DIY Sidwalk Chalk

By 9:33 AM
Do you have kids? Nephews? Nieces? Or are you a kid at heart? Looking for the perfect outdoor summer activity? I have your answer:

DIY Sidewalk Chalk Paint

The recipe for this chalk is so easy it is barely worth listing out. Basically, you want to combine 1 part water to 1 part cornstarch and then add a touch of food coloring. You can make batches of each color of chalk as big or small as you want, but as long as you keep the one-to-one ratio, you'll be good to go.
What you need (per color):
1/4 Cornstarch
1/4 Cup Water
A few drops of food coloring

What to do:
In a plastic cup, dump in 1/4 cup cornstarch.

Next, add 1/4 cup water.

Add a few drops of food coloring and stir well again.

Repeat in a new cup for each color desired.

Paint your drive!
[note: The cornstarch will settle a bit as time passes so just be sure to stir up the paint before you use it each time]

HAVE FUN!

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Haunted Hotel

By 5:51 PM , , , , ,






Well, it's official. I have now stayed (in a room ALONE might I add) at a haunted hotel. Wondering what crazy thought entered my head to make me do so? Don't worry I'm not crazy. OK...so maybe I am crazy but I would never purposely choice to stay in a haunted hotel by myself. Or with anyone for that matter. Not this chick. I did not choose the hotel or even know it was haunted until after we checked in thanks to my wonderful co-worker, who did know the hotel was haunted (more like a place to house the next Casper reunion) and decided to book it for our team planning trip anyway.

This place is legit haunted. I'm talking ghost hunters visit this hotel all the time for fun to record paranormal activity. That's the kind of haunted we are talking about just so we are all on the same page. Don't believe me? Just google Sheraton Reed Chattanooga and you we get over two dozen articles of the crazy paranormal stuff that has gone on in this hotel. 

Although there are many stories out there floating the web the story that we were told was that the hotel was opened in 1847 and was known as the Crutchfield House. The room that is the most haunted is 311 (although the entire hotel is haunted and guests often see images in mirrors and hear strange voices throughout the ballrooms and other hotel rooms). The hotel burned down in 1867 but apparently the ghost returned to the same room (room 311) after the hotel was rebuilt. The legend says that a Union Civil War soldier was staying in the room. The absence of female companionship was beginning to be too much for the young man so he decided to hire a prostitute. All apparently did not go well and the the solider ended up killing her. No one knows why....whatever the case she was brutally murdered by the young man. Since Union forces controlled the hotel he was never punished for the crime. 

In the 135 years since many visitors have seen bizarre apparitions and heard sounds coming from Room 311. It is actually hotel policy to not use this room unless no others are available or unless the room is requested (which surprising enough happens often for real ghost hunters). Many of those who have requested it have not made it through the night and have checked out several hours after checking in, too frightened to stay in the room any longer.
If you are still skeptical check out this video of images one family saw while staying at the hotel. Talk about creepy. 

Thankfully we made it out without to much craziness. I was in room 409 so I was thankful for that, but one of my coworkers who stayed in room 313 had a strange call in the middle of the not with nothing but breathing on the other end...everyone the next day swore that they had not been pranking her...was it a haunted call or a PR stunt the hotel does to increase talk about the hotel? I guess we will never know.

I would love to get my readers thoughts on ghosts and paranormal activity. Ever stayed somewhere haunted? What are your thoughts of ghosts? 

As a Christian I absolutely believe in spirits beings- both good and bad. The Bible teaches very clearly that there are indeed spirit beings who can connect with and appear in our physical world. The Bible identifies these beings as good and bad angels. Angels are spirit beings who are faithful in serving God. Angels are righteous, good, and holy. Bad angels, or demons as they are often referred to as, are fallen angels, angels who rebelled against God. Demons are evil, deceptive, and destructive. According to 2 Corinthians 11:14-15, demons masquerade as “angels of light” and as “servants of righteousness.” Appearing as a “ghost” and impersonating a deceased human being definitely seem to be within the power and abilities that demons possess.

The closest biblical example of a “haunting” is found in Mark 5:1-20. A legion of demons possessed a man and used the man to haunt a graveyard. There were no ghosts involved. It was a case of a normal person being controlled by demons to terrorize the people of that area. Demons seek to “kill, steal, and destroy” (John 10:10). They will do anything within their power to deceive people, to lead people away from God. This is very likely the explanation of “ghostly” activity today. 

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$9 and a Farmers Market

By 4:14 PM , , ,
What a busy week! Lots to do but so little time. 

Last weekend I had the chance to hit up some yard sales and, as usual, ended up with some funny pictures and a few treasures.  One of the first unusual finds wasn't quite so fortunate for the recipient. Here's two pics:

I mean seriously...these guys were TPing, forking, syrup writing pros!

And now for my finds:

Clue and Scene it Harry Potter edition: $0.25 a piece
All the pieces are included for both games. In fact the Harry Potter game had never been opened.
This yard sale I hit up late in the day...the girl was so desperate to get rid of stuff she said anything she had left was $0.25 a piece. She even had some furniture but unforunately nothing I needed/wanted.

 Candle: $0.25
It looks awesome in our room! I was pretty excited

Halloween cookie jar: $2 and Jello Mold: $0.25

Flower pot on left: $0.75 (I had seen it a few weeks ago at TJ Maxx for $7 and really almost bought it then)
Jenga: $1 (Apparently this is the only game my husband actually likes so we HAD to buy it)


Shirt on left: $0.25 Shirt on right: $2.00

And my favorite find of the day....
Rug: $2 (I had planned on it being an outdoor rug but I just love it too much)

After hitting up the yard sales we decided to stop by the local farmers market and came home with some delicious peaches and some cucumbers.


We also found this (very interesting):
In case you can't tell it's chocolate pasta...you are supposed to serve it cold it ice cream on top. Unfortunately I didn't get to try it...there was only one bag and my mom beat me too it. :)

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Remember Who Built the Titanic

By 2:05 PM , ,
Saw this quote today and wanted to share it:

"Never be afraid to try something new. Remember amateurs built the ark. Professionals built the Titanic."
Author Unknown



I hope this inspires you to try something new.
Whether that be a new food, career, hobby, or experiencing a new city, don't be afraid to give it a whirl!

For my husband and I it sounds like it is going to be purchasing our first home. And soon.
But more to come on that later.

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Father's Day Weekend

By 1:51 PM , ,
First off...Happy late Father's Day to all the dads!
I hope you all had a wonderful day and were pampered by your children and wives.

Josh and I were happy to have my dad and family over for lunch on Sunday and then spent Sunday evening at my sister-in-law's house celebrating my father-in-law. I made chicken tacos for my dad in the crock pot from an awesome recipe I found on pinterest (of course). Together with my signature avocado salad, which you can find the recipe for in this previous post, it was a delicious meal.

Here's the recipe I used for chicken tacos which I altered a bit to the following:
6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1 16 oz. jar of salsa

1 packet of taco seasonings

Dump all ingredients together and cook in a crock pot 8-9 hours on low. When finished chicken should easily shred apart. Serve with yellow rice, refried beans, and all the typical taco toppings.

Saturday was a bust. We tried to hit up some garage sales during the morning. Unfortunately that was a big zero and we came home with nothing. However, we did find this pretty cool military jeep. Unfortunately it didn't quite hit within our yard sale budget.


Saturday night we went to a Braves game. Talk about a bust. Bottom of the 6th and there had not been a single hit from either team. Final score was 5 Orioles, 0 Braves. Luckily we had a good time with some friends and it was a gorgeous night. Check out the view.


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5 Tips Every Married Couple Should Know

By 10:04 AM , , , ,
5 Tips Every Newly-Wed Should Know
(Or Old Timer Should be Reminded Of)


As I approach my one year anniversary of marriage I have been reflecting back on the things I either wish I would have known before I got married or was told before I got married that have turned out to be completely true. I thought it might be helpful to share them so others who are embarking upon the wonderful world of marriage would have them to think through as life plays out.
I would like to start off by saying that marriage is wonderful! It has truly blessed my life beyond measure and I have never been happier. When asked what my favorite part of marriage is I often tell others, “I LOVE being able to have a slumber party every single night of the week with my best friend.” The other thing I love about marriage that is different from being in a dating relationship is just the aspect of “doing life together.” When I say this, I am talking about the expectation that comes with marriage that you and your partner will always be together for every holiday, every party, every vacation, etc. When you are dating (even in serious relationships) it is my experience that this expectation does not exist. In fact your friends/family may even complain that you are always with your significant other and that would like you to themselves every now and then. On the contrary, it is expected your spouse will be with you for all special events once you are married.
That being said without further ado here are the 5 things every newly-wed should know:


1.       Communication is extremely important! Many people believe that in a marriage your spouse should understand what you are meaning without you having to put it into words. This is the “If they love me they will understand what I mean without me having to say it,” mentality.  This is not necessarily true. Reminder, your spouse is NOT a minder reader. That being said, make sure to communicate to your spouse what you mean and do not assume they understand. This will save you many a fight and misunderstanding.
2.       Date your mate. The first year of marriage is a very special time. There is a spark being light between you and your spouse that you need kindle. Go out and enjoy some time with each other. Celebrate little things. Cleaned the house together for the first time? Made it through the first Christmas at both in-laws houses? Celebrate by having a night on the town. Getting dressed up, putting some heels and makeup on, and going out together will be something you won’t regret.
3.       Enjoy marriage but don’t have unrealistic expectations. If you both think marriage is the end to all your problems think again. Bad things happen people. People have to work late hours. Finances get tight. Etc, etc. Really enjoy the time you have when you are together. Make your spouse your number one priority in your first few months of marriage but also realize that marriage does not mean that you won’t have challenges.
4.       Carve out “you” time. Whether this is a hobby that you can do to keep yourself busy while your spouse is off, or time you spend painting your nails or reading a book, make sure to carve out time for yourself. On that same note make sure you both keep your friends. Make times for your girls and let your guy have time for his guys. This will make you enjoy the time you have together even more.
5.       Forgive quickly and easily. Put your ego aside and learn to forgive your partner. Sometimes you won’t even know what you did. That is ok. The worst mistake you can make is to get angry with your spouse because they are angry at you. Trust me this is no good for anyone. You end up just wasting precious time together and no one is happy. Forgive and then make up. That’s the best part if I do say so myself.

Note: This article was a featured article on richlymiddleclass.com. You can view it here: http://www.richlymiddleclass.com/2012/06/15/5-tips-every-newly-wed-should-know-2/

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It's a Hot Boiled Peanut Sorta Day

By 12:57 PM , , , ,
We spent this past weekend up at the lake house that we are in the process of building marking with the builder where we needed all the outlets, fixtures, and light switches to go. Let me just say...what a task! I can honestly say I had no idea building a house was so much work! By the end of the weekend my entire family was thankful I married a construction engineer that understands that sorta stuff.

Luckily I had spent some time the previous week on Pinterest and found an awesome recipe to make hot boiled peanuts in the crock pot. That's right. CROCK POT. If you have never made boiled peanuts before then you may not realize how awesome this is as they typically take all day on the stove top but with this recipe you can start them before bed and have them ready by the next evening! I cooked these sweet babies and brought them along on our trip and they proved to be a delicious, wonderful incentive to laying out outlets, fixtures, and the like. So below I have included the recipe along with some helpful tips I found while making them. Then, just in case your interested, I have included some new pictures of the lake house from this weekend. So, without further ado, let me present to you the recipe for:


Hot Boiled Peanuts in the Crock Pot

Prep time: 3 minutes Cook time: 18 hours Yields: 18 cups

You will need:
  • 12 cups water (or enough water to totally cover peanuts)
  • 1 cup salt (adjust to taste)
  • 1.5 lbs. raw peanuts in shell (I used the non-salted kind)
Combine all ingredients in a slow cooker. Cover and cook on HIGH 18 hours or until peanuts are soft (note some slow cookers, such as mine, automatically cut off after 12 hours so be sure to check to see if you need to reset it for 6 more). Drain peanuts before serving or storing. Store in zip-top plastic bags in refrigerator up to 2 weeks. You can also freeze peanuts in a  zip-lock freezer bag up to 2 months. Just reheat them in the microwave before serving

They are fantastic. And here are a few update photos from the lake house:





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The Day that Changed Life as We Know It

By 12:05 PM , ,
My family (well technically it is my grandparents but we all claim it) have had a cabin (I am making sure to clarify it as a cabin since it really IS a cabin and not one of the mansions we are now surrounded by) on a lake in the north GA mountains since before I was born. Actually my dad helped my grandfather and uncle build the cabin when he was just a teen dating my mom. The first day I visited our home sweet cabin I was just a few days old.

As you can see this cabin is very special to us...it is a place we treasure as a family and also a place full of wonderful memories!


 Here's our dock
Wondering what the thing is on the right? It was a trolley that my grandfather had built to take you up and down the mountain hill so you didn't have to climb. Hello disney world meets lake house.

Then, last year on April 27, 2011, a tornado with winds up to 165mph hit the lake devastating both our cove and one other. 145 homes on the lake were damaged or destroyed and one fatality was reported.

Unfortunately ours was one of the worst. Here are some pictures from a few days after the tornado.

The above picture is our beloved dock..yes the same dock from the picture shown above. The below pictures are the remainder of our cabin. Notice all the insolation in the trees. You will also notice my brother and his friends made sure to tack up flags on both the dock and the house. God Bless America.

Welcome to our Nightmare.
 

We are now re-building. It will still never be the same. The memories made in our old home sweet cabin will have to forever stay within our hearts. It will be years before the trees and plants grow back and it will be a long time before we can again boat in our lake without the worry of running over a piece of house.

On the brighter side we are excited to start new memories and can't wait for our new home to be complete. That being said the exterior is up! Here is our progress so far:


I can't wait to go see it this weekend! Will keep you updated on progress.

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$10.90 And A House

By 4:26 PM , , , , , ,
Saturday morning my husband and I spent a "day date" hunting or "picking," as my husband likes to refer to it, yard sales. Although there were not very many, the hubs and I decided to hit up those sales nearby us for the fun of it and ended up having pretty good luck. My husband has decided that he IS America's next top picker and had a good time employing the techniques that are used on the American Picker show he loves to watch. For me it provided a good laugh (although I have to admit I was impressed with his new found skills!)

Altogether we spent $11. I have been desperately wanting to read The Hunger Games. So when I saw two of the books in the serious behind a desk at one of the sales I had to ask if they were for sale. They weren't. However, after telling the girl (who was a fellow UGA alum so obviously awesome) that I had been desperately wanting to read them she happily sold them to me for $0.50 a piece. I was ecstatic. Hey, it's the little things in life right?


Two Hunger Game books: $1 total
(not sure why the picture is side ways)

Anyway there they are! The only bad news? I didn't realize until after I had bought them that I now own the first and the last book in the series so I am going to need to do some searching for the middle book/books. Anyone have them? I am already half way through the first and it's awesome so I may not have much time. Any-who on to our other finds:

Triffle dish that I was super stoked over: $1 (I was willing to pay at least $5 so I was very happy)

Scarrryyy.... but a good date movie: $1

Caterpillar toy for our nephews (they were siked): $1

Pyrex Brownie Size Pan (I had been needing one): $0.50

Although not pictured we also got two shirts. A men's Nike golf polo that fits Josh like a charm for $1 and a Banana Republic blouse that I can wear to work for me for $0.50.

And our big, exciting find of the day?


This was the find that "kept on giving." A Ping Golf Bag in near perfect condition. They were asking $10 for it but of course Josh talked them down to $5. Once he brought it home and cleaned it up, he opened a pocket and found $0.10. So technically it only cost us $4.90. He opened another pocket and found a bunch of really nice Nike balls worth about $20. He opened another pocket and found a brand new golf glove which fit him like a charm with a price tag still on it of $12.99. Finally he unzipped the last pocket to find a IZOD pullover. He looks great in it. All in all we made money off of this bag. Here he is with all his findings from his bag:


He's a happy camper golfer!

Then to make the day even better, we came upon an awesome foreclosure in an area we LOVE on the way home. This just might be our new home but more on that later...here's a preview pic of the house:


What about you guys? Anyone have any awesome yard sale finds this weekend? I'd love to hear about it!

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