Sunday, July 31, 2011

The Easiest Pillow You Will Ever Make...

When we changed the wall color in the master bedroom several months ago, I had to get rid of the red throw pillow that was on the bed. I looked around, but, being the very frugal gal that I am, couldn't find a coordinating pillow that wasn't too expensive. After seeing a post by House of Hepworths I decided that 1) it was definitely frugal, and 2) it was easy enough that I could do it!
  I don't have "before" or "during" photos, but really, it is so simple that you can do this without pictures to go by!
I found my pillowcase at Burlington in Lexington for only $1.99.  I ripped out the seam on the bottom corner of the placemat with my seam ripper and then stuffed it with polyfil. Then I stitched up the hole.  Easy peasy!

Allison has all the photos and step-by-steps over at House of Hepworths.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

A Country Photo Frame...

So, I'm perusing the pins on Pinterest the other day, when I spotted this cute photo station:

I thought it was too cute, and looked simple enough that maybe even I could make one like it. And, I am happy to report, I have done it! Now, mine probably isn't built as well as Talia's, but it is good enough for me!

First, you start with some old moulding that has been in the garage for who-knows-how-long:

You get your hubby to cut them to length with his circular saw (because the circular saw is the one power tool that kinda scares you) and then miter the corners with your new miter box and saw (that you bought because it was $8, rather than $150 for the power compound miter saw that is now on your birthday wish list):

Then you recut the last piece of moulding because you got the angles mixed up again. This will also make your frame smaller than you intended. Oh well... Nail them together with your handy-dandy nail gun. Then add some eye hooks:

On the hooks, attach a length of jute on which to pin your photos:

I took my frame one step further and added some chicken wire to the back. Then all that was left was to pick out some photos to display!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Thrifty finds...

You know those days that you stop at the thrift store, hoping to find a diamond-in-the-rough treasure and instead walk out empty handed? Unfortunately that seems to happen most of the time for me. :(
However, a couple of weeks ago, I stopped in my Goodwill store and found not one, but two treasures-in-the-making!
The first I found was something that Miss M had just told me she wanted for her newly-redecorated room: a bulletin board. I'd been trying to figure how to do one, maybe with an old, big frame and some cork tiles. But laying there on the shelf at GW was one ready made. And a good deal at only $2.50. Its frame would have to be painted and the fabric replaced (or just removed), but much easier than making one!

So I picked up the bulletin board, which was enough to make my day, and walked over to the furniture. I have been looking for a chest to redo for Miss M's room (her's has a broken drawer), but instead found this:
 I was sure it would be perfect for the G-Man's room. Then I saw the price tag:
Then I KNEW it was coming home with me! I'd have to do some sanding and refinishing, but at that price, even if I messed it up worse and had to trash it I wasn't out much. 
I had to do quite a bit of sanding, and never did get the surface of the top completely smooth, but hey, its going in an almost 7-year-old's room, so its not going to stay pristine even if I could get it that way, right?
I decided to paint it the color of the top of the G-Man's bedroom walls, Rattan Palm by Porter. It got a couple of coats of Minwax Polycrylic
 and voila!

Perfect for a little guy and his Legos!

(*update on the bulletin board and Miss M's room redo coming soon!)

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

#ilovethrifting Day...

In case you missed it, Saturday was the 1st (hopefully annual!)I Love Thrifting Day. The brainchild of Rashon Carraway, better known as Mr. Goodwill Hunting, it was a day for celebrating frugality and creativity that thrifting affords. Shoppers across the country, from Charlotte to the West Coast participated. Since there wasn't a local "I Love Thrifting" group in my hometown, I was on my own. And it turned out to be a good thrifting day for me!

There are a couple of Goodwills here, and I hit them both. Usually I am looking for things for the house when I thrift, but this time I decided to peruse the clothes too. And it wasn't long until I found something I'd been wanting-a denim jacket. Only $5!

Just a couple minutes later, I found a winter coat for the G-Man. Nearly new except for a missing hood, which is okay, since my little guy likes wearing toboggan hats instead. The really nice thing about this is that it is two coats in one. The lighter jacket zips out of the shell, so it can be worn 3 ways: the lighter jacket, the medium weight shell, or together. And a steal at $3!

Later I went to our other GW and snagged this pair of like-new jeans for $3. Can't tell that they've ever been worn.

Two jackets and a pair of jeans for $11. Not a bad day!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Backsplash...

For quite some time, I've been wanting to do something with my kitchen backsplash.  I thought about doing tile, but frankly, even with our DIY experience, I was reluctant to try it. We've tackled a lot of jobs, but never tile.  So I kept looking, and one day, I clicked a link and landed on a blog called  Thrifty Decor Chick (if you haven't checked it out, get thee over there!). Sarah was right in the midst of a kitchen remodel, and was putting beadboard on her backsplash. I instantly fell in love! I knew that was exactly what I'd been looking for!
After unsuccessfully attempting to do the backsplash with wood beadboard panels (and giving up quickly), I found the beadboard wallpaper that Rhoda over at Southern Hospitality raves about. I ordered a roll, and let me tell you, it is a dream! It looks just like real beadboard, and its paintable, too.
Here's a look at the before:

 First, I did a LOT of measuring for the moulding.
Then I got to paperin'. The wallpaper went up very easily.  The most important thing is to draw a plumb line where you begin and make sure periodically that the paper is still straight up and down. It is also quite thick, so it doesn't flop around or tear when you're putting it in place like other papers can do.  It took 24 hours to dry, then I painted it with Colonial White by Porter.

Next, I added trim all around the backsplash (I had painted it all the same color as the wallpaper). I attached it with Liquid Nails.

And here it is finished!

I just love it. And so does The Hubs. In fact, yesterday he said we should continue the beadboard through the dining area.  So I used what was left on the roll and got started. I only got a couple of wall sections done before the paper ran out, so I ordered more last night and hopefully I will get the rest of the room done next week.  Until I do, here's a peek of the section that is done:

If you're considering beadboard, I highly suggest the Graham Brown paintable beadboard wallpaper! Check out Rhoda's store for more info!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Long time no see...

My, it has been a long time since I posted any DIY articles here. Been a bit busy with work and all.  But now that school is out (yay!) I have more time to DIY and to post! I am currently working on a project that is nearing completion: my kitchen backsplash. I can't wait to share pictures with you soon!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Plain Wisdom review...

The authors of this book seem to be quite an “odd couple”. Miriam Flaud is a member of the Old Order Amish, a culture very different from that of Cindy Woodsmall. Despite their vast differences, these two women have become close friends who, in “Plain Wisdom”, share with us their wisdom and insight as wives and mothers. We learn about their daily lives, their traditions, challenges they face, and their relationships with God. As a bonus, interspersed among the stories are Amish family recipes shared by Miriam. Though we see how strikingly different our two cultures can be, we also realize that there are many things that we have in common. The value we place on our families and our God are ties that bind us all.

Reading this book made me feel as though the three of us were sitting at the kitchen table, Miriam and Cindy relating their experiences over a cup of coffee. It was truly a pleasure to read. I highly recommend it.

I received this book free for review from Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing Group.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Max on Life: a review...

As any pastor would, Max Lucado has received hundreds of questions over the years. “How can I forgive him for what he did?” “Why do bad things happen to Christians?” “What does God say about (fill in the blank)?” Many of them are difficult to answer; many have answers difficult to hear. Lucado’s book Max on Life is a compilation of many of these questions that Lucado has been asked over the years, some of them questions he’s struggled with himself. There are questions and answers addressing just about every facet of the Christian life: marriage, finances, God’s grace, sin, and Scripture, just to name a few. He provides clear, direct, Biblically-based answers without being "preachy". By the same token, his answers are not overly-simple or “pat”. He writes as he talks, in a compassionate, wise style that seeks to guide and encourage, not to judge. It is an easy-to-read book. It is set up in a question and answer format, divided into topical sections: Hope, Hurt, Help, Him/Her, Home, Haves/Have-Nots, and Hearafter. Although some of the questions may not relate to every reader, there is something for everyone. And I’ll bet that if the topics don’t relate to you now, they probably will someday!

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I highly recommend it.

I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Monday, April 18, 2011

Principle of the Path

All of us have known people who seem to make one bad decision after another. For that matter, we have all made our fair share of them from time to time. Unfortunately, many of those decisions can leave impacts that can last for years and are difficult, if not impossible to correct. Why is it that we can have a clear idea of what we want financially, relationally, and professionally, but so often make decisions that take us to an entirely different place? Why it that we ignore what our better judgment is telling us? In his book The Principle of the Path, Andy Stanley, pastor and founder of Atlanta’s North Point Ministries, discusses what happens when our intentions and our decisions do not coincide. He addresses these questions and gives practical, biblically-based advice for staying on the path to your intended destination. No rocket science here-just principles that help the reader to narrow down and focus on what he/she really wants and how to get there.

I believe that this book should be required reading for all young adults just starting out in life. If followed, the advice in this book could save readers from countless heartaches and detours on their path to success.

I received a copy of the book from's blogger program.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

A trip to Regency England...

When I opened the covers of The Girl in the Gatehouse by Julie Klassen, I was expecting to like it. After all, I had already read The Apothecary’s Daughter, and Klassen had quickly become one of my favorite writers. And after reading this novel, I can honestly say that I was not disappointed. As a lover of historical fiction, especially books set in Regency England, it took only a few paragraphs to be drawn totally in. In fact, I had a difficult time putting the book down!

The Girl in the Gatehouse opens as Miss Mariah Aubrey is leaving her family and her home after having caused her parents embarrassment. She soon arrives at the home of her aunt, and takes residence in the estate’s gatehouse, far from friends, family, and anyone who knows about her indiscretion . It is here that she hopes to hide from the rest of the world, and in doing so, hide from her shame and from whatever future she may have once had.

Although she believes she must bear her burden forever, she meets friends who show her that not only must she forgive herself, but she must accept the forgiveness of her Savior. Only then can her life begin again.

Bethany House Publishers provided me with a free copy of this book in exchange for my review.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

A Review...

Cover: While the World Watched

Carolyn Maull McKinstry was fifteen years old when a bomb planted by the Ku Klux Klan exploded at the Birmingham, Alabama's Sixteenth Street Baptist Church, killing four of her close friends. In "While the World Watched", we find out how this event affected McKinstry's life, not only as a teenager in a segregated South, but how it shaped her adult life. McKinstry's first-hand accounts bring this dark chapter of America's past to life for the reader. Not only a book recounting a segment of American history, this is a wonderful story of how forgiveness can change one's life.

Tyndale House Publishers provided me with a complimentary copy of this book.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Hear Ye, Hear Ye!

Adam Sabados, the Digital Media Coordinator for Tyndale House Publishers, just sent me an email letting me know about a great new contest from the New Living Translation Bible. Here's the scoop according to Adam:

The New Living Translation is sponsoring a contest that highlights three very important ministries: Wycliffe Bible Translators, Oasis International, and The Dream Center, (click on the link to learn more details about these ministries) and by voting for one of these ministries you’ll be entered to win one of many prizes. To enter, visit the NLT Facebook page by clicking here.

With the Give the Word Bible Contest and Giveaway:

• Ministries win: Each time the NLT Facebook Page reaches a fan count milestone, votes will be tallied and the three ministries will receive cash donations from the New Living Translation and Tyndale House Publishers.

• Everyone wins: Everyone who enters on the Bible Contest website wins a free download of Matthew West reading the Christmas story.

• Daily NLT Study Bible winners: Vote on the NLT Facebook page and you will be entered to win two NLT Study Bibles—one to keep and one to give away. A new winner will be chosen every day.

• Weekly Give the Word Locally winners: Tell us about a deserving local ministry on the NLT Bible Contest website and they could win five NLT Study Bibles and $250 worth of NLT products.

• One Grand Prize winner will enjoy a unique trip customized just for them and their family (or three guests of their choice), to Wycliffe Bible Translators world headquarters and the WordSpring Discovery Center where they will experience firsthand the exciting world of Bible translation. The Grand Prize winner could also choose to donate the value of the trip--$2000--to Wycliffe instead.

Take a minute to click over to find out about the contest and about the three ministries spotlighted and to the NLT's Facebook page. You might even win a prize!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Our Jesse Tree...

This year, the G-Man and I are enjoying a new activity that I hope will become a yearly tradition. After finding Ann Voskamp's blog "A Holy Experience", I decided to put together a Jesse Tree. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the Jesse Tree, it is an Advent-long family activity that counts down the days until Christmas with lessons and stories from the Old Testament, each one pointing to the coming Messiah.
From the first day, the G-Man was on board and excited! In fact, it was a struggle for him to do just one story and ornament a day.  He could have done the whole thing in one sitting!  As soon as we started, however, I noticed that the text was written a bit above his 6 year-old understanding. I didn't have to worry, though. As soon as he heard the scripture text (the Creation), he remembered reading about it in one of his Bible storybooks:

He ran to get it and wanted to read that part in his book.  We've continued this each night; I read the scripture text and he reads from his book (so far we've only found one lesson that isn't in his book). He gets to place the ornament on the tree, and to see little by little the reason for the Messiah. 
There are many other sites with information and ornament ideas for a Jesse Tree. Here are just a few:
Here is a blog post about a Jesse Tree Ornament party that the author attended. There are some great pictures of the ornaments that the ladies made:
For a copy of Ann's free book with daily lessons and ornaments to copy and cut out, click here.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Christmas Cards...

Go to the Shutterfly home page.
Every Christmas, I look forward to the task of choosing and sending Christmas cards. Since I had children, I've always chosen photo cards, giving friends and family who live far away a chance to see how the kids have grown each year.  The other day, I started perusing the cards available, and after checking out a couple different sites, realized that many of the same designs were offered on both sites. Hmmm...I'd really like to see something different, something special. I found it as soon as I logged onto Shutterfly. There were so many designs and not a one of them was anything I'd seen anywhere else. Unfortunately, I had a hard time deciding! There were just too many gorgeous cards!
Not only did they have beautiful cards, but there are gifts as well. They can make a photo calendar (a great gift!). Having a holiday party? They have the invitations covered!
Get on over to and check it out!

For a limited time, you can receive 50 free Christmas cards from Shutterfly just for Blogging and Tweeting about their products.  Go to to register.  You'll be glad you did!