Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Is it really already the start of a new year!?

I can't believe that 2010 is almost here. I have to say that I'm ready for the new year though. I'm looking forward to what 2010 has in store for me and my family.

Things have really not gone to plan for me this past year. I know that what we think we have planned for ourselves is not always what God has planned for us. I've really been feeling down the past couple of days and yesterday my poor husband had to come home to me lying on the couch with tears in my eyes. I was feeling pretty disappointed in myself. He is absolutely amazing. He has been so great and supportive through all of my career changes. I really don't know what I would do without him.

There's a lot of things I'm looking forward to changing during 2010. I've never been great at making resolutions and keeping them but this year I'm really going to try hard to follow through. So here's my list:

1. Get healthier- Workout more and diet. I hate the word diet but I'm looking forward to eating healthier.

2. Attend church every Sunday and pray more.

3. Get rid of some of our debt. I'm looking forward to paying off our credit cards and some of our student loans.

4. Find a full-time job that I'm happy with. I've been working a couple of part-time jobs this year while I work on fulfilling some requirements. I've changed my mind of what career path I want to follow about 3 times this year. It's time I just make a decision and work to achieve what needs to be done. ( hope that makes sense.)

5. This one goes along with #3 and 4. Get our family back to where we were financially before I left my job at the beginning of 2009. Once we get back to where we were and we are able to save a little more we can finally start thinking about children. This is probably the part that I beat myself up over the most. I feel like I have thrown our family so off track when I quit my job.

So that's it. It seems like a lot but I feel confident that I will be able to accomplish them. So here's to 2010. Can't wait to see what you have in store for me.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!!!!

Today is Christmas and it's been a wonderful day. My family exchanges gifts on Christmas Eve rather than on Christmas day. We have always done it this way. It really works out now that I'm married. We are able to fit everyone in and still have some time just to ourselves on Christmas. So last night we started with the In-laws. It was great. I am so blessed to have such wonderful in-laws. After having an amazing dinner with my husband's side of the family, we headed over to my side of the family. Things are always a little crazy with them but I still love them. We have a good time visiting and exchanging gifts and playing games. It's always incredibly loud but I'm used to it. I'm not sure if the husband is yet but he fits in pretty good.

It started snowing/sleeting about 6pm so we had to change our plans a little. We were really hoping to attend our church's 10pm Candlelight service but the roads were getting a little treacherous and we opted to drive home rather than chance it. I was so looking forward to this service. Its a wonderful time of worship and singing. I hope to make it a family tradition.

Daniel and I don't have children yet but we talked a lot last night about how we would do Christmas when we do have kids. We are completely on the same page with how we plan on raising children. We just hope that we are able to teach our future children about the true meaning of Christmas and the greatest gift of all, Jesus Christ.

I hope everyone out there has had an amazing Christmas.

Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

What a week

It's been kind of a crazy week for our family but things are starting to look up.

Last night, Daniel and I attended his company's Christmas party and after an emotional week, it was nice to relax and enjoy the good food and good conversation.

I can't believe that Christmas is just a couple of weeks away. We are pretty much finished with the shopping. Hopefully I can say we are completely finished after today. We still have a couple of small things to pick up but I'm optimistic that we will be done today. This is probably one of the first times I can say that and it not be two days before Christmas.

This time of year is always a little stressful for me. I'm sure a lot of people feel that way. I love the holiday season but fitting everything in can be a little overwhelming. Our family is wonderful though and we are starting to get the hang of jumping from family party to family party. We are very lucky that our families are close and we don't have to do a lot of traveling.

I hope that everyone has a wonderful holiday season and Merry Christmas to you all!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Christmas Decorations

I've got most of my Christmas decorations up for the season and I thought I would share. I'm still working on a couple of items to complete the trees and the mantle but the majority is complete.
Here's a few pictures.

This is right as you enter the living room from the entry way. I told my husband earlier today that I think this is my favorite area of Christmas decorations this year. This is the first year I've done it this way. I really like it. I need to smooth out the hanging. Its a little wrinkled from being in storage.

Here's our Nativity scene. I really like this one. I got it at Kirkland's last year. I have a couple but this is my favorite.

This is on one of my end tables. Just a few little trees.

This is a 4' tree I have in the dining/kitchen area. I want to get kitchen/food related ornaments to put on the kitchen tree but I'm waiting until the after Christmas sale at Hobby Lobby for new ornaments. These are the decorations I have used on the big tree for the past couple of years. It kind of candy cane theme in color. I have a ton of red decorations. This year we decided to change the big tree up a little .

This is one side of the mantle. Got everything from Hobby Lobby at 50%. I never pay full price at Hobby Lobby.

Stockings and stocking holders. Love them. I've used these for the past couple of years.

Full picture of the mantle. We have a skinny tree that I love just with the lights. I thought about putting ornaments on it but I really like it plain. This is the first year we've put it next to the fireplace. I really like it here. I'm working on a wreath to go above the mantle. It's not quite finished yet but it's going to pretty simple too. I really like things that are not too overdone.

And finally the big tree. I want a new one and will probably try to pick one up when they go on sale after Christmas. We went with blue and white this year. I really like how it turned out. I'm working on a ribbon topper for it. I don't like a ton of ornaments on the trees. I know some people will think its to bare but I like it.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Semi-Homemade Christmas Gift

I thought I would participate in Maman Tattoo's McLinky today.

She's sharing gift projects made for under $15. Check out her website for the rest of the awesome ideas.

I'm trying to do as many homemade gifts as possible this year. I always try to get something small for my aunts and this year I decided to make them recipe cards and pair it up with a set of wooden spoons.

Here's the recipe cards.

This is super simple to do. I just created a text box using Microsoft office. The fonts were downloaded from This is an awesome website. They have some great free downloads and great tutorials. So far this project has cost a whopping nothing. What's better than that.

I found a set of three wooden spoons at Gordman's for less than $2. I am planning on printing at Kinko's just because of the paper choices and they will cut them. I am signed up as a preferred customer and I don't expect it to cost more than $10. I plan on punching holes in the cards and tying them together with ribbon I already have (purchased at Hobby Lobby during 50% clearance. I think I paid $1.50 for the roll.) And that's that. Super easy and I think its kind of fun. Now they have personalized cards to write down all their favorite recipes. I considered putting my favorite recipes on the cards but I thought that blank cards would be better for my aunts.

Cost Breakdown:
card design-free
printing- less than $10
ribbon- $1.50
wooden spoons (3 pack)- $2.00

I pretty excited about these. I received something similar to these during a bridal shower. I thought the idea was excellent. Hope you all enjoy it.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Catching up with friends and my crazy husband

These are two of my very best friends. They were two of my sorotity sisters, two of my bridesmaids and they were my college roommates for two of the best years of my college experience. Most of my favorite college memories includes these two ladies. There's no telling what we were discussing in the above picture.

I'm so excited because tonight we finally did a 3-way phone call. Why we hadn't thought of this before is beyond me. It was great getting to visit with them together. I've missed them so much. After college we all went our separate ways. We try to keep in touch the best we can. I know I could be much better at it. I've missed them dearly. We are separated by several thousands of miles and I wish that we were closer so we could see one another more often. I think its amazing how even though we don't speak as often as we would like and we don't see each other as often as we would like, when we finally get the chance to pick up the phone and call one another it's like we were right there in our college apartment again. I guess that just how a great friendship is supposed to work. Here's a few photos of us together.

They are truly amazing women and I know that I'm a better person for having friends like these ladies.

I can't mention these two without mentioning my other two bridesmaids. I love these ladies just the same and miss them as well.

In addition to sharing about catching up with great friends I wanted to post about my crazy husband. Rather than do two posts tonight I decided to lump them together. I'm calling this secion the Many Faces of My Crazy Husband. He's so cute and silly.

This is him. Isn't he a cutie. I don't know why he was smiling like this but it kind of makes him look like a chipmunk. I was bored when we were sitting at home and the camera was just sitting there so I decided to take a few pictures of him.

Of course he started making funny faces immediately. This one is a tad bit out of focus because I was laughing.

He's crazy, I know.

I'm pretty fond of him though. Sillyness and all.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Product Review

I was working on cleaning the house and thought I would take a few minutes to recommend a product. If you're like me, I hate having to scrub the bathtub. I try to keep ahead of the soap scum but as we all know that doesn't always work out. I've been using this product for a while now and I love it.I've tried several different products but none of them have given me the results that this one has. I probably use more of it than I need to in the bathtub but I've found that if I spray it all over and let it sit for a couple minutes ( usually tackle the toilet while its sitting) it takes very little elbow grease to clean the tub. It's amazing. So I definitely recommend trying this product if you can't seem to get rid of that soap scum. Check out the official website for a list of products and surfaces that they can be used on.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Tanyard Creek

If you live in the NW Arkansas area you've noticed that we haven't seen much of the sun lately. Today, however, it finally decided to show itself. I've been waiting for a little sunshine so I could go out and take some photos at Tanyard Creek. Tanyard Creek is a area in Bella Vista that is absolutely beautiful. There is a nature trail that leads you around the creek and the water falls. It's amazing.

I finally made it out there and thought I would share the photos I took today. Here they are...

Friday, October 23, 2009

Show Us Your Fall Decorations

I'm participating in the Show Us Your Fall Decorations party hosted by Kelly's Korner today. I've posted about this in the past but thought I would put it all together again today. I love these parties. Its great to see everyone's decorating ideas.

I love this time of year. Fall is hands down my favorite season. I love everything about it. I also love the Christmas season but my favorite decorations are during fall. Like I've said before I'm definitely one of those people who decorates around the seasons. Most of my decor items change with the seasons.

This is how I decorate the ledge in my entry way for fall. This is one of my favorite place to change for the seasons. I put up my fall decorations after labor day (if I can wait that long). October 1st is when the Halloween decorations go up. I use a lot of the same decorations for fall and Halloween.

This is a tree we put up for Halloween. It's made from black poster board. I really like how it turned out this year.

Here's my mantle for Halloween. I made the spider web from black vinyl you can buy for the Cricut machine. I replaced my normal garland with a black feather boa. The pictures are made from scrapbook paper and I found the images on clipart.

We have a tradition of carving pumpkins with the family a couple of weeks prior to Halloween. We got together last week to carve pumpkins and had so much fun. I will hopefully get some pictures to post soon. I didn't carve this year. Instead, I painted my pumpkins. I'm really happy with how they turned out. So check back for those.

I hope you all enjoyed seeing my Halloween decorations. Happy Fall!!!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Have You Ever...?

Have you ever gotten home from the grocery store and couldn't find something you knew had purchased? Happened to me today. I went to pick up a few groceries. I even had a list (I try to make it a habit to go with one.)

I got everything I needed ( or at least I thought I did) and checked out, loaded up the car and drove home. When I got home I started putting everything away and noticed that I didn't have an item I was sure I put in the cart.

My immediate thought was that I left a bag at the store. They have these spinning bag carousals things and I always try to make sure that I double check it before I leave the check station. I checked the receipt to see if indeed I did pay for the item. It was no where on the receipt. I could have sworn that I picked up the item and put it in the cart. The cart was empty when I checked out. I have no idea what happened to it. It was a little disorientating. And disappointing. I needed it for the dinner I was planning for tonight.

I hate having to make two trips to the store in one day. Heck, I hate making the first trip but its gotta be done.

Oh well.

Anyway, I was planning on making these


They are Pizza Fingers with dipping sauce. The recipe can be found at I love this website. They have such great recipes and if you sign up you can receive a free magazine every season with lots of great recipes.

I especially like their 1 bag/ 5 meals feature. Gives you recipes for the week that use a lot of the same ingredients so its easy on the budget at the market. Great stuff. Check it out.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

What!? It's only Tuesday!

I don't really have much to say today but I thought it's been a while since I posted. This week got off to a pretty frustrating start. My husband usually leaves for work around 6:30 every morning and Monday I got a call at about 7am from him. This is unusual for him so I knew something was wrong. Turns out his car wouldn't start after he stopped at the post office. So we're currently running on one car until we figure out whats going on with his car. Not the best situation but we will survive it.

I'm looking forward to a phone call about a job. Hopefully I will hear something tomorrow. I've been struggling a lot lately with my career choices.

I went to work for the Department of Health after graduating from college. I was there just over two years before I decided that the job really was not for me. I left to pursue a career in teaching. During college I studied biology. I love the sciences ( well maybe not chemistry so much) but there is really not a ton of jobs out there for people with a BS in biology. It's great if you decide to go on and pursue a graduate degree or go to a pre-professional school. Arkansas has a non-traditional teacher licensing program for people who have received a degree but wish to gain their teaching certification. I've been working to meet all the requirements to apply for this program. I would be able to be licensed to teach 7-12 grade Life Sciences.

After working as a substitute teacher and looking into the different teacher licensing programs in Arkansas, I'm starting to think that maybe the secondary level isn't for me. See this is the struggle part. I'm excited about the idea of being a teacher. I'm just not sure what grade level will be best for me.

Anyway, the job I've applied for is an instructional assistant position at an elementary school in a nearby district. I will assisting the literacy teacher. I think this position will be excellent for me. I got a really good feeling about the position after meeting the principal and the teacher. Hopefully they had a good feeling about me as well.

Other than the car not working and waiting to hear back about the job, there's not been a lot going on around here. I hope everyone else's weeks are going well.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

The Halloween Tree and a giveway

I made this last year for Halloween and decided to put it up again this year. The bats are a new addition. It was super simple. I just used black poster board and basically free handed the tree. I found a bat outline on the internet, printed it and then used that as a stencil to cut the bats out of the left over poster board. All in all a project that only cost about $4.00.

I also made these two pictures. Again I found the shapes in clipart and printed them on white paper. I purchased two sheets of scrapbook paper to make the background and I already had the black frames.
I really like how they turned out. They look great on my mantle with the black feather boa and Halloween topiary I made.

I've been playing around with my camera as well and took this photo of some of the decorations I have in my entryway. I'm really happy with how it turned out. I love fall!!!!

Finally, everyone should go over to Centsational Girl's website and check out the giveway she is doing. If you are in need of new faucets like I am then this is a perfect giveway for you. She is giving away a faucet from Price Pfister and they are all fabulous.

Hope everyone is having a great weekend. It's my and my husband's birthday weekend and we are enjoying a little rest and relaxation at home. Couldn't be happier.

Happy Fall everyone!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

More Halloween Fun

I've started my mantle for Halloween. I've had a little extra time on my hands the past couple of days and figured I might as well do something productive.

Here's what I've got so far.
I used two black feather boas for the "garland" across the mantle. I made the topiary that is up there and tied a black ribbon around it. The skeleton man is something I picked up from Kirkland's a while back and the candles are the same one I use for fall and Thanksgiving. I love reusing items from season to season. Lets me spend that money else where.

Here's a close up of the topiary.

This is the spider web I created out of the vinyl I had from an earlier project. Its the vinyl that you can buy to use with the Cricket machine. I bought this a while back to cut out some letters for a phrase I put up in my sewing room. I had extra and that this would been kind of cute. I found the spider at Hobby Lobby for $.99.

I have a couple of projects that I'm still working on to complete the mantle but I'm happy with it so far.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Halloween Decorations

Sorry for the break is posting. I haven't really been feeling very inspired lately but now I'm back. I'm getting ready to pull out the Halloween decorations and I wanted to share this idea with you all.

I have these lamp shades that collapse down on themselves. They have an inside layer that pulls up and clips to the top of the shade. This provides the perfect place to place items like these

I found these foam spiders at Hobby Lobby. They have a little foam adhesive dot on the other side so they will stick where I want them. It's not so sticky that it will leave any kind of residue behind when I take them down.

Here's a picture of what they look like when they are in place with the light shining through the shade.

Kinda creepy, huh?

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Fall Decorations!!!!

I'm so excited.
The weather is perfect.
Football season is starting up.
The fall decorations are up.

I know that technically fall doesn't officially start for a couple more weeks, but its really hard to know get into the fall mood. In case you haven't heard, I LOVE fall. It's my absolute favorite season.

I've had my decorations up for a few days. I couldn't help myself. It makes me feel better when my husband tells me he's already ready to put up the Christmas tree. Christmas is his favorite time of the year and he loves the trees we put up. (Did you notice the plural. There's no help for me, I know.)

Anyway, I thought I'd share what decorations I have up so far.

This is in my entryway. I have this ledge and I change it out for every season. I really like this feature in the house. We loved the entryway as soon as we walked into the house.

This is a picture of the area as you walk into the living room. I'm not totally happy with this yet. I'm trying to find something to put in the apothecary jar. I had these cinnamon sticks and the candle and thought , "What the heck, I'll give it a try." Not so sure about it now but we'll see how it goes.

Here's my mantle. I'm still trying to find all of my decorations and I know I have another garland to go with this one. I just can't find it. It's up in the attic but I'm just now sure which tub it is in. I'm not particularly excited about having to go through all the tubs. I need to learn some organization skills.

Here's my centerpiece for the table. We have an eat in kitchen with a small dining table. We never eat at the table unless we have friends over. Even then, it depends on the friends and what we are having for dinner. We are pretty casual people and we like to sit comfortably.

I still have tons of things I want to do to decorate for fall. I'm excited about the new projects and I'll be sure to share.

Monday, August 31, 2009

New Curtains Inspired by Fall

I made new curtains for the windows in our living room. I wanted something that would work well for fall. I found this fabric at Wal-Mart. Most of the stores around here have already gone through a remodel to get rid of the fabric section. There's a couple that still have fabrics. I wish we had more options for fabric stores around here. Our only choices are really only Hobby Lobby and the single Hancock's fabrics.

I really liked the colors. They work well for fall with the oranges and browns but they also work with my home accents. I use a lot of oranges and greens pretty much year around in my decorating so I think they will be perfect. I had white sheers up over these windows.

Here's a picture with the sheers up. And here's a pictures with the new curtains.

I like them. They may not be perfect but I think they look just fine. And for my first attempt that making curtains I think I did pretty good. Of course, I did learn an important lesson in the process. Always measure twice. Silly me I cut the fabric panels too short the first time around. I had to figure out something so I went and got the green to put at the top. Oh well, I still like them. And now I know, measure twice.

I'm participating in "Celebrating the Holidays party" hosted by It's So Very Cheri. Check it out.