An adopted teenager struggles with his identity and chooses to live in a group home rather than with the family who raised him in this poignant essay as his adopted family struggles with grief and in learning how to heal their broken hearts and support their son.

The Truth I’m Afraid to Share

I’m afraid to even put these words to paper. Fear. Shame. Guilt. Confession. I used to be THAT mom. I had it all together. The one with the clean house, the kids that seemed to mostly get along and usually had on clean clothes with their hair brushed. (Still asking for forgiveness for the years with […]

Readers wanted to know if the Behr Deckover restoration product lived up to claims of longterm wood coverage. These DIY homeowners are back with an update.

Behr DeckOver Product Review and the Million Dollar Question

Behr Paint provided compensation for this post but we have loved and used Behr products for years! Last summer my DIY hubby restored our 20+ year old back deck with an amazing product from Behr Paint.  Since then I’ve received more questions about that post than any other. The most frequently asked question was how does […]

Do you want your guests to go crazy over your baking skills? Then this dessert is for you! This 5 ingredient Peach Cobbler recipe is to die for and so easy!

5 Ingredient Peach Cobbler Recipe

Yes, I’m a good Southern belle. No I don’t like warm weather.  Some people live for summer. The tropical breezes, the longer days and sun kissed tan. Me? I get migraines from the sun. I do not perspire. I sweat. I want my air conditioning and I’m perfectly fine if my tan comes from a […]

The Best Hot Dogs and a Lazy Family Holiday

The Best Hot Dogs and a Lazy Family Holiday

“This is a sponsored conversation written by me of behalf of Ball Park® brand. The opinions and text are all mine.” To me the best part of holidays is always family and the traditions that join us together. July Fourth is one of those holidays that has changed through the years. When the kids were younger […]

Becoming Conference 2015

Becoming Conference 2015

I am happy to share with you some exciting news about a conference I’m taking part in later this month. Along with Amy at Atta Girl Says I’m going to be leading a hands on furniture painting workshop at the 5th Annual Becoming Conference organized by my friend Jen at Balancing Beauty and Bedlam and Jenny at SouthernSavers.com.  With topics […]

Fabulous Frugal Fashions over 50 - Marty's Musings

Fabulous Frugal Fashions for Women over 50 (and the rest of you, too!)

The deepest desire of my heart for my writing is to be an encouragement to women of all ages, but I have an extra special bit of compassion for those of us over 50! I have always, always shopped secondhand for my wardrobe, mostly through yard sales. More recently I have added a bit of […]

You can help prevent homesickness by sending encouragement notes to camp or sleepovers. Simply write love notes for your kids to read when they're gone.

Encouragement Notes for Homesick Kids at Camp

Some of the best family traditions are often those that happen by accident, like our family blessing jar. What started out as a way to teach our children gratitude is now a deeply held celebration of thanksgiving every year. It’s even incorporated into the marriage contract between our children and their spouses! (No, not really, […]

Create a warm welcome for guests with this easy and inexpensive front door wreath using a repurposed yard sale picture frame, silk flowers and wooden sign.

Picture Frame Front Door Wreath

I love to craft and DIY while I turn yardsale and curbside junk into beautiful treasures for my home. But I do have a confession to make. Since blogging is now also my job being creative is sometimes a necessity, not a luxury. That can sometimes put extra pressure and stress on me to come […]

5 practical tips on how to make money on a yard sale while clearing out excess stuff! Includes where to hold it, what to sell, pricing, promotion and morel.

5 Tips on How to Make Money on a Yard Sale

It’s yard sale season and I’m back with more of my great tips! I live for this time of year that feeds my DIY and creative soul while saving us money. A few months ago I posted on how to tell whether that perfect buy is trash or treasure and the top 10 bargains to keep an eye open […]

Hillsong I Surrender devotion and video

No Fake Happy Face, Just My Usual Transparency

As Christians we sometimes paste on a happy face and gloss over our wounds and struggles. After all, we’re supposed to have it all together, aren’t we? If we don’t have the answers then who does? I don’t know about anyone else, but I certainly don’t. I hurt. I cry. I ask the Comforter to intercede […]

Quick and easy brownie bites are a snap to make with a packaged brownie mix and chocolate chips, rolled in powdered sugar. Kids and adults alike love them!

Quick and Easy Brownie Bites

I would love to deny my love for chocolate but my daughter Rachel is here to dispel the myth by sharing our favorite Brownie Bites recipe. I’m a goner! It’s amazing to me how motherhood has drastically changed my appreciation for the things that seemed so “normal” to me during my childhood. I look at […]

See how these DIY homeowners planned and converted their 1950's ranch style house into an updated home with terrific curb appeal and a fabulous front deck.

Ranch Style House With a Front Deck

Last year we had our dream deck built on the front of our house. No, my DIY hubby Tim didn’t build it himself (although he did build the one in our backyard and restored it last year.) We were able to find someone willing to build it for a daily charge and it was a […]

This Seven Layer Dip in a half pint sized mason jar looks adorable and tastes great! Perfect for any party or family gathering this mexican meal in a jar is both healthy and fun! It's also perfect for a make ahead lunch.

Seven Layer Dip in a Mason Jar

Life has been a bit crazy lately (understatement of the year! you can read all about it here) and I never got around to sharing the recipe for this adorable seven layer dip served in mason jars that I created for my daughter’s 17th birthday party. Here’s my daughter Rachel to give you a little […]

Ever feel like you're at the end of your rope? Know that the sweetest and most profound dreams are often born in the tiniest slivers of leftover life.

What Happens When You’re at the End of Your Rope?

Bible study teacher Beth Moore (Living Proof Ministries) and I have a long history. I have taken several of her studies through the years and her words have spoken life into me at critical moments in my life journey. I am so grateful for the way God has used her to teach me His truths. […]

These budget decorating ideas for decks and other outdoor spaces will inspire you to shop yard sales, thrift stores and even curbside for inexpensive treasures to repurpose and update for a beautiful space you will love.

Budget Decorating Ideas for the Deck

Do you love a good before and after as much as I do? What is it that we love? The ugly duckling picture of an unloved house/deck/piece of furniture dying for new life stirs something inside of us. Why does this fascinate us so? I think maybe it’s because it gives us hope. And permission to dream.  […]

Using common everyday ingredients this easy Slow Cooker Chili by Marty's Musings tastes delicious served over a baked potato or by itself topped with sour cream and cheese.

Easy Slow Cooker Chili with Baked Potato

I am incredibly grateful for my daughter Rachel who jumped in this week with her easy Slow Cooker Chili recipe served over a roasted baked potato. (If you haven’t read the crazy happenings in our family you can read all about it here.) She and Emmaline are such blessings here on the blog, aren’t they? (Did […]

Marty Walden shares her faith and how God helped her release her anxiety and pain when her husband faced surgeries, unemployment, a teenaged son runaway and a family death, all within a six month period.

Let It Go: The Song God Keeps Teaching Me

I started this post last Christmas because I knew my husband and I were headed into a season of uncertainty. The single lyric of Let It Go was stuck in my head and for good reason.  Tim was scheduled for hernia surgery followed by rotator cuff surgery in early December. As a painting contractor that meant a […]

Great advice for new dads from a first time father, with everything you need to know to make it through those sleepless, scary and adjustment filled days!

Advice for New Dads: Cliff Notes Version

Welcome back my daughter Rachel and an especially big welcome to her husband Donny!  Let me tell you about my son-in-law. Throughout the courtship/dating process he and Rachel spent a lot of time in our home. We got to know Donny so well we considered him as just another fixture in the house! He loves […]

Expand your palate with these healthy and tasty Honey Lime Quinoa Stuffed Sweet Potatoes. Spice them up or leave them plain but give this dish a try!

Honey Lime Quinoa Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

Welcome back my daughter-in-love Emmaline for some yummy goodness for the hot summer! The only bad thing about her sharing her cooking prowess? I don’t get to taste a sample! Well friends, as summer approaches and warm (or should I say HOT – I do reside in North Carolina, you know) weather comes sweeping over […]

Celebrating with family doesn't have to mean a lot of work. Blogger Marty's Musings shares her Mothers Day pictures and a party with Tony's Pizza.

Mothers Day Pictures and a Pizza Party

This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and TONY’S® Pizza, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #BigPizzeriaTaste http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV I grew up in a home that I now realize was pretty “normal” (which is a totally relative term!)  I was the youngest of three siblings and […]

Mixing classic elements with vintage, rustic and shabby chic is easy with these tips from Marty's Musings for something old something new. No expertise necessary, just have fun!

Mix and Match Home Decor Ideas

I think my DIY hubby would call me low maintenance when it comes to home decor (and maybe in many other ways, too!) In other words, I don’t go shopping a lot to while away my free time (which is good because there’s not much of that!) or just buy things because everyone else does. I’m learning […]

Join blogger Marty's Musings for easy table setting ideas for creating an elegant yet simple tablescape using Marsala, 2015 Pantone color of the year.

Table Setting Ideas with Marsala Color of the Year

Did you know there was such a thing as a color of the year?  Me neither, until I saw lots of bloggers writing about it last year. PANTONE® is known worldwide as the authority on color and has chosen Marsala as the 2015 color of the year. Who knew? I enjoy entertaining and setting a beautiful table […]

Marty's Musings shares her personal story and 9 tools to survive a crisis. From taking care of yourself to knowing when to ask for help, there is hope!

9 Tools to Survive a Crisis

  Do you remember the movie Groundhog Day?  Phil (Bill Murray), a weatherman, is set to cover the yearly emergence of the groundhog from its hole. He gets caught in a blizzard that he didn’t predict and finds himself trapped in a time warp. He is doomed to relive the same day over and over again […]

Add a few fresh flowers and bright table linens to vintage china and crystal and set a lovely blue and yellow spring tablescape for Easter or everyday.

Vintage Blue and Yellow Spring Tablescape

  Before spring quickly turns into summer (and those hot, miserable 90+ temperatures) I wanted to make sure and share this lovely vintage spring tablescape I created for Easter. Yes, Easter, but you won’t see any cute bunnies or Rice Krispies Treats nests here. I do love to dress up the table for our family […]

Need help organizing your life and your family? Let digital apps, old fashioned paper calendars and consistent routines make your life easier!

3 Tools for Organizing Your Life!

  Since we’ve just finished celebrating Mother’s Day I’m here to share a few of the tools I’ve used through the years to keep our home running smoothly. Or at least an attempt at order amidst chaos! I remember the day we brought our first child, a daughter, home from the hospital. I looked at this […]

I Am Not Alone worship video by Kari Jobe reminds us that even in the midst of the darkest night God gives us hope and strength for each new day.

Our Teenaged Son was a Runaway

I have been paralyzed for over a week. Unable to write a word or formulate a thought.  I’d find myself staring at the floor for untold moments. Only feelings of grief and shock.  You see, this past Tuesday, April 28th, our 16-year-old adopted son became a runaway. Our son is the youngest of a sibling group […]

Are you allowing lies and negative thoughts change your life? Embrace that God finds you lovable and complete!

Are You Listening to the Lies and Negative Thoughts?

As I have lived life 24/7 with my adopted children over the last 15 years I have learned how their early wounds affect their thinking. Many years of therapy and prayer have helped me confront the undesirable messages from my own life. I realize how negative thoughts affect relationships of all kinds. What I believe about myself is EVERYTHING. Whether […]

Fun ideas for throwing a themed Cinco de Mayo party on a budget with inexpensive decorations and easy recipes including pineapple salsa and taquitos.

Cinco de Mayo Party and Pineapple Salsa Recipe

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.  #DelimexFiesta #CollectiveBias To celebrate my youngest daughter’s 17th birthday she invited several of her friends over for a themed Cinco De Mayo party. Teenagers + taco bar and fixin’s = tons of food and fun! As always, I try […]