Frugal and Delicious Chicken Pot Pie

I have a WONDERFUL, EASY, PEASY recipe to share with all of you. This is my favorite recipe that I have collected over the years from my family members, and I love to make this when people are unwell or in need of something quick and easy to make for themselves like after bringing home a new baby or loss of a loved one, etc.

Aunt Karina's EASY PEASY Chicken Pot Pie (makes 2 pies = 1 to cook now, 1 to freeze for later)

You'll need:
1 can of Cream of Brocoli soup
1 can of Cream of Chicken soup
1 can of Cream of Potato soup
can of Mixed Vegetables
Deep Dish Pie crusts (2 comes in package)
Unroll Pie Crust (2 comes in package)
1 lb of Cubed Chicken Breast
1 can of Chicken Broth
3 cups of Water

This meal is very easy to put together, the prep time is very short anywhere from 10-20 minutes total. Total cooking time is 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Thaw/Defrost chicken breast and cube. Add chicken broth to 3 cups of water and boil. Add cubed chicken breast to boiling water, cook for 10-15 minutes until done. Chicken will be white, no pink.

While boiling the chicken, drain the can of mixed vegetables. Add mixed vegetables and soups to medium sized mixing bowl and stir.

Drain chicken in colander or just scoop out the chicken with a slotted spoon and add to the pot pie mixture. Stir until chicken is spread evenly among mixture.

Take out frozen deep pie crusts and scoop pot pie mixture into pans evenly.

Unroll 1 refrigerated pie crust, lay on top of pie and fold up the sides, crimping/pinching with fingers until pie is sealed. Make 2-4 cuts on the top to let out steam. Repeat for the next pie.

At this point, you can choose to make both the pies if you have a large family. Freeze both of the pies for someone special or for another day, or you could cook one pie and freeze one for later. It's really that simple!!

Cook on 350 degrees for 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Yay, so I'm so happy to share this recipe with you, and I hope that you will love it. I'm very particular about my pot pies, and not a big fan of them overall, but I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this recipe!! It is the absolute best, EASY pie around to bake!!

Enjoy this recipe!!

UPDATES - We are still living without cable and loving it.

UPDATE 11/04/15:
My family and I cut the cable cord back in 2012. We have never rejoined the cable revolution, but I do have some updates worth sharing.

I wrote this initial blog post back when my family had just cut the cable cord. We were about a year in and loving it.  Well now we are 3 years in, and we are still loving it!! I thought it wasonly fair to update everyone with our current (3 years later if you will) costs to see if we are still saving a bundle, and it turns out that we are despite the rising cost of internet in this region.

In 2014, we invested in the Roku Streaming Stick (paid $40 - now it's cheaper) for our bedroom television, so now we have two! We also invested in two VERY CHEAP  Homeworx Super Thin HDTV Antenna (paid $9/each - now it's $7/each). This allows us to watch prime time television (American Ninja Warrior - my kids love this show) and morning and evening news when we want (like when it's snowing and we desperately want schools to close). We receive all of the prime TV channels (ABC, FOX, PBS, CBS, NBC, etc.) among several others we never knew about (CoziTV, anyone?).

This is what I currently pay per month to enjoy a cable free lifestyle:
Charter Internet - $69/month
Netflix - $9/month
Amazon - $9/month (annual fee of $99)

We are very fortunate that my parents share their cable login with us, so our family has access to these channel apps on the Roku (for free):
Disney Channel
Disney Junior
Disney XD
Showtime Anytime

In addition to these apps, we have lots of other free channel apps on our program list from Netflix and Amazon to Popcorn Flix and Jim Henson's Family TV.

So as time has gone by some costs have risen (mainly, internet), but I still save money each month by not paying for cable channels.

My current monthly spend for television entertainment is $87; this is a savings of $138 per month for us.

An added benefit that I would like to share is when you cut the cord on cable you also save yourself time and energy lost surfing channels and avoiding commercials. Our family is definitely more mindful of the time we spend in front of the television as a result of cutting the cord. Sometimes we decide that we are going to have the TV off for a period, choosing to read books as a family or do crafts. We also spend a lot more time perusing new movies and books at the library rather than searching for the next best thing to watch on TV. We waste less time searching for something intriguing because something has already been recommended for us on the Netflix, or there is a new episode of Homeland that my husband and I just can't wait to watch.

Cutting the cord is more than just cutting cable from your life; it is a lifestyle change and a good one. It leads to more family time and more mindful watching of the televisions. It may also lead to more frequent episodes of binge-watching; I am guilty of this (OITNB, can I get an Amen!?)

Thanks for reading and read on for more information about cutting the cord on cable in my original blog post from June 2014.

Many of you have heard our tale of cutting the cord on cable and getting on board with saving money by investing in a Roku. A lot of folks ask me questions and wonder if they could really cut the cord, so to speak.

Well it's very easy, and it was one of the BEST INVESTMENTS that I ever made. I mean, seriously BEST INVESTMENT because not only do I save money each month by not paying for the high cost of cable/satellite, but I also spend more time with my family, and I pay closer attention to what my children are watching.

So I'm going to provide steps to saving money, but first my story:

GG and I were spending more than $200 (almost $300) per month for cable/internet/cell phone with AT&T U-Verse. I thought we were saving money at the time because we had discounts, free movie channels, and it was bundled, so I was truly saving, right? Totally WRONG.

We were in the process of selling our house, and I told my husband that if we ended up buying a house that was larger with (possibly) larger utility bills and such, then we would have to cut something out, so we decide to cut the cord on our cable.

I researched internet services in our new hometown and found that Charter had the best deal for $30/month. I set up time for the installation and purchased a wifi-router since I didn't own one. The one we had came with our U-Verse package, so I paid $8/month to rent our router for like 2-3 years, so about $288 over time, yikes! I bought one for $109 at Walmart, and done. I don't have to pay for another one until this one burns out. I've already saved some money for the future with one investment up front. --> There are less expensive routers out there, but I needed one with a high frequency to emit across our 2700 sq. ft. home. Big house = more power and longer reach wifi frequency = more expensive. Here are some cheaper options and mine: Netgear Rangemax, TP-Link Wireless N300, and Netgear N600 Dual Band Gigabit (that's the one I own).

Next, I cut the cable at our old house, so we had no TV or internet for a couple of days. We went to the library and borrowed some books and movies to tie us over while we moved stuff into our new (to us) home.

The first week that we moved in, I signed us up for Netflix ($9/month), Hulu Plus ($9/month), and Amazon Prime ($99/year) which includes Amazon Instant Video. Each of these services offers a FREE trial-offer time period to see if you even like their services, and well I fell in love RIGHT AWAY with all the tv shows and movies as well as the perk of 2-day shipping from Amazon.

I also invested in our Roku. I chose the Roku 2 XD ($56) because it was the latest model at the time, but I know friends and family who prefer the Roku Streaming Stick ($49), which is kind of the latest and greatest.

On our Roku we are able to stream our paid monthly subscriptions to Netflix (endless movies and TV series), Hulu Plus (mostly prime time TV series), and Amazon Prime (lots and lots of movies and TV series, they just acquired HBO shows, too!) as well as several other awesomely free services.

These are just a sample of the channels I have on my Roku:
Pandora - Streaming Pandora stations for free, I love Children's Indie
Crackle - Free movies with short advertisements
PBS - Free full episodes of shows and mini-series like Call the Midwife...
PBS Kids - Free PBS kids full episodes of shows like Sesame Street, Clifford, Arthur...
A&E - Free full episodes of shows like Duck Dynasty, Bates Motel
Lifetime - Free full episodes of shows and movies like Army Wives, True STori...
History Channel - Free full episodes of shows like American Pickers, Mountain Men, Ancient Aliens...

Know someone who pays for cable? Well if they let you borrow their account log-in you can also get these Roku channels for FREE:
Disney Channel - Free full episodes of shows and some Disney channel movies
Disney Junior - Free full episodes of Sophia the First, Jake and the Neverland Pirates, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Rolie Polie Olie....
Disney XD - Free full episodes of Marvel Avengers, Phineas and Ferb...
HBO Go - I love me some GOT, Sopranos, Boardwalk Empire, True Blood... not to mention all the awesome new release movies
Showtime Anytime - I can't get enough of Nurse Jackie, Homeland, Shameless...

Also, once you have an account with the above mentioned channels, you can stream them on mobile devices as well as iPad, Kindle Fire, and computers.

I found that after we cut the cord to cable, we were saving right away. Our AT&T U-Verse breakdown was about this:

-  $45 - internet
-  $180 - TV
   OR $225 per month
Our TV entertainment now costs us:
-  $30 - Charter internet
-  $9 - Netflix
-  $9 - Hulu Plus
    OR $48 per month, plus $99/year for Amazon
Total breakdown : $57 per month, a savings of about $168 per month, and I will NEVER go back to cable.


So if you want to cut the cord on cable and save money each month while still enjoying the same awesome shows and movies, you need to follow these steps:

1.  Sign up for the cheapest, best internet in your area ~$30/month (or more depends on your area)
2.  Invest in a wireless router rather than rent from your internet service provider, see links above
2.  Buy a Roku ~$50-60 (one-time purchase per TV)
3.  Sign up for Amazon ($99/year), Netflix ($9/month), Hulu Plus ($9/month)
4.  Enjoy your new TV service and put all the extra money you're saving each month towards your next vacation or rainy-day fund

**My blog post contains affiliate links, so I may be compensated if  you make a purchase after clicking one of my links.

Need a "new to you" photo lens?

I just got an email from Borrow Lenses that is it time for their annual used inventory blowout aka their biggest sale of the year! Get 20% off all used gear with this code - USEDGEAR20. If I wasn't saving money for Disney World, I would be ALL over this! I love renting lenses from them when I need something for a wedding or family portrait sesh.

Shop Now - 20% Off All Used Gear

Good luck purchasing the best lens for you! I'll be uploading pictures later from Harper's kindergarten graduation; can't wait to share these with you!

It's summer.

Finally! It was a long couple of semesters for graduate school for me. I was overwhelmed, stressed, lacking sleep, and lost on all things fun.

My blog completely fell to the wayside when it came time to read, re-read, research, research some more and start churning papers out. Not to mention, for half of the year, I was doing the job of three people in my office, so that was taking its toll as well.

Some days I would be on campus from 7:45 AM to 11:00 PM at night often later. I never saw my babies, and I never spent time with my husband.

It was a depressing time for me and my family.

That time has passed, for now at least.

Now that the torrential rains in North Texas and that F1 tornado that tore through the street behind ours have subsided, I am now in a happier state of mind. I'm spending time pondering what book I want to read next and what home improvement projects should I work on next? AND, I am catching up on movies, TV, scrapbooking and picking up my other favorite hobby, photography.

Currently, I am gearing up for my son's third birthday party this weekend; praying it doesn't rain. Next weekend is the Great American Scrapbook Convention in Arlington. I'm staying overnight with my mom, and Harper is tagging along for her first time at convention. I hope she enjoys it. I know it will be a long walk for her and she'll get tired, but I love scrapbook stuff, and I want her to love it too. Is that so bad? Then I'll be getting stuff ready for my annual summer scrapbook retreat at Memory Lane Inn in McKinney, Texas. I love, love, love Memory Lane Inn! It has been way too long since I slept in their comfy beds and scrapbooked to my heart's content in their beautiful scrap space. We are currently planning our trip to Walt Disney World in September, and that can't come soon enough either!! We are super thrilled about it.

All in all, I have high hopes for this summer.

To start the summer off in style, GG, the kids and I attended my niece's high school graduation ceremony in Austin. After the ceremony and a delicious meal at Russo's New York Pizzeria in Pflugerville, I took her senior portraits, which turned our stunning, IMO.
Senior 2015 - Jenna
 We spent the night at Embassy Suites Arboretum. For those of you who know me, this was the highlight of my year, lol. I absolutely love the happy/snack hour, made to order breakfast, the indoor swimming pool, the rooms with a suite, and the beautiful atriums. This is seriously my favorite hotel chain, and if I am lucky we get to stay in one about once every two years or so. The kids LOVE staying in this hotel, but what kid doesn't love that? We wrapped up the weekend with a trip to the Thinkery Children's Museum at Mueller Park in Austin. They had such a fabulous time.
Austin was a lot of fun, especially Thinkery children's museum.

Also, this week I finally finished editing pictures from my sister-in-law's spring wedding. It took place at Historic Village of Buffalo Gap near Abilene, Texas. There was nothing dreary about this charming, rustic wedding, despite the overcast and rain. I just love summer. I have so much time in the evenings to actually do FUN stuff, like edit photos!
Wedding 2015 - Miller
Wedding 2015 - Miller

Thanks for reading; look for more updates from our last year in my next post.

Secrets of a savvy scrapper. Part one.

Hi everyone!! It's been a long while since my last post around here. There's been much going on in the real world.

We started and finished our playroom remodel - before and after photos to come. The kids and I started school in late August. Sawyer is at daycare/preschool during the day; Harper is a kindergartener this year, and I am working on my third year as a Master's student. I'll be wrapping up that degree next year, probably around winter. I am and I am not looking forward to that.

In the meantime, Gavin and I started and finished another remodel - our hallway, so that will get its own little post with before and after pics, and now we are beginning our master bedroom remodel. We've started, but it's stalled currently due to the lack of hours/sunlight in the day. Also my school is really kicking into gear with reading assignments, papers due each week, a presentation in a few weeks, and now I'm working on a big class project to develop a poverty simulation game. Eek! Luckily, I love being in school, so it is fun and stressful all at the same time.

For today, I'm sharing a post that I wrote for the Memory Lane Inn blog. Be sure to check them out if you haven't already. I love, love staying at their retreats. I'm looking at the calendar now and thinking about booking for a weekend retreat in December, if I can find some extra time. I'll really need the break from both work and school.

A few months ago I shared a post about how I plan, prep, and pack for a retreat or crop, over at Memory Lane Inn and on my personal blog, I've often talked about how I save money by building my own scrapbook kits and of course, couponing (I'm kind of an amateur coupon queen, or at least I like to think so...).

As of late, my stash is getting pretty thin, and it's probably time to buy some new paper, thickers, washi tape, embellishments and maybe even some scrappy tools. I'm not a scrapbook supply hoarder by any means.  Scrappers that know me on a personal level, know that I get rid of stuff pretty frequently.  When my scrap space feels cluttered I get creative constipation. Seriously. I just said that. I can't get the creativity out.

Believe me, I want to make stuff, and I feel inspired when I look at other people's wonderful work online, but when I'm in a creative rut; it's really hard to get out of it. So I purge and build kits with whatever is leftover, so I can scrapbook easily on the go.  I LOVE to crop. Invite me, and I'll totally be there. I haven't cropped with my girlfriends in a while, and well I'm feeling it. Creative constipation.

Now onto the good stuff. I have a few secrets to share, so this is going to be the first in a series of blogs about shopping for scrapbook supplies. In today's post, I'm going to talk about scrapbook deal a day sites.

These are the sites that I have the most experience with. I've ordered from them, sometimes even spoken to their customer service staff, and over the years, I feel that I've saved money by ordering supplies with them.

1. Crafty Steals

Crafty Steals has been around for a few years. I first stumbled upon them and of course, placed my first of several orders around 2010. Over the years their website has received a facelift, and they've incorporated some other features like a blog and a basics line. They offer a multitude of products such as paper, embellishments, twine, tapes, and tools. Some of the brands they are carry include: American Crafts, October Afternoon, Echo Park, Theresa Collins, and Heidi Swapp, among others. Shipping is flat rate at $5.00.
SECRET: Crafty Steals has their own line of inexpensive products including twine, washi tape, stationary and party decorations. They also give you the option to shop their "past steals" that did not sell out. Additionally, they have a sister site: Simply Steals, another deal a day website that offers home decor, women's fashion and accessories.

2. Peachy Cheap

Peachy Cheap is another online outlet that sells one scrapbook product per day. I found out about them in 2010, and they too recently got a facelift. While they don't offer a blog, they are involved in social media with Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest accounts. Some of the lines they carry are Little Yellow Bicycle, American Crafts (but who doesn't really?), Hazel and Ruby, My Minds Eye, and October Afternoon as well as a host of others. Shipping is a flat $3.99. A steal in my mind. Did I mention that their prices are up to 95% off. Now that is crazy cheap!
SECRET: A Side of Peaches is their sister site. On it you can find VERY inexpensive women's accessories like scarves and jewelry.

3. Pick Your Plum

Now what's with all the fruit?! Pick Your Plum has been a staple of mine since 2012, when I first stumbled upon them on Facebook. Now they don't ALWAYS have scrapbook items per se, but they have a ton of flippin' cute stuff. In addition to fun stationary and home decor (cheap and perfect for scrapbook rooms), they also sell a number of other items per day including women's fashion, children's accessories, and lots of other stuff. It's kind of like a smaller version of Zulily.
SECRET: Pick Your Plum tells you when stock is running low, just pay attention to how many plums are listed in the product information. Also, flat rate shipping is $4.99. Woot!

4. Blitsy

Honestly, I'm only a little familiar with this site. My mom has actually ordered from them more times than I have, so she is the expert. Despite that, I like Blitsy because they offer several steals for a couple days if not more. They are just like Zulily except they offer only craft, scrapbook and other hobby types of products. I've seen a wide range of brands and tools offered up at Blitsy. I'm on the email list, so of course I see it all, all the time. I think the last thing we ordered from them was adhesive pens. They were great and came in a pack, so I still have some that I use even though my order was several months back.
SECRET: Blitsy's sales last an average of 4 days. They sell products for every kind of crafter and artist from paints to organizers, from yarn to duck tape, seriously A LOT of stuff. They also sell craft machines, like the Cricut die cutting machine and cartridges.

5. Scrapbook Steals

Scrapbook Steals is part of the Steals Network. First there was Baby Steals, then there was Kids Steals, and so on and so forth. I've purchased from all of the Steal Network sites except She Steals, but mostly because I've never seen anything that I wanted or needed to buy.  BUT, I have purchased a lot of things from Baby and Kid Steals such as cute shoes for my kiddos, a sweet necklace as a gift to a friend, and tons of other items.  I've also purchased scrappy items including paper and embellishment packs. Brands found at Scrapbook Steals include American Crafts, Little B, Bo Bunny, We R Memory Keepers, Echo Park, My Mind's Eye, Carta Bella, Studio Calico, Xyron,  Tim Holtz and several others.
SECRET: They have a wonderful blog with super talented group of designers to steal inspiration from. Also they have a whole network of Archived Steals.  They have an archive available on each of their steals sites. So go ahead and get that deal or what they refer to as a steal! Oh I almost forgot, shipping rates depend on the item purchased and how fast you want to get it. One item priced at $2.99, shipping was $3.85.

6. Flowers to Flourishes

Now this site has been around a while. I know this because I've been checking out their steals and purchasing since about 2009.  Their style has never changed although I have a theory that if an item doesn't sell out, then they leave it up for a few days until it's gone. Don't quote me on that... I've purchased flowers and collection packs through them, but I've noticed that they carry a lot of Spellbinders dies and Tim Holtz stamps. Those are the times that I've seen featured on the site lately.
SECRET: Nothing special, but this site often sells items that you can find in stores, just a lot cheaper.

Well those are all the secrets that I have to share for one evening. Thanks for reading, and be on the look out in a couple of weeks for another post in this blog series. I'll be talking about local scrapbook supply stores and shops. Now get to scrapping or buying... or BOTH!!

Buying and selling.

So I've picked up my couponing again with Thanks to this site, I'm no longer a coupon clipper (just because I have them); I am now a strategic couponer. I use this site to look up how much I can save at stores in my area. My goal is to save 50-100% off retail prices (per item) when I grocery shop and stockpile items (for later consumption). In addition to that, I price match competitor store flyers at Walmart to get deals on items I would usually be forced to pay full retail, like fruit, produce, bread, eggs, cheese, etc.

After finding out about this site from a swell friend, I did a bit of digging on and watched the Coupon Mom YouTube video which shows you how to use her system. On Saturday morning (8/10), I picked up an early edition newspaper with coupons, labeled them with the date and put them in a shoe box along with my other unclipped coupons from previous weeks (7/27, 8/3). Then I logged into my account (which is totally free) on, and I browsed through deals at Dollar Tree (did you know they accept coupons up to $1.00), Kroger, Walmart, and Walgreens.  While I prefer to shop at CVS over Walgreens since their recent switch to a loyalty card program, I still chose Walgreens because they had the better deals this week with my coupons.

Using the Texas spreadsheets on for each store, I clicked on the items for which I had coupons. Then I created a list on the side of what items I was planning to buy at each store and what items I was going to price match at Walmart to stack with coupons for amazing savings.

My goal right now is to not only feed my family this month, but to also build a stockpile of free and cheap goods, so I can shop within my house rather than shop retail at the store when I need more shampoo, conditioner, body soap, etc.

This weekend my goal was to spend about $95 including tax.

I ended up spending $115. With coupons and price matching I saved $87. So essentially, I paid $115 for $202 worth of groceries, so although I went over my initial budget of $95, I still feel like I made out like a bandit.

You might be wondering what led to the overage, $10 can be big on a tight budget. Well, I didn't take into consideration that some of the prices would be a bit higher at some of my local stores, and my Walmart stopped price matching some of the ads I had (namely, Sprouts, grr). Additionally, I bought a couple of items that we needed and I didn't have coupons or price matches for like white popcorn kernels, etc.
I got all this and more for $115.

Including these 15lb bags of dog food.

This little guys helped mama with groceries.

Let me break down what I got on Saturday; it's a lot, so skip if you're not interested in reading all this:

** - Matched competitor price
# - Used a coupon
^ - Ultra low sale price

#**Sparkle paper towels,
#Quilted Northern toilet paper,
#Hefty sandwich sliders (2)
^Papermate pens
Potatoes (unable to price match)
#^ Cinnamon Toast Crunch
#^Lucky Charms
#**Apple Jacks
#**Frosted Flakes
#^Capri Sun (2)
Hunts sauce (2)
^Hand soap (3)
#Suave Kid's Shampoo
#^ Herbal Essences shampoo/conditioner (2)
#^Panteen shampoo/conditioner (2)
#^Dial body soap (2)
#**Purex Oxi Active
#Hershey's Spreads
#Pure Moist
^Maxwell House coffee
#^Right Guard deodorant (4)
Healing ointment
#Mitchum deodorant
#**Snack Pack pudding
Popcorn kernels (2)
#Crest toothpaste
#^Tampax Pearl
Pop tarts (unplanned purchase)
**Whole milk gallon (2)
18ct. eggs
Sliced deli meat (unable to price match)
#^Eggo waffles (2)
#**Pedigree dog food (2)
Cucumber (unable to price match)
Bell pepper (unable to price match)
5-Hour energy (unplanned purchase)

56 items = $115, that's roughly $2.05 per item.

All in all, I thought these were good buys. It is all stuff that we will use either now or in the future.

So my couponing plan is to:
  • Sit down to review Texas store deals
  • Clip coupons needed for specific deals
  • Spend about $20 per week to stay within my monthly budget as well as stockpile items
With regards to selling. I've been selling off my house and home practically through yard sale groups on Facebook and via Craigslist.  I'm trying to declutter, and we have a lot of stuff that we don't need to keep. Clutter takes up space in your home and life, and I'm all for living a bit more simply. Because we're growing boys and girls, I started with the stack of clothing and shoes that no one can wear in my house.  A lot of it sold, and quick.  Then I moved on to selling some toys.

I'm very honest and direct in my approach to selling. I don't sugar coat, and I don't say, "Asking price is $20 because it retails for $40." I hate when I see that crap. As a buyer, I don't care how much you spent on that item, I am more concerned with how much it currently is, is this something I need, and do I have cash/what's my budget for this item. My key to selling is to price items low. I think about what I would pay for this same item at a garage sale in the condition that it is in. This week alone I've earned $65 that I didn't have by selling a couple toys, kids clothing and shoes, and baby gear.  This weekend more stuff will be going out the door with cash in hand, and that is a good, good feeling.

Just a few items that are still for sale; if you're interested in anything shoot me an email: tinyscrapper at yahoo dot com.

Missoni girls coat 2T/3T - EUC ($15), Loving Family Manor w/ family - EUC ($15)

Sandals, size 5T - GRTC ($3), Sneakers, size 6T - GDC ($3)

Have a lovely night folks, and save and make some extra money this week!!

Playroom Pin-spiration.

Well you've all seen the mess that was the playroom. After relocating all toys, furnishings and random stuff (headless Barbie dolls), GG and I decided that it was time to seriously sort through, purge, and reorganize the kid's stuff.

Honestly, I said I would never be that parent; you know the spoiling kind, but oh, it's so easy to overspoil you kids. You don't even know you're doing it. Gifts for holidays, special occasions, and random things bought on clearance or at the Dollar Tree throughout the years REALLY adds up. Then YOU (actually I), have a huge, overwhelming mess on our hands.

Pictures of our playroom show that everything had a place and a space.  It was a functional room for the kids, but it was kind of always an eye sore for me. Not my favorite room in the house. It desperately needed paint on the walls, ceiling, a new light fixture, and oh that carpet, yeah stains ALL over it. It's' an old house; what else can I say?

Since the big mess that fell from the heavens (or the ceiling), we've been granted the money to actually update this space in a big way.

So I did what every other digital woman does... I pinned. I have finally found  a color scheme, a vision for organization, and all the little details in between, that I believe will make this room, my most favorite room in the house. All I need now is a lot of storage options, seating, a place for the TV and DVD player, a new rug, a functional play table and a new home for the kid's play kitchen.

It all started with the inspiration room that I found on Pinterest designed by Jen of I Heart Organizing.  I'm sure you've seen it as well.

Inspiration Room (I Heart Organizing)
I love everything about this space. The storage/seating area is perfect for small rooms like our 11.5' x 11.5' playroom. We have a great hand-me-down Pottery Barn Farmhouse table and chairs. I plan to paint the top with chalkboard paint as well, such a clever idea. The colors of this room really speak to me as well, but I wanted to go with softer shades. I've decided on aqua, yellow, grey with pops of dark teal. Before actually choosing room colors, we first picked out our new flooring. We went the cheap route and got North Perry Pine (vinyl wood plank) from Lumber Liquidators. It was marked down to $0.79/sq ft. I used an additional 20% off coupon and got 2520 sq ft (my house is 2506 sq ft) for $1725 (after discount and taxes). Yeah my husband and I saved a ton by choosing a much more resilient flooring than traditional wood or laminate. AND we got enough of it to cover the ENTIRE house. There will be a lot of weekends of tearing up old carpet, prepping floors, and laying down our new tile, but it will be worth it come next year when all of our flooring is installed.
Floor (Lumber Liquidators), Fan (Amazon), Bins (Walmart)
Our new ceiling fans (bought 5 of these beauties...) will go in all of the bedrooms (including playroom) and the scrap room. Hunter is a wonderful brand, and these were discounted at Amazon to $69.95 each, yes another awesome steal! The grey design bins will go in our new cube storage from Walmart (just like Ikea, just cheaper with great reviews).
Soft Mint (Benjamin Moore), Galvanized Bin (Walmart)
 This beautiful paint was the inspiration for the walls in the playroom. I went super cheap though and bought a gallon of "oops" paint at Home Depot. It is Glidden and the name is chipped off, so I can't figure the name. It is very similar to the above color, perhaps more aqua with more blue in it. Still VERY close and for only $9.00 I couldn't pass it up. Also I love the BHG Galvanized bin for taller toys like the Stars Wars light sabers and swords that we have.
Lamp (Target), Toss Pillow (Target)
 Of course no room is complete without a beautiful, cheap lamp ($25), and love decor. I love, love this yellow pillow.
Toss Pillow (Target), Rug (Target)
 And I have plans to sell off our freshly, professionally cleaned green shag rug and replace it with this yellow gem. The Target toss pillow really inspired me to change my color scheme to include only aqua, dark teal, grey, and yellow, so, stinkin' cute.
Playroom Closet, Bookshelf (Walmart, Ikea)
In our playroom, which is a bedroom (technically), we will have storage in our closet similar to this. We have shelving almost identical now, but we plan to move the shelves and make space for the play kitchen to have a home.  Additionally, we plan to buy one of these BHG 8-Cube Organizer (like Ikea, but cheaper alternative), to hold books, bins, TV and lamp.
Floting Shelvesa, Art Supply Storage
Last but not least, we have a cheap bookshelf that I plan to repurpose as art supply storage with plastic shoe boxes and these wonderful hanging galvanized tins (I own all this already), just going to pretty it up a bit. I'm thinking a beautiful dark teal on the white bookshelf. It could use some prettying up.

Well that's the plan. Our room will take a different shape, VERY similar to the inspiration room. The cube storage will come from Walmart and fit perfectly in the space. I have it all measured out.

I can't wait to start slapping paint on the walls. Tonight we are going to texture the ceiling. Once that's done, we'll remove the current light fixture and get to town painting that sucker. I LOVE white ceilings. Makes low (8ft) ceilings like ours seem more open and taller.

On another note, I've been spending a lot of time organizing in my head.... putting toys in their various baskets. I plan to make some pretty little labels to make it easy to keep clean too (just like the inspiration room). I mean we will have 16 storage cubes to fill (the other 4 will hold books) - so this is how I plan to organize them:

1. Cars
2. Large Legos/Duplos
3. Blocks
4. Barbie
5. Little people
6. Disney figurines
7. Dora play set
8. Loving family
9. Action figures
10. Dinosaurs
11. Animals
12. Puzzles
13. Foam blocks
14. Wooden toys
15. Educational toys

 Under the Farmhouse table will be a large bin that holds train stuff.

The bottom floor of the closet will have the kitchen and our 3 tiered rolling cart next to it. I plan to house kitchen food/plates, baby dolls/accessories, and misc. dress up items (keys, wallets, money, cards, jewelry) in those bins. If there is enough room, I'd like to place hooks on the side to hang dress up clothes.

The second shelf in the closet will hold our Little People playsets, doll houses, and small lego bin.

The third shelf in the room will have stuff animals that we refuse to get rid of - all the Disney stuff pretty much. WE love Disney at our house.

The small bookshelf will be repainted and house markers/pencils, crayons, scissors/glue/paintbrushes, and chalk in little hanging pails. Coloring books, drawing pads and paper will be housed in magazine holders, and clear shoe boxes will hold stamps, paints, craft supplies, and art supplies.

That's all folks. Our playroom pin-spiration. I hope you feel just as inspired to organize and update rooms in your house on a thin budget. I plan to post more pictures of the room in progress as well. Just need to get my camera hooked up to the ipad. Forgot to do that today.