Friday, October 30, 2009

$3 Autumn Craft

Hey guys! It's been a while! I kept meaning to post, but I've just been busy with life and taking care of my little man. Life with him is getting more fun every day and I just feel so lucky to be Luke's mommy. :)

Okay, enough of the sappiness! Jane at Finding Fabulous is having her weekly frugalicious Friday, and I thought I'd post a great (and super cheap) craft (if you can even call it that!) that I made last year.

I don't have any before pics, because, well, like I said, I did it last year. :)

I made my own super-duper-easy candle wreath using berry picks from A.C. Moore. I went in last year when they were selling them for 50% off $1.99. I picked out three, twisted them together, and then hot-glue-gunned the end of the picks so they wouldn't stab me later. (This is a crucial step for me. I'm the klutziest person in the universe.)

I had an orange pillar candle inside last year, but this year I'm using a free Glade candle that I got from CVS last month. The scent is "McIntosh Apple", and it is a dead ringer for the Yankee Candle of the same name - it's delish and fills three room of my downstairs with its scent. Yum! If you don't want to spend the money on YC, go grab a Glade from the drugstore! (Although the YCs are much prettier, I will give you that.)

If I were hosting people at my house for Thanksgiving, I would totally make 2-3 more of these babies and line them down the middle of the table with some pretty fall pillar candles. Instead, I'm traveling to Connecticut and my mom is cooking for all of us. I'm totally okay with the trade-off!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


Chris's dad is the pastor of our church. He is one of the wisest people I have ever met, and I've learned a lot from both his messages and his character in the two years since we moved to Pennsylvania to live near Chris's family.

This past Sunday night we weren't planning on going to evening church because Luke was going to need to eat right around the beginning of the service, but for some reason I really felt like it would be good to go, so I asked Chris if we could anyway. I'm so glad we did, because the Holy Spirit really spoke to me through Chris's dad and Ephesians.

I'll keep it short (I hate reading long sermon-type blog entries). Basically, he preached from this verse:

"Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power." (Eph. 6:10)

Then he looped it back to these verses:

"I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms..." (Eph. 1: 18-20)

Essentially, I have ressurection power at my disposal. Does it give you chills?

The message was a lot better than how I'm going to sum it up, but essentially it was this: don't blame anyone else for your circumstances, since our struggle is "not against flesh and blood" (Eph. 6:12). There is a spiritual battle in the world, but we have ressurection power to help us fight.

So when I'm tired, stressed out, cranky, impatient, un-self-controlled, fed up, disappointed, frightened, or whatever -

I need to be strong.

It's a command, and I can do it.

Ressurection power.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Dear Luke,

christmas will be here before you know it, and i thought we should have a little chat about presents - this being your first christmas and all.

oh, and by presents, i mean what you can get US. seeing as we've spent like $12,497.21 on your care and feeding already thus far in life, you're getting more pampers and formula!

merry christmas, son.

anyway, back to OUR presents.

i was talking to dad, and he's a little hesitant to ask you, but i know what he really wants.

why, just the other day he told me his most favorite thing about his handsome new son (yes, that would be you.)

his most favorite thing in the whole wide world is when he loses "rock, paper, scissors" and gets to change your poopy diaper.

mostly, his favorite part is the smell. he didn't even have to tell me that part - it was written all over his face.

and since this is dad's most favorite thing in the whole wide world, and it will be Christmas, after all, he is hoping that you will fill up both sides of the diaper, and make sure all that goodness gets all mashed up in there.

if you really want to rock dad's world, you can spit up during the diaper change just like you do for me. it really enhances the experience.

thanks for being so thoughtful, son. i know you will come through for daddy!

lots and lots of hugs and kisses,

p.s. what can you get ME, you ask? why, what a sweet boy! continuing to sleep through the night is quite acceptable. i mean, don't you think i look so much prettier this way?

p.p.s. go here for something very lovely that has nothing to do with poop. promise. :)

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Cheapy Side Table Project

Did you all have a nice weekend? After an incredibly stressful week of Luke fussing all day and not really sleeping at night, plus a heating pipe that leaked in our office closet and made puddles on the floor (!), I was about at my wits's end. Did I mention that 10 people were supposed to come to my house on Saturday night for a fall party?! Thankfully, God knew what He was doing, and two of the couples backed out last minute. I considered scrapping the whole thing, but I decided as much as I love my little boy, he needed to go to Grandma's house! Can I get a witness?! lol

We ended up having a great time, and it was just the thing my worn-out self needed: to laugh. A lot. Oh, and eat a lot too. :) Of course I forgot to take pictures (I am so bad about that), but we had lots of delicious fall-colored and fall-flavored foods: I made spicy chicken dip, carrots and dip, caramel-snicker-apple salad, and apple cider, and the other couples brought gingersnaps and pumpkin dip, gooey pumpkin cake, and peanut-butter pumpkin bread. Then we played Cranium and it was just healing for my soul to laugh that much, let me tell you!


Luke has been back to his old smiley and sleepy self lately, which has let me get some stuff done around the house. Since I mentioned a while ago that money was tight, I decided to shop the house again. My end-table in the bedroom was sad and I decided I could fix it!

The table was from Goodwill for $5.99. I bought it last year because I liked the "knobbiness" of it. She got two coats of brown spray paint.

Then I realized I had to do something about that hideous lamp. (In my defense, no one goes in our room but Chris and I, but still, it was horrible.) I've had the base for ages and I have no idea what I was thinking when I put that shade on it!

I didn't have the money or time to drive to JoAnn's, so I used some fabric that I'd originally bought for a Nester-style mistreatment that really just tanked. It was from the remnant pile at Wal-mart before they stopped selling fabric.

I didn't measure or sew. I hot-glue-gunned that fabric and tucked it in. I promise you really can't see it from the front!

I sprayed the lamp the same shade of brown (the only shade I have right now!) and stacked it on top of one of my old favorite books.

Add a "shabby chic" Target tissue box via the flea market, a candle with some coffee beans for filler, hide the alarm clock, and I'm calling it a day.

This is not my life-long dream for my end table, people! But right now, it's prettier for no extra money. It ties in with the dark-framed ferns above the bed and the blue and chocolate pillows on the bed. Someday I'll show you the whole picture, but that would require the piles of unfolded laundry to be moved, wouldn't it?

P.S. Just so I'm not responsible for any deaths :), I will say that the tucked in fabric at the top does come close to the light bulb. I only use the lamp for reading and never leave it on otherwise. Not that you're as ditzy as me, just saying - be careful!


Check out Kimba's blog for much more expensive, creative, and exciting DIY projects than what you see here! :)

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Fall Party Time!

--Luke sleeping peacefully after church on Sunday --

I absolutely love the fall and decorating for it. My living room has a lot of brown, red, and gold in it anyway, so fall items blend well with in this room if I do say so myself! I should be napping right now, since I've gotten about 0 hours of sleep in the last few days, but I've tried twice today to nap and I couldn't fall asleep. It doesn't help that our neighbors are putting an addition on and their dog, Coco, likes to bark at every hammer strike. Luke, on the other hand, has no problem sleeping through the noise. (Yes, I'm more than a little jealous!) I decided I'd better get these pictures up while my blurry eyes can still read the screen.

Two thrifted plates with some filler from my bridal registry thrown in. I never realized until this year how perfect it was for fall! I really don't like arrangements without some kind of personal touch to them (lol - ironic, given the picture above!). Although this one doesn't have a picture included, the orange-tinted calla lily above was a wedding gift from my uncle who is a professional photographer in NYC. Love it.

The pears are actually in the jar all year round (except at Christmas) - I just added the little berry garland. And yes, that is a giant peanut tin from Wal-Mart underneath, which houses my ribbon collection. Thanks for noticing!

Coffee table. Have a baby, and you too can fill your ceramic leaf with a baby ear thermometer, a headband, and ear plugs.

Candy corn doesn't make it long around here! (I know exactly how many I can have for one Weight Watcher's point! lol)

Bookshelf - apothecary jar and leaf plate are also surrounded with more of that scented filler. The filler and the candle to the left were from the Nate Berkus (love him!) collection at Linens 'n' Things before it bit the dust. I registered for both of those items, and I kid you not, that candle spent about two years without being lit. I don't know what I was afraid of - I guess ruining it? (My mom does like to laugh about the fact that on the first day of 2nd grade, I walked all the way up the road to the bus stop flat-footed since I didn't want to put a crease in my brand-new white Keds. Being a perfectionist is hard work, I tell you!)

I have since gotten over myself, especially when I read a post by The Nester about how ridiculous it looks to have un-used candles just sitting in your home. Now I make sure all my candles look used and "lived-in" - I love that cozy, drippy look. Go run around your house and light all the candles right now. You might get a temporary headache ala Yankee Candle, but your house will ooze comfort.
You're welcome.

The "mantel" above our free-by-the-side-of-the-road "entertainment center" (I use the word loosely!) I'm not too crazy about this arrangement for some reason - it might get changed. The little brown frame has two little leaves that I pressed and stuck between the glass and sheet of cream paper.

Top of the stove - thanks to Brigette for introducing me to Woodwick candles a few years ago! Mine's from Cracker Barrel.

I showed you this picture already - this wash-stand table is in our dining room - I'm not crazy about the style (too country for me) but it was a wedding gift from Chris's grandmother so you know how that goes.... :)

A little touch of fall above the key holder...

My childhood next-door neighbors gave me this fall quilt after I got married. I like how it helps to cover the hideously ugly chair we were very thankful to get for free from friends. (It actually is super comfy!)

Thanks for stopping by my house today!
Go visit Rhoda for more fall decorations!


I can't decide if I like the addition of these words or not. Is it too much, especially on the bookshelf? Tell me which way looks better!