Hi everyone! I’m so excited about this new chapter in my life…bringing my love of all things home to you from the perspective of a home grown Missouri girl. I have amassed a wealth of knowledge over the years and I’m here to tell you all about not only my successes, but the mistakes and failures along the way so that you too can learn from them. I’m a busy wife and mom who is a practicing physical therapist and I have a lot of hobbies. I find great joy in all of these things, but I’m a work in progress. I still burn things on occasion. I test a new recipe that’s not edible. I have to occasionally scrap projects and start fresh. These things are what makes Missouri Girl Home relatable and real.
This is how it all began:
My love of baking goes back to my tween years. Chocolate chip cookies, caramel pudding cake, and blondies were the predominant recipes of my youth. I began with simple recipes from my mom’s old cookbooks. They all had one thing in common…sugar (thanks dad for the sweet tooth)! My baking ability did not evolve to include “real food” until I was married and in college. Enter Food Network. I would meticulously follow the recipes and was always amazed at the results. After years of honing my cooking skills, I began to deviate from the original recipe, started creating my own, and adopted the old “a little of this, a little of that” way of cooking, the way our grandmothers use to. As a busy working mom and wife, my cooking style is broad and ever changing. I have a vast collection of recipes that range from fast and easy, budget friendly, healthy, and over the top extravagant. I have modified and tweeted countless recipes over the years until they are perfect…and now I’m so excited to share them with you!
In my final year of Physical Therapy school, my husband and I purchased our first home. It was an adorable home that backed up to the beautiful open Missouri countryside. What drew us to this home was the beautiful bay window and small turret that set it apart from other homes. When we found out we were expecting our first child, we turned our attention to the first project we had ever attempted to complete as a couple: the nursery. I found inspiration for the nursery while watching one of my favorite home improvement shows. Have you ever seen a picture of a room that you just couldn’t stop thinking about? This was that room for me. The process was fairly straight forward, no major renovations required. Mostly paint, decor, and installing a chair rail (easy, right?). Several weeks, several headaches, and one hormonal filled temper tantrum later (remember, I was 8 months pregnant), we had recreated the nursery of my dreams. It was incredible. Soft yellow, pink, and coral striped walls under a white chair rail, Pottery Barn pink curtains with embroidered butterflies, pink rocking chair, and white crib with matching changing table. I LOVED it. I would sit for hours in the rocking chair just looking around and dreaming of our new baby girl. I think what I loved most about that room was that WE did it. We were inspired by a beautiful room, developed a plan to recreate it, and executed it perfectly. This was the beginning of many more projects that eventually led us into DIY home renovation and even making our own furniture. We have done everything from building a barn door for our living room to building kitchen cabinets for our kitchen and I’m exciting to get to share it all with you.
Let me begin by saying I love gardening…but it doesn’t always love me back. I think anyone who has ever grown anything will understand these words. Gardening is simple in many ways. Put the plant or seed in the ground and then sit back and watch it grow. Well, sometimes that is the case and sometimes it is not. Plants, flowers, vegetables, and fruits all have different growing requirements (light, water, soil, minerals, pest control, etc). All of these things must be in balance to get the desired results. My first venture into gardening began with vegetables, specifically my quest to grow the perfect tomato. I was spoiled by that first year. I did very little research which is very unusual for me. My hubby built a raised garden bed, we filled it with compost and soil from a nearby garden center, put the plants in the ground (since I was trying to grow tomatoes why not throw a couple other things in with it, right?), and literally sat back and watched them grow. Little did I know we had just experienced the perfect summer for growing vegetables and that is a very rare occasion in Missouri. No pests, perfect amount of rain, nutrients in balance. I had an endless supply of gorgeous tomatoes and I did grow that perfect tomato…all 1 lb, 12 oz of it!!!
What took me by surprise was how much I enjoyed the process of growing. Every morning I would rise early and see how my little plants had changed. A new sprout one morning, a perfect little flower then next, then before you know it the first little fruit appeared. The anticipation is addicting. As is the experience of gardening, the smell of a Missouri morning as the sun just begins to rise, the sounds of the birds chirping, even the bees venturing from one flower to the next. Nature is amazing…and a little fickle. I have yet to experience success quite like that first summer. but I have learned a lot about how to deal with less than desirable conditions. I now know what a squash vine borer is and how to keep it from killing my squash! I have had about as many failures as I have successes and I can’t wait to tell you all about what I have learned along the way.
When you think back on your childhood, what are your fondest memories? For me, it was the Holidays (by holidays, I mean September through December). Didn’t you know that Fall is a holiday now???? I was lucky enough to grow up in the rolling countryside of Missouri, so I got to enjoy all four changing seasons. Fall has always been my favorite. There is just something about it. The chill in the air, the smell of smoke from the leaf pile, the changing color of the leaves. It’s magical. Then there’s the anticipation of Christmas and all that comes with it. The decorating. The baking. The Hallmark movies. Could it please just be FALLMAS all year long? No? Well I guess it’s best because I would sure miss gardening. Sigh. When I was a child, starting in September, my mom would begin to pull out the decorations. Fall, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, there were decorations for them all and I would beg my mom to pull them out earlier every year. As an adult, my love for all things FALLMAS has transitioned over to other holidays. What better way to deal with the after Christmas blues than to move on to Valentines Day?!?!?
As a former athlete and a physical therapist, I have always had an appreciation for fitness and wellness in general. My husband and I have always worked out regularly through various ways: HIIT workouts, yoga, and the occasional jog. Then my best friend decided to start running. I remember the day I went to see her cross the finish line of her first half marathon. It was such a challenge for her, but she did it and I was SO proud of her. As a way to support her, I decided to give running a try as well. This is still funny to me because in high school I HATED running. Anything over 100 meters was too far. How things change. When I first began running I had one goal: run 3 miles without walking. I didn’t put a time limit or pace on it, just kept it simple. It was soooooo hard. I wanted to walk every time. But I didn’t. And eventually it got easier. Then I was able to focus on speed and distance. Eventually I was able to run half marathons with my friend and hubby, and then even a few full marathons with some great running friends that I made along the way. Crazy, right? The girl who hated running is now a runner…and absolutely loves it!
Wellness is more than just a number on the scale. It’s about staying active, preventing injuries, mental well being, and making mindful choices in all things. I love food. I love sweets. I love laying on the couch and watching Christmas movies while drinking hot chocolate. However, I have had to learn how to balance the indulgent with the healthy, so I can be the best ME.