The Liebster Award!

How exciting the Nifty Thrifty family has been nominated for the Liebster award. I want to thank Samantha Buckly over at 24 to for nominating the Nifty Thrifty Family. The Liebster award is an award that honors up and coming new blogs and in return they need to pay it forward. Some say the Liebster award is a chain letter that has lots of work involved with it. But I don't care, I am still proud that someone would consider my blog out of thousands of other ones. So again a Big Thank You to Samantha.  If you get a chance you should go check out her blog it is a really cool site.

The rules are:

  1. Post 11 random facts about yourself.
  2. Answer the 11 questions the nominator(s) asked.
  3. You (the nominee) come up with 11 new nominees (no tag backs) and 11 questions for your nominees to answer.
  4. Nominees should link back to you on their Liebster blog post.
  5. Lastly, be sure to actually let the nominees know they've been nominated.  

Random Facts about me:

1) I started blogging when my husband and I bought our home we live in now. I needed a way to show my friends and family everything we had started doing to make our house our home and then I fell in love with being able to write about things.
2) I coach 4-5 year olds in basketball at the YMCA
3) I love the color pink. I feel sorry for my husband sometimes because my daughter and I are over powering with pink.
4) I have a fear of being left somewhere with no transportation to get home.
5) I am terrified of birds.
6) This past summer I just learned how to mow a yard. This has always been my Husband's chore. But I wanted to learn just in case one day I had to do it myself.
7) Since I had my daughter, I love going to Disney world. You can say I am a Disney junkie. I am so sad that we are not going this year.
8) I have worked for the same company for 13 years and for the last  years I have worked as an Import Broker for them.
9) Almost every morning I drink a jumbo fountain Mt. Dew at work.
10) My neighbors are my in-laws in one house and my sister n law in another house. What was we thinking when we bought our new home...LOL
11) I have a dream of owning my own frilly store, that sells used furniture that has been refinished, premium used items and neat stuff.

The questions that Samantha asked me:  

1.  What is your favorite book or movie? My all time favorite movie is Dirty Dancing. I can sit and watch this movie over and over again. At one point in my life I knew every single line spoken in the movie. 
2.  What is your favorite winter activity? My favorite winter activity is shopping. I love hitting all of the clearance sales.
3.  What was your first car? 25th anniversary Chevy Camaro Z28, it was purple.
4.  What is one thing you could eat every day and not get tired of? I love pizza.
5.  Would you rather ride a roller coaster or the Ferris wheel? I would ride a roller coaster. My husband tries his best to place me in the very front. I love to scream my head off and have that adrenaline rush.
6.  What is your least favorite household task? I hate cleaning house. If I had to pick one, it would be folding clothes and having to put them away. I usually just leave all of my clothes in the basement folded in laundry baskets and hanging up.
7.  What's one clothing item or accessory you couldn't live without? A pony tail holder. I wear my hair up more than wearing it down.
8.  Do you have any pets? I have a black cat with yellow eyes that is 13 yrs old. I also have 1 dog, which is an Airedale Terrier, that has 3 legs and who is a cancer survivor.
9.  Do you prefer high heels or flip flops? High heels. I wear heels all day and I feel more comfortable in them.
10.  What is one household possession that you couldn't live without? Our internet modem. We have to have the internet for everything we do.
11.  What was your favorite vacation ever? My Husband and I went to Hawaii for 17 days on our honeymoon. It was a trip I will never forget and I hope to go back one day.

My 11 nominations are:

11 questions for nominees to answer:

1) Why did you start blogging?
2) What is your favorite color and why is it your favorite?
3) What is your biggest fear?
4) Do you work outside the home?
5) Do you have any animals?
6) What is your dream job?
7) What do you do to relax?
8) Do you have any pet peeves?
9) Thinking back over your life what is one event you would change if you could?
10) Out of all of your vacations which one has been the best and why?
11) When and where do you type your blog entries? In an office, at the coffee shop, when the kiddo's go to bed?

Chicken Salad

One of the biggest hits at my daughter's tea / birthday party was the Chicken Salad Croissants. I was shocked to see five year old's eating the sandwiches and asking for more. I am not a pro at making Chicken Salad; this was actually my first time making it. I found that making Chicken Salad is fairly simple and easy.

To make Chicken Salad you will need the following.

 Chicken breast - either frozen in a bag or from the meat department
Grapes - I used red ones
White onion
Nuts, pecans (optional)

To make things easier on me, I placed my chicken in the crock pot. I used a whole bag of chicken, due to the number of people I was feeding. You will have to use your own judgement on the amount of chicken you want. Just remember that 1 chicken breast can make about three to four sandwiches using hamburger buns. Place chicken in the crock pot, cover with water and cook on low for 6 to 7 hours. When the chicken starts to fall apart, remove from crock pot and place in a bowl for shredding. The chicken should be so tender that it will fall apart when touched with a fork. The next step is going to need lots of forks or spoons, for taste tasting. Place the desired amount of mayonnaise in your shredded chicken and stir it up. Make sure you don't over do it. You don't want to make it to runny, but then again you don't want to dry either. This is where your taste testing will come into play. Now is a great time to slice the those grapes into and throw them in the salad. Use your judgement on the amount of grapes. I like to use enough grapes that with each scoop there is usually  three to four grapes. I am a type of girl who does not like a chicken salad sandwich that does not have one single grape on it.
This picture is without the mayonnaise in it yet. The grapes were being added.

Once you are happy with the grapes, it is time to place the onion. For me more onion the merry. For a small bowl with t four chicken breasts, I typically use 3/4's of the onion. Make sure you chop it up very good, throw it in the salad and stir it up very good. The next thing that needs to be chopped is the celery. Again for about 4 pieces of shredded chicken I would typically use 2 stalk's of celery, chopped very good. When chopped throw it in the salad and stir very good.
Here is all the ingredients in the bowel with out the mayonnaise in it yet.

 The last thing is to add the salt and pepper to your taste liking. If you want you can add some nuts or pecans to the salad.
This is the finished product.

 My pictures do not show the mayonnaise going in first. You can make it either way. I think it is easier to stir the mayonnaise in first because it is less things to stir. You can always add more ingrediants at any time. I would let the Chicken Salad chill in the fridge for a while so all the ingredients can mingle and blend.

Happy Eating!

To check out more about my daughters tea / birthday party check out the following links:

I have linked this post to the following blog hop's

I thank GOD today that my family is alive.

Today I want to give thanks to God. Last night I was awaken by three alarms going off in my home. As I was getting up to go check them out, I thought to myself I hate those detectors, those things are out of batteries or malfunctioning again. Low and behold they were actually protecting our lives. When I made my way to the basement I could see the numbers on one of the Carbon Monoxide detectors was not flashing zero like the time before. My eyes grew big, when I saw the number flashing 188. The other detector I had downstairs which is just a plain circle detector was going off too. I knew this was not a malfunctioning or battery problem. I rushed back upstairs to my main level and the detector there was reading below 100, but still beeping. I knew we had a problem, but I still had no clue what to do. I went to my trusty Google and searched for carbon. All I remember is reading turn off furnace, call fire department, leave home. But there was still one more problem after I read that.What number do I call? My problem was not really a 911 urgent issue, but I did not have the direct number to our dispatch either. So I called the only number I knew for our city and from there the nice lady directed me to our Metro Safe and gave me that number. Remember I am still in the high level carbon home, with the kitchen door standing wide open, letting the house air out while I make my call to the fire department.  During all this commotion I had to take my daughter next door to Grandma's house so she could be safe. The firemen came with their sirens and lights. I am assuming it woke up all the neighbors. My sweet daughter missed it all, because I made her go to Grandma's. The firemen did detect that there was Carbon Monoxide in the home. They made sure the gas was turned off and that the levels were safe for me stay in my home.
Bright and early this morning I called the plumber to come out and the furnace company. Come to find out my furnace was not working properly. I could write a whole blog page on this rant about the furnace issue when we bought the house, but I am going to chalk it up to, live and learn and be thankful the furnace is fixed and I did not have to buy a new one.
As for Carbon Monoxide detectors I hope and pray you have one for every floor of your house. There nothing wrong with having two on every floor. Please check these often. Because these detectors saved my daughters and my life last night. I also will stress to make sure you get your furnace cleaned every year. Please protect your family from this silent killer. All I can say is THANK YOU JESUS for putting your love and protection around my family.

How do you pray?

 The Lord's Prayer

   Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
 Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.

 Give us this day our daily bread.

 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.

 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen. Matthew 6:9-13 KJV

How do you pray? The church my family and I have been attending have been studying how Jesus taught his disciples how to pray using The Lord's Prayer. The Lord's Prayer is designed to guide you to a more meaningful and deeper relationship with God, thru praise, intercession, petition, confession and guidance.

If you are wanting to learn more about having a deeper more meaningful relationship with God, check out the website that Southeast Christian Church has about prayer. It is marvelous. I have placed the link below. I grew up in church and I have never had the Lord's Prayer broke out the way Simon Mbevi breaks the prayer down into sections. 

Teach us to pray 

The big tea party birthday

 Yesterday was the big birthday party. It was very exciting to see all the little princess's and princes all dressed up. We had Rapunzel, Belle, Snow White, a Barbie Princess, a Ballerina Princess, a Shiny Knight, and two other princes dressed in their finest wardrobe. I enjoyed having this party at my house. The children all played together and enjoyed being there for over 2 hours.
Remember what my basement looked like before? If you don't remember click here to see the pictures of it. I chose one side of my basement to place the tables for the children to eat at. I picked the side that did not have any carpet.

Every chair had a tea cup placed in front it at the table.

I love this table from Pottery Barn for kids.

 We used plastic tablecloths to hide the ugly gray concrete walls. To hide the beams above our heads we also took the plastic tablecloths and swagged them toward the light with tissue balls hanging from the ceiling.

On the other side of the stairs, I placed my old kitchen table on that side. I figured some of the adults could sit and enjoy this table. We bought my daughter the tulips for her birthday. This was also the side where the children played. I am thankful I placed the the children on the carpet. It was a soft cozy place for them to play at.

Again on this side of the basement we swagged the plastic tablecloths from the ceiling and we hung them around the concrete walls.

We played pin the tea bag on the tea pot and musical chairs to I am a little tea pot.

We played tea bag tic tac toe

The kids played with this tea cart that had Mrs Potts and Chip on it.

But most of all the children enjoyed playing with Thomas the train and the tracks.

Here is the cake that I made for my little one. I only make cakes for my little one once a year.

Here was the display of the cake and cupcakes. I tried to layer  the table with different heights. Each cupcake had either a pink, white or brown chocolate princess crown on it.

Here is my daughter blowing out her candles. 

The children enjoyed drinking the apple juice tea in the fancy china tea cups. They were so well behaved that there was no cups broken. 

Well that is it.

If you missed any post about getting ready for my daughters tea party click on the links below. Stay tuned to learn how we made the paper balls that hung from the ceiling, some of the food that was served and more.

I have added this to the following blog parties:

Verse of the week

Last Sunday my family and I had to go out of town to a birthday party, causing us to miss our Sunday worship service. I finally was able to pull the sermon up thru podcast today. I can't believe we missed such a good message. The message was titled "Live with it: Focus". The sermon talked about real life change is not change in behavior; it is changing the way we think. The verse of the week comes from this sermon and I think it is a strong verse.

Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. Colossians 3:2

If you would like to listen to the sermon just go to iTunes and type in Southeast Christian Church and then browse for the sermon titled "Live with it: Focus". It is a free download.

Thrift store tea cups and tea pots

I am just having to much fun planning my daughters Tea Party Birthday. The other day we had a mommy daughter day and we went out thrift store shopping for tea cups and tea pots. I think we did pretty good. At our first stop we found several cups and saucers for 50 cents a cup and 75 cents per saucer. We picked up 10 cups and saucers.

After that we went to two other Goodwill's and we had no luck at any tea cup or tea pots. My daughter wanted dainty tea cups and as a mother, I wanted to find them for her. The one cups were okay and would do, but we still had hope. Our last stop we walked in and there was a tea pot.
 Score $7. In the same store we found what we were looking for.... the DAINTY TEA CUPS and a small tea pot. I knew they were the perfect ones when I glanced at my daughter and she was sitting in the floor playing tea party with them. The tea cups were 50 cents each and the saucers were 75 cents each. We bought 6 tea cups and saucers. I thought the tea pot was more but it turned out to be $1.00.

I just love the dainty tea cups and small tea pot. For the price that I payed for all this, if they get broke they get broke. Buying real tea cups is still much cheaper than having my daughters birthday party at a tea parlor. As you can see it pays to hit the thrift stores.

Stay tuned for more about the Tea Party Birthday Party. If you missed anything about the party planning check the links below.
Find the perfect tea party invitation
Finding the perfect place to host a tea party

Finding the perfect birthday invitation

When looking for the right invitation, you need to choose one that goes with the theme of the party. The invitation sets the tone for the party. Think about it, if you received an invitation that was all hand written on a plain piece of paper, would you be excited about going? But if you received an invitation that had been well thought out, maybe designed with the theme on it, would your interest be peaked more? The presentation of the invitation will not only show the person being invited the time, date and location, it will set the expectation for the party.
When choosing my daughters birthday party invitations, I tried to pick an invitation that went with our tea party theme. I am not a big fan about store bought invitations. I try to make all of her invitations by hand with my good old Cricket machine or Hot shot machine. This time around I could not find any scrapbooking die cuts that had a tea pot or tea cup design. I thought I was going to have to free hand a template of a tea cup, but when I was at the party store picking up some supplies, I noticed these adorable invitations.

 Yes, I actually fell in love with store bought invitations. I was not happy with the price $8.99 for 8 invites. But I saw potential in these invitations.
Once I got the invitations home and started fiddling with them, I wondered how I was going to make the invitations pop. I also needed room to let everyone know that this was for a birthday party and that it was a dress up party. So just messing around with one of the invitations, with a black sharpie marker, I started writing on it. I fell in love more with the invitations, as I wrote everything I needed on them.

Doesn't the invitation look like I purchased them with the writing on them? I think I did good this year on her invitations. What do you think?

Stay tuned I will be writing about the decorations, the cake, food and the games soon. If you missed the first entry about the daughters tea party you can find the link below.
Finding the right place to hold a tea party
The Big Tea Party Birthday

Finding the right place to hold a tea party

January is a busy month for me. My daughter turns five this month and she is wanting to have a princess tea party. If you follow me on Pinterest I bet you have noticed all the pins about tea parties the last several weeks. I have less than two weeks to hammer out all of the details.
The biggest challenge was finding a place, that was cheap and would host a tea party for four and five year old's. I was unable to find a place that would hold a tea party that was not very expensive. I looked online at one of the tea parlors in our city and their price for a birthday party was $25 per child than $12.50 per adult. That was way out of my budget.
So Mr. Hubby took me to the coffee shop that he frequents often (I mean almost everyday) and shows me their party room. The room was kinda neat. All they wanted was $10 to rent the room for 2 hrs. It was just a room with a big old cherry table in it. They said they would provide their tea at cost and all the mugs needed for the party. In my head I was thinking these are 4 / 5 year olds what happens if they break their mugs? The final question that I asked and it was the deciding factor, could I bring in sandwiches and cookies to make it a real tea party? The manager told me no. So in return I said no to the room.
After searching and searching my husband and I decided to have our daughters party at our house, in our semi finished basement. When I say semi, I mean there is dry wall up seperating the basement in two halfs. One half for storage and the other half to be finished. The rest of the walls are concrete. I do have a really big piece of carpet on one side of the basement. Basically I am working with a blank canvas. Yes I am brave to show you pics of my basement, especially when it is so messy and unfinished.

The pictures make the basement look much smaller than it really is. As you can see I been playing with some decorations all ready. I am thinking about feeding the kiddo's on the side where the carpet is not, just because I don't want stains in the carpet area. I plan on playing the games on the carpet side. I have my work cut out for me. If you could only go inside my head and see what I am envisioning for this party. Oh I pray it turns out like I envision.
Stay tuned within the next several weeks, I will be posting the invitations, decorations used and more about the party. I am so excited and then nervous too! Wish me luck.

Last hiding places for Isabella for 2012

It just dawned on me, I forgot to show you all the last places Isabella the Elf was hiding, before she went home to the North Pole. Where was my mind? The last three weeks of the year kinda got crazy. Well Isabella done some crazy things the last week she was with us. She even went out of town with us again and we found her in my Mothers Christmas tree during her Christmas party. I wish I would had got a picture of that.
One night Isabella left a note for my little one. She had gotten a bowl of sugar out and had placed the peppermint oil in the sugar. The note said:
Since you was good at the dentist. Please place 3 drops of peppermint oil in the sugar before bed tonight.
Love,  Isabella
P.S. I told Santa he needed to bring you something special.

Here is my daughter and I placing the peppermint oil in the sugar. She took the letter to school that day.
The next morning peppermint candy canes had grew in the sugar. Isabella was in a new hiding place, underneath presents. A little tip if you decide to do this. Take the wrapping paper off the candy canes. My little one said Mommy there is plastic on these candy canes. Thank goodness she was to little to put two and two together.

The next morning Isabella must have been hungry because we found her on the stove drinking syrup.

Christmas Eve morning, we found Isabella on the sofa sitting on the Bible holding a key. She had highlighted in the Bible the story of the birth of Jesus. The key she was holding was a skeleton key. There was a poem that went with the key.

On the night before Christmas
On the door it will be
A special key
For you and I to see

No worries or fears
Santa's reindeer's will see
The magical glow
Where the special key will be

To read more about the Secret Santa Key click here.
That was the last hiding place for Isabella. That night when the stockings were hung Isabella's box that she came in, was placed on the sofa table, for Santa to take her home.