i'll be back next week- just in time for my 28th birthday- for now i'm off to camp! 



this week things have quieted down a little bit. i'm getting used to life all alone in the church office since our associate pastor moved last week. thankfully it shouldn't be for too long, since our senior pastoral candidate is visiting this week and he seems like a great fit for our church! 

 we attended a potluck meal with the pastor and his family which meant coming up with something pretty to feed everyone! 

enter beautiful rainbow fruit salad. grapes, blueberries, honeydew, kiwi, banana, mandarin oranges, strawberries, raspberries and tiny marshmallows {which make any fruit salad better} it stayed beautiful for the first 5 minutes and then was a mixed up pile of deliciousness. 

also on the menu this week were breakfast for dinner {dutch baby pancakes with peaches} and my go to work snack {oat squares & bittersweet chocolate chips}. yum!

after being m.i.a. for a while the deer have been visiting a lot this week. 

sometimes the pup thinks maybe she wants to be friends with the little deer and the deer occassionally think this might be okay, right up until the moment where maddie decides she wants to play! 

that lil lady in the bottom right decided to follow me to the mailbox and then block my route back to the house yesterday afternoon. i'm happy to see deer in the yard, but secretly i'm afraid one will try to box me so i'm much happier watching them from the deck than being in up close and personal! 

more crocheting this week!
 i'm continuing work on the giant blanket. when i started the project for our bedroom we only had a full size bed, since then we have upgraded to a king so the blanket got huge! it will probably take me years to complete, especially since i discovered i had a calculation wrong and have to do double the squares i had written down. oops...

another tiny baby gift in the works- flip flops!
seriously in love with this pattern from two girls patterns.

and finally a little something i'm cooking up for the shop for this fall! think cozy home accessories!

a little real life ridiculousness for you! my second job for the summer is at lick-a-dee splitz scooping ice cream & making various desserts and i absolutely love it! after sitting {mostly} by myself at church all day it's a welcome change to be around lots of happy people at the ice cream shop. this pic is me on my dinner break in the back room. such a happy place to work!

most of the time up here thrifting is a jackpot full of treasures but there's always the scary scary stuff that just begs to have it picture taken and then be left alone! 

things i passed up this week include a bucket o dog sweaters, a giant neon snowmobile suit and scary wig lady over there. luckily there were some treasures to be found, but those will be in their own post soon!

have a wonderful weekend. any exciting plans? my good friend katie from food, wine and mod podge happens to be coming up to the woods this weekend so i'm going to spend saturday morning with her before heading in to lickadee for the evening!

linking up over here with jeannett again! 
life rearranged



i live in the woods. 
for real. i live waaaaaay the heck up here. practically canada. 
{not really. practically the upper peninsula of michigan. or practically lake superior.
 i wish it was practically canada!} 
we moved up here from the suburbs of chicago and to say life is different in the woods would be an understatement!
in so many ways life up here is a wonderful change of pace.
i get to live where people come on vacation!
we are surrounded on all sides by lakes.
we can leave our doors unlocked- people leave their cars running at the grocery store.
winters, while long, are full of outdoor activities.
vintage abounds up here! no seriously...everything is old & no one cares. jackpot!

clockwise from top left: i do love that hodag, sunset from a pontoon boat, our pup's first swim of the year, and the morning we woke up to 20 inches of snow!

other parts of living up here are...odd.
that giant monster i'm kissing up there? that's a hodag. he'll be getting his own post soon, but just as an intro- he went from being a mythical beast invented by a hunter to the high school mascot and unofficial mascot of the northwoods. our old hodag is even making its tv debut on an episode of scooby doo in august! 
taxidermists outnumber coffee shops.
nothing is open past 5...except the bars.
kids ride to school on snowmobiles. 
we have bonfires on frozen lakes.
my husband carries his chainsaw in the back of his jeep- and actually uses it. 
walmart is 40 minutes away. target is an hour and 40 minutes. 
so is a mall. unless you consider a bank, coffee shop & verizon store a mall {our town does}

clockwise from top left: all bundled up for the pond hockey tournament, a vintage find ($2!), hubby taking care of a random tree, and the newest taxidermist in town. 

so, welcome to #iliveinthewoods! 
a new series that will give a peek into my quirky wonderful life in the middle of nowhere!



what a week it has been!
last weekend i went to my first northwoods ski show.
we dog sat for maddie's boyfriend bear. 
 we said goodbye to dear friends and prayed them off to utah on monday. 
i made yet another maxi skirt. this one is stripey!
i ate a delicious and terrible for me dinner of bundles of joy on tuesday.
i have a secret project in the works. clues are below & all will be revealed tomorrow!
i scored some sweet vintage finds this week including a 60s sewing table & machine on wednesday.
i've been trying to soak up every minute of summer in between my two jobs. 
i finished a set of custom order ADORABLE baby booties for one happy grandma on thursday.
{yes i definitely do custom orders- email me for info!}
brandon and i were blessed with a last minute sunset boat ride last night to round out date night!
 i love where we live and i love where he works. 

i'll be linking up over here with jeannett and her beautiful new baby boy!
life rearranged


hello oregon!

this is the way to road trip! taking a 9 hour drive and breaking it up over two days is restful and fun! we left the bay area a little after noon yesterday and drove up to weed, ca. yep weed. 
we stayed in this super exciting &  classy comfort inn. 

i dubbed this the blogging chair. it was the least sketchy chair in the room.
on the way up we stopped in dunsmuir and ate dinner at the dunsmuir brewery works. what a great find! good food and great beer (says hubby- my two sips were tasty!) 
after dinner we  the crazy little Curiosity Shop where i bought vintage jewelry and buttons. it was the strangest collection of stuff i've seen in one store in a long time and more than a little sketchy but i got lots of buttons & bead & vintage earrings for $6!

Dunsmuir Brewery Works. Beer for him, root beer for me!

we finished up the drive today with a quick four hours up to sisters. we got to catch up with old friends over great coffee and meet new friends over great beer (and fish & chips!)
Three Creeks Brewing, Sisters, OR

i am so excited to be here this weekend for robyn and tex's wedding. robyn is such a blessing in my life and has been since the moment we met. to see her with tex makes my heart smile; God has blessed her with a wonderful man and i am so honored to be a part of the ceremony that will join them as husband and wife! i'll be back after the weekend with pictures from alcatraz, more snap recap and fun stories of this beautiful wedding weekend & our last little getaway before the summer of chaos begins. 
did i mention the hotel upgraded us to a jacuzzi/fireplace suite?! the perfect little surprise to end our time away just the two of us!
love these girls. LOVE!


just be you!

SNAP! has come and gone.
i'm not quite back to real life since we've continued our trip out west.
we've had some time with b's family, i've gotten to squeeze our adorable nephew, 
we visited alcatraz (picture heavy post coming soon)
and now we're headed north for a dear friend's wedding. 
through all of this excitement i've been processing what i learned at SNAP. 

i'll do a few detailed posts later this week or next week when i get home but
i just want to share a few of the things swirling in my head. 
the theme of the conference was 
Just Be You
necklace generously given to all the attendees by the wonderful amy cornwell
i have had to just stop there and think.
just be you is wonderful. 
we are all unique.
gifted & talented in different ways. 
no matter how many craft bloggers and shop owners are out there
we are each
there is no need to compare ourselves to other, bigger shops or bloggers.
there's no need to try to be something we're not.
just be you.

here's the thing.
i've had a hard time lately figuring out how to be me.
there was a time, 
before the depression 
that i knew exactly who i was and it was easy.
easy to live as i was created to live.
i spent a time living in a thick darkness
where i hardly knew who i was or what i was doing.  
the depression has lifted {most days} but a fog lingers.
a fog that keeps me from seeing exactly just who i am
and getting back to who i was. 

so the thing swirling around in my head right now is
just be you! 
but how? 

wow, so that got heavier than expected. 
let's end on a happy note!
SNAP! was a wonderful time,
a refreshing weekend away from a life that is draining,
full of people who understand me.
i ate delicious food.
i collected all the bacon from the people who didn't like it. more for me!

i was inspired to grow. 

i stayed up late and laughed til i cried with these beautiful ladies. 

how's that for a quick little post? 
more later about all i learned and the beautiful ladies i spent time with!
also...i took about 4 pictures with my real camera so 
if you were at SNAP! pleaaaase go upload your pictures
to the flickr group! sharing is caring! 


and we're off!

vacation! it couldn't have come at a better time. with hubby set to student teach in the fall {full time hours. zero dollars.} we are both planning on working a 2nd job this summer. the impending financial situation and long hours apart have us a little stressed out so we are so excited to get away. our trip actually starts with a few days apart. i'm on a plane right now headed for SNAP! Creativity At Your Fingertips, a handmade blogging & biz conference in salt lake city.  {sitting next to the world's worst airplane sleeper. i've been knocked into 6+ times and he's floppin all over the place!} i'm so excited to hug these girls and meet new friends! i was going to link to my post about meeting wonderful people at creative estates last year but i was a super deadbeat and didn't write one. that will NOT happen this year. 
while i head to utah, hubby is flying home to the bay area where i will join him on sunday. he'll be going to giants games, riding his bike all over the bay area and catching up with some friends. after the conference i fly to california and we spend a few days there in which i will be hanging out with this guy as much as possible. 
dear ezekiel, please stop growing when aunt jacqui & uncle b aren't around to see it. thanks!

also eating a lot of frozen yogurt. 

also we're going to alcatraz! hooray!! that's the one touristy thing i've always wanted to do when we visit b's family but it hasn't worked out until now. we're doing the night tour which is supposed to be extra fabulous and probably kinda scary. and awesome. 

then b & i are driving up to sisters oregon for the wedding of this dear friend.
yeah we're weirdos. and that's why we love each other.

b & i are so excited to have some time by ourselves and to take a day or two to drive up to oregon. hooray random road trip adventures & hotels paid for by the inlaws. i'm also so grateful for the opportunity to be involved in this wedding, and cannot wait to stand up and read the Word of God at this blessed ceremony. plus the bachelorette party, pedicures, rehearsal dinner & getting to hug these two are all reasons to be very excited! 

i'll be tweeting and facebooking up a storm while i'm gone. and probably filling your instagram feed with pictures of the fun. follow along here, here and here


insta-friday: down & back again

soo this is actually a little over a week. from the weekend of palm sunday until now. i've been down to chicagoland twice in the past week. two weeks ago i went down for a baby shower for one of my oldest friends. 
friends since elementary school. congratulations crystal jean! we missed you heather!
whenever i'm home i make sure to eat all the food we don't have up here in the woods. lets be honest, that's anything besides mcdonalds or subway so my options are endless. 
from the top: enchiladas, frozen yogurt, midnight run to spunky dunkers,
 tj's amazing almonds, pad thai, and breakfast for dinner (that one was local)
in between trips to civilization i got a lot done in the studio this week- from organizing to new projects to some unrestricted creative fun (hooray!)

Someone recently passed along a big box of vintage costume jewelry and I've spent much of the week clipping and sorting and playing around giving all these pieces new life. i love that each piece is unique and one of a kind. yep...those mean the same thing. 
Another one of these is in progress. I'll blog about it when it's all done!

New skirt & scarf! Second attempt at the maxi. Should have used this fabric the first time. Instead I was silly & used my nice stuff from my Mood Fabrics groupon...and it doesn't quite fit. Boo.
Changing up some of the hoops on the wall. The "create" and the stitched doodle are being carried over from the old grouping because I love them and they were a lot of work, but everything else is fresh & new!
Finally getting the pegboard up and functional. When we moved into this house we weren't sure how long we'd be here so I never really organized. After a year & a half I decided my sanity was worth it even if I have to pack things up in a month!

also in the last week- baseball returned! hooray! baseball is really my first love. long before i met my own baseball player i loved the game. i was ryne sandberg for halloween when i was 4. my dad taught me to keep score and took me to cubs games. they break my heart every year but i can't live without them. stupid cubs. also there are the magic pants. right hannah

I don't need to be at the game to keep score! This was at my desk while listening to the radio!
We did get to go to a game while we were in Chicago. It's been a really long time since my whole family went to a game and it was wonderful. Sure they lost (the bullpen melted down, surprise, surprise) but a day at Wrigley with my love & my family really is perfect- especially when it's 60 & sunny! I've been to games at Wrigley in April in the snow. Or horrible freezing rain.
We love baseball!

we went to the easter service at willow. it feels huge to me now for the first time in a long time. since i grew up at this church as was in a small group with the same people for almost 10 years it never felt big. now that i've moved away and work at a church of 120 people and they've built a new auditorium, this just feels huge! it is always a blessing to be back though, the easter service was a beautiful mix of music, spoken word and artistic moments that conveyed the message of the Gospel so clearly!
Easter Sunday at my home church. Yep, it's big!
after church we had our usual april birthday celebration with my family. my nana's birthday is the 18th, my dad's is the 17th and papa's was the 6th so every year we do all the april birthdays plus easter as one big celebration!
Happy Birthday Dad Man! I found him that vintage Quaker Whiskey bottle to use when he teaches Quaker University at work (he's a chemical engineer for Quaker Oats!)
again i'll leave you with the weekly picture of the pup. 
since we don't have kids she gets her picture taken a lot. a lot, a lot. 

found a happy spot in the sun!

as usual, i'm linking up over here with jeannett!
life rearranged



so here's what happened this week. warning- lots of food pictures ahead! 

basil pesto and my new favorite pasta variety. gemelli. google tells me that it's two strands of pasta twisted together which explains why it's a little more substantial. and delicious. making the pesto made me long for summer when i could pick basil out on the porch instead of paying an arm and a leg for it at the store. come on summer!

friday night is crafty ladies night at my house. 
i started having weekly get-togethers with women from the area this winter when it was dark and dreary and lonely up here in the woods. plus it was before Christmas and we all had gifts to finish up.
 these nights are now the best part of my week. sometimes it's 9 or 10 of us and sometimes it's just me and my friend jen but every week it is an inspirational time of fun and fellowship. 
and it wouldn't be a party without fruit dip! this fruit dip recipe is special, it's not your usual marshmallow fluff dip...oh no, it's special. recipe coming soon!

here we are in the middle of craft night last week. 
painting, sewing, crocheting and bunny making. there's always wine, desserts and often 90s pop music. sweet hubby banishes himself to the basement with the pup and rides his bike on the rollers while watching the tour of somewhere european. 
these friday nights are such a blessing to me!

lake michigan whitefish tacos! beer battered and served with cilantro, lime and pineapple. kind of amazing. 

i bought this fabulous little green vintage watch a few years ago for $1 because it didn't work and i finally got around to replacing the battery. hooray for telling time!

our few weeks of summer are gone and we're back to our usual spring weather- cold and wet. perfect for tomato basil soup and grilled cheese. the soup recipe is a new one i found on pinterest. and it was delicious!

i've started pulling out all my vintage finds for cataloging and pricing in order to list them in the new little shop: northwoods vintage. these dishes are going to be hard to part with! i found the whole set and love them, but can i really justify having a set of autumn dishes? i think i can!

i'll leave you with this one. jedi pup is such a weirdo. but we sure do love her! 

linking up over here with jeannett!
life rearranged


instaFriday: hello february!

oh look, here i am, back on my blog. shocking i know. it's been a rough couple weeks around here and i've struggled to keep up with everything so if you're waiting on something from me, i'm sorry and i'm almost there! 

my grandpa passed away last saturday. he lived a long, full life and died peacefully at home at the age of 88. when he was diagnosed with lung cancer this last year he decided not to undergo any treatment and faced the cancer head on. we don't often see my dad's side of the family so the funeral was a sweet chance to be with family. my dad shared memories of grandpa at the funeral and was able to life the spirits of everyone there. the day was long and hard, but everything went as well as it possibly could have. 

the funeral was 4 1/2 hours away downstate so brandon and i left early, early wednesday morning to be there by 10:00 am. honestly, i slept for the first few hours while b drove, but i woke up to a beautiful sunny day. 
wisconsin farmland

can i live on a farm? please?
since we were already down in civilization we made a few stops on the way back (hello target!) and did a little shopping. while we were at joann's i found some happy fleece remnants and decided to make a few new tug-of-war toys for the pup. i made a few when she was a puppy and they're just shredded balls of fleece now. she still tries to play fetch with them, but they're kinda gross. hello cute replacements! 
"uhhh mom, you made me look over there, but there's nothing there"

sunset in the woods
i'm trying to be more intentional about telling brandon the things i appreciate about him. he does so much around the house and i don't always notice or acknowledge it. i am so thankful that he brings in wood for the furnace and makes the coffee every morning and does the dishes when i cook- all while working on his masters. so enter the tiny mailbox of loooove. i found this beauty in the $1 section at target and now it lives in our kitchen. if the flag is up that means there's a little token of love inside!
you've got mail!
i'm always on the hunt for vintage jewelry that can be turned into something else. turns lots of giant, hideous clip on earrings make beautiful cocktail rings. 
my current favorite cocktail ring!
 i'm in a valentines-y kind of mood lately so i've had my valentine's day mugs on rotation. this one is my very favorite. a little bit sassy, just like me! 

today is also my wonderful father in law's birthday. not that you read this, but happy birthday bob! you are a blessing to me and so many others!

i'm linking up over here with jeannett!