Sunday, February 22, 2009

I'm a Horrible Wife!

Ok, I'm just gonna put it out there. I had little to no confidence in my hubby that he would pony up a gift for my birthday today. Let's just say...we've had a rough week. So, last night as I was perusing the endcaps at my beloved Tar-Jay and contemplating the 90% off valentine's stuff I needed none of...What did I spy with my little eye?

The Shark Steam Mop

I believe I professed my love for this wonder of all wonders a while back. I have been daydreaming about it for quite some time. But, alas, it's a little spendy for me and my frugal self. So I said...self, let's live on the edge...let's make a total impulse purchase and not feel bad about it...whattayathink? Self gave me her permission and in no time flat I had purchased this baby and we were feeling NO guilt.

That is, until today. I'm having a wee bit of buyer's remorse. I have yet to take it out of the box, for fear of ruining my chances of returning it. And to top it all off, the hubbs pulled through. At least I think he did. He ordered me something. Something that I apparently asked for and wanted real bad. I have no clue what it could be, but he seems pretty excited about it. This man doesn't get real excited about much, so I am totally on pins and needles. problem is this : I feel bad for spending all that green on myself thinking that I was being all big and bad and buying myself my own stinkin birthday present 'cause I was having a pity party. I doubted the MAN. And he knows it. I told him I was going to take back the steam mop. He laughed, and hugged me, and told me to keep it and enjoy my sanitized floors. I still feel bad.

What should I do? Help a girl out....

Friday, February 20, 2009

Smokin' Deal on Birds!

I am in love with these cutie patootie birds! Aren't they the cutest? They come in a pack of 12 for $1.99 at Michael's...yeah, I know, super cheap! Of course...they don't come this way straight from the store. They are those fiberboard unfinished wood thingies. All I did was flip the bird upside down and trace it onto the back of cute scrapbook paper...cut it out...then mod podge it onto the front of the bird...wait for it to dry...then give it a few good coats of mod podge on the top to seal.

eAsY PeAsY!

I am not quite finished with them yet, though. Mine need one more coat of mod podge, and then I'm gonna hot glue a cute vintage button on each one for an eye. I'm much too impatient to wait to show you the finished product. I couldn't wait to share my good deal with ya'll. If you're looking for a fun, cheap, easy weekend project...this is it. I have lots of different ideas rolling around in this crazy head of mine as to what I'm gonna do with these little birdies. I'm thinking a baby mobile, some cute pencil cups, more dollar store plaques, and baby shower party favors. Let me know if you give these a try. I'd love to see what you come up with!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Oreo Truffle Recipe

(This recipe originally came from my friend Andrealeigh at My Chihuahua Bites! Last night when I posted it I could not remember where I had gotten it from. I was so tired I took the lazy route and hit copy and paste from the original text she used that I had saved to my computer. Sorry for the confusion. Let's give credit where credit is due. I could kiss her face for giving me this recipe. My butt, on the other hand...does not say thank you!)
Since so many of you requested the oreo truffle recipe, I thought I'd put it up for anyone and everyone who might be interested. They are not hard, just a little time consuming. Believe me when I tell you they are worth every single second of effort you put in!!! I'm making a double batch on Saturday for my sister's baby her request. I can hardly wait. I have been craving them since I ran out last Sunday. YUMMO!

Oreo truffles

One package oreos
One bar cream cheese
Chocolate chips

Place the oreos in your food processor and grind them until they they are a fine powder. Add in your cream cheese and let the food processor do the mixing for you. You should mix until you can no longer see any white. Of course, if you don't have a food processor, you can do this by hand. Just place your oreos into a zip lock bag and smash them to bits. Add in the cream cheese and mix by hand.

Roll the mixture into small balls and place in the fridge for one hour.
Melt one package of chocolate (I recommend ghiardelli brand) with 2 tablespoons crisco. I use the microwave, melting in 20 second increments.

Place a toothpick in your balls, and dip quickly into the chocolate. You can also use a fork to roll the ball around, then pick it up and let the chocolate drizzle off before placing it on your baking sheet lined with waxed paper. (Did I skip that part? Line your baking sheet with waxed paper - step 1.) Dipping is an art. The first 15 I did were horrendously ugly, but it just got better after that.Place the dipped balls into the fridge for one hour, and then store. Voila!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Retail Therapy and Some Baking

It's SOOOOOOOO good to be back. Thank goodness for computer geeks who come to the rescue of technologically (is that a word?) challenged people like ME! My sweet brother-in-law came by after work last night and spent a couple hours working on this beast of a virus that had infected my poor little computer. When his efforts were just not cutting it, he decided to take the tower to some whiz kid he knows that can fix anything. Within the hour it was fixed and good to go. I could kiss his geek squad face! Speaking of the geek squad...Best Buy quoted us a rate of $75 to to look at the computer and diagnose...NOT fix. This was not the house call rate. This was the rate if we lugged our stinking computer up to the store for them. They would not even begin to estimate a price to FIX the dang thing. Once again...thank goodness for computer nerds!!!

So, you're probably wondering what I did all week without a computer...right? There were a whole lotta meltdowns mixed with a little retail therapy and a crap load of baking. It got me by ... but seriously I hated every second of it. Well, not EVERY second. I think I did a little happy dance right in the middle of TJ Maxx when I spotted this box of nests. I have been on the hunt for quite some time. YAH! My very first nests for MY little ol' nest!
I think I'll put one or two here in the kitchen......

Mr. Birdy needs a nest above the computer desk....

Definitely need one here...

And... of course the mantel would not be complete without a nest. (I am a complete idiot and just deleted the mantel picture. and I'm too lazy to upload it again)

These little bites of heavenly goodness got me through the weekend.


They are absolutely amazing and sinful and melt in your mouth yummy! I gave these as teacher gifts for Valentine's Day. Both teachers have already sent me a note asking for the recipe.

Notice the off color cupcake liners? Yep, they're halloween. I ran out of white and had no choice but to use these. It was 11:30pm and they had to be at the school the next morning. At that point I seriously DID NOT care!

This is only a sampling of the cupcake madness that was my tiny kitchen.

My sister and my niece and I made these cuties Sunday after church. There is nothing better than a yummy iced sugar cookie...or 2 or 3 or 10! Especially when you've not been able to blog all week. I needed a little comfort food to calm the nerves. Hey, whatever works!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

I was NOT abducted by aliens!

Hey ya'll. Did you think I was dead on the side of the road somewhere? Nope. I'm alive and kicking...and EXTREMELY annoyed. My stupid computer has a virus of some sort, which means I have no way to blog. AHHHHHHHHH!!! I'm dying here. Seriously, I am going through some wicked withdrawl symptoms. I had no idea how attached to you people I'd become. Being without internet this week made me realize how theraputic blogging has become for me. It's definitely my form of stress relief. My poor family has had to put up with me as I've morphed into "monster mommy" this week. Really, I've been a BEAST to live with. My sweet husband is working very hard to try and fix it, but we may have to get some professional help. I'm beyond ready to call in the big guns. I NEED it...I WANT it...I HAVE to have it.


So, please bear with me as we are experiencing technical difficulties. Hopefully, it will be fixed soon. Pray for my sanity...I need it.

p.s. Thank you for all of your many kind comments and well wishes for baby Ella. She is doing well, adjusting to life at home with her sweet family. She truly is such a blessing to so many lives!

p.p.s. This post is brought to you by me, via my sister's laptop, at my parents house, in my neice's apartment. It takes a village!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Welcome Home Ella Grace!!!

Our girl is HOME! I had to share the good news with all my sweet bloggy friends who have been praying for Ella. Thank you so much for lifting our whole family up in prayer these past months. What an amazing gift and a blessing. There have been so many...too many, stories lately of precious children who have gone home to heaven. My heart is truly broken for these sweet families. Their stories have weighed so heavily on my mind and heart. I wish that their stories could have been different, but our plans don't always match up with our Heavenly Father's plans. I have been so impressed with these families who have lost their precious children and the degree of faith, hope, and love that exudes from them. I admire them. I ache for them. I will continue to think of them and pray for them each and every day.

After four long months in the hospital Ella Grace went home to her eagerly awaiting family Monday afternoon. When she was born 16 weeks early she weighed 1 pound 10 ounces. The day she came home she tipped the scales at 5 pounds 3 ounces...a little porker! If you look closely at the picture above she has a little smirk on her face...seriously! She knew where she was headed and couldn't hide her joy, just like the rest of us.

Grandma giving her a long overdue snuggle.

This picture really touches my heart. The way she is looking up at her mommy is absolutely precious. What a sweet moment!

No more asking permission to hold your own baby.
That gets really old.
Isn't she just beautiful? I know I'm a wee bit biased, but that's ok. It's my job as her aunt.

oH HaPpY DaY!!!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Crafty Tuesdays

Wow! Two posts in one day. That's got to be a record for me. I just couldn't resist linking up to this fun new thing I found. Ya'll know I am all about a good craft, so when I stumbled upon Crafty was love at first sight! In reading my comments I visited Kristen at Striving To Be More. She had some wicked cute crafts posted and a link for Crafty Tuesday. Jennifer aka, The Southern Housewife, at Her Southern Charm is the lovely creator and host of this crafty goodness. I believe this is her first week to host this, so let's all show her some bloggy love and go link up our cute crafts!
I chose 3 of my very favorite crafting posts to share.

The Clipboard Tutorial
I am in love with these clipboards. They make a wonderful gift for just about anyone on your list, but especially teachers. Click here for the full post.

The Mailbox Tutorial
I am totally addicted to altering these mailboxes from Target's dollar spot!
Click here for the full post.

And last, but certainly not least...what to do with those dollar store plaques. This is my version, but the possibilities are absolutely endless!
Click here for that post.

Now don't forget to hop on over to Her Southern Charm to link up! I can't wait to see what everyone comes up with.
Get to craftin ya'll!!!

Problem...with a capital P!

Clearly, I have a problem. Full blown panic set in and I was compelled to buy more dollar store plaques. I only bought 10. Already I am chomping at the bit to go back and buy more. I had to physically restrain myself from buying all 87 plaques they had in the store. Apparently people in my town have not caught on to the wondrous possibilities of these gems.
And GOODY for me!!!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

My Version of a Visa Commercial

Cute metal and wood keyhole heart...$1.00

My ugly painting turned treasured from my Mom's house.
(If you'd like to see the before you can click here to read that post)

Red Christmas candles turned Valentine's candles...1.99 each, but basically free since I used them for two holidays...right?

Oh so stylish and uber trendy (in 1983) puffy wood hearts...50 cents at a yard sale

Turned into this...

Sweet little vintage inspired heart doodad

"Be Mine" metal envelope...50 cents at a yard sale.

Glittery puffy hearts...Dollar Tree.

My very favorite apothecary jar before my spirited toddler broke it into a million little pieces during mommy's craft time...9.99 at Ross.

New bathroom display after the tragic demise of said glass jar :

Small glass jar...$1.00 at thrift shop

Metal heart picture holder from sister

Mosaic heart tile made by my son in 1st grade...PRICELESS!

STOP decorating with candy when your toddler is absolutely obsessed with the stuff, and doesn't stop until she eats every last morsel of it!
Seriously, don't do it ever again.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Craft Day With My Sister!

Today I got the privilege of spending the day crafting with one of my 3 sisters. I am extremely blessed to have sisters and more so that they are my best friends! Emily has been in New Orleans with baby Ella for the last couple months, so I haven't gotten to spend much time with her lately. For those of you that have been with me for a while, I'm sure you remember the special circumstances surrounding Ella's birth...she was born at 24 weeks and weighed 1 pound 10 ounces. She has been fighting with every thing she's got for the last 15 weeks. She has made tremendous progress, with a few setbacks along the way. She is still in the NICU, but will be coming home very soon. We know that we still have a long road ahead of us, but we are so grateful that she is almost strong enough to come home. If you'd like to read more about her, you can read my post here ...or this post at my sister's blog. She is an amazing little miracle baby and we feel blessed to be on this journey with her!

In preparation for Ella's homecoming, Emily sassed up this lamp shade. It started out as a plain jane white lampshade with ugly blue ribbon around the top. All she did was hot glue chocolate brown grosgrain ribbon around the top and bottom. We found this cute gerbera daisy in my scrapbook stuff, added a button and hot glued it right in the middle. Very simple. Very cute.


Em also made this initial plaque for Ella's NICU friend who is also getting ready to go home. I think this is my favorite one so far. I LOVE the way it turned out. You know how I feel about zebra's hard to go wrong there.

These last two I made for my girls. Again, I used the fiberboard plaques from Dollar Tree. I have this uncontrollable urge to go and buy every single one they have in stock. I need a stock pile of them, because I know eventually they won't carry them anymore. I'm already stressing about it. I know...I have issues.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Jar of Joy!

If you need an idea for an inexpensive (almost free) teacher gift for Valentine's Day, this is it! I saw this idea in Family Fun magazine and instantly knew it would be perfect. Not only is it cheap, it's also a meaningful from the heart way to let your teachers know how much they are appreciated. And heaven knows they are surely not appreciated enough! The typed note on the front reads:

"This jar of joy was made especially for you! The families in your class want to give you a little love and happiness each day for the rest of the year. Pick one heart a day and the message should put a little joy in your heart! Thanks for all that you do ~
Happy Valentine's Day!"

I am sending 3 hearts and a note of explanation home with the kids in our class. They are to write a brief note of thanks on each heart with their parents help. I think this is such a neat way to express gratitude to a teacher who we love and adore. And I know that it will warm her heart to pick one of those hearts each day and read how much her class appreciates her.

Here are all 90 hearts that I cut out. Yes...90! I used a cookie cutter to trace them and cut them out with the best scissors on the planet! Do you know the joy of the precision tip Fiskars? If not, it is so worth a trip to the store and the $10 to never get cramped hands from cutting out 567 hearts! I wish I had access to what my friend Megan calls a "whatchamacut" (die cut machine), but alas I do not. I'm old school. I actually enjoy cutting things out by hand. I'm weird like that.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Cheap Wall Art

So, I tend to be VERY traditional in my decorating. I am drawn to classic lines and colors with lots of symmetry. And I've discovered something recently...this style can be extremely boring and predictable. I don't want that. I want a little fun and funk mixed in with the traditional. So I'm trying to add elements here and there to spice things up a bit. I wanted a big piece of art to go over my couch and could not find anything I really liked. Plus, anything that big tends to be very spendy! What's a thrifty girl to do? Well, she thought and she thunk and finally came up with the perfect solution.

This is a 30 x 40 blank canvas from Hobby Lobby (40% off coupon was used, of course). It took 1 yard of 52" decorator fabric to cover this huge thing. I did splurge on the fabric. I looked everywhere for something with the right colors and a fun pattern, and wouldn't you know it? The only one I was drawn to was full price. But that's ok. A picture or wall hanging this big would have cost me well over $100. Even with the splurge of $22 a yard, I still came out way cheaper. And I like it better than anything I found in the stores.

This is an EXTREMELY easy project to do. Plus, you've got a good excuse to buy that staple gun you've had your eye on. Stretch your fabric good and tight and start stapling. I did the top and bottom first and then folded in the sides and stapled them last. Now, my fabric was very forgiving because of the funky pattern. If you have something with stripes or a picture on it, you need to center your fabric on the front and then flip it over to staple.

So, if you're in the market for a fresh and funky wall hanging...go for it. Have fun with this. They sell all sizes and shapes of canvas boards. You could do one large one like I did, or you could do a set of three with mismatched but coordinating fabrics in a grouping. The possibilities are endless. Use that imagination of yours and run with it!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Lovely Junk!

Remember these little boards from the dollar tree? I bought several of them knowing that they had huge potential to be cute, but waited till just the right idea hit me. Well, it hit me like a ton of bricks this afternoon during the girls' nap time.
I was digging through my drawer of treasures when I spotted these metal beauties I bought at a yard sale last fall. When I saw was love at first sight...then and now! I had no idea what I'd do with them, but I HAD to have them.
Light bulb moment!

This is what I came up with.

What do you think?

This was another old yard sale find from way back when. I think it was free. I knew it could be rehabbed into something more suited to me. It was cute this way too, but not what I had in mind.

It's precious.
I have absolutely no where to put it. Maybe I'll hang it on a doorknob.

And last, but certainly not giveaway loot arrived this afternoon. My bloggy BFF, Ashley @ Domestic Fashionista made this adorable "sweetie pie banner" and I won it! Is this not the cutest thing ever? Seriously, the picture does not do it justice. It is sooooo much cuter in person...if that is even possible.

I LOVE it Ashley.

Thank You!

Ashley has a really cute etsy shop. Go visit her and show her some bloggy love!


Monday, February 2, 2009

Craft it Forward!

Ok girls, this is gonna be so fun!

My good friend Mandi @ Mandi Shandis gave me this great idea. I believe it originated with her friend Tricia @ I am a Craft Addict. The game is called Craft it Forward and here are the rules :

If you want to win a handmade ♥GIFT♥ from me. Be one of the first 3 bloggers to leave a comment on this post, which entitles you to a handmade item from me. Winners must post this giveaway on your blog, meaning that you will {Craft it Forward} too, creating a handmade gift for the first three bloggers who leave a comment on YOUR post about this giveaway! The gift that you send can be any price range and you have 30 days to make and ship your item(s).
Now do you see why I thought this idea was genius? How fun is this gonna be? Remember, it’s the spirit and the thought that count! When you receive your gift, please blog about it, sharing appropriate Linky Love! If you are not one of the Top Three to comment on this post, you can still play along. Please start your own {Craft it Forward} chain, and encourage your blogging friends to do the same.

I was not the winner, but I just had to start my own Craft it Forward chain. I LOVE stuff like this. So, if you want to play along, leave me a comment or just start your very own chain. The top prize will be the xoxo canvas board at the beginning of this post, and the other two winners will receive a personalized mini journal. I am super excited about this fun giveaway of sorts. I hope that it catches on and you all decide that you want to "Craft it Forward" too!
Good Luck!!!
Apparently, I am a complete and utter dork. I just checked out some of my older comments and found one from my friend Mandi telling me I was a winner of her Craft it Forward game. Sorry, I am so lame. Hey, I just wanted to play along...I didn't care if I won or not. But now I am super-dee-duper excited because Mandi is one talented lady and I get something fabulous and handmade from her! YAH ME!
And please forgive my unfortunate dorkiness...ok?
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