Friday, December 14, 2012

Happy Birthday To ME!!!

Happy Birthday to ME!!!  

I am incredibly blessed and thankful for all the wonderful family and friends I have!  God has given me another year and I am so grateful!!!  

God Bless

Friday, December 7, 2012

Star Light

I found a great easy project to add to my Christmas decor.  I found the idea on....Little Bit Funky blog.  Her instructions were so easy and YES it is made for under $5.  Here is what I did.  

Supplies Needed:
  • 5 wooden yard sticks
  • Hot glue gun
  • 1 strand of 50 small white lights
  • About 15-20 zip ties.
  • Black spray paint
  • White Spray paint

I purchased my yard sticks from Lowes for $0.60 each.  And I found a set of lights on sale for $1.50.  So my total price (not including paint, hot glue and zip ties, since my house has these things in stock) was $4.50 total!!!

Start by laying out your star like above.  I found this to be only as tricky and as difficult as I make it.  I started off by wanting it to be PERFECT and then decided, no the outcome should look aged, not perfect.  So I relaxed and then my star turned out OK.  

Next I painted the entire star front and back BLACK with spray paint I had.  

Once it was dry on both sides, I then went back and lightly sprayed over in with the white.  This gives it an aged look.  

I let that dry.  Then I wanted to attach my lights.  Since my strand was a shorter one, I decided not to wrap it around the star....but to fasten it to the star where the lights would always be on the front.  So I used zip ties to fasten the lights and just worked my way slowly around the star.  

I trimmed the long ends off of my zip ties and WaLa!  

Here is what the finished product looked like at night outside my house.

I hope that it will get lifted and secured this weekend to the second level of my house just above the front door.  My hubby is away on business this week and I definitely need his help to hang it up higher.  So for now my star just rests against the house!  

I hope you are as inspired by this post as I was of Little Bit Funky's is a great, easy, inexpensive idea to adding more lights in a fun shape!  If you make your own, please post a photo back to me so I can see yours too!!!  I love how everyone can put their own spin onto a project like this!!!


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Thursday, December 6, 2012

Busy Bee...

Baby blocks for the new additions!
 This project has been so much fun and who isn't excited over new babies!  These are created for a friend of mine who has them done for each baby born in their unit.

What a great memory for the family as to where their baby was born and with what unit they were with.

Next, I have also enjoyed making a few ornaments for friends.  There is something special that goes with the bonds that are created with military units and families that are established by leaning on each other to get through some tough times (deployments, etc!).

These were both fun to create and I hope that they bring that Family joy and special memory for those receiving for many years to come!

These were also very fun to make and for a very special group of people.  I am excited to have them receive their very personalized ornament this weekend!!!

Last but certainly not least, this is probably one of my favorite projects that I have created this Christmas season.  It is for a dear friend, who spent a career in the helicopter and always inspired me to create and find creative answers to any problems life throws at you.

This one gets mailed today....and's a surprise gift for Christmas.  So fun to make!

Well those are just a few of the things I have been busy creating, along with Christmas shopping, decorating, buying a new car, and all the other things it takes to run a family.  Needless to say, I've been a busy bee!!!


Three Mango Seeds

Saturday, December 1, 2012

1st Guest Post on another blog!!!

OK, I am just a little excited.  After spending a busy day at car dealerships (yuck, not the exciting part)....I come home and log in to my Blogger account to see my own Guest Post featured in my Read this part of my blogger on others blogs.  I had forgotten that today I would be featured on Sugar Bee Crafts!  How cool.  Please check this out....

Click here
So I have Christmas Wood sign featured in my Guest Post.  Please take a look at it at Sugar Bee Crafts.  It is a great blog full of very crafty items.  

Thanks for all the support.  And yes we did buy a new car today too.  I am a little excited about that as well.  :O)


Thursday, November 29, 2012

Buy one, Gift one from Stella and Dot

Click here to go to the Stella and Dot website

 This was just TOO nice of a feature from Stella and Dot for me to not give it some attention.  As you all know, I am VERY patriotic (hence the name) and I truly value what ever Soldier, Spouse, family member, etc does for our country.  And here is a way for everyone to give back to them.  Plus you can buy a Christmas gift in the process.

What a better way to say thanks this time of year.  A special thanks to a dear friend who showed this to me, if you are in need of a Stella consultant, she is great.  Check her out here!

So if you are looking for the perfect gift or hard to find one, please consider Stella and Dot's fixed charm pendants.  I know some military service women and family members that will get a nice surprise because of it.


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Happier at Home

Being happy in my own home has always been something I strive for.  Making the most of where I am and what we are doing at the phase of life we are in, is something the Army has helped me learn.  I made the comment to my husband that the Army taught me to make the most of the moment, and he disagreed with me and said, "No that is something you figured out all by yourself, because there are many people living the military life that aren't happy where they are and never will be."  Wow pretty powerful statement from someone who hasn't lived in our own house 3 out of the last 6 years, because of deployments.  He really made me think about what makes me Happy at Home....and as I was surfing other blogs and websites the other night I wandered across this link and really thought about each thing it recommends.  It spoke to me so much, I wanted to share it and add to it.  So here goes.

The link I stumbled across Apartment Therapy (of all places)...and it has 10 simple tips to make yourself happier at home.  Here is what they are.

1. Make your bed.....  Ok, I understand, you are busy....and for years I never thought this would make a difference in my life.  It was warm and cozy when I got out of it, why make it, when I can just crawl back into it.  But somewhere along the way, I think I grew up a little and began really appreciating a newly made bed.  Now I have to admit, there are still some days that the best my bed gets is the blankets pulled up and the pillows thrown back up to the top of the bed.  BUT I really do like a freshly made bed.  Something about the peace at night it creates.  The article these tips are from mentions The Happiness Project book which also says this is one of the simplest tasks you can do to affect your happiness.  

2. Bring every room back to "ready."  This one is a little tougher.   In my search to always be more organized than I currently am....I have found that if everything has a place it is much easier to do this.  My sister-in-law used to joke that the best way to clean is like the real estate agent is about to show your house.  There is something to that....because if you have ever cleaned like that, you realize that it doesn't take too long...and you feel SO much better when the clutter is put away.  I am a realist enough to know that some times certain things just don't have a place to BE in your home.  So I try and plan for even the unexpected.  My office sometimes is the catch all for those items, but now that I don't work, I promise myself that even that gets a once a week thorough cleaning to stay on top of it.  I find that the overwhelming feeling of cleaning a room you haven't done in a while is a blocker in back to "ready" is a great idea.  "Clutter creates stress" is a known go de-clutter!!!

3. Display sentimental items around your home.  For me, this is one of the easiest on this list, because I am very sentimental by nature.  As we travel thru different phases of our military life, I have SO many things that mean so much to me and bring back good memories that I have a hard time displaying it all.  (Remember, I don't want clutter! ;O)  "Make your home a gallery of positive memories" is a quote from the original article that spoke to me!  I love photographs and love to display ones from our family's great memories.  

4. Start a one-line-a-day gratitude journal.  How better to go to bed with a positive spirit than to think of something your are thankful for or a positive memory of the day.  I am a glass is half full kind of person, and I truly believe that in all situations, you can find something good about it (or in some cases....about a person).  No matter how bad or how good things are, if you chose to dwell on the negative your happiness will not be what it could be.  If you always chose to find the best in the situation you are in, you will naturally be happier!!!  

5. If you can't get out of it, get into it.  Oh this is a favorite....especially in our military life.  How many times have I felt like "I just don't want to do this" (DEPLOYMENT, for one)....but life continues and as in deployment if you can't get out of it, which we usually can't and don't try....get into it.  So my way of surviving those were to work for the Army and help others survive deployment as well.  It worked for me, in a quirky way.  I gained wonderful battle buddies, learned a lot, and helped others by being able to say, you too can do this.  So in your life if there is something you just don't want to do, but have to do....dive in head first and make the most of it.  I challenge you!!!  I copied this next part straight from the Apartment Therapy list, because I loved it so much.  "This tip comes from The Happiness Project. I love the message: The dishes are not going to clean themselves, so you will do it, and you will like it! (Unless, of course, you can outsource this job, in which case I say: Nice work!) Otherwise, get into doing the dishes. Feel the soothing warm water on your hands. Enjoy the tickle of the tiny bubbles. Crank your favorite album at an unusually loud volume, do a couple fist-pumps while shouting "Can I get a hell yeah for the dishes? Hell! Yeah!" and pretend you love it."  Haha...but a great example!!!

6. Before you get up each morning, set an intent for the day. Goals....they are what help us be more and get more out of life.  All the way down to the day to day goals.  Most people have long term goals, but what are your short term day to day goals and are they helping you get to where you need to be to manage your long term goals???  Well said here...."Setting a daily intent makes a huge difference. Your daily intent could be something like "be productive" or "enjoy today's delicious moments" or it could be something more specific like "say thank you to my loved ones today." But it should not be another "to do" item on your list."  My intent today is to enjoy the snow that is falling outside!  

7. Do small favors for your housemates, expecting nothing in return (not even a thank you!). (That's right, I said it: nothing!)  If only we could all in this world live by this code....I DO believe everyone would be happier.  The unhappiness comes from when you expect something in return.  Then you set yourself up for failure.  Do something nice and just get joy out of the fact that you did something nice!!!  "It's a well-known fact: When you do good, you feel good."  So go do good deeds (without anything wanted in return!!!)!

8. Call at least one friend or family member a day.   I can't say I totally agree with this one.  I really don't like to talk on the phone.  I would much rather write a handwritten personal note and mail it (old school) to make someone else's day.  The writer on the original article says that email and texts don't count, but I believe that they can.  Just to let someone know you are thinking of them.  I have received a text photo from a friend who saw something that made them think of me and they took a photo and sent it to me....I felt so good that they thought of me, it made my day.  So my basic suggestion is to make sure you are reaching out to family.  

Our homemade pizza
9. Spend money on things that cultivate experiences at home.  I firmly believe in this one.  Make your home a place you and others want to be.  We love nothing better than to make our own pizza's on our Big Green Egg grill and watch a movie at home all snuggled up!!!

10. Spend a few minutes each day connecting with something greater than yourself. "Whatever your spiritual beliefs — or non-beliefs — may be, studies show that connecting to a high power is correlated with happiness. Just stepping back to realize that we are part of an enormous universe can put some perspective on your annoyance with the those-are-definitely-not-mine-and-they-are-abso-fricking-lutely-repulsive socks under the coffee table. Before bed, spend just a few minutes contemplating something larger than yourself. Take a walk in nature. Write in a journal. Create a sacred space in your home."  

Enjoy looking from the inside out....Be Happier in your Home!!!

Well I hope this inspires you as much as it did me.  I must admit I always strive to create my surroundings that I want to be in.  So much so, there are days I am VERY happy to stay home all day.  And really look forward to those kinds of days!!!  

Enjoy your happier home,

Monday, November 26, 2012

Fall off the bone, Ribs on the Big Green Egg

There is nothing better than Ribs on our Big Green yummy!

I believe we have adapted and fixed and added a few items to, and tweaked our recipe enough to finally find some of our best ribs ever this weekend!  Here is a few tips to our secret recipe.  I have decided not to share all the details, but to give a few how-to tips.

  We started with our favorite blend of spices for the rub.  We coated the ribs with the rub and refrigerated over night.

 The next morning we unwrapped and placed on the Big Green Egg.

A few additions under them helped to flavor them well.

Pecan wood chips
Apple Cider Vinegar in the drip catch pan

Once the ribs cooked for a few hours, we then brought them inside and prepared tin foil wraps to sauce them up a little.

The sauce we use is one of the things that we have worked hard to perfect!  Use any sauce you like, but the key is to wrap up tight in the tin foil for the next hour to seal in the moisture.  Place back on grill.

The Guru really helps us maintain a low temp for extended periods of time!
Next we pulled the ribs off, unwrapped and added our favorite barbeque sauce lathered on the ribs.  (we use different sauces in these two steps!)  Place back on grill unwrapped for 30 min or until desired tenderness.

Slice, serve and enjoy!!!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Frosty the Snowman

Here is just proof that you can make something out of almost nothing.  I was toying around with this scrap piece of wood and wasn't sure it could be anything.  BUT....I decided a snowman was something I might be able to make!  This was made from a scrap piece of fence post.

Next time you have a scrap piece of wood, get creative.

Thought this could inspire you to make something out of not much!!!


This post is linked with Beyond the Picket Fence link party at...

Beyond The Picket Fence

Also linked at Cheerios & Lattes link party at...


Also linked at....

Three Mango Seeds

Check it out!!!