Author Archives: Mary Spitzer

“O” is for Overwhelmed


Hello there, Friends!


I’m in this stage of life right now: the small-children, everyday-seems-like-chaos, got-to-keep-my-head-above-water, stage of life. And it’s a struggle sometimes not to think of it in that way.

"O" is for OVERWHELMED ::

Because the truth is, I absolutely ADORE this stage of life and I wouldn’t trade it for the world–I was born for this! I love the dirty diapers (yes, you heard me). I take joy in changing my babies’ diapers! I love the tickles and giggles. And I love those sweet moments of correction when God has given me the grace to say the right things and direct their little steps closer to the Truth. But some days I just get so very overwhelmed with my “to-do” list as well as the daily stuff that seems to pile up even faster than I can even imagine how to keep up with. As I lie awake with my mind spinning and trying to come up with a plan-of-attack for the month to come, I’m reminded of this verse that quickly calms my spirit and brings me back home.

Psalm 61:2  "from the end of the earth I call to you when my heart is faint. Lead me to the rock that is higher than I,"  I

Lots of love,

The Clean Oven Door Solution – For Realz!

Hi Friends!

You can go ahead and give me the title of “Worst Blogger Ever” since I disappear for weeks on end without notice… yet you’re still here, faithful and waiting. I have many things to share with you including photos from a lovely trip to Belgium and Paris. But for now, I MUST share with you this wealth of knowledge that recently fell into my lap!

The clean oven door solution  I

Have you ever spilled something between the glass of your oven door? I did! It all started a few months ago when I was quickly taking a bowl of oatmeal out of the microwave (which is above my oven). Whoops! Down it went, behind the microwave door and directly into the grated vent holes and between the impossible-to-get-to glass panes inside the oven door! Ugh! I immediately took to Pinterest in search of someone’s tutorial on how to possibly get in there to clean it out. I read many articles and crazy MacGyver tricks like sticking a rag in and using a hanger to move it around to completely disassembling the entire unit. Nothing worked for me! No matter how many screws I unscrewed, I could not get that darn oven door open! So I lived with a gross oven door for a while. Until…

My friend and homemaking genius Eryn posted a funny photo on Facebook on how she got a rag stuck between her oven door glass in an attempt to clean it out (see MacGyver reference above). She had a service man come out to retrieve the rag for her and he showed her how easy it is to disassemble the oven door for future cleanings.

She shared this wealth of info with me and I nearly fell over finding out how EASY it is to remove and disassemble my oven door! Well I couldn’t keep this knowledge to myself so here it is. Are you ready? The key is unlocking the door hinges so that you can lift the door off of the frame. See photos below showing step-by-step.

This is what your hinge should look like now:The clean oven door solution  I

Place fingers as shown as far back as possible:
The clean oven door solution  I

Pull upward as shown:
The clean oven door solution  I

Pull all the way back:
The clean oven door solution  I

The clean oven door solution  I

This is what your unlocked hinge should look like:
The clean oven door solution  I

Once both sides are unlocked, place your oven door upright but not completely closed. Pull upward and out to remove the door from the frame (this is difficult and requires a little muscle). Once the door is removed, you should be able to access all the screws to disassemble the door and access all window panes for washing. I would advise to take photos as you go along so that you know how everything goes back together. Also, keep your screws in the same place as to not lose them.

WARNING: Oven doors are very heavy! Remove with caution and solicit help if needed. Be extremely careful handling glass. Aside from the obvious risk of cutting yourself, this glass is very expensive to replace.

Happy cleaning!

Lots of love,

Shoe Storage – Again!

Some of you may remember the cute little shoe bench that I painted a while back for the kids. And more recently the custom shoe cabinet that I just updated. Well, here we are again addressing the ever popular shoe dilemma. We have outgrown the shoe bench. Most of the time it’s overflowing and we’ve been found many times digging for that matching pair of shoes during crunch time when we’re trying to get out the door!

With four little kiddos now (meaning four different shoe sizes to sort through), I needed a place to separate them for each child, but still keep them downstairs and easily accessible. My solution this time around is the simple plastic basket.

Shoe organization  I

I found the baskets at Target for $5 a piece. (Smaller versions of this same basket can be found at the Dollar Tree for only $1 a piece.) This system works for us right now!  The girls know which basket is theirs and they also know how to put away and sort the shoes — a huge time-saver!

Shoe Organization  //

The baskets fit in the closet nicely and it’s been much easier to keep the shoes contained now!

Fun fact: Gabby (2nd Child) has twice as many shoes as everyone else. I was thinking why that was the case and then it totally made sense: first, she gets all the hand-me-downs. And then because she gets so many hand-me-downs, I feel guilty and buy her new shoes, too! #spoiled #notabrat

Lots of love,

My First Canvas Painting!

DIY to a whole new level! Have you ever dreamt of being an artist? Like a real one… that you’ve see in the movies? You know the picture. A blank canvas in front of you. Music playing in the background. Nothing but you and your paintbrush with a beautiful mountain or beachside view for inspiration. You’re wearing a beret–okay, maybe I’m taking it a little too far!

My surroundings were a bit different than in my dreams. Adi was at school and the boys were down for a nap at the same time — it’s my chance! My three-year-old, Gabby, wanted to paint “like mommy.” So I set her up on the kitchen island with newspapers and a scrap piece of wood. Nick Jr. on in the background to keep her doubly entertained in hopes that I could create a two-hour window to pull off a painting. It worked save a few trips to refill Gabby with snacks and more paint colors. Gabby had a great time too! *wink*

Turn an old throw away canvas into your own custom art!  //

I went for a kind of pop-art style and copied a photograph of my oldest girl, Adi. Yes, she’s only five-years-old. I’m thinking this is a vision of her much older… or I’m just not a very good painter. Probably the latter! Anyway, I had a ton of fun and can’t wait to paint more pieces!

DIY - Turn an old canvas into new custom art!  //

My favorite part of the painting is the lips! And it’s hard to see in photographs, but the gold has an amazing sheen to it when the light hits the canvas.


Sometimes I look at it and I’m super critical — so many things to tweak and fix. And other times, it catches my eye and I just love the depth of the colors and textures.

From an old canvas to new custom art. DIY project.  //

Question: do you think I should add a caption to the photo?  She has a curious look on her face and I thought it may look good to add a caption bubble, but haven’t thought of anything good enough to make permanent. Any ideas?

Lots of love,

Dumpster Divin’

I’ve reached a new low… dumpster diving! Okay, okay… before you get all grossed out, let me explain. We have new construction in our neighborhood, which means construction dumpsters everywhere! And I must confess that I may have taken a scrap piece of wood or two that was sticking out of the top, and maybe a wooden pallet as well — of which many are thrown out almost daily. It’s tempting not to go around and collect things, but then my house would become a dumpster. And since I just had a garage sale and got rid of a lot of stuff, I must refrain. Anywho, let me get back on track.

Have you ever missed trash day? Ugh! Don’t you hate it?! Well, one of the benefits of having new construction in your neighborhood is that big dumpsters make it super easy to purge your trash when you miss trash day. One evening when we were “dumping” our trash (shhhhhhhhh…don’t tell!), I saw that someone else had the same idea and I found this huge canvas (see picture below) leaning against the dumpster! I know what you’re thinking: “WHO WOULD WANT THAT?!” I know it’s dated and shall we say “not my favorite.” (That’s what we tell the kids to say when they don’t like something *wink*.)

Transform an old canvas to new!  I

Transform an old canvas to new! I

Well, it’s a 40″ x 50″ canvas and those can get pretty pricey when you buy them brand-new. I’ve always wanted to play “artist,” so why not paint over an old canvas piece and make it my own? After all, it’s not going to cost me anything. So we took it home!

Stay tuned for the BIG reveal. It may or may not be considered “good” art, but I’m giving myself an “A” for effort!

Lots of love,

Etsy Stuff I Covet!

I’ve found some really, really cool Etsy shops lately and I just had to share! I could get lost on that site! So many one-of-a-kind treasures and awesome gift ideas!

First up is a shop called Stag Head Designs! They make men’s and women’s rings out of titanium, wood, and dear antler. Some have the most beautiful turquoise detail! I’m swooning!

Stag Head Designs  I

Next up is More Than Porcelain! The artist, Monika, creates beautiful glazed porcelain from both vintage and new pieces. She specializes in an Edgar Allan Poe & Alfred Hitchcock styling that adds a little whimsical humor to the occasion. Bummer that she’s all the way in Greece… but the product just may be worth the shipping! LOVE!

More Than Porcelain  I

And lastly, White Faux Taxidermy has some amazing resin sculptured animal heads that will add a little modern-chic to any room!

White Faux Taxidermy  I

Lots of love,