Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Midweek confessions: Let's get Personal, Insurance, a Truck and Shaving

Now that we are close friends I figure I can let you in on more personal aspects of my life. Like

showering for instance. I've been shaving my legs for 18+ years and I still manage to cut myself more

 times than not. I use shaving cream. I've tried every make on the market.  I've bought cheap and

expensive razors and yet I am just ridiculous with a razor.  To top it off, it takes me forever to heal

from a cut : /.

On my last trip up to Pittsburgh I rented a truck to bring back furniture from my grandparents old

house before the closing. I was super scared as you may remember. Seeing as how I'd never drove

anything larger than a Ford Taurus, I was CONVINCED that I would wind up rolled over the side of

 a mountain with only my chocolate chunk rice cakes to sustain me until help arrived. Then I got in

the truck. Holy moly, I was like a changed woman. It's a whole new world up there! I felt like a bad

ass in my big ole Silverado, truckin along next to all the other little trucks. I got head nods from burly

 men and young men alike. It made my country music sound SOO much better I swear. I called John

 and said, " you know how we JUST got my new car?!? I changed my mind, I want a truck."  He

laughed. I never said I was joking.

Health insurance, it's a blessing I'm fortunate to have. However at the rate we pay for it ,we literally

could have that Silverado sitting in the driveway, with a lift kit and Id look a hella lot better sittin up

 in it!!! (Any Florida Georgia Line fans out there?!)  So today I got some quotes and reduced my bill

 by ALOT. While in the process of changing it I feel like they asked me too many personal questions.

 I understand that they want to know my medical history and what medications I am on but for real

, it's out of hand. Here are just a few of the questions they asked.

Insurance: "Are you currently pregnant, in the process of adopting or undergoing fertility


Me: "OMG no, one is enough. I'm really re-thinking this whole "more kids" thing. Maybe when

 Ethan is older."

Insurance: "Are you over 250 pounds?"

Me: "Not yet."

Insurance:" Do you partake in ATV riding, rodeos...."

Me: "I lost you at rodeos."

Insurance: "Do you smoke?"

Me: " No, but some days I consider it."


Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Finally on Facebookl, HOLLA

Howdy friends, I did it!!!  I finally created a facebook page for Real Housewife of NOVA!!!

So take a second and go "LIKE" me! Thanks, ya'll just made me smile, unless you didn't like me, in

which case I'll drown my sorrows in this hoho.  I bought them for E's uber fabulous Karate/Teenage

Mutant Ninja Turtle party, but someone, I'm not naming names, ( John ) but someone opened them.

Consequences have since followed. He ate 2, I ate 2 and I know the other boxes are now in danger.

How does a hoho make its way into a karate party, you ask? Well with the help of pinterest I can now

 make edible nunchuks using hoho's, twizzlers and my own sheer talent. I don't know how anyone

planned a party before pinterest, it's my go to for everything now a days.  What to make for dinner,

lets consult pinterest!  How do I make my own cleaner? Pinterest! Well, that's a lie I also rely heavily

 on my blogger friends to keep me up to date and inspired! So while you're liking me, go check out a

few of their pages too!


Monday, July 29, 2013

Thrifty Finds, The Sugar Bowl


              Sugar Bowl



This sugar bowl is one of my favorite thrift store finds.   I purchased it along with a matching
casserole dish, bowls, salad and dessert plates. The pattern swept me off my feet with my
favorite colors of teal, coral and a hint of yellow. To top it off it even has gold rimmed edges!  I
immediately added  my plates to my vintage plate collection and couldn't wait to serve veggies in my
bowl.  But the sugar bowl was my biggest surprise.  He takes up permanent residence on my counter
 and I adore him. I never knew I would own, let alone use a sugar bowl in my own home.  Stranger
things have happened I suppose.  It's the little things in life and I look forward to getting my splenda
 out and adding it to my iced tea so much more!  Plus being on the counter makes it so much more

go visit some other great vintage finds at :

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Lessons Learned & A Book Review

          "No filter on her mouth or her cigarettes" Pistol Annies

1.)Aluminum Foil

Never, ever, ever, no matter how great the deal is do not buy generic aluminum foil.   At least not at

the dollar store, that is.   Don't get me wrong I love the dollar store and have found some amazing

treasures there.   But it definitely can be hit or miss.   While I was there this past week I remembered

that we were out of aluminum foil.   I think we all see where this is going,  two birds,  one stone.  The

dollar store sells plenty of name brand items including aluminum foil.   However, being the frugalista

that I am I purchased the generic brand and got an extra 7 feet free. Little did I know that that 7 feet is

 going to haunt me 7x over.   The foil is so awful it barely bends and it creates holes out of nowhere.

2.)Scrubbing the Floors

Baking soda and hard wood floors do not mix!!!  In an effort to be

more healthy and organic I've been making some homemade

cleaners and I LOVE they way that they work.   I  decided to try my

hand at floor cleaner on Saturday.    I've looked through  many "recipes" and decided to try one that

used vinegar, water and baking soda.   It left streaks of white on my floor and a horrible gritty feel all

over.   I went over the floors with warm water to try to remove the grit and yet you can still feel it. It's

 awful.   So awful, John has pointed it out to me about 15 times in 24 hours. I think the grit is coming

from the baking soda.   Next time I will definitely be leaving that out of the mix. If vinegar and water

don't work I may have to stick with my tried and true spic and span.


Why is it when you go for a pedicure that the pedicurist never wants to

scrub the dead skin off of your feet?!?!   I seriously feel like there is a

pedicure plot going on to keep us coming back for more.   Every time I go

(which is not often) they don't want to use the razor and they do not want to scrub my feet for more

than 10 seconds each foot.   I have to ask for them to scrub more or point out the skin that is still left

on my foot(gross I know).  I love pedicures. I love the soaking, the massage chair and the fact that it's

 one of the few times that I can relax.   But I rarely go and when I do, Id like to see some results!   I

swear I do a better job on my own than the place I went to today.

4.)Style Twins

I read an old issue of people mag. today and Isla Fischer talked of her obsession with lululemon and

 how she loves wearing their workout pants because it makes her feel like she worked out without

doing so.   It's like they interviewed me.

5.)Reading List

Just finished these books
Outside The Lines , Amy Hatveny
This was a good read once I got into it.   After a few chapters I felt myself drawn to the characters. It

follows a 30 something girl named Eden and her father David.   The chapters go back and forth

between his and her point of view and the past and present.   David is a mentally ill artist and Eden is

the child he left behind who has struggled with abandonment and the fear that her father is ok for

years.    It also touches upon the lies we tell to save ourselves and protect the ones we love.

Room, Emma Donoghue

This one started out super slow and I almost put it down.   Then I suddenly got hooked. It definitely

 isn't the best book I've ever read and is slow at times.   At points it gives too much detail and then

suddenly skips ahead before you're ready.   It's even a little hard to believe at points but it's different

and that's what I liked about it.   It follows "Ma" and 5 year old  Jack and is told through Jack's point

of view.  Ma was kidnapped and has been trapped in a backyard shed for years and subsequently born

jack from her captor.   It takes us through their day to day life in a single room prison to their escape

and what happens after.   The best parts of the book are Jacks interaction with the TV and Dora the

Explorer references.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

take a peak inside my day, it's not all paint and cookies

                  a day in the life

We went to pick up grandma and I almost slipped right off of the toilet seat when I used the powder

room, "why is the toilet seat wet" I called out to her. "Oh, I washed it" she responded. Of course she

 did. Why wouldn't I think to DRY the toilet seat before sitting on it. MY mistake.

My day was littered with "oh sugar shack" a favorite "in place of swear word" from my Gram.

I listened to Florida Georgia Lines "Cruise" on repeat for miles. Ethan suggested that, "maybe we

should play it again, since we like it."  This was after we had already heard it for 9 minutes straight.

 Maybe I should buy earplugs.

Going to the pool is so tiring. it's been 100 out all week, even the water has been hot. Playing in the

pool with E is like training for "The Hunger Games" we play hulk smash

and battle it out until the loser is immersed in water and out of breathe. He climbs on me and I tote

him around the pool on my back , front and sometimes leg. It's amazing I don't have MORE bruises.

He's a tough cookie. Thank God for the required 15 min rest periods.

Every time the nation wide insurance commercial comes on I hear E singing, "nationwide is on your

 side" either A) he watches too much tv  or  B) he has an affinity for insurance. He also has a knack

for knocking things over. Yesterday was juice, today was a full bowl of cereal. Graceful, we are not.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Organic PB

Too Legit To Quit 

I hate to admit it but I'm one of those people that clicks on the "10 foods you should never eat" links
 when they appear on my facebook newsfeed or yahoo homepage. I've noticed something, the
same foods pop up over and over on these articles.  The one food that shocked me the most is peanut
 butter. Being the peanut butter lover that I am, I decided to dig a little deeper into the issue.  In doing
 multiple searches over the past week I've learned that non-organic peanut butter is one of the worst
things we can give our kids. Peanut butter often contains high amounts of pesticides and fungus.
However, if you buy organic you must refrigerate it after opening or a fungus can form once the jar is
 open. The cold air apparently helps stop this process from happening.
In an effort to be more healthy we bought organic peanut butter and almond butter last week. OH MY
 GOODNESS, what a difference!!! The flavor is totally different. It's so delicious that we just kept
staring at each other and eating another bite. Which is how we've already finished the jar of almond
butter and the peanut butter is half way gone, yes, it is that good. If it helps I have been eating it on
35 calorie rice cakes at least :/  Ok that's a lie, I've been eating it on the 60 calorie chocolate crunch
rice cakes every morning for breakfast, sooooo yummy!

                                                     The brand we bought

Friday, July 19, 2013

Chicken & Rice a la emily

One of my most favorite meals is courtesy of my friend Emily. I remember devouring the dish at her apt. years ago and her telling me that her mom used to make it for her family all of the time when they were growing up. Since we've been friends since we were 14 I wondered why, oh why, I was just now discovering this recipe.

Fast forward 5 years and I can still remember this meal. So I did what any self respecting woman does. I called my now married friend and begged her for the recipe. She lovingly obliged and I realized that this is by far one of the easiest meals that I've ever prepared. So with her permission here we go:

  Chicken and Rice a la Emily

Cook Time : 2 1/2 hours


Bone in chicken (8-10 pieces skinless)
Uncle Bens slow cook rice
1 can cream of mushroom
1 can cream of chicken
1 can of water
1 packet of onion soup mix



step 1) Empty rice into a 9x13 pan

step 2) Pour contents of both cans of soup into the 9x13

step 3) Pour 1 can of water in and mix

step 4) Place chicken on top of the rice (If your chicken is not skinless, take skin off)
step 5)Empty the onion soup mix on top of the chicken 
step 6) Cover tightly with foil
step 7) cook at 350 for 2 1/2 hours
The chicken will literally be falling off of the bone when it is done and the rice mix is to die for.
Added bonus, your house smells divine! Let me know what you think if you try it!

straight out of the oven



Linking up with these great sites below:

Thursday, July 18, 2013

seashell frame, Minor Update, Big Impact!!!!

"Don’t matter how you feel, it only matters how you look"- Miranda Lambert

Sometimes a little pick me up is all we need.  The same is true for accessories. Switch them out or
spruce them up.  Every time  I've used my mom's powder room for the past few years I've stared at
one picture in particular.  The print itself is okay, but the frame is an odd shade of "sand" that does it
no justice. She brought up that after adding a new piece to her bathroom décor something seemed
off.  I took it upon myself to finally point out the annoying frame. She said she'd never really liked
the frame but had never even thought of doing anything to it and asked my opinion. White, I'd paint it
white I said. Lo and behold I took home a new project that very same night.

                            Before pic

               Close up, look at  all those grooves!


                    Painters tape applied

After taping down the frame with painters tape, I got to work. Three coats later it was finally up to

After Paint

I made the mistake of adding wax and it took to all of the little nooks and grooves in the frame. It
took me a good 20 minutes of scrubbing to remove every last piece. Here's what she looks like now!

End project! 

Go check out

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The $3 bench, with a no sew padding cover "how to"

Our foyer has been in shambles since we moved in.  Shoes galore, and not much else.  I placed a cute linen lined basket in one corner to corral the chaos and added a sisal rug.  We eventually hung a mirror and rustic shelf.  I slowly decorated those and then came the $5 end table.  I adorned that with thrifty finds and pulled out another basket.  I continued to eye the pricey benches in pottery barn with their ample storage and fabric covered seats but refused to spend that much on a bench for the entryway.  Yes, it's the first room that you see when you enter our home, but it's also the room that we spend approximately five minutes in per day.

Enter the yard sale.  I had already found one great piece at this particular sale when I turned to my right and saw a  bunch of books piled high on a filthy, white bench with a dirty blue cover. I honestly didn't  think that it was for sale but of course I had to ask.  Luckily they responded with an enthusiastic, "yes!"  I asked how much they were selling it for and after considering the question for a good 30 seconds answered me with, "three dollars"... SOLD!

The bench needed a good scrubbing and the cover was just best tossed.  However, the padding inside was able to be salvaged.  I went to Joann's and searched through the outdoor fabrics for a heavy duty textile to keep up with E and his cleats, backpack and the occasional spill.  I narrowed it down to two.  I ended up going with a coral and cream pattern with a touch of blue and a 40% off sticker!  I then grabbed some unique stitch  (My new bff!!!!)

As with all of my projects, I let my materials simmer for a bit and waited for inspiration to strike. It finally did one evening at midnight and I got to scrubbing!  Once the bench itself was clean I could move on to the fun part, the cushion!  I can not stress how easy the unique stitch was to use btw.

Here's how I made the cushion:

#1  I laid the padding flat on the floor with my entire yardage of fabric under it. I cut all of the extra off  to save for another project.

#2   I then laid my padding onto the middle of my now cut fabric. I also made sure to flip it over right side up to ensure the pattern would be correct with the blue stripe directly in the middle when finished.

#3   I pulled one half over onto the padding and made an initial strip of glue onto the pad itself.  (I wasn't worried about getting the fabric on/off to clean, since I figure i'll be sick of it by the time it needs to be laundered.)




#4    I then pulled my fabric very tight before folding the other half over the padding.


#5    I folded a small piece under to hide the "seam." I then glued a strip of the unique stitch to this and pressed it firm.

#6      Then I took the ends and folded them down like wrapping a present and glued them down.

FYI after the first side was done I learned I should make a small slit out of the side fabric and cut out the excess to make the fold less bulky.

#7   I made another fold and glued that.


#8   Your side should now look like this!


Top view of the bench

and from the other end of the foyer!
It's definitely not pottery barn but I love it and it's price tag!


Linking today's post with:

Friday, July 12, 2013

Mirrored tray turned chalkboard

Happy Accidents 

Let's revisit one of my treasures from thrifting the other day; shall we?! If you remember I purchased

this sweet, little tray last week. It was a bit of a gold color and I thought that it would look superb in

silver . It would also match more of  our bedroom décor in that shade.  Here are some pictures before

applying  my trusty rub N buff in a silver finish.

 close up on the inside(notice the gold)

close up of the outside 

I took a look at how the mirror was attached and figured out a way to dismantle it without any harm
 to the mirror or tray.  I figured that this would be the easiest way of applying the rub N buff without
 the hassle of painters tape. It also allowed me to get into every crevice and corner. However, as with
 every situation in life when my inner jiminy cricket issues me a warning I should know by now to
 listen to it. On this particular day E and I were watching cartoons in the morning while crafting.
Something told me to put the mirror above the fridge. I neglected to do so and E picked up the mirror
 to admire himself. I told him not to touch the mirror.  Again something told me to put the mirror
 on top of the fridge. I was too afraid that it would somehow slip and we'd have broken glass on the
 floor. Instead I placed the mirror on top of a tote bag that was sitting on the armchair.  An armchair
that E never sits on mind you. Not five minutes later I heard craaaack. E had decided that  he wanted
 to sit on the chair, in doing so he had slid the bag and mirror onto the floor.  The mirror  survived the
 fall, but not him stepping on it. eeeek!!! I was 2 feet away the entire time, Go figure. Luckily the
crack was straight through and no shards came out and no one was hurt ,  except for
the mirror.
Now I had a silver tray and no mirror. What's a girl to do?! When in doubt, chalk it out! I added some
 chalkboard paint and it instantly became a whole new project! Not what I expected, but I love it all
 the same!

doesn't it look cute next to my repurposed candy dish/ ring holder!
perfect as a catch all for my watches and sunglasses .

linking up with