Urban Exploration

I haven't posted in a few days because, well, frankly, I haven't been doing anything!  I have been working on repainting my kitchen, one cabinet door at a time.  I've gotten two doors done.  We are also working on picking out the tile for our master bathroom/craft room.  But this weekend was really busy with a family homecoming party and an adoption event for our last foster puppy....more

Family Trip to Yosemite

Today, being the last day of Winter Break for my son, we decided to head up the hill to Yosemite National Park.  It's about two hours from our house. We were in search of snow but I wasn't sure we'd find any.  Our first stop once we got into the park was the Wawona Hotel.  It was closed for the season but we got out of the car and took some pictures. ...more

Rainbow Birthday Cupcakes

In true Misty Fashion, when my son said he wanted a goodie to take to school for his birthday, I couldn't do the ordinary store bought cupcakes or cookies that every kid does.  So I decided to do a rainbow cake.  In...more

Pre-Fab? Fabulous!

Each year I love celebrating the holidays by becoming Martha Stewart, Super-Mom.  I make cookies, fudge, pies, and desserts.  I wrap all the presents in matching wrapping paper and make my own bows, usually something different every time.  When I was literally 8 1/2 months pregnant and going into early labor, I made about 30 personalized salt dough ornaments that doubled as gift tags on the presents.  I always bring my neighbors packages of goodies.  I donate to the less fortunate.  I buy everyone a gift....more

Operation: Kitchen Cabinets-My chalk paint experience

After obsessing about creating a cottage kitchen since before we moved in, I finally started.  I wanted a blue kitchen.  I really wanted a chalk paint kitchen.  I tried making my own (you can read about that here), but that didn't give me what I really wanted.  I watched video after video, smeared different colored paints on the side of my cabinet and nothing was doing it for me.  I decided I need to go to the source....more

My $14 Fireplace Re-do: Tutorial

By Misty Van Staaveren When we moved into our house, we pulled out an outdated, out of code, wood burning insert from our fireplace.  You can read more about that here.  My idea was to just have an open brick fireplace to put candles in and maybe occasionally burn on a burn day....more

'Tis the Season...Already?

By Misty Van Staaveren...more

The One the Teacher Warns the Substitute About: I'm That Kid's Mom

By Misty Van Staaveren Back when I was teaching Kindergarten, about ten years ago, I had this adorable little boy in my class. He was very young emotionally and seemed to lack any control over himself. He couldn't keep quiet. He couldn't raise his hand before blurting something out. He couldn't sit in his seat. Instead he'd be mindlessly dancing around the chair while he worked. Every day, he would "move his card" because he had problems with behavior in class. None of it was terrible behavior, but it was disruptive nonetheless. ...more
The idea of kids losing recess for acting out is troubling to me. It seems like that would feed ...more

Vintage Decoupage Bookshelf

By Misty Van StaaverenWhy have I not posted this?  I've been going through pictures to add to the blog and came across this beauty, one of my first trash finds. ...more

Tutorial: Whimsical Snowmen Blockheads

By Misty Van StaaverenI love creating whimsical little characters I call Blockheads.  Here are some wintry snowman blockheads with an easy tutorial so you can create these silly little guys by yourself or with your kids.  They are great for mantles, table centerpieces, or even the front porch.  I like to group mine together in threes.   ...more