The Mighty Apron!

As crafters and creators, we tend to be messy people.  We also have stuff all over.  Where are my scissors?  Oh nuts, they’re on the floor under that pile of fabric (not that you knew that until after 20 minutes of searching).  An easy solution?  The versatile, useful apron!  As both a fashion statement and practical tool, the apron serves as both protection and storage while you’re busy being brilliant.  Check out these fine specimens!


The totally adorable “Pink Chocolate Flirty Apron” apron, for about $30 at  Definitely a must for the party hostess, this leans more toward fashion, but still serves the necessary purpose.  Also, I cannot say no to chocolate and pink, not to mention the stripes and polka dots!  So cute!


How about this witty waist apron?  The “Grania” style apron over at Retro Electro is a play on the cocktail apron style, with just the right amount of smarts and whimsy to make them perfect…  Perfectly sassy, that is!  What else would they be stating “How about a little drinkie winkie?” on the pocket?  There are several styles at about $36 each.


The vendor apron may perhaps be the handiest for crafters – I even know teachers who wear these to keep supplies always at hand!  What a great time saver!  Check out this adorable one at Etsy!

Or you could always whip one up yourself from the over 51 free patterns at Tip Nut!  What’s your favorite?

Amazing repurpose!

I had a play kitchen as a kid that I loved and used all the time.  So seeing this delightful repurpose of a TV stand into a beautiful play kitchen was just irresistible!





This gorgeous project was completed by Giggleberry Creations’ folks for their granddaughter, and it is just so incredibly charming.  All the little details like the window, curtain, and kitchen utensils make it just gorgeous and totally unique.  Check out the process over at Giggleberry!

What’s your favorite amazing repurpose?

Why I never forget Thanksgiving

Why, because of Halloween, of course!  I’m always appreciative of these two holidays falling within proximity of each other because they share a good portion of the décor.  The warm colors, fallen leaves, and gourd-based accessories are easily shared between the two events.  Even (more permanent versions of) jack-o-lanterns can be turned about to their featureless sides.  All those orange candles?  Still great!  Check these out!


A beautiful fall floral and dried display outside a barn.  Appropriate for any harvest-time celebration. 



Pumpkin plates can share your favorite of each of these holiday foods.  Ours held candy for trick-or-treaters during Halloween, and now displays some seasonal gourds for Thanksgiving!



Pick up this cute set of stacking boxes from Oriental Trading!  One side of each is printed with a thankful message, but turn them about for perfect Halloween containers.

What other décor do you love to reuse?

Quick and Easy Day of the Dead Costumes

deaddaySo my attempt at Han Solo and Princess Leia costumes failed with an overwhelming week prior to Halloween.  We didn’t even make it to the main party we usually attend, and we missed our friends bunches!   We did make it out for a short trip to another party on Saturday, but I struggled to come up with a last minute costume for each of us.

Climbing into the costume closet, I returned with all the pieces of black clothing we owned and proposed a fitting Dia de los Muertos theme!  I printed out these decorated skull images (or calaveras) and mounted them on cardstock and construction paper to create handheld masks for each of us.  With a little coloring, they really popped!  A few flowers borrowed from Ophelia completed our costumes.

The outfits were a big hit (and they go really well with the black and white floor at my friend’s house!  Heehee!).  I’ve seen a lot of similar costumes created with makeup and really incredible styling, so that’s another option you could go for!  I liked this option for us because we didn’t have the makeup available, and we didn’t run the risk of scaring the host’s 8-month-old daughter.  It’s also interesting to learn more about Dia de los Muertos!

How was your Halloween?

Cute Halloween Finds

Well, the holiday is almost upon us!  Nick’s family always sends a cute, fun-filled package for him to enjoy since they’re far away, and I wanted to share a few of the adorable items included!  To the best of my knowledge, these come from Target’s dollar section or from dollar stores.


Cute mini-stockings with a Halloween theme!  They’re just about 3-4 inches long, perfect for little snacks and candies.


Pumpkin bells – just like their Christmas cousins – jingle and look jolly with jack-o-lantern faces.  They’re making a great appearance with some soy candles and snacks on my dining table, but they’d be equally charming on a Halloween wreath.

What are your favorite frugal Halloween decoration finds?

A new family member…


I purchased a new sewing machine, the Singer 7470 Confidence!  This is the first new machine I’ve had in about 7 years (the last being another Singer that was a Christmas gift from my folks), and I’m truly excited about it!  First, I saved a lot of money on the purchase by getting it from Amazon Warehouse.  Items that are returned to Amazon are checked and then sold at deep discounts!  Second, it’s a sewing machine that’s NOT OLDER THAN ME.  Finally, it has a number of decorative stitches that I have envied in friends’ machines for years.  Pretty scrolly leafy stitches, here I come!

It was a bit of a tough decision, but when I looked at what it would cost me to clean and tune up my vintage Kenmore, it would have run up to a good percentage of the total cost for this new machine.  A lot of the automatic features, like the button hole setting, will also save me a lot of time and effort.

A friend and I gave it a good test out last night on her Halloween costume, and we had a lot of success!

Easy Savings

Nick and I took a trip for groceries to Target yesterday after a little extra planning on my part.  Of course I’m using to create great menus and work with the ingredients I already have in order to save some money in that department, but I thought I’d try to take it a little further still.  Target makes it really easy with their website coupon printer.


Hit “Coupons” at the bottom of just about any page and you’ll go directly to Target’s online coupon book.  What makes this even cooler?  You can search and print only the coupons you want (there is a program to download, but it’s very convenient and unobtrusive!).  Last night I printed about 15 coupons and ended up saving myself around $20.  All for about five minutes of browsing through the coupon printer.  Best part about this?  Target has coupons for their brand, too, Market Pantry.  Savings on top of savings!  We spent the dividends on dinner at the delicious L&L Hawaiian BBQ!

What are your easy ways to save?

And by adorable I mean creepy.

My reader is currently overflowing with Halloween crafts, much to my delight.  This one struck me as especially cool and creepy today!


Heather at Dollar Store Crafts has constructed this fantastic faux taxidermy crow!  And the cost of this unique decoration is firmly placed between about $1 and $3 (depending on what you have on hand)!  Incredible, and eerily adorable!  Easy instructions and images can be viewed at the post over on Dollar Store Crafts.

What’s your favorite creepy craft for Halloween?

Officer’s Club


There are a few trends in fashion that come back periodically and I’m always happy to see again, military style being one of my favorites.  This seems to constantly be in and out of the spotlight and the runway, and it seems to be back again for the fall!  Of course, I’m not going to destroy my checkbook enjoying new and returning trends, so I head over to one of my local secondhand stores to try my hand at them the frugal way!

I found this delightful military jacket at a local ARC for just $10!  It’s a REAL Army jacket, I’m told, as evidenced by the construction, the patches on the arms, and some tags inside (interestingly, the tags detail instructions to give to your cleaners so your uniform looks its best!  Cool!).  It seems to be an older style, but in impeccable condition, so we think it belonged to someone who served quite some time ago and then kept their things in storage.  It’s such an amazing find from any member of our armed forces, people who take care of us every day!  Thank you for your service!

It is a seriously solid jacket with a heavy lining, good I suspect even in cold weather, but good for just cool fall, too!  I wore it out on Wednesday for a Whedonverse Geeks Who Drink trivia event, and it kept me toasty warm while we sat outside on the patio and racked our brains!  As the fall evenings keep getting cooler, I’ll keep it around!

What’s your favorite fashion steals?

Adventures in Fajitaland!

Had a FANTASTIC meal over the weekend (for Nick’s birthday!) of Southwest Flank Steak with Salsa.  Not only was it a great meal by itself, eaten fajita style with salsa, guacamole, and tortillas, but the following day it made for an incredible Southwest Steak salad on fresh baby spinach.  It was also easy peasy (and inexpensive!), with just the steak, a package of fajita seasoning, olive oil, and a little dry mustard.


Mmmmm, delicious steak!  And then…


Amazing salad!  Try it out!  Recipe from