Besides entertaining and BEING entertained for the past week, I've been cleaning out my closet .... it is definitely a JOB! I took pictures though - before/after (well, I'm not QUITE done) and I can't wait to post them .....
Monday, December 29, 2008
Monday, December 22, 2008
I was dropping my kid off at our friend's house, and was in AWE of their Christmas decorations -- seriously, it looks like Christmas threw up in their house -- JUST BEAUTIFUL! I proclaimed I was not worthy several times and then put several of the ideas in my mental rolodex. I DID tell her "I am stealing these ideas -- you will see them at my house" -- so it's not like they are going to come over and say "YOU stole our ideas!" -- I mean, I did tell her. ANYWAY, y'all probably won't even like this idea and I'm all stoked about it -- I digress ... here it is:
Posted by Natalie at 6:19 AM
Saturday, December 20, 2008
I had the opportunity to have lunch at this really cool place in Lake Alfred, FL called 'The Barn' -- it is really a neat place and me, Stacey, and Shannon had a GREAT time! You go in, sit wherever you'd like, then you get a piece of paper with all of your choices for lunch. I had a "Christmas Beef Sandwich" which was roast beef, cranberry horseradish mayo (with REAL cranberries) on a croissant. It was SO good. This is how they serve it to you:
I made Shannon take this picture of me and Stacey out in front ~ it couldn't have been a more PERFECT day!
THEN we went lookin' at all the Christmas stuff that was in 2 different 'barns' on either side of the restaurant -- this place was PACKED to the gills with Christmas decorations that were absolutely BEAUTIFUL! Each little section had it's own theme -- it really made me feel inadequate in regards to my decorations, but I'll just have to add a little each year. This was my favorite - cream and serene ......
Shannon showing off one of the BEAUTIFUL Christmas trees -- she doesn't dress like this all the time - we were on a time limit and she had to teach an aerobics class that morning, and well, Stacey and I decided we would rather shower and go as opposed to take a class and go ...
This was beautiful as well -- we all decided that when we retire, we're going to have Christmas in a cabin .... and this is how we want it decorated:
Posted by Natalie at 10:40 AM
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Posted by Natalie at 6:06 PM
Sunday, December 14, 2008
Each year, our church hosts a Ladies Coffee to benefit the Benevolence Fund for the next year. Last year, I did a "Twelve Days of Christmas" themed table and it was adorable. I tell ya, once you go and see the tables, it really makes you want to step it up a notch! This year I went with a black/white toile theme, with red and silver accents. The centerpiece was actually a gold tree found on serious clearance at Pier One, and painted silver, then the red vines were added, also bought at a serious clearance. My wonderful Mom made the black/white toile runners and napkins, we found the goblets at Old Time Pottery for .99/each (which I will use over and over again, I'm sure) and the rest was stuff that I had!
Posted by Natalie at 7:22 AM
Saturday, December 13, 2008
FINALLY! With everything going on, and seeming like we have SOMETHING every. single. weekend, it was nice to finally relax, have no where to go, put on some pajamas and get some "Christmas" up in this joint! I will start off with Cameron's room -- let me tell you, it was an absolute JOY putting up his tree -- seriously -- I'm not being sarcastic. This is our first year with trees in the kid's rooms as last year, I went to a silk warehouse place and EVERYTHING was 50% off, so I spent about $50 and got a TON of stuff for the kids trees. I kept asking the lady, "Is this 50% off? What about this?" -- "Ma'am -- everything Christmas is 50% off" ... I had to give him a smaller tree because there was just no room for the 6.5" one like Kennedy has. I thought that was going to be a major ordeal! Well, I went to the garage to get more 'stuff' and Cameron had the tree already out of the box (easy when it is a one piece 4 ft pre-lit tree) and everything off of his nightstand. He wanted it RIGHT BESIDE HIS BED! He got so excited about every single ornament and was actually a great help. He would scream, literally with glee, at every ornament we put on the tree. When we were done, I plugged in the tree and when it lit up, he yelled 'AWESOME!!! You my favorite mama, mama!'
Totally worth it and we'll do this every year until he gets tired of it (which will NEVER happen)!
Introducing, Cameron's CANDY TREE:
Posted by Natalie at 6:40 AM
Monday, December 8, 2008
Chad and I were GOIN' TO THE CHAPEL! I would post a picture but we eloped ... in Vegas. We were engaged for a few months and Chad had to do a show at the Stratosphere and asked me if I wanted to go with them out there. I said "Sure - never been to Vegas before, it will be fun!" -- well, then we decided to get married out there and TRY (operative word here, TRY) to keep it a secret from his fellow band members -- considering they would be our only guests/attendants!
Posted by Natalie at 3:50 PM
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
I thought I would post this easy Christmas craft as this is something I saw and thought I could make cheaper -- and yes, I did make it cheaper.
Take 2 candlesticks -- can be anything, as long as it holds a taper candle. THEN get 2 ornaments of your choosing -- I found these last year after Christmas for about $2 -- you can't tell in the picture, but they are about 6" tall, very nice glass.
Glue the ornament onto the candlestick. I put a TON of glue into the candlestick and then held my ornament there for a few minutes b/c these are going on a table for decoration next week. I then added the maribou trim around the base where the ornament and candlestick meet! I think they turned out REALLY CUTE!! The ones I saw in the store were over $25 each - I made these for about $5/each and they match my decor. I'm hosting a Christmas coffee next week and my table is going to be black/white toile with silver and red accents - VERY shabby chic!!
Posted by Natalie at 2:23 PM
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Posted by Natalie at 10:24 AM
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
First of all, the event was AMAZING! I have to say, Shawn and I did it and we went out with a BANG! We have both decided to pass the baton on next year, as this was our 3rd year. Everything, well almost everything, went perfectly! I'll share more of that later ~ but to my friends that read this blog, that were at the event, I will say this:
The dove, IN CHRISTIAN CULTURE, signifies HOPE
Y'all should get a good laugh out of that -- I'm not trying to be funny, but like I said, I'll explain more later!
Well, as promised, my martini party is this Friday! I have been working SO hard getting the house ready. Chad has been out of town and so I've been able to really get at it. I can't wait until he gets home, because he does help out a lot and never complains. He does require some 'nudging' but he gets it done.
Here is my guest bedroom - I wanted to go for a beachy, dreamy feel and I think I got it:
I'm so happy with the way this room turned out. I do have fabric for a duvet and dust ruffle that are brown toile, but I have to wait until I see my Mom -- too scared to sew it and ruin the fabric!
Posted by Natalie at 6:12 AM
Monday, November 3, 2008
This is my final week of preparations - to all my friends that read this blog and haven't heard from me in about 4 mths, well, we've been planning. Seriously planning. With the economy the way it is, it has been difficult to get money donated for the event. We've had no problem getting services and decorations, photographers, etc ~ really that has been incredibly easy. We've had more auction items donated then we know what to do with - well, we know what we are going to do with them, but that just creates more work for some very tired girls!
Posted by Natalie at 5:15 AM
Monday, October 27, 2008
So it's been FOR-EV-AH since I've updated ... and I've been totally inconsistent! It's because I have been co-chairing an event that takes place in just 11 days ~ 11 days people!! There are SO many things left to do, but I am convinced it will all fall into place. It has to! We are at a new venue and we're totally changing up the pace, so I'm excited for it to get here, but nervous all the same! We are expecting over 300 people!! Please pray that God will continue to have His hands in our event -- he has already shown up in so many areas!
Posted by Natalie at 5:57 PM
Thursday, October 16, 2008
So today I turned 33 ~ nothing exciting, just another day it seemed. I have ALWAYS embraced my birthday -- I love it and TRULY believe in birth'weeks' -- some people don't like to celebrate their birthday, but I say it's completely acceptable to celebrate because it is BETTER than the alternative!!
Posted by Natalie at 6:16 PM
Monday, October 6, 2008
I certainly have been neglecting my blog ... not on purpose though .. we certainly have had a lot going on. Last Friday night, Kennedy and I went to a lock-in for her cheerleading team. I chaperoned ... I slept 2 hrs. It was fun but I will bring an air mattress the next time.
This was right before we left - I had to take a picture by placing the camera on a table and hitting the timer. My lil' punkin had a GREAT time though ...
Finally, we've been chasing around this new little munchkin ... this is Star. She melted Chad's heart at the studio last week and so we adopted her from the SPCA. We have her sister, Macy, also. She hides a lot. Until I can coax her out from underneath our bed, I'll get a picture of her as well.
Have a great week - hoping to post bathroom pictures soon - I painted (just repainted - same colors and used leftover paint) and just waiting for the fixtures to get here!
Posted by Natalie at 11:23 AM
Monday, September 29, 2008
When you are married to a 'hunter' and they are out past dark, it can mean one of 2 things: They killed something or they were killed. Seriously -- that is what goes through my mind. Chad and our friend, Chris, took Cameron and Drake (Chris' son) out to ride around on this property that Chad manages about 20 minutes from home. Lara (Chris' wife) and I went to a little home party, took the girls (who behaved AMAZINGLY -- Kennedy brought her manners and EVERYTHING) and went home. We were expecting to have the boys waiting on us when we got home at 7:30 and no one was there. We tried their cell phones, straight to voicemail. GREAT. It wasn't quite dark yet, but it was getting there. We decided to start dinner and hope we would hear them shortly (you can hear Chad's truck as it turns into our 'hood) ~ by 815, still no boys, still no answering of the cell phone. FINALLY - the phone rings at 8:30 and it's Chad - he said he got stuck. They took the 4wheeler (that's not really a 4 wheeler, it's a camo'd out 4wheel drive golf cart) and it got stuck. They had to CARRY the boys on their shoulders for 2 miles -- seriously my husband WALKED 2 miles back to his truck. They get the truck to pull the 4wheeler out and THE TRUCK GOT STUCK!! I was laughing SO hard -- but Chad said Cameron and Drake were SCREAMING and loving EVERY MINUTE OF IT!! SO here are the pictures -- terrible, I know, but I will never have a good night picture .....
Mud was EVERYWHERE ...... even on the ROOF!
We asked the boys to show us how they got the truck out of the mud ..... keep in mind, this is a JACKED UP 4 wheel drive truck and look how HIGH the mud is!!!
Posted by Natalie at 6:01 AM
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
or is it 'Don't stop 'til you get enough?' -- all the same, you will now have that song planted firmly in your head for a while.
The bathroom remodel is under way! We were having MAJOR issues in our guest bathroom and honestly, this is something that needed to be done. The tile was cracking (it was just installed poorly) and honestly, I had 'tried' to repair some drywall myself and it looked REALLY bad. SO, as usual, we got all the tile on clearance of the clearance and called our friend that owns a construction company to see if he had workers that were free. He did and because he is an AWESOME guy, he is doing it just to keep them working so they can feed their families and is not making any $$ on the project .... well, I'm sure he's making SOMETHING, but it can't be much b/c he is supplying some materials and he's charging us hardly ANYTHING for the labor. I had to make sure it was for 2 bathrooms and not just one that he was quoting me and sooooo here we are today. ANYWAY, I was THRILLED with the price and prayed that if we were meant to have this done (seriously, I prayed about the decision - because this isn't something we HAD to do, but it would need to be done EVENTUALLY). Obviously, it's meant to be. Here we are today:
I am keeping the wall color green and we are tiling the shower in a 12x12 tile and then tiling around to the chair rail and going down. They are going to carry the tile over to where the sinks are and tile from the chair rail down and try to cover up where the granite we had installed 2 yrs ago does not come up high enough (to cover where our old formica was). I tried to fix it, but again, I do not ever need to go into the construction business. It is just a shower in there, so we're going to hang a white shower curtain and then possibly make a valance out of the fabric I have left over from the kid's playroom - so it will all F-L-O-W ..... something I have been working on for 3 yrs!!
This has been my favorite bathroom for a while. I love the 'cottage beach' feel to it. Again, the chair rail that you see was to cover up where we removed an old formica countertop. I picked out a 3x6 tumbled stone and a 1x1 tumbled stone to use as the listello. They are going to tile a 3" listello with the 1x1. THEN they are going to start where the TOP of the chair rail is and go down with the 3x6 ~ we are going to put a 3" listello there as well, then top it off with a cream travertine pencil ledge. It's going to be BEAUTIFUL! I can not wait!!
So once I get done with this, I'll just need to DECORATE!! I have a few people helping me, thank goodness. I don't know where to go or how to go about it, so I enlist my friends. I don't think they mind!
Posted by Natalie at 12:54 PM
Sunday, September 21, 2008
I was searching for a recipe on my all time favorite recipe website and I came across this one. It sounded strangely delicious and since I had a party to attend on Saturday night, I decided to make the dip. Let me tell y'all - DE.LIC.IOUS - I couldn't believe how GOOD it was! SO here is the recipe:
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 each: red and green apple, finely chopped (about 2 cups) --- I used those already cut apples and just cut them into smaller pieces, that way my kids were still able to enjoy the leftovers!
1/2 cup Planters Walnut pieces (I did not include this in my recipe, but didn't want to leave it out for people that like nuts)
1 pkg cream cheese - softened
1 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
Wheat Thins (I used the cinnamon ones)
Preaheat over to 375. Combine brown sugar and cinnamon in a bowl. Add apples (and walnuts if you choose); toss until evenly coated.
Mix cream cheese and cheddar cheese in a medium bowl. Add sour cream; stir until well blended. Spread into 9-inch pie plate and top with apple mixture.
Bake 20 minutes or until heated through.
This was SOOOOO delicious and LIGHT! I am known in our 'group' as the 'one that doesn't cook or clean' and both things I brought last night were DEVOURED (I was so happy b/c I'm never 'the one') and on top of that, I managed to clean my house top to middle (still lack the kids bedrooms) AND take a shower ~ I feel so GROWN UP!!
Posted by Natalie at 6:42 AM
Friday, September 19, 2008
I am in the midst of co-chairing a rather large event in the Tampa area. It is called "An Evening of Hope ~ Angels Among Us" and is the major fundraiser for the Foundation Angel Program. Well, I am in need of auction items - in a bad way. If you, or anyone you know, is willing to donate ANYTHING to our cause, it would be greatly appreciated. You would be suprised at what we get and what sells -- pretty much everything goes to a home on the night of the event!
Posted by Natalie at 2:25 PM
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Now, don't get me wrong ~ there was nothing really wrong with our kitchen, except that my precious son had drawn on the cabinets with a black sharpie and no amount of elbow grease, Magic Eraser, NOTHING would get it off. We decided that if we ever sold our house, we would have to do something about that. Now, I took some friends advice and decided to go ahead and do it so we could enjoy it -- whether we sold our house in a year (NOT gonna happen) or 20 -- I want to enjoy it. When we moved from Nashville, we had to hurry and replace carpet, etc and I even said then: WHY did we wait to do this!
View from the other side ~ everything that is on top of the cabinets is either brought from somewhere else in our house or was purchased at Hobby Lobby (I spent LESS than $75 on that trip and also bought Christmas presents at that trip). There is an apothecary jar that I filled with pumpkins and gourds and a tin sign that says "Count Your Blessings" ~ I plan on changing that out with the season (the tin signs are ALWAYS at Hobby Lobby or JoAnn's)
I absolutely can not take credit for the decorating. Shawn pretty much did all of that. You should see HER house - I told her she needs to do a 'internet open house' so y'all can see how beautiful her house is decorated - esp right now for fall.
Posted by Natalie at 5:34 AM
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
All kinds of makeovers going on here, huh!?! Kitchen is done -- will post pictures tomorrow!
Posted by Natalie at 1:39 PM
Sunday, September 7, 2008
So I've totally been convicted this weekend at church ~ we have been 'challenged' so to speak, to give up something for 1 week. Something that is getting 'in the way' of our relationship with God - well that something for me is blogging, blog surfing, internet, internet surfing, facebook, etc etc etc - you get the picture. I have freely admitted to my husband that being on the internet and reading blogs, etc, has been an 'escape' for me. WRONG ~ when I really should be turning more to the word of God. I do have a bible study that I'm doing, but I work on that for just 30 min a day, sometimes cramming in 2 or 3 days in one night - I'm sure I'm not the only one that does it. Our pastor encouraged us to follow simple 'steps' to help handle whatever it is that has a stronghold ~ I worry about money. A LOT and the thing is, we really haven't been affected by the change in economy much except for gas prices. Yes, I'm in the real estate industry, but by following a strict 'debt diet' - we have managed to pay off such a huge bulk of debt that when my income dramatically decreased (I'm talking MASSIVE) ~ it really didn't affect us much ~ and I know that I am TRULY blessed to be in that position. Chad has a wonderful job that I pray he will stay in until he retires, I have wonderful opportunities every day and the hours that I spend 'wasting away on the internet' literally are eating me ALIVE ~ SO, for the next week, I'm taking a break. I will check my email, but only because of work related and I'm co-chairing a big charity event and feel like that needs to be the focus on my attention.
Posted by Natalie at 6:53 PM
Thursday, September 4, 2008
Then we went to Palm Harbor for the rest of the day. The rest of week has been full of distractions. I honestly feel like I am just going with the flow - do you ever feel that way? I'm certainly not feeling I am having any kind of 'impact' on anyone. Cameron and I have been walking Kennedy to her class every morning and having breakfast with her. It really is kind of a pain, but Kennedy and Cameron love it and I will go through the 'pain' of having to look presentable at such an early hour in order to spend a few extra minutes with them both. Today was an overly frustrating day. Cameron had on a new watch and when we were leaving - ALMOST TO THE CAR - he screamed "MY WATCH" - I knew it was a cheapy and I offered to go to Wal-Mart and buy him another one - he BEGGED to go back and look for it. We couldn't find it (and here I am in my head thinking "Man, the devil is REALLY trying to get me NOT to go to Bible Study) - it was 8:15, I had to be at Bible Study by 9:30 AND still drop off Cameron - NOT TO MENTION I was not presentable AT ALL. We found the watch -- IN MY PURSE -- and off to Cam's school we went. I was mumbling and grumbling, frustrated and RUSHED ~ I turned the corner to Cam's school and this is what I saw:
It spoke so clearly to me. I dropped off Cameron, went home, got ready to go to Bible Study (I needed to be IN MY CAR by 9:00) ~ and when I picked up my keys, it was 8:59 AM ~ God totally worked it out for me and I knew that he would. Psalm 46:10 says 'Be still, and know that I am God' ~ that is my problem. I am never 'still' (and i'm not meaning in the figurative sense) and funny thing is, the bible study I am doing is called "Discerning the Voice of God" - HELLO!!!!
Posted by Natalie at 11:23 AM