homemade ginger

Master Bathroom Remodel {Part Uno}

Monday, March 23, 2015

Reid and I embarked on quite the undertaking over spring break. And by "we",  I really mean Reid.  So, our master bathroom which is a super teeny tiny room just big enough for a shower and toilet (the sink is just outside the bathroom door), was really nasty. The tile in the bottom of the shower was moldy and mildewy. No matter what I did to clean it, it never looked any better. We knew it had to be redone.

We had Bath Fitter come out a few weeks ago to give us an estimate. We were totally drawn in by their commercials which make it seem like it's so cheap and fast. We were shocked by their estimate of $5000 for the absolute cheapest options of just new shower walls and a base! That didn't include anything else in the bathroom!! So, that was a big no. We decided to just do it ourselves. It would be way cheaper and look way better.

The first step was gutting the entire bathroom. This actually went pretty fast. The subfloor is still intact in this photo:

Reid ended up taking it out and had a slight mishap which resulted in his foot going through the garage ceiling. Oops. Thank Jesus the bathroom is over the garage.

We decided on white subway tile with gray grout. It took DAYS of working all day and much of the night to get to this point:

Not much good comes from tiling at 2 AM multiple nights in a row. But, we are saving SO much money. We will show Bath Fitter how it's done!

After a few more days, the shower finally started to look like a shower...

And we now have grout, a tiled floor and a toilet! You will have to head over to my Instagram to see a sneak peek of how it's looking now.  My goal is to have everything finished by Friday to show you all a final reveal of how it all came together!

Top 10 Things to Buy At Dollar Tree

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

After sharing my Dollar Tree wreath, I decided that I needed to devote a full post to Dollar Tree. I know I've talked about them before and I've even done a few sponsored posts for them, but this isn't sponsored. It's 100% my opinion. Over the past year I have fallen in love with this store. I feel like it has been the perfect store to accompany my Aldi and thrift store obsessions to create the ultimate frugal trifecta. I have learned what my favorites and not so favorite things are and it would be selfish to hold it in any longer, so here you go!

1. Seasonal Items

Dollar Tree is now my go to place for seasonal items. I found princess Valentines for my girls' school parties this year.  They also have tons of cute St. Patricks Day and Easter stuff right now.  They even have stuff like socks and scarves in holiday prints.

2.  Gift Wrap and Party Supplies

I will never buy gift wrap, cups, plates, forks, plastic tablecloths, napkins or even cards anywhere else now. You can't beat $1 and they have a great selection.

3. Office Supplies

There is a huge selection of pens, pencils, tape, staples and anything you could want. We always get our security envelopes there, you can get a pack of 40 and my girls love to play with them.

4. Cleaning Products
I've had pretty good success with Dollar Tree's cleaning supplies. We love their carpet stain cleaner and I just recently purchased dusting spray. They don't have a very big selection of all natural products, but for heavy duty jobs when you can't get away with homemade or all natural, hit up Dollar Tree!

5. Nature's Own Bread
This is super random, but probably one of my favorite Dollar Tree finds is Nature's Own bread. We buy the 100% whole wheat variety (it has no high fructose corn syrup). It easily sells for $3 at the grocery store! I usually stock up and store them in the freezer. It's one of the best deals out there!

5. Craft Supplies
You would be surprised at how many craft supplies Dollar Tree now carries. From marbles and stones to moss and floral wire..and every time I'm there they have something new. I always check there first when I'm planning out a craft project.  And there are TONS of faux flowers to choose from. Most of them are pretty cheapy looking, but there are some cute options.

6. Coloring Books

I have bought coloring books for my kids from Dollar Tree for years. They have all of the Disney characters as well as ones that are more educational.  They also have little workbooks and flashcards. I will never buy a coloring book for more than $1 again!

7. Kitchen Tools
This is another one that I have either just overlooked or they have just been getting more in their stores, but I have had a lot of success with finding high quality kitchen tools at Dollar Tree. I have purchased mixing bowls, spatulas and measuring cups and they have all held up great. I'm not sure how awesome their knives or cookie trays are, but the smaller tools seem to be a great deal.

8. Kids Socks
Now, I will be the first to admit that the socks aren't the best quality. But when my kids lose their socks constantly, I can justify buying them a new pair when they are only $1. Actually they come in 2 packs and the colors and patterns are pretty cute. I have tried the adult socks and I wasn't a fan.

9. Magic Erasers
I felt like these needed their own category. The Dollar Tree magic erasers are amazing. I use them for everything and they are such a good deal. I have tried the name brand kind for $3 each and these are just as good.

10. Organizers
I saved the best for last. Nothing beats Dollar Tree's organizing section. Now, they do sell out of stuff really fast so sometimes it seems picked over but if you are there on a lucky day, you will find baskets, bins, crates and anything you can think of in super cute colors. They hold up great and a lot of the smaller items come in 2 or 4 packs. I love their shallow baskets for drawer organizers and the larger bins and baskets for closets. I'm hoping to reorganize my kitchen cabinets and plan to hit up Dollar Tree for all of my organizing needs!

Ok, so what do I NOT buy from Dollar Tree?
 1. Makeup. I have tried on a few occassions to get some of their name brand nail polishes or other things (they carry Sally Hansen, Milani and Mabelline to name a few) and the quality just wasn't there. I don't know if these companies are selling cheaper products at Dollar Tree or what, but don't waste your money.

2. Toys.  I have been trying to get away with having junky toys all over the house that just get thrown out in a few days. Dollar Tree toys are great for long car rides or party favors, but that is about it. You aren't going to find quality and long lasting toys here.

3. Crayons. I have tried out the crayons so many times and every time they are terrible. I always want it to be a great deal, but it's a waste of money. The markers aren't that bad but not great.

4. Food. Unless it's name brand like the Nature's Own bread, I wouldn't risk it with their food. I have purchased a few things and it just was not good quality.

I will probably be back in the future with more Dollar Tree favorites. Every time I'm there, I seem to find more amazing finds. One tip is if it's something seasonal, snatch it up before it goes away. Things seem to sell out fast and they don't always replenish their supply with more. Good luck!

Dollar Tree Spring Wreath

Monday, March 2, 2015

It does not feel like spring here. At all. I've decided that I'm just going to force spring on my home until it comes.  I was in the mood to make a fresh new wreath, so I just revamped an old one by using a few things that I found at the Dollar Tree.

I grabbed my moss spring wreath that I made a few years ago and found some more moss, fuzzy flower things (that's the technical term) and faux succulents at Dollar Tree. Yes, they have faux succulents there now!

And I just glued it all on. Some of these succulents were ones that I found on clearance from Michaels awhile back because Dollar Tree didn't have that many when I stopped in there.

I thought it turned out pretty well for just a few bucks! My daughter said it looks like a St. Patrick's day wreath which make's sense to me!

And you can't even tell from this photo that there is snow on the ground, it just looks like a spring doorstep. Lets hope in a few weeks that is the case!

I will be back later this week with some tips and favorites of mine from Dollar Tree. It is increasingly becoming one of my favorite stores. So, stay tuned for that!

DIY Leather Scallop Necklace

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

With just a few jewelry supplies, I whipped up this fancy little leather scalloped necklace. It's so easy to make, I think it took me 20 minutes. You can make one for yourself too! Or better yet, a gift!

Start off by tracing a scallop shape onto some leather. I found mine at the craft store for only a few dollars.

Cut out 6.

Using an awl, make holes on the corners of each scallop.

Then begin hooking them together using jump rings. Eventually you will need to put holes in the bottom center of some of the scallops, but wait until you are at that step to to do it so that everything lines up correctly.

When you are finished, you will have a little scallop triangle shape. Cute! Attach a chain and you are done.

I think it would cute to paint some of the scallops for a pop of color. Maybe next time I will try that!

Blogger Burnout

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Hey Guys,
I just wanted to let everyone know that I'm still here. I honestly don't know when I'll be back to blogging. I've had a lot of people ask me where I've been and what's happening with my blog. I guess that's one down side of doing "work" that everyone has access to...they all know when you've been slacking and can call you out on it!

I know I've touched on this before but I am on a total blogger burnout right now. Ever since December I just haven't  been motivated or inspired at all. I've mentioned that blogging has become really competitive and as much as I have loved it, I also need to be doing something that earns me a little bit of money. I know some people have a big problem with bloggers earning money or doing sponsored content, but it has been a small source of income for me to be able to stay home with my kiddos.

I've been pretty motivated to do some other creative things around here but I'm not ready to share them with the world just yet. I'm hoping to revamp my blog by only posting things and projects that I truly love and can be proud of.

So, I'm not saying that I'm quitting, I'm just explaining where I've been. I hope to be back soon but I don't know what that will look like. It could be in a few days, it could be in a few weeks.

Gold Heart Straw Garland

Monday, February 2, 2015

I took my geometric planter idea and turned it into something for Valentine's day. This little gold heart garland is an easy and neutral way to add a little hint of love day decor to your home!

All you need are some bendy straws, floral wire and spray paint!

Take 2 straws (I cut mine down a bit) and feed them through some floral wire with the bendy ends facing out.

Twist the wire together and tuck it inside one of the straws.

Bend it to form a heart

I connected my hearts with small pieces of wire and then sprayed it gold with spray paint.

I hung mine on my mantle for some V-day decor!

You could of course paint these any color!

Check out my gold heart idea from last year here!

The Best White Chicken Chili

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Over the years I have perfected my white chicken chili recipe. I started with a recipe and kept adding and tweaking things every time I made it until I got it exactly how we like it. It's my go to meal to make for people when they have a baby or when I have to host and feed a crowd. Everyone loves it and it's easy. I've had so many people request the recipe and I always wish I had a blog post about it so that I can just direct them here. Every time I make it I forget to snap photos. Well, I finally remembered...so here you go!

It's super easy and there is absolutely nothing fancy about it. It's one of the easiest things to make and it always turns out delicious. I love to make it spicy but I usually leave out the spice when I'm serving other people, so it's versatile enough to tweak to your liking!

And it's the best when topped with shredded cheese, tortilla chips and sour cream. So good! we even entered this chili into a chili cook off at Lula's school. It didn't win, but we had so many people come over and tell us it was their favorite.

White Chicken Chili

4 cups cooked chicken breast - diced or shredded
1 cup chopped onion
1 tbs minced garlic
3 cups chicken broth (or more if you like it more soupy)
1-2 tsp crushed red pepper (you can leave this out if you don't want it spicy at all)
2 tsp cumin
2 cans great northern white beans
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can chopped green chilis
 1 cup corn (optional)
Saute onion and garlic in butter. Combine all ingredients in a large soup pot and simmer for 1 hour. Serve with crushed tortilla chips, sour cream and grated cheese on top!


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