New to WordPress

So, I am new to WordPress. I am slowly getting the hang of it, so you’ll see my blog evolve as I catch on. For now, though, I just needed to get the ball rolling and carry on. A few months ago I found myself at a place in my personal life that made me feel like I needed an outlet. That’s when I reached out to my extremely talented Sister-in-law and asked her to help me update the appearance of my blog. Like always, she not only came through, but in a way that exceeded my expectations! I love the design and am grateful she is able to catch the vision I have and build upon it. Here I will continue to share my heart through the projects I do and the process of making our new house of just over 2 years, into a home. It has been quite a process already and always takes time to establish what will work, and what won’t. How to add my personal style and build on it, as well as work on how it is evolving. You’ll understand, if you don’t already, what I mean by this as you come back to visit. For now, thank you for visiting.

This is Me

I’m a happy wife and mother of 7 wonderful children who are the purpose of my life. We have lived in various parts of the United States and spent a 15 month job period in Mexico where I learned to speak Spanish. Traveling and moving has exposed me to a great many things in my life. I developed a love of decorating, nature, exercise and homemaking and am very grateful for the gifts and talents I have been blessed with. I really appreciate those things in others and am excited to have you here to visit my little piece of the world. Hugs!

After a 15 year renovation, we accepted a job in Utah and left beautiful Eugene Oregon (you can view the home tour here). We miss our friends that became our family network over the course of these past many years. However, we have been blessed to know and grow that network as well as return to much loved family.

Why do I blog?

Blogging is a passion I have as an outlet as well as a way to document my experiences and share them with others. I have benefitted through the years by others sharing, and hope this is a place where you find inspiration and purpose, something I believe we all need regularly.

Home Tour

Welcome to our home!
Front Porch:
Instead of messy, we like to call it “lived in”.
With a family of 9, we have a lot going on around here.
Our decor is casual, but we want you to feel comfortable.
Please enjoy our small tour.
The Entryway:
Dining Room:
(view from entry)

Kitchen:
1/2 Bath off mud room:

Living Room:
Master Bedroom:
(Click here and here to see more)

Master Bathroom:
Boy Bedroom #1:
Girl Bedroom:

Boy Bedroom #2:

Upstairs Bathroom: 

Family Room:

Downstairs Bathroom:

Boy Bedroom #3:

Laundry Room:

Garage:
 *this tour will be changing regularly as we complete renovations
~one project at a time!
(See Oregon Home tour for explainations and new news)

It's Fall Y'all!

We moved to Tremonton Utah in July. The 26th is when we left/ We arrived to our new townhouse at 1 a.m. on the 27th. It was really hard to leave so many people we love. It wasn’t as hard to leave the house with how much work it has been over the last 14+ years. We are now enjoying apartment style living which has more perks for us than not. In August we got to enjoy the festivities of the Cache Valley Rodeo. We went to the parade, family night at the fair, then to the Rodeo the next night. The events started on Wednesday and went through Saturday. We had a blast!

This last week, our neighboring town, Brigham City, had what they call Peach Days. They enjoy the same type of events for the whole week. We went on Saturday. I slept so much that we missed the parade (darn it), but we got to pick up a bag of peaches and take the girls to the carnival where they bought a toy puppy.

I haven’t enjoyed a good peach cobbler in years, so I finally made one yesterday and wanted to share the recipe with you. Even the members of my family that don’t love peaches, loved the cobbler! I found the recipe on the allrecipes.com website HERE.
Mine didn’t turn out as beautiful (maybe next time) but the recipe was DIVINE!

OLD FASHIONED PEACH COBBLER

Directions

Add a notePrint

  1. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, 3 tablespoons sugar, and salt. Work in the shortening with a pastry blender until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and cold water. Sprinkle over flour mixture, and work with hands to form dough into a ball. Chill 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Roll out half of dough to 1/8 inch thickness. Place in a 9×13 inch baking dish, covering bottom and halfway up sides. Bake for 20 minutes, or until golden brown.
  3. In a large saucepan, mix the peaches, lemon juice, and orange juice. Add 1/2 cup butter, and cook over medium-low heat until butter is melted. In a mixing bowl, stir together 2 cups sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon, and cornstarch; mix into peach mixture. Remove from heat, and pour into baked crust.
  4. Roll remaining dough to a thickness of 1/4 inch. Cut into half-inch-wide strips. Weave strips into a lattice over peaches. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon sugar, and drizzle with 1 tablespoon melted butter.
  5. Bake in preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes, or until top crust is golden brown.
  6. What a great way to start out the Fall season. After all it is my favorite season of the year.
  7. Hope you enjoy it as much as we did! 
  8. Toodles, 

The Painted House

We’ve been wanting to repaint the outside of our house pretty much ever since we moved in. There was such a long list of “to-do”‘s that it was low on the totem pole, right there with replacing the carpet. Hard to believe, but it’s kind of like making the choice to have surgery for removing cancer, or liposuction and a tummy tuck. One would be nice but the other is life threatening and necessary. In the spring, however, we accepted a job in Utah and we are now selling our house, so the priority has moved up on the list.

We were able to enjoy the new color for the last few months we lived there.  I’m excited, though quite delayed with all the overwhelming events of the last while, to share with you the before and afters of our painted house! 

This is a scanned image of the flier we had when we first found our house. Though the yard is gorgeous, when you would drive up the road, the house would be lost in the foliage. We have trees surrounding us and the color did not stand out.

      

These images are the only ones I could find after I painted all the trims an off white, the door red, and the shutters a deep brown. I did this shortly after moving in, but many years of photos were lost when our computer crashed last November, so you get winter images. Largest snowfall in recent Eugene history. 8 inches!

When they first painted the house, it was hard to tell that it was a different color. The color I chose is a soft brown instead of the gray/green. It wasn’t until the door and trim work was done that you could really see a difference.

The back is where you can see the contrast during the process. The gable is the old color.

We worked with Joshua at Precision Painting here in the Springfield area. He and his crew were FANTASTIC to work with. Very prompt and responsive and extremely well priced. I would recommend them to ANYONE.

There were a lot of decisions to make along the way. We chose to have the doors painted the same as the trim. Since there were 4 back doors, however, Joshua and I thought it would be good to camouflage one of them. The middle one here ended up the same color as the rest of the house.

Ready?

 Some people don’t like that the door is orange. It is a bright, yet soft color that brings out some colors in the brick. Though we are getting our house ready to sell, I waited so long to paint that I decided to paint it what I’ve wanted all these years. A new owner can paint a door again if they don’t like it, right? I know, can be a debatable question. However, I love it!

I feel like it is very welcoming and inviting and the census of those who liked it was far greater than those who didn’t.  

We finally hired a company to come do our yard. The results have been so worth the money!

So what do you think? 
Hugs, 

The Perfect cupboard

Happy Spring! 
Did you think I fell off the face of the earth? I did fall out of blogland for a bit. It just couldn’t be the priority with all that has been going on this past year. I know that some people blog through life’s “rain or shine moments”, so to speak. I used to be that blogger. But needing to simplify and re-prioritize my life made me realize that I needed a bit of a break. I pushed many things off my plate and will be sharing all the events that took place on my Mommy Bug blog. You can catch up there-where I share my personal and family life, but here, we are going to catch up on all the projects I’ve been doing. 
Yeah, don’t think for a second I wasn’t still doing anything…after all, it’s because of all I’ve been doing that made it impossible to share it all on my blog and simplify at the same time. 
What I want to share today is this cupboard I painted for a tole painting class YEARS ago…back in ’94 while expecting my first child (he’s 25 now…). 
Everyone took tole painting classes back then. I will say I did an awesome job! 
While wanting to update this cupboard so I could still use it, (let’s just admit now that it’s seen better days!), but learning from my children how they would miss this sentimental piece that we’ve had hanging above their toilet for all their lives, I racked my brain on how I could keep the painting in tacked, but still modify it. 

Finally, one day, it occurred to me that rather than painting over it, I could cover it up with the possibility of one day uncovering it again if I wanted to! So I began by removing the hardware and painting the whole cupboard, using snow white by General Finishes.
I had to use several coats (which is why starting with a primer is recommended…).

After about 3 coats, I was ready to add the solution. Galvanized sheet metal which I had left over from when I finished the downstairs game cupboards (you can see that post HERE).

I basically used the same method by cutting out a piece of metal to fit, then creating a frame out of a simple straight, thin molding.

After I nailed the trim on, the cupboard was complete. I re-attached the hinges and hung the cupboard.
I added some magnets the children made that I’ve collected over the years.
They really add to the theme…So cute!
This is a great place for them to store their fun bath scrubs and supplies and a few rolls of toilet paper for easy access. This way no one gets stranded waiting for some passerby to supply them with some paper. When we clean, we just make sure there is a stock up there. 
We are all really happy with how it turned out. 

                                            It is so refreshed and chipper, just in time for summer.


It's Been Busy Here!

Last spring I realized a real need to simplify my life. The last year had been so insanely crazy with 2 and 3 jobs, on top of going back to school with 2 classes per semester, and renovations going on, trying to keep up with the two blog groups I was in charge of, all while still juggling a large family. I loved all I was doing, but realized there was a need to slow things down. I had my New Year’s Resolutions in place a couple of months before the New Year. That’s when I started clearing my lifestyle plate and prioritizing. Some things were actually really tough to let go of.  I’m really good at keeping more than busy and like to finish what I start. I’ve had a lot of support along the way though, and am grateful for being more present in mine and my family’s lives.

Though I’ve taken quite a break from blogging, if you follow my pinterest boards,then you know exactly how busy I’ve been around here. I had a friend ask me, at our monthly luncheon last year, who was getting married with all the wedding ideas I was posting. I tend to be focused when I am on Pinterest. You’ll know if I’m planning a trip or getting ready for a special occasion with all the style boards, or where my home improvements are focused by the rooms and themes I’m stocking. You’ll also know if I’m caught up in gardening with all the outdoor posts I’ll pin.

Yes, it’s been a long time! So long that I haven’t had a chance to update you even since our computer crashed in November of 2017, taking with it hundreds of picture files that weren’t backed up. We’ve been through all of this before, but not to the point where we couldn’t restore photos. So if you had been watching from the Pinterest sidelines, you’d know that we’ve been remodeling again, (bathrooms to be exact), planning a wedding for my oldest son, who was married last July, and adding color to our very neutral color scheme. It seems I’m feeling better these days with all the color I’m adding back into my life!
So here it is, the before of our children’s bathroom:

It all started while we were remodeling our master bath…which took YEARS!
2 1/2 years to be exact. It was torturous and laborious and, at times, tear provoking. (More details later). But most importantly, we were at the tail end of finishing it when it became an emergency that we no longer use the downstairs shower, so our family was sharing the 3/4 children’s bath. Back to basic baths. Uh-huh, the teenagers weren’t too pleased.
So it was while relaxing in the tub on various occasions that my decorator mind started planning the updates on their bathroom once the master bath was all finished…which was happening quickly at that point.

The weekend after our master shower was back in use, I began implementing my plan which involved tearing out that ugly linoleum floor. I’m finished decorating around that terrible color that is so stained it never seems clean! (All the spots that you see are stains, the floor is “clean”).
Facing into the bathroom
Facing the closet and door from the tub

I still wonder if it had been beautiful at one time. I can appreciate a dated room and understand the once had beens of it, but this has been tough for me to comprehend because it had been such a crutch to my decorating since we moved into this house 14 years ago. The flooring is important because it can determine the whole scheme of a room, and how it feels.

The toilet was unhooked at this point, so I had a note on it to remind people not to use it. This is the toilet alcove next to the closet. It’s a large bathroom, but a different shape, so it’s hard to get a good picture of it.
Wall above the toilet.
The wall color is a soft turquoise blue color. It worked years ago when I added the plank wall and turned it into a coastal themed room.
The first thing we did was take out the toilet (of course):
I finally had the opportunity to paint behind it! 😁
Then we got busy on the flooring, which turned out to be a lot more than we had anticipated, pretty typical of this house, so we weren’t too shocked!
Yep, another layer of linoleum. Original 60’s style. (Ewww!-sing-songy 🎵)
I took a few days getting it all up with the edges tacked down the way they were and the flooring nailed down. 
Luckily I had some help along the way:
My cute 16 year old and husband helped rip out a bit when I was feeling a loss of strength. 😉
It’s good to have some support when doing renovations!
Under that last layer, we found some mold and water damage (SO typical of ripping into this house! 🙄), so my husband pulled up this portion of the floor and replaced it with new particle board after which I primed the wood to seal it, and then we were ready to go. I also painted the rest of the bathroom and the halls while he was working on replacing the wood. (YaY!)
I don’t have a picture of the new sub-floor, unfortunately, I got too busy with the project and helping out. 😀
Let’s just say it feels so good to know that it’s replaced and completed now.
We laid down Red Guard first, that is what the red is. It’s a barrier to prevent mold and water damage. We learned the necessity of this the hard way. You use tile mud to tack it down. When it is dry, you can start tiling.

My husband measured and laid the first tile for me so that the whole design would flow and be at the proper angle. It’s that triangle piece right in front of the tub and part of the wall. The first tile is crucial for a design!

Once that was laid, it was smooth flowing. The whole pattern really wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be once I got the pattern down. I had the WORST tile saw ever though, so once I rented an industrial one, everything went quickly. I’m really disappointed about my new saw’s lack of performance. We changed the blade, no luck. Let’s just say I donated it and hope it falls into some good man’s capable hands. 
This is what our floor ended up like once it was all said and done:

 We all love it so much! 
 Like I said, it is really hard to get a great picture of the whole room at once because of the shape. But you get the idea, don’t you?
 while at Home Depot picking up the tiles, I almost chickened out. I’m really glad that after sharing my idea with the guy helping me, that he talked me into doing it. He said that if I took it home and decided against it after laying the tiles out, I could always bring them back. 
 We are all so grateful he encouraged me. It was way more intimidating to think about than to actually do. 
Since it’s a children’s bath, I decided to have fun with the color. It’s bright, fun, and inviting. 
I’m definitely getting my energy back. 😉 

Cranberry Coconut Chews- The perfect summer cookie

I thought the best way to wedge my way back into blogging after a 6 month absence would be to bring you a sweet treat recipe. Every May I host an annual book group at my home where we get together and pitch the books we’d like to see make it’s way on the list for the upcoming year. We enjoy this over a potluck meal. It’s always a fun night and a great success. This year, we ended up with only one dessert, and what a hit it was! I asked for the recipe from my friend, who gave it to me Sunday at church, and I made it that very evening. Other friends started asking me for the recipe as well, so I posted it on Facebook and now I decided to share it with you!
*I have made a few changes from the original recipe and even still would try omitting half of the sugar, but was worried about ruining the integrity of the dough.

Coconut Cranberry Chews
  • About 1 1/2 cups (3/4 lb.) butter or margarine, at room temperature
  • 2 cups Sugar
  • 1 tablespoon grated Orange or Lemon Peel
  • 2 teaspoons Vanilla
  • 3 cups all-purpose Flour
  • 2 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 1/2 cups dried Cranberries
  • 1 1/2 cups sweetened flaked dried Coconut
  • Step 1
    In a large bowl, with a mixer on medium speed, beat 1 1/2 cups butter, sugar, orange peel, and vanilla until smooth.
    Step 2
    In a medium bowl, mix flour, baking powder, and salt. Add to butter mixture, stir to mix, then beat on low speed until dough comes together, about 5 minutes. Mix in cranberries and coconut.
    Step 3
    Shape dough into 1-inch balls and place about 2 inches apart on buttered 12- by 15-inch baking sheets.
    Step 4
    Bake in a 350° regular or convection oven until cookie edges just begin to brown, 8 to 11 minutes (shorter baking time will yield a chewier cookie; longer baking time will yield a crispier cookie). If baking two sheets at once in one oven, switch their positions halfway through baking. Let cookies cool on sheets for 5 minutes, then use a wide spatula to transfer to racks to cool completely.

These cookies come with a warning, they are 
VERY ADDICTIVE!
Enjoy, 

Project Challenge- {Buckets or Containers}

Hey there lovelies, I’m so happy to see you!! 
This week has been more pleasant since I only work outside the home 3 days instead of the 4 I worked last week. This gives me a little extra time to join my wonderful group of women for an inspiring project challenge,
 and this month the theme is Buckets or Containers. 
We have a fun line-up, so once you are finished here, hop on over to my pal’s blogs and enjoy their projects too!
I loved this theme because it was perfect for my needs. 
I have book group coming to my house so I’ve been spending a lot of time organizing, cleaning, and decorating. 
I have been wanting an olive bucket for many ions, so I went down to Hobby Lobby with my 40% off coupon and bought this hanging style one. I have plans to move it indoors eventually, but for now, I am displaying a couple of our mini pumpkins in it. 
I’ve had this yellow flowered grapevine for a few years. I love it, but don’t usually bring it out until the Spring. 
I decided the contrast between the yellow, orange, and white would work perfectly here, 
so I wrapped the vine around the opening of the bucket 
and arranged the pumpkins together on it. 
Voila! 
A fresh hanging to welcome guests. 
  
I don’t like how far the gap between the bucket and the stool arrangement is though, so I will be adding something to dangle from the bucket when I find what I’m looking for, but for now, it will have to do.
What containers have you been working with this season? Please leave a link in the comments to share with me!
Now you get to stop by and see some more great ideas with my creative pals, if you please. 😉
Enjoy, 
Domestic Deadline- Pumpkin Bucket
Recreated Designs- Simple Farmhouse Kitchen Planter
Shelstring Blog- Pumpkin Olive Bucket Hanger

Sewing Halloween Costumes

 A couple years ago I swore off sewing Halloween costumes for my kids. I always seem to be sewing up to the last dreadful minute and completely stressed out, no matter how hard I plan these things. I’m apparently not my mother.
But when we were discussing what the children were going to be this year, I suggested my little sweet 7 year old be a black cat. A witch, a skeleton, a black cat. Sounds perfect, right? 
So just like anything else, I suckered myself into something that I knew I would most inevitably regret. Sewing another black cat costume. The girls remember the one they wore as babies. So how could I resist my sweet girl asking me to sew her a costume? I have made every other child a costume, why not her too? 
Love it when parent guilt takes over. And at the moment, things like that don’t seem to be that much more on your plate, right? 
Then reality kicks in and no matter how wonderful I try to be at planning…life is life and the chaos of my life kicks in with an enormous rush of reality at the most dreadful of times. 
Those of you who follow me on Instagram will recognize this photo:
With this caption:
What to do on a rainy Saturday afternoon? Cut out #Halloween costumes of course!! #saturdayisaspecialday #rainydays
We had a Halloween Harvest party to go to Saturday night, so I spent the entire day cutting and sewing, and feeling like things weren’t going well
Turns out they weren’t. 
After sewing the whole doggone outfit up, zipper and all, it drowned my seven year old. The front sleeve was too short and the back sleeve too long…I had chosen the wrong size pattern and cut the sleeves wrong. 
The fabric wasn’t my original choice either. 
So 32 dollars and 8 hours later, 
the hour before the party,
I ran pulled down costumes from the attic and my 7 year old was a girl skeleton…a costume that was sitting around the house all week long. 
I pulled some web printed wire ribbon from the craft closet and within minutes…
She was the cutest skeleton I’ve ever seen. 
But don’t tell, 
she wanted to be scary. 
Here’s to re-learning life’s lessons!
Kudos,