Saturday, January 31, 2015

My Thought For Today: Walk In Your Own Shoes...Broken Before Your Breakthrough

"I've got a new pair of shoes and I can't wait to break them in!"  Can we go back?  I'm sharing something here that is "real life"....I can remember way back when I was younger and I really became conscious about my "style" (fashion) and whenever I purchased a new pair of shoes, I knew that the only way I could "love" them 100%, was when I had actually "broken" them in...LOL!  That meant walking around the house while I was washing my hair or doing house chores!  I "liked" them when I purchased them in the store but can I be honest?  Those bad boys didn't feel the same after I got home!   It takes some work to go from "like" to "love" when it's got something to do with us!  You agree?

I'm trying to make a point that I continually practice myself.  Once you break those shoes in, you can claim them 100% as yours because they become molded and form fit to your feet and truthfully, they won't fit anyone else, the way that they now, fit you.  That's "real"!  The way I see it, it's the same in "life".  My life is different from your life.  Your life is different from my life.  Who I am and what I'm made up of, will not fit in who you are and what you are made up of.  It's that simple. We all have to "walk in our own shoes". 

You know the clichés "walking a mile in someone else's shoes" or "you can't understand a person until you have walked a mile in their shoes".  Your shoes will always fit "you", the best!  Many times its what you see or know on the surface about someone else, that makes you "believe" or "think" you want to be like them, look like them, have what they have or act like them.  There is so much more that makes up each of us, that no one else knows.  Those are the things that make "our shoes" custom made, just for us.  

Here's the funny thing, when we begin to break those shoes in, the areas that caused so much pain on that big toe or pinky toe (laugh), slowly begin to subside.  There really is some truth in "when your feet hurt, everything hurts"!  OMG, this is so true in LIFE!  Our feet are only a part of what makes us up as whole beings and when we are sad, depressed or hurt from something that has happened in our lives, we are not whole because our heart and feelings are broken.  We hurt like our feet...all over!!

We must learn to "walk in our own shoes", in our individual lives.  Again, I want to be authentic and real.  I'm sharing my experience to encourage you and because while my blog is about home décor, crafts, entertaining, cleaning, organizing, etc., its also about "real life"!  I long for things that I cannot afford but wish that I had.  I get weary waiting on hopes and dreams I have been chasing, for many years.  However, I also know, that what is meant for me, will be for me, in due time.  Sometimes we have to sit in that meantime, broken, before our breakthrough. Be patient, be still and please, "be you"!

*Keep following for the Valentine Day hearts and cards "we" will begin crafting next week!  It's going to be fun, so please keep following and SUBSCRIBE to my BLOG NEWSLETTER FOR FREE!  Tell your friends so they can join in too! 
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A Wing and A Prayer Weekend...Super Bowl Party With TV Tables!

"Time Out"...I call this the "Wing and a Prayer" weekend because, while you are eating your wings, I know you will be praying that your team wins the Super Bowl..LOL!

Hi Everyone!
Ok.  Break out those TV tables that have been in your closet for awhile...LOL!  Yes, you almost forgot about them, right?  Well, we do tend to forget about one of the "must haves", from back in the day!  TV tables have been around for a long time and this weekend is the weekend to use them.  Yes, you can still find them for purchase at WalMart, Target or if you want to get fancy, Pier 1 Imports!  Here's our TV tables in the photos below and they will be getting a good workout this weekend!  
The Setup (2 Ideas that I Use)
Set up a buffet table with your TV tables and instantly you have added space for folks to feed themselves while you kick back with them!  Line your TV tables up together (one next to the other), in a straight line against the wall or somewhere out of the way, cover with tablecloths (game colors would be nice for décor), set up serving trays with sterno burners and add your food.  It's buffet style baby, all the way!!! 
Create a beverage table in the "man cave" for your man and his crew by putting the TV tables together, in a square (use 4 tables for this setup) covering them with "game & team colored tablecloths", fill a bucket with ice to chill their favorite drinks for the game, some cups, nip size bottles of water and some ice.  Yes, they can get their drink on and serve themselves as many times as they want, without bothering you! 

The Menu   
It's time to get the grill fired up and get the grub ready for the game!  Oh yea, we don't really care if it's cold, snowing or not, the grill is getting fired up!! The menu is done and the food shopping is about to start ...TODAY ;-)!  I have to be honest, I'm not someone that knows the sport of football, even a little bit (smile) but I do know how to cook and eat!  Yes, when it's time for the big game, at the end of the day, I'm a fan, "for real"!!!
Congratulations to all the folks out there that are fortunate enough to see your teams compete tomorrow but for many of us it really doesn't matter if our teams are playing tomorrow or not, we are still going to celebrate with you and eat a whole lot of food!  What's on your menu?  Oh yea, it's a no brainer, buffalo chicken wings, are at the top of the list when it comes to celebrating the Super Bowl!  I think buffalo wings are as popular on Super Bowl Weekend as turkey is on Thanksgiving Day..;-)! 
What you eating??  I know for sure, many of us will also be having chili!  Chili is another good choice of foods for this weekend and feeds a lot of people!  Get creative with your chili.  Try different meats such as ground turkey or venison.  Emeril Lagasse has an awesome recipe for Venison Chili at
Game Time
Well, time's up because I have get busy and get going!  I'll be shoulder to shoulder with my husband, getting the shopping done and with cooking up the food on our menu.  Good eatin' and send me a comment, if you want to share! I would love to hear from you ;-)..."Enjoy the game"! 

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Thursday, January 29, 2015

~ 6 Energy Saving Tips~ Huddle, Cuddle & Reserve.... to Conserve Energy In Your Home!

Hi There!
Brrrrrr!! It's freezing out there!  Well, you may be fortunate enough to live in a warmer climate than me and the need to conserve on energy is not a worry for you but that's ok, you can still huddle and cuddle anyway ;-)!!!
I'm always thinking of ways to save money and I came up with 6 tips that can help with conserving some energy in our house and at the same time contribute to some other delights, that you might like!  You know, like!  Getting closer with my "boo" (that is my hubby!) is always nice...check out my 6 Tips on conserving energy in your home and here's to STAYING WARMER!!! 
Crank up the FIREPLACE - Ooh La La La!  Time to cuddle and save energy at the same time.  Camp out in front of your fireplace and who cares about the rest of the house being heated...;-)!!  Oh yea, while you are cuddling, turn on some Tina Marie, one of my favorite artist and how'd you guess...yes, the song I'll be playing is Ooh la la la!!  That's perfect for cuddling......LOL!   *CAUTION: Fireplaces can be dangerous if they are actual wood burning, as well as gas or electric.  They should NEVER be left unattended!  Do not fall asleep with your fireplace on, NEVER!
Stock the CROCKPOT - Fat free/low fat chicken stock, celery, carrots, string beans, onions and boneless chicken makes a great chicken soup! It's healthy cooking and super low on calories!  Also, using your crockpot saves you time to do other things like decorating or!  Crockpots can be very energy efficient. *CAUTION:  Always follow directions for leaving crockpots unattended to avoid fire or harm.
Cozy up with an ELECTRIC BLANKET - No worries!  With an electric blanket, you forget about everything else that's going on outside the covers!  It's like being in a world of your own...;-)!  Bury yourself in the warmth, get closer, cuddle up with your boo and save on energy while you sleep! *CAUTION: Please be sure to follow directions for any electric blankets, to avoid injury or harm.
Choose to CAR POOL - Ok.. KUDOS for the gas prices that have dropped significantly in the past month!  Yes!  We are all, happy about that.  This is the best time to car pool.  You will save a ton of money and can plan to bank the extra, that you save on fuel.  Have a conversation with "friends" that travel to work at the same place and distance you do.  Check and see if they would want to car pool.  Take turns with parents, that are "your friends" and agree to certain days that you can rotate dropping the kids off to school.  This will encourage and allow the opportunity for both households to save money during this time, while gas rates are at a low!!  *NOTE:  I emphasize "friends" because you don't want just anybody car pooling your kids and you don't want to car pool yourself, with just anybody.  The world we live in, this day in age, encourages you to know who you and your kids, are in close quarters with!  Be smart.
Take power SHOWERS -   Save on that water bill and enjoy the one stop, power shower, I talked about in my "Spa Day " post!  Wash your hair, shave your legs and clean your body, all in one shot and in one shower visit. Want to make it even more exciting and save even more on that water bill?  Share a shower with your spouse or significant other!!  Yes, no shame in it, huddle and cuddle...LOL!  We're adults right?  I'm keeping it real and "real life"!!  With this hurried life we live in, its necessary to reserve some time to get closer and at the same time, you will conserve on your water use...ok, that all depends on how long you stay in the shower, together.....happy, happy!!  It's ok, remember, you are an adult...LOL ;-)
Monitor & Manage your THERMOSTAT - simply put, when you are hanging out at home during the day, get dressed!  Layer up in some warm flannel pajamas or your comfy clothes and set the thermostat to a moderate temperature throughout the day.  No need to crank up the heat, all day long, when you can get dressed and save on energy!  When night comes, head to the bedroom and get under that warm electric blanket...;-)!
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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Valentine's Day Is On The Way...Can We Go Back?

Valentine's Day is on the way and "love" is all over!!! 
You like my door décor?  I put this wreath up the other day and I love decorating with these gel cutouts.  I don't like to go over the top too much with decorating for Valentine's Day, but I don't like to ignore it either.  I got engaged on this day, so it is very special to me!  It's also a holiday that let's me get crafty and that's what I like...LOL!!!!
Well, this will be my first craft project for 2015 and I want you to join me on this one.  It's simple.  I'm going back to my elementary days...;-)!!  Remember when you were in school and how you use to cut out paper hearts from construction paper?  OMG, how exciting was that (big time for me cause I like crafting)!!!  Well, I'll be cutting out some paper hearts and decorating them too, just like we use to do when we were kids.  You can use them on your dinner table or apply some double tape to the back of them and stick them on the mirrors in your home.  Oh yea, it's about to get "lovely" up in my house...I'm setting the mood!  I'll be using my embosser and die cutter also to make some Valentine Day cards but you don't need these tools to join in with me.  
When was the last time you had some "kid" fun or reflected back, on the days when you were a kid?  Remember how you couldn't wait to go to school on Valentine's Day so you could give that colorful Valentine Day card that had hearts and cupids all over it, to that special friend in your class ...oh, I know you are starting to think about it!!!  Mom would make sure she picked up a box of cards for you, the night before, from the grocery store! She made sure you had all your cards filled out for each classmate but there was always a special person that would get the best card in the box.....stop laughing ;-)!!! 

You may not have known how to add and subtract sometimes or spell every word perfectly but you did know who you liked in that extra special way, even at 5 years old!
Remember, how your heart would race and beat really fast when you gave the best card to that special someone in class that you really liked?  OMG, this is "real life", right?    I'm laughing so hard right now, cause its true!!  Even then at 5 or 6 years old, you really thought you "liked" somebody....LOL,LOL!!!!   Funny but innocent, right? 
Can we go back?  Will you join me, socially, in making some paper hearts and cards that you can give out to those specials folks in your life, on Valentine's Day?  Surely, we all have someone that we can share a "heart" with!
Love on your spouse, your significant other, your children, your parents, your sisters & brothers, your friends, your neighbors, your family, your pets...just love on somebody, doesn't cost a thing!! 
NOTE FROM DEB:  I'll post this craft project a few days in advance so that you will have time to make some of the ideas I share and I hope you will join in and send me a comment and photo(s) of how your "cards" and "hearts" came out.  Post them on Valentine's Day right here, at the end of this post.  Just log back in and go to "search" on my home page, find this post (type in Valentine's Day) and click/reply to "Comments" at the bottom, so I can see what you made!  I'll be posting this craft on Tuesday, 10 Feb 15.  That gives you 3-4 days to make your hearts and cards, from the ideas I share.  Have fun!!!
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Saturday, January 24, 2015

Getting Organized in 2015: 6 Tips for Organizing & Creating A "Real Life" Kitchen Pantry


Happy Saturday!

Keeping a perfect pantry is a challenge for many households.  I find myself having to clean and organize my pantry every few months.  I discovered something that helps with organizing and many of you may use this product too.  I purchased this two-tier, non-skid turntable and it really helped me with organizing my seasonings.  It's amazing how you can spend hours reorganizing and then when you finish, it doesn't look like a photo shoot that could be used in a magazine but it works for "you"!!

There is a reason for that.  In "real life", I need my storage spaces to not only be organized but purposeful. I have to be able to find the salt and pepper shakers.  Our snacks, have to be in line-of-sight for us to grab, when we are having a snack attack!!  The appliances that I don't use, don't need to be stored in the front but in the back.  I want a pantry that is functional and realistic. 

6 Tips For Organizing & Creating A "Real Life" Pantry:

Empty & Donate - see if any of the labels on your items have expired,  If so, discard them to make more space.  Keep what you will really eat also!  Sometimes we buy things because we are hungry when we go grocery shopping, only to realize that its been sitting in our pantry for months, meaning this is not one of your "favorite things or staple items", you reach for on a regular basis.  Any can goods or boxed foods that are in excess and you don't plan on eating, put them to the side and donate to your local food bank.  resource:  Your Local Food Bank

Divide - try to separate can goods from other items like boxes or bags.  Sorting items in this manner will make your pantry work much better for you.  Immediately, when you open your pantry door, you will know what you are looking for, most times and you will also know whether it stores in a bottle or a box, so by dividing boxes, bags and cans in your pantry space, steers you in the right direction, right away. 

Stack - Arrange items like pastas and snacks in stacks.  You can buy stackable storage containers for pastas and snacks.  Try to buy clear containers that can easily display what the item is without out opening it and another bonus is that you will save space by stacking the containers on top of each other.  resource:  Rubbermaid Products

Reduce - Turntables such as the photo I shared, are great for reducing the clutter in your pantry.  I've found that having this turntable for my seasonings, has kept my pantry so much neater.  No longer do I have small bottles falling out when I open the door!  Also, I know where the salt and pepper shakers are without having to search through the entire pantry.  You can purchase two-tier or single turntables.  resource:  Bed, Bath and Beyond

Store - Store appliances away according to how you use them.  The appliances you don't use as often, store them in the back of the cabinet.  I don't like to store any appliances out on my countertop unless I am using them on a daily basis or at least twice a week.  Otherwise, they will collect dust, adding to your chores when its time to clean them off!  If you can create a space to store and tuck your appliances away, you've won half the battle with organizing and saving space in your kitchen.  Its nice to show off you appliances but if you don't have to, please don't!
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Thursday, January 22, 2015

Recipe: Low Fat, Almost No Fat, Stuffed Peppers!

Hi There!
Ok, I'm working on another goal I set as a New Year's resolution!  I'm still, trying to lose!!  I know, "me and everyone else, right?"
Well, aside from all of the other stuff I like to do, I love to cook, as you may have remembered when I shared several recipes with you during the holidays :-).  I'm a fan of Weight Watchers, so when I diet, I start counting points!
When watching my calories, I try to create foods that I know I like a whole lot, that are satisfying and that will help me stick to my plan.  The only fat in this recipe is the 7% fat from the 93% fat free ground beef!  That's it!  The plum tomatoes and tomato paste are 0 points.  The fat free cheddar cheese is 1 point.  So overall, the calories are minimal and basically one stuffed green pepper equals 4 points. That's pretty good for me because they are very filling.  You can eat two or three, get really full and still have points remaining for the rest of the day!
You don't have to be a weight watchers fan to try this recipe out.  I think it's just a really good low fat recipe that will work for any diet regimen you are on.  It's easy to prepare and takes little time to complete.  You can always modify the recipe from the way that I make it, to what you like.  Just keep an eye on the calorie count. 

Hope you try it out, enjoy and share your comments.  I would love to hear from you!  Here's the recipe...

Deb's Guilt-Free Stuffed Green Peppers
4 Whole Green Peppers (cut each in 1/2 = 8 halves)
1 1/2 pound package of ground beef
1 8 oz. package of Grated Fat Free Cheddar Cheese
1 Large can of Plum Tomatoes
1 Small can of Tomato Paste
1 tablespoon Worscestershire Sauce (gives it a kick!)
Salt and Pepper
1 tablespoon Olive Oil

1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Season ground beef with worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper and brown in skillet.  Drain grease and cut plum tomatoes in half, add tomatoes and sauce from the tomatoes to the ground beef.  Next add the tomato paste and stir mixture to work everything through.  Let this simmer for 10 minutes.  Set aside.
2.  Wash green peppers, cut in half and clean thoroughly. 
3.  In a large throw away tin roaster pan (no dishes to wash), pour olive oil in bottom of pan.  Place 8-green pepper halves, with open sides faced up, in roaster pan.
4.  Now it's time to stuff these bad boys!  Stuff each green pepper with your ground beef mixture, cover with foil and pop your pan into the oven.  Bake for 20-25 minutes.  This will soften your pepper enough to leave a little crunch.  If you want it softer, bake it 10 minutes longer.
5.  After baking time is up, take tray out and add grated cheese to the top of each green pepper.  Do not cover with foil and place back in the oven for 5-8 minutes.  This should be enough time for the cheese to melt.  After cheese melts, take peppers out of the oven and you are done...Dig in and "no worries" because there is "no guilt"!!!
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Wednesday, January 21, 2015

My Thought For Today: It's All Good...

Can I share something with you?  This is something "that I use to do".  When I would grocery shop, I would usually have some sort of list of items that I planned to purchase but like many of us, I would always pick up other things that were not on my list. 
 "There really is some truth in going grocery shopping when you are hungry because somehow those hunger pains kick in and if you are like me, you start picking up things that you wish you had eaten, before you arrived at the supermarket or things you plan on eating, after you leave!!"
Anyway, that's not the main thought I wanted to share with you today.  I can remember many times, when I would begin looking for those items on my list, I would start to compare prices and if something was a few dollars cheaper than a similar item, I would get the cheaper one.  Now, don't get me wrong, I still think that was good to do because I did save money but what I found was, "I wasn't really satisfied".  Sometimes, it was because of the flavor, the size, the brand but mostly the quality.
Sometimes in life, we sacrifice the quality of enjoying some of the small things that we want to do for ourselves, in order to save a few dollars. Many times that money you thought you saved, was probably spent on a cup of coffee, a meal you didn't really enjoy, junk food or a million other things you can't recall. I know, because I do it too!!  I've learned now, that when it comes to the small things in life that I really want, I get them!  
Don't shortchange on you.  If you are able to stretch on something that you truly want, then go the extra mile and treat yourself to it! Invest in you and you'll feel good about the extra dollars you spent!  Hesitating?  Don't, go ahead, do it!   It's all good because it's all about "doing you"...
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Getting Organized in 2015: Creating A Clutter Free Walk-In Closet (Before & After Photos)



Hi Friends!
Well, I'm ready to reveal my "before" and "after" photos of that mess of a walk-in closet I shared with you last week.  This project looked like it would only take a few hours, but in actuality, it took me a full 8 hours to complete!  I love my "after" and I did this refresh makeover with only 4 new storage items. 

I did my very best to think out logistically (smile), of the best way to rearrange and organize my 1/2 of a walk-in closet space, so that it would be as functional as possible.  Ultimately, functionality is the key to sustainability when you are working with a small space that you use on a daily basis!

Well, here's the results!  I'm sticking to the goals I set on my resolution list... so!   
Keep following because next on my organizing agenda is the storage area underneath my bathroom sink!  I'll also revisit the kitchen pantry area that I organized a few months ago!
Oh yea, that's a hot mess too, right now!  It's needs to be reorganized from being reorganized!  That's crazy, right?  Oh well, I'm having fun and hope you are too! 
Smile ;-) as much as you can because this is small stuff "you do for you"!!

This ottoman was a great selection because it acts as a place to sit and additional storage space for all of my winter scarves, hats and gloves! 


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Saturday, January 17, 2015

My Thought For Today: Using My Overflow For A Sentimental Refresh


BEFORE (white)
AFTER (heather gray)
Have you ever been looking for just the right thing that you needed to complete a project?  I wrote a post some time ago about "overflow".  Overflow can mean so many things.  When I think of it as a Christian, I think of my cup running over with so many of the wonderful blessings that God has given me.  When I think of it as an interior decorator, I think of "shopping in my own house"!  What do I mean? 
Well, I wrote a post some time ago about overflow and I described it in my own words of what that word meant to me.  If you have a chance, read that post and be enlightened by what I am about to share with you.  To find that post, just go to the "search box" on my home page and type in  the word "overflow". 
After looking for days, both online and in the stores, for a craft table that would fit perfectly in my office, I realized I had the perfect table, right in my own house!  Even better, it was something that I had held onto for many years because it belong to my parents.  I never really knew what I would do with it but as my parents grew older, I desired to hold on to some of the items that they had in our home when I was a young girl and some that I saw them use together, even after their children were grown and long gone, on their own. 
This little butcher block table and stools are over 20 years old and I feel so blessed to have a part of my parents included in my Office project.  My Dad is gone now, but he would be proud of me and he knew that I always dabbled with stuff!  Mom is living life to its fullest and her support means the world to me.  She was so happy when I told her that I was going to clean that table up and repaint it, to use in my office.
I say all of this to say...Overflow is a beautiful thing!  You save a lot of money when you can shop in your own house but even more importantly than saving money, the sentimental value of using something in your home that keeps the memories of family members close to your heart, is priceless.  Keep that in mind when decorating and that special touch you need to set that project off, may be right in you own at home when all else fails ;-)! 
post signature Office Project: Vision Board Coming To Life & I'm Almost Done!

Happy Saturday ;-)!
OMG, I have been so busy finishing up my Office project that I have had no time to post as often!  Ok, some of you are probably saying, "thank God she is not filling up my inbox on a daily basis for a"!!  That's ok..I can take it!!!  Well,  I've finished the painting and decaling and went shopping for the remaining furniture and office essentials that I need to convert what was once a "Princess Bedroom", into an Office Loft that is going to be my very own quiet place when I need to pray, blog, craft, decompress and relax! It's like having a woman cave!

Logistically, I'm about a month ahead of schedule with finishing this project as I committed to and that makes me very happy! The next photos I'll be posting in a week or so will be the finished project: Headquarters!  I'm so excited of the hard work I have put into this project and hoping all of my hard work encourages you to convert a room in your home to an office space that you can call your own. 

Here's a photo tour of some nice finds I picked up to finish accessorizing my office.  Keep following because I'm also working on "organizing my clutter".  I'll be sharing pictures of that small project too, in a few days.  Time to "invest in you"! 
Start a new project this year to "create a quiet place", for you.  You can do it!  Follow my guidelines on my Logistics and Vision Board Pages to get started and along the way, remember you can always contact me for suggestions ;-)!

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Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Getting Organized in 2015: Cleaning and Coordinating My Clutter One Space At A Time

Does your closet look like this? Say YES!!!!

I hope I'm not alone in needing to get my clutter under control!  My clothes in my closet are all over the place, as you can!  What's so funny is that I actually can find everything I need, when I need it!  You too?  How sad is that?  We actually can get use to living like this because as long as we know where our "stuff" is, who cares what it looks like! 

Well,  I'm committing to getting my clutter cleaned and coordinated, one space at a time.  I know I can't do it all in one day or one week but I've decided that I will take one area at a time in my home that needs to be cleaned out and start organizing things so that it not only looks better, but functions better.  I'm starting with my closet.  I share a small walk in closet with my husband and I have to be honest, his half of the closet looks better than mine (don't tell!

I'll start with this and move on to the vanity space underneath my sink where I keep all of my girlie stuff!  Realistically, this will work because eventually my home will be neater, more organized and less congested.  This is my before photo and I'll share my after photo by this weekend.  Next week, I'll move on to the next space.  Try it with me...please!!!!  We can both get organized together.  Share your comments and before and after photos at the end of my post so I can see how well you did!  Keep following......and make it a great day!


Saturday, January 10, 2015

Update on Decorating Project: My Home Office

Hi There....
I've been hard at work this past week decorating, painting, designing and decaling my office!  I'm still working hard and wanted to share some project photos so you can see how busy I've!  Once I'm totally done, I'll share the resources for my decor!  I'll be posting more photos next week and I'll be back to blogging too!  Hope everyone is feeling well with so much of the flu going around.  I was a little under the weather also but feeling much better now ;-)!