Thin For You Thursday - A Little Weight Loss Hack

Hello Lovelies!

It's been a while since I shared a Thin For You Thursday post.

I'm pretty excited about this one because it's a fun little weight loss hack that I learned from my adorable younger sister, Holly!

Here's a before and after  photo of Holly and me.  The first was taken two summers ago, almost a year before we started to lose weight.  When we actually started our weight loss journey we were both a bit heavier than we were in that  photo, but it gives at least a little perspective on where we've come in our journey.  The second photo was taken just before Christmas when she was here visiting with her family.  We've both lost over 20 pounds since starting our respective weight loss journeys.


My Word of The Year 2017

Hello Lovelies!

Welcome to a new year!  I can't believe it's 


I just love the beginning of a new year and the clean slate that comes along with it.  I'm a goal setter by nature.  I love to have things that I am working on, and as part of my goal setting for the past several years, I have chosen a word of the year.

I don't take choosing a word of the year lightly.  It is something that I think long and hard about.  I ponder on it.  I try and find a word that really encompasses my goals for the year.
And this year, I have the perfect word for where I am in my life...

With my weight loss journey this last year, the power of being devoted to something really hit me, and I decided that I want to bring that same level of devotion to all the areas of my life in which I want to improve.

Making changes and making progress is hard work.  Nothing will change unless you work to change it.  

And so this year, I am going to be wholeheartedly devoted to the goals I am  striving to achieve.

How about you?  Do you have a word of the year?

Check out my previous Word of The Year posts...

Wendy Hyde



My New Laminate Floors - Part III - The Installation Process

This post is sponsored by Quick-Step.  I received Quick-Step flooring and accessories free of charge to facilitate my review.

Welcome to the third installment of my series on installing Quick-Step laminate flooring in Hydeaway Cottage.  If you've missed either of my first two posts, you can catch up on my reasons for choosing laminate here, and the process of picking my laminate finish and color here.  And today, I'm excited to share a bit about the actual process of installing the floors. 

I have some good friends with some construction experience who were willing to help me with the demo and installation.   On the first day, we started by ripping up the carpet and pulling out the small tile entry just inside the front door to reveal the plywood subfloor.


After cleaning up the mess, day 2 was spent on installation.  For those who are not familiar with the process of installing laminate flooring, let me give you a (very) basic rundown.  First, an underlayment is put down which provides a cushion between the subfloor and the laminate.  Laminate floors “float” which means that they are not fixed down to the subfloor like hardwood or tile.   Rather they interlock by clicking together.  As a result, many times laminate floors have quarter round molding installed around the edges of a room to hide the small gap between the walls and the floors so that they can expand and contract. 


A Barn Door for my Master Bath

This post is sponsored by National Hardware.

Okay, so I know that it is really popular in newer homes to have the master bath open to the master bedroom.  What I don't understand is "WHY?"  I don't know about you, but honestly, I prefer to have a bathroom to which I can shut the door.

Ever since I moved into Hydeaway Cottage, the fact that I have an open master bath door has plagued me.  Not only that, but the opening to my master bath is an arch, so it's not like I could just run to the hardware store and buy a door to put there.

After I gave the idea some thought, I decided that a barn door would be the perfect solution.  I could custom make a door that would fit the tall arched opening, and the barn door hardware would make it so that the door could be rectangle and slide right over the opening.  Brilliant!

I kept my eye out for some barn door hardware.  But I was having a hard time because the wall with the door is not very long - only about 58".  Luckily, I was approached by National Hardware to see if I would like to try out their barn door hardware.  The shortest length they had was 72", so before I could agree, I needed to be sure that cutting down the hardware would not interfere with its functionality.


An Electric Fireplace for My Master Bedroom

This post is sponsored by Hayneedle.

I love fireplaces.  And I can't tell you how long I've wanted to have a fireplace in my master bedroom.  But alas! adding a gas burning fireplace is a costly project.  Needless to say, it wasn't something that I could spend my money on.

As I was judging the Parade of Homes this past summer, however, I got a brilliant idea.
One of the homes that I saw had incorporated an electric fireplace in the master.  
An electric fireplace!  Why hadn't the thought occurred to me before?

I found a great little electric fireplace on Hayneedle and knew that it would be the perfect addition to my master.


Christmas Three Trees Cake

 And every time people thought of the third tree, they would think of God. That was better than being the tallest tree in the world.


Hello Lovelies!

I'm so glad you are here!  Today I'm sharing a new Christmas tradition that we started this year. 

I was first inspired when I saw a pretty cake in my Instagram feed made by Rachel  of Rachel Elizabeth Creates.  Her cake had three white trees on it.  I loved how it looked, so I thought about how I might re-create it.

So last Sunday, my daughter and I decided to try our hand at creating a cake with three trees. 

I admit that when I first thought about making the cake, I just wanted something pretty and festive.  But afterward, I found a perfect Christmas lesson within the new tradition.

 Are you familiar with the Christmas legend of the three trees?  It tells the story of three trees and what they dream of becoming.  All three trees find themselves in situations that are not what they planned, but ultimately, God has a plan for each of the trees and through each tree significant parts of the Savior's life are brought to pass.  The first tree becomes the manger.  The second tree becomes His boat.  And the final tree becomes the cross.

There are many versions of the story on-line, but the version I remember best is the book by Angela Elwell Hunt.  I believe there are still some available for purchase on-line as well.

I'll admit to not being much of a baker, so we used cake mix and store-bought frosting.  For our trees, we frosted some ice-cream cones and then used sprinkles to decorate them,

And here is our finished product...certainly not the most beautiful cake ever created.  But, to me, it's  the symbolism behind the traditions that really matters and any tradition that helps us remember the true meaning of Christmas is my kind of tradition.  So I shared the story of The Three Trees with the kiddos and we enjoyed the cake.  (It tasted better than it looked - lol!)  And I look forward to repeating this tradition each year.

I hope you are all having a lovely holiday and remembering The Reason for The Season.