About

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Well hello!

You have no idea how blessed I am that you are here… reading my “About” page! Thank you so much for dropping in!

Tiny take on me:  I’m Julie Briones: Mom, G’ma, daughter, sister, (retired) office manager, primary caretaker of my mom-with-Alzheimer’s, diy-er, crafter, thrifter, and first and foremost, Jesus follower (without Him, I am nothing).  I feel like this is where I should break out singing, “Grace… Grace.. Goddd’s grace!”  Anything good that comes from this blog is because of His grace, and is done for His glory.

My small part of the world:  Born, raised, and residing in Southern California, I formerly lived in a 400sf loft apartment, but now I reside in a 900+ sf apartment that is just *perfect* for me, as I now am the primary caretaker of my mother with dementia and we share My Wee Abode (2.0) together.

My little (but growing) family: I have two grown children, both married, and, at the time of this writing, my daughter and son-in-love have a 7-year-old boy, a 4-year-old girl, and a 1-year-old boy. My son and daughter-in-love have a 5-year-old boy. a 3-year-old girl, and a brand new baby boy!  All of them are the delight of my soul!  Blessings upon blessings, I’m tellin’ ya!

family photo in front of church door

After 6 years, we finally got an updated photo! Out of eight photos,
not ONE had Jellybean #1 and 3 with eyes open!

An itty-bit on why I blog: I am a ‘late-bloomer’ in Blog Land, having only started reading and following blogs in Mid-2016.  But after I started, I was HOOKED!  I so much appreciate the kindness that bloggers show us readers by sharing all their projects, tips and tricks.  But one thing I couldn’t find, as I jumped from one wonderful post to another, was a blog that dealt with those of us that live in smaller homes… dare I say ‘tiny’ homes?  Even RENTAL HOMES?! Duh-duh-duuuuuh!  Yep, that’s me and My Wee Abode.  I want to share things I’ve learned (and am learning) with others in my same situation.  How to create a beautiful, peaceful, comfortable, and cozy home in a small space.  AND, do it on a budget… I mean a REAL budget!

Another reason I started the blog… I wanted to get to know people that like/love what I love, so we can share and learn together.  I write a post; you share your thoughts and ideas in the comments. I reply to your comments; we get to know each other… we connect!  Annnd, there’s even Facebook, Pinterest,  and Instragram to connect through, too!  Pretty cool, huh?!

Mini-facts:

  • My birthday is December 24, and I LOVE it!!!! (I bet you thought I was going to give my age…)
  • I’ve been a single-again-mom (not by choice) since my children were 5 and 2. But, it’s all God’s goodness!  Truly!
  • I love my church family!  They have been a HUGE support to me and my tiny family for many years!
  • My Wee Abode is the first home that I can call ‘all mine’ in over 20 years!  And I’m having SO MUCH FUN!
  • I love Smarties candy.
  • Dark roasted coffee, black, no sugar is my coffee of choice (anyone out there tried Aldi’s brand?  It is REALLY good!)
  • Fave colors? Aqua… and blue… and green.
  • Roller coasters are SO FUN, but not the one I have been on most of my life with my weight. (Just keepin’ it real, friends!)
  • I have a HUGE collection of out-of-print books from the 1800s and newer, and I love learning about the lives of the authors.
  • Let you in on a little secret… I would LOVE to learn to swing dance!
  • I collect vintage Pyrex, but I’ve had to limit myself to the turquoise and pink patterns.
  • Bad customer service is probably my biggest pet-peeve (again, just keepin’ it real!)
  • And… wait for it… I’m 52, 57 years old.  Yep, I said it! (Fun fact: “Julie” means “youthful one”… but I think it may simply mean “immature one” (wink).

I finally updated the photos of my grands… the three on the top are my daughter and son-in-love’s children, and the three on the bottom of my son and daughter-in-love’s.

photo of grandchildren with titles

Now, it’s your turn!  Please leave a comment in the section below.  I would really enjoy learning about you!   I read every comment that is left and try my VERY best to reply to each one, as well.  If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at [email protected].

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77 Comments

    1. Haha! You are so funny, “Mr. Smith”! Thank you, cousin! And thanks for ALL the help along the way, and in the future! It’s nice to have a professional designer “in my back pocket”! Love you!

  1. I love all the little facts you left about yourself. It’s good to get to know you a bit better. Looking forward to following your blog!

    1. Hehe… I re-wrote this I don’t know how many times! Glad you enjoyed it! We’ll share some lil’ facts about each other on our next visit! Hugs!

  2. This is soooooooooo beautiful! I am so glad that you have finally been able to develop, enjoy, and now share your gift of creativity since moving into your Wee Abode. Congratulations on your launch!

    1. Teresa!!!! Thank you so much, dear friend! Your opinion means a LOT to me! Thank you for cheering me on and encouraging me the last… many months!!! Love you and miss you! Hugs and hearts!

  3. Julie – I LOVE your blog, your charm, wit and enthusiasm ! I am so very proud of you for starting your blog. I KNOW you will have much success with it. Big hug & pat on the back to you!! xx

    1. Thank you, again, Kelly! Your sweet words and overall kindness to me in the past year have meant SO much! You’re a HUGE blessing in my life! I only hope one day to be as successful as you and My Soulful Home! Hugs back!

  4. I just found some more things we have in common – Smartie LOVE and classic books! Aaaaand…I just had to tell you, your printables are amazing! Sweet abode, sweet friend. 🙂

    1. Too funny! We’ll need to share our favorite authors next time we chat! 😉 Thank you for the kind words about the printables. I really enjoy making them! Hugs!

  5. I love this! Following you for sure. I’m going to be a grandma in August 2018 (first time). I’m 57. I have 4 grown children. Two of them are married. I live in a rented apartment and I love coastal farmhouse decor. I really appreciate someone who writes for those of us with smaller spaces and budgets. Thank you!

    1. Hi, Tracey! Thank you for sharing… WOW, we have quite a bit in common! Congrats on your upcoming grandchild! SO EXCITING! You hear it all the time, but, being a grandparent is such a delight! Nothing quite like it! I hope to see and hear from you often at My Wee Abode! LOTS of fun stuff coming up for small rental homes. Glad you will be along for the ride!

  6. I love it! I love the name of the blog and your ideas. You’re the best! And most of all, I love you!

  7. I’m so happy to get to know you! Your blog is great and I’ll enjoy seeing your ideas. Eight years ago we moved from a 4 bedroom 4 bathroom 3 levels suburban home to a 3 bedroom 2 bathroom 1 floor ranch home. I like the smaller home. I own it, it doesn’t own me.

    I’m looking forward to sharing this blogging adventure with you, my new friend 😊

    1. Hi, Kay! So glad you came by and shared a bit about yourself! I’m glad you are enjoying your ranch home… If I ever was able to purchase a home, a ranch style would definitely be my first choice. 🙂

      Looking forward to getting to know you better, as well… and enjoying your blog! Have a wonderful week! Hugs and hearts!

    1. Thanks for coming by, Ang! My family is a real blessing, and very thankful to the Lord for giving me children that are walking with Him! Yep, this is all about Him! Hugs and hearts!

  8. I am new (as of today! 4//18/18) to your blog and am, loving it already! Congratulations on the new little one-how exciting!
    My birthday is Dec. 23rd and I LOVE it at that time, too. I love that time of year-the reason for it, the lights, the music, the food, the decorations.
    I LOVE to needlepoint, LOVE Colonial Williamsburg,. LOVE Dachshunds (real ones and collecting figurines-although they are hard to come by). and LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the color purple in any and all shades. I love to read, work in the yard (I actually don’t mind mowing as it gives instant gratification, you know?) and enjoy singing the good ‘ole hymns. I love great organ music and am a big fan of Diane Bish (if you haven’t heard her play the organ, go to her website The Joy of Music.) I am a Midwesterner, but have heart from the South my mother used to say. I am not a coffee or tea drinker but am a fan of Aldi’s that you mentioned. I have heard their coffee is really good. I’m liking your Wee Abode and look forward to reading more about it. Those are some of my likes. I understand the idea of curating the home and the feeling of wanting to do it NOW, but that it takes time. Thanks for all you do!!! Looking forward to connecting!!! Enjoy the day.

    1. Welcome, Nancee! So glad you found My Wee Abode! Thank you for the introduction.. So fun to read, and it made me giggle with joy! 😉 We seem to have much in common. If we ever meet, I’ll have coffee and you can have…???? Again, thanks for sharing, and looking forward to getting to know you more! Hugs and hearts!

  9. I loved reading this, Julie! I probably need to update my about page and add more facts about myself! Lol.. My husband and I are also living in a rental. That can sometimes be a problem when it comes to decorating, but luckily our landlords are pretty lenient when it comes to painting and small updates. I am glad to have met you through the linky party, today! You have a beautiful family. I don’t have any grandbabies yet, but I am looking forward to them.

    1. I’m so glad you came by today, and that we ‘met’. 🙂 I thought you might have a rental home, only because of the familiar tile I saw in the living area. 😉 You’ve done LOVELY things in your home, as well. We will definitely be learning together. I think my LL would be fine with me painting, and, if I could get a sponsor, I think she would be okay with new flooring, too. I installed my open shelves, and she loves them! 😉 Win-win! Talk again soon!

  10. Just found your blog from Stonegable feature! I’m 52 and a grandma which IS truly a blessing. Love your crafts and curating a home regardless of size! I recently retired from the corporate world due to a chronic health issue. I now consider staying home and creating a warm and inviting home for my family a privilege.

    1. Welcome to My Wee Abode, Bobbi! Stonegable was one of the first blogs I ever started following! Yvonne is an amazing woman, isn’t she? Grandparenting IS one of the biggest blessings here on Earth, I agree. 😉 So sorry about your health issues, but what another amazing blessing to stay home and create a piece of Heaven on Earth for your fam and friends! Please be sure to share what you are doing with all of us… we always like to learn and share together here. Have a wonderful week!

    1. Oh, Wendy! Welcome! So excited you’ve joined us… really! Thank you… I am blessed beyond all that I could think or imagine! Yes… all HIM!! Hugs, new friend! 😉

  11. I want to wish you an early Happy Birthday. Your printables are so beautiful! Thank you for sharing! Are you the artist?

    1. Thank you so much for the birthday wishes, Chelli, and super happy that you are enjoying the printables. I did *not* do the actual artwork. I purchase the elements from an artist that I love, and then I arrange the art elements, decide on the quotes and fonts, put everything together and then format for my readers. 🙂 I’m very thankful for amazing artists and that we can work together to create digital artwork for others. 🙂 Merry Christmas!

      1. I love them! Your collaboration together is amazing. I am so happy to have found your blog! Merry Christmas and many blessing to you in the New Year!

  12. I found your beautiful calender on Pinterest. Thats why i’m here for the first time.
    When i red about you i felt that its not the last time.
    I’m from Sweden and my namn is Ellinor.

    1. Ellinor, thank you for commenting, and I’m so glad you found the blog! I hope you will come by often, and share your thoughts… All the way from Sweden! Wow!

  13. So nice to meet you Julie!! I have been enjoying your Instagram posts and look forward to getting to know you through your blog!! Thanks for following along with me as well 😉

    1. Thanks for coming by and commenting, Cindy! It’s been fun getting to know you, as well. 🙂 Hope to ‘see’ you more. Have a great weekend! Hugs and hearts!

  14. Hi Julie, it’s nice to meet you! Saw and commented on your post – How to Install a Wireless Ceiling Light. Wonderful family you have there and the little ones are precious, nothing like grandbabies, huh? I’ve just started following you on social media.

    1. Oh, I’m so glad you found My Wee Abode, Dee. Yes, nothing like grandbabies! I need to update the site to show my 8 month old granddaughter, too! 😉 Thanks for commenting… it made my day!

  15. Julie, I just found your Blog and subscribed! At this time we don’t have a tiny home but we’re de-cluttering big time. I love your inspiration to making things simple yet beautiful no matter the size of space we live in. More than that I’m a follower of Jesus Christ as well and I’m enjoying getting to know another Sister-in-Christ who loves beauty, finds joy each day, and mostly, loves Jesus! Be blessed!

    1. Oh, I’m so glad you found My Wee Abode… welcome! Always love to have another believer along for the adventure! Hope you come and visit often. Hugs and hearts!

  16. Hi Julie, I can’t believe you just started blogging a few years ago! Congratulations! I am just reading all the comments. What part of the country are you in? I love your story ! Thank you for sharing! xo laura in CO

    1. SO happy to have you join us at Tuesday Turn About, Laura, and thank you for the kinds words. I apologize for the late reply as I was at Haven last week/weekend. I’m actually in So Cal. 🙂 Where are you from?

  17. Hi, I just found your blog. I loved the parts I did see, especially the art work. So I subscribed and will continue to check it out. Thank you for sharing yourself with all of us.

  18. What a gift this has been, stumbling across your blog!! I was feeling a little blue this morning as we get ready to leave our (rented) home of 7 years here in Germany for a new life on the east coast next week. All sorts of challenges involved in this process, including light for our precious girl to read or play music by when there’s no overhead wiring in her tiny cubby…erm, room. Enter “My Wee Abode”! Problem solved!! Your post on how to hack an overhead light is PERFECT for our needs. And then, because I was having so much fun, I perused the closet hack and the coffee cubby station. I found myself brainstorming different possible displays and arrangements for my new kitchen and tiny entryway. Instead of dreading this move quite so much I’m starting to envision possibilities. Thank you for being a spark of encouragement, and for the gentle nudge of conviction about rejoicing in all circumstances that I felt when I saw your coffee station sign about gratitude. 😉

    1. Well, I’m SO thankful you found MWA today! And, I’m so glad you found some helpful tips for small living! You truly made my day… probably my week! Funny… one of my close blogging buddies just moved from the east coast to Germany! Small world! Hope to see you often, Maria!

  19. He, Julie, I wanted to touch base with you on your question at blogging over 50. You were wondering about linking to sites that were not secure. From my experience this last year, I’ve stopped going to any blogging site without a secure address. Ron and I spent hundreds of dollars in computer repairs because of the infections in 2019. Since I stopped, things have been better.

    P.S. You were also asking some time ago about another tailwind group to join. The group Bloggers Best Seasonal DIY Crafts and Decor headed up by Hearth and Vine has been a wonderful group for me. I’m still in the process of adding on one more group, so any suggestions would be appreciated!
    Hugs,
    Rachelle

  20. Hi Julie! For some reason, I thought I had read your About page long ago, and just today realized I had never read it! We have many things in common! (But I am several years older than you!) I just love your blog, and I’m glad you joined this wonderful blogging world.

    1. I just read your About page, too… we do have quite a few things in common… however, I would have NEVER guessed from your photo that you are older than me! 😉 How long did you homeschool for? (I loved being a homeschool teacher to my kids!)

  21. It’s so nice to get to know you better. I’m a single Mom too, love this blogging thing and sharing inspiration and dark coffee and I could go on and on! Your website is beautiful!

  22. I just found you blog through Graphic Fairy. Trying to print the monograms in plain black to make my daughter her birthday present by using the numbers to print out her street address and put them on a board for her front porch after I decoupage them.
    I love crafting and with this shut in have been doing several Christmas presents and now I am working on the upcoming birthday presents for kids, grand-kids and great-grandstands.
    Do you have any suggestions for your Monogram letters to be printed in black only?
    Plan on printing several of your versus for my living room wall.
    Thank you for all the freebies. Love them.

    1. Hi, Patty… so glad you are using the printables as a gift! Fun! Are you wanting to print the whole thing in pure black and white… even the flowers? Are you wanting no gray tones at all? If so, let me know and I can look into it for you. If you just want black and white with the gray tones, you can choose the grayscale button on your printer’s dialog window. It will then only print in black and white and gray tones.
      Would you let me know how you found my blog through Graphics Fairy? 🙂

  23. Hi Julie,
    Your blog literally just popped up on my screen after my Zoom Bible Study class!! I have no idea where it came from….maybe a God thing.☺️ And I am so glad it did. I am a single, 64 year young nurse living in Houston. I don’t work at the bedside anymore but as a case coordinator and really enjoy it.

    No children but 4 nieces and nephews. I will be retiring in the next year or two and I plan to downsize from my 3 bedroom home to a one bedroom rental. I’m looking forward to reading your blog of ideas and pictures!

    I enjoy crafting, learning to quilt as I go and a little gardening when it’s not 100 degrees outside! Reading and baking are hobbies also.
    I’m involved with my church and our choir and Bible study, and have met so many sweet friends.

    Have a wonderful Sunday!
    Blessings.

    1. Oh, thank you for commenting, Sandy, and sharing a wee bit of your life! That is so strange… I’ve never had anyone say that my blog popped up on their screen like that. Must be the Lord! LOL! I’m looking forward to hearing about your downsizing and retirement. Sounds like you have lots to do! I hope MWA is a blessing and help to you. Lots of plans for more small-living posts in the near future here, too!

  24. Hi Julie,
    Stopping by to say hi, and I know that song you quoted up above in the first paragraph. I’m just astounded to realize that we’ve been blogging the same amount of time… and I’m wondering how you “did it.” I mean, how you’ve been able to grow your blog so much and all… any tips for me? I feel like I’m struggling to gain momentum, lots of times. (Oh, I’m not running out of projects or things to write about– not at all!!) And I homeschool. It would be fun to meet you sometime but we live on opposite coasts!

    Liberty

    1. Thanks for dropping in at my About page, Liberty. It is so sad that so many wonderful bloggers are anywhere by the west coast! LOL! (Some are here, but not many.) I jealous of your blogging lunches you get to attend with Yvonne and others (Yvonne told me about it. ;-)). Let’s see. My first tip would be if you don’t have an opt-in, to figure one out and offer it to your readers. The second tip would be to practice photography. I really study and look at other blogs and read all the free tips I can about interior photography. Photos are HUGE in our niche! Thirdly, create lots of great pins with great photos for each post and use TW to schedule your own pins and share others. Take a look through the last two months of Tuesday Turn About… We give a blogging tip each week! Hope that helps!

  25. Have just discovered you, and I couldn’t be more pleased. A REAL person with ideas instead of a super blown designer trying to be like one of us. I’m 88, a former teacher, and family trucking office manager…now retired and widowed. I have 6 daughters, 5 are teachers, and 19 grands. Am expecting my first Great-grand next month. I try my hand at almost every craft, and needlework, and manage to keep busy. Looking forward to more of you, and your ideas.

    1. Thank you so much for sharing, Margaret! You sound like you have had a very full and busy life! Go you! Let us know when your great-grand arrives! Hope to see you here often! Hugs and hearts!

  26. So nice to get to know you. I’m also a later life blogger I just started mine a couple of months ago. I have always wondered about Aldi’s coffee but was afraid to try, now I will! We just bought a fixxer upper two years ago and have remodeled and continue to on a very small budget. We do all the work ourselves. Excited to keep reading your blog. Hopefully I will have some success like yours.
    Sincerely,
    Corine

    P.s. I’m 50 something too.

    1. So glad to have met you, Corine… You are doing great for just starting your blog! Congrats! It’s great to be doing this to keep our minds sharp… there’s always something to learn! Looking forward to seeing more of your home!

  27. Hello, this is the first time I have responded to a blogger! I’m a retired school teacher and currently run an eBay business. I am not creative or artistic, but I enjoy trying. I have the velvet and most of the supplies. I am going to give my pumpkins a different slant. I will try to keep up….thank you for the upbeat attitude. Must run “Gunsmoke” on TV is calling my name.
    Gwen in Texas

    1. So happy to meet you, Gwen… and glad you commented! I feel so honored! Be sure to send me a pic of your finished pumpkins! Very fun! (Love me some Gunsmoke!)

    1. Oh! So glad to have you with us, Michelle! Welcome! And thank you for commenting and letting me know! Hugs and hearts!

  28. Hi Julie,
    Just stumbled across your wee blog site this morning and was captured by the title. I too love the Lord and see His beautiful hands in the details of my life. My husband and I sold our home in Sacramento and moved to Oregon in the summer of 2019. We decided to become renters and downsized to a 925 sq ft apt. We were more than blessed having secured a 2 br ground floor apt on a small lake The walking circumstance is about 1 1/4 mi around. We are on the Pacific “flyway” for water fowl migration and enjoy God’s beautiful creation on a daily basis. I have decided to call our little lakeside/cottage abode “Wingbeat” because of the most amazing sound that literally hundreds of geese make on lift off. I am a retired nurse and my husband a retired chaplain. I love to decorate but have had to give up gardening which was a passion of mine. I love reading especially mysteries which contain historical content. I use to paint in college and hope to get started again soon. We have 3 children, 13 grand children , and 9 great grand. Enough said about me for sure. I really look forward to following your blog. Blessings

    1. Vicki, so nice to ‘meet’ you and thank you for the wonderful intro! Wow, 925sf is definitely downsizing! And how wonderful to live near a lake with all the birds and waterlife! And I love the name of your home… so sweet! And you have indeed been blessed with all those children and grands! God is good, all the time! I look forward to seeing and hearing from you on the blog! Hugs and hearts!

      1. So clear it’s laughable…thanks. One idea that I found great for storage is to use the dishwasher. Top rack holds all of our coffee supplies. The Kurig sits on the counter right above it. The bottom rack is used for lids, cutting boards, etc. The utensil holder works great for storage bags. I unload it every three months and run a cycle through to keep everything working or when I need to sterilize jars for canning. I will take a picture of it but not sure how to navigate it to you. Really enjoy your site.

  29. Hi!
    I found your blog recently. I really enjoy
    reading it.
    Read your MWA home tour the other day.
    LOVED it all. Your home is so inviting and
    comfortable.
    I also have a vintage collection of the
    Pyrex blue/aqua bowls and containers with
    lids. The large bowls have been in my family
    since I was a sm child. I’ll be 70 yrs young in the
    spring 🎈.
    Can’t wait to see what you do with your Hoosier.
    Keep in touch

    1. Oh, thanks for commenting, Su! I love that you have your vintage Pyrex, too! I love that my mom passed hers down to me, too! 😉 Happy early b-day! 😉

  30. Julie
    Just found your blog – I’m a newbie and I am amazed at the amount of christian bloggers, we ended a tribe meeting last week with a prayer, I didn’t expect it but it was so what I needed. I was a single mom too, my son was 6 months old when I began that journey, he’s almost 33 and the brightest spot in my life. I’ve recently started blogging and am encouraged by those “close” in age to me…I’m way older but I’m ok with it! I was frugal and did DIY out of need back in the day but have embraced that along with gardening and making people feel special when I entertain. Glad to join you on your journey and learn from you.

    1. So glad you found the blog, Regina! Seems like we have much in common! Looking forward to getting to know you, and hope to see you at Tuesday Turn About! 😉

  31. I love reading your blog. I am a retired teacher (33years). I am married and have 2 children and 4 grandchildren. (3 boys and I girl) They are getting older now ( Peyton, 21 in July; Maggie, 19, twins, Elijah and Isaiah, 2 days from being 16). I, too, am a Jesus follower. Without Him I could do nothing. I love your crafts, the way you design your home, and all the exciting “stuff .” Blessings.

    1. Thank you so much for sharing a bit of your life, Wendy. I always appreciate your comments and visits to the blog! It blesses my day every time I see a comment from you! I’m thankful to the Lord to find other sisters in Christ through the blog! Hugs!

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