Heading to NYC

It was time for our big trip of the year!  We were heading to NYC and I was super excited! 

Maxi dresses are very comfortable for traveling.  I bought this super cute dress at JCPenney and they even had it in a petite size!  High 5 for clothes for short people!

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Here we are, getting ready to take off!  Traveling is so much fun when you have a great travel buddy.

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We LUV flying on Southwest Airlines!  Just wish it flew into Rapid City in South Dakota and the Pasco Airport in Washington.  Can someone make that happen for me?! 

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One of my favorite parts about flying is the people watching and reading through the magazines in the seat pocket in front of me. 

And of course the snacks…haha!!

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You can learn some cool stuff from the Spirit Mag such as it used to take 27 hours to make a Peep!  Who knew?!  Well…now I do!!

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And this kind of stuff just cracks me up.

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After a brief layover in St. Louis we FINALLY arrived at our destination. 

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Now to take our first taxi cab ride in NYC. 

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The taxi ride from LaGuardia to Times Square was around $57.  That included the toll and tip.  You can pay with a credit/debit card which made it super easy.

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The East River – we hear about this a lot when we watch Law & Order.

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:: SPOILER ALERT ::

In NYC there are “characters” on Times Square that you can take pics with.  They of course want a tip but more on that later.  Sad to say but they are just humans dressed up as those characters.  What a let down.  

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But seriously, I wish they would stay “in character” in case a younger kid might see them walking down the street. 

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But I won’t let that get me down because WooHoo!!  We are in NYC baby!

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Now time to freshen up, head to dinner and have some fun.

Have you ever been to NYC?  What was your favorite part? 

(((hugs))) ~lisa

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How to update a plain light switch

For those of you observant folks who read my Office/Craft Space reveal, you may have noticed the light switch had a makeover!  Here is the before:

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Gather your supplies, paper or fabric to adhere to your switch plate, scissors, pencil, mod podge and a sponge applicator or something to apply the mod podge.

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To create this light switch cover makeover, you need to measure the cover.  The sizes can vary which I did not know prior to trying this.

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Choose what you are going to cover it with.  Paper, fabric, rhinestones or even parts of a watch will work.  Be creative and let it be an expression of you.  I chose a map as it reminds me of taking a road trip and I love to travel!

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I cut out a portion of the map a little bigger than the cover.  Grabbed some mod podge and a sponge to apply it. 

I placed the cover on top of the map and outlined the area I was using.  I also faintly outlined where the switch was as well as marked with circles where the screws would go. 

The pic below was actually my first attempt but I wasn’t happy with how it turned out so I made another one.  This project is so inexpensive because the only real cost is whatever you are covering it with and some mod podge.  If you mess up you can pick up another light switch cover for less than a buck.

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I then mod podged it on and after it dried I put it on the wall.

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The portion of the map I chose has El Paso, where my gramma, and yes I *know* that you don’t spell grandma that way but we do…anyways that’s where my gramma and some relatives live.  On it as well as Ciudad Juarez where my dad is from.  Like I said, you can cover yours with just about anything.  Maps, pages from a book, sheet music, craft paper, fabric…just about anything! 

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What DIY projects have you tried lately?

(((hugs))) ~lisa

The Office Closet Reveal

I have been wanting a office/craft space for FOREVER and we are finally getting around to getting that done!  I am already using my office but there are still some decorating details that I am working on.  I’ll share as we get those completed.

The closet before was just your average, normal small closet.

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It originally had a top shelf and of course a bar to hold all your clothes.  We took all of that out and Marvin removed the popcorn texture from the ceiling.

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Next, Marvin painted the back wall True Turquoise by Glidden to match the rest of the space.

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He then measured for the built in shelves.

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We bought pre-finished wood and measure out for each shelf.  I encourage you to measure for each shelf because as we found out, not all the shelves were exactly the same in measurements.

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After that was installed I loaded everything back in!  Now, my office/craft closet may not be as *neat* as some others you may have seen but I think it’s absolutely FABULOUS!!!  I love it that I can see my supplies and I can’t wait to get started on some more projects.

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Top shelf I put all the office supplies.

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The next shelves hold crafting supplies and gift bags/tissue paper.  There are tons of awesome craft projects just waiting to happen sitting on those shelves.  Notice the avocado green vintage Corning Ware bowl on the left.  Love it!

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And my mom was totally giving away a tub full of old Tupperware etc. so I snagged the large round container to store craft stuff in.  On top of it is a wooden box my Uncle Kenny made for me.  Notice the stack of Scentsy bars?  If you need Scentsy my sister can hook you up!  If you look close you’ll spy a roll of pennies and quarters for me to use on our next road trip so I can make more smooshed pennies. 

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On the bottom I have two hooks for all my tote bags. 

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This hook (below) *always* cracks me up.  Soon I am going to make the above hook look like this…haha!!

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The tote bags are in the center and on the left side is our luggage.  The large tote on the left was a gift from my sister for being a part of her wedding party.  I use it to add some of the patches we collect on our trips.

The tote on the right is my AFWM (AF WingMoms) tote that I take with me when I go up to MEPS to volunteer.  🙂 

The white container is what we tote all of our toiletries in on our trips and then two laptop carriers.

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On the right side is where my gift wrap and large gift bags are stored.

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(((hugs))) ~lisa

Scarborough Renaissance Festival 2014

One of my favorite things to do is people watch.  It’s just so much fun and you can meet lots of interesting folks!  Scarborough Renaissance Festival is people watching at it’s finest.  Located in Waxahachie, Tx, Scarborough Renaissance Festival is just 30 minutes south of the Dallas/Ft. Worth Metroplex on FM 66 off of I-35, exit 399A.   

Take a peek at some things I saw today.

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Have you done any fun people watching lately? 

(((hugs))) ~lisa

Mesquite Rodeo Parade

The Mesquite Rodeo Parade is a long standing community tradition in downtown Mesquite.  I didn’t realize it but Mesquite’s Rodeo Parade was in it’s 57th year!  You can see horses, bands and floats wind through downtown Mesquite and after the parade there are often events after to continue the fun.

The Rodeo Parade is a community wide event that brings together civic clubs, churches, community groups, sports teams and schools.  I hadn’t been to the parade in many years but my hubby was going to be in it so I made plans to go.  There were quite a few folks already staking out their parade watching spots when I arrived at 9am.  The parade wasn’t scheduled to start until 10am but folks arrived early!  

It was a little chilly that morning, Mackenzie was bundled up.

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Braxton was just ready to see some horses.

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The Grand Marshall this year was Kloie Oguntodu, a 2nd grader at Shaw Elementary.  Kloie won the girls, ages 6-7, NFL National Championship Punt, Pass and Kick competition, bringing national attention to Mesquite.

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The kids are excited and want the parade to get started.

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Here it comes!!

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My alma mater – Mesquite High School!

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You can see all kinds of interesting characters in the parade.

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And a clown.

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Lots of groups with brightly colored floats.

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North Mesquite High School

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Another brightly decorated float.

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Some clowns!!

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A cow decorated school bus representing all of our awesome school bus drivers!

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Mack loves getting her pic taken with mascots.

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The Mesquite Symphony Guild Debutantes

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West Mesquite High School

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Mmmmm – Whataburger!

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Poteet High School

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Mack with the Poteet Pirate mascot.

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Texas Shark

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John Horn High School

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Mack with the Horn mascot

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My hubby pulling the DACED – Dallas County East Democrats float. 

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So proud of him for getting involved and trying to make a difference. 

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And of course there were horses!

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And the parade wouldn’t be complete without seeing a longhorn!  Hook ‘Em Horns!!

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Afterwards we went to a local school that was hosting some after parade activities.  Free hot dogs, bounce house and pony rides (not free, $4 each) rounded out our fun day!

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A pic with Smokey the Bear

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And one last pic with a clown for Mack.

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What a fun, fun day!

(((hugs))) ~lisa

US Marine Corps War Memorial

As we headed back to the hotel from visiting the Kennedy Center we had to walk to our hotel as the shuttle wasn’t running at that time.  Our hotel was within walking distance of the Marine Memorial and as we neared our hotel we heard the sounds of a band.  I LOVE bands so I was excited to see what was happening. 

As we approached we could see there was a large crowd gathered at the US Marine Corps War Memorial and that is where the music was coming from.  We took a detour to see what was going on. 

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We learned that during the summer months, every Tuesday there is a performance by the Marine Silent Drill Platoon.  There is also a performances every Friday at the Marine Barracks in DC and you can click HERE for the schedule.

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Navy recruits watching the performance.

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After the performance was over the crowds gathered around the memorial to take photos.  The Marines that performed as well as other Marines were on hand and were so engaging and welcoming.  They answered questions and took photos with folks.  It was a really great experience. 

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I would highly recommend you attending a performance if you are in DC!  It was an awesome experience. 

(((hugs)))  ~lisa

How to make homemade laundry soap

Today was the day that we finally did it!  We made our own homemade laundry soap!  There are a ton of variations out there and for our first run we decided to try the dry version. 

Here’s what you need:

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  • 3 bars of Fels Naptha laundry soap (5.5 oz.) $1.69 each
  • 2 cups baking soda (I already had this box on hand)
  • 1 box washing soda (55 oz.) $4.29
  • 1 container Oxy-clean (5 lbs.)  $14.99
  • 1 container Epsom salt (3.5 lb. container) $9.96
  • 1 box Borax (76 oz.)  $5.79

Total spent – rounded up to $44 for everything.

As I said before, there are soooo many versions out there and probably as many different reasons for the versions.  Some add this ingredient for this result and some add that ingredient for a different result.  I just found one I liked, that looked easy and bought the ingredients. 

When I initially went to the store I couldn’t find the washing soda and the Fels Naptha.  Turns out they have ALL that at our local hardware store! 

Our first step was to grate all the Fels Naptha.

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Then we combined all the remaining ingredients in two garbage sacks.  We then swished everything around to mix it up.  Because of all the ingredients, it is pretty heavy. 

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Next we had to figure out how to get it in the containers.  I had two one gallon containers, they used to hold tea, and was going to try and fill them up.  We thought about cutting off part of the corner and pouring it that way but ended up using a funnel.  It worked pretty well but took a while to do it.

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The laundry soap totally filled two one-gallon containers and also filled up my ceramic container.  My ceramic container used to be part of a set that I used to hold flour etc. so it has a handy tablespoon on the side for measuring the soap. 

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And that was it!!  Overall, besides grating the soap, it was pretty easy peasy. 

The question many folks ask is…how much is it saving me?  We spent $44 on our homemade laundry soap ingredients but that made enough for approximately 300-600 loads using 1-2T at a time for each load.  Recently in the paper we saw Tide advertised for $10.99 and the box did 53 loads.  If you multiply $11 (we rounded up on the price of the Tide) times 4 to equal what we spent on our homemade laundry soap, the total is $44 for 212 loads.  Our math could be off, math was never my strong suit and I’m sure there are more intricate ways to figure out cost per load etc., but whatever way you look at it, we will be saving a lot of money. 

Here is my container filled with laundry soap!  As you can see I’m in the process of making two more wool dryer balls.  They have about 3 more washings/dryings to go and they’ll be ready!  We tried the soap tonight and it worked great!!  I will keep you updated on how it goes.

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What new things have you tried recently? 

(((hugs))) ~lisa