By Jackie Mccobb | Category: Recipes & Kitchen Tips
It would appear that the whole world is under financial strain. Our mighty dollar has weakened, and we are almost all feeling the pinch, no? For that reason, we all desire to be more frugal and so we flock to great money-saving blogs (such as this one) looking for deals, coupons, and helpful tips on how to spend less.
Overseas I have had to become quite creative in regards to frugality. Deals online are no longer great deals when you have to pay shipping. (Like the time I saw a skirt on sale at Old Navy for $10 and they would ship it to me for only $60! Yowzers.)
We’ve done our best to cut back as much as we can…we line-dry clothes, walk as much as we can, turn lights off when we leave the room, use cloth diapers on the baby, etc, etc, etc. Those are things we are all doing! Next in line to trim back was the grocery list. There are no coupons here and the only things that go on sale are junk food items.
Therefore…BEANS. We eat ‘em. A lot!
Knowing that we are all trying to pinch pennies, save more, spend less, I thought I would share some of the tasty, different bean recipes I have tried and loved. (Because we did the simple black beans over rice and got tired of it pretty quick.)
Black Bean Tart with Chili Crust (I haven’t actually tried these yet, but it looks interesting)
Black Bean and Brown Rice Cakes (Could these be used as a burger patty I wonder?)
Black Bean and Cheese Taquitos (I leave the cheese out, brush olive oil on the tortillas and bake them!)
And when you’ve tried all of those and are running low on creativity, go back to the Pioneer Woman’s Pinto Beans and Cornbread. She will never steer you wrong.
Of course there are also the great bean recipes that Heather has previously shared:
and the ebook ebook called The Everything Beans book which Heather said has been a wonderful resource for her.
So beans are my little money saving tip and I have to ask, if there are any other Americans overseas reading this…please share in the comments any tips you have for me!
Posted Wednesday, June 13, 2012
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By Heather Ledeboer | Category: Creating a Home, Mom 4 Life News & Giveaways, Organize Me!
I used to be scared of projects like the one I recently completed. I never imagined I would be sharing a post about a piece of furniture that I restored. People that do things like that have blogs with names like “Crafty Mama” or “Furniture Chick” (neither of which oddly enough are active websites!) But here I am giddy with excitement to show you my “trash into treasure’ project which was all made possible by a product I had never heard of before until my good friend Selina over at Creative Juices for Decor told me about it. The product is Chalk Paint. At this point you likely fall into one of two categories. Either you are nodding your head in agreement saying “yes isn’t that stuff wonderful?” or you are assuming that I am talking about Chalk Board paint (also a fun product but totally unrelated).
“What is Chalk Paint?” you may ask.
Only all your furniture dreams realized in the form of a can of paint.
Only the most simple solution to restoration (the furniture kind) that I have found.
Only amazing. No sanding. No priming. A-mazing!
Ready to see it in action?
-I found a three drawer dresser on Craig’s List for $10. It was nice and solid and had good lines. I had planned to use it as dresser. However, 2 of the 3 drawers were sticky and didn’t slide well. I decided I could turn two of the drawers into shelves. I offered $5 and they agreed. As it was lifted into the back of my car, the 1 drawer that did work toppled out and broke on the road. Bummer. Not figuring that they would want to buy it back from me, I decided to see what I could make it into. I decided to remove all 3 of the drawers and install shelves, transforming it into a toy storage unit.
-Because the initial piece was two toned and because I was going to allow some of the under color to show through when I distressed it, I decided to replicate the two tones with my paint choices. I used the “Arles” (yellow color) Chalk Paint on the top “changing table” area and also on the inside. For the rest I used “Emperor Silk” (red color).
-The only “prep” work I had to do was wipe down the wood with a damp cloth to remove any dust and lose particles. After that, paint! The first coat of paint went on fairly quickly and I was surprised by how fast it dried. But the second coat was even faster. Because I planned to distress the furniture and allow the original wood to show through, I didn’t have to worry about putting the paint on thick enough to completely hide the original colors. I was amazed at how much could be covered with so little paint!
-Once both coats of paint were dry, I went over the entire piece of furniture with sand paper lightly sanding a smooth surface and spending more time on the edges, corners and any areas that I wanted to appear distressed and aged. This was a fun step.
-Next I covered the inside back by painting Mod Podge over 12×12 sheets of coordinating scrapbook paper cut to size using a paper cutter.
-My husband cut to size 3 thin boards purchased at Home Depot and glued them on top of the pre-existing drawer sections (after removing the small wooden glide rail which was no longer needed).
-To finish the Chalk Paint, I covered the entire painted surface with one thin coat of Johnson’s Wax (which I purchased at Home Depot) using an old t-shirt. This provides a protective seal on the wood and brightens up the paint which, after sanding it, had been dulled.
-Using some left over scrapbook paper from the Mod Podge part of the project, I created coordinating labels for the plastic storage bins. I choose to have the most baby friendly items toward the bottom and coordinated each row of labels to match, in an attempt to make it easy for the kids to put each drawer back in the correct section.
The end result turned out better than I could have expected. It is bright and colorful, highly functional and because of the distressed nature, durable to child abuse.
Being able to look for furniture based on how solid it is and the beauty of its lines, rather than its color, opens up a whole new world of possibilities. I had been initially hesitant when I first saw that Chalk Paint was sold by the quart rather than the gallon. I had only ever purchased paint for the purpose of re-doing an entire room. However, after finishing this project, I can now see that a small quart of paint would be more than enough for most furniture projects. There are even small 4 oz. “sample” Chalk Paint sizes available which can be used for smaller projects such as picture frames, chairs or a small bench or stool. I also LOVED that the VOC s are so low. I couldn’t detect any paint fumes which was a huge plus. I am already eyeing my next project! If you have some additional questions about chalk paint, you might find your answers on this FAQ page.
How about you? Would you like to try out Chalk Paint on your own project?
Of course you can simply go to the Stylish Patina and buy some, but I would love for you to win some! Kelly over at Stylish Patina has graciously offered to give one lucky Mom 4 Life reader a $45 gift certificate to her store! I might suggest spending it on a quart of Annie Sloan chalk paint ($38) and perhaps a set of paint brushes ($10) or “sample” Chalk Paint for accent colors or a small side project ($13.50). To enter simply fill out the rafflecopter form below (you must be on the blog to view the entry form). The giveaway can be entered until Monday June 18th (MST). There are several ways to enter, good luck!
Also, if you like to be inspired, Kelly posts some fantastic stuff over on her Stylish Patina facebook page, go take a look!
Posted Monday, June 11, 2012
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By Heather Ledeboer | Category: Creating a Home, Home Crafts
I’m over at my friend Selina’s blog (Creative Juices for Decor) this week sharing one of my favorite DIY crafts: a button monogram. Come join the fun!
Posted Saturday, June 9, 2012
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By Heather Ledeboer | Category: Super Sales
All BabyLegs are marked at least 20% off this week!
That’s right! 20% off Cool BabyLegs with UV Protection!
20% Off Regular BabyLegs
and even bigger markdowns on our discontinued BabyLegs!
Posted Friday, June 8, 2012
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By Jocelyn Compton | Category: Pursuing God
Sometimes I find myself saying in frustration, “I just can’t please everybody!”
For example, not everyone delights in my decision to be a stay-at-home mom. I’ve heard people scoff, saying what a waste my legal education was if I was just going to stay home. Some say I was a fool to give up my career. Others applaud my choice to be at home full-time. They see value in my position as a homemaker.
The list of topics that draw out opinions goes on and on . . . and on. People have opinions on big things. Theological leanings, homeschooling, parenting. People have opinions on little things. Driving an SUV, drinking raw milk, and couponing.
And, I’m right. I can.not. I cannot please everybody. I will not be able to do everything when, where and how every person wants me to. Someone will always disagree. Someone will always dislike my priorities. And sometimes that eats me up inside. If I allow it to, my desire for others’ approval stirs me up and unsettles my heart.
But does it matter? Does it really matter, in light of eternity, if someone disagrees with me? Or disapproves? Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ. (Galatians 1:10)
According to Paul, if we are going to serve Jesus, then God’s approval is what matters. And, God’s desire is that we fix our eyes on Jesus as we run the race that He has marked out for us in advance. (see Hebrews 12:1-2). Fix our eyes on Him. Which means our eyes are not looking side to side at everyone around us. They are set on Him and Him alone.
What greater joy than to fix our eyes on this God:
The LORD your God is with you,
he is mighty to save;
he will take great delight in you;
he will quiet you by his love;
he will rejoice over you with singing.
Zephaniah 3:17 NIV
Maybe your extended family doesn’t delight in you. Maybe your husband doesn’t delight in you. Maybe the other moms at the park don’t delight in you. Maybe you feel like me, saying “I can’t please everybody!” Or sometimes it’s “I can’t please anybody!”
But, if you are in Jesus, God rejoices over you today. Just the way you are. Jesus has paid the penalty for your sin. You have Jesus’ perfect righteousness. And God rejoices over you with singing. He is with you. That same God who is mighty to save.
My desire for approval from other people stirs me up. It unsettles me and makes me feel flustered, exhausted and overwhelmed. What a privilege to live instead for the approval of the only One who can quiet me with His love.