Ch, Ch, Ch, CHANGES!

Please be patient with me! I realize I haven’t posted anything lately but I am in the process of switching this blog to it’s own website and changing the layout! I also have a huge paper due this week AND I agreed to have a yard sale with a friend this weekend, so I am trying to go through everything in the house! Yikes! Busy week! So I won’t be doing any new posts until I get the new site up and running and everything new will be posted there! I hope you all come check it out when I get it done! ๐Ÿ™‚

~Amy Lou

Chevron Room Decor!

I finished one of my projects from last week, and was going to post it a few days ago but I ended up going out of town for the weekend. We went and visited family back home so I went a little off the grid and didn’t get online while we were gone. There isn’t much cell signal or internet there so it’s pretty easy to go technology free for a few days! (Sometimes without a choice!) So now that I am back to the real world I can go ahead and post the pictures of my project! I hope you like them!

Chevron picture frames handcrafted and found at Adventures of Amy Lou!

This was one of those projects that was just so easy a monkey could do it! But I understand not everyone has the time! In any case if you do decide to try this on your own here is a little explanation of what I did! I had the large frame just lying around with my craft stuff, so I went and bought the smaller frames at the dollar store ($1 a piece), got some chevron fabric from my favorite fabric store ever (FM Stores in Springfield, MO! I LOVE mom and pop shops! Support local businesses!), got some spray paint, and then I grabbed some cardboard I had set aside for crafts, some hot glue, scissors, and ruler, and I was GOOD TO GO! I went to town measuring the placement for the cutouts where the frames would go on the cardboard background so you can still take the back off and put the picture in it. After I cut my holes I hot glued the fabric onto the cardboard. Of course you can use any print you like but I just LOVE chevron right now! I spray painted some of the frames and left the others black. After they dried I glued on just the frame part over the edges of the hole and then assembled the back of the frames back on and placed the large cardboard piece inside of the large frame and VOILA! Cute and fashionable decor for only a few dollars! I only used a couple of dollars worth of my fabric, plus spent around $3 on spray paint, and $6 on the small frames! So this project only cost me about $10-$12 total! Pretty great considering if you bought something like these at a retail store there’s no telling what you would pay! Maybe $15 a piece for the two small ones and say $30 for the large one?! You’re looking at about 60 bucks if you buy this instead of doing it yourself! Just think of all of the other cute things you could spend your extra money on to decorate your room from what you save by doing it yourself! Good luck doing this yourself! It really was simple and fun!

~Amy Lou

Welcome Spring! Come on in and stay a while!

springI am SO excited that today is the OFFICIAL first day of spring! It is one of my favorite seasons of the year! Especially since I hate the cold, it is such a nice welcome change to finally have warm weather all the time again! Unfortunately just because it is the “first day of spring” doesn’t mean that it is our “first spring day”! OR that it will continue to be spring from here on out!

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Our weather here in southern Missouri is a beautiful, sunny, mid 60’s! The PERFECT weather for the first day of spring! However they are calling for some light snow possibly on Saturday… uggh! I’m just ready for spring to be here to stay! Any of you out there having a cold and nasty first day of spring? Maybe like this one pictured below? Lol!

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I am SO glad that’s not what it looks like outside of my house right now! I have plans to take my daughter to the park this afternoon after her nap! We are going to meet a friend of mine and her two sons and we are going to fully enjoy the wonderful weather now that it is here!

By the way I found a post from Money Saving Mom letting everyone know that you can get a free italian ice today, for the first day of spring, from noon-9pm at Rita’s Ice! If we had one here I would totally be going to get one to enjoy while we are at the park! Maybe I will have to swing by Sonic’s Happy Hour for a half price real fruit slush! If you would like to check if you have a Rita’s near you here is the link to their site for locations and other offers you may be interested in!

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Well, that’s it for now! I am going to shut off this computer and spend my day enjoying the beautiful sunshine and my sweet daughter! Plus a few craft projects while she naps probably! ๐Ÿ˜‰ I hope everyone has a gorgeous day today also! Happy Spring!

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This is exactly how I feel today too Snoopy! I hope you all enjoy also!

~Amy Lou

Busy, Busy, Crafting!

Well it seems that even though my spring break is over and my graduate courses are full force ahead once again, I still am only in the mood for the fun crafting and organizing I have been doing this past week! So for the last couple of days all of my spare time after homework (and taking care of my baby girl of course!) have consisted of some major crafting projects! I’ve been having a blast! I don’t have all of the projects fully done so I’m not going to spoil them right now! I have to run to the store to grab a couple of things I need and then some of it should be posted tomorrow! Here is a little teaser photo for one of the projects I am making to sell at The Bleau Barn in Ozark, MO.

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I’ve also been working on rearranging and slightly redecorating my daughter’s room. She has always LOVED her swing and would frequently only take a nap if she was in her swing but we have slowly been not using it anymore since she is getting older now. Which is a really great thing that she doesn’t really need it now since I went ahead and put her in it a few days ago and the motor quit! Apparently she is too heavy for it now! Kinda stinks because it was a great swing and I planned on keeping it for any other kids we have later on but I guess I won’t be keeping it now! Oh well, it gave me a great reason to get it out of the way in her room and move in her new toy box I’ve been dying to put in her room and use! And by “new” I mean new to us since I found it at a thrift store for $8!!! I was stoked because I had been keeping an eye out for a good one on craigslist and most of them on there were about $40 on average! I was looking to spend about $20 so I was excited to only pay $8! I haven’t decided yet if I am going to use it as is or do a little painting on it so we will see! I should be done with all of my changes in her room in a few days and I will post pics of it then! In the meantime here are a couple of cute teasers from her room also!

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Alright, that’s enough sneak peaks for now! More full project photos when I get them completed! Until then, everyone have a great day!

~Amy Lou

St. Patrick’s Day Feast!

Well it is officially St. Patrick’s day! I have not planned any fun activities to do pertaining to St. Patty’s since my daughter is still too young to enjoy… but I can’t WAIT till next year! I LIVE for doing all of those fun themed activities! I swear that’s the reason I wanted to be a teacher and a mother! ;D Can you blame me?! There is SO much fun to be had on holidays!

So since I won’t be doing any activities I figured I would at least do some simple green foods I could whip up easily! So for lunch (and probably leftovers for dinner!) I made some creamy and chunky broccoli soup from my Momma’s recipe. I even added some carrot pieces as my pieces of gold from the end of the rainbow! To go with it I baked some crescent rolls and sliced some ham. It was very delicious!

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I also whipped up some pistachio pudding I forgot I had in the cabinet until I cleaned and reorganized them yesterday! To top off the pudding I added some whipped cream and sprinkles to make it festive!

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To be honest, it had been years since I had pistachio pudding and I forgot how much I like it! And it was just festive enough to make me happy yet it was SO simple!

Have a happy St. Patrick’s Day today! And let me know if you have any other quick and easy green ideas prepared for today! I’d love to hear them!

~Amy Lou

Refrigerator REDO! Give it a Facelift!

Wow, today has been QUITE the day! I had gotten used to the lovely spring weather we have been having this week, with temps anywhere from the 50’s to the 70’s. That is my perfect kind of weather! HOWEVER, here in southern Missouri a cold front came back through so it has been SNOWING here all day! Needless to say, I am SICK of snow and cold so I did not see a reason why I should go outside for ANY reason! Instead I used this cold, dreary, but beautiful, day to get some cleaning and organization things knocked off of my list. And to make it even more amazing my baby girl did her mommy a favor and took a 4 AND A HALF HOUR NAP! Her naps are usually around 3 hours, give or take. So when it is a long one like this I love it because I get SO much more accomplished! Today was one of those days, so I got ALL of my kitchen cabinets completely gone through, wiped out, and reorganized better. I feel like a super hero right now! AND is it weird that I keep wanting to go into my kitchen and open the cabinet doors and just stand and admire my work?! Please tell me that isn’t weird….

Anywho, after I completed the cabinets, my sweetie pie was STILL sleeping so I decided the front of my fridge was looking pretty haphazard and messy. I figured while I had time I would do something about that since it would be a quick fix! Here is the lovely before photo… don’t judge…

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My fridge had acquired quite the random collection. A CPR step by step chart for infants, a cherished photo, a note from my Momma, a hand made “World’s Best Babysitter” card, a few alphabet letters, and of course it’s all held on with random free advertisement magnets! Lol! Pretty tacky if I do say so myself…

So to fix this problem and beautify my fridge space a bit and cheer up my kitchen some more I went searching through the house to see what I had that I could use. I found ย a few picture frames I wasn’t using, some magnet hangers in my craft stuff, and my calendar I hadn’t really found a good place for yet. Conveniently this worked out well for my calendar dilemma since I need it to help me keep track of when my bills are due and it has a section at the bottom that I use to write my grocery list and add to it as I notice things that we need. I really like having my calendar posted and actually seeing when I have a bill coming up and how much they are on a regular basis so I don’t forget. I used to just use the calendar on my phone but I didn’t see it regularly like this so I really prefer this a lot better! It is helping a lot with my staying organized plan.

Now that I found some things to use on my fridge I went to work on arranging what I had. Of course I put a couple of other pictures in the frames along with the one I already had on the fridge to begin with. After I figured out how I wanted my frames and calendar arranged by hanging them with the magnet hangers I had, I decided I wanted some color so I whipped out some more alphabet letters. Here is the end result-

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I feel like my fridge is much more visually pleasing now to say the least! I hope I have inspired some of you to do some revamping of some of your cluttered spaces! If you decide to use this idea of using picture frames I found that it works better to take the glass out so it is lighter. Or you can get some cheaper and lighter frames that work well from the Dollar Store! The magnet hangers I got at Wal-Mart so they are also easy to find. This was such a cheap and easy way to redo my refrigerator and the look of my kitchen and I am so glad that I did! Here are the before and after pics again!

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I hope you enjoyed my redo idea! Thanks for reading!

~Amy Lou

St. Patty’s Day SHAMROCK SHARE!

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Happy St. Patrick’s day everyone! I hope you all remember to wear your green to prevent yourself from coming home covered in bruises! ๐Ÿ˜‰ I’ve been very busy lately so I haven’t prepared anything of my own to share for St. Patrick’s day BUT I want to share some other great things that I have found! I’ve been perusing online for the best of the best and here is what I have found! I put it all together into one post for you for this SHAMROCK SHARE! ย I hope you enjoy!

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Isn’t this the cutest and most festive snack mix you have ever seen?! I just LOVE it! I found this at Julie’s Eats and Treats! Just go here to learn how to make it yourself!

I also found this adorable rainbow cloud cake at Julie’s Eats and Treats as well! Her stuff is all so cute! Here is also the link to learn how easy this cake is to make!

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Next, are some super cute pot of gold cookies from What’s Cooking, Love? Wouldn’t these cookies go great with the rainbow cake?! I can just see them at the end of the rainbow as the pot of gold! (At least that’s what I would do with these two darling desserts!)

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And here is the link to check out how to make these awesome cookies!ย 

Now I have another that lists a whole slew of great St. Patrick’s day desserts from The Little Red Window! Check it out here!

There are SO many cute ones all together here it would be hard to choose! Good luck! ๐Ÿ™‚

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Alright, I think that is enough sweets for one day! If you have kids, holidays like these can be SO MUCH fun! So here are a couple of fun things to do with kids!

This first one has a whole list of activities but I especially wanted to share this shamrock hat made from a paper plate!

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Find this whole list here!

Now, after the kids have made their shamrock hats to wear you can send them on their way for a “pot of gold” treasure hunt! Check out some scavenger hunt ideas over at Mess For Less! Here is their link!

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I thought the “treasure hunt” idea was a great one for St. Patty’s day! I will definitely be using this idea when my daughter gets older! Seems like so much fun! After all of that running around searching and a ton of sweets I’m sure the kids will be be thirsty and ready for a drink! And you might be ready for a “drink” too! ๐Ÿ˜‰ So here are a few drink options for all of you! Found over at The Weary Chef! Check out all of these festive drinks here!

They’ve got it all! Cocktails, smoothies, milkshakes, and more! You are sure to find something you love!

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WHEW! So many great things you can do and eat on holidays like these! I hope you all found something that you like also and decide to give it a whirl! If you try any of these ideas let me know how they go for you! I would love to hear about it! The good, the bad, and even the ugly! (I’ll bet everyone’s turns out great though!) Well, that’s all for now and I hope you all have a lucky day on St. Patty’s Day!

~Amy Lou

Tuttie Fruitie Mania, Money Follow up!

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Now that I posted my recipe for my tuttie fruitie smoothie and also how I prepare them to save myself time I would like to explain the money saving aspect to this article! Here is an itemized list of what these items typically cost:

Large bag of frozen fruit- $8.77

Small bag of berries- $3.88

2nd small bag of berries- $2.96

Frozen chopped spinach- $1.48 x 2

Bunch of bananas (about 6)- $1.47

Kiwis (also 6)- $2.10

All of these items together equals $22.14

Now if I take that total of $22.14 that would be spent on the fruit and divide it by 30 since that is how many individual baggies we got out of it, it comes to approximately .73 cents per baggie! But then we also need to take into account the juice and yogurt that also goes into each smoothie. You can typically get a 64 ounce container of juice for about $2.00 and the yoplait yogurt is .55 cents each. I use about 4 ounces of juice per smoothie so if I divide the cost of the juice per smoothie it comes to about .12 cents worth of juice in each smoothie! All together we have –

.73 cents for our baggie of fruit,

.55 cents for our yogurt,

and .12 cents for our juice,

which comes to $1.40 per smoothie!

If you go buy a smoothie through the drive-thru somewhere you will pay around $4 a piece! Imagine if you wanted to have a fruit smoothie every day! At THAT price it would cost you $120 by the end of the month! But if you make your own you are looking at only $42 a month!ย That’s a HUGE savings! AND you know exactly what has been added to your smoothie! That’s an extra bonus!

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Now I also want to point out that if you would like to save even more and get the price of these smoothies even LOWER you can utilize coupons, store sales, and off brand products as opposed to more expensive name brands!

You may have noticed the difference between the two bags of berries listed above? One was name brand and the other was off-brand. (I chose to skimp on the savings that time in order to compare what is included in each respectively so I would know next time which is worth it. I will definitely get the one that did not have strawberries since I had plenty of those in the big bag.) Also you can get the off-brand of yogurt instead of yoplait and save some there, etc. I actually caught some great deals on some of the items that I bought this time that will make mine even cheaper than the amounts listed above! I got my bananas on sale so they were .29 cents a pound instead of .49 cents a pound. I got 3 pounds so I got them for .87 cents instead of $1.47! I also caught a sale on my yogurt this week so yoplait yogurt is .39 cents a piece instead of .55 cents a piece! And then I used a coupon from coupons.com that I printed that was an additional .40 cents off of 6! So as you can see there are MANY ways to save money and get things much cheaper than we would normally pay! You just have to keep your eyes open to prices and minds open to new ideas! Good luck if you decide to prepare your own smoothies! And let me know if you do, if you find any other great deals to save more, or how you change up your smoothie flavors! I would love to know!

~Amy Lou

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Tuttie Fruitie Smoothie Mania!

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This post has been moved to a new domain! Just click here to view it at it’s new home @ย Adventures of Amy Lou! Thanks for stopping by! We would love it if you left us a comment on the new blog and said hello! ๐Ÿ™‚

~Amy Lou

 

Home Entry-way Organization!

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Do you have too much clutter as soon as you enter your house? The kids (and hubby?) just drop everything when they walk in the door? Well I know I used to! Up until I added some organization at my entry-way to ensure that everything in our hands when we walk in has it’s place right where we need it! At the front door! I know this isn’t a new idea but I know some people do like fresh ideas for accomplishing this! I know I did! So to get started I thought about the things that we usually have in our hands when we walk in that need a place instead of getting set down just anywhere and making a mess or getting lost. Keys. Purse. Wallet. Mail. Jackets. Scarves. Umbrella. Okay I’ve got my check list, now to find some ways to organize these! I had these small cube shelves already so I gave them a paint job to clean them up and make them POP with color! (Can you tell I like bright colors in my home? The color palette in my living room is black, white, grey, and accents of lime green!) We use these cubes for keys usually. We both put our keys in one of them when we come in and this way we always know exactly where they are when we go back out! No searching, and out of reach of the little one who loves to hide things like this! ๐Ÿ˜‰ My boyfriend will put his wallet in one of these cubes frequently also. (He wasn’t home when I took the pic so only mine are pictured.)

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I also found this great 3 slot wall hanging organizer on clearance at Target! It was perfect for my mail organizer! This way mail can be dropped in and sorted later. I also have a few other things in it. I keep blank envelopes and a blank notepad in the front pocket. Then we have invoice sheets my boyfriend uses for work on a weekly basis so this keeps them handy for him. And then in the back I have my organization binder that I use for bills! (More on that in a minute.)

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I also added a coat hook that I got at Wal-Mart (I believe…). So it is really great for hanging my purse right by the door for easy access when I’m leaving. Also jackets, coats, and scarves can be taken off and not thrown on the couch or over a chair, cluttering up the house! And I keep an umbrella hanging here for easy access as well! I have had all of this organized this way for about a year and I LOVE it! It really does make things much easier when coming and going! I don’t know about any of you but I always had a problem with putting my keys in a different place every time and never knowing where they were when I needed to leave! (Which MIGHT have resulted in being late a time or two….) BUT I don’t have that problem anymore! ๐Ÿ˜€

Now, I mentioned earlier about my bills organization binder. I’ve been using it over a year or so now too and it has helped me a great deal with remembering when bills are due and always knowing where my current bill is!

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When bills come in the mail they get placed in the holder by the door and then when I get a chance I file them into my binder. In this binder it has sleeves that you can slide papers into and then in front of each sleeve is a pocket. I found it at Wal-Mart also. It is very handy because I typically put the bill into the sleeve in front of the last bill and I put the envelope they send for mailing payment, into the pocket in front of the bill. It looks like this on the inside- (Don’t worry I blurred out my private info!)

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Each bill has it’s own sleeve it goes into along with the other past bills. So there is a sleeve for mortgage, internet, electric, water, etc. I have them in order of when they are due. So mortgage due on the 1st is on the first page, and the bills due at the end of the month are at the back, etc. I had an extra pocket on the back of one of the sleeves that I keep a couple of extra things in. I have stamps, self addressed label stickers, and an old voided check. Of course the first two items make it easy for me to prepare any bills I need to mail. I typically call in most of my bills with my debit card though. BUT I have the voided check in there also just in case I need to pay a bill over the phone and it happens to be a super nasty, rainy day, (or I’m just feeling lazy) and I don’t want to walk out to the car to get my wallet with my debit card in it. I typically always bring it in but occasionally when my arms are full I don’t bother… and that always seems to be the day that I need it inside for something! So having that voided check to use the routing and account number has saved me trouble multiple times!

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So there you have it! This is just one of the ways that I have organized a few things in my home to save some sanity! I hope some of my methods will help out some of you also! Next I will show you the calendar I use to also help me remember when bills are due as well as other things to remember! So until next time, good luck with your own organization projects!

~Amy Lou