Monday, August 31, 2009

A Wonderful God Story

Hello ladies! I have been wanting to share this cool story with you all for a bit, but didn't know at what point in the "journey" to post about it. However, as I haven't been able to blog as much as I'd like this week becuase of this story, and because I'd actually appreciate some prayer, I'm going to share now.

Caleb and I currently live in a two-bedroom apartment, which we thank the Lord for. We started out a seriously broke college couple, and God has blessed us and steadily increased our income over nearly seven years of marriage, so we've been able to go from petty tiny one room with no laundry facility (not to mention the stop off of living with my parents for a few months at one point in our first year of marriage) to a nice roomy two bedroom.

We live in an area that has a very high cost of living, and homes are very expensive, and so while Caleb's business continues to be successful and we have been saving, we didn't see home owning in the near future for us.

Last month we were giving serious consideration to renting a townhouse condo owned by friends of ours. We were helping them with some renovations and got thinking, "Wow, wouldn't it be nice to have this space.. a little yard... the basement..." This would of course mean an increase in our rent and utilities, however, so told Caleb, and meant it, that I was going to pray and trusted and knew that the Lord would lead him, as the head of our home and as the financial manager, as to what was the best decision for us. I remember working on the house and walking through each room and just praying and telling the Lord I trusted Him. And I was blessed just to be in that place of trust with the Lord and to know my husband would make hte right choice for us.

Caleb had told me he would make the decision on a Monday, and I went to his office after work with some anticipation, wondering what he would say. When I arrived, he said, "well, I had some interesting news today..." and proceed to tell me that, totally out of the blue and unexpected, a family member had given us a gift- a substantial gift- and had expressed their wish that we would use it to bolster our down payment for a home.

You can imagine how floored I was
. More than the excitement at the prospect of owning our own home, however, I was FLOORED by God's timing and His love for us through His provision. Of all days to find out about this gift, we find out the day Caleb is going to make a decision about renting this townhouse. And as it turns out, he was going to say yes, so imagine had we agreed, signed paperwork for a year lease, and THEN found out about this gift. But No... God is his goodness not only provided for us in an unforeseen manner, but did so in such a perfect timing that we were able to see clearly His hand at work.

This is where you applaud for God, ladies! :)

So... Caleb and I have been house-hunting for the past few weeks and it has been exciting. This, as you can imagine, has taken up a lot of our time, and thus why I haven't been able to post very much, especially this past week as we have gotten closer to making a decision.

And so here is my prayer request:
We have put in an offer on a place, but there has been an unexpected bump in the road with this specific place, and we don't know all the details yet, but it's been an curve ball we weren't expecting. We would so appreciate your prayers for us, as we want to have God's good guidance and pick the right house that is right for us and any children the Lord might bless us with. Thank you, and when we make a decision I'll inform you all for sure.

I would also appreciate your prayers
as I am going to be traveling on Wed to PA to visit my family for an extended Labor Day weekend. My sister is having surgery and I plan to be there to help out with the babies. I covet your prayers for a safe journey and for recovery for my sister.

I'll be blogging frequently again when I get back, I'll be doing my fall decorations, have lots of thrift store goodies to share about, and (Lord willing) might even have some pictures of our new home to show you! God is good, ladies!

See you in about a week!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Shopping Spree

Hello ladies! I've been just about dying to share this haul of goods I got with you earlier in the week, but have had zero time to do up a proper post. Well, it's Friday morning, I got my man off to work with a good breakfast in his stomach and I have a little time here to enjoy a cup of coffee and share some finds with you.

So, on Monday afternoon while preparing dinner, I thoght to myself, "I am in terrible need of some clothes." The truth is I do not like clothes shopping becuase I am short and overweight and the whole process is usually quite frustrating. And as our income has gone up in the past couple of years, I am more reluctant to even bother with the thrift store, and instead go to the two stores I know have petite-cut clothes and just buy a few things there.

But, as a result, I have very little clothing, so Monday night I thought well I better just bite the bullet and go into town to the thrift store. Caleb agreed and we headed out.

We arrived at our local Talize store (ladies, if you live neara a Talize make sure to check it out, fabulous second hand store with good prices) and as we were getting out of the care we noticed big "SALE" signs on the windows, and on closer inspection discovered the store was having their bi-annual half off everything in the store sale! What were the odds of that? We got pretty excited and headed into the very busy store and while we had to fight the crowds, we both got a TON of stuff at highway robbery prices. When it was all said and done, we got two huge bags (think big black garbave bags) full of clothing and a few household items, for 90 dollars canadain (so about...70 dollars US). That's insane, ladies! And we got points on our Talize card and had two dollars taken off that price to boot! Needless to say, we were excited.

So, without further adieau, let me show you what I got. I'll show the housewares first and then the clothes, and read to the bottom because you won't believe the awesome stuff I got.

First, I got this cute cream pitcher, which you can see found its way to my kitchen shelf before I even had a chance to take a picture.

I also scored with this pretty green glass (to match with my Christmas dishes) cake stand, and this serving plate. Now here's what's cool about this servin dish: my mother in law recently gave me the pink glass dish set she had been using for holidays and nicer meals since my husband was born, and it's lovely but doesn't have a serving plate. Well, don't you know this one matches that dish set? And I got it for 1.50, thank you very much.

Now, as for clothing, without a doubt my biggest find was this retro shirt-dress that actually fit me. Ladies, I am short and heavy and finding tops in a second had store that fit is hard enoguh, but a DRESS? Almost impossible. And yet.. this one fit! Behold:

I know the pics aren't great, sorry. If Caleb were home, I would have asked him to take some, but this is what I could manage. But isn't it cute?

Look at the cute black, red and white detail on the dress. And you'll notice here that I am wearing a fabulously retro black and white chunky necklace that I also got, for a dollar, at the Talize!

You can see here I also scored another cute retro necklace, big red and clear plastic 'beads', I can't wait to be able to figure out something to wear with this one, too.

Ok, back to the dress. It's such a nice length and doesn't it look smart with my heels? Now the only downer about the dress as it was was that it clearly ws meant to have a belt (had the loops built in) but no belt came with it. I was bummed because I have a hard time finding fashionable belts in my size, but wouldn't you k now it..

I found a black belt that goes perfetly with the dress right there at Talize! And I only paid 50 cents for it. Crazy.

My next find was this blazer, great for the fall. This is another surprise becuase since I am so short (not even 5' 1"), I have a hard time finding long-sleeve tops, and especially jackets and blazers, that fit me becuase they are usually too long in the sleeve an dlook boxy. But this one must have been cut for petites because it fit me!

This will look great with jeans or slacks or even a plain skirt in just a few weeks when fall is here. I think with the half off I only paid three dollars for it. Sweet!

I also found this skirt, it's a black and white micro design and is lined so it will be nice for fall and winter.

I am the worst clothing photographer ever, but you can see I got a whole whack of shirts, dressy and casual,

Including this funky retro Elton John shirt. Fun!!

You already saw the necklaces I bought, but here are a few more accessories I picked up, including a couple of pairs of hoops earings, and a pair of Steve Madden wedge shoes.

Here's a better shot of the shoes. They are a dark blue, so they'll be good with jeans.

Well, I think that just about does it for that trip. I was really humbled by God's goodness, because He allowed us to just show up for a sale we didn't even know was going on, so we could afford to buy twice as much as we would have otherwise. I have a wedding to attend tomorrow, and I was feeling concerned I wouldn't have anything to wear, but now I'm excited to wear that fun retro dress, the matching necklace, and of course the hair is going to be retro-fabulous with one of the do's I've learned from The Glamorous Housewife. I'll take picutes when I'm all done to share.

Thanks for coming along on my Shopping Spree! I've actually got even more to show you from another thrift store stop I made later in the week, but I'll probably save that for Today's Thrifty Treasures on the weekend.

God Bless, ladies, thanks for going on the journey with me!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Further Attempts at Glamour...

I actually got up early again this morning to try to do my hair. Some of you read my post about The Glamorous Housewife's series on retor hair-dos (please go check out her site becuase she's done a few more pictorials and she's done a great job of giving detailed instructions) and I've continued to be inspired.
I did go buy rollers last night but I was out so late I didn't have a chance to experiment with them, and this morning I didn't have the time or energy to fuss with it, BUT I did get up and use my curling iron and experimented. And I came up with this.

I was pretty happy. I basically just parted my hair in the middle, curled the hair in sections, rolling upward and outward, gently brushed and sprayed the curls, and then pinned the hair back on both sides. I don't know how specifically 40s or 50s it was, but it sure looked better than my usual ponytail. I took Glamorous Housewife's advice and bought some Paul Mitchel's style lotion and some medium-hold spray for the styling part, and then I had some serious style mega hold stuff to hose myself down with at the end.

And once again I got inspired to put on some makeup and jewlery, and felt pretty cute, if i do say so myself.

You can see here I got some really cute retro-style earrings at the thrift store this week, I'll be showing more of them soon.

And the curls really did hold. this is a photo of my home after work at almost Six. What did end up taking a lot of the spunk out of the curls was doing the dishes.. I think the hot steam from the water just killed them, but otherwise i think they would have lasted into the night. The two photos below were taken at 6:00.

I'm definitely going to try to keep this up, I just feel empowered now like there's something I can actually do with my teaspoon of fine straight hair.

Thanks again, Glamorous Housewife, and all you ladies who left sweet comments.

Bloggy Complaint

Hey ladies, sorry you're getting such short little mosty-worthless blogs from me this week (although I see some of you appreciated the fruit fly tip- it really does work!), but it's been a crazy busy week. I didn't even get to do Rednesday!! What the?! But I WILL be blogging soon, hopefully tonight, I have tons to blog about, so stay tuned.

Just had to take a minute for a mini rant
and say I really hate (strong word choice, I know, but there it is) the new blog commenting format. You know the one where it tells you to pick your identity and then you press post and THEN it either tells you "could no post please try again" so you click post AGAIN and THEN it gives you the word you have to spell and THEN, if you're lucky it will post your comment? If you're lucky you'll skip the first round of "Sorry we couldn't post your comment" and go straight to the security thing (Why can't they just put the security thing on the page like the old style?) but its a frustrating, silly waste of time.

Am I being a cry baby? Probably. I just like the old system my blog has and some of the older blogs still have. If it aint broke, don't broke it more, as I always like to say...

(And let me add it's still a joy and priviledge to leave comments on the blogs that have the above-mention newly unimproved commenting system, but I'm just caveching)

Rant over. :)

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The End of an Era

This is not a partisan post and has nothing to do with the politics of Ted Kennedy. Just wanted to comment (and show this *gorgeous* photo of Kennedy from 1961- doesn't he look dashing? Men don't do dashing like they used to...) that his death feels like the end of what has really already been a bygone era. When I think of "The Kennedys", I picture Jackie O and the classical images of John and Bobby in the 1960s. And yet their brother lived on so much longer, a sort of touchstone to a time that some people view was a golden "Camelot" age in American politics.

He seems to have been
a very beloved Senator on both sides of the aisle if not for his politics then for his personality, and I pray his family is given God's comfort today.

Got Fruit Flies?

I don't know about you, ladies, but around my house right now it's fruit fly season. I hate those little buggers (pardon my language if you're a reader from the UK) and am so glad I discovered a successful way to rid my kitchen of them.

If you don't know this trick, ladies, discover it. Works like a Charm.
Simply take a small glass and fill it half way with apple cider vinegar. Add a few drops of dish soap to the vinegar.

Set out on the counter and the fruit flies line up to take the plunge.

See how many I caught in only about 30 minutes time?
I had double that amount after a few hours and my kitchen has been fruit-fy free ever since.

How did Rednesday sneak up on me? Boy do I have some fun stuff to show you this week!! My post will just have to be tardy today... see you (and see red!) later this evening.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

First Updo of my Adult Life

Oooooooh Ladies, am I excited!!! I have recently discovered the Glamorous Housewife over at Tales of a Retro-Modern Housewife, and she has just begun a how-to-give-your-hair-some-retro-glamour hair series, and I'm excited. I've always wanted to do more with my hair, but I've never known how.

I was so excited about her first post
that I fiddled with my hair at 11:30 at night. Ok, so I know that helps contribute to an "F" in "getting to bed by 10:30" goal, but i was just excited.

And guess what? I DID it! Well, at leasat sort of. And sort of is passing with a flying grade for me, because on the scale of one to glamour I'm about a negative 53, especially these days. It was hard and I didn't know where to put my hands and the pins and yadda yadda, but I did it, and I totally feel empowered to maybe feel a bit more feminine and glamorous. Yay!

So here are some shots. After I got the hair up I figured hey, put on a blouse and some jewlery and even- GASP- some lipstick to get the full affect. I can tell you without a doubt, at least from the waste up, this is probably as glamorous as I have looked in a couple of years, in my bathroom at midnight. Haha! Now, let's see if I can manage to get up and do it in the morning for work.. hmm..

Hey, it's hard to take photos of your hair when your by yourself in your bathroom at midnight, so cut me some slack...

This one is really sort of cheating because I took my glasses off... I couldn't leave my bathroom without them so this is a look that will never be... :)

Ok, that's more realistic.

I want to say a really really BIG THANK YOU to Mrs Glamorous Housewife for being a great inspiration. I can't wait to see the rest of your hair series, and ladies go on over and check out not only this but her site in general. It's a dish!


Sunday, August 23, 2009

Smooth Sailing (Garage Sailing, that is...)

TTT ladies, be sure to check out this month's giveaway by clicking on the button to the left or by reading to the end of this post.

Hello ladies! I am on the couch with my puppy on the left, a hot cop of joe on my right, and Murder She Wrote season three (specifically, that cross-over episode with Magnum P.I.!!) on the TV. This means it’s blogging time. I have lots of great bargains to share with you today, taking part of Miss Rhoda’s Today’s Thrifty Treasures over at Southern Hospitality.

Using the trusty “Angela method”, as I call it, I got to a number of garage sales Saturday morning and got some great deals. The first stop was pretty dry, but I did pick up these little saucers (i use them for serving sauces, dips, etc, when entertaining) and some Mexican earrings, all for 4.00.

The second stop was a bit more exciting. I bought a good-sized chalkboard that needs a bit of clean up and some paint for a dollar. And, more importantly, I got this big, heavy, beautiful antique mirror for five dollars! I wish I knew more about furniture, because I think this is pretty old. Can you ladies tell? Is my grandmother would say, it’s as heavy as a dead preacher, and the backing in particular looks very old.

I want to find out if it’s truly an antique. If it is, and it’s worth something, I will leave it as. If, however , it’s newer than I think and/or it’s just not worth much, I might refinish the frame and chance it’s color. For now I’m planning on putting it on the piano “mantle” with the fall display that will be coming before you know it.

Next, I hit the mother-load.
There was this great estate sale going on, and to my dismay, I discoverd it was week Two of the sale, and that means the first week there would have been even MORE great stuff. I bought all the items in the above picture for FIVE DOLLARS.
Yes, you read that right, five dollars. The sale was run by the grandchildren of a 101 year old woman who just recently went to a nursng home. I would love to meet this elderly German lady... we have very similar tastes. You should have SEEN the amazing Deco diningroom set she had, worth thousands, which of course I had neither the room nor the money for. I wish I had taken my camera. What I did take, though, were the following:

Hello! Red and white enamel pot set??!!! How excited was I, especially considering I got all these for less than a dollar. Incredible. They already have a home on my kitchen shelf. I’m not sure if I’ll actually used them, but nested like this they are super cute as decoration. Also, behind them you'll see a shallow pot/deep saute pan that is just the size I've been looking for.

And then there's this love black and white enamelware pot, which I believe is probably a canning pot. Do you ladies know? If it is a canning pot, can I still use it for a soup/ stock pot, or is that not a good idea? Need your advice, ladies.

Also included in the five dollars was this selection of lovely linens, all red , white and black!! There were a couple of lovely table-runners, a white tablecloth with simple but elegant detail, and a white and red striped cloth with tassles that I’m not entirel sure the use for. Any ideas ladies? It seems to thin to be a rug, but pretty small to be a table cloth. What do you think it’s for?
Another stop turned up this picnic basket set for a dollar.

And this old ceramic crock for a dollar. I know it’s chipped at the top, but I think it will be lovely as either an umbrella holder or some other creative decorative use, especially for a dollar! It weighs a ton!

The same sale, which obviously had some great prices, had a few boxes of great old hardcover books, all five for a dollar. Look at the cute books I got for a buck!

This cool book, a pictoral history of the movies, was written in 1950, and it’s a neat read.

This lovely novel is about the life of 19th century Canadian pioneers; I’m excited to read what promises to me a lovely time travel experience. And look at the lovely skteches inside the book:

Last but not least, I stopped into the Bibles for Missions thrift store in town, and bought this lovely milkglass lamp. I really don’t like the gold metal trim, but I’m thinking I can paint that somehow. I did pay five dollars for it, but it’s for a good cause and that shopp has great prices overall.

I think that just about does it, ladies. Lots of bargains this week, eh? Be sure to mozey over to Miss Rhoda's to see more Thrifty Treasures, and for those of you stopping by from TTT, be sure to check out my Vintage Apron Give-away, on until the end of August.

See you again soon, ladies! Blessings!