Friday, July 29, 2011

{Friday Faves} My Girls

In lieu of a roundup of my fave finds on the web... I thought I'd share some of my faves going on around my neck of the woods...

Big Sis:  "Those people should stop cigaretting, cause it turns your lungs black."
Lil Sis: Singing Pink's So Raise Your Glass in your low, off-key voice.
Big Sis: "You're the best mom ever." Followed by a *big squeeze*.
Lil Sis:  Dressing up the chihuahua in not one, but two aprons.  Hee.
Dh:  For being so very patient with his whacked-out hormonal wife.  Seriously.  You. Have. No. Idea.
Big Sis:  Singing Kesha's Tik Tok - and rockin' it.  For reals.
Lil Sis:  The knee-high striped socks with shorts?  Awesome.
Both Chicks:  Breakdancin' in the kitchen before bedtime.  Cause we're cool like that.
Dh:  For taking the girls to the river... and then to the snowcone shack... and then swimming... you have no problem being wrapped around their little fingers.  And that wraps me around yours...

Hope you've had a great week.  I'm looking forward to being in San Fran in a couple of days, even if it is for work ;)


Monday, July 25, 2011

Live Like No One Else

I'm sure by now most of you have heard of this guy:

In case he doesn't look familiar to you... say hello to Dave Ramsey.  In case you're not familiar with what he does, I can pretty much some it up in two words:  DEBT FREE

I read Dave's Total Money Makeover book a few years back when a friend of mine signed up for Financial Peace University (she is debt free now, by the way).  Great book, easy to follow plan, but the commitment just wasn't there.  We were overwhelmed with the day to day that was a newborn and a two year old.

Fast forward four years - this time, my husband decides to hop on board the DR train, and true to his nature, it's full speed ahead.  We lined up our budget and accounts through Mint so we could keep a close eye on where our money is going (Mint will even send alerts when spending is higher than expected or when you're over budget - impressive) and focus on getting rid of the monkey on our backs that is debt.

Luckily, we're not in as bad of shape financially as some of the folks on Dave's plan, but we're still motivated to get rid of the debt we have, starting with paying off a home improvement loan and my car (what?  you mean you don't have to live forever with a car payment?!) and then progressing to paying down our mortgage. 

We're not exactly living the DR lifestyle 100% (we still have cable, internet, i-phones... we have to stay sane here, people), but we have cut back on other spending to achieve this goal.  That means that all of those great projects I had planned, the furniture I had already bought in my mind (interest free for 18 months!), the drapes I'd drooled over... it's all on the back burner for now.  I can't tell you how much I don't like to say that (even knowing we're doing the right thing) cause I had this idea of how I wanted our home to look and by golly, I wanted it to look like that, um, now.  *sigh*  Looking at everyone's awesome decor ideas and home projects doesn't help either - the little green eyed dragon of envy comes out and I can't help but want to throw a little pity party just for me.  I seriously don't know how some of you do it - have seemingly neverending funds for furniture, flooring, shopping all while staying at home, raising your five kids, volunteering, and building orphanages in third world countries.

Okay, a little exaggeration there, but you get me, right?

And then my pity party is over and I realize that once we make it through this, it's going to be so freeing.  Dave's mantra is "Live like no one else now so you can live like no one else later".  I can't wait for the later, cause it's going to be great... and I have to keep reminding myself that when I feel a little *wah boo* coming on.  

Another plus?  Worked into our budget is a little cashola for my "hobbies", so I will be able to still do some fun projects for the house, or for me, or for the girls.  I'll just have to stay within my allotted amount, saving some months for larger planned purchases (meaning I'll need to get more thrifty and creative), and my plans/projects might have to be spread out over a greater length of time as the budget allows. 

So stick around on this new little venture with us...  I hope to discover new ways to reuse and repurpose items and I hope to inspire you to create and dream without breaking the bank. 

Before long, I also hope to come on here and announce that we are members of the Debt Free club!

Care to join me?

Thursday, July 21, 2011

{Friday Faves} San Francisco

Things have been crazy around here lately... while everyone else seems to be slowing down for the summer, we seem to have a growing list of things to do and people to see and parties to attend.

It's a little exhausting.

Thank goodness, courtesy of a work conference, dh and I will get to have a mini-getaway to San Francisco
in a couple of weeks.  In anticipation of this trip... here are a few fave San Fran things from Pinterest, everyone's favorite addiction.

I'm looking forward to being in this beautiful city again!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Jungle Fever

I finally finished repainting Big Sis' vintage bed that I scored from a friend's garage sale... it's all set up in her room and she's loving it.  It's a full-size bed, and she loves that she has to climb into it!  Her previous bed was low to the ground and a twin size, so this bed is a big deal.

She picked out black/white zebra print sheets for her new bed, and I was already getting excited about a pink - black - white - grey color palette for her new grown up room.  Now that I got this spray-painting thing down, I was ready to get crazy with paint!

Enter the decorating dilemma... the girl wants a jungle room.  I'm talking a giant tree on the wall and vines from the ceiling (from which her stuffed animal lemur, monkey, snakes, etc. will hang), along with the blue sky and clouds her daddy promised to paint for her.

Mmm-hmmm.  Oh yes he did.

I'm a little miffed, cause I've already been pretty lenient by allowing a snake-size aquarium in her room to house her russian tortoise and a smaller aquarium for the assortment of frogs and lizards she rescues.


The thing is, she is so excited about the jungle idea, and it really is fitting for her.  She's our own little version of Bindi.  So I need to figure out a way to make this work for all of us... here's a few ideas:

A little inspiration straight from the Sahara...

Source: None via Kelsey on Pinterest

Love the idea of the white netting flowing into the bedding...

This is just cool.  Maybe this could go in my room?!

Wall decor I can live with - the removable kind.

So that's a start... we'll see what transpires over the next month or so.  Any ideas?!

Friday, July 15, 2011

{Friday Faves} Summertime...

We are enjoying the long, lazy days of summer around here, putting our backyard pool to great use... in case you're in need of some great ideas for summertime, check out my Friday Faves!

In love with this backyard puppet theatre from kojodesigns:

Maybe you're in need of some potluck bowl covers?  Here's the how to from The Cottage Home:

How about make your own kite?  2littlehooligans shows you how!

Her little bug catcher net is a must-do as well!

Hope you're having a great summer!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

{Knock-Off} Martha Stewart Recipe Box

While cleaning up my favorites bar recently, I came across a link to this fabulous recipe box from Martha Stewart... put on my wish list long ago and now, sadly, not available.  *sob*

Then I looked at my current recipe box, bought long long ago in a little country shop in small town Texas.  It too, was sad!

Then I had an idea... enter Rustoleum aqua spray paint!

A few coats (and some scrapbooking supplies) later... and I have my very own MS aqua recipe box!

I purchased the label holders and brads from Hobby Lobby (50% off this week, btw) - I initially planned on using the brad as it is originally intended, but the hole on the label holder was too small.  No worries - it's nothing a little E-6000 couldn't solve!  I simply glued the label holder in place, cut the brad attachments off and glued the remaining tops in place.

I made the recipe label in Microsoft word, Arial print.  The recipe card is courtesy of none other than the great Martha herself.

  (I have to admit, while re-organizing my recipes after this project was complete I realized I have WAY more dessert recipes than anything else... not that that's a bad thing, right?)

Hope you're having a fantastic week! 

Linking up at Tea Rose Home...

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Overcoming my Fear of Spray Paint

Are you ready for a confession?

I am afraid of spray paint.

Or at least, I was, up until yesterday.  I don't know what it is.  I don't know if it's the unknown as to the true paint color... or maybe it's the lack of control of paint application compared to a paint brush... or maybe it's fear of the dreaded spray paint drip.


Whatever it is, I'm over it.  I figured it's about time I put on my big girl DIY panties and faced the fear!  So yesterday, I did it.  I shook that can like crazy, popped off the lid, and sprayed myself into oblivion!  Of course, I tested on a small project first (which I can't wait to reveal ) - a little knock-off Martha project.  Then I took the big leap and got to work on the fabulous metal bed that I got for Big Sis from a friend's garage sale. 

I made it through the priming stage and now am on to the real painting part.  Then comes gloss.  Whee!

It was liberating.

And now I think I'm addicted. 

Got anything you need me to spray paint?!

Stay tuned this week for the knock-off Martha project and maybe for a Big Sis bed reveal!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Transformation Thursday at Shabby Chic Cottage

TT button BLUE
Every Thursday, I love opening up my reader to see what's going on over at the Shabby Chic Cottage, where Gina hosts Transformation Thursday.  It's a linky party featuring reader projects of everything from clothing upcycling to recipes to redecorating... my favorites are always the furniture transformations, and I'm hoping one day soon to finally be able to link up!  Here's what I'm working on...

That, my friends, is the beginning of cushion recovering!  The previous owners of our home left us an outdoor settee that while in decent shape, was in need of quite a bit of TLC.  First up, recovering the nasty, faded, dog-haired cushions.  Ick.  (And yes, some of that dog hair belongs to our pooches, so don't think I'm a dog-hater!)  I've got almost two done and about seven to go.  It's slow going with the kids going to bed on their summertime schedule.

Late bedtimes = less sewing time.  Boo!

Don't worry though; I'm determined to get this done.  Next up is a new spray paint job for the frame.  Oh, and for the awesome vintage bed I scored for Big Sis.  And a paint job on the chest of drawers I scored for my entryway.

Oh yeah... lots of transforming to be done around here.

And did I mention that I've been put on a crafting budget?  More on that to come...

{What's Cookin' Wednesday} Lemon-Coconut Pound Cake

Are you ready for the next edition of What's Cookin' Wednesday?  With it being summertime and a holiday weekend, there weren't a whole lot of gourmet meals going on around here... so how about something a little sweet?  I found this recipe in a magazine feature all about pound cakes!  (You better believe I tore out every page...) Enjoy!

Lemon-Coconut Pound Cake

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. baking soda
1/2 cup sour cream
2 tsp. lemon zest
1 cup sweetened flake coconut, divided

1.  Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Beat butter at medium speed with a heavy-duty electric stand mixer until creamy. Gradually add sugar, beating until light & fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until just blended after each addition.

2.  Stir together flour, salt, and baking soda. Add to butter mixture alternately with sour cream, beginning & ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed just until blended after each addition. Stir in lemon zest & 1/2 cup coconut. Pour batter into a greased & floured 9×5 inch loaf pan.

3.  Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour and 5 minutes to 1 hour and 10 minutes or until a long wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack 10 to 15 minutes; remove from pan to wire rack & cool completely (about 1 hour).

Lemon Glaze:

Whisk together 2 cups powdered sugar, 2 Tbsp. milk, and 2 tsp. fresh lemon juice, adding an additional 1 Tbsp. milk, 1 tsp. at a time for desired consistency.

4.  Spoon lemon glaze over cake and sprinkle with coconut.  (For a fancier look, toast large coconut shavings and use those instead!


Friday, July 1, 2011

{Friday Faves} Red, White, and Blue Food!

Like everyone else, I've been pinning all things red, white, and blue like a crazy person!  While there are many crafts, projects, clothes, etc. to share, I decided instead to show you all of the amazing food to celebrate Independence Day!  Enjoy~

Source: None via rhonda on Pinterest

Hope you all have a delicious Fourth of July!


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