hair styling

More often than not my hair ends up in a messy bun.  But I’d really like to put some of these ideas into action.  None of them are too complicated, so I don’t have an excuse not to try!

Braids Pinned Back – source unknown – split hair as if you were going to make pigtails, braid away from face, tie into not and pin loose ends

braids pinned up

Twists To Bun – Bella Mumma

twists to bun

Half Up Bun – New Hair Style

half up bun

Low Rolled Updo – Twenties Project

low rolled updo

Bow In Hair! – La Mademoiselle UK


3 Tier Topsy Turvy Ponytail – source unknown – my hair isn’t long enough for this, but I love it

topsy turvy ponytail

Half Up Twist – Real Simple

half up twist

Tiny Bow! – Sorakeem Tumblr

tiny bow

Check out my pinterst board (here) for more ideas!  And Happy Friday!

meal planning 1.30

On the menu for this week:

Baked Chicken Taquitos – Very Culinary, already had these, they are great

baked chicken taquitos

Asian Turkey Lettuce Wraps – Damn Delicious

lettuce wraps


Chicken Parmesan Dippers – Reservation for Two, must serve with marinara

parmesan dippers

Chicken Dish – Source Unknown – Spray a pan, green beans on one side, red potatoes on the other, chicken breasts in the middle.  Pour a little melted butter over the top and a packet of italian seasoning (by the ranch seasoning at the store).  Cover with foil and cook at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

chicken dish

Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup – doesn’t get old when it’s freezing outside!

Egg & Cheese Bagels – half of a toasted bagel, slice of cheese, over easy egg on top

For the Super Bowl:

Skinny Poolside Dip – Home Trends Utah, serving with wheat thins and celery

skinny poolside dip

Easy Sausage Balls – My Blessed Life

Sausage Balls

Reeses Pieces Chocolate Chip Cookies – Lil Luna, oooooh yea

reese pieces cookies

As you can see I went the healthy route for the Super Bowl.  😉  Enjoy!

gift ideas

With a new year upon us that means more birthdays, weddings, graduations, showers, etc.  Here are some gift ideas, and check out my pinterest board (here) for even more ideas!

Lover of all things design:  Bird Alarm Clock – $40

bird alarm clock

Your best friend:  Besties iPhone Case – $25

phone case

The artist:  Calligraphy Return Address Stamp – $26

return address

The wino:  Stacking Wine Glasses – $3.95/ea.

stacking wine glass

Dog lover:  Watchdog Doorstop – $24


Anybody!:  Acylic Monogrammed Keychain – $19.95

monogrammed keychain

On a budget:  Homemade Snack Idea – DCWV Diary blog, put a homemade snack in a ziploc and staple scrapbook paper on the top, then add a bow.

homemade snack

New homeowners:  Housewarming Gift Idea – source unknown, wrap a bottle of wine with a dish towel and tie a ribbon at the top.


The foodie/cook:  Elephant Salt & Pepper Shaker Set – $12.99

sandp shaker

Just in time for Valentines Day:  Letter Press Valentines Day Card Set – $9.99

vday card

Happy birthday/congratulations/many blessings!


Ever had a day when you’re stressed or anxious?  Me neither.  😉  I have a board on pinterest (here) dedicated to inspirational quotes and I thought I’d share some of my – of the moment – favorites:

freely you received

let go

it'll be okay

real and lasting value

people are just as happy

fixed on the unseen

The last one is where I got the title of my blog from, but right now I’m really liking the first one: Freely you have received, freely give, Matthew 10:8.  Sometimes if things aren’t going my way I get frustrated because I feel like I’m not getting something that I deserve.  Reading that verse is a good reminder that I’ve already been given so much; being alive is a privilage.  Putting my desires aside can feel like giving up, but more and more I realize that it opens my eyes to the things in life that really matter.

budgeting 101

Budgeting is one of those things nobody wants to do, but it actually ends up making life much easier.  Here are the things we do to budget.

1.  Excel Spreadsheet – we have a line for all of our expenses (mortgage, insurance, groceries, gas, savings, utility bills, fun money).  We divide out our entire take home pay into one of these categories (every dollar is accounted for).  Then each month we fill in the actual cost of each item.  The idea is to keep everything consistent and to know if we’re over spending.

2.  Balance your check book


All money coming in and all money going out we record in one of these registers.  That way we know exactly how much we have and can check later to make sure everything goes through our account correctly.

3.  File Receipts for the month


We use this LBF (little blue file) to keep all of our receipts for the month.  That way at the end of the month we can fill in our excel spreadsheet to see how we did.  We have tabs for groceries, gas, and other.  After we add them up for the excel spreadsheet we trash them and use it again for the next month.

It’s hard to stay accountable with finances, but we’ve found that these 3 things help us a lot.  It also diminishes a lot of stress from not knowing where all your money goes.  Definitely worth the time.

meal planning 1.16

Here is what was on the menu for this week:

Pizzadillas! (source not found – sorry).  I used whole wheat tortillas, but the pic’s are pretty self explanatory.  Dipping into marinara is a must.



Chicken Parmesan Dippers! from Reservation for Two.

parmesan dippers

Chicken Lo Mein! from the Wholesome Dish.

chicken lo mein

Other meals on the menu:

1.  Egg/Cheese/Muffin – slice of cheese and over easy egg on a toasted english muffin

2.  Sweet Potato – learned a new fun way to cook these, here.  I put cheese, tomato, black olive, and a little ranch on mine.  If you think it sounds gross, you’d be wrong.

3.  Grilled Cheese and Tomato soup!  What can I say, I can’t seem to get enough of it.

No cookies for this week, it’s a really big bummer.  I don’t think I’ll be making that mistake next week.  😉

smash book update

I only have a couple more pages of my current (and 2nd) Smash Book.  Here are some of the most recent pages that I’ve done.


This page has the scores of a card game that we played with friends.


The page on the left is an article on organization tips that I cut out of Real Simple.  The page on the right already had the big sentence so I colored it some, but didn’t cover it up.


Mostly cutouts from magazines and a tear out from one of the smash book notepads.


Christmas gift tags that my Mom had made.


Our Christmas card on the left along with bowling scores on the right.

For more Smash Book inspiration click here and here!