Well here is a post we all need, right?! 5 ways to save money when shopping? Tell me ALL the secrets! For some of you these may be secrets and for some of you they may be no brainers, but I'm sharing them anyway!Read More
~Design For Your Life~
~~~Philippians 4:12-13 says “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret to being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.”
Boy have I been through that verse in my life. Being in need, to having more than enough, feeling fear of my children going hungry, to having plenty of food to share. I have seen The Lord’s strength in me, in each situation. Learning the lesson of contentment with what He gives me, has been such a blessing in my life. I now know to place my happiness in Him and not the things I have.
That is not to say God doesn’t want us to enjoy our earthly treasures, or the things He has allowed us to have. He wants us to delight in what we have, make the best of our current situation, whatever or whereever that may be. I take this thought to heart when it comes to decorating my home. It would be easy to allow myself to feel frustration that I have financial limits when it comes to decor. It would be easy to feel jealous of others beautiful pictures that I see, knowing they are purchasing new chairs from Pottery Barn, a dining room table from Restoration Hardware and lighting from One Kings Lane. However, I choose to be happy for them and focus on what I can do, instead of what I can not.
Take this dining table setting for instance. I was inspired by a similar table at The Country Living Magazine, antique fair, a few weeks back and I just “needed” to have it! As I added up in my head what it would cost to purchase all the items from the vendor to recreate this in my home, I quickly realized it would be out of my budget. I could get sad and just forget it, or I could get creative and make it come to fruition! By choosing contentment with what I had, I found I liked the final result even better than the inspiration! Rather than purchase items that had no personal connection to me, I used pieces that were part of my family past, or items that had their own history. This tablescape is now a focal point and has a story to be told. A story of being content with what I have.
Being content doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice beauty in your home. In fact you may be surprised where you can create beauty and interest when you are thinking outside the box! There are a few examples of that type of thinking in this photo! Our family room needed a facelift and like usual, it needed to be done on a budget! There are 4 main changes I did here that created a huge impact, or added to the design element without breaking the bank. The first is that cabinet in the corner. We needed some additional storage in this room but a new piece of furniture even from a discount store could really eat a big bite out a small budget. I found this at an antique store and because it had slight water damage, the owner had it marked way down to $100! Some white paint, and a little sanding and she’s as good as new! The next item is the wingback chair. I had a desire for more seating besides our beast of a couch and the hubbys beloved recliner. Again, accent seating can be expensive, or if it’s in my price range it isn’t made very well. Insert Craig’s List and a few days of checking the ads, and I came across 3, pink, wingback chairs for $50. All 3 for $50! Sold for sure! I knew they would need recovered so I began looking for fabric...even clearanced fabric was beginning to look pricey so I had to put my thinking cap on! I came across some window treatments and I loved the print and the price and I thought, there is no rule that says you can’t use curtains to reupholster a chair! By using the window panels for fabric my cost went from $100 to $40! Now it was time to tackle the large, blank space on either side of the fireplace. We all know how expensive art work can be, and the larger the piece, the bigger the price. I took a trip to my local salvage yard and found these great interior window frames for $4 a piece! They are lightweight and hang directly on the wall with a few nails. The best part is, the hide the ugly cords that used to hang down each side from the lamps on the mantle! Bonus! The last item for budget saving decor are the wreaths hanging on the frames. These were made out of coffee filters and paper plates. They look amazing, I get so many compliments on them, and they were practically free! See, being content with what you have doesn’t have to mean sacrificing beauty in your home.
Another example of finding contentment for me fell upon these stairs. It is the first thing you see when entering my home and I felt it was such an eyesore. I found myself complaining too regularly about my “lot in life” because how does one go about changing the look of your stairs? On a budget being, oh... $0!? I had actual grumbling conversations in my head with The Lord about why couldn’t we just afford to replace the carpet in our house!? How many thing that got me anywhere? I needed to change my attitude and be happy with what He had given me. The fact is, this is a beautiful, 2 story entry with a large, bright window and a pretty good size foyer. Let’s make the most of it! I ripped the carpet off and painted the wood that was underneath for a huge impact that cost me only paint! And a few puncture wounds from removing carpet tacks and staples, ouch! Choosing to find contentment and happiness in what I had instead of complaining about what I didn’t have gave me the opportunity to now greet my guests with a beautiful entryway and with the pride that I did this myself!
A lesson in contentment is a hard one for sure but we are clearly called to be content. 1 Timothy 6:6-7 says, “But Godliness with contentment is great gain, for we brought nothing into the world and can take nothing out of it.” Hebrews 13:5 says “Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, for God has said ‘Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you.’” I love Psalm 37:3-4 which says, “Trust in the Lord and do good, dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.” There should be no mistaking His desire for us to find happiness in where we are, with what we have. God has taken my family through many homes from a 1 bedroom apartment, to a rental home in an unsafe town, to a huge home in a neighborhood with a man guarded gate. We have been fortunate to live in a home and have the finances to renovate and remodel the house of our dreams, yet have also gone through the struggle of losing our home to foreclosure when the market fell. The important thing I take away is not the “type” of home I live in, but how I make my family feel inside of those walls. Our homes are not so much much made up of the square footage we may or may not have, the crown moldings or ceiling heights, or even builder-grade carpet verses hardwood flooring. Our homes are made out of the love we have for our families, and most importantly the moments that we let Jesus in, to dwell among us. Let’s place our happiness in Him and choose to be content with the gifts He has so graciously given.
Hi Friends! Today I swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help me God.
~~~ Over the last 4 weeks an unusual thing has happened, something I never expected, nor sought after. I went from 163 to just shy of 1000 (as of this writing) followers on Instagram! Say what?!?! This is surprising, exciting, and humbling all at the same time. I'm not sure I deserve it, I'm not sure what I may have done to get people to follow me. Yet at the same time, I'm happy! I'm pleased by it and I think, why not shoot for 2000, 5000 heck 10,000?! How can I do that? I need to post more pictures of pretty things around my house! I need to stage perfection in my home and photograph it! I'm running out of pretty, perfect things to take pictures of! I need to BUY more THINGS to stage and take pictures of!
STOP! This is where the truth needs to come in! Does anyone else see the red flag that is waving in the above scene? Matthew 6:19 & 20 clearly states "Do not store up for yourself treasures on this earth where moth and rust destroy, where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourself treasures in heaven where neither moth or rust destroy and thieves do not steal."
I love the Instagram community I have come to know. Every person I have come across is friendly, encouraging, happy and sincere! It is just lovely to "meet" new people that share same interests as me. I love gaining new ideas and new ways to do things from my new friends. I love the fun little "tag" games everyone plays asking friends to share things like "what I'm doing now", "favorite spot in the house", "favorite antique find" and "follow Fridays". Everyone always puts their best foot forward, and I truly do love this. I am simply going to challenge myself to also put my truthful foot forward! I am forever showing pictures of my home and even myself, at it's best and maybe leading you all to believe that I live a perfect life. Maybe you think that my home is always beautiful, clean, put together, organized...every square inch of it. That my hair is always done, makeup is always on and my clothing always matching. Or that I spend every day working on another fun project. Well friends, that is false information!
~I AM NOT PERFECT and NEITHER IS MY HOME~
Let's Get real... I have extremely frizzy hair, if I don't spend 45 minutes on it, it becomes the size of Texas. If it's in a fashionable braid or a cute top knot that's because it's dirty, not because I'm trending! My face breaks out more in my 30's than it ever did in my teens. I'm 20 pounds overweight and much more comfortable in my yoga pants (which have never seen a day of yoga) and an oversized sweatshirt. I don't work out as much as I should and I need to choose fruits and vegetables more often than chips and dip, but I don't. At least one day a month I ignore the "have to's" and binge watch junk TV. I never make my bed unless I'm putting clean sheets on it, or company is coming over. If said company were to open any of my closet doors, especially the upstairs linen closet, I would be embarrassed. My kitchen pantry is a disaster, I'm pretty sure I would find molding hamburger buns behind the dog food container if I bothered to pull it out. I only clean the fridge if something smells bad, and no one closes cabinet doors around here! I can never keep up with cleaning the windows, between 2 drooling dogs and 10 hands constantly smearing them, they are rarely smudge free. Speaking of the dogs, it would be best if you didn't wear black if you come to visit me! The couch pillows and fluffy blankets that are all staged and sitting pretty for photos are 98% of the time on the floor or being used to build forts or to hop over "hot lava". All the pretty things on the kitchen counters are usually covered up by dirty dishes. It may seem like all the rooms in my house are fully decorated but that isn't true either. My entry way and foyer, the room that is supposed to give the best first impression, is still boasting the builder grade white walls and linoleum flooring. Which by the way carries through into the kitchen and graces every bathroom floor as well. All the other rooms still have the same boring, beige, builder grade carpet from 2010...with no plans to replace it anytime soon! Ahhhh, that feels better! I hope those of you that I didn't scare away, feel better too!
I understand there is a balance that we all need to find. I love Instagram because of the pretty things I see there and I know everyone else does too. It's a great way to set goals and make improvements in our own homes. I also want to grow my followers, and this blog and maybe, Lord willing, take my home decorating passion and turn it into a real business! I'm not going to do that if I only post pictures of messes! We all have our own messes, we don't want to spend our free time looking at others messes! With that said, that's exactly how I'm going to end this post. I'm going to show you pictures of my home, in real life. Enjoy, and don't point fingers too much! Thanks for taking time out of your busy day to read what I'm sharing.
Welcome to 2015!
Wait, did we just hit 2015?!?! Does anyone else feel like this is very futuristic and we should be more in a "Jetsons" type era?! Does the year 2015 make anyone else feel old?
Either way, 2015 is a new year, a new beginning, a new start! I'm hoping to make the best of it.
Isaiah 43:18 & 19 says... “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”
While I don't plan on making my way in a literal wilderness, through streams and wasteland, I can absolutely see how this world is becoming wild and wasting away. I feel the need to focus on all things new in the Lord. For it is He who will one day make all things new again in Christ. Revelations 21:5 "Then He who sat on the throne said, 'Behold, I make all things new.'"
The new year will bring about different things for different people. New jobs, new homes, new relationships, new challenges and new goals. For me, 2015 is going to bring me out of my comfort zone! Maybe somewhere I don't think I'm ready for yet! But in all things I trust where the Lord leads me, and if He says "go and do", than go and do I must! ;-) I have been very blessed with my life turning out "the way I always wanted." I would be married, and a stay at home mom, have well behaved kids (ha!) and a dog, with a home of our own. I would take care of my husband, children and home and my husband would take care of us. I would volunteer at the kids schools, drive carpools, have dinner on the table every evening and be active with our church family. Once the kids were old enough I would maybe dabble in a part time job to make sure my mind didn't turn to mush! Still, these were all things that have worked out according to "my plan". Then something came along to mess that all up... Passion! I have a passion for design. Design for home, for event planning, for my wardrobe ;-) and for LIFE! I am not trained in design, I am not a professional by any means, I barely have experience! I believe what I do have far outweighs that, because I have passion, oh and Jesus on my side!
I simply LOVE this quote. The things you are passionate about are NOT random! They are your calling! Thank you Fabienne Fredrickson (and my new instagram friend Allison from A House and a Dog for reminding me of this quote) for putting into words exactly what was keeping me from pursuing my passion. Jesus gives us the desires of our hearts, Psalms 37:4 says just that..."Take delight in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart." He gives us our passions, He knows what is best for us! Just like Jeremiah 29:11 says..."For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." If the Lord has given me the desire of my heart, (which is design) and I have a passion for this (which would be my calling) AND the bible says He knows His plans for me (which are to bring me hope), who am I to walk away from that!!!
So here I am at the beginning of 2015 with a lot of "NEW" in front of me. I don't really know what all of this looks like, or what exactly I will accomplish but I trust the Lord does and that's good enough for me!
I do want to share some goals with you and I will hope and pray that I will see these accomplished as the year continues on. Some goals are large, some are small, some will change and adapt over time, but here is what I'm starting with.
~Grow my blog. I am new at this whole blogging world, like brand new, as this is my 4th post! I would love to see improvements from me and to gain readers, like you!
~Master (maybe that's a stretch) the computer and techy side of all of this! I love to create, I hate the computer! I hope to blend these two worlds!
~ Grow my social media followers - especially Instagram. The IG world has pleasantly surprised me in it's super supportive community and I look forward to making so many new connections and friends on Instagram this year!
~ Complete some home improvement projects, DIY. We are living in our 5th home (this number does not include the apartments) since marriage and it's hard to continually "start over" in this area. We've lived in the 'dream home', we've lived in the 'make it work' home and we are currently in the 'cookie cutter' home! My goal for this house is to forget that it looks like all the neighbors on the outside and create our perfect home on the inside, one room at a time!
~Start my own company! Ahhhhhh, I've said it out loud! I have always wanted a store, the store I always wished existed! One stop shopping for home décor, design and event planning. A store for the DIY'ers' or those who need it done for them! If y'all could see what is in my head, you'd understand! :-)
I am excited for 2015 and what lies ahead and I hope you are too! Remember... "I can do ALL things through CHRIST who strengthens ME!" Philippians 4:13
I would love to hear from you! What does 2015 have in store for you and what goals do you have? Please leave a comment or feel free to email me!