Wednesday, January 22, 2014

52 Week Savings Challenge...

So going along with our plan to get out of debt, we're participating in a 52 week savings challenge!  Super easy, but I'm sure it will become more and more tough later on this year. 

Basically we are doing the $1 - week 1, $2 - week 2, $3 - week 3 and so on.  BUT, we're also doing change (not pennies) 1 quarter, 1 dime, 1 nickel - week 1, 2 quarters, 2 dimes, 2 nickels - week 2, and so on.  Get it?  If we stick with this, we should have a grand total of...........


Not sure yet what we'll do with really depends on where we are with our baby steps.  But in the meantime, it's great seeing the dollar bills and change build up in my massive pickle jar!  (pics will be added later)

If you haven't already started, it's definitely not too late!  We'll still in January!
So are you doing the 52 week savings challenge?  Any tips??

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

My China Cabinet...

I found this little beauty a couple of years ago in a thrift store on my lunch break.  It was $ on earth could I pass that up??  Now I know it needs some love, and my plan is to paint it, once I learn how to paint furniture.  For now, I think it looks pretty good with my china inside!  Plus, there are 2 cabinets and 3 drawers packed full of other china!  I'm a little bit of an addict when it comes to dishes...I'll be sure to share that one day. 

So today I just wanted to share with you some of the little treasures included in my china cabinet...

I am in LOVE with these doors...just haven't figured out how to clean the glass properly...any tips??

And yes, I see that there was something trying to escape the drawer, ha! 

The china above was actually my grandparents...I have 5 complete place settings of it!  I decided to add just one set in the cabinet for display along with my wedding china.  I'm extremely sentimental, so being able to display this means so much to me. 

You can see my china grandmother's china was ivory...other than that, mine was pretty similar! 

Some of my grandmother's depression's so unique!

My dad's baby cup (glass) and my grandmothers. 

And this little gem...I found her at an antique shop...less than $10, made in Germany (it's some sort of a collectible...need to research that) and I had to have her!  If you know me, you know that I love pigs and love to collect unique pig figurines...I think this little piggy bank fits the bill. 
I hope you enjoyed touring my china cabinet...and if any of you have tips on cleaning the glass as well as painting furniture, please feel free to share!!  

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Bye-bye debt!

Weight, wheat, debt, our minds?  How about all of the above! 

So there are always things to improve upon, but sometimes you have to break them down and just get started. 

Back in August/September, 2013, we (me and the hubs) started back the Dave Ramsey Total Money Makeover.  It has taken some time, and we're still not 100% where we need to be with our budget, etc, but let me tell you we are so far in the right direction from where we were!  It's actually become fun...yes, budgets can be fun!!  I'm slightly addicted to looking at our budget, bank account, debts honestly can't help myself! 

We are currently on baby step (bs) 2...the debt snowball.  Baby step 1 was to build an emergency fund.  It always seems to happen that when things are going right, it's going to storm...and these storms can eat into your budget and in the worst way, the part of your budget that should be going towards paying off a debt!  So we have $1,000 in our EF and, knock on wood, we have NOT had to use it!  Josh needed new tires, but we said a lot of prayers and saved, saved, saved in our "transportation" budget and just a couple of weeks ago, we were able to pay just over $600 in CASH!  It was such a great feeling to know that we weren't taking this money from anywhere else, we didn't borrow it and we didn't get a loan...truly an amazing feeling. 

So in order to hold ourselves accountable, and hopefully to help some of you out, we will be sharing our journey to financial freedom...I'm not making any promises about how often I'll update this subject, but I will try my best to keep it fresh and not let it get stale.  In the meantime, if you have tips or some motivational comments, please feel free to share...until next time! 

Green Smoothie Friday...

Good morning and happy Friday!!  Who's looking forward to the weekend??  I know I's been a looonnnngggg week. 

As I've mentioned in the past, I LOVE green smoothies!  Love, love, love them, and I'm always trying something a little different.  I decided I would start a series called "Green Smoothie Friday" and share some of my favorite recipes...I hope you'll share your recipes too!

Blend all ingredients in a blender (we use a's great and makes a very smooth, smoothie!), pour into a glass and ENJOY!

The new stuff...The title!

So I've probably thought of a hundred different names, topics, colors for my, LEAST a hundred!  Well today, I mentioned to my husband that I would call it "My Mantel, My Choice"...he LOVED it!  And to me, his opinion matters. 

I decided "choice" might sound too aggressive, so I opted for "way"...and here we are..."My Mantel...My Way!  The purpose of this "new and improved" blog is to share home décor ideas, projects around the house, and then the "junk drawer"...that will be a conglomeration of this and that and daily life.  You didn't really think that I would focus on just one topic now did you??? 

So back to Josh (that's my husband for those of you who don't know)...this evening, after spending hours making the header for the blog and changing the design, etc., I mentioned that I might need to change the title...I don't want to be pigeon holed into one subject.  He told me that I should keep it...his reasoning?  We live in a small house...I really, LOVE to rearrange furniture!  Always have!!  Well, having a sectional and a small house, there's not a whole lot that can be done in the way of rearranging...BUT, I can do whatever I want with the décor!  I can change out my pillows, get an area rug, change the napkins on the table...pretty much do whatever...and that includes, changing out the décor on my mantel!  Which I do...very often! 

So, there you have it...the reason for my new title!  I think it fits and yes, every now and then, my sweet husband is a genius.  So come back for décor, organization, random posts and stories of our day to day experiences.  I hope you'll enjoy the company and I look forward to sharing my life with each and every one of you!!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Laundry Room Up-do...

I'm linking up with DIY Showoff blog...go check out all of the other DIY projects linked on her page!! 

DIY Show Off
Read more HERE!



Now isn't that better?  We still want to paint that room and eventually get a new washer/dryer, but this cabinet has made a world of difference!  And in my baskets I have the following:
  • One is for batteries and surge protectors
  • One is for light bulbs of all sizes
  • One is for smell good products (Scentsy) and candles
  • One is miscellaneous (3M hooks, odd screws, duct tape, etc)
I am not an organized person, but I do long to be one someday, and this was definitely a great start!
I hope you'll follow along with me on my journey to transform our chaotic house to an organized home (hey...maybe I'll call the series just that!!).

Have a great week!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Coconut Oil Love #1...

**I'm bringing this post over from my other blog because it is a wonderful product and as a makeup remover, it's great!  Also, I'm going to write a new post using coconut oil in my smoothies...enjoy!**

Coconut Oil, an all natural gift from mother nature.  I have a great fondness and tremendous amount of respect for this jar of awesomeness.  I wish I could tell you how I first learned about it, but I can't even remember.  I just know that I started using it a little over a year ago and haven't looked back.  The benefits and uses for CO are great and endless and did I mention, it's not expensive at all!  So during the next week, I'm going to share my uses for CO and I hope that if you currently use it, that you'll share in the comments.

Tonight I'll share my first use for CO...

 - Eye makeup remover 

It's greasy, so it may take some getting used to, but just put a little on your fingers, gently rub in and wipe with a cotton pad, washcloth or just rinse with warm water and your hands.  It works so much better than any remover I've ever purchased, easily removes waterproof mascara and is soooo incredibly good for your skin!  I'll let you in on a little secret...I no longer use typical face wash.  I wash my face with CO and then leave a little on as a moisturizer at night.  I'll be honest, when I first started this, my skin seemed to get worse.  This was only happening because the CO was getting out the dirt, oil and other impurities.  After about a week, my face was just as smooth as could be and I rarely have a breakout now.  That's huge for me!  Even as an adult, I'm prone to acne attacks.  But using CO, it's really hard to remember the last time I had a breakout. 

Another great place to apply the CO is to your lips...natural lip balm!  Your lips will be kissably soft and smooth in no time! 

So that's it...Now consider yourself fortunate enough to see my before and after pictures from using it as eye makeup remover - or maybe not so fortunate if I scare you to death with my naked eyes (:

Before with makeup on...and yes I realize that I totally need to pluck some brows!  Yowzers!


So pretty...

Next use...a healthy fat in smoothies!