Friday, December 13, 2013

A Nick Name for Baby - Week 15

Today baby turns 15 weeks. Don't read too much into the fact that it's Friday the 13th and I've traveled across the county...

Here are just some thoughts running through my mind...

First: Preggo pants are amazing! I started wearing mine on Thanksgiving day and was pretty proud I didn't have to unbutton my jeans after eating so much of the delicious food. (I was lucky enough to find brand new preggo pants at the thrift shop for only 3.50. NEW WITH TAGS!)

Second: Will I ever get to feel this baby move? I know I'm going to come to regret those words when I have a foot in my ribs and baby won't stop kicking me through the night. However, everyone keeps asking me if I have felt anything yet.

Third: We officially have a nick name! Thanks to Nanny and Grampa (my mom and dad) baby is now known as Baby Roo! This has a bit of a back story to it.

When I was little, my mom started calling me Roo, you'll have to ask HER why... I just don't know. What I do know is that the nick name is after the fictional Disney character Roo from Winnie the Pooh, child to Kanga. It's always been a name of endearment from my mother to me, and I am proud to have my child named the same.

It is good to know that this week Baby's eyes and ears are staring to have a "human resemblance" as my Mayo Clinic book describes... at least we know I'm not growing an alien inside me.

I can't wait to meet this precious little life. The first thing both my parents did when they saw me today was kiss the baby belly... it made it all seem much more real to me. I'm so blessed to be going through experience, despite the fears I have.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

The Ambassador of New Life - Week 11

I think for most newly-pregnant women, it takes time for the reality to set in.

So far. my pregnancy has been unlike how others describe it. My morning sickness is actually quite the opposite and I begin to get extremely nauseous around 7pm at night. As you can imagine this isn't ideal when Eric is gone all day. I do my best to be as productive during the day so that night time I can slip into bed early and sleep off the sickness.

I've learned that nausea has a nasty side to it during pregnancy. I find if I let myself become even a little bit hungry the nausea increases dramatically until I can find a cracker or two to eat... This has cause me to change my eating habits to six small meals a day instead of three large ones.

Bodily changes do accompany pregnancy but there really isn't much to show for being pregnant. I find myself wondering at times if it's all just in my head, especially since we haven't had an ultrasound yet.

I think pregnancy started to feel more real for me when we went to the OB today and heard a little special something for the first time.

I had planned to record the moment for my family, since they're all so far away, many of them have asked us to document as much as we can so they can somewhat take part in it all. Unfortunately my OB didn't get the message. Near the end of our week 11 appointment she whipped out a hand-held device and started prodding around my belly with it.

And then we heard it... faint at first, but strong and fast.

My OB looked at Eric with a smile, "Is that a boy or girl heartbeat?"

I know in that moment my heart just melted. Eric and I exchanged the most meaningful look of our entire marriage as this pregnancy suddenly became real to us both. And for the record, we both think it's a boy!

Pregnancy can feel like a long time, but I'm trying to remain in the present and just enjoy the moments I have growing a new life inside of me.

How blessed am I that God chose me to be the ambassador of new life? 

Well until next time :)

Friday, November 15, 2013

Grab Green Disposal Pods

One of my favorite features of our home is the Garbage Disposal system in our Kitchen Sink. I never thought I would ever use one in my life - so I feel slightly spoiled.

However - Sometimes I'll wake up in the morning to a horrid stench coming from the kitchen... 

The Culprit? 

Mr. Garbage Disposal, in the Kitchen, with the Sink!

I began my search for a green solution to defeating the horrid monster stench that I could make myself. I came across the idea of using Ice Cubes filled with a mixture of Vinegar and Lemon Peels that has brought the stench to it's knees. 

One simple drop of an ice cube (stored in a sealed, freezer-safe container), a little hot water, and a lot of loud grinding and the job is done!

The peels from 2-3 lemons
1.5 cups of Distilled Vinegar

Chop Peels into small slices and add 1-2 to each cube tray
Pour vinegar evenly into every cube tray
Place tray in freeze and let freeze
Remove cubes into a gallon sized freezer bag for storage. 

And it's that simple! I only use one cube each time so they last me forever. Hope you enjoy this green solution for your disposal monster. 

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Tis the Season to Party!

For those of you who know me personally, you know that I've come from a long line of family members who love to host. Our home is continually filled with the warmth of family and friends.

Recently I've had the pleasure of helping my dear friend Julie throw a few parties from their newly purchased home.

The first was our Harry Potter themed party. We scoured the internet for food ideas and decorative additives for the party. Julie did an amazing job decorating the table and assembling so many tasty treats!

  • Here is the menu we served to the guests: 
  • Pumpkin Dip -  a mix of pumpkin, whip cream and more. Dip some cinnamon crackers in it!
  • Chocolate Frogs - a mold purchased off eBay. Used a high quality chocolate in the mold. 
  • Herbology Platter - Veggies to balance out the sweets
  • Dragon Bites - Jalapeno poppers; Jalapenos stuffed with Cream Cheese and wrapped in Bacon.
  • Chocolate Wands - Large pretzels dipped in melted Chocolate Bark.
  • Goblin Eyes - Sweet and Sour Italian Meatballs.
  • Pumpkin Pasties - Sugar cookies cut out like pumpkins
  • Golden Snitches - Nutter Butter Balls dipped in yellow chocolate
  • Muggle Food - chips and salsa for some balance.


We took some empty bottles and filled them with colored water and named them after Harry Potter Potions from the books: Essense of Dittany, Bloodroot, Veritaserum, Felix Felicitus, Phoenix Tears, and Amortentia. 

The party was a huge success and we had a blast. 

A few weeks later Julie was throwing her daughter's first birthday and asked for my help. The theme was Layla's Sweet Shop. Julie and her husband made most of the treats and Eric and I were able to arrive early to help hang streamers, place chairs, and refill platters as needed. 

Everything was so colorful and delicious. Among the cupcakes we served lolipop sugar cookies, Trix Rice Krispies, Chocolate covered pretzels dipped in sprinkles, a big jar of Jolly Ranchers, a veggie tray, chips and salsa, mini corn dogs, Nutter Butter Balls, and mini sandwich rolls. Mixed throughout the table were little dishes of button candies and chocolates. 

Needless to say by the end we were all sugared out and the kids were quite hyper. Everyone got a goodie bag at the end to take home some treats left from the table.

After all this party planning I'm thinking Julie and I should start our own party business! We always have a blast working together and enjoy hosting friends and family. Just let us know if you need a party put together!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Growing by Two Feet

Well, it's been a while since I've blogged on our lives here in Tampa. The reason is simple: I couldn't spill the beans!

Eric and I are now proud to announce that our little family is growing by the size of two little feet!

Photo Credit to Joe Carlyle

The Story

October ninth I took the test and the stick was Positive! I spent the afternoon fussing over how I would tell my husband who was faithfully at work.

The same day I received a job offer so I tricked Eric into taking us out for dinner to celebrate the "job."

After being seated and ordering our dinner, I ran out to the car and grabbed the box I had prepared for Eric. Inside I packed the positive test and the two Jeffrey Brown's Star Wars kids books "Darth Vader and Son" and "Vader's Little Princess." (We are Star Wars buffs, just so you know!)

Seeing Eric's face was the most priceless moment of my life when he lifted up the books and saw the word "preggo" written on the test! The people in the restaurant were looking at us strange while we celebrated and took a picture together; but our joy overcame it all.

Our waitress was so sweet and when she found out about our news, she came out with a complimentary dessert to help our celebration along! We are so blessed. 

We've had such a wonderful time telling family and close friends and now we're so excited to include you in our news! We ask that you join us in our journey through prayer that our little one would grow strong and healthy; that there would be no complications throughout the pregnancy.

The Details

I am about 10 weeks along with a due date of June 6th! My family was overwhelmed with joy but all teased that we would be adding to the MANY June Birthdays in our family. We look forward to the first picture of our little one in a few weeks at our first ultrasound.

For now I will just be happy when the first trimester is over and I can get past all this nausea!

The Future 

I'm so excited about being a mommy and look forward to so many firsts ahead of us; first ultrasound, first kicks, and more!

To follow our baby story please follow my blog for updates and new stories! Being on a budget this baby will bring on many DYI projects and new, healthier recipes. I can't wait to share them with you all!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

New Wreath

Last month I showed you my multipurpose wreath - well summer came and went and the red-white-blue needed to go. I had some extra garland from the bow we made for the welcome sign so I used that plus some pine cones left over from my centerpiece on the table.

It's not the greatest in the world but it makes it feel a little more home-like when someone knocks on the door.

Here is the welcome sign with the same ribbon used for a bow. My mom was so gracious to help with this artistic touch... 

Friday, October 18, 2013

Replacing the Lost

Several months ago our, now re-homed, puppy loved to ramp and rage around the house. One of the downfalls of this child-like amount of energy is things were often broken.

One of my favorite items that was broken was a Willow Tree figurine called "together." It was a wedding gift we received when married in the Adirondacks in 2011.

As you can see - it could not be saved

Today I was so excited to have my new one delivered!

Since I was a child I have loved these figurines. There are so many of them to spotlight so many special moments. The first I ever got was from my father "Beautiful Wishes" - a girl holding Calla Lilies. The second was our cake topper at our wedding "Promise." We also have the small nativity set called "The Holy Family." I love my collection and I hope to be able to add more to it over the years.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

My Spot

In an ever-changing world it is a single point of consistency; 

to sit and read and listen to God...

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Motivation Tuesday - Potter Prep

In a few weeks my dearest friend is hosting a Harry Potter Party in their new home. When she told me about the party I got all sorts of fun ideas in my head! If you're gonna do a Harry Potter Party, you have to do it right.

I wanted to share the decorations I made yesterday for the Party. It will be a photo booth for all the guests to get their picture taken.

It's made out of a cardboard box that I edged with electrical tape and mimicked an online Font.

I also purchased this mold to make Chocolate frogs for the party - YUMMY!!

I'm super excited about the Party. I found us 3$ capes at the thrift shop and ordered Red and Gold ties online! I'll make sure to write a big post to show you all the great things my friend does to make the party a smash!

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Multipurpose Wreath

Here's a DIY project I've wanted to post for a while but... well... I've been lazy. Here is a great multipurpose wreath I made for our front door. What I love most is I can take it apart each season/holiday and make it into something new using the mostly the same materials.

Check out my super duper cool Clothes Pin Wreath!

1 wire wreath
A bag of Clothes Pins
Red, White, and Blue paint

Painted appropriate amount of clothes pins in the right colors


Now that the summer is over and fall is upon us, I'm looking to try something new... Check out these cool ideas on how to reuse the wire wreath idea!

Let me know which one you like more in the comments and I'll take a stab at it.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Dining Room Makeover

Earlier, in my Steal a Deal post, I showed you all the beautiful light fixture I got for a steal at Lowes. This is part of our home-makeover I mentioned in Home is Where the Heart Is. With a Please and a Kiss I convinced Eric to install the new fixture this evening for us and WHAT A DIFFERENCE!!

Here are some pictures of our dining room makeover for your enjoyment.




Everything feels so much warmer. With the open concept into the living room, the warm light from the new fixture just makes everything so much more at-home! Thanks Eric for helping me and putting up with my oh-maybe-it-should-go-over-there-ness.

Total price of this makeover:
Mirror $25
Fixture $17
Centerpiece $3 (a thrift find!)
Tablecloth $8

Total: $53

More makeovers to come!

Steal A Deal

Friday is my thrifting day. You can read all about my thrifting tips in my Thrifty Housewife post. After dropping Eric at work, it's off to the thrift shop! The ladies there have started to know me by name... and snag me good deals. Today I went in searching for a few key items to add to our home decor. I really only came out with one "home" item but it was still a good deal!

Check it out!

The Throw Pillow came in at $1.45, the clothes at $5.00 and the iron board $2.02 (and it's the perfect size for our tiny place). I'm excited about the maxi dress as it is the first one I have ever worn and it's so cute!!

I'm not sure what the Akerman t-shirt is... I found a law firm in our area with the name. But the shirt was almost new and super cheap. Just one more to add to the closet makeover!

Next I headed to Lowes. I talked yesterday about the updating we are doing to our Condo to make it feel more at-home for us in my Home is Where the Heart is post. My mom and I did a little research and found a few light fixtures on sale online. I found the one I liked the most at Lowes today but it wasn't on sale in store :( but that didn't stop me...

I asked the electrician to check the price online and sure enough it was on sale!! Then trouble #2 arose as they didn't have any in stock...BUT there was one on Display! He ended up selling me the whole fixture for $17.00 even, a $54.96 difference (enter shocked face here).

So those are my Steal a Deals for today. Maybe I'll update later with pictures of Eric hanging the light... (best deal ever, I buy - he installs).

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Home is Where the Heart Is

Lately I have been getting antsy in our little condo. I feel like I keep hitting the same four walls over and over again. A few months ago a small home a block away went on the market. I walked Eric over to the home and showed him the cute blue shutters, the beautiful yard, and we found the floor plan on the relator website.

I fell in love.

After crunching the numbers and applying some Dave Ramsey principles to the imaginary scenario, we decided now was not a good time to buy. So then what? Stay in our Condo longer?

God has really blessed us with our location. We have the lowest rent in the entire area, including our amenities and the location is so central to everything we need. So we decided to put a little money into making it more at-home. Here are a few pictures I took to show what we've started to do this week <3

Curtains to dress the sliding doors to our deck

I found this super cute pillow for our bench outside at the thrift shop for 5$. I thought it was a nice addition! We hope to add a two seat table out here in the next few months for evening dinners in the cool winter weather. 

 Now that the dog's cage is gone from this corner I put out our shelf for our books, cooking magazines, and a few pictures. I'm happy for the extra storage space!

Mom got us this beautiful mirror for a steal while she was visiting. We moved the clock to the thermostat wall and hung the mirror to add more light to that side of the Condo.We added a table cloth and a centerpiece for holiday flare.

Added some Word Art to the entry wall. Eventually we'll add a second item to this wall to balance it out.

Lastly we added a bow for holiday flare on our welcome sign. I hope to make our burlap wreath soon for the front door. 

Hope you like the changes! Feel free to stop on by any time and have a visit by the pool!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Fall Cleaning

Yesterday I talked about cleaning out my closets in my Motivation Tuesday Post. I was able to remove over 4 bags of useless-to-me items. Somehow this whole event triggered my fall cleaning. I guess it was a good time; the dogs are all gone now, mom was here to help, and frankly it needed to be done!

What a crazy day! I mentioned to my mom that we wanted to clean the carpet once the dogs were gone so today we rented our own rug doctor from the Home Depot. Did you know you could RENT these? I was impressed. 

We tackled the bedroom first and cleared the entire area, with mom's help! 

It made for a great mess in the living room...

I made sure to wash the floorboards (you know, while I'm at it) and then commenced the water vacuum!

Once the room was done I had to take mom to the airport (sniff sniff) so Eric and I finished up this evening with the living room carpet and the car as well.  I'm always trying to make the most of our money $$$

Now to let everything dry and put it all away tomorrow. Have I mentioned I love clean carpets? 

I must admit, after 91 degree weather all day, the cold shower was very rewarding at the end of it all. More pictures to come tomorrow of the whole apartment completed. 

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Motivation Tuesday - The Purge

Today was Motivation Tuesday! This is usually the day of the week that I get the most things done...

Today I decided it was time to tackle the closets. I love our condo here in Florida, but there simply is NO storage. We have two closets in the bedroom and one in the hall to store all our belongings!

Thank goodness it's Florida, I wouldn't know what to do with any Winter Clothing Storage.

Every time we open a closet it feels like something is falling out. Since I haven't opened the storage totes in over six months, I figured most of the clothes in there could go. I soon found myself in a mountain of belongings; stuck in my room until the damage was repaired.

Three piles started; Keep, Throw, and Donate. I walked out with almost two bags of trash, four bags of mics donation items, and vacuum sealed bags of clothes stored in my totes. My biggest accomplishment of the day was getting my roller duffel bag to reside in the top tote so now I have more room in my side of the closet!

I still need to take an "after" picture which I hope will not include the two bags of pillow fluff stored in the closet awaiting a pillow repair from a Stella disaster earlier this year. Fingers crossed the sewing machine part will be on it's way soon!

So that was my Motivation Tuesday - I must say I feel well accomplished.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Doing Things Just for Me

As you may know, I started my own money-saving blog called the Penny Pinching Housewife. Today I merged that blog site with my Journey as a Mrs Blog. I felt there was no need for having two blog sites and this way, I can write about things for me and not feel like I have to post DYI ideas or money saving ways instead of the subjects I want to talk about on a day to day basis.

Being a Mrs, to me, is all about pinching the pennies and being a Godly wife. That's what I really want to write about. So look out for my DYI posts and Penny-Pinching ideas through this blog site instead!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Fajitas for a Crowd

Sometimes my home feels like a revolving door.

Don't get me wrong, I love it!

However, often times we are feeding several people on a budget! Chicken seems to always be the way to go and it's so easy! I wanted to share my favorite Chicken Fajita recipe for all to try.

What I love about this recipe is you can easily change the quantity you are making to accomdate the crowd in the home. And as a bonus, you'll get everyone's tummy's rumbling as they smell the goodness slowly cooking throughout the house!

Crock Pot Chicken Fajitas

  • 1 yellow onion, sliced
  • 3 sweet peppers, sliced
  • 1 ½ pounds boneless chicken breast or thighs
  • 1/4 to ½ cup chicken broth, depending on preference (leave this out if you prefer a drier fajita filling)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons cumin
  • 1 ½ tablespoons chili powder
  • Tortillas
  • Fajita fixings
  1. Combine sliced onion and peppers in the bottom of a greased crockpot.
  2. Lay chicken on top of veggies.
  3. Pour chicken broth over top.
  4. Sprinkle everything with cumin, salt, and chili powder.
  5. Cover and cook on low for 4-8 hours (or on High for 4 hours) or until meat is shreddable.
  6. When meat is done, shred with two forks and stir back into juices. Serve meat mixture with slotted spoon on tortillas with your choice of fixing
Note that you can forgo the Salt, Cumin and Chili Powder for a pre-made Fajita Seasoning pack. 

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Penny Pinching in the Garden - Guest Post by Jennie

I asked my dear friend Jennie if she would be willing to write a guest post for us this week. She hosts her own blog; The Canadian Housewife, where she blogs about their large garden and all the fresh produce they grown themselves!  Enjoy her tips for Penny Pinching in the Garden

Without Further to do - I give you The Canadian Housewife, Jennie

When Jessie asked me to write a guest post for her blog, I felt honored and excited to have been chosen. I had always wanted to write a guest post and I finally had the opportunity to do so. I hope I meet her expectations and that you enjoy what I have to share about penny pinching in the garden!

Growing your own vegetables can be a big money saver in the long run. Yes, there are some up front costs to it and you’ll have to put a bit of money into it from year to year, but overall, it’s a heck of a lot cheaper than buying fresh all year round.

There are plenty of ways to go about gardening, from small container gardens on a patio to full scale backyard gardens. I don’t have much experience with container gardening as my garden is currently a 20’x28’ plot in my backyard, but I feel like many of my tips can be applied to all types of gardening.

First of all, only grow vegetables that you like. You won’t save money if you plant something you won’t eat, just because you think you should. If you don’t like carrots, don’t grow carrots. Choose your seeds according to your taste buds.

Secondly, don’t go crazy planting huge amounts. Just because you like beans doesn’t mean you should plant enough to feed half your neighborhood. If you plant more than you can eat of something, most of it will go to waste and you once again won’t have saved any money. 

Third, don’t waste food. If you have too much produce, find other ways of using it up. Whether by freezing it, canning it or giving it away, you don’t want the food to just rot and then get thrown out. If you have a killer crop of tomatoes one year, try more recipes that include tomatoes and learn to can the extras. If you have too many beans, blanch and freeze them for winter use.

Read about Freezing our Winter Beans Here

Growing your own food is so rewarding and definitely worth the time and effort you put into it.  gardening does take a lot of hard labour but when you sit down for your first meal with a side of fresh garden veggies you just picked that day, it will all be worth it. Plus, it’s also nice to know that the $3 bag of seeds you bought is now feeding you for half the year.

For me, gardening is a nice way to save money on food. I’m cutting back on my grocery bills without having to compromise my health. 

If you want to read more about my garden, swing by my blog for my post “What’s Growing Wednesday?” weekly updates.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The Thrifty Housewife

If you know me well, you know I like to thrift!

There's a lot that can go into thrifting; some women even make a living out of buying and reselling from thrift store. I'm not here to show you how to make an income from thrifting, but rather to talk about how to pinch the pennies and make each one count.

There are a lot of stereo types that come with thrift shopping. The first time I went I almost felt out of place and even grungy. But don't let the stereo type that these second hand stores are for the poor and underprivileged get to you; it's simply NOT TRUE. 

photo from

Here are a few simple tricks I apply to my thrift shopping on a weekly basis to maximize the saving potential.


Not all thrift stores are created equal. It's important to find stores located in "upscale" locations. This way the items in the thrift shop will be from the well-to-do neighborhoods, for a great price. If you're looking for that one-of-a-kind piece, then any shop will have it, no matter the location. Take cash if you can. This way you'll make every penny count as you sift through items.


Do your best to avoid chain donation places. You may have gasped momentarily because we all know and understand the great work places like Goodwill and The Red Cross do for local and international communities. But the truth is, they've gone to a bar-code system where you will pay close to retail for items, specifically clothing, as they're trying to make the most for each item.  I try to only visit here as a last resort, and I do admit I have found a steal once or twice.


Walking into a thrift store you'll find rows upon rows of clothing. Some stores will sort by size or color. Most will sort at least by gender and subject matter. But you have to dig. Keep a small thing of hand sanitizer in your purse for the end, before you get in the car, so you can feel a little cleaner. Make sure to take your time and look at each item. I can't tell you how many times I've found a $0.50 shirt with tags still on it! Check for stains or tears in the clothing. On shoes make sure the heel is not coming off. If you're looking at electronics, most are marked if they're working but always find a plug and test it out if you can.


Before I leave for the store I make a small list of items I might be looking for; a pair of running shorts, a house phone, some serving dishes. They may not have these items today, but next week they could be there. This is why I make a trip at least once a week or every two weeks to the thrift store. This may sound like a lot, but I don't always purchase, and I never miss an item. Another positive is the workers began to know me. Just yesterday one called me to let me know an item on my list had been donated! How cool is that?? Often a store will contact you if you make your need for a specific item known.


I already mentioned you can cultivate relationships with the workers at each store, but it is also good to know their sale days. Some stores will tag items in different colors and do a "green tag sale" day or a 15% off student day. Make sure to ask if they have a return policy on any electronics you may buy. Also don't be afraid to ask if the price is negotiable. A lot of store will let you haggle with them on the price.

and finally...


This is a great way to give back. When I go to my thrift shop, I'll take a bag of items we haven't used in a while. My rule the thumb, if I bring an item in - another has to come out. If you're buying clothes, go through your closet and find items you don't fit in or wear anymore and donate. I do ask that you only donate good quality items. maybe your old dress will be someone else steal of the day!

These are a few of the items I have picked up in the last few weeks from our local thrift stores. Make sure you properly wash and clean all items before using and remember to have fun! Thrift shopping can be an adventure - enjoy it!