Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Do or Don't? - Colored Wedding Dresses

Even though my wedding was in June, I can't help but occasionally still look at wedding blogs. They're just so pretty! Lately I've seen lots of colored wedding dresses. I really think they can be beautiful, but looking back, I'm glad I chose white. It's traditional, and I'm OK with that.

Would you ever (or did you) wear a colored wedding dress?

Images: One Two Three Four

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Simple Grocery Bag Storage

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I love this idea for a quick way to help organize under the sink. If you're like me, you save way too many plastic grocery bags. If there's ever a shortage, I'd be able to supply one for every household. Unfortunately, that massive supply is exploding from underneath my sink. This recycled coffee can idea is a super inexpensive way to solve the problem.

With some spray paint, a knife and some scissors, you can get that bag disaster under control. Now I just have to get through a big can of coffee.

Get the full how-to here.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Cone of Shame

Kevin has been home from the vet since Wednesday and is recovering well. He had to wear a cone to keep him from licking his freshly declawed paws. He was pretty unhappy about it (if you can't tell by his angry face). Jeff and I couldn't help but think of the movie Up when Doug the dog wore a cone and said "I do not like the cone of shame." We kept saying that to Kevin - he was not amused.

His cone came off yesterday and he's getting back to normal. So far he limps a little, but I'm sure he's just sore. The best part is that he's been quiet, and has been sleeping through the night!

Because he's been so quiet, we don't always know where he is. This morning I didn't know he was sleeping under my clothes in the closet. When I grabbed my boots from out of there, it scared Kevin awake and he tore out of the closet -scaring me half to death. We weren't expecting each other to say the least. The scare was worth it though. A quiet cat makes me happy.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

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We've been so blessed this year, and this holiday season I'm thankful for many things. Here are a few.
1) My wonderful husband who takes care of me, our house, our cars and our cat
2) That we both are employed
3) Family and friends - near and far
4) A warm, cozy house to go home to everyday
5) And, of course, health and happiness

Tomorrow morning we're off to Kansas City to enjoy some time with my step dad's family. Then we're coming back to the lake and spending the rest of the long weekend at my family reunion. I'm so excited to see everyone! Tonight I'll be baking up a storm. A few things I'm bringing are two raisin cream pies, rolls, shrimp cocktail, a triple dipper crockpot of chocolate, caramel, and cheese fondue (complete with things to dip) and of course, wine. It's always a blast when my family gets together - good food and good company, what more could you ask for?

I hope you all have a wonderful holiday. See you Monday.

Image via.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Love Tattoos


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Jeff and I have talked about getting his and hers tattoos, but I'm scared. I don't have any and I don't know if I really want one, but I think it's sweet sentiment. I definitely would want something I could hide (I work in an office), so we've considered getting them under our wedding rings. Both of our bands are pretty wide so we could hide them easily, I've just never seen a wedding band tattoo that I like. And, I'm so scared of being an old woman with an ugly tattoo.

What are your thoughts on tattoos?

Photos via my Pinterest.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Poor Little Kevin

Kevin is going to the vet today to have, what I would assume is a terrible procedure. That's right, folks, he's getting neutered today. He cries, whines, and screams for the stray female outside, and we've finally had enough. We're taking his front claws while he's there, too. Sorry, Kev.

We put it off because he never had any behavioral problems before, but since the day he ran away, got a taste of the wild and met his stray friend, he's been excessively meowing and making crazy loud mating calls. We've just finally had enough of never sleeping, and we miss peace and quiet in the house. We needed to get this done, especially with the holidays coming up and family staying with us - I'd feel terrible if he kept them awake, too.

We get to pick him up Wednesday. I hope he's not mad at us. I'm really excited about getting a full nights sleep though. I've forgotten what it felt like.

Keep 'lil Kev in your prayers.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Have a great weekend!

Happy Friday! Any plans for the weekend? I'm decorating for Christmas - I'd be lying if I said I hadn't already started - at least I'm waiting until after Thanksgiving to decorate the outside of the house. I see the arguement of not decorating before Thanksgiving, but I do too much decorating to only have it up a few weeks. And, like I said, I won't decorate the outside until it's time (so I don't offend any Christmas decoration haters). Have you put your decorations up yet or are you waiting?

Here are some links I enjoy from around the web, maybe you wil, too.

Really fabulous e-zine.

This makes me want to work for Google.

Lovely harvest dinner inspiration shoot.

How to make 3D paper ball ornaments (cool!).

Learn to speak Chinese.

Great DIY paint swatch chandelier.

Sweet nail polish.

I love cats, and this blog full of cat comics.

These look delicious.

Kitten eyeliner tutorial.

Double dark chocolate pomegranate cookies. o. m. g.

Illustration via.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Thrifty Thursday - The tale of the home haircut

When we were dating, Jeff and I would go get haircuts each month. Usually I'd get
mine colored, too. Without even thinking, we were spending over $120 a month on hair!

For the wedding, I decided to grow my hair out. I got a few trims the year we were engaged, and after a few (not-so-great) home dye jobs, I found a home hair color that worked for me. My hair bill went from $1000/year to less than $150 a year. Much better!

Jeff was still getting monthly hair cuts. Recently, he bought a $25 haircut kit and trusted me to cut his hair. Mistake? Maybe.

The first time I cut his hair, we set up the "barber shop" on the deck. I was really uncomfortable with the clippers in my hand. I felt like one of the pranksters on Jackass going up behind someone and buzzing a big bald spot on their head. It was awkward. The clippers were heavy. I was so scared I was going to mess up.

I almost made it through the first haircut - it wasn't looking too bad. Then, something terrible happened. I may or may not have accidentally taken a big chunk of hair off the back of his head (I did). You may or may not have been able to see his scalp (you could). I messed up.

He took it pretty well, I think. We laughed a lot, he may have secretly cried - I'm not sure. I tried to blend the bald spot in, and really, it wasn't the worst thing ever, but the blending made the rest of his hair very very short. The next day at work, his co-workers were asking when he joined the military. They called him sargeant (I can't blame them, it was pretty high and tight).

Luckily his hair grew fast, and he's fully recovered now. I think we're up to three home hair cuts and have already saved $50! I'm getting a little better each time - figuring out the right attachments, blending with scissors - I'm practically a professional. Well, maybe that's a stretch, but I'm getting there. In the long run, having me learn to cut his hair will save us about $300 a year!

Photo via.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


Have you heard of Birchbox?

Here's the scoop. You pay $10 a month to get a package full of goodies in the mail. I love getting goody packages! It comes with 4-5 large sample sizes of different beauty products - I've even heard of them coming with chocolate! Ummm. Yum. I need this in my life. Christmas present, Mr. Jeffrey? (You can buy them as a gift in 3, 6 and 12 month increments.)

Buy this for me here. :)

Photos via Birchbox.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Possibly the cutest thing I've ever seen

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This hedgehog coin purse from Kate Spade is so adorable. I think it would make me happy every time I pulled it from my purse. I'm pretty sure my coins would be a little happier being held in it, too.

Get it here.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Styling a Turtleneck

I have a few turtlenecks that I mainly reserve for days where I'm either freezing cold or just want to feel cozy and comfortable. I'll admit though, I can't help but think I look a little like my mom in her christmas-print turtlenecks that should never come out of the closet (don't worry, she knows better now). Glitter Guide gives a few ways to style a turtleneck that aren't too bad. Perfect for snuggling by the fire, going to work or heading out.

See the original post here.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Have a great weekend!

Happy Veterans Day. I can almost guarantee my grandma tied a yellow ribbon around the tree outside the farmhouse today. I'd like to give a special thanks to my grandpas, uncles, cousins and father-in-law for your service and sacrifice. And, to those who are currently serving our country or have served before, thank you for all you do.

Also, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 comes out on DVD and Blu-Ray today! I'm too cheap to see movies in theaters (unless we go to Cinema Suites) so I'm soooooooooooooo excited to buy it tonight. After I watch it, I'll probably be really sad it's over. Like when you finish a good book and are sad about leaving the characters behind. *sigh* I'm already depressed thinking about it.

I hope you have a great weekend. Here are some links I enjoy from around the Web. Maybe you will, too.

Great idea for an extra touch when hosting a party.

I need this shirt.

Go here. I laughed so hard I cried.

Great idea for personalizing wood items.

How to fix broken powder makeup.

T-shirt makeovers.

Pear wafer recipe (this would be so great on a cheese plate).

Avoid permanently losing your camera by doing this.

Make your own striped drapes.

Is this real?

Real life Timon and Pumba.

The perfect wine glass.

Photos via and via.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Thrifty Thursday - Skirts for a Steal

On a recent trip to one of my my favorite thrift stores, I came across two great Banana Republic skirts (in my size!). I love when I find something on a thrift store rack, that if I saw in a "real store," I'd want to buy. The best part - I paid $3 for each of them.

Blazer: thrifted - $3.80
Blouse: thrifted - $3.50
Skirt: thrifted - $3
(You can't see my shoes, but I got them at Target for $7)

Entire outfit under $18!

Necklace: thrifted - $2
Shirt: Charlotte Russe (old) - on clearance for $3
Skirt: thrifted: $3
Shoes: Another Target clearance steal (old) - $8

That's right - a $16 outfit!

I'll bet the original price of one of the skirts is more than what I paid for both of these entire outfits. And that's why I love thrift stores.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Twig Coasters

I love these handmade twig coasters from Martha Stewart. Wouldn't
they be great for a Thanksgiving table? Using the same idea, you could
make matching placemats! And, wouldn't they be pretty wrapped around
a glass candle holder as a centerpiece? I could even see spray painting
them to match your decor. Keep them natural at Thanksgiving, then
spray paint them red, silver or gold to use at Christmas.

Get the how-to here.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Breakfast Cups

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If you're on Pinterest, you've probably seen this picture of the cute, delicious-looking breakfast cups.  I'm one of those people who likes a little of everything in each bite, especially eggs, bacon and toast, so I decided I'd try making them. It was a success! I first made them on Saturday morning, and by Jeff's request, we had them again on Sunday.
 I used a small glass to cut out the bread circles. I pieced
the odd pieces together to fill the bottom of the muffin cup
so there was no bread waste.

I was unsure about wrapping the bacon around
the outside. It seemed too loose ... it was fine.

Also, the recipe says to discard some of the egg white.
I'm not a waster, so I just cut the egg in a rough
"half" and divided it between two muffin cups.

(I thought about using a full egg, but everything
else would burn by the time the egg was fully cooked.
I think next time I'll try scrambled eggs.)
Don't mind the messy muffin tin.
And voila! Delicious little breakfast cups!

I'm excited to make these the next time we have weekend company over. They're faster and easier than trying to fry the bacon, fry the eggs, make pancakes and somehow time everything just perfect to be able to serve everything fresh and hot.

Get the full recipe from Annie's Eats here.

p.s. Something else I saw on Pinterest and tried making. They were really good, too.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Living Room Revamp

I've been in the mood to redecorate my house lately. It's probably because it's the only thing that will keep me from decorating for Christmas this early. I've been wanting to work on the living room, but could never figure out quite what it needed to be "complete." Over the weekend I finally figured it out.

As a starting place, I decided to switch the lampshades from our bedroom with the ones in the living room. That was a quick (and free) improvement. Next, Jeff took down the ugly landlord-provided Venetian blinds that haunted the sliding door to the deck. That was another huge improvement. Then we thought white curtains might look good so we bought a curtain rod and white curtains, put them up, and hated them. I'm glad I kept the receipt.

I went to Home Goods to look for something different. While looking, I came across some pretty, silky, textured, golden-yellow curtains (for $9.99 each!). I had a few other golden yellow things in the living room so I picked them up and carried them with me while I continued to browse. Then, something magical happened - I found pillows that matched my area rug ($20 for a set of two)!  The rug is a slate blue/blue gray color that nothing ever matches. I held the yellow curtains up to them and they actually looked really nice together! I knew I had something good going.

I've been wanting to find a couple throws to go over the couch and chair, but have never had any luck. Poof! Home Goods worked some blanket magic and had two golden yellow knitted throws. It apparently was my lucky day because they were the cheapest throws in the whole section - only $12 each! I couldn't wait to get home and test the new stuff out.

I was afraid of what Jeff would say when I walked in with two big bags. He was skeptical, but after everything was in place, he was as happy as I was. Everything went together perfectly and looked really great.

For under $80, our living room was transformed into my favorite room in the house. I'm a little sad all my "fun money" for the month is gone, but I'm happy it went to something I'll enjoy everyday.

Here's a look at the updated living room.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Have a great weekend!

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Happy Friday, friends! This weekend I'm planning on deep cleaning my house.
It could use a good dusting and closet organizing. Also, I'm on the hunt for throw pillows that match my slate blue living room rug.  And, there's always the never-ending search for an affordable, ultra-thin console table. So far, both are impossible missions. Maybe a trip to my favorite thrift stores will help.

Here are a few posts I enjoy from around the Web. Maybe you will, too.

Jaw-dropping New York home tour.

Super-cool chandelier.

Cozy slippers for winter.

Three ways to dress up a winter coat.

Clever glass jar typography.

What I need to do to our master bedroom closet.

Effective cat storage.

Cute way to address envelopes.

(Photo via)

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Thrifty Thursday - Preventive vehicle maintenence

Jeff working on my Blazer back in 2008

I've been driving the same 1998 Chevy Blazer since I graduated high school in 2005. It has just shy of 250,000 miles and is still going strong. Well, actually, it's a little weaker than it once was, but it gets the job done. Honestly, if it hadn't been for Jeff giving it a little TLC from time to time, it probably would've died a long time ago. Or I'd be totally broke from paying a shop to repair it. We're saving for a new-to-us vehicle, but in the mean time, we make sure it gets regular maintenence so it lasts until we can replace it (I say "we" like I actually do anything ... sometimes I'll ride to the parts store with Jeff).

Here are a few tips from the handyman himself.

Check your oil level regularly.
Be sure to get an oil change every 3,000 miles or every three months. Oil breaks down and losses its viscosity. If not changed regularly, it can lead to premature engine wear. Contrary to popular belief, synthetic oil isn't always the best option. Vehicles over 75,000 miles should use a high-mileage oil. High-mileage oils have additives that help keep seals properly lubricated which help in the prevenion of leaks and oil burn off. Also, it's OK to switch back to conventional or high-mileage oil after using synthetic.

A standard oil change, on average, will cost $35 to $55 depending on your oil choice. You can save half of that expense if you do the oil change yourself.

Check all other fluid levels.
Transmission fluid - For most vehicles, you need to check the transmission fluid level while the engine is warm, the vehicle is running and it's in park. Have a professional flush your transmission as specified by the manufacturer. A standard transmission fluid exchange will have an average cost of $90 to $120 depending of the amount and type of fluid your vehicle requires. Many new Fords and some Nissans take a synthetic fluid (CVT) which is more expensive.

Coolant/Antifreeze - Check the reservoir and the radiator, but never while it's hot because it's under pressure. Always use the fluid recommended by the manufacturer. Having your radiator flushed when recommended by the manufacturer will help prevent excessive engine heat in the summer and reduce the risk of freezing in the winter. A standard professional coolant/antifreeze flush will cost $80 to $100. If you can do this yourself, it costs about a third of the shop price.

Check your tire pressure.
Properly inflated tires can lead to benefits including improved fuel mileage, prolonged tire life and better vehicle handling. To find the proper tire pressure for your vehicle, check the manufacturer's recommendation sticker inside the driver side door. This sticker will list the proper tire size for your vehicle and their proper inflation.

Change your engine air filter.
This filter should be changed every 10,000 miles or as necessary. If you can't see light through the filter, it most likely needs to be changed. Benefits of changing your engine air filter include improved fuel mileage and vehicle acceleration. Never blow out an air filter. Forcing compressed air through it will perforate the paper filter and allow particles to enter your engine.

Don't put off preventive maintenence.
You may think you are saving money by pushing the limits of service intervals, but it may end up costing you thousands in major repairs later. When it's time, call around for prices before just taking it to the closest shop, this can definitely save you money. Also, ask friends or family for recommendations. They may be able to guide you in the right direction.

If you have questions about maintenence for your vehicle, feel free to email me at

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Ultimate Body Pillow

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If I could afford it, I would buy this crazy body pillow. I've slept with a pillow between my legs since I was little, eventually I moved up to a body pillow, and now I think it's time for this beast. That way, Jeff can be even more annoyed about all the pillows and blankets on my side of the bed. I can't help it that our house is 60 degrees at night, and I'm too cheap to turn the heat on yet. That just means it really is necessary for me to sleep with five blankets, a regular pillow and a body pillow. Thankyouverymuch.

Get this pillow from Hammacher Schlemmer here.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

It wasn't meant to be

The verdict is in. We didn't quite qualify for a loan at this time. My heart sank when we heard the news. It's really dissapointing. They said they would consider it if we could put 20 percent down, but 10 is the best we can do right now. I guess that means renting for a few more years. We're OK with that though.

Honestly, I was really sad about it for a while. I even cried for a little bit. They weren't necessarily sad tears though. I wasn't that upset about not getting the house, more just so stressed out about the process that I couldn't help but have a cry when we knew it was over.

Moving forward, we're looking at it as an opportunity to get ourselves fully prepared for homeownership. I'm so lucky to have a good husband who knows we're a team, and is ready to make some sacrifices to help us get where we need to be.

To help us save, we're considering finding a less-expensive rental. We love our place and especially our location, but even $100-$200 a month less would add up quickly and help us get closer to our financial goals. We're checking listings and plan to make some calls. I'm excited about searching and am hopeful the right thing will be there, if we're going to move. Wish us luck.