...of faith, family, and farming
I’m so excited to share with you the second stop on our “Visiting Oakdale, CA” blog series because this little shop is our town newbie and making quite a splash with their refined style. Design Solutions, while a physical brick and mortar shop, actually came to fruition through an unorthodox avenue taken by owner Lupe Johnson.
In April of 2017, Betsy’s husband pulled into The Bake Shop at Bloomingcamp Ranch for a slice of his favorite Strawberry Rhubarb pie. As a newer resident of Oakdale, he had never been to this bakery and was informed they didn’t sell pie by the slice. So he bought a whole pie, asked for a knife, and sat out on the porch to partake of his treasure. That first visit sparked a rollercoaster of events no one saw coming, especially Betsy.
I’m not a huge sweets fan. In fact, I can count on one hand the kind of desserts I enjoy, and none of them include pie or cooked fruit despite the fact that is what we sell. While my husband doesn’t understand the term “it’s too rich” or “too sweet”, I on the other hand prefer just a hint of sweetness. When I had a cookie at a recent church event, I had to get the recipe. These orange sugar cookies are the perfect hint of sweetness, and I love the chewy texture…because texture is a big part of sweets for me. So if you are like me (I know we are few and far between), this may be a recipe for you too!
So grateful you all enjoy our chicken coop so much. Imitation is the greatest form of flattery and we are honored so many of you requested the plans for our little DIY so you can recreate your own little coop. I forewarn you these are very, very elementary sketches…nothing fancy or formal. I’m a designer, not an architect, therefore I provide rough sketches, not precise CAD drawings. I’ve provided a PDF that you can download that shows how we built the structure along with some supplies you’ll need, but I’ve included a complete list of supplies within this blog post for your reference. I’d like to remind you that 90% of the materials we used were salvaged and therefore no cost. If you do not have that kind of resource, this project will be a lot more expensive than the $300 we spent. If you’d like to see additional photos and gain more information on some interior finish materials we used you can see our previous blog post HERE.
Well, after almost 14 years, I’m officially done with diapers. It’s bittersweet. There is part of me that is doing a joyous dance that I never have to change a poopy toddler diaper ever again!!!...and a part of me that is grieving over the fact I have no more babies (insert ugly cry). I love our babies, and if I wasn’t 40 and didn’t struggle with our last birth, I’d totally have more…(my husband even said I could!!!)…but with four precious healthy kiddos and my aching back, I know it’s time to count my blessings and be content. So, alas, I’m done with diaper duty.
Mornings around here start very early with my hubby walking out the door by 4AM. Coming up with a hearty and healthy breakfast each morning was a little challenging since he wanted something he could eat in the car while driving. Initially I made him an egg burrito since he could eat it one handed, but the salsa made it a little messy in the car, and he wanted something a little healthier. I looked for different recipes but really didn't have a lot of luck finding something I could make ahead, was hearty, healthy, and warm. There are a lot of oatmeal recipes that include yogurt, but winter required something warm and comforting, so I decided to modify what I found and eventually came up with the perfect recipe for us.
Winter break is a great time for families, but it also has us looking for activities to keep our little ones busy while they are held captive inside due to weather. So before you take down your Christmas tree, here are three quick and easy crafts to make now and enjoy the next Christmas season!
Welcome to Downhen Abbey, the home of our little backyard flock. Our tiny little chicken coop has been a dream of mine for over 5 years, and I’m so excited to finally see my vision becoming a reality. This blog is just a quick tour of the interior, and I say quick because it’s so tiny there really isn’t much to see inside, but I’m looking forward to sharing a few details with you.
Grief is a funny thing. One minute all you want to do is laugh and be distracted, and the very next minute you feel like you might punch the next person you overhear having an extremely shallow conversation. It’s messy, challenging, and unpredictable.
Over the last 9 years of our marriage, my husband and I have endured 7 deaths of family members. I don’t mean our “Great Aunt Millie twice removed who lives across the country" deaths, but the passing of seven people who sat at our holiday tables, were in annual extended family pictures, and part of our family events. Some were a peaceful expected blessing, some were a brutal tragedy, and some were in between. One question we receive over and over is how do we press on? How can we face such heartache over and over, and still be okay? Not everyone’s answers will be the same, because no one experiences grief the same, but I’d like to share three things that have reoccurred in each of experiences.
FORKS. Such a common word, but has a deeper meaning for our family, and forever a symbol of our oldest duckling.