A Modern Day Betty Crocker

How did my grandmother do it? How did she raise 8 children and make her own bread, can vegetables from the garden, volunteer at church, and keep her house free of dirt and cobwebs?
Yesterday, I had guests for dinner. Preparing was an all-day affair. Although I multi-tasked and did plenty of other things, I was amazed by how much time a woman can spend in the kitchen if she makes a meal from scratch. Here’s how the time-absorbing vortex of home cooking can suck up a woman’s time:
In the morning, I set out a roast from the freezer to thaw and by noon, I popped it in the crock pot. Before the Today show went off air for the morning, I had already picked apples off the tree in the back yard, cut them up, put them on the stove to boil for applesauce.
While that was simmering, I ran out to the garden and picked some fresh tomatoes and basil to go with the cucumbers I’d scored from my mom’s garden. I diced those up and made a salad. After I strained the applesauce and sweetened it, I ran out to the tree to pick some more apples for a pie. My son picked 8 ears of corn and shucked them for me and I boiled those and cut the kernals from the cob.
As I pulled my grandmother Betty’s falling-apart Betty Crocker cookbook from the shelf to hunt for the pie crust recipe, I felt very Betty Crocker-esque. The mess on the counters proved it. I had traces of corn kernals here and there, apple peelings spilling over the sides of a bowl, pans piled up by the sink, and the aroma of beef roast wafted from the crock pot.
 
In the afternoon, I tidied up the house and started setting the table for our dinner. I peeled the potatoes and put them in water on the stove, ready to boil when the time came. Just before the guests arrived, I whipped off my red and white striped apron (which makes me feel more like Betty Crocker). I dashed to the bedroom to check my hair and added a beaded necklace to my outfit.

Back in the kitchen, as I gave the pots one more stir, I thought of my grandmother again. I glanced down at my jeans and flip-flops. I guess I’ve given the Betty Crocker thing a modern twist.
All I can say is, this is why we have frozen pizza and convenience foods. I’d never be able to do this every day. But my grandmother did. And I wish she’d still been around to see me do it yesterday. I think I did her proud.

Another Fab TP Roll Makeover!

I’m amazed by what people come up with. Not long ago, I showed you what another blogger made with empty toilet paper tubes. Then I ran across this one. Wow!
Over at Suzy’s Artsy Crafty Sitcom, she made this wall art that looks like wrought iron. She’s included step by step instructions for the project so you can make one too. Start saving your TP tubes and paper towel tubes!
Photo belongs to Suzy’s Artsy Crafty Sitcom
And, check out Suzy’s other post where she created this beautiful filigree frame from the same materials. Again, she included a step by step photo tutorial.
Fabulous Suzy! There are a zillion great projects on your site.
Michelle

Trash to Treasure Decorating
View the full post at http://www.trashtotreasuredecorating.com

Transformation Tuesday – Getting Ready for Fall

I was away speaking at a conference last week and had spotty internet, so I neglected my T2T site. Glad to be back!
This week for Transformation Tuesday, I’d like to show you how subtle changes can make a great transformation. I picked up some wire pumpkins at a yard sale a few weeks ago, but I just didn’t know if I liked them as is. I decided they just had too much on them and I wanted to simplify.
 
See how that little brown painted piece of styrofoam shows? I didn’t like the flowers sticking up so high. I also didn’t like the plastic-y shine of the wire. So, I ripped it all apart.
Eventually, I decided to rip off that styrofoam piece too. Then I sprayed the wire with a metallic bronze that would give it a little more antique look.
With the hot glue gun, I attached only a few leaves and berries. I used the corkscrew wires from the original on the stems and added a few pieces of torn green calico for a leaf effect. I know, it takes some imagination to call it leafy, but I think I’m happy with how it turned out.
 
Not a huge transformation, but sometimes, a small change makes something much more appealing. Gotta love yard sale fines!
Michelle

Trash to Treasure Decorating
View the full post at http://www.trashtotreasuredecorating.com

I Just Keep Finding Ideas for Old Fans

A few weeks ago, I showed several ideas from fellow bloggers for upcycling broken fans. Here’s another one! Rose is a self-proclaimed curb shopaholic and she made this sassy little planter from an old fan and a coat tree.
Thanks for the great idea Rose!
Now, I’m off shopping for the day. At yard sales of course! My boys and I are stopping by a few sales before we do our school shopping. I hope to find some T2T steals to share with you all.
Michelle

Trash to Treasure Decorating
View the full post at http://www.trashtotreasuredecorating.com

Transformation Tuesday – Repurposed CD Rack

I’m going to squeak a T2T makeover in here quick before the end of the day. I had a speaking event today and a big one coming up in a few days, so I couldn’t spend much time on transforming anything. However, I had just removed my CD’s from their rack and put them on a new shelf that I found at a garage sale. They’ll get less dusty on the new shelf and it holds lots more.
So I was left with this CD holder…
It’s about 4 feet tall, even though it doesn’t appear very tall in the photo.
I thought about the belts and scarves that I had squished in my closet on hangers and thought maybe this could make a nice holder. It did. 5 minute transformation. Score!
 By draping the scarves over it and feeding the tails through to the back, I can easily see exactly what I have from the front. Belts can hang on the knobs sticking up at the top.
 Here it is in place in the closet. Oh, and the thing hanging on the wall is where I store the other scarves…the ones that I wear a lot. Yeah, I know. I have a lot of them that I’ve collected over many years.
 That wall scarf holder is something I made a while back with old door knobs from my grandma’s house. No, I didn’t steal them. They were tearing down the house and I salvaged them.
That’s just a rustic picture frame with some mat-board and leftover wallpaper border with door knobs added. Works great for necklaces too.
Michelle

Trash to Treasure Decorating
View the full post at http://www.trashtotreasuredecorating.com

The Best Investment You Can Make in a Recession

The stock market doesn’t look good these days. I don’t like ripping open the statements on our retirement account because they aren’t very encouraging. I don’t like watching the news because it isn’t very encouraging. Come to think of it, I don’t find it very encouraging to open the mailbox and find a pile of bills there either. We’re in a recession and the reality hits us in the face every day.
Photo from CBS News
This week, someone on the news said we might have a double-dip recession on our hands. Although the double-dipped part sounds yummy, I don’t think it’s supposed to. I think it’s bad. Really bad. As a parent, it’s easy to get discouraged by the lack of leftover cash.
We don’t take vacations to Disney or Hawaii, or spend a week at a dream destination. We don’t go out to eat at sit-down restaurants very often. We don’t go to theme parks or water parks, or buy our kids the latest gaming systems. We don’t own a High-def or flat-screen TV. We didn’t invest money in a college savings fund for our boys because we just didn’t have it.
But we did make one big investment and it’s the best one anyone can make in the midst of a recession.

You see, we aren’t only in a financial recession in our country. We’re also in a spiritual recession. So many people are just plain apathetic about Jesus. They are so caught up in acquiring stuff that they have forgotten about the Provider of everything they have. Too many parents believe that if they can just provide their children with the latest of everything those children will be happy. Sadly, they’re wrong.
In this financial and spiritual recession the best investment you and I can make is in our children. We can spend time teaching them biblical truth and modeling it for them. We can teach them to trust in God when finances fall apart. We can teach them to live with less and worship God more. We can help them understand that good character and godly actions are more valuable than anything a platinum Visa can buy.
I hope that someday when I look back at our investment, I’ll see boys who have become men of integrity. Men who give generously and love like Jesus. Honest men who put others before themselves and do what is right even when it isn’t popular. 
Come to think of it, I’m already beginning to see dividends on that investment. Boys, you make your mama’s heart swell with joy. I don’t give a hoot what’s in the bank as long as I have you guys.

Decor Going Down the Tubes…In Style

Sometimes we refer to trash to treasure as something that got a makeover, but wasn’t truly “trash”. But other times, it’s literally trash turned into treasure. Chris from Just a Girl Blog used toilet paper tubes to make this art for her wall. She gives step by step instructions on the full post, so check it out if you’d like to make your own art.
Isn’t that clever?
Photo belongs to Just a Girl Blog
Michelle

Trash to Treasure Decorating
View the full post at http://www.trashtotreasuredecorating.com