Sunday, March 30, 2008


I just was overly consumed this evening to talk about saving... I know it is the Sabbath and I really shouldn't be sitting at the computer typing this or rather thinking about this... I know this is the day of rest... Yet, I was very consumed by this thought... Although My Dear Hubby and I both work and as I pay the small bills (our utilities, insurance, etc...) DH pays for the Mortgage, and the credit card bill (we put groceries, or if we go out... on the cc) and then I put what I can into 2 different accounts. I put at least 300$ a month into savings which is roughly 16% of my monthly income into a regular savings account, and then another 200$ a month into a mad money account... which we have used for vacations, for improvements for the condo, the list goes on... It is always good to put away some money every month and try to live with out debt. Once the time is right, which would be when we have kids, we do not want me to work, so I am putting as much as I can into "the savings".

I know this can be hard, Especially when you only have one person in the household working. I am working on paying off my credit card as we speak it has about 1700$ left and I am putting 300$ away on that every month as well... and mind you once it is paid off the extra 300$ will be going into savings as well... I try to stay on a budget... Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't.
My Grandma Beverle Biggs once told me that I should have about a years worth of bills or living expenses in the bank for savings, and after working in collections for a large bank, I realize why she said that. Life comes at you hard sometimes and you need to be prepared. Yes here on Earth money is just a material possession and it really won't be able to carry any weight once we leave Earth and pass into Heavenly Fathers home.

My Grandma was a very smart lady. She was really good with numbers, well that comes with being a book keeper. She loved Tax season, she would do taxes for her family members and friends, mind you she did charge (more for her time than anything else) not for the extra money but rather cause she enjoyed working with the numbers. She would constantly tell me how credit is very important and making your bills on time influences that. Stressing that you need to live with in your own means. Stressing to save, save and save. Pay cash whenever possible. If you don't have the funds then you should not buy it right then and there. You need to assess whether it is a need or a want. Using that to base whether to buy things. My Grandmother was a very smart lady. She worked as well as my grandfather and they raised 5 kids and were able to travel every 2 years. She would save their tax returns so that way they could take a vacation in their Winnebago (RV). She also stressed the importance of travel of going and seeing the world. Learning about new places and people and things. Mainly other cultures and getting to know new people.

You totally need time as a family to be able to get out of your daily rituals and just get away to learn and grow as a family. To get away from the stress of life.
I believe in this day and age we want so much and have so much I am totally guilty of this myself... I will be the first to admit it. I love to scrapbook and I am into Rubber stamping so I tend to spend more money on that than anything else of my wants. I have been purging my stash... Where do I put all of it? I do not have that much space... I am very limited on my space...
It is hard to break old habits, but oh so worth it...

I have seen what it looks like for a couple who doesn't save... My parents had some savings but then had to use it (due to unforeseen financial hardships...Loss of job/income, Illness, etc...) and they really didn't think too far into the future... 2 months before my grandma Bev passed away my parents filed for BK. My grandma was a wonderful woman and told them that she would help them get back on their feet, basically to bail them out and my parents told her that while they appreciated the thought, that they had really put themselves into this mess, that they really needed to be the ones to get themselves out of it... Besides what would they do when she wasn't around anymore... How prophetic those words were... that was in the summer of 2003 and my Grandma Bev passed in Oct 03' ... It was very unexpected, my grandmothers death.
My Parents did not for the longest time have anything for retirement. However things do have a way of turning around on us. And they seem to be getting their act together. Well, like I said before things have a way of turning out for the better as well, my father isn't quite in management, but with only one grown kid at home, and thier house almost paid off (less than 10 years to go) they are able to shove some money into savings...

So please if anything please, please please save what you can... Food storage(that in a way is saving as well) do what you can when you can...

Once I had enough in savings I had an opportunity to invest it into a CD to earn some extra money/interest... DH and I both put money into our 401K plans at work. Every time I get a raise at work I up my percentage... usually by 1% which really isn't that much...

Please do not take this as preaching, I am sorry if it comes off as such, Just please take it as a warning and a friend trying to guide in the right direction. More of advice...

If you do find yourself in a tough spot with credit cards, mortgages or even making your car payments... contact the financial institution that handles your loans or credit cards ask them for an extension or ask them for what kind of help they can offer you... It never hurts to ask.

Thank you

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

How to Make a Button

This is a great instructional video on how to make a button.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Do we really have to grow up?

I have never been one to play video games and I haven't allowed them in my home. I want my children to be active and think of other things to do besides sit in front of the TV. Back in my day we only had 7 channels to chose from, so we were always being inventive and coming up with made up games to occupy our time. But, last night I was acting as if I was 12 and hanging out with my girlfriends. My sister bought a video game of American Idol. I love to sing, so why not at least try it one time. I did the same with guitar hero - once was enough for me on that one. But this time it was different. I started singing and couldn't stop! I wanted the most points - I wanted Simon to love me - I was in it to win! Side note, I have never been an American Idol fan and have only seen a couple of episodes. By the end of the night, the kids had been running around the house like mad people and were pretty much babysitting themselves. My sister (a mother of two) looked at my brother and me and shouted "we should have a sleepover!" I thought we totally should! She then suggested we have grandma and grandpa take all the kids for the night so that we can play American Idol until the sun comes up! For one evening we were 12 again, free of responsibility, laughed until we fell off the couch, and felt no stress or worries of the world!
I am seriously thinking of taking her up on that offer. I think I deserve it!

All the mom's out there - we deserve to act like kids too sometimes! So, my recommendation to all mom's who have felt the need to relax, instead of taking that day trip to the spa this time, try playing with a girlfriend, sister, or neighbor for just one night. Forget about all the things we have to do the next day. Just act like you are 12 (remember that movie 13 Going On 30)!

I was so relaxed last night I didn't even care that my child didn't go to be until 10:30 on a week night!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

On a Diet?

Trying to lose weight? Then make a blog about it!

I've made a new blog about my weight loss journey. And I've found that it's one of the biggest motivations I've had in a really really long time! I finally feel like I'm doing this for the right reason, and the people who are on there supporting me, depend on me to make sure that they don't fall of the track either. I feel like a role model, and that they look to me for inspiration, guidance, and for a little push in the right direction.

So, now I'm extending my hand to YOU. The one who wants to lose either a few pounds, or a whole preschooler. Here is your chance to join in the Weight Loss Web Ring (WLWR).

Click here to start your journey! Make your own blog, send me the URL, and I'll add it to the WLWR. I've added a few sites to my site that are good for recipes, inspiration, motivation, and tracking your goals. Feel free to browse, and comment. I'd love to be on your journey with you!

Make today, the first day, of the rest of your HEALTHY life!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Pricked: Extreme Embroidery

Pricked: Extreme Embroidery is currently being displayed at the Museum of Art and Design in New York. It highlights embroidery artists who take a less than traditional view of this traditional art. If you won't be able to make it to New York to see the show in person you can see samples from the show here.


Oh my gosh! This might be my favourite game from now on.

Polyvore gives you a huge variety of clothes & accessories which you can combine together and create thousands of outfits. Now all these should just start shipping to Europe.

This is my first fast draft.

Thank you Design Mom for sharing this.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Chivalry is not dead? Oh and Organization

I ordered some things from since they were having a sale on everything organizational... I decided to get a making memories desktop organizer (see picture #3)... It is chipboard material made, and I am not sure I am going to like that, I was hoping for something a little more sturdy... It will do. I also ordered a Cropper hopper trolly seen in picture #2 which was a good price of 34.99$. I am right now storing paper on top and my Cricut on the bottom, and then sliding it into my closet downstairs.

I also bought 2 Lisa and Becky paper holders to sit up top of my trolly... I am so excited I can't believe it! I am finally going to get my scrapbooking under control. I have been purging my stash lately. So since I ordered this stuff last weekend and they ship via USPS, I had to go to the Post office to pick up my new toys...Since there were 2 packages that came it was a little bit of a challenge. So here I was getting ready to go back out to my car with my hands full due to the 2 boxes, And a small thought occured to me how the heck am I going to get the doors open so I can leave? Well, this
handsome young man (really he was probably closer to my ripe old age of 30) opened the door for me... not just the one but both doors... He stated that the boxes constituted as a 2 door opener... My jaw just about dropped to the floor. This is unheard of in this neck of the woods... A complete stranger, handsome and young opening a door for an overweight, average looking gal like myself... I am in total awe... Let me be the first to say chivalry is not dead... WHO KNEW?
Have a great weekend

Vintage Buttons

I began collecting vintage buttons quite by accident. However, now that I have them, I can't imagine crafting with out them.

Vintage buttons are a must have for any crafter. They can be used to dress up scarves, sweaters, drapes, and bobby pins. I've also seen them used to create rings, necklaces and brooches. Their uses are endless.

Want to start your own vintage button collection? Start by looking in your own home. Check those boxes of old clothes you were going to toss. You may want to salvage some buttons. Don't forget to check your grandmother's sewing closet and your local second hand store. Vintage buttons are also for sale on Etsy.

Do you have a great way to use a vintage button? Leave a comment and share it with us!

Blog Books!

For those of you who have been using your blog as a form of journaling and would like something a little more stylish than a printed stack of paper put into a 3 ring binder... This company will turn your blog into a very pretty customized book. Prices start at $12.95 for softcover and $22.95 for hardcover.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Test Your Geography Skills...

How many countries can you name in 5 minutes?


Knitting Books

I love knitting. In fact, I have to set aside a specific time for my knitting. If I didn't I'd sit in the corner all day and knit. I'd become so engrossed I would forget to feed and clothe my children. Social workers would be pounding on my door as I yelled, "Just let me finish this row!" I am an addict. As an addict I am going to tell you about three knitting books I am currently pouring over.

The first is called Knitting for Two by Erika Knight. It's patterns are for expectant (and new) moms and their babies. The patterns are amazingly elegant. Soft baby blankets with ribbon and sweaters with beautiful buttons and embroidery--this book has all of them.

The second book is Hand Knits for the Home by Caroline Birkett. This book is complete with practical designs for pillows, throws, bolsters, bags and rugs. She has a pattern for a fantastic beaded table runner that I will be making before too long.

The third, and my favorite of the three, is Alterknits by Leigh Radford. This book is about the creativity of knitting. There are patterns for shirts and scarves, but she also has a pattern for a crown knit with crepe paper, and paper lanterns knit with special Japanese yarns. The woman who wrote this book looked at a screen door, said, "hmm. I think I could knit that," and then did. I absolutely adore this book.

Now go and knit! I'm about to.

America vs Europe.

I often wish that I could be able to order directly from an online shop in the States but often it is not possible. I could ask friends to send me that stuff but it's a hassle.

I once heard that Old Navy is not very popular in the States but they do have some cute summer shoes and clutches that I would order in a heartbeat.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

How fast do YOU type?

67 words

Speed test

DON'T do the Hustle (doo doo doo doo)

Well, as long as we are showing cute hip art, I might actually contribute, even though I assumed as not so much a maker of the home, though hip I may be, I would be a lurking member of this blog. But these are crafty cute, huh?

However, none of them look like they are for sale right now.

They all "live" at Avocadolite Farm as does the second most dangerous thing to productivity since Scrabulous, for which I can blame the HILARIOUS Chris Leavins of Cute with Chris for hooking me on. (Dude, I LOVE CwC so much. SIGH!) It is a Bejeweled-like game called Farm Hustle. It is, mind you, MINDLESS. And yet... somehow it compels me to play almost daily, not unlike my OTHER Crack, Scrabulous.

NOW, I ask you. What is this to HOMEMAKING? DANGER! DANGER, WILL ROBINSON! Because why do the laundry when you can stack small animals into 3s? Or spell obscure words in your hand and yet on the board lose again and again and again and... oh, is that just me? Whoops.

Monday, March 10, 2008


I came across this artist Matte Stephens which I fell inlove with immediately. These are my favourites:
It can be bought here.

Happy happy Simon
This can be bought here.

Is this hip enough for the hippest homemaker? :)

Comfort Food

Old habits die hard. Specifically the habit of making mac and cheese from a box. I did a little experimenting with an old-fashioned macaroni and cheese recipe I have and the result was a super-rich, restaurant quality dish! I was going to top it with breadcrumbs, but tonight my husband requested using French Fried Onions instead. It gave it a little bit of tang.


14 ounces macaroni
1/4 cup butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups milk (whole milk for extra-creamy texture, if desired)
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
2 cups shredded Mozzarella cheese

1 cup dry bread crumbs OR 1 (2.8 ounce) can of French Fried Onions
2 tablespoons butter
1/4-1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, if desired


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add macaroni pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain.

While noodles are cooking:

In a 3 quart saucepan over medium heat, melt butter and stir in flour. Cook for about 1 minute, until smooth and bubbly; stirring occasionally. Mix in milk, cream cheese, salt, pepper, and Dijon mustard. Continue cooking until sauce is thickened and smooth. Add cooked macaroni and mozzarella and cheddar cheese and stir to coat.

Pour into 2 quart casserole dish. In small bowl mix together bread crumbs (or French Fried Onions), and butter; spread over macaroni and cheese. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese if desired. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown and heated through.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Welcome to The Hip Homemaker, The Blogspot Edition

The purpose of this blog is to collect ideas, tips, musings, and advice from hip women like you. It is a shared blog, with a diverse group of contributors that include mothers, professionals, homemakers, etc., all with different backgrounds and points of view.

I hope this becomes an enjoyable place for people to visit and find perspective in your own home life.

Search The Hip Homemaker