Saturday, July 30, 2011

Frugal Makeover @ Emily's

Yesterday, Jamie and I did a very frugal makeover at our friend Emily's house (kitchen and family room). Emily and her husband Doug are on staff at our church-- hard workers! To prepare for this, we 'shopped' at The Find and loaded up LOTS of items that could possibly be used in their space plus things we could think of like hammer, nails, hot glue gun, measuring tap, spray paint, drop cloth, cameras, .... When we arrived, we first took pictures, then made two piles of their things-- stuff we could use and stuff we could not use. Then we rearranged the furniture to make it more cozy:) I love that word! Next we looked in their bedrooms for other furniture that might could be used (the living room is large and long). If they have hidden cameras in their house, they would laugh so hard to see how we moved furniture. We had a few laugh attacks at ourselves. Of course, there were things that we wished we had to 'finish' it like a large mirror, an area rug, curtains, and a different coffee table, but it still was a big transformation. I'm a little disappointed in my pics; don't feel like they do it justice:( but the best part was that they love it!!

Before: We took stuff off the refrigerator to de-clutter and removed the decor on top of cabinets. We added a rug from their living room to warm up the floor;) Instead of plastic storage containers on top of refrigerator, we added wicker baskets.
Before: The table needed to be turned. Emily plans to paint it soon.
After: The rug helped make the kitchen more homey.
After: I'm so glad we buy pretty books at yard sales because they are perfect for adding a little warmth and layering.

After: We moved the table and added neutral placemats, napkins, and rings. We used Emily's plate stand for a centerpiece after spray painting it red.
The plate stand looks so cute red!
After: We brought these with us and it worked so well with her neutral colors.
Before: The couch, loveseat, and recliner were very spaced out. There were no lamps, wall art, end tables, or coffee table. Their two daughters are under age three, so there were lots of toys too.
Before: We swapped out a neat dresser and bedside tables from their guest bedroom and replaced it with the girls' toys and books.
Before: The rug was too small for the large room. The couches needed throw pillows  for color and texture.
Before: Since the kitchen, breakfast nook, and living room are very open, we tried to eliminate as much clutter as possible.
Before: The toys got a new home and the DVDs were stored in a little media cabinet that we brought.
After: Here's the dresser (that Jamie informed me is now called a console) that we moved to the living room. Jamie had the idea of displaying Emily's beautiful pottery here - I wanted to take it for my house;). The short candle holder, previously gold,  got a quick makeover with red spray paint- love! When we find a mirror, we'll hang it here.
After: We hung two of their pretty photos above the recliner along with two black crosses. The fireplace now has a red rocking chair and a large vase instead of toys:). The mantle is really pretty without the stack of DVDs. We just added a candle, a large turquoise vase, and a silver plate. Emily had lots of candles in the fireplace which looked fine, but we improved it a bit by added a candelabra. We found the two tables in their master bedroom and are using them for a temporary coffee table. We put a large wooden tray on top to hold magazines.
After: LAMPS make a huge difference! We had these two white lamp bases and some random shades, so we spraypainted the bases black and topped them off with drum shades.
By moving the furniture close together and adding 7 throw pillows and a few throws, the room seemed much more cohesive.
After: There's Jamie taking pics;) Another shot of the room. An area rug would be great in here!
After: I love how these little black and white photos look in the kitchen.
After: We brought over this little chalkboard/ mail center.
And to keep it real, this is how we move heavy furniture. Lol. We got a work out!
Before: Getting ready to spray paint in the front yard!

Brooke's Bargains 38

The theme of the past two Saturdays has been clothes which is good for me! I tend to spend any 'extra' money on home decor and then look through my closet and want to scream when it's time to get ready! Ha!
So today I only went to one big sale; I spent $14 and walked away with 8 shirts and 3 dresses. Not bad.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Passion Following

The Nester was a guest over at In Courage yesterday, and her post inspired me so much. I keep thinking about not only her post and the way God blesses his children, but a comment that Nester left in response to a reader: "You know you love it if you can do the work when you have the flu, when you are beyond tired, when no one else would want to, if you still have the drive…watch out, it’s probably your passion."

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Brooke's Bargains 37

The past few weeks has been pretty blah in the yard sale world, but this weekend was GREAT! It was basically "Ava" finds this week and items to sell in our business:). I was just telling my sister that I haven't been finding a lot for A lately....
It's the unbelievable deals that I got this weekend that keep me waking up early on Saturdays despite the duds I go to sometimes! (I should start taking pics on my 'dud' weekends of the stuff I run across. Literally saw used mouthwash once.)

  • 2 princess costumes
  • Livie & Luca boots (new)—retails $47.50
  • Yellow Box flip flops
  • BeeBop flip flops (a pair for Ava and a pair for me:)
  • 4 books
  • Ralph Lauren sweater
  • 3 swimsuits in perfect condition (one has ‘A’ monogrammed on it)
  • seersucker dress
  • Children’s Place sandals (new)
  • Turkey/Ava shirt (met a lady with a daughter named Ava)
  • GAP corduroy skirt
  • GAP sundress
  • Timberland fleece jacket
  • Gray leggings
  • Floral dress
  • Kohl’s jacket for me
  • Blue jean shorts
  • Plaid shorts
 TOTAL: $42

Thursday, July 21, 2011

e-mealz. com

My reasons for checking out e-mealz:

1. One of my friends with a similar schedule to mine recommended it.
2. The move and busy summer has made eating out the norm. Yuck!
3. I get in a rut with cooking: spaghetti, poppyseed chicken, homemade tomato soup, lasagna, ...
4. I get nervous about trying new recipes sometimes.
5. I needed something to get me organized about meal planning and grocery shopping!

This is my first week to try it out. Grocery shopping was so easy, and it is great to know exactly what I'm cooking and that all ingredients are ready for me.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


{Happy 4th Birthday, Sweet Ava!}
Warning: Long Post

All About You, Ava:
  • You weigh 33 lbs. and are 3 ft. 2 in. tall 
  • At the moment, your favorite foods are string cheese, green beans, peanut butter and jelly, chocolate milk, strawberries, rice & beans, cheese dip, and chicken nuggets. You will try anything though! You've been out to just about every restaurant imaginable. You are a good eater!
  • You have a big personality. You have a sense of humor and love to make us laugh. You are very expressive when you are telling us something. When the TV or music is on, you get up and dance and sing. You are very, very sweet and loving with a big heart. 
  • When you wake up in the morning, we snuggle everyday. You walk Daddy to the door and kiss him bye. 
  • You love when we read to you. 
  • Your favorite show is still Dora the Explorer followed by Sid the Science Kid. 
  • You love the Disney Princesses. 
  • Dressing up is one of your favorite activities. You average about five outfits per day:). Right now, your favorite is the turquoise sparkly dress with high heels.
  • You have lots of tea parties with your baby dolls (if we would allow it, you would buy a new baby doll every day!) When we go to the store, you always ask to look at the babies before we leave. 
  • You get so excited to see Mimi & Papa, Uncle Job, Aunt Brittany, Reid, Mammaw, Uncle Danny & Aunt Kayla, Aunt Bobbie, and Papaw. 
  • You love our church family so much too!
  • You love your friends and having someone your age to play with. You especially love to play with Hudson, Mary Abbott, Hannah Mae, Tuesday, Caitlin, Lexie, and Emma. You get along well with others.
  • You love to take long baths and play and sing in the tub.When you're tired, you ask for your "comfy" clothes.
  • Every night, you want to be tucked in with two stuffed animals or baby dolls. We pray with you. We read to you. And every night, you want us to snuggle with you before you fall asleep. I cherish these moments.  
  • I love everything about you! You are truly a gift from God.When you hug me and say, "You're the best mommy in the whole world," my heart melts. Thank you, God, for entrusting me with Ava.
All About the Party:

For about two weeks, Ava asked me this question at some point in the day, "Is it my birthday yet?" :) This year she wanted a mermaid party (and sometimes a princess party and sometimes a Thumbalina party;). I liked the mermaid "theme" too, if you can call it much of a theme... I found adorable invitations on's Party on Digital and also bought the matching cupcake toppers (the PDF file was quickly emailed me to me, so that I sent that to FedEx Office for printing). I like for birthday parties to be fairly simple, laid back, and a fun night for the birthday girl and her friends (and it's hard not to go overboard, especially when you can find so much online-- I get overwhelmed-- my sister has to calm me down) ! In the past we've grilled or had nachos, so this year, I wanted to make it easier by ordering PIZZA! Also, I attempted to make cupcakes last year (they kinda flopped), so I ordered the pretty glittered cupcakes! I really enjoyed making the cupcake toppers though, and Ava "helped"! Brittany and Job were sooooooo generous in opening up their home to us for the PaRtY! They worked so hard to get their house looking its best (hosting something does that, right?). On the day of the party, I had a major dilemma with the water slide company; speaking of that, they STILL have not called me back. Grrrrr... With the Mississippi heat and Saturday parties, I called around and the slides were booked for the day or my call wasn't answered. Honestly, I was starting to get panicked-- I had promised my little girl a water slide! Well, four hours before the party, I found a man with a slide! He delivered a great slide, and Ava and her friends (and the daddies) had a BLAST!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Brooke's Bargains 36

A few people inquired about the lamps and curtains in my bedroom yesterday because I only posted pics, no explanations. I found those lamps at Marshall's a few weeks; I have found so many great lamps there for incredible prices. I paid $80 for the pair and when compared to Target, for example, that's a deal for large lamps. The curtains are Pottery Barn but were found on eBay for a MUCH better price!

I have been slacking on my yard sale posts. Here's a few things I've gotten lately:

Jamie found this lamp for $1, sold it to me, and then I found this cute burlap shade at Target. Love it! I love lamps!
4 hardback books for Ava... $1
I found this lampshade at a yard sale last year ($1) and just put it away because I didn't have a base for it. Then Jamie bought this little base for $0.50 and gave it to me:) What a bargain-- a lamp for $1.50!

Stop by Thrifty Treasures!!!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Father/Daughter Ball 2011

Ron took Ava to a Father/Daughter Ball. I couldn't tell who was more excited! They were so sweet that I was teary-eyed when I watched them walk away. Sweet moments. When they came home, they told me all about it... "princess introductions," candlelit dinner for two, pink roses & white daisies, balloons (Ava brought Mommy one:), live music, pictures, yummy cake, and lots of dancing. Ava said she "boogied." This was such a memorable night for Daddy & Daughter. When Ron tucked her into bed, she said it was the best night...

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Independence Day!

Ron's mom and brother and sister-in-law were here for the holiday weekend. Sunday after church we all went to lunch with some family friends and then had a leisurely afternoon at home (and that is a big deal because there's been nothing leisurely about this particular summer!).
On the fourth, we slept in, had coffee, and then I slipped off to HOBBY LOBBY! They were having an incredible sale, and I needed a few things for our apartment and for Ava's upcoming birthday party. Then I hurried home to get ready for our city's festivities.
This is the fifth year that our church has been in charge of music at the City of Southaven Snowden Grove Amphitheater. Every year our church adds a new element. The event is a really fun way to spend the Fourth of July! This year, our church's barbeque team, The Cornerstone Crew, cooked and gave away a ton of hot dogs and hamburgers; our Generation NOW group was in charge of passing out water, and our kids' church gave away bubbles for the children. At 7 pm music began, and at 9-- the fireworks! Ava loved them. I only got a few pictures with my camera phone then copied it from Facebook (great quality;) because my digital camera needs charging- boo!