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.

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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!

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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!

{in the garden} early june 2017

we  harvested {when i say “we” it was really lorelai and ryan} our first strawberries yesterday. they are a few weeks later than usual due to our LONG winter.

we got a late start on the gardening season this year due to weather. we had record rain and wet until just a few weeks ago. it was a LONG winter here in the pacific northwest.

our resident veggie gardener, ryan, also had knee surgery in march. he was in a full leg brace until late april/early may which limited his mobility and ability to really get down in the dirt!

ryan got the dirt turned and put tomatoes, kale, edamame, garlic and onions in the ground.

the strawberries and blueberries come back every year, so they were already going strong…just a bit delayed due to our LONG winter.

we will be adding a few other plants in the coming weeks, but i wanted to share a quick tour that i posted to my instagram stories!

we go all organic with our gardening…like bat guano, dead fish, chicken poop organic. as i mentioned in the video, we also have a resident snake…she/he and their offspring have lived in our rock wall for years and really keep a lot of the pests away {slugs, etc}.

we hadn’t seen the snake yet this year and i was afraid that the winter had been unkind to it…did i mention our LONG winter?!

sometime after ryan and lorelai picked strawberries, the snake shed it’s skin in the garden. the full skin was just nestled up in the strawberries when we returned from a family walk/bike ride yesterday.

we found the snake snuggled up in the rocks after we found the skin. i’m not a snake person, but i am happy to have a snake eating the pests in my garden because i am not going to spray chemicals on the garden to keep pests away!

although we garden organically, we still need to wash yucky stuff off of our fruits and vegetables and we use thieves fruit and veggie spray for that purpose. just spray it on, let it sit, and rinse.

hoping to share more of our garden as it grows. since we were gone most of last summer i missed our garden and backyard posts, so i am excited to get back to them this summer!

you can also see more garden posts on instagram at #homeisinthegarden and #ourfrontyardsuburbanfarm

home is…in the garden 2017!

 

blogs and bumwad

I used to read a fair number of blogs after I originally started my own.

It was interesting to find out other people’s reasons for starting blogs, and when I was new to Portland and motherhood it felt good to have something in common with a lot of other mom bloggers.

I sat down to read them during naptime.

Eventually, naptime stopped…and Instagram started.

And, so many of my favorite blogs disappeared…eaten up by the tiny squares of Instagram.

Mine included.img_0673And, what started out as a type of “mom blog” to keep family and friends in far away places aware of my mom-ing activities, is not so much a mom blog anymore.

What used to be Tuesday’s with Lola and The Little Guy Said, has turned into “what the heck do I write about when the kids are in school all day and I’m not doing my mom-ing activities?”

Some of the bloggers that I followed when I started my blog are still writing. In fact, this morning I read Kelle’s post about The Balance Bird. Her friend’s epiphany in yoga class about being erased hit home.

I felt that way when I was in the trenches of mom-ing activities while the kids were both so little. I have truly felt like I have lost pieces of myself while nurturing my kids. However, I am beginning to realize that my mom-ing activities are HUGE pieces of myself, and what I am pouring into my kids is a reflection and part of ME.

I’m not being erased, but redrafted, refined, remodeled.

Like a house with good bones, I am still here.

My structure is still here, there are just some parts that have been taken away…erased.

Sometimes you need to strip away the layers of wallpaper and plaster or drywall to get to the shiplap (and you can’t do that without demo day)! Other times there are parts that have been added because they are necessary and weren’t in place before, they just needed some updating, or were completely outdated and needed an entire overhaul!

When you remodel a house you have the original floor plan and you keep what you need and make changes where they are needed. Most times the original floor plan is drafted in pen, because it is the permanent structure, then you place tracing paper (my instructors in design school used to call it bumwad) on top of that and pencil in the new changes and additions. The eraser is used, and most times multiple drafts and layers of bumwad end up over the original floor plan. Eventually, you get to a final design that will, once again, be drafted in pen.Stephany Taddeo Interior DesignAnd, then you have change orders.

And, you decide to repaint your walls.

And, you need new floors because the old carpet smells like dogs.

Sometimes an eraser is what is needed to really get the changes we need to take shape.

At any rate, my blog is still here. I just might put some layers of bumwad on top and have to use an eraser from time to time to get it where I want it to be.

happy thanksgiving eve

stack up
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the kids participated in the “stack up!”,  which was “the most people sport stacking at multiple locations stacking in one day”.

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i volunteered to help in both of their classes…i also stacked, which contributed to the numbers to hopefully make/beat a world record!

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some of lorelai’s artwork at school…if you didn’t know already, she is a bit obsessed with pigs.

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reece created this piece of artwork during our most recent art literacy lesson…it’s the leaves falling from the aspens when we were in vail for my cousin’s wedding!


friendsgiving bunco

i have been playing bunco with a group of moms from our school/neighborhood since earlier this year. this month was my month to host and i decided to go with a friendsgiving theme.
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mimosa bar…instructions written on mirror with dry erase markers.

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candy apple bar…dip apple slice in caramel {or chocolate} and sprinkle with toppings .

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if you got a bunco, you wore the turkey.

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i had fun making score cards for the night…
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it was a great night.


a very merry oil infused holiday

curating-christmas

i recently talked about thieves household cleaner during a class for my young living team. if you are interested in learning more, please contact me!

the kids will be helping with a kids essential oils 101 class {online} on december 6th…contact me if you would like an invitation!


colorado buffaloes

what?!

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we’ve become duck and beaver fans after living in oregon for 10+ years, but i am so thrilled to see my buffs at the top of the pac 12 and in the top 10 in the nation!

i cannot wait to see how this all plays out in the future…reminds me of when i was in high school and college (the last time they were really good…20+ years ago)!


OUR HOUSE

it seems like it has taken forever to get our house back in shape after the remodel, but we are almost there.

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gallery walls are back up.

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craft supplies and toys are back in their places.

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and, the powder bath is gallery walled again. this bathroom reminds me of the bathroom in the house i lived in at my kids ages…my mom had family photo collages all over the walls and said that people would take forever in the bathroom because they were looking at all of the photos!


morning message

lorelai loves to write messages on the whiteboard/chalkboard in by the stairs. this was her morning message today…

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HOSTING

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we are hosting thanksgiving at our house for FAMILY. YES! we have family way over here on the northwest coast of the US. a couple of ryan’s cousins have moved out here in the last few years, so we are hosting them! it should be fun!!


HAPPY TREES

i am usually a wait until after thanksgiving to decorate for christmas kind of girl. the last few years, i have let the kids anticipation and excitement get a hold of me and i have started a bit early. this year i am holding back until black friday…when i will be pulling boxes out of the attic, listening to christmas tunes, and watching football.

that being said, i heard this from the attic the other day.

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“we’re equal opportunity trees! we demand that you take us out of this christmas box you have kept us in for months. we don’t discriminate between the holidays…easter, 4th of july, columbus day…you name it, we will celebrate it! thanksgiving happens to be one of our favorites.”

oh what fun. falalalala.

happy thanksgiving eve, everybody!

hello, november

here we are.

two months left in 2016.

it’s the most wonderful time of the year.


here’s a quick recap of some of the things that happened in october…

grand river rainbow returned home after spending the summer in idaho…and this rainbow showed up to greet her!

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i hosted my first yellow door vintage pop-up in our home, which was a sale of vintage goods that i have collected over the last few years. it was fun to see some of the items that were in our home go to new homes where people would appreciate them!

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lorelai’s teachers came by for a home visit.

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we finally made it to a pumpkin patch so we could carve pumpkins before halloween.

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i am continuing to color in my bible.

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thankful for sunshine streaming through windows, and walks through fall leaves.

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