Monday, August 30, 2010

Where I blog & Garage Sale Finds

How was your weekend?

This weekend I spent some time garage saleing by myself. I like going with others, but I find it faster to go alone (no one to wait for).

I found these:

The tealight candles were:  50 cents
The Clock was $1.00
Tealight holders: 50 cents each (one had the original tag for Winners for $4.99)
The Silver Caddy: 25 cents
The Boys clothes: 50 cents (perfect for first day of school)

So in total I spent $3.25!!  I'll show you later this week what I do with these finds.

So, Kate at Centsational Girl is having a Where do you Blog party, and since I love me a party, I decided to join in!

This is where you will find me most mornings and late evenings on my fave chair in the  Family Room. 
(hmmm... lampshade is crooked) 

When we updated our very dated family room furniture, I gotta me a Momma-Bear chair.
(that's what I call it)

On the little table beside it, is a little box with Muskoka's ashes (our last dog),
and some pictures of the kids when they were babies.
Of course, you will always find a drink there for me too (this time coffee).

I also have an "office" in the basement, but I only go down there when the kids are in school and I can get down there by myself without worrying about them.

So where do you blog?

I'm also linking up to some of these parties.

Please check out my online Shaklee Shop.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

A Frugal Fall Wreath

It's chilly and crispy today, and it's got me thinking about Fall. All around Blogland everyone is talking Fall. Apparently even the Pottery Barn Catalogue is out with a bunch of fall ideas. (not that I get one).

So I decided to join the bandwagon and start getting ready for Fall.

I ran down to my scary storage room and pulled out my bin with "Fall Decor labelled on it". First thing I saw, was this guy.

My girls named him 'Jack' when he first showed up on our front door. I made him (well not him but the wreath itsef) about 8 or 9 years ago. I was sooo excited to have made him that I put him on door too early cause I opened the door one day to have my neighbour standing there with him in her hands saying "He's cute, but I can't you bring on the Fall yet. You have to wait until at least Sept 15th!" We had a good laugh and I stored Jack for a little while longer.

So I took the whole thing apart and was left with this...

Then I took a bunch of Chrysanthemums that I also found in "Fall Decor" bin and cut them all up. 
(No other plant says "fall" like chrysanthemum flowers.) 
I'm not sure where these flowers came from cayse I don't remember buying them.

 Then I hot glued them to the  wreath and added ribbon.

I think I need more flowers.  What do you think?

This cost me nothing cause I used stuff I had on hand.

Are you on the Fall Bandwagon yet?

I'm linking up to Thrifty Decor Chick's Fall Inspiration party.

And linking to some of these parties.
Weekend Bloggy Reading

And yes... I'm waiting until at least Sept 15th put it up as not to upset the neighbour. :-)

Please check out my online Shaklee Website

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Time to tighten the belt and get organized!

Ok peeps... I'm gonna get real and personal on here.

I recently read a post by Sarah at Thrifty Decor Chick about Dave Ramsey and about getting rid of debt.  I found myself nodding and huh huhing alot while reading her post.

In the past we have taken Lines of Credits and Credit Cards for granted.  Over the past 5 years though, huby and I have worked really hard at staying out of the red. Especially me.  I have anxiety attacks and can't sleep to even imagine a check bouncing or not being able to pay a bill on time.  I pay our credit card in full every single month, and I check the bank account every-single-day!!  Am I crazy? Do you do that?

Well, reality check... my beloved 10 year old van passed away this week. (sniff... sniff...)Actually it's still dying as we speak cause I haven't picked it up yet from the mechanic's yet.  You see, on the weekend I filled the coolant holder thing-a-ma-jig with coolant fluid, only to find it empty two days later.  Now, I'm not good with cars and stuff, but me thinks, I have a problem.  I brought it in and the mechanic said "if it was my vehicle, I would not fix it, and I would look for a new vehicle." ummm... mechanic told me NOT TO FIX IT. So I went shopping for a new vehicle.  Guess what?  We just invested in our back yard, so now we can't afford a new vehicle (without going into debt.)


So... we have made a decision to down-size to one vehicle (temporarily) until we can afford to buy a new one without going into debt!

I was sad as soon as the words came out of my mouth.

But now I'm relieved that I can breathe easier every month and not have to make a monthly payment on something we can't afford this very minute.

This will entail alot of planning and organization on my part, but I'm determined to make it happen.

Hubby, works about 20 minutes away, and it will mean I will need to drop him off and pick him up on the days I have kids appointments or personal appointments.

It will also mean, I will be walking alot more than in the past.  It's about a 20 minute walk (one way) to our closest grocery store.  So either I have to wait, or make a detailed grocery list every week.

H. and A walk to school and S. takes the bus. I used to drive H in if was a "little cold" or we were running late.  I guess that option is out for now.

So... I just wanted to let Dave Ramsey know... "I listened to you! I am not going to buy something I can't afford!"

What about you?  Are you a one car family? And how do you make it work?  I need yout tips and secrest peeps!

Please visit my Shaklee On-line Site

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

A Powder Room Update

When we moved into this house 5 years ago, one of the very (many) first things we did was change all of the sinks in the bathrooms.  For some reason there were rust holes around the all the sink holes, that had been patched up but still looked awful. 

We also 'splurged' and updated the light fixtures and a couple of the counter tops.

I wish I had the before-before of powder room to show you the loveliness that we had.

WARNING: Do not spray paint in small non ventilated rooms!
This is a picture from around Christmas, when I decided to spray paint directly unto the cabinet.  Not a smart move!  I nearly passed out from the fumes! And the smell lasted for a few days weeks in the house, since there is no window in that bathroom. Yes, it's been like that since Christmas, don't judge!

I'm not sure if you can tell but the door handles (which were removed the day we moved in 5 years ago) were smack dab in the middle of the bottom cabinets and were u-g-l-y!! I replaced the drawer handle with some I had brought from something from our last house.  I only had two which was perfect.

Like I said we replaced the counter tops.  This one in particular is faux black granite (I don't know what it is called) We bought it off the shelf at Home Depot.  As you can see it is not as wide as the old counter and back splash.  The walls are painted with a textured Ralph Lauren paint... I think it's a suede technique that they used on it.  I can't find this paint and I haven't got a clue how to remove it other than sanding.  Hubby likes the colour and suede look, so I've left it alone, but what do I do about those patches??!?

So I finally got around to painting the cabinet and patching those bottom cabinet holes.
 (and getting rid of the spray paint patch).

Here it is now...

I love the new black colour!

So any ideas of what I can do about those patches on either side of backsplash?

Next I need to frame out that mirror. 

I've seen it done in a bunch of places in bloggy land and I think know I can do it too!

On a sad note... my parents left today.  They are spending the next couple of days at my sister's house who lives a few hours away from me.  I won't see them again for another year or so.

Here they are on the rocks in front of my house with the grandkids, taken this morning. Although we have been doing this long distance thing for the past 12 years, it doesn't get easier, especially now that they are older and facing some health problems.  I will miss them.  And I will miss them not being around for creating memories with the kids.  And I will miss my mom's cooking and dad's handiness. 

I wish them a safe trip back to Portugal!

I'm linking up to some of these parties

Monday, August 23, 2010

Garage Sale Goodies

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend.
 We had a relaxing weekend, although it was a rainy weekend.
My brother-in-law and sister-in-law took the kids Saturday overnight and hubby and I were able to go to a party and not worry about getting home to the sitter. The funny thing is the party wrapped up early and we were in bed by 11:00 p.m. Go figure!

My mom and I ended up going garage saleing and I found a couple of goodies.

A bunch of baskets of 25 cents each.

My favourite! I love the scrolly work

These are 8 dresser drawer handles for 1 dollar. They match the ones on the desk in S.'s room.
I'm going to re-do her dresser and add these.  Stay tuned.

So that's all I got.  Little A ended up filling a grocery bag with Hot Wheels cars for $1.00 at one of the garage sales.  He was in heaven!

I'm linking up to Southern Hospitality Thrifty Treasures.

What did you do?

Did you find anything at garage sales?

Friday, August 20, 2010

Bloggy Friends Weekly Roundup

Happy Friday!

It was a slow week around Casa Frugal Mom as I recovered from last weekend's virus, although I did get around to canning 9 jars of sauce.

You know when you are mindlessly clicking and clicking through blogs and then you come accross something superb! Well that's what happened when in Bloggly land I came accross this DYI. I can't believe I never thought of this.  My little almost 10 yr old Fashionista would love this!

As promised last week, this week there will be a Link Party. 

Linky Rules

(1. Please link to your intended post not your blog homepage)

(2. Please put a link in your post that links back to the Linky party)

(3. Please visit the post just before you and leave a comment. Tell em I sent I ya)

So I'd love to see what you have been up to these week.  Link up your awesome projects! Unlimited this week!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

You say tomatoe, I say tomato...

It's that time of year again... the tomatoes are ready to be picked at all our local farmer's fields.

(this is my mom)

Since my parents are visiting, I took advantage and hauled the kids into the van (and parents too) and off we went to my favourite U-pick Farm.  My mom knows the best tomatoes to pick.

(S found a funky looking tomatoe)

The rest of my plan back fired though.  After we picked the tomatoes, I was hoping, my mom would help with prepping and jaring all the tomatoes. Nope... didn't happen.  My dad ended up getting into a small accident and wrecking the rental car and had to drive back to my sister's house (1 1/2 hours away) to file a report and return the rental car and getting a new one. hmmmmpppphhh....  So I ended up doing everything myself.

Just a warning... for anyone reading that KNOWS what they are doing,
 I would suggest leaving this blog NOW.

Legal Disclaimer: I am an amateur canner/jarer, although I've been 'helping' for a long time.

So here's what I DO. 

Step 1: Wash all the tomatoes.  I washed mine in my laundry tub.

Step 2: Peel and de-seed and chop tomatoes.
I peel them by boiling for a 1 minute and then plunging in ice water. 
(Sorry no pics of that step.)

Then I stick my finger in the pockets to remove the seeds.

Step 3: Once my large cooking pot is full I use my hand blender.
I try to crush them down as much as I can, but I like my sauce chunky.

Step 4 : I add 2 tblsp course salt, 1 tsp fresh ground pepper and about 3 Bay leaves.
And Boil for about 1 hour on medium low, stirring ocassionally.

Step 5: Wash Jars, and put in oven at 200 degrees for 20 minutes to sterilize.  (I forgot to take pic)
And prep lids according to package instructions.

Prep your area. Make sure you have everything you need before you start the canning part.

Step 6: I was told a long time ago to use only plastic or glass when packing the jars. (can't remember reason)

Step 7: I throw in a couple pieces of sliced sweet red pepper and couple leaves of basil half way through my jar.

Step 8: Place lid on jar and your screw band over lid to finger tip tight.
(Not too tight, or else you'll have a hard time getting the screw band off later
 when you want to use your sauce)

I know it sounds kind of bland, but I use this sauce as my base for other sauces throughout the year, by adding my veggies, and garlic and other spices. That way I can have variety.

Note: We picked 1 bushel and it yielded 9 of the large jars at a cost of $10.  I had everything but the tomatoes.

( I wait to hear the 'pop' of the lid and then I let the jars rest on a towel
 on my counter for about 24 hours or so)

Super easy!

So have you visited your local market and what are you canning this year?


I'm linking up to some of these parties

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Another Shaklee Review & Contest @ One Cheap Canadian Mom

Hey Gals!

Just a head ups....

Hurry on over to One Cheap Canadian Mom. 

She's hosting a giveaway for $25.00 on anything from my

Good luck,


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Pantry is Calling & A Linky Party!

There is a little something I forgot to mention yesterday... it was my 13 year wedding anniversary.  I actually didn't forget, I was just still in a fog from being sick and didn't make a big deal.

I took Max to a vet check-up just before 5 p.m. when the hubby called and asked if I was ready to for dinner.

Me ---> "Dinner?  Yeah we are having left overs from the weekend."
Him--->" I thought we were going out for dinner?"
Me ---> "Why? It's Monday?"

Silence. Crickets on the line.

Me --->"Oh right.  Yeah sure.  Let's go out for dinner!"

(the parents are still visiting from Portugal = built-in babysitters.  A luxury we don't have.)

We ended up having a lovely dinner at a new restaurant that I've we have been wanting to check out.

Anyhoo...  Have you noticed how many Pantry re-do's there have been around bloggyland?

And I know that I've seen others but I can't remember now.
(and no I didn't book mark the others.)

Everytime I see a pantry re-do I've gotten up from the computer and taken a second look at my little guy.

Ummmm... yeap. It's begging for a change.  An organized change.  There are 4 shelves and a lot of dead space in between and stuff stuffed everywhere!
( I won't scare you with a picture)

So... I need inspiration for my own little pantry
(very small compared to the above!)

Have you done a Pantry Revamp? Recently?  Evaahh?

Please share with us!

Linky Rules

(1. Please link to your intended post not your blog homepage)
(2. Please put a link in your post that links back to the Linky party)
(3. Please visit the post just before you and leave a comment. Tell em I sent I ya)

Link up!

Monday, August 16, 2010

The Weekend and Throat Healing Recipe!

I guess I'll start with an apology cause I know I promised you a Bloggy Friends Weekly Roundup link-up party on Friday, but I had to no energy to think and put together a simple post.  I'll try again this week.

I woke up on Friday, feeling a little yucky.  I managed to make it to a morning appointment and then to a friend's house for a visit.  At which point I said to her, "my hands and feet hurt and I feel weird".  I ended up laying down "for a couple of minutes" and slept for the next 2-3 hours... while she watched all the kids. Hubby came by and picked us up and I slept for the next 24 hours on and off with achy, sweaty and shivering moments.  Good times around this household! (I must have caught this bug from Little A who caught it at the soccer tournament last weekend or from my dad who had it a few days earlier.)

I did end up getting up yesterday to attend my nephew's baptism... I was the godmother.  I kinda had to be there.
(me, Baby Daniel and H.)

(me, Baby Danie, A and S)

(ummm... don't know what was up with 4 yr old :-) )

By the time we got home from baptism my throat was really sore and my pain medication had worn off.  I called my mom at my sister's house and asked her what to do.  (Mom's always know!)

She told me to gargle with salted lemon water.  Huh??  What??

Basically, I took a lemon and squeezed about 1 tablespoon out it, added about 1 tablespoon of luke warm water and 1/2 teaspoon of salt and mixed it up.  I gargled with it.  It tasted pretty good.  I normally only use the salted water but I hate the aftertaste.  But this new "home-recipe"  had a nice salty lemony taste to it. Not bad.

When I woke up this morning, my throat felt a whole lot better.  I gargled again.  I might not need antibiotics... at least I hope not.

I'm also, going to be ordering some of Shaklee
s NutriFeron -Immunity Support.  With School just around the corner, I bet ya there will be a few germs floating around the house.

Don't you just love home remedies? 

What's your cure-all?

Have a great healthy day!


Please check out my on-line Shaklee store.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

DIY Club Inc.

Hi ya!

Last night we went to our very first puppy training class.  Very interesting!  We are taking our class through Awesome Dogs. We left Max at home and now we have homework to do with him.  We'll see how it goes.
I want to send out another great big thank you to The DIY Showoff for featuring me yesterday. Thanks Roeshel!

The DIY Show Off

While I was checking out her blog, I also noticed the DIY Club Inc contest on sidebar.

Sooooo....  I entered my coffee table to console table DIY project.

These are the rules copied directly from their website.



2} Take of picture of the PRODUCT and add it to one of your posts (make sure we can see the picture)

3} Add our Button to your side bar or to your post

EACH MONTH, EVERY PARTICIPANT who enters our competition CORRECTLY will receive

A $55 coupon to Canvas People

A $55 coupon will allow you to order an 8 x 10 canvas–you just pay the shipping

You can enter a project, using ANY PRODUCT, from any of our Awesome SPONSORS:

2- Gorilla Glue
3- Orchid Ceramics
4- Mythic Paint
5- DREMEL Tools
6- Cutting Edge Stencils
7- DISChangers
8- DecoArt
9- Design Divas Wall Vinyls and Lettering
10- Olive Rue
11- PK Glitz

This month our give-a-way package is valued at


so we are dividing that prize package up into

2 give-a-ways.

YES, you have 2 ways to win!!


We will have the TOP 10 Voting and the person with the
1} most votes will win one of the prize packages
2} the other winner will be a DIY Club gals pick.

Soooo... that is it.  Pretty cool!! Check it out and enter if you haven't done so yet!

Good luck (and for me too)!


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Backyard Oasis - Part ???


How are you doing today?

First, I want to thank...

Better After for featuring me this week!


And also Bonnie at House of Grace for naming me Twice Owned Queen!

Thanks Ladies! I appreciate the link love!

I was in the pool pretty much all day yesterday cause it was soooo stinkin HOT! While I was in there I yelled at hubby to bring me the camera (I didn't want to soak the kitchen floor, and fall and hurt myself)

So, lucky you I took a few more pictures of the Backyard Oasis.  (I give you permission to leave now, if I'm boring you with all this backyard nonsense)

A few final details and then I'll stop talking about it, K?

hmmm... plants still need to be moved to the middle. 
Will they die if I move them now?
Or should I wait until Fall when it is cooler?

That pretty fairy was a house warming gift from my mother-in-law's friend about 5 years ago.

I got that wrought iron trellis f-r-e-e when my mother-in-law's friend's daughter moved to Scotland about 4 years ago.  I love F-R-E-E!! (did I get those apostrophe's right?)

This wrought iron piece is on my outdoor table.  I got it at Goodwill for $1.99 the other day. ( I stuck the plant in it and called it a day)

This is my rain-water barrell.  One night of heavy rain and that things fills to the rim.  It's perfect for watering the plants around the yard.  I'm constantly finding little A. filling up the watering can and watering the flowers. It cost me $69 and I'm sure it will pay for itself.

We had the electrician come by and put up an outdoor light fixture from Home Depot.

Our Chimenea.  We love to light it at night and make Smores.

Little A had to get in on the photo action.

I love this tree.  I think it's called a Japanese Maple

The Treehouse Pool Bar!! (and little A too)

Hubby made it and the construction guys finished it.
The trees grow through it...

Litteraly!!! This is on the inside left of bar.

This is the other side with a loft area, that I've let the kids decorate!
(see the tree growing through it)

The bar to the left...

The Treehouse Bar...

I found these little dragonfly hooks the other day at Goodwill for 99 cents each. (I still have to put them up.)

The view from the Treehouse Bar... (and alot of balls!)

Awww... there is the culprit!!
(Doesn't he look huge with that suit?)

And some more brick work...

Steps into lower garden.

The step into the house.
(looks like Little A beat me inside, can't wait to see the kitchen floor)

So that is it! The Backyard Oasis is done! (for now)

What have you been up to?



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