Monday, September 30, 2013

31 Days of Goodwill Style - Day 1 - Introduction

I love October! The leaves start changing. There's a crisp smell in the air.  I start wearing my boots.

L.M. Montgomery said it best when she said, "I'm so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers."

In October, I also look forward to 31 Days of blogging at the Nesting Place.  Last year, I jumped in writing 31 Days to Love Your Home. Writing that series was both challenging and fun so I had to do it again this year!

This October, I am excited to share 31 Days of Goodwill Style.

Over the course of this blog, I have shared my love of Goodwill many times.

Remember two years ago, when Shad and I won the chance to shoot a Goodwill of Delaware fashion makeover.


Yes. We are hard core Goodwillers...Goodwillaholics....Loyal Goodwillians. However you choose to say it.

In fact, in the past two years, I have bought almost all my clothes from Goodwill.

Being the nerd I am, I sat down counted how many clothing items or shoes I have bought from retail stores over the past two years. The grand total was twelve items in two years.

So yes, to put it mildly, I love Goodwill.  I believe in Goodwill. Over the next month, I am sharing how to shop at Goodwill....and look good! I can't wait to share 31 Days of Goodwill Style!

Just so you know what to expect, here is the schedule for the next few weeks. 

Mondays - What I Wore - I will be sharing pictures of my outfits from every day of the week.  I really feel nervous about this, and almost backed out of this part but I want to show everyday Goodwill style.  

Tuesdays - Thursdays - I will be writing about different Goodwill style topics from finding your style, my own fashion history, to how to Goodwill tips. 

Fridays  - "More than the Store" One of the great things about Goodwill is they are so much more than just the store.  I can't wait to share all the good Goodwill does, and a few behind the scenes posts. 

Saturdays - I am sharing a favorite fashion blog. 

Sundays - Pinterest inspiration

You can follow the series by checking the blog or you can follow on Facebook or on this Pinterest board where I will be posting links daily.

You can catch up on all the days by clicking here

Blessing #219 - Fall Mantel 2013

Fall is here! Fall is here! And yes, even though the highs this week are in the 80s, I'm still calling it fall!

For my fall mantle this year, I just kept it simple and pulled a few things together that I already had.

My favorite part of this mantel is the sign.  Psalms 126:3 is one of my favorite verses that reminds me of gratitude.

That board is actually the side of a drawer that we pulled out of a dresser.  The drawer fell apart, but I just couldn't get rid of the board.

I'm so glad I didn't.  I just love everything about this sign.  A board made new used to show a verse about what God has done for me. He makes broken things new!

Tomorrow, I start 31 Days of blogging! Last year, I wrote about 31 Days to Love you Home, and I can't wait to start this year!


Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Blessing 218 - Fall Bucket List

A couple of weeks ago, I shared our Summer Bucket List.  We had so much fun trying to cross things off that list so we had to make a Fall Bucket List.

I looked for a few chalkboard bucket list on pinterest, but I really didn't find the look I wanted for my pantry.  Thursday, I took a little time for myself, and just started drawing.

I knew I wanted a tree, and I really liked the placement of the title. However, I decided to take this one all the way to the ceiling.

Once I got to this point, I decided I wanted to add a little color.  I used sidewalk chalk to add some red leaves, and highlighted them with a little yellow.

It was really nice to start and not really know where I was going to end up.  It was very relaxing to be creative in this way.  (I realize that sounds a little weird, but I'm one of those people that needs to be creative to be happy.)

Yesterday, I was trying to get some pictures of the bucket list when I heard some shuffling feet across my kitchen floor.

Now it's been a while since he's done this but....

Boom! Photo Bombed!

In case you can't read because of Collin, the items on our bucket list are...

1. boiled peanuts- They don't sell them around here, but I can make some.

2. apple cider

3. apple picking

4. camp fire

5. jumping in a pile of leaves (Brandon added that one)

6. hay ride

7. Operation Christmas Child

8. caramel apples

9. put pumpkins on the porch

10. trick or treat

We might not get all these items crossed off, but we are going to have a lot of fun trying!

What's on your list? I'd love to hear!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Blessing #217 - School Command Center

When B came home from his first day of school, I almost broke out into hives when I opened up his folder filled with school papers. School papers make me nervous.  Why?

One day last year, I dropped B off at school only to see every other kid carrying a stuffed animal.  I had forgotten it was "stuffed animal day" and I had to rush home and get B's monkey. I must have misplaced that paper.

Last year during parent teacher conferences, I walked in for my conference only to find out I was five hours early! Fortunately, B's teacher was very understanding, and just laughed and worked me into the schedule.  I don't know what happened to the paper with my appointment date.

On the first day of school this year, I had to send a note to let his teacher know that I was picking B up from school. I couldn't find a single sheet of paper so I sent the note on a paper towel.  That's right! I was trying to set her expectations low.

For all those reasons, I kind of freaked out at the sight of the first school papers.  I knew I had to do something different this year.

Determined to change, I decided to turn this little corner into a school command center.

Yes, my poor little "it's August but my calendar says March" corner would be perfect for a school command center.

Here is the finished corner....

I love, LoOoOoVe, LOOOVE it!

Here is the breakdown.

1. I have had this L for forever, and finally found just the right spot for it!

2. The most important thing I wanted in the school command center was a place for school papers. After the success of clip boards for my kid's art display, I decided to try them for school papers too.

This clip board is where I put papers that I can't sign immediately or paper with important dates on them.

3. This clip board is for store coupons that we are always losing. Guess who is going to get a free mini candle from Bath and Body Works this weekend? Me! Because I didn't lose the coupon!

4. I used a pocket just like the one I used for lunch box notes for notes to the teacher.  B's school sends home forms to speak with the teacher, and now I'll actually know where they are! No more paper towel stationary! I added a little vinyl to the clip boards and the pocket just to make things clear.

Wait! While I'm on the subject of my labeling obsession, you have to see this.  Because Shad drinks sweet tea and I drink unsweet tea, our fridge can get a little confusing.  So I labeled the tea pitchers.

I know that was random, but I just had to share.

Back to the school command center.

5. I knew I wanted to put a sign in that spot, but I didn't know just what I wanted to say.  With this being right as you walk out of the house, I thought "Be Awesome Today" was perfect.

6. My calendar says September now! I don't quite know how I want to work that calendar yet.  I'm thinking about using washi tape.

7. A command hook holds our library bag.  That is a thirty-one bag that I painted using this method.

It turned out great.

8. B's book bag is not heavy with books so a command hook is perfect to hold it on the wall.

The corner is a little crowded, and if it was in my main living space, I probably wouldn't like it.  However, this is in the mud room, and we mainly walk right through the mud room.

So far, the little school command center is working great for us. I haven't broken out into school paper hives, and I haven't missed an important day yet. A few hooks and command strips have brought a lot of peace to our school day mornings.

Note: I am sharing this project with A Bowl Full of Lemons. and I Heart Organizing.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Curse #53 - Sometimes a Mother Can't Win

Ever since Brandon started first grade, he has said every morning, "I don't want to go to school.  I want to stay with you." His behavior really alarmed me because he loved school last year.

Every morning after his complaining, I would ask him, "Is someone being mean to you? Isn't your teacher great?" He told me he liked his teacher and everyone was nice to him, "but Mommy, I just want to be with you!!!"

At first, I didn't believe him.  I even asked his teacher about it. Surely, the problem was more complex than just missing me, but then I remembered our summer.  This summer, I had a different activity for us every day.

It was busy and tiring, but we really had a great summer.  We enjoyed the time we had together and tried to make the most of it.

However, as great as our summer was, I realized as the case is often in motherhood, YOU CAN'T WIN!

We had such a great summer, but now, B thinks I do that kind of stuff every day and he doesn't want to go to school! No matter how many times I tell him that was just for the summer, he just doesn't believe me. I've always been careful when he asks me what I am doing while he is at school. The answer is always the most boring activity in the world to Brandon, "Cleaning the house." Unfortunately, he sees the house when he comes home so he's not believing me.

Yesterday morning, B was particularly upset on the way to school. I had had enough mornings of this and lectured him on choosing his focus, but the lecture didn't work. When we got to school, he was even more upset. "I just don't want to leave you!"

After many tears and theatrics, the truth finally came out as B cried, "I saw pictures of you and Collin on the ipad that you took without me!!!"


Yes, the iPad sold me out.

Here are the pictures he found...

I tried to console him, "B we weren't anywhere fun. We were just in the kitchen. I was 'cleaning' and Collin walked in and asked to take a picture." But it was no use because B continued to cry, "But you took the pictures without ME!"

Stunned, I look at him and said, "Well, then that's an easy solution. When you get home from school today, you and I will take some pictures together."


He dried up his tears and walked into school happy that we would take some pictures after school.

As soon as he got home, we took our silly selfies with our best funny faces.

My Level 1 Funny Face - It's funny, but still manages to make my face look slim.

 Level 2 Funny Face - It still looks cute, but not as flattering

Level 3 Funny Face - When the neck wrinkles start to show up, it's getting serious

Level 4 Funny Face - Buck Teeth and neck wrinkles....almost there.

Level 5 Funny Face - You lose all sense of looking good, and just go for it. I'm going for the squinty chipmunk look while B is going for the exorcism look.

I really hope this "I don't want to go to school" thing is just a phase because I feel like I have run an emotional marathon before 9:00 am every day. If it doesn't next summer we are just sitting in the house all day every day, and he will be so happy to go back to school.

Sometimes I wish motherhood came with an instruction manual, but in real life I just have to know my child, do my best, and delete all incriminating pictures off the iPad.

And just to be fair....

After B and I  finished our silly pictures, Collin got in on the fun and tried B's signature exorcist face.

But just when it started getting sweet, Colli tried to push B out of the way with his head. (Those are my "the boys are driving me crazy" eyes)

Then B had to fight back.

Ahh motherhood! Sometimes you just can't win.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Blessing #216 - The Battle of the Lunch Box Notes

From the beginning of our relationship, Shad and I have been competitive.  Many of our early dates included some kind of game or competition.

When I did my whole 30, I made it way longer than I normally would just because I was determined to beat Shad in the bet.

We are two very competitive people.

I love him with all my heart, but I really like to beat him too! (I realize how that sounds, but you know what I mean.)

Last week, Shad and I engaged in a silent, cut throat competition.

It all started on Brandon's first day of school when Shad and I both put notes in B's lunchbox.

A simple, quick expression of our love for him.

The next day, when I started to pack his lunch, I found both notes in his book bag.  He had saved them.  As soon as I saw that the notes meant so much to him, I decided to make the lunch box note a daily thing.

The only problem was, Shad sent a note too, and he actually used a  piece of paper.  He even pulled out all the stops and put a fire truck sticker on it (not pictured B took it off while he was at school).

The next day, Shad didn't put leave a note, and I thought my note would be the lone star of the lunch box. However, right before we left for school, Shad asked me to stop by the farm, and he had this for B's lunch box.

Are you kidding me? B didn't even bring my paper towel home on this day when he had a tractor calendar picture.  Shad's notes were so good, Collin even cried and told Shad he wanted a tractor note.

How was I going to compete with this? I did what any modern woman would do. I searched pinterest and pinned a bunch of lunch box note pins. 

I also realized that lunch notes were going to be an everyday occurrence so I made a spot in the lunch station for them.

I found this pocket for notebooks for a dollar at Staples.

I cut off the hole tabbed part, added some vinyl lettering, and hung it with a command strip to give me easy access to stickers and notes.

Have I mentioned how much I love my lunch station? It works so well for us.

I had Pinterested. I had organized. I was going to win the battle of the lunch box notes.

When I went to pack B's lunch on his birthday, I found this.

A balloon!?! How was I supposed to compete with a balloon? That's not even a note! How dare Shad think outside of the box! I could barely fit B's sandwich in his lunch box.

It was over. I had lost. I had to admit Shad's lunch box notes were much better than mine.  

Yes, I had to explain that my drawing was a rock.  No, I'm not the winner in the battle of the lunch box notes.

 I am the tortoise of lunch box notes, slow and steady every day with my bad drawings and sweet sentiments.  Shad is more about the flash and show.

I may have lost the battle of the first week of lunch box notes, but slowly and steadily I plan on winning the war.  Yes, lunch box notes are meant to encourage B, but I'm also going to also use them to beat Shad!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Blessing #215 - Summer Bucket List

Well Labor Day is over, and with it summer is over too at least it is in my book.

At the start of the summer, I put up a summer bucket list in our pantry.  Our family had never done a bucket list before, but we had so much fun picking out what would make our bucket list.  

Here are a few things that we marked off our bucket list.

We didn't get to make it to the ocean this year, but we did play on the "beach" of the lake where we vacationed.  Close enough!

We were lucky enough to see fireworks twice! Once on the fourth of July,

We also saw fireworks at a baseball game.

Speaking of ball games, we got to go to an Orioles game, (I loved Camden Yards)

We also went to a minor league game at the Aberdeen Ironbirds.

The boys played in the sprinkler several times, but I never got a picture.  I did get a picture of Brandon turning in his first round of summer reading.

One of our biggest accomplishments this summer was that our entire family, all four of us, completed a summer reading form at our local library.  I'm not going to lie. I was really proud of us for that one.

We had our water fight just last week!

I missed a picture of our sidewalk chalk masterpiece, but Brandon made a great fish aquarium on our sidewalk.

The boys and I went to the Herr's chip factory, and I loOoOoOoOoved it! It was fascinating! I nerded out several times.

We had friends over for a dirt party, and when we were in Georgia, the boys had an impromptu dirt party with friends.

About once a week, we grilled out!

We went to one car show that was all about Chevelles.

We also went to another massive car show in our town.

We didn't finish everything on our bucket list. B didn't get his swim lessons. We didn't make homemade ice cream, and we never picked berries.

I kind of like that we didn't finish the whole list.  There is always next year!

Well, that's what we did this summer! Having the bucket list encouraged us to get out and have some fun.  We loved marking those big "X's" when we accomplished something.

We are definitely doing a fall bucket list! If you have any ideas of things we could add to the list or see any good ideas on Pinterest, please send them our way!