Tuesday, October 20, 2015

7 Rules For Moms

It's been a while since I've written a blog post on here (not that anyone has been missing it!). I was going to share some pictures of my kids from the last couple of months, but decided to change that after a movie I watched tonight. Avery was in bed and Jason was watching Monday night football, so I decided to check out what Hallmark had on On-Demand. I was hoping to come across a Christmas movie, but didn't find any. I did find a movie called Mom's Day Out. This movie was harmless of course, but it urked me. Here's the run down - a stay at home mom, married to a busy-always-on-the-phone realtor, becomes annoyed when her husband and teenage kids (who steal her makeup, make huge messes they can't seem to clean up on their own and bark grocery orders as they are walking out the door on the way to see their friends) don't remember or celebrate Mother's Day. Her old friend comes into town, her friend with an exciting career and wardrobe, and invites her to spend the weekend getting pampered at a spa, going to a resort and going out to nice restaurants. The wife is frumpy and frustrated, ever the cleaning-after-everyone-else mom, hair in a ponytail always wearing sweats, and constantly ignored. In the process of being gone, her family realizes how much they've been taken for granted and give her a wonderful Mother's Day by cleaning up after themselves and the dad shows up with flowers and an apology. It's a sweet movie and like I said, harmless. But it prompted me to really think - is this what moms really think life is like? So, here are a list of a rules I feel are important for all moms out there that I thought I would share, taken from the plot line of this movie.
1. Don't be a slave to your kids.
If you are constantly feeling like your children are leaving messes that you are having to clean up, and they are past the age of 5 (younger, sometimes) then teach your children how to clean up after themselves. If I look around my house and it's a war zone, and my three able bodied children aren't in there helping me clean, and that means vacuuming, sweeping, dishes, etc, then something is wrong with that picture.
2. Don't wait until your children are teenagers to cultivate relationships and friendships with friends.
I realize it might be hard to plot time out in the busyness of life, but do it anyway. Find friends you like, that appreciate you, that love you for who you are, and who will tell you LIKE IT IS, and spend time with them, even if it's only an hour at Starbucks. Text them, talk to them on the phone. Do what it takes to stay connected to all types of friends, even if those friends aren't in the same phase of life you are in (AKA, a mom or wife). You might learn a little something. And when your children are too "cool" to spend time with you, you will have friends that still think you are the coolest thing around and a years-long friendship that you now have more time to cultivate.
3. Don't put your dreams on hold forever.
I realize that not everyone's dream is to work. But if there is something you've put on hold, because of kids, that you enjoy doing to be a mom (which is important) and your kids are getting older and you find yourself with the ability to do more than just change diapers, like start a blog or join a reading club, then do it. Don't wait until they are graduated to continue your own life.
4. Don't let being a mom be your only identity.
You shouldn't stop being you to be a mom. Sure, it's hard when kids are little because you are just making it, but as soon as things get calmer, AND THEY DO, be YOU again. Spend time doing things you love and that God made you to do. Things that are you and you alone.
5. Spend money on clothes and accessories.
Hey, I have my yoga pants, no makeup, ponytail days, But I also have makeup and outfits that I wear, too. And just because you don't look perfect and have extra weight and not shaved legs doesn't mean you can't look cute and dress in style, especially a style you love. Have that go to outfit that makes you feel fierce and beautiful, and wear it, even if it's on a Tuesday and the only thing you are doing that day is cleaning the house and picking kids up from school.
6. Have a list of things you want to do and make plans to actually do them.
Have you and your husband been planning a cruise but never seem to have an extra $2,000 laying around? That's doesn't mean you just don't do anything because it's not the perfect thing. Get a sitter and spend the night at the local marina, gazing at the lake and spending $75 on a nice meal. Things like this might not be perfect, but they are creating memories and giving you things to look forward to. Have that friend that moved to another city that you've been meaning to visit? GO!! If it only takes you a tank of gas to get there, all the better. Is that city some small podunk place? Who cares! Have your friend find the nicest restaurant or hot spot and go there together. With those friendships you are cultivating, it doesn't matter where you go, as long as you make the effort to do it.
7. Don't feel guilty by pampering yourself or feel selfish by doing things for yourself.
One day you will wake up and realize you've never had a manicure at a nice salon. You will be 45 with grown kids and never have spent a weekend without them and not know why your own money never went to your hair getting done or that facial you always wanted. I'm not saying go into debt, but every once in a while, spending money or time just doing things that make you happy is necessary and expected (and it doesn't take that much, in the grand scheme of things). Maybe spending the money to put the kiddos in a day care facility one day so you can just be free for the afternoon to do whatever you'd like is what you need. It's not selfish, it's needed!
What are some rules you have for other moms?

Friday, September 18, 2015

My Fall Essentials

Well, school finally got started, we took our last summer trip to the beach and the weather started getting cooler. Ok, it got cooler a couple of days last week. But, cool weather is still on the horizon!
The other day, I woke up to the cooler morning air and I couldn't resist getting into the fall mood.
Parachute, a luxury bedding company, inspired me to write about a few of my cozy fall essentials we have at our house. Without a doubt, the number one and two things we love for comfort in the cooler weather are pillows and blankets. I love blankets that are soft, fuzzy, and warm! I have several of these around my house in every room, ready to be used when laying down and watching a movie!
Fall shopping is always done around this time for both the kids and adults. As we walked into the store, my next favorite fall essential was on sale and staring right me - hoodies! In Texas, weather can change day by day and even hour by hour. It's often you wear a short sleeve shirt during the day but need a hoodie at night. I love soft but light hoodies that provide warmth but aren't too heavy and hot.

My next favorite fall essential is not only comfy but functional! I have quite a bit of marble floors in my house, which can be hard and cold. I love my memory foam fur lined house shoes They do keep my feet especially warm, so fall and winter is a great time to wear them. They are also hard soled on the bottom so provide protection in the outside as well, for when I go outside to enjoy my next favorite fall essential....
While I love coffee all year long, I find myself drinking a bit of iced coffee in the summer. Enjoying a hot cup of coffee is not appealing in 100+ degree weather. But there is nothing better than a hot cup of coffee on a nice, cool morning and luckily, there have been a couple of those mornings within the last couple of weeks and I'm ready for more!
What are your favorite fall essentials?

Friday, August 21, 2015

The Rest of The Summer....

The last half of my summer was literally a blur of activity.
I hosted two estate sales. This just kind of happened, but it's opened up a world of possibilities for opportunities!
We had this little cutie spend a couple nights with us. These two just LOVE each other. It makes my heart happy.
Jason and I went to church camp as counselors. Serving in the children's ministry these past couple of years has been a huge blessing for me. I've learned more about the Bible from our curriculum than I have in 35 years! And going to camp was such a treat. It was tiring and hard to function some days, but it was such a wonderful time. Getting to know the kids was amazing.

We took our first official church directory picture as a family!

This is my absolute favorite picture of the kids we've ever taken. They all are smiling so beautifully and look genuinely happy in it.

This little missy turned 3!!! Colbi is one of the most funny kids to be around. Her mannerisms are seriously hilarious. She is one sassy little thing, and I love spending time with her.

My friend Kate had a BIG summer - a wedding and a baby on the way! We got to celebrate her wedding with a shower, and another one is to come! That little boy will be one lucky kiddo to have her as a mom.

I have done a lot of painting this summer. I have a lot more to go. It's a labor of love, for sure!

I also got to participate in VBS at church as the craft leader. Growing up, and as an adult, I was sure I would be called to work with youth because of my positive experience with adults in my teenage years, but God has shown me just how much I love younger kiddos. It's been such a fun summer with them!

On a sad/happy note, my friend Reagen of 15 years moved to Rockport. We've seen each other at least once a week for a standing friend date for at least four years, as we've lived about ten minutes away from each other since then. Then, she left me to go get married and build a house at the beautiful coast with a wonderful man who treats her like a queen. How dare she. She is still within driving distance (what's 6 hours between best friends?) so I went down to see her once already. I'll be seeing her again very soon. I guess I will sacrifice and go to the beach here and there to have my friend dates, if I must.
School for Avery doesn't start for another two weeks, and I just can't wait. I know she is so excited as well. And this year, she will be doing dance!! I am so excited for her!!

Friday, July 17, 2015

Breakfast Nook Redo

My poor poor breakfast nook has been sorely neglected in the last three years.

I bought this table and chairs on Craigslist as something just to fill the space when we first moved in. The curtains were leftovers from the previous owners.
I redid the table with a herringbone pattern and got four hand me down chairs and replaced the curtains grey. It worked ok for a while, but we never ever went in that space. I never finished the table correctly and the grey, white and red color scheme just never worked for me 100%. This room was probably the last of all of my rooms I was worried about. As you can tell, it has become a catch all for nonsense.
Until this week, of course.
I've had quite a few pieces of furniture given to me this week, including some new furniture for the girls' room. It gave me an idea to move Avery's dresser into the space. I also had quite a bit of the Oops paint leftover and decided, since I had all of the supplies, why not?
Here is the space now!
I've always wanted to stencil something and now was my chance.
This dresser is on it's fourth life now, with it's third paint job in the last three years.
Here is what I literally just painted it in December.
Here is it now.
Stenciling really wasn't as hard as I thought it would be. I just had to paint the dresser white first. I found the stencils at Home Depot. They laid flat when the drawers were upright. I would just lay the stencil down, then using a smaller roller, roll the paint over. Up close, this is absolutely not perfect. I liked it that way. The brown I used was the cheap acrylic paint you find at Walmart or Michaels for 97 cents, just because I had it one hand. I painted the top of the dresser brown, but I didn't like that, so I stenciled the top too. It was way too busy so I painted the top white again. Sometimes, you just don't know what it's going to look like until you do it.
This paint photographs a lot more green than it looks. It really looks like a coffee color.

The chairs still have red seat covers, which will be recovered.

One of the coolest features about this space is that the lava rock fireplace wraps around and creates a wall. Painting around lava rock isn't easy, let me tell you! (and of course, in the background is my new soda machine. Ridiculous.)
It feels like a restaurant in a lodge with that rock in the background.

I tried to capture the lamp light, but of course, I need a few more photography classes. I just love lamp light, it adds such warmth in a room!
I just ended up taking the curtains down altogether. I pretty much hate sliding doors, I think they are awful, but until I get either new French doors or a wall of windows, they will just have to work. This space opens up to the sunroom, so curtains really aren't necessary. No one can see in and sun doesn't ever shine into this room.

Two rooms down, three to go! Whew!!

Sunday, July 12, 2015

More Spray Painting....

So, here another project I've been working on.

This shelf started off black, and I decided to paint it cream. I'm not a huge fan of putting white on white, but I think it works pretty well in this space.

I went a little nuts with the spray paint this weekend. As you can see, Rustoleum Aqua has been on my favorites list for a while. Everything here has been painting with that, except for the lamp, which I got for $7 at Family Dollar one day. This vase was one of about 10 I had that I decided to paint white a few years ago, I literally just sprayed the bottom of it blue, no tape or anything, just to add some contrast. That "faith" d├ęcor was gold and I found it for a $1 at Dollar Tree one year. I just painted it blue. The tree limbs just came out of my front yard for fall last year and they've just stayed in ever since.

I love this space and how this is all turning out. Very comfy but deliberate. Relaxing but stylish.

I found these frames at a garage sale a while back. My intention was to do something artsy with the canvas inside, but after I painted them, I got the idea to glue some jute to hang them on the wall. My next step will be to find some 3D something to put in there, maybe a collection of old cool keys or antlers or something. That will come to me one day, I'm sure.

This is a picture of my daughter twirling that my mom gave me one year. I love her face in these pictures.

This space now has such great flow. I love it.

Across from that is my newly painted dresser and one of my favorites. My friend Kelli made this for me for my birthday after I constantly told her how much I loved hers when I went to her house, and it was the best surprise. I love that it's one of the first things you see when you walk into my house.

That picture frame I've had for years and it was in one of the drawers. I found it when I painted the dresser and was so happy. The candles and candle holder was a $5 garage sale find that I painted and distressed over the weekend.

This is probably one of my favorite wedding pics. The stuff in the vase is my wedding unity sand. After 5 years, it's getting pretty dusty and a certain 4 year old has played in it a time or two. I'm sure one day I will have to just pour it out, but that day is not today. I can't bring myself to, just yet.

Up next is a complete tour of my whole space, along with my 70% finished gallery wall. Thanks for all of the great responses on my posts so far, it's so wonderful to hear positive things!!

Saturday, July 11, 2015

$125 Living Room Redo

This wall of windows has been on my to do list since we moved into nearly three years ago. When we first moved in, there was a wall of sheer curtains that we immediately took down.
It looked a million times better, just removing those curtains.
This last year, I bought some cheap curtains just to have something on the wall.
These weren't terrible, at all. They were cheap, especially since I had to buy 7 of them. However, they had no style. But they were a place holder until I figured out exactly what I wanted this room to be. I also knew we would eventually have to replace those blinds, but just kept them up for function's sake. They were all different colors, they were broken in some places, and they weren't in very tight, so if you pulled them wrong, they would fall. Well, yesterday, one of them decided just to break completely. Since I didn't want to spend a ton of money on the 2 inch blinds right then, which is what I really want, I decided I needed to find some curtains and paint the wall. The other problem this wall had was when the painters came to do the house before we moved in, they didn't take the curtain rod down before hand, so when we removed it, there were holes and different colors of paint on the wall. It's bugged me constantly.
This week, I went to Hobby Lobby for the 52nd time to look for some type of fabric I could make curtains with. I had looked for curtains for months, but I needed long ones and ones with style, so I could never find any I could afford. Luckily, on this day, they had the perfect curtains, burlap white and blue chevron, for 50% off. They only had four and I needed 7, but I thought I can figure out a way to make this work until I can get to another Hobby Lobby and hope to find 3 more. Four curtains for $71, and they were 96 inches long. When I got them home, I loved them, but against the white wall, they were so washed out. I also was going to have to raise the exsiting rods higher, which was going to put more holes in the wall. I decided now was as good a time as any to go ahead and paint the wall to add some contrast.
We went to Home Depot with the budget of $40 for paint and supplies, which was going to be tricky. I realized when I got there that we were also going to have to paint the inside of the windows and sills white, or else it would look so dirty against the new paint. Originally, my idea was to paint the wall blue to match the curtains, but doing white and turquoise, it can get overly matchy matchy real quick, so I decided to go ahead and do brown. We were just about to have a gallon of paint mixed when my wonderful Oops! shelf lit up from the heavens with a coffee color for $9. I got a quart of white for $10, a spray paint to finish another job for $4, and supplies for $15, for a grand total of $39.68. Score!!
The paint ended up working beautifully. What luck!!
Here is what we've been looked at every day before we got started. Hideous!!
Here is what it looks like now! I took pictures at night because the color of the wall is easier to see.

As you can tell, having only four curtains still looks a bit wonky, but they are so much better than before.

Staring at this wall makes me hearty happy!!

To add a little interest, I bought a set of three black frames at an estate sale for $5, painted them Heirloom White, and printed off a free printable from the internet.

This was another find at the estate sale that I scored for $10. I knew these piece would look amazing painted Aqua and distressed....

And I was right! I really have been annoyed with distressing for the past few years, but looking at this piece, I did a few more things this way that I will show on another day.

The "W" pillow cover was a Target find for $3, I think? And the ottoman was recovered from leftover fabric from another project. I love the way this is all turning out!!
So, let's recap the expenses:
Curtains: $71
Paint and Supplies: $39
Picture Frames: $5
Side Table: $10
Total: $125!!
I think I will sleep very well tonight!

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Dining Room Tour, New Furniture!

I am so fortunate to have a lot of people in my life to look out for me when it comes to furniture. I guess they know I will just love it and use it! So when my broker called me and said one of her clients was wanting to give her dining set and china hutch to a loving home before she moved, she called me and I immediately said yes!!
I saw some distant pictures of it before I went and looked personally, and I thought for sure I would want to paint it black and redo my living and dining area yellow, gray and black. That all changed the moment I got the pieces in my house. They were in such good shape, I couldn't bare to touch them with paint, so I just left them as is and did some updating with my brown and turquoise scheme. I was getting tired of blue, to be honest, but the furniture gave me a boost of love with it again. I'm not completely finished with all of it, but this is the dining room.
Everything was in excellent condition, with the exception of the back of one of the chairs, which will be fixed soon.

A hutch has been on my wish list for quite some time, I was so glad when I saw the condition this one was in! I now finally have a place to show off my wedding china.
I got my gallery wall started again. It's miles from being finished, but it's a good start!

Those curtains I stitch witched five years ago sure have held up.

Here is just a little progression of the room so far...still not 100% where I want it, but certainly a much better improvement!
At move in...
Just recently around Valentine's...
And now!