DIYP #41 A Thrifty Window Seat Makeover

My master bedroom is average size and pretty ordinary. The focal point is this window with a seat large enough to sit on. 

For nearly 5 years, we’ve just piled stuff there.
Before
I have felt inspired to makeover the area several times, but felt very uninspired every time I checked into having a custom cushion made. 

After flipping thru a magazine, I realized that the answer was in pillows. Now, throw pillows aren’t always cheap, but if you shop around, use what you have and get creative, it’s amazing what you can create.
Before I tackled the pillow issue, I moved my existing curtain rod to the outside of the window, so the panels would create a small room feeling. You can see in the above picture where the rod was (the little white patch where I need to touch up the paint).
Next, I made several pillows out of napkins. I bought a package of napkins (they usually come 4 or 8 in a package). I love this option because it involves absolutely no sewing!

I matched up the sides and glued them together, leaving a hole small enough for stuffing.
I used this glue:

Make sure you glue a little at a time, not like I’m showing you in the picture below. I learned as I went that it’s hard to match up sides that have already been glued. It’s much easier to match up sides and add glue by lifting the edges.

I let the ‘pillows’ dry overnight. And stuffed them the next day. I couldn’t believe how well the fabric bonded!

I glued up the remaining seam and it’s hard to tell which pillows came off my bed, which ones I bought at WalMart for $5 and which one are napkins glued together for less than $2 each!

The most expensive part of the project was the outdoor lawn cushion I bought ($30). It’s not the exact size of the window seat, but I think it still looks pretty good!

I used some hooks I had on hand from Hobby Lobby ($2.99 each) to hold back the curtains. I spray painted two matching candleholders I’d retired to my garage and shopped my house for a couple of coordinating candleholders.

after
The entire makeover cost around $50!

Unplugged

The deeper I delve into this blogging community, the more I realize that I belong here. 

But I have also discovered that this online world is a powerful vortex that is enticing and time-consuming.   And as much it enhances my real life, I cannot let it become my life.    
I need to blog. I need to write. I need to use my voice. But I do not want my children to remember being raised from behind my computer.   
This is the work I want to pursue. I decided recently I need “work hours.” I wrote down a schedule for allotted computer time. I posted the hours near my laptop as a constant reminder of my goals. It’s going to take some discipline but I’m giving myself an E for effort. 
In my journey, I’ve learned that many others struggle with finding the same balance. Pampering Beki issued an Unplugged challenge encouraging bloggers and readers to unplug one day a week. I decided to join in and rearranged my blog posting schedule to six days a week instead of seven. I’m encouraging our entire family to unplug all the screens in our house one day a week! 
And on the heels of that decision, I learned that Kimba declared Friday (tomorrow) a day to unplug and catch up on life. I’ll be joining her and turning off my computer for 24 hours starting tonight. Look for my DIY post late Friday night (it’s a fun one!). 
I love the Internet. I think it is a valuable tool and it has taken this stay-at-home Mom on an amazing journey and I look forward to the future. But striking a balance is crucial to truly healthy living. 
How do you strike a balance? Do you ever feel the need to unplug?


Smarty Pants

I live with smart people.
(And I’m not just talking about being outsmarted or smart mouths).
In order to challenge the third grade class, my daughter’s teacher decided to let her students create their own spelling list if they scored a 100% on the new list at the beginning of each week.
The catch? The student-created spelling lists must contain words that are challenging.
In other words, that leaves out words like: bed, dog, bat
But that’s okay with my daughter. Here’s her list:
And the circled words emanations and picador?
Yes, I did that.
In my lofty, English-degreed mind, I circled the ones that I didn’t think were words.
You know, to help my daughter out.
Turns out they are words:
em·a·na·tion  (m-nshn)
n.
1. The act or an instance of emanating.
2.
a. Something that issues from a source; an emission.
b. Chemistry Any of several radioactive gases that are isotopes of radon and are products of radioactive decay.

pic·a·dor  (pk-dôr, pkä-dôr)

n. pl. pic·a·dors or pic·a·do·res 
A horseman in a bullfight who lances the bull’s neck muscles so that it will tend to keep its head low for the later stages of the fight.

And that I’m way out of my league.
I think I’ll just color with my 2 year old.



WFMW: The Second Hand


I have always loved a bargain. When I was a teenager, my Dad would give my sister and I a $10 bill for shopping. My sister would return with an adorable shirt from the mall.

I would return with an entire wardrobe from the thrift store, albeit smelly.
My love for second hand items came alive in college. Everything in my dorm room and closet were gently used. This art became a gift during the first years of my marriage and a necessity when we had babies on one income.
And even though there are some things I can afford now, I will not pay full price until I first exhaust my second hand options.
I don’t mind if you call me the second hand queen (as long as you attach queen to the title).
Tips for shopping second hand:
  • Shop with a plan-know current sizes or estimate off season sizes
  • Familiarize yourself with retail prices so you know a good deal when you see it
  • Check items carefully for holes, stains, broken zippers, etc
  • Forget the stigma especially during these economic times
  • Ask, “Is this the best price you can do?” You might be surprised at the answer
  • Check for coupons, discounts, specials-even thrift and resale shops offer these
Tips for selling your second hand items to a resale store:
  • Make sure your items are clean and in good working condition
  • Check online for product recalls
  • Know the value of new and used for the item(s)
  • Decide before you go how much you will take for your big items
  • If you’re at a resale store, take store credit instead of cash. They often offer 20% more if you shop in their store with your credit.
Places to second hand shop:
  • Garage sales
  • Thrift stores
  • Resale shops
  • Ebay
  • Craigslist
  • Freecycle
  • Classified ads
  • Swap Mamas (created by blogger Mommy Pie)

Children’s resale chain stores (I’ve frequented that offer name brands):

Kid to Kid (this is the one I use most often)
Here’s a few children’s online resale stores:
Want more? Follow this link.
70% of my kid’s items are second hand. The rest are items I find on clearance. Much of my home decor is from thrift stores or garage sales also. I found a great kid’s resale shop in my town and I’m one of their best customers. (I’m not bragging, the owner told me that! I’m not proud). 
The other day I took in this potty chair, a booster seat and a couple of toys my toddler had outgrown. I was given $37.49 in store credit. I used a 20% off frequent shopper coupon and bought some nearly new name brand shoes and this adorable outfit:
Plus this awesome picnic table:

I paid $2.14 cash for the difference.
Can I get an Amen?
Buying second hand works for me!
Don’t forget to enter my fun giveaway going on right now, it’s even better than second hand because it’s free!
{Thank you for joining me for WFMW! You can read the guidelines here.}

Have a Works-For-Me Wednesday tip you’d like to share?  I’d love for you to join us!  Please note that the links will close at 8 pm CST tonight, in order to keep away the spammers!

Please note that NEXT WEEK, April 1st, there will be a BACKWARDS Edition of WFMW: Present a dilemma to your readers and get their best ideas!

Was your link deleted? Click here.

Links have now been closed. Please join us next week for our Backwards WFMW edition! 

Works for Me Wednesday Participants

1. “Cents”able Momma (Easter Ideas in the Kitchen)
2. Amy @ Finer Things (Virtual Great American Bake Sale)
3. Mother Hen (Herbal Remedies)
4. Rina (Get better pictures from [almost] any camera)
5. Living With Lindsay (Easy DIY Tassels)
6. Kirsty@Momedy-Conquering Paper Clutter-Easy!!
7. The Diaper Diaries (Board Games)
8. Hillary @ The Other Mama
9. Lana @ ilovemy5kids (EASY Recipe)
10. Mom\’s Blog Resource (blog memes)
11. Heather @ Just Doing My Best (a new twist on playgrounds)
12. Ali (homemade diaper sprayer)
13. Homemaker Barbi (Entertain Sick Kids)
14. Kim @ Forever Wherever {No Sew Pillow Giveaway}
15. Real Life: Fix Fuzzy Web Graphics
16. Chief Family Officer (Homemade pizza dough tip)
17. Cents to Get Debt Free (Easy/Quick Mopping Tip)
18. Raising Olives (Custom Color Chalkboard Paint
19. Laura @ Heavenly Homemakers (Gardening??)
20. Upstatemomof3
21. Holly@Homebody(Dollar Store Decor)
22. “Smart Recipe Substitutions”-Kelly the Kitchen Kop
23. Kristie (Adopt a School)
24. Colleen – Mommy Always Wins (swapping toys)
25. EveryChapter (Baby Time)
26. Green Baby Guide (BEST children\’s books)
27. Amber (pressure cooker)
28. Kristin -The Goat (Coffee Caddi)
29. Sunnymama
30. It Feels Like Chaos (parenting help)
31. Janet (heathly snacking)
32. Smockity Frocks (Red Envelope Project)
33. Lindsay @ Passionate Homemaking (produce savers: green bags)
34. Karla @ Ramblin\’ Roads (organizing tiny bedroom)
35. Sunnymama (fabric highchair alternative)
36. Bake at 350 (squeeze bottles for icing)
37. Cooking During Stolen Moments (unstuffed pepper skillet dinner)
38. Becky (Kids Portraits)
39. A Simple Walk (abundance of citrus and Help!)
40. Erin (Joy in parenting)
41. Andrea (quick cleaning tips)
42. steadymom (buy bigger underwear)
43. Mom of Faith (Fresh Clothes)
44. Here\’s The Diehl (making time for mom)
45. Three More Bites (quick crockpot recipe)
46. Such The Spot (Stop the R Word)
47. Raise Them Up (Frugal Time-Saving Landscape Tip)
48. Louise (Getting Rid of Paper)
49. Daiquiri (boys haircut tips)
50. Tanna (Take A Picture)
51. Melonie K. (consolidate/simplify)
52. ElizabethG (free long distance calling)
53. Maria D. (Use for old banana))
54. Our Nifty Notebook (Label Cloud)
55. Audrey (Getting Out The Door Quickly)
56. Kate @ Which Proverbs 14:1 Woman- Accountability & Meme
57. Effortless Savings (Stretching Cheese)
58. Weird, Unsocialized HS\’ers (math fun)
59. Sarah Eliza (substitute conditioner for shaving cream!)
60. GROCERY CART CHALLENGE (save on Dr. visits)
61. Health Begins With Mom (Healthy Kids\’ Lunches!)
62. Happy to be at Home (Pain-free Budgeting)
63. Diana/Ladybug Limited (Baking 5 Min. Bread)
64. Katie @ Clean and Classic Interiors(linens)
65. Stretch Mark Mama (Make Your Own Resurrection Eggs)
66. the BLAH BLAH BLAHger (chalkboard paint)
67. Joy @ Five J\’s (Music Theory Curriculum)
68. Candace (Inexpensive Window Treatments)
69. Thrifty Jinxy (Start Garden Seedlings)
70. Rebecca/Loosely Speaking (LASIK )
71. Elizabeth (GF shopping tips)
72. The Messy Mom (clean with lemons)
73. Lynn from OrganicMania.com (Recycled seed starter kits)
74. momsfrugal(picnics on the porch!)
75. Katherine @ Relishing Life (Keeping Clean)
76. Monica @ DailyDwelling (A Woman Inspired)
77. momstheword (coffee cake recipe)
78. se7en (Journals for kids)
79. Molly Green (Cereal Stuff)
80. Robin ~ PENSIEVE ($$$ for kids\’ school!)
81. Heidi @ Blue Eyed Blessings (quick card assembly tip)
82. Amy @ Living Locurto (Free stuff for you!)
83. Brandi @ My Cup Runneth Over… (Putting Metal In the Microwave)
84. Emily (Prayer Books)
85. LaVonne (child labor)
86. Creative2xmom (breakfast out of the pantry)
87. DropTheBabyWeight:Take Captive Every Thought
88. Leanne – Flat Pack Hack
89. Tracey @ Girls to Grow (sweet sleep)
90. Mary Ann (sharing financial responsibility)
91. Anne @ Teaching Two (Discovery)
92. Brianna @ Heart(h) Management (Shining Your Fill-in-the-Blank))
93. Kates Kitchen: Making your own pizza
94. Lindsay @ Passionate Homemaking (produce savers: green bags)
95. sarah at i blame mom (tooth fairy)
96. Mari (keeping bathroom fresh)
97. Tara @ Feels like Home (make a color board)
98. Becky (weekly schedule)
99. BusyMom (time for mom)
100. LANA- HAGGLING to get the best deals
101. Life with the Lyngs (nursery decor)
102. The 6 O\’Clock Stitch (House that Cleans Itself!)
103. Susan @ Practicing Thrift (trying store brands)
104. *Michelle* (Pay it Forward fun!)
105. target="_blank">Bailey\’s Leaf (Starting Seeds)
106. Kelli (Kids Car Kit)
107. Sara @ Learning the Frugal Life(dryer sheets)
108. Lori (the little bouillon cube)
109. Camian Academy (Dressed to My Shoes)
110. Newlyweds (Happy to be home)
111. TuTu (Publishing Tips)
112. Everything Moms (Bringing spring to my kitchen!)
113. flexible dreams (yogurt tip and giveaway)
114. Debbie J (Launch Pad and Overflow Bag
115. Aunt LoLo (Diaper Pails and a GIVEAWAY!)
116. JanMary, N Ireland (easy banana bread)
117. Sherry @ Lamp Unto My Feet (Sweet Sleep)
118. Shannon (non-dairy calcium sources)
119. Cindy (camping with small kids)
120. MC (Best Biscuits!)
121. BeyondJustMom (Refrigerator Wisdom)
122. songbirdtiff (15 minutes= clean house!)
123. Hoosier Homemade(Household Organizer)
124. Jennifer @ Joyful & Graceful Living ($300/month Grocery Budget)
125. Bloom Where You\’re Planted!
126. Allyson @ A Heart For Home (Baked Ziti ~ Easy for the Freezer or for a Crowd)
127. Allyson @ A Heart For Home (My Morning Routine)
128. Buffie (Removing Cupcakes From Pan)
129. PapuaGirl (Amazing Free Online Financial organizer!)
130. Counting Sprinkles (Doing Disney)
131. Jennifer (magazines in homeschool)
132. Dusty(An Unconventional Storage Option)
133. Michelle(Cheap,wholesome entertainment)
134. Jendi
135. Lynn (40 min rolls)
136. Rachel @ Must Share (Cleaning out the dresser)
137. Abel (12 Birthday Kids Party Tips)
138. Laryssa @Heaven In The Home (Dino Eggs: Kids Snack)
139. Kristi_runwatch (Kid-art gallery)
140. Parenting the Tiniest of Miracles (Lingerie Straps)
141. Erika@homegrown family (sewing a tie)
142. 4 sweet sisters- Facial Cleanser
143. Joanna @ Grace In The Home (Rebates for Online Shopping)
144. Olivia -Doggie Backsplash
145. Candace (photography)
146. Sheila ~ To Love, Honor and Vacuum (exercising with kids in the spring!)
147. Better Is Little (Cute Compost Bucket)
148. Jen@Balancing Beauty and Bedlam(tea parties all day)
149. Jackie @ Blessings Overflowing (Spice Rack Re-Purposing)
150. pennypinchinmomma( easy menu plans)
151. KLee- cleaning the catch-all room
152. Alicia- cleaning out the closet
153. Kama (washing cloth diapers)
154. exhale. return to center. (working playdates)
155. Sandra (cleaning out the shed)
156. kristen (easy whoopie pies)
157. FamilyMakesCents (Save on lunch)
158. MoneywiseMoms (IKEA plates/cups)
159. Harmony (Ethnic food week)
160. Fly Away Family (uses for coffee grounds)
161. Penny Raine
162. Angelina
163. Robin@Heart of Wisdom (Notebook Planner)
164. Organizing kids toys
165. Joyfully Living – Pregnancy Tips
166. Jennifer @ Lirazel (little reminders)
167. Holley (7 Steps to Easy and Inspiring Journal)
168. Amy (kid-friendly artwork display)
169. In…Fence (Twirly Skirt)
170. Manda @ LambsInHisArms (Memorizing Scripture with Preschoolers)
171. BerryMorins Bits & Tips – Guest Bathroom
172. Kirstin: Perspective
173. Mom2ThreeAdoptedSibs (Homeschooling)
174. Traci Best (Thinking about Homeschooling?)
175. EckLife-Kids smoothies
176. Thoughts by Kim (Food Journaling)
177. Milehimama (Mama Says)
178. Amy @ Tiny Blessings (keeping track of post ideas)
179. Joy (no spending challenge)
180. Houstonmom (getting kids to eat salad)
181. Thoughts by Kim (Lemons to the Rescue)
182. Amy (oil burner)
183. Kaye (NOT Cutting People Off in Traffic)
184. Wani (interview w/ an author)
185. The Cozy Country Home (organic fruit wash)
186. Abbi (easy window washing)
187. Nichole (free audiobooks!)
188. Kristen@PajamaMama (Toile Playroom Windowseat
189. Michelle @ Saving Some Green (Uses for Tortillas)
190. TrentTribe (still filling freezer)
191. Michelle (Pancakes with character)
192. Susan @ Feeling Frugal (Organized Shoes using a Recycled Gate)
193. Maria(simple living-drying baggies)
194. What\’s Cooking (labeling my pantry)
195. Lisa @ Moore Minutes (KID ZONES)
196. Lynne(Breast Cancer-new info that you must read and pass on )
197. What is it NOW (God Language)
198. Paula@Organizing Tips (Children)
199. Three boys…lots of crazy (cutting your kids\’ food FAST)
200. Garibay Soup (Company Launch – GIVEAWAY -!!!!!!!
201. Nichole @ A Call to Higher Places (Joining a Co-Op)
202. Niffer @ Munchkinland (family chore charts)
203. TidyMom (Eyeshadow Primer)
204. Traci (Hot Breakfast Ideas)
205. sarah (balloon clips)
206. Julie Stiles Mills (how to be a cool mom)
207. Rhen @ Yes, they are all mine! (ear candles)
208. Saving Money Ideas (macaroni & cheese)
209. Julie From Inmates
210. From the Desk of a Princess (Sleeping Beauty)
211. Lauren @ Home with Olivia
212. jubilee (toy control)
213. My Frugal Adventures (Best Cookbook Ever)
214. href="http://veggiemomof2.blogspot.com/2009/03/make-your-own-magnets.html%20(make%20magnets)" target="_blank">Veggiemomof2
215. Nikke (shopping w/kids)
216. Rachael @ Beans & Rice (the best snack)
217. Maren – toy storage bins
218. The Thrifty Mommy (Who Would Want This Thing?)
219. Thoughts by Kim (Bath Junkie)
220. Martia (Two Bathrooms)
221. Proverbs30One
222. Not So Perfect(YourBabyCan Read)
223. Kari (10 Minutes Of Silence)
224. Tiff (Soft Feet & Fixing Squeaks!)
225. Amy @ muddy boots (loads and LOADS of laundry)
226. Overwhelmed Working Mom (collective Girlfriend birthday parties
227. Jan (kids staying in bed)
228. Carrie (Pizza Dough)
229. Joy (Receiving blanket overload)
230. Katie in Europe
231. Earn Money Every Friday with YouData
232. Cooking Up A Family-clothes pins
233. Stacey (making bedtime EASY and fun for young children)
234. \’Becca (restaurant leftovers)
235. Sandra @ A Lot of Savings (Banana Bread Recipe)
236. Eileen (Recycle Water with a Kitchen Windowsill Garden)
237. Kristin K (Personal Recipes)
238. Charlotte @ mama2tlc (popsicle alternative)
239. Peggy @ rainberryblue (spend less money doing laundry)
240. phyllis (year to year)
241. Rock Garden
242. missy @ missysthrifty (busy Wed)
243. Jamie (aka Mrs. Sour Britches)
244. Jenna (Crockpot Chicken Tacos)
245. Free 2 Be Frugal (FIRE BOWL)
246. Ruth Saves $ (Eliminating Children\’s Bedtime Drama)
247. Mumologic (Yogurt made in Slowcooker)
248. Claywoman (Eating Oreos)
249. Marcy @ Stretching a Buck (Freezing Leftover Fruit)
250. Amanda @ Save, Spend, and Manage Wisely – Homemade Teething Biscuits
251. Lisa @ Stop and Smell the Chocolates (Dried Spice Tips)
252. Christine (the BEST cereal!!!)
253. cuz I\’m the mommy, that\’s why
254. D&L;\’s Momma (Laundry Issues)
255. Wonderwoman -Great deals at Small Grocer!
256. Carolina Mama (Weight Watchers Girl &Winners;)
257. mub (combating depression)
258. Linda\’s Lunacy(Kids School Projects)
259. Harper (leaving wheat)
260. Amyswandering (List of Recipe Sites)
261. Shauna @ Treasure Seekers (wildlife webcams)
262. BossSanders (Getting Water Out Of Bath Toys)
263. Hollie@CommonCentsMom (Earth Hour)
264. Tons of Sons ~Buffalo Chicken Enchiladas
265. Grateful for Grace (healing mouth ulcers)
266. ChickyMama@ Happy Little House (Kid Clothes)
267. Sonshine(dried onions)
>268. Jenne (fun Easter idea, Christian)
269. Terri @ Funny Farm (Family friendly happy hour)
270. Taylor at Household Management 101 (how to clean a microwave)
271. Annies Home (helpful tips)
272. Sandwiched (Indoor waterpark review: photos)
273. michelle (giveaways all week)
274. Emily @ A Place of My Own (Giving kids choice in their clothes)
275. Melissa
276. Terry

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Engraved Euniques {Giveaway}

*UPDATED* Congratulations to BrudCrew! You’re the random winner!
[Mother's Day is Sunday, May 10th. For the next 7 weeks, I will be featuring Mom-based business' with fantastic giveaways and unique handmade gift ideas each Tuesday for the Mom in your life]
I became a Mother so I could get gifts on Mother’s Day.
Okay, I’m completely kidding, but companies like Engraved Euniques make me glad there is such a day. (And yes, honey, that is a hint).

Engraved Euniques can create any saying or phrase you want!  Here are some of my favorites in celebration of Mother’s Day:

I love personalized items and I love their amazing custom products! 
And guess what? Engraved Euniques is offering one custom item to one lucky reader! Winner can choose anything from the site (personzlized or not) or design their own! (Value: A lot)
Please visit this fun store and leave a comment here about something you’d like to see engraved!
This giveaway will end on Thursday.