Archive for March, 2011

Okay, so I see these all over etsy and love the look, but not so much the price.  I ran across some rolls of birch bark at a park store on clearance and snatched them up.  This birch bark is NOT as pretty as the vases you can get on etsy, since it’s made of bits and pieces of birch bark glued to fabric.  If it were a whole piece of birch bark I would be happier, but these will work. 🙂

I used some cylindrical bottles and an old straight-sided vase, but wanted a shorter vase, too.  So I used some tin cans!

Cleaned and peeled off the label, then used some tape to completely cover the sharp top edges.

Then I cut out felt circles and glued them to the bottom so they wouldn’t scratch any surfaces.

Then I got out the glue gun and got started attaching the roll of birch bark.


Menu Plan Monday

Breakfasts: eggs, yogurt and fruit, cottage cheese and fruit, oatmeal

D) salad
L) peanut butter celery or leftovers
D) crustless veggie quiche, greens from the garden
L) leftovers
D) taco salad
L) OUT, something from freezer
D) brats with sauerkraut
L) leftovers
D) grilled steak salad
L) veggies and peanut butter
D) taco salad with baked poppers
D) lettuce wrapped burgers with roasted veggies
-markdown beef?

Lamp Makeover Candidate?

Isn’t it just LOVELY?  Don’t you just LOVE that cracked and broken plastic shade?  And that GORGEOUS faux marble?

Um, no. Makeover coming up.

Spring :-)

The shelf above the couch.  I left up the window frame and wreath because I just love it still and then added a bunch of bits and pieces I’ve collected.  The silvery vine garland is actually a Christmas clearance item, but looks perfect for spring anyway. And super cheap of course. 😉

DH bought me the bird tag and platter for Valentine’s day – he happened to remember that I liked them and they showed up here as a surprise. 🙂

I made the birch bark vases! Not as pretty as I was hoping for, but they work.

DD brought me the little branch of pear blossoms in a mason jar the other day – so sweet!

The birds are spray-painted brown and then cream and I rubbed off the edges to make them worn-looking.  The birds and the moss-covered stones are dollar tree finds from last year. 🙂 Thrifted “eggs” and vintage doilies, too.

Not counting dog food in this total, but all of the canned dog food was free anyway! 🙂

It was an insane week for deals with way too much time shopping. Not everything is pictured and I don’t think there’s any way I can go through and list everything, but I know it was over 150 items. 🙂

Tons of freebies and lots of pasta for donations, too. Not a ton of produce this week, but we’ve been working through all the frozen veggies I picked up several weeks ago at Target as well as starting to get some lettuce, greens, and asparagus from the garden.

Okay, so this isn’t so much a pantry challenge anymore as much as it is a challenge to manage my grocery budget more efficiently. I’m going to just keep plugging away with the $25 grocery budget for a while I think.  It makes me much more mindful of my spending.

Target, Rite Aid, and Target –  approx $7 OOP for everything except the dog food.

The dog food is NOT included in my $25 budget, but I’m doing some stocking up with good prices over the next few weeks.

Kroger – OOP $5.29 (leaving out the dog food)  This Kroger trip was a nightmare.  The cashier missed coupons and input incorrect amounts multiple times and then the entire register crashed so I was unable to get the issues fixed by customer service.  I wasn’t even able to get a receipt.  Thankfully we had just gotten our quarterly Kroger credit card rewards, so that took $20 off the total.  I lost at least $7.50 in coupons that were not rung up correctly, probably more. 😦

Publix and Kroger $19.06 (one of the blogs I follow said the Philly cooking creme would produce $5 back, but it didn’t, so this trip was more than expected as well)

Total Spent: $31.35 (Since I had $6.70 left over from last week, this just about evens things out.)

Total Bought:

Dairy: 2 dz eggs, 4 cartons cottage cheese (markdown), 10 Philly cooking creme, 2 dip (FREE a/c), 2 yoplait 4-pks (FREE a/c), Dannon plain yogurt, 2 bags pepper jack cheese

Produce: Jazz apples (YUM!), slaw cabbage (markdown), mushrooms (markdown)

Meat: boneless skinless chicken breast, 1 whole chicken

Grocery: 5 bags dried beans, 5 cans whole cashews (.79 on clearance!), 24 boxes pasta (FREE a/c), 4 boxes graham crackers, 1 package rice cakes

Other: gum, 3 floss (FREE a/c), cold meds (FREE a/c), visine (FREE a/c), pads (mm at cvs), 4 motrin, paper towels

Pantry Challenge Week 9

No pictures this week, since I seem to have left my camera cord in Indiana.  Oops!  Anyway, spent right around $18 this week and bought milk, 3 dz eggs, a couple bags of cheese, lots of yogurt, several bags of frozen veggies, celery, carrots, lettuce, apples, onions, coffee, creamer, and diet coke.

ETA: I found pictures of some of it – yay! There is a lot more produce, but no pics of that.


Yay!  Finally got to meet little Ellie. 🙂

Well, I got my raised bed done!  🙂  So now I’ll be putting $15 towards beef purchase and the $10 that has been going to the raised bed will be going towards an outdoor storage closet we have been wanting. 🙂 I keep forgetting to pull the money out for these – gotta remember!

May be crazy, but I drove 50 miles round trip to visit a whole bunch of different “local” stores.  Every store had a lot of stock, but I really can’t stand it when people shelf-clear, so I got just a few at each store. THEN, I shopped in Atlanta and Indianapolis as we were driving across the country. Not everything is pictured, but I really stocked up on frozen foods and baby items.  I was able to share a LOT of frozen meals, veggies, etc with family I was visiting.  And made a big gift basket of baby things!

Total spent: Approx $51.94 (Also gained $7.50 in Target GC that I’m not including)

Budget for next week: $24.70