Saturday, July 9, 2011

Shop Hop Saturday 7/9/11

Good Saturday!  Time for Shop Hop with Ruthi and abitosunshine.

I have a few more pics that I want to make into zazzle designs.  I do hope to get some things done in there this week.

I've listed 2 more items in my etsy shop that I completed this past week.   I'm really starting to rethink etsy.  I think it's a great website for selling hand crafted items, but I'm just not getting orders.  When you list there is a .20 listing fee per item.  The listing stays up for 90 days.  The 90 days is good...if it sells.  If it doesn't you have to pay another .20 to re-list the item.  Which, I have done so over and over.  Most of my items are low price so relisting them really takes a chunk out of the small profit that I earn on my items.    I'm thinking that if they don't sell, going ahead and posting them over to my blujay store where it's free to list.  What do you think?

Here are my 2 new items:
Polka Dot Fabric Bag

I had taken the time to re-list school books over in homeschoolbuy--not all of them, just the ones that were still available to just hit re-list on from the ended list.  I've not taken the time to keep them up.  I think I will give up on homeschoolbuy as well since for whatever reason, I am the only one who lists there!  I am debating----just put the books out in our yard sale, or copy the listing over to blujay.   The items don't end there until they sell, or I choose to end them.

Debates debates debates....all I know is that I need to earn some money!
Please hop over to abitosunshine and hop along with us on this weekly shop hop:
 Shop Hop Saturday with abitosunshine

Friday, July 8, 2011

52 Weeks of Organizing--Week 27(Week 4 for Me)

This weeks post on I'm as Organizing Junkie is getting your kids to help.
I have a lot of grandchildren and this past week 5 of them have moved in.  I have one side of my hall storage basically just for them.  I will have to include a photo next week if I think about it, but the bottom drawer is for their drawing, coloring, and art supplies.  The next drawer up is for the girls' toys, the next drawer up is for my grandsons stuff, the top drawer is full of different card and peg games.
In the doors above one shelf has the doll house, odds and ends for the doll house, puzzles, bath toys, and I am working at getting more board games in there.  On shelf has board games that we got from one of the grade schools, so the boards are out with games supplies in ziploc bags.  The top shelf houses the Lego and Duplo blocks.
The kids know what goes where in the cabinets.
With them moving in, they brought more toys with them.  Fortunately, they are divided into containers for each type of toy.  My daughter is keeping them in their bedroom in the basement and lets them just bring one thing at a time up here to play with.

Now, with all that said, this past week my project was the other side table.

Here is the before photo.  Come on...why was there a drill in the house instead of in the garage?  All the magazines are now sorted and in our garage for a sale.  Other misc. items are either thrown away or put where they belong!

And here is after--all cleaned off and so far staying that way minus the jar of instant tea that mysteriously came in here from the kitchen  LOL
 Click the button below and see what others are working on in their organizing and de-cluttering and/or add your own!

Frugal Friday's With Marsha 7/8/11

This has been a strange week. I don't know if strange is really the word I want, but we allowed my daughter, her 5 children, and her boyfriend to move in with us. Other than the fact that they needed a place to stay, we needed their help with food. We've not had enough to do any real grocery shopping for weeks now.
We've been making it fine on what we had in the freezer and did buy a few pounds of meat over the weeks. They brought with them enough food for at least a week, and my daughter got her food stamps yesterday.

To say the house is going to be crazy, and noisy now, is quite the under statement. It's going to take some getting used to. As much as I love them all, I do hope they get the job situation taken care of and don't have to stay longer than a few months.

I can't really think of too many things that I did that were frugal over this past week, other than the usual hanging clothes on the line. We are also making my daughter hang their laundry out as well. I am linking up my Mailbox Monday post in the linky.

I bought a book that came in this past week. It's called 99 cent Solutions. Each week I am going to share some of the book. I've skimmed the book and it's 1,377 smart uses for every day stuff....this is going to be fun to share some each week!

Replace the oil in baking--Fat makes baked goods moist and tender. It's also incredibly calorie dense, and if you are cutting calories, it's an easy place to start. Don't like your muffins and cakes dry and tough? Replace up to 2/3 of the oil called for in the recipe with applesauce and you will add moisture and flavor while ditching the fat. (my grandma actually taught me this when I was young and my mom does this most all the time with cake. You can't even tell the difference and it's much healthier!)

Make Holiday Ornaments--mix equal amounts of cinnamon and applesauce to make fragrant ornaments. Start with 1 cup of each and mix, adding more cinnamon if needed to make a stiff dough. Roll dough to half inch thick and use cookie cutters to make shapes, or mold it into hearts or wreaths. Don't forget to use a pencil or something to make a hole for hanging. Let dry for several days on a baking sheet or wire rack. (We've made these and love them. Cinnamon is one of our favorite scents in the house and these are long lasting. It's also a great family time together to make them. You can buy cinnamon at the dollar store fairly cheap.)

Add sweetness and fiber to your oatmeal--You've gone to all the trouble to make a healthy breakfast of oatmeal so don't ruin it by slathering on butter, sugar and cream. Instead, stir in a few tablespoons of applesauce and a sprinkle of cinnamon. You will add sweetness and flavor and even more fiber making it both healthy and delicious. (I actually look forward to trying this since I do put a lot of butter and sugar in my oatmeal.)

That's it for this week. I look forward to reading what others have done this past week in being frugal, living a simple life, saving money etc etc!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

You Can Do a Graphic Novel Winner!

We have a winner!
Using, the winner of You Can Do a Graphic Novel book is:

And comment 7 is:

Ruthi aka abitosunshine said... 7

I like you on Facebook!

Congrats Ruthi!

Be sure to check out my Mary Bragg Tattoos and Bruises CD giveaway under the review/giveaways page. It ends this evening (7/7/11) and has very few entries.

Lots of Great Printable Coupons to Choose From Grocery Coupons

$2.00 off any RID product

$1.00 off any Nature's Bounty Vitamin

$1.00 off any Citracal

$1.00 off One A Day Adult or Teen Multivitamin

$5.00 off Your $25.00 Order at Vistaprint


$1.00 off on Phillips' products

Up To 75% Off On Prescription Medication

Up To 75% Off On Prescription Medication

$2.00 off any NASALCROM allergy product

$2.00 off Citracal Calcium Gummies / Slow Release

$100 Visa Gift Card for Joining ADT

$2.00 off renu fresh™ or renu sensitive™

$5.00 off on any can of Enfagrow™ Powder

$.60 off 1 Morton Season-All product 8oz or larger

$1.00 off HP ColorLok Paper

$0.55 off on any Bagel-fuls (4ct)

$1.00 off any Coppertone Suncare Product

$1.00 off 1 Box of 14 count Instead Softcups

$3.00 off On any one Flex-a-min

$5.00 off Any ROGAINE product

$3.00 off Any Osteo Bi-Flex Caplets

$88.99 for 2 Pairs of Eyeglasses

$2.00 off when you buy any Sally Hansen Nail Color

$2.00 off any Nurse Jackie DVD or Blu-ray™!

$0.75 off one package of Truvia natural sweetener

$0.75 off any one Newman's Own Salad Dressing


5 BOOKS FOR 99¢ to DoubleDay Book Club

$1.00 off (1) NIVEA Express Hydration Lotion

$1.50 off any (1) 11oz package of Natural Fusions

$1.00 off Reser's American Classics 3 lb Salad

$0.55 off any Chore Boy Product



$3.00 off Oklahoma! on DVD

$2.00 off the July issue of ESSENCE

$0.75 off Yoplait kid products

$3.00 off King and I 50th Anniversary Edition

$3.00 off The Sound of Music on Blu-ray™

$3.00 off History of the World Part 1 on Blu-ray™

$3.00 off All That Jazz Music Edition on DVD

$0.40 off Yoplait Yogurt

$0.75 off Cocoa Puffs Brownie Crunch™ cereal


$3.00 off Crazy Heart on Blu-ray™


$3.00 off Rocky Horror Picture Show on Blu-ray™

$3.00 off South Pacific on Blu-ray™

$3.00 off Moulin Rouge on Blu-ray™

$3.00 off Walk the Line on Blu-ray™

$0.75 off Betty Crocker Fruit Snacks

$1.00 off any ONE (1) POISE Pads

$1.00 off any L'Oréal Studio Line Styling Product

$1.00 off Dr. Scholl's Odor-X™ Product

$0.50 off Honey Nut Cheerios cereal

$1.00 off LÄRABAR or JOCALAT bars

$1.00 off any ONE (1) POISE Liners

$0.75 off Cascadian Farm product

$0.75 off Fiber One 80 Calories cereal

$0.75 off Nature Valley Granola Bars

$1.00 off 2 Barber Foods Stuffed Chicken Breast

$0.75 off one Efferdent PM 78 count

$0.40 off Fiber One 90 Calorie Chewy Bars

$1.00 off any BENADRYL Anti-itch product

$1.00 off Ester-C The Better Vitamin C™ Product

$0.50 off Nature Valley Granola Thins

$0.50 off Bisquick Baking Mix

$0.75 off Cookie Crisp cereal

$1.00 off Dr. Scholl's Clear Away Products

$1.00 off Dr. Scholl's Freeze Away

$1.00 off any L'Oréal Paris Go 360° Clean Product

$1.00 off eight cans Purina ALPO brand DOG FOOD

$1.00 off (1) NIVEA Good-bye Cellulite Product

Squidoo Hopping 7/7/11

Happy Thursday!
It's not been that great of a week for me as far as my lenses go....well, getting anything done really. I did do a lot of hopping around on squidoo, just didn't do much with my own.

I did update My Toothbrush Rug to include links to a great blog where she gives step by step instructions with photos. Soon enough I will be finishing up that lens with the pic of my rug finished.

I finally was getting around last night to building This Day in History July 3 in honor of my grandson's birthday (Allen) but it kept having problems. It took out most of the pre built Homeschool Club modules, wouldn't load photos, and then wouldn't publish. I finished it up this morning with the exception of the Homeschool Club modules.

Here are a couple of my lenses from the bottom of my list that can use some love until I get around to updating them:
Kansas--Our First Lapbook!
With Voilets by Elizabeth Robards

I noticed something about the related lenses as well. If we don't choose in edit what we wanted there, they are there anyway, chosen by squidoo, I assume by tags. I forgot about it on the lens I did today and one of my This Day in History showed up in the list of 5.
There are so many different things you can do to update a lens and freshen it, and putting in your own related lenses is just one. No reason why I can't get in and at least update a lens each day if I'm not building a new one....and I have loads of new ones I can get built as well!!

I hope to see a lot of lenses to hop over and check out this week in the linky.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Financial Recovery by Karen McCall--Book Review

Financial Recovery--developing a healthy relationship with money by Karen McCall--Founder of the Financial Recovery Institute.
ISBN 978-1-57731-928-3
Published May 2011 by New World Library.

Info taken from my info sheets:
"On the surface, handling money seems so easy. It's just simple math, right? Spend less than you earn. Pay your bills. Use wha's left for optional things. If it's so simple, why do so many people struggle with money issues? According to financial recover expert, Karen McCall, "It's because our money behaviors are about more than math. Much more. Your financial life is largely determined by the quality of your relationship with money."

Karen McCall's story is dramatic: 27 years ago, she hit rock bottom. Though she looked successful on the outside, her finances were a catastrophe--she had a large growing pile of unopened and unpaid bills on the top of her refrigerator, and she was perilously close to living on the streets. "I had been living in a 'money coma' completely unconscious of my finances until desperate circumstances finally roused me. I HAD to discover what had led to my problems so that I wouldn't find myself in this situation ever again."

She went on to make some major changes in her life, and then to found the Financial Recovery Institute. In her 20-plus years of working with a large number of individual clients and groups, McCall has observed that people who have a hard time managing money often find themselves repeating money problems no matter how much or how little they have. They try budgets, and fail. They dig out of debt, only to find themselves right back where they started. Many have patterns of overspending, under-earning, or chronic debting. These lead to a condition she calls the Money/Life Drain, a force that sucks our energy and, without change, results in a stressful life lived under the shadow of shame."

My Review:
I dived right in to reading and kept on reading. My husband and I recently bought our own home, bringing with it paying full bills instead of sharing as we had before. We tried making out a budget, no help. I put together a bill calendar, no help. Bills were not being paid on time, shut off notices were coming in etc.

I read lots of this book out loud to my husband and told him that we are putting her practices into effect right away. To start, we found that I am what is called and under earner. I don't earn enough for the crafts that I make and sell, or for cleaning services that I provide. We found that his is an overspender. Ok, I knew he always overspent, he didn't, and still doesn't realize it. We are working on that. According to her book, the place to start is by keeping track of ALL money coming in and ALL money going out for 30 days. This has not been as easy task as most days he "forgets" just exactly how much he spent and tries to just tell me what he bought. This is going to take us more than 30 days, but he is getting better at handing me receipts as soon as he gets home.
This 30 days will tell use how to set up a spending well as where we are spending that is unnecessary or can be cut out, or down.

I like how throughout the book she shares cases she's helped with. We both seen ourselves in these many times. I feel like after reading Financial Recovery, we are well on our way to being able to live and enjoy the life that we enjoy.

I highly recommend this book as a must read no matter what your financial situation is. I also want to mention to visit her website at where you will find lots of free information and forms as well as some that have just a nominal fee to help you with your journey.

Now I want to share this:
By Karen McCall

Imagine how it would feel to have no worries about debt. There is a simple but powerful way to get out, and stay out, of debt. I call this strategy “Saving Your Way Out of Debt.” People get out of debt all the time. As with yo-yo dieting — when weight is lost, then regained — people often pay off debt, and then old habits resume and they find themselves carrying a heavier debt load than ever. The real challenge is staying out of debt. You probably spent your way into debt. Now it’s time to save your way out of debt.

Step 1. Avoid Deprivation Mode

People assume that they must cut out everything that is fun or pleasurable until their debt is paid off. Leaving essential emotional and physical needs unmet sends us into deprivation mode. Deprivation often leads to overspending. Overspending often leads to more debt. Identifying your essential needs and building a spending plan that meets them (even in simple ways that don’t involve spending money) is vital during the process of eliminating debt.

Step 2. Stop the Leaks by Stabilizing Debt

Prematurely paying down debt while still using credit cards keeps you stuck in the debt cycle. This is like sitting in a boat with a grapefruit-sized hole in the side and bailing out the gushing water with a thimble. The most foundational step to freeing yourself from the debt cycle is debt stabilization. It’s nearly impossible to stabilize your debt while you continue to use credit cards. Stabilizing debt simply means that you stop adding to it.

Step 3. Build a Firm Foundation with Periodic Savings

One common myth is that we can’t begin saving until we are debt-free. In fact, saving right from the start is the key that will free you from the yo-yo of the debt cycle. Start by building periodic savings. This is money available to meet periodic, non-monthly expenses, such as car insurance, taxes, and family vacations — that’s right, the obligations and the fun stuff. Life happens. Surprises always crop up. Without savings, we resort to using credit cards. Then we’re back in the leaky boat, bailing away.

How do you save when money is already tight?

Make minimum payments on all but one targeted debt.
Reduce optional spending for now.
Look for creative ways to bring in more money.

Saving your way out of debt may seem slow at first, but eliminating debt forever will pay for itself a thousand times during the course of your lifetime.

Step 4. Use Periodic Savings Guilt-Free!

Most of us feel that savings are not to be touched. Periodic savings are meant to be used, guilt-free, to pay for periodic expenses rather than charging them.

Step 5. Reduce Debt with a Proven Strategy

Once debt is stabilized and you’re building your periodic savings, you’re ready to start reducing debt. Designate whatever amount above the minimum that you can pay toward just the targeted debt. When that’s paid off, roll over the payment amount to the next debt target, until you’re eventually debt-free.

The higher your debt, the slower the process of debt reduction will be. But please, reassure yourself: going slowly in the right direction is enormously better than going in the wrong direction at any speed.

Step 6. Build Your Safety Net

It’s important to have a plan for the possibility of an interruption of income. A Safety-Net Savings account is designed to cover your living expenses if your income is interrupted for any reason. Your Safety-Net account is to be used only if you have an interruption in income. Once you’re no longer paying off debt, you can roll that money right into savings without changing your monthly spending plan one bit.

Acrobats on the high trapeze always have a safety net below. This offers the acrobats not only protection, but also the confidence to really fly. Safety-Net Savings protects us, but it also offers us the freedom to create new career possibilities rather than feeling trapped in jobs that make us unhappy. That’s why I think of this account as a “freedom fund.”

Step 7. Celebrate Being Debt-Free!

Living debt-free may seem like a fantasy, but I have celebrated this reality hundreds of times with people who have used the saving-your-way-out-of-debt plan. Clients have literally danced in my office after they made their last debt payment. I’ve danced with them! Be sure to celebrate your accomplishments. You deserve it.

Step 8. Plan for the Future with Long-term and Investment Savings

Periodic and Safety-Net Savings not only keep us out of debt, but also protect our investment and retirement accounts. With Periodic and Safety-Net Savings in place, your long-term savings are truly secure.

Step 9. Resist the Seduction of a Zero Balance

Once you’ve eliminated debt, those big zeros on your credit cards can call to you. Instead of succumbing, use your periodic savings to pay for non-monthly expenses. Learn to delay optional purchases until your savings grow enough to make them. Enjoying a special purchase that is made without incurring debt doubles the pleasure.

Step 10. Enjoy Real Financial Freedom

By leveraging the power of savings, you can free yourself from debt once and for all. Debt-free and secure, you can experience financial serenity. Imagine a life without being confined by the cage of debt and the stone walls of worry. Saving your way out of debt is a powerful tool in securing a healthy relationship with money at whatever your income level.

Karen McCall is the founder of the Financial Recovery Institute, an international organization for financial counseling training. Her latest book is Financial Recovery: Developing a Healthy Relationship with Money. More information can be found at

Based on the book Financial Recovery. Copyright Ó 2011 by Karen McCall. Reprinted with permission of New World Library, Novato, CA. or 800/972-6657 ext. 52.

Disclaimer: I received Financial Recovery from New World Library along with promotion materials for the purpose of this review. I was not compensated in any other way and all opinions are my own.

WIP Wednesday 7/6/11

Wowser! I didn't get a thing worked on this past week. Well, I did finish a bag and baby bibs that are now listed in my etsy store.

I've not worked on another thing...not the quilt for church, not anymore bags, not my rug, not anything!

People who also enjoy designing and creating things to make their homes beautiful may enjoy learning about an interior design degree online. The more knowledge we have about interior design, the more we can learn about decorating our own homes - or maybe even becoming an
interior designer for a career.

My daughter, her 5 children, and her boyfriend have moved in to our house for a bit. That in itself is a work in progress. Three of the children are at their dad's this week. We are trying to figure out if I'm going to have to give up my craft room for a bedroom for some of the kids. If so, that will be something else I will have to figure out. I already have a bit of trouble with them trying to play with my sewing machine since I let the room double also as a play room, and their clothes are in there too.

Sorry no photos to share this week. I'm going to attempt to get back in to a groove today. Every time something changes I get all out of whack, and unforunately, things are changing all the time.

Below are the 3 blogs that I hook up with each week for WIP Wednesday. I hope you will hop over and join in and/or check out what others are up to.

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Monday, July 4, 2011

Mailbox Monday 7/4/11

Happy 4th of July to all! We've kept busy today so I am late getting this posted today.

Mostly magazines again, but some other goodies thrown in:

Magazines: People, Sports Illustrated, 2 issues of Entertainment weekly, 2 issues of Ok!, 2 issues of Good Housekeeping, Time, Bloomsberg Businessweek.

Sample of L'Oreal Youth Code and $3 coupon

Local area coupons

PetCo 10% off coupon

a few pieces of other hausernet mail

Downy Unstopables full size product including a pair of bootie socks--from vocal point to use and review on my blog.

No, Malakai's not a freebie he he...but he is wearing his Mighty Dog tag that we got free in the Mighty Dog Nation kit.

In my email: $50 paypal from gather.

Frugal Friend
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