April 13, 2015

a few random thoughts...

Okay people, this is fair warning.  This post is going to be a little "weird" and may not make much sense but in the moment I feel strongly that these topics need to be discussed :)

1.  Did I mention that I get to go to Alaska next month?  No way, right?  Way.  I get to go for 5 days and although I am going for work, my wonderful hostess guarantees that I will have a splendid time.  I have never been, so I am pumped to say the least.  I feel confident traveling alone and this will be a 3rd solo trip for me for work, so I feel pretty seasoned about keeping my whits about me when away from home.

2.  I am taking major advantage of my time up there as a little bit of "rejuvenation."  I am been feeling a lot of "feelings" lately (does that make sense?) and a little time away will be good.  No bad feelings of any kind, just "feelings."  Let me explain...

3.  Everyone around me is having babies!  Jeremiah's 3 best friends have all had babies in the last 3 months and meanwhile, I am here...not having babies.  We are totally content with our two (ever-exhausting and have more energy than any children should so much that they drive me crazy but happy crazy) lovelies, but we constantly go back-and-forth and that all came to head over the weekend.  Let me explain...

4.  Our S.U.V. died this past week.  Whatever, it was a car and no biggie except for 1.  It was the first big purchase that Jeremiah and I made together 8 years ago and 2. Both our babies came home in that car.  Friday night it was working and by Saturday it needed a $5,500 motor.  That wasn't going to happen on a car with almost 120,000 miles on it.  So we went car shopping.  The plan was to get our next car "when we have another kid."  Let me explain...our little SUV was great for a family of 4, with no room for that "5th" if he/she came.  When the car broke down it felt like we had to make a decision right then and there about that famous "3rd row of seats" that all of our friends having more babies had in their cars.  Ugh.  So, we looked at each other and decided for the 3rd-row-less 2014 Jeep Patriot.  So...there it is.

5.  So then I start to think about how I feel post-baby.  Then I came to the conclusion that I need to look better.  Okay, that sounds harsh, but to be honest I have only felt beautiful like 4 times in my life:  Our wedding day, the day that we had our renewals, and the days I had my babies.  

I always have bad skin, bags under my eyes, etc. in any photo taken and that is going to change, my friends.  I started doing some research over the weekend and I am going changing my habits.  

I have always used chemicals and harsh products to treat my skin and it is just not working.  I found this blogger who seems to have some of the same issues I have so I decided to give it a go!  I bought the coconut oil, rose petal witch hazel, grape seed oil, and tea tree oil from GNC and even though I am only on day 3, my skin feels healthier and brighter.  Nuts!  Lets hope it works ;)

Also, I am going to start eating breakfast.  I know, I know..."breakfast is the most important meal of the day..."  You all sound like my husband!  So he jumped at the chance to make this smoothie for me before I went out the door for work the last few days.  And. It. Is. Delicious.  No joke!!! You gotta try it.  I am thinking of trying this one or this one as well.  Yum.

I have also decided to find myself a wine I really like and to always have a good book nearby.  I am reading "24-Carat Kids" right now (which I love!) so any next-book suggestions would be appreciated.

Lastly, to relieve myself from a little bit of stress, I will be closing my Etsy shop at the end of the month.  I love hunting and gathering at thrift stores, but now I will just do it for my home!  

Thanks for sticking with me through my ranting...it is much appreciated :)  Have a great week lovelies!!!

April 5, 2015

Wildlife Safari...

Last weekend I needed to go down to the Ashland/Medford area (Southern Oregon) and it worked out to drag Jeremiah and the kiddos along. 

Since we were going sort of last minute, I ended up booking a room at a resort right outside of Ashland and it is known for their natural spring mineral soaks.  When we opened the door to the room we were pleased as punch to find a big beautiful room with a huge bathtub in the corner.  Well, that happens to be where the kiddos slept for 2 nights :)  No worries, they loved it!  We threw in all the extra pillows and they thought it was pretty awesome.

We had fun visiting my brother, playing some tennis, and exploring Ashland.

Last year on the way home from Ashland we visited this safari and hung out with camels!  This year we decided to spend the day with giraffes and elephants.  We booked some 'Animal Encounters' to feed the giraffes and elephants.  The kiddos loved it and it was pretty amazing.

We would certainly recommend it to anyone who is planning a trip and traveling on I5 past Winston, Oregon.  The staff was great, animals were amazing, and experience was well worth it.

You can find more information here.

March 27, 2015

thrifting rules...

I used to love visiting garage-sales when I was a kiddo and then my friend Heather got me hooked on thrifting.  We have quite a bit of variety here in Portland including Goodwill, Gospel Mission, Salvation Army and also your high-priced "vintage" shops which Portland is known for.

When Heather and I used to shop for furniture that we would re-do, our rule was to never spend more than $50 on any piece and that has always stuck with me.  Although you certainly could spend a lot less on any given piece, $50 was the max.  We were able to do quite a bit with that $50 as you can see:

We had a lot of great projects (I only pictured a few)!  Here were a few rules we had when scouring thrift shops for new pieces to refinish:
  • Under $50
  • Good condition with no major repairs
  • If we couldn't sell it, would we be willing to have it in our own home? (we actually sold every piece for at least double what we paid for it but most of the time it sold for a lot more).
  • Good lines and good style (If it was from the 70's, could we modernize it?)
  • Could it be staged nicely?
  • If it needed to be re-upholstered, could we do it ourselves or would it require a professional?  Professionals can mean $$$.
  • Had to be 100% real wood.  No particle board allowed :)
When I am looking for thrift finds for the etsy shop, here are the rules I follow:

  • Good condition and easy to ship (I try to stay away from ceramics and glass although I have sent them before and they have been fine)
  • No repairs needed and no chips, cracks, etc.
  • If it doesn't sell, would I use it in my own home?  If not, I pass.
  • Can it photograph okay? (sounds weird, but something may be gorgeous but can I photograph it?  I am a total amateur and some things are really tricky to get a good shot for).
  • Can it be used in numerous places in the home?  If its a dish, its just a dish and can probably only work in a kitchen.  If its a brass item, can it work in a nursery, in an entryway, etc?).
  • Can it be cleaned?  
  • Is it unique?  One of a kind?  If yes, then take it to the register!  
When I am looking for thrift finds for our home, here are the rules I follow:

  • Good condition with no repairs needed and no chips, cracks, etc.
  • Can I get it home easily?  If it doesn't fit in the good ol' S.U.V...pass.
  • Can it be used in numerous places in our place? I try to not buy pieces that work in only 1 room.
  • If I want to change it, can it be updated with minimal effort?  (So like this map project, can it be done in a weekend and easily?)  If the answer is no, its not worth storing it until you think of something to do with it, because by that time you may already be bored with it :)
  • Can it be cleaned?  
  • Is it unique?  One of a kind?  If yes, then take it to the register! 
My best piece of advice is to have a plan when you are headed to the store...what are you looking for and what is its purpose?  Have a handy tape measure and your wall measurements if you are looking for a specific furniture piece for a specific space.  I am by NO MEANS any expert, but these are the rules I try to follow.  Happy hunting!!!

March 23, 2015

master bedroom refresh...


I found that recently I am gravitating more towards a 'mixed' look and as Paetyn would say "coloring outside the lines."  I am being drawn to the style of SchoolHouse Electric and their collected, and unconventional look.  I bought some of their pillowcases a few months ago (the white pillow case with dark green +'s on them) and wanted to go a little funky with them.  (Sorry for the crummy pics...I took them with my phone).

The dark green walls in our room are super moody (which I adore) but I needed a little brightness to the bedding and found the pale peach sheet set at Wayfair.   The lamp is from Target and I was lucky enough to find 2 on clearance and then replaced the white shades with these gray herringbone ones that I had on our old brass lamps.   

I found the posters at Paxton Gate here in Portland for $5.95 (I got another one with butterflies for the other side of the bed) and got the frames for $20 each from Ikea.

The cute little wooden box is from Goodwill for a measely $2.99 and so is the shiny brass apple.

Not entirely sure it will stay this way but for now it will do.  And this is what it looked like 2 minutes later:

March 21, 2015

TOAST event!

I am back from Seattle and we received the pictures from the Toast Event...they turned out beautiful!  I think Jason Wasinger  did an AMAZING job capturing the event and he was so nice too :)  Please check out his website and book him for your special event.  He and his wife were so easy to talk to and work with!

The lovely ladies featured in the booth that I worked with were Black Sweet Raspberry, Selva Floral Design, The Lambs Table, and Commonwealth.  Everyone was a real delight to get to know and they are all so passionate about what they do in the Pacific Northwest!  The following pictures were from our booth and the above partners:

These are pictures from the rest of the event and other booth projects:

Elli hosted the event and you can follow them on Facebook here.

And right now, Elli is giving 15% off all stationery products by using the code ELLIGIFT at checkout.  Have a great weekend and enjoy!

March 16, 2015

taking a time out...

Hello all!  I know its been a little while since the TOAST event and that I haven't reported much.  Let me just say it was a lot of fun and I was so glad to be involved!  We had a pow-wow last night with the great ladies involved in the event and when I got home I said to Jeremiah "would you believe it if I told you I was the quietest one there tonight?"  He didn't believe it, but I was.  So many great ideas flowing for business plans, great ideas, decorative visions...I was a little out of my element, but it was so much fun to watch.  As soon as I get pictures from the event, I will share but they haven't come my way yet.

Also, I am out of town again for the next few days and then when I return I don't expect any blogging for a little while :)  It's been beautiful here in Portland lately and I need to get my 'playin' in.  Also, we signed the contract for our landscape install today and they will do the project the first week of April!  Yipee!!!  We are using Lewis Landscaping for the backyard, and we are excited to be partnering with them.  

See you all next week sometime!

March 5, 2015

etsy love...

I just adore it when Etsy shops pop up on my home screen and Etsy says something like "We think you would like this shop"...and then I do!!!  I just love the products at Studio Liscious for your sweet cabin in the woods, nursery, or fun wall project that could incorporate some 'paint-by-numbers' pieces.  Everything in this shop I just want to snatch up!  Take a look: