Fireplace Makeover

Fireplace Makeover.

Hubby and I built our current home about 17 years ago.  It is the second home we’ve built, and it is the tenth place I’ve called home.

Growing up, I lived in six different homes.  Since being married, this is our fourth home.

So 17 years is a long time in one home for me.  The longest I’ve ever lived in one actually!

We’ve redone and updated things along the way, but one of the things I haven’t done much with in a long time is our fireplace.  It was in need of a makeover.

Our fireplace is a bit of a focal point in our home.  It is 9 1/2 feet tall and 6 1/2 feet wide.  It is one of the first things you see when you walk in the front door.

We burn fires in our fireplace every night from the first nip of Fall to the first warmth of Spring.  It is a place where friends and family enjoying sitting.   Being raised about 18 inches from the floor, it makes a great warm seat for a few people when a crowd is gathered.

I’ve been following a few home decor instagrammers and loving the clean look of white, so when my oldest DIL recently asked if I wanted to go to Hobby Lobby with her and my grandie girls, besides screaming, “YES YES YES” to a field trip to my favorite store with some of my favorite peeps, I knew just what I wanted to look for – home decor pieces for the fireplace makeover.

I found some pieces I really love – including this little white chipped mirror, artichoke on a pedestal, bird, cotton stems in a clear jar, and metal and wood arched window piece.

I love this new natural cotton wreath, which I placed over the only old thing I left from previous decor – an old chipped metal tile I snagged a while back at another of my favorite field trip shopping destinations – Construction Junction – a warehouse full of used and surplus building materials.  Some fun candlestick holders, another bird and a super cute bird cage that I filled with natural and white spheres in a variety of shapes and sizes finish up the mantel decor.

A serious statement piece now sits on the hearth in this awesome 3 foot tall vase filled with puffy white pussy willow stems.

I had so much fun choosing some new pieces  (especially since there was a 50% off home decor sale), and am really enjoying this cozy new creative space in our home.

As I type this, a warm fire is crackling, the snow outside is fluttering down.  Hubby has his nose in a book and one eye on the television from his cozy chair.  Our bellies are full from a Sunday supper served early – a lemon garlic pork tenderloin, roasted herbed spaghetti squash, and a beet salad.

I’m cherishing the moments – simple and satisfying – from my little space in the world I call home.  And no matter where it is, how it is decorated or what is served, the thing I love best about my home is who I share it with.

Cheers & Hugs,

25 Things that Make Me Happy

never too much happy mojo monday 357

A Short and Random List of Just Some of the Things that make me HAPPY:

  1. Lots of people in my home
  2. The phone ringing at 7:03 am – and my Dad on the other end saying “Good Morning”
  3. Marty’s laugh
  4. Seeing my boys in love
  5. Seven Deadly Zins Red Zinfandel
  6. When my boss sends a reply email to a project I’ve done with a one word reply:  “Perfect”
  7. Mikey’s tail wagging and the greeting I get EVERY time I come home – even if I was only gone 10 minutes
  8. Girlfriends – deep conversations and belly laughs
  9. Sunshine and blue skies
  10. Bombay & Tonic with lime and lots of ice on a hot evening
  11. Sending a card to a friend “just because”
  12. My first cup of coffee in the morning with sweet Italian cream
  13. Text messages from Rob and Ella
  14. Brady Bunch songs
  15. The beach
  16. Tight hugs
  17. Smiles from strangers
  18. Christmas music
  19. The smell of Apricot Nut Bread – Grandma’s recipe
  20. Baking cookies for friends and family
  21. Thursday date night to John’s Bar
  22. Finding and giving just the perfect gift
  23. Allowing myself to get lost in a good book
  24. Marty snoring – because that means he is there beside me
  25. People saying “Love ya”

You can NEVER have too much happy – right?!

never too much happy mojo monday 357 flat

So I had fun making this card for Mojo Monday Challenge #357 and using this Stampinup Yippee-Skippee Stamp sentiment:  “You Can Never have Too Much Happy,” which I heat embossed with white on Blackberry Bliss cardstock.

This is the sketch we were to follow:


I used some Park Lane DSP, some more of the new In Colors: Hello Honey and Tangelo Twist with some classic Old Olive, and stamped and cut out the flower and leaf from SU Flower Patch.  I embellished with a few of my homemade faux enamel dots, and the finishing touch was a spritz of Tattered Angels Glimmer Mist (which I picked up on our brief shopping trip to Hobby Lobby this weekend).  Fun!

never too much happy mojo monday close up shimmer mistI love how the light catches the Shimmer mist, but it was hard to capture in a photograph.  I can’t wait to share this with someone and hopefully make them happy.

Cheers & Hugs,


A Kangaroo Burger at Burgatory!


After a “brief” 3 -hour (yep – we rushed!) visit to Hobby Lobby on Saturday with a couple of my favorite girls – my sweet “daughter” in law, Colleen, and one of my BFFs, Janet, to look at/purchase/limit ourselves to various crafty supplies and home décor, followed by a visit to Volkweins’s Music to check in on one of our favorite guys – Jake – we ladies were FAMISHED.  It was 3:30 and none of us had had breakfast or lunch – with the exception of coffee and a biscoff blondie :).


None of us had been to #Burgatory yet, so were excited to try!  It was a great time to go.  We hear there are long lines and standing room only at lunch and dinner time – but since we went at an odd “in between” time for lunch/dinner/linner/whatever you want to call eating at 3:30pm – there was no wait!


I told our awesome waiter Andrew, I would be blogging about this, so I wanted to know what the BEST burger was.  He recommended Morty’s Steakhouse.


In addition to being famished – we were extremely parched and excited to try some refreshing cocktails.  It was a hot day, and though I am typically a wine or G&T kinda gal, I had a hankerin’ for a beer, so I took Andrew’s recommendation on an amazing IPA.  Janet had a Raspberry Ginger Beer combo and Colleen had a “lemonade.”  We kinda wanted to try one of their famous drunken “hard milkshake” cocktails, but decided you can only handle so much in one day!  CHEERS!



While we were waiting for our food, I had to grab a shot of this humongous sign that might need to be everyone’s Mantra – Honor Thy Burger & Thy Mother!    Look at the friendly chap smilin’ for me :).


Andrew was awesome – and (ahem)  CHECK OUT the MORTY’S STEAKHOUSE BURGER!  It seriously has a huge steak knife jabbed in it to keep it together!


Janet was the brave one of the three of us and willing to take the risk for the sake of us all and tried the KANGAROO Burger.  Apparently they choose a different game burger to feature each weekend, and we hit on Kangaroo weekend.   This “sandwich” consisted of:  garlic crusted kangaroo with cheddar, braised short ribs, roasted cauliflower puree, onion marmalade and mixed greens on brioche.  We all tasted it.  EVEN Colleen!  Probably our first and last time to have kangaroo.  Not bad – but not great either.


Colleen had the Standard Deluxe:  All natural beef burger with white American cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion, and the house burger sauce.  She loved it.


And now – the piece de resistance – the MORTY’S STEAKHOUSE!  (and yes – there is a burger under that bountiful bouquet of haystack onions.  Are you ready for this?  Peppercorn crusted beef burger with horseradish cheddar, haystack onions and cabernet sauce.  Like the greatest steak dinner you’ve ever had reincarnated as a burger.


Andrew was right.  IT WAS THE BEST!  Done to a perfect medium for me.  Had to smash it down and crush all those crunchy yummy onions to fit in your mouth, but oh so worth it!

burg12A cute touch at the end of the meal is a custom fortune cookie with a Burgatory twisted message inside actually the best fortune cookie I ever ate.  It was super fresh and very vanilla-ee, and the messages were fun.


We would have had a great time wherever we went, but we enjoyed our experience at Burgatory.  (even if a burger linner set us back a mere $85 – counting a generous tip for Andrew!) – Budget Shmudget!

Cheers & Hugs,