Friday, October 4, 2013

Faux Food - Day 4

If you've followed Too Blessed To Stress for some time, you might remember that this home has a love/hate frustration relationship with fake food. I love the looks of it. It frustrates hubby because he gets all excited for it before he realizes it is for decor only.

Nevertheless I just had to make these faux caramel apple goodies when I saw the idea pop up on Sugar Pie Farmhouse. 

Aunt Ruthie had the greatest idea for making caramel apples... with Mod Podge!{You can see them here} She has a fantastic tutorial with picture instructions, so I won't go into too much detail about that. Head on over to the farmhouse for those instructions. 

I will, however, tell you what I did different. 
The color she mentions was no where to be found at the stores where I live. So I thought I would be all fancy and mix my own. I bought one tube each of dark espresso and a lighter khaki color. I thought that would make caramel. Nope! It looked more like a white chocolate mocha.

So I ran to the store for a brick red and a canary yellow. A little bit of red and a lot of yellow made the most delectable caramel color. So keep that in mind if you can't find "caramel in a bottle" :)

I chose to leave off the nuts, because neither hubby nor I like apples with nuts. Also, I love the look of a real caramel apple when the ooey gooey  goodness pools at the bottom. That's the best bite of all! So I poured a little ring of tinted mod podge and placed my dipped apple on it. Should you choose to do this be forewarned: It took days to dry completely. And when it did, it tore the wax paper up with it. But it was a clean tear and you would never know there is wax paper stuck to the bottom.

Best low cal, sugar free caramel apple I've ever seen :)

So how about it? Will you be making/buying some fake treats for your home? If you do you'll be adding something cute to your fall decor, it will psyche out your family who think the food is real, and it will make your guests think you slaved all day over tasty treats.

Win, win, win.

All photos taken by yours truly.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Investments - Day 3

See this frame? It is one of the best investments I have made for our home decor. I use the term "Investment" lightly, since I purchased it at the Fancy Store {Goodwill Outlet} where everything is purchased by the pound. So it cost me a total of $1.23. 

But it is one of the most versatile pieces I have to go over the gaping fireplace hole. {We didn't have a TV for several years, and even when we did I always had it in a separate armoire. I'm just not a fan of having the TV be the center of attention. But that's another story all together.}

The frame was an ordinary color of wood, no stain or finish. My original vision was to have bits of apple green and black peek through the creamy white top coat. But due to one thing or another {mainly my impatience to let every coat of paint thoroughly dry before painting and sanding another coat} it doesn't have quite the weathered look  I was going for. Nevertheless, I love the results. Sometimes an accident impatience can produce happy results.

Now here comes the best part. Get ready, it may blow your mind how simple and versatile this simple trick is. 

Ready.... foam poster board.
From the Dollar Store.
One sheet, cut down to size and I have the perfect backdrop to hang a 12x12 scrapbook page decorated with vinyl for any season, holiday, or special occasion. 

And because I was being all thrifty impatient again I didn't even bother to glue gun the poster board on. Maybe someday I will. But for now, clear pieces of scotch tape are holding it on. 

The beauty of the poster board is that it creates a blank canvas each time I remove the 12x12 sheet. I already have a few made up for spring/summer and fall. All that's needed is a couple pieces of - you guessed it - scotch tape and presto! New seasonal decor. 

For fall, I even have cute little matching bunting. All that was needed was a scrap of matching paper, jute twine, some stickers{or in this case vinyl cut stickers}, and a hot glue gun. It's held on in the back with... surprise, scotch tape.

I could even get all crazy and line the poster board with patterned wrapping paper, brown postal wrap, sheet music, love notes, etc. You name it, it can be done!

And when the poster board gets too beat up, all it costs is $1 to replace... and some more scotch tape to stick it back up.

What "Investment" have you made to bring some lovely into your home? Have you blogged about it? Let me know in the comments below so I can come over and check it out!

Note: Scotch brand tape did not sponsor me to mention their name umpteen times. Should they like to, feel free to contact me anytime :)

All photos taken by yours truly.

First Impressions - Day 2

First Impressions. 

They are awesome when you make a good one, but it's such a bummer when you miss a chance to show who you really are the first time around.

And while we may think that first impressions are reserved for two people meeting face to face, the reality is that a first impression is also obtained the first time someone walks up to your front door.

 Have you ever stopped to think 
what kind of an impression your front door makes?

Yep, you read that right. I promise I'm not completely off my rocker when I say that your front door can make a first impression too.

It really doesn't matter if you have a glorious entry with stone stairs and columns, a glistening chandelier, and a door tall enough for Goliath to walk through without stooping. Or maybe your entrance is a door with a peephole and a welcome mat in the hallway of an apartment building. It doesn't matter how grand or humble it may be, your front door and entryway can make a good impression. 

Maybe "impression" is a bad word for it. It seems as though it somehow implies that you have to impress the other person. And that's exactly the opposite of what I want you to create! It's not about dazzling the other person with how awesome a decorator you are. 

I think First Welcome might be a better word. 

A good First Welcome - 
lets your visitors know that through those doors 
awaits a warm, safe place. 
A sanctuary away from the storm.

Perhaps all you need to do is something as simple as sweeping off the stoop, putting out a bunch or fresh - or artificial - flowers, a welcome sign, and a colorful mat to wipe those muddy boots off. 

The tendency is to put off this sprucing up if your door needs a fresh coat of paint, new hardware and kick plate that is not all banged up, the light fixture is not perfect, etc. etc.

But the truth of the matter is that if we keep waiting for perfection, that day will never come. Why not make the most of your door/entryway today and take the opportunity to create a warm welcome?

See those holes in the door? From a door knocker we need to hang up again. Imperfect? Yes. But all it took to make it inviting was a touch of fall color on a handmade wreath... and a sign on the door warning "Please do not ring the doorbell, knock softly. Baby sleeping. Anyone who wakes the baby will not be allowed to leave till they change a diaper!"

Fall is the perfect time to spruce things up. Now that the long summer days are fading, you and your loved ones will be heading though that door to get to the warm indoors.

 Here's a few ideas to get you started:
~ Go to your local craft store and buy {or have made} a vinyl "Welcome," or house numbers. They really are very inexpensive and easy to apply/remove.

~ Buy an inexpensive pre-decorated wreath. Or better yet, get creative and make your own! {By the way, Less than Perfect Life of Bliss has a great idea using velcro - yep you read that right - to hang her wreaths. This is great for anyone that doesn't want to harm the front of the door or has a glass pane in the middle

~ Dust off an old planter you have sitting around, head to your local nursery and purchase a few colorful end of season annuals that are on the discount table. Or maybe a big bushy mum in fiery reds and oranges. Plant them in your newly dusted planter, add a bird/figurine of some sort or sign from your collection {or the dollar store, or thrift store} and voila! Instant charm.

~ Maybe you hate the light fixture but a new one isn't in the budget. I bet a can of spray paint is! One, maybe two coats of Rustoleum in a hammered finish and you have new-to-you lighting.

First Impression Welcome
What are you going to do 

All photos take by yours truly unless otherwise noted.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

31 Ways To Jump Into Fall - DAY 1

Count it out
That's a big number when you're:
~ in 3rd grade and that's how many days 
are left till school gets out...
~ turning 31, if you're lamenting your 20's...
~ that number waiting in line for your coffee...
~ going to write on one topic for that many days.

I am thrilled to join the Nester's challenge to write about something for 31 Days. There are so many people writing on all sorts of awesome topics, be sure to head on over there and check it out.

Here at Too Blessed To Stress I'll be sharing 
31 Ways To Jump Into Fall

And because I just love me a good subcategory, I simply couldn't resist breaking up those 31 Days to reflect several areas of interest that I enjoy blogging about:

Week 1 - Bringing Fall Comfort Into Your Home
Week 2 - Fall Activities For Your Family
Week 3 - Fall "Makeover" For Yourself 
Week 4 - Fall Treats From The Kitchen
Last 2 days.... Wildcards! Those are yet to be decided. 

And now that I have managed to say "Fall" 31 times, I will sign off till tomorrow. 

Want to see all 31 posts listed in one place for your convenience? Click here.

If you are new here at Too Blessed To Stress, thanks for stopping by! Stay for a while, poke around and let me know you were here so I can hop on over to your page and say "Hi!"

31 Ways To Jump Into Fall - Listed Day By Day

Welcome to 31 Ways To Jump Into Fall

Click on the day you wish to jump to. 
As each day is posted, this list will be updated till all 31 are full.

Bringing Fall Comfort Into Your Home
Day 1 - What it's all about
Day 2 - First Impressions 
Day 3 - Investments 
Day 4 - Faux Food
Day 5
Day 6
Day 7

 Fall Activities For Your Family
Day 8
Day 9
Day 10
Day 11
Day 12
Day 13
Day 14

Fall "Makeover" For Yourself 
Day 15
Day 16
Day 17
Day 18
Day 19
Day 20
Day 21

Fall Treats From The Kitchen
Day 22
Day 23
Day 24
Day 25
Day 26
Day 27
Day 28
Day 29

Wildcards! Those are yet to be decided. 
Day 30
Day 31

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Back In The Saddle

You know the song, right?

"Back in the saddle again!"

I'm so thrilled to be able to return to blogging!

"Out where a friend is a friend!"

That's right, my blog friends, I've missed you all.

There were several reasons why I had to take a break. And I won't bore you with all of them....except one....

Let's see if you can guess...

The most important reason was that my energy was  zapped...

and because of that I needed to dedicate time 
to some new projects for the family...

our expanding family!

Meet our darling daughter Naomi Irene! 

She is a blessing, and gift from God. If you may remember, two years ago we went through the devastating loss of our second pregnancy (you can read about it here if you would like). It was heart breaking, but God answered our prayers and our little sweetheart arrived just over a year later.

So now that we are all settled in as a family, it's time. 
Time to reconnect with you all. Yippie!

So how about it? Shall we connect again? 

PS Thank you for all the love and support on the via blog, email and private messages over our loss. You all blessed my heart greatly! If I did not get back to you personally, I apologize. Thank you for your prayers, kind words and encouragement.

The watermarked and maternity photos were taken by my talented Sis-in-Law, Photography by Lindsey. 
All other photos taken by yours truly.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Standing In The Gap

Read the first part of this journey here

Grief can feel loke a casm. An enless pit of darkness and threat of depression. A solitary place where all you have known and all you believe in are put into the harsh limelight of "why?"

Why us? Why now?

There were moments when I thought the grief could overtake me if I were not careful.

Those moments were scarry. They were lonely.

And while I never questioned my faith and His love for me, there were days when a part of me felt like it just could not go on.

My body was weak.
My heart faint.
It felt like there were no more tears to cry, and certainly no more energy to cry them... and yet they would return. Like a flood and overwhelm me again.

Yet these were the moments  - the ones that felt hopeless - when I realized that I was not alone. My husband and I were not grieving alone. We were not abandoned in our prayers for healing of my body and our hearts.

Because there were those who stood in the gap.

They were the friends and family who prayed when we were at a loss for words. The ones who praised God when our hearts wanted to, but our lips were still - frozen in grief. The ones who took the banner of faith and waived it strong when our we felt too tired to carry on.

Did we stop trusting God? Not for one minute. But we needed support, especially in the moments when both our bodies and our hearts felt too exhausted to go on.

How blessed we are to have such a support group. It made all the difference.

They stood in the gap for us when we needed it most.

Whose life could you impact with a prayer or word of encouragement?
Who could you stand in the gap for today?

Please note, this was written shortly after our loss. I am choosing to share this now as we approach the due date of what would have been our precious baby for two reasons: I want to remember. I want to remember how God brought us through and how faithful He still is. And secondly, because there are others who are hurting and need someone to reach out, support them... and stand in the gap for them. 

All photos taken by yours truly.