A FEW FALL TOUCHES || using what I already have to decorate for fall

This time of year always gets so busy for me (and I know for so many others!)  The tourism is so seasonal here and our vacation rental reaches the peak of busy-ness in August and September.  For me that means a lot of cleaning, gardening and paper work.  But, even during the busy-ness of life, it's so important to make time for family and friends.  Saturday was spent hosting a booth at Carlton Crush ( a darling, local festival ).  It was a long, fun, successful and exhausting day, but the good kind of exhausting!  Sunday we spent the day at Pacific City with Matt's parents….celebrating his dad's birthday.  Pacific City is one of our favorite places to spend the day.  We drive the truck down onto the sand and set up camp for the day.  Football, fire, food and lots of sand and salt water….the best kind of day! IMG_4613



And today has been our first 'slow' day at home in a while.  So, the girls and I have been cleaning and slowing adding touches of Fall.  When decorating for Fall, I like to go 'all natural' and use things from nature.  Mostly branches, berries, pumpkins and gourds.  It's easy, cheap and looks great.  A couple of years ago I painted all of my fake orange pumpkins white and light green.  I used Chalk Paint to paint my pumpkins, but I am sure any paint would work just fine.







As you can see by the dining room photos, the room is in progress.  When Matt starts paneling the stairway to the basement, he is going to add an opening to the dining room and panel the entire room.  We contemplated wall papering but we would need to tear off of the layers of wall paper and it honestly would be easier to panel the room than to try to remove the wallpaper, patch the holes and hang wallpaper.

The girls and I are planning on adding some Fall touches to the their bedrooms and the outside of the house later today, I will post pictures later in the week!






I am learning to embrace the way I am 'wired'.  Creative, orderly, energetic, hard working, sympathetic and a lover of beauty.  But, I also struggle with not letting these things demand how I will live each day.  Living with people is messy, both physically and emotionally.  I can choose to love on the people around me or get frustrated because they don't allow me the time or the ability to keep things orderly, clean, organized, etc.  I can easily loose perspective!

Everywhere I look we have un-finished and half finished projects.  The chickens are crammed into a little pen with a shanty of a home.  The excavator will break ground this week for Matt's barn.  The basement looks like somebody started construction and then walked away.  And those are all such trivial complaints!   All around me friends are hearing hard medical diagnoses, family and friend's marriages are falling apart, people are loosing jobs, and I can hardly even think of the heartache happening in the Middle East.



But, I am learning to embrace the messiness of life and enjoy the beauty in the little moments.  Life is hard and when I start to feel overwhelmed by it all, I kiss my babies and thank God for the goodness around me!






4th of JULY || and savoring the little moments

Ever since Addilyn was born, we spend most of the Fourth of July at Cannon Beach.  It's a sweet little tradition that we look forward to every summer.  The bakery, the shops, the darling parade, the sweet smell of the ocean air, it's one of my favorite things about summer.


I am definitely learning to savor the time I spend with my little family.  The girls are growing so fast.  I want to pour into them and love on them.  And honestly, some days are just hard.  I loose my patience too many times to count.  I snap and nag, and these sweet little ones love on me anyway.

We slowed down for the day.  We sat and enjoyed the parade.  We enjoyed each other's company.  We were present and it was just what this tired mama/wife needed.



Little Miss loves to savor everything around her.  Truly.  She inspires me to constantly look at things through a child's perspective.





After a long {but so great} day at the beach, we headed to my parent's for a BBQ and got to spend more time with family.

Sometimes I can be so overwhelmed with motherhood.

Am I spending enough time with my babies? Am I working too much? Am I teaching them enough? Am I pouring into them enough? How do I carve out time for my handsome husband?

I love my work and I love being with my kiddos at home.  It's a hard balance between loving your job and loving on your kids.  I am working on letting go of the guilt and learning to celebrate the sweet little moments.  I am finally finding peace with my work/home schedule.  Not balance, I don't know that I will ever find that, but peace.  God can fill in the spots where I am lacking, and believe me, there are plenty.

I hope you will be encouraged to let go of the guilt and fill up on God's peace!

A LITTLE BREAK || and a lot to be thankful for

You may {or may not} have noticed that I haven't been as regular at posting as I usually try to be.

We have been sick, injured and I have just been a little burnt out.


And then the trees and flowers began to bloom.  The sunshine appeared and I am gently reminded that the seasons come and go.  The seasons in our lives {the good and the bad} are short lived in light of eternity.  The last couple of months have been a little rough.  I am ready for this season to pass, but I know that the trials bring me closer to God.  And, they remind me that I have so much to be thankful for! {That is our neighbor's barn in the background, isn't it cool?!?}


To add a little sweetness to our home, we brought home 6 new chicks.  They are darling.  I haven't had luck introducing new girls to the old girls, but I am determined that they will all get along.  This whole 'pecking order' is so disturbing.  Hens can be so mean!  Matt still needs to build them a chicken coop, hopefully by the end of summer they will have a beautiful new home!


My mom made this quilt for Savanna.  Isn't it darling?  It's so bright and cheerful.  She just dropped it by last week!  I am not a quilter, but I sure appreciate the time that goes into it.  And what is better than snuggling with a baby swaddled in a beautiful blanket?!?


She made Addilyn's quilt for her when she was born.  Isn't it darling?


And there is nothing like chocolate to cheer a girl up!  Do you know my secret ingredient to box-mix brownies? Sour cream!  About a half cup of sour cream makes all of the difference {thanks for the tip Candice!}  Toppings don't hurt either...


I added marshmallows, coconut, pecans and chocolate chips.  It took less than 5 minutes to prepare.  The house smells amazing and the other people instantly think I am amazing and the best cook in the world.  I am telling you, boxed mixes to wonderful things for my family!


I have a lot of fun projects in the works.  Both for clients, and in our home.  I can't wait to post pictures!!  In the mean time, go make some brownies ;-)


Wednesday night I was hit hard with a stomach bug.  Oh it was bad.  Maybe worse than childbirth?!?  Not sure.  Regardless, it's been several years since I was so sick.  As I laid in bed Wednesday night, I prayed that my little ones wouldn't get sick.

They didn't.

And I was reminded once again that I have so much to be thankful for!


Thankful that I get to squeeze this face every.single.day.


Thankful that I get to tuck this one into bed every.single.night.


Thankful for the luxury of grocery shopping and the ability to fill my refrigerator on a regular basis.


Thankful for a little chunk of earth to grow a garden.....even in the winter.


Thankful for a child healthy enough to play outside.


The door leading to our garage is right next to our kitchen.  I painted part of the door with Chalk Board paint, it's a fun place to right messages and notes.

Every day for the month of November, I have seen this reminder on my kitchen door ~ 'today we are thankful for....'

I often forget that this is the season of intentional gratefulness.  I sometimes have to stop myself in my busy tracks and say thank you.  I take so much for granted.  Motherhood has taught me to be intentional.  To stop and pay attention.    To notice the simple joys in life, because I might not have tomorrow.... 

EASY HALLOWEEN NIGHT MENU :: easy home made dinner


I love to host parties and have friends and family over for any occasion.  Sometimes I have the time to prepare food and decorate, other times I don't.  I always want my focus to be on just spending time together, now how perfect everything looks or tastes!  I have found the more complicated I make food and entertaining, the more I am stressed and tired, and the food typically doesn't even turn out that good! We are having a few friends over for a quick Halloween dinner.  We all have littles to take trick-or-treating, so it will be a quick dinner, a stop in between the Halloween festivities!

I know we all have our 'go-to' easy-peasy meals, but I thought I would share a couple of my favorites!  These dishes have to pass the test of easy, tasty and can-be-made-in-advance!

Here is our Halloween menu ::

home made HERBED RICOTTA with pita chips


This home made herbed ricotta is so good....and so easy!!!  {I use the ricotta for the lasagna.}



I love this lasagna because it is easy and versatile.  I can make it the night before and just keep it in the refrigerator until an hour before dinner!



 PW CHEESY GARLIC BREAD {half with garlic and half without garlic for the kiddos}


And for drinks :: HOT COCOA and HOT APPLE CIDER

I figure we won't have any dessert since we will probably be eating too much candy ;-)

I hope have a great Halloween!!


You all know my sweet husband is the 'M' of MD HANEY & CO.  The master contractor behind the studio's constant renovations.  We have been married for 11 years and we have worked side by side for 10 of those years.
Our first project together was a darling little home in McMinnville.  An old bungalow;  and we added a master suite.  That led to building a new home in the historic part of McMinnville.  It was a new home, built to look old.  Full of character and style.....our favorite!  It was a fantastic example of Matts' technical building abilities, creativities, and eye for design.
We have been so blessed to be able to 'do what we love'.  There are hard days, challenging projects, and really long to-do lists.
But, Matt is able to do what he loves,  I am able to do what I love, and we work hard at supporting each other.
We have some exciting things in the 'works', and I can't wait to see what the future holds!
Thank you friends, family, customers and clients for being so supportive!!

NEXT CHALK PAINT® CLASS :: and a few pictures from this weekend

I hope you had a lovely weekend.  The weather here was A.M.A.Z.I.N.G!  Love Fall!!

Just a quick note to say that the next Chalk Paint® {bring your own piece} class is Monday, November 4th.


These classes are a lot of fun!  You get to use our supplies, learn tips and tricks for working with Chalk Paint® {and the wax} and you go home with your own little finished piece of furniture!

I have quite a few 'maybes' for this class, if it fills up fast, I will offer another one towards the end of November.

And, since it's pretty boring to just post about an upcoming class, I thought I would share a few photos from this weekend....


We skipped church Sunday morning {Addilyn had a little cold} and headed up to Saint Honore Bakery.  Have you been there???  It's our favorite!!


Addilyn LOVES pastries....but she REALLY LOVES her daddy.



We also like to go walking around the lake {Lake Oswego} and the fountains.

Costco was also on our list.

We nailed it!

They had good samples and we left with a cart full of ridiculous groceries and spending way too much money.  As soon as we got the car loaded with food, and girls buckled in, Addilyn informed us she needed to go potty.

Oh boy.

Have a great week friends!!

SAVANNA LYNN :: a few photos


 About a month ago, we had some photos taken of our sweet little Savanna Lynn.


Addilyn affectionately calls her 'baby Vanna.'


I never thought motherhood would be so amazing.

It's hard, fun, messy and rewarding...all at the same time.


This little one has captured my heart.


Everyone was right, you have room in your heart to love more than one child.


Some days are harder than others, but I wouldn't change it for the world!

What a privilege and blessing to be able to raise two little ladies.

Oh....and in other news,  Matt just bought a dirt bike....I think it's a coping mechanism for being the only guy in the house :-)


CANON BEACH :: a 4th of July tradition

Have you been to Canon Beach?

It is one of my favorite beach towns {in Oregon}!  The shops, the food, the houses, the ocean, I love everything about it!

Three years ago, a friend told us that the entire city celebrates the 4th of July.  That they have a darling parade and great fireworks.  She was so right!


It has now become a tradition.....starting with breakfast at the Canon Beach Bakery....


Cheering on the participants in the parade.....


Packing a picnic for the beach.....


The past two years, we also did a lot of shopping.  Funny thing; a 2 year old and 2 month old aren't really into shopping....


So, this year we didn't check out any of the darling little shops, looks like we will just have to make another trip later this month ;-)


Hope you and your family had a lovely 4th....we are so very blessed to live in a free country!!


OPEN HOUSE :: and inspiring creativity


Thank you to all of the lovelies who made their way to Carlton to help us celebrate our Open House!  Friday marked our first official day of this new chapter in our business.  I have dreamed {for years} of having a creative space to inspire others and work on projects.  I feel so blessed to now be at that point in my life! candles

Every Friday, the design studio will be open from 9am-7pm.

My little collection of home decor, vintage items and handmade goods continues to grow.  My hope is to have items rotating every week.  So, for the fabulous gals {and men} who want to stop by every week, there will always be something new and different.  We will have our various classes every month in the new workroom Matt remodeled.  Once I have finished decorating the workroom, I will post pictures!


I am really excited to offer unique and fun party supplies!  I always struggle with finding items I want when it comes time to throw a party.  I searched high and low to find my favorite items.  There are still items I want to add, but this way it is super easy for YOU to find little treasures when you are ready to throw a party!


My little assistant truly is a joy to be around!  She loves helping and 'painting'.  What a treat to get to be with my sweet little girls all day.  Some days they drive me crazy, but I know before long they will be in school and I will miss all of our times together!

Thanks again to new friends and old friends that made their way to Carlton this weekend, it truly was a treat!

Have a lovely holiday!

FAMILY :: new baby Savanna Lyn

I thought I would take a quick moment to post a photo of our newest little addition.....


Sweet little Savanna Lyn was born Tuesday {April 23rd} at 7:30pm.  She was the perfect size...7 lbs + 3 oz and 19 1/2 inches long.

We love her to pieces and are soaking up every moment of down time.  I promise to post regularly in a week or so.  We have a lot of fun projects in the works and I can't wait to share photos!!

FAMILY :: taking some extra time to love on my little one

So, baby #2 is due any day.  We are beyond thrilled to be blessed with another little life to take care of.  I may have irregular posts over the next two weeks as I soak up time with my sweet family.



I will be having #2 at home, just as I did with Addilyn.  I feel incredibly blessed to have an amazing mid-wife, a very supportive husband and a wonderful family.



I promise to post pictures when #2 arrives.....

Until then, have a wonderful weekend and enjoy your precious time with your family too!