Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Garden Going!

Yesterday we finally got out there in the dirt and got our little plants in the ground. We had to wait until the landlord got the tractor working so it took a little longer than we would have liked but we finally got them into the ground. Reeve backed his car up into the yard and opened both doors so we could listen to music while we worked.

We have two rows of corn, a row of potatoes, a row of sugar snap peas, three tomato plants (German pinks courtesy of the wonderful Kink Teater) several bulbs of elephant garlic and a section of carrots and kale.

I put the corn in the ground. I hate dirt. It's really not my thing but I managed to plant two rows of corn without complaint. Look at me, raking away....

Reeve isn't afraid of dirt. He planted the potatoes, snap peas, and tomatoes. He put up stakes and ropes for our cute little snap peas. He says if a third of our snap peas come up we will be drowning in them. Hope our friends like stir fry...

Judah helped, of course. He's getting much better at being trust-worthy off the leash and we let him run around the back acre with us and he stayed with us the whole time.

I was so proud of him - even if he did end up as a mud monster.

Of course, our herb garden is growing like crazy. We have mint, oregano, sage, rosemary and chives.

I'm looking forward to seeing what comes up!

One thing we are wondering is how to tithe out of our plants. Anyone have experience with that? I suppose we could bring a tenth of our plants to church to share with the congregation, but we're wondering if there's another way we can share them. Any input would be great!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Laundry Day

My dryer is broken (needs a new timer) so the laundry is hanging out on the line this week. It's kind of nice...actually. It's more work but it smells so nice.

Thursday, May 03, 2012

Steak Sauce Disaster

(Observe my off-brand steak sauce, lovely, right?)

Ok, so maybe it wasn't a disaster but it was not nice.

Yesterday I made a new chore chart to help divide things up in our house evenly. Hoping this helps us keep the house clean without killing each other, haha. I used an article from the blog Time-Warp Wife (which can be reached by clicking on the image that says Housekeeping Schedule on the right side of the page) to help me decide what needs to be done and on which days. It's written for stay-at-home moms but I adapted it to fit my needs.

Last night was kitchen night according to the chart. I spent at least an hour and a half using pantry items (like vinegar, water and baking soda) to scrub my counters, microwave, toaster, and stove. They shined up great! I was so thrilled with how well the vinegar water cleaned and was even more surprised when it didn't leave a lingering vinegar odor on my counters. The kitchen smelled and looked fantastic.

So just as I was about to move to the living room to watch American Idol and straighten up in there I opened the fridge to put something away. And before I knew it a whole bottle of steak sauce fell out of the fridge door and shattered on the floor.


So there I am standing in the middle of a glass and steak sauce mess (barefoot naturally) and wondering why in the world this was happening.

And I'm not gonna lie. I almost lost it. I'm pretty sure things like this are what makes moms go crazy. (Thanks goodness I'm not a mom yet.)

And this thought hit me. Just as I'm cleaning up the mess and thinking I don't know why this is happening to me as I'm struggling to get my house into tip-top, perfect shape I think, "The Lord doesn't ask for perfection. He asks for obedience." I don't need to be perfect. My house doesn't need to be perfect. And in fact it never will be. But the Lord isn't looking for perfection, he's looking for submission and obedience. And as Joyce Meyer once said, "Your problem isn't your problem. Your attitude about your problem is your problem." And it's the honest truth. My attitude really needs a major overhaul.

Steak disaster or no steak disaster.

Wednesday, May 02, 2012


I haven't blogged lately because right now I'm too busy trying to find balance in my life.

I'm struggling with juggling a house, a job, a family and personal time. I know I've learned a lot in my twenty-four years, but I haven't learned that yet. This balance issue is one that leaves me frustrated, disgruntled and often bitter. But today I'm trusting the Holy Spirit to help me combat that.

Today I'm struggling to find the time to work, have quiet time, keep house, feed my family and work out. Today all I can see is the work - not the joy in it. I know this attitude isn't pleasing to the Lord so my prayer is that today He changes my attitude. Like an old song by Switchfoot I'm singing, "Let me know that you hear me. Let me know your touch. Let me know that you love me. And let that be enough."

I know the Bible speaks absolute truth about the role of women and that truth is seriously unpopular in my modern American world. It calls woman the helper of the man (Genesis 2:20-22) It tells us to submit to our husbands (Ephesians 5:22) and it tells us to be busy in the home (Titus 2:5) These are definitely not the qualities that are praised in a woman today. But these are the qualities God wants from us.

I'll be the first to admit it's hard to have the attitude of a godly wife while living in a me-first society. This attitude is so counter-culture to everything I've been raised in and am surrounded by. Some days it's easier than others but some days our husbands can make it even more difficult. Some days they aren't loving or leading like they should be. These are the days that we as wives feel the weeds of bitterness wrap around our feet. These days Proverbs 31 feels more like a to-do list than praise for a godly woman. Some days I read it reverently and with prayer and some days I read it and think it's completely unobtainable. On these day we need to remember that our husbands are human and they make mistakes and they are still learning how to love and lead, just like we are still learning to submit. It's hard to follow a leader with a bad attitude or a demanding spirit, but remember, it's not their attitude we need to worry about, it's ours. The Lord looks will take care of them and all we can do is pray for our attitudes and their hearts.

But this day is a day when we will rejoice and thank the Lord for the day He has made. No matter what our circumstances or our troubles we will set our hearts on things above (Col 3:2) and trust that He is in control.

With that said I'd love to hear your feedback on how you ladies who work full-time keep your house clean. I'm trying to find a schedule I can keep that will still allow me to work around my schedule. I go to Bible study on Tuesday nights and church band practice on Thursdays and we have youth group Sunday night. So this leaves me only Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and every other Tuesday (day) to keep the house. I also need to start taking a Sabbath. I haven't had a real Sabbath in I don't know how long and I'm not really sure what I'd even do with it! I end up working 7 days a week - if not at a job or church then on the house.

I've also run out most of my cleaning supplies and I'm looking for good pantry cleaners. I know that vinegar and water work well and I use baking soda for my glass-top stove. Any other good ones I don't know about yet?

Monday, April 09, 2012

Nashville bound

This week I'm taking my first solo trip outside of Kentucky. I'm headed down to Nashville to see one of my best friends, Martha.

I'm a little nervous about going that far myself but Reeve tuned up my car and it's running great now.

I'll keep you posted on how the trip goes.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012


If you're like me you're always looking for a new album to work out to with lyrics that are motivating but also positive and clean. This may be just what you need.

It's by no means a new album (in fact it's been in my collection since it's release in 2002) but "Contact" by The Benjamin Gate is one of the best albums I've ever worked out/walked to. The music is up-beat and the lyrics are clean and motivating. Adrienne Liesching's voice is strong and clean and easy on the ears. (By the way, she's married to Jeremy Camp now.)

The album opens with "Lift Me Up" and its a great way to get things going. And not only does the album start out well but it gets even better with songs like "Do What You Say" and "Violently".

You can download the whole album for $9.99 on iTunes or sample the tracks and pick the ones you like to add into your playlist.

In other news, Judah is now inexplicably afraid of all children, strollers, bikes, scooter and skateboards. This majorly slows me down as I'm constantly having to stop to drag him past a group of kids or a woman with a baby in a stroller. I hope he gets over this soon as I'm doing three miles four times a week. Training for my first 5k would be much easier if the dog wasn't slowing me down. But he helps motivate me to get out there so I can't fault him for that.

Also, the blisters on my feet keep getting bigger. Not sure if this is an issue of concern since these shoes didn't bother me last summer (I just bought them in July.) But they aren't really painful so I'm going to keep going.

That's all for now folks!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


The planting time has begun!!!!

We started putting seeds into the dirt tonight. It was 80 degrees in Kathy's sunroom but we would not be deterred! We kicked those fans into high gear and got our hands dirty! We started corn, onions, kale (thanks for introducing me Sarah!), spinach and cucumbers tonight.

Can't wait to see these cute little plants sprout up!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Spring is here! It's finally here!

This weekend I cleaned the house. I mean I CLEANED it. Reeve walked in after spending the day working in Hazard and just stopped in the living room and said "Wow." And that wasn't even all of it. I got the kitchen clean and the bedroom clean and laundry done...phew.

And I picked some daffodils for my bookshelf. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh. I love spring.

Only 3.5 weeks left until my vacation! Can't wait!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Coming Soon to Own

If you know what the item in the picture is then you know what's coming soon to our house! If not you'll just have to wait for more clues! So excited!

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Dog Bath

Question: What's the most pitiful animal face you've ever seen?

Answer: This one

Seriously. My dog hates baths. Not like "Tries to escape and you have to chase him around the bathroom" hates, but more like "Gives you the sad eyes and wimpers" hates. He's really not into this getting clean thing and he's not shy about telling us. See?
 (P.s. Please overlook the dirty bath tub. So of that is his dirt and some is mine but I always wait until after I bathe him to clean it.)

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Spring Break

I think I need a spring break.

When I was in college I loved spring break. I never went to Cancun or Florida (or anywhere for that matter) but it was nice to have no homework. I think as an adult I need spring break way more than I ever did in college. I need a week to catch up on the house and make it more like something in House Beautiful and less like something you'd see on "Hoarders."

Spring is coming and with it comes time to sit on the porch and enjoy the outside world. Right now however, I'm painfully aware that my porch looks like the victim of this weekend's tornadoes. (The old hvac unit is sitting on it along with about one hundred rifle casings.) The old rocker needs to be repaired and painted and the his and hers rockers need to be cleaned and painted as well.

Not that the inside is any cleaner...Reeve has been sick this week and the house work is getting a little behind. I finally caught up the laundry (which I hate because just as you finally wash the last load it starts multiplying like bunny rabbits again.)  Not to mention the furry tumble weeds are starting to take over. Barbie never told me two cats and a dog can really mess up your dream house. I'm sick and tired of winter decorations but it's too early for Easter decorations to go up. Everything in the house needs a new coat of paint and some places need more that.

As you can see, I need  deserve a spring break far more than college students. If for no other reason, than so I can get that house cleaned and Reeve and I can get our sanity back.

As long as my vacation request gets approved I will have spring break in 5 weeks. It can't come soon enough...

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Recipe: Doughnuts

I'm want to apologize in advance for this. I'm sorry. I'm sorry your someday jeans are just going to have to sit in the drawer a little longer, because today is a good day for a donut. Actually 8 donuts - and their corresponding holes.

Today's recipe is for the easiest homemade donuts you ever made. And I'm not really a donut person. I am aware that this is some kind of short-coming as I was born and raised in the state where Dunkin' Donuts had it's humble beginnings and can still be found on almost every corner. I'm pretty much a Dunks-or-nothing kind of person when it comes to donuts and I really only like the custard filled donuts and the jelly munchkins. I won't eat a Krispy Kreme. I just won't do it. I find them repulsive. But I really and truly liked the recipe I'm about to share with you.

You only really need two ingredients for these - plus whatever you like on your donut.

Vegetable Oil
1 Can Biscuits (anything but the flaky layers)

Fill a pan with about a half inch to an inch of oil and heat on medium. Cut the center out of biscuits using a cookie cutter or shot glass.

Lower donuts into oil with tongs. Fry donuts and holes until golden brown, turning once.

Dry on a paper-towel-lined plate and then roll in cinnamon sugar, powdered sugar or coat with icing.

(are you salivating yet?)

I loved the little donut holes with cinnamon sugar. I ate all of them before Reeve even came home. But I left him the big ones...

Freezer Meals

I have made the decision to venture into the world of freezer meals. I have two predictions for this venture. One: that it will be wildly successful and I will become a world-famous blogger for my wonderful, time and money saving freezer meals. Two: That it will fail miserably like my venture into the couponing world. (I still can't get this couponing thing down.)

Or maybe I will just succeed in having a few meals set aside in the freezer that I can use for Thursdays or if we suddenly get unexpected company (which we are wont to do.)

So I'm searching for freezer meals. You can email any suggestions to Samantha@TheClutteredTable.com

Last night I made my first freezer meal, and in keeping with my Italian tradition I made a lasagna. So now I have a huge homemade lasagna in my freezer waiting to be baked and eaten. It's so comforting to know I have something already prepared so if we have someone over one of us doesn't have to spend the whole evening cooking and we can just socialize. Or if we just want to spend some time together in the evening we can pull out a freezer meal that morning and pop it in the oven - no pots and pans to wash.

Also it makes me feel super accomplished. Last night I did the grocery shopping (a monumental task) cleaned out the fridge and the pantry, cleaned the kitchen, made a lasagna and washed and folded 5 loads of laundry. A big Thanks to my friend Coffee for helping me accomplish that.

So, again, if anyone has any great freezer recipes please email them to me and I'll feature them here!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Cuff Links on Loan

You won't believe this story. Seriously, if you're from a big city and aren't familiar with small towns you really won't believe it.

Last weekend we headed to western Kentucky for a wedding. On the way we stopped at Marshall's to pick up a new shirt for Reeve with a gift card his mom gave him for Christmas. The shirt that fit best was an American cut shirt, but had French cuffs - go figure. And Reeve left all his cuff links behind not knowing he would need them. So we went on a frantic search for cuff links. I'll tell you right now, nobody carries them anymore. I don't know why - women love men in cuff links - but you just can't find them anywhere.

So Saturday morning we were in Madisonville, Kentucky where Reeve's grandfather and step-grandmother live. We hit the mall (if you can call it a mall...) to see what we could find. Our first stop was a little department store  - which will remain unnamed  - where we didn't see any on display (of course not.) We approached the ladies outside the cosmetics counters and inquired about cuff links. The woman at the counter informed us that they don't sell them but that she would LOAN us a pair from a boxed shirt set for the wedding. Wait... WHAT?? You're going to loan us a pair of cuff links? Like, you're giving them to us in full faith we are going to bring them back? Knowing that we are from out-of-town? Not even knowing our names? You have to be kidding. So we all headed over to the men's section, took apart a boxed shirt set and took the cuff links from the shirt. I couldn't believe it. I just stood there (looking stupid) gawking at this woman handing my husband a pair of cuff links and knowing this had to illegal somehow.

But it's the truth. The lady at the department store loaned us a pair of cuff links. I don't think I've ever been loaned anything from a store. I'm pretty sure if I went into Macy's or Dillard's in Lexington and asked to borrow a pair of cuff links they would inform me that of course I could borrow them - as long as I paid the full price and promised to not bring them back. Or maybe they would call the cops.

So he wore those cuff links. And the wedding was beautiful. And the next day we brought them back - along with a little gift for each of the women to thank them. I can hardly believe it even now. I'm almost positive that will never happen to us again. Ever. What a strange, strange blessing.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Spring Fever

I know it's only February 16th, but due to this mild winter I think I have the worst case of spring fever I've ever had.

I blame it on the mild weather.
And on the fact that all the magazines keep talking about spring.
And the fact that I'm looking forward to getting our garden ready.
And the fact that I'm completely ready to get out with the dog more and train for our 5k.

(just before one of our walks)

I am completely ready for warm weather and tulips and sunshine and longer days so I can go to the park with the dog after work. Walking the dog is one of my favorite ways of exercising. He pushes me to move faster, walk further and challenge myself to be better. And more light means longer walks and more friends to meet along the path.

It's just too darn early to be getting spring fever! It won't be good and warm here until mid-March or even the end of March. I have at least a month, perhaps two before spring really arrives. What a depressing thought!

So here I sit, inside on this rainy, dreary day just wishing spring would hurry up and arrive already!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentines Day Recipe: Sugar Cookies

Look out waist-line! Samantha has a new favorite cookie!

I seriously am completely in love with this cookie recipe. I just got new cookie cutters for my birthday so I wanted to try them out. I never really liked the iced sugar cookies you get in the grocery store. I always found them...dull maybe? But I found this recipe on Joy of Baking and have found my favorite cookies since my More or Less Peanut Butter Cookies. They are rich and buttery and sweet and the icing is just enough and not too much. The only thing I changed about their recipe was using lime juice instead of lemon juice. (Lime juice was all I had but I liked it better anyway.)

Here's the recipe from Joy of Baking.com:

3 cups (390 grams) all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup (227 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup (200 grams) granulated white sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, salt, and baking soda. In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy (about 3 minutes). Add the eggs and vanilla extract and beat until combined. Add the flour mixture and beat until you have a smooth dough. Divide the dough in half and wrap each half in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for about one hour or until firm enough to roll.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C) and place rack in center of oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. 
Remove one half of the chilled dough from the refrigerator and, on a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to a thickness of 1/4 inch (1 cm). (Keep turning the dough as you roll, making sure the dough does not stick to the counter.)  Cut out desired shapes using a lightly floured cookie cutter and transfer cookies to baking sheet. Place the baking sheets with the unbaked cookies in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes to chill the dough which prevents the cookies from spreading and losing their shape while baking.

Note: If you are not going to frost the baked cookies, you can sprinkle the unbaked cookies with sparkling sugar. 
Bake cookies for about 8-10 minutes (depending on size) or until the edges are just starting to brown. Remove from oven and let cookies cool on baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to finish cooling. Frost with royal icing, if desired. Be sure to let the royal icing dry completely before storing. (This may take several hours or overnight.)
Frosted cookies will keep several days in an airtight container. Store between layers of parchment paper or wax paper.

Samantha's tips: make sure to refrigerate as often and as long as the recipe says! No skimping on that!
Also, be sure to use plenty of flour on the cutting board so they don't stick. The recipe says it makes 36 cookies, but I made about 6 dozen.

For the icing:
2 large (60 grams) egg whites
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice (I used lime juice instead)
3 cups (330 grams) confectioners (powdered or icing) sugar, sifted

In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the egg whites with the lemon juice. Add the sifted sugar and beat on low speed until smooth. If necessary, to get the right consistency, add more sugar or water. Add food coloring, if desired. The icing needs to be used immediately or put in an airtight container as it hardens when exposed to air. 

I made these as Valentines for friends and as a gift for friends in the hospital.

I made 6 dozen of these this weekend. And I probably ate about 2 dozen myself. Oops.

Guarantee: I guarantee your man will like these or your money back. (But since there's no fee for looking at this blog you're just going to have to take my word for it...)

Credit Man

The other day I was driving down the road and I saw a sign in front of a Buy Here Pay Here car lot. On the sign was a cartoon super hero called "Credit Man." He looked harmless enough. He was strong, broad shouldered and rather Super-Man looking. His dark hair was slicked back and he had a dollar sign on his chest.

Of course! Who wouldn't want a handsome super hero to swoop in and save the day. You need a new car and you need it now, so just come on in, trade in your old car and Credit Man will help you get a new one - and at only 10% interest! (rates subject to change without notice. if at any time you miss a payment your interest rate will increase to 21%. loan must be repaid in three (3) years or interest rate will be increased to 50%. we reserve the right to take your car, your home and your first born if you don't pay.)  Isn't credit just wonderful?

The more I learn about our own debt and the more I learn about credit in general the more I think of Credit Man like this:

scary right?

And the more it causes me to scream at the sign as I fly by "You're no Hero! You're a Villian!!!!!!" At which point I'm sure my fellow drivers immediately got as far away from the loony in the mid-90's Ford as possible.
Thanks for that Credit Man...

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Terrific Tuesday: How About Orange

Ok, I know it's not Tuesday but I just couldn't keep this one to myself one more minute! I discovered this blog this afternoon and I can't wait to try out these crafts! Tomorrow is my day off from work, so you know what I'll be doing...after I finish my chores of course...

It's called How About Orange and it's run by Jessica Jones from Evanston, IL. Her blog is absolutely adorable and I must admit I wish mine was half as cute! It's called How About Orange since that's her favorite color (we like that color here at "the table" as well!) Not to mention she's super clever and witty (again, wishing I had half of that) and her directions are not full of obfuscation simple.

Check out some of these adorable crafts: (These photos were used without permission, and I usually ask permission first. But I was so thrilled with her site I hopped right on here to promote it and hopefully since I'm promoting her blog she won't sue the pants off of me...)

DIY Cathrineholm Candleholders

(easy enough if you have a cricket machine)

I absolutely cannot wait to start digging in my fabric box tomorrow and start working on some of the projects from her blog. You simply must check them out! Or you're missing out!

Monday, February 06, 2012

Birthday weekend

I had a marvelous birthday weekend. (Even if the Patriots did lose.) I'm so thankful to everyone who made it great. It started out with a family dinner, followed by an Asian cuisine potluck and ended with a good old fashioned food fight.

And Reeve got me a new Jacket and a TomTom so I won't get lost anymore. :)

Thanks everyone. You're the best.

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Craft: Glitter Shoes

I love glitter. I love it. Actually I love anything shiny (just ask my husband who frequently has to drag me away from jewelry stores...) I love glitter and beads and ribbons and pretty things. So these shoes were totally caught my eye.

But as I'm trying to get out of debt and all, I really didn't think these $576 Christian Louboutin shoes fit into the budget this month. (Oh who am I kidding?! I'll never own a pair of $500 shoes! That's ridiculous!)

And aren't these $325 Kate Spade shoes precious? And only $325! That's it! No biggie, I'll just grab my fancy Chanel wallet here and shell out a few hundred dollar bills and...Wake up people!

So, having said all that, I think we all know we can make these shoes with shoes we already have in our closet for a fraction of what these folks are charging. I used a pair of canvas wedges I had in my closet and my mother-in-law (the decorating guru) gave me the other materials I needed. Which are as follows:

Glitter - any color you like
Decoupage or Modpodge
A disposable paint brush
Spray acrylic (it has to dry clear!!!) or spray glue intended for use with glitter.
A plastic cup

Here we go.

Step one: Lay out some newspaper and set out all your materials.

Step two: Put some decoupage or modpodge in your plastic cup.

Step three (my favorite!): Add glitter. Add lots and lots and lots of glitter. I mixed blue, fushia and silver.

Step four: Start brushing your glitter onto your shoes. Take your time and let it dry between coats.
At first you're going to think "Uhhh, these don't look so great," but trust me, the decoupage/modpodge is going to dry clear and will not affect the look of the glitter. 

(My sweet husband took some pictures of me glittering up my shoes even though I'm pretty sure he was super nervous I would end up coating the house in glitter. This is why I own a Dyson - more on that later.)

After your shoes are completely coated leave them to dry overnight. The next day spray them with acrylic and allow them to dry for as long as the can says.

I'm so stinking thrilled with the way these turned out. I think I'll wear them to a wedding next month with a black dress. 

Happy Crafting!

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Growing Puppy

Judah is getting so big! They grow up so fast!

We try to walk as often as the weather allows. Can't wait for winter to be over so we can really start training for our furry 5k.


It's amazing the difference a pair of glasses can make. Suddenly I can read books and the computer screen and see things close to my face. I didn't know how much I needed them until I put them on! I only wear them while I'm reading or at work but they are so helpful!

My co-worker kept complaining that my screen was blurry and I kept saying I didn't know what she was talking about...until I put on my new glasses. Suddenly I realized the screen WAS blurry. So blurry in fact that I had to switch it out with a spare monitor in the office.

So now I'm a four-eyes. But that's ok because now I can see!!! (And since I only paid $7 for my glasses I'm even more thankful!)

My Husband's Old Glasses

Not too long ago I posted about the prices I got on glasses and contacts at Coastal.com. Well our glasses and contacts came in this week and we are thrilled.

Before we bought these glasses Reeve kept insisting he didn't need new ones. (Yea right.) His prescription had changed and his glasses were so destroyed. The lenses were barely still in the frames because the frames were bent beyond belief. The lenses were so scratched you could barely see through them and the black arms had faded to white in places. I mean, check these sad things out:

Thankfully, he finally allowed me to get him a new pair (which I only paid shipping for after the $60 voucher we bought in August - for $9. Seriously, $14 for prescription glasses can't be beat!) Check out these snazzy new things!

Smart looking right? I'm so thankful we had the chance to buy that voucher and that my sweetie can see again!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


Debt is such an ugly word. It makes you think of the worst kind of people - low-lifes and bums who buy things they can't afford (and have no intention of paying back) on little plastic cards.
But let's face it. Most of us have it. You probably do. And you, over in the corner, and you sir, walking out of the room. Almost every one of us has debt - be it a mortgage, or student loans or a car loan. And we live in a culture and a country that's up to their eyeballs in debt. There has to be a better way.

Reeve and I have debt of our own - student loans and his car, along with a few other little things. (Thankfully we don't have any credit card debt!) We have always talked about getting out of debt, but we never really put solid efforts toward it. Last year we decided that beginning in January we were going to buckle down and face our debt. Fortunately for us, CenterPointe started a new series this month called "The ABC's of Financial Freedom" based on the book by Barry Cameron. The whole church is following this series and I'm so excited. If you've never read it, pick one up. I promise you'll thank me later.

In his book Barry tells the story of overcoming his own debt and instills in us the oh-so-simple but hardly easy methods of getting out of debt and living in a way that God wants us to in regard to our money. I've been so sucked in that in two days I've devoured four out of seven chapters. I can't wait to finish and read it again and again and again. Here are a few (but certainly not all) of the points he makes in the first three chapters:
  • He insists that our attitude toward money needs to change, and it needs to change now. That your financial situation isn't your greatest hurdle, you are. Like Joyce Meyer says, "Your problem is not your problem. Your attitude about your problem is your problem."
  • He insists on giving God the tithe that belongs to him. No discussion. We've found that in our personal life that when we are faithful to tithe that God is faithful to us.
  • He insists on cutting out all but the necessities in order to get yourself out of debt. That means no new clothes, no new shoes, no eating out, no buying furniture. (You don't need new clothes. I don't care what you say, you don't need them.)
  • Interest is money you spend that goes to line someone else's pocket. Every time you see the word Interest you should immediately think "Someone Else." Let me give you an example. If you buy a car for $14,000 with a 9.75% interest rate, in the end you will pay $21,000 for that car. Ouch.
So as I'm reading this I'm wondering how much money I'm actually spending on fast food and "recreation." So I punched some numbers (Since I work at a bank I'm really good at this.)

  • If I get a medium coke at McDonalds once a week in a year I will have spent $81.64
  • If I get an ice cream cone every day at McDonalds at the end of the year I will have spent $137.80
  • If we go out to eat once a week and don't spend a penny more than $25 then at the end of the year we will have spent $1300.
  • If we go see a movie once a week at the end of the year we will have spent $832

If you total all those expenses you've already spent $2,351.44 on things you don't need - that's money that could be spent on getting out of debt. A bit of a wake-up-call? It was for me.

So this year we are cutting out all the non-necessary elements of our life in order to pay off our debt. We want to pay off the car by the end of the year and finish our school loans in two years. We want to have the financial freedom to give generously and to be able to pack up and move when the Lord says to go to Romania without any ties of debt weighing us down.

Who's with us? Let's get out of this ugly debt together. I can't wait to see what the Lord has in store and to be able to blog about the things the Lord has done in our lives now that we are committing to getting out of debt.

Monday, January 23, 2012


According to a recent study by the Daily Mail people who wear glasses have better interviews and have a better chance at getting the job. It sounds crazy but 33% of people surveyed say that glasses make you look more professional. And a whopping 43% think glasses make you look more intelligent. Gone are the days of the four-eyes insults. Suddenly your glasses make you more chic, more professional and even smarter.

So if you already need them, take advantage of this fact and wear them when you need to look smart. So let me tell you about my friends at Coastal.com.

They have an amazing selection of glasses, really great prices on contacts and fantastic coupon codes.

Example 1: Here's a link to a picture of the glasses I ordered last week: http://www.lensway.com/imageresources/lensway/product/glasses/XL/kam-dhillon-3031-brown-me-XL.gif

Cute right? Originally 68 dollar frames, I got them and my lenses free using the code "firstpairfree" at check out and only paid shipping. (lenses are free up to 1.5x, greater magnitudes are $20.) That comes to a total of $7 for prescription eyeglasses.

Example 2. Here is the pair Reeve got: http://www.lensway.com/imageresources/lensway/product/glasses/XL/ltede-1022-grey-brown-si-XL.gif

Very unique. Frames were originally $38 (free with the firstpairfree code) and lenses were $20. We ordered them with another item so the total came to $25 for Reeve's glasses.

Example 3. Reeve uses Acuvue Oasys contacts which are a whopping $40 a box at our optometrist's office. On coastal they are only $25.89. (And less if you buy 4 boxes.) So with shipping his contacts came to a total of $56.78 (a total of $23.22 saved compared to buying at the optometrist.)

So if you still aren't convinced here are a few coupon codes that might convince you.
RETURN10 - saves you 10% and gives you free shipping.
RETURN - gives you free shipping.
BOGO50 - a current offer that gives you 50% off a pair when you buy a pair.
FREESHIP - free shipping on orders over $100.
FIRSTPAIRFREE - pick from hundreds of eligible frames to get a pair of glasses (up to 1.5x) for free.

What are you waiting for! Go get your free glasses!

I can't wait till mine come in! I'll post photos...

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Audio Adrenaline

Here we are! Waiting for the Audio Adrenaline concert to start! Front row seats thanks to Chris Lefever! So excited!!!!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Ten inches

This week I cut ten inches off my hair and donated it to Locks of Love. I love my new hair cut and I love that I was able to give my unwanted hair to someone who needs it.

Getting a free hair cut is also a great perk.

Information on Locks of Love as taken from their website www.locksoflove.org:

"Locks of Love is a public non-profit organization that provides hairpieces to financially disadvantaged children under age 21 suffering from long-term medical hair loss from any diagnosis. We meet a unique need for children by using donated hair to create the highest quality hair prosthetics.

Our mission is to return a sense of self, confidence and normalcy to children suffering from hair loss by utilizing donated ponytails to provide the highest quality hair prosthetics to financially disadvantaged children. The children receive hair prostheses free of charge or on a sliding scale, based on financial need."

Cool company right? I'm so thankful to be able to give to a good cause.

Check out my cute new hair!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


Ever since discovering the blog "Made by Lex" (www.madebylex.com) on Piterest, fabric has taken on a whole new dimension. Every shirt has a voice, every piece of fabric the potential to be amazing. Now those scraps of fabric in my box that I thought would never have a purpose suddenly have life and meaning.

I've been refurnishing shoes, shirts, headbands and handbags and I'm loving it. Suddenly Goodwill holds so much possibility and now my creativity, not my wallet, defines my wardrobe.
It's a totally new feeling for me and I love it. I love being creative and using my talents to my benefit.

I'm going to a wedding next month and I don't have a winter dress but I do have a dress I can add beads and sleeves to. So I've been scouring the Internet for ideas and I'm suddenly seeing the potential I've had all along. It's a whole new feeling.

The thing I'm most thankful for is the creative spirit given to me by my creator. He is the author of creation and in Him and through Him all things exist. I'm thankful He made me in His image and gave me the ability to create. Thank you Lord. My life is a hallelujah.

"I'm so thankful that I'm incapable of doing any good on my own." -Caedman's Call.

Ps. Check out my ruffled shirt! I'll post a tutorial on it soon!