Dollar Tree Hauls, frugal living, Halloween, holidays, Uncategorized, wreath

Halloween Dollar Tree Haul

I find it interesting that fall decorations appear right before Halloween decorations.  Halloween and fall always did happily co exist! I think?  Halloween decorations has a tendency to overshadow fall decorations.  I decorate for Halloween in September and put up fall decorations the day after Halloween.  Not this year! I decided I will do both together.  This is coming from someone that still has Christmas Decoration stickers on the wall from the previous year. I have no shame!  I will say that since they did last all year, that is definitely a testament to how well the product works. ( the stickers were four dollars a batch.  I wanted to get my moneys worth.) Anyway! Back to the topic!

All of these items below are from the dollar tree.

  1. Purple and Black Mesh ( I will be doing a Nightmare Before Christmas DIY wreath)
  2. Purple and glitter tulle
  3. Halloween skeleton head lights ( You can always pull the skulls off to utilize the lights for other DIY projects.
  4. Purple floral wire
  5. Skull and bones diamond wrap and the one in the middle is purple diamond wrap.  However, this photo fails to demonstrate that.

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food, frugal living, spaghetti sauce

How to stretch Spaghetti Sauce from 4 to 8 servings| 6.00 Spaghetti Sauce!

Image result for spaghetti sauce bertolli olive oil garlic

 

After work, Ben and I decided to make spaghetti.  The goal was to make a total of 6 servings.  We realized we only had one jar on hand.   I used Bertolli Olive Oil & Garlic pasta sauce.  On the nutritional facts it says 5 servings, but lets be realistic you would be lucky to get 3-4 servings out of this jar.  This method turned out better than anticipated.  Down below I will list ingredients I used to stretch this sauce out 8 servings!

  1. Ground Beef 1 pound.  ( aldis 2.29 lb)
  2. 1 diced Green pepper (package of 2 1.29 aldis)
  3. Half of a sweet diced onion. ( package of 5 1.49 aldis)
  4. 8 oz of Mushrooms thinly sliced and cut in half. ( .69 aldis)
  5. 1 can of tomato paste. ( .30 aldis)
  6. Water.  I filled the tomato paste can with water and scooped out the remaining sauce.
  7. I added salt and pepper to taste.
  8. 1 teaspoon of olive oil.  ( 3.19 aldis)
  9. Half of a beef broth bouillon cube. ( 25 cubes 1.99 aldis)
  10. This should have been number 1! Bertolli pasta sauce ( 2.00 target)

 

If you don’t have tomato paste you can use tomato sauce or diced tomatoes.   Quite frankly any of these will work.  We got about 8 servings out of it.  It was pretty exciting to take a 2 dollar jar of sauce and double the recipe with items I already had on hand.  Thank you so much for stopping by!

 

 

netflix, tv series, Uncategorized

5 Series to Binge Watch on Netflix

Image result for pretty little liars

So, I am a little late on this train, but this show is pretty awesome.  Pretty Little Liars has a pretty big following and that alone made me a little curious.  It is a group of teenage “mean girls” that are trying to figure out who the antagonist A is.   Allison was the infamous leader of the group.   Allison went missing for a couple of years and then she was declared dead.  Her friends are trying to work together to solve her murder every single day.  Because mysterious A  which is a person or group of disgruntled teens with hidden agendas are trying to pin the murder on Allison’s best friends.

Every inch of their life is being followed by mysterious A. These girls are being tortured and our job is to figure out who A is. It is pretty fun to guess!   There are so many possibilities! Every episode has you asking more questions.  I find it to be quite engaging and I am pleasantly surprised by how awesome the series is.  I am at the end of season 3 currently, but when I get to the very end I will let you know if I am let down by the series finale.  There are a lot of Pretty Little Liars fans that are disappointed about the finale.   However, so far so good.  The fans disappointment is initially what sparked my interest in the series.

 

Image result for sherlock holmes netflix

Wow, is this series amazing! This is coming from someone who isn’t a big Sherlock Holmes fan.  The actors in the Netflix series are phenomenal! Sherlock is a sociopath with an amazing ability to figure out mysteries based on observations alone.  Each episode is almost the equivalent of a movie 1:25 minutes. So, make sure you have a few hours of time to binge watch.

Image result for vampire diaries

The Vampire Diaries! Wow, this is a fantasy thriller that will keep you at the edge of your seat! I have always been made fun of for liking this show, and every single person I dared give it a try loved it! It is a teenage drama that takes place in a very historical town Mystic Falls.  Each episode reveals a new secret about this town.  It essentially is a vampire series, but this show puts twilight to shame times infinity! Give it a try.  I didn’t want to watch it either because twilight quite frankly was such a disappointment.  This series is a lot of fun!

 

Image result for Originals

Since I loved the Vampire Diaries I figured I had to give this show a try!  The original vampires were the best part about VD in my opinion.   Dare I say this series is better than Vampire Diaries! This show follows the Original family, which is the first original vampires ever created.  This follows their life after the drama at Mystic Falls.  It takes place in New Orleans, which reveals the rich history of the witches.  Also, you get to learn more about Hailey’s background as a wolf and her mysterious pregnancy.

 

Image result for unbreakable kimmy schmidt

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt! This series is based on the life of a girl who has to learn how to live in New York city after living underground with a cult for half of her life.  She shares an apartment with a quirky mate named Titus.  He is helping her figure out how to adjust her new life.  It is a great comedy! Seeing life through a fresh pair of eyes always makes for great entertainment! Her quirky personality really makes her character believable.

DIY, Dollar Tree, Fall Decor, holidays, planter

Dollar Tree inspired Fall Mirror Box Planter

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I couldn’t help but get excited about this project.  Mirror box planters are all over the internet, and some diyer’s made this look very easy.  Fun fact! It was not at all.  Some people used hot glue and just held the sides together for a couple of minutes (without a base) until the glue dried.  I tried this method a few times before completely giving up.  I genuinely think part of my problem was,  I needed a bigger glue gun.  I have a very small glue gun which is not meant for big projects.  I did have a box on hand that I used as a base for the planter.  This made the process so much easier.  Here are the list of items you will need for your DIY mirror planter.

  1.  A square box from the Dollar Tree
  2. 5 candle holder mirrors from Dollar Tree
  3. One square foam from the Dollar Tree
  4. E6000/ hot glue
  5. Wire Clippers
  6. Your choice of flowers.  I have approximately 8 bunches.

This project will cost about 16 dollars if you already have E6000 and wire clippers.  They do sell wire clippers at dollar tree, but they do not work very well for me.  So, I borrowed this tool from my fiancée.  I also, already had E6000 which I purchased at walmart for 2.98.

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On the back of the mirror remove the 4 foam tabs on only 4 of the mirrors.  This is necessary step so that the mirror can properly adhere to the box.  They come off very easily.  As you can tell, I have applied glue to them before.  That is ok, just make sure to remove the big gobs.  If you want to repurpose your mirrors, you can go ahead and use a glue gun.  I on the other hand plan to make this a permanent project, so I am using E6000.

 

fallmirrorbox3

 

Remove the lid and set it aside.  Glue the back of your mirror to the box and press down for one minute.   Don’t worry about the finger prints or glue on the mirrors.  They wash off with warm water and a microfiber cloth.  We will worry about that after it sets.

 

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Apply glue to the mirror already attached to the box.  Apply glue to the other mirror and set against other side of box making sure to connect both mirrors.  Hold in place for a minute.  Repeat this step for the other two sides.  ( Say Hi to my forhead!)  For the last mirror I placed glue on the mirror and attached it to the bottom for a stronger base.  (The black side facing down with the foam tabs still attached. )

 

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Once you are done unwrap your foam tab and set it in the box.  Let your planter sit for a few hours.  Before you start adding flowers.

 

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I did not photograph the clipping of the flowers or how I arranged the bouquet.  My advice is, make sure you clip the flowers as close to the stem as possible, and at a downward angle.  That way it acts as a spear, when you try to insert it into the foam.  After clipping all of the flowers you will have a variety of lengths.  You want to place the shorter flowers around the edges, and the taller flowers in the middle.  The mid-sized flowers place in between both.  The cat tails I did not clip at all!  I just kept it all attached and shoved it into the center.  It turned out great! My favorite flower is that red daisy with the burlap in the middle!  Now you can take some warm water and a microfiber cloth and gently wipe the smudges off.  Congratulations, you have a beautiful planter for fall!

 

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Cats, Dollar Tree, Dollar Tree Hauls, kitchen table, Organization, Uncategorized

Dollar Tree and Aldis Haul

On Thursday ( July 27, 2017), I bought quite a few things at my local dollar tree.  Of course, I just had to share some of it with you.  I also have a Thanksgiving/fall haul,  that I will put out shortly as well.  Over the last few months, I have kept my eyes peeled waiting for the perfect place mats.  Any place mat that I have encountered in the past, didn’t have a surface that could be easily cleaned.  I checked the tag, and it doesn’t specify what kind of material the place mats are.  Based upon the texture, I can tell it will be relatively easy to clean.  Plus, they go with the color scheme, which I was super excited about.

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Now here is a closer look at my turquoise bamboo bowl.  This is also a recent purchase from aldi’s 5.99 to be exact.  It was just to beautiful to pass up. I have been looking for a bowl that could hold various things. ( FYI bananas emit a gas that ripens other fruits, so keep it separated.  They are only together for the picture to demonstrate how big the bowl is.) Aldi’s also has a round tray that matches the bamboo bowl.  They come in red and natural wood tone.  They are gorgeous snatch it up while you can!

 

 

 

Aldi’s special buys are sold in limited quantities! So, go ahead and check it out!

If you snooze you lose, unless your Ms. bella.  Have a good day!

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DIY, Dollar Tree, Fall Decor, holidays, wreath

Dollar Tree Inspired Fall Wreath.

Before you roll your eyes at the title, just hear me out.  As summer months are at its inevitable end.  The Holidays are upon us. Retailers start stocking their shelves early so we DIYers can prepare for the holidays.  Once people decide it is time to purchase, many of these items are gone.  Especially when it is just a dollar! Every single year the dollar tree is improving their inventory.  I hope you enjoy reading this post as much as I enjoyed making it. Let’s get started.

squirelItems you will need:

  1. Wreath Foam (Dollar Tree)
  2. Dollar tree leave garland ( Dollar Tree)
  3. 1 silver serving dish ( Dollar Tree)
  4. 2 rolls of burlap (Dollar Tree)
  5. Your choice of minature decor. (  At the Dollar Tree they have a squirrel, owl, and two scare crows.  I choose the squirrel, because he is carrying a daisy!
  6. E6000 ( walmart 2.98)
  7. Glue Gun with 2 to 3 glue sticks. ( aldis 3.99 came with 10 glue sticks.  I purchase this a year ago)

 

When I unrolled my burlap, it looked like this.  Please be careful with  the tape.  The ends come off relatively easy.  No worries! I will show you how to fix this problem.

squirrel1

So grab your wreath foam, and take the end of it, super glue that end on the inside of the wreath.  Begin to wrap the burlap around the wreath. To keep a neat roll overlap each layer half way until the end.  when you come to the end of the strip, just super glue that end down.

If you have long stray aways, go ahead and cut them off.  Make sure to glue the ends down for a more polished look.  I took burlap roll number two, which was a nicer roll, and went over the first layer.  I also cut the strays, and glued the fraying areas.  If you look at picture 1, that was before the second roll of burlap, and the next photo is the finished look.

There are two options if you want more control on how the leaves will be positioned.  You can pop the leaves off of the tab easily with your fingers.  The other option is you can wrap it carefully around the wreath.  I tried to wrap it several times without any glue to make sure I would be happy with the end result.  I suggest if you wrap the garland around do not wrap it tightly.  If you wrap it loosely, it will have a beautiful and natural feel.

When you have the placement of your leaves just right, go ahead and gently turn it over.  It is time to for your E6000.  I find that smooth surfaces do not properly adhere to fabric with hot glue alone.  I use a combinations of E6000 and hot glue for the next step.

So, when your plate is upright you need to line the rim with E6000 thick all the way around. Make sure to line it up.  This glue does not dry quickly , so you will have time to adjust the plate for the right placement.  When the plate is where you want it, press it down with your hand for at least 2-3 minutes, and give the glue time to work its magic. You can do this longer if you choose.

 

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If you look closely around the plate, there will be some holes.  Fill the gaps in with super glue for a tight fit.  Check all the way around the plate for holes, to ensure the wreath properly adheres to plate.

squirrel11

For the final step.  Test out your little fall decor item for placement before gluing.  If you choose the squirrel.  I used E6000 on his tail and on the bottom of the feet.  I also went around the gaps with super glue.  Before you begin this project, determine whether you want your wreath to be displayed on an easle, or hang it on your door.  You can get either twine, or a small piece of rope and glue it in between the wreath and the plate for a tight fit.   Second option is you could tie it on the wreath before you glue the plate on as well.  I choose to use a dollar tree easel.

squirrel12

Yay! Now you can admire your work, because it is finished! This entire project minus the glue was 6.00.  I had an easel, but they sell them at dollar tree if you choose this option for display! Thank you so much for stopping by.  After finishing the project, I really cannot wait for the holidays.

Cats, DIY cat toys

DIY $3.50 Easy Cat Scratcher Pad

Animal toys are so expensive these days.  My cats absolutely love scratch pads! Wow, have they come out with some cute scratch pads.  They have scratch pads that double as a bed,  or shaped like couches and various items to make your home look unique and to keep your cat on his or her toes.

Well, I came up with a solution using last years chrismas light boxes! Nothing is better than free I tell ya! Christmas light boxes come in various shapes and sizes.  I had about 4 on hand for storage prior to creating my pantry.  So, I repurposed them as entertaining scratchable fun for my adorable kitties! They absolutely love it!

Now, I am sure you can go to just about any store and find 2 tappered boxes.  The trick is one box has to be slightly smaller than the other.  I created one that is relatively large to cater to my plus size cats.  I purchased a large scratch pad from Walmart for 3.50 on clearance, and I re-purposed boxes so that is $3.50 total for the project! How amazing is that?

Here are the two boxes I used for my project.

Catscratcher1

 

Bella checking out the boxes.  We have to make sure it is cat approved of course!

catscratcher2

Take the smaller box by the tappered edge and lay it upside down into the bigger box.

 

Now all you do is lay your large scratch pad on top of the box and Wallah! It is done!

Yay! it is bella approved! No cat nip required! Although, I am sure they would love you more for it!

Materials:

Display Boxes: Home Depot ( Free!)

Large Scratch Pad: Walmart on clearance for $3.50.

 

 

 

Dollar Tree, Organization

How to Organize Jumbo Storage Baskets with Dollar Store Bins.

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Living in an apartment can be tricky when it comes to storage.  Their are limited spaces to store items.  In my case my apartment did not come with a pantry.  So I created one with 6 jumbo storage baskets and some dollar tree bins.  With this new addition I seized another opportunity to add storage to the sides using dollar tree drawer organizers.

The entire cost of this project is 21 dollars! The jumbo storage baskets I got on clearance from The Home Depot at 2.20 earlier this year.  (These jumbo storage baskets are back at your local stores in various colors).  All of these bins were from the dollar tree and I currently have 6 which are holding various snacks, can goods, and my slow cooker on the bottom as you can see.

When I initially created this homeade pantry, each compartment was filled with dollar store bins.  However, as time went on I noticed it took up valuable space on the bottom.  So, I went ahead and adjusted it to best suit the needs of the household.

The storage baskets are easy peasy you literally just snap them together, and insert various dollar tree bins.  I choose the locker style bins because they are so strong, and they fit perfectly into the baskets.

I also incorporated the laser cut bins from the dollar tree.  These bins have a tendency to pop up around easter or around summer.  As I was putting this together I realized my spice rack was crowding up,so I saw a great opportunity to incorporate dollar store drawer organizers onto the sides.  This project was so simple.

First clear the top shelf.  I placed 1 zip tie through the first bar and through my drawer organizer, and I also places the 2nd zip tie near the 6th bar on the storage basket and through the organizer again.   Snip off the zip ties as far as it can go and beware of sharp edges.  You can smooth them out in one of two ways. The first option is “carefully” get a lighter and for a couple of seconds go over the edges.  They will melt into a tiny bubble and round off the edges.  The other option which is the safest option is using a file.  I personally think the first option is the most efficient.

 

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For my particular project I used 2 drawer bins on each jumbo basket.  On the first basket I have various teas and cocoa, and on the second basket I have 5 spices.  This little addition was 2-3 dollars.  Keep in mind the side baskets need to be filled with very light items.  Toothpicks, chopsticks, seasonsing, skewers, cupcake liners, ziplock bags, or anything tiny and compact that you use on a regular basis. It is out in the open visible and ready to be used.

Eventually I will removed the baskets and spray paint them to match the rest, but before I invested money in spray paint,  I wanted to test my idea out first.  This is the third day they have been in place and they are holding up! Their are various organizing websites, videos and blogs. I genuinely have not seen this anywhere and this is my own creative idea.  If you want to go ahead and give this a try I highly reccommend it!

Jumbo Storage Baskets: The HomeDepot ( $4.88)

Bins and Zip ties: (Dollar) Tree