5 Friday Favorites | 9.22.17 |

Friday, September 22, 2017

Happy first day of fall!  The weather can now cool down and feel like fall because I have booties, cardigans, scarves and skinny jeans to wear and they don't pair well with 90 degree weather ;).  (See my favorite fall fashion must haves here).  

We have had a good week and we are finally celebrating our sweet 6 year old this weekend with a Shopkins party.  We also have some flag football and a church picnic too so this weekend will be busy!  Before our weekend commences, I want to share 5 (whoops I can't count, six) Friday favorites with you!

one --  small throwable containers

My kids take a lot of cold lunches.  They love ranch dressing but I do not love washing itty bitty containers of ranch dressing SO when I found these packs of 10 throwable dip containers at my local Dollar Tree store, I was excited.  I put them in the lunch prep basket in my pantry.  They were 10 for a $1 at Dollar Tree but my friend Jenny told me you can find them on Amazon too and they happen to be cheaper per cup (here).  #fistbump 

two -- handmade scripture print

I am always amazed at the talent people have.  Arts and crafts is not a talent of mine unless it is done in 20 minutes with hot glue or spray paint.  So when I met my friend Nicole from Sweet 2 The Soul, I was in awe of her scripture, water-painting.  

She was so sweet and sent me 2 prints, both are beautiful, but my very favorite is the one pictured.  She had me at the florals, the navy and that scripture is one of my life verses.  Be joyful and keep on keeping on, amen?  

three - gel top coat

So, recently after seeing several bloggers always talking about nail color, I wanted to paint my nails more but then I remembered why I didn't paint my nails - instant chipping.  So, one night at dance my friend Nicole (popular name today) had beautiful nails and I asked her what she did.  She mentioned she used a gel top coat with regular nail polish.

So I  purchased some gel top coat and friends, it's a game changer.  I use two coats of top coat and my nail polish stays on.  I feel SO very fancy with painted nails #truestory.  

She uses this one and I use this one

four - handmade notecards

Amy from Discovering Whimsy won my recent #Tribekoko giveaway and as a thank you she sent me these darling notecards from her shop, Discovering Whimsy Cards and Gifts.  They are beautiful and have lined envelopes and sweet sayings like "Chin up Buttercup".  Wouldn't these be darling for teacher gifts or a little happy gift for a friend.  Yes, yes they would!

five -- good book

Karen Kingsbury helped me fall back in love with reading as an adult.  I started with the Baxter series  (more listed below).  If you like Hallmark and need Christian encouragement while reading about characters you will fall in love with, cry over and stay up until 2am to find out the ending to, I highly recommend her books.  I am reading Even Now right now ;) and it is so good!

six -- new vacuum

Kids eating and crumbs everywhere go hand in hand around here.  I use to spend time sweeping after every meal since our other vacuum would just spit crumbs everywhere on our hard wood which just annoyed me.  I hate stepping on crumbs in my bare feet.  I finally got the vacuum of my dreams #seriously.

It's cordless and has 2 sucking powers.  I use the highest power on my hardwood floor.  It runs for about 8-10 minutes at that power but I can do my whole upstairs (busting a move) on the lower power. It's light-weight, easy to empty the canister, cord free, and comes with a charging dock station that my hubby mounted in our pantry.    I am in love with a vacuum and I don't care who knows it.  ;)

Before you go, check these out -- 

Until next time, keep on keeping on (koko) with a joyful, faith-filled life! #tribekoko

Let's Connect | Pinterest | Instagram | Facebook 

Linking up with Erika and Andrea for Friday Favorites, BYBMG for High Five for Friday and Five on Friday with Smidge of This.  Make sure to check out their blogs for more Friday fun!

Affiliate links used in this post - meaning if you click and/or buy, I receive a small commission.  Thanks for supporting this blog.  I received the prints and the notecards from friends with no obligation to promote them, I just love their work.

Cooking with Kids | 6 Ingredient Corn Bean Salsa |

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

It's football season which means tailgating.  You and I both know what the best part of tailgating is,  the food (I mean the people too of course).  We all bring food to share and I am always looking for an easy, fan-favorite recipe to take along.  This corn bean salsa recipe is always a fan favorite, always.

The recipe came from my friend Emilie.  She is the queen of dips and appetizers.  It is so easy that the kids can help make it and great for anything where you need to take a dish to share.

| Ingredients |

Can of diced tomatoes with green chilis
Can of black beans
Can of whole kernel sweet corn
Lime Juice to taste (we used 1/4 cup) - alt. 2 squeeze limes
Bunch of cilantro
2 ripe avocados, diced

| Prep time |

Under 15 minutes

| Utensils needed | 


1 - Open the cans of black beans and corn, rinse and drain.  Place in a mixing bowl.

2 - Open can of tomatoes (do not drain), dump into the mixing bowl with beans and corn.

3 - Add lime juice (either 2 fresh squeezed limes) or about 1/4 cup lime juice or to your taste.

4 - add fresh cut cilantro, about 1/3 cup loosely packed.  Dry will work as well.

5 - Add diced up avocado and stir gently until mixed well.  Let sit in fridge or on counter to allow the flavors to meld together for best taste.  Best served within a few hours of making.

Serve with tortilla chips, as a topping to your favorite Mexican dishes, or as a side-salad for your next BBQ.


If you are looking for some other ideas for cooking with your kids, here are our other favorites --

Until next time, keep on keeping on with a joyful, faith-filled life.  #tribekoko
Let's Connect | Pinterest | Instagram | Facebook 

Linking up with Johannah for her monthly recipe link-up, and Fresh Market Friday for Christian Motherhood Inspiration.  Make sure to check out their blogs out!

Some links are affiliate links, meaning if you click and/or buy, I receive a small commission.  Thanks for supporting this blog!

Welcome Home: Come On In | Callington Cottage |

Monday, September 18, 2017

I am back with another installment of Welcome Home: Come On In.  I love to do these posts and introduce you to women who are creating beautiful homes for their families.  I hope this post inspires you to look at your own home and see the beauty and potential it has!

photo courtesy of Salt & Light Photography

Let me introduce you to my darling and insanely talented friend, Judie.  Her husband was the pastor at our church when we first started attending back in 2005.  Both John and Judie spoke right to our hearts and shepherded us for several years before and after our salvation in Christ from the pulpit, to visits in our home to bible studies and everything in between.  John was serving a short-term mission in Africa when he died suddenly.

Shortly after, Judie sold their home they shared together and found this house.  It was a foreclosure, with broken windows, sky high weeds, and even a dead cat in the basement.  When others would run for the hills, she saw potential.

Isn't that just like the analogy of Christ, in our wretchedness, He saw potential in each of us! I hope you find inspiration in how Judie transformed this house into a home. 

For over a year, she worked with so many people to renovate a house and make it her home.  You will not believe the transformation.  Her son Jon (pictured above) was the general contractor behind the project but she says every time she looks at items in her home, from the windows to the bannisters, she sees the people who poured their heart into this project.  

Let's take a look at her transformation as Judie answers some questions about her home, shall we?

Exterior Before

Exterior After complete with a happy pale pink door
photo courtesy of Salt & Light Photography

Do you know any history about your home?  

It was built in 1917. So happy birthday this year! It was built by Mr. Ankeny but he built it to rent to the railroad workers, he never lived in Ankeny.  The original train depot is across the street. 

What features do you love about your home? 

There is a quaintness that can only be found in older homes.  It has sloped eaves in the bedroom which make it so cozy.  There is shiplap on the kitchen wall which used to be the exterior wall of the home.  One of my favorite features is the enclosed front porch which i have made into a “sleeping porch” - not much sleeping happens but its a wonderful place to curl up with a good book and watch the world go by!  The hardwood floors are original - so beautiful and easy to maintain.

Sleeping Porch Before

Sleeping porch after

Looking back at the entry door from the day bed

Before -- looking into the front entry and family room from the dining area

Family room after

Family room after looking out the front window

Family room after looking into the dining area

How does your home work for you family?  

I have a large fenced in backyard which is great for the grandkids.  I entertain a lot and have bible studies in my home and can easily seat 16 people in the dining room!  The house seems small from the outside but in taking down walls it is very open concept and ideal for groups.

Dining area looking into kitchen on the left and bathroom on the right

Dining area after looking out onto the sleeping porch

Dining area after looking onto the kitchen

kitchen after

kitchen after

kitchen after

breakfast nook off the kitchen after

main floor full bathroom before

main floor powder room after

What are small indulgences you have around your home? 

Some of the lighting fixtures are vintage and were purchased for less than $5.00 and refurbished.  I purchased English wallpaper in the powder room (seen above) from Ebay.  I love cutting flowers from the gardens and having small arrangements in the rooms.   

Stairs and guest bedroom before

stairs after

guest bedroom after

Upstairs under construction to form a bedroom, bathroom, laundry and office nook

Upstairs looking onto office nook and bathroom/laundry area

master bedroom after

office nook 

master bathroom with laundry adjacent off to the right

master bedroom from the bathroom

How does your family influence how you outfit your home? 

Since I am a single woman i have some freedom in how I decorate!  Lots of pinks! 

How has your home changed since you purchased it? 

Completely renovated.  The house was empty for a year prior and was in pretty bad shape. Every piece of trim, doors, and some walls were torn out.  The entire kitchen and bathroom were demolished.  An upstairs bedroom was renovated into a bathroom and laundry room.  On the exterior there is new siding and a new roof.

Where do you shop for your home? 

Overstock, TJ Maxx, IKEA.  The kitchen cabinets are all from Ikea.  The chandelier in the dining room was from Overstock.  I repurposed a little table for the bathroom vanity.  My son found the lamp in my office at a project he was working on and thought I would love it, I did! 

Where do you find home inspiration? 

My oldest son had a vision for the home and acted as general contractor and he incorporated so many unique features.  My good friend, Laura, (her house is featured here) helped design the kitchen and bathroom and her creativity inspires me. My daughter-in-laws gave ideas and I gleaned from Pinterest also!

Why do you love calling this place your home?  

When my husband passed away, I was devastated.  My whole world changed and I had to sell the home we lived in for 10 years.  This home was an answer to prayer - an ugly duckling that was transformed!  My family, my friends and my church came together to make a house a home.  One of my favorite things about the home is that my friends and family wrote scripture verses on the beams and floor boards before the drywall was installed.  Another plus is that i am just steps away from the bike path, uptown shops, and the farmer’s market.  In England many people name their homes so I named mine “Callington Cottage” after the town in which I was born. 


I am so inspired by all the work Judie and her friends and family did to make this forgotten house a beautiful sanctuary and home.  What was your favorite spot?  What did you think?  I hope it left you inspired as well.  Her home has been featured in both local and national magazines, so don't be surprised if you see it the next time you are flipping through ;).

For more of the Welcome Home Series, Check out these --

Until next time, keep on keeping on!  #tribekoko

Let's Connect | Pinterest | Instagram | Facebook 

Linking up with My Glittery Heart for Oh Hey Monday and BYBMG and Erika for Tuesday Talk

5 Friday Favorites | 9.14.17 |

Friday, September 15, 2017

Happy Friday Friends!  I am glad to see Friday!  Hallelujah and amen.  It's time for another installment of Friday favorites and I have some very favorites this week, that's a thing, right?

1 - Happy Places Podcast

I had the privilege to be interviewed on the Happy Playces Podcast and I divulged some secrets I haven't shared here.  Remember this post?  Some of you were mighty curious as to what #10 was, well I am spilling the beans.  Is that enough of a teaser to get you to listen?  Go listen!

2 - transitioning to fall fashion

I shared 5 items that I think you must have in your closet this fall.  I even linked some of my favorites for you so you can shop from the comfort of your jammies on the couch.

3 - loving our homes

On, Monday I hosted my monthly 10 on the 10th link up and we shared why we love our homes.  Those posts are always nerve-wracking for me to write because I want to inspire and encourage others to love their home as I write why I love my home.  So often, inspiration can turn into comparison and I never want that in this little community.  I loved peaking into everyone's homes (I am nosey like that) and seeing the beautiful, unique spaces you each call home.  I am always up for coffee so just let me know when I can come by ;).

4 - my computer is back / this blog

Seriously, sometimes you don't realize how grateful you are for something until its gone.  As silly as it sounds, my computer is a life saver.  I am thankful it's back.

Unfortunately, it looks like the pictures are being held captive somewhere in my computer for the moment due to them being in iPhoto so lesson learned to move them to an alternate location in a separate folder.  I now am using google photo for backup, thanks Becky for the tip.

I am so thankful for all the documenting I do on the blog, I have plenty of documentation from the last 9 years!

5 - Vera turned 6

We had so much fun celebrating our girl this week.  I wrote a post all about her.  She is a ray of sunshine, sweet and spice and everything nice!

Lucy and I got to have lunch with her at school and every day since Lucy has packed her lunch.  I think she would go to school tomorrow if I let her (break my heart).  Then I got to go read to Vera's class and do show and tell with her. I just love seeing my kids in that environment and the confidence Vera exudes as she shared.  That night we went to pizza, then dance, sonic shakes with a candle, and presents.  She ate up every moment of her special day!

This weekend I am headed to a retreat with the women from our couple's small group.  I can't wait to dig into the book of Ruth and spend some sweet time with my friends.  I hope to come home full to the brim and refreshed.  We need that sometimes, don't we?  I hope you have the best weekend my koko's and if I can pray for you, please send me a note!

Until next time, keep on keeping on (koko) with a joyful, faith-filled life! #tribekoko

Let's Connect | Pinterest | Instagram | Facebook 

Linking up with Erika and Andrea for Friday Favorites, BYBMG for High Five for Friday and Five on Friday with Smidge of This.  Make sure to check out their blogs for more Friday fun!
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