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Don’t waste money on a full pot, when all you want is one cup!

I love this little machine! About 4 years ago I bought each of my adult kids a keurig Single cup coffee pot for Christmas!  That was the BEST gift I have ever given! Not only can you use the k cups with an assortment of brews and flavors, you can also use your own favorite coffee grinds which saves bunches of money! After all, this blog is about money saving tips too! My favorite thing about the Keurig is that I am the only coffee drinker in the house, so making a whole pot of coffee is wasteful! There are new and improved units available now, but my original Keurig is still brewing great coffee! Check ’em out on Amazon today! p.s. I also recommend the extra little brewing filter cup! Click the picture to check out the options. I totally love this little machine!


CLICK THIS PIC FOR THE REFILL CUP FILTER:

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Homemade Golden Granola!

Mmmmm! Homemade granola! This is something I like to keep on hand all the time, so I usually make a fresh batch every week. We use it as a snack, to add to our yogurt, and eat it as cereal for breakfast! This is not a STRICT recipe, add your favorite nuts etc. and Enjoy!

8 cups of Quaker Old Fashioned Oats

1 cup of maple syrup

1/2 cup oil (use your favorite healthy oil)

1 teaspoon vanilla or almond flavoring

assorted nuts, anywhere from 1/4 to 1 cup of each (I used pecans, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and almonds)

1/2 cup hemp shelled hemp seeds (these babies are PACKED with nutrients, no need to bake…add after cooked)

1 small bag of raisins or cranberry raisins

Directions: Mix all dry ingredients in a large bowl. (Leave raisins for later) Mix syrup, oil and flavoring in a glass measuring cup. Microwave for 1 minute, whisk and then stir it into the bowl of dry ingredients, until coated evenly.  Spread in TWO lipped cookie sheets, lined with foil. Bake at 300 for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes to assure even browning. Edges will tend to cook a little faster. Remove from oven, sprinkle with Hemp seeds and let cool, then add the raisins/craisins. Store in an airtight container. Warning: addictive!

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T-Shirt dresses for my little grandbabies: tutorial

I am always finding fabric that inspires me to sew these cute little dresses for my grandbabies. I use inexpensive t-shirts, and cut them to make the top of each dress, then I mix up co-ordinating fabrics that make these little creations all cute and funky! Here are  step by step instructions and a picture tutorial.

1. Cut the proper size shirt for the top about 2 1/2 – 3 inches from  the under arm seam.

2. For size 2 and up, I use the whole width of the 45 ” fabric, for the width of the dress. Decide how long you want the finished dress to be. You can use a finished dress that fits to determine the proper finished length or measure the child from the under armpit to about the top of the knee, then decide how long to cut your main fabric, and consider whether or not you will use a bottom trim. The size 2’s that I have recently made usually measure about 16″-18″ from armpit.

3. I have shown in the pics 2 options, one is to sew on a flat alternating fabric at the bottom or you can use a gathered ruffle piece if you prefer. Many of my combinations come from recycling old clothes. The zebra ruffle in the picture was taken off the hem of an old dress that someone outgrew!

4. Once I have the fabric for the dress sewn to the trim at the bottom hem, if I want to add pockets I do it at this time, trying to place them to the left and right of the center of the fabric. After the pockets are in place, then I sew up the dress seam right sides together. Press the seam open, (if not using a serger)  then I machine stitch two lines of baste stitches at the top of the fabric to use to gather up the top.

5. Pull the two top threads evenly throughout to gather, moving gathers along as you pull threads.

6. With RIGHT sides together, evenly distribute the gathers and stretch out to pin all around the bottom of the shirt. Once it is evenly pinned, machine stitch together.

7. Add trim or buttons. Keep in mind you can piece all sorts of fabrics together for the same dress, the more, the funkier! HAVE FUN with it!

8. You can use scraps of the knit t shirt to sew a stretchy  headband and attach funky little scrap flowers on it to match the dress, like the ones in the last picture of my two little munchkins!

Check out the variety of combinations I have recently made, and check out my little cutie patooties!

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Updating frames with paint and glazes

I love refurbishing old things and making them work again! Someone asked if I could help salvage some frames that didn’t match her bedroom anymore and faux finishes are one of my favorite things to work with. Three of her frames had a silvery finish and the 4th was very gold. She wanted them to meet somewhere in the middle and havemore brown in the background. So here is what I did:

1. I lined ’em up and painted them all brown,  just in a messy fashion, no rhyme or reason! The brown paint I used was a small paint tester from the paint store, but any craft paint will do!

2 After that coat dried, I took a small piece of sea sponge, (Can’t live without that!), found on Amazon or your local paint store. Just click the pic to order on Amazon. and dabbed some of the Antique Bronze Modern Masters Paint available @ Amazon, just click the pic to order.

  3. After that dried, then I applied  Blackened Bronze Modern Master’s paint by DRY BRUSHING it on. To dry brush, lightly load brush with paint, then wipe off some on paper towel, then make strokes across embossed edges of frame for highlighting.  Also found on Amazon…just click the pic to order. 4. Adapt colors as desired and the amounts of metallic needed for your own project!

Voila, new frames!

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Frugal Living: putting together an effective coupon binder

Money??? We always need it! As a mom of EIGHT kids, (yes I gave birth to all of them!)  I am always looking for ways to stretch a dollar. After  overextending  ourselves into nasty credit card debt, my oldest son introduced me to the financial guru, Dave Ramsey!  (You can check that out here:) 
I started to take a look at ways to cut our spending and live within our financial means! NOT EASY, with a large family, much less even a small one! Things were looking up and as of this past September our credit card debt is paid off and we had even built up a nice chunk of change into savings! 🙂 During those few years that it took to do that, unfortunately, I was diagnosed with breast cancer…womp, womp! We took a hit financially on that little curve ball! During the throws of chemo, there were days that I couldn’t physically muster the energy to work in my salon, therefore the sweet savings that we had finally accrued once again diminished! Dang, that cancer! Am all well today, three years cancer free, and getting back on track financially!

Which leads me to my couponing story. I began my quest for couponing after watching the extreme couponers on TV build stockpiles of laundry soap and sports drinks! lol! now don’t get me wrong, I am not a hoarder, but I have mastered the art of making coupons work and saving a poopload full of money! I have a facebook page (go LIKE me when you get a chance) called THE CAJUN COUPON DIVA  and I also appear regularly on our local ABC affiliate to do a money saving segment.

The coupon binder is VITAL for successful couponing, so I thought I would share what is needed to put one together.

1. Get a 3 inch ring binder. (I just got the Avery white ones at Walmart, but a heavy duty one is HIGHLY recommended) I added a piece of gift wrap to the insert in front of mine (scrapbook paper would work!) then glued on  a monogram printed from my computer. The plain white deal just wouldn’t cut it!

2. I insert a zippered pouch to hold scissors, reward cards, and catalinas.

3. Use Avery page protectors for the divider category sheets, (you will need at least 40 of those) and trading card divider sheets for storing coupons! (You will need about 80 or more of those). I usually just get the pack of 100 in the Ultra Pro Series, because they are very durable.  Both are available at

a great price on Amazon. Just click the picture and get

started right away!

4. Make a table of contents for your first page. Then if need be, print coupon store policies and keep them in a protector. (there is always gonna be a snippy cashier, which you can set straight when you whip out you STORE policy!)

5. Place trading card protectors between each category page and gauge how many for each category. For instance, the PRODUCE section only needs one…very few produce coupons, :(, but the snack and shaving/deodorant categories need 3 or 4!

6. Label and attach tabs on each category page for quicker access!

7. TIME SAVING TIPS: When clipping multiple copies of coupons, (usually need 4-6 copies of Sunday inserts) stack the pages in “LIKE” stacks, then clip all of one kind, in one cut! Place coupons in binder categories AS YOU CUT!

 

Now you are ready to set out on your coupon adventure! Click on the polka dot binder picture and view a slideshow of a picture tutorial of the binder:

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Couponing info today!

Made my regular appearance on KATC this morning and talked about the convenience of Coupon Apps for your phone! So convenient for shopping when you FORGET your coupons!

Coupon Phone apps, as mentioned on KATC: GeoQpons, Coupon Sherpa, Red Laser (this one has a bar code scanner and can price match online prices for you!), savebenjis+..this one is also a price matcher!
To test out the red laser app grab something out of your pantry and scan the bar code and see how it loads up online pricing plus nutritional facts! So let’s say you are at a store like best buy or sam’s and you wanna see if you can get this product cheaper online, just scan it with your free red laser app and it will give you competitive prices!

There are a GAZILLION ways to save money everyday! Don’t keep throwing your money away! If you are interested in attending one of my coupon classes, please call me @ 337-224-1611! Will also travel to you to do a class for your circle of people!

Check out today’s video of Good Morning Acadiana!

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Ruffly Fleece Flower Scarf~

I spotted a scarf similar to this one on pinterest, so I decided to change it up a little and use fleece instead of felt. You can adapt this pattern for a child by making smaller circles and shortening the length of the strip of fleece! You will need about 3/4 yard of fleece. I got mine on sale at JoAnn Fabrics. Use your imagination and mix up the colors in the flowers if desired or use fleece with a print. Scroll down for a picture tutorial, as well as directions.

1. First cut out your 6 paper circle patterns ranging from 5 to 2  1/2 inches. Refer to picture to determine good increments of sizes.

2. Cut your fleece strip 4 1/2 inches wide and 42 inches long. You can always cut it shorter at the end if need be.

3. Pin your patterns to the fleece and cut 10 of each size. (this will make ten flowers to apply to the scarf ) You can layer the fleece into 4 layers to cut each pattern, more than that will really be too thick to cut through. You can scallop the edges if you like, but I found that to be very time consuming without a BIG difference in outcome.

4. Waste not, want not! Use the diamond shaped scraps to cut the smallest circles, to avoid any waste.

5. Stack the FIVE largest circles, ( in other words, circles 1-5)  right side up.

6. Make a stitch about 1/2 to 3/4 inch wide, through and through the 5 circles, pulling tight to pucker up the flower, repeating a few times, then criss cross the stitch and pucker again. Tie a knot to secure.

7. Take the smallest 6th circle and fold in quarters, then stitch the base of the triangle to make the insert of the flower and stitch in the middle of the flower.

8. Attach the flower to the end of the scarf base by sewing it in 3 or 4 places around the flower, about 3/4 inch from the edge, going though at least the 2 bottom layers. It helps create dimension when you  slightly pleat or pucker the flower when stitching it to the scarf.

9. Trim around the scarf end into the contour of the round flower.

10. Continue to sew on flowers, slightly overlapping them, because the fleece will eventually stretch out creating gaps. You may have some excess of the scarf base to cut off after your flowers are in place.

11. After the flowers are all sewed in place, lay the scarf out on a flat surface and cut along the sides of the scarf base, cutting in curves where the flowers join. Refer to picture of back side of scarf to see the contour cuts.

12. VOILA! A soft, cozy beautiful scarf! Be prepared for many compliments!




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Pillowcase from recycled clothes

Here’s something you can do with those old clothes

that no longer fit, but you are not willing to part with! I used an old pink t shirt, an old skirt and an old dress to make this cute little pillowcase for my grand baby’s bedroom! Use the measurements of a standard pillow case to cut your pieces and then combine fabric and trim according to your desired look!

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Fleur de “Brees!”

Seems only fitting, as I sit and watch the Saints play football, that I share my Fleur de “Bree’s” recipe! On any other day I call it Fleur de Brie, but today this recipe is a tribute to the Saint’s quarterback, Drew Brees! Am hoping they win and then you will be able to have this recipe at your next Saints SOIREE! First I use a cake pan that I bought on Amazon. PANTASTIC CAKE PAN FLEUR DE LIS

 The pan makes the Fleur de lis pastry come out impeccably sleek and makes quite a presentation!

Recipe:

1 package of pepperidge farm puff pastry thawed

1 round package of Brie cheese cut into small cubes

praline sauce: 3/4 cup white corn syrup, 1 1/2 cup brown sugar, 4 TBSP. Butter, a 5.3 oz can of evaporated milk, 3/4 cup chopped pecans. Combine syrup, butter and sugar and heat to a boil. Remove  and cool, when lukewarm add milk and pecans, blend and refrigerate until cool.

Spray the cake pan with a nonstick spray and press a sheet of puff pastry into the pan forming up along the sides of the pan.

Evenly space the cubed brie on top of pressed in pastry. Pour the cooled praline sauce over the brie and then place the other pastry on top of praline sauce/cheese. Trim pastry around edges to take on the shape of the brie. Press and seal edges. Bake in a preheated oven @ 375 until golden brown. Remove from oven, let stand and cool a little while. Take your serving platter and place over the pan and then in one fluid motion, flip it and VOILA~ Fleur de “Brees”!  Serve with crackers and prepare to moan and groan! 

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