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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Holiday Dumpster Divers

Yes, it’s true. We are those people.  When walking our dog last night we took home something out of one of our neighbor’s trash piles.  On the first pass, we saw the said item, commented on it, and kept going.  On second thought, Judd, stealthily swept back and retrieved it.


What is the said item, you ask.  Well, um, it was a long strand of live garland.  I have no idea why our neighbor would throw it out.  It was clean, still smelled fresh, was only a little bit dry (but still manageable), and it was very well wired together.  It was a wasteful move on our neighbor’s part if I do say so myself.  But, hey her trash is our treasure.  :)  Maybe we can get her to throw away a slip covered linen sofa or some custom bedding next.  I won’t hold my breath.  ha.


Being so close to Christmas, I was kind of over the decorating.  All I managed to do this year was to get our tree up.  I thought that would be enough since we weren’t expecting company this year.  However, when we saw the garland, the idea of a beautiful mantel was too much to keep us from it.  Judd deemed it worthy of using.  Now, I am glad we have it.


There was enough garland to put on our mantel and to use on our table as a centerpiece.  I added white lights, silver balls, and pine cones to the mantel garland.   Judd picked some fresh magnolia from our yard to tuck in it also.  Oh, I also added a cute little wooden reindeer that a colleague gave me for Christmas (Thanks Teresa).


I used the same treatment for a small piece of the garland on our table.  I positioned it on top of a split barrel that I already had.


For a last minute, on a whim, decoration I think it all came nicely together.  I snapped a few photos with Judd’s iphone.  Per our usual lately, my apologies for the poor photo quality.  We’ve got to get a new camera.

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In case I don’t get another post up over this busy holiday time, we wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas.

Friday, December 17, 2010



We are so flattered to be featured on Shanna’s lovely blog, Revamped French Maison.  You can check out her post on holiday highlights by clicking here.

Thanks Shanna for including us in your post!  We are glad to have made a new friend on the blogosphere.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

How To: Make Garland From A Grocery Bag


Last week, I ran in Publix (a local grocery chain) to pick up a birthday cake for Judd.  Did I mention that my amazing husband turned the big 3-0 last week??? 

[His birthday usually falls on a day when one of us is frantically working on or studying for fall semester final exams.  Lucky for Judd, those days are behind him.  Now, the stress of finals is all my own.  BUMMER.  Last week his birthday fell on the same day that my statistics final was due!  Eeek.  Hence the reason I was running to Publix to purchase a ready-made birthday cake.]   

Long story short, at check out the cashier unfolded a paper grocery bag and placed Judd’s cake inside of it.  We usually place our groceries in reusable grocery bags or we just get plastic when we are in a hurry.  (I know, I know, just go ahead and report me to Al Gore).  So, I haven’t looked at a brown paper grocery bag in a while.  When I got home, I noticed that printed on the front of the crisp brown sack was a pretty blue and green bird.



On the side of the bag, in large blue font, was the word “celebrate.”  I left the bag on the counter for a day or two trying to decide what to do with it.  As soon as I saw that little bird, I knew there was a craft project just waiting to be made with it.


On my next weekly visit to Publix I asked the bagger to please place our groceries in only paper sacks.  When I got home and unloaded my groceries I had a total of 5 bags all with the same holiday bird motif.


My craft project wheels started to turn.  Last night, I decided to make a garland out the lovely paper birds.  I am not sure exactly where to use it just yet.   This year will be the first time Judd’s parent’s cabin can be used for Christmas.  Maybe the garland would be pretty used as a rustic decoration at their farm.  We’ll see.


To make the garland, I slid a legal notepad (cardboard side up) inside the bag to use as a cutting board.  I used an X-Acto knife to cut around each bird.  This was a quick way to trim out the birds without having to bend them or deal with cutting around the bulky bag. 


Next, I used a whole punch to make one whole at the top of each bird.  I took a long piece of jute twine and double tied each bird to the twine by poking the jute through the punched whole.


Here is the finished product.  Keep in mind, I did not make these for my house.  Also keep in mind that I have been frantically working on my final exams and have not yet decorated our mantel.  Pretend you see what you saw last year.  Ha.  I quickly threw some pinecones on the mantel to add a rustic feel for these pictures.


Now, I just have to figure out what to make with the “celebrate” side of the bags. 

What do you think about this budget friendly project?  Is it something you would create for your own home or rustic space?  Do you have any ideas for the “celebrate” part of the bag or for other uses for the birds???

Monday, December 6, 2010

Can you guess where we went last weekend???

We went to the SEC Championship game in Atlanta.   Our Auburn tigers had a most successful victory over the South Carolina gamecocks.

Judd and I stayed with a FABulous friend.  We also tailgated, caught up with old friends, cheered our hearts out, and spent a night out on the town in what we now affectionately refer to as FABlanta.

Here we are outside of the Georgia Dome.


This one is of all of us inside the World Congress Center (adjacent to the Georgia Dome).  WAR EAGLE!!!


We are hoping to go to Arizona to cheer on Auburn at the National Championship Game.  We are looking for tickets.  Please let us know if you have some extra tickets or if you come across a good deal.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

My Take on Wordless Wednesdays

I’ve seen some other blogger friends do a series of posts called wordless Wednesdays.  All they post on that day is pictures.  Well, here is my take on that tradition.  We will consider this our contribution to Cam’s Heisman campaign.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Fab Believes In Auburn And Loves it


Photo: The Fabulous Stephanie and Jamie

Well, most of the Fab loves Auburn.  Some of the fab fourteen went to that other school in a city that starts with a “T” and a few others went elsewhere. 

All but two Auburn Fab alum came to join us last weekend as we tailgated before and after the Georgia vs. Auburn game. We missed you Allison M. and Amy.  (If you don’t know about the Fab, you can read about our special friendship here).


Photo: (left to right) Stephanie, Allison, Jennifer, (me) Abby, Hartley, and Jamie

We started our morning with a yummy round of mimosa’s.  Then we played games, ate great food, visited, laughed, and just had an overall great weekend.

bag-obag-o two


Oh, did I mention our husbands were also there with us?  We had a giant co-ed sleepover.  Everybody piled into Judd’s parent’s tailgate house.  It was just like our slumber parties in high school except this time we let the boys stay too.  :)




Everybody got a big laugh out of our neighbors game day bus.  They use it to transport people to and from their house and the stadium.


The girls and I split ways just before the game because some of us had tickets and others did not.  Judd and I went to the game.  It was so much fun!  Our tigers won. In fact, our tigers have won all of their games this season!!! 

After the game, Auburn’s quarterback , Cam Newton, came running all the way across the stadium to thank the fans (his Auburn family) who have supported him over these past few weeks.  A compilation of season highlights was played on the jumbotron (aka: AUHD).  Click the video below to watch the highlights.  While the video played, the seniors (who had just won their last victory ever at home) also ran around thanking the fans.  If you know me well, it is no surprise that I had full crocodile tears running down my face as the seniors and Cam celebrated and thanked their AU family.  They have given us such a great season.  We are so proud of them.  It’s great to be an Auburn tiger.  I truly believe in Auburn and LOVE it!!!        

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Student Warriors

What are you doing today to thank a veteran?  Are you planning to do anything at all?  If  not, you should.  It’s not hard.  Veterans are all over the place.  They are easy to find.  Just smile and thank someone you see with a veteran or military sticker on their car, or call a grandparent, aunt, uncle, etc. who you know served in the armed forces, or attend a Veteran's Day parade, or if you can’t do any of those things, you can thank a veteran right here on this little blog. 


Photo: My brother, Bryan, at a flag ceremony in Iraq

My plans include thanking my brother,  SSG Bryan Tull.  If you don’t know another veteran to thank, you can thank him by leaving a comment on this post.  I’ll forward the post to him to make sure he sees it. Big brother’s aren’t known for reading their little sister’s blogs you know.  Ha. 

Abby and Bryan at FRG Dinner

Photo: Bryan and me at a pre-deployment family dinner with his unit.


Photo: Bryan (second from the right) with other members of his unit

Bryan is a current member of the Army Reserves.   He has served two year-long deployments in Iraq.  I am so proud of him and remain in awe of the sacrifices he has made to serve our country.  As a student warrior, his deployments have interrupted his undergraduate college education so many times, not only for his trips to Iraq, but for state-side trainings in California, Maryland, New York, South Carolina, Mississippi, and even Vancouver (yes, I am aware that Canada is not exactly within the states, but its not in the Middle East, so I am including it here).  :) 

Bryan and General Lanza

Photo: Bryan, in Iraq, with the General who awarded him his most recent promotion.  You can read about it by clicking the link.

Bryan is approaching  a much deserved graduation this coming year.  We are all so proud of his perseverance.  Today, our family has plans to honor my dad (who is also a veteran) and Bryan during a lunch at Dreamland BBQ.  It’s one of our favorite places.  Then we are going to attend the Veteran's Day parade in downtown Birmingham.  Tonight, since Bryan is a student warrior, he and the other University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) students who are active members of the armed forces will be recognized at the East Carolina vs. UAB football game.


Photo: Bryan paying tribute to fallen soldiers at a Memorial Day Ceremony in Iraq.  Please note the hysterical mustache.  His unit was having a contest to see who could grow the best mustache in one month.  They called it mustache May.  Ha.  If I remember correctly, Bryan won.

I was amazed when I started thinking about both of our college careers.  We both started undergrad the same year.  Bryan was at UAB and I was at Auburn University.  Our country has literally been at war my entire adulthood (since the year we started undergrad, 2002-2003 school year.)  It’s shocking when you think about it like that.  Bryan is undoubtedly one of many student warriors at UAB and across the country.  He and so many other young service members have committed to putting their lives on the line for us and our country while continuing their schooling.  They deserve our thanks today.


Photo: Fellow soldiers and Bryan (right).  Just a day at the office.


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

All I Do Is Read…

I saw this for the first time several days ago.  I knew it was something I wanted to post on this blog.  The perfectly timed allegations, distractions, and slander towards this tremendous player, Cam Newton, are getting to be too much.  How about the media spread positive news rather than aide each other in their efforts to report unreliable news resulting in a character assassination of an outstanding young man and athlete?

Watch this video.  Do you think Cam Newton lacks integrity?  Please.  Oh, and by the way, he has been volunteering at this elementary school since he arrived in Auburn.  He dreams of opening a day care center and helping children in need.  This video was made before the most recent mud slinging.

War Eagle!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

On the Day of Halloween…


…our pumpkins expressed our love for Auburn University.

My pumpkin featured the face of the cutest mascot in all the land—AUBIE.


Judd’s pumpkin wasn’t his usual ornate, “mr. architect with fine motor skills pumpkin,” but it was still cute.  His pumpkins usually blow me away.  This year, however, Judd was on a conference call for most of the afternoon.  He didn’t get to spend quite the amount of time on his pumpkin that I spent on mine.  He quickly and cleverly got his point across with his jack-o-lantern though.  :) W-A-R       E-A-G-L-E!!!!



Tuesday, November 2, 2010

On the Day Before Halloween…

…our house was haunted with ghosts and was crawling with spiders.

I used one pack of glittery spiders from Wal-Mart to add a creepy effect around our house.  I put the spiders in our candles.  See below.



As you can see in the photo below, I also used the spiders on our mantel.  The spiders were paired with bleeding candles.  The rest of the mantel decor consists of a ghost village I made in 2005 for our first Halloween as a married couple and a vase filled with orange berries and curling willow branches from my mother’s yard.  I spray painted the branches black.


In this post, I will share how to make the ghost village.  It looks great with candles behind it.  The flame of the  candles gives the appearance of ghosts floating behind the doors and windows.

I got the idea from a magazine years ago (I can’t remember which one).  To make the village take four pieces of black construction paper and fold them in half.  Unfold the paper and use each half as a different house.  Use an X-Acto knife to carve out any shape of windows, doors, and roofs that you like.  It is hard to tell in the photos but some of mine even have shutters and doors.  Next, use a glue stick to adhere yellow tissue paper to the backs of each opening.  Embellish with cut-outs of ghosts and pumpkins.  When finished, fold each house slightly and place them next to each other.  Put flameless or regular candles behind the village to add a spooky appearance.  Store flat and reuse year after year.


In keeping with our scary decor, I covered the wine bottles in our bar area with Halloween labels I printed from a website.  I printed the labels on regular printer paper and rolled tape behind each corner.  I gently stuck them over the existing labels on our bottles.  Hopefully, they will be easy to remove when we are ready to put our house back to normal.

Click here for the site with the labels.



By our front door, I filled frames with vintage trick-or-treat photos I found online.  These pictures were also printed on regular paper. I plan to store them all in a file folder and reuse them next year too.


In our guest bathroom, I used another one of Martha Stewart’s ideas.  Martha put a ghastly reflection in her mirror.  I thought it was too cute.  Once again, Martha’s way of doing things was too time consuming for me. 

Click here for Martha’s Ghost Directions.


My ghost (shown below) took about 1 minute to create.  I used a white window chalk marker I already had that was left over from a sorority function years ago.  I just freehanded a ghost shape in our mirror leaving space for its eyes and mouth.


Next, I added a few more accessories to create one scary bathroom.  :)


This was another photo I found online.  I mounted this little witch over the artwork that is normally hanging in our bathroom.  She’s my favorite of the vintage looking pictures.


Only one more Halloween post to go.  Whew.