summer zen

today is the first day of summer break for my kiddos.

i love summer because i don’t always like a task list.

i like a bit of structure, but i don’t thrive with structure.

however, i do thrive in a calm environment, and without structure calm is sometimes elusive.

one of my favorite ways to find some calm is with yoga.

i have recently stepped up my home practice and my goal for the summer is to devote at least 20 minutes a day, at home, to yoga.

i hope to make it to 3 classes per week at our health club, but would love to practice everyday at home.

another way i love to add calm to our home is with essential oils and i plan to use both in my yoga practice this summer.


in fact, i found an awesome kit with roller bottle blend recipes, labels, bottles, and instructions for yoga and meditation roller and diffuser blends from Got Oil Supplies!

today, i put a few of the blends together…

the kit includes 1 recipe tear sheet, 1 label sheet and 10 glass rollerball bottles (oils, mala beads, and yoga props not included).

i am looking forward to using these blends during my at home yoga from some summer zen.

you can also get your own Yoga & Meditation Rollerball DIY Kit at Got Oil Supplies!

clarity is my word for the year, so the clarity blend happens to be my favorite so far!

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hello, it’s me…

long time no blog.

i’m still here.

as always, i have missed this space.

it’s a place that, for just short of 10 years, i have calledmy very own.

sure, i share it with you (if there are any of you left out there that might check back in occasionally), but it’s a place that i come to when i need a place to call my own.

it’s a place to come to share the story of my life.

the ups.

the downs.

the in-betweens.

the projects i’ve worked on.

the things my kids do.

the things i enjoy.

the things i create.

the adventures we go on.

i’ve missed sharing in this space.

this space i call my own.

coming back here to type these words feels like home.

for many years, i would spend naptime, time when the kids were at preschool, and nights after they went to bed editing photos and typing blog posts on my laptop.

i would also sit outside while my kids played, while we watched a movie together, or other times when i could grab a few minutes on my laptop.

part of the reason i haven’t been here as much is because i got a new computer two years ago. it is awesome, but it sits at a desk in a corner.

it’s in a main room in our house, but it’s not portable.

see, home is kind of like that.

home doesn’t have to be one place that you come back to over and over again.

it CAN be that place, but it can also be something that you carry with you.

home is what you make it.

this space is one of the places that i call home.

i like to bring it along with me wherever i go.

i may have to take back my laptop from the roblox and minecraft world and turn it back into my portable home.

hopefully, you will stick around to join me.

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my thoughts on prayers

i have a few thoughts on prayers.

for a long time i was afraid to pray.

i didn’t know who to pray to or what to say.

what i found is that it doesn’t matter who you pray to or what you say…it just matters that you do it.

here’s the thing,

we can choose to hear emptiness when people send out their prayers & thoughts

or

we can choose to change our thoughts about prayers and use our prayers to change our thoughts.


prayer

  • a solemn request for help
  • an earnest hope or wish

thought

  • an idea or opinion produced by thinking
  • the product of mental activity

look at the definitions above…

we all have requests for help.

we all have earnest hopes and wishes.

we all have opinions and ideas produced by thinking.

we all have products of mental activity.


i decided to look up synonyms for prayers and thoughts to help me work through my frustration with how easily those words are tossed out in times of trauma and grief.

in other words we could…

ask for hope.

urge logic.

beg for understanding.

petition for consideration.

require ideation.

implore regard.

plead for rumination.

solicit attention.

demand reasoning.

implore scrutiny.

so while we may be judging how other are using the words PRAYERS & THOUGHTS, we could use our own prayers (ask, urge, beg, petition, require, implore plead, solicit, demand, and implore), to who or whatever you choose, for our own thoughts (hope, logic, understanding, consideration, ideation, regard, rumination, attention, reasoning, scrutiny).


i ask to be free from judgement and fear.

i ask to let love in.

valentine’s day 2013: you color my world friend

I am happy to say that my kids agreed to give their friends something that is NOT candy this year!  

We’ve decided on ideas for each of them, but have to wait until this weekend to put them together.

Until then, I thought I would revisit our no candy valentines from years past…this one is from 2013.


valentines

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I found these adorable crayon packages at Target (in 2013, but haven’t seen them since)…you can currently find them here.

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Tear pages out of the atlas (you can purchase an atlas here).

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Cut out heart shapes…about 6″ large.

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Glue a crayon pack onto one side of the heart.

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Write “You color my world, friend!” on the other side.

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Sign your name.

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Share the love!

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home is…homemade valentines.

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a walk down memory lane

some old photos of the kids rooms popped up on my facebook memories yesterday.

the photo below is baby girls room in january 2013. the tissue paper flowers were from her 1st birthday party in 2010! they hung in our playroom for a few years and then i added them to her bedroom.

i also made the paper bag sunflowers.

five years ago, when baby girl was only 3, i could do pretty much whatever I wanted to do with her room. i had fun playing around with DIY decorations, thrifted items, and some of the artwork i had in her baby room.

a couple years ago we ended up having the kids switch rooms. i think i ended up moving all the furniture by myself one day when ryan was out of town. i remember it being really messy and hard and wondering why i decided to do it.

the following photo is one i took on my phone this morning. totally not staged for a photo shoot, but a comparison.she loves pigs, so she dictates the design of her room now…i just add bits and pieces when she lets me.


the photo below is in the same room as the photo above, but it was the little guys room 5 years ago.

he was 5 and loved everything batman.

the decorations on his wall next to the bed were from his golden birthday party that was a super hero theme.

i had a love/hate relationship with his bunk/twin beds. we traded them out for a full bed a few years ago and there are some rare occasions when i wish we had held onto the twin beds (like when we have visitors and i wish the kids could just sleep in the same room together).he is now in baby girls old room. they each got to choose an accent wall color when we had our house repainted in 2016. his favorite color is purple.

he is a little more easy going when it comes to the decorations in his room. i was able to repurpose some dog prints that we used to have in our family room. it love how it worked out because on the wall to the right of the photo i found a decal that is a lab carrying a lacrosse stick. you can also see the pillow on the bed with max the lax dog.  the lacrosse storage organizer is from pottery barn, but is used to display a vintage lacrosse stick that my dad gave him, and a pair of gloves from a former professional lacrosse player. he says it’s one of his favorite parts of his room.


i am hoping to write more posts that are interiors related this year as i also hope to start doing design work for clients here in the portland metro area.

what kind of posts would you like to see more of this year?

i’d love to hear your requests and comments!!

a dozen

Twelve years ago today we moved to Portland.

We drove our extended cab pickup loaded with our five fuzzy faces (3 black labs and two cats) towing our malibu (loaded with fragiles) from Denver to Boise (actually, Mountain Home) through high winds in Wyoming and a blizzard in Eastern Idaho.  We stayed with some dear friends for the night and drove the rest of the way through snow in Eastern Oregon, and a driving rain and darkness through the Gorge.  Only to hit rush hour traffic on 217 on the way to our rental house on Bull Mountain.  We stayed with friends in the exact neighborhood where we have ended up…and met the moving van on the morning of January 3rd, 2006….probably the only DRY day in that record setting wettest January in Portland.  Welcome to Oregon!

I am not sure how long we actually planned on living here.

At one point we almost moved, but ended up staying.

For now, I cannot imagine living anywhere else.

Colorado is where I was born, raised, and met my husband, but Portland is home.

It’s where we started our own family.

It’s where we have been through the best and the worst of our marriage.

It’s where we have made friends that feel like family.

It’s where we have planted our roots.

Cheers to a dozen years in the Rose City, Bridgeport, Stumptown, and all that keeps Portland weird.

easy christmas card photo books

I have been getting a lot of questions about an Instagram story I posted a couple weeks ago about what I do with all of the Christmas cards that we receive. I wrote this blog post 5 years ago and figured it might be a good time to repost it.

Don’t throw out all those cards, easily turn them into little photo books that you can pull out each year! We now have 9 years of books collected and I love to pull out the books in late November and look through them the entire month of December. 


One of my favorite parts about Christmas is receiving the cards from all of our friends and relatives. I especially like the photos.

They make me smile from the day I receive my first card until the day I finally take them down from their display…which is usually one of the last things to come down.

Over the years I have saved the photos in a drawer in my desk. You see, my aunt had albums full of christmas card photos and every year I loved to sit down on Christmas day and look through them. Although I didn’t know all the people, I learned to recognize the familiar faces year after year and enjoyed seeing how families had grown, adult children had gotten married, etc. My plan was to eventually start some albums of my own.

As I was trying to find space in the drawer in my desk for our cards from Christmas 2012 I finally decided to just put the darn books together. I mean, for goodness sake, all I needed was a hole punch (I used a 3 hole punch and a single hole punch), some chipboard, some rings, and a glue stick!

easy christmas card photo books

All of my cards were organized by year, so I started punching holes.

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{That’s my mom and dad in Italy}

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I used two holes of a three hole punch so that I would eventually be able to line up the cards that were differing sizes and shapes.

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Then I cut some chipboard that I had from the back of some thrifted frames that I won’t be using. I cut the chipboard a little larger than the largest card…three of the books ended up being 9″ x 6″ and one is 8″ x 6″.

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I punched holes in the chipboard and glued our christmas card to the front.

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I also made back covers for the books so the cards are protected on both sides of the book.

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This year our card was a post card and I wanted to include the back of the card, so I put it on the inside of the back cover.

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In less than an hour (it actually took 2 days, but I had to start and stop multiple times for various reasons…kids, dogs, cats, husbands, etc.) I had books from the last 4 years put together!

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For now, they are in our basket of photo books in the family room. I think, eventually, I will put them in the attic with the rest of the Christmas decor so they will be a fun tradition to pull out of the bins each year.

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Notice a change to the bookshelves? I’ll fill you in on that quick project this week!

Stay tuned…


I hope this inspires you to keep those cards! It’s a super simple project and feels so good once you have it done!