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Wednesday, January 15th, 2014

chalkboard wall

It’s all the rage.  Grab a gallon of chalkboard paint and pick a wall.  I have to be honest.  I love the look, but I am a skeptic.  I worry that the idea of the wall is so much better than the reality of a wall you cover with messy chalk.  I don’t live in a magazine.  I am not an artist nor have I mastered hand lettering……skills that would make a chalkboard wall awesome.  I am a bit of a control freak.  Disappointment looms.

So, I have to ask.  Chalkboard wall.  Yes or no?  Do you have a chalkboard wall in your home?  Is it just how you wanted it?   How do handle the messiness?  Do you clean it often?  Where is it located?  I want to be convinced it is a great idea.  It is just paint after all.

Images 1/2/3/4/5


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Monday, November 4th, 2013

somethings come between us

Lately, I feel like something’s come between us.  I’m cool with that.

My husband gave me this card a few years ago on Mother’s Day.  It still makes me giggle and I am sure many of you can relate.  This time of year, when we set our clocks back an hour, was always miserable with babies and toddlers.  My boys never got the memo that we were given an extra hour of sleep.  It always took days for their own clocks to adjust.  Which, in turn, was just exhausting.

Since my oldest was an infant we have shared our bed intermittently with a child.  In the beginning I was simply too tired and lazy to get up at an ungodly hour, so I would grab him from his crib and bring him to bed with us.  Lucky me, he would always go back to sleep-giving me a couple more hours of precious sleep.  I used to worry because there was always chatter among the mommies regarding the “right” way to do things.  Was I harming my young child for life?  Would he be sleeping with us forever?  I quietly doubted my decisions.  Well, you know what?  That big kid sleeps through the night by himself.  All that worry was for nothing!

Little Man rarely slept with us when he was tiny {mostly because there wasn’t any room}.  A couple of years ago he began crawling into bed around 4am most mornings.  It isn’t every day anymore, but we have something between us at least once a week.  Guess what?  I love it!   I know this window of time will close- in the not too distant future- and I am going to cuddle for as long as I can.  My husband just smiles and shakes his head.  He knows not to fight it, plus the kid sleeps so close to me he doesn’t even know he is there.  This time there is no mommy chatter.  And if there was, I wouldn’t give it any thought.  How wonderful is that?  Mothering isn’t for the weak, but somethings DO get easier.

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Friday, October 4th, 2013


I love a great online store!  In the coziness of my PJ’s with a cup of coffee {decaf, of course},  I can browse for myself and others.  Believe it or not, gift giving season is right around the corner.  Every year I have grand plans of kick starting my holiday shopping early.  With sites like Moorea Seal, it might actually happen this year.  Based here in Seattle, The Moorea Seal shop is a curated selection of beautiful accessories and objects, highlighting handmade artists from the United States.   7% of all proceeds from the store benefit five non profit categories.

During the summer I swooned over everything gold in the shop.  Handmade jewelry and accessories all in my favorite hue.  This month I love a statement necklace, an awesome print, items that represent my beloved Northwest, and great bags to carry all of my stuff.  I certainly found items I would buy for myself, but spied many others that I could give as gifts.

And now the really great news.  Starting today, thru November 30th, simply use the discount code JUNELOVE at check out and you will receive 10% off your entire Moorea Seal order!  How much do we love that?  Please share the goodness and this post with any and all.

What would you put on your wishlist?

{Shop my favorites::  1//Tribal Queen Necklace 2//Perfect Twist Poster 3//Heart in Seattle Card 4//Tiny WA State Necklace 5//Forager Backpack 6//Punched Pouch}

Moorea is also hosting an evening event at the University Village Madewell on October 10th.  Check out her post about the night if you are interested.


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Thursday, September 12th, 2013


We are off!  My husband and I are headed for a long weekend in Chicago.  And the party starts as soon as we back out of the drive way.  If you travel with kids, you know exactly what I am talking about!  Without them, everything is 100% easier.  [I have almost missed flights when traveling alone.  I am too darn relaxed.]  My carry on has earphones, a new book, a couple of magazines and my camera.  THAT’S it!   I don’t need to worry about snacks or on-board entertainment.  I won’t need to light a fire under anyone’s ass.  We simply drive to the airport, breeze through security, sit back, relax and arrive just in time for cocktail hour in Illinois.  The plan is to eat, drink, and take in the city from ground and water.  We can’t wait!

Have a wonderful weekend.  See you back here Monday!  xoxo-denise

{This someecard created by moi!  I couldn’t help myself.}

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Thursday, July 18th, 2013


I won the lottery!  Well, the lottery selection to attend the Altitude Summit {ALT} in San Francisco today.  It is a hot ticket in the blogging world.  Lucky me!  ALT SF will bring over 300 bloggers from around the country together to exchange inspiration and knowledge. I guess you could call it my first “business” trip.  I am so excited to meet others that share my passion for writing and creating.  After a full day at the conference, we will attend a party hosted by Pinterest at their headquarters this evening.  The theme?  Alice in Pinterland.  Whoa, how can it not be awesome?  I promise a recap upon my return.  Thank you again, so much, for reading.

See you back here on Monday.

{Image via}


Friday, June 28th, 2013


In lieu of gifts, I asked the guests at my husband’s birthday party to bring along a photo of him {Recent, vintage, group or otherwise}.  The results of this request were one of the highlights of the evening.  My talented friend, Jen, made a gorgeous board for me.  Painted with chalkboard paint, guests were able to write the year the photo was taken.   I had simple roles of washi tape on hand to tape the photos onto the board.  New friends were able to see pictures from Aaron’s childhood and long time friends were able to share their favorite snapshots.  Everything from current day shots with our boys to prom photos, team pictures, a classic school photo, and the {now} infamous ski photo I used for the invitation.

It turned out even better than I hoped it would.  He has snap shots with all the people he loves in one place.  Now we need to find a place for it in his office.



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Thursday, June 27th, 2013


This was the year of parking a large truck in front of our house and calling it a party!  For Aaron’s 40th birthday, we hired a food truck to feed us for 2 hours.  The prep for this party was dreamy.  I simply filled some beverage dispensers with lemonade, threw ice and beer in galvanized tubs, and put my make-up on.  All the food was left in the hands of Contigo Mondern Mexican.


{the evening’s menu}

We served the Gorditas on trays in the back yard as appetizers.  They were small pockets of yummy [fried] goodness.  For dinner, each guest was able to order four tacos of their choice.  Many mixed and matched to sample them all.


I loved how our guests mingled in the driveway when waiting for their tacos.  There were ongoing discussions regrading which taco was the favorite.  I am not sure there was a consensus, but my personal favorite was the Beef Picadillo.  The onion jam made this taco sweet and spicy.

To end our meal, we served churros.  Who doesn’t love a churro?  In my opinion, there is nothing better than fried crispy dough coated with cinnamon sugar.  I may have had more than one [and possibly one heated up the next morning for breakfast].


Contigo also brought along Habenero Lemonade.  It was curiously hot, sweet and spicy all at the same time.  There was vodka and tequila to mix in, as well as regular lemonade.  A signature cocktail that was simple and easy to serve.


The meal, from start to finish, was divine!  The Contigo staff served delicious food and were breeze to work with.  I would highly recommend hiring a food truck for a special occasion.  As the hostess, you have absolutely no stress regarding the meal and your guests will love it.

[If you live in the Seattle area, I used Seattle Food Truck to find Contigo.  It was an amazing resource to find a truck to cater your event.  Plus, it lists all of the food trucks in the area and where they are serving up food during the week.]

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Thursday, June 20th, 2013

baked bite sized brie

We invited the parents of Big W’s friends to enjoy a glass of wine and a few nibbles at the end of his birthday party.  It was a wonderful way to kick off summer!  I wanted one warm appetizer, amongst the olives, vegetables and hummus.  These little bite size baked brie were perfectly salty and sweet.   There were a handful of boys that grabbed one too!

Easy ingredients:
2 sheets frozen puff pastry sheets
Brie cheese
Preserves of your choosing.  [I used a fig spread.]
1 egg to be used for an egg wash.


Cut each pastry sheet into 24 small rectangles.  Whisk together one egg and a splash of milk.  Brush the egg wash on 12 of the small rectangles and place a small slice of brie and a dollop of preserves on each one.


Top each one with remaining squares.  Press down edges of pastry with the tines of a fork.  Also, prick the top.  Place on parchment paper.  Brush with egg wash and sprinkle with salt. Bake at 375 degrees for 8-10 minutes.


You could easily make these ahead of time and pop them in the oven just minutes before your guests arrive.  It is hard to resist the delicious goodness of anything made with puff pastry.  Enjoy!

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A great summer pizza made with fig spread, goat cheese, peaches and arugula.

{Recipe adapted from Joy the Baker}


Friday, June 14th, 2013


My boys are the lucky ones.  They have a dad who loves them unconditionally.  It’s that simple.  A man in their corner.  A coach in the dug out.  An instructor on the slopes.  A fan in the audience.  An amazing role model with a loving heart.  They may not realize it now, but one day……..

What are your Father’s Day plans?

My husband asked for help cleaning his office.  We can do that!  I do have a few other tricks up my sleeve.  And of course, he chooses the menu.  His favorite chips n’ fish and salted brown butter rice crispie treats will be served Sunday evening.  I am hoping I can convince him to head to the Farmer’s Market if I surprise him with Swedish Pancakes in the morning.  I am looking forward to a fabulous weekend!

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a first day. a last day

Thursday, June 13th, 2013


[first day.  Fall 2010]

This little guy had squeezable cheeks, no glasses and awesome style! [I truly loved it when I got to dress my guys.  I made sure they looked hip, but I digress.]  He was eager to be at school like his big brother and ready to make some of his own friends.

end of year

[end of year party. June ’13]

This little man finishes Kindergarten today and is officially a big kid in my eyes.  Finally, the last day!  He complained each day, including every day this week, about school.  Too long [6 1/2 hours] and too much work [40 pages of work sometimes!].  He may exaggerate just a bit, but he never wavered on his feelings toward school.  He is nothing but consistent.  In spite of himself, he grew leaps and bounds this year.  He even learned to read, but chooses to hide it.  We call him “the super secret reader”.  He is such an amazing kid in so many ways, but school isn’t his thing.  It may never be.  I find that sad and disheartening and so desperately want to change his mind.

I was once asked to give one of my dearest friends advice at her baby shower.  I advised, “Love her for who she is, not who you thought she would be.”  I have decided to follow my own advice.   Hank is set in his ways, emotional, and quick tempered.  Not always easy to manage, but witty and funny.  I love to be around him and will defend him to the end of my days.  I often go in his room at night and watch him sleep.  He is content, safe, and still so, so little. I can’t change who he is, so I will try and help him become the best version of himself.

Parenting.  Firsts, lasts, and everything in between.  It is quite the ride and never know what to expect.  Here’s to the next first!

Where is June?


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