San Juan Islands–Friday Harbor Trip

Our last family vacation before the mad rush of starting school!

1 friday harbor ferry

This is the most memorable place in the world for me - the San Juan Islands, Washington.  I suppose the fact that my grandparents lived there since I was a young child may have helped shape that opinion!

Nothing beats the adventure of hanging out where the ocean is just a few feet away.  

We were always clamming,crabbing and catching shrimp.

1 eating crab in Wescott Bay

I hope your not in for a shocker, but I am a "get my hands dirty" kind of gal.  I can stab a crab, pull apart its legs and steam them up like the best of them :-)  There are many pictures of me knee high in mud and seaweed trying to dig out a huge gooey duck clam for our dinner.

Although, I don't plan on posting that picture anytime soon - ha!

selina san juans

On this trip I went up with my extended family and we camped at the San Juan County Park because 16 people is a lot to stay at any one persons home!!

1 san juan county park camping

These photos are all from our campground!!!!  We even saw got to see a pod of Orca Whales (killer whales) leaping out of the ocean!

1 county park kyaker

1 county park

This is the beach where many of my childhood memories were made.
(My grandparent's front yard!) 

1 opas beach

Looking out from their beach.

1 view from opa

I feel so fortunate that my children can share some of those memories too.  Here  is my eldest daughter trying to Paddleboard on a Kayak! 

1 Aria Kyak

This was actually an emotional post for me to write – my grandma (Oma) passed away earlier this summer and my grandpa (Opa) is going to move back inland. 

We might not be back to the Island for a long time.

I am just so thankful for amazing grandparents whose joy was to see their grandchildren enjoying life and spending quality time with them.

 I could not have asked for anything more. 

    Opa and Oma with my kids

~ Selina

DIY Pallet Coffee Table Adds Character and Charm to your Room

Today we have a guest poster, Allison Cooper.  She contacted me and asked if she could do a tutorial for us.  I said, "If it fits with my blog, absolutely!" (This goes to anyone else out there too!)

When she first made her pallet coffee table she wasn't thinking she would be doing a blog write up that required 20 "how to" photos :-)  so she wrote the directions out as detailed as she could and has a lovely after picture.  

Without further is Allison's post!

When it's time to update a room in your home you can always depend upon some of the established ideas such as wallpapering or painting an accent wall to achieve a new look. Even a new area rug can add color and texture to a boring room. Re-purposing and DIY projects are another great way to add something new and unique to your home decor.

Here are some instructional steps that you need to follow to create a coffee table that you can tailor to suit your family room or basement playroom.


What You Need


wooden pallets

wood screws


wood glue

lattice strips

circular saw


          1. Scout around and find two wooden pallets that are typically used for shipping purposes.T
hese do come in different sizes so be sure to select two pallets that have the same dimensions.

(NOTE: I was able to construct a table with pallets that were 5 ft. x 3 ft. This gave me a very functional table that is also the focal point for our family room.)

          2. Use several wood screws to fasten the two pallets together. At least one screw for each corner and then a few additional screws along the longest edges of the pallets. I made sure to countersink the screws for a better visual aesthetic. 

          3. Measure the length and width of the top section. This will give you the measurements needed to create the top and base pieces.

          4. Mark these measurements onto a piece of 3/8 inch plywood. This will serve as the table top.   (NOTE: You can also use 1/2 inch plywood.)

          5. Cut the plywood and use this piece as your template when you cut another piece for the table base.

          6. Attach the base and top with wood glue.

          7. For a more finished look you may want to glue some strips of lattice board around the top edges.

          8. The final step is to paint, stain or decorate this table to match your decor.

NOTE: After I made the natural colored pallet table as shown below, I changed up the look and used a bold, navy blue paint for the top and sides. I contrasted this with white paint along the edges. These two colors created a nautical look that is perfect for our room. Next time I'll be sure and take more photos but we sold this piece when we moved!

Thanks Allison!!  

I ADORE pallet tables.  I went to my friend Jen's house for a BBQ recently and feel madly in love with her DIY pallet table too. (she is the one who wrote this chair upholstery post for us!)  As you guys know, I'm a sucker for deep wood stain :-)  

This pallet had some words on the side that looked so cool in person.  If you can find a pallet with words, all the better for character!  

You can also check out Jenna's Blog Wilson and Pugs and see her DIY pallet coffee table.  I love the rustic appeal and the area for magazines!

Allison Cooper is an editor and staff writer for, an online retailer of discounted name brand furniture.  When not at work, Allison enjoys spending time with her family, knitting, and thinking of ideas for her next blog post.  You can find her store blog here to see how she's doing!

Top 5 Penny Decor and Crafts - Creative Juices Award

When I saw some of the photos below, they blew my mind!  I had NO idea of all the fun things you can do with pennies or any coin for that matter.  Penny Letters, Penny Back splashes, Penny Jewelry.....the list goes on and on!

Without further is my PENNY edition of my Creative Juices Award!

Rebecca from the Crafted Sparrow made this for a friend's housewarming gift!  I LOVE it!  Make sure and click over to her blog to see the full tutorial.  

How about using pennies on whimsical paper mache letters?  That is just what Dacia from Lemondrop life did!

If you're decor doesn't suit COPPER very much how about SILVER!

The LOVE nickels were made by artist Justine Smith on wood letters.

I thought this idea was SOOO cute.  It's a penny key chain by Pat's Design saying "lucky us" and the dates of each penny can reflect the date you and your significant other were born, or met.  Each penny could also have the birth dates of each child.  You get the idea. :-)

I've seen pennies used on ENTIRE floors and on counter tops but how about just adding a back splash accent with pennies.  This is a photo from Apartment Therapy.  You can tell the designer used tinted concrete counter tops and a penny back splash - very cool!

And lastly, a fun one.  How about using pennies to make your child or grandchild tap shoes.  You may have to include earplugs for yourself, but I bet they will be entertained for hours! :-)

From Real Simple Magazine

So this was just pennies for every one elses thoughts!  
Enjoy, I'm still so amazed at all the creativity out there, hasn't this post got all your "Creative Juices" going??  Mine sure are!

The SIMPLE Sew Throw Pillow

Alright, I’ll lay it on the line.  I am not a great seamstress.  I am just someone who would rather not spend $25.00 on each accent pillow I wanted to throw on my bed. 

All to say, if I can do this, anyone can!!!  I mean it. 

First I recommend keeping all your pillows even when you change up your d├ęcor because you can simply re-cover them with a different fabric. (it’s the pillow forms that can get expensive) If you are alright with buying a good quality pillow at the thrift store they always have tons……some people might be weird about buying a pillow there. 

blog master pilllow bed

First measure your pillow.

You’ll want to measure from the middle seam to the other side middle seam. (half of your overall pillow circumference)  That is your measurement for your pillow project!

misc march april 011

Next, take a red pencil and line out that measurement.  Add about an inch to that original red line for the seam allowance. Cut out along the outside pencil mark

misc march april 012

Use some pins to hold the two pieces (that are turned inside out) together. (Your pretty design should be on the inside)

misc march april 014

Next start sewing along the inside red pencil mark. Be sure and save around 6-8” without any stitches at the END so you can squeeze in the pillow form.

misc march april 015

Once it was all sewed, I notched all my corners so they would not get all bulky inside the pillow form.  If your fabric can handle an iron, I would iron the two pieces of fabric flat (spread them out and iron so they are flat instead of side by side together)  Doing that just creates a nice clean seam line.

misc march april 016

With the section that you left un-sewed, stuff your pillow form inside.  Now pin the un-sewed edges together and simple sew up the rest by hand.

misc march april 018

Honestly, it took approximately 15 min per pillow.  I had all the forms already, and the fabric I bought with a 40% off coupon.

And that’s a non-seamstress version of how to make a simple quick throw pillow! Winking smile  I'm completely happy with how they turned out.  Give it a try!!!

Is Blogging Ruining Your Life? How to Find Balance in Blogging eBook

Hello friends! 

Well I did it, I wrote my first eBook
(A 39 page post probably isn't the best thing!)

I am very excited about it because it covers a topic that a lot of us bloggers have difficulty with:  How to find balance in blogging.

The whole idea came to me when I was blog surfing and a post caught my eye.

I was intrigued and clicked to read it.  She wasn't kidding with her title.  After she listed all the reasons why blogging had completely taken over her life she also wrote that she would like to find a solution to her problem. She knew she didn't want to quit her blog.

 I could totally relate!

Have you also had these thoughts?  “My house has never looked so disorganized! I have half finished rooms, projects started but not finished, supplies scattered everywhere and overflowing thrift store finds”. You feel you have become a half crazed mommy blogger and wonder if you are the only one. (You’re not!)

For the first year of my blog, I had experienced those same thoughts and felt the same concerns.  I knew I had to discover balance in my own life.  Over time with some deliberate plans of action, I figured out solutions that worked.  After reading her blog post, I had so many tips and ideas in my head on examples, practical solutions and real life experiences on how to NOT let that happen that I literally went straight to my computer and started typing this ebook.

My goal by writing this eBook is to give each desperate blogger a breather. 

A way to not feel overwhelmed.

A way to enjoy blogging again.

So, If you are always thinking about blogging to the point where you feel obsessive, are constantly putting things off, and have become late for LIFE because of your blogging, you may be on an exhausting road for "bloggers burnout".  

Before you seriously decide to quit your blog, or conclude that blogging has just become too much of a chore, I really want you to read my story and the practical tips in my ebook.  Balance is hard to find and I would hope that while reading this you will discover new ways to maintain a successful blog as part of your successful life.

Since I figured a 39 page post wouldn't be appropriate for my blog, :-)  I wrote this eBook. It will be delivered right away to your inbox in a PDF file by Adobe.

I want to offer it to my readers for 35% off so just enter code: 


It will bring the price down from $2.99 to $1.95.

$1.95 (up to first 100 readers)
You'll need a Paypal account, but you can also pay by credit card through Paypal

Discount Code:

Here are a few quotes from those that have read my ebook: 

"I read your ebook from start to finish. Honestly, I think it's really wonderful.  There were so many things that I could have written myself that I totally related to.  It's organized and I like the links.  So many times ebooks and tutorials tell you to do something but they don't show you how to do it."   Ann from Sutton Place

You've captured so much of what blogging is about and how we ALL struggle with balance.  I've written about it on my blog numerous times and it can be very hard to do.  I think you covered it well!” Rhoda from Southern Hospitality

"I'm still in the "brainstorming" pre-blog stage, but I can't imagine getting into this world of blogging without reader your ebook first.  It is filled with so many practical solutions and tips"  Katie Namrevo

I hope everyone who has any of the emotions I talked about will read it and be refreshed.  

Spread the word and let’s keep blogging fun! Feel free to use the photo above to put it on your blog and link it to this page or pin it to Pinterest!

If you would like this eBook posted in your side bar and earn a commission off every sale, please click here for directions . 

~ Enjoy!  Selina

Themed Bedrooms, Ships and Sails and Puppy Dog Tails–My Boy’s Room

I may have gotten my poem a little mixed up but it sure fit my sons theme!   

When we moved into the new house I wasn’t sure what his themed bedroom would be.  I knew I wanted to use the world map I made and I got a bunch of ships from the thrift store that made me wonder if I could pull off a kind of ship/pirate/explorer/traveler theme.

Walking in:

I bought those drapes from the thrift store for $1.50!!!! They were like new.  The American flag plaque was from Ross for $6.00.

This is what I found on my very FIRST trip to Hobby Lobby!!!  LOVE that place (maybe a little too much).  I can be glad it is 45 min away from my house or we may have a serious shopping problem :-) The prices were really great though.  For the letter plaques they were $3.00 each and the anchors/life preserver were $8.50 a piece.  I had a friend give me a $40.00 gift card when we moved into the house so that is what I spent it on.  :-)

One day when I walked into my local thrift store there were ALL these ships, tons and tons of them.  Most were about $1.50 but even at $1.50 I knew I couldn’t buy them all.  (At least if I wanted my husband not to think he’d officially married a crazy thrift store shopping loony!!)  So I only bought four (hee,hee) and happily I was able to use all four up in Ryland’s room.  The old car was also from the same thrift store for $3.00 and the shelfing unit itself was only $10.00!!

Here is the World Map I made!  In the old house, since we didn’t have fireplace mantel I used that shelf to hold our stockings.  Happily we now have a large fireplace mantel so I could just re-use the shelf in his room!

The Pottery Barn Kids Explore pillow was my big spurge.  It was on sale for $24.00 (which is a lot for me) but I just thought it really summed up what I wanted his theme to be and the colors were perfect!  I was too cheap to buy the pillow insert for it (I know, can you believe it didn’t COME with the insert!) so I just stuffed it with a down blanket we never used.  It’s great!

There you have it!  Completely finished…… least for now ;-)

If you haven't had a chance to check out my Home Tour, stop by!

Thanks for seeing what I did!!  Do you like it? I’m always excited when I finish a project thinking how fun it will be to show you guys….

Linking up to YHL - book tip # 139 Start a Collection (and #26 jazz up a shelf!)

~ Selina CreativeJuicesDecor ~

Camping in Montana

We just got home from a fun August camping trip with my in-laws.  I know camping isn’t for everyone – but we LOVE it.

Most of our family vacations these days are camping trips. Finding the perfect deeply wooded camping spot filled with the smell of crisp clean air and pine trees is a family highlight.  Mix that with the smoke from a fire and we're set for some R&R.  I camped a lot as a child.  I think that is why I enjoy it so much……you know, the whole “good memories” thing. 

blog sunlight camping

My in-laws have a larger RV, so we hit an RV park that they had found a few years earlier.  What a RV park may be lacking in a thickly wooded forrest, they usually have a POOL to make up for it!

blog st regis swim K 

She honestly thinks she looks cute in ANYTHING (OK, she does, but not like how SHE envisions herself!!)

blog st regis swim

blog funny face

One of the days we snuck out for a little drive and ran across a Bull Moose and Cow (I think that is what a “couple” moose are called!)  See them behind the kids?

blog st regis river kids

Up close shot of the lovey “couple”.  Ahhhhhh nature……

blog bull moose

I have learned, when you are the family photographer, getting a good photo of yourself is near impossible….not only that, but having a person's head or chin chopped off might be a common occurrence.  It’s all good though, right??

AND you guys were all wondering if I was a natural blond, weren’t you? (who desperately needs a shower!) Smile  Wonder no further……my son isn’t so sure of his “white” hair but I told him people pay hundreds of dollars to try to get that look Winking smile  I may pay just a little to KEEP mine that way – ha!

blog st regis river

Just a few more photos of my youngest traipsing through the trails.  I love the feel of evening sunlight on a perfectly calm summer night.

blog sunlight

blog camping montana

I’ll leave this adventure with a fun photo my daughter with her best friend our Golden Doodle dog Duke.  He comes camping with us wherever we go!

 Hope you guys are having a fun summer too!

blog goldendoodle camping

~ Till the Next Adventure! Selina
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