The Contract

The Contract


After the twins were born, I stood in the middle of my living room one evening….bleary-eyed from lack of sleep with hair that hadn’t been washed in a week….wearing pajamas covered in spit-up…..

…..and wailed plaintively to my mother.

“How can I do this?”

“I’m not going to make it.”

“They are totally winning.”

Then I wiped my faced and brushed the hair away from my eyes….inhaled and exhaled several times and then stood patiently waiting for her words of wisdom.  I mean after all….my mother is brilliant (and getting more brilliant with every year that passes) and experienced and wise….

….and has never met a good piece of advice she didn’t like.Continue reading

The Thankful Tree and a Giveaway

The Thankful Tree and a Giveaway

This post and giveaway are brought to you by Birch Lane.

One of my favorite books is The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein.

If you’ve read it….you are nodding right about now.

If you haven’t I’ll totally Reader’s Digest it for you.

It’s about a tree who loves a little boy with all her heart.  When he is young he plays under the tree and swings from the branches and eats buckets of apples.  And as he grows older he sells the apples from the tree and uses her branches to make a house and her trunk to make a boat to sail away and explore the world.

And when he is older and his travels are done, he sits on the stump and rests…..

….and returns to the tree that he loves.

“And the tree was happy.”

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30 Minute Pumpkin Challenge – Mod Podge Pumpkins

30 Minute Pumpkin Challenge – Mod Podge Pumpkins


Do you remember the show What Not To Wear?

It was amazing.

An unsuspecting woman would be walking down the street and Clinton and Stacy would jump out and be all like we are here to make you over.  And then they would take the contestant home and open her closet and start throwing all the clothes into this giant trash can while the woman looked on with a mixture of horror and intrigue…..

….like she had no idea what would happen next.

No worries…..we all knew.

Because we watched the show.

We knew they were going to offer them money to go shopping and send them off with tips and then the woman would be shopping at the store and start making bad choices again and not listening to the hosts’ sage advice and then all of a sudden Clinton and Stacy would pop out at the store and surprise them and save the day.  And of course they would find her perfect outfits and then have her show them off in front of this eight way mirror and the lady would be all like you all are the best and look how amazing I look……

…..and we would all agree and sigh and wish that Clinton and Stacy would stop us on the street.

I know….right?

I know what you are thinking.

Where were Clinton and Stacy when I was wearing my blazer?

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I Wish

I Wish


If you read this….please take a moment to tell someone special to you how much you love them.


Late last night we found out that our sweet youth pastor and his entire family were killed in a car crash in Nashville.

Four brilliant, beautiful, wonderful lives snuffed out in an instant on a busy freeway.

And I sit here typing this to you with tears streaming down my face…..

…..because I wish.

I wish I would have told him of the amazing impact he had on my children.

I wish I would have told him his jokes made me laugh.

I wish I would have told him generations of families will be forever changed because of his leadership and how he allowed God to use him.

I wish I would have told him what a light he was in a world sometimes full of hurt and heartache and overwhelming sadness.

I wish.

“Today is a new day.

Make the most of it.

Tell someone you love them.

Smile at someone.

Give a hug.

Hold a hand.

Or just listen for a moment and be a friend.”


Halloween Front Door Decor:  Spider Web Door Mat

Halloween Front Door Decor: Spider Web Door Mat


I always wanted to be a hand model.

You know….the ones in the magazines holding dishwashing detergent or nail polish or a silver spoon.  They look so elegant and graceful and look like they spend the entire day playing the piano.

Except my hands are stubby.

And short.

They are always covered in spray paint or paint splatters or glitter.

That’s it.  Maybe I could be a DIY hand model…..

……because I wear Mod Podge really well. :)

(total aside:  please tell me you have been at Wal-Mart waving your hands around over in aisle seven and realized pieces of glitter were still stuck on with glue.  Oh good….let’s be friends.)Continue reading

My Favorite Decorating Tip

My Favorite Decorating Tip


I started this blog with the lofty intention of perching on the steps of decorating Mount Olympus and handing out sage advice and pithy quips on decorating.

In my mind….I was going to be amazing.

At the time, I had a camera that came in a yellow disposable box and you threw it away after you used it.  The words white balance and manual focus and DSLR were not in my vocabulary.  So I hired a local photographer to come out to the house and take pictures of my Christmas decor.  I worked for weeks getting the house ready and composing witty decorating repartee’ for my big blog debut.

The pictures came back and I loaded them into the computer.

I was so excited.

I couldn’t wait to share my decorating knowledge with the world.  My hands practically danced for joy as they flew over the keyboard writing a lengthy dissertation on how to use neutrals in Christmas decorating.

Continue reading

So You Might Have a Question?

So You Might Have a Question?


I wish I had a little taped promo for this post like they have on Saturday Night Live.  

Something kind of like this….  Reeeeder questionnnnnns.  Reeeeeeeder questionnnnnns. ReeEEEeeeEEEEr quuuuuuestions.

(so close but no cigar)

Maybe I just need choreography to go along with it. :)

Seriously….one of my favorite parts of writing a blog is the reader question.  Usually I e-mail an answer back…but today I thought I’d try something a little different and answer a reader question here on the blog in case any of you had a similar room dilemma.  So here goes. :)

A while back I got an e-mail from a reader that went a little something like this:

“I hope you can help me!  I’m really stuck when it comes to my master bedroom project.

We have an older ranch style home that we’ve been working on for years.  Recently we finished our small master bath, and it is time to move on to the master bedroom….but, I am stuck.  :(  The bathroom features octagonal white floor tiles, a white ruffled shower curtain, a galvanized barn light, a diy concrete countertop and touches of barn wood. The bedroom needs to flow from this room seamlessly.  I love farm house style, but I do not love shabby chic.  I love some cottage elements, but not to the extreme.  I love industrial, rustic, northwest, and french styles, but I can’t even pick a paint color!!  Currently, our room is a blank slate. When I think I have found a paint color, I back off and think I should go with BM Simply White.  (Our bed is made of a dark wood.)  I want a chandelier of some sort above the bed, but what style?  I love white bedding, but would also love to incorporate some gray.  I love layering and natural elements.  I have to work with what I’ve got, which unfortunately includes average height ceilings and beige carpeting, boo!
I dream of this decorating dilemma at night.  I need to make some sort of progress before I drive myself and my husband mad!  :)

Thank you so much!

Trina”Continue reading

The Best Kind of Motivation

The Best Kind of Motivation


Back when I first began my journey to get healthy…..

….I made a list.

I started it because I think I read in a motivation book somewhere that you if you fail to plan, you plan to fail and if you don’t know where you are going, how will you know when you get there and if you don’t stand for something…..

….you’ll fall for anything.

(total aside:  just between us….I think the last one is from a vintage country song).

Whatever.  You get the point….which is that sometimes a list of goals….all those hopes and dreams written down in black and white on the back of a coffee-stained envelope….can be a powerful motivator.

I never really told anyone about writing the list down.  I think I thought people might think it was silly or inconsequential or not even achievable.  And if I failed to plan or didn’t know where I was going or didn’t achieve anything….no one would know.  Then I placed in a drawer for months  and on a really tough day when Pringle’s cans were calling my name and Oreos were asking me to dance and visions of salsa and chips danced ’round my head….

….I would pull out the list and stare at it.

And sigh.

And set my chin up and my blinders on and straighten my shoulders and brush my teeth.

And it worked every time.Continue reading