Nutter Butter Halloween Ghost – Instructions and Recipe ( $1.15 each bag decorated!)


Nutter Butter Halloween ghosts are a long tradition in our home. I remember my Mom making these when I was a teenager.

They are really easy, inexpensive and the kids can help do everything!

You will need Nutter Butters ( $3.47) Almond Bark ($2.98) and either Mini Morsels ($2.28) for the eyes or Mini Reeses Pieces ($1.98).

Chop up the Almond bark and melt in a double boiler or in the microwave. I don’t have a double boiler and so I do mine in a sauce pan.

You have to do this on the LOWEST heat possible and it will take a good 10 minutes to start melting good, but any higher heat and you will ruin the chocolate.

In the mean time, try and keep the kids out of the cookies!

Once the chocolate is smooth and all melted you are going to start dipping the cookies. I remove it from the heat because I let the kids do this. Every now and then you have to stick the pan back on to keep it melted.

Dip each cookie about 2/3 the way in. Shake them a little to get the excess off and sometimes I dip them a second time.

If you have any candy left…

This is where I grab kids and they can help either dip cookies or stick the eyes on.

We did one ghost with mini chocolate chip cookies and one with mini Reeses Pieces. Then we voted. The mini Reese pieces won because they were a little bigger.

After dipping, place them on wax paper, parchment paper or a surface where they won’t stick. You can make the chocolate harden faster by sticking them in the freezer or fridge, but I just let mine harden for about an hour on the counter.

Then you can place them in little gift baggies or boxes and give them away!

I used clear plastic gift bags ($1.99) from Walmart, ribbon from Dollar Tree ($1) and pumpkin and cat cut outs ($1.50 for 12)  from Targets Dollar Spot.

Total cost for 3 cookies in a bag with decoration: $1.15

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Halloween Decorating from the Dollar Stores


This is what I’ve done in the past. I am positing my Instagram picture because it looks cooler than the original!

I was at Dollar Tree one year and thought they had some really good decorations this year and for $1 each I could afford to have some fun!

My mini Christmas trees ended up as Halloween Trees. My husband thought it was a little sacrilegious, but the kids loved it! :) I thought the witches hats as the toppers were really cute. I bought every single thing at the Dollar Tree but the green netting. I got that at Hobby Lobby with my 40% off.

I figured it cost me $18 to decorate the front door. I already had the green netting from last Christmas and the mini Christmas trees.

  • 4 Spiders
  • 3 Black Creepy Cloths
  • 2 Skeleton Sets
  • 2 Spider Wreaths
  • 2 Rolls of Halloween Ribbon
  • 2 Witches Hats
  • 2 Halloween Picks ( flowers)
  • 1 Plastic Rat

Not quite as cool looking this way huh?! Instagram makes everything look cool! Anyway, I am sure some of you much more crafty people could have made this look better, but the kids love it and that is all that matters.

Don’t forget to look at the costume and party supplies. You can make some good costumes with what they have available. Plus, the party stuff is really cute!

Have you decorated with Dollar Store finds before? What did you do? 

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How To Decorate A School Locker For Less

Decorating a school locker

Do you have a tween or teen in school with a locker? Have you wanted to know how to decorate a school locker for less seeing all the crazy ways kids are decorating lockers now days?!

My older girls have decorated lockers for a few years. The first year I about had a heart attack and said, “no way!” and had them figure out how to do it for less!

You can see a news segment my daughter and I did for ABC 13 in Houston last year on saving money on lockers HERE.

Price comparison lockers

For the expensive lockers: 

  • Wallpaper Sheets – Target for $15 for 3 sheets ( it will take 6 sheets to 1/2 way do a locker)
  • Black Zebra Locker White Board – PBTeen $19.50
  • Mini Photo Frames – PBTeen $29
  • Locker Carpet – Walmart $9
  • Locker Shelf – Walmart $5
  • Locker Lamp – PBTeen – $24.50

For the budget locker: 

  • Roll of Wrapping paper – Dollar Tree $1
  • Basket - Dollar Tree $1
  • Locker magnetic baskets - Dollar Tree $1
  • Magnets for the wallpaper - Dollar Tree $1
  • Locker Shelf – Walmart (not shown in picture) $5
  • Locker Mirror - Dollar Tree $1
  • Locker Black Board - Dollar Tree $1
  • Microfiber cloth used as locker carpet - Dollar Tree $1

Paige honestly could not tell the difference between the high end locker and the budget locker. According to Paige, either would have been just as cool at school!

One thing that we did not have time for in the video segment was to laminate the wrapping paper. In the past for the girls I have taken the wrapping to a school supply store and paid a few dollars to laminate it so that it held up better through the school year.

Budget Locker Teen decorating

:: Locker on a budget $17::

We use magnets to attach the wrapping paper to the locker walls. You can use tape but Paige has told me horror stories of trying to get it off at the end of school. Magnets worked well for us last year.

This locker also had a locker shelf in it that you can find at Walmart for $5.

For Paige the most important thing to have in her locker was a mirror, shelf, and the magnetic containers on the wall to hold pens and pencils.

Pottery Barn Teen high end locker

:: High End Locker $107::

The wallpaper sheets in the high end locker came from Target. They are really nice and easy to work with, but we used 2 packages ($15 each) on this locker and you can see we needed even more.

The thing that FREAKED me out the most was $29 for the magnetic frames. ARE YOU CRAZY!?

The other tip from Paige is that she thinks the locker lights and locker chandeliers are cute and had one last year. But it only lasted a few days. See they block the hook at the top of the locker where the kids hang their backpacks and it was a hassle to try and maneuver around the lamp and she took it down (along with all her friends) after a few days.

In conclusion, you are more then welcome to spend $100 on your kids locker for school. But acording to the kids we interviewed, they couldn’t tell a difference between items from Pottery Barn and ones from Dollar Tree!

Plus, as we were doing the segment a teacher walked by and asked about the shoot. I explained to her what we were doing and she told us that at the end of the year they line up trash cans all along the hall for kids to clean out their lockers and place trash in. After school was done and the kids were gone, the teachers would pull out all the HIGH END nice locker decorations that all the kids just THREW AWAY!

They use them in their classrooms and save them for kids next year who can’t afford to decorate at all. I almost cried. But the teacher said NO WAY would she spend more then $20 on a locker as she watches the kids just toss it all when school is out!

Do your kids decorate lockers? What so they ask for? What do you spend?? 

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How Does Fiverr Work? Buy or Sell Online Services for Just $5.00

How Does Fivver Work

Fiverr has been taking the Internet by storm recently. It’s a great way to make a little extra money or to get something done on a budget. But, it can be a little confusing and there are some things you should know going into it, so that’s where this How Does Fiverr Work guide will come in handy for you.

Fiverr lays it out like this: Sounds pretty simple right? It can be. But, like anything on the Internet, please make sure you are reading ratings and full descriptions of services before you buy and are very accurate in your own descriptions if you sell.

How to Buy Fiverr Services

  • Sign up for an account here
  • Search for what you want done – There really is EVERYTHING available. From professional services like online marketing for your home based business, graphic design and the like – to voice recordings for online personalized birthday greetings, pranks, personalized comic strips and much, much more.
  • Read what you get – Make sure you know what is being offered and all the terms of service the provider has set out.
  • Order – Commit to the purchase and pay.
  • Give your specifications – If you are having graphic services done you may need to provide a sketch. Having voice work done you may need to give names and details for the product to be completed.
  • Receive your service – Some services take longer than others, again READ the terms and know what you expect.
  • Ask for corrections if needed – But do it quickly, Fiverr terms say you only have 48 hours from the time you receive your order completion notice to request any changes, after that you are done.

How to Sell Services on Fiverr

  • Sign up for an account here
  • Know what you are selling – Be specific. Be detailed. Include anything you can think of one way or another to be very clear. The better your description, the less likely confusion will be with your buyers.
  • List it
  • Share & Wait – Let your friends and family know you are offering services and people will start to find you.
  • Fulfill orders – You will get notices alerting you to orders. Do what they ask within the guidelines you said you would and keep in contact with the buyer.
  • Complete the order, collect your money.

How does the money part work?

  • For Buyers – You pay $5.00 for what you ordered. Done.
  • For Sellers – Fivere takes a $1.00 fee from the $5.00 purchase price. You can get your money via Paypal (with additional fees) or a Fiverr Revenues Card (mentioned, but no details given on their site).

More cool services you can buy on Fiverr:

Buy gifts Buy Online Marketing Services Buy songs, voice overs and more Now that you know how Fiverr works? – Will you be trying it? Or have you before?

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It’s Shark Week Viewing Game!

You know how crazy we are about Shark Week! It is a family tradition for us, we watch each night and celebrate the week! I really should work for Discovery promoting them…

This week we are playing a game as we watch. I saw a drinking game that you can play while you watch and didn’t really think it would be appropriate for the kids, and not really for us as we don’t drink. However, if you do, just know that it is out there! LOL!

I changed it up a little and created the Shark Week Viewing Game game you see above.

The kids are going to get little bags or containers and as we play if they earn points we are going to use something like beans, or M&M’s as the points. You could also just use an old fashioned pen and paper to keep track!

This is a fun way to spend some time as a family and hang out together!

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How to make a Harry Potter Wand


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We spent the weekend being crafty. My kids are on a BIG Harry Potter kick, about 5 years behind the times, but loving it none the less. We watched most of the movies in the car on the way to and from California and all over Arizona and Texas this past month. They turn everything from straws. to sticks to  granola bars into magic wands.

I love listening to them and watching the big kids get completely involved and play along. In fact, we have made up a list of our own “Ivanovsky Spells.”

My Favorite? In place of one of the more popular Harry Potter spells “expelliarmus” the Ivanovsky version is “smelly lamas.” I am sure you can see how the rest of them go!

My oldest has a “real” Harry Potter wand he got one year from Santa, it was the pricy kind at $40 that is motion activated. The little kids drug it out and have been fighting I mean sharing it nicely all week. They had a lemonade stand earning $42 and decided to pool the money to buy another wand. Like that is  going to go well…

My crafty 8 year old got online and found many different sets of instructions on how to make a wand. The other kids shook their heads and said “no!” She begged me to help her make one. Since I had just about everything I said sure, and we got started.

You will need: 

  • Glue Gun / Glue Sticks (about 3 large ones for each wand)
  • Craft Paint (we liked metallic and glitter)
  • Construction paper
  • Chop Sticks or wooden dowels
  • Elmers Glue
  • Marble or something to put at the handle end. We found a bag of wedding gems at Walmart for $3.50 that worked perfectly.

Place glue on one side of any color of construction paper.

Take your chop stick and roll from the corner tightly.

When I got to the end, I taped the corner down and we left them to dry.

Now, when they are all dry, you will need to cut off the ends so they are flat.

Working with one end, I filled the end with hot glue and stuck the end of the gem in. I turned it upside down and held it until the glue had set.

The bigger kids started to take notice and thought we might be onto something cool, so they started making their own construction paper tubes!

Once the top was set, I took more hot glue and make rings around the gem and tube reinforcing it even more. I needed them to be sturdy!

This is where your glue gun skills come in handy! If you lived though the craft phase of the 90′s you know what I mean! :)

Start from the below your gem/marble and start building up a few layers of glue. I tried to spread it down, and as it would drip I would roll it around, making some kinda funky patterns.

The thickest layers need to be at the top and get thinner as you go towards the bottom. Just keep in mind what a wand might look like with a handle.

Once you have the first 1/2 of the wand done and before the glue cools, use the tip and make designs in the glue. This will give your wand cool dimensions and areas to paint when you are finishing it.

Once the glue has cooled, you will paint a coat of solid black over the wand as a primer.

The black really pulls out all the 3D of the glue. They start looking really cool at this point.

By now, I have all 7 kids making a wand :)

Once the black has dried, you can start painting your wand. My kids liked the glitter and metallic paint for theirs. We used gold a lot for the accents.

They took a few coats because of a few mind changes. Plus a few hours of drying time. But once they were done I thought they looked REALLY cool!

The kids were really proud of themselves as well. The big kids were so impressed they wanted to have friends over to make some with them!

These are our finished Harry Potter wands. They are very sturdy and really neat looking! When you feel them it is hard to imagine that they are made of chop sticks, construction paper and hot glue!

I added a few more lines of hot glue at the end on the wands where I painted the gold you can see to give them more of a 3D look then they already had.

For the other end, the kids went out and grabbed a few little rocks and we glued them in. One of the kids use a small gem for theirs, and one of the kids didn’t want anything and I filled the end with hot glue. These really feel like they were made out of wood.

They spent all day playing with them.

One final step that I have not done yet but will when I can get them back is to take a few small drops of black paint and mix it in a lot of water to create a wash. I want to “antique” them some and so I will brush the paint water on and then wipe it off so it creates an antiquing effect.

Cost of a fancy Harry Potter wand: $40  x 7 kids = $280!

Total cost of our Harry Potter wands: $21 for 7!

I am assuming you have a glue gun in those calculations! I had to buy some paint, the gems, and more glue sticks. Total saved = $259. Now if I can just figure out how to make them light up!
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Designer Decor For Less – Dinning Room

pottery-barn-dining

I LOVE looking through designer magazines and model homes at the all beautiful furnishings and amazing decorating. But rarely can I ever afford any of it. I often try to re-create the same things that I see for much less.

I love this classic and clean look for a dining room, although mine is usually covered in school work and sewing stuff, this is how I imagine it in my dreams :)

Lowes:
allen + roth Harpwell 6-Light Oil Rubbed Bronze Chandelier $159.00

Screen Shot 2014-07-09 at 12.08.20 PM

Target:

Smith & Hawken Glass Dome Cloche – Prices starting at $19.99
Threshold™ Lennox Nailhead Dining Chair – Set of 2 $135.99
Safavieh Aram Area Rug $279.99

Pier 1:
Nolan Extension Trestle Table $549.99

Bed, Bath & Beyond:
Shatterproof Martini Glass $3.99

Thank you, Money Saving Sisters!

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4th of July Candy Craft Snack – Candy Kabobs


If you want to keep your kids (and husband) busy for a while, you can try this cute candy snack that we make for the 4th of July each year to take with us as we watch the fireworks!

All you need are some lollipop sticks or skewers and soft candy. I used mostly gummy candies. I also tried to just use red, white and blue for the 4th of July to make it festive. It would also be cute to do them to match birthday parties with different colors.

I was able to buy ALL the candy at our local convenience store this year. They carry all kinds of bagged prepackaged gummy candy, salt water taffy, and gummy lifesavers. I placed them all in bowls on the table, gave each child/Dad a lollipop stick and let them at it!

This is the one Paul made, actually one of the 10, he really got into it with the girls! We packaged ours in little gift bags with ribbon tied around the top. The sticks and bags we put them in cost $1.75 each at Walmart. You can find these in the craft section at your local store.

On the ones for the girls we have little necklaces for the 4th to go with them, turned out really cute!

Do you have any cute crafts for the 4th?

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Designer Decor For LESS! Girls Bedroom!

pottery-barn-inspiration-bedroom

I LOVE looking through designer magazines and model homes at the all beautiful furnishings and amazing decorating. But rarely can I ever afford any of it. I often try to re-create the same things that I see for much less.

This is a beautiful kids room with the ever so popular Owl theme, re-created for much less!

Walmart: 

Finley-Twin-Headboard-White-Finish $99.99
Sauder Shoal Creek White Nightstand $69.00

Target:
Circo Love N Quilt Set $69.99
Nayeli’s Charm Oval Rug $99.99
Cocalo Baby Plush Owl $19.99
White Resin Table Lamp $38.99

Pottery Barn Kids:
Sabrina Toy Chest $99.99

Free Download:
8×8 Butterfly Wall Art

Thank you Money Savings Sisters!

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Ed Emberley Books – Deeply discounted! Keeps the kids busy! :) $3.96!

ed emberley

I discovered Ed Emberley books quite a few years ago when I was doing a lot of ceramics. They are some of my kids favorite books and my favorite gifts to give my kids friends and teachers. THEY KEEP KIDS BUSY!

I also use the ideas to make cute pots for gifts…

Teachers Gift Kids Handprint Art

This year I wanted to make Herb Gardens for the Teacher’s with kids handprint art on the pots. They turned out DARLING and I think we will be doing them again!

Anyway, the Ed Emberley books are on sale today REALLY discounted, like as low as $3.96!!!! Which is an unheard of price for his books! Go HERE to check them out!

Calendar Kids Handprint Art Quilts - Marcia Layton

Ed Emberley’s Complete Funprint Drawing Book - Ed Emberley

Ed Emberley’s Fingerprint Drawing Book - Ed Emberley

Happy Hands and Feet: Art Project’s for Young Children - Cindy Mitchell

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