Light During Power Outage

What is the best thing about losing power right after dinner? Eating from my secret oreo stash right in front of my unsuspecting kids bahaha. Unfortunately, there is the whole no lights or entertainment to deal with.
During our mini one-hour crisis, my oldest gets out some candles and pulled out her Ukulele! 

But then my youngest had to go to the bathroom, and a glow stick doesn't quite have the lumens required to light up the dark bathroom. We talked about the Pinterest post with the old milk jig of water and a headlamp, but those aren't things we have lying around. So here was how we improvised.

Here is the break down of it with light. I used an ice tea jug and sank a ziplock bag with an led finger light and rock stashed inside.

These little led finger lights are what you get when you let your husband be in charge of stocking stuffers. I think I've seen them at Target, but really I have no idea where he picked them up.

Our New Life Begins

I've been sporadically keeping this blog in order to keep track of all my creative ideas. I was a stay at home mom for  almost 18 years, but now I'm working full time. This has come at a time when lots of things have been changing in our lives. My oldest is 19 and my youngest is 8. They don't need me around much anymore, and my husband just retired from the military (Woohoo!!!).

My husband is using his GI Bill to go to school, so we are on a tight budget (it was hard to find a job with little work experience). Anyways, I'm rededicating this blog to thriving on a tight budget.

I have recently updated my Couponing Spreadsheet link on my previous blog posts: Couponing Spreadsheet Template and Coupon Spreadsheet Update Again.

Currently I am working second shift, so my time off is when everyone is gone. Hopefully that means I can keep up my blog a bit more. I make no promises, but as I said before this blog is for my own benefit :)

Refinished Old Table

My husband and I have been married for almost 18 years. The first piece of furniture we bought was this wooden table from Odd Lots. It is amazing it has lasted all these years, esp considering we've moved over a dozen times. We have replaced the chairs a few times, but the table still holds strong. Unfortunately the top of the table shows its age. Raising three kids and being a craft addict has worn down the table top. So this week I decided to resurface it!

To start, I took the legs off the table. Before unbolting the screws I took a picture first so that I could reassemble it properly.

I applied a stripper chemical according to the package and scrapped it off. This took off the previous finish and helped remove some of the previous stain.

I then just gave the table a light sand with a sanding mouse and reapplied stain. I then applied a few layers of lacquer and a finishing wax to give it a shine.

New Clothes for Vacation

As a kid, my mom would always buy us a few new cute outfits before we went on vacation. Her logic was that you will enjoy yourself more if you feel great in the clothes you wear. It was usually money she had already set aside for summer clothes, so it never seemed like a big deal. Now that I have kids, I try to do the same thing. I still like to have a few threads to wear on holiday; however, I don't often buy new clothes for myself. We are heading to Crete this summer, so I decided to sew myself a few nice things.

I bought a single issue of Burda Fashion magazine, which is a fashion magazine that includes patterns. The above tank top was made with fabric I've had in my stash using one of those patterns.

This is a Hot Patterns shirt that I started awhile ago but never managed to finish - thus the wrinkles :/ I got the pattern and fabric from

I downloaded this pattern free off the internet from, and got got this fabric free. London is really big on reducin…

Paper Birthday Pouches for Class Party

In my daughter's nursery/preschool class there is a birthday almost once a week. Most parents pass out some sort of treat to all the kids as they leave school that day. Other parents go all out and buy a birthday cake. Since my little one is lactose intolerant, she can't enjoy the cake with others. So, I decided for her birthday I'd do something a little special. I made these cute paper pouches that are filled with a small bit of candy.

I started off with some label paper that I wrote Happy Birthday and stamped.

Then I took some construction paper and cut it in half.

This is the goodies, just some fruit snacks and a small piece of taffy.

I used the labels to make paper tubes.

Then I sewed up one side of the tube with my serger.  After I filled it with the goodies, I sewed up the other side. I just hope the kids like the treats inside ;)

Easter 2013

I thought I'd share with you our wonderful Easter celebrations this year. 
We started off with decorating cookies. My little one here is lactose intolerant, so I baked a bunch of goodies for her to eat so she wouldn't be without sweets.

The we dyed Easter eggs.

I was too cheap to buy the white eggs (which would have cost about $4.50 for half a dozen), so we used brown eggs. I must say I like the more rich tones of the eggs. We got some sort of pearl effect kit which made them shimmer a bit.

Then the kids went off to find the eggs. 

For Easter dinner we got our table top grill out and everyone made their own yummy creations. The kids prefer this to a traditional ham roast or feast, and it is a better way for us to spend quality time together. 
A friend of mine challenged me to make this bunny bread. She found a pic of it somewhere on the internet and wanted to see if I could do it. I made it with an Italian bread recipe.

I think it turned out pretty awesome!

Virtual Summer Camp

Over the summer my kids get very bored. If you look throughout this blog there are tons of ideas of what to do with kids over the summer. As my kids got older, entertaining them has become more challenging. My husband found a virtual summer camp that has got the kids all excited.
It is from the makers of Make magazine, and they have created what they call "Maker Camp." Basically they have recruited the interns to produce this virtual summer camp. The kids log into Google+ in the morning to see their project. They have details and videos on how to do the project. Then the kids post on Google+ pictures of their results. The projects range from arts and crafts, science,  computers, and really try to reach a broad range of interests.

Yesterday my daughter made the above gif animation of us having a pillow fight. I was quite impressed she was able to put it all together herself. Click on the image if you don't see the animation.