Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

     Thanksgiving is officially here, and therefore so is the start of this years' Christmas Season!  It really is my favorite time of year!  Thanksgiving and Christmas seem like completely separate holidays, but are they really?  Sure the origination of them have completely different roots.  But is it just a coincidence in time that the holiday we spend being grateful for all of our blessings comes just before the holiday where we celebrate the biggest blessing we've all ever been given?  I don't think it is.  Every year at our family's Thanksgiving dinner we all go around taking turns saying what we are thankful for this year.  I love this tradition, especially when the year has been an especially difficult one.  It's nice to remind ourselves that despite what life throws at us we really do have a lot to be thankful for.  So to start off this Thanksgiving Day and holiday season here is my list....

I am thankful.......
  • For my husband, my children, and all of my crazy disfunctional family.
  • For my wonderful friends
  • That my parents taught me about God, without Him I surely would have been committed by now.
  • That my husband and I both have work, and a home and means to take care of our family.
  • That I have a job I love, that I truly enjoying doing, even if it is only part time and seasonal.
  • Despite all of the health concerns for several people, and accidents, all of our family is still here with us to celebrate another Thanksgiving.
  • That I have been blessed with 3 strong and healthy children.
  • That my husband and I were finally able to have our marriage validated after 5 years. 
  • That the Church placed some rediculous requirements to achieve that goal.  God must have known that I would only do it if forced to and that I was really going to need that this year.
  • That my dad is still with us.
  • That my friends in Michigan weren't physically harmed by that crazy shooter!
  • That I'm fortunate enough to be able to stay home with the twins while they are little.  I wish I could have had that with my daughter.
  • That what started out as an excuse to get out of the house, Lia Sophia, has given me some absolutely amazing friendships with some of the most beautiful women.
     This list certainly isn't exhaustive, but it's a start!  What are you thankful for?

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

More Cheap and Easy Holiday Decor

     Is it really that time of year again?  Well, I can't complain because Christmas has always been my favorite time of year, and also my favorite time to decorate too!  Thanksgiving is just a couple of days away and I always put my Christmas decor out the day after.  That's right, no shopping for me!!  I'd much rather be in my warm cozy home listening to Christmas music and hanging garland!

Monday, November 19, 2012

At last, my mudroom reveal!!

     Well, what I thought was a project that would only take a few weeks to complete ended up ultimately taking me months.  Not because we've been working on it all this time.  But because my wonderful hubby refused to install anything until my floors were finished.  Just in case you didn't see them, you can check out my new brown paper floors here

     I started this project because in the cooler months my lovely family of 5 is always leaving coats and shoes all over the place.  I'd be lying if I said I wasn't just as guilty as the rest of them, but, it was driving me crazy.  We needed an easy way to corale the clutter.  David and I had been to a few home and garden tours and some of those homes featured adorable mudrooms, with locker-style built-ins. So....out came the sawzall, down went a wall, and several months later here is my mudroom:

Now as you can see there are just a couple little touchups we still need to complete, but I didn't want to wait any longer to show everyone the finished result!  It was a pretty tight fit getting the bench and cubbies installed.  Apparently our builders didn't know how to install a straight wall!!  So we have to touch up the paint a little and get new baseboards.  Nonetheless, it is finished, and functional, and as you can see, giving us our money's worth!
Speaking of money, I think all in all we had about $200 in this small remodel project.  The higher quality plywood and the drywall were our biggest expenses for this project. 

My husband built the lockers himself, following these free plans from Ana White.  I have to just say that I love her website and we are planning to make many more things using her super simple plans!

If you would like to go back and see the details of this project from start to finish.  You can link to those posts below:

Demolition Therapy

Mudroom Update

Monday, September 24, 2012

I finally did it.....Brown Paper Flooring!

     I'm so excited to finally be writing this post!  For probably close to a year now I've had it in my mind that I was going to attempt to redo my flooring myself using brown craft paper.  I've read countless tutorials, watched tons of videos, and was just waiting until I could find the time.  Well, finally it is done, and I am totally in love!  My old flooring was basic white linoleum.  Nothing special, impossible to keep clean, ugly white linoleum.  On top of that it was throughout probably 2/3 of the main level of my home.  That is a lot of ugly floor!  Because of our tight budget and the large amount of square footage I would be covering, I knew I needed an alternative to purchasing flooring, whether it would have been tile, hardwood, or laminate it was all going to cost a fortune.  Not to say that eventually I would still love to get some gorgeous high end flooring in my house.  But, brown paper was the perfect immediate fix, that I think will get us through the next several years, until my children are grown enough for it to be worth it for us to splurge.

Friday, August 17, 2012

A Wedding Heirloom

     Ahhhh, I love weddings.  I loved every single minute of planning my own wedding, just under 5 years ago.  I made my invitations and programs by hand, designed my own wedding cake (but I didn't actually make it), I researched every flower until I had found the ones that I knew had to be part of my day.  I would be lying if I said I wouldn't love doing the whole thing over again, in fact if I could I think I would have another wedding for my husband and I every couple of years or so.  But since that isn't an option, I'm really grateful for my part time job of wedding decorating and coordinating on the weekends.  But before I get off track daydreaming here, this post really is a craft tutorial, I promise.

     Tomorrow afternoon, my husband and I are renewing our vows, to put it simply.  Although it really isn't that simple at all.  What we are really doing in fact is having our marriage validated in our Catholic church.  It's a very big deal for us and we are so excited to have completed all the requirements and finally be able to bind our marriage in our Church with God the way we wished we would have been able to do 5 years ago on our actual wedding day.  This is a very simple ceremony, just our close family and a couple of our closest friends will be there.  There is no big white dress, bridesmaids, or any of that sort of thing.  It is however in the eyes of our Church, our real wedding and official marriage.  And because of that I wanted something "wedding-ish" for this special occasion, but something special and sentimental, something my own daughter may want for her own wedding someday.  Which brought me to the idea of a growing trend in weddings.....the brooch bouquet. 

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Bad Things Come in.....???

     Hi everyone.  I know it has been a really long time since I have made any posts, I promise I haven't given up on blogging!  I have several things to tell you all about that I have made over the last couple of months, unfortunately though, I just haven't been able to sit down and take the time to write about them.

     I'm sure you've all heard the old adage "Bad things always come in 3's."  Well this certainly seems to be the case for us lately (or maybe they really come in 4's, 5's, etc) and it has kept me from a lot of things I was previously focusing on.

     So the 3 biggest obstacles life has thrown at us? My husband and I had some important things stolen from our cars.  Most importantly was his wallet containing his green card.  Still trying to sort out that mess.  My nephews were in a major car accident.  They are both ok now, but one of them did suffer some major injuries that are going to require months of surgeries and rehab for him to get through.  And the biggest of all was my dad's diagnosis of advanced stage 4 lung cancer in mid-June.  His prognosis is not good, but we are all praying as hard as we can that he will be one of those people who beat the odds and amaze the doctors.  He is undergoing treatment every 3 weeks at the Cleveland Clinic, which is about a 4-4.5 hour drive from where they live.  These trips require at least one overnight stay and will occasionally require 2 nights depending on tests needed.  Which brings me to why I am writing this post.

     This Sunday, August 12th, we are hosting a Cancer Benefit and Poker Run for my dad, Richard Trufant.  This fundraiser is to help offset the costs of having to travel so much for my dad to receive treatment.  Let me tell you a little about my dad:

     He is 69 years young.  He was a Vietnam P.O.W. in the Marine Corps.  His unit was the first to touch the ground in Vietnam.  As a result to his time dedicated fighting that war he was exposed to the chemical agent known as Agent Orange.  I am one of his 4 children, and he and my mom have been married for 47 years.  My dad worked hard to raise his family and go to college after his military service, and finished his Masters degree when I was in high school (I am the baby of the family)  He has been the CFO of several small community hospitals for as long as I can remember, and was one of the first hospital administrators to start implementing charity care in hospitals.  He officially retired about a year and a half ago.

     Here is the official information regarding the Benefit copied from the FB event page.  Anyone who would like to come show their support, but do not want to participate in the ride should arrive to the Avilla American Legion around 4pm:

KDZ & The Friends of Tina Johnson's (this is my sister) Family would like to invite you to a Poker Run & Benefit .

Richard is a Vietnam Vet & POW. He has 8 months to a year to live and the family could use our help with expenses on hotel rooms and other bills while he is under going treatment to pro long his life.

Sign up @ Avilla American Legion 11 am. First bike out noon. Last bike out at 1pm. Vehicles welcome to participate in ride.  Again, if you do not want to participate in the ride, but would still like to come show your support, participate in the 50/50 drawing, the silent auction, etc.  Please arrive to the Avilla American Legion at 4pm.
Avilla American Legion
205 Ley Street, Avilla, IN
$10 a person, 50/50 drawing, Door Prizes, Silent Auction and more!

1st stop:
Rudy's Bar and Grill
103 N. Main Street
Kendallville, IN
2nd stop:
Wall Lake Tavern
6100 N 1200 E
Orland, IN
 3rd stop:
Fremont Bar & Grill
112 W Toledo St
Fremont, IN
4th Stop:
Rio Bar & Grill
3970 East Bellefountaine Road
Hamilton, IN
5th Stop:
Four Crowns
103 West 9th Street
Auburn, IN

If you can not make it and would like to donate door prizes or money. You can drop them off at KDZ Kustoms & Pre Owned Motorcycles 521 Ley Drive. Auburn, In 46706. Or Mail them. 260-927-0533.  Make Checks out to Richard Trufant.

UPDATE:  Thank you to all of those who made this event a success.  Our family, dad especially, was overwhelmed with all the love and support!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Jewelry Travel Display Case

     I've been very busy the last month trying to finish up various projects around the house.  Unfortunately my mudroom is not quite complete yet. We haven't abandoned this project, it's very close to being completed, but with our warm weather Dave and I have been busy building our water garden.
     For today, I want to share with you an easy jewelry case/display project.  We were asked by our managers to make something we could use to display jewelry at our parties.  I wanted something that I knew I would use and not just for parties.  The main trays I used in making this project I already had around the house, but anyone could easily get them for just a couple of dollars online.  This case will make an adorable way for you to display your favorite pieces of jewelry on your dressing table or vanity, and make it very easy to just close it up and be ready to go.  No more tangled jewelry in those little travel bags and rolls. Plus, it's completely custom so you can plan it to match your decor, use your favorite colors, etc. 

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

We're now on Facebook

Stay connected with the latest news and posting from A Champagne Mind now through Facebook.  Just visit our Facebook page and click "like"

A Champagne Mind on Facebook

Our little piece of paradise

Finally after a year our water garden is finished.
     For as long as I can remember, I've always wanted a water garden.  Something with flowing water, beautiful plants, and fish.  There is just something about water gardens that help you escape the crazy life brings.  A place to let your worries and frustrations escape you, listening to water splashing, watching hummingbirds and butterflies, and beautiful koi eating right from your hand. 

Sunday, March 4, 2012

A Mother's Worth

I was recently contacted with an invitation to share the following with my blog readers! I absolutely love this! Now if only my wonderful hubby read my blog too once in a while maybe he wouldn't mind so much when I splurge a little on shoes!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Top Mommy Blogs

     I'm so excited to share the news that A Champagne Mind has been accepted at Top Mommy Blogs!  You'll see a Top Mommy Blogs icon in the right sidebar of my blog and at the end of each post.  Please help me out by remembering to click on one of those each time you visit my blog to place your vote for me!  All you have to do is click, no other information is required!  Thank you so much!

Vote for me @ Top Mommy Blogs - Mom Blog Directory

Thursday, February 16, 2012

It is Valentine's Day

     Let me just start by saying that in my opinion as the mom of twins (who share a room) the greatest baby-proofing device ever created is this little pressure mounted thing that prevents kids from being able to open a door.  It truly is wonderful.  You mount it at the top of, say, a bedroom door, and voila little midgets can only open the door a few inches and cannot close it back on their fingers.  GENIUS!!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

52 Reasons.....

Happy Valentine's Day!  

     I've always loved this holiday.  Even before I was married.  Maybe it is a Hallmark Holiday, but ever since I was little I've always loved that there's a day to celebrate love! This year we will also have been married for 5 years.  So I wanted to do something special for this Valentine's day.

     For a gift I made my husband a deck of cards, 52 reasons why I love him!  It wasn't exactly easy.  I didn't just sit down and come up with all of these in 20 minutes.  So don't feel bad if you try this someday and can't either.  Each card has a reason and best of all he will even be able to actually use them if he wants to.  A lot of people don't know this, but he's actually a pretty sentimental guy.  Anyway, I had seen a few craft projects using a regular deck of cards and scrapbook paper, like these.  They would be really wonderful gifts, but seemed more like something I (or any woman) would like, but not for a practical guy like my husband.

     I can't help but want to shout from the rooftops why I love this man so much!  So here are the reasons:

Friday, February 10, 2012

Mudroom Update

I'm sorry to disappoint, so I'll just put the bad news out there first.  My mudroom is not finished yet.  It is getting close though.  So I just wanted to give everyone a little glimpse as to what it looks like now that the walls are all finished.  My next post will be the big reveal, and I promise it won't be too long!!

     Remember, if you like following me, please subscribe to my blog!  And don't forget to validate your email.  You'll get my next post delivered straight to your inbox, the only emails you will ever get from me are new postings.

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Friday, January 13, 2012

Demolition Therapy!

Just an example
    I am so excited about my current project that I couldn't wait to share just a little bit!  So, I've decided to write a "teaser" blog about it.

     My home has a nice open floor plan and lots of closets, but I've always wished I had a mudroom with those cute built in hooks, cubbies and bench for your family to place their coats, shoes, backpacks, etc.  I've shopped around for a hall tree, but it just isn't the same.  So I did a little reorganizing and decided to open up the closet facing my garage.

Friday, January 6, 2012

My Handy Hubby!

Kids' Low Rider Bookcase - $349
     Winter has a way of bringing to mind lots of things to do around your home to make it more functional.  At my house this usually means more work for my wonderful husband!  I really am lucky that he puts up with me and actually does the things I ask!  So while we are working on the next few updates to our home that we have planned I wanted to show some of the things he's done in that past that (in my opinion) look great and saved us a bunch of money too!  Starting with a Land of Nod inspired bookcase:

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Weekly Calendar Wall Art

     Happy New Year!  Here we are starting 2012 and making all sorts of resolutions; to be healthier, to declutter, and to be more organized to name a few.  So for me I've started with a cute new weekly dry-erase calendar for my wall!  I wish I could take credit for this awesome idea, but I can't.  I found this adorable project on Pinterest.  My new favorite place to visit.  In fact it's more like an addiction.

     I use my phone and a yearly day planner to keep track of my calendar for the most part, but this idea is really great to give my husband a heads up for what is going on during the week.  Plus I love that I can customize it however to match the decor in my house.  Here is the original from Pinterest.

Original pin on Pinterest. Click on pic to go to that page.