About Me

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Life is beautiful whether you're soaking in sunshine or caught in a thunderstorm. I take the beauty of life for granted too often. I have a supportive husband who I don't want to live life without, a beautiful son who is always reminding me of the simple things that really matter, and an independent daughter who is teaching me to throw schedules out the window and live in the moment. My day is made when free samples fill my mailbox. I love discovering a new product and sharing it with others. I'm addicted to coupons and every penny counts. I hope you will enjoy reading my posts and will share your success stories with me as well.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Dresser and Picture Makeover

So I might be a newbie at refinishing furniture but after completing 3 projects, I'm ready to have my own HGTV show!  I'm realizing this might just become a new hobby for me and it will keep me busy this winter...if caring for a newborn isn't busy enough.

We found this $5 dresser at a yard sale earlier this month and I had Mike double check it to make sure it was something that would actually last and not fall apart.  There's nothing fancy about it.  But we needed a dresser for the baby and I knew with some TLC, it would work. 

 The before look.  Mike had to reinforce a couple of the drawers but we used some leftover wood laying around. A secret to making drawers slide in and out smoothly is to rub bar soap on the edges of the drawer.  Works like a charm every time!

Sanding is finished, now to start painting!

 Painting is finished, now to dry!


I bought the drawer knobs off Ebay and they match perfectly with the wall paint color!

I grew up with this picture in my room.  My room colors were peach and blue (not my choice) so just imagine this picture in a bright peach frame.  I forgot to take a picture of the before frame.  It was pretty hideous but apparently those colors were trendy 25 years ago, or at least that's what Mom always said.  I took this picture to Michaels and they selected a new mat for the picture and I painted the frame white. 

I had a hard time capturing the picture because of the glare coming thru the window and off the ceiling light.  This was the best shot I could get.  But I'm so happy with the way it turned out and I think it's pretty cool that our baby girl will grow up with the same picture that I grew up with...just updated colors!


Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Rocking Chair Makeover and Bradley's Trip to Build a Bear

We bought a rocking chair at a yard sale a couple weeks ago.  We had to ignore the disgusting Yankee logo and see the potential in the chair without the logo.  I knew it would be perfect for baby girl's nursery once it was sanded and repainted.  And for $5 I couldn't pass it up.  I'm so happy with the way it turned out!  

 The chair before the makeover.

 
 He helped wash the chair after I finished sanding it down.

 I LOVE how it turned out!

Then we took Bradley to Build a Bear so he could pick out a stuffed animal for his sister.  He chose a rabbit which will go perfect in the room (details later) and he was absolutely adorable showing so much love stuffing the bunny and getting her ready for his new baby sister.  He's seriously going to make the best big brother!

 He's warming the little heart in his hands before it goes into the bear.

Giving the heart a sweet kiss!

The bunny now has a heart.
 
Seeing him kiss the bunny was so sweet!
 
 Making sure the bunny is all clean before she goes home.

 He wanted the bunny to "talk" to baby sister.

 What a sweetheart!
 

Monday, September 28, 2015

Our Weekend Recap

We were SO busy this weekend!  It's almost like we know Winter is on the way so we have to hurry up and soak in every last minute of nice weather.  Or it's because we have a BABY on the way and there are still a million things to do to get ready for her!  

We started off the weekend with having friends over for dinner on Friday night.   I went all out Italian with making pasta and sauce full of meatballs, sausage, and pepperoni.  Of course the baby hated the meal about 4 hours later resulting in the worst heartburn of my life.  Mike will be eating leftover pasta dinner for at least the next 5 out of 8 meals.

It was pretty chilly on Saturday morning so we all cuddled up on the couch and watched cartoons with Bradley.  We had bought a couple more pieces of furniture at yard sales the last several Saturday's so I went to work sanding and painting while Mike was busy taking out the window A/C units and making sure our snowblower was ready for Winter.  We had to stop around 3 pm to get ready for two big football games.  TN Vols vs FL Gators and UMass vs Notre Dame.  Mike's cousin Jake is playing for UMass and we were hoping he would get some playing time on TV which he did!  Of course both of our teams lost which was disappointing.  We went to Life Church on Saturday night because we had big plans for Sunday.
 
It was downright chilly on Saturday morning. 
Time to get out the flannel sheets and electric blankets!

 We bought this desk for $5 at a yard sale.  
It will be perfect for Bradley when it's all finished!

Another $5 yard sale purchase.  We had to sand off the disgusting Yankee logo and I'm repainting it mint green to match the baby's dresser.

Mike helping me sand off old paint from a picture frame we are going to use.

 Sunday was our fun day!  We headed to the Cumberland County Fair which was just about 30 minutes away.  It was a beautiful day and we had so much fun checking out rabbits, pigs, cows, goats, oxen, draft horses, chickens, and watching a couple of pig races.  Bradley had his first pony ride which he loved.  I was able to leave the fair without buying a rabbit or a pig which made Mike very happy.  Mike got to eat a turkey leg which and we all got to try our first fried Oreos.  It was a great day at the fair!  We came home long enough for Mike to watch a couple quarters of the Patriots football game and then we picked up coffees and hot chocolate and headed to the ocean.  There is nothing that makes any of us happier.  Bradley painted his pumpkin on Sunday night and Mike scored a FREE basketball goal that our neighbor was getting rid of.  He's been without a basketball goal for a year and I didn't realize how much he missed having one!  I was in bed by 8:30 pm but I woke up at 10:30 pm to see the Lunar Eclipse.  It was so cool especially with the million stars shining so brightly.  Maine has some of the most beautiful night skies and the stars are so much brighter here than they are down South.  I only had my phone to take pictures so it didn't even come close to capturing the beauty.

Most of these cows had just been bathed!  
It was so funny to watch some of them getting a bath and being blow dried.

These were my favorite sheep!

This cow was gorgeous!  I swear it's skin was like velvet.

Bradley with two winning pigs!  At least we think they should win.  Our friend Elizabeth raised these pigs and did a great job!
  
This little guy was all about Bradley and those two became best buds quickly.

Bradley loved being able to pet so many goats.
 
We watched oxen pull this heavy concrete.  Very impressive but I didn't like the owner screaming and beating his animals.  That part didn't set so well with me.



The pig race was definitely our favorite thing to watch.
 
Our friend Lucas won with getting his pig #3 to come to him first!



 
One happy guy with his turkey leg!
 


 Bradley loved it too!

My favorite lop eared rabbit!  She was begging me to take her home!

We watched a couple practice runs.
 


Bradley loved his first pony ride!



Our first fried Oreos.  I'm glad I tried them but I'm totally ok if I never eat another one again.  I'd rather have my Oreos dunked in milk.
 


 You would have thought Bradley would have been wore out from walking for 4 hours at the fair.  This kid has an endless amount of energy and was happy to be running at the beach.

Ocean air makes us all very happy!
 


He posed like this all by himself!
 
The moon was gorgeous on the way home.
 


He was so serious about painting his pumpkin.


He wanted the pumpkin to have a grumpy face and has decided to call this pumpkin "Mommy".  I guess this baby has been making me more grumpy than usual!





The best picture my phone could take of the Lunar Eclipse last night.
 

Thursday, September 24, 2015

God Gave Us Sleep by Lisa Tawn Bergren Book Review


God Gave Us Sleep by Lisa Tawn Bergren is such a sweet and simple children's book explaining the importance of daily rhythms of work, play, and rest.  Laura Bryant did a great job with the art work which helped keep Bradley interested in the story.  

Little Cub is the main character in the book and he learns how we can overcome bad dreams during sleep, why rest is important, and why God wants us to sleep.  

I asked my 4 year old son these two questions:

What was your favorite part of the book?  "When they were building the igloo."

What did you learn from the book? "God helps us sleep."

Be sure to check out Lisa's other books in the God Gave Us series.  You can also read more about the author here.

*Disclosure - I received this book free from Blogging for Books in exchange for this book review.  All opinions expressed here are my own. 


Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread Recipe




So I tell Bradley that he's a chocolate chip freak but I have to be honest and say he gets it from his Mama.  I'm the original chocolate chip freak.  Normal people would just like this recipe as plain ole pumpkin bread.  Not me, chocolate chips have to be added because everything is better with a little chocolate!  This recipe makes two large loaf pans and don't freak out when you read how much sugar is involved with this recipe.  There's a reason I didn't pass my pregnancy glucose test and I'm pretty sure all this baking is the problem.

Ingredients
2/3 cup coconut oil, melted
2 2/3 cups sugar
4 eggs
2 cups pumpkin puree
2/3 cup water
3 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1 bag of milk chocolate chips, optional

Directions
Mix coconut oil and sugar until well combined.  Add eggs, pumpkin, and water and finish combining.  Sift all the dry ingredients together and add to mixture.  Mix well until combined.  Stir in the chocolate chips.  Pour batter into greased loaf pans and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean.

 

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Cinnamon Apple Bread Recipe

Fall is in the air and apples are everywhere!  It's time to start baking.  I tried this new recipe on Saturday and both Mike and I loved it.  Bradley still refuses to try it.  For a little guy that claims he's hungry all the time...he sure is picky when it comes to food!

Ingredients
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2/3 cup white sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 large apple, peeled and diced

Directions
Mix brown sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl and set aside.  Cream butter and white sugar together.  Add eggs, vanilla, and buttermilk and beat until combined.  Add flour and baking powder and finish combining.  Pour half of the batter into a greased bread pan.  Add half the diced apple on top of batter and sprinkle 1/2 brown sugar and cinnamon mixture on top.  Pour the remaining batter on top and then finish adding the rest of the apple and cinnamon sugar mixture.  Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes or until toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean. 

 Warm apple cinnamon bread and iced coffee makes a very yummy breakfast!
 

Monday, September 21, 2015

Our Weekend Recap

This weekend confirmed my love for living in Maine.  We had lots of gorgeous sunshine, tourist season is over so we have the beaches back to ourselves, and the feeling of Fall is in the air!
 
I had started painting the baby dresser and baby room on Friday afternoon so after supper Mike helped me finish the last coat in the baby room.  It's nice to have the project over with!  The walls are light purple, the dresser is mint green, the crib is white, and we haven't settled on a chair color yet.  It's going to be gorgeous when it's all finished!
 

 Bradley loved helping paint his sister's room! 
He says she will smile when she sees how beautiful her room is.

I love how the paint color turned out!  
 
We've had such great success the last two Saturday's going to yard sales that we tried it again this past Saturday morning.  And hit jackpot for the 3rd week in a row!  We found several smaller baby items that were needed and even Bradley scored some cheap books and Legos.  Mike took Bradley to a football game in MA on Saturday afternoon while I ran a couple of errands and had some nice R&R time to myself.
 
 This boa was actually for sale at one of the yard sales we went to!
The owner is lucky I didn't go running off screaming scaring all her customers.


Bradley's first football game and first time drinking orange soda!
 
Mike's parents were able to meet them at the game and Bradley was 
PopPop's little sidekick all afternoon.
 
 
Mike's cousin Stephen plays for Curry College and they won the game 21-16.
Bradley said his favorite part about the game was watching Stephen play football. 

We went to an early service on Sunday morning at Life Church and came home and I made waffles and sausage for brunch.  Then we hit Pine Point Beach!  It was perfect.  There were very few people at the beach, lots of sunshine and a cool breeze so we never got too hot.  We finished putting the baby crib together on Sunday afternoon and started the process of cleaning out closets.  We ended our evening with some outside fun and Bradley and I were in bed by 8 pm!  

 
Waffles and sausage for brunch!  Check out my favorite waffle recipe!
 

 This mama was happy to soak up Vitamin D and have her feet in the warm sand!

 These boys had so much fun!

 He has no idea how lucky of a kid he is!

Sand castle time although we forgot most of Bradley's buckets at home.

Trying to maximize our closet space as best as possible!



Our new game we bought for $3 at a yard sale!