Monday, November 30, 2009

Currently Reading

 I'm participating in this today at J. Kay's Book Blog:

To Kill a Mockingbird -- This is actually a reread.  I read it as a sophomore in high school and remember loving it.  Even though I've always loved to read, I've always hated reading for school.  I don't remember too much about the book, so I'm counting it as a new read.  I'm reading this at the store.

I'm also reading Remembered by Tamara Alexander.  It's the last of the Fountain Creek Chronicles trilogy.  It's one of those series where some characters overlap but the main characters change.  I loved the first book, Revealed.  It was predictable, but still original.  The second book was pretty good.  More predictable, less original.  And I've read the first few chapters of this third book but so far it hasn't really grabbed me yet.  And I'm not much on finishing books that don't grab me.  So we'll see how it goes.  I'm reading this at home.

I usually have book I'm reading at the store, one at home, and one in my car, but I'm not listening to a book in my car right now, I'm soaking in all the Christmas music!  I'm alternating between the all-Christmas music radio stations and Christmas cds (Point of Grace's Winter Wonderland for now).

And I'm not reading these, but my husband is.  Yes, that would be my 25 year old husband who teaches high school English, has an English degree from Mercer University and studied at Oxford University in England for a semester.  Him.  He's reading the Diary of  a Wimpy Kid books.  And he laughs like a little kid while he's reading it (which is actually pretty adorable, but don't tell him I said that!).

Want to know which books I just finished?  Look at the sidebar to the right and scroll down.

Dare to Eat Cookies!

I joined the party at Newly Woodwards again this week.  I had so much fun looking through everyone's links last week.

I should have titled this post "I am a cheater-pants" because  here's my idea of baking cookies:

These are SO good we usually eat them all in 2 days, unless I "hide" them.  And by hide them I mean put them in a ziploc bag in a drawer.  Then we are too lazy to get them out and they last maybe 3 days.  If I leave them on the counter or on the table they are G.O.N.E.

Now don't think the only treat I bake for my dear husband are these cookies.  I also love eating baking these brownies:

If I'm feeling extra domestic I throw in some dark chocolate chips.  I just throw some on top before I pop the pan into the oven.  (One time I got them out and snacked on them while the brownies were baking...I totally forgot to put them on the brownies!)  If I'm feeling super extra domestic, I wear the apron my sister-in-law made me for my birthday while I bake.  That's as far as it ever goes.

Ok...enough about me...go check out more recipes at NewlyWoodwards!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Christmas Cards

I'm starting to think about our Christmas cards for this year.  I send out a lot of Christmas cards because none of my family is in town (in fact, almost everyone is out of state and in different states)  and most of Shane's family is out of town or we just don't see them very much. 

Anyway, the past few years I've just printed out a regular 4x6 picture of us and put a caption on it.  I get Christmas cards from the Dollar Store and call it a day.  Last year I got cards here for$0.99/box. 

Here are our Christmas cards.  The image quality is pretty pitiful because I got these off of my facebook account.

Year #1--Wedding picture, easy peasy.

Year #2--This picture is from a summer trip with took with our church to England.  Not very Christmasy but that's what I liked about it.  There was a "Merry Christmas from Shane and Abbey" caption on the bottom of this picture, too.

Year #3--Last year someone took this picture of us at the faculty Christmas party at Shane's school.

Year #4--We took this Thanksgiving as we were headed out the door to eat.  My forehead isn't even shiny...a Christmas miracle!  Do you think anyone will notice that I'm wearing the same earrings as I was in last year's picture?

I think I like it better here in Sepia:

So whatcha think?  Should I add "Merry Christmas from Shane and Abbey at the bottom?  What do you do about Christmas cards?

Friday, November 27, 2009

How I Spent Thanksgiving

We had a great D.O. yesterday (that's our code for day off).  Shane and I RARELY get a day off with absolutely nothing to do.  I think the last D.O. was Good Friday.  So here's a quick rundown of our day:

Slept in (but not as late as I thought we would...why does it always happen that on a day off you're ready to get up early?).

Watched part of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade while we ate breakfast (biscuits).

Moved things into Shane's new office and the new downstairs entry (and out of our den!).

Rambled around in our backyard (we have about an acre of woods behind our house).

Contemplated cutting down a tree from our backyard to use as a Christmas tree.

Almost burned the house down (I'll take the blame for this one, Shane had nothing to do with it).

Ate dinner here:

Watched Night at the Museum on tv.  (I worked on Christmas ornaments and made another book wreath while we watched.)

Hope your Thanksgiving was good.  Was it slow and lazy like ours or busy and rushed?

P.S.--In my head, this post has a much better title, I am witty and funny in my descriptions of our day, and there are more pictures.  In reality, I am too lazy busy to put the extra effort into it.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Thanksgiving Day Plans

Here's what Shane and I are doing for Thanksgiving:

The End.  We're doing nothing.  I.CANNOT.WAIT.

I'm probably going to be away from my blog until next Monday.  Tomorrow I have to wrap up a lot of different things here at the store in preparation of being off Thursday and then we'll do a big sale at the bookstores Friday and Saturday.  Hopefully business will be good and I won't have time to even think of posting (or if I do I'll be too tired).

I do have a couple projects in the works...this is one of them...(this one is from here.)

Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Practically Perfect

I named my blog!  I seriously thought a lot about naming my blog and what to name it.  Maybe that's silly, but I liked the idea of it.  I know "Practically Perfect" sounds...well, snotty, I suppose.  But the name just stuck in my head so I went with it.

I certainly don't think I am perfect.  I don't think anything in my life is perfect.  But I do know that my Savior has made me perfect!  Because of Jesus' sacrifice, when God looks at me he sees perfection.  Hebrews 10:14 says "For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are sanctified."  WOW!

I also liked the name because I am (at least I think I am) a very practical person.  I like fluff and fun sometimes, but when it's all said and done I'm about being practical.  So I like the wordplay of practical/practically.

What do you think about blog names?  Where did you come up with the name for yours?

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Dare to Entertain!

I joined a blog party!

This week's challenge: Dare to Entertain.  So...let's just get to it, shall we?

This is what I started with (it was dark outside when I did this so I brightened up all the rest of the pictures).  I did some "research" yesterday (as in, I googled and googled and googled) and finally found something I liked and could do.  I bought these guys on a recent trip to Kohl's and just took every other votive out and put a pinecone instead.  A couple of them were too scrawny but was I about to go out looking for more when it was dark outside?  No, sir.  I lit the candles (pumpkin spice...smells good, huh?) but it still looked a little bare so I sprinkled the acorns that were in my apothecary jar around in a sort of controlled mess.  Better.

I used a scarf as a table runner because I don't own a table runner.  Not a single one.  I did iron the scarf, though.  You're welcome.  I felt like everything was too brown so I added a pop of green with some apples from our fruit bowl (and by fruit bowl I mean 3 apples...ha!) and a pear.  A few weeks ago, I really wanted some pears to put in a pitcher and finally just bought these Melissa and Doug ones from our bookstore.  They're part of this cool grocery store/lemonade stand.  I also used the acorn candles from the same Kohl's trip because they are so stinkin' cute.

 At the other end I used my other apothecary jar (just got it last weekend for $2.50 at Goodwill) and just stuffed if full of leaves from our yard (leaves don't really turn colors here in mid-Georgia, they just turn brown...and sometimes orange). 

I decided to try these little pumpkins I had on our kitchen table in place of the pear and acorn candles.

And then I brought the acorn candles back out and used them as candles.

What I like best about this table is that there's still room for food.  Lots and lots of food.  What I like least is that I forgot the napkins.  HA!

Behind the table I opened the curtains and did a little display with a couple things I picked up from Hobby Lobby (they're doing 80% off Fall/Thanksgiving this week).  Sorry again for it being so dark.  I just love those acorn plates (by the way, Pier One has some really cute fall stuff on big time clearance, too.  Lots of acorns.  I went last night and just looked.  I didn't buy a thing.  Not because I didn't want to.  I wanted to buy it all!)

So...there you have it.  Will you be joining Kim's Dare?

Friday, November 20, 2009

Favorite Things Friday 4

I took this picture intending to do a series of "Things I Orignally Thought I Would Hate But Ended Up Loving in My House."  Just rolls of the tounge, huh?  But when I took this weird picture, I decided to center today's Favorite Things Friday around it. So instead today's FTF is A Piece of My Living Room.  So creative...I know.

Someday I'll do a tour of my house and tell you all about each room.  So someday you'll get to see my whole living room.  But today you get to see a little piece of it through this big gaudy mirror. 

This thing is HUGE.  Maybe about 5'x3'?  Anyway, it was a hand-me-down from a relative and for a long time it sat in our den.  It actually laughed at me every time I walked by.  It also yelled "Hey look at me, I'm a big white and gold mirror!!!"  It was so weird...anyway, once I got our living room painted and more or less set up, I realized the mirror would look perfect above two white and gold chairs we had on this wall (from the same relative...see a pattern here?).

Actually, if I wa given some of the stuff today that we were given when we first got married I would reject a lot of it, but back then we had no money (even less than we do now, which is seriously NO money) and a big empty house so I took a lot of things that weren't quite "me".  And most things I'm glad I did.  I've been able to use a lot of it.

Anyway, I hung this mirror up and love it!   When I was playing around with the picture in Picasa (because yes, believe it or not, I do edit my photos before I post them, they're just SO BAD that even edited they stink!) I realized you could see the reflection in the mirror when the picture was brighter.


The couch you see is one of the few pieces of furniture we bought just after getting married.  One of five pieces of furniture in our whole house, actually.  (Just after we got married my great aunt and grandmother both died and we were given a lot of their furniture because we were the ones with a big empty house.  So we didn't have to buy very much at all.)  We bought it at Aunt Zelda's up in Macon (now there's one in Warner Robins, too.  I don't remember how much we paid for it, I want to say $250?  Anyway, it was a BIG purchase for us and since we hardly ever sit in the living room it's still practically brand new.

I remember buying the pillows that are on the couch but don't remember where.  I want to say Target.  They have pretty red embroidery on them.  I bought them right after we got engaged because I was so happy to be getting married and excited about having my own house!  I stored them in a little cedar chest I had during the last year of college and I'd get them out of the bag and look at them sometimes.  Hehe. 

The tree beside the couch is fake.  That's right.  I'm not scared of fake plants.  I'm scared of real plants.  They die.  I just bought it a few weeks back at Goodwill for $7.50.

The candelabra behind the tree is another hand-me-down from the mirror relative.  (Seriously, she had some crazy stuff.)  There's actually a pair of them, but the other is shorter and hidden behind the couch.  I need to clean them up and get new candles for them (because I think the candles in them are about 1000 years old) and put them somewhere they'll look a little less awkward.  Let's move on.

Behind the couch is my grandmother's buffet, that's what the vase you can barely see at the far left and the picture frame with the leaves are sitting on.  The vase was a wedding present (it matches my china).  It may be for a candle and not a vase.  I have no idea.  The picture frame has these leaves and it was a wedding present, too.  It is from Pier One.  I registered at Pier One because they had a set of glasses I loved and didn't want to have just glasses on my registry.  Good thing, too, because they discontinued the glasses about 2 hours after I registered.  (I'm not really sure about that, but I did have a friend go to get me some of the glasses right after I registered there and she couldn't find them.  Maybe they were mad that I called them glasses and not tumblers or something.)  Not that it was a chore to find things I loved and wanted at Pier One (speaking of, can someone PLEASE buy me this chair?  You'll be my best friend if you do, I promise!).  Anyway, I just recently put pictures in the frames.  And not even pictures.  I had some scrapbook paper that looked like old envelopes and so I cut it up and stuck the pieces in the frame.

The mirror was purchased on the way home from our honeymoon at the Hobby Lobby in Atlanta.  I'd never been to or heard of Hobby Lobby (we didn't have one in Warner Robins until about two years ago).  Shane took me in there becasue he'd never been, either, but had heard of it.  We bought four or five mirrors that day for super cheap and a globe that sits on a table on the other side of the couch.  I thought Hobby Lobby was a magical, wonderful place.  Oh wait.  I still think that.

Underneath the mirror are a couple of old trunks.  Right now one is stacked on another so you can only see the one on top.  My parents bought them.  One of them is a trunk from a slave ship that they used to keep the slave's shackles in.  At least that's what my dad told me.   I'm alternately freaked out and awed by that.  I want to use one of the trunks as a coffee table in front of the couch, but everytime I put it there Shane moves it back.  So I'm just gonna leave it there.  For now.

The curtains are these great panels I got with a wedding gift card at Market Square up in Macon.  They were on clearance (duh) and maybe $10 or $12 each?  It was a great day because I thought the gift card was for $50 but when I checked out the card had $100 on it!  I bought almost all the curtains I have in our house on that shopping trip.

PS--I have a love/hate relationship with the paint color in the living room.  Today is hate.

So there you have it.  What are some of YOUR favorite things at your house?

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Public Speaking

Sorry for the weird title-only post yesterday.  I was without internet all day because Shane and I went up to Mercer University, our Alma Mater, to speak to a group of freshmen business students.  We talked for about 30 minutes about openning a business, etc.  It was actually pretty fun.  Shane's  a good speaker and I don't know if I'm good at it, but I do enjoy it.

It was nice being back on campus for a few minutes and seeing what's changed, etc.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

My Book Wreaths!

OK folks, I warned you that I was getting into wreaths.  (Um, did I just say "folks"?)  Here are my two newest ones.

This is the first one I made.  I used a big hardback book's pages (sorry, John Sandford, but you were already falling apart).  I started out pretty confident, but about halfway through I couldn't figure out where to go next.  We don't have internet at home right now so I couldn't check on Lindsay's Instructions.  Now, you know usually I like to do my own thing, but seriously, I was totally lost on this one.  Doesn't seem like it should be too hard, but my brain was just stuck!  I finally gave up, waited until I could check online at the store, and finished it up Saturday night.  All that to say, here's my first attempt and it's my fault it looks like it's been through a war. I should have read the directions better!

After I did as much damage as possible on finished my first one, I started in on another book.  This time a mass market sized paperback from the 40s.  I liked it because the pages were yellowed but not spotted, and the pages were trimmed red.

MUCH better than my first attempt, I just wish I'd glued pages on the wreath to kind of wrap around it first so that you wouldn't be able to see the green wreath!  I'll have to fix that at some point.  You can't see the green from all angles, but I took this picture in the seconds before I headed out the door this morning.  (I seem to have a problem with naked Styrofoam showing up in my wreaths.)

All in all, this is an easy (if you follow the directions) project and I'm going to make more for sure! 

In other news, it looks like we're FINALLY getting close to the end of having our garage redone!  (Basically, we had a leak in our enclosed garage and we're turning it into an entryway, a small bedroom, and a large office for Shane.)

So now I'm thinking that instead of using the small bedroom as storage I may actually turn it into a guest room.  That way at Christmas when my brother and his wife and my parents are all at our house we can spread out a little.

I've been playing around with the idea of themed guest rooms.  Not like jungle themed and rodeo or anything weird, but maybe doing a room in black and white.  And doing another room Americana (although I haven't figured out how to do it without being cheesy) and maybe another room with a travel theme.  Just thinking about it.  What do you think?

P.S. I'm linked to DIY DAY

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Favorite Things Friday III

Boy, Favorite Things Friday just snuck up on me this week!  Better late than never, right?

A lot of times on my blog I'll put up things I want or want to try, so I want Favorite Things Friday to focus on things in my home that I love.  If you'd like to do it, too, just let me know in the comments (even if you don't do it on Friday, that's ok.  We're not strict here...ha!)

Today I'm going to show you some ships.  I LOVE ships!  These all live in my kitchen.  I would have taken pictures of my kitchen to show you where they all were but, well, it was a little messy.

This is a painting I picked up in Chile when I was there in 2003.  I went for three weeks the summer after my freshman year of college to visit some family friends.  Found it in an antique shop and it was love at first sight.  It even came with this frame so I didn't do a thing to it.  I love the Chile flag on the back of the ship!

Here's another painting, this one I picked up in Ecuador in 2006.  I went with my Dad's church on a mission trip right after Christmas.  Bought it at the market in Quito.  Definitely want to get it framed in something I like someday.

My parents picked this one up somewhere, probably a thrift store.  It is gorgeous!  It's about a foot and a half tall.

What are some of your favorite things?

Friday, November 13, 2009

Favorite Things Friday III to be Rescheduled...

I didn't even realize it was Friday today until about 5 minutes ago.  DUH!!!

I think since we didn't have church Wednesday night it threw my inner calendar out of whack.  So I'll be back tomorrow Friday with a Favorite Things Friday post.

I know, I know, I'm the one who invented Favorite Things Friday and have only once successfully posted it on Friday.  But I'll work on it, I promise!

Book Wreath

I am SOOOOOO trying this!  Found at Living with Lindsay through The Inspired Room.

It's a wreath made from a book!!!


And I didn't even think about checking the dollar store for foam wreaths!  I thought I was pretty clever getting them at Hobby Lobby with my 40% off coupon.

Speaking of wreaths, I came across this on Living with Lindsay, too.  This looks SO MUCH EASIER than my wreath was.

I didn't even know I liked wreaths, but seems like now they are getting my attention everywhere.  Are you as into wreaths me?

Thursday, November 12, 2009

It's Beginning to Look Like...Umm...

I feel a bit ashamed.  It is, after all, only November 12 and in the mid-70s here.  I just could help it!

Here's what I did last night:

Yes, those are Christmas decorations.  Right above the "Give Thanks" banner.  But I have a really good excuse.  My parents gave me some Jim Shore the first Christmas I was married.  They gave me Santa and his reindeer:

Then they gave me an angel:

And a snowman:

So here's my really good excuse for getting them out so early:  Last year they were NOWHERE to be found.  I looked all Christmas and into February, at least.  Then we found them during the summer camouflaged with some other cardboard boxes in a closet.  So I have been waiting (what I thought was patiently) to get them out this Christmas.  So last night I decided they could have a little extra time out, you know, to make up for lost time.  I also thought they would be okay because they aren't obnoxiously Christmas-y.  I know, it's Santa...what's more Christmas than Santa.  But it's not all glittery and shiny, they're subdued a little.

Now maybe I should have waited until I had my Thanksgiving banner up for a few days.  I gave the first one I made to my sister-in-law and just got mine up yesterday afternoon:

 Oh well.  It's my house and I can do what I want, right?  RIGHT?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Luxury of Time

We don't have church tonight, and although I love going to church and enjoy working with the kids one Wednesday nights, I'm excited to have extra time with Shane tonight.  On Wednesdays we close our stores at 5:00, so that should be some nice quality time for us.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


Am I the only one seeing acorns everywhere?

I bought a pair of these at Kohl's the other day for $4.99 each.  They are pretty cute and stand about 6 or 7 inches tall (the top part opens and there's a candle inside):

Then I spend some time in my backyard yesterday picking up pine cones for my soon-to-be pine cone wreath and acorns for my newly acquired apothecary jar.

 This is the first apothecary jar I ever bought--found it at Goodwill for $1.21!

It's only $36.00...totally worth it, right?

 What are YOU seeing everywhere this fall?

Monday, November 9, 2009

My One Weekend Project

This weekend I turned this:

Into this:

Bought it for $0.99 at a local indoor fleamarket.  Just washed it and sprayed Heirloom White on it.

I think I'll put a nativity scene or something Christmasy in it.

The End.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Great Finds at Kohl's

I love going to Kohl's to shop the clearance racks for clothes.  It's been a long time since I've spent more than $10 on a piece of clothing (actually, today I spent $11 on a Simply Vera Wang top, but that's because I've learned thorough buying $5 and $7 ones that I love her tops).  So I just lied.  Sorry.

Anyway, it's not too often that I wander into their home decor departments.  And I have no idea why that is.  They have THE CUTEST Christmas ornaments out that are about $4-$6 each and 50% off right now.  Not bad.  But I couldn't justify buying Chrismtas ornaments today after the other great deals I got.

This "metal wall decor" (that's what they called the section at the store) is what I've been secretly wanting at Pier 1.  I just KNEW it would look so good in my kitchen, which has a lot of greens and copper.  So when I saw this today, I wanted it.

When I saw the price sticker, I HAD TO HAVE IT.

Then I found these.  I've been wanting some candles to go in our fireplace so we could pretend to have a fire.  Our friends do that and I've been wanting to copy them!  These look like they're made out of a block of wood and so I know hope think maybe Shane will like them.  They were $4.99 each.

And I got this pumpkin for $5.99.  This picture really doesn't do it justice.  It's darker metal than it looks in the picture and has a place in the middle for a candle.  A little smaller than a basketball.  Super cute.

I'm no stranger to the clearance jewelry racks, but I was still excited to find these earrings for $2.00. They jingle a little bit when I shake my head (like I'm demonstrating now).

I look like a natural earring model, don't I, staring off into my future or something.

I picked up a couple of other things, too, but I'll show them to you later when I figure out what to do with them set it all up.

Where do you like to bargain shop?

UPDATE:  Just found this Ornament Swap and I have to join!  What better way to get into Christmas and what a great way to give to someone else!  Join up here!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Favorite Things Friday II

As I was browsing my pictures for my second installment of Favorite Things Friday, I kept slowing down on the ones of my husband (probably because he's so easy on the eyes!).  Anyway, I decided to feature him since he's my ULTIMATE favorite!  And because it's my blog.

He's such a hard worker--here he is hard at work unpacking boxes for the bookstore!

But don't let him fool you--he knows how to have fun, too! 
Here he is chowing down on a funnel cake at the fair.

He is such an encourager, just like his dad was.  Here is the expression he used when I showed him my latest accomplishment.  What's that?  You think he looks like he's faking the enthusiasm?  Yes.  He was.  But he is happy for me when it really counts.  Good enough.

 Just because he fakes enthusiasm about my crafting doesn't mean he isn't happy when he goes to family reunions with me.  See how happy he looks here?

And SOMETIMES he brings me "just because" flowers.  He just loves me!

For more mush about Shane read this and this.

Who's YOUR favorite?