Thursday, May 07, 2015

Use What You Have Zipper Pouches

I had this rather large piece of vintage-y quilted fabric in my stash. It came in a bargain bag of scraps from a yard sale a few years ago. 

Anyways, I've been trying to make use of what I have instead of buying more. Partly to save money but mostly because it means less to move around when my sewing room becomes a nursery. 

This fabric was already sewn into something and taken apart so this is not it's first party. Ha! It's a little worn in spots but perfect for these zipper pouches. 

I often need some pouches for storing items when traveling. I made one large enough to carry my hair straightener and then the second one ended up a little smaller because of the size of the fabric. 

I had some red gingham ruffle in my scrap bucket pile. I think it was given to me in a box of fabric?? 

Anyways, I liked it with the sweet strawberry fabric so I sewed some ruffles on the pouches. 

Even the zippers were repurposed from some old lingerie bags!!! 

So yay for a quick evening project that cost nothing to make but is cute and super useful! 
 I still have some small pieces of this fabric left--will have to see what I can make with them!

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Frugal Five

Remember when I did regular Frugal Five posts?

Well, I've still been frugal but just not posting about it. I'd like for that to change!

I enjoy reading about how other homemakers are practicing frugality and resourcefully stretching their dollars. Those posts are always inspiring and encouraging to me--that is how I hope these Frugal Five posts come across to you as well.

In my last post, I told how my husband and I are embarking on the journey of domestic adoption. (Thank you for all your well wishes and prayers! We appreciate each one!) Adoption is quite expensive so we are all about saving as much as we can right now! Every penny saved goes to our adoption fund.

Some recent ways we have saved money:
  1. Our medical coverage doesn't cover prescriptions. I have a prescription that cost $75 per 30 day supply at CVS and that was for the generic brand. (My doctor gave me samples of another that would've been $200 per month so I considered this the better option!) However, $75!!! Ouch! I decided to check at Sam's Club that is right by our house. They offer the very same item for $11.87. I was shocked! I was expecting maybe a $20 savings. So obviously, we are getting prescriptions filled at Sam's now. I have another prescription that I only use as needed so one box lasts about 6 months. This one was only around $17 so not too expensive but Sam's offers it for $4. So we are saving a lot of money right there!
  2. We don't eat out often but we've been using coupons when we do. 2 meals for the price of one?Yes, please!
  3. Speaking of eating out, I've been buying the $5.99 fresh pizzas from Aldi to have on hand when I know we will have a super busy day and it would be tempting to go to a restaurant. These freeze really nice and are very good.
  4. Made beef broth using some bones I had in the freezer. 
  5. Rock got out of the fenced backyard twice last week. One time he showed up in the driveway on the other side of the gate and waited to be let back in. LOL We finally discovered a hole in the fence by the woods. We "rednecked" it back together by attaching a random piece of fencing that was left here by the previous owner. He won't be getting out through that hole anytime soon!
How are you saving money and practicing frugality in your home?

Friday, April 24, 2015

We Have A Secret To Share

I have a secret to share with you all today. Something near and dear to my heart and an announcement I have wanted to make for a long time.

We are in the adoption process to adopt a newborn baby. We've chosen an agency, have completed the formal application, pre-study documents, attended adoption training and are waiting for the next step of completing the home study.

We have started a blog to share updates on the process. It will be a central location for friends and family to check in and see what the latest info is. It is still private at this time but I will share the link here as soon as we have it ready for the public. :-)

Adoption has been on our hearts for many years. We have wanted to pursue it several times over the course of our marriage but always felt like it was not the time. Last summer as we continued to pray, we began to hear from the Lord that now was the time to take that leap of faith and start the process.

For several months we prayed, researched the different types of adoption, agencies, talked with adoptive families whose stories are all very different, getting as much information as we could.

In January of this year, we began the process with a Christian agency. It is exciting and somewhat terrifying all at the same time.

We have no idea of what all lies ahead but we know Who already has the plans laid out. We ask for your prayers as we continue on this journey.

And as most everyone is aware, adoption is a costly process. We will be doing a lot of fundraising and will make our friends and family aware of financial needs as they arise and how contributions can be made. We will be doing this via our adoption blog as well as on this blog sometimes.

God has provided abundantly already so early in the process and we look forward to all He has in store.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

"Use What You Have" Spring Wreath

I've been wanting to make a wreath for our kitchen door. Something springy!

We had a yard sale last weekend and a couple straw wreaths were left. (They were donated by a friend.) So instead of donating them at the end of the sale, I decided to make some simple wreaths for our home. 

This one is my first attempt and I like it. It's different and used up some fabric from my scrap basket. 

My plan was to make a wreath with strips of fabric like this one. Then I saw these leftover yellow ruffles. They used to be on some giant square pillow shams that I thrifted and cut up for another project. I saved the ruffles because I love the color and print and well, I can't bear to throw something away that could be used for something else! 

That something else turned out to be this wreath. 

I gathered my supplies-- straw wreath, pile of ruffle pieces and a short piece of white ruffle left from a vintage pillowcase. I used some small pins and also some thumbtacks for securing everything. 

1. Iron all fabric pieces. 
2. Start wrapping the ruffle pieces on the wreath, using pin or tack to secure ends. 
3. Continue wrapping, taking care to overlap pieces slightly to cover raw edges of ruffle.
4. Wrap until wreath is covered. You can see I ran out of ruffles and there is a bare spot. No worries-- I have a plan for that!
5. That little extra piece of ruffle comes in handy here. I scrunched it up to look like a flower then pinned it to the wreath.
6. Next, I glued a few buttons on
to finish off the center of the flower. 
7. Last I added an aqua ribbon hanger. The ribbon coordinates with a light blue/aqua in the center of the flowers.
8. Done!

This was super easy-- took longer to post about the wreath than to actually make it. ;-)

I have this hanging in a sunny location outside so, yes, it will fade with time. The great thing is that by removing the pins, it'll be super simple to update with something else. 

Happy Spring! 

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Drying Apples and Tonight's Supper

While supper was baking tonight, I took the time to get a bag of apples ready to dry.

We love dried apples for a little snack, especially for travel. They're like candy--so sweet--but with no added sugar. Just one ingredient: apples! 

I just peel, slice and core the apples and place them on the dehydrator trays to dry. Usually takes about 8-10 hours or overnight. 

So easy and much cheaper than buying a little bag of dried apples from the store. 

For supper tonight, I made a Ham and Cheese Puff Pancake that I had pinned on my Breakfast board. 

It. was. delicious. So so so good! I had to exercise great self-control to save some for tomorrow's breakfast and not gobble it all up tonight. I served the puff pancake with veggies & dip and clementines. 

Seriously, if you like cheesy hammy food, you must try it! 

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

At Home This Week

It's March Madness time! 

Last year was my first time filling out a bracket. I had no idea what I was doing but it was so much fun, I did another one this year! 

It will be interesting to see how it turns out. Andy and I picked the same champion of the whole tournament but different ways of getting there! ;-)

Last week went well. I accomplished most things on my list. Just not the deep cleaning. In fact, due to a pretty hectic schedule the next few weeks, I'm putting that on hold. I am still decluttering and putting things aside for our yard sale though. 

On tap for this week:

Gather tax info
Tax appointment
Dehydrate bag of apples
Take dinner to friends one night
Small grocery trip
Trash to dump--done!
Pick up dry cleaning    
Sew 4 kitchen towels--done! Actually made 6 yesterday. 
Cut out and sew 4 aprons. 

This list is in addition to my work outside the home and basic housekeeping (meals, laundry, cleaning, etc.). 

What's going on in your home this week?

Thursday, March 12, 2015

How Many Pennies?

So... in case you were wondering how many pennies were in our penny jar...

The answer is $30.82!

Both guesses were close. Wendi guessed $30.50 which was scary close! Good job to both of my guessers!

We are big fans of saving change. We always have a jar going. Now that this jar has been filled and emptied into savings account, we'll simply start filling it with pennies again!