Sunday, December 29, 2013

Top 5 From 2013

Here are the top viewed Thrifty 31 Blog posts for 2013. Wishing you all a blessed year in 2014!!

Homemade Kettle Corn

10 Inexpensive Fall Date Nights

10 Reason I Shop At ALDI

What would you like to see more posts about in 2014? Recipes, DIY decor, frugal living, sewing projects, faith and family? Feel free to give your input!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Pine Cone Fire Starters

This year for Christmas I went with a camping theme for my husband. He had really wanted a cast iron tea kettle to take with us when we go so I decided to make a couple other camping essentials to go with it.

The first thing was a firewood carrier. This was the easiest project! I found a large black canvas tote at Jo Ann's. I simply cut down the sides of the bag and painted"firewood." on the front. Easy peasy!

The next project was pine cone fire starters. You could use some from your yard or store bought. First, get some wax or use an old candle. Make a double boiler to melt the wax. Fill the larger pot half way with water. Put a smaller glass or metal container inside the larger pot and the candle inside that. Turn heat on medium and let melt. This took awhile, so I would suggest trying to cut your candle in smaller pieces.

While this is melting, lay out some newspaper and put a sheet of wax paper on top of the newspaper.

Then you can use a candle wick or I used some cotton twine I had at home and wrap it around the pine cone, leaving a tail at the top to hold while dipping and to light when you are ready to use.

  Once all of the wax is melted, you can start dipping your pine cones into the wax. I used some tongs to dip them just to make sure I didn't burn myself. Dip a couple of times and then set on your wax paper to dry, about 30 minutes.

Remember the drawstring burlap bag I made awhile back? I decided to use it to hold these. My hubby loved them!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Vintage Ladder Christmas Tree

Remember this vintage ladder I showed during my fall home tour?

Now it's time to show you how I decorated it for Christmas!
I love the large vintage looking bulbs I picked up at Goodwill. I also now have a large burlap bow where the holly is in the picture, but forgot to take another picture of that.

You could easily use some strips of landscaping burlap or ribbon for garland, but I wanted to keep mine simple. This project cost $2.00 for the lights, but that's it. I love simple and inexpensive decor!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Leftover Ideas For All That Holiday Ham

We had our small group Christmas party yesterday and I made this easy crockpot ham and man was it delicious! I got lots of compliments on it so wanted to share the recipe with you all too! You can click HERE to view the original recipe.

I came home with lots of leftovers even though I gave some to others as well! I decided to get creative with meals for this week using our leftover ham. The first thing I made was ham and banana pepper pizza. Yum! I used this crust recipe and then just put some pizza sauce, mozzarella cheese and small pieces of ham and peppers on top. 

Here are some other ideas for your holiday ham leftovers.

Do you have any other great dishes you like to make with your leftovers? Feel free to share! 

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Monday, December 9, 2013

10 Ways to Give Back this Christmas Season

So often we get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the season that we forget the real reason we have Christmas in the first place, the birth of Jesus Christ. Not only did He perfectly give His time and energy and love to others while living on this earth, but gave His life so that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16)

I have made a list of how you too can give back this Christmas season. These would all be great things to do with your little ones and get them thinking about others this time of year! 

1. Write letters or make cards to send to the soldiers. Don't forget to pray over each card and for who might reciece it. 

2. Thank the mailman. Leave a bag of candy or cookies with a little note in your mailbox for next time he delivers the mail. 

3.  Donate food or clothing items to your local pantry. Many pantries look for volunteers also. Think about giving your time as well.

4. Leave a dollar taped to the vending machine in a hospital for that worker or family member who might be having a rough day.

5. Donate some old toys. Have your children go through and donate a few to a child who might not get many or any presents at all this Christmas.

6.  Visit residents at a nursing home. Bring them cards or gifts, some games you can play with them, crafts to make or sing carols.

7. Shovel driveways. If it's for an elderly person or someone who is sick offer to do it for free. If someone wants to pay you donate your earrings to give to someone in need. 

8. Hide a couple dollar bills with a little note in the toy section at the dollar store. Can't you imagine a little child's face when they see this! 

9. Thank the fire and police department. Write thank you cards and bring something sweet to thank those who always keep you safe.

10. Look for houses displaying Jesus or a nativity scene as you drive around looking at Christmas lights. Have some nativity pictures colored with a note saying "Thank you for displaying the reason for the season" and leave it in their mailbox.

What other ways have you gotten your children involved in giving back?

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Snow Ice Cream Recipe

This weekend we had a big 10 inches to be exact. It was nice to be stuck at home for a bit and enjoy some fun family time. We relaxed, played games, went sledding, ventured out to see the Hunger Games and of course, made some snow ice cream!  

*Original recipe found on Pinterest*

***UPDATE*** - Add in a packet of hot cocoa powder to taste like a fudgecicle!

Enjoy a yummy bowl full before it melts!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Homemade Dessert Pizza

Have you ever gone to a pizza place and had their yummy dessert pizza? Well let me tell you...this is even better than that! No kidding. My husband does not like any dessert except for cookies and he said several times that this recipe was his new favorite dessert! Must be good, huh! ;)

Original recipe from: Chef in Training



  • 1/4 cup cold butter (1/2 a stick) *Important that it is cold*
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • dash of salt
  • 1/2 cup flour 
  • 1 can crescent rolls 
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar 
  • 1 Tbsp. butter, softened
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 Tbsp. milk 


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F 

2. Cut in butter to sugars, cinnamon, salt and flour to form crumbs. 

3. On an ungreased cookie sheet, separate crescent roll dough into 8 triangles. Sprinkle crumbs on top. 

4. Bake at 400 degrees F for 8-12 minutes and let cool a couple of minutes.

5. To make glaze: Blend together all the glaze ingredients and drizzle over dessert pizza slices.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Rustic Christmas Home Tour

I've posted a couple of my Christmas decor ideas HERE and HERE. To see the rest, just scroll through the photos below. 

Sunday, December 1, 2013

10 Ways to Love Your Husband

The next few weeks our church is doing a sermon series on the home. My husband and I also just returned from a marriage conference our church held in New Harmony, Indiana. It was so nice to have a little weekend getaway and to bring back some great ideas to continue bettering our marriage.

This all comes at a great time because we recently celebrated our two year anniversary. Over the past two years I have learned a lot about what it means to be Godly woman and wife and how I can continue loving my husband even better.

1. Respect Him (Ephesians 5:33)- This doesn't mean respect your husband when he deserves it. This means ALL THE TIME. Marriage is a cycle. Woman need love to show respect and men need respect to show love. Show your husband you respect him and get the cycle going. This doesn't mean make him think you agree with him when you don't, but communicate your thoughts or feelings in a respectful way. 

2. Leave Your Father & Mother (Genesis 2:24) - God calls us to leave our father and mother. In order to have a good marriage, you have to be able to leave well. This means when you have a problem, talk it out with your husband. When something in the house needs fixed, trust your husband to take care of it. Even though as little girls we look up to our daddy's to take care of us, when we marry our husbands they want to be the ones to take care of us. So let him. This is another way of showing him respect too.

3. Speak Words of Kindness (Proverbs 31:26) - I think the hardest thing to remember about this is not only speak words of kindness to him, but also to your friends and family. It does no one good to gossip about your husband and tear him down to his face or behind his back. Make it a point daily to say something kind to your husband. (Maybe that he looks nice, you appreciate him doing something for you, etc)

4. God, Husband, then Kids (Colossians 3:18-21) - In that order. If you are a Christian then God should be first in your life. After him should be your husband and then your kids. I imagine some people probably disagree with this. However, in order to be able to parent together well your marriage must be first. Also, once your children are grown and on their own it will just be you and your husband again. You want to be able to still have a marriage, a best friend, when no one else is there. If you make your children first priority over your husband, its going to be awful lonely when they are gone. (This is not to say that you don't take care of your kids by any means! I just mean take the time to spend time with your husband and invest in your marriage.)

5. Show Him Love & Affection (1 Corinthians 7:3-5) - One of the greatest gifts God has given us as husband and wife is the opportunity to be intimate with one another and on a regular basis. It's SO important to understand and appreciate how your spouse views intimacy in order to make it both enjoyable and beneficial for you both. It's often something that couples have trouble talking about, but take the time to do so. Although when we hear intimacy when typically think physical intimacy, it's also important to be intimate by just spending real quality time together (with no distractions). Communicate and talk about your feelings, ideas and dreams together. Read some verses in the bible and pray together. Schedule regular date nights and offer to do things your husband enjoys doing.

6. Let Him Lead (Ephesians 5:22-24) - It's often hard for us to let our husbands lead us and our family whether it be spiritually, with parenting, budgeting, etc. However, God calls us to be submissive to our husbands and let them lead us. Pray God would give your husband wisdom on how to lead and you encouragement to let him. Encourage him when he is making great choices and ask how you can support him.

7. Be Willing to Forgive (Ephesians 4:32) - Our husbands deserve forgiveness just like we do. Whether it be because he left his clothes in the floor again or he said something he shouldn't have. Forgiveness is the only way to keep resentment from building in your marriage. Ask God to help you forgive your spouse on a daily basis.

8.  Fight Well & Talk it Out (Proverbs 15:1) - When we are arguing with our spouse the first thing we want to do is get defensive and prove we are right. What if instead, you really take a minute to try and understand why your spouse is angry with you. I am good at apologizing to my husband, but not talking it out. I have realized that the only way we are going to get things to change for next time is if we talk it out, respect the other ones feelings and be willing to change ourselves too.

9. Divorce is not an option. (Matthew 19:3-6) -You said "for better or for worse" on your wedding day. God brought two individuals together and made them one. Therefore, the only one who should make you two individuals again is God (Til death do you part). With God's help He wants you to have an awesome marriage and one that will bring glory to Him. If you have been divorced in the past, then allow God to forgive you and make your new marriage one worth fighting for.

10. Choose to LOVE. (Proverbs 31: 10-12) - This goes along with #9. You may think you are no longer in love with your husband, but love him anyway. You may think you are not attracted him anymore, but love him anyway. Of course there are going to be bad times, that's why we said our vows. Choose to love him anyway, because your marriage is worth it and your husband is worth it!

BONUS: PRAY FOR HIM!! Today is December 1st. Take the time each day this month to pray for your husband. Use this LIST, if you wish, as a guide to have something specific to pray for him about each day.

Hopefully in the near future my hubby will be writing a post on how husbands can love their wives even better! Stay tuned...