How about a little Friday Favorites? But first, I want to know what an item is in your kitchen that you’re obsessed with! Tell me about it!
Have you heard of Geometry House? They’re all they’re hyped up to be. Promise. My kitchen towel drawer is filled with their goodness (and subsequently one of my favorite little spots in my kitchen) and its my dream come true.
Their tea towels are our very favorite go-to hand towels. They’re so absorbent, dry things way faster than any other towel we’ve used and the designs on them are the CUTEST. Like seriously.
Their rags are equally as amazing. They get the job done. They’re all I use around the kitchen anymore and the designs are just as adorable.
Lastly, their reusable paper towels work, save me money on buying actual paper towel, are good for the environment and, you guessed it, are STINKIN’ cute!!
I finally decorated for Fall! The fact I didn’t do it on the very first day of September is just atrocious to me. But fear not, the decor is up now and all is well in the world. This is wonderful.
I can specifically recall every winter, putting my fall things away and aching for the day that I can cover my home in pumpkins again. So now that it’s back…oh the joy.
Over time I think my style is slowly changing. Our new home has really opened up a new part of me. Now that we are in (what we both hope and pray is) our forever home, I feel like I can really start figuring out what I love and what I want in the home I’ll raise my children in.
Not that anyone is coming to me with decor words of advice, but I just want to say this: When decorating your home, DO WHAT YOU LIKE. Don’t worry about if it’s “in” or not. If it’s colorful when the rest of the world seems to only decorate with muted colors, rock it. If you want everything white and people think that’s weird, ignore them. Make YOUR space YOURS!!
Our laundry room/mud room is a room we literally use and walk through so many times a day. Until I really started paying attention to that, I didn’t realize just how much we frequented this room. Once I really started being mindful of it, I also started seeing just how badly I wanted to update our laundry room. It was very dated. It was completely functional, but just not cute.
When we moved in last October we gave the room a fresh coat of white paint, but even that wasn’t enough for me to be satisfied, I guess. So I got Craig in on the plan and we re-did the room!
We painted the cupboards Behr’s Truly Olive, re-did the countertops with Rust Oleum Epoxy Paint and added some adorable knobs and wall decals from Amazon – and it was that easy!!
Its brightened the room and made it such a fun, inviting space! Hey, you never know, maybe I’ll start actually enjoying the chore of laundry now!
We have a cute little bathroom on our main floor, and for a while now I knew it needed a change. It needed some new life and to be a more fun space. So I thought up some plans and headed to trusty ol’ Target which ended up having everything I needed and voila! My half-bath dreams came true! I’m so happy with how it turned out – and I’m really proud of myself for doing it all by myself! Usually when I do projects I tend to see how many people I can rope into doing it with me, but this time, it was all me. I had some time alone and decided to crank it out! I even used a drill to put in the shelves – I forgot hot cool that makes me feel!
And now, for a few ‘before’ pictures so you can really see the transformation!
The very first wall I decorated when we moved into our new house was this big gray wall in our kitchen. I knew I wanted to do four large pictures with white frames on this wall with pictures of my kids. An individual of each of them, then one of the three of them together. Once we have our fourth baby, it’ll already have a spot. And if we have a fifth? Well, we’ll deal with that when the time comes, won’t we.
For our first round of these pictures, we, well my dad, took pictures in my parents beautiful backyard. I turned them black and white because that was all I wanted – big, black and white pictures on my wall, for so long. I loved it. The wall always brought me lots of happiness.
I knew that I wanted to update this wall yearly, every summer. So on Fourth of July, we went back to my parents house again and this time my dad took pictures in their front yard of the kids in these adorable patriotic outfits. I originally assumed I’d do black and white again, but the color was calling to me this time around and I am SO happy I went along with the idea. Its given the wall new life.
I have a feeling that updating this wall yearly is going to be something I look forward to each year.
Since having my first child five and a half years ago, I’ve been wondering just how I would store my kids important papers/documents/keepsakes. Everyone has their own method that they’re passionate about, and I listened to so many ideas, but ultimately I (finally) landed on this, my own, method. I’ve seen this same idea all over the internet, so I’m not at all claiming it as my own. I’m just super excited about it so I’m sharing it with you in case you’re on the hunt for a good storage idea too! And believe me, if I can do it, so can you. It was super simple and very satisfying.
I ordered file folder boxes and files. The boxes I ordered came in a pack of 4, so I even have one ready for my next baby! Then I ordered a pack of files for each box – the packs I ordered came with 25 (I think) and there are several extra folders in each box, should we decide we need them for something in the kids future. I put the folders in the box and labeled them (in this order):
Then, with my cricut machine, I cut out their first initials in vinyl and applied them to the front and voila! Told you it was easy!
I don’t plan on keeping every single paper from school or piece of art they create (like adorable scribbles on scraps of paper, you know?) But I’m going to mindfully keep the papers that my kids worked extra hard on or are extra proud of. The papers that have a funny story behind them or are particularly adorable. The ones I think they’d be happy to see someday when they’re adults showing their own children their memories.
I have put the bracelets we wore in the hospitals for their births in the Baby folder, along with ultrasound pictures, etc. In the boys Toddler folders, I put the bag of clippings from their first haircuts. Things like that. I also knew I had to have a folder dedicated to their stats from doctors appointments. I’m obsessed with my kids stats so I wanted them readily available.
Around this time last year, the world as we knew it, changed. There is no way that at the end of 2019 we could’ve ever imagined that 2020 would look the way it did. Its all so crazy and surreal to look back at a whole year later. Remember when the world ‘shut down’ and it was supposed to only last a couple of weeks to flatten the curve? Even then, when everything was first shut down, I don’t think we truly had any idea what was in store for us. Did anyone look at this and think we’d still be in a very similar spot a year later?
I’m grateful for the progress. There is more knowledge and security. There is more peace and hope. I’m very, very thankful for that. But its still hard to grasp. I’m still in a sort of denial that this is the new normal we thought would only have to last a few weeks.
In the space of this crazy year, a lot of big changes have happened in our family.
We added our sweet little Flora to the family, thus having a pandemic baby which is the wildest of rides, and the thing that definitely rocked me the most in all of this. When I found out I was pregnant in October 2019, I truly had no idea that during much of my pregnancy I’d be stressed out about my health and a scary new virus taking over the world. I had no idea how much fear would be instilled in me about the health of my baby. I had no idea how overwhelming it would be to have a baby in the smack middle of a global pandemic. However, there were silver linings, too. Craig was working from home around this time still, so it felt like extended paternity leave. He got to help so much with the boys and the new baby. We didn’t see extended family quite as much as we would have liked to, but it forced us to really rely on one another in a way we’d never done before. It also helped me find my voice and be confident in my gut feelings, when it came to having difficult or awkward conversations with other people when it came to visitors, outings, etc.
We also moved, which is another thing we just didn’t see coming. Our new home has been such a blessing. It all happened so fast and was a lot like a whirlwind while it happened, so now that we are settled and comfortable here in our new place, I’m really seeing how great of a decision this was for our family. Our new home has space to grow and continue to build our family. This is where our kids will grow up and I’m so thankful we are in this place.
I’ve also learned a lot about myself in this year. We opted not to put Harrison in preschool this year and chose to do homeschool. Since Emmett is just two years behind him, I decided to do preschool at home with them both. I wasn’t sure how it would all go. I know I’m capable of teaching preschool level curriculum, but I wasn’t sure if I’d be an exciting ‘teacher,’ or if I’d be able to teach things in a way that my kids would be able to internalize. But thanks to online resources and approximately 8 billion prayers on my part, I found that not only can I do this, but I can be really good at it. The kids and I have had so much fun doing preschool together. I’ll admit, I’m a little bit sad that next year Harrison will go off to Kindergarten and Emmett will officially start in a real preschool.
We learned a lot about respecting others. I think we can all agree that wearing masks is a pain. They’re sweaty, they cause acne, they make breathing seem trickier, but I do think they’re something just fine to enforce right now. I’m definitely not against them. But even more than my feelings on masks, I’ve learned to see that wearing a mask in public is very much a way to show that I and my family love and care for others. Me wearing a mask is an outward way to show that I respect you and your health and well-being. Its also been a nice way to teach my kids about respecting others.
I learned that I’m resourceful. There was the period of time when basic food items were hard to find. I learned to be resourceful with the food I had in my pantry. I learned how to make fun, educational things out of the seemingly mundane things around our house for the kids. I was able to dive back into my love of scrapbooking in all the time spent at home, and made our families own Quarantine Scrapbook, that I really think I’ll cherish and hopefully my posterity will, as well.
My testimony grew tremendously in this year. I’m a worrier. My dad is a high-risk person. I was pregnant for a long time during this and wasn’t sure what Covid could do to a pregnant or breastfeeding woman. I imagined terrible things happening to the health of those I love, especially the people who didn’t take it as seriously as I was. I just worried constantly. I feared the worst happening. I knew the virus didn’t typically have bad things happen to young children, but I still wondered if my children would be the acceptation if they got it. I was a ball of anxiety. Well, I always am. But I was an even bigger ball. I would pray so many times a day and just beg Heavenly Father for clarity and calm. I’d pour my heart out for the well-being of my family. I’d ask for peace of mind, because at times, my mental health struggled so much under all the fear and uncertainty. Sometimes I had to learn some lessons first, or search hard for answers, but I definitely was comforted and felt peaceful. I was strongly reminded that God is in all the details and he is stronger than any earthly person, even stronger than a global pandemic. I was reminded that His plan is truly the plan of happiness, and He knows what He’s doing. I trust Him. I know He has me and my family, and everyone, securely in His hands.
We are a year into this now. I’m not sure when things will be ‘norma,’ again, or if they ever will. But I’m happy to report, that though this has all been crazy and unexpected, I’ve found joy, happiness and learning in the year of quarantine.
Love you all. I hope you’re all doing ok. Life is weird right now. Life is crazy. Things can be uncertain. But we can do this!
In our new house, we have a staircase that goes up to our top floor. It has been painted this pretty turquoise blue type color, and somehow within our few months living here, we have managed to really bang it up and chip a lot of the paint off. Seeing as we didn’t have the same paint to use to paint over the chips, we decided to change it up and paint it. It took us a little while of deciding how we wanted to paint it, but we ultimately settled on black and white. The hand rails, trim and larger poles (I don’t know technical names of any of this) would be black, and the middle, smaller poles would be white. You’ll get it when you see the pictures, haha. I’m not good at explaining this detail it would seem.
We started, well, Craig started, by taping it, which was no short task. With all the small details of the trim, it was a bit of a more complex situation than we originally anticipated.
Then we primed the entire area we’d be painting, and taped it so we could paint the white parts first. This was another long task!
Next, our plan was to paint all the middle, smaller poles white, but much to our surprise we learned that somehow we’d left Home Depot with two gallons of primer and one gallon of black paint, instead of gallon can primer, one gallon white and one gallon black. So, since we were still motivated to work and in our paint clothes, we just painted the large poles, and some of the top of the hand rail, the first coat of black.
After making an exchange, we finally got to paint the first coat of all the white parts! This is when we first were able to see it all coming together and we were getting really excited about this decision!
We ended with a lot of touch up work, tape removing and little fixes here and there. The trim provided many opportunities for paint to bleed and run over the opposite color. It definitely took work, but the finished product was exactly what we wanted!
We moved into our new home in early October. We loved our old home so dearly – it was perfect for us and had been the birth place of so many of our most cherished memories. I remember when we made the decision to move, I was sure we were making the correct decision, but I was also so nervous about leaving this home that we’d made ours. One day I was sitting in one of my favorite spaces in our old home, Flora’s nursery. I looked around at this little room we spent so much of our time making perfect for our baby girl and I felt a bit devastated, fearing I’d never love a room again like I loved her room. What if I never felt the love or connection to our new home that I did to our old home? It actually scared me. How could we love a place like we loved our old home?
Now it is January and we have been in our new home for almost four months. We took the first couple weeks making some changes to the home to make it fit us. I took time to really consider the way I wanted to decorate and put a lot of thought behind what I purchased to put around our new home.
Funny enough, the room we just barely finished, and now, one of my very favorite rooms in the whole house is…Flora’s nursery.
The second her happy, pink room was all finished, I sat in the chair in her room and surveyed the space. It hit me like a ton of bricks that, yes, a home and a room can be really special and seem irreplaceable, but what actually matters is the people in that home. I mean, yeah, a nicely decorated room can sure help how you feel about the room for sure. But I was so powerfully reminded of all those cheesy quotes, “home is wherever I’m with you,” and so on. It’s not so much about the home, the walls and the decor, but the people that are within those walls. It’s the relationships you have with them, the memories made with them and the bond you have with them. That’s what makes a home so special.
Eeeeeeee!!!! I am so happy to be able to finally announce this! We moved!! We are in a different home!
It’s so crazy. Honestly, a few months ago if you would have asked us if we had moving on our radar, you would have for a big ol’ NOPE for us! We planned on staying in our home for several more years. We knew how we could make it work and we felt good about it. But then an opportunity came up with the new house. It was an opportunity that truly, we would have been absolutely idiotic to have turned down. We didn’t make the decision quickly, and we discussed the heck out of the pros and cons. We came to realize that both options were right. Staying in our old home would have been fine. So would moving to a new house. So ultimately we just had to just decide which was more right.
We knew we’d be silly not to do it. So we did. We chose to move. This new home has so much more room. It is a good home in a good area. We feel good about our decision. It’s exciting!
We are still in the phase of trying to get used to it all. Quite honestly, it feels like it happened really fast. So now that we are in our new home and slowly making it our own and personalizing it, it’s all starting to really set it.
We feel really fortunate. We feel blessed and excited. Our kids (and dogs) have transitioned into the new home really well and things are going great. Now if only I could figure out how to decorate my new living room!!
I’ll be sharing more about the house and some of the projects we are tackling as we go. Thanks for following along! I really do appreciate you being here.