Friday, November 25, 2011

{Sweet} Turkeys

These treats were extremely experimental.  I was dying to make turkeys for my class at school, so I did some research online and sort of spliced together a few different examples. My husband came up with most of the assemblage ideas and helped me put them together. (Thanks, Babe!)  It was a blast, and I think they came out pretty cute.  Not perfect but cute. 

Base: halved oatmeal cream pie
Body: Ding Dong
Head: halved Keebler cookie
Face: colored frosting
Tail: Double-stuffed Oreo; candy corn
Feet: halved candy corn
Glue: powdered sugar frsoting

Friday, November 18, 2011

Let Me Introduce You: author Marshele Waddell {Hope for the Homefront}

A few years ago, the Lord laid on my sister-in-law's heart to start a Bible study with some of her friends. It was neat how the Lord worked things out.  When Dawnielle began planning it, we realized it was all military wives who would be coming.  We had a time of fellowship as well as a time of study and really enjoyed chatting about the trials and joys experienced as military wives (and as wives in general).

In addition to another study source, Dawnielle introduced to us Hope for the Homefront by Marshele Waddell.  We read it together "book club" style and laughed about how much we could relate to the Marshele's experiences.  As cliche as it sounds, I laughed and cried while reading that book.  I have to confess that I had never read any military "help" books before although there are so many great resources out there.  I just didn't think I'd read anything that wouldn't be something I'd already heard or experienced myself.  Marshele's stories WEREN'T new, and that's what was so great...I could relate!

A couple of summers ago, I lent my copy to a fellow military wife whose husband was deployed.  She was having a pretty tough time, and I thought that Hope for the Homefront would show her the more lighthearted side of a deployment.  It did! She finished it in just a couple of days and told me that it was an incredible blessing.

This book is not exclusively for military wives but for anyone who has to be separated from a loved one for any amount of time.  It is tremendously difficult to stay positive when you can't be with someone you love.

The Lord and His Word are my number one source of comfort when my husband is away, but books like these are a refreshment and a blessing.

Visit Hope for the Homefront to read information about the book Hope for the Homefront and other books written by Marshele.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Chili Sauce {Substitute}

I have an amazing Spark People recipe to share that has an added twist. I didn't the have chili sauce that the recipe called for, so I Googled and found an incredible substitute.

First of all, if you haven't heard of Spark People, you have got to visit their site.  They have all the help and guidance you need to start eating healthy and exercising.  They have trackers for EVERYTHING all the way down to the number of glasses of water you drink per day.  I won't say that I track everything that I should, but I do make good use of their meal planner.  They have dozens of suggested meals and snacks that you can customize to your liking.

The recipe that I made was their 20 Min Chicken Creole recipe. It called for chili sauce, and I didn't have any.  In fact, I had never bought chili sauce before and didn't even know where it was in the grocery store and was too embarrassed to ask anyone!!  {shame}  But this dilemma led me to Google search chili sauce substitutes.  I came across this forum on  I had all the ingredients necessary except the allspice, which was a surprise....I usually have that.  I also was able to find out what chili sauce actually was.

Chili Sauce Sub:

1 cup tomato sauce
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp vinegar
1/4 tsp cinnamon
dash of ground cloves
dash of ground allspice

       = 1 cup chili sauce

I served the chicken over white rice, and it was delicious.  We could taste the sweetness of the brown sugar and cinnamon.  It's definitely going to be a repeat meal.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Should be {framed}

I have a zillion photos at home that are either shoved in a photo box deep in a closet or in file form on my computer.  What would it take for me to pull them out or print them off and actually frame them? Probably a miracle....or just enough frames and wall space to handle them.  I found some frames at Layla Grayce that just might inspire me to get some more pictures on the walls.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Home-made Swiffer cloths

Almost our entire downstairs is hardwood floors and boy, oh, boy are they hard to keep clean.  I invested in a Swiffer Mop when we first moved into our house and bought a large box of dry and wet cloths.  I went through them so quickly and just couldn't bring myself to buy more.  Too expensive.  I did some research and found some amazing ways to make YOUR OWN Swiffer cloths.  So after hiding away in a closet for a few months, my Swiffer is finally cleaning again.

1. Microfiber cloths: I placed this as number one because it is what I have found to be the most long lasting and cost effective.  You can usually find them at the Dollar Tree. Cut them down to fit the Swiffer and toss them in the wash after use. Reuse over and over.

2. Old Socks: All of those poor little socks whose pairs have been eaten by the dryer monster can be pulled out and put to work. Just slip them over the Swiffer and wash after use.

3. Rinse and reuse Swiffer clothes: They can only be washed and reused so many times, but it will make whatever stock of cloths you already have last longer.

4. Old washcloths: Just discard when they get  unbearably gross.

5. Old clothing: Several of my husbands old t-shirts have been cut up and used for cleaning.  You can cut them to the perfect size and use again and again.

There were a few more ideas that I came across but were not really worth mentioning if you are looking for a cost-effective solution.   If you love the concept of the Swiffer but hate the COST, here is the answer to your problem!!

Okay, I'm back!

Not going to say I have my life and schedule in total order, but I will say that things are finally beginning to feel like I've stepped off the carousel.  I'm falling back into the rhythm of the teaching year and finding that I have some extra time on my hands again.  You know what that means! Blog, I'm back!!

I'm going to start back slowly with just one post a week.  Trying to keep things in perspective is not one of my strong points. I always seem to bite off more than I can chew, so I'm proud of myself for committing to just one post a week.

I hope everyone is enjoying their chilly weather, fuzzy sweaters, and cozy evenings as much as I am.  Happy Fall!!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

My Life Is Just Getting TOO Busy!

This is the post I've been dreading to write, but I somehow have known it's been coming for a couple of weeks now.  My school year starts at the end of this week, and with two new classes on my schedule, I'm finding my lovely and relaxing blogging time has been put on the back burner.  I hate quitting  my blog all together, so I'm going on a "break."  No, not like a dating break.  A little less serious.  I just need a few months to get my mind wrapped around these classes and get my music lesson semester started.  Hopefully by then I will have gotten ahead on some of my posting.
I feel like I'm giving up on something that I absolutely love doing.  But it is a luxury.  I have to remind myself that the Lord, my family, home, church, and jobs come first.  Thank you all for how supportive you've been over these last few months.  I've had a great time meeting new friends and discovering how much creativity is out there.  I'll see you in a few months!!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Is it a {picture} frame or a {shelf}?

These are ingenious! I really thought they were frames at first glance.  What a creative way to display books, DVDs, and CDs.  I'm just wondering how I can get these without paying the price. ???

Excuses, Excuses, Excuses...

I seem to be making way too many excuses about why I haven't been posting regularly.  But they are legitimate, I promise.  This summer has been crazy with my dad visiting, traveling to Ohio for two weeks, my husband coming home, going on a two week vacation with him, and his family visiting for a week.  Through all of that, I had hardly a moment to check my email, let alone blog.  And I haven't quite gotten ahead in my posts yet like some of these awesome bloggers I'm following.  I take my posts one day at a time.  I guess that's my problem. Anyway, I'm here to tell you that I'm DONE vacationing and having family visit, at least for awhile, so I'll be back on schedule very soon.

Thanks for not giving up on my and my little bloggy-blog.  Love you all!!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

{Vintage} Suitcase End Table

Last summer, I found these great vintage suitcases at a garage sale for only $.50 a piece.  I was ecstatic because I had been forever wanting to make a suitcase end table for my living room.  The idea stemmed from a Before & After feature on Design Sponge.  I completely fell in love with it, but wanted to make it my own by adding some color.

The one color I had been itching to find a place for in our living room was a certain very warm and rich blue. Instead of painting the suitcases, I decided to cover them in a fabric of this color.  After a long search through stores both online and off, I finally came across just what I was looking for.  Of all places, I found my fabric at Joann Fabrics

Well, you've seen the before, now here is the after:

I'm pretty excited about the final look.  One of the best parts, I only spent $20. 

Here's what you'll need to tackle this project:

  • 4 wooden screw-in table legs 
  • 4 metal plates 

  • Material to cover suitcase(s)
  • Mod Podge
  • Brush or sponge to paint on Mod Podge (sorry, not in picture)
  • Screw driver (sorry again, not in picture)
  • Scissors (or even better a razor blade)
Step 1:  Lay material over top of suitcase and Mod Podge small sections at a time, letting each section dry before gluing the next section.  Don't start cutting yet! After you have covered the entire top section of the suitcase and it has completely dried, use scissors to carefully cut along the edge of the excess material.  If your glue is not completely dry, the material will just pull. A razor blade would be more efficient but be careful not to cut into the suitcase. 

Step 2: Cover the sides of your suitcase using the same method.  Be careful of the handles and locks.  They can be tricky.  Don't strive for too much perfection, though!

Step 3: Attach metal plates to all four corners of the base of the suitcase. 

As you can see, I used angled plates.  They also come in flat.  It took a little hunting for me to find these guys in the hardware store.  They are in the lumber section with all of the table legs.  Convenient since Step 4 is...

Paint your table legs.  That is, IF you want to paint them.  They are just raw wood when you buy them and can be used that way.  I spray painted mine black.

Step 5: Screw the table legs into the brackets.  Mine actually punched through the suitcase a little bit as well.  Didn't feel bad since I had just finished screwing 16 holes into the suitcase.  

And there you have it.  A brand new, completely one-of-a-kind end table.  

And Henry says is makes a great little perch, too.

Somewhat Simple
Transformation Thursday
Party Button

Thursday, June 30, 2011


Visiting with family has pulled me away from my computer for a couple of weeks.  I'm not a blogger who has 30 posts ready and waiting for just such an occasion as this, so if I don't have time, the blog is neglected. I guess I should have said something BEFORE I went on my huge long vaca, but I'm not too comfortable posting the fact that I'm out of town on the World Wide Web.  I think you all will understand. 

So If you've been frustrated that you are visiting and there's nothing new to see, I'm sorry from the depths of my heart. : /  I'll be back this weekend. Promise!!

But I am having a BLAST with my fam.  Just loving, loving relaxing and spending time with those I love.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Have You Tried Anteadote Yet?

With summer comes my craving for tea, tea, and more tea. I know, I know....water should be at the top of my list, but what can I say.  I love tea.  McDonald's holds my #1 slot for sweet tea, but since I really try to keep my sweet tea consumption to a minimal one(ish) cup a week, I am always on the hunt for an unsweetened iced tea that really makes my taste buds sing.

I found IT and it's called Anteadote.  Not only do I love the name, but the flavors are amazing.  Before you get any ideas that this is just another  version of the Lipton Raspberry stuff (no offense, Lipton), let me set your mind at ease.  There are only FOUR ingredients contained within these bottles: filtered water, tea leaves, vitamin C, and a pinch of baking soda (to control acidity). You'll never tast a more pure, clean, and flavorful drink in your life, I promise!

Each flavor has its very own health benefits.  Visit Adagion Teas for more information on what those benefits are.  But no matter which flavor you choose, you're guaranteed to find no additives or preservatives.  That's a welcome change!  My flavor of choice is Jasmine. I tried about four others before this and they were all delicious, but when I tasted the Jasmine, my taste buds...well...sang!! I literally felt like I was drinking the Jasmine flower itself. Its flavor is so pure and intense. And when I looked it up on  the Adagio site, I was pleasantly surprised by how the Jasmine tea was made.  

If you're looking to cut back on your caffeine intake, check out how much caffeine tea contains compared to other beverages:

  • Coffee - 80 mg
  • Cola - 45 mg
  • Black Tea - 40 mg
  • Oolong Tea - 30 mg
  • Green Tea - 30 mg
  • White Tea - 20 mg
  • Decaf Tea - 10 mg
  • Herbal Tea - 0 mg

You will probably find Anteadote in the health food aisle of your grocery store.  Enjoy!!

Monday, June 13, 2011

My Lean-Green Sandwich

Okay, here's another sandwich combo.  It's one of my new favorites.

  • Organic Spinach
  • Zucchini
  • Brie Cheese
  • Extra Lean Oven-Roasted Turkey (Please, please....from the deli!)
  • and Stone-Ground Mustard 
    • The mustard is maybe not the healthiest choice but it packs a tiny punch.  Just a half a tbsp is all you need.  You could also use humus. Yummy and healthy!!
  • Whole Wheat Bread or Wrap
Perfect summer sandwich.

PS: Obviously, this picture is not of my sandwich.  I didn't take one but wanted one for the post.  I came across this funky crocheted sandwich.  Isn't it cute?!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

My Summer {Reading} List

Summer is the perfect time to catch up on a little reading.  It hasn't always been easy to find that time, but somehow I seem to squeeze it in.  At the beginning of each summer, I compile a list of the books I would like to finish before the new school year begins.  I've NEVER made it through an entire list, but I love to try. 

Awhile back, I began to keep a journal of those books that I was interested in reading.  Anytime I came across an intriguing title, I'd write it down.  When I finished that book, I would make a few comments and then check it off my list.  I'm a list fiend and this process just totally works for me. Read this post for ideas about keeping a reading journal.

So back to my summer reading list. I don't have my complete list yet, but here is my plan so far:

  • A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith (I'm already halfway through this and have a hard time putting it down.)
  • The Mitford Series by Jan Karon (I've started it before but have not finished.)
  • Disciplines of the Beautiful Woman by Anne Ortlund
  • The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas (this time from cover to cover)
This list I think I can actually finish.  Does anyone out there have any favorite summer reading books?  Any suggestions?

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