March 18, 2014 AT 7:01 am 1 Comment
This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Upromise by Sallie Mae for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.


Hey Friends!

I wanted to quickly share something with you that I thought you might be interested in.

It is an easy way to earn money for your child’s college education.

My four boys are growing up so quickly, and Cy and I talk about how we are going to be able to afford college for all of them.  We are definitely going to make them partially responsible for some of the costs of their education, but we would also like to be able to help them out as well.

So this program got my attention.

Welcome, Upromise!

Upromise is a simple, yet powerful idea…

Turn everyday spending into college savings.

Upromise, by Sallie Mae, is free to join and members can receive cash back shopping online at more than 850 retailers, dining out, buying gas, shopping with the Upromise credit card, or even buying or selling a home.

Earn money for college just for doing what you already do

You can start online shopping hundreds of online retail partners such as Target, Apple, Best Buy, Macy’s or Old Navy on Upromise.com, and  earn up to five percent back for college on eligible purchases.

Shop at any of these online sites? 

Upromise Members can earn cash back for that!


We shop at Target, Best Buy, Old Navy, and many more of the 850 participating retailers, so this would be a great way for Cy and I to save money for college for all of our boys.

Here’s a short video of how it works…


Good News!!!

In March, Upromise by Sallie Mae is increasing the cash back amount for college to help families, college students, and recent grads to save and pay for college.

During March Bonus College Savings Month, nearly 300 online retailers are offering 7- 20% cash back on eligible purchases made when starting at Upromise.com.

That’s awesome!

Upromise Facebook promotion:

Throughout Bonus Savings Month, Upromise is asking people to share savings tips for a chance to win $500 in your Upromise account.

All you have to do to be eligible to win is “Like” the Upromise Facebook page and share a college savings tip.

The contest begins March 3, and the winner will be announced March 26.

Details are available at Facebook.com/Upromise.


Have you every heard of UPromise?

I hadn’t either, but Cy and I are definitely checking it out.  It sounds like a great, easy way to save for college!

Visit Sponsor's Site

The Lobby Project

March 16, 2014 AT 10:14 pm 13 Comments

Our church is trying to fix up our back lobby area because it is currently being unused.  We thought it would be fun to have a little sitting area for a coffee station.  A place for people to sit and relax and fellowship together.

I was asked to lead the committee on this project, and it has been fun to think about decorating an area besides my home.

I got on Polyvore last night and started putting a space together.  I had fun picking out pieces that would create a homey, relaxed, and comfortable vibe.

It will probably look nothing like this {hee.hee.} but it was fun to design.

I used pieces of furniture I found on polyvore, so of course, they wouldn’t look exactly like this, but here is one of the areas…

lobby project

Isn’t that a fun, relaxing space?  I kind of think I may need to create this space in my own home! Smile

I am definitely hoping that we can incorporate some artwork from Red Lettered Words.  And I hope we can keep the area fresh and colorful.

We are going to have several sitting areas.  I would love to have a sitting area with a long table for people to have meetings and hang out in larger groups.

lobby project

Isn’t that a cute logo on the wall?  I found that at sarahmcclurken.com.  I had trouble finding red chairs that I liked, but I went ahead and added the leather ones just to represent the pop of color I was looking for.

We are going to have a coffee bar as well, and hopefully another sitting areas with high top tables and chairs.

Our goal is to get all of this completed by Easter.  I have a wonderful team that is going to help me get it done.

Do you have a coffee station at your church? 

I would love to see any pictures, if you would like to share them. Smile


P.S.  The boys are home from school again today because of snow!  Can you believe it?!  I am soooo ready for Spring!!!

Sunday Encouragement

March 16, 2014 AT 8:58 am 8 Comments

Happy Sunday, friends!

I love talking to you each Sunday, and I spend time each week thinking about what I can say to encourage you.

But the truth is, my words are empty if they do not contain the life-giving truth of God’s word.

I can tell you how wonderful you are, and how you are going to make it through this tough time, and how things will get better, and how strong and amazing you are…

And all those things are good.

They may build you up for a second, a few hours, or even a day.

But encouragement that lasts for a lifetime and gives you inconceivable strength for each day is found in God’s word.

So I was so excited when I found these cute little printable scripture cards from MeetPenny.com.

Encouraging Bible Verses that you can print to use as memory cards. Beautiful and peaceful.


Click on the picture above and it will take you to Penny’s site.

Then you will be able to download and print these scripture cards.

I want to encourage you to put these on your refrigerator, your bathroom mirror, in your car, by your bed, or anywhere else you will see them on a daily basis.

Read them.

Memorize them.

Believe them.

It will be a beautiful thing to see the transformation that God will do in your heart and in your life through His word.


God bless you, friends!


If you do not have a printer at home, I am typing out the scriptures below

so you can write them on notecards and place them around your home.


This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, he hears us.

1 John 5:14


Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

Matthew 11:28-29


The Lord makes firm the steps of the one who delights in Him; though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with his hand.

Psalms 37:23-24


So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Isaiah 41:10


But the have this treasure in jars of clay to show that is all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed;  perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.

2 Corinthians 4: 7-9


“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord, “plans to prosper you, not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.”

Jeremiah 29:11


The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves.  He will take great delight in you; in His love He will no long rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.

Zephaniah 3:17


I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace.  In this world you will have trouble, but take heart!  I have overcome the world.

John 16:33

Favorite Pins Friday

March 13, 2014 AT 6:35 pm 3 Comments

It’s Friiiiiiiiii-day!  Whoop!

I hope you have had a good week!

Mine was good, but the weather was crazy!  Seventies on one day and snow showers the next.  Crazy!  Smile

Here are my favorite pins from Pinterest this week!


black spool bed, gallery shelf



Guest Bedroom - Contemporary - Bedroom - Images by Austin Bean Design Studio | Wayfair



Pantry Organization Ideas








Ikea island, sanded and painted



1/2 bath idea



I want as much desk space as possibe, so this right triangle is pretty good. (taken from 25 Great Home Office Decor Ideas)



Love the colors



Farmhouse Master Bedroom




no source





The voting is still going on every day throughout the month, so I will be putting a little daily reminder to vote at the bottom of my posts.  If I win this week, then I will make it to the Sweet 16, and then hopefully to the Elite 8, then the Final Four, and then the GRAND CHAMPION!  Whoot!  Wouldn’t that be awesome?!!

brownie sundaefollow

Click HEREfollow to visit the REESE’S® Baking Bracket Challengefollow and VOTE!

When you go to the website and click on “vote now,” it makes you go through each bracket to vote.  I think my recipe is in the 3rd or 4th bracket, and then you can stop voting after that if you want.  Or you can check out the other delicious recipes!

Thanks so much!

Little Things Make Me Happy

March 11, 2014 AT 12:13 pm 9 Comments

Don’t you love when you find little things that just make you smile?

I found two little items at a local antique {junk} store that made me so happy.

The first thing I found was the antique camping lamp for Luke’s industrial shelving in his room.

2014-03-11 11.46.55


I found it just a couple days after I posted about Luke’s industrial shelves on my blog.

industrial shelves

Here are the reasons I love that little lantern:

2014-03-11 11.48.28

1.  It’s old.  Enough said.

2.  It matches the colors in the room, touches of aqua and red.

3.  It goes with the “explore” theme on Luke’s side of the room.

4.  It’s so boyish, and Luke LOVES it!

I got it for only $12.50.  I searched online to find something like it, but only found this on ebay…

1950′s Homart Explorer No. 4848 w/ Red Signal Flasher NOS – Unused – Sears  $39.99

But it is missing the battery part which is the cutest part of the whole thing!

2014-03-11 11.47.56


The other little thing that makes me happy is this little metal watering can that I got for 5 bucks.  I bought a little fern from Lowe’s to put in it, and it is just the cutest little thang ever!  {Yes, I meant to say “thang!”}  Smile

2014-03-11 11.45.21


Every time I sit on the couch beside that cute little fern, I smile.  Especially because it is sitting on my $20 side table makeover.  {Earlier photo below.}

2014-02-11 16.14.49

You can see this side table makeover HERE.

So that’s it!  Just a couple of little things that make me smile.  Smile

Have you bought “a little something” lately that makes  you smile?

Please share!

Have a blessed day, friends!



As a sidenote…

Thanks to everyone who voted for my Buzzer Beater Brownie Sundae yesterday.  The voting goes on every day throughout the month, so I will be putting a little daily reminder to vote at the bottom of my posts.  If I win this week, then I will make it to the Sweet 16, and then hopefully to the Elite 8, then the Final Four, and then the GRAND CHAMPION!  Whoot!  Wouldn’t that be awesome?!!

brownie sundae

Click HERE to visit the REESE’S® Baking Bracket Challenge and VOTE!

When you go to the website and click on “vote now,” it makes you go through each bracket to vote.  I think my recipe is in the 3rd or 4th bracket, and then you can stop voting after that if you want.  Or you can check out the other delicious recipes!

Thanks so much!

Traci’s Buzzer Beater Brownie Sundaes!

March 10, 2014 AT 12:00 pm 8 Comments

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of REESE’S® Brand for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

We are going to talk about two important things today…Chocolate and Basketball.

I love watching the basketball games during college basketball season, but I love EVEN MORE eating chocolate while watching those basketball games.  Smile


So to celebrate this fun time of year, I’ve teamed up with REESE’S® brand and Walmart® to bring you my very own original recipe!

Let me introduce my recipe for the first time to the public…drum roll, please…..

brownie sundae

I helped create one of 32 fun REESE’S® recipes that can be found at REESE’S® Baking Bracket Challenge

Fans who vote for MY RECIPE {hint, hint} or other Game Day Recipes in a bracket-style contest will be entered for a chance to win a daily prize $100 Walmart® gift card.

RECIPE:  Traci’s Buzzer Beater Brownie Sundaes!

Items needed:

Boxed Brownie Mix {I used Betty Crocker’s Ultimate Fudge Brownie Mix with Hershey’s.}

Egg, Oil, Water {for brownie mix}

1 pint Whipping Cream

1/3 cup Sugar

Approximately 12 Small Canning Jars

Reese’s Pieces

Reese’s Mini’s {unwrapped}

REESE’S® Peanut Butter Cups Miniatures

Vanilla Ice Cream

Tube of Chocolate Icing

Optional Decorating Items:

Paper Flags on Toothpicks

Candy Basketball Decoration


Plastic Spoons

Team Napkins


Step One:  Prepare boxed brownie mix in a bowl.

Step Two:  Fill canning jars 1/3 full of brownie mix.


Step Three:  Bake brownie mix in jars for approximately 15-20 minutes at 350 degrees.

Step Four:  Let brownies cool.

Step Five:  Mix 1/3 cup of sugar and heavy whipping cream together with a mixer until light and fluffy.


Step Six:  Layer canning jar in this order:  brownie, orange Reese’s Pieces, one scoop of vanilla ice cream, Reese’s Minis, and whipped cream.


Step Seven:  Decorate the jars with string, spoons, toothpick flags, and candy basketballs {attached to bite sized Reese’s Miniature Cup}


Step Eight:  Enjoy while cheering on your favorite team!


Let’s just say that these were a HUGE HIT with my boys!  They gobbled them right up!  SmileIt will definitely satisfy your sweet tooth and give you energy to cheer on your favorite team!

for your favorite recipe at REESE’S® Baking Bracket Challenge.

{Please vote for me.}

Remember, each day you vote, you are entered to win a $100 Walmart Gift Card!

brownie sundae


Visit Sponsor's Site

Sunday Encouragement

March 9, 2014 AT 10:08 am 12 Comments

image This week I saw the most beautiful quote on one of my favorite blogs, Craftberrybush.  {www.craftberrybush.com)

This quote made me think of my mom and all the “moments” I had with her.  And how those moments are now just memories.

And how much value those moments now hold for me now that they are just memories.

It made me think of my boys, and how sometimes I don’t always soak up those “moments” with them before they become memories.

It reminded me of how fragile and precious this life is, and how we ought not take it  for granted.

I am so thankful for the wonderful memories that God has given me over my lifetime.  And I am looking forward to the “moments” He has in store for me even this very day.

So I want to encourage you and I both to take hold of each moment and treasure the value that it holds this day… before it becomes a memory.

God bless you, friends!

Have a blessed Sunday!


Favorite Pins Friday

March 7, 2014 AT 7:02 pm 5 Comments

Happy Friday, Friends!

I hope you had a great day today.  I am posting kind of late.  This morning, I woke up not feeling 100%.  I think I have a head cold.  Smile

Hopefully, it doesn’t get any worse, but I am going to bed early tonight!  Smile

We are supposed to have some warmer weather and some sunshine here in Kentucky tomorrow, and I am going to soak it up!


Here are my favorite pins from Pinterest this week!!

benjamin moore linen white.






couldn’t find source


HB 5



















Have a blessed weekend!!

Painted Leather Office Chair {Radiant Orchid}

March 6, 2014 AT 2:55 pm 22 Comments

Hello, friends!

I just wanted to pop in and show you my new, painted leather, office chair!

painted leather office chair

Eli said it looks like a pink race car! Smile

I’ll take that!

This little chair has been transformed more than once.

I got it several years ago at Goodwill for $12.50.

painted leather office chair

It was the style of chair I had been looking for, but not the color, so I made slipcover for it.

slipcovered office chair

You can read about how I did that, HERE.

Well, the slipcover had worn out {thanks to my boys}, and I needed to do something different.

As a Lowe’s Creative Idea Blogger, I was given the challenge of using Pantone’s Radiant Orchid paint by Valspar in a DIY home project.  I knew that I wanted to use it on my office chair.

I have seen other bloggers paint leather, so I thought I would give it a try!

I started with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint because I like the way it adheres to any surface.  I only had enough paint for one coat. Then I lightly sanded the chair after the paint dried.painted leather office chair

For the second coat of paint, I used my favorite Valspar Premium Latex Enamel paint in Satin White.  {It comes in a quart size over by the spray paint at Lowe’s.}painted leather office chair

After that dried, I lightly sanded again, and then I used painter’s tape to create stripes on the chair.

Lastly, I applied two coats of Valspar’s Pantone Universe, Radiant Orchid for my stripes.

painted leather office chair


Lastly, once dried, I removed the tape and applied one coat of Annie Sloan clear wax.

Done!  I am pleasantly surprised with how soft my chair still feels.  Cy was even impressed with this little makeover.  painted leather office chairI’ve had fun incorporating pink into this space and making it my own! Smile  Let’s just say that living with five guys doesn’t make for much pink in my house.

This room feels like “me.”

I have no idea how long this paint will last on the chair, but if I get a good year out of it, I will be thrilled!  From what I have read from other bloggers, though, is that the paint holds up really well.  I will let you know!

painted leather office chair

To see more creative ideas, you might want to check out Lowes Creative Ideas Magazine app, visit Lowes on Facebook, Lowes on Pinterest, and Lowes on Instagram.


Disclosure: I am a Lowes Creative blogger and this post is sponsored by Lowes. All project ideas and opinions are 100% mine.

I’m going to California with my Sister! {and StitchFix!}

March 5, 2014 AT 9:14 am 27 Comments

Y’all, I am so stinkin’ excited about something!  I’ve been dying to tell you!!

In three short weeks, my sister and I will be headed to San Francisco, California!


{Notice who is Grannie in the picture.  hee.hee} Smile

Yep.  My sister, who is terrified of flying, and I will be loading up our stuff and heading to California.  I’ve already promised to knock her out if she starts panicking on the flight.  Ain’t nobody got time for that!

We have never flown together.  {And our Dad is not too happy about it.}  SmileAnd we have never been to California.  And we’ve never be on a trip by ourselves together!

What another incredible blessing our blogs have afforded us!  {I know Mom would be so thrilled!  It makes me think of this post I wrote, “Mama says, Take Care of Your Sister.”}

I cannot wait to spend 5 days with just my sister!  She is my best friend, and we laugh until our stomachs hurt when we are together.  She gets me.  And I get her.

We are traveling to California to tour the facilities and meet the wonderful staff at Stitch Fix.

Cyndi and I both LOVE Stitch Fix, although Cyndi blogs about it a lot more since she has a fashion blog.

Stitch Fix is a personal styling service.  You can sign up to get your monthly “fix” of five items of clothing.  You keep what you like and send back what you don’t.

Here are a few items that I have gotten in my boxes and kept lately:

My favorite piece is the red and white chevron shirt that I am wearing in this picture…

2013-11-08 13.51.54

{That’s me and Leslie, from House on the Way.}

And I love this new green sweater that I recently got and wore to church with my gray dress…

2014-02-09 14.19.04

I also love these other pieces they sent me…


I’ve got about 20 more pieces of clothing from Stitch Fix in my closet, but didn’t have time to take pictures of them all.

My sister loves to shop for clothes, but I do not.  I do not know if something is stylish or not.  But I can tell you the best way to stain a table!  ha! Smile

So I depend on my sister and Stitch Fix to keep me in style.  I love that Stitch Fix knows what I like because I filled out their Style Profile, and I love that they send me the most current trends in fashion.  Takes the stress out of shopping for me.

If you would like to learn more about how Stitch Fix works, you can read the post I wrote HERE.



I cannot wait to tell you all about our trip and share lots of photos with you.

Have you ever been to California? 

What did you love most?


*This is NOT a sponsored post.

content and images copyright © 2009 - traci, beneath my heart

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