Thursday, December 31, 2009

Bonne Année !


The last post on the last day of 2009.  Reflecting back on the year with it's triumphs, trials and tribulations, the joys and heartaches, discoveries and new experiences.  I started a blog in July that has had 10,000.00 visitors, which is incredible in it's self.  I have made wonderful friends through blogging, learned an amazing amount of new things through your tutorials and made wonderful meals sharing your recipes.


I am blessed to be a part of this community...Thank you for taking me in, allowing me to be a part of your lives and experiences.


Here is to 2010, may we all have a Happy New Year~!


Bon Chance!

Audra

Audra

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Red Jacket

My daughter is a minimalist.  She has always kept a smaller amount of "stuff" than her friends, kept her clutter to a minimum and has sought ways to keep it manageable.  She follows the rule of bring something in, get rid of something, maybe even to an extreme, where she brings in two and gets rid of six or eight things.



College Diva's dorm room this year is smaller than her previous two rooms.  This room was meant to be a single dorm room and it is shared by two girls with limited space.  She decided to cut back on several of her clothing and decorator items in an effort to save space.  As she states, a book bag, shoes and books on the floor make the room look like a complete mess.


She had purchased two jackets two years ago when getting ready to attend NAU.  One black bomber style down jacket and one red parka style jacket.  After nearly three winters in Northern Arizona she found she wore the black jacket more, and could fill in with her pea coat for the rest of the wintry months.   So the red jacket came home and hung in the hall closet.  It made an appearance at the last yard sale, but no one wanted to buy this jacket for $5.00 because we just don't have that type of winter in our area.  Not wanting to donate it just yet, I put it back in the closet and waited hoping someone might need it.



My brother came for a visit the day after Christmas bringing his family.  As they live in Utah, we rarely get to visit them and are always thrilled for the chance to catch up.  He brought his step daughter and her little girl for a visit as well, which was an added bonus as they live out of town and since the divorce we have not seen M very often.  As they got ready to leave, my brother remarked that his step daughter was coming with them to visit for a week, and would probably be moving to Utah later in the spring, as M's home situation had changed when her mother remarried.


I looked over M's hoodie and asked her if she had a jacket.  She indicated that she did, gesturing at her hoodie.  My brother lives in Central Utah, where the temperatures dip to the belows...below ten, below twenty in the winter.  Brrr! That hoodie was not going to keep her warm against the Utah winter. I had College Diva get the Jacket out of the closet to see if M might be interested.   I was not prepared for the reaction.  Not only did M love the jacket, it was her favorite color and fit her perfectly. She stood there in shock, she had seen one like it before, but not having $80.00 to purchase it she had been making due with the hoodie.  I wish I had taken a picture of her and this jacket, it was such a wonderful moment. 


These are the moments in life that I live for, when something that is no longer needed by someone is passed on to another person who needs it, wants it or desires it.  That feeling of joy and relief.  The knowledge that someone is better off because you were able to help.  What a wonderful feeling.

ttfn....

Audra

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Joyeux Noel!


Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and wonderful holiday season.  I hope to be back soon to blogging, taking a small break to share time with College Diva and The Reluctant Teenager.

Enjoy your families and the wonderful memories you create with them.  

                                                    Audra






Thursday, December 17, 2009

Thifty Holiday Ideas from Real Simple

While scanning MSN today, I came across an article about every day uses for ordinary things - holiday edition.  I loved the ideas showcased that  I had to share it with EVERYONE and what better way than to create a post about it?  You can these frugal ideas and more at Real Simple.


In my attempts to use what I have and to stay frugal not only in my everyday life but the holidays as well, I have looked at everyday items in a new light.  Who knew that five or six winter scarves could become a tree skirt? 


CAAAUUUTE!




I know this idea has been around forever, newspaper or comics as wrapping paper.  They take it a step further with maps and enlarged copies of dictonary pages. 







How about using photo corners to secure home made tags?  Fabulousness!



Anyone for pasta bows?  This is darling tied with raffia and plain paper.  I found several rolls of plain and holiday printed brown paper at the dollar store.  I love the simplicity of this.





What about paint sample cards and twine to add a modern twist to your package?





Or a hand towel or kitchen towel to wrap a bottle of wine or home made cordial in?  Two gifts in one!



If you are anything like me, those pesky Christmas lights get tangled and you spend half a day trying to get them staight.  How about this idea?  A hose storage wheel for lights!  Incredible!


Check of these and more frugal and thrifty ideas at Real Simple magazine.  All photos property of Real Simple.


Ta Ta For Now...

Audra

Monday, December 14, 2009

Mmm, Mmm Good

Soup, it does the body good!  In an effort to keep up with the frugal life style, I have taken on the challenge to use leftovers in other meals, as not to waste or toss them.  That is a major pet peeve of mine...food going to waste.

I didn't think to photograph the ingredients before I put them in the pot to make Cheddar Vegetable Soup.

College Diva wanted to have Cheddar Broccoli Soup which is an all time favorite of hers and since she is home for the next month, I wanted to spoil , uh treat her to her favorite dishes.  Using the leftover steamed broccoli from last nights dinner, some steamed carrots from Saturdays dinner and the mashed potatoes from last night as well.  Tossed in the left over gravy (about half a cup) with 1/2 cup of half and half, 1 cup of water and 1 cup of shredded cheese (left over from Friday nights meal).  I came up with Cheddar Veggie Soup, simply delicious and satisfying.





Anyone else out there just toss things together in a hodge podge sort of way?  My mother was wonderful at doing that, making something out of nothing and it tasted amazing.  I think I may have a little bit of her ingenuity.


Ta Ta For Now, Mes Amies...




Audra

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

O' Christmas Tree

This year in an effort to simply my life and downsize to a manageable chaos , I gifted my 9 ft tree and went with a free to me 6 1/2  ft tree. At first I was hesitant, though this smaller tree is growing on me.




I used the ornaments I had from my previous years trees, ivory poinsetta, glittered pine cones, green mistletoe picks and muted gold and sage green balls.  




Imagine my surprise and absolute joy when I opened the boxes of decorations to find new ornaments I picked up last year at Target's 75 and 90 % off sales!  It was like shopping all over again! Dark bronze birds, glittery gold leaf picks and gold beaded picks.  




I use to change out the theme of my main tree every year, until four or five years ago when I decided to stick with green, gold and ivory.  I add to it now and then when I find something that catches my eye. What a change from when I use to decorate three trees!  Simplify, Simplify, Simplify!





Christmas tree skirt...found at a yard sale three weeks ago for $5.00.  I love the greens, golds and reds...how perfect since I am introducing red into my Christmas decor!
 




Headed to Northern Arizona tomorrow afternoon to pick up College Diva and two friends to bring them back home.  Thrilled to have my little girl home for the holidays!

I am following Rhoda at Southern Hospitality Home for the Holidays Party.  Be sure to head over and see her lovely home and all the others who have joined in!

Joyeux Noel!

Audra

Monday, December 7, 2009

Finally decorating for Christmas....

 It seems I have been running behind the past three months, something keeps coming up getting in the way of my decorating for the holidays. 


Quick trip to Hobby Lobby to pick up a few greenery and berry picks to make a couple of arangements for my entryway table.  Not finished with the rest of the decor yet, still working on this, but I wanted to share how these turned out!


I purchased these urns three or so years ago at a consignment shop for $12.00 for the  pair.  I have defintely gotten my money worth out of these.  The fruit was a 90% Hobby Lobby fall clearance find.  I snatch up fruit in shades of red, gold, yellows and greens as I use this theme in my French country inspired kitchen and we know that fruit is always a good thing!  I paid .24 for each pick with a fruit, pear or apple.  I bought 12 !  Originally $2.47 each, it's like getting twelve for less than the price of two!  Say it with me....FRUGAL SCORE!

I purchased the greenery today for a $1.00 a pick, I can't seem to locate my box with the garland and greenery picks I had previously...hmm... I wonder if I gave it away (gasp!). The ivy was a free to me from a friend.  I will be putting ribbon on the urns later tonight...


I also found these frosted red berries for 3 for $1.00.  I love these, I think I have had them in every color imaginable over the years. 



The cloth is actually a dark red velvet wrap that I picked up at Savers for $2.99!  This baby is heavvvy!  I use scarfs, fabric remnants, and lace for table runners, dresser scarves, and on occasion a wrap!  I could never have afforded to purchase the fabric to make a runner, this is high quality fabric.  I keep my eyes open everywhere I go, you just never know what you might find.  I priced this type of fabric today, it was $35.00 a yard on sale!  There has to be two yards in this wrap!  Score again!
Sorry for the flash in the mirror...
No easy way to photograph the mirrors is there?
Here's Reluctant Teenagers attempt...
 

The red candle holders I found at a yard sale two years ago and used in the decorating for my wedding.  I found them in the garage...brought them out for the Holidays, since I have decided to incorporate red into the decorating theme this year.





I think I paid three dollars for these new in the box.  Don't you just love yard sales?



The mirror was found at the Episcopal church thrift store for $3.00.  It is wood with Made in Italy stamped on the back.  Now you know why I nearly knocked over those ladies to get to it!  Uh,  you can revisit that story here. I think it is safe to say  I have a slight obsession love for mirrors.  Sorry for the flash, I just wanted you to see the curves and flourishes this beauty has. 


Headed to start the tree, will be back soon to share the results.  Still working on the manger, it is a work in progress.

Linking up with Between Naps on the Porch: Metamorphosis Monday 





Ta-Ta For Now, Mes Amies!

Audra

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Ramshackle Manger

Why would I dig a manger out of the garbage at an Estate sale in Sedona, Arizona?  I know that the woman who threw it away kept asking me the same question.  She tried to sell me a nativity set from Italy for $75.00 (oh it were so pretty too!)

Why?  Because I guess my remodeling diva saw potential.

I wanted to do an Extreme Makeover, Manger style.

To Recycle it?


Maybe because I just hated the thought of baby Jesus being tossed away.


Yep.  Baby Jesus, Mary, Joseph, all Three Wisemen, Shepherd and Six stray sheep, one contented cattle and a burned out, has been cord with Christmas light attached.


All of it in the trash just begging, pleading for me to pick it out.  So I did.  I even told the lady I would give her $5.00 for it.  She declined.  I rejoiced.


I wasn't kidding.  This place is a hot mess, dilapidated broke down roof, in fact the manger came in two pieces.  All that was missing was the condemned sign. 


Some well meaning soul tried to fix it....with staples.  Sixteen staples to be exact.
 
Don't ask...I can't begin to tell you what they were thinking.


The figurines are hand painted, made in Japan, probably early 60's, made of chalk ware or plaster.\


I really just wanted the figurines.  I took the manger because I felt funny leaving it in the trash.
I know, I get funny like that at times.



 


Besides, there is really a "flock" of sheep.  Seven if you count the one on the shepherds shoulders.
I am loving the lambs...



Entire manger and figurines...See what I mean, could you have left this in the TRASH??? 

The pole by Mary is a real tree limb.  (Who does that these days? Uh, no one.)


  I am hoping with some hot glue, an angel, camel or three and some lighting we might have a manger.  Or maybe not, but I am going to give it my best DIY makeover possible.  Linking up with Reinvented Trash To Treasure Tuesday and Kimba at A Soft Place To Land DIY Blog Party



To be continued....

Audra

Monday, November 30, 2009

End of the Month Musings...

Monday, Monday.  Just trying to get the Fall decor packed up, bring out the Christmas decor and get ready for a yard sale.  Yes, I think I may have bitten off a bit more than I can chew.



Things are back to slow pace with the College Diva back at school for another two weeks and the holiday now a memory.  I was thrilled to spend the day with Fly Guy's family.  Very small affair compared to the raucous of my family's feast, a pleasant change, more like a formal dinner party than the informal buffet style my family puts on each year.


I realized one thing, it really doesn't matter what type of food, where you are or what you are wearing.  What matters is that you are Thankful for all of the blessings in your life.  I am, I truly am thankful each day.


Will be posting about a ramshack manger that I fished from the trash at an estate sale in Sedona.  Yes, this gal is not afraid to garbage pick or dumpster dive a potentially wonderful find.  Keep your fingers crossed that the Reluctant Teenager and I can make it look less dump and more majestic...


Ta-Ta For Now....


Audra

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving




May you all enjoy the holiday of thanks, cherish your loved ones and memories you create with one another.

Beaucoup d'amour

Audra

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Turkey Cake

A friend sent this to me today...Cute, Cute, Cute!  If I wasn't already up to my elbows in baking and cooking I might be tempted just to make one for the cuteness factor.  Here's the link with instructions, courtesy of Disney Family Fun magazine.  Lots of great kid friendly recipes for the holidays.


Happy Thanksgiving to all!  In the immortal words of Julia Child....Bon Appetite!


Audra

Monday, November 23, 2009

Capturing Moments In Time

I wanted to share these photos of my sister's daughters.  When she went looking for a photographer for a family portrait, she was referred to Lori from Calhoun Ink Portrait Photography through a friend at work. 


As Lori started  on her web page "I fell in love with photography quite by accident.  I wanted to better record our families memories while our children were still young."  She has a gift for capturing the true nature and essence of her subjects.    She has given my family a precious gift....


Caitlyn "Caitie"







Kimberlee



Caitie and Kimberlee



Here is Lori's blog, where she shares the back story of her photographs.   If you are in the Metropolitan Phoenix area, looking for a unique family photo session, be sure to check out Lori with Calhoun Ink. She will erase any of those suppressed childhood memories of family portrait sessions in stuffy back rooms with astro turf carpet and blue gray back drop, with the photographer saying silly things like "Say Cheese" or "who wants to marry Tom Selleck?"
( I was thirteen and I didn't want to marry anyone except Simon Le Bon from Duran Duran...I digress)


I can't wait to have Lori photograph College Diva and the Reluctant Teenager!

Ta-Ta For Now!

Audra

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Bread Cornucopia

Good Morning all,   Just a quick post to share this lovely bread cornicopia I found while browsing blogs this morning.  I went from Melissa's Heart and Home to Morgan @ The Fountains who follows Be Different Act Normal to One Pretty Thing to this...created by Chica and Jo.


How elegant and tasty, a bread cornucopia for your Thanksgiving table.  That is what I call an edible arrangement!  Sure to be the talk among my family and maybe even a little "envy"?  I am sure to give it a try.  Don't fret if you don't make your own bread, these ladies used Pillsbury Crusty French Loaf and there is a step by step tutorial to assist you in your creation. Ingenious I tell you!  This would be an amazing way to present rolls at the dinner table, n'est-ce pas?


Go on, give it a try.  Let us know if you do, I am excited to see your creation!


Off to pick up my co-op basket and do some yard sale Christmas shopping!  


Happy Saturday Mes Amies!

Audra

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Recession Inspired Decorating

I would not be the Frugal Missus if I didn't post about cheap, frugal, tightwad, recession decoration for the holiday.  Though I am a  bit tardy in decorating or even blogging about decorating, but life had other plans. Not to be deterred I picked up a few things and re purposed a few others and VOILA, frugal fall decor. 


With little time and even less money, I decided to decorate with the remainder of a Hobby Lobby gift card and ten dollar rebate check I received.  (I think of these as my mad money, I get to do what ever I want with them...)


Forgive me as I didn't shoot these pictures full on as I am getting ready for the yard sale and there is STUFF, everywhere in my house.  Doesn't make for a great background, y'know?


For the entry way table, I picked up these Pumpkins at Hobby Lobby for 75% off.  No prices, so I HUNTED down a poor guy garbed in a blue vest and had him price them.  That's right, I was a woman on a mission and I had $18.23 to spend.



I could have walked away with loads and LOADS of stuff from Hobby Lobby.  It is the single most satisfying shopping experience this girl has had, bar none!  I truly love this place.  Since I am paring down, I chose carefully,  for $8.50 these were burgundy pumpkins were M.I.N.E!  They have a gold/bronze wash which makes my heart race a bit when I look at them!



The rest of the table is decorated in items I had around the house.  I re purposed the greenery that was headed out to the yard sale, and added the wrought iron piece back in.  I picked this up at the church thrift store, you can read about it here.



Next up is a bowl of acorns that I also found at HL.  I have wanted some acorns, but they don't grow here so I made do with these "knock offs".  Regularly $2.47 each, down to .62 each.  I bought nine of them, one is missing because my fur baby Ludo thinks they are toys.  The bowl was a yard sale find earlier this year for a dollar! 



Cornucopia was a 6.00 Goodwill find.  I have wanted one for the longest time, just never could find a sizable one in my price range.  Found this a few months back and snagged it!  I had wanted to put decorative gourds in it, but I couldn't find them in a reasonable price range this year.  Last year Walmart had them in a bag for $1.50 mark down so I picked up two bags and decorated with them.  I gave them to a friend to use for her Thanksgiving decor when I went out of town.  They were a hit.
This year I decided on the harvest of pears.  I got the idea from Chari at Happy To Design, a lovely lady who regularly inspires me!  



Books tied with left over ribbon from last year, along with two fall sprigs I picked up for .33 each at Michaels.  I also picked up a few other larger sprigs that I put in this wreath.





Put them together and this is what I came up with....  This is my first ever attempt to craft a wreath, I was surprised how nice it turned out!



I changed out the Halloween trees in these urns and added dried willow branches.  I picked up the silver/gold pumpkin at Target for .99 cents (90% off).  The stem was missing but I asked the associates that were restocking the shelves if they had seen one, and sure enough they found it in a basket of "trash" and broken items!  The berry garland also was a Smith and Hawkins 90% mark down, from Target.  $2.49 each!

I still have a few dollars on my Hobby Lobby gift card, maybe I will use it for the 90% mark down or wait until the Christmas mark downs!


I hope you enjoyed my Recession inspired decorating, it just goes to show that you can have eye catching holiday decor without breaking the bank. I have linked up with Leigh at Tales from Bloggeritaville for Thrifty Thursday, Kimba at A Soft Place To Land for DIY and Cindy at My Romantic Home for Show and Tell Friday, check out what these other Frugal, Crafty Mavens have come up with.


Ta-Ta-For Now...

Audra

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Getting back into the swing of things....

First let me say, Thank You for your kind comments and prayers during the College Diva's unfortunate bout with illness.  After two surgeries less than two weeks apart, we are praying that she is on the road to recovery and will not have to visit the ER or hospital any time soon!


With that out of the way....Yes, I am back home, taking some much needed time to get the house back in order and take care of the MANY neglected chores that went unnoticed in my absence. (My men like to forget that the dishwasher isn't just for storing dirty dishes.)

I decided to DEEP clean the kitchen and sort through refridgerator and pantry, organizing and taking stock.  The freezer had to be rearranged to hold the two turkey's I bought for less than $5.00 each.  I KNOW! Say it with me...FRUGAL SCORE.  Also found Boneless Top Roast for $1.88 a pound.  OMG!  I was doing the happy dance right there in the meat aisle.  Picked up Four Roasts for less than $20.00 for 12 pounds and had two of them diced up into stew meat.  Another frugal tip, why pay full price for chopped up meat, when you can by roast on super sale and have the meat dept cut it up for you for FREE!


On to the dreaded refrigerator.  I shudder when I think about the extreme state it was in, A hot MESS.  After two weeks of neglect there were lots of left overs and veggies to toss.  That always makes me furious, to waste food, even if I wasn't around to make sure it didn't go to waste.  Still steams me.

On to the pantry, where I organized, cleaned and took sock of what I have.  I am going to make a master list of dry and canned goods so I always have an idea of what I have and what I need.
 Great news is, I have purchased enough bulk flour and baking supplies that I shouldn't have to purchase anything but sugar if it's on sale for less than a dollar for 4 or 5 pounds.  Keeping my dry pantry stocked is both economical and stress reducing.  Less trips to the store, means less overspending on my part.  I also noticed since I shop less, use fresh vegetables and less processed food, that I have more room in my pantry.  I decided to stop purchasing pre-made side dishes and boxed meals in an effort to produce great tasting wholesome meals for my family.  Check out the Thifty Groove, she has some excellent recipes here.

This is NOT my pantry...This is my DREAM pantry. You know I would have stuff up on the tippy top shelf and still have to get the step stool, ahem, ladder out to reach!


 
Pantry by Organizing Options, LLC.



The smaller cabinets where I keep my teas and larger spices have to be seriously overhauled.  Since I am short, 5'3...It's hard for me to get anything more than two shelves up.  I am going to remedy that by putting the most used items on the two lower shelves and the less used items higher.  Seems I am always dragging out the stool to reach those items.  The new system should be a frugal time saver.


After I get the kitchen done, I am going to enjoy a REAL HOME COOKED MEAL.  WOOT WOOT!  No more hospital, take out or fast food for me!  I also picked up The Ugly Truth and will watch it after dinner to wind down before starting the work week.


Happy Sunday Everyone!





Audra

Friday, November 13, 2009

Home Again, Home Again....

Thank you all for your kind words and prayers for my daughter's recovery, after several days in the hospital, countless tests, no conclusions... It was decided to run a Hida Scan.   A Hida Scan is used for evaluating the liver, gallbladder, and biliary system is called the Hepatobiliary (HIDA) scan. This scan demonstrates not only liver function, but also the function of the gallbladder. It is commonly used to diagnose abnormal function of the gallbladder.

It was found at this time that my daughters gall bladder had failed.  A normal functioning gall bladder will empty 85 to 95% of the bile, while College Diva's was only emptying 7% retaining 93 %.  This was causing the spasms and terrible attacks.  I wanted to run down to the ER Dept and point my finger in the face of the nurse that was so cocky and mean hearted to us, saying "I told you that her gall bladder was malfunctioning!"  His whole demeanor was despicable the entire day we were there.  He kept telling me...."Her gall bladder looks FINE, no stones.  Are you sure this isn't a case of wanting to get out of school?"  UGH.  Jerk!


So, the College Diva is one of those rare individuals who has one organ fail and another less than two weeks later.  Thankful that this is over, she has had surgery yesterday and we are home.  She is feeling so much better, I am thrilled to be home, although it looks like the men were able to fend for themselves, leaving the aftermath for me to clear/clean up.


A mother's work is never done....  I am hoping to get back to blogging and catching up on all of your blogs!



Thank you again for the sweet comments and wonderful prayers sent our way.  We treasure them and keep you all close to our hearts.


ttfn....


Audra

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Learning to Adapt

Life is always sending unexpected curve balls our way, learning to adapt is a crucial skill in motherhood.   I am always learning to adapt.  ALWAYS. Trying to find a solid footing in the slippery slope of life.  Today is no different, after surviving the emergency appendectomy, secondary infection and trying to get back to health, my daughter is back in the hospital with another infection, not able to hold any fluids down and severe abdominal cramps.  Ruled out Gall Bladder, so we are waiting to see what the doctor thinks.  


My inner decorator is remaking this drab room into a posh environment.  I think the surroundings are crucial to the recovery, both mental and physical.  Although the large picture window provides a panoramic scene of the San Francisco Peaks and the Flagstaff pines.  


Hoping to get back to blogging and sharing my finds.  Reminding myself that all things pass and one day we will look back on this and laugh...cringe.


Ta Ta For Now.

Audra

Sunday, November 8, 2009

I have been given an Award!

Imagine my surprise and extreme joy to be nominated for a blog award.  Deb at Proper Prim paid me the nicest compliment by nominating me, I can't tell you how over the moon I am!  What a kind and wonderful thing to do.... She says that my finds make her "wipe the drool off her chin".  I tell you that is a fantastic compliment in my book!  I love Deb and her site is amazing, what she does with her finds, it's nothing short of creative genius! Thank you Deb for thinking of me....I am touched.


[Kreativ+Blogger+Award.jpg]


Here are the "Rules":




1. Thank the person who nominated you for this award.
2. Copy the logo and place it on your blog.
3. Link to the person who nominated you for this award.
4. Name 7 things about yourself that people may not know.
5. Nominate 7 Kreativ Bloggers.
6. Post links to the 7 blogs you nominate.
7. Leave a comment on each.


Seven things about me that you do not know...and may be afraid to find out!


1. I am afraid  TERRIFIED of Snakes. Enough said.


2. I "rocked" a Red Wedding Dress when I got married on 7/7/07.  Yes, A REAL wedding dress by Alfred Angelo in Ruby. 


3  I collect movies.  I own LOTS AND LOTS of movies.  I love action, historical, romantic, comedy, crime, tv series, etc.  I Do Not do... horror, slasher, gore type of films.  I love them so much I ask for movies as gifts, pick them up at yard sales, etc.  Love, love, love movies.  It's shameless how many I own.


4. I have always loved yard sales, rummage sales and thrift store.  Every since I was a small child when someone would ask me where I got something I would say "At the Rummage Sale", it didn't matter if it was bought new, or made for me.  Everything came from the rummage sale! 


5. I found my house at a yard sale.  Seriously. ( I will tell the story another time)



6. While most little girls wanted to be a ballerina when they grew up, I wanted to be a vampire.


7. I have an obsession with Dr. G Medical Examiner.  I love to watch this show, I usually figure out what the person died from before the show reveals it.  Maybe I should have been a medical examiner.  (PS...I do the same thing with BONES...)


Now you are enlightened, check out my 7 nominees...


There are so many great blogs out there hard to pick just seven.  I hope you will check these blogs out.


1 Diary of an Army Wife ... Aubrey is an amazing person, she has a wonderful knack for saying just the right thing when she leaves you a comment.   She and her family are living a slow year, buying nothing retail beside groceries.  She inspires me to look beyond and deeper into myself and my creativity. 


2.The Pleasures of Homemaking...   Manuela is a great inspiration for decorating on a frugal budget.  Her tutorials are easy to follow and her advice is just like having a best friend/sister who digs the same things you do


3.Savvy Season By Liz ... Liz showcases her lovely home and her decorating hints and tips for the seasons.  I am in love with her kitchen!


4.Love the Decor.. Debbie is an amazing woman who shares our love of decorating.  A self proclaimed homebody who is a people person, loves to snuggle up with a good book...her eye for detail is fantastic.  She is warm and kind hearted, it flows from her blog.  You will be inspired.


5.REal Ideas... Rebekah's tag line reads RE-Use, RE-Make, RE-Decorate, RE-Purpose...You Get The Idea.  She is full of super frugal crafts and redo's with very little money.  Check out her acorn tutorial, simple, elegant and oh-so-beautiful!




6.  Home With A Smile... Rhonda loves a bargain and is always looking for ways to beautify her surroundings.  She always leaves the nicest comments.


7. Our First Home... Follow Annette as she decorates her first home.  She has some amazing frugal finds and what she does with them is nothing short of AMAZING!


Wow, that was a bit harder than I thought.  I follow and am followed by wonderful people, it was hard to pick seven.  Check these blogs out, you will not be disappointed, I promise you.  All of these ladies have something special to add to your life.

Ta-Ta For Now...


Audra


Saturday, October 31, 2009

Emergency Appendectomy...

Just when I thought it was ok to breathe a sigh of relief, College Diva had what we thought was a relapse from her dreaded ***** flu.  No, appendicitis.  Thank the lord her suite mate Amy had the perserverence to push College Diva into going to the ER.  I had a feeling it might be appendicitis, but CD didn't want to believe it, (my little girl is not a fan of hospitals.)figured it was flu related.  


Amy and the "Twins" (sorority sisters) bundled her up and away they went to the emergency room.  Amy never left her side, the twins only left when she went into surgery.  (not much room in the ER waiting room)



It was her appendix.  Surgeon said it was on verge of rupturing, couldn't figure out why it didn't. 
Can you say the power of prayer?  I prayed all night long, another 2 1/2 drive in less than two hours in the middle of the night.  (strange sense of de ja vu)



She is home now... I will not be alone for Halloween!  Going to watch movies and eat soup...Any good soup recipes?  Send me a link or email a recipe as we will be eating soup for the next few days!


Thankful we love soup!


Joyeux Halloween, mes amies!


Audra

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Awesome Thift Store Finds 10/29

While waiting for the Reluctant Teenager to get his hair cut (buzz cut!) I passed time strolling around a Savers Thrift Store.  I have put myself on restriction on purchasing items until I clear out the stuff cluttering my life.  I was doing great, passing up knick-knacks, bric-a-brac,tchotchkes,and the likes.   Until. I . Spied. This.

It appears to be depickting "Day of The Dead.  Day of the Dead, El Día de los Muertos or All Souls' Day is a holiday celebrated in Mexico focusing on prayer and remembrance of friends and family who have departed.The celebrations in Mexico can be traced as far back as the Aztec and Mayans.  I was captivated the artists rendition and use of colors on this plate.  I turned it over to check the price and saw the back side is painted as well.  Isn't this perfect for Halloween?  The Day of the Dead is celebrated on November 1st, just 3 short days away. 


Back of plate


I checked the price...Uh, $5.99, a bit past my flinching point, but where was I going to find another plate like this?  I had to get it.  I discovered that it's hand made with the signature Ketchum 88 on the back.  Nothing came up on Ketchum when I googled it, except Hal Ketchum.  I am sure he didn't make this plate...



I also spied this little apothecary jar!  Perfect to add to my collection, just needs a clean up.  Bliss.

As I headed over to the check stand I saw a chocolate bunny sitting on a shelf.


Closer inspection, not Chocolate, (maybe I should tell you I love, love, love Chocolate!) but resin painted to look like my favorite flavor in the world Chocolate!  

As the cashier rings up my order, I notice the prices aren't scanning right.  He tells me that BLUE tags are 50% off today and the bunny and apothecary jar are blue tags.  SCORE!  Then he asks me if I got the plate from Halloween shelf.  I replied that I did, so he gave me 50% off as well because all Halloween decor was on Sale.  Sweet! 


I would have happy danced my way out the door, except the Reluctant Teenager was coming out of the barber shop and would have "died" from the embarrassment!


Joyeux Halloween,


Audra

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Frugal Luxuries Book Give Away


All you frugal ladies, stand up and pay attention!  The wonderful Tracey McBride is sponsoring a book give away on both of her blogs Frugal Luxuries and Frugal Luxuries By The Season.  I know I could hardly contain my joy when I found out she is giving away a copy of each of her books.  You know I squeeled with unbridled happiness, oh yes, I felt the happy dance coming on! 


I am the proud owner of Frugal Luxuries, a book that has an honored place in my library.  I was raised frugally, fell off the frugal wagon during my twenties and thirties only to find my way back to the fold in the past few years.  I have learned to embrace frugality as my mother did and find ways to enjoy the smallest of pleasures just as my mother did.  This book is like having my mother back with me, reminding me to enjoy my tea from a porcelien tea cup, use the silver for every day dinners and when eating off of china EVERYTHING tastes better and candle light saves energy and makes EVERYTHING look better!

If you don't have these books and would love to enter the give away, be sure to head over to Frugal Luxuries  scroll down the Friday, October 23rd post, then head over to Frugal Luxuries by the Seasons
to enter to win that book.  While you are there, browse through Tracey's postings!  She has a wealth of knowledge and she is just so down to earth friendly!


Enjoy ma cheries!


Audra

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Super Frugal Halloween Trees

These past few weeks have been hectic so I haven't completed my decorating for Halloween.  Inspired by all of the spooky Halloween trees I have seen around the blogosphere (sorry I forgot to save the links so I could give you credit!) I decided to give it a try.


First I needed twigs...uh, having desert landscaping doesn't yield many twisty branches, although I did think about spray painting the cactus black!  (bet the HOA would fine me for a life time!)  I located a great source for these branches,one itsy-bitsy-tiney-tiny problem.  Still attached to the tree and about 9 feet off of the ground.  I am only 5'3 ish so...not happening.


While visiting family in Northern Arizona, inspiration hit me like a MAC Truck!  I didn't need to forage for my branches, my uncle had trimmed the trees on his property and had TONS of branches just waiting to be burned.  Selecting a few promising ones I stuffed them in my car and headed home.

I took a pile of branches....








and turned them into THESE!



I should have taken pictures of the steps in the middle,  but my camera was in need of a charge.  Here's a list of what I used:

Three cans of cheapo Walmart spray paint ($3.00)
One Dollar Store Floral Foam Brick cut in half ($1.00)
A tiny bit of Spider web floss ($1.00 for the bag)
Repurposed Spanish Moss from a floral display I saved from the office trash (FREE) 
Urns ($4.00 for the pair at a yard sale)
Spiders/Rats (FREE from my stash of stuff)
Skeleton heads (Free..sort of, they came from the insert from BONES Season 4)
Table Scarf (FREE! a wool scarf I was given as a gift several years ago!)



Voila!  Not to shabby for my first attempt! They are really impressive when you walk in the door!  

Did I mention the Mister doesn't like HATES Spiders? Sorry honey!


This tree is ready for it's close up...




 
Remember these guys?  Found them at a yard sale.  

With the left over branches, I crafted another "tree", for this pesky fella.

Another yard sale urn and a few landscape rocks from the yard.  The vulture came from a yard sale...I think he was $3.00.  Kind of spooky, but the Mister loves it!



I hope you enjoyed my trees.  I got to get busy and finish decorating! I am linking up with Kimba at A Soft Place To Land DIY Day and Reinvented: Trash to Treasure Tuesday.



Ta-Ta For Now....

Audra