Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Taking A Step Back

It's funny, 4 days ago, I flipped the on switch on my computer and readied myself for the Friday blog...well, Friday came and went and I never blogged.  Life here at my house has been very hectic.  The last 3 weeks have been insanely busy, and I've finally come to the realization it's time for me to take a step back in everything.  So, with serious consideration, I will only be blogging on Tuesdays during the summer.  Until Peanutty gets back into school, and we get back into the swing of things!  Not to mention I'll hopefully have a lot more organizing projects in the works to blog about.  As I've covered in the past, organizing can sometimes cost that pretty penny that you may not have.  Well, I'm there.  There are SO MANY projects that I want to conquer, but my checkbook disagrees.  So, I'm going to focus on saving that money to tackle some of my bigger (and dreamier) organizing ideas.  No worries folks, I still plan on blogging once a week, but expect a lot of recipes, DIY's, and some home projects.

Here is a spin on one of the past DIY's I did for Mother's Day.  I made my Mom and my MIL little travel sewing kits:
Super cute!  I made the tops more like a pin cushion for easy grabbing!!!  I was in need of another gift to give for a retirement gift.  I wanted to do the sewing kit, but I had an idea that used a little more WASHI TAPE!!!  Here's the pix:

First of all:  I'm in LOVE with the ice blue Ball Mason Jars.  They are just darling and add a bit of color to anything...I have a few just sitting on a shelf in my living room because I love them so much...but full warning, when you open it up - it smells HORRIBLE...like fish horrible.  Yes, I'm serious.

As you can see, instead of making the top a pin cushion, I covered it with colorful Washi Tape and then put a nice large square magnet underneath for the pins.  I DID hot glue the flat seal plate to the screw on top to make sure it wasn't going anywhere.

Same as before, I used the tape to home the pins.  Made a homemade twisty tie out of tape and wire.  Put it in a cello bag for wrapping and BAM!!!  You've got a gift.  Again, I did fill it with:
  • Mini scissors
  • Self winding tape measure
  • Safety pins (small and large)
  • Thread
  • Headed pins
  • Threading pins
  • Threader
All together, we're looking at about $12 total for everything.  I love making homemade gifts.  Now, if the recipient will use it?  Who knows.  But, I still had fun!!!

Back to the Washi Tape...(like we were talking about it...), a dear sweet friend of mine brought an amazing contraption to my attention.  I keep my tape in a clear container and some on my desk.  Let's recap:

Sigh...my loves (minus my label maker)!!!  My friend said she purchased hers at Costco, but you can order it online at Amazon.  It's a pretty darn cool deal, AND if you spend an extra $10 you get 20 ROLLS OF TAPE!!!!!  Freaking amazing!!!  It's a dispenser as well as a holder...it's a dream come true!!!
Again, Costco or Amazon...LOVE THIS!!!!!!!!!!   Thanks MT for the heads up on this bad boy!!!  I'm thinking I need a trip to Costco ASAP...anyone want to take me??? 

And of course, what would this blog be like without a few side notes:

-Organic Tazo chai from Target tastes different than the non-organic (is that a word?) - not bad, but I miss my yummy stuff.  Target was out today so I settled for the organic...I feel healthier drinking it-no, not really.

-I'm watching The Talk on TV right now and had me laughing about a coach that was caught on camera picking his nose and eating his boogers.  That's all.  It was disgusting and hilarious at the same time!

 -Last week, Erin Condren put out a new and improved LIFE PLANNER!!!  As you all know, I'm literally obsessed with mine!!!  There are some changes and more accessory options to be had.  I'm partial to the simple, basic planner and sprucing it up on your own.  But, I must say that the interchangeable covers and the dates/contacts booklet are the two pretty awesome changes that were made!  I can't wait to order mine for 2015, but for now, I'm going to love on my sweet 2014 planner!!!  Here's the link to the site:www.erincondren.com

Until next week my dear organizing, DIY'ing, cooking, money saving followers!!!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Garage Sale!!!

For three years now, I've participated in our city garage sale.  It's a LOT of work, but it usually produces a nice reward.  When I say A LOT of work I mean it.  The first year I did the garage sale, I put in more than 25 hours into organizing, pricing, and putting it all out on display.  Yes, I'm serious.  Not every year is like that, this particular year was only because I (along with my sister) were selling everything and anything baby.  The past two years, my sister and a good friend of mine joined me in the garage sale.  The more items you have to sell, the more traffic you'll have coming through.

The #1 benefit in participating in your city wide garage sale is that it's free advertisement!!!  You don't need to put an ad in the paper or put signs out, the city does that for you (at least they do here) for FREE!!!  You can't beat free!!!

Here are some tips for having a successful garage sale:

  • Price things to sell.  I understand you want to make money, but if you're like me, you want your items gone and out of your home.  We devised a color dot system for our sale to make marking items easier and quicker by using these:  Walmart $1.
    We made a bunch of these signs to show how much each item cost according to our color dot system:

  • Again, I have yet to figure out how to rotate pix!!!  Next you will notice on the bottom of this sign it says something about a white label.  For the items that didn't fit this price guide, we wrote or label made some prices.  Walmart had the same kind of package like the color dots but white labels - also for $1.  I had these left over from labeling holiday cards, so I used these:
  • Once prices were established and all items were marked, it was time to set up.  You'll need lots of tables, shelves, racks, bars...whatever you need to make your sale look good.  You really do need to take the time to set everything up so it's neat.  If I walk into a store or a garage sale and everything is all over the place, I'm immediately turned off and want out.  Multiple times throughout the sale, you'll want to tidy up the tables so people can see the items and see what kind of variety you have to offer.

  • We were up and setting stuff up about 1.5 hours before the sale "opened".  Keep in mind that there are those die hard garage salers that will show up VERY early to get the deals.  It's annoying but you never know what people will buy...the first year we were selling a pedestal sink for $3.  A woman bought it because it was cheap but she had no use for it.  I was thinking "whatever, as long as it's outta m'house!".

    • Save hangers from all your purchases throughout the year to use for your garage sales.
    • Save the plastic bags you get from grocery stores to bag up customers items.
    • Allow plenty of time to organize and price.  This year I was SO busy that I procrastinated until the last minute.
    • Keep a "running box or tote" labeled 'Garage Sale'.  Throughout the year you can dump all the items you want to sell into these boxes so they're all ready to be priced when the time comes.
    • Get plenty of change before the sale.  People will pay with 20 dollar bills and you'll need to break them so that you can make the sale.  If you don't have it, you may lose your sale!!!
    • Have plenty of hands on deck.  My only rule about joining me in the city wide sale is that you have to work it with me.  One person is adding up the sale total for a customer while the other is bagging it up.  Many hands make for light work!!!
    • Plan a lunch that you and your helpers will be eating.  Divide and conquer.  One person bring stuff for sandwiches, the other brings sides, the other brings dessert.  You'll need to eat because this is hard work!!!
    • Have a plan B for if the weather is bad.  If it rains, your stuff needs a new location.  Clear out your actual garage for fast location change of your stuff!
Hope you all have a most wonderful rest of the week!!!  I'll be sharing our latest project from around the abode on Friday!!!  Until then...

-Bullets suck!  I can't figure those suckers out.
-I need an iced chai REALLY bad right now.
-I did not and am not proof reading this stinker.  I've got two kids in my face about going outside!!!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Clearance Shopping

I've been asked many times: "how do you find so many good deals on clearance?".  Well, I don't have a system, I just usually stumble across the good deals.  So, here are a few pointers on how to find the good deals:

Good to know - the days Target marks down merchandise...    Monday: Kids’ Clothing, Stationery (office supplies, gift wrap), Electronics    Tuesday: Women’s Clothing and Domestics    Wednesday: Men’s Clothing, Toys, Health and Beauty    Thursday: Lingerie, Shoes, Housewares    Friday: Cosmetics, Housewares, AutomotiveTARGET:  This is where I find a good chunk of my deals.  Here's a link to a post I've seen before - now, if it's legit - I have no idea, but it's worth a try!!!  This is a list of their markdown's and which days they do it:http://www.mommysavers.com/deals-at-target-clearance/

Here are some of my tips:

  • Have Time:  If you're just running in and out, chances are you're not doing the typical "browsing" that most of us ladies do (well, at least I do - I could make a day out of roaming around Target!!!  And they've got Starbucks to boot!!!).  If you can dedicate some time, I'm talking about an hour or so to REALLY look around, you'll find the little hidden gems for a fraction of the cost.
  • Endcaps:  This is where you will find the glory in your shopping experience.  This is where I've found 95% of my amazing deals!!!  For example:  about two years ago in the fall, I happened across a ton of licensed character beach towels.  Originally $14.99 - marked down to $2.49 (or something like that).  I snagged up about 14 of them (a few for my sister and a friend of mine), and I gave away the others to my nieces and nephews as birthday gifts (paired with other stuff).  Point is, I got it for very inexpensive - and got to give them away as a gift for very inexpensive!!!
  • Clearance Racks:  Ish.  I'm thinking clothes here.  If you're willing to put in the time to these chaotic racks, more power to you!!!  I do it.  Not all the time, just on a whim and I rarely have luck, but as I showed you last post, I had awesome luck with finding 5 items for $10.50 - I purchased a size up for Sweet Pickle.
  • After Holiday/Season Sales:  Things I've found have been school supplies - when scissors, pencils, folders, etc are on clearance - I snag them up!!!  Why?  Because those are items that both of my kids will be needing/using in the future and they don't go "bad".  I found lunch bags/boxes, and Crayola crayons in these cute tins.  I purchased 30 of these tins for $.47/24 count crayon tin.  I gave some away in gifts for nieces and nephews and Peanutty gave them away as Valentine's gifts instead of candy.  The kids really liked them...at least they were kind enough to say they liked them.
  • Dollar Bins:  I've struck it rich in these bins when they aren't clearanced out.  BUT, when they're trying to push it all out for the new stuff to come in - you can get items for 50-70% off.  That's REALLY cheap!!!
It comes down to patience and having the time to rummage through the stuff.  You never know what you'll find.

WALMART:  This one is also hit or miss...good luck!!!
  • Walmart (at least the ones I go to) have clearance aisles.  These aisles are dedicated to marked down stuff that is in now way shape or form organized.  It gives me anxiety just walking through them because it looks like someone beat the crap out of the merchandise and left it for dead.  Aside from that - rarely I will find something in these aisles worth purchasing.  You have GOT to know your prices here because I've found that while they may be marked "way down" it's not always that great of a deal.  
  • Diamond In The Rough:  My luck stems from finding a pile of marked down clearance items within the regular priced items.  For example:  Today I was at Walmart checking out the pj's for Peanutty (not a successful trip for those - they had a horrible selection and they were expensive - at least to me they were).  While roaming through the boys clothing, I spotted Hanes sweatshirts.  I saw they were $3.50..but upon further examination, they were actually marked down to $1.00!!!  Holy guacamole!!!!  I was about ready to freak out.  Now, they didn't have Peanutty's exact size, but they had one and two sizes up.  I snagged up four of them (of course he was with me and was very particular on which one's he liked and disliked).  Here's what I got!

    Do you like the butter dish in the background?  I quick took these pix before typing this.  These sweatshirts may not be the most fashionable, but they were thick, warm AND A DOLLAR!!!  That's freaking cheap!!!  They will do just fine in a year or two to keep his little body warm when it's cold outside.  Aaaah, do you smell that?  That was a good deal.  
  • Bakery Deals:  This one is great if you're planning on using the items that day.  They have a day-old rack from their bakery that has rolls and loaves of bread.  It's usually about half off and worth it if you plan to use it ASAP or even freeze it.
  • Clearance Racks:  They, like Target, have clearance racks at times full of clothing.  We got very lucky one year to find footie jammies for Sweet Pickle for only $3 each.  They were the Carter's spin off brand.  They were awesome and lasted until she outgrew them.  
There you have it!  My clearance shopping tips.  I LOVE finding something amazing on the racks and I've been known to call friends and family when I find a great deal to see if they want in on it.  Why not share the money saving joy!!!???

I will NOT be blogging this Friday-please, please...don't cry.  So, until next Tuesday...