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It Pays to be Cheap Contest Winners!

Click here to see contest
A BIG thank you to everyone who participated in "It Pays to be Cheap Contest"! We got SO many awesome entries, it was really hard to choose winners. Be sure to check out all of the amazing projects under $10... you will be inspired!
$20 Target Gift Card from Cheap Crafty Mama goes to:  $5 Dresser Makeover by Embracing Change"
125x125 sidebar ad for 30 days ($15 value) from Chic on a Shoestring Decorating goes to:""Bloom" Spring Pillow from Creatively Living"
Craft stash goodie bag ($25 value) from How to Nest for Less goes to:"Mod Podge Shoes from Practically Functional"
290x140 ad space for 1 month ($20 value) from Nifty Thrifty Things goes to:"Branch Coat Rack Garden Therapy"
Vinyl kitchen chalkboard labels and a Chalkboard menu board from Thrifty Decorating goes to:
"Remade Chairs from City Farmhouse"

Brought to you by some of your favorite "creative on a budget" blogs:
How to Nest for Less{nifty button}

Flaunt it Friday 112

Hey party people!

Happy Flaunt it Friday to you! :)

It's time to party... link 'em up!

It Pays to Be Cheap Contest

Hey there!  I'm so excited to announce this fun little contest for you all!  I can't wait to see what you creative Chicsters will come up with! :)

Are you a thrifty crafter? Well this contest is for you!

Brought to you by some of your favorite "creative on a budget" blogs:

How to Nest for Less{nifty button}
We want to see your all-time best projects for under $10!

Here are the fabulous prizes:
(each hostess will choose a winner for the prize they donate)

  • For each entry you need to follow 1 of the co-hosts (via FB, RSS, or email)- that means you can link up to 5 projects!
  • all projects need to cost less than $10 to make
  • Each co-host will choose a winner for their prize-- we are looking for the coolest and cheapest projects!
  • Be sure to check out some of the other entries so you can give them some comment love and be inspired!
  • The contest closes Friday, July 27th at midnight and winners will be announced Monday, July 30th!
  • We would love for you to display our button on your post or blog to invite more people to join the contest!

Here is the code:
<a href="" title="It Pays To Be Cheap" target="_blank"><img src="" alt="It Pays To Be Cheap" width="200" /></a>

It Pays To Be Cheap


Flaunt it Friday 111!

Hey there!  I'm so looking forward to this weekend since my garage sale took up most of my last one.  I'm not complaining though, I had a great turnout and made $80 an hour!  Seriously!   Check out my garage sale having tips here at Garage Sale 101.

Are you ready for a party?  It's about that time....

How to Have a Successful Garage Sale

Hello there!  My garage sale is over and now that I'm getting back to a normal schedule (which means not spending all my spare moments on garage sale prep) I can finally talk about it, I know you're just dying to hear about it. ;)

I told you about my love/hate relationship with garage sales and why you really should have one despite the pain of it HERE I hate having a garage sale but love the money it earns and the junk it gets out of my house.

My garage sale this year was huge!  I think I had one meeellion items!!  I unfortunately did not make one meeellion dollars.  But I made some tall cash for a garage sale making over twelve hundred dollars in only 15 hours of sale time.  Do the math... that's $80 bucks an hour.

I'll take it!

I didn't have many big ticket items, I sold a few $20 items but my biggest seller was baby/kid clothes.  I finally decided to part with the baby clothes this year.  It was very bittersweet going through both of my little guys clothes and I even got a little teary-eyed when I opened that bin of itty-bitty newborn stuff.  I saved a few special outfits and then, after I got over the feeling sad part it was more like a panicking "Holy cow! How am I gonna get through all these clothes and where the heck am I going to put them in this garage!?"  type of feeling.

I unloaded one average size bin (about a 20 gallon bin) of baby clothes and it took up almost a whole 9 foot table!  

So I need about fifteen 9 feet tables just for baby clothes....

I have 3.  

Plan B:  Make do with what you got... I didn't have that many tables and I didn't have that much hanging space but I did have plenty of bins. I decided to put the bins to work.  I put like sizes in labeled bins and let people dig through them.  I made sure to pin outfits together with safety pins so they wouldn't get separated.

At first I felt bad about this not being a very neat way to do it but I realized even if I had everything nicely folded and displayed on a table it would be trashed in 5 minutes.  

I planned on printing neat little labels for the bins but my printer ran out of ink.  (I refuse to buy more because I ordered some for a ridiculously cheap price online but I think it's coming from China because I ordered it weeks ago and it still isn't here. I don't have time to go to the store anyway, I'm preparing for a garage sale!)  I opted for a Sharpie and printer paper...


Flaunt it Friday 110!

Hey Chicsters!

I made it through day one of my garage sale this afternoon and am happy to report I made a lot of moola in just 3 hours!  Yippee!!

I will give you some tips on how to have a successful garage sale soon, like, when mine is over because I'm too tired to talk about it.  Garage sales wear me out!

It doesn't help that I was in the garage until 2am this morning setting up.  Anyway, that's lesson one, don't procrastinate and end up in the garage until 2am like me. 

Do as I say, not as I do.  

Sorry to be a party pooper but I'm going to bed, I know you guys will party on without me.  :)

How to Make Your Own Train Tracks for Kids

Hey there!

If you're a regular around here you may remember me complaining a few days ago about the stifling heat wave we were having in the Midwest.  I was complaining about melting faces, frizzing hair and worst of all, the possibility of pitting out your shirt... yuck!!  

Anywho, we are now recovering from about 5 straight days of 100+ heat! It's still hot but not that hot, thank goodness!

During this heatwave we were stuck playing inside for obvious reasons.  We went to the pool one day and the library another but all that time in between when we can usually enjoy a walk or playing on the swingset we were hanging out indoors in the AC.

While allowing them to stretch their screen time with the greatest babysitter ever TV I noticed my oldest boy stealing my blue painters tape and putting it all over the floor.  I thought he had lost his mind due to heatstroke or boredom but I didn't stop him because he looked like he was having fun, he wasn't watching TV and I was getting some work done.  Score!


When I came back a few minutes later and asked what he was doing he told me he was making train tracks for Thomas the Train... of course that's what he was doing, that one's a smart cookie I tell ya!

Mavis and Birthday Thomas relaxing in the "Roundhouse"

My little one had joined in by this time and they had taped out a sweet new set of tracks all over the family room and kitchen.

They made some bridges...

Light weight toy cars and trains could actually be suspended on this blue "bridge".

They even made a roundhouse on the kitchen table...

Thomas the Train Tape Roundhouse
The roundhouse is full!

The boys had SO much fun with this simple roll of tape and their imagination that we left it out for 3 days!

I know painters tape is a little pricey to "waste" all over the floor but I highly recommend it because it peels off clean without leaving sticky residue behind.  Masking tape or duct tape may not clean up so well after being stuck on for a while.

If your kids are train or car lovers, turn off that babysitter TV and offer them a roll of painters tape to make a city of tracks or roads all over your floor.  A great rainy/snowy/too hot/ stuck inside activity.

Have your kids ever done this or is my boy just a creative genius?! :)  

Why You Should Have a Garage Sale

As I spend every spare moment preparing for a garage sale, I thought I'd re-run my post about my love/hate relationship with garage sales so you know I'm still alive... just living in garage sale prep H-E- double-hockey-sticks. Soon I will share lots of tips about how to prepare and have a successful garage sale, stay tuned!

I have a love/hate relationship with garage sales?  Yes, I did.  Ok, then.

If I have a love/hate relationship with garage sales, why would I want you to do it. 

Well, the love outweighs the hate... let me show you why. 

Here's why I hate garage sales:

  • They are SO much work.
  • They require tons of time to go through all of your junk stuff, especially if you're trying to do a major purge like me.
  • They require lots of thinking (what should I price all this junk stuff, I'm not just going to give it away, I paid good money for it and it's practically new!  But, I want someone to buy it...)
  • They take up lots of time.  You sacrifice your weekend to the sale.  Plus, all the preparation, purging, pricing, etc.  Lots of late nights pricing/organizing while the kiddos are in bed.
  • Usually it's really hot and muggy outside during garage sale season in my neck of the woods.  I do not enjoy sitting in my hot garage when I'm oh so close to my cool and airconditioned house.  (Does that make me a wuss?!)
  • Customers who want something for nothing.  Don't offer me a quarter when I'm asking $2 for something that originally cost $30.   $1 yes, quarter NO. 
  • My husband, aka. the purging maniac, tries to get me to sell things that aren't for sale, like our children.  Just kidding!  More like the crock pot, it takes up lots of space and we don't use it everyday but Hello...  I totally use it all the time in the winter!   

Here's why I love garage sales:

  • They force me to get rid of junk stuff I don't use.   I am purging from the whole house!  I pulled so many clothes out of my closet that it filled up my garage sale "holding area" office!  The toys that are unmanageable will be purged to a manageable size (I hope?!).  I am blessed with a generous family who likes to spoil my boys.  We have a TON of toys.  So many that they don't even notice when something is missing.  I rotate the toys every 4 or 6 months so that they have "new" things to play with.   Even so, we have an abundance that are outgrown or just not played with enough and they are going to the sale.
  • $$$MONEY MONEY MONEY$$$!!  My junk stuff earns me money!  This outweighs all of the negatives in the list above.  If you are on a budget having a successful garage sale can give you some extra guilt free cash.  Maybe take a little weekend getaway and not have to feel guilty about pulling money out of savings.  Maybe you desperately need a new dishwasher, maybe you are saving up for a trip to Disney, maybe you are trying to get out of debt.  Whatever it is, garage sale money can give your fund a boost without taking from your day-to-day budget.
In my experience the extra money is completely worth all the hassle if you have a successful sale.

How do you feel about having a garage sale?  Ever had one?  Thinking about it?  Share your tips!

Flaunt it Friday 109!

Hi party animals!

I don't know what it's like where you live but around here we are sweltering.  I'm talking about face melting off, hair frizzing, pitting out your shirt without moving kind of heat.  It's disgusting.

I'm staying inside and making very brief appearances outside.  So far, my face has melted off (too bad it wasn't my hips!), my hair has frizzed but I have yet to pit out my shirt.  I know... I'm so lady-like!  (batting my eyelashes and smiling).

Anyway, this party was going to be outside but due to the extreme million degree heat and the heat advisory issued by the weather channel (gee, thanks weather channel, I couldn't tell it was a million degrees out and maybe I should stay inside) we are moving this party inside.  There is no risk of heat stroke or embarrassingly pitting out your shirt in front of all your friends in here.

An unidentified celebrity pits out her shirt!  So not hot!  Ok, maybe she is really hot but not that kind of hot!

The 4th

Happy Fourth of July!

Could it really be here already??

american flag

Around here 4th of July means summer is half over (or maybe half started to those glass half-full kinds of people).  

In the summer life slows down but it feels like it actually speeds up.  I really, honestly don't know what happened to June.  It was here and then it was gone.    

So now that we're at the halfway point what have I gotten accomplished around here?

Yeah, well... not much.  I don't know about you but during the summer months, my decorating mojo goes out the window.  I have a huge list of things I'm excited about starting/finishing but not too much actually happens.

I want to hang out with my boys so that's what I do.  The other stuff can wait because school will be back in before I know it.

To keep with my summer theme of doing nothing I'll share my 4th of July decor.

It's the same as last year.

Once again, in full communist fashion, I did not put up any 4th of July decorations.


I bought a lovely American flag swag banner to drape across my porch but decided it would be too much work to put it out there.

Too much work?

Well, it is 97 degrees which according to the heat index feels like 1 million degrees plus 100% humidity.  I'll start sweating and my hair will start to frizz if I even think of going out there right now.

Maybe next year.

I hope you all have a safe and Happy Independence Day!

God Bless America!

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