A Little Claire-ification

bright ideas for the busy & budget minded…

30 Days of Thankfulness: Day 25 – Best of The Weekend #3

Wow!!!   So many inspiring & creative posts this past week and I am so excited to share some of them here.

First, today I am thankful for those that teach our children.  Teachers are generally under paid and under appreciated.  I am very grateful that my boys have some super teachers this year and that they are all doing so well in school.  Thank you to all teachers!!

Now that does not in any way mean that the kids are ready for the Thanksgiving break to be over, mind you.  🙂

So here we go, in no particular order, with the “Best Of The Weekend” – a handful of the “bestest” and “funnest” things that I have come across this past week.  We’ve been traveling this week so, while I may not have had time to post much myself (I’m asking Santa for better “planning ahead” skills this coming year!), I did still find some time in the wee peaceful hours to hop all over the glorious web and check out some great things!  If you are featured or have been featured in the past (hey, even if you just like the cute lightbulb – knock yourself out), feel free to right click on the button above and slap it right on your (“claire”ly fantastic) post.  Or your fridge.  Whatever makes you happy.

Felt & Jute Christmas Trees @ Living Well, Spending Less

I simply adore these.  Ruth gives a great tutorial with beautiful pictures (as always!).  I may have craft envy. 😉

Beautiful Holiday Gift Wrapping @ Red Head Can Decorate

Julie has some gorgeous gift wrapping tips.  I am currently plotting and scheming a way to convince her to come wrap all of my presents for me!!

Christmas Decorating Inspiration @ Perfectly Imperfect

Well, if you aren’t quite inspired to decorate this might just help.  Shaunna’s amazing style and beautiful pictures would inspire even the grumpiest of elves!  And while you’re over there, make sure to read her posts about her beautiful new store she just opened a couple of weeks ago in Troy, AL.  I cannot wait to visit someday. Gorgeous!

How To Make Mercury Glass Plates @ The Shabby Creek Cottage

I am just in awe of Gina and this post.  Are you kidding me how easy and inexpensive this is??  My head is already full of spin-off ideas (and THAT, my friends, is what real inspiration is all about!!)

Simple 5-Ingredient Homemade Chicken & Vegetable Pot Pie @ Atta Girl Says

Not only do I love pot pie, but Amy’s posts are just plain funny and fun to read.  And, in case you are wondering, I was born under “the sign of pizza” (but you’ll have to read her post to understand!).  😉

DIY Advent Calendars @ The Sweetest Occasion

My kids are already asking when we can bring out the “calendar with the little doors”.  🙂   And I’ve seen several posts about DIY Advent calendars but haven’t seen so many ideas in one convenient post.  Definitely some great ones that I have not seen before!

Ballard Designs Holiday Table Runner Knock-Off @ At The Picket Fence

I bookmarked this a week or so ago and just remembered!  How cute is this runner that Vanessa made?  I absolutely love Ballard Designs – my catalogs are dog-eared (and drooled on) and, as you can tell by my hand painted holiday pillow, I also love great knock-offs, don’t you?

Whimsical Hand Painted Christmas Chairs @ Lake Girl Paints

These just make me want to whip out my brush and paint anything that is wooden and not nailed down.  Deb did a great job on these and who doesn’t need a little holiday whimsy?

Holiday Burlap Bunting @ Shabby Art Boutique

Lots of “Shabby” cuteness in this post, no?   I am just love, love, loving the burlap this year. This is super cute and easy to make.  Thanks Kerryanne!

50 Stocking Stuffer Ideas For Teenage Boys @ Silver Boxes

Being a Mama to three boys, one being a very hard to buy for teenager (yup, I am just surrounded by testosterone on a daily basis), I especially appreciated this post!   And in a more recent post there is also a list for Teenage girls too.  Great ideas, thanks Steph!

Now that’s a whole sleigh full of fun stuff right there, huh?  Hope you enjoy looking through it all and please let me know if you have any great holiday crafts or recipes, etc.  that may inspire me and everyone else who pops in!

I hope you all have a wonderful week, my friends!




30 Days of Thankfulness: Day 3 – A Gorgeous Day

Happy, happy Saturday!  I was thankful today for perfectly gorgeous weather for our garage sale.  77* and blue skies!

I generally dislike garage sales – well, I don’t mind stopping by one – that’s fun, but having them can sometimes be exhausting (like when people knock on your door at 6:30AM before a 7AM sale… “Got any antiques for sale?”  Maybe, but now you now pay double!! 😉 ).

But this sale was pretty low key and easy since our neighborhood was hosting and we didn’t even have to advertise in the paper or put out signs!   We were able to get rid of about half of our designated pile (although the train table didn’t sell 😦 ).  I swore that anything that did not sell would not be allowed back inside! Grrrr.  But… I can’t bear to set it by the street – it’s in perfectly good condition and the boys used to have so much fun with it when they were younger.  Memories!  So we decided that we are going to take it Harbor House, which is a women’s shelter for victims of domestic abuse.  Many times the women that show up there have their children with them, so we figured they could definitely use several of our items that didn’t sell.  Anyway, if you have some (gently) used items that you need to get rid of and aren’t up for a garage sale, a local shelter may be another option aside from the larger national charities that everyone thinks of first.

Once we get that last pile donated / delivered, I can finally post the garage reveal.  I know you are all waiting with baited breath.  haha!

And now…

I am just in a cooking AND baking mood after all of this organizing!  I don’t know if you have been online as much as I have over the last few days (bordering on unhealthy??) but there are soooo many yummy Fall recipes out there.  I feel consistently hungry staring at all of these beautiful sweet and savory treats!  Think it will be a foodie post on Monday!  Stay tuned!

Here are a few of my favorite savory food posts I’ve read in the last couple of days (I could probably list 100+ but I would NEVER get to Sunday’s post!) :

Tomato Pie

(photo courtesy of OceanBreezesandCountrySneezes.com)

Y’all, I am a cheese FREAK and this savory tart looks so yummy and is topped with a melty combination of cheesy goodness.  My mouth is watering…  check out my friend Mary over at “Ocean Breezes & Country Sneezes” (so sweet!) for this recipe.  I can’t wait to try it out!

Acorn Squash & Sweet Potato Gnocchi

(photo courtesy of marianhd.com)

My friend Marian over at “For The Love of Food” posted about this delish dish.  We LOVE gnocchi and my 100% Italian Husband is ready to try this right away (like yesterday)!  As an aside, Marian and her Husband also did an amazing week long experiment called the “SNAP challenge” where, for one whole week, they lived off the same benefits that those receiving SNAP benefits (Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program) have to live on.  This Govt. program allows about $30 / week per person.  This is an extremely humbling post to read and I don’t want this to get lost so will most likely mention this again one more time before Thanksgiving.

Crock Pot Balsamic BBQ Pulled Pork over Cornbread

(photo courtesy of simplyscratch.com)

Now this just looks like MAJOR comfort food right here!!!  And over cornbread??  Oh my.  I found this on Pinterest and the original post is by Laurie at SimplyScratch.com.  One more that I must try soon!

Ok – off to do some of my own cooking! Hope you all have an AMAZING weekend (and enjoy that extra hour of sleep too, thanks to Daylight Savings ending!).




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