DIY · House

Half Bath Redo

Have you ever had a room in your house you refused to use?  Like would not step a foot inside?  No?  Well, I did.  Our downstairs half-bath gave me the creeps.  It was old, cramped, and gross (gross because of the old tile, toilet, fixtures….and boys.  Boys are gross).  Fortunately, I no longer fear entering the room.  As a matter of fact it has become my favorite room of the house, so much so I randomly walk in there and admire all of our hard work.

I wish I could show you a full photo of the room, but it’s so small I couldn’t get it in one shot! 🙂


I so wish I had before photos for you, but I don’t.  I was so freaked out about the bathroom that I couldn’t be part of the demo day (it probably wasn’t that bad, but I’m a germophobe).  Michael was supposed to take photos before he started and either I forgot to tell him or he didn’t hear me, but either way, there aren’t any to show.  Luckily, I came back at just the right time (when everything was gone) and I have photos from that point on.  Hope you like the room as much as we do!




Product List

Toilet : Lowe’s

Sink: Lowe’s

Faucet: Lowe’s

Black Hexagon Tile: The Tile Shop

Globes: Home Depot

Wall Paint: Montpelier Madison

Plank and Trim Paint: Kelly Moore Swiss Coffee

Shelving Brackets: Amazon

Art Work: Etsy and Hobby Lobby

Shelving Décor: TJ Maxx




Food · stress free zone · Uncategorized

Tea Time

Downtown Fort Smith, Arkansas has impressed me with its continuous growth and variety. Five years ago I would have never imagined it to be as it is now AND it’s still improving.

Savoy Tea is one of my favorite places to go downtown. The cool colors, cute décor, and amazing smells never fail to cheer me up and make me feel like I’m doing something special. And in my opinion, they have the best chai latte in town and their Ozark Sunset Sweet Tea is perfect on a hot summer day.  I’ll also be signing up for their Tea Toaster’s Club this month.



This weekend my best friend and I went to Savoy Tea to discuss nothing and everything over a cuppa (me) and coffee (her). There’s nothing better than having a friend you can be in tears with one minute and laughing the next. I’m not going to lie, this season in my life hasn’t been an easy one and I’ve needed my friend and thankfully, she’s been there.   With two unexpected grandchildren on the way, work, school, and just life, I’ve been unintentionally isolating myself and she’s the kind of friend who forces me to get out and do something with her and talk about things instead of letting me close off the outside world. She’s also the kind of friend that I can say, “Hey, can you go outside and take a photo of me through the glass?” and she says, “I hate you, but yes.” HA!

Savoy Tea-1-8Savoy Tea-1-5Savoy Tea-1-4

One thing I’ve learned lately is life usually doesn’t go as planned. Things happen that are out of our control and in that moment you might feel like everything you’ve worked for is up in smoke, but life goes on. Take a yoga class, call a friend, have a cup of tea, make a new plan, and before you know it things don’t look as bad as they did before.

Dress : Brickyard Buffalo  (This dress is no longer available, but I always find something great on their site)
Chai Latte: Savoy Tea (Fort Smith, Arkansas)
Food · travel

Wild Things Farm

Just across the state line into Oklahoma and about ten minutes from my house sits a family farm, cleverly named Wild Things Farm, that I love visiting. They’re open to the public pretty much year around so you can go in and pick whatever produce they have available at that time. Right now, it happens to be strawberries.


I’d like to thank my husband for taking this photo when he knows absolutely nothing about photography and gave it a go.  I think he did pretty good for his first time.


I don’t know about y’all, but I love fresh strawberries and the strawberries at Wild Things Farm were a beautiful, vibrant red and incredibly sweet. Of course I had to make something from my bounty before my family devoured them all. I decided I’d make a couple chocolate strawberry loaves using a basic strawberry bread recipe, found here. Because I’m me and I like to mess with things and see how it goes I added cocoa powder and a few tablespoons of vanilla extract to bring out the chocolate flavor and it also added more liquid to the recipe since chocolate is notorious for drying out. I crossed my fingers and went for it and I’m glad I did.


I also make a simple chocolate glaze with powdered sugar, cocoa powder, and milk (not pictured, sorry) to drizzle on each pieces after slicing.

If you get a chance, find a produce farm in your area and hang out for a while. If you happen to be in the Fort Smith, Arkansas area, take the extra three minutes and get lost at Wild Things Farm (and that could be literally considering it took forever for me to find my way out of the corn maze last fall).

DIY · House

DIY Arrow Art

While we’re waiting for the other projects in the house to get their final touches, I thought I would show you one of my favorite DIY art thus far.  We did these arrows a few years back and I still love them and look at them often.

It was a quick and inexpensive project that made a huge impact on the entryway.



All it took was a few pieces of wood, a saw, wood stain, and flat brackets.


2017 Bucket List

Every year, instead of resolutions, I like to write a yearly bucket list. This way I don’t end up feeling disappointed in myself by February 1st, when I don’t stick to whatever resolution I set and didn’t achieve.  With my bucket list, I don’t have that problem.  I can make a list of all the things I would like to do, see, and create then try to do as many of them as I can before the year is up.  Here are a few examples of my 2017 bucket list.

  • Have a weekend getaway with my gal pals.
  • Try a yoga class.
  • Bake a pie from scratch.
  • Take more nature walks.
  • Remodel the downstairs bathroom.

Some years my list has twenty things, some years it has fifty.

I love looking at my list throughout the year and checking off the things I was able to do AND, if I don’t get some of them checked off, I just add it to the next year. It’s a win/win situation.

My husband and I started 2017 out with a big bang. We decided to take one of the projects on our list and get it done over our four day holiday.  We ripped down on of the living room walls to the studs (which we plan to do to all of the living room walls), put up sheet rock, and did a faux-shiplap, accent wall.  We also planked a wall in our dining room and repainted the entire room.  We feel very accomplished already and we’re not even into our second week of the year!  We’re still working on the décor aspect of the dining room and looking for the perfect buffet to put against the planked wall (and build a kitchen table to replace the current one), but we’ll get there eventually! J

Stay tuned for before and after photos of the dining room! Can’t wait to show you how awesome it looks.

Happy New Year!

health · stress free zone

The Conveyor of Pain

Deciding it was time to get in gear on my health, I put on my Body by Bacon tank from The Chic Site  and started working out today. I use the term “working out” loosely, but hey it’s a start.  I got on the treadmill for twenty minutes and did not quite a jog, but not really a walk (I think it’s called a power walk).  Don’t judge me I said I used the term loosely, though I did do twenty-five squats right before I jumped on the treadmill or as I like to call it, The Conveyor of Pain.

To most people, this is nothing, for me, it’s a lot. I don’t want to lose weight.  I actually like the weight I’m at, but I do want to tone up all the places my body has decided it was tired of fighting gravity and gave up.  I also want to turn to exercise to relieve stress and feel better about myself when I’m on a Stand Up Paddling board and not breathing like I’ve just swam across the ocean.

With sitting at a desk all day then writing all night, I don’t spend a lot of time taking care of myself physically. So, I’m going to try to get on the treadmill at least four times a week.  I’m going to do my best to stick with it and the best way I know to do this is if I don’t work out I don’t get coffee that day.  That’s a whole heck of a lot of motivation for me.  I love my hazelnut mochas.

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I could barely move here.  Please ignore the empty toilet paper holder, the construction was finished with our bathroom just days ago.


I’m going to let you in on something a little (a lot) embarrassing…. My workout was this morning and I’m writing this at night and my legs are so sore already it hurts to stand, sit, and walk.  How ridiculous is that?  I’m going to convince myself it was the squats and not the treadmill that has my legs screaming for me to stop moving immediately.


Hochatown, Oklahoma

Lately, my husband and I have been working our tails off at work. He’s working usually six days a week and twelve hours per day in a building without A/C. As you can imagine, he has been drained mentally as well as physically. Mine has been more mental exhaustion. I haven’t been able to relax and concentrate enough to do much more than the basics and writing has been out of the question.

We needed a break.

Last weekend we had the immense pleasure of spending Friday thru Sunday in a luxury cabin in the mist of pines and not far from Beaver Bend Lake. We drove through the gorgeous Ouachita Mountains to get there. The drive alone was fantastic. This cabin was perfect. Perfect! It was a two bedroom, one upstairs and one downstairs. We took the upstairs while my best friend and her husband took the downstairs (they got there before us and picked their room).  It was called B’s Retreat.  You can take a look at all the cabins here.



My favorite part of the cabin was the large wraparound porch. First thing we did after unloading was make a sandwich and sit on the porch, watching the sun set through the trees. The place immediately put our souls to ease and transformed our mindset from work to relaxation.



Saturday morning my best friend and I decided to try Stand Up Paddling while the guys played a round of golf. My back has been giving me trouble since July 1st so I was a little nervous to try it out, but so glad that I did. Who knew SUPing would be so fun?

When I first got on it, I had to stay on my knees and paddle, but once I got settled I didn’t have any issues standing up. I was surprised how swiftly they move over water. There was one time I got a little cocky and thought I could jiggle the board a little, but all it managed to do was knock me off and ruin my freshly washed and fixed hair.

The curly hair came out!


After an hour of that, we returned to the cabin, showered and headed to Girls Gone Wine. What a fun place. They have a variety of wines to taste not to mention the wonderful Wine-a-Rita. Let me tell you, I wanted to take the machine home! It was so stinking good. So, I got tipsy at wine tasting. Luckily, the tipsy didn’t last long.


Once we all made it back to the cabin, we grilled and ate on the porch before chilling out and calling it a night.

The next morning I got up extra early and sat outside and for the first time in far too long, I wanted to write. I pulled out my notebook and spent a good hour writing with the sound of nature surrounding me.


The entire weekend was beautiful, relaxing, and exactly what we needed. I can’t wait to go back.