Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Need to Clean

I hate to admit it, but my house is in no shape to be calling it the home of a designer. It's cluttered and looks like a Toys'R'Us blew up in it! So I am going to start cleaning, organizing and decluttering one room at a time. The room that's up first is the living room. Do I dare take a before picture?? Stay tuned...

General Mills Give Away

Head on over to The Thrifty Mama to enter an awesome give away! If you like going to the movies as much as I do, then you'll definitely want to participate.

I'm buying a lot of cereal this month because it will be cheaper to buy 2 boxes of cereal and get a free movie ticket than just buying a ticket! Date night with my husband and breakfast is included ;) The participating cereals are pictured below, but be sure to get the specially marked boxes!!

So have a look and check out some of her other great posts. You'll be addicted to the site just like me!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Avoiding the Nursery Nightmare

As promised, here are the details of Zoie's nursery. The inspiration room is almost identical to her room size and layout. The only exception is the over nine foot ceilings we have compared to the 8 foot in the picture.

The total cost of the makeover: $120, the cost of the curtains. My mom gifted the crib and rug; the paint supplies I already had (OOPS paint and Glidden give away); the tall chest, rolling side table and chair were repurposed; and the changing chest was a gift from a friend. Of course I could have made the curtains and saved some money, but I've been there done that! So here's what you've been waiting for- a picture!

Here are the details...

First I had to clear it out and clean it up! I drew the room to scale and did a furniture layout.

Next I painted the room brown, with the exception of the wall with the colored blocks on it but including the ceiling. Don't forget the ceiling, it's the fifth wall in my world.

On the wall with the grid, I measured it and divided it out to get the number of squares I needed. I measured and marked the locations for the vertical and horizontal lines. Then I put 2 coats of white paint only where the grid was going to be. I let it dry for 24 hours. I then took 2" wide painters tape and taped off the grid. I painted white paint over the tape; this will give you that clean sharp edge and no seeping under the paint! While it dried I labeled the blocks with the each designated color. Then I painted the blocks and pulled away the tape. Sounds like a lot of work, but it's not too bad. I would definitely rather do that then make curtains!!

My mom ordered the crib and once it arrived, we put it together. I went to a kid's consignment sale and found the rug and mattress, gifted by my mom! Everything else was either a shower gift or repurposed from another area of the house. I do have a few things left to hang, but I'm waiting until I get a couple of pictures developed- FREE from a photo print club of course!

And that's it! "Instant" nursery!

So, what do you think?? I hope it's a room that will grow with her without being too girly or childish. I hope so, after painting that grid, it would be heart breaking to paint over it!

Do you have a room that you need a little help with?? If so let me know! Send an email to dimelydesign @ gmail . com (just remove the spaces)

Nursery Makeover for NEXT to Nothing!

So, as I mentioned, I recently had a little girl. We turned my old studio space into her room. I came across an inspiration room and decided to go full steam ahead to create my little girl's room based on this one:

Inspiration rooms are great because if you're not sure where to start, they can give you an idea or two to expand on. And that's just what this did! Now, of course I had to change a few things, mainly the color scheme. This room could be for a little girl, but I used some of the same colors in my boys' room. The best part was I had everything I needed to get started.

Coming up, pictures of my little girl's place she calls home and how I did it all for only the cost of the curtains!

*Picture Source is from www.Parents.com

Sunday, November 8, 2009

A Warm Welcome

Thank you to all my readers who have welcomed me back with open arms and warm wishes! It's nice to know that my little blog does have some viewers :)

And congratulations to those other new moms! A few have blogs as well, hop on over and take a look:

Savvy Saving Mom
Savings Makes Cents

This is a special edition post. I won't usually post anything on Sundays :)

Saturday, November 7, 2009

The Line Up

As promised, here are the daily readings:

Makeover Monday
Mondays are for tackling those hard to design rooms, color corrections or just difficult decisions you need another opinion on! Here's how it works: email me your design delima. If it's a layout, I will need the dimensions of the room, the placement of doors and windows, and the dimensionms of the furniture you want to use; this is like a re-design. If you need a color correction such as selecting paint, upholstery on a piece or accessories email me with your question! If you're starting from scratch, I'll need room dimensions and a list of items you would like in a room; I'll actually be suggesting furniture pieces in this type of solution. The results (or "winner") will be posted on the foloowing Monday. Hey! Rome wasn't built in a day either :)

Tackle It Tuesday
My husband has band practice on Tuesday nights. Rock band, not marching band, lol. Not against marching band, I was in one in high school and college, just making the clarification! Sorry, I digress... so Tuesdays will be a great night to get some things done. That is, if all the children cooperate!

Working Wednesday
I'll be joining the Thrifty Mama on her Cook-It Wednesdays, part of her In The Kitchen series. This will be the day I'll get a few things prepared for dinners to come, but I mostly bake. So lots of cookies, muffins and cookies (oh, I said that already, lol).

Thrifty Thursday
Sales for my grocery stores start on Tuesday, so this will give me a couple of days to get my scenarios in order. I read several blogs, and hidden deals are also usually discovered, so this will keep my shopping trips to a minimum!

Finish It Friday
I know, that was a tough one to come up with! I am home all day with the kids on Friday so who knows what I'll actually get done, but I'll do my best to get us ready for the weekend.

Saturday Savings
This is in conjunction with Money Saving Moms Super Savings Saturdays and The Thrifty Mamas Shopping Superstars.

A day of rest...we all need one! Visit another one of the blogs I enjoy reading from my Blog List

Friday, November 6, 2009

A Little More Progress

I am getting everything prepared for my official kick off on Monday. And to get you prepared for what's to come, let me tell you why I started this blog...

I am a very creative person, I love solving problems and since the birth of my twins almost 2 years ago, I have lost the time and energy to BE creative. I used to paint a great deal, decorate, sew and refinish furniture. So this blog is a way to motivate me to continue to do all the things I used to do. Seems a little ironic that something that will take more of my time will hopefully get me to paint or do some other creative project... something I quit doing because I had "no time." Hmmm????

I attended a local University for design. Once I received my degree, I landed a job at the only contemporary store in my area. I LOVED it! The furniture and design I was most passionette about was all in one place, and it was keeping my creative side alive. Then slowly, I lost my fire and started to get up, go to work, go home, sleep. It's not as exciting as it used to be, and I have fallen dormant to my creative side. I am lost in this retail nightmare- I only sell now, no design work anymore. But it has a positive side, too. I was promoted to manager and now I attend furniture markets. How exciting! But I still long for that need to MAKE something.

With the addition of a family, we needed to tighten our belts. So I have started to frugally decorate our home and provide for our family. Hence the name of this blog: Dimely Design. Good design doesn't have to cost much, you just need a little time, work and inspiration! So this site will focus more on designing and decorating. I will occassionaly post a few deals, but mostly to make your house a home.

Stay tuned for the weekly line up! It's an extensive description of what's to come...

Thursday, November 5, 2009

New Layout

As you can see, I have a new layout. I love the vintage, retro look, and this seemed to fit in perfectly. When I left you, I talked about decluttering. Well, I did that, and somehow, things have gotten out of hand again! I have a terrible habit of making little piles here and there, with the intention of putting things away, but seem to never get back to it! Well, that is going to end. My husband and I have decided to simplify, and I am going to do just that!

I will be starting a new little mini series to get my life and home into order. I can only do these things in the evening, once I am home from work, and when I have very little energy left. But seeing my home the way it is, just seems to make me tired as well! So join me every Thursdays for "Tackle It Thursday!" I selected Thursdays because I have Fridays off. So things I don't complete on Thursday, I can tie up on Friday.

Stay tuned for my complete list of daily posts!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

I'm Back! I Think...

One of my favorite bloggers told me if blogging feels like work, then to take a break. So I did. Of course I also needed a break to have our little girl! She is 8 weeks old now. It's so hard to believe, but we are starting to get settled into a routine.

I have started baking again, and hope to participate in Cook It Wednesday on The Thrifty Mama's site. I started a little early on Tuesday night because my husband had band practice. I made Pumpkin Chocolate Chip muffins I found HERE the same recipe Money Saving Mom uses. She's actually the one that got me interested in them! I also made some lactation cookies for me! Of course, my whole families loves them, so they don't last very long. You can find the recipe HERE. I make them with and without chocolate chips. I also use mini chips so I can use half the amount of chips. The "dosage" is 4 cookies per day, and at the rate I actually eat them, I should be making gallons of milk! Sorry, I hope that wasn't TMI!

I will be posting less often than my fellow bloggers, but working full time outside my home, dealing with twin toddlers and a newborn is keeping me plenty busy!

So stay tuned...I'll be posting about what this site is all about!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Home Depot Card Give Away!

The Thrifty Mama is giving away a $100 Homw Depot card on her site! This is perfect for Father's Day! Check out her awesome give away HERE.

And while you're there, check out her great posting on organic deals at Kroger. Get Oikos Yogurt for FREE and Santa Cruz Juice for only .50! What GREAT deals on organic products!

Making Room for Sister

So I mentioned I was cleaning up and getting rid of clutter... and that I am! Once I finish cleaning out the room that will become the nursery, I'll post before and after pictures. WHAT A DIFFERENCE already!

I sold quite a bit at a yard sale, and I made almost $500. GREAT! Then I have been taking loads at a time to Goodwill. I have made 3 trips so far, and I am embarrased to say, I'm not finished! How did I accumulate so much stuff???

So as I continue to work, I encourage you to as well. Clean the clutter and you will feel lighter!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Who Wants a Clean House?

I do! If you haven't seen this show, you need to! It has inspired me to rid my home of clutter and items I don't use, will never use and need to pass along! So I started about a month ago going through all my stuff, and picking out things that I want to keep, and tossing things I don't need to keep! The items are in my yard sale piles, and once the yard sale is over, what I don't sell will be donated.

What prompted me to start stream-lining is the future arrival of a new baby! My old studio will be her room (that's right, we found out it's a girl!). So I am getting rid of things I have collected and even projects I swore I would get to, but years later, all they do is collect dust. So how do you decide what to keep and what to get rid of?? Well, in the long run, that is up to you, but these were the decision makers for me:

  1. Do I currently use it? If not, when is the last time I used it?
  2. For clothes: do I wear it? If not, when was the last time it was worn?? If it's been longer than a year, it's time to get rid of it! If you are keeping something in hopes of it fitting again, don't. Get rid of it, and reward yourself with a few new things once you have accomplished your goal. May not seem frugal, but once it fits again, it will probably be out of style. The only thing I *may* keep would be jeans or neutral pants.
  3. Shoes- one of my weaknesses! Pretty much the same rule as clothes.
  4. Trinkets/collections: pick your favorites. Collections can get out of hand REALLY quick, so don't let it take over! When people learn you really like collecting something, they tend to add to it as well. Then it's so much, that you start to loose the "passion" you once had for the item. TRUST me, I know!
  5. Don't be sentimental about EVERYTHING. This will certainly be difficult, but it is key to not hanging onto everything. I knew someone that kept every birthday card she ever received. Nice thought, but it really adds up! My suggestion? Keep the milestone years. For example, 1st birthday, teenager, twenty-one, forty. That is, if you REALLY need to keep some!
  6. Unless you are a gourmet chef, you don't need multiple bakeware pieces, pots, pans, different types of spatulas, etc. Minimize your needs by what you use. This goes for every room in the house!
  7. Craft projects. Oooohhhhh this is a hard one for me! But it's been so long since I refinished a piece of furniture or attempted that beaded necklace, that if I wasn't actively doing something to it, I will pass it along and let someone else try!

Now, I stockpile items. BUT, I have started to only stockpile what we will use, and immediately donate the rest, or not even buy it. Even when it's free, it's not a necessity!

So I hope this helps you reduce your clutter. Does any one have any suggestions for anyone??

*The Clean House logo is a trademark of the Clean House television series.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

A Quick Kroger Run

I made it to Kroger this morning for a few things:

Bag of Disney Apples (smaller, but oh so juicy and crisp!)
2 Blocks of Cheese
8 Pack DanActive

I paid 57 cents for all of that!!! The apples rang up $2.49 instead of 2/$3, so I got those FREE due to the Scan Right Guarantee. The cheese was BOGO and the DanActive was marked to $1.25. I had a $1.25 coupon for the DanActive. THEN at the You Scan register, I noticed several Cats behind the machine... I grabbed them, and guess what?! There were 2 $1.50 OYNO Cats!!

On my way to work, I noticed the new car wash had just opened, and they were giving away FREE car washes! Did I stop? You bet I did! And the vacuums there are free anyway, so now my car is spotless.

It's been a blessed day.

Monday, April 6, 2009

CVS: No Extra Bucks, No Problem!

When I went to CVS last week, I used all my Extra Bucks. It was by accident, you see. I tried to buy the Paas Easter Egg Kits to roll some Extra Bucks, but the deal ended on Monday. I THOUGHT it was Monday, but in actuality, it was Tuesday! So the kind lady did a return for me and put the money on a gift card...it's all the same to me!

I made a return trip to CVS yesterday to do the great Diaper Deal! But me, not feeling well and tired from pregnancy #2, made some simple mistakes. My OOP could and SHOULD have been much lower, but I did things a little backwards. I did get 1 ECB from my quarterly spending, so I did have that to start with. Here are my 3 transactions:

Easter Baskets 2 x $1.99
Easter Grass 2 x .79
-1 EB
TOTAL $4.88 on GC, nothing OOP
Earned 3.98 & 1.58 EB

Huggies Gentle Wipes 3 x $5
Huggies Gentle Diapers $10
-$5/$25 from email
-$15 Gentle Care PRODUCT printable (no longer available)
-$5 Gentle Care DIAPER product printable (no longer available)
TOTAL (tax only ) $1.40 on GC, nothing OOP
Earned 10 EB

Coke 3/$11
Mentos 3 x $1.69
-$2 Coke coupon from Kroger mailer
-$3 Mentos Coupons
-10 EB
TOTAL $1.49 on GC, nothing OOP
Earned 3 & 1 EB

SO, I have quite a few Extra Bucks left. Now I know it looks like some great transactions, but my OOP could have been lower. How?? Well, let me show you! The order you do transactions COULD save you some money!

Huggies Gentle Wipes 3 x $5
Huggies Gentle Diapers $10
-$5/$25 from email
-$15 Gentle Care PRODUCT printable (no longer available)
-$5 Gentle Care DIAPER product printable (no longer available)
TOTAL (tax only ) $1.40 on GC, nothing OOP
Earned 10 EB

Coke 3/$11
Mentos 3 x $1.69
-$2 Coke coupon from Kroger mailer
-$3 Mentos Coupons
-10 EB (from Trans #1), 1 EB from quarterly
TOTAL .42 on GC, nothing OOP
Earned 3 & 1 EB

Easter Baskets 2 x $1.99
Easter Grass 2 x .79
- 4 EB (from previous trans)
TOTAL $1.67 on GC, nothing OOP
Earned 3.98 & 1.58 EB

My total OOP for my actual transactions was $7.77, and I have 9.56 EBs. If I did my order differently, my OOP would have been $3.49, and I would have $5.56 EBs. So I would have saved $4.28 , but I would have less EBs for next time*. I guess it all comes out in the wash, but none of it was "my money," so I'll just let it go and do better next time!!

*If you noticed, my difference in EBs is $4. Add 7% tax to that and it is $4.28!! There you go!

Now, if you need a little help learning the ropes of CVS, The Thrifty Mama has a great series going on right now. She taught me what I know, and has saved me LOTS of money. So go visit her series on From The Ground Up, and you'll learn all you need to know!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Money Maker at Kroger!

Have I mentioned I *heart* Kroger?? I stopped by to get some milk for my boys, but I always do a quick run through for bargain's sake. As a quickly walked up and down the aisles, I came across one of my "favorite" deals. Pillsbury 5 count Cinnamon Rolls, Crescent Rolls and Grands are on sale for $1.00. I never get the cinnamon rolls because they can be pricey, but check out my deal:
Buy 5 Cinnamon Rolls at $1.00 = $5.00
Use 5 .30/1 coupons, doubled - $3.00
Total OOP $2.00
BUT WAIT! I got a $3.00 OYNO Cat!! I made $1.00!
The Crescents are a pretty good deal too:
5 Crescents at $1 = $5.00
5 .25/1 doubled = $2.50
Total OOP $2.50
Get a $3.00 OYNO Cat!
The only Grands coupon I have is .40/3, so not AS good, but still pretty good!
If I did my math right, it's .40 for 6 AFTER the OYNO Cat. You have to buy 6 to use 2 coupons.
The sale on the Pillsbury items is through March 3rd, so if they are sold out be sure to get a raincheck because the Catalina special runs through March 22nd. New coupons may be out before then! The catalina special is buy ANY 3 Pillsbury products, get $1.50, buy 4 get $2 or buy 5 and get $3.00 (refrigerated products).
Have fun getting paid to shop!!!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Kroger Loves Me

I went to Kroger yesterday with the intention of being lucky enough to find some marked down meat. The meat is fine, just close to it's sell by date. I found a few things, but it was the other markdowns that really got me!! Now, I spent a little more than usual, but I got so much that will last a long time! Here's the run down from 2 transactions:

4 Community Coffee $4.99 ea

8 Fruit Rollups $1.69 ea (I could eat the whole box in a day, okay, an hour- SERIOUSLY)

2 Grands Biscuits $1.27 ea

1 Pillsbury Cinnamon Rolls $1.79 (not on sale, but I'm pregnant!)

1 Kroger Tortillas $1.29

14 Tropicana Pure Orange Juice .99 ea (Manager's Special- AWESOME!)

6 Whole Milk, half gallons .99 ea (Manager's Special!)

4 2% Milk, half gallons .99 ea (Manager's Special!)

1 Eggland Eggs $2.52

1 Danactive Yogurt, 14 pack $1.99 (Another Manager's Special)

1 Kroger Sour Cream .99

1 Lettuce $1.29

3 Sanderson 100% Natural Chicken, $3.61 ea

2 Whole Chickens $2.75 ea

1 Oscar Meyer Lunch Meat $6.29 (Free after Kroger Loyalty Coupon)

1 Carrots $1.99

6 Loaves of Lewis Whole Wheat Bread $1.79 ea

4 Tunas .72 ea

Bananas $1.16

Kroger Diapers $3.99 (After Kroger printable)

I froze the excess O.J. and milk. And what about my coupons? I am not going to list all the coupons, but here are the best from what I used:

  • $1.00/2 Tropicana Pure Juices (That means I got them BOGO!)

  • .50 Fruit Rollups (Doubled to $1) This was actually a Money Maker because if you buy 5, then you get a $3.50 Cat OYNO.

  • .50 off Lewis Bread (doubled to $1)

  • $2 Community Coffee (coffee for only $2.99!!)

  • .40 off 2 Grands Biscuits

  • $3 off for getting 10 of select items- included was the Fruit Rollups and Grands. So that's .30 off each item, the Grands were .57 after discount and coupons, the Rollups were .39 per box!! THEN I got the $3.50 cat. I spent $3.12 on the rollups, so I made .38! Almost a free box! YAY!

  • $3.50 cat from Rollups deal

TOTAL after coupons: $44.10!!!!!!!!! My total was $85.55, but I had a gift card, so I didn't count that as part of my total. One of my coffee coupons didn't scan, and the cashier huffed when I said something. SHE noticed a rollup coupon didn't scan. She tried again, but it still didn't. What did she do? Nothing! So I went back to Kroger that night (2nd transaction), went up to CS, explained the situation and that also 2 of my O.J.'s rang at regular price. Since I am in there ALL THE TIME, really, I am, they went ahead and refunded me the coupon amounts (usually you are out of luck) and the full amount of the O.J. I included the refund in my total.

SO, there it is! My great Kroger run! I am trying to prepare for the new arrival, so getting deals like this is definitely going to help!

Monday, February 9, 2009

And Now There's 3!

So it wasn't long ago that I found out I'm pregnant. It will be baby #3 for my husband and I. We currently have 14 month old twin boys! I am nesting very early with this pregnancy because we need to find a home for the little one. So, I am giving up my studio but not my love to paint. I will be shifting some things around in the house and getting rid of things I no longer use or even NEVER use! I'm going by the tips given on Biblical Womanhood: Spring Cleaning for Normal People, and that would definitely include me!
These are the things I am going to work on:
Setting up the nursery
I'll post my progress on my site, as well as the things I am doing to decorate the new nursery frugally! I need to set a goal, so I'll be back with the goals for getting my home ready for baby!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

FREE Starbucks!

What is better than Starbucks coffee? FREE Starbucks coffee!! That's right- from now until Sunday, if you pledge to do at least 5 hours of community service, you get a free cup of Starbucks coffee. What a great idea. And you'll have so much energy from drinking your free coffee! More details HERE. Check your local Starbucks, I just did! MMmmmmmm

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Lemonade Award

WOW! I was nominated for an award. How sweet. It reminded me that even though I don't get to blog all the time, I have been able to help a few people out there. So THANK YOU for reminding me about that! I enjoy sharing ideas with others because I am always returned the favor.

I was nominated for The Lemonade Award by Coupon Clippin' Mama B. What is the Lemonade Award? "The Lemonade Award is given by a previous winner to 10 people who have shown a great attitude or gratitude this week. It’s a great way to show these people that you appreciate them." What a great idea!

  1. If you were a nominee here's what you need to do. Please share this opportunity with your favorite bloggers by doing the following:

  2. Put the logo on your blog or post.

  3. Nominate at least 10 blogs, which show great Attitude and/or Gratitude! Be sure to link to your nominees within your post. Let them know that they have received this award by commenting on their blog.

  4. Share the love and link to this post and to the person from whom you received your award.

Now to make my selections! Truthfully, it's only a handful and there may be repeat nominations. If that's you, please feel free to pass up the "requirements" because you have already participated. Without further delay, here are my nominees (in no specific order):

1. Coupon Clippin Mama B She has a wonderful, upbeat blog. I enjoy looking at her deals and trying to get the same! I also LOVE the name of her blog... that's my nickname!

2. The Thrifty Mama If you don't know her, you should! She is the very reason I save the money I do today! She "held me hand" learning CVS and Wags. Thanks to her blog, I have taken over my finances again. I also appreciate her dedication to her faith. Very inspiring. THANK YOU SO MUCH, CRYSTAL!

3. Southern Savers Thanks to her blog, I am able to locate the deals in my area. Due to stores being regional, it's frustating when I read about a great deal only to realize I can't get it! With this blog, I can count on that my store is participating!

4.Common Sense With Money Mercedes seems to be able to find all the deals! Thanks to her, I can find them too. She does an awesome job!

5. Savvy Saving Mama Before I started blogging, I followed this blog. It's very down to Earth and I enjoy reading her deals and steals. Thank you for making it look so easy!

6. Nickels-N-Dimes I appreciate all the charity work she posts about, and the opportunities she "gives" us to help...motivation! She also has a wonderful blog that lists the latest bargains.

7. Money Saving Mom Where I got my start. I visited her site one day, drooled over her posted deals, and the rest is, well, history!

8. So Cal Saver I just love her attitude! It's fun and fresh!

9. That's Just Nifty Thrifty She is so talented! She made a quilt for Christmas, does graphics and kicks but at CVS! I follow her to keep up with some great CVS ideas!

10. $aving Makes Cents Love following along with her getting deals. I wish we had a Mejer! She keeps her site up to date and up beat.

Well, there you have it! My nominees, although I know there are more out there!