April 2019 Goals

Tomorrow is May Day, May 1st. We are almost half way through the year already! The post I wrote last would give an in-cling on how my goals went for April. Best to reflect nonetheless! Life ebbs and it flows.


Uninvited by Lisa TerKeurst was a book that sat on my shelf for well over a year. It amazes me when that happens. The old saying is “don’t just a book by it’s cover”. Well, I do when it comes to books. Good book design speaks my love language. At the end of March this girl needed a fictional book bad, but Uninvited was such a natural book to pick up. It had an energy force that drew me to pick it up rather than an “easy” read. Consider this my book review. The following are my top take always:

1. “Not in my presence will you talk about yourself in this way” (page 6). Talk to yourself as if you were talking to a loved one. Be gentle with the words you speak to yourself.

2. “When a man is physically present but emotionally absent, a girl’s heart can feel quite hollow and helpless” (page 14). Life between men and women is not easy. There are ups and there are downs. I have seen this in my past. I have seen this affect my friends. Prayers that love languages are strongly spoken between you and your significant other.

3. It is not easy to see God’s good design in the world with all of the “decay and corruption” (page 20). Difficult things surround us daily. It is hard for me to believe in Him some days, but too many miraculous things have been witnessed for me to not believe in a higher power.

4. “Live loved” (page 3). One of my favorite quotes and on page 46 she reminds us that it is a choice to live that way. A choice we get to make each day.

5. “I crave for life to make sense. I cringe when it doesn’t” (page 52). Thankful I am not the only one that struggles with this. Shout out to the Type A people out there. Hello to the INFJ personalities!

6. “Humility can’t be bought at a bargain price. It’s the long working of grace upon grace within the hurts of our hearts” (page 85). A co-worker reminded me long ago that positive changes take time. I think of this often. There are no quick fixes out there. Make a plan, stick with it, and if you fall off of the bike, get back on!

7. “Acceptance is like an antibiotic that prevents past rejections from turning into present-day infections” (page 95). An analogy without a lot of truth.

8. “It’s good to ask the ‘what’ questions but less helpful to ask the ‘why’ questions” (page 135).

9. “Lord, give them enough hurts to keep them human and enough failures to keep their hands clenched tightly in Yours” (page 142).

10. “Messy realities in the midst of the miracles” (page 161).


The sketchbook did not even get cracked open this month. However, The House that Pinterest Built by Diane Keaton sent inspiration to me. I can’t tell you how much I wanted to binge in Pinterest land after I ready this book. The coffee book was impressive. Diane Keaton built her home after images she found on Pinterest. I literally wanted to dive into the book and live in the spaces she “pinned”

Part of a weekend was spent going through all of my Elle Decor, Architectures Digest, Dwell and House Beautiful magazines. I followed Diane’s footsteps and ripped out designs that spoke to me. Bookshelves, swinging interior chairs, black painted walls, colors upon colors of paint, black and white spaces. I taped them into an all black sketchbook. Essentially, my own The House that Pinterest Built book was created. It was a Marie Kondo type of thing to do. I kept what I needed to keep and threw away stacks of magazines. Clear the clutter.


The temperatures rose and running outside was a new high. Temperatures dwindled and the high went away. Spring, please come back. I have lost the desire to workout indoors. I need the sunlight. I need the warm weather. I have become a hibernating bear after fighting it all winter long.

7 Challenge

I avoided the challenge this month like someone trying to avoid cake on their first day of dieting. Jen Hatmaker and her family quit Media for a month. I know I could. It would be hard. She quit it at a magnitude that I can’t even try. She quit TV, Music, Social Media. I could go without TV. I could go without Social Media but not Music. I often think of forgoing Facebook. It is not a social platform I check out each day. When I do though, I realize I miss out on seeing friend’s life happenings. It is a part of our world. It can consume us, like so many things in life. For now, I will stay with Facebook. I will stay with Instagram. It is a way of connecting. It is a way of finding inspiration. I will say though, that reading Uninvited helped me pick prayer/medication each morning over checking Instagram. It is helping me pick reflection at the end of the day over social media. It is a work in progress. Life is a work in progress.

Friday Favorites: Joy Hangers

Slowly as I have moved my adult plastic hangers down to Stella’s closet I have purchased the Joy Hangers. They are flat and have a non slip fabric adhered to them. These two factors are perfect for my itty bitty closet and to keep the shoulders/sleeves from stretching out of shape. My Type A personality is loving how cohesive the closet is looking too *my heart smiles*

If you are looking to give your closet a new look I highly recommend checking these out!

Friday Favorites: Dark Walls

Grabbed the Domino: Your Guide to a Stylish Home from the Bemidji Library. I am enjoying some interior design inspiration over a cup of coffee on this sunny morning. Makes me want to change up our home. It’s hard to think we have been in our home already six years. We have a few rooms to update for the first time before we redo some rooms. It doesn’t hurt to dream though!

There is something stunning and inviting about a room with dark walls. I have yet to try this in a space of my own but will some day. I love how it contrasts with the bright white trim in this Domino book. The neon pieces of furniture are fun pops of color. A person has to really love these bright colors to put the money into sofa and chairs of this magnitude, but how beautiful is this room! A person may not be able to find chairs and sofa like this in stores but they can be custom made.

Holy & Well Worn

There is something about a well worn piece of clothing. Something that makes my heart smile and encourages me to write about. My mind associates memories with music and clothes. Why does it do that? I don’t know. I get the music part of it, but I don’t understand the clothing piece of it so much. I guess they both tap into senses that speak to me.

These jeans I bought at Banana Republic during the weekend that a friend and I were in Minneapolis taking our NCIDQ exam, 7-8 years ago. We had stopped by the Albertville outlet mall. They have lasted through two pregnancies and have often been my “test” pants. If they feel snug, well then, it is time to amp up my workouts and lay off of the sweets. I guess they will no longer be part of my Friday Jean Day Work Attire, but they will be my weekend fun jeans.

Welcome to my Home of Discouragement

I have spent over a year designing my She-Shed in my head. I have spent the last few months drawing it on paper. See, I have to be in my creative zone to put my passion on paper which is not an easy thing to do while having a family life and working full time out of the home. I have to draw it to scale in pencil on “trash paper” and then trace it onto vellum with special pens. I was so excited to get the floor plan and elevations drawn up and was ready to add color.

I appreciate black and white, I really do, I even dream of living in a pretty much all white house some day, but I think my heart lives in color. It was an accomplishment to get to add color to my plans. It was nerve wracking though. It made it more permanent and it was a point of no return. It was the skill set that was not my strongest in college. I love art, but my styles lean more towards abstract. So rendering to make things look realistic took a lot of practice. Towards the end of year four of the interior design program, I finally solidified my rendering style. Well, since it has been years since I have rendered projects like this, lets say when I laid out my colored drawings, I was a bit sad. I was discouraged. They were not anything I was happy to share with you. They need work.

A craft takes practice, I am out of sorts. This happens and I am highly discouraged. That being said, I am taking what I have learned over the past few months and grabbing this project by the horns and I will get it “right”. I will get it to a point where I am happy to share this with you.

Until then, I will leave you with the only rendered drawing I am happy to share. The front entrance. Welcome to my creative space. My place where I will creatively take projects of discouragement to a better light. After all, that is what an interior designer does. We take problems and blank canvases and turn them into works of art.

Happiness Project: March Review

I was to focus on aiming higher with “work”. The funny thing is the author set the goal of launching a blog, perfect timing as I had just started Coffee Pines & Designs. She wanted the reader, me, to enjoy the fun of failure, ask for help, work smart and enjoy “now”. Coffee Pines & Designs wasn’t my job, but it was a project I wanted to work on.

I intended for the focus of Coffee Pines & Designs to weigh heavier on the topic of interior design, and I still plan for that, but it has been therapeutic to share my thoughts on self love and personal growth. It has felt like a higher power, or energy was saying “it’s ok to focus on another topic for now”. I think looking over the last month’s posts, it was clearly needed for myself. To journal, if you will, and to have people read it and say “me too” or “thank you, I needed to hear that I am not the only one” was beneficial. There are friends of mine who I have had little contact with since moving to Bemidji that have read my blog and reached out to me. What a great way to re-connect. We may not see each other often, or talk much, but we still have this connection, even with all of our life changes.

The other points I took away from this month’s assignment were the following:

Fake it til you feel it/Act the way I want to feel:

There are days where you just don’t feel like getting out of bed, or feel like you want to be positive. But I always try , some days I failed, some days I succeeded. It is hard to enjoy the fun of failure (as she suggested) in regards to our emotions, but laugh a little, shrug your shoulders and move on. If that doesn’t help, tomorrow is a new day!

Do a little each day:

Pace one self. With the blog, I don’t have to write a post each day. Some days I wanted to write more than one because my mind wouldn’t shut off and the time allowed. It will all flow when it needs to. I began working out with Mom’s Into Fitness, her plan is roughly 30 minute workouts each day. A little each day. Two weeks into it, I have stayed on track and hope to keep it that way. January’s focus of energy is a must for me, each month.

Writing partner/Community:

My friend, Amanda, of Lemon Drops Photography in Fargo, ND has a blog. We have been each other’s sound board for topics and advice. She is my partner. She is part of the community this blog is bringing together for me. A social platform for me to connect with others around the United States wanting to read my thoughts and visa versa. We learn from one another, we inspire one another, we hold each other up.

Make work room inviting:

My work room is hard to keep clean, with it being a work out space, my closet and my design room, but I rearranged it to feel more like I want it to. I have some final touches to work on, but a little here and there will get it done.

Slightly uncomfortable:

I write about thoughts that come deep from my mind and heart. Some of them are uncomfortable for me to share, but I know when I read stories from other bloggers, not always were those stories easy to write and share either. It is what makes us human. It is what makes us grow.

One goal brings another:

As I write one post a lightbulb goes off for another. I am like a pinball in a pinball machine, I go from one side to the next, up and back down again hitting the trigger that sends me to the next corner in a flash. I need to remind myself- slow down, do a little each day. There is no need to rush.

But I am having fun, so rushing is not bad, as long as I am producing something I am proud of- happy about. After all, this is the Happiness Project!

Friday Favorites: Frida Kahlo

I have loved this artist since I learned of her in college. I think what started my fascination with her was the 2002 movie with Salma Hayek titled Frida. I owned the movie and soundtrack first. She was quite a different person; probably considered extreme in her day and age. She was unique, strong willed, a fighter, full of emotion and darn stubborn! I appreciate her qualities; she lived through a lot of pain, both physical and emotional, yet emerged an icon.

In college we had to select an artist and design a kitchen for them. Of course, I picked Frida. I wish I could re-do the project now that I know more about design and more about her. Perhaps that is my next design project after I finish my She-Shed. The colors I would add. Ohhh, I can see it already! I digress.

I have since purchased a portrait by Jennifer Vallez that sits on my desk, a coffee table book Frida Kahlo at Home, and two pieces from Wee Rascals– the “Fierce like Frida” tank and a print that is in the girls’ room that says “feet, why do I need you, when I have wings to fly?” Recently a Barbie was released, I don’t know what I would do with her, except have her borrowed by my girls. *smile*

The girls are in love with her too as she has a “cameo” in Coco. I think this is my favorite part of the movie, my giddiness may have influenced their love quite quickly. Since seeing the movie Emery found a kids’ book with her in it at the library. The girls won’t put it down and now want to buy it as well.

My Little Interior Designer

It’s hard to be a sibling. I heard Stella tell me and Emery she wished Emery had not been born. This was on Friday afternoon after Emery and I had a mandatory mommy/daughter day as daycare was closed. This was the 2nd mommy/ Emery day we had in about a month. Unfair to Stella? Yes. It’s hard to explain to a 5 year old that she gets to do a lot of things her little sister doesn’t. Field trips, play dates, sleepovers! All of this said, Stella was due for some mommy/ daughter time of her own.

What do we do? What can we do that doesn’t cost a lot of money? I had just spent 2 hours walking around Target with Emery, I didn’t quite feel up to that again! Did I just say that!?!? Friday night I had a good idea, at least ,I hoped it was.

A good idea it was, phew! As we got into the car I asked Stella if she wanted to pretend to be an interior designer for the morning. She lit up and said “yes”! I gave her a book of floor plans I had. She was to pick one out and we would go to Home Depot to pick out paint, flooring, counters and cabinets. We spent an hour walking around the store. She selected some wonderful sparkly lights for her and Emery’s rooms. It was fun to stand back and watch her touch the carpet samples, she “needed one that was soft”. She opened and closed the cabinets and was in awe of all the extras she could get. Who knew ovens could be fun to look at? Well, I mean, I can’t wait to shop for one someday, but she thoroughly enjoyed it!

We took the samples to Starbucks. We ordered a little snack and got to work on her floor plan drawings. We didn’t get much farther than her and her sister’s rooms, maybe she is actually happy her sister was born.

I am constantly catching myself watch the gears turn in her head. Watching her think about the placement of the bed, table lamp and desk. The concept of a floor plan being 2-D and not 3-D troubled her some, but she made sense of it the best she could. We look forward to working on it again. She took it home excited to show daddy what we did. I think we will have to find other things to pretend doing. Perhaps I will put it in her court next time! This time we won’t wait so long to have our date.

Sunday Funday

I have always wanted to title a post that. Sundays can be tough with trying to gear up for the next week. The fact that it was Daylight Savings could have made it a bit more crazy. We were up and at it with no problem today. Hey, one positive is that my youngest “let me sleep in until 6:00” rather than waking up at 5:00…oh yeah, not really a change, huh? *sigh* Someday, maybe she will let me sleep in.

After attending church we went home and got to dig out our white canvases and paint. That was on the agenda for yesterday, but let’s be honest for a moment. The girls were not the most well behaved kiddos yesterday, so their punishment was not not paint. If they were graded on sassy-ness, they would have received an A+!!

Today has been much better. They helped “Greet” at church by opening the door for members of our parish and sat well through mass. The painting theme for them was “spring” so that we could display their art for a few months. The February theme of pink and red hearts wore off too quickly. While they painted I made crepes for lunch. The recipe was out of the Shopkins cookbook. If you are looking for a good birthday, Easter, or just because gift, this cookbook rocks, even from a mom’s standpoint. It is a bit heavy on the sugar, but the photos and recipes are great. We, yes, even me, can’t wait try more of the recipes out!

May the rest of your Fun-day be awesome!