April 28, 2015

My Happy Place + The One Year Anniversary of #MillsRebuild

One-Year-Anniversary

Yesterday marked the one year anniversary of being back in our home and I can honestly say it's been the best year yet. Sure there have been some ups and downs but the ups have far outweighed the downs.

Next month it will be two years since we were hit by yet another devastating F5 tornado. So many asked us what our plans were after getting hit again. Our response, "re-build". Their reply? "In the same place?!" Without hesitation, our answer was, "Yep!"

One-Year---Before

I have a long history on this little acreage we live on. I basically grew up out here. My Great Aunt Lydia at one time lived on and owned 140 acres of this land. After the 1999 tornado, she gifted us 5 of the last 19*ish acres she still owned. My grandparents and sister also built houses out here shortly after.

One-Year---Tutus

It's like the best of both worlds here. We are in city limits but out far enough to feel like we are in the country yet we are very close to the conveniences of the city.

As a child, I spent many, many summers out here trying to catch crawdads down at the creek, petting and feeding the horses at the ranch next door, running through the alfalfa field (that our house now sits on) and setting up lemonade stands at the end of my great aunt's driveway….so. many. memories.

I had the best childhood out here and I want my girls to experience that, even if only a little bit of it (there's no way I would let them run free like we did back then). I love that they have space to run and explore….to be unplugged from the TV and video games (although they get plenty of screen time).

One-Year---Tree-Stumps

One-Year---Rain

One-Year---Storm-Shelter

One-Year---Swings

One-Year---Water-Fight

Seeing them happy makes me unbelievably happy so if anyone asks me why we did it…why we rebuilt in the same place after two tornados, I will tell them I did it for my kids.

Despite the cost it took to get here, the past year has been one of the best years for me. I am a living testimony that God really can make beauty from ashes. I am beyond blessed and will forever be thankful for the trials (and triumphs) that got me to where I am today.

"and provide for those who grieve in Zion— to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor."   -Isaiah 63.1

April 26, 2015

Weekly Meal Plan + Week 17

The seemingly non-stop rainy/gloomy weather is killing me lately. I am learning that I NEED sunshine. Taking a vitamin D supplement just doesn't cut it.

I am also learning that lack of sunshine = lack of energy = lack of motivation so meal planning this week was very uninspired. Sorry.

2015-Week-17-Meal-Plan-

Recipes

 

Let's hope the sun comes out soon!

Shop LeCreuset.com

April 24, 2015

Vintage Circus Party Inspiration

Since one of the many hats I wear is designing party printables, I thought I'd start a new feature here on the good ol' blog where I give you ideas to go along with the printable parties I have in my shop.

What do you think? Do you like this idea? Would it be helpful?

This week I'm featuring my Vintage Circus Party Invite and printable décor.

Vintage Circus Inspiration

Décor Sources

Food Ideas

  • Hot Dogs
  • Cotton Candy
  • Snow Cones
  • Popcorn
  • Peanuts

 

To see more ideas, visit my Vintage Circus Inspiration Board on Pinterest!

Follow @embellishology on Instagram!

Just Wait Til You Have Kids
 
 

April 23, 2015

Master Bedroom Design

Why is it that the master bedroom is usually the last room that get's decorated (if at all)? Ours is no exception.

Our previous master bedroom after 14 years was almost complete….it just needed paint. That obviously never happened. Now the new master bedroom has paint but isn't complete décor wise.

The reason ours hasn't been completed this time is since I had planned to do more entertaining in this house, I wanted those spaces to be done first. Once I got to the master, the money had simply run out. This was not a surprise to us as we purposely put most of our money into the bones of the house with the thinking that we can buy furniture and décor anytime and major renovations would be less likely to happen.

But at least I have a plan! Here is my design board for our master bedroom.

Master Bedroom Mood Board

I plan to add color with the details….pillows, décor for the bookshelves, wall art, etc.

We are currently using the furniture we had in our master bedroom before. We have thought about refinishing/painting some of it to but it is all pretty banged up from going through a tornado so I'm not sure how good it would look.

Sources

These are the things I already own:

  • Upholstered Bed (Bernhardt) – Mathis Brothers (Special Order)
  • Nightstand Lamps – Hobby Lobby
  • Tufted Back Slipper Chairs – Target
  • Tufted Ottoman – Target
  • Paint – Color match to Glidden's Granite Grey (looks a little blue on my screen but doesn't at all in the room with a lot of natural light)

Sources for the other items:

  • Nightstands, bedding, pillows, media cabinet, chests and bookshelves – Joss & Main
  • Window Treatments – Bed, Bath & Beyond
  • Table in sitting area - Target

April 21, 2015

Blogging Made Easy with Windows Live Writer

For the first couple of years that I blogged, I hated putting together my posts. The blogger post editor, in my opinion is so not user friendly. After a little bit of research, I came across a program that pretty much saved my blog. Seriously, I was just about ready to give up on blogging completely because it took me so long to get my posts (especially with pictures) done. I'm talking about Windows Live Writer and I've been using it for years.

Windows Live Writer (WLW) is a free download that Window's based so if you have a Mac, it might not help you much (although I've read there's a way to use it on a Mac).

Here are just a few of my favorite features of Windows Live Writer:

Windows Live Writer integrates with your blog

WLW can be used with both Blogger and Wordpress blogs. It allows you to also work offline and either publish posts or post as a draft to your blog (drafts can easily be retrieved from your blog in WLW). Another great feature is that you can set up multiple blogs in WLW.

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Insert pictures and resize them effortlessly

This was the feature that sold me on WLW. You can insert pictures from a website, and online album or from your computer. Inserting videos is also pretty easy.

image

Once you have inserted your picture, you can easily resize to fit your blog post column width and even add special borders or no border at all.

image

In order to share your posts on social media, you really should be renaming your pictures with a good descriptive name. WLW allows you to do that with great ease. Simply click on Alt Text in the Picture Tools Format menu. Be sure you also watermark your pictures before sharing (which you can do in WLW).

image

 

Hyperlinks and Auto Linking

Another great feature that I use in pretty much every post is adding hyperlinks and if you link to certain sites a lot, you can create auto links. For example, I have it set up to where every time I use the words "Etsy shop" or "shop" it automatically links to my Etsy shop.

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The advanced button also allows you to select "no follow" on hyper links….something I'm just starting to learn about.

WLW has so many other great features that make just formatting your posts so much easier. So if you aren't already using it, go now and download it for FREE! You won't regret it, I promise.

April 19, 2015

Weekly Meal Plan + Week 16

Meal planning for me has never been exact. I've never adhered to it 100% due to last minute plans or some other unforeseen circumstance. I never fret though because it just means I usually have at least one meal that I don't have to plan for the next week.

Last week started out good but then I made the Copycat CFA Chicken Nuggets. Aside from the flavor of the pickle juice, it tasted nothing like Chick-Fil-A. I'll be trying another recipe. At the end of last week we had a last minute dinner out so all of the meals got pushed back. Since I had already planned for this week, I'll be putting those meals on next week's meal plan.

 

2015 Week 16 Meal Plan

Recipes

April 17, 2015

All About Mom

Mother's Day Cards | Just Wait til You have Kids

Mother's Day is only three weeks away!

I know it's last minute but I posted some Mother's Day cards for sale on my @embellishology Instagram account.

This one features one of my first hand lettering projects!

Happy Mother's Day Card | Just Wait til You have Kids

Navy, gold and coral for the Best Mom Ever!

Best Mom Ever Card | Just Wait til You have Kids

For all the Foxy Momma's….

Foxy Momma Card | Just Wait til You have Kids

Last but not least, a simple watercolor I Love You….

I Love You the Mostest Card | Just Wait til You have Kids

The sale on Instagram will end Saturday at midnight. Cards are $5 shipped.

April 13, 2015

Week(End) Recap

Wow. How did a week go by with me not blogging? Actually, I know. We were busy, busy and having fun so there was no time!

Easter was good. We grilled out and just had family time. It was cold and a bit rainy if I remember correctly. Sadly, I didn't get many pictures that day. On Monday we did our normal. Tuesday is when the fun began.

On Tuesday, JMac was off so we took a last minute spontaneous trip to the zoo. We have season passes and haven't gone near enough. It got a little warm but it was the perfect day! The girls only request was to see the elephants and feed the giraffes. When we got to the elephant exhibit, they weren't out so we missed the elephants, but the girls got to feed a giraffe!

04 07 15_8533
04 07 15_8536

The zoo was hosting Read Across Oklahoma that day so the cast of Super Why was there. The girls were pretty star struck. It was so cute!

04 07 15_8518

Last time we visited the zoo we didn't visit the children's area so that was our first stop this time. The girls got to brush a goat, play on the slide and in the little waterfall and stream. It's such a fun area for the kids.

04 07 15_8521 04 07 15_852204 07 15_8525

Wednesday was back to our normal schedule. Even the tornado watch that day seemed normal because it seems like we've had storms and severe weather midweek every week for the past month. Welcome to Spring in Oklahoma. Here's Tensley giving us the weather forecast. Thankfully, I don't think we had any tornadoes in Oklahoma that day.

04 08 15_8514

Thursday was another low key day. I think I worked on cleaning the house a little bit and then we played outside until dinner time.

Friday was my grocery day. We were gone ALL day. When we finally got home I grilled some chicken and made chicken fajitas. They were soooo good! I'm thinking they will be on the menu a lot this summer.

Here's a little funny story for you (although I didn't think it was funny at the time). One of my grocery stops was Sprouts. I don't know if I've mentioned this here but one of the previous times we went to Sprouts, Tensley decided she needed to test out the produce (she also peed in the floor at the bathroom that day but we're not going to talk about that). Anyway, this visit was no different. Both girls were looking at the mushrooms while my mom was looking at the salad mixes (did I mention my mom was with me?). Anyway, I was looking for things on my list and when I turned around I saw Tensley chewing on something and she had a very disgusted look on her face. Upon closer examination, I realized she had decided she needed to taste test the mushrooms and then proceeded to try to spit it out right there in the middle of the floor. Ugh! I quickly dug through my purse to find a Kleenex but came upon a package of wipes (thank goodness!) so she could spit it out. THEN, after being tired of waiting on my mom and I, she decided she needed a snack and grabbed an apple and took a huge bite.

The moral of this story? Add Sprouts to the list of places I go solo.

Saturday was so much fun! We took the girls to pick out seeds for a little butterfly garden we are going to do in the backyard. Then we went out to dinner and headed home. When we got home, JMac decided to try to burn a stump that we need to remove in order to plant the butterfly garden. It didn't really work but we had a great little bonfire going so I invited my sis and her family over for s'mores. The kids played and my sis and I sat on the barn patio under a blanket and chatted while the guys manned the fire. We were outside until after 11pm! Such a good day.

04 11 15_847704 11 15_847904 11 15_8485

JMac's dad came over on Sunday and brought pizza. It was another low key day which was a good thing because I was exhausted!

I hope everyone had a great week an weekend too! I'll try not to go so long without posting again. But no promises because I'm really enjoying outside time this year. ;)

April 12, 2015

Weekly Meal Plan + Week 15

I really wish I could get better about incorporating breakfasts and lunches into my weekly meal plans but with our current schedule and my very picky girls, it's a little difficult to do.

Maybe some day……

For now, we just depend on having leftovers for lunches and some dinners. I've incorporated a couple of meals into this week that will make enough just for that.

2015-Week-15-Meal-Plan 

Recipes

  • Pulled Pork – I typically just throw a pork roast in the crock pot and whip up the BBQ sauce from this recipe. This meal should provide more than enough leftovers for Wednesday's loaded baked potatoes and maybe a sandwich or two for lunches.
  • Chicken & Black Bean Rice Bowls – This is a new to me recipe. I'm plan to serve it over rice for rice bowls instead of tacos.
  • Homemade Pizza – As always, I'll be using my favorite homemade pizza sauce. Maybe one day I'll post my pizza dough recipe.

What does your meal plan look like for this week?

April 5, 2015

Weekly Meal Plan + Week 14

Weekly Meal Plan Header

Happy Easter! I hope you all have had a great weekend! My family is at our house today. We planned to grill out and wouldn't you know it, it's cold and rainy. It didn't stop us though…our grilled chicken was delicious!

Oh shoot! I just realized I forgot to set out the deviled eggs for lunch. Guess we'll be snacking on them this evening.

Anyway, I decided to take a little break from being in the kitchen to post my meal plan for this week. I'm also eating a slice of yummy carrot cake (on a thanksgiving plate) that my sister made. It tastes much better than the chocolate banana poke cake I made (take my advice and don't make it if you come across it on Pinterest).

Anyway, there's nothing special about this week's meal plan. It's all pretty much quick and easy meals. Hopefully, despite the rainy forecast this week, we'll have some nice evenings so we can spend the extra time that I'm not slaving over a hot stove outside burning off some energy. Not me, the kids. I'll be on the patio drinking coffee.

2015-Week-14-Meal-Plan

Recipes

  • Mexican Rice – I feel like I post this recipe at least once a week. Can't help it though, we love us some Mexican food.

What's on your menu this week?

April 3, 2015

What our barn patio looks like. . . in my head.

Patio Decor - Our Barn Patio Design | Just Wait til You have Kids

Our house before the tornado didn't have any covered patios. We had a covered porch along the front but it wasn't a great entertaining space. I mean, who wants to hang out on their front porch listening to all the cars drive by (we get LOTS of traffic on our street). We had always planned to add on a cover of some kind over our back deck but just never did.

I always dreamed about having a great outdoor entertaining space. A great dining table, a cozy conversational/hang out area and a fire pit.

Now, with our additions and modifications, we have three covered patios! Two on the house and one on our barn. You guys, now that it's warmer outside, we have been spending so much time on our patios. One of our patios, affectionately called the "grilling porch" is pretty well protected so even on chilly nights it's stays fairly warm. That patio is where we've been eating most of our meals since Spring arrived.

This past weekend, we started working on our barn patio. It runs the full length of our barn, which I think is about 50 feet and it's 10 feet deep. Don't tell my other patios but I think it's my favorite. One of the biggest reasons is because I can see our entire backyard….and the littles that play there. Anyway, when we built the barn I started imaging lights, chandeliers or lanterns, hanging from the exposed beams. Well one day JMac asked me what I thought about using the lights we had initially purchased for our faux dormers for the barn. Let me just tell you, I was beyond excited. We already had two lights so we ordered two more and…..

Dream come true.

Barn Lights | Just Wait til You have Kids

JMac worked nearly two days getting the wiring done and the lights hung. He is like the best husband ever and I'm in love…..with the lights, ok and him. Ha! I seriously just want to hang out there every night. Although, I had to go buy some citronella candles the other day because the mosquitos have already come out and they are bigger than Texas this year. Yikes!

Here's another view of the lights at dusk.

Barn Lights | Just Wait til You have Kids

It's like they were meant to go there.

Ok, so for the rest of the porch, this is what I had in mind. Most of it will be DIY so it may take us some time to get it finished but I can be patient. I think. We also already have some of the furniture, the pillows and obviously the lights.

Barn Patio Design | Just Wait til You have Kids

I plan to add more navy and maybe some of the lime green in the pillows with décor. Since our weather is so crazy here, I don't plan on spending a bunch of money on things that could possibly get tossed around during storms or with our crazy winds.

Have you been spending as much time outside as we have? What's your favorite part of your backyard?

For more patio decorating ideas, follow me on Pinterest.

Just Wait Til You Have Kids
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