Friday, September 30, 2011

Decorating on a Budget

Post by Sarah:

So I think it's a common goal of everyone's to buy everything at the lowest possible price.. and I'm here to share a few tips on coupon-ing for your home.

Every store has a e-mail news letter and every store would love to spam the crap out of you send you coupons and special deals.  So, if you have a handful of favorites this is one way to take advantage of special deals.  I also have a favorite coupon site that I check in on daily -

That's pretty much the extent of how I coupon.  I work a full-time job; and like most, only have so much time.  I heavily depend on the money saving mom blog to tell me what's up.  :)

 Here's a prime example of how I integrate coupon-ing into home decorating:

I received a $10 off when you spend $30 and a 15% everything from Kohls in the mail.  I wasn't too extremely excited for them, but I held onto them in-case.  
Note: I would recommend always hanging onto coupons no matter what.

Don't get me wrong.  These are good coupons, but I really didn't need to go spend $30 $20 dollars.  

But lo-and-behold.. the next week I got a $10 off anything at Kohls in the mail.  These are my favs!  I ran down to Kohls in an attempt to spend exactly $10 and walk away with something free.

Long story short - I got too excited and wanted too many things.  

All things I needed.. so it was ok.  I hit my $30 total with a new kitchen rug, some clearance bowls, and a kitchen towel.  My ending transaction amount was $8.16.  And of course good ol' Kohls let me know that I saved $59.39 through the use of all my coupons, clearance picks, and sale items. 


Here's my new rug!  Previously, I had nothing and it was killing my feet! 

And my new bowls-left (on clearance) versus my chipped old ones I wanted to replace-right.

And my happy kitchen - rug, bowls, towel and all.

And a quick side note:
Had I not found anything I wanted for myself at Kohls.. I still would've found a generic cute gift (for under $10 so that I could still get it for free) and saved it for Christmas. 

PS. It is definitely time to start saving/buying for Christmas.  Though I have no idea what most people will want.. if the price is right and I know it will be liked then I"ll grab it and save it.  

Hope this helps!  Please share your thoughts on decorating on a budget.  Or coupon sites you love to stalk!

<3 Sarah

Wednesday, September 28, 2011


Post by Marilee 

In an effort to clean up and add much need cabinetry.. we've been pretty busy in the garage.
But, I wanted to share a quick "Whoops!" story with you..

Steve was busy working away and he attempted to take down a countertop that was mounted to the ceiling and was carrying spare wood pieces on top.  BY HIMSELF!  And this was the result:

Several lucky things happened here.

One most lucky thing is that is not my car that this fell on!!!!!!!
This is his car - a 66' jeep.  I would like to believe that the jeep took the damage way way better then a new car, as I think they were built a lot sturdier back then.

I don't have a photo of all the wood that was on top of that piece of counter-top (it went everywhere!); nor, do I have a photo of the huge cut Steve got on his leg and ankle when a 6 ft piece of oak hit him.  HE WOULD NOT LET ME TAKE A PHOTO.

I was a good wife and didn't insist..  BUT I wanted too!


Monday, September 26, 2011

Somewhere over the Rainbow

Posted by Marilee

Recently, we had a summer rain here in Southern California...a rare occurrence!  I loved it!  I ran outside to stand at the edge of the patio and listen to that delightful pitter patter!

After dinner last night we heard it start up again and then we saw a double rainbow.  A few photos to share with you of the beautiful sky...Enjoy!!!

Has anyone else experienced some of mother nature's beauty lately?


Thursday, September 22, 2011

Newbie Gardener

Post by Marilee

Okay, I have lived in Southern California most of my life, with a small amount of time in Illinois as a child.

I decided to try my hand at a garden this year, not that living in So Cal is any excuse, let's just say I had never gotten around to planting one.  I really dont have the space for you is another excuse.  But this year, Steve built me a 4 x 8 frame and filled it up with potting soil and told to "go for it".  I thought this looked pretty cute and I added a few rocks and fun things, never realizing that what I planted could cause a few issues.

What I started with were 2 tomato plants, 2 jalepenos, 2 chili peppers, 1 bush bean plant, 6 lettuce plants, 2 strawberries, 1 watermelon, and 1 cucumber. 
The first issue is someone sent out a memo that "we had planted a feast in the yard" and within 24 hours one of the chili peppers completely disappeared, along with 3 lettuce plants. 
We talked to the local garden center and decided that since I have a 6 foot fence that I had a "rodent problem", we put out traps and caught a couple in the act.

That issue was taken care of. 

The next issue is the lettuce is pretty bitter and no one in the house will eat it, and we took out a couple of those as well.  Weeks have gone by now and the garden is growing nicely and we had our first jalepeno pepper last night (sorry no photos).  But in my naivety the cucumber and watermelon were spreading out of the planter and across the patio.

So yesterday I decided after looking online that I needed a trellis to support the cucumber and that I was going to build this myself with no help from I scouted the yard and found some wood, used the table saw and cut them into 5 ft stripes and laid them out on the floor and attempted to put them together.  The first thing I learned was that my nails were to short and pulled out, so then I used drywall screws after drilling a pilot hole.

Yep, my pilot holes are crooked, but I assured myself that this is for the garden and does not matter.  Did I mention that it was super humid while I did this?  After drilling the pilot holes, I put my frame together and it held, I was pleased.

Then I added pilot holes (6 per side) all the way around.  The screwed in the screws.  What I learned, is if the pilot hole is too deep for the screw, then the screw will go all the way down to the wood and I wanted the screw to stick up a little so that I could attach the string as shown below.  So I ended up redrilling and reinstalling the rest of the screws (just took longer) but I am still doing this alone.

Then I wrapped string all the way around (I did not make them even) as you can see after I had it all done in this picture.

I didnt believe that the string would hold up the cucumber as it started to sag.  Steve came home at this point and was proud of what I made and he promised he would not roll his eyes in front of me, but he suggested that I try wire, so down the frame came, I cut all the string off and started adding wire instead.  When it was all done, the frame went up again and now looks more like this.

The poor cucumber is looking a little ragged now, but I hope it works well in the meantime.  If the whole thing is a failure, I learned some things along the way.

This is the 2 tomato plants and bush you suppose that next year I should space my garden out more?  Any help in this area would be so greatly appreciated!!!


Monday, September 19, 2011


Post by Sarah

In addition to my Disneyland trip.. I was also taken to the San Diego Zoo.

Check it:

We ended the day with shopping and The Cheesecake Factory.  Two of my favorites!

Hope you enjoyed!
What are some of your favorite birthday memories? 
Does anyone else enjoy the tourist attractions?  Like posing on a giant pre-historic eagle?



Post by Sarah

I just finished celebrating my birthday week and thought I'd share some highlights! 
-yes, I said WEEK!

My boyfriend, Cody happens to put up with all my shenanigans... and I demand birthday weeks.  :)

We spent all day Saturday at Disneyland!
Here are some pictures of the day:

Cody got lucky..  he was player one.  Barely beat me!

One last ride of the night.. . Ba-BOOM!  I'm back in first place status.  :)

Hope ya liked the pictures! 
I have more to share of different adventures!

Stay tuned...

Friday, September 16, 2011

First Recipe - Parmesan Crusted Chicken

Posted by Marilee

So have you seen the new commercial for the Best Foods Parmesan Crusted Chicken?  I saw it yesterday and thought I would try it for dinner.  One of the best things about it was just a couple of ingredients and things that I had on hand. 

Here is the Best Foods website:

I added a bit of lemon pepper on my recipe to give it a bit more seasoning.

The ingredients

The chicken strips (this cuts the cooking time in half and is only 10 minutes!!!!!!) 1 1/4 lbs

The Best Foods mayonnaise 1/2 cup

The Parmesan Cheese 1/4 cup

The Seasonings 4 tsp Italian Seasoned Dry Bread Crumbs (I used plain as I had it on hand)

I added a bit of Lemon Pepper for flavor and stirred together.

The recipe calls for putting the bread crumbs on top of the chicken, I added to the mayo and then sprinkled a bit more on top of the spread I put on the chicken and then baked at 425 for 10 minutes.

This is what it looked like fresh out of the oven ....yummy, fast, inexpensive and I think your children will love it...give it a try and let me know what you think.