Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Project time!

I finally worked on a little project! I found these lamps and shades at the GW (Goodwill). I didn't want them too matchy-matchy, but I did find two that look like his and hers.
Ray's lamp was pretty easy to cover, but mine was a little more challenging. but I got it done in a really pretty blue-grey color.
Then I pulled off the outer plastic, pleather type fabric from the lamp shades.

Hancock fabrics had a sale a few weeks back, so I picked a little bit of fabric that had the colors I wanted. I used the stripped fabric as a template. It was a good idea, but I should have just cut two large half-circles to get shades done without too many seams. I ended up piecing together bits of fabric to the the whole shade covered. Luckily, these are going in our bedroom, so there won't be too many eyes looking at them.

 I think they turned out pretty well, and if I ever get tired of them there, I can put them in the dining room. They look pretty good right here, don't they?

Finally, I made a dry erase board. I've had this frame for almost two years. I knew I could do something with it, and at $1.00 I couldn't pass it up. So I made sure to buy some fabric for it while I was at Hancock. Our upstairs loft space is going to be dual purpose craft room and library. A dry erase board will be the perfect way to write down ideas for future projects.
I'm so glad I had time to do a  little crafting today!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Yard Sale Slam!

So we moved to our new house at the beginning of May. I was 3 weeks away from finishing up the school year, so I left the decorating until school was out. There were a few things I was still looking for that I didn't have at the old house.
1. Kitchen chairs-we had 2 tables, but no chairs. Who does that?
2. Night stands-actually I had one, but there wasn't one for Ray's side of the bed. Mine still needs to be refinished
3. Lamps- at least one for the living room and one more for our bedroom.
4. Side table(s)- we didn't have space in the living room before, but now, it would be helpful to have some side tables.
5. A storage solution for the bathroom- there's not enough space for towels and toiletries right now.

So, with a couple of trips to Goodwill and a weekend of yard sales a few weeks ago, this is what I've found. It's going to mean quite a few projects this summer, but I'm totally OK with that.

Here's what I found:
This picture and mirror $1.00 apiece. I'm going to put the mirror in our bedroom and hopefully a small table to make a vanity area for my jewelry. The picture I'm going get rid of and keep the frame. 

This hot mess little number I found at Goodwill for $4.00. It's going in my bathroom, I've got big plans for it!

This little side table is either going in the living room or our bedroom. I haven't decided yet, but it's going to get a makeover also.

I found this pair of lamps right before we moved. I paid $1.00 for the pair. They're going to get a good cleaning and maybe a little decoration. I found two lamp shades at Goodwill that I'm going to redo. They aren't quite the same size though. We'll see if the OCD gets the best of me. I may not keep these.

 This is the night stand that I got for Ray's side of the bed. Paid a little more than I wanted to for it (a whole $20.00), but it matches the feel of the other one. The other one needs some work, so this one will get refinished as well.

I also found these two lamps. They're going in the bedroom as "his & hers". I like that they are tall. Makes it better when you're reading in bed.

I also grabbed these two shades from Goodwill. They'll get a makeover too.

Finally, I found this set of candle sticks. They were a plain silvery gray. $1.50 at a yard sale, and coat of this beautiful blue spray paint, makes them ready to be the starting point for my bathroom decor.

Oh, and my grandma found me a set of kitchen chairs. They need a bit of work. Two chairs have a back slat missing. I need to figure out what to do about that. 
I'm looking forward to having some creative work to do, and the time to do it, this summer.
Stay tuned for before and after pics!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

A little crafty goodness...

Today, you get not one but two posts!

I know, it's amazing. But I thought since I was sitting here, I might as well go ahead and post a little something crafty.
So, I have completely fallen in love with these mesh ribbon wreaths. They're so quick and easy, you can do them in a few minutes and then change them up whenever you want. This is the first one I did.

Then I got a request from a friend. By the time I went back to the store to get the wreath form I needed they were sold out, so she has a larger one.

Then about a week later, I decided that Adrianna needed to have a tutu to wear on her birthday. Why buy one when you can make one?

It's been a fun few weeks!

A Liebster? For me?

So, it seems that I've been tagger for a Liebster Award! It makes me feel pretty special, especially because I hardly ever post. But I'm going to do a special one for you today and hope this helps fuel the fire to keep this thing going from now on.

So the Liebster is a good way to learn about other blogs and bloggers and to let others know a little about yourself too. It seems to have morphed over the past few years to have several variations, but basically the gist is this: a blogger (me) is tagged in a post from another blogger and answers the questions then passes on the award to other blogs they follow.

Thanks to Misty from Two Broke Bruces for tagging me in this!

Misty's Questions to the Nominees

1. What is your all time favorite TV show?

2. What is the worst job you've ever had?

3. What is the messiest room in your house?

4. Do you play any musical instruments?

5. What book are you reading right now or what's the most recent book you've read?  Is it/was it any good?

6. Are you a cat or a dog person? 

7. If you won the lottery, what are the first 5 things you would do with your winnings?

8. What's the best vacation you've ever been on?

9. What's your biggest pet peeve?

10. If money was no object, and you could do anything for a living just for pure enjoyment, what would you do?

11. What's your specialty...i.e. what's the best dish or meal that you make? (Feel free to share your recipe) :o)

My Answers

1. All time favorite TV show is 24. I still love Jack Bauer and periodically watch the series on Netflix.

2. I worked a a call center for AT&T we always had to try to up-sale our clients on the calls. I think that's dumb and it made the job really stressful.

3. Our bedroom. Probably because I dump all the junk from the other rooms in there when I "clean".

4. I used to play the clarinet, but I sold it when we moved to Hickory and now I wish I hadn't.

5. I have two books open right now You Matter More than You Think by Dr. Leslie Parrott and Made to Crave by Lysa TerKeurst I am really enjoying the first one-when I pick it up. I don't do a lot of reading during the school year, so I've been working on this one since October. The second book is pretty good so far, but it's about how our relationship to food affects our spiritual life. It may be one of those necessary, but not enjoyable reads.

6. Yes! I like cats and dogs. Although at the moment, my cat is trying to force me to pet while I'm typing this. Not cool, Baxter!

7. 1) Adopt a child from Ghana 2) Take my family on a trip overseas 3) Build a community health center 4) Build a house with a MASSIVE, Pinterest-style craft room 5) Go back to school

8. Anything low-key at the beach. Think Topsail in early April or N. Myrtle after the summer crowds are gone.

9. Kids running around in public unsupervised. That's how you end up on the news, people!

10. If I could do anything, I would open up 2 community health centers. One here in NC and one overseas- maybe Kenya or Uganda. They would serve a training places for doctors, social workers and counselors and would be a place where people in the community could work on a holistic approach to health. I'd travel several times a year, and spend the rest of my time at home crafting and hanging out with my family.

11. Ray's not around for me to ask if I have a specialty. I like to make baked Ziti.

Here's the "Recipe"

-Cooked ziti noodles- not too done, use about a pound and a half of dry noodles if you're making a 9x13 size  pan.

-Your favorite sauce. I like Bertolli's brand marinara.
-ground beef or Italian sausage (optional)
-provolone cheese slices
-shredded mozzarella cheese
-16 oz. sour cream

Brown your ground beef and or sausage. I like to use half and half and I always mix in a little garlic and diced onion.

Oil your baking dish and preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Layer: noodles, meat, sauce, sour cream and sliced provolone. Finish with sauce and shredded mozzarella cheese. 

Bake until sauce cheese is golden brown and bubbly.

It's one of my favorites because you can add in things or make changes really easily. Gluten free pasta, low fat sour cream use ground turkey instead of beef. Sometimes I use frozen spinach and black olives and artichoke hearts instead of meat. 

Well, there you have it! 

Now to pass on the award...

Unfortunately, I only follow a handful of blogs and the only two blogs I follow with fewer than 200 followers are Two Broke Bruces and Confessions of an Imperfect Mom. One of the rules is that you can't tag back...

So, congratulations Abby! You've been nominated for a Liebster Award!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Holiday Hype

I cried the other day...over presents. I know, that somethings little kids do. But, let me explain. I love Christmas. More specifically, I love giving gifts. I love making them, searching for them, wrapping them and seeing people open them. Nothing wrong with that. Well, this year, has really wanted to focus on not getting caught up in all the holiday hype. He's giving his birthday to Cause 6000 and Sole Hope this year. Because he wants to do more than just talk about changing things, he wanted to give one large gift to Cause 6000 and let everyone know that their Christmas present for us is on it's way to help build a well in Ghana. We've done that for the past two years. The cutesy, creative, gift giving side of me threw a little fit when he said that. I want to have presents under our tree and a trunk full of gifts to deliver at Christmas.

I think I threw Ray for a loop when I started to cry. But here was the inner conflict: I love the idea of giving a gift that does more than just add to the junk that people already have and don't need, but I also love giving a great gift that I know my friends and family will love. I was so worried that I was being bratty and selfish about the whole thing that I had a little bit of a meltdown. Luckily, I've found a way that we can give a physical gift that does more than just collect dust. Over the next few days, I'll highlight several different places to shop that allow you to give gifts to friends and family and hope and support to others.

Number one on the list is Light Gives Heat at I found this organization through an ad in a magazine and am completely taken with their story and the work they are doing. Take a look..

LGH works with up and coming artists and to produce their designs by creating jobs women and families in Uganda. How cool is that?! Take a look at some of the products they offer.
This is from their bold collection which just so happened to be on sale today (day 1 of LGH's 12 days of Christmas sale).
One of my favorite bags they offer. 
It's always a good thing to give hope!

I'm really excited to give gifts this year, especially now that I've found places like LGH that allow me to give gifts that are a little more significant.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Cranberry Walnut Chicken Salad

So, since the Ghana trip, I've been home all day. Yesterday, I sat around in my pajama's all day until it was time to go run. Today was redemption. I made dishwasher detergent, and then made chicken salad for lunch. I posted it on Facebook and got a few requests for the recipe. You'd think I'd be excited to post a recipe, but I have a tendency not to measure things when I'm cooking.
I'll give the basics, but just be sure start very moderately to leave room to adjust if you need to.


  • boneless, skinless chicken breast (I used two. They were leftover from an earlier meal. Usually I make chicken salad from leftover rotisserie chicken, requires no cooking, which keeps your kitchen cooler. A big deal this time of year.) 
  • garlic salt
  • Italian seasoning
  • onion powder (Ray doesn't like raw onions and since he needed to eat too, I used this.)
  • dried cranberries
  • walnut pieces (I used fresh gourmet glazed, because they were leftover, but use whatever you have around. Pecans are good in chicken salad also.)
  • your favorite mayo or salad dressing
  • small can crushed pineapple
  • Pepper
  • Salt to taste
I boiled the chicken breast in a little salt and about 3 shakes of italian seasoning. Once they were cooked through and cooled, I used the chopper to finely dice the chicken. I prefer mine a little chunkier, which is why I added the walnuts.

Once your chicken is the texture you want, add garlic salt, onion powder, and pepper. (For just the 2 chicken breasts, I used about 1/2 tsp garlic salt, 1/4 tsp onion powder and about 6 turns of the pepper grinder.) Add about 2 Tbsp mayo or salad dressing and mix well. Add about 1/2 cup cranberries and about 1/2 walnuts and bout 3/4 cup crushed pineapple. Mix well and add any additional salt and pepper to your liking. Voila! Cranberry Walnut chicken salad!

I would have a picture for you, but by the time I thought to write this blog post, it was all gone. If this goes well, I'll have to post more recipes soon.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Days 1&2

So, I'll have to try and catch up on the rest of day one and give a quick rundown of day two.

We made it through the flight from Atlanta to Accra fairly uneventfully. Everyone cleared the health check except for Chad, who was two months expired from his yellow fever vaccine. They gave him the shot at the airport. The next stop was passport verification and this fantastic sign advising sexual predators to go "elsewhere". Thankfully all the supplies made it through customs with just one small gift of a bandage for one of the agent's mother-in-law.
After that point, there was lots of standing around and waiting-for the next flight, then for the flight after that. After a very wild and crazy ride to the mission house, we prepped the bags for each medical team and went to bed.
Day 2 was awesome! Stella (Joseph's wife) and her team made breakfast we ate And were out the door by 8 o'clock. We stopped to merry the "mayor" of the district and the chief of the area our villages were in. We were welcomed warmly, and everyone seemed glad to have us here.
After that we dispersed to our villages. We had the assistance of a midwife and a student. We treated wounds, assessed patients and made doctor referrals. We played with the children, and one lady asked me if I would help her run her daycare.
The evening services went well, there were several who accepted Christ, and we arrived back at the mission house around 10:30.