Sunday, March 18, 2018

Harry Potter Birthday party

Summer last year..."Butterbean" told me she wanted a Harry Potter birthday party! Well you know Nana has to oblige. I was so excited to start looking around Pinterest for ideas. The projects were super easy to make and so cost effective. I would have to say I spent about $10 total on decorations!

We had the party this weekend and it was a huge SUCCESS! The kids had a blast playing with their wands with Harry Potter glasses on. They sat and watched the first movie and part of the second. LOVED the cupcakes and the photo booth was fun for all!

Here are the links to do your own DIY Harry Potter party! I hope you enjoy these as much as we did!

The photo booth was so much fun! I used a project board from Michael's....cut out the center and then layered the board with brick scrapbook paper. The wanted posters were found by searching through Google and just locating a good quality picture to print.

This is my favorite picture by far of "Butterbean" in her Slytherin robe

"Peanut" was just toooooo cute!

The wands were another project that was pretty easy to do and I used left over skewers that I had sitting around in the kitchen. Add some hot glue and wands! Here is the link to the blog I used for my wands.

 The Golden Snitches is another quick and easy project. I bought the candy from Walmart and used a simple wing svg file for my Cricut. The wings are hot glued onto the chocolate wrapper.

The Sorting Hat took me a little longer to make. But I think it turned out super cute and something she can play around with. I already had the yarn at home as well as the batting to make the hat puffy. You can find the pattern for this hat HERE. Her robe I found on as a Halloween costume. And the Slytherin scarf I hand made using a simple double crochet stitch.

The potion bottles was another one I LOVED making. A friend of mine was able to get me some empty liquor bottles. Once I washed them out I just took tissue paper and mod podged it on there. Making sure to wrinkle it up for texture. Cover the entire bottle with tissue paper. Once it is dry I just went over it with acrylic paint (even adding several colors on a couple of them). Let your paint dry and then take an ink pad in either black or brown and just rub it over the bottle for an aged look. The labels were found HERE. Just print them out and mod podge them on the bottles.

For the house crest signs I bought $1 store frames and then cut the images out with my cricut. Attach the vinyl to the front glass and then paint where ever you would like to add color. The SVG files can be found on etsy or if you are a member of some cricut facebook can find the free files there. They are for personal use only.

The candles are made from toilet paper rolls. HERE is a link to your own DIY candles. The only thing I done differently is that I decided to sit ours around the house instead of hanging from the ceiling. Time was of the essence and it was just easier. I also found that I had to add some thick double sided tape to the candle before inserting into the roll so that it would fit snug.

Last but not least....the Butterbeer cupcakes. I AM NOT a baker so this was a little tough for me. It is all from scratch. I would suggest using a different tip for your frosting bag since these really look like "poop" cakes but ya know....the kids didn't notice...just the adults...ROTFLOL! And prepare for a major sugar high! The recipe can be found HERE.

There was just a few more items I would have loved to make such as Pin the scar on Harry or the 9 3/4 wall but I just didn't have the time to get it all done.  I hope you can try a few of these out and be sure to let me know how it goes! Now I am excited to see what the next party theme will be!

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Are you ready for me???

Is the world ready for me to get back to blogging?

Well - with a little push from a friend...I'm BACK :)

And I can't wait to share what really makes my heart smile. Crafts....paintings...DIY projects...and my family! Some come on over to the dark side and follow me so you don't miss an update!

If you follow me on Facebook you know the last 6 months have been crazy...what am I's been upside down! BUT...we are on the road to a normal life again. I plan to keep you updated with Billy's Leukemia journey here as well as speak out about Leukemia Awareness!

I hope you will come join me on this journey.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Let's Save Some Money!

Who doesn't love saving money?
Couponing has been a part of my life for many years now. I remember growing mom had a huge trash bag of coupons and rebates. Do you remember the Green Stamp catalogs? Saving has always been a part of my life. Over the last few years I have discovered some key players that I would love to share with you as well. I will also share my referral link. Let's be honest...referrals are important and will help you save even more money. Another feature that you need to make sure you have in place is paypal. Most of these apps will pay you using this payment program. It's easy to set up and I use paypal for EVERYTHING!

I have a close friend who just paid off her house!!! at the age of 44! SERIOUSLY! I want to be that person. So currently all my "extra savings" I get from these apps, etc, are rolled directly into a principal payment on my house. You could roll them into an extra monthly credit card payment or maybe into a vacation fund. I promise you the money begins to add up! I paid for a trip to Disney last year by using these apps, ebay and yard sales!

Every Friday I set down at the table and start making out my grocery list. Once I have my list done or close to it...I then whip out my phone and check my savings apps. I do try to work my grocery list around what coupons and specials I have that week. Some weeks are better than others but I figure every little dollar helps. Here are my favorite apps and why:

Ibotta: - by far my favorite. To date I have saved $731.95 and that is over 2 years. My highest month was $98. Ibotta is simple. You choose your store and view the rebates. Each rebate will need to be unlocked either by watching a video, viewing a recipe or taking a poll. When you are done shopping - scan the products and then scan your receipt! It's THAT EASY! Here is the fun part. There are bonuses you can complete to earn even extra money. AND....if you grow your "team" your team redeems rebates it helps you earn money. For example.....for this month....if I redeem 15 rebates and my team earns $15...I get a bonus $2! So as my team is using the app it goes towards the team total. I just then need to do my part and redeem rebates. Want to give it a try and look around....just search for Ibotta in your app store. Sign up AND when you redeem your first rebate you will receive $10! My referral link code is ctn2cw and if you know any family members, etc, refer them through your app and receive $5 when they redeem their first rebate.

Checkout 51 - this one is a little slower but you can get generic foods a good bit of the time. Here is a husband drinks Miller High Life. Well for the last 3 weeks they have had $1.50 rebate when you buy Miller High Life. So I have scored $4.50 just on his normal purchases :) I've only been using this app for about a year. It's a little slower but I have earned $52.75. I'm not aware of a referral code or bonus money with this one.

Reciept Hog - Now this one is EASY! There is nothing to do but scan receipts. That is it! You earn coins and then can redeem the coins for cash. Some receipts earn you slot spins which you can then use and earn more coins. I scan every receipt that comes into my house! A secret want to make sure and scan EVERY week because you will earn bonus coins for leveling up. I have earned a $10 Amazon Gift card and currently working on $10 in cash. I'm not aware of a referral code on this one either. It's a slow earner but it is so simple why NOT do it :)

Shrink: Do you like health foods...this app is for you. Lots of items from Whole Foods, etc. Simply Organic spices. GoodBelly juice...even Beechnut Baby Food. You can unlock the products. Earn points. Receive coupons. currently I have $12.80 waiting on me. You can redeem your cash at $10. Invite friends and earn $2 when they redeem their first rebate and they will earn 1,000 Shrink Points redeemable for $1 cash. My referral code is DMOCGP

Saving Star - Make sure you activate these rebates BEFORE going to the grocery store. They change often and can be things like - Earn $3 when you spend $12 on Kens Salad Dressing. It does not have to be $12 all at once but over multiple shopping trips. Just make sure to pay attention to the requirements for each product. I go through and add all the items that interest me. When you have the item just scan and upload your receipt. I have saved $36.51 in just 2 months. You can cash out at $20.  I'm not aware of any referral codes or earnings.

Find & Save - this is my newest addiction. Every so many days it will change the offers available. These can be any store around you so look at it often. Currently I can save 2% by spending $75 at Ingles, 1% for spending $75 at Aldi, .50 for spending $12 at McDonald's, etc.  Just choose the rebate (pay close attention to the details. I had a receipt rejected because I didn't spend enough and it was a One Shopping trip total and not accumulative trips). I have saved a little over $27 so far in just a few months. At $25 they automatically dump the funds into your paypal account. There is a referral program but it changes every month. So if you refer someone they need to join and redeem their first rebate by the end of that month. For if you want to join this today please make sure to upload a receipt by tomorrow and I will earn $3 :) Then you turn around and share it with your family and friends so that you can earn $3 per referral - my referral code is BB6F

MobiSave - this is another one that you must choose the product BEFORE you check out. The rebate redeemption is based on the time stamp on your receipt. I general use the generic rebates the most. But currently they do have Beechnut baby food so if you have can use Mobisave and then turn around and use Shrink both and double save!!! I have $7.15 in savings so far and only have used it about a month or so. When your rebate is approved they automatically upload the money to your paypal account. No need to cash out.

Shopmium - this one is new to me so I don't have a lot I can report. Just a few rebates on this one. Seems like most of them are connected to Walmart. Refer a friend and when they redeem you will earn $2. My referral code is KMUGGHGX and they will receive an offer for a FREE Lindt Chocolate Bar! This is automatically uploaded to your paypal account when your rebate is approved.

and finally...this one is online only but if you love to shop online this is a great money saving tool!
EBates -  it is full of shops and stuff we use all the time. Just click on the store and shop directly through Ebates. You will earn a % of your shopping trip back! Do you shop at Kohls online? You can earn 6% back on your purchases! Go check it out! I love Ebates. And currently if you refer 3 friends you can earn up to $75! This earning period ends tomorrow.  (just copy this link into your browser)

I hope you have enjoyed these tips. And I hope you will check them out. Come back and let me know what you think!
happy saving