Painted mantel in the darkest of greys + Christmas sneak peak!

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The painting bug seems to strike at unexpected times. 

I would think of spring and fall first, as one you are purging and refreshing your space for warmer weather and the other getting cozy and bringing in warmth all around you.

But right before Thanksgiving, not something I thought we would tackle.

Until I removed everything from our fireplace wall and hung a Barn Wood Christmas sign that I made.  Then I realized to really make the sign pop, the wall needed to be darker. [Read more…]

Apple pie hard cider

apple pie hard cider, how to make hard cider

 

We just came up with this little number this weekend and I had to share.

Not only is this a refreshing, crisp glass of apple pie with a kick, but this will keep those tootsies warm on cold nights too.

I love a quick seasonal drink that I can throw together for friends to enjoy, and this little apple concoction is just what we need for some relaxing late Fall entertaining.  And by late Fall I mean some of my Christmas stuff is up and it’s beginning to look a lot like Santa’s Workshop up in here. [Read more…]

10 budget friendly Christmas DIY’s

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We are going to make a day of it this year, with warm boots, mittens and lots of cocoa to find our tree.

I cannot wait.

Like, literally.  So in the meantime Santa’s little workshop can still be full of Christmas cheer and working on lots of projects while I wait for late November and tree-finding day to arrive.

This is my favorite time of year (I know I say that about every season) so I guess I love celebrating and decorating and that is why Christmas brings back so many memories.  And makes me want to get to creating every chance I have.

Here are some of my favorite Christmas projects for a little inspiration and hopefully a few thrifty ideas to begin the season with excitement and joy. [Read more…]

5 thrifty to ways to breathe new life into your home right now

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Since returning to work full time, I have found that more than ever my home is the warm nest I look forward to returning to each day after work.

And while I don’t have the time to accomplish large projects in the evenings and on weekends, I can little things on a regular basis that add up to something wonderful.

None of us have unlimited time or resources to have a perfect home.  [Read more…]

Black and white DIY Thanksgiving pumpkins

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Can you believe that it’s going to be Thanksgiving in just a few weeks?

Neither can I.  We were just knee deep in summer a minute ago it seems, and the wonderful holiday season has already arrived.

Being that it is my favorite time of year I will take it however.  I don’t know about you but I get a little (ok massively) excited when the holiday baking displays begin to pop up at the grocery store.

Marshmallow crème we are ready for you!

But before I get ahead of myself and begin to mentally put up our tree (too late I already have the colors, theme and location in my noggin) we have Thanksgiving to look forward to.

No matter where this Thanksgiving finds us, one thing is for sure, it’s such a good time to stop and really realize how truly blessed we are.

Time to spend with family or friends, or however you want, and food. Good food y’all.

I have had this little blog of mine for about four years now I think.

A lot has happened since then, and returning to work just under two years ago has meant not near as much time to write and share.  But that return to work was necessary as I left an unhealthy life behind and struck out on a new path with my kids.

This Thanksgiving finds me very thankful, for a great career I love, the ability to provide for my family, and a man in my life who supports me and encourages me to do the things that bring me joy.

Looking back I am not sure how we made it, it’s been a rocky path for sure. [Read more…]

My favorite zucchini muffins

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Our garden began as a next year project.

Then the kids brought home some parsley seeds.

Knowing how busy work would be this summer, and still sticking to my we-don’t-have-time-to-garden-this-year plan, I agreed to the planting of the parsley.

As you can imagine (and the reason I am writing about leftover zucchini and what in the heck to do with them) we lost our minds and planted a full garden.

Just like that, then we were committed and watched our tiny baby plants grow all Spring.

Into what I now refer to as the Little Shop of Horrors because it has gotten completely freaking out of control.

But I suppose when I learn to prune and cut back that will be another post, maybe next year.

How to Have a Big Girl Garden we could call it.  Or perhaps How to Garden Without Going Insane. [Read more…]

Easy DIY boho necklace + tending to our gifts

 diy jewelry, gifts you can make, necklace

 I love jewelry.

And other than my wedding ring my jewelry is usually from Charlotte Russe or Forever 21.

There is something about buying a bunch of new bracelets and accessories to breathe some new life into your wardrobe.

I have been in a huge style rut for a while now.

A bad one.

It’s not that I don’t care, because I do, and I love the way I feel when I like my outfit and feel confident.

I think it’s just my head space, and being tired from work, and letting other things get in the way.

[Read more…]

How to make the best Spanish Rice ever

How to make spanish rice #rice #spanishrice #twelveOeight #glutenfree

Rice seems like an easy enough thing to make.

For whatever reason, mastering how to cook rice has eluded me.

I love it, it’s gluten free (yay, makes grumpy tummies happy) and easy on the budget.

Enter my desire to make Spanish Rice.

I thought it was the recipe, so I tried every single recipe out there.  And I have had zero success in achieving the fluffy, non-sticky rice at our favorite Mexican restaurants. [Read more…]

Vintage find of the week + thoughts on semi-hoarding

The thrill of the hunt.

Scoring the deal of the Century.  Or perhaps the week depending on how much you like to search for treasures.

You see it across the thrift store/yard sale/antique fair/place you can find cool stuff and it will be yours.

As you weave your way over to the item-that-will-change-your-life-if-you-have-it another shopper stops to look at it.

#worstfeelingever

You want to scream NO, YOU DON’T WANT TO BUY THAT, IT IS TERRIBLE AND YOU WILL BE VERY, VERY UNHAPPY IF YOU BUY IT.

Self-control kicks in and you hold yourself back (while quickly walking over to your new find) and once the other shopper has set it down and barely turned around, it is now in your possession.

You turn it over, and it’s EXACTLY WHAT YOU HAVE BEEN LOOKING FOR.

The price is right, and you do a happy dance, maybe on the inside of your head or a full-on happy dance.

I’m not going to judge.

Your new lovely, wonderful, fantastic item is placed lovingly in your vehicle, and you smile all the way home as you think of the 1,000 different ways you can use it.

Or, you know exactly where it is going to go.

And this, correct me if I am wrong, is the #bestfeelingever.

That is exactly what happened while my friend G and I were recently hitting a few local yard sales.  Kids in tow we felt brave, and with a burger and a Coke under our belts we could find anything that day.

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I saw this metal box, the above reaction kicked in, and I was drawn to it.

It looked pretty old, and my suspicions were correct, pre-WWII made by a company that was based out of Louisville, KY in the late 30’s. [Read more…]

How to make watermelon juice (jugo de sandia)

I don’t know about you, but when the watermelons begin to come into season I get giddy.

Especially when the first wave of semi-anemic looking melons have passed and the big, juicy watermelons we have waited for are ready to be brought home.  

I live in the Pacific NW so many of our watermelons come from the Yakima Valley and Hermiston, OR.  

We may not be growing any watermelons in our teeny garden this year, but I will share a few pictures of what we are growing.

Have you planted and grown fruits and vegetables with your kids? This is really our first year and they are loving it! They loved picking out the seeds, tilling up the soil, planting and even tending them (yes, the part that I thought would go to the wayside first) I think I am having more fun watching their excitement than if I were doing all the gardening myself!

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I used to think I could not grow anything, and if someone gifted me a plant I thought to myself  “I give this one three weeks.” [Read more…]