Friday, June 27, 2008

Frugal Curtain Rod

So you wanna hang up some curtains and you really want one of those big chunky wood curtain rods, huh? Well, grab a few dollars and head to your closest home improvement store. You'll just need some plastic PVC. You can buy it as skinny or as chunky as you want it. I wanted it chunky.

Most of my guests cannot believe that this curtain rod is made from plasitc PVC pipe. The triple window is kind of large and I wanted the curtains to hang much wider than the window opening. I would be spending a pretty penny to buy a wood rod that size and the style I wanted. I spray painted the white PVC pipe a dark brown color. I used 4 wood brackets to support it due to the length. I am still trying to figure out how to do finials on the ends, since the pipe is hollow. Any ideas?

For more Frugal Friday ideas, head to Biblical Womanhood!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

If You Like Decorating Magazines & Good Stories, You'll Love This

I am addicted to a big fan of Google Reader. For those poor souls who don't know about this yet and still manually check all of the blogs you are addicted to so dearly love, let me give you a quick explanation. Basically, you can subscribe to all of your favorite blogs and it updates your reader when any one of them posts a new blog post. You just check in with Google Reader (from any computer with the internet, mind you) and you can read all of the new posts right there. It is ever so convenient. Just go to, click on "more" at the top of the page, and a menu will drop down. Click on "reader" and there you go. You. will. be. forever. thankful. to. me.

I want to share some excellent posts that have come across my Google Reader lately. Hope you enjoy this little tour...
Tip Junkie is a great site. My favorite posts are the ones like this where she shares great projects her readers have sent her. You're bound to be inspired by several of these ladies.

I am already a huge fan of Heather's, even though I just discovered her site yesterday. She has woven a beautiful tale of how she came to meet her husband in fourteen seperate posts. Lucky us, we get to read them all at once, since we don't like to wait.

Always a huge fan of The Nester, she did not fail to impress me with her quick decorating skills. She recently moved into a new house, and everything already looks so lovely. Go check it out. Soon she'll take us on a whole tour...she promised!

(photo source:

The Life Hackery has given us 50 great kitchen tips in one post. Get out your notebooks, then click.

I don't even own a sewing machine, yet I long for creative ways to make my home beautiful with fabric. Let's just say that this post at Restyled Home is wayfreakin'cool. She's my hero.

(photo source:

Enjoy. Please share some of your favorites with me!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Painting the Easy Way

A number of months ago (I am grossly underestimating here) I got a great deal on some french doors. They were only $15 each and fit perfectly in the doorway leading from my foyer to our home office. My husband and father-in-law hung them for me yay! Well, I am finally getting around to painting them.

I decided to share a few painting tips that I've learned over the years, either from watching decorating shows on TV, reading decorating magazines, so on and so forth. Some of them you may alreaady know, but hopefully you'll learn at least one new idea to make painting easier.

If you are a professional painter or a painting perfectionist of any kind, you may want to stop reading now. Some of these tips may feel like you're taking too many shortcuts. Just warnin' you, I'm just sayin'!

1. Line your metal paint tray. Sure you could buy the fancy-schmancy liners from the store, but why should you when you have a gazillion plastic shopping bags sitting around. Just slip the tray into the bag & wha-la a free liner (remember, free is my favorite price). Just toss the bag when your done.

2. While we're on the subject of your plastic shopping bag collection, why don't you get a few out to cover the rollers once you're done painting today, since you'll be going at it again tomorrow? That way you won't have to wash them twice. I know...genius!

3. And to add to your list of free or almost free painting supplies, do you have any rubberbands? Once you are done painting and have washed your brush, wrap a rubberband around the bristles to keep them nice and neat while they dry? Looks good! No nasty brushes for the next project.

4. Since we are getting this job done the easy way, let's not tape of the ceiling or window/door frames. What? I'm getting a little too crazy for you now? Just use one of those cool gadgets with a wheel and a pad for cutting in. But don't. get. paint. on that little wheel thing. Seriously, have you seen my ceilings? Good. Don't look at them. A painting perfectionist I am not.

5. You're not planning on removing the door knobs or taping off the window panes, are you? I didn't think so. I knew you were planning to wrap the door knob in aluminum foil and rub petroleum jelly on the door hinges and the edges of the window panes. That way you can just rub it off when you're done and no paint will stick.

6. And before you close up that paint can for good, put a little in a small glass jar, airtight plastic container, or an ice cube tray. That way if your child crashes into the wall while rollerblading in the house and chips the lovely paint job, you can whip out a q-tip and touch it up. If you choose to freeze a bit in an ice cube tray, you can touch up the chipped spot with your little frozen paint popsicle. That's right, use it just like a marker. Easy peasy.

Here are some pictures that show how the color you choose for your walls can really effect the feel of the room.

(Photos from, last is from

I believe what The Nester preaches, "It doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful." So no comments telling me about the proper prep techniques and such, please. It won't get done around here if it has to be done that way. Now stop procrastinating that painting project like me and get it done already. That's what I'm doing tomorrow. I'll send pictures.

So did you learn anything new here today? Please share your favorite painting tips!

If you'd like to read more tips, visit Works for Me Wednesday.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Kid Snacks for Less

Who doesn't love convenience? I know I do. But convenience usually comes with a price. When it comes to individual servings of kid snacks, do the math. With this solution, you still get the convenience of grab and go kid snacks, but don't have to break the bank.

Sometimes it is pretzels, other times it is Chex Mix. Whatever you have that you kids love to snack on, you can use this tip for it. Using sandwich or snack size plastic baggies (one of my can't live without staples), make your own bags of snacks. I use a measuring cup to scoop the snack out of the big bag and into the small bag. This way you determine how much each serving includes. You can also use this trick for homemade goodies as well. Put all of the bags you made into a decent sized basket in the pantry or cabinet. Let the kids know where to look for the snack basket. Mine know where to look in our pantry. :)

For more Kitchen Tips, check out Kitchen Tip Tuesday at Tammy's Recipes.

Trying to Make Our Home a Haven

I'm joining with Crystal over at Biblical Womanhood to share what I did to make my home a haven today.

Make sure to check out my other post from today for some birthday love.

I don't know why, but it seems like my house is a disaster all over on Monday mornings. I guess we just like to relax on the weekends and don't pick up after ourselves like we should. So on Mondays, it is time to restore some order into our home. A home can't really be a haven without some order, right?

1. Straighten all rooms downstairs. - DONE

2. De-Ant the kitchen & clean it. - DONE (We must have a huge sign under our house that says "Ants welcome here" or something. I looked up some remedies online today and have sprinkled offending areas with baby powder, and wiped the counters down with a vinegar/water mixture. We'll see if it works!)

3. Laundry. - Got started, will finish tomorrow.

I ended up having to spend some time on the phone with Sprint, due to a problem with them ordering me a new phone, and with Comcast, because our internet was down. I had to drive over to the Comcast office and exchange our old modem for a new one. We are back online. How could we stand no internet??? :) Those things sucked up some of my time today, but had to be dealt with.

Tomorrow, I will try to follow Crystal's advice on how to begin my day. I know it will go smoother if I do.

Happy Birthday to Jason Mraz!

So, who is Jason Mraz, you may ask? Well, let me tell you. He was my friend in elementary school. We "went together" when I was in 7th grade and he was in 6th (it made sense then, but what is what the "going together" thing? We rarely went anywhere together at the time). We became good friends. The summer I turned 15 (that would be good 'ol 1991 in case anyone is wondering), we had our birthday parties together in my backyard. You see, my birthday is June 13th and Jason's is June 23rd...only 10 days apart. It was an awesome party. My parents borrowed a flat bed trailer from someone and we had our chorus teacher Mr. Dalton (Dr. D was his DJ-ing name) DJ the party. We were involved in show choir (as were many of our friends), so there was much in the way of live music and performances as well. The electric slide was enjoyed by many. What can I say? It was a blast!

OK - so I had a friend when I was younger and we had a birthday party what? Well, Jason followed his passion and has made a career for himself in the music business. This guy has quite a detailed summary of Jason's life/career on his blog. Have you ever heard "The Remedy" or "Curbside Prophet"? These were from his debut album. He just released a new album called "We Sing, We Dance, We Steal Things." (Don't ask me about the title - I read somewhere it was the name of a piece of artwork he admired and he got the artist to do the cover for the album, etc.) There are many great songs on this latest work. Some of my serious favorites are "I'm Yours", "Lucky", where he duets with Colbie Caillat (love her song, Bubbly), and "If It Kills Me." I know I would love his music, even if we didn't have a history as friends. I honestly believe that vocally, his one of the most amazing artists out there. Live he is more amazing than recorded. If you don't know it already, you should check it out. I mean it.

So we didn't hang out during high school. He went to live with his dad and went to a different school in our county. We saw each other around sometimes, though. After I finished with college and moved back home, I found out what he was up to and couldn't believe it. We've seen him live several times since then and spoken to him backstage. It is pretty fun to hear a friend's music on the radio or see their video on VH1. Humor me and check out those songs. I know you'll love them too.


Saturday, June 21, 2008

My Cell Phone Ate the Fun Dip

I was happy with the most basic of cell phones for a really long time. I thought that people who just "had to have" the latest and greatest in cell phone technology were a bit greedy. In February, it was time for me to get a new phone. I was planning to get the basic phone that is free (remember, FREE is my favorite price?) when you renew your contract. Then I caught wind of the new Palm Centro. It was an affordable palm/phone combo for the masses. Now, I had been wanting a palm for years for scheduling, digital scriptures, etc. I looked into it more and found out that I could get one for $99 when I signed up for a new contract. SOLD!

I love the phone and sometimes even call her my BFF. I haven't named her yet, but now that I'm thinking about it, I will soon. I'm totally hooked on all the conveniences she provides me. Well, long story not so short, she died. Last week when we were off to the pool to celebrate the first day of no school, we picked up some candy at the drug store. The kids chose fun dip. You know, that yummy colored sugar separated into 3 compartments and the 2 yummy white sticks you lick, then dip into the sugar? Sweet bliss from my childhood memories? (I won't promise, however, that childhood was the last time I enjoyed this treat). Well, at the pool, the opened package of fun dip got put into the bag that was also carrying the precious phone.

Fast forward to my sister's high school graduation the next day. I called my husband to tell him it was time to meet us for the post graduation meal (he stayed home with the kids...small kids & a long graduation do not make a good pair). He couldn't hear me and I couldn't hear him! After much calling and re-calling I figured out what must have happened. Fun dip powder in the speaker and microphone on Precious Red Cell Phone! My dad even put his mouth over the speaker and breathed in really hard...yep he tasted fun dip. (Those of you who know my dad can picture him doing that, right? If you don't know him, it is still a great visual).

You should've seen the look on the faces of the gals at the phone store when I told them what was wrong with my phone. It would have been funnier if I was sure they could fix it. Turns out they couldn't and I'm getting a replacement. While I'm grateful for a replacement, I have lost my first Precious Red Love, and all the information she stored for me.

I promise I will name my new phone...any ideas?

Friday, June 20, 2008

Frugal Friday - Make a Money Plan

I'm a little late in the game, in that I am just now reading Dave Ramsey's book, The Total Money Makeover. It seems like several blogs that I follow already sing ol' Dave's praises. Better late than never, huh?

Today I made a plan to see when we could realistically get through some of Dave's baby steps. It will be a tough road, continuing to live frugally plus putting all extras onto debt (student loan). I know we can do it and it will be so worth it when we are able to be debt free.

It all starts with a plan. If you don't have one, I encourage you to make one, write it down (along with your financial goals) and then do it! I have a few pearls of wisdom that have really struck me from Dave's book and I hope to share them with you soon. For now, know that you have to tell your money what to do if you want it to work for you. (An idea from Dave's book, but not a direct quote).

Happy budgeting!
If you want to find more frugal tips, visit Biblical Womanhood here.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Give Me a Great Book - Nothing Will Get Done at My House! My thoughts on BOOK CLUBS.

I recently completed the 3rd book in the Twilight series by Stephanie Meyer. It is meant to be a book geared towards teens, but I tell you what(!), I couldn't put it down, and it has been a LONG time since the word teen was associated with my age.

The 4th book in the series comes out August 2nd and the movie for the first book releases on December 12th. No - I'm not obsessed or anything, but I do have a friend who is! She shares all of this date goodness with me frequently. I have visited a few sites for mega fans of the series and found some interesting topics, but I'm not nuts about it.

I have never been a member of a book club. I think that I would like too, though. As long as I found a group that had the same interests as I do. I don't like a ton of non-fiction (though some is ok) and I love to read for pleasure. I don't want to learn a bunch of heavy stuff, unless it is mixed in with fiction (like historical fiction, which I happen to LOVE)!

I am not up for organizing my own book club, but in case you are, here is a site that has some pretty comprehensive information on doing so. There is even information there about online book clubs, which seems like a convenient option, but may not give you the social outlet if that is partly what you are looking for.

I wouldn't mind needing to read certain books by certain dates...I don't think that would take much of the fun of reading away from me, but I do think that it would be vital to share common reading interests with the rest of the group. It wouldn't work for me otherwise.

Have you guys participated in book clubs? Were they a great experience, or not so much?

Summer Schedule - Works for Me Wednesday (WFMW)

So, summer is here, and the kids must be entertained. Therefore, I have created a schedule in Powerpoint for us to loosely follow throughout the week. I am definitely flexible, but having this schedule will help us find our way if we find ourselves floundering. And that way I won't wonder where the day has gone at 5:30 when my husband comes home! :)

Monday and Tuesday are AT HOME DAYS. This is what they should look like:

Wednesday is Water Day. We will be getting wet somewhere on Wednesdays. We don't have direct access to a pool, but there are several places we can rotate for swimming. This is what it should look like:

Thursday is Movie Day where we go to the free movies at the Regal movie theater. This is what Thursday should look like:

Sometimes Friday will be an at home day and sometimes it will be a letterboxing day. I haven't done a schedule for Friday yet...not quite sure about what I want it to look like.

This schedule thing is brand new to me, so I'm hoping that it will work for me and my kiddos, but I can't promise that I'll be sticking to it everyday. It will give us a bit of a guideline, though. I'll let you know how it is going periodically.

Check out Rocks in My Dryer for more Works for Me Wednesday tips.

Monday, June 16, 2008

What's in a name?

1.YOUR ROCK STAR NAME: (first pet & current car) Ginger Chrysler (doesn't exactly flow from your lips)

2.YOUR GANGSTA NAME: (fave ice cream flavor, favorite cookie) Chocolate Chocolate Chip (not such a scary gangsta name...but better than the alternative: Chocolate Snickerdoodle

3. YOUR “FLY Guy/Girl” NAME: (first initial of first name, first three letters of your last name) J-Cha

4. YOUR DETECTIVE NAME: (favorite color, favorite animal) Blue Dolphin

5. YOUR SOAP OPERA NAME: (middle name, city where you were born) Hope Richmond(wow...that really works, huh?)

6. YOUR STAR WARS NAME: (the first 3 letters of your last name, first 2 letters of your first) Chaje (I don't pretend to understand star wars)

7. SUPERHERO NAME: (”The” + 2nd favorite color, favorite drink) The Pink Dr. Pepper

8. NASCAR NAME: (the first names of your grandfathers) Jesse Norwood

9. STRIPPER NAME: (the name of your favorite perfume/cologne/scent, favorite candy) Happy Spree

10.WITNESS PROTECTION NAME: (mother’s & father’s middle names ) Carol Crawford

11. TV WEATHER ANCHOR NAME: (Your 5th grade teacher’s last name, a major city that starts with the same letter) Gizzo Glendale (I'm Gizzo Glendale and here are today's top stories...)

12. SPY NAME: (your favorite season/holiday, flower) Spring Hydrangea (doesn't sound very spy-like to me)

13. CARTOON NAME: (favorite fruit, article of clothing you’re wearing right now + “ie” or “y”) Cantaloupe Skirty

14. HIPPIE NAME: (What you ate for breakfast, your favorite tree) Kashi Cherry Blossom

15. YOUR ROCKSTAR TOUR NAME: (”The” + Your fave hobby/craft, weather element+ Tour") The Blogging Tornado Tour (tour dates announced soon)

Kinda fun, huh? Join in if you want to play. You know you wanna. Dont'cha, dont'cha, dont'cha?

Chick-Fil-A Grand Opening - First 100!

So there were some crazy people in my town last week who camped in the Chick-Fil-A parking lot for 24 hours so they could win free Chick-Fil-A for a year. Seriously, who would do something as strange as that?


Oh my! It was really a blast. First of all, the grand opening was scheduled for Thursday at 6:00am. I got there at about 8:15am on Wednesday morning. My sister, Laura decided to come with me, but she didn't really understand what she was agreeing to. When she realized we would be sleeping there and that we couldn't leave the premises, she had to call and cancel plans with a friend to shop for a HS graduation dress.

So, it was really cool that they fed us breakfast, lunch, and dinner on Wednesday. But the coolest part about that, I think, is that we got to WALK through the DRIVE THRU for our food. They lined us up according to our number (I was 75 out of 100) and shuffled us through the line.

The weather had been seriously scorching for days (over 100, not including heat index!), but we got lucky that Wednesday was not as hot. I think it only got to about 90 degrees. It still felt warm, though. I called my dad to see if he could hunt down a canopy to borrow. He suprised us about an hour later with a brand new canopy he had purchased. I'm sure he'll get many uses out of it, but I couldn't believe that he bought it so we could use it. What a sweetheart!

You may be wondering what the heck we would do to occupy our time while waiting for the day to progress. We had wonderful company. My sister Laura and my friend Becca were with me. We met some great people. Dick, who is 85 years old and camped next to us (this was his 9th Chick-Fil-A grand opening, I kid you not) had wonderful stories and experiences to share with us.

We also sat around chatting, rested on an air mattress under our shady canopy,
& watched and participated in fun and silly games put on by the Chick-Fil-A crew. This one is a frozen T-shirt contest. They froze a wet T-shirt into a ball, and the first one to get it on their body won. And they couldn't bang it on the ground. Ha. It was funny to watch.

Laura even participated in a kind of musical chairs scavenger hunt.
We enjoyed many visitors to our humble homestead in the parking lot that day as well. Our friends and families couldn't resist checking it out...

Taylor and Zach participated in some of the line dances and other fun. They did the Cha-Cha slide, Hokey Pokey, and Freeze Dance.

In the evening, they had an MC, showed a movie, and served ice cream sundaes. I guess we hit the sack about 11:30pm. Wake up call from the mike was at 5am, bright and early! We cleaned up our temporary "home", then proceeded to line up according to our numbers for a final check. I got to meet the cow...notice the not-enough-sleep look on my face.

When we finally got to get our grand prize, we walked single-file into the building amidst a cheerful band of Chick-Fil-A employees loudly, very loudly, banging on their metal pans (with metal spoons, mind you). Did I mention that it was loud, and 6:00 in the morning? My sister snapped a pic of me approaching the magic table with the goods. Oh yeah...and before we went inside, they gave us all t-shirts and paper hats to wear.
That same wonderful sister, who claims to be a photographer captured this wonderful photo of me accepting my prize. Don't quit your day job, Laura! Just kidding was crazy in there, fast moving, and did I mention, REALLY LOUD?

And to top it off, Thursday was my kids' last day of school. They got out early, at 12:30pm. Guess where we went for lunch? You guessed it...I spent my first coupon for a free meal that very day. Here are my kids enjoying the grand opening. They had been dying to play in the new kids play is pretty cool.

So what do you think? Am I nuts, or just frugal and fun? YOU DECIDE! :)