Weekend Getaway

Things have been quiet on my blog lately!  So I thought I’d give you a glimpse of some fun we had this weekend.

The kids had a long weekend. And Dan wasn’t scheduled to work.  So we headed to the snow!

We went sledding….

family weekend 1

family weekend 2

…we took the kids skiing…

family weekend 6

family weekend 5

…and went on a sleigh ride….

family weekend 3

Such a fun weekend! But as always, it feels good to be home.


Fish Bowl Valentine {Free Download!}

For the past week, I’ve been busy working on the kids Valentine’s.  Usually I just go with store bought Valentine’s.  The kids are always happy with that and it gets me off the hook for creating something fun!  But this year, I decided to get crafty.   While the idea wasn’t my own {thank you, Pinterest, for the idea and inspiration!}, the creation is all mine!

at home in the nw fish bowl valentine

I created this the old school way – by hand!  I did not use Photoshop {though I wish I knew how!}

I started by drawing an outline of a fishbowl…

at home in the nw fish bowl valentine 4

Then I got out my watercolors and started painting….

at home in the nw fish bowl valentine 6

Once I was satisfied with my work, I scanned the image into my computer and added some fun fonts.

The one that I created for Emmie says “Valentine, You’re the only fish in the sea for me!”  Click here to download this free image.

at home in the nw fish valentine 3

Jack’s valentine says “Valentine, I’m so glad we’re in the same school!”  Click here to download this free image.


If you would like to create your own fish bowl valentine, then you will need the following supplies:

* fish bowl valentines {download here or here} * swedish fish * cellophane bag * red ribbon

{note: I purchased my cellophane bags at Target in the party and gift wrap aisle.}

Print fish bowl design onto white card stock.  Cut out bowl.  Place in cellophane bag with either gold fish or swedish fish. And tie the top with a ribbon!

Have a great Valentine’s Day!

Our Anniversary

The first week of February is a full of reasons to celebrate in our household.  On February 5, Dan and I celebrated 19 years of knowing each other! {Yes, we actually know the day that we met!}

And the second reason to celebrate this week…..

16 years ago today we got married!

Here are a few old school pictures of us in our dating years….


My hair was out of control curly! And Dan….well, he had hair!

I’ve always loved this next one! Dan had been gone all summer and this was him getting off the plane {when you could actually go meet someone at the gate to greet them!}


Happy anniversary, Danny boy!!


Guest Post: Valentine’s Decor

Today we are blessed with a guest post from my friend Lori!!

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She’s going to share some great Valentine’s Decor!

Hi all, with Valentine’s right around the corner, I thought I would share a few simple decorating ideas that I’ve found. I’ll be perfectly honest, I’m not a big holiday decorator, other than Christmas, but Valentine’s is such a sweet holiday that I usually do a couple of activities with my girls.

This could be a really quick project for the front door. You probably even have most of these things lying around the house. Old frame painted black, left over ribbon and a heart you could pick up at your local craft store.

Another easy one that would make great gifts.

Love this one! Lipstick art!

Definitely a simple look. Not sure if it is simple to do. It would definitely require some patience.

What do you think about neutral Valentine’s decorating? I kinda like it…

Of course, it can’t be Valentine’s without candy. What a great idea to use the white raffia in the bottom of the jar. A much cleaner look.

Another nice expensive decorating idea using items you already own.


And of course, flowers. Love that they used red beans with the carnations. ( I couldn’t find the source for this pic, so if you know it, please let me know.) The tulips and roses look festive all by themselves.


I’ll leave you today with our simple Valentine’s that my girls will be taking to school this year. It was super easy. The printout came from Etsy.


These are all the supplies. Print out your fish bowl, insert into the treat bags, fill with Swedish fish and tie it up! Done!

What do you do for Valentine’s? Do you go all out? Throw a party? Or is it low key like ours?

Whatever you decide, I hope it’s a great day!

Thanks for having me today Jen!

Back to blogging after vacation….

Sorry for my absence!!  Dan and I went on vacation!   Nine days away….and it was divine!  We took a cruise to the Caribbean with 8 of our friends. No kids. No cooking. No laundry. Unfortunately, there was also no sun and no flights!  Ok, maybe that’s being a bit dramatic.  There was sun.  But there was also rain.  And while there were flights, ours were canceled…on BOTH ends of our trip!  Though with a group of positive and fun people, we really had a great time and made light of a few crazy situations.

Since I’ve been MIA on the blog lately, I figure I owe you some pictures of our adventures!!

at home in the nw cruise

Here is the entire group!

at home in the nw mexico ruins

And here is Dan and me….in the rain!  We saw some ruins in Mexico, which were far more interesting than I had anticipated!

at home in the nw mexico ruins pyramid

In this picture, we are making a pyramid at a pyramid! {Hey, when it’s raining on your tropical vacation, you have fun when you can!}

AT HOME IN THE NW honduras 2


The above two pictures are both in Honduras….where it also rained!

But yes, we did have some sun….

at home in the nw grand cayman

And like I said earlier, despite the stress of canceled flights and rain, we still had a great week.

at home in the nw cruise 2

Now it’s back to reality. And back to blogging!!


A little bit of Valentine’s Day {and Chalkboard Art}

I still have some winter decor around my house {some might even say I just left up my Christmas decorations!}…


But I did indeed put away my Christmas decor, leaving out only the items that transition into winter and/or Valentine’s Day.  The red ribbon on these lanterns works great as we approach February!

I also updated my little chalkboard….

love is patient chalkboard art... at home in the northwest blog

I can’t believe we’re halfway through January!  February is right around the corner!!


Piper’s Playground: Frame Wall

Earlier this week, I blogged about one of my clients,  Piper’s Plaground.  And today, I get to give you a quick glimpse at their progress.

In the toddler area of this indoor playground, the owners wanted to create a frame wall with empty, brightly painted frames in different sizes and shapes.

Here are a few inspiration photo’s…





Let’s look at a before picture of Piper’s Playground very early on in the process…..


Kim and Katie, the owners, purchased some great play equipment and couches for this particular area.  After some furniture placement and painting, the room looked like this….


And here is the frame wall after….


Do you want to create a similar look in your home?

1. start collecting frames of different shapes and sizes

2. remove glass and backs of frames

2. gather spray paint in a variety of colors that coordinate with your room {I selected 5 colors for this room}.

3. start spray painting

{Spray painting can be very tedious and time consuming.  Make sure you spray thin layers so the paint doesn’t run or drip.  Therefore several coats of paint may be necessary.}

Once you’re spray painting is complete, d-rings or other hardware may need to be attached to the backs of the frames. {Remember you just removed the backs of the frames, and that’s often where the hanging hardware is attached.}

When the frames were ready, I laid them on the floor to create a look that worked best with the wall.  Once I was satisfied with the layout, I started hanging them on the wall!

I created a much smaller version of the open frames in another room at Piper’s Playground as well.  The owners had a bird painting, but the wall needed a bit more.  So I bought eight frames and painted them colors that coordinated with the painting.


It’s a more simple look but equally as fun!

Do you think this is a look that would work in your space?!

* * * For those that live in the greater Olympia area, Piper’s Playground opens up this Friday, January 18th, 2013!!! * * *


Client Project: Pipers Playground

A few months ago, I was asked to help do a bit of decorating at an indoor playground that is opening up later this month called Piper’s Playground.

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The owners wanted to create an inviting area, complete with a coffee bar and couches for the adults, as well as a safe play area for toddlers.  A place where parents can comfortably sit and chat while keeping an eye on their kiddos.

At the beginning of the process, I put together these design boards as a jumping off point…

Pipers Playground 1

The couch, table and chairs above are for the adults…..

Pipers Playground 2

pipers playground 4

And of course, the play kitchen and construction zone are for the little ones…

Pipers Playground 3

This last design board is for a classroom… One wall will have 18 inch wooden letters and numbers painted in bright colors.  And the opposite wall will have this simple canvas map.

Things have really come along at Piper’s Playground.  And before we know it, they’ll be open for business!

Stay tuned for more Piper’s Playground posts soon!


Guest Post: What to do with Old Christmas Cards

Things have been quiet here on my blog! We’ve been busy settling into the new year and celebrating a big birthday….


Emmie turned 7!!

We’re a week into January and I’m still trying to get 2012 all packed up and put away.  So today I’m over at Lori May Interiors with a guest post that should help us all achieve that!

Confession time….my Christmas cards are in a paper bag, sitting on my kitchen floor.   Do you still have your Christmas cards lingering around your kitchen or living room like me?  Pop over to Lori’s blog today for some creative ideas on what to do with them!


I hope you get inspired today!


Recycling Pinecones and Faux Berries

So Christmas is over and you’re probably ready to clean up your holiday decor….or maybe you already have!

But before you throw out that Costco wreath….

…make sure you remove the faux berries and pine cones!

They are probably attached with some wire.  Simply untwist the wire from the back or grab some scissors and cut them off.

Then next year, when it’s time to decorate for Christmas, you’ll have a few extra pine cones and faux berries to help dress up your house! You’ll be amazed how many you will accumulate over the years!

I hope you all had a great holiday!


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