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Friday, January 31, 2014

take heart {and a giveaway winner!}

I read somewhere that January is the most depressing month of the year. Something about the holidays being over and the weather being dreary makes people a bit gloomy.

That's definitely the case here. It has been over almost 6 weeks since everyone at my house was healthy at the same time. Sickness. I'm over it. I'm especially over it now that I'm the last one with this cold and sinus funk.

But it's more than that even. It's the daily to-do lists that never get finished, the busted water pipes under my house, and the frigidly cold temperatures outside. It's my very favorite shirt that I ripped last week, my beloved printer that died this week, and that brand new earring that I lost in the nursery this morning. 

January has gotten to me and a funk has set in. I'm sick and grouchy and fussy.

But today is the last day of the month and I'm pulling myself up by the bootstraps. I was so touched by this tidbit from my Jesus Calling devotional the other day that I saved it and have read it almost every day since: 

"Give up the illusion that you deserve a problem-free life. Part of you is still hungering for the resolution of all difficulties. This is a false hope! As I told My disciples, in the world you will have trouble. Link your hope not to problem solving in this life but to the promise of an eternity of problem-free life in heaven. Instead of seeking perfection in this fallen world, pour your energy into seeking Me: the Perfect One.
It is possible to enjoy Me and glorify Me in the midst of adverse circumstances. In fact, My Light shines most brightly through believers who trust Me in the dark. That kind of trust is supernatural: a production of My indwelling Spirit. When things seem all wrong, trust Me anyway. I am much less interested in right circumstances than in right responses to whatever comes your way."

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
- John 16:33


There it is. "Give up the illusion that you deserve a problem free life" and instead focus on the incredible joy offered in Christ. Isn't it funny the funk that we can all get into when we concentrate solely on ourselves? And of course we feel so off track! Our very purpose in life is to worship our amazing Creator, not to worship ourselves.

So if your January looked anything like mine, take heart. God has already overcome this world and give us a great new courage. And in this case, there's even a new month to renew our focus on him rather than the menial worries of this world.


And how about a giveaway winner!

Congrats to Anna Brickman! And way to go with the Dave Ramsey plan! Send me a note for your free goodies. {I'm sure Dave would approve!}

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

master bedroom ideas

We purchased our home over three years ago. 
And when we moved in, I just tossed our furniture and decor into the master bedroom and let it be.

I've wanted to redo the room for ages. I've wanted that beautiful master suite and glorious retreat for my room. But there were so many excuses. It wasn't a space that a lot of people see, so it wasn't a priority. Plus, the room has a really odd layout. I just couldn't figure it out. The floor area is huge {16 x 24}, but we have sloped ceilings on two sides and 2-3 doors on each of the other two sides. I felt like I was playing with a giant jigsaw puzzle. It just makes it difficult to arrange furniture throughout a lot of the space.

Those are all my excuses.
But finally one day, I'd had enough. I was going to give our bedroom some sweet TLC. 

So we've powered through it and my master bedroom is finally becoming a gorgeous space that I love. 

This was my starting place...

I've really been dying to use navy lately. And J.B. was super glad that we were putting some "manly colors" in the master bedroom.

We've made a couple of new purchases, reused a few pieces, and {of course} done a few DIY projects - like a huge built in window seat and a custom made standing mirror. More on those projects as we put the finishing touches on the room!

Stay tuned for some more updates on the master bedroom...


Just a few more days to enter the Winter Giveaway!
Click the image to check it out!!


Giveaway ends on 1/30!

Friday, January 24, 2014

painted mugs {tutorial}

Oh deer! I love these!

I've seen the piles of ideas on Pinterest about decorating mugs with sharpies, but after some reading, it seems that the sharpies do seem to rub right off. I'm hoping this method might produce some better results!

And this is a fun project that anyone can do! Anyone!! And the supplies are minimal. 

I started with a couple of white mugs {mine are from Target} and a paint pen.

And I decided on a design when I found this sweet deer silhouette. 

I free handed this after looking at the silhouette on my screen. But you can do any design! Maybe a saying, and initial, or even a fun pattern? Just go for it!

Next, let the design air dry for at least 8-10 hours. Overnight would be great.

Then place them on a cookie sheet in a cold oven. Turn the oven on to 350 degrees and let it bake for 30 minutes.

And then enjoy with your favorite drink!

Love it!


Have you entered the winter giveaway yet? It's still open until 1/30! Click the image below to check out all the awesome goodies you could win!


Wednesday, January 22, 2014

22 months

Can you believe that this little rascal is so close to turning two?! 
I'm in complete denial.

Jake's growing up so fast that I don't even know what to think. I can barely keep up with how quickly he learns new things. His vocabulary is out of this world and he really comprehends everything he's saying. Mind. Blown.

: :  Currently  : :

 - Sleeps 12-13 hours at night and takes a 1-2 hour nap during the day.
 - Eats great!
 - Wearing 18 month clothes and size 6 toddler shoes.
 - Learning to sing his favorite songs. The sweetest sound on the planet!
 - Almost potty trained!! Crazy, right?! I wasn't planning on starting that until he was two, but this crazy kid just went for it himself. A genius, clearly.

: :  Loves  : :

Thomas the Train. Still. It's still a serious addiction. I'm pretty sure we own all. things. Thomas. But I do enjoy that Thomas is such a sweet show. Jake hears some of the kindest lessons through Thomas. And I'd definitely prefer trains to Barney or those forsaken Bubble Guppies.
Playing Outside. Unfortunately, that's a tough one this time of year. The high for most of this week is about 35 degrees. Which means my baby has to stay inside. On the occasional sunshiney day, we run around the backyard like crazy people!
Adventures. Since we really can't play outside in the winter, we do take it upon ourselves to have a lot of field trips to fight off the cabin fever. We've joined the local Children's Museum and Zoo this and like to find other places to just get out of the house.  Jake loves to play anywhere and with anything. Or maybe he's just so tired of being cooped up that he's desperate. Who knows anymore?

: :  Dislikes  : :

Meat. Still, y'all. About the only meat he'll eat is fish and hamburgers. Since this is the only thing he's crazy picky about, I'm just counting myself lucky. 
Waking up early. Trust me, he gets it from his momma.
Haircuts. I don't know know why, but he really really hates getting his haircut. Even at the fun, little kids' salon! Which is super unfortunately because this kid has piles of hair that grows like crazy.

Two months until he's two? No way. There's just no way. 
He's growing so fast and I love him more than ever!!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

winter giveaway

** This giveaway is now closed. Stay tuned for the spring giveaway soon! **

How about a little bit of pretty in the middle of the drab winter season?
That's sort of what I was thinking while I put together this giveaway. 


{from left to right}

1. elastic hair ties from J.Crew
2. tassel-trim scarf in 'neon papaya' from J.Crew
3. 2014 Secret Garden Calender from Rifle Paper Company
4. floral heart 8'x10' print from Rifle Paper Company
5. 'sheer bliss' and 'sunday funday' from Essie

Want to enter to win these free goodies?
Enter below!

step one: Follow the blog via email. There's a simple tab on the right hand side of the page where you can enter your email address to have the posts sent directly to your inbox. No spam,no gimmicks.  Just crafts, decor, recipes and general crazy mom banter from yours truly.

step two: Comment below and tell me something new that you're trying in 2014!

Gym time? Book list? Organization? Scheduled date nights? 
Share with me for a chance to win!

So simple, right?
Giveaway ends on 1/30!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

toddler art tuesday {#4}


Gosh, its been a few weeks since we had one of our Toddler Art Tuesday posts!
Jake and I have were pretty busy over the holidays, but we made time for a couple of fun projects to share. 

These sweet calendars were really neat Christmas gifts that we made for some of our family members. I love coming up with all the different ideas for folks!

I printed up the calendar months in a simple Word document. Then we used Jake's hand prints or footprints in a cute design on a piece of 14x11 poster board. I just used a hole punch and some folding tack pins to attached them. That way, each month can be ripped away but the fun art stays there.  

You could really do these with any kind of art. Have the kids draw a picture or color something fun!

I think everyone loved the calendars!

This a fun and simple project for anyone! 

Jake and I were resenting the fact that a forecast of snow only brought some yucky rain last week. So we decided to make our own snowman. 

 I made a circle of glue for each section and had Jake stick the "snowballs" onto the page.

Then we did a few falling snowflakes around our snowman. 
Later on, I came back and added the little pieces for the face. Those were way too small for Jake to deal with at this age. 

Now he loves running into the office to see his snowman on the wall!

Hope you're having fun getting creative with your kiddos!


{ Go here } to see all of our Toddler Art Tuesday posts.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

currently {january}

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak    /     The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty

These are both book club book selections that I'd really like to read. We picked The Book Thief last month and I kinda sorta maybe didn't find the time the read it {whoops}. But I hear such good things!
And The Husband's Secret seems like it could be a real scandal. I loved What Alice Forgot {also by Moriarty} so I have high hopes for this one too.

I fell flat at the end of 2013 and didn't read a thing for almost three months. My goal is to finish at least two books a month in 2014. Feel free to wander over to my book list to see what's on my nightstand what I've read this year {and previous years}.


I usually can't stand a lot of what's on Top 40 radio so most of my music is played through custom Pandora stations or XM Radio {I just like living in my own little bubble, ok?}. So I have no idea if Delta Rae is "in" or "hip", but I stumbled upon this album and really love it!
One of my biggest pet peeves with albums is when every song sounds the same. And holy variety Batman, that is definitely not the case with this Delta Rae album. If anything, I keep wondering if each song is done by the same group. There's everything from a soulful spiritual to folk to a country rock sound on this album. Check it out!

Jake's second birthday party. 

I'm halfway in a state of denial that my little peanut is almost two. And halfway excited that I get to plan another awesome party for him. It's nuts. 

Since we are still totally completely absolutely whole heartedly obsessed with Thomas the Train, I think we'll be having a vintage train party this year. But I'm still in the beginning stages of "pinning" some ideas and throwing around what might work for a toddler party. So y'all stick around to see how it all pans out!


Our family received memberships the Birmingham Zoo and local museum group {Early Works Children's Museum, Alabama Constitution Village, and the Huntsville Train Depot} for Christmas this year!

And we are super excited about routinely visiting each of these places this year. Jake is growing and learning so fast and he loves going on "field trips". Watching him explore and venture out is one of the neatest things about being his momma.
With this freezing cold spell, we've already gotten our share of cabin fever and ventured out to the Early World Children's Museum yesterday...

Valentine's Day!

Or maybe just the general time around that holiday. My birthday is also a week before Valentine's Day so it just seems to make the holiday time extra fun. Plus I'm really looking forward to making some creative Valentine's with Jake again this year. 
Y'all remember this little heart breaker?

Gah, he's so stinkin' cute. 
I'm thinking we might craft something up for our loved ones this year, but I'm still tossing around a few ideas.

Downton Abbey!! 

Season four started back on Sunday and all is right with the world. Well, maybe not Downton's world, but mine certainly is better now. I adore this show!! It's clean, which is hard to come by these days. The writing is amazing and the character are absolutely captivating. I have a total lady crush on Maggie Smith {The Dowager}. If you're not watching this, I guarantee you are missing out on something awesome. You can totally catch up and watch! PBS on Sunday nights!

 Much like many of you, I'm really trying to start the year off more organized. I work full time from home and also have Jake full time at home, so its pretty much a given that I have to stay on top of things for everyone to survive. I'm trying to follow through with a few systems that help me keep my schedule and my sanity. 

Meal planning, cleaning schedules and getting my buns in bed at a decent hour are all small tasks that I'd really like to focus more on in 2014.

I hope your January is also finding you diving into many new adventures!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

diy feather dipped garland {tutorial}

It seems that I'm all about some feathers in 2014. After making {this print} last week, I got a bee in my bonnet to add another feather item to the living room.

Oh the glitter! Love.
This is the exact reason that I made our faux fireplace/mantle. So I could dream up random stuff like this and have a place to put it. 

: :  Materials  : :

paper for feathers
mod podge
garland string

Start by cutting out some paper feathers. You can freehand these. Or {go here} to use my template. It has a two varieties of feathers that you can mix and match if you like.

Next, apply your glue. If you're looking to create the dipped version like mine, lay a piece of scrap paper across the feather where you'd like the glitter to begin. Then add your mod podge. Be generous here. Mod podge will dry quickly and clear.

Be generous with the glitter as well. You can always shake off and reuse the excess. 

Finally, remove the scrap piece and shake off the extra glitter. Lay the feathers out to dry.

I used a simple white and gold baker's twine to hang mine along the mantle. 

I love that this is a great garland for any season. It might be hanging around for quite awhile!