The Truth I’m Afraid to Share

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.

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 the bowl cut. Sorry, … [Read more...]

Behr DeckOver Product Review and the Million Dollar Question

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 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 the Behr … [Read more...]

5 Ingredient Peach Cobbler Recipe

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!

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 bottle. Yet one of my fondest childhood memories … [Read more...]

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 it usually involved homemade … [Read more...]

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 … [Read more...]

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

Fabulous Frugal Fashions over 50 - Marty's Musings

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 thrift store shopping in order to pick up some items … [Read more...]

Encouragement Notes for Homesick Kids at Camp

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.

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, but Thanksgiving … [Read more...]

Picture Frame Front Door Wreath

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.

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 up with the "latest and greatest." I believe God … [Read more...]

5 Tips on How to Make Money on a Yard Sale

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.

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 for when yardsaling. I have been committed … [Read more...]

No Fake Happy Face, Just My Usual Transparency

Hillsong I Surrender devotion and video

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 when I can't even form the … [Read more...]

Quick and Easy Brownie Bites

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!

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 my son and have a burning desire to raise … [Read more...]

Ranch Style House With a Front Deck

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.

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 great deal.  We haven't regretted spending the money paying someone … [Read more...]

Seven Layer Dip in a Mason Jar

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.

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 bit of family history about her dad and his passion … [Read more...]

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

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.

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. One little detail you may not know about her is that she and … [Read more...]

Budget Decorating Ideas for the Deck

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.

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.  Because … [Read more...]

Easy Slow Cooker Chili with Baked Potato

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.

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 you read our news here?) My … [Read more...]

Let It Go: The Song God Keeps Teaching Me

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.

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 six month recovery and … [Read more...]

Advice for New Dads: Cliff Notes Version

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!

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 to tease me and I try to give as … [Read more...]

Honey Lime Quinoa Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

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!

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 us, I am all about finding easy and … [Read more...]

Mothers Day Pictures and a Pizza Party

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.

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 … [Read more...]

Mix and Match Home Decor Ideas

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!

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 to invest in some pieces that will … [Read more...]

Table Setting Ideas with Marsala Color of the Year

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.

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 without spending a lot of … [Read more...]

9 Tools to Survive a Crisis

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!

  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 until he gets it right. Right … [Read more...]

Vintage Blue and Yellow Spring Tablescape

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.

  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 get togethers and add a … [Read more...]