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girl power

today i have three special women to share about!
these women inspire me and are great examples of following their passions in life.

ashley campbell
is one of my favorite people!
she is incredibly thoughtful & kind.
she is encouraging to everyone she meets.
she is a creative genius – it’s true!
and WOW does that girl know how to rock the camera!!
her style – the lighting, the editing, the sharpness – she is sooooo good!
And lucky for all of us… she started SnapShop to teach the rest of us about photography too!

she teaches how to use your DSLR camera and/or your phone’s camera – all online!
you can learn anything you wanted to know – at your own pace, in your own house.
there are so many great courses on her site!
(she even interviewed me for one of them… )

i think you need her classes.
who doesn’t want to take better photos?!

Registration includes access to all SnapShop content (used by over 3000 students since 2009), including: 

  • SnapShop DSLR Course (a $200 value)
  • SnapShop Phone Course (a $50 value)
  • Interviews & tips with leading photographers & bloggers
  • Course discussions
  • Additional lessons posted monthly by Ashley Ann and guests!

right now you can get $10 off your registration with the code Meg10.
click over to the SnapShop site and get started!

my friend wrote a book about friendships and it came out today!
Never Unfriended by Lisa-Jo Baker
1. how beautiful is that cover?? talk about perfect colors!
2. i love that she wrote a book on this subject because seriously… friendships are wonderful & amazing but not always – right???
3. when i met lisa-jo i was just supposed to get a ride to my hotel with her but she insisted i eat with them and spend the rest of the day with her group!  she is good at this friendship thing.  i can definitely learn from her and maybe you can too!

And another book came out today too…. but a different kind!
Simply Tuesday Adult Coloring Book by Emily Freeman
This is to go alongside Emily’s book Simply Tuesday: Small-Moment Living in a Fast-Moving World.
what a fun idea emily!!

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listen & watch

i have three things for you today.
two for listening and one to watch.



I absolutely loved this whole series of podcasts!
I miss the oprah show!  or at least i miss that time period in tv… and maybe in my life too.
I came home from school and watched oprah – pretty much every week day.
I was home with babies for years and years and every day at 4:00 “who’s on oprah?”
it was part of life!
I even got to go to an oprah show when we lived in chicago!  🙂
I loved hearing so much about the early years and behind the scenes in these podcasts.
if you enjoyed the oprah show – you’ll love this!
and i liked all three bonus episodes too.


we watched this documentary and i couldn’t stop thinking about it.
it will stick with you.
plot: After he is diagnosed with ALS, former professional football player Steve Gleason begins making a video diary for his unborn son, as he, his wife, and their friends and family work to raise money for ALS patients as his disease progresses.
it’s not an easy movie to watch.
but i am glad we did.



This American Life Podcast – Switched at Birth

I have listened to lots of these the past month or so.
It’s been around for years and years but i never checked into it.
So i started current and have been working my way back.  This particular one was so interesting!  I made craig have a whole conversation with me about it and he hadn’t even listened to it.  I just needed to talk about it!  It is wild!



Ronda - Yes, podcasts are how I survive my commute everyday. Totally adding Making Oprah to my lists. I second the Mike Rowe’s the way I see it as it is like 10-15 minutes and man is his voice mesmerizing. And if you aren’t listening to the The Popcast with Knox and Jamie then you need to go and do that immediately as they are the best and are like two best friends in your living room that keep you laughing.

Emily - I love podcasts and listen on my runs and any time I’m the driver on a road trip.
This American Life has been a favorite for years! One of our very favorite episodes is House on Loon Lake. Fun, creepy, nostalgic….I think you would LOVE it.
Stuff You Should Know is also fun and quick….and you feel kinda smarter after you listen.
This Is Criminal is a true crime podcast without being too dark.
Of course there’s Serial season 1 (NOT Season 2) which got lots of people into podcasts for a good reason…it’s excellent!
Checkout Radiotopia for lots of great podcasts.
Thanks for the share on the Oprah podcast, I listened the other day while I folded laundry and pulled weeds. I am so productive when I have a good story to listen to!

Cassandra Heck - YES! The switched at birth podcast was very interesting!! Have you listened to Mike Rowe’s The Way I Heard It? Short little random history stories, good stuff. 🙂

Shelly Reil - Just got done watching Gleason. Thanks for the suggestion! I watched it with my son and it wrecked both of us. My great uncle passed away from ALS probably 15 years ago (?) And now his son is battling it. It is so debilitating to everyone involved.

Renee - Love these posts because I’m always looking for new stuff! Keep ’em coming 😊

Christine - I LOVE podcasts too. I could listen to them none stop if I allowed myself. I too have listened to This American Life. Right now I am hooked on Good Job Brain. Hubby and I will talk about the podcasts we’ve listened to that were particularly good. Have a great day. Love your blog, have followed you for years!

Kimberlee - I listened to Making Oprah this Spring too and LOVED it!

Whitni Frasier - Hey Megan,
I sent you an email through the link on your website. I had a few questions about how you started your business. I know you’re very busy but if you ever get a minute I would really be so thankful for some wisdom from you. My email address is

Thanks so much and have a great week!

Elz - That podcast episode drove me crazy. The mom just kept her mouth shut for decades and seemed so ambivalent to the daughter she raised. My girls and I were going crazy about it. WHY? Huh? Wow? What?!

I’m a podcast nerd, I listen to so many. It’s a great way to learn all sorts of stuff.

Kelly Sites - I’m OBSESSED with Podcasts. It’s my treat to myself for when I’m working out, and it really makes me GO to the gym, and stay longer, because I want to listen to Podcasts. I have many favs, but I’m so super excited to listen to the Oprah one you mentioned. I LIVED for Oprah back in the day. And like you, every day at 4:00 was my time.

Podcasts I’ve loved:
The Simple Show- episode 64 A year off the internet

Smartest Person in the Room- all episodes on behind the scenes Hollywood (so fun)

The PopCast with Knox and Jamie- die laughing every single time….all of them are awesome.

Up and Vanished- great true crime (edge of your seat)

Embedded (great stuff)

ENJOY (and keep sharing great stuff like this)

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february is over???

i have tried to sit down to blog for a long time!
but i just couldn’t get to it… sports and dinner and work and chores and blah blah blah!
but here’s an update on my world.
TWINNING! the boys and the girls.

Lauren turned 22!
it’s wild to even think about how we have a “child” that age!
we took her to lunch and of course… SAM’S Club for groceries.
i love having us all together even if it’s just for a few hours.
going out to eat with 5 big kids/young adults is actually really fun!

Craig & Annie got to enjoy a WSU Shockers basketball game last week and just happened to be right behind Fred Vanvleet & Ron Baker!
my friend sent me the picture from the shockers IG with the text “what the heck?!”
and i said “what? that they are at the game?”
she said “THAT’S RON BAKER!” and i said “i’m not sure who that is but it sounds exciting!”
ha ha ha!
i was quickly schooled on WHO they were – former WSU players who are now in the NBA.

i saw this sign on @saltybison‘s instagram and immediately clicked over and ordered it.
it just felt right.
it will hang among my fun pics in our bathroom.

lots of love for mr. duerksen – he’s a keeper!

regular moments – chatting and laughing while making school lunches.
this was my “office” last week… all the furniture pulled together to keep the dogs from bugging me.
it didn’t quite work.  
my thrift shop embroidery score!
i thought i would put it at the Craft House but i am liking it here at my house for now.

my friend Pam has been back in the states for a few months and heads back to Liberia on Monday.
that is sad for me and happy for her.
before she leaves she made sure to come over and teach me how to make cinnamon rolls!!!
it wasn’t as hard as i thought!  i was super proud of these pans of yumminess!
and we made cheesecake too – because it’s THE pam of Pam’s cheesecake.
we couldn’t NOT make that!

last week i did something completely new for me – i cooked for a 4 day retreat at the craft house!
Stephanie Ackerman hosted the Creative Soul Retreat at the Craft House with Julie Carson as her speaker.
16 women… just like Camp Create but instead of leading the crafting projects i was in the kitchen making 3 meals a day.
it was very different but i liked it very much!
i tried to be as organized as i could be with lists and more lists.
i enjoyed being at the house with the group but in a totally different role.
and i always love spending time with Stephanie!
Royer’s Pie Haven sent a box of mini pies!
just a whole bunch of pies in a box – you should totally order these for a party!
so darn cute!
oh… and delicious too!

these were some fun ladies to cook for!
and she’s having another retreat in October – spots are open now!

and since i got to spend so much time at the Craft House last week – i took more pictures!

“abundant need” sign is from 2017 calendar for the Craft House Rentals  is almost completely booked!
if you were wanting to come with your group these are the only dates left:
may 12-14
may 26-28 (memorial day weekend)
july 21 – 23
august 11 – 13
november 24-26 (thanksgiving weekend)  last year all the women of a family rented it, made crafts AND did their black friday shopping too!
such a fun idea! maybe your family should do that this year?!!!

and possibly october 27-29 – because it is marked “Reserved”  but i cannot figure out WHO booked this weekend so i am 95% sure i just wrote down the wrong dates.
if it’s YOUR group that reserved it – please please please email me right away.
i have searched through every form of contacts i have and cannot find anyone asking for that weekend.

and if you want any of the other dates listed let me know!  🙂


Cassandra Heck - That “Abundant” sign <3 <3 <3 those words are beautiful, love it!!

Karly - Dear Meg, I have followed your blog for probably 7 years. I remember bfirst coming across your colorful blog when I was an art teacher! Somehow a link brought me to a cute project you did with your kids ( I think it had rainbows or turtles in it)! Anyways I have always checked back in every week or so to see all of your inspirational posts and adorable family. It’s hard for me to believe how big your kids are getting. I am still at the beginning of the parenting phase. I have a 1.5 year old and almost 4 year old. Thank you for blogging and showing us a little bit of your life! One day when the kids get older I am going to come to the Crafthouse for a weekend! 🎨🌈❤🌻

meg duerksen - KatyO, Mary & Michelle M – i purchased that sign from! They have hundreds of awesome signs!

KatyO - I came to the comments to ask about that “Abundant Need” sign as well! It is FANTASTIC!

Mary - I’m with Michelle M – could you please share where you got the “there is an abundant need” sign? Love it! -Mary

Michelle M - I love your updates and photos. Your life is colorful!

Please tell me where to get the There is an abundant sign from. Al I think it is you who has another sign on the stairs that I love. Can you tell me who made that one too-if it is you.


cindy b. - loved my four-day weekend at the Craft House with Stephanie and Julie! Meg, you were a fantastic chef 🙂 thanks for loving on us! ALL of the food was great!!

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let’s create in Round Top!!!

I am SUPER excited to invite you to the next event we have planned!
Stephanie Ackerman & Tara Royer Steele & I are hosting The Gathering Retreat in Round Top, Texas – May 10 – 13.
We want YOU to come & get creative with us, shop for all the great texas “junk” and eat the best food!

I have wanted to spend time in Round Top FOR-EVVVV-ER!
This is going to be a seriously FUN time ladies!
The Gathering Retreat is all inclusive… meals, lodging & supplies for the creative workshops are included.

TO REGISTER CLICK HERE.  – it is less than 3 months away!  🙂

Stephanie, Tara & I each love bringing women together to celebrate their gifts.
God has made all of us to create and made a million different ways to do it.
Using our creativity we can worship Him!
Through painting or sewing, drawing or cooking, writing or photography – we can bring Him glory!
We know that it can often be hard to make time for yourself to be creative.
But we also know that we when make it a priority – we are filled up.
Our hope with this retreat is to remind you of the super fantasic, creative woman God made you to be.
We want you to have a time away that is inspiring, relaxing and uplifting.

This retreat will be held at The Vintage Round Top.
This place is amaaaaazing!
We get to stay here and be creative all day in this beautiful space – this is so special!
I am giddy about it!

You will spend lots of time in creative workshops with me & stephanie.
We enjoy working together so very much!
There will be many, MANY hours of  messy, colorful creating together!
All your supplies for these workshops are included in your registration.

Tara Royer Steele is going to make sure we are filled up with home cookin’ from morning till night.
She is also going to teach a pie baking class for us!  YUMMMM!
There will be meals at the house but also get to visit Royer’s Pie Haven & Royer’s Round Top Cafe too.
Would you just look at this menu?!!!  And this is only about half of the options!
I can’t wait to try ALL the pie!!!
Be sure to bring your stretchy pants  🙂

You know I love to go junking… and I am over the moon about getting to do that here!
My heart gets beating a little faster when I think of all the chippy painted goodness we could find.
Round Top is known for having really good antiquing and I’m ready to see for myself!


1. Registration is open in my shop right now!  🙂

– First payment of $250 is today.
This payment is non-refundable but will go towards your total registration cost.

– Second payment of $500 is due on March 15, 2017

– Third payment of $500 is due on April 15, 2017

2. The house sleeps 15 – many queen & king beds meaning most will have to share beds.

3. If you will be flying please fly into IAH airport – Houston, TX.

4. Airfare & travel expenses are not included but we will take you to/from the airport on 5/10 & 5/13 if you need it.

5. Leave any questions you have in the comments and I will try to answer them.   🙂

Ashley - Would the price of airfare in the expenses be different if you live in Texas and can drive?

meg duerksen - Yes…Most likely you will have to share a bedroom.

Shetly - Do I have to share bedroom ?

Amy - I’m so excited! I have been wanting to go to craft weekend for years — and this is just a few hours drive away so I couldn’t pass up on this opportunity! I don’t know anyone else going, but trying to find a friend or two who wants to join me. If not, I’m still so thrilled to come! (Boy, that was a lot of exclamation points … can you tell I’m exicted?!)

Shay - Oh my word! I can’t believe this! I grew up 20 minutes from Round Top and ate at Royers Rounf Top Cafe many times. I remember the family well. I’m sure Tara and I would know some of the same people! I would die to come to this weekend and would sign up in a heartbeat, especially since now I knelt live 2 hours away. However, there is no way, humanly speaking, that this girl can afford it! God would have to work a miracle. Maybe I’ll start praying…😄

Michelle - Are there many spots left available? I want to sign up but need to discuss with my husband before committing but don’t want to miss out.

Katie Skiff - LOVE!! I was lucky to go to Round Top this summer, but I would go back with you anytime!!

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