SWH4T$: Garden Design

Have you ever had a landscaper out to your home to get an estimate? Have you ever talked to one over the phone about the process of hiring them to install your garden?

I was absolutely shocked with the cost, first and foremost...and the fact that most landscaping companies will charge you $400 just to design a layout for the garden!

Astonishing!

Unless....


A landscaping company brings out a can of spray paint and draws on your lawn!

I honestly think it's the best idea ever...my husband wasn't super happy about it, but honestly...it's so temporary. After two cuts, it's goners.

It was so genius to me...I took a picture afterward and labelled the type of plants that I want for the garden so I can take this picture to garden centres and try to get the best price possible.

*note: Holly will be going in where it says Boxwoods...

Spray paint...saved us $400!

SWH4T$: Couponing with Shizz!



I've kinda laid off the couponing for a while, as I was trying to just use my stockpile while we were having some money issues and really tamping down our spending in all areas of life.  However, we are starting to run low on a few things, so I needed to make a trip, and fortunately last week CVS was having some great deals!

I set up my shopping so that I went in 2 trips: the first was to earn as many ExtraBucks as I could, so that I could use them to pay for my second trip.  Also, at each visit I used a reusable shopping bag and scanned my GreenBag Tag so that I got credit towards my $1 ExtraBuck that I get with every 4th visit where I use a bag :)

Trip #1

Suave Professionals Sleek Shampoo & Conditioner (with a bonus trial size shampoo attached!)
Suave Professionals Dry Shampoo (for the beach this summer)
Suave Moisturizing Body Lotion x 2
Coppertone Water Babies SPF 50 Spray

Total before coupons & store sales: $25.70
Total of coupons: $6
Total AFTER: $15.93
Savings Of: $9.77
ExtraBucks Earned: $7

Trip #2

Cottonelle Fresh Care Wipes Refill x 2
Secret Invisible Solid Deodorant
Palmolive Green Apple 10 oz Dish Soap x 2

Total before coupons & store sales: $17.61
Total of coupons: $3.75
Total of ExtraBucks redeemed: $7
Total AFTER: $0.55
Savings Of: $17.06

So basically, if you think about it, I got both of those shopping trips for $16.48.  Not bad at all right?

Photobucket

SWH4T$: Sweet Popcorn Treats

Hello hello!! It's Thursday and that means it's time for SWH4T$! Want the bloghop part of the post back? Let us know!


A fun and easy treat for you this week on SWH4T$!! I whipped this Bunny Bait up for Easter, and my husband just about went gaga over it!

Ingredients
2 bags of popped unbuttered popcorn
1 bag of white chocolate chips
1 cup of M&M's
1 cup of chopped nuts (I used slivered almonds)
multicoloured sprinkles



How To

Pop your popcorn...pretty easy but make sure that it doesn't burn like it so often does.Put in a large bowl with the M&M's and nuts.

Melt the chocolate in the microwave in 30second intervals, ensuring that it doesn't burn either.

Pour the chocolate over the popcorn, M&M's and nuts. Stir to coat.

Dump the contents onto cookie sheets and spread out the mixture. Top with additional chocolate if needed, and sprinkle with multicoloured sprinkles.

When cooled and chocolate has hardened, break up into large pieces.



Variations

Oreo - semi sweet chocolate drizzle, chopped Oreo's, and chocolate sprinkles

Rainbow - white chocolate drizzle, Skittles, multicoloured sprinkles

Mint Chip - mint chocolate chip drizzle, chopped chocolate chip cookies, chocolate sprinkles

Triple Chocolate - white chocolate drizzle, chopped dark chocolate, milk chocolate almonds


Enjoy!

SWH4T$: Rainbow Rice

Rainbow Rice
by: Shizz



I'm sure you've all seen this floating around Pinterest, Rainbow Rice to put in a sensory bin for toddlers to play with. I've been wanting to make this for a while, and Monday was the perfect day since the weather here was 85 degrees and sunny (yup, its still April).



I used this recipe as my guideline :)



I tried to break down the cost by cup of rice, but it wasn't really working, so here is what I paid for everything today (I have leftovers).



1 10 lb bag of white rice: $5.49 (I only used about 1/3 of the bag, I made 12 cups of rice total)

bottle of rubbing alcohol: $1.09

Ziploc bags (sandwich size): $1.00 for 15 (Dollar Store!)

Food coloring: $2.50 for 4 bottles

Plastic container for storage: $1.00 (Dollar Store!)



So that's less than $12 for a fun activity that I could probably make about 8-10 batches from that one bag of rice. Not bad at all!






Step 1: Gather your supplies:


Ingredients listed above,


Wax paper for drying


Disposable gloves (if you hate dye on your hands like I do)





Step 2:


Bag up your rice: 1 cup to a bag






Step 3: Add color


1 T rubbing alcohol + 10-12 drops food coloring


First batch I mixed them in these little bowls, 2nd batch I added


the alcohol and food coloring directly into the bag (much easier)



Step 4:


Squish Squish Squish the bag till all the rice is colored.


Make double sure that your bag is sealed.


Trust me on that one...






Step 5: Dry


Spread out on wax paper in the sun and let dry


I think it took about 30 minutes to dry






Step 6:


PLAY! Dump into a bin, sand/water table, cookie sheet, large bowl,


basically any large container. Add a few utensils, cups or spoons,


and let your toddler go to town!






Jack loved it :) He played with it for about an hour :)


I was worried about the dye coming off on his hands, and I'm


happy to report that there was not one speck of dye on his hands :)

SWH4T$: Spice Rubs

Welcome back to SWH4T$!

Shizz and I have been chatting recently, and while we love sharing our time management and money saving tips and tricks, we're thinking of changing the format slightly.

We're still going to share our tips and tricks, crafty DIY's and recipes, but we're going to do away with the linky tool at the end. Sadly, it doesn't seem that many are hopping along with us, though many of you are enjoying our posts and we're enjoying sharing them with you all.

Want the blog-hop back? Let us know, and link up with us!




DIY Spice Rubs



My Hubster's birthday was a week ago, and I was wracking my brain as to what to get for him. He's one of those guy-who-has-everything type guys.

Then it dawned on me.

He's also the guy-who-loves-to-bbq guy!!

So...I created six spice rubs and packaged them in spice jars from the dollarstore.



What you'll need:
  • spices (garlic,oregano,onion, lemon pepper, pepper, coarse salt, cayenne pepper, paprika, Hungarian paprika, cocoa powder, finely ground coffee, onion flakes)
  • jars from the dollarstore
  • tags or labels

Using these recipes (which you can download for free!), I created six different spice rubs

Pick-Me-Up is a cocoa and coffee steak rub

Greek Me is a lemon-pepper based rub inspired from our honeymoon in Greece

Spicy Mama Szem is a spicy Hungarian paprika rub

Hot Tamale is just that...hot hot hot!

Wild Onion is sort of salty, be absolutely delicious and full of onion flakes

Mr. Mustard is a medium spiced mustard based rub

Hubs was REALLY impressed and they literally took maybe 20 minutes to put them all together!

Enjoy!

SWH4T$: Disney Movie Club

Another Thursday, another week of awesome money & time saving tips!



Blog Hop Rules

1) Follow your hostesses, Baby Shmizz and Sweet Stella's, via GFC or BlogLovin'

2) Post our button on your blog for others to follow along

3) Link up a post that helps you save time, money, frustration...your sanity!



Have fun linking up and reading other mama tips!





SWH4T







 
  
Disney Movie Club

I've gotten these flyers in the mail for quite a while now, for the Disney Movie Club.  I kinda blew them off at first, but since Jack has become obsessed with Disney Cars, we bought him the DVD and I realized how freaking expensive those things are!  I remember when I was little we had all the Disney VHS tapes and would watch them all the time.  I wanted the same for Jack, but I'm too cheap to pay $29.95 each for DVD/BluRay.



Enter the DMC.  I surveyed all my mommy friends, and my resident Disney expert, Cousin B.  All of them said that it was a good deal, so I signed up.

The details are that you pick out 5 DVDs or BluRays initially.  You can chose to pay $1.99 each for the first initial 5, or if you pay with your credit card, you get them for $1.00 TOTAL.  Then, you agree to purchase 4 DVDs/BluRays over the course of 2 years at the regular price of $19.95 for DVD and $29.95 for BluRay.

You're probably thinking, what is the big deal if you are going to pay full price for 4 movies?  Well, if you do the math...you're saving a whole lot of money!

We have a BluRay player, so we did the BluRay option (plus, most of those come with DVDs with bonus features, so that's even more bang for your buck).  

For our initial 5, we got Dumbo 70th Anniversary Edition, Toy Story w/ bonus DVD, A Bug's Life w/ bonus DVD, Up w/ bonus DVD and Cars 2 w/ bonus DVD.  We opted for the $1.00 option by giving our credit card.

So, since we will end up purchasing at least a total of 4 BluRays including our initial 5 (for a total of 9), we would have paid $269.55 retail price.  However...since we joined the DMC, we will pay only $119.80, a savings of $149.75!!!

PLUS, each DVD/BluRay comes with a Disney Movie Rewards code, which you can enter on their website and redeem the points for prizes like toys, DVDs, apparel, memorabilia and more!  Winnah Winnah!!!

I feel like Disney movies are timeless, and honestly, I would rather put on a movie that he may not be completely 100% interested in right now, as opposed to Dora or Diego which I feel like rots his brain.  And Disney is wholesome, classic, and brings a lot of good memories back for me, so I want to pass those on to my son :)



SWH4T$: DIY Cake Stands

Happy Thursday everyone! Since I know that you're all probably planning out Easter dinner and brunch menu's, I wanted to blog a little DIY project today that you can do super quick and easy to make your dessert table pop...without breaking the bank!

Blog Hop Rules

1) Follow your hostesses, Baby Shmizz and Sweet Stella's, via GFC or BlogLovin'

2) Post our button on your blog for others to follow along

3) Link up a post that helps you save time, money, frustration...your sanity!

Have fun linking up and reading other mama tips!


SWH4T


DIY Cake Stands

Planning an Easter dinner or brunch? Have a bevvy of desserts to display? This thrifty little DIY will have your table looking fabulous in no time flat, and with little money spent!

Supplies:
White plastic plates or trays from the dollar store
Glass candle sticks or tumblers from the dollar store


How-to:

Flip over your plate or tray.

Using a permanent adhesive {I used Epoxy because I had it on hand, but I'm sure that you could use hot glue. Just be warned that hot glue won't give you as permanent or strong a bond between the plate and candle stick or tumbler}, smear about a 2" circle on the bottom side of your plate or tray.


If you're using epoxy, make sure that your room is well ventilated and that you're doing it away from children. Heavily toxic and you don't want it getting on your skin either!

Place the candle stick or tumbler on the adhesive. Since I was using tumblers, I put them end to end...flat surfaces will give you the strongest bond and the most stability in your cake stand.

Place a hardcover book or two on the tumbler. The weight will help the bond become good and strong.


Leave the stand to dry for 24 hours.

After it's dry, place cookies, sweets, treats, cakes...whatever you'd like on display for your guests! you could even tie seasonal ribbon around the base to make it more festive!



Link up your thrifty frugal crafty time and money saving ideas today!






SWH4T$: If it's Free, it's for Me!

Welcome back to SWH4T$ - a blog hop for money {and time} saving mama bloggers!




We just have three very simple guidelines!



1.) Follow your hostesses at Baby Shmizz and Sweet Stella's via GFC


2.) Link up a specific post that relates to money and time, your job, your business, couponing, anything that shows how you "work hard for your money".



3.) Post our button on your post




Have fun linking and finding new blogs to read!







SWH4T

If it's Free, it's for Me!


Since funds are tight at the Shmizz household, we've been tapping into a lot of free local resources for things to do on the weekend with Jack. It's amazing what you can find for free in your neighborhood if you just look around a little harder :)



Library




Our library haul from last week

This might seem like a no-brainer to some, but for us, it was something new. We started bringing Jack to the library every weekend to get some new books, videos to watch, CDs to listen to. What's nice about the library is that you can have a constantly revolving collection of books at your house, so he never gets bored. Or, for that matter, when you are sick of reading Tip Tip, Dig Dig for the 4,568,752nd time, you can just bring it back and get something different :) Most libraries will also have a free story-time or sing-a-long that you can join in on, which is great for socializing and toddler stimulation.



Playgrounds




At the playground last weekend with Auntie Kellie

Moms of toddler boys know that burning energy is essential to having a happy toddler. Sure, girls can be like this too, but we all know that boys are a little crazy at times and need to let loose. Now that the weather is starting to get warmer, we are constantly looking for nice playgrounds to check out. The best are ones that are fenced in, and have smaller structures that are good for smaller toddlers. Not sure where the playgrounds are in your area? Check out this website to find them! They also have a mobile app for both iPhone and Android platforms, so if you get to a playground and the elementary school bullies are being mean to your child, or the place is over-run with nannies on their phones texting and not watching their charges, you can always move on to a new park...this may or may not be coming from personal experience...



Playdates

Is your kid getting sick of their toys? Instead of buying new ones, have a playdate and go over a little friend's house and play with their toys! Its a win-win situation for you, because you can hang out with the mom/dad and the kiddos can play and amuse themselves. Another bonus, if you have a playdate in the morning, kids get tired, take awesome naps and life is good for all :)



The Dollar Store

Ok, so this isn't exactly free, but its about as close as you can get these days. Toys, snacks, crafting supplies, you name it, they probably have it. I even got all the supplies for Jack's birthday party goodie bags for 10 kids for $60 (another post for another week!). Glow sticks in the bathtub, coloring books, balloons, shovel & pail, Matchbox cars, Playdough. Tell yourself that you are going to skip getting coffee at Dunkin/Starbucks that week and spend the $5 on your kid at the Dollar Store that weekend; kiddo will feel like they won the lottery when they walk out with 5 toys :)



What sort of free things do you do with your kids? Link up and share!




SWH4T$: Energy Bites

Welcome back to SWH4T$ - a blog hop for money {and time} saving mama bloggers!

We just have three very simple guidelines!

1.) Follow your hostesses at Baby Shmizz and Sweet Stella's via GFC

2.) Link up a specific post that relates to money and time, your job, your business, couponing, anything that shows how you "work hard for your money".


3.) Post our button on your post

Have fun linking and finding new blogs to read!

SWH4T


Energy Bites

I saw these a few weeks ago on Pinterest, and since I really love to make our own treats and ensure that we're eating wholesome goodies, decided to whip up my own version!

Ingredients:
  • 1 1/2 cup (dry) oatmeal (I used old-fashioned oats)
  • 1 cup chopped peanuts
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 tsp. vanilla

It couldn't be easier to make these energy bites! Literally put everything in a bowl, mix it really well, and then chill for 30 minutes. Roll into balls. I rolled these ones about 1", but definitely could have gone bigger given that my Hubs and kiddo were gobbling them up two or three at a time.

Then put into a plastic container with lid (rubbermaid...whatever), and use wax paper between the layers so that the bites don't stick together. Toss them in the fridge for about 30mins

Makes about 20-25, depending on size

Easy peasy, and the toddler LOVES them!

Do you have an easy, money saving tip to share this week?? Link up with us!






SWH4T$: Easy Toddler Breakfast

Happy Thursday, mamas!! Last week I discovered a recipe that will please even the finickiest of eaters...and I'm SO excited to share it with you today!

It's so easy to link up, here's how:

1.) Follow your hostesses at Baby Shmizz and Sweet Stella's via GFC

2.) Link up a specific post that relates to money and time, your job, your business, couponing, anything that shows how you "work hard for your money".


3.) Post our button on your post

Have fun linking and finding new blogs to read!



SWH4T


Easy Toddler Breakfast

Today's post isn't so much about saving money and time (though this is a super frugal and fast breakfast to make any day of the week) as it is about saving your sanity.

Like most other 20month olds, my son has become a veggie-free-zone. Put steamed or roasted veggies on his tray and he looks at you like you have three heads.

Put berries, carrots or bananas in pancakes, and he's your man! He'll gobble it up! Well...until recently when even that form of trickery stopped working.

Then I found this recipe on Pinterest...and man oh man!



What you need:
1/4 cup oatmeal (recipe calls for instant oats, but I used rolled oats)
1 egg
a small handful of whatever fruit you'd like to add in...or veggies! That'd work too! I used blackberries and raspberries

Mix everything together in a microwave safe coffee mug, then microwave on medium high for 1 minute. If it's not firm enough and the egg is still runny, put it back in for 30 seconds.

Chop into big chunks and serve warm!

Saving time, money and your sanity...one toddler breakfast at a time!


Link up with us!






SWH4T$: Cabinet Re-Organization

It's Thursday again! One more day till TGIF time :)



It's so easy to link up, here's how:



1.) Follow your hostesses at Baby Shmizz and Sweet Stella's via GFC


2.) Link up a specific post that relates to money and time, your job, your business, couponing, anything that shows how you "work hard for your money".



3.) Post our button on your post




Have fun linking and finding new blogs to read!













SWH4T

Cabinet Re-organization

I've been on this organization kick lately, especially with all of my cabinets in my house. I've just gotten sick of how messy they get, so I've been putting things in bins, labeling, purging - and its been awesome! My latest project was one of the larger cabinets in my kitchen, which houses a lot of infrequently used items, and tends to just get things thrown in there without any thought.

This is the before picture, not too nice huh?



I started off by taking everything out and throwing out what we didn't need or didn't use (ice cube trays from our baby food making days, a spoon rest that we don't use, a votive candle holder that was half-broken). Then, I took all the shelves out and wiped them down, and applied a new layer of Contac Paper.



Next, I put everything that was being saved back into the cabinet, and organized it so it made sense. I moved out our wooden formal flatware box and displayed it on the china hutch in our dining room, which freed up a lot of space on one shelf. Aprons and bottle coolers went into medium-sized bins. Small baking molds, grill accessories and paper/plasticware went into other smaller bins. It's a deep cabinet, but I made sure not to shove things too far back, because otherwise you can't see them, and you'll be less likely to use them.



After everything was in the cabinet, I made a list of what was on each shelf. I used Microsoft Word to print out the list of items, cut out each shelf list and then glued it onto a pretty piece of scrapbook paper and taped it to the inside of the cabinet as a map of sorts.



Then, I printed out some labels to put on the bins. I got the labels from here. I didn't have sticky label sheets to print them on, so I was cheap and used what I had: regular white printer paper and clear packing tape :) Worked just fine.



The final product:



Big improvement huh? I hope that I've made everything easy to find and easy to put away, with the intention that the cabinet will stay that way.

This whole project cost me about $15:
2 medium wire bins from Target: $5
2 medium plastic bins from Walmart: $2.38
3 small skinny plastic bins from Walmart: $2.38
Roll of Contac paper: $5.89

Got any organizational projects you've done recently? Link up!






SWH4T$: Love {in a} Jar

Happy Thursday everyone, and welcome back to She Works Hard for the Money - a bloghop for hard working mamas to share their time and money saving tips!

The rules are super simple!

1) Follow your hostesses, Baby Shmizz and Sweet Stella's, via GFC

2) Link up a specific post that relates to money and time, your job, your business, couponing, anything that shows how you "work hard for your money".


3.) Post our button on your post

Have fun linking up and finding her blogs to read!


SWH4T

Love {in a} Jar

So...my husband decided to be super romantic this Valentine's Day and booked us a night at a local hotel, a romantic dinner, and even got a baby sitter for our son. I was shocked...pleasantly surprised...but absolutely shocked!

And I had squat to give him!

I started thinking and came up with this cute idea, which would be perfect for anniversaries as well!

Materials:



1 jar (I used a large jam jar)
3 pieces of paper
10 pieces of his favourite candy (Rockets for my Hubster)

Soak your jar a sink of hot water. This will make scrapping the label off a sinch!

While your jar is soaking, cut your paper into strips. They don't have to be perfect by any means. I did 5 notes for every year that we've been married, and 5 extras.

Set aside 5 strips of paper

Write out love notes on the remaining strips of paper. Reasons you love him...are proud of him...proud to be his other-half...proud of him as a father Really anything that you love about him.



On the 5 you set aside, write out activities to do together. Thing like...slow dancing...taking a walk together...whatever you'd like! Wrap them around his favourite candy



Scrape the label off the jar, and dry it thoroughly...you don't want those papers getting wet!

Once the jar is dry, stuff it with the notes, activities and extra candies!





Sweet and corny, but super thoughtful!

Link up your crafty, thrifty and frugal ideas with us!






SWH4T$: Bathroom Refinishing

It's Thursday again folks, which means more great tips! What do you have to share this week?



1.) Follow your hostesses at Baby Shmizz and Sweet Stella's via GFC


2.) Link up a specific post that relates to money and time, your job, your business, couponing, anything that shows how you "work hard for your money".



3.) Post our button on your post




Have fun linking and finding new blogs to read!









SWH4T








Bathtub Refinishing

Our house was built in 1925, and a few additions and renovations done in the 1980s, you know, when almond-colored fixtures were super cool. Sounds pretty, right?



So in 2009, we had the bathroom renovated. We re-tiled the shower, bumped up the shower ceiling, adjusted the height of the showerhead to accomodate for 6'4" Mizzle, re-tiled the floor, removed some old nasty shelving, new toilet, new vanity and new medicine cabinet.



We were going to replace the bathtub, but it would have cost a fortune, and there wasn't anything structurally wrong with our tub. So, we opted to refinish it ourselves, with a kit similar to this that we found at Home Depot:



I'm not sure that this was the brand that we used, so don't think
I'm slamming this company, I'm not. It's a good idea, just didn't work for us.


The contractors did it for us the first time, and then we did it the 2nd time. And the 3rd time. Yes, we had to refinish the tub 3 times. And each time, it only lasted a few months before peeling off. And the fumes were so strong, that we couldn't stay in the house while it was drying. Which took 3 days. Yes, 3 days. I think this would be great for a tub that isn't used very much, but when you have 2 adults showering daily and then a toddler taking a bath, its just not going to work.





So the last time we did it, was August 2011. And then, around Christmas, this is what we ended up with:











See the new finish peeling up and revealing that splendid almond finish? HAWT, right?





So at the end of January, Mizzle and I went to a Home Show in Boston, in hopes that we would find a cheap way to get what we really wanted: a gleaming white bathtub. One of the companies that was there was a professional refinishing company. They use a special industrial epoxy that is specifically designed for bathtubs. The only other option we found was a BathFitter thing, where they slip a custom liner over your tub. That would have cost at least $2000. Not what we wanted to spend. The refinishing guys? $300. And, since we booked our appointment at the Home Show, we got a discount, and they also threw in non-slip treads for free! So what would have normally cost us $410, we got for $300. But, the best part was that they guaruantee their work for 2 years. If there are any problems, we just call them, and they come back and fix it. For free. We spent a total of $150 on the kids from Home Depot, so this refinishing option is a little more expensive than the DIY kit, but, the combined price of the 2 of them is still less than BathFitter, and I love the 2 year gaurantee.














Amazing, right? They started at 10:30, and we were able to use the shower 24 hours later! And, the fumes were soooo much less than the DIY kit. We could actually all sleep in the house that night and not have to worry.





If you are looking for an economical way to refinish an old tub, I would highly recommend this option! If you would like more info on the company that we used, shoot me an email and I will fill you in!





What sort of thrifty home renovations have you done?
















SWH4T$: Time Saver Pancakes

Happy Thursday everyone, and welcome back to She Works Hard For the Money - a bloghop for hard working mamas who do everything they can to save time and money!

The rules are simple...

1.) Follow your hostesses at Baby Shmizz and Sweet Stella's via GFC

2.) Link up a specific post that relates to money and time, your job, your business, couponing, anything that shows how you "work hard for your money".

3.) Post our button on your post


Have fun linking and finding new blogs to read!





Time Saver Pancakes

I find myself in a bit of a rut sometimes. Between my crafty, artsy business...another new business that I'll be launching with a great Mama friend of mine...my Husband having his own business...plus our son's activities...I'm stretched pretty thin.

Because of that, I try to plan at least one meal ahead of time to save myself time, frustration and allow myself to enjoy a meal with my son throughout the day. Breakfast seems to be the easiest, and I've developed a recipe for success!

I make one or two full batches of pancakes at the beginning of a week, and whatever we don't eat that day goes into a Ziploc and into the freezer. Then, I can pull out pancakes as needed, pop them into the toaster and know that my son is getting a super wholesome breakfast.

Here are two varieties, that just so happen to help with fussy eaters who don't get alot of fruits or veggies.

Pancakes...two ways


Whole Wheat Oatmeal Mixed Berry


Whole Wheat Oatmeal Asparagus (yes..you read that right!)

Preheat griddle or frying pan while you mix the batter

1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup rolled oats
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 cup milk
1 beaten egg
2 tbsp oil (I used canola, but you can use whatever you'd like. I would not recommend EVOO as it has a distinct flavour that will alter the pancakes)

Mix all ingredients together

For Berry Pancakes, mix in 1 cup of mixed berries. I used frozen berries that I had on hand, which I thawed in the fridge overnight.

For Asparagus pancakes, finely chop approximately 6 spears, and add that to the batter.

Each full recipe will make approximately 8-10 pancakes.

Once cool, put in a Ziploc and pop them in the freezer!

Enjoy!

Have a time saver recipe, coupon, trick or tip? Link up with us today!





SWH4T$: Ikea

Welcome back Ladies! It's been an awesome year for SWH4T$ so far: we've organized our coupons, repurposed jars to make super cute home decor, and now let's decorate our houses some more!

See how you can link up your own projects! Only 3 simple steps:

1.) Follow your hostesses at Baby Shmizz and Sweet Stella's via GFC
2.) Link up a specific post that relates to money and time, your job, your business, couponing, anything that shows how you "work hard for your money".
3.) Post our button on your post

Have fun linking and finding new blogs to read!





SWH4T

IKEA

Ikea. The Motherload of cute and functional stuff for cheap. Mizzle and I are HUGE fans of Ikea, our entire dining room set is Ikea, our endtables are Ikea, our dishes and several pots are Ikea, and Jack's playfood is from Ikea.

For 9 years now (ever since we moved in together) our dining room set was a hand-me-down from my parents: a teak table with 6 chairs that my parents swiped from the Student Union at University of Arizona when they were redoing the building (my dad went there for undergrad). The chairs are likely mid-century, and they are in surprisingly good shape for surviving thousands of college kids, me and my sisters, and then finally Mizzle & Jack (not to mention numerous drunken house parties in the pre-Jack days...).

We loved the table and I loved the chairs (they squeak, Mizzle hates it. I think it gives them character). Our dining room is small, and we needed a smaller table so that things were not as crowded, now that we have a toddler table and Jack's play kitchen in the dining room.

I wanted a round table that was better for traffic flow, Mizzle wanted a table that would comfortably sit at least 6 people when extended.

This was what we got:
Bjursta Dining Table with extendable leaf, seats 4-6
$229

Not bad huh? It's super sturdy, wipes easily, and is about a third of the price of what you would pay at a furniture store. Now, this isn't an heirloom we are going to pass on to our children, but it will last us for quite a while. Let's put it this way: the Ikea furniture that we already have is already at least 5-7 years old, and has held up amazingly!

Now what about chairs? While shopping for tables I realized that chairs can often cost more than the table itself! Seriously! We wanted 4 chairs, and then if we had extra people we would use folding chairs. I used to buy household furnishings with the maximum number of guests in mind, but now having a kid, I buy what we need for NOW. The rest can be figured out later.

I really liked these chairs:
Ingolf Chair
$59.99

Cute right? But, if we got 4 chairs, that would be $240. Not exactly what I wanted to spend on chairs. Granted, we were on a budget, and if we weren't, I would have totally got these. However, we were on a budget, and trying to walk out the door under $350 for the table & chairs.

So this is what we got:
Ivar Chair
$19.99
I know what you're thinking: they don't match. Well you're right. BUT, not for long! We went to Lowe's and got some stain to match the table. 3 coats of stain and 1 coat of polyurethane/stain combo later, we have a matching set! Pretty sweet for $308.96!

We are still sanding and buffing them down, so I don't have a finished picture for you, so I guess you'll just have to stop by Baby Shmizz next week to see the finished product! :)

Just goes to show that with a little shopping around and some elbow grease, you can have a fancy looking dining set for 1/3rd the price! Not to mention that in the cafeteria that day, kids ate FREE! Bonus!

If you are looking for where your nearest Ikea is so you can run there like a madwoman, check HERE.

How have you decorated your house for less? Share with us!


Money Saving Mamas!





SWH4T$: Repurposed Jars

Welcome back, crafty, thrifty mamas!! We're so happy to have you back for She Works Hard for the Money!

Before we get hopping, we've got some rules...

1.) Follow your hostesses at Baby Shmizz and Sweet Stella's via GFC

2.) Link up a specific post that relates to money and time, your job, your business, couponing, anything that shows how you "work hard for your money".

3.) Post our button on your post


Have fun linking and finding new blogs to read!




Repurposed Jars

Before the holidays hit, I was looking for some simple crafty projects to take my mind off of a super stressful time (packing to move...selling our home...going on vacation...coming home...moving).

Have some empty salsa jars lying around the house? Maybe some funky patterned paper? Podge?

Well that's all you need for this project!!





Choose your paper...I chose some grey and blue tones so that it will fit nicely into my new studio once we move

Wrap it around your jar, and make a mark where the paper meets

Cut out the pattern that you desire. I cut around the flowers and vines, but there are really no rules to this project!

Smear adhesive to the jar, and attach paper. Seal the paper with more adhesive



For me, they make perfectly pretty water jars (and drying jars) for my paint brushes but they would also be great with some inexpensive flowers for a hostess gift (I'd tie ribbon round the top to finish it off), some stones and fallen branches for some bathroom or kitchen decor



Happy repurposing!






SWH4T$: Coupon Organization

Time again to link up! I'm starting the year off right by trying to save money, let me show you how!



1.) Follow your hostesses at Baby Shmizz and Sweet Stella's via GFC



2.) Link up a specific post that relates to money and time, your job, your business, couponing, anything that shows how you "work hard for your money".



3.) Post our button on your post




Have fun linking and finding new blogs to read!





















This post is a double whammy: I'm going to gush about couponing and organization all at the same time! YIPPEE!!!!!!!

Are you as excited as I am? Probably not, but I'm a dork like that :)



My sister Kellie is big into couponing too, and she has always been an organizational freak. She made herself a coupon binder, and then made me one for Christmas. I used to use an accordion file, which worked, but it was a pain in the arse to sift through all the coupons. Now, with my binder, they are all organized in clear baseball-card holders and I can see them all at first glance. This makes it so easy to see the expiration dates, purge what I don't need, and organize better by category.



Here is a tour of my new BFF, my coupon binder :)






My binder is a 1 inch 3-ring binder, and it has 8 tabs:


Household Items, Hair & Body/Meds, Baby, Grocery Items, Dairy/Refridgerated, Frozen Foods, Pet Supplies and Other (this is where I put my Target coupons, and other store-specific coupons.







Each divider page has a folder on it. I use these folders to hold my store flyers, along with a list of what I need, and the coupons I've pulled according to matchups with deals in the flyers. Then, when I get to the store, I have my list with my coupons, and the flyer if I need to refer to it, all in one place.







The inside front cover folder holds a small pad to write my list on, and coupons that I have yet to file. I also keep a pen clipped to the binder rings, and my CVS Green Bag Tag is hooked around one of the rings.







And, the piece de resistance, the coupon pages! Kellie put in a bunch of those clear baseball card holders, that are the perfect size for most coupons. If the coupon is a little big, I just fold it so I can see a bit of the product so I know what its for, but most importantly so the expiration date shows. I don't have them organized yet from first expiring to last expiring because I haven't figured out a way to do that without moving every coupon around when something expires so I don't have an empty space. However, with them organized like this, its very easy to scan for dates. I keep duplicates grouped together also.





So there you have it! That's my new way of organizing my coupons, and I'm so happy that Kellie made this for me, because its made my life a whole lot easier! A lot of people say they don't have time for couponing, but honestly, I spend maybe an hour a week total clipping, organizing and matching deals. I'll admit, in the beginning it took a lot longer, but once I found a system that worked for me, its gotten so much easier. I've heard many couponers say this before, but I really can't believe I didn't start this sooner. So far, its January 12th, and I've saved a total of $34! And I only coupon for things that we NEED and USE, so that's $34 that I would have spent anyway, but now thats $34 in my pocket :)





So, how do you organize your coupons? Any tips or tricks for us? Link up and share!





























SWH4T$: Free Books for All

A very happy 2012 to each and every one of you!! Shannon and I are thrilled to welcome you back to She Works Hard For The Money, with some format changes!

Shannon has some exciting couponing news for you all, and I'm stoked to offer up amazing crafty tutorials for home decor, hostess gifts and more!

Now for the rules!

1.) Follow your hostesses at Baby Shmizz and Sweet Stella's via GFC

2.) Link up a specific post that relates to money and time, your job, your business, couponing, anything that shows how you "work hard for your money".


3.) Post our button on your post

Have fun linking and finding new blogs to read!


Free Books for All

My lovely Husband got me a Kobo for Christmas, and it seriously has been the absolute best thing ever.


What's a Kobo? Well, it's the Canadian version of the Nook, available through Chapters and Indigo. Much like the Kindle and Nook counterparts, and even the Sony e-reader, the Nook downloads ebooks from the internet for easy reading. It has a few more functions than the other ereaders, but that's neither here nor there for this post.

What I love the most are the free ebooks. I didn't realize just how many free ebooks there are on the Kobo platform! I've already downloaded 32 books! Most are classics that I either haven't read at all, like Pride and Prejudice, and some are classics that I want to revisit, like The Last of the Mohicans, Cinderella and Beauty and the Beast.

I just finished....



And have started....



While I know that I will eventually run out of free books to read (I have 30 in queue....should last me a while!) I love that I can get some books for as low as $1.99 and that my Kobo will store 1000 books in total. Considering that I would be spending approximately $4.99 at minimum per book, plus the $9 at Starbucks when I stop at Chapters...and walk away with approximately 3 books for myself, as well as two for Owen...plus the gas to get to the bookstore...

You're looking at about $34 (+gas) just for one trip!

Or...you could plugin your Kobo and synch up over 100 free books! Most I bet are ones that are amazing and wonderful, but that you've never given the time of day.You can even get some new releases for about $8, which is approximately $4 off the cover price (and cost of gas!) per book!

Have you gotten any amazing gadgets over the holidays that will end up being huge money savers? Link up with us!!




SWH4T$: Holiday Decor

Welcome back to our Holiday Series with She Works Hard For The Money! We've head a great time baking, crafting up glittering play-dough and now we're moving onto some quick and easy holiday decor that will make your house smell fantastic!

Want to link up your own holiday ideas??

1.) Follow your hostesses at Baby Shmizz and Sweet Stella's via GFC

2.) Link up a specific post that relates to money and time, your job, your business, couponing, anything that shows how you "work hard for your money".


3.) Post our button on your post


Have fun linking and finding new blogs to read!


Coffee Bean Candle-pieces


Since we were in the process of selling our house, we had to keep our decoration very simple...but that didn't mean that it couldn't be chic!

This literally took me 5 minutes to make (including washing and drying a vase that I already had!) and zero dollars since I already had everything in the house.

What you'll need
  • vase or glass hurricane
  • candle
  • coffee beans

What to do

  • clean vase/glass container
  • dry it
  • pour in desired amount of coffee beans
  • place candle in centre of coffee beans
  • sink it down just a bit

Voila! Instant decor for your mantle, bathroom, kitchen, or even really great centrepieces for Christmas morning brunch!

What I love about them is the fresh smell of coffee every time I walk by. I have one in our master bath, one on our wine bar and two on our kitchen table. They've been there for about two weeks now, and they still smell like fresh coffee

.

For an added twist, use flavours coffee beans or a scented candle! As the coffee beans warm up, they give off a delicious aroma!

A time saver and a money saver! If you had to buy the supplies and start from scratch, here's my cost breakdown

Vase: $1 at dollarstore

Coffee beans: $4 for 1lb bag

Candle: 2 for $1 at dollarstore

Small vases: 2 for $1 at dollarstore


So, for a total of $7 you get 3 arrangements. Pretty awesome! And consider that you could take them as hostess gifts for any holiday parties that you're going to! Cost per gift $2.33! Fantastic!