Guest Posting on Skip to My Lou - Entertain Your Kids on Winter Break

I guess December is my month of guest posting!

I'm over at Skip to my Lou today doing a post on fun things to do with your kids over Winter Break.  

 If you are anything like me, you'll want to go check it out and give those bored kids something to do :-)

Some of the ideas and tutorials are:

How to make Rock Candy
How to make a Naked Egg Experiment
Fruit Loop Necklaces
Good Smelling Play Dough
Ice Candles
and Stained Glass Cookies

And today I'll leave you with a cute photo- this morning my daughter lost her two front teeth.  (a few days after Christmas so she missed singing "All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth!")  We call her "Toothless" now but she doesn't appreciate it much!

And here I am with my new Christmas workout earphones......magically just having those super nice earphones will get me out of bed and on that treadmill - yes it will!  (Maybe)

I hope you all had a great Christmas too :-)  I can't believe it's almost 2013!


Ideas for Computer Niche or Spaces.

Hello Friends!

Let me tell you, finding a space to hold your computer is becoming such a vital part in home design.

  When we were in the designing stages of our home, there was NO space allotted for my computer.  I just plainly stated to my husband that we had to find a spot or my lovely computer would be sitting on top of our dining room table for the rest of eternity. :-)

We honestly did not have money to add another square inch to our floor plan, so we had to figure a solution utilizing the space that was already there.

Previously, the end of that bar was just a solid wall. We were able to squeeze out just enough space to make a sliding pocket door computer niche.

It's not a perfect spot (due to the fact that the back door is right behind me!) but it sure beats the computer sitting on the dining room table for the next 50 years. ;-)  

Isn't that the cutest adjustable chair (below)  I had a different chair (pictured above) but ergonomically it was way too low and my shoulders and neck were killing me.  My husband said I had to get a chair that had adjustable height and I wasn't about to put in some big black industrial office chair there!  We splurged ($199.00) and bought it at Pottery Barn  because the chair was adjustable, small and could slide all the way under the desk; plus, we couldn't get over how well it fit in with our decor!!! ❤

AND yes, my wine is stored right about my workstation.....could it get any better??  I have to say, this space was used to it's FULLEST potential!  ;-) 

Let's look around blog land to see where others have carved out space to fit their computer areas!  Utilizing under stair space is a perfect way to either add storage or gain a computer station.

The computer is so nicely tucked in there.  Great use of space!


Obviously, these people had the space to plan a large built in area for their computer.  I love the soft green cabinets.

This nice white built in has pocket doors that can hide the entire computer area.  Very smart!

I appreciate this area designated for the computer.   I have a feeling they were in a similar predicament as I was (no more room!) but they pulled off a nice bar area specifically for computer use.  I really like the drawer added under the counter.


I love how they made this computer alcove away from the center of the home.  I think putting it in a more secluded spot would help with the fact that some of us can't stop spending time on our computers!!!  Out of site out of mind - right???  :-)

There you have it!  

Isn't that a fun collection of ideas?  If you are ever thinking of remodeling or building don't forget to keep a collection of ideas so that when the time comes, you won't have to re-invent the wheel for your own computer area.

What room do you have your computer area???

~ Merry Christmas ~

Merry Christmas!!  

I finally wrangled my children in some Christmas clothes and posed them for a Christmas photo!

It takes me a while sometimes :-)

Have a BLESSED Christmas and a wonderful New Year!

~ Selina ~

Guest Posting on Infarrently Creative with Stained Glass Cookies

Today I am guest posting over at Infarrently Creative!  I had so much fun making and writing up this fun holiday cookie craft.  

Here is a sneak peak of the project, it has something to do with crushed candies and sugar cookie dough - be sure and check out how to make these stain glass cookies!  

If you haven't read Beckie's blog before, you're in for a treat!  She is super creative and has a great heart, so what you get is a blog full of creative ideas and some very touching stories.  

Hope you enjoy this baking craft, if you have kids or grandkids it might just become their new favorite baking tradition!  

AND if you are visiting here from there - Thank You!!! 

My passion is actually not baking :-) but home design - we just finished our new home and have been slowly making it "us".  

Feel free to look around at our Home Tour or take a look to the right for my most popular posts. :-)



I'll be honest.

I don’t even like muffins.

Muffins are blah, cakey and weird.

SO…… I can’t call these muffins because these are the best little things I have EVER tasted!

These muffins have a coffee cake, slightly dense texture that melts in your mouth.  I had a pregnant woman come to visit and let’s just say, she couldn’t eat just one ;-)

blog best muffins ever

Since finding this recipe not so long ago, I have made it at least half a dozen times. (That is amazing for me!)  It is from a well known baking blog Aimee from SimpleBites

I changed it up a bit only to make it just a little healthier but you can always use whatever you like! (my suggestions are in parenthesis)

My husband thinks blueberry muffins are a MUST Christmas morning so pin this recipe for a special treat if your family thinks the same way as my husband!  You actually can make this ahead of time and freeze the batter (without add-ins) I did it once and it worked out great.  Just thaw overnight in the refrigerator and bake the muffins fresh in the morning.

Basic Tried and True Oatmeal Muffin Recipe

(milk mixture needs to sit one hour before you start!)

Makes 12 medium muffins
  • 1 cup milk*
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1 cup rolled oats (not quick oats)
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • ¼ cup dark brown sugar (or coconut palm sugar)
  • ½ cup butter, melted and cooled slightly (or coconut oil)
  • 1 cup plus 2 Tbsp  flour (I use half whole wheat half white)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, freshly ground
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, freshly ground
  • add-ins of your choosing  - (my favorite is 1 c raspberries or blueberries with 3/4 cup white or milk chocolate chips.)

Combine milk, vinegar and oats in a large bowl and let stand one hour.

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Grease a twelve-cup muffin tin and line with cupcake papers.

Crack the egg into the oat and milk mixture; add brown sugar and mix to combine. Stir in melted butter.

Sift remaining ingredients into the bowl: flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, & spices. Gently fold into batter, taking care not to over mix.

Sprinkle add-in and flavorings of your choice and combine muffin batter gently.

Use a measuring cup or ice cream scooper to scoop batter into muffin tins. Bake until light brown and tops spring back when gently touched, about 20 minutes if using fresh fruit.  Aimee says to bake it 10-12 but I have NEVER had it be that short. 

Enjoy and once you make these, leave me a comment if you agree these are the best muffins you have ever tasted!

*You may also substitute 1 cup buttermilk, and then omit the vinegar from the recipe.

Check out Aimee’s blog for a lot more tips and tricks on muffin making.  She really figured it out.  Aren’t blogs just great!  We can learn from the best of them.

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American Clay on a Thermal Mass Concrete Home

Is the title enough to get you interested?  :-)

I did this entire house in American Clay a few weeks before we moved into our new home.  It was crazy busy and insane for a month.  BUT, I finished their home, moved into my home and all is well the ends well.

This was a beautiful home of a retired couple nestled away on 20 acres up in the country.  They built their home out of concrete and only used building materials that were natural, non-toxic and green.  Their goal was to create a thermal mass home, made without any toxic or questionable materials.  The decision to use American Clay fit right into that plan. 

Of course, applying American Clay over concrete walls was a challenge!!  To be honest, it had only been done a handful of times though out the history of the American Clay company.  I made many phone calls to the inventor of the product and at the END we had success.  (Note: we did have some trial and error!)

Just starting out - Base Coat Loma in Austin Blush over concrete.  Can you just imagine the difference the WARM clay made in this home!

1 american clay over concrete Austin blush



Matthews Clay Job Before 023


Porcelina/Loma Mix in Tuscan Gold
1 american clay over concrete Tuscan Gold


Matthews Clay Job Before 025


Loma in Austin Blush
1 american clay over concrete austin blush loma dining

You get the picture of the BEFORE shots!!! So, I’ll just continue the post with the Afters. :-)

I LOVED this bathroom and the claw foot tub.  Can you just see all the yummy texture!  It’s like butter :-)

Half Loma and Half Porcelina (Lomalina) Clay in Austin Blush.

1 american clay lomalina austin blush bathroom

1 american clay lomalina austin blush over concrete

Up close of the Kitchen Texture in Lomalina Tuscan Gold - yes, the clay really does "glow"!

american clay over concrete upclose tuscan gold

Up close of Hallway texture in Loma Austin Blush:

american clay over concrete upclose austin blush

What do you guys think?  Would you do your home in American Clay?

If you would like to see MY home done in a different version of the clay just click HOME TOUR.

What Can You Do with Birch Logs? Creative Juices Award

As promised, I am doing a Creative Juices Award post on crafts/decor for Birch Logs!! 

If you haven't seen my own birch log post - be sure and check out what I did when I friend gave me a whole pile of the logs!

I just love this foyer (you may remember it from a previous post) but look how they used the birch logs.    It's as simple as just sticking them under a table. :-) This home is so spacious and classy, yet the logs and green topiaries make the space homey.

What about using the logs to fill an ENTIRE unused fireplace.  What a wonderful and warm statement it creates!  It brings life back into a very white surrounding.

I love how they played up the fact that the birch logs are white and put them against the red poinsettias. Very fun Christmas Decor idea!

Off Pinterest, no source found

You can use these birch logs as table decor - vases, centerpieces anything!


This is a very traditional way to use the birch logs - just take a drill bit that makes a hole and put in your own votive candles!



And since we're talking about candles and using natural (maybe even free) resources, this is one of my favorite candle making project - come stop by and check out the easy ice candle tutorial :-)

Till the next inspiration!!  Thanks for reading my friends!

Christmas Vignettes! Natural Woodsy RUSTIC Ideas and Inspiration

I thought it would be fun to join some Christmas parties around Blogland so here goes a post of some  Christmas vignettes in my house along with some inspiring Christmas Trees and decor!

This photo is of the entry.  I have to say, my favorite part is adding the wreath to the iron.....I think I might have a hard time taking that down once the season is over :-)

The Reindeer on top of my mantel.

Poinsettias around my fireplace

And a family I am so thankful for :-)

(if no picture appears, it means I had the best of intentions when I wrote this and scheduled it to insert a fun family Christmas photo but never got around to it....see, I'm not that all together!)

Here are some other vignettes around blogland that inspire me!

I LOVE using the wood stumps as part of the raw woodsy decor - she said her father in law just cut them for her!  (free Christmas decor is the best!)

I am crazy over that dried grapevine garland!  (SWIRLS!!) I may just have to find something like that for next year.....along with my twig wreath!  I also love the ornaments hanging off it AND the birch logs next to the fireplace.  All together that make this Christmas vignette feel so natural and cozy.

I don't really have any words for this table scape vignette because I think it's the prettiest I've ever seen in my life!  I just LOVE the cozy red flannel blanket used and the STUMPS on the table with the bright red holly berries. OH and she made that sleigh bell hanger out of an old leather belt and hot glued jingle bells on them - really?? How are people SO creative??  I have drapery rings left over from my living room drapes and I just may have to collect some leather belts from the thrift store and make a few of these next year!

Honestly, I am always SO inspired by others and hope that maybe a picture or two of my own photos can stir the creative juices in you!

Linking up to Thrifty Decor Chick!

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