The Beast

This armoire is a beast. Not only is it huge and heavy, it had some serious problems when I first got it. I was going to do a whole Beauty & the Beast analogy, but this transformation became so much more than that.

This armoire taught me lessons about how faith can move mountains.

I spent months searching for some storage options for the craft room, and decided this Pennsylvania Dutch piece from the FB marketplace had all of the storage space I needed.

But I felt buyer’s remorse the minute after I paid for it. The door hinges were stripped and falling off, and I underestimated just how huge and heavy it was. It took two trips and every ounce of muscle we had to bring it home. It barely fit in our garage, and I had to constantly nudge it a few inches so I could squeeze around to work on it. And the whole time I was worried about hanging those stupid doors.

My husband suggested not putting any work into the armoire until I could get the hinges right… but I knew once the doors were hung, they’d break or fall off when we moved the beast into the house. Based on the size of this thing, I also knew that once it was moved inside, we’d never move it out again. I was feeling so much remorse, that I almost put it on the curb, and I was stuck wondering if I should even move forward.

But then I heard President Russel M. Nelson say that one way to use faith, is to ACT in faith, so I pushed forward.

And after a lot of prayers, and tears, and research, FaceTime sessions with my dad for advice, an injured arm, painting set backs, 4 different kinds of hinge fails, a wallpaper fail, and a 2-hour move job by my amazing men, the Beast was painted and in the room!

Sigh… I’m still tired thinking about it!

But through it all, I learned a few new things about hinges. I learned how to repair stripped holes, and I learned about just how much my hubby and boys love me.

I learned that it’s often the journey of moving forward that makes our faith grow the most. The affirmation of our faith comes after the struggle.

And maybe there still is a Beauty and the Beast Analogy here too…. after all, Belle had to move forward not knowing the outcome, as well!

So if you’re struggling and not sure how to move forward or what choice to make, my advice is to begin.



Go for it.

President Nelson said, “Your growing faith in Him will move mountains — not the mountains of rock that beautify the earth — but the mountains of misery in your lives… Your flourishing faith will help you turn challenges into unparalleled growth and opportunity.”

I’m so pleased with how this beast transformed. The doors still aren’t perfect, but they’re close enough. And through it all, I truly saw faith move this mountain.

Wood Bead Wreath DIY

Wood bead wreaths are so simple and easy to make, and you will love how they turn out!


20 – 2.5” Half-Wood beads (I found mine on Etsy – link here)

1 – 16” Wood Wreath Form

Artificial Flowers

Hot Glue Gun and Glue (for flowers)

Wood Glue (Elmers Probond Advance will hold through outdoor heat.)


Glue 20 beads to the wreath form, and leave a gap for the flowers. The Probond Advance takes a little longer to dry but the hold is SOLID! I even accidentally hung my wreath on a weak command hook, and came home to find the wreath form had broken. I used the profound to glue it back together, and it has held up beautifully!

Layer artificial leaves then flowers using hot glue gun. 

Optional: add felt furniture protectors to the back so it won’t scratch the door.

Another option is to purchase a premade wood bead wreath from Hobby Lobby and glue flowers to the front!

Be generous with the hot glue, I used a ton all over the back to make sure they hold!


You Will Never, Ever Have Enough

I just finished reading one of my favorite books, “The Wind in the Willows.” It’s not just the inspiration behind Toad’s Wild Ride at Disneyland, it’s an insightful book full of rich characters that teach powerful analogies about human nature.

I connected most with the character portrayed by the River Rat. He is fiercely loyal, nurturing, and thoughtful. He is well respected, generous, and he loves his simple life living next to the river basking in the beauty around him.

But in chapter 10, the rat gets a longing for change. As winter approaches, he overhears swallows talking about the thrill of migration, and change. Then he meets a new character, the sea rat, who lives a life of adventure. In only a few moments, Rat is taken with the traveler’s swashbuckling tales about the glamorous life he’s lived. He gets so influenced that he returns home, gathers his things in a little pack, and almost leaves everything he loves.

This little story got me thinking about the influences around us. Every time I get on social media, I get a glimpse of other people’s best lives. I see their travels, their beautiful homes, their flawless skin and style, and their picture-perfect families. It’s so easy to begin thinking that my life isn’t good enough! And just like the river rat, I often find myself in a trancelike state buying things I don’t need and focusing a little too much on the life I don’t have, instead of the one I do have.

Opra Winfrey said, “Be thankful for what you have, you’ll end up having more. If you focus on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.”

In the book, the Mole, a childlike, innocent character, and stoic friend, is the one who brings the rat back to reality, and Rat begins to remember the good things about his life.

And honestly, I think that is the key. Remembering!

When I think my life comes up short, or isn’t enough, it never is. But when I remember in gratitude for the things I do have, the people I love, and the joy and beauty around me, I am reminded that my life is wonderful. It isn’t perfect, but it is full of beautiful challenges that I can handle!

And all of it… is enough!

Darkness and Light

Over the past 6 months, the lightbulbs on this hallway fixture have slowly started giving out. I didn’t bother changing them because who wants to go to the effort of changing just one of 10 bulbs that are hanging from a 30’ ceiling, when there’s a good chance the rest will give out soon as well? After all, it’s crazy high, and I’m crazy short!

As it got darker and darker, I began liking this space less and less, and even thought about painting the hallway to make it brighter. “If only I had something completely different,” I would think, “then I’d be happier in this space.”

But today, I had a free moment, and decided to tackle the bulbs. The lightbulbs I had on hand were Daylight colored, which I don’t typically use, but not wanting to run to the store, I decided to try them here.

What I had forgotten was, that often, Daylight colored bulbs, can change the hues of beige and gray paint. And when I put these bulbs in, suddenly, the yellow walls disappeared, and I was left with a natural, bright space! Furthermore, the walls now appear to be the very paint color I was thinking of painting!

I think there’s an analogy here: This week I had an experience that burned out my lightbulbs a little. I could only see my side of things, and was angry. As the darkness got worse with every doubt, fear and negativity, I knew I needed help, and began praying for inspiration. Slowly, the Lord gave bits and pieces to help me. The “Partly Cloudy” Disney Pixar short (of all things), and the new Book of Mormon videos were just a few things that started my change of heart, but it wasn’t until I replaced these lightbulbs, that I realized the personal message that the Lord was trying to send me!

I think the Lord is always sending us inspiration. and when it clicks, it’s like changing the lightbulbs. We begin to see everything differently, and it starts to make sense! The color I’d been dreaming about for this room, was there all along, I just needed to change the lightbulbs! The answer to my anger was there all along, I just needed to look at it differently, and allow “His light” to brighten my spiritual room.

Darkness in our lives can be debilitating. The more we let the bitterness linger, the darker it gets, and the problem gets bigger. But when we realize where and Who we can turn to to change our thought process, and change our mental lightbulbs, our lights can burn brighter than before.

Romans 13:12


Escape Room Birthday Party

We love escape rooms! The little puzzles and code boxes are so satisfying to decipher, it was only natural that our little girl would ask for an escape room for her birthday party! As it turned out, putting together the clues was just as enjoyable as figuring it out myself!

As guests arrived they came into the kitchen and started a craft. But about 5 minutes in, one of my kids came in and declared that someone had taken all the presents and left a note!

The clues in the note led them upstairs to the game room where there was a lock on one of the doors, and a balloon.

Popping the balloon revealed a key and a note that read, “Harry Potter loved to read…”

This led them to the bookshelf where there was a hidden key inside of a decrepit duplicate copy of Harry Potter. (While several party guests expressed shock over the damage to Harry Potter, I promise, the book was already on its last legs!)

Next, they needed to break the code to the bike chain that was around the door. (If I were to do it again, I’d use a different chain, because this didn’t securely hold the doors, and I had to remind the guests to open the lock, rather than rip it off.) The code was written on a party banner hanging on the wall.

Opening these doors revealed the kidnapped sister in handcuffs with a make-believe “explosive device” around her neck.

These two devices and several others that I hid around the room, came from The Ultimate Operation Escape Room Game that was a gift from my sister. It’s great for younger kids, but the older party guests just broke into most of the devices, rather than trying to figure out how to open them.

Once the victim was free, the kids began searching the room for clues.

They found a hidden key that opened a violin case revealing another set of keys.

Those keys unlocked the cooler, which revealed another game device.

They found a box inside of a backpack that was shut with zip ties. Another option would be to just secure the backpack with zip ties, but putting zip ties around the box gave another element to figure out.

They also found some scissors inside a drawer that had a combo lock around them.

The combination code was the playing cards taped to the desk. (For older kids, I would put the cards in another spot in the room, but it took the younger kids a long time to figure this one out.)

Cutting the zip ties opened the box and revealed components that went to another part of the operation game. And inside of that device was a black light.

I had several codes hidden around the room written in black light.

We already owned this safe, and they had to search the room for the clues to open it.

Inside was another game device that revealed a hidden black light message.

The kids had to use this decoder ring to decipher the clue.

The decoder ring gave them the word “Read” which opened this master lock.

The birdcage revealed another device from the Escape Room game that they had to figure out how to open.

That device opened to reveal another black light message that they needed the decoder ring to crack.

The decoder message led them to the guest bedroom where they found all of the confiscated Birthday presents.

We had 19 kids, ages 6-11 trying to do the room, which was probably too many, because I noticed some kids just sitting around while others figured out clues. But for the most part, I think everyone had fun!


Balancing family, sick kids, funeral services, race training, church service, hubby’s schedule and kid’s activities leaves very little time for my projects these days!

But that’s just my season of life right now!

And while there are times that I’m tempted to doubt my choice to be a stay at home mom, hate the situation we’re in and give in to fear and sadness; I’m learning that balance is all about choice.

Choosing to let go of the selfish things I want as well as letting go of the emotions and feelings that don’t bring joy, and instead, choosing to focus more on my family and spirituality is what seems to bring the most balance to my life.

What brings balance to you?

Powder Bath Refresh


One decorating trend here in the great state of Texas, is to paint your bathroom orange. Don’t ask my why, but it’s kind of disturbing just how many orange baths I come across… it really is a thing here!!

My powder bath was going true Texan, complete with a rust colored ceiling, and walls that made everything from the toilet to my skin, look a shocking shade of apricot!

Now, I don’t mind orange in my juice, but I can’t handle it in my bathroom.

So I spent the week painting.

This is Anew Gray by Sherwin-Williams.


It’s amazing what color can do. Before it was a dark cave of bold, glowing citrus! And now it’s a peaceful, calm place to get down to business!

I found the Texas road sign at a flea market, and shopped my house for the rest of the decor.

Worth It

A sweet friend and I decided to trade this old nightstand for her vintage bench.

My friend wanted the nightstand to be navy blue with gold handles, and I got to work sanding and painting the piece, but every time I thought about putting those dated, tarnished, mirrored brass handles back on the piece, I was filled with dread!

Since we had no budget for new hardware,

I did some Internet research and found Bar Keepers Friend (BKF), which works wonders on many things, so I picked some up and started scrubbing.

One handle was particularly tarnished and after a great deal of scrubbing, I realized there was a gorgeous brass metal underneath! It almost looked like brushed gold! It was beautiful!

I was stuck with a dilemma. The BKF had cleaned up most of the tarnish, and the handles would be acceptable the way they were… but if I wanted a real transformation and uncover the shiny brass, I would have to put the work in and scrub all 10 handles.

As I sat pondering on what to do, the piece spoke to me.

“The hard work will be worth it!”

Yes, it would take a while, ruin my manicure and be a pain, but it would be worth it in the end.

Several hours later I had 10 shiny brushed gold handles and the piece looked amazing!

I couldn’t help but find a parallel to our lives in these handles.

As we journey through life, we become tarnished with sin, heartache and pain. It’s easy to leave the tarnish there thinking it doesn’t matter, but if we’re not careful it can ruin us.

It can be tempting to think that the tarnish is too much, that we should toss it out, and try to make something else work; but we can’t forget there there is something beautiful still there. Underneath our pain is a shiny, beautiful soul.

A soul that is worth it.

And putting in the effort and the work to repent, forgive and find that beauty again is always worth it.

But we can’t do it alone.

Phillipians 4:13 says “I can do all things through Christ, which strengtheneth me.”

Through the atonement, Christ takes our tarnished lives and makes them shiny again, because we are worth it. It takes work on our part, and it’s not easy to repent, to forgive ourselves and others and to move forward, but it’s worth it, because we are worth it.

Just like these handles gave this nightstand new life, if we put the work in, no matter how long it takes, through the healing power of the Savior, we can find peace and uncover the beauty that is in all of us.

Painting Low-Traffic Furniture: The Easy Way

Every piece of furniture is different so this isn’t a fail-safe formula, but it’s great for most low traffic items like end tables, armoires, beds, accent chairs, sofa tables etc.

Sanding the pieces even a little helps the paint stick, but isn’t necessary for low traffic items. Again, every piece is different so use your own judgement about whether to sand or it. High traffic item like kitchen tables turn out better with more prep work and more durable paint.


1. Clean the piece with water or mineral spirits and let it dry.

2. Paint Zinnser Shellac base primer with a disposable brush. It’s super runny so make sure you have a heavy drop cloth or plastic on the floor.

3. Paint with a flat or Satin sheen paint. I love sample sizes of paint from Sherwin Williams because they are cheap and come in a pint size.

5. Paint one or two coats for desired coverage.

7. Glaze and or distress as desired.

9. Top coat with Polycrylic. It gives the piece a smooth finish. I like Minwax or Stays Clear from Benjamin Moore

10. I recommend letting the piece “cure” for about a week before you set items on it.

Chippy Goodness

Do you ever worry about the health factor of old “chippy” paint?
I fell in love with this antique chair that I found on the FB marketplace, and thrilled over its flathead screws and aged layers of paint. The layers of paint were at least 1/8″ thick and I thrilled thinking about all the people who had spent time painting this chair to match their decor.

But as soon as I put it here on the porch, the kids started sitting on it, and I began worrying about the layers of paint that kept chipping off into their hands!
And when I considered the lead-based paint of the 30’s, and the shocking lack of hand washing my children naturally do, I decided to sell this chair.
Thank goodness there are lots of other gals out there who love old furniture too, so this lovely piece could find another home!
🌿Tip: You can seal in the lead-based chemicals from old paint with Shellac or Poly. Just be aware that it may change the shine and color of the current piece.
🌿Tip: BE CAREFUL! Always Wear protective face respirators and gloves when scraping, sanding or painting over old paint!
What old piece have you fallen in love with only to realize it wasn’t quite what you expected?