8.27.2014

Snapshots {State Fair 2014}













I don't remember ever going to a state fair until I lived in Minnesota. Here, the fair is a huge deal. We took our whole family this year, and here's a bit about our experience. 

Made: a summer memory. 
Ate: apple cider popsicles (our new favorite fair treat). 
Read: that a boar can weigh 800 lbs., a pumpkin can weigh 700 lbs., and John Deere equipment can cost $400,000 (WHAT?!). 
Watched: for local djs, news anchors, and politicians (saw: none). 
Listened to: banjos, cows, and saws from a lumberjack competition. 
Wanted: a nose plug for those barns (#citygirl). 
Needed: more sunscreen. 
Wore: a t-shirt and jean skirt. 
Noticed: how helpful grandparents, an aunt, and an uncle are. 
Tried: deep fried Oreos. 
Felt: excited. 
Enjoyed: the baby's uninhibited adoration for all the animals. 
Planned: nothing. It was nice to just wander and play. 
Wished: I'd made it to the corn on a cob stand. 
Anticipated: putting my feet up. 


Enjoy the rest of your week!
---> Nicki

Sharing with > A Mama Collective Currently >Dearest Love Currently > The Beetleshack Weekly Stills > Fresh Mommy Hump Day Dump >The Jenny Evolution Wordless Wednesday >Finding Beauty > Serendipity is Sweet Friday Photo Journal >

All images by Nicki Hawes 

8.24.2014

Our Living Room


Our little house is far from perfect, but we do strive to make it cozy, warm, and family-friendly. We like cushioned rugs, soft upholstery, and fabric that wears like iron. And personal art. And pretty pillows. A few well-edited accessories that stand up to tiny, curious fingers.



Our living room encompasses all these things. It has undergone tweaking and transformations, and has settled into a semi-neutral, texture-filled space. It endures a lot of sticky fingerprints and little, bouncy bodies, and still remains restful and easy to pick up. It is currently my favorite room.




This end table is a garage sale find from my aunt. I will always remember stopping by her house after work and painting it with her a few months before I got married. She also threw in the lamp (lucky me!). My home is on the traditional side, but I try to mix in a few modern pieces for a little eclectic, and less serious, feel.



The sofa was our big splurge. However, I was able to buy it deeply discounted when I worked at a design firm. It has held up amazingly well (yay for microfiber). I always loved this table runner from Target, and one day I walked down the aisle and found it on sale. It was just begging to be made into a mammoth pillow.





We inherited the other end table, the leopard chair, the two barrel chairs, and the piano from family. Good lines and classic style sure have a way of surviving generations, and I hope I have beautiful pieces to pass down to my children someday.
 


I'll save the mirror story/project for another post, but after a few identity changes, she finally found her true and best self.





The rug is an old Bed Bath and Beyond clearance item, but is hanging in there for now. The coffee table is from Craigslist, and the minimal accessories usually end up flung onto the floor.





I have a little "thing" for pottery, and the piano holds a few pieces away from small hands. They are a convenient home for piano lesson flash cards.



Down here lies my stash of home decor magazines that I will get around to reading eventually...



For now, they provide a good excuse to have a pretty basket in the room.



I covered most of our outlets in scrapbook paper. A subtle map print blends with the wall, and isn't too cute-sy.





That's our little living room. Clean and everything (just for you guys, wink).



Thanks for perusing.

---> Nicki

Sharing with > Mod Vintage Life > The Dedicated House > Confessions of a Plate Addict > Coastal Charm > Rustic Refined > Tumbleweed Contessa > Elizabeth Joan Designs > Twelve O'Eight > Huckleberry Love > Sand & Sisal > Cozy Little House > Art is Beauty > Elizabeth & Co. > A Stroll Through Life > We Are That Family > Katherine's Corner> Artsy Fartsy Mama > Chic California > Imparting Grace > What's Cooking Love  > Miz Helen's Country Cottage > The Charm of Home > Craftberry Bush > Liz Marie > Pin Your Friday Favorite > Nancherrow > Bacon Time with Hungry Hypo > Shabby Nest > Pieced Pastimes > Thoughts from Alice > Silver Pennies Sundays > It's Overflowing > Clever Chicks > By Stephanie Lynn >

All images by Nicki Hawes

8.23.2014

Sunday Thoughts: Gratitude


A few months ago I taught a young sunday school class a lesson on gratitude. The manual laid out a demonstration using an empty cup, a bowl of water, and a spoon. The children each had a turn to tell me something they were grateful for, and then pour a spoonful of water into the empty cup. Their eyes became wider as they realized the cup would soon overflow. Some even spoke up, wondering why the teacher didn't stop this impending mess. I had them keep going, because the point was that gratitude causes your cup to "run over."

We talked about how the cup represented their heart, and I asked them how it feels to have your heart filled to the brim. The unanimous response was happy

Everyone wants that feeling. That bursting-with-joy sensation. Gratitude is one key to this, and it is not just a quick fix. The act of thankfulness is a powerful tool to fill up any heart, even those that are hardened, tired, broken, or battered. 

"Gratitude is one of the most medicinal emotions we can feel. It elevates our moods and fills us with joy."    -Sara Avant Stover

I hope you all have a great week, filled with many things to be thankful for. 

Happy Sunday,

---> Nicki


Image by Nicki Hawes

8.22.2014

Pin Your Friday Favorite- An Announcement

pin your friday favorite link party

I am so grateful to everyone who has participated in this link party, and I've loved seeing all your fabulous ideas. Due to some life changes with the other hosts, this party is no longer feasible for everyone.

If you are visiting because of a personal invitation from me, please let me know you are here in the comments, and I will follow your preferred social media account. I so appreciate that you came!

Without further ado, here are the last set of features: 

link-party-favorites 

Eliza Ellis showed us how to make scrumptious no-bake lemon slices (I can't resist a good lemon dessert).



Old House to New Home used reclaimed wood to add some unique touches to her bathroom. LOVE this sign.


Mom's Morning Coffee shared a recipe for homemade oatmeal cream pies. YUM!


I love classic stripes, and this look from Home Is Where The Heart Is

Thanks again! Hope to see you around the internet :)

---> Nicki

8.20.2014

On Fear, Diving Boards, and the Power of the Mind


"Mom - I'm a little nervous about going off the diving board."

I heard that phrase about 5 times a day for 12 days; every day of a 2 week swim lesson session. 12 mornings where his first question was if today was THE day. A little nervous didn't begin to describe the anxiety inside- the kind of fear that results in tears and poolside meltdowns. We'd been through this before.

I couldn't blame him. I felt the same way about diving boards and that deep, vague water when I was his age.

However, life is about conquering fears, even when you are only 5. 

As his parents, we wanted this to end the best possible way. No tears, no meltdowns, no backing down the stair rungs. We wanted accomplishment, pride, and self-esteem. We countered with everything we could.

"It's just like jumping off the side, which you love to do."
"Your teacher will catch you, don't worry."
"It's not that high. You are higher when you jump off the swings."
"The board is kind of like a trampoline!"
"Dad is coming, but only if you promise to do it."
"We will get you ICE CREAM!!!"

I'm sure all our talk just sounded like empty chatter. Weak solutions unfit to erase the dominant emotion of fear.

Friday morning arrived, and I had one last card to play. I led him into a quite room, sat down, and took his little tanned face in my hands.

"We are going to imagine for a minute. You are standing in line at the diving board. The ground is warm, and you hear the waves of the pool splashing against the sides."

In our minds, we watched each person ahead of him climb and jump, climb and jump, until finally it was his turn. We gripped the rails, stepped up each rung, and walked to the edge of the plank. The sun beat warm and the deep blue was laid out beneath us. We took a big breath and jumped.

Water engulfed, and then two strong hands lifted, and all we heard were cheers.

"Mom, I'm a little nervous about going off the diving board."

My response: "Guess what? You already went off the diving board, you just did it in your head."

"Oh...   Yeah!"

I am proud to report that my little guy overcame his fear. There were still a few nerves, but there were no tears, no meltdowns, not even hesitation. There WAS lots of ice cream.

“When you explore your fears then you set yourself free.”
― Stephen Richards,
Releasing You from Fear

Have you taken a plunge recently? Did you use visualization, or other methods, to help overcome fear?

---> Nicki

Sharing with > She Lives Free > A Juggling Mom > Life of Faith > A Mama's Story > Oak and OatsModest Mom > A Harvest of Blessing > Cornerstone Confessions > Works for me Wednesday > Things I Can't Say > The Wiegands > A Mama Collective > This Darling Day > Pieced Pastimes >

Image by Nicki Hawes

8.19.2014

BBQ Chicken Salad {Chopped}

Whenever we visit my parents in southern CA, they order in a chopped BBQ chicken salad from one of their favorite restaurants. The hearty meal has a smokey, savory, crunchy combination, and pleases any crowd.
One visit, I snagged the receipt out of the take-out bag, and to my surprise and delight, it listed every ingredient.








Here they are, with our own measurements:

1 large head of romaine lettuce
1/2 bunch of green onions
3 carrots
1 cup of corn
3 medium tomatoes
1 1/2 lbs. (or 3 breasts) chicken or steak cooked/grilled in bbq sauce (we prefer the sweeter sauces like honey smoked or hickory)

Chop all ingredients (except corn), and mix together. Top with:
 
1 large handful of shredded cheese (we usually use colby jack or monterey jack)
Crushed lime tortilla chips (the key to this recipe's popularity is a tortilla chip with lime seasoning)
Ranch dressing

You can also add:

Cilantro
White Beans



Trust me, it will be a big hit.

Enjoy-while summer is still here!

---> Nicki

Sharing with > Mod Vintage Life > The Dedicated House > Confessions of a Plate Addict > Coastal Charm > Rustic Refined > Tumbleweed Contessa > Elizabeth Joan Designs > Twelve O'Eight > Huckleberry Love > Plucky's Second Thought > Sand & Sisal > Cozy Little House > Art is Beauty > Elizabeth & Co. > A Stroll Through Life > We Are That Family > Katherine's Corner> Artsy Fartsy Mama > Chic California > Imparting Grace > What's Cooking Love  > Miz Helen's Country Cottage > The Charm of Home > Craftberry Bush > Liz Marie > Pin Your Friday Favorite > Nancherrow > Bacon Time with Hungry Hypo > Shabby Nest > Pieced Pastimes > Thoughts from Alice > Silver Pennies Sundays > It's Overflowing > My 1929 Charmer > Twigg Studios > Clever Chicks > By Stephanie Lynn >

All images by Nicki Hawes
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