A Smashing Idea for Ideas!

Maybe I’m a little behind on the times, but I have JUST discovered Smash Book! My cousin (and fellow scrapper) Brandy got one of these little clever goodies for Christmas. I can’t wait to start mine! I know you can buy these are Target and Michael’s for $10-$15. So far those are the only places I’ve looked, they may also have them at Hobby Lobby & Wal-Mart too.

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The best way I know how to sum it up is: a hard copy of Pinterest, but with your own personal touch. From what I gather, everyone will have their own (and different) “smashing” styles and purposes. For me personally, I plan to “smash” ideas and clippings of things I want to do in the future. Some may use theirs as more of a journal/memory keeper. So The first thing to decide when starting your smash book is, “Am I smashing for the past or the future?” The inside pages are super cute, but my favorite part are the cute and witty folders, tags and prompter’s ($1-3 and you get multiples in a pkg). Check out this video for a quick preview of the inside and some on the available embellishments.

Here’s a little more detail on the embellishments that are available.

Most importantly, the “Smash Pen.” It’s a glue stick on one end and a pen on the other! Each book comes with one and replacements are about $3 bucks!

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40pk prompter pads! These cards are sold in themes for the “past” SMASHER that include family memories, love, favorite things, etc. For the “future” SMASHER they have cards like places I want to visit, things I want to make, etc.

Prompter Cards

Prompter Cards

My personal favorites are the “Tags” that say things like “I want, I need, to bake, to buy, love this, etc.

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Tags

Pockets are also a MUST have! My favorite one  says “So cute I wanna put it in my pocket.” but here are some others:

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I love, love, LOVE these fun little witty boogers! Next time you’re in Target, stop by the stationary aisle and check out the ‘Smash Book” section!

 

Check out this “Smashing” how to: if you already have a smash book, or if you’re dying to see more details:

Ask for the Display!

If you’re hitting the after Christmas clearance (at Lowe’s in particular) to stock-up for next year,there’s a thrifty tip you should know! ASK FOR THE DISPLAY! For starters, everything is marked down 50%. Not to mention, there are lots of “Christmas” decor items that aren’t limited to the Holidays! I found this 6 ft. beauty:

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Originally $129, marked down to $65, and the man helping me (who was obviously trying to move out the displays) offered me the display for only $35!!! I have always loved the spiral topiary trees. If you haven’t priced them, they are an easy $200+, so naturally I got excited over this low maintenance little guy! No watering, no trimming, and no fuss! I am planning on taking the lights out, re-potting it, adding some pebbles around the base, and leaving it out year round! $35!!! What a steal!

 

On that note, you should know that Lowe’s is REALLY good about moving out products. Should you be interested in a clearance item, find a manager and start dealing! This 8×10 rug shag was originally over $200. I was “window shopping” one day, but I got pretty excited when I noticed that it had been marked down to only $130! Price 8×10 rugs, under $100 is almost UN-HEARD-OF! So I was going to pass when the associate (who turned out to be the assistant manager) asked if I’d buy it today for $80! Wow!

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Shop smart, ask for a better price, and you won’t be sorry. I promise!!

Better the Next Day Green Beans

So preparing a meal for 15 people on CHRISTMAS DAY is quite the challenge, that’s why I LOVE this green bean recipe! Not to mention it’s really easy!! Here’s the scoop:

1 pkg fresh italian style green beans

1 can chicken broth

2 tsp. minced garlic

2 T butter

Splash of low sodium soy sauce

sliced almonds to garnish

Snip the ends of green beans and biol 1o minutes in water; drain. Combine butter (sliced into 5 squares), 1/2 can of chicken broth, and garlic in skillet (not a wok!). Heat on high until butter is melted(about 2 minutes). Add green beans and toss until all juice is soaked up. Move to serving dish and toss in soy sauce and almonds. If you are preparing a day ahead, wait to add almonds just before serving after you reheat! Enjoy!

IMG_1442[1](Serves 4, I made 3 batches for tomorrow)

Don’t knock the labels!

So we are officially ready for the big Christmas feast! I find the the only way to achieve a stress free decorative food display  is to PLAN AHEAD! My labeled platters have become quite the joke among friends who have been by the house this past week:

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I do this for a number of reasons.

1. So that the day of, I am not running around like a chicken with my head cut off trying to decide what fits best in what dish, what serving utensils to use. etc.

2. So that I don’t miss or forget any parts of the meal.

3. Most importantly: so that when there are 5 hands in the kitchen asking how they can help, it is obvious what needs to go where and how they can contribute.

Here’s to pre-planning a stress free beautiful meal!!

Update: December 25, 2012

Finished Prooduct

Finished Prooduct

Jesus is the #1 REAL reason for this beautiful season!

There’s something that stirs my heart about watching a plant grow, especially when it happens really fast! We exchanged Christmas gifts with my mom and step-dad on our trip to Georgia over thanksgiving. One of the gifts I received was an Amaryllis kit. When I got home and opened it, it came with a pot to plant it in, a bulb, and what looked like a little hockey puck of soil. Literally the ONLY thing I had to do was wet the soil, it expanded, and viola! My bulb was ready to rest in it’s new domain!

I knew it would bloom eventually, but I never dreamed it’d grow so fast and get so big! Every single morning I could literally see a dramatic difference from the day before! It has been SO much fun to watch this beauty make its big debut. Here’s what it looked like 2 days after planting:

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So I started getting excited! How often do you plant something and see a forming bloom in just 2 days?! See, my mom told me when I opened it, “It’s a Christmas Flower.” I really didn’t take that to heart, I just thought it’d bloom, eventually. To my surprise, only 1 week later, I woke up to this:

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Awesome! I’m starting to think, maybe this thing really is going to bloom on Christmas! So, check out how it looks today:

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The bloom has surpassed the foliage!

So there is actually more to this story than a random post for you to see the progress of my growing flower. This morning in Brother Ray’s message he quoted a scripture about God’s time: “But you must not forget this one thing, dear friends: A day is like a thousand years to the Lord, and a thousand years is like a day” 2 Peter 3:8. Perhaps these past few weeks that I have enjoyed admiring this plant, I got a glimpse of the way God must feel as he watches us grow! He provides the soil, plants the seed, provides the water and when we have his light in our lives we grow and bloom in his Glory! So I say all that to say this:

“Thank you Lord for providing us with what we need. Thank you for planting the seeds in our hearts to seek you. Thank you for the beautiful things that you use on this Earth to stir our hearts and feed our souls. But most of all, thank you for sending your sweet baby son in a manger to suffer in this awful world, to be despised & rejected, and yet STILL make the most ultimate sacrifice to die a painful and excruciating death so that we may be born again and reunited with you, our king in Heaven! I pray that as we admire the beauty of the lights, decorations, good food, great gifts, and all the traditions of Christmas this season… that we remember, MOST IMPORTANTLY, Jesus as the #1 REAL reason! Amen”

Giving Credit Where Credit is Due

Post #1, scary! Like my sister-in-law (Shana), who recently started her own blog, I am a little nervous about putting myself out there for an “audience.” Not to mention, she is an English teacher, so I’m feeling a little pressure since I know her writing skills are top notch and we may share some audience members! 🙂 Anyway, “Thank you Shana for the encouragement to get over the hump of my blog fearing phobia!”

Please visit the “About Me” page if you’re interested in, well, learning about me! Otherwise, stick around these parts to read about the more fun and interesting things like crafting, decorating, organization, scrap-booking, fashion, and ALL THINGS PRETTY (and decorated).

I post on Facebook, pretty much daily, all the projects and ideas that cross my path. But let’s be honest, the whole Facebook world probably doesn’t share my interest or passion nor does it archive my work in neat little categories for me to reference in the future. So I decided it was time to tuck my daily thoughts and ideas in their own special place because they deserve at least that!