Monday, November 26, 2012

A Story About Our First Christmas

We put our Christmas tree up over the weekend!  Do you have yours up yet or do you wait a little longer?  Normally we wait until December 1st to do it, but we did it early this year for 2 reasons: #1. We're just really excited for Christmas!  & #2. My daughter is in a wedding on the 1st and I figured we'd be too busy to do it that day.  So, we got it up a bit early.  I'm sure I'll be sharing some pictures of it and other Christmas decor here very soon, but for today I want to share a picture of another tree with you.

I was reading on someone's blog the other day about their first Christmas as a married couple and the disastrous story made me giggle as it reminded me of my hubby and I's first Christmas.

We were poor that first year.  So very poor.  We didn't think we would even be able to afford a tree at all, but miraculously we found one at Walmart marked down to $18.  It was wrapped up in netting and we couldn't actually SEE the tree, but we didn't care.  It was 7ft tall, it was $18, and we were going to have a tree!

Well, when we got it home we cut all that netting off, stood it up in the tree stand, and....the whole middle of it fell out!  The center was completely dead and dry and the brown needles came cascading down all over the floor.  The outer parts of branches were still green though, so we soldiered on.  

I had already decided on a country/primitive theme.  My sister had given me a bagful of cute fabric ornaments that she had made, and I had a collection of things I had found a craft shows before we were married, and also some things I had made for it - a torn fabric and wooden thread spool garland, cardboard shapes covered in foil (I had read that they used to do something similar back in the olden times), and the tree topper.  I glued sticks together in the shape of a star and then covered them with fabric.  I filled in the empty spaces with dried apples slices.  It looked so cute and homey, especially since I had thought we wouldn't even be able to have a tree.

In setting it up we also discovered it had a slightly crooked trunk (you may have noticed it leaning in the picture).  The day after I took this picture the bend in the trunk got the better of it and it toppled over.  We had to anchor it to the wall with twine after that.  The funny thing was that just the day before we had been watching America's Funniest Home Videos and laughing at all the people who's trees had fallen over!  : )

About two weeks after I got it all decorated (and set back up from it's fall) I was sitting on the couch enjoying looking at it when I realized the apples slices looked kind of funny.  Upon  closer inspection I found that the apples were completely covered in sugar ants and were half eaten!  Needless to say, they had to be pitched, so then my tree had lots of bare spots.

These memories are humorous, but they are very precious to me and it just goes to show you that,
"Good memories don't require perfection." 
(You can quote me on that if you like.)  : )

Most good memories in life don't center around things being perfect.  In fact, it's generally just the opposite.  It's the things that happen unexpectedly, or somehow go awry that provide the most memorable moments.  It's how we choose to deal with the "imperfections" that will decide if it's a pleasant memory or not. 

You could spend hours and hours decorating everything to a T and baking the perfect desserts and dragging your family here there and yonder for different Christmas activities, but chances are your kids/family won't remember your efforts at perfection.  All they'll remember is how stressed and uptight you were.  They're more likely to remember that you were happy just to be with them, sitting on the couch, enjoying your not so perfectly decorated tree, and munching on microwave popcorn instead of freshly baked and fancily decorated sugar cookies that you stressed over.


So keep that in mind this Christmas season.  Don't waste all your time and energy stressing yourself out trying to make it all perfect.  Instead, use that energy on spending a little extra quality time just "being" with your family.  Don't spend so much of yourself trying to make things happen.  Instead, remember the REAL reason for the season, relax and "let" Christmas happen.  First in your heart, and then in your family.  

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Friday, November 23, 2012

Giveaway Winner!!

And the winner is....

Comment #10, which was from: 

Happy birthday! If you would have kept your "original" birth date of November 24th, you would have shared it with me! Have a wonderful and blessed Thanksgiving and birthday!
She is also known as Laurie T., so congratulations Laurie!  Get back to me as soon as you can with your email address and when I get home from a little bit of Black Friday shopping I'll get that gift card emailed to ya right away!

Thank you SO much to everyone who entered and for all my wonderful followers!  I appreciate you all so much.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Happy Birthday to Me (You)!

Guess what?!?  This is gonna be a good week for one of you readers.  Not only is it the week of Thanksgiving, a day when we get to spend extra time with our families and eat to our heart's content, and not only is Black Friday coming up when great deals are to be found, BUT....Friday is also my birthday!!  

Yep, on Black Friday I'll be turning 32! 
32 on the 23rd.

So...I've decided that I want to celebrate said birthday by giving a present to one of you.

A $25 Etsy gift card!

It's high time for a giveaway, seeing as we've surpassed 200 "likes" on the Facebook page, and I'm now past the 250 GFC followers mark (I can hardly even believe that!).  So my birthday makes an excellent time to share the gift giving fun.

This one is going to be super simple.  Leave me one comment on this post and you'll be entered (followers or Facebook fans only please).  That's it.  No extra comments for sharing and such.  One comment, simple and concise.

This giveaway will be open from now until my birthday on Friday.  Maybe it would be fun to make the official closing time my birth time.  I'll have to ask my mom what it is though, lol!  All my life I thought I knew what it was, but then a year or so ago I mentioned something about it in her presence and she said, "No, that's not what time it was."  Wow!  Way to turn my world upside down.  But now I can't remember what time she did say.  But then again, she very well could be wrong seeing as the date listed on my birth certificate was November 24th until I was about 10 years old.  I'm the one who discovered the mistake and my parents had to have it changed.  So, my life won't be complete until I find out the truth!  : ) 

So, for now we'll just say it closes at some point on Friday.  I'll use the random number generator to pick a winner and announce it right away.  I can email it immediately and you might even be able to use it to score some even greater Black Friday deals!

"Happy Birthday to me (you)!  
Happy Birthday to me (you!)  
Happy Birthday dear Stephanie (Readers)!
  Happy Birthday to me (you)!"


Friday, November 16, 2012

Fun Friday Finds #15

Hi everyone, and welcome back to Fun Friday Finds!  It's been awhile, huh?  For any of you new-comers who've joined us in the past few weeks, Fun Friday Finds was a weekly post I did almost every week over Spring/Summer/early Fall where I shared all my yard sale and thrift store finds for the week. But as Summer came to an end, so did all the great yard sales and it's been several weeks since my last Fun Friday post.

But I have found a few things here and there and then the other day I found 3 things at one thrift store stop and I decided it was high time to share them all.

These Skotch Ice cans were one of the three things I found at that one stop.  They're cans of liquid that you can freeze and use in coolers instead of regular ice.  I paid 9.99 for them.  That's way more than I usually pay for just one thing, but this was one of those "gut" purchases.  I had never seen anything like them before and they struck my fancy.  I did a quick research check on my phone to make sure I could at least make my money back before making that big of an investment.  I think they'll be a fun addition to my Etsy shop.

These vintage Christmas books were another find that same day.  I adore the look of them.  I had been searching through all of the kids books looking for Christmas books for my kiddos and came across them in the mix.  The coloring book is from 1975 and has never been colored in and all the pages are still intact!  I paid 1.09 for both.

This awesome box was my 3rd find that day at 2.99.  It was tucked behind some Christmas decor and I almost gasped when I saw that "39" on it!  Gorgeous I tell ya!

It'll be going up for sale in the shop most likely.

A few weeks ago, Hubby, the kiddos, and I made a spur of the moment Saturday road trip and on our jaunt we came across an old place called "The Treasure Barn" and I forced sweetly asked Hubby if we could stop in.  I found this huge glass cloche for $10.  It'll be going up for sale.

This school house light was an exciting find.  I got it at the Habitat ReStore for $5!!  Other than needing to be rewired it was in almost perfect condition!  It sold within a week of being listed in the shop.

This little Porta-file was a Goodwill find for 1.99.  It has the key and even still has the monthly divider cards in it.

A gallon sized bag full of vintage wooden beaded Christmas garland.  Local flea market for $3.  Keeping those...for now at least.

And finally, this cute little vintage desk lamp also from Goodwill and I think I paid 2.99 if I remember right.  I loved the style of it, but not the color.  I didn't think the drabby tan would be a good seller.

So I taped it off real good and gave it several coats of spray paint.

Ahhh....SO much better, don't ya think?  You know I love me some red!  It's so cute I'm tempted to just keep it, far I haven't thought of a place to use it so I guess I can't hang on to it.

Well, there ya have it.  Those have been my treasures over the past few weeks.  You can bet your boots I'll still be shopping the thrift stores regularly and when I get enough new "junk" collected I'll share them in another Friday post.  

Until next time, I hope you all are having a blessed week!

(If you're new and would like to see my other fun finds, just scroll up to my topic list there on the right side of the screen and click on "Fun Friday Finds.)


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Saturday, November 10, 2012

Sticky Bun Breakfast Ring

This is an unexpected, spur of the moment post.  I tried out a new recipe for breakfast this morning and it was SO good!  I was going to just post a quick picture of it to the Facebook page, but then I figured I'd just go ahead and post it here.  It's not the greatest of pictures, just a quick photo snapped with my iPhone, but it'll have to do.

I came across this recipe in the comment section of this recipe that I found on Pinterest.  So, just note that this is not my original recipe, but the person who left the comment doesn't have a blog so I can't give them credit.

Anyways, it was really easy and super yummy so I figured I'd share it with you all.

Sticky Bun Breakfast Ring

19 Rhodes dinner rolls (frozen)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup melted butter
1/2 t. cinnamon
Pecans (optional)

Grease bunt pan. Sprinkle pecans in the bottom of the pan (if using), then arrange rolls around the bottom of the pan putting close together in one ring (
I made sort of an inner and an outer ring).

 In a sauce pan melt butter, brown sugar, cinnamon until consistancy of a caramel. (
I brought to a boil over med. heat, then turned down the heat and simmered for 5 minutes.)  Pour over rolls.

Cover with plastic wrap and raise overnight. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes. Cool 5 minutes, then invert.

It doesn't specify if the raising is supposed to be done in the fridge or on the counter at room temperature, so I went with the fridge and then this morning I put them in a warm oven for about 45 minutes to let them finish raising.  Baked them at 350 for 20 minutes and they came out full of sticky yummy deliciousness!  

So easy and so good, a win win!  

Let me know if you try them and what you thought.


Monday, November 5, 2012

A Shabby Chic Bed Makeover

I've been focused on my Etsy shop and just life in general these past couple of weeks, so I don't have anything new to blog about yet, BUT...the other day I realized I have never shared my daughter's bed makeover here on this blog.  It was one of the first makeovers I did for her room and I shared it on our family blog last year, but hadn't posted it here since I started this one.

This is what her room looked like for her first few years of life.  

It was adorable and I loved it, but as she got older she was outgrowing the nursery decor and needed an updated room.  She love love loves the color pink and I eventually decided to go with a Shabby Chic theme that could grow with her for a few more years.

In my "hunting and gathering" phase of getting ready for this room makeover, I searched and searched Craigslist and thrift stores for the perfect bed. But it was so hard! Everytime I thought I'd found the perfect one either it was already sold, the seller never responded to my inquiry, or it was too expensive. Then I came across this one that an acquaintance was selling. I almost passed it up without a second glance thinking it was not a pretty sight.  But then I pictured it white, shabbied up, and with a little extra detailing to make it more feminine and realized that underneath that dark wood ugliness, it really did have great lines. Perfecto! At last I'd found a bed for her.
(Notice that original beadboard  we had in that house?!?  I miss it SO much!)

I sanded it down a bit, bought a $4 scrolly thing (that's the technical name) and epoxied it on. This was when we still lived on the ranch in Florida, so our nosy horses had to check it all out, sniff it, bite it, and knock it over while I was trying to prime it.  (I miss them SO very much too!)

All primed, but not yet "shabbied" up.

And here it is after some distressing with sandpaper. I decided I didn't necessarily want it to have a "discolored" aged look, so I didn't glaze it. I wanted it to be white and just have a shabby/chippy look, but I still wanted to emphasize the details in the scrolly thing a bit more. So I used a very fine paint brush with some black paint and filled in the lines here and there to make it stand out more.

Once we got moved into our current house I got all the bedding ordered and we were able to put it all together finally.  It was the perfect fit!

So that was my first furniture makeover for her new big girl Shabby Chic room.

I'm still trying to get more Etsy stuff done, but I'll be back again soon, I promise.  


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