Toast Life

I can't even believe I am writing a post about 2009 ending. When I was little and I used to say "this year went by so fast", people always responded with "the older you get the faster they go." Never has a truer statement been spoken.

So many wonderful things have happened this year in spite of what a terrible year 2009 has been for our country. I moved in with my wonderful boyfriend in April, and while there was an adjustment period (I am stubborn as an ox and as messy as a 6 year old. He is stubborn as an ox, and wants the house swept everyday... you get where I'm going with this?) I can't imagine my life taking place anywhere but this little old town. I started blogging in October and can't believe that anyone reads it, and stunned that 46 people (the greatest 46 people EVER) have chosen to come back and read again! This has been one of the most rewarding things I have ever done. Not only are there so many of you out there that have inspired me with your talent, many of you have inspired me with the kindness of your words. I can hardly wait to get started on my to do list for 2010, but I am spending my last few days of vacation, relaxing, decompressing, and getting ready for what I know is going to be wonderful year!

I feel extremely lucky to not have cracked under the economic pressure and that I am still contributing to my savings account every pay check. I am thankful to have my own car, a roof over my head, and a feeling of security. My heart goes out to those who don't, and hope that the new year brings fortune to those who have been hit the hardest this year.

I hope you come back to see me in 2010, and I look forward to meeting those who I am not had the pleasure of doing so just yet. Each and every one of you has had an impact on my life, and for that I thank you!!

PS: keep the great project ideas coming :)


Enjoying vacation

I'm still on vacation from work (will go back 1/4/10) and I am loving it! I just got back from MD yesterday and have spent most of my time back shopping, organizing and unpacking. It will take me a little while to get back into my routine but I am itching to start some new projects with all of the goodies I got for Christmas. If you didn't know my hobbies before, this should about sum it up!


Merry Christmas

I probably won't be back on a computer for a few days since Christmas Eve at my house is bigger than Christmas Day. My mom's entire side of the family is here in MD with us, and it should be a wonderful day. Everyone have a fantasitic Christmas and I will be back in a few days!!


The Blizzard and the Wedding

I have not been doing much but traveling here the last couple of days but now that I am at my parents house through Christmas I have a few mintues to post. I don't have any fun and exciting crafts (sigh) but I did help my mom with a wedding she had to do today (yes, a Tuesday wedding, I'm as confused as you are).

First, I wanted to share what I came home to.... pictures are courtesy of my mom.
Some were taking during the snow, and some after... you should be able to tell which is which!

Because of this wonderful blizzard my 6 hour drive turned into close to 8, but I'm here safe, what more can I ask for!

Now, on to the wedding. My mom owns a florist so "luckily" I was home to help set up this wedding. It was taking place at a hotel, the wedding and the recepetion both. Here are some pics of the goods

I will be short on posts through Christmas but if anything fun happens I will be sure to post!

Happy Holidays Everyone!!


Secret Project Revealed

I'm at the beach for the weekend! Probably won't stir up as much jealousy since they are calling for snow and all, but still :)

I am visiting my boyfriends mom since I will be heading home to Maryland for Christmas with my family next week. The reason that is important to you, is now I can reveal my "secret project" because I will have given her the gift by the time I post this- (yes I am writing ahead because I will be away, you're welcome haha!) It's not a big thing, just something I thought she might like!

It only cost me about $5 all together, and here is what I needed:
-A frame from the thrift store- no need for a back or glass, just needed the wood
-Piece of scrap wood, cut into a rectangle
-Fishing net
-Star Fish
-Stamp Set

I get really excited about projects and ALWAYS seem to forget to take pictures of the steps and supplies. I am still new to this, but I will try very hard to remember next time.

Without further ado-(side note, its not hung on the wall because it was a gift for someone else, so don't mind that its just sitting on the floor)

Stella knew something fishy was going on....chirp chirp...no? :)

It was really simple since It wasn't supposed to be perfect. But I did have to make sure it was not perfect, perfectly. I can't help it.
All I did was paint the frame the with the green paint I got from this post, and I just dipped the tip of my paint brush in water first as to kind of thin it out because I still wanted to be able to see the grain of the wood.

Then just painted the rectangle a white I used for other projects, roughed it up with some sand paper, and added a dab of stain to darken some of the corners. Then I stamped my phrase with a Typewriter Stamp Set.

Glued some fish net to the back.

Drilled holes and ran wire through both the plaque and the frame.

Glued on a star fish. And that's it!

Hope it was worth the wait :)


I WISH I had this much time on my hands

You're kidding right...

Christmas Lights + Guitar Hero= Annoyed neighbors? Awesomeness?

Take a look for yourself... would you be happy if this display was next door to you?

(I hate to admit it, but I would be first in line to play!)

Hot Chocolate on a Stick and Mini Pies

I was in such a huge hurry last night that I took ZERO pictures of these. I wasn't even going to post them because of that reason, but I thought, "who I am to deprive these wonderful people?"

First, Hot Chocolate on a Stick. Who knew?
I will post a few pictures from AmberLee's website "Givers Log". It is where I have been spending A LOT of time lately! Here is the link so you can head over to check out the details. They are super, great, little, inexpensive, (adjective overload) gifts, I hope you give them a try!

8 oz. REAL chocolate-bittersweet, semisweet, milk, and white chocolate all work (she goes into greater detail about the type of chocolate to us that I suggest reading before trying this)
1/4 cup cocoa, sifted
1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar, sifted
pinch of salt

Nutshell Directions:
-Melt chocolate in a double broiler
-When almost completely melted, take off heat and continue stirring until fully melted
-pour in dry ingredients; mix well
-put in a Ziploc bag and pipe into ice cube trays
-put your stick/spoon/candy cane/etc in the top
-let sit
Again, she is a WAY better tutorial-er than I, so I will let you read more about that over at her place.

Next up- Mini pies in short, fat jars. Sara over at Our Best Bites had this genius idea to bake single serving pies in tiny mason jars. If I got the jars just by themselves I would be happy. If they had cheeks, I would pinch them. Cuties.
Same deal- My short condensed version here. Her amazing awesome tutorial there.

This was very simple. I have never made a crust before and I was able to do it!

These are the little studs

When you make your crust you don't have to roll it out or anything, just press the crumbles around the jar

Fill it with fruit of choice (I actually used canned because I was in a major pinch)

You need a top crust but it also needs to vent. I did all of mine with the lattice because it majorly increases the cutest factor.


Now, since I explained nothing at all really to you, please go pay these gals a visit and check out their amazing tutorials for 2 fabulous and creative gifts!


Canvas Doily Tote

**Linked up over at ASPTL for DIY Day! and The Shabby Chic Cottage for Transformation Thursday!

I can not remember where I saw this tutorial (if you have run across it, please let me know so I can credit someone), but as soon as I did, I knew I was going to use it to "wrap" some of my Christmas gifts.


What you will need:

Canvas tote-$2 with coupon at Michaels
Fabric Paint
Spray Adhesive

After you lay your canvas out, spray the back of the doily with a repositional spray adhesive. Press it down where you want your pattern to be.
DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP! If you do, the paint will bleed and become a sloppy mess.

Paint in the open areas.

Peel off the doily while paint is still a little wet. Here is what mine looks like when it's done. I am no artists so the initial (just exacto knife a print out letter, or use your cricut to cut one) bled a little on the bottom but I still think it's wonderful!


Shop At Home

If you shop online half as much as I do, you need to sign up for Shop At Home. It's a website you go through to shop online that gives you an extra % back on your purchases. Depending on the store, you can earn anywhere from 2% up to 20%.

Staring Monday 12/14, Shop at Home is having a double cash back event, plus offering free shipping.

Here are some of the highlights:
Gap.com 20% Cash Back
OldNavy.com 20% Cash Back
Piperlime.com 20% Cash Back
Nike.com 18% Cash Back
Sephora.com 16% Cash Back
Barnes & Noble, BN.com 16% Cash Back

There are also coupon codes out there for things such as 20% off and Old Navy and Gap that you can combine with this event.

It only takes a minute to sign up, and just for doing so, you get $5 back! Just visit Shop at Home to get started!

There will be many great deals to be had to finish up any last minute shopping :)

CVS Trip Today!

I woke up to a chilly rainy morning and debated whether to venture out to coupon or crawl back into bed.

I decided not to be lazy and got up, and I am surely glad I did.

Here are the deals I scored this morning.
Buy $20 in Gillete Razors or Cartidges, earn $5 ECB
Buy $10 worth of Colgate toothbrushes, earn $5 ECB

I started the day with $10 in ECB from this transaction

Transaction 1:
2 Gillette Fusion Razors at $9.99 each
1 Colgate toothbrush at $3.99 each
coupons used:
2-$4/1 Gillette Fusion razor
1-$.75/1 Colgate toothbrush
$10 in ECB

Paid - $1.69 and Earned $5 in ECB from razors

Transaction 2:
2- Colgate toothbrushes at $3.99 each
coupons used:
2-$1/1 Colgate toothbrush
$5 ECB from Transaction 1
Paid- $1.60 and earned $5 for the Colgate ECb deal.

RETAIL- $31.95
TOTAL PAID: $3.29 and have $5 for my next purchase.



Color of the Year 2010: ???

According to Pantone the "it" color of 2010 will be...(drum roll please)... TURQUOISE

I personally L-O-V-E turquoise but use it sparingly around my home.

Any thoughts on this bold color choice for the home decor color of the year?


Window Shopping for the Master

As I have mentioned in prior posts, I am planning to finally decorate our master bedroom come the first of the year. I don't mean RE-decorate either. I mean, we have no dresser, no bed (just a mattress on a frame), no night stands, no nadda. Well, that is, if you don't count the plasma TV hanging on the wall (haha, guess you see where our priorities are).

I have been dreaming of a swanky gray/charcoal/white color scheme to escape the neutrality of our otherwise cozy, airy home.

The wall behind the bed will be a really dark charcoal so I want the bed to be white so it pops from the wall and the charcoal comforter I have.

This is the one I think I am going to purchase at the end of the year.

It's not thrifty or frugal but you know what, I think I have lived long enough with no bedroom furniture that I should be able to splurge on at least one piece of nice, lush, (effortless on my part) piece of furniture.

nailhead trim=swoon :)

If anyone comes across something like this with an inexpensive price tag, let a girl know!


I'm scared to death of sharks...

...but when you give them people teeth, they aren't so bad :)

Design-Ties Home Office Makeover Feature

I have never done a full blown feature on another bloggers projects but it would be a crime to not let my readers in on one of the most amazing makeovers I have seen to date. I wish I had one ounce of the creativity the gals over at Design-Ties have.

I will feature a few highlights of this basement to guest bedroom to home office makeover, but you can check out the full post and tutorial here.

I will keep the wording to a minimal so you can fully absorb this gorgeousness that is about to be thrust upon you:

The BEFORE before:

The FIRST after:

Well, turns out, no one wants to stay in the basement guest room, so time to make it into more usable space...

The Inspiration:

(how cute is this?)

A little of the process:

The AFTER: (brace yourself)

That is all I can really say about that :)
If you get a mintue, stop by, check them out and say hello!

CVS Trip

Along with recently becoming addicted to thrifty home decor, I have quickly become an avid couponer. For more details about that, check out this post here (you are in for a big reality check:))

So I thought that I would start posting some of the deals I get to maybe nudge some of you in the direction of keeping that hard earned money right where it belongs, in your bank account.

This is kind of a moot point now since this deal was active last week and is no more, but better late then never!

Buy $25 worth of select Gillette items, Earn $10 in ECB (ECB= Extra Care Bucks, which is like a coupon for a $ amount to use on your next purchase)
I purchased:
1 Gillette Fusion Razor- $9.99
2 Gillette Body Wash- $4.99 each
2 Gillette Deodorant- $5.49 each
Pre Coupon TOTAL: $30.95 (plus tax)

Coupons used:
1-$5 off any $25 purchase
1-$4 off Fusion Razor
2-Buy any Gillette Deodorant, get a body wash FREE
2-$1 off Gillette Deodorant
$7 in ECB I earned from my previous purchase
Post Coupon TOTAL: $2.97 (plus tax)

I earned $10 in ECB toward my next purchase since I bought $25 worth of Gillette products

Earned $7.03