Thursday, April 19, 2012

To Be or Not To Be

Over the past couple of years, Noah has gotten very involved in theatre.  He has been in several high school and community plays and has made quite a name for himself.  Here are a couple of the recent local press features he has received!  We are SO proud of him!

From the NE MS Daily Journal, Feb. 16, 2012
From the NE MS Daily Journal, Mar. 29, 2012

Support local theatre and the arts in your schools!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Debt Update March 2012

As a recap, in July of 2010, Tommy and I took a class at church called "Common Cents". It was basically a starter course on budgeting, etc. At the end of the class, we were given Dave Ramsey's book, Total Money Makeover.

And although we are not "gazelle intense", we have worked hard to get our crazy debt paid down.  Below is an update of how we are doing.
Oh, and in case you were wondering, this has honestly changed our lives!

August 1, 2010 Total Debt Balance
(excluding the house)

March 31, 2012 Total Debt Balance
(excluding the house)

In 20 months, we have paid off $20,209.20 in real debt and we are almost half way done! The awesome thing is that as we continue to snowball, the debt goes away faster and faster.  Yay!

Hope you are enjoying a beautiful Spring and that the pollen doesn't have your allergies all crazy like mine!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Up in the Air

A couple of weeks ago, we took advantage of a beautiful January afternoon to do a little kite flying at the park.  The only pictures are from my iPhone and the lens was dirty at that, but you can still see how something so simple was fun for both the 4 year old and the 15 year old!  What a rare treat!

My beautiful family!

Our awesome kites - ordered from Into the Wind

Noah showing off his mad kite flying skills.

Daddy and AnnaLauren

AnnaLauren was convinced she could catch it!

One day I will actually be in the pictures, lol!  Hope you are having some beautiful days - wherever you may be - and that you are making the most of them!


Thursday, January 19, 2012

Sock Bun Curls

A litle while back on Pinterest, I saw a link for an awesome tutorial from Kristen Duke Photography on doing sock buns and sock bun curls.  You can find it here.

I was absolutely convinced that it wouldn't work, but it totally did!  It was super easy and great for little girlies to look fancy.  You should try it!

You start with a sock - preferably a clean one.  I like the ones that are a little bit longer.  For an adult, you might want to use a men's dress sock. 
Cut off the foot portion so it looks like this.

Roll up the sock until it looks like a donut (doughnut?)

Now, gather the tools you will need - a brush or comb, one or two ponytail holders (elastics, whatever you call them) and your sock bun donut.  Do this right after bath time or spritz dry hair with water until it is fully damp but not saturated.

Pull the hair up into either one very high pony tail or two high pigtails.  You just want it to be comfortable for sleeping.

Pull the ponytail straight up and through the sock bun donut, letting the ends of the hair hang out.  Tuck the ends back up under the donut and begin rolling it down the hair. 

It does not have to be perfect, but it should look something like this when you are done.

AnnaLauren in a single sock bun

AnnaLauren in double sock buns. 
FYI, use a dark sock and drop these down low for great Princess Leia hair for Halloween!

Sometimes double sock buns will make you feel all sassy!

Now go to sleep and have sweet dreams.  When you wake up, just unroll.

And right after taking it down in the morning!  Gorgeous curls with no heat!

I retwist some of the curls with my fingers, add a hair bow and give her a quick spritz with hair spray.  We are out the door in minutes!

I am terrible and don't have a picture of a fresh hairdo, but here is one from Christmas.  After hours of playing, she still has great movement with absolutely no hair spray!

So now go cut up some socks and have awesome hair in the morning! 
Or, if you have dirty hair, just wear the bun today!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

2012 Home Goals

My home decor/design hero, The Nester, is hosting her annual Home Goal Linky Party.  So, of course I have to participate!

This year, I really want to focus on a few key things that I think can make a big impact for not a ton of money!

1.  Since the formal dining room is a space that everyone sees when they enter our house, I would like for it to be special.  I have been scouring Craiglist unsuccessfully for a buffet.  But, maybe when yard sale season starts, I can find something great.  I also want to add window treatments (or mis-treatments) plus a new chandelier and rug.

The only picture I could find of the dining room includes some Christmas decor, but you can get the picture - tan walls, tan chairs, brown table, no window treatments - boring!

Window Treatment Possibility:

2.  On the other side of our entrance is the office.  It doesn't need huge amounts of work, but I would like to get some additional art on the wall and the bookcases need some rearranging.

3. I want to cover my wire pantry shelves like they did at FocalPoint. This is such an awesome DIY!  Then, I want to do some better organizing in there.  Maybe something similar to The House of Smith's below (a girl can dream, right?).

4.  Try to introduce more of the blues and greens we both love (pulled from our Good Earth pottery) into the living room - maybe through new chairs, throw pillows and window treatments/mis-treatments.
Good Earth Pottery - Bluebird Pattern
Photo from

That's all!  Pretty simple.  There are other things that I would be happy to do if the right deal came along (kitchen counters, new breakfast table, etc.), but these few things would really make great impact in our ever-evolving house! :)

Monday, January 16, 2012

2011 Goal Progress

In January 2011, I blogged a little list of goals that I hoped could be accomplished by 2012.  Although I didn't get them all done, I'm pretty pleased with what was done.

Here is how I did...

1. Pay off $10,000 of our debt. We have been on a true budget (yep, Excel spreadsheet and all) since August and it is one of the best things we ever did. This goal should definitely be accomplishable. Is that a word?

We have paid off a little over $16,000 since beginning in August 2010, so this goal was met - yay!

2. Blog twice a week. I started this blog as a way to keep up with my children and sadly I am seriously lacking in that regard. There is no reason I can't do better. I need to remember that not every post requires pictures!

One word - FAIL.

3. Join Weight Watchers and get serious about losing weight. My goal for the year is 40 pounds lost. When you are fat plus-sized like me, it should be attainable.

Yep, FAIL again.
4. Spend a week in Florida with the family (with minimal Blackberry usage). We love Okaloosa Island and it's an ongoing goal that we be able to spend a week there every summer while our children are at home.

Done - it was awesome as always!
5. Have the shower in our master bathroom tiled. I have hated the shower stall in our bathroom since day 1, but have done exactly zero to change it. This year I would like to bite the bullet and make it great.

We are pressing the "Pause" button on this one until the debt is paid off in about 18 months.  Can't wait!

6. Finally decorate my master bedroom! We have lived in our house for two years so it's definitely time. I recently purchased new bedding as a jumping off point so I hope to get this done in the first quarter of the year.

This room may forever be a work in progress.  I did get some things hung on the wall and we added some new accessories, but it still doesn't make me really happy.  But, I would be so bored if the house were all done!
So, that's how it all panned out.  I am working up the new list for 2012.  Did you get your 2011 list done?

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

2011 Year End Debt Review

In August of 2010, Tommy and I took a class at church called "Common Cents".  It was basically a starter course on budgeting, etc.  At the end of the class, we were given Dave Ramsey's book, Total Money Makeover.

And although we are not "gazelle intense", we have worked hard to get our crazy debt paid down.  In honor of the new year, I wanted to give an update that will hopefully continue to motivate us in 2012!

In case you were wondering, this has honestly changed our lives!

August 1, 2010 Total Debt Balance
(excluding the house)

December 31, 2011 Total Debt Balance
(excluding the house)

In 17 months, we have paid off $16,101.97 in real debt!  Yay!

Happy New Year Y'all!