Friday, December 13, 2013

New Cars New Me New School And New Book Giveaway..

SO I know I know i been MIA for A VERY VERY long time....
But I have a Good Excuse..
Well For half the time anyway
after that the motto "something you do for more than 30 days becomes habit" sort of deal happened..
meaning that when i wasn't able to Blog and finally had the chance, i just never got around to it..
Yes BOO me..
But I'm back!!
So First things First Since my last entry I've gone through a whole ups and downs and arounds...
you know LIFE...

SO what ill do is this.. Ill cram the hi-lites in this one and then ill expand on it on later ones

First New Cars...

Well One New Car

Let me explain

My Husband Finally decided i needed a vehicle of my own and we decided to go on the hunt for one..
My Tiny Financially Responsible and Frugal thought self had its Heart set on Honda CR-V
You know the Fuel Efficiency and lower insurance and all that on top of the monthly note for the car..

Well it happened.. YAY

Isnt Beautiful??
The Picture isnt edited in anyway except i ONLY added the Caption on the bottom
and the way the light just shines off the car...

It Was A dream come true..
For a while.. LOL

Then the Dealership calls us back..

They said something had happened with the bank on their part so now they were trying to Refinance the vehicle..
Still NOT sure What Happened..
So they sat me and the hubby down and showed us a New Contract..

The car note increased almost $200 more and with an Interest Rate of 23+

There was NO way we would end up paying more than 31,000 for a Used Honda...

Then there was another..

So we Refused to sign the contract and with the sales man at our heels he insisted we look at other vehicles on their lot..

I was pretty bummed and didn't want to.
I really Really LOVED my Honda.

So we came back the Next day and looked around..

At first it didn't stand out to me
maybe Because i was still so Heartbroken lol

so we test drove 2 other vehicles before i was like "alas we come down to the only other decent car i Might be interested in...."

And when i drove it.. It was Love at First Drive...
My heart was set and i Wanted the Jeep....

SO Yeah Two New Cars in one Year... Pretty Fun.. LOL

The New Me..
Before I got Married i had been a blond for almost 10 years.. Since i was 15..
Then came the dreaded bills, diapers, and all kid expenses that pretty much put all your Wants Not just in the Back Seat BUT somewhere Buried in the trunk Along with any Dreams and hopes you had for the Near Future... Enter Newlywed Life and Parenthood.. "dunn dunn ddduuuuuunnnn" ....(Get it.. Belt from the Croods..??? Never mind)

Yup My Roots grow out.. and since i couldn't even afford a hair cut at the time i literally Want To Say I invented the Ombre Look WAY before it became cool.. LOL in a less fashionable way that is..
SO My Natural Hair Grew out and i maintained that Brunette look till recently this Past June on my Birthday..
I added some Hilites.. I was to scared to go back Light after all i had been a brunette for almost 5 years..
But after almost 2 1/2 months with it i wasn't happy with the subtle Hilites and went back in and asked for INCREDIBLY LIGHT noticeable Hilites..
and I love It
Though i would still like to go lighter im happy with it for now..

I also decided to kick up my life by getting active as much as my body would allow... And I have almost Reached my ideal weight.. Its those darn last 10lbs you always have trouble with... lol

Here's a picture to show exactly how much ive dropped
the bottom jeans is what i used to wear and keep in mind i was already busting out of those so they didn't exactly fit anymore..
Yes ill be honest for weight lost struggles sake
Yes I did do the whole jumping in the jeans to get them to go up and shaking the legs and even laying down on the bed to zip it up..LOL.. Pretty Sad huh?
The Jeans On top is what i wear i wear now.. that's almost about an inch!! might not seem Big to you But its Huge for me 20lbs gone in less than 4 months..
But now I've plaetou I cant seem to shake off those extra 10lbs that would put me at pre-pregnancy weight..

But its not so much weight I'm focused on Its Fat.
I've decided to burn off as much Fat as possible and if i don't loose more weight Ill be fine with it as long as its muscle weight...

Also Really Quick We are Homeschooling!!

Yes Im Homeschooling My 5yr Old Son.
My husband and I visited an A Beka Material Display and my husband Loved Their Curriculum.

Yes we have crazy days and now i find myself visting the park the library and the Malls Play area often to help keep my sanity!! lol
But I love it i get to see how much my child learns and what he finds interesting and Not so interesting
For example.. He does Exceptionally well during his bible session and remembers Clearly what was taught and bible verses and so on..
However Activity Time .. Meaning Craft and such.. Not so much. At the beginning i almost had to force him to do it now I'm more easy on him on this subject since He really doesn't find it interesting enough.. its not worth the struggle or tears SO we skip it most of the time unless it appeals to him..

Anyway Now for the Giveaway
Since Its the Holidays and All..
Itll be my Gift to someone Random

I have a Book

"A Thousand Gifts" By Ann Voskamp

She writes beautifully.. Poetically..
She is gifted.
And Im giving away A copy of her Book.
SO here's what to do.. Comment Below what your favorite Book is and a Very short Why... And Ill Randomly select a Winner Saturday December 21.

(Updated 12/15/13 Note: If you are having trouble commenting below just follow the "A Beautiful Life Facebook Icon At the top of this blog and comment there.... I apologize for the inconvenience.. working on a solution..)

So Happy Winning!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

DIY Laundry Detergent

Since the beginning of the year, well actually a little before that, I was at a ladies gathering, where we talked about frugality and organizing our time and home.
We walked away with a lot of notes, really useful advice, a sample DIY of laundry detergent and a overwhelming feeling at the thought that we were far from getting there LOL

I went home and tried the liquid version... and though it did a good job I wasn't completely "in love" with it.
I don't really know why it just didn't seem to make the cut.
So I went online and searched for what seemed like ever till I came across a blog and read several versions of how to make your own Laundry detergent.
Jillee's blog on DIY Laundry Detergent (<<< check it out)

so I tried the one where you boil the Fels Naphtha's soap and pour it in a bottle..
I substituted the Naptha for Zote and tried it out for a while.
And though I like that version the trouble with that was that EVERY time I wanted to use it, I had to "shake" it to un-clump it and maybe sometimes had to use a little hot water to help it liquefy.
Well that got old Real Quick. To me it was time consuming.
So I again went on searching, but this time I didn't search nearly as far and long as I had before.
It was actually already on her blog (she has this whole page dedicated to Laundry Detergents, DIY Shout stain remover, DIY bleach pen... The Works!!)
It was a trial version of a powdered one.
Now I was very hesitant because i prefer liquid soap
BUT when push came to shove I went for it.
I had ran out of liquid soap and so I decided to try the powdered one since this one was for a trial size.

I normally don't give my opinion until I know for sure I have a pretty solid opinion about it.
Well dun dun DDUUUUUNNNN!!!

Drum Roll Please...

I LOVE this version.

However the ONLY down Side (whomp whomp whomp) is that I don't Have a powerful blender or a food processor so I HAVE TO GRATE (AAAAHHHHHH!!!!!)

Yes time consuming and painful, my hand hurts afterwards.. LOL

Okay so here is what you need ...
This is The DREAM TEAM .. lol

~BORAX~ ~ARM N HAMMER SUPER WASHING SODA (not the same as baking soda)~
~ARM N HAMMER BAKING SODA~ ~PUREX CRYSTALS~ ~ZOTE (substitute for Fels Nalpha)~
*And it also calls for Oxygen Bleach  which I decided to omit and use only for heavily soiled clothes*

I kinda forgot to take pictures during the process of making it so here's a quick run down

*1st- Grate the Fels Naptha (in my case the Zote)
     OR if you were smart you purchased the ALREADY grated Zote for a few extra bucks
*2nd- Pour all the ingredients (measured of course) in a container with a Tight Lid
*3rd- Close tightly and give it a couple of spins and shakes to make sure all the ingredients are Well Mixed.
*4th- Use about 1-2 Tablespoons per load

Okay so a few more pictures (since I missed the process of it) and then to the recipe.

All of the Products

Pour them into a container....

One with a tight lid (you will be shaking to mix them up)

The Finished Product

The amount I use per Load: About 2 Tablespoons

Here's the How To and The link To where I got this "recipe" from


  • 1 bar grated Fels Naptha soap
  • 3 cups Borax
  • 2 cups washing soda
  • 3/4 cup baking soda
  • 4 1/2 cups oxygen bleach
  • 1 cup (heaping) fabric softener crystals – store-bought or Homemade (optional)

I SUBSTITUTE FOR "ZOTE" THE WHITE ONE (i love the smell... childhood memories)



Well here's why.. 
Just keep in mind this was MY Experience and therefore have chosen Not to Use it. 
So try it out and form your own opinion about it.
(id love to hear if you did and what you thought!)

*I noted a quick color fade in my clothing, not sure why. 
I re-read the reviews and comments on a couple of blogs and only a handful of people actually had the same experience, while others, mainly all, claimed they hadn't seen the colors fade at all..
So I decided to omit this one and not even include it at all (you can half the request if you'd like too.
I chose not to use it unless it was a heavily soiled load or my whites.
I haven't noticed any more color fading since
Like i said JUST MY CHOICE. Doesn't have to be yours.

  • 1 bar of Zote Bar Soap (I prefer the white, there's also a pink to choose from)
  • 6 Cups of Borax
  • 4 Cups of Washing Soda
  • 1 1/3 Cups of Baking Soda
  • 4 1/2 Cups Of Oxygen Bleach (I only used half the first time, I Don't include this ingredient any more)
  • 2 Cups of Purex Crystals (any scent of Choice or you could use Downy Unstoppables. You can even choose to Omit this part since this is used for fragrance only, if you choose to skip this part keep in mind  your clothes will have No scent but they will still be clean.. Your choice.)
***And to be completely honest... I add a little more than 2 Cups Of Purex Crystals, I love the scent of Clean Laundry***

Hope you enjoy this if you try it out.
And Id Love to hear if you do.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Kill The Giant 2013

Have you read the story of David and Goliath??

This Is Goliath:
1 Samuel 17...(The Message)

4-7 A giant nearly ten feet tall stepped out from the Philistine line into the open, Goliath from Gath. He had a bronze helmet on his head and was dressed in armor—126 pounds of it! He wore bronze shin guards and carried a bronze sword. His spear was like a fence rail—the spear tip alone weighed over fifteen pounds. His shield bearer walked ahead of him.
8-10 Goliath stood there and called out to the Israelite troops, “Why bother using your whole army? Am I not Philistine enough for you? And you’re all committed to Saul, aren’t you? So pick your best fighter and pit him against me. If he gets the upper hand and kills me, the Philistines will all become your slaves. But if I get the upper hand and kill him, you’ll all become our slaves and serve us. I challenge the troops of Israel this day. Give me a man. Let us fight it out together!”

This Is David:
12-15 Enter David. He was the son of Jesse the Ephrathite from Bethlehem in Judah. Jesse, the father of eight sons, was himself too old to join Saul’s army. Jesse’s three oldest sons had followed Saul to war. The names of the three sons who had joined up with Saul were Eliab, the firstborn; next, Abinadab; and third, Shammah. David was the youngest son. While his three oldest brothers went to war with Saul, David went back and forth from attending to Saul to tending his father’s sheep in Bethlehem.

So the Story Goes that for 40 days, Goliath (this Giant Monstrous of a man) came out and taunted Israel (Gods Chosen people) ..
(im thinking really??? no one did nothing??)
SO then Davids dad goes and tells him to take some food to his brothers ...
He happens to arrive at the time when Goliath comes out every morning and shouts and challenges..
David is repulsed!
He volunteers to battle the Giant.
Then he brakes through the formation ranks and faces his Foe.

V43 The Philistine ridiculed David. “Am I a dog that you come after me with a stick?” And he cursed him by his gods. 44 “Come on,” said the Philistine. “I’ll make roadkill of you for the buzzards. I’ll turn you into a tasty morsel for the field mice.”

So what does David Do??
I love this part! 

45-47 David answered, “You come at me with sword and spear and battle-ax. I come at you in the name of God-of-the-Angel-Armies, the God of Israel’s troops, whom you curse and mock.!!!!"

His strength and courage lies there..
He has nothing but stones in his hand and God at his side..
"I come at you in the name of the God Of The Angels Armies!"
That's His Weapon, His Shield, His Tactic ... All Of it, is Faith.
All Of it; God.

This is a very interesting story..
For 40 days there's this Giant, and Every day for 40 days First THING in the morning He presents Himself along with all the things that intimidate and humiliate, causing fear and coward-ness to steadily take over.
Then some young misfit takes the challenge AND ends up having More Courage than the experienced warriors???

I wanna be a MISFIT like that.

So the story goes he hits in the head with a smooth stone so hard The Giant Falls to the ground And David Runs over To him takes THE GIANTS Sword and Cuts OFF His Head...


Anyway i shared that because we are doing a campaign called "Kill The Giant 2013"
What it is is we are raising an amount to help pay off Jordan Ranch
A Retreat center in Schulumberg Texas.
>>> Heres the Link to the retreat Center Jordan Ranch
>>> Facebook Link Jordan Ranch Facebook Page

Heres a little crash course:
It started as a vision from our Pastor to have Fine Retreat Center without the "Distractions" for people to get away and get completely submerged in God's Presence.

A facility that would offer peace, tranquility and healing through Christ with a elegance, class and passionate service.

It really is breathtaking. I have participated in a couple of events at Jordan Ranch.
Its overwhelmingly stunning.

So we do this campaign for about 2 months and we make a pledge.
My husband and i have made a pledge.
An Amount that physically we know we could not do on our own.
Why an amount we dont know we will fulfill?

Because of Faith.
We want to give Sacrificially, We want it to challenge every thought every emotion every want.
Because at the end i want to know That My Husband and I Truly believed that Jesus is more than enough for us. That is A God Of Abundance that He is Overflowing.
That we truly gave all that we had
That what we say WE BELIEVED we actually truly BELIEVE.

I want to invite you to  read along on Killing My Giant this Year.
I believe this is the Year Healing is Pouring Down. 
I will Be completely off Rheumatoid Arthritis Medication by the end of the year.

If you feel moved to give have a plan write it down make it plain..
However let Faith Take the Driver seat in meeting that Pledge.

We made a spreadsheet with amounts of $20 in each box, and when we give we cross out that amount off the spreadsheet. We placed it in a place were we WILL daily see it to remind us that we have given our word and when we see spare change in our pockets we know not to waste it foolishly.

A journey Begins with One Step, its Endured with Determination and Finished with Heart

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Free Social Media Icons and "How to" for your blog

Somewhere in between the babies not needing attention, love, food, or showers i find myself online reading other blogs or pinning away on My Pinterest Board..

A couple of days ago when i was pinning away (most times i just see something interesting, I Pin it, then go back a few hours or days later when i have time to actually look through it) i saw a Pin on how to add Social Media Icons on your Blog and this lovely sweet girl offered some for free!

I went on her blog and read through it a couple of times and decided to try it..
Have you noticed them???    >>>>>>>>>>>
Right above the "About Me" section??
Aren't they adorable??

And they match my blog!

Well i struggled with uploading them for some reason... I just couldn't do it.
But they are so worth the struggle..
I only uploaded a few of the 9 (i might be wrong.. there might be more or they might be less) of the icons only because i wanna have a feel for it.. I have a Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter icon.. Ill be adding an email soon enough but for now it'll do...

Anyway I would like to give honor where honor is due.
Thank you Olivia from My Favourite Things for the free icons and the full "how to" on adding the social media icons to your blog..
Much Appreciation and Thanks!

Monday, April 15, 2013

And the wood works continues....

some of my fondest childhood memories are the ones i spent time with my parents...

My mom teaching me how to cook and clean... 
My dad teaching me how to change a tire and check the fluids in a car....

I was a well balanced child you can say lol..
I knew how to be a lady, cook, clean, take care of younger siblings...
and i knew how to change tires, check car fluids, and from time to time help my dad "fixing"
 the car.. (more like handing him the tools... i might not have helped much but at least i knew what every tools name was!)

so i guess i shouldn't be as surprised as I am when i started my New Found Interest.. Wood working.. after all i took a class back in High school... (but to balance it out I also took "floral decor".. see i told you i was balanced LOL)..

Yesterday I saw that they are doing a HUGE GIVEAWAY at Shanty-2-Chic
OOOOOHHHHHH I'm so giddy I'm almost crying!!!
It would be incredibly awesome.. If i would have my very own TOOLS!!!
Right now I'm borrowing the hubby's, but since he's always got projects at church i hardly get to use them (or see him also :(.....)
(here's a link to the giveaway in case you want to enter it for yourself .. or for me.. lol JK

Anyway since I'm only able to do with what i have.. i only do small projects...

Here are a few "Before" pictures of my bathroom.. I'm almost done I'm saving for my Compound Miter saw so i can do the framing on the mirror soon then ill be done..



My bathroom was very plain This is Actually not an accurate Before picture since the walls were "White" to begin with.. we painted them a very light grey.. and now some "After"...

 Might not be a grand makeover but for a small bathroom with plain white walls it gives it a "homier" feeling..

The towel hooks aren't quite done..
the original post had decorated them with fabric flowers.. however my hubby thought it to "girlie" and since we share a one bathroom house i decided to compromise and we decided on maybe a plaque of some sort or something else.. we still haven't figured out what to put on there...

the decorations on the shelves i actually found at Wal Mart..
The Family Rules canvas i believe was $4.99.. maybe $5.99, but definitely no more than that..
The flowers which I'm really glad i found there were $1.50 a piece.. for the green leafy grass and the white blossoms, i was going to purchase them at Hobby Lobby with a 40% coupon which would have still added up to over $7.00..  and the vase was an empty vase i spray painted an ivory color..

SO here's the link to the original post >>>  Shanty-2-chic

and i hope they don't mind me posting a picture from their work!

there's of course looks much better since they don't have a big medicine cabinet.. but mine aren't that bad But I have to admit I love theirs more over mine!!!

So here are a few more pictures from behind the wood works...

We got home and laid out the wood to cut..
(you can tell we are newbies our work table is Jr's little monster truck!!! LOL)

we have talked about buying soon or maybe we will build one..

We stained (only the front BC according to my Soldier "that's only whats going to get seen" lol
and added all the other little features to it..

And since i don't have my drills just yet!!! (I'm really believing to be one of the lucky 3 winners in the 
Shanty-2-Chic..shanty's-favorite-things-giveaway!!) i had My Soldier do it for me...

The Shanty-2-Chic version called for a couple of boards been put together with a Kreg jig..
since i don't have one and i Still very badly wanted the towel hooks i improvised
(that's probably why i love theirs over mine..)
We used one solid piece of wood where as they used several and pieced them together..

I love their site they don't just have DIY wood works they also have meal plans and a whole lot of other stuff too!!! Go ahead and check them out its an awesome inspiring site..!!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Suddenly Interested...

In my last blog i listed a few blogs i follow and love to just look over and over.

Two of my fave are:

Go and check them out I can almost guarantee You'll Be inspired to do something.

Anyhow I saw this blog about A DIY Ipad Holder that also doubles as a chalkboard.. and i Absolutely loved the idea since I read recipes of my Kindle Fire While listening to Pandora when I'm cooking..

Besides i tried doing crafts and they just didn't seem to fulfill me as my outlet from frustration.. Ive done earring holders. Was trying DIY Candles, and while the DIY cleaners and soaps were awesome i do such a big batch i don't do them often, and by been a stay at home mom i need an outlet ALMOST DAILY!!! 

And my husband doesn't necessarily approve of my MAC Makeup Shopping Obsession.. I mean Why spend $50 on a MAC Makeup Brush!!! That's Insane Right? Nope not to me..
I just repeat to him what he says to me when he wants to purchase New Power Tools..
"Your Only As GOOD as YOUR Tools.."



SO when i told him what i wanted to work on next, he kinda just looked at me like "ugh" but i was so enthused i didn't hesitate to shove him into the desk chair and and show him on the computer MY future project with a "With or With Out your approval" attitude.. of course i did this in an honoring and submissive and respectful way.. (ok not really.. more like "please please pppplleeasssee would ya look at it.. PPPLLLLLEEEAAASSEEE.." more like a whiny baby)

so Here's my Finished Product.. In my Kitchen..

And in the permanent spot while not in use in the kitchen.... The Family Picture wall.

I tried erasing to make sure it actually worked.. I didn't scrub to hard (i was actually afraid the chalkboard might come off.. the chalk came off OK, the chalkboard stayed )

SO yeah.. I actually really enjoyed it.. I actually did an Ipad Holder first which you can tell by the picture WAS WAY TO BIG!!! LOL

 i ended up giving it away to someone who actually had an Ipad, then turned around and took new measurements and re did it for my Kindle Fire!!!

Okay so now I find myself Suddenly VERY interested in Power Tools.. which (not surprising at all) My husband supports 100%..

The actual link to this idea is here >>>> Shanty-2-Chic Ipad Display

Ill walk you through my journey...

As we pull up to the parking lot i see my husband get a little excited.. i look at him and ask
"whats with you?"
Him: "nothing..(silence for a few seconds)..this is my favorite store..sometimes i come here 4-5 times a day"
Me: i grin inside and know this is going to be interesting

When we get inside he just knows he's way around..
me on the other hand... everything just seems to start spinning.

Where to even start????
What do i get first??
The wood?
The stain?

uhm Tony?..

i look up and i guess he decided to lead.. he is on a mission...LOL

He didn't stop to ask what i wanted to get first.. He just assumed the role and i followed..
I didn't realized it but i guess i was holding my breath.. i let out a Huge sigh of relief.. i felt reassure that i wasn't just way over my head with this project.. i was going to have a Mentor through this.. LOL

At least One of us Knew what we were doing..

I followed him into the Lumber section.. and to be honest.. almost everything looked exactly alike..I read out the material list and he then began telling me what everything was and teaching me ..

And then Jr was all Full of questions also...
Lets just say after that it was more of Father-Son bonding
He kinda forgot it was my project..
By that i mean he no longer instructed me on what we were doing.. He just walked around explaining everything to Jr as we picked up all the materials on my list..

I smiled and though i would have rather have him explain it to me i just happy happily satisfied as i listened to him teach Jr a couple of things.
I just decided to make sure i paid attention also.

Even Little short stuff got in on the fun.. she had a lot of "opinions" on what should go in the shopping cart.

So a few hours later and a few "Extra Things" in the shopping cart we headed home to start my project.

While we there however i "expressed how i wouldn't be able to sand the wood using a regular sand paper and how an electric sander was much needed..

Here's my brand new First Power Tool EVER!!

We got Home and he started showing me how to measure out the dimensions for the Ipad holder

He did the cutting for me since i wasn't able to hold the saw and push the trigger buttons at the same time

I told him :"you know since i cant use that saw we are gonna need to get me one i can use"

him: (-_-)

Me: lets say maybe a Ryobi compound Miter saw

him: ($_$)

Me: its not that much..

Him: you really want one?

Me: uhm yeah kinda.

Him: Okay cool we will save up and invest in one!
        (power tools are his weakness!)

So we cut stained, and taped and hammered and glued.. It was actually a pretty cool time together.
I think he enjoyed it more because i have a new found passion for power tools that's probably going to come in handy next time he asks
"Uhm Angel? i saw this tool............"
(then me excitedly interrupting)
"Of course!!!!!... what are we getting?.."

He totally saved the day by cutting the wood for me, i would have been really upset had i not been able to start right away on the Ipad Holder .. (recently revised to a Kindle Fire Holder)

He's my Soldier.
He's my Warrior.