Saturday, October 31, 2015

DAY 31: Candy Corn Statement Necklace

It's the last day of our Dollar Tree (DT) series and I'm concluding with some sweet ideas.

While stalking the aisles of DT.  YES, stalking.  Oh, give me a break.  I had to write about this place everyday for a flippin' month.  I was there all the time... and I WAS STALKING the aisles for savings.  Upon every entry into the store, I noticed a tower of candy corn.  It was so tempting but UGH!  I have a love hate with candy corn. I can only stomach a few before its sugar overload but, have you seen this candy's cuteness?

This tri-colored treat is definitely a sign of the season and I quickly made plans to document my nephew's first fall in true candy corn style!  His mama agreed and, because I just-so-happened to be around on his first monthday, I brought my vision to fruition.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Day 30: Stick Figure Costume

This costume was Munch's favorite of all!  It makes an amazing statement and costs $2 for supplies from Dollar Tree (DT)!!!

Yes, that's Munchface wearing glow sticks.  Cool, right?!

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Day 29: DIY Tooth Fairy Costume

Do you have a pretty dress or tutu?  Then THIS is the Dollar Tree (DT) costume for you!

We wanted our Tooth Fairy outfit to be white so Munch squeezed into her Kindergarten graduation dress and some pink tights.  We pulled her hair up into a high bun with the front twisted.  I even recycled my Homecoming Queen tiara by placing it on her head.  Here's how we pulled the costume together using one poster board (costs $.50) and supplies we had on hand.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Day 28: Lunch Bag Costume

I mentioned yesterday that we're concluding the 31 Days of Dollar Tree (DT) Finds series with easy DIY costumes.  Sometimes, the easiest costumes have the most bang for their buck.  Today's tutorial was inspired by lunch:

Let me tell you, anyone who's worked in an environment where there's a lunch thief knows how it feels to carefully pack your lunch, place it in the office refrigerator, go to get your lunch during your break and find it's gone!  WHAT THE -- WHAT?! Hol' up!  I know somebody didn't just -- YO!  I've had my food stolen and I can vividly remember thinking I would find the person and take them to court for attempted murder.  You too?!  OMG!  I thought I was alone!  

Yes, boo.  It's pretty scary to think someone would eat someone else's food... as if my hAngry face isn't bad enough, you can probably imagine the face I was serving when it happened to me.  Anyhoo, I remembered my experience when we were pulling together Munch's costumes for this series.  I had a piece of poster board and some scrap zebra wrapping paper from the Surprise Safari Baby Shower.  Remember the photo backdrop?

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Day 27: Gum Ball Machine Costume

These last few days of our Dollar Tree (DT) series, we're counting down to Halloween.  In celebration of one of our favorite -- pause -- yes, we love HALLOWEEN.  No, we don't drink blood.  No, we don't go all scary and junk BUT we like to dress-up and we love some candy.  GO with it!  Now, where was I?  Oh, in celebration of one of our favorite holidays, we're going to share some easy and cheap costumes.  All of these costumes can be made with a few dollars and a few minutes.  First up?  The easiest gumball machine costume ever.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Day 26: Kitchen Gadgets You'll Love!

As the last week of our Dollar Tree (DT) series comes to an end, I'm cramming more information into the posts! Today, we're talking about my faves found in the kitchen gadget aisle.

Seriously, Betty Crocker is *like* Martha Stewart of kitchen gadgets.  

When I saw her name on the DT kitchen gadgets, I knew it was a brand I could trust.  I've pulled together a list of my favorite items and I'm sure you'll agree that they are well-worth the $1 price tag!

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Day 25: Mirrored Vase DIY

Hi, Islanders!  

I found these mirrored candle holders at the Dollar Tree and made a fabulous vase!  I'm sharing this quick tutorial, because with $5 and 5 minutes, you can make a beautiful vase that dupes those sold for 5 times more!

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Day 24: Care Package Supplies

Dollar Tree (DT) may not be the go-to place for big gifts but it is definitely the place for small thoughtful gifts.

People love small thoughtful gifts and you can find loads of ideas strolling the aisles of DT.  Perfect candidates for small gifts are college students, co-workers, children, those with a new job, distant family... Anyone who needs a smile.  It's a great feeling to receive something because someone thought of you.

I've compiled a list of three gift ideas that cost only a few dollars and I promise you can think of someone who will LOVE to receive them!

College Prep Pack

Every college student loves to know their family is thinking of them.  It's a great feeling to open a package made just for you.  You're sure to get a sweet message from your college student if you send any (or all) of the following:

- Candy
- Snacks
- Funky pens
- Holiday-specific cards 
- Selfie Stick (yes, DT has them!) for pics and video chats back home!

Friday, October 23, 2015

Day 23: $3 Pumpkin Drop Cookies

You know, everything in my mind doesn't come out as I plan.  Sometimes, things turn out better and on some rare occasions, things just fall short.  I haven't quite decided where this recipe falls but I know this:

It's good.  REALLY good. 

Are you wondering how something can be so good and still be a flop?  I'll get to that.

So, I had this vision.  I saw the cute paper straws DT has for the fall holidays and the Baker's chocolate and thought I could create a 2-ingredient cake pop.  One that requires no egg, and would just roll, freeze and dip perfectly.  In my mind, I was going to break the internet.  Wait.  You don't know what a cake pop is?  I found this infographic:


It's an accurate and hilarious description of the difference between cake pops and bake pops.  I assumed everyone knew what a cake pop was... Until recently when I was talking to Devona. Get this, she's a baker chick who has never had a cake pop.  To clarify, she's made bake pops but doesn't know the original recipe calls for a truffle-like consistency (aka - cake dough). WHAAAAAT?!


Thursday, October 22, 2015

Day 22: $6 Chili Recipe

So, I know you don't believe it but YES, the Dollar Tree (DT) sells chili.

AND NO.  I don't care how great the reviews are, I'm NOT talking about canned chili!  This month's challenge has forced me to LOOK for cool things at DT.  It's been fun! While searching, I scanned the food aisles and this McCormick seasoning packet caught my eye.  

Hmm, skillet chili.  Sounds interesting enough...  The package said all I needed was a 1 can of tomatoes, 1 can of red or kidney beans and a pound of ground beef.  I made ours with a can of fire roasted tomatoes (purchased from DT), a can of Goya brand kidney beans (purchased from DT), a pound of ground turkey (purchased for $1.89 from Aldi), and I served it over white rice (purchased from DT).  That's $4 at DT and $2 from Aldi for the meat.  A meal for 4 adults for less than $10?!  Unheard of!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Day 21: Bowl+Plate = Blate?!

We're continuing our 31 Days of Change series.   New to the island? You can learn more here.
Yesterday, I shared some of the fabulous dishes at the Dollar Tree.

I looked closely at the Williams-Sonoma plate and I realized it costs $43.95 for the SALAD plates!  I can only imagine how much the dinner plates cost!  In the post, I mentioned I decided not to purchase and instead, I stuck with my white dishes.  Years ago I replaced all of our dishes with a bright white set from Target.  
It really brought uniformity to our cabinet, makes our food look more appealing and allows me to pick up an assortment of white dishes without the worry that they won't match.  Instead of purchasing the fabulous turquoise dishes at DT, I purchased four blates.  Yes, blates... as in bowl+plate = blate.  

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Day 20: Williams-Sonoma Dupes At DT!

The Dollar Tree (DT) has awesome tabletop accessories!

The glasses are a really good quality - sturdy and beautiful - I was pleasantly surprised to see their plastic selection packed with trendy prints in bold colors.

OMG! Can we talk about these glass vases?  

They would look amazing in a set of three!  Imagine them on a shelf as decor or used as bud vases.  I could also see them clustered together to create an eclectic centerpiece.  Big decor stores like World Market, Pier1 and Target sell the same glasses for much more!

The other area I love to visit is the porcelain dish aisle.

I have a secret love of pretty plates.  I would LOVE to have a kitchen table my family didn't use.  You know, one where I could change the place settings out with each season or holiday without the worry of people doing crazy things like EATING off of them.  Ugh! The struggle is real!

Yes, I was impressed with those sets but my favorite dish set of the season is a dupe for a high end Williams-Sonoma set.  I was shocked when I saw it because it is of a great quality and is on trend for the fancy-pants store's version.  I debated over purchasing but decided to stick with my white dishes... for now.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Day 19: Toddler Car Activity Kits

We're continuing our 31 Days of Change series.   New to the island? You can learn more here.
I shared how we were so excited to have DatMyHoney accompany us to LJ's first birthday party. 

She has grown so much and continues to amaze us with her smarts.  Seeing MyHoney's sweet face reminds me of the days when Munch was a toddler.  It makes me think of ways to help the moms of toddlers around me.  MyHoney has great manners and seldom gives her parents a hard time but, with my series, I asked Sheena if I could make something for MyHoney to use in the car.  Sheena welcomed the gift and I got to brainstorming.  I decided to use Dollar Tree (DT) supplies to recreate a toddler survival tip from Munchface's childhood.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Day 18: Cheap Costumes - Batman/Batgirl

We're continuing our 31 Days of Change series.   New to the island? You can learn more here.
Yesterday, we attended LJ's first birthday party.  It was super cute and super sweet!  

I'll share all the details of the party soon enough.  Today, I'm sharing a quick and affordable tutorial for a Batman costume.  Why, you ask?  Well, because LJ's first birthday was superhero themed.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Day 17: Poster Board Mermaid Costume

I shared a picture of Munchface in her awesome mermaid costume yesterday.

I know she doesn't look like the typical mermaid BUT check out the character on the book:

I'd say, with the orange paper and polka dots we did pretty well for ourselves :)  Of course, we did a little something extra with our hair but, well, you know...

Friday, October 16, 2015

Day 16: Affordable Party Decor

We're continuing our 31 Days of Change series.   New to the island? You can learn more here.
If you've been around the Island for awhile, you know that we started a book club for Munch and other girls her age to foster a love of reading.  If you know the moms in this club, you know the meetings are always fun and fabulous with special consideration for the budget.  For the meeting I hosted, most of my food came from DT and I used things I had on hand and DT party supplies.

The above photo shows our set-up when Munch hosted the book club a few months ago.  It was a lot of fun and, a few weeks ago, the girls had another meeting hosted at Arianna's house.  They finished reading "Whatever After: Sink or Swim" and they were all excited to hang out and chat about it.  

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Day 15: Foam Core Board Monogram Wreaths

Yesterday, I shared a trio wreath design where I used foam core to create a monogram and covered it with a Halloween tinsel garland sold at the Dollar Tree (DT).

Do you remember how I used foam core board to create the letter -b?  Well, it reminded me of the flower monogram entry wreath I created years ago for Tati's bridal shower.

I wanted to share the tutorial with you today because all of my supplies were purchased from DT and the monogram wreath is SO popular these days!

--- Pause ---

When I say popular, I mean expensive.  Check out this letter I found that costs a WHOPPING $95+ shipping!!

$95?!  It's beautiful but I know I can create a monogram letter using the ivory and cream floral selection at DT.  I'm also confident you could create your own version for less than $15.  Here's how.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Day 14: Tinsel Wreath Decor Ideas

We're continuing our 31 Days of Change series.   New to the island? You can learn more here.
After Munch's debut yesterday, I was inspired to showcase how awesome this idea is and the many uses for it.  To refresh your memory, here's the finished wreath:

I had Munch make two wreaths.  These wreaths became the foundation for multiple decor ideas and, I think you'll agree, they make the perfect addition to any Halloween setting!

Chair Back Decor.

These wreaths are the perfect size for chair back decor!  All you need is the wreath and color-coordinating ribbon.

I found this adorable wired ribbon from DT and it made the perfect addition to the Halloween tablescape.  Aren't those spider web placemats adorable?

If I were hosting a dinner, I could totally have guests make their own wreaths as favors.  These wreaths are small but perfect for an office or cube door because they're festive but tuck away into cabinets until next year perfectly.

Wreath Topiary.

I stuck a wooden dowel through the wreath form and poked into a styrofoam block (sold at DT) and used a jack-o-lantern container I had on hand.  These would make great centerpieces at a Halloween-themed event or they look great anchoring a fall vignette or mantle.  

B-O-O Wreath.

While I liked the idea of Munch's wreath, I don't believe it's the right size for a front door or entryway.  To beef it up, I made a cute BOO wreath.  I purchased black foam core board from DT and here's how I made it!

1.  Lay your wreaths on the foam core board to determine the size of your -b.

2.  Use a kitchen knife (or blade) to etch your letter into the board.  Note:  I used one of the corners of my board to ensure my B had a straight backside.

3.  Once you have the final size, use your blade to cut the foam core board.  Don't worry if your cuts aren't perfect, the garland is forgiving.

4.  Wrap your garland around your -b.  Start where the two half-circles meet and work your way around the backside of the letter.

5.  Cut two strips of ribbon to connect your wreaths.

6.  Tie a loop and bow on top and enjoy the fabulous wreath! I plan to spruce up the bow before giving it to a friend.

I hope you're inspired to take simple crafts and make WOW decor.  Special thanks to Munchface for being awesome.

Yes, she was *totally* ready for picture day.  Can you see that lip gloss?  Popping, right?  My kid is cute and creative.


Goodwill Finds: The Magnolia Wreath

Happy Friday, Islanders. I wanted to share a thrifty find from a while back.  Ugh, I love my local Goodwill Outlet.  Oh, and yes, you saw ...

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