Friday, October 24, 2008

{full moon - halloween style}

I saw this while driving around this week and had to capture a picture for your viewing pleasure.  Enjoy!


If you can't tell by the picture, those are pumpkins standing in for bum cheeks!  Very creative, thought I.

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Thursday, October 23, 2008

{introducing thrifty thursday}

I am a lover of thrifty finds and love to share my finds with my friends.  That includes you, oh friends that live inside my computer!  So I'm going to start sharing my thrifty finds with you on Thursdays.  Sound good?  Alrighty then, let's get to it...

Yesterday was Wednesday, and around these parts that means half price clothing at the Salvation Army.  My cute little hubby was in need of some shirts & sweaters that didn't drown him (he's been dropping pounds like crazy) so off I went.

Keep in mind that I only paid half of the ticketed price.

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All in GREAT condition.  A GAP sweater in bone ($2.50), an Old Navy long sleeved polo shirt in a cute stripe ($2.50), and a Tommy Hilfiger button down in a navy & white check ($2.00).  Not bad, huh?  I know!

I also found this darling skirt for my daughter for next Spring & Summer...only $1.50.

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To finish up the clothing circuit, I got myself a wardrobe basic, long length Old Navy T-shirt in salmon...great for layering.  Only $.50.

And here are my most fabulous finds for the day:

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( can click on the pictures to enlarge them if you so desire)

Three large red, glittery, beady, beautiful cone tree things.  Perfect for the upcoming holiday season.  They look like they are brand new.  The smallest one was $3, the middle $4, and the largest $5.  That means I only spent $12 for this large piece altogether.  I put the paper towel holder in that 2nd pic so you could see the large scale of these babies.  Way cool, huh?  Love 'em.  I might dress the large one up with a ribbon bow when they come out for good after Thanksgiving.  What do you think?

Have you found any thrifty deals lately?  I'd love to hear about them in the comments!

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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

{mt. laundry - wfmw}

So it seems like laundry multiplies like bunnies.  Just when you think you are caught up (yeah right), Mount Laundry rears it's evil head and cackles a monstrous laugh.  "Muuah...haah...haah."

OK - so maybe that's just me.


I like to do a chore and be done with it.  None of this never-ending stuff.  I have come up with a system that helps me to feel a little bit better about laundry. 

Monday - Parent's darks

Tuesday - Parent's lights

Wednesday - Towels & sheets

Thursday - Taylor's clothes

Friday - Zach's clothes

This way, after I'm done with the laundry for the day, I am done with laundry for the day.  Check.

What a weight off of my shoulders when I can say that laundry is done for the day. 

It works for me.


I've gathered some laundry room inspiration for y'all to drool over:

laundry country living 

(photo source: Country Living)

 laundry room womens day

 (photo source: Women's Day)

laundry this old house 

(photo source: This Old House)

 laundry rate my space

(photo source: Rate My Space)

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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

{finally some fall decorations}

After seeing so many adorable Fall and Halloween decorations on my favorite blogs, I finally found some energy to do something in my own home.


I should have taken a before picture of the sorry looking floral foam stabbed with cute fall flowers and greenery that I purchased from the Goodwill for about $2.  I re-discovered it in my garage this morning.  It had been there a while.  I knew it had some potential.  This is what it looks like now in my cute Southern Living cake stand/chip and dip/flower arrangement piece.  I am a lover of versatility.


I  like to use this piece in the center of the kitchen table to hold useful things like salt and pepper and napkins.  But look how pretty it looks IMG_1501all dressed up for fall.

I also placed some gourds and mini pumpkins in a hurricane. 


I know I haven't gone all out for my fall decorations this year, but something is better than nothing.  And maybe I'm not done yet.

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For more things people are finally getting around to doing, visit Tackle it Tuesday at 5 Minutes for Mom.

Monday, October 20, 2008

{using ideas from favorite blogs}

If you've been here a while, you may know that I'm a big fan of Google Reader.  If you'd like to know more about why I love it, see the bottom of this post.  I save a lot of great ideas from blogs that I read, but only get around to doing a small portion of the things I'd like to. 

My brilliant, yet unoriginal suggestion to you is to utilize this wonderful information to the betterment of your family and home.

Here are some things that I've done recently that I learned about from favorite blogs:

I made these cute ghost pancakes for our family to eat for dinner one night.  Around here we love eating breakfast for dinner...maybe even once a week!  Along with the pancakes, I tried cooking our bacon in the oven.  Way less mess and it didn't shrink!  We loved it.


(didn't my ghosts turn out cute?)

Yesterday, we made CrockPot Pizza Soup.  It was the perfect chilly fall day and it was so yummy!  My 9 year old daughter made the whole thing.  The only thing I did was cut the pepperoni.  She loved it so much that she wanted me to pack it in her thermos for lunch today.  It is definitely a keeper recipe!  By the way...if you haven't been to that wonderful CrockPot recipe blog, you need to go.  Now.  It is amazing.

crockpot pizza soup

(this picture is from A Year of Crockpotting)

For more kitchen tips, go see Tammy.

More about Google Reader: I love that it virtually delivers new posts directly to me from all of my favorite blogs.  P.S. - I have a lot of favorite blogs.  Sometimes I get overwhelmed by the vast amount of wonderful ideas flooding into my reader.  I liberally use the star function in reader to flag posts that I'll want to refer to later.  I also love the fact that I can search by keywords from all of the blogs that I subscribe to.  That way, if I've forgotten where that brilliant idea is to be found, I simply search for it.  Another great thing is that I can view the posts (either in regular delivery or search mode) by the expanded view or the list view.  The list view makes it easy to scan through posts to find the specific one I'm looking for.

{simple woman's daybook - journal entry}


FOR TODAY October 20, 2008

Outside my is getting sunny, but still cold.  I had to send the kids to school in their thick winter coats this morning.  It is definitely fall here!

I am thankful mobility.  I am finally able to move around like a fairly normal person.  I'm still moving slow and awkward, but I can get things done that I want to get done and that makes me happy!

From the kitchen...I hope to do some baking today.  My kids are loving muffins in their lunches and I found a neat corndog muffin recipe I'd like to try.

I am wearing...comfy cleaning clothes.  I hope to get some cleaning done this morning before I get cleaned up and dressed for the day.

I am creating...cute Halloween decorations.  I think we'll make some cute decorations as part of Family Home Evening tonight, along with a short lesson.

I am going...nowhere today.  Last week included a bunch of outings, fun and necessary and boring.  This week I will try to be purposeful in planning my days and errands.

I am reading...Emma.  I'm still working on the Jane Austen compilation book that I started back in August.  I've read Pride & Prejudice, Sense & Sensibility, and now am reading Emma.  I really do love her style of writing and think that she is so ahead of her time in her wit and ideas for women.  Very refreshing!

I am bless my family by cleaning the house today.

I am hearing...the heater kick on.  We finally turned the heater on this past weekend.  Almost the end of October...not too bad. 

A picture thought I'd like to share...these is my cute boys!  Spring 2007 we took this fun train ride through the mountains.  So fun! 


For more of A Simple Woman's Daybook, click here.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

{stuff on the walls - tackle it tuesday}

So my friends and family know me as a bit of a procrastinator.  But I tell you what...not being able to do stuff sure makes you want to do stuff.  What I'm trying to say, is...when I couldn't  do anything but sit, I couldn't wait until I was better so I could do all the things I couldn't do before.  Clear as mud?

I'll quit mumbling and get to the pictures, k?

This is what the wall on my staircase landing looked like before I broke my ankle.

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I bought that brand new, never before been used stretched canvas picture from the Salvation Army Thrift Store for $5.  For what it is worth, I also bought the other 4 of her buddies that looked exactly like her (apparently there was a boutique of some sort that went out of business and donated it's goods).  It sat in my garage for months a while and then leaned here in it's future home for weeks some time.




Now doesn't that look better?

I also need to tell you about that lovely black shelf.  When I found her at a flea market, she wasn't nearly as charming as she is now.  Believe it or not, she is plastic.  And hollow.  Yep.  I only paid $3 for her, y'all.  She was also a not-so-cute semi metallic gold color.  She is sporting a new hammered black finish thanks to spray paint.She feels much better now that she's had a bit of a makeover.

Now, this is a good start for the wall at the staircase landing, but she's not finished.  I have some plastic plates that I bought at the Goodwill for $.85 each and plan to spray paint red.  There are 3 of them and they'll hang above the picture.

I need some advice from y'all.  The beige color on my wall makes the canvas picture blend in since there's no frame.  I need some way to outline the picture in black to make it pop.  What do you think?  Please share your advice in the comments.  I'll keep you "post"ed (ha ha) on this project, k?

For other projects being tackled, hop over to 5 minutes for mom.

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Monday, October 13, 2008

{carnival birthday party}

How embarassing that it has almost been a month since I've posted.  I promise I'm back from my unplanned, unannounced blogging break.  Well - this post should fix your cravings for creativity and fun. 

My daughter's birthday party was this past Saturday, and she chose a carnival party.  I did a ton of Internet research and came up with some really fun ideas.


When the guests first arrived, they were greeted by me at the ticket table.  They received their goody bags with tickets in them.  They were directed to the "decorate your goody bag" tables.  There were stickers, foam shapes, glitter, glue, buttons, and markers there.  This is my Zach decorating his bag.


After everyone decorated their bag, they enjoyed a magic show by my magician hubby dressed for the occasion.  I found his lovely necktie and facial embellishments at the lovely Dollar Tree.  We used the clothesline, sheets, and balloons to create a festive backdrop for the show.

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There were 7 activity booths.  The kids rotated so they had a chance to do each one.  We were kind of short on grown ups, so there was a grown up for every 2-3 booths.  It was ok, though, as there were only 9 kids.

First we have "Lucky Pitch."  The kids pitched ping-pong type balls (found packaged  with a ball shooter-type gun thingie at the Dollar Tree (DT)).  I purchased a piece of foam core from and a package of Styrofoam cups from the DT.  We glued the cups down to the foam core with school glue and lightly spray painted the insides of some of the cups.  This game was played on the flat driveway.  We drew a line with sidewalk chalk where the kids had to stand and they tossed the balls into the cups.  The color of cup it landed in determined the prize they received.

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Next up there's "Bowl-a-Rama."  We had a squishy foam bowling set that Zach got for Christmas last year.  We drew lines on the driveway and little stars so the kids knew where to reset the pins after knocking them down.  Very simple.


Then we've got the good 'ol "Ring Toss" game.  We recruited our family to save plastic bottles for a couple of weeks and refilled them to use for the game.  For rings, I cut out the middle from a sturdy paper plate and used the outside for the rings.  Talk about easy.

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"Gumball Guess" was cute.  I used an old glass salsa jar and filled it with 2 ($1) bags of gum balls.  Of course I had to count the gum balls and make the table cute.  My mom helped with the making it cute thing.

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We had a "Tattoo Booth" as well.  I had a hard time finding tatoos to purchase locally, but I did find some really small Sponge Bob ones at Party City.


I liked the "Sucker Pull" too.  I used a 99 cent Styrofoam cone-type thing from Wal-mart to stick the suckers in.  I colored the ends of the sticks with markers.  The color they pulled determined their prize.

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The final game was the "Football Toss."  We used a shepherd's hook plant hanger and a hula hoop for the goal.  A DT nerf football completed the setup.  I don't know why I didn't get a picture of that one.


Lunchtime was fun with a trip down the "Food Fairway."  We enjoyed corn dogs, pickles, kettle corn, & nachos.


Instead of a cake, Taylor & I made cupcakes and made them to look like a bunch of balloons tied together.  I used half a piece of DT foam core with scrapbook paper to put the cupcakes on.

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Here are some general overall pictures.

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Overall the party was really fun and things went pretty smoothly.  I am glad it is over, though.  For anyone who is interested, I used the Cricut cutting machine to make all the signs.  I think they looked pretty good.  We used streamers and garden stakes to section off the booths that were located in the grass.  For the booths on the driveway, we just drew lines with sidewalk chalk to separate them.  I find that for themed parties, music really sets the mood, so I researched carnival and circus music and made a cd.  I was surprised to find that most polkas are circus-friendly music.

Let me know if you have any questions about the party that I didn't already answer.  I got a lot of my ideas from this site.