Wednesday, November 27, 2013

What I Wore: Bright orange sweater dress

Waaaayyyyy back in September, I posted this bright orange dress on one of my Five on Friday posts. I loved the bright orange and the red skinny belt and I loved even more that this sweater dress by Calvin Klein retails for over $100 but was in Ross for just $24.99.  When I tried it on, I knew it would be finding a nice little home in my closet.   

And a nice little home it has found.  I've worn this dress to a baby shower, church, work, and out to dinner.  I love that it is nice and warm and unlike so many sweater dresses, it's not super fitted around my hips/legs.  Remember when I posted here about wanting to be cozy and in oversized sweatshirts all winter long?  Well, sweater dresses are like fancy versions of that and I'm hoping to add a few more to my closet this winter.  This scarf is also a favorite from Wal-Mart for just $5 and those boots have been in the last 3 "what I wore" posts if that tells you anything about what I think of them.  

And I can't even believe that tomorrow is Thanksgiving.  Where in the world is this year flying off to?  We're planning to enjoy the rest of the week and weekend enjoying our family, good food, and relaxation.  We really have so much to be thankful for and I'm always happy for the special holiday to celebrate just that.  

And who knows, this little number might make an appearance, too...


I'm taking the rest of this week off to celebrate Thanksgiving, so there won't be a post on Friday.  I'll be back next week and I'm excited to share a Thanksgiving recap and some fun Christmas DIY projects I've been working on!!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Fudgy chocolate chip brownies

By this point, I'm sure you think that all I eat is junk food.  (By junk food of course I mean delicious homemade baked goods.)  I eat regular food,'s just that when I'm trying new recipes, it's most likely for something sweet.  So today, I'm bringing you more of the same sweetness with a simple recipe for the most rich and fudgy brownies I've made.

I did have one recipe on pinterest that was my go-to, but the link had broken since the last time I used it, so I had to search for another and I'm glad that I did.

  • 1 cup butter, melted
  • 3 cups white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup chocolate chips (or just a handful)
  • In a large bowl, mix butter, sugar, and vanilla extract
  • Beat in the eggs one at a time
  • In a separate large bowl, mix together flour, cocoa, and salt (or have a friend do this part while you do the first two steps, because it's fun to cook together.)
  • Stir the dry ingredients in with the wet ingredients in thirds to be sure it mixes evenly
  • Stir in the chocolate chips
  • Cooked in a greased 9 x 13 pan at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes

The original recipe I used can be found over at Tina's Chic Corner here.  For more of Tina's yummy recipes, check out her pinterest and twitter!  You won't be sorry!  

Also, it's not too late to reserve a guest post spot for December!  If you've got a great Christmas craft, recipe, tradition, or thrifty tip, be sure to let me know - I'd love to feature you!  See this post for more info.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Now featuring: your blog {A call for Christmas contributors}

I know that Thanksgiving is not until next week.  And even though I am itching to get our tree up already and fully decorated, I'm happy to celebrate one holiday at a time.  And I like Thanksgiving so much anyway, I don't really want to rush through it.  

But, my pinterest feed is blowing up with all the fun Christmas ideas.  There are DIY projects, recipes, and beautiful decor ideas.  Some of which are realistic for me to try at home and some of which are just for admiring, but totally above my skill level.  And I like them all.  

I've got lots of ideas for Christmas projects and I'm looking forward to getting started on them, but I also want to know what you all are doing.  

And so, I'm casting out this call for contributors.  Do you have an awesome DIY project or recipe for the Christmas season?  Or maybe a super fun tradition that's special to you?  Let me know - I'd love to feature it here on Thrift for Today.  

Beginning after Thanksgiving, I'm planning to host a fun Christmas guest posting series where I'll be sharing your blogs, stories, traditions, and projects and I can't wait.  

To learn more, or if you've already got an idea that you'd like to share, please email me at  The post formatting rules are pretty flexible, but all posts must be family friendly and have at least 1 pinnable image.  Christmas related, of course, but I'm also willing to consider New Year's projects as well. 

Guest posting opportunities will be available each week through Christmas (and maybe New Year's depending on how many responses I get...or if I get any great New Year traditions or stories...)

I'm excited to share your stories!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Five on Friday

Happy Friday, friends!  I can't believe that it's already another Friday and that we're less than a week away from Thanksgiving.  The weather here has been doing flips, so it doesn't quite seem like it should already be time for the winter holidays to begin.  But alas, here we are.

So here are my top 5 for this week:

1. Emergen-C.  Thank goodness for Vitamin C.  I work with students and the hubs has had a cold that we've been fighting for several days.  And I'm almost sure that this is keeping me well.  Well, maybe this and rest, and drinking water, and washing my hands.  Regardless though, I'm happy honey is getting better and that I'm not sick.
2.  Thanksgiving.  I've really been enjoying seeing everyone's thankful posts this month on facebook. And while I haven't been posting about it, I really have quite a bit to be thankful for.  I live a pretty sweet life and I try not to take it for granted even one day.  

3. Facebook.  Thrift for Today just got on facebook this week!  I am so excited to finally have a separate facebook page for the blog!  I don't have a button on the sidebar for it yet (working on that this weekend), but I would certainly love it if you would click here to follow along there, too!  

4. Ab workouts.  I'm not a runner.  And frankly, I don't have a workout routine period that I stick to.  But ab workouts are my favorites and this one looks fun and easy enough to do during the winter.  I found this this week on pinterest, and I hope to let you know if a few weeks that I've been doing it.  :) 
Shrink Your Belly In 14 Days - Routine will firm and flatten you from all angles in just 2 weeks.
5.  Date night.  I don't have a photo for this, but I just want to give a big shout-out to going on dates.  Hubs has been so thoughtful to be sure that we are going out on a date once/week these days.  We used to do this on the regular, but it seems so easy to get caught up in other things.  And it always makes me feel special to have a set aside night each week for a date.  And I'm thankful for a husband that makes it a priority.  

I'm hoping for a fun and relaxing weekend this weekend.  Maybe I'll even do some Christmas crafts....
What are you up to this weekend?  

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

What I wore: sweater and skinny belt

Hi there!  I've got to be honest, when I did my first "What I Wore" post, I thought it was silly.  But you knew that, because I told you that then.  But since then, it's been a kind of fun way for me to be creative about the things I'm wearing and to shop my closet to remember why I bought different things. It gets so easy to find a favorite sweater and to wear it over and over (and I'm a guilty party over here), but taking these little photos and sharing them is challenging me to take inventory of the things I have and to really evaluate if I love them or if they should go to someone else.  So far so good.  

So here it is, another "What I Wore", this time an outfit from casual Friday in the office.  I loved this outfit.  It was casual and comfy, but I still felt pulled together and comfortable in lots of situations (like babysitting after work and a get together with friends after that).  

Monday, November 18, 2013

Homecoming weekend 2013

Happy Monday!  I hope you had a lovely and refreshing weekend!  We're fighting colds around here, so I continued to clean clean clean this weekend.  Last week though, I mentioned that it was homecoming weekend at our alma mater, and I'm super excited to be sharing that with you today.  

This year was the 4th homecoming since our graduation, and it was wonderful to have everyone back together again.  The weather was beautiful, we won the football game and about 15 of our college friends came over on Sunday afternoon for yard games, more football, games, snacks, and good times.  

Truly a great weekend that did my heart so much good.  

Oh I just love him to pieces.

Friday, November 15, 2013

How to wash & whiten yellowed pillows

Happy Friday, friends!  I'm breaking my regular Five on Friday routine today to share some of what's been going on around here.  (Hoping to get all the pictures sorted out from last weekend this weekend so I can share that fun with you soon!)

Today's post is one of those posts that I feel like might be a little too much information.  I don't make any secrets here about not being perfect, but it's not often that I air out my dirty laundry [literally] here for the whole wide world to see.  

But, we've been on a little cleaning spree here at the Thrift for Today house, going above the regular, dust, vacuum, dishes routine that we do regularly and really trying to get all those hiddedn nooks and crannies around here clean.  

And so today, we're talking about washing and whitening yellowed pillows.  Yep, the kind you sleep on.  We sleep on.  That are still in perfectly good condition, but when we take the cases off for the laundry, yikes!  Those things look a million years old and also gross.  

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

What I Wore: Cobalt and white

One of the fun things about this time of year is that it's cold enough for boots, but not so cold that tights are required.  I mean, they're cute and all, but I'm not so crazy about being cold enough to have to wear them.  (I should add that it was below freezing last night, but the days around here have been nice for the most part.)

Another fun thing about this time of year is mixing fall things like boots with bright colors like this fun cobalt blue skirt.  

I've worn this outfit a few time already this season to church and to work.  It's comfy and stylish, which is a win in my book.  

Monday, November 11, 2013

Happy Monday

Happy Monday, friends.  I don't have much today.  We had the best weekend and I'm excited to recap it soon for you.  It was homecoming weekend at our alma mater so our home and our hearts were full of friends and family all weekend long.  And today, I'm tired and yet wonderfully refreshed.

I'm just being happy and thankful for good friends, family, and general good times.  And because it's Veteran's Day, I'm being extra thankful for all those brave men and women that have served and continue to serve our country.  (If that's you, thank you.)

Today is the day the Lord has made.  Let's rejoice.  Be encouraged and refreshed today.  

Friday, November 8, 2013

High Five for Friday

And just like that, another week has come and gone.  No complaints around here though.  This week has been a fun one.  We've been doing some serious cleaning around here (more on that to come), which makes me happy.  And it's homecoming week at our alma mater, so I'm looking forward to seeing friends this weekend!

This week's top five:

1.  This super easy 2-ingredient pumpkin bread. Mix pumpkin and spice cake mix and bake. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and enjoy.  Original recipe is from Christina over at Carolina Charm, here.  

2.  Day light savings time.  The time changes usually throw me for a loop, but I've been trying to use this one to my advantage.  Since we've fallen back an hour, I've been going to be earlier and waking up earlier.  Hoping to continue this newly productive trend.  Of course, I prefer the longer days, but who knows, maybe this little productive trend will keep up.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Sweet Savannah Vacation

Here's a little bonus Tuesday post for this week to finish up the re-cap of our vacation week.  Yesterday, I posted all about our cruise to The Bahamas and what a fun cruise it was!

Today I'm posting about the second part of our vacation in which we stopped in Savannah, Georgia for a couple of days before finally making it back home.  Neither of us had been before and I think it's safe to say, after our visit, we'll be back again.

We ended up getting to Savannah at about 2:00 in the afternoon.  We booked tickets for the trolley (we used Old Town Trolley and would definitely recommend it!), which allowed us to have a narrated tour of the city as well as the ability to park in the city and to hop on and off at various stops around the Historic District.

Trolley at City Market.

The historic district in Savannah is one of the most beautiful places.  It is so full of history (as any historic district should be, right?), big, beautiful homes, wonderful park-like squares all around, and lots of great food and friendly people.  

We did the full hour and a half tour on Thursday afternoon before heading to the hotel to get ready for dinner and on Friday, we mostly walked around the city, using the trolley to get into and out of the district.  

Of course, the weather was just beautiful.  

Monday, November 4, 2013

Bahamas Cruise Vacation

I mentioned last week that we were able to go on vacation recently and my oh my, what a fun time we had!  It was so much fun to get away for a week, relax, soak up the sun, and enjoy time with one another.

We traveled on Carnival's ship, the Sensation for 4 nights to the Bahamas and were able to visit Freeport and Nassau.  

We traveled down on Saturday and left port on Sunday afternoon.  It was so nice to wake up to the sunshine and calm blue waters and so we opted to eat out on the deck Monday morning.  

Friday, November 1, 2013

High Five on Friday

Happy Friday and Happy November!!  I'm happy to be back up to Five on Friday this week after being on vacation last week.  That's a good excuse, right?  And it's November already.  What?!

I'm starting to feel caught up though and as soon as I get this laundry done that's around the house I will be happy, happy, happy!

Here are this week's top 5:

1.  This haircut, which I decided to get the day we went on vacation.  This is the 3rd time I've grown it out and donated it.  I realize that some people are really connected to their hair, but I like it both long and short, so I'm always happy to have it chopped off and donated.  (And I got 50% off the cut for donating it, I think that counts for being thrifty!)

2.  These shelves, which my dad recently hung above our bathtub.  It's a seemingly small thing, but boy am I happy to have a towel hook and these cabinets off the floor.  Also, I have the best dad.  

And now that they're hanging, I'm thinking of adding more to create a mini gallery on the wall.  

3. This frame that was free from the thrift store. 

I'm so happy with the way it finishes the mod-podge monogram, created here.  I'm also happy that it was free.  

4.  Y'all.  I was so happy to come back to the blog this past weekend to read all of your sweet comments and posts.  Being out at sea meant that I didn't have internet access for a while and while I had posts scheduled, I wasn't able to do anything with them once they posted.  But of course, because you're awesome, you stopped by anyway, so thank you for that.  You rock.  

5.  Vacation.  I think this photo speaks for itself.  Be sure to stop by on Monday for the full re-cap.  :)

I am always glad when the weekend gets here and I hope yours is just lovely!  

To see where all I'm linking up, be sure to stop by the Link Parties page!