Tag Archive | deals

Spending My Summer in the Backyard Part 1…

So, I’ve been missing all summer from these blogging streets. Let’s just say that I’ve been taking some time to stop and smell the flowers….

Backyard Bending Pose Zinnia_edited-1

For the past few years, I’ve been really trying to work on my green thumb. Pinterest has me inspired and thinking that I can do anything! And what I can’t do, I can convince hubby to do!! lol! The picture above features a preview of the patio hubby built a couple years ago and the pergola he built this year. The flowers though…that’s all me!

Backyard Flower Bed

We’ll get to the details of the full patio/pergola design as well as the decorative touches that I add in part 2. In the meantime, the flowers are courtesy of of box of Zinnia seeds that I purchased from none other than Dollar Tree! One box claimed to contain 100 seeds and produced all this!

Backyard Orange ZinniaBackyard Pink Zinnia

They attract the most beautiful butterflies!

Backyard Black Spotted ButterflyBackyard Black Spotted Butterfly2

You have to appreciated God’s creations and how He perfectly coordinates the body of the insect to the wings! And did you see that extra splash of blue and orange??

Backyard Umbrella Stand

Another of my Pinterest inspirations was this umbrella base. I used a large 16″ flower pot from Home Depot, one and a half bags of cement mix, a pvc pipe, and spray paint. After everything set, I added dirt and flowers. This thing is heavy and holds a large 8 foot umbrella and all for less than $40!!

Backyard Pepper in Garden

Did I mention that I garden now too?? Well, I actually started that last year after hubby and daughter built a garden bed for me. I grew a variety of peppers and herbs this year.

Backyard Peppers Harvest

I harvested these peppers and made some deliciously spicy tacos!

I realize that summer is coming to an end but where I live, fall is an even better season to enjoy the outdoors. As fall approaches and the temps cool a bit, I’ll be addingĀ the finishing touches and will share it all in part 2 so stay tuned!Backyard Standing Zinnia Pose_edited-1

Home Depot DIY: Wall Planter Turned This Novice Into a Pro!

So I had been contemplating for quite some time how I could artistically display house plants that I’ve been trying not to kill to grow. I had a failed attempt at some wall shelves that I “secured” to the wall with command strips. They looked good at first but came crashing down out of nowhere a couple of times nearing destroying the plants they were holding. To save my plants, and our lives by preventing the heart attacks induced by loud crashing plants, I gave up on that idea. I had been wracking my brain for a couple weeks on how to get these plants on the wall in a decorative fashion when I came across this post on Instagram:

home-depot-workshop-tall-400x342

Is Home Depot reading my mind? I know that Facebook and Google have infiltrated my whole life and know my thoughts before I have them but how did Home Depot know??? I’ll dismiss the creepiness of that for now since I did actually want to learn how to do this project.

So, I registered online and moseyed on over to my local Home Depot on the designated day. This was my first time attending a workshop here and I’m guessing it won’t be my last. It was a painless and fun experience overall.

Uncut Plywood

We started out with a 2 X 4 plank of plywood. We measured and marked the wood every 12 inches both horizontally and vertically.

I even had the chance to use an electric saw for the first time. We cut out 8 planks that were each 12 X 12. I thought I inspired my mini-me to be brave enough to take on the challenge of sawing but turns out she’s done this before with my husband. I guess I’m the only novice in this house.

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

We were then given a sanding sponge thingy to get the surface all nice, smooth, and splinter-less.

Sanding Plywood

Then we were instructed to make a marking 3 inches from the top corner in order to affix a hanging device. We hammered the hanger in place.

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

We measured to get to the center point of the wood and drilled in a 1/8 inch hole. We then attached a metal adjustable holder in the center.

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

We added the flower pot and tightened the adjustable holder in place.

Finished at Home Depot

Now to finish it up and make it all pretty, we applied a couple coats of a dark wood stain. I don’t know if we were a little too heavy handed but it actually took a full couple days to completely dry.

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Nevertheless the end result is beautiful and looks like it costs a little bit of money. Did I mention that we got these completely for free!! Yes, not only was the workshop free but we got to take home our project for no charge…score!

I added my own touches to the final product by switching out the pot for these glass jars. I added some decorative stones at the bottom for drainage. These cost me a whole $3 at my favorite high end store, the Dollar Tree…lol.

Planters on wall

And there you have it! My first diy utilizing power tools. I feel so empowered and ready to saw and drill everything in sight!

Have you ever attended a Home Depot workshop? What did you learn? How come I’m just now finding out how awesome this is? That last one was rhetorical….

I’m going to keep riding this creative wave and have many more ideas that I’m going to implement so stay tuned! šŸ™‚

Easy Last Minute Christmas Gifts 3…DIY Shower Smoothie!!

We’re continuing on in this series of fabulously frugal d.i.y. gifts. Today, I am finishing up this trifecta of goodies by showing how I make a luscious and rich shower smoothie. Lots of brands have shower gels on the market but this smoothie takes that to the next level. It has the perfect combination of cleansing, moisturizing, and fragrant goodness.

For this smoothie, you will need:

1/2 cup of coconut oil
1/2 cup of pureĀ unscented castile soapĀ  (you can find itĀ here)
1/2 cup of distilled water
Your favorite bar soap ( I always use Olay Ultra Moisture)
A grater
2 large bowls

Shower Smoothie Materials

Additional tools you’ll need are:

A measuring cup
Spatula
Hand mixer
Containers (Dispensers)

Shower Smoothie Materials2

In a large bowl, grate the bar of soap completely. Add the water to the grated soap and let it sit for a few minutes until it looks like this:

Shower Smoothie Soap

Because I’m all about smooth textures, I use the hand mixer to whip the soap and water mixture to eliminate the chunks and create a more smooth, fluffy texture.

Shower Smoothie Whipped Soap

Separately, I whip the coconut oil to remove any lumps. Since the coconut oil has a different consistency than the soap, whipping them separately will ensure its smoothiness.

Shower Smoothie Whipped Coconut Oil edit

Next, add the whipped coconut oil to the whipped soap mixture. Then add the castile soap. Whip all together until it’s one big batch of whipped fluffy goodness!

Shower Smoothie Whipped Mixture

Now you separate the the whipped shower smoothie in order to add the same soap grade premium fragrances that I used for theĀ body butter and the scented candles. One heaping cap full is enough for each batch. Simply fold it in to the smoothie.

Shower Smoothie Fragrance

I found the perfect container/dispenser at my favorite budget buy location, Dollar Tree. These are actually nail polish remover dispensers found in the nail polish aisle. It dispenses this product perfectly.

Shower Smoothie in Container

It has a flip cap and has a nozzle that you simply push down to dispense.

Shower Smoothie Bottle Dispense

Now you are ready to gift someone one of the most luxurious shower experiences they’ve had all year! Look at all this lathery goodness the shower smoothie gives! It is sure to leave the skin clean, soft and moisturized.

Shower Smoothie Suds

Add this shower smoothie to theĀ body butter and theĀ scented candle and you have a complete gift set! Any one of these alone would make a great gift! Simply add on depending on how much you like the person to whom you are gifting :).

Shower Smoothie Gift Set

And there you have it folks! Simple and affordable gifts that won’t break the bank. Bookmark this page for anytime you need a quick gift idea that is sure to impress.

Wishing you and yours a Merry Christmas and a Happy, Prosperous New Year!!

Stay tuned for more money saving fashion and d.i.y ideas….

 

 

Easy Last Minute Christmas Gifts Part 2….DIY Scented Candles

We’re putting together gift sets on a budget this week just in time for Christmas. Yesterday, I showed you how I make my simple hair & body butter. Today, we’re going to add in a candle that matches the scent of the body butter!

Now there are places where you can purchase wax beads for melting to create your own candles. However, I could not find anywhere near me that sold them that way so what I did was improvise. I was able to pick up a 100 pack of these votive candles for less than $5.00. Using the tip of the sharp knife, I was able to break them up quickly and easily. Conveniently, these little babies come with a metal tab needed to anchor the candle thread so I set a few of those aside for later use.

Broken Candle Pieces_edited-1

I found this waxed thread at Joann Fabrics. It’s just cotton thread coated in wax which is what you need for efficient candle burning. Because this thread is on the thinner side, I double the stands by twisting them together. The thicker the wick, the better it will melt your candle evenly.

Waxed Threads

I found these glasses at Dollar Tree (you should know that’s one of my favorite places) in the candle section. Since these are made for candle burning, they are a little heavier than a regular glass. You can also use a mason jar.

Candle Glasses

Because I am creating a matching scent gift set, I am using the same premium soap grade fragrances that I used in the body butter I showed you yesterday.

Candle Fragrance Bottles

If you want to add a little color to your candle, you can use a crayon which will melt perfectly with your wax. I didn’t have any crayons but I did happen to have some leftover colored candles which I will melt together with my wax.

Colored Candles

To ensure even burning, I am going to go with the two wick approach in this glass. I tied the thread to the metal tab and used a bit of melted wax to anchor the metal tabs on the bottom of the glass.

Candle Glass with Thread

You can use the double boiler method to melt your candle wax. I used this small pot on top of an inverted lid of a pot of boiling water. The heat created by the boiling water underneath was enough to melt the wax. I used a long wooden skewer to mix because it is disposable and won’t melt in the wax. At this point, you can add in your fragrance, I use about 3 cap fulls to get my desired strength of the scent.

Melted Candle Wax

Because I used wax to adhere the metal tabs to the bottom, it will move when you add warm wax to the glass. Simply use a pencil on top of the glass, wrap the excess wick around the pencil to hold the wicks in place.

Candle wick with pencil

Lastly, you let the wax cool, cut the excess string and you are good to go!

To add a little embellishment, (because if we’re not extra then we’re not enough) I added some sugar flowers and a faux flower to the outside of the glass.

Candle Decor

Now, you have anotherĀ cheap affordable and beautiful gift in your set with matching scents.

finished candles2

But wait; I’m not done yet! Stay tuned for the last item that I’m adding to the set. You don’t want to miss this luxurious treat! šŸ™‚

 

 

Easy Last Minute Christmas Gifts…DIY Hair & Body Butter

Since I always seem to be operating on a limited budget for gifts (and everything else), Christmastime is when I try to make a little go a really long way. Just like with every other special occasion, I’m not afraid to whip a little something up to create my own gift sets.

So up first, is this awesome, healthy and affordable hair & body butter.

Body Butter Kit

All you need is a hand mixer, 2 large bowls, a spatula, 16 oz of shea butter and 14 oz of coconut oil. Hopefully, you have some of these materials around the house already. I only had to purchase the shea butter and coconut oil. I was able to get the shea butter from my local beauty supply but if you have trouble finding it in your area, you can get someĀ here. I bought the coconut oil from Aldi; you should be able to find it at any grocer in the cooking oil section.

In addition, you can choose to add some fragrance to your body butter. I usually order a few bottles of premium soap grade fragrance oils fromĀ hereĀ orĀ here. They arrive quickly just 3-4 days after ordering. They work great for a variety of homemade gifts. You’ll see how I put these to further good use in upcoming blog posts ;).

This time I chose Honeysuckle Rose, Hibiscus Guava Fresca, Coco-Mango, and Magnolia Raspberry. They are a nice variety of fruity and floral and all smell great!

Fragrance Oils

I softened the shea butter using the double boiler method. You don’t want to use the microwave because that kills the very beneficial properties that the shea butter has. Using a microwave also makes it more difficult to control the level of meltiness. You want it to be the consistency of frosting and not liquefied. Coconut oil melts so easily, that all I had to do is stir it with a warm spatula to get the frosting like consistency-no double boiling needed.

It should look like this:

Softened Butters

Then you want to use the hand mixer to whip up the shea butter until it’s nice and fluffy. The mixing incorporates air into the butter and not only makes it appear a lighter color but changes the texture as well.

It should have the consistency of raw cookie dough like this.

Whipped Shea Butter

I whip up the coconut oil separately because it has a much softer consistency than the shea butter. Whipping it separately maximizes its fluffiness and eliminates lumpiness because chunky body butter is just no bueno.

It should have the appearance of whipped vanilla frosting like this:

Whipped Coconut Oil

Then you can combine both in the same bowl and whip it one last time until you get this beautiful fluffy concoction that looks good enough to eat. Don’t eat it by the way….

At this point you, you can separate the body butters in bowls in order to add the fragrance oil. I added about half the amount to each bowl and put two cap fulls of fragrance in each bowl. I simply folded the oil into the butter gently with a spatula careful not to lose any of the luscious fluffiness.

Combined Whipped Oils

I picked up a few 8 oz containers from Dollar Tree which would make this whipped butter the perfect gifting size. These just so happened to have red and green lids….how festive!

Containers

I added cute labels with the name of the fragrance on each of the lids and voila!

Completed Body Butter2

There you have it folks! You have a lovely gift that people flock to the malls for this time of year. However, the store bought version will cost more and will have a bunch of added ingredients that no one can pronounce.

Stay tuned to see what other goodies I will be adding to this super easy and affordable gift set!

This blog contains affiliate links.

Penny Pinchers…DIY Glam Gifts!!

If you are a penny pincher with friends and family who all have birthdays all around the same time or perhaps you want to get a jump start on the holidays, well this is the place for you! Admittedly, because I used the thrift store to gather most of these items for today’s diy’s, you may not be able to easily locate these items for the prices I paid. But you can apply these ideas to a variety of treasures that you may find.

That being said, I took a trip on a whim to find some items that I could glam up and give as gifts. I actually had ideas in mind of items that I wanted to find. Fortunately, I found just what I was seeking! As luck would have it, Ā there was a buy 1, get 1 free sale on glassware that day so I scored many of these items for 50 cents or less! Double Score!!

The first item up is this candelabra. I thought it was pretty with its butterfly design but definitely not “glam”.

Candlelabra before

I checked online to see where I can get some metallic spray paint to give it the glitz and shine that I was looking to give it. I found this paint at Walmart. The metallic paint alone was all that it needed. The clear glaze that I also purchased was totally unnecessary, in fact, it dulled the shine.

Spray Paint

So after a few coats of paint, my dull brown candelabra is metallic and shiny!

Candlelabra painted

To take it to the next level, I ordered this “diamond” wrap and gems online at Walmart.com and picked it up in the store. Later, I found the 5 row diamond wrap at Dollar Tree. Apparently, Dollar Tree finds are as iffy as the thrift store because I checked around before I purchased online and couldn’t find it. A couple weeks later, I found it in the store.

Diamond Strip and Gems

Using a hot glue gun, I affixed the diamond wrap along the bottom row of the candelabra. Then I glued the diamond gems and some faux pearls I removed from an old bracelet I no longer wear along the rim of the glass holder. Trust me, this is even more “dazzling” in person!

Candlelabra

Next up, is this single candle burner and glass jelly jar. I don’t know why I took the pictures separately but the blue glass goes inside of the candle holder. This is also a good idea for jars that you may already have around the house and looking for a way to reuse them. Bedazzle them!

Candle and Butter Container before

 

Candle inside

So I sprayed each piece with several layers of the metallic paint and even added some glitter to the holder.

Candle finished

Candle and Butter Container better pic

Not wanting to gift someone an empty jar leaving them with no idea of how to use it, I filled it with some homemade body butter. I whipped together some softened shea butter and melted coconut oil then added some fragrant oil. I tied it with a sparkly bow to create a glam gift set!

Candle and Butter Container

For this next piece, I had no idea it would turn out as well as it did. I actually went into the thrift store hoping to find a tissue box that I could glam and what do you know? I found the perfect piece!

Tissue Box before

This appeared to be unused since it still had its original price tag affixed.

Tissue Box before 2

After a few coats of spray paint ( I later added a few more), it doesn’t even look like the same item!

Tissue Box Finished painted

I glued some of the 2 layer diamond wrap across the top. When I found the 5 layer wrap at Dollar tree, I added that to the bottom. I used the hot glue gun to add some of the faux pearls but it probably would have been better to use super glue because if you touch these too hard, they may come off.

Tissue Box Finished

So there you have it! Glam gifts that you can customize to the level of glitz that your hearts desire! Don’t sleep on the thrift stores. There are tons of buried treasures waiting to be unearthed, cleaned up, spray painted and glam-a-fied!! And let’s not forget how little I spent (just don’t tell my friends).

Stay tuned, friends, for more money saving dazzling ideas!!

 

Speaking of Penny Pinchers…Have You Visited My Ebay Shop?

We’re going to take a brief pause from my “diys” to explore the other side of saving money and looking good. After a brief hiatus, I have listed items in my ebay store. Just in time for fall, you will find good deals on cardigans, jackets, jeans, and skirts. Dazzling Emerald plus sizesĀ on ebay has items for the budget savvy plus size fashionista. Find great deals on brand names for a fraction of the price as items are new or pre-owned but all in great condition!

These crop jeans are great for the fall and a perfect palette for a diy distress project.

Plaid Shirt denim capris2 edit

Get distressed crop jeansĀ here

This satin look skirt is great for dressy or work looks and is so figure flattering!

gold-cardi-brown-skirt-edit.jpg

Get this brown wrap skirtĀ here

This bodycon bandage pencil skirt is so hot and will hug your curves beautifully!

floral-duster-blue-skirt-edit.jpg

Get the blue pencil skirtĀ here

Speaking of brand names, this Chaps sweater retails for $50 but get it for half off of that!

chaps-sweater-black-skirt-edit.jpg

Get this Chaps sweaterĀ here

Everyone needs a good cardigan for a chilly day or to have on standby in a chilly office.

Blue Cardigan edit_edited-1

Get this blue cardiganĀ here

I’m going to coin a new phrase, “glam professional”. How else can you describe this look?

 

Blue Blazer Cream skirt edit

Get the ivory knit skirtĀ here

Get Blue BlazerĀ here

 

Be sure to follow me at Dazzling Emerald plus sizes on ebay and check me out often as I will always add new items!