Monday, September 26, 2011

Happy Fall Y'all!!

Here in Texas, the weather doesn't usually start to feel Fall-ish until it gets closer to Halloween.  But when a cold front came through a couple of days ago, it dropped the temperatures 20 degrees and has settled somewhere in the 80's finally.
I know that doesn't sound like Fall weather but we were still having 100 degree temps just a few weeks ago.   We actually broke the record for having the hottest summer EVER here in Texas.  Not exactly something to be proud of.  We're talking stupid hot like melt-your-face-off kind of hot.  Just 2 weeks ago it was 107 degrees!  So we'll take the 80 degrees over the 100+ degrees any day!
I'm so jealous of those of you that live in cooler climates where you can wear long sleeves or jackets or sit out on the patio while sipping your morning coffee without breaking out into a sweat.  We're still sporting shorts, tank tops and flip flops!
So with the cooler weather and the start of a new season, I just wanted to say, Happy Fall Y'all!

So how's the weather in your neck of the woods??  Are you feeling Fall-ish yet??
All images via Pinterest.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Cheap & Easy Wall Art

One of my daughter's favorite sayings is "You Get What You Get & You Don't Pitch a Fit!".  She learned it from her preschool teacher last year who she adored. I said this to her one time when I served her  something she wasn't thrilled about eating and it instantly made her smile. And then she said "okay" and started eating what I gave her.  I couldn't believe how easy it was to make her happy just by saying that one little phrase.  And then one day on Pinterest (I know you know them) and found this little gem.
I was like What?!  I can soooo make that.  So I asked one of my friends that has one of those fancy schmanchy vinyl cutting machines if she would make me some vinyl letters and a crown. 
 And she did except for she didn't have a crown so she cut out a Fleur de Lis instead which I think I like better.  Next, I just stuck them on a $5 canvas (18x24) and spray painted over it with yellow paint.
I used Bauhaus Gold by Krylon first (on the right) but it was too gold so I went over it again with Sun Yellow by Rust-Oleum and it was the perfect shade of yellow that I was looking for.
Peeled off the letters..........
...and Ta-Da!  
I know it doesn't look exactly the same as the one on Pinterest but it's close enough.  Actually it's perfect with all of it's imperfectly spaced letters.  Who needs to measure letter spacing??  Not me, I just eye-ball it.  And then spend an hour "fixing it".  Whatev. 
Besides, it makes my daughter smile and that's all that matters.
I hung it on the wall by the kitchen table just in case I need to refer to it when someone doesn't like the food they were served.  
That goes for husbands too!
(please excuse the poor lighting, it was cloudy today)


Thursday, August 11, 2011

Scary Barn Sale Find

I have been searching high and low for a round coffee table ever since I spied this one over at the Nester's place.  I've been on Craigslist, I've scoured the garage sales and thrift stores but without any luck.  Until one day the curiosity got the best of me and I decided to follow the signs on the corner that said "barn sale".  You see, I intentionally did not go to the "barn sale" the other times I saw the signs because I noticed the same signs were being put up EVERY weekend on the same corner.  I figured it was one of those people that still had leftover junk from the first "barn sale" and just couldn't let go and donate it to the thrift store like most us do.  But like I said I was curious so I went just to cure my "they might have something good" addition when it comes to garage sales.  It was off a country road that lead to a gate with a long dirt driveway that took you past two small homes and then around a small turn to......a barn.  To say the least....I was sceeeered!!!  It sounded like something straight out of that movie The Texas Chainsaw Massacre!  I just knew that as soon as I stepped out of my car someone would snatch me up and keep me forever!  But then I remembered those signs were put up every weekend and if they were actually snatching people up then they would have been busted by now.  Right?  Well that's what I told myself as I got out of the car and headed to the dark and scary barn that ended up having some pretty decent stuff!  A lot of it was junk but there were actually a few nice pieces of furniture and a couple of large mirrors that I had my eye on.  Oh and the person in charge of the barn sale, was actually a nice little old lady.  Unless she was a decoy to get people out of their cars and into the barn??
Anyway, I made my way through the barn looking at the stuff and looking over my shoulder at the same time and wouldn't you know it........I spied a round coffee table!  And I liked it.  And she had another one plus a matching side table!  Score!  I asked her how much they were and she said they weren't for sale because she didn't have anything else to display her stuff on.  What?!  She said she was going to buy folding tables from Wal-mart and that she could call me when she was ready to sell them.  Score!
Fast forward two weeks later....she calls me and says she was ready to sell them and wanted to know if I still wanted them.  I asked how much she was asking for them and before she told me I quickly decided that I wouldn't pay more than $20 for the round one.  She told me she would take $18 for all 3!!  Sweeeet!  Oh and she told me they were from a hotel lobby in Dallas!  So cool!  
I was thrilled to say the least.
They were an emerald green color when we bought them.
Add very dirty with some kind of weird growth underneath??
It looks like someone glued fake eyelashes in a cirlce.  
I scrubbed the table top which is made of some type of fiberglass made to look like solid stone and spray painted the base with Oil Rubbed Bronze.  Of course!
Nice and clean!
And now lives in my living room...
...with my pretty new DIY pillow covers!

You see, sometimes it pays to take a leap of faith or risk your life to get a great deal!!    

What risks have you taken to get a great deal??
Would you happen to know what that growth was underneath the table??? 
I'm partying over here:  Houseofhepworths, Tales From BloggeritavilleTheshabbycreekcottage  

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

New Throw Pillows

 Remember this fabric?  I used it to make these!!

I bought the Navy Chevron and Botanical Print  from for $8/yd and used it to make new throw pillows for my sofa!  Or is it couch?  What do you call it??  I think couch might be a southern term??

I've been sewing my own pillows for as long as I can remember. My mom used to make my sister and I coordinating outfits (mine usually yellow and hers pink) and to keep us busy while she was sewing, she would give us fabric scraps, a needle and thread and have us make little pillows for our baby dolls.  I've since learned how to use a sewing machine.  I must have been 4 or 5 years old and to think that little skill she taught me has served me well all these years.  You can save a ton of money if you know how to sew. It has saved me lots of $$ by allowing me to make things for myself that I wouldn't normally be able to afford from a retailer.

It has also allowed me more options when it comes to interior decorating.  I'm no longer stuck with someone else's idea of pretty or what's "in" or what they think will look good in my home.  Don't get me wrong, I love me some Z Gallerie, Anthro, Ballard Designs but my pocketbook doesn't always love it the same. 
Know what I'm sayin'?  

Besides that, if I forked out a ton of money for something super nice that my kids are just going to throw on the floor, I would be stressed out everyday for fear that they would be ruined.   
The pillows not my kids.  
 The cream pillows were from Wal-mart and cost $13 each.

(The center pillow was from JCPenney bought last year on clearance for $3! )

Although my mom taught me some mad sewing skillz (my skills aren't really that mad), I didn't know how to sew an "envelope pillow cover"(see I told you).  I wanted something I could take off and throw in the washer when it got dirty.  I always did the type of cover that enclosed the entire pillow and didn't allow for easy removal.  So I "googled" it and found a simple tutorial on YouTube and followed the instructions.  It was so easy, really, and it didn't take long at all.
Anybody can do this even if you don't have a sewing machine!
The floral pillow is actually a place mat I found at World Market.  Place mats are great for making cheap but chic pillows. They are normally two pieces of fabric sewn together so if you rip the seam at one end, you can insert a pillow into the opening and then resew it closed or use hot glue or hemming tape!  Kate has a great tutorial on how to make "No Sew" throw pillows so go over and check out her blog and learn how to start saving money by being your own designer!! 
So what do you think of my sofa/ couch pillows??
Please tell me, what do you call the thing you sit on in your living room!!

I'm partying over here:  Houseofhepworths, Tales From BloggeritavilleTheshabbycreekcottage  

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

My High School Reunion

I know I haven't blogged in like forever but this summer has kept this momma super busy.  We've had lots of birthdays to attend, including our own kids, we've been going to play dates, swimming almost daily and trying to stay cool with these super hot temperatures.
My husband and I both graduated from the same high school and had our reunion this past weekend.  We had the best time catching up with old friends and seeing how everyone has changed over the years. Our graduation class was over 700 people!!  I was in Drill Team and also played soccer and 1 year of basketball.
Here are a few pics of us and our old classmates.  
OK, well not old but you know what I mean!
Me, ex-cheerleader, Algebra classmate
Drill teammate, Football, Me, Ex-cheerleader, Drill Team
One of my good friends that I've know since 3rd grade, former Drill Teammate, Me 
One of my good friends from Drill Team who is just the sweetest person!

And last but not least, Me, my husband and some random lady who was the wife of someone who knew someone at the reunion who just happened to be staying at the same hotel??
Not really sure why we took a picture with her but she was really nice.  Ha ha.  So random!
We had a blast but it took a while to recover since the after party lasted until 3:00 am and this mom of 3 isn't used to staying up that late!! 

My daughter starts Kindergarten in about 3 weeks so I plan on blogging on a more regular basis.  So until then it will be hit or miss with blog posts but I have lots to catch you guys up on and I can't wait to show you what I've been up to this summer besides birthday parties and swimming!!
Stayed tuned............Beth

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Dirty Laundry: Going Green and Saving Money

Being a family of FIVE on one income, I am always on the lookout for ways to save money.  I buy generic groceries, use coupons, do "price matching" on produce and meat at Wal-mart, we use energy efficient appliances, try to keep lights off, things unplugged, eat most of our meals at home and the list goes on and on.
So when a good friend of mine told me her husband made his own laundry soap and that it costs only 5 cents a load, I knew I needed to make my own soap too!  We have LOTS of dirty laundry around here (did I mention there's 5 of us?!) so being able to save money on something that I use a lot of is really going to help out the ol' pocket book.     
Not only are the ingredients easy to find but they are cheap and All Natural!
Here are all the ingredients:   
Borax ($2.99), Arm & Hammer Washing Soda ($3.79) and a bar of ZOTE $.99) for a total of $7.77 before tax.  You can even use Ivory soap if would like!
I found the Zote & Borax at several places (Home Depot, grocery store, Wal-mart) and the  Washing Soda at an Ace Hardware Store since my Wal-mart was out of it or no longer carries it. Also, Fels Naptha is another good laundry bar to try and I actually think it smells better than the Zote.  However, Zote is a lot bigger so you can actually cut it in half and make two batches and it's the same price so it's actually cheaper to use the Zote. Plus it's pink and my daughter thinks it's pretty!

So the first thing you need to do is grate up the laundry bar.  You can use a cheese grater or a food processor.  I chose to use my food processor because I'm lazy efficient like that.
I used a saw and cut the Zote into 3rds so it would fit in my food processor.
I used the slicing blade to chop it up but it just turned it into a giant pink ball.  I really don't know how to use my food processor that well and all of it's little intimidating accessories but I wasn't about to give up!
So I went with plan B and used my cheese shredding blade (I'm sure there's a proper name for it??) and it worked perfectly.  So now I have what looks like pink shredded cheese.     
Then I changed the blade again to the slicing blade and it grated it into a finer texture similar to little tiny bb's.  (That's bb's not boobies)  Can you see the difference below?

After I got the bar grated into a fine texture I began adding the powder mix which is the Borax and Washing Soda.  Normally you would add 1 grated bar to 1 cup of Borax and 1 cup of Washing Soda but since the Zote bar is so big, you can actually double the batch or even triple it.  I decided to triple it because I'm cheap frugile.  So my batch consists of 1 bar of Zote, 3 cups of Borax and 3 cups of Washing Soda.  If you use a normal size bar like Fels Naptha or Ivory Soap, your batch would be 1 grated bar, 1 cup of Borax and 1 Cup of Washing Soda.  Confused?  Good.
So that's it!  This is what it looks like all mixed together.  It's a beautiful pink powder that smells very fresh and clean.  Each batch yields approximately 32 ounces (between 32-64 loads based on how many Tbsp used per load).  You only need 1 tablespoon per load but you can adjust it however you need to if your laundry is extra dirty.  
You know like if you have 2 year old twin boys that like to dump bowls of cereal on their heads or play in the mud or eat spaghetti without a bib!
If you have a front loader HE machine you just put it in the dispenser where you would normally put powder detergent.  It's also safe for septic systems.  I've been using my home made detergent since May and my clothes have come out clean and smelling fresh without any soap residue.
I had a ton of questions about this soap and using it in my HE front loader so if you're like me and need to know everything about everything, go to and go under the "Cleaners" tab and you will find the answers to any questions you may have.

Here's the website cost comparison between store bought detergent and the home made version:
  • Arm & Hammer® liquid 100 ounce detergent – $6.79 – 32 loads = $0.21 per load
  • Tide® with Bleach powder 267 ounce detergent – $20.32 – 95 loads = $0.21 per load
  • Homemade powder 32 ounce detergent – $2.98 – 64 loads = $0.05 per load
I actually found my ingredients cheaper than the guy on the website so I'm actually saving more!  
If you are into saving money or making an all natural laundry detergent then you should give this a try!  It's so easy y'all and get your kiddos involved too, they'll love it!  Get them to grate the bar of soap for you with a cheese grater they will think it's fun and it's the hardest part, he he.

Have you ever made your own laundry soap?? Know anyone else who has made their own?

Thursday, June 2, 2011

New Fabric= New Project

These two lovelies came in the mail yesterday and I couldn't be happier!!  The colors look exactly like they did when I went to order them from  I did the happy dance when the UPS man pulled up in front of the house because I knew exactly what he was bringing me.  Of course I composed myself when I opened the door to get my package and then squealed like a little girl on Christmas morning once he left! 
I cannot wait to show you what I do with this lovely fabric!!
P.S. I worked really hard on the kitchen last night and think I'm about 99.9% done with the walls!  

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Graduation Blast from the Past

Happy June 1st everyone!  Can you believe it's already June!  It's supposed to be in the 90's here all week so it looks like we will be spending a lot of time playing outside in the water so we don't melt!
Today marks the 20th anniversary of me and my hubby's high school graduation.  Here's a picture of us just after the ceremony ended.  Don't we look young!!  Oh to be young again and just starting your life.  
We weren't exactly "high school sweethearts" since we were just friends in High School.  But once we graduated we spent everyday together and we even took summer courses together at a nearby Junior College.  Then one day he kissed me and well, you can't be "just friends" who spend all day together and be kissing each other because that's called dating!  We're having our reunion at the end of July.  We can't wait to see all of our old friends and see what they've been up to!  

Speaking of graduation, my daughter graduated from Preschool last week and I only cried once.  Well three times total if you count the day before.  So in just a few short months I will be taking her to Kindergarten.  I still can't believe my little miracle baby is going to be old enough to go to Kindergarten, it just doesn't seem real. 
Here's a pic of her (center next to the tall boy) and her class up on stage singing with her twin brothers watching from below.
Yes, the one on the right kept taking his shoes off and I was too tired to put them back on for the 1ooth time!  I let him win that battle so I could actually watch the program and take pictures. 
Plus we're hillbillies like that!  Just kidding.  Well sorta.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Making Progress: Kitchen Update

Once Spring arrived it seemed I couldn't keep my kids inside for more than 5 minutes before they began to bang their little fists on the patio door and say "Momma outside" over and over.  So needless to say I had to put my little kitchen project on the "back burner" and enjoy some fun in the sun with my kiddos.  And when I mean "little kitchen project" I'm referring to the painting of the walls and cabinets in the kitchen which is the opposite of "little project" if you ask me.  
Or anyone for that matter.
But I managed to make some progress and was able to complete one entire wall.  I also did the cutting in around the cabinets, ceiling and doorways. 

Here's a pic of the one and only painted wall in the kitchen (and a baby).  It's hard to tell but if you look really close you can still see the old yellowish paint around the windows. Can you see it?
Here's another shot, can you see the old paint on the header?  Hey did you notice the white cabinets??  Those are about halfway finished too!!
Yes, the lighting is totally off but that's because we had solar screens installed on the windows last year to help with the heat.  Our kitchen faces west so in the late afternoon the sun would hit those windows and you could literally feel the heat coming in.  When I would make dinner for my family I felt like I was standing under a heat lamp!  So although that side of the house is cooler now thanks to our new screens, it does make the space look a little darker so please pardon the extremely poor lighting. 
I will be sure to remove the screens when I take all the "after" photos to allow all the natural light in.
Here's a picture of the same side of the kitchen when we first moved in just to give you a little perspective on how far we've come!  I can't wait to complete all the painting so I can put my kitchen back together and once and for all get all the paint out of my hair!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Guess What I'm Working On??

Good mornin' Sunshine!  Happy Good Friday everyone!
I'm doing just fine today except for a little chocolate hangover that I'm nursing this morning!
My kids had their Easter party at school yesterday and they each came home with baskets full of goodies!  My daughter doesn't like chocolate so she gave me all of hers and I stole the boys chocolate before they even knew they had some.  Is that bad?  Stealing candy from your babies?  I'm really doing them a favor because if they ate too much of it they would probably get a tummy ache, right?  So you see I'm actually doing a good deed here.  Don't you agree?  
Don't answer that.

Sooo, you wanna know what my latest project is?  Well including all the other ones that I'm working on.
Yeah, that's right, I started another one.  No I haven't finished the kitchen cabinets but we're not going to talk about that today.  It's kind of a sore subject with me right now so let's not go there......K?

Ok, I'll give you a has something to do with paint.
Need another hint?  
Oh you can't figure it out?  
Ok, here's another hint.....Diet Coke.
Still don't know really?   Ok last
That's it, that's all I'm gonna say.  
The first one to figure it out gets a free diet coke!  Because that's my sponsor for this project.  

I hope to have the reveal for you guys first thing Monday mornin'. Wish me luck!

In the meantime, I hope you guys have a wonderful Easter!  I know we will, my mother-in-law is cooking a ham and squash casserole for Easter lunch.  Yummo!  Can't wait!


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Texas Bluebonnets

Taking pictures in the bluebonnets has been a family tradition in my family since my sister and I were kids.  I've tried really hard to keep this tradition going with my family too.  The bluebonnets come out in April and last approximately two weeks.  You can find them along the highways and randomly scattered in fields.  Every year we are searching for the best spot to take pictures in the bluebonnets. 
Here's a pic of my daughter when she was around 8 months old.
 I could just eat her up!!
These were taken in a field next to the highway. 

Here she is about 2 1/2 years old.
These were taken in a field next to a friend's house.
There were a couple of years that I missed but so far I have 3 pics of my daughter and the first of many with my twin boys.
And here they are now....
These were taken in a field next to an industrial park.

Do you have any Spring time family traditions?