My Craigslist Pinterest-Inspired DIY Couch Redo

theSAHMlife | My Craigslist Pinterest-Inspired DIY Couch Redo {theSAHMlife.com} #diy #couch #pinterestinspired #craigslist #upcycle #sahm #stayathomemomThere’s nothing I love more than a bargain. We could be millionaires and I’d still do whatever I could to get the best deal. The closer to free, the better in my opinion! A DIY project sweetens the deal. With Pinterest, I feel I can tackle anything. I’ve never reupholstered a couch – now is a good time to learn, right?

I gave myself a budget of $100 for a couch and started stalking Craigslist. Back in Arkansas you could pick up used furniture on the cheap – $20-$40 for a couch. Here they seem to hold value or something like that (check out this $450 coffee table with ring stains) since I couldn’t find anything decent under $300. I wasn’t budging on my $100, though.

Persistence pays off! Three months later a couch and two chairs for popped up for $100. We hit the jackpot. Despite the dated slipcovers and even though the set was about 12 years old, the lines were modern and it was in great condition. We cleaned it up, sanitized it, then headed to Joann’s where they were having their 60% off upholstery sale. Thank you, God, for your perfect timing! I picked out a bold pattern – I love loud, obnoxious patterns.theSAHMlife | My Craigslist Pinterest-Inspired DIY Couch Redo {theSAHMlife.com} #diy #couch #pinterestinspired #craigslist #upcycle #sahm #stayathomemom

The first order of business was consulting Pinterest. I ran through various blogs and YouTube videos, then attacked the couch. It honestly was quite easy with the exception of the ultra-time-consuming front of the armrests. You just have to tinker with it. It took about six hours to cover the frame. The top cushions were easy – the front panel is the patterned fabric with the back being deep purple corduroy – closure is an envelope fold with a few patches of velcro. The seat cushions are the same two fabrics as the top cushions. I didn’t have a pattern, so did the seat cushions on the fly. Biggest pain in the butt ever. It would be around $150 to have them done professionally. If you’re taking on a similar project and don’t know how to or enjoy sewing, just pay a professional.theSAHMlife | My Craigslist Pinterest-Inspired DIY Couch Redo {theSAHMlife.com} #diy #couch #pinterestinspired #craigslist #upcycle #sahm #stayathomemom

As for the chairs, I covered the cushions the same as the couch and left the chairs as they were. I don’t want things too matchy-matchy and too apartment-y, so I like it this way. I am so in love with this couch. It’s eight feet long (fits the hubby) and the best spot in the house for a nap. It’s everything I dreamed it would be. All said and done, we have about $200 in the couch and chairs total. I don’t know how long this will last with two littles, but the beauty of it is that I can recover them when needed. For now it’s no big deal to strip down the cushions to wash the covers as needed.

theSAHMlife | My Craigslist Pinterest-Inspired DIY Couch Redo {theSAHMlife.com} #diy #couch #pinterestinspired #craigslist #upcycle #sahm #stayathomemomSo now I can say I know how to reupholster. See, never stop learning. It’ll come in handy one day.

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P.S. You can follow theSAHMlife on Pinterest.

Foodie Friday | Fix-Up 101: Trader Joe’s Mandarin Orange Chicken

theSAHMlife Foodie Friday | Fix-Up 101: Trader Joe’s Mandarin Orange Chicken

Busy mom on the go? Inexperienced cook? In the mood for take out without the price tag? I have a stellar dish that you can make for your family with little effort.

What you’ll need:
Mandarin Orange Chicken from Trader Joe’s $4.99
Onion
Green Bell Pepper
Rice

This bagged dinner – chicken and two sauce packets – has major potential. I serve this over rice (brown is complimentary). As far as what you do with it – it’s limitless! I like to add big chunks of peppers and onions. Other yummy add-ins would be pineapple chunks and Thai peppers. When adding fillers I always add just a tiny bit more oil to the pan. Let the chicken cook up a little, then add your filler. This way veggies and fruits stay crisp.

I keep a bag (or three) in the freezer for those nights when our schedule is tight or I just don’t feel like whipping up a big meal. It’s my secret weapon. Everyone in this house loves it – it’s a win-win

pennypinkingperkBetween the rice and fillers, you can stretch this to feed a small army.

Have fun with this one. What other bag dinners can you take from drab to fab [and stretch] with some fill-ins?

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My Favorite Plus Size Power Suit

theSAHMlife | My Favorite Plus Size Power Suit {theSAHMlife.com} #sahm #stayathomemom #plussize #powersuit #jacket #pantsI’m a firm believer that every woman {and teen girl} should have a power suit. Yes, even us stay at home moms. You never know when you might need a suit and when you do, you’ll want it to make you feel and look your best.

I recently purchased this jacket and pant from Torrid. It was love at first glance in the mirror.

The jacket is well structured and fairly priced at $58.50. It doesn’t need any tailoring for me personally. I have large arms and they not only fit, but look good! {I loathe sausage arms.} I would also note that a larger bust jives with the button placement. The length is perfect – just long enough to cover the mommy gut without being… ehh, matronly? The sizing of the jacket was spot on.

The slacks are $58.50 as well and come in petite, regular, and tall. I hit right between regular and tall, so I’ll either have them tailored or just wear heels. The pants do not come with any sort of tummy control, but the cut is flattering, so I’m okay with that. Going by the measurements on the site, the pants were so big they wouldn’t stay up. I ended up going down two sizes.

Never ever ever stick to a number. You’re going for fit. Ignore the number – consider it a suggestion.

Speaking of sizing, Torrid offer sizes 12-28. I’ve found you really do need to try each garment on to get the ideal fit as their styles and cuts vary. Never ever ever stick to a number. You’re going for fit. Ignore the number – consider it a suggestion. A large portion of my wardrobe is from Torrid and ranges in size from 1 to 3 depending on the type of garment.

I’m anxious to see what sort of mileage I’ll get out of this suit! I’ll update this post with a photo of yours truly sporting this cute little number soon.

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You can almost always hit a sale taking 30% or 40% off making this set quite affordable. What to wear underneath? Skim their clearance racks – especially after Summer – to pick up a few camis or shells. I’ve been able to find them for under $10.

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P.S. I also have their Rouched Sleeve Blazer that looks fantastic with jeans and a tee. Highly recommended!

3 Reasons Being Married to Your High School Sweetheart Rocks

theSAHMlife | 3 Reasons Being Married to Your High School Sweetheart Rocks {theSAHMlife.com} #sahm #stayathomemom #highschoolsweethearts #marriage1. At your core, you’re best friends.
There will be days when you cannot be a good spouse. There will be situations where a bill doesn’t get paid on time and you’re left with no electric on the coldest day of the year (yep, been there). There will be people who come along that want to divide and conquer. Those are moments when love isn’t going to get you to the other side. That’s when having your bestie in tow can combat all of that ick. You have history to fall back on when you’re in those rough spots. Think of all the awesome memories you have with your best friend – now imagine sharing those stories with the person who holds your heart and worships your body. Yep, that’s pretty awesome. I will absolutely raise my girls to seek friendship, to build a deep foundation, before letting love carry them off. Love gives you butterflies. It makes you feel good in all the right places. But it doesn’t support your crazy ideas followed by epic fails or prop you back up when your boss knocks you down. It doesn’t pay the bills or get your through the crap end of adulthood. A strong friendship takes time to build and hey, you’ve already accomplished that before adulthood even kicked in – woot!

post_pic3whymariedhssweethrtrox2. Storytelling. Cliches. Being adorable.
Speaking of stories you’ll share, there will be some gems. From romantic to goofy and everything in between. You’ll share them with old friends (who are often in the story), your children (who use them to build their dreams), and new friends (who are curious about your rare status). You can say “one and only” and mean it. You can own every cliche in the book! Each and every time you tell a story, the nostalgia will knock you back into butterfly territory. I love sharing our story and I genuinely hope it encourages others to find their best friend to put a ring on. Step one: Marry your best friend. Step two: Be adorable.

…there’s no pressure to be a Cover Girl or Magic Mike.

3. No pressure.
One of the benefits of spending forever with someone who survived puberty, high school, college, and all the firsts in between is that there’s no pressure to be a Cover Girl or Magic Mike. We know what the other looks like at their very best and their very worst. We know how far the other can succeed and where they go when they fail. I see my single friends put so much pressure on themselves to be and do and go outside their norm. They pick apart every possible match and date with a fine toothed comb. That’s no way to start a relationship. Pressure leads to expectations which leads to failure. Being married to your high school sweetheart, your best friend, your one and only, means being allowed to be comfortable in your own skin and confident in your relationship, and that’s healthy.

On topic, but in an opposite direction, here’s a fun read over at Buzzfeed: 13 Things People Who Stayed with Their High School Sweetheart are Sick of Hearing

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Apple Study for Littles

theSAHMlife | Apple Study for Littles {theSAHMlife.com} #sahm #stayathomemom #homeschool #apples #fallI wanted to share with you one of our favorite study units. Apple time is a big deal in these parts – Virginia even has an official Cider Week. Below are some projects we did during “apple week”. My daughter enjoyed these last year as a five year old kindergartner. They are appropriate for younger and older children. Simply tailor it to your child.

First we “examined” three types of apples – red, yellow, and green. She made notes about the outside and developed a hypothesis for each apple – if it would smell or taste different, if the seeds looked different, etc. I made a little notebook (with red, yellow, and green construction paper) for her to make her notes.

theSAHMlife | Apple Study for Littles {theSAHMlife.com} #sahm #stayathomemom #homeschool #apples #fallThen we cut each one in half. {Save the other half for the craft project below.} While they looked different on the outside, they were the same on the inside (bonus lesson: just like people). She then tasted each one and made more notes.

While she finished up eating the apple halves, I set up a craft. Crab some tempura paint and construction paper. Use the other apple halves as stamps. Don’t wait on this part – once the apple dries out it doesn’t stamp so well.

theSAHMlife | Apple Study for Littles {theSAHMlife.com} #sahm #stayathomemom #homeschool #apples #fallAnother project we did after dissecting the apples was for her to label an apple. She cut out all the pieces and applied the labels.

Later in the week she completed a cut and paste notes sheet reinforcing what she had learned about the inside and outside of an apple.

There are so many books out there that fit the apple theme you can read throughout the week. Two that we read were Fancy Nancy Goes to the Orchard and of course we read about Johnny Appleseed!

theSAHMlife | Apple Study for Littles {theSAHMlife.com} #sahm #stayathomemom #homeschool #apples #fallThe finale to our week long study of apples was a trip to the orchard. She picked some apples, we talked about how orchards worked… it was a beautiful afternoon spent with my little lady.

Pinterest can be a huge help in finding themed projects/projects to go with your theme. Whether you’re unschooling, making your own curriculum, adding complimentary projects to your current curriculum, or simply looking for fun projects for your preschooler, I encourage you to take things your child is interested in and run with it! Keep that love of learning alive!

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Foodie Friday | Easy Peasy Chicken Pot Pie

theSAHMlife Foodie Friday | Easy Peasy Chicken Pot Pie {theSAHMlife.com}It’s cold outside, which means we’re all about the comfort foods right now. Enter… easy peasy {and hearty} chicken pot pie. This is a recipe I’ve been making for several years now. Like pretty much everything else I make, it’s versatile. It could be vegan, meatier, etc. Play around with seasonings to please your palette. Try different types of meat – think turkey pot pie post-Thanksgiving. Want a higher crust to filling ratio? Use a 9″x12″ baking dish. Play around with it, make it your own. You can do it!  (more…)

2014 Payless Boot Review

theSAHMlife | 2014 Payless Boot Review {theSAHMlife.com} #payless #boot #review #widecalf #sahm #stayathomemomI know don’t which comes first – pumpkin spice lattes or cold weather – that signals boot season has arrived. We’re a few months in and I’ve made some new purchases, so I thought I’d review them for you along with oldies, but goodies.

One of my favorite bloggers did a boot review of “inexpensive” brands {$100-$200} while saying spending anything less will get you crap. I don’t know what you’re doing to your boots that require them to be tossed at the end of the season, but geez… I can’t imagine spending $100-200 on “inexpensive” boots every year. I have dance classes to pay for, folks!

Let me share with you some good finds at trusty ole Payless. I’m a loyal Payless shopper. Sure, high-end designer shoes are great or classics and fun to own, but we’re not all Carrie Bradshaw.

Boot fitting tips: Just like I say with clothes, ignore the size and go for fit. Wear the pants and socks you’ll wear most often to get the best fit. Try both regular and wide. If it’s a little tight, try an extended calf. If you’ll wear them with leggings as well as jeans, I suggest buying something with a tighter fit in the calf when wearing pants. Or you could pair them with those super cute socks that are trending this year.

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theSAHMlife | 2014 Payless Boot Review {theSAHMlife.com} #payless #boot #review #widecalf #sahm #stayathomemomYou’ll find these boots every year at Payless: “Rory” by Lower East End. I’ve had these bad boys for about four years and they still look new. They wear comfortably with both leggings and jeans. I own two pair in faux suede – black and deep, burnt brown. I noticed that they feature a faux fur lining this year – I’m a little jelly.

Available in regular and wide extended calf in women’s sizes 5 to 13. Style is faux leather, colors available are black or grey. Regular price $69.99, currently $54.99.

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theSAHMlife | 2014 Payless Boot Review {theSAHMlife.com} #boots #payless #widecalf #sahm #stayathomemom I’m really hoping you got in on this Black Friday steal. These York Riding Boots by Brash were $16.99!! I picked up a pair in cognac (as shown). I’m wishing I would’ve picked up a pair in grey as well. If you look at the boot on the shelf, it does look “cheap” as the buckle wrap looks flimsy. But put them on and they look fab. They’re very comfortable, too.

Available in regular and wide extended calf in women’s sizes 5 to 13. Style is faux leather, colors available are black, dark grey, and cognac (brown). Regular price $69.99, currently $39.99.

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theSAHMlife | 2014 Payless Boot Review {theSAHMlife.com} #payless #boot #review #laceup #sahm #stayathomemomGoing outside my box this year, I picked up this pair of Tanner Lace-up Boots by Brash in black as shown. I needed something general to wear with jeans and they did the trick. They’re comfortable and have held up well to daily wear.

These do not have a wide extended calf option. Available in women’s sizes 5 to 13. Style is faux leather, colors available are black, black suede, cognac, dark grey, and tan. Regular price $54.99, currently $34.99.

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pennypinkingperkPayless always has either a BOGO half-off sale or 15%-30% coupons available. Stay on top of sales with their app.

theSAHMlife | 2014 Payless Boot Review {theSAHMlife.com} #payless #boot #review #hangup #storage #sahm #stayathomemomSo there you have my quickie 2014 Payless Boot Review. Share your Payless boots experience(s) in the comments below. I’d love to hear them!

Before I go, I want to share with you a handy storage trick I found on Pinterest a couple of years ago. To help maintain the shape and strength of your boots, hang them up! You can find these hangers in a two pack at Wal-Mart for a couple of bucks. I hang them two pair per hanger for space reasons.

Happy boot season, y’all!

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