August 28, 2012

Tidbit Tuesday (Detergent Cap)

Thanks to my lovely sister-in-law for sharing this tidbit with me. If the build up on the detergent cap drives you crazy like it does me than this tidbit is for you.  I use to rinse it off as the water from the washer was filling but now I don't have that option with my new washer. So I just throw the cap in with my clothes. The cap comes out perfectly clean and dry every time.  Not to mention it uses every drop of soap in the cap so you don't waste any!

August 27, 2012

One of those days...

Have you ever had one of those days; one that is so bad it turns into one of those weeks? Sometimes it just keeps going and doesn't even end after a week. We've all been there. Some people say it's just life but that doesn't make it any easier. We all go through different challenges and obstacles. Sometimes they don't seem like a big deal to others but they are a big deal to us; which means they are a big deal to our Father. Crazy sounding right? I really do believe he cares about everything that matters to us!

I think moving to a new place amplifies emotions. I have found myself crying in the grocery store and tearing up at the doctor. I'm sure if you've moved to a new place you know what I mean. It gets frustrating starting over and trying to find things. What brings me comfort during those times of frustration and disappointment is knowing that I have a Father that cares.

As you know my washer broke last week and flooded the house. Thankfully we had money saved up and could buy a new washer but that's not what I wanted to spend that money on. I was thinking more about buying a new light fixture, some paint and some new cabinet pulls. Our new washer arrived and after holding my breath while they squeezed it past my newly painted doors, I soon discovered it didn't get power. After messing around with the circuit breaker and realizing it wasn't going to work I had to rush off to the eye doctor. Why? Because I FAILED my eye test at the DMV and couldn't get my license.

Did you know I'm blind in one eye? I was born that way, my eye is actually deformed, but you can't see it by looking at me. Going to a new eye doctor is not fun. They always are so fascinated with my eyes and they act like they need to provide me information that I already know. So I spent a little over 2 hours at the eye doctor so that they can be convinced that I'm safe to drive. After the eye doctor I went home excited about figuring out how to get my washer to work. I discovered by a MIRACLE there was power going to the outlet. Once my husband got home we got it all figured out and running. I was thrilled!

LG the maker of the washer still sent someone out the next day to make sure it was working properly. This washer is the fanciest one I've ever used. It actually has a diagnostic button that sends a signal to the support team alerting them to what's going on.

So far I'm very impressed with this washer. It's like a front loader but it's a top loader. The inside is HUGE! It's so much fun to watch it work through the glass top. The lid locks and has a child lock option but you can still add a garment if you need to. One of my favorite parts about the washer is the melody that it plays. It's funny how excited I am about washing clothes now. I made two short clips to the share the melody with you.

After we had a few days of new washer bliss. We loaded up our dirty clothes and sat on the sofa to relax after a few hours of intense yard work. Then we heard a horrific WOOOOOOSH followed by a waterfall type sound. We ran to the washer to find the 2nd flood in just a week! The drain tube had somehow pushed it's way off. This flood since caught early wasn't quite as bad as the first. It still managed to seep all the way through the floor to the basement and run it's way under the built in bookcase on the opposite wall.

On top of the washer madness and the fact that I couldn't get my drivers license without jumping through some extra hoops, my baby girl Blanca had to be taken to the vet for a bump on her snout and swollen eyes. Now she's on a few different meds in hopes to knock whatever this is out. Otherwise she might be having some oral issues. I'm praying for a miracle that she's completely healed!

It was quite a week and that's not even all of it! We HAD to take some time on Saturday to get away, relax and try something new. Some dear friends sent us a gift certificate to take a winery tour and enjoy a tasting paired with food. We had such a wonderful time and the best part is the winery is only a few miles from our house!

Mountain View Vineyard was a great experience and we are looking forward to going back. If you're ever in the Pocono Mountain area you should definitely visit them!
Next time you have one of those days or weeks or even months, I hope you will be encouraged.  Just think about the fruit that will be produced after a little pruning!

August 20, 2012

Spin Cycle and a Winner

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend. Mine sure was eventful. We spent time visiting with our guests and explored a fun winery in the area. Yesterday we planned to hang out at the house and relax, although there was a debate as to if we should go out for an early linner (lunch/dinner). Thankfully we decided to stay at home.

As we were fixing lunch there was a little accident with the Lemonade. I cleaned it all up and decided to put the towels I used and some others that were starting to get stinky in the wash. The pipes made their usual racket as the washer filled with water, something didn't quiet seem right though. We continued to talk with our visitors as the washer made it's usual noises. After I thought the wash had finished I went in to switch everything into the dryer and that's when I found a flood.

There was water everywhere! It was seeping under the wall into the living room and all the way down to the basement. I was frozen and confused. My head was spinning. I didn't understand what happened. I thought there was a MAJOR problem with the pipes.

After further investigation we determined it was the very old washer that was the problem, not the pipes. It's funny because when we first moved into the house I said, "I must get a new washer, that one is too old and dirty." My husband and mother convinced me it still had life in it and we could clean it up real nice. My mom actually did all the work and made that thing shine. It's been working great! I thought it was wonderful that I would be able to spend my money on other fun things and not a washer. Now I'm forced into buying a new washer and my head is spinning with all the options.

I'm really gonna miss this washer that I once thought I hated. Who knew that your clothes could spontaneously com-bust because of vegetable oil? That's what the lid of the washer says. At least for now I have a creek to do my wash in and a bridge for hanging it out to dry.

Yesterday the bridge looked a lot more redneck and was covered with towels. Tell me about your weekend, did anything eventful happen?

I hope y'all got a chance to check out the amazing metal art in both the  Make your Dog Smile and Hettie Rex shops. The winner of the tag is... Caytea!  Congrats, we'll be in touch soon!

Now I have to get back to my huge pile of laundry. Washing by hand is gonna take a while ;)

August 17, 2012


Happy Weekend Everyone! Do you have any plans? The weather is supposed to be gorgeous here, I'm really loving these crisp, chilly mornings. We have some visitors coming this weekend! I love it when people stay with us. I want people to feel comfortable and happy when they stay. I often think it would be amazing to own and run an inn. So I find myself acting as if my home is an inn when people come to stay. Is that weird? I do it even with close family.

One thing I love to do is have fresh cut flowers around.

I've been getting them from the local Farmers Market. Supporting my local farmers is just another perk of having fresh cut flowers around the house. It would be amazing to collect flowers from my own garden one day. But I have lots of learning to do about gardening around these parts.

I also have a desk in the guest room that has a binder full of info on the area and a stack of fun maps. It was actually left here by the real-estate company when we bought our house.
Is there something you like to do to prepare for guests?  

If you have time this weekend make sure you check out the Make your Dog Smile shop on Etsy and let me know which tag is your favorite. The owner has been kind enough to offer a tag up to a $20 value to one lucky winner. You only have until midnight on Monday the 20th for a chance to win. You can read more about the giveaway HERE

August 16, 2012

And the Winner is...

Congratulations Mama 2 Many! You're the winner of the $25 Michaels Gift Card. We'll be in contact soon. I appreciate everyone who left a comment! If you're disappointed about not winning the gift card there is another giveaway going on until Monday the 20th! Check out THIS post to find out more.

August 15, 2012

Last Day for GW #1

You may have heard there's a little celebration going on around here. I'm celebrating this blog being ONE year old. Because I'm so thankful for my followers and the people who stop by I'm giving away a Michaels Gift card. I'm surprised that so few people have left comments. Its a giveaway, it's FREE people. Sometimes it's hard not to compare my blog with others where they get tons of comments every post no matter what they say. For some reason not even a quarter of those who visit my blog leave a comment. I wonder why? That being said head on over to the 1 Year post to find out how you can win the Michaels gift card. You only have until Midnight!

August 13, 2012

Still Celebrating and a 2nd GIVEAWAY

Do you have any pets? Well if you do than you can relate to how much I love my doggy Blanca. If you're new to my blog you may not know who Blanca is. She's my very special lab/husky mix. I shared her story back in June, you can read it by clicking HERE.

Blanca has been in need of a new tag since we moved. I found the perfect one on Etsy made by the lovely Tessa. She actually has two shops. One called Make Your Dog Smile and another called Hattie Rex.
You can read more about her on the Etsy Blog where she was a featured seller, click here for the interview.

What drew me to this dog tag was that it was quiet. Blanca shakes a lot! Why I have no idea but her tags have always been loud.

I was so excited when the tag arrived in it's pretty packaging! I chose the 1 inch wide Timber quiet collar tag. There are a variety of  fun designs to choose from in her shop. I really adore the Wren too. If you're wondering about the text I altered it so that my info wasn't showing for the entire world to see.

Blanca was thrilled too! She loves presents.

This tag is not only well made but is a piece of art. We are so happy with how it turned out!

I have GOOD news for all you fantastic readers. Tessa has offered to give away a tag up to a $20 value! I thought this would be the perfect time to do another giveaway since I've been celebrating my 1 year blogiversary. By the way it's not too late for a chance to win the Michaels gift card. You can find out more about that giveaway HERE.

Wanna know how to win an awesome tag of your own?  Just visit Make your Dog Smile on Etsy and let me know what your favorite tag is in a comment below. While you're on Etsy you should head on over to Hattie Rex too. I'm swooning over this copper necklace.

Want your name in the hat more than once!?!
1.) Add one of the shops to your favorites on Etsy and let me know in the comments below.
2.) Share this giveaway via Facebook, your blog or Twitter and leave a comment telling me how you shared.

*I will enter all the names into  to randomly select 1 winner. The giveaway will close on Monday, August 20th at Midnight*

P.S. I was given nothing to tell you about this awesome tag. The shop owner was kind enough to offer this giveaway when I told her how happy I was with the product.

August 10, 2012

A dessert for celebrating!

If we were celebrating my 1 year blogiversary together (PS click the link and read all about it and the GIVEAWAY) I would have to make you this recipe.

It's a go to for all celebrations and special occasions. Thanks Ms. Paula Deen for your Banana Pudding recipe that inspired me!

There are two main things that make this recipe extra special, one is cream cheese and the other is Chessmen Cookies. These cookies are so much better than those little round Nilla Wafers. Normally they have chess pieces on the cookies but during the spring they come out with a special design.

I can not STRESS enough how worth it is to get these cookies!!!! I also layer my pudding and love to show it off in a trifle dish or a glass bowl.

Here's what you need to make this yummy Banana Pudding:

3 bags Chessmen cookies
6 to 8 bananas, sliced
2 cups milk
1 (5-ounce) box instant French Vanilla pudding
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese softened
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk 
1/2  (12-ounce) container Cool Whip

1.) In a bowl, combine the milk and pudding mix and blend well using an electric mixer. 

2.) Using another bowl, combine the cream cheese and condensed milk together and mix until smooth.

3.) Fold the whipped topping into the cream cheese mixture, then add the cream cheese mixture to the pudding and stir until blended. 

4.) Line the bottom of a glass bowl or trifle dish with as many cookies that will fit then layer bananas on top.   Pour a little of the pudding mixture over the cookies and bananas and then repeat a layer of cookies then bananas. Keep doing this until you fill up the dish, the last layer should be pudding,  then add a few cookies for decoration on top. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

*Don't forget I'm giving away a Michaels gift card to celebrate my Blogiversary, you can find out how to enter HERE*

August 9, 2012

1 Year

Today is my Blogiversary! It's so hard for me to believe I've been blogging for a whole year. I feel proud that I've stuck with it even through those uninspiring days, if you're a blogger than you know what I'm talking about. I've learned a lot through the year and have met some wonderful friends. It's been so much fun to document my creations, ideas and life in such a way. I LOVE sharing with you.

I started this blog as a way to share because I have people ask me all the time about things I've created and recipes I've made. I finally found time to get it started when I moved to Nebraska and discovered I had more free time on my hands. A LOT has happened since then. Now I'm living in Pennsylvania in a big farm house spending all my free time fixing it up. Not to worry though I still love this blog and will continue to write. I find the process freeing and a great release of my creative energies.

It seems like most of you have found my blog because you've come for a recipe. Surprisingly recipes are the hardest for me to write about. I actually don't follow recipes very well. I tend to use them more as a guide. I'm always putting my own twist on things. So having to think back through what I actually do and write it out has been a challenge. But it has really stretched me and it's feels good to be challenged.

I'm amazed every day at how many people visit my blog and write me about the Crock-Pot Lasagna  in particular. I can remember a few days after I posted the Crock-Pot Lasagna recipe the number of visitors on my blog started going up drastically. My husband was actually out of town and I was FaceTiming him on the iPhone late one night and he said "have you looked at your blog lately?" The picture below depicts the scene well.

Isn't that too funny that he captured my reaction? I couldn't believe that 12,000 people visited my little blog! And now I'm getting close to half a MILLION! Is it just me or is that crazy?

I want to say Thank YOU from the bottom of my heart. I really appreciate your visit and I love it when you write. As a way to celebrate and say thanks I have a little giveaway planned. Of course I would love to have you over for a craft party and a cup of joe but since I can't the next best thing is for you to have one at your own place. So I'm giving away a $25 Michaels Gift Card to get you started with the party.

Wanna know how to enter the giveaway!?! Leave me a comment below telling me how you found my blog or tell me something you like about it. You will get your name in the hat again if you do the any of the following:

1.) If you're a follower, let me know. Double your chance!!
2.) If you're not already a follower, follow along and let me know you're a newbie. You'll get an extra chance too!
3.) You can also follow me on Pinterest, Facebook or Instagram.

*I will enter all the names into  to randomly select a winner. The giveaway will close on Thursday August 16th at Midnight*

Don't forget to make sure that you have an e-mail attached to your name so that if you're the winner I can contact you.
I hope you know how much I appreciate all of you!

August 7, 2012

Tidbit Tuesday (doors)

Well I haven't done a Tidbit in a little while...Do you even like Tidbit Tuesday? I've been trying to get y'all to contribute but I haven't heard much of anything. This week is a BIG week for this little blog of mine. Do you know why? It's almost 1 whole year old! August 9th is the official day. So that means I should consider doing a little updating. Maybe this will be the last Tidbit Tuesday. Any thoughts?

Let's get to the tidbit. As you probably know I've recently moved in to an old farmhouse. We've been busy painting lately. It's amazing what a little paint can do, especially with doors. I think most people paint doors out of necessity. Because really by the time you paint everything else do you really want to paint a door if you don't have to? I've been painting the doors in my house a little out of necessity and because the impact is HUGE.  Here's what most of the doors looked like before:

There was a lot of brown in this house. It's slowly but surely getting better. The only reason I can imagine that someone would use so much brown is to hide dirt. Now, how would you repaint this door? A lot of people just choose one color and it's usually white.

You DON'T have to paint your door only one color! Next time you consider painting a door think about how you can make an architectural impact and do something different.

All the doors in your home don't have to be painted the same. Have fun with it!

Next time you paint a door try something different. The results will amaze you!

While we're on the topic of doors I found an original key to the farmhouse when I was cleaning the basement. You might have already seen it on Instagram. Isn't it beautiful? I'd love to see you on Instagram sometime! My user name is creatingthroughlife

If you enjoy reading my Tidbits let me know and maybe I'll keep it up. Or if you have decided that you have one to share after-all I'd love to post it. 

 Stay tuned because I think there is going to some CELEBRATING in the near future!!!!