Friday, May 29, 2009

The Sometimes Crafter

Looks for something to satisfy your craft and organizational needs? I have the project for you.

Christina at The Sometimes Crafter has a great tutorial on how to make fabric scrap baskets!

I think these would be adorable on your desk, in the living room, bath room, bed room, ok everywhere. Making them even better is the fact you can adjust the size to your needs and even use fabric scraps.

I also love her tutorial on Hot Pads - They look so easy to make. I’ve got some Christmas gift ideas in mind.

These Fabric coasters would look great in the same pattern as the hot pads above. It would count as a whole set.

Christina also has a quick and easy burp cloth tutorial available to her readers. I have quite a few co-workers expecting children over the next year so I need to get practicing this.

I also love the tutorial on Fabric labels I would really like to make something like this myself so if I ever start making a ton of stuff I could sign it in a sense.

And of course I saved the best for last with her Egg Cup Pincushion tutorial. If only I could get my hands on a few good egg cups. I’ll have to keep my eye out this weekend.

You can also find Christina’s creations for sale at her etsy shop The Sometimes Crafter. She has some great quilts and coffee sleeves available. The pin cushion egg cups are only $6 – that’s a steal. Maybe I’ll buy one and pretend like I made it.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

So, it’s official you can now call me a sheeple. I broke my own rule; reading a book only because everyone else has even though I don’t really want to. My Mom has been pestering me about reading the Twilight series for quite a while. Honestly I’m not really into romance- love stories or vampires. Whenever I would ask someone what the books were about they said it’s a romance with vampires, not overall very appealing to me as you can see. Yet, after four more co-workers trapped me at lunch to tell me all the reason I HAD to read them I gave in.

After spending most of Memorial day weekend without the internet I had a good few days to read all four books….and I did. And after now that it’s all done I must admit I’m glad I became a sheeple. : )

I LOVE this series, it is a vampire romance but not really. It’s so much more and less all at the same time. Basically it’s just a good read that makes need to turn the page.

Here is my review of all four books.

This was my favorite of the four. I love the relationship between Bella and Edward. The whole thing brought back high school memories, minus the vampires of course. Its relationships, conversations, and thoughts of all the characters kept me reading. I didn’t find it too lovey or gory.

New Moon:
This book is so hard to do a general review of without giving it away. I was disappointed in a few aspects of the book but once you get past page 400 or so it picks back up nicely. For all its faults and unwanted happenings that part of the story needed to be told so you can connect books three and four. I consider it a story bridge.

The third book goes into more detail of Edward and Bella’s relationship and of course the impending doom awaiting them. It’s nice to get back to the reasons you read the first one and read along as they develop their relationship.

Breaking Dawn:
The fourth book was well….. weird. That’s the only way I can describe it – just weird. Breaking Dawn ties the story up nicely but then opens a new box of worms in its own little way. I know many think there will be a 5th Bella and Edward book but in all honestly I think their story is done. If you read the last few chapters the author, Stephenie Meyer makes a comment about good byes and then writing the word “the end” on a final page of a manuscript. Book four then ends with a “The End” page. I know we have Midnight Sun to look forward to but that isn’t a continuation of Bella and Edward’s story just a re-telling through Edwards eyes. Even though I hope Midnight Sun is amazing I honestly believe she’s done developing new stories for them. Maybe a few spin off books centered on other family members.

But it doesn’t end there; after reading all four books and no computer- like anyone could have riped them from my hand anyway, I set out to watch the movie.

Twilight: The Movie:
Out of all five Twilight items this was the biggest disappointment. I’m harsh on movies made from books to begin with but even with giving it lots of open mindedness I am still frustrated with it. They took so many events and either cut them out or shoved them with another event. The characters aren’t developed in depth even on a movie standard. If I hadn’t read the books I would have been so clueless while watching. But I suppose I could look over some of those things, those I can’t are the small items that they could have easily carried out.

For a small example that won’t give away anything: The couch in Edward’s room. In the book it’s a black leather sofa. The movie depicts it as blue chase like couch not anywhere near the books description. Now either the producers hadn’t read the book or they just didn’t care enough to do it properly. Why couldn’t they just get a black couch? See I told you they were small items, but things that were screaming off the screen at me.

So there you have it I’ve read Twilight – Everyone can stop bugging me about it. I’ve got better things to do…. Like go re-read book one.

Books read in 2009: 17
Books to read in 2009: 33

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Clean+Green Pet cleaning product Giveaway!

With the help of the internet I was given the chance to test out Clean+Green products by Sea- Yu. Clean+Green are the only pet cleaning products that are earth friendly. The products are all natural, ozone safe, and biodegradable.

I haven’t been able to find many products that will clean up our messes to my liking so I was excited to give them a shot. I received four products to try out in our home.

Litter box odor eliminator and cleaner
I received a can of the Litter box odor eliminator. Even though Matt and I eliminated a ton of liter smell by switching to the Breeze systems, when you have two cats there is always something. I also have one of those noses that can smell an animal smell as soon as I walk in the front door. The product doesn’t have its own smell which is great and it's effective on eliminates any odor. You can spray it right over the litter or surrounding areas. I’ll be using this stuff throughout the summer with enthusiasm.

Carpet and Upholstery Cleaner.
Ok so this is my favorite product of the four, actually of all time for pet clean up. Anytime you have an accident to deal with just spray and your done. Yes, it’s really that easy. I can’t believe it was really that simple but it was. Once you locate the smell just spray the spot and give it a few minutes to dry. After just a small amount of time the smell and discoloring are gone, even on my white carpet.

De-Skunk Coat Cleaner
Thankfully this is the one product we were not able to fully test from the set of four. The De-Skunk is used to rid your animal of any offending odors picked up outside (think of the name and picture skunks - then watch me shutter with the thought of it all). I sprayed the bottle in the area around me and love that there is no fragrance. With all the camping trips Matt has planned for him and BP this summer I know it will get some good use. I may be giving you an update in the future.

Furniture Refresher
Last but not least I am loving the furniture refresher as well. The smell (actually the non smell) is great and it gets rid of any odor. It even worked on the one area of the sofa BP likes to use for his scratching pad. He loves to come in from outside and run back and forth on the side of the couch. Trust me it's quite amazing, the spray not the dog running around. The couch is going to get a great spray at least once a week, I can't wait.

And because SeaYu wants everyone to know how great their products really are they are giving away one can to a lucky reader. The chosen reader will get to pick from one of their great products reviewed above.

If you want to learn more information about these products you can visit their web page here, find a location where you can buy them here, or follow SeaYu on Twitter Here

There are multiple ways to enter:

1. Leave a comment stating which of the four products you would like if you’re the lucky winner.

2. Follow Onourway and/or SeaYu on Twitter and tweet the following message (or something similar)

Just entered a great giveaway for #Clean+Green products from @SeaYu and @Onourway visit:

Make sure to leave a comment letting me know you’ve added and/or tweeted about the giveaway.

3. Follow my RSS or email feeds. Again make sure to leave a comment letting me know you’ve signed up.

The giveaway will run until next Sunday, May 31st at Midnight. Make sure you don't miss out.

Good Luck!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Friday Find - Crafy Pod

Looking for another great way to recycle greeting cards? Or maybe you’re sick of buying gift boxes, either way I have the post for you.

Crafty Pod has a great tutorial up on how to make a gift box from an old greeting card.

This tutorial is so easy anyone can do it, including myself. These little boxes would be great for gift cards or small candy treats. You could even include a few little toys and give them away as a grab bag for a birthday party. The possibilities are endless for something like this. I’d love to hear what you’d do with a few greeting card boxes you guys always have the best ideas.

And the best part is if you stop by Crafty Pod you’ll find a ton of other projects to spend a day with. Below I’ve highlighted a few of my favorites.

How to make a paperback picture frame - A great tutorial on how to recycle those old paperback books.

Quilted pendants - So adorable

Quilted pin cushion - You can never have enough pin cushions – this one would be great for your collection.

How to make playing card notebooks - This is so going on my list, Matt would love it.

Easy Pine cone bird feeders

Paper mosaic greeting cards - These cards are super cute and could be done for any holiday.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Wednesday Link Love...

There are some great finds out on the web this week.

The Simple Dollar has a great post on The Power of Transferable skills and six areas to work on and another highlighting 10 Resources for finding free and cheap things to do this summer

The "Cents"ible Sawyer has the scoop on how to score $.88 soft serve at Baskin Robbins. She also has information on the $1 flip flops at Old Navy available May 23rd while supplies last.

Join the Mighty Dog Community for the update on great pet freebies

Visit Money Saving Mom to learn how you can get 20 FREE 4x6 prints at Meijer this week.

Have you heard about pssst? Learn about this new general mills program at

I love the new rocket ship project at Junk mail Gems

What are you reading today?

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Upcycling Magazines into Envelopes

It has been a really busy few weeks for me and should continue that way for a little while longer. I am right in the thick of hiring season and 100 other things at work. With all this going on I haven’t really been shopping, we’ve just been trying to stay afloat and awake. My big plan is to get everything done this week and make up for the lost sleep over Memorial Day weekend. If you don’t see too many post from me this week don’t be alarmed I’ve got lots of great things planned I just need to get everything typed up and ready to post.

Until then I wanted to leave you with a craft. This weekend after coming home from work I spent some time making up a few recycled envelopes. They are so quick to make and allow me to reuse all my magazines.

In order to make the template I took apart a small envelope I had lying around. I then reduced it by 25% using our copy machine so I could have two sizes. As I read through my magazines if I saw a picture I liked I tore out the page to use. Next I traced the template to the page, cut them out, folded, and glued together. They don’t take much time to make at all and I did them while watching TV.

I made this whole box last night in about two hours. My next plan is to separate a few of them into sets for easy viewing. Sadly you can’t actually use them for mailing because the USPS machines won’t be able to read the bar codes and they’re a little thin they’d be great for putting them in other envelopes or including them with gifts.

Hopefully I’ll be able to list a few on etsy and maybe get a couple sets to a craft show soon.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Target Glade & Swiffer deals

I didn’t do any big grocery or CVS trips last week but I did do a few target deals. I know I said I’d never shop there again and I really haven’t but these deals were too good to pass up.

I ended up with all of this merchandise for a profit of $2.18.

These deals are now done but here’s how I did it.

Transaction 1:
2 Glade Candles 5.79 each
Total: $11.58
- 2 ($4) off coupons

OOP: $3.58
Received $5 gift card (profit of $1.42)

Transaction 2:
2 Swiffer refills 4.04 each
Total: $8.08

Used: $5 gift card from last transaction
Paid: $3.08 oop
Received: $5 gift card

Transaction 3:
2 Swiffer refills 4.04 each
Total: $8.08

Used: $5 gift card from last transaction
Paid: $3.08 oop
Received: $5 gift card

Transaction 4:
2 Swiffer refills 4.04 each
Total: $8.08

Used: $5 gift card from last transaction
Paid: $3.08 oop
Received: $5 gift card

I’ll send out for the $10 rebate offer when you buy $20 worth of products.

In total I spent $12.82 out of pocket plus tax and have a $5 gift card left over and a $10 rebate coming. So I walked off with $38.52 in merchandise and they paid me $2.18 to do it.

Plus best of all I have more swiffer pads. I’m excited to have them again for my floors need them.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Update on $10 spending

After my budget update on Monday I had a few readers ask me how I’d live off $10 a week.

I’ll admit when I started I was scared – I figured I’d starve by the end of the week and go through serious fast food withdraws. Yet, amazingly I’m still alive, but I won’t lie and say it has been easy. I have/had experienced some serious withdraws during my fast food detox (and yes I consider fast food a drug like substance). On Tuesday and Wednesday I normally work from 10am until 10pm so I need to eat two meals at work, a work which doesn’t have a refrigerator, which can make it especially hard. How do I keep a frozen dinner frozen for at least 8 hours? You can’t no matter how many ice packs you have.

Normally I’d get together with a co-worker and eat out. We generally go to Subway because it’s healthier and only $5.30. Two weeks ago I would have thought that a steal, but our new $10 challenge has given me a new prospective. If I eat Subway twice a week I’ll be in the red $.60 and that doesn’t include cookies or a drink. If I pack my lunch the food cost less than $2 a day off our grocery budget and none from my $10 limit for the week. It’s easier to look at a sub differently when it’s going to cost more than 50% of your available funds. Although I am sure I dreamed about subs at least three nights last week.

There are also other affects I’m of carring money on me I don’t want to spent it. Last week I wanted to buy a pop but I couldn’t bring myself to break my $10 bill for a pop. I mean I’d done so well all week why waste it on a pop right? I’m not bringing water from home. I did break down on Thursday and spend $2 on a hot chocolate and donut, sometimes after working 2 – 12 hour shifts and then starting your next one at 7:30 am you just need a donut.

So over all it’s going very well and working for both Matt and I. We haven’t been to the ATM once. I’ll take my extra money and roll it each week. Overall the experts are right using cash makes you consider every purchase.

Oh and I’ve lost about two pounds as well – always a perk.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Sky is Falling - Book Review

I read The Sky is Falling by Sidney Sheldon last week and am left with mixed feelings. The dialog is lacking in my opinion. I can’t place my finger on exactly what’s wrong or missing but I’m just not feeling it.

The Sky is Falling tells the tale of Dana Evans, a celeb like reporter. After returning home from being a war corresponded Dana finds the story of a life time. She thought being at war was scary, now she’s dealing with politicians and it’s about to get her killed.

This book is a page turner and a quick read that keeps you interested throughout, plus it’s based around some factual info which always helps.

I really enjoyed reading The Sky is Falling, but when I had finished I found myself slightly dissatisfied. Sheldon just wraps it up all nicely in the end and rather quickly, too quickly.

If you’re looking for a quick and interesting suspense story The Sky is Falling might be the book for you. Remember you can request if for free from as well – there are lots of copies available.

Books Read in 2009: 13
Books left to read: 37

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Inexpensive spring gifts

So Mother’s day is over but I wanted to show you what I made for the Moms’ in my life this year. It would be a great gift idea for upcoming graduations or maybe even a spring birthday. I made three of these gifts for less than $10.

I took the simple clay pots and spray painted them with some red paint I had in the basement. After transplanting the flowers I tied some white ribbon from the craft room (more wedding leftovers) around them and included a card.

The end result; a nice easy gift that took me just a few minutes and dollars to make.

3 Flower bulbs (1.12) = $3.36
3 Clay pots (.77) = $2.31
Big bag of soil = $3.50

Total for three pots = $9.17 ($3.05 each)

Monday, May 11, 2009

April Finances

Ok so it is officially May which means it’s time for an update on our finances. At the end of April Matt and I were successfully able to finish funding our new to us car fund. Now any extra money we receive will focus on our emergency and general savings. We’ll continue to put 5% of the extra income into the car fund to allow it to grow.

As of 5/1 our accounts were as follows:

- Car: $4,315.91
- Emergency: $ 1,005.08

(Need $5000)
- General Savings: $ 1,005.08

Matt and I are making a lot of progress on our savings goals and I love seeing the numbers grow, but in analyzing our numbers for the month I id stumble a cross some scary realizations. We are spending way too much on fast food. From April 1st until the 22nd we spent $331.77 on fast food! And that was only until the 22nd I was too scared to add up the whole month. I have no idea where that money came from (which is scary) but it makes me sick to even look at it. I wasn’t going to blog about our blunder but if I don’t confess how can I learn from it right?

Because we are obviously out of control and can’t keep our food consumption under control we’re doing a little experiment for the month of May. We have handed over our credit and ATM cards. Each Sunday we’ll get $10 a piece to last us for the week for all food choices.

Matt and I are only home together for dinner during the week on Monday and Thursday nights we we’ll cook together on those days. Friday’s we’ll pool our money and make it the one day we do eat out (hey we need some kind of reward).

So far last week went well. My goal for May is to get our emergency fund at least half way funded. We still have $11,000 to go in our general savings and spending money for Vegas so there is a long way to go.

How did you do during the month of April? Anyone else struggling with fast food purchases, I’d love to hear your advice on how to curb it?

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Betty Crocker giveaway winner!

Here is your random number generator and winner of the Betty Crocker Gift Basket giveaway.

Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:


Timestamp: 2009-05-11 00:35:06 UTC

And the winner is....

Comment 34

Steph said...

I'm excited about the measuring spoons--I could really use some new ones! Thanks for the giveaway!

Steph check your email to claim your prize.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

One Busy Week

Only a few HOURS left to enter our Betty Crocker Giveaway. Don't miss out.

It's been a busy week around here and next week is looking the same, but I did want to share a few of the great post I've been reading from my RSS feeds.

Did you know you can basically rent books from Cracker barrel? Either did I but read their page at Cracker to find out how.

Great face sculptures made from books at What have we become on Flickr.

Five quick and simple scams that could happen to you at Wise bread

A Chandelier made from baby food jars at natural home magazine.

Ten steps to becoming a millionaire at Free money Finance

Hot to make your own Scented bath salts at Three peas.

Tiny Room pattern at craftzine. You can make a little village in your tea cup collection.

Freebies4Mom has the scoop on how to get Free bag of chocolate every Friday.

Going off the grid 100% might be too hard but what about Going off the grid once a week at frugal dad

learn how to score some high value Old Navy coupons at Bargain Briana every Thursday and Friday

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Lots of freebies

While checking my google reader I found a ton of freebies this week. Make sure to check them out.

Stop by Money Wise Moms to see how you can get a FREE KFC meal. The coupon can be downloaded up to four times Tuesday and Wednesday so make sure you don't miss out.

Coupon Cravings has the scoop on how to score some FREE chex mix at Target this week, free photos from Walgreens and a FREE Bottle of Country Bob's All Purpose sauce I have a bottle of this in the cupboard but haven't had the chance to use it yet.

Money Saving Mom has the scoop on how to score a FREE cottonelle toilet paper sample.

Crafty Decorating

Today’s post isn’t so much a craft as it is a decorating item. Decorating is a craft right?
I purchased these plastic balls for $.50 at a flea market this weekend. They were a little dirty and all tied together, but I saw some potential.

I brought them home for a good bath and Matt clipped all the wires for me. The next mission I have to find what container to keep them in.

I started with this mason jar because I thought the colors would look nice against the design but really it just made it harder to see both.

Next came the vase from our wedding. I thought the swirl of the vase would cause the colors to blend together and look nice but in the end it wasn’t what I was looking for.

After that I transferred everything to this glass bowl but the bowl wasn’t full and looked weird.

Lastly, I tried a hurricane vase (also from the wedding) it’s been sitting on my desk holding scraps of paper but I think its new purpose will be decorative.

What do you think? Which one looks best?

Monday, May 4, 2009

Betty Crocker Giveaway!

MyBlogSpark sent me a great Betty Crocker gift basket this week and they’re offering one to a OnOurWay reader as well!

The basket is filled with tons of kitchen items that I’ll be putting to good use soon. My favorite is the metal measuring cup set. I can’t wait to hang them in my new kitchen when it’s finished. There is also a great little recipe book which Matt will be using. Hey, lets not lie he’s the cook in this family. I’ve already found at least three recipes we have to try out. In the basket you’ll also find a serving spoon, frosting knife, whisk, measuring cup and spoons. What more could you ask for? Oh wait an adorable basket to keep it all in, that’s right.

And if giving away one basket wasn’t enough Betty Crocker is now offering FREE online cooking classes? You can watch these classes online right from your own home and learn a selection of cooking tips. You can learn more about how to sign up HERE. Maybe I need to log on and learn a little myself… ok a lot.

So you wanna win your own Betty Crocker basket? (valued at $20)
Here’s how:

1. Leave a comment with what item you’re most excited about in the Betty Crocker gift basket?

2. Sign up for my email or RSS feeds (top left side bar) and let me know you did in a comment or if you’re already a subscriber.

3. Blog about this giveaway – link back to your blog post to receive an entry

4. Follow me on Twitter and tweet about this giveaway – make sure to leave me your twitter name in the comment

5. Add my blog button (top left side bar) to your side bar – leave a comment letting me know where it is

This giveaway will run until midnight Saturday, May 9th.
There are five different ways to enter and you can do one or all of them for extra entries, but please make sure to leave a new comment for each entry and a way for me to contact you.


Sweepstakes Advantage - 4000+ Free Online Sweepstakes

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Missed CVS trip - Downtown tragedy

I didn't make it to CVS today because we ran into an unexpected fire in our downtown area.
This was the scene at a local furniture store in South Lansing this afternoon.

Matt had just returned from a camping trip and had his camera in the car so he was able to snap a few photos of the chaos. If you're interested you can read the article HERE

Our fire fighters really are amazing. Over 45 fire fighters were helping to battle the blaze with 8 fire trucks responding. They are one profession that needs to be paid more... much much more.

Of course the physical damage is horrible but my Human Resource mind immediately turns to all the employees who now have no where to work on Monday. In an already horrible economy (especially in Michigan and Lansing) these people have now lost the income they need to feed and clothe their families.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Friday Find - Create Studio

Sarah over at Create Studio has a whole blog of great tutorials for you to make on your own. Each post has step by step insturctions with pictures - always a plus in my book!

Today I wanted to bring you this great hanging crib toy bag, one of Sarah's most recent tutorial additions. You can find a great step by step Tutorial here

I can't wait to make one of these for a friend who recently had a baby. The tutorial is so detailed and looks easy enough even I, with my limited sewing skills can finish it.

But there are lots of other great tutorials on Create Studio as well. It was so hard to find my favorites, but I have limited it down to my top five.

Glass Etching tutorial this post makes the process look so easy I'm thinking it will be a great idea for the few graduation gifts we'll be giving out this summer.

How to turn a baby wipes container to a plastic bag holder Earth friendly and cute.

Tummy Time Mat tutorial

Valentines day fortune cookies a great project for any time of the year

Felt Ball tutorial

And if this isn't enough for you, Sarah also host the Flickr group: Handmade Gift Ideas where you can browse 191 photos for inspiration. I've already found quite a few more projects to make my "to do" list even longer.

I highly suggest you stop by her site and the Flickr group for your next gift idea. If you find something you plan to make leave a comment and let me know, I'd love to hear what your favorites are.