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DIY Burlap Owl

DIY Burlap OwlsI recently went a little crazy with making these adorable burlap owls. I sat down to make myself one, but quickly counted off ten different people that would also benefit from owning an owl, so I ended up making several. I even lost count. Thankfully I had my side-kick crafter, miss Roo to help me. kid crafter

You will need:

  • Burlap (in two contrasting shades)
  • Cute fabric of your choice
  • Cotton/Filler
  • Mod Podge
  • Hot glue gun
  • Felt for eyes, beak and feet
  • Craft wire for hanging
  • Paper
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Sharpie Marker

First, grab your pencil and paper and draw two different sizes of an owl shape (you want a smaller one that will fit inside a big one)

Make owl template

Trace your big owl onto burlap (I made small owls which is why I traced the little stencil as pictured) and cut out two

Trace owls

Trace your little owl onto fabric and cut out

Trace owl onto fabric

Hot glue the edges of burlap together, leaving the bottom unglued to add filler

hot glue edges

Hot glue fabric onto burlap and add a layer of mod podge on top of the fabric to make it sturdier

hot glue & mod podge

After stuffing owl and gluing, cut out the shapes for eyes and hot glue them on

add eyes

Cut out and glue on a beak and feet

beak and feet

Add hanging wire to the back (bows and raffia are optional)

burlap owls

I have given away all but one that I made, and at least three recipients asked me if I made them to sell. There’s no reason to sell them when y’all can make them too! What other shapes do you think would be easy to do? I was thinking a heart for valentines day…






Step By Step Guide to Lower my Bills

photo 1 (2)I hate thinking I have to lower my bills; that awful feeling of knowing you may have gotten yourself in a pickle. It’s frustrating and annoying. Usually I can’t shake that feeling until I do something about it. If you find yourself in a similar situation, please keep reading. I will now share my not so authoritative step by step guide to lower my bills or in this case your bills.

1.)    Set aside some time –You need some time to get this done, set aside a few hours to really dig in. Also, if you are married, be sure to include your spouse in this process because they will be affected by the outcome of this.

2.)    Get some paper and a calculator – You don’t have to be a computer genius to make a spreadsheet, but in this case you should probably forgo the computer. There is something real about writing things down and you need things to be as real as possible. Often this is about where I give up (not intentionally); I get too caught up in trying to make things look pretty. Let’s face it though, there is probably nothing pretty about what you are about to do.

3.)    Make a list with two columns – On your piece of paper make two columns; label one column “Needs” and the other “Wants”. Here’s a template if you want to be neat.

4.)    Think, Think, Think. – Think of all your bills and start placing them in either the “needs” column or the “wants” column. When you label each of these bills do so with brutal honesty. Examples of needs would be the water, electricity, mortgage, etc. Examples of some wants would be cable, internet (I’m always tempted to put this in the need column), your Porshe 911, etc. You will have a gut feeling as to where each of these fall. Follow your gut. Also, if you can’t remember all of your bills you may need to look at your bank account history to jog your memory of all your bills. Loosing track of all your bills is sad, but often becomes a reality for most of us.

5.)    Assess Wants Usage – Now we need to know how often the things in the wants column get used. You can do this by rating each of them with a number; you can use 1-10, 1 being least used and 10 being most used. This will help us see the wants that are rarely if ever used. You shouldn’t miss these services especially if they’re rarely used.

photo 4 (2)

6.)    Trim the fat – Once you’ve rated all of these wants, it’s now time to have some open honest discussion about which of these wants you could live without. You may not have a choice; this is a reality that we all have to face on occasion. Really think of what life might be like without the want and remember that at one time you probably lived without it and survived. The idea is that you can survive without all your wants if need be.

7.)    Make a to do list – This is important because all too often we make a plan in our minds but then we forget or we think that it might be too much work when in reality it’s just a few items. This list needs to consist of all the service providers that you are either reducing or cancelling services with. Get all the info you need on this list like phone numbers and account numbers.

8.)    Take a Breather – This whole process of lowering your bills can be taxing, grab yourself a nice bowl if ice cream and chill.

9.)    Complete the To do list – Finish all the items on your to do list. This may take several days. You may want to just try and do one line item per day because let’s face it- we all have busy lives. It is incredibly fulfilling to check these items off your list; you will feel it. (Side story- Janna can’t live without her lists. She has a to do list for everything. She gets absolutely giddy when she is able to cross thing off her lists. She’s a little weird and that’s why I like her. ; )

photo 5 (1)

10.)  Contact BillCutterz – Ok, this is probably the easiest and most satisfying step. BillCutterz.com is a bill negotiating service. They call your service providers on both your needs and wants list and negotiate those bills lower without any reduction in service. It’s awesome! I only wish I had found out about them earlier. Enroll here. (affiliate link – Thank you) You can read about my experience with BillCutterz here. They’re great, really they are.

11.)  Be Satisfied – Once you’ve trimmed the fat from your bills you can now put your mind at ease and do something fun, because now you can probably afford it.

Nothing, I repeat nothing can replace just sitting down and getting neck deep into your bills and slashing where slashing is needed. It will feel great and there will be more harmony in your life, so there’s really no downside. Now take a big breath and tell yourself, “I will lower my bills”. I’m not sure if repeating things like that to yourself is an actual motivator but it can’t hurt.

What are ways you have lowered your bills? I’d really love to hear from you.




posture is important!I just wanted to take a few minutes to share about my recent chiropractic experience.

Over the summer I unfortunately pinched a nerve near my right shoulder blade while exercising. It caused me pain for WEEKS which constantly woke me up at night. My entire right arm would go numb and tingle from my shoulder, all the way down to my fingertips. I tried to stretch it out, work it out, and I even got a professional massage but there was no relief.

I sought out advice from my Facebook friends and was surprised by how many people suggested that I see a chiropractor. Luckily, some kind friends referred me to a chiropractor that they love and trust. (When choosing your doctor, please use a reference. If you live in my area, I would be happy to refer you!)

I have learned so much about how the body works since I have started my chiropractic care. Did you know that getting regular adjustments can help with acid reflux and heartburn? Even eczema?!? I have neither problem but hey. Good to know.

I have also learned that going to a chiropractor is like maintenance for your body. Just like we get the oil changed on our cars to keep the engine running properly, we need to have regular adjustments to keep our bodies operating properly and to the best of their ability.

Back to my pinched nerve- I started to see a noticeable difference in my pain level after just a few adjustments. After three months, I am now completely PAIN FREE!!! I get to enjoy uninterrupted sleep and my workout is not being compromised due to pain. I am so thankful for the great chiropractic care I have received.

Have you ever used a chiropractor? I would love to hear about your experience! 🙂



What is Ebates?

EbatesMaybe you overheard some strangers conversation about how they saved money using ebates; then you asked yourself “what is ebates?” In case you were not able to ask this stranger about ebates; here is my modest explanation of what they are and how to best use Ebates.com

What is Ebates?

Ebates.com is a place where you can click through to other online retailers and receive cash back on purchases you make there. It’s ingenious really, essentially you are reaping the rewards of an online retailers advertising budget; all because ebates.com sent you their way instead of a costly tv ad or some other form of advertising.

***Special note: Ebates.com uses internet cookies to identify purchases you make so be sure and have them enabled at least when you are shopping.


My Experience using Ebates

I have used ebates.com since 2012 and have so far saved $54.74. I know that may not sound like a bunch of money but every penny adds up at the end of the day. Plus I was already going to buy these things anyways so it just adds to my bottom line.

Read this slowly, it’s a mouthful

One thing I like to do is use ebates.com and click through to raise.com where I buy a Home Depot gift card for 9% off, plus I get 1% cash back through ebates.com. Then I go back to ebates.com and click through to Home Depot’s website and do my shopping and recieve another 3% cashback from ebates on my purchase from home depot. I know that’s a little crazy but it’s kinda fun knowing you can save an additional 13% off anything at home depot. This works especially well on large pricey items.

You can Sign Up Here using my link (Affiliate- Thank you very much)

The Bottom Line

Here’s the thing, we all shop online these days and it never hurts just to get in the habit of checking ebates before you actually buy something. So as far as answering the “what is ebates?” question I really hope I met your expectation. If you still have any questions please drop us a line either in the comments below or jesse or janna@livefrei.com

For other great money saving tips and ideas check out this post.