Something to Celebrate

Posts Tagged ‘Affordable

Cupcake Tower finishedThe cupcake tower I started making this week for two upcoming birthdays is now complete!  This is how I started this project.  If you’d like to make your own cupcake tower, it is super easy.  Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Cardboard cut into circles of 3 different sizes (I used empty diaper boxes to make me feel better about all that $ spent on diapers)
  • Paper to cover the cardboard (I used 12 x 12 scrapbook paper from Michael’s)
  • 2 canned good items covered in paper
  • ribbon
  • hot glue
  • glue dots (optional but this made putting the scrapbook paper onto the cardboard really easy)

You’ll need two circles of cardboard for each tier.  I traced the lid of my cake saver for the bottom tier (largest) and that measured about 13.5″ in diameter.  I traced the lid of  a large dinner plate (about 11″) for my second tier and a salad plate for the top tier (9″).  There is no magic number these cardboard circles need to measure–they just need to go from largest to smallest as you go up the tower.

Glue the same size circles together so your tiers will be sturdy.  Trace the cardboard circle onto your paper so you’ll have the right size of paper to cover your cardboard.  I took my ribbon and hot glued it around the edge of the cardboard circles.  Then I wrapped paper around my canned good and glued them onto my finished cardboard covered tiers.  Ta dah!

Linked up at All Things With Purpose.

I know…you read the title and thought I have gone WAY too “Martha” on you. But I promise, this is so easy! You should try it if:

-You love a bargain (my only cost was the glycerin which was $1.75 for the amount in this recipe)
– You want to get rid of those bars of soap you never use. Come on, you know you swiped at least 3 from the last hotel you stayed at 🙂
– You want to be able to say, “Hey I made that soap!” after someone uses your restroom.

I won’t lie–the worst part of this entire process is grating the soap. I read on another blog that you can put the bar of soap in your blender to do the trick but I’m pretty sure my Kohl’s blender would explode if I did that. So I grated….and grated (just used the largest holes on my cheese grater). It really didn’t take that long. I just like to complain.

So, heat a gallon of water on your stove in a big pot (medium heat). Then add 2 Tablespoons glycerin (I got it from the pharmacy at Target) and the grated soap.  I also added about 10 drops of peppermint essential oil but this is just optional.  Here is what it looked like after I did this step and stirred for a few minutes:

image

Stir until all the soap has dissolved.  Then turn off the heat, cover it and let it sit overnight.  When I uncovered mine it seemed really thick but once I started stirring, it loosened up to a normal liquid hand soap consistency:

image

Then start filling your soap pumps or store in jars/plastic containers. I found that a funnel and soup ladle made filling containers easier:

image

Notice in the above photo that I refilled a liquid soap container from Bath and Body Works–Haha, BBW, I showed you!!!  I filled my 3 soap pumps, a pint jar for my mom and still had a large plastic rice bin container of soap left over for refills later!  Finished product:

image

When I used my new soap today I heard little “cha-ching” sounds in my head…ah I love saving money.   I got my homemade soap inspiration from this blog.

This post linked up at New Nostalgia and Women Living Well and Housewife How-To’s.

bridal-pic1

I couldn’t resist starting this wedding post without re-living my wedding day a little!  The above photo was taken in the bride’s room at Rose Chapel in Fort Worth on July 14th, 2006 just minutes before I walked down the aisle.  Okay, now I can move on…

“Affordable Wedding” is not an oxymoron, I promise–it really CAN happen!  Here are a few ways you can stretch your dollar and still have the wedding of your dreams:

*Have your wedding on a weekday instead of a weekend.  My husband I got married on a Friday evening and it did not feel weird at all.  More importantly, the place we got married at gave us a really nice discount for choosing a weekday wedding!
*Hire a Wedding Planner.  This is not just a shameless plug for my amazing services 🙂  You can actually save money by hiring a planner because they SHOULD be able to get you better deals (even discounts) with vendors they have established relationships with.  Beware–some planners take any discounts as commission for themselves so make sure you ask if they pass along discounts to their clients.
*Don’t identify yourself as a sucker.  If you decide to do the planning yourself, claim to be what you are (the planner) when you call a vendor.  The minute you say anything about being the bride, mother of the bride, groom, maid of honor, etc., the vendor may assume you know nothing about the planning process or what a decent price should be for the service and might also think you are willing to pay any price to get the perfect wedding.
*Limit your guest list.  Consider inviting the close friends and family who you REALLY REALLY want to be a part of your special day.  This creates a more intimate setting and also saves big time on cost.  Few people means less food, cake, favors, invitations, etc. that you have to buy.
*Purchase some or all of your flowers from a wholesaler.  You can order the exact color, type and quantity of the flowers you want from Costco and Sam’s Club for a fraction of the cost of going with a florist.  Have a friend or family member who loves to arrange flowers (and is GOOD at it)?  Buy your flowers in bulk and then recruit this person to arrange them in vases.  Borrow vases from friends and familiy members as well–don’t we all have several laying around?
*Visit Oriental Trading.  Go to www.orientaltrading.com and click on their Wedding section.  They have a great variety of wedding supplies at a super price.
*Read the fine print.  Before you sign ANY contract or agreement with a vendor (caterer, photographer, etc.) make sure you read everything on that paper or .pdf.  There could be extra charges/fees on there that you might get waived if you bring it up BEFORE you sign it.  After you sign it and send in your deposit, you’re set.  If a vendor really wants your business they are usually willing to negotiate with you.

I have other money-saving tricks up my sleeves but you have to hire me to find out those 🙂  

Remember–a beautiful and memorable wedding doesn’t have to break the bank!

For more information about me and “Something to Celebrate” scroll down to the bottom and visit my “About” and “References” pages!