Painting of the Week | Arctic Trees


Three weeks ago, I posted a #tbt of this oil painting I did a few years ago–even before I got married (hence the signature with my maiden name)! I received a couple emails asking if there would be prints available and since it just hangs at my parents house, I said why not!? So, this painting now available in 4 print sizes here.

On last week’s painting, one commenter remarked that my paintings are looking all alike! And I couldn’t argue with him. I can only take so many commissions a month (commissions take more time) and so many people have been requesting paintings similar to what I have painted in the past. If my commission spots are filled for the month, I usually say, “Look for a new painting Friday!” And then, they’re usually snatched up pretty quick. It’s a hard balance–to paint what I want and to paint what I know will sell.

I like to think my painting is like seasons. It changes in time. There was a period I was painting a lot of homes and landscapes. Sometimes I paint people, or dive into gesture drawings. I’ve done ceramics. I used to be obsessed with weird florals. I tried watercolors–meh. There was the chalkboard season. For the last while, I’ve been into abstracts. This painting is wintry, yes. But it also defines a season in my life. And I look forward to what each season brings–something new, I always hope. Thanks for letting me share this little hobby of mine.

Again, you can purchase prints of this one here. Happy Weekend!

The New Laundry/Walk-In Pantry Plans

Back in May, we asked you if you would rather have a 4th bathroom or walk-in pantry and we loved reading all of your thoughts–there were a lot (!!) and most of you declared hands down a walk-in pantry. Considering there is a guest bathroom already on this level, and we haven’t used this 4th bathroom off of the kitchen since re-doing the floors (we never even put the toilet back in!) we felt that was the direction we should go, too. Here’s the current floorplan of our main level so you can see where we’re talking about:


We actually already tore out a coat closet that was in the laundry room area which really opened things up physically, but it also allowed our minds to view different possibilities. Making that half-bath a pantry would be nice, but the more we thought about it, and as we have been planning our kitchen, we actually thought of a plan that might make more sense. Check it:


Here’s how the changes play out:

-We really want to bump out the wall about 27″ into the current laundry area so that our kitchen cabinets (we plan to have the fridge here, too) will sit flush with the wall.

-We’ll move the laundry area to where the half bath currently is.

-Knock down the wall between the current half bath and laundry. The appliances fit in the half bath, but our measurements felt tight for opening the doors.

-Adding a wall to separate the new pantry and new laundry room/back entry. This was Chris’s idea–having the entry and laundry room together. I was unsure about the mix, but there are so many great examples of a mudroom and laundry room together–I am so on board now.

-Build-in a bench with cubbies and hooks for a casual entry/mudroom look.

-Have a big walk-in pantry easily accessible through a door right in the kitchen. It will be so nice having it right there!

Honestly, for us, angels are singing. Horns are playing. It feels right. We’ll definitely be doing this in a couple phases rather than all at once. Phase one, which will start here pretty quick will be the laundry room area. We need to get our appliances moved, walls down and hook-ups shifted before we can do the cabinet bump out, pantry, entry and ultimately–the kitchen, so we’ll start there.

We actually picked up a new washer over 4th of July weekend because ours zonked. Our old washer (and dryer) came with our last house and the buyers had one so we took it with us. My guess is our machines are 12+ years old. On the bright side, it was a good weekend to have it break with so many sales. We ended up purchasing this LG one with great reviews for $628 ($200 off!).


Unfortunately, we had to be responsible and didn’t pull the trigger for the matching dryer at the time because of so many other expenses right now. Hey, fence. Hey, baby. We’re holding our breaths they have a similar sale for Labor Day and our dryer makes it until then.

Lots of big changes coming! And I have a feeling we won’t miss that 4th bathroom one bit. :)

Rexburg Flood of 2014

Last week a flash flood struck our little town. Rexburg isn’t really equipped for a lot of rain (it rarely rains here) so there aren’t many sewers for all the water to drain. When it started to rain and hail last week, I took a few videos on my phone–it seems like that’s what you do when it hails. And then it was raining hard, like I have never seen it before, for a solid 90 minutes. That’s all it took for our city to flood.

Chris and the girls were out during the whole thing and I called him because they had been gone longer than I thought they would. Chris answered and explained that all the roads were covered in water and closed and he was trying to find an alternate route home.


In the following hours, the devastation we had just faced as a city whole became apparent. Chris was out for hours emptying water out of homes and apartments. Video after video of the university campus flooded and a lot of college kids prancing around with no shoes on (the city later encouraged all those people to get a tetanus shot!) and then the photos of homes that have been destroyed.

We were fortunate, so fortunate. Only Greta’s room got wet. The wall under her window is damp and the paint is peeling off and her carpet is a little wet by the window, too. But replacing all that is nothing. We’re just moving her room up our to-do list for this year. However, our neighbors weren’t so fortunate.


The fast-flowing water busted the windows out of their lower level and quickly filled it up to the ceiling with water. They lost everything. We have pulled together as a neighborhood, and city really, to help them and others in bad shape to clean up and start the restoration process–unfortunately insurance isn’t covering this tragedy.

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When two of our sponsors, Shades of Light and Wayfair, heard what had happened here, they were so kind to send product to help the family get back on their feet too. I’ve never been so proud and grateful to work with these companies.

So that’s what has been happening here. Like I said, we were so lucky the only water and damage we had was in Greta’s room. And we are anxious to re-do that for her anyway. I had actually ordered wallpaper samples last month and now we’re in full-on planning mode.

If you are interested in donating to aid of the family who lost everything, you can do so here

Photo Credit: First-Chris// Three flood aftermath photos-Travis Gugelman.