Monday, August 31, 2009

Antix White Multi Frame Knock-Off

This Antix White Multi Frame (at for $225) appeared in the July issue of InStyle magazine. I loved the frame immediately, but not the price.

So I decided to make it myself...


  • Various frames
  • 1/4" MDF
  • sandpaper
  • wood glue
  • spray paint

Step 1: Purchase various frames.

I found seven frames at thrift stores for an average of $1 a piece. It doesn't matter what they look like since they will be painted, but these are all wood (or pressed wood) so that I can work with them easier.

Step 2: Cut mdf to the appropriate size.

I chose to cut mine to 24" x 30"

Step 3: Sand edges of MDF.

The finished product looks more professional if the edges are slightly rounded.

Step 4: Make a slot on the top edge of each frame.

This will allow you to change photos. We used a router (at a depth of ~1/16" to do the job, but if you don't have a router, you could use a dremel, a chisel, or sandpaper (or all three).

Step 5: Sand slot to smooth edges.

Step 6: Scuff the front of any glossy frames.

This will help the spray paint stay on better.

Step 7: Spray paint each frame.

Following carefully the directions on the spray paint can will produce the best results.

Step 8: Spray paint MDF.

It may take several coats. In fact, I probably should have used primer, but I didn't.

Step 9: Lay out the frames on the backing.

Measure carefully and mark them.

Step 10: Use wood glue to attach each frame to the backing.

Step 11: Weigh down the frames and allow to dry overnight.

As you're placing the weight, be careful not to shift the frames. (I did, but didn't notice until I saw these pictures. When you get to the end, can you tell which frame is not straight?)

Step 12: Spray paint one final coat.

Step 13: Attach picture hanging hardware to back.

Step 14: Display!

Total cost: $21.
Total time: 2-3 hours
  • Frames: $7
  • MDF backing: $5
  • Spray paint: $8
  • Sandpaper: in garage ($2-$3 at home improvement center)
  • Wood glue: in laundry room ($2-$3 at home improvement center)
  • Picture hanging hardware: $1


  • Choose frames that are different from each other. Find ones that have embellishments to add character.
  • As a rule of thumb, an odd number of frames will please the eyes more. Seven seemed to work well.

Did you find it? It's the top right. I hope it doesn't drive me crazy!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

To Bargain or Not to Bargain?

"Fifty great bargains can still put you in the poor house."
~my sister's friend, Erin.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Nordstrom Rack Grand Opening, The End.

Friday, August 21st, 8:30am.

There she is, the new Nordstrom Rack.

I don't normally participate in mob scenes, but this was an exception. They had coffee, pastries, and bagels for those waiting to enter. Unfortunately, I did not win the $2000 shopping spree (sniff) but a much more deserving woman won: Ms. Mary Hams, single mother of three. Way to go, Mary!

Here's the line behind us. I thought perhaps the early morning severe thunderstorm would have deterred others from coming, but apparently not. At one point the check out line wound around the entire store, and out the front!

While inside, I discovered a new (to me) line of jewelry that I love and is inexpensive: Marjorie Baer. This pretty pair of earrings was only $12.

I bought a Calvin Klein cap-sleeved tee for $8...

...and a lucky brand blouse for $25. They gave out free totes, water, and candy. Aren't they so nice?

  • The Rack's clearance is even better. Pretty soon they will display racks of clothing that are around 50% off the lowest marked price. My favorites are usually shoes.

Heather (my grand opening shopping buddy), do you want to tell us about your fabulous leather jacket??!! And the boots you should go back and get (hee hee)?

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Low Cost Teeth Cleaning


"Check with your local college or business school to see if they have a dental hygienist program. They usually offer low cost teeth cleaning and other services. It is done by students, but everything is checked by an instructor. So you get a good cleaning, although it may take a little longer. "

By Ginger from Duluth, MN

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Nordstrom Rack Grand Opening, Part Deux

Doors open at 9am this Friday. For anyone planning to bust down the door with me that morning, the store is holding a "Race Through the Rack" sweepstakes. If your name is drawn, you will get 90 seconds to run through the store to select up to $2000 worth of merchandise. Doesn't that sound like fun?! Here's the entry form. You have to fill it out and drop it into the box before 8:45am, which is when the winner is announced. See you there with my running shoes on!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Sunflower Farmer's Market

Good news for some of you in the West that don't have access to a Sprouts. While visiting my fam this summer I discovered Sunflower Farmer's Market.

Similar setup, similar products, similar prices. Check it out.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

BH Sale Alert: Peaches at Sprouts

Sprouts has peaches for $0.39/pound this week!

Their flyer made me want to be all domestic and stuff...

Today I bought 50 pounds of peaches for $19 and decided to freeze some and dry the others.

Drying/Dehydrating Peaches

Step 1: Blanch peaches (aka, put them in boiling water for 1 minute).

Step 2: Drop them in a cold water bath for a few seconds.

Step 3: Peel the peaches.

Step 4: Cut peaches into uniform slices (1/2 inch).
Step 5: Pretreat by dipping (aka, soak in a solution of 1 T lemon juice to 1 qt water for no more than 10 minutes).

Step 6: Spread on a baking sheet and place in a 130 F oven for several hours, until they are pliable and have no moisture pockets.

Freezing Fresh Peaches

Step 1: Wash peaches in several changes of cold water and peel peaches by hand.
Step 2: Mix 2/3 C sugar with 1/4 t lemon juice (enough for 1-2 qts sliced peaches).
Step 3: Pit and slice peaches; place in a bowl, sprinkling with sugar/lemon juice mixture occasionally.
Step 4: Allow peaches to stand until sugar is dissolved (about 10 min).

Step 5: Place in freezer bags, seal, label, and freeze.

  • Choose ripe, but firm peaches. If they are too ripe, they are hard to work with. Too firm, and they won't taste good.
  • Invite a friend. The work goes faster and is more fun with someone else in the kitchen.
  • Freezing is the way to go. If you want simple and fast, skip the drying. The freezing method took me about half the time. The peaches I'm trying to dehydrate are still in the oven as we speak. Apparently, it takes 10-15 hours.
  • Interested in canning peaches? Check my friend's blog for a demo.
  • Enlist your children to help. My 2-yr-old peeled off the stickers on the peaches. My 4-yr-old washed the peaches. The older three peeled and sliced the peaches. It was great to have any extra help.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Nordstrom Rack Grand Opening

I apologize in advance for excluding anyone who doesn't live around here, but I can't keep the excitement to myself.

Nordstrom Rack is opening 5 minutes from my house!

About a year ago (I can't be sure of the time frame...I have blocked it from my memory) the closest Rack to me closed. Oh the horror!

Imagine my elation when I read a cardboard sign in the window of a newly constructed building that said, "Nordstrom Rack, Grand Opening Aug 21st"! I believe I tried calling everyone on my speed dial to share the news.

Mark your calendars: Nordstrom Rack Grand Opening Party, Southlake, TX, August 21st.
Even if you don't live around here, I'm inviting you, too!

  • Find the closest Nordstrom Rack to you.
  • Come to my party! Email me and I'll find you a good airfare...

Thursday, August 6, 2009

John Frieda Hare Care Line

Every time I go to the salon for a haircut, they use "product" on my hair, transforming my average hair into shiny and full hair. As I'm leaving, the stylist always asks, "Do you need product?" I'm so tempted to say, "Yes! Give me everything you just put in my hair!" Of course, I don't say that, because I would end up spending about $100 on "product." But I long for just-stepped-out-of-the-salon hair.

I'm about to sound cliche, but it's true: You don't need to spend a ton of money on "product" to have great looking hair. Not when you can buy John Frieda products at the grocery store. Magazines always give John Frieda's collection accolades for their performance. I love their pricetag, too.

Here are the ones I use:

Frizz-Ease Hair Serum with Thermal Protection. (~$6 @ Ulta w/coupon)

It adds shine to my hair and protects it from the heat of my blow dryer and flattening iron.

It does what it claims--turns my flat, heavy hair into Texas hair.

Puts stray hairs into place and gives texture to my locks.

Frizz-Ease Clearly Defined Style Holding Gel (~$4 @ Ulta w/coupon)

Aids styling without leaving my hair sticky.

  • Right now John Frieda products are buy one get one half off at Ulta--online or in the store.
  • Keep your newly purchased "product" away from your 2-year-old. I got out my bottle of Root Booster only to find that my daughter had emptied almost the entire bottle. Talk about Texas hair!!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Reef Butter Flip Flops

For a long time I have searched for the perfect pair of flip-flops at the perfect price with no luck...until this summer.

What is the perfect pair you ask?

They must be:

  • black
  • sturdy
  • low wedge/platform
  • leather straps
  • less than $25

This summer the perfect pair turned up....

Voila! Reef Butter in black.

In early June I decided I must have them--my go-to summer shoe, my soul mate, my destiny. Unfortunately, $40 didn't fit my criteria. So I waited until they went on sale at Journey's for $20.

They look great with...

...a casual knit summer skirt. This one's from Lucky.

...shorts or capris. These are from Gap.

And they are just the right height for some of my longer summer trousers. These are from Banana Republic.

I plan to spend many a summer with my Reef Butter flip flops...sipping lemonade or watching the clouds float by....

  • Be patient. I know I have said this before, but it always works for me. I only had to wait for a few weeks for them to drop to almost half the price.