Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Goodwill Treasures #1

Since we're a one car family (which we pretty much love), I only have the car two days a week. I try to plan playgroups on those days, but this week we just had story time on Wednesday. It has become our "thing" to go to CVS (for the weekly ECB deals) before story time, the splash pad directly after story time (because it's across the street) and then to Goodwill on the way home. Since I've discovered all of these frugal decorating blogs, I look at thrift stores and yard sales with brand new eyes. What before was just a reeeallllyyy ugly pillowcase from the 70's is now super cute vintage material to fashion into a pillowcase dress. Throw some brightly colored ribbon on there, and you're set!

I found several things at our local Goodwill today. For $10 (including tax), I got:

This purse:

I've been looking for a fall purse for a few weeks now, but couldn't justify spending a decent chunk of money because we are trying to get out of debt. This was the first thing I saw when I walked in the door! Isn't she cute?! It's apple green with choclate brown leather accents. It's made by Buckhead Betties, and by my best estimate (aka looking online) I think she probably cost about $30 new. So...for $3...I'd say I got a steal!

Then I meandered on over to the childrens section, where I found this beautiful little handmade dress for $1.99. I apologize for the bad pics -- my camera is currently lost and I am making do with my cell phone. It's perfect for fall, and will even do for winter. I think, however, that I'm going to mail this little beauty off to my sister in Mississippi so she can embroider three small pumpkins across the top. I've been eyeing a few Halloween themed bishop dresses on Etsy, but really don't feel like shelling out $40 plus shipping. I'm glad I waited!

I don't know about ya'll, but I loooove Carter's. And OshKosh. But especially Carter's. In fact, I had just received a 20% off coupon in the mail yesterday and was so excited! Then I went into Goodwill this morning, and found this cute little Carter's shirt -- and at $1.99, I can't complain!

A close-up of the embroidery:

Thankfully 90% of Sara's clothes from last winter still fit, so I bought her two pairs of shoes (cute polka dotted ones at Wal-Mart for $4 and even cuter brown ones made by Health-Tex at Ross for $9) and called it a day. But, she is having a growth spurt right now and I know those clothes will only fit the first half of winter, at best. This is a 2t, which is a bit big right NOW, but will fit perfectly in 3-4 months.

Remember what I said about the really ugly pillowcases? Well, I found one today. I wasn't too sure about the print, but I think it will be really cute with some orange silk ribbon and maybe a strip of matching orange at the bottom. Anyway, for a 10 minute project and $1.31, it's worth trying!

And lastly, there's this. I love milk glass. It is my secret passion. I have often eyed it in antique stores and at yard sales, but never bought any, for some reason. Well, today I found this little milk glass candlestick holder. It was milk glass in the middle and bronze everywhere else. The bronze was just AWFUL, but it became my first DIY project, and I have to say it looks pretty good. :)

Which I promptly used my blue painters tape and taped up (it's blurry, I apologize):

Then I primed it:

And this is what it looks like now! I don't think it's my FAVORITE, but it certainly looks better than what it did before...and will go great in my slowly-transitioning master bedroom.

Stay tuned tomorrow to see two dresses I sewed for Sara!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Meal Plan Monday

It's Monday again! I really have to work on becoming more regular with these posts. Sorry! ;)

Here's our meal plan for September 21-27. I only include suppers, because breakfast and lunches are just whatever we have on hand.

Monday: leftovers (grilled chicken, potato salad, green beans)
Tuesday: gyros (recipe found at!)
Wednesday: homemade waffles
Thursday: jambalaya
Friday: homemade manwich, rice
Saturday: going to a park picnic with our playgroup and we are taking green beans
Sunday: spaghetti, salad, and garlic bread

Don't forget to share yours if you'd like! Have a wonderful week!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Thursday's Ten

This is my first time doing Thursdays Ten, hosted by Lora over at Take Me The Way I Am. She asked what top ten places in the area we live would we take a brand new visitor?

I had to think about it. We've only lived here two years, and while I grew up an hour away, the first time we had a "brand new visitor" we were still brand new ourselves. We kind of just explored everything together. I had to expand my area just a little to include places about an hour away -- because, our town just isn't THAT big. So, after some thought, here's where I would take my visitor:

1. Auburn University game....BUT, only if they were playing Alabama, and we would have to sit on the Tide's side!
2. Pine Mountain, GA. Absolutely beautiful, quaint little town. We would eat at the Purple Cow cafe, where they serve handmade sandwiches and homemade soups -- and they even make their own muscadine wine. Then we would go visiting the little antique shops on the one street...I have scored some great things there!
3. Warm Springs, GA. Just over the hill from Pine Mountain, but it's a little bigger and has more to do. This is where President Roosevelt came to access the springs he thought helped his polio. The springs are still there, and every so often they allow you to go in them. This town is FILLED with tiny little antique stores, homemade crafts stores, lemonade stands, etc. We would have to eat at The Bulloch, oh my. It's a buffet-style Southern restaurant set in an old plantation home. Beautiful, and the food is sooo good!
4. Depending on the age of my visitor, I might take them out to Fort Benning to see the guys jump. If you live in the right area, or even if you happen to be driving along on any given Thursday (I believe it's Thursday) you will see the Jump School guys practicing. It's pretty cool!
5. This one is maybe a bit selfish, but if my visit were to come next month we would definitely go to Pope's Haunted House and do the festivities there! I have been wanting to go for a long time, and I think we're finally going to go this year. They say it's NOT for the faint of heart!
6. Market Days on Broadway Street. This place is so cool to me. There are small-time farmers selling locally grown fruits, veggies, eggs, etc. and lots of artist selling their creations. Happens every Saturday morning in the summer.
7. Riverwalk along "The Hooch", better known as the Chattahoochee River (yes, like in Alan Jacksons song!) This is the river that separates Alabama and Georgia, and they have built a gorgeous Riverwalk down a few miles of it. Really nice, very peaceful, and beautiful. We love to go in cooler weather and take a picnic, or ride bikes.
8. I can't remember what national park this is, but last fall we visited the "Little Grand Canyon" and it was absolutely breathtaking. You can walk 3 miles down to the bottom of the canyon (which we didn't do, but plan on doing this fall!) and see all of God's glory above you. Just from the top of the canyon I could tell it was so beautiful because of all the leaves changing color. I love the russet red, pumpkin orange, and rich gold hues that fall brings. Perhaps that's why I painted my kitchen pumpkin spice orange?
9. The Wild Animal Safari park over in Pine Mountain. Now...some might giggle at this, but it's a really fun adventure for the whole family. Last year we went with our friends, and I have video proof that grown men WILL squeal like a baby if a huge animal tries to lick them.
10. Callaway Gardens. The gardens are just beautiful, and during the summer they have a beach area that's nice to relax on. Christmas time is my favorite, though, with all the lights and decorations. :)

So there you first Thursdays Ten! Hope you enjoyed! I'd love to read about YOUR Thursdays Ten -- just link back to Lora's blog and get to typing!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

$100 Cambria Cove giveaway

Another giveaway!

Head on over to Her Southern Charm and sign on up for the Cambria Cove $100 giveaway! I believe you can earn up to 5 entries. Ya'll, there are some beautiful things over there. I am dying for the sunflower etched wine glasses, myself. I believe a few things from here will be making my Christmas list!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Design Girl is having a birthday! Head on over to her blog to check out her fabulous templates, and while you're at it, sign up for her free giveaway! She is so talented and you're sure to be pleased!

$10 off Junior fashions at Sears!

As far as I know, you can print off as many of these as you like, and you don't have to purchase a minimum amount before using it!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Free Geo-Trax DVD!

You don't even have to pay for shipping!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Loving my new layout!

I found a new layout over at Head on over and check them out...there are plenty of awesome ones! I am a lover of all things pink and green, so this one caught my eye immediately. It's ironically called "southern girl". How fitting! :)

Figs, figs, and more figs!

I don't know if I already mentioned this or not, but I had my first experience at canning this summer! Unfortunatley, we were not able to have a garden (though I tried my hand at container gardening), but we did have access to fruit trees at my mama's. These trees were planted when I was about 3 years old by my Grandaddy, who passed away a week after I turned 5. That makes them 21 years old! They haven't been fertilized or groomed EVER, but Michael and I are going to make sure that happens when the weather cools down a bit and they quit producing. From the pear tree (with the help of a few pears given to us by a friend who had an over-abundance) we were able to make about 9 pint jars and 12 jelly jars of pear honey (Deeelicious! Thanks to Tammy for the recipe!), and from the two fig trees we were able to make about 15 or so pints of fig preserves. Some are flavored strawberry, some are flavored blackberry. Both taste wonderful. I think there will be one more crop of figs, and I am going to make up peach preserves with them. That should give us another 6+ pints. We have given away so many jars, and still have more than enough to get us through to next season! I owe a big, huge thank you to my Aunt Laura who showed me how to do them. I would have never got it right if she hadn't been there to walk me through it. Thanks, Aunt Laura!

I love knowing that I picked this fruit (with the help of a few loved family members), that we grew it, and that I made it into something really good that will help to sustain us. It makes me feel so awesome! Our plan for this fall is to fertilize the two fig trees (which have really pretty much grown into one HUGE tree -- probably taller than the house!), trim the pear tree down and fertilize it (we're trimming because it's so tall now that you can't pick the fruit, even with a ladder...and it's stopped producing as much, which we were told was probably of a result of it being so big), and fertilize the two plum trees. My Aunt Laura says the plums from the plum tree makes the best wild plum jelly you've ever tasted. Hopefully we'll get to enjoy that next year, as well. ;) There are also several pecan trees that my Grandaddy planted 21 years ago, and they are beautiful and big now. We are going to fertilize them, and hopefully enjoy some fresh pecans from the backyard next year!

Does anyone have any tips on fertilizing or pruning? This will be our first time doing either and we can really use all of the information we can get.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

Well, today we had a huge prayer answered. This past month has been really tight financially -- we've had almost two thousand dollars in car repairs, a few other large bills come due, and it has absolutely drained us. We've been working hard to pay off our credit card debt and unfortunately (absolutely our fault, and a hard lesson learned) our emergency fund was not where it should have been. Today, a dear family member, most likely unbeknownst to our situation, gave us SIX bags full of food...boxed things, canned goods, dried beans and rice, bottled juice...such a blessing! It will more than help us through the tight spot, and I was raised well enough to know that you pass on kindness. So, I will be bagging half of it up and sending it on to another family who could use it. I just had to share -- this really meant a lot to us and just proves God does answer prayer!!

Here's our meal plan for the next week. I don't list breakfast and lunches -- breakfast is typically oatmeal, grits, waffles (homemade), cereal (though not often), yogurt, or eggs and toast. Oh, and fruit. For lunches, I usually get a ham and slice it up and freeze individual bags for lunchmeat; or like this week, I made a big bowl of tuna salad and a big bowl of egg salad to use for sandwiches. We either have sandwiches, quesadillas, or leftovers.

Monday: ate leftovers at my mom's
Tuesday: grilled BBQ chicken, green bean wraps, and corn on the cob
Wednesday: BLT's with summer pasta salad
Thursday: sweet & hot drumsticks with veggie sticks
Friday: homemade waffles
Saturday: grilled mock steak with baked potato
Sunday: we'll have a big lunch at my mama's after church, so just sandwiches for dinner

I set my new bi-monthly grocery and household budget (including diapers, wipes, and any cleaning supplies -- which are not many, because I make my own laundry soap, dishwasher soap, and use vinegar and water for most cleaning) to $100, but I still spent $130 this time. Granted, just diapers, wipes, milk and juice for the two weeks is $30, but still. I don't waste anything and am generally very frugal with everything, but I still went over by $30. Anyone have any tips to share? I would really like to stay at $200 for the month.

Hope you all had a wonderful Labor Day!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Today is the first Crimson Tide game! They are playing Virginia Tech...I've got my fingers crossed! Love me some ROLL TIDE!

On another note -- next week I will be painting our living room, dining room, and hallway. It's an open floor plan, so it pretty much all flows together. I. Hate. Painting. But we painted our kitchen a pumpkiny orange color (actually called Pumpkin Spice by Behr) and the wheat colored walls don't flow so well now. We will be painting them a light brown, and though I've forgotten what the color name is, I will definitely share pictures with you come next week. :)

We enjoyed a really nice day with my family today. This morning we went to my mom's company family day, which was really cool (she makes Blackhawk helicopters, for the record, and it was interesting to see how they are all put together!), and right afterwards we came back to her home for a crazy, HUGE fish fry. We had such a good time. I am so thankful to be blessed with an awesome family. So many times growing up I thought, "MAN! These people are getting on my NERVES!" and I just couldn't wait to get out from this insanely small town. However...I now realize just how blessed I am. We even played kickball in the rain. I haven't done that since I was a kid!

However...playing kickball has totally worn me out. It's not even 9:30 and I am headed to bed! See ya'll in the new week!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


I'm not dead. The internet was gone for a few weeks while we were waiting for our new hook-up, and shortly after it was activated, life just hit us hard. I found out I was pregnant on 8/23 and miscarried (my second of the year) on 8/30. I was 7 weeks. Tomorrow is the due date from my third lost pregnancy (the one earlier this year), the 22nd is my due date from my second lost pregnancy (that happened in 2004), but there is a beautiful light at the end of the sweet Sara's second birthday is the 29th. She makes it all worth going through.

I am getting back into my groove of things, so be expecting a big update post coming soon! I have lots of craft ideas for Christmas, and am about to pull out the decorating for fall. Speaking of I type this, I have my A/C off, my windows thrown open, and a lovely cool breeze is blowing through the house. Ahhh...I love summer, but I love fall. I have deep respect for each season. But fall is one of the best...I can smell Alabama football fun (ROLL TIDE ROLL!).