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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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.

easy christmas card photo books 6

{That’s my mom and dad in Italy}

easy christmas card photo books 7

easy christmas card photo books 8

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.

easy christmas card photo books 2

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″.

easy christmas card photo books 5

easy christmas card photo books 3

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

easy christmas card photo books 4

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

easy christmas card photo books 9

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.

easy christmas card photo books 1

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!

easy christmas card photo books 10

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.

easy christmas card photo books 11

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!

easy christmas card photo books

I just finished putting our Christmas card photo book for 2015 together. We now have SEVEN years of Christmas cards collected into little flip books! I looked through the archives and found my original post about how I put them together.


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 been saving 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 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.

easy christmas card photo books 6

{That’s my mom and dad in Italy}

easy christmas card photo books 7

easy christmas card photo books 8

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.

easy christmas card photo books 2

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″.

easy christmas card photo books 5

easy christmas card photo books 3

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

easy christmas card photo books 4

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

easy christmas card photo books 9

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.

easy christmas card photo books 1

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!

easy christmas card photo books 10

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.

easy christmas card photo books 11

 

{31 days} paper bag flowers

 

{31 days} header

 ~secondhand and created~

paper flowers4

I absolutely LOVE sunflowers and love this craft.

paper flowers3

It’s perfect to add a neutral early fall touch to your decor, but packs a punch by being 3 dimentional.

paper bag flowers 8

I used a few in baby girl’s room with some tissue paper puffs leftover from her first birthday party!

Click here for an awesome tutorial {it looks like she uses lunch bags, but I used full size brown paper grocery bags}.

{You can also read my original post happy paper flowers  from January 2013}

home is….{31 days} secondhand, created paper flowers.

Join me while I link up with The Nester every day in October for #write31days.
Click here to find a list of all 31 posts as they are published.

{31 days} flash card art

{31 days} header

~secondhand, created and thrifted~

You need:

  • flash cards
  • background paper (I chose a paper bag)
  • frame
  • scissors
  • glue
  • sharpie or pencil

Cut paper to fit frame.

Arrange flash cards.

Glue into place.

Place into frame.

Hang on your wall.

I also made this one where I added the year we were married, the year the little guy was born, and the year baby girl was born.

home is…{31 days} secondhand, created and thrifted fun with flash cards.

Join me while I link up with The Nester every day in October for #write31days.
Click here to find a list of all 31 posts as they are published.

{our home} summer kitchen project

shortly after i returned from whatever craft weekend (which i promise to write about soon), i decided it was time to paint the red walls in our kitchen white.

kitchen 1

i asked my instagram friends what whites they have used, but was too impatient to wait for all of the suggestions and decided to go with the pot of cream from behr (the sample on the far left).

kitchen 2

reece was still in school, so lorelai and i got to work.

kitchen 3

it was an instant transformation on the walls, so i thought, “why not paint EVERYTHING white?!”

kitchen 9

soon, i was testing the paint on the cabinets and drawers…on the hallway walls…and in the playroom.

kitchen 10

and, i LOVE it!

kitchen 5

it has already made our kitchen seem bigger and brighter.

kitchen 6

it’s been A LOT of work, though. i will not be posting any kind of “how to” about this project because i am winging it…i’ve watched videos, read numerous how to’s on my own, but until i actually got into it i had no idea what i was getting into.

kitchen 4

the good news? the bases and drawers are all painted.

kitchen 7

the cabinet doors have been tricky for me to get a smooth finish on, but i’m working on it…one door at a time.

kitchen 8

i think we will be adding new floors to the first floor, too.

think oak laminate plank flooring.

this is one of those BIG projects that we didn’t have time or resources for that i wrote about in our home tour on life made lovely.

sometimes, you make the time and find the resources to get it done.

and, we are.

home is…hard work and patience.