Sunday, July 10, 2011

T.P. art

In my blog readings, I came across a blog called: Just a Girl. Then I saw this awesome DIY art piece she made....with toilet paper rolls! Awesome and cheap! Just what I need with my budget :) So this weekend, I finally had enough rolls saved up to make my own version.
I painted the outsides a creamy white and the insides got a coat of a metallic silver. Both are acryllic paints that my older sister passed on to me. I was happy to have a chance to use them! Plus they were free so it helps with the low cost of this project!
Here they are all hot-glued together and ready to be placed on my canvas.
I painted my canvas yellow to add a pop of color to our living room where this will get eventually get hung.
I also got this 20x24 inch canvas for a deal! Apparently there was something wrong with it, so it had a "As Is" tag on it with a price of $6.25- marked down from $24.99! I love a good bargain!
I played around with the design for a little while before settling on this as the final one.
Now I just need to get my hammer and nails out and get it hung up in our living room!

Saturday, July 9, 2011


Well I guess over 2 months have passed since I last blogged.. oops! It has been a great summer so far- despite the slow start of warm weather and my ER visit that landed on my first day of full-time work! Here's a little of what I've been up to.

I made a piece of art after being inspired by this blogger: Remodelaholic. Check out her blog- lots of inspiration to be found! This is the post I read that inspired the following artwork:

The first step I took was to spray paint a canvas with a glossy black.

Then, I took my paint chips that were cut into 2" squares and begin gluing them on with Modge Podge. I had previously laid out all the squares to determine a good layout. Here is what it looked like after all the pieces were glued on.

As you can see, some of the corners were pulling up, so I took my glue gun to get those edges down. I then went over the entire thing with a couple more layers of Modge Podge.

Then with my roommates' permission, it got hung above our sink in the kitchen!
I love the color it brings to our place!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

easter eggs

My sisters and I love to decorate Easter eggs. It's in my top 5 of favorite family traditions. We've always done blown-out eggs. Getting headaches in the process and chapstick lipmarks that show up on the eggs after dying them. But all worth it. It's always a fun time with my sisters coming up with new ways to design and decorate them. And we have our favorites from the past that my mom has kept for who knows how many years! But we remember who made them and maybe harbor slight jealous feelings that the cool idea wasn't ours :) haha! This year, I decorated 4 at home with my sisters and I have to say, they turned out pretty cool this year. But I have no picture evidence. Then I came back to the cities and an egg carton with some eggs too old to eat. So what did I do? Search Target stores for a clearanced eye dying kit so I could dye more eggs :) I didn't care that it was after Easter because I was going to blow out the eggs so I can enjoy them for years to come!

I decided to use clear nail polish instead of the clear crayon they provided to create designs on the eggs. Much cleaner lines in the design and a little easier to draw with. Of course I immediately let my little sister know that I came up with a new design method to try again next year :)

Here are my results of post-Easter egg decorating :)

The "M" and the "B & L" eggs were made for my roommates.
I love the bright colors and can't wait to display them next year!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011


Last weekend I watched Carrie Underwood perform "How Great Thou Art" on a TV special and it gave me goosebumps and brought tears to my eyes...and now I can't get that song out of my head. Mostly because I'm feeling so blessed right now. I have a new car that I got for an unbelievable great deal. I will start full-time at my office job in about 3 weeks. If I ever doubt God's faithfulness in the future, I can just look back at this time in my life where God has answered prayer so clearly and blessed me beyond what I could imagine. So yes, while money will still be tight when I start paying the rest of my school loans in June, it won't be like I imagined and was preparing myself for. All because God chose to bless me.

If you haven't heard or seen this video yet, check it out! I think I listen to it almost every day :)

Monday, April 4, 2011

"The Dream Giver"

Last time I was home, my Dad gave me a book and said, "Read this." Nothing else. I look at the title, "The Dream Giver" and was intrigued, but then didn't start reading it until more than a week later. I think I was scared of the feelings that would stir up by reading it.
Before I started reading, I thought of my parents making a big step in life. My Dad going after his dream and my Mom supporting every step (well at least I'm sure she is). I'm so proud of my Dad for going after his dream...because I don't know if I could at age 58. They are leaving the church I grew up in and that they've attended for 40 years so that my Dad can pursue his Dream. His passion is preaching and for many years, he has been a lay minister for churches in our area, but now he is going after it with a deeper intent. This shouldn't be a big deal to me, but I'm scared that my Dad's dream will take him away from Orange City and my childhood home...which my parents just made a addition to so that our whole family would have a big enough space to gather. And I'm a bit concerned that my "dream" of walking down the aisle at my home church will no longer happen...even though there is no guy in my near future. But still that was one of the first thoughts that crossed my mind when my mom told me they were leaving Trinity. Isn't that so silly in the scheme of things? What God has planned for my parent's future is SO much bigger than where they live and where I will someday get married.
So I start reading the book. And thoughts begin swirling in my head about what my Dream is....
I write down the following sentences from the first half of the book:
  • The better you understand the journey to your Dream and what God is doing in your life, the less likely you are to abandon your Dream.
  • My Dream is what I do best and what I most love to do. How could I have missed it for so long?
  • I had to sacrifice and make big changes to pursue my Dream. But it will be worth it.
  • Then he had an even more disturbing thought: To do what he most loved, he would have to do what he most dreaded.
  • I still don't feel worthy or able to do my Dream, but the Dream Giver has promised to help me.
  • Death is not my defeat. It is my victory.
This week I'm taking time to do some painting on canvas and while I'm putting paint on the canvas, I'm thinking about my Dream. I'm actually painting over two previous pieces I had done.
That's what I love about painting. You can start fresh.
Sometimes it is hard to cover the previous layer, but it also adds character to the new one. Here's a glimpse of what I'm starting...not sure exactly where it is going yet, but I love it so far.

What is your Dream? Right now, I'm not exactly sure what mine is....but I think I'm getting a clearer picture.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

fly to Jesus

My heart is heavy. My cousin's daughter just passed away this evening and at first when I heard the news I was just stunned and didn't feel much. But now I want to bawl. I haven't been close with my cousin lately since I live 4 hours away, but in middle school and high school, we were pretty close because she is only a year younger. I remember talking with her late into the night while camping when we were in high school. We were in the back of my dad's suburban away from the rest of the family. She was sharing choices she had made that she had regretted and I was just trying to be a supportive cousin. And now, I wish I was there to give her a hug and let her cry on my shoulder. I can't even imagine what Krista and her husband are feeling...losing their 5 1/2 yr old daughter. I'm thankful for God in their life and that they can have peace knowing Makayla is in heaven now. And free of all her suffering and pain! That might be the most beautiful thing. "Fly to Jesus" by Chris Rice is a favorite song of mine because it has provided hope and peace for me many times in life and now I think of little Makayla in the last verse.

"And with your final heartbeat,
Kiss the world goodbye,
Then go in peace,
and laugh on Glory's side

Fly to Jesus,
Fly to Jesus,
Fly to Jesus and live,

Fly to Jesus,
Fly to Jesus,
Fly to Jesus and live"

Friday, March 4, 2011

cookie monster

While living with my sister and her family, I would make monster cookies every couple of months...but not quite nearly enough for my brother-in-law and nephew! This week I took care of my nephews for a couple of days while both my sister and brother-in-law were out of town on business trips. I had told Casey that I would make monster cookies if his team won their district championship game, but he convinced me that he deserved them anyway since he had scored 7 goals in the past 3 games :) After hockey practice one night, Casey showed how much he likes the cookies by eating at least 10 of them!! Within a 15 minute time period.

I don't have a picture of him scarfing them down this week, but here are a couple of pictures from a couple of years ago of him fully enjoying the monster cookies :)

Just eating them right out of the tupperware.... and looking mischevious about it :)

Have a great weekend! And if you want to make some monster cookies, here is the recipe:

  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup oleo
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups peanut butter
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 4 1/2 cups oatmeal
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup M&Ms

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Mix all ingredients in order of list above. Drop on cookie sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes. Take out of the oven. Cool for a couple of minutes and then enjoy by dipping into a glass of milk!

Note: I never measure the chocolate chips and M&Ms...just dump in how much I want :)

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

get me out of this funk

today i was in a funk.

Probably coming from too many "should haves" and "what ifs" rolling around in my head and the thought of needing to buy a new car. So tonight, I'm going to dream a little.... and take a mental vacation to somewhere warm and relaxing...where I could sit and read books all day long with a fruity tropical drink in my hand :)

So sit back and dream with me :)
I would stay in a house that looks like this. Of course, it's turquoise :)
And if I was going with someone....this B&B looks pretty sweet.

And a living room with a great ocean view

A little nook to curl up and read or take a nap :)

A great beachy bedroom for long restful nights of sleep

A bathroom with a beach view and ready for a bubble bath and reading a book.
I'm not showing any kitchens because I'd prefer not to cook while on this vacation. Since this is a dream, I'd prefer meals of lobster, salmon, and shrimp delivered to me :) And I would eat it here on this porch.
And at night, I'd love to enjoy a fire while hearing the waves crash on the beach and looking up at the stars.

Someday.... :)

Monday, February 21, 2011

snow day

Today both of my roommates and I were home for a work "snow day" :) We ventured out in the afternoon to run to Target...only so much you can take being at the apartmen for over 24 hrs! I was not excited about the snow...but it was great to have a day to get my taxes done, work on my Christmas photo album, and just hang out with my roommates. Most of the snow had melted last week (thank goodness!), but here is a view of our courtyard with the fresh snow. I have to admit that it is pretty...I'm just ready for spring and warm weather!

This the 6-8 inches we had last night before I scooped out the path in our courtyard!

And this is all the crazy snow coming down last night!

Here is what our courtyard currently looks like.

Here's to the sun coming out soon to melt this all away!!! Please come soon spring!

I realize that this "weather" post sounds like something my grandma would write :) But I'm really ready for warm weather!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


fears. we all have them. that we are inadequate. that we will fail at something we feel we shouldn't fail. fear of taking a risk.

i have failed. people. family. friends. classes at school. yes, i have failed more than one class. and one time, i failed the same class twice. i've never told that to anyone before. i failed because i let my insecurities win.

i am not a risk-taker. i go on the safe comfortable route. because i don't want to get hurt and i don't want people to see the "weak" side of me. because i like to know the end result. the control freak inside of me. and then i question why i can't trust God more. i tell myself, if i had more trust, why would i be so scared of the unknown?

it is a battle. taking my thoughts captive. praying. trusting.

on a much lighter note: thank goodness our snow is melting! I can't wait for spring!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

dancing queen

One of my very favorite things to do is dance. When I'm in a great mood, I just want to put some music on and go crazy! And sometimes when I'm grumpy...the right kind of music will put me in the dancing mood and make me feel happier. Last night, I was planning on getting laundry done at my sister's house, but I was in a great mood and couldn't let it "go to waste" hanging out by myself on a Saturday night where I'm sure it would have disappeared quickly. So instead I headed to a birthday party...for two friends of my sister that just turned 40. Yep hung out with the older crowd last night :) Once I figured out there was a disco ball and music playing in the den...I was there. So I danced my little heart out for 3 hours. 3 straight hours of pure delight :) It was so much fun dancing with my sister and her friends!

This is a pretty random post I realize. But most of the time, it is the little things that make us happy. And dancing makes me happy :)

Last night, this was a popular song :) The "dj" put it on at least 4 times!
AC/DC: You Shook Me All Night Long

Happy Sunday afternoon! and please put some music on and dance!!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

my grandma's letters

I'm kind of a pen pal with my Grandma Netten and I LOVE getting her letters in the mail. I hadn't written her since before my Grandpa passed away in December and she moved into a retirement home. I wrote her a couple of weeks ago because I was overdue for writing her and giving her a little glimpse into my life. I can't share too much because who knows who she will tell and how she will change the story! She wrote me back this week and I love hearing about whatever she has been doing and whatever news about the family she likes to pass along. Side note: once upon a time, this is how I found out my cousin was pregnant and was getting married :) She usually only includes a couple of punctuation marks through out the entire letter, but that is what I love and it's always a bonus when she spells my name right.

I had been doing pretty well dealing with my Grandpa's death, but when it came to writing the letter, I realized it was the first time I addressed it just to my Grandma. In my head, I could imagine in the past my Grandma reading the letter outloud to my Grandpa and him saying "what did you say?" many times because he refused to wear a hearing aid. Funny how little moments like writing an address make you realize how much you miss someone... I'll miss him asking me everytime I saw him, "where is your boyfriend" and me explaining that I didn't have one. One time, my uncle overheard and told me to tell him that I had too many boyfriends to chose from :) My Grandpa seemed to like that joke when he realized I wasn't serious!

And to end with a lighter note, here are some snippets from my Grandma's letter.
"thanks for your card was a pretty one good to hear you are good So am I an I like it here starting to know more people an we do a lot of things play cards Bingo exercise So we are kept busy an I do 10 pages in my find the word book every day so Im just not sitting here doing nothing."

"hows the weather we sure been having some cold weather an snow keeps your dad busy scooping"

"I see Leah also brings me the best beautiful flowers about every week I really get the commets on them from people here an they all like her too."

I'm so thankful to get letters from my Grandma :)

Here's a picture I took with my grandparents this fall...on one of my Grandpa's "good days"

love and miss you always Grandpa and so thankful to have more time with my Grandma!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

dream house space

Ever since I switched majors and schools, I always imagined that someday I would work from my home. Any of these spaces I would love to have as my work space! (Margot Austin) It's a great idea to have your work space in the guest bedroom.

Or if you have a niche in your family room...great little space for a work area. Looks like this desk is's the same or very similar to the one above! (Sarah Richardson)

It also appears that I like white cabinetry and a soothing turquoise blue for the walls :) I like that this space offers a sitting area..meeting with clients or my "kids" could work on homework in the same space as me.

This last image is reversed...the color on the cabinets and white on the walls. I LOVE the huge bulletin board to pin up inspiration and having the desk face outside. This might be my favorite :)

Have a great weekend!

Friday, January 21, 2011


who knew that #27 of my "30 before 30" list would be checked off so soon this year?? :) i'm not going to share too many details, but let me tell you...i'm a happy girl right now! Here's a little blurb from my journal...
January 19, 2011

I know I need to write this down while it is still so fresh in my head :) And while I’m so giddy/ happy/ excited!

I went on a first date tonight. I was nervous and excited, b/c I don’t go on dates. Ever. Well except for one last summer. But before that, it had been THREE years. Nervous b/c what if I say something dumb or awkward or I don’t know what to say. But really I had nothing to worry about. I was relaxed the entire time. I didn’t feel nervous talking to him and when it was silent, it was okay! It was SO good. He made me laugh and that was important to me. He also complimented me on my brown boots. Bonus points for him! He said they reminded him of pirate boots. Funny. And then at the end, he asked me out for next week. :)


so to sum up life right now.
BIG smile.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

custom canvas for baby Connor

This past summer my newest nephew was born and my sister asked me to paint a canvas to match his bedding. I happily agreed to paint something for the newest love in my life :)

A detail shot of the canvas edge...I have to work on getting my edges a little cleaner :)

Here is the canvas with the bedding. I based the colors off one picture I had of the quilt. I was quite happy with how well I was able to match and coordinate the colors!

The light/bright green matched perfectly! I'd love to make some more animal canvases...might have to add to Connor's collection for his 1st birthday. The great thing is that they are gender neutral so my sister and her husband can use them for future children :)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

dream house continued...bedrooms

So continuing on the long drawn-out series on my dream house :)

Tonight I bring you some inspiration for bedrooms. Velvet and Linen has stolen my heart with this bedroom featured on their blog.

I love the colors...not too bold, but not too plain. Just perfect for a master bedroom retreat. And it even has a sitting area, which I've also thought was a great idea for a master bedroom. A perfect place for morning coffee or a late night talk, in your own private space. And a few more views of the same room...

LOVE that lamp. The shape and color are a perfect compliment to the room. And doesn't that bed look so comfortable?

Moving on to a bedroom idea for an teen/ high schooler. Wish I had this room when I was in high school! Actually I'd still take this room for my own :)How awesome is the desk and built-in storage? The bright colors make it young and hip, but it also looks sophisticated and not over-the-top...perfect for a teen!

And now for the last bedroom inspiration picture...I love the idea of a built-in bed and actually my brother did this for my niece and it is a great idea!

This would be perfect for siblings sharing a room or even for having a sleepover with friends and great use of space with the desk in the middle.

Hope you've enjoyed seeing just a glimpse into the bedrooms that would inspire my dream house!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

change of plans

Well apparently I'm not so good at this blogging thing because already I'm not keeping up with my "30 before 30" once a week blogging! I will admit the week after my birthday was thrown off with the death of my Grandpa, followed by graduating from college and then Christmas! It was a busy December for me!
Back to my grandpa...our family knew he was not doing well and so we waited...and waiting is the hardest part. He was suffering so much here on earth and was ready to meet God in heaven. Thankfully, he went peacefully in his sleep. As much as I'm thankful that he is in heaven...his presence here will be missed so much!! It was very hard to see him laying in the casket. Makes death a reality.

There is much to look forward to this year! Can't wait to see what God has planned for my life!

Here is a picture of the tulips my sister gave me for graduation. I took them home for Christmas so I could enjoy them longer :)