What’s Your Sign?

No, not your zodiac sign silly goose! I’m talking decorative signs. They are all the rage and I have several in my home to add to my decor. I really love quotes. And chalkboards. And wood signs. I mean seriously. I {heart} signs. So I have to share a few of my faves with you.

First of all, I have chalkboards throughout my house. True confession? My sister in law is my artist. I use old and new frames and MDF {which my hubby is sweet enough to cut for me} and create my own chalkboards using chalkboard paint. My awesomely creative sis in law then uses her magic chalk wielding¬†skills to create a masterpiece. I usually have her change things up for the season but … but …. but .. she hasn’t been here since March and she’s coming in 9 sleeps people. Nine sleeps! So I have a whole bunch of work waiting for her. She’s magical. I swear.

One of my favorites that she did for me earlier this year is proudly displayed in my hall. It is from the Mumford & Sons song, Awake My Soul. Which is one of my favorite bands and songs ever.


Letter Folk is one of my faves to follow on Instagram. I seriously LOL at some of the stuff people put out there. It’s part giggle fest, part inspirational. One of these boards in on my Christmas Wish List. For real. With a board and oodles of letters, just imagine the possibilities.


Vinyl Crafts over at Etsy has this sweet Kindess Matters sign. It’s a good reminder, don’t you think?


Another Etsy find over at Mellisa Jane. These are the lyrics to another song that I love.


Barn Owl Primitives is one of my favorites. I love this table manners sign. I actually have one of her 2+2 signs which is a perfect addition to my gallery wall which showcases our family of 4.

table-mannersThis was a Pinterest find but without an original source. Bummer! It’s a quote that I love though. It speaks to my soul as I have a super amazing tribe. Lucky me.


I’ve had my eye on this one for awhile. Soulspeak and Sawdust has some fun stuff over at Etsy.


I hope that I inspired you with these fun finds. Have a fab day.

Kitchen Daydreams

We have lived in our house for 12 years. We bought it new and picked out all of our upgrades. We still get a lot of compliments on our cabinets. They are maple with an ivory glaze. They are pretty and they go well with our flecked granite, tan backsplash and black appliances. I will say though, I have the itch to remodel. Of course this is a complete want and not a need. Everything is still very functional and doesn’t look that old but I love decor and design so I want to change all of it. All.Of.It. BUT my hubby says no. Ha ha. Plus I can think of so many other things to spend money on like family vacations, etc.

If money wasn’t an issue, I’d change everything. Starting with my hardwood floors. It’s called rustic pecan so it is much more of a light golden brown which works with the carpet and walls in the house. Everything was tan 12 years ago. Today things are gray. Oh how I love gray. I’d change my floors to something either darker or with gray tones, the cabinets would get painted crisp white, I have the perfect granite picked out, the backsplash would likely be a fun pattern in white, I’d do a farmhouse sink and the appliances would all get switched out to stainless {which I couldn’t stand 12 years ago … funny how taste can change eh?} I’d also change some of the layout to create a walk in pantry and a built in desk in the kitchen. It’s fun to dream, right?

I am drawn to the farmhouse look with a touch of industrial thrown in. I mean, I do <heart> Joanna Gaines after all but I don’t have a farmhouse. I have more of a tuscan style home. I’d love a farmhouse but that is a whole other investment. My kids are growing so fast and time is flying. I am so aware of that and how fleeting time is. I know that in 5 years, I will have one son graduating. WOW. Five years? For real. So if twelve years flew by then I can only imagine how fast 5 years will go. Then in 7 years, our second son will graduate. So I foresee lots of change after that and I don’t know exactly what that entails but I imagine it would mean downsizing. It’s so weird to think ahead like that but again, time is flying! I just don’t know that I want to sink money into this house when it isn’t our forever home. You never know though .. in a year I could completely switch gears and remodel all of it ūüėČ

Here are some fabulous fines for kitchen redos. I’ve included links to the original source if there is one.

I love the open shelving in the kitchen at Our Vintage Home Love. The gray cabinets are fun too.



I love everything about The Sunny Side Up blog. Her kitchen looks so crisp with the white cabinets and of course has that farmhouse sink that I swoon over.


Pinterest is full of the good stuff. I can’t find the original source for this one but Wow. Look at all of this storage! I change out some of my glass front cabinets¬†with the seasons. These would display my stuff {as well as store it} beautifully.


Yellow Prairie Interiors knocked it out of the park with this kitchen. Barn door, chalkboard, huge pennant lights, sea grass barstools. I am kinda in love over here. Like googly eyed kinda love.



Here is another Pinterest find without an original source link. I really like the wood beams and the framed windows. They just add a pop to the kitchen.


I love organization. I mean really love it. There is such a sense of accomplishment if I can organize something. This pantry over at HGTV is all kinds of dreamy. Those shelves and baskets? Love.


I really like this backsplash at Walker Zanger.



I really am a fan of hardwood floors. We have had them for 12 years and they are showing wear in some areas but they really are hardy and not hard on the feet like tile can be. Plus they don’t have that cold feeling. That being said, I know that I don’t love the color we chose. It is a bit golden brown for my current taste. People say the dark wood shows everything but I feel like my floors show everything. I think I’d pick something with less of a sheen though. That could help it from showing everything. I also really like the look of wide planks. This one over at HomeTalk is pretty perfect if you ask me.


So there you have it. An insight into what I would do if I were to remodel my kitchen. Thanks for stopping by. Hope your Sunday is fabulous.


Turning 40 was kinda big for me. Now I am 42 but seriously – 40 was pivotal. In a weird kinda¬†way. I’ve always joked that if I live till I’m 80 and die in my sleep, then I have lived a good life. BUT then 40 became that 1/2 to 80 mark and it felt like I didn’t have enough time. Silly right? Because there are no guarantees and anything could happen to any of us at anytime and we really don’t get the final say so in when, where and how we leave this world. Still. It kinda felt like this change took over me. All of a sudden, life became more fragile. I have always been a bit of an old soul and felt that I could relate to people of all ages. I had this realization that no matter our age, we are still who we are.

Losing friends around my age to sudden heart attacks and seeing my dad pass away – these things changed me. Losing a parent is a deep, deep loss. All morning I have had a song in my head that my dad loved. It’s kinda strange. I heard it last week on the radio but I woke up with it on repeat in my head. What does that mean? Does it mean anything? I am not a religious girl but I’d like to believe that my dad is somewhere good surrounded by his loved ones. I’d like to think that he shows up in my life in silly ways such as music or the random squirrel appearances {my dad had a thing about feeding squirrels so now when I see them, I think of him}.

Sometimes life just feels heavy. The world feels heavy. Human kindness is sometimes lacking. But sometimes, it’s beautiful. Sometimes the news shares stories that literally crush me. Awful, violent stories of people hurting people. The stories of children being harmed completely crush my soul. Some of these things are just beyond comprehension. Why? How can people be so hateful and mean? It’s a tough pill to swallow. It’s so easy to feel consumed by these stories and find fear in them happening to those you love the most. Having conversations with my kids about kidnappers and what to do should someone ever try and grab them. These are the conversations that break my heart. But it’s a part of our big scary world.

And the hate – don’t even get me started on that one. We are in an election year and boy are the haters out there. I have a rule, I don’t talk politics or religion with people Those conversations often get heated and ugly. I am not gonna change your mind and you aren’t gonna change mine. It’s a scary time though. I do feel that we need someone with kindness and compassion to rule this country – and maybe some humor. I think I’ll vote for Jimmy Fallon. Isn’t that an option? ūüėČ Kidding {sorta}.

As my grandpa would say, “Always keep your guard up”. He always said it as he waved both his arms in the air, I can still visualize it. I miss that man. See? Loss. It’s a tough one. Here come those tears that show up almost daily. The “I miss you” tears. They come and go at the most random times. They might show up for a second when I hear a certain song and then they are gone. I have pretty much resigned myself to wearing waterproof mascara. I have always been a crier. I wear my emotions – good, bad and ugly. So with that being said, I am not an Eeyore. I laugh. A lot. Life is full of good. It really is. I just feel every.single.emotion very deeply. If you know me then you are very aware of this. I cry, I laugh, I use sarcasm and cuss words to express myself. Sometimes I just have to have an emotional outburst {not in public – usually on the phone with a friend – thank you Stacie and Lisa}, to clear my mental space of whatever is consuming it. It’s like an emotional purge.

So my brain is often on emotional overload and I am always talking myself off the ledge. What I mean by this is that I am always trying to push away the worrying of the ‘what if’s’ in life. I am really an optimistic, glass half full kind of girl but people – there are clowns terrorizing our world! They are threatening schools and making children afraid. These are the issues that we could use a lot less of. Seriously, clowns. This has been a big topic with schools even sending home emails to parents about it. Sigh. Can’t we all just be nice and get along and not scare the crap out of people? I guess diversity is what makes the world go round but at this moment, I am burned out on the negative diversity. How about you?

I know that I haven’t been here in awhile and I always vow to write more. This post is obviously a bit raw and real but I just kinda needed to put it out there. Don’t worry, I will be back to decor and recipes soon enough! Thanks for listening.

Valentines Day Fun

Well hello February. I’ve found several awesome ideas for Valentines. Maybe it’s because this is the last year of elementary school for my youngest but I am feeling super¬†nostalgic. I really want to soak up this last bit of parties. This is a holiday that I try and make extra special. I don’t typically do the store bought cards but instead I find something fun via the web (hello Pinterest). There are so many fabulous ideas – some food related, some not. I also found some fun decor. Read on for my favorite 5 treats to share and decorations that inspire.

Creations by Kara is offering up laughs with this fun Valentine.


Catch my Party¬†created these ‘smart’ Valentines.


My Name is Snickerdoodle came up with this Kool idea.

Kool Valentine-1001

It’s Always Autumn used Starbursts in her Valentines. This one is on my ‘make’ list for sure.


These sweet heart magnets over at The Connections We Share are a sweet, non foodie treat.


Now moving on to my 5 fave decor ideas.

I am loving this little tree of hearts over at Simply + Kierste.


If you follow me then you know that I am a HUGE fan of printables. I love this one at The Cake Blog.


DIY Beautify created this sweet heart pallet board.


Lux and Lace shared this neutral burlap LOVE pennant.


This heart shaped wreath over at Bower Power Blog is unique. I love how they used grey yarn instead of pink, red or white which are so traditional in Valentines decor.


I hope you enjoyed some of my favorite Valentines finds. If you’d like to see all of the LOVEly things I’ve pinned for this super sweet holiday, click here and you can visit my Valentines Pinterest Board. I hope your February is sweet.

My Addiction …. To Fixer Upper

First off, Hello! My Mac Book was on the fritz for months. It was sloooooow which made me very unmotivated to use it and then it just broke. But I was too busy to deal with it. I hosted my annual craft fair, my sister got married, I was in charge of the wedding decor {which was so much fun}, then the holidays and having houseguests plus hosting the holidays came around. I put the very idea of fixing my computer on the back burner. I knew it needed a new hard drive. Thankfully the stuff was salvaged on my old one. Replacing the hard drive and backing up the old one cost me 1/3 of what a new one would have cost and this thing is running like a dream. I am thrilled. Big thanks to Cody at Staples for making it happen. Seriously. I had a crush on him for a day cause he was so awesome. Now on to more important things.

I have a confession, I might be addicted to Fixer Upper. I am guessing most of you that read this will know exactly what that means but in case you are a little out of the loop, Fixer Upper is the hit HGTV show featuring the power couple, Chip & Joanna Gaines. They are this super team that redo old houses in Waco, Texas. They also have 4 young children, own a farm, a store, a bed and breakfast and are opening a bakery. The list seriously keeps growing {I am convinced that they never sleep} but if you watch their show, you will love them. They are adorable. They are artists. So I love them. I have an addiction. My Magnolia t-shirt and hat have been ordered. The addiction is real people.

So why has this show become such a hit? Well first off, they do a lot of remodeling at a super good price point. Obviously a lot of this is location and availibility. They are super talented in how they rework old homes and make them new again. Joanna also has the ability to decorate using old and new but without anything feeling overly fussy. The homes look clean, simple and homey when they are done. All of these are features that suck me right in.

Over the years, I have painted. A LOT {that is a whole other addiction – I don’t have time to count the amount of layers of paint in my house right now. I’ll save that for another post}. What I always come back to is neutral colors. I love adding color but I like to do it via accessories and not paint. I think because I have really realized that with my own style, I am especially drawn to the show. Another design element that I am loving as of late is the rustic/farmhouse/industrial look. I love how all of these elements can be pulled together and look like they actually belong together.

Our house is 11.5 years old. We are the original owners. We picked decent upgrades BUT I would love a refresh. Of course what I want and what we need are two very different things but hey, I’m a thinker so I have ideas. We have hardwood throughout most of the downstairs. It’s a light maple. I don’t like it but there is nothing wrong with it so it stays. We have cream cabinets and granite that is on the darker side. I want white cabinets with a much lighter granite. I want hardwood that is a very different color and style. I want to paint everything grey. Again, it’s a want. I’d completely reconfigure my kitchen. Seriously. But financially it doesn’t make sense and we have other priorities.

What I do get to do is a room redo. We have a small front room. It was shown in the model as a formal living room. That’s how it started¬†for us but we really didn’t utilize it as that. Then it was an office that was more for looks and I didn’t use it as I have a thing with doing all crafts and computer work at my kitchen island. I like to be in the hub of the house. About 18 months ago, we converted it to a kids space. We used to have a play room but the kids out grew the space and we wanted a guest room. Well, now it’s a game room of sorts for the kids. They have a TV and an X Box but it’s open to the rest of the house. Its become my project now that the holidays have passed {I always need a project to pull me through the after Christmas let down when I am sad cause my family all goes back home.}

I worked hard to condense my craft supplies and sold a large bookcase as I launched myself into this redo. This space currently holds a tv stand, small bookcase, cheap futon and 2 large dog crates. It has carpet that we hate and the next project is to install hardwood which will match our existing hardwood. I painted the room over the weekend. The color that I have in most of my house is called Faded Burlap by Valspar. I love this color. It’s a creamy beige that doesn’t seem to have pink or yellow undertones. It’s perfect. Click here to see a sample. The dog crates are there to stay as we have 2 big dogs that sleep inside but they have to be crated at night. I’d like to add a couch and a chair or two but I want to hide the crates behind the couch. I will probably repaint the TV stand as we need that for storage for the game console and TV. I also hope to repaint the bookcase and steal a matching bookcase from my son’s room. I am thinking of putting them together and adding a top to make them look like they are one piece. Another thing I’d LOVE to do is install barn doors going into the space. It’s wide open and loud when the kids are playing, especially when they have friends over. I also want to encourage them to have friends over as they get older so I am hoping that by giving this space some privacy, they kids will want to be here, Does that make sense? Also, if we have friends over, the kids can have a hang out space while the grown ups¬†hang in the family room and kitchen. We don’t want them to have TV’s in their room so this is the solution.

Now on to the fun stuff .. the style I have in mind is very much Fixer Upper. I guess I should tell my husband that I want barn doors now eh? ūüėČ At least I am not asking for shiplap.

My inspiration mostly comes from HGTV and Pinterest. I also find myself drooling over Instagram photos.



barn doors –¬†source



color scheme –¬†source


Jenga on display – source


giant dominos – source


sign and gallery wall – source

PLAY Pillows

pillows – source

So long story long, I {heart} Fixer Upper.

How Do You Like Them Apples?

I can’t recall if it was my dad or grandpa that used to say that but it’s in my head as is fall.¬†It’s almost fall. Almost as in I’ve already decorated and bought some new fall clothes. In reality it’s averaging 105 here this week. Boo. I am not the least bit happy about those temps, even in the midst of summer. I don’t like the hot. We stay semi warm here in Northern California through Halloween. We will have some cooler days and nights before we are totally submerged in the crispness of the season. I can not wait. Fall is so my favorite season and it goes way too fast. Fall officially kicks off on September 23rd but I start decorating right after Labor Day. September is also the kick off to Apple Hill¬†which is one of my favorite places to go. Ever. With that, I am sharing some recipes that I am hoping to make and share this apple season.

Snickerdoodle Apple Cobbler – Crazy for Crust
Are you kidding me? Two of my favorite things rolled into one yummy recipe. I am definitely making this one soon!


New England Apple Cider Cake – A Family Feast
This might be a fun weekend breakfast.


Apple Pie Moonshine – It’s a Keeper

I’ve had the store bought version of this before and it is a tummy warmer for sure. Perfect for a crisp fall night.


Apple Cinnamon Yogurt Pancakes – Julia’s Album


Apple Pecan Feta Spinach Salad with Maple Cider Vinaigrette – Cooking Classy


Apple Cider Caramels – I Heart Nap Time
These are the perfect thing to make and giveaway. I am sure you could make new friends if you kept these in your purse.


Caramel Apple Cream Cheese Spread – She Wears Many Hats
I am sure this would be a crowd pleaser at any fall party.


Of course I have barely scratched the surface for delicious apple recipes. I am drooling as I type this. Yum yum yum. Do you have a favorite apple recipe?

For the Love of Decorating

Yep, I am on a new color obsession kick. Which means that I find things in this color and decorate! Woo hoo!! My husband loves when I fall in love with a new color {insert sarcasm}. I have always been drawn to navy but after using it in some mantel decor before July 4th and then of course for July 4th when I went all red, white and blue, I decided that I wanted navy to stick around for awhile. So I did what I do, I became obsessed with finding things to change up my decor.

Read on for my favorite and quikest ways to change decor on the cheap. Click on the links for photos.

Throw pillows: I recommend either using pillow covers or scouring places like Marshall’s, Ross, HomeGoods, Stein Mart, etc. for pillows. Target often has cute¬†ones but they are usually a bit more expensive. I actually picked up this cutie at Kirkland’s. I am {in love} with arrows and this saying so it had to come home with me. Ikea and Bed, Bath & Beyond have cute pillow covers for a reasonable price. I have also found some on Very Jane and Etsy. Someday I might let you peak at my linen closet. I could start a rental business for throw pillows. I’m both proud and embarrassed by this admission. Pillow covers will free up your linen closet.

Printables: I am all about quotes. They make me happy. They add a touch of whimsy. They are a cheap way to spice up your decor. I almost always have a few of them framed in my house. Guests always comment on them. One of my go to spots for printables is of course Pinterest.¬†Click here to be redirected to my Pinterest boards. This is one of my recent finds. It is over at Etsy. It’s an instant download for cheap! Click here to buy it. Also, I often times download prints to my computer but then upload them to Costco for printing. Ink is pricey and some of these take a lot of ink. I’d rather pay a couple of bucks for one then use all of my own ink. The quality is usually better as well.


Shop your home: Yep, just like I said. You’d be surprised at what you will find around the house that can be re-homed to change up a different space. I do this with vases, candle holders, frames, plants, flowers. You name it, I’ve moved it.

Paint: OK, this is a semi cheap way to change up space or even to give a refresh but it can be time consuming.

Rugs: I love the small rugs that go in front of a door. I don’t do large area rugs personally. Not because I don’t love them because I really do. I wish I could have them but I have 2 dogs and 1 cat. I sweep often and it looks like I could make a whole new animal with the amount of hair. So rugs don’t do super well in my house. They become dirty and often times my cat decides to throw up on them.¬†Seriously. #catsmakemecrazy The small rugs are easier to throw in the wash.

Curtains: These can add up but if you search, you can find them¬†at a decent price or if you are super crafty, you can sew your own. I am not ‘sew crafty’. Ha ha. I am witty though ūüôā I recently found a deal at West Elm. I wanted these curtains. They are not cheap and I need the 96′ length which is not standard. Warning – Long story ahead: I decided I wanted to see them in person so I went to West Elm. They had the mustard chevron ones on display and on clearance. I asked if they had the blue in the back. The had one panel but called another store and had a second one shipped to me. They cost me a total of $30¬†for the two {which included the shipping of the one} when they would have cost me $100 on-line. For whatever reason, they cost more on-line and were on clearance in the store. I don’t know why and I don’t care. I got them for a phenomenal price. Another place that I have shopped¬†for curtains because they have the size I need and the price is right is Ikea. I’ve also found some lovely prints at World Market.

So there you have it, my personal tips on redecorating. Also, a can of spray paint can change up things you already have.

Here is a peak of what I used in my re-do.


Rug – Marshalls – $10.00
Table Runner – HomeGoods – $9.99
Hello Sign – Hobby Lobby – it was a gift
Frame – Michaels – $7.99
Flowers – Michaels – $6.99
Curtains – West Elm – $11.97/each + $6 shipping

Happy re-decorating ūüôā



Hi friends,

There have been so many nights that I have laid in bed and drafted blog posts in my head. Then daylight comes and another day slips away without so much as a note from me. I won’t bore you with excuses about how busy I am because we are all busy. I will say that I pay annually to maintain this blog because I truly enjoy writing, so why don’t I just write already? I think I need to start sharing my real life instead of always spending hours constructing the perfect post. Don’t worry, I will still share fun decorating ideas and recipes as those things are so much a part of who I am and what I love BUT I will also share some of my day to day musings and life happenings. I also plan to incorporate more organizing ideas and inspiration into my posts. My brother tells me that I have a knack for this organizing thing and that should share my talents. Highest compliment ever ūüôā

I am a bit of a sharer. A talker. A listener. I know not everyone in my circle is as expressive as me and I am always treading the line of being careful of not sharing my business at the consideration of others but sometimes I feel like that means that I am holding back on sharing me. Each of our stories and opinions are as individual as we are.

This particular post is about as personal as I can get. On June 3rd, my dad passed away. There is a whole book that can be written on the history with my dad. There were some rough years but the before and after those years¬†are forever engrained in my head and heart. I remember a man that would do my hair and make me oatmeal before school. I remember a man who fought super hard for custody of his 4 children. He fought against my mother who suffers from mental illness and a very messed up system. He fought for us and lost when he was the obvious safe parent. I didn’t realize until going through his personal belongings that he fought even after we were all grown. That divorce followed him for twenty years. My mom caused a lot of stress in his life but he didn’t hold it against her. He pitched in money to send her Christmas presents. She never knew. As a mom and a wife, I have a very different perspective and appreciation for him. How he fought for us. He was ornery but loving. He was sarcastic and witty. He was extremely generous. He was Grandpa to my boys and my nephews. We lived close to him so he had been a constant in my boys lives. He taught my oldest how to fish. He taught us all the love of food {although my butt and thighs say I could love food a little less. Ha ha}. Every occasion involved eating. Dad loved to treat us to meals out. He always wanted to give me money for holiday meal shopping. He brought way too many pies to Thanksgiving. He always had cash in his wallet to give to his grandsons, sometimes it was a dollar, sometimes it was $20. He called to check in often. He was the one I looked forward to telling about our adventures. He was my oldest son’s ‘person’. The one he felt the most comfortable being his true self with. He was my husband’s friend. He was my dad. He had cancer.

My dad had cancer. Fuck cancer. I don’t have enough explicates to express my anger towards this heinous disease that steals the lives of so many. He turned 67 the week before he died. He spent his last birthday in the hospital hopped up on pain meds. He spent his past few months as someone who he was not. He had prostate cancer several years ago followed by surgery to remove his prostate. Then he has a small stroke. Then he has a quadruple bypass. Then he has a foot infection cause by diabetes that left him less mobile then he would have liked for the last two years. Two years ago we found out through elevated PSA levels that the prostate cancer had gone to his bones. He tried every medication to no avail. Each one started to work and his numbers went down and then they would start to climb again. His foot would begin to heal and then it would become infected again. He was limited in what he could do. It was a vicious cycle. He was in the hospital for various infections a lot. His eating habits were bad which in turn caused him to gain weight. At Christmas the signs that things were changing had begun but they became even more apparent earlier this year. He stopped driving. My dad was the guy that would jump in the car and just take off. Each of his kids has a little of that in them. We are explorers. He stopped leaving¬†the house for things other then doctors appointments. We couldn’t even get him to come to dinner at our house and we live 4 miles away. He would’t even let us drive him here and then back home. He started to need more assistance. On Easter, he cut his ankle. I spent a few hours in the ER with him. He had lost weight. I knew this wasn’t good and I tried to just be strong and supportive. My dad didn’t do well with emotions and I am incredibly emotional. I cry at everything. It’s pretty much a running joke at my house. “Is mom crying yet?” Happy, sad, mad – I cry.

On May 4th I went to an oncology appointment with him. My aunt, our family friend and his nurse, and I were there. The oncologist explained that we had exhausted all options. We were looking at 6 months. I sat in the corner, unable to look at my dad and just cried. I felt like I couldn’t breathe. I had to let my siblings know how the appointment went. We are big on sending each other group texts to keep each other in the know. I didnt know how to send that text. He¬†had just come out of a week long hospital¬†stay for elevated potassium levels. The week of his birthday he went in for a bladder infection. It turned into a lot more. He came home that Sunday, May 31st. He was done fighting. He told us it was over. He knew he¬†wasn’t going to get¬†better and as his best friend said, “If he didn’t have bad luck, he didn’t have any luck at all.” Sadly that was true. he was tired of fighting. I can’t say that I blamed him. He spent a couple of days at home surrounded by his loved ones. By Wednesday, we were all at his bedside. All four of his kids, our significant others, a¬†couple of his¬†grandsons and his sister. We talked to him. We made bad jokes {because dad taught us sarcasm and bad jokes}. We held his hands. We told him we loved him. We told him that it was OK to go. Our last words with him were that morning and then he didn’t talk again. He went peacefully surrounded by those that he loved. Being there in the moment that someone leaves the world is an incredible honor. It was also incredibly hard. When babies enter the world, you are eagerly awaiting their first cry. That signifies that they took their first breath. We cheer when this happens. ¬†It means that they are alive! When someone is dying, we wait for them to take their last breath. ¬†It’s crazy how our arrival and departure into this world are so completely emotional in very different ways.

The last few months were stressful. It was full of what ifs and tears. I didn’t know how to care for my dad and my own family and myself. I felt stressed about what I should and shouldn’t do. What I could and couldn’t do. Thankfully we had an angel of a caregiver step in and take the reigns. This helped us just be able to visit him. I started grieving the moment I heard the 6 month diagnosis. I didn’t know how to be normal. I cried every time I was with my dad. So I avoided any real conversations with him. When he started to talk about giving away his belongings, I had to step away with a giant lump in my throat. I didn’t want every conversation¬†to be emotional. I cried. A lot. I cried at the grocery store when I bumped into a friend. I cried in my car. I cried in bed. I cried. A lot. I didn’t want to be sad. I wanted to enjoy the time with him. The Monday before he passed, I quickly rattled off why I was so grateful for him and how much I loved him. I was glad to have that moment even though it will never be enough. I was trying to say what I had to say in¬†that moment because I knew I probably wouldn’t have another chance. I was right.

I am grateful that he didn’t suffer anymore then he already had. ¬†I am also incredibly sad that I didn’t have more time with him. I am sad that I can’t call him and tell him about our trips this summer. That my boys can’t tell him how they both caught fish. I am sad that my boys feel his absence. I am sad that my boys can’t have sleepovers at Grandpa’s. ¬†I am sad that he won’t be here as I navigate the teen years with my boys. I know I could have used his guidance. I am sad that his diabetes essentially went away and his foot healed when he lost weight from cancer. I am sad that it was too late. I am sad that he didn’t get to take my son on one final fishing trip. I am sad that he won’t see my little sister get married in November. I am sad that his future grandchildren won’t get to meet him. I am grateful that he knows that his kids are in relationships with good people. People who loved him like a dad. I am grateful for the time that we did have with him.

I recently posted a quote about grief on Instagram. Instagram is often my outlet for expressing how I am feeling. A stranger commented that she had lost her dad and that she felt like she had multiple personalities as she was grieving. I totally get that. I am happy and fine one minute and the next, I am crying and sitting in a puddle of grief. Grief is a hard thing. It brings you to a low place. ¬†Then you rebound and are living life and feeling happy. I know grief changes shapes. I know I will be OK. I know my family will be OK but we are in all feeling and dealing in our own way. I have had two friends lose their lives¬†in the last 4 months. Heart attacks at the age of 51 and 43. Heart attacks that left widows and young children fatherless. 2015 has been rough on my own heart. It’s also made me wildy aware of how precious life is. How we need to take care of ourselves. How we need to love hard. How we need to take deep breaths and let go of the petty things. How we need to take care of our own physical and emotional well being. I am a work in progress but I am highly aware of how lucky I am. I am grateful every.single.day. Grateful for the people who fill my life. At almost 41, I am not old. I am also not young. I am in the middle. I see how quickly life passes us by. Grab every moment. Savor every memory. ¬†I will ride this wave of emotions for a long time. Many of us have already felt this loss. Losing a parent is a really weird thing. It’s like losing a part of yourself.

This year, I will serve too many pies at Thanksgiving, it’s what dad would have done. I will love hard. I will allow my dad’s memory to be a constant in our family. I will honor all conversations and stories that can be shared about his life and who he was. I will wipe the tears and embrace the emotions.

To my friends who see my ramblings on social media, I am OK. I like to share my feelings because it is who I am. Sharing makes me feel a little lighter, even if the content is sometimes heavy. I have sad moments but I am allowing myself to feel them. I am also living my life and feeling lots of happy moments and creating happy memories as well. I am incredibly grateful for the people that lift me up and support me. I feel loved beyond words.

In my opinion, the best way to support someone who is grieving is by just being there. Let them express how they are feeling. Give a hug or a listening ear. Nothing that you can say will change how they grieve.¬†We grieve because we love. It’s a process. There isn’s a solution.


Big hugs to all of you. Make a happy memory today and be grateful.

Spring Fever

Yes,¬†Punxsutawney Phil¬†apparently saw his shadow so we now have 6 more weeks of winter. My allergies tell me different. Ah-choo! The temps in California have been anything but winter like. I live in Northern California where the temps have been in the low 70’s. We had our windows open today. People are skiing in nearby Tahoe in short sleeves, kids are swimming in their backyards here in my little town. I was in Southern California over the weekend and the weather was in the 80’s. It’s February people. And we are in an awful drought. But — people have Spring Fever. I am guilty of going and getting a pedicure and wearing capris & flip flops.

I also did a little freshening up around the house. I said goodbye to my red pillows and accessories from Christmas and then Valentine’s. I made a trip to HomeGoods and picked up a few specks of green to add to what I already had. I am feeling the whole less is more lately. I have lots of Spring decor but I am not quite feeling the pops of pink that comes with Easter so we are staying with the green. A few throw pillows, an occasional green candle {which it’s¬†really hard to find one that doesn’t smell like melon or grass, neither of which I like}. I bought some cute green throw rugs for the kitchen and shopped my house for some other pops of green.

Here are some fun finds in my current color obsession {If you’ve followed me for long, you know my obsession changes often.}

This little green table is just adorable. She found it for $6! Wow! Score eh? {all sources are under the photos – click to be redirected}.

Green TableSource

For a beautiful and natural centerpiece, how about apples and hydrangeas in a clear vase. Perfection.


This bathroom. Sigh. I have a thing for guest bathrooms or I should probably say, redecorating them. This shower curtain is a Pottery Barn beauty but she found it at Goodwill for 50 cents. What? Shut the front door. That is crazy {and lucky}.


Pillows are my go to for a quick room refresh. Someday I might show you my closet full of throw pillows. I may or may not need an intervention. Anyway, I love these cuties. Especially the one with a bit of burlap.


This green stove is just swoon worthy. It would certainly make a bold statement in a kitchen.

green stoveSource

This is the wreath that I have on my front door. It was a bit pricey for me but I really loved the simplicity of it. I love that it is not seasonal so it feels perfect for so many months out of the year. I did have a coupon as well which helped. Plus with my Red Card I saved another 5%.

boxwood wreathSource

So there you have a few fun items that I am loving right now. Do you have Spring fever or are you ready for more cold days?

Get Organized!

I am in this complete ‘get organized’ head space right now. I am a pretty organized person in general. I love a good ‘purge’, especially right after the holidays. Taking that car load of unused stuff to Goodwill just makes me feel lighter.

Later this week I am heading to Southern California to help my brother and sister in law get organized. I have helped them in the past but now that they¬†are more settled, they’ve requested a refresher {and a get it done now} visit because baby #2 is set to arrive one month from Wednesday. So I am feeling the pressure to get things done in a short 4 day visit. I’m also a little geeked out by the whole thing. I get a rush out of organizing and decorating. When a space is complete, I feel like a rock star. I mean, I can toot my own horn cause this is my blog, right? ūüėČ

Of course Pinterest is a huge source of inspiration for me. There are so many amazing ideas that super star bloggers and organizers have shared.

We have a few spaces that we are focusing on during my trip. The kitchen, the office loft and soon to be a guest space, the kitchen and gallery walls. As well as some other miscellaneous spaces that need a little TLC.

To get myself organized, I have started a Pinterest Board as well as various notes and an email to my brother and his wife detailing some of my plans. The first thing that I have instructed them to do is purge, purge, purge. I am hoping that they have a good start on this by the time I arrive. I have also requested photos of the spaces that I will be working on which is allowing me a better idea of what we need to get done.

The boys will be sharing a room so we are definitely going to need to make this space super organized and also make it functional for 2.¬†This closet at two twenty one is hands down my favorite. It doesn’t entail a lot of building and can be done for around $150 {per my calculations}. I have priced out the cubby shelf and canvas cubes at Target and IKEA.



Gallery walls are one of my favorite things because it’s where you can really be expressive with your design tastes and also showcase the ones you love in photographs. I also love incorporating things other then frames into my gallery walls. Quotes, letters, numbers, printables, mirrors, clocks and so on. There are no rules. There are so many fun options and you can make each wall¬†unique to your personal tastes. Here are a few of my favorites.









Another space that we will be working on is the kitchen. The kitchen is often the hub of the house and is best utilized when you can easily find things. It is also a space that can quickly and easily be messed up. My own kitchen is constantly taking a beating and I am an organized person. A space¬†that always seem to require extra TLC is the pantry. This¬†space¬†changes daily as we are constantly taking from and replenishing it. Depending on who unloads groceries {yes, I blame my mini helpers because they don’t care if the pretzels and rice are on the same shelf as the cereal}. I am constantly tidying this area. Here are a few pantries that have inspired me. Ideally I’d love a walk in pantry but that is not what I will be working with {I don’t have one at home either but it’s on my ‘some day’ wish list.}







Now the loft area is a bit tricky. I have visions of what I would do but it’s a really unique area and has the smallest budget and it has the lowest priority when I visit¬†BUT BUT BUT it’s an area that I could¬†really have fun with. I think I have to dial back my ideas for this space though. Ideally I’d make it a highly functional office/guest space. It is an open loft at the very top of their condo. Currently is houses several books cases and a small desk plus a filing cabinet. I’d like to see new furniture. A desk with a ¬†little more personality. Maybe a short yet long book case, a futon and the use of some baskets and a dressed up bulletin board. My brother also works for Disney Studios so it would be fun to infuse some Disney into the space.

I like this desk from IKEA. They have black furniture now but they have grey walls and a white kitchen. The white just feels so fresh.


This is also another bit of IKEA furniture. I’d make the accessories more neutral but overall, I love the organization. A printer could easily sit on either piece of furniture.


These Pixar prints are awesome.

Minimalist-Disney-Pixar-Polyptych-Poster-SetI can’t find the perfect futon but I think it would definitely entail a pop of¬†color such as a fun green or a navy blue {I think my sister in law would approve.}

So there you have it, my latest project. I am so excited. I have always loved decorating and organizing. I love that I inspire people enough with my own home that they want me to help them with theirs. I have often thought of making this a business. I’ll let you know how my first gig goes. Maybe in the future I will start charging to make peoples messes less messy, more functional and of course pretty.

Do you get lost in clutter? Would you hire someone to help you get organized? I personally function so much better in a neat and pretty space.