Ultimate Blog Party 2013

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I’m Amber and want to welcome you to Luv, Laughter & Happily Ever After! I like to call this my little corner of the web where I share my latest deals, DIY projects, recipes, struggles with infertility and life!

This is my fourth year {wow, can’t believe it’s been that long already} participating in the Ultimate Blog Party {UBP}  hosted by 5MinutesForMom.com.

I started blogging over four years ago when I started learning more about couponing and began getting great bargains that I wanted to share with my friends and family. From there it evolved into sharing more than just deals, but our life and our struggles. It hasn’t been an easy journey, but as Gary Allen’s song says, “Life isn’t always beautiful, but it’s a beautiful ride.”

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I’m an underpaid Martha Stewart with a taxi service by day {okay, so I’m a social worker} and a domesticated wife by night. I’ve been married to my jack-of-all-trades-husband for almost five years! This is double the trouble when we both have idea’s that we want to do around the house and have to come to a compromise!

I’ve called Ohio my home for the last eleven years, when I up rooted myself from the cornfields of Iowa and started my new venture in Ohio when I moved here for college. One of these days we’re planning on moving to Myrtle Beach to get away from the cold winters and be closer to the in-laws.

We’ve spent the last four years battling infertility and PCOS. It’s been an emotional roller coaster ride. Ten rounds of infertility treatments later, we’re still struggling with this huge hole in our hearts that is empty, just waiting to be filled with a precious newborn. Last fall, I had a procedure done called Ovarian Drilling, a procedure that was once used before the invention of infertility medications, that has helped my cycles get on track. This has given me hope that one day we will be holding our miracle.  I keep trying to remember that his timing isn’t necessarily my timing.

I hope you will continue to join me on my journey as I post about recipes, crafts, travel, photography, our adventures and our life.

You can find me on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Please excuse the very vague post, as I’ve procrastinated and have been rushing all evening to pack for a weekend trip to Chicago. I look forward to meeting tons of new readers and partying it up all week!

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Package Pals

 

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I participated in Package Pals from C.R.A.F.T. & Stars & Sunshine this year. I’ve never done something like this before and I had so much fun getting to know Megan, whom I was matched with and putting together a package for her.

I was super excited to receive my package in the mail today from Megan. We both share a love of all things pink!

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I just loved all of the cute goodies she sent!

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I haven’t mentioned here on the blog yet, but I have a new obsession with all things anchors. I’m currently in the process of re-doing our master bedroom, which will be blue with an anchor theme. So this cute wall hanging will go perfectly!

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Oh My Gosh! I’m in love with these flower accessories! The pink flower on the bottom, is actually a ring! How cute is it?! There’s a matching bobby pin too! Along with a gold and while flower hair clip! I’m not a hair accessories girl, but these might make me change my mind!

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Megan and I also shared a love of our dogs and these scrapbook stickers are perfect for that scrapbook I need to start of the never ending pictures of Diesel.

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And this letter “A” made out of buttons is too adorable! I can’t wait to frame it and hang it in my craft room. The funny thing is, I sent her a pink letter “N” for her last name.

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She included a cute little note as well.

This was my first time participating in Package Pals and I loved it so much! I really enjoyed coming up with ideas for the other person. Plus it was so much fun getting to know another crafty person and looking forward to emails the first week or so of getting to know each other’s likes.

Megan doesn’t have a blog, so I thought I would share a few pictures of the package I sent her.

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Megan had mentioned that one crafting tool she’d love to have was a rotary cutter, so of course I was super excited when I found one in pink! Through a little Facebook stalking {okay, not really}, I found out that she was interested in learning more about cake decorating. So how could I pass up these cute cupcake liners? And what do you need while baking cupcakes? A cute little apron that I sewed up. I also included a framed craft print, cutting mat and the letter N for her last name. 

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Everything was sent in this cute photo box.

Thanks Megan! It’s been a blast getting to know you!

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Spring in Ohio

 

On the first day of Spring last week, this is what I woke up too. This beautiful sunrise. In fact, it was so beautiful, I accidently popped the screen out of the window when I attempted to raise it up to take this picture. Don’t let the beauty of this picture deceive you, it was still really chilly that morning!

SunriseAnd this is what we woke up to this morning… Four inches of the most beautiful, fluffy, white snow Ohio has seen all winter. The only problem is, mother nature has forgot that it’s officially spring in Ohio. Snow3.25.13(2) We should be having warm, sunny days right now. Instead, I’m enjoying a morning of no work {don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining about that} and deciding whether or not I should brave the roads to work this afternoon with another pending storm on the way. Snow3.25.13(3) Until I decide to make that decision, I’m going to enjoy the beauty of this scenery that I’m so thankful I get to view from my front window. Normally, I hate winter, but this year, I have embraced the beauty of the landscapes it provides and have been taking tons of pictures. {Follow me on Instagram at LuvNLaughter to see them}.

Snow3.25.13  Good bye winter… Spring is moving in next weekend with 50 degree weather!

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Goodbye Winter

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Ohio winters are usually very harsh and very long. If every winter was the way winter was this year, I wouldn’t mind living in Ohio, just slightly south of the snow belt.

We only had a few snowy days and only one day that I can remember getting more than an inch of snow & thankfully, I was on vacation that day. Usually the snow was just enough to cover everything in the morning and by noon it was melted. {I’m sorry to all of my friends and family who live in the MidWest and have seen the wrath of Mother-Nature this winter}.

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I did gain an appreciation for the beautiful landscape that those snowy days provided. These are two of my most favorite pictures that I may have every taken. And would you have guessed that they were taken with my iPhone?

Winter, as much as I love the scenery that you have provided us with this year, I’m ready for spring to start in a few short weeks. I’m ready for the warmer temperatures that we’re suppose to have next week, for the beautiful spring flowers to bloom, to have evening conversations with the neighbors on our porches again and to let the dogs run around without tracking mud into the house.

{PS- Guess who’s back to blogging as time allows??!! That’s right, this girl! Our new computer arrived yesterday & I’m still working on getting things set up.}

#Blogger Problems

I know that I haven’t posted in a while, but there is a very good reason for that…

You see, our computer has been acting funny for a while. I finally figured out that it doesn’t have enough RAM to do the things that I need it to do. It’s also been freezing frequently and not letting me do anything.

Normally I use Window’s Live Writer to compose my posts, but lately it’s not been letting me add pictures to the posts and will run slow when trying to do so. Today, I had the fabulous idea {I know, shoulda thought about this sooner} to write my post using WordPress. Guess what? It wouldn’t let me upload the pictures that I wanted to either. And what is a great blog post without pictures? I know that I don’t like reading posts that are all word heavy with nothing to look at.

So here I am, writing to tell you that until I either have more RAM added to our current computer or decide to get a new computer, my posts will be lacking.

But don’t worry, you can keep up with me on my Facebook page. I also have a new Facebook page for all the pictures I love to take, mainly landscape photograph, Luv & Laughter Photography.

I hope to be back soon with some new posts, including:

Recipes for Italian Sausage Subs, Ham & Cheese Pretzel Bites. Our Valentine’s Dinner, thrift store finds/antique hunting and adorable new pictures of our newest fur baby.

Until next time….

Refrigerator Shelf Liners

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Refrigerator Shelf Liners have been all the rage lately on the blogs & on Pinterest. I’d been wanting to do this for a while, but don’t make it to Target very often to get what I wanted for this project. Finally one day while at Target, I remembered this project.

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I always hate cleaning out the fridge. It’s so tricky to get those glass shelves in and out of there. And I’m always afraid I’m going to break one of them.

After cleaning out the fridge, I measured the glass part of the shelves and cut squares of rubber shelf liner {I found this in the section with the mops and brooms at Target}.

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I was able to line three shelves with the liner and used the scraps to line the inside of the two of the doors. I would recommend getting two rolls of the liner to make sure you have enough to complete the project.

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I love the final product! It’s been a few weeks since I’ve completed this and it’s still clean and much easier to clean up messes!

Stock Pile Organization

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I was in some serious need for better organization of my personal hygiene stock pile {ie- working on that whole simplicity thing for the year}. I realized something needed to be done when I was digging through a drawer one day and noticed the toothpaste had expired months ago. I always forgot that I had certain items and would purchase more at full price because I needed it right away, only to find weeks later, I had the item in my stock pile.

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Our tiny hall closet was more or less  storage for junk and bathroom towels. {Even Daisy agrees that it is a mess}.

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We never hang our coats in this closet and extra things always got thrown in here.

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{Insert my brilliant idea}.

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I had the hubby install two shelves in the closet.

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Then I painted the shelves and the bottom half of the closet.

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I purchased the shoe box size storage containers from WalMart for around 98 cents each.

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I started cleaning out the drawers I had previously kept my stock pile in and sorted the items out into various boxes, creating different categories. Then I used my label maker to label each box.

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I started with the boxes we don’t use all the time such as batteries, first aid, hair cutting stuff, and travel sized items on the floor of the closet. I was able to get six boxes in this section, that are still easy to access as needed.

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The next shelf up holds more frequently used items such as razors, oral hygiene items,  cold & flu medications, lotions, etc.

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The top shelf holds other medications that needed accessed more frequently, a few bottles of shampoo & conditioner {the others went to the basement with my larger stock pile}, and bath & body stuff.

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I purchased this mini 3 drawer organizer on clearance at Target to make a first aid station. The top drawer has different sizes of band aids. The second drawer holds medical tape, a small first aid kit and thermometers. The bottom drawer keeps various ointments. I love this! I always hate digging through a drawer for a band aid when your finger is bleeding.

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I had got this great utility bin with a recent Thirty-One Gifts purchase. It was bigger than I had expected it to be and had no idea what to do with it. Then it hit me! Put rolls of toilet paper it in! I always store extra TP in this closet due to not having enough room in the bathroom to keep a lot of extra TP. I love it! It’s probably my favorite thing in this closet now.

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I cleaned up the top shelves that hold bathroom towels and added a few baskets to the top shelf to organize other items and extra kitchen towels.

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I am so happy with how it turned out! Now I won’t have to worry about paying full price for an item just because I can’t find it. I will also be able to see when a category is getting low and begin to stock back up on those items. And no more toothpaste expiring!

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ItsPartyTimeSundayone project link party

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Introducing Our Newest Family Member

On January 10th, we welcomed our newest member to our family….

 

A seventy-seven pound Chow-Sheppard mix, named Diesel. Who is two-three years old.

When we lost our beloved Jake last February, we struggled with the decision of getting another dog. Life was so much easier with just Daisy. It was easier to take off for the weekend or to be gone longer during the days with just one dog. The last few months I have ‘liked’ a few rescue pages on Facebook and started searching Petfinder. I wanted a smaller dog {our house is small and I wondered if God were to bless us with a child, where in the world would we put a child and two big dogs}, while the hubby wanted a bigger dog.

Then things got to the point where I couldn’t even look at these sites anymore. I had to hide them from my newsfeed because I wanted to save each & every one of them. I would send pictures to my husband of cute dogs who needed homes & he began to feel the same way I did. One day I would want another dog so that Daisy would have a playmate {she always gets depressed after we’ve been home for a period of time and then go back to work}; The next day I would decide I didn’t want one because life was easier with just one.

But I think these feelings happen for a reason. It just so happened that Wednesday night a friend had posted a picture of a Westie on Facebook that needed to be rehomed. I had planned on talking to the hubby about this the next day. And then my friend/co-worker called me Thursday and wanted to know if I was still looking for a dog. I said, weellll… It depends {I was hesitant}. Someone that both of us knew had a dog show up at their house in the country and had been there for three days. No one had been around looking for him and the mail lady who knows everyone in the area had never seen the dog before.

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So when I went to see him that afternoon, I had a hard time with the decision. How could I say no to this face? But if I didn’t take him he’d in up in the dog shelter. He seemed like a very smart dog, already knowing ‘down’ and ‘shake’. I sent pictures to the hubby, who was busy at work and didn’t respond. I made the decision to take him and called the hubby at work to tell him, we had a new member of the family.

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We decided on naming him Diesel. Who made himself right at home. He was on his best behavior the first night. He climbed the baby gate to sleep in our room and seems to be very protective of me already.

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By the second night, he must have decided ‘these humans are going to keep me, so I’m going to show my true self.’ He learned to jump on the furniture and found the toys.

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Check out those paws!

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I’m cute! How in the world could someone say no to this face?!

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Diesel had his first visit with the vet yesterday, where he swooned all of the vet techs and the doctor with his good looks. We found out that he wasn’t micro chipped and is healthy, other than having some problems with his ‘boys’ and needing to be neutered right away.

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Daisy is still unsure of Diesel, mainly when he steals her toys and he gets aggressive with her when she tries to get them back. I’m also pretty sure that this big boy has forgot everything that he knew the moment he realized we were keeping him lol. This is what I found a few minutes ago. They are best friends when they are barking at golfers!

Welcome to the family Diesel!

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