Simple Steps

Build A Dog Bed

by Laura on July 9, 2014

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Build  A Dog Bed

Grabbing a dog bed at your local pet store can be expensive and honestly, they don’t often last too long.   If your dog is just going to tear something apart you might want to Build A Dog Bed of your own.  Or if you have a unique color or print you like this can give you a chance to create something to blend in with your home.

Build  A Dog Bed

Supplies:

56” x 30” piece of fleece fabric
Sewing Machine*
1-2 large bags of stuffing
Straight pins

Build A Dog Bed

Directions:

Step 1: Lay the fabric out on a flat surface. Fold the fabric in half (with the print on the inside). You should now have a 28”x30” square.

Step 3: Use the straight pins to pin the sides together. This will help keep the fabric from shifting when sewing.

Step 4: Using a ¼” allowance sew the sides of the fabric together leaving a 6”=8” opening on one side.

Step 5: Turn the fabric right side out. Stuff the bed with the stuffing until it’s as full as you like.

Build  A Dog Bed

Step 6: Use the sewing machine to sew the opening closed.

*If you do not have access to has sewing machine you can use seaming tape to adhere the edges together. Simply fold the raw edges in, tape down with the seaming tape and then use a warm iron to secure the edges together.

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It is important to note that this blog accepts forms of cash advertising, sponsorships, paid insertions, or other forms of compensation. The compensation received will never influence the content, topics or posts made in this blog. All opinions stated in this blog belong to its author and no one else. I will only endorse products, companies, and services that I have found worthy of my time and opinion. A Frugal Chick is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to www.amazon.com.


I Never Believed It Sucked Out Your Brain

by Laura on June 22, 2014

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I totally borrowed this picture.  It was too perfect.

Generally speaking I handle stress pretty well.  I was always the kid who did better in school when I was on Student Government, a lead in the school musical and trying to make Dean’s list.  When I was building my business I was actually working three jobs while going to graduate school.  I got SO much done and besides having occasional exhaustion I feel like I handled it pretty well.

I never understood how people couldn’t just juggle 4 or 5 things and stay on top of them.  I always took great pride in my multi-tasking and it came naturally to me.

Until this week.

Tuesday night someone close to me got very sick.  At their request I am not going to give details but it was the kind of illness that could have resulted in the death of someone I love very much.  And they have weeks, if not months of rehab ahead of them.

And all of a sudden my brain is just gone.

It’s been gone for 5 days.

Tasks that I used to be able to do almost without thinking suddenly require great concentration.  I can’t read a book because my mind wanders.  I keep burning things on the stove because I forget I started it (don’t worry- nothing dangerous).   Twice I have left the house while talking on my phone and almost turned around to go back in to grab my phone.  I am washing the same load of laundry for the third time this week because I keep forgetting to put it in the dryer (granted on this front I was also without electricity for almost 24 hours so that contributed.)

I get it now.

I understand how thinking, praying and trying to help someone else can make you forget everything you thought you knew how to do.  My friends have told me when they are pregnant that the baby sucks their brains out and I get it now.

So if I forget to post grocery deals, or you start seeing lots of words misspelled in my posts or the math doesn’t add up on a deal, just drop me a comment.  Odds are it made total sense in my head.

And if you see mistakes use them as a reminder to pray for myself and my family.  The journey ahead is going to be a challenge, yet it is so much less than many of you deal with.  You are in my prayers.

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It is important to note that this blog accepts forms of cash advertising, sponsorships, paid insertions, or other forms of compensation. The compensation received will never influence the content, topics or posts made in this blog. All opinions stated in this blog belong to its author and no one else. I will only endorse products, companies, and services that I have found worthy of my time and opinion. A Frugal Chick is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to www.amazon.com.


Navy Retirement Gift

by Laura on May 12, 2014

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Navy Retirement Gift

I’m from a Navy town and I can tell you, retiring from the Navy is a BIG deal.  Being in the Navy is a hard job with many sacrifices so retiring is an event the entire family can participate in.  Some of my friends have spent as much on their retirement parties as you would a wedding.

Things to display their navy memories (flags, coins etc) are generally purchased by family or co-workers.  So as friends here are some ideas you can check out!

1. Biographies of people with their hobbies: For the first time in a while your sailor may be able to start a new hobby.  If you know what it is maybe find a book from a leader in that field.  Or take a look through Amazon’s Top Selling 100 Books and see if anything might be interesting!

2.  A Leatherman or Multi-Use Tool- This can be a fantastic gift without breaking the bank.

navy retirement gift

3.  A Personalized Wine Bottle: Get a bottle of wine personalized with their name, rank and retirement date.  There are tons of options!

4.  A Nice Dinner Gift Certificate: There is a VERY good chance the sailor’s spouse is owed a night out, or a romantic weekend.  Grab a gift certificate to a nice restaurant or a Bed and Breakfast!

5. Navy Veteran License Plate Frame: I see this ALL around my hometown.  I don’t know if they just GIVE them to you when you retire but they seem to be something most retirees have.  You can also grab them by rank!

Show up with one of these to a retirement party and you should be just fine!

And don’t forget to check out the Police Academy Graduation Gifts!

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It is important to note that this blog accepts forms of cash advertising, sponsorships, paid insertions, or other forms of compensation. The compensation received will never influence the content, topics or posts made in this blog. All opinions stated in this blog belong to its author and no one else. I will only endorse products, companies, and services that I have found worthy of my time and opinion. A Frugal Chick is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to www.amazon.com.


Ways To Organize Your Coupons

by Laura on May 7, 2014

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Ways To Organize Your Coupons

When you are making the decision of how to organize your coupons you have one big decision to make up front- to cut or not to cut.  Some couponers like myself store all of our coupons in the inserts and don’t cut them until we take them to the store.  Others cut their coupons and file them by various methods.

So before we get into those methods we need to decide if you will store by insert or cut.

Step One: There is a very simple test to determine which type of person you are.

Look around you.  In YOUR space (not your family’s space but YOUR space) how organized are you?  Does the idea of cutting coupons and putting them in an order that organizes them make you excited?  Is everything on your desk at a right angle?  Would a crooked picture on a wall make you walk across the room to fix it- even if it isn’t your home?  Is it easier for you to process information if you can see and touch things?  Does the idea of potentially walking by a sale in the store and NOT knowing it’s there make you lay awake at night?

If that is you you need to cut and organize your coupons.  You can skip to Step Two.

Do you think cutting coupons sounds incredibly boring?  Does the idea of all those little pieces of paper being cut make your head spin?  Can you leave your bed unmade and it doesn’t bother you?  Is your organizational style more of “organized chaos”?  Are you a bit more impulsive and like to do things on a whim?

If that is you, you can feel free to organize by insert.  You can skip to Step Four.

[click to continue…]

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It is important to note that this blog accepts forms of cash advertising, sponsorships, paid insertions, or other forms of compensation. The compensation received will never influence the content, topics or posts made in this blog. All opinions stated in this blog belong to its author and no one else. I will only endorse products, companies, and services that I have found worthy of my time and opinion. A Frugal Chick is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to www.amazon.com.


Earth Day Word Search

by Laura on April 7, 2014

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Earth Day Word Search

Print out this great Earth Day Word Search for the student in your life (or maybe for yourself).

As you look for the hidden words, remember that they can be horizontal, vertical, or diagonal—frontward or backward.

There are 15 popular words in this search that can also give you a chance to open dialogue about the importance of taking good care of the world around us.

Earth Day is April 22nd so get ready to celebrate!

And be sure to check out the Earth Day Cupcakes and Earth Day Freebies!

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It is important to note that this blog accepts forms of cash advertising, sponsorships, paid insertions, or other forms of compensation. The compensation received will never influence the content, topics or posts made in this blog. All opinions stated in this blog belong to its author and no one else. I will only endorse products, companies, and services that I have found worthy of my time and opinion. A Frugal Chick is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to www.amazon.com.


The Journey to Delaware (Part III)

by Laura on March 10, 2014

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If you haven’t read The Journey To Delaware Part I and Part II STOP READING!  Go back and read my previous posts before you continue!

We ended up having a perfectly lovely conversation as they finished the car.

It turned out the Godfather (whose name I cannot remember) was actually Polish.  We talked about when he attended medical school in Poland and his daughter.

His daughter was the reason he was in the United States.  He mentioned she was finishing up her Ph. D. at a local school and he would have to pick her up soon.  She was handicapped (we never discussed what her challenge was) and he said Poland had not advanced enough in his opinion that she could have a full life.  So he picked up everything when she was small and moved to a country where he felt she could be given every opportunity.  He spoke about her with such love and admiration in his voice.

At that moment John and Matt came into the lobby and the conversation switched over to cars.  Fast car, expensive cars, dream cars.  It turns out the Godfather used to own a version of Matt’s dream car so I got to watch Matt drool a little bit.  There were cell phone pictures and funny stories.

Finally the mechanic came out to tell us that the part had been replaced and the check engine light was OFF!  Matt grabbed the keys and we jumped in the car to cruise yet again around Wilmington, DE.  We put that car through the ringer.  Short of setting it on fire I am not sure there is much else we could have done to test its capabilities.    Matt was satisfied the issue had been fixed.

We went back to the garage, everyone shook hands and Matt and I left to return the rental car.  I have to confess when I got in the car and hit the ignition button I said a prayer that the check engine light would not come on.  Thankfully it did not!

wilmington train station

So we returned the rental car (at the beautiful Wilmington, DE train station) without event and headed back to Virginia.  It was around 6 p.m.  Without bad weather we had a 4.5 hour drive ahead of us but the snow was scheduled to start at 7 p.m.

The first two hours of the drive were uneventful.  Delaware and Maryland were not expecting more than flurries and that was all we had.  The change from clear weather to heavy snow seemed to happen in almost an instant.  My friends had been texting me to let me know the conditions at home and now I was beginning to see them first hand.

Once we hit the Eastern Shore our average speed got down to about 30 miles per hour (often times much slower).  The roads were empty and turning into a sheet of ice.  So we trudged along slowly.

That night happened to be the State of the Union (we found it on the radio) so we agreed to help pass the time we would do a drinking game with our bottled water.  After asking advice on facebook we decided to do a shot of water every time one of these phrases was said by President Obama:  “Let Me Be Clear”, “Make No Mistake”, “The American People” or a sentence beginning with the word “Now.”  Sadly (or maybe happily since we didn’t have to try to find a bathroom) there wasn’t much need to drink. I later found out that this was the President’s first address with his new speechwriter so some of the usual catch phrases were missing.

After the State of the Union we drove another hour at a snails pace.  We listened to pod-casts and searched for basketball games on the radio.  Looming ahead of us was going to be the most interesting part of the trip- going through the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel.

For those of you who don’t know the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel I have always called it the “bridge tunnel bridge tunnel bridge.”  It’s a series of bridges and tunnels that cross over a portion of the Chesapeake Bay.  It’s about 29 miles long and costs $13 to cross.

The going over the bridge part was very slow but beautiful.  The snow blowing reminded me of baby powder and the water looked like the beginning of the television show “Revenge.”  The sky was very dark because of the cloud cover and the waves were rough smashing against the pillars.  It was eerily quiet- the only noise was the occasional snow plow going down the other side of the bridge.

I wish I had a video of how beautiful the snow plows were.  As they drove down the bridge it was like a white veil flying through the air behind them- the snow seemed to linger and float gently to the ground.  I was thankful I wasn’t driving so I got to see these beautiful combinations of nature and man.

Then you would hit the tunnel and your eyes would adjust to the harshness of the neon lights.  Plus you could increase your speed to about 45 miles an hour without being in danger.

Bridge Tunnel End

If you look at this picture you can see how there is no snow inside the tunnel and then it gets MUCH deeper just past the edge.

Once that was over we were back on hometown roads.  There was NO ONE out.  I doubt we saw 12 cars in the last hour.  Between the snow and it being one o’clock in the morning most people were at home snug in their beds.  I was very impressed to see snow trucks however.  The joke around town is that we only have one snow plow for all the almost 2 million people who live in Hampton Roads.  We just don’t get snow often enough to justify the cost.  I guess we borrowed them from other places because they were everywhere already cleaning up the roads.

Bridge Tunnel 2 Edited

In this picture you can see the snow plows coming toward us.

We finally got home about 1:30 in the morning.  I had e-mailed and cancelled with the radio station so I didn’t have to set my alarm.  I figured no one was going to be heading to the store for the next few days anyway.

Now whenever I see Matt’s Pruis I think of the Polish Mafia, chop shops and The State of the Union.  And what an INCREDIBLE friend I am.

And that he owes me BIG.

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It is important to note that this blog accepts forms of cash advertising, sponsorships, paid insertions, or other forms of compensation. The compensation received will never influence the content, topics or posts made in this blog. All opinions stated in this blog belong to its author and no one else. I will only endorse products, companies, and services that I have found worthy of my time and opinion. A Frugal Chick is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to www.amazon.com.


The Journey To Delaware (Part I)

by Laura March 6, 2014 Simple Steps
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Sometimes when someone asks a favor, you just KNOW there is going to be a story at the end. No matter how many scenarios have been imagined it is inevitable that SOMETHING will go wrong.  This story is about one such favor.

One Sunday night, I got a phone call from my friend Matt.  After two [...]

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Winter vs Spring Story

by Laura March 3, 2014 Simple Steps
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Winter vs Spring Story

Roots are important.

Did you know that scientists are not 100% sure what happens to tree roots in the winter?  Roots are a challenge to study any time because they are underground, in the dark and can grow through so many hard to breach substances.  Add in snow and frozen earth and you [...]

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How to Make Easy Christmas Decorations

by Christine Platz January 13, 2014 Simple Steps
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How To Make Easy Christmas Decorations

Here are some really fun, easy Christmas decorations for you to try! Whether you are looking to make a holiday wreath, ornament, or design something new with the kids, you will find it in this holiday round up.

Cork [...]

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Coupon Binder Categories

by Laura January 11, 2014 Simple Steps
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Coupon Binder Categories can help you figure out how to maximize your Coupon Binder!  Below I have listed the ones I used when I clipped my coupons (I organize them a different way now).

Ideally you will adjust these categories to fit your family’s normal purchases.

Here are some master coupon categories, and subcategories, to help you [...]

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