Froggy Girl Designs

A glimpse into my daily life of crafting, frugal living, and being a mom!

Friday, August 31, 2007

My husband is wonderful

He just came in and gave me my birthday card. Last year for my birthday he gave me a "Happy Anniversary" card, so I had to tease him when he handed it to me. But then I opened it and read it, and it seriously brought tears to my eyes.

This is what the inside says:

Real love is more than beautiful flowers and sweet words,
more than candlelight dinners or romantic walks in the park.
Real love is understanding through the difficult times,
caring past the disagreements.
It's laughing together when things are good
or laughing together to keep from crying when things couldn't seem to go more wrong.
Real love shows compassion and compromise...
and forgives and forgives and forgives.
Real love is everything we share together.
Because to me, real love is, and always will be, you.

And the best part? It's all true.

It's my party...

Well, today is my birthday, the big 2-8! Spent the morning on one of my favorite pastimes, yard saling! A few towns over they are having MASSIVE yard sales this weekend, there were at least a hundred that I counted. I spent 4 hours, no joke, out and about and found quite a few treasures which I'll blog about soon. I didn't even come close to hitting all of them! There were quite a few "dealers" as I refer to them-those people who set up their whole flea market booth of antiques and misc. junk and charge $4 for a plain ole muffin tin (seriously, that's an example from this morning), but there were even more regular sales.

My wonderful husband is making dinner so I don't have to, and even bought me cake! Which I really shouldn't eat but I will anyway, I've decided birthday calories don't count. I do have to log in to work this evening, but it's only 3 hours and time flies. I'll show you next week what I'm working on while I listen to phones ring.

Tomorrow we're taking my parents to an Amish buffet that's about 45 minutes away, and is excellent! My dad's birthday was yesterday. Oh, a funny: my twitty brain was thinking we were all going out to eat on my actual birthday, so I called my dad earlier to tell him Happy Birthday. He started laughing and said, "But it's YOUR birthday!". Oops. He said me forgetting to call him yesterday was more than made up for by the humor that is my sometimes idiocy.

Yup, that's me...Space Case Extraordinare!

The daisies don't have anything to do with my birthday, but they're my favorite flower so they needed some face time!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

For Sale By Parents

We've all had those days-the kids are running wild, you're exhausted and you're hoping someone will take them away for just 10 minutes right? Or else you're like me, with a slightly twisted sense of humor. We get those questions occasionally-"wow, are they all yours? You must be busy!"

Well, I found the perfect tongue in cheek t-shirt for my kids.

They're currently out of stock, but if they get enough votes, they'll reprint it-come on all, lets sell our kids! (Ok, just kidding, but I really do need 4 of those shirts lol)

My middle son

Well, Alex brought home a picture from school the other day that brought tears to my eyes..but maybe not for the reason you're thinking. It says "I Love My Mommy and Bobby Too" (Bobby is my husband). Then he drew all of us. I thought it was so sweet!

Then I got to looking, and asked him who each figure was..I, of course, was the short plump one.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007's crafting!

Why, yes, I do sew thank you very much! It's been awhile since I posted much crafty stuff, but with the new baby my sewing time has been quite limited. Also, my sewing machine had been doing massive weird things, skipping stitches and clunking around pretty bad. I tried to oil it, and that didn't help, then the bulb went out and we couldn't find a replacement locally. Long story short, my wonderful husband decided to give me my birthday present early...a new sewing machine!

He got me a Singer that has about 70 stitches, it converts to be able to do free motion quilting, and came with about 100 feet (not really, more like 10) that do all sorts of neat things. I've really enjoyed experimenting with it, and letting my imagination run with all the things I'll be able to do now. One of my first projects was a CD holder for your car visor. I had seen a tutorial on that was a good starting point, but I wasn't completely happy with the way the first one turned out using those directions. So I tweaked, and came up with this:

I used the super popular goldfish fabric from Freespirit with webbing for the straps. This was a gift for a super friend who helps keep me sane even though we're about a million miles apart. She's my technical assistance for any given thing, and I give her good recipes..good tradeoff huh?

I'm still tweaking the design a bit, and hope to offer them in my Etsy store soon. I love these and think it's a great way to personalize your car space!

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Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Banana Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Bars

As promised, here is the recipe for the Banana Chocolate Chip Bars, courtesy of the book 500 Best Cookies, Bars & Squares.  This is another "banana use up" recipe.  I think I purposely buy too many bananas just so I can cook them up somewhere else.  This is pretty straightforward, I used mini chocolate chips because that's what I had on hand. 

Banana Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Bars


1 C. packed brown sugar

3/4 C. butter or margarine, softened

1 egg

1/2 t. salt

1 1/4 C. mashed ripe bananas (about 4 medium)

4 C. old fashioned rolled oats

1/2 C. chocolate chips

1/2 C. raisins


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 13x9 pan and set aside.

2. In a large bowl, beat brown sugar and butter until smooth and creamy. Beat in egg, salt and bananas until well combined. Stir in oats, chocolate chips and raisins and mix thoroughly.

3. Spread evenly in prepared pan. Bake in preheated oven for 50 to 60 minutes or until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Place pan on a wire rack to cool completely, then cut bars.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Finding a job working from home

Photo courtesy of Google Images

I've been looking for a job for awhile that I can do from home, Bobby and I agreed anything I make is mad money for me, and I obviously need to buy more fabric. I've been writing articles for Associated Content, and making little dribs and drabs (my writing time is quite limited some days, and I don't think I'm particularly good at it), as well as selling on EBay but as we all know, that is rather hit and miss.

I was blog surfing one day (yes I know, time suck, but I love it occasionally!) , and read about someone who had been hired doing surveys from home. I went and checked out the company's website and applied. The company is called Westat, and they do surveys for various government agencies regarding health care and the like. The process is interesting to me, I wasn't sure how it would go since I wasn't actually going into an office or anything. It goes something like this-I put in my application online, including a copy of my resume, then waited. I actually heard back from the company in less than 24 hours although others I've heard has taken 2-3 weeks. I received an email inviting me to submit a voice sample, which I did by calling an 800 number and reading the script provided in the email. Again, I was contacted for the next step pretty quickly, about 2 hours, but it can again take an additional 2-3 weeks from what I've heard. Let me put a disclaimer here-I am NOT Super Woman, but I have call center experience and a soothing voice apparently, thus the quick turnaround.

The next email was informing me that I'd been selected for a full interview, and I would be receiving a phone call from one of their people during my hours of availability. When you fill out the application, you are asked what hours you are available with a quiet, professional environment-mine personally is from about 7 in the evening until midnight. The next day, I received a call around 9pm. The interview lasted about 15 minutes, I was asked the general interview questions, about my previous experience and the like. She then told me I was hired and to await further instructions. I got emails, paperwork via Fedex, and did training over the internet. Quite cool I thought! I finished training last night, and am now waiting to receive my "Go live" email and schedule.

There are TONS of scams out there-"Send me $500 to get your kit to stuff envelopes" and the like. Never ever pay anyone to work for them. That's the biggest scam of them all. There are many, many reputable companies that allow work from home. Two very good websites with lots of information are and I was just referred to the Work Place Like Home site last night by one of the girls in my training, and I'm quite impressed with all the information contained in their forums. If you are looking for something from home, check it out-and Good Luck!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

I took the plunge! Introducing Etsy

Yup, I did it. I opened an Etsy store! My hope is to eventually be able to stock it with all kinds of goodies, but for now, the only thing in it is a really awesome pincushion I made. This is made up of some of the vintage fabrics I picked up the other day, including a couple of feedsack prints. These are SO awesome, and there are quite a few in the bin that are previously cut up for other purposes. Oh, and by the way, I am having so much fun with these fabrics, there are some really great pieces in there!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Bzzz Agent-Product Testing

Do you know how to Bzzz? You already probably do it everyday talking to your friends and relatives. I found this site awhile ago called  Bzzz-ing is about word of mouth advertising. Think about it-you use a new product or service, and you like it (or don't), so you tell your friends about it. That's passing along the word about something. Companies are using bzzz agent to get the word out about their new products.

Over the past year or so that I've been signed up with them, I've bzzed about things like Ice Mountain Aquapods bottled water, TV Guide , and right now I'm still doing the TV Guide campaign and Listerine Whitestrips , along with Ziploc Steam N Fresh bags . I'll be posting reviews on these products shortly, so keep your eyes out for my take on some great new products...the good, the bad and the ugly!

The only compensation you get as a BzzAgent are the products you try to Bzz about, as well as points from the reports you give back on the products. Those points can then be traded in for prizes (although I never have yet, don't have enough points lol). It's a really cool way to try some new products, I don't know about you, but I LOVE doing product tests and things for survey companies and the like. Check it out!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Vintage fabric score!

I hit a yard sale Friday with a dollar on my person, and my mom in tow (we were on our way back to her place after a breakfast out). First thing I saw were some beautiful hand embroidered linens-three to be exact. Mom was busy looking at some Coca-Cola items for my grandfather who collects them. Mom and I approached the man running the sale at the same time. She bargained him down on an airplane still in the box, I asked him if he'd take a dollar for all three linens. He said yes!

Well, on the way to the table he was sitting at, I spotted an 18 gallon tub of fabric pieces that looked vintage, that was being sorted through by another woman. My heart just sunk...because I wanted it, I had no cash on me to speak of (I wasn't looking for yard sales so hadn't stopped at the bank!), and I knew the other woman would take it all if she was a sewer. Well, mom asked the man if he would take a check being that she lived about 4 houses away and also had no cash, and he said yes. Let me say here that writing checks at yard sales is a rarity for anyone, or should be anyway-generally you don't know the person and who's to say the money is actually in the account? My parents live in an extremely small town though and everyone knows everyone (ya, one of those). My gears started turning. I asked him how much he was asking for the whole tub of fabric. He said..$20!!!!

I said, well, the other lady over there is taking some out of it, so how about $10? We walked over to it and he asked the other woman if she was interested in it, and she said, oh just these pieces. He told her it was an all or nothing type thing, so she walked away. I said, ok, since she didn't take any, how about $15? He took it, and my mom just added it onto her check. This is SO awesome. Take a look at what all I got:

Grandmothers Flower Garden Top: There were also about 15 other completed blocks in a baggie.

I don't know the name of this pattern, but it's awesome. This one is in very rough shape, but I'm going to cut out the blocks I can save and reset them. It's about a queen/king size!

Just a few of the gorgeous fabrics. Most of the pieces are half yard cuts or larger, but there are lots of "scrap" pieces as well. This was so worth the $15! There was also another quilt top in there that I'll post photos of another time.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Cool Ties-Crafting for Our Troops

As you all know, my husband is in the Army. Well, he trains soldiers who are leaving for Iraq. This means he and the rest of his unit spend 12-15 hours a day out in the heat in full uniform. The heat index in our area has been reaching 110 degrees on some days (ack!), so they've had numerous guys suffering from heat stroke. I'd heard talk of cool ties around the web, and finally took the time to hunt down the instructions. They call for polymer granules, which I had a bit of a hard time finding, but come to find out, they are used in gardening. The brand name I finally found was SoilMoist, and I had to go to a local nursery to get it-it wasn't available at Walmart or Home Depot, etc. that I could find.

A few months ago, I had found some fabric on the Wal-Mart $1 table that was nylon and printed with the ACU print of the military issue uniforms, and I had picked some up thinking I'd find something neat to do with it. I used it for this project, so it blends in well with their uniforms. These are really easy to do, and there are a bunch of different websites out there with instructions. I'm working on customizing the directions to allow for different lengths, I also put Velcro on these so they will lay flat and don't need to be tied.

I'm hoping to eventually offer these for customization and also in my Etsy shop for those of us who spend a lot of time working outdoors in the heat-they are great for construction workers, lawncare workers, UPS drivers and the like. But, for now, these serve their purpose perfectly!

J is for Jacob

Yup, another kid (we do have 4 ya know). Jacob is my oldest, he's 7, and the budding photographer from my last post. He is my right hand man, and takes his responsibility as oldest brother quite seriously most of the time. He's a great helper, and is so smart it's scary sometimes. He loves Jeopardy and The History Channel, and any book about history as well.

He is also our little politician, as we affectionately call him. He has a very well developed power of reasoning. Jeff Gordon is his favorite driver, much to the chagrin of the Dale Earnhardt, Jr. loving rest of the household. His favorite time of day is when Bobby comes home and takes him out to the garage and lets him help with whatever the current tinker project is. He is fascinated with why and how things do what they do.

Jacob is the first of my miracle babies. 3 months before I got pregnant with him, I had had my 6th miscarriage, and his father and I were starting to talk about adoption as an option. But then I got pregnant with him, and he "stuck". He has always been by my side, wanting to help in any way he can. He has a huge heart and I am so happy that he's here. I love my boy!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Encyclopedia of Me???

Ok, yesterday as I was reading through my blogs, I realized that I'm not the only one who's getting sick of talking about herself lol.  I think this is a great idea, but it's really hard to keep it up.  Does anyone actually CARE about all this stuff? Well, I'm gonna keep going with it for as long as possible, just let me know if ya'll get sick of it!

On another note, I've started using Windows Live Writer to do my posts since I have more than one blog it does make things quite a bit easier, but I have to manually go in and add pictures for now (I'm thinking on this one I promise!), so please make sure and check, because I really try and post pictures pretty often!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

I is for I did it!

Ok, that's totally cheesy, but seriously. I made my first apron! I am so thrilled with how it turned out. Excuse the blurry picture, Jacob took it for me this morning, and he's only 7 so it actually turned out better than I hoped. This is a really cute fabric I found at Ben Franklin (I think the only one left in the U.S.), trimmed in bias tape then I made the waistband/ties and pockets. I had never used bias tape before so that was a learning curve, but I think I have it down now. Check it out and let me know what you think!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

H is for Happiness

Yup, that's it for today..happiness.

I love my life.  I love my kids, my husband, my home..all of it.  Of course there are not so bright days, but as a whole, my life has turned out pretty darn awesome.  Many people look for it their entire lives, and I feel so very lucky every day when I kiss my boys goodnight, kiss a yet another boo boo, give him a hug, or see their latest creature creation. It's all very simple, but it means the world to me.

Thank Heavens for Google Reader!

As I get more into this whole blog universe thing, I kept finding awesome blogs I wanted to read all the time. Well, a wonderful friend of mine told me to start using Google Reader. I had no idea what it was, or what it was for (see, I'm kinda clueless around here!). Ahh how my eyes have opened!

Google Reader is one of many different things out there known as RSS Feed Readers. As you'll see at the top of my sidebar, there is a little blurb that says subscribe to Froggy Girl Designs via email. Yes you can do that, but if you use Google Reader, or Bloglines, or any of the other readers out there, you can simply click on the little orange thingy that shows up on the toolbar and then...the miracle (at least to me!) occurs. You can subscribe to my blog, and my new posts will automatically be delivered to your reader of choice! Personally, I'm a Google fan, I use Gmail, and I just like their interface, but whatever you use that works for you.

Now, I can see all the blogs I read in one place! Yes, I still have to click thru to leave comments, but I'm finding I'm commenting MORE now than I was when I actually visited each page on it's own. Go figure huh? I'm really thrilled with it, and I hope if you haven't tried a reader out you will now. To get you started, won't you please subscribe to my feed if you like what you see?

Monday, August 13, 2007

The BlogOlympics are here!

I recently found a new blog through Problogger's 31 Days to a Better Blog project, actually I found a bunch of new ones, but my point is, the one I'm referring to. Anyway...MamaBlogga is hosting the BlogOlympics! I'm going to try and participate, and just see how I do. I have no illusions that this is a huge money making blog or anything of the sort, I do it for fun, and hopefully someone will like something and it will make their day. Man, I'm just a wordsmith tonight huh?

Back to the point! She has the guidelines posted like this:

"How to Participate

  • To earn a medal, you must complete one event at that medal level:
    • To earn a bronze medal, complete one event from the bronze list below.
    • To earn a silver medal, complete one event each from the bronze and the silver lists below.
    • To earn a gold medal, complete one event each from the bronze, silver and gold lists below.
  • There are several events that overlap between the levels (for example, the bronze level of commenting is commenting on 5 new blogs; the gold level is commenting on over 16 new blogs). Completing this event at a silver or gold level counts as only one event—to earn a silver or gold medal, you must also complete a different event at the lower levels.
  • The events must be completed over the course of the next two weeks (on or before August 24).
  • To be an official participant, you must also link to this post.

The Events
This list may grow over the course of the BlogOlympics.


  • Comment on up to 5 new blogs
  • Subscribe to a new blog
  • Submit or vote for a post you like on someone else’s blog on a social networking or bookmarking site
  • Add a blog to your blogroll
  • Overwrite old draft posts that you’re no longer going to use


  • Comment on 6 to 15 new blogs
  • Participate in a blog carnival
  • Participate in a group writing project
  • Subscribe to 3 new blogs
  • Submit or vote for a post you like on someone else’s blog on a social networking or bookmarking site three times
  • Contact a blogger about guest blogging on their blog
  • Add three blogs to your blogroll


  • Comment on 16 to 25 new blogs (and over)
  • Sign up to host a blog carnival
  • Host a group writing project (or plan one)
  • Subscribe to 5 new blogs
  • Submit or vote for a post you like on someone else’s blog on a social networking or bookmarking site five times
  • Review someone else’s blog on your blog
  • Interview another blogger
  • Send a completed guest post to another blogger
  • Write two “pillar articles” or pieces of “flagship content
  • Come up with a system to keep track of your blog drafts

Receiving Medals
Once you have completed your all events, please comment (or ping/trackback) on this post to let me know so you can be included in the Closing Ceremonies. Don’t forget to include what medal you’ve earned. Also, please take a badge at your participation level (and include the link back here or to the Closing Ceremonies) to show off your Olympian-ness.

You don’t have to go into great detail (ie telling me which new blogs you commented on or subscribed to), but feel free to share which events you completed! Since the Olympics are about individual excellence as well, this will be on the honor system—I’ll believe whatever you tell me."

I thought this would be a great challenge as I know I am SO bad about lurking on the many blogs I love. As you'll notice if you come directly to my page instead of through my RSS feed, I am working on tweaking some things. I'm trying to get all my links in order with the blogs I read and such. I'm hoping to find a nice template soon, I really don't like the basic Blogger one I am currently using. So if anyone has any hints or tips on how to custom do one without a) learning a WHOLE BUNCH of code or b) spending a fortune, please let me know! Thanks and let me know if you participate in the BlogOlympics as well!

Brick & Mortar Retailers Trying to Curb Internet Reselling

I was recently passed a link to this story on regarding retailer's views on those who purchase large amounts of discounted items to resell online. It is a very interesting article, although short and not very in depth. The premise is that traditionally brick and mortar sellers such as Coach handbags and Gymboree, are breaking down on those who "mass purchase" off of clearance racks.

I'll admit, I have been known to resell items I find on clearance on Ebay. Generally, my experience has been that I might make a buck or two, or lose money after fees and such. Really not worth my time. I do much better with yard sale type finds. Now, that being said, I can understand why retailers are upset about Average Jane making a profit on their goods. They would much rather have the money go in their pockets than the consumers. My issue with it is this, if they can't sell it at their own stores, and don't have the desire to sell it online themselves (yes, there are big box retailers who sell their own product on Ebay and the like), then why not allow their customers to make that money? Sales are sales, and their analysts are the ones who choose just how low they can price their items on clearance. It's all about supply and demand, and while Coach bags may not sell so well at the store in Podunk, Wisconsin due to lack of demand, that store may have the bag that three people on opposite edges of the globe just HAVE to have.

Major League Baseball has taken the plunge. For many years, people known as scalpers have bought tickets and then resold them at the gate, on the street, or online. This has been a widely frowned upon practice by "the powers that be". Stubhub, which is owned by Ebay, will be the channel for MLB to take charge and resell their unsold seats. Announced on August 2nd, the plan includes a 5 year deal which makes Stubhub the one in charge of secondary sales on not only the MLB site, but on individual team sites as well. Beginning next spring, the program will not require teams to have Stubhub sell their seats, but they will not be allowed to do it on their own from their own sites. This is the perfect illustration of what retailers should do if they don't want people reselling their items. It keeps the money in their pocket.

But, retailers are starting to employ a new tactic with internet resellers in an attempt to protect their "turf"-copyright infringement lawsuits. The average person who resells items on Ebay, and other like sites, is no millionaire. They are stay at home moms wanting to make some mad money, families trying to sell things to pay for that vacation they want, these are not people who have the money to go head first into a lengthy legal battle over the rights they have to resell something they purchased at the retailers posted asking price. One such case is that of SalonQuest, makers of Aquage shampoo, who have threatened various Ebay sellers with lawsuits if they did not cease and desist selling their products, and using their images, online. The outcome of that case is still pending.
Is it a case of biting the hand that feeds you? When retailers resort to legal threats against their consumers are they putting a bad taste for their brand in other consumers' mouths? Any way it goes, the retailers still get the brand recognition from the sales generated, whether it be through Ebay, their own stores, or wherever else; that is a good thing for them. Not everyone tries to find "deals" on Ebay, many will see an item they love that someone else is wearing/carrying/using, and go right to the stores or their website to buy it. It all pads their bottom line!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

G is for groceries and grandparents

Mom & Dad with Wyatt 6/07

G is for groceries and grandparents

Groceries are something we all need. So saving money on them is something that I try very hard to do. Our budget for our family of now 6 is about $200 a month. That includes all food, health and beauty, toilet paper, diapers and the like. Some months we go over if we have a big stock up on something, or the sales aren't real great, etc. but we average out to $200. We have a significant stockpile of groceries, I would post pictures but ya'll would think I'm some kind of freak! A few months ago, my husband was out of work for about 2 months. That time was exactly why I stockpile. We were able to spend less than $50 on groceries each of those months, and that was only milk and bread. We had some creative meals at times, but we were all well fed because of my stockpile. I think everyone should have some backlog of food, because emergencies happen and it definitely helps! parents are simply awesome. They raised me well (at least I think so!), to be kind and loving and conscientious of people in my life. They are wonderful with my children, they frequently take my oldest two boys for the weekend so the boys can go swimming, fishing, or whatever. My mom suffers from lupus (insert link) along with myriad other difficulties, so things are hard sometimes with the boys. But we are all committed to making sure the boys not only remember their grandparents, but remember them fondly, with lots of great memories. I am thankful every day for my parents, and the influence they have had on my, and my children's, life.

Friday, August 10, 2007

F is for frugality and fabric

F is for frugality and fabric

I was raised with my father teaching me from a young age to do things like calculate the price per ounce of different brands at the grocery store (a skill I use to this day, although it didn't help my math skills much lol), and using up the last bit of ketchup. As I've gotten older, I've taken those values and used them to the best of my ability. I've improved in my road to being frugal over the years quite a bit, I try and watch all electrical usage, water consumption, and the like, as well as do things like grow a garden, use coupons to get the best possible price, shop thrift stores and yard sales, etc. Being frugal is not an ability that is born in most people, it takes work and research. It is also a journey that is never over. In this day of inflation, technology, and advancement, prices continue to rise while many times wages do not.

Milk is the first example that comes to mind. With 4 young boys, we constantly tease about needing to buy a cow to keep up with their milk consumption. When all 6 of us are home, we can easily go through a gallon in a day. Currently, the cheapest local price on milk is about $3.28 a gallon. And that's for 2%, non-organic, etc. etc. So honestly, we would probably save quite a bit if we bought a cow to milk. Anyways, back to my point, frugality comes into play here in many ways for different people. Some people go the route of powdered milk, we don't. We just don't like the taste. So we watch for the best prices and stock up when we see them on sale. A local gas station frequently runs their milk for 2/$5.55 (aren't they clever?), but they only get in about 10 gallons twice a week. So, we go and buy 4 or 6 gallons and put them in the fridge and hopefully that lasts till the next sale we can find.

Some of my favorite frugality websites are : Frugal Village,, Frugal,, Hot Coupon World and Refund Cents.

Fabric...ahhh, fabric. I am addicted to all the colors, designs and the FEEL of good quality fabrics. I'm still very much in the learning stages of sewing and quilting, but I hope that my work is improving as time goes on. I have a perfectionist tendency, so I try to let that come out in my work. I love looking at what I consider a blank “canvas” piece of fabric, and letting it become one of my designs. My current favorite fabric is by Heather Ross for Freespirit , aren't these gnomes adorable!!!!!! I cannot wait to get my order in my hot little hands. Fabric addiction is a dangerous disease everyone, but it's better than the alternatives.

How do these two things match up you say? Buying fabric isn't necessarily frugal right? Well, finding the best price on fabric purchases is obviously the first thing I do. But, I also use them to make quilts for family and friends which to me are just my love coming through my quilts. And, I will be opening an Etsy shop in the next month or so to try and sell some of my homemade items in order to not only support my fabric habit, but hopefully eventually bring some additional money into the household as well. Watch here for more news as it develops!

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

E is for...eclectic and Ebay

Photo courtesy of Google Images

E is for...eclectic and Ebay

Eclectic. That is probably the word that describes me best. My taste in music ranges from country (my fave), to rock, to some heavy metal, to pop, etc. etc. Same with movies-everything from romance to horror. I think that's why I love scrappy quilts so much, it's like controlled chaos! I love changing things up in life, keeping everyone guessing..well, sometimes anyway.

....Ebay. I've been selling on Ebay off and on for about 7 or 8 years now. It's a great way to lighten the clutter load around the house and make some extra cash. A few years ago I branched out into buying things at yard sales, thrift stores and the like and reselling them for a profit as well. I usually do pretty ok, I will never make a living doing it I just don't have the time to sit and do listings all day long. I enjoy the excitement of watching the bids go up, but when stuff doesn't sell it rather sucks lol. I also buy things on Ebay that I have a hard time finding reasonably priced locally, or things I can't find period. I'm all about finding the best possible deal on things, sometimes it's a local shop, sometimes it's Ebay. Making your dollar stretch the best way you can is the #1 rule of being frugal.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Cool giveaway!

One of my favorite blogs is Biblical Womanhood , while I don't necessarily agree with everything she says, many times I find myself seeing eye to eye with her views. It is a very Christian blog, and while I believe everyone should hold their own belief system, whatever it may be, I will say she is quite vocal about her beliefs (which I think is wonderful, and quite refreshing!). Point being, if you are offended by such things, don't visit. It's a great, very wholesome blog, focused on family and so much more.

Anyway, she is holding a giveaway this week for a $25 Gift Certificate to The Vision Forum. They have some really neat products on that site, and with the little history geeks I'm growing in this house it is right up our alley! If I were to win the $25, I'd probably purchase the Lion & Cross Shield Set (Hey! I have boys, they enjoy swords and blowing things up..swords seem the less harmful of the two lol). So hop on over and enter the contest!

D is for Defense

D is for Defense.

I am an American. My husband is in the Army. Defense plays a large role in our life right now with the state of the world and our government. Regardless of our beliefs in the right or wrong of what our government is doing, I, as a military wife, have to support my husband and our country. We have had troops deployed in the Middle East for a few years now, so by now it has touched almost every family in the United States in some way. My ex-husband is deployed right now, which means my older two children get to speak to him on a very limited basis. I am lucky in that my current husband is non-deployable. He may go on short jaunts for training and the like, but always within the States, and never for very long (figuratively speaking anyway).

I sincerely admire my husband's dedication to defending this country. He takes his job very seriously. He holds troops lives in his hands and he knows how much of a responsibility that is. As I watch him studying every night, and listening to him talk about what he does every day, I am constantly amazed at what these men go through for all of us. After 9/11, we all knew how much the world would change. It affected us all. Most people are proud that they are Americans, as am I. I've never traveled outside of the country (except to visit Mexico on day trips a few years back), but I've read about the views other countries have of us. I may never influence any of those people, but in the hopes that one day I may, I live my life the best way I know how-with love, and dedication to my family and home, among other things. Being American isn't half bad-we have it pretty good here with marked exceptions, it's worth defending!

Saturday, August 04, 2007

C is for..Cookbooks & charm packs

I am addicted to cookbooks. Seriously, I admit it. I even have a blog about it! I love reading them, looking through them (especially old ones), and making recipes from them. Today we went yard saling and I added a ahem, FEW to my collection. There are almost 100 of these small cookbooks here, all gotten for $3!!! I can't wait to have some time to sit down and look through them all and try out some recipes. It's a serious problem, seriously lol.

Secondly, lookee what I won!!! Joanna at Fig Tree Quilts held a giveaway for some of her new quilting fabrics, and I won a charm pack!!!!! I have never possessed a charm pack before so I am just sitting and petting it, looking at all the fabrics, and trying to come up with a great design to use these fabrics because they are SO beautiful. Right up my alley and I can't wait until I can get my hands on some yardage. Seriously yummy stuff!

Friday, August 03, 2007

Brick & Mortar Retailers trying to curb internet reselling

I was recently passed a link to this story on regarding retailer's views on those who purchase large amounts of discounted items to resell online. It is a very interesting article, although short and not very in depth. The premise is that traditionally brick and mortar sellers such as Coach handbags and Gymboree, are breaking down on those who "mass purchase" off of clearance racks.

I'll admit, I have been known to resell items I find on clearance on Ebay. Generally, my experience has been that I might make a buck or two, or lose money after fees and such. Really not worth my time. I do much better with yard sale type finds. Now, that being said, I can understand why retailers are upset about Average Jane making a profit on their goods. They would much rather have the money go in their pockets than the consumers. My issue with it is this, if they can't sell it at their own stores, and don't have the desire to sell it online themselves (yes, there are big box retailers who sell their own product on Ebay and the like), then why not allow their customers to make that money? Sales are sales, and their analysts are the ones who choose just how low they can price their items on clearance. It's all about supply and demand, and while Coach bags may not sell so well at the store in Podunk, Wisconsin due to lack of demand, that store may have the bag that three people on opposite edges of the globe just HAVE to have.

Any way it goes, the retailers still get the brand recognition from the sales generated, whether it be through Ebay, their own stores, or wherever else; that is a good thing for them. Not everyone tries to find "deals" on Ebay, many will see an item they love that someone else is wearing/carrying/using, and go right to the stores or their website to buy it. It all pads their bottom line!

B is for...Behind..and Breastfeeding

I feel most of the time like I am running paces behind every one else lol. You know that feeling, catching up on household chores, email, phone calls, and all sorts of other things. I am notoriously on time for things, but also notoriously scatter brained..or so I seem. I tend to have 10 irons in the fire and think I'm going to lose it, but I don't. It's just a matter of driving myself insane I guess! My oldest two boys start school this week ( early!), so I'm looking forward to some time to sit back and regroup. I'm planning on spending some time organizing my thoughts, my sewing room, and my coupons lol. I have so many goals for the running of our household, and I'd like to start implementing them. I will also be working on potty training Mattie, as well as teaching him his alphabet, and the difference between horses and cows. The kid can count to 15 (which is really good!), but calls horses cows all the time. And he argues his point with us! So I'll be Googling later today to find workbook pages on animals lol.
Breastfeeding...well at 7 1/2 weeks we're still going strong!!!! I am still so excited, because this is officially the longest I've been able to breastfeed any of my kids, and it's still going wonderfully. Wyatt has started sleeping for about 3-3 1/2 hours at night at each stretch which is great after the initial 1 1/2-2 hour stretches we have had since birth. He's getting so chunky, I think he's right around 10 lb.s now, and quite tall!

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

A is for...Alexander!

Alexander is my second son. He is the family goof ball, always trying to make everyone laugh. He constantly runs around making sound effects with his mouth, to which I frequently have to say "Alex, turn off the sound effects!" lol. He is also the most sensitive of my boys, thus the unsmiling face in almost every photo I have of him, he is easily embarrassed and quite self conscious.

Alex was born at 32 weeks after a pregnancy full of scares. He was a twin, and I lost his twin at 16 weeks due to a partial placental abruption. He is truly a miracle child. He died 4 times before he was two days old. After the last time, the doctors didn't want to try and save him, and I went "mommy" on them, so they did everything they could and he came back to me. He then got his first lecture. I told him "Don't you ever do that to me again!". And he didn't. He is a constant joy in my life, always good for a kiss, a snuggle, or just a laugh.

He is also my clone. Seriously, put long hair and different equipment on that boy and you wouldn't be able to tell us apart at the same age. He also unfortunately inherited my gift for klutziness, and for being able to put his foot in his mouth in no time flat. It's hard to parent a child you think you know so well because he is so much of you, and still recognize those traits that are so inherently HIM. He is a wonderful kid though and I am so glad he is mine!

The Encyclopedia of Me Meme

This morning the lovely BellaDia introduced a new meme, The Encyclopedia of Me. The basis is, that for the month of August, each day you take the letter of the alphabet (starting with A today) and correspond something that starts with that letter to your life. My A, for example, is going to be Alexander. Anyone else care to join in???? I'll post my A shortly!

Killer Kmart and Walgreens deals this week!

Kmart and Walgreens got my shopping business this week with specials they are running. I haven't been saving any coupons from the paper recently because we just moved, and I haven't found the best way to get a paper on Sundays yet. We are in a pretty rural area, and the small local store sells out of papers VERY quickly (why they don't just order more is beyond me!), and I'm not sure if I can get a paper delivered that has decent coupons. So I've been buying coupons from Ebay , and I have decent luck doing that, but sometimes you see sales that you didn't have the forethought to get coupons for!
So anyways, other than that, I've been relying on the great Register Rewards deals Walgreens has been having recently, as well as coupons I can find in stores. This week (and until August 13th) Kmart is running a really great deal. Coupons can be found in most stores for a $10 Gift Card when you buy one package of Duracell batteries (on sale this week for $5.50), and 2 qualifying Procter & Gamble items. Various items qualify and are all listed on the coupon. I did buy coupons for Crest toothpaste to use with this deal off of Ebay, but I ended up using all of them at Walgreen's because they gave me more bang for my buck there (I'll get to it, just a second lol). So I used the Zest bodywash coupons I'd purchased for $1/1. I bought one bodywash, one package of batteries, and a .99 package of 3 bars of Ivory soap to use when I venture into making my own laundry detergent. After I used all my Zest coupons I purchased Dawn dishsoap (we don't have a dishwasher so I have to stock up on this stuff!), which happened to be on clearance for .70 a bottle and more Ivory soap.
At Walgreens, when you buy $20 of Proctor & Gamble items, you receive a $10 Catalina coupon for your next purchase. Well, on Sunday and Monday, there was a glitch in the system so it was actually printing out $16 worth of Catalinas for every $20 you purchased. So for each order I bought 9 tubes of Crest toothpaste, on sale for $1.39 then used my $1 coupons. My total cost was $3.51 and I received $16 in catalinas. I did this three separate times. I ended up spending about $9 cash, and had $42 left in my purse to use next time I went to the store. Not too shabby!
Here's a picture of my total haul for the day:

As you can see, there are LOTS Of tubes of toothpaste, 22 bottles of Zest, 9 packages of Always pantiliners, you can't see the Ivory soap in the back, 22 packages of batteries and some bottles of Dawn. The Johnson's bodywash I used coupons I found online for $4 off a bottle, I was allowed to print two so I got those for free! The glue sticks and padded envelopes were purchased using the overage at Kmart on the Duracell coupons. I still have $25 left on the Kmart gift certificate, and about 20 more coupons to use before the end of this promo. With the accumulated overage, our plan is to buy a new grill. Not too shabby huh?