A Little Light Reading: Some Design Books You Might Like~

Thank you to Skyhorse Publishing for providing me with copies of the following books.

It's always fun when I get a press release in my email about new design books that are coming out.  As I've mentioned many times on the old blog...I have a bit of a design book obsession. That, coupled with the fact that I lived on the East Coast for 10 years, had me itching to get my hands on copies of the two books I'm going to share with you today.

My recent design book acquisitions.  You can read about my friend Stacy's book here.

The first book is The Nautical Home by Anna Ornberg.  

I have a bit of a love affair with the ocean and I love bringing a touch of the beach into my home.  Anna shares several ideas in this book and even has some fun DIYs for us to try at home.

The next book is Nantucket Cottages and Gardens by Leslie Linsley and Terry Pommett. 

 I love the Eastern Seashore.  And I love cottages.  And this book is filled to the brim with quaint cottages and gardens.  It's eye candy that will make you want to pack up and move to the shore.

The internet is fabulous..and Pinterest is amazing.  But for me, nothing will ever be able to replace books...especially design books that are filled to the brim with gorgeous images.  I love holding them in my hands - turning the pages - perusing them slowly (and without eyestrain.  Lol!)  I  spent a couple of leisurely Sunday thoroughly enjoying these books.

If you love design books as much as I do, you  might want to check them out as well!


Skyhorse publishing provided me with copies of these books for review.  The opinions expressed are 100% mine.


Sunday Inspiration~

Faith should electrify our mortal experience...making us wide open, 
expansive, and alert to the shimmering, unimaginable beauty 
and mystery around us.

-Rob Bell



Frugal Friday~

It's that time again!  Time for the Frugal Friday link party!  I'm so glad you're here.

Are you ready to par-tay??  Let's get right to it!

Read more after the break...


Thin For You Thursday~

Welcome to this week's Thin For You Thursday!

This week was a bit of a challenge for both of us.  But here we are celebrating the small victories!

WENDY:  Do you ever have those weeks where you're just plain munchy (that's a real word in my world)?  Carbs were calling my name this week.  And I gave in more than I wish I had.  It was very frustrating for me.  So my weight loss this week was only about 1/2 lb.  But I'm celebrating the fact that the scale went down a bit and not up!  I'm trying to come up with a good way to avoid the "treat closet" at the office where I work.  It's an entire cabinet full of easily-accessible carbs!  And it calls to me all day, every day at work.  Some days I do great at avoiding it...some days not so great.  Does anyone have any good suggestions for overcoming the temptation that is the "treat closet"?

image via Graphics Fairy

HOLLY:  So... this week all that I have wanted to do is eat, and eat, and stuff 
my face, and then eat some more. It's partly because I am female (and 
all that this implies. ;) ) It's also because I am a nervous snacker and 
all four of my kiddos went back to school this week. Including my tiny 
little red headed girl who is only in 6th grade yet the great state of 
California sees fit in sending 6th graders to MIDDLE SCHOOL to get EATEN 
ALIVE!!!(needless to say it gave me stress)!! And lastly, because I love 
to eat. So...I formulated a method. Yes, an actual method to snacking. 
I'm always a little bit late to the game so there is a possibility that 
everybody else on the planet already does this, but... I have been 
freezing my snacks. (cookies, chocolates, anything freeze-able.) They 
last longer this way so I don't feel that compulsion to eat the yummy 
stuff before it goes bad, and I have to think about what I am eating. I 
can't just mindlessly snack on something if it is in the freezer. I have 
to get it out and give it some time to thaw. Then if I want seconds I 
have to do it again. It definitely deters snacking. 

Read more and SEE OUR READER CHALLENGE after the break...

Frugal Favorites~

Welcome to this week's edition of Frugal Favorites!

I'm excited to share a few of my favorite posts from last week's Frugal Friday link party.

Champagne DIY shared a brilliant DIY "wallpaper" idea.  Would you believe this fabulous wall was created using contact paper?

See more after the break...


Book Review: Natural Accents~

Hey kids!

I always love it when I get to share a book written by a dear friend.  So, this morning I am thrilled to share a new book written by my wonderful friend, Stacy Risenmay of Not Just A Housewife.

Her book, Natural Accents, is a beautiful book with tons of fabulous step-by-step tutorials and ideas on ways to bring nature into our homes.  

She really knocked it out of the park on this one.   Her photography is gorgeous and her ideas are unique.

Two projects I especially loved...

This adorable hanging planter.

Photo via Not Just A Housewife

And this ingenious terrarium side table.  

Photo via Not Just A Housewife
I mean seriously?  Is this not the about the most creative thing ever?  

And she shares how to make it. 

In her book.

I know the most talented people!  And I get so excited when they have the opportunity to share their talents with the world.  

Stacy's book is available now!  You should check it out.  Seriously.

The above link is an affiliate link.  
(See the disclosure on my advertising page for more information)


I was provided with a book in exchange for a review.  The opinions expressed are 100% mine.



Frugal Friday~

Welcome to this week's edition of the Frugal Friday link party!

I'm so glad you can join me for today's party!

Let's get started with the fun...

Read more after the break:

Thin For You Thursday~

Welcome to Thin For You Thursday!

Holly and I were so excited with the reaction to last week's post!  I wanted to thank those that commented...it seems that our situation resonates with a lot of you!  And I wanted to mention that my comment responses aren't working...so if you have a question or need feedback on a comment, we will either email you back (if you aren't a "no-reply" blogger) or answer you in the following week's post.  We both read the comments...they matter to us!  So just know that we aren't ignoring your comments!

Now on to this week's post...

HOLLY:  It has been an emotional week for our family, and an emotional few months for mine. Three funerals and two weddings. (sounds like a movie) We are coping and healing, and life goes on. But, along with these things come events and FOOD!!! Social eating and EMOTIONAL eating, and sometimes just eating 'cause there is yummy food and you have a mouth. 

WENDY:  Holly and I were laughing at our timing with introducing Thin For You Thursday last week.  As she mentioned, it was a very emotional week.  She was in town for a family funeral.  So we did what comes naturally when there are family events.  We ate.  It was also my little family's annual back-to-school dinner this past weekend. It could have been disastrous for our waistlines.  But, here's the good thing...we didn't go crazy eating!

Read more and see a before and after pic after the break...


Frugal Favorites~

Welcome to this week's edition of Frugal Favorites!

Last week's Frugal Friday link party was chock full of great projects, and I have three of my favorites to share with you today.

First, I'm smitten with this pretty marbled clock shared by Camille I Am.  I'm putting it on my list of must-makes!

Read more after the break...


Back-To-School Dinner 2015~

Hello Lovelies!

I can't believe that it's that time of year again!


This summer seems to have flown by...so I can honestly say that it kind of  hit me as a surprise that it was already time for our annual back-to-school dinner!

We celebrated this past weekend, with a casual, no-fuss dinner that was still full of all the fun.  I'm all about celebrating real-life.  It doesn't have to be fancy.  It's all about the love behind it!

For the kids treat this year I opted for some fun vintage candies (pop-rocks and rock candy) in their school color - which happens to be purple.  Since it didn't go with the color scheme I had in mind, I hid them inside these cute Kraft paper bags with red shredded paper filler.

See more after the break (you won't want to miss the dessert!)...


Sunday Inspiration~

For a seed to achieve its greatest expression, it must come completely undone.  The shell cracks, its insides come out and everything changes.  To someone who doesn't understand growth, it would look like complete destruction.

 - Cynthia Occelli



Frugal Friday~

Welcome to this week's Frugal Friday Link Party!

So glad you could join us for today's party!  Let's get right to the good stuff!

Read more after the break...

Thin For You Thursday~

I'm so excited to share a new weekly feature with you!



The idea of Thin For You Thursday was born while my sister Holly was here visiting this summer.  So she is going to be joining me here every week to host this feature which we hope will become a gathering place where we can support one another in our attempts to live healthier lives!

 HOLLY:   I used to think about losing 5 pounds and I would lose it. Now it seems 
that I think about losing 5 pounds and I gain it. I think it's  a 
combination of things. I used to have mountains of willpower and now I 
have the willpower of a 3 year old in a candy store. I also used to be a 
teenager and now I'm 41. I used to have a pre-baby body, and now I have 
a post 4 babies body. It's all relative, really. I usually wear a size 
10. Sometimes a 12. Every once in a while I find that coveted 8 that I 
can pull on without looking like a full sized bed in a twin sized sheet. 
I'm not necessarily super heavy, but I used to wear a size 6, sometimes 
an 8, and once in a while that coveted size 4. I never had a protruding 
collar bone, or a flamingo thigh gap even at my smallest. But now I'm 
just going for those lovely days when my chest is bigger than my 
stomach. (just keeping it real) 


WENDY:  Here's a photo of us taken while she was here.  I'm going to be honest with you.  I knew that I had put on weight.  I talked about it here.  (And I've even put on a weight since then).  But it wasn't until Holly was visiting that I realized how much weight I'd put on.  This photo makes me unhappy.  So I decided that it was high time I did something about my weight.  Now, Holly and I both realize that size is relative.  I am currently a size 10/12.  For some people, 10/12 is ideal...and we both realize that.  I am, however, short (5'3") and small-framed.  In high school I was a size 0...I am under no delusions that I will ever be that size again.  But I am most comfortable in a size 4/6.  When I wear that size, I also fall within my ideal weight range and BMI, so that is what I am aiming to achieve.  Here's where the Thin For You Thursday philosophy comes in to play.  I'm not aiming to be a stick-thin fashion model.  I'm not even aiming to be the same size I was.  I do want to be healthy.  I want to fall within the weight guidelines for my height and frame.  I want to make sure I'm exercising and staying in good shape.  But I don't want to put unrealistic media-induced expectations on my weight loss.

HOLLY:   I was telling myself that I 
would be accountable. I don't need to be skinny, I just want to be fit 
and feel good.  Wendy and I decided that we would be accountable to 
each other. Thursday was the day that we would check in and report our 
progress. We would make realistic goals that didn't cause anxiety (or 
the lack of chocolate in my case.) We would take it slow. We wouldn't 
worry about what the world expected of us, we would worry about what we 
expected of us. We would be healthy for us, fit for us, thin for us. No 
living on lettuce covered in sugar free chocolate syrup. No wrapping 
ourselves in saran wrap to try to sweat off an extra centimeter. Just a 
healthier, more accountable us...  We started on our journey and lo and 
behold... we saw results.

WENDY:  Why Thursday?  Well, in my opinion, it's the perfect day to be accountable...it's the day before the weekend starts...and it gives me enough time to hopefully undo any "damage" that may have occurred the previous weekend.  Since the above photo was taken, I have lost 8 pounds by watching my daily food intake and exercising! I'm on my way.

HOLLY:  My big sis and I got to talking and thought..."wouldn't it be great if 
we had a support group. People to share their success and motivate 
one another. People to share their little secrets and snacks that help 
them stave off the munchies. Send us a picture when they are feeling 
extra spiffy." (that was our "aha" moment.) And.......Thin For You 
Thursday was born.

WENDY: Holly and I both hope to create a community here where we can support one another in getting healthy and becoming thin for us!  Not thin for anybody else.  Each week we will set a goal to work on...and then we'll report back on our progress the next week.  You can work on the same goal with us...or set one of your own.  It's all about working to become the best you that you can be.  And doing it in realistic, baby steps. 

HOLLY:     I am happy to announce that I am down 5 pounds since we started this 
journey, and I intend to keep on going. Slow and steady wins the race. I 
have a very emotional week ahead of me, so my realistic goal for this 
week is to not be an emotional eater. (within reason ;) )

WENDY:  My goal this week is to drink more water!  I had quit drinking Diet Coke entirely...but then I started drinking it again while Holly was visiting this summer.  Lol!  So my goal is to increase my water intake while I decrease my soda consumption.  Wish me luck!

We're also going to be setting up an Instagram account where we will post our weight loss, but also inspiration for all of us on our Thin For You journeys!  Make sure and follow us there!

AND Look for some progress photos coming in next week's post!!!

Won't you join us on this journey?

Wendy and



Frugal Favorites~

Welcome to this week's edition of  Frugal Favorites!

I'm excited to share my picks from last week's Frugal Friday link party with you today!  This week I have chosen a couple of bathroom makeovers and a fun tutorial.

First up, The Honeycomb Home shared an adorable half-bath makeover.  I adore the paneling and the mirror.  They give the space such great character.

Read more after the break...


A Simple Lamp Update~

Hello Lovelies!

Today I'm sharing an ultra-simple lamp makeover.  But sometimes it's the simple things that make the biggest impacts.  You may recall the cute little white lamp from my boys' bedroom...or you may not.  Can you see it there?  That's the trouble.  It lacked a little something.  ...And that's why I decided to give it a makeover.

It's not the first time I've given this particular lamp makeover.  It started out as a golden yellow "squash-looking" lamp...so I gave it its first update.

But as you can see above, the white wasn't doing much for the boys' space.  So I decided to try an idea that had been floating around in my head for a while.  I decided to paint it with freehand stripes.

See more after the break...


Frugal Friday~

Welcome to this week's edition of Frugal Friday!

So glad you could join us for today's party!

Read more after the break...


Frugal Favorites~

Welcome to this week's Frugal Favorites!

I'm excited to share a few of my favorite posts from last week's Frugal Friday link party with you!

First up,  I adore this DIY reclaimed wood accent wall shared by Sweet Parrish Place.  The texture is amazing!

See  more after the break...