Wednesday, November 28, 2012

How to remove labels from glass bottles/ containers

Thanks to my love of up-cycling things around our house to make new projects from, one of the things that I've become an old pro at how is removing labels and gooey stuff  from glass bottles or any other glass container.

The first tip is DON'T get the label wet!!! Peel as much of it off as you can, then take a straight razor and scrap off the rest of it that you're able to.

While doing peeling and scrapping off the label, boil some water. Once the water is boiling, carefully and slowing using a funnel, pour the water via the funnel into the container you want the label off of. Just a quick heads up, pour the water VERY slowly into the funnel, the boiling water will pop up and hit you if you're not careful!!! 

Let it sit for 10-15 minutes. Using potholders, carefully pour the water out of the bottles. Still holding the bottles with the potholder, pour some fingernail polish remover onto a paper towel. Wipe the bottle down until all the sticky goo is gone. Sometimes there might be a little sticky stuff left on the bottle, take the straight razor, scrap as much off again as you can, then wipe again with the nail polish remover. You may have to do this a few times...

The end result is a nice clean bottle or any other glass container with no more label. 

Free Baby Carrier (just pay shipping)!

Another awesome Christmas or baby shower gift for any new or expectant mom! I got one of these for my sister in law last year for Christmas! 

Seven Slings is offering customers one of their slings for free (a $39.95 value!). They have some super cute colors! Personally, I love the Supernova one!! Shipping is $11.95 for 2-8 day UPS. Just enter promo code "MYSAVINGS" when you check out. 

Seven Slings

Salt Dough Christmas Ornaments

I had seen several pins on Pinterest on Salt Dough Ornaments. They looked super easy and like a lot of fun so I thought I would give them a try!

1 cup of salt
2 cups of flour
1 cup of water

Mix all 3 ingredients together until mixed very well until a dough is formed. Then use a rolling pin to roll out dough to your desired thickness. Then you can use cookie cutters to make the ornaments or you can use a knife or toothpick to cut out your desired shape you want.

*Depending on where you are making the ornaments, you might want to lay some wax paper down on the surface you're using. You'll want to sprinkle a little extra flour down before you start working with the dough otherwise it will stick. I also made sure some there was a little flour on my hands and rolling pin as well.

We made a few different types of ornaments:

For each of our children, I had them press their hands into the dough and made hand print ornaments for each of them. (which I still have yet to paint, LOL!)

I also made snowmen, I cut out circles then a little carrot nose. Then I painted it. I also added a coat of clear glitter paint to give it a little added shimmer.

If you would like, you can add a little food coloring to the dough as well, but a heads up, you might want to wear gloves! When I added red dye to make the Santa ornament, I ended up with red hands, LOL!!

The Santa took a while for me to make, I found the idea from The Glue Gun Girl. I rolled out each little piece of his beard by hand. It took a tad bit longer than I thought, LOL! After it was done in the oven, after I let him sit for a day or so, I sprayed a clear coat sealer on it.

I also made Christmas tree ornaments as well but still haven't painted those yet either, LOL!

I put a hair bobby pin into each of the ornaments to use so I could add an ornament hook to. Some people just poke a hole through their ornaments but I liked the idea of the bobby pin.

After all the ornaments were done, I put them in the oven at 200 degrees for 2 hours. After 2 hours still felt a little soft so I popped them back in a for a while longer. Then I left them out over night on the cookie sheet to air dry. The next day a few of them still felt a little damp so I popped them back in the oven the next day for another hour.

Recycled Light Bulb Ornaments

Again, another type of ornament I had seen examples of around on Pinterest but gave them my own little flare.

These little guys were so fun to make! I'm tickled to death to finally have something to use old light bulbs to make!! I love up-cycling things from around the house!!

To use as a hanger for both of the bulbs, I used brown twine and tied it around the top of the ornament then tied the two ends together in cute bows.

For the Snowman Light Bulb, I painted the bulb white, sprinkled white glitter all over it, waited for that to dry. Then I did a few coats of the homemade modge podge I made the other day. I found super cute black rhinestone stickers at the craft store for the eyes, mouth & buttons. For the nose, I used orange puffy paint.

For the Penguin Light Bulb, I did the first coat of paint in white, then used a pencil to outline the area I wanted to keep white then painted the rest of it black. After both coats dried, then I added a coat of clear glitter paint all over the bulb. After that dried then I used blue puffy paint for the eyes and orange again for the nose.

10 Free Holiday Cards from Ink Garden!

For the past two years I've gotten photo Christmas cards for almost nothing! I LOVE saving money especially on things like this! In the past, I always used regular Christmas cards I would buy at the store simply because I didn't want to pay the extra money on cute photo Christmas cards (as much as I wanted to, LOL!). Now thanks to all the deals I've found on photo cards, it's actually been cheaper for me to buy them than the old school Christmas cards!!

When I saw this one this morning, I couldn't help but share! Ink Garden is offering 10 free prints plus 40% off your order if you're a first time customer (you will need to pay for shipping)!!

Ink Garden

Free Carseat Canopy!!

Carseat Canopy

Freebies rock! The Carseat Canopy retails for $49.95!! You just have to pay for $12.95 for UPS 2 – 8 business days shipping! What an awesome gift to give someone for Christmas or a baby shower!!! 

Use promo code “MYSAVINGS” and snag this awesome deal today!! 

You can get more details or order yours here

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Daily Chili's Coupons from now until Christmas, yes please!

One of my weaknesses is going to Chili's and chowing down on their chips & salsa!! I just found this deal that I couldn't resist sharing with you guys!!

From now until Christmas, you can sign up to receive daily coupons from Chili's by going here!! Enjoy, I know I am!! 

Chili's Holidaily

DIY Modge Podge

When I was at Michael's last week, I wanted to pick up some Modge Podge to use on a few of the projects I've been wanting to make lately. When I saw the price, I refused to buy it. Mostly because it's so close to Christmas and I'll be needing to use all the extra money I can to buy gifts for everyone.

I started searching on Pinterest (yet again, LOL!) and came across several different recipes for DIY Modge Podge. This one from Do It Yourself Divas and it works GREAT!! The recipe calls for equal parts school glue and water! And since I got LOADS of school glue thanks to an awesome sale and coupons for free, I just had to try it out!!

LOVE Wall Hanging

Growing up, one of my favorite things to search through was an old container of buttons that my mom and I collected through the years. One trip home to Ohio, while at my mom's I found the container of buttons and started rummaging through it and gathered a large Ziploc bag full to bring back to Connecticut with me.

Once I got home, I put the bag of buttons with the rest of my craft supplies and forgot about it for a few weeks. One afternoon on Pinterest, I saw this super cute wall hanging and then knew the PERFECT buttons to use to make this!

I wrapped 4 approximately 5x7 pieces of wood with fabric from my favorite fabric store I picked up during my trip to Ohio. I the fabric to the wood with a hot glue gun then used a stronger craft glue to glue all the food together. The I nailed a sawtooth hanger on the back.

I glued the buttons onto the fabric with the hot glue gun (watch out with the super small buttons, LOL!)

This is my version, it hangs above our bed, a daily reminder to me the love I have for my entire family :)

Some days...

There are some days that as a parent of a child with Down syndrome, we all have "Holland moments," where we may get upset or down regarding something that's going on with our child. Whenever this happens to be, I sit down and read my favorite poems, "Welcome to Holland" and "Hang it on the Cross."

I did just that very thing yesterday. Joey was diagnosed with colitis a few years ago. The past few months, it has been at an all time worst. I can't even count the numbers of diapers I've changed in the past 2 months... Last week when I took him to see his GI doctor regarding this problem, we decided it was best to check him out to make sure there's not something else going on with his GI system. Unfortunately to do this, he's going to need an upper GI with a small bowel follow through, a endoscopy and a colonoscopy.

I HATE the thought of putting him through each of those things BUT I know they're necessary to make sure there's not something else wrong. One of the things mentioned at the GI appointment was the thought that perhaps his colitis has possibly turned into Crohn's Disease. This scares the daylights out of me knowing he may have a life time of this disease but I know there's nothing I can do about it.... that's when I turn to "Hang It On The Cross."

These two poems remind me that going to Holland really isn't that bad, sometimes it may rain but it's typically a beautiful place. And that whenever an added obstacle comes our way, rather than dwelling about it, I remind myself just to hang it on my cross and let God take control and also to stop and admire the tulips as I'm journeying through Holland.

And this is Joey, isn't he beautiful?

24 Days of Books for Advent

I really wanted to find an extra special way to celebrate Advent this year. A few of my friends told me how they give their children 24 books, one each day of Advent, I couldn't help but think what a wonderful idea that was! I've been wanting to add to our bookshelves, so I had to jump at the chance.

I decided rather than just wrapping the books and giving them to the kids, I would go a step further. I went online and found popular daily readings from during Advent. I did one for each day THEN I went one step further and searched Google Images for pictures for each of the readings. Believe me, this took A LOT of time but it's going to be so worth it. Not only to give the kids a new book each day but also to read the reading from the Bible and explain Mary & Joseph's journey leading up to the day Christ was born.

Since I want to make this a yearly tradition, I cut each day's page down to a good size then laminated each page. I bought this laminator on Amazon last year, which has been so handy for many projects, LOL!

If anyone is interested, I made the daily readings into a Google Doc to share with anyone that would like to use it. You can access it here.


Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!!

This year, I have so many people and things to be thankful for... 

I'm thankful for my wonderful husband, Patrick, all of his hard work and dedication to us is truly amazing. He works so hard to provide for us! I'm so proud of him to starting up his own business and being successful!! 

I'm thankful all three of my beautiful children, Joey, Leah & Aiden. I am beyond blessed to be their mother!!! 

I'm thankful that Joey's health is doing so much better (besides this recent colitis attack he's having). It was a year ago last week I handed him over to the surgeon during his emergency bowel obstruction and we spent the 9 days in the hospital.

I'm thankful for my very supportive parents, even though we're 12 hours apart, I know they're both just a phone call away. 

I'm thankful for my mother in law and father in law. They're amazing people. My mother in law lends her helpful hands to babysit our kids when needed, especially when I have to take Joey to any of his doctor appointments. 

I'm thankful for my sister finding us in July. Our family has waited 35 years to meet her. She is an amazing and brave woman for finding the strength and courage to have her birth records open. I've thanked God every day since July for the opportunity to now have a big sister (and a big thank you to St. Anthony as well!).

I'm thankful for my big brother. Growing up he was my rock. He was (and still) always there when I needed him. He was a wonderful role model and did so many fun things with me. 

I'm thankful for all of my sister in laws and brother in laws. You guys all rock!! 

I'm thankful for my grandma, aunts, uncles & cousins. I wish we were home in Ohio to celebrate Thanksgiving with you all. 

I'm thankful to have a roof over our heads. I love our house (although a larger kitchen  another bathroom would be awesome, LOL!) and our neighborhood.

I'm thankful for coupons (that may sound crazy to some of you...). Through couponing, I have been able to provide many extra things for my family that I might not have been able to otherwise. It's such an awesome feeling to be able to go down into our basement and have so many items in our stockpile at my fingertips that I don't have to run out to the store & get. 

I'm thankful to have met so many awesome fellow moms that also have children with Down syndrome and autism. Though thick and thin we have all been there for each other in time of need. If it's advice, encouragement, humor, a simple hug, and true friendships, we're always there for each other. 

I'm thankful to have finally found the church I can now call home. I love our parish and the entire congregation so much. I have met so many amazing friends and I'm honored to have met them all. 

I'm thankful for our Blessed Mother. I turn to her everyday. Through saying the rosary to myself, I have been finding the strength lately to deal with stressful situations more gracefully. 

Lastly, I'm thankful for God, he is my rock and salvation. God is Great!!! 

Psalm 100

Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the lands! 

Serve the Lord with gladness! 

Come into his presence with singing!
Know that the Lord is God! 
It is he that made us, and we are his;
we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving, 
and his courts with praise! 
Give thanks to him, bless his name!
For the Lord is good; 
his steadfast love endures for ever,
and his faithfulness to all generations.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Homemade Fudge

Growing up, it was an annual tradition to make homemade fudge with my mom using the wooden spoon my Great Grandpa Sonderman made by hand decades ago. I would stand on a chair next to the counter and unwrap the individual pieces of the Bakers Chocolate as my mom stirred all the ingredients together and as I got older, she started to let me stir the pan as well.

Unfortunately, a several years back, the old trustworthy wooden spoon broke but my mom and I continued to make our fudge together. After I got married and moved from Ohio to Connecticut, I continued on with the tradition of making homemade fudge.

This year, I let our daughter, Leah join in on the fun. She stood up on a chair next to the counter and unwrapped the Baker's Chocolate for me and watched as I stirred the pan. Our youngest son, Aiden decided to join us long enough to lick the seal off the marshmallow fluff jar, LOL!

  • 3 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter
  • 1 can (15 oz) evaporated milk
  • 1 1/2 package (12 squares) Baker's Semi-Sweet Chocolate
  • 1 jar (7 oz) Marshmallow Fluff (we always use the Jet-Puffed brand)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
Line 9 inch pan with foil (we actually use the disposable tin pans). Bring sugar, butter, and evaporated milk to a full rolling boil in large sauce pan on medium heat, stirring constantly. Boil for 4 minutes or until 234 degrees on candy thermometer, still stirring continuously, being careful not to scorch the bottom of the pan (I've done it a few times over the years!) Remove from heat.

Add chocolate and marshmallow fluff; stir until melted. Stir in vanilla and nuts.

Pour into pan. Cool completely and enjoy :)

*update, I tried using a different brand of fluff to make a second batch and it didn't turn out right! The other brand of fluff must have a different consistency to it!!


I've been toying around the idea of getting back into the blogging world here and there. With the last blog I had, I mostly did couponing and bargain hunting, but doing all the coupon match-ups was taking way too much time away from everything else I needed to get done.

As many of you know, I'm a very hands on type of gal. I love cooking, DIY projects, crafts, and even occasionally sewing. Besides couponing, I'm addicted to Pinterest. I've had so many people lately tell me that I need to start taking pictures of the projects and share them. What better way to share them but through a blog?!

In the past, I attempted to take pictures of my projects but the quality of my camera wasn't the best. Well, I received one of the best early Christmas presents EVER! A brand new camera that has LOADS of special features including photo editing software that I'll be able to make the pictures look all fancy, LOL!!

So stay tuned to see what's ahead... I can't promise that I'll post on a daily basis, some days I might have more than one post, other days none, but we'll see where my road travels!!