Cheap and Easy Teeth Whitening

Ever wondered how to get whiter teeth on a budget? Dentistry bleaching is far too pricey, and even Crest Strips are expensive! I love having white teeth, but teeth whitening products can really add up. My husband uses hydrogen peroxide 3% as a mouthwash (instructions are on the bottle) and it keeps his teeth very white. I noticed a significant difference after just two uses.

One bottle of hydrogen peroxide costs .47 and the results are just as good as (if not better than) my fancy teeth whitening products!

It works for us! Check out more ideas at
The Lettered Cottage

{The Menu} Birthday Week Edition!

Monday: Antipasto Salad- a Buca di Beppo recreation-- the original is one of the BEST salads ever, and I can't wait to try the copycat! 

Tuesday: Mac and cheese+carrots-+bread  (4 pans for freezer cooking)

Thursday: Hamburgers+Chips

Friday: Spaghetti/Meatballs+salad+Birthday Cake (4 pans for freezer cooking). It's my baby girl's 2nd birthday! It officially means I have no babies!  Potty training, here we come! :)

Saturday: Leftovers/Eating Out

Sunday: Shredded BBQ Pork Tacos+Chips+Salsa (3 bags of meat for the freezer)

Breakfasts: Biscuits/Jelly, toast+peanut butter, eggs, cereal
Lunches: Turkey Sandwiches, PB &J, Whole Wheat English Muffin Pizzas, leftovers, tuna and crackers, salads

Check out Menu Plan Monday for more ideas!

Plant = Lesson

One of my favorite memories of my college times was when my best friend and I went to the local fair  in the fall of my freshman year. It was there I bought my very first plant as an "independent" woman. Back then, I felt that buying potted plants and your own household goods meant you're truly on your own! :)

My plant in all it's glory in 2008.
I got a little 50 cent airplane plant from the church fundraiser booth. It moved from my very first apartment, to many others, to my first house, to many more in between, and then finally, here, where we are today.

This week, more than 10 years after that fair, my favorite potted plant died. It may have had something to do with a 2-year-old uprooting it 3 weeks ago, or it could have been the fact that we haven't turned on the A/C yet, and our kitchen hits 95 degrees every day. I tried a couple of things to save it as a last effort, but when I saw they didn't work, I was suddenly hit with a wave of sadness.

It's dumb, I know. It's just a plant. The first thought I had when I realized it was dead was, "Oh Lord, isn't there anything that can last?" His immediate answer: "The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever." (it's Isaiah 40:8).

That verse has never meant so much to me. I loved it, but it wasn't personal. My grass had withered. A silly little plant told me nothing I loved was going to last in the this life of mine. Even I am like that grass, here for a short time. But God has given us a tangible thing that He promises will outlast us, that will stand forever. Nothing here on earth is forever, but His Word. It has endured for thousands of years. Oh, HE is amazing! He cares for me, even when my 10-year-old plant dies. I am so thankful for that! What a wonderful Father He is!

Kids, don't try this at home...

BH Round-Up::: {motherhood, butterfingers, and true love}

Articles from the web I really enjoyed this week:

Porcelain Romance (loved it! We're going on 9 years and still learning!)

Homemade Butterfingers (these look amazing! I can't wait to try this recipe!)

Vintage Wedding and Instagram!

Like the rest of the blogging world, I've fallen in love with

Instagram! :) We had the chance to attend a vintage-themed wedding in April. Here are some shots taken with my iPod!

Office Before and After Reveal!

My favorite part of any home renovation is seeing the before and after-
the big reveal.

And can I tell you, it's even more exciting when it's your own home!

Here's our office before:

Sage green, brown trim, and brown painted floors.


drum roll, please...



I love it!! My favorite part is the desk- it was $5!! :) Right after that, the armoire for $20! You should have seen them before I repainted them- they were a mess, but they were cheap!

 The yellow desk chair was $12, and the green chair was $40, both thrifted.  They are definitely some of my favorite yard sale finds ever.

And then the Kim Parker prints steal the show and pull it all together (from Marshalls, $17 each)!

We repainted the floor with oil-based porch and deck paint from Lowe's, and added the chalkboard wall inspired by Jones Design Company (which I totally adore!). The trim painting took forever and what felt like 18 coats to cover up the brown, but wow, what a difference it made!

 It seems like an entirely different room now. It's now my happy place in the house.

I really love this home remodeling stuff.

And I guess it's a good thing that I do, since we have a house built in 1895 and it needs plenty more of it!   At this point we only have about six more rooms to go! The light at the end of the tunnel! Well, sort of. {check out more before pics and read the story of our house here}

I'm thinking I might just stay in the office until we finish the rest of the house.

I love it that much.

That'd be okay, right?

Linking up at Party time: Link up to your Real Room makeovers at Brooklyn Limestone!

Zoo and Office Update!

Sadly, the office reveal turned into a reorganization project...which ran far too long and made it too dark to take pictures. :( It's worth the wait for daylight, so as much as I want to take pictures now, it would be disappointing! (I took a picture of the living room with my iPod for Facebook and my poor husband nearly cried! :). So tomorrow it will be.

Here's a hint:
Print by Kim Parker. :)

Now enjoy these fun zoo pictures... (with four little kids I have to be an expert in distraction! Heeehee!)

Best Yard Sale Finds Ever!

Last year when we bought our home built in 1895, we had a huge old empty house to furnish! I think I nearly did it all in one big garage sale! :) Well, at least I refurnished the office for $30!
Here are my best yard sale finds (click to enlarge the pic):

We stopped at the best garage sale ever on the way to Sam's. Table- $5, vanity- $5, chairs-$2.50 each, antique bed- $15, armoire- $20. The lady asked me if I like to refinish furniture or something. I told her why, yes I do! Only at that point I had never touched a sander in my life! :) I was so young, so energetic... last year.

And the afters:

(this was the office before pic, with the new pieces!)

The armoire was an old television cabinet. It was uglier than sin, but it had great bones!
(Here's an office after hint!)

Stay tuned for an office before and after reveal tomorrow!!
The Nester showed us hers! Come join the party!

Happy Things!!

Here are a few happy things today:
A $2 much-loved copy of The Scarlet Letter from 1923. (Goodwill find!)
New iPad case in my favorite fabric (possibly ever!)
New wallet inspired by this post! I enlarged the pattern by 30% when I printed it out, interfaced it with medium weight fusible interfacing and made it with closed seams to make it my everyday wallet. So far I LOVE it! Really easy to find everything!

My BFF's Website!!

My best friend Abbie started a blog! It's about exercise, trying new things, fashion, movies, and her deep thoughts all in one great place! She has a theme for each day of the week. :) She's got some really great things to share, you should check it out! Five Days, Five Ways!

*Here we are skiing in NM last year-
I'm fondly remembering colder's HOT in Texas!!