To the Man Who Gave Me Away

Dear Dad,


This Father’s Day I want to thank you for the past twenty four years. My dreams were allowed to live because of the ways you provided for and loved us. I could always turn to you for support and wisdom in making “grown up decisions”. You helped me learn to ride a bike and drive a car. You moved me in and out of my college dorm. You moved me in and out of my first place. You laughed with me about many joyful things and consoled me in my tears when times were rough.

You gave me away last July to the other half of my heart.  There were tears. There was laughter. And there remain beautiful memories.


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Phil and I didn’t want to see each other before walking down the aisle, so I did my “first look” with you. I wanted it to be extra special because I knew that somehow, everything would be different after that day. I was so ready to be with the one that my heart loved and yet, I wasn’t ready to say goodbye to the season where you were my biggest hero.


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I’ll always remember the moment when I opened that door to walk into a different season of life. The first person I saw was you. Thank you for being there on that special day to give me away. You always have been a wonderful father and friend. I love you. And that will never change.


Photo Dump & Life Update

It’s been awhile! And I bet you are wondering just what the house looks like at this point. Well, truth is… this post is not going to be about the house at all… rather, a life update. This week has been one thing after another with two of our vehicles dying, pepper oil infesting my face and hands during my salsa making experience (and lasting over 24 hours), sickness in sore throat form, and my sewing machine needle breaking in half during costume making for my ballet class that I teach. Needless to say, I was totally ready for this weekend to start. Tonight begins my weekend because I am taking the day off of work tomorrow!

I lied… I am going to talk about the house a little. Please pray for our air conditioner! As you all know, it got HOT this week and it was at that time that we noticed that our air conditioner was not functioning properly. We are having someone come out and look at it tomorrow, so please pray that it isn’t a costly fix!

Now… for the photo dump from my phone:


Goofyness. My sister is studying to be a beautician and so Phil and I went to have our hair done several weeks ago :)


My sister-in-law and I went garage-saleing and I found this gem to put in our sun room wall! Brand spanking new including the hardware. Original price? $180.00! What I paid? $80.00!



My last day of counseling at the pregnancy center was last Monday – my lovely friend Tish gave me these flowers as a thank-you! I LOVE flowers!


In other news… I’m studying to take the MAT test for grad school entrance! The date is May 20th – pray that I get into the program of my choice :)


Does anyone know what this plant is? It is consuming a corner of our house and I am DYING to know if it is some type of flower that will bloom! It kind of looks like day-lilies to me, but I’m no plant expert and I do NOT have a green thumb. So any help you can give me would be much appreciated! I don’t want to foster a weed without knowing it :)


Roxie is apparently very pleased that my husband can fit in her crate with her…. :)


I got a call at 11:30 several nights ago. It went something like this:

Friend: Do you have a cage or something?

Me: Hmmm we have Roxie’s kennel, why?

Friend: Because we have an owl. And we think it’s hurt.

Me: Come on over!

So that is the story of how a baby owl ended up in our kitchen. It was taken to the zoo the next morning for nurturing and safe keeping.



Phil and I drove in his 1978 Volkswagen Bus to my great-grandma’s house for brunch on Sunday. It was quite the adventure and may have been one of our last rides in it unless we can get it running again. The hula dancer in the front is my friend :)

So… that is just a little snippet of our life lately. Hope you enjoyed the update. Now I’m off to paint living room trim :)


Lip Gloss in My Ceiling!

This is what I came home to the other day:

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My kitchen was in shambles! Ah! The first thing that came out of my husbands mouth was “don’t worry… I’ll clean it up”.

Well, at least he made progress on the demolition of the kitchen ceiling! Since we want to put drywall up, it had to be done. But demolition of any kind is usually a messy job.

And he DID clean it up! Happy day :)

Take a look at what he found in our ceiling during the demolition process:

  1. A child’s hair accessory… still in great condition!WP_20140328_018
  2. Lip Gloss… that I will NOT be usingWP_20140328_016 WP_20140328_013
  3. And last but not least…jean shorts! The vintage old fashioned kind that zip up the side…WP_20140328_009 WP_20140328_008(1) WP_20140328_007 WP_20140328_006


My husband thinks that they were made for him :)


It almost looks like some fell through and left their pants where they fell… yikes. That’s a scary thought…WP_20140328_001In other news, I finished painting the room upstairs! Stay tuned for before and after pictures!


Office Trim is… Pink?

It’s amazing how much you can get accomplished with a friend to lighten the load! One of my best friends (who was also a bridesmaid in my wedding this past summer!) came and helped me get some things done this past weekend! Together, we:

  • Painted the inside of our living room window seat a bright cheerful peach color! :) Pictures coming later!
  • Spackled, Sanded, & Primed the ENTIRE upstairs bedroom (which we will use as an office)
  • Prepped the dining room by spackling/sanding

The second and third tasks were time consuming! You are supposed to let spackle dry for 24 hours before reapplying/sanding. Little did we know, applying primer (before everything is perfectly dry) would make the wall bubble – undoing the hard work that was already done!

We didn’t really enjoy learning this lesson the hard way, but at least we learned! So if you ever spackle a room – let your spackle DRY!

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Also use dust masks… those are handy! #nomakeup :)

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Once everything dried and was smooth, we began the fun part: priming!

Kilz  primer is great ESSENTIAL for covering wall stains caused by old water damage. Just make sure to get water based primer instead of oil based! This will allow you to wash your hands without using Mineral Spirits or a different type of chemical to make it come off of your skin. We didn’t use Kilz  on the entire room, because it is fairly expensive – especially if you get the water-based primer. Just spot prime on the stains and you’ll be good to go!

I’ve never primed, nor painted a ceiling before… so my friend did most of it and I think it looks fantastic now! :)

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We started on the actual paint color while my friend was here, but didn’t get it all done :(  However, I finished it completely last night!

We went with a color called “Hopsack” by Valspar from Lowes and I am loving it! Don’t you like the pink trim with it?

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Okay good. Me neither. We are definitely going to be painting the trim a lovely off-white color called “Swiss Coffee”!

And for you hardwood lovers – that IS hardwood you see underneath the plastic and NO we are NOT painting it! But we are refinishing it! Can’t wait to see everything come together and get my bookshelves all moved in!



Bye Bye, Wallpaper!

Last weekend, my step-mom Amy came to visit and helped me scrape the wallpaper in our house! We put on some tea, some Pandora, and worked away from noon on Friday until Saturday afternoon (taking a break to sleep of course). Let me tell you, scraping wallpaper is HARD WORK. I woke up on Saturday morning at 4:30AM with terrible pain in my right arm! So I took some ibuprofen, got an icepack from the freezer and went back to sleep. It made me never want to scrape wallpaper again.

However, the process itself was kind of fun. First, we took some fabric softener and mixed it with hot water. I heard that if you use more fabric softener than water, it works better. So we put about 3/4 fabric softener and 1/4 water in the spray bottle. We just used Great Value fabric softener:

After awhile, we learned the secret of easy wallpaper removal:

1) Step One: Spray the area you want to remove (Keep it small – don’t spray the entire wall at once!)

2) Step Two: Come back to that same area approximately five minutes later and spray again.

3) Step Three: Come back to the same area a few minutes later and spray a third time, then start scraping.

4) Step Four: Enjoy the process!

Luckily, the only rooms in our house that we had to scrape were the kitchen and the two bathrooms. The two bathrooms just had borders, but the kitchen was a little bit of a different story.



The vintage green and white striped wallpaper was probably trendy at one time… but Phil and I just weren’t feeling it.

And…it peeled off like a dream! We hardly had to do ANY scraping!

However, little did we know there was another layer lurking behind it….



And another…


FINALLY – we came to the end of the wallpaper. And did a happy dance :)

My husband removed the drop ceiling in our kitchen before we moved in. Above the drop ceiling, there was wallpaper in the 15 inch gap. Both of the layers underneath the green stripes were in the gap as well as an OLD layer underneath everything – that was obviously removed a long time ago from the main walls of the kitchen:




Uncovering all of the different layers was actually kind of fun – sort of like digging for buried treasure!

Our arms were tired, but we got a lot accomplished in a short amount of time! Now the kitchen doesn’t look much better… but the stripes are gone at least :)



Here is one last helpful wallpaper hint: Make sure to put drop clothes or SOMETHING down on the floor underneath the wall where you are working, otherwise the glue starts to dry again, the wallpaper sticks to the floor, and it is just a BIG mess! Like this:


Stay tuned to see my husbands progress on our first floor bathroom! :)


The Master Plan

A bedroom is an oasis. A place where one can go to escape from the world and just be.

Our master bedroom has some beautiful bones… but definitely needs some TLC. Here are a few raw pictures before we moved all of our furniture in:


We are thinking about converting the room adjacent to the mater bedroom (through those double doors) into a large bathroom, so that it would become a master suite! Everyone loves master suites, right? If the budget allows of course :)

I am in LOVE with the large window that directly faces our bed. It makes me want to curl up with a book and cup of tea or Elephant Vanilla Chai from the coffee shop in town.

Yesterday, the sun streaming in was so lovely and warm… a promise of spring :) Do you like my blanket curtain? Yes, it is a blanket… not a curtain. Hopefully we can get some real ones on soon! But not until AFTER we paint. Can’t wait to bust out my sewing machine and get started!


The trim in the bedroom is lovely. It is really thick – the old fashioned kind:

So far, I’ve created a Pinterest board for each one of the rooms in our house that we plan on renovating. Here are some of my master bedroom inspiration pictures!

This first picture shows a ledge of trim about a foot down from the ceiling. This adds visual interest to the wall and draws your eye upwards. Especially for a room with high ceilings, such as ours, we think that this will add a lovely decorative element that really enhances the natural features that the room already has:

The thing that catches my eye about the second picture is the shabby/chic romantic chandelier encompassed by the ceiling medallion. I think a ceiling medallion is a good element to add to a bedroom – particularly a master, just because you spend half the time in bed looking up! I also really like the black doors encased by the white trim. The stark contrast is bold – yet classy without being too modern for our old farmhouse.

Even though I find inspirational pictures that I like for our bedroom, I cannot seem to settle on paint colors. One of my dear friends who has an incredibly cute house might be coming over tonight to help me out! For now, I want to know what you think! Leave a comment and tell me which of the options below is your favorite and why! As you’re selecting the color, keep in mind that the trim will be white or creme! :)

Can’t wait to hear your feedback!


Newest Member of the Taylor Family

Roxie is a five year old Boxer and is the perfect addition to our little family.

A few weeks ago, I found a website called Saving Death Row Dogs . They are a non-profit organization that take dogs on the brink of being put down out of shelters and into foster homes in the hopes that they will be adopted and find a “forever family”. As soon as I saw her face, it was love at first sight!

Phil and I had been looking for an older Boxer to be a guard dog for us out on the farm. Even though I grew up in the country, I still don’t like the idea of being by myself miles outside of town. As soon as I saw the picture above, I put in an application. We were called about 2 days later and told that our application looked really good and we sounded like a good fit for Roxie, so we drove up to Topeka and met her last weekend. This weekend, we got to bring her home!





My sister and her boyfriend were able to come up and see our house for the first time and ride with us to pick her up! It was a little crammed in the back seat on the way back :)



She loved poking her head through the seats while we were driving. My sister and her boyfriend are looking at each other like “what did we get ourselves into!?”



So far she loves frisbee, listens really well, and enjoys getting rubbed down. Not to mention her little spot in our window seat :)




She is already precious to us!