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