Saturday, October 29, 2011

Off We Go - Byrd Theatre

 How did I live here several years before knowing about the historical Byrd Theatre?  Located in the heart of Carytown, and a steal at a mere $2 a ticket, it's great way to get out and see all those movies you missed seeing in the big theatre.
Start times are usually between 7 and 9 pm during the week and late afternoon matinees on the weekends.  I have noticed they usually have kid friendly movies at the earlier showing and for the "date night" with hubby, the R movies generally show later. 

Built in the early 1900's, don't expect to see well upholstered seating, renovated bathrooms etc. but the beautiful chandelier and the weekend pre-show of the prized Wulitzer player will leave you feeling nostalgic.  For the mommas~  throw some lidded cups in your arsenal as they do not serve drinks with lids and there are no cupholders.  I don't know about you, but the fear of little people in a dark theatre with open soda sitting beside my purse (ie my life in a bag) scares the begeebies out of me.  I simply throw a few hot/cold lids and cups I use for our "coffee on the go" I get from Costco in my bag. problem solved.  A few wipes for the bottom of your shoes as they will be sticky from all us "first timers" who didn't know better.  
This has become a favorite place for our family of six.

 Afterwards, the street culture, including magician, musicians, friendly dog walkers and Sweet Frog frozen yogurt are a bonus! If you're in the area, stop by and check it out! You'll be glad you did!!

Pencil Pails

Bump up your kids classroom gifts a notch. My solution...pencils!  It's something they need anyway, what kid doesn't like a cool holiday pencil, and a cool pail or mug for the teacher to reuse?

  You can find holiday pencils at your local craft store after the holiday for $.25-$1, ribbon for about the same and themed mugs or pails in the dollar bin at Target.  I started with Valentine's day and added Christmas, Halloween, St.Patty's day and Easter.  I use my digital craft cutter to make cute "to/from" tags and dress them up with glitter glue or embossing paint.  I let the kids do alot of the work and design also.  I keep a bin of all my supplies I find at a steal of a deal and make them up ahead of time when I'm watching TV, on my work break, or in the car when I travel.  Fill the pail with holiday themed candy (such as Hershey kisses or chocolate gold foil coins) to hold the pencils upright.  Fun, cute and if you shop after the holiday..super cheap!  I've had teachers from previous years tell me they miss their "pencil pails".

It doesn't get much cuter than this for the holidays.
Happy Creating, Everyone! 

Handmade Invitations

Turning all those leftover scrapbooking supplies into one of kind party invites has proven to be cost effective as well as a fun, creative time for me and the kids. 
 They have such a sense of accomplishment when we are done and the recipients have always been amazed that they were handmade. 
I personally relish in the idea that these will be fond memories
 for me and my children to look back on when they are grown. 

 That's something money can't buy!

Have a beautiful day, Everyone!!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Pictures At Your Fingertips

My husband was right...I had way too many pictures on the computer but not enough time or money to print them all and even if I did, where on earth would I put them?  I'm the world's slowest scrapbooker and I certainly couldn't delete any..they are masterpieces, every last one of them!  That's when my obsession with thumbdrives began.  I discovered 4GB, 8GB and even 16GB, then came folders and my type A personality was in heaven.  A way to catagorize all those pictures so to be able to pull up and print off any of them in a single moment.  I bought one each time I went to the warehouse store and before long I had one for each kid, Christmas & other holidays, and grabbed an idea from one of my scrapbook idols Stacey Julian and made 3 drives labeled  "Places We Go", "Things We Do", and "People We Love".  I found that any picture I take can fall into one of these categories, hence be saved on that thumbdrive.  Then I discovered that you could copy any one picture onto multiple thumbdrives by clicking and dragging.  So,  I drop our beach pictures in the "Corolla 2009" folder on the "Places We Go" thumbdrive, then save copies of individual pictures onto the corresponding thumbdrive of the kids.  When they get old enough to fly the coop..I'll take thier drive to one of those machines, burn a copy, and give it them to keep.  I also keep a copies in the safe and upload to Costco photocenter for printing out enlargements for scrapbooking/framing/photobooks etc. I have also scanned all those treasured black and whites from past generations and saved them under "People We Love".  I tie a piece of ribbon (that reminds me of what it is) to the thumbdrives then connect them all with jump rings and hang them on a hook in my craft room.  Got old slides?  There are gadgets to convert to DVD.  I had this done through Costco as well, but I'm sure there are other places.  Just know it takes FOREVER to get them done.  I had picture CD's made from my grandparents old photos for Christmas gifts (priceless!)  It took 6-8 weeks for 270 slides and I was in the line on Christmas Eve for 2 hours waiting for them to finish up!   Once they are converted, use your picture editing software to clean them up! Voila!!

Girly Closets

Guilty~  My one and only daughter..there is nothing more fun than a girls day shopping while the boys are out...doing whatever boys do.  The question is not where to shop or what to buy but  "Where to put it all?"  Space is the issue and I have found a few clever ideas to manage all the "pretties" 

{1.}  3M hooks turn the inside of the closet door into a display gallery for purses, scarves, belts & hats. 

{2.}   A ribbon holder hung high keeps bows neat and easy to view.  Headbands fit perfect hanging from the side of a hooked purse.  

{3.}   Grasscloth framed corkboard turned sideways and mounted to the inside of the closet door makes the perfect solution for all those tangled neclaces and bracelets.  I picked this one up at Ben Franklin for $5 already finished and perfectly matched, but you can make/customize your own by repurposing an old frame with a piece of cork.  Dress up the pushpins for added style.

And here's a picture of the end result.

Isn't it adorable? We had so much fun creating our very own "girly closet". I hope you do too!

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Those Dreaded Coupons

I cannot count the number of times I started clipping coupons in an effort to save a few bucks.  With a household of six (two teenage boys) groceries can be brutal on the budget.  The generic coupon organizers made sorting and finding tedious and weeding through to find expired ones...forget it!  so....I came up with
my own idea...

 Sorting by expiration date.  Since I ONLY clip my regular items that I use on a monthly basis (with the occassional new item I can't turn down or another brand that I think might get the kid approval)..  I don't worry about "which tab" it's located in.  I will eventually get to it during the month it expires.  I work within the current month or glance ahead IF I have time.  At the end of that month.....what's left is obviously expired and gets trashed!  I can keep it rotating into the next year because those slots are emptied out from the previous year.  I bought a plain organizer in the notebook section at Walmart and used my {oh so beautiful} Anna Griffin paper and embellishments to decorate.  Print months onto coordinating cardstock for labels and...BEAUTIFUL!

Here's the finished project. Hope you love it and get inspired to create your own one of a kind organizer!

Thanks for stopping by!

Keeping It All Together

So, tonight I thought I'd share some simple home organizing and storage solution I've picked up from magazines, books and an occassional "that wasn't quite what I was going for, but...." project.


Having two nine year olds ready for the bus by 7 a.m. was near impossible for a night owl like myself.  So after too many "naughty notes" from school for excessive tardies, it was time to kick it into another gear.  I knew the kids needed to start taking responsiblity and I needed a solution.  I tried a dry erase board but that was WAY TOO MESSY.  I thought magnets would serve the purpose better, still interactive (kids love) but
without the mess.  I used some leftover foam stickers from party invites (they just happened to coordinate with the bathroom decor..not that they must), magnetic strips hot glued to the bottom. Using the computer I simply typed the chores and each of thier names on white cardstock then mounted them on colored cardstock and again used hot glue to attach magnetic strips to the back.  This makes it easy for summer also,  when I don't need all the school related chores like "pack lunch" etc.  The kids earn thier allowance for each day they complete thier chore board and all I have to say in the mornings when I see them wandering aimlessly is...."What chores are left on your board".  Great news is...Not a single tardy this year! 

Thanks for stopping by!
Have a great rest of the day!!