Friday, December 18, 2015

It's Tradition

I know my girl is a grown, married adult now but some traditions are just too hard to break. As long as this lady is still living in the same town as me we will continue to get our yearly picture with the Jolly ol' St. Nick! This year we missed our traditional Black Friday photo shoot (don't worry, we were still out on Black Friday, we just missed Santa this year), but Santa didn't let us down. He showed up at the Victorian Christmas Holiday Bizarre we were shopping at, so we cornered him there and got our annual picture. Thanks Santa!! Love the picture.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Garland Chandelier

Christmas decorations bring me great joy and comfort. I think it's mostly because, during a time of year when I don't get to be outside as much as I like, I have the opportunity to bring the outside into my home. I put green wherever I can, and each year I try to come up with a few new ideas. This year the green extended to the dining room chandelier.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Gift Bag Art

I have a place on one of my walls that I really wanted a Christmas/winter picture on. I was looking around the store today and just couldn't find anything I liked... and, all the pictures were $20 or more: not worth the cost to me. Then I saw this awesome gift bag and had a brilliant idea. I came home, cut out the picture on the bag and put it in a picture frame I already had. It looks perfect in the space I wanted it and the total cost was only $2.00!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Fancy Oreo's

Okay, okay, I'm slow. Jessi's wedding was four months ago and I haven't really put anything on here yet. What can I say, we had family here and then summer hit - and we have been outside living the dream. I'll be getting to it over the next couple of weeks. Here is one of the favorite treats of the shower and wedding. Everyone loved them, they were super easy to make and most important, they looked very pretty.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Flag Bean-Guacamole Dip

We had a great 4th of July celebration with friends. Great food, relaxing afternoon, and awesome fireworks over the water. One of the things I took for the potluck was a twist on my favorite bean dip. It's super easy to throw together and everyone loved it - it was one of the first things that disappeared. (Plus, it just looked amazing).

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Patriotic Piggies

I don't paint my fingernails. I can spend an hour giving myself a manicure, painstakingly painting each nail to perfection, and in a matter of hours they are chipped. So not worth the time! My toes are another matter however. Polish stays on and I can be very bold in my colors and design since it's on my feet. Here's a very easy way to get into the Patriotic spirit, and you don't even have to be a manicurist to pull it off.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Blueberry Muffins

I love blueberries. I love them so much that I put in a small blueberry garden in my yard. One of my favorite things to do throughout the summer time is to get up in the morning and pick a handful of blueberries to throw into my granola - and let me tell you, there is nothing better than a just picked, ripe blueberry!! Towards the middle of summer the blueberry bushes are weighed down with all of the amazing plump berries and we are able to pick them by the handfuls. So yummy. Then it becomes muffin time. 

Monday, June 15, 2015

Garden Bling

I love to garden. There is something very therapeutic about digging in the dirt and listening to the birds chirp while the sun warms my back: complete peace. My garden is a place I love to be, and I have decorated it beyond the beautiful plants I have growing there. A trip to the thrift store can make your garden sparkle in the sunlight and give it a wonderful addition of art and color.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Why Mom's Get NOTHING Done!

I just saw this video and HAD to share it. Oh. My. Gosh!!! I so remember these days. Those of you on the back end of raising kids can totally relate and the rest of you who have parenthood in your future, here is what you have to look forward to. To those right smack in the middle of it - I promise you will laugh one day and miss it. Here's to all you mom's out there. Enjoy a giggle on me!

Friday, February 20, 2015

5 Things That Are Great About Being An Empty Nester

Empty nest syndrome. I've heard the tale, and seen mothers go through it many times. They just can't seem to let go of the kids, and lose direction in their lives once they have all moved out. I have worried about how I would react once my kids left. I put everything I had into raising those munchkins - would I rattle around the halls like a ghost lost forever to life? Well, I'm pleased to say that I am loving where I am in life right now! Here are my top 5 things I love about being an empty nester.

Monday, January 19, 2015

5 Things We Did To Save On A Wedding Dress

The wedding dress is probably the single most important purchase for a bride in preparation for her wedding. I have been talking to people however, and was starting to get scared. My friend's daughter spent $3,000.00 on her dress, and I have a client that just spent $2,200.00 (on sale!). Holly crap!!! There is NO WAY I can afford that. But, then I remembered that I have the most thrifty, practical, amazing daughter there is. Our cost? When all is said and done it will be about $200.00. Yes, you are reading all of the zeros correctly in this post. Let me tell ya how we did it!

Friday, January 16, 2015

10 Awesome Family Service Project Ideas

Monday, January 19th, is National Day of Service. What better excuse to get out with your family to do something for someone else. We have done this with our kids a few times over the years and it's always been such a positive experience. It really puts things into perspective and helps your kids realize just how blessed their lives are and to be thankful for the things they have. Here are ten amazing service projects you can do with the entire family.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Helping Your Daughter Into Puberty

 Guest Writer: Amy Hamblin

Amy Hamblin, one of our MIA guest writers is back! She is moving quickly into the next stage of parenting with her oldest - a teenage girl. Let us all have a moment of silence for Amy.......

In her first post back on Family Strong she is sharing a book that has helped her greatly in easing that bundle of hormones into puberty. If you have a daughter about to make the great journey, this just might be the ticket for you. 

Monday, January 12, 2015

Mini Taco Bowls

Complete Pinterest Success! I have seen this idea floating around for a while and decided to give it a try this weekend. Our football team - The Seattle Seahawks - are back in the playoffs this year and we were having a playoffs party at our house. What better occasion to whip these up? They were a huge success and both plates were gobbled up....... BTW - one win down, one to go till Superbowl! Go Hawks!!

Friday, January 9, 2015

5 Tips to Help Resolutions Stick

It's that time of year again - the first of the year when everyone is setting high expectations for themselves: get out of debt and save money, lose weight, stop smoking. These are all worth while goals, but many times we set unrealistic standards for ourselves that are too hard to reach so we give up in the end. Only a very small percentage of people actually set their goals and achieve them........ BUT, since I always stay on the positive side I don't want to talk about the large percentage of people who quit. I want to help you be in that small percentage who succeed. Here are the top 5 tips I have found that will help you on your way to successfully achieving those resolutions that you set for yourself.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Wedding Announcement

It's official, my youngest kiddo and oldest daughter is getting married! Bobby (my soon to be newest son) popped the question over the Christmas holiday. I will be sharing any tips that I learn along the way to have a beautiful wedding at a reasonable cost, as weddings can be extremely expensive and we just aren't going to go that route. Fortunately I have a very thrifty daughter who is very in touch with reality: she is after all the founder of the newly launched website Second Hand Shopper. Our first thrifty move? We took the announcement pictures ourselves. We had a ton of fun playing at the park and got some amazing shots - and saved hundreds! Take a look at some of our favorites.