Thursday, August 11, 2011

When Going on a Beach Trip

I have a hard time figuring out how to pack when I go certain places. I'm getting better but I've learned a lot by struggling through situations that I was ill prepared for. My little family of three recently took a weekend trip to stay with some of our friends in a condo right on the beach. This was after Fourth of July weekend where the healthiest snack we toted to the beach were my husband's home made boiled peanuts and fruit kabobs accompanied by marshmallows. The kabobs were not very easy to transport and after we polished off the peanuts I ended up noshing on chips for the rest of the day - not good!

So, this time I was determined to have easy to eat snacks prepared for the whole weekend that were also more on the healthy side and this is what I came up with:

  • Snapea Crisps -a good alternative to cheetos, can be found near lettuce/salad packs
  • PB&J Crackers -I meant to get just PB crackers but the kids loved these and they were an alternate to messing with sandwiches
  • Goldfish -not the greatest but better than chips in my opinion and I get the whole grain version to feel better about it too!
  • Cherries -just make sure you take a baggie for the pits
  • Grapes -perfect no-guilt snack
  • Apples w/dipping sauces -dips include yogurt, PB, & caramel and none were too high in calories

I hate how some packaging can get glommed
up at the beach so this was the solution for
the Goldfish and crackers.

I have a great cooler tote bag I got for donating blood that I shoved all the fruit in with ice packs. I love that tote and will covet it forever. (on a little side note: I highly advocate giving blood, it is one thing we can give that doesn't cost us anything but time and you can get cool garb on top of it! win/win!)

I found similar totes while I was browsing Big Lots today that came with one big tote like mine and a mini one for $20. Worth the investment, you will not be sorry!

Big Lots - $20

The cooler tote fit in a big old Victoria's Secret beach tote along with the dry snacks and we were good to go. Once we got to the beach I ran down to the gas station and got a little styrofoam cooler to fill with ice, water, and juice which would have been cheaper to have gotten before we went to the beach, but there again, you live and learn! I should probably go back to Big Lots and just pack drinks in a separate tote with ice packs (so long as the drinks are pre-chilled)...

Monday, August 8, 2011

House Warming on a Budget

My childhood BFF recently bought her first home. She is one of the most amazing people I know and I really wanted to make an extravagant wreath for her housewarming party but it fell in line with my finals; therefore, I had not a lot of time but I still wanted to do something more thoughtful than a gift card. While browsing Pinterest I ran across a moss letter hanging on a door by a burlap bow, and bam! I found what I could manage to make my friend with the time (and money) I could afford. This project cost me roughly $5 per letter and about an hour of time per letter.

Now, I have mentioned Morgan, one of my favorite bloggers, here before and I feel obligated to mention that she has done the moss letter as well and her's is fabulously from her own brain. Me, I need inspiration.

I already had this light cinnamon paint, sponge, and
random piece of bubble wrap.

The letters I found at Michael's were white so I brushed the
paint on them dryly with the sponge brush so there was
practically no dry time.

Each letter was about $3.50 and I also used a 40% off
coupon I printed from Michael's' web site.
All you have to do is use a glue gun ON LOW (I can't stress this enough, I tried using the high setting to rush getting the "P" done at the end of the night and burned the snot out of my palm) and just glue and pat, glue and pat (the moss on, that is).

I bought moss from the Dollar Tree for $1 per bag and I only used a little over a half a bag for both letters combined. I got the black satin ribbon on sale for $1.99/spool at Michael's and thought it added a bit of sophistication to the "green" nature of this project. 

I used a staple gun to staple the ribbon to the back after I tried the bow where I deemed appropriate.

"D" for BFF's last name & included
a 3M Wall Hook w/ Command Adhesive
strip for no-muss hanging and removal.

"P" next to our front door
(I still had a DIY wreath from last year up)
Viola, friends! Enjoy!