Friday, January 19, 2018

Winter 10 x 10 Challenge

A couple of years ago I was really feeling the desire to simplify and declutter a lot of different things in our home and life.  One of those big things was my wardrobe.  I paired down my closet significantly and shared all about my simplified closet here.  It has ebbed and flowed throughout the last couple of years but in general I have tried to keep it simple.  I love it when fun challenges come along when it comes to being creative with what you already have -instead of adding a bunch of new and unnecessary things.  Plus it helps keep you on the right track.  Starting today, Style Bee and Unfancy are hosting a fun Winter 10x10 challenge for those of us who enjoy being creative with less.

Simply its 10 items, 10 outfits, 10 days.  Its a way to be creative with what you own and work within a micro capsule to find new ideas and styles you might not have ever thought of.  Above are my chosen 10 items I will be working with over the next 10 days.   Some of these pieces are my absolute favorites I wear all of the time and some are things I haven't worn in a while.  

1. Black Ankle Boots (similar, similar)
4. Brown Ankle Boots (similar, similar)
5. Gray Sweater (similar)
6. Maroon Turtleneck (similar)
8. Pink Flannel (similar, similar)
10. Gray Knit Blazer (similar)

Accessories are not part of the 10, so by all means - accessorize away!

I love it when I get a chance to wear a pair of earrings from Panama.  I love a big earring.

Also I had no time to worry with my hair so I quickly tucked it back into my headband.  Its super simple and I have a little post about it here.

If you want to join in come and follow along on Instagram! I will be posting daily in my story and you can use the hashtag and check out what everyone is coming up with.  Let me know so I can follow you too!  At the end I will be following up on the blog to let you know how it all goes so stay tuned for that in a little over a week.  

Enjoy what you already have today!

Thursday, January 18, 2018

DIY Simple Farmhouse Wreath

We got the most beautiful snow here yesterday.  I have always loved the snow, it brings such a calm when it comes.  I love going out and exploring and I also love being inside in the warmth and coziness of our home.  Snow days and winter days are a great time to sit and use your hands to make something.  I love baking in the winter, decorating for the seasons and also getting my craft on.  So today I have a super simple diy wreath to share with you.

I love making these wreaths because they are usually almost free (I refuse to throw any sort of fabric scrap away) and they are simple and quick.  All my favorite things when it comes to making a craft.

I have been slowly decorating after Christmas this year.  I haven't been in so much of a rush.  This is what my little shelves currently hold in the living room.  I'm still moving it all around so I'll share a completed post soon when I get settled on it.  But I love the addition of the little wreath!

The instructions are easy - cut and tie - done.  I think the hardest part was choosing which colors I was going to use together.  I decided to go with naturals but I have done colorful ones in the past too.

I'm really into neutrals right now..I think after Christmas I am just wanting simple and calm.

Hope you can have a calm and simple day today!  If you are home try making something new!

Friday, January 12, 2018

Updating an Old Light Fixture

Slow design is something I have really embraced over the last several years.  It makes sense to me - living somewhere for a while helps you really start to see and understand what you like and need in a space.  I'm the kind of person who isn't scared of making changes in our home, especially ones like paint because they can easily be redone if we don't like it.  Not too long ago I was really needing a change with our kitchen Ceiling light.  The one I had chosen ( at the time)  I loved but over time just wasn't working for our space.  I can't tell you how many people banged their heads on that light and after living with it for a while, I just felt like it wasn't the right light for the space I was slowly putting together.  I was ready for a change but here is the big issue..I didn't really want to spend a ton of money on a new light.  After thinking about it, I really thought I could update something old to fit our space and be something I really liked.  I feel like you can always get creative and figure out a solution.

Wow, so this pic below goes way back.  This is our kitchen when we moved in...I hated this space so much but over time and making changes slowly - I absolutely love this space, its probably my favorite in our whole house.  At first we had this big and bulky ceiling fan in our kitchen...I could not get this thing out quick enough.

So much better right?  A lot of paint, a new light and some decorations helped a ton.  Now this light is not bad, I really did like it.  But after living with it and people bumping their heads on just wasn't functional for us.  I was on the hunt for something I could make work. 
Sometimes it pays to wait, to not rush into a decision just to buy something now. My parents were changing out some things in their house a little while back and had this little brass chandelier light they were tossing out.  Their trash was my treasure!  I gobbled up the light and got to work. Free = the best.  If it didn't work I had not invested much besides the cost of spray paint.

It really didn't take a lot to update the light.  First I sprayed painted it with oil rubbed bronze (and I did take pics but can't find them for the life of me).  Next, the only other thing I did to change it was to get the round shaped light bulbs instead of the traditional pointy ones that people usually use.  It's really fun how a light bulb shape can make a huge difference.  I also threw on some wood beads I had and wasn't using just for fun and texture.  I may leave them on, I may take them off...I like them for now. And that was it - probably took me and afternoon to paint a couple of light coats of paint and it was a quick install.

Another awesome bonus with this light is the dimmer Justin installed...the round bulbs tend to be a lot brighter so we really needed it.

In addition to this space we have a new tile floor, new kitchen chairs, new wall paint and I painted our mirror.  All things we have slowly added and changed over time.  

I really love the updated light in our kitchen! It really feels like it fits the feel of our house so much better and no one ever bumps their head anymore.  Eventually if I want to switch it up again I won't feel guilty because this really cost almost nothing to change.  One of the reasons why I love doing this blog is to show people you don't have to spend a fortune to create a space you really love and enjoy!

Thanks for stopping by today and Happy Friday!

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

A New Start

It has been over a year since I sat down to write a post...and its been an interesting year.  Looking back I can say I feel like I have grown a lot personally as our life has shifted and changed some over these months.  I'm happy to be sitting here to pick back up and get a new start on my blog, doing something I really enjoy and have truly missed.

Since my last post some things have changed a lot, some things are just the same.  The biggest change for our family over the last year has been the change of my husband's job at our church.  For the last 12 years (about) we have been serving in our church very specifically in student ministry.  Those 12 years were some of - and will remain some of the best years of our lives.  God taught us so much.  Its funny for us to think back on those early years fumbling our way through how to handle issues like students who bring gorilla suits to change into and scare people in the corn maze you brought your group to (without you knowing),  students who are hyper, loud and jump into your babies crib (before the baby is born) to more difficult and real issues like students who are questioning their faith or are struggling with self worth.  All we can say is God.  God's grace, God's provision, God's equipping, God's love.  Its amazing what God has allowed us to be a part of and what He has taught us through it all.  Its amazing the relationships we formed and still have and it's amazing the lasting impact serving in that way will have on us. We are humbled when we look back and now expectant as we look forward.

Now our roll has shifted, we are still at our church that we love so much, we are still serving in ministry but our focus has widened.  Instead of specifically being with teenagers, Justin's new roll is families and group life.  What exactly that means was a little vague at first for us but God has been clearly settling it in our hearts.  Total honesty, this was not an easy change for us at first and downright difficult at times.  This was a totally new position at our church with Justin being the first person to fill it.  For me its been hard to find my place in it all but God is faithful. We knew this was where God was moving us into, we didn't doubt that.  But we are still human, we have human tendencies and change can expose some of the things you may be pushing deep down inside.  I have a tendency to let fear take over, to feel ill-equipped and freeze.  I have had to really turn to God's word, to pray more, to seek out discipleship and to put into practice all of those things I say I believe.  Something Justin tells me a lot is that anything that's worth something will be hard.  I can truly say over the last year, God has done so much work in our hearts.  Our marriage has strengthened and we have a clear and almost new found understanding of our purpose.  I am learning to fight fear with love, God's word says - There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love (1 John 4:18) - and learning that God has and will equip me whenever he calls me - All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work (2 Timothy 3:16-17) -  and learning that sitting in fear gets you nowhere - Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. (Isaiah 41:10).  I can say I'm so thankful and excited for this new season in our life.  Already God has been pruning us and teaching us. This new place has given way to growth I don't think we knew we needed but God in His goodness knew exactly what we needed.  I'm thankful for a church family that has been so gracious to us to allow us to follow God's lead, to help build us up, to encourage us, and lift us up in prayer and love us through it all.  We are still learning and growing, we are still finding our way and we are so humbled to be here right now in this moment.

So what does all of that mean for this blog?!  I think I'm finally at a place where I'm ready to be open again, I'm ready to share little things that probably no one cares about and to just have fun with it.  I have had so much fun over the last few months just updating a few things on the page and creating a new look and feel for this site.  I have a lot more things I'm still working on and hoping to start putting it out there soon.  So I have a new found enjoyment and excitement to be here and to share with all of you.  

Thank you to everyone who has read this blog in the past and to those who are still sticking around to see where all of this is going. Thank you for allowing me to be open to share some of my heart and share my home with you.  Truly your encouraging words and support mean so much to me!  I can't wait to keep going and share where we are with our house updates again and all of the little things in between.  Its a new year and a new start to this blog!

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

One Table - 4 Ways (For Thanksgiving)

I thought it would be fun to look back and do a little take on one table - four ways for Thanksgiving.  Each Table arrangement and decor is all created with things I already owned or found hunting around my house and yard!  You can create simple and pretty table arrangements by using a little creativity. 
Table number one was created using a piece of cut plaid fabric I had on hand, gathering a few fall items I owned and creating a super simple table arrangement with items I literally picked from my yard.  Branches, leaves and Twigs make a really pretty Thanksgiving table arrangement.

Next is the most recent Fall Table we have had; once again using clippings from the yard to create a table arrangement.  Using a white vase really helps make the colors pop and to dress it up a ton.  

Not only do we have a plethora of branches, leaves and sticks to make arrangements with - we also have a pecan tree.  So, why not use it.  I love filling jars with things like pecans and acorns for fall.  A simple burlap runner, a bowl of fresh cranberries and a few lighted twigs I owned finished it out.

And ,the most simple arrangement of all, a mason jar over flowing with flowers from the garden.  If you just can't seem to find anything in your yard to work then check out the grocery store selection.  There are some really great flowers to be found there.  Trimming the ends to fit your vase is crucial for making those florals work.

You guys, we have just a few days left to cherish and enjoy these fall colors and pretty Autumn decor.  I'm squeezing in every last second until Christmas takes over our house...that's not to say the Christmas music hasn't already made an appearance (can't help it, I love it so much).  

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

DIY Hanging Wall Art

I have probably the most simple of all projects to share with you simple it probably shouldn't even count as a blog post.  But - I put it together, its in my house and anyone can do it so that justifies it in my mind.  If you are struggling with what exactly to hang on your walls maybe this easy project will give you a little wall inspiration.  You can change it up to suit your style!  
Also, keep scrolling to the bottom to check out a great way to help support a sweet family.  

So this project is for those of you who may have a big blank wall and are wondering what to put on it or for that person who has run into a cool poster, map or pretty paper that you want to do something with but haven't figured out what yet.  

Here is what you will need to make a quick and easy piece of wall art - 
1.  Poster, Map or Pretty Craft Paper
2. Two Dowel Rods
3. A hand Saw
4. Hot Glue Gun
5. Twine/Scissors

The hardest part of this project is sawing the wooden dowel rods.  I found my wooden dowel rods in the hardware store near the lumber section, you can also find them at a craft store like Michael's or AC Moore.  First step to do -simply measure your poster and determine the length you want your rods to be and then measure and saw until you have two dowel rods of equal length.

Next, hot glue your poster onto the rods - just a little glue at the edge works.  Make sure not to glue the whole length and then try and apply the dowel rod - the glue will dry too fast and you will have a mess.  Just a little bit at a time as you work down the poster.  After you get the poster glued to the two rods then you can cut your twine and glue it as well around your rod at the top.  I just simply wrapped the twine around the edges until I reached the desired length and glued as I went.  

And my friends - that was it.  Simple and super cute!

I actually have two of these now in my house - this one in the bedroom and one of a map in our kitchen.  I love how colorful they both are and how its something a little different than just a framed poster.  This would also be a great project to create something simple and inexpensive for your Christmas decor.  It could be larger like a poster, or smaller like a print.

Yay for easy projects!  I see a new Christmas one in my near future.  

Thanks so much for joining me today!  I wanted to share with you an easy way to support a a great family.  The Gullett family is hosting an online auction to help raise support for their adoption. They have a ton of great items to bid can even find a few pieces of my handmade jewelry :). Go check out their auction site here. The date is extended to this Thursday!

Monday, November 7, 2016

Fall House Tour : Using What You Have

Do you sometimes feel like after Halloween is over everything just speeds towards Christmas?  The day after Halloween the stores are already converted over to showcase all of the new Christmas decor...which I'm not necessarily complaining about because I love everything Christmas, but I feel as though we are missing that time between.  Is it Christmas season? Is it fall?...I feel confused sometimes.  Around here we really don't move over to Christmas until after Thanksgiving - just seems right.  
So after a little hiatus from the blog I feel like it is as good of a time as any to come back and start again.  New beginnings are always a good thing.  Today I thought I'd share our current house status - which happens to be full of fall goodness.  Maybe you are needing some Thanksgiving inspiration or maybe some Fall ideas for next year or just need a break from the craziness of political season :) - whatever the case for joining me today, welcome and thank you!!

For fall I really love bringing the outdoors in and taking a cue from what is already available to me from our own yard.  I went out and snipped a few a lot of yard clippings to come up with a simple but very "fall" arrangement for out table.  I love it so much.  Also, white pumpkins are the best.  

You don't have spend money or be a florist to come up with a pretty arrangement for your house.  I love it when arrangements have a "loose" feeling about them anyway.  Try it out this week!  Have some fun gathering a little nature and making it into something beautiful for your home.  

Our sweet son also added some fall touches by drawing a fall mural for us on the Chalkboard door.  I love his artwork and I love that things don't have to be perfect to be enjoyed in your home.  I also kept trimming branches and things and added them all over the place in our house.  Little stems of leaves here and there.

Little pumpkins are also everywhere right now in our house and I let Silas find places for most.  I love the spots he chose.

This is an angle of our house I feel like has never really been shown on the blog.  One of the things that sold us on this house when we bought it was the fact that our living room and kitchen were all one open space.  For a smaller house, that is huge.  

I debated whether or not I wanted to use this wreath I made a couple of years ago in here for our fall decor because I was afraid it was too bold. I actually have really loved it and it brightens up this little spot for me. This is a super easy craft to make using leftover scarps and a fabric hoop.  I have a simple tutorial on how to make one, I use them for every season!

Also, I think people struggle with decorating shelves for some reason. Its always a good idea to start with odd numbers of things - it just always looks better.  Search around your house and try different things together.  It took me trying out a few variations until I landed on what I liked.  Here I used a christmas star tree topper that I maybe would have reserved just for christmas but I love it here.  I also reused a copper candle votive as a little vase for my clippings.  So trying using things you already have in a different way, it works!

I can never grow tired of chalkboards.  I will use them and enjoy them in every room for every occasion.

This is probably the coolest pumpkin I have ever seen, I wish I could keep it forever.

I love a little collection of items.  You don't have to go big all of the time when decorating.  Sometimes just gathering a few of your favorite things together works.

A little while ago I finally hung some things on the wall and it came together as a little gallery wall around our tv.  I have added things, taken things away and changed things out as seasons come and go.  I love this deer/antler print I recently found at Target for $8 - so much so I may never take it down. Oh, and here's my little tutorial on how to make a framed instagram collage.

When it comes to seasonal decorating I love using what I already have, repurposing items to work or adding in a little nature to bring it all together.  If you are looking for some more inspiration for decorating for thanksgiving on a budget you can check out my simple Thanksgiving Table Ideas, Ideas for Using What You Already Have, Making a Thankful Jar and DIY Boxwood Wreath.

Thanks for joining me today!  It feels good to be back!