Monday, August 27, 2012

Control Freak

One thing I don't like to admit is that I can be a control freak. This has always been something I've struggled with. When I was little, I tried to control my brothers and tell them what to do, how to do it and I would always say "I'm the boss" or "You have to listen to me because I'm the oldest". Now I try to control where my husband and I eat or what we should do with our finances or how to discipline our kids. I don't do it with a purpose to "wear the pants", I do it because I have not learned how to let go and not be the boss. I've been reading (for a few months now thanks to work and being a mom, which I don't just takes me longer to read now than it did before) The Me I Want to Be by John Ortberg. It is such an eye opener into my spiritual life and how I am supposed to live for God and it gives a much bigger picture than what I ever imagined. As I was reading today I came across this quote Ortberg wrote that I LOVE:

"I find that every moment I worry
is a chance to practice letting go
of the need to control outcomes.
There is a God.
It is not me."

This quote was perfect for me! Every time a situation presents itself and I feel the need to control it, I need to remember that God is in control of my cirumstances and I desperately need to let go and let God take over. There have been so many stresses in our life lately-my husband lost his job and I wasn't working, our (only) car broke down after I got the job, and then again a couple days ago (we have a second car now, thank you God), and we are in debt and it seems to get worse every time we have a car problem or some other crazy thing happens. Sometimes we feel like we're drowning and we're doing all we can to get to the top to take a breath and then we get pulled under again and we're doing all we can to survive. I know that there are so many people that are suffering much more than we are, but for us this is difficult and I am constantly finding myself trying to figure things out instead of looking to God for the answers. And when I do look for Him, He has always been right there next to me, planning my steps before I take them and opening doors before I reach them. How awesome is it that I have a God that actually cares and takes care of me! If I could just learn to let him take care of my problems before I try to figure them out, His mercies would be revealed to me sooner.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Working Momma

I am reading a friend's blog and realized that I haven't blogged in forever! Life has been crazy hectic lately and I would love to share some more projects I've done/recipes I've tried, but I can't. Because I'm a working mom now and I don't have time for those things! I WISH I could be home working on some DIY projects, but alas, I must work and make money. I must be the help meet my husband needs me to be right now. And you know, it's really not as bad as I had imagined. I actually love my job. And I love getting a paycheck. At first I was so against the idea of working because I didn't want to leave my sweet girls. Stephen (my husband) and I were going through a bit of a rough patch in our marriage and with only one income, it was making our marriage a little more difficult to work on. You know, with all the stresses of one income and debt piling up, my husband felt like I didn't want to work to help. After talking to God and tears and reading "Created to be His Help Meet" (which is one of my favorite books ever), I decided that if i wanted my marriage to improve, I needed to change some things, and the first step was to get a job. It actually happened all within a week. I went in to interview on a Thursday, got a call Monday that I got the job, and started the following Wednesday. God definitely had His hand in all of this. I was hired on as a part-time teller and when I went in on my first day, they offered me full time and I accepted. Two days later, they offered me the receptionist/loan processor position and I GLADLY took it.
And I love the reaction my husband gives me every time I come home in my work clothes or talk about work. Like, he seriously thinks it's hot. It's amusing to me how men find things attractive, but he is all over me! He really appreciates that I'm working to take some of the stress off of him and I honestly can see the difference in our marriage. Of course, we talked and worked on some other things too, so it wasn't all about the job thing. But it has helped tremendously and I am so happy!
I havent worked, though, since our first daughter was born and it kills me to leave the girls. Especially Zoey, because she isn't even 4 months old yet. I've adjusted much better than I thought, but now I'm finding it SUPER hard to keep my home organized. This morning I left for work and the kitchen sink was piled up so high, I could barely stick my hand under the faucet. And our sink has two sides! AND, I washed dishes last night! I am a clean FREAK and it kills me that I can't find time to sweep the floors, do laundry and the dishes (our DW is broken) during the week. Addison makes messes and I can't really avoid cleaning. Any tips, working moms?

Friday, June 22, 2012

Coffee Filter Wreath & Flowers

Around Thanksgiving 2011, my mom and I made some coffee filter wreaths. I didn't take pictures at the time, but we just used coffee filters, hot glue and a foam wreath and worked for 3 hours. The result was beautiful!

Coffee filter projects are now my favorite! I came across a tutorial to make some peonies with them and I was so excited to try it out. It requires some coffee filters (duh), bamboo skewers, green ribbon or tape, floral wire and wire cutters. Tutorial here.
 My finished product!! I hot glued some pretty lace ribbon around a mason jar..thought it looked prettier
 Instagram-ed! ;)
I'm still debating on some coffee filter lights, like these;
but then I found these made with tulle and I think I'm in love!
Maybe I'll do both! :)

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Blueberry Lemon Yogurt Loaf

I am obsessed with this blueberry yogurt loaf recipe I found on Pinterest (from Sweet Peas Kitchen)! It is delicious! I've seriously made it 5 or 6 times in the last two weeks. Anytime I make breads, my husband complains mentions that they aren't moist enough & we definitely didn't have that problem with this loaf! The lemon crust is probably my favorite part because it's tart but not overwhelming. You don't have to stick with blueberries either. I made another loaf last night (sorry, no picture) with mixed berries-red raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, and strawberries! And I ran out of plain yogurt so I used blueberry yogurt. And another time I made a strawberry version. So yummy! Give it a try and let me know what you think! 

For the Loaf:
  • 1 1/2 cups + 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour, divided
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest (approximately 2 lemons)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen, thawed and rinsed
For the Lemon Syrup:
  • 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup sugar
For the Lemon Glaze:
  • 1 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease bottom and sides of one 9 x 5-inch loaf pans; dust with flour, tapping out excess.
  2. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the yogurt, sugar, eggs, lemon zest, vanilla and oil. Slowly whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. In a separate bowl, mix the blueberries with the remaining tablespoon of flour, and fold them very gently into the batter.
  4. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake 50 to 55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean. Let cool in the pans for 10 minutes before removing loaf to a wire rack on top of a baking sheet.
  5. While the loaf is cooling, make the lemon syrup in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir together the lemon juice and sugar until the sugar is completely dissolved. Once dissolved, continue to cook for 3 more minutes. Remove from the heat; set aside.
  6. Use a toothpick to poke holes in the tops and sides of the warm loaf. Brush the top and sides of the loaf with the lemon syrup. Let the syrup soak into the cake and brush again. Let the cake cool completely.
  7. To make the lemon glaze, in a small bowl, whisk together the confectioners’ sugar and 2-3 tablespoons of the lemon juice. The mixture should be thick but pourable. Add up to another tablespoon of lemon juice if the mixture is too stiff. Pour the lemon glaze over the top of each loaf and let it drip down the sides. Let the lemon glaze harden, about 15 minutes, before serving.
Yields: 1-9×5 loaf
This is what mine looked like when I pulled it out of the oven, pre-glaze:
 After the lemon syrup:
 After the lemon glaze:
 Doesn't this look AMAZING??! I had like 4 slices. I'm not even kidding. And I'm so ashamed of myself. It's that good. 
Here's our little junk food lover eating it up!

Little stinker. 

Monday, May 7, 2012

Introducing Zoey Grae

Wow, I can't believe how long it's been since I last posted! But to my defense, I had a baby! Our second little girl, Zoey Grae (which means "Life Pleasant") was born on April 25th. She weighed 9 lb. 1 oz. and is the cutest little thing! Needless to say, I've been busy and I have taken a little vacation from crafting and blogging to enjoy our sweet new girl. And I am loving every bit of it! But just look at that face..she is so worth it!

Ugh, I missed having a newborn around more than I realized! 
Hope you're all having a wonderful week!

Friday, April 20, 2012

My DIY Stuffed Elephant Project

Zoey's room is absolutely adorable & I can't wait to show you pictures!! BUT, not yet. Womp, womp..sorry, I just want everything to be perfect and her bedding is on back order until May or June! (laaaame...) I might show you pictures before then because that's kind of far off, but in the mean time I will continue to show you bits and pieces of what is going in her room. 
Earlier this week I decided to make a cute stuffed elephant for her decor for now and a toy later on. It is so stinking cute and I can't even take credit for it! I originally found the tutorial here. I don't want Zoey's room to become an overwhelming theme of elephants but I definitely wanted one or two in her room. Her walls are a light gray and her bedding is baby pink and turquoise, so the colors in her room play off of that. Here is her little elephant friend.

 This is another one I made for a friend who is also having a girl and her nursery theme involves elephants (it just so happens that turquoise is one of her nursery colors)

Aren't they so freakin cute?!! If you're not the crafty type and would like one, I am now selling them on my Etsy page and I can make them to match any nursery/kids room. Just go here and see for yourself! 

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

DIY Hair Bow Holder

I am finally getting things done around here! With less than two weeks until our second little one makes her appearance, I have been DIY-ing like crazy! First with the initial for her room, then the lamp makeovers, and now this hair bow holder. I still have some more things to make, but I'll post about those when they are finished :) I wanted a hair bow holder that I could hang headbands on too. Our daughter Addison has a super cute bow holder but all of her headbands were put into a basket and some of them have gotten a little smushed. I saw an idea on Pinterest (I wish I could take credit just ONCE for these crafts) and I knew I wanted one for Zoey's room. I didn't take pictures of any of the steps I did until after the hooks were drilled into the frame and everything was spray painted. But here is the frame after the painting and then a close-up picture of the hooks (I think we my husband drilled in 22 of them)

And here is a shot of the frame after I added some pretty ribbon with my handy staple gun
And after I added some of her clips and headbands..

I love how it turned out so much! All of those gorgeous little headbands are from this Etsy shop. I love everything she makes and now I get to display them instead of shoving them into a little basket!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Cleaning Product Deals

I haven't shared any of my couponing deals lately, mostly because there haven't been any I was interested in, but in the last two weeks, I've found some great deals here and there. Here is everything I've accumulated lately:
Scrubbing Bubbles Bathroom Cleaner-on sale 2 for $5 (I got 4 total)
-Used (2) $3/2 Scrubbing Bubbles Coupons
Total: $4 for 4!! 

Green Works Bleach-$2.99 (Got 2)
-Used (2) $2 off Target and (2) $1 off manufacturer
Total: $0.99 each/$1.98

Glade Air Freshener-$0.99
-Used $1 off Glade Air Freshener
Total: FREE!

Clorox 2 Stain-fighter Spray-on sale for $1.75 (I got 4)
-Used (4) $1.00 off Clorox 2 product
Total: $0.75 each/$3.00 

GE 4-pack light bulbs-$2.39
Used $2 off GE lightbulbs
Total: $0.39

Retail Price: $26.36
What I Paid: $9.37

AND I've gotten some pretty awesome samples in the mail lately

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Lamp Makeover

I was at Hobby Lobby the other day and spotted this gorgeous lamp I wanted for Addison and Zoey's rooms.
 Problem? It was $60 and I wanted two. I'm sorry, but I was not about to spend $120 on two lamps. So I decided I'd make them. I searched on Craigslist and within 5 minutes I found these hideous lamps for $15 total!
We picked them up and I got to work! I cleaned them up a bit and removed the trim around the lampshade.
I don't have pictures of all of the steps, but first I took the base of the lamp outside and spray painted it white. I did two coats and then used Rustoleum clear finish spray to prevent the paint from chipping. Then I went to the store and bought a yard of basic white fabric and cut it to the size I needed to wrap it around the lampshade. I hot glued it closed and wrapped the extra fabric around the shade where the trim had been to leave a clean finished look. I bought 5 yards of this pretty flower lace trim and cut out 6 strips. I pinned them to the shade to see where I wanted to place them and then hot glued one strip at a time. This is the lamp base before and after the spray paint.

Major difference already! Okay, one more shot of the whole lamp before:

And the after:

Isn't that crazy?! I can't believe I got this pretty lamp from what it was. I love being thrifty & crafty. I am going to make the other one for Addison's room, but hers will have a light pink lampshade. To makeover both lamps, the total cost comes to $45. It's not as cheap as I would have liked, BUT compared to the $120 I could have spent, I think it's a pretty good savings!

Here is the pink one I finished a couple days later for our first daughter's room. I love the pink, it is so girly!!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Z is for Zoey

This project took me just a few minutes and it's super easy, but for those of you who wouldn't know how to do this or you would prefer a tutorial, I'll give step by step instructions. 

Supplies you'll need:
scrapbook paper
mod podge
embellishments (optional)

 Step 1: Lay your paper down with the wrong side up and lay your letter down wrong side up and backwards. Trace along the letter. 

Step 2: When you finish tracing, carefully cut out your letter. 

Step 3: Apply Mod Podge to your letter and carefully lay your paper over the letter, making sure it aligns just right. Press all over to remove any air bubbles from under your paper. Let it dry for a minute or two and then apply a layer of Mod Podge over the paper. It goes on white, but I promise when it dries, you won't see it! 

And you're done!! I went a step further and lightly sanded the edges of my letter to make the edges have a cleaner finish and it even made it look a little vintage-y. 

Easy, right?! You can do anything with letters: decorate them with buttons instead of paper or add bows or flowers. So many possibilities!

And the Progress Continues...

Zoey's room is still a work in progress and with 3 (!!!) weeks left until her due date, we are working as fast as possible on getting her room finished. All of the painting on the walls is complete, but with us being out of town on vacation, I am just now posting the pictures. I really need to get better at keeping up with this blog. This is a glimpse of the room after the first coat of primer:

And this is the room after two coats of Benjamin Moore's "Stonington Gray" (which I only previewed online and I love!)

New door needing some paint

Our To-Do List:

Put bead-board up on ceiling
Prime & paint the new door
Add trim around the top and bottom of the walls
Put windowsill back up
Install new closet shelving
Add outlet covers

THEN we have to prime and paint the dresser/changing table and then we can set the room up! 
In the meantime, I've been working on some projects to put in Zoey's room. Can't wait to share them all with you!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Guest Room Transformation

Well, we started working on the guest room that will soon become our second daughter's room. Between my husband working, me babysitting and taking care of our daughter and my preggo self, and life in general, it has taken us awhile to accomplish what "little" we have done. And I know that all the work that went into this room so far is not a "little" task, but compared to what we still have to do, it kind of is. We cleared out the room, which you can read about here and then my husband and his brother ripped out all of the existing sheet rock and the exterior insulation. We did this mostly because when we first moved in, we found out we had termites and they had started to bite through the sheet rock in this room. Our main concern with changing this room into a nursery was to make sure there was no termite damage to the 2 x 4's. And there wasn't! So the new sheet rock and insulation went in the same day it came out and then my mom and I went in and did some mudding over the nails and seams. Here are pictures of what we have done so far. 

{The room without sheet rock & insulation}

{Closet view}

This is the room after the sheet rock and mudding happened.

{Please excuse our daughter. She loves to have her picture taken}

{Also, excuse the weird stain spots we found on the sheet rock after bringing it home}

{This is the closet with the boxed up crib inside. Can't wait to take it out!}

We still have to sand down some of the mudding and do another layer in some areas, but after that, it's time to prime & paint! I'll post as progress is made. I wish I could just show you before & after pictures now, but sadly it takes us forever to complete a project.