Author: Danielle Patterson

BIG News!

BIG News!

Yes, it does have to do with the male species but not with my relationship status. By the end of this year, 4 more boys will be calling me Aunt Danielle. You know my sister Michelle is having a baby! If you don’t, go and […]

My Lemon Tree Journey (Part 2)

My Lemon Tree Journey (Part 2)

THE LEMON PLANTS ARE OVER A YEAR OLD! I know, it’s crazy! In the last blog post, all of the plants were still in my bedroom. Theres only three now. No, I didn’t kill them. Each plant is doing well on its own. LEMON TREE […]

48 Weeks Till Christmas

48 Weeks Till Christmas

Can you believe that Christmas is in 48 weeks? I know that it’s a little weird to think about Christmas when we just finished putting our decorations away. Let’s look at it from a financial point of view. We all, single and married, know that Christmas can sometimes be a struggle financially. What better time to get on top of the holiday than right now.

If you’re still a little hesitant, let me throw you some pro’s that may persuade you; no stress level financially, enjoying some quality family time, no debt, focus on the real reason for the season (Jesus Christ Himself), etc.

I want to throw a disclaimer out. I am single and have fewer bills than a family of 6, but everyone can learn something. My income also hinders me financially, so this past year I tried something NEW. I wanted to let you all in on the secrets to help you this coming year.

Budget and Shop RIGHT NOW!

I know that some people love Black Friday shopping. That is not me. I am not a big fan of shopping, but I do love snagging a great deal.

Who are you buying Christmas gifts for? You could be single, like me, and have gifts to buy for a few people. You may be married with children and a few grandchildren to purchase gifts for. Whatever it is, you need to figure out who you plan on buying Christmas gifts for this year. Make a list, write it down and put it on your desk.

What is your budget? This is when it gets fun for me. I enjoy budgeting. When I budget right, it gives me more open doors to travel or buy something that I have wanted to buy for a while. The next thing is to figure out what you plan on spending for each person. On the same list of names that you wrote down, write down a price range of what you would like to spend for each of them. Remember, meaning matters more than money.

If you still are a fan of waiting until Black Friday, then budget and save.

The process of saving. There are many ways to save money, from change jars all the way to the envelop system by Dave Ramsey. You should have your names and budget list in front of you. What is the total budget from your list? Whatever you do, don’t stress. You are 48 weeks away from Christmas! You have time to figure it out. Below are some tips to help you out on preparing for Christmas 2019.

Set aside some money. For example; if my budget is $300 then I need to set aside $25 a month or $6.25 a week. When Christmas comes in 48 weeks, you don’t need to stress. You already have it saved up. Just go shopping!

Shopping now is a great idea. I had a lot of gifts purchased before Thanksgiving. I can tell you stress was not something that was apart of this past Christmas. My parents and Si’s gifts were the only gifts that I needed to buy.

Take advantage of the parties. During the summer I went to a Tupperware party. The anniversary sale was happening. The children’s tea party set was a cute color, plus its lifetime warranty. It was more than what I would have paid during the Christmas season for a gift. With it being summer, I knew that I could recover in the next week. Boom! I had my niece’s gifts bought for Christmas 6 months in advance.

Thrifting It. I don’t know if any of you are thrift store shoppers, but I love thrift store shopping. When I was shopping, I found a “Melissa and Doug” mailbox at a thrift store with all the pieces still in it. I purchased that for Calloway’s Christmas gifts. Buying gifts before the holiday season when you see them at a great price is the time to buy them.

Name exchange. One thing that has also helped the Patterson sisters for Christmas, is a name exchange. This way, we don’t need to buy gifts for each sister on top of our parents, nieces, and nephew. Each year we have a different sister. This past year, I had Olivia. I already knew what I wanted to get her, so I just needed to purchase the necklace. I just got a few other small things for her too.

Be Creative. It takes some time to figure out what works for your family. Growing up our parents never spent over $100 on us. Mom was great with making Christmas a blast. One year all of our gifts were in one large box. The box was either hidden inside, outside in our yard, or the neighbor’s yard. Running around and searching for the gifts, that was the best part. Another year, dad and mom wrapped the gifts and placed colored bows on the Christmas gifts. All five of us had a color bow with about five gifts. Presents were hidden throughout the entire house. Some were in the dryer another was in the tub. I don’t remember what I got that year but I do have memories of us girls running around the house looking for our Christmas presents and not telling someone if we saw one of theirs.

Here is a thought for you minimalists. If you are a minimalist and don’t like clutter, but you feel bad for your kids to open one gift on Christmas day. Visit Dollar Tree and buy some toys that they can open on Christmas day. All you have to do is throw them out when they break or when pieces go missing, but buy them that one thing they want that will last.

I hope that you are able to use something from this post to make your Christmas season for 2019 more enjoyable. Planning now is far more beneficial to you than it would be waiting till the December rolls around.

I challenge you to take a few minutes and start some lists. Have a great day Y’all.

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Danielle’s Top 2 Fall Recipes

Danielle’s Top 2 Fall Recipes

  Hey Y’all!! Fall is my favorite season and these two recipes have been my go-to recipes. I have made these whoopie pies 4 times and pumpkin bars twice. If you are someone that doesn’t like to try new things because you have a fear […]

Bus Ministry Preparation for A Program

Bus Ministry Preparation for A Program

Good morning, Y’all! I want to start out with a disclaimer, because I don’t want you to think we have this topic in the bag. I have never been in charge of a bus route…and still am not. I have become the behind the scene […]

7 DIY Fall Decor Ideas

7 DIY Fall Decor Ideas

#1  DIY Fall Fabric Garland

I love Fall but I just haven’t been a collector for decorations for the season. Coffee cups and Coffee is about the only things that I collect over fall. Christmas CDs are my winter season tradition.

When the idea for a blog post was thrown out for everyone to do a decoration post I knew it was gonna be a hard one. My room is not easy to throw Fall decor in and get it to blend in with the rest of my bright colored, random room theme.

I was looking around at fall decor and liked the fabric garland but I wasn’t gonna pay $15-$35 dollars for a garland and it wasn’t even the colors that I wanted. I ran to JOANNS and purchased some fall material and got to work.

I picked out 5 different prints and then cut them in strips. They were probably 1 1/2 inches in width and a foot long. Honestly, It didn’t cross my mind to even measure. I just started cutting and tying. I got a 1/4 yard of each print.

I finished it up and didn’t have a clue what I was doing. So I pinned it up on the wall with some lights and pictures. I am not the interior designer of the family. LOL

#2 Candy Corn Vase

I do this almost every year.  I love this decoration in the fall.

You need:

  • 2 vases ( one needs to fit inside the other)
  • A candle to fit inside the smaller vase
  • Candy Corn (you will need more than you think)

Put the vase inside each other and the candle in the inside vase.  Use a smaller candle if you want more of the candy corn to light up.  My candy corn vase will illuminate through the candy corn as it burns down.

Fill the space between the vases with candy corn.  You are done! Simple and fun!

#3 Placemat Accent Pillows

Materials you will Need:

  • A placemat that has two piece of material, so you can put stuffing in it.  I got this one last winter on clearance
  • Thread Riper
  • Need and Thread
  • Stuffing

First, pull out a few stitches on the bottom of the placement.  Add stuffing and stitch it back up.  Instead accent pillow.  I had the stuffing leftover from a project, so this pillow cost $1.00! WIN!

#4 Clearance & Dollar Store Flowers

Here is a quick look at some decorations at Michelle’s home in Milwaukee!

Hosea Bible Study Part 2

Hosea Bible Study Part 2

    Welcome back, this has been the longest two weeks of my life. I am just kidding! I am excited about how many ladies are doing this study at our church alone. Can’t wait to hear your thoughts and heart on this. Let us […]

Hosea Bible Study Part 1

Hosea Bible Study Part 1

    Good morning, afternoon or evening! Are you ready? I mean really? I am so excited about this blog post! I want to let you know from the beginning that this will be the first half of a two-part series. There is a ton […]




This trip was one interesting trip that will stick with me for the rest of my life. There was laughter, embarrassment, and even fright all in the same day. I don’t want to give the whole post away so we will just start right at the beginning. This post does consist of two places that you can visit on top of the coffee shop.

This trip was planned by my parents for Christmas. I am guessing mom more specifically since dad always says that “Christmas is just as exciting for me as it is for you because I don’t’ have a clue what you are getting.” I had mentioned if no one knew what to get me (Since I am a hard one to buy presents for apparently), just search out a coffee shop and give me money for fuel and I will be a happy duck. Sure enough, mom heard my request and Christmas evening I received a coffee shop address and some cash for gas. A few weeks later we took the trip

I loved this trip, mainly for the reason Livi was off work to go with me. This was the first and the last trip she will probably take with me to any coffee shop (You will know why later). The morning started with me filling the air in my tires and filling the gas tank up and planning to pick up Livi after her chiropractor visit.

We left Tyrone with the beautiful clear weather. Now mind you it was winter so it was cold out, but Praise the Lord for heat in a car. So we took off. Livi is feeling great with her body aligned and we are off for coffee around 9:30. Snow started falling about 45 minutes into the drive. It was a pretty drive to Johnstown PA with the roads clear and snow all over the trees. We reached our destination!  Livi and I snapped a few photos and then were ready for a cup of coffee.

The Morning Grind Website

The Morning Grind Coffee shop is a great comfy place to relax. They had great service and coffee and I knew that before I walked in. Clearly, it is a great place if I struggled to find a parking spot when the snow is falling and its nasty weather out. Honestly, though I was very impressed with the atmosphere and service. It almost reminded me of a Dunkins by the set up of how things were run. There were a lot of cups, shirts, coffee, etc to purchase and I always love that. There was comfy seating with couches, tables to just set at, and even a huge table in the back for larger groups. Livi and I grab our coffee and were off to find a table. We found the checkers table and decided to kill time by playing a round or two.

This was are crying/laughing time. Poor Livi struggled with the concept that unless she was king she wasn’t allowed to go in any direction that she wanted too. We were the weirdos at 11:00 who were laughing uncontrollably. It was incredibly hilarious. The place was very comfortable and had some great things to purchase. I bought two bags of their Blueberry Crumble coffee because our family loves Blueberry coffee with French Vanilla Creamer.

We Finished up at the coffee shop and I told Livi that Johnstown had a big mall that we could go to since we had all day. She was up for it, and if you know her like I do I knew we were going before I asked. Livi was in her own world if you can’t tell by the photos below.

We finished up in the mall and headed to Lunch. We decided to hit the Johnstown flood memorial after lunch.

Sure enough, the weather was getting worse and I was feeling uncomfortable about the weather. I really do get uncomfortable when I drive in weather that isn’t sunny. I don’t even like driving in rain. We jumped into the car and started driving. People were driving like idiots and doing their own thing by driving incredibly fast while trucking through about 5 inches of slush everywhere. There was no way I was feeling comfortable. As we waiting for the intersection light to turn green Livii was grabbing something out of her purse. Out of nowhere, a car hits us in the back. We jerk forward and I am asking my sister if she is fine. She is complaining about her back is a mess. It took her seconds to be mad about her chiropractor visit and how its a waste of money. By now we were trying to call dad to ask what we are to do. I would have been more of a mess if the man wouldn’t have been such an adult and making sure we were okay and telling us what stuff we had to swap. I left feeling horrible because my car didn’t look damaged but it did some serious damage to his.

It may look all cute and all but my car has really bad damage and I didn’t realize it till about a month later, by then it was too late for the insurance to cover. We finished up doing the normal stuff you do when you have an accident and started to head home. by the time we got out of town, the weather was really clear and sunny so we decided to head to the Johnstown Flood Museum. It was a total learning experience because I had never known anything about the flood so I was reading everything and so amazed and how well the town recovered after a horrible flood like that.

Johnstown Flood Museum Website.

Never planned on adding this to the blog post so I never took a ton of pictures. Sorry! It is a time killer so plan on at least 45 minutes to tour and look around.

Have a great day Y’all!

My Lemon Tree’s Journey

My Lemon Tree’s Journey

Have you ever had one of those moments when you scroll through Pinterest and out of the blue you see something and in no time you try and do it? Haha, this was one of those moments. Now there is a funny story on the startup […]

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