Thursday, January 31, 2013

Granny Squares

I love granny squares and found these 2 throws at the thrift store for $1.50 and 75 cents.  Decided to pull out my Macro and take some pics of them.  One of them has a Project Linus tag on it and it makes me wonder who made it and what was the circumstances to the little child that recieved it.
My favorite shot because it's so colorful!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Abounding in Hope

Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.  -Romans 15:13

I love that the God promises His children joy and peace!  As His children we are to abound in hope, joy and peace even in the midst of difficult circumstances. In the Greek, one of the defnitions of hope is  'joyful and confident expectation of eternal salvation'  And the word 'fill' in the Greek is 'abound, liberally supplied, to make complete in every particular, to render perfect, to carry through to the end, to accomplish, carry out,

His Joy and peace is LIBERALLY SUPPLIED and ACCOMPLISHED in the hearts of believing saints! 

But I love that this power is NOT in our own power because I can't do it on my own!   I can't even begin to drum it up and I cannot counterfeit the hope that is from the Holy Spirit. 
 It comes from God and God alone!

Monday, January 28, 2013

DIY Baseboard Duster/Scuffmark Remover

Every so often at the airport I'd see the cleaning people with a tennis ball on the end of a broomstick and watch them as they used the end of a tennis ball to remove shoe scuffmarks from the floors of the long corridors of the airport without having to bend over.   When the vestibule and hall area of our church was prone to getting black scuffmarks I thought of making one.  Googling brought me to this link.  Then I was watching one of Malitose79's videos on youtube (not sure which one!) and she showed the tennis ball on a stick but put a dryer sheet on the end and used it to clean baseboards in the home!  Brilliant!   So, I'll kill two birds with one stone and have a dual purpose tool!
The dryer sheets can be added by taking the ball of the stick and tucking as many as the edges as you can into the hole.  The dryer sheet leaves a coating on the baseboards that deters dust and makes it less likely to stick to the wood.  How cool is that? 
I cut my tennis ball with a box cutter, making an X into one side.  After I dusted all the baseboards from the downstairs this is what was on my handy dandy duster.  Pretty icky and I am a regular duster of my baseboards.  The fabric sheets really grip the dust and remove dust and dirt. 
I must tell you to PLEASE use caution when cutting your tennis ball!  I kept reminding myself to be careful over and over and was being very cautious.  While holding and cutting my ball open, I slipped and sliced the palm of my hand open which took an emergency trip to the ER to get a tetanus shot to see if I needed stitches.  No stitches thankfully!  So please stick your tennis ball in some channel locks, a vice or some other contraption that will hold the ball AWAY from your hands.   I cannot stress this enough!

More the Merrier Monday

Saturday, January 26, 2013

My Morning Routine

Do you have a morning routine? 
 I've been using my morning routine faithfully every day for about 3 months now (I did also previously but moreso since our big move) and am so glad I did! Every day I do these 9 things and it really helps my day go much smoother. 
(left to right and top to bottom)

1.  It's so much easier to want to stay in PJ's all the morning but getting dressed really
does make me more industrious and gives me purpose. 
Staying in PJ's allows my mind to think I can lounge around!  

2.  Make my bed when I get up (or when hubby gets up).  My bedroom is pretty near clutter free and this just gives the bedroom a put together look.  Besides, I love getting in a crisply clean made bed every night and have loved it even since I was a kid! 

3.  Empty all Trash Cans.  It just takes a minute!

4.  Shine my Sink.  I LOVE LOVE LOVE my sink, and I have to admit that because it's porcelain and beautiful give me more motivation than if it was aluminum like the majority of sinks I've had in places we've lived before.  Every night before I go to bed and when I wake up in the morning I wash the dishes in the sink and make sure there are no crumbs in it.  When neccesary I scrub it out.  This only takes a minute or two as well. 

5.  Start a load of laundry.  I don't know HOW in the world 2 people can do so much laundry but we do!  It might take me all day to move it to the dryer and then to fold it but I make sure to get it done on the same day so I don't fall behind.  Laundry piling up is so frustrating!

6.  Clean my Kitchen Floors.  I don't do this every day but since it needs to be done so frequently I put it on my morning routine list.  Sometimes I just spot clean it and sometimes I clean it thoroughly since it looks so white when it's nice and clean.   It takes maybe 5 minutes to sweep and mop. 

7.  Swish and Swipe the Bathroom.  Swishing and swiping is a quick wipe down of the bathroom to get it ready for guests and it only takes a minute.  I clean any streaks on the mirrors with windex and I give the counters a quick wipe down.  I also swish inside the toilet bowl and the entire outside of the toilet bowl.  I usually do it just before I jump into the shower. 

8.  Breakfast.  Every day I try and make a great breakfast for my hubby and I.  Whether it be breakfast burritos or French Toast, Ham and Eggs we enjoy the time spent together sitting together as a family. 

9.  What's for dinner?  This really is done the night before but having it on my daily morning routine reminds me every morning what we are having and to do any prep if needed.   

What about you?  Do you have a morning routine?  I'd love to hear about it! 

My Crazy Beautiful Life

Friday, January 25, 2013

Soap Ladies Devotion & Tablescape

My friend Melissa over at Honey Bee's Fancy told me about doing soap devotions a few years ago and I've been doing it ever since.  It really is a great way to study the word of God.  It's one thing to hear a sermon or read scripture alone.  But hearing, reading, and writing sermons used in scripture and scripture for bible reading really brings it home for me and reinforces it in my heart and mind. 
 It really sticks!

We had a Ladies Devotion this week and these are pictures of the Table Centerpieces.
The theme was SOAP and we had little soap gifts for each lady.

We met in our Children's Church Classroom~  here are the tables all ready~
I made up soap booklets for all the ladies and we 'soaped' Psalm 51 together.  Whoever wanted to share with the group the scripture they chose from the Psalm did and it is such a blessing to hear what others glean out of scripture.   Thank the Lord for a fresh viewpoint from other Sister's in the Lord.
If you'd like to read more about how to soap you can click here.  
 Have a wonderful grace filled day!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Homemade All Purpose Cleaner

I've been trying many cleaning products for my white tile kitchen floors since we moved in.  Pine~Sol left smudges and left the floor slippery.  Fantastik and 409 type cleaners left it sticky and noisy to walk on.  I even tried Murphy's Oil Soap highly diluted and it, too, was greasy and slippery.  I promised myself that when all of my products were gone (besides the Murphy's because I do use it for my wood)  I'd try my hand at making a homemade solution. 
 In a spray bottle I mixed together:
1 cup of White Vinegar
2 cups of warm water
1-2 Tbsp of Dawn Dishsoap

The results?  I'm very impressed!  I've used it on my floors in the kitchen and they look great! 
I've even used it on the kitchen counters with great success.  It does smell like vingar but that's okay with me.  Vinegar is supposed to be a natural disinfectant since it's a mild acid and is more gentle than household cleaners and bleach.  I read that vinegar does NOT kill foodborne bacteria so I'd clean all surfaces that come in contact with meat appropriately. 

If you try this I'd love to hear how you like it!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Closet Challenge~ Clothing Purge

This week I'm in the Master Bedroom and adjoining hallway closets for heavy cleaning.
I saw something recently online that really piqued my interest.  It was a one year challenge. 
You turn around all of the clothing that is hanging on hangers~ turn them around backwards. 
As you choose something from your closet and wear it, you turn the hanger and garment around the 'right' way after you wash the garment.  After a year all the clothing that hasn't been turned around can be donated to charity.  It's painless! 

Here's my closet before~
I've got 3 laundry baskets on the top shelf of my closet that hold knits and sweaters that will stretch out if I put them on hangers.   
One for cardigans style sweaters and knits~
One for pullover type knits and sweaters~ 
And the last one is for 'over' sweaters that are very breezy and bolero (short waisted) type sweaters mostly worn in the spring or as an extra layer over a turtleneck or long sleeve top.
My clothes all reorganized and turned backwards.
And laundry baskets all put back in place.
I purged about 5 garments out of my closet this morning.  I KNOW I can purge more and I'm really looking forward to the passing of one year so I can see what I really love and wear.   
I have 3 criteria of what I want in my closet:  
Do I love it? 
Does it make me feel confident?
Am I wearing this for myself or for the expectations of someone else?
It's so easy to hold onto garments for sentimental reasons or until the perfect time when I will be at __ weight.  By that time those garments will be out of style and I might as well buy new stuff! 
My closet is finished! 

Join me in turning your hangers backwards!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

My DIY 'Vintage' Rolling Pin

My rolling pin has found a home above my stove and I love it there! 
When I found an older vintage one for rolling dough, my brain went to churning and I decided to add some red paint to the handles to make it look vintagey
 like the old fashioned ones you see like this. 
 I love the splash of color!!!

Curtains for my SweetHeart Kitchen

I've been on a mission in looking for curtains for my Sweetheart Kitchen for over 2 months. 
I tried WalMart, Target, and any and all stores in the area
and could find nothing that really spoke to me and that I had to have. 

I finally did find something at Anna's Linens and it would have cost me over
300 bucks for the three windows in the kitchen alone!
Wayyyyy too much money for me to spend and besides I LOVE a good challenge. 
 I knew patience would play out and my windows have had no curtains on them for a while, 

I am an avid thrift store shopper and when I saw these white cotton curtains with
pineapple lace my heart started beating fast. 
They were so new and I don't think they were ever used. 
They still felt like they had the sizing on them that comes on them when they come
off the bolt and are sewed. 
When I got them home I threw them in the wash and they still looked
great with very little wrinkle. 
I just had to lightly press them.

(click on photos for a larger view!)
The best thing about them?  Well, really 2 things! 
Okay~  3 things! 
I love them! 
They only cost 6 bucks!
I am completely satisfied with them and how they look in comparison~ 
even to the curtains that I 'could' have got at the expensive price tag! 
I am so glad patience won out and that my windows have been bare! 
I really wanted to stay true to the 'feel' of the home and the era that it portrays and these really do! 
I love my new Curtains!

Next, we're looking for new venetian blinds in white or cream. 
We've been all over the place looking for the correct measurements and can't find them. 
We're trying to buy store bought and not custom made to save some money.   

The Thrifty Groove
Social Hop Like Crazy

Friday, January 18, 2013

Oven Baked French Toast

One of my favorite breakfast dishes EVER!!! 

I love the fact that you do the preperation the evening before
and then pop it in the oven in the morning!!! 
This is so yummy and easy for Christmas morning or for guests year round!
Preheat oven to 400*
The ingredients:
 1/4 cup butter
3/4 inch sliced french bread slices
1 1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup sugar
6 eggs
2 Tbsp maple syrup
1/2 tsp salt 
Spray the pan with non stick spray and put butter in pan.   It really helps to use the non stick spray even tho the pan is buttered. 
Place in oven till butter just melts.
While the butter is melting mix together the milk, sugar, eggs, maple syrup and salt
in a seperate bowl.  Set aside for now.
A quick note about breads~ I've done 6 HUGE pieces of bread in one pan and a
very thin baguette with many pieces of bread and both worked with great results.
I just make sure that I am filling up the 13 by 9 pan very full.
I prefer softer bread compared to a crusty bread since it tends to
get crispy towards the end anyway with baking.
And stale bread is usable for this too!
Cut up your french bread in 1 inch slices or a little fatter if you like. 
The loaf I used here was very skinny and I could fit many pieces into the pan.  
Dab each piece of bread in the butter and turn it over butter side up. 
Pour egg/milk mixture on top of bread.  The bread pieces will float. 
Turn bread over and make sure the bread is sopping wet. 
Place in refrigerator overnight.
In the morning remove foil and bake about thirty minutes or so.
Sometimes I flip mine half way through so both sides are toasted. 
The original recipe says to bake 40 minutes but I think it is WAY too long
and bake it until it is golden brown. 
Serve with syrup. 
It is SO yummy!