Thursday, December 18, 2014


First things first……I have been having email troubles - ugh!
If you been sending any email communication to my email address, I have not been getting
them for the last week!  I apologize as I have been trying to
figure it all out and make some decisions to as to what email 
service to use going forward.  In the meantime, if you could,
please reach out to me at
I know some of you had been asking about e-design in 2015 and 
I want to get that all sorted out so we are ready to go in January!

I love the quote above….it really speaks to me these days.  And
don't we all begin really thinking about the future and how we
want to be and how we want it to look at this time of year?

With a week to go till Christmas I am feeling ready for it to be over -
from a blogging perspective I am ready to sign off for the year.
I am not a Christmastime blogger - the tours, the over-the-top decor,
gift lists with referral links etc….It all feels disengenious and really 
not for me….and if it's for you, that's fine, it's just not for me.
Sorry for being a downer, I felt like I needed to get that 
off my chest….I have been at this a longtime, don't have a huge 
number of followers, blog irregularly {at best}, write run-on sentences 
and mis-use punctuation but hopefully, am authentic and real.
My reason for blogging is the same as it was in 2008 when I 
started this blog - to connect with those who love interior design,
home-keeping and life.  I hope you leave here inspired to make
your own home beautiful in a way that satisfies YOU.

I may or may not be back before the new year…we'll see if I have
anything to say.  My big girl and husband head to Florida the
day after Christmas for a soccer tournament so it will be 
quieter around here the week after Christmas….something
I am looking forward to….I need the time and space to think about
my design business and where that is going, spending some quality time
with my 12 year old, taking down the Christmas and making some 
plans for a new office for Jill Hinson Interiors - 2015 will be 
the year that I move from the kitchen table to a real home office
space - which means designing a fun, inspiring space to share 
with all of you!

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Friday, December 12, 2014

Christmas in the Kitchen….and a favorite recipe!

Welcome to my Christmas kitchen!
Thank you to Kelly from Talk of the House for inviting me to 
participate in her Christmas in the Kitchen blog hop!

As with the rest of our home, I keep the Christmas decor pretty
simple in my kitchen.  I tend to prefer natural elements.  
When my girls were smaller I started a Christmas snow globe
collection for each of them - this year I used them to 
decorate the open shelves on either side of my 
kitchen sink.  They are really the only non-natural element decor.

Our home is in Portland, Oregon.  When we purchased 
this home about four years ago, the cabinets were maple
stained.  We had them sprayed BM White Dove.  I also 
had my contractor remove two doors and convert
two cabinets to the open-storage/plate rack cabinet
you see below.

We also added the subway tile and the BIG Ballard Designs
lantern pictured below.  These pretty simple cosmetic 
changes made the kitchen more 'me'.

I love cooking and baking.

At Christmastime, I love to make homemade
treats and goodies with my two teenage daughters.

Since they were little, we have always made homemade
gifts for their teachers and our neighbors. I want
to instill in them a heart for giving and in my opinion,
homemade gifts are the best gifts!

This weekend we will make a triple batch
of our favorite granola recipe and package it
in jars I purchased at Ikea tied with a ribbon 
and personalized gift tag.  These make great gifts
for the special teachers and office workers 
at each of their schools.

I hope you will take some time to visit my fellow kitchen tour participants:

You won't be disappointed!!!


Below is our granola recipe.  We add dried cranberries to make it 
more festive but you could add nuts or any dried fruit! Also know, you
don't have to add the flax seed or chia seeds - I sneak them  in because 
they are good for you!  My girls add this granola to yogurt 
for a meal or snack.

** UPDATE - the first recipe I included was WRONG - coconut was omitted
which is very important!!!  This is why I probably never include
recipes on my blog!!!  Ugh!!!  Will Pin this correct version!

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Wednesday, December 10, 2014

A little Christmas in our Ho*Me*…...

I'm not going to chat your ear off about our holiday decor….

Here it is….I actually enjoyed doing less this year…..seems there is a
trend towards 'more life, less hassle' and I am a big fan of that mantra.

I couldn't resist these whimsical bottle brush trees from Anthropologie this year -
especially their fabulous colors….love.

I made the pom-pom wreath……I did.  I will attempt my version
of a 'tutorial' next week.  I'm not saying I would do it again.  I have
a wrist injury from the repetitive pom-pom making…..the jury is still
out whether it is worth it to just 'pop' for the cost of the Anthro version…..
I think I would if I had to do it all over, but that's me, the non-crafty,
impatient gal that I am.

Our tree was fresh cut by the hubs in the National Forest - it's irregular
and natural and I love it a lot.  My girls really like the process
of hiking in the forest to find the tree but would prefer a perfectly
coiffed and sheared Christmas tree farm tree….this year, momma won out.
We'll see what next year brings.

We have collected Christopher Radko ornaments since my parents lived
in Warsaw, Poland while my dad worked there in the early 90's.  The
Radko ornaments were manufactured in Poland and we were able to purchase
many for little money when we visited
 - my sweet husband carried many fragile ornaments
back to the U.S. in his carry-on backpack.  Thus, a collection was started and
over the years we have added others, including the tree topper.

I have also collected vintage glass ornament forever - always break a few each
year but love displaying them in my Polish dough bowl.

There you go!  I am not linking up with any Holiday house tours, I am not 
featured anywhere, I didn't have Balsam Hill send me a beautifully flocked tree….
but our home is decorated!  I have also enjoyed socializing with friends, making dinner
for my family, working with clients……nothing was harmed or neglected
in the process of decorating this house….
Merry Christmas!

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Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Striking Family Balance During a Busy Time of Year - $100 Visa Card Giveaway

If you have visited here more than a couple times, you probably know that I have two teenage daughters (well, technically just one, but my 12 year old will be 13 very soon).  I truly LOVE having teenagers.  I didn't think I would - when my girls were toddlers I seriously feared them becoming teens.  But I am here to tell you, you grow into it, you know your children and find that they turn into really amazing people who you really like to hang out with - that is, when they want to hang out with you!  And I know that not everyone has this experience; the teen years can go sideways quick and provide all sorts of challenges and heartbreak... I pray that my girls avoid all the bad stuff, but am aware that they may not… but so far, so good. What no one warned me about when I was balancing playdates, sippy cups and Elmo during those toddler years was just how much BUSIER the teen years are!  I spend an exorbitant amount of time in my car taking my active girls to school, soccer, volleyball and theatre classes.  Add in their social engagements and it could make for one hectic family schedule.   Hectic is not a space I enjoy occupying and I loathe feeling like the schedule is controlling our family… so I really believe that my role as a momma at this stage of the game is to provide balance in my girls lives...
The American Beverage Association has a new joint effort called Mixify.  Mixify is all about balance. Its mission is to inspire teens to find a balanced mix of food, drinks and physical activities every day in ways that are totally unique to them because everyone, every family, and every day is different. 

The ABA asked me to share what balance means to our family: 

1. Balancing time means that my girls enjoy some 'downtime' - time to be with themselves, our family or friends.  I like this time to be as unstructured as possible and involve as little technology as possible. I have always felt that too many structured activities could contribute my girls becoming people who just can't think creatively or enjoy stillness and quiet.

2.  Balancing our nutrition.  I plan our family meals every Sunday so we know that we will be eating healthy, balanced meals in the midst of whatever activities we have going on in our week.  I plan THREE meals and cook extra so we always have leftovers.  My plan assumes that we will likely go out to dinner at our favorite neighborhood brewpub or Mexican place so eating healthy meals at home most of the week provides the necessary balance to a fun night out. 

3.  Balancing my girls' activities.  There are a lot of debates about over-scheduling our children.  I fall on the more conservative side of this debate.  My oldest daughter has always been really active and up for signing up for any and all activities or trying any sport.  My younger daughter is quite the opposite.  She is more introverted and enjoys more creative pursuits. Besides playing volleyball, she really is not crazy about playing sports.  At 16 years old now, my active girl plays competitive soccer on a National Champion team and travels all over the U.S. to soccer tournaments.  She practices four nights per week and, in addition, does fitness conditioning at a gym.  She is also an 'A' student.  Last year, when she was a freshman in high school she really wanted to play high school lacrosse in the spring, in addition to keeping up with her soccer schedule.  We allowed her play.  Unfortunately, we all learned a lot about balance last spring, and it wasn't all good. This time of year leads to particularly busy schedules with lots of fun holiday activities added to the calendar.  Having some strategies on how we manage our time and nutrition during a season where the scales can be tipped {no pun intended!} toward over-indulgence is how our family strikes a healthy balance!

As part of this sponsored post, you have the opportunity to enter a BlogHer giveaway for a $100 Visa gift card!  To enter for a chance to win, please leave me a comment that answers ONE of the following questions:
  • What do you do to keep YOUR family balanced?
  • When it comes to achieving a balanced lifestyle, what do you struggle with?
  • What's your ideal balance for your family?
"Coke, Dr Pepper and Pepsi understand that getting a balanced mix of foods, drinks and physical activities for your family isn’t always easy. That’s why they’re coming together for the first time ever to talk to teens about balancing what they eat and drink with what they do. With tools to help teens get active and information to help them think about when they’ve had too much, or maybe when it’s time for a treat—America’s beverage companies are supporting our efforts to find a balanced mix that works for our families.”
Visit to learn more about Mixify, or visit the website for teens. You can also follow ABA Delivers on Twitter and Facebook to learn about Mixify and all the other efforts America’s Beverage Companies are undertaking to help families achieve balance.
Sweepstakes Rules:
No duplicate comments.
You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:
  1. Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post
  2. Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the following unique term in your tweet message: “#SweepstakesEntry”; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post
  3. Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post
  4. For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.
This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. The notification email will come directly from BlogHer via the sweeps@blogher email address. You will have 72 hours to respond; otherwise a new winner will be selected.
The Official Rules are available here.
This sweepstakes runs from 12/9/14 – 12/24/14.
Be sure to visit the American Beverage Association brand page on where you can read other bloggers’ posts!

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