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Thursday, May 19, 2011

I {heart} this frame from Pier 1 Imports...

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This frame at Pier 1 Imports had me at "hello".
I  love how it has a real crafty aspect with the clothespins and wire.
I have seen lots of these around blogland made by talented bloggers, but I already have a long list of projects I am working on, so I chose to purchase this instead.
It was 35% off when I picked it up... which was really helpful.
Since I picked up this frame back in March and Easter was around the corner, I decided to fill it with pictures from Easter from 2003 when my kids were much smaller.
I used my scrapbook skills to make a little title for the center slot in the frame.
And I added some tied ribbons for a little more hit of colour.

This has been really fun to look at for 2 months.
However, I am getting ready to switch it out to pictures from our recent vacation to Florida.
I really love that the fact that it is so easy to switch pictures in and out with a simple clothespin.

This post is linked to:

Organize and Decorate Everything

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

A Mantel for Summer...

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So as part of my 6 week blog break, I had fun spring cleaning and freshening up some things around the house.
I happened to be in Homesense looking for nothing in particular...just browsing around.....when I spotted this really fun mirror for only  $29.99. 
{Can I say it again...that darn Homesense!}
I fell in love with it's shape and it's crisp white look.
I decided to bring it home with me and try it above the piano.
I also added Mr. Owl vase. I love the pop of white for summer.
This is how the 'Mantle' looked after Valentine's Day.
And here's how it looks now:

The brown round mirror has gone on vacation to the stairwell for the "Project Stairwell" makeover...which is coming soon!

Which look do you like better....Fresh Mrs. White or Old Mr. Brown?

This post is linked to:
Somewhat Simple

Sundae Scoop @ I {heart} Naptime

Strut Your Stuff Saturday at Six Sisters Stuff


Organize and Decorate Everything

Monday, May 16, 2011

Colour Blocking A Bookcase....

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I have always loved this image from Style At Home as an example of a perfectly styled bookcase. I love the colour blocking of the books in particular.
 When I spring cleaned my office area....I decided to give colour blocking a try for organzing the books on this book shelf...which has to hold books, photo boxes and scrapbook albums.
I don't own a ton of books anymore since I purged many that I knew that I would never read again and gave them to the kids' school for their annual book sale.
I only kept the books that I absolutely love.
I also had to make room for 3 of Becky Higgin's Project Life Kits on the bottom shelf.
I really love how it looks...not as cluttered as before I started.

  How about you?
Have you  tried colour blocking a bookcase?

This is post is linked to:

Organize and Decorate Everything

Friday, May 13, 2011

Extreme Couponing: Extreme Crazy?

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Has anyone see TLC's new show, "Extreme Couponing"?
I have happened to catch it a couple of  times.
I wanted to watch to see if there was anything I could learn about saving money.
And let me tell ya....there's a few things in that show that made me scratch my head.
Never mind that in Canada our grocery game is a little different.
But I will get to that later.
I love how these 'extreme couponers' use little pieces of paper to save so much money.
Saving money always makes sense, right?

But here are a few things that make me wonder.

 Extremely Harmful Products:
I am not a fan of the cleaning products that I see 'stockpiled' by extreme couponers on the show that were virtually 'free' or purchased at an extreme discount.
I see lots of harmful chemical cleaners that are not good for the environment or for people.
A savings?
 No so much.
Many of those products I would never buy...I want to use safe, environmentally friendly products in my home.
Things that don't hurt my family.
Or my sweet little dogs.
And if water, soap or vinegar will do....then that's what I use.
To me...there's no  money saved in buying poisons to clean your home.

  Extremely Old Products:
Did anyone see the recent episode with the man that proudly showed off a "Toothpaste Room" ?
Yes! "Toothpaste Room".
This man had stockpiled 1000 tubes of toothpaste.
He had a room devoted to just these 1000 tubes of toothpaste.
He said that they were all free using coupons.
Okay. Let's do the math on that.
If a family of 4 used 4 tubes of toothpaste a month which equals 48 tubes a year.....then 1000 tubes would be enough to last for......20 years!!
Can you imagine opening a tube of toothpaste from 1991 and using it to brush your teeth?
Um. Extreme Yuck.
If there was a memo sent out about the shelf life of toothpaste being 10+ years or more...I must have missed it.
The expiry date on my toothpaste tube says November 2012...which is next year.
To be fair...the man did use his stockpile to make up 100 care packages for soldiers in the war zone.
The care packages were made up of toothpaste, deodorant, soap, etc.
So he was using some of it for a great cause.
However, 100 tubes of toothpaste given away seems to have barely made a dent in the pile.

Extremely Un-Appetizing & Unhealthy Products
I'm sorry....but I don't find anything appetizing about 200 cans of Chef-Boy-Ardee Ravioli or Spaghettio's  purchased for next to nothing.
Or 400 cans of soup.
And I saw lots of Cocoa Puffs and other 'junk' cereals stockpiled.
We never use canned pasta at our house....we don't like the taste.
And I seldon buy sugary cereals for my family...we stick to oatmeal & eggs.
 I am sure that many dietitians would discourage the frequent use of these kind of food items due to too much salt, too much sugar,  very little fiber and/or lack of nutritional content.
Again, a great saving that sits on the shelf at home.
But not an extremely appetizing or healthy option for a meal to have on a regular basis.

Extreme Time Commitment
Many of the extreme couponers on the show say that collecting coupons, organizing & sorting coupons, researching sales and creating spreadsheets to maximize coupon savings takes couponer on the show was quoted as saying that she {with 3 children} spent 15 hours a week couponing.
That is a LOT of time.
I can't see where I could add 15 hours of couponing into my already busy schedule each week.
Which brings me to another question: Is this a hobby? Is this another form of  OCD? Is this an addiction?
Is this another form of hoarding where the hoarding is with new products instead of other things?
Couponing for these people seems to be their whole life.
I want balance in life. 
Sure... I like to save money. But devoting a half hour a week to shopping the sales is fine for me.
I also enjoy spending time with my family.
There is no price or savings on that.

Extreme Coupon Quantities
One Extreme Couponer on the show said that she collected the sales flyers that were left over from routine weekly the area of 1500  leftover flyers a week.
{She spent hours cutting, sorting and organizing the coupons from these 1500 flyers to increase her stockpile of coupons.}
I don't think it would be easy or practical for the average shopper to secure this kind of quantity of coupons on a weekly basis.
And I am sure that this woman will now have competition for those leftover flyers now that her secret is out.

Canadian vs. American Grocery Shopping
Here in Canada, I don't know of a grocery store that has double or triple coupon days like I have seen in the US on the 'Extreme Couponing" show where coupons are worth double or triple their value on certain days.
If there was a store that had a double or triple coupon day, I surely would take advantage of it.
And many of the coupons that I do see in Canada clearly state, "Not to be combined with other offers" or "One per Customer".
So I am not sure that saving money like any of the U.S. extreme couponers is even possible.

Coupon Stacking In Edmonton
CTV News in Edmonton just ran a segment last night & tonight featuring some ladies in Edmonton who  are into "extreme couponing".
They use a strategy called 'coupon stacking' which is using multiple coupons for the same product to collect an extreme saving.
According to CTV Edmonton, London Drugs and Save-On-Foods are 2 stores that do allow 'coupon stacking'.
{I am assuming possibly that some other stores do not allow coupon stacking.}
These ladies collect coupons from newspapers, flyers, store coupons and online sites.
The coupons are stored in page protectors in binders and they watch sales carefully to take advantage of 'coupon stacking' strategies.
For example....if Colgate toothpaste is $1.99 on sale for $1.59 and three .50 cent off coupons are stacked together...the toothpaste can now be purcahasd for 9 cents.

So, I am just you think you will be coupon stacking anytime soon?
And...if you have seen the show "Extreme Couponing", what did you take away from it?
I know that it is "Extreme" just as the title states, but what did you think?
Crazy or smart?
Inquiring minds want to know!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Beautifully Organized Living...

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Hello There!
Did you think that I was never coming back?
I occasionally take a break from blogging.  And the computer.
I find that it helps to renew the spirit and refresh my perspective!
And also another project has been demanding my attention.
I have decided to dip my toes into the world of professional organizing.
I have been taking courses,  creating a new site, designing business cards and writing my mission and goals for this new career path.
It seemed like quite a good fit for me as it combines my two loves-organizing and decorating!

I have been fortunate to also have had jobs with a few clients already.
A big focus these days seems to be personal spaces for busy moms.
I recently helped a mom carve out a new home office space...including painting the room, shopping at Ikea for furniture and then setting up an update file system.
It was a ton of fun!
I will have pictures to come soon!
I have a home office to share along with a sewing studio, and a dining room space!

And if you know anyone in the Edmonton area looking for a professional organizer...please think of me!

Thank you so much for visiting!

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