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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Decorating 101

Hey everybody! This week I'm vacationing at the beach with my family and, true to form, I didn't take time to prepare any posts ahead of time. But I stumbled upon a great blogger series this morning that I thought I would share with you.

Beth at Home Stories A to Z has invited 20-some other bloggers to join her for How To Decorate. Each day a few of them are sharing some of their favorite home decorating tips....a little Decorating 101 if you will.


Today actually starts Day 3, but there's still time to catch up. Beth has all of the blogs listed for you if you follow the link to her first post above. I for one love learning from others who's homes I admire, so I will definitely be reading while I relax this week!

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Tuesday, June 17, 2014

What I'm Pinning Lately {Screened Porches}

I've been on Pinterest again! I notice that I kind of get stuck on a couple things that I find myself pinning for a while. Do you do that too, or do you just pin randomly?

We have a nice deck. But honestly, we don't use it. Mostly because I don't like creepy crawly things. We don't have great deck furniture either, so I've never spent any time trying to make it nice or comfortable. I have this 'someday' plan of screening in the deck. I keep telling myself that we would use it more that way. So lately I've been dreaming of and pinning beautiful screened porches.

Here are some of my favorites.

This first one is from a popular Southern Living Cottage Of The Year. I love the fireplace, the door (which leads to a guest house), and the wicker. It looks so charming and relaxing. Wouldn't a fireplace be great to have on your porch for those cool Spring and Fall evenings?

I really love everything about this porch.....the style, the colors, the pretty! I can just see myself enjoying a quiet breakfast there in the Summer. And check out that framed flat screen TV!


If I ever have a screened porch, I would like to be able to have both a seating area and a dining area. Look at this lovely porch. I love the long wood dining table paired with the metal industrial chairs. What a great setting for large family dinners. The trim and detail are so pretty too. You even get a peek at some exposed brick.
One of my all-time favorite porches belongs to Kelly at Talk Of The House. She always keeps it looking so lovely and all decked out for the different seasons. Living in the South, she and her family get to use their porch almost year round. Lucky them! You can read all about the evolution of Kelly's porch HERE and HERE.

If you'd like, you can take a look at all the other porches that I've pinned too.

So what have you been pinning over on Pinterest lately? Do you have a porch that you get to enjoy in the Summer? Or do you just dream of one like me?
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Friday, June 13, 2014

A Little Summer Decor

I come bearing lots of photos today!

After a class trip, a funeral, and all kinds of end-of-the-school-year activities, I finally got around to "Summerfying" a little bit around here. I was starting to get a little concerned that July 4th might come and go before I got to it.

It all started with this Katie Daisy canvas that I found on mega clearance at Target back in the Fall.

(Remember these little fellas? )

Some bright sunshine-y pillows.

A little lemonade, perhaps?

Some color, some greenery, and a sweet print by The Nester (a birthday gift from my sister) that says, "It Doesn't have To Be Perfect To Be Beautiful."

I tried to keep things colorful and light.

Summer is in full-swing at our house. How about yours?
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Monday, June 9, 2014

Being Intentional About Summer

It's June and so it's time to share our calendar on the chalkboard wall, right?  But since it's Summer, we're shaking things up a little bit around here. During the Summer, our chalkboard becomes our "Summer List."

Summer flies by so fast. There have been years when, once it was all over, I felt like we had wasted so much time and didn't take the time to do some of the fun things we really wanted to do as a family. So, the Summer List was born.
Each year when school ends, we sit down together as a family and make a list of all the things we would like to do that Summer. Sometimes they are simple things like going out for ice cream and sometimes we have bigger dreams like going on a little trip. We don't always accomplish everything on the list but we try and it at least gives us some goals instead of just winging it. And the kids love being able to check things off the list.

(I couldn't help it though.....I've gotten so used to having the calendar on our wall though, so I snuck in a smaller version next to our list.)
Another thing that Hubster and I decided to do is to come up with some personal goals for each of our children for the Summer. They each have a reading and math goal (thanks to a math website recommended by our school district) and then each of them have a couple other goals specific to them. These are things that we would like to see them learn or practice. We're trying to make it fun while sneaking in some skills we'd like to see them develop.
Hopefully this will help keep away "I'm bored!" and "There's nothing to do!"  I think (at least, I hope) it will help keep me on track too as far as helping the kids in areas they are struggling with and spending individual time with each one. I have high hopes, so we'll see.
But it's all about being intentional with our time this Summer and not letting it just slip by us.
So do you have big plans for this Summer? What are you intentionally doing to make this Summer count?
** You can get a peek at last year's Summer List  HERE. **
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Monday, June 2, 2014


I'm BA-ACK!!

My son and I returned Friday evening from a four-day trip with his eighth-grade class to Washington, DC. Despite a lot of rain and problems with the wheelchair lift on our bus (which my son needs), we had a great time.

It had been several years since I had been to Washington for an extended time and was able to see a lot. Our days were packed with visits to various museums, monuments, and memorials.

I was reminded over and over of the great contributions and sacrifices that men and women have made throughout our country's history to protect and defend our freedoms.

Never so much as on our visit to Arlington Cemetery though (someplace I hadn't been before.) It was sobering to think of the number of lives that have been lost in the defense of our country.

The morning after our return, we received a sad call that Hubster's Grandma had passed away. She had been in declining health for the last few months and took a turn for the worse while I was gone.
She was the one of the sweetest, positive, and  most cheerful people I've ever known. She loved the Lord and she loved her family. She also loved to cook and often overdid it on holidays.....much to the rest of the family's enjoyment. The last time we visited with her was on Mother's Day. Despite how she may have felt, she never complained. She was in good spirits and was sitting up in a chair watching Food Network.....typical Grandma. She was also known in the family as "The Sticker Queen" because on every card she ever gave any of us for birthdays or Christmas there were always several decorative stickers on both the envelope and card.....along with a special Bible verse.
This morning as I was thinking about Grandma, I remembered that a few years ago as she began thinking about the possibility of moving out of her own home, she gathered all of her granddaughters and granddaughter-in-love (that's ME) together and let us each pick out a cup and saucer from her teacup collection. I decided to get out the beautiful cup and saucer and use it for some tea this morning to remember Grandma.
We will say goodbye to her on this earth later in the week, and we will miss her, but her influence on us all will never be forgotten.

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