Before and After Playhouse

We have had this playhouse for years and it took a beating under some trees. It was overtaken by spiders and very dirty. No one would play in it. We are re-doing our backyard and so I decided it was time to do something with it, or trash it.

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So I decided to make it nice, of course!

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Here it is in progress. First I built a base for it. The brown floor was my creation and I was very proud of it. With a floor off the ground we will be able to keep it clean and spider free.

Then I made it prettier. It was the best I could do. I’m not a good painter, but I made a window and added flowers. That made a big difference. Next year it should be in the garden with flowers all around.

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Best of all, we like it and we use it!

 

Focusing on the Beautiful in the Mess

 

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It is so easy to get down on my house. When I just look around the house and see all the projects I haven’t gotten to or the stuff sitting on counter tops and floors I get frustrated, and beat down and sometimes even angry.  It’s easy to stay there, irritated and madly picking up like some crazed housewife. But it’s like that again the next day, so the crazed housewife thing doesn’t seem to be fixing anything. I bet you feel the same way some days.

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So I started wondering what would happen if I focused on the beautiful in the mess. The things in each room that bring me joy not all the things that I need to still get to.

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I went around the house taking pictures of my favorite things in each room. The room’s jewelry. The piece de resistance. Almost every room has one. And on the days when my house was under siege by trash mongers I focused on these pieces. I found that I was able to rest amongst the chaos when I focused on the beautiful.

It’s the same way with our soul. When we are not restful, if we focus on what God says about us it brings us rest in the middle of the crazy.

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The truth is my house isn’t all junk, there are projects that are completed, and there are beautiful things in it. Just as I am not a total looser in life, God says I am beautifully and wonderfully made no matter what someone else does to me or says about me.

It’s what you focus on. If you focus on the negative and undone in your home, your home will be a tangled mess in your mind, but if you focus on the beautiful your home, it will be a restful and peaceful place, even amongst the mess.

If we focus on what others say about us, or do to us, we may feel bad about ourselves, but if we focus on what God says about us, who God says we are, we will be peaceful and joyful.

Today, I challenge you to focus on the beautiful in your home and in your life.

The End of An Era (and I need your opinion)

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Well, that’s it, our house is officially un-baby-fied. That means everyone is a “big” kid now.

We sleep in big kid beds.

We use the big potties.

We drink out of big kid cups.

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The changing table was the last thing to go because I was still using it as a dresser. Then the other day I found this beautiful piece at a second hand furniture shop. It was just what I was looking for. It’s an old buffet that I am going to repurpose as a dresser.

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The only question I have is, “should I paint it or not” I can’t decide. I don’t want to mess it up, but their room is totally white and bright, so maybe this doesn’t go. Or maybe it does. I was thinking about doing a creamy paint all over and distressing it a bit. I’m just not sure. What do you think?

So the changing table is going. The last of the baby things we had.

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I’m a little sad, but only a little. Mostly, I’m excited (very excited) for this stage of life. Ten years of little babies was good, but it was enough for me. I loved the baby holding and snuggling years. The sweet firsts and nurturing that went on every day. I loved those years and I’m ready for them to be over.

I’m excited that we can travel with just a bag full of clothes for each of them, we don’t need tons of extra gear. We can walk on our own so I don’t have to carry someone all the time. We can do big kid activities like riding bikes, zip lining, and kayaking. And we can sit still for more than 5 minutes if mommy needs to go in somewhere.

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My shoulders relax just thinking about it. It’s good.

Craft Closet Clean-Up

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One of the first projects I did in our new house was the craft closet. It started out as a bare closet with wooden shelves on the right side. I purchased a shelving system from Lowes and installed it in a few hours. I did this entire thing myself ladies, it was that easy! Then I labeled some tubs that I already had and organized away.

Once every few months I have to go through and re-organize, throw away, and straighten up but now that I have a system that is all labeled – it is much easier. This weekend I tackled the clean up in here and as part of my house purge, I got a rid of a lot of junk that had accumulated. Here is what it looked like when I was done:

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My favorite part of the closet is this over-the-door shoe hanger that I turned into a wrapping station. Now I can always find the tape, scissors, wrap and ribbon! Ahhh. If you like this you can find a million great ideas on Pinterest.

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Now for a few before-the-clean-up pictures…

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Home Tour – The Patio

Our Patio is about to get a makeover. We want to put in a fireplace and new stone. There are some really wonderful aspects to our patio now, however, that I will miss. So here are some pictures of it now and next fall, you can see what we did with the place…DSC_0068 DSC_0005 2 DSC_0022 2 DSC_0020 DSC_0023

Girly Rooms

Today I am going to share a little home tour of our girly rooms. These are from different years and houses along our journey.

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Our first little girl room had a diamond pattern on the walls and an adorable chandelier. I painted the diamonds myself and repurposed the armoire with curtains.

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Our second little girl room had stripes and a very pretty scallop painted by some painters I hired right after we moved in.

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Our third little girl room has built-in character I just need time to make it special.

 

 

 

Princess Tea Party

I’m sharing another fun birthday party we threw for one of the girls. If you want my philosophy on birthday parties click here. I probably don’t have to, but I feel like I always need to add a disclosure on our parties.

Theme: Princess Tea Party for a 7-year-old.

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Invitations: These are not actually ours, but they look very similar. We used shinny white paper and rolled them up with a pink bow. The inside was much more simple in our version, but the copy was similar, very formal and royal sounding.

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Decorations: We had so much fun with this one! Doorway curtains were made from pink plastic tablecloths. I hung them above the doorways and tied them back with bows creating a curtain affect. We created pink poms to hang from the ceiling out of tissue paper. These are easy to make, although tedious, and make a big statement. We hung tulle and put flowers on each chair. The place settings were personalized with name cards too.

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Activities: Upon arrival we had nail painting, dressing up and they got to pick a ring and tierra to wear during the party. As a craft we decorated foam crowns with stick on jewels. We played a few “princess” games like learning to walk with a book on your head and “throw the marshmallows in a teacup”. 

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The main event was the tea party. Each attendee was introduced into the royal tea room by our party butler, “Uncle Kevin”.  The curtain was pulled as he announced, “please welcome the lovely, princess #4…” and the little princess walked, ran or sashayed to their seat. Some with more vigor than others! Once seated they where  met by one of our servers to get their drink order. The food was then served on trays for each to choose their own preferences.

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Food: Tea sandwiches, cheese on toothpicks, crackers, mini muffins, and veggies.

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Cake: The cake was so special. I could never have made this, by the way. I don’t believe it comes in a box. But our good friends made this cake for us. It came complete with dry ice to make it “steam”. AMAZING!

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Goodie Bag: We created a candy bar for the girls to pick from including chocolate covered marshmallows, chocolate covered pretzels and all the pink colored candy we could find at the store. Each girl was given a white bag and could go through the candy bar choosing what they would like to take home. We sent enough home for the whole family, no doubt!

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So sweet! And just like all of our parties, none of this would have been possible without the help of our dear friends. We appreciate and love them so much for their love and support of ALL of us. THANK YOU ALL!

 

 

 

The Purging of the Closets

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You may, or may not remember how my small kids were destroying their closet – daily – for months. Hopefully you don’t. I had to barricade their closet so they couldn’t get in.

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This was obviously a temporary fix. I just can’t live with chairs out of place and bad traffic flow patterns in rooms. It’s just not OK with me. I like rooms pretty and functional and right.

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Over the past few weeks I have spent time cleaning out closets. This wasn’t your typical closet clean out where you go through everything, fold or hang it nicely, throw out a handful of items, and walk away feeling “successful”.

This was an all out purge. The purgiest purge you ever saw.

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First, I put all of the winter clothes in bins. Away they went to be stored until Fall. Every long sleeved shirt, long pair of pants, tights, sweaters and jackets. I only left a pullover or sweatshirt for chilly summer evenings.

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Second, I went through their clothes and donated any item I didn’t like seeing on them. Shorts I think are too short, shirts that are ugly, dresses that don’t make me smile. Anything I deemed inappropriate because it had shrunk in areas we wish it hadn’t. All of those items my kids always want to wear that I just don’t care for. You know the outfit, you’ve seen it so many times you want to burn it. Gone.

Don’t worry, they won’t miss them. They haven’t even noticed. They still have more than enough.

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So now our closets have about 1/3 of the clothes they used to have in them. This was a real clean out. The mess they make is only 1/3 of the mess they made before. Thank you. I never have to tell the smalls to go put on something more appropriate for the weather because it isn’t in there to put on in the first place. And I never have to worry about them coming down in an outfit I wish my friends didn’t have to experience on them.

This was time well spent. Really well spent.