Around Here Right Now

I can’t even remember the last time I did one of these posts, and since I’m pretty sure you sit around your house, just WAITING to hear more details about my awesome life, I figure it’s about time to give you a little update…

Okay, not really, but here’s what we’ve been loving lately:

1) Wholesome Gluten-free Honey Cookies

Honey Cookies

They’re supposed to be Christmas cookies, but there is NO WAY they’ll last till Christmas. These are the best gluten-free cookies I’ve ever made, and I’m pretty sure it happened at least in part by accident. Mine look nothing like the picture in the blog post, but we all don’t care, because they’re delicious. The blog I got the recipe from has never disappointed me yet! So many good gluten-free treats to try, it’s my first place to look for Christmas treats.:)

2) Another photo wall!!

Yes, I’ve done it again! This is the third photo wall I’ve put up in our house (with some help from Ben;), and I have visions of at least two more!! It makes me so very happy to see pictures up on the walls. This one’s extra special, because it includes our wedding picture, our most recent family picture, and one of my all-time favorites that I’ve taken since getting my new camera. (It’s the one on the bottom, left.:) Hydrangeas are my favorite flowers, plus the photo always reminds me of this golden evening with my dear friend Juls!)

photo wallI have a little bit of work left to do on it, but it’s already increasing my joy, especially since it’s right across from our washer and dryer – I love having something pretty to look at on my way to do the laundry!

3) Trying to find time to read!


I have a massive stack of books to get through! So many awesome books that people have borrowed to me, and I’m feeling pressure to get some major reading done so I don’t out-lend my welcome! All of them are on topics that I’ve been chewing on for awhile now, and I’m eager to do some thinking and learning as I read!

What are you enjoying these days?

Around Here Right Now

Well, it’s been awhile since I’ve done one of these posts, so here’s a little bit of what we’re enjoying at our house these days:

1) Another photo wall!

I haven’t much effort into making our master bedroom look pretty, so I think it’s time to turn some attention to this poor, neglected room.

photo wall

I asked Ben if he inwardly groans when he comes home to see yet another wall filled with the now-familiar squares of paper which signal another photo wall.

He said no, but he does wish we could put one really big picture above our bed. I agree with him, but unfortunately, big is expensive, and photo walls are almost free! Once again, this one will use up frames and canvases that I already have around the house.

Thank goodness for a husband who doesn’t mind when I hang up millions of pictures.

And how many photo walls can one house have??! I have at least two more in mind…

2) Lisa Byrne’s new book, Replenish.

I was given an advanced copy to provide a review on Amazon before it’s published, and it is FANTASTIC. I am loving it. For any moms out there, definitely start thinking of buying this one when it comes out. I’ll be doing a review on my blog sometime soon.

3) Creamy Avocado and Rice Salad

I made this one up, which is highly unusual for me, but now I eat it all the time.

One day, I was craving, very specifically, some kind of nice, fresh salad for lunch. I wanted, very specifically, something crunchy, with rice in it, and some kind of creamy dressing to tie it all together. I searched for a very long time on Pinterest, and came up with nothing, which was quite disappointing.

Finally, I gave up in a huff, and thought, “Fine, I’ll make it up myself!!”

So I did.


I mixed up 1 1/2 cups of rice, 1/2 a cucumber and 1 pepper, both cut into small pieces. For the “dressing”, I mixed 1/2 an avocado with a bit of lemon juice, salt, and basil.

Very fast, summery, and perfect for those times when, like me, you are craving something crunchy/creamy/rice-y.

4) Easiest-ever method for cleaning a glass cooktop.

I found this method on Pinterest, and it works very well, and is super easy.


What are you enjoying around your house right now?

Getting Pictures Up Onto Your Walls

I love photo walls. I think they are the most amazing decorating idea ever, for the following reasons:

  1. They display memories and family and happiness.
  2. You can arrange them in all shapes and sizes.
  3. They can be crazy cheap to put together.
  4. There is a style out there for everyone.

Last year, my photo project was getting this wall assembled:

photo wall

Right now, I’m in the midst of getting a ton of other pictures up in our house.

Every time we get more pictures up, it increases my happiness and sense of accomplishment by indescribable amounts. It also gets easier to do each time, as Ben and I now have a system for getting our photos up.

A few weeks ago, we got pictures up in Kaylia’s new room, and I took a few pictures of the process (which is crazy – taking pictures of putting up pictures??!), just to share with you all, in case there’s anyone out there who’s secretly wanting to get pictures up, but never getting around to it because it feels like a big job.

Here’s how we do it:

Get Inspired.

I love Pinterest. There are millions of ideas for how to get photos up on your walls. Check out my board of photo wall inspiration if you need ideas!

Start Playing.

Once I find an idea of what I want, I collect every spare frame I can find in the house, and get to work. I lay them out in a number of different formations, taking pictures of each one.

For Kaylia’s room, this is the design I settled on:

photo wall

Try it on for size.

This step is not mandatory, but I have found it to be so helpful every time. I’ve traced my design onto brown packing paper or wax paper, or made paper cut-outs of all the frames I intend to use, and put these up on the wall to see how it looks.

For many frames in one arrangement, I prefer packing paper, but for just two or three frames, I cut out the shapes. This time, I didn’t have any packing paper in the house.

photo wall

Get your frames fastened to the wall.

As I mentioned in this post, velcro is THE BEST THING EVER!!! And no, our pictures do not fall off the wall. (Don’t tell Ben, cause he doesn’t know yet, but I accidentally ripped a chunk of drywall off the wall when I was testing to see how well the velcro stuck. I got the information I was seeking: the drywall will give sooner than the velcro! Yikes. Good thing the damage is hidden by picture frames!)

We use a level, a pencil to make markings, and our beloved velcro.


We start from the bottom corner, or from the center of the arrangement of frames, depending on what kind of design it is. Once we have a frame attached to the wall, we use the level to draw straight lines for placement, line up the frame, and stick it on. It is SO MUCH easier than hanging pictures from screws.

Once you have the whole thing up…

Stand back and enjoy the finished product!

photo wall

It took us under an hour to get everything up. That might still sound kinda long, but it’s totally worth it!

What part of the picture-hanging process holds you back the most? Any tips for getting past it?