“D” is for Decoupage


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This summer went by fast and I didn’t do any blogging!  We enjoyed our first full summer back in Colorado and spent our hot summer by the pool, on the trails and with friends.

Now that school started for my kiddos, I have time to sit down and do some projects and blog about them.  I have had lots of fun with Mod Podge this week and have created two fun & unique decor items.

The first is a project that has been on the “to do” list for quite some time.  I found this great old school chair at a garage sale in MN a couple of years ago, which I picked up for $5 or less.

I bought two of the chairs and had one in each of the kids’s rooms.  I painted my daughter’s, but hadn’t come up with the right idea for my son’s.  I had pinned a couple of paint scheme ideas on Pinterest, but then came across my inspiration photo on the same site.  Here it is…

It is from Anthropologie and for a mere $380, you can have the one from the store!!!  While I absolutely love Anthro, that is beyond my budget for a chair, especially a child sized one.  Plus, it’s not personalized with the map locations you might want to have for your own piece.

I decided I wanted to use a Colorado map for my chair and armed with that, a few foam brushes and a large bottle of Mod Podge, here is the finished project!

I also made another monogram (big surprise if you have read my previous monogram posts) for a baby gift.  I found some vintage children’s books at a used book store and ripped out pages to use for the letter.

I haven’t done much decoupage in the past, but am loving the look and the simplicity of it.  A few tips to pass along if you are going to try it:

1.  Lay the ripped pages out and think about how you are going to layer them so the focus points you want are on top.

2.  Make sure you glue down each piece

3.  Follow the instructions on the bottle and let the glued down pieces dry for at least 2 hours before you spread the Mod Podge over the top

Do you have any fun decoupage projects you want to share?


Rock Wall Birthday Party



My son took an indoor rock climbing class last winter, so we decided to have a rock climbing birthday party.  I started this post and never got around to publishing it, so here it is!

Our local rec. center offers the rock wall climbing party as an option and all you have to do is hire a belay assistant for the kiddos.  My hubby also used to rock climb, way back when…before kids…so he got certified to belay for the kids too.  This came in very handy so we could have a couple of kids climbing at once vs. having 1 climber and 8 perfectly calm squirrly 1st grade boys running around the gym!  (In all honesty, all the boys were very well behaved and waited patiently for their turn.)

I found a cute invite on Etsy and then googled “Rock wall birthday party” to find really cute favor ideas, etc.  The invites worked great because they could be customized and the vendor sent me a pdf file which I could then email or print.  I used the graphics from the invite to make name tags for the goodie bags.

We found chocolate candy rocks and had those as a favor and cake decoration.  I ordered a rock climbing sticker from Zazzle.com and put those on the cellophane gift bags.  We tied the bags with a natural colored kitchen string and attached a flashlight caribeaner, which I ordered from Ebay.  Another fun favor idea would be water be water bottles.  You could personalize them and fill them with a Cliff Bar or trail mix for a sports drink package.

For the cake, my boy wanted a rock wall cake with a climber.  We saw a photo on flickr, but my talented chef of a husband was out of town the week of the party.  And, I didn’t want to spend a fortune on the cake, so we had to come up with Plan B.  Luckily my boy is creative and a couple of years ago came up with the idea of a doughnut cake.  His thought was to stack up a bunch of doughnuts and have a candle on top…brilliant!  We did the same this year, but added the candy rocks.  We were happy with the way it turned out, and the kids loved the doughnuts.  Easy and inexpensive!

The boys climbed for an hour and a half straight and were all about “setting records” with each of their climbs!  They were lots of fun and I’m guessing a few will be returning to the wall soon to practice.



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I can’t believe it’s been over a month since I have posted on this blog!  Where did the time go?  I have been working on a few things around the house, like Summer Decor.  One thing I added was a new chalkboard.

An extremely talented friend of mine, Angie, from The Almost Fabulous Cottage had the cutest chalkboard at her house last year, so I had to copy her!  She found an old painting at Goodwill that had a great frame.  She got the painting for a few bucks and turned over the painting and sprayed the back with chalkboard paint.

After looking repeatedly at Goodwill and garage sales for a painting I could do that to, I gave up and decided to make my own (that’s kinda my style).  Frames (without glass) were 50% off at Hobby Lobby a couple of weeks ago, so I grabbed the size I wanted.  I then headed over to Home Depot and had a piece of MDF cut to size.  It worked quite well and my hubby was extra happy that he didn’t have to cut it for me.  The frame was black, so some white spray paint to that and some chalkboard paint to the MDF and voila, a fun chalkboard!Image

While the new chalkboard is more for style, I also use a chalkboard in my kitchen that is very functional (and stylish of course).  This one I found at an antique store for $10 last Spring!  I have a tendency to plan out meals, buy the ingredients, and then in the craziness of day-to-day life, forget what I had planned.

So now I use my cute vintage chalkboard to remind me of what meals I have planned for the week.

Do you have any chalkboards in your house, or perhaps a chalkboard wall?

Pic Projects


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I finally got a couple of projects finished recently.  I have a bad habit of getting a fabulous idea, starting a project and then not completely finishing before the next flash of brilliance strikes!  Then, a project sits, so close to being finished…

Well, I can now say that two of my picture projects are done!

We have vaulted ceilings in our house, which gives us some large walls to work with.  The first project was a gallery wall at the top of our stairs.  Here’s what it looked like when we first moved in:

I saw an idea with long picture rail shelves that went the length of the wall and that was my original plan.  But, plans change…  In Nov. my Mother-in-Law and I decided to tackle the shelves.  The only shelves I found to fit the space were from Pottery Barn and they were 3′ wide.  I have a 6’+ wall.  So, I figured, just put two, end-to-end.  Easy, right???  Not so much….

We had a very hard time getting two shelves level all the way across.  So, after a tiny bit of huffing & puffing about my project not coming together exactly the way I wanted, I compromised.  We spaced the shelves apart just a little.

I do like the end result and after one of the frames sat blank for months, I finally ordered the last picture and voila, one project complete (although I may end up painting that wall someday)!

The other project was to fill another large wall space at the top of the stairs in the front entry.  Here’s the before…

It took me a while to figure out what I wanted there.  I originally thought some kind of architectural antique, like a big metal piece.  We had a extremely talented photographer (my brother, Todd, from Beautiful Day Images) take family photos in Oct.  They turned out amazing and we used a couple in our Christmas card.  He was telling me that one of the products he really likes is a canvas print.  He said they looked best really large.  Well, I had just the place for a very large print.

It looks a little smaller in this picture than in real life.  I may add a frame to it later to fill up more of the wall space.  But, I LOVE the photo and the colors and the scenery look great in our front entry!

Two projects checked off the list.  Only 134 to go…  🙂

Indigo Is In!

Recently, we flip-flopped our living room and dining rooms.  I am really happy with the new layout and we are already getting much more use out of each room.  By putting our dining room in our larger room with the vaulted ceiling, we have much more room around the table (things were a bit tight over the holidays with everyone at the table).  The living room is now in the smaller room, which makes it feel like a den, plus it has a great view of the lake and mountains, so it is a  nice room to sit in and relax.

I have been planning out the decor in the living room and trying very hard to work around existing things, namely the rug and couch.  Here is the rug we currently have:

I really was thinking that I wanted a new rug, but then I came across this living room photo and it was just the inspiration I needed (notice the similar rug…).

I looked and looked for similar Ikat curtains, and a super fabulous friend of mine found the fabric for me.  But, I just didn’t want to take on a sewing project (mostly because I have at least 3 sewing projects that have been on my list for several months that are still sitting un-finished).  So, I decided to try something bold and ordered these curtains from Anthropologie.  The living room window is visible right when you walk in our front door, so why not have something that pops, right?  Plus, the rest of the house is pretty neutral, so all the more reason to have a splash of color.

I was very excited this morning when I opened an email from Crate & Barrel with the headline “The Color Report: Indigo”.  Apparently, Indigo is “in”, so yay for me for being so on trend!

I have also seen a lot of brass curtain rods in photos, so this one from Restoration Hardware is on it’s way:

Restoration Hardware

I originally also wanted two chairs in the room, but the couch we have is a nice size, so I may re-cover it in a neutral fabric and see if I could have the back tufted like this:

Wickham Tufted Settee

Slowly but surely, the room is coming together.  I will post pictures once it is done (which can sometimes take a while around here…)  Stay tuned…

Oh Home Goods, how I love you!


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When I get a Pottery Barn or similar catalog, I always look through the whole thing, not for things to buy from it, but for design ideas.  I recently paged through the Spring Pottery Barn catalog and loved the large balloon shaped vase with spring flowers in it.  Although we have had a fun winter with plenty of snow for skiing, I am feeling ready for spring.

Pottery Barn Oversized Wine Bottle

But, there was no way I was going to spend $99+ for the bottle and $47 for the faux flowers (on sale)!  So, I was off to Home Goods…  I was a little nervous that since I was going there looking for something very specific, there was no chance I would find it!  I searched around all the vases I could find and was not having any luck.  I went through the dish/tabletop section and looked high and low for something that would work.  Finally, on the top shelf, I saw it!

Here’s what I found!

It’s not exactly the same, but a similar enough shape.  I don’t love the wrap around the top (and may try to remove it), but for $12.99 it is PERFECT!  I found the apple blossom branch at Target for $12.99 too.  I also found the place mats there on sale for $1.48!  I had thought I wanted a little more muted blue, but I am actually happy with the bright Spring colors!  Overall, I love how it all came together!

Happy (almost) Spring!




I seem to have a thing for monograms lately.  I have made several monogram items for our home this year and also gave a lot of monogram gift items over the holidays!  Here are some of the monograms we have around the house.





As you can see, I kinda like burlap too!

If you like the button or map monogram, I am planning on selling them in the near future.  Colors and background could be customized for the button monogram and I could make the map monogram with the geographic location of your choice.

If you like the framed print monogram, I purchased it from Jones Design Company.  I am not seeing the actual item in her shop, but I’m sure you could email her.  I just mounted the print on a large piece of burlap and framed it in a target frame.

The cute mug is from Anthropologie.  I gave several as Christmas gift and had to pick one up for myself as well (I’m like that…)!

Whatcha Got Cookin’…


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I was at a loss as to what I was going to make for dinner the rest of this week.  I like to cook, but not every day, so my strategy is to always make a big enough meal that we can eat it two nights in a row.  Luckily, my hubby doesn’t mind leftovers (he would just have to grin & bear it if he did).

Last night I remembered a delicious recipe that I had made this Fall from The Pioneer Woman.  It is her Pork Roast with Apples & Onions.  Not only is it tasty, but super easy…what’s not to like about that combo, right?  The only hard part for me is slicing the onions.  I am a mess when I cut onions, but I pushed through the teary eyes and popped the roast in the oven a few minutes ago…

Here’s the recipe…

(I did caramelize the onions before adding them to the roast.  Also, I used a 2 3/4 boneless pork shoulder, which I did tie to keep it together so I could slice it when it’s finished cooking.)

Pork Roast with Apples and Onions

Added by Ree on November 7, 2011 in Main CoursesPork

Prep Time 15 Minutes
Cook Time 2 Hours
Servings 8 Difficulty Easy


  • 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1 whole Pork Shoulder Roast (also Called Pork Butt)
  • Salt And Pepper, to taste
  • 4 cups Apple Juice
  • 1 cup Beef Stock
  • 3 whole Apples, Cored And Cut Into Wedges
  • 3 whole Medium Onions, Sliced
  • 1 whole Bay Leaf
  • Wild Rice
  • 2-½ cups Wild Rice
  • 4 cups Water
  • 3 cups Chicken Stock
  • ½ sticks 4 Tablespoons Butter
  • ½ cups Chopped Pecans

Preparation Instructions

OPTIONAL: Saute onions until brown. (Or you may just add them raw to the roast.)

To make the pork roast, heat olive oil in a large pot over high heat. Salt and pepper pork roast, then sear on all sides to give it some color. Reduce heat to low. Add apple juice, apple slices, onions, and bay leaf. Cover and simmer for 3 hours. (Or you may place in a 300 degree oven if you prefer.)

Toward the end of the cooking time, make the rice: melt butter in a medium saucepan. Add pecans and saute for a couple of minutes. Add wild rice and liquid, then bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook until all liquid is cooked out.

When the roast is done, remove the roast, apples, and onions to a platter. Raise heat to medium-high (to high) and boil liquid, reducing it until thick and rich.

Spoon thick sauce over the roast, then cut the roast into slices. Serve with apples, onions, and wild rice.

(Note: add fresh thyme or rosemary to the roast before cooking if you have it on hand!)

Happy Heart Day!



I don’t know where I get my desire to be creative & unique about things, especially holidays.  Sometimes I laugh at how much time and money I spend on something simple like Valentine’s Day Cards for my kiddos when I could just go to Target and quickly and easily pick up a box of cards.

But, such is life…  I get enjoyment out of finding something different and being creative is a very relaxing process for me.  So, here’s what my kids have for Valentine’s Day cards this year:

I found these at armommy.com.  For the cards, I was able to cheaply purchase the DIY download, which was easy & quick.  Where I spent the money was in the printing.  But, I am happy with them, so it was worth it, right?!  Of course, I also had to buy the adorable black & white string!  I also bought the treat bags with this sticker because it reminded me of a good friend of ours.  (When our kids were together over Christmas break they had great fun talking about two children’s books, Moostache & Mooseltoe which are apparently about a Moose with a large mustache.  I haven’t read them.)

I hope you have fun celebrating Valentine’s Day whether yours is all about your kiddos, having a romantic day for you and your spouse, or both!

Back to blogging…


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I can’t believe how long it has been since I have posted on this blog!  I had a lot of fun decorating our house for the holidays for the first time and had great intentions  of sharing photos and ideas.  But, it just didn’t happen!

I have posted a bit on my other blog, mypursuitofpeak, so check that out if you have time.  I guess I have just been little more focused on getting back into a workout routine, which is probably a good thing after all those holiday sweets and delicious meals.

Now I am starting to think about house projects again…  I would really like to finish my boy’s room, especially since the only thing that needs to be done is to hang a ceiling light (that I purchased back in July)!  I hadn’t had it hung yet because it requires an electrician.  There is no current ceiling light, so we will have to have it installed.  I have heard that it only costs a couple hundred dollars, but I wanted to get our whole list together for an electrician before I have one come do the work.  I can’t wait to get his light up because I love it.  It is a barn light from Menard’s.  I think it’s fun to find something in a different section of a store or a different store other than the section/store specific to the room you are decorating.  For example, using an outdoor light in a bedroom or finding something at a teen specific store for  a child’s room.

On the list is also a ceiling light for my girl’s room.  This one took me a while longer to figure out.  I just couldn’t find the right light for her room.  The style in her room

PB Teen

is vintage, and I was originally thinking to do a chandelier in there.  But, I also like mixing styles, so I ended up finding a pendant at PB Teen.  As I mentioned before, I like looking places other than age/style specific departments/stores because you just might come across the right thing.  My daughter is 4, but I have found some very cute options for her at PB Teen.  The flower pop pendant came the other day, so it’s time to find an electrician!

I will post pictures of their rooms once they are finished…