Tag Archive for: gifts

Ten (Plus) Easy Ways to save Money

I am frugal by nature-just ask my parents. I used to hide girl scout cookies under my bed, only allowing myself one delicious thin mint a night. That is-until the ants also found my stash and my parents put an end to my cookie hoarding ways.

That said, I love to save money. Here are ten (plus) easy ways that you can, too!


1) Biceps uses lip balm like nobody’s business. And to be fair-so do I. But, is it a crime to want supple, luscious lips void of cracks and flakiness. I contest that it is not!
However, the $3 a tube for Burt’s Bees was a crime. And I needed to solve it. With a few ingredients and within a few minutes time, I had made 40 tubes of Lip Balm that cost less than $.25 each.


2) I make all of the cleansers that I need to keep my home sparkling. They are cheap, easy to make and non-toxic. Everything from: all purpose & anti-bacterial cleaners, to furniture polish, toilet bowel cleaner, brass and stainless steel polisher, and cooking spray.


Potholes and Pantyhose
3) I also make most of my beauty products saving me hundreds of dollars a year. Check out this easy to make facial moisturizer, eye make-up remover, toothpaste and mouthwash.


Face Wash
4) Simply make your own face wash using ground oatmeal. I know what you might be thinking-how does oatmeal on my face actually work? The ground oats add moisture back into the skin (thus the reason you are supposed to bathe in it when you have a rash, poison ivy, etc) while the gentle oats exfoliate the skin and cleanse. Cheap. Simple. Love it and the smell of breakfast as you’re washing my face.


Laundry Soap
5) I make my own laundry soap once a month which lasts me for 48 stinky, big-boy loads. I save big-boy money doing this. The clothes smell great and it’s fun to grind up soap in my blender. Everybody wins.

I also make my own laundry softener and stain stick. Super easy, does the job and smells fantastic!


Mirror Art
6) Make your own art with whatever you have on hand. Get creative and dare to cut your knuckles making this Mirror Art. I’ve used scrap plywood, drywall, oops paint, repainted canvases, and many other odd things to decorate my walls. And-the best part is-if you screw up, you can just throw it away!


Potholes and Pantyhose
7) Learn how to do some basic sewing and start getting thrifty. I made this silky scarf shirt with a couple of scarves and two pieces of ribbon. The cost-$1. I’ve also made shirts and dresses from pillow cases, and cape shirts from lace tablecloths.


Thank You
8) Create your own cheap thank you notes by recycling old photos, postcards, pictures from magazines. Sew them onto card stock and offer your friends a one-of-a-kind letter in the mail.


Veggie Wash
9) The produce cleanser I was buying from the store cost about $3 a bottle. Forget that! I now make my very own produce cleanser at home for about $.10 a bottle. Those are savings you can keep!


10) Keep your garden humming all year long with an inexpensive DIY spinning composter, rain barrels, critter deterrent and pest spray.

These are just a few ways that I’ve found to save money and replace store-bought items. What are some of your favorite ways to be frugal and keep your cold-hard cash where it belongs (in your wallet)?

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Give-Away! My Inspirational Wrapped Canvas Prints

Dear Readers:
I’m going to get very real right now.

Momma (me) needs to make some money. Biceps took a huge cut in pay to become a firefighter and our budget is getting tighter every month. If you know anything about me, you know that I am one seriously frugal girl. We operate on a debt-free mindset (no credit cards) and are determined to be completely debt-free (student loans, our rent houses and our house) in six years or less.


I am making every homemade product for myself that I possibly can to save money. I considered selling these, but determined the profit margin wouldn’t be there for me while making it affordable to others.


6 Figure Moms
In the meantime, I did partner up with a line of inexpensive, non-toxic cleaning, beauty and household products that I believe in and am slowly building that business from home. But, that will take time.


We drive a paid for, slightly used (hah!) 8 year old van that badly needs new tires. I happily bike all over town so that we don’t have to buy a second car and so that I can burn some extra calories.

That said-I need a job and have been sending out resumes one right after another. This blog pays me diddly squat and being a self-employed writer is either feast or famine. And, as of yet, no one has offered to pay me to sit around looking cute. Dang them.


“The Harvest”
After talking with my mom this morning, she got my creative juices flowing. She reminded me of the prints with scriptures that I made for their bookstore and wondered if it wouldn’t be feasible for me to sell them through Etsy (which she pronounces Es-ty) or something similar.

I instantly thought this was a brilliant idea! I have decided to sell the following prints as wrapped canvas prints.

And, I’m giving one away to a lucky winner! Enter now for your very own FREE inspiration wrapped canvas prints.!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


“His Sheep”
These inspirational wrapped canvas prints are made from original photographs that I have taken around the country as I travel. Each photograph has a significant meaning to me, which I will share with you in a personalized note along with your order.

Now, here’s the lowdown-these wrapped canvas prints are totally customizable with your choice of inspirational saying, scripture, last name-whatever!

The canvas is either .75″ or  1.5″ deep, with the print bleeding all the way to the edges. The best part is-there’s no need to frame this. When you receive the wrapped canvas print, all you need to do is decide on where you want to hang it.


“His Pathway”
These make great gifts for pastors, friends, grandparents-and they look perfect at home or in the office.


“He is my Rock”
If you don’t happen to win this giveaway and still can’t live without one of these, here are a few prices for you to reference (but you can email me if you have a particular size in mind that I haven’t listed):

8 x 10- $49
10 x 14- $59
12 x 16- $64
16 x 20- $75
20 x 36- $169

*These prices include Free Shipping! Please allow 2 weeks for delivery of your item.

“The Light”
Let me know if you have any suggestions or thoughts. I am excited to hear what you, my dear friends, have to say! Don’t forget to enter the give away!

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Makin’ a mess for the Neighbors

Biceps and I enjoy making food-type gifts for the neighbors and our tenants each year. Even some of our friends make the cut, and perhaps a few family members that insist on having a loaf of my “Beautiful Banana Bread“.

When they receive their nice little food package from us, they have no idea what a mess I had created in my kitchen.


40 Bananas-mushed.


To a pulp.


That’s forty banana peels. The recipe was octopled – scientifically, that means the recipe was made 8 times. Every bowl, measuring cup, spatula and bread tin was implemented in this all out food-fest.

After wrapping each gift, I added a card and our crazy Christmas Picture and delivered them one by one to my neighbor’s and tenants. This made it feel like Christmas.
So, Merry Christmas, everyone. Hope you enjoy tasty foods and seeing my mug standing on your front porch.

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Homemade Paper & Stationary Sets

I love writing thank you notes-real notes in my handwriting using a pen and a piece of paper.
Not an email, a texts or a tweets. A note that comes in an envelope with a stamp on it.

There’s only one thing better than a handwritten thank you note.

A handmade and handwritten thank you note.

This process takes less than an hour to do, plus dry time, and provides an impressive finished product. Let’s get started on making some fancy stationary, shall we?

Here’s what you’ll need to make your very own stationary:

A picture frame (I made mine from scrap lumber)
Window Screen as large as the frame
Recycled paper, construction paper, newspaper, etc
Dried Flowers (If desired)
Paper Towels and Hand towels
Staple Gun
Utility Knife
A plastic bin larger than the frame (I used my sink, instead)

Begin by stapling the screen to the backside of your picture frame. Make sure the screen is securely attached. Over-do it, I give you permission.

Tear the paper into pieces about 2″ or smaller. Fill your blender with the paper, but don’t compress the paper. Add water until the blender is about 2/3 full.

Press the ‘pulse’ button several times to get the mixture going. Then, switch to ‘puree’, until the mixture has almost a smoothie consistency. I did this process several times to create enough of the mixture for the amount of paper I wanted to make.

Fill your plastic bin or in my case, my sink, with the mixture, adding water until it is about 4″ deep. I added enough water to my sink until the consistency resembled more of a soup like texture.

Dip your frame into the mixture, with the top of the frame facing up. Pull the frame out of the water slowly, allowing it to drain. You can even rest the frame on your bin to allow it to drain longer.

Add your dried flowers to the topside of the paper at this point.

Lay out hand towels and place several paper towels on top of them.

Flip your frame over on top of the paper towels. Allow the paper to release itself from the screen slowly. Use a sponge to gently remove as much excess water that you can from the paper. Allow the paper to dry for several hours.

Once the paper is dry, tear it by hand to fit the size of envelopes that you have. Save any scraps to be used as name tags for the final product.

I made a stationary ‘set’ out of four pieces of the homemade paper with four envelopes. I then decorated the sets with scrap ribbon and ric-rac that I had on hand, adding buttons on a couple for a little extra ‘wow’ factor.

I used the scrap pieces of my homemade paper as name tags to accompany the sets.

My homemade stationary sets were a big hit with the family-or so they told me. I choose to believe them.


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