Being Real, what your gonna see around here

I really hate sharing my photographs of projects that we do around here.

Why you ask?

Well my house doesn’t look like your typical house you see online. That all white clean clutter free house. You know the ones. They look like no one actually lives in them. That might be your ho use, and you may clean like crazy or have a cleaning crew.

But that is just not me. My husband wishes it was me, but its not.

I love color, and I mean BRIGHT (think tropical Caribbean) colors, and I even like white but usually on wood furniture. I love clean white crisp bright white on furniture but can I keep it clean with dogs and cats and teens? Maybe, but do I want to? No. I don’t really want to spend so much time cleaning. There is more to life than cleaning. I like a clean house but in order to really keep my house clean, I need to vacuum everyday. I also need to keep things to a minimum.

I have made it my purpose to have a clutter free house the best I can but still have it feel warm and inviting. Which is really hard to do when well meaning family members give you things you feel obligated to keep. Or your husband is a sentimental keeper of all things, AKA Pack rat!

I struggle with trying to balance the cottage look I love with all my bright colors I like. Its like trying to put put a round peg in a triangle hole. I love a beach cottage but mixing in brighter colors is actually harder than I thought. I find my self trying to mix the styles of New England Beach House with Miami/Key West/Florida/Caribbean. And how do you mix contemporary and minimalist with the cottage look and feel? I don’t know, I am still trying. But I strive to have what I want and like and makes me happy, not some designers rules of decorating, which I don’t agree with. I have had my run ins with designers both professionally when I worked at a furniture store and knew one personally. Wonderful young lady but very by the book on decorating, but she never gave you unsolicited advice, only if you asked and then she told you what she thought. What ever happened to personal opinions and desires in decorating your own home. Some designers like DIY projects while others say don’t do it. Designers are either very bossy and opinionated, or laid back and help you with what you want, not what they want. And the ones I ran into at the furniture store, where the usual bossy sour puss faced conservative designers always telling the client no to what they wanted, instead of working around what they wanted. I know not every designer is like that, and I apologize to those who are not.  I am not anti designer, just anti to a lot of them where I live. I mean if I could hire any designer in the world, it would be David Bromstad. Now that guy knows how to use bright colors and be creative.

That reminds me of a lady I met in Sherwin Williams last fall.  She had a friend who was a designer. She told her friend she wanted to try and paint a color in a room. It was a nice color and its what she wanted. Her friend, I say enemy, told her not to paint that color and she should paint it another certain color. I told that lady she should paint the color she wants, its her house!

The main reason I don’t like to post photos is that our house is a remodel job that never seems to get finished. Even after we have most of a room finished, there are still small things that need to be done that take months to get to, or like our kitchen its been 2 years and I still don’t have pantry doors or the toe kicks on the cabinets. The cabinets were also to be painted but we have left that for another time. So basically I am stuck with dark brown cabinets that were suppose to be refinished into a white antique rubbed something.

We have baseboards that still need to be cut and put back on in some of our rooms, like our family room. My dining room, formally known as the formal living room turned dining room, is all finished but is also the bunny and guinea pig room. I may add photos for that project soon. The dining room was a project where we added trim, faux plate rail, painted it a bold color. It was/is my one shabby chic room with out all the clutter of tons of stuff filling the hutch.

So anyway, I am going to start making more time to write on this blog and I am going to start posting photos of my projects, even if the background is a project in progress or if its just messy. So expect it to not look perfect. It is just the story of my life. I want to enjoy life and focus on having a relaxing chill life and do things with my family that are more important than keeping a spotless house.


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Book Review: Raising God’s Girl…

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Raising God’s Girl
Empowering Parents to Raise Daughters with
Conviction, Confidence, & Courage

by: Rich and Mary Lou Graham


This is a book I wish I would have had when my girls were born.
I didn’t know how to raise “God’s Girl” until they were middle school aged and by then they had been filled with wordly things around them.  I like this book a lot. A lot of the book is making sure your heart is right. Making sure your doing what your suppose to be doing as a child of God parenting young impressionable daughters.

This book can be read by both Fathers and Mothers, and even Grandparents or other guardians who are raising girls. There are plenty of bible verses, though I do wish they would have stuck with one version of the bible instead of many. But that is just me, I like one version so they blend with the same feel through out a book.

This book covers how we must repent of our sins, taking care of our hearts. It also covers our relationships with our spouse, children, and others. It also touches on your daughter dating, relationships with others, disappointments, love, launching them into adulthood and more. It is a book you can pass on to your daughters when they get married or you new daughter-in-law.

One of the things that stood out for me, and probably because this is normal in the homeschool world, they talk about finding Godly friends. They expand into letting you know its ok for your children to have friends of different ages. Where does it say all your friends have to be your age? I know my youngest who is 16 has friends older than I. She enjoys the elderly and consider them her friends, and she loves younger children. Public school tells us that our friends are all the same age. Then we get to be an adult and suddenly we have friends and co-workers of all ages. Friends of different ages helps children mature and have mature conversations with those who have experiences that are different. It also helps teach compassion for others. We can find friends in different places, sisters, sisters friends, friends of friends, and so on.

I highly recommend this book to all those raising girls and you want to do it the Godly way.


ftc copy


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Stairs Makeover…

Its been a while. I have been busy. This is one of the projects we have completed very recently.

I didn’t get pictures ready of the before with the ugly carpet on the steps but I did show the progress of peeling the carpet and padding. We had to pull tack stripes and staples out of the treads. My husband wanted to use wood filler in the tiny holes but I said no, it makes character. You can’t even tell they were there so no biggy any ways.

My hubby stained the treads and he even got frisky enough to paint the risers for me.
I painted the banister parts.

Then I put on the “rugs” for stability. After walking on the bare steps for over a week, I felt I needed the traction and so did the dogs and kitties. You can see Dipper watching me from the top step in one of the photos.

I hope you are inspired to strip and paint your steps.

I have more coming up. We took down some paneling and replaced with drywall. I also have some smaller projects we have done and are in the process of doing. And my island should be built soon so I can finally share the final kitchen photos.

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The Deliberate Dumbing Down of America…

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Review: You’re Already Amazing, Life Growth DVD & Guide by Holley Gerth…

It has been about 4 years since I did my first Holly Gerth book review.
(I hope my reviewing skills have grown).
You will find my review of the original book, You’re Already Amazing, HERE.

For this review I will be sharing with you about the “follow up” to that book. This is a nice in depth study that includes a workbook and a DVD. It is called You’re Already Amazing, Embracing Who You Are, Becoming All God Created You to Be.
You can do this study as an individual, in a group setting like a book club or bible study group, or you could even use it with high schoolers in a homeschool setting or as a mom and daughter study which is what I would like to do. This study is used in conjunction with the original book, but if you don’t have a copy you can still do this study. It does just fine as a stand alone study.

The items I received are in the photo, the tea for one cup and pot are mine and not included in the items to review.  I received the workbook and DVD and 2 Harney & Sons tea bags. The tea was delish! I have never tried this brand of tea before but will be adding some to my collection.

IMG_20160217_121331I will start off by sharing about the 6 video sessions/lessons. The videos are surprisingly shorter than I expected. Though not too short. The setting in the videos are of Holley in her home. Side note: She has this cute red with white polka dots coffee mug that I really would like to have. I have that on my wish list along with a matching tea pot. If you have been to my house lately you would see I have added red with white polka dot fabric every where.

Holley starts off by sharing a little about herself and she likes to tell a story. One of the stories that stuck out to me was about her in a hotel and God had her go down stairs in her real self which meant messy hair, no make up, and her pajamas. Which makes me think I must walk around real all the time lol. I hardly ever wear make up and my hair is a mess all the time. And yes I stay in my PJs when I am home and not expecting to go any where. I really liked that story. So after Holley shares a little, she asks you to pause the video and go to the workbook. I would probably just turn the TV off to conserve energy as it takes a way more than a few minutes to read the workbook, do any thinking, praying, and writing you want to do. Plus if your in a group you may discuss it among your selves at this point, or discuss at the end of the video. So once you have finished the workbook you can go back to the video for more sharing from Holley. Its very easy to follow and like I mentioned early, they are on the short side. If they were longer you may lose focus.

And so here we are at the workbook part. The workbook is more in depth than the videos, which is to be expected. You read your lessons and along the way you will have questions to answer and journal spots. You can write these in your workbook or in a personal journal. You also get a “life coach” section in each lesson. There are quotes/ encouragement pages from Holley mixed in. They do take some time to work on, not as quick as the videos. I honestly would split the lessons up for me in to sections. I really can’t focus that long  to do a whole lesson at one setting. I could see how in a group setting you could go on for hours. I would suggest in a group setting that you start the gathering off by discussing the lesson you worked on at home, then at the end watch the video for the next lesson you would be working on in the coming week. But if your an individual you can work at the lessons at your own pace. Which is what I am doing. I have yet to finish the complete workbook and DVD because I am finding that I am doing a lot of deep thinking and praying because I really want the most out of the lessons.

I don’t like “self help” books that tend to “lean on your own understanding” in stead of God and His word. For this book, I would put it in a category for self discovering of who you are through God’s eyes by leaning on His words through scriptural references through out the lessons. Remember the title “Becoming All God Created You to Be”!  This book really leans on God’s understanding and direction. You will need to pray to Him to show you what he wants you to discover.


I think this study is Awesome and I do suggest it to others. I can’t think of any negatives out side of the workbook sessions/lessons being a bit lengthy for one sitting, at least for me they are.

I would like to give a big Thank You! to Holley Gerth and Revell for allowing me the opportunity to review another quality product that I can keep and refer back to for years to come. Thank You!


Posted in Bible Lesson, Bible Study, Home, Home/Family, HomeSchool Review, Photography, Review, Scripture, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Selfishness or Helpful…

Or is it selfishness in the disguise of helpfulness?

I have somewhat difficult topics and situations I want to start talking about and I am starting with this one. I have been studying some Psychology topics and I am excited to start discussions or rants in my case about some of these topics.

So here goes on the first one. Feel free to jump in and post your rant in the comments about your situation you have been dealing with or dealt with in the past. I am hear to listen and sometimes just sharing it with someone helps you to feel better or possibly spark a solution!

How do you handle these situations?

I am talking about those friends or family, who give or buy you things,

when you have:

  • asked not to buy your children candy?
  • or to please not buy me anything,  because I have enough clutter I am trying to get rid of it.
  • don’t give us cakes or other desserts or mixes to make them. We are trying to eat healthy around here and have sensitivities and health issues where we shouldn’t have certain things. There are also big diseases in the family that we are trying to protect our selves from developing by staying away from certain things that could help bring them on (along with the emotional ties that affect the body and bring about diseases, I can share more about this in a later post once I get the medical journal data together  to share some facts. Different topic all together)
  • please don’t give us body soaps, lotions etc. We try to only use natural products and make a lot of our own now for several reasons but mostly to rid toxins the best we can from our home.
  • or you in casual conversation say you don’t like something or you like another brand better and that person goes out and gets you the thing you said you didn’t like. I think its sabotaging don’t you? Like they want to make you have an emotional break down!
  • How about those people who leave things at your house to “store it for me for just a few weeks ” and then never come back to get it?
  • Or they, a family member, comes and stasy with you for a short time to get back on their feet, then they over stay their welcome by several months, don’t help out, don’t pay rent, store all their crap in your house and garage and all your closets. Then they move and put all their stuff in storage at their new place because they don’t want to inconvenience the new person they are mooching, I mean renting a room from. Which is just a nice way of saying “you were not as important to me as the new person who I am not related to”. UGGGGG.  OK this is a different rant also.


My husband often thinks that if someone gives you something, don’t get rid of it or throw it away.  So if someone gives you candy, go a head and eat it. Should a person with diabetes eat that candy or cake just because someone gave it to them even though its detrimental to their health? We wouldn’t want to be impolite would we? Or waste it! Even if it made that someone sick!

I think in my situation, maybe yours, that these “just trying to help” people are really just relishing in that they gave you something. It stems more from selfish “build them selves up” than it is for actually helping. Some people truly think they are doing something for you but deep down it was really all for them. That little voice that may be saying to them “they will love you if you give them this” pat them selves on the back now! Or “I can’t let him/her have more than me” so if you buy a new car they run out and buy one too. Or “They can’t lose weight before me so I will make them a cake”. You know those people right? Or do they only live in my world? Am I the only one feeling this way?

I am not talking about the occasional “oh I thought of you when I saw this and its just what you like”.  Like my mom randomly purchased a cute little covered dish to go with my grapevine milk glass. That was sweet and it goes with my collection. But I am like my mom, we don’t like excessive clutter knickknacks sitting around.  So she wouldn’t go out and just buy me stuff all the time to make her self feel better because she knows it wouldn’t make me feel better to have it. She is a smart cookie! A sugar cookie lol.

This was fun.

over and out!

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Photo Editing just for fun…

This is just a quick and easy post for you to check out.

I had grabbed a photo with my phone while eating at Cracker Barrel a while back.

I was having a “bored” moment and thought I would play around with some editing features on my phone while I waited for our food.

The first photo is the original. The others are antique type presets.




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Happy Valentines Day!

cropped-pink-roses-wallpaper copy

From our home to yours.

I know this holiday is not a real holiday. Its more of a “Hallmark card” holiday for people to go out and spend hard earned money on items at a store. But it doesn’t have to be.

You can do creative things for your “love” that doesn’t cost much or is free. Unless you know something that your “love” really wants for their birthday or Christmas and you just want to bless them with it.

I really enjoy potted plants more than cut flowers. I like things that last though I also like cut flowers for my table to brighten the room.  These can cost cheap at your grocery store unless you  buy a huge bouquet or roses. I am not a huge fan of roses unless they are cup type English roses like your Grandma use to grow.

For some of the creative ideas you could make up “coupons” for your “love” for things they like. Maybe a massage, or to make dinner and clean up, help with laundry, finish a project around the house you have been putting off that is driving your “love” crazy.

Some people really like if you step up and put effort into making dinner or baking when its not something you typically do. I am a “order pizza and watch a movie” kinda gal. If your “love” enjoys that, order one of those heart shaped pizzas or make one. We make chocolate covered strawberries instead of buying them so do something like that.

Check out Pinterest for loads of creative ideas. You can also find ways to decorate your home for the big day.

A good idea is plan ahead. Don’t wait for the day of, like my husband does even when I remind him all week long.

Also, if you have children, involve them. I don’t like doing things with out my girls. I want to include them so they can experience the things we do as a joyous family experience. They are old enough to be left alone while we go out, but that is not how we like to do things. We have plenty of time for the 2 of us when we are empty nesters. So one day when I am ….

(do you know who this is lol)

I hope my girls will keep their children involved also. Our world has gotten so far into selfishness that people pawn their children off on others, and I mean a lot not the occasional times, so they can be out of the way for the parents to have their own lives.

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My journey with Natural & DIY Laundry Soaps…

(affiliate links to Tropical Traditions)

(recipes coming soon, sorry none in this post)

There has been lots of talking about DIY laundry soap. I first tried this about 5 years ago.

I have a recipe that I purchased cheaply from a fellow homeschooler. I know I could have found a free recipe but I wanted to help her out and encourage her in what she was doing.

I loved my recipe and first batch, a huge 5 gallon bucket. It lasted what seemed like forever. Then I tried a second batch and it wouldn’t “gel up” like the first batch. So I went back to store bought stuff.

I had also went back to Melaleuca Company to buy laundry products and cleaners but then I had an abundance of product from being forced to order every month so I canceled my membership. I love their products but I only buy certain items from them, so that is how I ended up with too much stuff for this sorta minimalist organizing freak.

I think I even tried Shaklee one time but didn’t like it.

Lastly I have been using Tropical Traditions Liquid Laundry Soap (affiliate link)
But they run out and when you need it you can’t order it. I ordered 2 bottles at a time. It lasts forever. You only use a tablespoon a load, 2 tablespoon for very heavy or dirty loads. I hate there pouring lid. Its really hard to measure out a tablespoon and pour it. I think most of it stays in the lid and slowly drains out. So what I have done is use on old Melaleuca laundry bottle with a pump on top that puts out the right amount of liquid.

I love Tropical Traditions and I use their Coconut oil everyday. I have used their body soaps, shampoo bars (can use these on your whole body saving you extra money and space), hand soaps, and so on.

Now I am going to go back to making my own laundry detergent once again. One of the site I read and follow is DIY Natural. They have a powdered laundry soap recipe which is about the same as the liquid just with out all the work. I like it because its easy but you have to use it on warm or hot cycles so the borax will work and to eliminate clumping or build up in your lines. My husband doesn’t want me to use the powder because of this. Especially with the grated soap which from our experience doesn’t dissolve fast enough. You can grate smaller to help with that I assume. But someone else has said you don’t need the grated soap and just use the Borax and Washing Soda which dissolve just fine.
So I may try that in a few batches and see what happens.

Vinegar! The do everything liquid. Fill your little cup of fabric softener with this miracle liquid and your clothes will be softer and supposedly less to no static. I have found this does not work for static for us. Our house is very dry in the winter, maybe its because we use the fireplace a lot to help heat the house. Wool Dry Balls, which I make my self, don’t work either. So I resort to using fabric sheets, just in the winter as needed. I don’t like their poisonous chemicals all over my clothes. I would hang dry in the winter but my laundry room is very cold right now so clothes would not dry. It was part of the garage at some point and the floor is concrete. We will be remodeling it soon and my husband wants to put in a heated tile floor for me, he is so sweet!

So back to the Vinegar. It works great as a fabric softener and helps whiten and brighten. You can also add some to your wash cycle with your detergent. Its cheap.

If you want to know more about how you can use Vinegar around your house, I will be posting more soon. I am going to start posting some recipes that have worked for me.
I’m just starting to put some things together to help you out. I love trying recipes to help my family be more frugal, save money, and help the environment. My main purpose in doing DIY is to save my family money. We are trying to get out of debt and since I don’t work out side the home, this is my way of helping our family finances and help my husband with the budget. He works hard and I don’t want to spend unneeded amounts of money when I can do things my self. I am not not against capitalism in any way so don’t mistaken me for that kind of person. I just like to keep money in my pocket AND I don’t like the consumerist idea of thinking I have to buy all the fancy stuff, name brands, or give hard earned money to large corporations. I like the little guys and I prefer to buy form them, like Tropical Traditions. They are a family owned business. But you can’t always get away from purchasing from larger companies. I mean you can’t live with out buying the Borax or the Washing Soda for the homemade laundry detergent. Though I do believe Borax is from a family company.  Ok, off my soap box, pun intended lol!

Soon I will be introducing you to Homestead Blessings. We have their videos, we used them for our homeschool home ec. classes, and in the series you learn to can foods, sewing, soap making, baking, and more. They have been a lot of fun, especially if you are one of those people like me who likes that “Grandma’s house” feeling of the olden days. Sharing that soon but until then, click on their name above and visit them.

See ya’ll next time….

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Tie Dye Nails….

I found this post on line while looking up tie dye since I love tie dye. I have been wanting to do tie dye nails but haven’t had the time. I think this girl did a wonderful job. One of the better ones I have seen that actually looks like tie dye and not water color. Go check out her post if you like this kinda thing! Link is under the photos.


Source: Tie Dye

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