Balloon Flip Flops

We can’t wait for summer! The girls and I wear nothing but flip flops during this season.  The great benefit of this fun craft is they’re cheap and there are about a million ways to customize them, so they’re the perfect DIY accessory for the frugalistic woman inside all of us!  Just buy a package of water balloons and your set for your sweet project!

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Items you will need:

Flip flops, on hand or $1

Water Balloons $1

You need a total of 5 balloons per group. Stack 4 balloons on top of each other, ends facing opposite direction. Take your 5th balloon and use it to tie your stack of 4 balloons to the flip flop. This can be a bit tricky, but after doing it a couple of times, you’ll be a pro. If it becomes too tricky to tie with the balloon, you could always use a strong string or something similar.  Tie 4 stacks of balloons to each side, a pinky finger tip width apart. So a total of 80 water balloons per shoe.  There you have it.  A super frugalistic savings for a fun summer day project!

Photo Deals

I love taking pictures!  like most moms, we want to capture EVERY minute on camera right?  One of the websites I use for most of my picture development is Shutterfly.com  You can create a thoughtful, quality treasure like a photo book, calendar, photo mug, wall hanging, card, stationery and more. Create your own style or use one of Shutterfly’s templates to make it even easier! With a Shutterfly.com membership, gift giving is stress-free. You can upload and save your photos easily and securely.  It’s important to note that ShutterFly offers everyday free shipping on orders over $30.00 and they always have special deals.  Make sure to look for coupon codes online before you purchase.  Happy Savings!

Shutterfly

Homemade Cross

Collecting crosses makes me happy.  I find great joy in searching for the perfect cross and LOVE finding unique ones to add to my collection. Over the years as I’ve gone into friends homes, I’ve noticed I’m not the only one who shares in this love.  It’s really neat to see how a wall can look and how together they can form a beautiful masterpiece.  During my last year as coordinator for our local MOPS group, I wanted to give some of the women in our group a personal gift for all of their hard work to the ministry.  I was searching for the perfect cross, but didn’t have a lot of money to purchase one I had my eye on.  I decided to make a few of my own and they turned out beautiful. I found all of the material at Hobby Lobby (the great thing about this store is if you plan your shopping just right, you can find decorative cross decor half off!).  Always check the ad for Hobbby Lobby before you shop to make sure your not paying full price!  And…make sure  you use your 40% coupon valid on one single item full price item to have a frugalistic craft purchase. The total amount spent on this project cost me twelve dollars. Below you will see how easy and fun it can be to make this beautiful cross for one of your special occasions without spending a fortune.

finished cross

Items you will need:

1 antique silver wall cross for the base.

1 resin scroll cross for the middle

black cross embelishment for the top

Parawire non – tarnish copper wire

Glue gun

screw driver

scissors

First, plug your glue gun in, I like to let it sit for awhile so that it will be nice and hot when I’m ready to use.   Next, take the small screws and hook off the back of your resin scroll cross (this will be the one you will use for your middle).  You will be making your own hook from the wire you purchased so no need to keep unless of course you want to use for something else.

Wirecross backing 2

You will see several different wire sizes to choose from.  I chose this because it was thin enough to work with without breaking easily.  Cut about six inches (I just eyeball this) of wire and twist the two bottoms tightly together.  Cross backing

Turn your antique silver wall cross over and place your prepared wire in between your silver wall cross and resin scroll cross. Once you have this like you want, glue the two crosses together capturing the wired between the two crosses and let dry completely.Side view of cross

Here is a side view of the way it should look.  You want to make sure the wire is long enough to hang comfortably.  Finally add your black embelishment cross on top of your resin scroll cross by using your glue gun.  finished cross

This is how it will look when it’s completed! You can use a black sharpie to write something nice on the back and there it is…your beautiful frugal masterpiece!  Do you have any frugal gift ideas?

FREE Books!!!!

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I love my kindle!  It was a gift from my amazing mom last year.  Before I had one, I always said that I just couldn’t wrap my mind around the idea of an electronic book.  Just seemed wrong.  BUT…..once I had one, I was hooked.  I love that I can have a book in an instant, and I never lose my page!

Now, I do still buy paper books.  How else can I take a bath and enjoy a book?  Now days about half of the books that I read are from my kindle.

Recently, I discovered how I can get tons of FREEEEE books for my kindle.  Every day, Kindle has daily deals.  There are always free books and many of them are pretty good!  Keep in mind……there will be some pretty bad, cheesy, no good books.  I have had a few where I read the first chapter and then just delete it from my library.  No big deal since I didn’t pay for them!  BEST of all….I get TONS of free books for my kids.  They LOVE reading on the kindle. (I just want them to read!)

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Go here to subscribe to the Kindle daily deals.  Once you sign up, they will send you an email each day with all their best deals.  Not all of them are free, but they are all discounted.  I always download the free ones and just delete the ones I don’t want to keep.  I have found some of my favorite authors for $1-$2 on the daily deals also.  It is worth it to scroll through the email!

Happy reading!!!!!

Freezer-friendly Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

The fastest way to grab my girls attention is by saying the word cookie.  That’s right, I think this might be the only word I never need to say more than once in my house at any given moment no matter where they are and they start running.  It’s AMAZING! I keep telling Kinley when they grow up, I”m going to their house to break their stuff, eat all their cookies, make a huge mess, say I’m bored and then just leave:)  But until then, I found a pretty awesome recipe for freezer friendly treats that will gain a few brownie points from your littles.  Just pop a few of these yummy treats in the oven and viola your set!

Freezer Chocolate Chip Cookies2

 Ingredients:

1 cup shortening or butter (softened)
1/3 cup peanut butter
3/4 cup brown sugar (or raw sugar)
3/4 cup sugar (or raw sugar)
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour (you can also use white flour or half whole-wheat/half white)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups oats (rolled or quick oats)
1 12-oz. package chocolate chips

Freezer Chocolate Chip Cookies

Freezer Chocolate Chip Cookies 3

Cream together first six ingredients. Add flour, baking soda, salt, and oats. Mix well. Stir in chocolate chips. Roll into 1-1 1/2-inch balls.
To freeze: Place cookie balls on a cookie sheet and freeze for one to two hours. Remove from cookie sheet and place in an airtight freezer bag.
To bake: Pull out the desired amount of balls and place on a greased cookie sheet for 30-45 minutes to thaw. Bake at 375 degrees for 10 minutes or until done.  Makes approximately 40 cookies.

Homemade gifts……that are NOT cheesy!

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Ok.  I will admit that I love to make gifts for people….as long as they are not cheesy! I just love the personal touch of actually putting in the time to do something special for people.  My kids are much more excited to give a gift that they made than something we rushed to pick up on the way to a party.  (Can you tell that I have done that WAY too many times?????)

Recently I made this for my nephews.  Yes, it took my boys and I a couple of hours to paint them.  Yes, I had to think ahead and collect different sized cans.  And yes, I had to pull out the saw to cut the  2 X 4.  BUT…it was totally worth it when my boys watched their cousins open the gift.  They were so proud of what they had made.  They all ran outside as fast as they could and started playing.  It kept them occupied for the rest of the day!  (Now that is priceless!!!!)

This did end up being a pretty frugaltastic gift.  It cost us about $3 for the paint and board. (Enough to make 2 games)  I purchased the stuffed angry birds on Amazon.  (At the time they came in a 3 pack for $7.)  This brings the total for two games to $7.67.

What frugalrific, not cheesy, gift ideas do you have???

 

Blueberry Coffee Cake Recipe

 

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Recently I went to the grocery store and they had large containers of fresh blueberries for $.99.  C.R.A.Z.Y.  They are normally about 5X that, so I had to throw some in my basket…..like 3 of them.  At the time it seemed like such a GREAT idea.  But frugality goes out the window if you let the berries rot!  So what is a frugal mom to do??  Why make blueberry coffee cake of course!  It turned out AMAZING!

Here is what you need….

For the Cake:

1 1/2 cups sugar

1/4 cup shortening

1/4 cup butter

2 eggs

1 tsp. vanilla

1 1/4  cup milk

4 cups flour

4 tsp. baking powder

3/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

3-4 cups blueberries (fresh or frozen)

 

for the Streusel topping:

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup flour

3/4 tsp cinnamon

6 tbsp. butter (softened)

 

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Pre-Heat oven to 375 degrees.

Cream together your sugar, shortening, butter, vanilla and eggs.  Then slowly add the milk a little at a time.  Mixing as you add.

IMG_4933In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, salt, baking powder, and cinnamon.

IMG_4934Slowly fold in the dry ingredients to the wet.

 IMG_4937Once your batter is mixed well, set aside.  Take your blueberries and sprinkle a couple of teaspoons of flour on top of them.  This will keep them from sinking to the bottom.  IMG_4940Gently fold them into the batter and spread evenly in a well-greased 9 x 13 pan.

IMG_4941Mix together your streusel ingredients and sprinkle evenly over the top of the cake.  Bake for about 40-45 minutes. (Until a toothpick…or spaghetti noodle……. comes out clean.) 🙂

NOTE:  If you use frozen blueberries, reduce the milk by about 1/4 of a cup.

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