God told me to "tend the field I've been given."
Join me as I venture to be frugal and content as I walk through this life...

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

$0 Christmas Wreath

Spring/Summer Wreath--

I ever-so-gracefully RIPPED the flowers and ribbons off! =) And my daughter and I proceeded to make ourselves a new Christmas wreath!

I kept the burlap on and then wrapped some greenery around and hot glued it down. 

Then I tied this oversized snowman ornament to the top with some twine.

Miss E suggested that we use some old strand of artificial holly to further adorn the wreath. Okay, she didn't say "adorn." She is just 4, ya know. We ripped apart and holly and glued it all around...
And VOILA! New Christmas wreath! Cost=$0 =)

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The End of Our Harvest

Yesterday was the finale of our first year of gardening. My oldest son gathered in the last of the tomatoes (all green) because we had a frost warning for last night. 

This year has been fantastic.

I am already dreaming about next Spring, and have even been researching how to start a Farmer's Market booth. (Kind of ambitious after my first gardening year, I know.) But, I'm 27 years old with a supportive husband and family. I feel like I can do something like this if I set my mind to it. So I will keep researching...and let you know. ;)

I hope your gardening year was as fantastic as mine!

Tending my field (in more ways than one),

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Using what I have!

This summer I was given the leftover ribbons and bows from my sister D's wedding last fall. I was excited yesterday to use them while we decorated for Autumn. I know, I know...it's still 11 days away. (But hey, if you decorate for Christmas on November 1st, you kinda need to start early!)

So my son and I dragged the little red wagon out to the garden to attempt to tear the roots off the cornstalks. (Corn...grew enough to have these lovely cornstalk bouquets, and didn't even eat a single ear of it...plenty of trial and error this year. I hate wasting!)

Here is the final product:

The four little pumpkins are from our garden this year...and we picked up the large one at the Farmer's Market yesterday. And let me just say, I can't get enough of my retro wagon. =)

Tending the field I've been given...

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Garden Update...

Hello All!

It has been a while since the last post and I want to update you all on our garden's progress!

We dug all the potatoes and onions and retilled that section of the garden. I'm thinking next year's garden really needs a little while picket fence surrounding it. I will have to check out some economical options. As for this year, we have some eager-to-spread watermelons, cucumbers, and pumpkins, too! 
Check them out...

A cute helper (for good measure)


Jalapenos & Pumpkins


& Corn (which I hear is a pretty precious commodity) 

Sunday, July 1, 2012


Here are some pics of the first of our garden harvest:

This picture shows our first batch of potatoes. They are so yummy, because the skin is quite thin. They work fantastic in soups! And you can't beat the shelf-life of potatoes! I also pulled up a couple of onions. My husband used them to make some (awesome!) guacamole. He used a recipe from Alton Brown. On a side note, I found out Mr. Brown is a Christian man. All the more reason to vote for his team on Food Network Star! Go Team Alton! 

And here is my Coca-Cola crate filled with more potatoes, more onions, and some (very) puny garlic. :)

Right now in the garden I have flowers, pumpkins, the most adorable little watermelons, tomatoes, dill, cucumbers, and lettuce. Oh, and peppers. I've been concerned about my garden the last week or so...The heat has certainly been extreme in our area. At least we still have power, though...Say a prayer for those still without it.

Tending my field,
Dessa :)

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Pool Noodle Wreath

This isn't a tutorial.

I don't have step-by-step pics...

Just a few "after" pictures. 

But this is what you can do with a $1 pool noodle from DG (that's country talk for Dollar General), some tape, a glue gun, some old burlap, and some craft supplies and material from good old WalMart. 

Gotta love cheap crafts! =) The wreath looks sweet with my chair turned planter. I do have a step-by-step for that craft on my other blog...dessaslifeandthoughts.blogspot.com =)

Are you enjoying your summer vacation? I know my kids are loving it! 

God Bless!

Linking up at:

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Welcome to our home!

Recently I have noticed some cute decals on front doors welcoming you to their home. Here is an example from amazon.com:

I decided to take some scrapbook chipboard letters to use as stencils and trace them on the door...

Then I simply painted the printed letters with black acrylic paint. I think it turned out very nice!

Now one of my next projects is to make a pool noodle wreath! I got one from Dollar General for (you guessed it) $1. =) Excited about frugal ideas for making our home pretty.

Did you have a fun weekend? We roasted marshmallows and hot dogs, played on the slip-n-slide, and tried to save our potato plants from the satanic potato beetles. Okay, maybe not satanic, but definitely a major annoyance. =)

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Garden 2012

When we started our house hunt one of my major requirements was to have enough room for a garden. It's been a dream of mine for a while. Granted, I always pictured myself reaping the fruits of my labor while wearing a floral cotton dress on a windy day. That part actually hasn't happened yet. Still waiting on that dress. I digress. 

We have 5 glorious rows in our vegetable/flower garden. Wanna see?

 Row #1
Garlic & Potatoes 

Row #2
Onions & Garlic

Row #3
Watermelon, Lettuce, & Corn

Row #4 

Row #5 
Pumpkins, Flowers

The garden has grown quite a bit since I took these pics. My hubby has already tilled it for me, too. My oldest son has to plant some cucumbers and I've yet to plant my tomato and pepper seedlings. I'm so excited about my garden! 

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

My New $5 Headboard!

On a recent trip to a "big box" home improvement store, I got inspired. I have been wanting an inexpensive solution for our lack of a headboard. I've considered painting, looked at buying a conventional headboard (not happening at this point), and even looked at some wall decals. I never decided on anything and so our bed just sat pushed against the bare wall. But I digress...back to the inspiration.

I have seen pictures of headboards made from various non-traditional materials, like doors and picket fences. I decided to look at small garden fences to see if I could make something work. I ended up scoring a 10ft section of brown metal fencing for $7 and some change. With some snipping and some nails from my increasingly handy husband, our formerly bare wall now looks like this:

I know this is a simple solution, but for <$5 you can't beat it! (We had 3 sections of the fence left) I am very pleased with it. The wall still looks a little blank, but I also got this paint to do some stripes for an accent wall. 

Martha Stewart's "Love-In-A-Mist"

I'm quite happy with how it turned out...and I look forward to continuing our frugal home improvements in our simple, country home!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Psalm 34:10

The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger: but they that seek the LORD shall not want any good [thing].

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Waste Not, Want Not / 1-Banana Banana Bread

My husband and I are currently trying to get out of debt. (daveramsey.com) We also are trying to waste less food and generally be more careful in our consumption. We have not always tried to live this way, and have often thrown away food that still could have been used. Call it a generational thing, laziness, or just carelessness. Either way, we are now moving in the right direction.
My Grandmothers didn't waste food as much as my generation. They didn't waste much of anything, as they tended the field they'd been given. They used what God had given them. (I have a quilt that my great-grandmother made out of scraps from her husband's worn out shirts.) You didn't just throw everything away back then.
And that brings me to present day.
Please, for all you who already waste less and who carefully plan meals, have mercy on me...But we usually throw away bananas after they start turning black. My husband is the only one who'll eat them, so it doesn't hurt my feelings too much.
But the other day as I noticed a poor, lone banana that was turning black, I started thinking...do I have to throw this away? Isn't there something I could do with it?


When you don't have a clue,
What do you do?

It went something like this:
"Banana bread recipe with 1 banana"

(I'm not great at working the search engine system...but I still found something!)


One Banana Banana Bread
1 Large Very Ripe Banana (or two small ones)
1 Egg with enough milk to make One Cup liquid
1 Stick butter/margarine (softened) ( 1 stick = 1/2 cup )
1 tsp Vanilla
1-1/2 Cup Flour
1 Cup Sugar
1 tsp Baking Soda
Nuts (optional)
Put all ingredients in a large bowl together (don’t need to sift or
mix anything beforehand). Use mixer on slow to medium to mix until
lumps are pretty well gone (not too long or bread will be too firm).
Pam-Spray® bread pans (do not flour).
Fill pans 2/3 full
Bake 55 Minutes @ 350 Degree until Golden Brown. Toothpick test for
doneness. This bread comes out quite moist and quite a lot of banana
flavor (with only the one banana)!"

My oldest son (who is homeschooled) decided to give the recipe a try with a little help from Mama.

And you'll never guess...My husband actually liked it!

So, if you have a black banana laying around and you're tempted to throw it away, try this recipe and make someone happy. Someone who likes banana bread.

But don't give it to me.

I don't eat bananas. I just heroically save them from the trashcan.


That's me.

Banana Rescue Hero.

Sunday, April 29, 2012


"Tend the field you've been given."

Those were God's words to me. These words have stayed with me...and as I journey through life I want to keep them at the front of my mind. We live in a world (especially those of us who blog) where the newest idea, trend, project, furnishing, design, or remodel idea has us pining for change. It has the potential to leave us constantly in a state of discontentment with what God has given us. Temptation for envy, jealousy and dissatisfaction is ever present in our world. But God told me recently to stop worrying about what everyone else has or is doing. All I need to do is simply:

Tend the field I've been given.