Happy Thanksgiving

Wednesday, November 26, 2014 0 Permalink 0

Be thankful

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tomorrow is the day that we traditionally observe thankfulness – for our families, our friends and the bountiful land in which we live.

My wish for you is that you find thankfulness in your heart everyday. Just look around, although there may be many things going wrong, there are also many things going right … wonderfully right! Take a moment each day to breathe, smile and think about your blessings.

But in the meantime … enjoy Thanksgiving! May you be surrounded by friends and family. May your plate be so full that you have to loosen the belt or put on your fat pants afterward … but before taking your post-gluttony nap. May you have plenty to be thankful for tomorrow … and in the year to come!

Blessings to you and yours-



Advent Calendar Ideas for Couples

Monday, November 24, 2014 2 Permalink 0

I really wanted to do something special for the the husband and me to enjoy together during the holidays so I decided to create a couples Advent Calendar. I want to show you some little snippets of what I have been up to.

advent bags

I started with these super cute coffee bags from The Container Store and attached numbers 1-24 to them. I used two craft punches, scrapbook paper and numbers from the scrapbooking section at Michael’s. I did use pop dots between the two layers of scrapbook paper to give the numbers some depth.

bags ready to fill

Then I got my bags all set up and ready to fill. So then what?!?!? I had to come up with 24 ideas to fill the bags!

advent dates

Well That’s Freaking Cool Friday

Friday, November 21, 2014 0 Permalink 0

Well it’s almost Thanksgiving… that means it’s time to decorate for Christmas right? Judging by my Facebook page a lot of people have skipped over Thanksgiving and gone straight to the Christmas decorating.

At the Harper house we are stuck. Chris is still in the hospital but my hope is to have him home by Thanksgiving. I think it will do his spirit – and therefore his body – good to be with friends and family. We may have to puree his food – but at least he could taste the goodness. I am still hobbling along after foot surgery so it takes me forever to do anything. So this weekend I start … cooking for Thanksgiving and decorating for Christmas.

This Friday I bring you some great ideas for Christmas… all the things that made me say ‘well that’s freaking cool!.

freaking cool friday

First up is a super cute way to wrap small gifts from Captain and the Gypsy Kid. I scrolled through the site but never found the actual post but you get the idea from looking at the pictures of the tiny little packages being hauled by the animals! This would be a cute way to gift money to a kid … or kid at heart … too.

I’ve seen a lot of crayon art projects on Pinterest too but this one from One Cup At A Time really caught my eye. This would be a super project for adults and for adults to do with the kids. If you have theme tree colors you could even use just those color crayons to make your masterpiece. My stepson and I make ornaments each year for his mother and grandmothers and this one might be the one for 2014.

OK… I know I have already had one toy animal project but how stinkin cute are these Rudolphesque wild animals? I love them! Since I am using white, gold and black in the dining room I may have to make some of these for the table. Check out these super simple instructions from Camille Styles.

Another great project for the kids are these twig and ribbon Christmas trees from All Free Kids Crafts. This is a good use for all those ribbon scraps too – I know you have them! If not, check out the dollar section at Michael’s.

And I absolutely love this Santa art from Bower Power. It’s absolutely gorgeous. You artist types might instantly understand her instructions but my solution for getting a giant old St. Nick would be using an old fashioned overhead projector! Yep… I have one in the garage.

I hope you have enjoyed these simple projects for the week! Given all that’s been going on I didn’t get my entire Advent project finished for you guys but I will be back in a couple of days with some great Advent calendar ideas for couples and for families.

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Thanksgiving Utensil Holder with Free Printable

Wednesday, November 12, 2014 1 Permalink 0

Sometimes the smallest things make the biggest difference. I am hosting Thanksgiving at my house this year a mere couple of weeks after having foot surgery. While it is tempting to take the easy way out, I still want there to be a special feel to our Thanksgiving meal… so the table must be done ahead of time!

Since Thanksgiving usually ends up more about gluttony than practicing thankfulness, I really wanted those people closest to me who will be at dinner to stop and take a moment to think about all the good in their lives. I thought a cute way to do that would be a cute utensil and napkin holder where they could write exactly what they are thankful for and then share it with the rest of us.

utensil holderpromo

This printable is yours for the taking … and printing. Each 8.5″ x 11″ printable will make two utensil holders.

30 Days of Gratitude – Day 11

Tuesday, November 11, 2014 0 Permalink 0

Today is Veteran’s Day – so hopefully we are all taking time today to express our gratitude for the men and women who have served our country.


I also want to give thanks for the military spouses who live every day with the uncertainty of our world. Thanks for the support you give to your Soldier, Sailor, Marine or Airman.

Today especially I am thankful for my veteran, and husband, Major Chris Harper, US Army Retired.

chris retired

This is one of my favorite pictures of Chris taken on the day he retired. I greeted him at the door with a glass of wine and then people started calling to tell him congrats on retiring.

Thanks for what you did for our country in your 20 years of service and for what you continue to do for our family. Get well soon Major!

What are you grateful for today?

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30 Days of Gratitude – Days 8-10

Monday, November 10, 2014 0 Permalink 0

Be thankful 30 days

Hey everyone! I know I am behind but I hope you will understand when I tell you what’s been going on. The hubs is in the hospital and is on a ventilator. The docs still aren’t sure what happened but needless to say we are all very concerned. He seems to be making some progress but will be on the breathing tube for several more days at least. So please keep him in your thoughts and prayers please!

Day 8 – Seems silly but I am always glad for a good football win! Bama had a big game on Saturday and ended up winning in overtime against LSU which keeps us in the running for the college football playoffs. Silly thing to be thankful of to some but it did make my day and I got to talk to Chris right after the game as we were both heading to sleep.

Day 9 – Sunday I was very thankful for modern medicine and the men and women who deliver it. As we sat in ICU looking at all the monitors the doctors and nurses quietly moved around me (with my foot propped up) checking, monitoring, charting, changing, and all the other wonderful things they were doing for Chris.

Day 10 – Today I am thankful for my Frankenboot. Thanks to Kim from Enjoy the View blog for coining that term. She is stuck in a Frankenboot too!


Yep it’s heavy and cumbersome but… I don’t think I would want to move without it. The boot does allow me to put some weight on it and to get some sleep without worry of bumping the incision. I can’t imagine what I would do without the boot. The nurses were right when they said the boot would be my best friend!

I hope you all are having a wonderful November. I will be popping in and out as I try to navigate my recovery, going to the hospital and hopefully getting back to work soon. Tell me what you are grateful for today!!!

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30 Days of Gratitude – Days 6 & 7

Friday, November 7, 2014 0 Permalink 0

Be thankful 30 days

Wow – what a couple of days it has been! Bad, crazy days. Wednesday my husband was admitted to the VA hospital for a collapsed lung, the same one that collapsed in July. So…that means surgery…today! Well guess who else has surgery today?!? Ummmm ME. So the last couple of days have been spent covering our bases, dividing and conquering, and hanging out in the ICU. But in all of it there is much to be thankful for.

Day 6 (yesterday) – I am thankful for the VA Medical Center in Durham. Despite all the news reports about the VA system, Chris has gotten really good care there. This time in particular. He was admitted through the emergency room and then sent to surgical ICU. The care there has been phenomenal. His nurse yesterday, Temo, was beyond wonderful and there are doctors assigned just to that ICU area so they are checking on him constantly. The VA has been a blessing for us in these times of Chris’ medical issues. There are a lot of good men and women over there doing the best they can with what they have to work with and I applaud them for that and give gratitude for them.

Day 7 (today) – I am so thankful and blessed by the people we have in our lives. Friends and family who are willing to drop what they are doing to help us out. I could not be more grateful. From the couple who went and got Chris’ car from the hospital and brought it home to the wonderful girlfriends who will be taking care of me this weekend to the son who is taking me for surgery today and the mother-in-law who is moving into a hotel for the next few days to take care of Chris. You guys rock! Thanks to all who have offered prayers, meals, to come take care of the pups, rides to the doc, all of those things. For you all Chris and I are both extremely grateful. Sometimes, in the hard times, you find that you are blessed beyond measure.

I hope you are blessed beyond measure in your life too! What are you grateful for today?

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30 Days of Gratitude – Day 5

Wednesday, November 5, 2014 0 Permalink 0

Be thankful 30 daysToday I am grateful the hateful (ha – I am a poet for sure now!) election season is over here in NC!

Turning on TV turned into a hate fest with enough mud being slung to qualify for a monster truck show. I was so disappointed in the cast of characters on the ballot this time – almost all of whom were talking about what their opponent didn’t do or did do but wrongly.

The Senate campaign here was especially tough and hateful and the ads filled the airways. As of yesterday’s tallies at least $111 million had been spend on ads for this race alone. That’s a lot of hate on the airways. So… turning that negative into a positive … I am grateful that the political season of hatred is over (at least the ads) and now I can turn on my TV and see other over the top ads ;-)

What are you grateful for today?

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Super Easy Glammed Up Fall Topiary

Wednesday, November 5, 2014 0 Permalink 0

Need more pizazz for your fall décor? Check out this easy fall topiary that will glam up your Thanksgiving!


I decided to go with gold and white for my fall table and décor this year (I will show you my fall table soon!) I knew I didn’t want to put a ton of time and money into it so…. I started out at the Dollar Tree.

orange pumpkin

I bought a bunch of these REALLY orange Styrofoam pumpkins and a pack of moss.


Then I foraged around the house to see what else I had on hand … I already had the white pot, floral foam, dowel, and a drawer pull… so it made it a super cheap project for me.
First paint your pumpkins whatever color you want. I will tell you that I tried painting some with cheap white spray paint and it was not good. But the Krylon metallic gold worked like a charm.

first pumpkin on

Put your floral foam in the pot and cover with moss. Insert your dowel rod and then start stacking your pumpkins and moss. I tore the “stems” off mine so they would stack better.


I wanted something on the front of the pumpkin to give it some dimension. My original idea was a chalkboard sign but when I put it on the topiary it was a bit overwhelming (it was a size I already had on hand) and then I remembered I had purchased these metal initial cutouts from Michael’s on clearance … 70 percent off! And they worked out great – especially with my industrial décor dining room.

And I was just set to purchase a finial or drawer pull for the top when I remembered I had ordered an extra when I refinished some old dorm desks. So voila … on the top it went.


See how easy? Literally done in just a few minutes and it adds so much to the room. I have added mine to the top of the buffet where I will be staging the wine and desserts for Thanksgiving dinner.

Why don’t you whip up your own version and show it off?!?!?! We would love to see it here on Any Girl Can Do It!

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30 Days of Gratitude – Days 1-4

Tuesday, November 4, 2014 0 Permalink 0

Karen over at Dogs Don’t Eat Pizza started her 30 Days of Gratitude challenge a couple of years ago. I have decided to join her this year hoping to focus on the small things that often get overlooked this time of year. And since it is November 4 … I have some catching up to do!

Be thankful 30 days

Day 1 – I am thankful for fall. It is the season that renews my soul. I have never been much of a hot weather gal so summer is not my favorite time of the year. But when the weather turns crisp, the pumpkin spice latte appears, and college football starts, I am more at peace.

Day 2 – I am grateful for cozy blankets. I was sick on Sunday and curling up with my favorite blanket on the couch made the day much more tolerable. Do you have something that comforts you when you are sick?

Day 3 – I am thankful for a job that allows me flexibility when I am not feeling well. Monday, I went in to work and went straight to our health clinic, got prescriptions and then headed home to the sofa. I have worked places before that went crazy and talked crap about you if you were sick. Not where I work now. It is so nice having a supportive environment and I count this among one of my biggest blessings. We all spend a lot of time at work and if we are miserable there it affects us in so many ways. Having a positive work environment makes all aspects of my life easier and for that I am especially thankful.

Day 4 – Election Day – I am grateful and blessed that I live in a country where we get to choose our leaders. We don’t have a perfect system, that much is for sure but at least we have a say … a vote. I hope you all exercised your right to vote and take part in our democracy. I am lucky that one of the early voting sites is in the building where I work. Talk about making it easy to vote. I voted early which means I didn’t have to stand outside in the chilly air today and in a long line to boot. Woo hoo … double awesome!

What are you thankful for today? Take a moment and let it sink in. And Karen and I would love to have you join us in sharing the blessings in your life. Comment below with today’s blessing for you!

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