Entries for the ‘my home’ Category

Enjoying the Holiday Season

Tuesday, November 1st, 2016

In case you don’t know, my birthday is December 25, (yes, really). The whole Christmas season has always been my favorite time of year, one giant celebration with my birthday at the center.  I love the whole magic of the holiday- the closer it gets to December the more I feel the fabric of our communities change. There is a kindness, a gentleness (I’ve never been to black friday- maybe it is an exception) a sense of wonder that overtakes everything.  I just love that feeling. For most of my adult life I have held out on Christmas, I felt that I had to wait until Dec 1 before I decorated, baked, listened to carols etc.- everything needed to wait until that magical date on the calendar. That was just how I had always celebrated and made the season special.


Last year was a stressful time for me, I was a bit depressed about of our life situation, some family stuff and really overwhelmed with planning a huge Christmas party for my church. I needed that Christmas Cheer sooner than December 1, so I started listening to music and watching Christmas movies in November. It helped….but what really struck me is how I felt AFTER Christmas. Much has been written about “Post Holiday Let-Down“, its something I always felt and figured was just a normal thing that happened after a big celebration. After last year, I found that for me, celebrating the holiday longer (starting earlier than Dec 1), made me ready and GLAD that the holiday was over. There was no let down last year, just a pleasant acceptance of the fun we had and the desire to move forward!


With that little life lesson learned, I’m starting the Holiday’s today- Nov 1. Guilt free carols, baking, house decorating, Christmas movie watching and more! I’m not jumping straight from Halloween to Christmas, but I am lumping Thanksgiving and Christmas into “Holiday Season”. I’ll be hosting both holidays this year and am looking forward to decorating and building traditions in our new (and forever) home.


In preparation for Thanksgiving, I’m going to do a “Gratitude-30” month again.  Today I am extremely grateful for a strong and healthy body, for the health of my family. It might seem silly, but I am grateful our bodies function as they should- my fingers, toes and legs work as they should. I am so thankful for health. Why don’t you join me in this month of gratitude? Comment here and tell me what you are grateful for today….

Paint and repeat

Thursday, September 29th, 2016

Every weekday morning for two week I have sent the kids off to school, dressed in paint clothes and gone to work on the new house. I typically spend 6-7 hours a day working at the new place. It is more physical labor than my body is used to, I wake up each morning with sore muscles. We’re making progress, the bedrooms are ready for the carpet to be installed. (and Yes, it turns out we ARE ceiling painting people, thanks to three GREAT friends who came to help me.)


I took last weekend off and didn’t step foot in the new house, I just needed a break. I spent my Saturday evening watching the General Women’s Conference that my church puts on twice a year.  The older I get the more I enjoy the experience.  I felt so moved by each of the talks, so many things I felt applied to me and ways I needed to become a better person. One of my favorite things about conference is to marry my favorite quotes with beautiful pictures- I just love making those memes!



I’m looking forward to this weekend which is two more days of talks by LDS church leaders…and maybe a little “eye resting” on the couch.

Not For Fun

Thursday, September 22nd, 2016

DIY home remodeling is not fun. People don’t do their own remodeling because its a great kick in the pants (well, maybe it is, but more figuratively), they do it because there are desperate to save a buck or two.


I feel like I have shleped all over the east valley looking for high quality carpet at a discount price (pucketts) but to really get the best deal you hire a separate guy to install it. It seems like everyone has a guy who does ___________ (fill in the blank). So we bought the carpet and hired “the guy”.

Next up is painting and priming (but not in that order) the newly textured walls, and deciding if we are the kind of people who paint ceilings (I don’t think we are).

Its been a busy week with house projects, and oh ya, I’M STILL RAISING THREE HUMANS. Time management and planning ahead is the ONLY way to get through this. Last week I sat down and meal planned crock pot or simple recipes for the week. Every morning I’ve only had to check the list and drop something in the crock pot to guarantee we can still eat a hot meal as a family.  Today I left the *new* house at 5:30, had dinner on the table by 5:45 and was out the door again by 6:10 to attend a church meeting.

I got home about 9pm and collapsed on the bedroom floor.  I can only be on-the-ball so much before I break.  My 6yo (who should have been in bed a half an hour ago) walked in and asked if I’d give her a hug and a kiss before bed, people, I just could not be a responsible adult person anymore, I told her “no, I just can’t.” She happily turned to her father and asked him if he could. Single Parents out there- you all are AWESOME-EST, because you just keep on being that responsible adult, cause there is no one to get your back.

I’m exhausted. But so so glad to be exhausted over this, it was a hard three years for us as renters (emotionally, we have the BEST landlords) and we are extremely grateful to be home owners again.



Adventures in home buying…again

Monday, September 19th, 2016

After three years of renting and waiting for the house/price/interest-rate stars to magically align, we finally bought a house.


Our patience paid off and we were able to buy a home in the neighborhood we’ve always wanted to be in. The house was built in 1977, and we are the SECOND owners!  The house looks exactly like it did when it was built- it has not been updated at all.  The dining room/living room walls are covered in BURLAP wall paper, the kitchen and bathrooms are all wallpapered too.  We’ve owned the house for less than a week and it already looks like a construction site.


After attempting to remove the wall paper myself (water, fabric softer, special spray and a steamer), we decided to hire someone. The wallpaper was laid directly on the dry wall, so not only did it need to be removed, it also needed texture.  I think it was the best decision we’ve made so far!


This week we will be painting and installing baseboards. Hopefully by next week we can start installing the floors.  We’re not really big DIY-ers, but we’re trying to do as much as we can ourselves to save money. Have you remodeled a house? I’d love some pointers!

In the in-between time I’m trying to get ready for Pinners Arizona– happening NEXT MONTH! I’m teaching a hand embroidery class. We’re making this darling Arizona themed sampler, you can register and use my name “heatherhales” to receive 10% off all your class/registration fees. I’m really hoping a lot of people sign up, hand embroidery is a dying art, its so easy to learn and so fun/versatile/portable that I love sharing my skills with others.

img_4807 This is my latest personal project, the pattern comes from a handlettered design created by One Artsy Mama. I’m hoping to turn it into a hot pad and gift it to a friend.

Internet Worthy House

Thursday, June 23rd, 2016

Dear Pinterest-

After three years of living in this rental house I finally hung something up on the living room walls. It started before breakfast when I was scrolling through FB and one of my groups announced an estate sale a mere 5 min from my house.

“Self”, I said, “lets go! Lets go find a treasure we don’t need and probably can’t afford.” As I’m rather obliging, I threw my hair in a pony, woke the kids to tell them I was leaving and off I went. As luck would have it I found more treasures than money in my pocket but settled on two late 60’s arm chairs.

After I got the chairs set up in my taupe/beige-y living room I realized the room lacked any color and character. “Paint! It needs paint” I said to my daughter, “Today is the day, we are painting today!”

Of course I went straight to you so your interweb of pins could tell me what color I should paint my bland living room. Oh, but pinterest, the over abundance of color. It was too much and I simply couldn’t decide.  I sort of lied to my daughter and said, “Oh, not today, Daddy will be mad if we paint without letting him pick the color too”. Which is the truth, but that wouldn’t have stopped me from painting today if I had found a color I loved.

I sat in my new chair and pondered what to do. The mirror, the lovely aqua mirror that has been sitting on the floor in the living room for three years! “Today is the day, I am going to hang it”, I thought.

Oh my heavens! The fiasco of hanging a heavy mirror is not even funny. Especially since I have only used a power tool one other time in my life. I had no idea what I was really doing and took eleventy million trips between the garage, the living room and google because I forgot everything under the sun and only had a vague idea of how dry wall screws work.

But Look Internet! I hung the mirror!


It looks tiny in comparison to the large and empty wall space all around it. There should be more, but I’m tired now. I know the space does not and will probably never look like the living rooms of IG and pinterest, and today I am ok-ish with that.

I’m pretty sure my friends will not stop liking me because my house looks bland or boring. I’m fairly certain my kids will still be moderately cared for in our mismatched brown house, although I secretly think a perfect house might make perfect children and perfect everything because that is what you, sweet Pinterest, have been whispering to me for years.

I’ll admit to being a bit nervous about new people. People who don’t know me and like me yet, they *might* judge me on my house…I guess I’ll just have to be extra kind so the new people in my life will be so blinded by my shiny kindness they won’t be able to see the not quite perfect-ness of my home.

Maybe in another year or so I’ll get around to making some colorful pillows for the couch…but then again, maybe not, because that would mean picking a color scheme and accents and maybe actually painting….I haven’t got energy for that. I’ve got kids to raise, a husband to help and vintage clothing patterns to sew.




Summertime in the ‘burbs

Wednesday, June 1st, 2016

Nothing makes me crazier than too much unstructured time. Not just unstructured time with my kids, but I have to create schedules and structure for myself or I become slothful, unproductive, and growl at people. I need boundaries and expectations to function (on a side note, I’m currently reading Better than Before and it is really fascinating to evaluate yourself by these constructs!) .

Enter the 2016 edition of….THE SUMMER CHORE CHART….



(click the image if you want to download the pdf file to use at your house, minus my children’s initials)

Katie Hughes posted her chore chart to instagram last week and emailed her file to those who were interested. I liked her format and used it to revamp our chore chart- far more classy than last years!  Next week my goal is to create the daily activity list. Baby steps. I’m trying to find my groove again after our weekend trip to California.


What are you doing this summer? How do you keep the summertime doldrums at bay?

I made a quilt

Thursday, June 27th, 2013

Quilt- folded

About a week and a half ago Sarah posted about a “potluck quilt” she just finished, I fell in love with it.  hard. I had to make one.  Sarah gave great instructions in her post on how she put together the quilt- I followed her measurements and made just a few changes.

Potluck Quilt

Instead of just one white diamond, I made two.  By the time I cut out my white strips I was done with 3.5″ squares, so the white pieces are actually rectangles.


I used only the scraps I had in my stash (and this didn’t even make a dent, sigh!), I did buy a vintage sheet for the backing.  I LOVE how well the backing puffed up after quilting/washing.  This time around I tried quilt basting spray, I used this June Taylor brand and was very happy with the results.  Here is a great tutorial on how to use it.  There was NO sticky-ness while sewing at all, and I found it did a pretty good job of holding everything together- in spite of my lack luster pinning job.  I will for sure use it again on big projects.  Speaking of which- this is the largest quilt I have ever made, and it was a chore to quilt for sure.  Is there a trick I am missing- quilting on a regular machine?!!


I still can’t believe I finished it- in less than two weeks. I finished it last night and my fingers are now itching for a new project….any ideas for me?!  What have you been sewing?

Bathroom Remodel

Monday, May 20th, 2013

I didn’t mean to be gone from this space for so long but life got busy.  We remodeled our master bathroom, my sister came to visit, my mother came to visit and I was asked to help with some Quilt Market sewing (will share soon!)  Add mother’s day in there mixed with end of the year school functions for the kiddos and you can see why blogging took a back seat.  I am SO glad that school is almost out-I’m ready for a break!

After ten years in our home we were finally able to do a major remodel.  We had our Master Bathroom remodeled by Landon at Jacob & Co Remodeling– and could not have been happier with how everything turned out.  Our bathroom was the original 1978 bathroom- although somewhere a long the way someone had upgraded the tile floor.  A basic 12″ white with black grout that had been painted mauve. I almost forgot to take any before shots- I quickly grabbed my camera and took some pics while they were setting up.  I had my wide angle lens and wasn’t able to get the best pics as the room is so small, but trust me when I tell you it was pretty ugly!

shower copy



Don’t you just love the gold glitter swirl of the sink? YUCK!  The sink was the hardest part of the whole remodel.  The original vanity and top were 28″ wide…which is nearly impossible to find anymore.  All we could find (without having a custom cabinet built) was a 24″ or 30″- due to the size of the bathroom and the proximity of the toilet we couldn’t do a 30″, it was just too big. After hem-ing and haw-ing and googling and driving all over the valley we went with a very basic 24″.  In the end I am SO glad we did, our contractor built the shower out about 4″ more than the original- the smaller vanity was the best choice and it doesn’t feel too small at all!


We went with porcelain tile that looks like wood for the floors, I absolutely love it!  The space is so small I knew it wouldn’t cost that much more to have the floor laid diagonally. I love old houses with bits of charm and knew that  bead board with a molding shelf would add just the right amount of character to the space.


Due to the wiring and the medicine cabinet we chose we had to stick with the basic light fixture- I don’t love it but it works.  The wall color is Sea Anemone by Martha Stewart– it looks much brighter on the walls than the sample card.  I’m debating between these two Katie Daisy prints to hang above the toilet.  The shower curtain is temporary until we find one we really like (any recommendations?)


The biggest change is of course the shower- it feels HUGE.  I searched pinterest and home dec sites before we started looking for bathrooms I liked- the theme I kept finding was Carrara  Marble, but I knew our budget could not support a marble tiled shower.  We decided to go with a Carrara looking ceramic tile (however the bull-nose is marble as we couldn’t find a synthetic that matched).  I love the look of subway tile and wanted the tiles laid in the same way.  We are very happy with the choice- and it is very easy to clean!  The niche with the glass tile is for hair products and soaps.  The niche at the bottom is a foot rest for shaving my legs so I no longer have to perch like an exotic bird in the shower.

I’m still working on decorating the space…I’m kind of slow and like to take my time, but we are loving our new space.  Big thanks to Jacob & Co!!


Tuesday, August 17th, 2010

Last Thursday my son’s bed broke…again.  My husband assured me he could repair it (again) with wood glue.  I said, “no, we’re going to Goodwill, I saw a great twin bed there last week”.  He protested, but we went anyway.

We did get my son a great 1960’s solid wood twin bed (that now we need a box spring for), that I may or may not paint in the future….While we were there we spotted this little chair.

MCM Chair

We both liked it (nary a protest from my husband), for $18 we took it home.  I cleaned it up (although it didn’t need much cleaning at all).  Aaron wanted it in the dining room/office/family room because their aren’t any comfy chairs in there, but the dining room walls are yellow.

Ruffle Pillow

I decided a pillow with both yellow and blue was in order to tie everything together.  The white linen I thrifted a few years ago, the yellow and blue knit I picked up at SAS.  I keep seeing variations on the Union Jack in pillow, throws, stationary etc and really like it.  I didn’t realize until after I made it that this Union Jack pillow is in the colors of the swedish flag!  Ha Ha!

I think it ties in nicely- and we all like sitting in the chair.  Hooray for Goodwill!


Saturday, October 24th, 2009

girls room

trying to get all my ideas down in one place.  click image to go to flickr and read all the notes.  fingers crossed we can start setting the nursery up this week….I’ll feel better when progress is being made.

Still need: car seat, monitor, stroller & a NAME.  Please send recommendations (mostly I would like your opinons on baby monitors), it’s been a long time since I had a wee babe!