Friday, February 25, 2011

Master bath redo

We live in a ranch style home built in the late 50's, I believe, early 60's maybe......?
But having small closets and a small master bath are typical for these homes. Our master was not as bad as the peach/pink tiled hallway bath but was not great either!


Very tight fit around the shower door and sink area as you can see in the last picture. Plus, another one of those wall heaters! The tile is a concrete gray and black with a more natural gray mix on the floor. I really wish they had gone with the natural grays throughout the shower. So we were originally trying to work with that theme and do some black/white/gray items. As you could see, by the first picture, it still looked pretty bland.

So we got a smaller sink/cabinet set that was a honey maple wood stain and I actually thought about painting it black to begin with. And I found some gray paints (2 separate quarts) in the "oops" paint selection over the last 6 months or so for $1 each. We decided to mix them together to make sure we had enough since they were very similar in color and the same brand.

Tyler began this project during the snow week that he was off from work. Earlier than we had expected to start it but it was the one inside-only job we had most of the materials for and could use his time off wisely!

(The round device on the ceiling was a heater/fan that did not work, very old school!)

SO anyway........paint, wainscoting, new sink/cabinet, lighting and different towel fixtures lead us to this finished project:

We decided to paint the shower tile once again (we left the floor the natural gray tones), because it looked even more like jail-house-gray after painting the rich gray on the walls. And I really liked the cabinet and didn't want to mess it up by painting it, so the black trim tiles didn't go with it either. The floor was left the same linoleum to save time and money. It is gray grid lines and small blue diamonds. The walls sometimes have a blue tone to them so the floor works nicely with the color scheme!

I still want to change the mirror to something nicer and am unsure on the towel rack.....I love the style of it but when you put a large towel on it it really sticks out over the toilet and this is the best place to have a towel bar.....any suggestions would be great!

However, I love the overall sleekness of the room and the extra room at the sink. The counter space is limited but we are trying to keep only the items we use on a daily basis out.

Glad we have one more project complete (although there are a couple things Tyler still has to do, as always)

We have begun the next project........
See this big hole?? My stress for weeks was the fact that a large window was being removed and then Tyler was going to have to refill the hole.......but you'll have to wait to see how it all went down! 

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

pieces to the puzzle

I have many fond memories of doing puzzles when I was younger. My grandmother used to have one on the dining room table at all times. We would spend time together working and talking finishing them. A very important family friend loved puzzles, too, and I often stayed at the table with him for hours working on one. Garyn has a heart for puzzles, like myself. We often sit down and do puzzles together now learning about each other as we work.

I have had a lot of thoughts lately about how life is filled with pieces that come together to make it a puzzle.

God amazingly created this earth, us and the way we all live together. Some pieces are closer and more important but all the while need the other pieces to function.

On Saturday, when I was driving to Atlanta to pick up Tyler from the airport upon his return from Honduras, I thought a lot about our main 4 piece puzzle. Tyler, Garyn, myself and now Anlsey make a whole. Sentimentally, I thought about how when one of us is gone for an extended amount of time, life is just different. We need each other more than I usually realize.

We can't always be together obviously, and its so hard to imagine, but one day Garyn and Ansley will start their own puzzle. One of the most significant times that I was able to understand and relate to my mother n' law, now known as Nana, was when Garyn was in his first weeks of life. Tyler was once in her womb and a major piece to her puzzle of life. I had been, too, for my dad and mom. Seeing how much Garyn meant to me, helped me to completely understand the way our own parents feel towards us. Just like the old saying goes...that one you heard over and over..."One day, you'll have kids and understand"

Even though, we do have to let go of our children one day, they are always a part of your puzzle. Tyler and I are a part of our parents puzzle and have just added another picture of our own to the side.

Friends, family, church, memories, work...they also are part of our puzzles, whether we realize it or not.

Orphanage Emmanuel is now a part of Tyler and I's puzzle pieces. The staff, children, places and presence of God there tugs at our heart. We feel that we will always return, as much as we can, in order to keep this piece in tow.

Tyler, as he was supposed to, found us a new piece while there. Rosa and Karina, our first 2 sponsored girls, have both returned home with family. Them leaving didn't mean they left our puzzle, just moved out further to the edges. I still often think of them and pray they are well and safe. But little Omar is the new piece, a new member at Orphanage Emmanuel that needed a sponsor. Though I haven't met him or seen him, a place for him is growing in my heart. A pure reflection of God's love for us. I know God loves him and has a plan for his life. I can be a physical expression of that love for God because I know that is what he has called us to do and gives us the desire to do whether we want to or not.

Just can't wait to meet him and love on him. He is only one, as of Jan. 31st. I promise to post pictures!

I feel the same way about little Ansley, of course. Knowing that she is about to be a big piece of our puzzle just makes my heart swell. She already is actually. Once we see her and learn about her personality it is only going to be harder to imagine the 3 piece puzzle we had before she came into existence.

I know God has all of our puzzle pieces in His hands, big and small. He places them when the time is right. He knows the full picture and knows when we are ready to see more of it. I pray that I won't try to move any pieces on my own. We all know that when you try to make a piece fit that isn't right, it just never works!

I am thankfully for my big pieces and little ones, too. I felt so whole on Saturday knowing Tyler had returned safely and we all were together again.

Have you ever felt like life was a big puzzle?

Saturday, February 12, 2011

ThisWeek's $60

Found some decent deals this week to share....

Went to CVS and got the pictured items for $7.90 total with tax!

2 Old Spice deodorants, 2 Wisk laundry detergents, and a pack of gum...thought that was a good deal considering the detergents were originally $8 each. I am sure they are only $5 or $6 at other stores since CVS can mark things up a lot. But with them being B1G1 free and a $2 off coupon for both, it makes them less than $2 each. Same for the deodorants...

Also had a trip to Aldi's, $16.06, where I got bananas, milk, eggs, strawberries, tomatoes, some valentines candy and applesauce.

Then Bilo and Publix are in this picture...

can of mushrooms
kid's toothbrush
3 cans of Chef Boyardee
3 Lean Cuisines frozen meals
2 can Pillsbury biscuits
and a 20 lb bag of Purina dog food (not pictured)

Total was only $23.14

2 boxes Eggos
Betty Crocker cookie mix
2 boxes Fruity Pebbles
2 Healthy Choice Fresh mixers
2 4-packs of Fiber one yogurt (25 cents ea!)
3 Jello packs
1 pack of Scotchbrite sponges
and a 2 liter (penny item)
plus we got a fountain drink and 2 chocolate heart candies that were on sale

Total there was $16.65!

Grand total was $63.75

I also went to Target and bought some diapers and wipes, Garyn some shoes and 2 Cascade. I am thinking about adding this minus the shoes to next weeks.....trying to stock up on diapers and its been harder to stay in my $60 range when doing that, may need to bump it up. However, I am getting good deals on them and can't pass it up!

Hope you found some good deals and are having a good weekend. Garyn and I are at my brother's and later get to go get Tyler from the airport! Can't wait to see him!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Yummy Yummy...

So last month I set out to make a couple new recipes and I found them worth sharing.

I made Easy Tomato Chicken....

and it was easy. I am not a big fan of using the grill. I love the taste from the grill but our grill is hard to get lit and I am not one to give it time to cook, therefore I end up burning the outside. Anyway, this was just throw everything in the dish and put it in the oven. I thought it was juicy and tasty; Garyn ate it well, and Tyler surprisingly ate it even with the tomatoes. He did complain a little but that was to be expected. :) And it is a Weight Watchers recipe, I believe, that I got at MOPS, the moms group I am apart of at church.

Easy Tomato Baked Chicken
1 small red onion, thinly sliced (I omitted this, since I didn't have it and we aren't huge onion fans)
4 small boneless skinless chicken breast halves (1 lb)
1 can diced tomatoes, drained
1/4 cup Light Balsamic Vinaigrette Reduced Fat Dressing
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 425. Place onions in bottom of 13 x 9 inch baking dish
Top with chicken
Combine tomatoes, dressing and garlic powder and pour over chicken
Sprinkle with cheese
Bake 30 min. or until cooked through

Yields 4 servings and is 4 points per serving

Another night, Tyler wanted to have some Steak Nachos that he had at a restaurant while in Nashville. I was not in the mood to come up with anything, so we tried it.
Basically, you put black beans on bottom then layer with strips of steak, tortilla chips, salsa, sour cream, tomatoes and lettuce. We didn't have any lettuce, though, and I was the only one bummed.

Then, the best one we made was Maple-Glazed Chicken with Sweet Potatoes. I had this recipe from a Better Homes and Garden magazine. It was so good! Tyler actually cooked it and he also loved it.

Maple-Glazed Chicken with Sweet Potatoes

1 lb. chicken breast tenders or breast (skinless boneless)
2 tsp steak grilling seasoning, such as Montreal
2 Tbsp. butter
1/4 cup maple syrup (we used plain pancake syrup)
1/2 cup sliced green onions (again, omitted this)
Also calls for 8 oz. package of refrigerated mashed sweet potatoes, but I just made them from real sweet potatoes just like making mashed potatoes and added brown sugar and cinnamon

1. Lightly coat chicken with steak seasoning. Heat butter in large skillet over medium high-heat, add chicken
2. Cook chicken 5-6 min until no longer pink turning once halfway through. Remove from skillet and keep warm.
3.Stir maple syrup into hot skillet cook 2 minutes and stir in green onions
4. Divide chicken and potatoes among 4 plates and drizzle with maple syrup mixture.

Serves 4. Each serving has 384 cal, 7 g fat, 4 g sat fat, 6 g fiber

If you want to try any of these, I would totally suggest the Maple Glazed chicken, but they were all good!

Saturday, February 5, 2011


I just love a good deal.

I crave it actually...the coupon cutting and organizing can be such tedious work but when I look at the sales and make my list then head out and come home with deals it is so worth it! I can't imagine shopping without some type of deal/coupon-ing going on.

Today was the Goodwill half off sale, and though it wasn't the same without my two buddies, it was pretty sweet to come home with this:

I found Garyn 3 nylon pants for next year, a polo short sleeve, camo water-proof gloves and some Mariokart pajama pants. For Ansley, I found a flower clock, those adorable polka dot shoes, yellow bloomers, red shorts and a long sleeve shirt. I also got a black frame and best of all a Cars sleeping bag:

The excitement Garyn has found out of this is the best! He hasn't ever really seen one so I was unsure if he would think it was cool or not. He loves it and wanted his pic taken with it. Best of all, it looks brand new and was only $3.50! I barely got it away from him to wash it!

My Goodwill total was $15.01... Pretty sweet, I must say!

Kmart was doubling coupons this week, which made for another exciting trip. Although, not as exciting as it used to be since they have put so many restrictions on it. I did get some good deals though....

Contact solution, Huggies tub of wipes, 2 cereals, 2 big bags of Lays chips, Glade scented oil twin pack, and Covergirl eyeshadow all for $12 and some change. I had to add the B1G1 Lays chips though to make it $25 before tax and coupons, so that was frustrating. It still came out to a lot for just, $12 though.

(I had a pic but Tyler took the camera to HONDURAS with him today! Post on that as soon as he returns)

Also, went to Publix and Bilo, no spectacular deals that I can think of,
but I spent $25 and $20 at those places. Then $7 at Aldi's getting produce and milk.

Can't wait till next week!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

February Goals

Got lots to do (I feel) before Ansley comes in April so I need to stay focused!

Enjoy time with Garyn doing things he loves...which is mainly Wii games right now
Date night with hubs for Valentines
Dinner with friends (either out or at home)
Tyler goes to Honduras...vicariously enjoy his trip since I am so jealous right now
Go to Women's Retreat!

Clean off bedroom dresser
Finish cleaning out Garyn's closet
Keep up housework as best as possible

Freezer day!
Continue trying to have leftovers and lunch options

Work on baby bed, changing table and find/paint a dresser...
Get master bath finished up and blog about it
Paint Ansley's wall craft thingy...from previous month/post
Hang mirror/pictures in hallway
Help and encourage Tyler through the deck/french door project

My new goal for Garyn is to work on writing his name
Research/apply for preschools for next year
Work on his patterns and opposites

Continue and finish Emphasis on Prayer study
Prioritize devotion time
Begin reading one of the many child discipline/raising books suggested at MOPS...more details later

Continue weekly cash flow budgets
Eat at home all but 3 times a week (includes lunch)
Continue saving for time off with maternity leave (when I broke my foot I used up a lot of my hours, so I still can get off for maternity leave but I will have less hours to draw from. It is driving me bananas, Tyler has full faith we will be just fine...maybe this should be under prayer.... :) )
Start saving for beach vacation (which will be right after or at the end of my maternity leave)

Make appt for dogs
Make appt for dentist
Sale 5 items on Ebay....bumping it up
work on JBF sale items


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