Inspired by Michelle's fun tutorial, I decided to try my own variation on a cereal box tote for our trips to the library. I covered my box with fabric (instead of paper), and used mod podge. I think it turned out pretty good for a crafting newbie such as myself... What do you think??


Before


After



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I'm always looking for ways to cut down household costs, and even more so this summer. One thing that I have decided to do is to stop buying most household cleaners. Here are some great links to get started:

8 Smart Uses for Vinegar

Homemade Cleaning Products

Disinfecting Multi-surface Cleaner

Dishwasher Soap

Homemade Cleaners

As my current supply diminishes, I plan on implementing many of these tips, so I don't spend so much $$$ cleaning!

Do you have any "Green Clean" tips to share??


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So for awhile I've been wanting some of these for my living room. Then a couple of weeks ago, I found some of these at the dollar store:
Score!
Now, don't look too closely, because it was my first attempt at mod podging anything, and I got a little impatient near the end.
Now, I tend to be a bit of a perfectionist, and as a result I think I "need" things to be more matchy-matchy. So at first I didn't really like how they turned out (the different patterns, etc.). But as they have sat on my mantle the past two days, they have started to grow on me....



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Grosgrain Kathleen has another GREAT giveaway! Go check it out! I hope to be as creative and skilled as she is one day..


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I found this great little design shop downtown on Saturday. I LOVE that window/picture, especially the colors! They definitely don't match my house right now, but I think when I redo my bedroom I will HAVE to use some aqua.


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On my bedside table:
-Hubby's cell phone

On my TV:
-Law & Order:SVU

On the menu for tonight:
-Cashew Chicken

On my To Do List:
-laundry
-clip and sort coupons
-dishes

New Recipe I tried last week:
-a very bland, disappointing egg salad. I won't share the link. eww.

In the craft basket:
-"Family" sign--watch for that in the next few days.

Looking forward to:
-my sister coming in 2 weeks!

Homemaking Tip for this week:
-When organizing, create a "ground zero". I am in the process of reorganizing our entire house (it's amazing how much stuff can accumulate in just a few months!), and am using my bedroom as ground zero. **Keep in mind my husband's gone. He wouldn't be happy walking around my piles to get to his side of the bed.** Anyway, I'm clearing out entire areas and putting things back ONLY if they have a place. I'm probably 1/2 done, and I already have 3 LARGE bags to sell or donate.

Favorite Blog Post of the week (mine or other):
-girl talk: What Rachel Barley Knows -- this is SO powerful!!!

Favorite photo from last week:

Lesson learned the past few days:
-When you feel like you are on track & doing great spiritually, WATCH OUT! Because Satan attacks when we least expect it, and NO ONE is immune.

On my Prayer List:
-my husband & kids
-my niece and nephew
-my mom, whose has been very sick this week
-both of my grandfathers who have been diagnosed with cancer in the past month

Devotionals, Scripture Reading, Key Verses:
-"Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled" Titus 2:3-5

-"You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise." Deut. 6:5-7

**Thanks to Sandra for hosting Happy Homemaker Monday!


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On Sunday I finally got the mirrors hung in my dining room.


I am contemplating getting some vinyl lettering for above the mirrors, but then again we will only be here for another year, and then they'd have to be thrown out. Not cool at all. Any ideas?


On another note, I found these two nightstands on Criagslist this evening. One for $10 and the other for $5! I haven't picked them up yet (the pictures are from the seller), but I'm super excited. The first one (with the girly detailing) will be Sissy's. I think I'm going to keep it white (for now), and of course it will need a new handle.


This bottom one will go in Bubba's room, though he really doesn't need one right now. (How could I possibly pass up a $5 nightstand?!) It will be painted a nice espresso-ish color, and I'm considering painting the drawer green to match his hook rail (and possibly the drawers of his future dresser). And I'll have to find some cute (safari-themed?) handle for it, too.




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I'm sure most of you are familiar with Baby Legs. If not, get familiar--they are so cool! However, you know that I can't bring myself to spend $12+ on a pair of leggings for Bubba. My friend Abbey was convincing me that I (Bubba) needed a pair of these things about a week ago, and what do you know, I stumbled upon a tutorial on how to make them a few days later! All it takes is a pair of ladies' knee-high socks (I found mine for $2/pair at Walmart) & 10 minutes! I already made a navy pair, and I plan on making some brown ones this weekend.


Aren't they too cute?!


Stop on by & check out Ashley's other projects while you're at it--her blog has THE BEST ideas I've found!


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This is the story of Rachel Barkey, who has been diagnosed with terminal cancer. Rachel is a wife, a mother of two children, and she is not expected to live to see her next birthday.

I have been absolutely touched by this story, and it's a MUST read. It's almost an hour long, so it will take a little time, but it is definitely worth it!

http://girltalk.blogs.com/girltalk/2009/05/what-rachel-barkey-knows.html


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The Shrimp & Asparagus Risotto is my favorite menu item at Olive Garden, and when I found the copycat recipe a few months ago, I knew I had to try it. However, I had the obstacle of the picky husband, and once he was (temporarily!) out of the picture, I jumped at the chance! I know the picture is horrible, but had the camera not been sitting right next to me, I wouldn't even have thought to take the picture before I dug in!

One thing that is great about this recipe is that I used the wrong rice (long grain) and left out the parm (mine was expired--yuck!) and the garnish, and it still tasted AMAZING! So go try it--you won't regret it!!

Shrimp & Asparagus Risotto
Prep Time:
30 minutes
Cook Time:
30 minutes
Serving Size:
Ingredients
8 cups chicken broth
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 cups Carnaroli or Arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 lb fresh asparagus spears, stemmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 ½ lbs large shrimp, shelled and deveined
4 oz butter
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup chopped tomatoes
Fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 cup yellow onion, diced
Procedures
  1. SIMMER chicken broth in a large pot on low heat until needed.
  2. HEAT oil in a large nonstick pan over medium heat. Add onions and cook for 3 minutes, or until translucent. Stir in rice and cook for 1 minute, then add white wine. Add ½ cup of broth and stir until completely absorbed. Repeat until half of broth has been added. Stir the risotto frequently to prevent sticking.
  3. ADD asparagus and shrimp to the remaining broth and cook for about 2 minutes, or until shrimp are pink. Remove asparagus and shrimp from broth and add them to the risotto mixture. Add remaining broth 1/2 cup at a time until desired creaminess is reached (there may be broth left over).
  4. Once the broth is absorbed, add butter, Parmesan cheese and salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with chopped tomatoes and parsley.


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...from the love of money and be CONTENT with what you have, because God has said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you." Heb. 13:5

I learned a lesson in contentment yesterday. The kids & I set out at 7:30 in the morning to search for "treasures." At our second yard sale, I spotted an AWESOME double jogging stroller. It was not marked, and I did not ask how much it was because I knew it was more than I would have wanted to spend anyway. As I was leaving the yard sale, a lady came up and asked about it. It was $10!!!!!! Of course she bought it. I couldn't believe I had let that get away! I was mad at myself for the rest of the morning. When we got home around lunch time, and I was still feeling down I had to take a moment and ask God to help me be content with what I have. I don't need to just keep adding to our stuff, when we already have so much more than most of the world!

Our main goal yesterday was to hit the Cameron Antique Fair and find a fun project or two. I was quite disappointed in that whole experience (which added to the mood of the morning), and I was comforted to get home and read about Amanda's similar experience the day before.

On a brighter note, I did happen to make a couple of purchases. I bought 4 swim diapers for Bubba for a quarter, a plate stand to be used when I cross this and this (it's going to be a gift; I'll show you the process later), a hook rail for Bubba's room (now I have somewhere to hang his towel--once I get it patched, sanded, primed, and painted!), and my FAVORITE purchase: a cheap, ugly frame to turn into this! Haven't I stumbled upon some AWESOME blogs?! As soon as I get to Walmart for some supplies, I'll show you all what I'm working on!


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