Couponing for the Rest of Us

DIY – Make a Recipe Box for $3!

Hi! I’m Amber Anderson, I am a pastors wife, mom of 2 lovely boys, and an avid DIY’er. I post regularly about DIY projects, crafts and family life on MotherhoodMusings.com. You can also find me and all my crafts for sale at ShopMotherhoodMusings.com!

Anyone else find themselves cooking more these past few weeks with all the barbecues and birthdays? Within the past month, I think I’ve been to more birthday parties, baby showers, weddings and cookouts than ever in my life. And with this comes food, and lots of it. Almost every time I left, I  said to myself, I have GOT to get that recipe! I’ve been looking around for quite some time for a recipe box, and for some reason I’ve had very little luck. So I’ve come up with a $3 solution for any us out there needing a quick fix.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Paper box (they have these in the $1 section of Target literally every time I go, always different patterns)
  • Index Cards
  • Colored Card stock
  • Toilet paper roll

1. Simply cut your card stock to fit the box, and to hang over the top of the index cards, just enough to see their section. And label each one with your desired sections.

2. Divide your index cards throughout your sections.

3. Insert the toilet paper roll to help support your cards and your done! (If you have a lot of cards, you not even need the toilet paper roll.


DIY Burlap Frame

Anyone been down the Target home aisle lately? (You know you have, and if you haven’t…your missing out!)

During a recent (and very frequent) trip to my local Target I saw that they have a new line of burlap home decor items, and most of the concepts looked so easy, I figured we could try it out.

Hi! I’m Amber Anderson, I am a pastors wife, mom of 2 lovely boys, and an avid DIY’er. I post regularly about DIY projects, crafts and family life on MotherhoodMusings.com. You can also see and purchase some of my crafts at my new ShopMotherhoodMusings.com.

 So here’s an easy tutorial for all y’all Target lovers. Wait, that is everyone right? I mean, who doesn’t love Target? (Can you tell I love Target?)

Here’s what you need:

Old frame

Burlap

Mod Podge

Scissors

Tape (or paper and exact-o knife)

Paint

Foam brush

 1. Start with whatever frame you choose, paint it whatever color you fancy.

2. Cut your burlap to fit the size of the frame. (It wont be perfect, that’s ok) *For any of you who don’t know how to cut burlap. Let me give you a little run down. Decide where you want to cut the burlap, pull a strand of it out, and cut along that open line. See below:

3. Spread out Mod Podge against the entire back part of the frame, lay down your burlap where you want it, and spread Mod Podge back over that.

 4. Close up frame and cut off any excess burlap. Allow Mod Podge to dry before painting.

 5. This took some skill. You can do this 2 ways; You could tape off whatever letter, number, symbol that you want, OR you could exact-o knife a piece of paper in whatever shape, word, symbol you’d like. On one of the last ones I did for an Etsy customer, I printed off the letter really big on the computer, cut it out with my exact-o knife and used it as a stencil. Similar to the stencil I did on the record player.

Since I was doing a fairly easy shape, I decided to go with the tape.

6. Using a FOAM brush, I dabbed the paint onto the burlap. *Be very careful to dab, not brush, because the tape won’t stick to the burlap very well and you’ll find your self painting outside the lines like 1st grade all over again. :)

And your done!

Are you a helicopter mom?

* Funny picture from here.

Hi! I’m Amber Anderson, I am a pastors wife, mom of 2 lovely boys, and an avid DIY’er. I post regularly about DIY projects, crafts and family life on MotherhoodMusings.com.

I know I’m typically your DIY girl, but this week I wanted to share a little something different than I usually do. I know alot of you out there are moms, and maybe this post will relate to you, like it did me.

Sometimes I find myself in constant state of helping. I use to think this was a good thing until I read an interesting article in a parenting magazine. I can’t seem to find the article anywhere online. Of course I was sitting at the hair salon when I read it and can’t even be quite sure which magazine it was. It was a article on Helicopter Moms. Moms who sweep in at every given second and help solve problems and finish open projects for their kids. There are actually a TON of  articles I found on “helicopter parenting” some of which are here, here and here.  To tell you the truth, I didn’t know it was such a huge thing until I started doing research for this post. It’s an epidemic. :) I’m sure most of this urge in me comes from just wanting to be a good mom, but I have started to learn first hand that being the helicopter mom that I am, can create a monster (a little cute monster to be exact). Jude right now is constantly asking, “help mommy help”. And until this past week I have ALWAYS happily obliged. Last night at church, he asked for help when a ball was stuck and I said, “no Jude, you get it, pull real hard” and he said “okay mommy, I get it” and sure enough, he did. What? That’s all it took? And I’ve been his personal servant for the past year of my life? What I realized in that moment, was instead of wanting to do what’s best for Jude, was actually hurting him. Independence is a big thing for little guys like him, and I was stealing that away from him. I started to think back into Judes playing routines, and yes he is a very good independent player, but rarely have I ever let him figure out a puzzle or problem on his own. I’m always there to get the ball unstuck, turn the page when it’s not turning, or fix the spoon when he’s holding it wrong. Most of the time, he didn’t even ask, I was just there, hoovering, waiting for a problem to solve.

I found this excerpt in one of the articles to be especially interesting:

“Studies reported in the journal Psychology Today show that hyper-parenting is massively disadvantageous to children’s development because it’s the failures, the challenges and discomforts of childhood that create resilient, emotionally mature, independent adults (which is really the one goal of good parenting). And many parents never realize what a disservice their ‘helicopter mode’ is doing to their children until it is too late.”

Maybe we should try to find some humor in “helicoptering”? There is a helicopter mom quiz I found, try it out. These were my results, “Be careful! You may be headed toward “Helicopter Parenting.” While it’s definitely OK to walk your child through complex situations, it’s not OK to want to solve every problem as he grows.”

So here it is, I, Amber Anderson am a helicopter mom. I swear to be better, stop hovering, and let my kids problem solve. I swear to be more observant, and less hindering. If not for my kids sake, than my own sanity. :)

DIY Hanging Wall Planters from Mason Jars!

DIY Wall Hangers

Hi! I’m Amber Anderson, I am a pastors wife, mom of 2 lovely boys, and an avid DIY’er. I post regularly about DIY projects, crafts and family life on MotherhoodMusings.com.

I decided this week I’m going to give out my little secret. (Ok, its not really a secret BUT I haven’t told my readers how to make it yet!) The how-to on my Etsy wall planters. I ship approximately 2 of these out a week thanks to my Etsy shop. Thank you Etsy.com for being the easiest place to sell homemade goods, ever! These are awesome little hangers that can be used for much more than plants or herbs, alot of my customers use them in the bathroom for toiletries.

This DIY is a little bit different than my normal crafts because it involves some power tools! One thing I’m not the best at, so you’ll notice my handy husband in the pictures. :) But if you like this look, go for it. It’s definitely worth the effort.

What you need:

  • Old pallet or any other weathered wood
  • Wide mouth Mason jars
  • 3.5 inch diameter metal clamp
  • Screwdriver with drill bits
  • Screws
  • Handsaw
  • Flat head screwdriver

Directions:

 1. Start with your pallet, we used a crowbar to separate the wood from the pallet.

 2. Using your handsaw cut a plank of the pallet wood to a desired size, I usually make mine around 16 inches long.

After you have it the length you want, measure how where you want to place the jars. I like to keep mine 3 inches from each end and about an 1-2 inches apart. (If any of you are like me, this is the hardest part, I don’t specialize in mathematical measurements)

3. Drill hole in clamps to prepare for the screw, to do this I used a drill bit proportioned in size to the size screw I would be using to attach clamp to wood. Below is what your hole would look like.

4. Once your holes are cut, drill your clamps in your measured areas. I would suggest using shorter screws to avoid poking out the back side of the wood.

 5. Last step! Place your Mason jars in the clamps and tighten with a flat head screw driver.

 Tips:

Don’t worry if your measurements are off, just unscrew and try again. You can probably eye it better than you can measure.

If you are using these as planters; hang the plank where you want, put your soil in the jars separately, then tighten them into the clamps.

 I absolutely love these planters,  Enjoy!

 

 

DIY Kids’ TV Snack Tray

DIY Kids’ TV Snack Tray

Hi! I’m Amber Anderson, I am a pastors wife, mom of 2 lovely boys, and an avid DIY’er. I post regularly about DIY projects, crafts and family life on MotherhoodMusings.com, and you can find me and all my stuff over here!

If any of you are like me, you have a constant flow of crumbs surrounding your couches and rugs from the kids eating snacks. In my case, I pretty much let Jude (my 2 year old) eat whatever, whenever and where ever he wants it. This is mostly because he never wants to eat, so when he does, I happily oblige. So with him, I decided to come up with something that would allow him to snack without having to sit at a table (which is a struggle all of its own).

This DIY can go with any style though, I can picture it on an ottoman with some magazines and a candle, or used as a breakfast tray on special occasions. My creative sister-in-law, Jillian, even decorated hers with a paper map of Detroit.

What you need:

  • Tray (I got a cheap tray from Ikea, around 8 bucks)
  • Paint (I always shop the oops paint at Home Depot, a small jar is .50!)
  • Fabric
  • Mod Podge
  • Foam brush
  • Scissors
  • Polyurethane/Clear coat
Directions:

1.  Lay out your fabric over the tray, do a quick trace around the bottom edge, so you’ll know where to cut. As you can see, mine did not turn out perfect..don’t sweat it!

2. Paint around the entire upper part of the tray. In the picture, I have the tray taped off BUT you do not need to do this. I found out afterwards that since my fabric did not fit exact, it looks better if you paint around the base of the tray also. (See picture in Step 3)

 3. After the paint is COMPLETELY dry, pour Mod Podge onto the tray and completely cover over the entire base with a foam brush. Lay fabric back down and smooth out with your hands until it is completely stuck to tray.

4. After the fabric and Mod Podge is hardened and dry, add more Mod Podge to the top of the fabric. Coat and smooth over with foam brush.

 5. After its completely dry you can spray the whole thing with a clear coat spray, or you can brush on a polyurethane coat. Whatever you think would be easiest to clean.

 

Here is my finished product, we would love to see yours!

DIY Sisal Rope Containers

DIY Rope Containers

Hi! I’m Amber Anderson, I am a pastors wife, mom of 2 lovely boys, and an avid DIY’er. I post regularly about DIY projects, crafts and family life on MotherhoodMusings.com, and you can find me and all my stuff over here!

I’ve been saving up formula cans for awhile now. I’ve known they would be useful for something, but I could never figure out what. I thought of a fun idea recently when I was inspired by this. Since I didn’t have an old tin bowl, I thought a formula can would work perfect! The ideas with sisal rope are endless, its such a great product to craft with.

 The tools: 

  • Formula can
  • Rope (mine is from Home Depot and cost about $5  for the pack)
  • Hot glue gun
  • Scissors

1. Hot glue rope to the bottom of the container to start your wrapping. Continue to wrap all the way up to the top.

 2. Once you get to the top, cut it off where you want it to end, and hot glue it in place. Make sure your really mashing the rope and holding it in place for a few seconds to get it to stick into the hot glue.

3. When you are finished wrapping the can, it will not have an even, finished look; so you will want to make a ring for the top. Once you have a ring that is the right size, hot glue it to the top of the can. (This takes some quick hands!)

Here’s how mine looked around my home:

DIY Canister Chalk

Hi! I’m Amber Anderson, I am a pastors wife, mom of 2 lovely boys, and an avid DIY’er. I post regularly about DIY projects, crafts and family life on MotherhoodMusings.com, and you can find me and all my stuff over here!

Have you been looking for a way to spruce up some old cookie jars or add some fun to your kitchen? Try this!

 This DIY is definitely easy, but no matter how easy you may think taping a straight line around a jar is, it definitely is not. I re-taped these things about 10 times before I got something that was somewhat close to straight. But other than that, this DIY is easy and has a fun payoff.

 

The tools: 

Container of your choice

Tape (Frog tape is my number one pick)

 chalkboard paint

foam brush

 

1. Tape off your containers (this is the part that sounds easier than it is, but after a few attempts, you’ll get it almost perfect) I didn’t measure anything, just eyeballed it.

 

2. Paint the lower portion (or upper, or the lid, there are endless possibilities) give it one nice coat.

You can apply a second coat if needed in 4 hours. Go drink a cup of tea :)

3. I let mine dry overnight to make sure it was ready, then pulled off the tape. There were a few minor spots where the paint bled through the tape, but my nail easily scrapped it off. The can of paint says not to write on it for 4 days (I wrote on them the next day…shh). You can easily wipe off any chalk with a wet rag… I don’t suggest an eraser.

Here’s how mine turned out:

PS- I learned from my sister-in-law that there is a chalk board marker you can use instead of real chalk. I haven’t tried it yet, but it sounds like a good idea!

The Mother of All Cleaning Schedules

Hey guys! It’s Amber again and I’m back and this week, taking a little time out from the DIY’ing to give you a cleaning schedule you’ll actually be excited about. I post regularly about DIY projects, crafts and family life on MotherhoodMusings.com, and you can find me and all my stuff over here!

Now this…this is the mack daddy cleaning schedule. One that you might actually have a prayer of sticking to. If you are anything like me, you are in constant list making mode. I’ve discovered that being a list maker, doesn’t actually mean I’m an organized person, it means I’m trying to organize my UN-organization. Of all my “lists” I’ve made, a handful of them I have actually done, completed or stuck with. I’ve made cleaning schedules before, simplified, itemized, illustrated, all of which have failed.

I recently got inspired from a post I found here. What you want to do first is, sit down with a nice cup of coffee while the kids are napping. Grab a notebook and a pencil. At the top write: Daily, Weekly, Biweekly, and Monthly. After that you want to write down EVERYTHING that needs to be done in your house on a monthly basis. This may take a little time, and maybe a quick tour of your house to remember the little things that need to be done.

I described it to my sister like this, write down everything you would tell a maid to do if you had endless possibilities. Make sure that you are assigning them to which category they actually need to be in, not the one you would like for them to be in. (i.e, don’t put bathrooms everyday, cause we ALL know you ain’t doing that!) This has been my #1 problem before, I would add mopping every single week, because I would love for my house to be mopped every week. But in reality, that’s not going to happen, and I set myself up for failure. So now that I know my bare requirements, I am more likely to stick to it.

Once I had everything written out, I started to find that I didn’t really need for my daily chores to go on my calendar because they come so naturally, but if that’s not you, put them on there! Mine are very simplistic, hopefully I can remember to wipe down the kitchen and pick up at bedtime. :) This is what mine looked like:

Once you have everything written out, decide what days you want to do each weekly chore. If you have more than 5 weekly chores, you can either choose to add them to Saturday & Sundays or add more than one to each day. I arranged my schedule so that I am not doing ANY cleaning on the weekends, hallelujah, so my Mon-Fri has more than one weekly chore on it.

Make up a mock 4 week calendar (yes, some months have 5 weeks, I’ll touch on that later) on another scrap of paper to start adding in weekly chores on the days of your choosing. After you disperse each weekly chore to a day of the week, move on to the biweekly chores if you have any. Decide which two weeks of the month you want to do your biweekly chores and add them to a day of the week that has more of an easier weekly chore to go along with it (i.e dusting).

Once you’re done with your biweekly, move on to the monthly. Add each of your monthly chores to ONE day of the whole month to get those accomplished. Some of my monthly chores include, cleaning out the microwave, washing kitchen rugs, etc. I also added meal planning onto my Sunday, because I do not want to do any cleaning, but meal planning only requires some thought.

*Disclaimer* You are not allowed to judge me based on my biweekly bathroom cleanings or monthly sheet washing. I’m making a schedule I will actually stick to, not one that my momma would approve of! :)

Make sure you are making your day choices based on something you will actually stick with. For instance, I will NOT mop and do bathrooms on the same day, I’m too lazy, uh, I mean busy, for that. So I know if I schedule those together, it won’t get done. I even went as far as to schedule my less popular (aka, most crappy) biweekly chores on opposing weeks, so no two biweekly chores got put on the same week. Of course this worked out nicely because I only had 4 of them. Once you are satisfied with your monthly layout, start transferring it to a calendar that’s pretty. Cause’ we all know we don’t wanna do this cleaning, might as well be on cute paper. Like the calendars I posted on my blog, here.

Mine turned out, that if all goes well, I will be doing 1 hour, at most, of cleaning each day, and my house will stay clean (technically speaking) on a monthly basis. And I purposely gave myself some easy days so I know those are coming in the week. As far as the 5 week months go, this is up to your personal preference. You could just restart your 4 week process on that 5th week, but I decided this would throw me off too much, so I decided on those months, the 5th week would be a “easy” week and I would only do bare necessities and none of the extras. My necessities include laundry, vacuuming and making sure the bedrooms stay clean.

Good luck making your schedule, and remember to give yourself a break… who cares if the house gets messy from time to time, as long as you’re making memories!