Blessed Beyond Measure

God’s timing is not necessarily our timing.

We did not plan to have a baby the same spring/summer we sold our house and moved across the city.

We did not plan for me to quit my day job the same week as our house closing.

We did not plan to buy a fixer upper since we had a baby on the way.

But we are so thankful that He knows better for us. I know there will be hard transition days. And going from working outside the home all the time to a slightly slower pace will be an adjustment for me and my go-getter personality, but I know we will be fine. I went into this whole moving process with a lot of fear (some can be blamed on pregnancy hormones), but as someone who is not a super fearful person it really threw me for a loop. And yet there was really no need for fear. All our needs have been (more than) met. Here are just a few of the blessings in our lives recently.

  • Our house sold the first day it was on the market, at over asking price.
  • We found our new house and 4 acres 48 hours later, and even though it already had two offers on it we got the contract!
  • Inspection on both houses went incredibly well.
  • We should be able to split off 2 acres to sell to pay for the remodels we want to do on the new(old) house.
  • Our closings ended up being two weeks apart giving us a lot of time to move. It has been so much less stressful than I imagined.
  • Before we even moved in, we were able to afford to have two rooms of paneling and cabinets painted as a “band-aid” until we start the major renovations in a few months making the kitchen much less of an eyesore.
  • My transition from working full-time and a part-time jobs to just part-time has been stressful, but I am happy to say that my replacement at my day job is great. And I know she will keep my husband’s office running fine. And my design business is still going strong. I am so thankful for all the new clients I have gotten this spring alone.
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    We are so thankful for all the DIY (and life) lessons we have learned in this house. And we are looking forward to making memories in the new one. :)

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Gluten Free Sausage Balls and a Baby Shower

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We had so much fun showering my sister-in-law a few weekends ago.

For this lunch time shower we served pear chicken salad, mini potato rolls, veggie and humus, apples and caramel sauce, sausage balls, chocolate covered almonds, and lemon bars.

And we actually cheated by having everything made by professionals with the exception of the caramel sauce (click here for the simple recipe) and sausage balls.

I used gluten-free Bisquick. You can find it at some Targets and a few grocery stores. But I just order it from Amazon. 

Bisquick Pancake and Baking Mix, Gluten-Free, 16-oz. Boxes (Count of 3)

Gluten-Free Cheddar Sausage Balls

makes 30 appetizers

  • 1 1/4 cups gluten-free Bisquick
  • 16 oz pork sausage (hot or mild is fine)
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup milk or half and half
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder

Preheat the oven to 350ºF.

Combine all the ingredients with an electric mixer. Roll into 1 inch balls.

Place on a baking sheet to bake immediately or flash freeze and then transfer to a freezer safe container. Keeps in the freezer 60 days.

Bake for 22-25 minutes (increase baking time 2-3 minutes if baking from frozen). Serve warm or at room temperature.

 Gluten Free Sausage Balls

 Gluten Free Sausage Balls
 Gluten Free Sausage Balls
 Gluten Free Sausage Balls

Monday Randomness: Trips, Enchiladas, and Leaf Bags

Well we are really globe trotters this month. Sort of.

In an introvert/we really don’t like flying sort of way.

Bozeman, MT and Beaufort, SC are both destinations in October.

Long weekend will be spent in Beaufort just because.

Hurricane Joaquin canceled our plans…

And then we are spending a week in Bozeman just hanging out, fly fishing, going to Yellowstone, shopping and sitting in some hippy dippy hot springs.

Joe and I kept discussing this trip out West that we were going to take someday.

And then I finally said, “What are we waiting on? Let’s just go.”

So we are going.

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Norris Hot Springs

We got a sweet place to stay in downtown Bozeman.

For the cost of two nights in a hotel, we got this whole place for a week.

Go check out some of the amazing listings on Airbnb.com (including our apartment listing!)

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Then last weekend I tried out this SUPER simple recipe on The Pioneer Woman blog.

It’s called Mexican 5 for 5.

It’s genius I tell you.

5 ingredients, 5 recipes.

I whipped up these enchiladas in 30 minutes flat after church last Sunday.

Go check out the recipe here. 

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And I know some people choose to put leaves in their leaf bags, but I put clothes in mine.

Seriously, I filled 3 leaf bags with clothes and cleaned out a whole closet this week.

Every time I send stuff to Goodwill for donation I think, “Well there is nothing else left in my house that I don’t need.”

And then I wait a few weeks and find more stuff.

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Retail Therapy: The Fringe Hours

I read(listened to) A LOT of books this summer. Fifteen to be exact. And this is one of the top two.

Yes, yes, yes to everything in this book. If you are a woman and you live life, you need to read this book.

So so so refreshing!

I have been a long time admirer of Jessica at themomcreative.com, but just got around to reading her book.

She has 3 children, works full-time, runs an amazing crafting blog, and writes for (in)courage.me.

And yet she still finds time for herself.

If you have ever had a hard time saying no to others to the extent that you are stressed out and exhausted, you need to read this book!

This is one (like For the Love) that I will be reading at least twice.

Are you convinced yet?

Go here to purchase the book on Amazon.

This post contains affiliate links to help with the costs associated with this blog. 

Summer Blogging 2015

When April/May 2015 rolled around I had no idea what the summer had in store for us.

But I had plans for lots of recipes using summer produce that I could not wait to get posted.

I started getting phone calls for more decor consultations while we were on vacation in May, and it snowballed from there.

The extra work has been awesome.

We have been able to complete a bunch of home projects that we weren’t expecting to be able to complete because of the extra $$ in our budget.

And that hopefully means we will sell our house even faster!

But because of all the work and projects I have not been blogging much.

But bear with me. New posts are coming soon.

 I can’t wait to share the biggest project: our finished master bathroom.

And once we purchase another home in the spring (we hope!) there will be lots more projects to come.

Monday Randomness: It’s been a while

Guys, folks, y’all whatever you prefer to be called, I am over winter.

We have been sick at our house for the better part of 2 months. Sinus pressure and tissues galore.

And in case you are over it too, just console yourself with this picture of my precious nieces from last Saturday.

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They were just chilling out on the big ottoman while most of my siblings and their spouses cleaned out my mom’s attic. Fun times.

Also note that Cora has her hand in MacKendrick’s mouth. They are going to be best buds. Or not.

Shortly after this Cora (1 month) kicked Mac (3 months) in the head and all the fun and games were over at least as far as Mac was concerned.

Back to all the sickness: because we have been laying around a lot nursing ourselves back to health we have been binge watching TV.

Two shows I can’t seem to get enough of are New Tricks and Behind the Mask.

New Tricks is an older quirky BBC show about retired police detectives. The narrative is hilarious and the characters are full of, well, character.

The other show is an original documentary on mascots which I know sounds strange, but I am so intrigued by these people (who are sometimes very shy) that put on a show in front of 1000’s on a regular basis. The psychology of anonymously performing “behind the mask” is fascinating to me.

Hulu has already produced another season. And its just as great as the first.

On Wednesday this week I was in need of some retail therapy.

Nothing clears my head like a stroll around Target or perusing the aisles of Goodwill for treasures.

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I picked up this new to me jean vest and brand new rose gold metallic sandals last week for a grand total of $10.

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Then Saturday, with the help of my sister Nancee Lee, I stenciled a wall at a home I have been working on for the past 6 months or so. LOVE how it turned out.

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I also finished up a simple kitchen remodel on Thursday evening with a client. It turned out great and that granite is just gorgeous in person.

Baked Chicken Parmesan by Shutterbean was on the menu for Saturday evening at my house.

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It was so tasty. I used chicken tenders to cut the baking time down. Dinner was on the table in under 30 minutes.

Can’t beat that for a scratch made meal.

Note: Use paper plates for the chicken breading “dipping stations.” Makes for less clean up.

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For a low calorie option I served the chicken parmesan over these zucchini fritters. They are SO good. I think kids would even eat these.

Although I am never opposed to pasta. Pasta is my love language. Also chocolate and good leather bags. So basically I really like food and have expensive tastes in handbags.

Zucchini Fritters- Damn Delicious

Thanks for reading, have a great week, and don’t forget to get an entry in for the It’s All About The Pants Giveaway.  Two winners randomly selected tomorrow.

6 Things I Wish I Had Not Known Before I Got Married

I am a blog/podcast/self-help book junky.

And I was a Family and Consumer Science major (with a minor in counseling) in college so I took lots of classes based on relationships including marriage.

I try to use good judgement on who/what I listen to or read, but sometimes I can pick up some bad advice.

But because I can be somewhat of a perfectionist, I took all that advice to heart. And then tried to practice it in my new marriage.

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Because I was going to do this marriage thing perfectly.


I wrote a little bit about one of the situations in this post for The Big Fake Wedding (formally The Not Wedding) back in 2013.

And here are six more.

  • The first 4-8 weeks of marriage is just a continuation of the honeymoon. 

Unfortunately, it was not for us. It was awkward. Not the awkward funny Office tv show kinda of awkward. It’s just plain old awkward. Not really funny at all. Mostly because after you get home from the honeymoon you are living with someone new, with his/or her own likes and dislikes. And ways of folding towels. Once we got into more of a rhythm of life it was smooth sailing (except for when he criticizes my dish-washing methods but that is another post for another time:). But I totally did not expect those strange first few weeks.

  • If you and your spouse don’t go to bed at the same time your marriage is doomed to fail.

I am going to be real honest. I totally cried during our second week of marriage when my husband wanted to continue to go to bed at his usual time, 2 hours after my regular bedtime. It meant we were doomed as a couple according to a Christian counselor I heard on a popular radio broadcast.

  • Your spouse should not be your best friend because it’s too much to ask of them. 

I totally stressed about this for approximately 2 months because my husband was my closest friend before we got married. And now I needed to find a new close friend?? Thankfully I got over this quickly when I realized this “advice” was not a hard fast rule. It totally depends on you and your spouses personality. I will say that most women do need girl time. Because your husband can only listen to you talk about your great deal from Nordstrom Rack for so long.

  • Changing to your new last name is one of the greatest things about marriage. It is a great act of submission for a wife.

I was not thrilled about changing my last name. It probably had to do with the fact that I was a little older when I got married. But nonetheless don’t worry if you are in the minority about the changing names thing. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea. And it took me about a year to accept the fact that some girls are just not into changing their name, and it does not make them a radical feminist. It just means they really like the name they were born with. :)

  • Your first Christmas as a couple is the most special. Make the most of it. 

While our first Christmas was just fine, I killed it for myself with expectations. Expectation that I put upon myself and my spouse. You can’t do it all, especially when you have only been married for 5 weeks, and you are just figuring out how this normal marriage stuff works.

  • Mistakes you have made in previous relationships will eventually ruin your relationship with your spouse. 

The idea that I or my spouse were damaged goods because of previous relationships, etc was pounded into my head from several sources. I was sure that we would have a incredibly hard time in our relationship because past mistakes would haunt us forever. Thankfully those sources did not take into account that we have received “grace upon grace.”  And while there are still consequences for past mistakes there is a bright hope for the future.

And a bright Hope for the future is what a new marriage is all about.

Fitbit Update: Six Weeks In

 To read the beginning of this “take better care of myself” series click here.wpid-img_20150202_110453.jpg

Well I am six weeks in:

#1. My clothes fit better.

#2. I gained 3 lbs.

#3. I generally have more energy.

#4. My back pain is almost non-existent now, as long as I do at least one Pilates/yoga workout a week.

I will be honest. When I weighed-in for the first time in 6 weeks, I was REALLY disappointed that after all the work I had done I had GAINED weight rather than losing.

But I am starting to see a lot more muscle definition in my legs and arms.

Plus that means that I made it through most of the holidays only gaining 3 lb most of which I am going to guess is muscle.

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I like the Fitbit as much now as I did 5 weeks ago. It really does make me SO aware of how little or how much I am moving.

Honestly, I almost didn’t give an update because it makes me feel incredibly vulnerable to put this information on the web.

But as Brené Brown says,

“Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity and change.”

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Anytime Fitness, Pilates/Yoga Room

Mitchell’s Project- Before and After

First of all, I feel very grateful that my husband and I were able to help with the finishing touches.

It was incredibly rewarding to both of us. We found such joy in our exhaustion.:)

If you want to know all the details about the how/why of this project go to the Mitchell’s Project part 1 post.

The challenging part of this project was that I had to focus on making sure there was lots of open space (in order to be wheel chair accessible) rather than filling every space with decor items.

Thanks to Pottery Barn at Haywood Mall Real Deals in Greenville, Pollard Brothers BestBarTopExoxy.com, and KEnzPhotography

for SO generously donating items for me to use in the decor on this project.

This is the basement before:

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So many people help make this new space possible.

During:

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After:

My contribution was the color selections, styling and overall look.

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The kitchen area is fully handicap accessible (once the plumbing fixtures are installed:).

The wall color is SW Sea Salt. 

The cabinet color is SW Iron Ore and the laminate counter-top is Cafe di Pesco by Wilsonart.

All the cabinet hardware is from Ikea.

And the back splash is from Home Depot.

The “hardwood” flooring is actually tile by Florida Tile Berkshire collection.

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This fully handicap accessible desk made from the original door to this basement area was ALL my husband’s doing.

I will write a full post on the how-tos of this project. I can’t get over how gorgeous it is.

The epoxy was donated by bestbartopepoxy.com.

Pollard Brothers donated the custom workbench legs, and the metal cart is from Ikea.

The gallery frames were donated by Pottery Barn, and the original signed photography was donated by KEnz etsy shop.

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This simple grey and white bookcase is from Ikea, $69.

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Although we weren’t able to put the full bedroom together while we were there on Saturday, I was able to hang all the fun posters from comic strips that Mitchell likes, plus a Star Wars poster for good measure.

I found the nightstand at Miracle Hill Thrift store for $20. Solid wood and made in the USA. Can’t beat that deal.

The bedding that will be used in the room are these sheets from Target,

and this duvet from Ikea. 
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Although Mitchell is not able to use the sofa, he did need seating for guests.

This sofa was purchased before I started working on this project.

I just added a couple pillows, end table ($20 Target clearance), a floor lamp, and the large artwork donated by Real Deals.

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The gorgeous linen curtains and hardware were donated by Pottery Barn at Haywood mall.

And my dad’s company donated those huge windows. They let in SO much natural light.

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And thanks to these ladies (Nancee Lee and Becca) for all your help two weekends in a row. I could not have done it without you.

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If you would like to know more about my decorating services go to my business website for details.