Monday, January 30, 2012

$0 Budget Month Guest Post: Smart n Snazzy

Hi there!  Thanks so much, Stephanie for having me guest post during her fabulous $0 Budget Month series!  I'm Lia from Smart n Snazzy, where I focus mostly on DIY, fashion, beauty, and decor, but I also post about whatever strikes my fancy.  I'm a wife and mother of two beautiful kids, and I work full time as a Data Analyst in Denver, Colorado.

I like to say that I have expensive taste but a limited budget.  Having a family to help support doesn't really allow for us to buy what we desire, so we have to make do.  I like to invest in classic pieces, and skimp on the trends.  A lot of the time, I'll make pieces inspired by high-end designer items for only a fraction of the cost.  And sometimes, I make things using what I've got on hand!  Here are a few examples.

When I laid eyes on the beautiful Kate Spade City Lights Bracelet, I knew I had to have it.  But its price tag is not anything I'd be willing to spend.  So I made it instead.  Here's my version, and here's the original post:

Inspired by this gorgeous Dannijo Studded Stingray Cuff Bracelet, I created one in a similar fashion to that of the City Lights bracelet.  Click here for the original post:

Finally, and yes I know I was on a TOTAL bracelet kick, I saw the whimsical Anthropologie Earbuds Bracelet and was completely enamored with it!  So I rounded up the supplies and made my own.  Here's the original post:

I hope you love and have been inspired to recreate some of your favorite pieces using some unconventional materials!  I always try to think outside the box and am so proud when I do!

A huge thank you once again to Stephanie for having me on Full of Great Ideas!  Please stop by Smart n Snazzy and say hi!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

$0 Budget Month Guest Post: I Think I Can Squared

Just call me cheap. Or the lady that ends with WAY too much stuff from buying sprees at Hobby Lobby.
 Ok, cheap is easier.
I love crafts that don't cost a fortune. Blame it on my days as a daycare teacher where I had to pay out of pocket to keep the kiddies entertained :) I also go for cheap fixes for decorating because I'll admit, I hate doing it.
Here's some of my faves(ok, my faves that I actually blogged about)
 Reused candle holder  
April is a stay at home mom of 3 kids, ages 14, 12, and 5 and a zookeeper to an assortment of pets. She enjoy saving money, reading, sleeping, and doing way too many crafts. In her spare time, she blogs at I Think I Can, I Think I Can.

$0 Budget Month Guest Post: NMCreatrix

I am an artist and recycler, and I have taken a pledge (from Full of Great Ideas) to not make any non-essential purchases during the month of January. I will be retiring in February and think that going a month without any non-essential purchases will be a way to get ready for it. I have been gearing down for this for all of 2011, but the holiday season got me a little off track.

Part of the process is deciding which things are essential and which are non-essential. I am sure that it will be an on-going issue. Since creating art is an essential for me, I plan to use what art materials I have on hand and not purchase anything. That also helps reduce my stash!

Some of my ideas include making postcards, ATC {artist trading card) Buisness Cards and product hang tags for my wares. I use recycled cardboard boxes, paint and embellish them, and then cut to the size I need. I apply tags that I downloaded  that I have customized with my company information. This gives the recipient both a small work of art and my business information. See my prior posts  here and here for July.

These are postcards for a mail art swap that I was involved in for October. These use recycled materials and supplies that I already had on hand. Only cost was the postage.

Shari Adkisson

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

$0 Budget Month Guest Post: Never Home SAHM

I would like to welcome Mikita from Never Home SAHM to Full of Great Ideas.  Here is Makita's great frugal idea for organizing those dreaded headbands..perfect for all you who have daughters!

Here is what Mikita had to say:
"I was recently having a chat with another Mom of girls and she said, there is really no good way to organize headbands.  I agreed, as I remembered how my daughter's headbands have taken over the dresser and floor and bathroom!

I also took this conversation as a personal challenge to find a way to organize them.  Luckily, I have fallen in love with a little site called Pintrest.  If you don't know about it, send me your email and I will invite you to join. *Warning* the site is addicting, seriously, you will be hooked!  You've been warned!

Anyway, so I can't take credit for the idea itself, but I can take credit for my version of how I did it.  You need rings that are hooked together, any rings.  I used a silver looped belt that was in my daughter's closet.  You could use shower curtain rings, linky baby toys that most people use to hang toys on a car seat.  Just hook them together and hang them on a wall, I used push pins and put one of the loops on the pin.

My loop organizer holds headbands and scarfs by threading them through the loops! So easy.  I also tied a ribbon on one of the loops and clipped on bows and barrets!
So easy and free way to organize them!"

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

$0 Budget Month Guest Post: Chic Done Cheap

Hi! I'm Maizie from Chic Done Cheap. Chic Done Cheap is all about living the luxe life for less: whether you're barely getting by or just looking to save more money. My blog is a mix of DIYs, saving money ideas, interior design and fashion. Visit Chic Done Cheap, here. For chic tips on the go, follow me on Twitter: @chicdonecheap.

Here are some chic projects to get your 2012 started off right.

Never too cool for school-DIY covered pencils

Coffee Break Craft- Floppy Disc Coasters

Crayola coral

-Chic Done Cheap

Monday, January 23, 2012

$0 Budget Month Guest Post: House Wife in Town

Hello Everyone,

I contact Laura at House Wife in Town and asked if she would be willing to share her 31 Days to Happier Children series with you. I love this series and it fits so well with this month, not because it doesn't costs anything, but because we have so much more time to grow as a family this month. As you might (or might not) remember from my last 1 month $0 challenge, the best thing we got out of it was not saving money, it was the time we spent together. Please be sure to stop by and see what Laura had to say in her 31 Days to Happier Children.

Happiness is a choice. "We choose to count our blessings. We choose to head outside and look for contentment and joy in nature. We choose to eat food that encourage optimism. We choose joy." taken from this post back in October introducing my 31 Days to Happier Children series.

So much of our daily life is about the habits we have -- how we spend our time, what we choose to eat and drink, when we sleep. Have you noticed that some habits lead to happiness and others don't? It's a pretty simple formula -- get happy by making happy habits. And teaching your children to do the same! Add in gratefulness for what you have, quick forgiveness when others wrong you, empathy, and understanding how your personality and love language affects your relationships, and you'll have to fight to be UNhappy.

When I set out to write about happy kids every day for 31 days in October, I didn't know I'd get over  44,000 pageviews and pins all over Pinterest. Many people are obviously looking for answers for themselves and for their children. We want to spend more time with our kids, but really -- we want our time spent to be effective. We want our words to really impact our children for good. We want our parenting to be dynamic, with positive outcomes. I want all that too. And writing all thirty-one days, on topics from eating your vegetables to traveling together to focusing on marriage, helped ME put things in perspective and see what our family needed more of to be highly functioning. 

Writing this series HAS helped my family become happier. And now I've got it as a resource to come back to. I can ask the questions: How are we doing lately? Am I making it a point to put on my oxygen mask as a mom? Are we still focusing on emotional intelligence in our interactions with each other and with our friends? Did we laugh together today?

Happiness is worth so much more than money. You can't put a dollar amount on it. Especially when you see the research behind it. Check this out:

"Optimism is so closely related to happiness that the two can practically be equated. And guess what: optimism is a teachable skill. Hope, faith and optimism are all positive emotions about the future, and so are essential parts of a happy childhood. That is enough for me, but if a happy childhood isn't your first priority for your kids, think about these other benefits reaped by optimistic children. Compared to pessimistic people, optimists are:
  • More successful in school, at work, and in athletics
  • They are healthier and they live longer
  • They are more satisfied with their marriages
  • They are less likely to suffer from depression
  • They are less anxious..."
quoted from an article entitled "The Benefits of Optimism" by Christine Carter, Ph.D. at the Greater Good Institute

Don't be alarmed -- my kids aren't happy all the time. If only! But I really believe that the habits we are forming have made a difference in our level of happiness. So I can say that our family continues to learn happiness, from living intentionally and continually making positive lifestyle choices. It's not a quick fix, it's a way of life. And we'll be reaping the rewards for a long time.

To read all 31 posts in my series, click here. And let me know what you think.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Paper Roll Cross (two actually) on my $0 budget

I realize this idea is somewhat of a repeat of a $0 budget project from last, but I thought it was worth the post since it really is different and I absolutely love how they turned out.

So here they are, paper roll (aka paper towel/toilet paper roll) crosses.

If you did not see the toilet paper 'art' I created (below) last year on my $0 budget, you can see it here.

So I used the same technique as my previous project. I flattened the paper roll (I used mostly paper towel rolls this time) and cut the two ends off each of the rolls. I then cut (with a rotary cutter) the flattened rolls into a approximately 1 inch pieces.
 If the seam starts to come undone on the inside, just hot glue it as you go.

I start by making little flowers making sure to get the 4 corner points together nicely.

Once you make a few of these, lay them out and figure out the design you like. Then glue together the flowers and add any additional pieces to make your shape.

After you have glued all the pieces together, prime the entire piece with spray paint primer. This cannot be skipped, otherwise your paint will look blotchy.  Wait the recommended time and then spray paint to your desired color.
I did two coats of spray primer and then a few coats of oil rubbed bronze for my cross. It really does look like it is metal! There is a slight shine of gold when the light hits it.
  I love how it looks with the iron wall piece I have in my dining room.

Cross #2
My daughter designed this one all by herself. She wanted it to look like a cross of flowers and then leaves coming out of the ends. She asked me to spay paint the pieces different colors and at first I thought it wouldn't look nice, but thought it doesn't cost anything if we need to make it again. But I love how it looks.
Isn't it adorable? Perfect for her room!
What do you think?

How has your month been? I have been so busy working out this month, I don't miss shopping. I long for sleep more than anything else :)

There are some amazing guest posts this week so be sure to stop by.

Have a great week,

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Piercing American Girl Doll's ears on my $0 Budget

I am sorry I have been absent for over a week. I started a new fitness session and it is kicking my butt; I have no energy to do anything. Actually, it hurts right now to lift my arms up to type :) Next time when your loving sister-in-law asks you to join bootcamp with her, just know you will be tired, grumpy and sore for the full 8 weeks :) But I do love, so I am thankful for the invite.

Over a year ago we packed up our car and drove to New York City with the kids for a family holiday. Three of us had never been to New York before (my husband had been) and we were very excited. It was a month or so before my daughter's birthday so my husband and I decided to surprise her with a trip to American Girl; we made reservations at the Cafe for dinner and then while we were their bought her her first American Girl doll. She carried that doll around New York for 4 days with pride and excitement.

Well after we returned home from our holidays, she asked if she could get her own ears pierced. This was something we had held off doing until she could make the decision on her own and was mature enough to care for it. After much discussion and 30 minutes of crying/screaming at the salon, she got it done. I will add, after the women did both ears at the same time she said "That didn't hurt at all." I am glad my husband video taped some of her pre-ear piercing fun. Now this meant her American Girl no longer looked exactly like her.

Ever since she has been hoping we could go to an American Girl store to have Emily's ear's pierced. We have not made it to one and I refuse to mail the doll away. So, we decided to try to do it ourselves. I thought "Come on, how hard could it be?" Boy does my husband hate when I say those words. But this time it wasn't difficult.

We pulled together the tools we thought would be necessary.
  • Hammer
  • Pliers 
  • Thick sewing needle
  • Old pair of earrings

Identify where you want the earrings to be situated on the dolls ears. You will just be putting the earring into the ear and no back will be used. The earring post just goes into the dolls head.

Place the doll on a hard flat surface and using a hammer, gently tap the thick sewing needle to make the hole.
I do not recommend using a tack because it will make the hole too large and the earrings will just fall out.
What a horrible shot :)  It really reminded me of when I was younger and kids would try to pierce their own ears.

If necessary, use pliers to pull the needle out of the ear.

Insert earrings and you are done!
Here is Catrina with Emily (American Girl #1).

Well, after her first doll was done, she was determined for dad to pierce her other American Girls ears too.

If you were to get their ear's pierced at the store, they would charge us $14 per doll. So we saved $28 and now we don't have to carry the dolls with us on our next vacation. A Win win in my books.

What have you been up to on your spend free months?  Anyone else feel like they are not able to move as a result of their dumb New Year's resolution to get back in shape?

I hope to have more $0 ideas soon.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

$0 Budget Month Guest Post: Mother Hen Strikes Again

Hi There, Mother Hen here, my blog is Mother Hen Strikes Again. I'm a crafter, cook, mother and love making and baking!

I first came across Stephanie's blog in November 2011 on Pinterest. Someone had pinned her blog post about $0 for the month of March 2011. I am fairly new to the blogging scene and thought this was a brilliant idea, I thought what a fabulous idea! I left a comment for Stephanie saying she had inspired me to do this in January when things are naturally tight after over spending at Christmas. I also have a ton of unfinished projects and craft items around the house, surely I could get on and use some of these things up! This was just the inspiration I needed to rise to the challenge! Stephanie kindly emailed me and asked if I would like to join her through this journey in January and I replied that I would love to! And so the journey began....

I came up with 7 Golden Rules to live by for the month, see my original post for those. I have then set to coming up with some ideas to use up these craft supplies I have!

So far I have made quite a few things I'm very pleased with. I will give you a peak at just a few, but please feel free to visit my blog.

Golden Rule 3 states, not buying any sweets or treats! So having to curb that sweet tooth, means I've been using up the baking ingredients in my cupboards to make some yummy goodies...

Blueberry and White Chocolate Muffins

I have also made a couple of nice things with some crafty leftovers or up cycling!

Shabby Chic Necklace, Old Jewellery and T-shirt
Felt Egg Cozies
And saving a few pennies with home made toiletries/cosmetics....
Body Scrub, Facial Scrub and Moisturiser
Please feel free to join us for the rest of the January $0.00 Spend Challenge, it's not to late to join in the fun! Yes being Thrify can be Fun!

Mother Hen

Monday, January 16, 2012

$0 Budget Month Guest Post: Tutus & Tea Parties

Hi, I'm Lauren. I am super happy to be sharing some ideas with you here on 
Full of Great Ideas!

I post over at Tutus & Tea Parties about art & activities for the kiddos, tutorials for the parents and some great info I come across for parents. I am a wife to a very understanding hubby who deals with crafting supplies taking over our small apartment and a moma to a 2 1/2 year old toddler {known as Bug} who loves to play, craft and cook with me. We live on a pretty tight budget so crafting isn't always something I can spend a lot on. If you ask Bug where she likes to shop she will tell you Walmart & Michaels. We love using our 40% off coupon at Michaels and will go once a day if we have to get multiple things {or we will drag along some friends or family to make a purchase for us}.

Here are a couple $0 budget projects we have done:

We used two toilet paper rolls, a scrap piece of yarn and glue. Easy peasy!

We used a paint strip {free at home stores & Walmart has them too}, glue, business magnets {like you get from the pizza place and what not}, and I used a brad...but that is optional.

Necklace Onesie {flower optional}: Don't you just love baby bling?!

We used a white onesie we already had, acrylic paint or fabric paint {I have about 20 bottles of acrylic & fabric paint on that normal?}, a pencil and a small paint brush.

I'd love to know if you make any of these! Just post a pic on my Facebook page to show me.

Thank you,

Saturday, January 14, 2012

$0 Budget Month Guest Post: Organizing Made Fun

My name is Becky and I blog at Organizing Made Fun.

Stephanie asked me to help out with her month long challenge of $0 spending. I did an entire month or organizing on a very similar subject: 31 Days to cheaply organize your home!

Let me tell you that if you think organizing has to be expensive, it doesn't. I'm going to give you three examples of how to organize without having to break the bank! First is oatmeal containers!
This oatmeal container was turned into a ribbon organizer.

I have made one into a headband/hair things organizer for my daughter's hair things, too.

How about a yarn organizer/holder? 

My next idea is hangers!  What about those dry cleaner hangers that come with your dry cleaning? If you were going to send them back or throw them away...consider this instead:
I found this cute way to organize flip flops - quite creative for someone with a large collection of flip flops. 

How about hanging scarves or tights? This is such a simple and easy idea!

Maybe you have a pants hanger that you no longer need?  Organize your ribbon! 

Last hanger friend, Julie, came up with this clever way to organize her boots! She took a skirt hanger with clips and clipped her boots!

OK, last idea is left-over containers.

I used left-over containers to organize my whole stash of paint supplies.

You can use scrapbook paper to make ugly containers into something pretty and use somewhere in your home for organizing.

Or even use it to help organize things in your fridge - like snacks for your kiddos!

Well, I hope this gets your imagination going. I would love for you to stop by Organizing Made Fun and get more inspired by all kinds of organizing ideas.

I'm currently doing a series every Monday this month called "Organized Resolutions" and I'd love for you to check it out.



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