Thursday, December 30, 2010

Musings of a Frugal Missus...

I sit in front of my ancient computer tapping out a post to share with you.  I came to her because she saw me through the start of this blog, assisted in lurking around other blogs and even helped me make friends in the blogging world.  

I couldn't just let her sit by while I wrote a post about the holidays and the end of the year, now could I?
btw...I kind of have separation anxiety ... I get something new and I worry about the old things and their feelings.  (I know...it's a bit manic, but I have always been this way!)

Our first Christmas in the new house and I didn't decorate the entire house.  I really didn't decorate much this year at all.  

I wanted serenity, peace and calm..or someone else to do it for me. Ok, maybe not do the entire decorating for me, but help me put it all together, without being over the top or too much.

Then I started reading posts from others who were scaling back, doing less and enjoying more...and I felt..comfortable and relieved.  This house and I are still getting acquainted.   I didn't want to put too much out and feel claustrophobic. 


Just a few little touches here and there.

Surrounding myself with a few of my favorite things and the people I love....

Having a wonderful time catching up with my College Diva, thrilled to have this alone time with her.

Watching her bake tasty treats and talk about Psychology and Anthropology,  in awe of her intellect and beauty.

Eating popcorn with the Teenager while we watched our favorite holiday movies.





Talking about his plans for the summer (Alaska) and getting a job.
Seeing my little boy as a young adult and knowing he will always have a soft spot for his Momma.

Sitting around a fire pit talking with my husband about the craziness of this year and the new course our life has taken.  Precious moments we rarely get to share due to his work schedule and soon his studying for new certification that could mean a huge promotion.

In all of this, I realized that some how, I have managed to accomplish the feat I have been working on for five years.  I. learned how to slow....down.  How to stop trying to out Martha, Martha and  trying to make everything perfect.  Instead live for the perfectness in the moments I share with my family.

The realization that I don't need stuff to make me happy, but that I have all that I could ever need right here, right now.
 Christmas flowers from Fly Guy

Knowing that even when I thought about giving up this blog, that there were still people who wanted to read it and  the realization that I still wanted to write, to share my thoughts and to get to know the wonderful people hose blogs I stalk...um, read.

I realized for the first time in my life that I am truly satisfied with what I am, what I have and who I am.  Though I will always strive for beauty and creating a feathered nest, I don't have to make it look like the decorator magazines.  I have what I need, love, happiness and sanctuary.  These are greater gifts than anything wrapped under our tree.

Thank you for reading this, for taking the time to say hi and leave a comment.  I hope the new year brings you all the love and joy you can embrace!

PS:  just so you know...I plan on still garaging, thrifting and junking, just looking into avenues to share them with others!

Bonne année!

Audra

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Joyeux Noel....

image courtesy of chicks57 (flickr.com)

Sending all of you the love, laughter, joy and happiness that this life has to offer.

Thank you all for reading my blog and I hope you will continue to follow me in the New Year. Thank you for your friendship, laughter share across the miles and over a computer screen.  For your countless inspiration and encouragement. Looking forward to reading your blogs, meeting new friends and finding joy in the simpilist things.

I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a day full of making memories with family and friends.
 
Blessings....
Audra

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Finding Treasures In The Most Unlikely Places

I scoured my brain to find a perfect title for this post.  If the title doesn't grab you, perhaps the story will.

I yard saled, uh, garage saled, uh, no...more like dock saled today at work.  Yes, you read that right...I shopped at work off of the loading dock.  
Now this isn't like a warehouse sale in the garment district of New York or buying from the boats off the docks in San Diego.  
Nothing that chi-chi, piles and piles of stuff in crates on the loading dock.

 The company I work for was selling items from various stores that had closed down.  The scene was reminiscent of American Pickers show.

There were watermelon crates full of bakery items from closed stores.  Pans of every size and type, all types of bowls, cake stands, dough knives...the list goes on.

Everything a dollar.

Those American Pickers have nothing on me...



This is the first lovely I picked up...just needed a good cleaning.
Then I spied the pans.  Holy Bundt Cake, did they have pans, bread pans, loaf pans, bundt, round, retangular, every size, every type. 

It was hard not to go over board and buy cake pans in every size because they were a dollar and they were aluminum.  Do I need to remind you how giddy aluminum bake ware makes me.  Yeah, it's like school-girl-giddy-head-over-heels-in-love-giddy.

The tiny 6 x 2 pans went fast and I was only able to get one, I didn't get the mondo sized pans, perfect for baking wedding cakes, because I just am not the type of girl...who bakes wedding cakes. (Trust me on this...)
I can't wait to wash these and bake something!

I spotted a huge stack of these small bundt pans and bought three.

Let's add something in here for scale...
I passed over cupcake pans, muffin tins and even a few chaffing dishes when I spied this....


hiding under a pile of stuff.  I have been wanting one of these for...ev..er!
My boss was so envious!  She loved it and had the perfect place for it.
Today was her birthday....
You are thinking that I gave this lovely to her?  
Uh-huh! No... way.  I dug, I hunted, I moved heavy stuff around until I found another one exactly like this, for her.  Happy Birthday Boss Lady!

So here is my new scale...with a lick and a promise.
Isn't she lovely?

Just goes to show you never know where treasures might turn up...

Audra

Sunday, December 19, 2010

O Christmas Tree...O Little Christmas Tree

I have not been keeping up on my promise to post more and keep up with my much neglected blog.  I blame my computer.  It has not been cooperating since the move.  I suppose it was happy in the old house and is having separation anxiety.  Needless to say, this pc...is on it's last leg with a crippled knee.

I am hoping that Santa will bring me one of these lovelies...
HP Mini...sigh, this would make blogging so much easier!  Please Santa leave this under my tree!
Speaking of my tree...
I am going to show you my much down sized Christmas tree.  
Yes...it is really a little Christmas Tree.
Usually I have a huge tree with tons of lights and loads of ornaments.
Then I slowly started downsizing from a 12 ft to an 8 ft then a 6 1/2 ft to this lovely 4 1/2 ft.
Big change...I know.  I think I really like it.
Less hassle and more time with the family.

Isn't that what it's all about?  
I use to drive my self crazy trying to out Martha...Martha and on a Shoe String Budget.
I always ended up stressed, run down and sick. It seemed like I spent all this time getting ready for the holidays and rarely had time to enjoy them.
Can you relate?

So...when I spied this lovely tree at a Garage Sale for $10.00 I knew I had to have it.  Thrilled when the people accepted my $7.00 offer, I packed it away for seven months waiting to show it off.

Not needing all the ornaments from last years tree I checked the "new" items I picked up at Target Christmas clearance sale.  Most items were purchased at 75% to 90% off.
I found these...
and these...
I knew I had some green and gold items from last year that I could probably incorporate with these items to freshen up the new little tree.

Then I went to St. Peter's Repete Boutique last Saturday to find four tables of new Christmas decor that had been donated by a parishioner who decorates large Christmas trees for business.
SCORE!
I found these...


and these...both from Martha Stewart Home.... for a dollar each!
then.. I spied this
The prices were originally $10.00 each.  I picked them up for $1.00 each.

Then there was this....

Which was orginally this price
$9.25 then marked down to $8.78.  I paid $.50
and these...

$.50 each.
Didn't use them on the tree this year. 

Then I saw these lovely poinsettas at Wal-Mart and I had to have them
So I picked up 10 of them at a $1.00 each.
Then I set to work on the little tree.


Voila! Un petit arbre de Noël!
 Purchased $7.00 worth of ornaments from church thrift store, 
$10.00 from Walmart and $3.00 worth of Target clearenced items and we have a new addition to our living room.


C'est magnifique?


The relief of down sizing the tree is just another step I have taken in reducing the stress of the holidays.  Less stress means more time with family and friends. This is something I can get use to.
Funny thing????  I really don't miss all the extras I use to do, the things I thought that made me happy that were really making me crazy.


So with this new found freedom I plan on decorating the house as I feel comfortable.  If I feel like it's too much then I won't do it.
Simplify and enjoy.
My new motto.


A tout a lors!


Audra

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

A Few Pictures of the New House

Bonjour, mes amis! 

I have been busy trying to locate our Christmas decorations and lights in the mess that is housed in the garage.   Still looking for boxes and trying to decide what to put up or where to put it.  Keep in mind I haven't done much in decorating, just putting things here and there making the house presentable for Thanksgiving dinner.  Now I need to prepare for Christmas and not have a breakdown in the process.

As I promised here are a few pictures of the new home.  Taking them a little at a time so you can get the full impact of my lack of decorating. 

Here is the "formal" dining room.  Nothing on the walls yet, still trying to decide which pictures I like up there. 
I purchased the two chocolate chairs on the end at a yard sale for $8.00 for the pair!  I wish there had been more like this style, or something other than my seriously older floral chairs. 

I have been drooling over  some lovely rattan chairs...
  Or this style....
Sigh...they are tres magnifique, mais non?  Until I have the funds or find them at a Garage Sale, Thrift Store or Craigslist, I will have to keep the four floral chairs and possibly cover them in a linen or burlap style chair cover. 
Moving on....
Across from the Dining Room is the "Formal" Living Room.  This is work in progress, as I hope to purchase a leather chair to match our couch and put some art work on the wall. 
Currently I have this piece of art work on display on the easel, until I figure what to do with it or where to put it. 
Not the best shot of the art work but...it's several different tiles in a frame.  I love the colors,  thinking it might need to go into a room that can handle the boldness.  Again, this is a temporary set up.  That has to move because when I find my Christmas Tree...that is the perfect spot to put it. 


Love this sofa table, although she was damaged in the move.  The top is three inch thick marble,making this baby h...e...a..v..y!  I am having it repaired this weekend. 
These are a little something I picked up to put in the living room and decided they are a bit too dark for this room as well.  Perhaps the family room...  they are upside down, the pointed part is the bottom.
Just have to figure where they will go and then have Fly Guy and The Teenager put them up for me.  Yes...they are that heavy.  Fly Guy's friends asked him if we had any furniture that didn't weigh a ton...Uh...No.  I suppose we don't. Sorry for the hernia guys!

I did hang One thing...just one thing on the wall in this area....

  Did I ever mention that I have a complete obsession with clocks?  Just saying...

Then the money shot...ok, it might not be the money shot, but it will give you an idea of what I am dealing with here...

View from the front door....
Fly Guy's office is to the left and until we clear it out we will keep those doors closed!  It's become sort of a box depository/staging point until we can figure out where our stuff is.
This leads into kitchen, family room and vast area that I have nothing in at this time.    I am hoping for some new to me furniture to put in this area. (Yes...that is the back end of the cat...she is nom noming at the cat bowl...)

I will post pictures of these area's this week as well and invite any comments or suggestions as I am feeling a bit overwhelmed at the prospect of pulling it all together. Thanks for stopping by, please be sure to say hello.

A tout alors!

Audra

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Frugal Missus Is Back!

Wow!  I can't believe I have been away from blogging for so long!  Yet, here I am, writing a post and thrilled to find that my followers are still...following me!  Not only have I missed blogging, but I have missed reading, following, keeping up with the blogs I follow.  I ...missed...you...all of you!

The move is complete but not without a few hiccups, let me tell you.   There was all this business about getting ready for the move, then waiting for the house to be ready, waiting for the paper work, more waiting for more paper work, inspections, then this and that, well it delayed our move by four days!  As you can imagine we were in panic mode trying to get moved out before the new owners closed on the old house.  We moved in 12 hours!  Thank goodness for great friends and family with strong backs and lots of muscle!

I had a plan formulated for our move…it went right out the window. It came down to putting most of the stuff in the garage and sorting through it after the move.   I spent the better part of two weeks trying to locate boxes, unpack and figure out where to put our stuff.  

If that wasn't crazy enough, College Diva brought four sorority sisters home for Thanksgiving!  It was great offering a home to these lovely ladies who were unable to fly home for the holiday.  Then things turned topsy turvy and we ended up hosting Thanksgiving in the new house instead of at my SIL's!  Always up for the challenge I jumped in and with the help of five lovely ladies, we were able to pull it off!  Saved having to host a house warming party!  
Now that things are back to "normal" around here I finally have a few minutes to visit my poor neglected blog and all of you lovelies.  Will be posting pictures of the new place and the few attempts at decorating.  Still trying to figure out what I want to do, taking the time to let the house speak to me and get settled in before making any changes.

I can't leave you without a few pictures, most of them are the tables the ladies set for dinner.  The kitchen/family room area is quite spacious, since I don't have furniture to put in this area, the ladies set up the tables and Danielle from Alaska arranged the table settings.  She did a fantastic job scouring the house for things to decorate with.

Table One...my kitchen table.  Fly Guy bought this for me seven years ago for my birthday from a friends yard sale.  Wrought Iron table and chairs, this has to be one of my favorite pieces I own. I have painted it green, white and finally black.  
 Table Two has dining room chairs as we were a bit short on wrought iron chairs!
 Table Three has the patio chairs from outside, vintage patio set from 1960's.
I promise you we moved that hideous box from out of the corner...I told you I am still trying to find things in boxes!

Wanted to show you the chairs...various layers of fabric coverings from over the years, both from my friend and from me...

 The one of the right was the original chair covering, I had to remove three other fabrics to get to this one. The one in the middle was from my shabby chic days when the chairs were white and the one on the left was the last fabric I covered them in before putting them in storage for a few years.  

Finally, out of storage and into our new home, recovered with upholstery fabric found at thrift store three years ago, three yards, three dollars!  I hung on to the fabric hoping to use it for these chairs.  Thrilled to have room for this table after all this time.

Happy you stopped by for a visit, I promise to post more pictures and tales of the new home, decorating and garage sale/thrifting adventures.

Ta Ta For Now!
The Frugal Missus~