Before and After: From Extra Large Master to Kid Bedroom/Playroom Combo

When we moved into our house, almost two years ago, we encountered lots of interesting paint colors, light fixtures and fans. This is the master bedroom in its original (or how we found it) state. It's an incredibly large room, roughly the same size as our living room. Things we loved about having it as a master were the fireplace, wrap around windows and large, double closet (something rare in a one hundred year old home). There were, however, drawbacks to keeping this as the master.

We mostly just sleep in our bedroom. All hanging-out occurs downstairs. It didn't make sense to have such a large chunk of the house for that sole purpose. Our basement is not finished, therefore, when we have our small group on Wednesday nights, there isn't a rec room for all ten kids to play in.

So, we decided to swap rooms with Collin and convert this room into a kids' bedroom/ playroom. Killian will eventually move in here with Collin and, heck, if we wanted to have eight kids, there would almost be enough room to line beds up on every wall, ala Annie or Madeline orphanage! ;)

Anyway, we moved Collin into the big room and, over time, have slowly brightened things up and made it kid-friendly. One of the first things that had to go was the garrish, poorly-painted red on the walls. Nick and his dad tackled this project after Christmas. We went with the same color we had in our Marietta, Ga living room-- Spring Melt by Martha Stewart. It's the perfect, pale minty-aqua-greeny-blue. So soothing and calming! Exactly what that room needed!

I apologize for the grainy iPhone pics! Someday I hope to properly photograph each room of our house, but until then, you get the picture!

I designed the 20x30" "Adventure Awaits" banner from a public domain Ansel Adams photograph of the Grand Tetons. If you are interested in something similar with a custom quote and a similar nature scene or more feminine, floral look. Let me know! I'm planning on listing these in my shop for $199. If it's not there, just convo me and I can make you a custom listing.

You'll see our trusty $5, 70's explosion reading chair is still a fixture! At some point in the future, I'll probably have it recovered, but in the mean time, it's still comfy and kitschy! The rug is a favorite from Ikea, our friend Mary snagged us the vintage chairs from a soon-to-be dumpster pile at the school where she works.

Nick made the chalkboard from a piece of sheet metal, framed it and painted it with chalkboard paint. It's fun to have the magnetic element and I worry less with the old fireplace covered! We aren't big fans of TV's in bedrooms, but it's worked out really nicely to have this one in here for when the brood of ten kiddos at small group start getting antsy and our sweet 10 and 12 year old baby sitters need to change up the activity. 

So, that's that! The boys love playing in here. We love having this space for kids and it just makes more functional sense for our way of life! Someday, if we sell the house, we'll stage it as a master bedroom again. In the meantime, we don't miss having it for ourselves and our livable house space just got a whole lot bigger!


Another Chair Transformation, Before and After

A few weeks back I shared about this chair makeover, mentioning there was another on the way. Well, friends. Here it is! The decision to use some of the solid orange fabric remnants left over from the first chair for the buttons was a total last minute decision and I'm really pleased with how it turned out. I'm a sucker for ticking stripe fabric and I love de-skirting cool chairs to show off their hidden, leggy beauty!


A Fall Mantel

Autumnal greetings, friends!

I've had a great deal of fun this past week, decorating our mantel for fall. I'm not a huge seasonal decorator-- except for Christmas, that is. I do, however, like to change up our mantel from time to time and the changing of seasons is as good a reason as ever! 

I teamed up with some excellent sponsors to really give our fireplace some pizzazz. One of my new favorite lines on Etsy is The Bee's Knees Shoppe. Amy made the charming felt arrow banner and the yarn pom pom flowers. If you are needing some festive bursts of color in your home, check her shop out! It's just over the top adorable.

Then, there is a new feathered friend on my mantel, made by Sheila of Clay Origins. I was able to pick from a multitude of colors for my hootie owl. Very fun! I'm also really loving this geometric planter in her shop.

My gold on black "In the House of God Forever" print is from Anchor and Ink Calligraphy. I just love this portion of Psalm 23 and every time I look at it, Jon Foreman's House of God Forever song comes to mind. 

So, in the spirit of all the goodness and mercy God has for you, take a listen and let Truth wash over your soul:


Two Worthy Causes!

Hi people! As we head into the colder seasons, I find myself drawn to more soulful, introspective tunes. Do you ever feel this way? I mean, curling up with a blanket and a pumpkin-something doesn't quite evoke the Beach Boys. Our friends, Caleb and Erin Paxton of the group eine blume (eye-nuh bloom-uh) are, to me, the equivalent of a piping hot mug of cocoa-- rich, sweet and always a treat! 

They are raising funds to release their new album Farewell to Shadowlands: A Narnia Album. We first met the Paxtons at a house concert they were playing in Joplin. I am blown away by their musical talent, profound lyrics and beautiful hearts. Their music has been described as "an ascending into a warm, velvet-y fairytale." I would definitely agree with this assessment and am excited to be a part of making this music available to the public.  

Would you consider joining me in funding this endeavor through Kickstarter? Watch the video, take a listen. You will not be disappointedThey have only 70 hours to go-- let's give as much as we can to extend the reach of their fantastic sound and message!

We have some other really amazing friends (I mean-- wow, how do we meet all these talented people?!) who have developed a portable tornado shield called the Tuuli Armor. After surviving the 2011 EF-5 Tornado that hit Joplin, Steve set out to create a product that would be an affordable option to bridge the gap between no protection whatsoever and a costly safe room. In Steve's words,"We lived just four blocks north of where the destruction started, and we pulled a small mattress off my son's bed and laid it on top of us in the hallway. I realized that wasn't a good option."

90% of tornado injuries are due to lacerations and this bag, made of puncture resistant, ballistic-grade nylon, shields you from the worst of it. As Steve puts it-- "You have no control over the two by four coming at you, but a large bruise is much better than a two by four going through your body." I wholeheartedly agreed. The Tornado Shield can be kept at home or in your car.

Check out their Indiegogo campaign here, watch the video and consider supporting their fundraiser to mass produce the shield or, if you live in Tornado country, pre-order your very own!


Class Is In Session! Vintage Collegiate Fashion

I'm halfway ashamed to say it's been ten years since I graduated college and I still find myself wishing I had an excuse to go buy new notebooks and school clothes in September! Does anyone else feel this way? Something about the leaves changing and the air getting cooler makes me want to burry my nose in a book at a coffee shop or attend a lecture.

I've assembled a few retro, collegiate pieces to get us in the mood for fall. There is just something so timeless and cozy about these duds and I don't think you are ever too old to rock an ivy league inspired look. Unless you want to look like an extra on the set of Happy Days, which is most definitely not a bad thing, I'd wouldn't necesarilly pair all of this together, but a few, choice pieces will go along way in evoking that nostalgic, autumnal feeling!

P.S. Thrift stores are fabulous places to find some sweet, granny plaids, midi-skirts, nubby tweeds and peter pan collared blouses. Just be sure to sniff for eau de mothball before making a purchase!

Your homework: draw from scholarly yesteryear fashion for your fall ensembles. Class adjuorned!



Chair Makeover Before and After

I snagged this chair a few years back at an Atlanta thrift store for less than $10. It was missing a back chushion and so horribly soft that when you sat down on it you needed assistance to get out, but I loved the lines of this sturdy, mid-century construction and saw potential. I had been saving up for a while to have it recovered, along with another chair, and we picked it up from our upholsterer friend, Doug, last week. It has a new seat cushion, a new back cushion, the skirt was removed and I found some cheap wooden legs to replace the chair's not-so-awesome original legs.

I stumbled upon the dreamy dahlia fabric on Ebay for $8.99 a yard. It normally runs at closer to $35 a yard. It looked really familiar to me and I couldn't place where I had seen it before. Oh yeah, it is the same fabric used on the Anthropologie Naive Tropical Astrid Chair which was originally $1298, marked down to $799 and then discontinued. In total, I paid less than a fifth of that price for a brand "new" chair! Happy dance, happy dance, happy dance! 

 So yeah, I love sipping my coffee and reading in our new chair and maybe you think it's loud and crazy, which it kind of is, but it my eyes it's happy and fun and just the right pop I was looking to add to our eclectic living room.

The side table is a fun, marble-topped piece we bought a while back from some friends for $30. It was primed white and we decided to keep it white since the color looked good against the tan marble. Nick painted it in a gloss white and now it's basically our chair's new BFF. Anything smaller/less substantial would have been dwarfed, anything louder would have competed with the busy chair. I'm pleased these two pieces work so well together.

Yay for cozy living room vignettes! Stay tuned for my second chair's transformation!


Toddler and Baby Raves

No, I'm not blogging about wee ones bopping to techno, I thought to share some of the things I always rave about to other friends with kiddos.

We all know there are a million and one products out there, designed to make bringing up bebe easier, but 99% of it is non-essential. I mean, what did people do before Boppies?! The horror. So, I wanted to start off by saying I am confident our children would survive and even thrive in an environment without the highlighted items. That being said, I have run across a few products/books, etc that have been a mainstay in our home during these baby/toddler/early preschooler years and you might be interested in hearing what they are!

1. The OK to Wake Owl Right around the time we transitioned Collin to his big boy bed (at two years), he began waking at the crack of dawn and coming out of his room. This owl is amazing. You program it for the desired wake time and it turns green at the appropriate time. Every time he wakes early and tries to get out of his room, we ask him if his owl is green. He'll go check and if it's not, he's totally cool with reading books in bed until it turns green. You had better believe the minute it lights up Collin flings the door open and yells, "It's greeeeen!" like it's a miracle every time. We love the owl!

2. Rain for Roots are modern Biblical folk songs for children by Sandra McCraken. The slogan is "Making new songs, for children, about the old Story." Such good, Truth-filled music that's fun, singable and easy on mom and dad's ears too!

3. If you haven't picked up a copy of the Jesus Storybook Bible yet, do so now! Even if you don't have kids, you'll benefit from it. It does such a good job of weaving the Bible together and giving children, and adults, such a enlightening, birds-eye view of God's master plan for humanity-- his relentless love and pursuit of his children! Half the time we read this, I am in tears.

4. The Tommee Tippee Explora Easi-Roll Bib is a recent find. I was getting sick of wiping/washing flimsy bibs that took for every to drip dry and looked awful after a month's use. These bibs are comfy on baby's neck, easy to wipe/wash and they roll-up nicely for on-the-go mealtimes!

5. Soft-soled shoes are so good for baby's feet as they learn to stand and walk. With hard soles their feet don't learn to grip and maneuver as well. I didn't know this with Collin and went straight to tennis shoes when he started walking. I have since learned more and have loved having Killian in moccasins. There are some pretty pricey versions out there, but I have fallen in love with designs and price point of Starry Knight Mocs. I've bought them a bit big so that Killian can grown into them. They are truly just so comfy, well-made and cute!

6. Duck Goes Potty. This is a really sweet, fun book that helped Collin during potty training. I first checked out a copy at the library (I'm hoping they sanitize their board books!). Collin loved it so much I decided we should have a copy of our own.

7. Lollacup. This cup was originally introduced to me by a friend who saw the inventor, a mom-trapeneur, pitch it on Shark Tank. I was getting really frustrated with no spill cups that shot liquid out like a geyser when the cool liquid warmed to room temperature-- not to mention they were difficult for Collin to drink out of. Cue in Lollacup. This cute, penguin shaped receptacle has a weighed straw, making for easy drinking as the straw follows the liquid to the lowest point of the cup, when tipped. You can use it with or without the handles. It has been a mainstay for us!
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