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

Monday, February 27, 2012

Decoupage Tray

I have one last decoupage project to share with you this month.  I decoupaged this tray  awhile back but haven’t posted about it until now.  As all decoupage projects tend to be, this is a really easy project that can be customized to someone’s personal taste.

First, I bought a wooden tray.  Most all craft stores have them for around $5.  I got lucky and found one at Goodwill for $2.   Secondly, I painted my tray.  Then, using two pieces of scrap book paper, I began decoupaging the top of the tray.  To do this, I applied a layer of Mod Podge to the bottom of the paper and glued it to the tray, then I applied a layer of Mod Podge to the top of the paper and let it dry.

I liked the simple look of the black and white polka dots, but the beauty of using scrapbook paper is the variety that craft stores offer.  Keep in mind that any kind of paper works for decoupage projects.  You don’t need to limit yourself to only using scrapbook paper.

All in all, this project cost me less than $5. This tray gets used on a daily basis, so we certainly got our $5 worth out of it;)

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Decoupaged $5 Goodwill Table

I’ve shown you a lot of decoupage projects lately, so I thought I’d show you another one that I did years ago.  When I got my first apartment, my entire apartment was furnished from thrift stores.  Here’s how I turned an ugly side table into a usable piece for that apartment.

First, I bought a random $5 table from Goodwill that met the size requirements I was looking for.  Then, I painted the table black.  Once the table was dry, I applied a layer of Mod Podge to the top of the table and quickly placed scrapbook paper on top of the wet glue.  I used four pieces of scrapbook paper that looked like pages from a dictionary and left a few inches of painted black edge along the top of the table.  Lastly, I applied a second layer of Mod Podge on top of the paper, and then let it dry. 

After supplies, this table was less than $10.   I still use this table in our house now, so I’d say I got my ten bucks worthJ

Saturday, February 25, 2012

4 Pasta Canisters from Recylcled Target Containers for $4

As I’ve mentioned in previous blog post, I’ve been attempting to reorganize the pantry. In addition to storage items that I already had, such as a few Ikea canisters and a collection of wicker baskets, I recently added the following to meet the storage needs in the pantry:  glass containers that I purchased at Hobby Lobby when glassware was half off in the weekly ad, a few recycled Target containers that I used for storing pasta and my DIY  Canisters From Rcycled Holiday Tins that I posted about a few weeks ago.

Today I want to share with you my pasta canisters from recycled Target containers.  Target has great plastic canisters in their Archer Farms grocery line.  Snack food such as popcorn, nuts and trail mix can usually be found in these containers.  The problem is that the popcorn is usually $5 each and the nuts and trail mix are $10 each.  Unless I have an actual need fro those items (which I rarely do), I’m not going to pay that much money for the plastic container when I can pay $3-4 a piece for glass canisters at Hobby Lobby or Ikea. 

Lucky for me Target happens to sell the same popcorn and nuts in their holiday section.  The only thing that makes these items “holiday”  is the festive label placed on them at Christmas time.  Other than that, they are the same items found in the grocery section.  However, that festive little label is also what makes them go half off the day after Christmas and 80% off three weeks after Christmas, which is exactly when I bought mine. 

I bought four containers of holiday popcorn on clearance for $1 each, and in addition to several evening snacks for the hubs, I walked out of the store with four perfectly good canisters for my pantry.J

Once the popcorn was finally consumed, I soaked the containers in water for several hours and took off the paper labels.  To get the remaining stickiness off of the containers, a little Goo Gone was all I needed.

So next year, when Christmas snacks go on clearance, ask yourself if you have any use for the container the snack is being stored in.  You might just find it worth your while.J

Sunday, February 19, 2012

A Birthday With the Hubs

So I turned twenty-eight today.  That’s just two years away from the big 3-0….yikes, I’m gettin’ old!  Actually, twenty-eight doesn’t feel too bad.  I think I may think differently when I leave my twenties and enter my thirties.
My darling husband always says that he gets screwed, because my birthday is just five days after Valentine’s Day.  I have little sympathy for him.  I figure he can just get two big days of the year out of the way in one week, since we can’t change either date.  He’s actually pretty good about treating me nice for my birthday.  Since my birthday usually falls around President’s Day, we try to get away for the long weekend.  Things didn’t go quite as we planned this weekend though, and our getaway is being postponed for the time being.

The hubs did, however, do a really nice job trying to make my day special, even though I was kind of bummed that we didn’t get to go away this weekend.  This morning, he woke up and made me breakfast before our church services.  Then he surprised me and told me that he was taking me out to lunch, my choice of course, and afterwards he was taking me shopping.  Anywhere I wanted to go he would take me without any complaints.
The hubs was a real trooper today.  I chose Cheesecake Factory for lunch….no surprise there.  Shopping was fun too.  He didn’t complain one time, and we had a really great time spending the afternoon together.  A quick stop by Starbucks on the way home was icing on top of the cake:)  Overall, my husband is….well, he’s just a pretty awesome guy:)  He’s so thoughtful, and I feel very blessed to have him.  Here’s to growing old with the one I love:)

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

My Valentine's Day

Since Valentine’s Day fell on a Tuesday this year, it made it a little difficult for Matt to plan something special for the two of us.  Tuesday is my late night at work, and I don’t get off until .  Taking that into consideration, Matt decided to make dinner for the two of us and dine in this Valentine’s Day.

Knowing that the hubs was going to be cooking dinner for us, I decided to pre-make chocolate covered strawberries……

…….and red velvet cupcakes to go along with his thoughtful meal.

When I woke up Valentine’s morning, Matt gave me my gift.  He gave a one hour massage that he purposefully scheduled for the hour after I got off of work.  My husband isn’t the most romantic guy, but he is the most thoughtful guy.  Knowing that I’ve been a little stressed lately, and knowing that I would probably be tired after working a long day, it was very thoughtful of him to give me this as my gift.  By the time I got home, I was nice and relaxed, which was probably smart thinking on his part too:)

The extra hour that I was away getting pampered gave him time to get the house ready and dinner on the table.  When I got home, he gave me flowers and served me a delightful meal that he made himself.

This is the third time in our marriage that my husband has cooked a nice meal for me.  Each time has had its flaws, but the thoughtfulness that he puts into trying to please me makes eating his cooking worth it….lol:)

Overall, it was a good Valentine’s Day….even if it was a weekday.  I have to say that I have the best Valentine a girl could ask for ;)

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The Vow ~ Book and Movie Review

          Due to today being Valentine’s day, I thought that I would write a post about the popular book and movie, The Vow.   After reading the book last week, I went to see the movie this past weekend.  So without further ado, here’s my opinion of both the book and the movie……

The Vow: The True Story Behind the Movie [Book]

         The Vow, written by Kim and Krickett Carpenter, tells an emotional story of a husband’s unconditional love for his wife and the faithfulness of a God who loves them both.   I couldn’t put this book down when I started reading it, and if it wasn't for the dread of early morning's alarm clock, I would have read it in one sitting.  Unlike the movie, the book spends a lot of time discussing the importance of the couple’s faith as they journeyed through the mountains and valleys of their tragic ordeal.    In this book, Kim Carpentar writes a vivid story of how he met and married the love of his life, consciously endured a car accident with her,  and then in the midst of overwhelming obstacles, fought to keep his marriage alive and rekindle the love that his wife had lost all memory of.  Few books bring tears to my eyes, but the obvious love that Kim had for his wife in the midst of despair was enough reason for me to keep a box of tissues near by as I turned the pages of this book.  I highly recommend reading this book.  It was ten times better than the movie!

              Now that I’ve discussed the book, I’ll move on to giving my opinion of the movie.  I’m not gonna lie….I was really disappointed with the movie.  After LOVING the book so much, I begged my husband to take me to see the movie opening weekend, but when the movie was over, I left the theatre feeling a little deflated.  Perhaps if I watched the movie before reading the book, I would feel differently.  I knew the book was just the inspiration for the movie, and while I didn’t expect the movie to be just like the book, I did expect it to be sort of like the book.  I had even prepared myself for the realization that the couple’s faith, which had so much to do with the book, would be completely eliminated from the movie.  I just wasn’t prepared for the fact that the story of the couple in the movie wasn’t going to be ANYTHING like the Carpenter’s story.  The only thing the book had in common with the movie was that a car accident left a wife without any memory of her husband.  That’s it!  The vague plot was the only thing the book and movie had in common, and I have to tell ya that I thought the actual real-life story was a thousand times better than Hollywood’s version of a watered down story about love and faithfulness!  While I love Rachel McAdams, not even she could make me want to watch this movie twice.  Next time I want to refresh my memory of The Vow, I’ll bypass the movie and just read the book again.

Monday, February 13, 2012

One Year of Blogging.....

          It’s hard to believe that I started this journey of blogging just one year ago.  It seems like only a few weeks ago I was writing my very first blog post.  When I decided that I wanted to start this journey, I didn’t even know how to begin, so I did what anyone in this generation would do when looking for a “how to” of something…....I Googled it.  By Googling  “how to start a blog”,  I discovered Blogger.  In just a few hours time Loving Life was created. 
            I really had no clue what I was doing when I decided to start a blog.  To be honest I still don’t always know what I’m doing.   It took me weeks to figure out how to edit a post after it was already published and months to figure out that I could respond to comments via my email.  And then there was the day I discovered various websites such as, and in the process discovered that I could give my blog a new look for free!  Now that I know more about the blogging world, I’m seriously considering paying a professional to create a web design for my blog, but one year ago, that would have never crossed my mind.           
         Once I started blogging, I discovered how to follow other blogs and how readers could follow my blog as well.   I remember thinking that I would be so happy if I had at least twenty followers in a year’s time.  Growing my blog has been a learning experience in itself.  Originally, I was only linking up my blog posts to my Facebook page until I discovered link parties in April of last year.  Today, most of my readers have come from linking up my posts to various link parties in the blogosphere.  Link parties have been a great way for me to meet other bloggers with similar interest, and I have thoroughly enjoyed seeing other creative spaces on the internet that put this little ol’ blog of mine to shame.  Compared to other blogs, I still don’t have that many readers, but thanks to all of you who follow and read my blog, my little corner of the internet has gone farther than I ever thought it would go in one year's time!  As my blog grows and I am able to commit more time to it, a few of my future goals would be to begin hosting my own link parties and get connected via other social media such as Twitter and Pinterest.  For now, those are long term goals due to the limited amount of time I am currently able to put into my blog.
            While my blog has seen a few changes over the course of the year, one thing that hasn’t changed is the purpose of my blog.  My reason for maintaining this blog has been and always will be to allow me to have a creative outlet.  For me, my blog has always been a hobby and nothing more.  Perhaps some day I can really work on growing it and turning it into more of a part-time job, like so  many other wonderful bloggers have successfully done.  For now, it’s just a hobby that I really enjoy working on in my spare time……and for now, that’s more than enough for me.  So here’s to one year’s journey of blogging.   Thanks for taking the journey with me. 

Thursday, February 9, 2012

My Vintage Dress Form

            I love the look of a vintage dress form!  After looking for a reasonably priced one for our master bedroom, I soon realized that it was going to be difficult to find one for under $50.   You can imagine my excitement when I stumbled across one for twenty bucks in the 2011 holiday  edition of the Lakeside Collection catalog!  Unfortunately, Matt had just lost his job when I unexpectedly discovered the dress form, so spending even a meager twenty bucks on something that I wanted rather than something that I needed wasn’t really justifiable at the time. 
            I do, however, believe that my patience paid off.  After being extra frugal during the few months that Matt was job hunting, one of the first things I did for myself when he went back to work was order the Lakeside vintage dress form for our bedroom. The price was great, shipping cost were minimal, ordering was easy, delivery took about two weeks…..BUT when I saw the beat-up box on my doorstep my heart sank a little. L
            I’ve ordered enough things online to know that when a box looks like it had a rough journey from the warehouse to my house, it’s probably not a good thing.  Sure enough, when I opened the box and began assembling my purchase, I was very disappointed.   The three pieces that screw together and make up the actual dress form stand were warped a little, making my dress form lean to the left when completely assembled.  To make matters worse, the top of the dress form began to break when trying to straighten the crookedness of the stand. 
            Sigh….I had to return it for a new one. When I called customer service to make the arrangements for shipping, they said to discard the old one myself instead of shipping it back to them.  Two weeks later, the new one arrived.  I assembled it and began hanging vintage looking accessories from its wiry form…….THEN, as I was picking and choosing which pieces of jewelry to add,  a light bulb went off  in my head.  What if I took the old dress form that was heading for the trash and tried to make it work with the new dress form?  Long story short, after some epoxy glue and eventually discarding the broken one of the three pieces that make up the dress form stand, I ended up with a shorter dress form to go with my new one.  So now I have two dress forms, and I only paid 19.99 plus shipping and handling.J 
            There’s a life lesson to be learned in this unusually long post about a dress form.  To put it simply, sometimes the things that disappoint us in life can actually be a blessing.  It may seem like a small thing, but two dress forms for $20 was worth it in the end, even if I had to patiently wait to order one, wait some more for it to be delivered, be disappointed when it arrived broken, and then wait again to order a new one.  The dress form is a minor example of a disappointment, but I can think of some major disappointments in my life that turned out to be a blessing in the end.  The bottom line is that sometimes we just need to be thankful for the disappointments of life.  You never know if they will turn out to be a blessing…..

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Quiet Strength Book Review

            I read my second book of the year, Quiet Strength,  last week.  I found it fitting considering all of the Super Bowl hype we've had here in Indy over the past few weeks.  I purchased my hardback edition at a garage sale this past summer for a buck.  After setting it aside in a pile of books, I figured that Super Bowl week was as good a time as any to begin reading through its pages.
            This book was an encouraging read that highlighted Coach Tony Dungy’s faith throughout his career.  I found Tony’s story to be relatable and easy to read.  It was wonderful to read his testimony as he stressed the importance of doing right even when it's not always popular.  I was also encouraged as he wrote about how God’s plan is not always our own plan.  Difficulties come to all of us and can cloud our vision and understanding for a short time, but in the end, aren’t we glad that He knows best. 
            In a world of NFL coaches and players that aren’t always the best example for a younger generation to look up to, Coach Dungy’s integrity and character make me proud to say that he was the coach of the Indianapolis Colts during an era where football meant so much to this city.  In fact, if it weren’t for Dungy’s efforts, last week’s championship game may not have been played in Indy.  
          I'd recommend this book for anyone young and old alike.  I think I talked about how much I liked it so much to my husband that even he, who HATES reading but loves sports, may give this book a try;)


Wednesday, February 1, 2012

February 1.....

          February 1….how can it be?  One month of 2012 is already gone.  Seriously, where does the time go?  Winter is almost over, and before we know it spring will be here.  Although, around here it has surprisingly felt like spring for most of this winter, considering our abnormally mild temperatures.  I hope that doesn’t mean that it will feel like winter when spring arrives.  Sadly, that wouldn’t surprise me one bit.  When it comes to the weather, anything can happen around here.
            We have had an exceptionally mild winter this year in my neck of the woods.  That was made clearer to me today as I was struck by an unusual appearance driving home from work.   While I was patiently waiting for my light to turn green in a nearby school zone, I noticed a high school boys sport team crossing the street in front of me.  That’s not uncommon really, but what was uncommon was the apparel they were wearing, or lack thereof, on this the first day of February.  Believe it or not, this group of boys was sporting their jogging shorts and nothing more.  No pants….no jackets…not even a shirt….and the crazy thing is that their choice of apparel is completely justifiable, considering the fact that the temps have been in the low to mid sixties this week.  
            More ironic to me than the fact that I drove by shirtless runners, in central Indiana in the middle of winter, was what the morning news brought to my attention today.  One year ago today, we were under a blizzard warning that turned out to be the huge ice storm of 2011.  Looking back on that storm and all of the other snow storms we had last year, and then looking out my opened window on this warm sunshiny day as I am typing this post, I am only reminded that you never know what kind of weather you are going to get in the Midwest ......or when you will get it. 
          It was said this week that the Indianapolis Super Bowl committee had to have emergency plans for snow, ice, rain, tornadoes and fog, because we have been known to have all of those things this time of year.  We’ve actually had all of those things in the past thirty-one days. However, today we only have warm weather and lots of sunshine:)  I’ll take that over snow and ice any day;) 
        Here's to warm February days!   May the remaing twenty-eight days of February be as beautiful as today.....I doubt that will actually happen, but I can dream can't I;)