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Monday, 31 December 2012

Money Saving New Years Resolutions

Money Saving New Years Resolutions you might actually keep

Have you ever read Anne of Green Gables? I adore the whole series with the first three books being on my list of all time favourites.  Truth be told, my daughters middle name, Anne, was for this beloved storybook character. In one of the books Anne explains why she loves mornings so much- they are beautiful days without any mistakes in them yet.   That's more or less how I feel about New Years Day. Except I am an imperfect being and even by dawn on New Years Day I have done something to mar its perfection (sigh when my 4 year old wakes us up at 2am to announce he's gone pee- since he has been dry by night potty trained for well over a year now this has long ago lost its novelty,  slept too late, rushed my children, failed to be present etc).  So I usually take today, New Years Eve to revel in the beauty, magic and perfection of possibility that exists for the coming year.

My list of resolutions for the new year are so typical they would be considered downright boring. But or those of you with financial goals on your resolution list, I thought I might help guide you with a short list of resolutions you could actually keep- and will save you some money as you do.

1. Shop the perimeter
When you grocery shop everything you actually need is on the perimeter of the store. I know you're mentally walking through your local grocery store right now...and there it all is.  Your fruits, veggies, eggs, milk, cheese, meats everything you need for healthy delicious meals.   Bonus is that almost nothing you need is taxed.  Pizza Pockets- taxes apply, fresh bell peppers- tax free.
I'm not insisting you cut out all crackers, coffee, and chocolate chips.  I know that is a resolution likely broken January 2nd- the first day of the year the stores are open.  Just be aware.  Shop the perimeter first.  Then really think about what it is you're headed into those middle aisles for.  Ask yourself if you actually need it or if you could make due with a tax free alternative. Do you need to buy a jar of applesauce, or could you whip some up tonight in the kitchen with some apples? (The answer is yes, yes you could.  You remember my negative relationship with cooking? Even I make our own applesauce).

2. Make a household product
Start the year by choosing just one.  Laundry soap, dishwasher detergent, all purpose cleanser, hard water stain remover, drain cleaner, window cleaner...these are just a few of the products you can skip buying for a year if you make your own (side note: cleaners like the ones listed above are located in the middle section of your grocery store...what does that tell you?)
By arming yourself with vinegar, lemons and baking soda you would be able to create a number of effective and non toxic cleaning supplies.
Did you know:
- a few tablespoons of lemon juice added to the humidifier will help deodorize the air in the home
-lemon juice and baking soda will remove hard water stains from chrome
- a paste of lemon juice and salt will clean and freshen your sink.
- lemon is a very effective grease cutter, use it to clean stove tops, cutting boards or small appliances
-vinegar and salt mixture poured on weeds will both kill existing weeds and prevent them from returning
-if your dog is sprayed by a skunk, rubbing his fur with undiluted vinegar and rinsing will help remove the odour
-instantly stop hiccups by taking one tablespoon of vinegar
-bring wilted vegetables back to life by soaking them in 3 cups water with 1 1/2 tablespoon vinegar
Those are just a few ideas to help you see that pre-packaged household supplies may not be as much of a need as they are advertised to be.

3. Buy used
In an ideal world the best thing to do is budget for a new item, buy it used and save the difference.  This is one of the best and fastest ways to financial freedom.  However, for most people this is not an ideal world.  We might need a new car before we've saved $25,000, or we might need something now that we just are not able to find used (like a snowsuit for a baby girl 18-24 months....for some reason impossible to find around here this season) but at the very least check it out.
Since there exist websites like or, thrift stores, consignment shops and auctions it should make it obvious that buying used is something almost everyone does, even if they don't talk about it.  Know what else people usually don't talk about? Their debt.

4. Find real entertainment
Browsing at all the mall is not entertainment.  It needs to not be your go to option when you want something fun to do. Ask yourself honestly, how many times do you go to browse the mall and come back empty handed? But you just bought one little thing, you justify.  But if you hadn't been at the mall for entertainment you wouldn't have bought it. So, did you really need it? One small thing multiplied by every time you go to the mall is is going to add up- to both a lot of money and a lot of clutter.
Skating rink is entertainment, live theater is entertainment, festivals and fairs are entertainment. The mall is your local source for buying new items. Period.

5. Drink more water
Totally boring resolution, right? I'm still going to recommend it. Strongly.
There are two pretty big name soft drink brands out there right now.  You know they contain sugar and lots of it, but have you ever wondered why? Not why do they contain sugar, but why so much?  Because they need to cover the taste of salt added to the drinks. If the highest concentration ingredient in a soft drink is sugar the second highest is salt.  They add salt to make you thirsty, so you'll drink more of their drinks.   Pretty clever if you ask me.  Except all that salt and sugar isn't good for you- your body or your budget. After all, these drinks are not free!
Your body craves water.  Its almost free (from the tap).  Getting enough water can cure headaches, soothe cramps, repair dry or blemished skin.  In fact, in many people the thirst response is so weak that we often mistake it for hunger. So if you're feeling a bit nibbly try a glass of water and wait 20 minutes, chances are your cravings have faded - saving even more money on snack foods.

I am looking forward to 2013, am excited for the opportunities it might contain for me and my loved ones.  I wish you, gentle readers, peace and joy for the whole coming year.

Thursday, 27 December 2012

Only Boring People Get Bored

Now, I don't know about you,  but I have zero sympathy for people claiming to suffer from boredom. There is just so much to do and get done and experience in this world that boredom is simply a choice.

That's not to say I'm unfeeling and hard hearted. I understand that there are limits of reality and finances that could prevent someone from doing exactly what they desire.  However, there do exist many options to fill your social calendar as much as you desire. And because you're reading it here you know all these options are free or very inexpensive.

There is only one simple way to achieve the level of social involvement you crave: get involved!
Get involved in your local food bank charity, blood donor clinic, PTA, library, community center or church.
This isn't just about giving back, this is about all beneficial facets of getting out there.

First, choose something you're interested in. You might not be that interested in books, so you might decide that the library isn't for you. But look twice! Most public libraries offer classes, groups or events aimed at poets or musicians as well as literacy lovers.  Taking a class or attending an event would come at a very minimal cost. Groups are almost always free, And if you decide to teach a course you might even be able to turn your interest into profit.

Classes at the community center will typically be more costly,  usually averaging $5-$7 per class. But with an option for just about any interest under the sun this will satisfy just about anyone.

Joining the PTA committee, a church or volunteering is really about meeting people. Meeting people in these ways usually means that you share some common values, and that can lay the ground work for some great friendships. Of course, meeting people through the library or community center usually ensures some similar interests and possible friendships as well.

I know not everyone wants to walk around networking on the first day of a martial arts class, but if you open yourself up to that possibility it will usually happen quite naturally.

Not only does getting involved in these ways help you fill up your social calendar for minimal cost on the days of the classes and events but soon you could find yourself attending So-and So's birthday or holiday party.

The larger network of friends and friendly acquaintances you  have the easier it can be to hold fast to your frugal lifestyle. Yup, you read that right.  A lot of people, in an effort to save money, stay in and do nothing. Of course their resolve is quickly broken! No need for that to be you.

Arrange a "baby swap" with some friends. You watch their kids one night at no cost, and they watch yours another night. Have or attend a movie night or game night. Get together for batch freezer cooking, or when in need of large ticket items hit the auctions together. Reaching out to your friends is a great way to swap Halloween costumes (for you or the kids) or share driving responsibilities so you don't have to pay for a cab.

Getting involved in your community is a wonderful way for you to give back and benefit personally.

Monday, 24 December 2012

5 ways to save money with minimal changes

As a sequel to my 5 Ways to Save Money Without Sacrificing Anything, I thought I would post this-
5 Ways to Save Money With Minimal Changes

The tips listed here are primarily intended to get you to rethink how you spend your money.  Sometimes our habits or the things we think we "need" have become so second nature that we don't notice what a waste a lot of it is.

1. Use men's deodorant
You get more. It works better. It costs less.
But you don't want to smell like a man.- so get unscented.  Sure unscented doesn't smell "pretty" but do your armpits really need to smell like watermelons?

2. Lower the temp on your hot water heater 10 degrees F  
But you like hot showers, you say.  Here is where I point out that even when taking a hot shower you turn on the cold water with the hot water.  Add less cold to your shower and you wont even notice the difference. I promise.

3. Cruise Control
If you do any amount of highway driving use this feature to save yourself some money.  Many people don't know that 90 km/h is the ideal speed in terms of fuel utilization. So get yourself to 90, hit cruise control and enjoy your drive knowing you're saving about 10% on your gasoline costs. And unless you're driving massive distances going 90km/h instead of 100km/h will not actually make a noticeable difference on your commute time. Really. Do the calculation
4.  Try a toy rotation for your kids
You know it happens. Your little one gets a new toy and he TOTALLY loves it!!!! For two weeks. Then, he doesn't seem to care about it anymore, Honestly hes a bit bored of it.  How frustrating for you and your toy budget!
 So divide up your toys into toy boxes, mesh laundry baskets or plastic bins. Then put all the bins but one out of sight.  When your little ones start to get bored with their toys, just swap it out for the other bin. (I personally do the swap every two months) Zero dollars spent and all the excitement of Christmas morning for your kids. 100% win situation.

5. Turn off the TV.
I'm not going to get into how cancelling cable is a huge money saver, and something you honestly wont miss after two weeks (I say this from experience as my family is now well over a year cable free and I will NEVER go back to cable). But if nothing else at least reduce the screen time. Cut it down by an hour a day and watch your life transform.

 The benefit here is several fold. Powering that giant screened TV everyone owns is not free, multiply that by the number of TVs in your home and that's a pretty big cost commitment just to keep them on!

Those commercials playing every 7 minutes - they are not by accident.  The more exposed you are to them the more you start responding to the "needs" they are inventing. and buying the products they tell you to.

Once the TV is off you will discover a bunch more time than you thought you had. That time will motivate you to be productive. Maybe you will use it to go for a run, starting a healthy lifestyle that cuts down on your medical costs. Or maybe you wrap your own holiday gifts in your new found time instead of paying someone at the mall to do it. Maybe you finally roll your jar of change and find $60 you didn't even know was there. Every hour of reduced TV time is money in the bank, so start small because before you know it big changes will be very easy to do.

Happy money saving and Merry Christmas, gentle readers!!

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

5 ways to save money without sacrificing anything!

Usually when people hear about my commitment to our frugal lifestyle they assume that we have to make changes and compromises in order to keep our financial goals within our reach.   Most of the time those people are right.  But I thought it worth mentioning that there are, in fact, a few ways you can save some money without sacrificing anything.

1.  Invest in a foundation brush
      Ladies, you can keep using whatever liquid make up you're comfortable with but get rid of your make up sponges! What is a sponge designed to do? Absorb! So guess what happens to all your expensive winds up not on your skin but inside the sponge.  A foundation brush will beautifully apply your make-up without absorbing it.   To be clear, make-up will still become trapped between the bristles so of course the brush will require cleaning every so often, as you would any of your other make-up brushes.
You will notice your foundation lasts three to four times longer this way.
Oh! For those of you using your fingers to apply your liquid foundation, just cut it out. Really. Nothing good will come of it unless you're a particular fan of pimples and streaky make-up.

2. Leave-in conditioner
So you think the only hair conditioner that works for you is the stuff you shell out $38/bottle for?  Well I'm not even going to have that argument with you right now.  Instead I will tell you how to get more for your money.  Get a spray bottle from the dollar store.  Fill with one part conditioner and three parts water. Shake.
While in the shower wash and rinse your hair.  When you get out of the shower shake the bottle and lightly spritz the ends of your hair.  You will still get all the benefits of your conditioner but you get four times the life span.  The great part is, the savings are two fold since you're not in the shower spending money on the heated water during that conditioning step.

3. Going to the movies
You might think I'm about to go on about only seeing movies on discount nights, or bypassing the concession stands.  But this post isn't about that.  Its about doing what you want, just for less.  So go to the movies, see the one you want to see and even grab some popcorn while you're there.   Just hit Costco first.  You can buy movie passes there, they come as a night out for two, so your cost includes admission for two adults, a popcorn and two fountain drinks- for the price of two admissions! So simply by stopping at Costco first you effectively get free drinks and popcorn!

4. Toilet paper
You can use your regular brand of toilet paper, and I wont even tell you to go single ply.  But before you put the roll on the holder, step on it, creasing the cardboard roll in the center. Now you will notice that the roll doesn't spin freely or as smoothly.  If you have kids this is one of the best defenses against the whole roll ending up in the toilet bowl at once because they got mesmerized by the spinning, Even without children,  anyone in your home will use less paper if its just that much harder to get lots of.   You might think this wont make a big difference,  But check it out over a year, you'll be surprised.

5. Liquid soap
Bar soap is cheaper, works just as well, lasts longer and usually encourages people to wash their hands longer and better. But you knew I was going to say that.  You still want to use liquid soap because it doesn't get slimy in the dish, or crack as it dries. *sigh* Fine.  Have it your way, use your liquid soap.  But at least cut a small section from a straw and wrap it around the post of the pump.  This will limit the amount of soap dispensed at each pump.  And I promise you don't need that much soap to get your hands clean.  Its about washing well, not washing with lots of soap and suds.

So there it is, gentle readers, a little bit of money left in the bank for you every month while you still get to do everything you're doing now.  It's my holiday gift to you.

Stay tuned for my 5 ways to save money with minimal changes.

Monday, 17 December 2012

Family/ Couple gift under $10

Years ago, when we first announced that we would no longer be giving store bought gifts I was also very clear that when it came to Christmas gifts everyone would be getting the same thing.
I do this mostly because it saves my nerves.  Thinking up one handmade gift a holiday is enough, I couldn't possibly think up and complete a different gift for each person on my list.   But it's not to be ignored that making several of the same thing is miles cheaper than making several different things.  

Happy Mug Set
This year our gift is simple, useful, cute and inexpensive. WIN! We are making mustache mugs.  Each family/ couple/ person will receive a set of four mugs and a half pound of our custom coffee blend. All for about $10!

Here's how you, too, can make some fun mugs to delight those on your holiday list. 
You will need:
- set of four white coffee mugs (we got ours on sale at Superstore) -$6/set
- black Sharpie OIL BASED medium point paint marker (Michael s craft store) $3 after coupon 
- double sided tape
- scissors
-rubbing alcohol 
-cotton balls
-cookie sheet

Before I go into how TO do this project, let me give you some hints on how NOT to do this project. 
1. You may read somewhere, or multiple places, that if you use a regular Sharpie marker on a glazed mug and bake it, the marker becomes water resistant and won't wash off with regular use.  This is simply not true.  That mustache will wash right off.  And you will feel frustrated. You might even cry if its 11:30 pm and your mugs are for a gift exchange happening the next day.....
2. You may have spotted some enamel paints made for ceramics at the craft store. I tried these paints.  They can work.Avoid the opaque version.  Opaque paint on a glazed mug looks unfinished and homemade, even though all my gifts are homemade I don't want them looking like it.  Avoid the 3D version.  You might think it doesn't matter because you will be brushing the paint smooth, but it doesn't work like that.  The paint is formulated for a dimensional and textured look and thats what will happen.  The regular glossy enamel paint is better but you still get visible brush stroke lines.  And no, using a foam brush to avoid brush lines doesn't work. The foam absorbs all the paint and then becomes thick and hard and unusable.   I cannot tell you how many supplies I went through before finally getting the look I was after.
3. I recommend the Sharpie oil based paint marker because it really is the best for this purpose.

To begin clean the exterior of your mug with the rubbing alcohol and cotton balls. This helps the paint stay on and is totally worth the effort.

Google "free mustache templates" and choose four that particularly speak to you. Print them, onto cardstock preferably but plain paper would do just fine.   Carefully cut out your mustaches and apply double sided tape to the back.
My personal favourites
Secure the template to your mug.
Holding the paint marker upright shake well and gently depress the maker tip a few times.  Then, using a scrap of paper or cardstock, while holding the marker downward (as you would to write) continue to depress the marker tip repeatedly until a smooth flow of paint is achieved.

Trace around your template. Then remove the template. Do this carefully, sometimes the tape is super sticky, but do get it all off.  If you are making more than one set of mugs keep the template for future use.
Colour in your mug with the paint marker. Allow to dry for 15-20 minutes.
Just in case you were unclear about the colouring step :)
Examine you work.  You may find spots you missed or would like to touch up- now is the time.
Looking closely you can see some spots that need touching up
Place your mugs on a cookie sheet and into a cold oven. Set the temperature for 350 and your timer for 30 minutes.  When the timer sounds turn off the oven but leave the mugs inside to cool.

That Guy enjoying his mug
Now your friends and family can enjoy the novelty of a silly mustache without the facial hair commitment. Because THAT is what's really on everyone's wish list this holiday season. :)

Monday, 10 December 2012

Cookie exchange win for the baking impaired

Part of our holiday celebrations include the annual cookie exchange.
Now let me be clear, I am a lousy baker and a much worse cook. But That Guy is a pastry chef with a background in catering so my culinary abominations usually need not affect my dear family.  Yet as the holiday season approaches I know how much That Guy (who has an undeniable sweet tooth) would love something yummy that he didnt have to make himself.
Enter the cookie exchange! An ideal solution for providing my husband a freezer full of delicious for minimal cost, and lets face it, opportunity for things to go amiss in the kitchen.
All I have to do is make six dozen sweets.... with almost no skills....

But, my gentle readers, I have a solution! And moreover, one I am willing to share with you here today!
For roughly the same cost as baking six dozen cookies you can make six dozen beautiful jewel chocolates. They are easy enough that even I, or the average child, could make them.

You will need:
- jewel chocolate mold (available at your local big box craft store) $1.80 after coupon **please always use a coupon!**
- coloured melting chocolate (available at the same craft store) $2.10 after coupon/per bag.  I needed one bag for each colour and I chose to make four colours. = $8.40
- never before used paint brush - on hand
- pearl dust/ luster dust $5.20 after coupon/ per colour.  Using the same four colours as the chocolates =$20.80
- refrigerator - on hand
-microwave -on hand

Total cost $31/six dozen

I know that sounds like a lot of money. But if we factor in what it would cost us to make six dozen different types of holiday sweets I think we still come out ahead.  Plus, these chocolates just might be the prettiest dessert at the party, and that has to count for something.  :)

To begin, wash your mold and dry thoroughly.  When you think its dry, dry it one more time.  Water is the undoing of chocolate.  It causes it to seize, which pretty much means it goes lumpy, gross and unworkable.

Then take your paintbrush and brush a light coating of luster dust into each well of your mold. Remember to do the sides as well.

Next we have to melt the chocolate.  I choose to do this in a microwave because, frankly the stove and I are not friends.  However, if you and your stove have a positive working relationship feel free to pull out the ole double boiler and go at it that way.
Put the chocolate in a microwave safe bowl. I used the whole bag.  One whole bag each of four colours will make about seven dozen chocolates.  Put the bowl in the microwave for about 25 seconds. Remove and stir. Continue at 25 second pulses stirring between each. If you're thinking you can save yourself a lot of time by just microwaving the bowl for two minutes non stop, lets just say I promise that doesn't work out well.

I spooned my chocolate into a squeeze bottle for convince.  Spooning the melted chocolate into the mold directly would work fine too.

Once your chocolate is in the mold wells you need to pick up the mold and tap it against the counter. Use light moderate force and do this several times.  The purpose is to level the surface of the chocolates and to remove air bubbles caught inside the mold.  You might notice small bubbles rising as you tap, you're doing it right.

 Put your mold in the fridge.  That Guy assures me they only need about ten minutes in the fridge to set..  Being rather wary in the kitchen I gave them a full 30 minutes.  Remove them from the fridge, turn the mold over and gently pop out each chocolate.

Brush the tops and side of your chocolates in luster dust.  You may want to be slightly more generous with the dust this time than you were when coating the mold.

Package them up and take them to the cookie exchange where people will think you know your way around a kitchen ;)
Handy tip: if using the squeeze bottles for chocolate as I did they can be a pain in the neck to clean and waste a lot of yummy chocolate goodness in doing so.  Instead, put the squeeze bottle in the fridge. After a few minutes remove the bottle and give it a squeeze.  The chocolate will break off cleanly from the sides and bottom of the bottle and the bits can be shaken out into a zip top bag for future use (or snack). Then wash the bottles as normal.


Monday, 3 December 2012

DIY Christmas- $2 hat and scarf sets

Because you probably  have more than one person on your Christmas list I thought I would continue with my DIY Christmas gifts.
Today I will be showing you a wildly simple way to make a hat and scarf set.   Although I am making them for my son and daughter they would be well loved gifts for children or adults.In fact, handmade fleece scarves were our gift to the civil servants - read :garbage collectors and mail carrier- last Christmas.

I decided to sew my hats, but there is a way one could do it with NO SEWING. I will share that with you at the end of the post.
Roses for Audrey and monster for Walter
So without further ado here is your tutorial for SIMPLE HAT AND SCARF SET.

You will need

- fleece 1 m (the amount you need will depend on the size of the hat and scarf you are making. 1 meter will be more than plenty - I got three sets of childrens sizes out of one meter) $5.25/m
- scissors
-measuring tape
- sewing machine
- ribbon/craft felt/ fabric paints ect (optional, for decorating purposes)
 Total project cost: a little over $1.75/set

Fleece fabric has stretch to it.  But only in one direction. Its important that you be watchful of this or you may end up with a very uncomfortable hat.  It matters much less for the scarf.

Since the scarf is, hands down, the easiest of the two I will begin with it.
Your scarf will be most comfortable if you have the stretch of the fabric running the length of your scarf.
Since I made my sets for children I did very small scarves.
Measure 6 inches wide and approx 37 inches long
Cut out this rectangular scarf 
Fold scarf in half lengthwise.
Cut fringe on the ends of your scarf, cutting both layers at once.  I typically cut fringe 3 inches long every inch.
Feel free to embellish and decorate to your hearts content.
**Specific to projects shown**
For my sons scarf I did not cut fringe, instead I attempted to cut "monster claws" in the ends. Then I hot glued bright green craft felt under the "claws" to make them stand out.  This would look MUCH better if you took the time to plan your design and didn't just start cutting at random hoping for a monster effect like....some people......
For my daughters scarf I wanted to make it pretty, so I attached a felt rose to the side. I had the ol hot glue gun all heated up and was about to glue the rose in place when I got another idea. My daughter is still very young (read: wriggly) and I'd like to avoid the scarf coming open under her jacket. So why not use the rose as a button of sorts?  This did take a bit more work because hot glue would not have held the rose on well enough for button use. So I got out thread coordinating with the colour of fleece and sewed the rose on by hand..  Then on the opposite side of the scarf I cut a small slit for the button opening.
The "button" sits high enough that it will peek out over the top of her jacket and look adorable.

Begin by measuring the head of your recipient.  If this is not possible use 22 inches as a standard adult size and 18-20 inches for children.
Your width according to your recipient, remembering that you need to cut the width along the stretch of your fabric.
I use a length of 11 or 12 inches regardless of the age of my recipient.
Cut a scrap width (along the stretch) of 6 inches by 1 inch long

Fold your rectangle in half with *right sides* together. (Since solid coloured fleece does not have a *right* or *wrong* side, I use solids as often as possible to avoid mix ups)  Folded it should still measure 11 or 12 inches long. 
Using the stretch stitch on your sewing machine sew along the raw edge. Now you have a fleece tube :) Turn your tube to right side out. Adjust it so the seam runs along the back of your hat.
Whats a stretch stitch? It looks like this on your sewing machine and allows the stitch to stretch with the fabric

Cut the same fringe along the top of your hat as you did on the scarf. The longer you make your fringe the larger your pom pom will be. Remember to cut the fringe at the edges as well.

Using you length of scrap, tie under the edge of the fringe, pulling as tightly as possible. Knot. Cut the ends of the tie as closely to the knot as possible.

For the hats "brim" fold the bottom edge uf the fleece up approx 1/2inch. The fold again. Pin in place.  Using the stretch stich on the sewing machine again sew along the brim.

**Specific to projects shown**
For my sons hat I decided to embellish with a fun monster face. I cut my pieces out of craft felt and hot glued them together and to the hat.  The great thing about making a monster face (and if I'm going to be honest, the real reason I did a monster) is because you don't need a pattern or  anything to be exact. I simply cut until I thought my four year out would be pleased with the results. Again, should one choose to plan their design before hand one might be rewarded with a more polished result. :)
For my daughters hat I maintained my pretty theme and stuck with the simple rose. Here's how to make a easy felt rose:
Cut a circle_ish shape from craft felt. approx 6 inches in diameter.
Cut the circle into a spiral, leaving a small circle in the center.

Starting form the outside edge cut a scalloped edge on your spiral.
Again beginning from the outside edge roll your spiral. I added a dab of hot glue every inch or so to give it more structural integrity

.Complete the process by gluing the small circle in the center of the spiral to the bottom of the rose.

 Add a dab of hot glue to the rose center and press in a faux peal bead.
Then glue the pretty rose to the hat.

If you're still with me at this point you may have noticed my frequent use of the hot glue gun for this project. So here's some great news for all the NO SEWers out there..... For every time I used my sewing machine you can substitute a hot glue gun! Really!! The finished project is the same and it holds up to even children, honestly my daughter has gone to church in a hot glue gun hat for weeks now. :)