Ultimate Bundles – DIY Bundle

There aren’t enough hours in the day, right? With work, homeschooling, preparing meals, cleaning up after everyone and putting yet another load of laundry on, there’s very little time for sleep – let alone DIY and crafting!

But do you look at that bare wall in the den and that tatty tablecloth on the kitchen table, and just wish you had a few hours to do something about them? Maybe you’ve just moved to a new house and would love to do something to make it yours.  Or do you browse through those wonderful crafting successes on Pinterest and think to yourself that “one day” you’ll have a few more minutes to yourself so that you too can create something incredible?

You’re not alone – there’s a huge community of people out there who are feeling just as frustrated as you are!

Thankfully though, there’s an exciting new product to help you quickly and easily get into (or back into) the creative projects you’ve been desperate to start. It’s called The Ultimate DIY Bundle, and it’s a collection of carefully curated DIY and crafting eBooks and eCourses from the world’s leading authors and bloggers in the industry.

For the crazy low price of just $34.95, you get access to a carefully curated library of over 76 eBooks and eCourses. And let me reassure you that this really is great value: the Ultimate Bundles team (who produced the resource) has spent MONTHS seeking out the most respected experts in the industry and asking them to contribute their premium-quality eBooks and eCourses. These really are the best of the best when it comes to DIY and crafting advice and information.

Topics in the bundle include:

  • Home decor
  • Furniture painting
  • Photography
  • Chalk pastels
  • Handmade gifts
  • Homemade skincare products
  • Cake decorating
  • Photography and photo-editing
  • Paint colors and interior design
  • …and a whole lot more (76 eBooks and eCourses in total) – to help you be inspired or get started with your next DIY or crafting project!

There’s no need to worry about information overload though: The Ultimate DIY Bundle comes with a complete guide to getting started, so that you can know exactly which resource to use for your specific crafting or DIY project and jump straight into it with confidence!



Hurry though! The Ultimate DIY Bundle will only be on sale for 6 days – from 8am EST on Wednesday, January 21 until 11.59pm EST on Monday, January 26.

You can buy with complete confidence because you’re covered by the Ultimate Bundles 30-day money-back guarantee. That means you have a full 30 days to enjoy all the eBooks and eCourses in the bundle, and if you don’t think they provided enough value, you’ll get a full refund.

Not only that, but The Ultimate DIY Bundle comes with 4 awesome bonuses, worth over $118. That’s 3x the price of the bundle alone! These include…

A free $15 Store Credit PLUS 8×10 Art Print from Hope Ink ($43 Value), a free online class from Craftsy (up to $60 Value), free $15 store credit to Fawnsberg.com, a free sewing pattern PLUS a Premium Video Class from UpCraft Club ($19.99 Value), and free, full digital copies of Where Women Create Magazine and Greencraft Magazine ($20 value) from Stampington and Co.

So, don’t miss your chance to grab The Ultimate DIY Bundle, and get 76 incredible eBooks and eCourses for just $34.95. All you need to do is take action by midnight on Monday, January 26!

This amazing deal ends in just…

Pick up your copy right now, before it’s too late. Or, learn more here.



Disclosure: I have included affiliate links in this post. Read the fine print about this bundle and read the answers to frequently asked questions about the bundle.


2015 Goals

This post contains affiliate links.

I’ve never been one to make resolutions.  They never last long and normally they’re pretty vague like “loose weight” (how much? how will I accomplish it?).   Goals, however, seem more achievable.  Somehow, the word seems to imply that you’ve thought about them and have some sort of plan in mind.  Or, maybe it’s just me.

I recently read Ruth Soukup’s Living Well, Spending Less: 12 Secrets of the Good Life and one of the things she talks about is having goals – something to work toward.  I have lots of things I want to accomplish this year, but without a plan, nothing will happen.  I want to take this blog to the next level, increase my etsy shop sales, work through Dave Ramsey’s Baby Steps, travel, continue homeschooling my boys, eat healthier (or loose weight)…you get the idea.  If I don’t plan though, these are just ideas, things that would be nice to do.  So, I’m making a plan and then updating here each month with how we’re doing.  That way I’m accountable to my readers.

So, here are my goals for the new year.

Work: I want to post more regularly and am working on a schedule where I’ll post on a certain topic on certain days.  I also need to work on restocking my etsy shop.  The holidays were busy and while I’m glad, I need to work on making more footie pants to rebuild my inventory.  I would like to add 4-5 pairs a week.

Financial: We’ve had quite a few unexpected expenses recently (seriously, can we just go back to walking/biking everywhere?) that ate through our $1000 emergency fund and then some.  We need to work on rebuilding that and eliminating the credit card debt that came from covering the rest of the expenses.  We were working through Dave Ramsey’s baby steps and were on step three…now we’re back to step one.  *sigh*

Personal: Three kids & one major surgery did a number on my body.  I’m working on getting back to where I’m happy with the way I look.  I’m trying to eat more fruits and veggies and take my kids for a bike ride everyday.

Homeschool: We’re starting the second half of our school year.  This semester I’m also teaching art at the school where hubby works.  School needs to happen first thing in the morning.  Getting it done early works well for us – then the boys have the rest of the day to play and I can do some work.  I need to work on art projects ahead of time as I have a habit of throwing something together at the last minute.

Family: We’ve been wanting to camping more, but it just hasn’t been happening.  This year I want to be looking for more opportunities to camp (I’m working on our spring break camping trip).  We want to go to Wales next year for a couple weeks so planning and saving for that needs to start this year!  I would love to go to the Grand Canyon at some point in the next year or so.  I need to look into it more – it would take us a week just to drive there and back, so it would need to be a two week vacation.  We’re also in the process of selling/buying a house and there’s a lot purging going on.  Once we get moved, we need to make our new house a home.

What about you?  Do you have goals for the new year?  If you need some inspiration, check out Ruth Soukup’s Living Well, Spending Less: 12 Secrets of the Good Life.

This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosure page.

Contentment is a Choice

This post contains affiliate links.

This post is written as part of Ruth Soukup’s Secret 13 Blog Tour, which I am excited to be a part of along with many other inspiring bloggers. To learn more about the blog tour and join us, click HERE. To find out more about the Secret 13 Essay Contest and your chance to win a weeklong Carnival Cruise for 4, click HERE.

LWSL Book Quote

I was privileged to get a preview copy of Living Well, Spending Less: 12 Secrets of the Good Life.  I’ve been following Ruth’s blog Living Well Spending Less for over a year and I love what she has to say.  Her new book made a lot of sense to me!  I’ve read it once – a quick read through and now I’m re-reading it.

She talks about the good life and how it isn’t what we expect.  It isn’t more things or more money.

It is a life rich in faith, family, friends, and creativity.  It is a life full of the richness that God has to offer; a life spent building treasures in heaven rather than here on earth.  It is not a life of laziness and greed, but one of discipline, hard work, and self-reflection.  It may not always be easy or comfortable, but it is always full in abundance and completely secure in Christ.

Last year, we moved across the country and did a major downsizing. We had to really think about what we wanted and what we could part with. I remember the final day of loading the truck – we still had more stuff to put it in and were rapidly running out of room. We had to reassess the leftover stuff and part with more of it.  We left some stuff for the new owners – 25 lb dumbbells (the thrift store wouldn’t take them) and our glider swing (that was a tough choice!).   The day we left PA, we made a final stop at the local thrift shop to drop off the stuff that wouldn’t fit.  After the truck arrived in Florida and we started unloading it, we found more stuff that we didn’t need! For several weeks after we arrived, we were filling our dumpster each week, plus adding some to my parents! So much stuff that we paid to move and then just threw away! We also had enough stuff for a yard sale and then donated the leftover stuff to a local church for their rummage sale.

LWSL Book Quote

One of the things we don’t have right now is cable or satellite tv (we get the local networks via antenna).  I honestly don’t miss it.  My hubby and kids do, but they’ve found other ways to watch (Netflix, free shows on TV websites, DVDs).  One thing I noticed is that I’m a lot more content when I can’t watch a lot of HGTV and DIY.  I used to love watching Bathroom Crashers and Kitchen Crashers and any other show where they remodeled.  There’s nothing wrong with it, but it made me very discontent with what I had.  When I looked at my kitchen, all I saw were cabinets that were at the very least in need of painting (preferably replacing), the floor was old linoleum and never looked quite clean, the layout was all wrong….  You get the picture.  What I should’ve seen was a huge kitchen with tons of storage that was perfect for a family with little kids that are going to spill things.  Don’t get me wrong – the kitchen was dated, but updating it wasn’t a need.  It was something I wanted to do (very badly!), but it wasn’t in our budget and that bothered me more than I should admit.


When we moved (to a house that I had only seen pictures of), the kitchen was smaller and even more dated (hello yellow countertops & backsplash), but you know what?  I didn’t care!  Why?  Because I chose to be content – we were moving to Florida, close to family, & near the beach.  We were simplifying life – hubby was leaving a job that had become too stressful with too many hours.  He got a job teaching – something he’s always wanted to do.  We left behind a big house with a huge fenced yard that we rarely used because of a neighbor we didn’t get along with.  Our new house has a much smaller yard, but both neighbors enjoy seeing our kids out playing and have never complained about the noise.  We try to get to the beach often (it doesn’t always happen though).

We are choosing to be content and it makes a world of difference! 

Discover your own secret of the Good Life in Ruth Soukup’s new book, Living Well, Spending Less: 12 Secrets of the Good Life. Through personal stories and practical action plans, she will inspire you to make real and lasting changes to your personal goals, homes, and finance. It is real, honest, and speaks to the heart of the matter—how can you live the life you’ve always wanted?  It releases tomorrow Dec. 30, but if you pre-order today, you can get some great pre-order bonuses!

Homemade Christmas Gifts – Recycling Too Small T’s

My kids have been having so much fun making gifts for family members.  It’s so nice to see them working on something for someone else.  They do it because they want to – I didn’t suggest it.  It’s inspiring!  So, I’ve been working on some gifts for them.  First up is a “new” t-shirt for my six-year-old.  His beloved armadillo shirt is two sizes too small and beginning to show it’s age.

ArmadilloTI used the t-shirt as a pattern to cut a new, bigger body from some brown knit that I had. I cut the armadillo out of the front and then, I cut sleeves from the back of the old shirt. Except when I went to put it together I remembered that I didn’t cut the sleeves a little bigger. So, I added a brown stripe to the underarm.

IMG_5579The sleeves are hemmed with green thread to add a little color.  I did the same thing with the neck binding.  The patch is sewn on using a feather stitch, but you could use your favorite decorative stitch or even just a zigzag.  I did a rolled hem with my serger (one of my favorite things to do!  It’s just so easy!).


 I’m sure he’ll be happy to see his new armadillo shirt!

IMG_5578Do your kids enjoy making gifts for people?  Have you ever remade a shirt or other beloved article of clothing?


Boys Christmas T’s

I love making my daughter’s Christmas dress each year.  There are so many fun things you can do with girls dresses and my daughter usually has a few ideas of her own.  Boys, however, are harder!  My boys are NOT into suits and ties.  They’re happiest in shorts and t-shirts.  On Sundays, they will grudgingly put on a polo shirt and some “dressy” shorts (aka not knit gym shorts).  So, a couple years ago, I made them Christmas shirts with ties attached.

I used a turtle neck for my youngest.
I used a long sleeve T for my middle child.

Last year, I cut the sleeves off the long sleeve T to make a shirt for my youngest and I’m not sure my middle child had a Christmas shirt…bad mom. *blush*  This year, I decided to do the same thing, except I made T-shirts too.

I made a simple tie pattern and then made sure it wasn’t too long/short for the shirt.
Make sure you really pin the tie to the shirt. There’s nothing more frustrating than a crocked tie!!

I sewed them on using a decorative stitch on my machine, but a zigzag would work too.  I personally like the slightly frayed look around the edges.

ChristmasTieFrayedComfy enough to play outside in, but still nice enough to get compliments.YoungestTie
Boys in t-shirts with ties – does it get any cuter or easier?

Cube Steak & Onions

CubeSteakOnionsOne of the things I have a hard time with is using up leftovers.  Some things can just be reheated – like soup.  Other things don’t reheat so well.  Cube steak is one of them.  I normally try to make just enough, but sometimes I end up with leftovers.  My father-in-law knew exactly what to do with them and it was delicious!!  He fried up several onions in butter and then put the leftover cube steak (chopped into bite size pieces) in and heated it long to warm them through.  Mmmm!!  So easy!  If you want a one dish meal, toss in some veggies with the meat, cover it and let it simmer for about 8 minutes.

Do you try to use up leftovers?  Do you just reheat them or remake them?

Seamingly Smitten Giveaway

Recently (in the past year), Ive discovered a couple shops that make and sell patterns for kids & adults.  One of them is Seamingly Smitten.  Last year I found her when the Love Me Knots dress came out.

Love Me Knots Dress

More recently, she inspired me to try my twin needle.

Jenny recently made her 10,000th sale on Etsy (how awesome is that?!?!) and is celebrating by having a giveaway!  If you sew, you don’t want to miss this.  Hop on over to her blog and start entering!

Using a Twin Needle

A couple months ago I read this post on how to use a twin needle.  It looked so easy!  When I got my machine (over 15 year ago!), I noticed that it came with a twin needle.

Twin Needle
Still in it’s original, unopened package!

So, I decided that since it looked so easy, I was going to try it out.

OpenTwinNeedeIt really was easy to thread it!

ThreadedTwinNeedleIt sewed just like a regular single needle.  Since it was my first time trying it and I was sewing a school skirt for my daughter, I didn’t want to try thread that was too contrasting.  After seeing how nice and neat it looks, I’m thinking of all the different ways I could use it and with different colors!


Fostering A Dog

Fostering A Dog

I’ve mentioned before that we foster animals for the humane society – mostly kittens.  The other day, my daughter commented that we haven’t had any in a while.  She was wondering if I had gotten any e-mails recently.  I told her no, I haven’t even had any for dogs.  Ever say something like that?  The next day, guess what?  I got an e-mail from them saying that they had two dogs that needed to be fostered.  One required a three month commitment.  Since we’ve never had a dog (at least not since DH and I were kids), that one was out.  The other one was only a two week foster.

After checking with DH, I e-mailed them back to see if she was still available.  The next thing I know, my phone is ringing and it’s the humane society saying that Lulu is still available.  They said she’s a shepherd mix and super sweet – loves everyone and everything so she’d be fine with out kids and cats.

Notice they said shepherd mix?  It never occurred to me that shepherd could include german shepherd.  It didn’t occur to me while we were at the humane society meeting her.  It didn’t occur to me until my brother mentioned that she looked like the dog my neighbors had when I was a kid.  By then though I’d already decided that she was OK.  As a kid, I was afraid of my neighbor’s german shepherd and he knew it!  My husband had a german shepherd as a kid and he loved it.  I said no way, if we ever get a dog, it will not be a german shepherd.  Except that this one is so loving and I’ve changed my tune a bit.

She’s a foster because she’s on medicine for a UTI.  The first few days we had her, she was so laid back and didn’t bother the cats at all!  We were impressed!  A walk around the block in the morning and a couple trips outside during the day and she was good to go.  Then, yesterday, we noticed that she was getting a bit more frisky – more like an 11-month old pup.  I couldn’t figure out why.  We were still making sure she got outside to run around and she had a couple toys and a bone for in the house.

Then, DH realized that she must be feeling better!  She wants to chase the cats.  Although I really think she just wants to play with them, the cats are not having it.  They puff up and hiss and growl.  Lulu lays down, puts her head down and makes this cute little noise.  She also jumps on the furniture more and she is definitely too big for our furniture!  The kids aren’t sure what to think of the “new” Lulu.  She wants to play even when they don’t.  More trips outside are definitely on the agenda as well as trips to the local dog park (which happens to be very nice!).

I feel bad that I’m counting the days until she’s ready to go back and find her forever home, but this experience has proved two things to me – we won’t be fostering a dog again and we’re probably not ready to have one of our own either!  What about you?  Are you a dog person or a cat person?  Any advice for us to get us through this week?

Resizing Sewing Patterns

Resizing Sewing Patterns

Since my daughter is going to private school this year, we’ve entered the world of school uniforms.  We bought polo shirts for $5 each at Old Navy.  I don’t think I can make one for less than that – plus the hassle of making those little button holes and lining up the buttons…ugh!  Skirts and jumpers however are easy to make.  Except when you pull out your patterns and see this.

Resizing Patterns
Seriously? Size 4? Even an 8 isn’t quite big enough.

I’m sure it wasn’t that long ago that I bought these sewing patterns and now my little girl needs a size 10.  Where did the time go?  Anyway, back to pattern resizing.

Resizing a Pattern - Measuring the PatternI held the skirt piece up to her and measured how much longer it needed to be.

Making Skirt Long EnoughIt needs to be about six inches longer so I measured from edge and marked it with a pin.

IMG_4521It also needs to be a little wider.  Each size is about 1/4 inch so I added an inch to the width of the skirt.

Resized Pattern PieceThe finished resized piece.  I measured my daughter and the resized pieces to be sure the waist and hips would be the right size.

The finished skirt – a perfect fit.

Finished SkirtHave you ever resized a pattern or do you just buy a new one?