Sunday, March 30, 2014

A Little Elbow Grease...

It's amazing what a little elbow grease will do. Well, elbow grease, some paint and some really hardworking parents.

This weekend we went to to "The Mountain House" as Lilly has dubbed it and started working on the basement. To bring everyone up to speed we bought this home in August of last year and have spent the last few months renovating it. We've completed the upstairs and are now working on the basement. The basement consists of a large family room and a bathroom.

My parents came with us this weekend and were such a huge help. My dad painted his butt off and my mom spent most of the time babysitting Lilly and Charlotte (which in my opinion was the much harder job). That way, John and I could get a lot of work done.

Between the three of us we primed the entire basement (the walls were originally fire engine red, with a black ceiling and black trim) The ceiling is now a beautiful white, the walls are a soothing green and the doors and trim are a crisp white, instead of black and red. We also deep cleaned an incredible disgusting bathroom. Seriously, this was the grossest bathroom you've ever seen. Here are a few before shots:

The close up photo is what everything in the room looked life. There was a deep layer of dirt, stains and grime EVERYWHERE. After a deep cleaning we ripped up the disgusting linoleum and replaced it with large 18 inch vinyl tiles (we had left over from our kitchen). We painted the walls a light green color, took out the old toilet and replaced it with a crisp white new one. We cleaned the tub surround and hung a new rustic bronze rod. We also added a rustic bronze towel rack, toilet paper holder and hand towel ring. The original light fixture was a shiney chrome which I'm not a fan of so we had some rustic brown spray paint and sprayed it to match the other hardware in the room. We also cleaned up the vanity and added new rustic brown knobs.

If you had originally seen this bathroom you would have thought it just wasn't worth was too disgusting. Now it looks like a million bucks. I purchased the shower curtain, rug and towels from Target.

Next time we go we will finish the Basement. All that's left there is re-finishing the countertops and installing the hardwood floor. THose will be some amazing before and after pictures too :)

Friday, March 21, 2014

New Recipe Friday

Today's recipe is from the Six Sisters website again. We all loved it! And I'm pretty sure Doritos are like Bacon...they make almost anything taste better. 

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

And the winner is...

Jenny Kinter!! Congratulations! You win the $25 Amazon Gift Card!!! Message me your address and I'll have the gift card sent directly to you.

Now onto other things...more controversial hot topic things that is...because as I'm sure you're's Hot Topic Tuesday!

Today's topic...Lent. Now, in case there's confusion...I'm referring to the 40 days prior to Easter, not the stuff that grows in your belly button or can be found in your dryer.

Before attending the church I'm currently at, I'm not sure I'd ever heard of Lent. If I had I probably considered it only a Catholic thing and I didn't pay much attention to it. I'm now attending a non-denominational church and they practice Lent as well as Ash Wednesday. I've read a number of articles in the past week or so regarding Lent and the practice of it. Most have been judgemental towards those who practice Lent, saying that giving up certain things like chocolate, isn't exactly what Jesus had in mind. Because of all the attention I've seen this topic gaining through social media, I thought I'd take a stab at it.

So, what it Lent?

The idea is to remember the time that Jesus spent in the desert (40 days and 40 nights). During this period he didn't eat, despite his frequent temptation...this is why many Christians "give something up" during the period of Lent.

So, what is an appropriate thing to give up?

Well, in my's really up to you and God right? I don't think someone besides you and God can say whether or not what you've decided to give up for Lent is right or not. In the same way, one Christian shouldn't place judgement on another Christian who doesn't celebrate Lent at all. It's totally their decision.

Jesus spent 40 days fasting from food, he was tempted during this time, he overcame the temptation and spent the time without food drawing closer to God. This can be paralleled in our lives many ways.

Whether you fast from food, chocolate, facebook, or will feel the hurt in your life. Only you knows what is the most tempting for you. If it's chocolate, then go with that. If it's gossiping, then go with that. Either way you're going to have a moment every day where you want to do that thing. Hopefully, you'll overcome the temptation and spend that time in prayer or at least contemplating what Christ went through in the desert.

And for some Christians, Lent just won't be something they practice. And there's nothing wrong with that.

I think what's most important is to respect the other person. There's too much wrong with this world for Christians to be arguing about who's doing the right thing in regards to the practice of Lent. Seriously. There are bigger fish to fry.

Colossians 3:17: And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

I think this about sums it up. Love God and love others. 

Monday, March 17, 2014

Ideas for your Toddler's Easter Basket

I always loved opening my Easter Basket as a kid. My mom always made her own Easter Baskets, none of those store bought baskets in our house! I am the same way. I'm excited about putting together Lilly's Easter basket this year and I want it to include a variety of items. Here are some good ideas I've found that I hope you enjoy as well! I'd love to implement all of these into Lilly's basket.

1. A Toy: Every kid wants a toy in their Easter Basket. Here is one option. Lilly's favorite saying right now is: "They Match!" She's also become quite addicted to The Cat in the Hat, (which I've now read 1 million times). So I think this will be an excellent option for her basket.

2. Candy: It is Easter after all. Kids need at least SOME candy. I would suggest purchasing some of those plastic eggs and filling them with Jelly Beans or Robin Eggs.

3. A Craft: Toddler's love crafts and I thought this one was adorable. You can put all the supplies into your little one's Easter Basket and then once they've opened it you can do the craft together. Fun!

4. Something Educational: I like the idea of a book, especially something that mentions the real meaning of Easter. Here is one option I found on Amazon:

Some other ideas could include: Side walk chalk, bubbles, crayons, or play dough. Hopefully this helps in your Easter Basket planning!

Friday, March 14, 2014

Slow Cooker Swiss Chicken Recipe

I made this recipe yesterday for dinner and loved it. It tastes like Thanksgiving. I love crock pot recipes and how easy they are. On Thursday's I babysit at a friend's house and so yesterday before I left the house in the morning I gathered the ingredients and brought them with me. I put everything in the crockpot around 11:00 and by 4:00 it smelled and looked delicious. I left half of the recipe for them for dinner and took half with me. Cooking instead of going out to dinner saves so much money...but we usually end up with sooo many leftovers, (especially when using the crockpot) which I'm not a fan of. I really enjoyed making the meal in the crock pot and then splitting it between the two families. Both of our families are small enough that it was the perfect amount for both-no leftovers!

Also, if you're ever looking for new recipes...check out the six sisters site. They have some amazing recipes and their site it organized very well so that they are easy to browse through and find.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Giveaway! Amazon Gift Card

We haven't had a giveaway in a long time so I think we're overdue. How about a $25 Amazon.Com gift card?!

I love Amazon, and love the fact that I can get just about anything I could possibly want and it'll be at my house in two days!

BTW, did you know you can buy girl scout cookies on Amazon? They're like $10 a box, but if you have a craving in the middle of August you'll know where to go to fill it now right?

Here's how to enter. It's simple. The giveaway is open for 7 days so good luck!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, March 6, 2014

The Best Baby Shower Gift Combo

I purchased the following fabric from Fabricworm. It is Jay-Cyn designs for birch fabrics. It's organic cotton so it's super soft.

I purchased a half yard of each fabric. This gave me enough fabric to make a blanket and three burp cloths (see the burp cloth tutorial here)

There are a number of tutorials for minky blankets on pinterest, here is a good one to use.  I decided to make it a patchwork blanket on the one side, and I used white minky material on the other.

I also added some batting in the middle to make it thicker and warmer. It's a great blanket for the crib, or the car seat, or just about anything. If you'd like a set of your own, let me know, the cost for the set is $65.00, if there's other fabric you'd like to use, I can do that as well :)