Thursday, July 28, 2011

I Was Featured!!!

I can't believe I just got my first feature! I was checking my blog comments, and saw that I had a new comment posted. I couldn't believe it when I read it- I was featured on Delightful Order's blog. I am so excited!! It makes all my little project work worthwhile to know that others appreciate my ideas!

Check out the link above to see the Features listing. Woohoo! Great day so far! Not to mention, Monday is August 1, so you know what that means...No-Spend July will be no more! I don't know which I'm more excited about right now. It's a toss-up. Can't wait to post next about my shopping escapades on Monday. My entire lunch break will be devoted to hitting local stores. Ha!

Hope everyone is having a good end to the week. I definitely am! :)

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

My First Mod Podge Project

We're coming off of a restful weekend. Our Sunday was pretty much composed of church, popcorn, homemade ice cream and 24 on DVD. Needless to say, it was awesome. (I admit, I have a huge older-man-crush on Kiefer Sutherland. That man can rock a pair of jeans! Hahaha!) Anyhoo, I went on a shopping trip on Saturday. I'm not gonna lie- it was a little painful. I found several cute things (which I knew I would), but came home with nothing. Didn't spend a dime, and that felt great!
Hey, I can always go back in August...which I'm sure I will. :)

Now, for the project...This was my first ever Mod Podge project, and now I'm hooked. I have read countless blog posts about how this is some miracle stuff, and I am now a believer. It is a decoupage that you can use on just about anything, for anything. I have been walking around the house trying to find things to slap this stuff on. Ha! 

You may remember this little $1 number from a thrift store trip (one of the many):

I splurged ($1 also) on some wrapping paper at Dollar General, another frequent stop of mine, and was planning to use it on this project...until I found this at Hob Lob about a month ago...

...and could NOT resist. It was $7.99 (I cringed when I saw the price sticker), but I used my 40% off coupon, so it didn't hurt as bad. Plus, I want to use this on a few more things throughout the house. If you recall, I've already used it on the jewelry tray. I have always wanted a zebra print/black & white room, but until I get that, I am going to settle with throwing in some zebra where I can. Sorry in advance, Zach. :)

I took the new zebra art paper and grabbed up my Mod Podge to transform the organizer. (I've had this Mod Podge for forever now. Keep in mind, all these project supplies were purchased a while back. I'm still sticking to my guns on the no-spending.)

Here are pics of my steps. Got a little camera crazy,
so bear with me...

I used my handy-dandy X-acto knife (first time using one, and no cuts!), and traced the outline of the organizer on the paper.

I made sure the paper cuts fit the curves. It wasn't exact, but it fit. (Do you like my subtle LOFT ad placement here?
Love that store!) :)

I began slapping on the Mod Podge. This stuff is so easy to work with!

After I placed the paper on the Mod Podged organizer, I smoothed out all air bubbles. Then, I let it dry for about an hour. I then put a light coat of Mod Podge on top of the paper to seal it in.

It looks terrible at this stage, I know, but it dries crystal clear! I then repeated these steps on the other side, front, and back of the organizer. It took a little while, just because of the drying time. I also put an additional top coat when it was all said & done, just for good measure.

Now, my favorite- a little Before & After for ya':



The organizer is currently being used on my computer desk in the living room. I love how the print adds a little pop to that corner. I may add more of the paper to the inside of the organizer, but I'm thinking it may be too difficult to cut to size. We'll always have paperwork and bills in the slots anyway, so it won't matter.

Love that pic of us too. It's one of my favorites from when we were dating. :)

I have already started another project with the Mod Podge. I had this set of coasters that were purchased about a year ago. The clear coating on top was starting to wear off & it made them look splotchy, so I haven't used them in a while. The idea popped into my head to use Mod Podge to re-coat them, and it worked out perfectly!

 I'm already lining up other projects I can use the Mod Podge with, so be looking for more posts with this awesome stuff!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Baked Squash Recipe

No-Spend July is chugging right along, my friends. I am truly proud of myself, and I've learned a little something. All those things you think you can't live without...well, you can. I have already forgotten what some of the things were that at one time ran through my mind this month. I thought, "Ooh, I'll get that next month." Well, I can't remember what "that" was. Nice. It really makes me realize how unimportant little purchases are. I already have too much- I don't need anymore. (I need to keep checking back at this post and re-reading that to myself, especially when August rolls around, right?) :)

The recipe...This is super-easy! A friend of mine asked for this "recipe," if you can even call it that, so I thought I would post. It's not technical at all- it's best to just add ingredients to taste/look/feel. My mom has been making this for years, but I tried it myself for the first time last week. It was so easy and quick- I wished I would have been fixing it all this time. Zach is not a squash fan, though, so I guess that's why. Here it is:

Baked Squash

-Amount of squash for amount of people (sounds technical, doesn't it?) I would say about 3 or so squash per person, as long as you're cooking other veggies to go with it.

-Few slices of butter (again, technical). You can see from the picture (even though it's a little dark), I put one slice on each side & two slices in the middle, just enough to even out.

-Onion flakes (couple of teaspoons)

-Garlic salt (a couple of shakes)

Cook in microwave in increments of 5 minutes. Stir after each. I cooked mine a total of 15 minutes. Cook until squash is tender throughout.


Another version you can try is more of an easy squash casserole version:

-Use all ingredients as listed above, but add shredded cheese (enough to cover top) and buttered bread crumbs

-Bake in oven, 350 degrees, until browned on top

This just takes a little longer, but the cheese adds a lot to it! You could also add cheese to the first recipe and still cook in microwave (that's what I did). Just don't cook the bread crumbs in the microwave- they will be too gooey and chewy.

And, just to brag on myself, I'm including a pic of our dinner I cooked last Friday night. I am trying to cook dinner for us more often, mainly because of the convenience & deliciousness of it, but the bonus is the cheaper price! I worked all day, came home, and cooked this up. It made me feel like I had accomplished something. Kudos to you mommies, especially mommies with full-time jobs (including you stay-at-home mommies too), that do this every single day. Not to mention, I was just cooking for two!

Fried chicken fingers, garlic mashed potatoes, corn &
baked squash. Yumm-o!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Projects to Keep Me Busy

 I really haven't worked on any little projects in a while, so I made up for it these past few days. On Saturday, for once in a really long time, we had nothing to do during the day until that night, and I LOVED it! I rested a good bit, watched a little TV (we are loving Modern Family right now!!), straightened up the house (of course), then worked on my fun stuff. I've also worked a couple of nights this week to complete some things I've been waiting to do for a while.

Here are a couple of the little projects I have been working on lately. Some of these supplies I have had for a while now, and am just now getting around to them. I hate to have something waiting on me when I'm itching to start on it.

On to the projects...

Project 1:
I got this frame/tray on a thrift store trip that I posted about a month or so ago. I knew what I wanted to do with it, and finally got around to it. It was so simple, too! I should have done it forever ago.

Here are some step-by-step photos:

I started by lifting the brads on the back. They came up easily, and I just took out the old backing & ugly paisley paper.

The frame, before:

The frame, after:

I found this at Mom's and "borrowed" it...
Simple Krylon Gloss Black.

I bought this art paper at Hobby Lobby. More on that later- I have a second project I've already used it on. I don't think it will last very long around here. :)

I used the sad paisley paper as a template to cut the size.

I then made sure the paper fit inside the frame over the glass. I taped it down on the sides, just to keep it secure.

Voila! My new zebra jewelry tray!



Project 2:
I got this candle holder on a recent trip to the thrift store.

I tried cleaning it with brass cleaner, but it was still too shiny for what I wanted.

So, I painted it white. I love how it turned out!

Nice, white & glossy. We needed a little more light colors in the house anyway, especially during the Summer.
Both of these were simple & quick, and only took the art paper (for the first one) and the spray paint (for both). Life is good in the project world for me right now!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Fluff That Won't Make You Fluffy :)

Whew, we have had a productive weekend! I got a ton of spray painting done, Zach mowed the yard, and we had a great time hanging out with friends! We also got our new garage door installed (see previous post, if you happen to be interested)- not too shabby! I wanted to post this recipe that I have already tried twice since I got it. I am in love with this stuff!

I got this recipe years ago from a friend I used to work with, lost it, but thought about it again the other day & emailed her to get it. Thanks, Charlotte, for sharing this with me (again)! This is probably one of the simplest recipes I have ever heard of. And it is YUMMY!...oh, and SUGAR FREE! Even better, right? It is an actual Weight Watchers recipe, and there are several versions of it out there, but this calls for the least ingredients and I think it tastes the best out of the ones I've tried. Here ya' go:

Pineapple Fluff

- 1 Large can crushed pineapple (Use juice & all)
- 1 Large sugar-free vanilla pudding mix (1.5 oz.)
- 2 8 oz. containers of fat-free Cool Whip (or one 16 oz.)...(This is what the recipe called for, but I couldn't find an actual Fat Free Cool Whip. I used the Lite, which is virtually Fat Free. Still healthier than the regular.)

Mix all ingredients together, chill for about an hour, and you're done.

You can use mandarin oranges, cherries, etc., as an addition to the pineapple or as a substitute. You can also add cottage cheese for substance. One cup of Fluff is worth ONE Weight Watchers point, if you keep up with those. Easy & delicious- can't beat that!

And, just because I love visuals...
I love my little polka dot bowl- Wal-Mart clearance! :)

Look at all that fluffy goodness!

Oh, and bonus...When you're done, you have a new piece of tupperware you can use! (I wouldn't send these home with anyone taking leftovers, but I definitely use these suckers for us at home.)
Yummy :)

Oh, and a quick update on No-Spend July: I forgot to mention one little thing about our Wal-mart shopping trip. I was too infatuated with the outdoor throw pillows to remember, I guess. When we were walking out of the store, one of my shoes broke! Broke, like beyond repair! They're a pair of my favorites too. Why did this have to happen during my no-spend time?? Zach told me he wouldn't think anything bad of me if I bought a replacement pair. He was even going to look them up to see if the store still carried them (what a sweetie!!) But, I'm sticking to this thing (atleast for now, anyway). I can go shopping in my own closet for a replacement pair. It's not near as fun, but it's free. Ooh, I like that word! FREE.
Aside from that, I'm really liking this no-spend thing. I started on some projects this weekend (from all the stuff I already had), and hope to finish them up sometime this week. I'll post as soon as they're done!

New Garage Door!

I know this is not very exciting for you all, but it is for us! I try to keep in mind that I don't just post on this blog for anyone reading it, I post for us too. This is our little online scrapbook, and I enjoy looking back at older posts when I have the time. I would forget all of our little memories along the way
if I didn't have them recorded.

Anyway, we have had the original garage door on our home since Zach moved in in August of 2007- almost 4 years ago, wow! After sustaining a couple of small hits (ok, one of those was by me...but the other one was Zach...and, just for the record, he hit it a lot harder than I did), it has not held up very nicely. It wasn't in the best of shape before the incidents though, just sayin'. :)

About a month ago, we had a repair man fix it (this was the second repair, I believe, since we bought the house). He told us it would only be temporary, as we could expect it to go at any time. That little sucker held on longer than we thought it would, poor thing. A couple of weeks ago, Zach called me at work to inform me it had given up the ghost. Time for a new one!

My thoughts: Yay and Eww. "Yay" because it would be nice to have a better garage door- better looking and better functioning. "Eww" because it's not free. But what is?? Atleast this is something pretty to look at, and a definite upgrade to our home. When we thought we were going to have to purchase a new heat pump a month ago, I wasn't excited at all. Heat pumps aren't pretty to look at. I will probably stare at this brand new, pretty garage door, though, every time I pull up in the driveway, atleast for a while until the new wears off.

Now, my favorite part...The Before & After!



Wow, what a change, huh? We love it!!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

"Let Them Eat Cake!"

Cheesy post title, I know... Sorry.... Just wanted to take a minute and brag on my best friend, Anna. I posted these pictures on my FB page, but also wanted to share them on here for those of you that don't get on Facebook. I cannot get over these cute, unique cake designs! Zebra print, monogramming and cake-
three of my favorite things!

I had posted once before a picture of my birthday cake she made for me this past January, but I'll post it again, just because I love it so much! :)

I just can't get over these!!! Is she not so incredibly talented??

Her birthday is tomorrow, so I'm wondering if she'll bake & decorate something nice for herself.
Happy Birthday, Anna, if you're reading this! :)

Also, here is her website: Check it out!!

Little update on life lately at the Jones household:

-I hit a deer last night on my way home from dinner at Mom's. It was so weird, because I could see it coming, and couldn't do a thing about it. It hit me on my driver's side, around the front part of the bumper on that side and all down the driver's side door. The door makes a gosh-awful noise when I open it now. Oh well- it could always be worse. To make it a little better, I don't think I even killed the deer! There was no blood, and I never saw it again after that. I go by it every day, and didn't see any sign of it on the side of the road this morning on my way to work. Good thing is- I have connections with my awesome insurance carrier. :)

-Zach has been so incredibly busy with work lately. Yay! I'm so proud of him!! He is going to start offering iPhone app services, and has been learning all about it lately, so he can be on top of the game. He has already created one for Camp Laney- go check it out, it's on iTunes, under Camp Laney, and it's free! He's so smart, and I hope he knows every day how proud I am of him!

All is great right now. We're hoping to have another relaxing weekend, possibly including a night out with friends- much-needed! I hope to post soon on some projects that will hopefully be done by this weekend...we'll see. I also have a yummy recipe to share! Hope everyone is having a great week!

Monday, July 11, 2011

My Weekend in Pictures

I had good intentions to have a work weekend around the house, but it turned out to be anything but. Instead of posting pics of the projects I was planning to start & finish up this weekend, I'm posting pics of my lazy weekend. In other words, this will probably be a boring post, because my weekend was, well, boring. Good, but boring. I did absolutely nothing on Saturday. I mean NOTHING. And I loved it! I don't usually have the chance to sit in front of the TV and do nothing else, so it was nice. Sunday made up for it though- I crammed all of our laundry, cleaning, cooking, and a Wal-Mart trip into the one day, but it was well worth it. 

By the way, No-Spend July has kicked off without a hitch. We went to Birmingham over the long weekend last week, and I did not buy a thing. I even went to LOFT to get a gift card for Zach's sister's birthday, and resisted. Now that's willpower, people. It actually felt good to go into a store- one of my favorites, nonetheless- and NOT buy anything. Still haven't decided if it feels better than actually buying something (I'm thinking no), but it was still a great feeling. I am saving money, and getting things done at the same time. I am also trying to go through my closets- yes, closetS, ugh- and weed things out. I did this once already a few months ago to find stuff for our yard sale (which will hopefully be happening in August- come visit me!), but I'm doing it again, because I need to. I still have clothes with the tags attached that need to be either worn or sold. I'm getting it done, slowly but surely.

So, just to make my weekend seem a little more interesting, I did have a few photos to share. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did my lazy weekend. :)

This was my view for just about the entire day Saturday. Yep, Supernanny's on the TV. Love that show! Daisy was my cuddle buddy, of course...

Sweet little girl :)

I made another batch of Frosty ice cream on Sunday. So many of my "faithful followers" have told me they have either tried or are going to try this recipe. So glad I could share a good recipe with you guys! (You're welcome, Sheena & Terry!) :)


The Wal-Mart trip was a little rough. I found something I've been looking for for a while now, and it was for a great price.
But, again, I resisted. 

When I got home, just to make it worse on myself, I looked up what others they had on Wal-Mart Mobile. I found these cuties:

A while back, I had found some really pretty, colorful ones at Pottery Barn, but I hated the price, especially as little as they'll be used. We really need some color on the deck too, but I couldn't get over this animal print! How lovely would two of each of these be on our deck? Ugh, August- hurry up!! Not that I'm going to go "hog-wild," as Zach tells me, when this No-Spend thing is over with, but I hope to get something out of this little experiment. I hope to realize what I actually need versus what I want. Most of the things I really want right now will (hopefully) be forgotten about when this month is over. I am seeing that I can do without a lot of things that I used to think I "needed." Who knows, I might just keep this thing going a little longer than the month of July...

but those CUTE, CHEAP animal print pillows are calling my name..., maybe not. :)

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Frosty Recipe

I hope everyone had a Happy 4th of July! I know we did!
We were running around all weekend long and didn't rest one bit, but it was FUN! We spent all day Saturday in Birmingham, shopping & eating (by the way, Five Guys is yummy!) Sunday we had an awesome, moving church service, then headed to Chattanooga to have a birthday dinner for Zach's sister, Marissa. We had such a great time with family that night, and some yummy Greek food! Then, Monday, we headed to Zach's dad's on the lake for tons of food and fireworks. I'm still stuffed.

Anyway, I thought I would post a recipe that I tried over the weekend. It's a recipe for Wendy's Frosty, using a regular homemade ice cream maker. Usually, I'm skeptical about knock-off recipes, but this one is SPOT-ON. We loved it so much, I think I'm going to make more sometime this week. :)

"Wendy's Frosty" Homemade Ice Cream Recipe:

- 16 oz. Cool Whip (can use Lite)
- one 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
- Chocolate Milk (can use Low Fat)

Mix together Cool Whip & sweetened condensed milk. Add chocolate milk and fill to Fill Line. Freeze ice cream as usual.

It always takes about one hour for my homemade vanilla ice cream to freeze, but this takes a little longer. Its consistency is more liquid than regular vanilla ice cream though. It's better if it is transferred to a regular freezer overnight, then enjoyed the next day. I prefer a more solid ice cream though, so if you like it more like a milkshake, have it right out of the ice cream maker. It usually takes about 2 qts. of chocolate milk, but I bought a gallon just to be sure. Now I have some left over to make more!

Google Images

I linked this recipe to:

Friday, July 1, 2011

No-Spend July...Can I Do It??

Can I go one whole month without spending money on anything excessive? Anything unnecessary? Anything fun? I hope so, and I'm going to try! I have been buying a good bit of supplies for my little projects lately, and the corner in the guest room is piling up. I decided- even though I have been frugal with my purchases (ahem) - that I am not going to buy another thing related to a project until I am DONE with the ones I have lined up. I also thought I would kick it up a notch, and decide not to buy ANYTHING excessive for the entire month of July.
Eww, it kinda' hurts to say it out loud...
or even type it out.

For some inspiration, I went to
I love this blog! You will be hooked too once you check it out. She's decided to have a no-spend month, just to catch up on all she already has to do. Sounded like a great idea to me, so I'm following suit. What better way to catch up and save money at the same time? Sounds like a winner to me.

When I was perusing Google Images for a picture to include in this post, I actually found several things related to No-Spend July, so I must be behind on that. Oh well, I'm starting now! I bought a dress last night (I promise it was still cheap!), just for one last hoorah. Any comments, encouragements, people telling me I'm an idiot, etc., will be greatly appreciated! I'll keep you updated...

Oh, Zach will be so proud of my Bill O'Reilly reference! :)
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