember the Disclaimer and happy Deal Hunting!

(Images courtesy of Google images)
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Monday, March 28, 2011

Winner Winner What's For Dinner

Here's my Dinner Menu for this week. I had to find some quick yet tasty solutions for this week now that soccer season is in full swing. Hope you can find some good inspiration for dinner at your house this week!

Monday: Tacos, Refried Beans, Spanish Rice

Tuesday: BBQ Pork Sammies, Chips, Corn

Wednesday: Chicken Biscuit Bake

Thursday: Creamy Pesto Chicken and Bow Tie Pasta, salad, garlic bread.

Friday: Gone (Grizzley Hockey Game)

Sat/Sunday: Left-overs/Eat out

As always...Happy Cooking!

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Saturday, March 26, 2011

Silhouette Adventures-Cocoa Mug Revamp

Do you like my Sweet Hot Cocoa Mug?
Here's the story on my Mug Revamp:

I'm taking a brief hiatus from organizing, to do something a little crafty...I need every now and then to stop and just take a minute to create. It's my stress reliever
although massages are good too

First I have to say that I LOVE LOVE LOVE Target (are you with me?)
My daughter has dance class on Wednesday's to which parents are not allowed to stay and watch except for the first class of the month (I never knew dance classes were SO strict), which is not good for me since it's in the next town over and thus too far for me to go home and come back. There is however a Target down the street which is the closest target to me, so yea I don't get to go as often as I would like, which is both good and bad. I naturally put two and two together and decided that Wednesday would from here on out be my Target Day!!! I have had to cut it down to every other Wednesday though because I kept buying things instead of just looking, but in my defense, it's hard not to.
Can I just say that I love looking through the dollar bins...sometimes I don't find much, just little toys for the kids, but every now and then I find the coolest things. Like this cocoa travel mug for example.
Not only does it have this awesome pink band around the center to keep your fingers from getting burned, or the mug from slipping right through your hands, but it's otherwise a completely blank canvas for me to create upon! And so I shall!

I thought this would be the perfect project to kick off my Silhouette Adventures.

The Silhouette Machine is a fairly new tool for me, I just got it this Christmas as a gift. I was a Cricket girl, but lost my Cricket when we were robbed this summer, which is a story for another time. The important thing to note is that I am new to the Silhouette, have not had much practice with it and all that it can do, (which is a lot,) and my "adventures" are just that, adventures into figuring out what the Silhouette can do, and how I get it to do them.

I decided the best route here was to use my Silhouette to cut out some super cute vinyl shapes to prettify my mug! The mug is not dishwasher safe, and can only be hand washed so careful washing is the key here.

One of the reasons that I decided to go with the Silhouette rather than get anther Cricket was the ability of the Silhouette to be free of cartridges. The Silhouette has a vast library of images that you can browse and buy (for a dollar or less usually), but you can also use images that you already have on your computer or that you create yourself. With Cricket cartridges at $80 a pop this was a very appealing factor to me. I hit the Silhouette Store and found some pretty sweet images for my mug, and I got to work cutting them out with black vinyl.

I cut out my vinyl, made sure my mug was dust free and ready to go, and got to it. Here's what my newly prettified mug looks like now
I wanted to carry the design all the way to the top of the mug but with all the edges it started becoming a bit difficult, still it's an improvement I would say. I used a tougher vinyl than the normal just because I knew my mug would get wet, so we'll see how it holds up. For the time being though it looks a lot prettier, it makes me happy and all I need now is some delicious gourmet hot cocoa to warm me up while I work. Where is my favorite place to shop for delicious gourmet hot cocoa you ask? Well of course it's the Ticket Kitchen! If you haven't checked out this shop then you's fantastic and I'm not just saying that because she's my really is fantastic!

Just a thought you could get any travel mug and do this same thing to it and it would make a pretty cool gift for the coffee lover, or hot cocoa addict in your life. Just a thought!

Happy Crafting!

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Thursday, March 24, 2011

Organization Station-(Phase 1)-Living Room-Clipboard Redo

Fancy Clipboards huh?? Do you like them? Do you want to make some of your own?

Then today is your lucky day because I will show you how!
(I'll give you a moment to catch your breath)...

These ultra fancy clipboards (Dollar Store Special) are playing a small role in Phase I of my "Orgnization Station: Living Room/Office Revamp for my Sanity!" (I'm thinking that's finally the name I've landed on for this Adventure) If you've been following me on my Organizational Adventures then you know what I'm talking about...if not then go here to catch up on all the happenings and be in the "know."

So, if you remember I have dreams...BIG dreams of my office space someday revolving around this beauty.

The hubs has agreed to build it for me, (It's in writing now and out there in the blog world so he's locked in...that was no accident on my part). The hubs works weird and crazy hours and doesn't always have a lot of "spare time," so I have yet to lock in a date for when I'll be seeing this bad boy!

In the meantime, I had to come up with some kind of system to get myself better organized. So here is my current system...
Yes, that is a wall of be fair it's not an entire wall...just a piece of the wall. They are keeping me more organized though. I have one for the store, another for the blog, one of course is dedicated to my work over at Giverslog, and the last one is for my current orders that I'm working on. They work fine, but they are boring to look at, and I spend a lot of time looking at them, so I decided to make them a little more happy!

I got these clipboards at the Dollar Store, for a surprising price of a dollar (awesome price huh?),
after I stripped them of their paperwork I gathered up all my supplies for this project.
Some super cute scrapbook paper (12x12)
Mod Podge, a pencil and a spongy paint brush and I got to work.

You'll want to start off by cutting down your paper to just a little bit bigger than the clipboard.
After that, I put the paper on top of the clipboard and traced out where the clippy part of the board is like so
I cut that part out, so that my paper would slide right around it and have a snugger fit.

Now it's time to Mod Podge!
For this part I am generous with the Mod Podge, cover the clipboard pretty good and thick.
Slide your paper in place and you want to make sure it sticks really good! I use a scraper tool to do this. I actually use the one that came with my Silhouette, but if you don't have anything a credit card works just fine. You want to add firm pressure, but be careful not to rip the paper. I start from the middle and work my way to the edges (helps reduce bubbles). I go over it a few times, make sure to get a good firm seal on the edges. Fair warning this part does get a little messy so have a towel close by.
If your edges are longer you can Mod Podge the back side, glue them down and seal the edges like we did the front side like I did here.
And Voila!
You've got yourself a fancy little clipboard of your own!

At this point it's really a matter of preference whether you want to Mod Podge over the top or not. Some people don't like the way it looks, some do. If you do, it will give it a sheen finish, but you may see the streaks, and there is a possibility bubbling will become an issue especially if you are new to working with Mod Podge. I for this project decided that I wanted a more sheen look so I did go over the top.
When I go over the top I use just a little Mod Podge, I find this way I reduce the bubbling factor. It's kind of a trial and error process to figure out what works best for you.
After you cover the top set it aside to let it actually dries pretty fast a couple of hours and mine were good to go.
Here they are all finished up and fancy!
Here they are back in their rightful spot on the clipboard wall.
I know that my papers cover them up pretty good, but every now and then when I'm working I catch a little glimpse and they make me smile!
So go give them a try and happy crafting!!

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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Two-fer Tuesday- Two Confessions

Okay so I totally missed Two-fer Tuesday last week and I was's one of my favorite posts to do! So I am extra excited for This weeks Two-fer Tuesday!!!!!!!

I thought it would be fun since this is new blog and we are all getting to know each other, to have this weeks Two-fer be Two Confessions...da da da.

Don't get too excited, these confessions really just tell you a little bit about me, they are really nothing JUICY and frankly they're pretty lame...I'm pretty boring and doing this post really just reinforced that for me.

Here we go:
Confession #1: This one is kind of embarrassing, OR SUPER really depends on how you look at it. I lean more toward super awesome, while the hubster leans more toward embarrassing and sad. I will let you all be the judge.

This confession needs a little back story:

When I met my husband I was 18 and he was 21 and we were at college. I grew up being the only girl with 5 brothers, and I pretty much had a boyfriend throughout high school. I was a little late in getting my drivers license and I hate driving in general...I HATE it. (Don't get me wrong I'd rather drive then walk, but come on I'd rather be driven around then drive myself around...isn't that the dream?)

So, pretty much I grew up, being driven around by either my parents, my boyfriend, a friend or one of my older brothers. I drove, but my driving pretty much consisted of driving myself to a place where I could throw my keys to someone (like the people mentioned above) who would then drive me around in my car. I LOVED it! I was Livin' the DREAM! I was on easy street, even when I went away to college, I kept on livin the dream!! (My roommates were enablers of my sad/awesome behavior) And then one day shortly after my husband and I started dating I mentioned to him in a conversation that my car was low on gas, (mentioning it to him was my sly way of letting him know in hopes that he would fill it up)to which he replied some nonsense about where I should go to fill it up...and here comes the CONFESSION: (finally right?)

I had to tell him that I had to that point NEVER once filled up my own car with gas...I didn't even know how. Yep my friends I was 18, almost 19 years old and not only had I never filled up my own car with gas (which my hubby thinks in itself is my secret shame) I had no idea how to even fill my car up with gas....Not being a team player, the hubs made me go out ALONE to the gas station and with my tail between my legs fill up my car with gas for the first time. Sadly, the first station I stopped at, I couldn't do it and drove crying to the next station where I weirdly watched the guy next to me as he did it and I finally got it.

Was I excited you ask? Did I feel a sense of pride for finally having done it? NO! I'm still mad about it...I had a good streak going.

Fast forward to present time...I still will NOT fill up my car with gas unless it is a dyer emergency. I will shamelessly drive my car on "E" (I know that's really bad for the car) and wait Chris out...he's almost always the one that budges first and man do I LOVE him for it!

So, embarrassing or super awesome?? I'll admit to it being a little of both.

Confession #2: Compared to the first one, this one is pretty boring but it is a little insight into my mind. I am obsessed with Notebooks and Notepads. I buy them everywhere I go, I have never met a notebook I didn't like. I have notebooks in almost every nook and cranny of our apartment. I have one in my purse at all times, and sometimes two. I have 2 notepad apps on my blackberry and one on my tablet. The obsession is pretty bad. Post it notes cover my desk.

I have notebooks stashed every where so that I can jot down a little note where ever I am, without worry. I have a Dream..."that one day I will have a notebook within reach no matter where I am!"

The problem is that I jot down notes in different notebooks all over the house. I have a hard time finding my different notes when I need them, and often I find that I have made the same notes in like 5 different places.

Every now and then I gather up all my little notebook friends and attempt to consolidate my many, many scribbles into one Master Notebook...this lasts like for a day and then I'm back to writing notes everywhere. It's pathetic really, but I love all my little friends. This obsession leads into other obsession that I have like with pens, lists (oh I LOVE lists) and with planners (I weirdly have like 4 going planners that I "schedule" in, but they each have different appointments and calendar reminders in them. Not a one of them is a complete schedule...very unproductive) ...but I'll save that one for another day.

So I asked the Hubster to go around and gather up all of my notebooks for a quick photo shoot to showcase my crazy (Which he did happily) they are are my notebooks

Oh and here's another shot...just for effect.
This isn't even counting the apps that I have downloaded on my "devices." The really sad thing is that these are just the ones he could find...there's more...oh yes there are more...These are what I like to call the "active" notebooks...they're the ones I'm currently favoring, and that get the most attention.

Well, that is it. An insight into me...Two confessions about my life to help you to get to know me a little better. Maybe when we get to know each other a little better I'll share some of those JUICY confessions from my wild past...wall in good time...

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Monday, March 21, 2011

Winner Winner What's For Dinner

So I finally settled on a menu for this week. It's going to be one of those super busy, live in the car kind of weeks, but I nailed down a few good dinners for the week and here they are:

Left Overs, had a late lunch out with the family (Chris's day off) and it was a work catch up day for me.

Tuesday: Creamy Pork Chops, Mushroom Carrots, Rice

Shepherds Pie

3 Cheese Tortellini and Garlic Bread

Friday: Pizza

Saturday & Sunday:
Free for all/Left Overs

Oh yea and I thought I better mention. In a lot of my recipes I mention seasoning with the Fab 4, it's just my favorite 4 Spices that I like to season meat with. I will usually season with these 4 and occasionally I'll add in another spice depending on the dish. It's nothing earth shattering, it's your pretty standard seasonings (Salt, Pepper, Garlic Powder, Onion Powder).

Check out the "Heavenly" affect I gave that picture...
For the Pork Chop Recipe above I like to throw in another one of my favorite seasonings...
It's the Crushed Peppercorn and Garlic Rub from Pampered Chef. If you haven't tried it, you should! It's wonderful!
Sorry that my menu is not too inspiring this week, hopefully I'll get some of these orders filled and I'll have a more inspired dinner menu for you all next week!

Happy Cooking!
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Winner Winner What's For Dinner

I have been looking through my recipes and cookbooks and perusing my favorite cooking sites trying to solve a dilemma. I, in a "crazy momma" moment signed three of the four kids up for soccer (had there been a 6 month old team I fear I would have signed up for that one as well).

Needless to say, with practices starting this week life is going to get pretty hectic here in the Burt house and simple, easy, fast, BUT delicious meals are what I'm in the market for! I LOVE Kraft for just these types of meals, but I'm also thinking that slow cooker recipes would be fantastic! "Set it and forget it," that's what I'm talking about!

There's just one slight problem with this new crock pot recipe index is pretty pathetic, embarrassing I know. So, I'm going on a recon mission to see what I can come up with and I'm also opening up the floor for any suggestions that you wonderful readers might have!

Crack open those recipe boxes Ladies and gents and Please send me any great: easy, fast, yummy recipes, any crock pot wonders, Or even just fill me in on all those great recipe websites you like to visit! I can't wait to see what goodies you guys have in store for me!

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Saturday, March 19, 2011

Organization Station-The Plan (Phase 1)-Living Room

So a few days ago I let you all in on my crazy addiction with secret shame if you will. So I thought today would be a good time to introduce you guys to "THE PLAN" and to give you a little back story on why I long for a more organized space.

So, first up is the back story:

Okay, so for those of you who don't know, we were living in Texas for the last 3 years but moved back to Utah about 10 months ago. My husband is currently finishing up his prerequisites for Pharmacy School, and working crazy hours and I am currently finishing up my Masters in Education.

Needless to say, money is tight, we are both in school, we are trying to pay off school debt and put some money away to one day finally be able to get into a house of our own and for the time being we are living with family in a basement apartment. The situation itself is not a bad deal really, our kids are building a great relationship with their grandparents, we are strengthening our financial situation for the future, I have help with my 4 little monkeys when I have class or an order I need to work on, and my husband's grandparents (who we are living with) have help around the house that they otherwise wouldn't have. So for right now it's a good deal all around.

Now, with that said, our basement apartment is great! It doesn't at all feel like a basement apartment. It has a ton of storage for the size of it, great natural light and big windows. We have our own kitchen, living room and we even have a toy room/play room for the kids. The only issue is that there are 6 of us living in 2 bedrooms, sharing 1 bathroom, and while there is a lot of storage we still seem to be bursting at the seams!! Luckily, the bedrooms and closets are huge, but with my hand in several projects, and with me being a super organizational NUT, not having a organized, dedicated space to work is DRIVING ME CRAZY!!! Not to mention that my stash of yarn is taking over!

Okay so I devised a plan that I am from here on out referring to as "THE PLAN" (super original huh??) I'm also kicking around the name "Operation Organization Station" or "Operation Stop the Crazy." The name is a work in progress, but for now it shall be known as "THE PLAN."
So my plan is to go one room at a time, come up with a organization solution that is low cost, easy to handle, but functional to what I need the room to be. I'm starting at one end of the apartment and moving my way down to the other end, and first up is the doozy...the Room of many functions...the Living Room/Office/Entertaining Area. So here is what I'm starting with:

This is our everything room (a.k.a living room), it is cluttered to the max! Our goal for this room was to cram as much junk into this room as humanly possible, and to make it function into as many functions as we could imagine...I'd say we succeeded! Yay, go us!

As you can see this space houses our TV, baby gear, office, work out center (didn't you see the Sweet Treadmill/Coat Rack?), and Craft room, to name a few. It is cluttered, and unorganized, and in every sense the word annoying. It is as unproductive as a space could be!!

AND I'm sick of it! It's a little difficult a space to work with because we are restricted on space and we do have to keep some pieces in here (i.e. the piano which isn't ours), buy fear not because I have a plan.

The Plan for this room consists of
1. rearranging furniture

2. purging unnecessary junk

3.organizing with some low cost (fingers crossed) solutions.

4. accessorizing/decorating just a touch for a more homey feel

The third part is the part that gets me all giddy! Believe me I have ideas for this, most are pretty standard, get some bins, drawers, clip boards...but what I'm really excited about is this:
Okay so, in my last post, I mentioned that I had a dream organization system from Pottery Barn. It really is a dream of mine, ( I have weird dreams). The only problem standing in the way of me and my dream is well Money. My dream system is pretty pricey over there at the Barn, and that is a problem...UNLESS you have the Bestest hubby in the whole world who is good with tools, and has a little experience in building things!

My wonderful hubby has agreed to lend his great building skills to help make one of my dreams come true! So I looked at all the different options that the Pottery Barn system has to offer, and tweaked them with what I needed for my office area and the picture below is my (sad), mock up drawing of the system that I want him to build for me!
My family is blessed with some great artistic ability and as you can see...that is a blessing that I was not given, and yes I know that the proportion is way off (or else I have some giant paperwork to file)...but hey the picture does the trick! He gets what I'm saying.

I am so excited to get started on this project and to FINALLY get some organization in to my space. I need it man! I'm telling you, I will be one happy lady once I get this first phase done. Stay tuned to follow my progress!

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