7.03.2014

Glorious Glassware!

Am I the only one who thinks a beverage is all the more tasty when it's in a pretty glass? Well, the weather is heating up and it's important to stay hydrated. Why not take a sip from some of these tasty tumblers-- sure to be a hit at your next dinner party!

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6.23.2014

More Bathroom Progress!

Hey friends,

We're getting closer and closer on the upstairs bathroom remodel. The tile is done, it has been grouted, sealed and caulked and Nick has hooked up the tub, toilet and sink, so it's almost all finished. I am so grateful to finally be able to use this hallway bathroom. There is no longer a claw foot tub or a toilet in our bedroom, we don't have to tiptoe through a sleeping baby's room in the middle of the night to get a drink of water or go to the bathroom, we don't have to brush our teeth downstairs off the kitchen anymore and we can finally bathe our little guys in a tub! Huzzah!





What's left to do-

*Finish last bit of mudding and paint the walls a serene white
*Install the metal shower halo where the shower spout will come out of and the shower curtains will be hung
*Reattach and repaint the window and door frames
*Construct a threshold for the floor between the tile and hardwoods
*Repaint and reinstall the vent cover
*Reglaze the inside of the tub in a nice clean white to match the rest of the fixtures
*Install medicine cabinet and light fixture above sink
*Install towel racks
*Install open shelving above toilet
*Decorate!

I'm so proud of Nick and all he's done without having to hire any work out. He's just plugged along in the midst of 50+ hour work weeks, being an awesome, available daddy, playing on worship team, volunteering at church and taking care of numerous other household tasks. He's just so amazing!

Stay tuned for more updates!

6.17.2014

Eyebrow Raising- Bumbling My Way to a Highbrow Existence


I'm told when I was three years old my mother found me crying in the mirror. When asked what was the matter I tearfully told her "I don't have any eyebrows!!!" Ah, well, when you are as fair as I am, visible eyebrows are illusive. They are even more illusive after a few sunny, summer days in the garden.

I have friends who have the opposite problem-- feeling if they don't keep their thick, dark brows in check they might just take over their face. 

I'm ashamed to admit that in the not-so distant past I succumed to a makeup artist at a salon who told me brow tinting would beautifully define my face. She even offered to do it for free with a brow wax. "Sure!" I said. "Why not?!"

I'll tell you why not. In just minutes I looked like Groucho Marx. I ran home and scrubbed and scrubbed to no avail. Nick came home and blurted out, "What happened to your face?" It was feeling all too much like the scene from Anne of Green Gables when Anne was told by a peddler she met on the road his dye would turn her hair "A beautiful shade of raven black," but instead transformed her hair into a green tinged train wreck.

So, I learned my lesson. Oh vanity of vanities!

I've just always admired good, strong brows. Take Brooke Shields, for example. Her name is almost synonymous with beautiful, eye defining, face shaping, natural brows. They aren't perfectly manicured, but there is clearly some definition and upkeep taking place with these beauties.


Other beautiful brow examples-



I'm sure I'm not the only one who fell into the 90's trap of over plucking. Thankfully, pencil thin brows have come and gone and more natural shapes are en vogue.

Eyebrows just have so much power to alter your face. Here's a funny chart of brows gone wrong. Have you been guilty of any of these shapes? I know I have! I once plucked such a high arch that I looked constantly surprised.

(source unknown)


Since my brows are so fair, I can get away with a brow wax every few months and only have to tweeze once a week or so for upkeep, but if your brows are thicker and require more work, that could get expensive. Here is a good rule of thumb guide for brow tweezing. 

This chart below helps to identify good brows for your face shape:


I was once told that, regardless if your brows are dark or light, filling them in with some brow powder makes them look more polished and neat. My mom turned me on to this brow kit and I can't say enough good things about it. It comes with a stencil, which is so helpful in evenly applying the powder. It's a bit on the pricey side, but you truly use so little in each application that I'm starting to wonder if I'll ever have to buy a refill.

So, how about you? Have you mastered a good look for your face or are your brows a source of consternation? Any tips or ideas to help a sister out?

6.07.2014

Decor through the Decades

I've been wanting to do a post on design through the decades for quite a while. It wasn't until Nick went out of town on a work trip this past week that I actually had some time to buckle down and research and write during the evenings. You see, I just have the hardest time not spending time with him when he's home and the kids are down for the night. ;)

So, without further ado, I present to you my interpretation the home design from the 1940's to the 1980's. Please bear in mind, the style boards I've put together have a modern take to them. I wanted to create looks that could easily be executed in present-day homes without looking dated or like the set of a movie, so I added a few pieces to each board that are decidedly 2014 looks. Almost every piece displayed can be purchased, or something similar can be purchased, online.

I realize there are many design styles in any given decade, but I have done my best to highlight some of the more popular and noteworthy looks of each era. Keep in mind, the most en vogue looks of a particular time period often take years to trickle down to the average home. Since furnishings and decor items are collected over time, most real homes possessed, and possess, looks from several decades at one time.

1940's-

I'll start of with one of my favorite decades! The 1940's were largely set in wartime, on the heels of an economic depression. The design style present during this time was modest, traditional and romantic. Patriotism was at its peak. People couldn't stomach being extravagant in their home decor when young, American men were dying on foreign soil. There was a coziness to homes during this decade because it was a place of comfort and solace during a tumultuous time. Lines were soft and details were both utilitarian and sweet. While putting this look together, I realized just how much I have, unconsciously, gravitated towards this style in my own home decor. 



1950's-

Another favorite decade of mine. The 1950's were very much a deviation from the modesty of the 40's. The war was over and people were ready to settle down, have families and show off their new-found prosperity. It was a hopeful time. Furniture lines became cleaner and sleeker with the heyday of Charles and Ray Eames' design work and the permeation of Danish modern design in America. Color schemes became brighter and colorful appliances, newly available in more than just white, were all the rage. Towards the end of the 50's you also saw an influx of celestially inspired decor, or atomic design, as space exploration and the race against the USSR heated up. 



1960's-

The 1960's was an era of rebellion against the establishment and youthful exuberance. Design became more playful and less formal. The Brady Bunch and their astroturfed,
California ranch reigned supreme on the airwaves each week. Floral patterns and mismatched colors took center stage in homes, along with unconventionally shaped furniture and architecture. Plastics, produced via new manufacturing techniques, and the endless possibilities this flexible medium offered opened the door to more unconventional and creative design. What we know today as the Mid-Century Modern school of design gathered even more steam and a trend towards simplicity and de-cluttered spaces was reflected in streamlined decorscapes.



1970's-

In reaction to the candy coated, shellacked aesthetic of the 1960's, the 1970's design style gravitated back to nature. Homes were adorned in earth tones, wood paneling and natural fibers. The outside came in and hanging plants and terrariums became popular. Comfort became equally as important as style, as evidenced by the movement of wall to wall carpeting, often of the shag nature, and sound-proofing popcorn ceilings. I've been in a number of truly 70's style homes and can't help but dislike how dark they all feel. However, it's interesting to see that many 1970's trends are coming back, against the backdrop of open, white walls and airy, minimalist homes. I find I like the design style much better in its reinvented state.




1980's-

The 1980's were characterized by Reaganomics, big hair and financial success (or at least the appearance of financial success). The nouveau riche of this decade spared no expense to deck their homes out in gilded, often gaudy, decor. It was difficult for me to put this board together, because I find so many of the looks of this decade tacky. Maybe it's just because I was a child during this time. In combing through 80's decor styles, one thing I can appreciate is the nod they gave to the 1920's Art Deco movement and the juxtaposition of pastels and black. The 80's saw a wave of decor trends that ran the gamut-- from Miami Vice to Southwestern inspired. Floral chintz fabrics and lace took center stage as the decade wrapped up-- giving way to another shift in design towards the more grounded looks of the 1990's.



Beyond the 1980's, it's hard for me to define or interpret where style has gone. Perhaps it's easier to see patterns the farther away you get from them. Or perhaps, having lived these more recent decades as an adult, I am too aware of the many iterations of design styles in each year, let alone decade.

I can remember there being a lot of country looks happening in the 90's, also some 1930's inspired lines in sofas, lamps and tables. The 90's definitely started off in cooler color pallets with a lot of dusty blue, teal and sea foam green, morphing in the mid 90's into burgundy and hunter green plaids and giving way, at the start of the 2000's, to lots and lots of variations of browns, tans and reds.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on where decor styles have been and where they are going. Ultimately, there is never really anything new under the sun and what you see as fresh and new now has its origin in a bygone era. I love history and I love design, so I find this sort of thing fascinating. What about you? Do you have a favorite, historical design period? Do tell!

And now I must go decompress from the creative frenzy going on in my brain! Good night!

6.03.2014

5 Years


This past weekend we celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary by taking a little day trip to Northwestern Arkansas. A lot has kept us busy since we moved to Joplin a little over a year ago, namely a new old house in need of some serious TLC and the arrival of a new baby, so we haven't had the chance to do much exploring. We loaded up our little third wheel, Killian who was along the ride for the milk, and had a leisurely breakfast on the square in Bentonville, AR. We then went to the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art-- a true, world-class gem, nestled in the Ozarks. The museum is fabulous and the grounds are gorgeous. We had planned to drive to Fayetteville from there, but we only had a sitter for Collin until 3pm, so we stopped off in Rogers, AR had a fantastic pizza lunch in the historic downtown area and visited an antique shop. I can't wait to do more exploring. It truly is a beautiful area and the rolling hills make for such a lovely drive.

Each year, on our anniversary, we have the tradition of buying a vintage bud vase. It's fun to hunt down something unique and special to commemorate one more year of God's goodness. People have asked if each one has a certain significance to it. Not really. We simply look for something that catches our eye. I love having a visual of our years together and can't wait to someday look at a collection of over fifty or sixty!

What about you? Do you have an anniversary, birthday or holiday tradition in your family?

5.30.2014

Riley Clay Duds for the Summer

One of my favorite brands, Riley Clay, is now a Mostaza Seed sponsor. They were kind enough to send over some of their wares and we are loving them! These tri-blend tees are super high quality and extra soft. We haven't experienced any shrinkage after a number of washes and, most importantly, this brand does such an awesome job of delivering a positive message in a fashionable way. Check their line out on Etsy, or if you live down South, in or near Georgia, you can drop by their brick and mortar shop at 118 Main Street SW, Gainesville 30501.

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5.29.2014

Paint by Number Murals

There is an artist in British Columbia, by the name of Bill Blair, who creates entire murals inspired by the 1950's Paint by Number kit creations. Here are a few examples of his work. I am completely in love with the look. It's approachable and kitschy and nostalgic and totally fun!



A bit of history, In 1951 Palmer Paint introduced the Craft Master brand which sold over 12 million kits. This public response induced other companies to produce their own versions of paint by number. The Craft Master paint-kit box tops proclaimed, "A BEAUTIFUL OIL PAINTING THE FIRST TIME YOU TRY." Following the death of Max Klein in 1993, his daughter, Jacquelyn Schiffman, donated the Palmer Paint Co. archives to the Smithsonian Museum of American History (Wikipedia).

There are a few bloggers who have tackled the same look in their homes. Up for the mammoth challenge? Check out their work here and here and here  for inspiration and tips.




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