Wednesday, September 26, 2012

my one heart


These are lyrics from a song called Sea of Faces by a Christian rock band, Kutless…

“If only my one heart

was all You’d gain

from all it cost,

well I know,

You would have

still been a man

with a reason

to willingly offer Your life.”

Though I’ve heard the song a hundred times, it gives me goose bumps to really think about this idea.  When I think of me following Jesus I don’t exactly think of him ‘gaining’ something.  I know this song is not scripture, but I know from scripture that this concept is true.

Luke chapter 15 verses 4 and 5 say:

“What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost until he finds it?  And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing…”

Verse 7 goes on to say:

“Likewise… there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

You can also read the examples of the lost coin and the lost son; stories which have the same conclusions.

Though I know in my head that I am saved by grace, through faith, not by works, it is hard to feel that in my heart at times.  I often feel like I don’t have enough faith, don’t deserve salvation, and don’t DO enough for God… which is all true… BUT, Romans 5:8 says,

“God demonstrates His own love toward us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

He knows where I’m at.  He knows my heart… which is scary in a way, but also comforting.  He knows that I do have a little faith, and though I mess up at times, He still loves me.  He loved me before I loved Him.  He chose me before the foundation of the world to be His.

Maybe if I meditated on this instead of being so easily distracted by the cares and duties of this world, and remember that Jesus would leave the flock to come find little old me and save me and rejoice over finding me, I would experience a deeper faith and better focus on living for Him in all that I do.

I am not sneaking in to Jesus’ promises, trying to be good enough for Him… He picked me.  Through His grace and sacrifice, I am enough for Him.  I need to let Him be enough for me in my life.

I hope this scatterbrained rambling is encouraging to someone else!  <3

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

cheesecakes in jars


I pinned this a couple weeks ago and have already made them twice…


It’s cheesecake in jars!  I strayed from the recipe by making extra graham crumbs and used more sugar and some powdered sugar.  I thought using real whipped cream would be a good idea, but I a) haven’t gotten around to trying it, and b) wonder if it would hold up as well over a few days if you don’t eat them all right away.  I had lelftovers both times and ate them slowly over a week, but whipped cream might get watery and make the whole thing soggy?


So here’s my recipe, revised from the one on the Thistlewood Farm blog…


Cherry Cheesecake in a Jar


3 cups graham cracker crumbs

1 1/2 sticks of butter, melted

8 oz. cream cheese

1 cup of powdered sugar

1/2 cup sugar (less to taste)

1 can cherry pie filling (or any canned fruit pie filling)

1 tub of Cool Whip

8-10 small jars with lids (mine I saved from Bonne Maman jelly)


Mix crumbs and butter. I like mine nice and moist, but feel free to leave out some butter if you prefer.  Press a generous spoonful or two into the bottom of each jar.  Save some crumbs for topping.

Use a mixer to beat cream cheese, sugar and powdered sugar until smooth.  I added powdered sugar to this recipe because I don’t like my cheesecake to taste like straight cream cheese.  If you don’t mind the strong cream cheese flavor, you can leave out some sugar.  Taste as you go!  Add a layer of cream cheese mixture to each jar.

Add a layer of canned cherry pie filling to each jar.  I used blueberry pie filling the second time around, which was well liked, though I prefer the cherry.  I would say the most important part of this otherwise easy recipe is choosing a yummy pie filling that you really enjoy.  If you have a friend who makes homemade canned cherry pie filling like a boss, but she moved away and left you destitute, you are on your own and at the mercy of the grocery store, just like poor me. 

Now, add a layer of cool whip, and top with some crumbs, a cherry and a lid and you’re ready for a great grab-and-go party dessert!


Now I’m stuck in an ethical debate – to eat the last one left in the fridge, or let all the kids share it… I guess I have to be selfless, since I told them they could have it already.  I better post this and stop staring at it, or else my self control may fail me! 


Thursday, September 20, 2012

mom’s bathroom freshen-up


Mom’s bathroom had some pretty beachy accessories, but not a lot of unique or interesting elements. 

Here are a couple before shots…

DSC_0020    DSC_0025

I love the painting (by my talented grandma, many years ago), and I love the beachy bottles and shells (most of them) and the faded blue mirror over the tub.  But the shelf unit over the toilet looked a little boring and predictable to me, and the tub area just didn’t look finished.

Here’s what I did…

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I moved the painting over the toilet; a framed, white painted, full length mirror will hang in it’s place.  I put a couple shelves above the painting, with white painted brackets, and re-arranged her items on the shelves.  I also brought the driftwood chime from a dark corner to this area so it will catch the light here by the window.  The area looks much lighter, and more interesting, right?  This was without buying anything new besides the plates (the shelves were from me); we might buy a couple items in the end, but we’ll work with what she has first and see how far we can get.

For that tub area…


We collected white, detailed plates and a couple with a bit of color, in varying sizes from thrift stores, glued a d-ring to the back of each with E-6000 glue and hung them scattered diagonally around the mirror.  It fills up the wall and adds unique interest!

I love the mixture of finishes in this area: the faded wood frame, the jute string, the clear glass knob the mirror “hangs” on, and the white and floral printed china.  Mom is going to add mirrors to a few more of the plates (the little blue one in the upper right already has one).  I also hung a couple plates on the other side of the room by the door.


We still have to beautify the countertop area and make a frame for her basic mirror, but this was a good start.  Which one of your rooms most needs a freshen-up?

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

DIY { basket with casters }


Yesterday I was super ambitious.

I made a basket with casters.  That wasn’t all I did – that wouldn’t be super ambitious, maybe just plain ambitious.  But I did all the chores of the day, and made a swing, and made a basket with casters.  So I am calling that super ambitious.

I’ll share the swing later- my knot-tying expert hubby needs to hang it still.

For now, this will have to do…

photo (7)

I have seen these for sale before, but couldn’t really find an actual tutorial, so I took pictures along the way to share with you.  It was easy; you could make one. 

Here is what you need:




chop saw (or have Home Depot or Lowes cut the boards for you)

screwdriver (if you’re tough) or a power drill

(Note: I did not need the hammer pictured)



large, sturdy basket

four 1x4s, each cut the width of the basket (my basket bottom is square so they are all the same length)

four casters (mine are from Ikea)

washers (see note below)

12  -  1 and 1/4 inch sheetrock screws

16 small screws for casters (not pictured)


Here’s a closer look at those materials…


Again, I didn’t end up using the hammer and nails! 



There are really only three steps to this:

1. Build the platform.

2. Attach casters to platform.

3. Attach basket to platform.


Now let’s go through it with a little more detail. 


1. Building the platform.

The first thing I did was sand down my boards with an electric sander and round the corners a bit…


You won’t need to do this if you are buying new boards, but mine were repurposed and actually had cement on them, so I had to.  I was going to stain them but someone is borrowing my stain, ahem-MOM, so I’m leaving them unfinished for now.

Next, laid out my boards in this odd pattern (I’ll show you why in a minute), and put two screws in each intersection, not putting any screws in the centers of the intersections…


Make sure your screws are long enough to go into the second board and be secure, but not so long that they stick out on the other side.  I laid out the boards in this strange pattern so that the wheels would fit on the outside corners without making it as tall as if the boards also met at those corners… does that make sense?  It will in the next step!


2. Attaching the casters to the platform.

This is where I put the casters…


I am lazy and only used two screws per caster.  You should be an overachiever and use four each.  Also, spin your wheels around and make sure they don’t hit any of the other boards, to be sure they can roll freely.

This is what the rolling platform looks like when it’s done and you flip it over…


See how the wheels are attached to the top layer of the platform, and the lower layer adds stability without making the whole thing any taller?  The whole thing looks like this…



3. Attaching the basket to the platform.

I did this with four screws and some washers.  If you buy washers, buy ones with a small enough hole in the center that the screw doesn’t go right through, and large enough around so it doesn’t go through the crevices in your basket.  I am using large with smaller washers because that is what I had and I didn’t want to go buy the right ones.


Set your basket centered on top of the platform, and secure it with the screws and washers at each of the four intersections (where the boards cross) on your rolling platform, gently putting the screws through the nearest crack and trying not to do a lot of damage, like so…



I just eyeballed this, shooting for the very center of each intersection so I wouldn’t hit the screws that hold the platform together.  And don’t tighten them too tight; if you do your basket twigs will likely be crushed and over time, break and tear away from the fasteners.  Just make it so the basket is snug to the platform with no wiggle room and then stop.

And there you have it!  A totally groovy rolling basket!


I love that mine is rustic and utilitarian at the same time.  I still might stain the platform darker.  We’ll see.

My son said we needed to test it by putting his sister in it…


Tested and approved!

I have shelves in my bathroom for towels and this slides neatly under the shelves to contain hubby’s logger dirty clothes.  Logger dirty clothes have tree sap and gas on them… you don’t want to mix that stuff with normal clothes.  Does that make sense to you all?  Because he doesn’t seem to grasp the concept! 

So do you think you could handle this project?  Where could you use a rolling basket?

Monday, September 17, 2012

kitty love and not much else


we got a kitty.  at a garage sale.  for $20.

I would say that we got ripped off, but…



They would strongly disagree.  And he did supposedly have flea treatment, which is at least $20. 

I was standing there, holding him, asking questions, debating… then hubby handed the lady a $20, and said, “let’s go”.  Alrighty then.




The lady we bought him from said he and his brother just showed up at her house, and she lived in the woods, so the poor little guy had been wandering the woods without his mama!  His brother was already gone when we got there.  He is super chill, not nervous (required at our house), tolerates the kids super well, and purrs all the time.  Plus, he’s orange, which my husband requires in a kitten. 

So I have some fun things to blog this week; a little project, some redecorating at my mom’s house, and a tasty cute treat… but right now… I have a kitten to bathe in the kitchen sink.

Oh, yeah, and go here and enter my friend Sarah’s blog giveaway… she’s got some cute stuff, and a sweet, encouraging, artistic little blog!


Friday, September 14, 2012

thrift store chronicles { no. 21 }


this time it was thrifting and a yard sale. 

I got to go yard sale scavenging in Central WA while visiting my mom last week.  I met a little success…


A metal crate I planned on adding planks and casters to like this pin, but then I got home and looked at the pin and realized I needed two square ones.  Not sure if I will do the same thing with just this one, or repurpose it in a different way.  It was $10… a little steep but it was a yard sale in front of an antique shop (antique shops = $$$), and if I found one of these locally in a shop it would be more like high $20 range.  So I’m okay with it.  It is holding all my projector / movie night stuff right now, sitting in a closet. 



LOVE this elephant statue… the colors!  So whimsical and old fashioned.  I love the expression.  It was marked $1 but she threw it in for free with the crate because the elephant has a chip on one foot.  Works for me.



This one was found at a quick thrift store stop in mom’s little town.  A cute silver footed dish for $5.  I will probably use it for soaps in the bathroom.  Right now it landed on my desk and holds erasers. 

I’ve been busy this week and we are sharing a car because we sold our 2nd and have not found a new one yet, so when I do get out I have tons to get done, and I have been forcing myself not to stop at yard sales!  It is killing me!  I know when things settle down, and I can stop, they will probably be done for the year.  Oh well, finding more stuff means finding more stuff to get rid of; might as well save myself the work!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

kids room update { cheap curtain solution }


A long time ago I created an… oh, let’s call it “interesting”, accidentally “circus” themed bedroom for Miss Susie.  Seriously, I’m not even linking you because it was pretty wild.  Am I the only one who’s decorating taste swings so fast within a short time?  I like to tell myself my taste is improving quickly.

Anyway, about a year ago, Mister Mark had to move into Susie’s room because we have steep, old stairs, he lived in the upstairs bedroom, had started sleepwalking, and I was afraid for his life. So to move him into Susie’s room, I had to make it more gender neutral, but I still wanted to keep it colorful.  I was forced to introduce low bunk beds into the tiny room; the only ones that would fit under my low ceilings, and I painted a light blue over the previously striped walls, brought in some playful navy and kept most of the colorful accents throughout.

This ended up being the only spot in the room that I really like…


I never shared the room reveal here because I am not in love with it.  It serves its function as well as the tiny room can for two kiddos, but I will be super excited when I can do separate boy and girl rooms again someday. 

But, a friend reminded me the other day that there is one thing in this room worth blogging about! 


This little corner is …okay… but the thing I was really happy with here is the curtain rods!  Did you notice their unconventional construction?  Here is a closer shot…


I don’t know where I originally saw the idea, but I was shocked when I went to the hardware store and it was $6 and some change at checkout, and that was for the two little windows in this room!!! 


I don’t know what all the parts are even called… the pipe is about 8’ long and I found it in the electrical department… with the plastic PVC pipes, and cost $1 and some change.  A small, cheap pipe cutter (looks like a little c-clamp) was super easy to cut the pipe in half for my two windows.  And I think the caps on the ends and the brackets that hold it to the wall are from the plumbing department; the caps cost about $1 each and the brackets were about $1 for a bag of four.  I picked up the pipe, told someone what I was trying to make with it, made it clear that it wasn’t actually for electrical or plumbing purposes, and they walked around with me and helped me find the right pieces.  For example, the caps don’t thread perfectly on the ends, but well enough to stay put on a curtain rod on the wall! 

We talked about this and then my friend send me a picture of hers, which are wayyy cooler than mine but were quite a bit more spendy, too.  When she posts about them I’ll update this post and add the link.

So what do you think? Casual and fun and worth it at about $3 per little window?  I think they’d be great in a casual/industrial work space, or a playroom.  Or both my kids’ rooms, obviously! 

What have you don’t lately that’s unconventional in your home?

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

thrift junky chronicles { no. 20 }


Some recent thrifting and yard sale finds…


From a recent yard sale I came away with a few fun items…

First, this sweet enamel breadbox with hinged copper lid …



Pretty rusty inside, so maybe not good for bread, but totally cute and I’ll use it to store something!  Yes it really was $1.  Sweet find. 

I also found a plaid blanket and a US Army wool blanket for about $1 each...




Yes, I washed them.  I’ll put the Army blanket away and use it for picnics and outdoor movie nights.  I like the plaid on the other couch, since it ties in the red with my tiny spots of yellow and blue in the room. 

I also bought this pewter cup and sweet yellow enamelware basin which both seem to be pretty old…



The pewter cup was .50 and the basin .75.

I also picked up this sweet old book “Green Grass of Wyoming”…

DSC_0629    DSC_0633

I’ll probably never read it but it’s great for looking cute on a bookshelf.


I got this neat old jar on one of my last thrift store trips…


I grabbed it at a glance and put it in the cart and never thought twice about it, which, if you’ve thrifted with me, you know is rare!  I’m usually indecisive about everything.


Love it.  The jar was $3.99.  I kinda wanna buy the huge canister of Target brand cheese balls to dump in it.  But then I’d eat them all. 

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

“ceramic” horse


I took ceramics in high school. 

This is “ceramics”.

Also known as spray paint magic.

Enter thrifted toy horse ($3.99)…




I think he turned out purdy!  I used a coat of white Rustoleum primer which listed plastic as a surface it would stick to, and a coat of Appliance White Enamel because that’s all I had that was white and glossy.

If you’ve been to my house in the past month you’ve seen the horse sitting on my kitchen counter half-painted.  It was one of those projects.  I ran out of paint halfway through and it took me weeks to realize that although I kept forgetting to buy gloss white, I did have Appliance White, which is super glossy and should be sturdy. 

Though, he doesn’t need to be very durable; he won’t be played with much because of the toxic nature of spray paint, so he found a special place on the top shelf with Susie’s special chotchkies that are just for pretty…


I like him.

I got the idea from this pin.

Monday, September 3, 2012

ASCP as chalkboard paint


This week I got a couple of projects done using some thrifted finds and Annie Sloan Chalk paint as chalkboard paint.

First, I started with a thrifted silver tray…


And have a sweet little kitchen chalkboard after four coats of ASCP in Provence…


I love the colored chalkboard idea.  Chalkboards are fun… colored chalkboards are SO fun!

I also did it on a thrifted clipboard this week…



These were quick and easy.  I just taped off the square with painter’s tape and did 3 coats of ASCP, putting my brush in a baggy and letting each coat dry between, then letting it cure overnight before writing on it.  It is a sweet and colorful little reminder on my desk.  I wonder fi there is a limit on how many clipboards I should have on my desk… I’m currently at 4.  Hmmm.


Have you guys done any quick crafts this summer?