Thursday, October 24, 2013

Pretty Cash Envelopes...the Dave Ramsey Way!

My husband and I have been married for 29 years.  And thankfully he had a plan for how to manage our finances when we got married.  The envelope system!  I think he learned it from the late Larry Burkett, back in the early 80s.  The man who teaches this concept world-wide today is the one and only Dave Ramsey.  It has worked GREAT for us all these years.

The gist is that you put cash in labeled envelopes for as many categories as you practically can.  The grocery money has an envelope, and when the cash is stop spending til the next payday.  I must admit we sometimes rob another envelope alittle bit if something has depleted the food cash and we need milk and apples for the next few days.  But overall, that's the way the system works.  But as you can see, the envelopes get pretty tawdry over time.

They are in and out of my purse, the car, hubby's pocket, etc.  So within a month, they start looking kind of bad.  I used to be a bit embarrassed when I'd take them out of my purse to pay for something at the store.  I wondered, years ago, if people though I was too poor to have a wallet!  Ha!  But now, nearly every time I use them at a store, the clerk says, "Do you use the envelope method?  I've been wanting to try that!"

So...this week the sewing bug hit me.  And I have lots of cute little pieces of fabric that I wanted to use to make something practical.  I have to thank the cute little gal blogger at Just Imagine Heaven who created this great tutorial for making fabric money envelopes, for use with the cash envelope system.  It was perfect for my stash of cute fabric AND perfect for fixing the grubby envelope problem.

And here are the ones I've made so far.

Strawberry fabric for the Grocery envelope.  (Ok, so when my husband goes to the grocery store for me, I imagine he'll pull out some cash and leave the strawberry envelope in the car...ha!)

This red and white gingham is sort of festive, so I am deeming it the Gifts Cash envelope.

This cute sewing themed fabric will hold my Etsy shop cash, for when I need to buy supplies.

My attempt at a 'manly' envelope for Hubby...for the Home Maintenance Cash.  Denim and red flannel...I think he'll go for that.

This cutie pie is for the Misc Cash...that's what we call the cash we use for paper products, photo processing, toiletries, cleaning supplies, a magazine, etc.  

LOVE this vintage style fabric!

Classy aqua and white prints for the Clothing envelope.  I should mention that I plan to buy iron-on laundry labels in white and create a label for the front of each envelope.  That's on tomorrow's to-do list.

And now to fill them!  One thing I LOVE about the envelope system is that it gives me permission to buy clothes for me or my guys when there is money in the envelope!  There is alot of freedom in budgeting and designating your dollars when you get paid.

The envelope system also gives you an immediate place to put receipts from those purchases.  My Etsy envelope will hang on to Post Office receipts for me til I get them filed.

Hey!  Let's go to Home Depot!  I should say that this is just for things like paint, landscaping, new door seals, etc.  We have bank accounts that would take care of big maintenance needs for our home.  When we were young and poor, we only had about $25 a month to put toward home maintenance.  But it built the habit in us, and that was invaluable.

The Gift envelope is a HUGE help.  We put a set amount in it each month, and whatever is not spent that month, stays there to be added to the next month's allotment.  When birthdays and Christmas come, we are very thankful to have this stash of cash, ready to use.

I still need to sew envelopes for Eat Out, Haircuts, Dog Care, Gasoline (a friend suggested a duct tape envelope for hubby for that!  Perfect!), and Extra.  Extra is that envelope that covers things that pop up now and then such as a new coffee pot or park district soccer fees.

Do any of you use the envelope method?  If you've always wanted to try it, you can start slow...maybe with just a Grocery, Gas, and Eat Out envelope.  Go to Dave Ramsey's website for lots of encouragement on how to Live Like No One Else So You Can Live Like No One Else!  


Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Stockpiling Gifts...Always Be Ready!

Tis the season to start thinking about gifts!  Fall and winter birthdays, Christmas, Valentine's Day, hostess gifts, or just 'thinking of you' gifts.  It's such a relief to always be prepared.  Establish a drawer, closet shelf, or bin as your gift stash and begin stocking up on things you'll need in the next 6 months.  Here are some ideas to get you rolling!

1.  Gift Cards...this is the newest idea I've had for having gifts on hand.  So many times I've wished for a $5 gift card to send to someone that I want to thank, encourage, bless, or add to a b-day gift.  Getting in the car and going to town to buy a gift card would now cost me about an hour of time and a gallon of gas, as we live in a country neighborhood.  So, I've been starting to buy little gift cards for $5-$10 as I am out already shopping.  Ideas include Subway, Target, Starbucks, Barnes and Noble, Walmart, Chipotle, Qdoba, Panera, and more.  Today I remembered a friend's birthday is this Saturday and she lives 7 hours away!  Her birthday tends to sneak up on me because it is at the beginning of the month.  Thankfully I have a cute Target gift card on hand, ready to send her, along with my next idea.  :)

2.  Book Marks...I have had a great deal of fun the past few months making handmade bookmarks.  These are listed in my new paper crafts Etsy shop called The Green Door Cottage.  I sell them in sets of 3 or individually.  The sets of 3 cost around $7 or $8 and that includes shipping, so each bookmark is just about $2.50 each and can be individually gifted.  If you don't like to make your own, you can see my shop HERE.  Or you can make your own and they will cost you pennies plus your time!  This gift is so easy to mail in a card without additional postage or a trip to the PO.  

3. is the time of year for lots of Craft Shows.  Be watching for cute gifts that you can keep on hand to give to your friends and family.  As pictured above, I like to make these altered art composition notebooks.  They cost me .50 each, and are so much fun to make.  I also have these in my Etsy shop but you can make your own if you prefer.  It's such a fun creative project.  No two are alike, and I love having that small blank canvas to work with.  They are good for journals, school, meetings, and writing letters to give to your kids or grandkids someday.

4.  Nice dish towels and dish cloths...I always watch for these on clearance at Kohls, Target, and the Homegoods/Marshalls/TJ Maxx stores.  Kitchen linens wear out quickly, and nothing makes the kitchen a cheerier place to work than fresh new kitchen linens.

5.  Seasoning mixes, dip mixes, bread mixes, soup mixes....I love to give gifts that can be used up, rather than sit and take up space.  Our daughter gave us a soup mix and a bread mix last winter, and they were such a blessing when I needed a quicky tasty meal.  Watch for good coupons for these and keep a few on hand.  Homemade seasoning mixes are great too.  There are so many recipes for popcorn seasonings as well as for meat, pasta, and more.  Target sells fun popcorn seasonings too.  And little jars of jams make nice gifts, as well as flavored syrups, vinegars, and oils.

6.  Pretty Paper Products...I have so enjoyed receiving pretty packages of napkins and paper plates to use here at home for company.  Cute, unique ones make great gifts.  Target also has cute paper-crafting/scrapbooking supplies on clearance on a regular basis.  I make a point of visiting their paper goods aisles each time I go.

7.  Candles and Handsoaps...a candle during the fall and winter is always a welcome gift.  Watch for good sales or clearance on those!  And who doesn't love nice pump handsoaps as a gift?  I don't usually buy them for myself, but LOVE to receive them for gifts.

8.  Candy and Gum...Target is good about having gum and candy on clearance in their Food Department on an endcap.  I have filled many a Christmas stocking with these that I start picking up in the fall, so that the freshness date will still be good.  I haven't paid full price for gum for my purse in a long time, thanks to Target.  :)

9.  Children's Books...Target's Dollar Spot often has cute children's books for sale.  So do Barnes and Noble and Sam's Club!

10.  Nice Cleaning Products and Kitchen Helps...Sometimes I don't like to splurge on cleaning products and helps that go beyond the bare necessities for myself.  But I would love having them as a gift.  My daughter bought me an Oxi-Clean Gel Stain Stick for a gift last year, and it has been one of my favorite things in the laundry room!!  Or how about the nice Mrs. Myers products, Method Products, or Melaleuca Products.  A geranium scented kitchen product sounds delightful...think I'll put it on my wish list.  :)  Microwave Steaming Bags and Crock Pot Cooking Bags are also such nice helps to receive as a gift.

  Things I DON'T buy for my gift drawer...I no longer buy notepads.  They are so cute and I love them!!  But I, myself, have jillions of notepads that will last me the rest of my life, so I figure my friends and family don't need them either.  I am also careful about buying scented hand lotions unless I plan to give them right away.  Their scents can go rancid after a year.  YUCK.

I hope this has given you a few new ideas.  Would love to hear your ideas too!  Each comment is read and appreciated!


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Saturday, September 7, 2013

70 Booth Rummage Sale? Bliss!!

Today was the county-wide 4H Rummage Sale at the Fair Grounds.  With more than 70 booths of goods for sale, it was a fun Saturday morning!

We got some wonderful treasures at this sale as well as a church Rummage Sale.  See that black computer bag?  Like new with plenty of zippered compartments.  $2!    Boots for my little Northern Indiana grandboy and a .25 Cat in the Hat book.  :)

I like to have a pretty seasonal plate on display, and this is my new Johnson Brothers Autumn plate.  :)  $2

Can you believe that a digital frame was on my Christmas idea list?!  This one is brand new and a great price...told my Honey and to save it for Christmas.  :)

And then there are the vintage items.  Oh. Man.  

The painted trays were popular in the late 50s and early 60s.  This is a miniature one, about 5 inches long.  50 cents!  This is before I washed it up.

Vintage Christmas ornaments with a vintage price tag on the end...50 cents!

I grew up with my mom's aluminum measuring cups and still love using them at her house.  These Ecko ones from years gone-by were....50 cents.  :)

My favorite find.  My Grandma from Texas had this very cookie jar throughout her married life.  She passed away 20 years ago and I have wished I would have asked for her cookie jar.  Today I got this one just like it at the Rummage Sale for $5.  I am thrilled!

A lady with a booth at the sale was selling things from her elderly father's home.  Including this 1960's Kodak Brownie Starmite camera and leather Kodak case...50 cents!  I had to get it.  It's so cute in my ya in a minute.

I have been looking for one of these all summer!  It's vintage...cost 97 cents at Safeway many years ago (tag on the back).  I'm going to paint it Heirloom White and use it in my kitchen for hanging my vintage potholders and other vintage kitchenware on it.  Yippee!!

And now to see my goodies in their new found homes.  Kodak Brownie is hanging out on the mantel.  

For now, miniature handpainted metal tray is at home on the Gossip Bench. appears that the lady of the home (in the 1940s of course,) came in from shopping and removed her hat, put her purse down, and took off her earrings to talk on the phone, laying them on the tray.  :)  I'm sure the tray will move around the house as I figure out new places for it.  May even stick it on the wall with a 3M strip.

The measuring cups are at home in my vintage drawer in the kitchen.  And see...I DID paint the drawer's handle aqua.  Love.

And Grandma's cookie has been washed and shined.  It's on my raised bar.  And the site of those raised ceramic cookies with all kinds of icings and decorations on them still make my imagination dance.  As a girl, I thought they looked so yummy!  Grandma's cookies inside the jar were yummy too.  I miss that beautiful, sweet lady.

Thank you for stopping by!  Your comments warm my heart!


Linked to:
Hope in Every Season
Moonlight and Mason Jars
Think Tank Thursday

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

September...Mantles, Groupings, and Flowers

Our Great Room last fall.  Since then we've gotten new sofas and made a paint change.  :)

Dear Husband spent Saturday painting our fireplace wall!  Yay!  We finally have an accent wall now.

Introducing Glidden's Homemade Butterscotch.

Warm and carmel-ish.  Perfect for Fall and will be great with Winter decor too.  Warm, cuddly puppy-girl adds to the ambiance.  :)

Makes the fireplace POP!  And makes me want to sit down with a cup of hot decaf and pretend it is chilly outside.  (It was 97 the Saturday of Labor Day weekend here in Southern Indiana when I was decorating for Fall!)

I was so happy to find my Quail.  He's been missing.  I find that looking through the nice grocery store floral departments after a holiday is a GREAT time to find decorative things for half price.  Mr. Quail came from Schnucks 2 years ago and I love him.
The next day, I remembered that I had some faux sunflowers in my silk flower stash, leftover from our teenagers' joint graduation party 6 years ago!  And they added the perfect bit of warmth and sunshine I felt was missing on the mantle.

I like to wait on putting out pumpkins for decorating til October.  So Sunflowers, birds, and fruit are great for September.

Opened a new tablecloth (from Marshalls) for the dining room table and took away the Summer centerpiece for this little makeshift September one.  Shopping the house is the best way to decorate on a budget!  My faux apple and pear are spilling out of the tin lunch pail, with pops of red and Sunflowers to tie it all together.

And here's a new wall grouping.  Our living room colors are carmels and browns with pops of aqua, turquoise, and burgandy.  Does the turquoise painted sconce shock your system?  It does my 15 year old son's!  But I love the bit of shock and awe it gives the wall.  :)

I've been patiently waiting for the right wall art over the sofa and so have hung things there on push pins (small hole and no hammer needed!) and even have the aqua triviet hung on a straight pin, so I could change it without making a big hole if I wanted to.  The black H which I just painted, is hung with...Sticky Tac!  haha!  The black sconce is hung on an existing nail which should probably be moved over an inch to the right.  But hey...I'm just gonna let these hang out on the wall and enjoy them where they are for now.  
I'll lleave you with some of my favorites blooming in my gardens right now.  Orange Zinnias are among the happiest and cheeriest of flowers.

And the Trumpet Vine is drawing the neighborhood Humming Birds to our yard.  Love them to death!

Thanks for stopping by!


Linked to:
Moonlight and Mason Jars
Think Tank Thursday

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Sweet From Start to Finish...a Book Review of Siri Mitchell's "Unrivaled"

Siri Mitchell was a new author to me, and I will def. be reading more of her books!  Unrivaled was a sweet story (pun?  yes!)about the candy making business in St. Louis in the early 1900s.  I learned much about the process of making candy, the rivalry of the candy makers in that day, and how hard it is to come up with a wonderful recipe for just the right candy that people will buy.  I enjoyed the history Siri painted of life in St. Louis in 1910...did you know that the ladies of that day scheduled a day of the week to be their 'at home' day, when they would receive visitors?  The beautiful artwork on the cover of the book fit the description of Lucy and Charlie perfectly and gave me a great visual as I read about their topsy turvey relationship.  It was a lovely story of charm and redemption which I would def. recommend.  Enjoy!



Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The Little Drawer That Could

I love old drawers.  I have an old sewing table drawer that is one of my favorite pieces in my house.  And recently this old drawer came home with me from Trader Bakers Flea Market for just $3.  I thought it just needed a good clean up.

Well, this IS the cleaned up version!  Haha!  The dirt will not come off.  I could paint it, and I still may.  But for today, this shabby little girl is being embraced for who she is.  :)  See the bits of red chippy paint underneath on the drawer pull?  I wonder if that was her original color.  Wouldn't she be cute with a red drawer pull?!

After she had been cleaned inside and out with warm soapy water on a rag, I decided to have her adorn my one corner in my kitchen that is reserved for decor.  Underneath I placed a beautiful kitchen tea towel I got on clearance at Marshalls.  Anytime you find a pretty tea towel on clearance, grab it!  They make excellent fabric pieces for decorating.

Here is is for you to has aqua details...aqua makes everything more beautiful.
Now to build a pretty vignette inside the drawer.  I started with this plate picturing an old church.  A bit of sticky tac putty at the base helps it to stand up steady in the back of the drawer.

Next I needed some fabric  inside the drawer to add some softness.  This green and white gingham napkin was perfect.  I also like to buy pretty fabric napkins on clearance to use in decorating.  I added a little tidbit stand that I made from a china plate and a glass candleholder.  And placed 4 antique kitchen items  on top of it...cookie cutters, a juicer, and spices.  That box of cloves was in my Grandma's kitchen when she died.  Treasure.

Anther piece that would add more height, the glass cupcake stand with a birds' nest inside was next, as well as a ceramic tile painted with chalkboard paint.  And lastly, my sweet antique egg beater.  The Shabby Little Miss is looking good!

Notice a change here?  I settled on using my 1950s North Star plate in the back, rather than the church plate.  It is taller and has the added bonus of aqua stars on it.

And then the crowning touch.  I've had this little vinyl wall saying set aside for several years.  Loved it but couldn't decide where to put it.  Seeing it in my friend Tammy's kitchen recently, in a similiar place, I decided THIS is where it belongs.  This little corner is my bit of quiet and pretty peace in my hardworking kitchen.  I know it will remind me many times a day to Be Still and Know God.  Just reading it brings my spirit to a quieter place.

And I am done.  For now.  :)  I've always had decor in this corner, but I really love that now it is all contained in a drawer.  Looks neater.  Less cluttered.  And I'll have such fun changing out the contents of the drawer display with each season.  
What do you think?  Want to keep your eyes open for a cute old drawer?  I am even toying with painting the drawer pull aqua.  My Kitchen Aid Mixer is aqua too.  #favoritecolor

Thank you so much for stopping by.  Your comments are so appreciated!  And I hope you'll be back soon.

<Donna @>

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