Pillows, Pillows, Pillows

So about a year ago, my sweet friend Jennifer was on her way to Dallas.  We had just been talking about feather pillow inserts like I had heard her and The Nester both talk about, and how awesome they were. She said she knew a place that you could get them fairly cheap, and did I want her to pick me up some….YES!! She brought me back 4 20″x20″ feather inserts for around $35 dollars (actually from ikea since the original place no longer carried them – not sponsored by ikea just thought you might want to know)!!  They have been sitting in my closet for a year people!! You know why – because I am too chicken to commit to a fabric!! How lame is that?? I finally told myself that is was just a cover and if I didn’t like it in a couple of months I could change it, and off to the fabric store I went.  Here is how my brown couch looks now with its accessories :).

Pillow covers are pretty simple to make.  All straight lines.  The trickiest part (and really not that tricky) is the zipper.  If you are brave and want to try putting in an invisible zipper I found this great video tutorial on youtube that made it super easy.

I took a tip from my friend Jennifer and did not concern myself with color matching the zipper to the project. Instead I just raided my mom’s stash and found four that were the right size.  If you follow me on instagram you may have seen this sneak peek, in which you can see the fabric on the back of the ‘thankful’ and ‘grace’ pillows and the pink zipper :).

Once you get the zipper in, you will need to stitch up the other three sides.  Please make sure you unzip your zipper before you start sewing or you will not be able to turn the pillow inside out – yes I did that…

Once you have it all stitched up, you will want to clip the corners off at an angle.  This leaves less fabric in the corner and makes for a cleaner point when you turn it inside out.  

I mentioned that the pillows had been sitting in my closet for a year compacted in a bag so when I took them out they were a little on the flat side.  I just threw them in my dryer on a low heat setting for about 10 minutes and they fluffed right up.  You can see the difference in this pic. 

The other tip Jennifer gave me was to make the pillow covers a little smaller than the pillow inserts to ensure that they would be nice and full and fluffy.  So, for my 20″x20″ inserts I made 18″x18″ (finished measurement) covers.  It took a little bit of wrangling to get the pillow in but not too much :).

I am so loving the way it looks.  I really can’t believe that I have been without pillows on this couch for so long!!  Thanks Jennifer for all the great tips, and for picking up the pillows for me!!  🙂

I will post next week on the details of the ‘thankful’ and ‘grace’ pillows.  It was a really fun and relatively quick project I have been wanting to try for a while.  Why does that seem to be a theme??  It’s seems to take me forever to get around to doing things I want to do – life happens, that’s why!!  🙂

Starting a new series on Friday!!  Very excited about it!! Make sure you stop in and check it out!!

Blessings friends!!

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Bookshelf Styling {and something I should have done a long time ago}

Another thing I finally got around to during the month of October was restyling my built-ins.  I had really neglected them for a while and it was starting to bug me.  It was bugging me so much I didn’t even take a second to shoot a before pic.  I cropped these shots from another pic (forgive the quality).

I’m including it so you can see – not a lot going on but books in some places, too much going on in other places, books and such just stuffed in here and there. 

Everything came out, everything got a good cleaning, things got deleted, things got added, and this is the finished product.

I tried to fill the shelves with things that were special to my family.  Things that would bring sweet memories to mind.  Pictures, and souvenirs.  Treasures the kids have made over the years.  Books have to have a spot on the bookshelves of course, but they look so much better spread out.  I start with books, spread them out and vary how and where they sit.  Then I add photos. Last comes the various accessories – the souvenirs and other decorative fillers.  This is one of my least favorite things to do, and probably the reason why I put it off forever.  But, the results are worth it in the end.

Another thing that I put off forever I finally got done this week.  You can probably see a peek of the brown paneling above the built-ins in some of the pics.  From the day we moved in I disliked it.  But, it’s paneling, and the ceilings are really high and all we own in a 6ft ladder.  You see the list of excuses I made for myself. But, this week I took the leap.  I already had the paint, so I just needed the guts.  Here’s a before and after.

I want you to know that I took that after pic so.many.times.  with so.many.settings.  I just couldn’t seem to get the lighting the same, and then I realized, they was no way it was going to be the same. That’s just how much more the light bounces off that light color up there instead of the ugly dark paneling!!  Why in the world did I wait so long??  (Also, it’s not that yellow in real life, the wall color is more tan than that – still trying to figure out this camera thing.)  I have always loved the vaulted ceilings in our living room and the size, but there is only two windows (if you include the window in the back door), and sometimes it’s dark – meaning I have to turn on the lights in the middle of a sunny day. I have noticed the past couple of days, that I don’t have to do that!!  Light and bright spaces make me happy!!  

Now off to mountains of laundry and dishes – how about you??

Blessings friends!!

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BBQ Chicken Pizza {The Easy Peasy Way}

Since I have been working from home, I have been trying to spice up our menu a little bit.  Not only does the family get tired of eating the same things, but I get tired of cooking the same things. About a month ago, on a Sunday night after church I decided to try homemade pizzas.  Everyone got their own little blob of dough and were able to create their own with a variety of toppings. Wow, was it a hit!!  The kids LOVED being involved in the process!!  The only complaint was the dough – too bready – well of course because I used Bisquick.  So, I told them we would definitely do it again, but I would find a better dough recipe.

Last night I decided to try a different spin on the pizza by doing BBQ chicken pizza.  We had several bottles of BBQ sauce in the fridge with just a drizzle left in them, so I thought this would be a great opportunity to use that up.

For the dough recipe, I went to one of my first sources for recipes online – The Pioneer Woman – and found this one.  Since it had yeast in it I figured it would definitely be better.  I made three batches ahead of time and stored them in the fridge.  I took them out about an hour or two before dinner.

I split each batch in two and gave the kids a pan.  They went to work spreading out their dough. It’s fun to watch their personalities at work.  One wants it to be a perfect circle, one doesn’t care, one doesn’t want it too big, and one wants it to stretch to fit the whole pan. They chose their sauce from the leftovers, and spread a little on the dough. (please don’t pay any attention to the awful condition of my pan :-/)

I took the even easier route on this one and bought a rotisserie chicken – already cooked, and just shredded the meat by hand.  They scattered the chicken on and then topped with mozzarella cheese.  Bake them in a 500 degree oven for 10-15 minutes, depending on how thick your crust is and how crunchy you want it.  

The kids love cheese so their finished products all looked something like this (can’t even see the chicken).  

My hubby and I like veggies so ours came out looking like this :).  You could add whatever toppings you like to yours, that’s the beauty of everyone making their own pizza.  

It was yummy!!  Next time I will probably put more BBQ on mine.  I didn’t want the sauce to be overwhelming so I took it easy, but I could barely taste it.  It’s so much fun to have everyone in the kitchen that I believe this type of dinner will become a regular thing around here!!

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Thankful Tree 2013

I have missed sharing projects with you, and I have been busy while I took a break from the usual with my 31days series on budgeting and money.  I’m excited to share with you what I’ve been up. Get ready for a long post, with lots of pictures :).

Last year I shared with you how I made our thankful tree.  And, how much I loved it.  So, I knew I wanted to do it again this year.  (This is actually year 3 – but I wasn’t blogging the first year). This year I decided to change it up a bit, in the form of color.  I had seen white branches floating around the blogosphere and I really liked the look.  So, I chose my branches (that I didn’t even have to cut down this year, thanks to some strong winds), spread them out in my garage on a drop cloth and went to work spraying them.  

I found some cheap (.97) white paint at walmart.  This was a great money saver since I used 3 cans of paint – ack!!  Well worth the $3!!  Love how they look.  

And then, as I strolling the isles at Hobby Lobby, I spotted something that caught my eye.

This is the first time I actually bought glitter just for me!!  I didn’t want it to be all gold and glittery, just a hint.  Just enough to be a surprise for the eyes when the light hit it just right.  And I’m glad that’s all I wanted, because to cover them would have taken for.ev.er.  But the sprinkling was perfect. 

Again, as before, I simply cut the leaves from scrapbook paper in my stash, punched holes in the top, and tied string to them to hang.  I got whoever was home that afternoon in on the act :).

The branches were arranged in an empty coffee can and surrounded by rocks from my yard to hold them in.  I then placed the can in a basket and covered the evidence with some pine cones. The sign I made the first year – printed from the computer.

The leaves and markers got their own basket.  

And we are off and running and pausing to count our blessings.  Makes my heart happy :).

How about you??  Do you have a special way to give thanks with your family??  I think in the culture we live in our country, it’s good for our kids to see us being thankful for what we have been given.  

This is my favorite so far

We did plenty of that this weekend for our little boys. They had a soccer tournament all weekend and we sneaked in a piano contest too.

So, so, so thankful for these two, and that they have each other.  Such a blessing!!

Blessings to you my friends!!

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31 Days Recap

We did it!!  31 days of talking about money!!  I’m exhausted -ha!!  I hope that you were encouraged 🙂 Thank you for all the positive feedback I received from readers all around.  I know people don’t really want to talk about money they just want to have it.  But, in my experience, if you want to have it, you have to talk about it :).  

So, hopefully by now you have a better idea of how to talk about money, where the money is going, and where the money should be going.  Also, you should have found some ‘extra’ money that is allowing you to dig yourself out of debt and save up for a rainy day.  And, lastly build that nest egg, dream about the future, and don’t be afraid to dream big because we serve a BIG God that wants great things for you!!

You have probably noticed me mentioned Dave a lot throughout this series.  Honestly, everything I learned about money I learned from my financial peace class written by Dave.  (don’t you love how I’m on a first-name-basis with him;))  He has a blog, a website, a facebook page, and even a pinterest page.  I would suggest following along on one or all for great tips and suggestions from Dave.

I feel like I should share with you how things are going on my home front, it has been a bumpy month financially for us, and my hubby and I have been left shaking our heads at the things the enemy has been throwing at us.  I’m beginning to think that the devil was none too happy I was sharing with you guys about money!!  HA!!  So, through it all this experience of faithfully writing for 31 days about money has caused me to keep my head up and keep pressing on through the trial.  So, my beloved, you do the same.  Keep your head up!!  You can do this!!  

Now, I’m gonna take a couple of days off!!!  I hope that’s okay :).  We have a busy weekend ahead around here!  I will be back soon because I have lots of projects to share with you!!  For those of you that joined me for this series, please stick around, I don’t always blog about money, we do fun things around here too, and I’m sure there will be some money-saving tips thrown in here are there!!

Blessings friends!!

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