just some things

We are excited that we have one week left until Thanksgiving break! It’s definitely a challenge to homeschool, and I think teaching a classroom of 30 is easier than my 4, but there are a lot of blessings and grace in it. We are all having to learn how to love each other well, and even ask each other for forgiveness multiple times a day. Besides all the educational lessons going on, there are an over abundance of heart lessons too.

Do I ever find balance as a mother? Nope, not really, but somehow everything that needs to get done, gets done. Sure, we may all be yelling to keep everyone on task, and I get resistance from time to time, but I think that’s normal. At least, I hope it is.

I am thankful that the three older ones can help out now. They put away laundry, empty the dishwasher, sweep up the kitchen, can serve breakfast and lunch, keep their bathroom tidy, and (for the most part) clean up after themselves (though sometimes it’s like pulling teeth to get that to happen). These things help me out a lot, and I want them to learn how to be responsible for themselves, and also help out others. It’s a group effort in this home, we all have to work together.

So here’s to the weekend when our house is (pretty much) clean and we all can chillax a bit. I’m so happy it’s Friday!



simple homemade ice cream

Simple Homemade Ice Cream 

Ingredients for the ice cream base:
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk

Ingredients for the lavender flavor:
2 tbsp culinary lavender
1/2 cup fat free milk
1 tbsp honey

Ingredients for the avocado flavor:
1 avocado

Preparation for the lavender:
Bring the milk, honey, and lavender to a boil in a small saucepan over moderate heat, then simmer for about 5 minutes while stirring occasionally, and then remove pan from heat. Let steep for about 15 minutes. Pour cream mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a small bowl and discard the lavender. Allow the cream mixture to cool completely.

Preparation for the avocado:
Place the avocado in a blender and puree until smooth.

Directions to make the ice cream:
Place the metal mixing bowl and metal wish in the freezer for about 15-30 minutes. In the meantime, prep the ice cream flavor you plan to mix in. Pour the whipping cream into the bowl and whisk just until the cream creates stiff peaks. Gently fold in the sweetened condensed milk. Continue to gently add in the ice cream flavor and mix until completely combined. Freeze ice cream in an airtight container (we used some metal bowls that had lids) and put this mixture in the freezer until it completely hardens.

My friend Abby taught me how to make this ice cream base. It’s so simple, yet so delicious. You can also use the base to experiment with lots of different ice cream flavors. Next up, I want to try and beet and goat cheese ice cream, and maybe a salted caramel (both inspired by our favorite ice cream place A la Minute).  Between these two flavors, the lavender is by far our favorite. Even Ben can’t seem to get enough of it, he has had a couple spoonfuls every night! If you add a drizzle of honey on both, it adds a little bit more oomph! Also, we don’t normally top our lavender ice cream with lavender buds, we thought it looked pretty that way, but it’s not necessary for flavoring, unless you like the texture of it in your ice cream. The avocado was good, but not everyone was asking for seconds.

Next on my ice cream making agenda is to figure out a way to make this low-fat. If any of you have already explored this territory of low-fat ice cream, please do share your recipes.



This is the one that looks nothing like me, except maybe the shape of my head. Most people say she’s Ben twin; I think it’s their eyes. Brave loved my denim jumpsuit and had been asking for her own. I picked up a pair for her when it went on sale from Gap Kids, and then we gave it to her as part of her birthday present. True wore this same jumpsuit for a Halloween event and added a scarf to be Rosie the Riveter. For those days when I have to be fast about throwing on an outfit (Which is most days), my denim jumpsuit is my go-to choice (it gets worn a lot, a long with a vintage pair I got from Ms. Tips). A couple months back, I shared some of my favorite options online here, and I’m thinking about this new black one Gap just got in.

So on one of those throw on something quick days, Brave decided she wanted to be my twin, and threw on her denim jumpsuit too.

on me: denim jumpsuit, gap (sold out, but vintage here, new there). sandals, gap. bag, humble hilo. on brave: jumpsuit (similar here), gap kids. sandals, zara (similar here).


our dining room

Welcome to our dining room. A couple months back, I mentioned we were getting an 8 foot long antique farm table, so we needed to move the placement of our piano. Somehow the table leg broke while still in possession of the antique dealer, so we decided to hold off on purchasing it. I’m so glad we ended up not getting rid of our current farm table.

We had plans to replace the dining chairs (Ben doesn’t like the shell chairs in that space), and we’ve had our eye on a couple styles from Amsterdam Modern. We have a couple vintage pieces from them and love them! That shop is such a dangerous place for me; they carry some serious vintage eye-candy. We came for chairs, but I ended up leaving with a plant stand too.

Initially, we had planned to bring the vintage, metal French chairs that are in the kitchen to use here (and put these there), but these didn’t look right there. Thus, we tried the Amsterdam Modern chairs in this space and they looked perfect! Ben loves these chairs so much more here, and frankly, so do I. My mint and cobalt blue shell chairs are currently in my craft room, but I’m debating on if I should sell them. I just love the color so much, but I don’t want to be a hoarder, so it may be wise to part with them.

The artwork is the family portrait created by our girls, you can read about our vintage piano here, and that rusted metal stool in the corner is the first ever flea market piece Ben and I purchased together. We got it at a flea market in Texas, and I remember the lady was selling it for $10, and we were really trying hard to bargain with her. We walked away with it for $8, but we laugh now because we have paid some outrageous prices for scratched up metal things (we’ve walked away with some insanely great prices too). What can I say though, I love vintage metal furniture!

Back when I was writing my book, this room was an insane mess (see it here).



This week’s learned, links, and thankfulness…

Thankful for hiccups in plans that happen sometimes. It causes us to pray more.

I’m thankful for a husband who listens to what I need. Marriage involve a lot of selflessness, and both parties need to listen to each other to love the other well.

So happy we got BFF time in last Sunday! Such a blessing to get a night out with best friends.

The straw ornaments on our Christmas tree were purchased from here and here.

I want to make a bag like this.

This cake is beautiful!

Christmas Even is at our house with my family and I want to make this wintery chocolate cake.

Fall has fallen in SoCal. We were out the other night hanging out with friends, and we were all shivering as we walked to a coffee shop. When we got in the car, we laughed because the temperature just said 66 degrees F. Oh we are such weak sauce.

Avocado chicken salad with only 3 ingredients?! Yes, I am totally making this.

I’ve been totally eyeing these wedge espadrilles in black.

“A Good Kind of Comparison” spoke to my heart.

God is teaching me his kindness through mothering my children and loving my husband. It’s so hard because I am so selfish and I struggle with doing all things with love, but I’m glad that I get new mercies every morning to experience the abundance of grace that each new day brings.



ms. tips citykid lotta sqapothecary entrance10


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