jewelry organization – a repurposed bulletin board

a few weeks ago i created a cake plate style jewelry holder that i love. it created a problem in that it couldn’t quite contain my jewelry collection. i don’t have anything fancy, but i want to take good care of it and have it organized in such a way that i can use it easily. we had an old bulletin board lying around, so i thought i should put it to good use.

i painted it with the can of antique white we’ve been
trying to finish up for ages. then i bought some blue and white
striped ribbon to cover the ugly edges.

here is the corner of my bedroom.
i think the jewelry bulletin board fits in nicely.
the flower was used on the guest book table at my wedding.
i didn’t know what to do with it after,
and i think it adds a sense of whimsy to the room.

so here we are, slightly more organized,
with everything having a place. much better!
now, on to organizing the craft table…
what’s next on your “need to organize” list?

i’m linking to: toolsareforwomentoo The Girl Creative Keeping It Simple  http://linda-coastalcharm.blogspot.com/ Organize and Decorate Everything

a little taste of young life camp

here’s a peek into what i’ve been up to for the last week. i took my high school friends to windy gap in weaverville, north carolina, for a week at young life camp. we guarantee kids that it will be the best week of their lives or their money back. i’ve taken kids to young life and wyldlife camps for the last 11 summers, for a total of 16 best weeks ever. every trip has been special, but this last one was really incredible.

here’s my cabin of girls dressed in our team unis for the volleyball tournament.

laura, whitney, and i giving it our all during the leader tug-o-war.

the horseback ride

view from the horse ride

our group got all dressed up for hillbilly night.

jed and i at the hillbilly night, the “ramp festival”
i love partnering with my husband in ministry.

my girls and i at the top of the mountain hike
the view was a little cloudy, but the hike was awesome.

i’ve missed my calling as a nascar driver.

i just wanted to give you a little insight into my job. i am so blessed to get to hang out with high school and middle school kids and share Jesus with them. we lived in asheville, nc for 3 years, and jed worked at windy gap, so taking kids there felt like going home. we got to see some of the friends that we love and miss, spend time in one of our favorite places in the world, and help our high school friends slow down enough to take a look at the Gospel.

Are you hot? Make Gazpacho.

i don’t know what the weather is like where you live, but here in dallas, it is HOT. i’m talking record highs. weather like this calls for a special summer recipe that is super easy. i studied abroad in spain during college, and fell in love with gazpacho there. my host family didn’t have air conditioning (like most families in spain), so my host mother would fix gazpacho as a solution to cool us off. it is basically a chilled tomato and cucumber soup, and i hope you will love it as much as i do. here’s what you need:

gazpacho:
1 cucumber, halved and seeded
2 red bell peppers, cored and seeded
4 plum tomatoes
1 onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
12 ounces tomato juice (3 cups)
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 tbsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp black pepperprocess all of the veggies in your food processor.
add all of the other ingredients.
pour it into a bowl, stir, and chill.this recipe serves 8.
it is pretty light, and tastes amazing.
i like to enjoy it with a fresh baguette.
what’s your favorite summer recipe?

*this post was originally posted on aly & ash during a blog swap.

cooking with friends

i am blessed with creative friends who like to cook, and really like to cook together. we recently had our second sunday girls’ cooking night, and i think it is an awesome solution to the dilemma that is dinner. this particular evening we were helping betsy get some food ready to freeze in preparation for the birth of her child. here’s what happens…

we gather at betsy’s house because she has the biggest kitchen with an island range and double oven. everyone brings their own ingredients and 4 aluminum loaf pans, 1 for each person cooking. we spend a few hours preparing our selected dishes together, catching up, and laughing a lot.

it is way more fun to cook with friends.

do you like these aprons? whitney makes them.
once the dishes are ready, everyone divides their dish among 4 loaf pans,
perfect for storing or freezing, then reheating in the oven.
the great thing is that everyone goes home with 4 pans full of deliciousness for the week.
this time we had real mac and cheese, penne pasta with ground turkey and vodka sauce, mini-meatloaf, and zucchini bread. the zucchini bread was gone at my house by the next morning, but we made the rest last for several meals throughout the week.
maybe next time we’ll have a few more folks, and a few more dishes to take home. so, if you are in desperate need of a girls’ night AND a dinner solution, invite your friends over to cook with you.


*i originally posted this as a guest post on tatertots and jello.

gone to carolina…

i’m gone to carolina. i’ll be at windy gap, a young life camp in weaverville, north carolina for the next week.  we are taking a wonderful group of high school kids to camp to have the best week of their lives.  this is my favorite part of my job.  i absolutely love camp, and windy gap is my favorite of all the 22 young life camps.  it is where jed and i met, and near where i lived for 3 years before moving to texas.  i’m so excited!  learn more about young life here, and windy gap here.  see you in a week!

frugal friday – confessions of a shopaholic

hi, my name is becca, and i’m a shopaholic. seriously, i have a problem. i love to partake in a little retail therapy when i’ve had a bad day, or really any day. we’ve been credit card free for a long time now, so that limits my spending. because of the strict budgeting, my new favorite places to shop are marshall’s, ross, and tj maxx. i have to tell you that i found the cutest mexican style dress at marshall’s for only $15.99! it has pockets and is perfection. i haven’t taken a picture yet, but i’m sure i will soon. the only difficulty i have at those stores is the search. i think you have to go in with a few items in mind, otherwise the madness and disorganization will drive you up the wall.

the dress is great, but my favorite thing to search for at those stores is… bras! i fell in love with calvin klein perfect fit bras several years ago, but they are pricy. they run $38-45 retail, and that is just too much. i have found many at marshall’s in the $6.99-$12.99 range. holy monkeys, that is a big discount!

my next mission is to find a new pair of jeans… i’ll let you know how it goes.
what is your favorite search item at discount stores?

crafty solutions: a new cake plate jewelry holder

my dresser is a disaster. jewelry and makeup are strewn about, and my jewelry box can’t hold all of my stuff. i know it is a ridiculous problem to have, but it bothers me. i’m sure you’ve seen these lovely cake plate jewelry holders all over blogland. they inspired me to try it for myself. i found 2 brass candle sticks at a garage sale for next to nothing and then started looking for cool plates. i looked everywhere. garage sales, estate sales, target, and then finally the crate and barrel outlet. at the c & b outlet i found 3 beauties for under $10 total. finally, we were ready for action.

seriously, this is not staged. this is my reality.
on the left is the untouched candle stick.
on the right is the sanded version.

we had a little bit of ivory bisque paint left over from a furniture painting project.
we used it to cover the brass for a totally different look.
jed decided he wanted to help,
and i was more than willing to let him.

we used gorilla glue to attach the plates to the candle sticks.
ta-da! here’s the finished product.
now i have to be patient enough to let it dry.
i have a light blue plate on the bottom,
an ivory plate in the middle,
and then one with cobalt blue flowers on the top.
i love it!
now i just have to make something
to hold the jewelry that won’t fit…

i’m entering this post in a contest over at CSI:Visit thecsiproject.com

verse of the week – 1 john 1:9

“if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” – 1 john 1:9

the memory verse for this week is a reminder of our forgiven status. we are forgiven, and get to live in the freedom of that knowledge. my hope is that i will treat others with grace and forgiveness if i am reminded of God has done the same for me. join me in memorizing a verse per week.

frugal friday (just barely) – finishing baby step 3

yesterday we took another HUGE step towards financial freedom. we finished dave ramsey‘s baby step 3!!! this means that not only are we debt free, but we also have 3 months of expenses saved in an emergency fund. i cannot express to you how free this makes me feel. it took ten months for us to get through the first three baby steps, but it has been an awesome journey. we have taken control of our finances and are able to give more than ever before.

here’s the thing – i am TERRIBLE with money. when i left home for college, i made one bad financial decision after another. i maxed out 8 credit cards, bought a brand new car i couldn’t afford, and spent whatever i wanted. i consolidated all of my debts into a big loan and paid on it for several years. while i was paying it off i opened up new credit cards at gap, banana republic, old navy, and victoria’s secret, then got a new visa and discover card for good measure. i was basically a disaster. i was always later with my rent, trying to explain myself to roommates, and completely unable to get it together.

in early 2006, i felt really convicted and overwhelmed by the way i was dealing with money. i again consolidated my debt and cut up all of my credit cards. by the time i married jed in 2008, i was completely debt free. jed was a different story. he still had a few credit cards, a major loan from his parents, and the dreaded student loans. still, i thought we were doing ok. we were very frugal throughout the first year of our marriage, and never used credit cards. but, we still had all of that debt hanging over our heads.

last year we were introduced to dave ramsey’s ideas by jed’s brother, sam. he and his wife michelle had taken control of their finances using dave’s plans, and were eager to share the program with us. i fought it. big time. i did not want a budget. i did not want to sacrifice to pay off “his” debt, when i had already worked so hard to pay off mine. one fateful weekend we were driving to houston and happened to listen to dave’s radio show. it was a “debt free friday” with people calling in to scream, “we’re debt free!!!”. i was hooked. we started the program the next week, and the rest is history. we have found such freedom.

if you are drowning financially, or even just struggling a little, go check out dave. his ideas are not rocket science, just the common sense that we try to hide from as we run up our credit card bills. i am not receiving any kind of compensation for this post, just trying to share the wealth.

i’m linking to:
Join  us Saturdays at tatertotsandjello.com for the weekend wrap up party!