DIY Travel Box

DIY Travel Box

I was browsing the aisles of Porter's (a craft store near me) when I saw the cutest DIY project that I had to do and now that I have to share! What you will need: A Wood Memory Box A Sheet of Decorative Paper Paint Paint Brush Scissors Tape "Keep Calm and Travel On" Sticker The first thing I did was measure, cut and tape the decorative paper I chose to fit in the back panel of the memory box. Then I painted the box with some left over blue paint I had from a previous project. I put about 2-3 thin layers of paint and I let it dry for about 30 minutes. After the paint dried I put the "Keep Calm and Travel On" sticker centered on the glass. The finished product! I put some plane tickets to NJ, Disney tickets, BYU football tickets, Metro Subway cards and whatever else I had from previous trips into the new travel box. And now whenever me and my husband go on a new trip, we have a place to keep memories of where we have been! … [Read more...]

Make Your Own Laundry Detergent

Make Your Own Laundry Detergent

Make Your Own Laundry Detergent Don't laugh! Making your own laundry detergent is quick and easy and will save you tons of money. I first made this laundry detergent here, but I have refined it a bit and I love my new concoction. Supplies Needed: One 55oz Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda (Walmart) (you will use one cup) One 76 oz box of Borax (Target) (you will use one cup) One 14.1 oz Bar of Zote Soap (Walmart) (you will use 1/4 of the bar) One small bottle of lavender essential oil (I had some on hand) (optional) Downy Unstopables (1 cap full) One large pot (it should hold at least one gallon of liquid) Cheese Grater Two - One gallon buckets with lids - Argee Corporation Versa-Tainer (Smith's) Instructions: Cut the Zote Soap bar in half and grate with a cheese grater. Place gratings in bottom of large pot. Measure in 128 oz (1 gallon) of water into the large pot. Turn on the heat to medium high. Stir occasionally until the soap is completely … [Read more...]

How to Make Foaming Hand Soap

How to make foaming hand soap

How to Make Foaming Hand Soap   One way that I save money at my house is to buy items on sale or on clearance. One of my favorite clearance items is liquid hand soap at Bath & Body Works. My favorite is the foaming hand wash and it retails for $5.50 each. However, I usually buy a bunch when they are on sale and can sometimes get them for $3.00 - $3.75 each. However, I wondered if I could make hand soap myself for even cheaper! I found two small soap bars that I had collected from my hotel stays over the years. These soap bars are approximately 1.3 ounces a piece. I decided to see how much soap I could make from these two small bars. Here is what I did: Grate the soap using the fine side of my grater. This makes it easier for the soap and water to mix. Put the soap shavings and 2 1/2 cups of water into a saucepan and cook on medium heat until the soap is melted. Remove the pan from the stove and let sit overnight. The next day, check the soap … [Read more...]

Five Money Saving Apps


Five Money Saving Apps for Your Cell Phone I use my cell phone all the time. I have an iPhone and I love that I can get apps that help me save money. Here are my top five favorite cell phone apps that I use that have saved me money: Favado - I was recently introduced to this app at a blogging conference. Basically, the app lists all of the sales at over 65,000 grocery and drug stores. You can compare prices on your favorite items at different stores or look for a specific item and see if it is on sale. Creat your own list of favorite categories and Favado will tell you when items that fit this category are on sale. This is a great way to save money on your grocery bills! Ibotta - Is a free mobile app for iPhone or Android devices that actually pays you money! Ibotta lets you unlock rebates by simply tapping a button in the app. You get to choose your favorite store and then see what rebates are available. You will be prompted to complete a task to unlock that particular … [Read more...]

Yearly Savings Plan

52 Week Savings Plan Boxes

This year, as one of my New Year Resolutions, I want to start a yearly savings plan to save money for a Christmas Cruise! My sister, who will be turning 50 this year, wants us all to cruise together to celebrate her birthday. Unfortunately, cruising can be very expensive when you factor in five tickets plus excursions, sight-seeing and souvenirs! 52 Week Savings Plan You may have seen across the web a simple savings plan that starts with $1 dollar and adds a dollar each week. By the time you have finished saving money for 52 weeks you will have saved a total of $1,378. It looks like this: Aggressive 52 Week Savings Plan This is a great plan if you want to save for a bigger purchase or for Holiday Giving, but this is just not enough for the cruise that I want to take. So instead I came up with an Aggressive 52 Week Savings Plan. The Aggressive Plan is simple. Start with an amount other than $1 and then add $1 every week to the amount. You will be amazed at how much money you … [Read more...]

Raising Independent Children – Five and Six Year Olds

feed a pet

Five and six year olds are finally out of the toddler stages and enjoy planning!  They can also be real talkers and like to discuss what is going on around them.  They are eager to learn, but can get frustrated if things don't come easy enough.  At this age, they usually prefer one to two friends at a time, instead of a large group.  This is the age when they can be a bit bossy! Since they are capable of doing a lot more at these ages, chores and responsibilities should change.  Introduce them to money and let them save and spend.  Have them save for a bigger purchase and it will give them a sense of accomplishment. Children that are five and six should be able to: Clean/Straighten their own room Take a Shower (teach them how to wash their body and hair) Vacuum small areas Dust Empty garbage cans (with a little help) Set and Clear the Table Help make their own lunch Help load and empty dishwasher Clean sinks Know how to use a microwave Water plants Learn … [Read more...]

Reviewing Your New Year’s Resolutions


I never make New Year's Resolutions. However, when the first of the year comes around, I do start to think about changes that I want to make in my life. I write down a few of these and then tuck them away. Why? January 1st is the absolute worst time for me to make changes! First, the holiday season as just come to a close. It is time to wind down from stress, not heap on more. Second, my son's birthday is in the beginning of January and the kids are going back to school. I don't have time to focus on goals. I have found that March is a great time for goal setting. I have more time to sit down and actually think about things that I want to accomplish for the year. Then I make a big, long list. I further analyze the list and then just focus on 2-3 long term (year long goals) and then a number of short term goals. How to I determine if the goal is resolution worthy? Must be Specific. Making a goal to lose 20 pounds is just not going to cut it. Instead a better goal is to limit … [Read more...]

Raising Independent Children: Three and Four Year Olds


Three and four year olds are usually independent by nature. They want to “do it” themselves even though they may not be able to finish the task. They may find it harder to transition at this stage and may need to be warned of changes before hand (we are going to the store in 5 minutes). They readily accept suggestions and can follow simple directions. They enjoy helping with chores and this is a good time to start a simple chore chart for them. When giving them a choice, let them choose between two things (i.e. you can wear the red or the blue shirt today). Three and four year olds may become more picky at meal times. Decide how you best want to handle these situations. If you make a rule, such as, you must try at least two bites of everything, stick with it. Children that are three and four should be able to: Dress Use potty by themselves Learn to brush teeth (but may need some help still) Pick up toys Say prayers with help Make bed by straightening covers Make a … [Read more...]

Tips for Raising Independent Children


What is our responsibilities as parents? Certainly we must love, nurture and protect our children. However, we must also make sure that our children grow up to be responsible and responsible adults and this means teaching them the skills that they will need as they mature and grow. In order to raise children that will be able to eventually live and thrive on their own, we must create a balance. Raising independent children does not mean an environment where there is too much freedom and not enough parental guidance. On the other hand, if you make all the choices for your children, they will never learn to be independent. Here are a few tips for raising independent children: Don’t Do Everything for Your Child I know this is hard, very hard, however, as a parent, we need to teach our children and let them try it on their own. It may be faster for me to tie my son’s shoelaces every day, but if I never teach him how and then let him try, he will never be able to tie his laces. … [Read more...]

12 Days of Christmas DIY – Organization

Organized Christmas

This is the second day of my 12 Days of Christmas DIY. I have scoured Pinterest and found so many cool and fun crafts and DIY projects just for Christmas. Today is all about Organization. I don't know about you, but sometimes I struggle with organization. There is nothing more stressful than not having things organized. This year, I tried to find some great organization ideas for Christmas. The first thing I do it print out a calendar using Word. They have many templates and themes. I write in all the concerts, parties and activities that we are involved in. Then I had drop dead dates to make and send Christmas cards, purchase or make teacher gifts and service projects. This keeps me at least on the right track for the season. Here are some of my favorite organization projects that I have found for Christmas on Pinterest: … [Read more...]