Life Lessons

Huckleberry's always creeping on my baked goods..

I wanted to take a break from Friday Letters this week and instead just share some things that life has been teaching me lately.

So, this week I've learned that...

My husband is only human. It's amazing how quickly I can forgot that my husband's not perfect. And even more amazing how personally I take his faults. When he leaves the refrigerator door open while pouring himself a glass of milk, it isn't a passive aggressive attack on me. It's funny how the quirks you found funny when you were dating are now grounds for battle in marriage. But hey, he isn't perfect and Lord knows I am so, so far from being perfect myself. At the end of the day, he is still my rock, my covenant partner, my number one. The little things need to remain little, not ignite WWIII.

If something is important to you, get it done yourself. I think a lot of time we (or at least I) rely on other's to get the job done. Maybe because we don't want to add anything else to our overflowing to-do lists, or we simply don't want any extra responsibility on us, especially during the holiday season when we already feel stretched too thin. But if something is genuinely important to you, get the job done yourself. Relying on others will oftentimes result in disappointment. If it's important to you, make it your responsibility and see it through. And then if something falls through, you only have you to blame instead of building resentment towards another.

It's easy to make friends, if you only put yourself out there. Ever since I moved to Washington, I've craved intimate friendships. Of course Steven's childhood friends adopted me as one of their own, but everyone is in different places in life. I missed the companionship of my girlfriends from back home. After making excuses for about a year, Steven and I joined a young adult's Bible study, and by the time we left I honestly felt like I had made 12 new friends. As crazy as if sounds, I can't wait to go back next week! It took long enough, but we finally got out of our comfort zone and amazingly, we discovered that people like us! It really isn't hard to make friends if you just put yourself out there. More than likely people will like you too ;)

Hugging a dog will relieve you anxiety. Seriously. There is nothing more I need to say about this one. They just have magical powers.

What has life been teaching you lately?


Saw It. Pinned It. Did It.

If you saw my finished Pinterest desk, you may have noticed the framed cork board. I wish I could say that I come up with this stuff on my own, but I don't. Here's was the inspiration curtesy of Pinterest.
Here's what you'll need.
- An old frame (I got mine at a yard sale for $1)
- Cork board
- Fabric
- Picture Hanging Equipment (Something like this)
- Staple Gun
Measure the frame to determine what size cork board you'll need to purchase (mine was 16x20).
If necessary, paint and distress your frame to your liking. Then take the cork board and fabric (for my frame one yard of fabric was more than enough) and pull the fabric taunt against the cork board. Flip the cork board over and use your staple gun to staple the excess fabric in place.
Place the cork board into the frame and then mount your picture hanging equipment. (That should consist of two saw brackets, one in each of the upper corners of the frame. Then simply strung the picture wire.) Trust me, it sounds more complicated than it is!
P1020838 P1020839
And you're done! A beautiful, custom cork board!
Isn't Pinterest amazing??
Let me know if you give this DIY project a try yourself!


Attention Blogger Friends: Help Me, puuuhhhlease!

Hey fellow bloggers, I’m having some technical difficulties when it comes to Blogger. I have always published all of my posts through Blogger, because at first I didn’t know there were any other means of doing it, and secondly because I use a Mac and most of the blogger publishing tools I’ve seen (that are free) are for PC’s.

Blogger isn’t ideal (the spacing with photos and text drives me mad at times. If you use it you know what I’m talking about), but it gets the job done and I haven’t had any major issues until recently.

Yesterday I discovered that I could no longer insert images into my post. Apparently, when you use Blogger your photos are automatically being backed up into Google’s Picasa Web feature, and everyone only gets so much storage in Picasa for free. I’ve exceeded that storage capacity with my 900+ photos on my blog this year. When you go into Picasa to delete some photos to free up more space, those photos are also deleted from the original blog post they were in. (Which was rather infuriating.)

I didn’t even know Blogger backed up your photos!! And until I can figure out a way to get around this hiccup, I won't be able to post photos on my blog.

So, all you bloggers who have been doing this a lot longer than me, is there anyway to get around this feature without buying more storage space on Picasa? Or do you know of another publishing program I can use that is compatible with a Mac? I’ve heard great things about Widows Live Writer but unfortunately that’s for PC’s. Any programs out there similar to that one for Mac’s?

I'm hoping there is an easy fix for this (a free, easy fix if possible). And I'd love to hear your process when it comes to publishing posts, uploading photos, dealing with blogger spacing issues (Grrr...).

Because really, could you honestly go a lifetime with no more pictures of Huckleberry?? I think not ;)


mini Chocolate Cheesecakes

Remember when I told you I made 36 mini cheesecakes because I'm clinically insane? Well, they turned out really, really good. They are a little time consuming to make, but worth it if you love cheesecake! Here's what you'll need.

- 9 Oreo Cookies
- 2 packages (8 ounces each) and 1 package (3 ounces) cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup unsweetened baking cocoa
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 3 eggs
- whipped cread for topping

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line 18 medium muffin cups with paper baking liners. Split Oreos in half. Place one cookie half, middle side up, in each cup.

In large bowl, beat cream cheese with an electric mixer until smooth. Gradually beat in granulated sugar and the cocoa until fluffy. Beat in vanilla. Beat in eggs, one at a time, until well blended. Evenly divide among cups (cups will be almost full).

Bake cheesecakes 25-30 minutes or until centers are firm. Cool for 15 minutes and then refrigerate for one hour.
Smaller than a post-it note :)


A Case of The Mondays

My morning started off with miscommunication and a bad cup of coffee. Steven says I have a case of the Mondays, I think I just have a case of the mornings --every morning. I'm simply just not a very able-bodied, functioning human being before 10 am. And that makes me testy. So instead of ranting, which I certainly feel like doing this morning, I'm going to show you some of my favorite captured moments from this weekend. You're welcome.

But first, a photo of Huckleberry in his festive Thanksgiving scarf that so many of you have been dying to see since last Friday. Sorry I didn't post this sooner! It was on my instagram though, so if you aren't already following me there, click here! Huck added the big, sad puppy dog eyes for some extra drama.
My handsome hubby blowing leaves off our garage roof. This is obviously a favorite moment because he's on the roof and not me. Also, that ladder is an early Christmas present curtesy of his leading lady. (That's me, people.)
Huckleberry and Herschel taking an afternoon nap together under my desk.
Herschel being particularly cute.
And my favorite..Huck watching Jurassic Park intently. He was barking at the velociraptors and then tilting his head to listen to their response. He is too cute.
Unfortunately, we didn't get our tree this weekend, but I did get a swanky new blazer and that's almost as exciting ;)


Friday Letters

This is the only photo I took on Thanksgiving. I even forgot to take a picture of me and Steven! Fail.

Dear Thanksgiving - You were yummy and relaxing. Just what I needed. Dear Work - I love working from home and think I should be able to do that every day. No need to shower, no disgusting coffee, and my pup sleeping under my desk...it's pretty much perfect. And the best part is I am insanely productive when I work from home. Not only do I get all my work done in a much more timely manner, but I also wash the dishes and mop the floors. Really, we need to make this a permanent arrangement, kay? Dear Husband - Thank you for making me feel so special and loved, especially on the holidays. You make the ache of missing my family disappear. Dear Huckleberry - When you came home from daycare on Wednesday in your festive Thanksgiving scarf I just about died. You are too cute. Dear Friends - Thank you for being there for me even though you're far away. I feel so blessed to have friendships that have withstood 16+ years and 3,000 miles. I know it's really rare so I plan on holding on tight forever. 

I hope  you all had a great Thanksgiving with your loved ones! See you Monday!


Being Thankful

Last Thanksgiving was the first time I have ever spent a holiday away from my family. And although I was surrounded by Steven's family, I felt lonely. I have a feeling that this year will be no different, but when I reflect on the last 12 months it's easy to see that I have so much to be thankful for --like Chapstick and York Peppermint Patties, central heating and new tires on my Jeep, and having an especially handy man for a husband. 

On a more serious note, I am thankful for my family who have always been so supportive of me (even my crazier decisions like moving across the country!), my few friendships that have withstood the test of time and distance, my cute fur babies who have somehow made life seem more full, and my husband who makes me so proud I swear I could burst! 

It's a good thing to sit back and take the time to reflect on all you have. So let's do that and be grateful.

Also, I'm guest posting on Megan blog today. So if you want to read more about living with a the cutest Golden Retriever on the planet!! and some of the characteristics of that breed, go here


The {Finished} Pinterest Desk

I promised I would post pictures of the finished version of my Pinterest desk the hubby made me, and post I will. But first, if you didn't see the inspiration photo and the beginnings of the construction process, go here!

Secondly, I'd like to apologize for the quality of my photos. I should have taken them during the day for better lighting. But seriously, I'm just not a photographer and it probably wouldn't have made much of a difference :)

So without further ado, here is my lovely, 9ft. Pinterest inspired desk!
To the left of the computer, Steven cut a circular opening to run the cables through. He then attached the surge protector to the bottom of the desk. That way the multiple cords for the computer, lighting, etc. aren't simply lying on the floor. 
Sadly, my office is still pretty sparse, but I have added a few details that I really love.
I found this cute, three tiered bird detail at Michael's. It's great for holding small office supplies like tacks, paper clips, and the all so necessary miniature, glitter clothespins ;)

Things Left To Do:
  • Pick out and hang a curtain for the office window
  • Buy a filling cabinet with lock for important documents
  • Build a shelving unit on the wall opposite the desk (I'm thinking something like this)
  • Hang the cork board
  • Find decor for the office walls


Weekend Review

This past weekend was busy, busy! Saturday morning I made two loaves of sandwich bread for the work week ahead, cleaned the house from top to bottom, and then made a lasagna. I'm pretty sure I should win an award for being so domestic. On top of all that, that night I had to put in some overtime for work editing a proposal only to wake up on Sunday morning and discover that the due date had been extended for another week! Balderdash! I was tempted to punch someone in the face, but the only person around at the time was Steven so I refrained. 

And that was just my Saturday!!

On Sunday, I made 36 mini cheesecakes for my office's Thanksgiving potluck today. Yeah, 36 mini cheesecakes. Because obviously I'm crazy. It's safe to say I don't want to be near an oven for at least a week. 

But do not fret, there were some good moments this weekend too. Like a Breaking Bad marathon with the hubby and beating him in an intense game of Phase 10 (have you even played Phase 10?? Such a fun card game!) 

Also, like every weekend, I took some cute pics of the pup. This one in particular is a true gem.
Notice Huck's apprehension? He's silently saying, mom, it's behind me isn't it? Waiting to strike!
See it? Let's zoom in to get a better look.
Herschel stalking him prey. Huck and I live in constant fear. He left a dead bird on the doorstep Saturday morning...I think it was a warning.

Hope you have a great Monday! If Monday's are even capable of being great. And prepare yourselves for a home office reveal later this week :)

Oh yeah, Thanksgiving is Thursday. This year is going by way too fast!


Friday Letters

Dear Readers - I finally got an instagram. I know I'm really behind the times, so please forgive me, but I think it's awesome!! You can follow me here! Dear Herschel - You're funny. When you put your paws on my face and give me kitty kisses it makes me laugh. Partly because you're cute, but mostly because it tickles. Dear Car - This weekend you are getting Washington plates. Kinda makes me sad, but it's the next step for me to become a true Washingtonian. Dear Thanksgiving - You are less than a week away! Turkey! Nom nom.. Stuffing! Nom nom... Mashed Potatoes! Nom nom... this could go on, but I think I'll stop here. Dear Husband - I know you think we need a truck, but I'm convinced our next purchase should be a pygmy goat. Just think it over, will ya? Dear Huckleberry - Found this video on my old phone when you were just a wee little guy. Makes my heart melt every time. You were so tinnnny!!

Happy Friday, friends! Hope you have a lovely weekend :)



Repurposed TV Stand

Piece by piece, my living room is slowly coming together! 
Shortly after Steven and I moved in, my mother-in-law gave us a nightstand she picked up at a yard sale. Steven removed the top drawer, cut out a hole in the back for wires, and we have been using it as the TV stand in our living room.
When my mom came to town, we decided to give this old nightstand new life with a little paint job and distressing. We sanded it, applied three coats of paint, and then slightly distressed it.
I love the finished product! 
This new look is a much better fit for the overall feel I want for our living room! 
Now, if only we had a furnace in that fireplace...  :)


Bainbridge Island

Luckily, when my parents came to town last week we were blessed with a few pretty days here in Washington. Look! Blue skies!
So we decided to drive to Seattle and take a ferry to Bainbridge Island. Steven and I have been to Bainbridge once before, and I just love all the cute speciality shops, bookstores, and eateries! There is just something about small, quaint towns that I can't get enough of!

From custom made furniture and Pacific Northwest art to simple holiday decor, there is plenty of variety in their downtown shopping center. Even an outdoorsy woodmen's shop that Steven loved! 
I should have purchase this two dimensional canvas to hang over my bed! Oh hindsight!
After shopping for a while we grabbed lunch at a diner down by the water and then ended the day buying some chocolate at a local shop {which was amazing and of course I don't have any pictures to show you because it's in my belly}.
My parents stay in WA wasn't long enough! I wish I could have taken them around the area more, but I think they enjoyed this little day trip. {And actually, my dad and Steven were able to go to the Seahawks game on Sunday, so I know that was fun for them at least!} My mom and I spent a lot of time shopping {duh} and doing DIY projects around the home. All in all it was a great visit and I hope they are able to visit again soon!