Wednesday, February 28, 2007


I saw this adorable idea recently and while my Mom was here we decided to try it! We ironed interfacing on to the fabric scraps I already had. Then we cut two of each of four sizes and stitched them together with a button. Then we sewed a safety pin on the back and voila!

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Garden Progress

Here's the latest on our veggie garden:

* Spinach coming up! (lower photo)
* Tomato plants sprouting! (top photo)
* Finished planting the row of onions today.
* Continuing to water the indoor plants.
* Pulled a few weeds today also.

Door Stop

Our bathroom door has not stayed open for months and we need to keep it open for humidity purposes. Here was our solution until last week:

I was tired of this wadded up rag and wanted something that looked nicer and was still functional. I also did not want to spend anything and challenged myself to look around for supplies we already had on hand.

I am sooooo excited about what I came up with! I had some khaki fabric and stitched this into a small bag. I sewed the bottom into a sideways "I" shape to help it stand up and cut a piece of cardboard from a box flattened for the trash to fit in the bottom. Then I put in dried pinto beans and tied it with twine. I tied some old-looking keys that I found in the Michael's scrapbooking department with a 40% of coupon. I love this solution!

Total time from old rag to cute little bag: 10 minutes
Total spent: Zero!

Monday, February 26, 2007

Mitford Meal

My Mom was here all last week and we are both Mitford fans. I received the cookbook as a gift and suggested we plan a "Mitford" meal while she was here. It was sooooo yummy!

We made Cynthia's Roast Chicken, Louella's Mashed Potatoes, Cynthia's Green Beans, Cynthia's Glazed Carrots and Lottie Greer's Country Biscuits. "Man!" (to quote Dooley) This meal was heavenly.
For dessert, we had Emma's Pound Cake with strawberries and whipped cream.

We set a fancy table using a twin sheet for the table cloth. Small canning jars were filled halfway with dried lavender and topped with a votive holder and tealight.

But, better than the food, is the time spent together making this meal. I know you've all been there when you are trying to do something like this. Both girls were needy, we were trying new recipes and were tripping over all the toys on the floor and, all this used a TON of dishes! Surely kitchens never seemed this messy in Mitford! I guess we should have called Puny to come help out!
We got so loopy we were giggling like little girls when David walked in the front door and while we could explain why we were laughing, it never seemed as funny to him. So, we made a wonderful meal that we won't soon forget - but tossed in were some fun new memories!

Friday, February 23, 2007

Felt China Protectors

I saw this great idea on Martha's show months ago ~ making protectors out of felt to go between each piece of china! This was perfect for me as I did not have anything in between my dishes. Wouldn't this make a great gift for a new bride? Simply check her registry for sizes and quantities and then present her a lovely set?

It is extra exciting to me to have a cabinet to put all my china in! I have been looking for, waiting for and working on a china cabinet for well over a year now. So, my Mom and I moved all my china in this week and it looks so beautiful that I've walked over just to open the doors and look inside!

Here is how I made the felt rounds:

I taped two pieces of printer paper together and traced the dinner plate, salad plate, saucer and bowl on it. And, I wrote next to that how many of each one I needed. I started with the largest and moved down so that I could just trim that part away and not waste lots of paper in the making process.

I pinned the pattern to my felt and started cutting (I used pinking shears to give it a pretty edge) and kept a tally right on the pattern so I knew how many I'd already made and how many more I needed.

Here are the three sizes I cut:

And, stacked between my dishes!

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Home Sweet Home

I was tagged by Lisa to do this Homemaking MeMe and since I love all things homey - this sounded fun!

Aprons - Y/N If Y what does your favorite look like? - I like the idea of aprons - however, I find that I rarely actually put one on. My favorite one is solid green and I love it because it is adjustable for people who are very petite (code for short!) like me!

Baking - Favorite thing to bake? - Wow, this is hard to narrow down to one thing, but probably homemade Cinnamon Rolls.

Clothesline - Y/N - We do not have one, though I've been thinking it would be a wonderful addition! I need to find out if our neighborhood allows them first!

Donuts - Have you ever made them? - Most Saturday mornings I make these.

Everyday - One homemaking thing you do everyday? - Clean up the kitchen and make the bed.

Freezer - Do you have a separate deep freeze? - Yes

Garbage Disposal - Y/N - Yes

Handbook - What is your favorite homemaking resource? - I love Lisa's answer for this: she just calls her mom! I could definitely do that too and a favorite book is mentioned in this post: Cleaning Up the Clutter by Emilie Barnes.

Ironing - Love it or hate it? - I don't love to iron, but I do like the results! My biggest challenge right now is keeping the little ladies away from the ironing board!

Junk drawer- Y/N - Where is it? - Yes, in the kitchen.

Kitchen - Color and decorating scheme? - Sage Green bead board - and whatever I like! :) Here's a photo...

Love - What is your favorite part of homemaking? - Creating a haven - a peaceful retreat for my family. A place where love abounds and memories are made!

Mop - Y/N - I get down on my hands and knees - I've never had very good success with an actual mop.

Nylons - Wash by hand or in washing machine? - Definitely machine!

Oven - Do you use the window to check on things or do you open the door? - My frugal side knows that I should use the window - but alas, I always open the door!

Pizza - What do you put on yours? - Cheese and Pepperoni

Quiet - What do you do during the day when you get a quiet moment? - Craft, look at a magazine, or visit blogs!

Recipe Card Box - Y/N - Yes! It is where all my favorite and most used recipes live!

Style of house - I would define my style as cozy - I like cottage, primitive, country, etc... "looks", but I simply combine things I like!

Tablecloth and napkins - Y/N - No on the tablecloth - but we always use cloth napkins.

Under the kitchen sink - Organized or toxic wasteland? - It is fairly organized - I keep cleaners, watering can, recycling bin, detergents, and flower vases under there.

Vacuum - How many times per week? - Twice.

Wash - How many loads per week? - Hmmm, I'm guessing six or so.

X's - Do you make a daily to do list and check it off as you do things? - Oh yes! I am such a list girl! Every night I make my list for the next day - I keep a spiral notebook and just use one page for each day. I don't always get everything done, but it is an invaluable guide for my day!

Yard - Y/N - Who does what? - David does all the mowing, trimming, blowing, etc... I work on pulling weeds and picking out flowers! :) Confession - I have never, ever mown a lawn.

Zzz's - What is the last homemaking task you do for the day before you go to bed? - Make my list for the next day!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Lovely Evening...

So, here are some pictures from our anniversary evening together. It was so wonderful and relaxing! My Mom is here visiting, so she stayed with the little ladies and it was a fun time for them!

We both had Beef Tenderloin - very delicious! And, got to sit at our "usual" table in a corner by the fireplace! Thank you for all your sweet comments yesterday!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Three Years!

Three years ago today, I became a "Mrs" ~ after years of praying for God to bring just the right man into my life to be my husband! What a special day and it has just been getting better since then! David, I love you! (Above photo credit: Stacy Richardson)

Each year around our anniversary - I write in this journal to David. Just whatever is on my heart and mind including reasons I love and appreciate him. I started this journal long before I ever met him as a gift of my thoughts to my future husband. And, I gave it to David as a wedding gift three years ago today - I will give it to him again today, with new thoughts and words in it so it will be a gift all over again.

We always go out for a really nice dinner to the same place on our anniversary! We sit in the same spot if it is available and, so far, have even had the same thing to eat each year! God is good!

Monday, February 19, 2007

Amelia's Banana Cake

This yummy cake recipe came out of an old issue of Victoria magazine - which is now out of print.

Their recipe calls for a cream cheese frosting, but I really like it with chocolate!

Amelia's Banana Cake
4 Tbsp. butter or margarine
1 1/2 c. sugar
2 large eggs
1 c. mashed banana
1 1/4 c. white flour
1 c. whole-wheat flour
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 c. buttermilk

Mix all together with an electric mixer and pour into two - 9 inch cake pans that have been greased.

Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes.

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting (Betty Crocker Cookbook)
3 c. powdered sugar
1/3 c. margarine or butter, softened
2 tsp. vanilla
3 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate, melted and cooled (I use 3T. cocoa and 1 T. oil to equal one square)
2-3 T. milk

Mix together and frost cake!

Saturday, February 17, 2007


Here is the update on our veggie garden! Today, I planted one third of a row of onions, a row of spinach and started my pepper and tomato seeds inside! It is exciting to get it going! I'm going to be posting our progress mostly to keep track of it myself!

Friday, February 16, 2007

Cooling It Off

If you've ever had a toddler or even been near one - you've likely heard at the dinner table that their food is not the right temperature!

Well, Emily is no exception - she doesn't even like her food WARM! So, here's what I've been doing and it has helped so much.

I have a set of melamine plates that I serve Emily on. And, I just keep the stack in the freezer. That way when I put her food on it, it cools off really quick and she rarely complains about her food being too warm anymore!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Denim Glove & Hat Organizer

I wish I had taken a picture of my entry way closet before I started this project! Because, let's just say, it was NOT working! It contained our vacuum, four folding chairs, four TV trays, coats, hats/gloves/scarves and misc other things. And, it is a SMALL closet!

So, I had enough with dealing with it so disorderly. We have really high ceilings in the living area and entry way and I decided that our shelf was not being used efficiently. I removed the TV trays and put them under the spare bed. Now our coats actually hang - and if you come and visit (I wish you would!) I will actually have room to hang your coat!

I removed the basket of hats/gloves and decided that having that stuff sit in a basket on a shelf was wasting space. I challenged myself, once again, to use what I already had on hand to organize this space and not spend anything. So, something I have in abundance is old denim - jeans with holes in them and paint stains. I can easily cut around those areas.

And, this hanging organizer was born! I cut a leg off of a pair of jeans and cut down one side so that when I opened it flat it was a bigger piece of denim. That formed the backing and is why the backing is not perfectly straight as legs of jeans are tapered. Then I sewed pockets and made "pockets" to hold gloves and hats. Scarves are hanging on a hanger next to this.

For the shelf - I found some empty crates and stacked them allowing for storage of board games, vacuum attachments and a few gardening items. There is still more space to add if I want to or need to. Even better? Moving all the games to the shelf emptied an ENTIRE shelf in the linen closet - so now I have some extra space there too!

I'm realizing that just because I have something somewhere, doesn't mean it is the best or most efficient space - so I'm trying to think outside of that and think is there a better place I could store that?

Now, when I want to be inspired - I just head over to the entry way closet and have a look and let out a big sigh of relief that it looks so much better!


A special thank you to all who participated in our celebration of marriage yesterday! I was really encouraged as I read all the reasons why we each love our husbands and it was edifying! Hope you all enjoyed it as well!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Blog Tea Party!

Welcome to our blog tea party! I'm so glad you could join us today! Please enter the link to your post (not just to your blog) below!

I'm adding my link since my post is below - I didn't want to sacrifice even one photo by joining these posts together! :)

Now, pour a cup of tea and enjoy visiting with friends and celebrating marriage!

Celebrating Marriage: Blog Tea Party!

Ohhhhh, this is just so exciting! Don't we all love to talk about weddings?! Warning, this is going to be a lengthy post - there are just some things you cannot scrimp words and photos on! I had such a hard time choosing which photos to choose - but these are some of my favorites. Plus, they hit some highlights of the day! I must first say that all these fabulous photos were taken by my friend, Stacy, didn't she just to an awesome job?! You can click on each set of pictures to enlarge them.

We got married at Glen Eyrie on February 20, 2004. It had been a dream of mine since high school to get married there and they weren't exactly always open for weddings. I ended up working there for a few years, which was a great experience, and allowed for this dream of mine to come true - it truly was a fairy tale wedding complete with the castle! And, I just have to tell you - this place is simply breath-taking.

I had initially planned on wearing my Mom's dress - which did fit me. However, after trying it on again a few months before the big day, I just did not feel very pretty in it. My Mom took me dress shopping and this was the first dress I tried on. I wanted something simple, yet elegant and something that looked somewhat vintage. I loved this dress and felt like a princess in it.

The bridesmaids dresses were Victorian Lilac in color and were two-piece. I still love these dresses. Each of the ladies looked so pretty and they were flattering to all! So, let me introduce these ladies from the left - my childhood friend, Anissa - her Mom and my Mom were friends in college, so we grew up together. We did not always live near each other, but we did stay in touch and were each in the other's wedding. She also has two little girls now - so we have that in common as well! Next is my dear friend Glenna, and we worked together at the Glen. She spent many an hour praying with me for this day and over who God had for me as I sought His will in desiring to be married. My Maid of Honor was my wonderful sister, Carrie! She is such a treasure and I am so thankful for such a great sister!

I also love this picture of my Mom and I! It was COLD outside, but we all seem to look so happy and warm! My Mom did everything possible to make this day perfect and everything I hoped it would be! Thank you, Mom, we treasure our memories of this day!

David was not allowed to see my dress before the big day and my Dad chose not to. So, here is my Dad seeing me all ready for the first time!

Now, comes an important picture! What would this day have been without this handsome man who had asked me to marry him?! Honestly, I do not know how to explain or describe what a blessing David is to me. He is most certainly the answer to many years of praying for a husband and not just any husband, but THE one that God had planned for me.

David models to me the kind of love described in 1 Corinthians 13. I can be myself around him (something I find rather hard around others) and he loves and accepts me for who I am.

We really wanted our ceremony to be a service of worship. To bring glory and honor to God. Every detail was planned with this in mind. And, it was beautiful. Here, we are signing a marriage covenant that we wrote and signed during our ceremony. We had each of our wedding party members and parents sign it as well as a sign of testimony to our pledge.

"I make this covenant with you, my beloved & with our God before these witnesses. I will love and serve you in a way that is patient and kind, not envious, not boastful, that is not proud, not rude or self-seeking, is not easily angered and keeps no record of wrongs. I will not delight in evil but rejoice with the truth. I will think on that which is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent & praiseworthy. These things will create a bond of three strands between us & God that is not easily broken. With this spirit of unity, I will follow Christ, so that with one heart and mouth we may together bring glory to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. I will give all of myself fully to you for I am not my own. I will not love the world or anything in the world. The world and its desires pass away, but I will follow God and do His will and have eternal life. I will not let what God has joined together be separated by man. May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be pleasing in Your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if anything but death separates me from you. Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all I ask or imagine, according to His power at work within me, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever. Amen."

Two great things to point out in this set - the first and third photos are just ones that I really like! One of my favorite things from our wedding, was my flowers! We had sterling silver roses, lavender English stock, misty blue and freesia. Can you just smell those together?! I cannot handle the smell of daisies, lillies or other strong flowers - so these were just perfect for me! I remember that I just kept looking at my bouquet and telling my Mom how much I loved the flowers!

I had always wanted to have rose petals thrown when we left the reception - and for our florist to provide the rose petals was going to be in the multiple hundred dollars figure. Ack! Since we got married about a week after Valentine's Day we decided we should be able to even go to a grocery store or Wal-Mart and get roses there for cheaper. Turns out that when we went to the wholesale florist for our rehearsal dinner flowers - David suggested we ask and see what they had. She said they had "distressed" roses for $5 a bunch. I asked how many were in a bunch and she said 2 1/2 dozen!!! These roses were so beautiful - there were a FEW petals that had to be thrown out, but can you believe for $20 we got so many roses? A sweet blessing from God. We came home and de-stemmed them and put all the petals in big ziplocs in the fridge - it worked perfectly!

I had this cute orange bunny growing up - my Aunt (pictured here with me) gave it to me when I was a year old. I LOVED this bunny and took it all over. So, the teasing began that since I loved Bunny so much I would probably take it on my honeymoon. So I did - just for fun! :)

Instead of throwing a bouquet to eligible young ladies - we decided to honor the couple at the reception who had been married the longest! It was so fun to keep asking higher numbers! Here they are receiving their bouquet!

David and his parents - I should have shared the one where he is given rabbit ears to his Mom, but this one is so nice!

Our cake! This cake was DELISH! Yummy! We saved the top layer and I carried it home on the airplane to put in our freezer - honestly, it tasted just as good on our first anniversary!

To finish up - this is our favorite photo together from the day! It was just as we were getting ready to leave and a sort of afterthought, but we love this picture! And, at the same time, we took pictures of our rings together. We each planned engraved messages to the other and were not allowed to see ours until the wedding! It was a fun surprise!

Well, thank you for joining me as I recall what a special and wonderful day this was! I treasure the memories, but more than that - I treasure the marriage that was born out of all these details and memories. It is a blessing that I do not take lightly. Thank You, Lord, for hearing my years of prayers and answering so abundantly. Thank You, David, for being just right for me and for loving me so beautifully. I love you!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Love & Marriage Tea

So, the tea party was this past Saturday! And, I am so excited to tell you all about it! Our theme was love and marriage - celebrating what God has given us.

We borrowed this dress form from a thrift store and put my wedding dress on it. It took some creative work to get it to stay upright - but it worked out great!

We also made a board on a "science project" type board. It included pictures of several weddings and shared the stories that the pictures told - it was really fun!

We asked everyone to bring a framed wedding photo and their wedding album to share - all the frames were put out across the top of the sideboard and we spent the first half hour or so looking at albums. It was SO fun!

I'll explain the bubble picture next even though this really happened at the end of the tea. Since most couples plan special send-offs from their wedding or reception - we wanted to do the same thing. We had each of the ladies walk through the bubbles as a farewell!

A wonderful devotion and testimony were shared and we went around the room each sharing one thing we love about our husbands!

Here are our tables - two card tables were set up in the living room and the big table was in the dining room with a card table on the end to make it longer. We had programs at each place and slips of paper with wedding questions on them. Questions to start conversation like describing your wedding bouquet, how you spent your first anniversary and how your husband proposed.

This is my friend Melissa and myself - we planned the tea together and agreed we made a great team! We're already talking about plans for our next tea!

We served lunch and dessert ~ I think everything turned out really well! Click here to view all our recipes!

Monday, February 12, 2007

You're Invited!

I am so excited about this! I was trying to figure out a way that we could all have a tea party of sorts through blog-land. And, after posting my invitation for an upcoming tea, a blog-friend suggested we do this via our blogs! Great idea!

So, here's what we are going to do...our tea will be themed on celebrating marriage. You can tell us all about your wedding - show a photo of your invitation, program, dress, flowers, etc... Tell us about the ceremony or reception - just whatever you want to share about it. We'll do this on Valentine's Day ~ come back here and I'll try to figure out the Mr. Linky thing, grab your favorite cup of tea and enjoy visiting with each other!

Here is my hope for this, that we will encourage one another in the gift of marriage and celebrate what God has given us in our spouse. You will see more about this in my posts on our tea party that is taking place at my home.

Here are the rules:

1. Come back here on February 14th to enter the link to your post. You may use the above button to advertise this on your blog.

2. Share photos and details about your wedding.

3. Only share positive qualities that you enjoy and appreciate about your husband. I am not interested in hosting a gripe session. Include something you love about your husband, so that he is encouraged as well.

Update: I'm just bumping this up to remind everyone and to share the news with others. Pass the word!

Pan Avalanche

As you can see, the way I have been storing my baking sheets and muffin tins is simply NOT working! They don't stay stacked nicely and they slide around.

So, on my recent visit to the Salvation Army thift shop - I found this wonderful metal file organizer ...

After a round with the Lysol - it is ready to get me organized! Whew - that was well worth $2.99 and about 15 minutes!

Friday, February 09, 2007

Bless Your Husband: Valentine

Emily was still an infant a couple of years ago around Valentine's Day. And, honestly, it snuck up on me. I had not purchased a card and did not really have the energy to make the effort of going to the store. I also felt like I need not spend money to show David I loved him and with all the craft supplies in our home, I should be able to come up with something out of what we already had.

So, this little garland was born! I cut hearts out of red and pink construction paper. Then I used a Sharpie to draw little borders on and I wrote verses that reminded me of him. For example, David models 1 Cor. 13 kind of love to me all the time - so that was an obvious easy choice.

Then I tied a piece of twine to each side of our headboard and used little clothespins to attach the hearts. I just hung this up again for this year as a reminder of these ways that I love and appreciate him!

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Valentines 2007

I saw this charming idea in the Feburary 2006 issue of Country Home and have been busy making them to send out this year to all our loved ones!

First, I selected one photo of each family member and found a cute graphic in Word. I printed out the photos on one page and the hearts on another page and typed in Happy Valentine's Day on the hearts.

Then, I used a heart shaped cookie cutter to trace around on the photos. Next, cut those out.

Glue the photos to a solid piece of colored card stock. And, cut out around those leaving an edge of the colored paper showing.

Use a small hole punch to punch holes on each side of the hearts. Run a piece of ribbon through all the holes and behind the hearts. Tie knots in the ends or use a brad to secure. Hang and enjoy!

Valentines 2006

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Little Girls Dresses

Well, I have to tell on myself to give you the whole story on this little dress idea. Since my friend Grace was here last week and we always love to craft - I had pulled out this idea from a previous issue of Country Living:
I looked all over for some fun vintage fabric (also cheap) to use for this but came up pretty empty. So, I continued to scour ebay and found one lot of cute fabrics in fun retro colors. The fabric arrived, I washed it in preparation for our fun project.

Well, we cut the strips of fabric in random widths as suggested. Sewed those strips together with french seams and were getting excited. When we finished sewing our strips together, it became obvious that this was going to be one HUGE tote bag! It would have been a perfect pillowcase! What to do? I certainly did not want to waste all of our effort or the fabric and it was turning out cute!

We tossed around several ideas and the bag idea just wasn't working. Then we remembered an idea she had previously sent me for a pillowcase dress for little girls! So, you guessed it - we decided to make the most unique little dress we'll probably ever make! Should I even make Emily wear this? Or will it scar her for life? :)

Here is the finished product:
And, from leftover scraps - a cute little matching purse:

We loved these so much that we decided to each make another one from 1/2 yard of fabric. The tutorial on the above link is perfect - gives all the details. We did do french seams so there are no raw edges - should wear well.

For Emily:
For Brianna:

The dresses we started with were not really frugal or thrifty...but the second ones made out of 1/2 yard were $2-3 each! They will be perfect for running around this summer and staying cool!