Friday, August 31, 2012

$4 Console Table

I told you a few weeks back that the hubs was working on some built-ins...well, he has been doing a great job on them!  Since he was in the building mood, he decided to make a console table with all the scrap MDF he had laying around to hold extra toys. We found our inspiration Here..there were plans, but we didn't have enough MDF to make the exact same table, so there was some improv building. The reason it's a $4 table is because I had to make a quick trip to Lowes to get one 1x3 board. 
I helped a little(held things in place, painted, moral support), but he was definitely the brains behind the job:o) I'm so proud of my little handy man:o)
The canvas baskets came from T.J. Maxx. 
The rug is from Marshalls.
I found this cute little owl and the sign at Marshall's too.
 Lamps and lamp shades(clearance find) from Walmart.
 And here are the beginnings of the built-ins. We recycled our entertainment center, and attached it to the wall. Then the hubs made the window seats. He finished it out with trim across the bottom. Eventually there will be more added on, and the whole thing painted white, but right now he needs to focus on his thesis.
 Hasn't he done a fantastic job?!? 
 I hope that you all have a wonderful holiday weekend. We have ours filled with food, football, friends and doesn't get much better than that!

Participating here:

Furniture Feature Fridays

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

20% Guaranteed Return through GOLD ?

Have you ever heard of an investment with Guaranteed Return 20% ?  Well, this particular one is from The Gold Guaranteed . . . what do you think the catch is ?

  1. You Buy Bullion Gold from TGG ( The Gold Guaranteed )
  2. You keep the gold
  3. You sign a 3-months-contract with TGG
  4. TGG pays you 1.7% every month
  5. At the end of 3 months, you can choose to 
    1. renew the contract for another 3 months or
    2. sell the gold back to TGG how much you have paid for ( ie. your Capital ) 
  • To renew the contract, you have to pay the additional cost if the gold price has gone up
  • Like wise if the gold price has gone down, you get paid extra and also gets to renew the contract

For example, at end of August . . .
  1. You pay $22,500 for a 100g bullion and signed the 2 pages contract
  2. You get paid $382.50 monthly for the next 3 months ( 22,500 x 1.7% )
  3. 3 months later, 100g gold price goes up to $23,500.
  4. You paid an extra $1,000 and renew the contract
  5. You get paid $399.50 monthly for the next 3 months ( 23,500 x 1.7% )
  6. another 3 months later, 100g gold price goes down to $21,500.
  7. You get paid $2,000 and renew the contract
  8. You get paid $365.50 monthly for the next 3 months ( 21,500 x 1.7% )
  9. another 3 months later, 100g gold price goes back to $22,500.
  10. You paid $1,000 and renew the contract
  11. You get paid $382.50 monthly for the next 3 months ( 22,500 x 1.7% )
  12. when the contract ends, you sell it to TGG and get back $22,500

Month paid get back
1 $22,500 $383
2 $383
3 $383
4 $1,000 $400
5 $400
6 $400
7 -$2,000 $366
8 $366
9 $366
10 $1,000 $383
11 $383
12 $383

Maximum Capital : $ 23,500
Total Return : $4,590
Rough Return : ~20%

All this happens while you are keeping your own bullion gold with you until you sell it back to TGG.

How does this sound to you ?  What could be the catch if any at all ?

What other strategies you may apply assuming this is a genuine deal ?

Monday, August 27, 2012

Should I buy now?

If one can pick just one graph to answer that question, I would suggest this one (From Ben's blog):

Fall Dinner-Chicken Spaetzle & Homemade Bread

I can't stand it any longer...Fall needs to just get here and stay here:o)
It has been a scorcher for the past few days after we were taunted with cooler weather. I am stubborn by nature, and have made soup and homemade bread, regardless of this horrid heat, hoping this will show Summer that I have had enough of it, and am ready for it to go away:o)
 Chicken Spaetzle is one of my favorite soups in the whole wide world. I order it from Bruegger's every time I visit that restaurant...which is a lot:o)
I looked for their recipe, and couldn't find anything but the calorie count online...I DON"T CARE what the calorie count is...IT"S DELICIOUS!
So anywho, I found a few recipes online and kind of tweaked here and there, and this is my version of Chicken Spaetzle.
recipe adapted from HERE
  • 2 chicken breasts (about 1 lb total)
  • 2 cups water
  • 4 cups chicken broth 
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 large onions, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup diced carrots
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 2 teaspoons salt 
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning1 package of potato Gnocchi

    Combine all ingredients, except the gnocchi, and cook on low for 2 hours. After the 2 hours, shred chicken in the soup, and add gnocchi. Cook gnocchi in the soup according to package directions(just don't drain;o). Serve with homemade bread.

    I found this homemade bread recipe to go along with our soup.
    Food Processor White Bread
    from breadworld via Jennifer Judd-McGee
    makes 1 loaf
    3 cups all-purpose flour
    2 Tbl. sugar
    1 envelope RapidRise Yeast (do not use any other kind - just RapidRise)
    1 1/4 tsp. salt
    3 Tbl. butter
    1 egg
    3/4 cup warm water
    Insert metal blade into food processor. Add flour, sugar, undissolved yeast and salt; process 5-10 seconds. Add butter and egg.  Begin processing, then slowly pour warm water through feed tube just until dough forms a ball, about 10-15 seconds.  Continue processing for 60 seconds to knead dough (I let it go longer, more like 2-3 minutes, just for good measure).  Remove dough onto a lightly flour surface. Cover and let rest for 10 min.
    Roll dough into a 12 x 7-inch rectangle. Beginning at short end, roll up tightly as for jelly roll.  Pinch ends and seam to seal.  Place, seam side down, in greased 8 1/2 x 4 1/2-inch loaf pan.  Cover; let rise in warm, draft-free place until double in size about 30-45 minutes (I've let it go much longer than this and it is just fine).
    I usually brush it with egg wash or a bit of cream to give the top a nice shine, but you don't have to.  Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes or until done (30 minutes is always just perfect for me).  Remove from pan and let cool on a wire rack (be sure to remove it because otherwise the bottom will get soggy while it cools).  Slice and enjoy!

    This was a wonderful dinner, and I am so glad that we have air conditioning because when you eat soup, it warms your insides...who wants to be hot on the inside and outside;o)
    The kids loved the soup, so we have a winner in this household...when we actually get cooler weather, this recipe will definitely be a regular on the menu;o)

Friday, August 24, 2012

Family Night Recipe

So last night, life got in the way. The hubs needed to get the lawn mowed, dinner was made late, phone calls and emails needed to be taken care of, and S.R. ended up with a fever just before dinner.
Our family night didn't happen...that's just the way things go sometimes. 
But, even though all of this was going on, we still got to take just a moment together and indulge in homemade Peanut Butter word....yuuuuum!
I found the recipe in the current All You magazine(September edition)
If you want to take a swing at these little delectables,  you can find the recipe 
WARNING:You will not be able to eat just one!!!!
Have a great weekend y'all!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Allowance/Money Holders

Ok, so I said I would post about these on Monday...well Monday has turned into Thursday for sure...but I am finally getting around to sharing with you our newest endeavor....allowances...enter shiver/shudder.
We now have to make our children be responsible little helpers...which makes us have to be more responsible because we have to remember to remind them to do their chores....and on top of that, we have to remember to keep $6 in 1's on hand, so that we can make sure they get their $3 a week.
Who knew it was going to be this involved:o) 
I kid, I kid:o)
E and S.R. have been great about getting their chores done for the past two weeks, and we are so grateful. Not only are they learning valuable lessons in doing a job and doing it well, they are lightening the load on their poor pitiful mother;o)
So here are said money/allowance holders.
All items used to make these money holders were purchased from Hobby Lobby except the buckets. I found the buckets in the dollar section at Target.
 I've seen and heard, for the past few months, of parents using three categories...Share(or give), Save and Spend. I think that teaching the kids to divide their money up now is an awesome life lesson. The earlier they learn to save their money and to give of their means, the better off they will be when they are adults. 
Last Sunday they were actually able to give their own money to the collection plate at church. I didn't get to see it because I wasn't feeling well and stayed home, but I know that before they left for services that morning, they were really excited about giving their dollar.
It's the little things, right?
So what do you think? Are you inspired to make little helpers out of your rugrats? I promise it is well worth the effort!
 Here is a list of items if you want to make your own.
1 plywood board
3 oval shape wooden discs(optional)
scrapbook paper
letter stickers
Mod Podge
Paint for the plywood board(optional)
Drill(for holes)
Ribbon(to hang)
3 buckets with handle
3 mini cup hooks 
Wood Glue
I hope that all of you who started school this week have had a fantastic first week back. I know we sure have. I am still adjusting to getting up early....too bad I can't drink!
Family night tonight...I'll post recipes tomorrow...maybe;o)

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

First Day of Pre-K

Today S.R. started preschool. She was so excited, and I was happy that she wanted to go. She was lost yesterday without her big brother to play with. I expected there to be an adjustment period....
 This little thing is a ball of fire, and sweet as sugar.
 I had so much fun taking her pictures. She already has a dramatic flare, and this type of thing was right up her stage, with all eyes on her.

 This is a rare shot of her being doesn't happen often;o)
 I am so glad that she lets me play with her that it is FINALLY growing out.
Just like with E, I let her take some goofy shots. I caught her here when she didn't know I was snapping pictures.

 Attitude in it's purest form...:o)

 This has to be my favorite though...daddy's little girl. 
This child has been a light in our lives. She always has a smile on her face, and can light up any room that she walks into. God knew what He was doing when He sent us S.R. She is independent, but still wants to curl up in your arms and snuggle, and I LOVE that.
 She is considerate of her brother and her friends, and is almost always willing to help out.
Speaking of her brother, her demeanor completely changes when he gets home from school now. It's like she hasn't seen him in ages:o) They play together so well.
We are so blessed!!
Hopefully tomorrow I will get around to sharing the kids money holders...:o)

Monday, August 20, 2012

First Day of Kindergarten

It's official. I am the mother of a kindergartner. It was a great day for my little guy. He has a fantastic teacher, he knew 6 kids in his class, and he got to do all sorts of fun things that only kindergartners get to do. He was all smiles when I picked him up today, and that made my heart swell because just a few hours prior, I was doing my best to hold it together. Where has the time gone? Wasn't it just yesterday that I was holding a little lump in my arms...and now look at him..all grown up, at least according to him:o)
 We had a little fun yesterday taking some back to school photos. Usually it's a nightmare trying to take shots of the kids. They are always little pills when it comes time to take pictures. You'd never guess it by looking at these shots...
 Mini marshmallows will work wonders on 4 and 5 year olds:o)
They behaved wonderfully when I started popping them in their mouths. 
After we got some serious shots, we started goofing this shot..this book came from the hub's grandfather's farm. I thought it was perfect for this type of photo shoot:o)

 Oh yes, he's really in his element now...Oh, how I love this stinker:o)

I'm so proud of this kid, and I pray every chance I think to, that he will be a strong leader and Christian example to all of those around him.
I am so thankful that the Lord blessed me with this child.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Chore Charts

Usually on Friday's you can expect to hear about the previous evening's family night. Well, every once in a while, we have what is referred to as a "family date night." That usually includes dinner and a movie...last night was just dinner at Red Robin. We had a delicious but very expensive dinner, and then the hubs picked up some ice cream. We also got to go on an evening bike ride, or as S.R. likes to call it, a "bike walk."

So instead of giving you ideas about how you can spend time together as a family today, I wanted to share with you our latest endeavor...chores:o)
The kids are very good at helping out around the house, and we thought now would be a good time to introduce an allowance.
So, me being me, I needed to make something cute and crafty to help them keep up with all of the chores that need to be completed through out the day. 
I looked online for various ideas of chore charts, and decided to make my own. 
This one is E.'s
 And this one is S.R.'s
 I found the backgrounds at a neat blog named Sprik Space. I downloaded them and used publisher to add the grid and the fonts. 
Super easy:o) 
I also used my favorite self laminating sheets made by Scotch, to make them re-usable.
I found clipboards at Walmart, and used Command wall hooks to attach them to their bedroom doors.
They are at the right level for the kids to mark off their list. 
They think that they are so big, and they are really going to think they are big once they start getting paid.
I have been working on money holders for them, and I will share them on Monday. I like how they are turning out, and I can't wait for you all to see them.
Have a great weekend! We'll be soaking in every minute, since school starts back for us on Monday.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Is it time to start sniffing around?

I see some comments wondering about whether it could be time to start looking for 'deals'

There is no doubt that there are deals surfacing. Look at Vancouver Price Drop to get some idea about where things are going. Of course there are good deals in the Sunshine Coast, OK and Whistler.

But what about Vancouver? Have we just started the correction or are we just having another dip, followed by a plateau and then up we go again.

Well it may help us to see just how high we went. Here's Larry's Average Price chart:

A technical analyst might say that there is good support at the $1 million level.  What then? Up from there or down further?

It all depends whether we start getting a negative loop. Lower prices and less sales leading to less construction, mortgage and Realtor employment  (10% of employment) leading to a drop in personal net worth and less spending on retail (another 7-8%) 

So you can see how quickly a drop can reinforce itself with negative feed-back. Any further weakness in commodities and it will multiplied.

San Diego which we are often compared to, took a while to roll over, but when it did it went south fast.

So before we dive into the market, we may want to see if this is the beginning of a bigger correction. Looking, however is good.

Gearing Up for Back to School

We are getting ready for school around here. The kids are super pumped, and so are we since both of them got the teachers we wanted them to:o) I have been labeling the day away. We meet E's teacher this afternoon and drop his school supplies off. Just a few more days of last minute play dates and odds and ends that need to be done before they go back and leave me all alone:o)
I am also working on some chore charts and hope to share those with you guys here in the next day or two. Have a great rest of the day!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Family Night-The Wonderful Wizard of Ha's

Friday means it's time to share our family night theme again. 
We watched the Wonderful Wizard of Ha's this week. It was a mix between the Prodigal son parable from the Bible and the Wizard of was so cute, and the kids loved it.
For my weekly email to the hubs, he received the menu below. I found the picture from Christians Best, and used Picmonkey to add the menu.
  If you think you might want to re-use this picture, feel free to copy and paste...or go to the link above, and create your own.
Here is our delightful spread for the evening. 
 We had homemade strawberry lemonade in mason jars, and since we were watching Veggie Tales, I decided to add in a few veggies:o)
 We were supposed to have mini hamburgers for dinner, but I forgot to thaw the hamburger meat...we made a quick trip to visit grandparents on Wednesday, so I didn't fix the Ham and Cheese Sliders that evening. They were a quick and delicious fix! The hubs loved them!
For dessert, we had Bob the Tomato cookies. I used store bought cookies and cookie icing. They were fairly easy to make, and you can kind of tell who they are supposed to be;o) We also had a slew of unhealthy candy....we had veggies, so that counteracts all the sugar, right?;o)
 Here is a closer view of the Bob's.
 I also found these cute coloring pages from the same website from above. The kids loved this part as well, especially S.R.
Since the movie was short, we put in the real Wizard of Oz to finish the night off. 
Another great family night!!!