Monday, October 15, 2012

DIY Button Art

I can not believe I haven't posted anything since September 11th! We have been extremely busy over with tying up some small end projects so we can get started on the nursery :)

Today, I am going to share another Pinterest inspired project that I recently completed created in August. I know, I am way behind in posting. On August 10th, the sweetest little girl in the entire world turned two and thankfully, I am lucky enough to be her Aunt! Besides buying her a few toys and books she could actually play with, I knew I wanted to try a button art project. If you don't know what I am talking about just Google "DIY Button Art" and tons of examples will fill your computer screen.

This was one of those projects where I sat and thought, "why didn't I think of that!". It was extremely simple, wasn't the fastest project, but I completed it while watching a little TV one night so the time went by fairly easy.

Most of the supplies I already had a on hand:

(1) 5x7 white frame (mine is from target)
A scrap piece of burlap
Hot glue gun

I did have to purchase some buttons, which I found on sale at Joann Fabrics (50% off). I bought several different sizes and shades of white and pink buttons. The buttons cost me about $6.00 and I had plenty leftover.

I went through my font library and found a "C" I liked and printed it off. Once printed, I cut the "C" out and placed it in the middle of my burlap fabric. I traced the "C" with a pencil. It was a faint line but it was enough to give me a template.

Then I just randomly placed the buttons until I liked the arrangement, gluing them as I went along. I wasn't able to place the glass back in the frame due to the height of the buttons. If you wanted to add the glass  you would want to find a deeper frame setting.

My sister in law loved it! This project only cost me $6.00 since I already had most of the supplies on hand. I can't wait to make one for Baby Burgess - first we need to find out the gender, then we still need to figure out a name. I never knew picking a name would be so hard!!

Have you created any Pinterest inspired projects lately? If so, I would love to see it!!


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Two Became Three...

As you know I have been MIA lately.

Not because I don't have projects to share, because believe me I do.

But, because the biggest DIY project I have ever tackled was in the works - and my husband was afraid I would spill the beans.

My husband and I have been married almost 7 years (October 3rd will officially mark 7 years). I will not go into details, just because this is a time to be positive and excited and sometimes thinking about the past makes me sad. But, early into our marriage I was diagnosed with PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome). From the beginning we were aware it would be difficult to get pregnant. But, at the beginning I had just turned 21 and we thought once we were ready some fertility meds would do the trick. Let's just say it isn't that easy and we soon learned out the hard way. Many many years of the hard way.

Lets fast forward to October 2011, as we celebrated our sixth wedding anniversary during a nice getaway in Gatlinburg, TN, we had a long heart to heart. Talking about our future. Talking about what we had been through. We realized we have a great relationship, for real we hardly EVER fight or argue, honestly I can't remember our last argument. We realized maybe we just weren't meant to be parents. We realized we spent to much time/energy thinking, wishing, dreaming, crying about the fact that it hadn't happened to us. We realized we had become jealous of every other person that was experiencing being pregnant and expanding their families. We realized we began comparing ourselves to them, wondering why we were not given those same blesses. We realized we had to release all of those negative thoughts and move on, without trying - without thinking of being parents, at least for a little while.

In 2012, we decided to take our "baby savings" and get me braces (these puppies are expensive) and install a privacy fence (which was completed in August, I know I need to post about it!!). So basically we decided to blow that baby bundle :)

The entire month of August I wasn't feeling great. My husband mentioned maybe I should take a pregnancy test - as I gave him the evil eye, since I knew it would be negative and just break my heart, I half heartily agreed to take it. I took it and threw it on the bathroom counter and immediately left the room - I'm telling ya I thought it was going to be negative. After an hour my husband asked me if I had checked it and I sadly said I couldn't take looking at a negative test right now so if he could just go throw it away that would be fine. He understood and went into the bathroom, suddenly he came running out smiling with a tear falling down his cheek and I just knew. I just knew it was positive. We proceeded to take four more test - you know, just to test for accuracy :)

Our first appointment is this Friday, yeah my Dr made me wait FOREVER! We slowly broke the news to our family, one family member at a time, and then Friday we posted it on Facebook and received an overwhelming response from all of our friends/family. I know some people think we posted about it early. But, after waiting 7 years, I couldn't wait any longer. It was personally decision I will never regret.

I was MIA because my husband knew if I typed on this blog I would spill the beans. I'm pretty sure only three people read this blog, if that some days :), but he wasn't taking any chances. So, that explains my long unexpected leave.

Now I promise this blog will post about my pregnancy and give weekly updates - maybe a new Friday/Saturday series? If you don't want to read about it, then you can kindly skip those post. But, we are thrilled/excited/overwhelmed/nervous/etc and I am sure this blog will become an outlet of some sort for me as I travel this untraveled path in my life.

Oh yeah, I have many projects to post about too :) If you have made it this far bless your heart! And if you are checking out my blog even though I haven't posted in forever, thanks for sticking around :)


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Free Room Update!

On Friday I left you all with this little sneak peak about what my weekend was going to be about. As I mentioned on Friday, our front room has gone through a few changes since we bought the house. Recently we sold our old dining room table for $150. So, I was happy to add it back to the room and make a few changes.

We started by painting the yellow walls with a nice light tan/brown. We also used this same color on our fireplace in the living room, it's called Happy Trails by Pittsburgh Paints. We had a half gallon left over from painting the fireplace and the hallway. I didn't want to add a totally different color in the front room, I wanted our downstairs to flow. So, we went to Menards, if you're not familiar with Menards they are like a Home Depot and Lowes here in Indiana, and picked up another gallon.

After painting we rearranged the furniture. We had two bookcases that were several years old, I took one to work and we kept one for our books. Eventually on the small wall across from the kennel we plan on adding built in bookshelves from floor to ceiling.

Above the door I put a dark wood monogram B I picked up at Bed Bath & Beyond several years back. We put our dog kennel in the corner across from the bookcase. Hopefully, this is not a permanent fixture in our front room. However, right now Moby, our newest addition that we rescued, has an anxiety problem when we go to work or leave the house. He will use the bathroom all over the house if we leave him out, but in the kennel during the day he doesn't make a mess. It keeps me sane so it has to stay.

The old trunk that use to be next to the bookcase was moved to the living room. I would love to fix some of the broken pieces and have it hold our blankets and floor pillows for downstairs. This furniture we've had for two years. I love it. It has a simple pattern to it, with cream, blue and dark brown. I wanted to pull the blue out so I bought these curtains at Target.

I have been stalking them since the beginning of the summer, I couldn't pay $25.00 a panel. I have a hard time paying $100 for curtains since we wanted two panels on each window. But, to my surprise while walking through Target this weekend they were on sale for $16.98 plus 5% off since we have signed up for the Target Red Debit Card. Only $16.13 a panel, I couldn't pass it up! I bought the last four.

Once I put them up I realized I only needed one panel on the single window, so I was able to take one back. The curtain rods are the same ones in our living room, we bought them at Bed Bath & Beyond. We purchased two with two 20% off coupons. Last year for my birthday the Mr. bought me the storage bench we are using as a table, which came with two of those small ottoman's. The table has a cushion on one side and a hard table top on the other.

The blue vase on the table I already had, I purchased it on clearance at Hobby Lobby a few months back. As you can see our downstairs is an open layout, there is our kitchen/living room in the background. Above the sofa I plan on doing a gallery of mirrors but I'm not 100% set yet. Is it just me or do you find it difficult to choose artwork/accessories for a room? I have the hardest time picking out the small things. One day we will get there.

We didn't paint the stair way yet, we will probably paint it the same color. I am currently looking for a buffet, or 6+ drawer dresser to put on this wall next to the stairs. I would love to do a frame gallery above the buffet/dresser.

Let's do a little before and after action.

Not a huge change, but I think once we add some artwork and a buffet/dresser for some additional storage it will look great.

For the cost breakdown:

A gallon of paint and painting accessories: $35.00
Three curtain panels from Target: $48.39
Curtain rods: $55.98 (those babies are expensive!)
Total: $139.37
Subtract the $150.00 made from the kitchen table
We still $10.63 left over!!!

Technically this is a free make over since we sold the dining room table and used that money for the updates; I couldn't be happier. Our house is slowly getting some color added in with all this neutral :)


Monday, August 13, 2012

Home Management Binder: Budget {Free Printables!}

Happy Monday!! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend. We have been busy around here with painting as previewed on Friday and with yard work. It turned out to be a beautiful weekend here in Indiana with the weather comfortable in the low 80's - giving me crazy fall fever!!

Today we are back to the Home Management Binder project, if you've missed any post you can check out the following:

This weekend I worked on the budget/spending section. Most of the images and documents I uploaded are blank so you can fill in your own information. I love finding monthly budget printables, but they never fully work for me and I end up wishing more than half of the sections weren't there. Like always all of my printables are FREE! But, I am doing a little something different this time and I'll explain it more below. So, let's get started.

First I created a monthly summary checklist, this will be the first form in my budget section. You could use this and put a check mark in each block for the month once you paid it. For us we are going to put the amount that we pay in each block, at least for the first full year. I've been wondering how our electric and gas bills change each month. In the category section just put the name of your bill (Mortgage, Electric, Student Loan, etc).

To download this printable click here!
Following this sheet, I will have our individual monthly spending plan:

To download this version click here!

To download this version click here!
This is where I am changing it up. Our exact personal monthly spending plan is not pictured above because I used direct names of our mortgage, gas, cable, and debt companies and I did not want to blur anything out. We also have a 'saving' section under the Home headline. For us, we didn't need to break down our saving category to include our sub saving accounts. We have several saving accounts, we have our main home savings where we save for projects, repairs and maintenance. We also have vacation, christmas, gift, and emergency savings accounts. We automatically have these transferred from our checking account each month, so for our savings section I will just write in the total amount that we have transferring out. 

I completely understand that this spending plan won't work for everyone. We don't have children so I didn't add a section for that. However, if you personally want to use this set up but you need some additional sections added I will make a custom sheet for you. I will make a FREE custom spending plan sheet for the first 5 people. The custom form will use the same colors and fonts, I will just add additional sections/sub categories as needed for you. If you are interested leave a comment below with your email address so I can contact you.

I also created a debt repayment log. We stopped using credit cards the end of last year, man do I wish we stopped doing that sooner. We do however, still have some balances we are paying down, a truck loan and student loans not to forget our mortgage. We focus on one debt at a time, while paying the minimum on the others. This form will let me get a better idea of how long until the current debt we are working on is paidoff.
To download this version click here!
Lastly, I created contact sheets for all of our bills and service companies. I always hate searching for the cable company contact information when I want to haggle my monthly pricing down, or looking for our trash service provider when I need to tell them we are putting something large on the corner. This should prevent a lot of wasted time looking for numbers, usernames and passwords.

To download this printable click here!
That's all I have right now in this section. In the pocket in front of this section divider I will be keeping our checkbooks and some envelopes for easy bill writing. I hope these sections are helping you create your Home Management Binder and don't forget, if you want a custom monthly spending plan sheet leave a comment below with your email address so I can contact you!!

I am working on a blog section for my binder, so that should be posted next Monday! I hope you stop by to check it out. 


Friday, August 10, 2012

Getting Our Paint On...

So, besides updating the living room and kitchen we really haven't done much changing in the house yet. We have been patiently waiting and saving for a current project in the works, which I hope to share with you once our HOA approves it.

We have slowly been trying to figure out how to use our front living space. As soon as you walk into our house we have a large greeting room, technically it's a formal living room/dining area but we don't use it as such. When we walked through the house before putting in an offer the previous owners had it set up like this:

After we first moved in and added our furniture, it looked like this:

We really loved this set up and it helped define the room.

I love this old trunk, probably one of my favorite pieces in our house.

This was our first dining room table we ever bought. We loved it for a short period of time. It was bar stool style table and chairs. I thought we would love it forever, but it was uncomfortable to sit at for long periods of time, like over 30 minutes. The second table we bought {in the background of our eat in kitchen area} is much more comfortable to sit and talk after dinner or play card games if we have people over. We decided to sell our first table. We bought it in 2008 for $300 and sold it on craigslist recently for $150. We are putting the $150 back in the room this weekend, starting with a lot of this:

I hope you check back on Tuesday to see the changes!!


Thursday, August 9, 2012

Today Is A Special Day...

Today, it's my birthday - I'm celebrating my 28th year, so I'm taking the night and spending it with my husband!

Hope you all have a great Thursday!! It is a very special day haha :)


Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Crock Pot Cheesy Ravioli Casserole

Thanks to the wonderful world of Pinterest I have run across a million and one recipes I want to try. I'm a very picky eater, so I pin a lot of recipes that look great but I'm scared to try them. I don't know why, I guess the thought of spending money on something and possibly not enjoying it maybe, I don't know.

Well, a few months back I ran across a Crock Pot Cheesy Ravioli Casserole  and I have been wanting to try it ever since. I love my Crock Pot and I love making pot roast, pulled pork and soup in it. But, I have never really tried anything different. I did change the recipe a little for us, I thought 2 jars of sauce and 2 bags of frozen ravioli would be to much for just the two of us, so I cut the recipe in half.

1 Tablespoon Oil
Garlic Powder
1 Jar Four Cheese Pasta Sauce (I had Ragu Parmesan and Romano on hand)
1/2 Teaspoon Italian Seasoning
2 Cups Mozzarella Cheese (We love cheese so I kept the two cups!)
1/4 Small Onion Chopped
1/2 Can Tomato Sauce
1 (25 oz) Frozen Beef Ravioli (Where have these been all my life, I've never bought them before now)

I sprayed my crock pot with Pam so it wouldn't be a mess to clean. In a large skillet I cooked my chopped onion in oil until it was transparent.

Then I added my Ragu, Tomato Sauce, Garlic Powder and Italian Season to the skillet and cooked it until it bubbled.

Then I started the layers in the crock pot - first a layer of sauce:

Then a layer of ravioli still frozen:

Then a cup of cheese - to be honest I didn't measure the cheese, I used a handful until it looked good and covered:

Then I repeated layer 1 through 3:

Cooked it on low for 6 hours.

It was actually really good even though this picture doesn't show it. We paired it with garlic bread and a small salad. The hubs said "it's good" and when I asked if he would have it again he said "yeah" - such a talker my Mr. Then he laughed and said "don't quote me on your internet thing" haha. Gotta love him!

One Pinterest recipe down just 999,999,999+ more to go :) Side note: I really wish Blogger and Word would recognize Pinterest as a word because I hate it trying to auto correct me all the time!

Have you tried a new recipe lately? 


Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Book Review: Fifty Shades Trilogy

You might remember me saying I was reading Fifty Shades of Grey back here! Well, once I started Fifty Shades of Grey I finished it three days later. Then I was addicted and I started book two, Fifty Shades Darker. I finished that book in three days too. After book two I had to finish the series and read Fifty Shades Freed.

OK, before I go any further I feel the need to put a disclaimer on this. If you haven't heard anything about the Fifty Shades trilogy then my first question would be where have you been?? I have heard many people compare the Fifty Shades trilogy to porn - I highly disagree. Is it very sexual, yes. But, your view on it being "porn" will depend on your own comfort level.

Now, on to the review. Hmmm...I really don't even know where to start. First, lets start with why I started reading this book. It's not my normal read but all the hype I had been hearing about it got to me. Plus, it was a free read since my sister in law had finished reading it. I can never turn down a free read.

Was the book entertaining? Yes. Would I read it again? No. I'm not going to go to much in detail because I don't want to spoil the book for anyone who decides to read it or who is currently reading it. When it comes to actual writing abilities, I am not sure how EL James was ever published - besides the fact that sex sells. She was repetitive, at some points I felt like I read three to four chapters without any major changes in the story line or progress of the story. EL James did not have a great editor - I'm not an english major nor is my grammar perfect, but I'm also not publishing a book. It bothers me if I can find a ton of typos in a book. Like for real you didn't realize you misspelled the main characters name multiple times? His name is Grey but many times she gets it confused with the color Gray instead. Sometimes in the same paragraph - its horrible.

Now, on to the story line. This kept me interested. It's the normal - girl falls for boy, boy doesn't know what love is, boy falls for girl, boy and girl live happily ever after....or something like that. I wish she would have expanded on Christian Grey's character some more, explain more about his past, explain what aspects of his life make him who he is, explain his point of view of the story. I wish she would have gave the other main character, Ana Steele, a backbone, a voice that she wasn't afraid to use, and maybe make her more confident in herself.

I think overall it's a decent read, how it made best seller I'm not 100% sure yet. I think it mostly had to do with the media the book received. I will admit that while I was reading it, it was very hard to put down because I had to know what happened next. But, it wouldn't be a book I read again.

This review probably wasn't that helpful, but I had a hard time writing it. Considering I finished the three books over a month ago and I am just now writing it should tell you I have a love/hate relationship with this book. If you're interested in reading it - then I say go for it! If you've never heard of the book or if you like to read books that add something to your life - then I would say sit this one out!

Now, I need to find a new book to read. What are you currently reading?


Monday, August 6, 2012

Home Management Binder: Cleaning {Free Printables!}

So back to getting our Home Management Binder on track and finished, here is the exciting section of cleaning....{yawn}. If you've missed a post, you can click to check out Section 1: Calendar & Contacts and Section 2: Meal Planning. Like the other two sections, I'm making all of the forms I created FREE!

I personally had a hard time starting this section, probably because its my least favorite. One thing I love about our house is that it's big and we can grow into it in the future. One thing I hate about our house is that it's big and I have to clean it :). Because of my OCD tendencies, we have a cleaning schedule already in place in our house, we've had this same schedule since we got married just because it is what works for us. Below is our weekly cleaning checklist:

To download a blank {free} printable version of this form click here! 

Again, this schedule works great for our house. Knowing that everyone has different schedules and different needs, I did upload a blank version of this form so you can write in your own daily task. Now, on top of these scheduled daily cleaning, we do also wipe down the kitchen every night after dinner and load the dishwasher when necessary. If we have plans one night then we simply just play catch up on another night in the week. Please don't get the impression that our house is spotless and clean every day - it's not. We live here but this is a schedule we like to keep in check.

The next form I created was a monthly check list - this is for the task we always forget about. Checking the A/C Filter - yeah we always forget that. Actually, when I was creating this form and I typed that task I immediately asked the hubs when was the last time we changed it. Uh, it had been awhile - like four months. The filter we purchase says you can change it every three months, but with two furry additions to our house we have noticed its best if we change it monthly.

To download a blank {free} printable version of this form click here!
Right now that is all for the cleaning section. I do plan on putting my spring cleaning in a checklist form - but since we have awhile until that needs to be done I will wait on that one. Once I create it and update it to my Home Management Binder I will make that printable FREE, too! Don't forget to check back next Monday for the next Section in my Home Management Binder, I plan on tackling our spending plan aka budget.

So, if anyone is out there - are you following along and creating a Home Management Binder or are you updating a current system you are using?


Monday, July 30, 2012

Home Management Binder: Meal Planning {Free Printables}

I'm back again with another awesome addition to my in progress Home Management Binder. If you missed the first post click to read Section 1: Calendar & Contacts. Like the first section, all the printables listed below will be FREE! They are free mostly because I love free things and because I would love for you to be able to follow along if you wanted too. I've decided to make this a weekly series until it is complete, so next Monday I will post Section 3.

This section was either going to be about cleaning or meal planning. Since I personally live in my kitchen I wanted to make sure I made the kitchen printables ASAP. The cleaning can wait :)

The first form I created was a weekly menu/grocery shopping list. I started using this form last week and it made it so much easier last week and this week going grocery shopping. The menu planner on the left side is for Sunday - Saturday. The grocery shopping list is broken down by categories as I walk through my grocery story.

To download a free printable version of this form click here!

I decided to make a Grocery Staples printable that list all of the staples we keep in our house. I plan on laminating one and keeping it on our fridge so we can circle with a dry erase marker what we need throughout the week. I will also keep one in my Home Management Binder as a reference.

To download a free printable version of this form click here!

I needed a Freezer and Pantry Inventory sheet because I can never remember how many cans of tomato sauce I have.

To download a free printable version of this form click here!

To download a free printable version of this form click here!

Last but not least I decided I needed a sheet to keep a record of all of the recipes I want to try, that I somehow forget about every week when I am planning our menu. Thank you Pinterest for way to many great recipe ideas and not enough time to cook them all!!

To download a free printable version of this form click here!

That's my Meal Planning section so far, I do plan on adding a measurement conversion chart when I either find one I can just print off or when I find the time to sit down and create it. As I mention in the first post, my binders have pockets, for this section the pocket will hold coupons and current weekly ads.

Please feel free to download the free printables to add to your binder, all I ask is that you leave me a comment and link back to Twenty63  if you plan on posting about them on your blog. Don't forget to check back in next Monday to see what Section 3 is all about!

Do you know where I can find a kitchen conversion chart? Or any other great reference sheets that you use in your kitchen? If so please feel free to share below!