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 more—especially through the difficulties.Read More
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.Read More
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.Read More
For the past month or so, I've been mulling over some ideas for how to stretch holiday decorating dollars. When the stores start to put out Christmas decorations in late fall, I get so excited to add a few pieces to my holiday collection! But when the decorating budget is tight, it can be hard to spend money on home decor items that only last a month or so during Christmastime. Do you face the same struggle?
Let me walk you through how I transitioned our hearth and mantel decorations from Christmas to winter. Then I've got some general principles to help you think about how you can do the same—all with the goal of helping you get the most bang for your decorating buck. Here we go.
I was really ready to take down the Christmas tree this year. Our living room is our everything room, so it very quickly starts to feel full and cluttered. (The Cozy Coupe is on vacation in the basement because we just needed some room to breathe. :) ) So I took down the Christmas tree the day after Christmas.Read More
I have never really done much to decorate the outside of our house for the winter months. Part of the reason is budget. When we do have money in the budget for decor items, I usually prioritize interior stuff over exterior. Do you guys face the same struggles? Is it just a Minnesota thing since we're inside for so much of the year?
Our front porch was looking rather sad, and I am thankful to have found a way to fill it with welcoming beauty for free!
A while back, a cousin on Ben's side (Hi, Erin!) posted a picture to Instagram of a winter planter she had put together and I was super inspired. I know you can buy spruce top bundles, red dogwood branches, and pretty birch logs for sale at grocery stores and nurseries, but they were kind of expensive and I just couldn't pull the trigger. Not when I would rather save that money for maybe putting together a little playroom in the basement (ahem). Ya hear me?Read More
As I was pulling out the Christmas decorations this year, I had two little helpers who were pretty smitten with each thing I brought out: snow globes, a tiny ceramic village, a wooden Christmas tree with miniature ornaments my parents brought back from Germany.
In past years, I haven't put out all these things because frankly, I just don't have the space! I don't have a lot of surfaces in my house to display such things. We don't have a coffee table in the living room or a formal dining room where I could put a Christmas centerpiece on a table or add decorations to a sideboard.
I'm not saying this like it is a negative thing—I was just wondering where I was going to put all the little Christmas decorations my girls love! These are the sweet little things that will make their eyes wide as we pull them out each year. I wanted to find room.Read More
We've had a strangely rainy December here in Minnesota. Is there snow where you are? Ours is mostly gone, but there's still plenty of time for a white Christmas.
I put together another Five Things Friday post to round out this busy week.Read More
When you decorate for Christmas, do you put holiday decor all throughout the house? I used to keep the Christmas decorations mostly in the living room, but since we've had the girls, I started bringing little touches into their bedrooms—and ours!
In our bedroom, I had such a blast styling up our dresser to show you the free Christmas art prints I made for you to download. The colors in the Luke 2 art print match perfectly with what we already have in the room: red and aqua.Read More
Merry Christmas! I am very thankful for each one of you who reads this blog. Truly!
I created something for you, dear reader, to help you set your eyes on Christ Jesus at the start of the Advent season: free art prints to adorn your walls, dressers, mantels, wherever! Let me tell you a bit about them and then I'll let you know how you can download them (for free!).Read More
Do you have a fireplace? Our living room has a wonderful fireplace, but we don't use it to build fires. One of the reasons is that the chimney leaks a lot of cold air into the room. We considered a gas insert but it was mighty spendy! For now, we have a Chimney Balloon and a piece of foam insulation jammed up there to help keep out the cold.
That works for us, but we were left with a big black box. A few years ago, we were trimming our beloved birch tree (A white tree! How beautiful!) and I had Ben cut up the branches into logs to stack in the fireplace. The white pops off the black firebox and I think it looks cool, although the inside of the firebox could use a good cleaning and touch-up. Add it to the list!Read More