Thrifty Thursdays

thrifty thursdays

Last week, my friend Kandyce and I did something that we rarely ever get to do…we went out on our own for the day. We left the babes with their dads, and we hit the streets to find some good yard sales. What we landed on was something I had only heard about, but never had the chance to experience before…an estate sale! It was run by a local consignment store, New and Again, and that place was packed.

I ended up with a two suitcases (no, we don’t travel), a grocery bag of clothes and a few cookbooks – all for under $15. This was when my love for estate sales started. It was like the ultimate Thrifty Thursday, but on a Sunday. We hit up a couple more yard sales, where I scored some canning supplies, and an Antique Store in Downtown Lodi.

950ed72a201911e3904e22000a1f928e_7Oh, just look at those beauties.

A while ago, I spotted a tutorial on DIY Suitcase Tables – hence why I picked up the suitcases in the first place – and I desperately wanted to try it. They’re so cute and can hold lots of stuff! I haven’t decided which tutorial I’m going with yet, but I wanted to share a few with you. If you have some old suitcases lying around, I would try this out. You can also get them for pretty cheap at a yard sale/ estate sale/ thrift store. Just make sure they have a flat top so you can balance whatever it is you want to put on top.

Image belongs to Slap Dash Mom

Image belongs to Slap Dash Mom

DIY Suitcase Table tutorial from Slap Dash Mom – Sadie – who runs the blog and created the tutorial – used an old suitcase she had ($2), two packs of screws ($1.96), paint samples ($2.98) and plywood ($8) for this project. She also used pages from an old book as the lining, since the original lining was falling apart. Sadie not only offers plenty of craft tutorials and recipes on her blog, she also offers blogging resources, such as tips on how to earn money with your blog.

Image belongs to Lark and Lola

Image belongs to Lark and Lola

Suitcase Table Tutorial from Lark and Lola – This is a step-by-step tutorial, along with photos. There are a lot more tutorials, like adorable tea towels on her blog and Heather, who runs the blog, shares photos from all of the parties she throws. And you can find a recipe for fudge too! Mmm…I love fudge.

Image belongs to Lana Red

Image belongs to Lana Red

Suitcase Side Table Tutorial from Lana Red – Now, this is just what I wanted to see. She used old table legs, repainted them, and attached the suitcase to the legs. PERFECT! She used the table to hold her plants, but also showed that the straps inside the top can also be used to hold photos. She shares a lot more tutorials, like her beautiful bottle lamp and recipes that will make anyone get a sweet tooth, like a carrot cake recipe that is already making me hungry. Her blog is super neat and I highly recommend checking it out!

So, I’m completely motivated and inspired to get my project going, and I can’t wait to share it with you. If you have a fun suitcase table tutorial you want to share, or you are using one of these tutorials to make your suitcase table, post in the comments or on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram with the hashtag #suitcasetable. Follow me on Pinterest for more thrifty inspiration! Stay thrifty, my friends.

Giveaway Winner Announced and more!

Giveaway WinnerA winner has been chosen from our Giveaway: Catalina Torre! The Giveaway was created through Rafflecopter, and the winner was chosen at random. I had a lot of fun doing this Giveaway and I loved working with Lilia Vanini! The scarfs were so beautiful that I wanted to enter the Giveaway myself but I knew that would probably be frowned upon, so I will just have to wait until I can purchase one!

If you are planning on hosting a Giveaway, I would definitely suggest going through Rafflecopter. I did opt for the Blogger membership, which is $8 a month, but I feel like it was worth it if you are planning on hosting several giveaways. They made it super easy for me to start it, and updated me when it was almost over, and again when it was over. Unfortunately, I couldn’t embed the giveaway on my blog, but there was a Facebook app which made it easy.

book writingAnd I have some exciting news to share…I am writing my very first book! It’s in the super-beginning stages right now. It will focus on people who have successfully started their own businesses after losing their jobs. So, if you have started your own business after losing your job (laid off or fired), and you want to share your story, I would love to write about it!

I would interview you and any family members or friends that could help add your story and I would either meet you to take a few pictures of you (if you live in the area), or you could simply send some photos that best describe your life and business to me. I haven’t decided if I am going to take it to a publisher, or if I will publish it myself, but all of the writing and design will be done by me.

Writing was my first love, and it will always be my biggest passion. This book will be an exploration into the lives of people who have made something wonderful out of a negative experience. I have started a few projects since I lost my job, but I have yet to find much success from them, so it will be so amazing to hear all of these stories. I will be posting updates, profiles, photos and more during this book writing journey.

Please let me know if you would like to share your story. You can either post a comment, write me an e-mail or connect with me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. If you would like to host a giveaway with me, collaboration and sponsorship opportunities are available. I do all the work, you just let me know what product you want to share!

Thank you for hanging with me on this crazy and wild, yet totally amazing, journey.

Gettin Fit: Healthy Harvest Recipes

Since we don’t have a lot of coffee shops to choose from around here, Starbucks is the only place to stop to get a little espresso to go. Let’s be honest here, sometimes Folgers just doesn’t cut it. Well, I was doing pretty good at avoiding Starbucks for a while. It’s on the way to and from the freeway, so that is a challenge. But then, they had to go and bring back all of the pumpkin spice treats. Thanks a lot, Starbucks! Not only is it hurting my wallet, it’s also hindering my weight loss/ clean eating lifestyle. Luckily, there are plenty of pumpkin recipes you can make at home that are not only delicious, but are also healthy.

Image belongs to The Gracious Pantry

Image belongs to The Gracious Pantry

Clean Eating Pumpkin Pie Creamer from The Gracious Pantry – I really do try to venture out and find new websites to get clean eating recipes from, but when you have such a good thing going on, why mess it up? What I love the most about recipes from The Gracious Pantry is that she uses normal ingredients that I can find anywhere. We’re a one car family and I don’t drive. There is no way I’m getting my boyfriend to take me to anything that resembles a health food store, so I need to be able to get the ingredients at a grocery store.

Have you had those pumpkin muffins from Starbucks? My most favorite thing in the world is a pumpkin muffin with a pumpkin spice latte. Yes, I really do love pumpkin. Like, a lot. Well, here’s a recipe that is a little healthier, and a whole lot cheaper, to make.

Image belongs to Little Mouse's House

Image belongs to Little Mouse’s House

Clean Pumpkin Walnut Muffins from Little Mouse’s House – These may not have the delightful cream cheese frosting in the middle of them, but that’s for the best. I make muffins every week and eat them for breakfast every morning. They’re easy to make and literally require no work during the week. Just what I love. Sometimes I’ll even get to have a cup of coffee and muffin before the little one awakes, but that’s extremely rare.

And if you are still missing that cream cheese frosting, I found a recipe that still uses cream cheese, but much less sugar.

Image belongs to Clean Eating In Texas

Image belongs to Clean Eating In Texas

{Clean Eating} Cream Cheese Frosting from Clean Eating in Texas – I have been able to get most of the recipes I use past the taste buds of my pickiest eater, my boyfriend. He’s not picky when it comes to “bad food,” but he sure is when it comes to the good stuff. Since this recipe still uses cream cheese, I’m sure I can get this one by him too. I’m not even going to tell him it’s the healthier version (although I’m sure he’ll know), I’m just going to see what he says. HA!

So, if you are like me, and go pumpkin crazy at Starbucks, these recipes should make it easier to make the same stuff at home. The ingredients may cost a lost at first if you don’t already have the stuff, but it will save you money in the long run. I was overwhelmed at the cost at first, then I realized that most of these ingredients are used in several dishes. You just need to find whole, good food that can be used in a variety of dishes.

What’s your favorite recipe that you want to see “cleaned up?” Let me know and I will either find a good recipe for you, or attempt it myself. Share your favorite healthy harvest recipes on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram with the hashtag #healthyharvest. You can find more healthy harvest inspiration on my Pinterest.

This Week at the Weekly Treat

weekly treat

Back when I could eat donuts whenever I felt like it, I would love the maple sprinkled donuts. You couldn’t find them at every shop in town, but when you did, it made your heart soar. Well, at least mine did. When I was a little older and classier, I ditched the sprinkles and just stuck to maple bars. It’s been a while since I hit up a donut shop, but I still love a good maple recipe. Here are some worth trying out:

Image belongs to food plus words

Image belongs to food plus words

Baked pumpkin autumn maple donuts from food plus words

Image belongs to Hot Polka Dot

Image belongs to Hot Polka Dot

Maple Cinnamon Swirl Banana Bread from Hot Polka Dot

Image belongs to Two Peas and their Pod

Image belongs to Two Peas and their Pod

Mini Chocolate Chip Maple Pancake Cupcakes from Two Peas and their Pod

Image belongs Annie's Noms

Image belongs Annie’s Noms

Mini Maple Cinnamon Doughnut Muffins from Annie’s Noms

Image belongs to Lauren's Latest

Image belongs to Lauren’s Latest

Pumkin Maple Rolls from Lauren’s Latest

And if you’re in the mood for something healthier….

Image belongs to Opera Girl Cooks

Image belongs to Opera Girl Cooks

Pumpkin Scones with Maple Spice Glaze from Opera Girl Cooks

I hope you enjoy these maple recipes, and I hope that you take a few moments to check out all of these blogs. I do my very best to only get recipes from food bloggers, and I try to steer away from the big companies as much as possible. There are so many awesome food bloggers out there that spend hours planning their recipes, and even more time making sure every crumb is in the right place for their photos.

If you are a blogger and have some recipes you would like to share, please post in the comments and share on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. I will be sure to check out your blog/website and share any recipes that work well with what I’m writing. I’m also up for any ideas you have for future weekly treats. Just let me know! I don’t post every recipe I find, so if you are looking for more Weekly Treat recipes, check out my Pinterest.

Fridays are for Favorites

fridays are for favorites

I’ve had my blog for over a year now, and it has been through a lot of design changes. Some were made public, and some just didn’t make the cut. The blog design I have right now is by far my most favorite design. I think it’s super cute and extremely user-friendly. However, I want a more personalized design. At some point, I want to design my own blog and websites, but for now…I need to leave the creativity in someone else’s hands.

Anytime I see a cute blog that I like, I always look up the theme and/or designer, if the blogger employed one. I used to keep a list, but that list has since disappeared. So, I did what any sane person would do, and looked up blog design on Pinterest. It’s kind of insane all the stuff that’s out there. I’ll be talking about blog design more in the future, but for now…these are some of my favorite designers.

Image belongs to Maiedae

Image belongs to Maiedae

Maiedae was founded in 2010 by Jenny Highsmith and Savannah Wallace and became a co-ownership in 2011. They are best friends who met in college and ultimately decided to start their small business together. At first, they offered handmade items, but decided to go the design route, and now they offer web design, blog design and branding packages. They recently launched the Maiedae mixer – a networking event in the southeast region – and The Brand Market – a workshop for creative entrepreneurs. I think I love them.

Image belongs to Deluxemodern

Image belongs to Deluxemodern

Deluxemodern is the beautiful brainchild of Christine, who had this to say about starting her own design company: “if you’re not obsessed, forget it.” I think that can be said about anything that takes a lot of hard work and dedication, but is totally worth it if you love it. She offers both one-of-a-kind and starter logos, branding, blog kits, social media kits, backgrounds and kits. So, basically anything you want.

Image belongs to Smitten Blog Designs

Image belongs to Smitten Blog Designs

Smitten Blog Designs is out of Portland, OR and is comprised of seven lovely ladies who all happen to be designers. They started offering free blogger templates in 2008, and after receiving so many custom requests, they started designing custom blogs. They not only offer templates for both wordpress and blogger, but they also offer logos, print design and even free printables. Right now, they have a special going where returning customers get $5 off their purchase of $50 or more. You can follow their blog for more specials and updates.

Image belongs to The Weaver House

Image belongs to The Weaver House

The Weaver House was founded by twin sisters Kelty and Hannah. So, here is everything they offer, from what I can tell. I’m kind of information overload right now. They have an online shop where they sell vintage shoes, jewelry, paper and dresses. I think they make the prints by hand from vintage magazines and images they have found. They also offer photography and graphic design services, where they will either create the entire graphic design project for you, or do small custom projects, whichever you fancy. In their off time (as if they have “off time”), Kelty runs Working Theory Farms with her husband and Hannah makes funny holiday videos with her husband. Got all that?

To say that this little journey has been inspirational would be a huge understatement. The way I felt looking through all of the portfolios has proven to me that I took the right step in attending design school, and that blogging is what I am supposed to be doing. I’m so amazed that there are some many creative people out there, and that a lot of them live in Portland, apparently. I’ve been wanting to visit Portland for so long, and now I feel like it’s a necessity. But for now, I’m going to take a nap. Do you have an amazing blog design that you want to share? Perhaps you’re a blog designer and want to show off your portfolio? Post in the comments and on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter with the hashtag #blogdesigns. You can find more of the blogs that inspire through Pinterest.

Thrifty Thursdays

thrifty thursdaysOf all the media I have worked with before, burlap is not one of them. However, I find myself constantly pinning DIY burlap ideas on Pinterest, so something must be cooking in my head! I’ve found some pretty cool projects, and I wanted to share them with you.

Image belongs to Happy Together

Image belongs to Happy Together

Burlap Canvas DIY from Happy Together – Jessica Fediw is a mom of two who shares her crafting tutorials on her blog, Happy Together. One tutorial she shares is this burlap canvas that she painted on. You can also find plenty of sewing tutorials, and also a tutorial on a coffee table makeover. I can’t wait until we get our house so I can try out all of those fun tutorials that you do on furniture. I don’t think Sam’s dad would be too happy if I tried them out on his furniture, unfortunately.

Image belongs to Blue Robin Cottage

Image belongs to Blue Robin Cottage

Choose Your Love, Love Your Choice from Blue Robin Cottage – The reason I love this project so much is that it involves so many different crafts. There’s embroidery, stamping and of course…the art of attaching the muslin to the burlap and so on. Sierra is another mama who shares a lot of crafting projects on her blog, including a cloud pillow and a fox tote.

Image belongs to Maiden Jane

Image belongs to Maiden Jane

Make a Unique Coffee Bag Apron from Maiden Jane – I am so in love with this coffee bag apron! I’m really interested in making aprons…once I get that sewing thing down. She also shares a coffee bag rug tutorial and a tutorial on turning your dress into a sassy apron! Now, where do I find coffee bags? Oh, here.

Have a favorite burlap project you want to share? Or, did you make something from one of these tutorials and you want to show it off? Post in the comments and on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter with the hashtag #burlapcrafts. You can also find more of my burlap inspiration on Pinterest. If you have an idea you want to see on Thrifty Thursdays, just let me know! Stay thrifty, friends!

Scarf Giveaway!

Lilia Vanini Giveaway

Lilia Vanini is the owner and operator of Lilia Vanini Boutique on Etsy, where she sells beautiful handmade scarves, handbags and headwraps. She learned to sew from her grandma, who was a seamstress for a fashion boutique in her town.

During a vacation to Venice, Italy, she was reintroduced to her first passion, sewing. She eventually moved there after 10 years of dreaming about it, and immersed herself in the handmade world again. Now, she works in her studio, creating a variety of beautiful handmade items – handbags, scarves, headwraps, legwarmers, bootsocks and jewelry.

Today, she is offering a free handmade scarf of the winner’s choice. There are over 50 scarves to choose from, and each of them are worth over $25. Perfect for the fall! Since I am unable to embed the giveaway on this site, the link below will take you directly to the Giveaway page. You can also enter on my Facebook! The giveaway will be going on for a week, and we will let the winner know 48 hours after the giveaway ends.

You can find out more about Lilia Vanini by visiting her Etsy shop and connecting with her on Facebook. If you would like to offer a giveaway of your product, please let me know in the comments!

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway