Friday, January 29, 2010

Where the old lamps found new homes.

When I scanned my bedroom looking for things that did not make me happy when I looked at them, a pair of lamps on my dresser were sticking out like sore thumbs. I cleared out everything that didn't feel like fit. Since my main goal right now is lightening up my bedroom, I took all the dark stuff out. Before placing them in a new home in the garage I walked around my house wandering if they could find a new home. This is the guest bathroom.
Hmm. I think I like this. The true test is how do I like it when the overhead light is off.
Oh yes, that is going to work just fine.

This feels more cozy because of a principle I learned in Interior Design classes in college. ROUNDED CORNERS. If you want a space to feel warm and cozy, round the corner. Place a lamp or tree in the corner to soften that hard angle.

This picture may not say much to you, but I cannot tell you how absolutely happy adding a lamp to your laundry room will make you feel. We have a fluorescent light in our laundry room so you can imagine how much nicer lamplight is. This is my home office you know. I spend a lot of time in here each week Shoutin' things out.

These last two pictures are because of my OCD. I wanted to see the two bedroom pictures side by side (even though technically they are on top of each other).

I am very exicted about something that begins Monday over here at Bugs & Sunshine. I am starting a series and we are going to have a ball with it. It's not all going to be about your home, but in a large part it is. If you are in the mood for some transformation then I'll see you next week and we're going to be shakin' things up a bit.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Shabby Bedroom Makeover

This is a picture of my old bedroom. I've recently moved all those red, gold & purple pillows to the couch in my office where they are feeling much more at home. In my attempt to move toward all things Cottage style, we painted our new bedroom Wedgewood Gray.
And we redid our curtains. They are black toile/black and white gingham. Guess what? Wedgewood Gray is one of the Pottery Barn Spring 2010 colors. Guess who got the big head.

So this is how my bedroom looked Monday of this week. Sorry for the unmade bed, the sheets were in the wash. The lamps on my dresser were not working for me anymore in this room. Neither were my gold lamps on our nightstands.

So, I told those sweet gold lamps outside and slapped them with a few coats of white paint which you'll see in later photos if you look closely.

I taped the cord down so it would not get white paint on them. Good thinking, eh?

Yesterday I read an article on breaking up sets of furniture to create visual impact. SO, out went Shane's nightstand and in went a small table and a wicker rocker. I cleared off the dresser with the stuff that wasn't fitting the look I was going for and they have a new home. Pictures of their new home to come tommorow.

These are wedding pictures propped up against the mirror. I found a silver charger and placed white candles on it.

I dreamed about my new white lamps last night. I was in Hobby Lobby and saw white lamps with black animal print on the base and a blue and white striped shade. I'm thinking of painting the shades white with blue stripes. Can I do that?

So, I'm dying for garage sale season to start but for now, I worked with what I had. Took out what wasn't working and rummaged the house for new ideas. It is starting to take shape. The best thing is, this is now a room I want to be in. Those people in Better Homes & Garden were right, taking a night stand out and putting something different in made a huge difference.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Routine Part II

Ya'll gave some really great suggestions on yesterday's post. I'm going to take ya'll up on having the kids help out. Shannon's suggestion to pick up and take care of things right then and there is really good too!

Here are some routines we've been trying to incorporate. The results always re-amaze me. We fall off the bandwagon and jump back on and it is these little routines that get us going again. Like ya'll said, different seasons change the way we do things, but the following always help me get back on track.

Nighttime: In the Hebrew calender days start at 6pm, so that means our day starts in the evening because we like this idea. Before bed, these are the things I need accomplished so that my morning goes smooth.

  • tidy house. this does not mean detail cleaning, everything just needs to be tidy and in a place
  • clean kitchen floor. swept, mopped or spot cleaned
  • run the dishwasher every single night-even if it's only 3/4 full
  • if we have someplace to be the next morning, all the kids clothes needs to be laid out and ready to wear


  • get up and get dressed to shoes. after my shower i might put on comfy clothes if we are staying in and no make-up, but i put my shoes on. if we are going somewhere for the day, i get my smokey eye and big texas hair on right off the bat. or is it back? not sure how that saying goes.
  • make my bed. do you know how long it takes to make your bed? 60 seconds. or less. can you believe that? it feels like it takes 48 minutes.
  • open the blinds. this is so important. you have to let that sunlight into your home. we'll be talking about this in a few weeks because i have a surprise for ya'll coming up!
  • unload the dishwasher

During The Day:

  • at some point during the day, get in my chair and spend time with Jesus. i don't care if you are a morning, afternoon, or night person for this. i don't care if you spend 3 minutes or 30. the impacting thing is that you stop. sit. listen. all you need is a bible, pen, paper, a cup of cream helps too. i mean coffee.
  • clean as you go. it's like shannon said, if you take care of things right then and there it's done.

Cleaning as you go has been the one thing that is changing the face of the way our house looks on any given day. Change the toilet paper right away. When you are pulling the sheets of the bed to wash them, give the dresser tops a quick wipe down with a pillow case (your perfectionism will tell you not to do this because that's gross, but it looks nice and dust free when you do). Wipe down your sink really quickly after you get done getting ready each morning. Give that mirror above the sink a quick wipe down every morning. Put your beauty products out of site. Take those damp towels and give the toilet a quick wipe down before you toss them in the hot, soapy washing machine.

Utilize 5 minute breaks in your day. Pick a cluttered spot and tackle it. Your house will start to perk up after several 5 minutes of blessing it.

When you start incorporating these little routines your house begins to self clean itself. You wipe down a counter that already looks clean. The fun part, you never get yucky looking sinks or mirrors again, you are always ready for company, and your family gets to enjoy a warm, cozy, tidy home.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


You know what my life has felt like these last 3 months? You know when you are cruising along in your bus and your purse dumps over all over the floor? And you suddenly need to reapply your lipstick but you can't because it's under the seat holding the 5th carseat? Then your cell phone starts ringing but it's trapped between a pile of tossed aside coats and old french fry wrappers. You can't catch a red light to save your soul so you just keep going with everything tossed on the floor?

This is a bit what I've felt like with moving. Questions I don't know the answer to every day. Will we be decorating with Woody stickers today or not?

Where are we going to sit at lunch?
Bar or table? What are we having for lunch? Cake, goldfish or both?

When do I do laundry? Clean the bathrooms? Mop my floors? Vacuum?

Not knowing the answers to these questions has created 2 things for me. A cluttered house I don't feel good about and a frustrated woman.

For me it is tough. I need some routine but I don't like rigid schedules. Even though I don't like rigid schedules, there is a part of me that has to have routine. What about you? I am very curious if you stay home full time or do you have another office day job? There are so many ways to do things. Monday=laundry day, Tues=grocery store day, etc...or do you fly by the seat of your pants when it comes to house work?

Shane and I had a talk a few weeks ago. The most productive part of the conversation for me was talking about how my mornings feel overwhelming. Get up, shower, make the beds, get the kids up, get them fed, get them dressed, get the dishwasher unloaded, start school. (side note:this is the way it used to be, before the purse got dumped all over the floor and now we are doing nothing).

I asked him if he would mind unloading the dishwasher every morning before work. He said yes. That one thing he does has been the hugest help to me. I'll be curious to hear how your home works and what you have found helpful in regards to getting it all done. Is there one time of day that is more difficult for you?

The Winner Is...

Nic is the big winner!!! I'll email you aboug getting your gift to you!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Playdate at Moop & Saba's

My sweet friend Becke' asked me to be a guest writer on her blog today. She has a sweet blog and always has something encouraging to share. We both share a love of all things Paula Deen & Rachel Ray.

One more day until the big Pier One Imports drawing! All you have to do is be my friend to enter.

I hope you had a good weekend. We, hmmm, what did we do? Exactly.

There was one huge accomplishment I did last night. Tackling the boys closet. After Christmas it exploded. How can one clean closet make you feel like everything in the world is as it should be?

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Hi, My name is Bugs, What's Yours?

So, I am curious, what is your name?

Do you have a blog or do you just blog stalk?

Either way I love ya and want to know who you are!

Do you enjoy long walks on the beach and under water basket weaving?

Ahh, me too.

I added a Google Friend Connect bar on my page so I could see your cute, little face.

I picked up a little "Happy" from Pier One Imports the other day.
We're going to have a little contest.
You wanna win? Shane is going to pick a random number next Tuesday and one of my blog stalker friends (aka someone listed on my Google Friend Connect) is going to win. Make sure you're listed so you can win. You are going to LOVE the prize :)
Thanks For Stopping By Today! You never know what you're going to find, do ya?!
(p.s. you do not have to have a blog to join my blog but you do have to floss daily and eat 5 a day)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Whatcha' Doin?

Here's what our day has looked like so far today:

9:05am- The big boys and I woke up. We camped out on the couch bed last night

9:10am- I got dressed to my shoes and went to my chair to read my Bible and drink my Hazelnut cream.

10:00am- The boys are saying something about being hungry. Alright, Alright.

10:03am- Put Chocolate Chip Waffles in the oven. Yum. I've forgotten how good Chocolate Chip Waffles for breakfast really are.

10:07am- I go back to my chair, John 11 is really good today. Does Jesus really love us all this much or just Mary, Martha & Lazarus? :)

10:30am- The baby finally wakes up. Good, he's alive, I was starting to get nervous.

10:40am- Play peek-a-boo- with the baby in his crib because this is his new favorite game. He acts like he doesn't want to get out of bed. Then when he does get out he wants his blanket. Pillow. Other blanket. Cup.

10:40 1/2am Feel a tinge of guilt for letting him go to bed with a cup of milk. Are his teeth really going to turn black and be buck?

10:41am- Diaper change and happy dance because he didn't pee through. This means I don't have to wash his bedding again.

10:42am- Talk with my oldest son about the value of being honest in everything.

TIME WARP-Not sure what went on here

12:15pm- Time to make lunch. Hmmm. Scrambled eggs with cheese in tortillas sounds like a quick winner to me.

12:30pm- Get the kids dressed for the day.

12:38pm- Diaper Change #2 for the day

12:39pm- Brush teeth, comb hair.

12:41pm- Quick email check and blog post before school time.

What have you been up to today?

Monday, January 18, 2010

Fire Up The Candles

There aren't too many things more fitting for a cold winter's day than lighting the candles. This is the perfect time to take advantage of the ambiance of candles with gray days and the early evenings.

Here's the kicker though. You have to light them. Go ahead. Fire those babies up. I know. You have been saving them.! Today is the day to dust them off and break out the matches. Or are you a professional lighter with a wand, torch thing?

Place 2 tapers (that is code for the tall, skinny kinds like you see at fancy dinners) on the table when you serve dinner. It makes the food look like Ina cooked AND your kids won't be asking if there's any nasty stuff in the food (aka any resemblance of something healthy).

Friday, January 15, 2010

Chocolate Chip Cookies

I use capitals in the the wrong places and it is very freeing.

For example, any time you ever see me speak of a Chocolate Chip Cookie, the word will receive the proper place of honor by being Capitalized.

One of the things I wanted to do when I got married was perfect the perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie. I've done it. Come on in a little closer and I'll share my secrets.

  • The butter must soften at room temperature (don't disrespect the butter by throwing it in the microwave...Paula would not have it and neither will I)

  • Use your Kitchen Aid to cream the Butter, Sugar, Eggs and Vanilla if you like BUT hand mix in the flour mixture. It creates a higher cookie with nice texture. Big Texas Cookie if you will.

  • My favorite recipe is the one right on the back of the bag of Nestle' Tollhouse Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips

  • Preheat your oven. This is important.

  • Chill your dough at least 30 minutes before baking.

  • Let them cook for 9 minutes, take them out and let them hang out on the pan for at least 5 minutes.

  • My cookies taste the best the next morning after I left them sitting right there on my baking stone overnight.

2 1/4 c flour

1 t baking soda

1 t salt

3/4 c granulated sugar

3/4 c brown sugar

2 sticks butter, softened

1 t vanilla

2 eggs

1 bag semi-sweet chocolate chips

In a small bowl, mix flour, salt and soda. In another bowl cream butter, sugars, and vanilla. Add in eggs 1 at a time. Stir dry mixture into creamed mixture. Fold in chocolate chips. Chill batter at least 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375 and bake 9-11 minutes.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Dayspring Custom Signs

Nester is having a giveaway today for a free, custom sign from Dayspring-Danielson Design Studios. Wouldn't you love to have a new personalized sign hanging in your cute little house?! Yeah, me too. You can play around with different custom signs on their site.

Not a Barbie?

Well last night we were cleaning up the toy room after the boys were in bed. Shane picked up a G.I. Joe doll and I told him those go in the Barbie type doll drawer.

What did you say???

The Barbie type doll drawer.

Oh na-na-no000 you did not just call G.I. Joe a Barbie doll.

Well, if the shoe fits (buy it in every color). Look who I found hanging out in my utensil drawer this morning. For not being a Barbie type doll he sure is in touch with his feminine side doncha' think?

Speaking of cute shoes, look how big those feet are.

Seriously. Dang. It would even appear that Ken, I mean G.I. got a pedi.

I'm sorry I called you Ken. I know it makes you feel angry when I do that. Now get out of my fruit bowl before I tied you with gingham ribbon.

And look who I found on the bottom of my shoe when I kicked them off this afternoon. Poor, poor Woody. Never knew what hit him. Tons of fun had a sidekick today and did not even realize it.

As you can see, it has been an action packed day around here. Thank you and have a nice day.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Bra Shopping

You know it's bad when you are heading to the mall and on your way out the door your husband hands you cash and says Do Not Come Home Without 2 New Bras. That bad huh?

Ooooohhh Yeah. I'll confess. It has been nearly 2 years since I went bra shopping. What? I've been cooking and changing diapers and blogging. There is nothing in me that looks forward to bra shopping. I will say this though, this week I discovered Age Defying Lift is on the rise (no pun intended) in the bra industry.

I was in Dillard's once and needed measuring so in a low tone voice I asked the lady at the cash register if someone could measure me. She whipped out from behind that counter with lightening speed. "OH SURE HON-AY, LIFE YA ARMS UP." Um. Uh-hum. Shouldn't this be happening in a dressing room with blindfolds on? That's the kind of stuff that happens to ol' Bugs though. And then there was the grand announcement of my size to the entire world. OK, it's really just that lady who drug her poor husband along for the ride. What's wrong with him anyway, doesn't he know there is a bench at the food court?

Well, mission accomplished. You will be pleased to know there is a new lift and separate line in the budget for new purchases every 6 months. It's amazing how things have been looking up since my shopping trip.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Winter Mantle

Seasonal decorating adds a lot of character to your house. It helps me enjoy the season a little more too. My winter look consists of silver beaded garland, tall silver trees, glass ice skates, candles, clear snowflakes, glass and candles. I filled the hurricane on the far right with Epsom Salt to make it look like snow. The rest of the stuff are things I scored on after Christmas clearance sales.

I love these ice skates. They are my two very favorite ornaments that I am re-using for Winter. Now if we can just get a for real snow day!

All the silver, white, and lights make me happy. Strands of white lights are $ .30 at Wal-Mart right now. I bet you have something you could spray paint silver and sprinkle with glitter.

Take some flower vases that you are not using right now, turn them upside down and top them with white votive candles.

Blue accents would be really pretty too. I wanted to spray paint twigs from the trees outside and put them in a vase filled half way with Epsom Salt (snow) but I ran out of room. It's cute though, really cute. Whether it is a centerpiece for your kitchen table, the top of a bookcase or a mantle, a little touch of Winter indoors is peaceful and serene.

I just added this post to The Inspired Room Winter Ideas page.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Layer The Flavor

I've been enjoying my new cookbook, Mastering The Art Of French Cooking by Julia Child.
There are some very simple things I am learning about making dishes more flavorful I wanted to share with you today.
The first thing that is making a huge difference between an OK flavor and an Amazing flavor is layering the seasoning. Season as you go. Taste as you go. There are also some techniques I'm learning that are making big differences.
Did you know if you crowd your pan when you are browning meats or sauteing veggies that they won't saute' correctly? So, next time you saute' don't crowd your pan and the results will be perfect.

Another thing I've learned is if you are browning meat you have to pat it dry with a paper towel first if you want it to brown perfectly.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Cozy Up: Chicken Enchilada Dip Recipe and Scented Pinecones

Another thing I scored at Lowe's yesterday was 2 bags of cinnamon scented pinecones for $ .50 a bag.

When I just walked into the house from a grocery store trip I noticed my house smells sooooooooo good and wintry and cozy. They had multiple bags left. You will be happy if you invest in a couple bags. It would be $1.00 well spent. I'm such an enabler in helping you spend your money.

With all the weather coming you know me. What are we going to be cooking? Here you go:

  • Nestle' Chocolate Chip Cookies
  • Potato Soup/Salad/Bread
  • Beef Stew (Made with Burgandy Wine)
  • Chicken Enchilada Dip
  • Chili Dogs (with Homemade Chili)
  • Hot Cocoa (make with steamed milk not water, try it and you'll never go back)

Here is my Chicken Enchilada Dip Recipe:

2 cups shredded cooked chicken (2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts)

1 can (10 3/4oz) condensed cream of chicken soup, undiluted

1 cup (4oz) shredded cheddar cheese

1 can (50z) evaporated milk

1/3 cup finely chopped onion

1 can (4oz) chopped green chilies

1 envelope taco seasoning

Tortilla chips

In a 2 quart microwave safe dish, combine the first 7 ingredients. Microwave uncovered on high for 4-5 minutes; stir. Microwave uncovered 3-4 more minutes longer or until heated through. Serve with tortilla chips. Yield: 3 cups

If you don't like onion and green chilies you can blend them with a little of the chicken broth from your chicken to make it smooth, and then add it to the dip, for a very smooth, cheese dip consistency.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Christmas Clearance

You probably already know to do this, but just in case I am going to share anyway.

Christmas clearance is at rock bottom prices right now. As you are looking at the left-overs, try to think outside the box. There are a lot of things that would look cute in your home for year round use. All it is in need of is a $ .97 can of spray paint to turn it White, Black or Robin's Egg Blue. I suppose you could use other color's too.

Today at Lowe's I scored. You know, we are using cash only and I am telling you what. God is providing the neatest deals for me. I feel like it is a reward from Him for us being faithful with our resources. Before Christmas I cleared out the playroom. It was perfectly organized. After Christmas the boys got some really neat sets of toys (many of them with lots of little pieces). You know how that goes-everything gets jumbled together and they end up playing with nothing.

My sister in law Amy told me she got some smaller Rubbermaid storage containers to put individual sets of toys in. Seemed like a great idea so today I set out to find small, affordable Rubbermaid boxes.

We picked up Mamaw to take her around because you know the Winter Storm of 2010 is about to hit us hard and we'll all be stuck indoors. We went to Lowe's to get faucet covers 'cause Mamaw's worried to death our pipes are going to freeze :). When we walked in there was the beloved 75% Christmas Rack. Guess what it was filled with? Small storage bins with Green & Red lids for $1(small ones) and $2 (for medium ones). I filled my buggy up so fast it didn't know what hit it.

Here is the kind of shady part which made the deal feel a little less sweet. After I loaded up my cart this old man appears out of nowhere on the other side of the display and looked at me like, "Uh, I was going to buy those." I think it's rotten that old man did that. Came out of nowhere and acted all sad that I had taken them when he was nowhere around the display when I walked up, found them, enjoyed the heavenly lights and 2 rounds of the Hallelujah chorus, and loaded them into my buggy. But then he walked up and stood there looking at me like I had taken his last supper. Rue. You can have a coke. That's what Bon Qui Qui would say I know it. She'd call Sekurity so fast it would not even be funny.

Frozen Milk?

I was reading a blog last night and the girl was talking about using frozen milk.

My Mamaw used to live in the country and I remember she froze milk sometimes.

I'm wandering, have you ever frozen milk? How would you thaw it to use it? Does it taste right?

Deep thoughts on this Tuesday morning.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Grocery Store

Don't you love the way your food looks all spread out on the conveyor belt in January?

Whole Grains.



Green Leafy Lettuce.


Organic Milk.

Soy Stuff.

And then there is the poor couple I saw jogging in the 20 degree snow this morning while we were on our way to church.

Everybody gets right in January. That is until about week 3 when sickness hits your household and you all fall off the bandwagon. Right about the time Valentines day rolls around you are feeling good again and you let the chocolate and good times roll again.

Enjoy your pretty conveyor belt of organic food the next 2-3 weeks. Enjoy your frequent trips to the bathroom because you are drinking 64 oz of water every day. I am so sorry that it hurts to sit down when you pee because of all the workout videos you've been doing. You go! This is your year for change!