Affordable Baby Shower Gift Basket

Affordable and Adorable Baby Shower Gift Basket at

As we all know, babies are expensive! Even if you aren’t the one having the baby, the amount of money that can go into a gift can sometimes be very outrageous. Recently, Cyle’s brother had his first child and I was really looking forward to the baby shower, but I was concerned about how much to spend, and what to get. Hey, I’ve never had a baby, how much could they need? Answer: EVERYTHING!

This baby shower was especially exciting for everyone in Cyle’s family because it was the first baby girl in YEARS! So you can see why I went a little crazy with the gift.

A gift basket can go one of two ways, extremely affordable or extremely expensive. Just remember when shopping for gift baskets, the Dollar Store is your best friend! I always hit up the Dollar Stores in town before any other store, and always come out with more than necessary because I find it impossible to pass up a good deal. My favorite store to go to is Deals. They have home decor, food, some craft items, and holiday decor.

From my gift giving experience, and all of the thanks I received from family for this gift, here is what I have gathered about baby shower gifts:

  • The most important things to include are what the new parents need, not the newest and coolest gadget out there.
  • You don’t need to include EVERYTHING, but feel free to!
  • Books! Babies outgrow their clothes and baby toys like crazy, but books can last for years (unless the baby chews up the corners).
  • Bottles, burp cloths, and baby powder. What new parent doesn’t want extra of these? You never know when you may run out!
  • A gift that meant something special to you growing up. It not only adds sentimental value to you for the gift, it also adds some personalization to the gift as well.

So what did I give that was so well received? And how much did it cost?

  • Baby Einstein collection -$25 (Target) This was my “splurge” gift to include.
  • Dr. Seuss Collection -$18 (Target) This was my sentimental/personal gift. Growing up I loved Dr. Seuss, and still do! It also included my favorite childrens book, The Lorax.
  • Adorable Elephant burp rags $5 (Target)
  • Flamingo onsie $5 (Target)
  • Pink tote $12 (Target)
  • 2 BPA free Baby bottles $1 each (Deals)
  • Baby Bottle Brush $1 (Deals)
  • Baby Powder $1 (Deals)
  • Baby Shampoo $1(Deals)
  • Baby Oil $1 (Deals)
  • 2 pack pacifiers $1 (Deals)
  • Noise rattle $1 (Deals)
  • 2 tubes of Diaper Rash Ointment (Deals)

Grand Total: $63.00

*This was also not including my Target Cartwheel coupon I used which saved me a few bucks off of the Target items. This gift was also from Cyle and I, so the price for it was really divided up between two people.

photo 2

Originally, I was not going to purchase the two semi-pricey book collections, I was just going to buy one or two cheaper books. But when comparing prices and value, I ended up purchasing both collections. For an even more affordable basket, you could exclude the expensive book collections and opt for one or two individual books. I was going to buy 2 mini-sized Dr. Seuss books for $7 each, but thought the collection had more value (and it included about 6 stories).

Overall, this was a more affordable option for a gift and included fun and practical items. How about you guys? Any successful and affordable gift ideas you care to share? If everyone around me keeps having babies like they have been, I’ll need some more ideas! 🙂


TGIT pic 3   thriftythursday_button



Vegetarian Chicken Alfredo

Happy Thursday! Can you believe this week is almost over? I know I can’t wait, I’ve got plenty of plans this weekend. Today I’m sharing one of my go to recipes for a quick and filling meal.

Vegetarian Chicken Alfredo Recipe at

Wait, vegetarian chicken Alfredo? Yes, you read that right! Although being a vegetarian has its limitations when going out, there are plenty of options in the kitchen! Being a vegetarian for over 11 years has caused me to learn my way around the kitchen. Vegetarian Chicken Alfredo is a delicious and easy meal that anyone can enjoy!

Let’s get cookin’!


Alfredo Sauce- I buy the Aldi brand Priano

Spaghetti noodles- or noodles of your choice

Meatless Chicken Strips- You can buy these at Walmart, County Market, Hyvee, or most major grocery stores


Poultry )or Italian) seasoning

1/2 TBSP butter

Olive Oil

allpotsTo start, boil the water and add your noodles. I then add a big dash of salt and splash of EVOO, but that is completely optional.

While the noodles are cooking, prepare the “chicken”. I typically use half a bag of the vegetarian chicken, but this time I used 3/4 of  bag since I was making some for lunch the next day and because Cyle needs to eat, too. 🙂

chkn panTo cook the “chicken” I toss in a splash of EVOO to coat the noodles and add about a TBSP of pepper and poultry seasoning and toss again. Cook over medium/medium high.

chkn closeupMmmmm, does that look so good?! Ok, you meat eaters may disagree, but trust me, it is delicious.

Once the “chicken” is almost done (it should get some brown crispiness going to it after about 5-6 minutes) add in the sauce and cover. I like to add some extra seasonings to my sauce. I’m a big pepper fan so I usually throw some in with the sauce.  Simmer on low/medium low for a few minutes. Be sure to stir!

sauceandchknI will admit, this doesn’t look very appetizing when it first comes together, let’s just blame the lighting in my kitchen. Hah! 🙂

butternoodlesBy now your noodles should be done, depending on your preference. I am not a fan of al dente noodles so I always let mine cook a bit longer. After draining the noodles (do not rinse) return them to the pan and add some butter. You don’t need much butter, maybe just a TBSP. You actually don’t need any butter at all, but it adds some flavor to the noodles. Stir it all together and set aside.

Once your sauce and chicken look good it is time to serve it up! Toss everything into the noodle pan and mix and stir to your hearts content.

platecloseupI like to add a few sprinkles of Parmesan cheese, basil, and parsley on top for looks and taste. Serve with a healthier side (because let’s be honest, this isn’t the healthiest meal in the world ) and enjoy!


Yum! So do you have a favorite and easy recipe? What about my fellow vegetarians? Any special recipes you care to share? I’m always looking for something new to try! Now get cooking!

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My Own Home is a blog for anyone looking to make their house their own.  I cover anything from DIY projects and home décor to food and tips for an organized home. I work hard to bring my readers great content with how-to tutorials and great ideas for every home. My Own Home gets a variety of readers due to my social media posts on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. I constantly strive to find the best ways to grow and expand my reader base. Since this blog was started in July 2014, my reading base is not as large as other blogs, but I work hard to ensure great content and products to bring more readers in.


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Drab Dresser Revival

Drab Dresser Revival at

Something you guys might discover about me soon is that I am cheap, dirt cheap. My mindset is “why buy something when I can ask my parents if they have it and they give it to me for free”. I’m lucky in the fact that my parents have a lot of furniture and are working on downsizing. This dresser was given to my mom by my grandma, and wasn’t in the best shape.



See? Bad shape. Paint was worn off, there were chips in the wood. The poor thing just looked tired! So when I randomly got a burst of energy late one Saturday night I decided to scrounge through my paint collection and whip up some magic!

I first removed the drawers and set them aside. I originally was going to paint the entire dresser this dark grey, but realized quickly that would be too dark. I started by painting a strip on the drawers where there was some detailing, and followed the same idea on the bottom of the dresser. Then, I painted the dresser top and sides, leaving some white details exposed.


I didn’t use any fancy paint, I just took some Artists Loft paint from Michael’s and went at it.

Now onto that mirror…

That mirror was in bad shape. My dad warned me it had a crack in it, and when I unloaded it the crack quickly became a bigger problem than I thought.




Oh snap! Literally…

The next thought in my head was  “oh I’ll just drill a screw in and it will be fine!”. Wrong. I ended up splitting the wood even more and had to use some wood filler and glue to fix it. It isn’t perfect, and if you stand close to the mirror you can find where it was, but I like to say that it is just some “added character”.


All better now.

This was a quick weekend project that turned out so successfully that my mom didn’t even recognize the dresser when she first saw it! The cost of this project was FREE! Ahhh, my favorite price! I had all of the supplies on hand and the only thing it cost me was some extra sleep that weekend.


So how about you guys? Have any awesome DIY revivals that you’d like to share? Leave a link in the comments below, I’d love to see them! 🙂

Happy Tuesday (My 6th favorite day of the week)

Just a Girl and Her Blog

Rustic Coffee Table

Rustic Coffee Table DIY at

*Please excuse the terrible iPhone photos.

A year or so ago I decided that a garage sale glass top coffee table would be the greatest thing ever, that is until I started to use the coffee table and realized it was THE WORST THING EVER. I loved the look of the table, but having to continuously clean off all of the smudges was driving me nuts!

I finally enlisted the help of my dad to make over this $20 coffee table and I can’t stop looking at it!

I always get so excited when starting my projects that I forget to take many pictures, but this was so easy that a lot of “during” pictures were not necessary.


This was the original table, without the glass top.


My wonderful father started out by taking my 1x4s and cutting them to size. I wanted a 1 inch hangover on all sides so he accommodated for that. We used 6 1x4s for the top, and 5 for the bottom shelf.

After cutting the 1x4s to size we measured the inside of the frame so we could cut some 2x4s and wedge them in place as a base to attach our top. Dad then hammered those 2x4s into the frame, one in the center and 2 on the ends. Afterward, we screwed the 1x4s into the 2x4s.



We followed basically the same format for the bottom. Instead of hammering the 2x4s into the metal frame, we screwed the 1x4s into them. We then just slid the shelf into place and called it a day!

Well, until I had to stain the table. My only real contribution to this project was watching my Dad do all of the work and then sanding and staining the wood.

I used MiniWax Wood Finish in Red Oak and applied one layer of stain after sanding and let it sit overnight. The next day I squealed with excitement over the color, it was perfect!

tray 1

I then made a very important trip to Ross for some coffee table decor to finish the makeover and have been in love ever since. 🙂

Coffee Table DIY at

As you can tell by my “After” pictures, I keep rearranging my decor on top, who knows what it will look like next week!

So, what do you think? This was such a fun and affordable way to customize my garage sale coffee table. The total cost of supplies (wood, stain, sandpaper) was only $63. So with the original price of $20 and the cost of supplies, I now have my own custom made coffee table for under $100! I’d say that is a deal!


TGIT pic 3



Welcome To My Own Home!

Welcome readers!
I started this blog after months and months of contemplation, excitement, and fear (lots and lots of fear). Every time I’d browse my favorite blogs or simply browse Pinterest, I kept thinking “I can do that! I have lots of projects that other people besides my Facebook friends would love to see!”. But every time I thought that a second voice would say “But you’ll never be as successful as those blogs you obsessively check everyday.” Well, I finally told that little voice to shush and decided to go for it! So what if I don’t end up getting 10,000 views a day, month, or year (not saying I would be upset if that ever happened (: ), I just want to be able to share my little projects, recipes, and random postings with anyone who is interested!
So strap in, grab a drink (pass the Moscato, please) and join me as a figure out this little world of Blogland. It’ll be entertaining, I promise. (: