Monday, November 28, 2011

Cyber Monday

First, I want to say welcome to all of the new followers to Claudie Belle Designs!  I am so happy to have you here!  Thank you for entering my giveaway over at Ginger Snap Crafts and good luck!  I hope everyone enjoyed their Thanksgiving weekend with family and friends! 

We had a wonderful weekend with my parents who came to visit and our dear friends who joined us for Thanksgiving dinner!  We also got a little Black Friday shopping done which was a lot of fun!  We didn't do any of the crazy early hours, but the stores still had great deals Friday morning and the crowds were not too bad as some of the people who started shopping at midnight were heading home to nap!  I will have a Thanksgiving update post later today but I wanted to highlight a couple of Cyber Monday deals I thought you may be interested in! 

Living Social has a great Snapfish deal for $15 you can get $30 worth of products here and Snapfish is also having 50% off their photobooks.  Note: the photo book offer ends today!  These books make great gifts!  I have made a couple of them before! 

I am also offering a Cyber Monday deal in my Etsy shop for 20% off your total purchase!  Use the coupon code CYBERMONDAY during checkout to receive your discount! 

Did you find any great deals on Black Friday?  Tell us about them!


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The Day Before Thanksgiving

Another year has come and gone and my how it has flown!  As Thanksgiving is just a day away, here is so much to be thankful for not just at this time of year but every day! 

I am thankful for my sweet hubby.
I am thankful for my family.
I am thankful for friends near and far.
I am thankful for our wonderful church home.
I am thankful for a roof over my head.
I am thankful for food to eat.
I am thankful for every small thing that is necessary to live that I so often take for granted.
I am most thankful for what Christ has done for us and the relationship He pursues with us!

This year is a Nashville Thanksgiving.  My parents are almost here, the hubs is off of work, and our great friends will be joining us for Thanksgiving dinner!  While we will definitely miss the rest of our family and friends, it is wonderful to have loved ones together!  I am going to be honest though, I am really going to miss my Grannie's chocolate pie and my Nannie and Grannie's stuffing!  While it probably won't come close to Grannie, I am going to attempt her Chocolate Pie recipe!  Stay tuned to see how it turns out!  And I can't wait to taste what our friend's Lisa and Jason bring!  Lisa is a cajun cooking queen and always makes the best dishes! 

Also, coming up this week Ginger Snap Crafts is hosting a giveaway for one of my distressed frames on her blog this Friday, November 25th!  Check out her blog Friday to enter! 

I am also participating in I Heart Nap Time's  Crazy Christmas Shopping event from Friday to Sunday the 25th-27th!  Check it out to get a discount code for my etsy shop! 

I pray that you all have a happy Thanksgiving and soak up every minute with family and friends!  What are your favorite Thanksgiving dishes??

Ashley :)

Friday, November 18, 2011

You're Invited! Christmas Open House

It's Friday again and we are less than a week away from Thanksgiving!  I am so excited to spend time with our family!  But before Thanksgiving I have some work to do to get ready for my first open house that I am having November 29th. 

If you are in the Nashville area this event is open to anyone and everyone!  This is a great opportunity to get some of that Christmas shopping done by buying local and handmade. We are going to have gifts for all ages including accessories, home decor, personalized monogramming, jewelry, baby items, children's items and much more! A portion of the profits will go to World Vision, an organization that works worldwide to tackle the causes of poverty and injustice.

This is a come and go event and snacks will be served! There will also be some great drawings for giveaways!

Even if you are ahead of the game and have all of your shopping done, feel free to stop by and hang out!


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Wanting vs. Wishing

Daniel and I have been so blessed in finding such a wonderful church here in Nashville that has truly become our home away from home!  God is clearly at work at Brentwood Baptist and He constantly uses our pastor, ministers, and people there to speak truth into our lives. 

This past Sunday, Pastor Mike spoke on a subject that has become a theme that I think the Lord is really trying to get me to get!  I'm so thankful He is patient with me and doesn't give up on me!  The theme I am talking about is the active part of faith i.e. actively seeking, actively waiting, and the list goes on.  Sounds easy, but time after time I get to a point of frustration because I'm not where I want to be in my relationship with Christ, I'm not exactly where I want to be in a career path, and even down to little things like not being a great housekeeper or not being motivated for certain things.  Every time I get frustrated, God seems to put someone or something in my path that tells me that I CAN do something about changing my situation.  So often, I just cruise through life expecting all these big things to happen that I haven't put the time in for and I'm finally really beginning to see that it just doesn't happen that way. 

Pastor Mike opened this topic of wanting vs. wishing with this illustration:
In the game of golf, you don't laugh when someone makes a bad shot, it just isn't polite and everyone has bad shots now and then. 
He and his son were playing golf and he got up to the tee box and hit a horrible shot and his son burst into laughter.  Mike said, "why are you laughing like that?"  The son replied, " You don't do anything in your swing to make the ball go where you want it to, you just get up there and wish." 

A lot of times we say we want something, but our lives don't show that we want it because we don't do anything to get there.  We settle into wishing that things will happen instead of actively working for what we want.  At the end of the message, Mike posed the question, "If we find what we want, are we willing to pay the price to get it?" 

This reminds me of the quote, "Anything worth having is worth fighting for."  And what more important thing is there to fight for than being close to Christ? 

Are you wanting or wishing today??

Ashley :)

Monday, November 14, 2011

Asheville, NC


Good morning!  I hope each and every one of you had a wonderful and blessed weekend!  My post on Friday reminded me that I never posted on our weekend in Asheville, NC a few weeks ago.  Daniel's parents planned a trip up our way to see the beautiful changing leaves and boy did they pick a great time to come!  Daniel and I met them in Asheville for a few days and here is a little overview of that weekend!
After we met up with The Chambers' on Saturday we drove into Winston-Salem, NC where Daniel's dad was getting some work done to his truck.  I have some relatives there so I was really happy we got to stop in and see them!  This is my cousin Earl and his two sweet sons and my mom's cousin, Pat who is like an Aunt to me!

Sunday we drove around taking in the beautiful scenery and went to an apple orchard in Asheville, NC.

 Picking apples at an orchard

The hubs looking for some good ones!

On Monday, we toured the house and grounds at the Biltmore!  I have been wanting to do this for years and it was worth every penny!
  The house is just unbelievable and the tour inside took about 3 hours!

 Tammie and I walking through the gardens and laughing about who knows what :)

My handsome hubby and I

The morning before we had to head back to Nashville, we did a little hiking and went to the Billy Graham Training Facility called The Cove.

The beautiful chapel at The Cove

Scripture painted in the prayer room in the chapel

We thouroughly enjoyed our time spent in Asheville!  It is such a beautiful place with a lot to do, but most importantly it was wonderful to spend time with our family! 

Thanks for reading!
Ashley :)

Friday, November 11, 2011

Fresh From the Orchard Apple Pie

It's Friday y'all and what a great day to share a yummy recipe that you can try over the weekend! 

A few weeks ago Daniel's parents came to visit and we met them in Asheville, NC for the weekend.  Speaking of. . .  I need to post on it so be looking for that soon!  One of the things we did in Asheville was go to an apple orchard!  Picking your own peaches, apples, berries, etc. is always fun and a unique experience.  This particular orchard was mostly apples and boy did they have the apples!!  There were row after row of any and every kind of apple you have ever heard of and many that I hadn't heard of before!  They even had maps telling you which rows were which variety of apple- pretty spiffy! 

I like apples but I wouldn't say I love apples, at least not just grabbing one by itself for a snack so my first thought was "let's get some so I can make an apple pie from scratch!"  Without ever having made an apple pie from scratch before how was I supposed to know which of the hundred kinds of apples I should use?  I asked one of the employees and she mapped out the rows for apples to make a sweet apple pie or a tart apple pie.  With a sweet tooth the size of Texas, I definitely went with the sweet ones!  We ended up getting a peck of a few different kinds, but for my pie I used all Golden Delicious. 

Once we got back to Nashville, I looked up several recipes and with their help came up with my own little concoction.  I do have to say that I used a store bought pie crust, but that's still homemade, right?

Fresh From the Orchard Apple Pie

6 medium thinly sliced peeled apples
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tbls flour
3/4 tea cinnamon
1/4 tea salt
1/8 tea nutmeg
1 tbls lemon juice
stick of butter (you won't need it all)
1 box refrigerated rolled pie crust (comes with 2 crusts and you'll need both)

Start by laying out your pie crusts so they will soften a bit.

Peel, core, and slice your apples and place them in a large mixing bowl.  Stir them around with the lemon juice to keep them from turning. 

Next, simply stir all the ingredients in with the apples.

Take one of the rolled pie crusts: unroll it and press it out firmly in the bottom of a greased glass pie plate.  Take the stick of butter by one end and butter the inside of your crust all over.  (Doesn't have to be thick or completely even)

Pour the apple mixture in the pie plate on top of the crust and spread it out with a spoon. 

Dot a few dots of butter on top of the apple mixture.

For the top crust you can either place the whole crust over the pie and cut a few slits in it so it will be able to breath or you can cut the crust in 1inch strips and create a lattice top by weaving the strips over and under each other.  Let me know if you have questions about this, it is easier than it sounds!

Bake your pie at 425 degrees for 40-45 minutes.  I usually put foil around the edges after 25 minutes to keep them from getting too brown.

Let it cool a bit so the filling will set up and enjoy!  Apple pie is always SOO good with vanilla ice cream too!

I added a crumble on top of mine because the hubs loves the crust and that is simply:
3 tbl flour
1tbl sugar
dash salt
folded in with 1 tbl softened butter

Happy Baking and Have a wonderful weekend!

Ashley :)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Tutorial: Ric Rac Roses

Hey guys!  It has been awhile since I posted a tutorial but I plan to start posting at least one per week if not more so be on the lookout!  The tutorial I have for you today is for ric rac roses and it is really easy and fun!  I love these because they have a very detailed look and a porcelain, vintage feel.  You can use them on necklaces, rings, earrings, journals, on a gift, etc.

You will need:
-24 in of medium ric rac unless you want a larger rose, then you would need more
-A sewing machine
-Hot Glue Gun

Depending on how large you want your rose, cut two pieces of ric rac.  I cut mine in two 12 in pieces.  Start intertwining them together as shown in the picture below.  This is the trickiest part because the ric rac will want to curl up so just hold the ends together at the top and pull the bottom to stretch it out a bit.

 Once they are fully intertwined it should look something like this:

You will then sew a straight stitch down the middle of the intertwined ric rac to hold everything in place.

It should then look like this:

Now you will just start at one end and roll it up securing it every little turn with a small dot of hot glue.  When you get towards the end, glue the raw ends to the back of the rose.

It will come out as a closed rose and you can either leave it that way or turn the edges out so it is open like I did below.  So there you have it; a pretty easy but beautiful flower to adorn just about anything!  Happy crafting and let me know if you have any questions!

Ashley :)

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

What I'm Loving Wednesday

Found a fun linky party over at this kind of love for all the things that I'm loving on this wonderful Wednesday!

I'm loving my new blog header that Leisha over at We Are the Sheppards made for me!

I'm loving my Fantasy Football Team, Easy Breesy Covergirl!

This is my third year to play Fantasy Football and I love it!  The first football season after we got married, Daniel's team needed an extra so I kind of reluctantly agreed to play but Daniel knew what he was doing because I was soon wanting to watch all of the NFL games to keep up with how my team was doing!  I always have and always will love college sports better, but having a fantasy team makes watching the NFL a lot of fun!  And this year I was lucky enough to get my favorite QB, Drew Brees on both of my teams!

I'm loving that the holidays are just around the corner because that means lots of family time!  Living far away makes the time we get with our friends and family at home that much sweeter!

Im loving the friendly folks at our Home Depot!  Yesterday, I went to go buy some lumber supplies for a bunch of frames that I am making and everyone was extremely nice and helpful!  I needed a huge sheet of plywood cut down into smaller squares and they were more than happy to help, took their time, and measured everything to the T!  Thank you Hundred Oaks Home Depot!

I'm loving that God always has a plan even when I can't see it and that He is faithful through and though!

Lastly, I'm loving my sweet, handsome hubby!

What are you loving today?

Ashley :)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Square Review

For those of you who know me, you know that I'm not always up on the latest technology, but I finally got my first smartphone, an iphone a couple of months ago and I love it!  I'm still learning all of the things you can do with it and it is unreal! 

One reason I really wanted one is so I could accept credit card payments at my craft shows.  I found that I usually missed out on several sales because I was a cash only booth.  The app is called Square and it's free!  I was pretty skeptical at first that there were going to be hidden fees involved but I was wrong!  Square charges 2.75% per transaction with no monthly fees and that's it!

Simply go to the Square website here and sign up.  Make sure and download the app on your phone or ipad.  They will mail you a square reader in the mail that plugs into the headphone spot on your phone. 

When you have a purchase:

1) Open the Square app
2) Type in the amount
3) Swipe the credit card
4) Have the customer sign or initial on your phone or ipad screen
5) Option to email a receipt to your customer

Another great thing about Square is that you can link your account up to your bank account and they will deposit your money into the bank without you having to manually do it.

I definitely recommend Square to small up and coming businesses!  It is a great, cost effective way to accomodate more customers. 

Have you ever payed with or used Square before?  What are your thoughts about it?

Ashley :)


Monday, November 7, 2011

New Blog Look and Springfield Christmas Sampler

In case you didn't notice, my blog has a new look which I am so excited about!  A sweet friend I went to high school with was kind enough to work on it for me!  You should stop in and check out her blog at We Are The Shepperds.  She is really talented and has a super cute blog!

Can't believe a week of November has already come and gone!  I hope everyone enjoyed their extra hour of sleep this weekend!  For the Chambers', it could not have come on a better weekend!  I had a show in Springfield, TN and Daniel was a part of a team from his work who ran in the Ragnar Relay, a race from Chattanooga to Nashville.

Here are some pics from my show:

 My new door display that the hubs helped me make!  We put pegboard in the openings where glass used to be and hooks on the lower panels.  It turned out great to display my new frames that I just started making.  I will be adding these to Etsy later today.

 A shot of my entire booth, #89

The Sampler was a fun show and the people who put it together and run it are wonderful!  They had a sweet crew of people helping unload everyone on Friday which was such a blessing because I was pulling the trailer by myself since Daniel was out of town.  I was able to make some good contacts and meet a lot of great people this weekend! 

Ashley :)