Friday, March 29, 2013

Working in the Yard and Brainstorming

With the beautiful weather we have had lately, I have spent much of my time working out in the yard. Ella wants nothing more than to be outside every minute of every day, and I have enjoyed starting to get the yard ready for the summer. We will be having the outside of the house painted next week, and then we will also be laying new sod in the backyard. Then I will be building my new garden boxes and starting to plant a few things including flowers and landscaping around the yard. We are moving my garden to the other side of the house where it will get better sunlight, so there will be quite a bit of work involved in the transition. But, I am happy for it. I really enjoy the excitement of spring.  

We haven't really worked on the yard very much over the last several years except for basic maintenance and my little garden, so I am really excited to brainstorm what we will be adding this year! Here are a few things I have planned so far: 

Strawberry Vanilla hydrangea.

limelight hydrangea

Peonies {Of course! My very favorite} 
I found big packages of the bulb starts at Costco! Score!

white peonies from Esther's garden..the sweetest gift she could have given to me...


Lavendar Path

Constance Spry Climbing

and, of course my lilacs. 
Lilac Time

Can't you just smell them already?
Oh how I love spring. 

I hope you have a wonderful weekend! I will be back next week with some fun projects :)

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Thoughts {from my heart} on Real-Life Decorating

I have some thoughts from my heart to share with you today about our homes and decorating. 

Sometimes I think we are our worst critics. Especially when our circumstances, resources, time, talents, or other things seem to keep us from doing all of the things that we want to, or feel like we should, be doing with our homes. Sometimes it is so easy to be so hard on ourselves when we don't live up to all of our personal expectations, as unrealistic as they may be. 

After sharing my home tour over at City Farmhouse, which I re-shared here yesterday, that annoying little voice of self doubt crept its way into my mind. I kept thinking that I wish I had more things crossed off of my to-do list. I wished more of my projects and rooms were finished. I wished that my home looked more "perfect." It was such an honor to be asked to share my home for her Style House of the month, and Jen was so sweet and kept saying how wonderful everything looked. But inside, I just felt a little inadequate compared to all of the amazing homes out there. 

Am I the only one that does this to myself?

I thought and thought and thought about it. I felt so nervous. I felt so disappointed. I felt like I failed. 

And then I stopped. 
I made myself stop.

I stopped telling myself that I wasn't good enough. I stopped comparing myself and my home to others. I stopped being critical of all of my works in progress. Most importantly I made the CHOICE to stop.   

In an age of the "gotta have it right here, right now" attitude, only perpetuated by the never-ending loveliness of Pinterest, it is sooooo incredibly important to resist that voice with everything we have. It is a choice to resist it. 

Yes, my brain is always moving and I always have projects on my to-do list, but I can't, and don't, expect it to all be done by tomorrow.  My family is always my top priority, and I decorate as my time and budget allows. I get comments and emails all of the time along these lines, and I just want to reach out with a big hug to say, "No one is perfect! Not one of us has a perfect home or perfect life!" We all put one foot in front of the other and do the best we can. 

Here's the thing. My philosophy is that a home should feel collected instead of decorated. I don't want my home to look like a showroom. I want it to have far more character than that. And that will take me years to build. 

More than anything, I think it is so easy to get caught up with the way we want our homes to look, that we forget to be thankful for what we do have.

I am thankful for my millions of works in progress. I am thankful for the talents and abilities that I have been blessed with. I am thankful that I have the best, most kind and hard working husband in the world who supports me in everything I do. I am thankful that I get to stay home with my baby, and that I get to tickle her little toes and giggle with her at the doggy. I am thankful for a warm home that shelters my little family. I am thankful for the ability I have to love and care for others. 

I need to remember to replace each thought of self doubt, or dissatisfaction, with a thought of gratitude.

So, why are we so hard on ourselves anyway?

Let's stop today. Let's stop being so hard on ourselves. Let's stop comparing ourselves and our homes to others. Let's stop feeling what we have and what we do is inadequate. Not one of us lives a perfect life with perfect circumstances, and we all do the best we can. Let's give ourselves a break. 

 Let's make the choice to stop. And let's help each other to stop. 

I have never met a more supportive or kind group of people than I have in my blogging journey. I am truly thankful for you and for the ways you help me to stop and be grateful.


Monday, March 25, 2013

Our Home Tour {updated}

A few weeks ago, I shared my Valentine home tour over at City Farmhouse and I never really shared it here. I changed a few of the pictures to show the house without the Valentine decor, but I can see that I need to work on taking even more updated pictures. 

Anyhow, here is most of what I shared:

I LOVE to decorate, repurpose, DIY, and create! I am a stay-at-home mommy to one beautiful little girl and am blessed to have a wonderful and hard working husband who always encourages me to soar. Welcome to our home.  

My hubby purchased our home before we were married, 7 years ago. Actually he purchased it before he even met me! I think he did a pretty great job, and I feel very blessed that we have had such a warm and comfortable home to live in. As the years go by, we are slowly making it more and more ours. We hope to eventually build a home that we design... someday :).

One of my favorite things in our home is the tall ceilings and lots of light. This allows me to have this huge chalkboard in our entryway and I use any excuse to doodle on it!

Our living room, dining room, and kitchen are all open to each other in one big area. 

Yes, I have kept this plant alive for a year and a half!!

I have since added these curtains new lamp. I will probably change out that shade for a linen one. I am trying to refine this room little by little to make it what I want to be.

In our dining room, I also currently have another chalkboard all decorated for spring. I am so inspired by vintage charm. 

Here was the dining room before I changed it. I really need to get some more updated pics. I will work on it!

My Craft room is the place I keep all of my current projects, craft supplies, etc. I dressed up my dress form for Christmas and I liked it so much that I never changed her. Now this room is getting totally ripped up as we are turning it into a guest room. Our current guest room will now be Ella's room. I am excited to share the pictures as I go! 

This chair pretty much says so much about my life and about our home. Certainly not perfect, beautiful in its own way, and a complete work in progress. And, you know what, I kind of love it. 

The desk is one that I painted and used all through college. {I have been a thrifter/DIYer for as long as I can remember} We are now moving this desk into our office/den where it will be getting a makeover as well. 

I have big plans for our kitchen and look forward to painting these cabinets someday! (See... lots of works in progress) 

I have a jar of vintage Jello molds and cookie cutters on my counter I love having them so easily accessible. 

I have been collecting the bedding from Pottery Barn and Antique stores for our master bedroom for about a year now, and I am still working on a big fluffy duvet cover as well. I wanted all white bedding and I LOVE it! I may, or may not have plans for refinishing our bedroom furniture ;). 

For the past couple of months, I have been working on our bonus room/family room, and this is what I came up with. All of that storage is for our little Ella's toys. What you see here is only half of the massive room. The other half (if you were to look behind where I am standing here) is a play area that I am working on. So, it is nice to have all of the storage facing her little play area.

And here is her little vintage play area

Well, that is what I have so far. As you can see, I have lots on my to-do list. I hope you will come back tomorrow as a share a few thoughts from my heart on decorating and real life. 

Friday, March 22, 2013

Pinterest Feature Friday!

I am so excited to get to be the one to pick this week's pinner for Pinterest Feature Friday! I love Pinterest. It is so fun to get on and dream and plan for things. If I need a recipe, I go to Pinterest. If I have a question about how to kill bugs, I go to Pinterest. If I am brainstorming for parties of my next big room redesign, I go to Pinterest! I love it so much, in fact, that I have many (alphabetized!) boards! I like to think of it as my very own, carefully curated, encyclopedia that I can reference whenever I need. And, I do often! 

So, as you can imagine I was excited for the opportunity to go through and find a pinner to feature. There were so many great boards that it took me a while to pick just one. But, I was sure hooked the second I looked through Tanya's boards!  

Tanya Blogs over at twelve0eight where she shares lots of handmade, DIY gorgeousness. She has 77 Pinterest boards filled to the brim with over 10,000 pins, with a big variety of fun and beautiful things to look at. She is a girl after my own heart with her love for vintage, DIY, and thrifting!

I love her Home Decorating Inspiration board in all of its vintage chic fabulousness:

Her Fabric Hoarders Unite board is absolutely luscious:

I have been completely preoccupied with trying to get my yard in order now that my little one wants to be outside ALL the time. So, I loved seeing all of the fun ideas here on her Garden board:

I am so happy that spring is here and that Pinterest is inundated with the fun colors and spring project ideas. Tanya's board, Spring Inspiration, just makes me smile. 

I thought this pin from here was just gorgeous, not to mention functional. Wrapping paper is so pretty; why not use it as functional decor?

wrapping paper organization

I also loved this pin of a cafe curtain from City Farmhouse:

Linen cafe curtains with pom-pom trim for large kitchen window.

And I love these chair covers:

burlap #burlap #chair cover #stencil

Thank you for letting me share my new favorite pinner with you today! I hope you will go and check out her Pinterest boards and blog.  If you would like to, you can follow my Pinterest boards as well! 

I hope you have a lovely weekend everyone!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

New Curtains for the Living Room and a Curtain Rod Revamp

Last week, I was at Home Fabrics looking for something to reupholster a couple of chairs for the office. I didn't find what I was wanting, but I did run into this great thick cotton fabric in the clearance bin. It is a beautiful light brown color. Sorry for the overcast day pictures, but in real life the fabric is a bit richer. I really love the color. It is rich enough to be substantial, but light enough to not overpower the beautiful windows. It almost has a linen look. And, the best part is that it was only $1.50 per yard! 

I purchased this curtain rod on clearance a few years ago with the intent to use it in the office, but that hasn't happened. So, I decided to put it up in the living room for now. I have never really cared for the style of the rod, but I knew I could paint it and have it work just fine with my decor. I needed the 120 length rod for these big windows, and I think I got it for a steal at $15. Eventually I would like to hang wooden rods in here as well as the dining room windows, but this will be perfect for now

I just used a couple of coats of regular old black craft paint to cover the bronze color,

and it ended up looking like this: 

I also purchased this lamp at TJMaxx the other day on clearance for only $37! It is a chunky beautiful cream painted wood lamp. I LOVE it. I haven't decided if I will use it in here or in the office. The original plan was to change out the shade for a linen one, but I kind of like the contrast of the black. I will just have to live with it for a while to see. 

In the background you can see a sneak peak of a chalkboard drawing that I will be featuring on a major website soon. I will definitely share a link when it goes live! 

I hope you are having a wonderful week!