Saturday, July 30, 2011

My out of office message

Aylen Lake, Ontario, Canada

Plans include eating, reading, boating, hiking, husband, son, repeat. See you in a week!

Friday, July 29, 2011

A + K

It's been 5 years since I made the BEST earthly decision of my life thus far. I mean that. I couldn't have picked a better man to spend my life with. It has never been a roller coaster, but instead, constant and steady. I don't think at the young age of 23 I realized how important that decision would be, but I'm thankful that the Lord did and that he gave me Aaron.  He is my sounding board, my helper, my talk-some-sense-into-me kind of husband. The husband who does the dishes and laundry, paint and repaints again, and works incredibly hard to provide for us. The kind of man who serves others joyfully, delights in his son, and loves those around him. A husband who makes life fun and makes me laugh daily, all the while still able to have a real and deep conversation about God, our future and life.

Five years later, I am so much more in love with him than the day that we were married. I'm in love with this handsome man who lives this life with me. The man who walks beside me daily, encouraging, loving, and always laughing with me. Thank you Lord for giving me such an incredible man.

I love you Aaron!

Thursday, July 28, 2011


I feel like I have been surrounded by it. Seeing the way that God's people are living out the gospel and caring for the widows and orphans. It's such a beautiful picture. Amazing to see the way the Lord touches peoples hearts to love children that were unloved. There have been a number of friends at our church who have adopted or are in the process. A few weeks ago, I asked you to participate in the giveaway for our friends Ryan and Katie who are adopting from the Congo. Right now, other friends of ours are in China with their little girl Emery Lin. Angie and Clint have been praying for their little girl and waiting and hoping and praying some more for the last 3 years. As of Monday, their prayers have been answered. If you want to read more you can click here or look for "the weldons" under our friends tab.

I also follow a blog called the lettered cottage. It's a design blog, but they are also in the process of adopting. Today they had a guest post from a family who adopted two of the sweetest little kids from Africa. I watched their coming home video and cried. What a beautiful amazing homecoming!

Home At Last from dan owens on Vimeo.

Adoption is such an amazing wonderful life changing thing. I'm thankful to be able to see so many children welcomed into loving families. It's a great Thursday.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

sidewalk chalk

Best $1.29 I ever spent. Okay, maybe not, but it was still fun. I randomly saw it at Riteaid and figured, why not? We tried it out today and I only had to fish 2 pieces out of Everett's mouth. I call that success. He drew some, but didn't really seem to understand what he was supposed to do with the chalk. He was more interested in taking the pieces in and out of the box. I'm fine with that. Not to self- next time buy the thick stuff. The skinny chalk was too thin for his chubby little fingers.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

one man's trash really is another man's treasure

Craigslist. I love it- you know this. Recently, I've been enjoying the other side of craigslist- selling! Since we got our new living room furniture, I've got end/side tables, chandelier, area rugs, a few shelves, and some other random odds and ends that I am not using anymore. I listed everything 2 weeks ago. Nothing. I only had one inquiry. So, I re-listed everything this week. Bingo. When it comes to craigslist, it's all about timing. So, within the last 3 days, I've sold our old chandelier, coffee and end tables, a frame, and a corner shelf. Sweet right?

Mollie bought our chandelier. She had her washer pipe burst (on the third floor of her townhouse- boo) and needed to replace her dining room chandelier. She got a new light and so did I. I even made 25 bucks on the deal because I found that good deal at homedepot. I call that a win-win.

Mary Ann was looking for new coffee/side tables. Her kids are in their teens and she wanted something nicer. I was looking to get rid of my nice but sharp cornered end tables, and Everett was hoping for a table that he wouldn't hurt himself on. Mary Ann was excited, I was excited. She even dragged her son along to help load and he was happy because he got a trip to Sonic out of it. Again, win-win.

In the end, I'm financing my entire living room/first floor update simply by selling and re-purposing the stuff we've got. I'm even making some money! It's a pretty cool deal. If you haven't tried craigslist, you should.

Buy something, sell something. And while you're at it here's a few tips:

1- Be specific. In your searching, use the search engine and look for exactly what you want. Use key words to help narrow the number of things that you will look at.
2- Be persistent. If you read my stalking craigslist post, then you know what I'm saying. Check craigslist multiple times a day for the things that you want. It's all about timing on the website. If you're buying, check the website a lot. If you're selling, repost your items every few weeks and make sure you have nice clear pictures for buyers to look at.
3- Be safe. I only meet people when Aaron is home and only give out my address if they have already verbally said they want to buy the item. My address is usually the very last thing that I give people. It's only after we've had a number of emails back and forth and I know that they're serious about purchasing the items that I give them our address. If you're wary of this, meet at a public place.
4- Be smart. There are scammers on craigslist. Often when you post something you may get one or two of these people. They will tell you that they're interested in your item. Their second email to you will say something about a money order, moving out of the country, etc. Don't do business with these people. Use common sense. Also, I only accept cash. It just makes sense.

So there you go. Questions, ask. I know my way around craigslist ;)

Happy Craigslisting!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Everett randoms

---Everett is really into using utensils. So much so, he will not eat a banana without a fork. Seriously. I have to slice up the banana so he can stab at it with his little fork. For a while, he was doing the same with blueberries... glad he kicked that habit. Breakfast was taking foreeeeever.

---Everett has started to recognize the packaging/containers with his favorite foods. When I pull something out that he likes he gleefully yells  "OOOOOO!"

---Everett loves the water. We were boating at a local lake on Sunday that had a beach. Everett (with water wings on) would yell GO! and throw himself into the water... face and all. I'm not exactly sure how he figured it out, but he is holding his breath? Aaron claims he'll be "swimming" by the end of the summer.

---Everett has started kissing to get his way. No lie. When I give him something and ask him to say thank you, he tries to kiss me instead. He sometimes does the same with please. I'm all about those sweet little kisses, but then I make him say please or thank you too. Kids need manners, right?!

---Everett has started paying more and more attention to what the dogs bark at. They bark furiously and run to the door when Aaron gets home. Everett now equates that with Aaron getting home from work and yells "Daddy!" multiple times a day thinking that the barking dogs are alerting him to Aaron's arrival.

---Not that I'm an advocate for toddler tv watching, but it'd be nice if Everett watched more than 3 minutes of a show so that I could get stuff done! The closest we've gotten is "The Backyardigans" and he will only watch during the opening credits because it's a song. He shoulder shakes and dances around and then as soon as the music stops, he's off to do something else. 

---Everett has started to climb onto everything. Last night, Aaron said he ran in the other room and within minutes was on a dining room chair playing with my half drank mug of then cold coffee.  This morning I look over and he climbed on my kitchen step stool, onto a cooler, and was playing with my kitchen utensils. Eek-I can't take my eyes off this kid!

---Everett has this crazy, hard throw. I try to warn people when the want to play catch with him that he throws really hard. I don't think they believe me until he's thrown a ball at their chest or face. Aaron is banking on this being his way into professional sports... I guess he can dream.

So there you have it, all of the random stuff Everett is up to at 16 months old. He's definitely all boy and a wild and adventurous one at that!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

new sign via picnik

So, I've been redecorating. You know this. I have also been soaking in tons of inspiration via pinterest. I found a quote on there that I love and wanted to find somewhere and somehow to display it. I also stumbled onto a fantastic blog and found an AMAZING tutorial on how to create free printables on (it's a photo editing website that's FREE! I love and adore it and use it all the time). So, this morning over coffee, I came up with a sign for my kitchen. All I have to do is head over to a staples somewhere and print it out! I haven't decided yet if I'm going to frame and hang it or slap on some modge podge and add it to a canvas. Either way, I'm pretty excited about it!  What do you think?

Sunday, July 17, 2011

eternity moments

A few months ago when we were out visiting my parents, my dad told me he had an "eternity moment" with Everett. I wasn't exactly sure what he meant until he explained it. He said when he went in and picked Everett up from his crib, Everett wrapped his arms around my dad and just hugged him for a few minutes. Dad said it was one of those moments that he could live in for an eternity, that he could stay in forever. I loved it and his description, and that he loves my son so much.

Today I found myself having my very own eternity moment. It was a perfect day full of fun moments and crazy water adventures with Everett. Toward the end of the day, we headed out for a ride around the lake. I was riding in the front of the boat with Everett. The wind in our faces, sun shining, and Everett leaning into me hugging me with his sweet little hands. He held my hand and lay back on my chest and it just hit me- I could do this forever. Just simply live in this moment on repeat. I am so thankful for that moment today, thankful for my little boy, and so very thankful for those eternity moments.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

design dilemma- opinions please!

So, I'm stuck. I thought I had made a decision about the space between my new curtains. I had resolved myself to get this fantastic round framed mirror, paint it white and hang it in the middle of the wall. I wanted something simple because of all the pattern in the curtains. I used painters tape to give myself an idea about how much of the wall it would take up and how it would look. I was pumped and then my brother in law burst my bubble. Remember I told you I was spray painting our little mirror/key holder by the door? Well his exact words were, oh another mirror? I hadn't thought about it to that point, but I will then have two mirrors on the same wall. ugh. So now, I need your help. Which option do you think will look best:

Option 1--- Keep the mirror idea. No big deal. It'll still look good:

Option 2--- Try something like this idea from Pinterest. Plain and pretty simple, but cute too:

taken from pinterest

Option 3--- Use fabrics that were used to cover pillows and frame them. Use 3 white frames and 3 different fabrics: My only fear with this one is that it may be too much pattern? It'd have a similar set up to this picture I found on pinterest. I'd use the fabric we got for recovering the pillows.

taken from pinterest

So, what do you think? 1, 2, or 3?! Do you have another idea for me? I'm all ears. And while you're at it, tell me why!

the snowball effect

Remember back in February when I gave you my 2011 DIY to-do list? I revised it again in April and we're getting close to checking off that little list of 11 things that I wanted to accomplish this year. While I should be ecstatic, I am instead looking at a list 3 times that size. Isn't that the way it always works? Example- #6 on the list= rearrange the living room furniture. Done son. But, after I moved it, I got the itch to change it. Enter- new furniture. Then new curtains. Then new pillows... etc, etc, etc. See my dilemma? I think that by the end of this my entire first floor will look different. For now- I will enjoy checking a few things off my original list, celebrate what we've already accomplished, and how much I love it! (All the newly completed stuff is crossed off in blue)

1- Fix the kitchen light.
2- Repaint the dining room.
3. (Neatly) mount the television above our fireplace.
4. Get rid of the Tiffany's-esque chandelier that hangs in an awkward place in our living room.
5. Update the ceiling fan in our bedroom.
6. Rearrange the furniture in the living room.
7. Add some wall art to our master bedroom/bathroom/living room.
8. Update our upstairs bathroom light fixtures.
9. Repaint the red in the half bath.
10. Sell living room and mancave couches on craigslist.
11. Find a sectional for the living room and redecorate!

#11 you saw in my craigslist post and the update on our new curtains.
#2 and #9 were painted while Everett and I were out in Pittsburgh at the end of June. It was a happy birthday present from my hubby and brothers in law. I love it. I'll post pics another day.

#4 was fun. That chandelier has been the bane of my existence since day one of living in our house. My living room is rectangular and has a fireplace which can make a layout hard enough. Add in a strangely placed chandelier that hangs about a third of the way into the room and you've got a seriously weird design. I went back and forth on what to do with it. When it came down to it, we really needed at least one hanging light. I struggled though in figuring out how it would ever look normal. One day it just hit me- I would swag the light over to the corner and make myself a reading nook of sorts. With the new sectional I was left with an empty corner, so Aaron and I used part of our discovercard cashback money to buy this little guy for our new reading nook (from target during a 15% off furniture sale)!

It matches the new ottoman perfectly and fills up some of that empty space. See that huge empty wall behind the chair... I've got big plans for it. You'll have to wait and see!

Back to the light- I knew that even if I swagged it I was still going to need a new fixture (side note- when I say swag I mean I bought a little kit that allows you to drill a hook into the ceiling to change the placement of where the a light is hanging).

I'd seen a lot of outdoor looking pendant lamps and liked the idea. I decided to peruse to see if they had any similar lights. They ended up having one that I absolutely loved; however, it was 125 bones. That was a no go. I wanted the pewter fixture, but decided to look at the other colors too. There was a glossy white (which I wasn't interested in) BUT it was only $43. $82 cheaper just because of the color?! Crazy right? So I did what anyone would do, ordered the white and spray painted it. I've been on a bit of a spray painting kick... I'm sure my neighbors think I'm wacky. Either way, I really like the results. It's another thing checked off our list and another step toward "finishing" up the living room. What do you think? Anyone else obsessing lately on spray painting stuff? Anyone else have a project that's snowballing?!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

i love this little face

what a perfect start to my day ♥

Monday, July 11, 2011

Mom sewed and I tried not to screw it up

I've got pinterest/redesign/DIY fever. It's ridiculous. You already know that I sold our old couches and bought a sweet new-to-us sectional. (Check out that post here if you missed it.) The sectional is very neutral so I wanted to get some new curtains and pillows to bring some color into the room. Side note- we just moved to one income due to God's continued faithfulness to our family, so expensive anything is just not an option. I'm fine with that though, I love hunting down good deals. While I was cutting costs and thifting it up like no ones business, I also knew I wanted nice curtains. So, obviously, for my 28th birthday I decided curtains were at the top of my list. Seriously, curtains. Oh well, so curtains it was. I turned to by oh-so-talented mom to help me make them. I had already found the fabric at Joann's and my mom kindly paid for it and helped me make the curtains and recover some throw pillows for my birthday gift. My mom is a really talented seamstress and has made countless quilts, dresses, and curtains. I always default to her, which is probably why I stink at sewing.

I'm not sure exactly how long it took us to make the curtains--- maybe 3 hours? We started out deciding how long I wanted the curtains. I bought 6.5 yards (which is 234 inches) of fabric. We (okay so my mom thought of this) wanted both curtains to look exactly the same so we had to figure out the exact pattern in the print. It worked out and we cut each curtain at about 100 inches. Once we made sure they lined up, we started pinning the sides of the curtain. Let's be real, I suck at pinning. My mom pinned her entire curtain and I was still finishing up my first side. It was laughable how slow and terrible I was at it. Mom had us double the hem and then pin. (see picture) I guess that gives the curtain a cleaner edge. From there my mom measured to make sure that the pins did in fact all measure exactly the same. Let's just say she had to pull a few million pins from my curtain. Once that was done, Mom just sewed along the pins. Phew, that completed the sides. We did the same thing with the bottoms of the curtains.

Finally, we got the top of the curtains. I had originally planned to just hem the entire curtain (which you can do and it's probably 9000 times easier) and buy the rings that just clip onto the fabric; however, I love grommets. I don't know why, but I do. There's something about them that seems fancy or polished or something. So, I found some snap on grommets at Joanns that looked pretty simple. False. This was the point where my mom almost gave up. It was the math. The curtain was 52 inches across. We were using 8 grommets per curtain and my mom suggested we put a grommet 2 inches in on both sides and then space out the other 6 within that. For some reason though, the math was just not coming out right. My mom pinned and repinned the placement for the grommets about 6 times. Finally after an hour of hassle, she was able to figure it out. Thank goodness - math's not my thing and neither is sewing.I would've been screwed if she did throw in the towel! I taught social studies, remember? So anyway, the package came with a nice little template that you could trace on the fabric with a fabric pen and then cut out the circle of fabric (see picture).

At this point, it was all downhill. Once we cut out the fabric, the grommets pretty easily snapped into place and created these beauties:

My curtain rods were originally black, so I used some spray paint (Rust-oleum metallic spray paint- satin nickel) and they ended up matching my grommets perfectly!  Here are some other shots and the pillows that we recovered.

There are still plenty of things that I'd like to finish/change/paint in the room. See that black mirror by the entryway- I'm spray painting it white as we speak. See the space between the curtains- I'm looking for something to fill that space. I'm leaning toward a circular framed white mirror. Anyone other ideas on how to fill that space?  I'm also debating between pulling the curtain back and leaving it hang, DIY-ing a sign for the other part of the room, finding some accessories, and possibly a plain yellow or green fabric for a few more pillows. So there you have it. Progress in the living room. Later this week I'll show you the other side of the living room with a new light and chair! Here's the quick before/after of the living room from just a few weeks ago:

I love the way they turned out and loved that I got to make them with my mama! 
Thanks Mom- you're the best! 

Friday, July 8, 2011

ipad 2 giveaway...

Okay, so I'm not giving an ipad away (sorry), but my dear friend Katie is! Katie and Ryan Enns are friends and fellow believers that are part of our Providence family. They have this incredible desire to adopt a little girl from Congo. So, in an effort to help them get started, there is a giveaway going on. Click over to their blog and enter! Not only will you get the chance to win a sweet new ipad, but you also have the opportunity to come alongside them and help them fulfill this desire to adopt! I'll be back this weekend with some major living room updates - oh word.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

7 dollar steal

I've been eyeing up a rug at Lowe's for the last month. Problem being I wasn't sure it was going to match the new curtains/pillows/etc. Also, it was $30 and I didn't really NEED it. There's that word again. Well, last night I had to get some more spray paint from Lowe's and just happened to look at the rugs. They went on sale for $23 and since I'd been obsessing on  it for a month, I decided I'd use some birthday money to get it. Up to the register I went, almost putting it back multiple times. After the cashier scanned my spray paint and rug she said, "wow, you got a good deal." I thought she meant the $23 sale and kind of gave her the yea, I guess so? look. I mean, 7 dollars off wasn't that spectacular. She said, yea, your rug is only $7.50! Wowza. That's what I'm talking about. So, I brought that nice little rug home with me and put it in our entryway. It's a pretty good match to the other colors I am bringing into the living room with the pillows, curtains, and wall art. So, there you have it. If you're looking for an adorably cheap rug, look no further than your nearest Lowe's.

 Side note--- there were 4 different rugs being sold from this company. Is it me, or are all the other kind of hideous? Either way, I'm glad they got at least one right! I'm loving the pop of color and the pattern right when you walk in the door!