Happy Friday!

It sure was a happy week over here. The sunshine has joined us in Seattle which has made it feel like summer finally. I know so many of you are suffering in brutal heat all across the country while we are cool as cucumbers in the pacific northwest but there is nothing quite like a sunny day in the emerald city. Us locals wait it out all year because it is unbeatably beautiful, green and clear like heaven! My shoulders are a bit pink and you can see how dirty my windows are in the instagram above too but I don't mind no time for cleaning when the sunshine arrives!

I inherited this little bluebird of happiness this past weekend from Chris' grandmother, Velma. My own grandmother had one just like it but I wasn't lucky enough to get hers. She always smiled and told me how much she loved her bluebird while she did the dishes. It was always on the windowsill above the sink. Velma invited all of her grandkids down last weekend and allowed us to select special treasures since she is moving from her home of 63 years in with Chris' folks. When I saw this little guy I almost cried and snatched it up (I might have even kissed it - ha!) What an honor to have hers sitting on my windowsill now reminding me of two amazing women who have impacted our families so deeply every time I do the dishes! I also somehow came away with the rolling pin pictured in this post - a treasure from Velma's wedding shower, I could not believe it. I am hoping it makes my pies taste just like hers someday!

This week was full to the brim several play dates and friends which isn't always like me. I like to stowaway at home most days as an introvert to the extreme but it felt good to get out and visit - we certainly are created for community no matter how much alone time I need. And last night after calling Chris and throwing a fit when he told me he had another late meeting I was surprised to see him come home just before dinner instead. He kissed me and said he had cancelled it because he thought it was a better idea to come home and order my favorite pizza and watch Star Wars as a family. Man I am so lucky I saw that guy coming at the tender age of 21...SO LUCKY!

The weekend is promising to be packed at the seams I was actually praying for a little time somewhere in there to steal away and be alone even though every minute is already spoken for.  Then my brother in law called me this morning and basically forced me to let him take the boys to the zoo while I stay home with Josie for her nap. There it was those sweet moments arrived - time to think and pray and sip a second cup of coffee. God is so good he skips no details, his beauty is boundless and his mercy so new. I feel alive this evening and ready to spend the weekend eyes wide open soaking in this life.

Happy friday friends breath deep in His presence that's where love waits to fill you up!

blueberry lime sno cones

I am sharing my recipe for blueberry lime sno cone syrup over at the Crosbie Crew today come on over and say hi - and get in the mood for a little sno cone party!!

Also I finally started a facebook page this week and would love to invite you to add me to your stream. You can give us a thumbs up HERE!

Enjoy the sunshine today it is just beautiful in Seattle it's a slice of heaven!

just eatin a pickle in the grass

 And watching my big brothers play baseball on a warm summer evening.

 Nana gave me this bib so I wouldn't get any pickle juice on myself…

Don't tell her but it's all over me. Man this thing is good.

 Sort of wish I had some teeth so I could take a bite.

Of course Simon has to take a break from the game to sprinkle grass all over my head - so rude.

Now where was I?

make something monday :: restyled moccasins

I picked up a pair of moccasins at the thrift store a few weeks ago for just a couple of bucks. They aren't vintage and in fact pretty generic but they were in my size and barely worn. I really want a pair of Minnetonkas like THESE for the fall and have been saving my pennies so I instantly knew that theses black ones would be the perfect pair to restyle. I decided to update them to look similar to the "I heart you" pair that Darlingtonia made for Red Velvet this past season...swoon worthy but a bit out of my price range and after restyling this pair I know why that's ALOT of work! (see them HERE)
The first thing I did was lift up and remove the fringe portion by using a seam ripper and some brute force. I also trimmed the leather bows down to simple knots.
Then I used a white and a burnt orange suede sampler that I picked up at my local Pacific Fabric for only a few dollars and cut a large and a small heart from each to layer. They remind me of tender heart bear...do you remember care bears? Of course you do :).
I used some Fabrictac glue to glue the two hearts together and while they were drying I added a white stitching around the toe with some embroidery floss and a glovers needle. I followed the black stitching that was already there. A note if you make some of these try to thread the needle like I did in the photo above it is super hard to fit your hand inside of the shoe to pull the needle back and forth and I finally figured out that you can almost whip stitch right on top.
Lastly I top stitched the hearts together with my sewing machine right down the middle and then glued them onto the shoes, this time I pulled out the big guns and used some E6000. They dried overnight and are perfect for the chilly fall like weather we have had her in Seattle today! It was a simple little restyle project to keep my fingers busy over the weekend. 

What have you been working on lately? Hope you have a wonderful Monday friends!

what's {really} in my bag

I have always been so enamoured with those super cute what's in my bag posts from some of my favorite bloggers. But I always think to myself after reading one "if anyone knew what was really in my bag I would be so embarrassed". But today I needed to clean mine out so I thought I would show you anyways because were all friends here right. And friends share the dirt. So here you go.
These were the things that seemed "appropriate" for the post. Here we have a bag of wipes, a travel changing pad with a few diapers, my teething necklace and another toy for Josie to play with, my nursing apron, my hobo coin purse filled with all my cards and some loose change and about three bucks cash, sunglasses, a book I have been trying to read for six months, a hair clip, two binky's, my financial peace receipt book, phone, two lip gloss and some aquaphore, and a cough drop. Not too bad.

But then if we look closer there is also this pile...
It's hard to see but in this stack there is a large stick, some diapers that were all crumply so they look weird in the first photo, some stickers from the bank, baby snacks, a random sock, two dirty spoons, a bunch of tampons and pads, about three baby hats that don't fit Josie anymore, a Paul Simon CD that we need to give back to Aunt Rhoda, some church bulletins, a protein bar, a lot of receipts (sorry Dave Ramsey :)), a lady liberty fascinator, a weird mirror note pad thingy, a few dirty napkins a chocolate milk bottle top...hmmm I can't remember everything and I was happy to not find any dirty clothes cause that happens a lot too.

Phew I feel better now that I came out with it. My bag is a huge wasteland of odds and ends one of my favorite things to do is to tell Chris that whatever he is looking for is in my bag. He just looks at me in desperation and always says "can you please find it in there I am scared".

Ha ha! So go ahead I dare you to clean out your bag and show us what you really find. If you post about it on your blog leave a link in the comments.

Happy Saturday - oh and on a brighter note than yesterday I got a great night sleep last night and am feeling so much better about the stolen car. It would have been easier to just leave an envelope of cash out but at least it wasn't our family car. So thanks for all the sweet encouragement!

PS. my ADORABLE purse was a special handmade gift from the lovely Tiffany. You can get your own HERE. And thanks to Shauna and Jenny for the travel changing pad and nursing apron I love them both you girls make such adorable things!

make some lemonade

It's been kind of a sour Friday and I don't like to be a sour puss but it's sort of sucked the inspiration out of what was suppose to be an incredible day. It all started with an unfortunate sleepless night - like I am not exaggerating here I looked at the clock right before nodding off at 4:30am and woke up again to my chagrin at 5:45am...I don't usually get much sleep but it was uglier than usual.

I still had hopes for the day seeing as my older two spent the night with Grandpa and Grandma to give me a good night sleep (oops) and a restful day (oops again) but instead came home from some early errands and a coffee with a friend to find that our car was totally stolen last night (to bad I didn't hear em because I was totally up :)) but in my haze I didn't notice until almost noon. It was our uninsured about to sell it car. Yup. A sour day...

And there is more but I am not going to bore you with the sad tale of my Friday. So instead I decided to post some pictures inspired by lemonade when life hands you a big pile of lemons.

I hope that you all have a wonderful weekend - I have been promised a nice dinner and a good night sleep by Mr. Gough and maybe a little more sulking but I am looking forward to the weekend looking a little bit brighter! Happy Friday to everyone! xoxo

all images and links can be found on my lemons pinterest page HERE!

a cherry on top!

banana split cupcakes HERE
This is for my friend Katie {and her beautiful baby girl too} I TOTALLY spaced on your Birthday last week and I feel horrible. I love you and am so thankful for your friendship and feel like a complete dud for forgetting to call you and sing to you and make you laugh. Your have such a great laugh. I hope you will forgive me (I know you already did :)) and know that you mean so much to me. I will make it up to you sprinkles and all!



I am having a guilty day today.

You know the one where wake up and can't stop beating yourself up for all the things your NOT getting done. Allowing television for a little too long. Staying in pajamas until well after lunch. Baking cookies because they sound good to you. Worrying about every last little thing that you have no control over. Letting the house, the sink, the laundry pile up.

And then I catch a glimpse of their heart and the truth that all they really want is to be tickled and read to and to eat cookies too with you in pajamas no care of a messy house only your full attention.

And I stop feeling guilty and decide to feel thankful that I get to be a part of their lives.

And eat another cookie.

I am a lucky Mama.

{linking up with hill today HERE}

make something monday :: black bean quinoa salad

I know I just posted a recipe last week for make something monday and had planned on doing a craft tutorial but I have received several email requests for this black bean and corn quinoa salad that I mentioned in my dinner at eight post a few days ago so I thought it would be a fun one to share with all of you today.
This recipe was truly one of those throw it all together and see how it turns out kind of meals and luckily I thought to write it down afterwards because we loved it so much. It makes a huge batch and stores well in the fridge for a few days to snack on or to pack Chris for lunch and it is yummy in a wrap or with some grilled chicken on top. It's really hearty and has a strong Mexican flavor that I love I hope you love it too!!

I also wanted to thank you guys for leaving such kind, heartfelt comments on my last post about being sick and weary they made me teary eyed and so happy to know that I can come and be real and honest in this space too!

I hope you all have a wonderful day today and I will be back shortly with some more fun stuff to share! xo

Mexican black bean quinoa salad

1 cup of quinoa soaked for 15 min or so in water, drain well.

1 ½ cups of water added to the soaked and drained quinoa and a tsp or so of salt bring to a full boil, cover and turn to low and let sit for 15 min. Turn off heat and let sit another five min and then fluff with a fork. (can be made ahead and stored in the fridge)

When ready for salad –

Mince 1 jalapeno, 2 cloves of garlic and 1 small red onion (or half onion if big). Saute in olive oil, for a few minutes. Add two bell peppers that have been sliced thin. Saute a few minutes longer until softened. Add 1 tsp. cumin and 1 tsp coriander, stir and remove from heat.

Add quinoa to a large bowl followed by a can of drained black beans and a can of drained corn. Toss in the sauteed veggies and mix together.

Add 1 diced tomato

For the dressing use the juice of 1 lime (2 Tablespoons), ¼ cup of olive oil (less is fine), tsp or so of salt and a dash of cayenne pepper. Mix well and dress the salad and then top with cilantro if desired!

a neon friday

I've been in a neon mood this week. It started with the nails, hot pink on my hands and feet. I think I have been looking really hard for something super bright - if I am honest with you I am a bit weary.

I don't really like to talk about the downer stuff in this space I like to keep it bright and sunshiny but a few friends recently have made comments about how pretty and perfect a blog can make someones life appear (mine in particular) so I thought it might be a good idea to highlight a bit more of our world this afternoon - not just the polished moments.

Yesterday morning I woke up reeeeeeeally slowly. I hate the morning if I could change one thing about myself I would want to be a morning person. Mr. Gough and my bestie are both morning people and I have always been envious. Chris is so helpful with breakfast especially if the kids have been up in the night which happens often still around here. So yesterday Simon (also a morning person) bounds into our room with a huge grin and says:

"hey Mom guess what game we are playing"

"what game?"

"slip on the banana peel"

"oh so how do you play that one again?"

"you run and jump and slide across the floor on a banana peel"

"that's what I thought, perfect"

And so of course my day begins. Yesterday with me on hands and knees scrubbing up nasty banana peel. And on it continues. It never really ends does it - to all you moms out there with young kids. Sitting down is rare and peace and quiet does not exist. A baby is one thing but the discipline and emotional needs as the kids keep growing just seems to keep stretching me. Our world is a lot of beautiful chaos and you will most likely find me in my sweats until well into the eleven o'clock hour with frazzled hair and not a lot of patience to go around.

And my health has been super bad since the beginning of the year (keeping in mind Josie was still only a few months old) it seems like I have attracted every.single.virus that exists in these parts and now to top it off my doctor is fairly convinced I have mono - MONO - like what you get when your in high school what the hay is this all about. I don't know for sure because the lab work is about $500 bones and we don't have insurance for a few weeks still with Chris' job change so here I sit, exhausted after walking up the stairs kind of tired, horrible throat pain, fevers and an aching spleen, still nursing a baby, I am feeling weary to the core of my being. It's the first time in a long time where there are moments in my day that I am convinced I might not make it through I long to go into my room and lay down and take a twelve hour nap.

But there have been so many bright spots. Our friends Beth, Tavo, Toni and Mio so generously watched ALL THREE of my babes this week so that I could take a lavish nap alone. Seriously felt like I died and went to the spa! My boys also finished up swimming lessons (pictures to come) and a week of vacation bible school which they have loved. Never mind the ten o'clock bed time I seriously have never seen them enjoy something so much! And yes a sweet picnic date out in our backyard that I shared yesterday which was a sweet pick me up for sure.

I just wanted to keep it a bit real though this afternoon and encourage all of you even those who I don't know personally that life is full of ups and downs, hard days and smelly jobs and bright neon moments of love that come in and and remind us that its all a journey and we are not alone.

I have also been channelling my inner summer camp circa 1985 this week and making all kinds of friendship bracelets which Lord willing will hit my etsy shop on Monday!

I hope that you guys have a wonderful weekend with bright moments of life, even if your weary too be blessed and encouraged that it's a marathon and we're running together!

dinner at eight :: a pretty picnic {and a challenge}

{Dinner at Eight is a special project I am doing with my friend Andi this year - planning date nights at home for our husbands every other week, putting the kids to bed early and being intentional about our marriages! Read more dinner at eight posts HERE!}
Andi and I thought that this Summer needed a little picnic date night at home something simple and pretty and easy to set up in our own backyard. And let me tell you guys this was SO simple - the only thing I was worried about was the weather holding and just after Mr. Gough came in the door the sunshine poked it's sweet face out and it made our backyard so beautiful and romantic. Our boys have vacation bible school this week at church so I told Chris to go drop them off and then hurry home because I had a surprise picnic dinner all ready for him.
I brought out a big toy basket to set some candles and dessert out and used a big vintage quilt that my grandmother made years ago. We kicked off our shoes and enjoyed each others company for awhile.
Little miss Josie joined us on the grass and got to partake in a little bit of everything but she was most excited about the striped straws that I put in the ice tea...can you blame her those straws are seriously so cool :)!
The menu was easy I bought a roasted chicken and made my favorite black bean and corn quinoa salad with french bread. We had strawberries and vegan chocolate chip cookies along with peach ice tea for dessert. I lit some candles in jars as per usual and also picked a handful of daisies from the yard for a little decoration.  
I had planned on us lingering outside to do some star gazing after the kids went to bed but both Chris and I are still sick (getting old) so we opted for a shorter date than usual. It was special nonetheless to be with my sweetheart for a few hours hearing about whats on his heart with work at UGM - ps. any of you local friends would you ever be up for serving with me at the Union Gospel Mission? Let me know I think we could organize something pretty awesome!

These date nights at home are always so much fun even if it is a little bit more of an effort the rewards are truly worth it when I think about how blessed I am to have intentional time as a couple!
So what about you? You guys ready to get involved too - Andi and I are excited to take the Dinner at Eight feature to the next level and challenge all of you to a little intentional date night once a month with your sweethearts too. It's going to be super simple our heart in the project is to really just encourage all of you who might feel tired and weary or not have the means to go out for a date on a regular basis. Dating our husbands at home is possible with a little bit of creativity and a willingness to laugh if it doesn't go perfectly. Each month we are going to come up with the theme for you and set up a linky on THIS PAGE (you can link from the heart on my navigation bar above) so that any time during the month you are welcome to plan a date night at home and then post about it on your blog, add the Dinner at Eight button to the post and then come back and link up so that we can all see and be inspired and encouraged.

For the rest of July the them is "a pretty picnic" we want to see how you guys would stage it. Inside, outside, a surprise, lots of pillows and a fire? The skies the limit and the only rule is you must link back to the Dinner at Eight page. Andi and I will choose a few favorite dates to feature on our blogs too!

 We hope that you all feel really encouraged and uplifted by this project and adding a bit of accountabilty really helps us we thought it might help you too. May you be blessed this month and have fun planning a sweet date night at home!

Read all about the project and get involved HERE!

One for me. One for you.

My new friend Lizzy has the most adorable blog series going on this summer called One for me. One for you. and she has so sweetly invited me to be a part! Today I am sharing a super simple velvet wrapped friendship bangle on her darling site - check out the details HERE!!
Thanks Lizzy it is an honor!
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