All Posts By

Lindy Pardee

0 In Decor/ Home

The Art of Christmas Decor!

It’s time to put that Christmas coziness up in our home and we vlogged about it! We love transforming our home for the holidays and we wanted to share it with you! We consider creating a cozy, holiday atmosphere in our home a work of art!

And here’s our vlog of the whole process! Enjoy!

It took us an afternoon and a nap time or two to finish it all, but we couldn’t be happier to see all the color, coziness, candles and twinkle lights around the house especially in the evening. It makes the atmosphere so fun to come home to and we don’t even have our tree yet!

First we started in the front yard. We got our lights on the eves and our fave lighted garland swags between the porch posts. Our other fave is the bunches of poinsettias we place all over the porch! That pop of color always kick the season off right. Also, pro-tip: this is our sixth year of getting up at 5am to be at Home Depot on Black Friday to get the big poinsettias for 99 cents each! So worth the loss of sleep and the mild crowds. The red on our porch for a whole month is the best!


Next we moved into the house to put up decor. We got down our boxes and got to it!

Here’s our living room before and after transformation:

We moved on into the kitchen and even though we only added a little it is still such a fun vibe.

And finally a few shots of beautiful spots around our home! I hope you don’t think our house is always this clean. I was on overdrive trying to decorate and make it not look messy for the vlog and photos because the kids are always dropping stuff and being tornados around here! You know, parent life! If you drop by unannounced you’ll know our house is usually crazy! Lol.

We hope you enjoyed seeing how we make our home cozy for the holidays! Have fun creating your own cozy Christmas atmosphere in your home



0 In Home

My Favorites from the Hearth & Hand Launch at Target

Hearth & Hand with Magnolia Section at Target

Target is one of my happy places and they seem to be getting better and better at making sure they have good style. I can tell because it’s hard for me to leave Target without at least three cool things I didn’t know I needed every time I go. EVERY TIME.

Today target launched their new line with Magnolia, Hearth & Hand. We needed toothpaste and shampoo so I used that as an excuse to go check out their launch (Target without kids which is like a mini vacay).

I’m happy to say that this collaboration did not disappoint. I took home a few little beauties and snapped some pics of some of my faves on the shelf. There’s a Christmas vibe going on with this collection right now, but there are also so many things that can transition into any season.

Here the goodies I picked up today. These sets of pot holders and kitchen towels. They have simple and neutral designs. The pot holders have a small leather and copper embellishment. Looking forward to hanging them in our kitchen.

Hearth & Hand: Black & Cream Kitchen Towel Set

Here are my top five picks from Hearth & Hand:

Round Acacia Wood Cutting Board

This big round wood cutting board with leather handles looks really rad. I can imagine using it with friends over as a charcuterie board. It’s a super classic piece.

Hearth & Hand: Round Acacia Wood Cutting Board

Balsam & Spice Galvanized Container Candle

These candles are large and really cool. They smell really good and even though the scents are winter themed the galvanized steel container can be reused or filled with wax again.

Hearth & Hand: Balsam & Spice Galvanized Container Candle

Black Woven Throw Blanket

This woven throw is soft and has a black and white tweed look. It’s pretty neutral so it would look awesome paired with almost any color scheme. There are also pillows in the same material that would look rad with different seasonal colors.

Hearth & Hand: Woven Throw Blanket

Hearth & Hand: Knit Wool Throw Pillows

Two Cup Measuring Pitcher

I love the unique shape of this measuring cup. It’s pretty and would look great on open shelving. They have a lot of cool kitchen stuff.

Hearth & Hand: Two Cup Measuring Pitcher

Vintage Brass Bell

This brass bell has so many possibilities. I can see it next to a stack of books on the bookshelf in the living room or sitting in the kitchen giving off that dinner bell vibe. I love it.

Hearth & Hand: Vintage Brass Bell

When your husband texts “are you still alive?” when you are shopping lidless at Target you know it was a good trip. Go check out the rest of the Hearth & Hand collection. It’s all really great.

0 In Home/ Projects

Our Day with a Tractor

Our backyard went from wasteland to awesome-land in just a few hours with the help of a tractor. Now the weeds are gone and it’s a smooth blank canvas of wood chips for us to continue working on. This is a huge leap for our yard and the vision we have for it.

Our friend, Joe from our church, brought his tractor and two hard working dudes to level our wasteland and spread wood chips around our orchard trees. He even taught both of our boys to drive the tractor.

What an amazing day for our family. So blessed by friends. Can’t wait to continue creating this art across the whole yard!

0 In Decor/ Home

Painting Our House

We’ve lived in our ranch style home for eight years and we finally painted it! We can’t believe how new paint changes so much. We’re loving the way it turned out!

We bought our home back in the summer of 2009. We were a month away from having our first kid and our new purchase needed a ton of work. The interior needed so much attention that painting exterior was on the low- priority list. We’ll have to dig up our old pics of the interior for another blog post because I think you’ll enjoy seeing the previous dungeon, brick on brick, with gothic light fixtures style we were working with at the beginning. Very interesting.

One of the best things we did to our house at the beginning was having my dad paint the entire interior cream. Seriously, best thing ever. Our house went from dungeon to farmhouse in a week. (Praise hands)

That was eight years ago and even though we’ve done a lot of improvement projects to our home, painting the exterior has continued to remain on the low- priority list

…Until Last week!

My dad is a painting contractor. He brought his crew and it was a four and a half day whirlwind of water blasting, sanding, patching, plastic, paper, tape, spraying and paint brushes.

Here’s the before shots:

Here’s a shot of the backyard. We have 3 dutch doors that lead to the back each were dark stained wood.

My dad power washing all the dirt and loose paint off the house.

Our crew always snooping around seeing how they can help grandpa or touch wet paint and wipe it on a couch pillow.

And here it is. The After shots.

We choose white for the main color and a light gray for the trim. Our idea was to have our home be neutral like a blank canvas. We wanted to add accent colors that would pop against the white and use wood tones and green plants to contrast the walls. We picked out ferns and gardenia plants for our small flower bed. We can’t wait for them to get big to show their color and shape against the white.

And we chose a cobalt blue door. It’s so bold and happy. We love it! I (Lindy) can’t stop taking glances at it so I’m pretty convinced I’m WAY into it (Heart eyes).

And here’s some of the back.

We stained the window fort as well. We think the medium stain looks really nice against the white walls. We’re excited to put more wood accents against the walls.

We want to thank my dad for doing such an amazing job and always loving and serving our family! He is an artist of his painting craft and he has honed his art of loving others through his service. I can’t even count how many people he loves and cares for through his service. He is amazing and spending this week with him at our house has been quality time that me and the kids will remember forever.

I wish I could say that he paints houses regularly so you all could experience his art at your home as well, but he mainly paints commercial buildings. Hey, if you have a commercial building then give him a call! His business is called Rix Painting. The quality of his craft and strength of his character are unmatched.

The colors we chose are custom mixed or color matched so we wish we could share the exact colors. I can say that the main color is pure white in the sheen of satin. Also, if you’re wondering where our kid toys are they are still pushed to the side with a few other pieces of furniture and plants. I’m still putting things back, but were loving the simple look so I’ll prob put less back than was there before.

We are really happy with the way our home turned out! It’s bright, fresh and simple. It’s a perfect blank canvas to add our beauty and art.

0 In Art

How I Knew I Was an Artist

How did I know I was an artist?

To put it simply, I knew I was an artist because I found joy in creating.

The longer answer is I found myself loving to communicate visually, I was drawn to beauty in asthetics and meaning, I loved making something out of nothing. I loved translating what God made in my own way. I love the thought process behind understanding an idea from something that isn’t straight forward. I love taking ugly and making it beautiful. 

I saw it in myself as a kid, I loved adding drawings to my written work at school. Every crafty school project was so exciting to me and I usually went overboard making it awesome.

I saw it in my love of color combinations, noticing symbolism, noticing detail, noticing light. The way certain things look in their surroundings.

I saw it in the excitement I felt understanding meaning from a wordless picture. Noticing the way people feel joy and pain. Translating a feeling into a visual picture or a written word picture. Freezing a feeling in a photograph, painting or drawing.

“Artists are people driven by the tension between the desire to communicate and the desire to hide.” – D.W. Winnicott

I found this quote and I started smiling because it’s so true for me. Creating art is such a joy for me because it is a communication of myself. Yet it is not straight forward and requires a sort of digging for information by the viewer. The message is there, but it’s usually hidden.

My favorite communicating tool is painted pictures. I’m not good at writing songs or written word pictures like some of my friends, but I know it has to be the same feeling for these creators as well. Art gives us a unique type of freedom to communicate, but the meaning is partly hidden waiting to be found. It think art makes people brave. It’s a unique language communicates more than the obvious.

The painting pictured above is something I painted in 2003 as a part of my senior art project at California Baptist University. It’s a self portrait. I made the canvas and used oil paint. It’s been at my parents house. I recently picked it up. I’m loving it in our home. It’s reminding me that I am an artist in the traditional sense when I have my paint and brushes, and how I’m growing to draw out my creator-self into the tools I have now… our home and our kids.

The title of artist is not just for those with a paint brush in their hand. How do you see yourself as a creator? Leave a comment to let me know, I’d love to hear your story.

0 In Projects

Our Farmhouse Table Transformation

Almost 10 years ago we bought this table from Pottery Barn. It was on major sale because it was a floor model and it already had scratches on the top. I though since I’m and artist and painter I could redo the top some time. Years went by and I never had time to work on it. That was fine because I was used to all the scratches and new scratches from my kids forks. I had been thinking I wanted to sand it down and do a natural top for a while so we just decided to do it a few weeks ago. The whole table was kind of a glossy black so we decided to repaint the bottom too.

Here it is in it’s oringinal well-used glory.

You know exactly where Titus our oldest sat because there was a line of demarcation scratched into the surface. Special.

Also, while I was cleaning the table leaves I discovered this. Who puts gum under the table?? I thought that’s only what rebel, delinquent kids did at school or an old diner! Surprises every day at our house.

We dragged the table outside (It weighs like 500 lbs.) and Justin started sanding it… This is where things got interesting. We disagreed about the type of sander to use. Justin said belt sander, I said orbital sander. Since he was sanding I let him choose his tool. Well, the high power sander was mistake number one. Mistake number two was me assuming that the table top was solid wood. It turned out to be solid VENEER over partical board. Awesome. So together we destroyed our natural wood top. Lol.

After accepting the reality of our mistakes we decided to keep going with our plans. I wanted green based off another legit chippy farm table we just got for our kids to do homework at (I’ll show you that later). I pulled out my fan decks and chose a similar color (Behr Equestrian Green, interior eggshell) then had it mixed. After Justin finished sanding the rest of the table I got to work painting it. I also had my little helper for part of it.

I love this green color. It was making me so happy. I also used 150 grit sandpaper to buff down the shine out of the eggshell paint without sanding all the way through to the bare wood. I love how that turned out.

We continued with our plan to clear varnish the table top with no stain and let the partical board show through for now until we can replace the wood top completely with new solid planks. The only difference with the varnish is I used a water based satin varnish for the temporary top instead of the oil based matte boat varnish I will use when we have our final top. (The boat varnish is about $100 a quart so I’ll save it for later). FYI oil based varnish is best for dining room tables since there’s a lot of water and grease that gets on it (think kids and pizza). Water based varnish can absorb water and make drink rings and such. It leaves a cloudy spot.

Anyways. When we put the final top on I’ll show you how we do it with all the right stuff. For now we’re making it work.

Ok, so I got done painting the table outside and I was pretty happy with it. I thought it looked cool with the colors and farmhouse look. It was weird though, when we brought the table inside I didn’t like it. I don’t know what it was. It may have been that I wasn’t used to the lightness of the table in that spot, or that there was an ugly kid booster seat attached to the chair pushed up to the table. I have no idea, but for days I was like, “oh gosh… why don’t I love this?” I set some blooming peonies on the table in a giant mason jar and just put the table out of my mind for a while.

I noticed I slowly started to warm up to the table. I got rid of the booster seat and the peonies continued to bloom. I wiped the table down a few times and swept the floor around it. I walked past it a bunch of times. I am starting to like it. Really like it. It could be the peonies, but I think it’s the whole thing. So, I took pictures of it this morning in the early morning light. I definitely like it.

0 In Life

Together and Free Backyard Shoot

A few weeks ago Justin built a project with the boys in the yard. Leah Vis of Together and Free joined us while we were hanging out and shot this rad video. If you missed it check it out here, Leah is a rad family photographer. It’s a really unique way to capture your memories and so natural for the kids to be themselves.

In addition to the video she shot some stills and I love them! Most of the pictures are candids of us hanging out and the boys working on the project. We asked her for a few posed family pics which turned out great, but I think my faves are the ones when no one knew the camera was on them.

If you have a special day coming up you might want to have her come to preserve your memories in this really cool way. Or even just a regular day at home. Isn’t that the stuff of life? The big things, but also the little things? Cooking or doing laundry can be incredibly beautiful, don’t you think? Those are the things that are easy to forget, but they make up more of your life than holidays. That’s what I want more of… capturing more of the beautiful moments in my life!

You can also keep up with Together and Free on Instagram: @togetherandfree.

I hope you enjoy!

0 In Family

Cosette’s Birth: One Year Ago

It’s been a year since we met Cosette for the first time. That was a big day for our family.

It was the fourth time we’ve gone through the birth process with all the highs and lows. We knew what to expect, but since each birth is a unique butterfly so there was always unknowns. Even though I was nervous I knew it was going to be a really good day so we asked Leah Vis to come photograph Cosette’s birth. She has come to each of our births to photograph and it’s been great every time.

She catches those moments that fly by unnoticed or the emotions and memories that start to fade away after a while. I’m so glad I get to go back a relive the beautiful moments of the day we met our daughter Cosette.

I hope you enjoy!

0 In Photography

From Selfies to Self-Portraits

We’re home from our 10th anniversary getaway and it’s been fun to go back and look at all the photos we took on our trip. We stayed at The Parker in Palm Springs and The Venetian in Las Vegas–two wildly different hotels, but both are photogenic in their own unique ways.

Usually a lot of the photos that we have of Justin and me together are selfies are a crooked picture taken by a stranger. But this trip was different, just before we left Justin gave me a small tripod and a remote clicker for taking pictures on my phone. We got to try the setup out on this trip and it was so fun and we got some great photos.

If you want to try this setup out you can pick both of these things up for around $30. We think it was worth every penny. (The 3rd thing is a bigger mount if you have a iPhone Plus)

  1. JOBY GripTight GorillaPod Stand – $20
  2. Bluetooth Selfie Remote Shutter – $13
  3. Tripod Mount for iPhone Plus – $10

There are a lot of little tripods on Amazon but I like this one because the legs grip to whatever surface you set it on. We set it on weird stuff like odd shaped rocks and a tall uneven Joshua tree stump. The fact that it’s grippy and can conform to different surfaces makes all the difference.

If you try this out, here are a few tips for a getting great photos with the tripod and remote:

1. Think Bigger Than Your Arm

Think about what makes a compelling photo that includes more than just your face and a little background. Since the camera is not attached to your arm you can be more creative and take a shot from a perspective that’s unique.

2. Be Confident

You might feel like a dork smiling and posing by yourself in front of random strangers with no camera in sight, but do what you need to do to get a good shot.

The Venetian had this rad love art installation we wanted to get a photo in front of. We had to set my phone up on the other side of a fountain probably 30 feet away from us in order to fit all of the letters in the background. Not only did we have to stand on the other side of the fountain to strike our pose I had to be confident that no one was going to run away with my phone. I did tell Justin that he better chase down a thief.

3. Take More Photos Than You Think You Need To

Never take just one photo – we always take a handful of photos in each pose. And when I say “a handful of photos” you might think I just means 2 or 3, but I pretty much mean 6-8, at least. Sometimes we even move around a little bit since we can’t exactly see what looks best. The more photos you take the better chance you have at getting a great shot. You can always pick your fave and delete the rest after. This helps us to chose the photo with the least amount of background distractions.

If you’re taking a family photo you have a better chance of getting all the kids looking the same direction in your photo if you take a lot of pictures. Another variation is to set the camera up without your kids knowing and get some candid family shots. Those can be so precious.

The remote is better than using the phone timer because you can set it up and take multiple shots without running back to the camera. We also were able to stand there and wait for people to mosey out of our shot so it looked like we were the only ones there.

4. Think About the Details

Turn the sound up on your phone so you can hear the shots click. It helps to know when the picture is taken. Whoever is holding the clicker makes sure their hand is behind them or someone else’s back so it’s not noticeable. This might seem basic, but make sure the phone is attached in the clip so you have full access to the screen and you can tap anywhere to focus

We hope you enjoy these cool tools as much as we do!

3 In Marriage

A Letter to My Husband on our 10th Anniversary

To my husband on our 10th anniversary,

Over the past 10 years, Justin, you have been my most favorite person. You have also been my most unfavorite person. Sounds crazy, but that’s what it was. We’ve been together for a long time and at the beginning we were excited, but we had a lot of selfishness going on. We were attempting to make a great and happy life together, but sometimes we were pulling different directions. We didn’t agree on a lot of stuff and I felt like we were on different teams. You saw success one way and I saw it another and we were immovable.

The truth is that I didn’t trust you. I didn’t feel like I was the most important thing to you. My need for safety was way bigger than you must’ve thought and I didn’t fully feel sheltered by you. That meant it was hard for me to follow you. I see how that was difficult for you too because you didn’t feel trusted and honored as a leader. Which led to you being frustrated and trying to control certain things. Obviously that didn’t help and our cycle of fear and pride went round and round.

We had a lot of good times and I will always look back on all our years with joy and thankfulness, but it was hard too. We have always had the same goals, but we both saw different paths to get there. We both wanted faith filled lives, we wanted to serve the Lord and his church, we wanted to raise a family in faith and wisdom and we wanted to love each other well. For years we didn’t know how to get there together.

We always sought prayer and counsel from friends and our church family when times were especially hard. Nothing is more beautiful than the prayer and support of those who loved us and God working through others to speak to us. We also went to marriage counseling and with all theses things we started seeing amazing breakthroughs in our marriage. When we started counseling at year five we both said we wanted to be on the same team. It took a while, but I think we can both say that we made it. We’re a team.

Justin, you are my best friend, you are my teammate and I know that you love me with all your heart. I am the most important person to you. You shelter me. You serve me. You encourage me. You boost me on your shoulders. You are Jesus to me. You are my safe place. You truly are my favorite person. I trust you fully. I follow you with joy.

Thanks for walking beside me these past 10 years. We have a beautiful and blessed life and it’s only going to get better! I’m so excited.