Weekend Snapshots and Bedroom Renovations

I was going to say “Happy Monday,” but then I realized I hate it when people say that. I mean, yes, naturally, it should be happy, but Mondays can be a drag. So, I’ll just leave it at “I hope you had an excellent weekend!”

This weekend wasn’t nearly as productive as I’d hoped it be, but I’m okay with that. It was sort of productive, so that trumps it being a complete wash.

I accidentally started an elk stompede (I know it’s really stampede, but stompede sounds a lot more accurate, because it sounds like what it is!):


We checked on one of the guy’s horses, since he’s out of town picking up some more horses for the ranch:


Ninja escaped, because she always does (which is getting old). At least this time it was in the day and not at 10:00 at night so we didn’t have to put on cowboy boots with our pajamas and run around with a spotlight trying to find her.


And, I did some serious work on our bedroom. I know it looks like we just moved in, but I have plans for this baby, and you know that cleaning stuff out and getting it to the bare minimum makes more a much more workable space. I’m letting it ruminate a little before I go crazy with adding more stuff.

Before, we had Bert’s bedroom set, which I actually really love, but since we got a bigger mattress, it didn’t fit our old frame anymore. So, one of the dressers is going in the nursery, and everything else will become the guest bedroom set so that our guests actually have a pretty room so sleep in!

I replaced the knobs on the dresser my dad gave us (forgot to take a picture!) and so that’s replaced the two that we had before.


What we will add, though: two three-door dressers as nightstands, since we have zero closet space and have gone down from two dressers to one. I’ve not bought much from Ikea, but I like these because they’re solid pine (!!), just the right height, and the white stain is something I can live with until we decide what color they’ll be, and they’ll give us some more clothes storage! I’ll find a lamp for each nightstand, and fluffy rugs for each side of the bed–hardwood is cold in the morning!

The green door, of course, will become a headboard, and the plaid in the picture below is going to have something to do with pillowcases, and maybe lengthening the bedskirt. Maybe. The monogram I made a few weekends ago will also live in here, and I also have to paint two more walls in Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter, which I have left over from the baby’s room. Other than that (which sounds like a lot, but is really just furniture and wall excitement, because if you didn’t notice–we need some.), I’m going to let the room decide what it wants to grow into. We’ll probably add a chair (or the vintage wicker that’s currently sitting in our shop) and floor mirror of some sort and some point, and the whole operation is being pushed towards the windows a few more feet–I wanted it to be centered just to see what it would look like, and it looks waaaay too crowded when you’re in there.

Bedding will be changed someday, but for now all-white is fine until I decide what else is better, haha.


I’m sure it sounds silly, I’m just anxious to get a few rooms in our house to the place where I don’t want to change something when I walk into them, before Junior arrives, and I want us to have a quiet space that’s for me and Bert only where we can come in and close the door and have a little peace. Wishful thinking, I know, but it never hurt to wish! But, we’re getting closer in terms of where I want to be–I think a few solid home-renovating days are all we need now, as long as I can assemble all the necessary parts and pieces.

Which is half the battle. That isn’t even halfway won yet, haha. But we’re closer than we were! I also got Junior’s room all cleaned out and ready to assemble furniture in, aside from the guest bedroom furniture–we’re waiting for someone who isn’t pregnant to come help Bert move the big stuff :)

Pinterest and I, by the way, have a complicated love-hate relationship.

24 Weeks

We’re over halfway! Woo! Baby Johnston is going to be here in less than four months (!!)

24 weeks

How far along?  24 weeks
Total weight gain: I had gained a total of ten pounds as of my last appointment, but I have another one to Tuesday so I bet we’re in the ballpark of 13-15.
Maternity clothes? All day, every day. I have some stretchy non-maternity long sleeve shirts that I thought I would be able to wear forever, but no. The rouching on the sides of maternity shirts is the best. I wore a non-maternity grey shirt the other day, and felt exactly like this:
Mr. Whittle: God. Your weight. What happened? Scott: Bee sting. Evidently I’m allergic. Almost killed me. But the guy at the emergency room says the swelling will go down.
If I need a Halloween costume, this is what I’ll be wearing :)
Stretch marks? Not yet–the other day Bert asked why pregnant ladies have such shiny tummies, and I was like “Probably because we slather them in shea butter because they’re dry and itchy and we’re hoping to prevent stretch marks!”
Sleep: Like a rock, as long as the window is open. Our Sleep Number mattress is the BEST.
Best moment this week: Honestly? Honeycrisp apples. Ohhhhhhhh mannnnn.
Miss Anything? I keep stumbling across the most delicious fall sangria recipes, but none for me :(  Also having an actual wardrobe. Although, Bert’s sweaters fit me very well now, although I might have to get some of my own because he doesn’t have a beer belly and I don’t want to stretch his out!
Movement: Yes! All the time! I got  little worried yesterday because he wasn’t moving as much, but I think he’s moved around in there to a spot where I can’t feel the kicks as much–he used to kick me square in the bladder (thanks, guy) and now it’s almost right in my right side. So. We’ll see where he’s sitting at my ultrasound this week! Edited to add: Little man JUST got the hiccups, and I can see my whole belly shaking. HILARIOUS.
Food cravings: I haven’t been craving things as intensely lately (except for the Sour Patch Kids episode of last week!), but I’m eating oranges and honeycrisp apples like they’re going out of style. I carry an apple and a jar of peanut butter with me wherever I go. I was waiting for the guys to get back to work some bulls yesterday, just sitting in the sun, munching on my apple and peanut butter, and it was excellent.
Anything making you queasy or sick: The queasiness is gone! I still can’t do chicken and bell peppers, and I’m still not super drawn to sweets. Except for last week, apparently. Heartburn has reared its ugly head, though, but nothing some extra strength tums can’t fix!
Have you started to show yet: Yes, indeed. My evidence: The other night, Bert told me I look like Mike Wazowski from Monster’s Inc. (which I take as a compliment because he has very thin limbs!), and my boss looked at me yesterday and said “Well, I reckon you look like a pregnant lady now!” Oh, and another one of the guys calls me Chubs. I think it’s funny, though, and I’m glad to be past the awkward stage.
Gender prediction: Bobweadababyeetzaboy! Does anyone else remember that commercial? It’s a boy, in case you don’t remember it :)
Labor Signs: Ah, no. 
Belly Button in or out? In. Bert keeps asking when it’s going to pop out, haha.
Wedding rings on or off? On.
Happy or Moody most of the time: I feel great!
Looking forward to: My appointment next week (I get another ultrasound!), the holidays, finishing weaning next week, and cooler weather. It was EIGHTY degrees yesterday!
Exercise? Yep! Just got back from a walk/lunge/sumo squat sesh. I wish I could say I have a schedule–I try to lift weights 4-5 days a week, and walk 4 days a week. I can usually get it done, but it isn’t always pretty!

Friday Favorites: October 24th

Happy Friday, everyone! How are you spending your weekend? We’re having a little bit of the same-old down here, but I’m hoping to make headway on our bedroom, and get the knobs put on our dresser. Next week is going to be busy with weaning, so I’m also going to try and bake some cookies and cinnamon rolls.

Favorite “If I Had An Unlimited Income” Dream Purchase: Dawn Levy Blanket Coat. I am in love with this. It looks so snuggly and warm! However, I’m not in love with the $1000 price tag. Ouch. As my husband would say “That’s a good two-year-old horse.” Aka we measure things in how much horse they would buy. Please add that to my “Things I Never Thought I Would Worry About List.”


Favorite Infographic:Six Ways to Tie a Scarf.” I love scarves, pashminas, etc, especially lately since they jazz up my few maternity shirts. However, I always forget how to tie them, and I printed out this handy little guide to help me.


Favorite Funny: Oh this llama. Er–alpaca? “It’s a cross breed of a seal and an eyebrow.” I die EVERY TIME.


Favorite Fall: Pumpkins in a Pickup. I have a dream that involves having big prints of pictures made to change out each season. You know, a photograph of pumpkins/trees for the fall, dragging a tree with a horse for Christmas, caribou for winter, flowers in spring, hay meadows in summer, etc. Totally in-budget, right? Riiiiight. I have another dream that involves owning a pickup just like the one in that picture. Riiiiight.

pickup and pumpkins

Favorite Inspire: Ofelia Blanket from Ikea. Lately, Ikea has been speaking to me, mostly because they actually have clean-lined, solid-wood things for a decent price. I stumbled across this blanket, and fell in love. How cozy does that look. And, totally in-budget, right? RIGHT!!


Favorite Tried It: Buffalo Chicken Grilled Cheese Sandwich. I made grilled cheeses last week, because Bert wanted to try this one. I’m distrustful of meat in grilled cheese a picky eater a grilled cheese purist, so mine was the standard, but he really liked this! Which is a win for me, because I love grilled cheese when it’s cold, and it’s a perfect lunch or quick dinner. His suggestions: more meat (naturally) and maybe actual buffalo chicken hot sauce–I just used Tabasco.

buffalo chicken

Favorite Kid Thing: A teepee! Bert, of course, suggested just buying an actual teepee that you an get from western outfitters for cowboys that sleep outside on the summer range with the cattle. Obviously, we’re not in the teepee-buying business yet, but we don’t do things by halves if it involves cowboy equipment, so don’t be surprised if you visit in a few years and there’s a full-on teepee in the playroom.


Favorite Other Kid Thing: Can you tell I’m excited to dress of for Halloween….next year?? (Or the year after, haha.) I think I could actually convince Bert to wear this one. Okay, I could convince him to wear a Batman shirt (he dressed up as Batman multiple times when he was little, I’m banking on his love of Batman to be rekindled sometime around October 31, 2015…). And then Junior could be Robin and I already have a cat ear headband….I’m already excited!

batman shirt

Favorite Holiday Inspire: Oh Come Chalkboard Sign. As I’ve said before, I’m trying to knock out making some more holiday decor this year, since I know my time is going to be more limited in the future. I love chalkboard designs, and since we’re starting our family, I want to find a few ways to incorporate the message that Christmas isn’t about the gifts–there’s a much more meaningful reason for the season, if you will.


Sidenote: Bert and I were watching the PBR Finals last night, and a commercial came on. We usually ignore commercials (boo not having a DVR anymore!!), and this one didn’t really register until half a minute after it was over and Bert looked at me and said “Was that a Christmas commercial?” and I replayed in my head what little of it I had seen–and recalled a tree, lights, festive plaid, and snow, and gifts…and I said “Yes. It was. A Christmas commercial in October.” Too soon, folks. Too soon. 

Favorite But, Speaking of Christmas…: Horn Stocking Hanger. This is already in the works, since we don’t have a mantlepiece. I have a massive elk horn that will be perfect. Too soon? Not to think about ideas :) Like how to hang it on the wall.


Favorite Indulge: Homemade Oreos. When we lived in Rand, I got into making things from scratch (like Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups) because there wasn’t a store nearby, and sometimes you just have a craving! We’re major Oreo fans at our house, and I can’t wait to try these! Plus, you can customize the icing color for the season, and Double (or dare I say it….Triple) Stuf would be easy-peasy!


Favorite Breakfast Treat: Cinnamon Roll Dunkers. Some people might be all about that bass, but lately, I’m all about breakfast, and tell me these don’t look fabulous! These will be on the menu for morning-after-Thanksgiving breakfast!


Favorite Babywear: Moose Hat. There is no need for me to elaborate on this. Except to say that I really ought to learn to knit.

moose hat

Favorite Craft: Gorgeous Envelopes. I love addressing envelopes, and I’m loving all these ideas for our Christmas cards this year. PS HAVE YOU SEEN THESE STAMPS??? I got so excited when I saw the poster for them at the post office. The lady was like “Yeah. Rudolph the Reindeer. Christmas Stamps. Neato.” And I was like “Darn tootin’, neato! These totally beat last year’s gingerbread houses.” To which she replied “Do you need insurance on this?” Okay, USPS lady, talk to me about my box I’m sending. Don’t be a GRINCH OR ANYTHING.

…I’ll Bah your Humbug!!

Like I said, never to early to plan :) About envelopes and stamps, that is. Not Bah-ing Humbugs.


31 Days of Ranch Life: Working the Big Bulls

I had this post all written out yesterday to put up, and then it was one of those make-something-easy-for-inner-and-fall-asleep-on-the-couch-at-7:30 kind of nights. So today’ll be a twofer!

We worked the big herd bulls today, which pretty much amounts to giving everyone their fall vaccinations and parasite pour, getting blood samples for DNA and trying to figure out who they are because 75% of them lose their tags. Bulls are a pain to work, because they’re huge (these guys all weighed in between 1800-2200 pounds, for the most part), and they’re ornery, because they’re bulls, and they fight nonstop, because they’re bulls. They’re hard to catch in the headcatch on the chute because their necks are bigger than their heads, and they rarely load into the chute at all without putting up some kind of resistance. Once caught, they sit there and beller and slobber and groan and it makes one generally unimpressed with the male half of the bovine species.

(Side note: to clarify, whenever I say we “worked” something, that just means that we put animals through the chute to perform some kind of procedure, be it vaccinations, preg check, ultrasound, breeding, etc. So, I try to explain what exactly we’re doing each time we work cattle. It really does run together, though, even for us!)

We try to minimize the time we have them in the pens because they tear things up when they fight and it’s easier to rehang one gate than to rehang all of them, and replace some of the iron fence, and grab a horse to chase some that got out when they broke a gate, etc. Also because they’re a pain. Thankfully, they all just got loaded on the semi (it’s faster because the camp they’re going to is 30 minutes away by vehicle, and there’s enough that it woul require multiple trips with stock trailers and pickups) and will get dropped off at their winter pasture. They’ll be checked on, of course, and fed, but we won’t really mess with them again until spring, when it’s time to semen test them and then turn them out with the cows.

Thank goodness!!

See what I mean about being too big to catch in the headcatch? Hence why he’s just standing there. This bull is also a Charolais. This isn’t even close to the biggest bull we have, this guy probably weighs about 2000 pounds. I just like the “I’m not impressed” eye he’s giving us:

not impressed

This (Red Angus) bull stood here almost the whole time, which was not very fun because he’s known to be a knothead, and tried to fight everything that came out of the chute. He’s also not one that you want to try and hoo-rah away on foot, because he’ll fight you, too. And he’ll win, unless you can run fast and climb quickly.

red bull

31 Days of Ranch Life: Rainbows and Cravings

Today is one of those days where I feel so lucky to have my job–I got to work from home! It feels like such a privilege to camp out on the couch with my spreadsheets! Weird, I know, but when your commute used to be an hour, putting on some pregnant lady leggings and commuting to your living room (albeit to enter inventory) is like walking on the moon–you knew it was possible, but never thought you’d be able to do it yourself!

I may or may not have had White Christmas going in the background.

Another nice thing about working from home every now and again is that when I take breaks (I have to get up and move around for ten minutes or so every hourish when I’m working on the computer), I can change the laundry and do a few chores, like spray lacquer on the green door in preparation for its installation, hopefully this weekend!

Yessssss. And, I got to make lunch for the hubs, which was homemade pizza with smoked sausage, caramelized onions, garlic and mushrooms–our favorite! I throw basil on mine for good measure. We used to eat lunch together every day, sometimes I miss it.

…and sometimes I’m glad that I just have to figure out my own lunch, because cowboy cannot subsist off of what I like to have for lunch, which is usually some variation of cheese and crackers, and orange or grapes and peanut butter apples. My mom calls these “snack lunches” and they’ve been my jam since I was bitty. Normally, there’s lunch meat thrown in there, but pregnant ladies and listeria. You know.

After I got my work done for the day, I (of course) went out with the dogs, and I’m so glad I did! It was hard to get off the sofa today. But, the late afternoon light is the best for pictures, and we even saw a rainbow! In October. In Colorado. This is odd.

But pretty!

Bert’s slowly but surely getting hay stacked for this winter:


And I don’t know if it’s the fall or what, but those gophers must smell divine because this is what the dogs do on our entire walk.


And behold, the beauty of Colorado in the fall. It doesn’t matter where you are in this gorgeous state, it’s all amazing. Those pictures are doctored at all, folks. That’s au naturel.



Aaaaand we just returned from a pregnant-lady convenience store run. I’m proud to report I’ve been able to not give in to too many cravings for all the junk I want to stuff in my face, and thankfully my cravings have mostly been pretty healthy (I’m pretty sure Honeycrisp apples are the nectar of life) but a Sour Patch Kids commercial came on TV, and it was allllll over. I have never once desired to eat Sour Patch Kids, but folks, I couldn’t go on without those sugary morsels. Thank goodness there’s a convenience store within ten miles–this is one time I’ve been glad we live somewhat near civilization.

But not near enough for me to start a tab at the local sugar stop. If there were an ice cream store within that radius I think I would have gained a lot more than the ten pounds I already have.

…I may or may not have left with a York bar and Tropical Skittles, too. Just to throw in the freezer, you know, in case of another craving. But I won’t eat them tonight.

Repeat after me: I will not eat three candy bars in one sitting. I will not eat enough sugar to power a preschool for an afternoon all at once. 

Okay, I’m going to go enjoy my Sour Patch Kids. Just the Sour Patch Kids.

Big Smoky and a Victory

Happy Tuesday! Today at the ranch we worked a little group of bulls–we’ll do some more on Thursday. Just like the cows and the calves, bulls need their vaccinations in the fall, too. We don’t handle the bulls nearly as much as the cows–they don’t need to be AI-ed in the Spring, and they’re not always getting messed with due to their calves like the cows are. So, we use this time to get weights, replace lost tags (bull are always losing tags because they fight so much), check tattoos, and brand bulls that the ranch purchased that haven’t gotten our ranch’s brand yet.

This Charolais bull needed a brand, and the smoke looked neat, all back-lit and lingering-y. I didn’t get my phone out in time, but you get the idea–his hair is long, so it was pretty smoky! I can’t tell you how weird it is to smell branding smoke in the fall, it’s a smell I always associate with Spring and baby calves, not 1400-lb bulls in October. But, this guy is officially one of the crew.

brandingOn a less bovine note, something momentous happened today. The pickup got Colorado plates! It’s a wonderful thing. We renewed our Montana plates last September right before we found out that we’d be moving, and we’re cheap so we weren’t about to pay twice, so we just waited until they expired. It feels nice to not be an out-of-state driver in my native state anymore :)


And, small victory for me: I had everything I needed at the DMV! The DMV in our county is notorious for being difficult, especially when you’re trying to change things from out-of-state. In the past, it’s involved a call to the bank, to the DMV in Montana, and having to wait in the DMV line again, after making sure to get there early to beat the line, even though I brought everything that they told me I needed to bring.

Lies. All lies.

But no. Today, I scored a win for all the registered drivers out there. Woooooooo!

(Please read this exchange with the DMV lady sounding like Roz from Monster’s Inc. She didn’t, but it conveys the point better.)

“Ma’am, I’m sorry, but your maiden name is on this title, and it doesn’t match your driver’s license.”
“Wellllll good thing I have my marriage license!” *Brandishes marriage license with flourish*
“Ma’am, I’m sorry, but you and your husband are both on the loan papers and title, and there’s a form he needs to sign…”
“You mean this form? That I have! Right here! That he signed!” (Doing a little victory dance)
“Ma’am, I’m sorry, all out-of-state vehicles need a VIN inspection…”
“Like this one that I got on Saturday?!” (SO PREPARED RIGHT NOW.)
“Ma’am, it looks like everything is in order. Here are your plates, have a nice day!”
“You too, DMV lady! You. Too!”

I’ve been happy dancing all day. And, it didn’t cost us an arm and a leg–just an arm. Oh DMV, the games you play.

31 Days of Ranch Life: Escapees

Sometimes (or often if your ranch is graced with legitimately antique barbed wire, like ours is), life on a ranch means dealing with escapees–occasionally, the grass really is greener on the other side! Sometimes, though, I think some cows just get the itch to travel.

Orrrrr someone runs a car through the fence and doesn’t tell you, but that’s for another day.

For instance, Smoky here has been visiting the neighbors’ front yard on a regular basis. We’ve fixed the hole where she gets out, but when a calf has a mind to take a tour of the neighborhood, a barbed wire fence won’t stop them, no matter how good it is! Thankfully, most calves are content staying with their mothers.

Smoky knows she doesn’t belong in the neighbors’ yard, though, because all you have to do is get out of your car and holler at her to go home and she runs right back (through the fence) to the pasture with her mother. What a gal!


Weekend Ranch Life

This weekend, we celebrated my niece’s sixth birthday at her cowgirl-themed birthday party, complete with s’mores (sign made by my sis-in-law, isnt it the cutest?!) and potato-sack races.  Photo credits to the same sister-in-law :)


pt sack


I made some cinnamon banana bread, mostly so I could pretend I was letting the bananas rot on top of the fridge for a reason. And also because who doesn’t love banana bread?!?


Can we talk about this wreath? My momma saw this one from a Friday Favorites post, and of course found this gorgeous wreath for 70% off (because that’s how she rolls) and scooped it up for me because she’s the best. Add a wooden letter “J” from my sis-in-law (who got married last year and so her initials changed), and it’s pretty much awesome. My front door feels so Martha right now.


My darling husband indulged by crafting tendencies and helped me gather up so many pinecones. I can’t wait for a little holiday crafting!!!


We had to pick up some heifers that the ranch let a local arena lease for the weekend, I think they were happy to be home :)



I have no idea what’s on tap for next week–we don’t wean any more calves until the week after next, so who knows! At home, I’m hoping (of course) to make more headway on our bedroom, and to do a little holiday planning. We host Thanksgiving every year, so I want to make this year even better, and I want to make our last Christmas as parents of canine-only children to be a memorable and relaxed one. Plus, I know that this year is likely my last year for awhile that I’ll be able to craft to my heart’s content, so I want to get a few holiday decorations done early. And, of course, elf-ing, because I love buying Christmas gifts! If I get them early, I’m less likely to overspend and to be overwhelmed by my to-do list come December.

This leaves more time for my honey, snuggling next to the woodstove, baking for friends and family and generally soaking up the last little bit of being just us. But, we’re so excited! Less than four months (!!!!!!!!) to go!

Also, I’m waiting for this little (big!) baby to arrive! I’ve been on the hunt for a big, colorful planner to keep life straight in 2015, with plenty of extra room for my notes, lists and scribbles–I’ve always got something brewing! I blame Pinterest. In the past, I’ve loved Vera Bradley planners, but I haven’t had one for several years and was dismayed to see that they changed the design, and not for the better. This is depressing, because I’m a devoted Vera fan! But, after a search, I think this Lilly Pulitzer agenda fits the bill. Plus, bonus! It starts n August 2014. Helllooooo instant gratification.


Friday Favorites

Happy Friday! This weekend, we’ve got a birthday party, a dinner date, and I’m hoping to work on our bedroom. The weather’s gorgeous, and I’m using all the restraint I can muster to not jump full-tilt into holiday prep, because we’re officially halfway through October!

…but I recognize that holiday burn-out is sort of a thing, so I’ll just get excited when November rolls around :)

Favorite Quote/Theme/Etc: Preach, Confucious! Because I’m going for slow and steady on everything these days.


Favorite Inspire: White Bedroom. Specifically, the lack of foot board. Obviously, I’m in full bedroom-makeover mode. I’ve always had a footboard, but since we got our new mattress, we don’t have one, and for awhile I was convinced that it wasn’t going to work. But, pictures like this one give me hope. With the right bedding, a long bedskirt and a pretty headboard, who needs a foot board anyways? I LOVE the bench idea, too.


Favorite Sparkle: Glitter Baseball Tee. I live in baseball tees (when not pregnant–have you SEEN how much they charge for maternity baseball tees?), and glitter makes everything better.


Favorite Sweet Tooth Fix Before 10am: Cinnamon Rolls. Do I really need to say anything about these??

cinnamon rolls

Favorite Do-I-Have-To-Have-Kids-To-Do-This? No? Good: Jack-O-Lantern Grilled Cheese Sandwiches. We’re (okay, Bert is) having grown-up grilled cheese for dinner tonight, but I’m a grilled cheese purist, so these might make an appearance. Because they’re awesome, and I like playing with my food, and it’ll give me good practice for when I need to break these out for a more age-appropriate crowd. Right? Right!

grilled cheese

Favorite Speaking of Kids: These onesies come in 12-month sizes, don’t worry. It’s all I can do to not buy one for next year so we’re ready! But that’s kind of weird. Isn’t it?

Filthy animal

Favorite Fuzzy: Dog in Overalls. I’m not into dressing up dogs (except bowtie collars! Those things are so cute! But they would last about .351784 minutes at my house), but come. on. This dog even looks a little like Jay…and we’ll probably dress up for Halloween next year…

overalls dog

Favorite Photos: Colorized Historical Photos. This is seriously cool–pictures that were taken in black and white have been made color. It further cements my opinion that Albert Einstein was a pretty cool guy.

in color

Favorite Inspire #2: Door Headboard. See? In full bedroom-renovation mode, here. This is what I’m going to do with our green door. Except I’m not sure about the molding or the pictures–having picture frames falling on my face in the night freaks me out. Or a tree branch in the eye.


Favorite To-Try: Basil Pesto Chicken Pasta. My darling husband loves pesto, and I usually use it to make a pesto pasta primavera, with chicken and all kinds of vegetables. But, I think I’m going to try this bad boy, because no bell peppers, which are still part of my food aversions when in a dish with chicken. Go figure.


Favorite Indulge: Cranberry Bliss Bars. I’m not part of the Pumpkin Spice Latte crew as far as Starbucks is concerned, but I do love these. Except my lack of proximity to a Starbucks and my cheapness makes it somewhat prohibitive to buy these. So, make ‘em! This is my favorite recipe.

cranberry bliss bars

Favorite Gift Idea: Speaking of indulge, I love this treat box idea. Spiced nuts, chocolate pretzels, puppy chow–these might take the place of cookie boxes this year! Maybe. If I can manage that level of fanciness.

treat boxes

Favorite Fitness: Lean Legs Challenge. I love this little routine! I’m not exactly doing the challenge, but I’m trying to do  at least the Day 6 level four or five days a week. I throw in some curtsy lunges, too.


Favorite DIY: Faux-Fur Rug. This is the rug I’m making for Junior’s room. It’s washable, folks! #1 criteria at our house.


Favorite Holiday DIY: Pinecone garland. I’m thinking twine, or ribbon, some glitter, I may substitute something else for the snowflakes, but I’ve already scoped out my pinecone source and asked permission to pillage it from the guy that lives there. I love Christmas la la la sorry I’m not sorry!!!