Monday, September 29, 2014

Remodel Update

It appears that putting down tile underlayment on a floor with lots of angles and curves is very much like combining geometry and jigsaw puzzling.  It's one intense art form :).

And ya like the stair updates?

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Dorm Decorating {what I'd do now...}

So, a reader asked me how I'd decorate a dorm room if I had the decorating aesthetic I do now, with, you know...the life of an 18 year old.  I can't decide whether to dredge up old pictures of my college livin' but it was well, comfy.  Really, it was comforting.  I just had posters and calendars and pictures of the things I love--like old barns, along with a quilt on the bed my mom and I and youth group had put together for my graduation.  Nothing fancy at all (and not really matching) as I was just glad to have a way to get some education.  Thanks, scholarships!

If I had a little decorating budget for a dorm room, though, I've got strong ideas of what I'd do now.  I got the furniture piece ideas from and the chandelier I found through Houzz shop.

Traditional Chandeliers by Farmingdale Lighting Gallery

All pieces from
I like the clean color palette because especially when I study I like a low level of sensory distraction.  However I like a few wood pieces thrown in for grounding.  The "desk" is actually a full size dining table, which I thought would be perfect in the dorm room for someone in a creative major.  You could spread out patterns, designs, large drawings, poofs of fabric, etc.  And then on a "normal" day it could hold a laptop, or your dinner...or both!

Modani  (that I pulled my furniture ideas from) designs their own modern and contemporary furniture so their prices are great. They have stores located in some of the major metropolitan areas across the US and in Toronto with more opening soon (PS Midwesterners, there's one by us in Chicago).
So do you like the style?  When you think about the college years what would you do differently knowing what you do now?


Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Tips for camping with kids

First of all, I don't want to set myself up as a major authority because I skipped out on camping for almost a good 10 years so that I didn't have to pee in a tree while pregnant or watch my crawling baby head straight for a pile of animal poo or a fire or something :).  My youngest will be 4 in a few weeks.  Everyone in our family now walks, eats "real" food and toilets in the potty.  I saw my strong and amazing friends take their families camping during times when that wasn't the case and they have my utmost respect.

Last year we started our journey back into enjoying the great outdoors and I'm really loving it.  But I thought I'd better give that "baby years" disclaimer first.  Oh, and also that I don't really sleep or pee on the ground much more either...

Tips for Camping with Kids

  1. Bring a lot of food.
  2. Make it GOOD food.  When you are away from distractions you can focus on the simple things in life and excellent eats is one of those things.  Now is a good time to gather some fabulous dutch oven recipes.
  3. Bring toys, but make sure they are dirt-worthy toys you are not afraid to lose.  One of the favorite things we keep in the camper is some dump trucks for my youngest to dig through dirt and rocks with at the camp site.  We also keep our "beach bag" full of sand digging/sculpting/shaping toys for when we camp near a lake or reservoir.
  4. Bring an extra pair of underwear for everyone.
  5. Bring a cold weather outfit and hot weather outfit for each person regardless of planned activities or weather.
  6. Bring lots of blankets.  Even if it's hot they can be thrown down on the sand for a beach blanket or used as a mega-towel to sop up HeckKnowsWhat.  Hey, you're camping with KIDS, need I remind you???
  7. But back to the point about blankets, its always nice to have something to throw on or around a kid when they start freaking out that it's getting colder during the night.
  8. For back up (because I am a big fan of relying on boredom and the great outdoors to fuel exercise and creativity) bring some card or board games and/or electronics in case the weather turns bad and you either need to wait it out or it's just a cold time of day.  Pro-tip:  don't mention or show you have them unless that eventuality takes place.
  9. Kids (and me!) need dirt and nature for their immune systems and psychological health.  
Happy Camping!

The picture which showcases the time I broke my own rule and stayed in this tent at around 30 weeks pregnant when searching for an apartment in Omaha.  I well remember the 3 AM outhouse runs (getting up, dressing my big belly, etc.)  Have I mentioned I love having a toilet now???  Oh, and weren't my baby girls adorable?  :)

Monday, September 8, 2014

Time for Pumpkin Everything!

It's that time of year again!  Weeeee.....

Last year, I thought it was quite fun to cover my pumpkin in decorative duct tape.  I couldn't believe how well it preserved for several months of outdoor weather.  When the fall decorating season was over I brought it in, baked it up, and had plenty of pumpkin for making cold weather treats.  Since more and more people are ending up here for fall recipes I thought I'd share my favorites:

You could try the pancakes (RECIPE HERE):

Or some super tasty warm muffins.

These things are so good, its hard to tell how full of fiber and good stuff they are.

And for more...what better Pinterest search than all things PUMPKIN????