Jan 28, 2010

Engagement Shots

I've been getting kind of busy with the photography lately and I've been loving it. I did another engagement shoot the other day with a couple who I've known for a really long time. I'm so happy for them. Who wouldn't be? You can tell by this photo that they are so happy to where they are at in their lives.

This was my favorite shot of the day.

Head on over to my photography blog for a few more engagements shots. I'll be posting more as I get them edited.

Jan 27, 2010

Lima Bean Wreath

I found this idea over here on a blog I love to frequent.

You can make it too with just:
a hot glue gun
lima beans
a foam wreath
spray paint.

I didn't spray paint mine yet. I'll do that once the temperature gets above freezing!

It took me about an hour for the whole thing. A nice little project when you want to take a break from dishes, floors and meals.

I'm thinking I'll leave it white for the rest of the winter then go with and apple green or turquoise for the spring and summer.

What do you think?

If you make one of these little beauties please come back and let me know. I'd love to see the results!!!

Jan 26, 2010

Photo Updates of the House

Despite the lack of pictures, things HAVE been happening around these parts.

And, of course, I can't seem to find the before pictures anywhere so you'll just have to picture it.

***Picture Overload Warning***

We'll start with the latest mudroom project. I wanted to have someplace to put all the boys' winter gear, school backpacks, etc... My awesome brother Kaelen built this beauty for me. I LOVE it! I primed, painted, glazed (my new favorite trick), and it will get three coats of poly-urethane today. When that's dry the hooks will be added and she'll be finished. Can't wait!!!

Just after you pass through the mudroom you'll see the powder room to the right. This use to be the laundry room but it was too small for my liking, there was no door (I didn't want everyone to see my piles of laundry from three boys as soon as they walked into my house) and we needed a bathroom on the main floor since we would be taking the main bath and turning it into our master bath.

Remember this picture of the fun wallpaper?

Here's the rest of the room...

Next we have the Master Bedroom. When we bought the house there were three bedrooms on the main floor. They were all down a hallway with one on the left side, across from the only bathroom on the floor and then two right at the end of the hallway. So walking down the hallway you would come to a dead end and a bedroom door on the right and a bedroom door on the left.

This is what the end of the hallway looks like now...

I LOVE it!!! We painted it a dark gray and I was able to use the same bedding, furniture and everything with it. I really like the gray with chocolate brown accents. I'm planning on adding more color soon and I think with these base colors I can add a variety of colors at different times. I'm thinking reds at Christmas, apple greens in the spring... you get the idea.

So basically in this room we tore down walls between two rooms, plus the old bathroom and made it bigger. Both of the other rooms were so small that after a bed was in the room there wasn't any room left for dressers etc...

Another view. I have big plans for the wall behind the bed. To me it seems a little bland. The piece above my bed is too small for the space but I found some great deals on fabric, paint, and a canvas. My new favorite 'tool', the glaze will also play a part. Stay tuned for the big reveal!

Here is another view of the bedroom.
This is a view of the closet, on the left and the bathroom on the right.

If you look on the wall in between the two doors you'll see....
A impulse buy, but at just $10 I couldn't pass them up! I still need to figure out something to put on them but until then I like them just the way they are.

And here we have the closet...
I love it! It's a bid of an odd shape due to the window. We didn't want to lose the light from the window so we will eventually put a french door in to let the sunlight through. The 'built-ins' are all from IKEA. LOVE that place. Mike put them all together and I am in love with how they turned out. The brown boxes on top are also from IKEA and they are great for storing out of season clothes.

And around the corner of the closet you'll see this...
It's my shoe/purse/accessory area. I am in LOVE!

It's where I store all my favorite 'girly' things. Like this adorable purse from my sister Jana.
I'm waiting for just the right time/place to use it. Isn't it perfect?

An my very favorite little splurge in the closet?
This perfect little drawer for all my jewelry. Cool huh?

Next up... the Master Bathroom

When we combined the two bedrooms and main bathroom we covered up the doorway to the bathroom (in the hallway) and then made a new doorway in our room. The above picture is the view from our bed.

Mike took the layout of the space and came up with a few different ways we could make this bathroom work with everything we wanted in it. We picked this one and here's how it all turned out...
We started with a vanity. We knew we wanted two sinks but didn't have the wall space for two side by side so we used the corner instead. It turned out great and this was we were able to get a nice corner cupboard in for great storage space.

We got light fixtures and tub online, faucets, mirrors and sinks at Home Depot, and the cabinets were made by someone local. We priced them out at home depot and locally and I am happy to say that the local guy was almost $2000 cheaper!!!! Plus, he got them in almost a month faster than Home Depot would have. I love it when the local folk can hang with the big dogs!!! :)

Another view...

This picture was taken while standing on the tub.

This is what it looks like on the other side of the bathroom. This picture was taken standing right near the sinks.
The shower is straight ahead, and the tub is on the right. Duh. Mike and I both LOVE to take baths so we knew we needed space for a soaker tub. We found the tub on-line for a really great price and have been so pleased with it. Can you see the green on the face of the tub? That's still just sheetrock and we will be covering it in beadboard one of these days. And the rug? It WAS clean about 2 minutes before this picture was taken but then Katie (the dog) decided she needed to explore the shower and apparently her feet were dirty. It's perfect little paw print. :(

I had the contracter frame the tub in a little so it was in it's own space. The 'art' is just some canvases covered in fabric. The area needs a little something more, I'm just not sure what yet.

I realize that the wall on the right looks a little green in this picture (at least it does on my monitor) but it's actually a couple of shades lighter than the gray in the bedroom. We painted the bath space a darker blue and I love how they contrast. Just wanted to let you know, they DO, in fact, match. :)

Next we have the shower, just to the left of the tub.

There is a little bench on the left of the shower, which I found quite necessary for the shaving of the legs. :) It's been very handy.

All the tile was done by my cousin Elana and I think it's beautiful. If you need tile or hardwood done, call her. She is awesome and very reasonably priced.

Another part of the shower I love is the built in shelf.
Smart huh?

Another great feature is the separate toilet.
Can you see the door by the vanity? It leads to a toilet in it's very own room. It's so nice to have that door so that if one of us is brushing their teeth, the other one can use the facilities. :) For some reason the boys feel it necessary to be right by my side when I am getting ready in the mornings so seperate toilet is usually used by them.

Oh and by her...
Gross huh? Actually, I've never seen her do this before but as I was taking pictures I heard something weird, came into the bathroom, and there she was. Yuck!

One last picture of this area. This picture is taken from the toilet room.

Now, we move on to the basement.

Not a lot has changed down here. It's in the works and my goal is to have the rec room downstairs painted by Friday. We shall see. :)

Here is the boys' bathroom.
We've only changed a few things in here. On the right is a tub/shower surround. In that right back corner there use to be an old stand up shower. I really wanted a tub for the boys and the shower wasn't exactly safe. The copper tubing for the water came down out of the ceiling right on the outside of the shower. They weren't in the walls or anything. I could just see Luke grabbing a 'piping' (haha, get it!) hot pipe. So we had the contractors build a wall and put in a surround. The wall they built framed out the tub and then left a space right behind the door for linens and storage.

You can kind of see that space here. I'm still looking for the perfect cabinet, cupboard, shelf thingy for this space.

And here's the other side of the room. It still needs a few things to make it homey and I am going to paint the vanity black or a creamy color one day. It's not quite at the top of my list of things to do yet.

Just down the hall from the bathroom is the guest room.
All I did here was paint. I used the leftovers from my mudroom walls. No need to point out the curtains. I know they don't match AT ALL. But they will soon. I've got something cute in mind.

And finally, I'll end the post with my laundry/craft/junk/needs to be organized/cleaned really badly room.
I know it's hard to believe by looking at it, but this room has probably taken me more man hours than any other space in the house. Why you may ask? The FLOOR!!! This room use to be covered in carpet. With a washer and dryer in here now, the last thing I wanted on the floor was carpet. So here's what I did. I really wish I had pictures for this part. You'd be amazed at the difference!)

1 - I pulled all the carpet up and trashed it. It was old. And yucky.
2 - The carpet was glued to the cement. :( I had to take a scraper and do my best to get the foam padding from the carpet off of the cement floor. When the carpet came up all the foam from the padding stayed with the glue. This was a VERY tedious step and took me hours and hours. And that was with Tiffany's help. Thanks Tiff!!!
3 - After I got most of the foam off I had to still get the glue up. I tried a few difrerent things that I thought might work. They didn't. I googled and ideas on getting glue off of cement. None of them worked. I was stumped. Finally I found a liquid something (can't remember the name, but if you need to get glue off of cement e-mail me and I'll find it for you) that sort of worked. I put this jelly like stuff on the floor in areas about one square foot at a time. The jelly had to sit there for 15 minutes. Then I could take my very sharp metal scraper and a whole bunch of elbow grease and scrape the crap out of the floor. After that I used a very stiff metal brush and scrubbed and scrubbed and scrubbed. It took FOREVER!!!
4 - After hours and days and weeks (maybe not weeks, but for sure days and nights!) of scrubbing I finally had all the glue gone and needed to clean the floor. I just used a mop and really hot water to get most of the glue off and then I used TSP to clean the floor really well.
5 -Turns out if you plan on painting cement you have to first acid etch it so the paint will stick. So I got some special acid stuff for this very purpose and etched my heart out. Actually, this part was quite easy. You just mop it on, let it sit and then clean it up. It was kind of cool. But I would suggest VERY good ventilation. When you put the acid on the floor it smokes something feirce and you'll feel like you are walking through fog that just comes up to your knees.
6 - The floor had to be cleaned REALLY well after the acid was on it. I've been told that if you don't clean it well enough, the end result will be worse than if you hadn't used the acid at all.
7 - Finally I was ready to paint! I found a tile that I liked and used that as my sample of what I wanted the floor to look like then I picked three different paint colors that would match the colors on the tile. I started with the darkest color which was a really dark blue. I think it was Benjamin Moore's Midnight Blue. I watered this down quite a bit using one part paint, one part water and I rolled it over the enitre floor. For the whole floor I only used about 1/4 can of paint. I have enough left over that I think I will paint my garage floor this summer to make it looks a little more finished.
8 - Once the base coat was dry I used my next color, Benjamin Moore's Sundried Tomato. I watered this down a little too, about 2 parts paint and 1 part water. I then took a plastic grocery sack, put it over my hand dipped it in the paint. Then I just dabbed my way over the base paint. I tried to do it somewhat randomly so it would look more natural, more like the tile.
9 - Once the red paint dried, I used my final color. Again, it was Benjamin Moors but I can't remember the color right now. It was a mid-tone green. I watered this down to 1 part water and 1 part paint and got a new plastic grocery bag and did the same thing as before. I watered this down a little more than the red because I wanted the green to be a little thinner so the red would show through. Since it was watered down more than the red, when I put the green down, it would gather a little and look like multi-colored stone.
10 - Finally, when the paint was all dry I rolled some low-luster poly-urethane on the entire floor to protect it and I was done!!!

After the floor was finished I painted and my part was done! The contracters rearranged some electrical and plumbing and I got the washer and dryer in. This room will eventually have built-ins around the walls where I can fold laundry, store laundry baskets and have a craft area.

Thanks for visiting!

* I was going to go through and re-read this to correct any grammatical errors etc... But then I saw how long it was and decided to be lazy. Sorry about that! :)

Jan 19, 2010


Pause the music on the right column and enjoy this uplifting video about prayer.

Jan 18, 2010

i ♥ faces - "We Are Family"

It's "We Are Family" week at i♥ faces and for my entry I chose the lovely Allred sisters.

These girls are amazing! I love that they are each others best friends.

These girls know how to have fun and you can see that in their faces and poses!

To check out other entries visit i♥ faces.

Jan 12, 2010

i ♥ faces - "Best Face Photo"

I've got three awesome little boys. They keep me on my toes and laughing all the time, but I'd have to say that Walker is the ham in the family. Last night at our Family Home Evening lesson he informed us that one of Jesus' miracles was changing water to swine! And here I thought I knew the bible so well.

The other morning he came up to breakfast wearing his swimming goggles and continued to wear them through the entire meal.

Who am I to tell him to take the goggles off? I love his creativity!!!

*** This week is i ♥ faces birthday!!!

To celebrate I'm entering the above photo in the challenge of the week, "Best Face Photo".

Head on over to check out some other REALLY great shots!

Jan 8, 2010



Out of the night that covers me,

Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

William Ernest Henley

Jan 1, 2010

Pea Salsa

I have the BEST recipe to share with you. I got this recipe from a friend (thanks Leslie) a few years back and every once in a while I pull it out and make it. Then I always wonder why I waited so long to make it again! So, I figured I'd share this awesome little gem with you!

Yep, those are peas in there. "Peas in salsa?" you ask? Yep, peas. And they are my fav-o-rite part!!! Don't knock it till you've tried it. You won't regret it. Promise!

So you're gonna wanna start by cutting up 6-8 Roma tomatoes. I suppose you could use any kind of tomato but the Roma tomatoes are nice and firm and are great for chunky salsa.

Chop them up good and add 'em to the bowl.

Next take a nice bunch of cilantro (DELISH!!!) and chop it up good too.

Chop, chop, chop.
Add the cilantro to the tomatoes.

Next, take a bunch of green onions and... you guessed it... chop it up.

Add the green onions to the cilantro and tomatoes.

Moving right along...

Grab yourself one can of corn and drain it well.

Pile it on top of the other chopped veggies.

At this point you may realize, like I did, that your bowl is not nearly big enough.

Ahhhhh. Much better.

Next come the yummy avocados. Take 2-3 avocados and cut them into small pieces. If you're an avocado fan like I am then you may want to use a couple extra. You can't have too many avocados right?

Choppity, chop, chop.

Add the chopped avocados to the other veggies in the new, much more appropriately sized bowl.

I didn't get a picture of this next step but I'm pretty sure you'll be able to figure it out on your own. :)

Take about 1/2 bag of frozen peas (approx. 2 cups) and thaw them in warm water. Drain well and add to the other veggies. When I made the salsa, a few people were wary to taste it because of the peas, but I promise you... you WILL NOT regret adding them to the salsa!

Next comes all the yummy spices!

First you gotta find yourself one of these little boxes of homemade Italian salad dressing. The only place I've been able to find it is at Wal-Mart in the states. Sad. I was thinkin' ahead last time I was down in Utah and bought myself a few boxes but I just used my last one the other day. :( The good news is that you can use any Italian salad dressing and still end up with a decent salsa. But I'll tell you what... Good Seasons is where it's at!

Make the salad dressing according to the directions on the envelope inside the box (basically add oil, water and vinegar.) Pour the dressing over the chopped vegetables and....


Not only does it look delicious, it really, TRULY is!

(also, in the picture above you'll notice that the finished salsa is in a different bowl than the first two. Haha! I obviously need to work on my bowl size judgements!)

And so, if you'd like to print this recipe off for yourself just copy and paste the below recipe into a Word Document and print away.

Pea Salsa

6-8 Roma tomatos
2-3 Avocados
1 can Corn
1 bunch Green Onion
1 bunch Cilantro
1/2 bag (approx. 2 cups) frozen Peas
1 packet Good Seasons Italian Dressing (made according to the recipe on envelope).

Chop veggies and cilantro and add to bowl. Soak peas in warm water and add to the veggies. Add one packet Good Seasons Italian Dressing made according to the recipe on the envelope, OR add 1 - 1 1/2 cups any Italion salad dressing.

Edmonton #2

So Edmonton went great. The large stone in the right side is gone and the one on the left side was too small to blast so it'll have to just pass on it's own.

We got some shopping done and I now have the closet of my dreams thanks to IKEA!!!

West Edmonton Mall was spectacular.

But the best part was visiting with an old friend.

Thanks for meeting for lunch Heidi. You're beautiful and your girls are too!

Merry Christmas

We had a great time here in the Hurren home.

Santa came and spoiled us all!!!

The boys loved their new jammies.

Luke pretty much found the gum that Santa left in his stocking and didn't care about anything else for the rest of the day.

See, more gum.

He did like the legos he got.

And Walker loved the Batman figurine that Porter got for him.

Then Luke unwrapped more gum.

Walker loved his Green Lantern costume that Grandma Hurren made him.

And then Luke found more gum.

Porter and Walker tore into their stockings.

And Luke decided his new bouncy elephant was pretty cool.
(This picture was taken before he discovered the gum.)

My mom finally got that Barbie doll she always wanted.

And McKay got a chicken. Yes, a chicken. Do you know any 13 year olds that would be stoked to get a chicken for Christmas? I do. His name is McKay.

The boys looked smashing in their new Sunday clothes that they got from Grandma Hurren.
Thanks Grandma Hurren!!!

It was a wonderful Christmas and we feel truly blessed!


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