Saturday, February 20, 2010

I love scrapbooking kits

I have a thing about scrapbooking kits .... and I am seriously considering stopping buying any separate scrapbooking products and just buying kits. I love the mix of products and manufacturers and it's a challenge to try to use products together that I normally wouldn't combine myself. The Story Matters is my newest kit. They just started and I have already made 3 layouts with it (you can see them here and here). They had a sketch challenge on their blog this month and here's my take:
I have plenty of stuff left to do more now I just have to find the time which is actually the biggest challenge of all.


Being 2 is hard {on her and her mama}, she wants to do everything herself ... she can do a lot of things herself, her emotions are here, there, and everywhere .... one minute she's so sweet
and the next she's screaming at the top of her lungs and flinging herself on the floor .... it will all pass way too quickly. The thing that she says right now that always makes me smile is "whoopsie".

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Clipping .... errrr Creating Away

This week has been one busy week.
We have been working away
making valentines
that would be 114 total valentines
She couldn't be left out!
We made 3 valentine boxes for preschool that coordinate with our homemade valentines.
In between creating times, we make the kids do push ups
and I like to chase them around with rolls of paper.
I squeezed in another layout from The Story Matters {first} kit when I was supposed to be cleaning. I even used the distressing powder that I know nothing about -- it's the houndstooth, a 25 cent stamp I bought at Michael's. I am not a good stamper so the distressing powder "hides" my mistakes and there's many.

I made one camera strap for my etsy shop .... more to come next week ... I hope.
I am almost done with a custom rag quilt .... I always forget about how much clipping there is to do ....
I'm taking a break by blogging instead of clipping.
Aaron got creative with his parenting skills one day when Ethan refused to get dressed so he threatened to let Reese wear his clothes and he followed through so then Ethan put on Reese's clothes
isn't this the perfect "embarrassing" photo for when he's a teenager?
Oh and did I mention we're going to my sister's house tomorrow so I can go to a crop at the store she works at. I haven't begun to pack anything, I have cookies to make, and a layout to make for a challenge for the crop ..... better get to creating or clipping or something.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

A little out of it ....

with scrapbooking that is. Ever since I started doing sewing projects, I find it hard to find time and space to scrapbook. I have a scrapbooking table and a sewing table in our bedroom but when I work on one the one I'm not using tends to get buried with stuff. I love doing both but there just isn't enough time to clean off a table and sew or clean off a table and scrapbook at the end of the day. Tonight was the night though, I quickly cleaned off the table and opened my new The Story Matters Kit (they have more available here). It is their first kit and Aaron picked it up for me after work and I wanted to get something made. I seriously sat on my bed for over an hour trying to get something figured out. I haven't scrapped much in the last 4 months and boy is it hard to get my mind going again but once I finally decided on a photo and what the journaling would be I got going. Here's what I did:
I like the results. I have other layouts brewing in my head but we'll see if I can find the time to get them done.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Our No Spend Month .... sort of

#20 on my 40 Things List was to have a “No Spend Month”. I got this idea from Rachael at Small Notebook. I’ve been reading her blog for a couple years and once a year (I think June) she has a no spend month where she sets an amount to live on. Her last goal was to stay under $250 for the whole month! This is only for groceries, gas, eating out, and spending money on things outside of your utilities, house & car payments, etc. I am going to say $250 is very low but Rachael had only one toddler (now she has 2 kids) and she lives in an apartment in a larger city in Texas where she can walk to shop.
Photobucket When I set my goal I knew there’s no way we could live on $250. I thought we would spend more on gas than that since Aaron has an hour commute each way to work and we live in the middle of nowhere so we have no choice but to drive to most places. I decided that we would try to live under $550 for the month. We did well at the beginning. We didn’t even eat out until Jan 9. However I didn’t think about groceries. I stock pile groceries all the time. I only buy what’s on sale and I stock up on sale items we use frequently. I mistakenly thought we could live out of the fridge and freezer mostly but I didn’t take into account that with the holidays in December that I didn’t do a lot of grocery shopping so there wasn’t as much food as I thought we had. This month we spent almost $520 on groceries. Which when figured out for 6 people is only $2.80 per person per day! $2.80 won’t even get you a value meal at McDonalds and it sure won’t fill you up for the whole day. Aaron takes his lunch every day and the kids take their lunch about 3 times a week. So we definitely didn’t make it under $550 we more than doubled it, spending $1186.
The break down was
Groceries: $520
Gas: $181
Eating out: $128
Other: $357

We definitely could have done better on the “other part” and we ate out 6 times for the $128 which is remarkable considering normally we spend about $40 every time we go out unless it’s McDonalds then it’s $25.

Once I realized we went way over the goal, I was mad and thought it was stupid to even try to do it. Then the more I thought about the more I realized it was a good learning experience for us.

1. We can find lots of things to do that really don’t cost money but it takes planning. Normally on the weekends, if we don’t have anything going on we tend to go out to eat then go to Walmart or Target and before you know it, we’ve spent an unplanned $100. Aaron took the kids on a play date one Saturday to his friends’ house, we had a Wii party at our house with Ashley & Steve, we saved up gift cards to use for our monthly date. I even had passes to the Children’s museum that we didn’t get to use yet. We weren’t deprived of doing things.

2. We can eat McDonald’s for $10. We bring it home. The kids share an adult chicken nugget meal (we save Happy Meals as a special thing), Aaron and I each got $1 sandwich and split a large fry. Aaron said he was still hungry but I always say it’s not your last meal and I guess we could have splurged for another $1 sandwich.

3. We didn’t charge one thing on credit cards. We hadn’t been charging for a long time and almost had them paid off. Then we had major vehicle issues that we didn’t have money for so we charged it, then it was Christmas and we charged more. It’s easy to get into that habit. I think this month broke that cycle for us once again.

4. I had grand ideas of spending less this month and having extra to sock away and there wasn’t. Aaron’s work has been slow and he’s had his hours cut and even had to take about 4 days off (unpaid) this month. Even though our savings didn’t increase, I realized that we weren’t in the negative this month and we had paid extra on the credit cards too.

5. Putting off buying things can make you change your mind. I really thought I need a pink tree to decorate for Valentine’s day. Now that I waited I don’t think it’s that important.

6. I “go” more than I thought I did and way more than I need too. This month I usually spent 4 week days at home and went to get groceries the other day. Putting all my errands together rather than going several saves time, money, and I get a whole lot more done at home.

7. Having to keep track and writing down everything you spend sure makes you think twice about your purchases. And gives you a real “snapshot” of what you are spending.

8. I lost 4 pounds just from eating out less! Whooo Hoooo!

And even though the “No Spend” month is over, I didn’t go out the next day on a spending spree …. It’s still going. I’m thinking that maybe we will do some “No spend Weeks” here and there throughout the year and maybe another “No spend Month” again this year (September?) and aim to keep under the last amount …. I should be able to do that huh? …. And this might just become an annual thing for us in January.

Thursday, February 4, 2010


We have piles of laundry and valentines in progress
and now the teacher wants each preschooler to bring 100 things to school next week so soon we'll have even more piles

and here's one more pile:
crayon wallets that were just added to my etsy shop. Go check them out!

Monday, February 1, 2010


Here's where I am on my 40 Things List:

13. Eat healthier we have definitely ate out less this month -- doing our no spend month (#20) has helped a lot. I've been eating a lot more healthy side salads with my meals too. I have a long ways to go on this.

15. Do some random acts of kindness three special packages go out tomorrow to three special people
16. Do monthly date nights with Aaron we had our first date on Saturday. Ashley & Steve watched the kids for us and we went out for drinks, dinner, and a little clothes shopping for me.
18. Organize our basement we have started, the plan was to work 15-30 minutes every night in the basement after the kids went to bed, so far we only done 2 nights, need to get going on this and it would easily be done in a month.

19. Open an Etsy store Yes! I've sold a few things too. I need to get more stuff in my shop but it's a little hard to find chunks of time to sew but I'm pleased with what I've done so far.

20. No Spend Month January was our no-spend month. It definitely didn't turn out as planned but I think it was very revealing. I'll save all that info for another post.

21. Go to the Dentist I went to the dentist in November and figured out I hadn't been in 9 years -- how sad is that. For the most part, the dentist said my teeth were in really good shape for not going that long and look Mom, no cavities. However, I had the beginning of gum disease which requires extensive cleaning in stages. My first cleaning was today and I have another in a couple weeks.

22. Finish my picture of the day album for 2009 I ordered more of my photos but there's some "lost" because of my computer crashing. Not sure how to handle that ...

23. Read a whole book I am reading an adult book but it's for #38, I want to read a whole book more for fun than information

26. Organize my recipes This is started but there's a lot more to do.

31. Do $1 week food drive Doing it, going to explain this in a later post to see if I can get others to join in.

36. Make a scrapbook about me I signed up for a Big Picture Scrapbooking Class with Lisa Day. It's started but I have a long ways to go.
This will be an ongoing project ....

38. Become debt free (except house and 1 car payment) I'm reading Keely's copy of the The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey.
This is totally doable for us ....

I think it's a good start on my list!