March 30, 2009

Bathroom Makeover

Over the weekend we did a $0.00 makeover ... my favorite kind!

  Above is the 'after' picture of the toilet room of the master bath.  


It was time to get rid of the lemon yellow, gold picture frame, and shiny towel bar.

My mom had given me this leftover curtain a couple of years ago.  I like it, but didn't have a spot for it.  I love the calm, tan plaid against the soft green.  Speaking of green, it was leftover paint from our laundry room.  The  brown hooks nicely filled the holes from the towel bar.
The magazine rack used to be kiwi green and the picket fence box was dark green.  A can of brown spray paint unified both along with the previously black star.  I can't believe it took us this long to change this little room.  It is so soothing now!
Check out some other makeovers here.  Between Naps on the Porch has a weekly Metamorphosis Monday that is oh-so inspiring!
Lindsay is having a '$5 or less' party here.

March 29, 2009

Sunday Rest

He will yet fill your mouth with laughter
and your lips with shouts of JOY.
Job 8:21

March 27, 2009

Growing Pains of Friendships

My need for friendship has ebbed and flowed with each season of my life.  In high school I desperately needed a 'best friend.'  By 10th grade I had one.  We were inseparable, much to my mother's chagrin.  By 12th grade, we were torn apart by a simple misunderstanding.  Feelings had been hurt, tears were shed, and my self-esteem had been chewed up and spit out.  While it was an extremely painful time of life, it was short lived and some important life lessons were learned.
Throughout college and young adulthood I cautiously treaded on the doorstep of friendships.  In retrospect, I had a much healthier perspective of friendships because of the pain I had experienced.  I became comfortable with groups of friends and chose companions with similar values and principles.
Nothing had prepared me for the lonesomeness that accompanied my transition from working adult to stay-at-home-mommy.  It was such a juxtaposition of emotions: pure joy of fulfilling my lifelong dream of motherhood; and the sadness of not having a close friend that was experiencing the same stage of life.  Once again, it was time for me to learn some lessons about friendships.  First of all, I learned that the friendship I was seeking was right there in front of me: my mom.  Even though we weren't going through the same stage of life, we were experiencing life together.  Who else would squeal with delight over a chenille baby beret? 
The second lesson I learned was to appreciate the friendship of my husband.  While he can't fulfill that innate need for female friendship, he is my best (life-long!) friend, and light of my life.

In the past few years I have developed some wonderful, deep friendships.  For example, my walking buddy, E.  She is the kind of friend that cares deeply without being pushy.  Her laid back approach to life matches mine; we don't have to worry about unrealistic expectations. Our friendship is sprinkled with laughter; she loves my children, and I hers.  We enjoy life together.We pray for and encourage each other when life gets crazy.  We are REAL with each other.  No pretenses.   Most importantly, we guard our words.  I don't have to worry if she will speak unkindly of me, or repeat something I've told her in confidence.  
What makes this beautiful friendship work?  

I have another friendship that, over time, has worn me out.  It is very unbalanced.  While I enjoy her company, I have to maintain the friendship.    It was painful for me to realize that she was only willing to give me the leftovers.  In a balanced friendship, phone calls are returned.  Emails are enjoyed.  Time and effort are given freely.  It takes 2 to tango, as the saying goes.
I wanted to consider what makes friendships work.  
I have learned:
1. It is very difficult to be friends with someone who is preoccupied with self.
2. Never take a friendship for granted.  Any relationship that isn't nurtured, won't grow.  
3. When I am spending time with a friend, my goal is to let her know that I value her and appreciate her gift of friendship to me.
4. Negativity and moodiness have no place in friendship.
5. Transparency, while scary, is vital for a relationship to blossom. 

I've recently been going through some growing pains in a couple of friendships.  Nothing overt, just personal stuff.  Even though it hurts, this time I am approaching it with a different attitude: 
I want to see what the Lord is teaching me.  Not about them, but about myself.  My prayer is that my eyes would be opened to the things I do that might be hurtful to others.  I pray that I am not so preoccupied by my disappointment, that I miss out on the life lesson right before me.

Recommended reading:
The Friendships of Women, by Dee Breston

March 24, 2009

She Speaks or Blogs!

A year and a half ago, I didn't even know what a blog was.  I thought it was where cranberries like to be harvested.  It is amazing what a big part of my life it has become in just a year's time.  I have a whole new group of friends: my 'blog posse'.  Some of these new friends are local, and our mutual love for blog-land has brought us together.  I have met other bloggers, that I am sure IRL, we'd be best buds.  For now we are just content to leave sweet comments of encouragement. One day, in glory, maybe we'll get to have coffee.

I also have some new blog-friends that don't have the faintest clue that I exist, kinda like the freshman admiring the senior.  That list includes Lysa, the Nester, and Beth.  They are amazing women that I truly admire.  I am sure if I came within 30 feet of them, I would forget my name and my deodorant would immediately stop working.  Of course, I know that they are each daughters of the king and we would totally hit it off (especially all of us being from the south). 

I just might get to meet a few of those fellow blog maidens.  Lysa T. is offering a scholarship to  the She Speaks Conference.  This year they are having seminars for bloggers!!!
The few times I have had the opportunity to do either (speak or write publicly), I've been acutely aware of my lack of knowledge and training.
Oh to gather together with other women and sharpen my skills as a writer, speaker and blogger!   So, I'm off to sign up to win that scholarship!  
Anyone else going?  We could be roomies...

Easter Whimsy

Over the weekend, I visited my BFF since college days.  
On my way, I stopped at Ikea.
Big disappointment.  No black and white check slip covers.  It was so disappointing, that I spent a total of $8.55.  Isn't that sad?  

But, as always, my friend inspired me.  Her attention to detail is amazing!  I loved the birdseed in the glass jar above!

  Last summer when I visited, she had a gerber daisy in this trike basket.  I love the spring version too!

Aren't these boxes adorable?!  Oh the possibilities for changing out the labels!

More Easter whimsy

Loved this simple arrangement.  A bowl of eggs on a fabulous white ceramic tray.  I was secretly trying to figure a way to smuggle the tray home, but she said she found it at TJMaxx.  

March 22, 2009

Sunday Rest

For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother's womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

My frame was not hidden from you 
when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,
your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me
were written in your Book
before one of them came to be.

Psalm 139:13-16

March 16, 2009

Things that Make Me Go Hunh?

I walked in on this the other day.

Whatcha doin?  Oh! I'm wearing Papa's old motorcycle helmet to practice for when I ride the 4wheeler.  
Of course.  Safety first!

This conversation took place a couple of months ago:
7yr. old: Mom, am I going to die before Grace dies?
Mom: Wwhat?!  I, mean, what do you mean, sweetie?
7yr. old: Grace says that left handed people die before right handed people.
7yr. old: I'm left handed.
Mom: Yes, me too.
7yr. old: Grace said she is going to live a lot longer than me.  Am I dying soon because I'm left handed?
Mom: No, but Grace is if she doesn't stop filling your head with nonsense. No, honey, you need to stop listening to everything Grace says.
7yr. old: Yeah.  She thinks she's smart like a teenager.
Mom: Yep. That she does. Snicker, snicker... cause I KNOW how smart they are.

Last week:
9yr. old: Mom, how big is God?
Mom: Well, he holds the universe in his hand, but he is small enough to live in our hearts and know us very well.
9yr. old: Well if he holds the world in his hand, how come he told Moses to turn away and only look at his back.  If Moses looked at his back, it couldn't have been that big.
Mom: True.  How'd you get to be so smart?
9yr. old: That's how God made me.
Mom: The beauty of God, is that he can be any size he needs to be.  I'm glad He's right here enjoying this conversation as much as I am.

Break Time

My kid's spring break started today.  
Two weeks of family time, no homework, relaxation and sleeping in.
To ensure the sleeping in part for me, the kids woke up to this:

Since it has been raining for 4 days straight we had to get creative:
HOURS of entertainment!

One of my favorite aspects of break: pajamas 24/7

It's also break time for me.  Guess what I'll be doing?
Oh, yes, and of course this:
Enjoy your day!

March 15, 2009

Sunday Rest

O Lord, you have searched me
and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down;
You are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue,
you know it completely, O Lord.

You hem me in - behind and before;
you have laid your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me
too lofty for me to attain.

Psalm 139:1-6

March 11, 2009

More Decorating with the Everyday

A few weeks ago we talked about using the everyday to decorate.  Just because we are in an economic downward spiral, doesn't mean you can't go shopping!  Shop the house!
Coffee mugs and water pitchers are perfect accessories
I love the detail on this
(World Market, if you were wondering)
My manly mad decided he would add a little decorating of his own... at least he used a cute container!
I found this little 3-legged tray at a thrift market.  I just spray painted it back to life.
It now sits next to my stove top and holds some necessities.
This (awkward angled) picture is from the steps in our garage.  Bug spray and suntan lotion are within reach and oh-so-cute in this wire basket.  The mirror was my manly-man's idea (isn't he adorable to join me in my crazy thrill over accessorizing?!)  The wreath just adds a little flavor of 'welcome' as we pass by it everyday.

What are your favorite ways to decorate with the 'everyday'?

March 9, 2009


I love changing out the 'fillers' for my apothecary jars for the seasons.  This large one requires a lot of stuff because of its size.  I started collecting the extra eggs I had around the house and realized that I only had enough for about 1/4 of the jar.  
The brown and speckled ones were what I already had, but I needed some color.  I didn't want to just use the bright (neon) plastic eggs.  I wanted a soft look.

I happened upon these light blue beauties at our locally owned dollar store.  I am not sure what their original purpose was supposed to be on those sticks, but I just pulled them off (I'm brutal, like that).
Aren't they cute?  So for just a little $$ I was able to 'bring a little spring!'

March 8, 2009

Sunday Rest

He who loves a pure heart
and whose speech is gracious
will have the king for his friend.
Proverbs 22:11

March 5, 2009

The Wonder of Paint: Part 4

Please excuse me, as I was late to my own party.  Issues, I tell you.  Major issues that I can't even discuss without choking up.  Issues that have something to do with blogger's ability to accept my pictures and my ability to reacquaint myself with the wonderfulness of Mr. Linky (see below)

About 10 years ago this chair was headed to the dump, but my neighbor offered it to me and said, 'maybe you can do some thing with it.'  It was UGLY.  Lightly stained with harvest gold damask fabric.  I tossed some paint on it and recovered the seat for my daughter's bedroom.
It served its purpose for several years.

I decided it was time for the chair to graduate from little girl room status to momma's favorite new chair.  A few coats of black paint (thanks, hubby) and some new fabric was all it took.
When painting furniture, the garage is a nice option; but sometimes a girl just needs to do it in the comfort of her own home.  But then the whole drop cloth thing became annoying.  
Enter: my new favorite painting tool:
A cheap, disposable drop cloth.  Don't worry, I'm not destroying the earth.  I use it several times before throwing it away.  BUT, it is much more convenient than the heavy canvas drop cloth.
See how nicely I can use it in the mudroom to paint this little table.
Repainting furniture is not as time consuming as I first thought.  There are just a few steps to follow.
1. CLEAN the piece with a cloth and some water.
2. SAND any rough spots.  Also sand the piece if it currently has shiny paint.
3. PRIME sometimes.  Not every piece needs it.  If you want it to last a long time or it is going to be in a high traffic area, I suggest priming.
4. PAINT.  Spray or brush, whatever your fancy.  They both have great results.
Kimba has all the answers for giving this chair new life (here).  Actually, she is the go-to person for painting furniture.  She reinvented spray paint.

The Nester has some great suggestions for specific neutral wall colors here.
Okay, she has some amazing suggestions for just about anything having to do with feathering your nest.  

Rhoda at Southern Hospitality shows us how to go from ho-hum to a fabuloso bookcase!  She is one classy lady ... and from the south!  Love her.

NOW it's time for a little Mr. Linky party!!!
If you are new to this, it is very easy.  1.Simply go back to your blog, choose a post to share (about paint, of course) and click on the post title. 2. Go up to to the box where you usually type www. etc and copy the link for that specific post. 3. Come back here and enter your post into the box that says 'URL'.  Give your name in the other box and you are done.

PLEASE LINK BACK to me so others can find the party easily
Thank you for joining the fun ... and being patient as I was late to my own party!
I'm really much more cool in real life.  =)

March 2, 2009

The Wonder of Paint: Part 2

***Don't forget our Mr. Linky party on Friday... join the fun and share a picture of something you've changed with the power of paint****

Neutrals Can Be Exciting!

Neutral doesn't have to equal boring.  Sometimes a room can be a little too lively when it comes to color.  Take for instance this beautiful sun-filled room.  Because the windows are in abundance, the room was already naturally bright.  But since it is their main living room, they wanted to soften the color.

With the new neutral wall color, the space feels more warm and inviting.  She still has the pop of color in her rug and couch, which will draw the eye rather than fighting with the strong yellow color previously on the walls.

The new wall color really shows off the hardwood floor, too! 

When deciding on a paint color (especially in a large space) it is worth 2 or 3 trips to the paint store:
1. Select a few paint chips to take home, to see in the light of that room.  
*Make sure you look at the colors in daylight and in the evening with the lamps that will be in the room.
2. Buy a $3 sample size and try it out. (See our patch of beige in the photo above?)
3. Make the final purchase.
It is better to be sure, and have great results like above, than to have regrets. 
The worst feeling in the world is to know you've chosen the wrong color of paint, after the job is completed.  

"How do I know how dark of a color to choose?"
Most paint strips have 6 shades of a color on them: 2 light, 2 medium, and 2 dark.  Unless you are wanting just a hint of color, go for the 2 middle shades.  If you can't decide between those two, choose the darkest of the two because it will look lighter once it covers an entire wall.  Save the last 2 shades for rooms that you really want the color to stand out (like here and here).

The paint color used in this post is: Sherwin Williams' "Sands of Time"
Next time: The Bold and the Beautiful

March 1, 2009

Sunday Rest

Who is a God like you,
who pardons sin and forgives the 
transgressions of the remnant of his inheritance?

You do not stay angry forever
but delight to show mercy!
Micah 7:18