Children really help teach patience. They help you learn what things in life are really important and what things can wait, they teach you how to give up your own interests for the sake of others (your family), and…did I say patience?! I’ve had to scale back in life recently to deal with attitudes. For some reason we are in a season where on some mornings, by 8:30 am, I’ve dealt with more attitudes and meltdowns than I should have all day. I was getting so burnt out and frustrated. Then I realized I just needed to scale back on life. I needed to allow myself to be more available to my children to deal with the attitudes on hand.
I haven’t been scheduling play dates or planning a lot of extra things, I haven’t been as focused on Instagram or planning what to post next, I haven’t been on my phone as much… and when I do have down time, I try to fill myself up. I’m in the Word, listening to relaxing music, working out, and staying on top of the house so I’m not stressed about that. And you know, its helped so much. Just letting go of things and focusing my attention on my children. The ridiculous meltdowns and tantrums aren’t as stressful and I’m able to collect myself and face them head on, with more patience. Well, sometimes I want to walk head on into the wall and repeatedly bang my head on it…but, not as often as before. (May I add, I still lose my patience, daily.) Its so easy to get too busy and forget that we are raising little sinners who needs to be taught, disciplined, loved, and reminded of things over and over again…and again..and then one more time. But thats our job, our calling. So, sometimes things in life need to wait, and we need to put all our energy and effort into the most important things…our littles!
So, speaking of trying to fill myself up, I decided to bake on this rainy afternoon while the kids were napping. I turned up the tunes and got to whisking! Here’s what I whipped up…they were pretty tasty!
I used a recipe from Pinterest, and my own modifications are in parentheses.
Maple- Sweetened Banana Muffins
⅓ cup melted coconut oil or (extra-virgin olive oil, because my coconut oil was expired 😯 )
½ cup maple syrup or honey (I used honey)
2 eggs, preferably at room temperature
1 cup packed mashed ripe bananas (about 3 bananas)
¼ cup milk of choice
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon cinnamon, plus more for sprinkling on top
1¾ cups whole wheat flour (I did 1 cup whole wheat and 3/4 cup almond flour)
⅓ cup old-fashioned oats, plus more for sprinkling on top
1 teaspoon turbinado (raw) sugar or other granulated sugar, for sprinkling on top
Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit (165 degrees Celsius). If necessary, grease 11 cups of your muffin tin with butter or non-stick cooking spray (my pan is non-stick and didn’t require any grease).
In a large bowl, beat the coconut oil and maple syrup or honey together with a whisk. Add eggs and beat well. Mix in the mashed bananas and milk, followed by the baking soda, vanilla extract, salt and cinnamon.
Add the flour and oats to the bowl and mix with a large spoon, just until combined. If you’d like to add any additional mix-ins, like nuts, chocolate or dried fruit, fold them in now.
Divide the batter evenly between the 11 muffin cups, filling each cup about two-thirds full. Sprinkle the tops of the muffins with a small amount of oats (about 1 tablespoon), followed by a light sprinkling of sugar (about 1 teaspoon). Bake muffins for 23 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into a muffin comes out clean.
Place the muffin tin on a cooling rack to cool. You might need to run a butter knife along the outer edge of the muffins to loosen them from the pan. Enjoy muffins as is or with a spread of nut butter or regular butter.
I hope you’re able to make them and sit down with some coffee for a little “recharge” time! Thanks for reading, friends!
A few years ago I built this large wooden “board” (I’m not sure what else to call it?) over our couch to help fill the large wall that the couch rests against. My husband helped me add spotlights on either side, as we needed more lighting in this area. We fed the lights’ cords through the metal pipe you see on the right side to help hide them. I loved the whole idea of it, but I recently decided that this space was just too dark.
So how could I lighten this space? A white couch? Absolutely not. Three little kids and a white couch just doesn’t sound fun to me. Not to mention the cost. So, I opted for painting the board white instead 😉 I came across the beautiful “It is Well With My Soul” sign (see here for where to purchase) and knew I wanted it in my home…I had the perfect spot in mind!
Its amazing how much paint can change the looks of things! I replaced the brown (slightly sparkly) spot lights with these black farmlights from Home Depot! We have had one in our nursery/guest room for a while and I liked it so much I decided we could use a few more in our home 🙂
I am so glad I decided to lighten this space. It didn’t take much work but feels so much more open and cozy to me!
Thank you so much for reading about my little face lift of this area! Please let me know if you have any questions about the process!
I was cruising instagram and kept seeing all these cozy wool blankets. I looked into buying one and was a little shocked at the price! So, I went to my mom….”Mom, do you think you could make me a blanket for my birthday!?” And, she made it happen! I haven’t really tried my hand at crocheting, yet, but I wanted to share with you how my mom made this. Because if YOU crochet, you should make one. This would make a great Christmas present to someone special…or a present to yourself! 😉
10 Balls Bernat Blanket Big. This made approximately a 55x70inch blanket with some yarn left over. Its not wool, its polyester, but its super soft and cozy! Each skein was $9.99 each but it was 40% off. (They have great coupons..and you can make several trips to get them with the sale price!)
Crochet 1 chain and then sc into 2nd chain from hook.*
Repeat * this pattern* until end of row. Chain 1 and turn.
Crochet this pattern row until you have desired length.
Attach yarn and single crochet into each chain around the perimeter of
entire blanket. If desired, may crochet second row for a wider border.
*Note: at each corner of blanket sc 3 times into same chain so as to
create a squared corner.
(There are numerous crochet websites that will explain in detail stitches, casting off, finishing off where balls of wool are joined together. Two helpful sites are Crochet for dummies and YouTube: Crochet Guru).
Now, go make a blanket of your own and share pictures of your creation with us:) Please contact me if you have any questions!
I couldn’t decide if I wanted to keep my house with neutral-traditional Christmas decor or bright and colorful! Such a dilemma! I decided to go with the fun colors in the kids play area and keep the rest neutral. I thought it was a good compromise and allows me to dabble in both…since I’m indecisive. 🙂
This “Joy” sign sees almost too simple to even blog about, but I’ll show you how I did it! I took an 8×8 canvas from Michaels and wrapped it with some merry & bright (thats what it made me think of anyways!) wrapping paper from Target’s dollar section. I used some strong clear packing tape to secure it.
I also had some adhesive letters stashed in my closet, from Target’s dollar section, and decided to spell out “joy”. I peeled off the backs and stuck them on the front.
And that’s that. Easy peasy, as my 4 years old says.
This is a fun, easy, and cheap way to add some Christmas cheer! Thanks for reading!
If you’re like me you might not like doing dishes after hosting a party. Because of this I decided to create a cost friendly, paper product table scape… with a presentation that will make your guests take a second look! I will go through each item numbered and share where I found them:
The square white paper plates are so unique, sturdy, and simple! I just love them! The large ones can be found here and the small ones here.
The “placemat” is just a large piece of paper! Michaels or Hobby Lobby have good selections!
The faux eucalyptus leaves were taken from a stem I had purchased from Hobby Lobby.
The mini pumpkins are from Walmart. I bought a bag in the produce section…5 for about $2.50.
I laid some fabric across my white table cloth to act as table runner. The fabric is from Walmart, $6.50 a yard.
The wooden cutlery is from Michaels. I’m not sure how practical it is for cutting turkey, but I love the look 😉
I made the “I am thankful for” card and the name tag from navy blue and white card stock. I copied the font from a Pinterest picture!
The wispy eucalyptus clippings are from my mom’s yard. They are my favorite! You could use whatever is in your yard or add some faux greenery.
The napkins are good ol’ white paper napkins that can be tossed after dinner!
The stainless napkin rings are from target. They are in the dollar section, a pack of 4 for $5.
I hope this helps you as you plan for a dinner party! Paper products can look pretty too 🙂
P.S. As I was setting up this table my daughter did her own tablescape and I just have to share it! It is so precious 🙂
Hi friends! When my best friend saw that I refinished this dresser she said she would like to paint a piece of furniture she has, but would have no clue where to start. So, I’m going to tell you how I did it (with kids!) in case it helps a few of you out, including my bestie. 🙂
My neighbor inherited a lot of antiques a few months ago and she gifted this cute little dresser to me. I had it sitting in my kids room for months, trying to figure out how I could use it in there. I decided to bring it out in the living room and immediately found the perfect spot for it! So, time to start sanding and painting!
Here’s the supplies I used:
220 grit sandpaper (150grit would work well too)
Electric hand sander (not necessary, just faster!)
Quart of Kilz 2 latex primer
Quart of Shermin Williams, Mindful Gray latex paint.
Small foam roller (If you are doing a smaller piece of furnisher, a foam roller isn’t necessary. My roller was old and not working right so I ended up using a bigger paint brush for most of it)
1.5 inch angled paint brush
3 little helpers 🙂
Here’s the steps I took:
First, I sanded it with the 220 grit sandpaper. I did this while the kids were playing outside and I was on the phone. Multi tasking, a mom’s way of life, right?! I at least lightly covered every little nook and cranny.
When I was finished sanding I decided I should probably pull out the little electric hand sander to go over the large surfaces. I did this when I got off the phone because… that sander is loud! When prepping for latex paint you want to make sure all the “shine” on the surface is gone. Its not necessary to sand it down completely to the bare wood, but it is important to remove that first layers so the primer and paint stick!
Once I was finished sanding, I set the little dresser on a table outside so I could paint on the primer with my one year old around. I set up some cars and trucks and asked the older ones to play with him (benefits of having big helpers!) I used Kilz 2 primer, which is a good primer to use, and we happened to have some in our paint cupboard. Yah! Of course, when I pulled the primer and paint brushes out the big kids wanted to help so I let them do the back of the dresser! Its fun to involve the kids… WHEN possible!
I wanted to get the first coat of primer on in the morning so I could put the second coat on at nap time. We went over to my moms house later that morning and I was able to sneak away to the paint store to get the paint I wanted…kidless! I got Sherwin Williams, “Mindful Gray”. I actually thought it was going to be darker but, isn’t that always the story with paint? I also bought a nicer angled brush to get good coverage on all those nooks and crannies I had just sanded!
Once the kids were all asleep at nap time I brought the dresser into the house. It was too hot to paint outside and I didn’t want the paint to dry too quickly. Ok, plus I wanted to stay in the cool house with my music and coffee 🙂
Later in the evening I set up the dresser on our patio table and was able to paint the first coat of gray while my family was playing in the backyard. Thankfully it is small because it went pretty quickly!
I let the first coat set up over night and was able to paint the second coat at nap time the next day! I didn’t want to paint the final coat while the kids were awake because that would been probable interruptions. I wanted to have good, even coverage on that last coat! I let it dry over night before bringing it in for use!
The dressers new home
I hope this gave you some helpful hints on how to paint a dresser, and if you have kids…how it can be done with kids! 😉 Do you have any furniture that could use some painting?!
When I think of William Charles I think of “joy”. He has brought me (our whole family) so much joy. It wasn’t until Will that I felt I could be fully present in the moment of enjoying my baby. I mean, my heart has almost exploded many a time. I truly understood what people meant when they couldn’t get any housework done because “I was just soaking up the cuddles”. With my first two kids, the housework had to get done. The more kids I have, the more I realize how quickly it goes by. It makes the short naps, night wakings, and teething fuss a little more manageable.
Will is quite the go getter. He’s been walking since 9.5 months and tries so hard to keep up with his brother and sister, who are smitten over him, by the way. He will find the tallest object in the room and attempt to climb it…usually, he is successful. I knew this age was busy from experience, but he taken busy to a whole new level!! Thankfully he makes up for it by 2 good naps a day. 🙂 As sad (insert crying) as I am my baby-of-all-babies is ONE, I am so excited to watch his sweet and adventurous personality develop!
William was due August 6th, 2015, however, by mid July I already felt as though he was “late”. His older sister came suddenly at 36.4 weeks, so with Will, we were prepared early. I was tired of thinking “it could be any day”, so as the end of July approached I just told myself he was never coming out. On July 29th I had a doctors appointment. I dropped the 2 littles off at my moms and drove to my appointment. On the way home I was having some discomfort in my back but thought “he’s never coming, so just forget about it” (sarcastically). I picked up the kiddos, put them down for nap, and had to lay on the couch. The discomfort was getting worse so I casually text my husband to let him know. He walked in the door an hour later (around 3pm) and said he was already planning on coming home early that day…not sure I believe him 😉 By the time the kids were up from naps at 4pm I was 85% certain this was “it”, so I sent the word to our families. And then at 4:30, I knew. Everyone was annoying me. I snapped at my husband to take the kids outside and leave me alone because the contractions were getting more intense. At this point, he was sure this was real labor. We called my mom to come over, and between contractions I packed a bag for the kids, got our last minute things together and off to the hospital we went. And for the record, as soon as the kids were gone and I could focus on getting to the hospital, I was in a much better mood 🙂
By the time we got checked in it was around 6:00pm and I was 4cm dilated. I told my best friend Kendall, who lived 10 minutes away and was going to come to help me labor, to head over to the hospital. My sister ended HER birthday celebration early that night (yah for sharing a birthday!), and left to make the 3.5 hour drive. Both Kendall and my sister, Brittany, had helped with my previous labors so, they knew the ropes and were very helpful.
My husband and I liked having someone else in the room with us to be an extra set of hands, take pictures, keep family updated, etc. I needed him focused and by my side.
Once we got checked in and settled I decided to try sitting in the rocking chair to “rock through” the contractions. We dimmed the lights, turned on some worship music, and I rocked away and got some good head and back messages!
For 2 hours it was pretty smooth sailing. I was able to stay controlled and breath through each contraction. At about 8:30 or 9 I was 6cm. Contractions started getting intense as I began transitioning, and around 9:30pm the doctor informed me that if he broke my water, labor would be in the very near future.
My sister was still 10 minutes away but I couldn’t say no to progressing things, I mean…the pain. So, Dr. broke my water and shortly after my sister came running down the halls (literally). She made it by 10pm. Then, I felt the urge to push. And I mean, I was doing all I could to wait for the medical personal to get there. Doctor walked in and I was out of control trying to grab anyone in my reach. I screamed as loud as I could, “SOMEONE PULL HIM OUT!!!!!”.
The whole floor heard me. I later apologized and was slightly embarrassed, lol. But, alas, our little man was here.
What a relief it is when you hear that first little cry and lay eyes on your new fresh babe. We did it. God did it.
Our William Charles entered the world July 29th, at 10:20 pm weighting 8lbs 13oz, and was 21 inches long.
The next day was so fun as Levi and Emersyn got to meet their baby brother!
Levi had just turned 3, Emersyn was almost 2 and now we had our Will. Our hands and hearts were full. What a joy it was to bring him home. Thank you Lord!!!!
Hi friends! An interior designer recently asked me what my “3 Musts” were in design. My initial thought was, “Uh, no clue”, and I was slightly intimidated on how to answer the question (partly because he has 31 thousand instagram followers and partly because it sounded so formal). I thought about it long and hard…well, a day, and came to my conclusion. Just to clarify, I have zero design background or knowledge, so these aren’t educated “musts” but things I realize I try to do in every space and why.
My 3 musts:
Sentiment– Something that is special or sentimental to me. Perhaps something I made, my husband made, a photo of those near and dear to me, a quote or reminder that I need on a daily basis, etc. I don’t just want my home to have nice things, I want memories and items that are unique to our family. Things that make it ours.
Balance– This is purely for aesthetic sake! There is “formal balance”, when sides are symmetrical (matching), and “informal balance”, when sides are not exactly the same or symmetrical, however there is still balance created. I like to attempt informal balance.
Tranquility- I want our home to be a place that feels peaceful, calming, and refreshing. One way this is done is by color. I try to explain to my husband that color can create a tone for the home…he’s still try to understand 🙂 My colors are gray and white with accents of wood and black. Those colors just work for me.
Perhaps you want your home to be bright and cheery with a lot of fun colors, or maybe dark and cool! There is not a right or wrong…it is just what fits our personality and interests. There are so many styles and colors I enjoy, but I try to stick with one…which is hard to do sometimes. The fun part about all being different is we can enjoy one anothers styles!
I want to share a paragraph from the book I’m reading, “Having a Martha Home the Mary Way” by Sarah Mae. This paragraph was so encouraging to me and really explains the why behind making our houses, homes.
You can give life to your home by making it warm and inviting, fresh and invigorating! You can give life to you home by making sure there are clean dishes to eat off of and clear spaces to walk in and organized papers that are easy to find when you need them. You can give life to your home by filling it with loving, true, and good words! You can give life to your home by building up the souls in your care and the souls who enter it. Your home can be a place where weary bones rest and burdens are lifted and laughter ripples through every room. All of these things make a home. You are a creator of beauty and peace and safe spaces. You are a homemaker. (pg. 19)
Don’t you feel as though this gives us a little perspective on why we do what we do? Or how important it is for us to maintain our homes?! Our homes are a place where our family can find peace, love, and comfort. There are so many aspects that go into giving our homes life. What we have on the walls isn’t the most important part, but it does help in making it “warm and inviting, fresh and invigorating” and “a place where weary bones rest and burdens are lifted”!
Now that you have read about my musts, I though it would be fun to do a little “tour” of my house over the rest of the week. For the next few days I’ll be posting pictures of spaces in my home on Instagram and briefly talk about how it fits my “must criteria”. This isn’t because I have mastered it and I think things in my home are perfect. In fact, its been hard for me lately not to compare to all the homes out there that are decorated to perfection. Thankfully though, it isn’t about making our homes perfectly decorated, but loved and comfortable for our own family to rest and make happy memories. And through this little tour you may learn a little about why I have what I do on the walls! 😉 What do you want people to feel when they walk in your home? Think about it! I hope this helps you figure out what you want for your home, how you want to give it life and make it special and unique to your family! Thanks for reading!
–If you don’t have instagram to follow along, I will post the pictures and captions when the week is over!
I had some extra succulents and pots laying around so I decided to plant and then paint the potted succulents! I hadn’t done a project in over a week so it was time. As soon as I get an idea to do something, I want to execute right away because when the creative juice start flowing… I have to take advantage. 😉 That creative juice isn’t always there! I looked at a few picture on pinterest and got to work. Thankfully, I had all the supplies at home.
Here is a list of things I used:
2 small terra cotta pots
1 medium terra cotta pot
rocks (for the bottom of the pots)
3 different varieties of succulents
white acrylic paint
black sharpie marker
I planted the succulents first and then painted, but it would probably be easier if you paint, then plant. Live and learn! To plant I simply placed and inch or two of rocks on the bottom of the pot for drainage and filled with soil around the succulent. After they were planted I quickly cleaned the pots with a dry rag and painted them. I tried using tape to make a straight line but because the pots taper in towards the bottom the tape just wasn’t working, so I did it free hand. The lines aren’t perfect, but who needs perfect?!
I had to do 2-3 coats of paint. The acrylic dries pretty quickly though so it didn’t take too long!
My visual little self stopped to take a picture before I was finished. I do things like this all the time and my husband always laughs at me 🙂 . I actually like the look of the all white…with another coat of course!
I decided to use a sharpie to make a pattern on one of them…just to add a unique element. I chose a sharpie simply because it seemed a lot faster than using a little paint brush and black paint! It was easy to work with and went pretty quickly. The design options you could do are endless!
I named the looks of the different pots just for fun, haha.
And here is the final product! I hope this inspires you to paint some pots and have some fun with it! Let your imagination run wild 🙂 Besides being a cute feature in your home, these would be great centerpieces for a party or gifts for a friend!
What do you think of this project, are you going to try it?! I’d love to know.
Lets talk kitchen remodel! When we moved into our home I actually said to my husband “We don’t have to change a thing!” Ha! Well, once we moved in and started using it we noticed the rusty sink, the leaky faucet, the chipped tile, the peeling cupboards, and…the dirty pebble tech. So my husband gave the green light that we could remodel! First I want to start by saying that this remodel happened during my hard season, in regards to being a mom. Read about that season here. Our oldest was 19 months old, our baby was 4 months old and I was working night shift as a nurse then. So, let’s just say I’m glad the end result turned out alright 😉 I was a little overwhelmed in knowing where to start on the process, so I want to share the order we did things, hoping it may help any of you who are planning on remodeling!
If you’ve followed along from the beginning you know that I like to look at pinterest for inspiration before decorating any space. Read here for more about that. However, looking at kitchens on pinterest can be a little…discouraging. Some people have some amazing & very large kitchens… with huge windows and islands that are as big as my kitchen alone! I couldn’t really get a vision for how my little ordinary kitchen would look compared to those big fancy ones. Then I stumbled upon the picture below and it gave me hope! This was a realistic kitchen that was remodeled on a budget!
Here are a few of our before pictures.
We decided to paint the cupboards, replace the countertops, replace the sink and faucet, bring in our stainless appliances from our old house, replace the flooring, paint the walls, and remove the florescent lighting and replace it with recessed lighting. Our previous home was a 850 sq ft old home in the downtown of our city. Over 3 years of hard work we completely remodeled it. Because life was busier now with 2 little ones, and we were burnt out from the recent 3 years of continuous projects, we decided to contract out some of the work. My husband (and I 😉 ) did the demo, the backsplash, wall painting, and flooring.
So, where do we start?! Well, before the kitchen remodel even began my husband installed a utility sink in our garage. It was so helpful during that time to have a sink bigger than our little bathroom sinks! We set up a mini kitchen next to it with paper products, a dish rack, etc.
Our next step was having the cupboards painted. This process took the painters about 2 days…I am so happy we didn’t do it ourselves! It would have taken months!
Around this time we went to the granite warehouse to pick out our gray countertops. There were about four gray countertops that “met my criteria” but we were immediately sold on the Lennon Leather. The leather part means it has more of an unfinished or unpolished industrial look. I love it!
Once we picked the granite (I took some pictures and a sample of it), we then worked on picking the paint color. The countertops are a big statement, so we wanted to work off of that. Finding the right gray took a few tries…gray can be hard! Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter was the magic color!
Granite install day was very exciting! Our kitchen was a lot of work for them because of all the seams with the raised bar. We talked about cutting it down to make it all the same level but I decided against it. I felt like the raised bar was a way to hide the sink area (we usually have bottles out, etc). If you walk in the house and there are dishes in the sink, you can’t see them 😉 Speaking of sinks, we decided to go with the single basin verses the double. We had it in our previous house and loved the space in it! We also went with a commercial style faucet to make more of a statement.
Once we had the countertops and paint color we decided on the pendant lights, bar stools, and flooring.
As we were trying to decide pendant light placing, my mom gave us the idea to hang balloons where we wanted the lights. It was a great visual…and I’m a very visual person! I looked at pendant lights for weeks before I finally decided! The pendants were either too big for our kitchen or too pricey for our budget! And after all that looking It was actually my husband that found the ones we have!
When we went to pick out flooring I knew I wanted dark wood with a bit of a worn look, so it wasn’t too difficult to decide on what we have. I loved the real wood, but for price reasons we went with laminate. Its really a good alternative and we are happy with it! I kept a sample of the flooring in my purse, and when I was out and about at Marshalls one day I found bar stools that matched well with the color!
We ended our remodel with painting the walls, new lighting, backsplash and finally, the floors! I feel blessed that we were able to make all these changes and I love being in our kitchen!
If you are interested in the specifics of what we used, here they are:
Granite- Lennon leather
Cabinets- Frazee Paint, Swiss Coffee
Wall paint color- Benjamin Moore, Revere Pewter
Pendant light- Savoy House Polished Nickel Vintage Pendant mini light. See here for link to purchase
Faucet- Commercial style faucet from Home Depot. See here for link to purchase
Flooring- Kensington, Sandy Hill Hickory
Sink- 28in x 16in x 8in deep stainless steel, single basin
Back Splash- White subway tile
Thanks for reading about our process! I’m not an expert in kitchen remodel, but if you have any questions I’d love to help in any way I can!