Wednesday, August 31, 2011


Halfway through the work week!

I stumbled across these pictures awhile back.
Someday Trav and I would love to have a little vintage camper.
Obviously with three kids we will need something a little bigger than what is pictured. :)
But isn't it darling?!

Wouldn't it be fun to have coffee at the little red polka dot table in the mornings?
So fun!


Have a great Wednesday!

Gussy Sews Inspiration Workshop!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Two Week Menu Plan and Thrifting Treasures

Okay! As promised here is my Two Week Menu Plan!
I made the menu plan and grocery list yesterday.
Then the babies and I headed out bright and early this morning
to do a little thrift store and grocery shopping in the town over!
More on the thrift store here in a minute :)

Alright. So a quick overview of my next two weeks. 
I don't have to cook on Wednesday or Friday nights.
Wednesday is dinner at church.
And Friday we either grab something before or at the game.

I have also listed what we will be eating for breakfasts and lunches.
Usually though for lunches we eat alot of leftovers (blah..hate leftovers...but thankfully kids love them!).

I had the hardest time thinking up dinner ideas this time around.
So, obviously when you're in a rut for new recipes just head over to The Pioneer Woman:)
Problem solved!

Blueberry Muffins (Trying a new recipe!!! Thanks Laura!)
Oatmeal with fruit
Scrambled Eggs with toast
Frozen Waffles
Cinnamon Rolls (we have the canned version every Sunday morning)

Peanut Butter and Jelly
Grilled Cheese with soup
Leftovers from dinner the night before
Macaroni and Cheese
Cheese quesadillas

All of these I serve with either fruit, veggies w/ ranch dip, yogurt or crackers.
My favorite type of lunch is to buy myself a good loaf of sourdough, provolone and ham. 
Then I make my own tasty sandwiches once the kids are down for a nap... with a Dr. Pepper of course ;)
Oh and some salt and vinegar potato chips... Delish!


Tuesday- Crockpot Angel Chicken (recipe below)
Wednesday- CHURCH
Thursday- Tortilla Soup
Saturday- Homemade Pizza
*I grew up with my mom always making homemade pizza every Saturday night.
I LOVE this tradition!*
Sunday- Dr. Pepper Pork Sandwiches served with coleslaw

Monday- Pork Tacos/Nachos(using leftover pork from sandwiches)
Thursday- Hashbrown Skillet (recipe below)
Saturday-Homemade Pizza
Sunday- Breakfast for Supper! French Toast and Bacon

I realize it's not quite two weeks worth of groceries. 
But I am going to try to start getting groceries on Mondays so
that's why I ended my two weeks on a Sunday!

Crockpot Angel Chicken
(One of my friends posted this on her facebook page... so excited to try it!
Thanks Ashley!)

6 boneless chicken breasts
1/2 Cup Butter
1 package dry italian seasoning mix
1 can golden mushroom soup
1/2 Cup white wine
4 ounc package of onion and chive cream cheese
Angel hair pasta (cook according to box directions)

1. Place chicken in crock pot.
2. In sauce pan melt butter. Stir in Italian salad dressing mix, soup, cream cheese & wine. Pour over chicken.
3. Cook on low for 4-5 hours. Pour over cooked angel hair pasta.


Hashbrown Skillet
This is definitely not a fancy meal.
I tend to just use what I have on hand.

Green and Red Peppers-diced fine
Onions-diced fine
Ground Breakfast Sausage.

Brown your sausage.
Then add your hashbrowns, peppers, onions and a few teaspoons of butter.
Cook in your skillet until your hashbrowns turn golden!

Nothing fancy but it's easy and filling!


Now on to the really great stuff!
My sweet friend told me about a thrift store that I had to try.
This place is like NO OTHER!!!
It was FULL of treasures! I should have taken a picture inside.
They had anything and everything stacked everywhere!
And the prices were fabulous too!!!

So here's what I found while I was there.
I could have stayed for quite awhile longer but I knew I needed to keep it short and sweet for the babies since we still had our groceries to buy.
Anyways...what I found...

I'm pretty sure this dry erase board was used in a school.
Ignore the layer of filth over it... I took the pic as soon as I pulled it out of the car.
It is HUGE.  And heavy!
I'm hoping to hang it in my kitchen... wouldn't this be great to keep a family organized?!
It was marked at $15 and I got it for $7.

I bought five of these turquoise melamine plates for $5. 
Love the color!

I have been looking for a globe for quite awhile!
This one was marked at $15 and I got it for $5.


Off to do a few chores while the babes are sleeping!
Happy Tuesday!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Weenie Dog Winner! :)

It's Monday!!!

We woke up to a special treat of gray skies, drizzly rain and cooler weather!

One of our favorite things to do on a rainy day is to declare it a "pajama day" for the kids.
It is what it sounds like.  Pajamas all day :)

That and lots of movies and fun snacks.
They're all three down for early naps right now.
This weekend was great but the days were LONG with few naps because we were going and going.
More on my thoughts on that later :)

Anyways, this post is going to be short and sweet.
I'm hoping to get the budget done, pay the bills, make a 2 week grocery list,
finish up some custom orders and tidy up in the few hours that they will nap.

Wish me luck ;)


The winner of the sweet little weenie dog is....

Number 23

Ashley, e-mail me ( and let me know if you want a girl or boy dog!


Hope everybody had a great Monday!!
I'll be back tomorrow with a longer post... :)

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Questions: Part two

As promised... here is round two of the questions!

But before that just a quick recap of our past 24 hours.
Last night was our first football game of the season!
Our boys played so hard and the coaches did awesome... AND..
I am so proud of them!!!
Go Tigers!

It was an away game in a town that was about 45 minutes away.
All of the coach's wives and kids made a little caravan and headed over together.
When we got there my car was saying it was 108.
And I daresay the temp went down below 100 even after the sun had set.

Poor Cade was one big, buttery, hot blob.
His Nana was kind enough to take him to the air-conditioned car for the last half of the game.
By the time we made it home it was 11:30pm.
I know most people don't have a problem putting their kids right to bed.
But I'm a stickler for baths every night before bed.
Especially when their hands and legs were BLACK from eating cotton candy, drinking pop and then crawling around the stadium. :)
Poor little people couldn't even open their eyes while I was bathing them!

I love Saturdays after football games!
The kids and I slept in until 9:30 this morning which is unheard of over here!
Colt requested pancakes for breakfast so that's exactly what we had.
Then they played the rest of the morning while I sewed a few custom orders.
And sweet Cade took his morning nap.
  I've had to start waking him up from his morning naps because he sleeps too long
and then won't take an afternoon nap.
Silly boy doesn't know that afternoon naptime is "mama free time" around here:)

I can not for the life of me find my notebook where I have all the questions written down.
So if your question is still not answered after this post then ask it again in the comments:)
What has been the hardest thing for you in your transition from suburbia to rural living?
 Did people think you guys were crazy?
I would have to say the hardest transition has been the shopping :)
And what I mean by that is, where we came from had every store imagineable.
Everything you could possibly need was within a five minute radius of our house.

Like I've said before where we live now it takes ten minutes to get to town.
And our town now has one small grocery store and a few dollar stores.
And that's about it.
Although I would say that has been the hardest transition I would also say it has been the BEST transition.
We have saved so much money living away from all the stores:)
And I have become alot more organized when it comes to my shopping.
When I go to town I always have a list made.
It also makes me think twice about what I need and has made me alot more thrifty in using what I already have.
There were of course a few people who were surprised we were moving our family away from such a great town/city and community to somewhere much smaller.
But just a few! :)

What kind of camera do you use?
My camera is a Nikon D5000.
I LOVE it!
What in the world did you hit to get that bruise?!
Did you ever find a method of planning/shopping/stocking up and not having to use the local expensive grocery store?!

Ahh yes..the bruise.
I hit it on the edge of the couch where the cushion had been pushed back :)

Grocery shopping!!!
I still do use the local grocery store on occasion.
But I have figured out a plan.

Every two weeks I do my big shopping in the town 20 minutes away.
I make a two week menu plan and make my grocery list off of that.
I also buy things like toilet paper, paper towels, diapers, etc. in the biggest packs that they offer.

When I get home I ususally throw all of my meats into the freezer so that I know they'll not go bad before I can use them.
One thing that I'd eventually like to start doing is something that my mom does.
She buys her hamburger in bulk and then comes home and browns it all up.
Then she divides it into baggies to use for meals through the next few weeks.
Such as for spaghetti and taco salad.
Pretty much the only things that I buy from the local grocery store now is my milk and a few fruits and veggies to use towards the end of my two weeks.

I know I've said it in the past but I think I might start posting my two week meal plan on the blog.
Kind of as an accountability for me to do it!
And also to give you guys some ideas!

Also, while I'm thinking of it I'm thinking about doing a recipe exchange on the blog once a week.
What are your thoughts on that?
Would you be interested?!

I was wondering how do you handle tantrums/whining?
Ha!  Oh my. :)
Typically when they're throwing a tantrum I just put them on their beds.
They can throw a fit on their bed with the door shut
 all they want just as long as
 I don't have to listen to it;)
~I can not for the life of me find this next question but I know it was asked somewhere"
~They asked if I workout and if so when I find the time to do it.~
Before football season started I had started running again. that football has started Travis doesn't get home until almost dark and then it's too late for a run.
So, I've been doing a whole lot of nothing! :)
I figure chasing two toddlers around and nursing an infant is workout enough at this point.
I'm just trying to conserve my energy ;)

I know I'm forgetting a few questions in there.
But of course can't think of them.
So if yours went unanswered let me know!
I'm off to search the internet for some cheap ballet shoes and leotard for Emma.
We just signed her up for a ballet and tap class!
To say she is excited is an understatement:)
I think I'm about as excited as she is!
Don't forget to enter the Weenie Dog giveaway!
It ends tomorrow evening!

Have a wonderful weekend friends!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

My Favorite Colors

My favorite colors are...

A mix between turquoise and robin's egg blue
All different shades of green


This is a short and sweet post today!
Don't forget to enter the giveaway for a sweet stuffed puppy!
And I haven't forgotten about the rest of the questions...
 I am going to finish them up in the next day or two!
Have a wonderful Thursday!

Gussy Sews Inspiration Workshop!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Spot, Bert and Lulu / GIVEAWAY!

Introducing Spot, Bert and Lulu!
The newest additions to our family and to the shop!

Earlier this summer my Aunt Rhonda showed me the most FABULOUS book!
Girl's World by Jennifer Paganelli.
I had never heard of her before... hello..I must have been living under a rock!
And if you haven't heard of her either then obviously you are living under the same rock:)

Anyways, fast forward to a couple of weeks ago.
I won a giveaway on Kristin's blog Three in my Nest.
And what I won was a signed copy of THE BOOK!
It is full of beautiful things you can make for girls and it also comes with patterns to make everything!

So this is where the idea for the sweet little puppies came from!
I let each of the kids name their own (Emma named Cade's :) )




I will be adding all three of these sweet pups to the shop today!
They are perfect for your little people and also great to give as a gift!
Remember Christmas is just around the corner!!! ;)
It's never to early to start shopping!

For fun I'm going to give away your choice of a girl or boy dog!
Even if you don't have kids enter to win and you can give it away as a gift!

Mandatory to enter:
Be a follower of my blog, then leave a comment!

Additional Entries:
~Follow me on twitter here, then leave a comment
~Fan The Vanilla Tulip on facebook here, then leave a comment
tweet, facebook status update, or blog post (make sure to leave a comment for each)

The contest will end on Sunday evening.
Winner will be announced on Monday!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Great is His faithfulness and provision

I promise I'll finish up the all the questions you had asked later in the week.
But for today I felt the need to talk about the Lord and His faithfulness and provision for our family.
I've been thinking about this for the past couple of months or so.
Really since we've moved to our new town.
Then earlier today I received an e-mail from my new blog friend, Laura over at Splendor.
(you must read her blog and story.. she is amazing.)
Her husband is a pastor and she is a stay at home mom.
I had asked her how they "do it" with one income.
I'm always curious as to how people save money and cut costs.
I love hearing how other people live on one income!
She answered it beautifully
"I'm not always 100% sure how to answer it.
God has always provided for us as we continue to walk in obedience."

She asked me how WE do it.
And I told her exactly what she had written applies to our family as well.

On paper it gets tight living on a teacher/coach's salary.
But He provides.

It has been awesome to see how the Lord has orchestrated our move to a new place.
In our old town I had built up quite a few piano students.
And I was watching children on the side.
We were very comfortable.
We knew moving to a new town I would lose all my students and the babysitting kids.
Here's the neat part to the story :)

Travis and I had been praying that there would be an opportunity in our new church
 for me to play piano as a form of ministry.
Our old church was wonderful... but very large and there wasn't ever an opportunity to serve in this way.
Our second Sunday in our new town and at our new church we discovered that the church pianist
was retiring suddenly. Like within the next two weeks.
The next day I called up to the church to let them know
I would be happy to help out until they found a replacement.
Long story short... after a meeting with the music minister I became the new church pianist.
Which, as an added blessing was a paid position.
Once people realized I played the piano they began asking about lessons.
I now have my students all lined up for the fall.
Thus provided the exact extra income we had in our old town.


We didn't know how it was all going to work out financially in our new town.
But we did know that this was where He was calling our family to serve and minister.

The theme at our wedding was "Great is Thy Faithfulness."
We felt He had been faithful in bringing us together as a couple.
The following is a song that was played.
"He's Always Been Faithful" by Sarah Groves.
You can find it on YouTube...I highly suggest you listen to it!

Five years later I would say that "Great is Thy Faithfulness" has been the theme of our marriage.
He has been good to provide for our family.
He's Always Been Faithful
Sarah Groves

Morning by morning I wake up to find
the power and comfort of God's hand in mine.
Season by season I watch him amazed, in
awe of the mystery of his perfect ways

All I have need of His hand will provide.
He's always been faithful to me
I can't remember a trial or a pain he did
not recycle to bring me gain.
I can't remember one single regret in serving
God only and trusting His hand

This is my anthem, this is my song, the
theme of the stories I've heard for so long.
God has been faithful, He will be again.
His loving compassion, it knows no end.



Hope you're having a great day!!!
I'll be back tomorrow with a fun little post on the color turquoise...

Monday, August 22, 2011

Questions: Part One and a WINNER!

You guys asked some great questions!
I had to laugh because several of you asked questions about my hair.
If you people only knew :)
Actually, you are going to know in just a minute.

One of the things that became quite evident is how deceiving the internet or really any media can be.
Obviously people put their best foot forward on blogs.
Their best pictures, their best accomplishments, best recipes, etc.
It's so easy to begin comparing.
I know I had said awhile back that I had been praying about where this blog would go.
I don't want to blog to "show off".
I want my blog to be a Light for Him.
I want it to be an encouragement.
I want it to be a place where you can be inspired and perhaps leave with a fun craft idea or a yummy recipe that you can cook for your family or someone you love.

So...with all that being said.
I'm going to answer your questions :)
I think you'll be shocked ;)

This part is in response to all the questions about my hair.
It does NOT look good all the time! The reason you might think so is because all the pictures that are on the blog are of it fixed.
With that being said... alot of days I wear it in what my sister's refer to as my "signature do" ;)
It's just a crazy pony tail/bun on top of my head.
Out of control.
I took this picture yesterday (Sunday) afternoon.
Now brace yourselves people:)
I have horrible hair.
Seriously. I'm not trying to fish for compliments.
I realize that after having babies most women lose some hair.
I lose ALOT of hair. I mean... crazy amounts.
More than most women lose.
It might have something to do with having three babies in three years? I don't know.
I do know that it gets so thin that you can see to my scalp.
Not a lie!
Then it begins to grow back in.
And I resemble a young lion for a couple of months. :)
I tried to take a picture of some of the hair growing in.
It's to the right of the picture.
Still not grasping the image?
This is more like it :)

Here's how I disguise the hair loss problem!
LOTS and LOTS of hairspray!
The one on the right thickens it up.
And the one on the left keeps everything in place.
Serious hair loss calls for some serious hairspray;)

I'm not sure where you can buy these at?
My sweet sister who is a beautician keeps me stocked up on the latest and greatest hairproducts.

So. Lots of hairspray and lots of teasing. :)


"What does your husband do?"
He is a highschool football coach.

"How old are your kids?"
They are 3 1/2, 2 and 5 months!
They're all about a year and a half apart.

"How old are you?"
I just turned 27 :)

"Where do y'all live?"
In Texas! It's great state! Just blazing hot right now :)

"Why did you move?"
We moved because my husband was offered a better coaching job!
And first and foremost because we felt that our new town was where the Lord was calling our family to be.

"When is your next Missouri Trip?"
Great question:) For those of you who are newer to the blog. My family lives in Missouri!
And I'm not sure when we'll be up to visit next!?

Can you walk me through how you put together your book wreath?
Did you only use it during the Christmas season?
I LOVE my book wreath!
I use it all year round!
It is currently hanging in my dining room next to the piano.
Here is a fabulous tutorial on how to make your own wreath!
It's a little time consuming but once you're done it is well worth it!

Okay, that's all the questions for today.
I'll continue with more questions tomorrow!

The winner of the Customized Library Bag is...
Number 25

The Lowes!!!

Shoot me an e-mail and I will get to work on your bag!!!

I hear little people waking up from naps!
Time to head off of here:)
Hope you're having a great Monday!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Weekend Recap

All three babes are finally down for their Sunday afternoon naps!  We have been going and GOING all weekend long! Travis has gone back to work for the afternoon (coach's meetings). I debated laying down myself but feel so tired that I'm not sure I'd wake back up when the kids got up :)
So, instead I'll leave update with a little weekend recap!

Friday the babes and I headed to the "city" to run a few errands and for me to get my hair done!
I dropped the big two off at my in-laws and headed out on a date with my sister, Bekka.
I LOVE her!  There is nothing like have sisters as your best friends :)
Thanks for being such a great date Bekka!
We ate at one of our favorite restaurants that makes phenomonal salads and pizzas!

Then it was off to the salon for some hair maintenance :)
We got a little crazy and put some brown in the bottom!
The next morning Trav's sweet parents took the kids and I out for a delicious breakfast!
Thanks Nan and Pop!
Emma and Colt's pancakes were GINORMOUS!
The restaurant had the cutest cow creamers.
Does anyone know where I could find one that looks similar to this guy?!

After breakfast and a few more errands we drove back home for a quick nap.
WHICH...never happened.
All three must have had a secret meeting to ban Saturday naps. :)
We then headed to an event at the highschool introducing the football team.
It was blazing hot as usual.
Sweet Cade couldn't take it anymore and fell asleep on our pastor :)

One of the errands that we did was fabric shopping!
Here's a little bit of what I ended up bringing home!

These tasty little hippos also came home with us.
My sister's boyfriend is in the airforce.
He's so sweet about picking up tasty treats while he's in other countries.
These little hippos came from Germany.
They have a crispy wafer outside and a creamy white and dark chocolate center.
They are to die for!!!
I don't know if you can buy them in the US or not?

A stop to my favorite candle shop was in order while we were there.
"Candy Corn"
Perfect to light when I'm dreaming about colder weather!

And one last one of my sweet little boy nugget on a pink quilt:)
We won't tell his dad about this picture ;)
My Grandma made this quilt for me when we were married.
I absolutely love it!
Thanks Grandma Smith:)

Oh and I suppose I should finish up the weekend recap.
This morning we went to church.
Our pastor is one of a kind. He is AWESOME!
He loves his congregation and his messages are always so challenging.
What I really love about him is he's not afraid to stray away from what's on the bulletin.
He had the church spend time praying for our school teachers and those that work in the schools.
Then he had all the children of the church with their families come to the front to pray for their school year.
We are so blessed to have found such a wonderful church family!
It has been amazing to see how the Lord has blessed us in this area.
I'll share more about all of this in another post!

Okay, don't forget you have until tonight to enter the Library Bag Giveaway!!!
I will announce the winner tomorrow :)
Hope you all had a great weekend!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Homemade Playdough Recipe

It's Friday!
We spent the morning getting the house in order for the weekend.
Does anybody else do that?
I hate going into Sunday with a messy house. :)

We did take a break for a little while this morning to make a new batch of playdough!
This recipe is my Grandma's.  (Hi Grandma Smith! love you!)
The reason I LOVE home made playdough is because I don't know about you but our playdough gets gross and fast!  Or it dries out quickly.
So I don't feel so guilty throwing away this playdough the moment it gets gross simply because it's a breeze to whip up another fresh batch.

Here's the recipe:

1 C. flour,
1/2 C. salt
 1T. Alum (this can be found in the spices section of your store)
1 Cup boiling water
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil

Combin. Add one cup of boiling water and stir until mixed (this can be  well. Add one Tbls. vegetable oil and knead until smooth. Add food coloring. Have fun!

  • oops.... anyway.... 1 C. flour, 1/2 C. salt, 1T. Alum. Combine. Add one cup of boiling water and stir until mixed well. Add one Tbls. vegetable oil and knead until smooth. Add food coloring. Have fun!

  •   Combine the flour, salt and alum.

     Stir in your 1 cup of boiling water until well mixed.
    Sometimes I have to add a little bit more flour to make it not quite so sticky.
    Then add in 1 Tablespoon of vegetable oil.
    Knead it for a bit and ta-da it will be playdough!

    Add food coloring.
    I like using the gels.

    The last few pictures are from Colt's birthday.
    It was our first time to make the playdough!

    My kids like to use spaghetti sticks when playing with their playdough!
    Our playdough family:)
    Notice the mother is holding a baby;)

    Don't forget to enter the Library Bag Giveaway!!!
    It will end on Sunday evening.
    Winner will be announced on Monday!
    My Etsy shop is now up and running and I'm working on filling it up with Library Bags!
    Remember if you want a customized bag I can easily do that as well!
    And don't forget if you buy two or more you save $5 per bag!

    Have a great weekend :)