Sunday, December 29, 2013



I spoke about living my life with intention & setting mini goals for the New Year  in my last post here.

I imagine my mini goals will change and evolve throughout the year. The whole purpose of setting small, attainable goals is to make them simple enough that they are achievable but have a purpose.



Here are my first steps to being successful in health:

#1 goal:  Drink 75 oz of filtered water a day. Purpose: staying hydrated, being more alert, flushing toxins.

#2 goal: Drink 1 green smoothie a day. Purpose: add extra nutrients to my diet & more energy to my day.

There ya have it folks, this is how I am rolling in the New Year.

What are your New Year goals?

Saturday, December 28, 2013



I sat on my couch in the very early hours of Christmas Eve Day…many thoughts were running through this brain of mine but none of them pertaining to Christmas exactly, or were they?

A hot coffee, a warm fire in the fireplace, and the Christmas tree lit with everything mostly quiet, except for the faint sound of Suzy Bogguss quietly playing in the background as the B’Dog unwound on the computer, playing Free Cell, of course :)

I sat there, thinking about the many blessings in our lives, but then I felt a wave of guilt, the guilt of being a fraud….mostly because I take them all for granted. All.The.Time.
My health, my good fortune, material things, friends, family…

It always seems to be this time of year when I think about how I am going to live life differently.

The New Year approaches and I ask the same questions…”What will I resolve to do?”….”Should I have a word of the year, like last year(Simplify) or should I just throw out a random goal I want to accomplish?”

I happen to come across a blog post about how we as people are too vague when it comes to setting goals. OH! That is so me. to. a . tee.
She suggested picking 2 things that would lead me to the success in what is usually a grandiose goal…losing 50 pounds, reading 100 books, exercising 7 days a week, yada yada yada. We all know the song and dance.
I am here to tell you, THOSE NEVER HAPPEN. ever.

So I am setting my goals that are small but intentional.


And there it is…my word for the year.

Live my life more intentionally.

I am not quite sure what that looks like but I am imagining it will mean I am doing things with purpose, leaving my comfort zone(OH BOY!), being extra kind to others, remembering to set a daily intention every morning, being more available as a parent, wife, and friend. I want to be more intentional with the time I spend with God, because too many times he is just an after thought. And I want to be more intentional with my health more movement, more clean eating, more stretching, and more journaling.

So along with the season of the birth of a baby Jesus, for me comes the birth of living lifeintentionally. Getting real and doing things with pure purpose and for me that takes planning. Not just winging it.

stay tuned for my mini goals….

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Life View- If you are happy and you know it clap your hands (cue awkward silence here cuz I ain't clappin')

*Disclaimer...I LURVVVE Miss L, more than I have ever loved anything or anyone in the whole wide world. This post should, in no way concern anyone that I am going to leave her on the 1st street corner I see, with a "Will work for my Moms sanity....because my Mom thinks summer break is 4 weeks too long" sign around her neck. No sir-ree. Please do not turn me into social services.

Okay!.......I am keepin' it really real today.

Parents....Are ya done with summer break yet? 
I mean, really, really done with summer break?
I am.
No routine, no schedule, makes a Mama more cray-cray than normal.
It's all.... "MOM, can we go...." Mom, can you make me...."MOM, MOM, MOM"......and it's always when I am just getting into a project. It.never.fails.

These last couple weeks I've been nothing if I haven't been... touchy, crabby, impatient....and if there are any other adjectives out there to describe a part time stay at home Mom's disposition 10 weeks into summer break...I am probably that as well.

I've been on all sides of the fence as far as working full time outside of the home, full time stay at home, and now part time working outside the home kind of Mom.
As far as my sanity goes, working full time outside of the home was clearly the winner for me.

YEAH YEAH, I know, sounds like I am complaining. Yes I might be, right now. 
However, I also know how blessed I am to have the opportunity to be at, and take Miss L to, all of her activities, make her dinner, bring her to school & get her off the bus..
I know, I know, I really do! 

But mentally 10 weeks in, the blessing of it a bit....out of focus. 

Want to know something that has become a bit more clear, as the blessings of summer break become a bit hazy?
If Mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy!
True Story.
For some reason, I have become the go to person for mood setting in our home.
If I am happy...everyone else seems happy, or the ones that are happy can easily overlook the "unhappy" one(s).
If I am sad...the rest of the house gets sad right along with me.
If I ain't happy...there ain't nobody happy. 
They can be happy when they walk in the door, but the minute they smack into my wall of unhappiness...BAM...they pissed...just like ME.
I don't get it. 
Why do I have to be the designated mood setter?
It's way too much pressure and guilt!

Are you the mood setter in your home too?

I assure you I am not always Ms. Crabby McCrabberston. 
Most of the time, like 3 weeks out of 4, I am a pretty happy camper. 
But a girl has her psycho moments and 10 weeks in,  my 3 good weeks have dwindled down to about 3 good days....and that might be stretching it. 

I KNOW I am not alone. 
Because all you frazzled Mamas out there have been lighting up the Social Media world with "Summer, you are dead to me" posts.
Tell me how you are coping with the last couple weeks of summer break.

I'm not counting but....22 Days until my partial sanity makes its return.

EnJoy the View~

Monday, July 29, 2013

Life View- Summer! It turns me upside down..summer, summer, summer..

Completely lacking in the blogging department?
Yep, that's me.

I don't know how you run your home in the summer, but apparently we fly by the seat of our pants here.
We have absolutely no structure to our summer days around this house!
It throws me for a loop most days, and I say I am going to implement some sort of schedule to the day, but it just never turns out that way.
It is a good thing I have only one child, or we would be running amuck, I tell ya!

I am curious.....Do you keep a structured summer schedule or do you wing it like us as well?

I had nothing planned for the blog this week. Again...flying by the seat of my pants.
However, we went to a fun little fair/festival/"days" type of event yesterday called Pioneer Days at the Little Log Cabin.
Most of the time it is so dang blasted hot, that I don't find it super enjoyable, even though I am fascinated by this village that has been built from old signage, buildings, cars, gardens ect.
BUT yesterday, it was picture perfect for this thick blooded Minnesotan.
70 degrees in July!
God must have seen my electric bill coming in the mail from last month and decided to grant us some relief.
Talk about a budget buster! I opened that baby up to a cool $270!! SAY WHAT?
How blessed am I to have A/C and stay comfortable? Completely..(trying to stay positive here folks).

Ok so anyway, I will leave you with a few pics of our day yesterday.....

No turquoise-ish toy at the flea market was safe from being photographed and oogled by Miss L and I!
(in case you didn't know, I am having a love affair with all thing turquoise-ish)

Cool vintage car signage.....

Old rail signs, depots, and a caboose....

Little blonde girls sharing root beer floats with their Grandpas.....

And bigger blonde girls sharing her Grandpa's lap...

All in all it was a great day spent with family in a quaint little man made village that gives a cozy feeling of stepping back in time....something we all know moves way to quickly.

Enjoy your View ~

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Life View - She's got...Personality, Ya! Personality!

I ran across this "Type" or "Personality" test today via
She did not create this test but she blogged about it(at her fun little blog)..... and I found it pretty fascinating.

I have taken personality type quizzes before but this one is pretty close to being right on.
For instance the trait: "being committed and faithful to my family and friends".
You could probably ask anyone who knows me and they would agree with that.
However the: "confronting danger bravely" trait....not me at all!
And again, ask most who know me, and they would enthusiastically agree with it, especially the B'DOG(my hubba hubby).


Of course I took the "sample" test because you have to pay $10 for the full version, but you get a really good idea of your personality type with the sample test.

BTW, if you are wondering.... I tied between a (The Observer/The Investigator) & (The Questioner/ The Loyalist).
After reading the descriptions and traits, I am much more a 6 with some 5 tendencies.

Here is a long little blurb about a SIX according to
A SIX is titled:  The Loyalist/The Questioner(I have seen it titled as both)

How to get along with me:

Be direct and clear
Don't judge me for my anxiety
Laugh and make jokes with me
Try not to overreact to my overreacting

What I like about being a six:

being commited and faithful to family and friends
being compassionate toward others
being a non conformist

What's hard about being a six:

the constant push and pull of trying to make up my mind
fear of being abandoned or being taken advantage of
exhausting myself of worrying and scanning for danger

Sixes as children often:

are friendly, likable, and dependable and/or sarcastic, bossy, and stubborn
are anxious and hypervigilant: anticipate danger
take on the fearfulness of an overly anxious parent

Sixes as parents:

are often loving, nurturing, and have a strong sense of duty
are sometimes reluctant to give their children independence
worry more than most that their children will get hurt

You can take your TEST HERE.
Then you can check out a description of your type HERE. 
Make sure to click your number at the top of the page, as this link will start with One.

Stop in at my FaceBook page House of Views, and share what personality type you are, according to the test, and let me know if you agree/disagree with the results.

Have fun with it!

I love a good personality quiz, don't you?
And if you want to check out a couple more fun follow-up links to the personality quiz, head over to visit Cara at maskCara.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

House View -- I'm gonna have to face it, I'm addicted to....dressers?

It has shaped up to be quite the busy summer!
As always, right?
I don't know why I am ever surprised at how fast the summers go, especially here in Minnesota.
Us North-men( & women) like to shove 9 months of outdoor activities into 12 weekends...because, well we kind of have to if we do not want frost bite!
It seems like every weekend is booked through August for our family. A good sign that we are having fun!

In between running Miss L around to all of her "social events"...I have been itching to start a new furniture project redo.
I found the perfect piece and cannot wait to get started on it.
There are so many great options & styles of "redo" out there I can't seem to decided.

Here is what the piece looks like right now minus the baseball piggy bank:

Beautiful, isn't it? 
What you cannot see real great in this picture is the beaded detail around the 2 bottom drawers. 
And what about those feet? UGH, so fabulous!

After drooling over this big wooden sweetness for a day, I set out searching high and low, like I do, on the internet and found some great inspiration!

An antiqued white finish with dark dresser knobs?

Aqua & white two-toned with brass knobs?

Distressed white with black top and black hardware?

Distressed bright aqua with dark stained top and copper-ish hardware?

 Or....classic black with a medium tone stained top and gold hardware?

See what I mean? 
Not an easy
There are so many great ideas just on this page alone, image how many I found and had to then narrow it down?

This is where you, my lovely readers come in....tell me.....What do you think?
If you were in the market to purchase this dresser, what style would most likely seal the deal for you?

BTW, I am still loving Penelope, my 1st large furniture redo! 
If you missed that blog post, check her out here!

I am looking forward to hearing your opinions.

Until then.....

Enjoy the View

Monday, July 8, 2013

House View- Gonna Dress(er) you up in my love!

Old School Madonna, anyone?

Ok anyway.... I am done with her!!
The big beaut, that intimidated me so much, that is.
I am now going to lovingly refer to her as Penelope.
Because she looks a bit like a Peacock.
And when I think of a Peacock, I think her name must be Penelope, right?
She's looking all rich and gorgeous now.
You want to see her don't you?
Ok but before I do the "BIG" reveal...let's revisit the TomBoy version of Penelope, shall we?

She has great bones! But just not my style any longer. Hasn't been for a long time. 
Remember, I was too intimidated to do anything about it?
Well I finally mustered up the courage and dipped into the world of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. 
Not to be confused with Chalkboard paint. 

(not my photograhy)

Annie Sloan(AS) was SUPER DUPER easy to use. 
No prep work!! Unless the piece that you are painting needs to be dusted or washed.
No sanding, no priming, only painting!
Word of warning, AS is on the spendy side...about $34 a quart. 
But it was so worth it! 
AND I only used a 1/2 quart on the Beaut!
So plenty of left over for other fun projects down the road.

I did purchase an AS paint brush too, which was around $25.
After researching the project and talking to an Annie Sloan expert, I figured it was the best way to go to ensure the project would go as smoothly as possible.

 After I got it all painted and let the 2 coats dry for 24 hours, I used AS Soft Wax in clear on the entire dresser. I just used an old t-shirt and buffing cloth they gave me at Denim Rose.
The wax seals the paint & makes it more durable.

And that was basically it.
It took me a little longer than I expected it to because we had so many things going on & I kept getting interrupted. 
But now Penelope looks like a star! Take a look-see.....

Yep I went with Aubusson Blue. 
Miss L told me I should jazz it up a bit. So I went blue instead of white.
I like it...a lot. She has a rich quality to her now.

I also went with a basic brushed nickle knob. Surprisingly I had 14 of them laying around the house back from when we built our townhouse in 2004. 
I knew they would come in handy some day.
I really want glass knobs for Penelope, but for now, the silver will have to do, until I can find a good deal on 14 glass knobs! 

One part that still needs some love....the mirror. 
I thought I would get away with NOT removing the mirror from the frame. 
And upon first glance it all looks very nice, but I just could not get close enough....and this is a close up of what I got:

Pine peeking through on the edge closest to the mirror. 
So eventually I will have to unscrew the mirror, take it out and touch up the paint.
But for right now, I am enjoying our bedroom being put back together. 
It was total chaos for a week in there, and it just about drove me to insanity.

Let's do one more side by side before and after on this project I am so proud of:

The lighting isn't real great in our Master Bedroom and these pictures were taken at different times during the day, but I think you get the drift?
Quite the change!

The only problem, now I have a hankering to paint the walls something lighter....

Are you DIYing anything this summer?
If so, please share! 
I love to see other peoples projects and ideas!

Until then....


Friday, June 28, 2013

House View - Step Right Up Folks!

Yesterday on my Facebook page House of Views, I said I was finishing up a small project.
I finally finished it, yeah!
Like I told you before, I can paint walls and such with no problem, besides an achy neck and shoulder afterwards, but as far as painting a piece of "furniture"....well it always seems sooooo tedious.
All the little nooks and crannies you have to shove the brush into?
And no matter how careful I am, there is always a drip and runny paint lurking somewhere on the piece once it is finally dry and finished.

Anywho, I had this half painted wooden step stool just hanging out around my house that the B'Dog DIYed for me a few years back. It has been super useful because I am vertically challenged, but it was never really cute. Especially with my half ass attempt at painting it 3 years ago! I must have been super annoyed & void of all patience the day I started it and then I just never went back and finished it.

But this week I got bit by a little painting bug and wanted a project.
And there was the step stool, looking all sad with her half dressed paint job, or lack thereof.

So I pulled out some black chalk board paint(which I have loved for a couple years now), a brush, and some newspaper and went to work.
Thinking it would be quick.
But noooo, it took me the span of 3 days to finally finish it.
Between having to let the paint dry in between coats and entertaining hanging out with Miss L this summer, it seemed to take FOREVER!
But she is all done up purdy now!
Step right up(pun intended) and take a little look-see:

Isn't she cute now, with all of her chalk board love?
As you can see, I am no artist, people. 
Those flowers(Yes, they are flowers) were the best I could do, haha.

I actually think I picked a small project as a diversion to my large dresser project. 
I am totally procrastinating  on that intimidating project. 
I think I am ready and going to check out some colors in person this weekend. 
Hopefully I will have some sort of a post about the "beaut" sometime in the next 2 weeks.

Are you working on any fun DIY projects. Let me know and share them on my Facebook page!

Happy Friday Everyone!

Enjoy your View~

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Book reView- The Castaways by Elin Hilderbrand

To me there is just something about summer reading. It just seems appropriate to get lost in a good book, during the lazy days of summer.
I have always been a reader, but my interest ebbs and flows. 
There are seasons in my life where I will devour one book right after another, not being able to get enough.
AND there have been other seasons in my life where it will be months of literary drought. Where I can't seem to get my mind to slow down enough to comprehend anything. Almost like I have ADD, but I know I don't. The older I get, the worse it gets. Anyone else with this problem?

I am happy to report that reading season is in full swing. In the last month I have read 3 books!

I blogged about 7: an experiment mutiny against excess here.

While I was on my 7 day hiatus I finished reading: Cross Roads by Wm Paul Young.
This is the same author who wrote The Shack. Which was a great book! 
I had 'Cross Roads' downloaded to my Kindle FO-EVAH! I picked away at it little by little. 
It was an interesting book and a great concept, but there was something about it that didn't quite hold my interest enough. 
However, I finished it, and I am glad I did. I really do not like starting a book and never finishing it. Especially if I buy it!

Last week on our first summer outing to the local library I searched for an Elin Hilderbrand novel.
When I see people's reading lists this is the author I see the most. 
So I thought one of Hilderbrand's books would have to be a safe bet. 
I chose 'The Castaways'.
'The Castaways' was a very fast read. 
It kept me entertained and riveted, just how I like my summer reading.
I see why she is a best selling author.
There are 8 main characters who each have a story of their own.
Even though it was fiction, I found so much real life woven into the story.
It's about life getting messy, and stagnant. 
It's about love and loss. 
It is about friendships and marriages.
AND it also takes place on Nantucket Island.... it just feels like summer.....and now I want to go there.
I highly recommend this book if you are looking for a nice & easy summer read.
I will definitely read more of Elin Hilderbrand.

What are you reading this summer? Let me know, I love a great book suggestion!

Enjoy the View~

Friday, June 21, 2013

Home View - a loooonnnggg overdue redo of a large pine dresser

For about 3 years I have been considering revamping this beaut:

It is our master bedroom dresser.
At one time I liked the look of  pine furniture.
I don't hate her now, but I have a different vision for her.
One that includes paint.
She's big Folks.
So that means a lot of painting.
Intimidated much?
Um Yes, yes I am.
Why, you ask?
Because I think painting furniture is about as fun as clipping a toe nail too short(which isn't fun at all).
All the prepping: sanding, priming, painting...coat after coat after coat. UGH!
Take me out to pasture and shoot me please!
Sorry, that was a little dramatic, I know.
Hey I can paint a wall like nobody's business, but thank you!

However, I have been reading about a certain product for the past 2 years that eliminates all but the painting step.
It is chalk paint.
And every time I go to an occasional sale, where they redo old furniture, the pieces that are painted with chalk paint are the ones that I get most excited about.
They have that cottage-y look I love so much.

So with that being said here are a few pieces of inspiration for my pine beauty.
These are all Annie Sloan brand chalk paint.

Provence Blue with gold hardware

Duck Egg Blue with glass knobs

Aubusson Blue with gold pulls

White with oil rubbed bronze pulls

Keep in mind the wall color of our master bedroom is:

Storm by Benjamin Moore

I am thinking a nice pop of color, like Provence Blue will do the room some good. 
But then my practical mind gets thinking that White is a universal color and what if I get sick of the blue(which I cannot imagine because it is my favorite but I am fickle like that, remember?) and White goes with dang near everything, so the chances of having to paint it again go down drastically, right?

What do you all think? 
Which one would you pick? 
Or would you go with a different color all together?
Please don't tell me you would stay with the pine look, because that is just.not.happening. :)

Enjoy the View~

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Beauty View- sitting by the dock of the bay

I am back from my blogging/facebook/computer hiatus.
In my last blog post I told you I was taking a planned 7 day departure from the internet.
It was quite fabulous and I barely missed it at all.

I wasn't busy doing busy stuff, but I was one of my most favorite places...Pelican Lake, Orr, MN.

Let me show you one of the millions reasons why:

Dreamy, isn't it?
Let me share some more of the fun we had......

There were big fish caught by little girls....

A lot of casting off the docks.....

Hours upon hours spent digging in the sand....

More hours spent lounging in the boat trying to hook "the big one"

Workin' hard for dinner at Crappie Point.....

Boys looking for nature inspired weapon material.....

Kids learning new skills......

Baby girls mastering the art of  blowing bubbles....

A smokin' hot tray of garlic bread..."Hey Shannon, what could be burning?"

Girls becoming Forever Friends.....

And....A really great group of people to share it with!
What a perfect start to summer in Minnesota
....until next year Pelican Lake, you were a great host!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Book reView- 7: an experimental mutiny against excess by Jen Hatmaker

My plan with this book review on 7: an experimental mutiny against excess, was to do it by chapters, as I read them.  
Let me explain why that did not happen... I devoured this book like a crazed premenstrual lunatic eating a triple chocolate fudge brownie & hastily washing it down with glass of chocolate milk.
I tried to savor it but it didn't happen that way. 
It got got me like the smoke got Sweet Brown(just in case you have never met Sweet Brown, let me do the honors of introducing you to her here). 
Many times I found myself choking on the smoke of  my own ego and my own excess.

First off, I adore the author, Jen Hatmaker.
I haven't met her....yet. 
In fact I had never even heard of her before I was led to this book. 
I actually admitted on Facebook to having a slight girl crush on her. 
She is witty and smart and funny and raw and real. 
If she lived closer, I would make her be my friend.
After I finished "7", I immediately downloaded Interrupted & Ms. Understood
Both written by Jen Hatmaker.
I am beyond excited to read these two books!

In fact, reading is exactly what I am going to do when I take my 7 day hiatus from all things internet, starting this Saturday.
This was a planned departure from the WWW before I read this book, but I am finding quite a bit of irony in it, since it just so happens to be 7 days.
Readers, at the risk of sounding hoo-doo voo-doo, I have to say someone is speaking to me on a much higher level than where I stand. Leading me to sit up and take notice of the things(the many,many things) & people that surround me.

If I ever had a small desire to want to downsize my life, that small desire snowballed into an avalanche after reading "7".

Quick overview:
Jen identified seven areas of excess in life that she thought her family needed to work on. They were:
#1- Food- Her and her husband only ate 7 foods for 30 days
#2-Clothes- Both only wore 7 items of clothing for 30 days
#3-Spending- Her family(including 3 kids) only spent money in 7 places for 30 days
#4-Media- They picked 7 types of media to abstain from for 30 days
#5-Possessions- they gave away 7 things each day for 30 days
#6-Waste- adopted 7 green habits for, yep, you guessed it 30 days
#7-Stress-observed 7 sacred pauses, every day, for 30 days

With each chapter finished,  I became more and more enamored with the idea of my own mutiny against excess.
I really think I will do some version of Jen's experiment. 
I just do not know what that is going to look like, except for the fact that I am taking 7 days away from this key board. 
And frankly the whole idea scares me, because I am terrible at following through with ideas and experiments.
Remember B'Dog calls me fickle and indecisive?
Yeah well, this one, this idea... I am going to take some time to think on. 
It is not something I can just jump into. 
It's not for the faint of heart or the thin skinned. 
AND this idea makes my heart feel faint, and my skin feel thin.

I hope when I come back from my 7 day departure, I will have an idea of what my first 30 days of  mutiny will look like and be able to share that with all you lovely readers.

Until then I am going to run with the idea of just......

ENJOYing my View...I hope you enjoy yours too!