"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

Thursday, October 27, 2011

DIY Spooky Spider Pedicure








Happy Halloween!

Dont forget to enter the Chi Chi Collections Giveaway!

Link here: Chi Chi Collections Giveaway!



button



Tuesday, October 25, 2011

What's For Din, Din?

Beef Stroganoff is one of my family's favorite meals so it makes frequent appearances on our table. My recipe is really simple and I have tweaked it to perfection over the years. No condensed soup here, this is the real deal!





Beef Stroganoff

Balsamic Braised Swiss Chard

Sourdough Bread


Beef Stroganoff Recipe:

1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic minced
1 onion chopped
1-3 tablespoons cornstarch
1-1.5 lbs. steak (I like top sirloin or tri tip) depending how much meat you want.
2-3 cups of beef broth (I have tried them all and Swanson is a winner for this recipe)
2 Tbls. wochestershire sauce
1 cup  sour cream
S and P
grill seasoning

Saute onion till soft, add meat and garlic. Brown meat till almost fully cooked over medium heat. Leave it a little pink, it will cook more in the sauce. You don't want chewy meat! Make sure to season it with grill seasoning, salt and pepper too! Add broth and worchestershire sauce,  bring to a simmer. In another container add the cornstarch and some extra broth, mix to combine. Wisk the cornstarch mixture into the pan. Bring to a simmer over low heat till thickened. You can add more combined cornstarch and broth if its not thick enough. Turn off heat, let cool a few minutes before adding sour cream or it will not blend well. Slowly wisk in sour cream till fully incorporated and season to taste. Serve with wide egg noodles and lots of ground pepper. This serves my family of 4 with leftovers.

I just sauteed the swiss chard with a little olive oil and balsamic vinegar. But I think bacon would be a great addition! But of course bacon makes a great addition to just about everything right?

Bon Appetite!


Monday, October 24, 2011

Chi Chi Collections GIVEAWAY!

Its giveaway time!

 I ordered a beautiful necklace from Chi Chi Collections recently. It's called Buttered Popcorn. Just the name sounds yummy right? They not only sell jewelry but also lovely clothing, handbags and accessories too.

Look how fun the Buttered Popcorn necklace is. It has a lovely corsage attached to it and I love the colors. I think it is really pretty and unique.


I contacted Chi Chi Collections and they a not only nice but they are generous too! They are giving away a pair of Coral Rosebud Earrings to one of my lucky followers!! How sweet is that? 

Look how precious they are!



LOVELY!

Here are the rules:

1. You must be a follower of Blissfully Blessed to enter this giveaway. If you are not a follower please click the "join this site" on the right hand side of this page and become one. You wont regret it I promise!

2. Please show some love and take a peak at Chi Chi Collections here: Chi Chi Collections

3. Comment below and tell me your favorite item from Chi Chi Collections. This counts as one entry.

4. For a bonus entry please share this post on your blog or Facebook. It would be very kind of you! Comment separately telling me you did this. This counts as a second entry.

 GOOD LUCK!

This giveaway will run until 11/3/11. Please leave you e-mail address in you comments so I can notify you if you are the winner.

Thank you Chi Chi Collections! 

What I wore... yeah, Im the thrifting queen! #5!

Top Gap $2, jeans (not thrifted) Blank $40, boots Steve Madden (gift from my Man), belt Anthro sale $10, purse Nine West $2, cashmere leg warmers made by me (tutorial here: DIY cashmere leg warmers ) $2.

Outfit Total: $56..... darn you jeans!


Top F21 $4, jeans Bullhead $3 (I dyed them myself with Rit in the color Scarlet), boots same as above in brown (also a gift), purse same as above $2.

Outfit Total: $9.... yup, that's how I roll!

My favorite of the week for sure! Top Gap $1 (silk!), sweater Target brand $4, jeans Lucky $3, belt $2, shoes Dr Scholls $2, purse (Lovie, Love, Love) Fossil $2.

Outfit Total: $14!!! Boo Ya!


 And the grand finale! Drum roll please........ Dress $2, shoes Aldo  $2.

Outfit Total: $4! Not kidding! Fo reals! Am I not the thrifting queen? 
Sorry, did I toot my own horn to much for you all?

Do you like these lovelies?


Well, I am giving them away here: Chi Chi Collections Giveaway! 

Have a blessed week folks!

Momma Go Round





dressed on a dime



pleated poppy

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Stretching like a rubber band




I am feeling rather stretched at the moment. I feel like I am a rubber band that has reached its maximum stretching capacity. 

My mystery illness took hold of me this week and I spent a good amount of time in the fetal position trying to cope with mind numbing pain. I am working with the Doctor to try and manage my pain but, have had little success. Trying drug after drug and dealing with unpleasant side affects is more than I can stand sometimes. Why cant I just be normal! 

Kevin got rear ended a day later. Then in the evening of the same day I got pulled over for expired registration. Being sick and taking care of the Family, it somehow got overlooked. I cried uncontrollably to the policeman who was very kind and only wrote me a fix-it-ticket despite the fact I couldn't find my current insurance card. I couldn't handle much more.... 
Well, thats what I thought. The next morning I found blood all over the house. I realized it was coming from Jasper, my 7 month old lab. He had split open his paw pretty bad on some broken glass in the back yard. I took him to the vet for stitches. He has to wear "the cone of shame" for 4-5 weeks and a huge bandage over his whole front leg. Not to mention it was a $400 vet bill.

Just when I think I am going to snap in half,  I cry out, "Lord I am stretched as far as I can go!" I feel like He is telling me, "You can do ALL things through ME! Even stretching further than you think you can!" I try to trust in Him and I let the stretching progress as calmly as possible. 
More chaos arises, I feel I am about to break again. Then I ask Him again "Lord do you know what happens to rubber bands that get stretched too far? They never return to normal shape and they BREAK! I know what stretching does God, I have had two children and I am not the same physically or mentally."

I hear....  The Lord say, " Nicole, I will NEVER leave you nor forsake you." 

I feel chills up my spine. And the pressure releases for a moment. I realize that maybe I am supposed to stretch beyond returning to my normal form. I am to remain in a place of being changed and trusting completely in God! I am to remain stretched (for now) but God wont let me break because He is giving me His divine strength and power. 

I have so much to be grateful for.

 I am surviving, despite being in pain. It could be so much worse! Thank you for looking after  and taking care me God!
Kevin wasn't injured when he was rear ended. Thank you for protecting him God!
I could have gotten a really expensive ticket because I couldn't find my proof of insurance. Thank you for giving me mercy God!
One of the Boys could have gotten cut or injured on the broken glass. It could have been devastating! Thank you God for guarding and protecting my children.

I am so blessed even in hard and impossible circumstances. Thank you Lord for stretching me like a rubber band and thank you for giving me strength in the process. Thank you Lord for keeping me from breaking. I hope I will be changed forever in this process.

Have a blessed weekend everyone! 




Friday, October 21, 2011

One Kings Lane

One Kings Lane is a neat site that offers daily sales of some very beautiful home decor. If you sign up through this link they are offering a $15 credit just for adding your e-mail! I bought some very cute sachets yesterday and I only paid $1.30 with shipping included! My credit took off most the shipping too! They would make great hostess gifts or stocking stuffers. So hang on to your credit till you find something in the $15 range and you could grab a freebie or cheap gift too, by the way, its okay to get yourself a gift. ; )
 Hey guys I just noticed they changed it to a $15 off a $30 purchase. still good deals to be had.
Here is the link: One Kings Lane


New Toms!

I know most of you have heard of Toms right? If you haven't, not only do they sell great looking shoes, but every pair you buy they donate a pair to a child in need. It's a really cool concept and I love to be able to give.

 Link : TOMS

Caleb's pair.

Love Deeks camo!


Mine and Deacons. 

Fun pattern right?

Not only are they super cute, but they a totally comfy too!

LOVE!


All opinions are my own. And I was not paid to write this post.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

What's for Din, Din

My Hubs thought it would be neat to do weekly posts featuring what we ate for dinner. I thought is was a fun idea. Since he often asks "Whats for din, din?" I thought the title was fitting. Also it could give you all some dinner inspiration. Because I know I am always searching for ideas of what to feed my hungry brood of boys.

Here is what we ate: Pioneer Woman's Crash Hot Potatoes recipe here: Crash Hot Potatoes


OH MY GOSH GOOD!


And:

Aidells Habenaro Chicken Sausages sauteed with organic bell peppers and onions.




Thanks Kevin for the great idea and cooking a delish dinner!

This was a gluten and wheat free meal too!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

For when I am weak, then I am strong.






    9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:9-10

Sorry folks. No "What I Wore" post this week. Remember my post about my ongoing digestive and health issues? Well, my tummy is in full protest right now. I have the feeling it doesn't like me for some reason. I remember when we used to get along..... those were the days!

So needless to say I figured you all wouldn't really appreciate pictures of me in my Old Navy tank and Victorias Secret yoga pants sans makeup. I am hoping next week I will be looking more human and hopefully feeling more human.

The verse above speaks to my heart right now. I know we have all been in a place of weakness but through Christ we will have strength and His power. How amazing is that? I am resting in this promise right now and TRY-ing to delight in my weakness. 

And I am hoping someday my tummy will like me again ; )

Happy Wednesday! Have a great week!


Monday, October 17, 2011

Deacon's First Field Trip And Other Fall Fun.

Ready to go!

First Bus ride. He was quite excited about the no seatbelt thing.

Picking the perfect pumpkin takes time!

But we found it! Perfect!

Looking at the baby animals. Sorry, this kid never smiles normal for pictures.

School buddies!

Mrs. Segura's Kindergarten class. What a fun field trip!


These little fuzz balls where every where!

Come on Boys...... Smile!

Caleb gained a few pounds from all the kettle corn.

Nothing like chewing on a giant turkey leg, Deeks in heaven!

 A fun touch tank with starfish and other sea creatures. Our future marine biologist was happy!


Making corn husk dolls.

They turned out super cute. I love the red hair!

Candle making.

I was just happy we didn't get any third degree burns.

Pumpkin seed spitting contest. Yes, the boys were stoked it was actually OKAY to spit for once.



Deacon force feeding a goat friend. 

Yep, we are just a bunch of animals!

We are enjoying fall! I hope you are too!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Thrifting 101






So, I have gotten a ton of questions recently like, "How do you find such great stuff at the thrift store?" or "My thrift store only has things you would expect at a thrift store."  And "How do you find such great deals?"

Because I like each and every one of you (really I do!).  I am going to grant you all my knowledge on all things related to the art of thrifting. My skills have been acquired over many years so don't expect to become a pro overnight. It takes time, skill and luck. Since I cant grant you time or luck, I will grant you some skills to help you find buried treasure amongst trash.

Oh My and this is womens. You will have to sift through stuff like this.



And this!



But you can find stuff like this too!


Those who dare not go!

If you are afraid of germs.
If dirt and dust disgusts you.
If looks from scary strange men with lazy eyes frighten you.
If you can't handle the smell of mothballs and stinky grandma perfume.
If you hate shopping. 
If you cant tolerate rude people (I don't know why rude people shop at thrift stores)

If any of these apply to you. TURN BACK! Dont even attempt to walk into a thrift store you will be utterly afraid and uncomfortable. Trust me, stick to Macys!

A couple weeks ago I brought a friend with me to one of the nicest thrift stores in town and she looked positively horrified. She shuffled through the clothing barely touching it with her pointer finger. It was quite painful to watch. Needless to say I learned a lesson.

I love this print!

New stickers from the original store!

From Anthro!


Finding the honey hole.

Truth be told this is a much guarded secret. In fact, I might be shunned by its recipients for telling you this.  I get such amazing deals because I shop at the Goodwill Outlet store 90% of the time. It's nick named "The Dig" because you have to dig through piles of clothing and boxes of mostly junk to find anything good. But the prices are amazing! The clothing is weighed and is only $2 a pound! That is why I can get Seven jeans for only $2. Household items can range from 50 cents to a few dollars. The furniture often goes on sale for only $1! I bought a beautiful antique trunk and a velvet ottoman for just $1 each.

Do some internet research or ask around and see if there is any discount thrift stores or outlets in your area. Also see if there are stores that have a discount day. The Goodwill stores have a discount tag in an according color every day. Those items are 50% off.

Also, nicer areas mean nicer stores. People with more wealth usually buy higher quality items. So you may have a little windshield time to get to one. Maybe, bring a friend and make a girls day out of it. Just make sure to warn her so she doesn't end up like my poor friend I wrote about above.

"The Dig" Now you know why it is called that!


Rachel Roy sweater!

Look and look again, then look some more.

I not only shop in the women's section, I also shop in the children's and mens section too. Items can be often mistaken or misplaced.  Shop all sizes not just your own for the same reason. If the item is worth having altered then for gosh sakes pay to have it altered. I bought my Seven for All Mankind jeans for $2 and had them hemmed for $10. Even at $12 they are steal since retail would have been around $150! Plus, since I am "mini me" I would have had to pay to hem them anyway. Having a quality piece that you love and fits you perfect is well worth paying to have it professionally altered. I always look ouside and inside the dressing rooms too. Quite often there are great items that may not have fit the previous shopper. Their loss might be your gain and it might be a perfect fit for you or you could alter it.

 At my local Goodwill store there is a section devoted to brand new items with tags attached. Just last week I found an Anthropologie top with tags reading $88! The Goodwill charged $4.99! This little section can be a gold mine! Ask if your store has a section like this. Mine was not in a place I would have normally looked.



One of those new with tag items.


Also, don't be shy! If you see another shopper with an item you are crazy about, simply give them a complement like, "oh my goodness that is so cute, you got lucky." Believe it or not, I have had people give me an item because I really wanted it and I was polite. So, I guess they aren't all rude after all. It might be rare for this to happen, but it doesn't hurt to try.


J Crew beauty hiding in the piles of clothes.


Silk top by Kenzie! Love it!

Time OUT!

Thrifting takes time, lots and lots of time! I actually sell thrifted clothing to a couple local consignment stores. It's my part, part time job. That is another reason why I get such great things. I am devoting a lot of time to find the really good items. My kiddos also has karate classes in the evenings. It so happens to be my luck that a few thrift shops are right next door. So I check them several times a week. Don't ever shop in a hurry! You will never find the goods when you cant devote time to scouring the entire store. So grab a Starbucks get a baby sitter and take some time to yourself, shop and look for the treasures. 

Dont stress to find specific things either. If you need a black dress for an upcoming event, save yourself the worry and go to JC Penny and get a black dress. By all means look for it, just don't pressure yourself.

I love this maxi dress, so fun!

If you first don't succeed try, try again.

You may have had experiences thrifting that have left a sour taste in your mouth. You may have devoted your time to find some great thrifted treasures. You were all excited! And you were left empty handed. : ( It's frustrating believe me, I know. But it's the name of the game. Some days you may score and others you may walk out with zip! Don't stress, the one time you find the most fabulous item in the world it will make up for all those times of frustration. Don't give up, keep trying!

Grab now think later.

If you see something you might like or it intrigues you, grab it! Hang on to it while you think it over, because odds are it might not be there later. I might have a cart full of things and after I ponder for a while, I might be left with only a few items. But nothing is more upsetting than deciding you want something and 10 minutes later its gone. They don't keep stock at thrift stores.




Repurpose and reuse

I use shirts, skirts, and pants for material. Sweaters for projects like leg warmers. I buy tops just for cute buttons, it's much cheaper than buying them at the fabric store. It's also a great place to buy craft items and seasonal decor. I use scarves and ties for belts. I have seen great quality furniture that only lack some paint and new hard wear. I make framed art from vintage cards and record cases. Antique books into wreaths. Bunt pans as decorations in my kitchen. Don't look at what is it, look at what you can make it into.

Leather mustard hand bag!


Keep calm and carry on.

I hope this inspires you. I also hope this helps you find some great deals and undiscovered treasures. Thrifting should be a really fun experience.
It saves you money and is "green" too! What more could you ask for? 

Thank you for reading. Tell me about all the treasures you find!



Disclaimer: Beware, thrifting may become addictive and is difficult to quit!