Tuesday, July 31, 2012

A Glimpse into my Etsy Shop

LuLu Bean Design Company

I hope everyone is having a wonderful summer!  I wanted to share some exciting news today.  I have finally gotten my Etsy shop up and running and have been busy getting some items ready for sale.  My shop is titled "LuLu Bean Design Company" after a nickname I have called my daughter since she was just a baby.  

So far, I am featuring vinyl decals, labels, and embellished glassware.  I love creating custom items, so please let me know if you have something in mind.  Here are a few of the items I have for sale so far.

5 Personalized Bridesmaid Wine Glasses

5 Personalized Groomsman Beer Mugs

Set of 6 Personalized Groomsman Beer Mugs and 6  Bridesmaid Glasses

Pet Food Bin Vinyl Label

Keep Calm and Craft On Vinyl Wall Decal

Vinyl Mailbox Label Decal Monogram

Number Vinyl Decals

Vinyl Door House Number Decal

You had me at Merlot Vinyl Wall Decal

Vinyl Owl Monogram Decal for your Cricut Expression

Vinyl Wall Decal Kitchen Pantry

Scalloped Square Vinyl Chalk Label

Check out my shop when you get a chance.  Take a look around.  Thanks for visiting!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Girl Scout Flower Cupcake Toppers & Bottlecap Necklaces

For our last girl scout meeting, I wanted to do something special for all my sweet little Brownies.  I ordered a kit to make bottlecap necklaces for the girls from a great shop I found on Etsy, called Just Becuz.  Twenty necklaces cost about $1 each to make, and they are really quick and easy to put together.  

I found this cute cardstock at Michael's. 

First, lay everything out using SCAL.

I decided to put them in individual cups to make them easier for the girls.

Get all your cut-outs and supplies together, and assemble.

I printed the images out onto white cardstock, and assembled the necklaces.  All you need is hot glue.

I just made two little slits in the flowers, and slid the necklaces down into them. Then, I taped the chains to the back.

I'm linking up to these great parties:

Weekend Bloggy Reading Chic on a Shoestring Decorating http://www.findingfabulousblog.com/

Some Gator Cupcakes for Hard-Working SOL Students


At our school, the teachers asked parents to bring in snacks for the students to enjoy after their SOLs.  Our mascot is the Gator, so I made these for yesterday's SOL snack.  They were super easy.  The eyes are made out of marshmallows and chocolate chips.  Everything else is icing.

I'm linking up to these great parties:

Weekend Bloggy Reading Chic on a Shoestring Decorating http://www.findingfabulousblog.com/

CVS Coupon Haul for Last Week

Here are the coupon deals for last week at CVS.  It was a pretty good week.  Sodas, chips, and popscicles just in time for Memorial Day weekend!

2 Arm & Hammer laundry detergent
1 8-roll Sparkle paper towels
2 Suave lotion
4 Suave kids' body wash
2 VO5 shampoo
1 Vo5 conditioner
1 Coppertone sunscreen
1 Palmolive dish soap
3 12-packs Pepsi products
2 Tostitos Scoops
1 Pop Chips
2 Edy's Fruit Bars
1 Kotex U

Shelf price:          $91.83
Out of pocket:     $17.58             
Amount saved:   $74.25

It was also a great week at Kroger, with too many items to photograph! Between CVS and Kroger, I spent $60 for $213 worth of items! For coupon lists and tips, check out Southern Savers.

Monday, May 14, 2012

This Week's Coupon Haul

Hi everyone!  I hope you had a wonderful and relaxing Mother's Day weekend.  It was my weekend to work, so I was really missing the kids.  They showered me with gifts when I got home--the homemade kind that always bring tears to my eyes and cherish forever.  This morning, however, after getting them off to school I enjoyed a belated Mother's Day morning of sitting around in my jammies with my pug, catching up on Pioneer Woman and Sister Wives, and clipping coupons to my heart's content!  (I even had a splash of Bailey's in my coffee too!)  It was a bit rainy out, so it was a perfect day for it.  After finally forcing myself to shower and get ready, I hit the sales in full force.  Here's my haul for this week.


Total before sale price and coupons:                                  $36.21    
Total after sales, coupons, and $7 ECBs from last week:    $12.10
ECBs left for next week:                                                    $10.00
Amount saved:                                                                  $24.11
Savings:                                                                             66%

Food Lion

Food Lion has their Pepsi 12-packs on sale this week. Buy 4 for $12. There are coupons here for $1 off, making them $2 each!  The steaks were a weekend sale (I actually stopped and got them last night).  They were $5.77 per pound, and then a got $4 in coupons from the kiosk at the front of the store. So, 8 huge T-bones for $36!  

Total before sales and coupons:                     $112.75
Total after sales and coupons:                         $59.61
Total amount saved:                                       $53.14
Percent saved:                                                 47%


Kroger is having one of their mega sales this week. If you buy 10 participating items, you get $4 off at checkout.  Combine this with coupons, and many items are ultra cheap or even free!  I got the Kroger mailer the other day that had $5 off $35 in it, as well as other great coupons.  Made for a really good sale day.  The stressful thing about Kroger is keeping all those groups of 10 items straight. A friend told me that she brings those canvas grocery totes in with her, and sets them up in her cart, then puts 10 items and the corresponding coupons in each bag.  Smart girl!  I did this today, and it worked out great!  

Total before sales and coupons:               $147.33
Total after sales and coupons:                  $61.82
Total savings:                                           $85.51
Percent savings:                                        58%

Grand total before sales and coupons:            $296.29
Total after sales and coupons:                         $133.53
Total savings:                                                    $162.76
Percent savings:                                                    55%

Not the best week by far, but pretty good!  I get my lists from Southern Savers.  Jenny is the best!  Happy couponing!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Back to Couponing (and blogging!)

I don't know about everyone else, but I am so excited the school year is almost over! I've been so busy these past few months, I haven't had time to do any blogging or couponing.  I really missed it!  I finally made it by CVS this week.  Not a spectacular week, just because I haven't done it in so long, I didn't have any ECBs to roll.  But, I will next week!  Here's the total for this week:

3 boxes Cheerios
1 Pantene shampoo
1 Pantene conditioner
1 bodywash
1 gallon milk
1 Kotex U
2 Colgate
1 Twix
1 Protein bar
3 Hallmark cards

Total before coupons:     $58.32
Total after coupons:        $14.16
Total saved:                     $44.16
% saved:                                75%

Not too bad, but now that I have some ECBs to get started, it will only get better!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Random thoughts of a Bikram (hot) yoga newbie

So I haven't posted anything in a while about how the diet is going. Probably because, as usual, it wasn't going anywhere.  I should have known. I mean, come on, shakes instead of food? Seriously? I love food way to much for that!  So, I decided to try something different for a change. I decided to stop the insanity of worrying about calories, fat, weight, and size.  I decided to become fit.  To become healthy.  To treat my body like it deserves to be treated.  How did I plan to do this?  

To begin, I'll just note that I before this, I had never done yoga before. Let alone hot yoga.  I knew nothing about it.  I had assumptions about it.  Like that it was for young, beautiful, thin, flexible women.  That it wouldn't really be a "workout", or get my heart rate up.  Well, I just finished my second week of Bikram yoga and I can tell you that all of those assumptions are false. Yoga goers come in all shapes, sizes, and ages.  What is very motivating for me is seeing how flexible some of the older people have become who have been doing it for a while.  While there are mostly women in my classes, they are also a few men from time to time.  And, I can definitely tell you I am getting my heart rate up!  For those of you who have never heard of Bikram yoga, it's a series of 26 yoga postures performed in a 105 degree room.  To say the least, it's intense!  I can honestly say that this is only form of exercise I have ever done that I can't seem to get enough of.  I find myself thinking about it throughout the day, actually looking forward to my next session.  It's indescribable.  It's like going to the chiropractor, massage therapist, gym, dermatologist, therapist, and spa all at the same time.

So, a big part of yoga is supposed to involve meditation, right? I have always said that I have way too much going on in my head to ever be able to meditate.  You are supposed to keep your eyes open throughout the session, to be "present".  This is hard for me, because I feel the only way to clear my head is to close my eyes. So, I am trying.  Today I found it extra hard because I sort of wrote this blog post in my head as I was doing my yoga.  Many thoughts pass through my mind during the 90 minutes.  Some of them positive, some negative, many conflicting.  Here they are.

  • I'm going to try to do every pose this time. I am.
  • I'm getting better at this.
  • It feels so good in here. Like a sauna.
  • Okay, I'll just skip one pose and drink my water. Just one.
  • I'm going to pass out.
  • I don't bend that way. It's just not possible. I think my elbows were put on upside down or something.
  • Look at that. I just did a perfect standing bow. Did she see it? Surely she will point it out!
  • Is it hotter in here today than usual? At least two degrees, I think.
  • I'm going to die.
  • My head is going to explode.
  • Must. Not. Open. Mouth.
  • I love this hot-ass room.
  • I hate this hot-ass room.
  • I will never be caught dead in those tiny little yoga shorts.
  • I MUST get a pair of those tiny little yoga shorts.
  • Someone stole my water. {They really didn't. I just kicked it behind me in a moment of gracefulness.}
  • How many poses are left?
  • I can't wait for that cold lavender towel.
  • I think I'll try the coconut water today.
  • I love that long savasana in the middle.
  • I can't wait until the floor poses, because if I stand up any longer I will surely pass out.
  • It's cooler on the floor, right? I mean, hot air rises. 
  • It's soooo much hotter on this floor. I mean, is the floor heated or something?
  • Why is my right elbow always the first thing to sweat? Really.
  • Why doesn't my face sweat more? It just turns redder and looks like it's going to explode.
  • My boobs are totally in the way.
  • Why can't I close my eyes during savasana? 
  • Why can't I decide on a focal point? I keep changing my mind.
  • What if I can't remember all these thoughts when I sit down to write this blog post?
  • I wish someone would get up and walk out like they did the first day, so for a brief moment when they open the door there would be a little breeze?
  • I'm going to die.
  • My hair is really getting on my nerves. These bangs have got to go.
  • Wow, my face is red.
  • I cannot stay in this room one second longer.
  • I must stay in this room.
  • There is no way I'll ever be able to do a toe stand.
  • I am not getting better at this.
  • I am totally getting better at this.
  • Finally, that move where you hook your fingers around your big toes! It's almost over! I'm going to get up immediately and leave this room.
  • It's over! I'm glad I positioned myself close to the door so I could get my lavender towel quicker! I'm just going to lie here for a while with it over my face because I can't possibly find the strength to stand up and leave the room!
It's a bit of a love/hate relationship as you can probably tell. But I really do love it. There is absolutely nothing like it in the world. I'm already bummed I can't go tomorrow. But, I'm looking forward to Friday when I can go again! 

Until then,


Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Embellishing my Cricut Expression with Vinyl

Update: The Cricut decals shown below are now available in my Etsy shop. Just go here:


For this week's project, I thought I would decorate my Cricut Expression with some vinyl.  I found this cute little owl over at Shery K Designs.  Isn't he adorable?

I had several vinyl colors on hand.  I usually all my vinyl from Expressions Vinyl.  I use SCAL, so I downloaded the file and imported it onto my SCAL.  This is what my screen looked like.

I sized my image, then using powder blue, ice blue, pink, and brown vinyl, I cut it out.  I keep my blade on 6, and set my pressure to 3 for all vinyl cut outs, and get perfect cuts every time.

Then, I put him all together using clear contact paper.

Then, I cut out a little branch I had in my files. You can find it here.  It includes a bird, so I just removed that part with scissors.

It looked cute like it was, but I thought a little monogram would add a nice touch, so I cut one out and added it as well.  The font is just Times New Roman, and I got the scallop circle SVG here.

This is what the final project looked like.

Now for that Christmas un-decorating that I should be doing...

I'm linking up to these great parties:

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