Cheap & Simple DIY Felt Succulent Wreath for $1.11

As you may have seen and heard, succulents are all the rage nowadays.

Anywhere you look, there seems to be no shortage of succulents in all the stores.

Real ones, fake ones, paper ones, and felt ones, you name it? They have it.

Even I had to succumb to the siren calls of those fascinating plant life material.

There’s just something about it, an aura maybe?

That exudes classy, elegance, and timelessness, much like it’s counterpart, the orchid.

(I love orchids!) I just can’t seem to have enough. I also love to give them away as gifts for any and all occasions!

Anyway, I feel the same way about succulents too. There can never be one too many succulents whether you decide to keep them as natural air purifiers aka home decor or you decide to give them away as gifts. They will be well-received by most folks.

Well, nothing seems to scream, “Spring is here!” like fresh succulents.

Imagine my surprise when I found a couple of these lovely strands of succulents on clearance at Target for (Warning: brace yourself now-wait for it)

10 Cents! Can you believe it?

Now some of you may be thinking, “Sweet! Can’t mess that up too badly for that price!”

And you’re absolutely right!

So, I paired the felt succulent strand up with a simple twig wreath from the Dollar Tree and created a beautifully simple yet elegant Spring wreath.

Looks so fresh, this wreath will make any leprechaun green with envy.

All you need are 2 things: a Dollar Tree wreath and a string felt succulents on a tweed rope. No need for any messy glue guns or tape. Just tuck the ends of the tweed string into the twig wreath.

That’s it! Easy, affordable, and stylish! Just in time to redecorate your home and finally usher in Spring!

10 Mistakes To Avoid When Staining A Staircase

If you’ve read my post about my kitchen cabinet makeover and/or my whole house trim makeover, you will be able to see without a reasonable doubt that I have a very strong aversion to honey oak wood.

I just hate Honeywood oh so much! (Yuck!)

I am “allergic” to honey oak wood. It is the bane of all types of wood out there. It conjures up a feeling of being trapped inside a giant peach or a honeycomb, for me. I am constantly bothered by the mere sight of it.

Every time I walk into my kitchen, I can’t help but lose my appetite. It’s not like I can cover my eyes and avoid my kitchen cabinets. They’re always there staring right back at me, mocking me with their angry orangey hue.

Not to mention that staircase, what a lovely sight for sore eyes. If only it were any other color other than orange honey wood oak, of course. Oh, honey wood, how I loathe thee so…

Now, if you’re a fan of it, great! To each, her own! 😉

But as for my family and I, we choose to burn the honey wood DOWN to the ground!

Or, rather, the more sensible approach, stain and/or paint over it with a more current, modern, and trendier style preferably found in this decade. Anything, but honey wood oak is fine with me.

Like a cat, ready to pounce on the next sneaky mouse that scurries by, I was bound and determined to get rid of that honey wood oak once and for all. Even if that meant, I would have to do it myself!

So I hopped on Pinterest and scoured through tutorials like a mad woman. Then I went to all the places that the contractors would often frequent:

Lowes, check

Home Depot, check

Menards, check

Sherwin Williams, check

Amazon, check

ReStore, of course, check.

I decided to settle on Amazon because as you know, I’m frugal. I used a gift card that I had previously earned from Swagbucks and I ordered a can of Java Gel Stain and a can of Clear Poly from Amazon.  Two days later when it finally arrived, I got right to work and prepped the entire surface of the staircase and banister.

Here’s what I did:

1-I started by wiping down the surface with a warm soapy water mixture and rinsed it off with clean water.

2- Then I let it dry overnight and left the windows open to speed up the process.

3-I lightly sanded the clean surfaces down with fine sandpaper.

4-I taped up all surrounding carpet with blue painter’s tape and covered the new burbur carpet with plastic sheeting and a drop cloth.

5-I stained the stair rails first, with a couple coats of the Java stain.

6-Then I primed and painted the spindles last with the white color HGTV Brand Paint and Primer in one. The spindles took about 7 coats total in between all the sanding and painting.

Warning: This was a lot easier to do on the rails than the spindles. The spindles took FOREVER and I mean FOREVER. By the time I was done sanding them individually, my hands and fingers were so sore I could not bend them for days! But I have to say, though, that it was worth the effort.

Now, I could not have done this myself without my husband’s help and support as well as the advice and know-how from these Pinterest ladies. Check out my Pinterest board to see and read about all of their eye candy results. If you are looking to redo your staircase, check out these similar tutorials below for more ideas to help you finish your project and do it right.

http://www.practicallyspoiled.com/2014/10/23/how-to-gel-stain-oak-banisters/

http://www.yourhomeonlybetter.com/painting-stairs-diy-faqs-and-tips/

http://timelessandtreasured.blogspot.com/2016/01/diy-how-to-stain-and-paint-oak-stair.html?m=1

 

Here is a list of Materials that I have used on this staircase project:

-General Finishes Java Gel Stain

-General Finishes Clear Poly

-small Angled sable brush

-large straight edged sable brush

-plastic Saran wrap (to temporarily wrap the wet paint brushes during break times)

-aluminum foil (to wrap the paint tray for easy clean up)

-paint tray

-paint thinner

-paper towel roll

-sandpaper (fine, medium, and course)

-sanding block

-protective gloves

-frog tape

-heavy duty plastic sheeting or drop cloth

-mask

-protective eyewear

-various sized foam brushes

-rags (old socks with holes in them are great for these staining types of projects)

-a bucket of water (for cleaning up the socks or rags in between coats or touch-ups)

Here are the 10 mistakes that I have learned to avoid for the next time I decide to take on a project of this caliber again:

  1. Not Prepping The Area: Clean all the parts of the staircase that is going to get painted or stained with soap and water, TCH powder (drying agent that is found in the paint aisle) So, a few months after finishing my staircase remodel, I got this nice juicy tidbit from a very knowledgeable guy at my local Lowe’s store to wash down the wood with TCH powder. Too bad, it was too little too late, but I appreciate the advice anyway. I will definitely be doing that to my future remodeling projects from now on. Thanks, Dude! 😉

2. Not covering or blocking off the surfaces and nearby areas with tape and plastic sheeting. This is SO SO SO important! Plastic sheeting is so cheap and furnishings are not, enough said. 😉

3.Not reading or failing to understand the instructions of others. Ok, so this is like driving in the car with your husband and refusing to ask for directions. You both know you’re lost but you say nothing because he knows exactly what he’s doing, right? Unfortunately, no. There are just no detours when you are working with wood stain. If you’re going to spend the time to do it, save yourself more time and frustration by doing it right the first time. (i.e.see white spindles above):/

4. Not asking for help when you are clearly in over your head and have no idea what you are doing. (See #3 above) Clearly, I was way in over my head. Correction, anytime I get an idea like this, I need to be reminded that I am way- in- over- my head.

5. Not staying focused on the “SQUIRREL!”… the task at hand. Yes, I get so easily distracted by all-the-things…

6. Not finishing the work you started due to frustrations that it’s taking longer than you’ve originally anticipated. Fantasy: I had originally anticipated that this project would only take me 1 week to do, from start to finish. Reality: The end result took a good 10 weeks. Yes, we lived in total chaos for about 3 months and we can’t even blame the kids for it. How is that for a dose of humility? 😉

7. Not ventilating the area very well. For the bulk of this project, especially the sanding, priming, and clear finishing parts, we sent the kids to their grandparents’ house. We also kept all the windows and doors open to let out all the paint fumes. However, traces of the paint smell can still be detected whenever we’ve left the house for any period of time and came back inside the house.

  1. Not waiting for it to dry in between coats and rushing to just get it done. Whoever said, “patience is a virtue,” cannot be more right. Ten weeks felt like FOREVER! But, let me reiterate, it was worth it because of the money we saved by doing this project on our own.

9. Not Sanding in between coats. This is so important, see #3. Seven coats of paint and primer will mean absolutely diddly squat if not for sanding.

  1. Not taking care of yourself because you think the project is more important than your basic needs, i.e. skipping a few meals or nights of sleep just to get it done. Paint fumes, dehydration, lack of sleep, and starvation will lead to some very interesting hallucinations.

 

Remember, above all else, your health is paramount. Nothing is worth more to you, your family, or your friends if you are not around to share the gift that is you. Take care of yourself and each other.

 

Disclosure:

The purpose of this blog is to provide insight and enjoyment only. I am not nor do I claim to be an expert or professional in any manner. All opinions are 100% my own. Please do not copy any content from my website without my prior permission or written consent from me. However, you may link directly to my post for reference and to give credit.

Disclaimer:

This website contains affiliate links and sponsorships. I do not endorse nor would I recommend any products that I have not used nor trust to my readers. Thank you so much for your continued support in helping our small blog grow- at no costs to you whatsoever.

Contact:

Please contact me directly via email:  admin@fulloffortunes.com, if you have any questions and/or comments. Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

Super Simple Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup

Super Simple Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup

 

Lately, I’ve been feeling like soup season is upon us as the weather has been changing from warm to cold. Nothing seems to warm me up like a nice steamy hot bowl of soup.

It just warms my soul. 🙂

I often tease my husband that he should have married a Latina because he is the only member of our family who can eat Mexican food every day of the week. And never seem to get sick of it! And he would jokingly ponder the possibility of it too. Hmm, what if? 😉

Perhaps in another lifetime, but for now, we will have to just wonder and enjoy the next best thing. And that is the wonderful flavors of this super simple to prepare slow cooker chicken tortilla soup.

I’m not sure if it’s the weather or time of year, but something weird has happened in our household lately. Our family has suddenly followed Dad’s culinary cue and picked up a taste for Mexican food. We’ve been craving a big bowl of chicken tortilla soup like it’s going out of style!

So, naturally, we have progressed to “Taco Tuesdays” on our Weekly Meal Plan instead of hopping into the car to hit up our local Mexican restaurants. This can include tacos, quesadillas, nachos, or even chicken tortilla soup, whichever ingredients we have on hand.

Even my daughter, who’s the pickiest eater in our household, can agree. A nice, hot, steamy bowl of spicy chicken tortilla soup on a cold and rainy day fits the bill ANY day of the week, not just Tuesdays.

Here is DIY version of a quick and yummy spicy slow cooker chicken tortilla soup.

Ingredients:

  • 2 chicken breasts, cubed
  • 2 Tblsp. Olive Oil
  • 2 cups of cooled cooked rice (white or brown)
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1 chopped white onion
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 can sweet corn
  • 4 chopped Roma tomatoes
  • 1 chopped green bell pepper
  • 1 jar of Black Bean and Corn Salsa
  • 1 qt. chicken broth
  • 1 qt. water

 

Directions:

1- On medium-high heat, drizzle oil in your slow cooker pan.

2- Add the minced garlic and cook until fragrant for about 1 minute.

3- Add the chopped onions and cook until slightly translucent, or about 1 minute.

4- Add the cubed chicken breasts and the dry seasoning and cook evenly for about 4 minutes or until slightly seared and brown around the edges.

5- Add the rest of the veggies and sauté for about 2 minutes.

6-Add the cooked rice, the chicken broth, and the water and cook on low for 8 hours or on high for 4 hours.

7-Serve it up with your favorite toppings and a side of tortilla chips.

 

Our family’s favorite is Blue Corn tortilla chips, what’s yours? Enjoy!

 

*(Optional) Serve with the following:

-Sprinkle 1 oz. shredded sharp cheddar cheese or Taco Blended Sharp Cheddar Cheese
-Garnish with chopped scallions/green onions & cilantro
-Add 1-2 dashes of Cholula or your favorite brand of hot sauce
-Add 1 dollop of sour cream

Cost Breakdown of the Super Simple Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup Meal:

Since I am all about living frugally, here is the true cost breakdown for this meal. I am using this helpful guide to assume prices at Kroger & it’s website, only because I like their search feature the best.

This meal serves a family of 4 and plenty for seconds and leftovers for meals during the week. You can also freeze the leftovers and eat them later. Just pop it in the microwave between 30 seconds – 1 minute per serving.

2 chicken breasts, cubed———————————————-$7.58
2 Tblsp. Olive Oil——————————————————-on hand
2 cups of cooled cooked rice (white or brown)——————–on hand
1 tsp. salt—————————————————————–on hand
1 tsp. ground black pepper——————————————–on hand
1 tsp. minced garlic—————————————————–$1.99
1 chopped white onion————————————————-$0.45
1 can black beans——————————————————–$0.59
1 can sweet corn——————————————————–$0.59
4 chopped Roma tomatoes——————————————–$1.12
1 chopped green bell pepper——————————————$0.79
1 jar of Black Bean and Corn Salsa———————————–$2.49
1 qt. chicken broth——————————————————$1.29                                                    1 qt. water

Served with your favorite Tortilla Chips—————————-$1.00

 

Total Cost of this Family-Sized Meal: $17.89, which is $4.47 per person to feed a family of 4 plus leftovers!

Give this a try and let me know how yours turned out. 🙂

 

Super Simple Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 4 hours

Total Time: 4 hours, 10 minutes

Super Simple Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup

Ingredients

  • 2 chicken breasts, cubed
  • 2 Tblsp. Olive Oil
  • 2 cups of cooled cooked rice (white or brown)
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1 chopped white onion
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 can sweet corn
  • 4 chopped Roma tomatoes
  • 1 chopped green bell pepper
  • 1 jar of Black Bean and Corn Salsa
  • 1 qt. chicken broth
  • 1 qt. water

Instructions

  1. Directions:
  2. 1- On medium high heat, drizzle oil in your slow cooker pan.
  3. 2- Add the minced garlic and cook until fragrant for about 1 minute.
  4. 3- Add the chopped onions and cook until slightly translucent, or about 1 minute.
  5. 4- Add the cubed chicken breasts and the dry seasoning and cook evenly for about 4 minutes or until slightly seared and brown around the edges.
  6. 5- Add the rest of the veggies and sauté for about 2 minutes.
  7. 6-Add the cooked rice, the chicken broth, and the water and cook on low for 8 hours or on high for 4 hours.
  8. 7-Serve it up with your favorite toppings and a side of tortilla chips.

Notes

*(Optional) Serve with the following:

-Sprinkle 1 oz. shredded sharp cheddar cheese or Taco Blended Sharp Cheddar Cheese

-Garnish with chopped scallions/green onions & cilantro

-Add 1-2 dashes of Cholula or your favorite brand of hot sauce

-Add 1 dollop of sour cream   Enjoy! 🙂

https://fulloffortunes.com/super-simple-slow-cooker-chicken-tortilla-soup/

 

Disclosure:

The purpose of this blog is to provide insight and enjoyment only. I am not nor do I claim to be an expert or professional in any manner. All opinions are 100% my own. Please do not copy any content from my website without my prior permission or written consent from me. However, you may link directly to my post for reference and to give credit.

Disclaimer:

This website contains affiliate links and sponsorships. I do not endorse nor would I recommend any products that I have not used nor trust to my readers. Thank you so much for your continued support in helping our small blog grow- at no costs to you whatsoever.

Contact:

Please contact me directly via email:  admin@fulloffortunes.com, if you have any questions and/or comments. Thanks for stopping by!

 

Fast, Easy, & Yummy Zupa Toscana Replica

 

Fast, Easy, & Yummy Zupa Toscana Replica

When it’s pouring cats and dogs outside and you feel like there’s nothing that can warm the chill inside your bones and all you can think about is a warm bowl of that heavenly goodness from Olive Garden.

You know the one I’m talking about it.

The only reason you have that’s worth you getting up out of your chair for.

That’s right!

The only other special that matters besides the Never Ending Pasta special.

It’s during their seasonal soup and salad specials, of course! 😉

Yep! It’s that famous Zupa Toscana!

I just love that stuff, and apparently, and so does the rest of my family, especially, my son, who’s a super huge foodie!

 

This year, we are trying to get into the mindset of eating to live.

 

One too many trips to Olive Garden has spurred me to recreate this wannabe bowl at home. Not only does it save us money from eating out so much, it also helps curb our appetites and waistline.

Truth be told, since I have decided to make it a family goal to be a little bit more intentional about our diet as well as our food budget this year. It has become quite a challenge for us on a weekly basis to follow through on that though.

 

However, what happens more often than not is that we tend to live to eat! 🙂

 

We love our food, and we do not want to sacrifice on the flavor nor the freshness of the ingredients that we use to prepare our meals. This Zupa recipe is a very close contender if not, a good replica of the real thing from our favorite Italian Food Chain Restaurant.

 

Cost Breakdown of the Fast, Easy, & Yummy Zupa Toscana Replica Meal:

Since I am all about living frugally, here is the true cost breakdown for this meal. I am using this helpful guide to assume prices at Kroger & it’s website, only because I like their search feature the best.

This meal serves a family of 4 and plenty for seconds and leftovers for meals during the week. You can also freeze the leftovers and eat them later. Just pop it in the microwave between 30 seconds – 1 minute per serving.

-1 Tube (1 lb) Ground Turkey 85/15————————-$2.49

-2 Tblsp. Olive Oil———————————————-on hand

-1 tsp. Salt——————————————————-on hand

-1 tsp. Ground Black Pepper———————————on hand

-1 tsp. minced garlic——————————————–$1.99

-1/2 tsp. Granulated White Sugar—————————on hand

-1/2 tsp. garlic salt———————————————-on hand

-1/2 tsp. onion powder—————————————–on hand

-2 Tblsp. Soy Sauce———————————————-on hand

-1 qt. Heavy Cream———————————————-$3.69

-1 package of frozen raw kale———————————$0.89 (I buy these fresh, wash, & freeze them for this recipe)

-1 chopped white onion—————————————–$0.67

-4 russet potatoes———————————————–$3.99

-1.5-2 qts. water (or ½ of a pot)

*Optional:

-Can also substitute ground turkey for Veggie Crumbles as a Vegetarian option

-2 strips of leftover cooked bacon from this morning’s breakfast

-Grated Parmesan as a garnish or to taste——————————-$2.49

-Bacon Bits/Imitation Bacon Bits as a garnish or to taste————–$1.49

Total Cost of this Family-Sized Meal: $17.70, which is $4.26 per person to feed a family of 4 plus leftovers!

 

Give it a try and see for yourself!

Let me know how it turns out for you, in the comments below.

 

Fast, Easy, & Yummy Zupa Toscana Replica

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Category: Soup

Cuisine: Italian

Serving Size: 8

Fast, Easy, & Yummy Zupa Toscana Replica

Ingredients

  • -1 Tube (1 lb) Ground Turkey 85/15
  • -2 Tblsp. Olive Oil
  • -1 tsp. Salt
  • -1 tsp. Ground Black Pepper
  • -1 tsp. minced garlic
  • -1/2 tsp. Granulated White Sugar
  • -1/2 tsp. garlic salt
  • -1/2 tsp. onion powder
  • -2 Tblsp. Soy Sauce
  • -1 qt. Heavy Cream
  • -1 package of frozen raw kale
  • -1 chopped white onion
  • -4 russet potatoes
  • -1.5-2 qts. water (or ½ of a pot)
  • *Optional:
  • -Can also substitute ground turkey for Veggie Crumbles as a Vegetarian option
  • -2 strips of leftover cooked bacon from this morning's breakfast
  • -Grated Parmesan as a garnish or to taste
  • -Bacon Bits/Imitation Bacon Bits as a garnish or to taste

Instructions

  1. 1- On your stovetop, drizzle in the oil. Then add your garlic and saute for about 1 minute. Next, add your onions and saute another minute or until translucent.
  2. 2- Add your "ground meat"  and the rest of the dry spices to your soup pot and cook and brown it evenly.  No need to dirty another pan, just drain the oil after the meat is cooked. This can be ground beef, turkey, ground Italian sausage, or even veggie crumbles. The choice is yours on how "healthy," you're choosing to consume your zupa tonight.
  3. 3- Add soy sauce to your meat mixture. This is my not-so-secret ingredient obviously because I always have it on hand and also because I can never justify buying Worcester sauce only to use it once in a blue moon. Sautee for another 2 minutes.
  4. 4-Add your potato wedges over top of your meat mixture and saute well for another couple minutes.
  5. 5-Add cold water to cover and submerge your potatoes in the soup pot. Cook on high until water is boiling, about 2 minutes depending on your stove.
  6. 6-Then simmer on low medium for at least 15 minutes, until potatoes are flaky and fully cooked.
  7. 7-Add the kale and the heavy cream right before serving.
  8. 8-Serve with your favorite garlic bread or freshly baked baguette.

Notes

This recipe can also be made in the slow cooker, if you are pressed for time. Just have all of your ingredients ready the night before and toss everything inside your slow cooker before you head off to work. You will have a gourmet meal waiting for you when you come back home in a few hours. No need to order take out.

Set the setting on your slow cooker to cook on high for 4 hours or on low for 8 hours.

Remember to ONLY add the kale and the heavy cream last, right before you serve.

Enjoy!

https://fulloffortunes.com/fast-easy-yummy-zupa-toscana-wannabe/

Directions: 

1- On your stovetop, drizzle in the oil. Then add your garlic and saute for about 1 minute. Next, add your onions and saute another minute or until translucent.

2- Add your “ground meat”  and the rest of the dry spices to your soup pot and cook and brown it evenly.  No need to dirty another pan, just drain the oil after the meat is cooked. This can be ground beef, turkey, ground Italian sausage, or even veggie crumbles. The choice is yours on how “healthy,” you’re choosing to consume your zupa tonight.

3- Add soy sauce to your meat mixture. This is my not-so-secret ingredient obviously because I always have it on hand and also because I can never justify buying Worcester sauce only to use it once in a blue moon. Sautee for another 2 minutes.

4-Add your potato wedges over top of your meat mixture and saute well for another couple minutes.

5-Add cold water to cover and submerge your potatoes in the soup pot. Cook on high until water is boiling, about 2 minutes depending on your stove.

6-Then simmer on low medium for at least 15 minutes, until potatoes are flaky and fully cooked.

7-Add the kale and the heavy cream right before serving.

8-Serve with your favorite garlic bread or freshly baked baguette. Enjoy!

*Note:

This recipe can also be made in the slow cooker if you are pressed for time. Just have all of your ingredients ready the night before and toss everything inside your slow cooker before you head off to work. You will have a gourmet meal waiting for you when you come back home in a few hours. No need to order takeout.

Set the setting on your slow cooker to cook on high for 4 hours or on low for 8 hours.

Remember to ONLY add the kale and the heavy cream last, right before you serve.

Enjoy!

 

Disclosure:

The purpose of this blog is to provide insight and enjoyment only. I am not nor do I claim to be an expert or professional in any manner. All opinions are 100% my own. Please do not copy any content from my website without my prior permission or written consent from me. However, you may link directly to my post for reference and to give credit.

Disclaimer:

This website contains affiliate links and sponsorships. I do not endorse nor would I recommend any products that I have not used nor trust to my readers. Thank you so much for your continued support in helping our small blog grow- at no costs to you whatsoever.

Contact:

Please contact me directly via email:  admin@fulloffortunes.com, if you have any questions and/or comments. Thanks for stopping by!

How To Save Time & Money With Walmart Grocery Pickup

Photo Credit: Dayna R. Fuller

(Note: Although, I was not compensated nor was I sponsored by Walmart for this post during the time it was published, all opinions, recommendations, and reviews are 100% my own. If, however, I may be compensated or sponsored by them in the future, I will update this post accordingly to reflect it as such.)

 

screenshot on 2/12/18 @ 11:42pm Have you heard the news? Do you have a Walmart Curbside pickup location near you?

 

 Omigoodness!  Guess what we just got here in town- grocery curbside pickup from Walmart!

Unless you’re a “kool kid” who lives in a hip and trendy place like SoCal, grocery curbside pickup will make your heart skip a beat too, like mine just did! It’s the next best thing since sliced bread.

 Do you have a local Walmart Curbside Grocery Pickup service in your area? Click here to check whether or not you do. If you do not have one yet, chances are it’s coming to an area near you soon.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Location: Simply click on the link above & type in your zip code to see if this service is available in your area. If it is, select your store where you’d like to pick up your groceries

 

screenshot on 2/12/18 at 11:45 AM

 

2. Select: Select your groceries from the list of drop-down categories or do a manual search for your favorite brand of products

 

screenshot on 2/12/18 at 11:46 AM

 

3. Add: Then add any specific quantity of items to your cart

 

screenshot on 2/12/18 at 11:44 AM

 

4. When: Select the date and time that you will be picking up your groceries (usually available within 24 hours of your order confirmation)

 

5. Pay: Click the check out button and choose your payment option(s)

 

6. Confirm: Walmart will email your receipt and order confirmation. They will also give you a reminder call 15-30 minutes of your selected pickup time.

 

7. Pickup: Finally, drive to your store of choice (based on the availability of service in your area) at your scheduled time of pickup. Follow the signs to the curbside pickup area. If you don’t see the concierge, call the number that is posted on the orange Curbside Pickup sign on the front or sides of the building. Then, simply wait for your Personal Walmart Shopper to bring you a swag bag full of freebies (see pic below) along with your groceries.

 How awesome is that?! ☺

Imagine staying in your favorite comfy pajamas as you hop in the car and simply pick up your groceries!

Or how about skipping the whole makeup routine altogether?!  

Think of how much time you could save?!

Personally, this saves me at least a good 20 minutes. Since I’m not prepping to go out in public, I don’t have to worry about my hair, face, or clothes. I just throw on a t-shirt and some jeans and then execute my “weekend mom routine.” I can easily, and more than willingly, set aside my “business mom routine” for a more important day.  

Now that’s a score for us introverts! Don’t you think?

This brings me to the MAJOR benefit of using the Walmart Groceries Curbside Pickup service:  no more interacting with that disgruntled employee whose ready to harp on the next live creature they see.

Another great benefit of using the Walmart Groceries Curbside Pickup service is that you are not constantly wasting your hard earned cash while cruising the grocery store with impulse buys.

10 for $10 specials anyone?

While a deal on a 10 pack of tuna might seem enticing to you, at first, unless you are looking for specific alternatives to eating meat, you may find those packets may expire faster than you can care to consume them. Thus wasting you more money.

Been there, done that, rotten food sucks… 🙁

Yes! Sign me up yesterday, why didn’t they think of this sooner?

Yes, please!

Check out my free swag bag of goodies below!

They definitely made me feel like a modern-day Queen of Sheba here.

 

For my first grocery curbside pickup order, a really sweet Walmart Personal Shopper lady gave me a free swag bag of full of goodies that included:

  • a bottle of Snapple Straight Up Tea,
  • a bag of Paqui Brand Tortilla Chips,
  • a sample packet of Suavitel Fabric Softener Beads,
  • a sample bar of Quaker Oats Cranberry Almond Breakfast Bar,
  • and a handful of mixed flavored Dum Dum lollipops for my kiddos

Here are some things to consider before your first Walmart Groceries Curbside Pickup:

You must have a minimum order of $30 to be able to pick up your groceries.

Pros:

-Unlike regular grocery stores, Walmart Groceries Pickup is open all the time because you place the order and decide when you want to pick it up.

-You can pick up your groceries on the same day if you place your online grocery order by 10 AM that day.

-You can use Walmart Groceries Curbside Pickup online & via mobile!

-You can use the coupon code below to save $10 on your first grocery purchase of $50  or more to save yourself some cash.

-You can use rebate apps like iBotta, Checkout 51, BerryCart, etc. to save even more money in your wallet.

-Your first three grocery shopping trips are free and then you will be charged $4.95 each time after that.

-If you happen to order an item that was out of stock, you can decide whether or not you want a comparable item by checking the “Allow Substitution” checkbox.

-Many times they will offer to swap out a bigger and better item for you,  like 3 lb. bag of organic Fuji apples if they are out of the 1 lb. bag of regular fuji apples for the same price.

-Your Walmart Personal Shopper will hand pick your produce, deli, or meats to make sure they are as fresh as possible.

-You can also specify in the comment box what you are specifically looking for and they will honor your requests for free.

-Household items like toothpaste and detergents are included in this service.

-I can scroll through my cart and look to see exactly what’s inside without the distractions of people, orchids, rotisserie smells, and background noise. (Thus sparing me from the all-too-frequent impulse buys of Reese’s peanut butter cups and tropical flavored Skittles.)

-I can shop in peace, from the convenience of my laptop. Instead of worrying about my kids clearing out the entire ice cream aisle when I’m busy being distracted by said orchids from above ^.

-I can scroll through and look at my previous order history and see what I can add or subtract to my grocery budget for the week or month.

-I can also use the scroll feature to see all the necessary ingredients without making an extra shopping list or meal plan.

-Seeing it all digitally saves me time and money as well as paper.

-What do you know, my pros list is longer than my cons list!

 

Cons:

-Although they do accept manufacturer coupons inside their stores, one of my biggest gripes is that Walmart Curbside Pickup does not accept coupons.

-You can only use their Walmart Curbside Pickup coupon code once and it is only reserved for 1st-time customers.

-You cannot combine your 1-time coupon code with any other offers.

-Variety of food items are limited especially specialty international cuisines.

-While you can go inside and grab a package of California rolls or tempura from the refrigerated section of the store, you cannot order these via Walmart Curbside Pickup.

-Also, depending on your location and season, we have found that on several occasions, advertised items like mini bananas were not available when we came to pick up our groceries. So either, this needs to be updated or it was erroneously advertised. We may have been a little bit disappointed by this but not enough to stop us from automating our grocery errands with Walmart Curbside Pickup service.

 

   Score!!  Woohoo!

Dare I say, “fancy schmancy?!”

 Thank you, Walmart! You’ve really made my day that much sweeter.☺

 

   As if that wasn’t enough to entice you, Walmart is now offering a limited time discount code for first-time customers to simply try out their free grocery curbside pickup service!

 

  You will receive $10 off a minimum purchase of $50 and free grocery curbside pickup order with the link below:

https://refer.walmart.com/welcome.html

Try them out for yourself and let me know if it has changed the way you grocery shop too.

 

Disclosure:

The purpose of this blog is to provide insight and enjoyment only. I am not nor do I claim to be an expert or professional in any manner. All opinions are 100% my own. Please do not copy any content from my website without my prior permission or written consent from me. However, you may link directly to my post for reference and to give credit.

Disclaimer:

This website contains affiliate links and sponsorships. I do not endorse nor would I recommend any products that I have not used nor trust to my readers. Thank you so much for your continued support in helping our small blog grow- at no costs to you whatsoever.

Contact:

Please contact me directly via email:  admin@fulloffortunes.com, if you have any questions and/or comments. Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

 

 

 

How To Save Time & Money With Kroger ClickList

 

(Note: Although, I was not compensated nor was I sponsored by Kroger for this post during the time it was published, all opinions, recommendations, and reviews are 100% my own. If, however, I may be compensated or sponsored by them in the future, I will update this post accordingly to reflect it as such.)

 

 

screenshot 2/12/2018 at 11:37 AM

 Have you heard of the new grocery pick up service trend lately? Seems like everyone is hopping on that bandwagon too, and for good reasons. 

If you haven’t, you are surely missing out.

But that’s ok because I will let you in on the secret.

If you have, it is awesome and man does it make life a whole lot easier. Why?

Because you order your groceries, online! Yup! That’s right, online! (cue the singing angels)

Then you drive to the store and pick up your groceries.

Umm, so that means, in your pj’s, face naked as the day you were born and not one stitch of makeup to save your life, hair like an endangered bird’s habitat, all the while knowing that you are being quietly judged by the wait staff.

Yes please, I’ll take that.

What in the world?! How awesome is that?!

They even have people who select your groceries fresh to the pique of perfection for you on the day of your pick up!

Say you want slightly green but kinda yellowish bananas that are firm to the touch but still soft and sweet when you first bite into it?

Done! Just like that.

Man, that is some serious luxury! 

If this is your first time using Kroger’s Click List grocery pick up service, here are a few things you need to know to make this whole experience even easier.

screenshot 2/12/2018 at 11:38 AM

First:

  • Go to www.kroger.com (on your phone or computer, not available in the app yet)
  • Click on Digital Coupons, on the top menu bar or the left sidebar under the Savings tab
  • Scroll through to browse the coupons that are available 
  • Click Load to Card to select the coupons you want to use

Second:

  • Go to the left sidebar and click on the Click List
  • Use the search icon (magnifying glass) to search for items that you want -or-
  • Do a manual search on the left sidebar under each of the store’s categories
  • Select the quantity you want
  • Add it to your cart

Third:

  • Click on your shopping cart to edit items or to check out
  • Choose your pickup location by typing in your zip code
  • Choose the date and time you’d be available to pick up your groceries

Fourth:

  • Bring your Driver’s License or valid form of identification
  • Bring your credit or debit card with you
  • Remember to bring any additional paper manufacturer’s and store coupons you’ve clipped by hand to deduct from your total bill
  • You can also clip them digitally under the Savings tab, this makes it quick & effortless to save money
  • Follow the Click List signs in the parking lot
  • Once there, call the phone # on the parking sign in to let them know you’re here and in which parking spot #.
  • Lastly, save your receipts and upload a pic of it via your smartphone to rebate apps such as: ibotta, check51 amongst many other rebate apps to save even more cash!

 

Here are just a few of the pros and the cons that I have discovered from my recent experience(s):

screenshot 2/12/2018 at 11:40 AM

Pros:

  • Convenience! Their hours of operation are from 7am-9pm, 7 days a week!
  • They also have same-day 2-hour pick-up now, based on first come first serve online reservations!
  • Your favorite items are saved from your previous grocery shopping trips, so you can buy repeat items if you need to do so.
  • The Sales Items of the Week category shows you which of your favorites are on sale that week highlighted in yellow.
  • You can combine your favorite sale items with the store digital coupons in the green font below each item to save even more.
  • You have the power to control what you want to buy before you pay because you can see your cart total adding up to the right of your screen (that means no more sticker shock when you get to the cashier!)
  • Because they will not care what you look like, just roll outta bed and go.
  • You don’t have to get out of your car, sans makeup ok! 🙂
  • You will save time and won’t waste a whole day walking around aimlessly through the store. 
  • You will save more money with their store and manufacturer’s coupons and see your cart before you pay.
  • There are more than 40,000 variety of items to choose from while you shop.
  • If your item is out of stock, Kroger will ask if you would like to allow a substitution and give you a comparable item in a bigger size for the same price of the original item that you’ve ordered at no additional cost.
  • Your first 3 orders are free and then you will be charged $4.95 per order thereafter. But I have found that by using a combination of digital and printed store and manufacturer’s coupons, I am saving an average of $25 from using the coupons before I even combine it with the sales. Therefore, the $4.95 means diddly squat to me since I am saving much more than that anyway.
  • If you ordered your groceries to be picked up the next day then you can make changes to your online order by midnight, the day before your scheduled pickup.

 

Cons:

  • Out of stock items, generally, most cashiers will replace your item with a similar brand item that’s bigger and better quality item for the same price.
  • Cannot place a ClickList order on Kroger app yet, it’s desktop only, for now.
  • Cannot order prescriptions thru ClickList, at this time.
  • You cannot make any changes to your online order on any Same-Day pickup orders.
  • There is a $4.95 service charge for additional orders after your 3rd free order
  • When it comes to cashiers, most are really nice and are genuinely great people. But be mindful that there is occasionally a bad apple here and there. Just remember to smile and be as polite as possible and rest assured that there is a survey on your receipt to fill out and give feedback (keep it civil and constructive) about your experience. They really do listen! 😉

 

screenshot 2/12/2018 at 11:41 AM

Some more things to consider:

  • You will need to have a major debit or credit card ready to be able to place your order online since no other forms of payment are accepted at this time.
  • You will be given an estimate of your costs, before coupons.
  • Your cashier person will adjust the final total when you arrive for your order pick-up.
  • Even with a few cons, I have found that it is definitely worth the time and effort to at least try it out.
  • After my first few times using Kroger’s ClickList, I received a free bag of their store brand Candy Corn, package of Chips Ahoy Cookies, as well as a Meal Planning Kit, just for being a repeat customer.
  • It was a cute little appreciation gift they gave me for trying out their service and for being a loyal customer.
  • They got an A for effort, right there.  😉
  • I have been hooked ever since.

Click here to find out more what I am talking about.

Do you have any curbside grocery pickups in your area? If so, leave a comment and let me know what you think of it.

Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

 

Disclosure:

The purpose of this blog is to provide insight and enjoyment only. I am not nor do I claim to be an expert or professional in any manner. All opinions are 100% my own. Please do not copy any content from my website without my prior permission or written consent from me. However, you may link directly to my post for reference and to give credit.

Disclaimer:

This website contains affiliate links and sponsorships. I do not endorse nor would I recommend any products that I have not used nor trust to my readers. Thank you so much for your continued support in helping our small blog grow- at no costs to you whatsoever.

 

Contact:

Please contact me directly via email:  admin@fulloffortunes.com, if you have any questions and/or comments. Thanks for stopping by! ☺

 

 

 

To The Blond Haired Blue Eyed Yeti Who Stole My Heart

Image Source via giphy.com

 

This post is dedicated to The Blond Haired Blue Eyed Yeti Who Stole My Heart,

aka My Dear Hubby.

This is my declaration to the world that my heart is heavy and full.

Not just today, but for the rest of our days together.

I am so lucky that you chose me to be your partner in life.

To the naked eye, we may be as different as night and day.

But look a little closer and you will see that we complement each other in every way:

You are the frosting on my cake,

the Jekyll to my Hyde,

the bacon to my eggs,

the peanut butter to my jelly,

the mac to my cheese,

the fire to my ice,

the Love of my life.

Thank you for your daily encouragement and support. You are my first and only super fan, the one I care about the most in this world.

You have always believed in me even when I don’t even believe in myself.

I am so grateful for the life we have built together. I am so blessed and honored to be a mom to our two tiny humans.

But most of importantly, I am grateful for your love and devotion because you have never once doubted me. You never get tired of reminding me every day that I am enough.

There is no me without you.

Insatiably yours for now & always,

Your Chubby Ninja 😉

via GIPHY

6 Things You Must Do To Finally Eliminate Chaos & Embrace Order This Year

Image Source: Canva.com

 

Sigh, another year has gone and passed. As 2017 comes to a close, let us usher in 2018 with renewed hope and energy.  And let’s direct that renewed hope and energy inwards starting with us and our homestead.

If there was anything I have learned from the previous years, it was always a lingering regret of mine that I could have been a little bit more organized and a lot more intentional about my plans so that I could have reached my goals. Every year, like clockwork, I have this little pep in me to start the new year off on the right foot with a clean slate and pour my thoughts out onto paper, all the things that I want to do during that particular year. That’s all it ever was, just arbitrary things like painting the house or start a veggie garden or to simply just, put things into my phone’s calendar.

What actually ends up happening instead is me uttering for the hundredth time,

“Where in the world did I put my phone?”

“Has anyone seen it?”

“Are you kidding me? How in the world did it end up in the fridge?!”

This year is the year that I will get my life back in order once and for all! Since I’ve discovered that I also like to moonlight as a detective (I leave myself post-it notes all over the house), I have found myself less likely to stray from my own worse enemy, short-term memory.

Here’s my 6 point checklist for how to combat my short-term memory loss and get us all back on track this year by slaying goals like fruit ninja:

I have used the Happy Planner last year and that was ok. However, this is the planner I am using this year and I love it! It has everything that I didn’t even know I needed, without me having to buy any additional sheets because it’s already included.

 

1. Plan It: For starters, I’ve been using a planner off and on during 2016 and 2017. I have noticed that when I actually take the extra 5 seconds to write things down in my planner, I tend to stick to it and things magically get done. Most people use either write out their plans using pen and paper planner or a type it digitally, directly into their phones or sync it up to their Google calendars to keep their lives in order. Me? I like both. In case, 1 dies unexpectedly, I’ve got a backup plan somewhere. I prefer to write it down, but I can’t stand the clutter that I create in the process, so I copy it digitally too.

  2. Divide & Conquer: If you’re married with kids, consider yourself lucky because you have a second battalion that you can enlist to fight your war against clutter. It’s pretty obvious that your family was the culprit behind your war on clutter, to begin with, so it’s only fair that you enlist them anyway. Make it a game and treat them to dinner or a treat at their favorite restaurant when they are finished helping the family stay clean and germ-free. Just like the FlyLady does, remind them that “many hands make less work and more time for play.”

This is a screenshot of my Iphone’s timer. However, I prefer the timer on my kitchen stove.

 

3. Set a Timer: If you must use your phone timer, great! That will work just fine! However, I prefer my kitchen timer because it is located in the central hub of our house and because no one knows exactly where my phone is at this very moment. This goes hand in hand with writing out your plan, see above in step #1. If you’re anything like me, you get sidetracked so easily that before you know it, the day is over and you feel as though you’ve accomplished nothing. Setting a timer will give you the motivation you need to stop dilly-dallying around and finally be able to knock out that task. You’ll be able to get more done in less time. It holds you and your kids accountable so they won’t see you as the bad guy when you try to enforce homework time. Remind them that we work now so that we can enjoy playing later.

 

Our weekly meal plan is nothing fancy. It’s a $3 dry erase board from Target that my daughter picked out. But don’t let the small price tag fool you. It’s nothing to shake a stick at because though it may be cheap, it makes up for it’s size and price by keeping us all within our food budget!

 

4. Meal Plan: If I have not said this before I will reiterate it again, I hate cooking, I only cook to survive. It’s true, my family will tell you a different story but that’s my story and I’m sticking to it. That is why I meal plan so that I can spend less time cooking and more time enjoying my family all while saving our hard-earned money. Thanks to MoneySavingMom.com, 5dollardinners.com, and PassionatePennyPincher.com, I have discovered that meal planning is a viable way to pinch our pennies so that we can pay down our debts. Not only is it much friendlier on our wallets, it is proving to be kind to our waistlines as well.

5. Switch-It-Up: Make a list, lots of them, in fact. Make them pretty, hang them up for your family to see, including yourself and your entire family in your tasks and goals. Then, everyone can either pick and choose their task or have mom & dad randomly assign them. This holds everyone accountable and we can all encourage one another so that Mom doesn’t always have to be the bad guy for yelling at her kids 20 times for them to put away their toys. We have found that it is a lot more fun to get each other on-board as a family to complete a task together so that we can all reach an end goal, such as  (drum roll) family game night!

6. Do Your Part: Do your part and go the extra mile. Not only does it spread goodwill within your family and friends, but it also instills a sense of responsibility in your kids when they see you overcome your own struggles and worked hard to complete a tough task. Along with that same thought, my daughter opened and ate a fortune cookie this week that read: “No one has ever died from sweating too much.” Now that’s what I call a smart cookie! 😉

How do you conquer the chaos in your life? Share your thoughts below.

 

 

 

Disclosure:

The purpose of this blog is to provide insight and enjoyment only. I am not nor do I claim to be an expert or professional in any manner. All opinions are 100% my own. Please do not copy any content from my website without my prior permission or written consent from me. However, you may link directly to my post for reference and to give credit.

 

Disclaimer:

This website contains affiliate links and sponsorships. I do not endorse nor would I recommend any products that I have not used nor trust to my readers. Thank you so much for your continued support in helping our small blog grow- at no costs to you whatsoever.

 

Contact:

Please contact me directly via email:  admin@fulloffortunes.com, if you have any questions and/or comments. Thanks for stopping by! 

HOW TO MAKE A DIY SUPER FIRE MARIO INSPIRED COSTUME FOR $7!

From a regular boy to Super Fire Mario, “here we go!”

If your kid is anything like mine, then you can definitely relate. To say that he is obsessed with all things related to The Super Mario Brothers is an understatement. My 6 year-old-son, eats, sleeps, and breathes all things, Super Mario. The boy wants to embody Super Mario as we all know him.

So it was no surprise when he mentioned that he wanted to be Super Fire Mario for Halloween, again… 2 years in a row now, not kidding.

I was able to find some great tutorials via Pinterest to help me make an awesome costume for him to wear while Trick or Treating. He loved it so much that he still wears it around the house while playing his video games a few times out of the week. I am so glad that I decided to make it out of a thicker material instead of buying an overpriced flimsy one.

*Side Note: When he was a wee little toddler, Angry Birds seemed to be his thing. His love for Angry Birds was resurrected when we took him and his 4 year-old-sister out to the movie theaters for the very first time last summer. As a matter of fact, we used to collect all things Angry Birds for him so that we may redecorate his big boy’s room for him one day. But we have since, decided against that and went with Super Mario Brothers instead. Check that out here.

“Best. Day. Ever!” was their response when asked how their movie experience went. 

But now, oh no, it’s Super Mario FTW (for the win)!

My son will come to a dead stop, drop whatever he is doing, and come blazing in into the room at full speed just to catch a glimpse of his hero, Mario. And like a moth to a flame, he can’t help but be lured by the siren’s call of that cheerful 8-bit music.

So when I asked the kids what they wanted to be for Halloween, naturally the only answer that uttered from their little mouths were Super Mario and Baby Peach.

As if I even had to ask? Come On! RME (rolling my eyes)

This was shortly after we’ve discovered the old 80’s series episodes on Netflix, The Super Mario Brothers Show, which prompted their decision, of course.

We normally allow each of our kids 30 minutes of screen time per day and a story each night before bed. And naturally, my son would choose to watch The Super Mario Brothers Show each night. He would watch a new episode each night until the entire series was finished. I kid you not, it took f-o-r-e-v-e-r as we sat through it night after night. :/ So, it did not come as a complete shock to me when he said wanted to be Super Mario for Halloween.

But when my daughter uttered the words Baby Peach, I was blown away. Although she definitely has tomboy tendencies, she’s a girly girl, like her no fear outlook on life. She’s quite the opinionated little lady who isn’t afraid to tell you what she likes and does not like. Since she does not have a favorite character, she tends to be more random and generalized in her choice of female characters.

I did not think she would be remotely interested in the limited amount of female characters that the Super Mario Brothers series offered. However, if I had to guess, I think she really wanted to share an interest with her brother since they have been the best of friends and also the worst of enemies for as long as they’ve been alive. Their sibling bond is just so sweet when they are not busy fighting with one another. ^_^

After my fun Halloween costumes conversation with the kids, I set out to shop online to see what I could find. I was immediately blown away by the astronomical prices for these kids’ costumes. Whoa! Seriously? That’s a whole lotta moolah!

However, I was lucky enough to find a whole ensemble of a Princess Peach costume that included the crown, the dress, and the pinafore on clearance at the Birthday Express online store for just under $7.83! To get this price, I found an offer coupon in my email from the Birthday Express Store for an extra 33% off all clearance merchandise promo. Then I stacked it with an extra 6% eBates click thru offer to boot! Woohoo! What an awesome score! 

princess-peach-dress-costume

The only problem was that it was 5 sizes too big and I needed a toddler-sized costume, not a big kid costume. So, I went ahead and snagged it anyway hoping that maybe with some magic fairy dust and a little ingenuity, I can fix that sucker up in a jiffy. So instead of Baby Peach, we just told her that Baby Peach ate a mushroom and now she’s all grown up and turns into Princess Peach. My daughter was satisfied with that story, so we left it at that, whew! 

Alright!

So that took care of my daughter’s Baby Princess Peach costume request.

And with the wave of my wand, she was transformed into Baby Peach.

Check!

Next up on the list, Super Fire Mario!

But, I did not have any luck finding a Mario costume for my son that did not blow our budget out of proportions. In no way was I going to be shelling out $29 + tax for something my kid was only going to wear for a grand total of 3 hours of his life.  I just could not stomach being sucker punched in the wallet like that. So I decided to do the next best thing I could think of. I was bound and determined to make his costume for under $5!

That’s crazy, I know, but I’m cheap like that and dammit I will make this work!

Since I am an introvert, I tend to shy away from people. But I do love me a good DIY project and I never seem to shy away from creating something with my own two hands for much cheaper than I am willing to pay for it. So naturally, I consulted good ol’ Pinterest for some ideas and omigoodness did it ever deliver! I love me some Pinterest! Don’t you? Lol 

Inspirational Image: http://i.imgur.com/OEsP9Bj.png

(I did a Google search to find out exactly how to replicate Super Fire Mario to finally appease my son’s obsession. And this was the picture that I ended up using for my DIY inspiration costume.)

I did a quick search for DIY Super Mario Costumes on Pinterest and gleaned thru all the results that came up. After some careful consideration, I chose a handful of what I believed to be the best most thoroughly explained tutorials that I can execute without pulling out my already sparse hairs.

Here are some of the best sources of inspiration I have used for creating my son’s Super Mario Costume. Without these tutorials, I would still be scratching my head in frustration trying to figure out where to begin. These ladies gave me the inspiration and the confidence that I needed to actually do this on my own.

So without further ado, please check them out for yourself if you are thinking about creating your very own version of a Super Mario costume for your kid and tell me what you think. For more detailed instructions, click on the links below:

Tutorial For the Overalls: http://smashedpeasandcarrots.com/how-to-make-mario-and-luigi-costumes-tutorial/

(With these tutorials, I was able to create the exact look that I wanted for my son’s costume and it turned out beautifully.:) )

Tutorial For the Hat: http://www.fleetingthing.com/?projects=super-mario-hat-pattern-and-tutorial

For full instructions and tutorials on how to create your very own version of this DIY Super Mario Hat and Costume, be sure to click thru to the links in this blog post.

Download Pattern for Hat Here:

http://www.fleetingthing.com/downloads/Mario_Hat_pattern.pdf

Just in case you were wondering about the costs, I have included a break down of the price for each item. Here is a list of materials that I used to create my son’s Super Mario Costume.

List of Materials for Super Mario Costume:

-Boys Long Sleeve White Thermal undershirt size 4-5T (already had in the closet as a gift from his Grandma a couple years ago) Here is a similar one, if you do not happen to have one available on hand. These are pretty cheap and readily available to pick up anywhere, usually under $4.

-Kids White knit gloves (also already had in the closet as a gift from his Grandma) Theses are also easy to find and generally can be found for about $1.

-Black sheet of felt for Mario’s mustache ($1.07 with tax for a 10 pack @ The Dollar Tree)

– 2 sheets of white felt (24”x24,” $1.07 with tax or $0.50 each at Joann Fabrics)

-1.5 yards of red felt material for overall pants ($1.59 with tax, on sale for $0.99 a yard @ Joann Fabrics)

-1 comfortable pair of pants, (preferably jeans that fit your kid perfectly so that it does not expand or contract too much when you are cutting around it.) We already had a pair on hand, so no need to buy one.

-About 1/2 yard of white elastic ¾’ thick to sew onto the back of mustache, this goes around the child’s head above the nose and ears to hold up the mustache (already had on hand)

-1 good pair of sharp fabric scissors (already have on hand)

-Sewing machine with zigzag pattern (already have on hand)

-Your choice of color for thread spool & bobbins, I used white and red for my son

(already have these on hand in my sewing kit)

-2 big yellow buttons ($2.43 with 40% off coupon and tax)

-Light-up Fireball from Target ($1.06 with tax)

Total: $7.23 ($2.23 over budget, not too shabby for a DIY project)

*Note: I realized I needed extra fabric than the tutorial called for because:

  1. I purposely made it kind of big so that the waist and the hem can be let out if he had a sudden growth spurt, or
  2. If you want to stuff a small pillow under the shirt to give Mario his trademark look as though he had 1 too many plates of spaghetti. 
  3. Because I am a figure-it-out-as-I-go, beginner-sewist, who-makes-a-lot-of-mistakes. So please, take that into consideration as you may or may not attempt this yourself. 
Super Fire Mario Go!

 

So now that Halloween is over, I wonder what the next craze will be.

Super Fire Mario and Princess Peach, ready to win at Trick-or-Treating!

Stay tuned for that adventure…

 

 

Disclosure:

The purpose of this blog is to provide insight and enjoyment only. I am not nor do I claim to be an expert or professional in any manner. All opinions are 100% my own. Please do not copy any content from my website without my prior permission or written consent from me. However, you may link directly to my post for reference and to give credit.

Disclaimer:

This website contains affiliate links and sponsorships. I do not endorse nor would I recommend any products that I have not used nor trust to my readers. Thank you so much for your continued support in helping our small blog grow- at no costs to you whatsoever.

Contact:

Please contact me directly via email:  admin@fulloffortunes.com, if you have any questions and/or comments. Thanks for stopping by! 

How To Make A DIY Princess Poppy Troll Inspired Costume For Less Than $4

She is all dressed and ready for her Halloween Parade around the school in true Princess Poppy style!

The Trolls Movie came out last year during the 2016 holidays season. Since then, my daughter has been head over heels in love and still, can’t stop talking about it! All of the characters in this movie look so colorful and cuddly covered with felt and glitter, how can any normal kid not go bananas? Don’t even get me started on all those cool songs and dance moves, lol.

This is a screenshot that I took on my phone of the fleece fabric blanket from Joann Fabrics that I have used as my inspiration for my DIY Poppy inspired costumes.

What’s not to love? It is sheer sensory overload for any kid. She has seen this movie a grand total of 25 times in counting and does not plan to stop watching it anytime soon. I believe she knows every song and can recount every dance move from beginning to end.

This is a screenshot of the Poppy costume that was sold at the Target Stores in October 2017. My daughter astutely pointed out that it’s not fleece, unlike how it was in the movie. 😉

So of course, she had to be Poppy for Halloween this year, as if there was ever any doubt about that! Out of curiosity, I did some research to see if it would be worth it to buy a Poppy costume or to attempt another DIY project. A brand new flimsy costume from Target was going to cost me $25 before taxes and the wig would be an extra $10, also before taxes.    

Ouch!

Sorry, not going to pay that for something she is likely going to wear just once, smh.

Instead of shelling out more than $35, I decided to attempt another one of my DIY skills on this new little pet project of mine to see if we can get it done much cheaper. And guess what? It’s totally doable!   It’s like a bad case of Deja Vu, but instead of making over my son, I am doing it for my daughter this year! lol Here’s what I did:

On one of my random visits to Joann Fabrics this month, I happen to discover that there was a sale on blizzard fleece, which, coincidentally, bears a really close resemblance to all of the felt material and scrapbook feel of the Trolls Movie. And at 50% off the regular price of $8.99/yard, making it $4.49 I thought it would be worth it to give it a try and make poppy’s famous blue dress. I also picked up a sheet of green felt for $0.25 to make her headband and found pink fabric spray paint on clearance for $1.97 to make her hair. The total cost of this project was $7.21. However, instead of only one Poppy costume, I was lucky enough to have enough material to make 2 of them! Since my daughter and her friend, both love Poppy, I was able to surprise them both with a Poppy costume. This makes each costume (dress, headband, and wig included) cost just $3.60 per kid, which is a win for me! 🙂

This was a super simple project that really did not require any sewing. You can even use fabric glue if you wanted to do so. However, I just happen to have a sewing machine at home and I wanted to test my memory of how to thread it if I ever needed to since it’s been so long since I’ve last used it.  And I’m happy to report that my old noggin’ still works despite the cobwebs!  🙂

If you’d like to make your own DIY version of a Poppy costume for your little one, here is what you will need.

List of materials:

  • pink fabric spray paint
  • 1 sheet of green felt
  • 1/2  yard of turquoise blue blizzard fleece (depending on your child’s dress size)
  • a well-fitting dress (to use as a template to trace around) already have
  • tape measure (already had on-hand)
  • white sewing chalk (already had on-hand)
  • sewing scissors (already had on-hand)
  • sewing machine with white thread (already had on-hand)
  • sewing pins (already had on-hand)
  • white acrylic/fabric paint (already had on-hand)
  • white sidewalk chalk (already had on-hand)
  • green sidewalk chalk (already had on-hand)
  • fake snow blanket (the kind that used to cover the bottom of a Christmas tree)- already have
  • pink long sleeve/hoodie sweater (already had on-hand)
  • pink leggings (already had on-hand)
  • pink boots (already had on-hand)
  • pink glitter makeup/lipstick (already had on-hand)
  • scrap pieces of cardboard to protect the fabric and your table from paint (already have)
  • cup of water (already had on-hand)
  • small sponge (already had on-hand)
  • small detail paint brush (already had on-hand)
  • plastic headband (already had on-hand)
  • hot glue gun (already had on-hand)

 

This was a project fit for the trolls as the majority of it involved cutting and gluing, just like Poppy’s scrapbooking! 🙂

Directions for the headband and wig:

  • Take the snow blanket outside and spray paint it pink. Be sure to place it inside of an open cardboard box to keep the color from spreading and to control the smell. Warning: It smells atrocious! 🙁
  • Follow the direction on the spray paint can. Spray paint one side and wait about an hour or so until it is dry to the touch. Then flip it over and spray the other side. Let it dry overnight.
  • Take a plastic and trace it onto the green felt.
  • Cut out the traced pattern of the headband and hot glue it onto the plastic headband covering its entirety with green felt. Let it dry.
  • Cut out several pieces of leaves in varying sizes with the leftover pieces of green felt.
  • Cut out several pieces of petals in varying sizes with the leftover pieces of turquoise blue fleece material.
  • Assemble the leaves and petals to make two small flowers on the top left of the green headband and one small flower on the top right of the headband using hot glue. Let it dry.
  • Now that the snow blanket is dry and pink, tease it into the best fitting shape and size of your child’s head.
  • Then hot glue the pink fuzz, piece by piece onto the headband until you’re happy with its placement and shape.
  • You are done! Snap a pic of your new Poppy Troll Wig!
I used my daughter’s 5T cheerleader dress as a template and added another 4 inches to extend the hem of her Poppy dress so that she can wear it many more times after Halloween. The girl loves to play dress up with her friends!
This was the messy part. I used a combination of acrylic paints and fabric paints because I ran out of each, so I mixed them and let them dry for 2 hours in between coats.

Directions for making the dress:

  1. Find a sleeveless dress that fits your child well and place it on top your folded turquoise blue fleece. This will be your template, trace the outline of the dress onto the fleece using sewing chalk. Make sure to leave a 1″ allowance all the way around your pattern for seam lines.
  2. Take the turquoise blue fleece and fold it in half lengthwise. This will give you 2 layers for the front and the back of Poppy’s dress.
  3. With sewing scissors, cut through the 2 layers of fleece.
  4. Take the top layer and cut out a v-neck. This will be the front of the Poppy Dress. Leave the 2nd layer as-is, this will be the back of the dress.
  5. Pin the 2 layers together to keep them in place.
  6. I eyeballed and guestimated the size of the saddle-shaped strap that will go over the front left shoulder of Poppy’s dress and cut this piece out to attach it to the inner left shoulder when sewing it together. Then attach the strap alongside the left outer v part of the front of the dress using hot glue for a more finished look.
  7. Make sure your sewing machine is ready to go with white threading in place and sewing together the shoulders and the sides of the dress. (I used a zigzag stitch pattern because I do not have a serger.)
  8. Place a scrap piece of cardboard underneath the dress and trace the fleur di lis pattern onto the bottom hem of the dress on the front using the white sidewalk chalk.
  9. Using the chalk as a guide, go over the pattern using white acrylic paint and fill in the pattern with a detail paintbrush.
  10. Using a wet sponge, blend the white acrylic paint from the design to the hem of the dress to create an ombre effect at the bottom.
  11. Repeat steps 11-13 on the other side (back of the dress) at the bottom hem.
  12. Let each side of the dress dry for 3-4 hours.
  13. Paint a yarn clasp onto the saddle strap front closure of the dress.
  14. Using the green sidewalk chalk, trace a thicker line around the fleur di lis pattern and blend in with your fingers to create a greenish ombre effect around the pattern.
  15. Abra Cadabra! Now we have a finished our very own DIY Inspired version of Princess Poppy The Troll dress! Enjoy!
We hope we’ve inspired you to create your own version too. Let us know how your’s turned out!

 

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