I'm here to save YOU money. My name is Kristina and I want to give you the most up-to-date saving tips and ideas.

Friday, 28 December 2012

6 tips for budgeting for home improvement projects

6 tips for budgeting for home improvement projects

Hello Readers!! I firstly want to take a moment to say thank you to all my loyal readers/supporters. You truly are amazing. THANK YOU!! 

And now, I thought I would try to get a little traffic to my webpage or at least something on my webpage. I posted this on my webpage blog and I thought I would share it here because they are great tips and I don't want it just sitting, hiding from everyone. SO here it is, its written by another writer but its great. You can also find other great stuff on my webpage on my blog there. Don't forget to check out the rest of the stuff Ive got there. And if you are interested in a mortgage or buying a home, financial advice, please don't hesitate to fill out the form in the 'contact' and ill get back to you soon. You get a free report, so you wont lose anything by trying. 

Alrighty, Check it out:

Budgeting for home improvement projects #1

Whether you’re looking to upgrade your kitchen with new appliances or improve your home’s energy efficiency to qualify for the ecoENERGY Retrofit program through the Office of Energy Efficiency, budgeting for your home improvement project is absolutely essential. But most home improvement projects, whether small or large, can easily get out of hand and over budget if you aren’t careful.
The following tips will ensure that you have enough money set aside to cover your next home improvement project:

Budgeting for home improvement projects #1

Figure out what value you’ll add to your home

Before you even start the home improvement process, it’s important to understand exactly how the improvements will impact the value of your home. If you’re planning to stay in your home for a couple of decades, this may not matter so much, since your improvements will be more for your own personal enjoyment than for the resale value of your home. However, if you’re planning to sell in five years or less, you’ll definitely want to ensure you can recoup most, if not all, of your costs for your home improvement project.
The easiest way to figure out what kind of value a project will add to your home is to do some online and offline research. Your goal with a remodel is to ensure that, first of all, you add real value and saleability to your home and, secondly, that you don’t overprice or over-improve your home for the area in which you live. It’s very important that you keep your home on a similar level to the other homes in your area, or you’ll have a hard time selling it when the time comes.

Budgeting for home improvement projects #2

Know how much you can spend

Of course, before you start spending money, you’ll also need to know how much you have at your disposal. If you have money saved up for the project, count that in. You also could look at taking out a second mortgage to cover the cost of the remodel, if it will add value to your home.
Another option is to check out some of the best credit card deals. Credit cards with low interest and/or good rewards can be a good financing option for smaller projects that need to happen rather quickly – like fixing leaky pipes or replacing sections of wiring.
Take into account everything available to you to spend, but make sure that you don’t overextend your credit on a home improvement project. It’s better to take the home improvement process slowly and pay as you go than it is to get in over your head in debt, especially on projects that are really just for aesthetics or convenience, rather than necessity.

Budgeting for home improvement projects #3

Talk with a contractor, even if you’re planning to DIY

It’s a good idea to get a quote from a contractor, even if you’re skilled enough to do much of the work yourself. Most contractors provide free estimates in hopes of gaining a new client. When you talk with a contractor about your job, get as detailed an estimate as possible.
You may find that it’s actually a better option to have the contractor do some of the work – such as labor-intensive drywall replacement or technical and potentially dangerous electrical upgrades – and you can always hire out parts of the work while completing some of it on your own.

Budgeting for home improvement projects #4

Get multiple quotes, or price out materials

If you’re planning to work with a contractor for most or all of your home improvement projects, be sure to get multiple, detailed quotes. Also, work only with contractors who have a good reputation for staying close to their quoted prices, or you could end up getting in way over your head. The rule of thumb is to get at least three quotes before deciding on something major like a home renovation contractor.
When you’re planning to do the work yourself, obviously your cost will be in materials. But you’ll also want to price out materials. Check out what different types of materials cost – such as hardwood floors vs. bamboo floors. Once you’ve decided what types of materials you want to use, look at three or four different places where you can buy the materials so that you get the best possible price on the market.
When you’re pricing out contractors and materials, be sure that you write down the detailed quotes or price lists so that you have all the necessary information when it’s time to make a decision.

Budgeting for home improvement projects #5

Create a detailed budget

Once you have all the information you need to get your budget made, create a detailed spreadsheet-style budget. A detailed budget that helps you track what’s being spent on materials is particularly important for DIY projects, since contractors will normally just set up a payment plan or invoice you for a lump sum payment at the end of the project.
There are many different ways to create budgets. Just make sure whatever method you choose is comfortable for you, and that you’ll be able to follow the budget throughout the project, tracking expenses as you go. Be prepared, if one part of the project gets out of hand, to move money from another part of the project to cover the new expenses.

Budgeting for home improvement projects #6

Add at least 10%

It’s always a good idea, especially when working with a large project, to add about 10% contingency to your budget. If you get through the project without having spent that 10%, you can always add extras – like getting a more expensive finish on your kitchen cabinets or upgrading the shower head in your bathroom – or you can just put it back in savings for other projects in the future. But it’s always great to have that extra 10% available, just in case you do need to use it.
Creating a budget for a home improvement project doesn’t have to be terribly difficult. It can, in fact, be simple. But it does take time and plenty of research on your part to ensure that you have all the necessary information before you create a budget. Having a workable, reasonable budget for your home improvement project, though, will ensure that you don’t overspend and regret ever getting started!

by Danielle Baker

And there you go!! I hope you found this helpful!! Comment below if you have questions or shoot me an email: kcrosbie@dominionlending.ca

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend and a Happy New Years Celebration!!! 

With Love:

You May Also Like: 
Buying a Home
How to Apply
DIY Mugs (dishes)

Friday, 21 December 2012


Merry Christmas!

I wanted to take today to wish you all happy holidays. Those of you who dont celebrate christmas or even celebrate... I still want to wish you a blessed end of the year. You all deserve it and I hope the best of you in the new year!

I would normal be doing a blog on finances or furniture today but I wont be posting much next week due to the holidays therefore I wanted to let you all know I am thinking about you and I hope you are all doing very well. 

I really love and appreciate my viewers! 

With Love:

If you wish you check out information about finances, mortgages, saving money...etc. Check you my website: kristinacrosbie.ca and shoot me a message in the contact. I can send you a free report too! I wont take long! 

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Gluten Free Pizza

Gluten Free Pizza

>Mid-Week Meals

I was talking last week about how much I love Pizza. My sister is law was with me and I mentioned to her that I had this gluten intolerance and I need to start making sure I eat only gluten free things... Pizza is my weakness and I have yet to try a recipe for this. So today is the day. BUT what I am going to do is I am going to give you the recipe of someone who I love... He is the founder of the Gluten Free Mall. Hi name is Scott Adams. He is phenomenal! 

Check out his recipe and tell me what you think:

Dry Ingredients:

3 cups Brown Rice Flour
¼ cup potato starch
¼ cup tapioca starch
½ teaspoon Knox Gelatin.
1 teaspoon onion salt or regular salt
2 ¾ teaspoons guar gum
½ teaspoon brown sugar
1 package gluten-free Rapid Rise yeast 

Wet Ingredients:
1 ½ cups warm water
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 mixing bowls 


In a small bowl or measuring cup mix ½ teaspoon brown sugar into ½ cup warm water until dissolved, add package dry yeast and set aside. In another mixing bowl add all dry ingredients and set aside. Then take 1 cup warm water 2 tablespoons olive oil and place in a medium mixing bowl and whisk together, add a little of dry ingredients until smooth, add in yeast mixture and whisk until smooth, then add remaining ingredients and work until forms a ball, place on a flour surface and kneed until no longer sticky (adding more flour as needed). Place into a lightly greased mixing bowl cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 1 hour. Roll out with rolling pin onto lightly greased pizza pan or pans of your choice, poke dough with fork and place into a pre-heated 375F oven and let bake 5-7 minutes or until soft to touch. Remove from oven and place on sauce and topping then return to oven and bake at 425F until cheese is melted or golden brown. 

Pretty easy eh? Well I can tell you he has a lot of fun nifty ideas :D

I hope you enjoyed it. All the best!!! Stay gluten free ;) 

With Love:


Monday, 17 December 2012

DIY Wall Art

DIY Wall Art

5 Ideas of art work you can do yourself

I have to apologize for not posting on friday. It was meant to be Furniture Friday and today is Money Saving Monday. I Thought I should put this together.  Today I can show you how to save money by making your own wall art... this way you don't need to spend on expensive posters and fancy things to make your place look great. This also ties into the 'furniture' part for fridays.

I thought I would give you 5 ideas that I love every time I see them. I look up some great website of people who have them posted and how to make. I would show you myself, but I really just want to give a shout of to these people and to share with you my favorite types of art work that can easily be done by yourself. 

(1) Canvas with stencil Letters/Numbers

This idea is so simple to do! On your canvas, which ever size you choose, use stick on letters, numbers or stencils, Peel and paint!! You can paint the canvas a color or multiple before sticking the letters on and when you paint the full colour and peel off the letters, light colour underneath will be the colour of the canvas you painted previous. You can also do this on anything... a wooden block, mirror, photos.. etc. So easy! 

Photo1: http://campbellsstoop.blogspot.ca/2011/09/no-low-cost-art.html
Photo2: http://www.brassyapple.com/2010/08/cut-it-out-canvas-tutorial.html
Photo3: http://www.everythingmom.com/decorating/diy-decor-distressed-numbers-canvas.html

(2) Canvas with white paint

This I found these on Pinterest and attached the links below. I love this type of thing cause you can do it in a few different ways:
You can use a stencil already cut out, glue it down and then paint over top 
You can use glue such as a hot glue gun, make the design from that, let dry then paint entire canvas 
You can use letters and number of stencil or wooden if you purchase them and then paint 
You do not have to make it all white, although white is most popular, you can make it any color you wish. 

Photo1: http://virginiaandcharlie.blogspot.ca/search?updated-max=2011-07-27T08:00:00-04:00&max-results=5
Photo2: http://www.notonthehighstreet.com/gorgeousgraffiti/product/personalised-if-i-could-choose-again-canvas
Photo3: http://sparklepantsgirl.com/2011/09/falling-leaves/

(3) Fabric on wood or styrofoam

For this project you use wooden panels or styrofoam and then wrap around your favorite fabric. On the back you want to staple the fabric down so that it stays attached and finished!! Hang and admire. So simple and people will compliment it forever. 

Ive seen people use wall paper too, with this you will need to use your measurements to make sure you are cutting the corners and folding in the right areas to fit the canvas

Ive also heard of people using other things they have in the house already such as a pizza box to wrap the fabric onto. Be creative.

photo: http://www.styrofoamcrafts.com/project.aspx?id=179-11137#.UM-PS6WW45Q

(4) Picture frames

Using picture frames to frame pretty much anything. You can make it 3D or something more simple like framing artwork instead of pictures. And kind of opposite you cause use something like an old window as a frame. These are some good pictures to capture what I mean. 

Photo1: http://johnnyinadress.blogspot.ca/2011/04/window-pane-coat-rack-how-to.html
Photo2: http://thevintagewren.blogspot.ca/2010/11/good-morning-sweet-peeps.html 
Photo3: http://pinterest.com/pin/56928382759339656/

(5) Stencil

To do this you need to pick out a shape that you wish to use and simple draw it onto a wall and then paint. Its mainly used to have an accent wall. So choose a wall you think you would want to stand out the most... the wall with the tv. the wall behind you bed...etc. And dive in!! 

Photo: http://littlenannygoat.blogspot.ca/2010/09/painted-wallpaper.html

There are the 5 ideas for wall art to help you save money and help you decorate you home in a way you love and is your own personal touch!! I hope you liked it!

Check out my other posts on how to DIY things and saving money!! 

Have a good day 

With love: 

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Gluten Free Lasagna

Gluten Free Lasagna 

-Mid-Week Meal-

This week I have been craving lasagna like crazy... Don't ask me why. SO I thought I would use this recipe I came up with for my 'mid-week meal' recipe. Lasagna is actually pretty simple to make. Not too many ingredients and all you have to do is layer it :) And you can be creative with it by adding in cheeses you like, meats and vegetables you like into the layers. 

The basics Needs:
Lean ground beef  - I never do the same amount - Sometimes I like to add more and other times less. If you are looking for a measurement do 3/4 lb or 1 lb
Cheese - I love cheese so I will mix up different kinds that I like. If I'm looking for simple ill just use a marble through out the whole thing or my favorite: Mozzarella. what is very popular and I will have say probably the best way is adding 3-4cups of mozzarella, 3/4 - 1 cup of parmesan and 15-16 oz of ricotta. You can do a tub of cottage cheese.
You can make a cheese sauce if you would prefer that... Egg and cream, add cheese. 
Gluten Free Lasagna noodles -  A popular brand is Tinkyada. These are rice noodles made with whole grain but do not contain wheat or gluten. Look for a brand in your store, make sure you read the label to say 'gluten free'. 1 box should be enough. 
Tomato Sauce - Use the brand you like best when you make pasta or spaghetti. Ones that have flavors already in it or if you wish plain ones so you can add the flavor yourself. I like the herb and garlic types and then if i feel up to it ill add more herbs and spices to it. 1 can is plenty.
If you google recipes you will notice a long list of ingredients, this is because they ask for the spices and added vegetables they agree tastes good in their recipe. I like to use what I like. You can play around with this yourself too. 

If you like some inspiration you can add:

  • Crushed tomatoes, onions, garlic, carrots, asparagus, celery, zucchini, brocoli, cauliflower...etc. 

And for herbs and spices:

  • Bay leaves, oregano, thyme, garlic powder, onion powder, or go with an italian seasoning...etc.  

You are allowed to be creative with your lasagna - if you arent a meat eater, replace the meat with veggies. For you meat lovers, you can use beef, pork, turkey... pretty much anything ground. In australia they have ground kangaroo. Sausage is also popular in lasagna. 

 How to make:
1. If you are planning to use onion saute until golden grown, add garlic. 
2.  Add ground meat, cook until brown (add sausage here). Make sure you chop the meat into small pieces with your stirring utensil. 
3.  If you are adding vegetables I find it best to to do them in a seperate pan with oil to soften them then add to ground beef pan. Or you can add them now to the ground beef if you want them to do most of there cooking in the oven.
 4. Add the tomato sauce of your choice. This is when you would add your herbs and spices. Stir everything together well. 
5. Stir well until simmer. Taste and add salt and pepper as you wish.
Note: Gluten free noodles do not need cooking. For a regular lasagna you can purchase ready-to-bake noodles. If you do not then you have to boil them first to soften the noodle before layering and then baking. 

Begin with the ground meat sauce on the bottom. You can be creative with your layers, every recipe is different. The sauce layer first is mainly just to coat the noodles.
You can follow something like this:
Meat Sauce, Noodles, cheese (mix or just parmesan), meat sauce, cheese sauce (if using) or cheese mixture, noodles, meat sauce, cheese mix or just parmesan.
I say just parmesan because the layers of cheese do not have to all be the same mixes, its actually more popular for people to have more than one mix or a mix and another layer of just one kind of cheese. My mother-in-law uses cottage cheese as a layer and it tastes really good. I find that many people like parmesan as a layer on its own. For the top, some like just parmesan some like just a layer of mozzarella or marble to make a crust. Its really up to what you and your family preferences are.

*One of these days I want to write about how I like to make my own pasta sauce. Its not hard and it tastes yummm.

I hope you enjoyed todays post!! Happy Cooking everyone!!!

With Love:

Monday, 10 December 2012

DIY Personalized Dishes

DIY Personalized Mugs

Happy Monday Saving Monday! 

Today I want to share with you about how I saved money this year on Christmas Gifts!!  This past weekend I made Personalized Mugs for some special people in my life. And it was cheap! But very special to me and will be for the person who receives it because it is straight from my heart and hand ;)

This is the end result of one of my mugs.
I really like the inside so I wanted to capture that and the handle.

Lets get started! 

You will need: 
White mugs (or any white dish that you wish to make)
Permanent Mark - As many colours as you wish

1. I went to my now favorite dollar store, dollar tree, and I got the amount of mugs I wanted.
**Note you can make a plate, vase, bowl... anything likewise. 

2. I then went to Walmart (you can go to your favorite office supply store) to get permanent markers. The most known brand is Sharpie, but I got BIC which is probably the second most known here. I doesn't really matter which one to use, as long as its permanent and worth purchasing. Some may not last as long, have very many colour options and may not be very good quality of colour when using. For me BIC is good quality, they have many many colours and it was cheaper than Sharpie. 
3.  Make sure you know who you want to make the dish for and what you want to put on it. You can google pictures if that helps you draw. I had to google a grizzly bear for a friends mug and it turned out really good when i finished drawing it. There are also may ideas on the internet of things you can out on the cup. Even stencils you can purchase.
Examples to put on cup:  
Images: Animals, lip marks, stick people, tea bag, coffee stains, mens tie..etc
Writing: Greetings, compliments, sports teams, names, memories, jokes...etc.
4. Set your stove to 350degrees to preheat
5. Draw/colour/write on your dish. I found with BIC, if you use a wet paper towel you can wipe off any mistakes you make and start again. Be sure to dry the area after you wipe it clear. Careful not to touch the areas drawn on when you finish... it will rub off pretty easily before baking them.
6. Once finished place your dishes on a sheet, place in oven for 25-30minutes.
7. Take out of oven and set to cool. When you pull them out they will still smudge if you touch the areas drawn. Try not to touch the dishes until cooled down. When cooled down you will notice that the marker is baked on and will not come off with rubbing. This means they're done!!!  

YAY! Once you've finished and seen how easy it is.. you'll want to do this every christmas, birthday, easter... holiday!! Its fun, easy and cheap.  I had some family over to help decorate, they had brought their own mugs. We did it together and had a blast!

I hope you enjoy this post! Write me with results when you guys do this!!

Email: crosbiekristina@gmail.com

Have a wonderful Monday :D

With Love:

Friday, 7 December 2012


How does Financial Friday sound? I said in a previous post that I was thinking of 'Furniture Friday'. But then I said it sounded a bit cheesy - although I like to look at designs and share what I have found and such, Maybe ill do an alternating week thing.

Anyhow, today I want to talk about what I do for a living - Mortgages. A lot of my stuff will be from my website already, but I find that the way my site is, its a little confusing and not as much fun to read as a blog is. So here it goes.

What is a Mortgage?  
-The Basics-
For most people, buying a home means taking out a mortgage. That means you borrow money to buy a home, using that home as collateral for the loan.

You repay the mortgage in regular payments. You can make payments once a month, once every two weeks, or once a week. Most people make monthly payments. The payments are usually level—the same every month. 

- Ottawa Living- 

Who Provides a Mortgage for you? 
There are generally two ways you can get a mortgage in canada: through the bank or through a licensed mortgage professional.  -Dominion Lending 

This is where I come in... (A Mortgage Professional)

Why use a Mortgage Professional? 
While a bank only offers the products from their particular institution, licensed mortgage professionals send millions of dollars in mortgage business each year to Canada's largest banks, credit unions, trust companies, and financial institutions; offering their clients more choice, and access to hundreds of mortgage products! As a result, clients benefit from the trust, confidence, and security of knowing they are getting the best mortgage for their needs.

Whether you're purchasing a home for the first time, taking out equity from your home for investment or pleasure, or your current mortgage is simply up for renewal, it's important that you are making an educated buying decision with professional unbiased advice.

How Much Does it Cost?
Mortgage professionals work for you, and not the banks; therefore, they work in your best interest. From the first consultation to the signing of your mortgage, their services are free.
A fee is charged only for the most challenging credit solutions, and it's especially under those circumstances that a mortgage professional can do for you what your bank cannot. 

WELL thats the basics of what I do. It very basic and not too much information, I dont want to overwhelm you with Mortgage information. If you are interested further, look below under the 'See Also'.

Ok, Have a wonderful day all!!

With love always

See Also: 
The Idea Mortgage
Are You Financially Compatible?

Sites I used: 


Thursday, 6 December 2012


My First Mid- Week Recipe Post

I thought I would start off talking about Gluten. Many people have a gluten intolerance these days! Its crazy! I was watching doctor Oz, whom i love, And the doctor he had there that day said that 1 in 10 people have some sort of gluten intolerance. Wow. 

Dr Oz has a test that you can take to find out if you might be experiencing a sensitivity to gluten: 

 (from Latin gluten, "glue") is a protein composite found in foods processed from wheat and related grain species, including barley and rye. 

Symptoms of gluten 
sensitivity include bloating, abdominal discomfort, pain or diarrhea, or it may present with a variety of extraintestinal symptoms including headaches and migraines, lethargy and tiredness, attention-deficit disorder and hyperactivity, muscular disturbances as well as bone and joint pain. 

 What does it do in your body? 
The body exhibits an immune response in the small intestine whenever gluten protein is present. Such a reaction aggravates the intestinal lining and damages the little "hairs" (villi) covering the wall of the digestive tract. In properly functioning organs, these villi will help push food along the intestinal tube while aiding in the absorption into the bloodstream.

What to do if you have a Gluten Intolerence:
Its best to just avoid gluten all together. Gluten can be in everything! Which makes it hard on the individual. Thankfully this is a growing problem and has become very big, therefore you will find isles in the grocery store with gluten free eats. AND you can find great treats, snacks, meals...etc at many restaurants and cafes now a days. Fortunately, many more people will continue to bring in more gluten free food too which will make it more and more easier for those of you (and me) to eat. 
Help for the home:
Try cutting out things like bread, pasta, cookies, muffins, pasties...etc. If you are a bread lover, shop in the 'gluten free' isle at the grocery store. My fitness instructor informed me that bread isn't very good for you in the first place, unless you want to eat very grainy, seedy and nutty types you should avoid it in your diet. Her strategy is eliminating it slowly. Try taking it out a couple days of the week (if you are the type to eat it daily) . If you don't eat it much in the first place, take it out of for a week and go from there. 
You could try the first week to take out bread or switch your bread to gluten free bread and then the next week take out (or switching) something else that has gluten in it such as pastas and the next week muffins and cookies... etc. The point is to take it slowly, it may be hard to do it all at once. If you can than great for you!!
Also increase your water intake - you should be having around 8 glasses a day! This can help to flush what you have ingested, it wont heal but it will help. Not only will it help with flushing the food through and digestion, but it helps with you hunger - you wont eat as much. Many times through out the day you snack, but what you really need is water. 8 glasses a day! 

To make a bread at home - its a good idea to make it with something like rice flour or brown rice flour (or both). There are other types of flour that are gluten free. BUT when making gluten free bread - because gluten is used for its thickening and causing that 'stretchy' type thing to happen baker will use xanthan gum. This will help to put those characteristics back into the dough. 

Simple Bread Recipes I found: 
I could do some experimenting and come up with one for you, but I thought I could just do the work for you and find some that we can all try. Here are 2 of the simplest ones I found:

Alrighty!!! Well thats my post for today!! I hope it helped and I hope it wasnt too long :D
comment below for questions or help or anything of the sort. 

With Love: 

Gluten definition: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gluten
Symptoms: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gluten_sensitivity

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

A Warm Christmas?

Wow, Im amazing at how different this time of year is now compared to when I was young. I was playing out in the big piles of snow and making snow forts. Its amazing how different its been. It seems like the past few years we've been concern about whether we'd have snow on christmas or not.

My sister in law said she slept with her window open last night because it was too warm in the house with the heat on and all. Its a little different up in Smiths Falls compared to Cambridge but still Its a wonder if  we will have snow this Christmas.

Till tomorrrow...

Monday, 3 December 2012


Where better to start my Money Saving Mondays then in the 'Christmas department' ;) 
This is the time of year I spend the most, even if I have a list to keep me on track. Its all about giving and making and sending and baking, not to mention looking christmasy. 
This holiday was created to give to lighten up our wallets. 

Alright lets begin... I want to title this  "DIY Christmas"because I dont just mean gifts, there are many areas of christmas you could be saving your money because you can do it yourself, pretty much the whole thing. Which is wonderful and fun in the whole family and friends get involved.

             DIY (do it yourself) :
 These days there are so many 
   ideas out there to do projects 
      yourself! Its amazing what 
     you can find to inspire you.

Gifts: It seems as though many people just have ideas of what they want and thats what people get them now because they find it hard to think beyond that. I want to step it up a notch and think of ways that I can give to each person something that they would love and knowing that I spent the time pouring my heart into it, not just getting off the hook easily saying "he wants this so i got it, easy peasy". Its almost like the saying 'its the thought that counts' is actually meaningful... because there really isnt any thought just to checking off a list. And there are many things to make such as things for the kitchen, house decor, pictures, recipes, clothing, renovations...etc. 

5 Gift Ideas: 
  1. Throw/Pillows for the couch
  2. Personalized mugs/plates
  3. Canvas photos 
  4. Updating the bathroom with paint and wicker baskets on the walls for towel storage 
  5. Ingredients to make cookies in a mason jar.

Decorating: Instead of going to the store and buying cases of ornaments and choosing the expensive individual cute and lovely decor, check out ways to make them yourself. I have seen so many cute things that families make together and each year the tree and house gets filled with personal memories and priceless decor they can take out each year and pass down through the family for generations. There are even things that are so inexpensive if you make, you can toss it and do something different the next year.

5 Decor Ideas:

  1. Different sizes of snow flakes on windows
  2. Christmas balls hanging from curtains
  3. Flower center piece with candy canes or small branches around the pot (or candle if not flowers)
  4. Wreath for the front door - made from twigs or from old christmas ornaments/balls 
  5. Cards/Wall art with the kids - kids handprints making a shape of christmas tree 

Dinners: Instead of going and buying stuffing packages or seasoning packages. Get recipes to do it yourself so that you can brag you made it from scratch. Even things like gravy and cranberry sauce can be made  yourself! You don't need to go out for dinners in order to get together with people plan a meal at home, you can even do a potluck to make it simpler and cheaper for you! This year you can invent something new... try something from an other country. My husbands parents make a salad that ive never heard of but its so good and they brought the recipe from romania.

5 Dinner Ideas:

  1. Make your own gravy
  2. Make new sides - a new salad instead of buying a mix already created for you to have.
  3. Make your own Drinks! Don't waste your money on pop and bottles of juice. Its healthier and its not hard. Even things like hm iced tea. OR try something new like eggnog in your coffee. 
  4. Grandmas recipe for a perfect turkey - so many people go and buy little packets of seasons that someone put together for them to put on the turkey. Do this yourself. Look it up and choose what you think would taste good or what someone else knows tastes good and its cheaper cause those packets only last for that one time use.
  5. Make your own buns/ scones. Instead of buying bags of buns, make them! Or give the project to someone to make them and bring them to dinner.
* You could always use these and other ideas you find to bring to another dinner you are attending.

Baking: I put this one separate from dinner because many people do not do dinner, they jsut attend someone else's but they still bring dessert or they do their baking each year. Well first of all would you feel much better about yourself if you made something that everyone loved instead of buying something everyone loved to bring to a party? I do! I love hearing the compliments. Its so uplifting. So check out recipes to make a dessert or baking to bring. And if you are planning to have people over dont go buy them snack, make them!! Its more home inviting and more impressive. You can find things for cheap, plus once you buy an ingredient for baking those will last a while.

5 Baking Ideas:

  1. Reindeer Pretzels 
  2. Red Velvet Cake or Muffins (red for christmas)
  3. Decorated Cookies
  4. Candy Cane Hot Chocolate with Candy Cane/Marshmallow dippers
  5. Santa Hat Cupcakes (or any decor cupcakes)

Fashion: This time of the year everyone want to be warm and cozy and I think those things can be christmasy too! You can find things that you can wear all winter that you can make yourself or for a gift! You can also add to it, like adding a bow in your hair or on your necklace you made. Including a reindeer in the knitting on the sweater. Not only just clothes, but hair and nails and shoes and jewellery all can be things you can make for winter and/or for christmas.

5 Fashion Ideas:

  1. Paint your nails with snowflakes or a christmas theme
  2. Red and green ribbons in your hair
  3. Knit a big sweater
  4. Learn how to a make legging to wear under your pant to keep warmer or under a big sweater.
  5. Spruce up your shoes by learning how to place fabric to the top to change the whole look of them - this is great for old shoes that look warn out. 

Place to find DIY Projects:

PINEREST: I love Pinterest for that!! Its so neat and fun to search through AND making those things you find are so much fun too! Especially if you have someone making them with you.

BLOGS: Many people have blogs, like this who have tried things and created things themselves and they are will to share them with you and me!

WEBSITES: How I find these website is by using google and links from pinterest, twitter, facebook. There are sooo many out there.

BOOKS: People have been writing book for years on how to do things yourself, its until now that its gotten so big! Check out book stores or Walmart... you can find them pretty easy

MAGAZINES: If you look at magazines, even just while waiting in line at a check out you can pick up an idea. You can look at magazines online too. Its just a matter of looking for those articles.

Alright so there it is!!  I had a great time writing this blog. I have been doing some of my own projects already! And im super excited to continuing doing more! I hope you are all inspired!

Have a wonderful Christmas :)


Hi My Name is Kristina.

Let me start by telling you why I decided to write a blog:
I have my own business and I love to help people. My business is with Mortgages, but Im interested in so much more! I have great tips on saving money in all areas of life. I also love decor and fashion, as well as family, who are very important to me. I thought if I started this I could also help people who read this to get great tips not just about mortgages but also all these great things I am interested in.

I want to tell you that I have a bit of a lay out that I planned in my head already. Firstly starting the day of the week with 'money saving mondays' - this will cover all areas of ones life. Then there is 'Mid-Week Meals'. I have an intolerance to Gluten so a lot of my stuff will be gluten. And I really want to make sure I am open to a wide variety of people though so don't worry ill be putting all sorts of recipes and fun facts about food and even fitness. Lastly I came up with 'Furniture Fridays', but I'm not sure if that too cheesy, lol. Maybe ill re-think that one. But basically I want to make that the day I talk about homes, styles in homes and businesses, furniture, setting, holidays...etc.

Not only do I want give great ideas for us cold ones here in Canada, but I want to search the world for great, inspirational facts that will open our eyes to wonderful things. Im really excited to have you on board traveling the web and the world with me.

Side Note: I told you above that I have my own business, well I have to tell you the website, check it out! kristinacrosbie.ca Copy and paste that and see what my business is all about. ALSO I know its not the best looking site in the world, haha. Im working on it. Come the new year my husband will be finishing school and from there we will be planning new strategies and new goals... I want to redesign my website, make it more me! PINK! I love pink. Maybe not pink, but It will be fantastic.

Alright, I think thats enough for today.
You could also find me on:
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/kristinacrosbie/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/KristinaCrosbie
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/kristina.crosbie (mortgage - kristina crosbie)

Ok, for now farewell!