Friday, February 20, 2009

Two Great Things!

Hi ladies... #1. I am so excited and just have to tell you about my couponing success this week!
First of all, I went to an Albertson’s gas station yesterday and got 20 gallons of gas for $26.58 (a $10 savings, because I got 50 cents off per gallon!). This was from the points I had already accumulated on my Alby’s preferred card previously. {giddy}

I went to Alby’s early this morning and got $358.24 of groceries for $93.28! That’s a $264.96 savings! I paid pennies for some of it, and even got 4 of the items FREE! Yay!! It’s all because of coupons. I think I’m finally starting to figure this couponing thing out, though I am still a beginner!! I get better each time I do it. The key is to just jump in hands-on and take it slow until you start to feel more comfy. This time ‘round, I think I might be getting a better grip on it, and it feels good. Now mind you, I’m only talking Albertsons at this point. I haven’t doven into Walgreens or Rite Aid yet!!

#2. Come join me in "Finding Joy in the Journey"!! Go to my personal blog for more info. I am starting this on Sunday! Pin It

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Time.. Where Does It Go??

There are never enough hours in a day to accomplish everything I'd like to. Okay, I am going to lay it all out and keep it real for ya... Am I alone, or do any of you...

-have a TO-DO list a mile long?
-don't get near enough sleep at night?
-can't seem to make it to the gym or treadmill every day?
-find yourself so busy taking care of everything and everyone else that you put yourself on the back-burner?
-wonder if you will ever be on time to anything?
-can never decide what to make for dinner each night?
-feel relieved on Tuesdays because it's 1/2 price Happy Meal night at McDonald's?
-wish "Alice" would appear at your doorstep and ask to move in so she could do all your cooking, cleaning and laundry?
-feel like the computer sits there across the room calling your name, only to find yourself an hour later consumed into the blogging world again? (enjoying every minute, but feeling guilty for it)
-needing to sit down with yourself and re-group? prioritize? just plain think?

I really hope that you can identify with at least 2 of these things I mentioned above. I think the last week or so of blogging burnt me out a little. I have so many fun things to show and share near the holidays, that I can't even help myself! I need to slow down and take a breather.

I've decided that to fit myself into my daily schedule, and work on accomplishing the goals I've set for myself this year, I have to spend my "Me-Time" more productively.

In order to put my kids' mom and husband's wife back on my priority list, I need to get to bed earlier so I can get up to exercise and shower before my kids get up. I need to take the time to eat healthier and drink more water throughout the day. I need to spend a quiet time alone every day to study, pray and ponder, to strengthen my relationship with the Lord. I want to spend the time I need to master the art of couponing and work on building our food storage. I need to stop to recognize the little things that bless my life, instead of hurrying through the day to accomplish my next task.

With all that said, it's time for me to prioritize my time for what is most important in my life.

1. Me- health- diet & exercise/personal study time
2. My Husband and Children- "The most important things in life, aren't things."
3. My Home- cleanliness and order.
4. My Calling in church- Primary President
5. Couponing & Food Storage- (one of my goals for '09)
6. My & Kids' Journals- keeping up (and my personal blog)
7. Everything else that has to do with my family, my church calling, and my home.

10. The Creative Homemaker

As you can see, this blog has to be at the bottom of my list right now. I will try and post at least twice a week. But if you stop by and I haven't posted in a while, I hope you will understand. :) And I hope you will keep coming back. I can't bear to let The Creative Homemaker die! :) Let me take a few days to re-group. I still have blogging ideas bursting out of my head, and plenty more to share with you, so keep visiting. I just need to be able to post when I have extra time, not when I have a sink full of dishes, a pile of laundry that needs attention, and sleep needed at night. Please tell me you can relate in some way! :)

Here's another idea... Would any of you like to be another author on this blog? Email me at Thanks for listening. XOXO Pin It

Sunday, February 15, 2009

My New Toy!

I have a new gadget that is helping to make my life so much more organized! It's a P-Touch labeler, made by Brother.

I have a friend who is a professional organizer, and she helped me organize my out-of-control craft room a couple of years ago. She said that the key to an organized space is labeling. I've often been too lazy to label things. Then when I go to put something away, I forget where it goes. But after having a "labeled" craft room, I have a tried and true affirmation that what my friend, Bobbi said is the only way to go!

I'm almost embarrassed to show you this, but here was my daughters' bedroom a couple weeks ago at it's worst. (Unbearable!)

Here is the same room today.

We had a whole bonus room in our last home where we kept all the kids' toys. We don't have that in this house... We have just a small space inside the girls' room for everything, so I had to do something to keep things under control. I know that labeling everything is going to make all the difference! I even labeled the drawers and closet containers.

I didn't have a labeler until recently, and I've been a "labeling fool" ever since! I LOVE my P-Touch labeler from Brother. I trust this company and highly recommend their products! And they are NO more pricey than some of the no-name products that I've seen at some stores. I'm so glad I finally have one of these! They are so quick and easy (unlike trying to making some on the computer or using vinyl letters). All you do is turn on the labeler, type in a word and press "print". It spits out a label, and walla- done!! And it's a much nicer looking option than using a permanent marker!! I am having SO much fun with this little $40 mommy-toy. I know- only 40 bucks! It's worth every penny! Every homemaker needs one of these in my opinion!

I am in the process of labeling my pantry and cupboards. I will post pictures as soon as I get them done! Pin It

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day!

...from me to YOU! XO

Oh BTW, I thought I would make a Valentine cookie bouquet this year, but I just don't think I will have the time today. Here is one I found online.
Pin It

Friday, February 13, 2009

Valentine's Day Eve

It's Valentine's Day Eve (as well as Friday the 13th- does this mean good luck in love??) so what does everyone have planned for the big day? Do you have a tradition or two that you and your family or sweetheart do every year for Valentine's Day? Special meals? Romantic date?

I usually start out the day with pink heart-shaped pancakes for breakfast, then heart-shaped sandwiches for lunch (cut with a cookie cutter).

Then for dinner we have our traditional heart-shaped meatloaf with either pink mashed potatoes or sauted red potatoes. (I'd throw in a recipe for my meatloaf, but I never use one- it's different every time.) Also heart-shaped bisquets, red jello and a green veggie. I also like to set the table in red and white and put a little Valentine trinket and treat on each family member's plate.

And of course you have to have some kind of scrumptious, festive dessert on Valentine's Day!
Do you remember the cookie bouquet that I did a few weeks ago? What about using heart-shaped and XO cutters instead and you've got table centerpiece? Here is another recipe that could be used for this.

Here is a recipe for some chocolate cookies I made last year.

Or if you live in my town, and you would like someone else to make dessert for you, you can order something sweet from my friend, Christy!

I think for my pancakes this year I am going to be inspired by Michelle over at Made By Michelle! Her Valentine's Day pancakes look so delicious and healthy, yet super festive! She posted her recipe and everything here. Michelle is so creative and talented, and has some great things to offer in her online store. Be sure to go check it out!

What are your plans for Valentine's Day? Pin It

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

A Perfect Time to Strengthen Your Marriage + A Drawing!

I'd like to show you one of my favorite books... (even though I don't love to read) I have this book and love it, and want to get the audio version!

What's totally fabulous (to me) is that I personally know the author, Laura Brotherson. She's the most darling person, and I am SO grateful to know her and to be a partaker of her amazing professional insight! She has changed so many lives and aided in strengthening millions of marriages, including my own.

Not only has Laura written this fabulous book, she also has audio talks on CD and downloadable audio presentations!

There is also a Valentine's Special going on right now! If you order Laura's book, or any one of her audio downloads or CD's, you will also get a free talk on CD- Love 101- Learning to Love More Meaningfully!

Now, are you ready to enter the annual Valentine's Day drawing for a free one-night stay at the Anniversary Inn? Head over to Laura's blog right now and send in your couple photo, along with your "How We Met" story by Valentine's Day. Easy-Peasy- and you could be the lucky winner! I just sent mine in, and I'm crossing my fingers!

Oh, and don't forget to sign up for Laura's Straight Talk about Strengthening Marriage Newsletter. So enlightening... I highly recommend it! Pin It

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Tuesday Tutes- Last Minute Valentine Ideas

I needed something to put into my kids' Valentine Pockets yesterday before they arrived home from school, and I remembered a pack of gum that my husband had recently bought. So I found these hearts that I cut out [who knows how long ago] in our scrap paper bin, taped a piece of gum to each one and wrote a little Valentine message on them for each child. Easy-peasy!!

We made our Valentines for the kids to take to school. I just went to Winco and bought a bunch of Valentine suckers in the bulk section, plenty for 3 classes.

Then I came home and made a simple note [with my computer] to attach them to. I used cardstock to print them, and my straight cutter to cut them out. The kids got to put their classmates' names on the back, then we taped the suckers on.

(I am trying to get a printable copy of these cards on here, but I'm not as computer savvy as I'd like to think. Sorry, I will keep trying.)

Here is another fun idea for Valentines and a couple cute craft ideas too!

Click here for a great family Valentine's lesson, activity and game.

And here's another website that I found for some great ideas as well!

Of course I always love the Family Fun website when it comes to any holiday! They always have the best, most creative, kid-friendly ideas for every holiday, party, game, craft, or seasonal family fun. So if you are in need of a last minute Valentine idea of any sort, go pay Family Fun a quick visit! Pin It

Monday, February 9, 2009

Love Languages

Have you read this book, The Five Love Languages? I know it has saved and/or strengthened millions of marriages, including several of my personal friends'. Though I have not yet read the book (because I'm not a huge book reader), I have still learned what my love language is as well as my husband and children's.

The author, Dr. Gary Chapman has written several other relationship-strengthening books as well, that are based on the five love languages. Click here if you would like to take a 30 second quiz to discover your love language.

I hereby challenge all of us to assess and find out yours and your husband's (and/or children's) love languages this week, then make a stronger effort to find ways to communicate to them by using their language. Then let's see what happens to our marriages and family relationships by the weekend! Pin It

Sunday, February 8, 2009

My Town Monday- Tucanos

We have a brand new restaurant here in town, just in time for Valentine's Day! It's the Tucanos Brazilian Grill. Have you ever eaten at a Brazilian restaurant before? It's quite an experience- and a lot of fun with a group of friends! I am so excited to try this one out. They will send you a $10 gift card if you go to their website and register. Awesome! Pin It

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Take Time for Romance

In lew of Valentine's day coming up, this is the perfect time to spice things up with your man! I found this website a year or 2 ago while looking for some creative Valentine's Day ideas to do for my man. I actually have some of this guy's eBooks and have really enjoyed them. I love this book pictured below. (Just click on the book to find out more.)

I personally know that one of the biggest tools to keeping your marriage strong and alive, amidst all the stresses we face, is to keep the flame burning with regular physical intimacy and date nights. Life, careers and children can keep us so busy that we forget to kindle the fire with our spouse. Michael Webb, "The Romantic" is so creative and has a tons of fantastic ideas of how we can strengthen our relationship with our spouse. I'm glad I found him.

Pin It

Valentine Idea- Special Plates

The "You are Special" plate tradition was one that I found on TipJunkie at Christmas time in '07. This is just a red Christmas charger with cream-colored vinyl lettering on it. It is used (as a charger) for a designated family member to use under their plate during dinner. That person could be honored on their birthday, a good grade or for any other kind of accomplishment. Husbands sometimes deserve this too, so don't forget them!
I bought my red chargers at the '07 Christmas clearence sales at Walmart and Target. I ordered my vinyl from my friend and neighbor, Heather.

The tradition that goes with this plate is found here. I wanted to make these as gifts this last Christmas, but life got too crazy at that time! Valentine's seems like a perfect time to tell someone that you think they're "special".

Heather loved this idea too, so she came up with another idea and created this Valentine border for the chargers. This way, on Valentine's day everyone gets to be special. Brilliant!

If you would like to order the vinyl creations for either one of these plates ($3 for the "You are Special" and $3.50 for "XOXO"), you can email Heather at
and she will take great care of you! Pin It

Monday, February 2, 2009

Tuesday Tute and Valentine's Idea

I was on someone's blog the other night (cannot remember who's) and found a link to this cute, easy, kid-friendly valentine craft. So since last night was "Family Night" and it's Valentine's month, I decided we would have fun with this creative idea...

So we read a story together about love and service and discussed different ways we could show love to each other and to others. We talked about Valentine's time being a perfect time to practice showing others and each other that we love and care about them through service and acts of kindness. Also by writing/drawing a little note from our heart.

After we committed to use these ideas this week, we made these Valentine Pockets to hold our love notes from each other. The kids also got to draw names (of each other) whom they will focus on this week. (Next Monday we will draw again so they get to serve someone new.) These pockets were super quick, easy and fun for the kids to make! Here are the exact instructions...

"Have each family member make his or her own Valentine Pocket and hang it on the outside of his or her bedroom doorknob. During the days and weeks before Valentine Day, write compliments or put candies in the Valentine Pockets of your family members.

To make each Pocket, you will need:
-2 large paper plates (it took 6 plates for our 4 pockets, and I got the valentiney plates from the dollar store in a pack of 20.)
-A hole punch
-Red yarn (or other color)
-Decorations of your choice (construction paper, stickers, paint, markers, etc.)

1. Cut one paper plate in half. Save one half for another pocket.

2. Form a pocket by placing the half plate upside down on top of the whole plate, with the rims lining up at the bottom. Hold in place and punch holes around the edges about 1/2″ (1.3 cm) apart. (It's a good idea to draw a little mark on the inside of the whole plate at the first hole where the half plate meets.)

3. Starting near [or at] the top, lace the yarn through the holes of the entire paper plate, leaving a 14″ (36 cm) tail. With the tail, tie a bow [or knott] at the top. The yarn will hold the pocket in place on the bottom, and serve as a hanger on top.

4. Decorate the Valentine Pocket with stickers, paint, construction-paper hearts, or anything you’d like! Be sure to put your name on it.

(Here is the link to where I found these instructions.)
Pin It

Lemonade Award from Red

Thank you Missy, over at Simply Red for this blog award! I love the theme to this award, and I am completely honored to recieve it! I haven't had as much time these days to spend on the computer, so I guess you could say that I "don't get out much" (outside of my own blog lately). I am grateful for bloggers who reveal themselves so I don't miss out on the latest and greatest! Hop on over to Missy's blog... She's a creative homemaker with some great tips to share. I love her conversations heart centerpieces she made! Also, she shared a great tip for no-stick pan storage that inspired me. Go check it out!

If you receive the Lemonade award, here are the rules:

When you receive your lemonade award, pass it on to others who show great attitude and gratitude. Share the love! Here's what you do:

1.Put the lemonade logo on your blog or post.
2. Nominate 8 to 10 other bloggers who you think demonstrate good attitude and/or gratitude.
3. Link to your nominees within your post.
4.Comment on their blog to let them know they have received this award.
5.Link back to this post and the person whom you received this award from.

Now I get to spread the love and nominate some other bloggers who've inspired me with great attitude and/or gratitude...

So in no particular order, I nominate:
1. Abby @ A Feathered Nest (She has such a fun personality; and I enjoy reading her blog. Oh, and she's fabulously creative too.)
2. Bethany @ Crafty, Yummy & Funny (Need I explain? It's already in the name!)
3. Angie @ Inspired Living (Angie seems like such a neat lady. I love her awesome ideas. Truly inspiring!)
4. Stef @ It's All In My Head (Love her! She is so creative, crafty and talented.)
5. Jadi @ Homemaking Fun (Tons of fun, creative ideas for anything from parties to projects.)
6. Cindy @ Skip to My Lou (She says it best herself- "Craft, Create, Celebrate… a place to fulfill the passion for sharing the best in life.")
7. Julie @ Truly Delightful in Every Way (Hillarious, crazy, mama of 6. Love to check up on her and see what kind of crazy things she is up to. Love her.)
8. Amanda @ Making Dinner Sucks (She is a personal friend of mine, and she cracks me up! I love her because she keeps it real for all of us. I hate making dinner too. But if you can admit it and laugh about it- life is still good!)
9. Brenda @ Deck the Halls (She is just a darling, creative mom that has so many talents and ideas to share. Love her!) Pin It


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