January 29, 2013

Teen Room Reveal

We moved to the farm in October, and by the last week of December, we were already starting our first makeover project.  Seriously, we. are. nuts.  But there is a GOOD, sweet reason.  That reason is my precious 13 yr old daughter.

When we built the house, we decided to paint her walls grey and use her hot pink duvet cover.  
Hot pink and grey sounded so hip/cool/teenish in theory.
But when we moved in, it really wasn't working.  My sweet girl never complained, but I could tell she didn't love it.  I didn't either.  Several people mentioned her "lavender" room and we both cringed because neither one of us love that color. I think the reflection of the hot pink onto the grey resulted in lavender.   So one day I suggested that she look at Houzz.com and show me rooms that caught her eye.  Unbeknownst (what a big word) to her, all of the rooms she showed me were hot pink and black.  
So we came up with a plan.
My talented husband spent his vacation days measuring and applying firring strips to the wall.  We then painted the lower 3/4 of the walls white (glossy trim white) and the upper 1/4 Tricorn Black (SW6258).   If this technique looks familiar, there is a reason.  We did this same color combo on our son's room in our last house.

She was thrilled with the results.

With the board and batten, the room feels bigger, yet more cozy.

As usual, we were doing this makeover on a very tight budget.  So we chose items that would really give the room the punch it needed.  The zebra sheets and sparkly turquoise pillow were a gift from my mom.

The zebra clock is from Dollar General.  Crazy find!  
The zebra lampshade on her desk came from Garden Ridge, $7.
Curtain tie back brackets were a clearance find at Ross, 2 for $2.99
The deal of the century were the IKEA curtains.  Two 96" curtains for $9.99.  Glory hallelujah!

Making a space your own doesn't have to cost much.  You just have to be willing to look in odd places.  ;)
It's hard to believe she's already a teen.  Rather than wish she were little again, I'm trying really hard embracing this season of life.  Because, after all, every season is beautiful when it is filled with life!

Linking Up With
Southern Savvy Style, Elizabeth and Co., The Winthrop Chronicles, If It
s Not Baroque  Home Stories AtoZ, Imparting Grace

January 28, 2013

DIY Canvas Geometric Art

I have searched high and low for bright, happy art.  It is hard to come by, especially on a budget.  I've seen a couple of geometric patterns online but I wasn't crazy about the dark colors.  I decided to try my hand at it.

This project takes a little time, but it is worth it in the end.  The hardest part, for me, was the math.  Lucky for you, I've already figured it out and you can just use my measurements. :)
 I started with an 18x24 canvas.  AC Moore had a sale right after Christmas and this size was 3/$10.  Score!
Place a thumbtack underneath each corner.  This will help you keep your paint from sticking the canvas to your workspace. 

Using acrylic paints, liberally cover the canvas with your base color (white). 

Use a ruler and a level to find the center of the canvas.  Draw the lines with a pencil.

 Now measure and mark every 2" from the center lines.  Your canvas will then look like giant graph paper.

 Using a compass, draw 2" circles with the center point being the cross section of the squares of the "graph."  Overlap the circles as shown below.
  When you finish, it will look like this:

I decided that the predominant colors would be blues and greens, with warm colors mixed in.  Therefore, I started with the green, randomly painting different "leaves."
 I didn't pre-plan the color pattern.  It really is just RaNdoM.  The only rule I followed was that no two leaves of the same color could touch each other.  I used 3 shades of green and 5 shades of blues, adding a poppy red, tangerine orange, butter yellow, and a pink.
Once I finished with the colors (two coats each) I erased my "graph lines" and painted the centers with white to smooth it all out.  I also used white to clean up the edges of the canvas.  As you can see, it's not perfect, but hey, it's art!
This is my HAPPY WALL

Linking up with:
Craft-OManiac, Keeping It Simple, Sumo's Sweet Stuff, Homemade On a Dime, Under the Table Dreaming, Skip to My Lou, Flamingo Toes, 504 Main, DIY Home Sweet Home, Girl Creative, Today's Creative Blog, Home Stories A to Z, The Dedicated House, Coastal Charm, A Bowl Full of Lemons

January 25, 2013

Rustic German Pancake

I love to bake when it (rarely) snows.  This is a great "brunch" for the kids when they come in from playing in the winter wonderland.  
I love it because:
1. I usually have all the ingredients on hand.
2. It is yummy and warm.
3. It is rustic and beautiful.
 Rustic German Pancake
6 eggs
1 cup milk
1 cup flour
dash salt
1/4 cup butter
diced apples (optional)

Heat 9x13 baking dish IN the oven to 350 degrees.  While the dish AND oven are heating, mix eggs, milk, flour and salt.  Melt butter into already hot dish.  Pour egg mixture into melted butter.   Add apples if you choose.
Bake for 35-40 min.
Serve warm with powdered sugar and/or syrup.

*It will g.r.o.w. in the oven.  My kids think it is so fun to watch.

Snow? Did Someone Say SNOW?

We had to give the foster puppies back yesterday; back to the place that will find them forever homes.  It was a very sad day for my girl.  She was so faithful in letting them out every single morning and feeding them and snuggling their little wiggly bodies.  She loved on those pups, even though her allergies gave her hives.  It reminded me of my Father's unconditional love. I'm sure I give Him hives sometimes. ;)  He still tucks me under His wing and loves me.

We had our first snow at the farm last week.  So many firsts here, to savor.
As I type this, tender flakes are falling again.  We are getting our second snow of the season.  
It was a dusting, but enough to make everything beautiful.
I hear my friends in other parts on the country snickering.
Yes, NC shuts down at the mention of snow.
The grocery stores become a bee hive of activity.
No milk.  No bread.  Everyone panics.  It's weird.

I love LOVE cold weather, so I'll take what we can get.

The kids and pups played for 3 hours.  Much of our front hill is shaded for the morning.  They made the most of it.  No matter how old they get, they still have a ball in the snow.  
My favorite sound is the non-stop GIGGLING! 

Today my parents asked if the kids could come spend the night for a "snow sleep over."
Aren't they grand?  I have the WHOLE afternoon to myself.  After I finish this post, I am pulling out the paints and working on a craft.  I've enjoyed the quiet, so bizarre here.  I love serenity and quiet ... for a short while.  Now it is time to crank up my favorite playlist and roll up my sleeves.
After all, I might be snowed in for D.A.Y.S.  (yeah right!)

January 14, 2013

10 Ways to Be a Better Mom

1. Call it a date.   Even if you can only squeeze in a trip to the bank and a milkshake in the drive thru, call it a date. Focused attention on each child, tells him that he is important as an individual, not just part of the herd.  Turn off the radio and ask questions that make him smile.
2. Listen, even when it is annoying.  Don't act like you don't know what I'm talking about.  ;)    You've been there.  Some conversations are just roll-your-eyes-boring.  If my child is wanting to talk to me about all of the Lego battles that were won on our carpet, I need to listen.  Yes, there are days when I want to poke my eyes out because I've heard about the cute 7th grade boys a thousand time over.  But, so many treasures are hidden in the lines of my child's day.  If she is willing to let me peek into what is important to her, I need to be willing to listen ... and respond.
3. Say "I'm sorry" without giving excuses.  We all speak before thinking.  Some days (especially if my patience is running thin) I respond with clipped words.  It's not so hard to say "I'm sorry," but it is a stretch to say it without adding, "but if you had not _____________ I wouldn't have responded that way."  What are we teaching our children about true repentance if we constantly give excuses for our own words?
4. Love their Father. My children need to see my love for God.  Is it evident in the way I speak?  Do they see me spending time in His Word?  If not, then I am no better than the parent who says, "do as I say, not as I do."
5. Love their Daddy.  I could write the same lines as above.  Do my children see my love for their daddy?  Do I speak well of him?  Do they know we're crazy about each other? Do they get an eyewitness account of what God designed marriage to be?
6. Lighten up.  I don't know about you, but when my schedule fills up, so does my seriousness level.  Sometimes I allow my "business face" to take over because I'm trying to check things off the list.  Do you ever wonder why there is a crease between your eyebrows?  I wonder about mine too, but I have a slight suspicion that it comes from being too focused on all that "must get done."
7. Get a little CRAZY.  It is important for our kids to see and experience the fun side of mom. Crank up the music and show them some of your dance moves.  If you are like me, I don't really have dance moves.  Just, uh, moves.  White-girl-got-no-rhythm moves.  Not too long ago I cut loose and even let them record my crazy jig.  Did I embarrass myself?  Yes.  Would I die if anyone outside of our family saw the video?  Yes.  Will my kids remember how much fun we had that hysterical afternoon?  Y.E.S.
8. Touch them.  In a society that is saturated with perversity, it is sickening that I have to type this with caution.  Our children need to be touched by their moms.  Don't allow the depravity of our culture to steal the affection that your child needs from you.  Hug them.  Tickle them.  Squeeze their shoulders.  Hold their hands. Kiss their cheeks.  Even as they get older, DON'T STOP.  They need appropriate physical touch.  If that void isn't filled by healthy relationships, they will seek it from someone else.  That thought makes me shudder.
9. Worship freely.  When you see the markings of God's paintbrush across the sky, take the time to give the Artist the credit.  If a song of worship comes on the radio that moves your soul, let them see that you are awed by your Creator.  How many days do we allow to slip by without praising our Maker?  Allow it to be a natural part of each day.  Your children will learn, through example, what genuine worship is; not just something they attend on Sunday mornings.
10. Enjoy them.  "The days are long but the years are short".  I would shout that phrase from the rooftop if I could.  Yes, the daily grind is hard.  No, it's not a bowl full of cherries.  No, motherhood is not for the faint of heart.  BUT, you can enjoy it.  If you've been through a tough season, take baby steps.  Look for little delights that are brought to you through the lives of your children.  Savor the sweet moments, for these are the ones you will remember into your golden years.  When your children sense that you enjoy them, they will feel the security of love flow over their hearts.  To be treasured is one of life's greatest gifts.

I'm joining Grace at Home  and Front Line Moms and Pieces of Amy today.

January 13, 2013

Black, White, and Every Color in Between

Meet Pickles.
She's the newest (permanent) addition to our farm.
My husband decided it's not a real farm until you have a goat.
So a friend gave us a goat.  Thanks.  I guess.
10 hours later, I was Googling "backyard goat care."  Oh the things I thought I'd never Google.  She's very gentle and easy going.  Good thing, because those horns kinda scared me.
Meet our other new  (temporary) additions.  We are fostering 5 puppies for a few weeks until the agency we work with finds forever homes for them.  We named the large black and white pup Chic-fil-a because he reminds us of the cows.  The little ball of energy bounding in front is Nugget.  

He's somebody's favorite...

Two black and whites (but no way they're the same age), two blacks, and one brown.  5 pups from 3 different litters.  
They keep us laughing and busy.
And melt our hearts.

 My animal-lover girl is in 7th heaven.  Poor thing is allergic to them, so she has to take Benadryl after play snuggle time.

 Doncha just love his little curly tail?

 In totally unrelated news, except for the color theme, this is what my girls did for me last night:
Do you ever take a deep sigh on Saturday night and wonder what you are going to wear to church the next morning?  I don't like making early morning decisions.  My girls asked if they could create some outfits for me and I could choose which one to wear.  So while I took a bubble bath, they played fashion plates with my wardrobe.  I was so impressed with their choices, accessories and all!

January 9, 2013

Turning Old

You know that moment when you've waited too long to tell your friend she's had spinach the size of Africa in her teeth?  Or that awkward feeling when you should have asked someone her name to refresh your memory and now it's too late because she feels like you are long lost soulmates?

That's how I feel today with you.  I hit a huge milestone in December but I just couldn't quite bring myself to talk about it.

I turned 40.
Some of you are like "dude, she's old!"
Some of you are like "golly gee wilikers, you're still in your prime!"
Some of you are like "get over yourself."

I'm trying to get over myself, really I am.  But all that vanity that I was sure I didn't have has surfaced over two little numbers: 4 0
My kids graciously informed me several months ago that when I turn 40 I would be considered old.  As in AARP; send me my social security check; dye my hair blue-gray O.L.D.

I thought that when I actually hit the date, they would be so awed  by their oh-so-hip momma that they would take back all their "old person" chitchat.
Nope.  You're officially old, Mom.

So I decided to take the bull by the horns and celebrate a few months early with a girls' weekend away with some dear friends (one of which was turning 40 two weeks before me).
We lived it up eating carbs; strolling through IKEA not once, not twice, but three times; and rockin the sales at Hobby Lobby... twice.
To top it all off, we were awakened at 4am by the hotel fire alarm.  Nothing bonds you with friends like sitting in the parking lot in your pajamas watching the fire trucks roll in to put out a fire in the laundry service area.
Maybe our activities should have been a fair indicator that yes, in fact, I am getting old.
Give me some credit.  I tried sushi for the first time and bought skinny jeans.
Oh yeah pullin out all the crazy!
Bestie since college days FINALLY got me to try sushi

I decided that I would let the actual birthdate to slip in unnoticed and hide from my kids so they wouldn't realize that my oldness was official.

My sweet husband and parents had other plans.  They surprised me with a party that I was not expecting.  My house was filled with dear friends, tons of noise (from young and old) and delicious desserts.  As I looked at each precious face as they sang me into my 40's I was reminded that life isn't about numbers, but about being filled with joy, showered with grace, and knowing I am loved.  Wrinkles and all.
 It helps ease the pressure to surround yourself with other crazy people.  

 My main squeeze totally rocked the Outstanding Husband award by ordering these shoes for me.  
He picked them out by himself and even got the size right!  I am blessed!

 Part of my parents' gift was this iPhone cover.  LOVE, love, love it!!!

 My brother and sister-in-law's motto is that "every woman should get a Tiffany Blue box at least once in her life."  I'm so glad they stick to their beliefs!  They sent me my 1st blue box to celebrate 40.

So many gifts and keepsakes from friends and family.  
By the end of the day, I was beginning to see 40 as a lens that 
helps me focus on all that is good in my life.

Speaking of good.  My mom's apple cheesecake was truly 
one of the best things I've ever put in my mouth.  
And we're talkin 40 years of puttin stuff in my mouth!  ;)

January 2, 2013

Walking Into the New Year

 Did you make New Years Resolutions?  Me neither.  I had plans.  I really wanted to, but I let it slip.  Do resolutions make you twitchy?  In 2010, I wrote about Releasing the Resolution Grip.  After reading through that post today, I realized that I needed to choose a word.  Just one word to go after, cling to, work towards.  I'm a word-lover, goodness, I have them all over my house, so to choose just one word is a little daunting, yet....  freeing.  So my word for the year is

 I see a pattern.  Two years ago it was INTENTIONAL.  Last year it was PURPOSEFUL.  It's still the same desire, just cloaked in a different color; branded with a different name.

I struggle with diligence/purpose/intentionality.  I have grand ideas, good intentions, and dreams of being consistent.  Sometimes I avoid tasks because of the fear of failure.  This year I desire to be diligent in all that the Lord has entrusted to me.  

How about you?   Are you walking into 2013 with a basket of resolutions?  If it is overwhelming, I encourage you to choose one word and lighten your load.

My daughter and I took a hike on New Years Eve day, just the two of us exploring  God's creation beneath our boots.  It was a glorious day, spending time with my middle child.

We explored the wooded area of our farm, and discovered a little pond we had never seen.

In the woods we found several treasures.  Check out this old Clorox bottle!  I did a little Google search and found that this may be from the 1950's.
We found this mason jar with moss growing inside.  A natural terrarium; a true treasure.

As we returned home, I snapped this photo of our farm from across the pond.  I still get goosebumps of gratitude when I think about this place.

 2012 was a very difficult year for me, so as I walk into the New Year, I am filled with joy and anticipation of all that life will bring.
Walk with me, won't you?