Sunday, October 24, 2010

I do what I want (i.e. farewell to this blog)

Did you know that I've had a personal blog for two years? I decided to start this one up because I thought that I'd be boring my other readers with thoughts on decorating and cooking. I was having fun for a while, but then it started feeling like a chore. I had a lot to post about at first, so I was posting almost every day. And then I started feeling guilty when I didn't post, which is never good. Then I started missing writing. I was so preoccupied with posting pics on this blog that I wasn't writing about our life on the other blog. Which I started to keep our friends and family updated. Which morphed into a platform for one of my favorite soul-soothers: writing. Do you see where I'm going with this?

And did you know that I'm a Christian? I like to write about how God has blessed us in ways that I really don't understand. How he shocks me with his provision and his faithfulness and his ways. And I haven't been doing that here because it didn't seem to go with my new fall mantel.

Now that doesn't mean what you think it might mean. There's not a thing in the world wrong with my mantel. Or yours. But it's not what I want to write about all the time. So why do I need two separate blogs? I don't. Why can't I talk about this stuff on my other blog? It's my blog, duh. I like the community of this, but the community was turning into this weird competitive/keeping up with the Jones' thing for me and if we're being honest, it was

So I'm simplifying. I love that you read Thrifty, Nifty and Wise. I love that you like to see how I'm decorating or what I'm sewing. But if it's alright with you [and even if it's not] I'm going to do me. And me is this: God, my husband, my dog, the Navy, random stories, cooking, decorating, crafting and rants. And I'm doing that here:

Thank you, thank you, thank you to my friends [in real life and in blog life] who come by here. It's flattering, really. And if you're here because you like what you see, then I invite you over. I'll still show you my Christmas decorations [which yes, I'm already planning]. But I'll also show you what our life is like while we do this crazy Navy thing, what our weekend looked like, how God provided in yet another undeserving way and how my dog almost got eaten by a gator. I can't make this stuff up.

And to my family: sorry to keep changing things up :) But I do love and I do thank you for following me around.

So that's that. Farewell, Thrifty Nifty and Wise. I'll stick with my first-born for now. Come on over if you feel so inclined...

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

cute for a cause

Do you remember the first blog you found, the one that you checked every day for updates? For me, high on that list was Naptime Diaries. I loved this mommy's heart for her kids, her husband, her Jesus and the Church, her friends. And coffee. Girl after my own heart. So when I saw that this sweet family is planting a church in Boston and they're raising money to do so, I couldn't help but get in on the action.

Jessi is holding a raffle on her blog this week for all kinds of awesome stuff. You donate $10 [toward the church-planting effort] and you're entered for a chance to win these awesome prizes. So far, there's been the.most.amazing video you can have made of your cuties, some fab running skirts and now, this...

I told you I've been a sewing machine! [No pun intended. Really.] Now I can say it's been for a reason other than keeping busy during the football games :)

Listen up, folks. Head on over to Naptime Diaries and enter for a chance to win this sweet package, including:

a rosette headband, made with an old sweater a-dorable checkbook cover

...a sassy little makeup bag

...and my fave, this reusable coffee sleeve. Because I've been on a kick lately and who doesn't want to drink their Starbucks in style?

Now go! You won't regret it :)

Monday, October 18, 2010

weekend recap: perfecting the coffee sleeve

I told you I was working on a new and improved version!

The weekend was really quite lovely. I had an unexpected and welcomed visit from my aunt, who I adore. I'm convinced that my desire to be well-dressed and classy came straight from her gene pool. And perhaps that's the same gene pool that feeds my tendency to be slightly high maintenance, but that's neither here nor there :)

Here we are in Charleston for my spring break, during my sophomore year in college. We've been doing girls' weekends since I was 12 years old. This was about 5 days after Andrew and I started dating and what you don't see is the phone clutched in my other hand, waiting for his name to pop up on my caller ID. Oh, dating...

As is typical of our visits, we ate well [read: over-ordered and ate too much], shopped [read: bothered the lady at the custom curtain store with our made-up words and inability to make a decision] and laughed a lot. To say that her company is a blessing is the understatement of the century. She's just all around, good for the soul.

After she left on Sunday, the living room morphed into a fantasy football command center. So I retreated to my craft room to work on something to help out a bloggy friend [more on that later!]. And it was there that I perfected the reusable coffee sleeve.

Why I'm acting like this is newsworthy, I'm not sure. But go with it. Here you saw my first attempt at the coffee sleeve, but I didn't like that it wasn't versatile. And I was not even about to sew elastic into that same pattern. Please. I came up with this instead:

Leave it open on one side, with an elastic/button closure.

Total lightbulb moment. Now it fits any size!

How cute would that be, living in your purse for your Starbucks treat?
[PS: I tried the salted caramel hot chocolate + a shot of espresso this weekend. Um, wow.]

So that's that! How was your weekend?

Sometimes I like to here to see where I link!

Friday, October 15, 2010

good eats: death by chocolate

How can you say no to a name like that??

A while ago, I read an article about stress-free entertaining. It was talking about how our tendency, when we have people over, is to pull out all the stops and make some gourmet Martha Stewart-esque dish. But the point was that if we stick to what we know and what we're comfortable with, we'll have more time to actually enjoy the process and enjoy the guests once they arrive. Rather than worrying about whether or not they'll like the little lemon souffles with walt willey that you were cursing over just a few minutes before they walked in the door. That article, my friends, was life-changing. Hi, my name is Page. And I'm an overachiever.


SO. All of that to say this: here's my go-to dessert when we have company or I need to bring something to a dinner. Another masterpiece ala my mother-in-law. Some of my favorite cards in the dessert section of my recipe box came from that lady. Lucky me :)

Are you ready? Here it is:

  • 1 box devil's food cake mix (cooked as directed)
  • 1 box of chocolate pudding mix, the larger box (prepared as directed)
  • 2 containers of cool whip
  • 2 Heath bars, crushed

Once the cake has cooled, break it up in smaller pieces. In a trifle bowl, layer: cake, pudding, cool whip and repeat until you run out of ingredients. Once you've topped it off with the final layer of cool whip, sprinkle the crushed candy bar on top.

Oh man. It's easy and it's goooood. Go test it out. You know, so it feels natural when you have to make it when company comes over. Happy Friday :)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

vinyl lunchbags

You know the roll of vinyl (think outdoor table cloth) that you find at the fabric store? What ever could you do with that? I know, I know! ;)

Make a lunch bag!

Cut two pieces that are about 10x26. Fold each piece in half (so now it's 10x13) and pin the two pieces together. The folded ends will be the top of the bag. Sew along the two sides and the bottom.
PS: Having the oilcloth on the inside and outside makes it easy to wipe down. We love easy.

After you sew it together, jimmy it so that the side seams are lined up [the same way you'd fold a pair of pants with a seam.]

The bottom will make a diamond shape, so line those seams up as well.

At each tip of the diamond, draw a line where it measures 2.5 inches across. Then sew across this line.

Cut the corners off and you're done! Just turn it inside out!

You could use velcro for closure, but I like clothespins because you have a place to put your name. Because you know those people in your office will throw away an unclaimed lunchbag...

Do you see what I'm doing here? Making stuff to sell to teachers? :)

I love how easy and cute these are. And you can make all different sizes: one for you, one for your little, one for snacks to toss in a diaper bag. Possibilities are endless, my friends. Endless.

Sometimes I like to
here to see where I link!

Monday, October 11, 2010

to greet the trick-or-treaters

Here's the thing: I've never been crazy about Halloween decorations. I don't do spooky and while I may feel differently when we have kids, I'm not crazy about cutesy, either. At least not inside. It doesn't jive with the rest of my decor and that bothers my little OCD self. I love it when other people do it, but it doesn't work for me in my abode.

Like I said, I'll probably do things differently when there's a cutie little baby to go with the cutie little Halloween decorations but until then, any of that stuff has been relegated to the great outdoors. In preparation for what I know will be an adorable bunch of trick-or-treaters, I've been sprucing up the front porch - taking it from summer, to fall and to slightly halloween. I'm just not quite ready to go all out. Sorry.

First things first, bring a little autumn to the stairs. I got these mums at Walmart for $2. The brown basket is a spraypainted rescue and the other was $1 at Hobby Lobby. I didn't know what I was going to do with them when I got them, but they're working perfectly for this.

Next up, give your scarecrow her Halloween costume :)

And this might be my favorite idea ever...

How adorable is he?? I spraypainted my pumpkins with a flat, black paint and used a paint marker to draw the face. It's unexpected and a whole lot quicker (and cleaner!) than the carved variety. Although we'll probably still do that as it gets closer to the big day.

Are you skeeeered?

I think it's quite adorable, if I do say so myself. And the whole set-up cost me less than $10!

Sometimes I like to here to see where I link!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

sew-n-sell comment winner!

You like how catchy that is, don't you?

I told you folks that if you gave me some ideas on what you'd buy for yourself or a loved one, I'd pick a friend to feature. Before we get into that, let me just tell you some of the fabulous ideas I got from all you creative people:
  • Totes or purses
  • Doll dresses
  • Glasses case
  • Scarves
  • Aprons
  • A pencil roll for kids (love this!)
  • A small kleenex pack cover
  • Reusable coffee sleeve
  • Children's activity bag or purse
  • Headbands/bows
  • Bible covers
  • Purse organizer
  • Placemats and napkins
Check on the comments on that post and visit them. They're so talented! And I think the consensus is that the cuter the fabric, the more likely we are to buy it. Glad to know I'm not the only one that has a love affair with fabric :)

So, without further ado, the winner (who made a suggestion AND has a blog) is...Mary, of To Spend or Save, who said:

You have to check out her blog. Who doesn't love a one-stop place that tells you all about the deals of the day? Sales, coupons, giveaways - it's all here, in one place. So go. Now. You won't regret it.


In other news, my raggedy pumpkin was featured by Pat Sloan, quilter extraordinaire. She emailed me this weekend to tell me she wanted to post it this weekend and I was so flattered! Who knew an hour of boredom, some fabric scraps and a glue gun could get this much attention? It's the little things, is it not?

I hope you all had a blessed weekend :)

Friday, October 8, 2010

sew it up: a headband and a coffee sleeve

Hey party people! Earlier this week, I asked for ideas on what to sew and sell. You can still make some suggestions - at the end of the weekend I'm picking a random commenter [who has a blog] to feature next week! Bribery? Youbetcha :)

So far, there have been some really good suggestions. See why I love you all so much? I've been cranking out a few things here and there, so let's take a looksie...

I need a little girl STAT so I can make a bagillion of these headbands and make her wear them Precious, I tell you!

This next one I absolutely LOVE. Corrie made this suggestion and it's such a good one: resuable coffee sleeves! A] they're green and B] they are too cute for words.

I mean seriously, who wouldn't want one of these to throw in their purse? It makes your Starbucks habit seem a little more responsible :)

First things first, make your template. I saw a coffee sleeve online and just kind of eyeballed it. I think I'm going to need a real one to make my next template, but this worked for now. Cut a piece of felt to the size of the template.

Next, cut two pieces of the outer fabric and two pieces of the inner fabric, about 1/4 inch bigger than the template [I used my felt as the guide]. Stack the fabric like this: 1 piece of inner fabric [front side up], 1 piece of outer fabric [back side up], felt. Got it? Do the same thing with the other pieces.

Sew along the edges, leaving one short end open to turn inside out. I used the zig-zag stitch so the fabric would give a little and because I found it more easily grabbed the fabric and the felt that way. When you turn it inside out, do it so that the felt is on the inside [in between the two fabric pieces].

Now you sew the two pieces together. Lay the pieces so that the outer fabrics are facing each other. Sew along the short sides and turn inside out.

Voila! I don't have a coffee cup on hand to model it. Oh no, I guess I'll have to get Starbucks this weekend to test it out. Darn :)

What do you think? I already have some ideas on how to perfect the design and make it a little more functional. Stay tuned for part 2!

Sometimes I like to here to see where I link!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

bible bling and a question for YOU

First, in unrelated news, I'm trying to enjoy the weather with my windows open but the neighbor's dog is barking in a way that is equivalent to nails on a chalkboard. Yikes.

Now for the task at hand: Monday night, we were at bible study and I noticed that my bible cover was looking a little rough around the edges. Literally. It is a product of my less patient, less experienced sewing machine days and it needed to be replaced. [And yes, I was paying attention during bible study. Cross my heart.] Thanks to a few spare minutes and some Hobby Lobby fabric scraps, we have ourselves a snazzy little facelift...


Now for my question. My mom works at an elementary school and she offered to take some of the goods I've been making to the teacher's lounge after Thanksgiving to see if any of it would sell. What you don't know is that I've been sewing my little heart out. I just didn't want to bore you with one iPhone case or headband after another :) But now I have some things to ask you:

1. If you walked by a table of sewn accessories, what would you buy for yourself?
2. If you walked by a table of sewn accessories, what would you buy for a friend/mom/sister/daughter?
3. If you walked by a table of sewn accessories, what would you buy for your child's teacher as a Christmas gift?
4. If you were/are a teacher, what types of sewn accessories would you like pulling out of our bag each morning? [i.e. I currently have a few notebooks/planners, but I'm not sure if that's a sought-after item]

Alright friends, help a sister out. As a little incentive, I'll randomly pick a commenter and feature your blog next week. Pinky swear! :)

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

for my nanny dee

While my mom was here, we spent a good bit of time on our front porch - drinking coffee and enjoying the weather. And by that I mean, we planned to leave one morning at 9am, but spent three hours out there instead :) Several times, my mom mentioned that my grandmother, Delores [affectionately known as Nanny Dee] would love the porch.

For as long as I can remember, my Nanny represented a love for flowers and birds and rocking chairs and walks through the woods and "making memories." I can't wait for her to come and sit on our front porch with me, but until then, here's a tour...

Fall has come to Charleston! Don't pay too much attention to the Welcome planter to the left of the door. It's a bad week for those [dead] flowers.

I made this with a grapevine wreath from HL, some feather picks and some burlap scraps. Happy Fall!

Aren't these the cutest scarecrows you ever did see?

I found this planter at a thrift store and painted it yellow. Impatiens loooove my front porch.

Hooray for fresh herbs! Some of these aren't cooperating [i.e. rosemary and cilantro] but everything else has really taken off. From seeds, thankyouverymuch. We built this table out of an old shutter and some standard legs that we found at Lowe's. The purple bench is a gift from my Papa [he built it for me in college, so I could reach the top shelf of my dorm room closet]

How adorable is this windchime? My in-laws brought it back last summer after a trip to Texas. It's some kind of shell, I think, and makes the prettiest sound.

The sitting spot. These rocking chairs were a steal at a local antique store and I made the pillows. The two frames hold some clearance fabric, with sketches of sailboats. LOVE it.

Welcome :)

The porch might just be my favorite feature of this house. It's so deep and cozy and charming. Let me just get my sweet tea and one of these things and I'll be

Monday, October 4, 2010

weekend recap: motherly love

As expected, I had a perfect weekend with my mom. I didn't take any good pictures of us while she was here, but picture a tall, pretty, smiley lady and you'll be good to go. We ate a lot, drank a lot of coffee, walked a lot and just enjoyed the beautiful weekend. And she brought me this gorgeous vase from Hawaii, where my parents went for their anniversary trip last month:

You can't tell from this picture but it's an iridescent purple with splashes of blue and green. It's so pretty! That mom, she's so thoughtful.

One item on the agenda while she was here was to visit the Habitat Restore. She's heard me talking about ours for months, but she hasn't experienced the joy of shopping in one. I changed that for her :) It's been a while since I've been and they've since reorganized and put a lot more out. Um, wow.

This beautiful carafe was only $0.50. I'm going to use it for olive oil.

Can you believe this mirror? I've been looking for something to put on top of the dresser in the guest bedroom and I think this is perfect. I might spraypaint it white because it's a little dark for my taste, but it's so gorgeous! And only $2.

Christmas stuff was already out. Yessss. Here we have 17 feet of garland and a bag of bells. All for about $3.

Be still my beating heart. I love, love, LOVE this vase. And it goes perfect with some flowers I picked up from Hobby Lobby for our bedroom. That's the current room on my list, so stay tuned for the big reveal in the coming weeks.

I hope your weekend was as good as mine! Did you find anything good? I think I've convinced my mom that shopping at thrift stores/Goodwill/Habitat is the way to go.

Sorry, Dad :)

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