Hot mess

I parked the car and began the disembarking process. Unloading the kids, the stroller, bags for each boy, snacks, purse, water bottle… I wasn’t completely a hot mess. I had put mascara on and piled my hair into a messy top knot. I looked “mom cute.” I was just giving myself points for this and for making it on time when I remembered it was potluck day at moms group and I forgot to bring a dish. Frustrated, I told myself I wouldn’t eat so that I would not feel guilty for my lack of contribution. Then I had this thought, “the old me would have brought a gourmet meal to share.”


The old me…

Have you ever thought that? That the old me would have done this better or could have gone and done this or that? As I thought about it more in depth the more frustrated I felt that I used to be great at orchestrating a room or group gathering. The old me would have dressed precisely, brought a steaming basket of freshly baked goods that rose overnight and took sever hours to shape and bake. I would have elegantly maneuvered the room to talk to as many people as possible and would have left feeling specially regarded and admired. I felt like the old me had a grasp. I had control over the input that formed what others thought of me and perceived.
Now I feel like I have little control over those things. Most of the time my identity is built upon what my children reflect of me. God knows that’s not always pretty. I can’t help what I look like to the world. It’s no longer just me, it’s us.IMG_1835
This thought that the old me had died somewhere along with my reputation for bringing delicious baked goods was dragging me down. I entered the group frustrated and feeling defeated. 
Sometime later after talking with a good friend I realized this world doesn’t need more seemingly perfect people. It needs more real people. More people who are not afraid to share their messy lives and their need for Jesus in them. Maybe the friends we make or keep in this time are the best kind of friends to have because they are the ones who see your transparency, your messy house and your raw, unveiled self. They are the ones who love you and pray for you and who are doing life with you.
“I don’t feel very much like Pooh today,” said Pooh.
“There there,” said Piglet. “I’ll bring you tea and honey until you do.
-A.A. Milne
We need more friends like Piglet. That’s all.

Cool and meaningful art prints


Dresser painted in Annie Sloan Olive chalk paint. Maternity photo by: Rebecca Love Photography Nantucket, MA. Artwork print by Lindsay Letters.

I am loving this print that I ordered from Lindsay Sherbondy at Lindsay Letters. She has some really wonderful art prints with sayings, verses and quotes to live by in Calligraphy type lettering. I love them all and want them all. This one is sitting atop my newly painted dresser (a roadside find) that I have in my living room. It’s a great reminder to me that Children are like arrows and we as warrior parents have the responsibility of sharpening and aiming them toward the direction of success.

Children are a heritage from the Lord, they are a reward from Him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are the children born in my youth.

Psalm 127:3-4

Look at all these fun and wonderful prints Lindsay has in stock! A great gift idea!😉

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Number two is ONE!

We recently celebrated our sweet boy on his first birthday. With the help of Apple Rose Photography we were able to document the simple garden party that we threw in our backyard to mark this special occasion.



I have officially loved this boy for three hundred sixty-five days (excluding the time I carried him in my belly).


It’s amazing how fast the time goes by. I can’t believe we have a one and a two-year-old!

We are in the thick of it. Most days I feel I can hardly manage the two and can’t imagine how some moms do it with more children, but I’m so thankful I can say I am not alone in caring for them. I have help from their amazing fathers. Yes. You heard it right. There are two dads. There’s the man I love more than any other- the baby daddy (handsome devil pictured). Not pictured is the boys heavenly father who cares more for them than I can know, which is hard to imagine (Matthew 6:26). So they are in good hands.


This season includes sticky highchairs and fingers, ants, baseball in the evenings, basketball all day, tennis somedays, football on occassion, random tackling, tickling, and bickering. Lots of kisses, the afore mentioned messes, jumping from high places, more baseball, skinned knees, half eaten cheese sticks, and completely full hearts. Our life is truly a beautiful mess and it’s wonderful beyond words.


Here’s to many more celebrations and many more cake faces!


Happy birthday sweet boy! We love you so.


A special thank you to our friend Sarah from Apple Rose Photography for her incredible talent in capturing this special occasion.

Changing the world one diaper at a time


Today was a hard day. Not just today. Real talk. it’s been a hard week. month. Being a mom is hard. Most days I wrestle between being overwhelmed with the blessing I’ve been given to be home with my two beautiful, clever, often hilarious boys and feeling lonely, bored, frustrated, pointless and unimportant.

How is it that one can feel all such emotions at once without being labeled bipolar? The truth is that being at home with children whether all or part of the time, is a blessing and it’s exhausting. It’s both. That’s just what it is. So how do we moms find joy and contentment in these days we are in?

For me the realization that my days are not my own has turned me on my head and flicked the “on” switch in my brain.

I’ve been (slowly) reading through Sally Clarkson’s book, Own Your Life. She has been so encouraging to me to be above the standard and to live a bold and beautiful life. Sally notably says, “If you dedicate yourself to taking in spiritual wisdom from Scripture, giving yourself wholly to the purposes of God, disciplining the attitudes of your heart, and stepping out in faith to show Jesus to the world, God will use you to shape history.”


We all want to be world changers in some capacity. All it takes is a willing heart and a choice to live out your days with purpose. Moms have so much opportunity to shape the future and change the world. We need to tap into our gifts, recognize the promise the Lord has given us that He will use us, and be ready and open to what adventure He has for us.

As moms we feel our audience is small and our stage insignificant, but what you have to realize is that it is quite the contrary. The audience, while small in stature is really quite susceptible to our message and what they will do with it is immeasurable.

Our voice is shouting loud and clear from our humble pulpit. Your pulpit may be situated quite strategically by the highchair in your kitchen, on the floor of the bathroom or in the big comfy chair in the living room, but it is there all the same and you are being heard loud and clear.

Not only are our children open to what we have to teach, our lives touch many more people than you realize. Think about the audience that is open to you. Don’t just think of them, find them and open up to them. You have so much to share. There is so much to the story of your life and what you have to offer is more important than you know.

“during our lifetimes, each of us has the incredible potential to be a powerful influence for righteousness, love, goodness, compassion, mercy, and redemption-and to find joy and contentment in each day.”

Own Your Life, Clarkson 2014

Does that sound like a boring life or a life filled with purpose and significance? We as moms have the opportunity to share those things that Sally mentioned above with everyone whose lives we touch. That sounds like a great adventure and a life I’m excited about. I hope it does for you as well! Hold on boys, mom is just getting started. Break out the crayons It’s about to get cray.


ShopUp LA

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A few weeks ago we had so much fun attending Shop Up here in LA hosted by Babyccino kids. Everything was so adorable from the vendor booths, to the activities for kids, and the kids themselves. True to LA fashion, the littles were dressed in their oat, flax, and hemp natural colored linen rompers and working it better than the high-end clothing models on Rodeo just a few miles west. They were PRECIOUS. I found where all the beautiful babies hangout. They are in Babyccino land incase you are looking.

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What is a popup shop? Basically for small boutiques to run and operate a retail location it requires a lot of money and hassle so for a couple of days, or in some cases months at a time, small businesses can pop up in a location and set up shop. That’s why it’s a pop up shop! Sometimes they will share a space with other businesses to share costs and increase traffic. Either way, it gives the shop the ability to travel to cool locations and cities around the world and it gives us patrons an opportunity to shop unique products in cool locations with other like-minded shoppers! It’s really a win win.

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This event in particular was hosted by Baby Ccino kids. If you haven’t already, you should follow the babyccino women on instagram and visit the BabyCcino website. is what they call an international lifestyle website for modern “mums” featuring all things baby from maternity to toys and decor items. With so many great products you may as well start your christmas wish list now.

We totally took advantage of the free photo booth set up by Red Anchor Photo and had the boys picture taken. I love how it came out and can’t wait to have it framed!



A bubble bath and a glass of wine

As parents we have all had that well-meaning person say to us, “enjoy it! It goes by so fast!” For us, it often seems to be as we are about to board a red-eye flight to the East Coast. “Yes. Thank you.” I say while inwardly rolling my eyes and considering asking them if they would like to switch seats with me for the six hour flight to allow them to relive those memories while I sip Vino and read Costal Living in my spacious seat by the window.
Are these really the good times? Will I really want them back?
It’s like that song youre gonna miss this by Trace Adkins that says, “Youre gonna miss thisYoure gonna want this back. Youre gonna wish these days hadn’t gone by so fast. These Are Some Good Times. So take a good look around. You may not know it now, but youre gonna miss this.”
I think about that song often and wonder if this is the best time of our lives and we won’t fully realize it until we look back.
Sometimes, when I’m cleaning up messes for the umpteenth time, or on my fourth day in a row of having a headache because of lack of sleep, I doubt very much that I will miss these times, but then sometimes I hear those lyrics in my head and think, these really are the good times and I know I will look back on them and wish I could go back. Even if just for a moment to relive the smell of baby, sound of laughter, or feel of their warm cheeks against mine.
As I write this I’m typing with my fingers on my phone rocking my littlest to sleep while my older one is singing to himself in his bed. Peaceful moments like this are the ones I want to hold onto.
So much has changed since the Mister and I started dating over a dozen years ago. Friday nights these days are not quite as exciting as they used to be.
Tonight we sat on the bathroom floor with wineglasses in hand while we watched the boys splash and giggle in the bathtub. We were tired after a long day and the end of the day is no doubt the longest part. Can I get an Amen mamas?
Life has changed. There’s no question things are different now, especially in our marriage.
It’s not so much about what we miss doing as a couple. It’s more about the time we share currently. It’s more meaningful now. We’re working together, or surrendering together. And we are seeking the Lord and trusting in Him for our son’s futures.

The thing is we’re doing life together. We are in the thick of life. It’s rich, it’s raw and it’s wonderful. Emotions are more evident now. We cry more, laugh more and take less seriously.

I think about the future when our children are raised and I look forward to dinners out, late night movies, traveling, reading a magazine, but until then if Friday nights look like this, with bubbles, Zinfandel, and his arm around me then I am quite going to miss these days and these times.
I think I’ll want them back if even just for a moment.

The mother-load of all careers


This morning I awoke in a tangled mess of sheets and legs. It was a long night and the aftermath felt like a hangover, but worse. Before your mind goes somewhere it shouldn’t, may I remind you, my gentle readers, that I’m a mother to two small boys. Nights like these are common place. This is part of the job description I lovingly refer to as #momlife.
Most of my mornings begin this way or if I’ve been so lucky to have the whole of my spacious side of the queen size bed (oh how I dream of California king…) to myself for the night then I’m awoken early by the sweet sounds of my munchkins ready and excited to start their day. It’s a blessed life I lead and before you think I’m going to complain about lack of sleep and loss of self I want to detain your thoughts from going there.
Here is my thesis and the punchline in one:
I love my job.

Being a mother stands today to be my greatest adventure and my life’s truest calling.



I really believe being a mom is what I’m good at. I don’t say that to brag or suggest that I’m a perfect mother. Far be it from me to entertain such a fallacy. I’m as much of a work in progress as the next mom, but what I mean to express is that I feel fulfilled in my role as a mother. I believe God wanted me to be a mommy and it’s been the greatest use of my skill set. My “gifts” if you will. This is not true for all women I’m sure. I’ve met mothers who were really good at their careers before having children and now as full time mothers feel a loss of themselves and what they were good at. Here’s my secret. I had so many failed careers before I had children. I was always searching for the job that “fit me.” I never did find it. Embarrassing as it is to say I went down some pretty interesting occupation paths in quest of the right one. Many will be surprised to hear that while I studied education and hold a degree in early childhood education, I can also X-ray your teeth, place a buyer’s call in to Ralph Lauren in New York City, type up a purchase order, pick out the perfect lamp for your living room, arrange a vase of flowers, serve you breakfast while also watering your office plant. Talent people. I know. And you wonder who the steady one in our relationship is. The Mister on the other-hand has always known what he wanted to do and did it. He still does it! And loves it. You can guess why my lack of career was a bit of a contention on our relationship when we first got started. I couldn’t even tell you what I wanted to do with my life. I didn’t know!


Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice CA


The reality is that I still don’t know. My secret is that I’m really frightened about what I’ll do after my children are out of the house. But here’s the good news! I have time to discover! Lately, through furniture restoration and little DIY projects I feel I am learning so much about me. I’m not only good at being a mom, I’m also finding out what I enjoy doing and what I’m good at! Its taken some time to peak through, and I’m not quite certain of where this new discovery will take me, but I believe if I allow it some time, even if it’s one hour a week (sometimes even that is hard to muster) then I’m sure I will be grateful for the investment I made in “my time.” The greatest part in “self discovery” if you want to call it that.. Ugh. sounds too flaky.. I’ll call it “unveiling of self”… That’s worse… “Jill’s uniqueness,” is that it allows for my gifts and talents to be used for Christ. He will ultimately be what makes my life fulfilled and rewarding. Without purpose, the things that I’m good at will be just hobbies or at best, a small way to make money. So there it is. Mom life means so much more than the business of raising littles. It’s also so much more than wiping noses, bottoms and the smile off your face when your toddler tries to be funny while also being defiant. It’s a meaningful time of investing in our children’s future while not forgetting ours. It’s the best. I really hope you agree.


Grow old along with me…

“Grow old along with me! The best is yet to be, the last of life, for which the first was made. Our times are in his hand who saith, ‘A whole I planned, youth shows but half; Trust God: See all, nor be afraid!”

-Robert Browning

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Photos by Amy Caroline Photography Denver, Colorado



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What I’ve come to realize over the almost eight years that we’ve been married is that love means so much more than going out on dates, holding hands, sexy gifts, and hot make outs. It means getting your partner. And you’re waiting for the punchline – getting your partner what? But that’s just it. getting them means knowing them, understanding them, wanting the best for them, and enjoying the same things. Now that last part might raise a red flag for a lot of couples because not all couples enjoy doing the same things. That’s OK! We don’t always have to do what the other person likes all the time. However, if you both take an interest in the things that the other person enjoys then you’ll find that you also enjoy them and can spend time doing them together! For example, the Mr. enjoys reading together. Something we don’t often get to do, but when we do it’s enjoyed by both of us because we know how much he enjoys it! I like furniture shopping, coffee shops and painting. He finds ways to enjoy theses activities with me! There are certain things that we both enjoy equally. Saturday mornings we sip coffee together while scrolling through lists of homes on Zillow (that’s when we’re not making pancakes and watching Curious George).

Loving life with your partner means finding joy in the small things. Enjoy him. He will enjoy you enjoying him and return the gesture by finding joy in what you love.

We continually grow in our understanding of what each other enjoys. In an odd way we’ve become very similar over the years. I think we’ve grown alike in the things we enjoy, the things we talk about, and our dreams for the future. What I think is so wonderful about our relationship and for anyone in love, is that it just gets better with time. You grow more in love through the experiences that you’ve shared and you look forward to the future with one another. I always say it like this – being married is doing life with your best friend. That’s how I feel about the Mr. I feel blessed to have such an amazing man as my partner in life. Robert Browning said it best. We’re not just growing old together, we are growing in love! and the best is yet to be!

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Holiday break

I have been on holiday. It sounds cute and fancy to say it that way, but what I really mean is that I have been slacking in the blogging department and want to justify my slacking by saying that I have been away. In truth I have been away and very busy, but no excuse to stop doing what I love to do here!

One area I have not been slacking in is the area of DIY and furniture restoration! I did so many projects over the past month and half. I’ve learned so much about what works and what doesn’t with paint, waxing, distressing etc.. that I feel I have reached a new level of enlightenment.

And I’ll share it all with you!

While in Massachusetts over Christmas and New Years I took to more furniture rehabbing. When I say “I took to it” It really took to me. Day and night I worked in a frenzy to transform out of style pieces into fun, fresh, fabulous additions to their adopted families.

Most of what I painted over the break I sold within days with the exception of a piece I was commissioned to do.

Here are some of the transformations that I’ve loved. If you follow me on Instagram then you’ll have already seen most of these.



This less loved bench turned into one of my favorite transformations. To get this “driftwood” look I painted it in two coats of Rust-Oleum Charcoal chalk paint then “drifted” the paintbrush in back and forth strokes to get the look of woodgrain. I used very little of the lighter paint (almost a dry brush) to achieve this look then sanded over the whole thing and sealed with Minwax Natural Finishing Paste. The Rust-Oleum thirty ounce container of chalk paint sells for about seventeen dollars at Home Depot and nineteen on Amazon. Apparently benches are in because this one sold within minutes of listing and the demand was outstanding!




This desk came out beautifully! It looked just like something from Restoration Hardware! The paint I used for this was Rust-Oleum Country Gray. I did some dark wax around the edges of the drawers and in the details on the desk before sanding and distressing. Again, I sealed it using Minwax.




With this side table I used the Beher Latext paint pictured below. It’s a beautiful color, but the downside, as with anything other than chalk paint, is that you have to sand the piece before you paint it. Thankfully this paint is a paint/primer duo that is durable. Home Depot sells Behr for about thirty-two dollars per gallon.





This was my first ever commissioned piece. A woman who had seen my work asked me to update her entryway table with a fresh coat of paint. It came out lovely as you can see. I used the Beher paint this time as well. The color is Lunar.




This dresser also came out great. I found these gorgeous glass knobs on Amazon for less than two dollars a piece!


This Trunk/coffee table also got some serious attention. I think it came out interesting and unique and that is why people loved it so much. Again, I used the “driftwood” technique here, but used a lighter paint as the base. The paint used was Americana Primitive from Home Depot.


This dresser almost stayed with me. It was by far my favorite. I was going to keep her until I succumbed to the realization that although streamlined and sleek as she is, she wouldn’t make it past security on my way back to LA. So alas she had to be sold off. The new owners were excited and they assured me she would have a good home. The drawers are Primitive the base of the dresser is Country Gray As with my other chalk paint projects I sanded and sealed the entire piece to finish it.




This desk was so fun and easy it was almost laughable. I brushed strokes of white chalk paint all over then wiped away with a dry rag. I finished it by sanding the entire thing and sealing it with Minwax. It took all of about forty-five minutes.

Now that I am back in LA I am taking a short break from furniture to do some writing and spend time with my guys, but you can rest assured that I’ll be back at it in no time!



Restoration Hardware Inspired Bookcase

My favorite project thus far has been the transformation of a somewhat 90’s looking bookcase (that I found at a yard sale) into a Restoration Hardware inspired treasure.

More treasures came out of this inspiration than just the bookcase when I conjured up a recipe for Restoration Hardware replication.

I’ll show you what I did.

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The technique for achieving this look came from another Pinterest Genius. Thank you Meesh Pierce!

I got the same results by using a similar technique, but instead of Old English wood stain like she used, I used ArtMinds Antique Wax stain and my own chalk paint recipe that I had made for the dresser in this previous post.


To start I did one coat of off white/beige chalk paint on the entire piece. Once that was dry I took the mix of ArtMinds Antique Wax and the grey/blue paint I had made earlier and sparingly brushed that over the base color.

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The stain mix looks like this:

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(It looked more grey/brown than in the above shot.)

I brushed the stain on liberally, then after a few seconds wiped the mixture off but didn’t take it all off. The result is this streaky wood grain look that resembles a Restoration Hardware piece.

After the shelf was dry, I sealed it with a dark Minwax Paste Finishing Wax.


More detailed instructions are given here on Youtube in my first ever video tutorial. Don’t laugh. Compliments are welcome. I’m just breaking into the “film” business. The talent agencies are sure to hold back their invitations.

I am loving the finished product!


This shelf became the inspiration for the “kiddie corner” in our playroom. My Montessori friends will be proud.