27 February 2010

Forced Room Makeover (aka White Duvet FAIL)

This was Master Bedroom. I loved this room...the wall color, the bedding, the dark wood...it all just made me happy. My hubby liked it too. It was a great middle ground for us. Truly a relaxing retreat in our own home.

I love this little pup 40lb Mutt.That face gets me every time. Plus he's a great snuggler when your hubby is a night owl. Sometimes I have to put this pup away when we have company because he's a bit too excitable. One day recently he decided he wasn't happy with being put away in our room (I thought it was better than being in his crate!) and decided to destroy my beautiful Pottery Barn bedding. The dog should be happy he is still alive.

Trying to be frugal, I thought I'd work with what we already have around here. I have a white duvet set from our pre-child days. I decided to go for it. I thought I could make it work like this. Please ignore the wrinkles. I really did iron this, but we SLEEP with this. It did not stay neat & pretty. I'm not a fan of these lamps. Much too streamlined & modern for my taste.

I went and bought this fabric. I love this fabric. It perfectly matches our wall color. I already own several things that could mix-n-match with this. Not only would it make cute accent pillows, but I even planned to frame a portion above the bed. 

So glad I haven't taken the time yet to chop up that pretty fabric, because we are just not meant to have a white duvet set. Our house is well lived in - definitely not a "museum" type house. A black furry dog that sheds constantly who likes to lounge around on our bed and sometimes has dirty feet does not do well with a white duvet. Our Little Man is constantly covered in crumbs, snot, and dirt also does not go with a white duvet. So, WHITE DUVET = FAIL.

So much for frugality. I want my bedroom retreat back. The search is on for bedding that matches our current wall color because I do NOT want to paint. This set is currently in the lead. It's much prettier in person, coordinates with our bedroom & bathroom wall colors, and we both like it. I'll update when our retreat is back in order.

22 February 2010

At-Home Date Night

In honor of Valentines Day, I planned to do a couple of posts about romance, dating your husband, and love. However my blogging break got in the way. I did want to post about one of my favorite "dates" that we do pretty frequently. Let me preface by saying I'm by no means an expert, nor do I have a perfect marriage. This is just a happy housewife sharing one of her favorite ways to date her hubby - at home!

This date was fancier than most of our at-home dates, but it made it all the more fun and special. We shipped our Little Man to his grandparents, cooked a nice dinner, got dressed up, and even danced in the living room! Here are a few pictures from our most recent date night.

My hubby scored some major points by getting flowers on his way home from dropping off the Little Man...

I broke out the fine china & crystal and we even ate in the dining room (never happens around here)!


We cooked a nice dinner, but nothing that broke the bank: steak, baked potatoes (with plenty of toppings), sauteed mushrooms, and roasted broccoli. I had everything already here either for a previous meal that week or in the freezer since it was bought on sale.


We even got dressed up, put on the "Romance" music station on the TV, turned off all the lights and lit the house with candles. By all means, do NOT do any clean-up on your date night. Relax and enjoy each other!

The worst part is getting up the next morning to this...

But it is always TOTALLY worth it!

For more Frugal ideas, check out Frugal Friday over at Life as Mom.

Blogging Break

I took a little blogging break and I'm ready to start up again. You should see new posts coming soon!

07 February 2010

Meal Plan Monday - Vacation Edition

I'm heading to the mountains Wednesday with my MIL & the Little Man - yay for a relaxing getaway! Of course this means that I had to plan our regular meals for Monday & Tuesday, meals for our trip (Wed-Sun) because we stay WAY UP on the mountain & the closest grocery store is about 30 minutes away, and make sure my hubby had something to eat once we left. So, here's what I came up with...

Monday - Super Bowl Leftovers (why do I always prepare enough food for an army!)
Tuesday - Chicken Pie, Green Beans, Roasted Carrots

Vacation Meals:

Breakfast: Cheerios, Toast, Breakfast Casserole (I have all the ingredients on hand)
Lunch: Pimiento Cheese, Chicken Salad, Leftovers
Dinner: Chili, Ham (I found a coupon to use w/ my MIL's $25 gift card for Honey Baked Ham!), Take&Bake Pizza, Sausage/Peppers/Pasta Dish
Snacks & Sweets: Grapes, Chips & Salsa, Brownies, Rice Krispy Treats (healthy is for HOME!)

My hubby will have plenty of leftovers, as well as items in the freezer that are ready for him to heat & eat.

Everything is all planned out - now I have to grocery shop & cook before we go, because I do not want to cook much while I'm up there...I'm ready to RELAX! 

Oh yeah...I guess I have to do a bunch of laundry, pack, head to the library for books & movies, blah blah blah...I'm just ready to GO!

Check out other meal plans at OrgJunkie.

06 February 2010

Living in a New Testament world...

I'll admit that I usually prefer to read through the New Testament over the Old Testament. The NT always seems so full of life, positive action, God's goodness while the OT seemed to have condemnation, affliction, and just a lot of general yucky stuff. So, I'd previously preferred to just bury my head in the sand. 

Even with all this in mind, I decided a while ago to read through the book of Jeremiah. Why Jeremiah? Well, that's my Little Man's name. Did we choose it because of the Biblical Jeremiah? No. We wanted our little one to have his daddy's initials, so we had to come up with a "J" name we both liked - Jeremiah won out. After he was born, people kept telling me what a strong name that was and saying things about the Jeremiah in the Bible. Truth is...I don't really know much about him. The only thing I really knew from that book was this well-known verse
"For I know the plan I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future." - Jeremiah 29:11
 I know and LOVE that verse. It just fills me with hope of all that God does for those that love him. Well, I decided I wanted to know more so I've set off on a quest to read through - one chapter per day. Since there are 52 Chapters, it should have taken me a little less than 2 months. Unfortunately, I'm not particularly consistent in my Quite Times, so I've been reading through for a while and I just finished Chapter 16 today. Yeah...I've been slow, but I'm making an effort to be more consistent.

I've learned so much from these 16 chapters already and wanted to log a few of my thoughts...
-13:11 says "For as the waistband clings to the waist of a man, so I made the household...to CLING TO ME"  (emphasis added by me)
This verse really made me think about how I was (more like was not) clinging to God very often. After berating myself in my QT Journal for my stupid & selfish actions, I wrote this "Instead of my focus being on _________ (fill in the blank with whatever you're struggling with), it should be totally centered on GOD! I should hold on to Him with all that I am. His knowledge, wisdom, and providence are all that I need. I have to cling to Him, there is no other good way."

-14:10 states "Even so they have loved to wander; they have not kept their feet in check. Therefore the Lord does not accept them; now He will remember their inequity and call their sins to account."
Hmmm...how often do your feet wander? My have wandered a lot in my lifetime. This verse really reminded me how thankful I am to live after Jesus Christ came to live on this earth and die for our sins. My sins. They are forgiven because of Jesus' blood. Let me never take that for granted again. I am forgiven for my sins by just repenting. Am I immune to my sins? No, I still have to suffer their earthly consequences. But, I do not have to pay for them eternally. Amazing, right?

-16:12b, "for behold, you are each one walking according to the stubbornness of his own evil heart, without listening to me."
My actions often say, "No thanks God - I'll do it my way." It's laughable to think we know better than God Almighty. Or maybe we know we don't know better, but our way is easier and more comfortable. Either way, I need to get over myself and listen to God, walk with His plan in mind.

Like I said before, God is good. Thank you, Lord, for letting me live now, after your Son has come to pay for my sins. My I never take advantage of that, but always serve You.

If you made it this far through my ramblings, then good for you. I was just struck by what I've been reading and wanted share some of my thoughts. I'm diving a little deeper into the OT and it's causing me to appreciate the NT even more than before.

04 February 2010

Super Bowl Yummies!

I love football. College more so than NFL, but I still enjoy it none the less. Good thing since my hubby is a football fanatic. You know what else I love - FOOD! And entertaining. And our families - they are both awesome. So the Super Bowl is a great way to celebrate all of those things in one evening! We're hosting a small Super Bowl Party for my hubby's family at our house. Quite convenient since Little Man goes to bed at 7pm. We won't have to leave early or  drive home late - perfect! 

So, now menu planning...my MIL is going to help me do the food so here's what we've come up with so far:

Buffalo Wings (homemade & not fried...SO much better than takeout)
Pizza ("Take & Bake" from Aldi - so tasty & only $5!)

Mozzarella Sticks (You MUST try these. They are delicious & totally worth the work.)
Hot Artichoke Dip 
Carrots & Celery (to go with the Buffalo Wings)
Fruit Tray
Something Sweet (haven't decided yet)

Check out lots of other Super Bowl food ideas at Life As Mom.

God is GOOD!

I just want to take a moment to say that God is so good. All the time. His goodness comes through even when we least expect it. I am so thankful for every aspect of my life and all the He provides. There have been several answered prayers pop up this week and I'm pretty surprised at all this goodness! I'm not ready to share more than this quite yet, but I do want to express how happy I am to serve such an awesome and mighty God. 

02 February 2010

Recipe Review: Monster Cookies

Is your mouth watering yet? Maybe not...those cookies aren't the most beautiful things in the world, but they are pretty tasty. My favorite part about these Monster Cookies - they are Gluten Free! My mom has Celiac Disease, which means she can have no gluten (mostly flour) and I have a corn allergy (no corn products), so we are often at an impasse when it comes to foods we can both eat. These fit the bill! Plus this made a ton, so I will be freezing some to pull out in a week or two when we're ready for something sweet or the next time Mama Linda visits.

01 February 2010

Boy Crafts!

I love looking at all the little girl crafts all over the blogosphere. All the pink...ruffles...bows...things that make me swoon. However, it's often frustrating because I have a little BOY. He does not appreciate frilly things (actually, chances are that Little Man doesn't care but I'm pretty sure his daddy would be really upset if he came home to find his boy clad in polka dots & ribbon). Well, imagine my excitement when I saw these:

Yes, my crafty friends, that would be TWO blogs celebrating an entire MONTH of boy crafts! I've been in a bit of a craft slump lately, but I'm so excited to see what these ladies put together and maybe I'll get my crafting mojo back!

Meal Plan Monday

After being snowed in since Friday night, I finally escaped today (thanks to my MIL rescuing me & the Little Man) and where would I go except to the grocery store?!?! We stopped by Harris Teeter (to stock up on some good VIC deals), Sam's Club, and Walmart. 

My goal is to stock our freezer with oven-ready meals (we've run out!), but I'm just not up for a whole day of cooking to accomplish that. Instead, I'm going to double/triple some of the meals I'm making over the coming weeks, as well as cook extra meat to shred and freeze for meals like tacos, chicken salad, etc. I guess this is my own slow version of Life As Mom's February Freezer Days.

Monday: Deconstructed Broccoli & Cheese Stuff Chicken (make 2 extra to freeze)
Tuesday: Pot Roast in the Crockpot (shred extra beef to freeze)
Wednesday: Buffalo-Chicken Spaghetti (make 2 extra to freeze)
Thursday: Taco Salad (using precooked/frozen ground beef)
Friday: Pizza Night
Saturday: BBQ Chicken (shred extra chicken to freeze)
Sunday: Super Bowl Foods - yummy!!

Check out over 400 other Meal Plans at I'm an Organizing Junkie.