Pin Peek {DIY for the New Year}

Since ringing in 2012, I have had the itch to make new things.
After digging around my Pinterest boards, I found some super cute DIY ideas this week that I am dying to try out!

image from Pinterest via apartmentthreapy.com 
image from Pinterest via theembellishednest.wordpress.com 
image from Pinterest via lovestitched.com
image from Pinterest via thevirginiahouse.blogspot.com
image from Pinterest via prudentbaby.com
image from Pinterest via theidearoom.net

Look out craft desk! You may have been dormant during the holiday season, but I have a feeling that things are about to get busy again for you! 


Big Cedar Lodge 2nd Anniversary Trip {A Photo Story}

It has been a little over 2 weeks since Kyle and I went to Big Cedar Lodge to celebrate our 2nd Anniversary

I can't believe that I am just now finding the time to make this post! 

Here is our photo story. 

We had a great time at Big Cedar Lodge and would recommend a weekend stay to anyone looking for a relaxing getaway. 

I am looking forward to taking more anniversary trips with this guy. Maybe even one for our 50th Anniversary? I think we can make a trip when we are that old. I mean, how hard is it to travel when you're in  your 70's? 

Thanks for being here. :) 


Resolutions for the New Year

So I've never really been big on New Years resolutions. 
Maybe that's because I'm no good at keeping them.

I really don't think anyone is. 

Let's face it. It's hard to make a habit out of something that is bran-new. 

But I have decided that this year is going to be different. I have a few things jotted down on a very short mental list of resolutions. Let's see if I can keep any of them going this year. 

This is my plan. Hopefully you will help me out. 

Today I am going to share with you my resolutions and offer for you to share yours with me. Let's keep each other in check. I really don't like calling them "resolutions" so let's call them "goals" for the New Year. I am sure that you are okay with that. After we share our goals for 2012, each month I will update you on my progress, kind of as an accountability to keep them. Sounds like a plan, right? 

Without further delay, here's what made my list! 

{::Goals for 2012::}

Keep a journal updated at least 3 times a week. 

Read at least one book per month. (I would like to read 2, maybe 3, but we will see how the goal of one goes first.)

Finish reading The Book of Mormon and start reading the New Testament with Kyle. 

Start an exercise plan that works for me. Kyle is the one that is really pushing me to do this, but I am going to give it a go. 

Blog a post everyday. Make it something I would want to read on a blog. (I am open for suggestions on topics to write about if you would like to email me or leave a comment...:))

Be positive and strive to be truly happy in myself, in my relationships, and with my circumstances. 

Continue to organize and simplify my life. More about what I exactly mean later in a series that I am currently working on! 

Spend more time building quality, lasting relationships with others.

Now that I've shared mine, what are your goals for the New Year?

Happy Friday Eve, everyone!


:Big Place to Small Space: 4 Things You Need to Know About Your Refrigerator

If you missed the first posts in this series you can find them here and here

When moving into an apartment, especially an older one, you can be faced with many obstacles that you might not be able to see on the surface when you move in. So has been our situation. With settling into our new (old) place, we have had to jump many hurdles and have discovered many issues, one of which being the discovery of our refrigerator not cooling properly, or really cooling at all for that matter. 

I don't know about you, but I didn't know a whole lot about refrigerators until we suspected that ours was down right not working. After a few hours of research online about how refrigerators keep food from spoiling, I learned a wealth of knowledge that I would like to share with you today. 

{4 Things You Should Know About Your Refrigerator}

#1: Everyone should own a refrigerator thermometer. Some high end fridges have one built in inside, but most do not. We purchased a digital one from Walmart for about $10.00. It was the way we were able to prove to maintenance that our refrigerator wasn't cooling properly. It turns out that our fridge was around 50 degrees. WAY too warm to keep food from spoiling. Which takes us to #2. 

#2: The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) recommends that in order to hinder the growth of bacteria in foods stored in your refrigerator it needs to be kept at a temperature of 40 degrees or below. The freezer should be set at 0 degrees. For more information about cooling temperatures for food from the FDA go here.   

#3: Since our refrigerator had been at 50 degrees or even a little bit higher for quite sometime, I was almost certain that all of the food inside would be considered unsafe for consumption, but I dug around the FDA's website a little more to make sure. According to the FDA, food that has been at 40 degrees or above for more than 2 hours should be discarded. This does not apply to foods that are in sealed containers that have not been opened, but are shelf stable and may have only been put in the refrigerator to chill before serving. These items would include bottled juice, bottled water, condiments that have not been opened such as ketchup, and some fruits and vegetables. 

#4: If in doubt, throw it out. When it comes to cleaning out the contents of your refrigerator, if you have to question its safety, it's better to be safe than sorry. Food borne illness is a serious concern if you believe that there is something fishy going on with your refrigerator or freezer. You can read more about what the FDA has to say about food borne illness here.   

Please understand that I do not claim to be an expert on food safety or refrigerator guidelines. I do feel more educated about the issue after visiting the FDA's website concerning food storage and preparation. For more information I would encourage you to visit it at http://www.fda.gov/Food/ResourcesForYou/default.htm.

After we were able to test the temperature in our refrigerator and  provide maintenance with the information about food safety I had learned (and now have shared with you), they were more than willing to replace our old, broken down refrigerator with a bran-new one from Lowe's. 

Oh happy day for us! 

Come back next Wednesday for more advice about how to adjust from Big Place to a Small Space! 


New Blog Buttons!

Last night I created a few new blog buttons!

{I used a tutorial that I found here at www.mypregnancybaby.com. I know. Not exactly where you would think you would find an awesome tutorial about making a blog button, but it was seriously the easiest tutorial to follow.}

I can't tell you how excited I am about how these turned out.

They are located on the sidebar with a code text box that allows for easier installation on your blog!

Two designs to choose from:


Yay! Go grab a button! :)


Your Favorites from 2011

Today let's countdown your favorites from 2011! 

Even though I just started Grassroot Elegance in July, 2011 was a great year for the blog!
Thank you for sticking out the first few months with me. 
I think that 2012 has much more in store!

Without further delay, let's count down your top 10 favorites!
{Click on the title to read the full post.}











Thanks for a great year here at Grassroot Elegance!

P.S. I'm linking up!


Grace & Gratitude: Happy New Year!

Kissed Kyle in the middle of Times Square in New York City while spending a week long stay there.

Kyle was accepted into the Honors College at the University of Central Arkansas and became the recipient of a scholarship which covers all of his tuition, fees, books, a meal plan, and student housing. 

A new job for Kyle meant that I was able to take a break from teaching to focus on being a wife and a future mother. 

Many weekends spent at my parents house in the country where the sky is darker and the stars seem brighter. 

I started this blog as a summer project. 

Learned how to cook delicious meals safe to eat for a husband who is allergic to soy, dairy, bananas, several types of fruit, and numerous other things. 

Honed in on skills I didn't know I had when I took our monthly budget and cut it in half.

Cut our grocery budget down to $50.00 a week, and that's including breakfast, lunch, dinner, and a little bit of food storage. 

Enjoyed the company and rich friendship of wonderful extraordinary people. 

Celebrated 2 years of blissful marriage with my sweetheart at Big Cedar Lodge. 

Enjoyed the company of Kyle's parents when they came to visit in the Fall. 

Attended and hosted a few special Craft Night events with the girls. 

Attended the Temple with Kyle at least half a dozen times. 

Had many absolutely beautiful, perfectly clear answers to prayer from my Heavenly Father. 

Ate Indian food for the first time. 

Spent a summer in Arkansas at home instead of moving across the country so Kyle could sell home security. 

Completed a maternity leave for a Special Education teacher and learned more from the kids than they learned from me. 

Made many new friends. 

Had a full heart. 

Was blessed beyond words. 

I wonder what 2012 has in store for me.