In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. ~ Proverbs 3:6

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The First Snow of the Season

           Yesterday was the first snow of year. It started snowing late in the afternoon when I picked the girls up from school.  By the time we got home, changed for gymnastics and walked out the door to head to practice, the snow was really coming down:)  I managed to get a few pictures of the girls as we were walking to the car:) 

            The  snow didn’t last very long and it didn’t even stick around.  By the time I left for work this morning, the snow was gone and the grass was green once again.   I’m not too worried though.  I’m sure I will have many snowy days ahead in the near future…..afterall, it’s not even December yet;)

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Adding Crystal Bling to a Broken Candleabra

I bought a candelabra on clearance at Kirkland’s years ago for less than $10.  It had a nice old-world look to it, and I used in both of my apartments and our last home.  The glass candle holders broke during our last move, and I have been trying to think of a way to utilize it in our new home. 

I thought that if I added a little bling to it, I could use it in our master bedroom,so  I bought some jewelry crystals at Hobby Lobby and added them to the candelabra. 

Since the glass candle part was broken, the crystals just made it pretty, not practical.....but then I found these uniquely sized candle holders at Old Time Potter for $1.99 each, and I thought they would actually work for this project.  When I got them home, I realized they weren't the perfect fit, but they would still work for what I needed. 

I really like this updated look, and I think it really works in our bedroom.  So next time you're thinking you need to get rid of something, maybe you just need to update it with a little bit of bling;)

Saturday, November 26, 2011

My Husband's First Black Friday

          If you read my blog, you know that we have plenty of room to grow into our new home and have been trying to furnish our home in a budget-friendly way.  Since we both know that Black Friday is one of the best times of year to invest in electronics, we kept a close eye on the ads this year.  The $199 42 inch door buster TV that Best Buy was offering would have been great for the loft, but when we discovered a long line of tents as we drove by our Best Buy at on Thanksgiving morning, we quickly ruled out getting a TV for our loft. 

        We did, however, end up with a TV to put in the refinished armoire for our bedroom.  Our armoire will only hold a 32 inch TV, and we ended up getting a really good deal on one from Wal-Mart. 

        Matt and I kept debating about going shopping this year, but before it was all said and done, I dragged my husband out for his first Black Friday experience.  I had mixed reactions about the stores opening so early this year.  At first, I thought it was just ridiculous that stores were opening at and cutting into family time on Thanksgiving, but I have to tell ya that I have been converted to madness.  It just makes more sense to go shopping at when a lot of people are already awake and energetic instead of waking up at the ungodly hour of to wait for stores to open their doors at in the morning.  hours certainly made for a more enjoyable and less cranky shopping experience in my opinion.

          Best Buy, hhgregg and Wal-Mart all had the same TV that we wanted for the same sale price, and believe it or not, Wal-Mart ended up looking like the most promising place to experience a somewhat calm Black Friday.  Our Wal-Mart was packed but completely organized.  Because Wal-Mart’s doors were open before , they had lines set up for each door buster item.  When the clock struck , they handed out the must-have items, making it easier to get to the registers.  Matt and I were able to get the one item that we went in the store for before midnight  (only because we didn’t have to wait in one of the many organized lines they had in the store to get our item), wait by the cash registers until midnight, check out by 12:30 and arrive home by 1:00.......  

.....all before waking up and doing some more Christmas shopping Friday morning after the crowds died down;)  Overall, this year was a really easy Black Friday shopping experience for us.  That's probably a good thing, because it shouldn't be too hard to convince my husband to go back out with me again next year:)

Thursday, November 24, 2011

In Everything Give Thanks....

           Thanksgiving…...the great American holiday.  It’s a time to be thankful for our faith, family, friends, freedom, finances, food, and football;)  While I am certainly thankful for all of those things, tonight I find myself being thankful for the unexpected things that come into our lives that we may initially wish never occurred; yet when we look back, it’s those unexpected things that force us to look beyond ourselves and look to the only place we can look…..up.   
               A few weeks ago, Matt and I were given some very unexpected news that left us and still  leaves us with many unknowns about certain parts of our future.  While I can’t go into detail about our situation, I can tell you that my initial reaction to the news was worry and fear of the unknown.  The situation has pretty much caused us to put our lives on hold and wait for something that is completely out of our control.  The past two weeks has forced us to slow down our oh-so-busy life and has brought with it a sweetness to our marriage that I think the Lord knew we needed.  It hasn’t been easy, but we have learned to let go of the things that we can’t control and trust that God has a plan for our lives.  Even now, as we are still patiently waiting for answers, we can say that our faith and marriage has been strengthened due to a circumstance that neither one of us would have ever chosen ourselves.
            So tonight I am not only thankful for the wonderful easy things of life….I am thankful for these difficult times that allow us to be a better person.  For it is during these teachable moments in our lives that our faith is strengthened. This Thanksgiving the short and simple verse found in the New Testament has truly become my reality……..

In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. ~1Thessalonians ,

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Pumpkin Cheesecake


         I love the pumpkin  cheesecake from Cheesecake Factory, but I have to tell ya that Paula Deen’s pumpkin cheesecake recipe is nearly as good as Cheesecake Factory’s.  You can get the recipe here.  After making one over the weekend, I made one more today for another get-together.  The best part is that the entire cake cost me just as much to make as buying one slice of cheesecake from Cheesecake Factory, since I had most of the ingredients on hand.  Once you’ve tried this recipe, you’ll never want pumpkin pie again.  You’ll find pumpkin cheesecake to be a must-have for all  your Thanksgiving festivities.

Monday, November 21, 2011

A Holiday Tradition....a few days early...

Traditions….we all have them, especially this time of year.  Typically, we put the tree up the day after Thanksgiving, but this year we put it up a few days early as we decked the halls this past Saturday night. 
When we decorate our home for Christmas, Matt puts the tree together and puts the lights on the tree, while I decorate the rest of the house.
Once he’s finished, I give him a plate of cookies while I take over the Christmas tree duty and strategically place every ornament on the tree.
Matt thinks I’m kind of freakishly controlling about every detail of the tree, and for once, I actually agree with him;) I don't think he really cares though, becasue he is too busy indulging in a fresh batch of no-bake-fudge cookies, while I am carefully placing each ornament in it's perfect little place.
Lastly, Matt puts the star on top of our tree, and we step back, turn the lights out, and plug in the Christmas tree....
.....and then we wait for Chloe to nearly knock over the tree before eating the pine needles, which she will inevitably throw up all over the carpet later on in the evening.  What is it with cats and Christmas trees?  This is certainly a part of the tradition that I wish we could get rid of.
Once the house is all decked out for the holidays, we pop up a bowl of fresh kettle corn, make a batch of my mom’s hot cocoa and watch Miracle on
34th Street

And that’s it….that’s our tradition.  There’s just something about the simple traditions of the holiday season that bring such warmth and comfort.  I hope you all enjoy your holiday traditions over the upcoming weeks as much as we enjoy ours.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Buttery Crab Pot Pie

I got this recipe from a Paula Deen cookbook, and I really like it this time of year.  What could be better than a butter crab pot pie on a cool November night.  Give it try and see if you like it too:)

8 tbsp. butter
1 small yellow onion (chopped)
1 c. mushrooms (sliced)
salt and pepper to taste
2 tbsp. flour ( and more for dusting)
1 1/2 c. milk
1/4 c. clam juice
1/4 cup medium-dry sherry
1/2 lb. crabmeat (drained and picked clean of shells)
1 c. frozen peas
2 sheets frozen puff pastry, thawed
1 egg, beaten with 1 teaspoon water, to brush pastry

Melt the butter over medium heat. Add onions and mushrooms and cook until softened.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Sprinkle in the flour, stirring constantly for 1 minute.  Add milk, clam juice, and sherry.  Bring to a boil and stir until thickened, about 2 minutes.  Add the crabmeat and peas.  Remove from the heat and transfer to the refrigerator to cool.  Unfold the pastry sheets on a lightly floured surface. Place 4 (8-oz) ovenproof bowls rim down on the pastry and cut out 4 circles a bit larger than the bowls. Brush the circles with the egg wash.  Divide it among the 4 bowls.  Brush the rims of the bowls with the egg wash, lay a pastry circle over each, and seal the edges.  Cut steam vents in the pastry and brush with the egg mixture.  Place the bowls on a baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees until the pastry is puffed and golden, 20 to 25 minutes.  Serve hot.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

DIY Dollar Store Autumn Candle Holders

         One the great things about having a blog, is keeping up with all of the other blogs that I follow.  I love being inspired by other bloggers and feeding off of their creativity.  Once in awhile, I see something that another blogger has created and I say to myself, “I love that, and I have to try to make that!”  This is one of those times, folks. 
            The other day I came across a post entitled, “Dollar Store Version of the WS Glass Hurricane” over at 320 Sycamore where two look-alike $80 WS Hurricanes were created for only $3 a piece by shopping at the local Dollar Store.  You can go here for her tutorial.   I loved her version so much that I went to my local Dollar Store and got the supplies to make one for my entry table. The only thing that I did different was my adhesive choice.  Epoxy glue is usually my choice of adhesive when working with glass, so I used that instead of hot glue.   Here are the results of my $3 project.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

The First Saturday of the Month at Goodwill

                  It’s the first Saturday of the month, and do you know what that means?  Well, if you ever shop at Goodwill,you know that means that today everything in the store is 50% off.  Now that the cold weather is here, much of the time and energy that I spent on garage sales in the warmer months is spent thrifting in other ways during the colder months.  This weekend is a perfect example of that.  You see, there are six Goodwill stores 10-15 minutes from our house.  Yesterday, I scouted all of them out, and today I woke up early and hit up the ones that looked promising from yesterday’s searching.  Unfortunately, I didn’t see anything big at the stores that we are need of….at least not this month.  I did see a few smaller things, such as lamps, that I went back for today.  I didn’t really intend on shopping for clothes today, but at the last Goodwill I stopped at, I allowed myself to look at the clothing rack and ended up getting a few nice things for winter.  Overall, it was a good Goodwill day. J

A 20 dollar bill paid for all of the these clothes, and I even got some change back:)

$2 Gap jean skirt, $2 Kohl’s skirt, $2 red Charlotte Russe shirt, $2 Kohl’s zip-up sweater/hoodie

$2 Target short sleeve black sweater, $2 Kohl’s grey sweater/cardigan

$3 Target sundress that would be adorable in the summer with a pair of sandals......or in the spring with a light pink cardigan and black ballerina flats........ or in the fall and winter with a pair of black boots, a black cardigan or my new $2 red Target cardigan:)

For the guest room, I purchased a coffee table for $2 that I am going to transform into a bench for the end of the bed with a little bit of foam, batting and fabric.  I also got the purple basket for $2.50 and the lamps, which are really nice looking lamps, for $7 each.  $7 is kind of high for a Goodwill lamp, but they are really nice and I sort of fell in love with them:)

This floor lamp was $6.....

.....and the lampshade was $2.  I have plans for both the lamp and the lampshade.  Can't wait to get started on it:)

Friday, November 4, 2011

A Little Bit of Clearance Bling

         I’m not exactly sure what these little pendant things are called, but I got a two-pack on clearance at Hobby Lobby for only $2.  They go with our bedroom perfectly, and I used them to add a little bling to some accent pieces in our room.  While I don’t know what they are called, the package did say that the purpose of them is to decorate candles, candle holders ect.  Using my trusty hot glue gun, I attached one to my garage sale lamp that previously added trim to and told you about here, and I put the other one on a votive holder on our fireplace.  In this case, $2 bling is a good thing. J

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Craigslist Armoire Refinished - FINALLY!

The $75 Craigslist solid wood armoire is FINALLY finished!!!

If you recall, we furnished much of our master bedroom from Craigslist back in March.  You can read more about those purchases here
For several months, the armoire sat in the garage, because Matt and I couldn't move it on our own:( 
It was finally moved upstairs Labor Day weekend when we had some extra man-power:)

 But upstairs it sat for several weeks until I got around to sanding, priming and painting the beast!

I refinished the armoire just like I did this piece of furniture (the free trash from my neighbor).  Luckily, I didn't have to spend any money on supplies for this project, since I had plenty leftover from the last one. 

You can find the tutorial hereRefer to it to see the list of supplies I used for this project.

This past weekend, I added hardware for $1.50 a knob from Hobby Lobby (half off of course).

I realy like the way this piece turned out.  Not bad for $75:)  It sure beats my $400 inspiration piece from Ikea and the $800 pieces I've seen elsewhere.   
Now we just need a T.V to put in the armoire......I think Santa may be taking care of that for us this Christmas;)