Wednesday, December 11, 2013

SHIP SHAPE! Long time-no see!

Hello!!!  So...there are many things in life that I succeed and fail at.  My hobbies and interests ebb and flow.  Apparently blogging is one of those things as it's been a while.  I was looking for a post of mine to refer a friend to and I noticed I had 145 page views last!  Since I haven't posted in several months, it kinda makes me feel good to know that my stuff is still worth stumbling upon.  I noticed that I also had a couple of my pins re-pinned-that makes a girl smile :D

So what has this diy-couponing-crafty gal been up to?  A lot of this and that with life.  Lots of work, husband's in his 2nd and last year in school, and since I posted last time, several months and pounds have melted away.  July 27th of this year I talked to my brother and he motivated me to work on my health.  It wasn't some epiphany....I think the time's just right.  So for the past 4.5 months, I've been using to track my food and exercise Monday-Saturday (Sundays are my day of rest/free days).  I'm 28 pounds down and hoping to reach 35 pounds down by the end of the year.  It feels great (and I still have lots left to go!)

Here is a picture from Christmas 2011

 These 2 mugshots are from July 27, 2013

 These 2 were taken December 7, 2013
 Just under 1.5 lbs a week, slow and safe :)  Not sure if you can see the difference, but I'll post updates as I continue.  I like the saying "A year from now, you'll wish you started today". 

I've been couponing as well-some great black friday sales including items I'll be wrapping for donations with the girls in my church youth group tonight.  Fun stuff :)

Saturday, May 25, 2013

The Craftaholic Strikes Again! (More Kid Stuff)

Here are some pictures (sorry they're not fantastic) of a couple projects I did last night.  (Ideas from Pinterest).

ABC Spoons-With store reward coupons, I bought some plastic spoons when I didn't have anything else I wanted to buy and the coupons were going to expire.  On the white spoons at the top, I used a black sharpie to put the alphabet letters in capitals.  On the clear spoons near the bottom, I used a blue sharpie to put them in lower case.  It looked like an awesome activity to have kids match up the upper and lower case letters.  (I know I would have liked this activity when I substituted as a paraeducator in a kindergarten classroom earlier this year). 
 Hue Pins- Again, store rewards expiring and these clothespins on clearance, I snatched them up and glued strips of these paint chip samples that I got for free while redeeming a coupon for a free 8oz of paint at Lowe's. This can be more advanced for kids than just recognizing blue from red, but the different shades/hues from eachother! 

Saturday, May 18, 2013

The Monthly Post?! {Blog Fail}

I've lapsed in my blogging again.  What's a girl to say?  I've been so busy (for example this week) that I didn't even go out couponing or do any crafting.  And for this girl, that's saying something!!!!  We're moving mid next monthish (lease ends June 30 but we can start moving into the new place mid June) so I'm catching up on regular cleaning and getting a head start on packing.  I decided when I need a break every now and then, I sit down and play a couple games.  First I go here to swagbucks and play a game in the hopes of winning some points (randomly awarded 2 points...450 points gets you a $5 gift card) and then I go here to play games-10 points once every hour max, 2000 points gets you a coupon for one (1) FREE 64oz bottle of any variety of Old Orchard juice or drink. Maximum value: $3.49.

In other news, my Pinterest addiction pays off.  I pinned this just the other day and my hubby and I decided to make these tasty bacon pancakes this morning. (picture won't load :(  darn...)  Best.  Idea.  Ever.  Just sayin'.  Have a great day!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Acts That Make You Smile :D

My hubby and I decided this Easter to make a donation to a local women's transitional house-women looking to get back on their feet.  I combined my couponing goodies and handmade jewelery in dozens of plastic eggs.  It felt good to clear some space on the shelves and to do some good!

Another act that made me smile is one that someone else did for me today.  We were shopping at Walgreens and my favorite cashier called out my name and ran up to me and gave me a coupon I had accidentally left at her register a week ago.  How random and sweet is that?  It was only $1, but every penny helps, and thought was worth much more than that :)  

Here's the haul we got at Walgreens.  With points, coupons, and codes for a movie voucher, 8 boxes of cereal and 4 boxes of pizzas cost about $9 :)  


Tuesday, April 2, 2013 Have you heard of it?

I came across a few months ago and love the concept of it.  It's a website that makes dreams possible.  Basically, someone has a project or creative idea they want to accomplish but need some funding.  People are starting their own crafting businesses, publishing books, etc You can find different projects that you share a vision for and can pledge money.  An awesome bonus is that you can see how many other people are also backing the project, what the goal is and keep track to how the project is coming along.  Not to mention that Kickstarters offer additional bonuses for higher donations (i.e. a thank you card for $5, a sample of their product for $20)

My husband and I are known amongst our friends and family for our game collection and game nights so I absolutely love the idea of THIS PROJECT called "Pirate Attack"


Pirate Attack is an action packed card game. There are 6 expansion packs available which adds a new level of play to the game. 
In the Main Game "Pirate Attack- The Beginning", players play ships, fight battles and steal gold.  Players use cards to improve their ships and harm other players ships.  Players can buy Witch Doctor cards to place on other players to hurt them and Fortune Teller cards to help themselves.

The plan is to print out at least 5,000 copies of the game. Each copy will include a total of 730 cards 350 in the main game and 380 in the 6 expansion packs).  The main game can be played as a stand alone and expansion packs can be added to give the players more things to do during the game.  Best when played with 3 to 8 players.  Ages 8 and up.

This is a high quality game.  The game comes in a nice sturdy 9" x 12" x 3" game box with inserts to hold all the cards from the main game and each expansion pack, so all the cards are together.  No cheap folding game tuck box.
The game has great replay ability. 

The money from Kickstarter will go directly towards finishing the artwork and printing/manufacturing the game.

If this sounds like fun to you, think about a donation (Click Here) to keep the fund growing strong!  It can be as little as $1 and pledges of as little as $5 get you a signed card of your choice by the artist!

So what about you, have you heard of Kickstarter before?  Do you have a project currently needing funding on Kickstarter?  Share in the comments so we can all take a look at it!  I bet you some day that I will have a project or 2 up there myself :) 

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Monday, February 18, 2013

What's New?

I have been enjoying my 4 day weekend like no other and am not looking forward to a long day at work tomorrow :(  Oh well, this whole being an adult thing demands it.  I definitely go through phases with my hobbies and this blog including both couponing and crafting.  I do not coupon as much as I was most of last year but I do definitely enjoy some good deals.  I don't get any newspaper coupons right now so it's strictly store deals, mailer and printable coupons, and clearance.  Here's a couple of brag example shops lately. 

Rite Aid last week:
4 Edge Shave Gels (1 is hidden by the other 3 in the picture) $3.49 each
Snack Catcher $4.99
Hot Bath Ducky $2.99

2 coupons for the shaving gel (Buy 1, Get 1 Free) printed from via
20% discount off of all prices listed above for my gold member discount (means I spend a lot there :P)
Spent: 11.96 before tax
Got back $13 in +UP rewards for future merchandise!!!
Notes: We're now good on shaving gel for at least 1-2 years.  And no kiddo announcements, I just like to plan ahead when they're an awesome deal! I almost exclusively get our milk from Rite Aid because we can use the +UPs to buy it.

Target tonight:
20 pack chips + 2 pretzel packs (6.99 regular) clearance $2.09
2-38 oz ketchups $1.99 each
2 goo gone $1.00 each
4 bags of M&Ms ($3 each regular) clearance $1.74 each
Breathe Right Strips 10 ct $4.84
3 packs of little rules, etc from Valentine's clearance .90x2, .45x1
$.05 discount for using a reusable bag
2-$2 off ketchup Target printable coupons
2-$1.50 off M&M Target printable coupons
2-$1.50 off M&M printable coupons from via swagbucks
1 Free Breathe Right Strips Target catalina coupon
5% discount from using Target debit card
Total including tax: $7.03
Savings shown on receipt: $32.40!
Notes: We don't buy chips often but they're nice for my sweetheart's lunches at less than $0.10 a bag.  The ketchup will probably be donated as we already have lots free from an Albertson's deal a few months ago.  The Goo Gone was in the $1 area and couldn't be resisted, I want to try it on the glue residue from glass jars that I want to reuse. 

I had fun with Valentine's (as I do with most holidays).  I started by a breakfast of muffins, eggs, and oranges  and a note that said "An eggstra special breakfast for my stud muffin, orange you glad you married me?"

I packed my husband his lunch with each items having a special notes (i.e. some peanuts: "I'm nuts about you"  a pear: "I'm peary glad I married you".)

 I painted a poster and hung it up in front of the door (written in Polish)
 I went to where he parks his car (park and ride to school) and put up signs that said "This Valentine is Taken" and put this pack of tissues in the car.
 It was awesome :D  As a side note, I put several of boxes of crayons to use for the kiddos at church that my hubby and I teach, I got them for a quarter each during last year's back to school sale. 

And last but not least, a couple of bracelets I made not too long ago out of scrap fabric and empty tape rolls.  A little hand stitching and some fray check and here are the beauties :D

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Some of the recent projects-More Busy Bags!

My evening routine is pretty predictable-my hubby and I eat dinner, watch our favorite sci fi shows, and I craft while he writes/draws stories he's working on.  Someday I'll have time to blog about all of my fun creations :)  Here are some more busy bag activities I made.

 Straws and Pipe Cleaners-Cut the straws into beads and they can thread them on.  If they wanted, they could turn these into bracelets.
 Pom Pom Stuffer-I cut a hole in the top of this container (it looks like a medicine bottle but isn't, the lid pops right off).  I read on a few different blogs that these are a hit with kids. 
 Button Snake-Connect a button to a strip of ribbon and glue or sew a bit of felt on the other end as a stopper.  Cut out pieces of felt and make slits in the middle for the button to pass through.
Cupcake Counting- I cut out 12 chocolate cupcakes and stitched numbers on them.  Each has a white cupcake liner and frosting.  Each frosting has anywhere from 1-12 beads/sequens stitched to them.  They have to match up the number on the cupcake with the number of sprinkles on the icing.  This one took quite a bit of time and to be honest, the fronts are cute but the backs are ugly from the stitching.  I could have spent twice as much time prettying up the backs but chose not to.

I now have 2 milk jug boxes, each having 5 busy bag activities.  I had fun with my niece and nephew over last weekend too and got to test out some of the items.  The 3 year old enjoyed the busy bag stuff while the 5 year old was too preoccupied with the wii system.  Both of them however enjoyed the fishing game quite a bit :D  They played it several times!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

The Less Than Sensational Truth Behind Those That Oppose Gay Marriage

I write this knowing I may lose friends, and I’m ok with that, because I have the right in this country, and the obligation to my conscience, to speak my mind and heart.  I read recently about a cake shop that is undergoing investigation and is being persecuted for turning down a homosexual couple, they stated that they would not make a same-sex wedding cake.  I personally voted against gay marriage in the elections, I am 100% opposed to it.  I’m not afraid or ashamed of this fact, but I’m not hateful in any way.  A celebrity chimed in on the situation and said of the shop owner “this man has wrapped up his hatred in the cloak of religion”.  Is everyone that is opposed to gay marriage hateful?  I dare you to think otherwise, just take a step out of the box that society has labeled. 

Why are people opposed to homosexual relations and marriage?  Sometimes people are grossed out.  Celebrities and left wingers will tell you to suck it up and put on your big girl panties and be more tolerant.  I think it’s gross when grown adults pick their noses in public.  I think it’s nasty if you don’t shower more than once a week (in a country and culture when bathing is easily accessible).  I think it’s disgusting when a large woman wears a shirt 3 sizes too small and bulges out of it (I’m a large woman, I can find clothing to fit my body).  I also, call me crazy, think it’s not quite right when people kiss their animals straight on the mouth.  Am I a horrible person for having these opinions of things that I find “gross”?  Knowing human anatomy and what happens during homosexual relations, isn’t it comprehensible that it is disturbing to some?  And that can’t be ok?

There are many other reasons that people oppose homosexual relations (including marriage).  There is always research and of course polls and statistics, which can arguably be subjective, but there is much truth on how children grow up differently with homosexual parents and how diseases are spread, more especially due to the cultural promiscuity among those labeling themselves homosexual.  But I’m not going to try to convince you that people are, for the most part, opposed to homosexuality because of a gross factor or any of these reasons listed above.  Why are most people opposed to homosexuality than?  Because they believe in something greater than themselves. 

Most people that are opposed to homosexuality have formed their opinion due to a religious belief.  There are many people, not unlike myself, that believe there is a God, a supreme deity that knows us, loves us, has a plan for us, and gives us rules and direction as he knows is best for us.  I believe in the Holy Bible.  I myself read the King James Version.  For those that have read the scriptures and know of Sodom and Gomorrah, or believe that Adam and Eve were given a command to multiply (and knowing no 2 men nor 2 women can multiply), there are no questions.  I think one of the most straightforward scriptures is found in Leviticus 18:22Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it [is] abomination.”  It can’t be more clear.  For those of you rolling your eyes at me, I am not in any way going to attempt to convert you to a belief of God as I see him.  I’ll always invite a study of Him, but ultimately that is between you and your conscience and God, and comes by searching and prayer, not by persuasion.  But the short and simple of it is that we believe God, the one who created this planet, our bodies, and everything for us, and knows best for us, that supreme being, has told us to not participate in homosexuality.  Period.  End of story. 

I challenge the most liberal, pro-homosexual individual to consider that.  Some of us still believe that there is a God, who has promised us consequences-positive or negative- according to his laws, and has decreed homosexuality should not be.  Is God hateful then, because he doesn’t like homosexuality?  Christ on the cross asked forgiveness for robbers that hung beside him, he saved a woman from being stoned that was breaking the law with adultery.  It is of my belief that God would have us love the sinners and hate the sins.  We are all his creations, his children, no matter what we do or become.  A mother will always love her child no matter how many times they are disobedient.  I say always, but I know that’s not always true, but we’re talking about God now, with the belief in a perfect love and mercy.  So should we not also love all of his children as we have seen his example?  The answer is a resounding yes!  I would love my children even if they picked up smoking (which is also against my beliefs) but that doesn’t mean I will celebrate their wrong choice or buy them cigarettes.  Can a cake shop owner still love one of God’s children without making her wedding cake because he does not support her choices?  Again, yes! 

Now I don’t want to be misunderstood or my message tossed from viability by sounding ignorant or all-knowing.  I was not in the cake shop that triggered this post.  My eyes are not blind to the fact that, despite our beliefs and efforts, we are not all as benevolent and kind as we should be, and none are perfect.  Do I always think, say, or do as I should?  Absolutely not.  Are you ready to cast the first stone?  I have reacted less lovingly than I should have in my own cake shops of life.  And of course there are those out there that are very open, and abrasive about the topic.  Beating a homosexual man for what you believe are his sins or hate mail with inappropriate slurs are a far cry however from the person holding a “Vote no on gay marriage” sign during voting season.  Just as some homosexual readers will peacefully allow me my beliefs and opinions while others think I don’t understand toleration and would call me names, some Christian readers will peacefully pray for those that don’t believe the same as they do and others would be throwing out slurs about God’s children that are not following his laws.

So a re-cap perhaps.  Do most anti-homosexuality individuals hate homosexuals?  No.  Do they believe that God loves his children?  Yes.  Do they believe that homosexuality is a sin that should not be practiced?  Yes.  For those of you that feel you have wasted your time on this old fashioned long-winded post, let me please explain one more point.  Truth is a universal constant, not relative.  A red traffic light will always mean that you need to stop, it is a law.  You cannot change that fact, no matter how much you’d like.  God is the same yesterday, today, and forever, and we are arrogant to think we can change his rules. 

As my thoughts streamed into writing this, the word “bigot” came to my mind.  Bigot means “a person who is intolerant of any ideas other than his or her own, especially on religion, politics, or race” (  I’ve heard this noun being thrown out all willy-nilly to those who oppose homosexual relations because of their “closed mindedness”.  I’ve heard people compare opposition of homosexuality to racism, which is far from the truth.  Might I say, understanding that this is more of a religious conviction than anything, that those unwilling to understand and be open minded to the fact that a God continues to disapprove of the act, are themselves taking on the name of bigot?  I think one of the highest insults that these bigots shout is that Christians (or any other God-fearing, God-respecting people) are hateful because of their opposition.  It seems to me that this is in fact, the “hatred in the cloak”.  A homosexual individual goes into a cake shop and wants a wedding cake made.  A religious individual cites their beliefs and declines.  The homosexual individual is upset by the assertion that they’re doing something wrong (no one likes to be told they’re wrong), their conscience might even be pricking them (read Bonds That Make Us Free-a great read!), they’ve been fed by the popular media that any opposition to their views is hatred… I’m sorry to have to be the bearer of bad news but you don’t have your scapegoat, we aren’t your big bad villain that you want to lash out at, the issue is far too complicated for that. 

So what’s to be done?  Despite my puny vote, my state approved homosexual marriage recently by a small margin.  In the voting pamphlet, it was clearly stated that religious groups cannot be punished for not taking part in homosexual marriage.  Must we all be legally affiliated with a religious group to exercise moral conscience?  I have a culinary degree and have made wedding cakes myself before.  If you’re looking for any cakes that have to do with homosexuality, fornication, adultery, pornography, cigarettes, coffee, tea, wine, beer, alcohol, swearing, marijuana or other drugs, I’m just not the cake decorator for you.  I will have lost out on your money, you will have lost out on a few minutes by asking.  You are not a victim.  I don’t hate you.  If you continue to feel like a victim, I won’t even ask you to “suck it up and put on your big girl panties and be more tolerant”, I will kindly invite you to re-read this post, to read the scriptures and attempt a conversation with God to know for yourself if what I believe is true (prayer), and even that “Bonds That Make Us Free” is a great read for those plagued by victim-itis. 

In the end, I ask myself, why am I writing this?  What’s my goal?  At first, I will be completely honest, this stemmed from a lot of frustration.  I believe most people (whether homosexual or heterosexual) are good people at heart.  I think it’s the loud one-off sensationalists and media that blow things out of proportion.  I have friends and co-workers that don’t agree with me on the topic of homosexual relations, and I don’t want them to ever picture me as a close-minded bigot, but rather as the loyal believer in someone and something larger than ourselves, who has set laws for our good.  I want to appeal to those that, like me, do not support homosexual relations-please remember that all of God’s children deserve kindness; his hand is always stretched out to us.  And as for the mentality that “if it’s not your life, it’s not your business-it’s not like you have to be gay” I humbly submit to you that it just doesn’t work that way for me.  Christ has said “when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.” (Luke 22:32)  I know I am happiest when I follow the principles the Lord has given, I’m converted.  And as cheesy as “world peace” is (thinking Miss Congeniality), that’s what I would love.  I want what’s right, I want us to be good and right to each other, and I want us to be good and right in the sight of God.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Putting Priorities First

I've been struggling lately, and I know it's not just the winter blues.  It's guilt.  I'm not reading my scriptures daily, I'm not taking my vitamins daily, I'm not finding time for exercise.  I'm not taking care of myself physically or spiritually and when I assess my time, I just don't know where to find it?!  I'm a busy woman! 

But then I'm honest with myself.  The first thing I do when I log onto the computer is catch up on Facebook.  Not for hours, but at least 15-30 minutes.  I check on other couponing blogs at least 1x daily, and lately, I waste an hour, or 2, or more daily on Pinterest.  I don't have time to take care of myself?  Really?

So this is part of my "resolutions" or goals for 2013-put priorities first.  I told my husband so he can hold me accountable, and you can too :)  I cannot get onto Facebook until I have read my scriptures.  I cannot get onto coupon blogs until I have taken my vitamins.  And I cannot get onto Pinterest until I've exercised at least 10 minutes.(exception being if I have a recipe pinned I want to make for dinner, but no dilly-dallying).  Does that sound fair?  I've done it so far yesterday and today.  Yesterday, I could not get onto Pinterest because I was too busy with other things and didn't get around to exercising.  Tough luck.  Today, I've earned my Facebook and coupon blogs.  No Pinterest yet, but I will shortly after finishing this post up. 

But some small part of my brain is whispering "You won't's like a diet...eventually you'll indulge and it will all be for naught".  Will I slip?  Yes I will.  So, let's think reward and punishment.  For every week that I follow the plan, I get a massage from my husband.   He doesn't know yet that he will administer the reward, I just decided.  Each time I slip up, I will be punished by...50 crunches.  We'll see how this works out.  How do you find time for things that are important but somehow get pushed to the side?

Frugal Fun :D

Yesterday was a family birthday party for a young lad (turned 10).  Hitting the double digits!  Being more strapped for cash than usual due to not working during Christmas break (one of my jobs is for a local school district, whatcha gonna do?), we made sure we made something from items we already had at home.

Behold: The Pom Pom Shooters
Cups + Balloons + Pom Poms + Milk Carton + shoe box + newspaper comics + tape + foil + cereal box + paint

The pom poms I actually got yesterday at Michael's during their 90% off sale (about a penny a piece for the 15 of them). 

It was fun to see him and his friend leave their cake and ice cream to play. 

Also, another fun and frugal experience was cutting my husband's hair for the first time.  After a year of sending my husband to his parents' place to ask his mom to cut his hair, I got the hint that his mom was done cutting it after they got us a set for Christmas.  No bald spots or anything :)  I can't imagine spending $ on hair cuts.  We always grew up with my mom doing ours-her dad was a barber.  I also am growing my hair out to sell it anyway.  I've donated it a few times before, but decided this time to try selling it (people buy hair for wigs and extensions) and then I can have money to both help with bills and donate to a cause of my choice :) 

Thursday, January 24, 2013

#3 upcycle project for milk jugs

I decided the milk jug opening had potential but couldn't decide what to do with it.  This project took too much time to come up with but it will still be fun.  Ideally, I'd like to just paint these somehow and they would be great for kiddos stacking them...but I couldn't think of a paint that would be ok if a youngin were to slobber all over it.  So it's a fishing game!

I also had some sock/glove hangers that are part of the packaging when you buy them at the store.  Normally they're just tossed, but I knew I could do something with these hooks.  The ones I used are clear so they're hard to see.  I plugged the cap end of the jug openings with foam and colored a fish and point value.  They face down and have a strip of knotted rubber (salvaged from a bike tire) to be able to catch them with the hook.  I then took a dowel and attached string and the hanger/hook to the end.  I like that this is harder than just a magnetic set of felt fish and a magnet on the end of a pole.  I made these all to the size of the blue canister shown, which I still need to finish decorating.  Complicated, but fun.  Any thoughts?

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

How are your resolutions going so far?

We focused more on making manageable yearly goals than "resolutions", and things are going alright.  Have I lost a single pound?  Doubtful-but I'm attacking 1 beast at a time.  I have a hard time being happy or productive when my house is a mess...and if you ask anyone in my family, I'm the messy one.  My husband and I aren't slobs, I mean, we don't have a moldy home or cockroaches or anything like that, we just get distracted *Squirrel!*.  I'd rather be crafting and spending too much time on Pinterest or watching a good movie than scrubbing the shower. 

Speaking of time sucker also became my solution.  I saw ideas about using frames as whiteboards you can write on with dry erase markers.  Here are 2 frames that we got for our wedding but never got around to filling.  The single frame has a print out of a two week rotation.  The top half is for odd weeks, the bottom half is for even weeks.  I planned each part of the house and broke it up-"bathroom" or "kitchen" can be overwhelming to me, so they are divided into smaller responsibilities "toilet", "shower", "dishes", "counter/stove/dining room table".  The 2 week rotation gives us the chance to mix up the responsibilities so we take turns with exceptions such as the budget (which I always do) and the car fluids (his deal).  We each have 2 responsibilities per day and we draw for a weekly chore (those that don't need to be done as often i.e. organize closets, clean oven, clean cars. 

I have been so happy seeing how nice and clean our house is since we implemented this!  A big bonus is being able to cross off the your chores-I'm definitely a check mark person.  The hard part: not feeling guilty about falling short, not being able to cross it off.  I made a rule, to help myself because this is not to make us feel guilty, ultimately, getting something done is better than getting nothing done!  Yesterday it was my job to clean the living room and bedroom...I didn't get to the bedroom.  If I don't get it done today, I'm not going to worry about it.  It will come up again later this week on the chart. 

I've found that we don't just stop at what's on the chart either, we do what we can when we have the time to help the other person with their chores if they're busy.  Anyway, here's 1 big goal in the works, a few more down!

With the collage frames, we put in our 2013 family goals, individual goals, food charts and other misc goals. 

Friday, January 18, 2013

Upcycle-Crafty or Frugal?

I'd say both! 

I've been saving up our milk jugs, inspired by this little container (mentioned a couple posts ago with the kid busy bags) that I found on pinterest:

Then I got to thinking...what about the other parts of the jug?  I'll be posting some, here's my first idea here:

Use the handle for fun!  I have pictured below a couple different options-noise makers or shields!

Noise Makers-the bright orange shapes are noise makers.  Inside the handle, I put in 1)rice 2) toothpicks 3)pistachio shells and 4)bells.  I ended up breaking the toothpicks and pistachio shells in half because otherwise they got stuck and wouldn't shake around well.  I then sealed off the top and bottom of the handle and taped on the paper, doodling on front.  These aren't secure enough for the littlest ones as they could tear off the tape and swallow jingle bells or what not, but otherwise, these would be fun with kiddos-next time I watch my niece and nephew we'll break them out.

Shield-I took a cereal box and cut out a shield shape, wrapped foil around it, and taped it in the back.  I taped on the handle as well.  Not super sturdy, but could be more sturdy with maybe thicker cardboard and hot glue?  This would also be fun for other things-maybe sign props for photos? 

Any other thoughts for using milk carton handles?

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Meltdown! (A metalic crayola kind)

Another beauty I've done from Pinterest.  My sister-in-law actually gave a couple of these for Christmas and we just did the first set.  We hot glued the crayons to the canvas (I read this wouldn't work because it would melt...but it didn't cause me any problems).  We had taped a heart in the middle with painter's tape but because of how we arranged the crayons, it didn't turn out like I'd like.  I decided to melt some more to cover that white area and here is the final outcome.  I used an embossing heat gun.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Pin-tastic....Busy Bags!

Still no kiddos here but that doesn't mean I can't prepare and make gifts for others!  I've simmered down on couponing  a lot-partially because we don't get the Sunday paper now, and partially because we have so much stuff and I needed a break.  So off I went on a new obsession: Pinterest.  I said I wouldn't do it, but here I am!  Here is a busy box of busy bags-educational and fun activities for kids.  As I am both a couponer and crafter, I had all of these supplies at home with the exception of the snack size ziplock bags.

 Popsicle Color Match-ups-Match the correct color popsicle stick to the popsicle.  Felt might have been easier, but I have craft foam and didn't want to go out and buy.  I made them in colors that I didn't have for the paperclip activity below.  I like this type because it's fun for them to pretend with even when they've matched the colors up.
 Clip & Card Matchup-Clip the paperclips on the colored cards.  I made these 2 sided-1 side in English and 1 side in Polish.  Paperclips can be harder for the little ones but it's great for both color recognition and fine motor skills.
 Foam Lacing Cards-Again with craft foam, I cut out different shapes and hole punched around them.  I took yarn and made the ends stiff like shoe laces with white glue. 

 Lego Pattern Build-Use the legos to build the patterns on the cards.  This helps with fine motor skills, colors, and pattern recognition.  I made these patterns on my computer using legos we have from when my husband was a kid.

 Foam Number Match-up-Play a game of memory with the matching color dots.  I decided this would be a great use of the hole punches from the lacing cards.

 Popsicle Puzzles-there are 20 sticks-10 sticks per puzzle.  The sticks are double sided so there are 4 puzzles.  I used stickers I had on hand.  To secure them more, I coated them with a white glue coat.

 Milk Jug Container-use a milk jug, cut it to make flaps and sew on a snap.  Viola!  Holds them all :D