new year and new you

Every year at this very time I sit back and reflect on the previous year and all the experiences I had. The good, the bad, the happy and the sad. I think about where I was this time last year and count my blessings for everything I learned along the way. I feel lucky. So lucky. I can honestly say for the first time ever, I’m exactly where I have always wanted to be. Right here, right now. In the present.

I’m not sure I’ve ever been so content with what the universe has brought into my life over the course of 2011, even the not so fun stuff has taught me to appreciate life more. I fell in love to the man I want to spend the rest of my life with, I moved in with said man, and together we are creating a life based on our shared values and beliefs. But with all this, I still can’t help think about those things, the goals as I like to call them, that I plan to see through for 2012. After all, what you put out there you always get back in return. I plan to put out the best, most authentic me possible.

Here are a few of my personal goals for 2012. I broke it down in categories because well, I’m a Virgo and we just do that sort of thing:


1.Be kinder, patient, and more compassionate to myself and others.

2. Write down something I am grateful for daily.

3. Spend five minutes a day in meditation.

4. Resume my yoga practice and do asana (the physical body practice) 2 times a week, one of those in a class setting with D.

5. Completely eliminate all meat and dairy from my diet.

6. Run outside more.

7. Forgive honestly and openly.

8. Smile as much as I possibly can.

9. Learn to not sweat the small stuff.


1. Finish one project a week, be it big or small and blog about it.

2. Learn to refurbish old pieces of furniture.

3. Learn about one new plant/vegetable/fruit/flower that I want to plant in my garden per week.

4. Organize all rooms of house (one per month). Stay organized!

5. Grow our garden 3 fold big, very big.

6. Learn to can and be more sustainable.


1. Always tell D how much he means to me.

2. Tell my family and friends how much I care and appreciate them on a regular basis.


I’d LOVE to hear what some of your goals are! Please leave a comment or feel free to email me!
Have a perfectly happy and safe New Year and may this year shine bright and all be good!









southern hospitality

This weeks Feature Friday is a blog about a woman who was able to rise above the devastation and heart breaks life can throw your way and and as she says it, ‘make lemonade out of those lemons.’  Southern Hospitality is a blog written by an woman named Rhoda, a self proclaimed Steel Magnolia, and a personal account of her own journey.

Rhoda loves all things design related, especially thrifting and making something old, new again. Her story is a mix of happy and sad and her faith that no matter what,  life will go on is inspiring. She picked herself up and continues to press on. Apart from her personal experiences, Rhoda offers tips on decorating, thrifing, diy how-to’s, gardening, and yummy looking recipes.

She has an amazing eye and a big heart, plus she reminds me a lot of my own designing momma. She has her own ‘feature friday’ on her blog so jump on over to Southern Hospitality and give Rhoda some love and see what she featured today.

Happy Friday! Hope you all enjoy your last few days of 2011!

top 10 most inspiring blogs of 2011

One of the things I love about blogging is the community it creates amongst others. You can essentially find a blog for anything and connect with many other like-minded individuals. Blogging gives people an outlet to express their interests, emotions, life experiences and pretty much anything that their hearts desire. I am always bouncing from blog to blog and love the blog-love  people share on their own blogs about others. It’s one big happy cyberspace family.

To finish off 2011, I thought I’d share with you my Top 10 Most Inspiring Blogs of 2011 and why. Kind of like one big Feature Friday!

Here you have it:

1. The Wellness Warrior: I started following Jessica about this time last year. A friend of mine and I were having one of our daily conversations about nutrition at work and she emailed me the link to this blog. Right away I found it incredibly inspiring. Her courageous story to fight cancer holistically gave me the inspiration to make a few changes in my diet and I continue to read her post and constantly learn something new.

2. Perfectly Imperfect: I find myself reading Shaunna’s blog when I need a little motivation in the DIY department. She is a true pro when it comes to painting anything wood and her ebook , Creating Your Masterpiece, gives so many helpful and inspiring tips that anyone could follow along and create their own work of art!

3. A Modern Girl’s Guide: Amanda’s story of using both a holistic and eventually, a conventional approach to fighting Hodgkin’s Lymphoma offers an incredible perspective of a girl doing everything in her power to do something a lot of us take for granted: live. Today, Amanda’s cancer is in remission and she is  living “off the grid” as she calls it, in a solar-powered caravan where she blogs about simplifying her life. Truly an inspiration!

4. The Handmade Home: One of the things I love about this blog are the photos. They are bright and cheery and they complement the content nicely. Not to mention, this blog just gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling and I keep coming back to it.

5. Design, Dining, and Diapers: In the six month since she began DDD, Taryn has created a brand that really sticks out. It’s fun, its creative, and she displays some adorable crafts, yummy (gluten-free) foods, and overall fun on her blog.

6. A Way to Garden: As mentioned in my latest Feature Friday, I love this blog because it offers so much information for a novice gardener like myself. I can find helpful tips for all my questions and so much more. It’s given me so much hope that I too can be a Master Gardener one day!

7. DreamGreenDIY: This blog makes me want to run out to my nearest thrift store and hunt for my next treasure. Carrie and John have done an excellent job at transforming their townhouse into their own masterpiece. Their Thrift Store Scores really make you feel like one man’s junk IS another man’s treasure.

8. The Lettered Cottage: With a possible HGTV show on the horizon, Kevin and Layla have turned their fixer-up home into a full-time job as they blog about their adventure. Take a tour of their cute little cottage style home and gain some inspiration along the way!

9. Cannelle et Vanille: The photo montage on this blog is spectacular. A freelance food writer, stylist, and photographer, Aran captures whatever her subject is in a way that makes me want to hang her work on my wall. Both D and I obsess over the fine details of every photo and the time put into it. A true artistic inspiration!

10. Farmgirl Fare: In many ways, she reminds me of well, me! A self-proclaimed ‘former cultured California chick’ turned farm girl, she’s been bloggin’ about her experiences of farm life, the good, the bad, and the oh so wonderful! Not to mention she has a couple Donkey’s. Jealous! I’ve been telling D I want a Donkey for quite some time now…maybe next Christmas?


So there you have it, My Top 10 Most Inspiring blogs of 2011. There are so many more I’d love to share but I guess I can keep those for future Feature Fridays!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and I’m looking forward to seeing what the New Year has in store!




goober jr. – the sperm donor

With the onset of the flu earlier this week and family arriving today, Wine Country Wednesday and Feature Friday will be back after the holidays but for now, I thought I’d introduce you to our sheep’s sperm donor, Goober Jr, our rented stud-muffin.

Goober Jr. comes from Bide-A-Wee Farm just down the road  and I have to admit, he is quite the gentlemen. With his curious and extremely friendly disposition, he is exactly what we hope rubs off on our skid-dish ewes and their lambs.  With a little persistence and a lot of alone time, all seven our our ladies will be lambing baby Goobs sometime this spring.

christmas themed 5 of my favorite things this week

In lieu of Christmas being five days away and that D and I just returned from our family Christmas with my side of the family in Seattle, it got me thinking about some of my Christmas favorites this year. Those few things that really stuck out in my mind.

And here you have it:

1) Donating (in someone else’s name): This year we all drew names and bought a gift for that person. As part of their gifts, my oldest brother and sister-in-law donated two chickens to a family in a third-world country through World Vision in D’s name. With these chickens, this family will have eggs to eat, eggs to trade, or fresh meat. What an incredible way to give!


2) Christmas Card Holders: There are so many wonderful ways to display all the Christmas cards you get and this is one of my favorite I’ve seen thus far.


3) Mini Christmas Trees: I love all the various styles of mini Christmas trees to decorate with. Whether it is on the mantel or on top of the piano like my mom, they are all adorable.



4) Old Family VHS Home Movies: Sunday evening we spent a good portion watching old VHS home videos. Yes, someone in my family still has a VHS and I am thankful that they do. I laughed, I wanted to cry, but most of all, I remembered some tiny wonderful moments in my life that I had long ago tucked way back in my memory bank to make room for new memories.


5) My Mom’s English Toffee: Since I was a little kid, every year beginning the day after Thanksgiving, my mom starts making her famous English Toffee. We call it crack because honestly, you can’t just have one little bite. No one can make it just like my mom although many have tried, myself included. It’s one of, if not the most, special tradition in our family.


feature friday – a way to garden

Source: A Way to Garden

I’m starting to plan my garden for next spring and decided I need some help. There are many things I need to learn and since I plan on increasing my garden by double, I decided to turn to my good o’ friend, the internet for some help. I began with a Google search for ‘blogs about gardening’ and as you can imagine, I had my pick of options to look at. I started going through each of them when I came across A Way to Garden and decided I liked what Margaret Roach, the author, had to offer.

It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the overabundance of information out there. I need to start with the basics and decided I should write a list of the things I want to know for this coming season.

Here is my list:

1) When should I start planing seeds?

2) When should I plant certain vegetables and fruits?

3) With what and when should I spray? (We try to practice 100% organic farming so how we prevent disease is extremely important)

5) How do I use the rotational planting method?

What I really like about A Way to Garden is how when you click on a categories, if offers choices from a more details list of subcategories within the main subject. The other thing I really love about this blog is her category called ‘Chores by Month.’ One of my biggest questions is What Should I Be Doing Right Now? If you click on December, you get an extremely detailed list of everything you should be thinking about right now from seeds, your lawn, houseplants, trees and shrubs, to your flower garden.

I’m happy to say I have definitely found a resource I know I can turn to for all my questions. That makes me, and my garden happy!



wine country wednesday – red hills market

In the heart of the Willamette Valley Wine Country, Red Hills Market sits nestled in the quiet little town of Dundee, Oregon. Surrounded by acres of vineyards,  orchards and other agricultural wonders, it’s hard not to hear recommendations from throughout the valley to try ‘The Market,’ as the locals call it.

Red Hills Market took off running in the spring of 2011 and has never looked back. With their goal of bringing community together through good local food, RHM offers a place for locals and those from afar to sit, dine, chat and feel like they are at home.

Whether you are in the mood for a tasty treat such as one of The Market’s wood-fired pizzas, hand-crafted sandwich, or a delectable baked-good, think Lemon-Sour Cream pie or Tiramisu made from their in-house pastry chef, Red Hills Market offers something for everybody. You will find local fine wines from throughout the Willamette Valley and some imported wines as well.  Artisan cheeses and spreads and salami’s fill the  cheese case and there is a fun array of country-chic inspired retail items throughout the market.

Some of the fan favorites:

The McClure’s Spicy Bloody Mary garnished with a crispy piece of local Carlton Farms bacon.

The Roast Beef, Bleu Cheese, Carmelized Red Onion Sandwich roasted in the wood-fired oven.

Or, pick up some of the The Dark Chocolatier’s famous sea-salted caramels.

Looking for something to picnic with? Try the Wine Tasters Survival Box filled with a selection of cured meats, local and imported cheeses, olives, chocolate, and a fresh Fleur de lis baguette.

Red Hills Market is located at 7th Street Dundee, OR 97115



what about the zombie apocalypse and nuclear warfare?

Disclaimer: I apologize if this topic is unsettling for many of you. It is meant to be somewhat humorous because if you know me, you know how incredible paranoid I can be not to mention dramatic. 

D and I seem to be consumed by television shows based on some apocalyptic theme like a zombie infectious disease taking over the world or the US being attacked by  nuclear bombs leaving only small towns to fend for themselves. As much as I poke fun at these shows, lately I have been thinking about things a little more seriously. I don’t exactly think that all of a sudden the world is going to be overrun by flesh-eating zombies  nor do I think the US is going to be in a state of nuclear warfare any time soon, but it makes me wonder, are D and I we prepared for ANY kind of emergency?

Not exactly.

Most of us probably have enough food in our cupboards to last us a couple of days and rely heavily off the built-in Brita machine in our refrigerator.  The reality is, even if we are affected by a minor natural disaster like a small-scale earthquake that leaves us with out power for a couple of days, we are pretty screwed.

Despite the fact that I tend to live on the side of being a little paranoid, I suppose I never wanted to think about these things before because honestly, it just plain freaks me out. Plus, we live in the Pacific Northwest where rarely, knock on wood, does anything bad happen. I suppose I’d rather live in my la la land where life is easy and I am somewhat naive to the dangers of the world. But maybe, just maybe, we should be prepared?

This also leaves me wondering, in the event of any kind of disaster, how many of you are prepared? How many of the Japanese were prepared for the Earthquake that hit last year? What about in the 2005 Tsunami in the south of Thailand? How many of them were ready?

As much as I love to laugh along to these overly dramatic, and often unrealistic television shows, something was ignited within me and I am left wanting to know what I can do to be a little more prepared. Even for a few days without power in the event of a massive windstorm.

In my quest to discover what I should need in the event of an emergency, I came across a survivalist blog called, wait for it, The Survivalist As I was perusing the categories I found myself getting a little overwhelmed. My mind was racing with list of supplies we need and questions, so many questions. Where do I even begin? How do I decide what kind of gun is suitable for me? How do you even shoot a gun? Do they have pink guns? How will I still be able to eat gluten-free? Will I have to eat meat again? What will happen to my cat? And to think, I question whenever someone calls me dramatic. . As I was just about to close out of the extremely informative blog, I saw a post on Three Things Every Newbie Survivalist Should Have and thought, hey, why not start there.

And here is what they said:

1) We need a good plan as to where and how we will store food.  Check! Fortunately, we have great storage room underground in the depths of our basement.

2) How will we get clean, drinkable water? Check! We already get our water from a well, we just need to figure out how to make it taste decent. We also are going to start buying 5 gallon jugs of water to store.

3) What kind of protection do we need? Wah Wah Waaaaah. Here is the problem. I hate guns. I really do. They’re loud, they’re dangerous, and they kill things. But I suppose in the event that we are being attacked by flesh-eating zombies, I’m going to need some kind of protection for myself. So I told David I want a bright pink bazooka for Christmas. Hey, were dealing with Zombies here!

As D and I decide where to begin on this overwhelming journey on figuring out how to survive,we realized all we need to do is start with the basics and go from there. As David says, we start small and build on that, one water jug at a time.




5 things i love this week

1) Pinterest (Image courtesy of Pinterest). A fun way to organize and share all things you love on the web.

2) Reclaimed Wood Shelves (Image courtesy of Country Living Magazine). I love everything in this photo from the reclaimed wood shelf to the cream-colored ceramic pottery to the bowl of apples.


3) Further Hand Lotion (Image courtesy of I think this is hands down the best hand lotion I have every used. It is the perfect consistency, absorbs quickly, smells clean and pure, and soothes my dry hands quite nicely.

4) My Sorel Boots (Photo courtesy of These things are incredible warm, durable, and not to mention cute. I wear these things whenever I get the chance. I also have the shot version in black with brown and red plaid.


5) Old Suitcases. I love the way the look especially but have also seem them used in innovative ways. Think bedside nightstand. Oh the places they have been!




feature friday – frugally sustainable

Often, I find myself caught up in this mindset of wanting more and feeling as if I never have enough. I look around my house and think to myself, if only I could remodel this or change that, maybe I’d be a little more content. However, I know this isn’t the truth. I have enough. More than enough but we’ve been taught our whole lives that we need the next best thing. I often find myself in a state of contradiction. Purchasing more, wanting to use less. What do I do?

I came across Frugally Sustainable when I was searching for informative blogs on becoming more sustainable and saving money. This one hits the spot! For me it goes so much deeper then just turning off a few lights and not buying things here and there. I want to learn to live off of what we have and save in areas where we blindly spend too much. I also want to get back to the basics. When I first started this blog, part of my motivation was that I felt  I now had the opportunity to live in a way I’d always wanted to, and write about what I had learned along the way.  However,  somewhere along the way, I got a little overwhelmed and lost focus.

Frugally Sustainable is a resource that I know I will be turning to for some time to come. Andrea, the author, offers advice in the following areas: Helps for the Home, Homeschool, Health and Nutrition, Natural World, Preparedness/Survival, Sewing and the Arts, and Beauty.

Whether you live on acres of land or in a subdivision, Frugally Sustainable offers advice for everyone!