Jul 19, 2017

Annie's Wedding

Hello, friends! Summer is just whizzing by us here in Boise!  We had a fabulous 4th of July celebration with out of town family and are now settling in for a calm and quiet rest of the summer. 

Today, I'm sharing a few photographs from my daughter's wedding. Annie designed and put on her entire wedding herself, with help from her sister and me. She started planning twelve months before and even though it was our first experience putting on a large celebration, bringing it all together was fun and pretty stress-free. 

That is, until the epic winter of 2017 decided to drop record breaking snowfall that melted and swelled our local Boise river to flooding well into June. A week and a half before Annie's June 3 wedding, the parks department called us to say our beautiful riverside park venue was under water and we'd have to find another place for the wedding. They tried to relocate us to another park, but every single one was already reserved for that popular Spring day in June. People, like us, who had functions planned for our beautiful park system all up and down the river were desperately searching for new locations as the river rose higher and higher. 

We were so lucky that my other daughter and her husband live right next to their own small neighborhood park! We all met there to re-plan the ceremony and reception for the new location and simply decided to make the very best of it. Annie adjusted the vision she had for her wedding and we scrambled to rent what we needed to make the new park work. She was such a trooper in the face of disappointment, and I've never been more proud of her. Her sister and husband also stepped up and went the extra mile to get their park side yard ready for serving reception refreshments by planting flowers and even installing a gate between their yard and the park so guests could move freely back and forth. All of us got busy phoning, texting, and emailing the new address to the one hundred guests.

And it all turned out perfectly. We could not have asked for a more beautiful day or a more beautiful wedding. Here are some photos! (Photography by Verse & Venture.)

My husband and I feel like the luckiest parents in the world with our two beautiful daughters now married to two such wonderful men. Having our children find their perfect soul mates has been one of life's highlights for us, and having these fine young men become part of our close family is truly a joy. 

I'm so glad you stopped by to share Annie's wedding with us today. Thank you for coming!

Jun 7, 2017

Annie's Bridal Shower

The past few months have been a whirlwind of activity for me and my family. It started with the preparations for my youngest daughter's bridal shower last April.

My oldest daughter, Jessica, and I planned and co-hostessed Annie's shower, sharing the shopping, preparations, and the making of decorations. 

I made lots of big tissue paper flowers for decorations.

Jessica chose a Kate Spade party theme, and our color palette was of shades of pink, glittery gold, black and white.  

I glittered some tiny wood clothes pins and used black and white striped bakers twine to make a photo banner of the bride and groom.

 I purchased a digital download of a pink background with gold glittered polka dots on Etsy and created my own signs and cards on Photoshop using the same font as the invitations we had ordered online. I spread out my work over a couple of months so I never felt rushed, and it was a lot of fun! 

We held the shower at my daughter's beautiful home. 

Decorating her home for the shower was a team effort. Caroline, my fabulous sister in-law, flew up from California for the shower and spent hours helping us shop, decorate, and prepare food. We couldn't have done it without her. Jessica's sweet husband, Brody, was also invaluable help, especially at figuring out how to hang everything on their walls. We were so thankful to have extra pairs of helping hands!

 Caroline put together our favors of nail polish tied with little "mani thanks" tags, emery boards, pink foam toenail pads, and chocolate kisses in black and white striped bags tied with hot pink ribbon. 

 There were little pink and gold cards for guests to fill out with shared advice for the bride for a happy marriage. After reading aloud what each card said, Annie took them home with her in a hot pink gift bag. 

And the guest who guessed the closest number of chocolate kisses in a big glass jar took the candy-filled jar home with her. 

I used my laptop screen shot app to gather photos of the bride and groom together from their Instagrams and Facebooks, then uploaded them to Costco to have printed. 

We hung them as a banner along the bookcase above the bride's chair.

 Our refreshments began with a Mimosa Bar in the kitchen (and I was so busy taking photos of the adorable guests, I forgot to take a photo of the Mimosa Bar!) We used galvanized buckets of ice to keep the champagne, orange juice, and peach juice chilled, and we had stemless wine glasses with gold stirrers and black and white striped straws.

 Our brunch fare was three different kinds of quiche, yogurt parfaits, bagels and cream cheese, cheese and cherry pastries, a vegetable platter, and fresh fruit.

Glittered heart-topped cupcakes and chocolates made a sweet dessert. 

No bridal shower is complete without some fun games! The favorite was pin the mustache on the groom.

 The large poster-size photo was also a digital upload/Costco print. We also played a match the romantic quote with its movie game - a real challenge for some of us, and a lot of fun!

Opening gifts is a highlight of any shower - so fun to watch!

And here are all our guests; friends and family who made Annie's shower so special. What a wonderful group!

 Me with my sweet daughter, creating a remembrance of a most special day.

Annie was married last Saturday, and I'm looking forward to sharing that beautiful day with you, too. Soon!

Sharing with

May 22, 2017

DIY Jewelry Frame

I've been doing some spring cleaning and organizing around the house lately, and I have a great DIY jewelry organizing project to share with you today.

I repurposed this wood picture frame into a jewelry frame for my bedroom in less than an hour. 

I have a large jewelry box sitting on my bedroom dresser, but not large enough to fit all of my necklaces. Some of the bigger necklaces ended up shoved underneath the jewelry box to keep them out of the way. 

Can you see them peeking out there? I would forget to wear them because they were pretty much hidden away under there. So I kept my eye out for a jewelry frame whenever I went to Home Goods. I saw cute ones there on past shopping trips, but when I needed one, there was not one in sight. 

Does that happen to you? 

If you snooze, you lose.

Lose?!?!  No way! 

When all else fails, make your own! 

I already had this big wood frame, but thrift stores are great places to find inexpensive frames if you don't have one at home to repurpose. My local Home Depot had small 10' x 2' x 1" rolls of chicken wire for around $6.50 (and as you can see I have some left over for other projects.) I flattened the chicken wire out on my work bench, set the frame over it and used my wire cutters to cut a piece to fit the frame. Chicken wire is stiff and sharp, so you can wear gloves to protect your fingers while working.   

After I had the chicken wire cut, I started in the middle of one side of the frame back and used my staple gun to attach the chicken wire to it. I stretched the wire to keep the lines straight as I rotated the frame around. I shot in a couple of staples, then rotated the frame, pulled the wire straight, and shot in a couple more staples on that side, and repeated rotating and stapling until it was all straight and attached.

 I covered the staples and sharp edges of chicken wire with a few layers of masking tape so it wouldn't scratch my wall.   

I used two picture hangers and hooked the chicken wire over them for attaching it to the wall. I bought some S-Hooks at the hardware store for hanging my necklaces on the chicken wire. I can take them off and move them where ever they're needed. 

Now I can easily reach up and remove the necklace I want. I'm wearing my necklaces more often because they're always in view as I get dressed. In fact, sometimes I pick out my necklace first before I pick my outfit! I chose to hang only necklaces on my jewelry frame, but you could also hang earrings and bracelets. 

I love the way the colors glow at night. My jewelry frame makes the perfect artwork for above my dresser. 

Need some jewelry organizing at your house? Make your own jewelry frame!

Thanks for stopping by! Have a great day!

What a great day for a party!

Apr 21, 2017

A Tiny Cabin in the Woods

Happy Friday, friends! 

I have some fun and exciting news to share with you today!

Back in October of 2015, I shared our road trip to my brother's lakeside cabin at Twain Harte, California. It was a such a relaxing and soul-rejuvenating vacation for my husband and me. In the mornings we enjoyed our coffee on the deck while watching the Canada Geese take flight through the mist from the little lake below. During the warm sunny days we hiked in the mountains and explored the charming nearby towns. In the evenings, glass of wine in-hand, we watched the geese return to the lake as the sun set, and as the mountain air chilled we wandered inside to snuggle in front of the cozy fireplace and read our books.  

Payette Lake, Idaho
Staying at my brother's cabin was a life changing experience for me. After we returned home, I found myself yearning to recreate that soul-satisfying sense of relaxation that we experienced there. I wanted our own cabin, and I started seriously considering it. 

Chris and our girls at Payette Lake, Idaho, in 1992
Like many people, we had dreamed of one day owning our own mountain cabin here in Idaho, but the realities of our single income family budget and the expenses of raising our daughters kept it just that - a dream. However, now that our daughters were out on their own and with that magical Twain Harte vacation experience fresh in my mind, I started investigating vacation property real estate listings in our part of the state. Everything I saw seemed out of reach and either too expensive or too rundown. I looked at every possibility including cabins, condos and unimproved property in every direction within a three hour drive of Boise.

Payette Lake, Idaho
I soon realized that to fit within our budget it would be a long search to find that one in a hundred listing that combined an affordable price and a realistic fixer upper undertaking, but I had faith it was out there. After all, that's how we found our little cottage twenty-nine years earlier; the only property we could afford in the North End of Boise where we dreamed of raising our children, the one in a hundred listing we could make into our dream home with a combination of penny pinching and hard work.

McCall, Idaho
One year after our Twain Harte vacation we were planning a day trip to the little mountain town of McCall just north of Boise to check out potential rentals for our Thanksgiving weekend. Our family has been camping here on Payette Lake for 30 years, and I shared our 35th Anniversary trip to McCall here back in 2013. Before we left, I bookmarked the VRBO rentals on my phone and did a quick check on Zillow for sale property. As a world class vacation destination McCall property prices were way out of our budget, but my quick search did bring up a tiny one bedroom cabin that was actually within our price range. I thought to myself, it probably doesn't have indoor plumbing or has a caved in roof, or something like that. It seemed to fit that old adage, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is, but I added it to my bookmarks anyway and thought it couldn't hurt to drive by.

Chris and Tucker in Ponderosa State Park, Idaho, on our 35 Anniversary
Later that afternoon, just before heading back home, we did drive by the tiny one bedroom cabin. My husband took a quick look as we drove slowly past and ho hummed it, but something about it resonated deeply within me. This tiny cabin was adorable in a neglected, run down, needs our love kind of way. I didn't say anything because my husband was so underwhelmed, but over the next few days I couldn't get the little cabin out of my mind and I kept going back to the Zillow listing to look at it. I figured it was my longing to own my own cabin along with the tantalizing idea of owning one in wonderful McCall that was skewing my judgment. Surely, this little affordable cabin was too good to be true. Right?

Cabin location marked by my x on a beautiful photo of Payette Lake and McCall Idaho.  Source: Idaho Airships, Inc.
So I texted the listing to my daughters for confirmation that I was being crazy to fall in love with a tiny seventy year old dilapidated one bedroom cabin that was just barely in our price range with no money left over to fix it up. 

Tiny cabin in McCall, Idaho
They took one look at the listing and said, 

"BUY IT NOW!!!" 


And of course, I'll be sharing the whole adventure with you!


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