Holiday Handmade Gift Exchange

This was my second time doing the gift exchange with Craftaholics Anonymous!

I got paired up with Jennifer from Mississippi, who told me she liked country chic, John Deere, and seashells. She also told me she loved scrapbooking. I was jealous to hear that she has a Silhouette machine, I have a Cricut and want to upgrade one day.

We are the same age, and also both have Etsy shops! Hers is Southern Charm Creations, and my shop is Joyful Home Designs.

So being that Jennifer likes country stuff and scrapbooking, I decided to make her something with camo, and I also figured that with all the scrapbooking she's doing, she probably has a nice camera that she needs a camera strap slipcover for. : ) So, here we go...

#1. Camo cell phone charger/holder. I saw the idea on Pinterest, and the tutorial can be found here: Tutorial from Make It Love It. I hope she finds it handy!

#2. Ear Bud Zippy Case...again, found the idea through Pinterest, and here's the tutorial:
 Tutorial from Erin Erickson Go give Erin some love if you end up making one, her tutorials are both easy to follow and lovely.
 #3. Lastly- A camera strap cover...I'm really hoping that she has a DSLR camera to use this on : ) If not, maybe she can use it as a huge Christmas hint for her hubby.
So that's it for this year's Holiday Handmade Gift Exchange! I really enjoyed participating this year and look forward to getting my gift as well! This is so fun! Go ahead and sign up for a reminder to alert you for when the next exchange signups start (in the spring/summer).

Go visit to see all the pretties that others have made for this exchange!


Craftaholics Anon Gift Exchange!

This was my first time ever participating in a craft exchange!

 Craftaholics Anonymous put it all together and it was so easy! I signed up, got a name, Melinda T. We emailed a little bit, I made a special gift and mailed it off!

I have a business, Joyful Home Designs, and an Etsy shop, but I wanted to make something special that my new friend hadn't seen yet. : ) So I came up with this sign...

I hope she likes it! And I hope I don't spoil the surprise by posting this, the sign should be delivered tomorrow hopefully.

A nice girl drew my name, and sent me this cool blue flannel rag quilt! I love it! Cozy, blue, and something I've been meaning to make but haven't gotten around to yet. Love.

Go here to see all of the cool presents that were exchanged : 2012 handmade gift exchange
The next exchange is in November. I hope I can sign up again, this was a lot of fun.


I'm gettin' gooooooood

For such a time as this, God started long ago putting the joy of "couponing" in my heart. I 'pay' with coupons instead of cash, that's how I look at it. I'm so grateful he gave me this love for saving money, because now more than ever, we are depending on HIM to provide for our needs. Coupons is one way He does it.

I've become semi "hardcore. It's true. First of the month when new coupons come out is exciting. (Lame? Maybe, but my friends and family stopped joking on me when I started giving them things I'd gotten for free by couponing.) So now it's a game, a challenge to see how well I can do. Going into Publix is fun. I used to hate grocery shopping...not anymore.

For instance, consider my trip last Sunday after church:


1 carton medium eggs
1 pkg Hormel all natural turkey lunchmeat
4 bottles of Childrens Advil (these alone were 5.99 each!!)
1 carton Philadelphia Cooking Creme
1 carton Philadelphia Indulgences milk chocolate cream cheese
2 boxes of Velveeta Skillets (like hamburger helper)
2 boxes of Pillbury prepared pie crusts
1 tub Land o Lakes butter spread
6 cans of Green Giant peas
2 cans of Green Giant green beans
1 loaf of bread
1 lb bananas
4 bottles of Nature Made Folic Acid (money maker!)

After coupons, my grand total was $13.82. I saved $70.51 AND was able to submit a $10 rebate for the children's Advil. So I'll get a rebate check in the mail for $10. If you take that amount off my total, the out of pocket I spent...

$3.82. And .45 for a stamp. : )

GO COUPONS! Yes, I may be crazy. Obsessed? A little. But you wouldn't believe what I spend each week on groceries. God provides through couponing.

PS Anyone need some folic acid? I have it out the ears...but hey, they PAID me to buy it.


A new "normal"

Not that I've ever been NORMAL, but whatever...y'know.

New year, new jobs, new schedule, new bible study, new friends, new life. New..."normal".

2011 ended with a bang-or should I say, an A-bomb. Lots of change.

I have a new normal now, so a very dear friend keeps reminding me. That friend reminds me that it's good. Sometimes it is very, very, very good. Sometimes it is horrible. Sometimes it just is what it is.

A few lessons learned the past 2 months:

* God is gracious and so very faithful. I can always depend on Him, and sometimes He's ALL I can depend upon.

*When your world turns sideways, most people run in the other direction. (Almost like they are afraid of "catching" something....whew-that visual just makes me laugh. But it's so very true.)

*God provides in little and big ways. All the time, every day, and usually when you least expect it.

*People I thought were my friends, aren't. And conversely, people I didn't think were my friends, are. Funny what God takes away, and what he provides.

* My eyes have opened to people around me that are hurting. This world is full of people in pain. Going through REAL junk.

Some days I'm great. Some days I could crawl up a wall. It is what it is.
But I'm still here. WE are still here, united.

God is showing/has shown us BIG things. Would I change a thing? NO. God uses things to grow you, change you, make you better. The things that HE has done in 2 months have BLOWN MY MIND.

To G O D be the G L O R Y....for the things he has done.