Winter Nesting

This post could also be entitled
"What I Do Inside When It's Cold Outside, Baby."

I drew on the chalkboard in the kitchen.

I fed the birds so they had something to find to eat
(and so I could watch them).
The one on the right is a Carolina chickadee,
on the left is a white-breasted nuthatch,
and we find them both positively adorable.

We love bread pudding.
The smell, the warmth, the cinnamon.
It reminds us of Christmas, and I never got around to making one then, so here it is. 
No recipe for it; I just whisk stuff together until it looks good, and bake it.
No one has died from eating it... yet.

Oh boy (I know that you're probably a girl),
have I (with the help of my college girl) been purging stuff!
This is Christmas all over the kitchen.
There were thirteen boxes of decor.
Now there are six. Ah... peace!
(The still-beautiful things will be put into
our upcoming online Moving Sale, which I'll talk about soon.
They're all in the lime green and aqua round baskets,
although there was much more that didn't fit in those baskets!)

I found a neat calendar this year at Target to hang on the side of the fridge 
where our family keeps track of who's coming and who's going.
I have my own space for each day "mine" and everyone else has "theirs".
There is a space to write dinner plans each day, too.
Simple, and it was only $9!

In addition to making cinnamon-y things,
we are making chocolate-y things.
(FYI, I am back at the YMCA 3 times a week after a few months hiatus--ugh.)
Guilt-free brownie pie from Trader Joe's
(however, when we get done with it, it's not guilt-free,
since we add chocolate chips and walnuts...),
and my circle-of-friend-and-family famous homemade 
(this means no cake mix; P.S. I haven't used cake mixes in years!) 
chocolate mocha cupcakes.
I should share this recipe with you soon, too!

We are still keeping in touch with OUR EXCHANGE STUDENTS.
This is Khomchan, from Bangkok, Thailand, who lived with us last year.
We miss him a lot. We are planning a trip this summer to see him!
But thank God for Facetime and Skype.
We were goofing around and turning each other upside down in this picture.

Understandably, we've also been experimenting with hot beverages.
The coffee press is from IKEA, and that, 
combined with coffee ground right in your own kitchen,
is a treat for me, a self-confessed coffee snob.
Sipping chocolate from Trader Joe's is amazing,
as is green tea directly from China.

The master bath garden tub has been getting an addition around it:
framed wainscoting wallpaper, to add dimension to it.

The stand-in shower door was also removed from the shower.
The drill holes will be patched, and a curtain added instead 
Yes, that is carpet in the bathroom. It was not my choice.
I won't get started on why I love my husband,
but he isn't allowed to make design decisions anymore.
The bath has been tiled since this picture was taken. I'll share that soon.

If the shower looks dirty, that's because this picture was taken
immediately after the door was taken off.
That dark strip along the bottom? 
Gross gunk leftover from under the door strip. Ew.
If the fixtures look brass, that's because they are, 
but all the brass is slowly being removed
and replaced with chrome, and it's looking nice!
The whole bathroom is being redone, but it is slow-going.

So we bake a lot at our house when it's cold out.
We made this one Sunday and took it to church.
Sadly, there were no leftovers for us to bring home.

The original recipe was for raspberry trifle,
but I changed it to triple berry trifle.
You can find the delicious recipe HERE.

Our BASEMENT CAFE has been turned into
a hip-hop dance studio for our high school senior girl
with the addition of beveled wardrobe mirrors.
This is so she can practice for her senior project,
which is eight dance covers of Korean pop songs
that will be uploaded to YouTube.
I love watching her dance. She has so much energy!
The mirrors may or may not come down in June after she's graduated.
What do you think of simply leaving the mirrors over the chalkboard wall?

(I know this picture is horrible, but it was taken at night.)

Because our home is kind of dreary
after we put all the sparkles of Christmas and Valentine's Day away,
I was compelled to add these lilies to the dining room
so that our hearts could smile when we saw them!

More food? Sigh.
We hosted an after party for Miss A's high school semi-formal 
and this is what I made for the kids.
Fruit pizza. Easy, pretty, and yummy.
You can find the recipe HERE.

This is Miss A, the hip-hopper I mentioned.
Isn't she cute? And she's as sweet as she is cute.
She's saying hello and peace to you!
And she and her sister were having fun outside THIS HOUSE,
while my hubby and I were inside touring it.
Not sure if this classifies as winter nesting, but we were looking at a "nest".
(That's my car behind her! I love my Honda CR-V!)

And last, but not least, this is what I do from about 8-9:30 AM every morning.
I believe that we need to study God's Word daily in order to make it through 
when friends are untrue, children and spouses disappoint us,
loved ones die or estrange themselves from us, hope turns to doubt and despair,
and when we don't understand our place in all the mess.

As for me, without God and His redemptive grace over my life daily,
I would have GIVEN UP LONG AGO.
I know now that He is always here for me.
Patiently waiting. Lovingly watching. Gently guiding.

His presence weaved through my heart while I'm nesting is what truly makes a home.
And it's the simplicity of knowing that my home doesn't have to be perfectly
organized, decorated, or clean to be a haven for all who enter,
for it is Christ's joy and peace that lives in the walls.


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  1. Made me smile, have cookies in the oven right now to take for our Ladies Love Circle meeting tomorrow at Church. Decorating with a green theme... wonder why you enjoy baking. :-)
    Love the basement transformation and good luck to Miss A.

  2. Awesome! Chilly days don't keep a wise woman down! You go girl!

    Greatest way to start a "Baby, it's cold outside" day!? Why, with the Word of course... and every day!

    Happy week,

  3. Love the basement cafe makeover. Going to try your trifle recipe too. Baking cookies and cupcakes and will decorate them in St. Patty's color to take to our ladies Love Circle meeting tomorrow.

  4. Happy nesting, Leslie! It all looks and sounds so yummy ... the food, I mean. And God's Word keeps us grounded and encouraged whenever the days are long and hard.

  5. I'm jealous! Down south, we aren't getting much coldness and I wish we were. I love the cold! And I just finished that Beth Moore Bible Study! Loved it and fell in love with James. Happy reading, homemaker!!! :)

  6. I want chocolate!!!
    Peace out, Miss A. :)

  7. It has been so long since I gave myself permission to not only sit and enjoy reading blogs but stopping to chat as well. I just wanted to tell you that I love this post, and you have me very, very curious about the shower door redo and the tub too. My bathroom is near the top (or possibly at the top) of my hit list now that my kitchen is nearly finished.

    And I have done that Bible study. It's one of my very favorites. We're currently looking for a new one to start.

  8. Happy nest, Leslie! It all looks and sounds delicious. Food, I mean. The Word of God, so that when the day is long and hard ground and encourage.


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