Spring Orchard Mini Photo Shoot with Brightly Done

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

It's the most wonderful time of the year...and no I'm not talking about Christmas haha! It's springtime which means everything here in Idaho is in bloom and is beautiful!

I have been wanting to do a fun mini shoot in the orchard blossoms forever! I grew up with farm ground, the lake, and orchards all around me, and now that I'm 30, I wanted to have a few photo's of the area I grew up in. Yes I am a little sentimental.

My sweet friend Amy, over at Brightly Done, is super talented! She hand-letters and has an etsy shop, she DIY's, and has almost completely remodeled her house, she's a go-getter! She also snapped some photos of me a few days ago when the peach blossoms were at their peak.

The conditions weren't ideal, bright sunny skies, wind, and an extremely awkward model. I am WAY more comfortable behind the camera rather than in front of it. But out of the 100's few we took, some actually turned out really nice. I can't imagine if the conditions were ideal and my eyes would have stopped blinking, how much easier this little shoot would have been, but we laughed and had a good time anyways!

Here's a few of my favorites...
In the few days prior to taking these pictures, I had been driving around scoping out areas, and I came across this place. I had been down this road many times, but I never realized how beautiful it really was. I was hoping that these photos would turn out, and I am not disappointed! I just love my hometown and those Owyhee mountains!
And of course I love this lake. I have, and still do, spend lots of time here with my family and friends.
Thank you Amy for your patience and your ability to capture some great photos of this awkward turtle, you're a great friend :)

Thank you for stopping by, have a great week everyone :)

Birthday Freebie Haul

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

I love my birthday month. Emails, cards and coupons start rolling in with free stuff just for me, and who doesn't love free stuff? I know there are so many more freebies out there that are available for your birthday, but these are the ones that I receive and enjoy the most and I thought I'd share with you all.

The free merchandise I received...

Ulta ~ Benefit Roller Lash Mascara + Free Benefit, Stila & Matrix Samples
World Market ~ $10 Birthday Rewards + $10 off $30 = I bought these Wood Candle Holders
Victoria's Secret ~ $10 Birthday Rewards + $10 Rewards Card = I bought this Black High-Waist Bikini Bottom
Sephora ~ Marc Jacobs Gel Eye Liner and Lip Creme
Micheal Kors ~ Leather Passport Wallet
Helzberg Diamonds ~ Pearl & White Sapphire Earrings and Silver Floating Heart Necklace
Bath & Body Works ~ Full Size Hand Cream & Travel Shower Gel
Charming Charlie ~ $5 Birthday Rewards + $15 off $30 = I bought this Mint Fancy Flounce Dress
And the free food I received...

Texas Roadhouse ~ Birthday Club Free Sidekick of Ribs or Appetizer
Panera Bread ~ MyPanera Rewards Free Pastry
Dutch Bros ~ Free Coffee, just show them your Driver's License
Regal Cinemas ~ Regal Crown Club ~ Free Popcorn

It is so so so worth your time to sign up for free rewards programs and birthday exclusives. Here's a few links to check out that list exclusive deals for your birthday, heyitsfree, allyou, and if your local, boisedealsandsteals.

Thank you for stopping by, have a great weekend :)

I am not being compensated for this post, I'm just happy to share some of my favorite freebies.

2016 Clean Home & Organizing Challenge Week 13 ~ Desk Organization

Week 13 ~ We're going to be working on organizing our desk. Post it notes, paper clips, push pins, rubber bands, tape, flash drives, note cards, staples, printer supplies, paper, pens, sharpies, stamps, envelopes, address labels, and notebooks are all the things that I keep in my desk drawers.
If you're just joining in, please read last week post here, where we organized our papers. You can very easily catch up if you want to. Fifteen minutes a day is pretty manageable and when you set a timer and put a little "pressure" on yourself, you can get a lot done! We're still using #2016HowJenDoesItChallenge on Instagram, if you want to see every ones progress.

You can check out this weeks video from Jen, from HowJenDoesIt, here. For the next several weeks there will be a new challenge and video from Jen for different areas of the home. This seems extremely do-able. We can do it!!

This week will be a little different, kind of like last week, just try and spend 15 minutes each day Monday-Friday organizing and simplifying your desk area. Clean out the drawers and shred anything that you no longer need, throw away trash, and take inventory of what you have stored in those drawers. If you are running low on supplies make a list so you can pick those things up.

I want this to be quick, so it's not overwhelming, and 15 minutes a day seem reasonable. If you need more than 15 minutes in an area, then of course take the extra time. This is just an easy way to clean a little each day and at the end, you're entire house will be done!

I am excited to continue this the end is definitely in sight! Let me know if you plan on trying this too.

DIY Easter Eggs ~ Paint Splatter Robin Eggs

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Can you believe it's almost the end of March already? It's crazy how fast time slips away. Last Sunday marked the official first day of spring and I had been counting down the days since the first day of winter, so to say I'm excited is an understatement. Spring is my favorite season. Blue skies, warmer weather, birds chirping, flowers blooming, green grass, longer days, thunder storms, it's the best! Hello Spring!

Today I was feeling young at heart so I decided to dye a few eggs for Easter, I hadn't done this in years. I wanted to try to and make something pretty and sophisticated with spring in mind. I love turquoise and I have splashes of it all around my house so I figured that would be the easiest color for me to work with, and who doesn't love a pretty blue robins egg? You could do this with any color that you love and it will turn out great.
First, I boiled a few eggs in plain water and then let them rest for a few minutes while I mixed up the perfect turquoise dye. I just used what I had on hand and it was just those cheap little bottles of food safe dye. I used 1 drop of yellow, 6 drops of blue, and 1 drop of green in about 3 cups of nearly boiling water and 1/2 cup of white distilled vinegar. I used a glass Pyrex measuring bowl and dyed 4 eggs at a time for 5 minutes. Just make sure that the eggs are fully submerged.
I set them on a wire rack to dry for a couple minutes and then I started the fun part. I took gold, white and gray water based acrylic paint (the .77 cent stuff from the craft store) and shook them up so there was a little paint in the lid. I unscrewed the top and added a little bit of water into the lid, just enough to thin the paint out a little. Then I took a little cheap kids paint brush, a little bit bigger than a water color brush, and stirred it around in the lid to get some paint on the brush. Then I just started flicking and tapping on the brush and let the paint splatter onto the eggs. I rinsed out the brush and I repeated with each color until I was satisfied with the results. It took about 5 minutes to do and they dried really quick.
These were so fun, quick, and easy. And the best part was that it totally made me feel like a kid again. A sophisticated, 30 year old kid, with paint spatter on my counter tops ;) Next time I'll lay down some newspaper.
Have a great week, happy spring, happy Easter, and thank you for stopping by :)

2016 Clean Home & Organizing Challenge Week 12 ~ Paper Organization

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

I got all caught up this last weekend so now I am ready to move on to the next area :) We're getting close to being done, the end is definitely in sight.

Week 12 ~ We're going to be working on organizing our paperwork. If you already have a system in place for how you organize your paper work, now is the time to streamline it. If you don't have an organizational system Jen, in the video linked below, has some good tips. I just use a little mail organizer on my desk for bills and things that need taken care of immediately, and an expandable file for receipts, warranties, insurance policies, titles, etc. They don't take up much room and it's perfect for our needs.
If you're just joining in, please read last week post here, where we cleaned our kids room/guest room. You can very easily catch up if you want to. Fifteen minutes a day is pretty manageable and when you set a timer and put a little "pressure" on yourself, you can get a lot done! We're still using #2016HowJenDoesItChallenge on Instagram, if you want to see every ones progress.

You can check out this weeks video from Jen, from HowJenDoesIt, here. For the next several weeks there will be a new challenge and video from Jen for different areas of the home. This seems extremely do-able. We can do it!!

This week will be a little different just try and spend 15 minutes each day Monday-Friday shredding, organizing and simplifying your paperwork. We are going to overcome those paper piles! Most importantly when you are done this week, you should be able to find anything you're looking for, and not have to scramble around all over the house looking for that car title or check stub ;) Another great thing is that you can save a little money and not have any more late fees on bills that you forgot about or found underneath a pile off papers, whoops!

Here is a great link from consumer reports that I found last year on how long you need to keep paperwork. If you own your own business, your needs maybe different, but this is just a guideline, do whatever your comfortable with and whatever works for you and your family.

*Here's a little chart from the website linked above...

Keep these documents at home

DocumentsWhen to toss them
Bank deposit slipsAfter you reconcile your statements
Banking statementsAfter a calendar year; store with tax returns if they will be used to prove deductions
Brokerage, 401(k), IRA, Keogh, and other investment statementsShred monthly and quarterly statements as new ones arrive; hold on to annual statements until you sell the investments
Credit-card billsAfter you check and pay them, unless you need them to support tax filings
Employer defined-benefit plan communicationsNever
Household warranties and receiptsAfter you no longer own the household items
Insurance policiesAfter you renew them
Investment purchase confirmations and 1099sHold until you sell the securities, then keep with your tax records for an additional seven years
Pay stubsAfter you reconcile them with your W-2
ReceiptsAfter you reconcile them with your credit-card or bank statement unless needed for a warranty
Safe-deposit box inventoryNever, but review and update annually
Savings bondsCash them in when they mature
Social Security statementsWhen you get a new statement, then shred the old one
Tax returns and supporting documentsAfter seven years

 

Keep these in a safe-deposit box

DocumentsWhen to toss them
Birth and death certificatesNever
Estate-planning documentsNever
Life-insurance policiesNever, or when a term policy has ended
Loan documentsAfter you sell your home, automobile, boat, or whatever the loan was for
Marriage licenses and divorce decreesNever
Military discharge papersNever
Social Security cardsNever
Vehicle titlesAfter you sell the car, boat, motorcycle, or other vehicle
I want this to be quick, so it's not overwhelming, and 15 minutes a day seem reasonable. If you need more than 15 minutes in an area, then of course take the extra time. This is just an easy way to clean a little each day and at the end, you're entire house will be done!

I am excited to continue this the end is definitely in sight! Let me know if you plan on trying this too.

2016 Clean Home & Organizing Challenge Week 11 ~ Kid's Rooms & Bathroom

Friday, March 18, 2016

I got behind and didn't post a challenge the beginning of this week, but I have a good reason :) Click here to see my fireplace transformation and new living room paint color. It's been a long time coming that I finally got this finished and I could not be happier with the results.

Week 11 ~ We are going to be cleaning and organizing the kids room, or if you don't have kids like me, you can work on the guest bedroom. If you have kids and they are old enough to help, get them involved show them that cleaning up can be fun and not just a chore. Also if you have another bathroom that you didn't get to before, now's the time to do it. Since I got behind this week, I'm going to play catch up and double up my cleaning time and get it done Friday and Saturday. I don't have another bathroom, so I will just be working on my guest bedroom.
If you're just joining in, please read last week post here, where we cleaned our entryway and living room. You can very easily catch up if you want to. Fifteen minutes a day is pretty manageable and when you set a timer and put a little "pressure" on yourself, you can get a lot done! We're still using #2016HowJenDoesItChallenge on Instagram, if you want to see every ones progress.

You can check out this weeks video from Jen, from HowJenDoesIt, here. For the next several weeks there will be a new challenge and video from Jen for different areas of the home. This seems extremely do-able. We can do it!!
  • Monday ~ Declutter surface areas. Pick up and put away toys and clothes or anything that doesn't belong in the room. Throw away any trash, or broken items and clean off those catch-all hot spots, where things, like school papers, tend to pile up. Grab a box or bag and put any unwanted toys or books in it for donation. Also go through the desk drawers and organize any papers that need it and throw away anything that is trash.
  • Tuesday ~ Nightstand and dresser drawers. Clean out and organize the drawers, remove any outgrown clothing and you can put in a bag for donation or a tote for another child down the road. Make room for what they need now. 
  • Wednesday ~ Closets. Clean out and donate/store any clothing that no longer fits. Organize and tidy up that space and check to see if any seasonal items can be stored away.
  • Thursday ~ Wipe down doors, light fixtures/ceiling fan, baseboards and also wash the windows. It might seem like a lot, but just move quickly, clutter should not be an issue and hopefully you can move around more easily that you could before. If your child/ren are old enough give then a damp rag and let them do the baseboards, it's the perfect job for kids!
  • Friday ~  If you have another bathroom, clean it today. Wipe out the drawers, organize, sanitize toothbrushes, wash shower curtains and rugs, and do a deep clean. If you don't have another bathroom, dust the furniture, vacuum/mop the floors and wash the curtains and bedding (comforters and blankets, the things you don't do as often as sheets.) in the kids room.
  • TIP ~ When your kids are older, always ask them to help and be in there with you. Don't throw away their things without their permission, I'm sure you wouldn't want a melt down ;) If you have more than one kids room, work on each one 15 minutes a day :)
I want this to be quick, so it's not overwhelming, and 15 minutes a day seem reasonable. If you need more than 15 minutes in an area, then of course take the extra time. This is just an easy way to clean a little each day and at the end, you're entire house will be done!

I am excited to continue this the end is definitely in sight! Let me know if you plan on trying this too. 

Fireplace Makeover UPDATE: Faux Wood Beam Mantel

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Last summer I whitewashed my old, orangey brown fireplace, made a how to tutorial and posted it here. The difference was amazing I absolutely loved how it turned out. It totally updated my living room but it still seemed incomplete to me. It needed a mantel. I looked up dozens of DIY tutorials and just couldn't motivate myself to make one. First of all I don't have any of the saws or equipment to do it. Second of all, I really don't know what I'm doing lol, most the time I just wing it and this did not seem like a wing it project!

Fast forward to a couple weeks ago. I posted a wanted ad in a local Facebook group looking for  someone who could make a faux wood beam mantel. A lady contacted me and said she and her husband could make it for me and the best thing was that I knew her! Holly is a few years younger than me, but we went to the same school and her parents were actually my teachers! Holly and her husband Rob started a small business, Rustic Pearl Decor. Click here to check out their Facebook page and see their beautiful custom projects.

I am more than happy to support small business's and help out my friends. And they did an amazing job! It it exactly and I mean exactly what I was wanting. If you know me at all, you know that I tend to be insane a little bit picky, so when I say perfection, I mean it.

Here she is all dressed up and ready to go...
My fireplace is complete! Now my living room feels complete. I just love it so much.
I cannot begin to tell you how excited I am to hang stockings at Christmas time, I have wanted to do that my entire life and now I can. And another awesome perk is that now I have more space to decorate!

'Let your light shine' I love this free printable from coloursaturatedlife
Aqua mercury glass votive and frame are from Michael's
Potted plant is from TJMaxx
Wooden candlesticks are from World Market
Candles are Marshmallow Fireside (seasonal) from Bath & Body Works
Clock is from Kohl's
Monogram Votive is from TJMaxx
'Start each day with a grateful heart' free printable from Pinterest
Frame and White Blossoms are from Michael's
Now the recessed lighting makes sense. Before it was just awkward and didn't really light up anything.
A new beautiful fireplace, mantel and a fresh coat of beautiful neutral gray paint on the walls to top it off. Yes I finally choose the perfect gray for my walls, Sherwin Williams Windstorm, but that's another story for another day haha! Rustic Pearl Decor also made me a matching floating shelf that I will share with you a little later.
Before...
After...
Such a huge transformation. It doesn't even feel like the same house to me. 

The mantel was easy to hang. We, and by we I mean my handy hubby, pre drilled the 2x4's and then while holding the 2x4 up to the fireplace and where we wanted it hung, we made marks with a screw through the holes in the 2x4 and onto the mortar. Then we pre drilled the holes into the mortar, using 1/4 masonry bits, where the screws were going to go. We bought 3 1/2 inch masonry screws and screwed them through the 2x4 and into the mortar. Once secure, we slid the mantel over the 2x4 and then using a countersink bit and 2 inch screws, we drilled into the top of the mantel and into the 2x4 below and then screwed it down about every 6 inches. This secured the mantel to the fireplace and it is up there really good. I'm pretty sure a life sized elf on the shelf could sit up there with no problem haha!
Thank you for stopping by and checking out my gorgeous mantel. Have a great day!

Travel Blog ~ Rockaway Beach, Oregon // 30th Birthday Vacation 2016

Monday, March 14, 2016

A couple months ago we booked a fun little getaway to the Oregon coast for my 30th birthday. Alan and I, my mom and dad, and Alan's dad and grandma all went. We flew to Portland and then got a car and drove to Rockaway Beach. We rented a nice house that was right on the beach, it was such a nice place and the whole front of the house was windows so we had an awesome view!

We did lots of relaxing, sightseeing and picture taking. If there's one thing my mom and I love to do while on vacation, it's taking pictures. Thank goodness for digital cameras!

Day 1: Thursday, March 3rd. We traveled a few hours and then we got to our house around 10:30am and enjoyed the views. Then we took a walk on the beach. Thank goodness for the sunset that night because it was the only one we were able to see the whole time we were there.
Our view from the house.
Our house was the second one from the right.



Day 2: Friday, March 4th. Alan and I had a lazy day of kite flying, walking in the rain, and beach combing. Everyone else went on a drive to Lincoln City and Tillamook. You can't go to Tillamook without stopping by the Tillamook Cheese Factory!! Their squeaky cheese, pepperoni, and ice-cream are so good.






Day 3: Saturday March 5th. The weather was nice so we celebrated my birthday a day early. Family pictures, Cannon Beach, Seaside, shopping, Hug Point, and a huge seafood dinner. It was a wonderful day!

 Cannon Beach. I just love Haystack Rock.







 Hug Point. Make sure to go at low tide or you wont be able to make it around the cliffs to the waterfall. This was such a beautiful spot!

 You wouldn't know that this feisty lady is 81 years young :)




Day 4: Sunday, March 6th. Happy 30th Birthday to me :) We had a pretty morning, complete with a beautiful bouquet, and then it rained. And then it was sunny. And then it rained, that's just the coast for you, the weather never makes up it's mind. We went back to Cannon Beach to buy some salt water taffy from my favorite candy shop on the coast, Bruce's Candy Kitchen. I opened some gifts and then we went out on the jetty in Garibaldi to watch the waves. It was a nice relaxing day.


 I found my little dream beach house and it was hot pink!
 Rain and sunshine.


Day 5: Monday, March 7th. Vacation is over :( We packed up our stuff and just as we were about ready to leave, a pretty rainbow came out to say goodbye.
While driving down Highway 6, one of the most beautiful roads I have ever been on, I spotted a waterfall and we turned around to check it out. It was so worth it!



Once we made it to Portland we spent an hour or so at Washington Park before we had to go to the airport. I will HAVE to go back in the summer, I can't even imagine how beautiful the gardens would be then. Spring is my favorite season and it was in full bloom.







This was such a fun little getaway with family. I couldn't have asked for a better 30th birthday! Thank you for stopping by and I hope you have a great day!

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