Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Mantle Therapy

I shared with you guys my issue of getting the itch to change things up in my house.
And one of the easiest ways to keep my home feeling new and fresh is to change my mantle often.

After taking down all the vintage floral, I let my mantle sit completely blank for a week. Very atypical for me, but I was feeling uninspired.
But there's nothing like having company over to motivate me to decorate my mantle - so I walked around my house just picking up stuff and not thinking too hard about it.

I should do that more often - not think too hard.
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I ended up staying in the turquoise, mustard, and bronze family (easy to do in this house) and just arranged what I picked up.
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So, I've realized that this itch for change often comes from looking at Pinterest. Don't get me wrong - I love Pinterest as much as the next guy and it can be a great source of inspiration, but it can also be a breeding ground for discontentment. I find myself wishing for a bigger kitchen, a brighter house, and things I don't need or can't afford.
And that's not what I want to be doing. I want to be thankful for the things I have and the ways God has blessed me.

So, borrowing items from other places in my house requires a bit of rearranging, but it also forces me to be creative and appreciate items I already have by seeing them in a new light and a new place.
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An exercise in contentment: What's something really great that you love about your home?

Friday, March 22, 2013

Growing a Spring Centerpiece

Despite the fact that I am plant-growing challenged, I decided to see if I could grow some wheat grass for an Easter/Spring centerpiece for my table.

You will most likely find wheat berries at your local health food store.
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I googled 'how to grow wheat grass' and the general consensus is that the berries need to be soaked over night. Some say to rinse them a couple times and soak another night. I just soaked mine until I could see little sprouts.
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Everything I read said that the grass is very easy to grow and almost any container will work.
Just barely cover the seeds with soil, they said.
And then you wait. And water.
I just watered once a day and kept the soil moist.
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This is just 10 days later.
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I am so pleased with how easy it was to grow.
If you're looking for a great, natural spring centerpiece for your table - give this a try!
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And some proof that I may be turning over a new leaf in plant growing - this fern has been alive for 2 months now!
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Friday, March 15, 2013

(re)living & learning

My sister had her first baby and my first nephew on February 28.
He was perfect and precious and I couldn't wait to hold him.
While we were visiting and I got to spend time with my sister and newborn baby John, I was reliving my first days with Grady. I recounted with my sister, in the trenches of the first week of motherhood, how there was so much guesswork in the beginning.
Is he still hungry? Did he get enough to eat? Should I feed him longer on this side? Is he sleeping too long? Should I wake him up and feed him?
And we lamented about how people shouldn't put so much hype on the labor part (especially if you get the epidural) but the recovery part. Woof. And that breastfeeding is more of a learned skill than a natural instinct as some might tell you.
This led me to recall how I had felt in a strange haze and totally not like myself those first few days. Like I was floating through this new life of mine where all I did was breastfeed, change diapers, and get to know this new baby who had taken over my life. I remember having a pit in my stomach because I didn't really like this new life.I didn't feel an instant crazy, passionate, irrational love for Grady. I loved him for being mine, for being here, and for being the baby I prayed so very hard for. I wanted him, of course, but I didn't know him.
It was strange to remember all this as I watched that same baby crawling around on the floor at my feet.
This child, who I feel overwhelmed to the point of tears with love for now. But my love for him started as just a little spark on that very first day. And has since been ignited by thousands of kisses and giggles and tears and days. Days of learning my sweet boy. Learning he would never take a pacifier, and that he would prefer his two middle fingers. And that he would be an amazing sleeper starting at just 6 weeks. That sometimes he would just need to fuss. How he would make a knocking motion with his wrist when he would stretch. The way he would touch my lips while he nursed. That he would love to be swaddled. That it wouldn't make any difference to him when we stopped swaddling. That he would be sweet and so very smiley. And have special smiles that were only for me. That he would adore his dad and light up when he came home. That he would be strong, while bringing up the rear in the 5th percentile. That he would be fearless learning to crawl and climb - bumping his head with no tears involved. That he would teach me more about myself than I ever thought possible.

And now my love is an all-consuming fire. I love him with a fierceness and tenacity I never thought possible. To know him is to love him and I know my boy like the back of hand.
He is my very best.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

operation upgrade all the pillows

I'm too embarrassed to show you what my pillows used to look like.
I'd had them since we got married almost 5 years ago. They were green and brown and stained despite repeated washing.
You know it's bad when your husband starts to complain that they're ugly.

So when I went to Target to check out my options, I realized it would cost me a small fortune to upgrade all the pillows as just one cute pillow was $25. Not gonna happen.

It took a few weeks of hunting and diy-ing, but I was able to upgrade all of my pillows for less than the price of one full-price pillow. I could do this because I used my old pillow forms which were still in good shape.

So, eventually Target did pull through with some good clearance.
Pom-Pom Pillow: $5

Gray Felted Pillow: $7

Gray Napkins: 2 for $3
Napkins are a great option for upgrading pillow covers because they are a perfect square.
Sew three sides, stuff in your pillow and then sew the fourth size shut. Easy as pie.
 I added my own fabric ruffles for a bit of flair.

Cream Rosette Pillow 
Sears Going-out-of-business Sale: $5

Vintage placemat Pillow
Placemats are another great option for easy pillow covering.
This placemat was a quarter yard sale find that I had stashed away and all I had to do was seam rip one of the sides, stuff in a pillow and then sew it shut again.

 Vintage Bed Sheet Pillow
It's always best to think outside the box for fabric. Making this pillow
out of a bedsheet took a bit of measuring and a bit more sewing but
I love the fabric more than anything I could have found at the store.

Vintage Fabric Pillow
Easily my new favorite pillow (I did stuff it with my softest pillow form though).
But I love this vintage fabric. I've had it for so long but could never find the right
thing to use it for. Makes for a great statement pillow.
There are lots of fun vintage fabric options on etsy!

Striped Fabric Pillow
I ordered this striped fabric (1/2 yard for $5) from a seller on etsy.
I knew I wanted to add some stripes in with all my floral.
The best thing about making this pillow was this new-to-me envelope cover
technique that my friend Kerry told me about.
Less sewing and you can take off the cover to wash it!

Next time you need a pillow upgrade - try one of these easy and affordable options!