DIY garden path is a scrapbook of memories

Summer is finally in full swing here in the Midwest – well, except for the seemingly endless thunderstorms. But rain or shine, a cheery patchwork garden path will keep summer color in your yard all year long.

stepping stonesstepping stones

Company’s coming! How to give your living room a bold, guest-worthy makeover

Sometimes, getting a beautiful living room just requires a little push.

Pillows, a table runner and a vase add warmth, color and texture to April and Justin's living room. Photo courtesy of Shoot Me Photography www.shootmephotography.netPillows, a table runner and a vase add warmth, color and texture to April and Justin's living room. Photo courtesy of Shoot Me Photography www.shootmephotography.net

Absolutely addictive salsa an easy party dish

What’s summer without picnics, barbecues and pool parties? It’s terrific to have something fast, easy and delicious to whip up when you’re looking for something to take to a party.

Black bean salsa, parties, potlucksBlack bean salsa, parties, potlucks

Three words that will change your life

A fresh new year has begun! Are you longing for simplicity and peace in 2014? If so, I’ve got a simple question, just three little words, that will help you edit out life’s noise and clutter “Is it fabulous?”

Photo courtesy of Jonathan GroszPhoto courtesy of Jonathan Grosz

Pumpkin extravagance: An easy, natural centerpiece

  It’s Halloween week! This month, I had the chance to create some centerpieces for an event called Pumpkin Extravagance. With just a few materials from your home and the grocery store, it’s simple to create a centerpiece that will take you through Halloween and into Thanksgiving.

Pumpkin tray centerpiecePumpkin tray centerpiece

Movies that celebrate the spirit of America

Courtesy of PhotoBucket

Courtesy of PhotoBucket

Tonight, after the barbecue and fireworks, it’s the perfect time to curl up with a movie that celebrates America. (Although, if you’re a movie fan like me, you’ve got Fourth of July movies playing all day!) Here are some of my favorite Americana films:

– “The Music Man” – The trouble with a capital T begins on the Fourth of July, when swindler Harold Hill breezes in to raise a ruckus in River City, Iowa. I watch this 1962 musical every Fourth of July. I love the costumes, the cleverness, the toe-tapping music and the laugh-out-loud moments in this movie. It’s a glimpse of small-town American life at the turn of the 20th century, and it’s fun from start to finish.

Watch the original movie trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cbiBx5T2uX0

How to jumpstart a beautiful friendship

My cousin Kris cuddles with Leticia, a little girl in Uganda who will soon be Kris' new daughter.

My cousin Kris cuddles with Leticia, a little girl in Uganda who will soon be Kris’ new daughter.

Faith, family and friends are high on my list of blessings, as I’m sure they are on yours. Surprises are high on my gratitude list, too – surprises that God throws our way, twists in the tale that change the course of our lives for the better.

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