July 4th

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I hope everyone is having a safe and fun 4th of July today! I’m keeping it short to enjoy some yummy ribs and typical southern food this evening along with a local fireworks show (rain permitting).

Here’s a quick print that is an easy decor idea Continue reading

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Yard Sales: How To Make It Worth Your Time

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The thrill of the chase, the cups of early morning coffee, the haggling…there is nothing quite like hosting or visiting a local yard sale. Not only is this a favorite pastime of my own, but it’s also a great way to get some quick cash and free up some living space.

I used to want to have a yard sale every day when I was a little kid, before I understood the basic rule of the weekend. I would run through the house looking for knick knacks and anything my grandmother would let me put a price tag on. I would pull out these old, rickety tables from a shed in the backyard all by myself and put some sheets over them to look like a table cloth. I would get about $20 in change from my grandpa and sit out at those tables all day – probably only selling anything because I was a 12 year old girl that visitors took pity on.

But I had so much fun and still love to host yard sales! Every time I ask my husband about having one though, I can see him groan a little inside. It is a lot of work, and as we have grown older it has become even more important for us to make it worth the Saturday mornings we give up.

To help make it a little easier on ourselves we’ve developed some great strategies to maximize our time and try to make a little more money – and I am sharing this today! Be sure to check out the end of the post to download some free printables to use at your next sale.

Continue reading

The Best, Easiest Summer Dessert

I love to entertain! A few Sundays ago we had some of our friends over, and I wanted to make sure our dinner was delicious (and not too expensive). Naturally, I turned to Pinterest to see what I could find..and I hit the jackpot.

Along with a scrumptious salmon recipe that will change the way I eat salmon, I found an amazing dessert that didn’t break the bank and left our friends wanting more. Really, I should have made 3 of these.

Introducing my new go-to dessert: Blueberry Peach Tart

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To read the original recipe please visit Baker By Nature.

I did one thing different than the recipe and that was not peeling the peaches. I didn’t read that part so it was an accident – but it turned out great! The glaze is also to-die-for (and I have never made a glaze before).

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My price for the tart is as follows (everything is rounded to the nearest dollar):

2 peaches – $4

1 contained of blueberries – $4

1 box of pastry sheets (2/box) – $4

Total: $16

This recipes calls for much more such as powdered sugar, vanilla, heavy cream, etc..however I already had the others items on hand so I do not include those in my pricing. Everything was about 3.25-3.75 respectively, with the peaches being the most expensive. If I had known, I would probably have planned that better by watching some store ads to get those cheaper.

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After the tart was made, we continued to nibble on the blueberries for a while making those well worth it. Packed them in our lunches and they were a great side item.

Enjoy, and make some summer memories for it’s time for Fall!

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Decor On A Budget | DIY

I am always looking at decorating ideas on Pinterest (find me here ), and I’ve been trying to find some options that are budget-friendly, and versatile. We have a spare room that has many purposes such as a guest room, craft room, storage and we hope a nursery within the next few years. With so many different purposes, I need decor that can be easily moved or taken down, and decor that does not put a hole in my pocket.

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We actually had a lot of left over wedding supplies, and they have just been sitting in Chris’s office for the past few months. This past week, I found some really cute uses for wood slices – which is perfect, as we had about 30!

First, I lightly sanded our wood slices. I did not care to make them smooth as long as I was not going to get a splinter while painting. I have painted just a few little scenes on our wood slices, and then I covered them in a gloss to protect them and prevent any further splintering/chipping.

Take a look!

 

These are barely larger than the size of my hand outstretched and my plan is to get some picture hanging tools to attach to the back. They are also fairly lightweight, and should be able to be hung with nothing more than a thumbtack.

So there you have it! These were essentially free to create as I already had the paint, gloss and wood slices. For those that do not have these supplies, I have seen wood slices at craft stores (such as Hobby Lobby or Michaels) for less than $5.00 a piece. Acrylic paint can be found at Walmart for less than $1.00.

Have you been able to find any cheap decorations for your walls? Let me know below!

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A Big Way To Cut Costs At Disney

We’re back!

We are home from our Disney trip and I am so happy to be in our house! This was my 4th trip to Disney (Orlando) and it was Chris’s 1st trip. We both had our fun and our struggles with this vacation. We are pretty cute together sometimes too:

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Disney is a magical place, there is no doubt about it. Characters everywhere, amazing architecture and all of the childhood feels. However, all of that does come at a hefty price.

I want to give you a way that we could have saved money on our trip last week, had I known some of this ahead of time. I hope this helps you to plan your Disney trip and save some money!

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The number one expense that I noticed was our food. We used a dining plan offered by Disney. These dining plans are fantastic! We paid for the plan upfront, and then every time we got a meal or snack, we just scanned our MagicBands and went on our way. Essentially, you get credits when you use the dining plan – it allows you a certain amount of “Regular” meals, “Quick Service” meals and snacks.

When you pay you still get a receipt that shows how much the meal cost (as if you were paying out of pocket). The numbers on our receipts shocked me. We were paying about $50.00 for every quick service meal, which is essentially fast food. The meal that floored me consisted of burgers and fries and a cupcake…that cost $47.00! What?! 

The next meal that made me want to write this post was a sit-down character dinner. The characters come around and take pictures and sign things at your table. I am just not a fan of character meals. They interrupt and I do not care to take pictures at a meal. Just not my thing.  Anyway, this meal was a buffet that we stayed at for 15 minutes. Our meal cost over $100.00.  For 15 minutes of buffet food, we could have paid our electric bill again. Not to mention, tips are not included on dining plans.

Now that you have an idea of how crazy expensive our meals were, let’s talk about how to get around this.

We stayed 6 nights. It is essentially paying around $100.00 to $200.00 a day for meals on the dining plan (based off of our receipts). We even skipped lunch some days because it was just too hot to eat in the parks. We could have easily eaten for maybe 200.00 for the whole week! We had the luxury of having  kitchen in our resort room, but I will not include food that has to be cooked on this list. It’s not super healthy, and it’s very repetitive, but it’s about $800.00 more in the bank! Here is my sample of a frugal DIY Disney meal plan for two people (prices are based off of our local Wal-Mart and are approximate):

Breakfast:

Granola Bar (can buy a box of 8 bars for around $6 a box ) – $12

Yogurt (usually can get around 20 if on sale) – $10

Lunch:

Sandwich Bread – $2

Deli Meat (should get about 2 boxes) – $6

Cheese – $3

Mayo – $3

Lettuce – $3

Dinner:

(Can do sandwiches again for about $20)

Pizza (could order delivery to avoid having to heat)- $5

Salad (price includes cheese, croutons, dressing, salad mix, etc) – $20

Fast Food (for two people for $5 for 6 nights) – $60

Snacks:

Chips – $4

Fruit Snacks – $4

Apples – $5

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Lastly, bring your own BPA-Free water bottle. Bottled water at the parks can go as high as $6.00 per bottle, or one snack credit. Why waste money when you can fill up your bottle at your hotel? I say to fill it at the hotel because all of the parks had very metallic water in their water fountains…even when we were super thirsty, we did not want to drink it.

I hope this gives you some ideas around how to save money on your food bill for your Disney trip. Don’t focus on the food, focus on the memories! If I had done this, I would have enjoyed our trip much more, and I would have had more money to spend on some great souvenirs.

Any tips that you have for cutting costs on vacation? Let me know in the comments below!

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DIY Details

With only 3 days left and one glue gun down, we are pretty much ready for our wedding on Saturday!

This evening I wanted to share a basic DIY that we are using: wedding programs. I chose to make ours in the style of a fan, so that our guests can use them if it is too hot or humid. I also chose to make the back of our programs fun by adding a word search game and some trivia about us – there are always those boring moments before the ceremony begins! The supplies needed are very basic, and there are only a few different steps.

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Supplies Used:

Cardstock ( 2 packs, at $5 per pack) – $10

Black Ink For Printer (I bought mine at Walmart) – $16

“Curvy Craft Sticks” (from Amazon, pack of 200) – $7

Graphic Design – Free (me)

Glue Gun – $3

Glue Sticks for Glue Gun – $6

Steps/Instructions:

  1. First I designed the front of the fans, making sure to include basic ceremony information, a thank you, and the names of those in our wedding party. *Side note: I accidentally used one of my bridesmaids maiden name, and didn’t catch it until around #80. My tip is to have someone double check your wording and spelling within the first five! I decided to just roll with it (and checked with her as well).*
  2. Design the back! As stated above, I wanted to make it fun and give our guests something to do while they sit around awkwardly. You can google “free word search maker” and you will get plenty of options where you can make your own and save them as an image file.
  3. Test your printing on a regular sized paper before using your cardstock. I printed mine on regular sized letter paper at 20% and printed them 10 at a time. Printing them 10 at a time let me take some much needed breaks, and it was easy to keep track of how many I was making.
  4. Center your images and cut into a square. My finished squares ended up being about 5 1/2 inches by maybe 7 inches.
  5. At this point you can choose to round your edges with an edge trimmer or use them as is. Both are great options – I chose to round mine to make it look more finished and professional.
  6. Take your handy curved craft sticks and your glue gun. Ready, aim, go! I only had one pack of glue sticks so I had to run to our local Dollar General to get a few packs. The next day my glue gun gave out on me, so I made another trip there to get a new one. I first glued the craft stick to the front page (face down), then the back, and for the last step I ran some glue along the left and right sides.
  7. You are done!

This project was fairly easy, but I definitely took my time finishing. The cutting out of the images were the worst part for me (even with a paper trimmer) and when my glue gun stopped working. I finished the whole project over the course of 3 evenings and ended with a total of 100 programs. Also, I ordered some mini golf pencils from Amazon to pass out with the programs for the word searches.

I hope our guests enjoy them!

Feel free to contact me with any questions.

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