This time of year really is the best, isn’t it?!?! The holiday spirit is in the air, holiday decor is strewn about and holiday cheer is abundant. :) I practically hear carolers singing “Joy to the World” right now. I love that first delve into the Christmas decor and crafting. I like to see what we’ve got from year’s past that still inspires me and try to come up with a few new ideas at the same time. All while I watch my husband roll his eyes at me as I pace to and fro between him and his football, or futball, or whatever sport he’s watching at the time. Hey, this decor thing takes time. You gotta step back, look at it from all angles, scootch it around a bit and then step back for another look … am I right!?! On my decor day we even had the island equivalent of what could be considered a winter storm. Brrrrr! Just kidding I think it did get down to 79 degrees though … which is close to a record low. And the perfect day for dilly dallying around with some Christmas decor I say. So I made a few new driftwood Christmas trees and gave our fall leaf wreath a winter makeover.
Are you a home made gift giver? I was trying to come up with a few sentimental, but not too expensive ideas to give this year and found some great inspiration in my own archives. Here is my list of 10 thrifty yet meaningful home made gift ideas.
Well, the shift from vacation mode and acting like I’m on vacation when we have house guests to full-steam-ahead-project-mode has happened. Now … there was a time, not too long ago, where for about 4 years Joel and I both worked full-time jobs and then worked on house projects in the evening. Pretty much every evening … and every weekend day and evening … and any hours in between. We really loved it for a while. We would call a Friday night in the crawl space installing new HVAC ductwork ”date night”. And we did so much drywall sanding at one house that we dubbed the after affect “Choptank nose”. *goggles and a mask are always a good idea when doing any kind of sanding
Here’s wishing each and every last one of you had the best day ever yesterday. Honestly, I feel like I have been having the best day ever day after day for the last month or so. Well, maybe not so much yesterday … which started with a sunrise ride to the airport to drop off my in-laws and basically consisted of laundry, cleaning the bathroom, a little vacuuming and a lot of serious pondering about how much longer I can go without buying groceries, and football. :) Yesterday for me was more of an aftershock of a 10 day vacation followed by two weeks of house guests. More of a day to remind me that it’s not really about any one specific day. More of a day to reflect on so many things that I am so extraordinarily thankful for. I’m thankful for being able to let the blog take a backseat to so many incredible moments that have happened in the last month. Sunrise moments in Costa Rica, where we actually compiled our list of 8 must have items for budget travel. Moments with cousins that had us rolling on the floor laughing, and possibly snorting awkwardly. Moments when the guy we asked to take our picture turned right around to his buddy after he took it and said “those girls are reading those dirty books”. hahaha I’m thankful for a week with cousins that generated inside jokes that seemed to multiply exponentially by the minute. A week with cousins that was followed by a week with in-laws that flew by a little too fast. But at least I got to cradle my brother-in-law like a baby … I think I’m thankful for that. ;) I know for sure I’m thankful for making some great memories with the whole … continue reading
So, you’re going on a trip. Woo Hoo!! You’re flights are booked, you’re bags are packed and you’re even a savvy enough traveler that you’ve got your expired passport or a copy of your ID stashed in the bottom of your bag in case your current ID gets stolen. Go you. :) Now, I can attest to the fact that our tastes and tendencies have definitely evolved over the years as it comes to travel. But old, frugal habits die hard and after multiple international trips and even more road trips around the USA here is our budget traveler’s survival kit. 8 little things we’ve found over the years that have helped us save money on many a vacation. And you know how I heart saving money. :) #1 – corkscrew (or something like this) Now, it’s no secret we like a beverage or two in this space, and it’s definitely not any different on vacation. But one thing we have realized over the years is that we’d much rather sit with a bottle of wine in a park or on a bench by the sea than in a restaurant. Or even on the ground while watching the row of street vendors set up for the evening just outside of old town Cartagena, Colombia. And it just so happens that wine, or any beverage of choice, is much more economical at the grocery store than at a restaurant anyway. And it always tastes just a little better when you’re exactly where you want to be with exactly who you want to be with. Am I right?!? Better views + lower prices = happy vacationers. :) #2 – zip lock bags Now, if you’re going to want to have lunch while you sit atop a cliff near La Manga, Spain, you’re going … continue reading
And can I just tell you that you guys had me cracking up. You are funny! And kind. And so thoughtful to say such nice things about this here blog. You rock my world. You know who you are. You “forever 21″, “way too many kids”, “red-neck girl”, “crazy cat lady”, “young at heart”, “lettuce green” loving people. You are my people. Or I am your people. Or something. :) Now, I am way too easily distracted to take your answers and poke and prod them into fancy charts with exacting measurements and mind boggling statistics. So I’m going to point out a few observations that had me smiling, laughing, cracking up even, making Joel wonder what the heck was so funny on my little computer. :) First, I am honored by exactly how many of you left your names. I had intended the survey to be anonymous, but when I start out by asking your name I guess that’s hard to do. Oops. * *btw – this survey is totally not anonymous. maybe I’ll get it better next year. But you still shared so many great details about who you are. 19% of you live outside of the US and/or dream of travel and a beachy life. My people!!
Too soon? Did my post on Friday, the little recap of all of the Christmas crafts we did last year, not imply that I had already started the countdown to Christmas? It was supposed to. ;) And, by countdown to Christmas I actually mean countdown to Christmas crafting. And that countdown to Christmas crafting actually came to zero about a week ago. Would that make it T plus 7 days? I don’t know. I’m actually teaming up with a few other incredible bloggers and we’re banding together to bring you 4 creative ways to countdown to Christmas. We’re talkin’ about advent calendars and in my case, an advent tree!
‘Tis the season. The season to get ready for the holiday season. The one where we start to think about how we decorated for the holidays last year … and how we’ll do it this year. I actually started this blog on November 1st last year and pretty quickly joined a crafting competition at Mega Crafty. The challenge was to decorate a tree for under $20. I came up with some pretty fun homemade Christmas ornament ideas that hardly cost me anything. Since there were about 3 of you reading last holiday season, I’ve rounded up what we made to show off our 11 DIY Christmas Ornament Ideas.
Sing it with me now … “I’m sending out an s-o-s, sending out an s-o-s, sending out an s-o-s, message in a booooooottle.” Did you watch the Hurricane Sandy fundraiser on Friday night?
So, let me get this straight … We went on vacation for 10 days. A little rest and relaxation with my love. A little exploration of a new country. Our first trip to Central America. *sorry for the water spot on the picture, I guess that’s what happens when you rappel down a waterfall with your point and shoot in a zip lock bag. And while we were hangin’ in the rain forest, with hardly any connection to our real life, the World Series went down in 4 games, Taylor Swift and some Kennedy broke up (I feel a new song coming on) and a super storm took down the Jersey Shore, NYC and many other areas of the northeast? Ay yay yay!! Here’s hoping you and everyone you know and love are safe and sound. And here’s to realizing with great clarity how insignificant some things can be, when real life is dealing with loss of power and light and fuel and everyday people are digging through grocery store garbage bins looking for their next meal. *regular texting rates apply
Happy Blogiversary to us! Me and you. This blog and these readers. We’re a match made in Heaven, really. :) This first year on the blog has been Ah. May. Zing!!! Seriously. A HUGE window to the world wide web of like minded people like YOU. So thank you for being here too. In honor of this first year blog anniversary, I thought it’d be fun to share 31 random things you might not know about me and this blog. And even as I type that I’m thinking “I’m not sure anyone cares”, but whatev. In October the Nester has an annual series called 31 days. Her challenge is to pick a topic to blog about every day in October. For 31 days. Challenge equals not excepted. ;) Not only do I not have anything interesting for other people that I’d like to write about for 31 straight days. I don’t really have any interest in blogging for 31 days straight. Helloooo. That’s like everyday. ;) So here is my very own 31 things version.