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A DIY Christmas: Gingerbread House Kit

23 Dec

In honor of last-minute-gifting, I wanted to share some of my favorite DIY Christmas gifts! Today, a Gingerbread House Kit:

The girls over at Eighteen25 and Bee in our Bonnet show you how to make this happen {and isn’t in adorable?!}. Head on over here to read the article and start crafting.

My {New} Thrifty Home: How to Make Moving Easy

22 Oct

Moving is never easy {or FUN!}. After moving twice in three months, I know that for a fact. However, the recent experience helped me discover and re-discover ways to save $$, sanity, and time during the process. So, here are some of my favorite moving tips:

Boxes: To move, you need boxes {duh}. LOTS of boxes. But I didn’t want to pay for them – and you shouldn’t have to either! To find free boxes, scour your local Walmart at around 11pm or 12am any day of the week – this is when they reload the shelves and are emptying and breaking down boxes everywhere. I simply grab a cart, walk around the store, and fill it with boxes in the sizes and shapes I need, then walk right out and load them into my trunk! Totally free, and as an added bonus: recycling is eco-fabulous!

There are times, however, where the free Walmart boxes might not work best – for example – how about hanging all of those winter coats and nice dresses?! I chose to splurge and pay for ONE box while moving the second time: a nice wardrobe box from U-Haul. $$ is worthwhile when it saves that much time and effort!

While we packed, our cat Queso tested the boxes for comfort. They got an A+.

Labels: Label, label, label everything! I can’t express how much time and frustration it will save once you’re in the new place. I suggest labeling first by room and then by what’s inside the box. To save time and energy, I downloaded these clean and cute labels from The Project Girl. Simply print, write, & tape!

And look how organized my boxes became! {Well, still a bit messy… but as organized as a moving box in a U-Haul can be!}:

And finally, The Move: When it comes to spending and saving, I am a big advocate of spending when it’s important to spend! I highly recommend going with a moving company/truck rental that has great reviews, good customer service, and is well-known {but still decently priced!} Ask questions like: what do the previous customer reviews say? What happens if my car or truck breaks down half way there? How far do I have to go to pick up or drop off the truck? Are there any hidden fees?

While you might splurge to have a great truck or service itself, save in other ways: Load and unload the truck yourself – inviting a reliable group of friends to come help {and providing them pizza afterwards} is way cheaper than hiring professionals; Consider towing one car behind the truck – how much will it save you in gas and wear and tear on the car to do this, instead of driving it too?; Get the most out of your gas mileage – read up on the best ways to conserve gas while driving, and use an app  or website like GasBuddy to ensure you’re paying the lowest gas prices for those monster gas tanks.

Have you find other ways to save money {and sanity} while moving? What are your tips and tricks?

{This Just Pinned!} New Home Inspiration

30 Aug

 For those of you who haven’t heard, I’m a bit addicted to Pinterest. {If you aren’t, you must not have joined yet!}. I perused the site a little too long to find some amazing inspiration for our new apartment, then made a design board – want to see it?

Ta-da! Isn’t it all beautiful!? I only hope our new home can look half as lovely. Seeing as many of these pictures required $$… I’ll head on over to the frugal side and find ways to make this work for less.

We’re in the new place now… fresh paint on the walls, and we’re {maybe, kind of, semi-} unpacked. I’m excited to see what’s ahead and tackle these design ideas over the next weeks and months. Thrifty crafting, garage sales, and a lot of spunk will make this happen! Stay tuned.

{Expired} HOT! Free Photo Book from Mixbook [Today Only]

30 Jun

Head over to Mixbook today and get  a FREE 11′x8.5″ Landscape Hardcover Photo Book [free shipping included!] with coupon code FREEBK. Hurry! This code expires at midnight PST.

Note: S&H is free for books with 19 page or less! For 20+ pages, it ranges from $1-$5.

I’m Loving: Blurb [+ a 20% off coupon code!]

20 May

What’s Blurb, you ask? Blurb is a free online bookmaking tool that provide you with everything you’ll need to create and publish your own professional-quality book – and for a MUCH better price than it would cost to buy one through a company.

Blurb offers an easy to use downloadable software [called Booksmart] or online bookmaking tool [Bookify], and the design and creativity are all yours! A Blurb photobook is the perfect way to turn your family photos into a coffee table book, create a gorgeous wedding album, make a gift for a loved one, create a family recipe book, + more.

I’ve created 4 books of my own that I absolutely love, and am about to create a 5th – a “blog book” – that chronicles the posts on my personal blog for the last two and a half years. Here are a few I’ve put together already:

Hearts for Haiti, an art compilation to benefit Mission of Hope after the 2009 Earthquake. [Click below to preview!]

Click to preview book

Maggie, a high-school senior book. [Click below to preview!]

Click to preview book

Interested? Even better news: Create your own Blurb photobook today and receive 20% off when you order by May 31st with code NEWBLURB. Won’t have one done by May 31st? No problem. Blurb is great about running sales and specials. Stay tuned for another one down the road.

Enjoy!

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