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About Danelle Ice

Danelle Ice is an entrepreneur in Los Angeles and mom of 3. She is the creator of and Danelle is also known as internet personality SimDanelle, the first virtual person. Danelle is a beauty guru on YouTube, vlogger, blogger, and new media darling. She is a current brand ambassador for for Keurig and previous AMD Tech Mom, Kraft Foods Delicious Byte brand ambassador, and Purex Insider.

Posts by Danelle Ice:

Country Kitchen Makeover: Watch the Transformation from 70s Oldies to Country Cozy!

Our old apartment was very unappealing in the looks department, and no matter what we did nothing seemed to improve it.  The structure was falling apart, wallpaper peeling, ceiling leaking and cracked everywhere. 

Every room was an eyesore, including the kitchen, which had molded wallpaper and dark brown paneling kitchen cabinets.  (Did I mention the olive green cast iron sink and green countertop?  Oh, right – I didn’t need to!)

We wanted a cozy country kitchen that was warm and inviting, that people actually wanted to cook in.  Our first effort that would make the most change was obvious: we had to change the dark brown cabinets.  But without a remodeling budget to buy new cabinets, what could we do to improve the appearance?

We painted the cabinets!  Dutch Boy was kind enough to provide the paint for us to re-paint the kitchen cabinets.  We showed you the before and after photos previously of this painting job here:  Before and After Home DIY: Painting Kitchen Cabinets.

Check out the slideshow below to watch the ugly 70s kitchen turn into a cozy country kitchen!

For more before and after projects, visit Making a Happy Home Monday, Metamorphosis Monday and Tackle it Tuesday.

Disclaimer: This article has material connections. IS World Media (ISWM) received no fees for the writing or publication. Dutch Boy paint was provided to IS World Media (ISWM) at no cost to serve as a sample.

Save Money on Heating Fuel Overnight

Peaceful bedroom

Save Money on Heating Fuel Overnight

While brainstorming ways to save money on heating fuel costs this winter, one of the ideas that my husband and I came up with was to lower our thermostat at night while the family is sleeping.

We’d have to make an initial investment by purchasing new bedding and warm sleepwear, but would recover the money invested in fuel savings.  But would we really save money on heating fuel?

The answer is yes, and you can too.  Let’s break down the rationale behind bulking up to cut down.

SAVE MORE: 5 Things You Can Do Right Now to Live a Frugal Life

Is Bedding Really an Investment?

You may be wondering, "Is it a good move to spend money on bedding and warm sleepwear in the hopes of saving on heating costs?"  You bet!

The money spent on these supplies is a one-time investment, meaning you pay one time and you have something permanently.  Money spent on heating is not a one-time expense, but a recurring expense.

SAVE MORE: 13 Ways to Save Energy and Cut Utility Bills

That means if you pay to have heat today, you have heat today only.  If you don’t pay tomorrow, you don’t have heat tomorrow.  With this in mind, we can see that making a one-time investment now in warmer supplies will allow you to lower your heating costs forever. What a winning equation!

Invest:  "To put (money) to use, by purchase or expenditure, in something offering potential profitable returns, as interest, income, or appreciation in value." Unabridged (v 1.1). Random House, Inc.

Learning What Our Parents Figured Out About Heating Costs

This isn’t the first time people have been concerned about saving on heating costs, and we can learn a lot from looking back about 30 years in the history books.  During the oil crisis of the 1970s, families were using similar strategies to reduce their use of heating fuel.  President Carter spoke publicly about reducing thermostat temperatures.

Zolton Cohen at HowStuffWorks wrote a great article about this very subject called "How to Conserve Energy at Home".  In it he said,

"Because space heating constitutes the largest energy expenditure in many homes, even a little conservation of heating fuel goes a long way toward achieving a lower utility bill. Dialing down the thermostat one degree during the winter can result in about 1 to 3 percent less fuel use, and a similar reduction in your heating bill."

1% to 3% may not seem like much of a savings for sacrificing 1 degree of heat, but remember that the price of heating oil is currently $4 per gallon and is estimated to reach $7 per gallon mid-winter!  This outrageous heating fuel price is forcing hundreds of families where I live (in Alaska) to sell their homes and move to warmer locations.  It’s a matter of survival; they simply can’t afford heating fuel any longer.

SAVE MORE: Top Energy Wasters in Your Home

With that in mind, every degree people can sacrifice will return great savings in energy costs and will definitely be worth it!

Zohan continued,

"A furnace or boiler has to maintain a differential in temperature between the inside of the house and the outdoors in order for the house to feel comfortable. On cold days that difference can be as much as 50 to 60 degrees (say, 20 outside and 70 inside). Any time the differential can be reduced, even by a degree or two, the heating system comes on less often, less fuel is burned, and savings result. The downside of turning down a thermostat, of course, is that the house is cooler. But Carter had a solution for that — simply slip on a sweater. That makes sense, too. Instead of turning up the heat to increase the overall warmth in the huge volume of space inside the house, you can simply increase your personal insulation to help retain body heat.

"Though dialing down might seem a hardship at first, after a while your body will adjust to the "new normal" house temperature and wearing sweaters and socks inside will become a part of everyday life."

The Ice-Simmons Family Turns Down the Heat

To put this strategy into action,  my family would have to do certain things before implementation:

  • Buy additional comforters and blankets for everyone’s beds
  • Buy and switch to flannel sheets
  • Buy warmer socks and pajamas for all family members
  • Teach toddler son to sleep under a blanket (he squirms around the toddler bed all night)
  • Convince daughter to sleep under covers (she doesn’t like to make her bed in the morning, so she tries to sleep on top of the covers!)
  • Convince family to sleep wearing socks

After completing the six steps listed above, we would be able to gradually turn down the thermostat at night to save on heating fuel.  So yesterday I went to Walmart, armed with a budget of $200 and determined to come home with warm blankets for every bed.

SAVE MORE: Top 13 Free Things to Stop Paying For Now!

Bedding Supplies Needed to Save on Heating Fuel   Warm blankets

The blankets and comforters were very reasonably priced, allowing me to come in under budget.  A down alternative blanket was the choice for mom and dad’s bed; cost: $33.

For my daughter’s blankets, I chose a comforter in queen size for her twin bed.  A queen comforter can be folded in half to exactly fit the width of a twin-size bed.  Effectively, for the $29 the comforter cost, she got two layers of blanket.

The same strategy was followed for our toddler son, with a $29 twin size Batman comforter wrapped around and underneath his toddler bed mattress.  Flannel sheets were also reasonably priced at approximately $20 per set.

I didn’t purchase any pajamas or socks that day, since I’m planning to catch the next sleepwear sale for flannel PJs for the family.  It helps to keep an eye out at the thrift store for kids’ warm sleepwear as well.

I’ll be watching for girls’ flannel pajamas and footed sleepers for toddlers at our local Value Village, hoping to add a few extra sets of pajamas to the kids’ jammies drawers.  As fast as kids grow, you should never be afraid to shop second-hand for children’s clothing.

SAVE MORE: How to Save 90% on Kids Clothes

All in all, we spent approximately $140 dollars on winter bedding for a family of four.  Not too shabby.  I anticipate spending another $30-$40 on heavyweight pajamas and socks, making our total expenditure $200.  We slept in our newly-insulated beds last night, and the whole family gave rave reviews!

Our thermometer went down 3 degrees last night, and everyone was warmer in their beds than on a normal night.  We were warmer even though the house was colder!

The "investment" made in warm blankets and sleepwear for your family is an expense you can feel good about.  Know that you will see those dollars come back to you almost immediately in the heating savings you’ll realize.

Warm blankets can be a good investment when you reduce your thermostat to save money on heating fuel overnight!

Reader, Suzi “PlainSister” wrote in:

“We heat and cook with wood, no backup, and do not heat our bedrooms at all. We have found that the fleece blankets with the longer nap used as sheets increase the warmth considerably, much better than flannel.

We also use a down/feather blanket over it and sleep warm and comfy. The down alternative blanket works well when the temps are not so cold at night.

We also live in the mountains between 6 and 7 thousand feet, so the nights are pretty chilly year round and the fleece for sheets works for every season. It is so much cheaper to live as we do rather than have to buy propane.

We live in an area that can get snowed in for months and there would be no way for the propane trucks to get in to fill tanks.”

Photos courtesy of stock.xchng.

Triple Pillsbury Coupons: Pillsbury Cookie Dough $1 or $1.50 Off

It’s holiday baking time with Pillsbury refrigerated cookie dough coupons!

We want you to have lots of quick and easy cookie baking projects for your out-of-school kids during Christmas vacation (with parent supervision, of course), and count on Pillsbury to come to the rescue.  They’ve issued 3 new coupons for Pillsbury refrigerated cookie dough, and you can print them all!

The current Pillsbury cookie dough printable coupons are:

  • $1/2 packages of Pillsbury refrigerated cookie dough
  • another $1/2 Pillsbury refrigerated cookie dough
  • $1.50/3 Pillsbury refrigerated cookie dough

Here are all 3 Pillsbury cookie dough coupons.  Click on all the coupons below to print them (yes, you can print them all because they’re both from different coupon providers!). 

$1.00 off when you buy TWO PACKAGES any variety Pillsbury® Refrigerated Cookie Dough

$1.00 off 2 Pillsbury Refrigerated Cookie Dough

$1.50 off 3 Pillsbury Refrigerated Cookie Dough


Love free Coupons?

~All free samples & coupons    ~  Print today’s coupons ~

Disclaimer:  This post contains affiliate links and readers may assume that receives compensation when my referral links are used.

Saturday Giveaways: Too Much Candy Edition

Do you have too much candy left over from Halloween?  So do we.  We didn’t have nearly enough trick or treaters come to our house, but our children did come home with bags full of candy!  I guess it’s time for me to get creative and create recipes to use up leftover candy!

Saturday Giveaways is your home for the best bloggy contests and giveaways online!   it’s time to link your blog giveaways or contest prizes below in our Mr. Linky below (links will close Friday, November 11th).  Don’t forget to follow the guidelines.

Lowe’s Black Friday 2011 Ads and Deals

BLACK FRIDAY 2011  ~ All ads ~

Lowe’s Black Friday 2011 Ads & Deals

If you can’t wait to shop the Lowe’s Black Friday deals, you’ve come to the right place!  This is the place you will be able to find the Lowe’s Black Friday 2011 ads as soon as they are released.
Remember that if you want to see more retailers’ ads for this spectacular biggest shopping day of the year, you can get the latest and greatest offers in our full list.  That’s right, we have the full list of ALL Black Friday 2011 ads here.  We’ll even send them to you for free.  Isn’t that awesome?!  Here is the Black Friday RSS feed and the Black Friday email updates.

What time is the Lowe’s Black Friday 2011 Sales event?

Lowe’s Black Friday 2011 sale will be at 6am on Friday, November 25, 2011.

How to Get Lowe’s Black Friday Ads Preview

News 10/30/11: This just in!  You’ll be able to get a sneak peak of the Lowe’s Black Friday deals and offers.  To get Lowe’s Black Friday preview:
  • Go to the Lowe’s facebook page.
  • Next, push the like button at the top of their facebook page.
  • Then, the special deals (like a link to the Black Friday deal items) will show up on the page.
“Get a Black Friday Sneak Peek Like us on Facebook to see many of our upcoming Black Friday offers.
Become a fan of our page and be among the first to get a glimpse of the savings once they’re revealed in the coming weeks.”  -Lowe’s
As of today, there is no preview or leaked copy of the full copy of the Lowe’s Black Friday 2011 ads scan yet. If you see the Black Friday flyer first, leave a comment below with a link to the preview information and we’ll update the post!
Yes, you will be able to view the entire Lowe’s Black Friday 2011 ads here unless Lowe’s asks us to take it down.  This happens with some retailers every year with black Friday sales because they want to make sure people only view the Black Friday ads scans from their own site.  If they ask us to remove the flyer scans, we will.  However, most stores are just happy you want to see their black Friday ads at all (this means you’re planning to spend money at their Black Friday sales)!

Lowe’s Pre-Black Friday 2011 Sales

As of this writing, there are no Lowe’s pre-Black Friday sales announced.  As soon as the days and times, plus the items featured for sale, become available, we’ll post the details here.
Each Wednesday, Lowe’s posts their sales flyer on their facebook page.
See our Complete List of Black Friday 2011 Ads

Lowe’s Pre- Black Friday 2011 Deals, Coupons & Free Shipping

News 11/3/11 : The savings have already started even before the Lowe’s Black Friday 2011 sales. Before the Lowe’s Black Friday deals really pick up, use these savings coupons and deals (coupons expire on 11/30/11):
  • Lowe’s Coupon: $40 off allen + roth Stayton vessel bath vanity combo
  • Lowe’s Coupon:  $10 off Pfister selia brushed nickel faucet
  • Lowe’s Coupon:  $20 off allen + roth desert gold granite vanity tops
  • Lowe’s Coupon: $30 estate white southport vanities
  • Lowe’s Coupon:  $4 off waterpik showerhead
  • Free Measurement and Installation of STAINMASTER Carpet when you buy carpet and carpet pad. Expires 11/18
  • 13% off Whirlpool water softeners
  • 10% off Whirlpool, Maytag, and Kitchenaid appliances over $397 online. Expires 11/7
Lowe’s has free parcel shipping on qualifying orders (over $49).
Lowe’s also offers the ability to buy online and pick up in-store (guaranteed ready for pickup in 20 minutes).  We don’t know if this will apply to shopping during Black Friday or not.  Check with your local store to clarify.

Lowe’s Black Friday Layaway or Credit Card Special Discounts

Lowe’s has a special credit card offer for customers using the Lowe’s credit card: 5% off every day or special financing with minimum purchase. Details here.  It doesn’t look like there is an expiration on this credit card special, so customers will probably be able to get 5% extra savings on their Lowe’s Black Friday purchase by using their Lowe’s credit card.

Lowe’s Black Friday 2011/Christmas Price Guarantee

We don’t know of terms for a Lowe’s Black Friday or Christmas price guarantee in store or online. Have you heard of one? Leave the details and a link to the official source in the comments and we’ll update this section.
Lowe’s Apps:  Download the free Lowe’s iPhone app here.
Need more Black Friday? See all Black Friday 2011 ads.
Disclaimer:  This post contains affiliate links and readers may assume that receives compensation when my referral links are used.