Monday, September 30, 2013

31 Days 2013

Islanders, tomorrow marks the third year in a row that I will join more than 2,000 bloggers to change October.
My topic for 2013 has the same TITLE as last year but with a different purpose.
Last year, I focused on my home life... I needed to spend October getting my family back on track.  You can read more about it here.
This year, I'm going to focus on making this new house our home by sharing my tips, tricks, stumbling blocks and headaches along the way.  I look forward to seeing who we - my family and my home - will become at the end of this process. 
This year, we're settling into a new place.  I mean, sure, we've moved our things in.  It's all unpacked but, as we've lived here a little while (6 months now), some things need fixin'... I'm going to figure out how to fix what we've got and I'm so excited to bring you along for the ride...
Just a heads up, Islanders, you're going to see things I would never share. Some because they wouldn't be "big" enough posts (with pretty pics and major updates) and others because I would never show an in-progress room.  The next 31 days will bring us one step closer to making this house resting on its plot of land our home.
See you tomorrow (and the next day and the next day and the next day, lol),
Want to join me?  Come by The Nester's blog to learn more and link up your posts!  O and leave a comment letting me know when you do! I would LOVE to follow your 31 Days journey!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

WW: No-Spend Challenge Has Its Moments

Wordless Wednesdays

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Farewell Summer

This past week has been nuts.  Between a stomach virus, a busy wedding weekend and work picking up for an upcoming event, LIFE has been crazy.
We bid summer a bittersweet farewell right before school started.  Now that it's officially fall, I felt it was appropriate to share the photos of our formal farewell to summer.
The song she sang while waiting to see her X-rays.
Munchface said bye to the crush, Ravi, with a friendly game of tag:
Grandma Judy came and we enjoyed breakfast at Cracker Barrel:
We also played a little laser tag:
Her laser tag "warrior" name was Z-Money.  IDK, don't ask.
She spent a LOT of time rocking her little babies to sleep:
That Sunday, I opened my home for Devona's Tupperware party and, IDK how, but I'll be hosting my own party soon so look out for an invite :)
We also had one final sleepover with Chazity and I got my hair done :)
This has been an eventful few months for our little family!
Not to mention the back-to-school prep:
With summer officially gone, we are knee-deep in second grade and cheerleading.  Yes, WE are cheering.  I'm no longer air cheering on the sides, I coach.  I know... because I needed something else to add to the to-do list, right?! :)
Look, if I'm going to have to sit at the practices for 2 hours, I might as well put my skillzzzz to use, right?!  Plus, the girls just look so cute in their uniforms and are really working hard for competition.

Happy it's-officially-pumpkin-spice Fall, ya'll!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Banana Muffin Tops

Our family loves bananas.  Each of us eats 1/day on average.  Because we eat them on the regular, I have over-purchased bananas.  TECHNICALLY, it's not that I bought too many but that, when I grocery shop, the fresh fruit pales in comparison to the gummy fruit snacks and granola bars in the pantry.  The man would prefer to snack on that stuff rather than those perfect bananas.  What happens to bananas by the end of the week?  This:

No bueno.
Just so we're clear, I will still eat a semi-brown banana.  Don't judge me... I won't, however, eat one that looks like this:
Now, I admit that I have set some semi-brown bananas aside with the plan to bake banana bread but... REALLY? I barely have time to survive.  In the case of my recent brown bananas, I set them aside on Thursday and didn't get to bake them until the following Wednesday.  I know.  Don't judge.
I thought I'd make banana bread... Then I found a recipe for banana cookies.  Yea, that was THE recipe for me... Until I forgot the printed recipe on my desk at work... I headed home and I winged it.  They were great BUT they didn't turn out like cookies... More like cake but denser...  Like... Hmm..
Yes, that's right... Muffin tops.  I'm excited about my little moist and gooey muffin tops; they turned out awesome.  LUCKY FOR YOU, I documented how to mess-up a cookie recipe and, in turn, came up with some just as yummy :)
- 1 stick butter
- 1 cup light brown suge
- 2 eggs
- 2 really ripe bananas
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
-1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup pecans
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C)
2. Whip butter and brown sugar.  Beat well.
3. Add eggs then banana.  Beat well.
4. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Add to banana mixture.  Once mixed, stir in pecans.
5.  Drop tablespoons of dough onto a cookie sheet.
6.  Bake for 10 - 12 minutes.
They were delicious! 
Not too sweet... not too banana-y... not too nutty... Just right.
Now, maybe I'm the only one but... I have a tendency to watch the first batch like a hawk and pull them out when they're still gooey.  In this case, I was too busy rubbing it in Hubbs' face that they turned out the BOMB to remember that my second batch of cookies was in the oven (they baked for 25 minutes). 
Let's just say they were a little more tan than the first batch:
O but get this, they were still moist and soft!
I brought both to work to share and to poll my munching co-workers.
Apparently, both were great but the first batch won 6 to 2!



Wednesday, September 18, 2013

WW: Headband Storage Solution

Wordless Wednesdays

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

I Get Quiet When I'm Working

Happy first-post-of-the-week, Tuesday!
Wait.  What's that look about? O... I get it.  You've gotten used to me posting Monday-Friday and the lack of a post yesterday threw you for a loop?  Well, allow me an opportunity to explain...
When I'm focused on a project, I get really quiet; I need silence.  I'm talking eerie-anybody-home silence.  The kind where I've had Hubbs looking for me in the house and I'm crouched in a corner gluing or sketching at 1 am...  the kind of silence where I've heard what glue sounds like when it leaves the barrel of the glue gun. 
Silence is like a security blanket for the crafter in me.  I know what you're thinking and I agree.  The same person who can't even listen to the radio without singing along gets all shut-your-mouth quiet to make a hair bow or a centerpiece?!  Crazy, I know.
All that to say... I know I've been posting more frequently and yesterday's silence on the Island was  a rare occurrence.  It's my island, right?! Not only do I post when I want BUT I post because I want to.
I've got to stand by the content of my blog.  It's very important to me that you, my beloved Islanders, have a reason to come back - quality content is that reason.
Anyhoo, enough with the boring explanation!  Let's see some progress, shall we?
Munchface's room is a mess.  Seriously.  I could clean it but I need to figure out what the problem is.  It could be that my kid doesn't seem to understand the concept of cleaning her room.  She throws everything in her closet and haphazardly tosses her clothes into drawers (mixing tops and bottoms, pajamas and school clothes, etc.).  Honestly, it's driving me batty but I may have found a solution.
Remember the dresser transformation from a few years back? (Click here for more).
I took a $15 Craigslist dresser, lovingly pet named The Victim, from this:
To this:

In the new house, that dresser is just sitting in the messy craft room with random junk covering it:
Yep... It's just hanging out with the craft, donation and party planner junk and, get this, it's serving NO purpose.  Guess what?!
This evening, I'm moving The victim to Munch's closet and I can't frikkin' wait!  I'll put her shoes that have no box in the bottom drawer, her socks and PJs in another drawer and maybe add some hooks on the side for her purses... Hmm, this whole dresser in the closet might work out juuuuuust fine for us.
OMG! Is this no-spending momma getting a little excited?!
Stay tuned, Islanders!
WAIT! I have another update!  The reading nook received a major piece too - the bean bag birthday gift from Tati!  The large and comfy chair is in its home and it's perfect:
Both Munch and Baby Doll love it.  Matter of fact, Baby Doll loved it so much that she decided to sleep there all night:
Now, I've just got to figure out how to move a socket higher to hang this thrifty find (an August purchase because no shopping this month.  Remember?!):

We'll talk more about that small pink sparkle chandelier soon enough... I just need to get it hung like ASAP!
Until tomorrow!!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Winner Takes All!!

Hello and Happy Sunday!

I'm co-hosting a group giveaway!!  Also, be sure to check below for the sales & discount section!
This is a winner takes ALL, and here is what YOU could win:

~ Avon Jewelry Set
~ Avon Perfume 'Blue Escape'
~Lace & Floral Zippy Pouch
~ Medium Ad Space on Agape Love Designs
~ $20 Visa Gift Card

This giveaway is open to Residents of the US Only. My apologies to all who this excludes.

Meet the wonderful sponsors!


 To enter, simply fill out the rafflecopter widget below.

O and be sure to come back each day for extra daily bonus entries!

Don't forget to check out the sales & discounts for my lovely sponsor's shops below.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Use code AGAPE10 for 10% off at Bishop Place Handmade


Friday, September 13, 2013

The Big Girl Room: A Mini Update

I don't have too much to report on the Big Girl Room front.  You know she got the desk from Dom and Sheena:

We love it.  It fits the space perfectly.  Honestly, I don't know if we'll find another desk to fit so, as she grows, I plan to put risers under each of the legs.

I also ordered the perfect chair for her desk:

Yes, I ordered yellow.  Yes, I know that it doesn't "match" the aqua, white and pink color scheme going on in this space... Just hold tight, I also know that I wanted an accent color. You know, a color to add visual interest throughout the space... a pillow on the bed, a painting on the wall... A CHAIR!
All-in-all, we love the homework nook. It works perfectly for the space and helps contain art supplies to a very neat and CUTE area.  We've started to settle into the homework nook and I can't wait to share some of our storage solutions (I just need to take pics - sorry!) :/
The day before Munch's birthday party, Devona picked up (and put together) the next organization piece - the book case:
I've changed some things around on the book case since these photos but I just love it!
I know... The cords need to be covered, the lighting is poor and the décor needs to be re-situated BUT it's working and Devona was a great help. Thanks, boo!
The only other update I have is the reading nook and, let's just say as it's coming together, it deserves to have its own update.
Hubbs and I plan to wrap-up some larger projects around the room this weekend.
Stay tuned :)


Goodwill Finds: The Magnolia Wreath

Happy Friday, Islanders. I wanted to share a thrifty find from a while back.  Ugh, I love my local Goodwill Outlet.  Oh, and yes, you saw ...

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