I’ve mentioned before that I prefer the word “artist” over “crafter”….however I know 99.9% of people would call me a “crafter”. I’ve gotten over it and moved on. Kind of. I would like to introduce you to Lori Danelle…after you see her paper cut art 99.9% of you will recognize her as an incredibly talented artist. You’ll have to check out her blog to see her work. It is well worth your visit. I met Lori through comments she left on this blog and a few emails. She created her own version of a pallet bed and did a similar pom pom thing in her girl’s room. I love her versions. You’ll have to go visit her blog and snoop around until you see the post on her girl’s room – gorgeous! Lori’s blog is full of beautiful things…peeks into her home, her artwork, her daily life. And she has the coolest profile pic ever. If I attempted a fan blowing my hair like that it would look about 10 different types of ridiculous. Lori is cool enough to pull it off!

10 things that always make me smile

Hello Everyone!!!
I can’t tell you what an incredible honor it is to be here today! When Ashley contacted me about guest blogging I felt like I had just been invited to sit at the popular girls’ table in junior high!

I thought I’d share a few of my favorite things that always put a smile on my face. But I thought that because I am also a paper cut artist who cuts out fingerprints, I would attempt to show these things in a different way, focusing on the details. In the case of fingerprints, I find it fascinating to look at the detail of something that is so unique to each person, we carry around with us always, leave all over the place, and yet never really look at!

I think you can see for yourself why I smile.

Years ago, my dad found a cedar stump while we were camping.
He kept it and made me a little chest of drawers that I dearly love!
If any of you happen to know me from my blog, then you know my love of old wood.

Such a cheery color. I could paint everything this color.
Well, maybe not everything.

I got this chair at a coffee house I managed in college. As soon as I saw it I vowed that if I ever left, the chair would come with me.
And it did.

I can’t help it. I love coffee.
My husband had never had coffee before me.
Now he too is hopelessly addicted.

I have that affect on people.

I have 3 sets of books that I read over & over & over & over again.

Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings & all of Jane Austen’s books.
I love to read, but don’t have the time to look into other books.
Open to suggestions though. πŸ™‚

I love my husband. He designed that ring for me.
And then the mold was broken.
So it is truly one-of-a-kind.

He keeps me focused. Believes in me and pushes me to dream bigger and challenges me to be a better person all around.

Without him, I don’t think I would stay afloat.

I melt for these eyes.
How can you not??

I can’t bring myself to cut my girls’ hair.
Big Sister is 3 1/2 and had the tiniest of all trims on her first birthday to fight off a mullet. I know I need to, but . . .

The best thing about having little girls around the house?
I get to twirl again.

I love to twirl.

As a little girl, I was very particular about my skirts & dresses.
They had to twirl just right, swishing around your legs.
So now, I’m very happy to supply my little ones with the perfect twirling skirts and as many tutus as they can handle.Β  πŸ™‚

Well, I think that’s 10!
If you want a full look at some of my favorite things in their entirety, come on over to my part of blogland. I’d love to have you! I hope that you too find yourself smiling on at least a couple of those.Β  πŸ™‚

Ashley, Thanks again for having me! You truly are an inspiration for finding joy in the details and the mundane!!

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  • giozi - Fantastic pictures

  • Mille - you’re absolutely right, amazing blue eyes!

  • Christine - What a great post! You have a beautiful family!

  • Jenny - Beautiful post Lori! So glad to call you friend! I never knew that about your ring… awesomeness!

  • je - What wonderful pictures of the 10 things that make you smile. A few of them are on my list too and you captured them beautifully.

  • amanda torres - So cracking up at the fighting off of the mullet. I think most moms of girls can relate to that. Too funny!

  • meg duerksen - lori is so much fun!!!

  • erin j - I cycle through the Harry Potters and Jane Austen too! Every once in a while I’ll throw in the Chronicles of Narnia. So good!!

  • Amy - I am loving all these guest posts!! Lori – your wedding ring/band is amazing, very unique and beautiful ;-D

  • Jordan - I love to read to but I never had the time to dig for a good book I actually wanted to read. My friend mentioned that she really enjoyed Jodi Picoult. I’ve been reading her books now for about 3 months and they are AWESOME. And I think she’s written enough of them to keep me busy for the next few years. πŸ˜‰

  • Carrie Rosalind - These posts always inspire me so much, and this one is no exception! Beautiful photos.

  • Jonesy - Lori, try reading Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers. I am not a huge reader, but this is one of my favorites and I think I have read it 4 times. a-mazing. I so enjoyed reading this post! I love hearing about things that other ladies enjoy and love – it has definitely been helping me take more advantage of my life. Thank you.

  • Mariah - how strange… I think that it is possible that you and I are twins seperated at birth. (except for the Lord of the Rings… I could only read it once. There are so many Hobbit songs! and all those names. does everyone really need all of those names?)But other than that… we could be the same person. Except my hair is curly. But other than that, twins.

  • Ashley - love this!! i try to take photos of the small things that make me smile too… BIG BLUE EYES, PIGTAILS, &DRESSES are on the top of my list too! what fun lil girls are for photo addicts πŸ™‚

  • Seamingly Sarah - We too had to cut our daughter’s hair for the first time because of a potential mullet. Well really by then it was a rat tail. You could braid it and everything. Poor bugger.

  • Mia - Gorgeous photography, and I love the stories associated with each one.

    Thank you for sharing!

  • betsy berre - kindred spirit. are we the same person?! i love all of these things too. so much in my house is painted turquoise. my sons highchair, my kitchen island, the basket where we keep fruit…i just had to stop myself from painting a dresser (that i found in someones trash pile) turquoise. love it. loved perusing your blog too.

  • I said I couldn’t do it. - […] realize that if you read the post I did over at Ashley Ann’s you’ll find this a little […]

  • The bigger picture - […] you’re not and you haven’t been over there yet, head on over, cuz otherwise, this might not make as much sense as it should. […]

I’ll be back soon, but for now I am content to be away…

If you have read this blog any length of time you know what a big fan I am of Meg and her blog. I love the way she writes (in fact I want to ‘enter’ after each sentence just thinking of her now). There was a brief time that I didn’t enjoy her blog so much…she had a HUGE frog as her header pic…I hate frogs. Thankfully she removed that picture and we are friends again. Meg’s blog is full of color and life…like Meg. At least that is what I imagine her to be since we haven’t met in person – yet. I love the post she is sharing here today. Makes me want to go trash digging and she challenges me to be productive with my time! You are going to want to curl up under a polka dot quilt with a coffee and spend hours reading her archives. It is a happy place. She makes me happy.

for my 10 for 10 post i thought i would show you my 10 favorite
items i have picked up at thrift shops, flea markets or antique stores.
i love a bargain.
i love to trash pick.
i love finding something junky and making it awesome.
i LOVE when my husband says “you paid money for that?!”
because it always means he will later say “that looks great honey…good choice.”
hope you enjoy my top 10.
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  • mary - love meg’s style and blog
    and now she brings us to you….i love yours too!!!!

  • keely - Although there was no polka dot quilt involved, I have spent HOURS reading her archives and being encouraged and inspired. Thanks for introducing us to her!

  • Jodi - I love Meg’s blog too. I read hers and yours every morning!!! Hope you are having fun.

  • Julia - I love Meg’s finds – I wish I could make things work in such a happy way like she does.

    Love your website too!

  • Lisa Johnson - I have actually dreamed about Meg’s house. I love it that much! So friendly and welcoming and full of life.

  • Sarah@Clover Lane - Meg’s house pics….I beg for them. Her style is awesome, and fun and family friendly.

  • Christy - I’m a huge fan of Meg’s love this post.

  • Kelly - So many fun finds. Happy to see the photo of the globes. πŸ™‚

    I’ve been on the look out for Santa mugs since I saw your Christmas pic of them two years ago (?) but a lot of the ones I see Santa has a dumb expression, not jolly at all. πŸ™


  • HEATHER R. - Love both your blogs! πŸ™‚

  • Nicole - agreed – very fun and inspiring! headed there now…more pics? I hope so!

  • Rebekah - That “READ” bedroom was my introduction to Meg. LOVE her! And how fun to learn the stories behind some of the great pieces in her home.

  • amanda torres - Took some mental pics. Next goal…replicate her house in mine.

  • Lori - Oh my goodness – what great finds! Can’t wait to check out her blog

  • jessica h - cute! cute! CUTE!!! thanks for the inspiration–it made me so happy to share in your joy of all things old, given new life πŸ™‚

  • lifeologia - AWESOME!
    I knew Meg was coming up eventually ;D
    I feel like getting some spray paint to my old things after reading this post πŸ˜‰

  • Kacey - Love Meg’s style – and yours, too!

  • purejoy - i think at the heart of a creative person is the ability to visualize the potential. the future. the outcome. to see beyond something and envision it’s future life and purpose. it’s like an artsy fortune teller. but in meg’s case… doer.

  • Angela Carter - love, love Meg’s blog! whatever is one of my fav words (ha). actually, the first thing I do every morning when I can actually sit down and have some computer time is check THIS blog and then Meg’s or vice versa! Love them both!!!!

  • Heather - i love finding treasures and now i’m completely inspired to ditch my plans for the day and spend it at the thrift store.

  • amy jupin - well now this sure made my day!
    me and meg…we’s like peas and carrots!!
    now if only we knew each other in real life… πŸ™‚

  • patti - two happy places collided this morning. so happy to see it! πŸ™‚

  • Dacia - Being a thrift store/antique store/garage/craigslist sale junky myself, I loved this post! Gives me inspiration to keep digging through stuff πŸ™‚

  • amber - I was waiting for a whatever post:). Been lovin’ Meg for a long time now….oh the polka dots.

  • Cheryl @ a pretty cool life. - I adore Meg and her blog. I’m never so happy and inspired as when I see pics of her house!

  • kat - Meg has been one of my favorite bloggers for a few years now. I love all the color in her pictures and in her home. Such a fun soul!

  • kat - Meg has been one of my favorite bloggers for a few years now. She is so real and I love all the color in her pictures and in her home.

  • sarah W. - I love Meg & her fantastic blog πŸ™‚

    And those lockers take me back to a really fun day with new friends
    Well and back to a sad moment, where I realized i’d have to not only leave behind new friends, but fabulous things I wouldn’t be able to drag on a plane.

    I love all your finds, Meg!

  • Tere - You are still perfect on a guest blog. And thanks for the link to another blog to follow πŸ™‚

  • a pocket full of posies - Meg, Ashley, and Julie…my daily “three muskateers!” Love ya’ll!

  • jenny - love your post and all of your treasures! It’s a post after my own heart! πŸ˜‰
    I often come home from sales to hear my husband say those same words. πŸ™‚

  • Courtney Henson - I am a regular at Meg’s blog and love, love, love everything about it. I loved seeing these pictures though…a lot of them were familiar having seen them around but never realized they were all Meg! Her style is so my style except hers is what mine would be in my dream house with all my dream things…not attained in my own house yet…great inspiration!

  • Kate @ Songs Kate Sang - Oh, that is great! I love Meg!

  • Becky @ Farmgirl Paints - Big treat…love it when she shows her house. So happy, colorful and eclectic:)

  • Linden - I love the title of your blog, Meg. “Whatever…” I admit that I frequently forget to think on whatever is true and noble and trustworthy and LOVELY. what a sweet gift from the Lord for me to see your blog today when I needed a reminder to see all that is lovely in the world. thank you.

  • Kristin S - Two of my favorite blogs together!

  • valerie @ Chateau A La Mode - Fun, fun, fun…that’s what I think of all the finds and of Meg!

  • Cherish Stockdale - Meg’s house is AMAZING!!

  • ingrid blanchette - heart everything about her and her beautiful house! wish i lived in kansas because so.cal doesn’t have those great barn sales that she gets to go to!

  • Philly - I am loving these guest posts. However, it adds more and more to my list of blogs to catch up with every day. Therefore, my productivity has gone down a bit each day. Haha. I’m glad you’re taking some nice time off!

  • Monica - AWESOME FINDS MEG!! Your a lucky girl.. Luv the blog too..

  • Ashley - VERY inspiring! i cant get enough of end tables, mirrors and chandeliers… they feed a spray paint additction for sure πŸ™‚ great job meg… love your home!

  • KaraM - Of course we all love Meg’s blog…she’s a classic! πŸ˜€
    Ashley, I loved your comment about entering after each sentence.
    Hence the entering, all in honor of the Whatever Blog!

  • Kirra Sue - OH, OH, OH. I loved every single thing. Sooo fun!!!!

  • Mara - Can’t wait to go “garage saling” this weekend!

  • Danielle - I want your house! Maybe you should decorate mine?

  • Grace - Say “DUH” if you want, but I swear I saw that room with “READ” in it in a magazine πŸ™‚

  • Grace - Say “DUH: if you want to but I could swear that I saw that picture of the room with “READ” in it in a magazine πŸ™‚ You Rock!!!

  • Amnah - <3 Need I say more?

  • wedding invitation kits - Love Meg’s blog as well. So glad she introduced you to us.

  • Tabitha - WOW! I wish I had the eye for design that Meg does. Thanks for sharing with us!

  • aimee - brilliance! OK, you’ve convinced me with that excellent mirror – i’ve wanted to paint over a foofy gold mirror for a while with a foofy bright color, and now i’m going to do it!

  • Pam - Absolutely Beautiful and Redelicious! I love the touch of red because it is my favorite color.

  • Tracu Fisher - I wish Meg would come to my house and “do up” my daughters room. …. So, if you are ever in Gig Harbor…. I’ll trade you for a painting (see http://www.tfisherart.com... I will be finished with it this Friday… new look… new stories). I love when people use their God given talents for good. -Tracy

  • JoLynn - Okay, I am going to HAVE to check out her blog. I LOVE these pictures and am in love with going out trash and bargain-hunting too!!

  • Susie - Meg of Whatever_ You have a great eye, thanks for the eye candy tonight πŸ™‚ LOVE the READ room decor!

  • Leah - why oh why can’t I have this eye that you have? You can make a steal if you could replicate it into a glass eye. I would pay a hefty dollar for it =) Please let me know if you are able to find a glass eye at a garage sale and turn it into an ashley ann Eye =)

  • Patricia Teo - I’m jealous! We don’t have enough garage sale nor treasures around here!

  • sunny - Hello! Found your blog via your sons’ bedroom post referred to on Ohdeedoh recently. LOVE your blog and your photography.

    Thanks for sharing your finds and how you use them around the house. That’s what most sites/blogs are missing: how the items can look in your home – blending in with the other items you have. I especially like your bathroom!

  • Jenny B. - Love everything! Thank you for sharing, Meg! And thank you, Ashley, for sharing Meg! πŸ™‚

  • crystal - Love both of your blogs! Read them both almost everyday & trust me, if I miss a day, I go back & catch up……which is what I’m doing today, I had a crazy busy week! I’m so glad you can both put a smile on my face. Meg, you make me happy and also good to know I’m not the only one that has a bad day every now & then. Ashley, you make me want to get all my DIY projects done! I love all your stuff & ideas! Got my ticket for the Christmas Gathering on Thursday night……I’ve been following your blog ever since last year & I’m so so glad I was there & introduced to your blog, which introduced me to Meg’s blog a while back! : )

  • Brooke Whitis - Oh meg, all your posts make me smile! I love all your treasures!!

  • Better Than Naked Vintage - what great finds! I love the refurbished mirror! Great color choice.

I am so glad you are enjoying the guest posts…I am πŸ™‚ I have AMAZING friends – both in the real world and online! Today is a boring old post from yours truly. There are still several guest posts lined up, but I wanted to keep you guessing when they’ll be posted. I have been enjoying my time away…taking lots of pictures. I am so used to writing this blog everyday I do feel a little lost being away from it. Onto the post….which if you are confused – I wrote it before my ‘break’.


FireCracker makes blog appearances a lot…it seems like the smaller they are the easier it is to get fun pictures of them. At the last SnapShop we talked a bit about older kids. It made me begin to think about Biggest Brother. As I thought about his days and what sets them apart from the younger kids, I wanted to capture those differences. With school in session he doesn’t play as much Legos, but he does have homework. Sometimes we don’t capture the ‘boring’ or ‘uninteresting’ aspects of our days…but I think they are just as important.

So today I am sharing 10 photos of Biggest Brother doing his spelling homework. Nothing exciting about the activity, but it is a part of his days as a 6 year old. It makes me wonder what he’ll look like when he is 16 and doing homework.

Photo Tip: Pay attention to the light in these photos. You can tell how much better the photos are when I am standing between the window and Biggest Brother. When I move to his backside there is not as much light and the quality of the photo is reduced. Always point your subject towards a window (with indirect light) when you have the option. And change your angles!

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  • emily anderson - glad you are having fun on your break!
    i have a request…when you get back, please take a picture of that couch and the wall behind it…i want to see it in plain view!

  • Kristin - Great tips, great angles, cute as anything house styling. Love it – thanks for the peek.

  • Rebecca - Love the pic with the view from under the table.

  • Georgia - these are priceless…love the ones with the tongue sticking out…VERY 6 years old!

  • Jennifer - I’d love a detailed shot of that wall too πŸ™‚
    Super cute photos!! πŸ™‚

  • purejoy - yes on the couch and the wall!!

    love that little tongue sticking out. and the crossed feet. and doing homework on a portable tray. great idea! gorgeous shots. even the mundane can be stunningly beautiful!

  • amanda torres - These pictures tell so much. I love watching kids work. With their brain so focused, their little bodies tell so much. The tongue, the hands, the feet, the eyes…it’s all so beautiful. I’m betting little will change in his ‘working’ mannerisms when he’s older. It’s like your real belly laugh. You just can’t change it.

  • Rachel - I just want you to know that I look forward to your post every day, you or your guests. It’s definitely my favorite. I really appreciate your willingness to show off your beautiful children and the envy-worthy life that you lead with them. At 26 and getting married in two years, I hope my life is full of beauty and love, just like yours seems to be. Thanks for always sharing!!

  • Lori - thank you for the tips – i love all the different angles – especially the one looking down at his paper.

  • Stacy - May I ask what lens you shoot with around the house? I just can’t seem to take one good photo (granted, I live in Seattle and it’s never that bright) in the house!

  • meg duerksen - cute cute cute.

    i won’t ask for a shot of the wall….because i know everyone else will. πŸ™‚ i don’t have to.

  • Katrina - Very cute. It is so easy to remember to get the camera out when something fun is going on, but I’d like to remember some of the mundane too. I love the little details like the hand on the head and the tongue sticking out. (I do that too.) Thanks for sharing.

  • Ellen J - I’m a 1st grade teacher, and I absolutely love watching them write sometimes – their concentration is so focused!! Love the pictures. πŸ™‚

  • Gevay - Cute boy! I love the tongue sticking out while he concentrates!

  • jennie - welcome back! if even for a small amount of time. As much as I love love LOVE the guest posts, i will not lie… i come to this blog for you. I keep seeing bits and pieces of your family room wall in photos, either in a blurry background or a small snippet of it in the corner of a photo. I want to see that whole wall! and your inspiration for the drawn on frames! I love them! Thank you for being my favorite ever

  • Cindy - Love pics of the everyday stuff!!! Spelling words DOMINATE our week… I will have to get some pics of Hope at work mastering these crazy words! Hope you’re having a blast!!!!

  • Lindsay - he’s really starting to change. his features and everything. he’s really growing up. It’s strange how I feel like I know him through your blog… πŸ™‚

  • Lisa Johnson - Yes! It is so important to capture the everyday. As a mom of quickly growing-up children (my baby turns 10 tomorrow!), I applaud your thoughtfulness about the “mundane.” I have so many photos of children blowing out candles, but how wonderful to get to see a glimpse of who they are at a certain stage. Gap-toothed and barefoot and tongue out. All boy! Love it!

  • jessica h - that was great πŸ™‚ those are the important mundane moments we’ll all want pictures of later–thanks!! ENJOY your time away!!

  • Kate @ Songs Kate Sang - Such a great point… with a 10 and 7 year old, I need to get creative about how to capture our everydays!

  • Mara - His little tongue cracks me up… true concentration!

  • Asha - I love posts about biggest brother, he’s losing teeth and learning to spell just like my 6 year old boy.

  • Getty Images Representative Philippines - Very beautiful photos! They have such a light quality about them.