Category Archives: happy list

Happy List: #48

Hurray! You survived another week!

On Monday I shared another round of what my kids are reading. I’m really glad my kids still enjoy me reading out loud to them. It’s not a season that will last forever, so I’m soaking it up now.

I also shared another round of Would I Make It Again? This time it was a recipe for Korean Beef and adding it into the dinner rotation was a no brainer!

Here are a few things that made me smile or feel inspired this week.


Guys. I might be feeling sentimental, but I just read about THE SWEETEST Christmas tradition for daughters.

Sorry, boys. You’re out of luck on this one.

Sarah from She Holds Dearly makes pillowcase nightgowns for her girls every Christmas and puts them in their stockings. Are you dying from how unique and special this is too?

Based on the pictures from her site, she’s not using SpongeBob pillowcases either! In a world and season full of commercialism, I find this idea very charming.

(image: She Holds Dearly)


When I saw the article from Epicurious about what to do when you get home from the grocery store, I’ll admit I jumped on that click bait. The tips were pretty good and some of the things I already do.

My number one tip was NOT on the list, however. Want to know what I do? I wash my hands. I do this whenever I get home, actually. I’m convinced after touching the germy grocery carts and all the other germ-riddled things that this helps me not get sick quite as often. I don’t know if it does, but now you know one of my quirks. Yes, I have more than one.

And because I needed a picture, here’s one of an egg from my Instagram feed.

Isn't this the prettiest egg? In Ireland, eggs are not refrigerated. In the U.S., eggs are washed and chemically sanitized to prevent salmonella. After which, they must be refrigerated. The EU strives to produce clean eggs at the point of collection through free-range systems. In addition, science suggests washing the eggs can damage the shell's cuticle which can make it easier for bacteria to penetrate. So eggs are not washed in Ireland and do not need to be refrigerated. Two different ways of doing things and it is interesting to learn about the why's. Bottom line, thank your farmer! ❤ • • #egg #eggs #ireland #irisheggs #freerangeeggs #freerangeegg #chickenfarming #agriculture #knowwhereyourfoodcomesfrom #browneggs #brownegg #thankafarmer #thankafarmerforyournextmeal #foodaroundtheworld #sustainablefood #sustainablefarming

A post shared by Annisa Olsson Jones (@aprettyhappyhome) on


Marian from Miss Mustard Seed shared her tips for baking gingerbread – especially as it relates to decorating.

There’s no way I’m making custom houses – look how cute this one is! – but now I’m mulling over the idea of making ornaments.

(image: Miss Mustard Seed)


I’m not super into pink. Case in point, I dressed my newborn daughter in blue to come home from the hospital.

The pink pumpkins on the I Spy DIY Thanksgiving table have me reconsidering my stance.

(image: I Spy DIY)


I’m not a calendar girl. It’s just not my thing.

However, this perpetual calendar from TAIT Design Co. caught my eye because it looks more like art than a calendar.

In the right space, it could be cool: office, kid room, classroom.

This revelation had me searching for other perpetual calendars that looked more like art.

I found this one by Sensory Play. If Etsy isn’t your jam, it looks like they also sell it on Amazon for the same price.

But what REALLY made my heart swoon were all the vintage desktop perpetual calendars. Especially the ones made out of brass like this one from The Ocean Blue Co on Etsy.

They only had one, but other sellers had similar ones. Someone tell Handy Husband because this would be great in my Christmas stocking!


If you have texture on your newly drywalled walls, then this dust removal tip from Vintage Revivals might be worth trying.

I can’t vouch for it myself, but it makes sense. This won’t work if you’ve only taped and mudded the seams.

(image: Vintage Revivals)

By the way, I’ve been following along with Mandi’s journey as they turn an old mercantile into their home and it’s pretty fascinating.


There’s a lot to appreciate in this photo from The Little White Farmhouse.

I’d love to paint a dresser like this one.

The greenery is the perfect touch for the holidays.

I love the combo of white and wood elements.

(image: The Little White Farmhouse)


Guys! I have a giant chalkboard!!! I might have to do this.

At the very least, this is a super cute way to wrap presents.

(image: Marian Parsons for HGTV)


Who’s going to a cookie exchange?!?!

Sorry – I’m not raising my hand on this one. I haven’t ‘been invited to one, but if I was, I’d make these Chewy Coconut Cookies.

If they are half as good as this picture looks…

(image: Cake Whiz)

I wonder how they taste cold? Sounds like something I should research.


This wreath from Less Than Perfect Life of Bliss speaks my language.

(image: Less Than Perfect Life of Bliss)

Happy Friday, everyone! Enjoy your weekend. It’s almost Thanksgiving. EEK!

Happy List: #47

It’s starting – just starting – to feel like winter where I live and basically my response is NOOOOO!

But enough about my issues.

This week I shared a glimpse into my married life a recipe for Rhubarb Scones. That sentence makes no sense unless you read the post about Rhubarb Scones. Also, all the rhubarb lovers came out of the woodwork. There are so many of you! Who knew?

I also shared another story from the train. Several months ago I shared this one, which was pretty deep because we talked about my least favorite 4-letter word – hate. This time the conversation was all about superpowers. Kids have a refreshing way of viewing the world and that’s really what this story was all about.

Here are some things that made me pause in my scroll this week.


In general, I tend to be drawn to the character of older homes.

However, if I was to build another new home, I’m 92% certain I would prefer it to be in the style of a modern farmhouse like this one.

By the way, I just discovered this Instagram account – Christiandawdesign – and it has a ton of exterior home eye candy.

Also, check out the cool house number sign in the bottom left of the photo.

💁🏻‍♂️So I was chatting with a local builder yesterday (who also happens to be follower) about #boardandbatten and the #moderfarmhouse style… there’s more to come… 🙋🏻‍♂️Anyways, I love this example by Andy Friesen. 🙆🏻‍♂️Ah, check out that cedar #pergola 🙏🏼Happy Friday!. . . . . . 💁🏻‍♂️Just an attorney with a passion for beautiful homes and a little design business on the side! 🙋🏻‍♂️Check out my feed and say hi! #architecture #hgtv #houzz #southernliving #architecturaldigest #designinspo #modernfarmhousestyle #traditionalhome #chipandjoannagaines #luxuryhomes #interiordesign #exteriordesign #christiandawdesign #homesweethome #decorinspo #renovation #dreamhome #charminghome #beautifulhomes #homeblogger #interiorinspo #fixerupperstyle #designbuild #interiordesigner #homelove #lovewhereyoudwell #fixerupper

A post shared by Christian Daw (@christiandawdesign) on


Autumn is not over and I just spied this awesome tempered glass cutting board on Amazon. It looks like a chalkboard! How cool is that?

It would be so cute propped up on your counter. For less than 20 bucks it would also make an awesome hostess gift if you’re doing Thanksgiving at someone else’s house.


Why is it the simplest things are often the most brilliant?

I love this idea for Christmas decorating from Country Living.

I think this would work even if your pillows aren’t Christmas colors.



If you are patient and a bit crafty, you could make coasters that look like Polaroid pictures! All you need are your Instagram (or any) photos, white ceramic tiles and some glue/sealant.

Get all the details and a ton of helpful tips from Darkroom and Dearly.

This would make a great Christmas gift!

(image: Darkroom and Dearly)


I was searching for something else (isn’t that always the case) and got sidetracked by this idea for turning a handsaw into art by OlySignCo. on Etsy.

I don’t know that it would work in my house, but in someone else’s house it would look super neat!



I have no idea where this is or why it was done, but it just looks neat. Doesn’t it?


Handy Husband needs an under $20 gift for his office holiday party and we found the best white elephant gift of all time!

How can you beat this unicorn wine holder from Amazon? It is TERRIBLE and terribly amazing. I’d never want to receive this, but I’d love to give it as a gag gift! This will be the gift that keeps getting recirculated every year. It’s that good.


This Fall Farmers Market Salad from What’s Gaby Cooking looks divine.

(image: What’s Gaby Cooking)


I haven’t done anything with my mom’s crocheted doilies and other handwork, but this idea gave me all the feels.

Sarah from She Holds Dearly used a crocheted (at least I think that’s crochet) table runner to embellish her curtains. How clever is that?

(image: She Holds Dearly)


If you’re not following me on Instagram yet, come join the fun!

If you’re taking a break from social media – I don’t blame you – but you can always see what’s going on by clicking here.

Have the happiest of Fridays, everyone!

Happy List: #46

Another Halloween is in the books and we are racing toward the end of the year!

The days can seem long, but the years short. Why is that?

Anyway, this week I spread the word that Talking Statues have arrived in Dublin. I also shared a hard-to-write, personal account of why I sent my kids to Catholic mass. Basically, I got up on my soapbox.

So let’s follow that up with some not-so-deep stuff. Here’s this week’s Happy List.


My grandma was the first person to take me to a museum. We went to a lot of museums and I’m sure I did not appreciate them as much as I should have. But now, as an adult, I see the tremendous value museums offer the world.

That’s why when National Geographic published a list of Best Museums in the World it caught my attention. I had no idea some of these existed!

It looks like we have some more places to add to our Travel Bucket List now!

(image: Science Museum in Valecia via


It has never dawned on me to dye leather!

You have to hop over to Rhoda’s blog, Southern Hospitality, to see just how she did it to transform these chairs – for less than $50.

(image: Southern Hospitality)


I saw this firewood holder by Steele Street Studio on HGTV and my heart swooned.

I don’t know how practical it is, but I love the statement it makes.

I’m sure practicality is overrated anyhow.

Photo By: Shannon Lazic Photography via HGTV


Bullies aren’t happy, but tools that help deal with them are happy in my book.

One of my kids is pretty good at letting mean stuff roll off his/her back. One of my kids takes it very personally and has been dealing with some mean kids lately.

This is SO HARD to watch your kids go through. I am the mom at the playground who will yell at other people’s kids if they are being mean. However, my kids need to develop skills to help them be resilient and deal with the mean people they will encounter. Sadly, that’s real life and it doesn’t stop when you become an adult.

I showed this video by Brooks Gibbs to my kids this week after seeing it floating around Facebook. He had a really good way of explaining bullying in a way that my kids seemed to understand.

Sometimes it helps when the information doesn’t come from mom, you know?

It’s important to note that HE mentions he’s talking about verbal bullying when someone hurts your feelings. Physical contact, stealing your stuff, etc. is a different ballgame.


i read about Andrew Degraff in National Geographic and that’s when I realized I’d seen his artwork before in a ton of magazines like Slate, Sports Illustrated and Esquire.

Degraff is an illustrator and artist living in Maine and he has two books with really cool map-like illustrations. If you like his style of art, you’ll probably like these books.

I know this sounds TERRIBLE, but his illustrations are so cool I’d want to free them from the book and frame them for a media room, office, library or a kid’s room.

Cinemaps: An Atlas of 35 Great Movies was just released on Amazon. Some of the movies illustrated in the book include Lord of the Rings, The Princess Bride and Back to the Future.

This is Degraff’s illustration of Lord of the Rings from his website. The lines show the movement of the characters.

Plotted: A Literary Atlas has been out for about 2 years. Some of the literary works featured in this book include Pride and Prejudice, A Wrinkle in Time and A Christmas Carol.

Also from his website, here’s an example of one of the books illustrated in Plotted: A Literary Atlas.

At a minimum, these would make neat coffee table books for movie or reading buffs.


This is a super cool way to recycle old brooches or jewels for Christmas decor.

You could make other shapes with the jewels. An initial. A heart. A number. An animal.


This is the best use of pompoms I’ve seen in awhile. Plus, I love the shape of that basket.

Oh, and the wood floor in that picture gives me all the heart eyes.

(image: Le Joli Shop)


Someone has out DIYed us all and it is amazing. This is a driveway in Germany!

I don’t know if that’s actual wood or cleverly stamped concrete, but it’s pretty neat to look at.


This Apple Cucumber Salad by Cooking With Ruthie is on my list to make!

Doesn’t it look like autumn in a bowl?

(image: Cooking With Ruthie)

Happy Friday, friends! Enjoy the first weekend of November!



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Happy List: #45

Hello again!

How was your week? I hope you knocked it out of the ballpark with your awesomeness!

This week I shared a really good rule to help keep your home tidy. This tip works best if everyone in your household abides by the rule…which may very well be the rule’s downfall.

I also shared a recipe I tried recently for Vanilla Coconut Cashews and Almonds. In other news, I’m out of Vanilla Coconut Cashews and Almonds.

Here’s this week’s mash-up of random goodness.


Speaking of goodness, has anyone made sweet potato brownies?

I love sneaking vegetables into food, so I’m super curious about this recipe for sweet potato brownies from Little Sunny Kitchen. How cute is this picture?


As a sidenote, I’ve made a sweet potato bread knot recipe that is the stuff carb dreams are made of, which pretty much sums up all of my dreams.


I like stories about kindness and building others up instead of tearing them down.

This New York Times story about how the Cubs build each other up before a game is really encouraging.

I’ve participated in activities like this before and when it is done genuinely, it can really give you a self esteem boost!

(image: Alyssa Schukar for The New York Times)


I was always too cheap frugal to buy cleaning pads for my Swiffer, so I’d use an old washcloth instead. It worked okay, but the washcloth always came undone.

However, this idea from Blue Eyed Freckle to convert an old sweater into a Swiffer cleaning pad is brilliant! She could probably sell those things. Be sure and read her how-to because she has some tips for cutting the sweater to the correct size.



If the only place for your TV is above the fireplace, but you don’t want to draw attention to the TV, consider painting your fireplace surround black.

See how the TV blends in? Just something to think about…

This image is from Cassie Bustamante and she’s got a ton of ideas on her site.



I use quinoa in my bread recipe, but it is not in regular rotation at our dinner table.

I’m not sure why.

However, I’m ready to try it in this dish from What’s Gaby Cooking.

Anyone else drooling?


The Junk Whisperer gifted me a tin of ‘Man Hands.’
I’m not sure if it was a gift or an intervention.
I’m going to go with gift.
I have the worst feet. Dry, cracked heels kind of feet. You don’t even want to see what they do to my feet when I’m getting a pedicure.
I’ve been using this Crunchy Mamas product from Oregon, my home state, for about 2 months now and I don’t even recognize my heels. They aren’t butter soft – yet, but they are a million times better than they were this summer.
Crunchy Mamas was started by two moms from my hometown in 2012. So, if you want to support a small town mama and have amazing feet (or hands) – order one of these.
And use it religiously. And exfoliate. And don’t overshare about your feet on your blog. There should be boundaries.


I’ve never thought too much about disposing of Halloween pumpkins other than to get them off the porch before they turn to moldy mush. Right?!?!
This article in INC. listed a whole bunch of ways to recycle your pumpkins in a useful and creative way.
Like by using the pumpkins as buried planters. Or as a science experiment!

By the way, my babies have grown so. darn. much. since this photo was taken.

I don’t gravitate to the ultra modern home designs. Although, I appreciate them for what they offer.
However, I love big, huge windows like the ones on this modern home.
More eye candy from this home can be found here on Fresh Home.

Photography by Stephen Goodenough

Do not say I don’t make sacrifices. I read to bring you these gorgeous pictures! And I have no regrets.
Brooklyn Decker’s Austin home has an AHHH-MAZING bathroom.

Photographer: Winnie Au

What cracks me up about People‘s description of Lindsey Vonn’s Colorado home is how they called it a “cozy” 5 bedroom home.

In this instance, I think cozy means warm, not small.

Photographer: Winnie Au

I’m a fan of blue cabinets, but I haven’t decided if I like this all blue/grey kitchen.

What I do love, however, is Hayden Panettiere’s red shirt against that blue kitchen. It pops! Is that a weird thing to notice?

Photographer: Paul Costello

Anyone planning a trip to Sweden? If you are, you should consider staying in this tree hotel.
I assure you, it is far more luxurious than any treehouse you might have played in as a kid.
You might want to pack light though because that looks like a lot of stairs.
If you’d like to make a reservation or at least see all the gorgeous pictures, visit


 Happy Friday, everyone! Enjoy your day!

Happy List: #44

Welcome back to the Happy List!

This week I shared the Scandinavian idea of using two duvets on one bed. I also debriefed our experience with Storm Ophelia.

Here are some other things that floated my boat this week…


Okay. I like the IDEA of this recipe, but I’m wondering if it is all hype because there’s hardly any pumpkin spice in the recipe.

I make these controversial declarations in the hope that someone will make the recipe and give me a sampling.

Walnuts aren’t my jam, so I’d probably switch them out for pecans. Hint, hint.

Check the recipe out for yourself at DIY Candy and let me know what you think.



Look at the beams in the hallway of this Australian home.



Oh. my. heavens. If you are having a Halloween party, you have to use this idea.

This table CRACKS ME UP! Hilarious, awesome and fun.

(image: East Coast Creative via)


I’ve patted myself on the back lately for keeping a few houseplants alive. I have no shame.

So, of course, I had to read about 8 plants that thrive in a bedroom.

I’m going to quote the article from Elle Decor now because my jaw DROPPED.

“A study by the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology reported that English ivy removed 94% of airborne feces and 78% of airborne mold in just 12 hours. So, if you suffer from allergies, stocking up on some of these beautiful plants could keep your sneezing at bay overnight. Yep, we’re buying 10, too.”

I’m fascinated. I’m grossed out. I’m planning a trip to the garden center.

(image – Joy of Plants via)

P.S. Let’s never speak of airborne feces again, okay? This blog is a HAPPY PLACE, dang it!


How about we cleanse our minds now with a pretty picture?

This dried herb wreath is so, so pretty. It probably smells good too. Unlike…oh, never mind.


I do enjoy festive fingernails.

Here’s an article from PopSugar UK with 14 ways to paint your nails for Halloween.


I love a good cautionary tale, don’t you?

Rhoda from Southern Hospitality explained the costly mistake that occurred when she had grasscloth wallpaper installed in her Atlanta area home. I learned something new to file away for future reference!



I can imagine sitting on that awesome bench on this porch.

I also like steps that go all the way around the porch area instead of just one place to go up and down.


Do you know how much it pains me that Handy Husband doesn’t like cooked cauliflower? But he doesn’t mind eating bread heels, so I can’t really complain.

This salad looks more than amazing to me and you can get the recipe at Two Peas and Their Pod.


Go forth and have the happiest of weekends!

Happy List: #43

Here we are again, folks! And it’s a Friday the 13th! Ooh!

This week I shared how I used rope to makeover a planter and a list of easy, mostly recyclable Halloween decorating ideas.

Also, this mirror makeover of mine made an appearance on Funky Junky Interiors last week. Be sure to check out that post. So many great projects and bloggers were featured!

Here’s what else made me smile this week.


I love it when HuffPost rounds up funny tweets. This latest article on 23 Funny Tweets That Will Ring True To Anyone Who’s Been Married made my day.

Here are a few that made me chuckle.


If you are having a Halloween party and little kids will be in attendance, these would be so much fun!

The how-to can be found at DIY Candy.



I like this idea simply because I wouldn’t have thought to put a standing coat tree in a bathroom.

(image: Nicole Ramsay/Inside Out via Rue Now)


This apple pie looks very simple to make and is totally something I would try!

Seriously – what’s not to love about a crust that doesn’t have to look perfect?

Recipe and the how-to for this pie on Real Simple.


This Ellie Goulding song is not new, but I’ve been humming it all week. It’s just beautiful.

How long will I love you
As long as stars are above you and longer if I can
How long will I need you
As long as the seasons need to follow their plan


Need some hide-in-plain-sight storage?

Here it is!

Clever, right?

I probably wouldn’t put passports there, but the candy I hide from Handy Husband the kids – heck yeah!

This DIY is by the super talented Jen Woodhouse and she has all the details on her site.


I can’t imagine painting the stair rails like this in any of the homes I’ve lived in, but it still makes me smile!

It gives a fun, modern, whimsical vibe to what appears to be a formal-looking home. And it would be easy to change. More ideas like this one at Ideal Home.

(image: Chris Everard via)


This tea towel seems to be pretty spot on.


Be still my heart. See that 1949 sign? That’s what dreams are made of right there.

Also, everything else about that room is divine, but the sign is probably the only thing I have a realistic chance of recreating anytime soon.


My Sweet Savannah has a home tour of this beautiful Cape Cod home on her blog. There’s a lot of eye candy here!

The home belongs to Sandra who shares more photos on her Instagram page Old Silver Shed.


Go forth and have the happiest of weekends!

Happy List: #42

Hello, Friends.

I want to start by saying thanks. This blog is my happy place – a creative outlet of sorts. The people I interact with here have always been so positive, kind and understanding. That matters to me – more than I could ever express.

I’ve been trying to wrap my mind around the horrific shooting in Las Vegas. Around the natural disasters in Mexico, Puerto Rico and Texas. In the police and voting incident in Barcelona. In the car attack in Edmonton. You get my point…the list of horrors in our world is long and I haven’t even mentioned wars, disease, etc. Some of these things can be prevented or minimized and we should not rest until meaningful change is made.

I’ve sat here this week thankful my family is safe and healthy. Thankful for the roof over our heads. And thankful I can come here – to my happy spot – and write things that are light-hearted and interact with people who put a smile on my face. It gives me a boost for when I have to go back to the real world where people are hurting and I’m trying to figure out how I can help in a meaningful way.

I keep coming back to the 3rd stanza of a poem from 1864 (hence the not modern reference) written by Eva Alice titled “Kindness.”

O, the power of kindness!
So gentle, loving, meek,
It is indeed a language
Even the dumb can speak;
The deaf can understand it,
It sheds a shining ray;
Then let us strive to make it
Our guide from day to day.

Kindness blossoms during tragedies. Perhaps it is everyday kindness that we need to experience more – in work, in politics, in school, at home.

I have no clever segue, so I will just say – now back to our regularly scheduled program…


Now I need want another bench.

Daniel from Manhattan Nest built this bench using old lumber and the bases from two side tables.

Just goes to show that if you like the shape/design of something, but not its purpose, you might be able to reimagine it!



I could really use a 28″ mirror like this one from Target in my home. It’s less than 50 bucks and that speaks to my thrifty soul.

And, no, I’m not going to talk about how much my soul misses Target.



If we had lived in our house in Oregon longer, I’m convinced I would have eventually turned our kitchen window into a bar set up like this one in the Southern Living idea house. I had already taken the screen out of the window and used it as a pass-through. The bar seating was just a matter of time. But then we moved. GAH! I should have been quicker.

Other than that window treatment, I love everything about this picture.


I listened to two podcasts, in particular, this week that made me stop and think. I love stuff like that, don’t you? You can listen to these directly on the links provided without having to use your phone’s podcast app.

The first was from Mindshift, called “Stepping Back from Overparenting: A Standford Dean’s Perspective.”

When Julie Lythcott-Haims was dean of freshmen at Stanford, she saw troubling behavior from some of the most accomplished students in the country. Students would involve their parents — and parents would involve themselves — in every aspect of the student’s life and school work at a time when these young adults were supposed to exercise greater independence.

This parental behavior doesn’t start when kids head off to college, it begins long before: there’s the excessive help with school assignments and fighting with teachers over every grade. For many parents this type of advocacy feels necessary to ensure their child’s success, but Lythcott-Haims says normalizing over-parenting can lead young adults to experience an “existential impotence.” They end up feeling incapable of handling life’s challenges on their own.

The second podcast I really enjoyed was PresidentialAbraham Lincoln: His Hand and His Pen.

Lincoln did not keep a diary as previous presidents had, but he did keep a series of letters. Letters that he would rant in and then never sign or send because he knew the power of the president’s words and if he sent those letters, it would be catastrophic.

Lincoln is also the first president that would cut and paste his speeches, so that he knew where to take a breath and pause for emphasis. He was aware of not just what he was saying, but how he would deliver the message.

I find the closing words of Lincoln’s first inaugural address on March 4, 1861, to be relevant today. He was facing a Civil War with several states already seceding and he was desperate to try and avoid this conflict.

“I am loath to close. We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.”Abraham Lincoln 


This picture is mainly for The Junk Whisperer because I know she has at least one or two old tractor seats.

Tractor seats might not be your thing, but you have to admit – it makes a statement!

I’d also take that bench and that brick wall. Gosh, I sound greedy today!



Why, oh WHY wasn’t this around when we had a television?

See that large frame in the below picture? That’s the TV!! When the TV is off, it becomes a piece of artwork. It has a legit frame around it and everything.

It’s a Samsung The Frame SmartTV and it’s ONLY a cool 2 grand. Hahahahahaha. Seriously though. If you buy it, please invite me over so I can ooh and aah over it. I can’t imagine us ever having a TV again, so I’ll need to live vicariously.


This swing was DIYed by the super talented folks at Casa Joshua Tree. Isn’t it gorgeous?

Also, this home is available to be rented through AirBnB.



This cookie recipe screams FALL to me. It also screams EAT ME I’M DELICIOUS, but I could just be hungry.

Get the recipe at Two Peas and Their Pod.



I haven’t included a piano picture in my Happy List round up for at least a month, so here’s one I’m crushing on.

If you are fans of ABC’s Scandal, then you’ll recognize the name Katie Lowe. This is a picture of her L.A. home from Architectural Digest.

This seems like a bright, airy, happy place to sit down and pound out a tune.


I am off to enjoy a (hopefully) low-key weekend. Happy Friday, everyone!

Happy List: #41


I have exciting news. Both of my kids are going to a sleepover on Saturday night. That means Handy Husband and I get to go out to dinner with friends.

I wonder if they’ll mind if we’re home by 9? Kidding! Okay, not really. Not a night owl and proud of it!

Anyway, this is the first time we’ve had anything resembling a date night since moving to Ireland. So, just a wee bit overdue.

This week I shared more denim pumpkin ideas and our favorite castle tour with kids in Ireland.

Here’s what else is on my Happy List this week.


I wish I had a really good reason to make these broomsticks with donuts that I saw on the site Hostess With The Mostess.

I don’t, but you know it’s killing me, right?

I’m thinking it would be fun just to make the broomsticks. Forget about the donuts. Is that crazy talk?



Don’t ask me why I clicked on an article about funny, but brutally honest baby cards. Perhaps it was because I did this twice…

I then hopped over to the Cheeky Kumquat on Etsy because where there is one funny card, there were bound to be more.

I discovered the creator of these cards is a Pacific NorthWest girl, which made me go, “YAY!!!”

Lately Handy Husband has been putting Sriracha on EVERYTHING I cook, which is disturbing starting to give me a complex.

I still might get him this card though…

All of these cards and so many more can be found at Cheeky Kumquat.


My children’s school is sending in an audition tape to be on The Late Late Toy Show in Dublin. They will be performing Sing by Gary Barlow. This song was written for the Queen of England in 2012, but I think it is even more relevant today.

Some words they can’t be spoken only sung,
So hear a thousand voices shouting love.
There’s a place, there’s a time in this life when you sing what you are feeling,
Find your feet, stand your ground, don’t you see right now the world is listening to what we say?

Sing it louder, sing it clearer, knowing everyone will hear you,
Make some noise, find your voice tonight.
Sing it stronger, sing together, make this moment last forever,
Old and young shouting love tonight.

The kids were instructed to practice the song this week and my son said, “This is more important than our regular homework, Mom, because we are going to be JUDGED.”

Nice try, buddy. Still have to do your math.

Here’s the song performed by another school and sharing the stage with Gary Barlow…



In Chile there are churches dating back to the 17th century that were built without nails.

Building techniques before the era of power tools are so impressive to me.

Read how they did it and why at National Geographic.

(image via by Walter Bibikow, Alamy)


This shower looks AMAZING. But I’d be lying if I’m not over here shaking my head like, “I don’t know, I don’t know.”

The shiplap shower was created out of exterior trim boards and finished with a marine grade acrylic enamel. I read the how-to on Dwelling Studio and the logic makes sense! I just have a hard enough time maintaining a regular shower. This one might make me nervous!

Read it and let me know what you think. Would you try it? Would this get a nod of approval from Chip and Joanna?



Dang. Some people are so creative!

My kids would LOVE to trick or treat at the troll house!

Get the how-to at The Keeper of the Cheerios. Love that blog name, by the way.


Guys. I tried to make these paper pumpkin treat boxes. They did not look this cute. I’m not sure where I went wrong. Perhaps I should try again because I bought orange card stock I love the idea.

Get the tutorial and template at Hostess With The Mostess.



I posted something about doilies a few weeks ago. I can’t remember what it was – only that I would love to figure out how to use doilies in a modern (even though they aren’t modern) way.

Then I saw this…

Shut the linen closet door! Love that idea. This is a super easy Mod Podge project from On Sutton Place.

Now, I probably couldn’t bring myself to permanently damage one of my mom’s doilies, but any other one, get me the scissors!


I know quite a few people who would love this shirt I saw on Etsy.


I stumbled on this collage of Cortney Bishop’s work. My favorite image was in the bottom right hand corner.


While every ounce of my being SHUDDERS at the thought of making those built-in bunk beds, I do love this room.

That ceiling. The ladder. The lights are by Schoolhouse Electric.

If you need me, I’ll be over here picking out a shirt for date night. And then eventually I will realize it doesn’t matter because anything I wear will be covered up by a scarf and a rain jacket. Tis that time of year it’s actually always this way in Ireland!

Happy Friday!


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Happy List: #40


It’s OFFICIALLY autumn, can you believe it?

I’m trying to use the word autumn more because if I say ‘Fall’ in reference to the season, the Irish have no clue what I’m talking about. Or maybe they do and they’re just messing with me?

Guess I won’t put up my ‘Happy Fall Y’all’ sign on my front door. Kidding. I don’t actually have one, which is odd considering I lived in the South for a few years.

Before this post goes completely sideways, here’s what’s on my Happy List this week.


I thought this was a totally doable DIY Halloween costume idea from All Things Thrifty!


The art above the bed in Layla’s master bedroom made me stop and go ‘OOHH.’

She has a very calm, neutral bedroom and the green painting is an unexpected and lovely pop of color. I wouldn’t have thought to consider this painting for this room, so I love being surprised.



In 2011, two sisters age 10 and 11 were given a $25 science kit for making bath bombs. 6 years later, they are selling 500,000 bath bombs a month and they are still in high school.

HOLY SMOKES! This is such an awesome story!

Read all the details about how they got started and how they manage the company now on Time.

Image: Via Courtesy of DaBomb Fizzers Caroline (left) and Isabelle (right) Bercaw, co-founders of DaBomb Fizzers 


This is the cutest pencil holder! I could find a spot for it in my office.

I’m not sure my kids have ever seen a real typewriter! Ha!


I’m mad at my Oregon peeps. I was in the state FOR A MONTH and no one told me about the DIY Bar in Portland. It’s a place where you can DIY crafty things and have an adult beverage.

That’s like heaven on earth, people! How could you let me down?!?!

You can make string art, a leather clutch, concrete coasters, jewelry and more. I’d really like to give string art a go one of these days.

Each project costs $39 and I think you get a drink with it. I didn’t read all the FAQs. I can’t do ALL the work here, people.

For more images like these and all the DIY Bar details, click here.


This idea speaks to me. My painting tools are stored in a tub and it’s kind of a drag to dig through it for what I need. Woe is me, I know!

The directions for this organization project can be found at Polished Habitat.



I love a good brick accent wall.

Although, it’s probably a pain in the behind to hang things on a brick wall. But, hey, these people got around that little problem by using a ladder. Clever.

Image by Jessica Klewicki Glynn via


I don’t want to jinx it, but I’ve been doing a REALLY good job at keeping my plants alive. They might not be ‘healthy,’ but they are still alive. Go me!

If I had these carved wood planters from World Market, I might actually take my plants out of the plastic planters they came in and repot (replant?) them appropriately. Aren’t they pretty?


I made this recipe for One Pot Chicken Gnocchi Soup from iHeartNapTime this week. It was pure, rainy day comfort food. I haven’t cooked a lot with gnocchi before, but now I’m trying to use it in ALL the recipes! It was such an unexpected, delightful surprise in this soup.

I substituted the spinach for a grated zucchini and it was delicious. My kids (and Handy Husband) really have no idea how much zucchini they eat. *insert evil laugh here*


Whatever your plans may be for this weekend, I hope you have the best time. Happy Friday!



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Happy List: #39

Hello again!

Our mornings have turned a wee bit cool and it’s definitely starting to feel like fall has arrived. Although, I say that kind of tongue-in-cheek because Ireland is always a wee bit cool – even in the summer.

On Monday I shared more about life in Ireland as it relates to ER visits. Thank you for your warm wishes. My daughter is doing much better.

Wednesday was all about pumpkins and denim. If you missed the braided denim pumpkin, go back and read all about it! I’ll wait.

Here’s what is on the Happy List this week. I try to view these things through the filter of “I appreciate it from a creative standpoint” and not through the filter of “I want that, why don’t I have that.” It makes the Internet and social media so much more enjoyable to consume!


What caught my eye was not the ‘deconstructed fall centerpiece’ House Beautiful was showcasing, but that Bus Stop sign in the background.

Have you ever seen anything like that? I think it’s pretty cool. Definitely unique.



Here’s a list of train rides showcasing beautiful fall foliage in the U.S.

Don’t worry, they aren’t all in New England. Although, that part of the country is GORGEOUS in the fall. If you decide to take the one in Hood River, Oregon, check before you go. I’m not sure how the wildfires in the area have impacted fall foliage.



I made this last week. It was even better the second day.

Recipe can be found here.



If I had a Cricut or Silhouette or one of those other personal cutting machines, I’d be all OVER this craft.

If you don’t have one either, but like this spooky sign, you can print out the free image and frame it!

Directions and the free printable are at Eighteen25.



Jelly soaps? Soap that is the same consistency as a gummy bear?

I did not know this was a thing. My kids would FREAK OUT (in a good way) about these soaps.

Directions to make your own are over at Happiness is Homemade.


Russian Cinnamon Buns

Aren’t these the prettiest cinnamon buns? I’m assuming they taste great too. I think you could use the technique for making the hearts on your regular cinnamon roll recipe.

Recipe is at Little Sunny Kitchen.



This kitchen is drool-worthy, but it’s those shelves in the background that caught my eye.

This could have easily just been a plain wall, but they made it functional and pretty. I love unexpected details like this in a home.

(Photo by Reagan Taylor via Domino)


Here is another thing I did not know was possible. Color changing noodles. Science for the win, folks!

Directions and the scientific explanation at Left Brain Craft Brain.


I’m pretty much head-over-heels for this entire mudroom done by Studio McGee, but what I really love is the brick floor.

I don’t think I’d want it everywhere in my house, but I can see how the bricks would work (i.e. be indestructible) in this particular area. Plus, it’s just stinking cool!

Also, that black door! Hubba-hubba!

(image: Studio McGee)

That’s it from me, folks! We have family visiting us from Sweden and Handy Husband will be back from a work trip, so this weekend should be full of fun! 
Happy Friday!
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