Fast Packing for Lunch.. the Snack Drawer and how it saves us money

We really don't want to make and pack lunches every morning from scratch...
As in get out the bag of chips, get a baggie, put some chips in a baggie, zip it up, get out the fruit, get another baggie.. and on and on.. you get the idea. :0)

In the past we didn't want to make lunches in the morning due to whatever reason we had, so
there were several instances of just not taking a lunch at all, and then of course having to buy lunch somewhere.

So I came up with 'snack drawer' a long time ago, and it has served us well.

Basically, I chose a drawer in our refrigerator to be used for Lunch stuff.  During the weekend, or as soon as I get home from grocery shopping, I bag up the food that will be needed for lunches for the week.
 Such as a bag of chips..  Yep, the entire bag gets divided into lots of individual baggies.  This way no one sits and eats half a bag of chips, :o)  plus the lunch drawer is stocked up and ready to go.
 I also wash and bag up the fruit, and whatever else is going to be used for the week at this time.  I like to get it done right when I get home.. it just works out easier that way, and then I know it is done.

So when the morning rolls around..  especially those feel like you are running late kind of mornings, or feeling like you could sleep in kind of mornings.. then basically you grab n go for the most part.   
I don't usually make sandwiches ahead of time, unless it is the night before.. those are usually made in the morning.  No one likes soggy bread that soaked up the mayo overnight... well, no one I know anyway. :0)

So when morning has arrived and lunches need packed up.. it is a relatively easy process, just add a sandwich or 2, and you are good to go.

Besides making the morning a little less hectic by having items bagged up and ready to go.. it also makes the morning a little less stressful by knowing lunch is taken care of for the week.
You don't have to dig through cabinets looking for chips to bag up, or snacks etc.., and you save money by not having to buy lunch somewhere unnecessarily.    If you think about it, you can easily spend $6.00 - $7.00 or more on a single lunch.. that can certainly add up rather quickly.

Something else I discovered while searching online.. is that you can freeze peanut butter and jelly sandwiches..  who knew?
I got that tip at: and they work out really well, and they stay cooler longer in your lunch bag than with a regular freezer pack. (Plus, they are good right out of the freezer too.) :0)

Friday Favorites.. (7/26/13)

Yay for Friday..

Here are a few of my favorite things from the week..

~  I made a new recipe that I saw on a cooking show.. It has 2 ingredients! That's it, 2.
    I really didn't think it would be very good, but decided to give it a try because what
    could be easier than 2 ingredients.. Ha.    
    I had my family guess what they thought was in it, which was quite hilarious what they came up with.
    The ingredients you ask?   Devils Food cake mix, and a can of pure pumpkin.  That's it!
     I was surprised that you can't really tell it is pumpkin.. (unless you know it is in it)  I used the small
     can of pumpkin when I made them, so that may be why it wasn't that noticeable.. I am not sure if that is
    the size the recipe calls for or not, but it worked.
     I think I would add a few chopped nuts or chocolate chips next time.. but overall, it is pretty good!
    (I searched their website and found the recipe for ya: HERE)

~  I have been giving my entryway storage a makeover.. gave it a new color,
    and have added to it.. stay tuned!

~ My birthday was this week.. my family made it the best birthday ever.  Yep, they are definitely the best.

~ My free Side Table Makeover.. have I mentioned how much i like this color? :0)

~ Packing, definitely not my favorite thing this week, cuz it means my son is moving off  for college        tomorrow..  :(    It has become much more 'real' this week.
   However, I have absolutely loved every minute spending time with him during the process. Big day tomorrow!

Have a wonderful weekend!

linking up at:
High five for Friday

Oh What a busy week.. and tomatoes!

It has been such a busy time here.
I have been helping my son finish packing up, and getting all the last minute
"to do" items finished up..
such as his yearly eye exam, and taking his dog for his vet check/booster shots,
so he will be all ready to go for the next year as well..
Yep, his dog is also moving off to college. :0)

( his dog had an allergic reaction to his shots... Oh my, it was a little scary to say the least.
 but Thankfully all is OK...  Thank you Jesus!)

During all of these extremely busy days..  our garden has been producing lots
of tomatoes, So I have been busy trying to keep up with them along with everything else.

So in my free time.. (what is that? ha, ha!)
I have been roasting tomatoes, and freezing roasted tomatoes. (Yum!)

In fact I have another batch roasting in the oven right now. :0)

We really like them in place of tomato sauce, or to use for making salsa, pizza sauce, and so on.
I haven't had time to get tomatoes canned yet this year.. but I don't mind, the taste is
still amazing, and freezing sure is faster!

(the recipe I almost always use for tomatoes my sister found it and sent it to me.. it is good! 
and if you'd like to check it out, it is found: HERE)

However, I did get the grape jelly canned and ready to go for the next year..

I also got our Apple Jelly done.. so I am happy that I was able to find time to get the Jelly done.
I am looking forward to seeing this again.. awe, isn't it pretty?

I have a list about a mile long of things to get done, so I had better get with it.
Have a great day.

Trash to Treasure.. Towel Rack Makeover

I was asked if I wanted some old towel racks that were hanging out in a garage and needed a little TLC..
and of course I took them home with me..  gotta love a great DIY project.
(and free, well that is certainly a bonus!)

So I took them home, lightly sanded them up, and gave them a couple coats of spray paint.
I chose glossy black for one, and a mix of gray/white on the other one.

I hung the black one our master bathroom.. 

I am still deciding what I want to do with the second one..
the guest bathroom doesn't really need extra storage.
I am considering hanging it outdoors on our privacy fence and placing some logs on it.  I may have to try that.. :0)
Until then..
Have a great day! 

Peacock Blue.. a side table makeover

Ok, I found a color that I find myself wanting to paint more and more..
Peacock Blue.

It started when I was given a side table a few days ago, that needed a little TLC.

My daughter and I went through paint colors and I chose to go with a pop of color..
Peacock Blue.  

So we went home, and I sanded it all down.

Next, I wiped it down to get the dust off it, and then I painted it with 2 coats of Peacock Blue.
Lastly, I wanted to "distress" it. So I used black paint and a fairly dry sponge brush to
give it more detail and a distressed look.
I also gave it a coat of poly to seal/protect it.. because my initial plans were to modify it and use it for shoe storage in my entryway where it would get a lot of use.
This color above is off.. it was evening and hard to get a good photo of the actual color.
It is much closer to this:
I mentioned before that my initial plans for this piece were to change it up, and use it as
entryway storage for shoes etc..
Well, I am still deciding exactly how I want to do this project, or what I want to use for it.
Lots of idea's.. just need to make up my mind. :0)

So while I am deciding what I want to do for sure to change our entryway storage.

I also went ahead and gave my current entryway storage an update:

Really liking the Peacock Blue color.. :0)

linking up at:
Inspire Me Tuesday,
The Scoop , Time to Shine PArty ,
Clever Crafty and Creative Party ,
Nifty Thrifty Tuesday,
Transformation Thursday
DIY By Design

Friday Favorites (7/19/13)

Is it me or did this week go by quickly.. really quickly.

I have been extremely busy this week, so that may be why it went so fast.

Lots of projects, and working on some last minute things that need to be done in preparation
for our son moving off to college.  Just a few days to go.. sniff sniff  :o(

I am so proud of him and the young man that He is.. and I am excited for him too..
However, it will be hard getting use to him living a couple of hours away.
 (but at least it is only a couple hours)  :0)

On to the Friday Favorites.

#1).   My DIY Dog (or cat) Bed that I made using a old drawer..  So adorable!
#2).   My Garden is giving us a lot of tomatoes.. Yay!
#3).   My DIY Welcome Post that I made using items we had.. love.
#4).   Home made pizza.. yum!
#5).   I also made Home made Cinnamon rolls.. double yum. :0)
Have a great weekend all..
linking up at:
High Five for Friday

DIY an Old Drawer into a Dog or Cat Bed

I had a small old wooden drawer that I wanted to make something out of..
and I decided to make my daughters dog a fancy little pet bed, as she is small
enough that it would be a perfect fit for her.              

So I started by painting it with a new coat of white paint, and removing the
 drawer pull.
(I used the drawer pull on my Welcome Post Sign Project Here )

Then I wanted to decorate the front with a pretty printed paper.  The paper wasn't
long enough to cover the entire front, so I just used 2 pieces cut to fit and then covered
 the seam with another solid color that matched.

Then I found a decorative accent to add to it.

I wanted to give it some height, so I used some pieces of 2x4's that
I cut to 3" in size with a circular saw, lightly sanded them and painted them black,
then I simply attached them to the 4 corners with screws.

I inserted a small sized dog/cat bed that fit inside perfectly.. and here it is:

It is so stinking adorable!
And because we had everything on hand.. it didn't cost anything to make.
(I only purchased the small dog bed which was $6.00)

I am on the lookout for another drawer now.
However, I may just build a simple box to use if I decide to make
another one for my dog.
It may be a lot faster than finding a drawer in good condition that
is also the right size. :0)

linking up at:

Brag About It, Brag About It @ BeBetsy,
The Scoop,
Nifty Thrifty Tuesday,
Inspire Me Tuesday,
Wow Us Wednesdays,
Sizzle into summer,
transformation Thursday,
Pinterest Power Party,
Flaunt it Friday, I Heart Organizing

DIY Welcome Post Sign

I was able to stop in a flea market for a quick look around last Friday afternoon and I saw
the cutest decorated Welcome Post signs..  one had puppies on it scattered here and there with a fire hydrant at the base of it, another one was painted in cow print, complete with a cowboy hat birdhouse on top, boots with plants coming out of them, and hay, as well as a 'cow pie' at the base among many other details.. they were very elaborate to say the least!  (not sure why I didn't take a photo - my bad! maybe next time..)

I have also seen some pretty basic ones before, which I kind of prefer..  besides that, I have no idea where they found all those adorable accent pieces they had on their posts.. such amazing detail.

Well, I had been wanting to make one to place near our deck.. and after seeing those,
I decided to see what we could come up with.

From our scrap wood pile of course..   Yep, this project is going to be a no cost project.

So my husband helped me out and he cut a 4x4 post for me at 3 1/2 feet,  as well as a board for the base.

Then we attached them together..

Then I gave it a coat of white paint..

 I wanted to add some color, so I mixed some aqua with white and lightly brushed it on here and there..  (yep, I mixed them on the back of a pizza box) :0)

I also added some black along the edges and lightly in different area's to give it a slight distressed look.

I had this old wooden plaque laying around that use to hang outdoors, but the picture had faded off of it.. so I gave it a makeover by painting it aqua to use as my sign. 

However, I wasn't sure what I wanted to put on the sign.. so I debated a few things..
Such as our house number, or last name, or Welcome..

I ultimately chose "Welcome" and using a sharpie.. I wrote it on.

I am really pleased with how it turned out.

I actually intended to buy a fence post cap or topper to add to it, and to look for a decorative metal hook to place on it.

However, I decided to keep this project a zero dollar project.. yep.. No cost!

So in my craft supplies I came across a small piece of wood, that I used for the top and painted it to match, added a white cup hook to the front, and since I am giving an old drawer a makeover right now for another project.. I used the drawer knob for the top.

I also got out a couple of antique glass insulators and they fit perfect over my drawer knob.

I kinda like the unique touch of the antique glass.

Total cost for this project, because we used only what we had on hand - Zero..
Yep, Those are good kind of projects.. :0)

linking up at:
Inspire me Tuesday,
Motivate Me Monday,
Craft O Maniac Monday,
 Masterpiece Monday at Boogieboardcottage,
Nifty Thrifty Tuesday,
Sizzle into summer,
transformation Thursday,
Pinterest Power Party,
Flaunt it Friday, I Heart Organizing

Friday Favorites (7/12/13)

Time for my Friday Five.. Favorites that is.

Let's get to it, shall we?

 I talked about attending College Orientation and a lesson I learned from going.. this photo is the actual dinner we were served while there. (Yum!)  I had never had spinach lasagna before. I must say that I do eat spinach in my salads a lot.. but the sound of 'spinach lasagna' well.. didn't seem so appealing to me.. but it was good!    Now I am on the search for a good spinach lasagna recipe.. so to all my blog friends - do you have a good spinach lasagna recipe? 

 Yay for craigslist.. we were able to reunite doorstop to her family, and we sold our older table/chairs set.

 Pallet signs are all over these days.. and I have been making a few here and there.. I made this Coffee sign for my kitchen this week. 

 Strawberry Shortcake.. I made homemade Angel Food cake this week, and turned it into a strawberry shortcake masterpiece.. (ok, so maybe it wasn't a masterpiece - but it was gooood!)  :0)


Updated my Flower shaped Mirrors.. again.. yep, for a 3rd time.  Is there no end to updating these mirrors?  Well, maybe when there is so much paint on them you can no longer tell it started out as a flower, but then I could always take the mirror out of the flower frame and turn it into a whole new project.. or bust out a chisel to chip away all the layers of paint, or... well,  it is safe to say that it could go on and on.. and on.  

Have a great weekend all..

linking up at:
High Five for Friday

Updating the mirrors a third time..

Do you have one decorating style? or a mixture of several..

I really don't have any one style that I go by..  I just go by what I like.
Which seems to a large mix of styles: farmhouse, country, shabby chic, traditional.. and so on.. :0)

However, I have been really liking the distressed and antiqued look of things even more lately..
Such as my End Tables I recently redone.

and my painted and  Distressed Mason Jars.

Among several other projects.

Well, I decided to update my mirrors with a shabby kind of look..
Yep, updating them yet again. :o)
Here is Where they started.

Next came this..
Then this..
and eventually this..

and now..
for the third time around..

I took the mirrors down, and using a small amount of white paint, with a teeny tiny bit of turquoise mixed into the white every once in a while to give it a little hint of blue,  I lightly brushed it on.. with a sponge brush.

Then I decided to use an ink pad to darken the edge a little more.


Another new look for the mirrors that I found in storage.

I am still deciding if I like them as is, or if I need to do something else to them..
so they will possibly get another update.. ok, most likely they will..  time will tell.  :o)