Making a party invitation with PicMonkey photo site….amazing

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My DTD, dear teenage daughter, is turned 17 this Halloween.

Where did the time go right?–

I made the best invites using a photo invite I created on Picmonkey! I love love love pic monkey. It is the photo editing site that replaced everyone’s beloved Picnik.

Here is the Picmonkey link if you have not had the pleasure of working with it.  It took the place of  popular Picnik site. Google bought picnik and it was no more. Picmonkey is even better!!!

I used a photograph that I took of the leaves under a tree, and then added shapes and words.

I printed these the size of regular prints and they were 3 cents each with envelopes. With one hour photo it was 4 cents a piece. My DTD handed them out so no postage either.

I just changed it up a bit and made a bunch of family invites!  These I addressed and mailed out.

 

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Organizing the Kitchen Utility Drawer…

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What is most scary about this drawer is that it really looks like this.  I started to grab a handful of utensils to empty the drawer and I realized I needed a before picture. So maybe the ones that would keep the drawer from opening are a little jumbled.  Otherwise, this is how it looks…

 

Steps to organize a kitchen drawer:

1. Empty drawer completely. Wipe out drawer with a damp cloth and remove any marks or toaster crumbs (guilty as charged).

2. Sort utensils by purpose, and look for duplicates.

3. Decide on which “duplicate” to keep.  For instance, we had two wine openers.  So I kept the one we use most often.

4. Find some type of drawer organizer.  I am on a “no spend” mode so I found these metal wire baskets in my basement stash.  I got them at a yard sale of course- I can’t remember the price? But they fit perfectly.  My inner yard-sale goddess was cheering for joy!

5. Place items by use back into drawer focusing on keeping things in a place that they can go back to without making the drawer a mess.

I stored utensils that didn’t fit but I wanted to keep that I don’t use as often, in a square tupperware like container under the cabinet under the drawer. So if I need a utensil that is not there then I know where to look next.

Here is the AFTER:

This picture turned out blurry– I am not sure why except that I was in an iPhone picture rush.  Grrrr….. But seriously,  Doesn’t it look so much better?

It was so messy and unorganized, it was so much fun realizing I had tools that I had forgot about. For instance, my God son is a chef  in Seattle and he sent me for my Birthday some really cool cooking “tools” that are chef must have. I was so excited to have them so handy.

My Adorable Godson !

 

This would be my adorable Godson.

A win- win because  I ended up filling up our local Goodwill donation box with the extras and items that I realized we don’t need or use any longer, that someone may need.

My inner organizing Goddess is singing her nerdy happy song….and dance…I can’t sing so it is fortunate this is not a video.

Is there a drawer that is driving you crazy?

 

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Memo Board Giveaway – My new blogging space

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I am a very “visual” and “emotionally” driven person. It is just how I have learned that I “see” things. But, I have also learned that I am “sensitive” to those modalities as well.  Am I getting a little deep for a sunday morning? I have been blessed with a gift from the good Lord to be able to “see” things.  It also means that visual things can also bother me and affect my mood. I have learned to filter for what is important and focus.

I have been trying to use these things that  I am learning about myself to help create harmony in my life. Thus the creation of my blog space.

Harmony Blog Space goals:

  • Have a calm place to work on my blog.  What this means is have a place to work where bills, corporate “gig” paperwork, equiptment aren’t staring me in the face calling me to do something else. Nothing to overwhelm me….at least visually.
  • Have a space that is comfortable and still part of the house, where I can hear my children and DH carrying on in their activities. It makes me feel alive. Hearing the tv, the kids playing, my daughter laughing and talking on the phone, and my DH air compressor humming along.
  • Have a place that inspires me and reminds me of what is most important in my life. By putting things that remind me of God, my DH and my children.
  • Of course it had to be created with all repurposed furniture, knick-Knacks and such. There is only 2 store bought items in my little area! my little blue lamp from target, and the picture frame that our wedding photo is in…it was a wedding gift.

What is awesome is that the space is not big, but cozy and very special to me. I can wake in the morning, get my ice water and my dry Cherrios and sit and blog before anyone is up, I can sneak in here at night after everyone is tucked in or I can sneak in here during the day when everyone is busy with their own passions.

Leave a comment for a chance to win one of these memo frame boards.  I have 3 of them but, only used 2 so I want to give one away!!! Make sure to put your email address so that I can contact the winner!  Great place to hang those adorable Halloween pictures.

 

This is in the corner of our Master bedroom by our gas fireplace.  The entire space cost me about 50 dollars furniture included. If you missed the redo of my letter desk here is the link. I love love love Annie Sloan Chalk Paint.

Here is a photo of the wire memo board I will send to the winner!   It is not new, my neighbor made them and I bought all three at a garage sale.  The frames are plastic not wood but are really cool.  I will close the contest this coming Friday at 10pm MST.

 

 

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Healing back to normal…isn’t “my normal” this time around- Part One

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I’m back!  I am sorry to say that  I was suffering immensely from a pinched nerve in my neck, that sent unbearable pain down my left arm. I kept working and pushing myself… “my breadwinning corporate gig”…requires a lot of travel. 

In a nutshell, I  pushed myself to the point of rupturing the disc between C6-C7 vertebrae, sending my body into a tailspin of events.  When I tell you I exhausted it all to heal with out surgery—I did:

 

“what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”–…no matter whether I like to admit it most of the events of my life have been in the end –blessings.

whether heart broken, betrayed, defended myself against  major injustices— I am angry , sarcastic in reaction to ; crying, kicking my feet screaming in response to them…doesn’t mean they are not a  blessing in their own right..

Feeling no pain post op Yikes!

 

 

How to keep from being dramatic? but say that I will miss —the pre surgery–get everything done “beth”.

 

Very tearful I  struggled to even begin to write this post.  I have always been “a pullem up by the boot straps” sorta gal.  Surgery one day, and on an airplane the next, organizing, cleaning, cooking, making and giving gifts, taking care of others– all the while being the breadwinner of a family of four.

Join me as I  utilize this blog to help me get some focus and normalcy back in my life.

For those of you that are wondering I no longer have the arm pain,  that sent me into surgery which is a blessing.  I have had my moments post op and wondering if I should have gone through with the procedure, I am having a very difficult time swallowing, choking, sleeping and a big lack of energy!  YIKES!

 

 

 

 

 

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Favorite Things Friday– Path of Flowers to die for!

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My Mother in law has the most beautiful path of pink flowers that lead up to her front door.  My husband said, “My mom wants you to come by and see her flowers.”  I am so glad she invited me to do so…I am so “jelly” of this beautiful path to her door.  I love it.  It is so simple….and that is what makes it so overwhelmingly beautiful. I am going to have to get some of these flowers.  I guess they are succulents and very drought friendly. (Don’t you just love the neighbors cute little orange beetle in the background?)

 

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Back Yard–Patio Part one…the beginning

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We have been in our home for 7 years!

How can time fly by like that?  There are so many wonderful things about our home that I truly love. One of the areas that we have always planned doing is a back patio area.   The builder put in a small concrete slab out the back stupe but it wasn’t really big enough to enjoy.

I am so excited that we finally saved enough to finally build a back patio area. -doing the Dave Ramsey program and all. — we had to save enough cash. I know 7 years is a long time…” good things come to those who wait?”  Right?

The Wish List for our back patio area:

  • Sufficient area for our large backyard metal patio set for eating outside.
  • An Area for my potting table for planting flowers, and gardening supplies.
  • An Area for lounging , that is covered with a wooden pergola.
  • An Area for a our BBQ.

We looked into decks and the price was just so much in comparison.  We decided to have a concrete patio installed instead. It was seriously 1/8th of the price of the deck.

We decided on it for several reasons.

1. Upkeep in staining a deck is a hassle and with the Colorado winters and hot summer extremes — they get beat up pretty quick.

2. My dad poured flatwork a great portion of his life, though he isn’t in the business any longer, he could come by and give us his expert opinion.

3. We could take the money that was left over to put in our house account for other projects we are saving for, including putting on a pergola, and spending money on outside lounge furniture and making our BBQ pit, and staining the furniture in our backyard fire pit area.

I couldn’t find a picture of the stupe before they demolished the slab. bummer….it was really really small.

 

Here is one with the small concrete slab that was by the door when the house was built- already removed..

I was bummed that I was gone when they were pouring the patio. But, my DS, (dear son) took pictures for me. We made the height of the patio as close to the lawn height as we could.

I was so excited to come home from a work trip to see our new patio!

Isn’t it just beautiful? I absolutely love it!  It is so much bigger than what I could have imagined.

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Happy Father’s Day Banana Pecan Cake!

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I let my guy sleep in Father’s Day morning!   I was looking for something that I could surprise him with utilizing ingredients that I had in our pantry and it got me looking for recipes on line  that are made with white cake mix.

Okay before you cringe…..there are amazing recipes out there using cake mixes!!  Okay my inner dessert Goddess  was doing a happy dance at the cake made with Butterfingers. Going to have to try that one.

I found  this recipe by Paula Deen–who doesn’t love Paula Deen—can you say butter?

It is called Spicy Cinnamon Cake, utilizing white cake mix, sour cream, vanilla pudding mix, pecans, cinnamon and sugar. Click here for a link.

Okay this is a” pantry  purging” effort so I used banana pudding mix otherwise I followed the recipe exactly!  Thus I changed the name to Banana Pecan Cake….

Here it is baking.

I am excited that it gave me the opportunity to utilize my new CuisinArt grinder. (Oh Yeah my Salvation Army Find). Here you can see the topping up close…the grinder made the nuts almost into a paste. It was wayyyy cool.

Okay…this was an amazing cake. It is not on my diet but, I had to at least taste it.  It was worth every little bit of sugar and calories.

 

 

My DH woke to warm pecan crusted banana cake with hot coffee.  He seriously ate 3 pieces… smile. My DS and DTD also enjoyed it tremendously.  Such a simple pleasure for a special morning.  I would recommend this recipe for any occasion.  I am excited to make it again but, with vanilla pudding.

Don’t worry I didn’t forget my Dear dad, I drove up and had breakfast with him yesterday morning and we had an awesome time!

Try this recipe…you won’t be disappointed. I am going to make one and freeze it for company that is visiting for the fourth of July. YUM!

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Sweet 16th Birthday Surprise Party compliments of Christy—-aka “M-A-R-T-H-A”

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I have threatened my DFC, dear friend Christy, to make a series based on her entertaining talents! Not only was her son’s graduation party a wonderful success. (If you missed it click here)  She had a surprise 16th Birthday party for her DD and it was so awesome I just had to share. She has such a way of taking simple things and combining them to make such a festive environment. Even with the food that she serves. So much fun.

Isn’t this a wonderful cake? The Jeep keychain, the Tom made out of fondant, and the high heels! So adorable. What a wonderful evening and awesome surprise it was.

 

Amazingly cute!

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Nebraska Salvation Army Thrift Finds…

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I am trying not to stay holed up in my hotel all night when I business travel.  This week I was in Nebraska and hit a local Salvation Army.  It was walking distance from my hotel.  Of course I couldn’t bring anything home that wouldn’t fit in my suitcase.  Ooopps–the shelf….

This is my haul.

The shelf will go over my French letter desk in our bedroom corner by the fireplace.

The picture and small jar that look like lettuce leaf motif will be perfect for Easter decorations. I have bowls that match.

The Cuisinart grinder. This will be so awesome in my kitchen. I am not a coffee drinker and my DH will never grind beans for his coffee but, this will be perfect to grind spices, garlic, small onions and “healthy” junk for my homemade salad dressings. I found it here for 29.95 but, that doesn’t include tax and shipping. Not bad for 3.99. The blade seems identical to their nut and spice grinder so let’s hope it works. I will keep you posted.

The floral vase trio in a ceramic tray- this is going to me my new spice garden at the island. After a coat of paint and some Cricut labels it will be awesome. Remember my previous one? Well it finally rusted out in the bottom from so much drainage. I am excited to do this one…

The two little jars? I don’t know I just couldn’t resist them no matter what…I had to have them. Maybe as a jar to hold foundation or face creme? Spice blends? buttons? hmmmm

The orange basket is so adorable.

 

 

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Favorite Things Friday…. The Clematis

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I have been really getting into the yard work lately.  Did you hear that thump? That was my DH falling over from disbelief…we agreed that he had a better chance of winning the lottery than betting I would stain our entire fence a few weekends ago.  (that is for another post). On to one of my most favorite yard plants on the planet….the clematis.

Reasons I love them;

  • Remind me of our very first home we bought after we were married.  We had a couple of them growing on our back porch. That was such a great little place. Where we brought our daughter home from the hospital.
  • They are very easy to grow if you plant them in a sunny place, have support for them to grow and protect their root base.
  • The flowers are beautiful. Purple being my favorite!

Here is a picture of my DLSD, dear little sis Dinah’s, clematis on her front entry way. Isn’t it just amazing?  I was going to take a picture of the one I planted last year that is blooming this year, but this one just upstaged mine.  Can you be “jelly” of a vine? LOL. Just kidding.

What is your favorite plant?

My Favorite flowering vine...

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