Tuesday, December 31, 2013

35 Reflection and Goal Setting for 2014

I can't believe Christmas is over...2013 is quickly winding down. This is the time of year I start reflecting and goal setting.

New Beginnings

 Thinking back over the past year I wanted to concentrate on two things:
  • saving money
  • getting organized
I made some progress in both of these areas...

Saving Money

All This for Under $9

 Getting Organized

Honestly, this is an area I struggle with.  I was not born with an organized mind...I'm spontaneous and easily distracted...therefore that has me starting new projects before I have completed others...
But thankfully, I was able to get a few things organized around here:

Although I made some accomplishments, as I look forward to a brand New Year...both of these items are still at the top of my list. Being organized is really essential to saving money right??...that is why I need to find new ways to reach these goals.

I feel like this may be a common goal for many of us every year. (Anyone agree?)


Getting Started

I already made a jump start on 2014 by purchasing my planner and setting it all up yesterday! Woo Hoo!
This planner is by Jen at I Heart Organizing.  I bought her planner last year and loved it so much I am going to use it for 2014 as well!
The planner has to be printed and assembled yourself...but to me a great planner is the first step in an organized year! (so totally worth it and cute too!)

Who Wants to Help?

I thought it would be fun to work on these two areas with YOU!! Nothing motivates me more than seeing others make progress!  I have set up two group boards on Pinterest; titled Saving $$ 2014 and Getting Organized 2014.  As we find ideas to help achieve these goals we can share with each other by pinning them. 
When you make progress on either goal you can share it with text or a picture on my Facebook page or on my Google + page.

To join the Pinterest board(s) do any of the following:
 You can join both boards or just one depending on your goals for the New Year!
I'm super excited to get started!
I hope you are too!
This would be no fun alone!!

Thanks for Reading!


Wednesday, December 25, 2013

0 Merry Christmas from the Nest

Wishing all my readers a very Merry Christmas!

The Lieutenant is on duty at the fire-station today so my daughters and I will have some girl time in our PJs this morning.
I'll head to see the fire family later.

Hoping Santa brought you everything you wished for!

Enjoy your day!

Thanks for Reading!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

7 Wrap it Up Like Santa

Well...Christmas is only 10 days away! Although this year is a bit different and low key due to the broken wrist...normally I leave wrapping until the last minute! How many other Christmas Eve wrappers do I have out there?
Wrap your Holiday Presents to Look Like Santa!
I typically like to choose one wrapping paper for each person. I like everything under the tree to color coordinate.  Last year I stumbled upon an adorable picture on Pinterest.  There were no directions but I knew I could recreate this idea on my own!

 DIY Santa Wrap

Wrap your Holiday Presents to Look Like Santa! Adorable!

Friday, December 13, 2013

10 Don't Forget the Dog ~ Gifts for Man's Best Friend

I ADORE my pups...If you follow me on Istagram or Facebook you know I do!!! I have 300 pounds of "Rottn" Love at my house!

Rottie Tested Dog Toy's for Man's Women's Best Friend!

Rottweiler Recommended Dog Toys

Sunday, December 8, 2013

21 Lesson in Gratitude

My Life Lesson in Gratitude. Stop and appreciate the little things.

Tile floor + stocking feet + me falling backwards = fractured wrist

After a tumble Friday night I am temporarily one handed.  The wonderful doctor in the ER said it looks like a  clean break and hopefully I won't need surgery. I'll know more this week after a visit to an Orthopedic.


Sunday, December 1, 2013

1 Merry Moolah Giveaway

We spent Thanksgiving at the Firehouse with our Fire Family.  Great food, company and no calls...until we left!!  It was a great day....I hope yours was as well!

At this time of year I reflect, more than usual, just how much I have to be Thankful for!  
When I starting Life After Empty Nest last December I never imagined the people I would meet, the amazing comments I would receive and the over all cyber love I feel on a daily basis!

I am so thankful for my AMAZING readers who stop by to see what "lil ole" me has to say! I am OVERWHELMED by that!  Since this is the time of year for giving, what better way to show my appreciation?? Some Holiday Spending Cash would be nice...don't you think? Two of my favorite places to shop are Target and Amazon...so how about $500 to spend at one of those places?? 

I've teamed up with some fantastic bloggers for a giveaway just in the Nick of time....

Merry Moolah $500 Gift Card Giveaway! Enter to Win!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

44 Kitchen Overhaul - Before and After

Our D.I.Y. Kitchen Overhaul - Before and After! Wait until you see the difference!
 New? See the remodel from the beginning by clicking here!

Before and After

What do you get when you have a hubby who is not afraid to knock down some walls and changes things up a bit...a Beautiful Kitchen/Family Room!  Are you ready to see my Remodeled kitchen? After hours of work...work and more work...it is done!!! What are you waiting for...Come On In!!

Welcome - Hitting the Wall!

We are Floridians so just about EVERYONE enters the house through the garage.  Before the remodel you hit a wall coming in...well a closet door to be exact. NOT the warm southern welcome I want to great guests with!
Now you enter into a wide open space.
Our D.I.Y. Kitchen Overhaul - Before and After! Wait until you see the difference!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

8 Ultimate Kielbasa & Sauerkraut

Easy Slow Cooked Ultimate Kielbasa and Sauerkraut brought to you by Life After Empty Nest

I LOVE fall...cooler weather, sweaters and boots, and FOOTBALL! Especially college football...
During both of my girls rein at Florida State University we bought season tickets, loaded the car and headed to the state capital of Tallahassee!  We collected tons of great memories along with becoming expert tailgaters!

Now that the girls are FSU alumni we tend to watch with a gathering of friends on a large TV..making our own tailgating party! 
A few weekends ago we attended a college football party with our Michigan friends...there was quite a lineup of games that day! You might have seen the photos I shared on Facebook and Instagram.
Perfect tailgating meal!

Monday, November 11, 2013

0 America's White Table in Honor of Veteran's Day

America's White Table in Honor of Veteran's Day brought to you by Life After Empty Nest.

I'm proud to be an American.  

I come from a family of Veterans.  Grandfathers, Uncles and Cousins have had a place in America's Military history.

My Father served in World War II, and Korea.  My husband served as a Navy Diver during the Gulf War.  

It is an honor to work at a school where over 90% of the children are military dependents.   There are many times my eyes well up working with this population;  Consoling a child whose parent just left for an 18 month deployment, watching a returning parent surprise their child at school and our Veteran's Day Celebration, to name just a few.  

America's White Table


Sunday, November 10, 2013

8 Kitchen Overhaul Part 3 - The Rebuild

This is Part 3 in our Kitchen Overhaul Series. Click to read Part 1.
Kitchen Overhaul Part 3 - The Rebuild brought to you by Life After Empty Nest
You saw the disaster we started with...
Kitchen Overhaul Part 3 - The Rebuild brought to you by Life After Empty Nest
Witnessed the knocking down of walls...
Kitchen Overhaul Part 3 - The Rebuild brought to you by Life After Empty Nest
I left you with a bunch of boxes and a VERY EXCITED ME!!
Kitchen Overhaul Part 3 - The Rebuild brought to you by Life After Empty Nest

Monday, November 4, 2013

10 My Life...As a Fire-Fighter's Wife

I sat down tonight determined to write my third post on our kitchen remodel...my phone buzzed with a new text message...

My Life as a Fire-Fighter's Wife

My stomach dropped
I immediately called my husband, 

I'd get his voice-mail, 

I'd be a nervous wreck until I heard from him...

I started scanning the Internet looking for a clue...

'Backdraft' explosion sends shards of glass spewing 100 feet from Jacksonville KFC

Friday, October 11, 2013

23 Fire Prevention Week RamSign Giveaway

Imagine ~ someone in your family needs emergency medical attention....you call 9-1-1, Can your address be spotted quickly and clearly"

There is a fire in the back of your house and the Fire Department is rushing to your location...
will valuable time be wasted looking for your house number?

 Visible Address Saves Valuable Time

When every minute counts you want to help emergency personnel find your house QUICKLY!

That is why I was so EXCITED when RAMSIGN contacted me and offered one of their beautiful House Signs to one LUCKY reader...I screamed "YES PLEASE!"

Thursday, October 10, 2013

4 Fire Prevention Week ~ The Safe Alternative to Candles

This is the fourth in a series for Fire Prevention Week. Click here to read why I am so passionate about Fire Safety - The Night I Lost Everything...  


Advice from a Fire Lieutenant's Wife

Home ~ Sweet Smelling ~ Home

In a heartbeat a scent can transport me to another time and place in my life.
  • Sweets baking in the oven on a cold day...Nana
  • Roses displayed in a beautiful vase on the counter...Mom
  • Fresh apples...My Sister
  • A warm ocean breeze...our family time while stationed in Puerto Rico. 
A house becomes a HOME when it is filled with beautiful memories and scents.  I have always been obsessed with making my home smell wonderful ~

I used to make this possible with candles...but I have fallen asleep and even went to bed with one burning! (PLEASE DON'T TELL MY HUSBAND)
I started to wonder if the homey smell was worth the risk and then I discovered Scentsy!
Have you tried Scentsy? It is the safe alternative to candles and recommended by my Firefighter Husband!

What is Scentsy?

Scentsy Electric Candles are ceramic candle warmers that use a low-wattage light bulb to heat and melt highly-scented long-lasting Scentsy Wax. All you do is plug your warmer, turn it on, with a cube of your favorite Scentsy wax scent inside the warmer dish top.

Have you tried Scentsy? It is the safe alternative to candles and recommended by my Firefighter Husband!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

10 Fire Prevention Week - Tips From a Fire Lieutenant

This is the Third Post to Celebrate Fire Prevention Week.

Fire Prevention Week! Safety Tips from a Fire Lieutenant

I am very passionate about Fire Safety! Not only have I experienced a house fire but I am married to a wonderful Firefighter!

Fire Safety Tips from a Fire Lieutenant

  • Stop by your local fire station and meet the Firefighters. Show your children that they are people in our community that help us.  Explain that they are real people (Fathers. Brothers or Mothers) who help during a fire.  Ask if they can see the fire gear.  The bunker gear and helmet might frighten a child during a real emergency causing them to hide!
Fire Prevention Week! Safety Tips from a Fire Lieutenant

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

8 Fire Prevention Week - Home Fire Escape Plan

Is Your Family Prepared for a Fire?

I hope you had the opportunity to read My Story and understand my passion for Fire Safety!
If you missed it Please Click on the Picture
 When my house was engulfed with flames I didn't make great choices. 
  • I ran around dazed and confused
  • I thought about saving stuff and not me
  • I ignored all the things I had learned at some point in my life
Those mistakes could have cost me my life.  The only place I was taught about fire safety was in elementary school.  My family never reviewed the safety tips at home, therefore when faced with a  real fire, nothing was practiced or perfected in my mind.

Monday, October 7, 2013

41 The Night I Lost Everything...

I was exhausted, in that deep stage of sleep, I heard a noise I couldn't focus on.  It seemed so far away. What was that constant noise? It got louder and louder creeping up on me in a slow steady movement. I awoke to find my dog, Nikki, standing over me barking in my face.  I couldn't see her...where was I? What was that smell and that fog...
The Night I Lost Everything Except Me, a true story brought to you by Life After Empty Nest

Saturday, October 5, 2013

15 Kitchen Overhaul Part 2 - Living in Chaos

This is Part 2 in our Kitchen Overhaul Series. Click to read Part 1.

Living in Chaos ~ Kitchen Remodel

We had the vision...
Our Kitchen Overhaul part 2 - Living in Chaos brought to you by Life After Empty Nest.

 and what was NOT working...
Our Kitchen Overhaul part 2 - Living in Chaos brought to you by Life After Empty Nest.
now it was...

Demo Time!

The ceiling was too low...there would be no saving these cabinets, it truly ALL had to go....
the ripping, tugging....
Our Kitchen Overhaul part 2 - Living in Chaos brought to you by Life After Empty Nest.Our Kitchen Overhaul part 2 - Living in Chaos brought to you by Life After Empty Nest.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

22 Kitchen Overhaul Part One ~ Our 80's Horror!

It ALL started with this...
A hubby that loves to cook (I'm a lucky gal) and his obsession with this stove! He fell in love with this Duel Fuel Beauty in the form of a GE Monogram...the rest is history.
But it was quite a feat to get here so...Let me tell you the rest of the story.

The Kitchen ~ Before 

I guess I shouldn't say it started with that beautiful stove because it was more like this...

I know...WOW! Right?! Not exactly a "chef's kitchen". When we purchased our 80's house my husband, Todd could "see" the possibilities...I know he is very capable of making those visions a reality...so I had to TRUST that this would not be my "forever" kitchen.