Update on the Little House

These aren’t the most recent photos and we’ve made a lot more progress than these photos show but I thought you’d all like to see! See the before pictures HERE.

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Living room. All that beautiful oak hardwood was hidden under nasty pee stained carpet.

View in to the old kitchen. We tore out the lath and plaster covering the back of  the fireplace and put in a new header so that we can make that pretty brick a focal point and give ourselves a few more inches of floor space.

View in to the old kitchen. We tore out the lath and plaster covering the back of the fireplace and put in a new header so that we can make that pretty brick a focal point and give ourselves a few more inches of floor space.

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Old dining room. Notice how we ripped out the dividing wall? It's still tiny but it feels so much more open!

Old dining room. Notice how we ripped out the dividing wall? It’s still tiny but it feels so much more open!

View into the bathroom front the front bedroom. We (as in my husband and father in law) tore out that wall so we can make the bathroom bigger and rearrange for a better layout.

View into the bathroom front the front bedroom. We (as in my husband and father in law) tore out that wall so we can make the bathroom bigger and rearrange for a better layout.

Those are the main changes happening in the little house. I’ll post more pictures after this weekend.

Digital Nature Photography

This summer my husband and I will be venturing into the Willowa Mountains with tents, food, and my camera loaded on to our backs. On my first backpacking trip a couple of years ago I took my Cannon with me to capture the incredible scenery. It can’t describe how amazing that trip was – and my photography only caught a shade of the natural glory. This time around I’m determined to take even better photos! So when I saw John Shaw’s Guide to Digital Nature Photography on bloggingforbooks.com I had to request it!

John Shaw’s Guide to Digital Nature Photography is set up like a manual or text book complimented with gorgeous pictures on nearly every page. John Shaw takes your from the very basics (Setting up you camera and how to work it in manual mode) to how to set up a good composition and what gear he uses himself. It’s going to take me a while to go through the entire book but it is well organized so I can skip around to subjects that interest me in the moment.

Beautifully put together and well written, I can happily recommend this book to anyone looking to improve their nature photography.

I received this book from bloggingforbooks.com in exchange for this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Come Tour our Little House!

We got the keys to our first house on Friday and spent Saturday celebrating by ripping out carpet, walls, and blackberry bushes. It will take a few months to get this cute little fixer-upper live-in ready and I’m excited to share the journey with you all! Later this week I will show you what we got done on demo day but first lets take a tour!

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I’m excited to paint the house! We are thinking gray with white trim and red on the front and garage doors
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Walking in the front door you see our pretty fireplace and a view into the dining room. There’s a lot of damage, gunk, and pee stained carpet.

The dining room has a nice view into the backyard and leads into the tiny kitchen.

Off the living room is the “hallway” leading to the two bedrooms and the tiny nasty bathroom.

The front bedroom will serve as our office/craft room. And yes, that beautiful wood floor is throughout most of the house!

Our master bedroom is actually the smaller of the two rooms but it has the bigger closet.

To get to the back yard you have to walk through the garage, which is attached to the house! (Not always the case for a 1940’s home.) I’m so excited to host people on our big patio and to get a puppy for our big backyard! The picture below only shows about half of the yard. The other half is separated by a chain link fence behind the garage and is all graveled and opens to the alley. Unfortunately that part is completely filled with 6-9 foot blackberry bushes. We’ve got our work cut out for us!

Follow me on Instagram and look for the hashtags #makinglifebeautfulblog and #TheLittleForrestHouse to see more photos of the house in progress!

DIY Blackboard Pantry

I love moving. Some people hate it, but I like it because it provides a new space to decorate and new challenges to fix. One of those challenges in our new apartment was these ugly faux wood pantry doors.

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I needed a cheap and easy solution which I found at the Target dollar bins- black board paper. IMG_0681

A little tape and wha-la!

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Jeff and I each picked a favorite poem to write on the doors.

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It only took about an hour and cost a total of $12. I love how it turned out!

A precious mouldering pleasure ‘t is
To meet an antique book,
In just the dress his century wore;
A privilege, I think,

His venerable hand to take,
And warming in our own,
A passage back, or two, to make
To times when he was young.

His quaint opinions to inspect,
His knowledge to unfold
On what concerns our mutual mind.
The literature of old;

What interested scholars most,
What competitions ran
When Plato was a certainty,
And Sophocles a man;

When Sappho was a living girl,
And Beatrice wore
The gown that Dante deified.
Facts, centuries before,

He traverses familiar,
As one should come to town
And tell you all your dreams were true:
He lived where dreams were born.

His presence is enchantment,
You beg him not to go;
Old volumes shake their vellum heads
And tantalize just so.

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Nature’s first green is gold,

Her hardest hue to hold.

Her early leaf’s a flower;

But only so an hour.

Then leaf subsides to leaf.

So Eden sank to grief,

So dawn goes down to day.

Nothing gold can stay.

Dreaming about our Little House

We close on the little house next week! I’ve been having so much fun dreaming, sketching floor plans and pinning inspiration pictures. The Little House needs so much work, but we got it for a great deal so it is a great investment!

It needs new paint, the bathroom needs to be completely ripped out, kitchen reconfigured, move a wall or two, refinish the wood floor, landscaping, and lots of sweat and love. I’m so excited!

Here are some of my current favorite inspiration photos! Find them, their links and more on my Little House Pinterest Board.

Exciting Blessings

It’s been a hard but blessed year. It’s amazing to see how God leads us through the valleys. I hate having to go through the valleys,  the hard times, but they are necessary to get us from one good pasture to another. I’m so glad I have the Good Shepard to follow.

Blessing: moving back to Oregon

Valley: leaving a dream job

Blessing: seeing family everyday

Valley: the search for an apartment

Blessing: finding a job

Valley: the job was the most stressful and unhappy job I’ve had

Blessing: the amazing people I met and lessons I learned at that job

More blessings:

God’s timing is perfect! I interviewed for a nanny job last week and was offered the position with the same hours and pay that I am making now! I get to start caring for them in a couple of weeks!

More good news, we are buying a house! A tiny little place that needs a lot of love. I’m so excited to share the renovation with you after we close in a couple weeks!

Our Little House

Capture the Moment

I’ve been interested in photography for a long time and ever since high school I’ve been the one people hand the camera to at parties. I don’t have the best memory but I love life and photography offers the ability to capture the moments I won’t easily remember 10 years from now.

I ordered this book Capture the Moment by Sarah Wilkerson and it has re-inspired my love for photography. This hard back book is beautifully laid out and simply organized. Every page is graced with gorgeous pictures from female photographers from around the globe. At the end of each chapter are “Creativity Exercises” that call you to put into practice what you learned in the last chapter. The chapters are simple, more about the pictures than the words, which I like because most photographers are visual and don’t want to read long wordy how-to’s, we want to go out and do! This book is perfect.

Beginners and alike professionals will enjoy and benefit from this book!

I received a copy of Capture the Moment in exchange for this review from bloggingforbooks.com.

All ideas and opinions are my own.