Hey there! I am beyond blessed to be the wife of Mark Andrew and the stay-at-home-mommy of Quinn and Morgan! I love to decorate, create things, and generally make life more beautiful! Come join me, and let's see what we can make today!

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Faux Fireplace

Bustle Dress


DIY Tutu

Boys Room Makeover

Glazed Cabinets

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Tuesday Tips and Recipes #10

Today's post is going to be a bunch of randomness, but I will start with a tip. (You remember, right? OCD self cannot post on Tuesday without a tip or recipe. So...)

Yes. Those are spoons.  (I warned you this would be random!) This might seem like a silly tip, but I have found it quite useful!  When my son started first grade last year, I would pack his lunch every day and include whatever utensils he would need, typically just a spoon.  The spoons I would send were the only ones we had in the house: the beautiful Oneida set that we got for our wedding that they do not make anymore.  I did not think anything of this, until, after nearly seven months without incident, my little guy brought his lunch home with no spoon.  Uh oh.  He accidentally threw it away.  (Or so he thought.) No big deal, accidents happen.  Two days later, there was no spoon in the returned lunch box.  "I must have thrown it away, Mom." Again, it's just a spoon, but I began to realize that if this trend continued, I would soon be out of spoons!  So, I went to GoodWill and bought three spoons.  They were ten cents each.  Why didn't I buy more?  Well, many of the spoons were scratched and had rough edges (as if they had been dropped in the garbage disposal on accident), and I could only find three that meet my very high standards.  (Sarcasm, folks.)  Each time I go to GoodWill, I check the spoons, and we are now up to seven "lunch box" spoons.  Since he has been using the GW spoons, for about a year now, he has only lost one, and since it was only ten cents and held no sentimental value, it truly was no big deal.  And, those spoons he thought he threw away, I found them in the lost and found and the end of the year.  ;)

Okay.  Here is the status of the hallways: 95% done.  I just need to finish the trim on the stairs, and I am waiting until the walls have full cured before I tape them to paint the trim.  Here are some low quality before and after pics. (I promise that I have a very nice camera, and I know how to take a decent pic, but when I am paint/cooking/building/crafting, I generally do not bring out the big guns.  It's just too risky.)

Stairwell before

Stairwell after

South wall before


After painting the hallway, the kids bath looked very dingy, so I painted that too!

I am going to start on the master bedroom soon, but we have a lot going on in the next couple of weeks, so it will be after Valentine's Day before I actually start that project.  And, considering that it was my goal to have the stairs and hall finished by the end of February, I am very pleased with where I am at, project-wise.

More randomness.  I ordered a new bathing suit for the Disney cruise we are taking at the end of February.  There was an error with the graphic on the website for the bottoms that I thought I was ordering, and the bottoms that I received were Brazilian cut.  You guys. My backside has way to much real estate to be family appropriate in a Brazilian cut bottom.  (My hubs thought they were fantastic, bless his heart, but there was no way I was going to keep them!) Honestly, it was like, one step, two step, THONG! I sent them back and tried to exchange them for the regular bottoms (the company was super apologetic about the error and very helpful), but the bottoms that match the bikini top are now sold out, except for size XS. why am I sharing this, because it real and hilarious and I have two funny pics to show you that were sent to my friend via text.

This one was to show the size difference between last years bikini bottoms and the ones that I ordered. (My friend was sure that they couldn't be that bad.)

And this pic is of Tinkerbell, but I sent it as a follow up saying, "Change the color from green to purple with white polka dots and add some cellulite, and this is me in my new bottoms."

Honestly, Tink.  You're showing a lot of skin...;)

After I made the post on my LOVE sign, I received some custom orders from friends, and this is my favorite version so far!

And last but not least, is this beautiful sunrise.  I shared it on my FB page, and I had to share it here, too.  The weather has been so cold and it is easy for me to get "gloomy", and I love the beautiful reminders each morning that help me to remember to enjoy the Son.

I hope you enjoy the Son, too.  Have a blessed day!




Tuesday Tips and Recipes #9

I usually like to get my posts out in the morning, but since there was no school again today, I just hung out with my kiddos! And, who I am kidding? You guys are used to going weeks/months/AGES without seeing a new post! I often marvel at how many of you are still hanging around...:) Thanks for that!

The Super Bowl is this weekend, and this year we are attending a Super Bowl Party/Chili Cook Off.


Fun right?! Except that I don't have a fantastic chili recipe.  {I don't have a lot of fantastic recipes, period. However, since the beginning of the year, I have been REALLY TRYING to cook fresh, healthy meals for my family, and guess what?!  I actually CAN cook!!!!} So, since we need to bring a pot of chili to share, I decided I had better come up with a recipe.  I looked through a number of recipes and ended up making up my recipe as I went along, and my husband LOVED it.  Let's just pause for a moment and acknowledge how huge this is. My husband is a phenomenal cook.  Everything he makes is delicious.  In the 12+ years that we have been married, he has NEVER said he "loves" any meal that I have ever prepared. Never. Ever. Not even a very strong "like".  And, in his defense, I have never "loved" anything that I have ever made either. {My newfound secret is fresh ingredients.  Who knew/! ;) }

Here's "my" recipe:

1 - 1.5lbs ground turkey (I JUST started using ground turkey, and it's fantastic. Trust me.)

2 cloves minced garlic

1 cup chopped onion

1 cup chopped green pepper

2 cans chili beans

2 cans diced tomatoes with green chiles

1 can tomato paste

1 cup V8 juice

1 packet McCormick Chili Seasoning OR

3 - 4tsp chili powder and

1tsp cumin

salt to taste


This can be prepared in a Dutch oven (which I used), or in a crock pot.

Cook turkey and drain if necessary. Set aside.

Sauté garlic, onions, and peppers until softened.

Combine turkey and sautéed veggies.

Stir in all canned goods.

Mix spices into V8, then add to mix.  

Add 1/2 tsp (or more) salt.

Bring to a boil, then simmer for about 1 hour, stirring occasionally. If using a crock pot, cook for 2-3 hours.

Serve with sour cream and shredded cheddar.  

Seriously, so easy and SO delicious!  If you have a great chili recipe, or a great ANY recipe, send it my way!  I'd love some new ideas, because, CLEARLY, the ones I have had for the last decade have not been working! ;)

I hope you were warm today, wherever you were!  Enjoy the Son!




LOVE board

I posted this teaser yesterday, and many of you were excited to see the final product.



Back in May of 2013, I created these numbers.

Click to read more ...



If you have been stopping by here for awhile, you know that the entire purpose of creating my faux fireplace was to have a mantle to decorate.

I change my mantle vignettes about once a month, and because I change it so often, I forget to take pictures.  And when I do take pictures, I forget to share them.  So, I am going to show you what is on my mantle today, along with a few of the mantles over the last couple of months.

After Christmas, I like a very clean mantle.  Not too much fuss.  Not too much color.  

Very simple.  It helps the room feel calm amidst the Christmas clutter, which is FINALLY all gone.  

This is another, simple vignette for winter that is in my kitchen.

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Tuesday Tips and Recipes #8

Do you know what a "life hack" is? Wikipedia says "Life hacking refers to any productivity trick, shortcut, skill, or novelty method to increase productivity and efficiency, in all walks of life; in other words, anything that solves an everyday problem of a person in a clever or non-obvious way." A quick Google search will pull up hundreds, if not thousands, of life hacks.  Here is a link to the ones I most recently viewed over at Twisted Sifter.

Click to read more ...