Archive | October, 2012

Staying on budget by: Avoiding temptation

29 Oct

Every person has things that they like to spend money on. Each person finds value in different things and is drawn to get the newest of a certain class of items. For some people it’s electronics and for others it is eating out. For me, it’s clothes.

I love to buy new clothes and have new outfits. I’m not an ultra-trendy person, but I love to be “with it” and love to look my best. Since my clothing budget is rather small, and I’m also trying to save money for Christmas, I have to be careful about clothing purchases.

Every day I get emails from my favorite stores telling me about the great sales and deals going on. I want to stay on these lists for when I am looking to make a purchase, but I have to be careful for when I’m not looking to spend money. It’s easy for me to be dragged in by a good deal or large discount.

My budget tip for the day is to avoid temptation by staying away from your hot button purchases.

For me this means that I shouldn’t click through to clothing websites when I don’t want to spend money on clothing. I shouldn’t even look and tempt myself into making a purchase. For you this may mean something entirely different. The concept is simple, but it’s harder to control yourself. If you don’t want to spend on a certain item, don’t even allow the opportunity to arise. Avoiding temptation is just one way to stay on budget, which helps you keep financial health and helps you to afford the things you really want.

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Tooth Fairy Halloween Costume

26 Oct

I love the opportunity to dress up for Halloween. This year I decided to be the Tooth Fairy!

Last week I showed you the white tutu that I made. I put that together with a plastic crown, feathered wings, and a homemade wand.

To make the wand, I printed out an outline of a tooth on cardstock. I decided to add glitter, so I traced the outline with regular school glue and shook on silver glitter. To add some extra flare, I included ribbon. I hot glued the ribbon and the teeth to a dowel and ta-da:

The entire project cost
3 spools for tulle from Joanns: ~$8
A feather set of wings, on sale for 50% off at Joanns: ~$4
A spool of white ribbon: $1.50
A crown from the dollar store: $1

So my total cost was less than $15. I could have done better, but I’m glad I tried out making a tutu.

I’ll be rocking my Tooth Fairy costume around town this weekend. Happy Halloween!

Mini Vacation: Lake Placid, NY

24 Oct

This past weekend I had the opportunity to take a mini-vacation with my boyfriend to Lake Placid. It was a chance for both of us to relax a little bit. It might not have been “thrifty,” but it certainly was fun!

Here are some of my favorite photos from the weekend in Lake Placid:

Mirror Lake
(which is where the majority of “Lake Placid” is located on)

At our hotel, The Golden Arrow, the ducks loved us.
We never fed them, but they still kept us company.

By Cascade Mountain.

On a short hike. I love the Adirondacks.

 

Chevron Painted Pumpkin

22 Oct

I am a summer girl. I love lying out, going to the beach and eating outside. So when summer ends and fall arrives, it can be a bit of a bummer. One way to ease that transition is by doing fun fall activities, like decorating pumpkins!

Since my carved pumpkins never come out how I plan, I decided to try a painted chevron design on my pumpkin. I used Frog tape (painters tape) to mark off the stripes. It’s a little bit hard to stay consistent because of the spherical nature of a pumpkin. I just tried my best and repositioned the tape until it looked consistent.

After marking off the stripes, I spray painted the whole thing black. To help get paint under the bottom, I placed my pumpkin on a plastic cup. This raised my pumpkin up so I could access the bottom.

I started out spraying wrong, in little bursts. This let out way too much paint, and it got drippy and soaked down the natural indents on my pumpkin. On the other side, I had a lighter stream of spray paint and it came out much better.

Since one side was to my liking, I decided the pumpkin could go on my mantle, where only the nice part will show.

Happy Fall!

Making my Own Banana Pancakes

21 Oct

I have an amazing recipe for banana pancakes. This week when I had a banana that was a little past its prime, so I seized the opportunity and got cooking!

Here’s my recipe for banana pancakes, adapted from All Recipes:

This time I made a couple of changes, because I wanted to satisfy my sweet tooth. I added about a tablespoon of coco powder and a handful of chocolate chips into the mix.

I also should confess that I served the pancakes with ice cream because I was out of any sort of syrup. They tasted delicious!

Organizing Personal Care Items

19 Oct

I am not naturally an organized person. Even when I try to be tidy, it quickly degrades into chaos. One problem with being disorganized is it is often hard to know exactly what I have on hand and exactly where it is.

I have two sets of plastic drawers where I store all my personal care items. This includes hair products, medication, nail polish, lotion, toothpaste, first aid, makeup, etc.

They were a mess! Recently I had a friend stay with me who relies on sleep aids. I assured him that I had sleeping pills, or at least benadryl. When nighttime came, I couldn’t find either. I rummaged through my entire medicine cabinet and both bins, only to come up empty handed.

It’s important to me to know what I have for purposes of helping myself and others, but it’s also helpful to know when I’m couponing and thinking of upcoming purchases.

To organize, I took everything out of the bins and tossed anything I wasn’t going to use or anything that was getting gross. I also removed packaging and grouped items together. I used Tupperware from the dollar store, along with the box pieces from a fancy bar of soap to help contain small items.

Here’s a shot of my new found organization:

It feels great to have everything organized and to have a handle on exactly what’s in each drawer. And I only spent $3 and an hour or so of my time to do it.

Making a Tutu in Less Than an Hour

17 Oct

For my Halloween costume I wanted to have a white tutu. Instead of purchasing one, I decided to try to make my own.

I went to Jo-ann’s to gather supplies. I wanted long strips of tulle, which I found in the Bridal section. I also got ribbon for the waistband, although elastic is more common.

To make the assembly easy, I tied my ribbon around a chair back. The online image tutorial I followed is easier than anything I can explain, so I suggest you go there (scroll down the page a little to see the best information).

I used three rolls of 25 yards of white tulle. I would have added a little bit more, but I ran out! The entire project took me less than an hour, which was fabulous.

Here’s my completed tutu skirt, modeled alongside my workout clothes!

I’ll leave you guessing on the rest of my Halloween custom until next week. Maybe I’m dressing as a princess… or maybe a ballerina… or maybe something else!

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