Monday, November 15, 2010

CTMH Spotlight Blog Hop featuring Christmas Stamp Sets

Hello and welcome to this month's CTMH Product Spotlight Blog Hop.  With Christmas right around the it really just under 6 weeks???...November seemed to be an appropriate time to highlight Christmas stamps.

Today you will be treated to artwork and inspiration from 17 talented women.  If you came from Wendy's blog you are on the right track.  If this is your first stop, keep on going...the hop goes full circle. 

I am happy to share 4 cards with you today!  It is so easy to create using these great stamp sets...they are just so much fun.  You will notice too that the paper is all the same, I just changed up the image and layout and tada! there you have 4 unique cards with little effort at all.  Unfortuneatly the paper is a retired Creative Basics pack...but...any of these cards would like adorable using our current Creative Basics Mistletoe Collection.

The first set of cards uses the great little elves from Merry Pursuits (B1313):

aren't these little guys so stinkin' cute?

The next card features All Decked Out (D1308) and the sentiment from Snow Friends (D1244):

Thanks for stopping by.  Your next stop is Tamytha...please go check out what she has to share this month and don't forget to let me know you stopped by!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

in honor and with thanks

to all of our veterans, wherever you may be.
to all who have served,
to all who serve,
and to all who will serve.

thank you.

as simple as it may seem

thank you for your service
thank you for your sacrifice
thank you for our freedom

thank you.

one down but just the beginning

I must admit that I am among the statistics.  One of the countless Americans who have dug themselves into debt with really nothing to show for it.  Thankfully, we can afford to pay our bills each month, but it is just so sad to look at the amount of money I am throwing at paying off credit card balances.  Money that bought things that we once had to have and now, I can't even remember what it was.  There are so many things that I want to do with my home right now (the dream list) that need to wait until those nasty cards can be paid off.  I won't make the same mistake though.  The remodeled bath, kitchen, finished basement, new siding, deck, etc. etc.  will be paid for in cash...when it is free'd up from the outstanding debt of 12 Christmases, birthdays (you name it), past.

Tomorrow, when the banks open, the last payment for the first card will post.  Personally, I am doing a little happy dance.  One down, six (yes six) to go.  There is an end in sight.  Some will take a few months to pay off, a few will take about a year.  I have a plan and it is working.  I am seeing results and I am feeling good.  We don't use credit cards anymore.  If we can't pay for it out of pocket...we don't buy it.  

It doesn't matter how you got there, it matters how you get back.  Back to financial freedom.  What works for one person, might not work for another.  In my search for the best way to get out of debt, I have read many stories of people who have sold everything, lived in a trailor, small apartment, parent's house, etc., took 3 extra jobs, lived on hand me down clothes, no heat, bargain groceries, the list goes on and on.  While I applaud their efforts and am amazed at the results,  that is not me. That is not my family.  I need to do what works for us.

Awhile back I posted my themes for each day.  I haven't really stuck to them, I have tried, but life comes first.  I had intended for Thursdays to be thrifty thursdays.  My intention was (and still is) to post my thrift store remakes, how I used what I have, bargains I scored, etc.  That will still happen, but, I also want to share with you my plan for getting out of debt, living within your means, and still being able to have and enjoy things. 

This isn't financial boot camp and I am by no means an expert.  Sure, we could get out of debt faster if we went down to one car, I went back to work, we went to basic cable, dial up, etc.  But we are not willing to do that, this is our life, this is how we live, and I want it to be comfortable as I pay (literally) for past mistakes and bad financial decisions.   I will share with you what works for me, for our family, through trial and error and what will get us to debt free by February 2013. 

I will tell you that we owe somewhere between $20k and $80K...the numbers are not important, but I just want you to know that we do have a good deal of debt, not an easy peasy payoff amount. 

So I hope you come back each Thursday for my financial tidbits...real life solutions to a real life problem.  If I can help just one person out of the same job will be done.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Halloween 2010

I realize it is November 2nd.  I have never been very timely, so 2 days after the fact is really quite an accomplishment for me.

Here is a recap of Halloween 2010:

the pumpkins. 
JT has had his face painted differently everyday this week.

the food. 
each year I attempt to make a ghoulish dinner.  this year...sloppy joe goblins and wormy fries.

love how the jack-o-lanterns look all lit up.  The white pumpkins are my attempt at getting all Martha Stewart, although for some reason the hubby volunteered to drill the holes...I don't think he wanted me touching his power tools.  Doesn't matter....I think they look fabulous!

The kids. 
I claim the hippie and the pumpkin lord.  The hippe costume looked better without the sweatshirt, but it was so dang cold.  The pumpkin lord...well, who knows where that came from.  It has a very elaborate back story...just ask JT.  This was not his original costume, we started the season as Mutt from Indiana Jones, evolved into Stripe the evil gremlin and ended on Halloween as the pumpkin lord...go figure.

 the graveyard. 
Hubby puts it up, I for some reason get stuck taking it down : ( is still up.

the entryway decor

my little hutch in the mudroom.  love the white plate.  hunted everywhere  for the perfect one and found this one at Goodwill for $1.50...the vinyl is from Shelley at Wonderfully Wordy.  The hutch is in need of a makeover (ie., paint job) it is on the long, long list.

one of my favorite displays every year...added the skulls in the vase idea this year.  The idea is all over blog land.  everyone "stole" it from pottery barn. everyone else, I didn't pay $16 for 6 skulls (or whatever ridiculously crazy amount PB wanted).  I paid $1 for a bag of skulls at Dollar Tree, brushed them with some brown acrylic paint I had on hand, added them to vase I had collecting dust stored in the basement and added some $1 floral moss from Dollar Tree.  The skull came with the husband when I married him.  Or should I say, was part of his Halloween decor...and I love it.  The books, well, I think Harry Potter is so Halloween!

This little piece is new this year too.  I love it.  The vinyl is from Shelley at Wonderfully Wordy.  I picked up a black frame at Walmart for $5 and wah-la...instant trendiness...oh, how I will miss this.  Maybe she will come up with a Christmas/Winter one...hint.  hint.

That is to tackle my huge to do list, so I can start on some fabulous projects I have up my sleeve. 


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