Project Height Chart

well i’m well on my way to finishing 33 blog posts by the time i turn 33…ok not so much, i’m going to have to step up my game…


so i really don’t like wasting and that goes for a lot of things, food, money, stuff…i also don’t want to ever have hoarder status though so if i can’t upcycle something, pass it along, or sell it, i donate it. of course i always try to figure out if there is something i can do with an item before just getting rid of it because i would hate to have to buy something else in the future and kick myself because i could have just used x.

of course this drives the husband crazy because he wants to get rid of stuff faster than a zit on your nose. i am learning though and along with not being wasteful i do want to keep life simple as well and sometimes that means getting rid of stuff. more on that in the next post!

anyway, here’s an upcycle that i did in about an hour! simple, cheap and awesome!

i had this sign that we used to use when we would go to bridal bazaars. it wasn’t cheap but we used it for years and got our money’s worth out of it. then we changed our business name and just like that this sign became garbage.

it sat around in the closet for a few years and jared said i had to get rid of it. so thanks to pinterest and having a child, i finally thought of what i should do with this cumbersome item!

yellow/goldenrod is one of my favorite upcycle colors right now! we actually blew through a whole can with projects so i did need to buy a new can for this, but i’m sure i’ll use it all eventually 🙂

i have terrible handwriting so i used my dad’s stencils to paint the numbers and…

voila! done. just like that. i did this whole project after the baby went down for the night and hung it up in the play room. i used it on her first birthday and we’ll have this for years! from garbage to a keepsake!

do you have anything you’ve wanted to do something with but can’t think of an idea?

Project Play Room


one of the more unique features of this house we bought was a small room we like to call the bonus room. it’s too small for a bedroom, but has a teeny tiny closet like maybe it was meant to be one. but then there were these sliding glass doors which would not be ideal for a room. when we first bought the house, we used the room for the piano and books and very few people used the room. we maybe only used the sliding glass door once because as you can see, we already have one in the living room which made that one totally unnecessary. we long ago decided we’d use the ‘bonus room’ as a play room when we had kids, and so we finally finished this project!!!

here’s the view from the living room to the giant hole after the doors were removed.

we are huge proponents of hiring professionals to do things right. we hired professionals to do our backyard a couple of years ago because we knew we can only do so much diy. so getting the door out, a window put in and walling everything back up we hired out. everything else we did ourselves 🙂

my painter man!

starting in on my magnetic chalkboard wall!

my dad helped me frame it up.

and here’s the finished (ish) product! i have a new picture going in the middle and i’m sure i’ll make some minor adjustments as time goes on, but overall, this is what we were going for!

teepee made by little braves

shelf and rug from ikea (shelf bought used, rug eventually returned because it was super cheap and bunched up and made the baby trip)

pouf from target (totally recommend!!! we love that thing)

curtains made by me and fabric from joann’s 

a word is worth 1000 photos…

in the world of 140 character updates, and overgrams, we are inundated with photos. don’t get me wrong, i’m in the business of capturing memories and preserving them for all time, but i think we’ve lost some of the magic of it. bear with me and hopefully i don’t sound like an old fart 🙂

maybe this is aging me, but do you remember when you used to have to think about a photo before you took it? each picture cost actual money, film, processing and making prints (or doubles if you liked giving them away to friends like i did) and that added up. we were careful, we thought about what we wanted to capture and you only retook a picture if you really wanted to preserve that memory and just in case the first one may not have worked. and even then it was always a gamble! you might have had the camera on the wrong setting, or bought the wrong speed film, or had a light leak, or accidentally exposed the film and when you got all the photos back, they were bad. remember that?? remember that sinking feeling when you just spent $5 hard earned dollars and the photos were black, each one of them!

now we live in a world where nothing is left uncaptured. you have all the time in the world to make sure you get it right. you can find photos or videos of everything and anything. moments aren’t pure anymore. we can’t sit and watch a moment and enjoy it and soak it in. we need to be constantly capturing it. now we grab our phones and get what we can because we can and why? so we can go back and enjoy the moment later? yes, there is value in that, otherwise i wouldn’t be in business or have a passion for it in the first place. but when will we have time to go through all that stuff? i think about the hundreds of photos i have from my film life to the thousands upon thousands i have from my digital life. when would i even have time to revisit all of those moments? why can’t i have one photo to remember a moment, isn’t that enough?

now that i have a daughter i’m especially aware of my phone time, checking instagram, facebook and taking photos and videos of her…she’s laughing, grab the camera, she’s blowing spit bubbles, grab the camera, she’s being cute (ALL THE TIME) grab the camera!!! i am torn between wanting to give her memories in the future (because i have tons of home movies and i am so happy that my mom took the time to do that for us, i love them) and just watching her laugh in person and not from behind a screen.

i love stories, and i love to tell stories, especially through images. sometimes an image or film tells the whole story, and sometimes you need the one photo and the 1000 words. how will i teach my daughter this balancing act? right now on instagram i’m posting a photo a day. most days i only take that one photo a day. it encourages me to think about what i want to post, and think about what i want to take, or not take photos of. i plan on doing yearly videos for kids, and so i’m trying to also be conscious of what i already have. do i need 50 videos of her laughing or just 2. how much do i really want to go through later. it is so tough though because it’s so addicting right now to take photos and videos and look at them all the time. i have to ground myself with the fact that baby girl is 5 months old…FIVE months only!! and i have a gazillion photos already.

i’m taking it down a notch, and trying to be in the moment…and maybe spend some time going through and actually reminiscing about some past moments…

i feel like i always say this, but i really am going to try to blog more…more travel…more projects…and more stories…because if you can’t have time to look through the past photos/videos and reminisce, then what was the point of taking them?

the best compliment

it was a slow morning, eh who am i kidding, all mornings are slow these days, and i’d been up an hour or so.

the first hour or so of mornings now consist of feeding the baby, changing the baby, playing with the baby, pumping for the baby and making coffee for me! then jared wakes up to join me for breakfast and we have a chance to chat, usually about how many times i was up the night before while he was blissfully asleep 😉

but this one morning in particular, i received the best compliment. i don’t think he even meant to go out of his way or even realized what his words meant in that moment but he said, “you look all disheveled, like a mom, you’re pretty” and then gives me a kiss. my hair having been pulled back all night falling out of the rubber band, no makeup, and before coffee and he gives me the nicest compliment.

it wasn’t that he thought i was pretty in that moment, i mean that is really nice and i appreciate it, but the thing i loved the most about that simple, off the cuff statement was that he said i looked like a mom. i have wanted to be a mom as early as i can remember and even though we had to wait so long for me to have that title, now i’m suddenly a mom of an almost 4 month old! and i LOVE it, can i yell it from the rooftops, I LOVE IT! i prayed for this, my friends and family prayed for this and we’re so happy to finally get to know our little girl and i am going to own looking disheveled, like a MOM, thank you very much!

holiday treats

not ready for the holidays to be over? me neither! so here’s a holiday treat to keep you festive, unless of course you are counting calories now…then this is definitely not for you! but then again, it’s still december…so you have another day to not worry about calories right?? 😉

i hosted a little dessert/drink party and i wanted to make something that would use the pomegranate seeds i had from my tree and found two lovely recipes, one dessert and one drink.

the dessert is a chocolate pomegranate tart, recipe here.

she calls for two household items that most people don’t have, a food processor and a double boiler. you don’t need either for this recipe. if you have a simple pastry cutter that will do the trick for the crust

and by far the easiest way to melt chocolate is to microwave it. i’m sure a double boiler is easy too, but when you are dealing with a lack of kitchen space, it’s just one item that isn’t worth taking up room in my opinion. you can also boil some water in a pan and put a bowl with chocolate over the pan…a makeshift double boiler! i’ve done this method before and it works great too, BUT you have to be careful not to get even a drop of water into the chocolate or it will ruin the chocolate. that’s why i use the microwave, super duper easy. i just do a minute at a time and stir in between 🙂

and voila! perfectly smooth, not burned, not seized chocolate…

i seriously love how this turned out!!! it’s beautiful and pretty tasty too! the crust and pomegranate glaze and seeds are just the right amount of plain and tart to balance the rich chocolate filling. and i love that it’s all natural and that i used my own fruit! it also really wasn’t that hard, i was able to make it during nap time, and the only thing i needed to buy from the store was pomegranate juice for the glaze! not too bad.

the drink i made was a rosemary pomegranate martini, recipe here. (and yes, that is a dharma initiative shot glass)

also a super easy recipe, and i only bought the pomegranate juice for this recipe as well! i used pomegranate arils, lemon juice (i actually had to substitute some limes because i only had one ripe lemon on the tree, it was still delicious), and rosemary from my backyard.

i infused the vodka with the rosemary for a few hours, then put it all together in festive glasses.
it’s amazing how easy it can be to make something so much fancier with a sprig of an herb! i want to grow more herbs than this past year. i only had mint, rosemary and basil…what should i grow next?

so if you ever have an abundance of pomegranates, there are two things you can do with them. i would have used my own juice too instead of buying it but i had eaten most, i only had three left and not enough to juice and use the arils. but next time i’ll probably juice some. and next time i’ll also try making my own grenadine! since going all natural, i’ve been so sad about things like grenadine because it’s basically high fructose corn syrup and red 40 so it’s definitely out. but then i learned that grenadine comes from the french word grenade, which means pomegranate and the original syrup is pomegranate syrup, so i’m totally making this next year, yum!!!

some other desserts at the gathering, yum! although i think i’m still coming down from a sugar high

well, hope you enjoyed the holidays…time to say goodbye to all the ornaments until next year…even the weird ones


stroepwafels – a family tradition

my mom mentioned at thanksgiving that we don’t do enough home movies…i thought, she’s right! we do our annual christmas card films and travel films, but we really need to do more everyday things for memories to get into the habit for our little girl!

unfortunately, i don’t know too much about my own ethnic background. i know that i’m half dutch, and what i know further is limited pretty much to dutch desserts. pretty sad huh?

so here’s a fun little time lapse of stroepwafels in the making. My mom and I make these every year, it’s a dutch tradition! every christmas we make them. they literally translate to ‘syrup waffle’ and we have to make them each by hand. don’t bother asking for the recipe, you need a special waffle iron from the netherlands to make these. you also shouldn’t bother asking nutrition facts, they are buttery, sugary and delicious…you do the math! come on, it’s the holidays, splurge a little!

anyway, enjoy our last minute, fun little video 🙂