the ‘think you’re so hott’ desk

When Ben and I were only a few weeks away from getting married, we went to Walmart and bought our first ‘home’ purchase together. It was a white computer desk with a detachable hutch, and I was feeling pretty hott.

It was a big ole’ desk. At the time, I was so excited to be buying something so grown-up with my husband to be, I could have cared less what it looked like. It really wasn’t that bad, though. It wasn’t made of real wood, but it was still pretty. It was white with a brown desk top.

I felt so cool buying that desk. I must have flashed my engagement ring at the checkout counter a zillion times.

We sold that hott computer desk about a month ago. It was just too big for our tiny house, and it really wasn’t functional for us anymore. It had too many open shelves that PB could get in to. I’ll admit, though, I was a little sad to see it go. I got a little sentimental about it.

I started searching for a new computer desk when I ran across this beauty, in my parent’s basement:

And guess what this is? It’s my mom and dad’s ‘think you’re so hott’ computer desk!

This desk has been sitting in their basement for at least 20 years (it’s at least 30 years old). I never paid any attention to it until I needed a really cheap (or free) computer desk. And then, all of the sudden, it looked like a million bucks to me.

I asked mom if I could have it. She said yes. And then she went on to tell me that this was the first thing that her and dad bought as newlyweds. She said she thought she was so hott when they bought that desk.

I had to laugh when she told me this, as I had felt the same thing about our old computer desk. Something about your first ‘home’ purchase as newlyweds that makes you feel like you are just the coolest thing since sliced bread. You kinda feel invincible. You feel so grown up and giddy about your new life with each other. You have so much pride in all that you do together.

I hope we always feel like that.

So, I went to work. First, I washed down the whole desk, removed the hardware, and then sanded it with 80 grit sandpaper. Then, I painted it with 1 coat of primer and 3 coats of paint. I originally thought the whole desk was real wood, but alas, the top of the table was not. I was a little bummed because I had planned on just staining the top of the desk. So I improvised, and painted the top of the desk a deep brown. And then I sanded a little more, and added some stain to the edges to give it an antiqued look. Finally, I added a clear coat of polyurethane to the top of the desk and let it dry for about 3 days.

The finished ‘think you’re so hott desk’:

I spend about $25 on paint and rollers. I also spent $4.50 on new knobs for the top drawers. I spray painted the old pulls to save some money.

Maybe one day, PB and his wife will ask if they can have this ole’ desk as newlyweds. And maybe they’ll think they’re so hott when they bring it in their house together. And then I’ll tell him how his grandparents thought they were so hott when they got the desk, and how Ben and I thought we were so hott when we bought our first computer desk.

And then he’ll tell me that we’re nerds.

What about y’all, do you have any ‘think you’re so hott’ newlywed purchases? Did you feel like a million bucks when you made your first purchase together? Or are we just really nerds?

Have a blessed Wednesday πŸ™‚

that oreo stuff.

I’m not much of a summer gal. I blame it on the heat. And bees. And mosquitos. And summer clothes. Shorts and tanks are this pasty girl’s least favorite. I prefer the pits of fall and winter when I can cover my bandaid-colored skin with sweaters and jeans.

But there’s one saving grace every summer.

That oreo stuff.

For many moons, my momma has been making that oreo stuff every summer. It was the quintessential summer dessert growing up. It made all that sweat and pasty skin bearable. I love it. It’s the fiber to my summer being. This is my second favorite dessert of all time (second to the apple cake, no less). I mean, o.r.e.o.s. Can it get much better?

I needed a little something to wash down the turkey and dressing and winter pies and cakes. This did the trick. Most of you have probably made this dessert before or at least tried it at some church function. And it probably has a better name than ‘that oreo stuff’. My momma has been making this baking dish full of deliciousness for years and we’ve always simply called it ‘that oreo stuff’.

So without further ado, here’s the recipe, friends:

That Oreo Stuff

1 bag/box of Oreos
1 1/2 stick of butter
8 oz. cool whip
8 oz. cream cheese
1 1/4 cup powdered sugar
2 small packages instant chocolate pudding
3 cups milk

First, crush up all of your oreos (I usually save about 3-4 oreos to crumble up on the top. And then I always eat 1 or 2. If you can make this dessert without sneaking and eating an oreo, then you are the queen on the world).

Then, add 1 stick of melted butter to the oreos and mix it around. Press the oreos into a 9×13 baking dish.

Next, mix the cool whip, cream cheese, and 1/2 stick of butter together. Then add the powdered sugar. Spread this over the crushed cookies. And, oops, I forgot to take pictures of the next steps. Probably had something to do with the fact that I kept sneaking and eating oreos.

In a bowl, mix the 2 packages of instant chocolate pudding and 3 cups of milk. Let it stand for about 5 minutes, then spread it over the cream cheese mixture. Add a thin layer of cool whip (I usually reserve about 4-5 tablespoons of the cool whip) and the 3-4 (or less, if you ate a few) crumbled cookies on top. Pop this baby in the fridge for a little while if you can stand it. And enjoy!

Have a blessed Tuesday πŸ™‚

staycation recap.

Hello, friends!

I feel like I was a little MIA last week. Ben and I took a little ‘staycation’ over Thanksgiving, so blogging got the backseat. What is a ‘staycation’, you ask? A ‘staycation’ means you spend x amount of days at home doing whatever the heck you want to do. It was niiiiice.Β This was one of the very first times we’ve ever done that. Usually, we are traveling to see family during any time off, so this was new to us.

We did a lot of cleaning and organizing on our staycation. I know, we’re wild. We also did a lot of eating. And a lot of PB-playing. We took him to the mall for the first time since he’s been a ‘big boy’. I really don’t think he’d been to the mall since he was 3 months or so. Bless his heart, he lives a sheltered life. He ran wild. He must have thought we took him to Vegas or something. He was particularly interested in the mannequins. He stared at them at least half the time we were there and he kept running up to them and waving at them, probably wondering why they weren’t waving back.

We had Thanksgiving dinner with my family, and we really stuffed ourselves. Sometimes, I think I could take a bath in mashed potatoes and gravy. I really don’t think there’s a better food. Somewhere during the course of Thanksgiving Day, my momma managed to persuade me into black Friday shopping with her at midnight. I’ve really never been black Friday shopping before. About 4 or 5 years ago, I went with her, but we didn’t go until like 8 a.m. on Friday, so I don’t really count that. We headed out at 11:15 p.m., to get to the stores by midnight.

I wanted to cry.

I’m such a sleep baby. If I don’t go to bed by a certain time every night, and get at least 7-8 hours of sleep, I pout. And if I don’t wake up by 8:30 a.m. at the latest, I pout and feel like I’ve wasted the whole day sleeping. Like I said, I’m a sleep baby!

It was an experience to say the least. I was so confused that night. What time is it? Why am I not sleeping? Should I eat? Could I lay in the bed display at Kohl’s and not be noticed? Who am I? Why am I here? What is my name?

Needless to say, I’m not a night owl. My body and mind shut down about 10 every night, and reopen around 7 the next morning. If I’m awake during those hours, it’s not a pretty picture. We made it home around 6 that morning. As I attempted to brush my teeth with Ben’s comb, I vowed I’d never do black Friday again. At least not until next year πŸ˜‰

Ben and I had a date night over the weekend. We were home by 8 p.m. We went to eat and decided we were too cheap to pay for dinner and a movie, so we rented a movie and came back home. We sat on the couch and ate ice cream in our pajamas. Good choice!

Sunday was church and my dearest friend Whitney’s baby shower. Baby Emery Kate (don’t you just love that name?) will be here in 4 weeks or so, and I am beyond excited for her. Whitney and I go way back to kindergarden. I’m so blessed to have her as my friend. Not many people can say they’ve had the same best friends since kindergarden. We grew up together, roomed together in college, and were in each other’s wedding. And now, I’ve decided our kids should get married. It’s the next logical step.

So that was my Thanksgiving staycation. What about you guys? Did you eat yourselves silly? Did you brave the black Friday madness?

Have a blessed Monday πŸ™‚

thankful thursday: feliz thanksgiving

Happy day of thanks, friends!

Today is Thursday and Thanksgiving, and I’m a very thankful gal.

I’m thankful for the blessings in my life.

I’m thankful for my salvation, provided for FREE, by my main man Jesus.

I’m thankful for my sweet son.

I’m thankful for my Ben.

I’m thankful for another year of life.

I’m thankful for my parents and my extended family.

I’m thankful for my health and for the health of my family.

I’m thankful for YOU.

I’m thankful for my church family, our little old house, my bed, food, my hometown, the country, my friends, fresh air, the military, crockpots….ahhh I could go on forever, baby.

I hope you have a wonderful day, celebrating all of God’s blessings.

Happy Thanksgiving from mi familia to yours!

Have a blessed Thanksgiving πŸ™‚

my thrifty life: saving on the shoestring budget

Hello, gang! I’ve got another treat for you today. I’m sharing the mic with my blogging bud Erika, of Newlyweds on a Budget. I don’t even remember how I landed on Erika’s blog, but it was right around the time I started going back to school and our pennies were getting pinched. What perfect timing! Erika shares her family’s challenge of getting out of debt and balancing a healthy budget. Today, she’s sharing her tips for saving money when money is tight. Take it away, Erika!

Hi, my name is Erika and I blog over at Newlyweds on a Budget. Here is my post on How to save BIG on a Shoestring Budget. 

I am a big believer of saving money. There is always something that money can be saved for, rather than relying on credit cards to bail you out during emergencies.
This year, Eric and I had 8 months to prepare to become a one-income family while Eric attended a training academy for four months. We decided that in order to cover all of his school expenses, and also have an emergency fund, we needed to save about $8,000 from January to August, or roughly $1,000 a month.
So how did we accomplish this?
Downsize
We had to move. Luckily, our lease was up, but we ended up moving from a swanky one-bedroom apartment to a shack that was located in someone’s backyard. I’m not joking. We literally live in someone’s guesthouse that doesn’t even have a bedroom, but rather a loft. We found it on Craigslist.
I often hear all these excuses about how you can’t move and other areas aren’t safe, and how it’s just too expensive where you live, and I’m here to say that unless you have a mortgage, you can move when your lease is up. We live in southern California, less than a mile from the beach in one of the notoriously known expensive areas–and we managed to decrease our rent and utilities by 14% simply by moving down the street.
It sucks living in this situation and we can’t wait to move (one day), but for now, we make these sacrifices so that we can afford Eric’s schooling.
Eliminate the extras
In these past two months of living on one income, we have brought down our monthly expenses for all those “extra” categories, such as dining out, entertainment, gifts, etc., from an average of about $800+ to about $550. We always assumed we just couldn’t squeeze anything else out of our budget, but it turns out we can! No more clothes shopping, no more dining out (or if we do, it’s usually less than $50 a month), we take our lunch to work every single day, we are even eliminating our internet this month and using our phones for wireless.Β Β 
I clip coupons and keep our food budget to about $250 per month.
Find extra sources of income
We’ve held three garage sales in the past year. I babysit on weekends, I market my blog, I mystery shop and I fill out surveys. If there’s an extra way to make money and it doesn’t involve taking my clothes off, I’ve done it! I’ve taken every single overtime opportunity available at my job, and I’ve even held side jobs as a social media specilist for other companies, and as a check-in person at a local gym. Yes, working so much has its downside, but these are sacrifices we have to make. You can even get side jobs online through ODesk.
Keep your eye on the prize
Sometimes, I get really upset. It is hard to be putting in so much effort and hard work, and still be living in a shack. There are moments I get fed up and want to just splurge. But I have to keep my eye on the prize–which is eventually to own our own home. This year was all about saving up for Eric’s schooling. Next year, it’s all about saving for a down payment. I always look at the newspaper real estate section every Sunday to remind myself that one day we will have our own home.
Find more tips on frugality, and simple living at Newlyweds on a Budget.
Erika lives in a shack in Orange County, California with her husband of a year, Eric, and their eight-year-old Wheaten Terrier, Bentley. They are paying off debt, and saving up money to purchase their first home. You can read all about how they try to manage finances, pay off debt and live a big life on a small budget at Newlyweds on a Budget.

Thanks so much, Erika, for your tips on saving on a shoestring budget! Make sure to check out Erika’s blog for other money and budget goodies! As a one-income family right now, we are always looking for tips to save and cut back. I can also say that it NEVER hurts to be prepared. A lost job, an accident, a sickness, a downsize, we are all really just one step away from being one income families. It’s always good to plan for the unexpected!

Have a blessed Wednesday!

the-christmas-tree-putting-up tradition

We put up our Christmas tree Saturday night. I know. It was still several days from Thanksgiving. I’m not trying to steal Thanksgiving’s shine, so until Thanksgiving is over, I’ll call it my Thanksgiving tree. And I’ll give thanks AND celebrate Jesus on Thanksgiving day. See? Works out perfectly.

PB went to play at his granny’s for a little while on Saturday while we put up the tree. So it was just Ben and I, putting up our 3rd little Christmas tree together. The first year we were married, I thought I was so stinkin’ hott when we put up our tree. Putting up a tree together was like marital rite of passage. So we went all out that first year. We had all the time in the world, listening to Christmas music, making Christmas cookies, taking lots of pictures, meticulously decorating the tree, and watching what else but National Lampoon’s Christmas vacation, you know, like they do on those Hallmark movies.

And I determined that this would be our Christmas-tree-putting-up-tradition.

So last year, with a new baby in tow, we put up the same tree, ate store-bought Christmas cookies (because I was lazy and sleep-deprived), turned the Christmas music down real low, threw some ornaments on the tree, and watched about 10 minutes of National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation before we fell asleep.

This year, folks, it was like a scene straight out of a Hallmark Christmas movie.

We got the tree out of the box, and got to work.

Hark! Is that National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation?

Look a little closer.

Gasp. Why, no! It’s a football game!

I managed to squeeze a little ‘Mele Kalikimaka’ in on YouTube. We scarfed down sugar cookies during halftime, tried to strategically place the ornaments out of PB’s reach, and I reminisced about our first Christmas tree as Ben yelled at the refs.

The only thing missing was the Christmas sweaters.

Things have changed since our first Christmas. And things will continue to change. I like to think our Christmas-tree-putting-up tradition reflects the time in our life. The first year, we were hott stuff, newlyweds, trying to have a Hallmark Christmas. The second year, we were exhausted, new parents, still trying to have that Hallmark Christmas. And this year, we got real. We had about an hour to ourselves so we tossed up the tree, watched football together, ate an obscene amount of sugar cookies, and laughed at our newlywed selves.

It was probably the best Christmas-tree-putting-up to date. Though I can imagine next year’s Christmas-tree-putting-up will probably top this one. I have a feeling PB is gonna be one nasty Christmas tree decorator.

What about y’all? Do you have any not-so-Hallmark Christmas-tree-putting-up traditions?

Have a blessed Monday πŸ™‚

busted: the butt scratcher

The scene:


Ben has just come home from work. We’ve chatted, and he’s walking away to go change his clothes.Β 

“Hey Ben, what’s that on your pants?”

“Huh? Uummm, what are you talking about?”

“Your pants. You’ve got something on the back on them. Come closer and let me see.”

“Oh my gosh, Ben, you’ve got a huge ink stain on the back of your brand new pants!”

“Um, yea, about that……”

“Well what in the world happened?”

“Well……..”

“Yea?”

“Well I either sat on a red ink pen, someone marked on me, or, I was scratching my butt with what I thought was the closed top of an ink pen, only to pull it away after I was finished scratching to realize that the red ink pen was open. Those are the choices, and the first two don’t count.”

Lesson learned:


Don’t scratch your butt with an ink pen unless it’s closed. Or you will leave behind evidence of said butt scratching.

Have a blessed weekend πŸ™‚