I blame it all on Christina at Centsible Savings….

It’s her fault that I’m now obsessed with reading DIY decorating blogs and that I have the itch to rearrange, organize, paint, and revamp EVERYTHING in my house!

Ordinarily my blog list is full of money saving blogs, a few friends blogs, a couple wedding vendors I still keep in contact with and one cooking blog. Now, I’m starting a new addiction!

Centsible Savings is a money saving blog, but Christina has a series titled: Decor on a Dime. So it’s still a money saving topic, but also one that has nothing to do with groceries and toiletries! And I absolutely love it!! It gets tiring to only read about coupons and sales, so it’s a breath of fresh air to read about decorating on the cheap!

I kind of got interested in the series back in March when she linked to another blog on how to redo a crystal lamp.

Kate at Centsational Girl did the above transformation. I just happen to have 3 of these lamps that I bought at a yard sale a long time ago! Two are in use and I really don’t like them! It may take me a bit to get comfortable with the thought of re-wiring, but seeing the difference here, I may just have to go for it!

But it wasn’t until recently that I actually started reading blogs completely dedicated to decorating, and now I can’t stop reading them and can’t stop inspecting everything around my house that I want to change!

Here’s my favorite things that Christina has done…

Mirror and Candle Centerpiece

Dollar Tree Hurricanes

which I would probably decorate like this….

Decor Chick 

Because I have a newborn, I spend a lot of time just sitting still feeding her, and this has provided me lots of time for reading blogs on my iPhone!! I love that Google Reader makes it easy for me to go through post after post without having to click on page after page! If you read lots of blogs and don’t use some type of feed reader- check it out! It makes it soooo easy and updates constantly so that you know which blogs have new posts and you aren’t constantly visiting blogs to see if there is anything new!

So far I have read through ALL of Just a Girl’s blog (found it through Centsible Savings!)

Her organization skills make me soooooo jealous! Wish I had the patience! I’m trying!!

 Organized Laundry Room

Then while reading Just a Girl, I kept seeing “the Nester” mentioned, so now I am in the process of reading through all of her blog at The Nesting Place! I love, love, love blue furniture (if you’ve read even a little back through this blog, you’ll obviously see it is my favorite color!), and the Nester has several pieces I love!

Blue Armoire

Dresser in Office
(Who knew dressers didn’t have to stay in bedrooms?!)

Plus, both mention several other bloggers that I’m dying to read too, so I have lots more reading material to go!! If only I had as much time to actually do projects as I do to read about them!! But I love spending lots of time holding my Baby Girl, so doing projects may have to wait! 🙂 I do have a few up my sleeves that I want to get at ASAP!

First off is a garage sale next week to get the funds to do some redecorating! With having a baby, our budget is so tight there is barely wiggle room for a can of spray paint! Hopefully, we’ll sell a lot next week and maybe even find some good stuff out at the garage sales throughout the whole neighborhood!

Off to dream and read some more……….


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You didn’t think I actually meant a real shark right? 🙂

Oh yes, this baby is definitely one of my favorite things right now!

My first infomercial cave in! (Ok, that’s a lie, but I’m not admitting to a couple of things I bought years ago- obviously they were stupid flops if I’m not admitting it!)

Not sure if I would’ve been willing to fork out the cash for this baby, if I didn’t know that it actually worked! The family I used to work for owned one, and I actually had FUN cleaning their expansive amount of hardwood floors- a task I normally would leave for them to do! (Cleaning was part of my job- just nothing specific since with 7 kids the cleaning was never completed!)

I couldn’t wait to get my hands on one for my house! I seriously have a thing against paying for the stupid overpriced sticks that you throw some paper towel on and push the dirt around on the floor! I’ve used several different kinds, and I detest them.  This thing= love!

The only bad thing is that you have to be sure and sweep up your floors well first, or it will just push the loose dirt around. Not a big deal because I keep my floors pretty well swept. I won’t admit how long it had been since I actually mopped them before I got this thing! Let’s just say there was no 5 second rule on my floors til I got the Shark!

I was thrilled when the hubby and I together decided it was about time we got this thing! I don’t even have a huge expanse of floors to mop, but any mopping at all is a total pain to me- unless it’s using this baby! And I figure it will be a good investment for whenever we buy a house- which will hopefully have hardwoods! We currently have some crappy linoleum, but at least I can keep it shiny with this thing!

We actually watched 4 or 5 different infomercials with different Shark products trying to decide which one we wanted!

As frugal and cheap as I usually am, I shelled out waaay more for this than I normally would for a simple household item! But I’m big on having my floors and surfaces clean- especially since in a couple of months Baby Girl will be crawling all over everything!

It felt like Christmas morning when I got it! In fact, I dumped it out on the living room floor and took a random horrible picture just to show the hubby it arrived! He didn’t even know what he was looking at upon first glance! (I didn’t save it on my phone or I’d share!)

Here is where we got it. Hate for you to see the price, but if you are interested, here ya go! The Shark Steam Mop (not the pocket!) is actually much cheaper- but also looks and works cheaper!

All these extras suckered us in! It’s cheaper at Walmart or Target, but doesn’t come with this stuff!

Look how amaaaaazing they make it sound!! (I know, I’m a sucker!! But at least I’m a sucker for something that WORKS and that I actually NEEDED!)

The portable steamer is great for my kitchen and bathroom countertops. Going to use it to tackle the tubs soon!

I’d really rather have this…….

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just because of the cool wands that could get into more crevices, but the shark with the portable steamer was the best option for us!

There are way too many other shark products to even wrap my brain around, but check them out if you want at SharkClean.com! (I really want the vacuum cleaner, which came with a free mop- but not the pocket mop, and it costs more!)

I’ll share about my Bissel carpet steam cleaner another day!! And all the disasters it has saved me from! 🙂

It’s been over a year since I’ve posted, and I have been dying to get back to writing and sharing my favorite things! Who knows if anyone does or will still read this, but here goes……..

Here is my newest favorite thing, AND part of why I’ve been completely absent from the blogging world lately!

This little beauty entered our lives in July! I can’t describe the amazing feelings that motherhood has brought to my life. Everything seems fresh, new, and hopeful! She is a doll!!!

I am sooooo in love!!!

Along with growing a baby the past year, I’ve moved TWICE (uuugghh, not our choice!), was sick a lot with baby, and was working on getting ready for her! Its a lot of work!

I’ve been inspired to do lots lately along with tackling the daunting task of motherhood! So far, so good- we’ll see how it goes now that I’m starting to share! I’m on an organizing, cleaning, decorating, crafty kick and have lots of plans up my sleeves. I’ve also just started a “Biggest Loser” type bet with some members of my family! I’ve got lots of baby weight plus some to go!!

To end my first post back, I’ll share Baby Girl’s current favorite thing……

Her WubbaNub monkey– a small stuffed monkey attached to a soothie pacifier.  Courtesy of Auntie Linda. She LOVES it. Already holds onto it, although it’s way too early for her to be able to put it in her mouth herself! Man, I’ll be glad when that happens! She can be screaming like crazy, pop it in and she’s a happy camper. It falls out, and she screams again! Love it! Love HER!!

I haven’t been around this blog much lately, with so much other stuff going on, I’ve even neglected my more current blog (daisysdeals.blogspot.com) the past week or so!

I do see that I’m still getting several hits per day, so hopefully some of my past entries are still relevant! I think I’m needing to rethink the concept of this blog so that it can continue! :o)


One year ago today, I started this blog to chronicle my marriage preparations for my wedding last summer! It was SUCH a great opportunity to share with friends and family, make a record that will last for a lifetime of my wedding experience, AND a great chance to network and connect with other brides and vendors!

One of my favorite things was being a Bride Blogger for Ashley’s Bride Guide! It was a great experience that helped me meet a lot of my favorite vendors! And Ashley herself is amazing AND can throw a great party!! 🙂

The BEST  of the BEST you can find here:

Cakes by Shara   –    blog
Bledsoe Photo
    –    blog
Designs in Paper
–    blog

All of these people went above and beyond and made me feel more like a friend than a customer! They were all AMAZING!!

This isn’t the end of this blog, but it probably will be a little less frequent (not that it wasn’t sporadic to begin with!). I still have lots of ideas on sharing about my newlywed life, and it’s possible that I will be helping to plan a wedding this summer, so that will give me lots of great wedding stuff to continue blogging about!

Today, on the anniversary of this blog, I am unveiling a BRAND NEW BLOG!!!!


You all know I was a “Bride on a Budget,” and now I am a “Wife on a Budget!” Saving money is in my genes! My grandmother and mom have always been great deal seekers, and it’s pretty much come naturally to me!

Around the time I started planning my wedding and got introduced to the world of blogging, I started discovering not only wedding blogs, but money saving blogs! I discovered SOOO many ways to save money using coupons and other great deals you can find online.

I’ve had so many people ask me about how I do it, that I decided to create my own blog to help! 🙂 This blog will be updated OFTEN, hopefully daily! Visit my welcome page for an intro and visit the rest of the blog  for great ideas on saving money!

One of my weekly topics is “Wedding Wednesday,” where I’ll share great ideas for saving money while planning a wedding, or for attending (gift, travel ideas, etc!) I’m excited to be able to tie this blog to my new one in this way!

So, check out the vendors (even if just for ideas if you are far away!) AND be sure to check out and bookmark my new blog!

Finally, the recaps are complete! Here’s a more convenient way to read through all my recaps if you are just now catching up! Click on the links below each representative picture to get the full scoop on our wedding!

Pre- Ceremony

stacey-ray504The Ceremony

The Cake Reception

stacey-ray649The Dinner Reception

Dance Fever- Dinner Reception Part 2

Hope you enjoyed! Thank you all for being a part of it, whether in presence or in thoughts and prayers! It truly was an amazing day!


My photog has loved taking pictures of our feet since the very beginning…and while some people have crazy phobias of feet…I think they’re pretty cute! (usually!) Here is a collection of cute feet and shoe pictures Shanell took, from our engagement on through the wedding!

Engaged Feet

Not quite ready for feet!

Two Shoe Bride

Nervous Bride Feet

Bridesmaid Gear


“Is it time yet?” feet.

Little girlies feet patiently watching the ceremony

Maids in a row

First Dance Feetstacey-ray645

Tappin Toes


Where are the feet that belong in all these?

Funny that I never even noticed how many people were shoeless towards the end! But I have been to many a wedding where I’ve shed my own shoes! That’s why *this* bride wore flip flops!! My feet were actually still HAPPY at the end of the night! My maid’s shoes were pretty comfy themselves, but they weren’t flip-flops, so some of them eventually came off!


Although my new hubby is NOT a fan of dancing and 3 dances was all I got out of him, it was more than I’d thought I’d get! Everyone else however, danced like crazy! The kids were hilarious! During every official dance and otherwise, kids were galloping and waltzing all over the dance floor! It was a blast!! I got in as much dancing as I could when I wasn’t otherwise distracted with pictures, talking with guests, trying to take it all in, etc! It was during the dancing that my the hubby disappeared quite a bit to avoid having to get out there!

Apparently there was even a lot of dancing going on before Ray and I even made it to the reception…I LOVE these pictures of my little girlies swirling around! My photographer had a great time with them! (and don’t their dresses look cute! Made by the two little twirlers wonderful mom!)







And now the wild boys! (video of the boys is much funnier than these pictures! Ray’s groomsman’s son, my cousin’s and nephews were dancing kings- and they knew it!)


Did you see the beads around the boys necks?? I had tons of stuff laid out on the kid’s tables, spilling out of sand buckets…games, jewelry, toys, lots of stuff to keep them entertained. Most of the beads, ended up on the BOYS – Mardi-gras style! I’m just hoping they didn’t steal them from the girls Mardi-gras style!! Ha!

My bro Craig and my good friend Josh were my DJ’s. Josh has known my family for years, so they did a great job picking out tunes! His wife was also my lovely coordinator! So of course, they picked out a very fitting song.

Their most obvious choice was “Stacey’s Mom.” Oh yes….it was a requirement and yes, my mom does have it goin’ on! The groomsmen dragged her out on the floor and they along with myself and my bridesmaids loudly serenaded her through the whole song! Now, my mom– is NOT a music listener! I don’t know that she’d ever even heard of the song before- except for the time I played it for her on my phone to show her it was her ring tone! They tried to get Ray to help serenade her out on the dance floor, but it didn’t happen!









It seemed like every time I tried to dance with my maids, I got pulled away, but we still had a blast!!






Betcha can’t guess what song we were dancin to here! I thoroughly protested against group dances, but for some reason they’re always requested at weddings! So, I just went with it! As long as the YMCA wasn’t on the playlist!



But….ummm….what exactly is going on here? Can’t say I remember this moment, but it kinda looks like the YMCA?? Or was it “Shout” and everyone is “throwing hands up?” Oh no!


However, I am ok with the dance line! It’s always funny!





My grams requested a special song for us to dance to…although I pretty much hate the song, I’ll do just about anything for her! After all she’s 85 and can still get down, so let her have her fun! She requested “Achy Breaky Heart.” Yes, you read that right. Supposedly in honor of a certain student I used to teach (since Grams is a little too old to actually know any of her songs, but knows her dad’s! Ugh!)

She grabbed me and a couple of my youth girls and created her own “line dance.”




And these pictures pretty much express how crazy things were all night!








Did you notice who was missing from all of these pictures?? He didn’t get back in the action until our last dance! Since he’d told me he wasn’t dancing after our first and the one with his mom, I didn’t pick out a last dance song.  No worries, plenty of people to pick that out for me….let’s just say a little Marvin Gaye was going on….and I’m glad that I was married because it would’ve been embarrassing dancing to THAT in front of my guests! Hehe!




Then it was time to take off for our bed and breakfast in our balloon filled car! The guys had to beg my dad for the keys to the rental so that they could do something! I know I’m particular, but I did NOT want to drive off in a car with dirty things written all over it, so that’s why we got a rental! That, and driving away in a Mustang convertible on your wedding night is just pretty darn amazing! Besides, I’ve already ridden with Ray in a car with filthy stuff and condoms hanging everywhere. Last year when my BFF got married they decorated BOTH their cars not knowing which they’d use and we had to drive her husband’s truck!











(or at least, the end of what you get to know about!!) 

As previously mentioned, we held a cake reception and a dinner reception after our wedding! We wanted to be able to have the traditional dinner/dancing reception, but didn’t want to have to limit the guest list due to the higher cost of serving guests dinner! So we decided to do both! Everyone was invited to the cake reception, and family, wedding party, and anyone who helped with the wedding were all invited to the dinner. It was hard to decide who to invite to what, so that was what we came up with!

Our dinner reception was held at Old Natchez Country Club in Franklin, TN. Our coordinator, Debbie was fabulous! She made sure that every detail was put in place and carried through, from setting up our table designs, working with the chef on the perfect menu, shooing the kids away from places they shouldn’t be, to making sure that Ray and I actually ate something!


(I love that you can see my chocolate fountain in this pic!)

We had a buffet dinner, which I never saw, since our plates were brought to us, and which I heard was wonderful but didn’t really even taste it until we ate our goodie bag they sent with us later that night! The best stuff was the Coconut Chicken, with a mango sauce, and Marinated Flank Steak. Oh, that and the cupcakes and the chocolate fountain!

Of course, here is where the cupcakes I have so long raved about (here, here, here, and here!) made their debut! People are STILL talking about these babies!


          stacey-ray630          stacey-ray634

Here’s my favorite pictures of our decor. I worked my butt off planning all of this, since I’d kept the church decor simple and left the cake reception up to my mom and Sherri! While I didn’t actually put any of this out, I worked hard on buying, ordering, and designing it all! The lovely escort cards (which I was THRILLED with!) were done by my friend Susanna, with sand dollars I bought at one of my favorite beach shops in NC. (So yes, some things really were from the beach!)







During our official dances, we invited other couples, fathers and daughters, and mothers and sons to come join us about halfway through the respective songs. It’s kinda awkward to just sit and stair at one pair of dancers.

Our first dance was to “Unchained Melody” by the Righteous Brothers. My all time favorite song!



Our Father Daughter Dance was “Cinderella” by Stephen Curtis Chapman. It had just come out when I got engaged, and my dad had to listen to it for months in order to make it through the actual dance! He cried when we “practiced” a couple months before!


I loved seeing the other fathers dance with their daughters!  Here’s my brother, Rob, dancing with his girls, my brother-in-law Hector and Kaylee,  and then my Jr. Bridesmaids dancin with their daddy.




His Mother son dance was to Christina Aguilera’s “Por Siempre Tu” (Her Spanish version of “I Turn to You.”). He was super cute dancing with his mom, as was my brother Craig with our mom, and my sis-in-laws- Carla dancing with Nicholas and Lindsey dancing with Baby Grey!





After a few dances, it was dinner time!




Then a few impromptu speeches!





After all that, and an outdoor picture session (which I’ll feature pictures from later!), it was time for some serious dancing! It was so crazy and fun, it merits its own post! Stay tuned!

(I’m currently playing with layouts, as I didn’t love the sidebar placement on the last and trying to get my pics to show up normal! Sorry if you see a few changes!)


Our wedding featured TWO receptions! Because we had such a large amount of people, we went with a short, cake reception immediately following with everyone who came and then a formal reception with the wedding party, family and everyone who helped with the wedding!

Our cake reception was a lot of fun!  We started it off by gathering all of my students on the front steps of the church to get a picture with thier newly named teacher and her hubby! They were so cute and all so excited to be there!!



Our wonderfully yummy cake was made by my good friend, Jen who among her many talents also bakes cakes on the side! After giving her my vision of what I wanted, based on the cute cake toppers I looked at here, this is what she came up with and it was EXACTLY what I wanted!!





My new hubby’s surprise was a Cubs Baseball groom’s cake, made by my new bro-in-law’s mother-in-law! How’s that for new family connections! :o) Mamma Tessie’s does fantastic “theme” cakes, so I couldn’t resist the great designs she came up with for the groom’s cake! This was the winning option!


This reception was held in the church’s basement/fellowship hall. And yep, its exactly what you think of when you hear those words!! I wasn’t completely thrilled with the thought, but it was the most convenient/cheapest option. My mom assured me that she would find plenty of helpers to decorate and make it look less “basement-y!” Although, you can only do so much…I did LOVE the decorations!

My mom enlisted the help of my hairdresser! Yep, my hairdresser! My mom just happened to be getting her haircut and discussing wedding plans with Sherry, who has been cutting my family’s hair for almost 20 years (no one else is allowed to come near me with scissors!!), when Sherry started giving my mom all sorts of ideas and even offered to help! Not only is she an amazing hairstylist, but she also designs/makes costumes and sets for her daughters dance recitals and really has a knack for decorating! She took charge and with the help of my sis-in-laws and other friends she made the basement beautiful!!

The walls were covered in bedsheets- yep, bedsheets!- made to look like curtains to cover some of the “vacation Bible school” type paintings. Then lots of candles, shells, sand, palm trees and other goodies helped to transform the room!


All the kids had a blast with our  mini-candy bar!

It was so fun to see lots of old friends and students and meeting new family!!









And tons of bubbles sent us on our way to the dinner reception!