One Corner, Two Ways

One Corner, Two Ways

First, Ben taught me how to make GIFs and my life may never be the same. Keep reading for some awesome GIF action.

Second, if you follow me on Instagram, you saw that in May I found this amazing mid-century chair at a garage sale for $20. It was in really great condition (especially the under-seat supports) but it didn't come with any cushions. I've seen some chairs like this on Craigslist for hundreds of dollars, so I was super happy to scoop it up. I only wish there had been two. :(

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Easy DIY Outdoor Bench (from Cinder Blocks)

Easy DIY Outdoor Bench (from Cinder Blocks)

So many have gone before me on this one! This project is certainly not an original ideaโ€”I saw a cinder block outdoor bench in the pages of Better Homes & Gardens a few years back (this one, I believe) and then the googling and Pinterest-ing followed (check out this one and this one). There are a million of these out there in different configurations and that's the beauty of a cinder block benchโ€”it is inexpensive, easy to customize, and simple to assemble.

I made this a few years ago and we used it as seating for our outdoor dining table. At first, I left the cinder blocks plain, but last year, I painted them white. I changed up our table and chairs a bit on the patio and moved this bench to a corner by the fence. Ben was teasing me the other night that it got demoted. :)

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A Garden Tour around Our House

A Garden Tour around Our House

Gardening is a relationship and boy am I getting in deep! I don't know if it is the stage of life I'm in, genetics, or just living in Minnesota but I am falling in love with caring for plants.

During a long Minnesota winter, green life indoors is just so helpful. And when the snow melts and the sun comes out in the spring, I just about die of happiness to see little green sprouts in my garden. The girls and I have started to habit of going out after breakfast to โ€œcheck on our plants." In the early spring, we would see what was coming up, and now we can see what is blooming! I tell them the name of each plant and we talk about the flowers. And I have two good helpers for watering!

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Our House: Jane's Room

Our House: Jane's Room

I spilled the beans on Instagram, but in case you haven't heard: We are expecting baby #3! I am 20 weeks along with a due date in late September. First trimester absolutely wore me out, which is the main reason I took a break from blogging. :) But I am feeling so much better these days, praise God!

I shared in our House Goals post that we plan to move the girls into a shared room, and this is the reason why. Our home has three bedrooms, so the girls will share to make a spot for the baby. (We will find out if the new baby is a boy or girl in a few weeks.)

So now that I have some energy back, I'm planning the girls' room with a little more urgency and realized I never shared all the pictures of Jane's room here on the blog. I took these photos last fall for my Design Mom post/interview, but everything is about to change. Even though her room was set up knowing it wouldn't last that way for long, I really love it. And it's amazing how young she looks in these photos!

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A Whole-House Color Palette: Lessons Learned

A Whole-House Color Palette: Lessons Learned

We have had a beautiful spring here in Minnesota! What a gift from God. Does anyone else get the itch to rearrange the house and freshen up this time of year? With the sun streaming in the windows and the weather changing outside, it feels right to me to change things up inside, too.

Some of the rearranging was necessary because my potted palm had grown so well it had become too big for my kitchen window! But where to put it? As I moved some items around, I realized something about our home that I really like and I wanted to share it as a Lesson Learned.

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Life Lately (Coming Back from Vacation Is Hard to Do)

Life Lately (Coming Back from Vacation Is Hard to Do)

At the end of January, we were able to spend a week on Sanibel Island with Ben's family. What a wonderful vacation it was! But this past week after vacation has been one of the most challenging in recent memory. It ended with me silently weeping through most of a women's event at my church last night. Some of the tears came because of things going on in my life and in the lives of those I love, and some came as a result of hearing one woman's testimony of God's faithfulness throughout the seasons of her life. It was beautiful and hard and just what I needed. On the drive home I cried out to God, asking Him to help me know Him moreโ€”especially through the difficulties.

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Kid-Friendly Dining Chairs

Kid-Friendly Dining Chairs

Last week I wrote about dining chairs with young kids, and I received some great feedback from you guys! I'm thankful for that. That post mostly talked about what to avoid, so I wanted to follow up to let you know some better options!

When I think of what would make for a really practical chair with young kids, I prioritize smooth and hard surfaces that are easy to wipe down, very few nooks and crannies, and something super sturdy. While woven chairs like these are gorgeous, I can just imagine peanut butter and jelly stuck between the fibers. That's the stuff housekeeping nightmares are made of!

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Dining Chairs and Kids: Lessons Learned

Dining Chairs and Kids: Lessons Learned

It's probably not super encouraging to start off in January talking about things I regret, but I really hope that these Lessons Learned posts will help you guys avoid some of the mistakes I've made. Last time, I wrote what I've learned about painting wood white. This time, I'm talking about choosing dining chairs with kids in mind. (This post contains affiliate links.)

Lesson Learned: In our house, dining chairs with fabric seats were not a good idea.

Let's go back in time to 2011. We had recently finished our kitchen and we needed chairs and counter stools. Ben and I did not have children yet. What that means is that I did not understand how grimy the whole mealtime-with-kids situation can be.

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House Goals for 2016

House Goals for 2016

When we bought our house in 2009, it needed so much work. It has been a long road, but the big renovations are mostly behind us. The biggest project of 2015 was installing a privacy fence on the street side of our backyard. It was a hard but satisfying project!

Looking forward to 2016, there are a few things I want to tackle around the house. In the spirit of goal setting, I'll lay them out now and perhaps revisit them at the end of the year to see how we did.

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