Friday, January 29, 2016

A Quick Fix

When we were almost finished with my office/craft room makeover, I realized I hadn't planned for a place to sit. With counter tops instead of a desk, I needed taller chairs. Then I remembered some folding stools we had stowed away in the boys' closet upstairs. They were the perfect solution to our problem.

But if you look closely at the first stool, you can see a rip right in the center of the seat. That wasn't sitting well with me (no pun intended) in my brand new room. 

Fortunately, it turned out to be a super easy fix. After a quick run to the fabric store for a fun upholstery fabric and some 1/2" foam (about a $6 total investment), I just removed a few screws under the seat, removed the damaged vinyl, replaced it with the foam and fabric, and replaced the screws. It took about fifteen minutes (give or take) and I love how it turned out!

In case you're wondering, yes, I did the same thing to the other stool for a matching set. They look great!

Easy and inexpensive. My kind of makeover! :)

Monday, January 25, 2016

I {Heart} Haggis

Only those who know haggis will appreciate or even understand the above graphic. :) It made me laugh. And then I was reminded that today is Robert Burns birthday which is celebrated in Scotland with a traditional meal of haggis, neeps (turnips) and tatties (potatoes). I was only in Scotland for one January 25th so I only ate haggis once. (Once was enough for me, thanks.) But at least I can say I've tried it! 

Happy Birthday, Rabbie Burns. For Auld Lang Syne. (Auld Lang Syne was written by Robert Burns. It means times long past. Fitting for me! I miss my Scotland days!) 

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Is That a Compliment?


As Sadie headed to bed tonight, she kissed me on the cheek. Then she told me how much she loves my skin because it's so soft! As she stroked my cheeks, she said she wishes she had soft skin like mine. I assured her that her skin is soft as well, but she insisted that mine is a different soft.

She struggled to find just the right words--

"Yours is's just so...wrinkle soft!" 

I think there's a compliment in there somewhere. (Why do I suddenly feel so old?!)

Friday, January 15, 2016

World's Fastest

I know it doesn't look like much, but you are looking at the World's Fastest Pop Machine. For real. You can kind of see a few of the many lawn mowers that surround this beauty. I'm pretty sure the pop machine is located at a lawn mower repair shop, but we've always referred to it as the lawn mower graveyard.

I took this picture last spring when my brother, Rob, was visiting. I don't know how we'd neglected to take him to this tourist attraction on his past visits, but we didn't make that mistake again. Here's how it works:
  • Put your money in the machine (75 cents).
  • Put one hand behind your back.
  • Make your selection and try to catch the soda with the same hand.
I'm telling you, this machine can read your mind. I don't think any of us have actually accomplished the goal because as soon as you make your selection, the pop is there. 

The teenagers simply call it "World's Fastest," and everyone knows exactly what they're talking about. It's only about a 15-20 minute drive from my house so the kids and their friends have been known to head over after play practices, sporting events, concerts, etc. 

You may be rolling your eyes, but this is really a thing. Google it. Just search for "World's fastest pop machine." See? 

Maybe I should have blogged about this sooner. This is a sure-fire way to get more family and friends to visit! You know you want to! :)

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Before and After: My Office/Craft Room

Welcome to my office.

I know. It's a mess in this picture. Okay, it was a mess much of the time, really, but this was taken shortly before we started our room makeover project and you know how that goes. What's the point in cleaning up if you're just going to rip everything out anyway? 

Some serious crafting has happened in this room over the years. This is where I did all my vinyl lettering projects from the design to the finished product. This is where I made cards and paper projects and even, briefly, jewelry pendants. It stored my supplies from calligraphy to wrapping paper to fabric. Yes, it stored fabric, but I didn't sew in here. There just wasn't room - never a free flat surface big enough for a sewing machine and all that goes along with it. Whenever I needed to sew, I set up a card table in the living room. Lovely.

As grateful as I was to have my own place, it started to feel chaotic. Even when I cleaned it up, it just wasn't very inviting. So as summer was coming to a close, we decided to redo the office. It was a big project. We took everything out and started from scratch. 

We purchased and installed new cabinets in one day. Little did I know that I'd be grounded for two months while we waited for the counter top to come in! That was frustrating, especially because all the contents of my office were now in the music room...

The music room during the makeover.
This is what you saw as soon as you walked down the stairs. Ugh!

Finally, the counter top came in and we were able to finish. Here are some similar shots to show you before and after from a few different angles. Drum roll please...

Main view - BEFORE.

Main view - AFTER. (Cue choirs of angels...)

Looking in the doorway - BEFORE.

Looking in the doorway - AFTER.
Opposite wall - BEFORE.

Opposite wall - AFTER. 

Needless to say, I love how it turned out. It's so refreshing and calm. It's easy to keep clean because there's a place for everything. Plus I got rid of a lot of stuff in the process. You might have noticed we didn't repaint. I looked at a lot of different paint colors and realized I didn't love anything as much as what I already had. The contrast with the white cabinets makes it look so different and fresh.

It was definitely worth the wait! :)

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Sweep the Earth

Each week I receive an e-mail full of uplifting quotes from Sweep the Earth. They usually make me smile or think or determine to be better. Sweep the Earth is trying to do just that: Sweep the earth with positive, uplifting messages. The quotes generally come from current or former leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Some of the memes are made by Sweep the Earth and some are borrowed from other sources, but all are inspiring and intended to lift, bless and brighten.

Here's a timely and hopeful message from this week's e-mail:

I subscribe, which is why I get the e-mails, but you can visit their site and search for quotes as well. They are searchable by Keyword, Author, or Category. For example, I searched for quotes by Jeffrey R. Holland (always a favorite!) and here are a few - okay, a lot - of the results:



Aren't they great? And that's just a very small sampling of what you'll find. It's so refreshing to see a website that exists solely to bring hope and joy to others. I just wanted to share so that if you are so inclined, you can subscribe and receive a little bit of sunshine in your inbox each week as well. Or just browse the site when you need a boost, and then share what you find so you can help Sweep the Earth. :)

Monday, January 4, 2016

A Missionary's Pocket

Look what Sam sent me for Christmas --

Isn't that just the greatest gift for a Missionary Mum? My heart melted as soon as I saw it. And as if that missionary badge wasn't enough, that pocket was stuffed full of all the typical things you'd find in a missionary's pocket...

Yep, a Missionary Handbook and a collection of pass-along cards. Isn't that the sweetest gift? I love it so much! And I sure love that cute missionary who sent it to me. :)

Saturday, January 2, 2016

A Favorite Quote: Creation


"God left the world unfinished for man to work his skill upon. He left the electricity in the cloud, the oil in the earth. He left the rivers unbridged and the forests uncut, and the cities unbuilt. God gives to man the challenge of raw materials, not the ease and comfort of finished things. He leaves the pictures unpainted and the music unsung and the problems unsolved, that man might know the joys and glories of creation." --Thomas S. Monson

My sister-in-law sent me that quote a few weeks ago and I can't stop thinking about it. It goes right along with my renewed determination to create a clean*, happy, safe home for my family and to have my family take a large part in doing so. I love watching the transformation of a room from cluttered to clean and then keeping it that way. I have a completely different attitude about keeping our house clean and tidy. It's a pleasure, not a chore. I am doing less work and getting better results. I am much less stressed and I don't feel so overwhelmed. My only regret is that I didn't catch this vision years ago!

Of course, this also applies to other things as well, from our daily meals to other projects I have in the works. I'm realizing (remembering) how much I enjoy making things and what a blessing it is to create things for the benefit of my family. I'm also teaching them how to create things that benefit others. :)

*In keeping our house clean I have found help from several sources, but one that has given me a lot of motivation recently is I love her philosophy and her wisdom. While I don't follow everything she says, I have implemented many things over the past six weeks or so and it has made a big difference. The book Sink Reflections, which I found at the library, explains her system. The information is also on her website, but I found the book quite helpful in laying out her program and how it all works together.

Friday, January 1, 2016

1916 - 2016: Happy Birthday!

This is my house a long time ago. I don't know exactly when the photo was taken, but the house was built in 1916 by Walter Gerard. His grandson and two granddaughters came by the house one day a few years after we moved in and told us a little of the history and then his grandson sent us this photo.

I don't know when in 1916 our house was built, so we're going to celebrate all year. :) Jeff has redone pretty much every room in the house, finished the basement, and put on a new roof, new siding, and new windows. The landscaping has gone through many changes as well. We love our home and look forward to spending many more happy years here.

Watch for a post coming up soon of our latest remodeling project. My office has never looked better!

Happy 100th Birthday, house!