Category Archives: Holidays

hospital stay-poopbag-heart-shopnews

————————MY hospital stay

It is in YOU that I move, breathe, write, create, dream, feel and have my being. I honor YOU today .our CREATOR .. my ALL..when nothing is going the way I think it should- when all is falling apart .. or maybe falling together..when letting go is the only thing left to do so one doesn’t fall completely apart.
I am so full of high dose inravanous steroids and pain meds that it has my nerves and emotions all over the place.  It is like PMS on SPEED. I’ve been sent home on a no taper high steriod until we can get into the surgeon  for a consult on having a colectomy.  I think I am done fighting and it is here I hold up the white flag.  Just another place to stop and build an alter to God–how gracious He is to let me find my own way there.


HOPE you girls are ready to follow me along getting a poop bag…I know! but it is what it is and you have to learn to talk about hard things right?:)  I will fill you in on more when it isn’t a holiday…I just want to let you know I am home and doing as good as can be expected:) thankful for your prayers and love…..

(yes..the white things were on BOTH sides of the socks..this was a funny.  I sat the alarms off…oh geesh it was hilarious)

——————————MY HEART

the two most important days 
in your life are the day you
were born and the day you
figure out why.”
mark twian 

I feel as if I have let so many down with signs
all kinds of projects for Grace and I to do to
decorate the house on Friday for Christmas
going to the nursery to get our fresh greens
cooking Thanksgiving together
black friday shopping
and I am being rawly honest I am groping to find the gratitude tonight.  I know steroids are powerful and I am trying to give myself grace but I am so disappointed and feel as if all my plans and dreams for this holiday are just crashing down and then I think– I don’t have cancer, I am not homeless, I can move and on and I KNOW in my head what my heart struggles to catch up too.
and this is where I am… life right now is maybe a new opportunity for me to listen…God wants to speak to me and I can be to busy to hear.
Maybe it is another leg of the journey I need to get briefed on maybe it is a new leg of the journey..a change in direction or maybe it is just a place of rest and trust…watching and seeing how HE will work on my behalf and how I am going to handle the changes..the letting go.
but can I share one more thing before I go?
how much i love each and everyone of you?  if you could see me you would see real tears rolling.  I am over abundantly blessed to have all of you walking with me.  I feel it everyday.
Most of my life consists now of online…why?  don’t know yet.  Time will tell –but I pray each of you a thanksGIVING blessing: that you find JOY peaCe and TRust this holiday season…no matter where you find yourself sitting today…KNOW we are not alone and HIS PEACE really is available.  I love you…and eat lots of food for me will you?

———————————————SHOP news! BLACK  FRIDAY

we are opening the shop out of love for our customers.  we’ve had many ask for a sign and we are participating in a black friday round up of sorts.  FYI – these orders will not begin until the new year..we are finishing up all of the patient friends who have ordered and are shipping out for Christmas.  The orders on black friday and on will begin production on January 7and shipped 4 weeks from the date of production. We are finishing up our new blog design & Etsy shop design so things will be changing soon….super excited for that!  … see I DO have things to look forward to! We do have new signs to share so be watching for those….a wee bit behind:/

FOR our sweet friends enter BLACKFRIDAY for 15% off and a free gift with order.


printable Gift Card & my new crush…Chrissie Grace

  Hey:)  a happy Friday–I need coffee…a new brain…to be cloned…my toenails painted..uh yeah..forgot I’m not alone–my brain is always making lists

I was at Target last weekend and the mood was quite festive.  I heard children squealing ” mommy…and running to the bling”y” clothing ” and couples sharing that would make a nice gift and another rather harried shopper telling her companion this is a Christmas gift. is upon us.  I have vowed to shop earlier and handmade as much as possible.  I thought I would share with you my new handmade shop crush with you.  I LOVE love LOVE shopping from friends and small handmade shops because I know first hand what time and love they put into their work.  It makes it SUPER me:)

**See the end of the post for our printable House of Belonging Gift Tag to slip into a stocking or under the tree**

In His Grace

 my new friend..I LOVE her heart for God..for home..for her gift
she is bursting with joy and it spills out all over her makes me smile
it makes me inspires me…in turn it makes me want to inspire others..kinda like ripples
yes…you will love her too:)  Oh..she opened for just two week..until November 15
I believe…so not much time!

HOW TO USE this Printable Gift Card

(This is just one way to support handmade businesses if you do not know what to have created for your special person)

~Go to Etsy and purchase one of their gift cards.
~Then send us an email at and let us know
~and we will do our part and email the gift certificate to you.
Easy peasy!  Or if you have any questions or need us to create a gift certificate with more specifics all ya gotta do is ask.

***I am slaving in the kitchen today making over 100 cupcakes and a small wedding cake for my sisters wedding tomorrow…I can’t wait to share it with you next week
***we have deactivated the shop for two weeks to catch up but have some exciting news around watching our FACEBOOK page and follow us on INSTAGRAM
@houseofbelonging to be the first to know:)

with all my love….tiff



move over Ziploc–a sweet little bread wrapper for giving

there is something about red & white
that makes my heart swoon.  So much so that I want to do a red and white Christmas this year…but I’m not
That’s the way I kidding – I may…geesh!

November 2 is official.  I can start holiday nesting…cozying up the home.
Pulling out the family recipe’s
Making the lists
marking the calendar’s
listening to Christmas music….what?  ok..not yet but soon

SO when I saw the Ziploc commercial the other day..I objected..I stood up..on the inside and vowed to bring back handmade!
No more plastic lay in the landfill for decades Santa Claus baggies for me.  I was inspired by a how to in Better Homes & Garden
Food Gifts.


I had everything on hand but the parchment paper.  If you have a sewing machine and a needle you can DO this!
I need to practice before actually giving…
While on the parchment run I picked up this cake mix -

instead of following the box directions I used my favorite way to bake cakes now.

How to make cupcake from mix taste like scratch

source Tidy Mom

I took the parchment paper and measured around the bread to see how much to cut off.  I cut two pieces the same size and simply sewed them together
using a zigzag stitch.
I then wrapped the stitched paper around the bread and marked where the two buttons were to be sewn on.
Then I sewed the buttons on.
Wrapped the bread in saran wrap to keep it moist.
Wrapped the paper around the bread.  Cut a long length of twine and wrapped it around several times and then wrapped it around the buttons

and viola!  I had a tag from our sale days…and stamped an X & O on it.

Pretty gosh darn sweet.
Waaayyyy better than Ziploc.  Sure to get ooohhs and aaahhs:)

and the bread was DELISH!

I also made these Oreo pops sprinkled with orange flakes and packed them up with…you guessed it … twine!
i could seriously have a twine fetish

are you with me?  Maybe a little more handmade this year…it is quite that a word that would fit in this sentence?
anyway…you get me don’t ya? 

 :: and the winner of the sweet ruffled curtains is ::

Kris from Junk Chic Cottage!  I will email you for your address:)!!

TODAY is the last day our Etsy shop is open…then we are closin her down to paint and paint and paint!  So get your orders in:)

Happy Friday sweet sweet friends…oh how I am thankful for each of YOU!



7 tips for multitasking a photo shoot–a Winner & shop news

good Monday morning everyone!  Did your weekend go as fast as mine?  If your family is anything like ours with the holiday approaching rapidly I might add…we all

know the dreaded family picture for the Christmas card is approaching.  Trying to get everyone color coordignated and hairs just right a fussy kiddos while mom is running like a rabid dog

trying to get everyone and everything to look just well…perfect right?

Here are a few not professional tidbits that may help you multitask a photo shoot

What motivated me to kill a few birds with one stone is Dakota’s senior year

Nana needs updated pictures of the kids…like seriously..last I looked they were toddlers…and I am in need of the capturing Dakota and Grace for my mantle collage…

cause you wanna know why?  I threw away all my pumpkins last night!  I was sick of them…I am ready for a change and I love photo collages don’t you?

( now remember I don’t have little kiddos and the grand babies are in Florida so I didn’t traumatize anyone….he he)

 here is what we did that worked for us…you can always tweek it for your family needs

(1)  I knew I wanted the photos to compliment our home decor…colors and such.  SO when  choosing clothes keep that in mind.

(2)  Often we don’t think of that and we have everybody in red and green and our color palette of our home is aqua and yellow

(3)  If you have a special place you are wanting to do a wall collage like the examples below you might need to get shots with one child looking to the right and the other child looking to the left

( our inspiration for our mantle collage found here )

so when placed on the wall they are facing in…does that make sense?  I will show you what I mean when we do our wall.

(4)  PRE – PLAN…make a list on your ipad or phone when out shooting.  Shots you want.  When all is crazy you can always refer to your list.  It can help keep the flow going.

(5)  Be spontaneous!  Nikki saw a few places as we were walking that she had the kids sit down and snapped a few.

(6)  Snap away at the silliness too…the kids going crazy…people laughing VERY often those end up being my favorites!

(7)  take an emergency bag filled with props, lipgloss, blush, scarves etc.

With our session yesterday we captured one scene for Dakota’s senior pictures.  The outdoorsy field look.  We are taking him this weekend to the West Bottoms down by where our shop used to be to capture the ugly pretty of the old buildings and then to the school and football field in his jersey for that look.

We also got one of Dakota and Grace alone that I am using above our fireplace in the collage we are putting together.   Neither of them cooperated–sitting close to her brother was ewww and just a pain… still didn’t get one that I LOVED yet:/ The same pictures I am using of them individuality we are giving Nana AND we got some really nice pictures of Dakota’s girlfriend Elise.

Nikki and I were pretty darned pleased with the fiasco.  We put on our big girl panties and asked a complete stranger to use their barn and land.

The weather was perfect…the light was golden… the sky a pretty blue.

**I want to show you in another post some before and after edits.  Nikki has often been asked often about Graces eyes etc.  No she does not change the color of Grace’s eyes at all:)

and yes..her eyelashes are obviously false..she loves wearing them for photo shoots…silly girl!

I would say we accomplished a lot in one photo session.

Hope these tips from our crazy little family help you in your upcoming photo antics.

If you have some tips we would sure love to hear them…always open to learn:)


and the WINNER of our Isaiah Christmas sign is…….#2 miss Jackie!  I will be emailing you to get your address girlie…congratualtions;)

here is miss Jackie’s favorite Christmas memory…

Spending time with my family & celebrating the birth of our king! I love going to Christmas Eve service to worship & truly focus on the reason for the season.

yes…another GIVEAWAY coming

:::Here is a sneak peek at some sweet ruffled curtains I am giving away this week that my momma made!! so be on the lookout!:::



We are closing the shop this Sunday–be sure to get your orders in.  We will be painting our little fannies off and get everything shipped out by December 16..our last ship day!!

Use our coupon code Farmgirl for 15% off!!

Be on the lookout for a special promo code for our RE-OPENING in January that I will be sharing over at Thistlewood Farms on November 1st…..EEKKKK:))

my friend Becky is offering my friends 20% off this month…



I’m GIVING away one of our Isaiah 9:6 Christmas Mantle sign…& shop closing

thinking of Christmas this year we knew we didn’t want to do lots of Christmas signs but one for sure we wanted to recreate was our Christmas mantle sign from last year.


It is meaningful to me because God has shown Himself to be all of those names to my family over the last years.

It is painted on a 2 foot x 4 foot sign on a black background with white lettering and a white frame and we both thought it would be

super fun to give one away.

Now here is the kicker….We are only making 10 of the Isaiah 9:6 sign not including the giveaway sign.  We’ve listed 10 in the shop and thats it.  You are welcome to use the

15% code that Farmgirl Paints has going on our signs right now.  Use the coupon code HOUSEOFBELONGING when ordering

***REMINDER–you can order your sign customized just for your home meaning…color of lettering/background/framing

and a different size if needed…as long as the wording will look right:)  Just leave in the notes on your order:)

Super Simple!

 :::SHOP CLOSING @ the end of OCTOBER :::

We will be closing the shop until the first of January at the end of the month due to the overwhelming sign orders we have.
We are beyond incredibly blessed and thankful…pressed down and overflowing with gratitude for all of your support this year as we stepped out into the 
unknown and dared to dream big.  We have an exciting new year planned that I think will knock your socks off!!  We know each and every order and those of you
who have Thanksgiving deadlines etc. we are aware of those as well.  

SO…be sure to place your orders by the end of the month to receive them for the holidays!!

…to WIN THIS SIGN simply enter your email below (if you have not already) to receive updates via email and leave a comment letting us know your favorite Christmas memories/traditions…

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PSSSS…our sweet friend Becky @ Farmgirl Paints is giving our readers 20% her cuffs all month long!  Go get a few and give a few for gifts as well….wink wink!