Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Patriotic Tablescape


Ahhh....summertime. The heat, beach trips, long days, barbecues, and, of course, Fourth of July celebrations. Reds, whites, and blues really call to me during the summer. Even in varying patterns and mediums, those colors still evoke pride for the Grand Ole Flag and all that she stands for. So, when I came across some adorable red and white placemats whilst perusing the aisles at TJ Maxx, I knew immediately that I wanted to use them for the Fourth of July. I was especially excited that they were square placemats because those are so hard to find. I snatched the placemats up immediately to use with my square white dishes.



I kept everything really simple. This tablescape is a no-muss, no-fuss spread that embodies the spirit of the holiday without being over the top. I started with a basic white tablecloth then added the red and white placemats and white dishes. Then came the navy linen napkins tied to look like a bow with a simple embellishment in the center.


Next, I added a rag wreath around a red celosia centerpiece which I adorned with a couple of mini flags. And that's all there was to it. Easy peasy lemon squeezy! The only thing that is missing is barbecue, watermelon, homemade vanilla ice cream over an apple pie. Followed by a huge fireworks display, of course.















I hope you all have a happy and safe Fourth of July weekend! I'll see you guys back here next week!

Sources:
*Navy and white rug. Luxe Habitat purchased at TJ Maxx, $12.00
*Set of four square placemats purchased at TJ Maxx, $6.99
*Happy Chic by Jonathon Adler navy frame purchased at TJ Maxx, $3.99
*Small flags purchased at flea market for $.75 each.
*Already had white dishes (Pier One), navy napkins (estate sale.), and mason jars.
*Wreath Centerpiece: DIY wreath. Find the tutorial HERE.
*Red Celosia bought at Wal-Mart garden center. $3.98
*Paper straws: navy ones from the Dollar Spot at Target, red ones from jane.com

Linking up to:

Monday, June 29, 2015

Mini Makeover Challenge: Little Brags


I challenged Christine from Little Brags to the Mini Makeover Challenge. What's the Mini Makeover Challenge? Here's how it works:

*Makeover an area of your home without spending a penny! Using items you already have on hand, create a fresh look for your space. *Shop your home and yard for items you love. *Choose a space to makeover. Could be a reading nook, bedroom, foyer, anything you want! * Remember, you can't spend one penny!

Let's see how Christine rose to the challenge!

Hello there , I'm Christine from Little Brags. I am so stoked that  talented and pretty Amanda
asked me to participate in her Mini Makeover Challenge! 

My brain was racing with ideas on what areas to make over in our home with items I already have on hand. 
Then I figured, the best way to update some of my decor is paint, right??? I have previously used Annie Sloan Chalk Paint for projects in my home and also at my work place, so out in the garage I went and brought in my paint cans. 

Here is what I choose for the makeover...this is our living room, it has these HUGE ceilings and this cute little window nook up there. It was painted a beautiful ginger red, which I loved for the past 7 years but I have slowly  been eliminating the "Mediterranean" accent colors we have all over our house. They are beautiful warm colors but my taste has simply changed and I am now craving a more "Scandinavian" look with warm grey's, lots of contrast and natural wood accents (if that makes sense). So here is the red window nook before.


Pretty,  but I simply needed a change .....

 First thing on then list was painting the accent wall, which was a little scary cuz I couldn't reach
above the window with my paint brush, so I had to put a stepping stool up there. 

I had 2 Annie Sloan paint colors on hand, one was "Graphite" which is an off black, the other was 
"French Linen" which is a beautiful lighter greyish/beigish. I mixed the 2 colors 50/50 to get this
end result paint color for the wall.

 Next on the To Do list was painting the greenish/brown ceramic candle holders

I gave them 1 coat of graphite and then a second coat of french linen

And then guess what happened next??? The larger of the 2 candle sticks had an accident....
I swear I am such a big klutz....I was soooo mad at myself. All that work and I broke it. 
ARGGGG!  I had my heart set on candles up there and I did not have any others 
in the right size at home. So out of desperation I ran to World Market and got a couple
of huge glass candle holders from the clearance section. I hope this does not 
dis-qualify me from this challenge. I certainly didn't plan on breaking the beast.

I also wanted to add some natural greens up there, and I had this large moss wreath I made
some time back. But I didn't like the bright moss green against the grey wall,  luckily I had some
different colored moss in my craft closet so I simply gave the wreath another coat of a more natural 
green moss with my glue gun.

And Taaaa Dahhh here is the end result
I had all the other things such as the crate 
and light at home already.


It is really hard taking photos against the light from a window, so forgive me if the pictures 
aren't super great, the wall actually looks darker here then it really is.

The light adds so much warmth and glow...LUV IT


One of my larger crates turned into a tiny side table




INSPIRATION
here are a few pics that inspired the look I was going for





Amanda, thanks again for inviting me to the challenge.
I am so sorry I had to cheat and make a trip to World Market out of desperation. 
Oh well, accidents happen!!!! Smooches!
 photo signature_zps2231f866.png

Thanks, Christine! I love what you did using the paint and the wreath and moss you had on hand! Beautiful! 

Be sure to head over to Little Brags and take a look around Christine's blog. She is so creative and has a beautiful home! And isn't it amazing what you can do in a home spending little to no money using items you already have on hand? You  just have to get a little creative. 

Like this Mini Makeover Challenge? Check these as well:
Nikki's Nacs
Our Joy His Glory

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

The Conference I Almost Didn't Attend

*I actually wrote the majority of this post last week, and just never had the time to finish it so that I could get it posted. Our summer schedule has been super crazy! Better late than never!

Last Friday, I attended the Ya'll Connect social media and blogging conference in Birmingham, Alabama. I was so excited to learn more about blogging, meet other bloggers, and spend the day soaking in a lot of new information. I had been anticipating this conference for weeks, if not months. But, I almost didn't attend




You see, last week was one of those weeks that we all have where we wish we could snap our fingers and it would magically become the weekend, bypassing all of the stress and uncomfortable situations. On Monday of last week, my oldest daughter (who just turned nine) got braces. She had to have a lingual bar placed on her lower arch. I wore braces from eighth grade to the summer before my senior year of high school, so I am well aware of the soreness and pain that comes with it. We anticipated that, especially with her being so young. But, we didn't anticipate the amount of pain she would be in from that lingual bar. The last meal she ate was Monday morning before she had her braces on. By Wednesday, she still hadn't eaten, and had barely drank anything either. We coaxed and cajoled, trying to get her to eat anything. We tried ice cream and milkshakes. We tried jello and yogurt. She just wouldn't eat. It hurt for her to swallow and to talk. She had turned into a walking zombie. She was weak and really lethargic and was even getting sick to her stomach. I was starting to get really concerned because this seemed outside of the normal realm of pain from braces. Tuesday afternoon, we took her in to our regular dentist and turns out, her bar was sticking out on her left side an actually cutting into her tongue. I felt horrible for not doing something about it sooner! Long story short, we took her in to her orthodontist's office Wednesday morning and they removed the bar so she could heal. 

That is the short version of the story, but it was so hard to see her in so much pain. And on top of that, we had Vacation Bible School at church each night. Kat and I only made it to a couple of those nights and thankfully our sweet friends let Ash tag along so she didn't have to miss while I stayed home with Kat. 

So, Thursday came and Kat was feeling a little better and actually ate a small amount so I proceeded running errands and getting  everything packed so that I could go to the conference. Thursday night, I was up late packing and I ended up scrolling through Instagram and I saw some posts from the Ya'll Connect page. I thought that seemed strange because I thought that the VIP party was on Friday night and that the conference was on Saturday. Then, it hit me! I had the dates wrong! I went to the website to confirm and sure enough, I was supposed to have checked into my hotel room that afternoon because the conference was to start at 8am the next morning. 

By this time, it was almost midnight and I was in a panic. I called my husband at work and explained to him what happened. (I won't go into details, but let's just say that Thursday was a really long and tough day already and this was just the icing on the cake. By this point, I just had to laugh because I had already said, Hey, what else can go wrong?) My  husband got it worked out so he could leave work early so he could get home so that I could leave by 4:30am to make it to the conference on time. Then, I called the hotel to explain what happened and to see if I could transfer my reservation from that night to Friday night. They had no vacancies on Friday night, so I got charged for a night that I didn't even stay there. Then, I had to try to find another hotel. By the time I found one relatively close to the conference, it was 2:30am and I had to leave in two hours. No sleep for me! I finished packing and got ready to leave. 

I almost just stayed home. I was tired, frustrated, and this had all culminated at the end of a very draining week. But, I decided that I needed to go anyway, and I'm so glad I did. In spite of everything that happened last week and the whirlwind of action it took to get me there on time, it was a nice way to end a down week on an up note.



I pumped myself full of coffee, cranked my radio up loud, and sang at the top of my lungs to keep myself from getting sleepy. Around Montgomery, the sun peeked out over the horizon and I saw the first sunrise I've seen in a really long time. I don't know what it is about sunrises that seem so sacred and intimate. It's kind of like God giving me a hug and saying, I love you. Have a good day. Okay, God. Thanks. I will. I love You, too.




.



I arrived on time, albeit a little sleepy. I was one of the first to arrive. I grabbed some coffee at the breakfast buffet and proceeded to the large conference room. I ended up sitting at a table with a librarian from the Birmingham public library, two sweet gals who were in charge of social media at a local church, a marketing rep for a real estate company, and another sweet DIY blogger. There was a lot of diversity at our one table, but I was pleasantly surprised at how kind and welcoming everyone was. That helped ease the small amount of anxiety that I had about not knowing a single soul there. We all enjoyed the key not speaker, Stacey from Blogalicious, before going to breakout sessions of our choice throughout the day.






In the end, I'm really glad that I attended and pushed through being tired. I met some amazing people, friends that I am thankful to have had the opportunity to meet. I learned a lot, too! I realized that I haven't even scratched the surface and have a lot more to learn, but I'm headed in the right direction! The Ya'll Connect conference was worth no sleep! 

Thursday, June 11, 2015

The Most Important Thing to Have in Your Home


You won't find lots of Pinterest-worthy photos in this post, those that project a perfection that is rarely, if ever, attained.  There aren't any snapshots of styled vignettes or carefully thought out spaces to inspire you, to motivate you to get busy on your next project. Nope. Not here. Not in this post.

I'm not going to tell you that the most important thing for you to have in your home is a particular furniture piece. I'm not going to try to persuade you that it's keeping a stocked pantry, owning certain dishes and serveware so that you can entertain at the drop of a hat. I'm not even going to suggest the merit of organization. No. Not today. Those things just won't do.

While all of those I mentioned are good, even wonderful to have in your home, they are not what is most important. Not in the least. I'm going to suggest something else to you that we should all hold in higher regard than things. Something intangible and yet, somehow more so than anything you can grasp in your hands:

Memories

We've been in our home for three years and one month now. I was doing a little bit of thinking about all that has happened since we moved in. Yes, we have remodeled and painted. And painted again. We've slowly put our own stamp on this house we now call home. And while it does give me satisfaction to think of all the things we've done and how far we've come with remodeling and decorating, those aren't the things that I'm most fond of since we moved here. As I'm in this contemplative state, I'm not dwelling on new floors, light fixtures, and pillow covers. No. I'm relishing in all of the great memories we've made since moving here. The day we moved in, our youngest daughter turned four, our oldest daughter just a month from being six. This home, in it's fixer-upper state, was our blank canvas to not only paint with the latest color trend, but to paint our masterpiece of memories as we raise our children here. 


We've had a lot of milestones since we moved here. We've had a lot of big moments. Dance recitals, birthdays, and getting our first family dog....







But, I've come to realize that the small moments that come in between the big moments can be just as precious. Things like playing dress-up, being silly, and playing outside with our neighbor friends. Finding beauty in the everyday, the fleeting moments that make up our lives...






We've celebrated holidays, birthdays, had baby showers, family gatherings, and reunions. We've had barbecues, girl's nights, movie nights, and picnics on the floor. Many firsts have happened here: first days of school, first teeth lost, first friend sleepover. In the big moments and in the quiet ones,the candid and the planned, there are precious memories that now fill this place...






















All of these memories are far more precious to me than any thing that I could buy, than any earthly treasure that I could place here. All of these memories, from sleepy Christmas morning faces to tea parties for dolls, are what I treasure and will treasure all of my life. 

These precious memories are truly, to me, the most important thing to have in your home. More important than expensive sofas, fancy artwork, or an ironstone collection that would make your grandmother proud. I think as long as we don't lose sight of that, we'll be doing okay. 


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