Curls and Pearls

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Monday, August 31, 2015

Intentional Parenting



Is this a thing anymore? Where are all the parents at? 

I am seriously horrified by the articles that run across social media regarding our children. We don't have cable, nor would I have watched the VMA's had we even had it, but I happened to see a few remarks regarding these awards run across my newsfeed. That got me curious so I did a quick google search. OH MY GOODNESS. How are these people even allowed in public? We've got people all up in arms about breastfeeding in public and yet we can sit back and allow these half naked people in public and on television for our children to be exposed to? Are kids seriously looking at these people to be role models? Wow.

I almost just want to throw my hands up and lock myself in a room and pray 24/7. This world NEEDS JESUS. Amen?!

I can't do that though, I have a family and a little girl to raise. I'm not going to let {the world} raise my baby. We've got to be intentional about our parenting. We've got to stop letting the world infiltrate our homes through magazines, commercials, and social media. This has got TO STOP.

Daddy D's grandmother told us when we got pregnant with mini d that raising a child would be the hardest thing we have ever done if we do it right. She was right.

Please parent's raise your children. Don't let the world raise them. Discipline them, they crave it. Discipline does not equal child abuse, get it straight. Be present in their lives. It's YOUR JOB. It's the most important job you have. You chose this path now own it.

I usually don't rant. I won't apologize today for my opinions. It's just that, my opinion, everyone has one. Rant over.

Meal Plan Monday



Sunday:

Chicken Piccata



Thank you Pioneer Woman for making me look like I have mad cooking skills.  This recipe was a little more complicated than my usual. I try to cook my most time consuming meal on Sunday's because our weekdays usually just don't allow.

I'm not even going to try to explain the details on this one, just go check out the recipe {here}.

Helpful Tip: It takes longer than 3 minutes on each side for the chicken. Definitely worth the wait.

Monday:

We're switching it up this week!

Monthly we go to a Wellness Chiropractor. It's about a two hour round-trip drive for us, although TOTALLY worth it. There was actually a time period that we went WEEKLY. We love us some chiropractic care. If you don't know the benefits you should REALLY look in to it. That's a different post for a different day.

Anyway, in order to make it back for bedtime we need something on-the-go, thus Zaxby's has been moved to Monday!

Tuesday:

Dinner with Daddy D's family!

Wednesday:

It's still gymnastics night, so we need something quick!

Oven Baked Chili Dogs are on the menu.


Want the recipe? It's right {HERE}.

Thursday:

Taco Night!

You know I have a love for Publix BOGO taco kits. I have quite a few different recipes I use our taco kits for...like...

Oven Baked Tacos

Enchiladas 

Crockpot Chicken Tacos

But it's been a while since we have had just regular ole' soft tacos. So this week that's what is on the menu!

Friday:

Yay! We are going to our favorite little getaway...Check it out {here}! This means we might be stopping for the big no-no with the double arches on the drive down. GASP!

Saturday:

If we can catch some fish we just might be having a delicious fish fry! Fingers crossed!


Dinner from a previous trip...YUM.


Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Mommy Closet - Fall 2015

I think it's pretty obvious that I stalk Pinterest, and if you follow me you will quickly realize that I love pinning to my {Mommy Closet}. I am by no means high fashion, nor do I even attempt to keep up with "trends". I just try to find pieces that are classic and will last in my wardrobe for a while. Sometimes this means spending a little more money on quality pieces, but I can promise you that I will never pay retail for anything!

Want some frugal shopping tips?

Mommy Shopping - On The Cheap!


While I don't necessarily look for "on trend" items, I do love to shop and find great discounts on clothes that make me feel great. Just because I'm a Mommy doesn't mean I can't look cute and feel good about myself!

So what are some of my favorite looks for Fall 2015?

Disclaimer: These images are from Pinterest. I have included the original links for you.

The Casual Friday Look

 {Pinterest Link}

I love everything about this. I'm obsessed with the color of this jacket, it's perfect. I like how it is put together, but looks comfy at the same time.

The Sunday Funday Look

 {Pinterest Link}


This look is perfect for those weekends you know you need to put on clothes, but really just want to stay in your PJ's. 

The Work Look - Midi Skirt


Raise your hand if you are obsessed with midi skirts.....ME ME ME!

The Work Look - Sweater


Date Night Maxi


If you have been reading this blog long enough you know I have a love for maxi everything. This dress is perfect for date night. It's comfy and modest, but has a little touch of sexy in the neckline for the hubs. 

The "Hi My Name is Mommy" Look


If you have a pair of Tom's you probably know they are about as comfortable as your favorite pair of bedroom slippers. This look is a great alternative to wearing sweats to the grocery store. Come on ladies, let's set our standards a little higher than "People of Walmart." 


I love all of these looks for Fall, and am excited that I actually have variations of most of these looks in my closet! I don't know about you but the crisp Fall air we FINALLY got this morning has me excited for sweaters and scarves!

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Stitch Fix: #2, A Review

Shut the front door, I may have been a little slow at first but now I totally get why they call this a "fix." It's 100% addicting. I have re-scheduled my fix probably ten times making the date closer and closer. I originally planned for every-other-month and somehow here it is! It has only been a month since my last fix, but it seems like it has been forever. FINALLY....



So what is it?

You know I love a good subscription service, or at least trying it. This is similar except you get to pick when you want it shipped. You also get to pick how often you want them, or only schedule one. You aren't signing up for something that you will get every single month, unless that's what you choose. You can change it at any time!

You get to choose your price point. I, of course, selected the option for {the cheaper the better}.

After you sign up you complete a style profile, which I actually thought was kind of fun. You can even link your Pinterest board to the profile, which I recommend doing! Based on your preferences a stylist, assigned specifically to you will pick out 5 items for you. These items may be clothes or accessories. You pay a $20 styling fee, but that $20 can be applied towards your final purchase.

It's not all or nothing. You can choose which pieces you would like to keep, if any. If you keep everything they offer a 25% discount. You have three days to try the clothes on and decide. If you decide to send anything back they provide you with the bag and shipping label. It's super easy.




Before each fix you can also send your stylist a note explaining any special requests. This time I specifically requested boyfriend jeans, a crossbody bag, something I can wear to Disney, and a maxi skirt. And you know what, my stylist met every single request. She is pretty much a rockstar, and after this fix I'm convinced we are now BFF's. 

When you open your box there will be a styling card included, which I found super handy. I have an issue not knowing what pieces to put with what so this was great! Most of the items I never would have thought to wear the way the stylist presented them. And you get to keep the card. I like that this will help give me ideas for things I already have in my closet.


What did I get?

Disclaimer: Please excuse my awkward attempt at modeling these clothes...


Le Sample 
Cresta Neck Blouse

My first impression: Right out of the box I didn't love the colors or the material. 

Trying it on: The fit wasn't great, although looking back at the picture it really doesn't look as bad on as it felt like it did. From the side though I really did look like I was wearing a bag.

Verdict: Sent Back! But I did keep the mini gymnast photo bomber. 


Moda Luxe 
Brooks Crossbody Bag

Mr first impression: Navy?

Thoughts on wearing it: I SO SO want a great crossbody bag. I know I mentioned the bag in my last fix being too big, but this one wasn't big enough. I also wasn't sure about the color. Had it been a different style of crossbody bag I may have been ok with the navy though.

Verdict: Sent it back! 


Market & Spruce 
Russell Front Tie Knit Tank

My first impression: White and navy stripes, it's love.

Trying it on: This shirt is everything. It's perfect for my upcoming trip to Disney World. It's just the right amount of casual, not to mention this is sweatshirt level on the fabric comfort meter.

Verdict: Kept it!

Kut From The Kloth 
Kate Distressed Boyfriend Jeans

My first impression: Light wash denim, no.

Trying it on: I don't think I have ever owned a pair of light washed denim jeans. I was certain these pants were going back from the beginning. But then something happened, I tried them on. This is the softest denim I have ever had on my body. These jeans were perfection. I wanted to keep them, I really did. But...they were too big. They look great in the picture, but I had a good two inches of space in the waist. I was sad about sending them back, but will be requesting them again next time in a smaller size!

Verdict: Sent Back!


Renee C 
Shana Printed Maxi Skirt

My first impression: Again, I was immediately turned off by the color, but it's a maxi skirt. I have a maxi skirt obsession, I knew I had to at least give it a shot. 

Trying them on: The fabric of this skirt was SO SOFT. When I was trying to figure out how I would style this skirt and what I would wear with it I looked at my Pinterest board. Low and behold I had almost this identical skirt pinned. No wonder my stylist sent it! I paired it with a jean jacket, and fell in love. This color is actually great for tranisitoning in to Fall, which I had not initially thought about. I guess my mind is still in Summer mode because it's still smoking hot outside.

Verdict: Kept it! I'm actually wearing it today, right at this very moment!



I definitely feel like my stylist listened to my notes and thoughts on my last fix and she seriously {got me} this time. I know it will only get better the more she gets to know my likes and dislikes. 

My only problem? My budget doesn't allow me to keep everything! 

Ok, now can someone please hire me. I need a second job to pay for all of these new clothes. Seriously. Or just sign up through my link and donate to a good cause. If you sign up using {this link} I will get a $25 referral credit, please and thank you.

Want to see my previous "fix"?



DISCLOSURE: I may be an affiliate for products that I recommend. If you purchase those items through my links I will earn a commission. You will not pay more when buying a product through my link. In fact, I oftentimes am able to negotiate a lower rate (or bonuses) not available elsewhere.
Plus, when you order through my link, it helps me to continue to offer you lots of valuable information. Thank you, in advance for your support!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Disney World: Pre-Planning



If there was a reality show called "Extreme Planners" I would be on it. It's kind of sad actually, this past Sunday our preacher's sermon was on {Control}. At the end of the sermon we were all praying and he asked if anyone needed prayer, specifically those that may be a little controlling. I raised my hand, cough cough. And I'm pretty sure I felt daddy d jabbing me in the side with his elbow. For serious, it's bad. First step is admitting there is a problem...

With that being said, I have been planning the heck out of our upcoming Disney trip. It's less than two months away and I am pretty sure I am more excited than everyone else going on our trip put together, even mini d.

What have we done so far to get ready for our trip?

Room booked through the Disney website: 

We are planning to stay at Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort in a two-bedroom villa. Poppy, Gammy, and Uncle Cody are making the trip with us so we will need the extra space. This will be our first experience staying on-site at Disney so we are all really excited about it.

It has actually worked out to be pretty cost efficient because we get to split the room cost with my parents.

Review to come later, of course.

Tickets purchased:

We have all purchased a 4 day ticket, with no park hopper option. Trying to go to multiple parks in one day with a two year old sounds miserable, thus we opted out of that additional expense.

Tickets for Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party have been purchased.

Costume prep for Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party: 

Check out the tutorial here: DIY Disney Monsters Inc. Costumes

Creating our {free} stroller tag:

Check out the tutorial here: DIY Disney Stroller Tag

We've placed our order for groceries and delivery:

Say what? We opted not to get the dining plan because the resort we are staying at has a full kitchen. We knew we would have to head back to the room around lunchtime to allow mini d to re-charge so we are planning to save money by eating breakfast and lunch at our villa.

I lucked up finding a really awesome service, GardenGrocer.com. I plan on doing a full review of it later, but the reviews were excellent. You create your grocery list online, and they seriously have EVERYTHING you might need, even wine. Yes, wine is important. If you place your order at least 60 days in advance you get a 10% discount, which more than covers the delivery charge. They will deliver directly to your resort.

Prices? I was shocked to find out the prices are not more than Publix.

The thought of not having to leave the resort with a toddler to hunt down a grocery store, find a parking spot, fight a line, load the car, and unpack everything when we get back. Yeah, that is awesome.

I can't wait to see how this plays out and give you guys a full review of their services and our experience. See our review {HERE}.

We have made our dining reservations:

Dining reservations can be made 180 days out if you are staying on the resort. And well, we didn't decide on a resort until closer to 170 days. Needless to say I have been having to check every single day to get our dining reservations because most everything was already booked. Luckily, by being persistent, I have been able to grab us the reservations we wanted for dinner every night.

Here's what our dinner schedule looks like:

The Coral Reef - Epcot

What's even cooler? Gammy and Uncle Cody will be scuba diving in the aquarium at the restaurant while the rest of us are eating dinner.

Yak & Yeti - Animal Kingdom

The Yachtsman - Our Anniversary Dinner Celebration (5 years, whoop!)

The Crystal Palace - Magic Kingdom

-We are still holding out for Cinderella's Castle to replace The Crystal Palace, but at least we have SOMETHING. Plus it's a character dining experience so that's a win.

**Reviews to Come**

We have scooped up our fast-passes:

If you are staying on the resort you can make your fast-pass plus selections 60 days out. We were able to get most everything we wanted, and have them work within our crazy schedule. I made these on the Disney App...in our bed...in my pj's. That app is seriously a must-have. Download it, your life will be so much easier because of it.

Oh and I may have printed maps of each park...and laminated them. Nerd alert.

Clearly, we I can't wait. Counting down the days...





Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Recipe Alert: Tater Tot Casserole



When we have nothing else in our kitchen we usually have the ingredients to cook tater tot casserole. This is one of my comfort food {go-to} dinners that EVERYONE seems to love. A few years ago my mother-in-law taught me how to make this and it has been in our meal rotation ever since.

What do you need?

1 - 2 pounds ground hamburger meat
1 package frozen tater tots (I prefer the Publix brand)
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1/2 can cream of chicken soup (optional)
1 - 2 cups shredded cheese
Salt and Pepper

How do you make it?

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Brown the meat on your stove in a skillet, drain.

Daddy D prefers a meatier (is that even a word?) casserole, so we usually use close to 2 pounds.

Stir in the condensed soups (both), salt and pepper, and let simmer on low for 10 minutes.



Spread the mixture in the bottom of a baking dish and cover with frozen tater tots.

Most of the time it doesn't take the entire bag of tater tots so save the leftovers for another time.


Bake for 20 - 25 minutes. Make sure your tater tots look golden brown.

Cover with cheese, we choose to add more than less so I go with 2 cups.

Place back in the oven and bake an additional 5 minutes, until cheese is bubbly.

Let cool for 5 minutes, it will be steaming HOT!

Serve with ketchup, optional.

Side Note: This makes AWESOME leftovers for lunch the next day, and is a great {freezer meal} idea.


Monday, August 17, 2015

Inside Our Windows: Patio

Let's play catch-up, if you are new to my blog you may want to start with my first couple of posts in this series.

Inside Our Windows - Mud Room
Inside Our Windows - Office Space
Inside Our Windows - Our Kitchen
Inside Our Windows - Dining Room

Thoughts behind the series, just to re-cap: I thought it might be fun to allow you to peak inside our windows. Through a series of posts I will show you bits and pieces of the place that our family calls home. I will try to explain where most of our pieces came from and the meaning behind them.

I'm super excited about this particular post because we literally JUST re-did our back patio. I have no idea why we didn't think of screening it in before now! Seriously, the best money we have ever spent! 

With that being said, this post will be a little different than the others in this series. This time we get to see before and after pictures!

Before:



Before this was kind of an awkward space for us. We didn't really use it that much, and because of the shape of the area I never could figure out how to work furniture to be functional. Not to mention we didn't have gutters so when it rained you got WET.


 Over time the space became a toy storage area, and a pallet for mini d's chalk art.


Daddy D and I were discussing how we could better use the space a few weeks ago and a light came on. We could screen it in and make a Sun-room! We wasted no time getting quotes and estimates for the project. It was actually very reasonable considering everything we got for our money. We had them screen in the porch and install gutters to control the rain water.

After:


Favorite Part?! NO BUGS



 



Tada! Awesome or what?! I'm so in love. I think we all are! We spent the majority of our weekend out here. I'm still working on decor, but I think it's coming along.

I purchased the rug and furniture on clearance from Walmart.com. I used Ebates and got $35 cashback on my purchase! What is Ebates

Check it out here: 

My Favorite Ways to Make Money Doing {Almost} Nothing



I can only think of all of the fun our little family will have out here! I look forward to game nights, grilling, and maybe even camping out!


Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Inside Our Windows - Dining Room

Let's play catch-up, if you are new to my blog you may want to start with my first couple of posts in this series.

Inside Our Windows - Mud Room
Inside Our Windows - Office Space
Inside Our Windows - Our Kitchen


Thoughts behind the series, just to re-cap: I thought it might be fun to allow you to peak inside our windows. Through a series of posts I will show you bits and pieces of the place that our family calls home. I will try to explain where most of our pieces came from and the meaning behind them.



Our dining room is massive, and it serves so many different purposes. It's our office space, my {coffee} nook, the place where we attempt to eat most of our meals, and even sometimes a racetrack for mini d's barbie four-wheeler. 

Looking at our house plans, initially, I had no idea just how big this room would realistically be. I knew it would open up to the rest of the house, but the dining space itself is just so big. I wasn't sure what to do with it at first. It's taken us nearly three years to piece it together. 

Our dining table came from a local furniture store, and it serves the purpose. It's not my favorite and I'm still on the lookout for the perfect farmhouse table with a bench to complete this space. It will come soon enough, but in the meantime this table is just fine.


My little reading nook is my secret spot in the mornings. Before everyone gets up I love to sit here and drink my morning coffee. I sit in the quiet, I pray, I stalk people on Facebook, just the norm stuff. Outside this window is the perfect view of our country landscape. We purchased the table and chair set from a local boutique in our hometown. It was already re-done when I found it, and the colors were perfect. 

I made the flower arrangement myself using clearance items from Hobby Lobby a couple of years back. I always pull it out in the Spring/Summer because the colors have a way of brightening my soul. The pinks, yellows, and oranges work so well together.



This seemingly normal bowl holds a huge piece of my heart. My Papa Tom was a large part of my life until he passed a few years ago. Late in life he took pride in growing gourds, and loved to tell anyone willing to listen all about them. I can't even tell you the number of times he and daddy d stood out in the field and counted gourds together. A year or so ago daddy d crossed paths with a man whose wife made artwork from gourds. We had a pile of Papa Tom's gourds in our barn and offered to give them to her. We knew he would have loved the idea. In return she made us this piece of artwork from one of the gourds he grew. Every time I look at it I think of him. It is hard to tell from the picture, but the details are just amazing. I usually fill the bowl with painted pine cones. I switch out the pine cones with the seasons. 



We purchased this pie safe at a local antique store. It's original purpose was for mini d's nursery. Life circumstances changed, and mini d never even one time slept in her nursery. This piece didn't make the cut for the big girl room, which she still doesn't sleep in. Oops. It did however fit perfectly in to our dining room. 

The room may feel complete, but I don't think any room is ever truly complete. I'm constantly making changes, especially with the seasons. As our lives continue to change, I'm sure the purposes for this room will continually change. My only hope is that we always try to have dinner together as a family. Dining room, living room, in the car, as long as we are together, that's all that matters.




Monday, August 10, 2015

Inside Our Windows - Our Kitchen

Let's play catch-up, if you are new to my blog you may want to start with my first couple of posts in this series.

Inside Our Windows - Mud Room
Inside Our Windows - Office Space


Thoughts behind the series, just to re-cap: I thought it might be fun to allow you to peak inside our windows. Through a series of posts I will show you bits and pieces of the place that our family calls home. I will try to explain where most of our pieces came from and the meaning behind them.


Never perfectly clean, and always bustling with activity our kitchen is part of the center of our home. When we built our house we knew we wanted an open concept floor plan. Our mudroom, kitchen, dining room, and living room are basically one huge open space. No matter what we are doing we are usually always together. Lucky for us, we like each other. It's also super helpful when I need to keep an eye on mini d, which is all the time. 

We have granite throughout our kitchen. It's an expense I'm glad we spent. It can withstand pretty much anything. Taking a hot pan out of the oven and not having to worry about putting something under it to keep your counter tops from being damaged is pretty awesome. 

We considered putting in a "farmhouse" style sink when we built the house. The history behind this sink changed my mind. Made of pure cast iron this sink has a beautiful story. The sink came out of Daddy D's grandmother's house. It shows wear from years and years of delicious Southern cooking and cleaning.  Every sign of wear is a piece of our family's history. It is the true epitome of {farmhouse}, and now it's story will still live on for generations to come. 

Our back-splash is relatively new. Daddy D and my mother installed it a few months ago. Beside DIY in the dictionary is a picture of my mother. She knows how to do EVERYTHING. For under $200 they installed this back-splash together, and it is perfect for the space!

A few years back a friend of mine from high school was having an Estate Sale for her grandmother. I found this piece of stained glass at the sale and had to have it. I'm pretty sure I didn't pay more than $20 for it. It made it's way in to our kitchen window, and adds an array of colors throughout the day to our kitchen depending on the way the sun hits it. 



This piece doesn't have much history behind it, but has been a great storage solution for me. Our cabinets are very high, and I was having a hard time getting to my cookbooks without climbing on the counter tops. I purchased this piece from Home Decorators Collection when they were running a sale a while back and it has been a lifesaver. 

Of course I used Ebates to get additional cashback on the purchase. 
What is Ebates? Check it out in my blog post: 

My Favorite Ways to Make Money Doing {Almost} Nothing


These aren't all my cookbooks, but these are some of my go-to favorites lately, and having them easily accessible is a must! 



I kind of have a dishcloth obsession. I love them. They are an inexpensive way of adding personality to your kitchen without a big commitment, because you can change them out throughout the year.

Our oven/stove is gas, and I will say that having previously used an electric oven/stove I do prefer gas over electric. Looking back I wish I would have splurged a little more and gotten a double oven instead of a single. I constantly find myself needing two ovens at once!

My favorite thing about my kitchen? Probably having a huge monster island. It's perfect for serving dinner or hosting parties. I'm sure you saw it if you read Mini D is Two.

We may not physically cook a full meal in our kitchen every single day, but we are ALWAYS in the kitchen for one reason or another. It's definitely part of the {hub} of our home.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Inside Our Windows - Office Space

Let's play catch-up, if you are new to my blog you may want to start with my first post in this series.

Inside Our Windows - Mud Room

Thoughts behind the series, just to re-cap: I thought it might be fun to allow you to peak inside our windows. Through a series of posts I will show you bits and pieces of the place that our family calls home. I will try to explain where most of our pieces came from and the meaning behind them.


It's funny how our priorities change after we have children. We have a 3 bedroom, 2.5 bathroom house, with a bonus room. Before mini d our bonus room was my office.  Over the last two years I have been bumped from the bonus room to our dining room, which is massive so at least we had the room. 

I actually love the idea of a {command center} instead of a room dedicated to the office/computer. As mini d gets older and is required to use the computer for school we would like to have it out in the open. A place where she can do her work, but still be part of the family. And let's face it, the internet is scary. We think that requires some supervision, just sayin'. Raise your hand if you're a helicopter mom...I've got both of mine raised. Sorry not sorry.

Our gorgeous blue desk came from an indoor flea market/antique store in Dothan, Alabama called Land of Cotton. We purchased it a few months ago when we decided to officially move the office. It was already the exact color we were looking for when we found it so it didn't require much work on our part. 

I have had this chair since my college days. I have always been in love with the colors. I only paid $15 for it at an antique store in Troy, Alabama. It was stuck in the back of an attic area and was literally calling my name. At the time I had nowhere to put it, but I couldn't leave the store without it.

See how I made our art display {here}. Mini d loves coming in from Daycare and hanging up her artwork for everyone to see and brag on. 

The basket came from TJ Maxx. One of my favorite stores. I use it to store documents and paperwork in. It just needs a lock so I can keep mini d from pulling everything out.

The frames were purchased wholesale from a dealer at market in Atlanta, Georgia. I don't remember the name of the vendor anymore, but we bought multiples and they show up all throughout our house.

When we built our house I don't think it ever crossed my mind that I would one day have a {command center} in our dining room. Now, I wouldn't change it for anything. I love our little work nook. We spend more time playing at home these days than we do working anyway!

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Inside Our Windows - Mud Room

You know what's fun? Watching HGTV. I love HGTV, and yes you can watch most of the shows on Netflix! See how we got unplugged from cable {here}.

Random Fact: Fixer Upper is my FAVORITE. Go figure.

I love watching HGTV because it allows me to peak inside someone else's house, they're life. I love getting new decorating ideas and seeing how other people choose to decorate the space that they call home. Whether we choose to believe it or not how we live in our home usually says a lot about us.

I thought it might be fun to allow you to peak inside our windows. Through a series of posts I will show you bits and pieces of the place that our family calls home. I will try to explain where most of our pieces came from and the meaning behind them.


Our Mud Room 

The first place most people see when they enter our house. 

This is the South, people NEVER go to the front door. If someone is at the front door they are usually trying to sell you something.

This bench is probably one of my most favorite pieces of furniture in our house. Growing up we would always take a girls family trip on the World's Longest Yard Sale. I would save up my money all year long to go on this trip. When we built our house my mother, grandmother, and I decided to take one last trip. I had a list of items I knew I wanted, and a set budget for each item. At $200 this bench was out of my budget. I probably walked by it twenty times before my grandmother offered to pay for half of it as a birthday gift. It will always be special to me even if just for that reason. 

Daddy d built my cross, and it is an important reminder as each and every person walks in our door that our house is protected by God and what we stand for. 

I have no idea what you would call our "hat hanger" that hangs so many more items than just hats. This also came from the World's Longest Yard Sale and was a steal at $20. Looking back I wish I had purchased more of these. The guy selling them had SO many.

Above that hangs a picture frame that Daddy d bought for me as a gift when we first got married. It has one of my very favorite bible verses on it.

1 Corinthians 13: 4 -7 

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

The pillows came from TJMaxx for $10 each. The yellow brings a nice pop of color to the area. As I am sure you will soon realize, we {love} color.

Our mud room is so much more than the name implies. It is the entry to our lives and our home. Each room in our house serves a different purpose and has a different story. Just as the pieces we choose to put in each room have they're own story.


Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Bed Chest Upcycle


I'm not sure if you've figured it out yet, but Daddy D and I have a love for making old things new again. The idea of taking something that is considered garbage by someone else or seemingly has fulfilled it's life and breathing a new life and purpose in to it is so fulfilling.

These are always my favorite projects. Many moons ago, before mini d, we had a small family of pigmy goats on our little farm. Our sweet little goat family now lives a relaxing life in a petting zoo, but that's another story for another day.


Stop it, I know, you can't handle the cuteness. 

Anyway, we found an old wooden feed box in one of my parent's barns to keep their hay contained. After the goats went to their new home we just tossed the feed box back in the barn and forgot about it. Until this weekend.

For a while now I have had this vision that I could turn the feed box in to something else. It was made out of good old solid wood and had some really neat weathered bolts on it. Finally it hit me, a bed chest! But it needed some work. And I'm horrible and didn't take an actual {before} picture. 


Daddy D sanded down the chest and created a bottom for it. It took him roughly an hour and a half. Mini d and I were there for moral support. It was seriously a million degrees outside. 

It's hard to tell in the picture, but the box is roughly 4 ft x 3 ft if I had to guess. That would be a conservative guess. It's pretty big.

After it was sanded down I painted the outside of the chest a vintage white. I didn't put the paint on very thick because I wanted some of the older wood features to show through. I also didn't paint the inside at all, I wanted to keep that original and create dimension. 


I think the entire project took us maybe two hours. We are considering adding feet to the bottom, but need to find the right ones. I want to find something older to re-purpose that will fit nicely with the project. 

Total cost for this project was around $15.00.


Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Mini D is TWO


Where has  my baby gone? Mini d is two and we had a fabulous Strawberry Shortcake themed birthday party this past weekend! 

It's funny, we let mini d pick out her invitations a while back. We chose between Minnie Mouse and Strawberry Shortcake. She chose Strawberry Shortcake, obviously, and I ordered the invitations {from Etsy of course}. Within a week she was convinced she no longer wanted a Strawberry Shortcake birthday party, she was sure she wanted Minnie Mouse {typical toddler}. She told everyone that asked her she was having a Minnie Mouse birthday party. Luckily we worked through our denial issues and had a blast at the Strawberry Shortcake party. I think the fact that she gets to go to "Minnie Mouses Castle" (sorry Cinderella) in October helped persuade her a little.

Let me just be honest and say I don't believe in planning extravagant, expensive birthday parties. We do celebrate birthdays in a big way, but we believe that doesn't have to be done through spending hundreds and even thousands of dollars on parties that only last a few hours. 

All that said, I think we did a decent job, everything looked nice, and she enjoyed herself so much that she was passed out by 5:30 pm. 


Balloons - Purchased wholesale from my Mother's store. 

Chalkboard was purchased second-hand and chalk markers were borrowed. 


The napkins and plastic dinnerware were all purchased from a mommy friend of mine that had extras left after her little's 1st birthday party. They were even pre-wrapped!

Plates and straws were leftover from mini d's 1st birthday party. 


I SO have a weakness for cake cookies. Or really just cake and cookies in general. Ok all things sweet. We weren't even planning on having any, but when I went to Winn Dixie the day before the party and they had these marked down to $1 I couldn't pass them up!

Side Note: This serving dish was a wedding gift and to this day is still one of my very favorite gifts we have ever received. 


My amazingly talented sister, Lindsey, made the cupcakes for the party as a gift. They were DELICIOUS. I'm still eating on leftovers for breakfast. 

Cake for breakfast = WIN

Frugal Find: I found the dessert stand at Dillards marked down to $7 last year! 


Cookie isle finds for our BERRY SWEET Celebration!

Who knew they made berry oreos with pink filling?!



We had mini peanut butter and strawberry jelly sandwiches, to the left of the picture.

We also had a healthier option of fresh strawberries and blueberries.

And of course, Little Debbie had to make an appearance with her strawberry cake rolls. Yum!!


These brightly colored lanterns were purchased second-hand. We hung them over the dining room table.


Someone was angry that she had to take a group picture with all of her friends before opening presents. 

It's my party I can cry if I want to....

Couldn't help but share that one. You know you were singing it too. HA!

All-in-all we had a wonderful celebration of mini d. We are so thankful that we got to spend the day with so many friends and family. She is one blessed little girl!



PS: I've had some comments asking about my dress in the first picture. I snuck in to our local Christian Mission while I was running party errands Friday and ran across this gem! Most definitely worth $3!!! Score!