Giving Thanks

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!!

Besides Christmas, Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. I love everything about it – the cooler weather, the changing of the leaves, the food and being together with family.

Today is the day Americans give thanks for the years bounty. But really, shouldn’t we be givings thanks everyday. Not to offend anyone here, but we have so much to be thankful for. My husband regularly tells me this, because he knows that’s just not how my mind works. I’m usually such a worrier that I don’t take the time out of my worried thoughts to just relax and be thankful for what we have.

Thanksgiving for our family isn’t just about things we have but also the promises that God has given us.

Our world may be going through some craziness right now, but, I believe ultimately God is  still in control and He is providing for us in ways we can’t even fathom. He holds the universe in His hands.

2 Corinthians 4:15-18New King James Version (NKJV)

15 For all things are for your sakes, that grace, having spread through the many, may cause thanksgiving to abound to the glory of God.16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. 17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, 18 while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.

I believe that everything we have has been provided by God, and we should be thankful that His grace is abundant and everlasting.~Bam






Too busy

I can’t believe it’s November already. It seems like I live and exist on a daily basis…eat, sleep, work and repeat. I just don’t take the time to appreciate daily life. My husband is always telling me to stop – relax – take time to be grateful.

Some days I literally feel like I’ve just repeated the day before. Actually, most days are a repeat of the day before. I know what you’re thinking….I must be pretty boring. Well, I would agree, but I also would say that boring isn’t a bad thing. I feel pretty adjusted to life – as it were.

Today, during the church service, our Pastor mentioned something I’d never heard before and it really got me to thinking about how small we are in the big scheme of things that God has made for us. I’ll be the first to tell you I’m a Creationist – I completely and fully believe that God is why we exist.

Genesis 2:7 (NKJV)  And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.

This world we live in, our surroundings, nature, all that lives in nature was made for us – to enjoy – our world. I’m so befuddled when I look into the sky at night – the cosmos is bright with shining stars and it makes me feel so small. At the same time, it’s weirdly comforting to know that God knows me by name, knew me even before I was born, knows the numbers of hair on my head, and knows my thoughts, my dreams and worries. He knows what exactly what my future holds – the decisions I will make in the future that will be my life’s existence.

Jeremiah 1:5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you;

Matthew 10:30 (NKJV)  But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.

Even though I feel like my life might be boring and routine, the world is the same yesterday, today and will be essentially the same in the tomorrow. God is still in control – of everything. I feel I should be more grateful of my surroundings – the incredible world I live in.

I’ve never traveled the world, but I have “traveled” through others eyes using this incredible media called the internet. I am often times awestruck at the beauty that others have seen, taken pictures of and then posted for others to enjoy.

Then I take a look around my house, in my own backyard and am amazed at of the beautiful colors. I absolutely love Fall (not because I knows what’s coming…brrr), but because I am truly amazed.


Take a moment to enjoy the world we live in and be grateful~Bam

Re-purposed Rocking Chair

I’ve been wanting to redo our front porch furniture for a while now. After all, what we had out there was a very, very old rocking swing that was looking pretty bad. The paint has been fading, splinters are coming out and it just is looking kind of decrepit, maybe it’s because we’ve had for over twenty years now. Alas though, we aren’t getting rid of it. My husband has taken it apart and is sanding each of wood plank then we are going to paint it a nice bright red an put it on the back deck for extra seating. It still swings really nicely and my husband just can’t part with it.

We’ve already got our first piece, the 10-gallon milk can that’s been re-purposed into a nice little table.

P1010429 It’s really cute and very inexpensive compared to true outdoor furniture.

My husband and I were walking the dog through our neighborhood and passed by a yard sale and saw this torn up rocking chair – she wanted $10 but we talked her down to $8 (hey, they expect some dickering right?)

P1010403 P1010411 It’s completely missing the bottom, which used to be some sort of wicker weaving. I took my X-acto knife and cleaned the seat up and then sanded it down so there isn’t any more sharp pieces poking out.

P1010413 After putting a coat of primer on it (we used the extra we had from our front door), I used some spackling paste on the back of the chair where there was an engraved design to cover it up. Then my husband sanded it down so it was nice and smooth. Then, I painted it bright blue (again, the same as the front door).

P1010430 My husband added some very strong wood to the bottom (he had some scrap from another project) and now it’s ready for the seat cushion.

P1010432 I picked up a 2″ foam square and a remnant of brown vinyl from Jo-Ann Fabrics. After cutting out the foam cushion I had no idea how I was going to cut out a perfect circle from the vinyl, then my husband said he had something I could use. He brought this in from the garage for me to try, some sort of woodworking compass which worked out perfectly.

P1010433 I really couldn’t think of anyway, other than Velcro, to attach the cushion to the chair without making a big mess, or making it semi-permanent, neither of which I was going for here. After all, this will be in all kinds of weather, and I’m sure it will need replaced at some point.

P1010436 After attaching the cushion down with the Velcro, I started systematically putting in thumb tacks around the vinyl. Once I finished with the tacks I trimmed the vinyl. If you look closely you’ll see the tacks aren’t perfectly aligned but I still like the way it turned out (hey, I never said I was a professional).

P1010439 Ta-DA….here’s the final product. I even took some craft paint with a stencil and painted a little flower on it so it would sort-of match the milk can. I love how it turned out. Not only does it brighten up my front porch, it’s functional, and it was very inexpensive to repurpose. Not only that, but we’ve kept something else from our over filled landfills (which makes me feel really good).

P1010435 P1010437 I used hammered decorative nails for the seat cushion and this stencil with a stippling brush and “Red Apple” Apple Barrel paint to make the stencil on the back of the chair.

P1010431  P1010438 On a side note -we also re-purposed this old cabinet, I found at another yard sale, while walking Brownie. It turned out great. We use it for Brownie’s food on the bottom shelf and we bought two baskets for 50% off at Michaels and I’m using those to store plastic ware for easy access to pack our lunches. We just love how it turned out.

Hope you can find something to re-purpose too!~Bam

Metal Milk Can Repurposed

I’ve been working on the front porch, and after painting our door a pretty bright blue I wanted to add a smaller table and then get a couple of chairs to hang out in. I love sitting on the front porch, and here in Indiana we have pretty nice weather three out of four seasons.

I’ve been checking out some posts on Pinterest (my new obsession) and I found some really cute ideas for these old 10-gallon metal milk cans. This got me to thinking about doing this myself for our front porch. Repurposing is a great way to keep things out of our landfills (just my own opinion). At first I started doing some searching on Ebay and then Craig’s List but I just couldn’t find anything that was in my price range.

IMG_0288 My very first baby-sitter made this for my Mom, about thirty-five years ago. I was so bummed that she wouldn’t let me have it, but then they wouldn’t have anywhere to keep their umbrellas. Oh well…

My husband and I decided to take a Saturday morning and go to a local antique shop, the Southport Antique Mall. This place has so many cool things, and the one thing I really like is that almost everything there is really truly an antique. Not the same think as an indoor flea market, where there’s just a lot of random junk.

P1010396 This is what we found. They had a few of these in the shop but only one at $20…I knew the first moment I laid eyes on it, it was mine. We brought it home, cleaned it really well and then my husband set it up for me to spray paint it.

P1010398 I chose a nice light yellow from Rustoleum. One can did three complete coats, which was plenty to cover up all of that gold.

P1010405 I picked out several designs from Cricut, cut them out on the burgundy sticker paper and put it on my milk can. I used the hummingbird cutout from “Pagaoda”, the butterfly from “Paper Lace” and the flowers from “Cindy Loo”. I was going to cut out a dragonfly also but then I decided I didn’t want that much on it. I will say that the sticky paper isn’t very sticky and I put three coats of clear shellac on it to help it stick. If I had to do it over again I might have put a thin layer of clue on it before applying it, but it still worked, I just had to work with it a bit more than I thought I would.

P1010402 My husband and I found this round table top wood from our local Home Depot and it was exactly what I was looking for. I finished with Minwax “Honey 272”.

P1010429 I absolutely love how this turned out and the whole project was less than $40.

Happy Crafting~bam

The Bright Front Door

The porch and front door area of our home needed an overhaul and that’s just what I’ve been working on.

We had our last paint job on the home about eight years ago when we first moved in. Let me tell you the “smurf” look doesn’t look well on a home and that’s exactly how our house was painted. Bright blue with bright white trim. All I can say is no, no, no…don’t ever do that to your home. We picked out a neutral shade of light gray and kept it the same color this year. Even though we had our home painted back then, we never did anything with the front door and it would starting to look mighty shabby.

P1010385 The stain is starting to wear off and it just looks bad. Really bad. I had a inclination to paint the front door some bright color that complements the rest of the house and so off to the hardware store my husband and I went.

There are so many different options for exterior paint. Just getting through them all can make your head hurt.  Not only is there special paint for doors and trim now, some come in premixed colors or you can choose your own color and have it mixed in to a base color.

We had a lot of ideas of colors but basically after watching some interesting videos on YouTube for front door painting we narrowed it down to – bright blue, bright red, or a satin maroon color. Our home has a lot of red brick in it and I really wanted to door to pop, so we ended up going with the blue and I absolutely love the way it has turned out.

I never really figured out what type of material the door is made from, but I think it might be some sort of processed wood. It’s definitely not metal, but the paint we bought works on pretty much anything.

P1010410 Rust-Oleum Painters’ Touch in blue.

Because we have a dog and cat that might think it’s okay to make a run for it while the door would be open, my husband thought it would just be better to take it off of it’s hinges and put up a make-shift door until I was done with it. He ended up stapling a large piece of tarp in the doorway and then put a large trash can next to it so Brownie wouldn’t be able to push through it, but it was fine. (Brownie didn’t even notice the door was missing.)

P1010387 Once the horses were on another tarp and the door was in place we painted a thin coat of primer on it, let it try and then started out on the blue paint. It was love at first sight. We ended up putting on two full coats of paint, then after it had been hung back up and rested for a bit I put on another light coat. 

P1010395 What a difference – wow!! We had our parents over for dinner later that night and they all loved it.

I’m so happy we choose blue~Bam

Fresh Tomato and Mozzarella Salad

We’ve had a good turn out of Sun Sugar tomatoes and basil in our raised garden this summer and I made this delicious, healthy salad with them and I thought I would share this recipe.

20150728_191730 Simple, healthy ingredients.

1/2 cup Sun Sugar tomatoes – sliced in half

1/2 cup Mozzarella Pearls (I used BelGioioso)

1 Tbsp Olive Oil

1/2 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar (I like a minimal amount of vinegar in my dressings – feel free to add more to taste)

1 Tbsp fresh Basil – sliced chiffonade style (rolled tightly and thinly sliced)

salt and pepper to taste

20150728_193223 A delicious, healthy, quick salad to take to work for lunch and as an added bonus it’s gluten free. I don’t have celiac disease so I’m not overly concerned with eating gluten, however, I do believe I feel less sluggish when I eat less gluten. Loved it!!!

For different variations – I’ve add fresh sliced cucumber, or a packet of Mediterranean tuna (it’s one of my favorites).

Enjoy the freshness of summer~Bam.

Summer Flowers

I love having flowers in my front yard, especially right by our front door. I thought I’d share some of my favorites. 

P1010376 I have a huge mum, yellow coreopsis and some random snap dragons right at the front door. I love coreopsis – I have had these for about six years now and they bloom all summer long. Mine has tiny little yellow flowers, but they come in several different colors. I think yellow flowers are just so cheerful. My mum is huge – I planted it last fall and it’s just taken over the front but it’s so pretty. I wish it hadn’t bloomed so early though. I like mums to bloom in the fall.

P1010390 Aren’t these so pretty? They’re so delicate.

P1010389 My yellow snap dragons are mixed in with the yellow coreopsis.

P1010379 P1010378 Here on the other side of my coreopsis I have these pretty bright purple snap dragons. These even have some white and a wee little bit of yellow mixed in the very middle.

P1010380 P1010384 Further out at the front of my drive way I have two shades of pink snap dragons. They’re just so pretty.

P1010392 These cute little daisies I planted on the other side of my coreopsis at the end of the walkway. My sister-in-law gave these to me this year for Mother’s Day, and I love the color of these. They are a delicate, light pink shade. So pretty.

P1010383  P1010381 And lastly, my Surprise Lily’s. I just love these flowers. They come in up huge leaves early spring, then they die off and I just cut them down to the ground and a few months later these beautiful, delicate pink and yellow flowers pop up. (hence the name) They are also called Resurrection Lily’s.

As I’ve gotten older I have purposefully chosen flowers and bulbs that grow easy, and are very low maintenance. I don’t want to have to do a lot of work to make my yard look nice. I love having lots of color by my front door. I just couldn’t imagine a yard with nothing but evergreens, and thankfully I don’t have to.

Enjoy some summer color~Bam.