Easy Spring Upcycle: How to Repurpose an Old Chair

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Are you looking to spruce up your space for less? If so, give this easy spring upcycle project a try. You can repurpose an old chair in just a few ours, and create a look that is fresh and new. You don’t need a great deal of supplies, and you don’t even need a lot of time or crafty know how. In fact, the chair below we made for around $5 and in less than two hours. Want to try to repurpose an old chair yourself? Take a look at how to repurpose an old chair and get a fresh new look for less.

Supplies needed:
Old chair (ours was a curb find! FREE!)
Spray paint or brush on paint
Scrap fabric (about 1 yard)
Painting supplies (if needed)
Scissors
Staple gun

Use what you have on hand and really save. For our project we had a can of ivory spray paint on hand leftover from another project. It worked perfectly. We found the chevron fabric at Walmart for less than $3 a yard, making our total cost around just $3. Should we have needed a can of spray paint, our total cost still would have been about $5. Now that is a great deal!

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Directions:
1. Begin by cleaning your chair well with warm, soapy water. Wipe clean.
2. Remove the seat cover with a screw driver. This is so easy! It will just pop right off.
3. Cover the seat by wrapping it face down into the fabric and securing the sides tightly with a staple gun.
4. Give the chair a coat (or two) of paint. We distressed ours a tad with some sand paper for a natural look. You can do this if you wish or opt for a clean finish.
5. Return the seat cover to the chair. Replace the screws.

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Your chair is now ready for use. Can you believe this is even the same chair? I can’t! It went from curbside trash to something that looks like it would be in a Pottery Barn catalog.

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Give this easy spring project a try, then share your results with us on the Facebook page or Community Chat page!

Happy crafting!

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Frugal Crafting Fun: Easy Spring Wreath

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Let’s bring some color into our spaces, shall we? There is no better way to do this than this easy peasy spring wreath. You can make your own wreath just like this using less than $5 in supplies and in just minutes. Yes, minutes! You don’t need to be super crafty, you don’t need a lot of time, you just need a few supplies and you can adorn your door, space, or even office area with a wreath that screams WARM WEATHER IS HERE! So are you ready to get crafty? Take a look below at how to get started!

Supplies needed:
Grapevine wreath
Spray paint (optional, only if needed)
Mini paper drink umbrellas
Hot glue, glue gun

Directions:
1. Begin by spraying your grapevine wreath the color of your choice. We found precolored wreaths at our local Hobby Lobby Store for under $4 that worked perfectly. If you can’t find something similar, find a grapevine wreath at your local dollar store and give it a coat or two of the color of your choice.
2. Once your wreath is dry, and you want to be sure it is totally dry, you are going to add your drink umbrellas. Open your umbrellas up so they are nice and full. Apply some hot glue to the stems of them and press them into your wreath. Hold them in place so the umbrellas attach and stay attached to the grapevine.
3. Don’t cover the entire wreath, just apply umbrellas to the corners of it in clusters and bunches.

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When you are done, you can add a ribbon for hanging or just display your wreath as is. As you can see, it is the perfect pop of color to a bland space or any space that needs the look and feel of spring.

So are you ready to craft your own? Go for it! Then, share your creation with us on the Facebook page or Community Chat page. We want to see how crafty you are!

Have a great day, friends!

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Easy Easter Craft: Eggcellent Easter Picture Frame

 

 

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If you are in the mood for some fun and frugal Easter crafting, this easy Easter picture frame is for you! How sweet will this little dandy look perched on your mantel or bookshelf? It can even add some instant Easter charm to your office. Take a peek below at how to make your own eggcellent (like that?) Easter picture frame in just minutes and for just pennies. Yep, pennies! Take a peek!

Easy Easter Picture Frame

Supplies needed:
Picture frame
Spray paint
Foam eggs
Knife
Craft glue

We found the eggs we used in this project at our local dollar store. The frame and paint were all leftovers we had around the house. So our total cost for this project was just $1. Before you go and buy, look around and see what you may have on hand that is usable.

Directions:
1. Begin by removing the glass of the frame. You will not be needing it.
2. Apply two coats of paint to the frame allowing drying time in between. You want to paint right over the insert and everything creating a matching canvas to your frame.
3. Take a knife and cut your foam eggs in half.
4. Apply some glue to the egg and press it to the inside of the frame. You can add as many eggs as you wish. We thought two were perfect for our frame, but you can decide what works for you.

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There you have it! Your picture frame is now complete. Display your frame wherever you need a pop of spring color.

When you are done, share your creations on the Facebook page or Community Chat page, won’t ya? We love seeing your unique spin you put on these projects, and so do your friends. So gather your supplies and get inspired, and inspire others while you are at it.

Happy crafting, and Happy spring!

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Spring Family Fun: Yarn Eggs Kid’s Craft

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It is time to start thinking about spring and how with Easter approaching, the sight of pastel eggs will be everywhere. Make your own colorful eggs perfect for displaying in a basket or centerpiece when you give this yarn eggs kid’s craft a try. Made from just a few simple supplies, these yarn eggs are the perfect craft for little hands. They only take minutes to make, and in no time you will have a fun little Easter accent. Take a peek at how to make your own. Your kiddos will love these!

Yarn Eggs Kid’s Craft

Supplies needed:
Plastic Easter eggs
Craft glue
Yarn
Scissors

We found all of these supplies in our own crafting scraps but if you need any of them, your local dollar store should have them. It doesn’t matter what color the plastic eggs are as they will be covered, but find yarn that is a hue you enjoy. We used some rainbow yarn for lots and lots of color.

Directions:
1. Begin by pouring some craft glue in a bowl.
2. Cut a long length of yarn and dip it in the bowl. Cover it with glue.
3. Take your fingers and squeeze off any additional glue.
4. Begin wrapping the yarn around your plastic egg. The glue will help it stick and adhere nicely.
5. Set the egg in a sunny window to dry and harden.

When your egg is dry, it will be nice and hard. These eggs are quite sturdy and durable and are sure to survive little hands. Display them in an Easter basket or on a mantel for some instant Easter charm.

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Kids will love getting their hands all sticky with this simple Easter craft. Gather your supplies and give it a try. When you are done, come see us on the Facebook page or Community Chat page and share your creativity. We love to see it!

Happy crafting!

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St. Patty’s Day Cupcakes! Super cute and tasty too!!

 

 

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Hey everyone!  FRIDAY, March 17th is St. Patrick’s Day so it is time to get ready with this tasty treat!

When I was growing up, my mom always did something special on every holiday and one of the things that I remember was her DELICIOUS Mint Chocolate Cupcakes on St Patty’s Day!  I am not a big mint eater, but there is something really good about a moist chocolate cupcake with a light and fluff frosting with a touch of mint.  If you haven’t tried it yet, you should!  It is a tasty combination!!

I have never been one to make frosting from scratch, but this recipe makes it super simple and fun to do with the kids!  Pick up some glittery clover decorations at the dollar tree like shown in my photo above and everyone will feel Lucky as a Leprechaun!

MINT CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES

(Makes up to 24 cupcakes)

Ingredients:

 

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1 box of chocolate cake mix (plus ingredients called for on the box, i.e. eggs, oil & water)

2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature

4 cups powdered sugar

2 tablespoons milk

¼ teaspoon peppermint extract

¼ teaspoon vanilla extract

1 bag of Andes mints (found at dollar tree)

Green food coloring

 

Directions:

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  1. Make cake batter according to box instructions. Evenly divide into cupcake liners.
  2. Bake cupcakes according to box instructions. Allow to cool in pans 15 minutes before frosting.
  3. To make frosting, use an electric mixer to beat butter until light and fluffy.
  4. Slowly add powdered sugar, scraping down sides of bowl between additions.
  5. Add milk 1 tablespoon at a time, and then mix in both peppermint and vanilla extracts.
  6. For mint green color, add 6-8 drops of green food coloring into the frosting until you reach your desired shade of green.
  7. Frost cupcakes and garnish with an Andes mint
BAM!  That’s it and you look like an expert baker!!

Let me know if you decide to try this recipe!
It is super easy and super fun to help celebrate St. Patty’s Day!!

Be sure to share a recipe with us on our Facebook page or Chat page.  Get inspired to craft and cook frugally on our Pinterest page too!!

Enjoy!

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Cheesy Cajun Sausage & Tator Casserole! Yummy!!

 

Cheesy Cajun Sausage & Tator Casserole MCE

OH MY LAWD!  You are going to LOVE this dish!

Many of you have asked for recipes using the Eckrich Sausage that we just scored super cheap at Publix.  I have a really tasty option that is really easy to make that the whole family will love!

Smoked Sausage and Kielbasa is delicious when cooked together with potatoes.  There is something about the mix of flavors that is wonderful on the taste buds!  My mother is from Louisiana, so I have a lot of cajun influences in my cooking and I love my food well seasoned.  The combination of ingredients and seasoning in this dish are just perfect to me, it is not spicy, but extremely flavorful.

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Prep time:  10 minutes max

Preparing this dish was really easy for me.  In all fairness though, I want to mention that I use a Vidalia Chop Wizard for my potatoes and onions.  If you haven’t ever seen one of these, you should really check it out.  I have used mine for YEARS and can’t imagine having to chop up potatoes or veggies for soup or stews by hand.  Basically, you peel the veggies that you are going to use, put on the chopper and press down.  It quickly cuts the veggie into perfect size pieces.   I am not sure if it is designed for potatoes since it is called a “Vidalia Chopper” but I have used it for years on potatoes and every other kind of veggie out there.  I also use it for eggs when making egg salad and cheese for bite size chunks.  You can pick these up on Amazon for $19.50 with free prime shipping.  It is worth it to buy the original, the copy cat doesn’t get great reviews.  This is what mine looks like, you will see it in one of my prep photos as well:

Ingredients

  • FIVE Medium Size Potatoes
  • One Package of Eckrich Smoked or Kielbasa Sausage
  • One Medium Onion
  • Weber N’Orleans Cajun Seasoning ($.15 at Publix now)
  • Olive Oil (or vegetable oil if necessary)
  • 1/2 Cup Shredded Mozzarella Cheese

Directions

Cheesy Cajun in process

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  • Peel Potatoes and cut into bite size pieces (not too big)
  • Peel onion and cut into similar size pieces
  • Slice Sausage into small bite size pieces.  I have found that if the sausage is almost frozen it is easiest to slice into small pieces.
  • For easy cleanup it is best to line your pan with aluminum foil or use a disposable pan, spray or rub bottom of pan with olive or vegetable oil (I use olive oil personally but either will work).
  • Mix all ingredients together by hand in pan and sprinkle generously with Weber N’Orleans Cajun Seasoning.  I personally like to see the seasoning throughout the mixture like this:

 

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  • Place in oven and cook for 75 minutes uncovered, I stirred it once at about 40 minutes to make sure that it was cooking evenly.  We like ours to be well cooked with the onions cooked down and the potatoes nice and soft with a little crispy edge on the sausage and potatoes which is why I go 75 minutes.

REMOVE FROM OVEN

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  • After 75 minutes, remove from the oven and turn the oven on HIGH BROIL.  Sprinkle the mozzarella cheese on top and place back into the oven for an additional 5 minutes until the cheese is melted and bubbly.  You can use more cheese, but I find that about a half of a cup to one cup is more than enough for this dish.

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Let cool for just a few minutes before serving to allow the cheese to settle and ENJOY!

Be sure to share a recipe with us on our Facebook page or Chat page.  Get inspired to craft and cook frugally on our Pinterest page too!!

Enjoy!

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New Years Eve Traditions for GOOD LUCK & MONEY!!

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A NEW YEAR IS UPON US!!

New years eve traditions

How do you bring in the New Year??

New Years Eve is a day of celebration, letting go of the past and looking forward to the future.  Many people host huge parties with friends and family while others attend celebrations at local venues to ring in the new year!

For many years we have chosen to stay home and have a little fun of our own by participating in some of the age old traditions that are supposed to bring good luck and fortune to you in the new year!  I have been asked by many people to write out all of the things that I do each year for fun and why!  All of the children in my family know of these traditions because I do them pretty much every year.  One year I didn’t and lets just say it wasn’t the “best year of my life” so I never skipped even one after that!!  Some call them traditions, others call them superstitions, but whatever you call them, it can make your New Years Eve a ton of fun and fire you up for the new year!!

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I don’t know where each of these traditions originated but here they are the reasons why I do them!

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PREPPING FOR MIDNIGHT:

  • Place SEVEN coins (heads up) in each window sill to guarantee that money will come into your home in the coming year.
  • Fill one pot of water sometime during the day for each person in your household and have it ready for midnight with a big spoon (more on that later), the water should sit throughout the day.  Some people believe that you should mop your floors and keep the dirty water for this same purpose.
  • Gather TWELVE GRAPES for each person in the household (don’t eat them yet), each one will signify a full circle of good luck for each month in the year.  If you hate grapes, you could do peas, I know that sounds gross but it is the price you pay for not eating grapes 😉
  • For peace in the coming year wear WHITE on New Years Eve, for fortune and money make sure you wear YELLOW.   You are supposed to wear RED underwear but I have no idea why but do it just in case I forgot something important 🙂
  • Get your suitcase out and unzipped and leave by your front door (more on this later)!
  • Have a broom sitting by your front door (more on this later too), just get it ready, yes really!
  • Make SURE that you have some money in your wallet or purse, even if it is only a dollar, this is to make sure that money will flow throughout the year!
  • While waiting for the new year to hit with your Dollar Store party hat on (this is a MUST), grab a note pad and tear off  TWELVE pieces of paper.  On each piece of paper write out anything negative that has been weighing on you the past year, one for each piece of paper.  Keep it short and sweet.  IMPORTANT:  Don’t get all ninny-pooperish and start talking about everyone that annoyed you or it will ruin your good time, just write each thing down swiftly.  Once you have written each down it is now time to BURN EACH ONE!  I prefer to throw them in a bon fire, but a simple plate with a lighter will work too if you don’t have a bon fire.  It is time to LET IT GO.. each and every one of them to start the new year with a fresh start.   Say whatever it is you have to say to make yourself laugh while you burn each one.  I personally like the phrase “GOOD RIDDENS YA DIRTY RASCAL” when letting go.   This is really cleansing, you can thank me later 🙂

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GET READY FOR
MIDNIGHT!

AT THE STRIKE OF MIDNIGHT THIS IS WHAT YOU DO IN THIS ORDER:

  • Watch the ball drop in Times Square on TV
  • Kiss the people you love that are close to you (make sure they are cool with that first)
  • YELL HAPPY NEW YEAR!
  • Grab your grapes, you must eat ALL TWELVE in the FIRST MINUTE of the new year!  Note:  Don’t try to shove them all in your mouth at one time, TRUST ME, it doesn’t end well, take your time, you have thirty seconds left, get on it!
  • Run and grab your pot of water, THROW THE WATER out the front door and yell “OUT WITH THE OLD, IN WITH THE NEW!”  and beat on your pot with your big spoon while yelling HAPPY NEW YEAR loud enough for the entire neighborhood to hear you!
  • Go back inside and grab your suitcase, walk out the front door and back inside with your suitcase, this will bring you travel opportunities throughout the coming year.  If you prefer to stay home all year skip this step 😉
  • Next, take the broom and sweep out towards your front door, this is symbolic of sweeping out all of the negativity in the previous year.  I say something like “OUTTA HERE NEGATIVITY!” while I’m sweeping.  Make sure you pass the broom to anyone else in the house so they can do the same thing.
  • Square dance and dosey-doe at the front door as you are going back in.  JUST KIDDING on that one, I just thought it was a funny visual to add, haha

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If you complete all of these tasks you are SURE to have a new year filled with GOOD LUCK and PROSPERITY!!

NEW YEARS DAY FOODS TO SEAL THE DEAL

First let me say that I am from the South.  My mother was born and raised in Shreveport, Louisiana and I was raised on southern cooking.  I am sure that there are other traditions in different parts of the country, but I have always been told that eating certain things on New Years Day is a MUST so I never ever skip out on these traditions:

Black-eyed peas and Corn Bread

This is a MUST, if you don’t do anything else, you MUST eat your black-eyed peas and cornbread.  This is a well known tradition to attract good luck and financial good fortune.  Beans symbolize money or coins.  The Corn Bread resembles a block of gold, some people will add corn kernels to their corn bread which is symbolic of gold nuggets for extra fortune.    We cook our leftover Christmas Ham or ham bone with our black eyed peas and we love sweet vadalia onions with ours as well.

Pork on New Years Day

We cook a pork roast on New Years Day but there are many ways to cook pork to your liking.  It is said to eat pork on New Years Day but NEVER eat chicken or cow.   The reasoning is that a chicken scratches backwards, a cow stands still but a pig roots forward.  It is symbolic of moving forward in your life in the upcoming year!

Greens are a must for money!!

Turnip Greens, Collard Greens, Spinach, any green will do!   Greens are symbolic for money, so if you want to have money in the new year make sure you eat your greens!!  If you aren’t used to eating greens it is best to cook them WAY down.  We like to put fresh turnip greens in a big pot and cover with water, we lightly fry up about a half of a package of bacon and throw it in the pot with the greens, add some salt and pepper and cook them way down for flavor.  I personally like to put a little bit of tabasco sauce on mine but my husband loves them just the way they are.  Eat all of the good luck foods together, it is a perfect combination for your taste buds!

Cabbage and Potatoes

We cook down a full head of cabbage.  This is for good health in the new year.  I didn’t do my cabbage last year and learned my lesson so I will be eating a big bowl this year, haha!  We cook ours very simply.  We quarter a head of cabbage and break it down in a large stock pot.  I use two 32 oz cartons of chicken broth and add more water to cover the cabbage completely.  We cut up a few potatoes (the rounder the better since it is symbolic of a full circle) and add those to the pot with some salt and pepper.   We cook it WAY down until it is soft and has almost a soup consistency but the cabbage is still in decent size pieces.

Dessert:  Ring shaped cake

We don’t personally bake our cake, we usually buy one from Publix.  A ring shaped cake symbolizes that you have come full circle.  I have heard of people baking trinkets into their cake but I have never done that myself.   Not a bad idea, but you could end up with a tooth repair which wouldn’t be fun to start off the new year if ya know what I’m sayin’ 😉

So that’s it folks!!  Simple and fun ways to celebrate the new year and maybe even get a little bit of good luck and money thrown your way at the same time!!

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Do you have any new years traditions that you do every year?  I would LOVE to hear about it!!

Make sure you check in on our facebook fan page or our facebook chat page to say hi and hang out with all of couponing friends! We are having a blast over there!

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What I did different in 2016 and how I restarted my life…

 

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What I did different in 2016 and how I restarted my life…

It is a New Year which is the perfect time to let go of all of the old things weighing you down and experience a fresh start, but how do you do that exactly?   I came up with a plan of action that worked for me and would love to share it with all of you.

For those that know me personally, you will agree that 2015 was one of the most difficult years of my life.  I was under extreme stress, had a major health crisis that lasted almost the entire year, had two unexpected deaths in my family and was betrayed on a very deep level personally.  It was a year of many painful moments and I just couldn’t seem to get my footing back and was at one of the very lowest points in my life.   I knew that I had to do something and was not willing to do another year of “chaos & heartache”.

By November 2015 my husband and I were both at a point in our lives that we had to make some decisions moving into the next chapter of our lives.  No matter what the conversation was about, it seemed to always circle back around to how hurt we were about things that had happened through the year or those that had hurt us or things that had happened and we would relive it all again.   This was affecting our health and our happiness.    We decided that enough was enough and we committed to doing something about it.   That “something” was taking our lives back and finding our personal happiness again.

With the new year approaching we spent most of December 2015 reflecting on the goals and dreams that we had for ourselves that had been shelved for most of the year.   We decided that as each painful moment or thought surfaced we would stop and write it down on a piece of paper and fold it up and put it into a box and leave it there.  One after another sometimes on a daily basis a negative thing would come to mind and we would quickly write it down and put the note in the box.     We also had a separate box where we would put notes of ideas or dreams that we had that we would like to accomplish in 2016.   By the end of December the “painful box” was full and the “dreams and idea box” had just a handful of notes.   It was clear that in 2015 negativity and pain had taken over and we needed to change that cycle.

 

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On New Years Eve 2015 we sat out on our front porch with home made party hats on and  a large candle lit on the table with commitment to let go of ALL of the negativity and leave it in 2015.   From 11:00 pm – 11:59pm we would take out one negative note at a time, read it out loud, allow ourselves only a short moment to feel that experience but not dwell on it, say a quick prayer asking God to take this from us and allow us to let it go and then we would burn the note.   Between notes we would listen to music or chat about other things but did not “pick back up the problem” or discuss it again, it was gone, burned in the flame of the candle.   One by one, we read each note, spoke of who hurt us or of the issues we needed to let go of and one by one we burned them and let them go.   At 11:59 we said another prayer, thanking God for the blessings in our lives apologizing for focusing on things that we couldn’t change or things that shouldn’t be our focus and thanked Him for taking it from us and healing our hearts.  We then prayed for the new year and the many blessings to come and prayed SPECIFICALLY for our dreams and ideas to become a reality.

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We rang in the new year with a clear heart and mind with a commitment to let go of all of those things that were holding us back, hurting our hearts or taking our focus.   We agreed to not speak of them again, to not focus on those that hurt us or on things that we couldn’t change.  We would only focus on moving forward.

We blew out our candle at the turn of the new year and we sat for another hour discussing ideas for 2016, things we wanted to accomplish and got excited about the possibilities.  We focused on FIRST STEPS, not the big picture which seemed impossible but the very first step towards our dreams.  After all, in reality, reaching your goals always starts with one step in the right direction.  Most of the time we have no idea how it will actually work out or even what the next step will be, just stepping forward in faith and taking one step at a time leads you to your goal.

 

In 2016 we started out by writing down notes each time something GOOD happened in our lives.  We wrote down the little things and we wrote down the big things.  In January we fixed up an old camper that we had and the first person that came to look at it bought it on the spot which gave us the money to pay off a boat loan that we had been paying on for years.  There was enough money left over to buy materials for my husband to work on an old car we had sitting around for years.  In March he finished working on the old car and we sold it to the first person that came to look at it which gave us the money to work on a small property that we had that sat vacant for years and was in serious need of repair and renovations.   By May 2016 the property was repaired and cleaned out and we put a for sale sign on it and had two offers on the first day and sold it in June of 2016.   We had struggled for years making the payments, taxes and insurance on the property and finally not only did we sell it, but we had enough money to reach our FIRST DREAM of buying a small cabin in Kentucky.  This was a dream that we have had since we first got married over 20 years ago.  Through the rest of the year we documented each and every good thing that happened in our lives.  If something bad happened or negative we would allow ourselves to process those things but not dwell on them, we would discuss them but refocus ourselves on all of the good things that had already happened.  It was truly life changing to focus our attention on the POSITIVE instead of the negative.

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So here we are today, the last day of December, 2016 preparing for our New Years Eve celebration.  We will once again sit on our porch reflecting on the past year.  We will have a candle lit again, but this year we will only have one box.  This year we will keep all of the the notes in the box.  A box full of experiences and memories.  A box full of encouragement.  This year it is a box full of blessings.    Yes, bad things happened this year too, things that were unexpected and painful at the moment but we didn’t dwell on those things and they don’t easily come to mind at this point.

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Earlier today I asked my husband if there was anything that he could think of that we needed to write down and let go of before midnight and he couldn’t think of even one thing.  I couldn’t either.   This year our candle will be lit as a flame of hope and a symbol of the fire in our lives to reach for our dreams and focus on the light.  This year from 11:00pm – 11:59pm we will discuss one by one all of the positive things that happened in our lives.  We will take out each note, read it aloud and laugh about the silly things in the process or how crazy it was that it happened the way that it did.  We will say a prayer of thanks and again ask for the things that we hope for in 2017.  Our goals this year are to simplify our lives even more, to sell our home and get rid of a few of the bills that still weigh us down.  To strive for simplicity in the next chapter of our lives.  We know that it won’t always be easy but if we focus on the positive and let go of what we can’t change we can experience peace and happiness in our lives and reach our dreams one at a time.

 

How do you bring in the new year?  Do you have a strategy that works for you?  I would love to hear it!  I hope that each of you are abundantly blessed in the new year!

caroline

 

 

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Holiday Treat Idea! Chocolate Dipped Gumdrops!!!

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Kids love cooking and creating during the holidays just as much as adults do. If you are looking for the perfect kids treat that they can make themselves, look no further than these chocolate dipped gumdrops. Easy to make, these tiny bites of sugary goodness are sure to become a new holiday favorite. Take a look below at how simple it is to make your own!

Chocolate Dipped Gumdrops

Supplies needed:

  • Assorted gumdrops
  • 1 cup of milk chocolate chips
  • Assorted candy sprinkles
  • Toothpicks

Directions:
1. Place the chocolate chips in a microwave bowl. Heat on low for 30 seconds at a time until melted.
2. Remove the bowl and stir the chocolate well so it is nice and smooth.
3. Place a gumdrop on the end of a toothpick. Dip the bottom half of the toothpick into the chocolate mixture.
4. While the chocolate is still wet, quickly dip the gumdrop in candy sprinkles. They will stick and decorate the bottom quite nicely!
5. Set the gumdrop on wax paper or a cool plate to set.

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After about 30 minutes, your gumdrops should be ready to eat! The chocolate will have hardened and you will have the perfect bite sized sweet treats. How simple was that?

Gather your own supplies and give this easy chocolate dipped gumdrops recipe a try! It is sure to become a new holiday tradition in your house.

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Daily Dose of Inspiration: Discovering What Matters

Discovering what matters

 

Have you ever found yourself deeply involved in a task only to step back and say, “Why does this even matter?”

It seems as though we all come to that point in our lives from time to time.  The truth is, we often find ourselves so deeply involved in routines that we carry out tasks that in the long run, really aren’t that important.  These tasks can rob us from time with family and friends, and in the end even take a piece of our happiness. So what is the solution? Well that is what we are exploring today. Today, let’s talk about discovering what matters.

First, take a look at your day. I mean REALLY take a look at your day. Journal for a day if you need to, writing down your tasks as you complete them. Take special note of any task that takes you more than a few minutes.  When you find those “hot spots” re-evaluate them.  How important are these tasks?  How do they benefit you and your family? How do they make you feel?  At the end of this questioning, you should be able to see how much the task matters.

Let’s look at an example: Suppose after breakfast each day you load the dishwasher. It takes about 5 minutes and you can do it while the kids get dressed.  It helps you keep the area prepped for dinner later, and you feel more organized.  Is it worth taking the time to do this each day? I would venture and say yes.

Example two.  After dinner you fill the sink and prepare to wash dishes.  It will take about 20 minutes.  Your child on the other hand wants to read a book to you or your spouse wants you to sit down with them and talk about your day.  Sure you could read the book or sit down and chill out, but then your dishwater goes cold and you still have a mess on your hands. So what do you do?  These are the situations where you need to ask yourself what matters.  Your children are only young once, your spouse needs some together time.  Reading with your child is valuable and there will come a time (before you are ready) that they won’t want to read to you.  Bonding with your spouse is important. Final ruling?  Set the dish towel down and walk away, fill the sink back up later and start again. Now is a great time to see that taking the time to bond matters more than making sure the dishes get washed at that moment.

Life gets really busy and time passes before we know it.  Trust me, I know this first hand.  My children are now fully grown and I look back and wish that I could experience many things again.  During those years we were so busy trying to work, make it to the after school activities on time, get baths and get to bed at a reasonable hour that we could barely keep up.  Let’s face it, life is intense when you are in the midst of it all!

If I could go back, I would make a conscious effort to set aside time to really be “present in the moment”.  To stop the madness and really focus on those around me.  Although it is impossible to go back and have a re-do, the good news is that we can make those changes starting now.   Putting down the cell phone, laptop or tablet and goofing around with your spouse matters.  Sitting on the porch drinking a cold glass of ice tea and talking about your big dreams or what you would do if you won the lottery matters and might be just what the doctor ordered!

Reconnecting with those we love, listening to their dreams and ideas no matter how goofy or crazy or out of reach they may seem is an amazing way to bond.   A mentor of mine told me many years ago “never tell your children that their grand ideas or crazy dreams are silly our outlandish, what a shame it would be if they believed you.”  How true that is and it goes for all of us, not just children.  Why not dream?  Why not have outlandish crazy ideas of what you might want to do in your life or things you want to experience?  What a shame it would be if you believed that it was silly our outlandish! Dream Big!

So what really matters to you? In a perfect world how would your life look?

When you are in the process of discovering what matters, you may find out a few things.  You may find that eating dinner as a family matters more than what is being served on the plate.  You might find that letting your kids have fun in the mud on a rainy day matters more than the stains they are setting into their clothing that you will have to soak to clean.  You may even discover that you have some crazy dreams that you have tucked away since you were a little kid that some day could become a reality!

At the end of the day, when we are up in years and quietly sitting in our rocker reminiscing about our life, keeping up with the dishes or what is happening on social media will be the last thing on our mind.  The thoughts that will come to mind are the memories that  we made with those we love.  The giggling in the rain, the fun we had singing our favorite songs at the top of our lungs with our best friends, the little moments, the big moments, the moments that we thought we wouldn’t make it through but somehow did.  Those are the things that I have discovered really matter.

So how will you find what matters this weekend? When you sit back do you have any fun memories that come to mind that you will cherish when you are old and grey?  Lets talk about it on our Facebook Chat page!

Be inspired today, friends!

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