Budget Deck Makeover

Budget Deck Makeover Reading Area

I'm kicking myself that I didn't do this project earlier. We've lived in our home for 7 years and we are just now starting to use our deck.   Our home was unoccupied for an entire year before we purchased it.  Several things went without maintenance and the deck was one of them.  I don't think any of the five previous owners stained or maintained the deck at all. Our wood deck was structurally sound but was it was splintering badly.  We were so worried about getting splinters that we wouldn't walk on it without shoes on. We could have replaced the deck.  We also could have installed composite decking on top of the splintering wood.  But both these ... read more

Tour Through Blogland

Make the best of our outdoor space with this Budget Deck Makeover. So thankful I did!

Happy Monday!  I hope you all are having a great start to your week!  Today I'm doing something a little different.  I've been nominated for the Tour Through Blogland!  I'm going to share a couple things about myself and introduce you to some other great blogs! I was nominated by the lovely Katie from The Casual Craftlete.  She is a sweet girl who has an amazing talent for creating sweet treats and cute crafts.  She's also shared a lot of her experiences with running.  Katie and I have known each other for years, and our friendship has grown closer since we both started blogging.  It's so fun to have a friend like Katie to share blogging ideas, ... read more

Frugal Crafty Home Blog Hop 90

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It's official.  I have a Kindergartner in the house!  Life is a little different now that I only have one kiddo for most of the day!  Last week I shared a pretty cool story of how God made our last day of summer pretty special.  Let's just say I was really surprised by God! Now on to the party! If you want to make sure you don't miss a party,  subscribe to my email list & you won’t miss a thing!   Thanks for joining me and Jordan from Lily White. Designs, Amy From A Blossoming Life, Sara from Sneaky Spoons, and Katie from The Casual Craftlete.  We each pick different features each week so be sure to head over to the ... read more

Surprised by God

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I've been a bit of an emotional mess the past two weeks. My daughter is starting Kindergarten.  She will be gone ALL DAY 5 days a week! Part of me is beyond excited.  I'll finally get some time to myself! But the other part of me is a mix of sadness and guilt.  She's not a baby anymore and what if I didn't spend enough time with her?   I was feeling a lot of "mom guilt". I've had a lot of struggles with my daughter lately.  I haven't had much sleep which brings my patience to an all-time low.  My daughter is very energetic and she's beyond ready for school to start.   Put those two together and you've got a recipe for disaster. I never wanted to be ... read more

Frugal Crafty Home Blog Hop 89

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 What an emotional week for me.   Being a little sleep deprived lately, I've gotten upset at my kids this week a lot more than I'd like to admit.   I also sent my firstborn to Kindergarten this week.  I'm excited for her and also a little worried.  Thankfully God has reminded me that I can let go of her and trust that He's going to take care of her. If I have time next week I may try to share some stories and photos of my daughter's first day at school! Now on to the party! If you want to make sure you don't miss a party,  subscribe to my email list & you won’t miss a thing!   Thanks for joining me and Jordan from Lily White. ... read more

How To Sanitize a Hotel Room in 5 Minutes

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Today I'm showing you all a different side of me. My name is Carrie and I'm a germophobe.  Or maybe I'm just "germ conscious".  Either way, germs gross me out.    All jokes aside, I think we can all agree that hotel rooms can be the perfect place for unwanted germs.  Think about all the previous people who have used that room and what they've done in it. That's enough to give me the creeps. There is hope for germophobes out there.  You can travel and use hotel rooms without fear!   Here's how: Fighting Germs Starts Before You Book The Hotel Research your hotel and the rooms before you book.  If you see some of these words ... read more

Frugal Crafty Home Blog Hop 88

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Good Evening!  I hope the weekend was great for all of you!  Welcome to the Frugal Crafty Home Blog Hop.  The party starts each Sunday at 8PM Central time.   If you want to make sure you don't miss a party,  subscribe to my email list & you won’t miss a thing!   Thanks for joining me and Jordan from Lily White. Designs, Amy From A Blossoming Life, Sara from Sneaky Spoons, and Katie from The Casual Craftlete.  We each pick different features each week so be sure to head over to the other blogs to see some more lovely features! This week at Carrie This Home: I gave all my readers a little glimpse into my crazy family in my ... read more

Rappers Delight Lip Synch and Life Lately

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Today I'm going to give you just a little glimpse of how crazy and fun my family is. One thing I love about my Hubby is how he makes me laugh.  This guy is seriously crazy (in a funny way).  I'm the more serious one so sometimes he has to help me let loose a little. This was one of those times. This summer a group of friends from our church issued a  lip synch in the car challenge.  We took this challenge somewhat seriously.  The hubby and I spent an entire evening trying to find the perfect song.  The song had to be funny.  Something memorable.  Something family friendly. We finally decided on the song Rapper's Delight by the Sugarhill ... read more

Frugal Crafty Home Blog Hop 87

5 tools to organize your back to school routine

Hi Friends!  I hope you all are doing well.  I cannot believe it's August already!  This is going to be a big month for my family as we watch our firstborn go to Kindergarten.  I'm so excited for my little girl but sad to see that she will be gone most of the day. Welcome to this week's Frugal Crafty Home Blog Hop!  This party starts each Sunday at 8PM Central time  You can subscribe to my email list to ensure you won’t miss a thing! Thanks for joining me and Jordan from Lily White. Designs, Amy From A Blossoming Life, Sara from Sneaky Spoons, and Katie from The Casual Craftlete.  We each pick different features each week so ... read more

Car Bed Makeover for Under $60

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We just moved my son into a big boy bed. The thought of not having any more 'babies'  in a crib made me sad.  Especially after seeing this: My baby is not a baby anymore! But one thing got me really excited about my son being in a big boy bed. We did a makeover of his car bed and it turned out AWESOME!  I was literally jumping up and down once I saw the finished project and couldn't wait to see it in his room. My hubby and I are car people--in our free time we love to watch Top Gear UK and imagine what it would be like to own a fancy sports car.   So if our son is going to have a car bed--it's going to have to look epic.  This is what it looked like ... read more

Frugal Crafty Home Blog Hop 86

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Welcome to this week's Frugal Crafty Home Blog Hop!  This party starts each Sunday at 8PM Central time  You can subscribe to my email list to ensure you won’t miss a thing! Thanks for joining me and Jordan from Lily White. Designs, Amy From A Blossoming Life, Sara from Sneaky Spoons, and Katie from The Casual Craftlete.  We each pick different features each week so be sure to head over to the other blogs to see some more lovely features!   Lovely Feature Posts From Last Week's Party  Cheesy Supper and Breakfast Biscuits from An Extraordinary Day  Some parents are great at thinking of ways to entertain little ones at home. ... read more

Frugal Crafty Home Blog Hop 85

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Welcome to this week's Frugal Crafty Home Blog Hop!  This party starts each Sunday at 8PM Central time  You can subscribe to my email list to ensure you won’t miss a thing! Thanks for joining me and Jordan from Lily White. Designs, Amy From A Blossoming Life, Sara from Sneaky Spoons, and Katie from The Casual Craftlete.  We each pick different features each week so be sure to head over to the other blogs to see some more lovely features! In case you missed it, here's what I've been up to at Carrie This Home Ever have one of those moments when you can't fulfill a promise you made?  Yep.  I had one of those this week.  Sometimes ... read more

Summer Spotlight on Carrie This Home

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Today I'm being featured on the Summer Spotlight hosted by Kenarry: Ideas for the Home, View from the Fridge, Oh, My! Creative and One Krieger Chick. The Summer Spotlight showcases great ideas from a different talented blogger each Friday throughout the summer months. I encourage you to swing by and check out the feature about Carrie This Home as well as the entire Summer Spotlight series. You can also follow the hosts online to see the great ideas they share year-round: Carrie of Kenarry: Ideas for the Home Facebook / Twitter / Pinterest / Google+ Katie of View from the Fridge Facebook / Twitter / Pinterest / Google+ / Instagram Susan of Oh My! Creative Facebook / Twitter / ... read more

My Apologies

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  Doing the right thing can be hard. In one of my last posts, I said I would share a fun tutorial showing you how to make a Frozen Inspired Birthday Party Invitation. I'm sorry to say I can't do that. {I will be sharing a free printable so hang with me...} I had the post all done and was really excited to share it with you. As I was about to publish it, something made me stop. I hesitated to click on the Publish button.  Why was I hesitating? Then the thought hit me.  This invitation was inspired by a blog post I saw online.  I saw someone else make a Frozen Invitation that she was selling.  I got really inspired to make my own version with my own ... read more

Frugal Crafty Home Blog Hop 84

Fruit Pizza

Welcome to this week's Frugal Crafty Home Blog Hop!  Thanks for joining me and Jordan from Lily White. Designs, Amy From A Blossoming Life, Sara from Sneaky Spoons, and Katie from The Casual Craftlete.  We each pick different features each week so be sure to check out the other lovely features! This party starts each Sunday at 8PM Central time  You can subscribe to my email list to ensure you won’t miss a thing! In case you missed it, here's what I've been up to at Carrie This Home My daughter just turned 5.  I can't believe how fast time flies by!  I shared all the details of her Frozen themed party at the park.  It was a lot ... read more

Frozen Inspired Birthday Party

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I know every single parent on the planet has said it before...but I'm going to say it anyway. I can't believe how fast time goes.   In some ways, it seems like it was just yesterday when my daughter was born. I blink my eyes and now she's FIVE. How did that happen? My daughter sings "Let It Go" on an hourly basis and constantly pretends to be Elsa, so naturally the theme for her birthday party this year was Frozen. We decided to have a Frozen inspired birthday party at the park. The kids were so excited to help make the goodie bags for all their friends!  I made cupcakes with blue frosting to fit in with the Frozen theme. My daughter had a blast playing ... read more

Frugal Crafty Home Blog Hop 83

Homemade carpet freshener

Welcome to this week's Frugal Crafty Home Blog Hop!  Thanks for joining me and Jordan from Lily White. Designs, Amy From A Blossoming Life, Sara from Sneaky Spoons, and Katie from The Casual Craftlete.  We each pick different features each week so be sure to check out the other lovely features! This party starts each Sunday at 8PM Central time  You can subscribe to my email list to ensure you won’t miss a thing! Lovely Feature Posts From Last Week's Party Crystal & Co. showed us how to make Homemade Carpet Freshener.  This version even kills fleas--which will be good for our pet-owner readers! The Diary of a Real Housewife shared ... read more

Frugal Crafty Home Blog Hop 82

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Thanks for joining me and Jordan from Lily White. Designs, Amy From A Blossoming Life, Sara from Sneaky Spoons, and Katie from The Casual Craftlete.  We each pick different features each week so be sure to check out the other lovely features! This party starts each Sunday at 8PM Central time  You can subscribe to my email list to ensure you won’t miss a thing! In case you missed it.... Since Summer is in full swing, I shared some beautiful looking Refreshing Summer Drinks.  Just looking at the pictures is making me thirsty! Most of the drinks featured in this post came right from the Frugal Crafty Home Blog Hops from the last couple ... read more

Google+ Grow Your Circles Link Party

This week I'm happy to be co-hosting the Google+ Grow Your Circles Link Party!  It's one of my all-time favorite parties because of all the inspiring posts I see and the new friends I make!  This party has been BY FAR the best and easiest way to grow my circles.    So without further adieu, let's get to the party!   Welcome to the mommy is coocoo circles hop. Interested in google+ training?  Look here!*Update we've created a facebook group for Creative bloggers who google+.  Message me here with your email address if you would like to be in to the group. Now it's time to party!   If you want to be ... read more

Refreshing Summer Drinks

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It's already in the low to high 90s here in the Midwest. That's all fine and good with me as log as I have shade, a breeze, and a cool drink to enjoy! If you've been a reader of mine for any amount of time, you've probably noticed I host the Frugal Crafty Home party each Sunday night.  One of the best parts of hosting a link party is seeing so many inspiring ideas in one place!  Lately I've seen a lot of my blog friends sharing some of their favorite summer drinks so today I'm going to share some of my favorites with you! I can just imagine myself sitting on the porch in the shade enjoying the breeze with one of these lovely drinks in my hand.  Can't you? If you want ... read more

Frugal Crafty Home Blog Hop 81

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Thanks for joining me and Jordan from Lily White. Designs, Amy From A Blossoming Life, Sara from Sneaky Spoons, and Katie from The Casual Craftlete.  We each pick different features each week so be sure to check out the other lovely features! This party starts each Sunday at 8PM Central time  You can subscribe to my email list to ensure you won’t miss a thing! This week at Carrie This Home The hubby and I LOVE to go out to eat for good food and good conversation.   But going out doesn't always happen.  So this week I shared a recipe for Fried Rice that makes you feel like you're eating out from the comfort of your own home!  It's easy ... read more

As Good As Take Out Fried Rice

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I have had a long love affair with fried rice.  It's my go-to meal at Chinese or Thai restaurants.  You just can't go wrong with it! The Problem We live on one income so eating out at a nice restaurant is not always an option.  Sometimes I have expensive taste when it comes to food.  What makes it worse is we'd have to get a babysitter so we could actually enjoy said expensive meal.  Because of those circumstances, we don't go out on dates to Chinese or Thai restaurants very often.  So my fried rice cravings go unmet. The Solution With the culinary genius of my Hubby, he created a fried rice recipe that tastes like take out but has a much lower price! ... read more

Frugal Crafty Home Blog Hop 80

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*This post contains affiliate links and referral links.  If you decide to make a purchase, you’ll be supporting Carrie This Home at no cost to you!  All opinions in this review are my own. Thanks for joining me and Jordan from Lily White. Designs, Amy From A Blossoming Life, Sara from Sneaky Spoons, and Katie from The Casual Craftlete.  We each pick different features each week so be sure to check out the other lovely features! This party starts each Sunday at 8PM Central time  You can subscribe to my email list to ensure you won’t miss a thing! This week at Carrie This Home I shared one of the best time saving secrets for bloggers. ... read more

Save Time With CoSchedule

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This post contains affiliate links and referral links.  If you decide to make a purchase, you'll be supporting Carrie This Home at no cost to you!  All opinions in this review are my own. I love blogging! It's the perfect creative outlet for me where I can share easy recipes, how-to tips for home projects and share my life and faith. But there's a problem. Blogging takes a lot of time! One post will take HOURS to complete.  It takes time to write the post, more time to take photos, and then even more time to promote the post on social media.  Promoting one post on Facebook, Google+, Twitter and Pinterest takes so much time that I've felt the need to be ... read more

Frugal Crafty Home Blog Hop 79

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We just got back from our big family vacation to Branson, Missouri.  It was a lot of fun but I am so thankful to be sleeping in my own bed tonight! Now for the party! Thanks for joining me and Jordan from Lily White. Designs, Amy From A Blossoming Life, Sara from Sneaky Spoons, and Katie from The Casual Craftlete.  We each pick different features each week so be sure to check out the other lovely features! This party starts each Sunday at 8PM Central time  You can subscribe to my email list to ensure you won’t miss a thing! This week at Carrie This Home This summer I can't wait to spend more time with my little ones.  I shared a ... read more

Easy Summer Snack Ideas

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I am a member of the Collective Bias®  Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper amplification for Collective Bias and its advertiser.  All opinions are my own. #SummerGoodies #CollectiveBias   I'm really looking forward to spending a lot of quality time with my children this summer.   Our daily life is full of laughs, challenges, snuggles, and new accomplishments.  They will not be this age for long.  I want to take time this summer to slow down and just enjoy being with them.   Having an outdoor picnic is one way I like to spend quality time with my kids.  I love to make it an activity ... read more

Frugal Crafty Home Blog Hop 78

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After a very long week I'm excited to announce that my family is officially on summer break!   What did that long week teach me?  Single mothers are rock stars.   My hubby was out of town with his track and field athletes this week. That meant I experienced the life of a single mom for a majority of the week.  Single mothers have the HARDEST job on the planet.  Hands down.  If you are a single mom you've got a lot of respect from me! Now for the party! I've been so happy to see many new people here lately at the Frugal Crafty Home Blog Hop!  Weather this is your first time linking up or you're a returning loyal linker, I'm so glad to have you ... read more

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Pudding

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The other day my mother-in-law dropped off some strawberries from a local farm.  Aren't they beautiful? What would you do with a fresh bowl of strawberries?  I love to eat fresh strawberries and most of the time I just eat them as is.  This time, I decided to do something special with these beauties. I used them to create a guilt-free way to get a chocolate fix! How does this sound: a dessert that has the taste of a chocolate covered strawberry, with low calories, and minimal effort. I thought that sounded good too! I love this chocolate covered strawberry pudding because you get all the taste of a chocolate covered strawberry with fewer calories, less mess and ... read more

Frugal Crafty Home Blog Hop 77

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I'm so glad it's Memorial Day Weekend!  May is a very busy time for our family so we really needed a break!  We had ZERO plans for this weekend and it was wonderful! I'm so glad you're here to join us!  I'd love to see what you've been up to on your blog! Thanks for joining me and Jordan from Lily White. Designs, Amy From A Blossoming Life, Sara from Sneaky Spoons, and Katie from The Casual Craftlete.  We each pick different features each week so be sure to check out the other lovely features! This party starts each Sunday at 8PM Central time  You can subscribe to my email list to ensure you won’t miss a thing! This week at Carrie ... read more

Easy Ways to Save Money {Part 2}

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Get ready for the mother load of money saving tips! {Part two!} In case you missed it, last week I started a two part series on Easy Ways To Save Money.  I shared my best money-saving secrets on food, home maintenance and decor, personal care, and parenting.  This week I'll continue the mother load of money saving tips with a few new categories! We are a one income family of four.  The one income we have is not a big one, either.  We have four people, two cats, three cars, a mortgage, and somehow we make it each month.   How is that possible?  Two reasons. God has been so good to us by providing what we need Finding a LOT of little ways ... read more

Connecting Friends With Hallmark Friendship Cards

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I am a member of the Collective Bias®  Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper amplification for Collective Bias and its advertiser. All opinions are my own. #CollectiveBias Do you have a friendship that has survived the test of time?  I do.  I have a friendship that has survived many years, silly fights, hard times, and long distances.  Sending a meaningful Friendship Card is a great way of #ConnectingFriends. Let me introduce you to my friend Danielle. Danielle and I began our friendship as young children when we became next door neighbors.  As she and her parents were moving in, her ... read more

Frugal Crafty Home Blog Hop 76

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I am so thankful for each and every person who links up with us each week.  It's truly inspiring seeing what you all have been up to! Thanks for joining me and Jordan from Lily White. Designs, Amy From A Blossoming Life, Sara from Sneaky Spoons, and Katie from The Casual Craftlete.  We each pick different features each week so be sure to check out the other lovely features! This week at Carrie This Home I started a two-part series on Easy Ways to Save Money.  If you're looking for ways to stretch your budget a little further you don't want to miss this series!  You can subscribe to my email list to ensure you won't miss a thing! Some of my ... read more

Easy Ways To Save Money

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Get ready for the mother load of money saving tips! We are a one income family of four.  The one income we have is not a big one, either.  We have four people, two cats, three cars, a mortgage, and somehow we make it each month.   How is that possible?  Two reasons. God has been so good to us by providing what we need Finding a LOT of little ways to save money  Today I'm starting a two-week money saving series.  I'm sharing all my money saving secrets and I hope to inspire others to stretch their money in lots of easy ways. Ways To Save on Food Make a dinner plan.  Each week I write down a list of dinner meals that we'll eat for ... read more

Frugal Crafty Home Blog Hop 75

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Happy Mother's Day and welcome to the 75th Frugal Crafty Home Blog Hop!  I'm so glad you're here! Thanks for joining me and Jordan from Lily White. Designs, Amy From A Blossoming Life, Sara from Sneaky Spoons, and Katie from The Casual Craftlete.  We each pick different features each week so be sure to check out the other lovely features! Earlier this week I shared my favorite printable of all.  This I Love Us printable paired with a great frame will make a great addition to a gallery wall or make a great wedding gift. Here are my features from last week: Cast Iron Bathtub to Outdoor Sofa from One Krieger Chick Work Space Reveal from Homey Oh ... read more

I Love Us {Free Printable}

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This month, the hubby and I will be celebrating our 12th wedding anniversary!   I still can't believe our wedding was TWELVE years ago!  Where did the time go? To help celebrate, I'm sharing this free "I Love Us" printable artwork you can enjoy for yourself or give as a memorable gift!   But before I get to that, I'd love to share the story of how I met my husband. How We Met As the years go by, I'm more and more amazed at how God works things out.  The hubby and I met our sophomore year in college as we started going to the same church.  I had just given my life to Jesus and was discovering what it really means to follow Him.   I had a ... read more

Frugal Crafty Home Blog Hop 74

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Welcome to the 74th Frugal Crafty Home Blog Hop!  This is a great place to share your posts and get some awesome inspiration!  I'm so thankful for all of you who take the time to visit the party each week! Thanks for joining me and Jordan from Lily White. Designs, Amy From A Blossoming Life, Sara from Sneaky Spoons, and Katie from The Casual Craftlete.  We each pick different features each week so be sure to check out the other lovely features! Mother's Day is coming up really fast so if you need a gift idea look no further!  I made it super easy.  Check out my post on how to make Sugar Body Scrub.  I've even included some super cute ... read more

Sugar Body Scrub (With Free Printable Labels)

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Do you have your Mother's Day gifts purchased yet? Me either! The good news is today I'm sharing a super easy & inexpensive gift idea Mom will love! Let me introduce you to Sugar Body Scrub.  This body scrub smells wonderful, makes your hands super soft, and it can be used on feet to get them flip-flop ready for summer!  Mom has spent years pampering you.  Take a turn and pamper her for a change! This recipe yields enough to make three 3oz. containers of body scrub.  You can find the squeezable containers in the travel container/sample toiletries area at your grocery store. Here's how easy it is to make Sugar Body Scrub: Fill a measuring cup ... read more

Frugal Crafty Home Blog Hop 73

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Welcome to this week's Frugal Crafty Home Blog Hop!  I'm looking forward to seeing all your great posts! In case you missed it, last week at Carrie This Home I shared an AWESOME recipe for Peanut Butter Chocolate Energy Balls.  These wonderful things are seriously addicting! Now…time for the blog hop! Here's the features from last week's party: Delineate Your Dwelling wrapped up her Kitchen Renovation for Less series and shared the awesome results with us.  This is a must read for anyone wanting to do a DIY kitchen renovation! I loved this Upcycled Tray from Paper and Fox.  Now I want to make one of these for myself!  One dessert I really want ... read more

Peanut Butter Chocolate Energy Balls

Peanut Butter Chocolate Energy Balls

The first time I made these Peanut Butter Chocolate Energy Balls, my hubby and I ate the whole batch in one night.    They have the perfect taste combination of peanut butter & chocolate so we just couldn't resist! Energy balls are also a great post-workout snack.  The protein and calories will help your body rebuild after a long workout.  They're also a great on-the-go snack--especially for athletes. I would know.  I used to be a sprinter and hurdler in high school and part of college. Our track meets were really long & I had to bring enough food to make sure I had enough energy to compete.  I ran in several different events and some ... read more

Frugal Crafty Home Blog Hop 72

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Happy Easter!  Today our family went to the Easter service at our church and had a fun egg hunt at the grandparent's house.  Our weather was gorgeous--it looks like spring is finally here! Now it's time for the Frugal Crafty Home Blog Hop!  I'm looking forward to seeing all the awesomeness you guys have come up with! Before we start the party, here's what's been going on at Carrie This Home: I haven't been blogging much in the past month.  I recently shared a more personal post about Being Thankful in Hard Times.  It's all about the struggles my family has faced recently and the awesome things God has done in the midst of them.  Now...let's move on ... read more