Monday, December 29, 2008

Where have I been?!

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 .....

Happy New Year!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Another CUTE decorating idea

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:

They had all different size ornaments, but I was only at Target and so I found a set that I liked (and were on sale).  Basically, I just took the ornament, put ribbon through it and used my handy-dandy upholstery tacks to stick them up there -- the tacks leave a hole so small, you can't see it, so I like this option.  I am going to hang ornaments like this over another archway we have in our house -- but this is right at the entrance.  I LOVE IT!  It may be a little late for you this year, but most definitely next year!


Saturday, December 20, 2008

Lunch at The Barn

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:

BEAUTIFUL deer ornament

This was a table as you entered one area of The Barn -- I love it.  It was all creams and whites and greens!   Look at that tablecloth!  We couldn't find a price, which probably means EXPENSIVE!

I did buy a beautiful candelabra there that hangs from the ceiling, but also doubles as a tabletop fixture.  I will post a picture of that tomorrow.  It was a STEAL!!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

2008 Christmas

Yes, I'm posting this for all the world to see, but I sent out so many cards, you're probably bound to see one anyway!  

There are just 9 shopping days left -- I am done, except for a few stocking stuffers and one gift for a friend, other than that, FINITO! I actually start shopping as soon as the year starts -- I buy a lot of stuff on sale, sale, sale and then store it all in a large Rubbermaid container -- I put everything in there, birthday gifts, whatever -- that way I'm almost always covered! PLUS it saves me MONEY!  

Chad and I taped our testimony (or 'our story' as I like to call it) today for our church service this weekend.  It's a good story, and a great testimony, most of my friends know how we ended here -- basically we talked about how God provided peace during difficult and confusing times.  Hopefully I'll be able to post the video after the services this weekend.  We are quite the 'not serious' couple -- I remember when he told me we were moving to Ocala and I said 'WHAT?!!  What's in Ocala besides HORSES!?!' and then realized that we were moving away from all that I have EVER known, lived NEXT door to my twin sister (literally -- comes in handy when a tornado passes through your town) and just 2 hrs from both sets of our parents - it was quite eye opening and boy, was I struck with fear, but God displaced that fear and worry with peace.  SO when we were talking about this today, it does show that I'm just all about living life in laughter.  Seriously, when you're down so low, the only way you can go is sideways, what else can you do but laugh!?!?  

I did enjoy our time in Ocala -- it was a short 6 mths -- but the Lord called us here and I couldn't be happier.  I remember when Chad told me "Well, I think we're moving to Tampa" and I FLIPPED OUT again -- I had finally started to settle in Ocala, make friends, start building our dream home (total GOD THING that didn't work out) -- so off we went again and now 3 yrs later, we feel like we are "HOME".  I have made some of the most wonderful, amazing friends and people that I know we will be friends with for a lifetime.  I'm lucky to now have my best friend of 22 yrs living just a short 30 minutes from me now.  I do miss my family in Atlanta miserably, but they understand this is where we are meant to be.  

Phillipians 4:4-7 has been weighing heavy on me -- it's what we are living, and what we lived back in 2005 when we were making the decision to stay, go, whatever --  I encourage you to read it if you are going through a troubling time -- know that the Lord is with you and he is FOR YOU -- nothing is bigger than God.   When Chad and I were struggling with our decisions, it was like God was saying "I got this .... go" and here we are .... and we couldn't be happier.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Ladies Christmas Coffee

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!  

The tables were off the charts this year!  Some were so simple, yet extremely beautiful.  I did decide on my theme for next year (that is exactly what I did LAST year and I didn't change my mind) and I can NOT wait! 

Enjoy the slide show -- there are lots of pictures, but WORTH IT!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

It's Christmas 'round here!

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:

Tomorrow ~ pictures from our Annual Ladies Coffee .... 

Monday, December 8, 2008

7 years ago today .....

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!

We got out there and Chad did his first show. The next morning, he did an interview on the local radio station - they joked "You're not going to get married while you're out here, are you?" and he laughed, couldn't keep a straight face, so the cat got let out of the bag - kinda! So we went on Saturday, and went straight to "La Dolce Vita Wedding Chapel" -- y'all, it was in a hotel that was being DEMOLISHED!! They did NOT show that in the pictures! The only thing left was the wedding chapel -- there were chain link fences all the way around the property and construction signs every where -- I could have DIED! I then said 'Well, at least we'll have our privacy!' -- Chad's tour manager walked me down the aisle and stood as best man, and his fan club President was my maid of honor (SERIOUSLY)! His tour promotors still happened to be in Vegas, so they came too! Needless to say, at 10 yrs, we WILL be having a vow renewal ceremony!

But 7yrs has given us several moves, lots of AMAZING friends, 2 BEAUTIFUL children, deepened our relationship with Christ, but most of all, we still have each other -- sometimes it's good, sometimes it's bad, but all the same, I couldn't see it any other way!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Easy Christmas Craft

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!!  

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Fundraising and a "Girls Night Out"

These pictures are out of order, but I'll go ahead and tell you what went 'down' these past few days!  On Friday night, Shawn, her daughter McKenzie and me went to see "Twilight" - McKenzie was reading (or has read about 10x) the entire series and so I picked up the first book and had read the entire series within 2 weeks.  COMPLETELY addicting -- not a masterpiece, but your typical romance book for young adults -- yes, I said young adults!! 

We went to eat at Cheesecake Factory first - my all time FAV-O-RITE place to eat.  It was so yummy.  Then we headed to the movies, walked in, and I actually commented that the line wasn't that bad --- OH YEAH RIGHT --- it was completely wrapped around and we had to wait a good 20 minutes before they let us into the theatre.  BUT it was so worth it.  There was a group of older ladies (I'm talking grannies) sitting next to us -- it was so funny.  I loved it though.  I said to Shawn on the way home "You know, he's cute and all, but I think I'd be scared to date a vampire - with all that comes along with it, ya know" and she said to me "Do you realize you just said that out loud??" -- it was funny!!  

In the movies:

me and Kinz -- my FD (Foster Daughter -- we love her)

Eating at Cheesecake Factory:

Thursday night, Shawn, me and Rebecca went to support our friend Danielle and the Mom's Club of Lithia fundraiser.  It was a BUNCO night and we played to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.  I had only played BUNCO one time before and it was a really long time ago -- but I was an old pro by the end of the night!  I LOVED IT!!!

Here we are at the end of the night with all of our raffle winnings:
I won 3/5, Shawn won both of the ones she wanted, and Rebecca won a TRIP TO NC!!!

Shawn about to roll -- she got the lei because she rolled a 'bunco' -- there were 2 leis that went around all night, by the end of the night, whoever had the leis on, went home with a prize!

That's all for now -- Chad and I are going to church tonight to participate in "Feed the Bay" and then off to a friends house for dinner -- should be lots of fun and I'll post pics tomorrow!

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:

The armoire was a medium wood with dark brown accents -- I painted it cream and then literally rubbed the glaze over it.  I wanted it to look like it had been sitting on a beach for years and years.  I added the appliques' (CHEAP) and the knobs.  There is a glare on the armoire ... it's not lighter.  I also need to add something to that apothecary jar up there -- any ideas?  That mirror used to be with a dresser and I painted and distressed it -- so glad I never got rid of it.   I love grabbing things from other places in the house and re-using them in other rooms.  It really does allow for a 'change' without spending any money!

This is the view from the doorway.  EVERYTHING is stuff I already had.  This is a small room, so I couldn't fit a whole lot in here, but it works for what I need it for.  You can see a bit of the hardwood floors we installed over the summer -- again, everything purchased on clearance and ridiculously cheap!

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! 

Tomorrow:  PLAY ROOM!

Monday, November 3, 2008

We interrupt this blog ....

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!  

I plan to be back in full swing with regular daily-ish posts ~ so don't give up on me.  

In the meantime, I encourage you all to go vote.  Exercise your rights as Americans - no matter WHO you vote for, just go VOTE!

Monday, October 27, 2008

I'm such a loser ....

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!

So here's a sneak peek at some family photos we just had done .... Torrie is one of the BEST!!   She always does an incredible job of capturing our family.  I can't wait to see the rest!!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Another year older ....

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!!

I had to work today, and I mean ALL DAY!  We are having a HUGE festival here and it is being sponsored by the Foundation that I volunteer with - so I signed up to work a booth not even REALIZING that I signed up to work it on my birthday.   I went to bible study this morning and my total blessing of a friend, Shawn, brought me an ice-cold coke (my caffeine of choice) and then I went to a meeting!  They had the most beautiful cake for me!!

I am big 'mail' person ... I LOVE to get mail (that isn't bills) and I had 4 cards in the mail today!!  
I have a big weekend ~ I'm modeling in a fashion show Sat morning and then Sat night we are going to a gala and I hope to celebrate some there!!  

You can tell I'm tired ...... I'm just barely posting .... 

Monday, October 6, 2008

What we've been up to ....

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 ...

I made these cute little signs for the kids.  I saw it on another blog, but she had to paint her letters.  I found these black glitter letters in the $1 section at JoAnn's and then I used .87 orange ribbon and 2 upholstery tacks to put it all together!  Not bad for 2 signs (I did one for each kid).   This is Kennedy's door -- she is endorsing Chad Brock for President ... and I think a Bratz for VP .. but wait ... what does that say in the pink??

"Cheer for Jon McCane" ... THAT'S OUR GIRL!!  Now, I don't normally talk politics and I WON'T on this blog -- BUT it's my blog -- and I still visit the ones daily that endorse Obama and that's fine -- because we live in the great UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, we have a choice. She said "Daddy, why don't you like Obama, he has our name?" and Chad threw a t-total fit and said "NO HE DOESN'T, blah blah blah" ... you know, like she's 30 and all and having a real conversation and she said "Yes Daddy, his name is Brock Obama ... DUH!" -- DUH!!  
She made a pom pom ... and when she runs out of space, she just fits it all in - God Love Her ...
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!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Stuck like Chuck ....

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 .....

Pulling up:

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!!!

and then 2 sec later, Cameron dropped his drawers and PEE'D in the front yard .. you would think he is Dave McAuley's kid!!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Can't stop 'til I get enough ....

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:

Kid's jack & jill bath (before):

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!!

Guest Bathroom (before):

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!!   

This is where they are going with the guest bathroom!  Isn't it AWESOME!??!  They will be done tomorrow or Thursday but let me tell you, he is ROLLING through it.  I think they will finish the kid's bathroom shower section (and there are just 2 guys!!).  I can't wait to get this tile sealed - it's just going to be gorgeous!!  
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!

***** END OF DAY PHOTOS *****
Guest Bathroom --- the tile wraps ALLLLLL the way around and covers up my very 'poor' job of drywall repair!  YEAH!!  Bonus: the grout lines are VERY SMALL!!!  AND we are using a dark brown grout.
Kids bathroom:

This bathroom has been my nemesis since the day we moved in.  It doesn't have a tub so we've had to work with it just being a shower.  My kids only shower as it is, so it's not an issue.  The issue has been there is no door (it broke) so we are having it built up to accomodate for a shower curtain.  

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Cheddar Apple Pie Dip

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!!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Shameless request .....

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!  

The Foundation Angel Program was created in 2006 when 2 people closely involved with the Greater Brandon Community Foundation lost parents to cancer.  They realized there was a need in the community for PRACTICAL needs.  So together, they formed the Foundation Angel Program and "An Evening of Hope" was born.  Basically, we match together companies and individuals that have a service with families that have a need.  Most charities do not cover lawn mowing, house cleaning, errand running, house painting, general house repairs, GAS CARDS, etc etc etc -- we do!   The funds raised are normally used for financial assistance (which, believe it or not, is not an 'all the time' request - we do not just hand out money), but we also understand that sometimes companies can not always donate their service in full, but they will heavily discount the bill, and then we pay that bill.  Sometimes, once the bill is paid, the company will then turn around and donate the money back.  It is a beautiful process and God's hand is in it everywhere we turn!  Shawn and I also serve on the Foundation Angel Program and let me tell you, it is a blessing beyond measure.  

Shawn and I would be forever grateful and humbled should any of you out in blogland opt to help us out ~ go to to check us out.   Send me an email at should you have ANY interest in donating an item!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Kitchen Remodel

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!

Before:  Builder maple 42" cabinets - pretty standard with dark sage green wall paint.  Yes, I took this picture in a panic.  The painter called and said she was coming in the morning and in a panic, I remembered to grab a couple pictures of the kitchen 'before'.  This is something I'm working on -- trying to get out of C.H.A.O.S (Can't Have Anyone Over Syndrome) because my house is always a WRECK!

Another Before:
Apparently this was when Shawn came over and brought dinner, because that is her crockpot! HA!

HUGE DIFFERENCE, HUH!?!  We absolutely love it.  We have a guy that redid the floors and he came over to look at our guest bathroom (yes, leaky shower -- needs to be fixed) and he kept telling me how nice our new granite was -- NOPE -- because of the paint on the cabinets and the backsplash, our granite looks an entirely different color!  We painted it the Home Depot version of SW Svelte Sage -- it is a dead on match (I had a gift card to HD - so I didn't want to spend any more money than I had to -- my goal was to do this on a BUDGET).

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.  
SO here's the breakdown:
Repaint/glaze kitchen cabinets and island:  $900 (I received quotes of $1800+)
Kitchen backsplash tile: $225 (and I still have $65 of material to RETURN!)
Labor: FREE

So that is pretty much it ~ I hope you enjoyed it and it was worth the wait! It sure was for us!  Next up:  Kids Bathroom and Guest bathroom retile ~ cracking tiles in the guest bathroom and leaking shower in the kids bathroom (GOOD TIMES!!!) This has ALWAYS been on the list for redo since we bought this house - so I'm glad it's finally getting done.  It's SO nice having friends in the construction business that want to help you out!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Stay tuned ....

All kinds of makeovers going on here, huh!?!   Kitchen is done -- will post pictures tomorrow!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Fasting ...

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.  

I have so much to post too - but I look forward to this break, to getting things done and to fully engrossing myself in the WORD - oh and I PROMISE to post pictures of my finished kitchen b/c it is DONE!! FINITO!!  

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Be Still ...

What a crazy week this has been ~ I always enjoy a long weekend, but I seem to feel rushed during the week!!  We had a lazy Labor Day weekend.   I sang for the church youth on Sat night - let me tell you - a room full of 1st-5th graders - HOLY SMOKES! They were on FIRE and it was so great to see these kids excited about Jesus!!  Kennedy was excited she got to sing in the microphone ~ hey, she worked her connection, she's not doing anything she hasn't learned - HA!

Monday morning we had breakfast at the home of our Worship Pastor and his wife ~ who have become very dear friends of ours.  Russ is an A-MAZ-ING singer and his wife is just as good.  We love love love them and enjoy their company.  Russ fixed a COUNTRY BREAKFAST for us on Monday and let me tell you, we had to be ROLLED out of their house ~ it was insane and reminded me of 'home'.   Everything was set up so nicely ~ this was the table:

And the spread of food ~ YUM!

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!!!!  

So I am going to slow down - still tackle all my projects, but the more I try so hard to get them done, the less I get accomplished.  I am going to "Be Still" and listen.  

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

This is what I call ....

hitting the "FRIEND LOTTERY".  SO ~ I have these friends that are truly talented and I joke with them that "Man, the day I met you, I hit the friend lottery" .... I say it half in jest, all in seriousness because they truly are some of the nicest, sweetest, would do anything for me friends!  My non-blogging friend, Stacey, has been designing floral arrangements for years and years.  She can take a bunch of flowers from Publix and transform them into an arrangement that looks like you paid $100 for at the florist.   During my 'kitchen remodel' (which is still NOT QUITE DONE), we ended up painting the kitchen and family room - had to because the kitchen and family room are all one very large area.  I kept staring at the beautiful wall sconces that I got from Rachel during one of those Southern Living at Home crazy sales.  I paid NOTHING for them and I am ashamed to say that I filled them with $10 worth of "crap" from Joann's ... even Stacey said she would have liked to 'borrowed' them and fixed them for me, but I digress.  

SO - I emailed Stacey when Shannon (another non-blogging friend) was tiling my backsplash and told her that I certainly didn't want her to feel left out of the 2008 GREAT KITCHEN MAKEOVER and would she mind throwing together a floral arrangement for my wall sconces.  She said ABSOLUTELY!!  SO .... Monday she got all the materials and TODAY, here they are:

OH .... MYYYYYYYYYYY  (I just FREAKING noticed the footballs at the top - are you KIDDING ME!?!?! -- hmph, those WILL be moved).   Aren't they beautiful (and what is up with my camera?)

A close up -- those are REAL feathers too -- REAL pricey too, but that's ok ...totally worth it and a request (I only requested feathers and hydrangeas).

I think they turned out beautiful!   I am SO excited and wonder when Chad will notice!   These put me SO in the mood for fall!