Tuesday, August 31, 2010

CVS and Walmart Deals

I love a good deal! My sweet friend, Liz, has been telling me about all the good deals she gets at CVS, Walgreens, Target, Walmart, etc for quite some time now. I've read about other people getting those good deals as well and it always excited me. However, I had this idea in my mind that it took a lot of work to cut out coupons, plan the shopping trips, and go to the store. Well, last week I finally decided to join the bandwagon!

I was so excited to see the newspaper out on the driveway Sunday morning! I eagerly started looking through the ads and coupons. With the help of Liz, Money Saving Mom, and Common Sense with Money, I created a plan of action.

I set out yesterday afternoon to shop at CVS, Dollar General, Walmart, and HEB. All in all, I'm very excited about my good deals!


2 bottles of Dawn dish soap, Phillips earbuds, Venus Embrace razor, 2 Energy Chews, 2 King Size Snickers
Total Spent: $11.34
Total Saved: $21.54
Total ECB earned: 5


2 bottles of Gain dish soap and 8-pack magnets
Total Spent: $0.48
Total Saved: $3.46

I won't post a picture of everything I bought at HEB or how much I spent. I will tell you that I saved $49.81 just by using coupons and shopping sales!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Menu Plan Monday: Aug. 30th

Last week I followed my menu pretty well. The only exception was Friday. Chris had to go out of town, so Grandma and I just had an easy supper of PB&J and soup.

With Grandma living with us again, I'm taking extra care to plan breakfast, lunch, and snacks in addition to supper. We have to be sure to keep Grandma eating several times a day to keep her weight up.

Breakfast (no particular order, I just pick something each day):
Cereal and fruit
Breakfast cookies and fruit
Eggs and bacon
Yogurt and fruit
Baked oatmeal and fruit
Bacon and toast

Chicken salad

Tacos, refried beans, guacamole
Ham 2 ways (Ham Kabobs & Country Ham and Macaroni Casserole), green beans
Cheeseburger Turnovers, oven fries, peas, lima beans
Chicken and veggie packets on the grill, grilled potatoes
Friday: Pork steaks or pork chops (depending on what is on sale at the grocery), quinoa risotto, broccoli
Chicken pizza
Crockpot peppercorn steak, smashed potatoes, corn

If you're interested, I'm planning a post for later this week on how I go about planning menus and organizing a grocery list.

Check out I'm an Organizing Junkie for more menu ideas!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Peanut Farming at 12:30 a.m.

Our days caring for Grandma are often filled with laughter. There are hard days and nights, but we try to focus on the moments of laughter to help us get through the hard times. A lot of the funny moments revolve around the bathroom. I'm not sure why. Maybe we just have a weird sense of humor.

There are also a lot of funny moments that come about in the middle of the night. Except, they don't seem so funny when I'm half asleep, stumbling around trying to keep Grandma from stumbling. It's usually the next morning when I think back on what happened and then I find it funny.

Last night Grandma woke up around 12:30 and wanted to talk about peanut farming. Yes, peanut farming. I like peanuts and all, but I wasn't really in the mood to talk about peanut farming at 12:30 a.m. She was having a dream that her Granddaddy was talking to her about peanut farming. He was telling her about how the first people who lived in this country survived on peanut farming. According to her, he went on and on about it, "like old men tend to do."

You see, most of the time when she wakes up in the night she's been having a dream and thinks that the dream is really happening. For example, she wakes up many nights thinking she's on a train. Or, one night last week she woke up and thought one of the members of church was there with her. Earlier this week she wanted to know what happened to the birthday cake. (Birthday cake in the middle of the night DID sound like a great idea!)

So, last night she thought her Granddaddy was there with her and still telling her about peanut farming. She thought I was a little girl who wanted to hear about peanut farming too. So, while trying to get her to the bathroom and get that business taken care of, she filled me in on Granddaddy's lesson on peanut farming. She was still talking as I put her back in bed, turned off the light, and crawled back in my bed. She was done with peanut farming by morning.

I have no idea if her Granddaddy really was a peanut farmer. I will find out about that.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


Did you get tired of waiting? I did. I figured that the bathroom might not ever get completely finished, so I should go ahead and post about it. It looks finished in the pictures (unless you look very closely). There is just some touch-up painting and a few pieces of trim to put up. Otherwise, it's great and I love it!

Here's looking into the bathroom before.
The sink was directly to the left of the door, with the water heater next to it in the corner. The toilet was across from the water heater. The bathtub was straight inside the door.

Here's another shot looking at the corner of the bathroom. You can see the cabinets hanging above the toilet. This was basically the only storage in the bathroom.

This is another shot of the bathtub.

You can't see the floor very well in any of these pictures, but it was a cheap blue linoleum. It was coming up in most parts and just looked nasty, regardless of how much I cleaned it. The paneling was white with pink and blue flowers.

And looking into the bathroom now:
This technically is looking towards the back corner where the bathtub was before. We put up white beadboard about 5 feet up and painted the rest a smokey blue color. Because the bathroom is so small, we decided to go with a pedestal sink. I love the glass shelf above the sink! The toilet is directly in front of the door and the window is in the same place as before. The hardwood floor is the same as what we put in the laundry room.

Another shot looking towards where the toilet, water heater, and sink were before:
As you know, the bathtub was in the bathroom before. We did buy an attachment to make it into a shower also. The shower curtain was a bit of a splurge, but we had trouble finding one that Chris and I both liked.

For storage, Chris found this piece at a used furniture store. It was an antique white color, but I painted it bright white. It works really well in the bathroom. It's to the left as you walk in the door, across from the sink. (So, if you're standing at the sink, the cabinet is to your back.)
And that's the new bathroom, folks!

I linked up at:

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Decorating on a Budget

Slowly but surely, we're pulling our belongings out of storage. A couple of weeks ago we got out most of our home decor items and went to work decorating the house.

One of my favorite decorative items are these apothecary jars. My lovely husband purchased the biggest two for me on a preaching trip a while back. I picked up the medium-sized one at Old Time Pottery and the small one was here at Grandma's house.

I kind of liked the way they looked empty on top of the TV, but Chris thought they were too boring. We've had them filled with fruit, pine cones, Christmas ornaments, acorns, and other various decorative items according to the season. However, I wanted to try something new.

I headed to my favorite stores: Hobby Lobby, Dollar Tree, and Michaels and gathered the necessary materials. For less than $20, we now have filled jars!

The little jar has sea shells that I bought at Dollar General for $1 for a big bag. The medium jar is some moss and painted eggs. I bought the moss at Dollar General for $1 and the eggs came from Hobby Lobby for 3 for $1. I'm not entirely happy with the way the eggs turned out. The paint color I chose was a little off and the eggs were a bit bigger than I wanted, but I might change them out in the future. The other medium/large jar has plastic pears. These were on clearance at Hobby Lobby for around $5 (I lost my receipt and can't remember exactly.)

The biggest jar is filled with paper-covered balls that I made. I recently made some and sent to a friend for her birthday. After a vague and apparently intriguing post, some have asked about how I made them.

Paper-Covered Ball Tutorial

First, you need a ball for the base. I found these raffia balls at Dollar Tree (8 for $1), but you could also use Styrofoam balls.

Next, you need some scrapbook paper cut in strips. I used 4 strips that were 1 1/2" x 5" and 4 strips that were 1" x 5". (Note: Mine are different lengths in this picture because I was using scraps.)

Start gluing the paper onto the ball, starting with the 1 1/2" strips. Using hot glue on one end of the strip, stick in the center of the top of the ball.
Glue another 1 1/2" strip touching it.
Wrap the strips around to the bottom of the ball and glue both ends.
Repeat with the other two 1 1/2" strips going the opposite direction.
Now you will have little gaps between the strips.
(Sorry for the blurry picture. I was trying to move quickly.)

This is when you use the 1" strips, following the same procedure.
Sometimes the gaps are wider than the paper. If this happens, you just have to get over your OCD tendencies and embrace the uniqueness.
Once you are finished, you will have a pretty paper-covered ball (and probably a few burn marks from the hot glue)!

Just to sum it all up and emphasize how easy this project is, these are the only materials you will need for this project!

I'm linking up at:

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Menu Planning Monday

A lot of the blogs I read participate in Menu Plan Monday hosted by I'm An Organizing Junkie. I thought I would join in the fun!

Monday: Chicken fried steak, mashed potatoes, carrots

Tuesday: Mexican casserole, refried beans, chips & salsa (homemade salsa from our neighbor...it's yummy!)

Wednesday: Grilled pork chops, grilled potatoes, spinach

Thursday: Smothered Chicken Yumminess (Named by yours truly), rice, broccoli

Friday: Ham Steak Kabobs, corn

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

A Girls' Weekend

This past weekend our niece came to stay with me and Grandma. Chris had to go out of town for a preaching appointment, so we took the opportunity to have a Girls' Weekend. It was a lot of fun, but I was exhausted by Sunday afternoon! Katelynn is a sweet girl with A LOT of energy!

Saturday morning we took a trip to Target. Uncle Chris had asked her to do some chores for him in the morning and she earned $4! She couldn't wait to spend it! We loaded Grandma up and took a trip to Target. It was quite a lesson that all the "good stuff" costs a lot of money!

Once we got home, we painted this little wall hanging that I found on clearance at Michaels. We took turns painting and I helped her with all the 'hard' parts.

I think it turned out quite cute! She was very excited to hang it in her bedroom!

After we were done painting, Katelynn wanted to help make supper. She wanted to make it all by herself, but needed a little help with the oven. Here she is making a surprise appetizer... skewered hot dog bites with cheese! YUM!

She even decorated the table for us! Here's the yummy spread. Hot dog kabobs, Doritos and cheese, pepperoni pizza, chocolate chip cookies, and cherry kool-aid. It was quite the gourmet meal!

After we cleaned up from supper, she wanted to give me a make-over so I could look younger. I pulled out the make up and hair accessories and she went to work. After she got done, she wanted me to make her look older.

When we were both done, we tried to take a picture of us together. It was kind of difficult!

We spent the rest of the evening watching the movie "Princess Protection Program." Sunday morning we went to church. She was very good at church and even got really excited when we sang "Amazing Grace," because she knew some of the words. After church was over Katelynn said, "I want to come to church with you again. Your church is fun!" It was cute!

We had a fun weekend together! I meant to get some pictures of Katelynn and Grandma together, but never did. :( Here's a sweet picture of Grandma with Wesley. She likes to have him get in her lap so she can talk to him. It's so sweet!

Monday, August 02, 2010

It's almost done...

The laundry room is very close to being finished. We just have to put up trim and do some decorating things. I absolutely LOVE the color! We decided to go with aqua instead of yellow. The aqua was going to be for the bathroom, but we decided to go with a different look for the bathroom.

Here is a before shot of the laundry room. This is what you saw standing at the door into the laundry room. It was a mess! I certainly was not motivated to be in here for longer than 2.1 seconds.

And now from the same spot....Ahhhhhh, much better!

The "laundry" sign is going to be hung on the wall eventually. On the far left you can see the water heater closet Chris built. The water heater previously took up residence in the bathroom. This is a much better place for it. We still need to put the door on the closet though.

Next is a before shot standing in the back corner of the room, looking toward the back door.

An after shot from the same spot....

It is so much more organized! The cabinets came out of the bathroom. They are kind of a dingy white right now, but I'm going to paint them bright white. The trashcan is an old one Grandma had and I spray painted it red. (Don't you love the Diet Coke box sticking out? A common sight in the Crouse House!)

The new back door is one of my favorite things about the new laundry room. It lets in so much more light!

Another before shot standing at the back door and looking across the laundry room.

Once again, you can see that it was basically a catch-all room. I'm determined to keep it more organized now!

And now.....

This is from the same spot, but focused more towards the back wall. You can really see the new hardwood floors in this picture. They are great! They were "free" because they were left over from a job Chris recently finished.

This beautiful room makes me want to do laundry more often! I can't wait to get all the finishing touches done and really enjoy it!