Michelle's Blog

My life as a wife, homemaker, friend, Christian

Dining Room April 3, 2009

Filed under: Creativity,decorating,home — mrswade @ 12:09 pm
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When I’m stressed, or just daydreaming, my mind always goes to interior design, specifically in my own house.  A couple weeks ago I went on a field trip with Interior Design II to find inspiration for our project this semester, the lobby of a dorm on campus.  It was SO hard for me to pay attention to what would work in the Penn Lobby and not just focus on what I wanted in my own home!  We went to a hotel called The Nines in Portland, and it was gorgeous!  I was super inspired by one of their dining areas!  Here are a few pics before I go on:




I at first fell CRAZY in love with the canning jars sitting on re-claimed wood shelves along the wall.  I loved the variety of colors, orange, yellow, green, purple, brown, grey.  I have never considered myself to be a big purple fan…actually…I’ve never liked purple, but I LOVED this purple!  I loved it combined with all the other colors.  I also loved all the textures!  This dinning area was super elegant yet still very cozy!

I want to do something similar to this in my dinning room.  I would like to only have one wall of reclaimed wood shelves (built by my loving husband 🙂 ) that not only serves as decoration, but serves as storage!  I plan on canning a lot this summer (which I’m sure I’ll blog about a little later) so this is not only gorgeous but functional!

My dining table at the time was strictly green and yellow, just like my kitchen, a “happy fruit” theme of lemons, limes, pears and apples.  So, it didn’t quite fit the new look I’m trying to go for, however my dishes were already perfect for this theme.  I love my dishes, they are perfect for every-day use and elegant enough for special occasions!  At Fred Meyer I found, on super sale, some great eggplant and cream, chunky plaid place mats and napkins.  I got 4 of each for around $10 total and saved more than I spent!  The place-mats have one purple square that has the texture of a dish cloth, kind of waffle-y.  I love that it mixes things up a bit.  I already had yellow napkins and they also go perfectly with my purple place-mats.  I have dark, olive green glasses, another of the many colors I found in the dinning room at The Nines.  When Jake and I were in California, visiting his grandparents, we went garage sale-ing and there I found 4 super cute purple bottles, and 6 amazing vintage, orange, glass plates.

Today I set them all up, and LOVED the result!  All I need to do now, is can away and get Jake to make me some shelves when we move into our new apartment!  Maybe work on getting a different dinning set as well…


Daffodils that Jake picked for me, from the side of the road, on our 4 year dating anniversary 🙂




I found this at a lighting store on our Portland field trip and thought it would go really well with the rest of the design for the dinning room.  Of course it is thousands of dollars, but I still really liked the amber and the frosted glass.


That’s all for now 🙂 but I’m sure I’ll have plenty to show later!


one step at a time March 16, 2009

Filed under: home,thoughts — mrswade @ 7:59 pm
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So I’ve been thinking a lot about my goals and priorities in moving from where we are now in our eating habits and the food we have in our house to a more natural and wholesome way of eating.  The craze was to eat low-fat, buy items that say light, low-fat, low-cal, etc.  You can find hundreds of items that have these claims on the label, that if looked at closely, are probably not true.  I see this now moving toward organic.  I haven’t done much research on the claims of organic but have heard that as with low-fat you need to be just as skeptical when something claims to be organic.  While I think that eating organic and low-fat is important, I think that the importance can be given too much weight.

The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed according to their own kinds, and trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. – Genesis 1:12

I believe that God made our bodies to gain the most nutrients from and process best the food that He made for us.  When companies make their light and low-fat products, they need to do what they can to make it taste like the full-fat version.  They add all sorts of fake-fat to put in it instead.  Again, I haven’t done really any research on this, but I can’t believe that the fake stuff that is in those products has any positive effects on our bodies.  Our bodies were made to handle fat, not chemicals.  The solution to not eating low-fat foods is working out!  

I heard one lady describe how she decides what to buy.  She asks herself two questions:

  1. If I really needed to, could I make this product in my own kitchen?
  2. Could I explain what is in this/how it is made to an 8 year old?

If the answer to these questions is “no” it is probably safe to say that there are items in the product that are not God-made and probably not the best to put in our bodies and probably not that easy for our body to process.

This is why I really believe that whole foods are the most important priority for our eating habits.  People often say to shop around the grocery store, around the outside of the aisles for the healthiest eating.  I think this is true, on the outside of the isles are produce, meat, dairy, and often bread.  These are all things that God made, things from the earth, plants and animals.  By eating whole foods such as these, organic or not, we avoid eating many of those awful words on the ingredients label that are impossible to pronounce and not good for our bodies.

My priorities for good eating go like this:

  1. whole foods:things that aren’t in a box, etc.)
  2. more nutrition: choosing the whole foods that are going to be best nutritionally, such as coconut oil over vegetable or canola oil (I can actually make coconut oil in my kitchen if I want too!)
  3. organic: but only things that are worth buying organic, such as the dirty dozen.  While I would like to support the organic farmers, especially the local ones, I just can’t afford to buy everything organic at this point.
  4. low-fat: Of the whole, nutritious, and organic foods, I would choose the lower-fat options.  Such as almonds over cashews (nuts are good for you, but almonds are much better for you than cashews).

I’m going to try to figure out a good way to track our progress in moving towards a more whole and natural way of eating…not sure how that will turn out, but I’m going to try 🙂  I’ve started it a bit, but my goals for the year are to make my own bread and dressings and use coconut and olive oil as much as I can instead of canola or butter (though I’m not that opposed to butter).  I’ll probably come up with a few more as the year goes on, but that’s it for now. 🙂 Some of my inspiration for baby steps come from this blog.


Thanks Esther B. March 1, 2009

Filed under: Creativity,frugal,home — mrswade @ 11:53 am
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In sewing class Junior year we had a box full of old (starting in the early 1960s) sewing patterns that we could take if we wanted, to make vintage clothing.  The old ladies across the street at Friendsview Retirement Home often donate their old patterns to George Fox because they can no longer sew (Esther B. had written her name on one of the patterns, thanks Esther!)  I saw them and fell in love with the old drawings of the girls and the dresses on the front.  I think someday it would be fun to make one of the dresses, but I mostly just wanted the covers of the patterns to frame and put in my craft room/office/guest room.  I had forgotten about the patterns, they were sitting in my infrequently opened sewing drawer, until a friend needed me to take her measurements and I went searching for my tape measurer.  I found the patterns and got inspired all over again!  I went to Goodwill yesterday and got three frames for the patterns.  Now they’re ready to hang up right above my sewing machine in the crafty part of the room!  And it all only cost me $4.00!  Aren’t they great?!

img_3007From left to right: 1972, 1969 and 1967



Wifey Book February 25, 2009

Filed under: home,organization — mrswade @ 12:16 pm
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Wade Home Management Notebook

I was reading one of my favorite blogs (Simple Mom) and came across the idea of a home-management notebook.  A home-management notebook is basically a place to keep your brain.  I feel like I have so many ideas and lists and to-do’s, etc, etc, that I probably lose some of them and most definitely lose time to think of other things.  The notebook contains different tabs for different information each with 2 clear page-protecter sheets, lists/current info I want to keep in those sections and blank pages to write on.  In mine there will be:

  • In the front pocket I have a mini “daily docket” (another great tool from Simple Mom).  You can read more about it on her page but it is a great way to really organize your to-do’s.  Today is the first day I’m doing it, so we’ll see how it goes, I think it will help. 🙂
  • money/finances tab: I will keep a simple form (standard expenses) of our monthly budget, a sheet laying out our financial goals, a debt pay-off tracker, tips and tricks for saving money and reasons why I want to be a “gazelle” to help me stay motivated to save.
  • Important Info tab: The address book from our wedding along with room to add new addresses/phone numbers and a sheet that contains online account info and phone numbers of providers (cable, electric, etc.).  And don’t worry, I am aware of identity theft, if I thought having a sheet with this info was a bad plan, I would definitely not be putting it together, we also will not be filling everything on the sheet out.  (I did see a sheet that had SSN #s, bank account #s, passwords, PIN #s…we opted to keep that info in our heads :).)  I might also be putting in flyers or business cards of people we want to get in touch with at a later date.
  • Food tab:  Jake and I plan on making a “Top 50” list so that we can really track sales and who has the best price on the items we buy the most, that list will be here.  I also made a page of “food notes, ideas, thoughts” where I will write down things I learn, good brands, ideas for meals, parties, etc.  Today I learned about the “Dirty Dozen of Produce” which are produce that are worth buying organic.  They are Peaches, Apples, Sweet bell peppers, Celery, Nectarines, Strawberries, Cherries, Pears, Grapes (imported), Spinach, Lettuce and Potatoes.  I also learned about Horizon vs. Organic Valley dairy, all of which I put in my notes page.  I will also have plenty of blank paper (maybe even recipe cards!) to write down recipes that I find if I don’t have my recipe book handy.
  • Keeping the House tab:  I am always thinking of things to do for my house, ideas for storage or curtains or wall hangings or larger ideas on how to put together a whole room.  I also see things in magazines that give me inspiration for my own home.  In this tab I will have some cleaning check lists and a sheet of paper or two for each room in my home and a sheet of paper or two for the whole house.  I will used these sheets to write projects on, such as: Bedroom – Make curtains, buy curtain rod, find night stand, find lamps; or Living Room – paint TV stand, buy pillow forms and cover them.  I will also be able to cut out those inspirational pictures and place them in here.
  • Gifts/Holiday tab: I LOVE giving and Jake and I have gotten pretty good at budgeting for gifts.  We have sinking funds (thanks to Dave Ramsey) for Christmas and also for all the money we’ll need to buy birthday and mothers/fathers day gifts, as well as Christmas and gifts for each other (birthdays, anniversaries and Valentines day).  I have a Christmas budgeting sheet here (which you can find on simple mom’s download page), and a gift log/ideas sheet (which I made, if you’re interested email me and I can send it to you).  I will probably keep any party ideas I find and other things like that in this tab as well.

I haven’t put everything together  yet, so I will probably come up with more tabs or things to add into existing tabs as I go.  To find out more about Home Management Notebooks or the categories you might like to have in yours, click here.  Give me your thoughts, is there anything you would have in your notebook that I haven’t listed?  Many people have a section for babysitter info and kids schedules, since that isn’t a part of my life right now, I don’t have a tab for it.  Also, some have calendars in theirs,  I have a calendar in my day-planner that I keep in my purse that I used because it’s more accessible.  I am considering just adding a small calendar in the gifts/holidays tab to note where birthdays and holidays are, but that’s in my day planner so I’m not sure if it’s really necessary.  

Well here I go, off to class then back home to keep working on my notebook! Yay!


breaking things February 16, 2009

Filed under: home,Random — mrswade @ 10:44 am

So, this happened a while ago, and I wanted to upload a picture to commemorate the first broken dish of the Wade household but my computer is a dinosaur, and a full one at that.  I can’t fit anything else onto it or it yells at me and tells me it’s going to delete something…no one wants that.  So here it is, the sad sad fate of the giant-mug-bowl…



My 1st Chair! January 12, 2009

Filed under: decorating,home — mrswade @ 2:59 pm
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img_2717 img_2719 
img_2718 <– the processimg_2721

so, it’s not as good as I would have liked it to be, it is a little looser on the left side than the right.  But hey, it’s my first chair and I’m not going to let myself be upset that it’s not perfect.  It’s not as easy as I thought it would be, but I think after doing a few it will be much easier.  

I’m excited for the next one!  (who knows how long that will be though…)


My home October 6, 2008

Filed under: decorating — mrswade @ 5:42 am
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So, I’m kind of ridiculous and havn’t been able to sleep at night sometimes because I have been thinking of how I would do this.  I received display squares as a wedding gift and have been excited to put them up, but not sure what to put in/on them and nervous about making them look good, until today.  This weekend Jake and I went to a 5$ per bag sale at a closing thrift store.  We got a few good things and many of them are displayed on my newly-put-up squares. 🙂 Things I found at the thrift store, the folgers can, the pear, the apple, the green vase and the pear bundle, for a total of $2.10, the vase with sand from Jamaica in it cost me .50c  the W was purchased with a gift card from the wedding (along with other things) and the poppies I bought at Michaels for way too much, I think around 3$ each.  I also love my Mexican vanilla bottle, AND I think it’s authentically Mexican…

I love being thrifty, I put this together for less than $15!  I wish so badly I could paint these white walls, but good things come to those who wait, I am waiting for the day Jake and I buy a house, then I can do whatever I want! 🙂

more exciting home details to come 🙂