DIY Paper Pinwheel Background and Decor

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pinwheel ppm

 These paper pinwheels are the perfect decor for creating a beautiful background for your next birthday party, baby shower or holiday decor or even a photo shoot backdrop! The best part is that there are several ways to make this project your own, simply adjust the size of the pinwheels (larger/smaller), make center buttons different sizes, or don’t use a center button at all. You can also make the the pinwheel using several different colors of paper to make a more unique design.

No matter what you choose to do – have fun and make this project your own! I had so  much fun making these Christmas inspired pinwheel with my kids and just love how they turned out!

Supplies Needed: 

  • Scrapbook Paper, old books, maps and other paper products (I used DCWV scrapbook paper it’s my favorite!)
  • Scissors
  • Hot Glue Gun and Glue
  • Round Objects (for making center circles, ie. dixie cup, glass, mason jar ring…)
  • String, ribbon, twine or tape (for hanging the pinwheels)

Project Details:

  1. Take your scrapbook paper and  begin to fold 1 inch wide accordion folds. You will basically be creating two paper fans (like you did as a kid).
  2. Take each of the fans and fold them evenly in half.
  3. Trim ends of the paper into a rounded shape with scissors (optional).
  4. With the hot glue, connect the two ends of the fold fan together. Repeat this step with the second fan and then glue the two fans together.
  5. On a different colored paper trace and cut a circle (change it up try different sizes) or use a large hole punch.  Glue the circle to the center of the pinwheel on both sides.
  6. If you plan on hanging the pinwheel from a string, ribbon or twine make sure to glue it directly to the back of the pinwheel where you attached the circle. (This step is not required. You can attach the pinwheel directly to the wall like I did with duct tape.)

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DIY Fall Mason Jar Luminary

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mason jar luminary

These fun little Mason Jar Luminaries are so easy and totally affordable to make. They make fantastic table centerpieces to add to your fall decor or place them by your entry way as a welcoming cozy lantern as your guests walk through the door.

All you need for this project can be purchased for less than $5 total! Simply pick up some Mod Podge, silk leaves, mason jars (pint or quart sized), tea lights and some twine/raffia/ribbon to finish the look! I was able to find all of these items at the Dollar Tree!

1. With a paint brush paint on a section of Mod Podge onto the Mason jar. Place one leaf at a time to the Mod Podge. Once you have gotten the leaf to stick to the jar, secure the leaf with another THICK coating of Mod Podge on top of the leaves

2. Allow 2-4 hours for the Mod Podge to dry completely. Finish the look by tying raffia twin or ribbon around the neck of the jar.

3. Place a flameless tea light, tea candle or larger candle in the jar and light it up! The jar’s look will be complete as the light shine through the leaves and gaps in the jar!

Cream of Broccoli & Cauliflower Soup Recipe

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cream of broccoli and cauliflower soup

Ingredients:

  • 4 Tbsp butter
  • 1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely diced
  • 3 cans chicken broth
  • 4 cups of broccoli
  • 2 cups cauliflower
  • 3 Tbsp flour
  • 1 1/2 cups of whole milk
  • Salt, pepper, garlic powder (I use seasoning salt)

Directions:

  1. Cut broccoli and cauliflower into bite size pieces. Boil broccoli and cauliflower directly in the chicken stock until al dente, about 10 minutes.
  2. In a large saucepan, melt  2 tablespoons of butter and add onion.  Saute onions until soft and translucent. Add 2 more tablespoons of butter and the flour 1 tablespoon at a time, to make a rue. Once the mixture has created a rue (a paste like consistency) add milk/cream slowly to mixture slowly, whisking while mixture together.
  3. Split the broccoli/cauliflower mix in half. Take half of the mixture to a blender and puree until smooth. Pour mixture into the cream-rue mixture, add the remainder of the whole florets to the soup.
  4. Turn the stove top to down to low and allow the soup to simmer for at least 15 minutes.
  5. Stir soup every 5 minutes or so while it simmers to make sure the cream does not burn to the bottom of the pan.
  6. Taste and add more salt, pepper, garlic powder, seasoning salt as desired.

cream of broccoli soup

6 Smart Tips for Smart Holiday Shopping

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Looking to save money on your holiday gift giving?  Make sure you check out this list of SIX great tips!  My personal favorite is #5 - and it is the one I tell my children about each and every year!

 

It is November which means it is now time to jump in and do your holiday shopping.  If you shop all year long, then you are probably about finished — and good for you!  However, many don’t start shopping until around Thanksgiving (or later).  When you start to see all of the deals showing up on your television, Facebook and other places (like this site), it can become overwhelming and you can quickly over-buy and lose control.  Here are SIX great tips you can follow to help keep your spending under control!

 

1.  Create a Budget and List

Before you jump in and start buying willy-nilly, you should have BOTH a budget and shopping list ready.  You can use the standard budget form here (just print the blank one and write down the names of the people you will buy for and the amount you plan on spending).    Once you have that in place, then determine what it is you will buy or make.  If your budget is tight, you may want to try homemade gifts (check out one of my Pinterest boards for some ideas).

Make sure you stick to your budget so that when the mail comes in January, you’ll be happy to see fewer bills show up in the mail box!

2.  Saving money on a deal is really saving

If you find a deal on something that you didn’t intend on purchasing and buy it because of the price, that does not make it a deal.  Instead, when you spend money – no matter how much – you are spending.  Even if you get it for $10 because you are saving $15, that is another $10 taken out of your holiday budget.  Make sure that when you see a deal, that it is something you really need to buy and not something you buy just because of the price.

3.  Don’t get sucked in by the phrase Black Friday

Just because it is Black Friday, it doesn’t mean that those are the best deals you can find.  Some of the best days to shop include:

  • November 26th — Toys and Electronics
  • December 1st – Apparel

If you take a minute to actually look through the Black Friday Ads, you will probably see that many of them are the same things you see in past years or are items which are rather underwhelming.  Don’t fall for the hype of Black Friday and think that means you are guaranteed to get some of the best prices of the shopping season.

If you do plan on getting out to shop, you can read my Best Black Friday Shopping tips.  If you want to stay home instead, we’ll be here to help — complete with a database filled with coupon codes and offers!!!  

 

4.  Shop online

While do sometimes shop in the stores, I will admit to doing most of my shopping online.  I am just so busy that getting out is not as easy as it has been in the past.  Between that and the weekend madness, I’d just rather spend time at home with my kids.

When I have the patience to wait for a deal, I can often find deals that I can’t find in the store.  Or, if they are bit more, they are really “the same” as I don’t have to spend fuel or my time to drive to the store to grab it!

I will admit that my favorite place to shop is Amazon.   I also pay the $99 annual fee for Amazon Prime which always more than pays for itself in my shipping savings alone!!!  With the daily lightning deals and how they do a great job of price matching other retailers, I find that I do a great job in getting the things we need, without hurting our holiday budget!

5.  Numbers don’t matter

I don’t know about you, but I would rather spend the same amount and give my kids each 2 or 3 items which will last than 10 items which will fall apart.  In addition, I don’t care what my kids give me either.  One of my favorite gifts was a silly snowman coffee mug that cost $1 at one of our Dollar Stores.  I love it most of all because my daughter was so proud that she not only picked it out herself, but spend her own money to buy it for me.  She reminds me of this when I dig out that mug for my hot cocoa each winter.

I know I’ve receive many gift over the years, but this small mug is the thing I remember.  Your family will do the same thing – if you give something from the heart – or just do what you can to make the holiday memorable, that is what matters most of all.  You probably won’t remember what gift you were given in 2 years, but you will remember that special moment where your child smiled or your last photo with grandma.


6.  Stop shopping when the list is done

This may seem like it is common sense, but it may be harder than you realize.  When you are done with your holiday shopping and have purchase or made something for everyone on your list, just stay out of the stores.  It is so simple to see something and pick up “just one more item.”  Doing this can quickly add up into 5 – 10 more items and quickly blow that budget you set in step #1 above.  Like I tell my kids ……. “put down the toy and walk away.”

What other tips do you have to add to our list?

Free Nice and Naughty Notice Downloads!

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Nice and Naughty Notices

This is the time of the year that many parents tend to play the “Santa is watching” card when kids act up, or happen to do something wonderful.  However, they may not always believe, so what better way than to have a Nice or Naughty Notice arrive for them – straight from the North Pole!

Just click the image below and download your free copy.  Fill out your child’s name and the type of behavior. Make sure it is signed by one of the elves (your Elf on the Shelf would be the perfect name to use, if you happen to have one).  Then, place it on your child’s dresser for them to see when they wake or get home from school.  Just watch their eyes when they can tell you are not lying.

nice notice small

Download your FREE Nice Notice form HERE

It is important that kids know when they are doing good things – not just being corrected for the bad.  These nice notices are great to reinforce that good behavior and make them want to earn more notices.  If you do happen to issue a Naughty Notice, try to give Nice notice within a day or so — again to help your kids feel good about themselves.

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Download your FREE Naughty Notice form HERE

None of us are perfect.  That is the message it is important to convey with your kids if they happen to be issued a Naughty Notice.  Make sure you talk it over with your  kids and let them know that they are not on the naughty list, but they have been caught doing something that they should not have done.  This is such a perfect learning opportunity for your kids to take responsibility for their own actions.  As mentioned above, try to follow up with a NICE notice within a day or so of issuing this one.

Christmas is such a magical time for kids and they believe for such a short time.  Try to have fun with it and do what you can to make it memorable for your own kids!

Holiday Gift Tags Printable

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Holiday Gift Tag PPM

The Holidays are approaching which means it’s time to start thinking about wrapping LOTS of gifts! Making gifts, wrapping supplies and gift tags are not only fun but more meaningful and cheaper! Simply print this Holiday Gift Tags Printable on card stock and cut them out. To attach these tags you can easily punch a hole on the tag and use a cute ribbon or twine to complete the look. If you do not want to attach with ribbon, you can simply put double sided tape on the back of each tag and stick them directly to your gift.

Embellishment ideas:

  • Add a little sparkle with glitter
  • Punch a hole in each tag and attach with ribbon or twine
  • Glue two identical tags together to make the tag double sided to hang on a gift bag.
  • Be creative and have fun!

I love to wrap gifts in old brown grocery bags use a little twine, add one of these gift tags and viola – you have a rustic homemade gift wrap!

How to make easy DIY Burlap Flowers (in less than 3 minutes)

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burlap flowers ppm

Oh burlap how I love you! Seriously I have discovered a HUGE love for burlap. Not only do I love the shabby chic look, but it is so easy to use! One of my favorite things to make with burlap are these beautiful flowers. They only take a couple of minutes to make and looks fantastic on wreaths, table centerpieces and even gifts!

burlap flower 1

First cut a strip of burlap about 2 inches wide and 7 inches long. (To make a larger flower simply cute the strip a little wider.) On one end of the burlap fold over about 1/4 inch and  seal closed using hot glue. On the opposite end of the burlap strip pick a piece of thread about 1/2 inch into the burlap strip (no matter how wide the strip was cut). Begin gently pulling the thread to cause a gather in the burlap.

 burlap flower 3

Continue to gently pull the thread until the entire strip of burlap is fully gathered. The burlap will begin to form the flower all on its one. Make sure to put the glued folded end of the burlap strip in the center of the flower.

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With the glued section of the burlap on the inside, the excess string that you pulled to create the gather will be on the outside. Simply take that string and wrap it tightly around the base of the flower. This will hold the flower together.

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Use the hot glue gun and fully secure the flower, by simply gluing around the base of the flower where the string is wrapped. Viola! The flower is done! Now all you have to do is attach the flower to your wreath, centerpiece or gift!

burlap flowers pin

Soul Speaking – French Onion Soup Recipe

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french onion soup

Snuggle up on a cool brisk day and get cozy with a bowl of this delicious French Onion Soup. There is nothing better than a hot soup on a cold day. This soup recipe will speak directly to your soul – begging you to make it again and again!

Ingredients

  • 32 oz Beef Broth
  • 1 Red Onion, thinly sliced in rings
  • 3 Sweet White Onion, thinly sliced in rings
  • Provolone Cheese, sliced
  • Thick cut stale french bread, cut into large 2×2 crouton pieces
  • 1 cup Red Wine (any cheap wine will work)
  • 1/4 cup Brandy Liquor (optional)
  • 3 Tbsp Butter
  • 1 Tbsp white sugar
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Olive Oil

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to broil.
  2. Slice onions into very thin rings.
  3. In a Dutch oven, saute in olive oil with, salt, pepper and white sugar. Cook until onions are half way cooked.
  4. Add butter to sauteed onions and cook until translucent.
  5. Add beef broth, wine and brandy liquor to onion mixture. Let simmer for about 30 minutes. This will allow all of the alcohol out of the soup.
  6. Cut French bread up into thick “crouton” like pieces. It is best to use stale bread. Toast your french bread in the oven, until golden brown.
  7. Transfer soup into oven safe bowls, add a few crouton/bread pieces and cover the top of the soup with 1-2 provolone cheese slices.
  8. Broil for 3-4 minutes or until cheese if fully melted and lightly browned.
  9. Carefully remove from soup from the oven. Serve and Enjoy :)

5 Secret Tips to Help You Score Amazon Lightning Deals

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When shopping this holiday season, Amazon Lightning deals are often a great option.  However, it seems that most of us miss out on grabbing one.  Find out my FIVE SECRET TIPS to help you score those deals!!

It happens to many of us.  You wait for a lightning deal to go live on Amazon.  The minute you see it you, try to buy and it’s already sold out!?!?!  I know how frustrating this can be, as I’ve had it happen to me on more than one occasion.  Here are some tricks to helping you get the deal you want!

1 – Join Amazon Prime.  Some deals are opened up to Amazon Prime members 30 minutes before the deals go live.  By being a member, you get access to these deals early as well as many other perks.  Learn more about this service HERE.

2 – Add the item to your cart no more than 15 minutes before the deal goes live.   Then, when the deal goes live, you can see if the price is what you want to pay and if so, just checkout and it will be yours!  Keep in mind that not all items will adjust automatically, so there isn’t always 100% success with this method (although it usually works).

3 – Join the waitlist.  Now, if you happen to miss out, it is always very important to join the waitlist.  People forget to check out all of the time and so that frees up products for others to buy.  You have only 15 minutes from the time you add something to your cart to proceed to checkout, or it will be removed and someone else can purchase it (whether you get it right away or through the waitlist).  Once you on are on the waitlist, a couple of things will happen.

4 – Purchase the Item Immediately.  Sometimes, as soon as you hit to join the wait list, you can purchase it.  So, if that happens, makes sure you check out right away so you can be sure that you get the item you want.

5 – Stay on Amazon.  If you click to join the waitlist, do NOT leave Amazon.  If you are cleared for purchase, you will receive a pop up in the upper corner of your screen.  You still still have only 15 minutes to checkout, so make sure you get it right away.  If you are not on Amazon and are cleared from the waitlist and don’t purchase, you will end up missing out.

With the deals kicking into high gear, I wanted to make sure you knew what to do to ensure you could get the item you wanted!  Follow the Amazon Black Friday Countdown Deals page so you can find the item you want!

New Feature! Search for a Deal on the Product You Need!

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Deal Search Tool

We’ve had a new feature on the site for a few weeks and I know some of you have seen it here and there.  However, if you haven’t (or are not sure where to find it when you need it), we’ve made it simpler for you!

What am I referring to?  A deal search tool!!  We now have a way to help you find all of the current deals on the products you need!  Need to find a deal on dog food?  No problem – you can search for that. You can search by product name or even by brand.  If there is a deal, it will be listed for you!

Using the feature is very simple.

Step 1 — Visit the Coupon Database page and scroll down to find the search tool.

search bar 1

 

Step 2 – Type in the item you need to find and hit the search button.

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Step 3 – Review the list to see the store where you will find the deal (including any dates as listed).  You can also click the links to print any coupons listed directly from the search tool.

search bar 3

That’s it!  That is how you use this new tool!  Isn’t it simple?  And now, you can just click over to the Coupon Database anytime you need to find a deal OR a coupon!!