Author: Becca Eby

get crafty – the doily project

a while back i was inspired by a project i saw on one of my favorite crafty blogs,
tatertots and jello.


you can see her project and a full tutorial here.

i have several doilies that i inherited from my grandmother and her sister. they were handmade by their mother, my great grandmother. i love that my family has a tradition of handmade crafts that i get to carry on. i wanted to test “the doily project” on some doilies that didn’t have sentimental value, so i found 3 for $1.50 at an estate sale. i changed up the original project, using painted canvases instead of scrapbook paper.

it turned out well, i think. the colors are fun and modern, but the doilies are delicate and antique. i love the contrast.
i bought 3 canvases at micheal’s and painted them with acrylic paint and a sponge brush. it took 3 coats, but eventually looked great.
i centered the doilies and then poured a good amount of mod podge on top of them. i smoothed the mod podge with a foam brush, covering the doily completely as well as the frame.

it will look a little funky until the mod podge dries.

i patiently waited for the mod podge to dry, and the finished canvases look great.

for other awesome mod podge products, check out mod podge rocks, a blog that is totally about mod podge projects.

do you have any heirlooms that you’ve used in craft projects?

i’m linking to some great parties. check them out here and join the fun.

travel adventures – the mayan city of tulum

on our recent trip to mexico we visited the ancient mayan city of tulum.
the city was built around 900 a.d.
now it is only inhabited by iguanas.

i love the sense of history you get walking around in a place where people lived so long ago. we miss out on this so much in the u.s.a. here we put a plaque on a building if someone lived there 100 years ago.

the mayans built their city right on the beach,
with protection provided by high cliffs.
they were an advanced people who developed a calendar, understood the concept of zero, and spoke and wrote a language that is still used today.
apparently they loved the beach.

tulum is one of the prettiest places i’ve ever been.
the combination of the ancient buildings with the rugged cliffs
and gorgeous aquamarine water is awe inspiring.

i definitely recommend a visit to tulum or one of the other
mayan ruins on your next trip to mexico.
have you ever visited a place that gave you a sense of history?

weiner dog wednesday – peaceful protest

jackson loves the hot weather. he loves to lay in the sun and be as warm as possible. i, on the other hand, do not. i do not want to sit outside in this heat and humidity because it is over 100 degrees here, and that is unacceptable. this photo above is what happens whenever i try to get him to come inside. he rolls over, looking pitiful, in peaceful protest. eventually i have to lift him up and forcibly make him move. obedience is not his strong suit.

bret michaels and my top 5 bad boy crushes of my misspent youth

i had my fair share of bad boy crushes during my misspent youth. oh how i loved the bad boys. one of my top five bad boys has made it back into the spotlight. unless you’ve been hiding under a rock lately, you have seen bret michaels somewhere. he has been on celebrity apprentice, and searched for love on his own reality show (twice). he had some serious health problems and was rumored to have died, but is back on top and touring again. in honor of bret’s recovery i decided to create a little list of my top five bad boy crushes, along with then and now pictures and little update on each of them. if only i had those old big bopper magazines…

#5 – bret michaels

once a member of poison, he now tours solo and stars in the aforementioned reality shows. he was a really bad boy back in the day, but this latest health scare has forced to really clean up his act. he has even back together with his former love of 16 years (his baby mama). good for bret. i wish him the best. stay clean, darlin’. “every rose has it’s thorn” will remain one of the best power ballads of all time.
#4 – axl rose

oh axl, what happened to you? he used to rock a kilt like no one else and lead of one the greatest rock bands ever – guns-n-roses. he had a fallling out with all the other band members, and carries on with fake g-n-r replacements. let’s face it, it all went down hill after “use your illusion II”. lately he has been sporting these terrible cornrows (they just don’t look good on white people) and making bad decisions in public. get well, axl. get over yourself. i’ll go rock out to “sweet child ‘o mine” and remember the good times.
#3 – christian slater
heathers, anyone?

somehow i fell for his sociopathic bad boy character (j.d.) in heathers. he continues to act successfully in movies and on tv, and seems to be doing well. there have been rumors of drug abuse, hair transplants, and botox. by the looks of that forehead, i’m going to say the botox is not just a rumor. he still looks like trouble, but those eyebrows will serve him well as he ages. i might have to buy that heathers dvd…
#2 – kurt cobain
may he rest in peace.

kurt was the ill-fated lead singer of nirvana, the band that changed my life with “smells like teen spirit” back in middle school. he made cardigan sweaters look good, and turned the world on to grunge. i wore flannel for years. i remember where i was when i found out he had died. sitting in front of the tv in my parents’ living room, watching mtv. i cried and cried, feeling like i’d really lost a friend. he was wearing the same converse one stars that i owned when he died. it felt like a bond. theories still abound about whether it was suicide or if courtney got away with murder. we will never know. i see photos of frances bean (their child), and hope she knows how loved her father was. i hope she turns out ok. i need to listen to “come as you are” right now.
#1 – jared leto

better known as jordan catalano from “my so-called life” (the best tv show, ever). his tortured relationship with angela chase made me feel like i wasn’t alone in my teenage suffering. today he still acts and is in a popular band, 30 seconds to mars. i feel like he has gone a little off the fame weirdo deep end, but i hope he turns out ok. he still so pretty, even with that guyliner. i’m putting the my so-called life dvd set on my christmas list.

there they are, the top five bad boy crushes of my misspent youth. i hope you enjoyed this little trip down memory lane.

who was your favorite bad boy back in junior high or high school?

super easy key lime pie – a beachy recipe

we are headed to the beach in less than a week, and i am so ready. one of my favorite beachy recipes (and favorite dessert ever) is this easy key lime pie. is was given to me by mom’s friend mary (she is my friend as well, but my mom gets the credit for knowing her first. at any rate, it is super easy. there is none of the zesting or making of meringue that goes with other key lime pie recipes.

mary’s easy key lime pie
the ingredients:
1 graham cracker pie crust
1 14 oz. can of fat free sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup key lime juice (i use paul and joe’s or mrs. biddie’s)
i really like the key lime taste, so i use 3/4 cup
1 container fat free cool whip
dump your ingredients into your mixer or mixing bowl.
mix them until well blended and smooth.
pour the mixture into your pie crust.
so simple and perfect…
place the plastic cover that came with your pie crust
back over the pie to make a dome.
put your pie in the freezer for at least 8 hours,
preferably overnight.
be patient. it is worth it.
this pie serves 8-10.
it contains 240-300 calories and about 5 grams of fat per slice,
depending on your slice size.
that is not bad at all for a delicious dessert.
have a slice and dream of being on your favorite beach.
what is your favorite beach recipe or food?

i’m linking to some great parties. check them out here.

vamos a la playa! – our vacation in mexico

we have been from our beach vacation for a week and a half.
i want to go back.
we spent a glorious week at the sandos playacar all-inclusive resort
outside of playa del carmen, mexico.
the vacation was our reward for finishing the first 3 baby steps in dave ramsey’s total money makeover. we are debt free and have an emergency fund of 3 months expenses. it was a difficult 9 month journey to get here, but we are so grateful to be financially free.

here’s a lovely little church in playa del carmen.

there were shows and live bands at the resort every night.

we ate waaaay too much, including these sweet treats.
i gained literally a pound per day.

these gorgeous orange flowers were everywhere.
aren’t they beautiful?! i love them.
laura over at gringation cancun is always posting pics of these trees.

the beach was rough the first few days with winds leftover from hurricane alex. things calmed down at the end of the week, and the water was perfect.
this was my first experience with an all-inclusive resort, and i loved it. it made everything so simple and affordable. we didn’t have to worry about making frugal decisions at every meal, and the overall price was really great. the resort really had everything we needed.
i’ll post more about the vacation later, i’m sure.
playa del carmen has now been added my list of favorite destinations.
here are a few others:
destin, florida
navarre beach, florida
barcelona, spain
madrid, spain
charleston, south carolina
gruene, texas
petit jean state park, morrilton, arkansas

what is your favorite vacation destination?

i’m linking to some great blog parties. check them out here.

frugal friday frijoles – the easiest bean dip recipe ever

my husband is the most frugal man i know, most of the time.
he loves to experiment in the kitchen, and has been known to have a recipe bomb on occasion. it was not the case with this one.
he was craving some bean dip, but wanted to make it on the cheap. he took one can of bush’s chili beans in hot sauce (about $1.50), drained them, and tossed them into the food processor. it tasted great just like that, but then he added a few spices. he put a little bit of garlic, chili powder, and paprika. it was great without the spice, and great with it.
that’s it. one can of beans, one food processor,
press the button, and you’re done.
grab your tortilla chips and dip away.

what is your favorite cheap and easy dip?

home tour – handmade bedside tables from reclaimed fence board

my sweet husband loves a good project. when he worked at camp he access to an amazing workshop and all kinds of old wood. when a 30 year old white oak fence was torn down, he decided to make 2 matching bedside tables. he made the tables before we were dating, and was thoughtful enough to make a matching one for his future wife. how cute is that?!
here’s mine. i keep it filled with magazines and books, an air freshener, and chapstick. on top is a photo of me with my bridesmaids, and 2 candles. the printed fabric coaster was a wedding gift from marci. the lamps were purchased for almost nothing from windy gap.
i love that he kept the sides rough and made the top smooth.
he is so creative and talented!
his table is filled with magazines as well.
he is the keeper of the alarm clock and flashlight.
i wish that we had access to a workshop here so that jed could build more fun furniture. maybe someday he will have a workshop of his own.

home tour – our comfy, casual, and slightly rustic bedroom

our bedroom is a peaceful place.
the simplicity of the white, green, blue, and brown color palate
is relaxing and natural.
best of all, everything in our rustic bedroom was free or found at a very frugal price.
jed made most of the furniture from reclaimed fence wood when he worked at windy gap. he created the headboard, picture frame, bedside tables, and shelf. i love the rough wood and the fact that they were created by my husband’s talented hands.
the bedding was a wedding gift from my meme, aunts barbara and kelly, and cousin jessica. we use this summer quilt in hot weather (a birthday gift from jed last year), and a duvet cover and down comforter in cold weather. the lamps, dresser, and chest of drawers were bought from windy gap (when they redecorated the camp) for under $100 total. the mattress was given to us by the camp for free. you can read about the fence wall art here.
the tiles were a flea market find, as was the painting. the empty frame was a pottery barn outlet find. i’ve got to find a photo to fill it. jackson’s bed was a gift from my parents. the baskets full of headbands were used to hold favors at our wedding. the curtains are hand-me-downs from my meme. the sign and vases were wedding gifts. the fabric leaves were an etsy purchase. i made the paper flower.
i hope you enjoyed the tour!
i’m sure not everyone shares my taste, but the important thing is that you love your own space, and feel comfortable there. both of those things are true for us in our home.i would define my style as comfy, casual, and a little rustic.
what is your style? 

frugal friday – an ode to aldi

oh aldi, how i love thee…
you force me to remember my reusable shopping bags.
you fill your aisles with cheap olive oil,
affordable frozen items,
off brand chips that seem glamorous and european,
and even organic produce that fits into our budget.

this week we found fresh organic strawberries for 99 cents a pound!!!! i am in love. the downfall of this little german wonder is that you can’t find them everywhere, you have to bring your own bags (which i appreciate), and you have to pay for a cart (you get your money back when you return the cart). also, you can only use cash or debit, no credit. yay!! dave ramsey would approve. they don’t take manufacturer coupons, because they sell all of their own brands. we shop there first, because you won’t find everything you need there. but, you will find some great deals on some of the items on your list.

currently, jed does most of our grocery shopping. he says i always come back with some expensive fancy cheese or an unnecessary baked good. so not true, but who am i to get upset when the man wants to go to the grocery store? he’s on summer vacation, right? might as well make himself useful. we make a list, look through the grocery ads, collect the coupons, and then hit the stores.

i was in no way compensated or coerced to write this post. it was written purely out of love for aldi, and gratitude for the amazing 99 cent organic strawberries.

what is your grocery shopping strategy? do you visit a bunch of stores, or stick to one? clip coupons or search the ads? share your wisdom.