Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Blessing #221 - Christmas Home Tour 2013

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas around here! I just love Christmas! I am the designate Christmas Nut in our family! Every family needs a Christmas Nut.

This Christmas, we are going to be in Georgia, and although I've been so excited for Christmas, I just didn't have decorating motivation.  Last Thursday though, I decorated up some mantles.  I decided to just use what I had and go with it.

Here are a few Christmas scenes from our house.

Originally, my Christmas pyrex display was pink flamingo, green, and white, but it became this hodge podgy mix of pieces....AND I LOVE IT!

Normally, I have some chalkboard art in my pantry, but this year with my apron collection, I decided to close the door and add a little tree.

This shelf isn't perfect, but my motto for decorating this Christmas was, "Close enough!" I had to have one of my favorite Buddy the Elf quotes somewhere in my house!

This fall, I found a lot of wooden ornaments, Shad and I both loved them and I love how they are showing up in our Christmas displays.

The nativity is one of my favorites.

In the dining room, I didn't plan on decorating this mantle, but I had some gold sticks, a gold sign, and my nativity. They looked surprising good together.  The green on the bucket kind of messes with your eyes, but I just didn't feel like painting it....Close Enough!

My most favorite addition to our decorations is in the dining room.  Shad and I have been looking for ceramic Christmas trees at yard sales for as long as we've been yard saling. Then one magical day in an over 50 community yard sale...we found three!

Both Shad and I remember our Grandmothers having one of these.  I just love that we have them in our house!

OH! When I bought the white one in the middle, the guy told me, "I used to sell those trees door to door at Christmas time. They were made my prisoners at a local prison, and I worked there."

I just looked at him, "Are you telling me the tree was made by prisoners? That just makes me love it more!!!"

We still have our eyes out for more trees to add to our collection.

On our dining room table, we put a pink poinsettia that our landlord gave us.

In our hallway, I also put another one in an old mop bucket.

On our tree, I changed out the mesh and ribbon.  When we put it up the middle lights were out.  I didn't have time to fix it, and really wanted to get the tree up so....Close Enough! This is our tree before we put all our special ornaments on it.

For our mantle, I planned on doing the same mantle from last year, but then I really wanted to show off my wooden ornaments.

I went nuts when I saw how they looked in the Dr. Pepper crate. I love it!

Here is a full view of our fire place.  We put a little heater in there just to knock off the chill sometimes.  (We can't light a fire in the fire place)

I hope you enjoyed this little tour of my house.  You can find last years tour here. 

I'm sharing this post with A Thoughtful Place. 

Monday, November 4, 2013

Blessing #220 - Collin Turns Three

Dear Collin,

Today you turn three! Just like when you were born, turned one, and turned two, today I am writing you a birthday letter. A birthday letter just lets you know a little bit about who you are today and just how much I love you!

This year was HuGe! Honestly, I seriously believe you skipped the toddler phase and went straight from baby to big boy.  Of course, my mommy goggles could have just messed with my perspective.

This year you have also come out of your shell.  You are friendlier, fun, and loud, really loud....like so loud we are thinking about having your hearing checked.

This is the first year, you've really understood what a birthday is.  You've been telling us for a month, "My birfday's tomin' up!" For a week, you have been breaking out into "Happy Birthday to Collin." You told a stranger tonight, "Tomorrow's my birfday. I turn three. I so 'cited!"

For this birthday letter, I wanted to share an important moment from this year. This moment is not my favorite moment, but it is definitely an important moment you should hear.

After your accident, you spent almost three days on a ventilator under anesthesia. The moment came for you to be woken up and taken off the ventilator, and it did not go so good.  In fact, it went terrible.

You tried to scream but you had no voice.

You would just open your mouth with tears running down your face.

Even though you had been in a hospital bed for a few days, you were FrEaKiShLy strong! It took five nurses, the doctor, Shad, and I to hold you down.

After about thirty minutes of struggling, the doctor told us that we might have to put you back under anesthesia and on the ventilator. Knowing how serious that was, Shad asked the doctor to give you just a few more minutes.

All through this episode, I had been holding your feet, but by this point I just couldn't take it anymore.  You were my baby, and you were hurting. I didn't have a medical degree, but...

 I knew I was pregnant with your before the pregnancy test could even tell me.

I felt you kick and hiccup as I carried you for nine months.

I watched you take your first breath.

I heard your first cry.

I cut your first curls (against your dad's wishes).

I kissed your boo boos.

I cheered for every milestone.

I prayed as we rushed you to the emergency room.

I held you as you struggled for breath right before they put you on the ventilator.

No, I was not a doctor, but I was your mother.

Without asking anyone, I moved up to your head, rubbed your hair, and sang your favorite song in your ear. Within a minute, you stopped fighting, stopped screaming, and started breathing.

It was one of the most magical moments of my life.

With tears streaming down my face with an exhausted and weak voice, I continued to sing your song.  When some specialist came in to give you a test, the doctor said, "Do what you need to do, but his mother stays where she is."

After an hour, we breathed a sigh of relief when the doctor told us that you were going to stay off the ventilator.  As she left the room, she looked at me and said, "All he needed was his mother."

After your accident, I lost all confidence as a mom as I struggled with guilt, but in that moment, God used that doctor to remind me of who I am and what he has called me to do.

After we came home from the hospital and I struggled with guilt and jumpy nerves, I kept going back to her words, "All he needed was his mother."

Collin, I'm not perfect, but I know God has made me just for you and you just for me.  There is no one better suited to be your mother than me.

There have been days since the accident that I have had to remind myself of that.

Collin, I realize that 3 isn't one of the "big birthdays," but this is such a big birthday to your dad and I.  We were there during your accident. We know how close you came.  We know if a few details were changed how different the outcome could be.

That's why this day, this birthday is so special to us.  

I love you little man.  I'm so happy to wish you the happiest of birthdays, and I will gladly sing loud and proud every time you break out into "Happy Birthday" today.

your Mom

Monday, October 28, 2013

31 Days of Goodwill Style - Day 28 - Goodwill Style in Action - {week 4}

Hello! No I have not fallen off the planet, but last week I had my Hoarder's Sale.  It got very busy, but never fear.  I am hoping to catch up this week.

Last week, my dad asked, "Where's your 31 Days?" I had to laugh that my dad was concerned about 31 Days of Goodwill Style.  I think I could write about Barbie dolls and the color pink and my dad would still read it and offer input. He's just a great dad like that.

dress - Goodwill - $5
belt - Goodwill - $1
jacket - Goodwill (Old Navy) - $5
jeggings - hand me down from friend
boots - Plato's Closet - $14
Outfit Total: $25

I spent most of Monday painting so I wore my paint pants that are covered in paint splatter. However, when I finally faced the outside world, I wore this outfit.  Now, does the dress and jeggings make me look pregnant? Probably. But I am a 31 year old woman with two kids, everything makes me look pregnant.

dress - Goodwill - $5
shirt - Kohls - $3
leggings - Plato's closet - $4
scarf - Plato's closet - $6
boots - Plato's closet - $14
Outfit Total - $32

Tuesday was the release of the third book Allegiant in the Divergent series.  I was just a little excited. Okay. Maybe I was so excited I dressed in the grey on grey look of the Abnegation faction that is in the book.  I guess most people would call that a lot excited.

I'm not reading the book until next week so no spoilers!

tank - Goodwill - $3.75
shirt - Goodwill - $3.75
sweater - Goodwill (Target) $3.75
belt - Goodwill - $1
jeggings - hand me down from friend
boots - Plato's Closet - $14
Outfit Total - $26.25

Can you tell I love my boots? I live in boots from about October to March.  They are just so much warmer.

shirt - hand me down from my mother-in-law about five years ago
scarf - Plato's Closet - $6
pants - Goodwill - $5
shoes - Goodwill - $4 (I put them on later)
Outfit Total - $15

This is the outfit I wore when I went out in public to drop off B, but I spent most of the day cleaning stuff out of the barns so I added a few layers.

I know. I look absolutely awesome, but once I got outside I added an even more attractive accessory.

Fortunately, no one pulled up in the driveway.  I was a little frightening looking.

sweater - hand me down from a friend
scarf - Goodwill - $1
pants - Target - $12.54
boots - gift from my momma
Outfit Total - $13. 54

I spent most of the day getting ready for the Hoarder's Sale, but I really liked this cute easy outfit.

shirt - Goodwill - $3.75
pink jacket - Goodwill - $5
jeans - Target - $12.54
boots - gift from my mom
Outfit Total - $21.29

Saturday was the day of the Hoarder's Sale, and although I was outside in the cold most of the day, I wanted to look cute.  This pink jacket that I found at Goodwill was perfect! I think I will be wearing it a lot this winter.  It needs a trip to the dry cleaners, but I wanted to wait until after the Hoarder's Sale.

shirt - Kohl's - $3
striped shirt - Goodwill - $3.75
jeggings - hand me down from friend
boots - $14 - Plato's Closet
Outfit Total - $20.75

I don't have my Sunday morning outfit because I wasn't feeling great, but this is what I wore to church Sunday night.

Okay, when you take out the repeats, this weeks total was $86.54. That averages out to about $12 an outfit!

4 weeks no repeats! Woohoo!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

31 Days of Goodwill Style - Day 22 - Accessories

I'm about to tell you my super not so secret to making Goodwill outfits look awesome.  Are you ready?


Current accessories make an outfit from Goodwill look on trend.  Here are a few examples.

The necklace and belt gave this outfit a fun pop of green.

The mustard scarf give the same sweater a much different, but stylish look.

The black bubble necklace pulls this whole outfit together.

If you take away any of those accessories, those outfits would look completely different.

When you are shopping second hand, you have to know where to spend your money.

In the first outfit the belt and necklace cost as much as all the other pieces together, but they make such a big impact it is definitely worth it.


Monday, October 21, 2013

31 Days of Goodwill Style - Day 21 - Goodwill Style in Action {week three}

Three weeks and still no repeats! Woohoo! I am really surprised and really happy that I've been able to do it! 

Do you know what really bothers me about these posts? I can recall brands and prices of all these pieces....but I can't remember to pick up some butter when I'm at the grocery store. I just wish my brain could remember the important stuff.  

Here's what I wore this week....

scarf - Platos Closet - $6
sweater - Goodwill (Target) - $3.75
shirt - Goodwill - $3.75
jeggings - hand me down from a friend
boots - Platos Closet - $14
Outfit Total - $27.50

This outfit is basically a reworking of the outfit I wore the Sunday before this day. 

white shirt - Kohls - $3
green sweater - Goodwill - $3.75
jacket - Goodwill (Old Navy) - $3.75
jeggings - hand me down from a friend 
boots - Plato's Closet - $14
necklace - $10
Outfit Total - $34.50

This outfit looks nice in theory, but in reality I was not a fan.  As I wore the outfit the sweater would ride up but the undershirt would stay in place.  I had this weird middrift looking thing going on.  I was not a fan. The outfit was cute but not comfortable. 

jacket - hand me down from a friend
thrifting shirt - Goodwill - $12
jeans - Goodwill (Anne Taylor) - $5
shoes - $4
Outfit Total - $21

I had to do a lot of housework this day, but it wasn't so bad in my favorite tshirt.  If you are local and like it, the Goodwill of Delawares are selling them for a limited time.  All proceeds go to a scholarship fund. 

scarf - Plato's Closet - $6
shirt - Kohl's - $3
sweater - Goodwill (Kohls) - $3.75
jeggings - hand me down from a friend
boots - Plato's Closet - $14
Outfit Total - $26.75

I have been wanting a mustard scarf for a while so now that I have found one, I am wearing it a lot.  I like a big scarf.  This was a normal scarf, but I just tied the ends together to make an infinity scarf.  I found my scarf at Plato's Closet with the tag still on it.  Then I found out where it was sold originally. 

Rite Aid Drugstore!!! They sell for 2 for $12.  I think I am going to have to get the leopard one!

earrings - bartered
shirt - Goodwill - $3.75
sweater - Goodwill - $3.75
jeans - Goodwill (Jones New York) - $5
shoes - Goodwill - $4
Outfit Total - $16.50

B was out of school on this day and had to jump in the picture.  

tank top - $3. 75
jacket - $5
jeans - Goodwill (Jones New York) - $5
shoes - Goodwill -$4
necklace - bartered
Outfit Total - $17.75

Okay, so I know I have a problem with the polka dots, but I can't stop.

scarf - Plato's Closet - $6
shirt - over five years old
jacket - Goodwill - $5
skirt - Goodwill (Target) - $5
tights - $4
shoes - Goodwill - $4
Outfit Total - $24

This was such a crazy morning. The outfit I planned on wearing just didn't work.  A pile of tried on clothes later, and this is what I had.  Some days are just like that.  B tried to help out by picking out his own outfit.

He was so proud of himself, I wasn't about to change his style.  He said green was his favorite color, in case you couldn't tell.

If you take out all the repeat pieces the total for the week was...$107!!!! That averages out to be about $15 per outfit.

I'm only one week away from being done! This week, I'm sure I'll have to be really creative to keep from repeating!

Friday, October 18, 2013

31 Days of Goodwill Style - Day 18 - The Goodwill of Delaware Recycling Center

Last week's "more than the store" post was all about the Goodwill of Delaware Outlet.  Today, I am sharing the recycling center.

The recycling center blew my mind...bLeW mY mInD! Remember when all the blue bins went out the door of the outlet?

This is where they went, the Goodwill of Delaware Recycling center.

One of the first stops the blue bins make after entering the recycling center, is the sorting area.

Isn't the sorting area pretty with all the arrows, colors, and labels? Sorry, I just dork out about things like that.

All these labels are things that Goodwill can recycle.

During my behind the scenes tour, I got to sort through a bin.  It sounds easy right? It wasn't so much.  For example, a hanger may have a metal hook but a plastic hangy part...where does it go? A board game box might be cardboard, but the actually game inside might be plastic.  I'm not joking, sorting a bin stretched my brain.

When the sorting was over, here is what was left in that big bin.

That's it! Out of all that stuff in that bin, that little pile is the only part that can't be recycled. Goodwill's goal is to eventually be able to recycle everything.

Once the items are sorted, they go to this machine on the right.  I think it's a baler.

I may have totally nerded out about the baler, but c'mon!?! It's giant bales of clothes!!! There are companies that buy these giant clothes bales from Goodwill and makes them into rags and such.

After the items are baled, they are loaded onto trucks and sent off to be recycled more.

 In this truck, the top bale is plastic, the middle bale is metal, and the bottom bale cardboard.  As I was in the truck it was like playing where's Waldo with the bales.

There's a laundry basket.

There's a rubbermaid box.

You know you are looking for the laundry basket now, aren't you.

About a month ago, I went through B's clothes and I had a bag of jeans with blown out knees.  When I donated them, I asked the attendant, do you take jeans with blown out knees.  She told me they did, and I wondered what they even did with them.

If they didn't sell, those jeans were recycled and saved from the landfill all thanks to Goodwill.  

The more I learn about Goodwill of Delaware, the more I love what they do.  They take my old items and do good with them not only for people, but also for the earth.