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DIY Diary

First hand DIY experiences, tips, and suggestions from an average DIY family!

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It’s that time of year again! For some of you, this Valentine’s Day will be the first in your relationship; for other, this will be another year where you adorn your man with what he truly deserves. This gift giving guide gives tips depending on the length and commitment of each relationship.

“We’ve only gone on a few dates”

So maybe you just started talking to your Valentine, or you’ve only gone on a few days. Do not worry! There are still tons of gifts that you can get him, without coming on too strong.

Bamboo Mug

This Bamboo Mug is useful, affordable, and masculine. Your Valentine will love this!

The North Face Ball Cap

This ball cap by The North Face is cute and classy. It has the affordable price with the high quality aspects of a name brand.

Gratitude Journal

This Gratitude Journal for Men is a great gift for any occasion, but it is also and incredible Valentine’s Day gift.

“We’ve been dating for 6 months”

Beard Grooming Kit

This Beard Grooming Kit is great for any man who likes to keep up his appearances. Though this kit is designed for beards, it can be used for any hair!

Survival Gear Kit

This TRSCIND Survival Kit is perfect for the outdoor man! It comes with a paracord bracelet, a compass, a knife, a fire starter, a flashlight with adjustable modes, including strobe, heavy duty pen, compact wire saw and wood cutter, emergency blanket, compact carrying case, whistle, a heavy duty knife, a credit card knife, and carabiner clip. Is that not a crazy good deal for only $30?

Date Night

Treat your man to a date night, your treat! Take him to dinner, a movie, and then coffee after. Go bowling and out for ice cream down town, or even take him to an amusement park! Get creative and have fun doing what you guys love to do!

“We’ve been together forever”

Engraved Yeti

Engraved Yeti’s are my go to gift! I am a Yeti advocate because their cups are high quality. Ice will stay in my mug for over 24 hours, and coffee will stay scalding hot all day long. That’s a winner to me! Engrave your man’s name into his new Yeti, and I promise, he will love it!

Fossil Watch

Fossil is a reputable brand that always puts out high quality products. This Fossil Watch has an antique and rustic look with a modern, leather design. A few years ago, I bought my husband a watch like this, and he loves it! Your man will love it, too.

Beats Pill by Dre

The Beats by Dre brand is incredible. The Beats Pill is perfect for parties of any variety, even just cleaning on a Saturday morning! I have earnestly admired this brand since they came out, and I have never been disappointed. All of my Beats products have lasted for over 5 years, with hard wear. I highly recommend this product.

Romantic Gifts

50 Things I Love About You

This can be a great way to express creativity and make your man feel like 100 bucks! The day of Valentines day, decorate his planner, his shoes, his tooth brush, his steering wheel, and even his laptop with little notes letting you know how much you love him and why you love him. There’s nothing like feeling appreciated!

52 Uncommon Date Night Ideas

Spice up your relationship with these 52 Uncommon Dates! Try a new one each weekend.

Love Vouchers

These Love Vouchers can be fun and exciting. Your man can cash in a voucher for a back massage or a night out without responsibilities!

Bonus

Some of my teenage students asked to chime in some suggestions for this post. Here are some of their best suggestions on what you should get your man for Valentine’s day:

1. cologne
2. a nice t-shirt
3. football jersey
4. “open when” envelopes
5. chocolate covered strawberries
6. Edible Arrangements
7. gift cards
8. socks
9. a bae-cation (go on a vacation with your bae)
10. a massage

How do you plan on spoiling your Valentine this year? Comment below!

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If you have any form of social media, you’ve seen a plethora of “life hacks” from sites like 5 Minute Crafts or Nifty. Some of these hacks look genuinely useful, so I tried them. There are some great hacks out there, but this list won’t have any. Instead, these are the hacks that I failed at the hardest.

DIY Clorox Wipes


The “Hack”: I tried to create DIY wet wipes from squares, cut from an old towel. The idea is that these “wipes” can be used, washes, and reused, cutting down costs on traditional cleaning methods. I whipped up my own recipe to moisten the “wipes,” this would be the actual cleaning agent. I used vinegar, baking soda, Tea Tree Oil ,and dish soap. This was an excellent cleaning remedy! You can always count on Teat Tree Oil and dish soap to get the job done, and vinegar is a gentle way to clean delicate surfaces. The first use of these wipes was incredible. The wipes really did clean up all my messed, even better than Clorox wipes, but my glee was short lived.

The Issues: The trouble began when I tried to wash these wipes. They completely fell apart in the washer, and they could never be used again. Because the rags I used were knitted together (most are), when I cut the seam, the rags completely unraveled. Buying new rags each time would be a waste of time and money.

How to make it work: This hack could still totally work. All we need to do is use full sized rags, or a different piece of fabric that wouldn’t unravel.

Tie Organization

My husband has gobs of ties, and I have tried everything I can think of to make his collection more organized.

The “Hack”: This isn’t so much of a hack as it is my blatant failure at organization. I tried two methods of tie organization: first, I made a makeshift tie rack from a clothes hanger, and second, I tried actually using a tie rack. The clothes hanger was actually more effective than the tie rack, if I tied the ties in knots. The tie rack didn’t have any traction, meaning the ties just slipped off the rack and hit the floor.

The Issues: No matter how I arranged these ties of clothes hangers or tie racks, the ties would inevitably find their way in a pile at the bottom of the closet. The only resemblance of success was when I tied the ties onto the clothes hanger and tie rack. This worked in theory, but in reality, it only held up for a few weeks. The issue was not so much the idea, but my husband. Sorry! My husband would not, for the life of him, tie his ties back up. He would just drape each tie of the tie rack hook, and soon, they would be back in the floor.

How to make it work: We have ended up designating a specific dresser drawer to his ties; this is effective, but not as storage friendly. A more expensive tie rack might work if each bar had something to hold the ties in place.

DIY Hanging Laundry Basket

A very successful option of this hack by Karisa. Learn from my mistakes and try this, instead!

I tried to make a hanging laundry basket on the fly, because my bathroom is tiny. We have no room for a laundry basket, and, at that time, we were broke. Man, was that project a disaster! Learn from my mistakes.

“The Hack”: I used a hula hoop, an old set of black out curtains, and a sewing machine. I sewed the curtains together and turned them inside out to make a basic bag. Just this bag pattern probably wouldn’t have been an issue. I, then, sewed the edge of my, now, bag around the hula hoop. It was easy, and it was finished within 30 minutes. It was not, however, high quality, long lasting, or safe spacing.

The Issues: The hula hoop made the opening of the bag entirely too big, and because it didn’t have any handles, it was a real pain to carry back and forth to the laundry room. Not only was it a bit inconvenient, it was also hideous. We used it for several months before finally purchasing a more ideal and ascetically pleasing at Target for $3. Worth it? No.

How to make it work: Sometimes, it is just better to spend a few bucks to use something that will do what you want it to, rather than struggle with an ugly, bulky laundry basket, that still ended up costing me $3. If you must try this, I would not use a hula hoop as the opening. Use something smaller and included handles. You could always try this pattern. It turned out 1000 times better than mine!

Clear Labels from Packing Tape

Gather and Flourish

Months ago, I saw a “labels from paper and packing tape” hack. It is, ideally, very easy. The above picture is not, however made from packing tape. This hack is meant to be a cheap alternative to Cricut labels, which is how the above label was made. In my opinion, this”hack” ends up just being a sad, obvious reproduction.

The “Hack”: Most “hack” websites instruct you to print out your labels on plain printer paper with normal black ink. You are then supposed to place packing tape over your paper, and cut around the tape. In a bowl of water, you place the “label” in the water, and begin rubbing off the paper. The paper section is the back of your “label.” Eventually, you will rub off the paper, and you will have a clear label.

The Issues: This was not the worst “hack” I’ve tried. It did technically make a label, that would stick to glass if you placed it immediately and never moved it again. The issue arose when I tried to readjust the label. This label has almost no adhesive after being dampened. It is also nearly impossible to completely remove all of the paper off the back.

How to make it work: Though this “hack” technically works, it is not a high quality reproduction of the Cricut labels. With the internet so readily available, I would rather purchase glass labels online. Here is a link where you can find some for less than $15.

I hope you enjoyed reading about my “life hack” failures! Comment yours below, and don’t forget to like, share, and follow this page for more.

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Hello, all! I know many of you are planning to throw a watch party this Sunday. Here are a few of my absolute favorite Super Bowl finger food recipes!

Copycat El Acapulco Queso

My grandpa has had this family recipe for years, and it has constantly received complement after complement. It is a tangy yet creamy version of the ever loved Mexican restaurant queso. Like El Acapulco’s queso, this recipe is a yellow cheese dip. You and all your guests will love it!

For this recipe, you will need:
– 4 Tbs flour
– 1 stick of butter
– 1 + c. milk
– 1 can Rotel
– 24 slices of American cheese
– 1 tsp cumin seed
– 1 tsp ground cumin
– 1 tsp chili powder

You will start by making a roux. This is incredibly easy. Melt the butter over medium-high heat, and add the flour. Cook the butter and flour mixture for a minute – your flour should begin to look golden brown. This roux will make your queso creamy. If you were to skip this step, you would have a soup, rather than a dip.

Add 1 cup milk and Rotel to your roux. You will mix this all together, to blend in the roux with the liquids. At this time, you will add the cumin seed, ground cumin, and chili powder.

Once it is all mixed, You will add the cheese, one slice at a time, constantly stirring. Once everything is mixed together, continue stirring until the dip is the consistency you prefer. You will add more milk during this time. You just add as much milk as you prefer. I like my cheese dip to be really creamy, so I usually add around 2-3 cups of milk.

Serve immediately with tortilla chips or Doritos!

Homemade Tortilla Chips

This recipe comes from Live Healthy, and it is incredibly easy, tasty, and fresh. These chips will go wonderfully with any dip or guacamole!

For this recipe, you will need:
– flour tortillas
– olive oil
– onion powder
– garlic powder
– dried parsley
– dried basil
– salt and pepper

You will start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees. You will then cut your tortillas into fours. Lightly cover the tortillas with olive oil, and sprinkle your tortillas with onion powder, garlic powder, parsley, basil, salt, and pepper. You want to add seasoning before baking your chips.

After your tortillas have been seasoned, bake your tortillas until they are crispy and golden brown. This will be about 10-15 minutes.

The chips are easily adapted to your preference, too. If you prefer spicy chips, you can top your tortillas with chili powder, paprika, salt, and pepper. You can also make dessert chips with sugar and cinnamon.

Copycat BWW Spicy Garlic Wings

I love making this recipe for every event! The only thing you actually have to make is the Spicy Garlic sauce, which can be preserved in the freezer for months.

For this recipe, you will need:
– fried boneless chicken wings
– 1/2 c. Red’s Cayenne hot sauce
– 3/4 tsp garlic powder
– 1/2 tsp sugar
– 1/4 tsp black pepper
– 1/4 tsp Worcestershire sauce
– 1 tsp water

Begin by combining all ingredients in a saucepan on low heat. Simmer for 20 minutes, and apply to fully cooked wings. Serve with Ranch Dressing or Blue Cheese Dressing.

Ham and Cheese Sliders

Carrie from Eating on a Dime really out did herself with this one. This is such a crowd pleaser, and though it isn’t great for a diet, it tastes so good! You can make a bunch of these little sliders at a time, making it perfect for a crowd.

For this recipe, you will need:
– 12 King’s Hawaiian Rolls
– 3/4 c. melted butter
– 1 Tbs Dijon Mustard
– 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
– 1 tsp brown sugar
– 1 tsp Poppy Seeds
– 2 tbs dried minced onions
– thin sliced deli ham
– thin sliced Swiss cheese

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, and combine butter, Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, sugar, poppy seeds, and minced onions. Set aside.

Slice your Hawaiian rolls to make a sandwich. You will do this in one piece, instead of breaking the rolls into individuals. This saves a ton of time.

Place the bottom of your Hawaiian roll “sandwich” inside the bottom of a baking dish. You will then layer the thinly sliced ham and cheese atop the rolls. Place the top of your “sandwich” on the cheese, and top with your butter mixture.

Bake for 20 minutes, or until the rolls are golden brown. Cut along the original roll lines and serve.

I hope you love these recipes! Share your favorites below. Don’t forget to like, follow, and share this page for more content like this!

My favorite things this week come from Etsy. I don’t know about you, but I love all things Etsy! From vintage cookware to unique, handmade apparel – Etsy has it all, so let’s support some small businesses!

Customizable Map Tie Clips

This has been the month of gifts for me, with my grandma, my dad and my husband having birthdays! I bought this Custom Map Tie Clip by AllAboutYouCreations for my dad’s birthday, and he loved it! He is originally from Arkansas, so I asked the creator to put Arkansas in the middle of the pin. It was beautiful in every way!

Wooden Tie

My husband has been raving about this one for month. This is a Classic Wooden Tie by ClassicAdvent He saw a tie like it at a convention years ago, and he has never forgotten it. For his birthday this month, I got it for him! He cannot wear it enough!

Personalized Laptop Bag

This Personalized Laptop Bag by GiftsForGuysCo ended up being another gift for my husband. He really loved it, and it is super high quality! This bag is actually much more affordable than most bags on Etsy, too. I would recommend it to anyone!

Moss Ring

I indulged and bought this Moss Ring by Eterniada for myself last year. It has lasted very well over the months, and I get gobs of complements over it! This ring really has moss and flowers in it, but I would recommend you size up whatever your normal ring size is.

Crochet Navy Whale

Alright, let’s see if my husband reads my blog! I want this Crocheted Whale by Cuddle&Yarn for my birthday! I have been eyeballing this whale for over a year. Look at how cute it is! It would be perfect for baby rooms, or, if you’re like me, living rooms, too!

I hope you love this week’s picks! Don’t forget to like, follow, and share this page for more content!

Also, don’t forget to checkout our Merchandise!

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Hello, all! As some of you know, I have created my own line of vegan beauty and pet products. Here, I will give you a little background information on these new products!

Vegan Shampoo for Dry and Damaged Hair

The Damaged Hair Shampoo line has two scents: Dry Scalp Original, and Orange Mist. These two shampoos vary slightly for great results. Both contain a vegan soap base, Organic Coconut Oil, Vitamin E Oil, water, Cornstarch, and essential oils.

The Dry Scalp Original is ideal for people who struggle to keep dandruff and itchy scalp at bay. This contains additional oils and essential oils that nurture the scalp back to a healthy Ph level, while enhancing the hairs nature shine.

Orange Mist has fewer oils than the Dry Scalp Serum, and Orange scents to fill your shower and hair with a pleasing aroma that will linger for hours. This shampoo is designed for those who need more moisture in their hair, but do not struggle with dandruff.

The Dry Scalp and Orange Mist shampoo is ideal for dry and damaged hair, so using this shampoo on silky hair might result in greasy hair. When I tested this shampoo, my hair became greasy earlier than it usually would, because I have naturally oily hair. My husband, however, struggles with dandruff, and these shampoos made a world of difference in his scalp comfort.

Vegan Shampoo for Oily Hair

I have oily hair naturally, so I was so excited to create my Greasy Girl line. Right now, it only has one original scent.

This shampoo contains a vegan shampoo base, Water, Cornstarch, Vitamin E Oils, and some Essential Oils. This nourishes the scalp, and helps prevent dandruff and itchy scalp, while maintaining the cleanliness necessary to avoid excess grease and oils.

This is the only shampoo I use anymore, because it works perfectly for my hair type. Is there a specific vegan scent or hair type you would like to see added to this line? Let me know in the comments!

Vegan Peppermint Lip Balm

I created this lip balm around Christmas time, and I genuinely love it. It tingles when I put it on, which is a must for me. I can’t use most lip balms because I have sensitive skin, but this balm doesn’t cause irritation.

This lip balm smells great and is cute, but the real reason it exists is because I have chapped lips all the time. ALL THE TIME! Why? I lick my lips and don’t drink enough water. You might be like me if you often replace water with coffee. Any sleep deprived coffee drinkers out there? My lips were so chapped, and I hated using big name-brand lip balms because most contain chemicals and materials that cause your lips to peel even more than ever. Big companies do this to keep you coming back. My balm doesn’t have anything like this; your lips won’t peel any more than they naturally do, and there aren’t any harmful chemicals.

You might be wondering, “what exactly is in this lip balm that makes it so great?” This balm is packed with the highest quality, all-natural ingredients. It contains soy wax, Organic Coconut Oil, Vitamin E Oil, and skin-safe essential oils.

Puppy Poo” Shampoo & Conditioner

No, there isn’t any real puppy poo in this shampoo and conditioner combo, but it is completely vegan and natural. It is safe for sensitive skin, and the essential oils help keep fleas and ticks at bay (though we aren’t certified on the last part). We have used this shampoo and conditioner on our dogs for a while, and they love it (well, as much as they can love bath time)! This contains a soap base, water Coconut Oil, Vitamin E Oil, and essential oils. This shampoo and conditioner is thinner than our other shampoos, making it easier to spread across dirty, little puppy bodies.

This is safe to use on cats, as well, though you might gain a few extra scratches from this attempt. In all honesty, this shampoo is made at human-grade, so you could even use it if you wanted! It is vet and groomer approved.

Pet Paw Balm

Our last and favorite item is a pet paw balm. We use this on our cats, dogs, and even our foster dogs. They all love it! I have used so many different brands of Paw Balm over the years, and our pets always started licking their paws after application. This is normal, and doesn’t really affect the medicinal affects of the balm, but I was concerned because I didn’t really know what was in other brands.

It is shocking how many chemicals and toxins are allowed in pet supplies, so I quickly started making my own, vegan pet balm. This is safe for your pets to lick or even eat (though we don’t recommend it)! It is similar to our lip balm, meaning, you could even use this on your mouth. Our balm contains a soy wax base, Coconut Oil, and Vitamin E Oil.

Our pets are our family, so we only use the highest quality ingredients in our pet products. What else would you like to see added to our pet line? Comment below!

Use this coupon code for 25% off our Merchandise: WORDPRESS

If you are interested in purchasing one of these items, you have options! You can purchase through Etsy here, or you can purchase directly through this website here.

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Hello, all! This week, I transformed my entry way! This was the one area that never really felt inviting, and it should because it is the first thing you see! I will share all of the products I purchased make this happen, and I only spent $48!

First, I purchase this Mainstays rug from Walmart. This week, all of my links will come from Walmart or Target. I got all items in store! It cost me $11.44.

This picture is from the Walmart website!

I have been a huge fan of the rug on rug concept, so that is exactly what I did! The second Mainstays rug is also from Walmart. I chose this one, for $19.99, and I think the rugs complement each other wonderfully!

You can pair any rugs together that you like. I specifically liked the “hello” rug, so I just picked a complementary rug that was inexpensive. I knew rugs could totally destroy my budget, so I looked at price tags before looking at patterns!

The bigger rug wasn’t even my in-store favorite, but I knew, in the end, I would only remember how much I spent.

Two of the decor items were completely free! No, they weren’t gift, but instead, they were found in the dumpster! I love dumpster diving, which is how I found the red table, and my faux fence.

The table was originally a black, with a faux granite top. It had dings and scratches, and frankly, it was ugly. I spray painted it red, years ago, and it has been a constant on my front porch ever since. If you don’t want to look for valuables in the dumpster (totally understandable!), keep your eye open as you drive down the road. There are tons of people that throw out perfectly good furniture that can easily be remodeled.

My faux fence was built from dumpster wood! I aligned pieces the way I wanted them to look, and screwed the pieces together with some wood in the back. It was that easy! You can make this with any scrap wood and wood screws, which most people have lying around. Right? Or is that just me…

Some people put up “Welcome” signs, but that was out of my budget. You can find really cute ones on Etsy! Here is an example. You can get this from $19.99 to $69.99, depending on the size that you want. Like I said, this was out of my budget, so I, sadly didn’t get to indulge in this decor… not yet, anyway!

This sign is by NativeRange.

I decorated the red table with pinecones that I found in the yard. I considered actually buying pinecones; can you believe it?! Thankfully, I was able to find these for free!

I purchased this Magnolia Farms Vase from Target, and filled it with greenery that I had around the house. In the spring and summer, I will fill it with wild flowers! This only cost me $10.

I also found a tiny, faux succulent in Bullseye’s Playground in store at Target. Sadly, I cannot put a link to this item, because it is an in-store exclusive. If you go to your nearest Target, I’m sure you could find something that would fit your needs! Here’s mine:

The succulent is inside a little mug that I made from a wine glass a while ago. You can get one like this on my Etsy page in a few days!

Lastly, I bought a glass wine keeper from the Dollar Tree. There are tons of awesome decor items at the Dollar Tree, and everything is literally a dollar or less! I got the little white rocks from the dollar tree, as well. In total, I spend $2.36!

I have noticed many Instagramers began decorating their doors and entryways months ago, but I just recently joined the trend. I didn’t think it was possible to decorate on a budget, but it was! In total, I spend $44.07!

Don’t forget to like, share, and follow this blog for more DIY tricks and tips! As always, thanks for viewing!

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This post contained images from Pexels.com, as well as from members of Weight Watchers. All members have given permission for their images and stories to be used.

Hey, guys! This week, I took to Weight Watchers (WW) Connect and asked the pros what their favorite recipes were. After all, these are the people that have lost the weight and kept it off, and these are their go to recipes!

0 Point Soup by Cheryl Gantz

Cheryl has a cup of this soup every morning, and she never gets tired of it. It is filling, delicious, and packed with nutrients!

For this recipe, you will need:
– 1 quart low sodium, low fat chicken or bone broth
– chopped carrots, onions, celery, and mushrooms
– shredded chicken breast
– 2 eggs, beaten (think egg drop soup)

You will bring all ingredients to a boil and simmer until your vegetables are fully cooked (20 minutes).

Rachael’s 4 point Breakfast Delight

This is Rachael’s breakfast!

Rachael’s Breakfast recipe is gaining popularity for good reason! She first discovered a similar recipe in a “little French Bistro,” and her recreation is a close dupe! It has all the nutrition we need for a good day!

For this recipe, you will need:
– 1 Tbs olive Garden Italian Dressing
– 14 gm of mozzarella cheese
– 1 c. Arugula
– 1 egg
– 7 gm Kirkland’s Signature Crumbled bacon

Beat the egg, add the cheese and bacon and scramble like an omelet. Clean the arugula and dress with the Italian Dressing. Enjoy!

2 point Skinny Sundae by Rosie

Rosie’s Skinny Sundae

Rosie makes this dessert when she is craving something sweet, and she thinks this might actually be the best dessert she has ever eaten!

For this recipe, you will need:
– Fat Free Greek Yogurt
– 1 tsp instant cheesecake pudding mix
– Unsweetened Cherry flavored Applesauce
– CoolWhip for toppings
– Chocolate Chips for topping

Mix together the greek yogurt, cheesecake pudding mix, and the applesauce. Remember greek yogurt and applesauce are no points, so you can add as much as you want! Top with whipped cream and a few chocolate chips.

6 point Pizza – Topped Chicken by littletomato00

Littotomato00 considers this recipe a “staple” in her house. It is easy for a quick, after work dinner, and it curbs the cravings for junk food like pizza!

For this recipe, you will need:
– 2 chicken breasts
– 2 TBS mozzarella cheese
– 10 turkey pepperonis
– 1 tsp pizza sauce

Grill your chicken and top with pizza sauce, cheese, and pepperonis. Bake until cheese is melted at 350 degrees, and enjoy!

4 Point Protein Waffles and Ice Cream by lbarber0713

Lbarber0713 has made several versions of these protein waffles, and we think this one might just be our favorite! This recipes makes 3 mini waffles and it is topped with red velvet Enlightened Ice cream.

For this recipe, you will need:
– 1 scoop Bowmar Nutrition Protein (frosted cookies flavored)
– 1 full egg
– 1/2 tsp baking powder

Mix all ingredients and bake in waffle maker. This recipes makes 3 mini waffles and it is topped with red velvet Enlightened Ice cream.

Don’t forget to like, follow, and share this page, and as always, thanks for joining us!

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Teachers make a fair salary, but we are far from wealthy, monetarily that is. My family relies heavily on my income, with my husband going to College and only working part time, budgeting is the only way we get by.

After some time, we have almost completely mastered the art of budgeting, so I am going to share some of our tips, tricks, and editable documents that you can use for your budgets, even if you aren’t a teacher!

There are no affiliated links on this page!
Some/All images come from Pexels.com – the royalty free collection of stock photos.

According to Every Dollar, which is an incredible app for tracking spending, we should only spend a certain amount of our income on food, housing, charity, etc.

If your budget does not look exactly like this, that’s okay! I know ours doesn’t. Some people have more debt than other, like student loans. My resources seem to be useful for every individual in every income bracket.

Bill Due Date Calendar

I create my Bill Due Date Calendar every month, depending on the bills that we have coming in. We put this calendar on our phones and on our fridge. This helps us keep track of what money is coming in and going out, so we know what we should and should not spend.

You can download the editable calendar that I use below.

I like to check my Bill Due Date Calendar anytime I make a purchase. With this method, I never overdraft anymore!

The amount we pay in bills varies by the month (sometimes even the week)! It is important to create a new calendar each month, if your bills are like ours. I tried to just use one “generic” calendar but I got confused and ended up overspending. For me, the extra effort makes a huge difference.

Spending Log

Do you remember the old school Check Book Register that came with a stack of checks? Some people still use them, but I prefer to keep a spending log on my phone or computer. I have recently discovered Anastasia’s digital log on Etsy. Hers is cute, functional, cheap, and reusable! It is a digital download that you can keep reusing month after month.

You can use this code DIYDIARY10 to get 10% off your order for this digital spending log! But hurry because this code is only valid until February 3rd, 2019!

Digit App

So this is a new one for me! I have recently downloaded the Digit App, which rounds up each of your bank transactions to create a “Rainy Day” savings. You can also create a “goal,” which you can save toward.

I was originally concerned about transferring too much out per day, but you can even set up a daily transfer limit. Unlike typical savings accounts, you can withdraw your money as many times as you want and as often as you want. You even earn 1% interest every 100 days.

My favorite feature, however, is that Digit will transfer money from your “Rainy Day” savings to your checking account if you are about to overdraft!

This app does cost around $3 a month after your first 100 days. At least you can see if you like it before you buy it!

I hope you find these tips useful, and I would love to hear some of your favorite budgeting tips! 

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Hey, guys! This week, I took on the task of creating my own “Pinterest Worthy” Laundry room. It was by far the worst room in the house, but now it is one of my favorites!

This post has affiliated links that will provide a small profit, at no cost to you, should you purchase from that link.
All/most images are from Pexels.com, a royalty free website, for which I have a subscription.

Let me just warn you, our laundry room was pretty gross. It was disorganized and scattered in clothes. It is also the home of our cat’s litter boxes, so it was, at times, hard to glamorize.

The room itself wasn’t dirty, it was just terribly disorganized. So I headed off to Amazon, where every decorator can find his/her muse.

Amazon is an incredible place to bargain hunt, and that’s exactly what I did!

I bought:
pet food bin to hide eyesore paper bags ($16)
canvas bags to store and hide cleaning items on our shelving ($22)
curtains to match the color of the room ($11)

I re-purposed:
– a metal tin that I bought for a party months ago – similar to this, though mine isn’t this cute!
– a small side table – like this one
– a small wooden basket for dryer sheets – similar to this
glass jars to hide laundry detergent and softener containers

I recommend re-purposing as many things as possible, because this is where you save the most money. I never throw furniture, baskets, or bags away for this very reason!

I encourage you to look around your own house. What are you not using? How could it benefit you somewhere else?

I reorganized everything based on purpose and placed them in my canvas totes. This added decoration and organization to my otherwise drab shelving. It has also helped me out enormously when doing laundry! I know exactly where stain removers are, without digging through cabinets!

I put our dog towels in the metal tin. This freed up so much space in our cabinets that we could use for something else, and since we use our dog towels so often, it became far more convenient! I ended up sitting this on top of a side table that I smooshed behind the dryer. It ended up actually looking like a shelf, and I love it!

I put laundry pods and fabric softener beads in their designated glass jars. At first, I wasn’t going to put the dryer sheets in a decorative box, but it felt like such a waste, so I re-purposed an old box we had in our closet! It looks fab!

Last, but not least, I hung up curtains and new decoration (which I made from old fabrics and various sized embroidery hoops). It looked great so far!

I cleared out full laundry baskets, resolving to finally fold them punctually, and I rearranged the litter boxes (which I didn’t include in the pictures because who want to see kitty poo? No one!). All in all, I ended up very pleased with my “transformation.” There are some things I would love to accomplish, like a decorative wall-paper wall or new wooden shelving, but for now, this will be perfect. Until next time, happy DIYing.

Oh! You didn’t think I forgot did you? Our winner for last week’s giveaway is… Heather Kennedy!

Please email me at diydiaryblog@gmail.com for more information about your prize.

Faithful readers, don’t forget to like and share this post with your friends and family.

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For years, I walked past I-Robot’s Roomba and though to myself, “Who would spend that much money on a vacuum?” It wasn’t until I saw one in action that I finally understood!

This page has affiliated links. I will receive a small portion of the profit, if you click and purchase from these links. There is no additional cost to you!

Some/All images come from Pexels.com – the royalty free collection of stock photos.

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We are not rich people. We are, on a good day, middle class, so luxury items like Roomba are not a common occurrence in our home. In fact, we had to save up for a few weeks to even get the Roomba, but it was worth it. Now, don’t get me wrong. I am not promoting this because it is sponsored. I am promoting it because I really love it that much.

The I-Robot Roomba has saved me so much time. In our home, we have a variety of flooring: shag carpet, high pile carpet, hardwood, linoleum, and laminate. Our Roomba can handle it all!

What’s the Difference?

There are many different versions of the I-Robot Roomba, so let’s compare them!

Roomba 675

This is the cheapest version of I-Robot’s Roomba. At one time, it did not connect to wifi, but that has been changed!

It can/has:
– clean hardwood floors and carpets

– 3x cleaning power (This just means it has a little brush that pulls dirt from the walls to be vacuumed.)
– self charging (it takes itself to the charging port)
– Dirt detecting technology (Roomba will notice when the floors are dirtier in one area and circle around to reclean that area)
– clean under or around furniture
edge sweeping brush
– connect to wifi and be used through an app
scheduled cleaning

It does not:
– come with wall barriers
(which can keep the Roomba out of a certain room that you choose)
– have special rubber brushes (which helps with different flooring types)
– have a high efficiency filter that capture mold
– clean an entire level of your house*
– deliver cleaning reports with each scheduled cleaning
– customize cleaning preferences
(this is a nifty setting that allows you to specifically adjust how clean you want each room)
– empty on it’s own
– have smart mapping (it will not map your house to know exactly where to go)
– clean or schedule by room

I-Robot Roomba 690

This is the Roomba that we have, and I love it!

It can/has:
– clean hardwood floors and carpets

– 3x cleaning power (This just means it has a little brush that pulls dirt from the walls to be vacuumed.)
– self charging (it takes itself to the charging port)
– Dirt detecting technology (Roomba will notice when the floors are dirtier in one area and circle around to reclean that area)
– clean under or around furniture
edge sweeping brush
– connect to wifi and be used through an app
scheduled cleaning
– come with wall barriers (which can keep the Roomba out of a certain room that you choose)

It does not:
– have special rubber brushes (which helps with different flooring types)
– have a high efficiency filter that capture mold
– clean an entire level of your house*
– deliver cleaning reports with each scheduled cleaning
– customize cleaning preferences
(this is a nifty setting that allows you to specifically adjust how clean you want each room)
– empty on it’s own
– have smart mapping (it will not map your house to know exactly where to go)
– clean or schedule by room

I-Robot Roomba 960

It can/has:
– clean hardwood floors and carpets

– 3x cleaning power with 5 times more suction (This just means it has a little brush that pulls dirt from the walls to be vacuumed.)
– self charging (it takes itself to the charging port)
– Dirt detecting technology (Roomba will notice when the floors are dirtier in one area and circle around to reclean that area)
– clean under or around furniture
edge sweeping brush
– connect to wifi and be used through an app
scheduled cleaning
– come with wall barriers (which can keep the Roomba out of a certain room that you choose)
– have special rubber brushes (which helps with different flooring types)
– have a high efficiency filter that capture mold
– clean an entire level of your house*
– deliver cleaning reports with each scheduled cleaning


It does not:
– customize cleaning preferences
(this is a nifty setting that allows you to specifically adjust how clean you want each room)
– empty on it’s own
– have smart mapping (it will not map your house to know exactly where to go)
– clean or schedule by room

Roomba i7 Robot

It can/has:
– clean hardwood floors and carpets

– 3x cleaning power with 5 times more suction (This just means it has a little brush that pulls dirt from the walls to be vacuumed.)
– self charging (it takes itself to the charging port)
– Dirt detecting technology (Roomba will notice when the floors are dirtier in one area and circle around to reclean that area)
– clean under or around furniture
edge sweeping brush
– connect to wifi and be used through an app
scheduled cleaning
– come with wall barriers (which can keep the Roomba out of a certain room that you choose)
– have special rubber brushes (which helps with different flooring types)
– have a high efficiency filter that capture mold
– clean an entire level of your house*
– deliver cleaning reports with each scheduled cleaning

– customize cleaning preferences (this is a nifty setting that allows you to specifically adjust how clean you want each room)
– empty on it’s own
– have smart mapping (it will not map your house to know exactly where to go)
– clean or schedule by room

It does not:
– fix dinner
– chang diapers

This post has affiliated links, for which I will make a small portion of the earnings at no cost to you.

I hope you like this post, and find yourself a I-Robot Roomba, because, I promise, you will never go back to the broom again!