Friday, February 28, 2014

A Peek Into Our Home {craft/office room}

As I stated in my last Peek Into Our Home post, I simply never remember to take the "before" picture. This is truly sad since if I ever needed a before photo to show off some drama, it was for this room. "Mommy's Craft/Office" room became the junk room over the last 20 months of us living in this house. It was a full-on "catch all" with very little rhyme or reason. When I would get a photography order, I would go into this cesspool and dig out what I needed. When I would get ready for a photo session, it was like a game of find-the-needle-in-the-haystack. Each time I would promise this room that it had it's day coming.

January. That was month I had designated as D-Day for the for the office. So on January 2nd, before school started back up, I drug all four kids down to Ikea by myself. When we made it through the maze and to the check-out aisle, I couldn't help but to blurt out loud, "I feel like Super Woman right now!!" THIS is why they give you the option of buying frozen yogurt cones after you check out- a station that should be renamed "Reward Central".

So here's Mommy's new space. It's in the basement, so you'll have to forgive the lighting.

The pine shelving, white tables, and rug are all from Ikea. (And yes, that is my wedding dress.)
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Those large baskets to hold all my newborn photo props were only $6 at Ikea...lovin' it.
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These drawers were from my dear friend Emma who is about to move to Japan (sob!). I used some chalkboard paint to make labels for each drawer.
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The chalkboard is actually an old baking sheet that I sprayed with chalkboard paint- easy, peasey.
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Aren't those old graph papers divine!?! I grabbed them at a vintage shop in Oregon for 50 cents a piece! (Remind me why I don't live in Oregon, again?)
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Storage boxes from Ikea...
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These fun spheres were simple to make out of embroidery hoops. You can find the tutorial at Hill Country Homebody.
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The magnetic strip was from Ikea and the shelf is simply and old crate attached on its side to the wall.
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And can I just tell you the glories of walking into a room to do a quick job and knowing where everything can be found! Or sitting down for a longer job and leaving the unfinished product to come back later! After years of living in small spaces, I know what a luxury this is.

Have a great weekend, y'all!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Sweet Profiles

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Friday, February 21, 2014

A Peek Into Our Home {guest bedroom}

It's been a long while since I've done a "Peek Into Our Home" post, but I'll be trying to get a couple up in the next few weeks along one or two simple tutorials.

So today let's peek into our guest bedroom that happens to also be the room of a long-standing "guest". My sweet sister, Hannah has lived with us for a couple years now. She will most likely be moving out at the end of the summer which will be tearful for all of us. Knowing this and also upon her request, I took over the decorating of this room.

My policy when redo-ing a bedroom is to keep the bedspread/comforter I've chosen in mind but NOT to decorate around it. The problem in getting so caught up "matching" the room to one piece is that when you've grown out that bed covering, you are forced to redo a whole room. Trust me, I've done hideous things like an time-intensive, striped lilac painted room designed around one silly comforter. When I changed my mind, I was stuck with those purple stripes until I convinced my husband to give up a weekend to help me paint the whole thing over. INSTEAD I've started designing a room I love with neutral pieces. You'll see that in this room where I chose grey and cream as the base color- a hundred different bed coverings would look gorgeous with this design.

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This dresser was a $5 steal at a yard sale. I'm terrible about remembering to take "before" photos, but picture a dumpy old wooden dresser. I painted the main part of the dresser with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in the Old White. Then the drawers were done in the French Linen color. The contrasting colors make this more of stand-out piece. I simply painted the original wooden drawer pulls in the French Linen, but decided on chrome pulls for the top drawer for some extra interest.
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Psssst...secret. This glass bottle was an iced tea bottle that I rescued from the recycling bin and filled with some fat twine I had on hand. The bark vase and the above chalk board both come from an addicting little website full of inexpensive items called Save On Crafts.
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The push-pin board was a score from Home Goods. It was just plain cork inside; but when I'm not hanging books on the wall, I'm pulling them apart. I took pages torn out of a book from a garage sale and used some adhesive to cover the board.
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My sister helped me by painting the wooden bed frame we've owned forever in the Old White I mentioned before (with Annie Sloan wax to protect it). It made the piece so dreamy and beauty, but she probably wanted to shoot me after having to do each of those rails.
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This little nightstand was actually once a side piece of an antique vanity. I'm smitten with it.
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After painting it in the French Linen, I used a dry brush with the tiniest bit of Old White on it to brush over the wood design so that it would stand out more. Aren't the details devine!?
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I already blogged about how to make this little DIY pallet art. You can find that HERE.
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A little space turned little haven. As always, feel free to post your room redo's in the comments since who doesn't love to peek into someone's space!

Happy Friday, friends!

Friday, February 7, 2014

Dear Toddler Mommy

I've had this post in my head for weeks now; but after having one girlfriend describe a poop-painting episode in her home a couple days ago and another post the aftermath images of Valentine roses meet two-year-old son on Instagram this morning, it seemed like a good time to get this into a post.

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Dear Toddler Mommy,

I'm no author or expert. But with my baby soon to be four, I'm past that time of my life but not so far past that my brain has clouded it into nostalgia. That's why I'm writing to you.

At Christmas, I spent time I spent with my sister who is living in the throes of toddler mothering. I have heard her remark on how unproductive she feels when she sees what I've done in a day. After a few days together I realized how much my life has changed, and the memories of what she was dealing with came flooding back.

So, Toddler Mommy, here's some things you need to remember:

1) Don't buy into the lie that this is supposed to be "fun" and that you must cherish every moment.
There are some precious-beyond-words, my-heart-is-going-explode-from-love, and giggle-filled moments in being a Toddler Mommy. Grab those moments and press them hard into your memory. They are a life-long treasure. But guess what? Those are moments, not overarching themes in the toddler years. Let's be honest, the overarching themes of those years are usual fits, colossal messes, and poop...lots of poop. Do you know where some of the beauty is in all of this? That we get to imitate Christ who saw us dirty and messy and loved us with a selfless, off-the-charts love. But no one said this was supposed to be fun.

2) No. It doesn't "fly by".
No matter how many sweet old ladies stop you in the grocery store and tell you that "it goes so quickly", don't buy it. My boys (only 14 months apart) were 2 and 3 for a decade. Well, that's how it felt. And I'm not yet senile enough not to remember it. When you're sitting at their high school graduation, it may seem like it went fast; but when you're in the middle of toddlerhood, each day feels so long and tedious. We all felt like that. Be free to know that's normal.

3) Don't compare your life to those of mothers ahead of you. 
When you see a mom with more kids than you who seems to get so much done, and you wonder why you're still in your pjs making lunch while she's gotten her kids ready for the day, carted them to where they need to be, and looks like she actually put on make-up. Remember that her kids are old enough to dress themselves and pour cereal with milk (think of the glories!). Remember that she can actually shut the bathroom door when nature calls or even to put on some Maybelline. Remember that no one is dumping valuables or defecating in their pants...or in other places, Lord help us.

4) Don't compare yourself to other Toddler Mommies
Sure enough you have that one Toddler Mommy in your life. Your kids are the same age, and yet when you manage to make it to a play-date, you watch her child play like a calm little angel while you're peeling your kid off the ceiling. Her child forms words you didn't even know a two-year-old could put together: "yes" and "mommy". And you leave feeling like a failure. Listen to me. I was there. Oh was I there! But hear me: each mother has her own struggles. No one can fully understand your exact struggles. Except God. He knows exactly how you feel and your exact weakness. And He promises to "help you and...uphold you with His righteous right hand" He is the one steadying you.

5) This. Is. A. Season.
When I was in labor with my first child, I had to be on pitocin during part of it; and I staunchly refused to have epidural (stupid but true). The pain was so great that at one point I started hallucinating. I thought I was in a place of pain that I could never leave. I totally lost touch with the reality that labor would end.
This is a picture of the toddler years. At times, it seems so long and overwhelming that we forgot that it will end. Don't lose touch with the fact that your days do matter. You are sowing seeds right now; and while you might not see so much as a tiny little sprout, it's coming. Keep watering, sister.

6) Sit at Jesus' feet.
Remember those wonderful quiet times in God's Word that you had? Okay, so maybe it was two years ago, but remember it? Well, it probably won't look the same again for a long time. And that's okay. Did you hear me...that's okay! What's not okay is for you to be self-sufficient. Sit at Jesus' feet. It's not something on your to-do; it's your life source. Hear me carefully, I didn't say finish a Bible-in-a-Year plan. I said sit at Jesus' feet. Right now that means being resourceful. For a while my time with Jesus was when I sat outside my toddler's room trying to train him to stay in his big-boy bed (and this took so many flippin' weeks, people). I drank in a couple of verses...and popped the little stinker back in his bed...and drank in another verse...and...well you get the picture. Come to Him with your tears, your little victories, your frustrations. The Bible promises us that He cares. Can you even imagine!? The God of the universe cares for your personal mommy soul.

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