$4 Do It Yourself Monster Door – Great for Halloween!

Posted by on Sep 27, 2017

My cute neighbor put out a call for decorated doors that she can show on her upcoming segment on Studio 5. So how could I NOT respond!? And, in true Mamas fashion, I knew I had to do it on the cheap. So I headed to my local dollar store. Check out how easy it is below!

Supplies list:

  • Two different sizes of paper plates (any colors you choose)
  • Square paper plates or white rectangle gift bags
  • Poster board (any color you’d like)
  • Painters tape (I just used what I already had)
  • Poster putty (or whatever you want to use to stick stuff onto your door)

I put my poster board on with my poster putty and then cut the “hair” to go around my peephole. I then stuck on my bigger paper plates, then the smaller paper plates onto those for the eyeballs. I used my frog tape for the mouth and then used the rectangle gift bags for teeth. And that’s it! Took less than 15 minutes and only $4 at the dollar store!

You can make this as fancy or as simple as you want. We added a bow to make it a girl monster and I liked the idea of eyebrows so I just cut some of the extra pieces of poster board.

What are YOUR easy decorating ideas?



It’s Fun to Be One and All Things Pink Party!

Posted by on Jul 26, 2016

I can’t believe it’s almost time for another party for my little girl! She will be 3 this October and I can’t wait to plan another party for her. Seriously having a girl is SO different than having boys! And I love every single second of having her as part of our family. My daughter is as girly as they come. She loves princesses, pink, music, dancing, and every single thing Frozen related.

In honor of her upcoming birthday I wanted to throw out this refresher of the All Things Pink Party we had a couple of years ago and ask for YOUR ideas for this year’s theme. What would be fun, easy, and not crazy expensive?

Cake

Remember how I told you I wanted my mom to make a cupcake cake for my cute little girl’s first birthday? Well, she did! And it turned out AMAZING! I am so happy with how it turned out. You can check out her cooking blog to see some of her recipes and she will have a cupcake cake tutorial coming soon. And I think it was a fairly easy cake to make since it’s all cupcakes. My mom also made the smash cake (pictured below) for a one year photo shoot. She is one talented woman.

Smash Cake

There were so many fun things at this party that I have to share a few. I found a ton of cute ideas on Pinterest. I have an entire board dedicated to my daughter’s first birthday party. One of the things at the top of my list was a highchair tutu. Buy some tulle, cut it, tie it around ribbon and put it on the highchair. I mean, come on. Anyone can do that, right? Wrong. Not this girl. I am craftily (totally a word) challenged. I bought some super cute pink tulle. And I cut it. But it was awkwardly crooked. Some pieces were just meant for the garbage. I tied the crookedly cut tulle onto the ribbon. And tied. And then tied some more. I felt like I was tying tulle for a LONG time (at least three episodes of Supernatural long). At this point my tutu just looked like a big, puffy, not even remotely straight mess. So how did I solve the problem? The dollar store!

I snagged two tutu’s, a princess skirt, and a chair cover. All I had to do was to untie both tutu’s and cut the skirt down the middle. I secured all of them to the high chair with glue dots and put the chair cover on the back. Done. Best $4 I’ve ever spent.

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A couple of weeks before the party I had some pics taken by the absolutely amazing Maganda Studios. I had to post a couple to go along with this birthday party post. But don’t worry, there will be a whole post dedicated to this awesome shoot and a discount (squee!)

I mean, come on. Could my baby girl be any cuter? Oh, and the adorable Birthday Girl dress? Scored it for $3.20 from BabiesRUs last January when I posted about their awesome clearance sale. Fingers crossed it happens again this year.

View More: http://magandastudios.pass.us/brunson

View More: http://magandastudios.pass.us/brunson



Easy Peasy Bandana Dress

Posted by on Jun 30, 2016

I LOVE the fourth. It is by far one of my most favorite of holidays. My family and I have settled into our “Tradition” making the fourth fun and it all starts with my girl’s OUTFITS!  My husband and I always wear t-shirts and I coordinate with red, white and blue. But my girls, it is so fun to see what Americana outfit I can come up with. One of my favorites when they were littles? Bandana dresses!! I wish I had better pics, but these are the ones I could find easily…

PicMonkey Collage

Seriously. This is one of the EASIEST things to make and your little will look simply ADORBS! As you can see above I have done as dresses and shirts if your girl is a bit tall. Enjoy!

Items you will need:

  • Two bandanas– I did red and blue for my girls and the put white little shorts on underneath
  • Sewing Machine
  • Ribbon
  • Pins (to keep sew line straight)

O.K. Ready? Let’s DO this!

  1. You are going to want to put both bandanas on top of the other. You want to make sure the right sides are together for the sewing
  2. Take your ribbon and measure the width for the straps of the dress. Then add 6 inches to that measurement (you need room for the arms!). So, my ribbon was a bit think at 1 inch, so I added 6 inches and that gave me 7. Measure 7 inches from the top of the bandana and put a pin there. That is where you will need to stop sewing. Do the same for the other side of the bandanas.
  3. To keep your sewing line straight, put in pins starting at the point you marked and go down to the bottom of the bandanas

Charity



Five Tips to Re-Do Your Kitchen on a Budget

Posted by on May 24, 2016

5 Tips to Re-Do Your Kitchen on a Budget

Almost as soon as I moved into my house 9 years ago, I knew I wanted to re-do my kitchen. It was outdated and blah. But when I started looking into prices for the project I just felt overwhelmed and like there was no way we could afford to do it.

Then I started learning the ways of the coupon and frugal living in general. And I found some tips and tricks to make the project a little more palatable. In the end? I am beyond thrilled with my kitchen transformation. It’s still not completely finished, but it’s close. And man! It’s made a huge difference without costing a huge amount of money.

Ready to re-do your kitchen? Or any room in your house? Here are some tips to make the whole thing cost you less!

1. Buy Used: This the number one tip I have. I cannot even begin to tell you how much money we saved by buying used. If I’m being honest, I didn’t even realize this was a thing until recently. Shop your local Craigslist, look on FB yard sale groups, and/or shop your local Goodwill store or other used stores. I found my kitchen cabinets and granite counter tops in a FB yard sale group. While they weren’t the exact configuration of my kitchen, I knew we could mix and match to make them work. Plus, while removing the granite from the old house it cracked so the previous owners gave us an amazing deal!

2. Do it Yourself: Believe it or not, there is a lot you can do yourself! If you don’t know how from previous experience, look for a tutorial online. I impressed myself with what I did with no help at all. I now know how to change out light fixtures and have done quite a few in my house, including the chandelier in my kitchen. Will this save you time and headache? Probably not. But it will save you money and lots of it.

chandelier

3. Ask for Help: There were plenty of things on this project that I knew I couldn’t do myself no matter how many tutorials I watched on YouTube. So I asked around a little. Turns out my dad could install all of our new cabinets, a neighbor offered to help us with some electrical things, and my best friends husband offered to paint. Again, huge money saver! And people like helping others.

Demolition is one that family and friends are always happy to help with.

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4. Negotiate a Deal: Can’t do it yourself or have a friend who can help? Call and talk to a manager or the owner and ask for a deal. I am constantly blown away with how often you can get a deal from someplace you thought the price was fixed.

I contacted Heritage Stone for a quote on cutting and seaming our granite pieces to fit our new kitchen. Not only did he give me a good quote, he was totally willing to talk. And, had I decided to buy new counter tops and/or cabinets he was offering better prices than I could find anywhere else.

heritage stone

5. Shop the Sales & Use Coupons: This is a given, right? There are definitely going to be some things that you can’t get used. Or that you just don’t want to. In that case, pay attention to sales. You can save so much money by just doing this one little thing.

 

In total I paid less then $600 to remodel my entire kitchen (although I did get some counter work free). I got new cabinets, new sink & faucet, new hardware, new counters, and even a new configuration. Next up will be replacing all the white appliances with black and finishing up the crown molding on the cupboards. I am ridiculously happy with the end result and can’t believe how cheaply I was able to get this accomplished.

before kitchen

after kitchen



Host a 40 is the New 20 Party on a Budget – Including a DIY Photo Booth!

Posted by on Feb 25, 2016

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Recently (Okay, it’s been almost a year now) my friend Charity turned 40. So of course we had to celebrate! I started to plan a birthday party for her with her husband, but really, he’s just not the party planning type. So when Charity got wind of it she was completely on board to party it up on the cheap! Seriously, this girl should start her own party planning business. She is THAT amazing. We had so much fun creating labels and such as well as decorating. So here is what we came up with and what you can do to have your own party!

40 is the new 20 party

It seems like the photo booth is the new party must have. Which means it was included here as well! The first thing we did for our DIY photo booth was printed a few thought bubbles and laminated them with my Scotch Thermal Laminator from Amazon. Then we set those out with dry erase markers and baby wipes so they could be used over and over again throughout the night.

laminating

You can see from the pic below that we just used a dollar store tablecloth for the background for our photo booth. So simple and crazy cheap! You can also see the thought bubbles, markers, and wet wipes on the table.

photo booth

Then we put a poster board together with directions for our DIY photo booth. This way we didn’t have to keep telling everyone how to do it and it added to the decor. Plus, we added an Instagram hashtag so we could post pics online and all the party guests could see them!prop sign

For our photo booth props Charity and I just raided our kid toys and dress ups. Zero money out of pocket. If you don’t have dress ups from your kids you can borrow from friends or just hit the dollar store. You know you can find tons of fun stuff there.

props

I also got onto PicMonkey and made some adorable signs for different things for decorations. We did Forty Rocks! and added Pop Rocks we got from Amazon for party favors.forty rocks

Along with the Pop Rocks I grabbed a bag of Dums Dums and used those as a center piece on one of the tables. Then added the Suck It, Forty! sign to cuten it up. (That IS a word by the way.) I made sure to let all of the kids attending snag one so there wouldn’t be too many left over.

suck it 40

Along with the other party favors I also did water bottles to match the overall theme. They said Fun, Fierce, Fabulous…Forty! And when I had them printed I went to OfficeMax and did them on sticker paper. This made it so ridiculously easy to just peel and stick.

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We had a TON of fun! We also had other drinks, snacks, music, adorable forty sayings all over the room, and also more decorations that matched the overall theme. It was amazing! And we spent very little money to make it rock! Which means there is no reason you need to spend hundreds of dollars to make your party rock, at any age!



Spruce up Your Home on the Cheap – Give Your Heat Vents a Makeover

Posted by on Feb 22, 2016

This is the first in a series of posts on simple, inexpensive ways to spruce up your home.

I live in an older home. So many of our heat vents look exactly like the one pictured below. They are ugly. They are outdated. And I hate them. But to buy a new vent is $10 or more for each vent. If I replace all the vents in my house that adds up fast! So I decided to take matters into my own hands and I’m so glad I did.

Give your heat vents a face lift on the cheap!

All I did was grab a can of Rust-Oleum spray paint from good old Walmart for $3.77. I then took my vents out of the floor and outside. I gave them a nice, even coat of paint and left them to dry. I went back an hour or two later, turned them over and applied another coat of paint. That’s it! Done!

I am so beyond happy with my end result. Are they some fancy new vent with intricate scrollwork and patterns? No. But I got all the vents in my house done and looking new for $3.77. This was a total win in my book.

Vent finished



Giani Counter Paint: Too Good to be True?

Posted by on Jan 15, 2016

Remember a couple of years ago when I told you guys about Giani Countertop paint? It seemed like a super easy way to upgrade your kitchen. Check out my before and after pics below.

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I absolutely loved it. It seemed so easy and made my kitchen look so much nicer. And then we used it. So my gorgeous counter top now looks like this. Boo!

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So what’s a girl to do? Re-do the kitchen of course! Actually a new kitchen has been on my wish list for quite some time. But since my family doesn’t plan on living in this house for years and years, ten grand for a remodel just didn’t seem like a smart idea.

But, since I am a frugal girl at heart you know I found some amazing deals to get this kitchen done on the cheap. And of course I’m going to share it all with you! I’ll have step by step blog posts, company recommendations, and ways to save on your remodel. Believe me, you can do it for less than you think.



$4 DIY Porch Light Makeover

Posted by on Apr 7, 2015

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I live in an older home. That means I have a lot of older, outdated things in and around my house. Some are worth investing some money in. But some just aren’t. When I looked around to price outdoor porch lights and found out that most were $75 and up I knew that wasn’t something I wanted to spend money on. So instead, I decided to fix mine up myself.

I took down my old, rusty porch light (be careful of electrical wires when doing this) and cleaned the heck out of it. It was beyond nasty! There were thick spider webs everywhere. Tons of dead bugs were being saved for someone’s lunch later. And the dirt build up was pretty big. Even the screws were covered in spider webs. I removed the glass and used Windex to clean those as well. There was years of grime so this took a few passes.

porch light makeover

Then I took everything outside and grabbed a can of Rust-Oleum metallic spray paint that I purchased from Walmart for $3.77. I made sure I sprayed each side of the light and gave it plenty of time to dry. Then I turned it over and sprayed again. I think I ended up with two coats on each side, but they dried super fast. So everything was done and pretty again within a few hours.

I put everything back together, made sure the electrical wires were hooked up correctly, and screwed my shiny new porch light into the side of my house.

I am so ridiculously happy with the results! My light wasn’t in bad condition. It just needed a little love. It looks practically brand new. And it cost less than $4 to make it look this way!

Transform your porch light for just $4

I did forget to pain the screws that secure my light to my house. So I plan on popping out and spraying them in the morning so they blend in a bit better.



6 Ways to Make Your House Smell Clean

Posted by on Apr 6, 2015

smells clean flowers

This is a sponsored post on behalf of Acorn. All opinions are 100% my own.

It is one of our five senses. When this particular sense is used, it can immediately immerse us in a memory and make us feel happy or sad in seconds. In a lot of ways it aids our other four senses. The sense of smell.

Not only do I want my home to smell nice and elicit great feelings, I want my home to be inviting. That involves getting a handle on the clutter (more about this in a later post) as well as switching things up! And not just decorations, but scents as well. I adore pine and cinnamon scents during the Christmas season. Citrus and flowers are my scents of preference as the weather warms up. I can envision gorgeous flowers & blossoms blooming in the yard and juicy fruit dripping down my face. Nothing is better than smelling something that brings you back to one of your favorite memories!

  1. Clean it up! Obviously if your house isn’t clean then the only smell will be a yucky one. Sometimes this just involves taking out the trash and making sure your sink isn’t full of dirty dishes.
  2. Bake something yummy. There is nothing better than walking into a house that smells of freshly baked bread or cookies. This is a very simple and easy way to fill your home with deliciousness.
  3. Open the windows. If it’s nice outside, open your windows and let the fresh air permeate the house. This is my very favorite thing to do in the Spring after my house has been closed up tight all winter long.
  4. Visit the air care aisle. Doesn’t get much easier than this. Grab a plug-in or candle with a scent you enjoy and light it or plug it in. Place your candles or plug-ins in strategic locations and your room will be filled with your scent of choice in minutes. This is especially helpful if you have something you’d like to mask. A plug-in is a MUST at my house next to the diaper pail.
  5. Freshen the carpet. Not only is vacuuming the carpet super helpful, it’s great to sprinkle carpet deodorizer on the rug before you do. Once you finish vacuuming your home will be filled with a light, refreshing, scent.
  6. Use complementary scents. I like to use more than one scent in my home, but I want them to mesh well together. Around Thanksgiving one of my favorite combinations is a cinnamon candle in the kitchen and and apple plug-in in my living room. As you walk from one room to the next it smells like fresh baked apple pie. You can also combine Lemon & berry, Vanilla & a floral scent, Fresh linen & citrus or floral, and Ocean & citrus or floral for even more amazing smells.

SmellsClean

Spring is in the air and you only need to follow your nose to the air care aisle to find the clean and fresh scents to fill your home. We see spring in the air everywhere outside. Now at my house (and yours), we can smell it too! Nothing is better than walking into my home and taking a deep breath in.

What is one of YOUR favorite scents?



How to Make a $6 4th of July Wreath

Posted by on Jul 1, 2014

July 4th Wreath

As the 4th of July was getting closer I realized I had very few decorations for my house. I wanted more, but without spending much money. So that meant a trip to the dollar store was in order! Because, of course, the dollar store is often the answer.

Here is what you will need to make this wreath:

  1. A pool noodle (red or blue if possible)
  2. Duct tape
  3. A hot glue gun
  4. 3 or 4 festive garlands (You could do this for any holiday really)
  5. Something to put in the center of your wreath

Start by taping the two ends of your pool noodle together with duct tape to form a circle. I tried using hot glue for this once. It ended up being a big sticky mess with a straight pool noodle at the end. I recommend duct tape.

wreath4

Next, start wrapping your garland around the pool noodle. I taped the end I started with to the pool noodle, but for all other ends I just tucked them under each other. Everything seems to be staying put wonderfully.

wreath3

Now you will want to hot glue whatever it is you chose for the center of your wreath. I chose the Uncle Sam hat. I thought it was cute and it was also at the dollar store. You could even leave it with just the garland if you choose.

That’s it. You are done! You now spent $6 or less and have a beautiful wreath to hang on your door.

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