Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Half Way to Christmas

Did you know that we are half way to Christmas?!? For me Christmas is my favorite holiday of the year! I love decorating for this time of the year, I'm not big on the present side of things, never have been. My mom is constantly trying to get some type of list from me for things to get me for Christmas. I fail miserably every year at it. I think it has a lot to do with me just saving up and buying it for myself. Why wait until Christmas right? So in honor of this half way point I thought I would really sit down and make a list of my Top 5 must have items for the year. This is strictly a reach for the stars type of list, in no way do I actually see these making it under the tree any time soon. Unless Santa decides that I have been good this year :)

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Using Excel to Make Printables

You have probably noticed that a lot of my posts lately have been printables. Part of the reason for this is due to the fact that we are moving to a new apartment in a few weeks and I have packed up a lot of the apartment already and the second reason is that the budget during the summer months doesn't allow for a lot of extra purchases. I make it a rule not to go into Michaels or JoAnn's unless I have a little extra to spend :) Anyho when I can't craft I do the next best thing organize and make printables. Today I am going to share how I made the printable from the last post Its My Turn to Pick.

I don't know how many of you use Excel to make printables or just in general but I love it even more than Word. We use Excel at work for pretty much everything and I have become pretty proficient at it! I have found that Excel allows me to move images and clip art around a lot easier than in Word. Follow along below with the screen shots to see the various elements of Excel that I used to make my latest printable!

To start you will want to create an image for you header. Then you will want to open a blank Excel document. I like to see how everything is going to be laid out on the page so I switch the way my worksheet appears on my screen. To do this click on the View tab and then Page Layout. I have also noticed that you need to adjust that margins a little so that you have an even number of cells on a page. Just go into you page layout tab and adjust the margins to 0.7 for the left and 0.5 for the right. This will then give you 10 columns of cells on the page. I know why is one different than the other. If you play around with the margins you will see what happens. The right and left sides are not equal if you make the margins equal.

 Next you want to insert the image you created for the header. Click on the text that says Click to add header. You need to select which area of the header you want (center, left or right) and make sure your cursor is in that box. You will notice that once you click on the header portion of the document it adds a new tab labeled Design. This tab will allow you to insert your image. Simply click on the Picture button and then go thru the steps to select the image that you have saved on your computer.

Next you will need to resize the image of your Header. If you have created a small image this may not be needed. I created one that I knew would be larger than the normal size of the header. I wanted it to stand out but I still needed to make it a little smaller. This is not hard to do, just click out side of the header box and then click back in so that the picture text is highlighted. Make sure your design tab is still up and click on the format picture button. This will open a smaller box that will allow you to resize the image. Once you have determined what size you want it to be click OK.

You will see from the next screen shot how my header appears on the page. After I inserted my header image I wanted to create two columns where we would each write down a list of our movie picks. I needed one column that had my name and one with his. I like things centered so I needed to merge a few cells together to get our names centered where the columns would be. A typical Excel document has nine columns but as we discussed at the begin we want an even number on our page so we have created ten columns for our page. To make things are even I merged the first four columns on the left and then the four columns on the right. This leaves a nice space in the middle of both sections.

Highlight the cells that you want to merge together and then right click. From the menu that pops up select format cells. This will open another box that gives you a bunch of things that you can do to a cell or group of cells. For what we are trying to do you want to click on the Alignment tab and make sure that the merge cells box is checked, then click OK.

The cells are now merged together and you can insert that text that you want to appear in the now one large cell. The cell works exactly like a line on a page so you can change the position of the text, center, right, left etc. I did this process twice once on the left for the first column and then again on the right of the document for the second column.

To make it easy I want to have the lines appear on my document. This process is done by adding a border. With Excel each cell acts as a "mini page" to create a line across the document you need to have several of these cells highlighted. I highlighted the first four cells on the left and then added a Bottom Border. To add a border you need to click on the box looking button in the font section. It will drop down a list of different options you have for creating a border for the cell or cells you are working with. The image below shows the first line that I made. I then repeated the process two more times so that I had three lines down the first column.

Instead of repeating this process all the way down the first column and then the second I simply highlighted the first three rows and copied them. I then just pasted these same three rows to the bottom of the page on column one and repeated the same for the second column.

To finish off the document I wanted to add a little phrase at the bottom that would be centered. To create this I used the same technique of merging cells.

Once I had typed in what I wanted to appear I noticed that the text did not all fit in the box. This is simple to fix and only requires a few mouse clicks. You just need to right click, select format cells, click the alignment tab and instead of just having the merge cells box checked you now want the wrap text box check as well.

So I had all of this finished and it was time to print. I went into my print preview and noticed that something was a little off.

The text that I added at the end of the document was just too close to the lines that I had created. I was not liking the layout. So back to the document for one more change. I just needed to insert a row above this text. To insert a row just click on the cell below where you want the new line to go. For this document that meant clicking on the bottom text I had created. If you then look at the top on the the second to last section there should be a group of buttons for Cells. The fist button within this area should say Insert. You want to click on the arrow below the word Insert to bring up a list, the one we are going after is the Insert Sheet Rows. (Note you can click on the insert image above the Insert text and it will also insert a sheet row. By clicking to bring up the list will allow you to see the different options you have. For example you have the ability to insert a sheet column as well)

With this final step my document was ready to save and share with you! If you want the free printable head over the the original post here.

Using Excel may seem daunting but it really is not any harder than using Word. Try it out and let me know how you like it :)


Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Its My Turn to Pick

Does this sound like a familiar phrase to you? Funny enough its kind of a common occurrence in our house even though its just two adults. Shh don't tell :) Friday nights roll around and we want to watch a movie, usually from something streamed online, but we can never agree on what to watch. I am a romance and comedy lover, he likes dramas and action. Usually we end up spending about forty five minutes trying to decide and then end up watching reruns of Seinfeld. I should mention that we are both equally stubborn so that doesn't help much. I have been trying to come up with a solution to the problem and I think I finely found one!

Check out this fun simple printable. Its super easy each person makes a list of the movies they would like to see and then just figure out who goes first. Not sure what we will do, you could flip a coin, round of poke, maybe a scrabble game, rock paper scissors, you pick make it fun! However you choose to figure it out the person that wins chooses the first movie from their list and from that point you just go back and forth.

Get your own and have fun figuring out who goes first! I am thinking a nice round of scrabble will be in order for our next movie night.

Happy Watching


Friday, June 13, 2014

Lets Get Planning

I don't know if many of you have noticed but I actually started blogging about a year ago and by that I mean I had a few posts and then just stopped. Part of that was moving and part of it was just not having a plan. I should have known it would happen because for me planning is key. I like to know what I am doing, when, where, how often etc. Planning and organizing actually brings me great comfort, we'll leave the reasons behind that for another post though :)

To start your weekend off I have created a blog planner for you! Since I am starting out fresh again I really want to give myself no excuse to not succeed. I think these printables will not only help me but hopefully you will find one or two that you can incorporate into your daily, weekly or monthly routine.

Lets start our with the cover. I have a nice binder that I can slip this into the front of and I won't get it mixed up with my budget binder or my family binder.

I have also created a weekly post page for you to plan ahead your posts. If you have several posts that you are working on at once then you can plan ahead and give your self a deadline for when you need to have that baby published. This printable also includes a second page that will allow you to keep track of the blogs that you have posted comments on. Meaningful comments on other blogs is not only a great way to get your name out there but it shows your support for your fellow bloggers.

The last three pages for the blog planner include a stats page. This is a monthly page that will let you see in big numbers (hand written) how you did for the month.

A To Do Page that is great for keeping track of any blog maintenance that needs to be done.

I have also created an Ideas page. This is great for jotting down one word ideas or a phrase that you can then go back to and plan out a little further in detail.

And as a bonus I have also included my monthly calendar! This is used for other areas of my life too. You may notice that it only goes for ten months. I will confess that I do like to change things up every so often and my planners tend to see this the most.



Monday, June 9, 2014

Stain be Gone!

Update -
Since I wrote this article 5 years ago. Wow it's been that long! We no longer are apartment living and the house we purchased has no carpet. Its been a wonder for my allergies I have come across a great article 5 Simple Ways on How to Clean Carpet by Hand that provides some great tips for cleaning your own carpet AND even better they are extremely budget friendly. Check out the link at the bottom of this post to learn even more ways to clean those carpets.

How many of you have the headache of renting? I currently am in that category and it can be a pain in the you know what. We just had our carpets cleaned yesterday because we are moving to a new apartment in a few weeks. The fiance and I had the misfortune of moving into a unit that had brand new carpet. If I was in my own house this would be a dream come true, however if your renting its like a curse. The carpet has to be perfect when you move out or you know what.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Thrifty Thursdays

To kick off the new name and ease into my three day weekend here is my Top Three Thrifty date ideas (in no particular order). I like a good evening date every once and a while but more often than not the fiance and I end up planning our dates during the day on Saturday's.

1. Hole-in-the Rock
     This short little hike (maybe five minutes) ends at a hole in the rock! Located in Papago Park it looks out over the valley giving you a great view of downtown Phoenix. This is one of my top pick because ... guess what folks its a money free activity! I like Hole-in-the-Rock because its an easy hike but still allows you to get some fun pictures of a very cool natural rock formation. For those with a little money to burn the Phoenix Zoo is right next door. Plan an early hike and then wander on over to meet some elephants.

    I don't know about anyone else but I am a fan of mini golf. We leave near Golfland allowing for little travel which is always a plus on the weekends. Tickets are about $8.00 for adults and you have a couple of courses to choose from. If you want to play a second round it only $2.50 per player! Remember to bring your own water though! Water from a vending machine is just outrageous. Oh and your not and the driving range so keep it low.

3. Tempe History Museum
     If you are like me a like a good museum then the Tempe History Museum is a fun place to stop and learn a little more about Tempe. The museum has an interactive display that even lets you take your picture and make your own postcard! This makes the list because its FREE!

There you have it three fun activities under $10.00!! I couldn't ask for a better way to spend some time out and about on a Saturday.

What fun thrifty date idea do you have?

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Peach a la Mint

Hey readers! You may have noticed things have changed a little in the last few days. Upcycled Diva is no more. I didn't feel like it really fit who I want to grow into has a blogger. So with out further ado please welcome to Peach a la Mint!

Things are getting rolling on all my other social media platforms so good things are going to happen.

I can't wait to meet you all and share with you.

Happy Hump Day All