Cricut Confusion!

I know I am like 2 years late but, I need some serious help understanding this machine. First of all, I don't own one yet, but I want to get the skinny on this baby so I can become the proud owner of one.
I have decided to go big or go home. I want the Expression. Now, why I need your help.

I would like to be able to do wall monograms such as the one below. Does the Cricut do this? And if so what cartridge?

I don't even know a millionth of the stuff this bug can do so please fill me in :)

If someone would leave me a comment with a link up some work they have done with theirs and the cartridges they used to do them that would be great!

What is every ones opinion about them? Worth the money? Favorite cartridges? Is the Jukebox "the best accessory"?

Any direction would be super helpful! Thanks!!

Gift Guide 2009: HOT Victoria's Secret Sweater & Scarf Deal

Victoria's Secret has another awesome deal available! Currently, you can score 3 sweaters and a scarf for just $30.99 + tax shipped! Follow this deal scenario below:

-Go here and choose 3 sweaters--add them to your cart
-Then add this Scarf to your cart ($28 value)
-Before starting the checkout process, make sure to check the box under your purchases that states "Please check here if you have an Offer Code or Angel Rewards Certificate."
-Now enter these 3 code: vssave20, scarf09, and 3for30
-Final cost should be just $30.99 shipped (+ tax)

...Right now you can score a Victoria's Secret Reward Card with every online purchase and any in-store purchase of $10 or more thru November 30th. The reward card value is a mystery until you make a purchase December 1st-24th. Each card is at least worth $10 and thousands are worth $100 or more!

Thanks, Hip2Save


Ornament Wreath

I'm sure 99.9% of you have seen this over at Eddie Ross, or at one of the other 1,000 blogs of the women who have made this. But, I'm going to share mine because....well, I can.

I don't usually decorate with red, and I like that Christmas gives me a reason to add this pop of color to my usually very neutral house.

$10 for the ornaments from the dollar store! Great score when you see them priced like this (which I think is very not cute)

Check out all of the other great projects over at ASPTL's DIY Day!
Also linked up over at BobbyPins Boardwalk for her Bragfest!

Gift Guide 2009: Pottery Barn Monogrammed Beer Mug ONLY $7

Pottery Barn is good for more then just fantastic catalogue eye candy.

Right now you can snag this Pub Beer Mug with FREE Monogramming & FREE Shipping for just $7! For monogramming, you can use 8 characters PER line--up to 2 lines

This would make a great gift for those hard to shop for men (or women, who are we kidding) on your list this year!

Thanks yet again, Hip2Save


Desk Makeover Finished!

After 4 long days of speed bump after speed bump with this little beauty, it's finally done! But enough with the writing, on to the eye candy :)

Here is a reminder of the before: She was in decent shape structurally but her face needed major work. The wood was pretty scratched up and wasn't coming close to being as pretty as she could be.

And the after :)- pics taken at 11pm so pardon the yellowish hue!

Still working on the chair situation but right now it is enough to house my junk just in time for our Thanksgiving company!

I hope everyone has a safe and happy holiday, and that everyone realizes they have so much to be thankful for this season!!

**Finished just in time for DIY day over at A Soft Place To Land
**Linked up over at BNOTP for Met Monday!
**Linked over at Bobbypins Boardwalk for the Bragfest!
And over at The Shabby Chic Cottage for Transformation Thursday


Desk Update

Well, as i explained in the previous post about being impatient, it has bitten me in the butt yet again! It has been rainy and chilly here but I was determined to paint. Needless to say, there will have to be a lot of sanding and re-priming and repainting parts of the desk that bubbled up due to the weather. Hopefully tomorrow will be better and I will be able to finish it up!


I broke down and made a book wreath

I have seen Living with Lindsay's book wreath spread through blogland like wild fire.
I didn't own a glue gun (OMG, I know, I am kind of a newbie), so I wasn't able to do this project even though I thought it was gorgeous and everyone who recreated it had amazing results.

Well, I was looking for something I could do while watching TV and since it gets dark so early, something that didn't call for me to be outside spraying something. This was the perfect solution. And also thanks to Lindsay's blog title "...one glue gun burn at a time" I was well aware to get a dual heat glue gun during my trip to Michael's.

This project cost me $3 (I needed 2 books) plus the cost of the glue gun which I will be putting to good use now.

Here is the result. Of course I don't think it looks as good as the original, but its perfectly imperfect :)

heads up- not its final resting place and not a great picture at all...

My desk is home and the frame is painted!! Still need to do drawers and knobs and top. Hopefully by Monday it will be complete :)

Desk Makeover (tease)

I decided to get myself a crafting desk to help contain all of my, what I call goodies, and I prefer not to ask what the BF calls it.

So yesterday I found him at (of course) the Habitat Store. I feel like if people in my area donate furniture, that is where it goes. I had actually spotted him on Wednesday but the top is a laminate, and since I can't paint it, I was concerned that it didn't have a glass top. It cost $20, which was not a bad deal because structurally it is in great shape, but if I had to get glass cut for it I wasn't sure it was the desk for me. Well, I couldn't get it off my mind so I stopped by again yesterday after work to just see if it was still there. It was. So I wondered around just thinking about whether it would be worth it. On my stroll around the rest of the warehouse I came upon a dresser that was about 2 items down from my desk. on top of the dresser was a piece of glass. It was just sitting there, it wasn't meant for the dresser, it just looked like it couldn't find it's way home. Being the wonderful humanitarian that I am, I scooped him up, and placed him on my desk. Cinderella had found her glass slipper! It was actually meant to be on the desk, it just got misplaced! I couldn't contain myself, and paid for it right there.

Well, my Acura + big desk = wait for my BF to pick it up in his truck after work today!

I was just too excited to not show you the before pictures. That's right, I'm so impatient I couldn't wait 20 hours to take pictures so we had a photo shoot inside the Habitat Store.

Without further ado...

This project is sort of becoming a higher priority because I really need a place to put the stuff that has started to accumulate in the guest room, yes the one my parents will be occupying in 4 days.

So keep an eye out for the new and improved desk in the near future!


Bedroom Blenvy

I moved into my boyfriend's house in April of this year. I kid you not when I say that the extent of the furniture was as follows:

-tiny dining table (you know the one with the light pine top with the white legs)
-oak dresser and bed frame in the guest room (neither to my liking, both for sale on craiglist as I type)
-2 extra large TVs
-a mattress (which was just on the floor in the bedroom, no box spring, no frame, no nadda. I can't say this isn't how I lived at my apartment previously, but at least i had the box spring... right?)
-a couch (which I made him buy or I wasn't going to move there. Laying out blankets on the floor for movie night is only fun when it's a choice, not a requirement)

So, to the point of this post. I have 2 bedrooms on my to-do list (there are 4 in the house so really there are 4 on the list but can only wrap my head around 2 right now) the master and the downstairs guest room. We recently just inherited a King size bed (glorious), so in turn, I got to buy a new bed set (squeal). I have always wanted a dark gray bed spread, so that's what I got. This really kick started the master make over.
OK, so I have a charcoal bedspread, now what color to paint the walls? All the walls in the house are khaki and while I really like the color, I want the bedrooms to feel like more of a retreat from the everyday living space so they need some new color on the walls. So should the walls be a light gray so the bedspread is the rich focal point? Or should the walls be white so the charcoal pops? Or should they be deep gray with pops of white and color? I scoured the web for some inspiration.
I am sure that you have all seen this picture from Michelle's home over at Three Men and a Lady and to say I was inspired is an understatement. It was everything I had been dreaming of!

I have already told her that she will be seeing a duplicate of this room sometime in January of next year. Imitation IS the sincerest form of flattery :). And when I say copy I don't mean it will be sort of like this, I mean I stopped at Home Depot yesterday to pick up the paint chips of the colors used. Sorry but I want to live in the swanky hotel too!

On to the guest room...
Again, bare space, furniture I don't like and hoping to sell asap. For this space I was on a mission to find something a little more bed and breakfast-y. Monotoned with creams, browns, and whites. Maybe a little shabby/rustic. Or maybe a little cottage. Because I couldn't put into words or on paper what I was thinking about, I called upon old faithful (Google or Swagbucks). So for a few weeks I was coming up a little less then excited because it seemed as if I had such bad taste that no one wanted to replicate my ideas. Until... Funky Junk Interiors posted to DIY Day. I think I felt the world actually stop moving for a second when I opened this page. My brain was splattered all over her room! (thank god not literally, probably not the look many people go for). Anyway, here it is...

I already have the khaki color on the wall and some creamy white paint in the shed, and a secret love affair going on with the Restore in my area so this project should be easy on the wallet and big on impact! Thanks so much to these 2 ladies for having such amazing taste and taking the time to share it with us.

Shiny Pineys

On Monday, 2 of the 6 preset radio stations I have in my car turned to all Christmas all the time. Did I mention it was 76 degrees on Monday? It has been hard for me to kind of get into Christmas groove because the weather has been fantastic and the leaves are still brilliantly colored (example below-sitting in the drive through at Chick-fil-a)

Well, I decided to muster up some holiday spirit and give a Christmas project a try. Since I wasn't sure my heart was is it, I didn't want to spend lots of dough (or any at all really). So, I meandered through the tree line of our house and found some pine cones (Shout out to Hurricane Ida for making that task take all of about 30 seconds). I had to spend $1.50 on screw eyes, and $2.50 on spray paint.
Here is how it went down...

Stuff I needed:

How I did it:
Just screwed the eyes into the bottom of the pine cones-

After they were all screwed in a took them outside and made a little make shift spray boxey-thing so I could spray them all the way around without them being rolled over-

Then, just took a piece of ribbon and put the ends through 2 pine cones (so you could pick it up in the middle and have them hanging equally on either side) Did this 2 times so i have 2 separate pieces with 2 pine cones on each ribbon.

Tie a little bow and hang them over a hook in a diamond-esque shape and that's it! Let me preface these pictures by saying it is hard to make metallic gold look good with or without a flash. These pictures don't really do this project justice but what can you do :)

**Check out Transformation Thursday at The Shabby Chic Cottage
**Linked up over at the wonderful Funky Junk Interiors for Saturday Nite Special
come enjoy the parties!

$20 Give Back Challenge

Quick update on my donation challenge...

8 Cans of Del Monte Veggies-
Retail: .89
Sale: .42
Coupons: Target Q ($1/6, and Man Q for $1/8)
Total: $1.61 including tax

2 Cans Progresso High Fiber Soup
Retail: $1.89
Sale: 2/$3
Coupons: 2 $1.10/1
Total: $1.02 including tax

RETAIL: $37.85
PAID: $4.19


$20 Give Back

Earlier this month I wrote about a post about giving back during this time of year(If you missed it, you can check it out here).

In a nutshell, I have given myself a challenge. I will only spend $20 this year for my donations. With my knowledge of coupons, I plan to make my $20 stretch to $100.

Here what I have so far:

(This was all free, and I actually earned $2 to Target by buying this cereal)

Here is what I got today-
This little devil is usually $1.59.

But using this coupon here, I got these for $1.56 (.29 each) for all 5 including tax!

Retail (what everything would cost without coupons)- $26.95
Paid- $1.56
Left to Spend- $18.44

I hope that you too will challenge yourself to donate as much as you can! Good luck!! :)

** My donations will be going to the Food Bank of Central NC


Gift Guide 2009: $5 Taste of Home Hardback Cookbooks!

Taste of Home is emptying their shelves by discounting 28 hardback cookbooks to just $5.00! These books are normally priced between $20 and $30, so if you have cooking loving friend or relative, I would take a look!

Click here to check out all of the books available, and use code 1062 to score $1 shipping. If you purchase 4 books you will receive FREE shipping.

I think the Baking Book and Dinner on a Dime are calling my name. :)

Next Project: Family Room Window/Accent Wall

I am feeling good enough today to at least leave the house (well, yesterday I went to work, but that didn't go over so well). Anyway, a quick trip across town to Lowes shouldn't hurt!

Here is a little tease of my next project. I sold my old TV (when I say old I mean 2 years and 50 inches) for a pretty penny so we are looking to hang a flat screen instead of having that huge eye sore in the corner! So bare with me until we can afford to get that taken care of. :)

Hopefully by Thursday or Friday of next week I will be done and I will be able to post! Enjoy your weekend everybody :)


Under the weather

Sorry about being MIA the last week, I have not been feeling so hot and have accomplished NOTHING on my to-do list. Hopefully this weekend I will have done something post worthy, but until then, have a great Friday and thanks so much to all of you that read this little blog of mine and a really appreciate those who have chose to follow me :)


Express $25 off $50 Purchase

I personally don't shop at express unless things are on sale (the prices make my heart hurt). This high value coupon will make that easier to do! Currently, you can text EXPLUCKY to 397737 and you'll get a coupon for $25 off a $50 purchase at Express Stores. The coupon does not expire until 1/7, so you'll have plenty of time to make use of it. It may take some time to get a message back, so be patient!

**Standard text messaging rates do apply.
Thanks Hip2Save!


Before and After: Fireplace and Mantel

Finally, I have some sunlight to take a few pictures of the fireplace face lift! I am really happy with how it turned out and it changed the mood of the entire room from stark and cold to casual and cozy.

Here is where i first introduced the old, tired fireplace. But let me just give you a little reminder.

Ok, I have kept you waiting long enough...

(Stella wanted her moment in the sun too)

(we are working on the TV situation so don't mind it)

It has made finishing this room so much easier now that it has a totally different vibe. I just can't get enough of it. Hope you guys like it too!
** I'm participating in Metamorphosis Monday over at Between Naps on the Porch, come check out all the amazing transformations!
**I am also linked up over at A Soft Place to Land for DYI Day! Come check out the awesome projects.
** Linked up over at Bobbypins Boardwalk for Boardwalk Bragfest!
*Check out all of the talent over at Transformation Thursday at The Shabby Chic Cottage


Gift Guide 2009: Bath and Body Works

If you love Bath and Body Works even half as much as I do, you might want to think about cashing in on this deal (for you or a gift, either one :))

Take advantage of this $10 off $30 B&BW coupon with this deal.

From now until November 8th, Bath & Body Works has a sale on their Signature Collection Body Care products--buy 3, get 3 FREE!

Deal Scenario:
Buy 6 Signature Collection Hand Creams 2.5 oz and/ or Shower Gel 10 oz $10 each
Minus buy 3, get 3 FREE sale=$30
Use the $10 off $30 coupon
Final cost $20 for 6 hand creams and/or Shower Gels--just $3.33 each!

Thanks Hip2save!


Awesome Victoria's Secret deal going on today ONLY. Get $19 Sweater & $21 Lip Gloss Trio ONLY $16.38 shipped.

Here how:
First, you can use this code CLOTH20 to take an additional 20% off any single clothing item! Plus, you can stack that code with this code SHIPFREE to score FREE shipping on any order!

And on top of both those codes, you can use this code FREERUSH to get a FREE Lip Gloss kit ($21 value) with a $19 or more sweater purchase!

Check out the $19 sweaters here
Just put it in your shopping bag, and during the check out process make sure to check the box under your purchases that states "Please check here if you have an Offer Code or Angel Rewards Certificate."

Enter the 3 codes on the "offer code" page.

I would snatch this up if I was looking for a gift for a girlfriend, daughter, sister or neice!

Thanks Hip2Save!


Before and After- Fireplace and Mantel

Nothing on this planet makes my heart skip a beat like the smell of a burning fireplace. Sitting around a crackling fire with a glass of champagne, under a big fuzzy blanket....hmmm... I hope heaven has a fireplace.

Unfortunately, I do not get those same feelings when I look at our fireplace.


This picture actually makes the fireplace look nicer than it is in real life. It is an old stove type fireplace (which I actually think gives it TONS of character) but it is discolored in spots and needs some TLC. The brick surround is dated and dingy, and sucks every ounce of light out of the room. Oh, and the mantel? It's so HUGE that thinking of how to decorate it makes my head spin.

But, out of a month long trial and error period, I have found peace with my new fireplace and mantel...you will just have to wait until I can be at home while there is natural light for me to take the pictures :). And since I commute an hour each way to work, and day light savings time as ruined my life (exaggerated but still true), I am never home in the daylight during the week. So, with that said, don't hold your breath, because by the time Saturday comes around you might be a little Smurfy (if that doesn't make sense just let it go haha).


Food for Thought

"Do not spoil what you have by desiring which you have not, but remember that what you have now was once among the things you only hoped for."

That's all.

Have a wonderful day :)

Make Your Holidays a Little Greener (and make a little green)

When you are digging those holiday decorations out this year keep in mind that Home Depot has a new program to pay you $3 for every old light set you recycle! So bring in your old broken lights and get a $3 credit toward new energy efficient lights! Right now they have 50 lights on sale for $5.97- so $2.97 after discount. This program only runs November 5-15th so time to get those boxes out of the attic.

Read more about the program here

Thanks My Frugal Adventures!


Style Quiz: Ethan Allen

After a visit over to Young House Love I found a cute little quiz they posted about finding your style.

My results

The verdict is in—

Your style is Villa. Villa is romance reinvented. A high-end “decorator” look. Refined without fuss. Serene yet strong. Pedigreed while also modern. Inspired by French and Scandinavian design. A mingling of carved woods. handcrafted artisanship, and the dressmaker detail.

I am loving anything french right now.
Overall, I think this is a fairly accurate description.

The quiz is like a word association game; no thinking, just clicking.
Check it out here, and come back and let me know what style you are!

Gift Guide 2009: Wii Wish You A Merry Christmas

Have any Wii gamers on your Christmas List this year? Well, get off the computer and go to Target to get in on this great deal!

Target is offering up a FREE Wii game when you purchase 2 of equal or lesser value! There over 80 titles to choose from, with prices starting at just $14.99.

Purchase 6 Wii Games priced at $14.99 each
Minus buy 2 get 1 FREE sale=$59.96
Use three $10/2 Target coupons
Final cost $29.96--just $4.99 per game!

For the more expensive games:

Purchase 6 Wii Games priced at $49.99 each
Minus buy 2 get 1 FREE sale=$199.96
Use three $10/2 Target coupons
Final cost $169.96--just $28.33 per game!

Thanks Hip2save!


Give Back

The time of the year is coming where those who are fortunate enough to be able to, will give back to those who aren't. I'm going to start a little challenge (with myself mostly) but would like to see who would be willing to come along for the ride. I am setting aside $20 this holiday season. That's it. I know it doesn't sound like a lot but that is where the challenge comes in.

With my couponing knowledge I will make that $20 go further than me writing a check for $50 would.

The first things I bought with full intention of donating, are the items in the photo below.

The Fiber One cereal I got through the Target deal here. I actually only spent $3 or so out of pocket and for a $5 Target gift card. So I am not counting that as spending any money as I actually earned $2 to Target by making that purchase.
The Suave body wash I got for free during a Harris Teeter Triples week a few weeks ago. So it is a good start and I have not spent any money yet.

Retail- $19.00
Paid- $0
Left to Spend- $20

I will keep you posted as I make more purchases to see how far I really do make this $20 go!

If any of you decide to join in on the fun, please send me a comment or a link to your posts about your donations!
Happy Hunting!

** My donations will be going to the Food Bank of Central NC